So much to say and plenty of time to say it (but not really).

I guess I am just like everyone else.  I want my life to count.  I want it to mean something.  I want to look back at my life when I’m old and gray and know that I did something that mattered, something that made a difference in history.  I want that after I die, people will see the legacy that I have left and carry it on for generations.  I want to be a history maker.

“Dang, that’s pretty big right out of the gate,” you’re probably thinking.  Well, to be honest, it is. But if you didn’t know where I was going to go with this blog from the very beginning, then it would have no direction, no purpose, no passion.  It would probably be like my last blog…11 years ago.

Before Facebook, before Twitter, before Pinterest and Tumblr, even before Myspace, there was “Blogger,” and yes, I had one.  Just Before Between was the name of my blog, and it was a place that I could go and write about random things.  It really was a long-form format of Facebook, before Facebook was invented.  From fishing, to sports, to family, to Jesus, to whatever, it was a place where I could put my thoughts; there was no central theme or purpose.  Fast forward 10 years.

I’m sitting in my bonus room, at the desk in the picture above, staring at the cursor.

Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

I’m at a stalemate.  There are so many places I could start, but none of them seem right.  So many aimless topics to fire out of the gate with, but that wouldn’t serve the purpose I want to have.  My mind keeps circling back to 3 questions:  “Where do I start?  What could I say to make you want to come back?  How in the world is this blog going to change history?”  Well, let’s just tackle those 3, one at a time.

Where do I start?

If you’re going to come on this journey with me, whether you stay for a while or hop off the train after a few stops, it might be a good idea for you to know who I am.  My name is Ryan Garrett (guess you’ve already figured that out!).  I am a believer, son, husband, father, and pastor.  I have been a believer in Jesus for 22 years, a son for 32 years, a husband for 11 years, a father for 9 years (15 if you add all 3 kids together), and a pastor for 14 years.  I’ll share more about me in later posts, but there’s the Cliff Notes version.

What could I say to make you want to come back?

Honestly, I’m not sure there’s a secret sentence that is going to bring you back here.  I am, however, convinced that if I don’t leave you encouraged, I won’t be effectively doing what I feel like this blog is intended for.  There’s a chance you are going to LOVE what I have to say.  That’s GREAT!  I’ll pass the offering plate around and you can leave a larger donation.  But let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that I’m going to offend you at some point or another without trying or meaning to in the process.  So let’s make a deal from this point forward–I will work hard to give you something you can walk away with that will leave you encouraged, and you will read with an open heart and open mind that maybe, just maybe, it’ll keep you wanting more.

How in the world is this blog going to change history?

Out of all of these questions, this one had to be the easiest.  I’ve got so much to say, but I don’t have to say it all in this one post.  Where I came from, what I was like when I was growing up, my calling to ministry, my family, how I got to sitting in front of my computer at 9:40pm with my eyes fixed on my screen wondering where to start.  And here’s the beauty–it’s not all going to be all about me.  You’ll hopefully see stories of my life through my writing, but hopefully it will bring you a sense of hope and comfort.  My hope is that God’s word will ultimately leave you challenged and encouraged in every line you read here.  And all this will come, but it doesn’t have to all come tonight.  That’s the hardest, and best part.  I’ve got so much to tell you and plenty of time to do it in.  But there’s a catch (thus why I put, “but not really” in the title).

Time is short.  We are not promised tomorrow.

“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” [James 4:14]

With that in mind, I don’t want to waste your time.  I don’t want to waste my time.  I don’t want us to waste our time.  God has something to speak to both of us about, and my prayer is that He might use me in some small way to do that.

So friends, if you’re willing, let’s head out.  The train is leaving the station, and honestly, I’m not driving.  I’m just the conductor making sure you get to the destination the Engineer wants you to go.  I’m thoroughly looking forward to the journey, and I hope you are too.

Choo, Choo.

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