Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Joe Pote--Guest Post

My Greatest Adventure – A Step of Faith

Adventure:  (1) An exciting or unusual experience; a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.  (2) Broadly refers to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, a love affair, or other major life undertakings.

When Jennifer first invited me to guest-post on the topic of “My Greatest Adventure,” I thought this would be a fairly easy task. I’ve lived a full life and experienced my share of risky undertakings with uncertain outcomes. I could write about mission trips to Honduras, travel in foreign countries, mountain bike treks, hiking treks, camping trips, hunting trips, running a trap line, horseback riding, rock climbing, rappelling, or snow skiing, just to name a few. 

The choices are virtually limitless! Which turned out to be the problem…how to choose?

If Jennifer had asked me to write about an adventure of choice, that would be one thing. But she asked me to write about my greatest adventure!

My eldest daughter recently blogged about each day of her life being an adventure that she shares with her three little boys. I agree with her. In the unusual life of a parent of young children, just getting out of bed each morning is a bold undertaking with uncertain outcome!

But, I could hard call each day my greatest adventure. One adventure has to be greater than others, doesn’t it? Perhaps, I was thinking too small. 

Surely, my greatest adventure would be the undertaking with the greatest uncertainty, or highest risk. From this viewpoint, I should be considering major life undertakings such as marriage, parenting, divorce, a second marriage, or the start of a new career. Those were all major life decisions fraught with risk and uncertainty with far-reaching potential consequences. Some were choices I made deliberately, while others were thrust upon me, unsolicited. However, each, in its own way, turned out to be a major adventure! Like all good adventures, each led to unanticipated experiences far from what I envisioned at the beginning.

I’ve lived some adventures vicariously, by reading books written by others. I might be tempted to write these off as “not real” adventures, just imagination. Except…some of those books have led to substantial changes in my perspective of life, of humanity, and of God. Surely, opening one’s heart and mind to allow deep changes in perception is a risky undertaking with uncertain outcome!

So which of these myriad of adventures is the greatest?

Perhaps, I’m still thinking too small. Perhaps each of these adventures is but an unanticipated experience in a much larger adventure.

Some say life, itself, is an adventure. I would not disagree with this thesis. My life has certainly been adventurous! Yet, I’ve known some whose lives seemed more like one long complaint, rather than a bold, exciting adventure.

So, why has my life been more adventurous than some others? Why have I chosen to invest so much of myself into each new endeavor and each new relationship? Why have I chosen to generally anticipate positive outcomes, rather than a gloomy, dreary existence? What is the source of my spirit of adventure, and when did this grand adventure begin?

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was seven years old, lying in a sleeping bag on the floor of my bedroom…because sleeping bags are much more adventuresome than soft beds! Though I shared the bedroom with my older brother, I was alone in my room, that evening.

Having been raised in a Christian home, attending church and Sunday school, I knew who Jesus was and what He had done for us. However, I had not yet made a conscious personal decision to choose Him.

That evening, as I lay in my sleeping bag, I knew it was time. I asked Jesus to be my personal savior, to cleanse me of my sins, to make me His child, and to help me live my life for His glory. Then I lay in my sleeping bag, with tears streaming down my face, as I softly sang:
“I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back!”
Those tears carried mixed emotions…the joy of knowing my sins were forgiven…the sorrow of realizing the price Jesus had paid for my sins… and the conviction and determination of understanding that, though the path would not be easy, I was determined to follow Christ all of my days!
“…no turning back, no turning back!”
Growing up hearing of the heroes of faith, I knew this adventure would require sacrifice.
“Take the whole world, but give me Jesus…”
I knew it would sometimes be a lonely path.
“Though none go with me, I still will follow…”
I knew it would cost me my life.
“My cross I’ll carry, ‘til I see Jesus…no turning back, no turning back!”

At seven years old, there was a lot I did not understand. But I understood enough to know both the weight of the commitment and the joy of knowing God. I understood enough to know this was God’s adventure on which I had been invited, and the path would be of His choosing. I remember having a very clear picture of dying a martyr’s death, and praying God would give me courage and strength. I don’t know by what manner of death I will leave this world. Perhaps I will die as a martyr for Christ.
I do know, though, that I died that night, and was resurrected to new life in Christ Jesus. And every day since has been one of both learning to die to self and to live through Christ.

It hasn’t all been easy. I have suffered some great losses and mourned some deep sorrows. There have been times of hurting so bad and being so confused by circumstances that I questioned whether God even exists, or if He does how he could love me?

Overall, it has been a life filled with both great joy and deep sorrow…a life lived based on trusting that, even when I don’t understand, God has a plan and remains in control…a life where even in my moments of deepest doubt, I still turn to God for answers, even with questions about His very nature and existence.

Through it all, God has remained faithful. He has always drawn me close to Himself, giving me strength and comfort. He has always caused all things to work together for my own good…to be molded closer to His image…and to lead me to a deeper understanding of His grace and love.

Yes, it is, indeed, a Grand Adventure!  …and it is far from over!

What is Your Grand Adventure?

My name is Joseph Pote. 

I blog, at Redeemed! about Christ, living, relationships, and other topics. 

I met Jennifer through a writer’s blog, hosted by Rachelle Gardner, where we have a lot of fun joking around while encouraging each other.


  1. Great post, Joe. I love that you were a young believer--I was, too. Certainly doesn't mean our lives will be pain-free! But I'm thankful God was with me, even as a child. Thanks for your post today!

    1. Thank you, Heather!

      Yes, I am so thankful for God's faithfulness throughout my life.

      As He says in Isaiah 43, "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by my name; thou art mine. ...when thou passest through the rivers they shall not overflow thee. When thou passest through the fire thou shall not be burned. ...for I am the Lord thy God!"

      We still pass through the rivers and fire of trials...but with the promise of His presence and protection!

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the great testimony, Joe. We're truly on a great adventure!

    1. Yes, we are, PJ! A great adventure, indeed...and the best is yet to come! :-)

  3. Yes, choosing to follow Christ and receive His forgiveness truly is the "great adventure," Joe! He never fails to challenge and mystify me. Great post and words of encouragement to us all. Thanks also to Jennifer for highlighting your post!

    1. "He never fails to challenge and mystify me."

      So true!

      Every day brings new challenges...and new amazement at His greatness!

      Thank you, Beth!

  4. I was 7 when I chose Jesus, too! It hasn't been easy, but I dread to think what it would have been like without Him. Many blessings to you today!

    1. "...dread to think what it would have been like without Him."

      AMEN! His loving faithfulness carries us through it all.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Denise!