Welcome to Day Room TheologyThis blog is not for the faint of heart, spiritual elite or easily offended. I had a moral failure in April of 2017 that landed me in Oshkosh Correctional Institution over an 18 month period. Prior to this date I was in youth ministry for over 20 years, married just as long to my college sweetheart. Our oldest was in college and my youngest in their sophomore year of high school. Life seemed to be going along at great speed and I was at the top of my field eyeing an executive ministry position in a national youth ministry organization. My problem was that I had a secret struggle with pornography and a history of sexual abuse which I shoved to the back of my conscience figuring if I just keep moving foreword and doing my best that my dirty secret would eventually go away. Surely the better I do in life the less my sexual secrets will have power over me. My career will save me, my reputation will save me, and all the great friends and connections in ministry would atone for my secret sin and it would eventually just go away.
I was wildly wrong and my career became an idol that slowly replaced my first love. Only Christ is able to bring about the healing I needed through His kindness and forgiveness. Had you asked me at the time if I believed in salvation through Christ alone I would have given an emphatic “Yes!” and yet the specter that continued to dog me in this process was the question “If I truly believed, why did I suffer needlessly relying on my own works and hide behind titles?” I believed in Christ as my salvation but I thought my sin was special and would loose my job and career if I brought it to light. Ironically, it was the fact that I did not bring my deep hurt before the light of the gospel that I wound up loosing my carefully constructed career and all the titles. I literally grabbed my dreams of ministry leadership and all I proclaimed to be true and threw them in a dumpster and lit it on fire. WHY? This and many other facets of restoration is the struggle the following posts will unpack.
God disciplines those whom he loves. This blog is about the process of pressing into the light of Christ after committing a horrible act that brought shame on His church, my family and community. From the very start it was obvious that Christ was not done with me and in that moment was He was laying the foundation of powerful reconciliation only God can procure.
Most of this blog was actually written while I was in prison as I worked out my salvation in fear and trembling. The reason this blog is called “Day Room Theology” is because I set myself to read scripture daily as well as many spiritual formation books and classics from the world of theology that I could get my hands on during what prison culture refers to as “Day Room”. You see every day after breakfast we would go back to our cells for standing count. This process took a good hour of time and all the inmates anticipated getting out of our cell for a few hours. At 8AM sharp every day our CO would quietly proclaim “Day Room” over the loud speaker and the inmates would pour excitedly out of their cells for desperately desired social interaction. Some would go to class, some to work in some particular area around the prison yard, some to programs and others to hang out at one of the many tables where you could only fit four people to play cards, drink instant coffee, wheel and deal for food or other “contraband” items, or in my case, read scripture and study theological classics.
Some entries will be purely reasoning through the process of how God wants to restore brokenness to Himself, some entries are reflections from Bible studies I held daily with other men who were curious what the “bible guy” was reading that day, and some are purely personal reflections that came about when no one showed up for a conversation about God and I was immersed in note taking from a theological classic.
I hope in this blog you will find the delightful fragrance of God affirming a filthy sinner that He will relentlessly pursue him and will be faithful to complete the good work He started in him before the foundations of the earth were laid! Welcome to Dayroom Theology.