Incomplete and Untold

Posted in : stream of consciousness/random

I prayed for guidance,
To fill up my quiver;
Guess I should’ve trusted
More than just a sliver.

I thought that the patience,
Itself, was the test;
Eventually able to
Find me some rest.

Could it be just
That I, in fact, did not see,
What it was that HE wanted me to
Never see?

My perspective is heightened
After being so low;
Maybe needed something
In the past I didn’t know.

I blame no one,
Yet still blame myself—
Put that mem’ry back
Up on the shelf.

Shove it to the back,
Forget it—don’t wallow.
We still gotta get up
And shine all tomorrow.

I’ll take it in stride,
Tho’ my pain I’ll not hide;
Wond’ring forever,
“Will I make it?” inside.

This does not define,
It does not complete—
I’ll swallow the pain,
Wake up, and compete.

No one can know what
The future may hold—
Regardless, His Blood makes
Me forever bold.

That’s why there’s no fear
When things will unfold,
It’s just in their nature—
Incomplete and untold.

–Travis J




1-11-2018 Remembrance

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

1-18-2018 Remembrance

January 11, 2010.
Eight years ago.

That was the day that we learned my father had died.

I remember a lot of weird details about that day, and then there are other weird details about that day I *don’t* remember, too. A lot of it was blurry—like, not that I don’t remember any of it, cuz like I said, I *do*. But even some of the stuff I *do* remember was blurry because it was just so surreal that this was happening to us.

One thing I remember feeling—that I still feel to this day—is the feeling that the air has been completely let out of your world, never to really be let back in again. It still feels that way.

It feels that way because I actually *cared* about my father. I had a *good* relationship with him. So many people *don’t* have a relationship with their father, or they aren’t *real* with their father, and their father isn’t *real* with them. That wasn’t the case with my father and me. We said all we needed to say to each other. Nothing was left unsaid. Even though it still feels like the air has been let out of my world, ever since that morning 8 years ago when he died, one of the few little *crumbs* of peace to which I can hold is that things were not left unsaid between my dad and me. He and I had a few disagreements about a few things, before he died. But, it wasn’t really a lot. I loved him, I got along with him, I loved spending time with him. I *looked* like him (apparently—people say that), I *thought* a lot like him. I work a lot like he worked. We had a few ways we thought differently about things, but we both knew it, and we both moved past it. It was everything from a few disagreements we had in years previously that we did resolve and wrap-up, to long-term opinions about things that were never truly resolved (like how he was not a fan of my longer hair, the fact I listened to hip-hop music, the types of some of the girls he was aware that I liked, etc). But he went to his grave knowing everything I thought about him, I said everything to him I needed to say, he said everything to me he needed to say (I’m assuming, anyway, maybe I assume too much). There’s an obnoxious peace in that. (Incidentally, one of the other obnoxious pieces of peace to which I try to cling is that “At least I don’t have to watch him get old”. I’d rather he was here—but at least I don’t have to see him get old and decrepit, and I can remember him how he was.)

Our father wasn’t slop-sugar, he didn’t say-really-nice-lovey-dovey-things. He was a realist. He didn’t sugarcoat things. He also didn’t put up a mask and act differently around different groups of people and then also act differently at home, which is all stuff that SO many other peoples’ fathers do; and like SO many of us are tempted to do, as we grow up. But we shouldn’t be that way. It’s better when we’re not that way. The fact that my father did not put on airs, or put up masks, made me love and respect him more than almost any other things he did, could have done, didn’t do, etc.

Also, he actually didn’t particularly ENJOY talking about the difficult-to-talk-about-things, but he made it a point to make sure and let us know that we *COULD* talk to him, whenever we felt like we wanted to or needed to. And he didn’t just SAY, “ya know, you can talk to me if you ever need to” just so he could somehow check a box under “Fatherhood” and SAY, “well, I *told* ‘em they could talk to me”; no, he actually did it, and it actually made things better when he did talk out things with us. He’d give us his HONEST opinion on stuff, when it was one of those topics for which there are no easy answers. He’d tell us, “Ways he’d heard it thought about”, “What ideas for-or-against” it were, and then “How he thinks about it”, and then, we’d have to make our own choice. That was for the, like I say, more difficult life-things for which there aren’t the black-and-white answers. Certainly, when it was something we needed to talk about that *DID* have an easy answer, heh, you were gonna know what that easy answer was, haha.

Bouncing back to the day he died, one thing I remember is the way people treat you after they see you going through a tough time, where your dad dies, or whatever:

1) I remember that people are around you, and they KNOW you’re hurting. They *WANT* to say something, but they don’t know *how*. They don’t know *what to say*. They’re afraid they’ll say, “the wrong thing”. I get it. I do. But during those dark, dark days immediately after dad died, I remember times when I sensed someone was around me, and was sort of mentally offering condolences to me; I perceived it and picked up on it. And I remember having a distinct feeling of gratitude that they would care, and even put it off mentally, like they did, in a strong enough way that I just sort of perceived it. There were other people around, who were insensitive clods, who, I could sense, did *not* have the same sense of condolences, and so that was sort of a standard by which I became so aware of the people that *did* have heart-felt, sincere, unspoken condolences for me and for my family. So I’m grateful for the people who were around and didn’t-know-what-to-say, but I perceived they cared a great deal.

2) My boss, at the time, was not someone who I knew very well (at all), nor was it someone with whom I had ever *spoken*, I do not believe. But this man made it a departmental thing that I was going to receive a normal week’s-pay, during the week I was out when I was dealing with dad’s death, his funeral, those just-after arrangements and all that. He didn’t have to do that, I didn’t know him that well, etc. But he did. However many weeks later, I asked to have a meeting with him just to “thank” him for doing such a thing; heh, that being the first time I had ever actually spoken to the man, interestingly enough. He responded with the normal reciprocities when I told him “thank you”, certainly something to the effect of “you’re welcome”; but then he also said something else, something that sort of stuck with me and meant a lot. He said, “Sometimes ya just do the right thing.” He paid me for a week that I didn’t work. He just thought it was the right thing to do; even though I was just a bit of a cog-in-a-machine at that point. So I’m grateful to him for that.

3) There are a lot of people in my life who are not Christians; and there are a lot of people in my life who *are* Christians. And one thing I can confidently say is that during these dark days, I can distinctly feel like my family and I were being floated on prayers, and it, in a sense, sort of protected us, helped us pull through it physically, mentally, emotionally–*LITERALLY* and *ACTUALLY*. A close parallel is sort of like what medicine makes you feel like, whenever you’re sick, and you’re using medicines to treat symptoms. When the medicine works, you sort of feel like it’s just floating you through the sickness—even though you’re very much still sick—and you feel oddly alleviated….even though…..you’re aware ya still goin through the terrible thing. It was similar with the prayers and getting past the immediate time after dad’s death. I can actually say I felt lifted up and floated-through by prayers from folks; and that’s not something I take lightly or think about lightly, or label lightly, because, quite frankly, way too many Christians *overuse* statements like that when they *don’t* mean them, and it has thus watered-down these types of statements. So I don’t say it much; I don’t feel it much. But that time, I did. This type of thing you don’t quantify, and doesn’t translate into the world’s eyes or the world’s understanding very well. But, there it is.

4) There are also countless people who brought food to our house, and took us out to eat, during that immediate time after dad died. And I don’t see that as any small thing. It’s a sacrifice to do that for people who are grieving or who have just experienced a loss, and lots of people did that for us.
It was funny how many people attended my dad’s funeral. For such a gruff, no nonsense, jaded, skeptical, not-really-trustful-of-people, and not-particularly-super-extroverted guy, and for a guy who kinda “scared” some people (like our friends, growing up)—he sure touched a lot of lives.

And he wouldn’t even say it that way—“touched a lot of lives”. He’d say that’s too dramatic, or makes-it-sound-more-important-than-it-was. But he did. It’s true. We weren’t what you’d call an affluent family—we CERTAINLY ain’t had no money—he was not a man of any sort of “position” or “grand distinction”. But sure had a lot of people at that funeral and visitation..

So I’d encourage you, repair your relationship with your parent, if you need to. Don’t leave things unspoken. Because I have the *peace* that I have about NOT leaving things unspoken with my dad, I can begin to try to stomach what the *OPPOSITE* would feel like, if he and I *did* still have things unspoken. And that makes me a lot sick—even though it wasn’t the CASE for he and I! Don’t buy that LIE that “you have time to work it out”—your tomorrow is not promised to you, and their tomorrow is not promised to them. Quit lying to yourself and choosing the easy way out by avoiding doing what you know you should.

Also, don’t take things for granted; like, people in your life, *or* stuff. Do whatever you have to do to put yourself in a mental state where you appreciate the things and people you have; that you are a good steward to them and with them.

Because if you don’t do what you need to do, in order to humbly appreciate these people and things, and not take them for granted—something may take a drastic turn in your life and *force* you to know how to be grateful. But by then, it may be too late.

Don’t you wish you would’ve just done it when you had the chance?

This was rambly. I’m not really sorry it was. There’s good stuff in there, so take note of it; like, whether you’ve had a parent die yet or not; whether or not you’re “young”.



On Millennial Public/Customer Service

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith
Yeah, I gotta say—as a Millennial, there are a *LOT* of problems I have with my own generation; that is, I have a lot of problems with and am largely different than other Millennials. Like. Lots of problems.
And it’s largely why I’ve always been able to get along with people of previous-generations *SOMETIMES EVEN BETTER* than my *OWN* generation [other Millennials], literally my entire life.
But *LOTS* of times, it’s Baby-Boomers, Gen-X’ers (lil bit), and older-people who act unreasonably, or scream, or get snippy, in public/customer-service situations when they do not understand the process. They feel like they need a dog to kick because a mistake/error happens; and they feel the need to take it out on the public/customer-service representative.
Baby-Boomers, Gen-X’ers (lil bit), and older are the ones who, lots of times, treat public/customer-service folks like dogs—whether that public/customer-service representative is a Millennial or even if that public/customer-service representative, HIMSELF, is of an older age-group than Millennials.
(But it’s also a strange curve, though, too, cuz some of the older-older people—lots of times, they’ve reached a point in their lives where they’re just chill about most things, and don’t act terribly when stuff happens when a mistake or error, or whatever, comes up)
Just keep in mind that the Millennial public/customer-service representatives are largely representing the Business’ policies—so as mad as the kid may make you, he/she didn’t write the rules, they just have to execute the rules.
We [Millennials] got a lot problems. No attention-spans. Over-texted-over-sexted. Sense of entitlement. Desensitized to lots of things. *ACTUALLY* thinking that someone like Bernie Sanders and his *POISONOUS* political philosophy is even *remotely* OK as a Presidential candidate. But dang.
It’s like, just treat people LIKE PEOPLE. I’m sorry that the mere *SIGHT* of a Millennial makes you angry—and hey, like I said earlier, I kinda get it! But, ***treat people LIKE PEOPLE***.


A Bright Light Went Out – Bailey Morgan

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

A bright light went out in this world two weeks ago. One of my best friends, Bailey Morgan, passed on to be with the Lord.

But the thing about Bailey is, he wouldn’t have much cared about such glory about being a “bright light” unless it helped point someone to Jesus Christ. As those of us who were fortunate enough to attend Bailey’s funeral this past weekend were able to realize, Bailey touched a lot of peoples’ lives, in a lot of different ways, and at a lot of different times.

He was a renaissance man—an artist, a soft-soul, physically as strong as any man across whom he came; he was also silly, and he loved life and loved to have a good time. He was a good listener, he was a G-I-V-I-N-G spirit—oftentimes giving when his own circumstances may not have even been strong. He was an overcomer. He loved to bake. He simply loved people. He was a great listener. He was the ultimate servant-heart. He did it when it wasn’t comfortable, when it wasn’t convenient, and not because anyone ever had to ask him to be a servant.

He was able to do many of these things because of the identity he had (and has) in Christ.

And all of these things I’m saying here don’t even really do him justice.

I was privileged enough to meet Baily while we were in college together, at East Texas Baptist University. I have no trouble saying he was one of the three closest friends I had in college at East Texas Baptist University. I’ve since grown closer to a couple-a-few-more that I met in college days. But no—he was one of three that were closest to me. Bailey and I fascinated each other. He was more artistic, and I was more task-oriented and down-the-line left-brained (Don’t get the wrong idea, though—when Bailey got his hands on something, he was going to do it right, do it well, and do it better than anyone else). Yet our paths crossed, and we spent many a night staying up late around campus—be it in the cafeteria, outside in the back of someone’s truck, at on-campus events, randomly walking around campus, in each other’s dorm—spent many a night listening to one another. *LISTENING* to one another’s point of view. We’d share the struggles through which we went—many very *very* serious things at times—yet we confided in and trusted each other. We were able to learn from one another—we were different yet similar. We practiced the Biblical concept of edifying each other.

I remember one time when we were walking across campus from one event to another, a basketball player at etbu walked by. The player recognized me, I said, “hey”, and then I said something about coming to watch all of their games this season; I really wanted to—but lots of times, I studied or worked too much and wouldn’t be able to go. And Bailey knew that about me, as he heard me say that to that basketball player. And Bailey challenged me. Bailey said to me, “You know you just made a promise, right?” That got me thinking, I’ve never forgotten that. He was right. That is a thing with which he hit me square between the eyes. Another thing in which Bailey and another fellow etbu’er who always saw me rushing around so busily all of the time encouraged me was, “Travis, don’t forget to slow down and smell the roses, sometimes”—that is, Bailey and this other friend encouraged me to keep the perspective of slowing down and enjoying the moment and enjoying my youth; not to always rush around and let life pass me by. I’ve never forgotten that, either.

And after those stories, I’ll show one thing—look at the image that is at the center of this picture along with this post. That was in 2015, after a weekend with Bailey and some other close-friends. Just as I was saying that back, years ago, when we were in college together and would listen to each other, help each other, and that we were fascinated by how each other thought about and saw life, this comment Bailey left me on this image is an example of how I was able to help edify him.

I am so proud of Bailey and who he became; yet I am also humbled and challenged; to love like he loved. To give like he gave. To have faith like he had. And I hope I make him proud; and I cannot wait to see him in Paradise with our God again, one day.

I love you, Bailey.

P.S. if anyone wants to comment on these pictures of Bailey and us (some of them funny), I’d love to reminisce about what they were/are ^_^ .

P.S.S. I could have posted *way* more pictures, but thought I’d just cut it to these.

#travisj #tyletexas #tyler #tylertx

A Bright Light Went Out - Bailey Morgan


MOBILITY of Christian Faith

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

Among the many choices that the American Evangelical Christian Church is going to have to make in the coming seasons in how we are going to handle/respond to cultural shifts that are, even now, thrusting themselves upon us 1, an important one standing out is the realization that as church-members, sometimes going OUT into the world and OUTSIDE of the walls of our church to lead people to the Truth and to the Love of Christ is just as valid as “inviting people to come to church”. I call it the MOBILITY of our Christian faith.

It’s sort of like how we use the Internet nowadays, contrasted with how we all used the Internet in previous times. Back when, whenever you wanted to use the Internet, you had to sit at a workstation like a Desktop-computer or a Laptop-computer, and then you could run browsers and programs to visit websites. Nowadays, to use the Internet, we have mobile devices that we carry around with us to access the Internet via browsers and apps. And what we are seeing more and more is that it’s becoming more and more of a thing that we use this mobile method to access the Internet. It’s just growing. Now, we realize that and we accept that. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that we just throw out or abandon the previous way of accessing the Internet—we don’t abandon the regular desktop-computers and workstations. They’re still just as important and valid, too, even with the advent of the mobile way of accessing the Internet.

It’s the same thing with our churches and being Christians in these times. There are certain assumptions by which all of us operate. We carry them with us in how we think, how we live our lives, and how we run our organizations. Therefore, one could say that our organizations operate by certain assumptions.

One of the assumptions always has been, “Hey, bring your friends and your family and your work associates and people with whom you encounter up here to church on Sunday mornings, and we’ll plug them in, lead them to Christ, and they’ll be saved.

This is not a bad thing. Of course it’s a good thing. And it should continue to be done. And the church is a beautiful, unique institution into which we should all plug, as Christians.

But it seems like some churches nowadays largely forget or do not give enough attention to the MOBILITY—taking the Truths and the Love of Christ out into the world in whatever spheres we live our lives on a daily basis.

As a kid, I was privileged enough to attend a church that had one particular staff-member who recognized the importance of taking the Truths and the Love of Christ outside of our church walls on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights outward into the world for the other five days of the week. By taking one seemingly small action, this staff member drove this into our minds and our spirits as church members—and they did it in love:

In the parking lot outside of our church, whenever we would get into our vehicles and leave, this staff-member posted signs that all of us could not avoid seeing, every time we drove out of the parking lot. The signs read,

You are now entering your mission-field.

Every time we “left church”, that’s what we observed—“You are now entering your mission-field.

Not only must we remember that there are “Missionaries” who have taken it upon themselves to uproot from the United States and travel to other nations in order to spread the Truths and Love of Jesus Christ, we must not forget that every last one of us are missionaries, in living our quote unquote “normal lives”, day-to-day. It makes no difference whether you’re an uprooted United States Christian citizen who has taken it upon themselves to move to Uganda or Southeast Asia or wherever, and live a new life among the natives, spreading the Truth and Love of Christ; or whether we stay in the United States and are just a quote unquote “normal family”, working a 9-to-5 job, balancing the demands of fast-paced American life, and attending a local regular American Evangelical New Testament Church.

EITHER WAY, if we call ourselves followers of Christ by confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts that Christ is Lord; we believe that the Person of God came to this earth in flesh in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ and was killed on a literal cross to serve as the propitiation and payment for the sins of mankind; then believe that this same Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead; and we have approached Him with an honest and pure-intentioned heart, and repented of our sins and asked Him to forgive us and live in our hearts and make us a disciple of Christ to become ever-fashioned to becoming like Christ, then we are all Christians and we are all missionaries 2.

With that in mind, this next thing is important to keep in mind, because, whether you think it’s stupid or not, and whether you even think it’s valid or not, there are people out there―people with whom you come into contact every day, normal run-of-the-mill Americans like yourself―who have maintained within themselves that they will *NEVER* step foot into a church.

Guess what? People don’t want to come to our churches because

– they think they know everything that a church or a pastor is going to tell them before the church or pastor says it,

– they believe they will not be welcomed,

– they believe, “I don’t need church people”,

– they hate the hypocrisy (some is perceived hypocrisy and some is real hypocrisy)―

– or some combination of these factors or other related factors.

Some of their criticisms on how American Evangelical Christians have behaved in coming off as “superior and self-righteous” are our fault as American Evangelical Christians―and that is wrong of us. Some of their criticisms are not our fault, and are not fair or accurate. There is no denying that as Evangelical Christians, yes, we do recognize certain absolute truths, and we will hold to them―as we should! We are right to do that! The world is too filled with wishy-washyness; and this lack of absolutes and a lack of limits kills us. So we MUST hold to certain Absolute Truths.

But within that, even though that’s true, we’ve got to realize that, as I said before, wrong-or-right, whether you think it’s stupid or not, whether you think it’s unfounded or not, there are people that will not step foot into an Evangelical Christian Church. And gee, the temptation may be to just say,

Well gee, they had their chance to choose Christ, God doesn’t let anyone die without having a chance to accept the Truths of Christ in some way3 and just “shake the dust off our feet4 and shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well” and throw up our hands and not care.

To that, I call into question that person’s faith in Christ. You should be so in love with Christ and convinced of His Truths that it pains your heart and breaks it for the people with whom you encounter, in your life, on a daily-basis—be it someone you only come across once, or whether it be a work-associate or colleague that you regularly encounter. The fact that you know that they are without Christ—that should bother you. And I’m suggesting a gut-check and spirit-check if it does not.

The reason I can so boldly—and some may say self-righteously—declare that one should perform a gut-check or spirit-check if they do not care about a lost person’s coming to the Love and the Truths of Christ is that I know how I feel:

Whenever I encounter people in my personal and professional life—I mean, WHEREVER—who I know are without Christ (again, be they a one-time encounter, or associates/colleagues/co-workers who I regularly encounter), my heart breaks for those who I know are living a dry life without the life-giving springs of the Truths and the Love of Christ.

It is not a shallow,

Hey, I am bothered because another person does not believe like I believe”.

It is more than that. I can deal with people who do not believe in something I believe, someone who can contest my own beliefs with valid points, or are convinced of evidence in something that is the opposite of what I believe. I’m emotionally-solid and intellectually-honest enough to handle that.

It stays with me and it saddens me—for other peoples’ own sake—when they are not living a life empowered by the Love and True Life offered by God in the Name of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So here’s the smallest violin in the world, *starts playing with his fingers, imaginarily*

Sad-story, Travis, this is all very fascinating, but what’s the point?

My point is, let us recognize that our mission-field truly is everywhere—not only just around-the-world at quote unquote, third-world nations, or, nations with small Christian populations (Please, reader, do not be ignorant enough to somehow think I’m downplaying missionaries who pull up stake and move to such other nations for the cause of furthering the Truths and Love of Christ). Let us remember that our mission-field truly is everywhere, including here in our 9-to-5-jobs and fast-paced American lives, day-in-and-day-out.

And then to further drill down, let us realize that it is important to not only have church on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, and with whatever other programs throughout the week that take place on-site at a church campus; but let us realize the importance of the MOBILITY of church—that we are to take church WITH US, outside of those campus-walls, outside of our church parking lots, into that place where the signs encouraged us, “You are now entering your mission-field.

To give one example, I do part-time work as a Bartender. Now, certain denominations of the Christian faith have decided that if you’re within arms’ reach of an alcoholic beverage, well, then, you’ve got your one-way ticket-to-hell (I’m exaggerating, here, but you get the point). But as someone who believes in the MOBILITY of the Church and taking Christ with me wherever I go 5 , I actually have opportunities to share Christ, sometimes, with my co-workers and with my customers; and the point is, many of these people would never otherwise set foot in a church. How am I so bold in assuming they’ll never set foot in a church? Well, sometimes, THEY TELL ME THAT!

Yes, fellow-Christians, I am sorry to tell you something that may make you sad to hear; but yes, you have fellow-Americans out there who maintain, “I will never set foot inside a church.

But guess what? Sometimes whenever I am able to talk about my faith in Christ, oftentimes I share an aspect of Christian faith, or a principle, that the person did not know. Sometimes they may know some things about knowing Christ or about being a Christian, but they may not know other things, and I am able to fill in the holes; like the guy in the New Testament who asked a question and had it explained to him 6 . You see, I never know how a principle I share with a co-worker or a customer may blossom and be watered by the Spirit of God; and, ultimately, spark such that, after some other circumstances or things happen in their life, it grows into that person’s accepting Christ one day; which could then lead to their sharing it within their entire life, in their mission-field—whatever mission-field that may be.

So continue to invite your friends, your family, your co-workers/acquaintances/colleagues, and sometimes even random strangers with whom you’ve had discussion to church. Bring them to church. Do it. But don’t forget that it’s just as valid—and perhaps in our times even more important—to have that MOBILITY with your Christian faith, too. Recognize it. Realize it. Do it. Are you taking the Truths and the Love of Christ with you, wherever you go, outside of your church walls? Whether you pull-up-stake and go to Uganda, Southeast Asia, or wherever else; or you faithfully work at your 9-to-5-job and just do your best to raise your family day-in-and-day-out, always remember that


Travis J, MBA
Travis J Consulting, LLC

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1 Side-note―I tend to think smaller churches are better, I really don’t get off on these super-churches or any single organization getting too big for its britches. When stuff gets too big, it gets out of hand. You can have all of the rules, laws, committees, people-of-character holding the reigns all you want. But the fact is, in whatever realm about which we’re speaking, when an entity gets too big, it becomes out-of-hand. It’s true, even for the Evangelical Christian Church, even though it may, on paper, be about John 14.6, which states, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” But locally-governed, small, American Evangelical New Testament churches should remain sovereign, and they (we) are going to have to make up its mind/our minds on cultural questions that are coming up, within our society. I’m talking about things that previous generations of American Evangelical Christians blink their eyes, rub their eyes, and express that, “I can’t believe I’d ever see the day where we’d actually have to discuss whether or not _____fill-in-the-blank______ is all right or not.”

Before I enrage any fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, please keep in mind that following Paul’s exhorting us in the New Testament in Romans, Thessalonians, and other spots; my words are meant always to *edify* the Body of Christ, including the words of this very piece of writing—both this primary blog post and these footnotes. That is, I’m hoping you see, my point is not to advocate for our, as Evangelical Christians, somehow trying to bend to fit “cultural changes” or “progressivism”―heaven forbid. The truth remains that Christ and God and His Ways exist in a way that is counter-culture to the ways of this world, and yes, as Christians, we have certain values and principles that are self-evident and that are absolute and unchanging.

But my point remains—as it always has been in my pieces of writing—let us not shrink from taking a position on things one way or another. Let us have discussion, let us have discourse. Let us have clarity. We cannot leave things, as the Toby Mac song says, “purposefully vague“. Let us address things, take ownership of our positions, and DO.

2 Romans 10.9; Romans 3.23; Romans 6.23; Matthew 28.19-20a

3 Romans 1.19-20, 2 Peter 3.9b

4 Matthew 10.14

5 Make Christ in everything on our list-of-things in our lives, not just “number one on our list of important things in life”; Colossians 1.16-17 doesn’t directly say this, but the principle expressed in Colossians 1.16-17 encourages me to live my life in this way.

6 Acts 8.30-31




Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,poems,stream of consciousness/random

A time of transition,
A time of respite―
When all’s going well,
Seems it’s not going right.

Lost and confused―
Yet ready to go―
It’s all just because
I don’t know that I know.

One day it’s up and
It’s all going well.
Some days it feels like
Being quite dragged through hell.

First things are up,
Next thing I know, they’re down―
Sick to death of being
Mentally tossed around.

At the end of the day
When I’ve battled and fought,
“Is it all a big waste,” My mind haunts,
“Just for naught?”

Will it be this?
Will it be that?
Demanding my way―
Like a common spoiled brat.

The only repose―
Only rest for my soul―
The remedy for where
In my chest there’s a hole,

Is to sleep and remember,
To stop and to rest,
Things I cannot control
Default to Jesus.

―Travis J, MBA

1.00 AM,
June 20, 2015



What Every Parent Should Know About Talking With Your Kid

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

Just wanted to briefly admonish all of the parents out there to fearlessly talk with your children about any and all topics of life. Because, here’s the deal: while you may be afraid to bring up certain topics, you can rest assured that your child(ren) will come across people who are all too happy to “educate” your child about certain things. That bank and credit card company and lender will be all too happy to get your child wrapped up in debt. That TV show series on NetFlix will be all too happy to fill your child’s head with opinions and attitudes about sex. That person with whom they go to school or go to work will be all too happy to “set them straight” on any number of things in life. Make sure you beat them to the punch.

We’ll limit the topic of this blog post to talking about sex; but the truth is, this can be applied to any other important areas of life about which your children *desperately* need your counsel―whether or not they ask for your counsel or even are aware, themselves, that they need your counsel! You can use these same principles to talk with your children about money, the realities and effects of drugs, health and medical things like staying in shape, relationships―any number of things. But like I say, we’ll limit it to how you talk to your child about sex, here, just because, let’s face it―sometimes it’s difficult to address sexual topics with your children.

If you are afraid to talk about sex with your child, there are people who *WILL* talk (and probably already are talking) about sex with your child. It doesn’t MATTER if your parents were afraid to talk to you about it, and therefore, you’re afraid to bring it up with your child―that’s not good enough. You cannot afford to sweep it under the rug and ignore it and just “hope they make good decisions”.

And if it’s the CONTENT of what you have to say that hinders you from having conversation―well, yes, honestly, you *should* be worried about saying the right things. You might think: “Well, what do I say? I don’t know if I know everything myself? I’m scared I might say the wrong thing or not say the right thing.” Do not let the FEAR of “saying the wrong things” cause you to NOT have the conversation at all. Because here’s the deal, two things: First, even if you don’t “say all the right things” or even if you’re not 100%-educated YOURSELF, the very fact that you were *willing* to talk about it with your child lets them know that it is OK for them to talk with you about such things. “Well of COURSE my child can talk to me about anything! They know that!?” Do they really know that? How will they know that it is OK for them to talk to you about anything if you have not started a discussion for real, and also told them straight-up that it is OK for them to talk to you about “any of this stuff”? Second, honestly, the sexual innuendos your child hears on a daily―DAILY basis―in school, at work, while they’re on social media, when they listen to songs and watch movies, yeah, some of these innuendos are hard to catch. Maybe sometimes you have “kind of” an understanding about a certain trend or phrase these kids throw around nowadays, but you need to fully know what it means; well, you see, the Internet is a powerful thing. Remember when you thought, “I wonder what ‘yolo’ means? These kids say it all the time or they post it all the time on facebook.” Maybe you still don’t know what “yolo” means. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what “hashtag” means, and trying to make heads or tails out of what putting a pound-sign ” # ” in front of words means. Maybe. By the way, don’t worry―”yolo” isn’t specifically sexual in nature. I mean, it could be used a basis by which to make sexual decisions, but I digress. The point is, a simple Google search of “What does ‘this-and-this’ mean?” Where you plug in whatever you see as a trend or innuendo of some sort in place of that “this-and-this” I said, or you type in some sort of phrase or topic about which you see kids talking or posting online that is suspicious about which you see your kids doing or saying will give you all you need to know. Go to Google and type in “What does ‘yolo’ mean’?” Google will spit out results, and you can click those various links and get educated in about 5.7 seconds about what a certain thing means. Another good reference is a place called “Urban Dictionarywww.urbandictionary.com . So when you don’t know what a certain thing or phrase or mindset that “These kids nowadays” are talking about is, use these two resources―Google and Urban Dictionary, or any others you deem necessary―and get informed. Then, upon your understanding what something means, if you think it’s worth educating your child or having a conversation with your child, then do it. When you understand, yourself, what a certain innuendo or phrase or mindset is, you can then compare that with your own knowledge and experience in life, and then be in the best position possible to integrate this with your child in a way that educates them in a REAL way. If you don’t, someone else WILL (or is already). Don’t be fooled―some of these sexual things are pretty grotesque or just, really DETAILED; and it’s going to be up to you to be open-minded to handle even the DEFINITION of what some sexual things are, about which kids are talking. But if you can keep a cool head, and bring it up in a way that resonates with your child specifically in how they talk about things, they’ll be better for it.

And by the way―when I am saying “having the conversation” or “talking about sex”, I’m not necessarily talking about simply the “birds and the bees” speech. Certainly that conversation must happen, but it should not be the only time you discuss such matters; nor should you think, “Well, we talked about the ‘birds and the bees’, that about covers it” and blissfully-and-ignorantly think “Checkmark―done, I did it! My kids are fine now, we had ‘the talk’.” No. That’s not good enough. That “birds and the bees” speech should, quite honestly, be the first of many times that you discuss sexual matters with your children. Now I don’t mean just talk about sex all the time *just because*. That *would* get a little weird, both for parent and child. But what I am saying is that when you hear your child say something; when you see them post something on facebook or Instagram, or tweet something; or when you see them do something related to all of this and you see a chance to educate them or point their minds in the right direction, you think, “Maybe this is an opportunity to educate them in the right way” about something. Whenever you come across a new trend in the media, or just some new phrase, or whatever, that you are suspicious is sexual in nature or you KNOW is sexual in nature―there’s another chance for education. Whenever you see a facebook post, or hear your child and their friends talking, or see a tweet, or you see a TV commercial with something you think may be a sexual innuendo―take the time to research what this thing is, what it means, what it is from, and if it is a sexual thing about which you want to make sure your child is talking or thinking about in the right way, then talk with them! Please know, this doesn’t mean that every time you want to talk with them, you have to create this super-formal time where you both sit down, and you preface some super-parent speech with, “Now little Timmy, I think we need to have a talk about something.” Because if you haven’t figured it out by now, your child responds best when you are REAL with them and when you talk with them in a way that is best for THEM SPECIFICALLY. So you may even just mention in passing the corrective behavior, or the piece of education or correct mindset you want to speak into your child’s life about the sexual topic in question. Could be you mention it and have a talk with them while you’re both riding in a vehicle and you just want to speak on it; could be you mention it and have a talk with them when you’re already texting and having a conversation over text with your child and you just want to go ahead and take a moment to type out a well thought-out text to educate them. However the opportunity presents itself and however you think your child will receive it, understand it, and respond to it―do THAT. Yeah, that means you gotta know your kid. The over-sexualization of our culture will never leave you wanting for many opportunities to educate your child in the “right way” to think about things. And again, if you’re worried that maybe YOU don’t even understand everything, so much that you’re afraid that you won’t “say the right thing” or educate your child properly because maybe even YOU don’t understand the sexual innuendo or whatever completely is, check out the paragraph above where I talk about the “content” of what to say (paragraph four of this piece of writing).

Now certainly, you want the best for your child, in life, don’t you? While you want to make sure you control the education about a certain topic simply because you want to inform your child, protect your child, and give them a sense about how to correctly think about things, you must also find a way to face the truth that, ultimately, your child *will* have to make certain decisions on their own. Your child is developing into, and is, an individual. As individuals with the ability to reason on their own in a cause-and-effect way, they have their own mindsets, their own opinions, their own philosophies, their own psychology and way of making sense of things in this life. And it is from such workings of the mind that they will base their actions. So I write this last paragraph to simply offer a perspective that, at the end of the day, your child *WILL* make their own decisions. They simply will. You cannot control them forever. What will grant you the most peace in the long-run is that you took the time and the effort to instruct them, and you did so with a loving heart. Not only will you be at peace, but your child will be better-equipped to choose a better life for themselves. You equip them, and it is up to them to use it or not.

―Travis J, MBA
May 26th, 2014

P.S. This piece of writing is largely (but not completely) inspired by how my father raised me. He always made it known to us, as his children, that we have the freedom to come talk to him about anything. He wasn’t afraid to have conversations when topics presented themselves. He fell short in some ways, and the thoughts in this blog post are ways I think would have helped me a little more. My dad did a GREAT job―particularly because HE received little instruction from his own parents―but he could have done even better. This piece of writing is largely influenced by my own observations of society and relationships nowadays, and in my own relation with my father about how he discussed with and educated me.


2014 Resolutions of Travis J

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

Yeah, I don’t really know and don’t really care what “the rules” are for posting New Year’s Resolutions, but some of these Resolutions are last year’s Resolutions too. The Resolutions that I am re-posting are ones that I somewhat *did* accomplish, but at which I still need to work. Some of these Resolutions are brand-new for 2014, though.

Like I said last year (you can click here to see last year’s: https://ktravisj.com/blog/perfectlyincomplete/?p=1791 ) , it’s better for all of us, as people, to make it a daily goal to meet goals–both long-term goals and short-term goals. While I still believe it is best to better yourself *all* throughout the year rather than just CLAIM to do it one day of the year, I *do* wanna post some things on which I want to work, this next year, for 2014.

Here are this year’s Resolutions in no particular order:

2014 Resolutions

1 ) Stop looking at myself in terms of *anything* external; just be at peace with existing

2) Allow myself to be loved

3 ) Revert back to a more eternal and Kingdom-of-God-through-Jesus-Christ way of thinking, living, and decision-making

4 ) Continue to get better at resting and “doing nothing” sometimes

5 ) Continue to live more “in the moment” by not always keep looking ahead to incessantly see, handle, meet, prepare for “the next thing”, the “next”, the “next”, the “next”…

6 ) Clean up my language

7 ) Continue to remain true to myself personally and professionally, do not not take as much BS from people personally and professionally, and don’t sell out personally or professionally

8 ) Call, text, or message a random friend/family member/acquaintance more often, just to honestly see how they are doing

9 ) Purchase and start living in my own house

10 ) Get 100% caught up in reading all of my design books


You Have to Find Out

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

“Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.”
–Ephesians 5.10

There’s something to be said for the Lord’s revealing things to you, yes. But there is ALSO something to be said for being a person who takes it upon himself to take a PROACTIVE approach at FINDING OUT God and His ways.

See, the moment your mind “gets it” and you at least BEGIN to understand God’s ways–much like a BABY’s learning about growing up–you begin to think, you begin to feel, you begin to operate, you begin to love on a higher level. And when I say “higher”, I don’t mean in the sense of being “ABOVE” anyone else. The fact remains–literally every one of us on this earth are in the same boat. But you begin to simply operate on a whole ‘nother level.

So don’t just “try to do good”, don’t just “try to be a good person”, don’t just memorize commandments or rules–God’s OR Man-made ones–don’t just simply “try to live by them”. Learn Who Christ IS, and your acting like Him will happen NATURALLY. It will be an outgrowth and just be who you ARE, you won’t HAVE to “try to be better person” because it begins to happen naturally more and more as you continually learn and understand HOW He is.

But it takes your learning about Him–it takes your own efforts of trying to find out Who He is. “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5.10). It *will* change your life. It *WILL*. “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.”
–Ephesians 5.10

–Travis J


Rise Above the Terrible Economy

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

Don’t lock yourself into this pessimism in which the media–left-wing OR right-wing–tries to tell you the country is being stifled and, by extension, *you* are being stifled from ever having a chance at the “American dream”. Rise above it. Make your own rules.

And it was funny to hear Rush, in the following, today, because I’ve been thinking about this myself, lately. You know, you can use the bad economy and tough times as an EXCUSE and just drop your head and complain and whine and moan how “times is hard, times is hard”; *OR* you can figure out a creative way to follow your dreams, make money off of it, thereby choosing NOT to be part of the sluggish economy. YOU have that freedom. YOU have that right.

(This is all a paraphrase)

[Rush Limbaugh, to a young 18-year-old caller today]: And what do you tell your young friends/peers who are these people that have given up on believing that they can attain the American dream nowadays because the economy is so bad?”

[18-year-old caller]: I try to articulate the message clearly and plainly that they actually CAN go out and work hard and great things can happen…America was once a great country and it still can be..that’s how things got to be as good as they WERE, it was people’s being creative, following their dreams..”

[Rush]: Have you told them that they do not have to PARTICIPATE in this economic recession, etc.?”

I am living this out in my own life NOW. I run and operate my own company. I make money with it. My company is an extension of my own talents, my passions, what I enjoy doing, etc. Because I am growing it on my own, I have a second job in which I “moonlight” in order to make extra money while I grow my primary company. This means I have to work a couple of jobs, but you know what? The payoff is tremendous. I am in the process of positioning myself such that while I certainly am not 100% exempt from economic conditions, I have the sovereignty to do whatever it is I want, no matter what slack-jawed journalists, politicians, and crony-capitalist types TELL me I have to do or tell me how bad-off my nation and my life are now, or how bad-off my nation and my life will be in the future. That option is empowering.

Find a way. Be creative. Make it happen. Ask questions. Monetize your talent. You wanna wake up one day when you’re old and wonder what would’ve happen if you DID..? Or wouldn’t you rather try for sure?


I'm very big into education, and my energies are devoted to inspiring this desire for education into other people--at home and abroad.

Travis J's web-design company: Travis J Consulting http://www.ktravisj.com