Which way is up?

So Danielle has begged, that’s right begged, me to write on this blog for months. For absolutely no reason at all I have been hesitant to do so. I keep convincing myself that in a few years I will come back and read my work, and be incredibly embarrassed. But something changed recently. Actually it seems like everything has changed recently. Danielle and I are new parents and each day is a new adventure. I have started a new position at Trinity Baptist Church, this change has caused me to start new friendships with a new pastor, new students, new adult leaders, a new youth pastor network, seemingly a new everything. I have even turned over a new leaf, and that has me wanting to share today.

Most people are creatures of habit. They like routine and rarely look forward to change. All of the newness that I am experiencing would cause some people to have a stroke! I like to do new things but one of the things I have been in the habit of is keeping a very, ridiculously full inbox. Some of you would cringe to know that for years now I have grown accustomed to keeping thousands of emails in my inbox. Yesterday I had over 7,000 (that’s not a typo) unread emails. On a whim I decided that needed to change. I went through my old emails and deleted them, ALL OF THEM! As I type this, there are 4 emails in my inbox, I never knew there would be this kinda freedom with an empty inbox).

In the middle of deleting email after email, God opened my eyes to something.  Since the summer of 2011 my inbox has been infiltrated with ministry! As I clicked on emails I have stashed away since 2011, I was blown away by the bold request I made to people at the North American Mission Board. I was humbled by the prayer request I had sent to some of my professors at NOBTS, and encouraged by their response. I became excited about plans I was helping to make for several different camps and events. This seems crazy to even type out, but I experienced God’s faithfulness as I did the trivial (and devastatingly time-consuming) task of cleaning out my inbox. As I looked through my very own keystrokes I was overcome with joy (partially because I write much better now) looking back at the way I have grown spiritually, as a man, as a leader!

This caused me to realize that instead of looking back on my early entries on a blog and cringing, I would more likely be encouraged by the way God was working in my life at the time!

All of the “new” things in my life right now have me struggling to recognize which way is up. And while I may not have figured out the answer to that question, what I have realized is that being able to look back will always be a source of encouragement rather than embarrassment. So this is the first of what may be many blog post for me. Thanks for reading, please be gentle in the comment section. Take a moment, in the midst of all of the crazy, and reflect on how God is trying to encourage you.

 

Kyle Ruff

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Encouraging Love

We, in the Ruff household, had some special visitors over the last week. One of our teenagers from Atco stopped by last weekend to share some candy with us. It was so great to see his sweet face and get a hello from him (and his mom). Then this Thursday we had two girls come over for dinner and to love on Hannah for a little bit. It was awesome to share some time with people we love. Part of me has “momma-like” love for them but most of my love for them is brotherly (or should I say sisterly?) love. It reminded me of my study on love and I wanted to share a little more from my studies.


In 1 Thessalonians 4:9 it says, “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you,for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” Paul is encouraging the people of Thessalonica that they do a good job of loving one another, because they have learned how to love from God. I like how Paul recognizes something they do well and encourages them to keep going in that way. To our three visitors from this week…you have loved on us in a cool way! You have shown great love and we appreciate it. To everyone else, who can you encourage this week? Share some brotherly love and lift each other up with words of affirmation.