Today, we will hear from Ryan Dobson:
Blessing or Testing?
I was at church a few years back and the pastor asked if we would be willing to tell stories about a time in our lives where we knew God was there. Some point in our past where without a shadow of a doubt God was there and actively working on our behalf. Hands were raised and as I listened there was a central theme. Aside from the guy who talked about his acid trip, every person there talked about a crisis, a breaking point or a time when they had finally hit rock bottom.
My story was along the same vein. It got me thinking about western culture and our concept of “blessings and testing.” How many times have you had someone tell you that “God was testing you” when you lost your job, or your kids were misbehaving or you were having marital problems? I saw a TV preacher the other day telling a series of stories each ending in the tag line, “and the hand of God was upon me!” I finally turned the channel when he told how on that very morning he was running late to church and couldn’t find a parking spot and, as he was about to give up hope when a spot appeared right up front. And then he said it, “And the hand of God was upon me!” Are you kidding me? Dude, you pastor a church of almost 50,000 people!! I’ll bet that 49,900 of your parishioners didn’t find a spot up front. That begs the question, “was the hand of God NOT upon them?”
I think our ideas of what a blessing is may be mixed up. It’s like Job said to his wife, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” I feel close to God in the good times but my intimacy grows more when I can’t stand on my own. “When I am weak then I am strong” takes on a whole new meaning in those times. Instead of running from my discomfort I’m trying to lean into it and learn from my pain. Who am I? Why am I here? What caused this, and what can I learn from it?
These past two years have been the hardest of my life but I wouldn’t trade them because of how the intimacy of my relationship in Christ has increased. It was in the midst on all this that I took a motorcycle trip with some friends. We camped out and fished all weekend. At one point I was alone casting my fly rod into a beaver pond waiting for a strike. As I looked around I could see fish jumping at bugs on the water, I could see the mountains in the background and the forest before me. It is one of the most perfect settings I’ve ever been in. Then it hit me. Why was this scene created? God knew I’d think it was cool. There was no one there to see it but me and the Lord knew I would be blessed. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble? Accept it all.
“If I could be doing anything in the world, it would be this.”
With the conviction that comes from knowing your purpose—and loving every minute of it—Ryan Dobson passionately pursues his calling in Christ. From his books to his podcast to his speaking engagements, Ryan uses every opportunity to call people out of the moral relativism of today’s society and into “the ultimate adventure” of following Christ.
Born in 1970, Ryan grew up as the second of two children of famous family counselor, author and radio host James Dobson. While many pushed him to follow in his father’s footsteps, Ryan took the time to explore his own gifts while trusting in Jesus as his guide. After graduating from college, Ryan found his natural talent for public speaking, combined with his passion for youth, soon opened countless doors.
Ryan traveled extensively for years, challenging youth at music festivals, concert tours, youth camps, and crisis pregnancy center activities. Drawing from his experiences talking first-hand to teenagers and young adults, he wrote his first book, Be Intolerant in 2003. This wake-up call warned young Christians not to fall for the lies of a relativistic, post-modern society. Described as having “a colloquial style with all the subtlety of a two-by-four to the side of the head” by Publishers Weekly, it quickly rose up the sales charts—followed by two more best sellers, 2 Die 4 and 2 Live 4 in the years to come.
Behind the scenes, Ryan has been developing his own base—KOR World Ministries, with the purpose to “build passion and identity in Christ followers”. He produces KORKast, a podcast that challenges listeners in how they see, hear, and think about life and their interaction with culture. He also continues to speak, leads short-term missions trips and men’s retreats, and has a fourth book coming out in 2008.
Ordained in 2007, Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Biola University. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Laura, and their son, Lincoln.