Friendly Friday – Kendall Lyons

Have you ever had a tough time explaining how you met someone? “Hey, how did you guys meet?” You stumble across um’s and awkward pauses until you figure out the best way to explain a peculiar story. That’s pretty much the case with my friend Kendall.

I had the great fortune of traveling to Colorado last summer to attend the Wild at Heart Boot Camp hosted by John Eldridge and his Ransomed Heart Ministries team. It was a great men’s retreat the opened my eyes to all types of new directions in my faith walk with Jesus, and allowed me to realize the warrior that lives in me, fighting everyday here on earth for the kingdom of God. It was four days of reflection, introspection, and fellowship with the hundreds of other men at the retreat.

In those moments of fellowship, we’d congregate around the fire, introducing ourselves and sharing life stories. I traveled to the retreat with my friend Jeff, and I told him I’d meet him down at the fire once I grabbed some stuff from our dormitory area. Upon my arrival, he peppered me with questions.

“Hey. Do you know this guy named cartoon daily?”

“Cartoon daily? His first name is cartoon?”

“No. That’s his Twitter handle. Cartoondaily ….. something.”

“What? What are you talking about.”

“I met this guy and he happened to mention he’s a blogger. I told him I was here with a buddy of mine who also is a blogger. I mentioned you’re danaCreative, and he said he knows you.”

“Wait. What? He said he knows me?”

“Yeah. Says he follows you on Twitter … or something like that.” (my friend Jeff was not very keen on the details that evening)

So after the sketchy conversation and upon returning home, I did some research and found @CartoonDaily1, better known as Kendall Lyons.

The Internet is a great tool. So much so that it allowed two complete strangers, both with a penchant for writing and a mutual love for Jesus Christ, to come together in a really unexplainable way. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Kendall in person, but we’ve interacted quite a bit since the retreat, and I am a fan of his work.

Kendall is a youth minister and a writer – he just released his book “22 Life Lessons for Personal Growth” – and a dedicated man of God. In addition, Kendall is a talented artist and self-proclaimed cartoon fanatic. I look forward to growing in this friendship with Kendall, and I smile knowing there is another warrior out there working hard to kingdom build here on earth.

You can find Kendall via his blog at KendallLyons.com. Please take a moment to check out Kendall’s animated mini-bio for Draw My Life. It’s excellent.

Happy Friday!

A Sudden Realization (W@HBC Day 1)

Some of my notes and thoughts from attending Wild at Heart Boot Camp – August 15

It’s the first day of my men’s retreats in Fraser, Colorado, and John Eldredge himself is hosting the first session. There was a little fan-girl squeal inside of me as he walked to the front of the presentation room. There stood a man that was a key domino in not only making my relationship with my wife Lee survive, but also in helping me return to God. Without getting into specifics, I can say I would not be at this retreat is not for the encouragement of my wife.

In John’s session, he tasked us with an exercise. “Name your favorite movie and explain why.” The ‘what’ part was very easy for me. I enjoy doing top-of-mind awareness exercises in my head, and for some time now, the answer to the question of “favorite movie” has been Field of Dreams.

Before I continue, it’s important to note I came to this retreat because I felt compelled by God to attend. I can’t explain the ‘why’ except to say it’s as if God invited me to a surprise party and I have to wait to see what the surprise is. I know God is calling me in a new direction, away from the corporate monotony in which I find myself. But as to where He’s leading me, I have no clue.

I began to answer the second part of the exercise question. ‘Why’. Why is Field of Dreams my favorite movie? I always used to think it was because I shared a connection through that movie with my dad. I love it because of the ending, where the main character Ray meets a younger version of his father and Ray asks him if he wants to have a catch. It’s because of that scene I was unable to watch the film for some time after my father passed away (8 years to be exact). The emotion of that scene is powerful, and just thinking about it make my eyes swell.

I put pen to paper and began to answer the question. “Because of Ray’s confidence in the voice he hears. He has faith and he has courage. Courage to risk everything, to give up everything for what he feels he is called to do. ”

I looked up from my notepad and then back down again. Did I just write that? Where did that answer come from? What the …. ? I’d never looked at Field of Dreams that way before. I’ve seen the movie a thousand times and it has never spoken to me in that way until today. Until I was prompted by John Eldredge to answer the question ‘Why?’. Until I was prompted by God to answer the question, “Why are you here at this retreat?”.

I call moments like these Godsmack moments, and this one was very clear to me. God’s surprise party is about me finding the courage to follow His calling for me. To stop ignoring that little voice that is telling me to go forward and to be great.

In Field of Dreams, the voice Ray keeps hearing says, “If you build it, he will come.” What I keep hearing God whisper in my ear is, “I have built you, now go on.” I just need to find my courage and strength to obey.

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” -Psalm 119:32 (NIV)