For those of you who follow my website, you might have noticed a change. The hikebyfaith.com domain is no longer being used. I’ve gone back to using the free WordPress version. So be sure to update your bookmark, if you use them, to the following the address; hikebyfaith.wordpress.com.
Now with that little detail out of the way I hope you will continue to read on.
When I launched HIke By Faith, now known as HBF Outdoors, in 2013 I did so with the intention of sharing my own outdoors adventures and how God uses my time in the woods to connect with him deeper and teach me lessons about life. Blog posts were written with the intent of inspiring others to get outside to enjoy His creation and connect with Him away from the distractions of daily routines and technology.
But something happened that shifted HBF into a direction it was not intended to go. As I began connecting more with the outdoor industry everything became about plugging a product or brand. Stories of my adventures faded and were replaced with gear reviews and information anyone can obtain from the thousands of other outdoor-themed websites floating around the web. I’ll admit, it was fun, but as time went on I became restless inside. Ideas came and went on how to grow HBF into a business. Some never developed and others, like #LHX became a reality. Of all the ideas #LHX is the only one that is continuing with it’s soon to come second annual event this April 2018. Still, while I plugged away at various ideas, creating and posting content to plug a product something did not sit right.
It wasn’t until after #LHX2017 that I began to take a serious look and marinate on what was causing my restlessness regarding HBF. Don’t get me wrong, #LHX2017 was a success and we all had a blast. But I believe God used that event to nudge me more and get me to realize I needed to listen to what He was trying to tell me.
#LHX2017 was in April, that was six months ago, but I finally discovered the restlessness within weeks after the event. So why has it taken me until now to share this revelation? The answer is simple and one word, but not easy to confess. Fear. I had built and established a relationship with the outdoor community that typically does not involve or bring faith into the mix. I didn’t want to offend anyone. At least the community I was connected to. I was concerned if I brought HBF back to its original purpose I’d lose those connections and even be shunned from the community. Not only was this line of thinking absurd, it was also wrong.
Once I realized what I was doing, that I was more concerned about what others would think rather than what God wants me to do with HBF, it was time, to be honest with myself as well as all of you.
HBF Outdoors is faith-based. It means that Jesus is at the center and will be spoken of on everything I do on my website, social media content and in the outdoors. I realize some of you may not like this and even have “suggestions.” It wouldn’t be the first time. It was once suggested to me that I change the name so people wouldn’t be offended or turned off. The sad thing is considered it for a moment. I also realize some of you may even be offended and choose to not be a part of HBF Outdoors. That is your choice, but I hope you will stick around. As for any brands I represent, I doubt any of this will change your mind, but if it does I will step down willingly and with gratitude for the time you have allowed me to represent your company, but I must stay true to the purpose of HBF Outdoors regardless of any popular brand.
As for my followers who are Christian’s, my apologies for losing focus of why I started HBF, and I ask for your forgiveness. I ask of one favor from you, to keep me accountable to the purpose of HBF Outdoors.
To inspire others to connect with the outdoors through experiences that bring them closer to Jesus.
The restlessness of the soul comes from going against the grain. The freedom from that restlessness comes when we stop fighting ourselves and surrender to the purpose for which we are called.
I look forward to sharing my stories and inspiring you to connect with the outdoors through experiences that bring you closer to Jesus.
I’ll see in the woods on a trail somewhere.
Brian Ford, HBF Outdoors