Average Joe’s Bio
My name is really Joe and I have spent my 57+ average years trying to live life under the radar in peace. However, I was raised in a family with eight kids and ended up in a sales managing role for half of my life thus; it has been anything but peaceful. I have also lived trying to be the nice guy that gets along with everyone. Though too often, an inbred protector badge on my heart that must stick up for the less able oft erases any chance of staying low. Thus today, I write to help the Average to go from shy defeated worriers to be the amazing people God created them to be.
I’ve lived a life just like you, sometimes it feels like the world has caved in and I want to live under a rock, at others I feel I am on top of a mountain. Those strong people shouting at you from their throne can make you feel like nothing, yet we all have the capability to overcome and succeed and be better than the average Joe. I think we all can get past those monsters on a hill and be amazing! My stories were written in the caves of safe living that have provided the opportunity to be free (or freer, don’t we all always deal with anxiety at some level?) to step into bolder places. If you visit my blog I know my lessons learned the hard way will help you too.
I’ve been married to the most patient and kind woman in the world soon to be 30 years and we have the average 2 kids, our daughter Erin 29, and son Zack 19. God provided instant tickets to heaven for three others providing at the time deep pain, but a needed change in perspective for us. I have a tremendously active mind that in one moment sees the positive in life and at others is ready to go down the bitter path. Cindy has been the steady guide to let me vent, and then steer me back. Without her, I would probably be in a very bad place at this point of life. And without my kids and many friends, I would have given up. But seeing change through both the good and not so perfect things of my life, I have also seen motivation to press on to greater things.
As of March 2017 we were able to walk from the corporate world. While my job of sales paid higher than most it was far from the 1%ers. By living below our means while being generous with time and money we were fortunate to hang it up and spend time doing what we’d like to do rather than what being enslaved to debt forces you to do with no choice. So being a ‘worrier’ can be a good thing, it keeps you from trying to be something you are not. Combine that with good wisdom in both the physical and spiritual aspects of your life, and you can amaze yourself.
That of course means defining amazing. I happen to think being an Average Joe is a good thing, 80% of us fit in the category. Stick around and let me help you be just a little better than average, especially for us anxiety prone individuals, you will feel amazing when the balance is to peace is discovered.
I was born with a bloodline with a mother who never drove a car or flew in a plane, and literally worried herself to death (I’ll tell that story later). She and my father were two of the nicest people in the world, they really were. But catch Dad duffing a golf shot or breaking the pipe while attempting to fix a leaky faucet (that merely needed just a washer replaced) and you’d better cover your ears and duck from the flying club or wrench. When guests were coming over, they’d both be yelling and stressing about the tiniest of prep issues, but as soon as the doorbell rang, you’d never know that nothing but peace and love went into the preparations. (But I still loved them 🙂
Pile on workaholic-ism, perfectionism, dysfunctional-ism, catholic-ism, with eight kids under a four-bedroom roof, and you can produce an un-balanced child or two. My Dad’s quote is both a curse and a blessing as it is seared in my brain. “If you are going to do anything half-assed, you are better off not doing it at all”.
MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP
Ok, I got the bad word out-of-the-way. That is for those who think if you say you are a ‘Christian’ you must be perfect. I’d rather ‘offend’ and get it over with to those who already have it all together. Whom I do not want to chase away and never return is somebody turned off immediately that this may be some religious blog. I also would hate to chase away anyone who has been hurt by church people. I was and it took many years to get over bitterness from some of them.
At the same time I do not want to mislead anyone either. I happen to think a relationship with whomever created me and this world is important, and it is my #1 priority. 30+ years ago, I realized I could not buy, work, or be good enough to make it to heaven. I had so many regrets, including the time I told my mom after a huge argument about going to church, ‘if this is all there is in believing in god, then I don’t believe in him at all’. After stating such, I waited for the bolt of lightning to hit, as that is, what I thought would happen. Obviously, it did not.
Later I did what the Bible says after seeing how much God cared for me and repented after God used a number of surreal events in my life to open my eyes up. I will be writing about many of them here (Testimony written a year later). He, I believe, patiently chased me down and provided an invitation, not a forcible entry, and not anything that I deserved, and I began a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. I believe His spirit entered in that day in 1980.
Since then we’ve had quite a ride together. I’d love to tell you all the riches of the world, perfect health, and pure holiness and perfection has dominated since. That is not earth reality. It is a reality though to me that as I surrender willingly my freewill to let him guide, things go a lot better than when I don’t, at least in my dealing with everyday life.
While I’d love to tell you I’ve reached all my goals since my childhood dreams like making it to the MLB or NBA, or being a FBI agent to catch-all of the bad guys, or owning a thriving corporation, or to be the next Billy Graham, I cannot.
That is the point though. 90% or more of the rest of us have various things happen that filter the reach to the top or we are in the little by little process of getting there. Or maybe, some other priority like a special needs child altered our goal seeking priority. Or maybe get this, maybe God’s plan for our lives was on the lower end of the scale, but in His curve measured system, is actually an acceptable life that will result in the statement, ‘well done good and faithful servant’.
In the business world where I have had enough success to let me set out on this venture financially secure. It is not being written because I need a bigger house, it is being written because you don’t have to have to top title to retire early. I will venture into principle sharing often as I don’t think God is a crutch that provides everything via because I asked for it, but via a combo of faith and faithfulness. That no one likes to hear, but from an average viewpoint, some of those pulpit teachings do have validity, and I will not sway from guiding with truth I have learned to apply. A manual does make operation accurate.
I am a fault filled individual and those who have seen me in the work world might even say, you’re a Christian, wow. This is my coming out of the closet place. Few will admit that and I can hear the “should’s” from the judges. Thankfully, the One that matters says He loves me as I am, and has said, go help those like you that need encouragement to fight fears and deal with the doubts planted by the taker. Show them how to stand firm when being bit in the back. Yet handle it with grace and love since you average Joe have done it both wrong and right enough times. Certainly, by now you know how to do it right occasionally, and have the principles you have learned to apply the hard way from My word experientially.
I hope you’ll stop by regularly and will start a journey together with this Average Joe to find balance that brings internal peace. Let us fight off the thoughts that lead to bitterness. Let’s do what we can to make our world a little better each day. I know I will not always wright without mistakes or even be totally correct. But I know if you are here, it is for a reason, just as I know this call to share my heart is far beyond anything of my own doing.
To God be the Glory in all that flows, and may it bring healing and help to all who pass through these pages.
ABOUT – “PORTICO”
The voice of the average Joe is seldom heard these days, let alone daringly as it was portrayed in a place called Solomon’s Portico. For a long time this average Joe has stood on the sidelines allowing fear to reign. Often life routinely bites people in the back, especially it seems to happen to those like myself that try to live peacefully and carry a burden to help people. However, self-doubt from our humble beginnings and world beat downs regularly duels with our confidence, doesn’t it? Welcome to my blog, where I will share my victories and failures in the pursuit of peace as we dare to challenge the status quo and the proverbial codes of silence.
Whether you believe in hearing a calling to do something or not, I think it happens, and it did to me. Sitting in a white rocking chair on my porch (aka portico) words jumped off the page of my favorite book about this place called a portico. The sound rang for months, “average people don’t speak in important places, let them hear.” I tossed out the idea to several friends and every time in return I got a slow tilt of the head look like a puppy makes when it hears a whistle. I figured that was my queue that this needs to be started. This being blog entry number one you’ll never understand where I’m coming from lest I explain what it is all about.
Three world-changing things happened in Jerusalem in a place called Solomon’s portico. The first time was in the Bible in John 10. Jesus was on the ‘portico’ speaking to some cynical religious ‘leaders’ trying to trap him in his words, like they often tried to do. They were saying to Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of me. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and later He said, I and the Father are one.” With those words, they picked up stones to stone him to death, but he escaped, as the time for his death was not at hand.
The second mention of Solomon’s portico is in Acts 3 where Peter healed a lame beggar to the astonishment of everyone and then he told the crowd how they are the guilty parties who killed Jesus. Now his power was in all believers and on display.
Later in Acts 5 some of the followers learned they were not ‘playing church’ as a married couple lied about some property they had sold and presented only a portion of the money they had gained from a sale acting as if they were giving all the cash to their church. On the spot, they were slain. How would you like to be in a church where one lie turns into your death? After that in vs. 11, it notes that ‘great fear’ came upon the whole church. No kidding!
Further, ‘ Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them.
Like I said earlier, the voice of the Average Joe seldom is heard these days, let alone daringly as it was portrayed in Solomon’s Portico. I am motivated to change that now. Jesus or Peter I absolutely am not, and I am not deserving of any chance to speak on their behalf. Frankly I am deserving of being stoned like they wanted to do to them, but not for doing and saying the right things. However, Jesus & Peter dared to challenge the accepted beliefs and worldly standards of society and altered eternity.
Perhaps the world will not change via Average Joe’s Portico. But come back, if you dare, and just maybe via a little contesting of your thoughts may alter your world. I hope the result will help you become a little better each day.
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