Sunday, February 02, 2014

defined by words

Tim McBride. 35. Single Dad. Life. Love. God. Passion. Creativity.

Do these phrases define me? This is the beginning of a story about the words that I choose to define who I am. I'm at a point in my life where I am refining definition. I know my name is Tim McBride. Its been a up and down 35 year road to get to this point in my life. I am a divorced single dad of two amazing children. I love Christ with all my heart. I am passionate about all things creative. So yes I am defined by those words. But there is so much more to my life that belies definition.  

I am a man who is full of passion. Most of my passion revolves around all things, art, film and the written word whether it is my own or words of another. I am moved by the wonder of God in his masterpiece called nature. Who isn't? Only God could create the beauty and complexity that exists outside of the four walls we call home. Nature is where I feel closest to God. My faith feels extremely evident when I am outside seeing, feeling and experiencing His creation.

Last fall I road my Trek mountain bike from my home in Panama City over the Hathaway Bridge to the beach at St Andrews State Park. I then proceeded to hike through the hot sand and over the boulders to the end of the Jetties out in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an easy afternoon journey I've always wanted to experience with the goal of putting into words what my eyes were taking in at the end of the Jetties. When I reached my destination at the sun dripped waters edge and sat down on a car sized boulder and viewed the expanse of ocean and water in front of my eyes I was struck by the magnificence, power and beauty of creation. I don't know about you but that kind of visible beauty inspires and stirs something deep down inside. My soul was moved. I write when I feel those creative juices inside of me begin to surface. Whether my words are any good...I don't know. I've never had anyone critique my writing. But the point that I am trying to make is that I allowed that one moment in my life to inspire me to create something. I pulled out my notebook and wrote. I allowed the feeling and excitement of that moment on the Jetties to transcend from pen to paper. I documented it. I felt it. I wrote it. And when I read those words again...I am back there sitting on that grey boulder. 

I create my art by placing emotion, feeling and passion into written words. I am expressing and sharing my thoughts and feelings for the whole world to see. Am I scared of what others may think of my words? Yes of course I am as I'm human with a natural fear of rejection and judgement based upon my words. But I am happy with who I am and how I choose to define myself. It is MY creativity that I am expressing. It is me.

 I don't intend to ramble but when I start writing about making art in its many forms I get excited. The written word is just one of those forms. The written word's connection and relationship with my love for God's natural creation was the inspirations for these words. More will come in later posts as I have yet to convey how music, film and visual arts inspire and define who I am. Be creative. Be authentic. Be you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Facebookless in a Facebook World

The other day a new reality came into play for me. I no longer have a Facebook account.
Let me start by saying this was not my decision...initially. It was made for me by Facebook. As I tried to login I was greeted with a message and subsequent email that stated I am no longer "eligible" to use Facebook and that my profile has been disabled. I have no idea why or how this happened and am almost 100% sure this was done in error. But after several emails to Facebook with no response I have came to the conclusion they don't seem care.

Yes...I will admit I was a little bummed and actually said to myself "what am I going to do now with out Facebook?!"

BUT...I have came to the refreshing conclusion that I don't need Facebook. What I am choosing to do now is to focus on and improve my real face to face interpersonal relationships with others. It's so easy to lose the intimacy of authentic friendships when u have the buffer of the internet and Facebook between you.
My hope is to take this oportunity to be intentional in my relationships with others by showing compassion for their lives and care for their well being. I want to show people that I truly care about them and have compassion for them no matter what. I want to be present, real and authentic in my relationships.
Focusing on authentic relationships is what living a life of compassion is all about. It is what unconditional love is built upon. Love with out conditions. Yes...I just threw the love word out there. I am not afraid of what you may think because that is who I am and how I live my life. As someone who has a faith and hope in Jesus Christ, living a life of compassion and unconditional love is my desire and whom I'm called to be.

I am tired of just coasting by and living selfishly for myself. I desire to be used by God for something bigger. So thank you Facebook for re-opening my eyes to the simple fact that real face to face relationships matter. In fact I am probably better off with out Facebook. I am can now focus on being real, intentional, present and authentic in my relationships. I don't have to worry about presenting an image on a profile or a post that may not reflect the true me. God created me to be honest and humble and now it is my job to live that in the most authentic manner I can. It is my prayer that unconditional love, honesty, integrity and humility are the root and basis of who I am. I hope that others see those qualities in me and desire to live there lives that way as well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pursuit of a Dream

    The pursuit of a dream. Living for something other that myself. It's what I need to wake up and start doing every single day of my life. I dream to impact this world in so many ways. One of the my dreams is to make a difference in peoples lives...even if it's just in the life of one person. 
    I have found that it's a dream and desire of mine to open my heart and share the amazing love and grace that I've been given. There is this man that I follow whose name is Jesus Christ. I let him into a broken, dark heart of mine over a decade and a half ago and asked Him to be the center and focus of my life. With out a doubt it was by far the best decision I have ever made in my life. He and His love is the standard that I try to live my life up to every single day. He had a love for humanity that was so unconditional that it absolutely blows my mind. He died for that amazing love. If I can share that amazing unconditional love of Christ with just one person...I am beginning the fulfillment of my life's dream. Loving, helping and serving others while meeting them where they are at in life is the how this dream starts.
    The unspoken question that now lies in front of me is... How do I accomplish this dream? The answer begins with a renewed focus and the right frame of mind. It takes true humility and laying my pride and personal selfish desires aside. If I want to make a positive difference in the life of someone else I need to trust and follow the love and example of Jesus. There are many who hurt, lack basic necessities of life and desire the compassion and love that everyone human longs for. It's my desire and dream to come along side and supply that love with out condition. I hope to freely give unconditional love when it is needed most. I desire to invest and join a hurting person and lovingly journey through life with them...not just give them a hand shake and a word of encouragement and wish them well. I don't want to apply a quick mediocre fix to a long term issue. I have the desire to be there for the long haul and show the true love of Christ that this world is missing and so desperately desires. 
   I know I don't have all the answers to accomplish these dreams and desires but I do know there is a dreaming, compassionate, somewhat sensitive side me that I can not ignore. If you know me, you know that I wear my heart on my sleeve for all to see. Most guys wouldn't say that but it is who I am and I am not ashamed of it. At heart I have always been a dreamer. I am a guy who is filled with passion, faith and a desire to understand. I am always trying to think outside the small brain of mine and figure out life. The love of Christ has helped me to do just that by allowing me to open my heart and let unconditional love pour out.
    My dream. My desire. My life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Authentic and Real

Real and authentic. Who are you? Who are you trying to be? Do these two words describe you. I hope they describe me.

There are some basic truths in my life that I can state with the utmost honesty and authenticity.
I don't have all the answers but I do know that I have tried at times to be someone I'm not. I've tried to make myself into a person who I think others will like. I've tried to make myself more appealing to others...whether it be a close friend or someone I just met for the first time. People don't want me to be just like them...they want me to be myself. I hope people want to be my friend because they like me for who I am and not for who I am trying to be.

So here is my resolution...I need to just be me. 
The fact is that we all need to be real and authentic in everything that we do...our thoughts, words and actions. The following is a list of who I am. The real me. The real and authentic Tim. Yes the good...and the bad. This list could go on forever but I will leave you with with just a few.

'Simple Truths of Who I Am'

I am man. 

I am a child of God. 

I love my saviour Jesus with every ounce of my being. 

I am a single father.

I love my children more than words.

I have a large heart that I wear on my sleeve far to often but it is who I am and I am not ashamed.

I love life...who doesn't? There isn't much in life that can bring me down or at least keep me down for long.

I am filled with hope. 

I pray that I am a man of integrity and honor.

I am an eternal optimist...I try to find the best in every situation.

Unconditional love is what I live my life by.

With all humility I truly enjoying serving other people.

I am filled with complete and overwhelming joy when I see that I have made others happy. 

I desire adventure.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I am a dreamer.

I am moved in my soul by the beauty of words, music, art and nature.


I am sinful because I am human.

I am broken...but God has made me whole.

I struggle.

I am not perfect.

I have made many mistakes.

I wish I could go back and correct my mistakes but I admit they have helped shaped me into who I am today.

I have been hurt.

I have hurt others.

I don't like hurting others.

I have been fake.

I have not been real.

I am sorry.

I deserve Hell but Jesus in my heart has given me eternity in heaven.


I try everyday to be real and authentic in everything I every thought, word and action.

Monday, March 05, 2012

'The Resolution'

Twelve men. United. Pursuing honor, integrity, compassion and courage.

            These are the words that describe a group of men that I have chosen to associate myself with. A group of men that I am honored to know and lucky to belong to. They are my friends, my brothers and the men I choose to tackle the issues of life and fatherhood with. They are my small group. They are my Single Dads small group from the amazing body of believers that is called Northstar Church.

            The reason I write about them is because we are addressing and tackling an issue that is so extremely important to us and to society as a whole. It is the issue of raising our children in a home where a father is Godly, loving, ever-present, influential, courageous and filled with integrity and honor. I know I have written about this in the past but this issue is so vital and detrimental to the future well being of our children that it deserves clarity and expansion.
            I have to make something clear though. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I struggle and I sin. I am a broken human being saved by God's amazing grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that every single dad in my group will fully admit to the exact same truth about themselves. It's vital to understand that fact in order to achieve what we are trying to accomplish.
            We are striving and resolving to live 'The Resolution'.  It's a commitment and a resolve that we as fathers and men of courage are choosing to live our lives by. It is living a higher standard of faith, family and fatherhood. Sound familiar? Yes...we have seen the film 'Courageous'. Yes...we were extremely moved by it. Yes...many tears rolled down my cheeks. And was our inspiration. But 'The Resolution' is something so much bigger than just an idea in a film or a book. It is real life to us us single fathers. It is a turning point in our ordinary selfish lives that we have been living so casually. We are committing, trusting AND faithfully asking God to lead us in this journey. We are choosing to do more than just taking the easy way out. We are choosing the road less traveled. We are committing to the hard way. We are sacrificing our selfish desires for the benefit of our children. We are placing our faith first. We are placing God first in our lives followed by our children. We WILL be present in their lives. We WILL be the spiritual leaders of our children. We WILL "win the hearts" of our children. In a society so lacking of loving fathers and men of integrity and honor...we WILL be the difference for our children.
     This journey will not be easy. And it is not something to be taken lightly. We must be held accountable. YOU must hold us accountable. I for one do not want to fail. With my kid's spiritual and emotional well-being at stake...I can not fail. We can not fail. That is why I pray...why we pray. It will take discipline, sacrifice and faith to continually live out 'The Resolution.' We will turn to the wise words of the Apostle Paul..."Be alert; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." (1 Corinthians 16: 13-14)
            So where are you men, fathers, single dads and husbands? Stand up and take this journey with us! Be men of courage! Make the choice, commit and decide to live a life far greater than the one you are currently living! Live for your children, your spouse and most importantly for God! Live 'The Resolution.'


I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Single Dad Manifesto

Fatherhood...being a great and loving father...being the spiritual leader of my children...being a man of courage. These thoughts and convictions have been on my heart for some time now. I have been waiting for my heart to cohesively communicate with my brain so that you may understand what I thinking and feeling.
As most of you know...I am a single dad raising two elementary school aged children. I love my kids more than words can describe. I am forever blessed and changed by having Sam and Hannah in my life. I am a better human being because of my children. Being a single dad can be very challenging yet extremely rewarding. Raising my two children by myself wasn't a choice I made but it's a part of my life that I accept and that I am more than happy to have. I am challenged everyday in this endeavor but through patience, love and faith in my best friend Jesus... I am able to do it. 

I have came to the conclusion that there are a lot of dads out there not stepping up to the plate of fatherhood. Don't get me wrong...there are a lot of great men being the fathers that are desired and expected of them. But...and this is a big BUT...there are far too many men lacking in the fatherhood department. To be clear I am not perfect either...I make mistakes too. I am not writing this about them though. I am writing this about me. About who I want to become. About who I strive to become everyday. Simply stated...i desire to be the most loving and compassionate dad I can be to my children.   
  I want to tell u about a goal of mine. That goal is to be the father that my kids deserve, need and desire from the depths of their little hearts. I want to be the father that my children never forget. I want to be the father that my children will always look to for guidance, love and compassion. I pray that I can build my children up with wisdom and love...and not tear them down with hurtful words. I pray that my kids can look back when they have children of their own and be proud of the father I was. That's a BIG goal. It is a life long never-ending goal. I goal that I am striving and determined to fulfill. Its goal that I can not do on my own. It takes prayer, discipline and faith in my Jesus. 

I get on my knees and pray that I can do ALL the things I just said. I pray that I can fulfill my goals. I pray that God will make the impossible possible. I pray that other fathers and men have the same desire to become the men who this society so desperately needs. Men of love, compassion, wisdom and courage. It starts with us...with what's deep down in our hearts. But it also takes you the reader...the wife...the mother...the friend to help us become the men and fathers we are called to be and desire to be. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Andrew Belle

   It's time for a new music update. Lately I have been wearing out my iPod listening to a new artist by the name of Andrew Belle. He is an indie pop singer/songwriter out of Nashville. And he dropped an new album about a year and a half ago and it was phenomenal! I absolutely love his sound. His music just feels right when you listen to it. By that I mean it's fresh, light and free. He has a real chill vibe to his sound...kind of an acoustic 'smart pop'. He has the kind of record that will make you want to roll your car windows down and let the cool summer evening wind blow as you drive down the highway listening to his music.
   So quit reading my review and check out his stuff! 'The Ladder' has got to be one my favorites of his. Trust me you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

C.S. Lewis and my Heart

   I came across a C.S. Lewis quote today that floored me. "When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only person in the world." You see, I have known this truth but I have to admit I don't think I truly understood its significance. 
   My understanding of the truth is this. God unconditionally loves each and every person individually. He loves each and everyone one of us so much that he sent and sacrificed his flesh and blood, Jesus, to die for YOU! That thought absolutely blows my mind. You are not just a number to God. You are a person, a soul that He loves dearly and knows intimately!
   Faith is important in my life. I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ. It was and continues to be the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. Its a life altering decision to say the least. I have experienced some amazing highs as well as some heartbreakingly lows in my life.  And through it all God was there with me because of my decision to follow and love his son Jesus with every single part of my heart. When I was hurting and broken God was there to lift me up and comfort me. And at other times God showed me truly how exceptional he is by blessing me with some unbelievably amazing experiences!
 I pray that you make the same decision some day. The decision to follow and love Jesus completely. Its so simple yet such a large decision. Think on it, dwell on it, pray about it and dialogue with me about it. I will be the first to tell you that I don't have all the answers but if you have questions I will give you an honest answer.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

-Life as I know it-

Life. It truly inspires me. All facets of it. The good and the bad. So much growth happens in life. I know I am speaking generally here but it is so true. We grow physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually all through out our life. Growth never ends in my opinion.
 Lately I have came to the realization that I have done a lot of growing. Life has thrown me a few curve balls in the past year and I have definitely gone down swinging at some of those curve balls. But I am proud to say that I have learned so much about myself as a result enduring my life's recent trials and struggles. I've been to the point of despair where the only thing that kept me from breaking down was my faith in Christ. He is my rock and has always been and always will be there in all the good and all the bad times. The problem for me is remembering to always turn to him in my good times. For me its easy to turn and cry out to God when you are hurting and suffering. Because I know he is there, I have learned to trust his love for me when I am hurting. But to give Him sincere praise and thanks when life is good is something for me to remember to do. I seem to get lulled into the pattern of life at times and focus on myself and not on God. I need to constantly train myself to focus on God because he created that pattern. He made me, loves me unconditionally and has a great plan for my life.
These are my words. Take them or leave, love them or hate them. But they are me and I will always try to best express who I am and what I feel here in a genuine and honest manner. Peace.