Sunday, September 7, 2014

the death of comparison

We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. and our uniqueness is beautiful. There is no one else exactly like you on this earth. I think we far too often forget that. I know I do.

I have struggled for a long time with my physical appearance. When I was young, I wanted to be like Michael Jordan - athletic, 6'6", famous, successful, black (kidding...wait, no I'm not). If you have met me, or perused my photos on the interwebs, then you would be aware that none of the above are true.

Most of the time, I have covered over this self-professed flaw with copious amounts of sarcasm.
Oddly enough, it turns out that sarcasm is not the cure for self-loathing. Who knew?

But, it turns out that I was never meant to be Michael Jordan, or anyone else for that matter. I was created to be Kenny Bump. And despite my unique flaws, I am successfully myself every day.

One of my favorite stories ever talks about a young boy who would be king. He was the youngest of his brothers, not as handsome, not as big. But, the story reveals after he is chosen king, much to the chagrin of his brothers, that his heart was what made him worthy to be king. He would lead his country to the highest point of it's existence. He would slay giants, increase in wealth, crush all of his enemies, and win the hearts of the people. Not too shabby for the not-as-handsome duckling, huh? Now, he was not without fault, but he was the only person to be called out as being "a man after God's own heart". Verily, my favorite verse in the Word says, "For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

I have always believed that there is purpose in everything. So, with that thought in mind, wouldn't that mean we are all created just the way we are for a specific purpose?

God already had a Michael Jordan on this earth. He needed a sarcastic, pale, skinny, ambitious Kenny Bump. That's my cue.  So, it's time that we stop comparing ourselves to others and live the lives we were made to.

Don't drink the arsenic of looking at other people's lives and wishing you were them or had what they had. Too often we don't know the whole story.

If we focus on living our own story, just imagine the kingdoms that could be built. It's time for a funeral, folks. Let's bury comparison once and for all. You in? Good. I brought the shovel.

Do not go gentle.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

what is the cost?

What if you were told that it would cost you everything to achieve your dreams?

Would you still aspire to them? Or would the cost be considered too great?

Recently, I have been asking myself these questions, trying to determine my level of commitment to what I truly want to achieve. I have learned that nothing worthwhile comes easily. This is proven again and again through those that achieve lasting greatness. And by greatness I'm not talking about money or fleeting success by everyone loving your mugshot on facebook.

James Truslow Adams said, "The great use of life is to create something that will outlast it."

What if we lived our lives like that every day?

I believe we would create a world that no longer settled and was enamored with fleeting success, but we would cultivate a society that excelled.

Jesus told his disciples that no man sets out to build a tower and does not first consider the cost. Otherwise, he will look like a fool when he is unable to finish because he can no longer fund it.

So, consider your dreams and aspirations. Are you pushing yourself to be the greatest you could possibly be? What is holding you back?

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."

Reality check. Are you willing to go through anything, to brave the darkest storms and mightiest waves, in order to become what you were made to be?

Stormy Sea - Marcus Larson

 After all, I've heard it said that a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

I'd rather live my life using every last drop of talent I have, than to hoard it away and play it safe, settling for less than I deserve.

Let's take that step. Let's set out to sea on the adventure of taking full hold of our lives. Fear is only holding you back from what you were truly made to be.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


It is Saturday. Sunday is coming.

As frail as we all are, we tend to operate out of strength and purpose when we feel the safest. We get jobs that offer benefits, and vacation days. We get insurance to provide peace of mind from something bad happening. We operate with safety nets. We do not dare to dream beyond our bed sheets. It's not safe out there. You could fail.

What happened to us living in real strength? The type of strength and purpose that comes without a net. The type of lives that blaze new trails into the unknown.

Maybe you have allowed yourself to become complacent and you have settled. We all have. If we hadn't, this world would be vastly different. But, it's time for a change.

We need to live without safety nets. We need to dare to dream impossible things and then go live them. There is a great adventure out there that needs to be lived. You are worth more than your 401k. You are more precious than your bottom line bank account. You are more valuable than that person you're dating, or wish you were dating, thinks you are. Start living like it.

It is Saturday. Yesterday, the Creator of the universe stooped down to pay the ransom for our sins with His own Son's life, the ultimate sacrifice. On Sunday, He rose to prove that there is nothing on this earth that can separate us from His love, even our own doubt and unbelief.

So, it is Saturday. Sunday is coming. If your life is valuable enough for the God of all creation to rescue you, then shouldn't it be valuable enough for you to live it with a purpose?

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm an addict.

The irony of this post is it's effect on my addiction. I'm addicted to what others think of me. I have always thought I had to be attractive, or smart, or funny, or successful to have anyone like me. It's true.

Recently, I've been reading a rough copy of Donald Miller's upcoming novel, Scary Close. I'm always amazed at how he says what's in my head already. In his words, I find someone else who struggles with this same addiction. It's comforting, but also awakens me to the fact that so many of us do the same thing. We hide behind what we hope people like about us, and therefore, we are never our true self. 

That's scary to me.

I'm admitting my addiction to you, so that maybe I can start to heal from it before it's too late. Honestly, I want to be liked for who I am at my very core. 

No matter what the future holds, the people that authentically love us, will be there until the end.

So, I am not my past. I am not my future. I am me. I was formed in the hands of a perfect Creator, and I poorly represent myself and Him daily. I have inside this meager flesh a heart of a lion. Anything good or impressive that I have ever done is not me, it's the One who made me making diamonds from coal. 

I'm an addict. But I don't want to live that way anymore. Today, I want to be free.

Monday, February 24, 2014

the space between

What is it that makes us feel complete - like we have nothing else we could possibly want? In our world, we too often profess "if I had that job", "if I could get more money", "if I could find true love", "if I could look like that", or "if I could lose 10 more pounds" - if, if, if - a life built on "ifs" isn't much to live for, is it?

Each day, I try to choose to live in the place where I am already happy, counting my blessings and things that I already have in my life, instead of what I don't have. Trust me, this is not always easy. In fact some days, I have to lay in bed a few minutes longer to let the reminder set in, coaching myself through each step. After all, if I start out my day wishing for a bunch of things to happen to make me happy or to complete me, then I miss out on every moment in between -  I miss the sun shining down on me, or the simple grace of having a door to lock behind me, or a bed to roll out of, or the wonderful people who are in my life right now.

 The most quoted Psalm in the Bible says "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." (Psalm 23)

Think about that for a moment.

Where do you find your rest and contentment? Why do want those things? Would we really be better for having them?

I learn everyday how there is nothing else I need other than Jesus. I came into this world with nothing and I can take nothing with me when I go. So, why am I trying to find happiness with things in the space between life and death?

Live on purpose. You are not defined by possessions, or relationships, or status - you are meant to know one thing - you are loved. From the moment you are born you already have everything you will ever need. And there is an indescribable God who stands in the space between, loving us regardless of anything.

Be blessed.

Do not go gentle.

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Philippians 4:6-7
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving lt your requests be made known to God."

Matthew 6:25-
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hi, I'm Kenny and I sincerely apologize.

In case you missed the title, my name is Kenny and I am really sorry.

"What have you done?", you ask. Well, aside from the general missteps, nothing. 

But I feel the need to apologize.

Many of you (standard 12 to 14 who look at this blog regularly) may have noticed that recently I have been posting about my faith a lot. This has always been something important to me. And as I have explored it further, I've uncovered a litany of hurts for others. Hurts as in, many people who have been misled by the very people who also post about their faith, but litter their posts with "you need to", "you should", "if you don't", and the like. Let me apologize for that misconception, and offer this instead: I do not know everything, nor am I in any way better than any one else. Period. Exclamation point. And those others who post those things, know in their hearts the same thing.

So, let me put it simply. I have been introduced to someone who revolutionizes my life daily, who pushes me to excel in areas beyond myself and who loves me despite everything I have ever done wrong or I ever will do wrong. I know Him, but I meet Him new every day. 

He is Jesus.

He is my best friend, and so much more. I don't always understand what He is doing in my life, but I learn daily to trust Him and be vulnerable so that I grow and become better than yesterday.

So, I apologize for the misconception that have been presented before that others who know Him have their lives together, or can tell others what to do, or are in any way better than any one else. 

The truth is, we are all equal.

The truth is Jesus loves all of us, no matter where we are or what we think.

I have a friend that you should meet. He's far better than I'll ever be, and I'm so thankful for that. 

Anything good I do comes from Him.

I hope you get to meet Him, and maybe He will bless us both to meet Him together. 

Do not go gentle.

Monday, February 3, 2014


I'm constantly battling with God over what my worth is. There are things and events that I desperately want to happen in my life, that I, for one reason or another, believe would bring me value and worth. What He constantly whispers into my life is "Your worth doesn't live there."

I think:
"If I just had that car."
"If I could afford this house."
"If I could be like that person."
"If I could be loved like that."

The lie that we have listened to for so long is where our worth lies. There is no amount of money that can buy happiness. There is no possession that makes you any better. There is not even another person on this earth that can make you a more valuable creation.

Creation. That's what we are. We too often fail to remember where we came from; from the hands of an immaculate Creator, the Author of The Greatest Story Ever Told/The Story Written Every Day With Every Breath. We are the most exciting part of the creation story and the most prized possession of Almighty God/Yahweh/Jehovah/Elohim/I Am/Father.

Honestly, I'm afraid of a world that is fueled by possession, because there will never be enough. By putting your worth in what you own, you become owned by your possessions. How silly to be enslaved by something we name and create, and dub "luxury", "gold', "exclusive".

Below is a story from the book of Daniel, that pushes me in who I really am. Read and consider for yourself which person are you, Belshazzar or Daniel. In this life, there is no gray area. We are either awake to where our value lies or asleep in the deception of our worth being determined by status and possession.

Do not go gentle.

Daniel 5 
King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
  Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.  Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
  Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.  Then the king's color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together.  The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”  Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation.  Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.
   The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change.  There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers,  because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

   Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah.  I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.  Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter.  But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

   Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.  O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty.  And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled.  But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.  He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.  And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,  but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.
   “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed.  And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin.  This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;  Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;  Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
   Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
   That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.  And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Ephesians 2:4-9
Jeremiah 29:11
Matthew 10:29-33
Romans 5:6-8
Romans 8:32
1 John 3:16-17

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

dare to overcome

In this life, we are given just a few breaths to become something great. Just a few heartbeats. A lifetime of irreplaceable moments. A blank canvas of time. What will you create with it?

Finding that this life is mortal and fleeting confirms the importance of every moment. You are only held back from doing anything by the walls you build around yourself. You are not your past. You are not what you have been through. You are defined by what you have overcome, by the trials that you have let make you better and stronger.

Step out. Be bold. Dream. Never give up.

This life is meant to be lived. Every single moment.

So, as we set about trying to right the wrongs of last year, focus on the positives in your life, the blessings of what you do have. This year is a clean slate. A chance to live up to the potential you possess.

This year, everything changes. This year, we shall overcome.

Do not go gentle.