Time Flies – Doing What Matters Most

November 18, 2012

I’m feeling acutely aware of how short our time on earth really is. Millions have walked these streets before I have and, if the Lord don’t come back soon, millions more will after I pass. Feeling this way, I ache for my time to mean something great for His Kingdom.

Photo by Rion Nakaya

I can’t bring anything with me from this world to the next, so, while I still feel want, I try to fight my love of material things. I treasure my family, and spend as much time as possible with them. This time is meaningful, something that carries on after me in my children and on to their children’s children. (WARNING: The bad stuff goes with them too! Be good!)

I hope to do great things for my God and His Kingdom. I ache for meaning and purpose beyond serving my own desires. Maybe this is pride. I wish I had more direction, and clearer vision. The one I have is too vague, too ambiguous: just love people. Too many days that’s a challenge, again due to my pride.

And because of that pride I wonder if I’d do better to work less on serving God and more on simply listening and obeying Him.

For now I wait, not always patiently, and try to listen.

Tom Waits demonstrates how to listen closely.


Pig Slop Sucks – The Return

March 31, 2011

The prodigal son metaphor is used too casually. Bad choices, blah blah blah come home to open arms blah blah blah. You must be part of a redemption story to understand the rich beauty of returning home.

I’ve been dry – that drought I was talking about earlier. But ask for water and prepare for a flood. Turn and reach, He’s here. Even at that last possible minute, when hope is gone, He’s there.

I haven’t gotten that far, but a friend of mine has. My own return was from a dense fog, a series of distractions, a period of poor focus. It feels like I tried to call time out in the middle of a firefight.

This life is often called “the daily grind”, and for good reason. Stop swimming against the tide and it’ll carry you away. Sit down for a rest and lose the race. As you well know, life can wear you down.

I went to visit a friend who’s in the hospital yesterday. She tried to kill herself. It’s a longs story (isn’t it always?) – and not mine to tell – but suffice it to say that things get dark when you feel totally alone.

I hope it’s not her last possible moment, but I also hope she finds Him in the middle of her storm. He’s there with open arms. But we still need to ask, to reach out for His endless love and grace.

Recently, and more than once, the debate over free will vs. predestination has been a topic of conversation. I believe in complete and total free will. We have the legitimate right to choose.

Without choice we can’t be held responsible by a just God – not my fault you see, I was made this way… Better understood that God KNOWS what we’ll choose, but that’s not the same as MAKING us do it.

I’m making a choice.

Yesterday I shook clear a few cobwebs and took a fresh look around. What I saw prompted me to get back to work. I’m asking the boss for another big assignment. I want my friend to come home.

He said He’s waiting for her.

Always Up Campaign – The Seed

November 27, 2010

I got an idea. I was talking with our Father and realized that I’d fallen flat on a few things, wasted some opportunities and let stuff slide that I needed to take advantage of.

He challenged me: how would life look if I always pointed to Jesus? What if my decision making method wasn’t WWJD, but rather asked what would point to Jesus? (Please, no bracelets…)

I want to live a life that always points to Jesus.

My life should always point up.

What would your life look like?

Let’s explore this together, see what happens. Of course I’ll keep you posted, so please fill me in on your story!

Working Weekends – Paint And Pain

November 16, 2010

I go to The Net Church and mention it often. Like most churches it’s a place filled with people in various stages of following Christ with various degrees of success.

This weekend was a success. One of the small groups went to the Gatlinburg are work on a small retreat/church camp and was kind enough to take us along.

Now Camp Smoky has new coats of paint in a few key spots and a well cleared trail, along with a few steps up a muddy incline.

Our hands, backs and more than one joint all hurt, but our hearts are warmed knowing that we served our Lord through our humble efforts. Not a bad weekend.

The finished product. Paint by all, Mural by MJ

My Appologies – Too Busy To Love

November 3, 2010

I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy reading about community I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Please forgive me. I have to prepare for my small group class on loving people, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Please understand my position. I have to prepare for ministry, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

My intention is to live a life that so attracts people to Jesus that they are helpless before His power, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Sorry you missed His joy.

Sorry you were so unhappy.

Sorry you needed help and I wasn’t there.

Sorry you needed me to stop and be Jesus for you, for just one minute.

Sorry you killed yourself for lack of a friendship I could have offered you.

Sorry you went to hell because I chose not to love you more than myself.

I was busy learning to get it right so I could do everything my ego convinced me I needed to do.

I hope I forget you quickly so I can go back to normal.

Dear Jesus forgive me.

My best cop-out yet.

Big News Part III – The End Of The Beginning

October 31, 2010

The earthquake hit just before 5:00 PM on January 12th 2010, and while tremors in Haiti lasted only 38 seconds, the effects are still being felt. The story of how we got to Haiti and what happened is a long one, but the fact remains that when the earth moved, God changed my life. I’m still feeling the tremors.

Jena and one of her kids.

The above is something I wrote for a grand proclamation I’ve been drafting. It’s now it it’s 6th edition – I just couldn’t write what I wanted to say. I think it’s because it was too full of me and not enough of Him.

So what?

I’m writing to tell everyone that God’s called me into full time ministry. I’ve fully surrendered to the seductive grace that Jesus offers and trust Him to provide for us while I strive to do the things He asks.

I desperately tried to craft something to properly convey how grateful I am for your generous giving. Money seemed important – probably the bills and years addicted to “stuff” we’re making amends for.

But it’s NOT the point – serving others is.

Convincing you to send me a few bucks would just cheapen the point. When manipulating you to provide becomes the point of my writing, then it’s time for me to quit saying that I serve God.

I want to tell everyone that I seek God’s face and managing to catch whispers of His still small voice. Please pray that I listen well and humbly live a life in service to Him and those He calls me to love.

As do we all, I occasionally get lost along the way and let life trump perfection. Pray with me that those moments are short lived and full of God’s good grace on fools. Forgiveness is what this is about isn’t it?

I don't think they'd ever seen a Mohawk before.


People investing hard earned capital into a venture want facts and figures, blueprints and specs. All I have is a model for what it could look like if I get it right, but at least it’s a good one.

My model for ministry is Jesus.

I desperately want to be Jesus with skin on for a world that needs to see Him. More than programs and plans and preaching, people crave love. My desire is to love God and love the people He puts in my path.

My goal is to “do small things with great love” (Mother Teresa) by following Francis of Assisi’s formula: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

I’ll work to feed and clothe the hungry. I’ll study and learn and grow as He leads me so I’m able to do His work better. I’ll host a small group and teach others to give their gifts to Him. I’ll go wherever God leads.

I’ll start right here in Chattanooga. I live here, so I can save on expenses and get started now – today – and not worry about funding it. Missions require money, but people should always be the bottom line.

Homemade toys rock.


When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus answered that it is to love God, followed only by loving others as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). He even said that we should love others the way He loves us, and that our love for others would mark us as His (John 13:34-35).

I’m calling this ministry L1A Missions for Love One Another. God seems to think that’s a swell way to live, and I do too.

I commit to you that people are my focus – secondary only to God – not money, not my time, and certainly not my entertainment. I chose to be available to God and to people in need everywhere.

My house cost about $65,000 - and I'm poor?

What Do I Want?

Do ministry and pray with me – and for me. Pitch in with your effort and prayer. I’d rather have your prayers, but do need money in order to pursue my call. I even have a PayPal account to make it easy!

Your generosity will make it possible to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, and provide for strangers. Together we’ll take steps to cloth the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoner (Matthew 25:34-36).

We have an upcoming project with Habitat for Humanity and another with feeding the hungry of Chattanooga, a project Jenifer and I have been involved with for over a year and are praying to expand.

We also have an opportunity to go back to Haiti very soon – something we’ve been praying about since we got back from there. We’d need $2,500 for us both to serve in an area hit by the cholera epidemic.

There are also visits to Kenya, Nicaragua and an inner-city Chattanooga VBS being planned – Lord willing.

Call me at 423.503.129, e-mail me at L1AMissions@gmail.com or see L1A Missions on Facebook for details.

What makes you truly valuable to me isn’t your money. What will allow me to hear His voice and fulfill His calling is your faithful prayer and a little bit of your help. We can touch lives and be used to spread the Gospel. God very much wants to use us to save lives. Let’s love God and others – together.

For now we start with what’s before us, trusting Him to lead. Please pray with us, and support as He leads.

His servant and yours,

Keith Riddle for Clan Riddle

Keith, Jenifer and Abby in back, Emily and Katie in front

L1A Missions on Facebook

Big News Part II – The Still Small Voice

October 17, 2010

I asked God to talk to me. I wanna know what comes next, what He has for me. I ask Him to clue me in and point me in the right direction. I pretty well established LAST BLOG that I make all sorts of stupid mistakes, errors and just flat bad choices.

But I also said that God looks for people full committed to Him – wholeheartedly committed to Him – so that He can strengthen them – 2 Chronicles 16:9

I told Him that I was in. I pushed everything into the middle of the table and bet it all.

OK God, tell me what’s next.
I’m committed, I’m ready.
Strengthen me for what’s next, Your Word tells me that you will.

So when I tell you that I searched, listened and then heard from my Father, about this I am NOT wrong. Sounds crazy, and probably is – just don’t confuse crazy with mistaken.

He said

My Peace be unto you.
Be not afraid.
For the Spirit of the LORD is upon you,
to do many great works which He will prepare you for.
Only live humble, patient lives.
Love God,
Love others as yourself,
Do this and God will be pleased with you.
Stay the course.
You have nothing to do but this,
Nowhere to be but here.

First though, He clarified.

With no L1A, AM I ENOUGH?
If I took God’s Jester, AM I ENOUGH?
With no money, without even a house, AM I ENOUGH?
If I took your health, AM I ENOUGH?
If I took your children, AM I ENOUGH?
What about no wife, or a marriage in shambles, AM I ENOUGH?
If I took it all, AM I ENOUGH?

Then He asked,

If I treated you as you treat Me, WOULD I STILL BE ENOUGH?

I said YES.

At this moment I realized that I might not be an Abraham or Isaac or Jacob. My future may not be that of David or a Paul. I might be called to be Job, or – even better – to live like Jesus: alone, betrayed, ridiculed and rejected.

My mom liked that idea (the being like Jesus part anyway), but only to a point. She assured me that after a season in the desert I would surely experience God’s good blessing. I think she’s correct, but that’s not the bottom line.

What if suffering is my lot in life?

Will I be faithful if loneliness is all that’s waiting?

Would my commitment waver if I had to do without?

He told me that He wants to do all kinds great stuff, and even wants to use me to do some of it. rejection and loneliness don’t sound so great.

But I still answer YES.
He’ll strengthen me, see me through.

He then told me a little more.

TO BE CONTINUED…(but just once more.)

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