I started this blog because I was prompted by a good friend.  He suggested it would be a good way to develop thoughts and ideas to share with people.  My immediate response was a list of excuses as to why I shouldn’t do it and my main reason was, “Who in the world would read it?”  At that point my friend kindly said, “It’s not about whether or not someone reads it, it’s primarily for you.”  See, my friend is quite perceptive and realized I was frustrated because I didn’t have an outlet such as this to share ideas.  He thought a blog would be helpful.  But after I insistently said no and gave my list of poor excuses, my friend cordially backed down.

Later on (about 7 weeks later) I came to realize that my initial response was actually quite narcissistic, something not all that uncommon for me.  Because during that conversation with my friend, what I was really saying was, “I’m only gonna blog if people read it, otherwise it is a big waste of my time.”  However, since then I have realized that my friend was right, it’s not about whether or not this thing gets read, it’s about creating space in my life to grow, develop and share ideas.

The reason I’ve titled this blog “re-discovering the plot” is because I’ve come to realize that I am often losing the plot.  Not so much in the idiomatic sense of the phrase (i.e.- to go crazy, act irrational, lose self-control), but rather I lose the plot as to what my life is intended to be about.  I believe that the story we were created to live is one of loving and serving God and others.  However, much of my life is spent loving and serving myself.  The plot of my story is often…

written by an imagination filled with selfish desires,
formed by a heart that pursues comfort and safety,
crafted by a character unwilling to take risks.

I am on a journey to continually re-discover the plot of the story I was intended to live.  I welcome fellow travelers on this path, but I’m not afraid to go alone, for I know that the Author of the story is with me.



19 Responses to “re-discovering the plot”

  1. chelsea kuhn

    One of the most honest beginnings to a blog I’ve seen. I think you’ll be surprised at how many people you will help by simply re-discovering your own plot. Look forward to hearing more and hope you and your family are doing well.

    • bryanmarvel

      Thanks Chelsea. I hope those who will read this find it helpful. Things for us in Atlanta are well. Life is full and busy. How are you guys doing?

  2. adamwaid

    You’re friend sounds wise beyond his years! =)

    Looking forward to reading about your journey as you continually re-discover the plot.

    Happy Blogging!

  3. Becky Terry

    Beautifully written, with refreshing, appreciated and courageous authenticity and vulnerability.

    I set sail on the ship of self-centeredness, comfort and poor stewardship in 1953. I am so thankful the loving, sovereign Captain has been patient with me as I struggle to disembark in the ports of Christ-centeredness, selflishness and surrender and stay ashore for longer and longer periods of time.

    Looking forward to accompanying you (however, with a little trepidation) on this voyage to the “Land of Plot”….as it is needful. Perhaps the ship’s name is: “Whole Heart” — Jeremiah 29:13…”You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with ALL your heart.”
    Then, the plot thickens.

    Blessings and Bon Voyage,

    Becky Terry

  4. Deborah Hucks

    This is timely for me and I look forward to what you have to say. I find that I am often confused as to what is “next”, what’s supposed to be happening, what I’m supposed to be doing or even wanting. I’m not sure sometimes if what is happening is right or wrong. My circumstances seem confusing sometimes. Every time I think I know what the plan is, it seems like I really don’t. I like your blog title and the intended subject, and I look forward to your posts.

  5. Donna

    Bryan, I am thankful that your friend has been persistent in encouraging you on this journey. God has given you a tremendous gift of communication and this undoubtedly will impact those around you. I for one am truly blessed to know you. I have watched you encourage Dieuseul and share the gifts that you have been blessed with to help him grow, and this touches my heart deeply. I cant think of anything better than taking your thoughts and writing them for others to read. The “paralysis of analysis ” is not an option. :)) I look forward to reading your blogs. Blessings Donna

  6. Melissa Martin

    Well it’s so about time! All the great preachers have a blog. The only thing I love more than hearing someone with a lot of truth tell it, is to have them write it so I can read it. Looking forward to your posts…and to one day get a tweet from you! ;). Awesome, professional picture btw, wonder which wise friend took it????

  7. Rich

    This ‘friend’ sounds weird.
    Be careful what other advice he gives you…. 🙂

    Love the first blog mate – now you just gotta keep it up!

  8. Missy

    So glad to read your blog. You give thoughtful and insightful sermons, but it is helpful to be able to respond and ask questions on what God is showing you in your own life and see how you put that into practice in your thoughts and actions. Plus some people think because you are a pastor and seminary trained that you are unapproachable and don’t have the same struggles as everyone else. We all have that sinful nature vs. Holy Spirit battle going on inside us – even though we are new creatures in Christ we still sometimes have difficulty thinking and acting like it. Thanks for being open about that in your own life. Even if just one person reads your blog and responds, that is a way that God is using your thoughts to grow you and that person to maturity in Christ. There’s nothing like focusing our attention on Him to “build each other up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:13

  9. bryanmarvel

    Thanks to you all who took the time to read this post and share you comments and feedback. Here is a little teaser for the next post which will be out in about a week or so – The paradox of giving: when we give we actually receive.

  10. Lorri


    Thank you for your obedience to write with authentic transparency (Nigel’s two favorite words at the moment)–two words that are truly in need of being re-discovered. In my life, I am finding the more I re-discover the “plot” the more un-done I become. The more un-done I become, the more He’s able re-do within me. In my un-doneness…He is re-forming my mind, my heart, my spirit…wooing me down the path—the path in which Jesus showed the Way to those who would lay down everything, risking it all only to fall into the arms of the Author of Life.

    May you be blessed throughout your “blogging” journey, as blessed as we certainly will be by what the Spirit of God will say powerfully through you. Thank you for taking the time and taking the risk…

    All the best,

  11. a Stumbler

    I think what your friend said is very true. Writing out & sharing ideas (as you have now decided to do) is a healthy purpose. I think this is a good idea, and I admire your realization that your resistance to starting was narcissistic.
    At the risk of going against the grain here, though, I’m wondering why, in light of that realization, all these people you know and work with are starting with you? How can you conquer that narcissism (or even really leave it behind) if you’re already getting the support that, before your realization, made you reluctant to start blogging in the first place? Support from people who already know and look up to you? Isn’t the point to share your ideas in a neutral situation? (if that’s not the point, sorry, don’t mind me)
    I do look forward to reading your thoughts.
    a stumbler.

    • bryanmarvel

      Stumbler –

      I am not sure that I completely understand what you mean when you ask ‘why these people are starting with me, but it sounds like you are asking aren’t these people perpetuating the self-absorbtion with which I struggle. If I am not understanding you correctly, please let me know. Never the less…. here are a few thoughts from your comments (of which I am grateful).

      My hope for this blog is that it will create space in my life to continue re-discovering the plot of my story as stated in my post, as I am often prone to lose it. I believe that a major part of my story are the people whose lives are intersecting with my life at this present time. As a pastor it comes by way of the congregation in which I serve. My hope is that as I re-discover the plot to my own story and share it with others, God will help them re-discover or maybe even discover their plot for the first time.

      With being a pastor comes lots of pats on the back and can easily fuel self-absorbtion and an inflated ego. This worries me at times, because I know that I am prone to it even without all of the support and pats on the back. I know for myself, if I don’t express my struggle I will easily and effortlessly begin to view myself in an inflated way. My hope is, as I continue to to re-discover my plot people will come to see that the main character of my story is Christ and not me. I pray that over time the focus of what I write will reflect more of Him than myself and people will begin to see that He is the author of my story and not me.

      Hope this is helpful and clear.

  12. Mark Paul


    Well said. Looking forward to future blogs. Good to be in the story with you. You are truly gifted and I’m glad to call you my friend.


  13. David Hubbell

    My first attempts to get through to this page were blocked as being potentially dangerous. I think reading your blog may be potentially dangerous, but not in the way my computer suspected. I’m not always comfortable when challenged to examine my own life journey, as there are frequent discoveries of branches in serious need of pruning. Maybe it’s better for us to wield the shears before the Master Gardener has to utilize a more blunt instrument.

  14. Denise Erway

    Hi Bryan, I will be reading thanks to Shawn’s plug for your blog today!


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