Brad Ruggles

The Art Of Living

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You

Well, actually it is.

I’ve gotten quite a few new subscribers in recent weeks which is awesome but I’m starting to feel lost. So many awesome people I haven’t met yet! If I could, I’d slap a name tag on you to help me remember who you are. Hey, that’s not a bad idea!


Please take a minute to fill out your name tag (even if you’re a long-time subscriber) and let me know…


Any additional information about yourself that would help me get to know you better is definitely welcome but not required.

Go ahead, here’s your sharpie.…

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Look Dad, We Have Plates!

Those of you who follow my blog know that we’ve been living in a hotel since the deal on the house we were going to purchase fell through (read more here and here). Pete jokingly asked me on Sunday what I’m going to blog about once we’re actually living in our own house.

Extended Stay DeluxeSunday evening we got back from our vacation with friends in North Carolina. We checked into the Extended Stay Deluxe (Chloe always reminds me that there is a “Deluxe” at the end). This will be our home for at least the next three or four weeks while we get try to close on another condo we have an agreement on.

Chloe & Emily were so funny when we walked into our room.

“Look Dad, we have our own plates and silverware! We even have a stove!”

They ran into the bedroom and came running back out to drag us in by the hand to show us how HUGE the bedroom and bathroom were. Keep in mind, the whole 1-bedroom suite with pullout couch and kitchenette is probably less than 350 square feet but to them we had just checked into the Presidential Suite at the Hilton.

Normally Lisa and I are the ones trying to teach the kids to be thankful for what they’ve got but for once they were the teachers. I’ll admit it, last night I wasn’t feeling very thankful. In fact, it took everything I had to keep him from coming back.

I’m thankful that each new day gives me a new opportunity to count my blessings. Right now I don’t even want to think about how long it’s been since I’ve slept in my own bed or worn something that hasn’t come out of the same suitcase we left Fort Wayne with. I’m tired of walking into living rooms that require a keycard.

But for now, I’m learning to enjoy the journey. If that means jumping up and down on the bed because we have our own plates and silverware, then I’m going to jump away.…

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Pardon Me While I Vent


I am trying to keep a good attitude but I’m not doing so good. I’m so pissed off right now!

Remember that condo we’ve been trying to close on? Back in the beginning of April we had an approved offer for a condo that was a really good deal. Then we’re heading back from Florida for the closing when jerk-face mortgage guy (that’s what I’ve been calling him lately) called us up to tell us that we weren’t going to be able to close because he couldn’t get us approved. He tells us this the day before we were supposed to close! Which leaves us scrambling to find a place to live in the meantime while we explore other mortgage options. We’re going on our third week of living in a hotel which gets pretty old!

Lisa has been doing an amazing job of checking out other banks that will work with us. Our challenge has been because I’m self-employed and don’t have two years of tax returns as a self-employed contractor. That combined with the current mortgage issues that the market is facing makes getting a loan quite fun!

So Lisa finally found a local bank that would work with us and we get our pre-approval letter together and call back on the condo. They sold it on Tuesday for $20k more than our offer! Not only did we lose the condo but we lost a chance to get a great deal and have instant equity! Do you see why I need to vent?

I know that God must have something better (you do God, right?) but that doesn’t make this any easier! I’m just so ready to be over this mountain and get settled in a house.

Keep praying – for Lisa, the kids, our house (and my attitude). And thanks for listening to me vent.…

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Meet Jackass Brad

Allow me to introduce you to an acquaintance of mine. You probably don’t hear me talk about him often because most of the time it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist.

His name is Jackass Brad.

This the is the part of me that comes out when I’m stressed or things don’t go my way. He’s not a pleasant person to be around as he tends to think mostly about himself. He’s short with his kids and cranky with his wife. If you’ve known me long enough I’m sure you’ve met him.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot more of Jackass Brad than I care to admit. He blames his visits on stress – as if that’s an acceptable excuse to barge in and complain. Just last night he showed up in the car with Lisa and the kids and proceeded all evening to do what he does best – be a jackass.

The good news is that I’m working more on recognizing him when he shows up. With prayer and conscious choice I can give him the boot before he even gets his foot in the door.

So there you go. I’ve introduced you to someone I don’t like to talk about. If you happen to see him, can you give him a message from me?

“I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” (Romans 7:18-25)

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Living in a Hotel

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

A lot has changed since Monday. For example…

  • I thought I would be writing today’s blog post from our new house instead of the lobby of the hotel we’re staying at.
  • I thought we would be unpacking boxes instead of extending the contract for the 3 storage units that hold our belongings.
  • I thought we would be settling our kids into their new rooms instead of trying to occupy them with repeated trips to the hotel pool.

For readers who may not be familiar with our story so far, we put our house up for sale in September and sold it in a market that’s not easy to sell a house in. We moved all of our belongings into storage in Indianapolis while we vacationed for a few weeks in Florida. Before we left we had confirmed all of the details on the condo we were purchasing and set to close on as soon as we got back.

We had a closing date of May 12 but talked to our mortgage and real estate agents from Florida and asked if we could move it to May 6 after we arrived back in Indianapolis from our trip. They said it wasn’t a problem. We found out last week that the closing could be delayed a few days but since our contract had a closing date of May 12 we thought we would still be ok. If we had to get a hotel room for a couple of days so be it.

We left Florida Monday morning stopping half-way to spend the night in Gatlinburg so the kids could see the Smokey Mountains. Tuesday morning I get a call from our mortgage agent. He had completely dropped the ball and not checked into the condo requirements for the type of loan we were getting.

Basically, our mortgage guy screwed us by assuring us that we were approved and would close this week without a problem (after having all of our paperwork and information for over a month).

Which brings me to the hotel lobby I’m writing this from this morning. We’re here until the end of the week while the clock keeps ticking on our pending closing date. Lisa was on the phone all day yesterday making calls to banks hoping for a last-minute miracle. If the deal falls through we are back at square one, staying in a hotel and looking for a place to live.

I know that God has everything under control but that doesn’t make the present situation any easier. Lisa and I have been trying to figure out a way to tell our kids that we may not be moving into the home that they were so excited about living in.

Please pray for direction and God’s will to be clear. I’m learning to hold all things loosely as God reminds me that His plans are best and His timing is perfect.

In the meantime I’ll close out this blog post from the lobby of the hotel that is our home with complete trust in God and anticipation of His provision.…

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Our 2,300 Mile Exodus

It’s only 120 miles from Fort Wayne, IN to Carmel where we’re moving. So why are we taking the 2,300 mile route? Good question.

Towards the end of last year we began to feel God calling us to step out of our comfort zone into something new. Little did we know that it would result in leaving a job/church, going back to freelance design work, selling our home in Fort Wayne and moving to a new city where we don’t know a single person!

The past few months has been an amazing journey of faith for my wife and I as we’ve been stretched further than we’ve ever before. We’ve watched time and again as God’s provision and timing was perfect for each need.

So we’re less than a week away from beginning a new adventure! I’m so excited (and a little nervous). We’re going to take the next few weeks and visit some churches and attend a couple of conferences before settling into our new home in Westfield, IN (just outside of Carmel where we’re looking at planting the church).

Here’s a few places we’ll be stopping and things we’ll be doing along the way:

  • Coffee with Pat Rowland (former youth pastor buddy from FW)
  • Lunch with @pwilson (
  • Crosspoint Church weekend service (this Sunday)
  • Relaxing at a condo in Tarpon Springs, FL
  • Exponential Church Planting Conference – April 22-24 (anybody else going to this?)
  • LeadNow 08 Conference – April 24-26 (how’s this for a speaker lineup: Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Dan Kimball, Amena Brown and Margaret Feinberg!)
  • DisneyWorld (don’t tell Chloe & Emily – it’s a surprise!)
  • Elevation Church (May 4)
  • Pigeon Forge, TN

Are you anywhere along our route? Will you be at any of the conferences/churches we’re attending? If so, hit me up on Twitter or let me know so we can hook up!

I’ll be posting throughout the trip so be sure to subscribe to my blog (RSS or by email) and follow me on Twitter so you can hear all about it! Wish us well!…

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God is our Realtor

forsaleThe other day we were putting up the “For Sale by Owner” sign in our front yard and a guy who was walking down the sidewalk stopped and said, “Good luck selling your house. We’ve had ours for sale down the road for 3 months with no bites. The market is really bad right now for selling.”

I went back in the house and told Lisa, “Hey, I’ve got great news! This guy just told me how bad the market was for selling right now and how long he’s had his house for sale in our subdivision. So now when God sells it we’re going to know He was the one that did it!”

That’s really been my perspective lately. It seems the more you step out in faith and trust God completely you begin to trust God for things that are more and more impossible. And that’s where God likes to work!!


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