You want more out of life, right? You want your spiritual life to make a difference in your practical world. Maybe you’ve followed Jesus for a long time, even been a part of churches, but found all the religious busyness getting in the way of real growth?
Me too. That’s why I’m writing, and I want to help you.
If you’re already convinced, then click here to subscribe! I’ll even give you my latest free give-away. Something specifically designed to help you have a deeper, more engaged spiritual life. Otherwise, here’s a bit more about who I am and how I might be able to help.
Who is this Guy?
My name is Marc Alan Schelske. I’m a writer, speaker, hobbyist theologian, recovering fundamentalist, tea drinker & motorcycle rider.
Sometimes I’m a chef or a songwriter. Much more importantly, I’m also a dad and a husband. I’m the teaching elder at Bridge City Community Church in Milwaukie, Oregon, a faith community for sinners and misfits who love Jesus and hope to grow. There I bang the drum for inside-out living and have the privilege of inviting people into a life of following Jesus more and more.
Learning to live from the inside out have saved my faith. That, and God’s grace. I know they can do wonders for you, too. I want you to come to know deeply that you are included, beloved, and free. You always have been.
As a recovering legalist and perfectionist, grace is like oxygen to me. I just can’t do life without it. But I also believe that God calls us to grow, to mature in the image of Christ. I focus on what it looks like to live intentionally with an integrated spiritual life where we love God with our whole heart, soul, strength and mind.
The Story I Write From
You do well to be cynical and even suspicious of people who write about spirituality on the internet. The most important question you can ask when you come across someone, like me, who offers to speak into your life spiritually is, “Where is this person coming from?”
I’m a life-long Jesus Follower, raised in a Pastor’s family in a conservative, sometimes fundamentalist church community. I’ve waded through a lot of junk to come to the place where I love Jesus and believe that He is my only way.
I’ve served as a pastor full-time since 1995. In that vocation, you get to fill a staggering array of roles: coach, mentor, spiritual guide, babysitter, event planner, HR professional, public speaker, building manager, mediator, marriage counselor, even CEO. I’m soon to be 50, and as I looked back at my life, I learned that I’m not good at all of those things.
Because I want to make a dent in the universe, I want to spend the time I have left doing the things I’m wired up to do. I’m a great communicator, teacher, public speaker and writer. I’m a good coach. That’s why I’m writing. I’m working out my relationship with God, and want to help you with yours.
My life experience provides fertile soil for what I communicate. A snapshot of my influences would probably include some of these things:
- I’m an adopted child. A PK. The child of a conservative, even at times fundamentalist, Christian community.
- I’m a childhood trauma survivor. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 11, forever shaping my heart and my emotional reality, and leaving me alienated and isolated from the church.
- I attended art school, pursuing a career in architecture, looking for a creative way forward in my life, where I got derailed by God’s call to ministry. I packed my whole life into the back of my Chevy S-10 Blazer and headed west, like so many before me seeking a new life. I got a degree in Theology at Walla Walla University and started making my way in youth ministry, the R&D department of the church.
- I was hired as a hotshot new youth pastor at a large church and within a year experienced the worst church split I have ever seen before or since, in many ways shattering my image of what church should be.
- I was invited to be on staff at a new church plant and hung on for the ride of my life. I’ve experienced some of the worst tragedies that can happen to a church. I’ve experienced astounding victories. I’ve led for years out of my own performance-driven needs, and have seen how destructive that is.
- I’ve come to the very edge of burnout, lived with depression where I couldn’t drag myself out of bed in the morning, and spent four years in therapy — all of which led to my book, The Wisdom of Your Heart.
Along the way, I married Christina, an amazing, strong woman who has graciously stayed close to me when I spent most of our marriage unavailable to her. Together we’re working to rebuild a new kind of marriage on top of our painful ruins. We have two kids, a happy mutt named Jackson, and from time to time, a pride of foster kittens. All of this happens in Milwaukie, a little community in Portland, Oregon — one of the most interesting, challenging, and weird places you can do church.
What Can You Expect?
You can learn a bit more about my focus, who I’m writing for, and what you can expect around here in this post. Take a few moments to read it.
My top 10 posts according to Google:
Here are some posts that have proven helpful and popular with people.
- 2 Reasons using the Bible to prove your point is often wrong.
- How to journal for spiritual growth.
- How to write your own Psalm.
- Negative core values & how you can change them.
- Why reading the Bible straight through is generally a bad idea.
- Recovering Fundamentalist? What is that?
- Hey Christian, Personal growth is not optional.
- When the Bible has been used to bash, clobber or hurt you.
- I quit the culture war.
- You are God’s poem. That’s your identity and purpose.