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 find belonging, growth, and freedom. 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, at the intersection of grace and growth, with an integrated spiritual life where we love God with our whole heart, soul, strength and mind.
What Can You Expect?
I post a new blog post about every other week. On the alternate weeks, I usually post an episode of my podcast, The Apprenticeship Way. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via RSS, or even better, Subscribe to my Email List. I email a couple of times a month with links to the new posts, podcasts, and sometimes other things that I think would be helpful to you.
I also love creating things, so a couple of times per year I’ll share something new with you that I’ve created. An online course, a workbook, a 30-day challenge, a new book–all built around helping you have a more engaged spiritual life.
Here are some posts that have proven helpful and popular with people.
My top posts on emotions & faith.
- 5 things you learned about in church about emotions that aren’t true.
- Myth #1: God is not emotional.
- Myth #2: Emotions will lead you astray.
- Myth #3: Emotions aren’t spiritual.
- Myth #4: Emotional Christians are shallow Christians.
- Myth #5: Ignore your emotions and they will just go away.
My top 10 posts according to Google:
- 2 Reasons using the Bible to prove your point is often wrong.
- Try Writing Your Own Psalm
- Negative Core Values & How You Can Change Them
- I will make you fishers of men. Really?
- How to journal for spiritual growth.
- When the Bible’s been used to bash, clobber or hurt you.
- Why reading the Bible straight through is usually a bad idea.
- You are God’s Poem. That’s your Identity & Purpose
- Why the church has to stop saying sexual sin is the worst kind of sin.
- I quit the culture war
The Story I Write From
You do well to be cynical and 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 turned 40 in 2011 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.
- 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. Today we have a 12-year-old daughter, an 11-year-old son, 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.
I’d love to hear from you if I can be of any help in your journey toward a more intentional relationship with God.
Does all of this intrigue you? Well, then why don’t you subscribe?
This is my personal website. The opinions I express here do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge City Community Church where I serve, any organizations I am affiliated with, modern Christianity in North America, or even my wife. The information I provide is on an as-is basis and your mileage may vary. Other than a commitment to due diligence in researching my facts, I make no representations as to their accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity (I am quite often wrong.) That means I am not liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, inures, or damages arising from its use.
The FTC now considers bloggers legally to be endorsers when we speak about a product, company or service, and that means we are required to make certain disclosures. So here goes: From time to time I may link to a product, book or service. Sometimes those links will be affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something after clicking the link, I will get a miniscule kickback that I promise to spend on unnecessary technology toys when I’ve saved up enough. There are some other required disclosure statements with more detail. If you’re interested, you can see them here: Material Disclosures.