Salt and Light

This summer, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The team is made up of 28 of the top collegiate baseball players from around the country. When you first arrive, a few guys know each other, but the rest are complete strangers. It’s sort of cool, but scary at the same time. I spent the first few days getting to know their names and what college they’re from and other simple surface questions. I also did a lot of observing. I sat back and watched and listened to guys to get a feel for who they were and what they were about. And then it hit me. If I’m doing this, then there’s probably a really good chance someone else is observing me as well to see who I really am. That’s when a parade of thoughts went through my head, but the biggest question was, “Can these guys tell I’m a Christian or do I act and talk too much like a typical college kid? Am I too much like the world?” If we call ourselves Christians then we really do need to answer these questions because people observe us on a daily basis, whether you know it or not!

In the fall, the men’s bible study did a semester long study of the Sermon on the Mount and we covered this topic in one of the weeks. (By the way, if you haven’t really dug into the sermon, I recommend you do! It can be a life changer!) I remember throwing out this question in particular, “Are Christians so separate from the world that they can’t make a difference in the world? Or have Christians become so much like the world that they’re not different enough to make a difference?” In Matthew 5 verses 13-16, Jesus gives a very clear response to the question. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

So of all the analogies to use, why does Jesus pick salt and light? Well, when does someone use salt? Typically when the food they are eating is a little bland. When is light helpful? When there’s darkness all around and you want to be able to see. So the basics of these two elements is that for them to be effective they have to be able to penetrate the environment that they’re in. That’s why Jesus picked these two perfect words to describe the life of Christians. Go back to the question before. Is the problem we’re so much like darkness and we’ve so much lost our saltiness that we no longer have an impact on the world, or is the problem that we’re so withdrawn from the world that the salt and light is not having the impact that it should have? The world needs light. The world needs salt. It doesn’t need a bunch of Christians crawling into their storm shelter and never coming out because it’s not safe. Nor do we need a bunch of Christians who look so much like the world that they can’t see the light. So if we are the salt and light, if that’s who we are then it’s time we start to look like that.

Now go back and read the passage by yourself and think about being embedded. When we embed ourselves in the world, when we invest in the world, when we become deeply enmeshed in our culture, then and only then can we become salt and light in the world. Many Christians think that the only way they can maintain their Christianity is to withdraw from the world, but that’s not how salt and light work. It moves in not away. We are followers of Jesus, not just for ourselves, but for the sake of the world, and this passage is a call to Christians to live for the sake of the world. To be an example. To love. To forgive. To be even-tempered. To control our language. To walk like Christ so that when the world sees you, they see Him!

Are we different enough from the world to make a difference in the world? Is our light on a lamp stand? Are we so enmeshed and embedded in the world that the world actually has a chance to be influenced by the lives that we live? Jesus says, you are salt and light. That’s who we are. We are the people who transform the world by your very presence!

Stuck in a Rut

I know it has been awhile since I last wrote, and I really apologize for that. The only way to describe that would be, I’ve been stuck in a rut spiritually for awhile and have had trouble getting out. I am by no means where I want to be, but I’ve hid away too long. I’ve spent too much time trying to figure out “why” I am where I am and why things aren’t going my way instead of standing up and saying “why not!” Instead of waiting for something to happen in my life or waiting for God to do something to bring me to my knees, why not do something to get back on track. Instead of waiting for a change, go be the change!
I know I’m not the only person that has faced the challenge of being in a rut. I’ve gone through this before and it took a God-moment to get out it, but this time God wasn’t going to bail me out and I’m so thankful he didn’t. When you settle for a bailout, you’re basically telling yourself you’re not strong enough to overcome it yourself and even more importantly you’re going against God’s word in 2 Timothy 1:7. “For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and sound mind.” The fear that I had and many others have when they’re stuck in a rut isn’t from God, and this verse says exactly that. Satan wants to keep you in that rut. He wants to try to pull you from God and fill your head with thoughts that’ll keep you from being who you were created to be! God has given everyone a gift and a purpose and a fearful spirit does not allow for that.
God gives us a spirit of power so that we can use our gifts boldly. When we are living the life he calls us; spreading his word, representing his kingdom, doing his work, we have all of God’s power backing us up. God also gives us a spirit of love. A love of serving others, a love of treating and talking to people the way God would. He also gives us a spirit of sound mind, that allows us to have self-discipline and remain calm and together when the world around us moves at a frantic pace. God has given everyone different gifts to serve a purpose. The purpose of your life is way more than making a ton of money or being a professional athlete or being entertained or comfortable. Your purpose is to use your gifts to love God’s people and help a needy world! So don’t wait for a change to be made so you can get out of your rut, use the spirit that God gave you so your gifts can be used for the purpose you were created for! It’s not going to be easy, no one ever said it would, but be persistent in prayer and reading the word and watch God’s plan unfold! Why not!

Spending Time vs. Investing Time

Over the last couple years, I’ve really looked at my life and some changes I need to make to live the life Christ calls me to live. I’ve seen growth in certain areas, but a lot of the changes I needed to make haven’t been made. I may see some growth in those areas from time to time, but by taking an honest look, I’ve fallen back and continued to do things the wrong way. How do I make these changes stick? How do I make them be more consistent and bring myself to a new level where I won’t fall back like history shows? The answer comes from a small change that yields big results; my time with God. In my time with God I have two options, I can spend time with him, or I can invest time with him. There’s only one simple, single word change between those two options, but can allow me to finally get over the hump and change my life for the better. Invest.

Any time I use a word that describes what I did to better my relationship with God is “spend.” I spent some time in my bible today. I spent some time in prayer. I spent some time in worship. But as I have been able to see in my life is that spending time with God isn’t cutting it. Spending time helped me grow into the man I am now, but how much better could I be as a Christian, and how much deeper and more meaningful could my relationship with God be if I invested time with him? Well, let’s look at what invest means. One definition of the word states, “to devote.” So instead of just spending time with God, you’re saying that if I devote my time to him that I’ll grow even more so with God and as a person? Yes! Devoting your time to God, giving him your all in everything will result in growth! In will result in growth in a number of ways.

The first area to talk about is reading your bible. If I spend time in my bible each morning, I’m going to read what is said for the sake of I feel that’s what I need to do because God says to. I’m going to be able to remember bits and pieces of it, but the chances of me actually applying it to my life and getting something out of it is very slim. By the end of the day I’ll probably forgot most of what I read that day. But what does it look like if I invest time in reading my bible? Investing time in reading your bible means to devote your all to reading it. To understand what is being said and then to applying it to your life. There may be verses that you can’t directly apply to your life, but figure out how to take something from it. The bible is God’s knowledge and wisdom, so if you really want a meaningful relationship with him it’s very important to understand it and take something from it! This topic of spending vs. investing time in the bible is talked about in James 1: 22-25. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.” That says it all right there. Spending time in your bible will get you nowhere, but investing time in it will bring freedom and blessings.

 

The next area is prayer. I spend a good deal of time in prayer. I have long prayers in the morning and at night and pray several short prayers throughout the day. The key here though is that time in prayer isn’t the main concern between spending and investing. It’s really easy to wake up and say thanks or to ask God for something. A ton of people do that. But investing time in prayer is taking your prayers to another level. Investing time in your prayers says I’m not going to be cliche and simple with my prayers just so I can say I prayed today. Investing in prayer means that I’m going to really develop a relationship with God and talk to him. I’m going to have a deep, meaningful conversation with God. If I am authentic and put my heart into what I’m praying then God will talk back to me. It seems crazy, but God will talk back to you through showing you different signs and by placing on your heart what his will is. I can tell you it’s a fact, because I have experienced it many times when I am investing my time in prayer. I’ve talked to God about whatever and really let him know what was on my heart and he has shown me the answers. It may not always be the answer I’m looking for, but it’s in my best interest. Investing time in prayer means becoming closer with God and a powerful verse in James 4:8 states, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” That is so reassuring! Invest time with God in prayer and he will invest in you! If there’s one person that I want to invest in me, it’s God! Another aspect to look at this is when we’re tempted with sin. If we invest time in our prayer life and really seek a deeper relationship with God then it’ll be easier for us to avoid these temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “…But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I’ve noticed that when I invest time in prayer with God that he makes a way out of sin very clear to me. He gives us a way out of it, but you have to be in that deep communication to see it!

The third area that can change our relationship with God is our time in worship. I don’t know about you, but I listen to a good deal of Christian music, whether it be from my IPod or the radio. The problem is though, that I spend a lot of time in worship by singing the words to the song, but I don’t invest into my worship. A lot of the songs I listen to have been out for years and I’ve heard them many times so I go through the motions when singing them, because of their familiarity. That’s the problem. I lose sight of the meaning. If I invest time in worship, then I really think about the words and how they glorify God. I really think about how great our God is. I really think about how holy the Lord is, how indescribable he is, how no matter what I can trust in Jesus. When we invest in our worship and really add meaning to the words, we glorify God and are able to recognize all of these things. The songs will sit with us a lot more and take you to a true place of worship. Another component of investing time in worship is taking down any and all barriers and letting your heart go. You may not always remember the words, but let what’s on your heart take over. Let your heart cry out to him. That’ll change your worship in unbelievable ways! The last thing I have on worship is be direct. When a song talks about God, change the words to you glorifying him. For example, one of my favorite songs is Mighty to Save. Be direct in your worship by changing the words from “My God is mighty to save, he is mighty to save” to “My God is mighty to save, you are mighty to save!” This is a personal opinion, but I feel as if it really allows you to open your heart and give yourself to God. When you are worshipping him, don’t just talk about him, but talk to him! Invest yourself into your worship!

Those are the three big areas in our relationship with God that by changing our time from spending to investing could change us for the better and allow us to go to another level with God. Like I said in the opening paragraph, a lot of these are small adjustments, but they will lead to a life that is more filling than any of us can imagine! Invest in God and he will Invest in you!

 

The final thing that I want to leave you with as far as this topic goes, is to apply this tool to every area of your life. Dont’ go through life spending time on whatever it is, but invest your time into and see how much more you get out of life. Invest in your relationships, invest time with your family, invest time at your sport or job or whatever it is. The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. Especially with our relationships that we have with significant others, friends, and family members. Life is short, and as we grow older we’re going to lose people in our lives. Invest time in them now, and make the most of the opportunity that you have. You never know when it’ll be your last.

Who is God and what are his limits?

God. Who is he? What makes him God? What does being God mean? If this is the guy that we’re supposed to put all of our trust, hope, faith and love in shouldn’t we know who he is? Often times our lack of knowledge of who God is, is our biggest obstacle in life. We forget who he really is and that puts doubt in our minds which causes us to stress, worry, sin, and stumble. We tend to forget how big God really is and what he’s capable of. I am guilty of this all the time and so I hope that by going back and really taking a look at God we all can go deeper in our relationship with him.

The dictionary defines God as; “the one supreme being, the creator and ruler of the universe.” This is a very vague definition of who God really is, but it’s a start. So let’s look at the creator part of the definition. God created the earth and everything in it. He created every human, animal, body of water, landform, fruit, vegetable, star, the moon, the sun. You know, all of those things that we take for granted on a daily basis. He created all of it. Now let’s look at this from a larger perspective. Some may not mean much to you, but it’s unbelievable at all that he’s created. God created hundreds of different kinds of bananas, 3000 different types of trees in a square mile in the Amazon. What about all the different languages people speak, all the different kinds of laughs. How about gravity, the thing that keeps us grounded on earth. Or what about how plants defy gravity by drawing water upward from the ground into their stems. Or the fact that we exhale a harmful carbon dioxide and plants turn this into the oxygen that we breathe. These are just a few of the many things he’s created and I’m sure you knew most, but have you ever stepped back to really think about them? How God didn’t have to make all these different things but he did. Like why did God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies? He did this to create a perspective for us. He wanted to show us his glory; how unfathomably big he is and how small we are. He did this to make you think, “man, who do I think I am?” God is so big, his glory can be seen everywhere we look. He is the one supreme being. Before you move on to read the rest I would recommend you step back and really stand in awe of God. No need for words here, just sit in his presence and think about all of the different things he has created that we often take for granted. And don’t just make this a one time thing, do it from time to time to bring yourself back to a place where you remember how big God really is and how blessed we all are.

I said the definition wasn’t complete of who God really is so let’s look even further into God. First off God is holy. So what does that mean? That means that God is set apart, distinct from all of us. And that can’t be changed, otherwise he wouldn’t be God. And because God is set apart from us we can’t even fathom all of who he is. There are no words that can contain him. That is so reassuring and awesome to know that we serve a God that cannot be exaggerated!

The second thing that God is, is he is eternal. Most believe that God is eternal, but what does that really mean, have you ever stepped back to really think about it? Everything we know; ourselves, the earth, everything had a beginning. Everything began at a certain time on a certain time, but God didn’t. This is an impossible concept for us to understand fully because we live within time, but God doesn’t. God lives outside of time. He was around before the earth, before any galaxy, before anything! This shows that it would be crazy for us to put limits on God. We will never truly understand all of who he is, but that’s what makes him so glorious.

God is all-knowing. He knows everything and there’s no escaping. It’s really easy to fool other people about who we are. It’s really easy to hide our thoughts, and keep our actions secretive. It’s impossible to do any of that with God. God knows our every thought, every action before we commit it, every desire. He knows everything.  There’s a few verses in Psalms that really speak of this. Psalm 139: 13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Then later in verses 15 and 16 it says: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  This can be a little intimidating, but at the same time it’s very reassuring. How great of a feeling is it that the same God that created the billions of galaxies, the thousands of different species of trees, the oceans that we haven’t discovered 90% of, takes the time to get to know every little detail about us! He doesn’t have to do this, but he does because he loves us that much! He knows all these things so why not go to him for everything? He already knows what you’re going through when you present it to him and if he takes the time to know you and love you an unfathomable amount why not put our trust in him? If he loves you that much, he won’t let you fall without being there to pick you up and set you in the right direction!

God is all-powerful. There’s a couple verses that really hit on this point to illustrate this characteristic. First Colossians 1:16 tells us that everything was created for God. And Psalm 115:3 states: “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Do we live a life that shows that everything was created for God or do we live with a mindset that God is created for us? To bless us, take care of us, etc.? I’ll be honest there’s times where I have this mindset and I forget the fact that God is all-powerful. Then often times we ask questions like “Why did you make me this way instead of that way? Why did _____ have to die so early when they were such a great person? Why did I get the messed up family I did?” There’s a simple answer that we often forget; because he’s God! He never needs to give an explanation for his actions, he is the one supreme being. As I talked about in an earlier post, this life isn’t about us. It’s about his glory. I am nothing compared to him so I need to always remember that and let God do what he pleases, because he’s the main character!

Finally, God is fair and just. Our definition of justice is “reward and/or penalty as deserved.” What if we got to set the standard? How many different responses would there be to what we deserve? We all think we have an idea of what we deserve, but none of us get to set that standard, because none of us are good. God is the only being that is good, and so he gets to set the standards. God hates sin, therefore he has to punish those guilty of sin. We may disagree with this standard, but it’s typically our reasoning that needs corrected, not his. We often times make excuses for our sins. For example; “Well, yeah I struggle with _______, but everyone struggles with that.” That shows that we don’t really understand God’s total hatred for sin.  That’s just us trying to tell God how much he can hate our sin, but the fact is that he can hate and punish our sin as severely as his justice demands. He never excuses any sin, and he has always been completely consistent with that. If you ever find yourself questioning how much God hates sin, think of the cross where Jesus was punished, mocked, and beaten because of our sin! God hates and must punish sin and he is totally just and fair in doing so.

Hopefully this helped as a reminder of who God really is. This can seem very overwhelming, but it is a great feeling knowing this is who we serve! We serve a God that is limitless! We serve a God that loves us more than we can fathom! We serve a God that is bigger than we can even begin to imagine or fathom! So the next time you face a trial and try to put a limit on God and what he is capable of, take a step back and remember who he is! Set time aside everyday and just sit in awe of God. Worship him for who he is, because he’s the only one deserving of our worship! Knowing who God really is will allow us to have a deeper relationship with him and we’ll be able to see clearer all that he is offering!

Where we screw up the meaning of life

Lately I’ve been reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, which is a great book that I suggest everyone pick up and read. But there’s a section in there about the point of life that really caught my attention and hit close to home. I’m going to give my rendition of what he wrote and add some more application to it.

Often times we worry and stress about things big and small that come up in our lives. We often use these two behaviors to put our knowledge above God’s and try to get through the situation ourselves. We think that our issues are bigger than God and that we have to take the burden of figuring out a solution to get over the issue. But what we’re doing when we let these two behaviors come into our lives is putting limits on God (what I’ll talk about in a later post) and forgetting who he is and what he’s done. Forget that he’s forgiven us, forget that he’s given us a place where nothing bad can happen to us (Heaven), forget that he’s the one that created us and knows everything about us. I don’t know about you but when I read that I’m like wow what kind of stupid person would ever do that?! Wait, I’ve done that many times! I always seem to forget God and think that I’m bigger, but that shows human’s self-centered attitude and forgetting what life is really about.

Here’s an illustration to even better help with this concept:

Suppose you are going to be an extra in an upcoming movie. In the movie, the back of your head can be seen for two-fifths of a second. If we be honest with ourselves, no one will care that they can see the back of your head for two-fifths of a second. I know for me personally, the only person that would care would be Grandma Pierce, but I still can’t explain her thoughts after the last 22 years of life. Somehow though we would make a big deal about this and see ourselves as something bigger than we really are. You can try to say you wouldn’t be like that, but that’s how we as humans are. So how is this like life? Well, we all think of ourselves as being crucial to life and we put so much effort into ourselves and our life. We put our main focus on our own life, but if you look at life we play a two-fifths, back of the head role. First God created the world and everything in it. Last time I checked, none of us were there. He wasn’t talking to us when he said “It is good.” Then people rebel against God and this causes God to flood the earth and cleanse it. Then God puts people in the world like Mary, Joseph, Moses, Paul, Peter, and other ordinary people to do miracles and other works with God’s direction.  Then God sends his son, Jesus, to earth to show people the love and glory of God. Then the people beat him and hang Jesus on the cross and he rises from death to be with God in heaven. I don’t know if you can see where I’m going with this, but there’s a repeating theme here. Right now we’re between the book of Acts where Jesus ascends to heaven, and Revelations where all those that love God and accept God as their savior go to him in heaven where they will worship God. So like I said, we live in the time between Acts and Revelations, and right now is our two-fifths of a second role. The point is, none of us are the main character! God is!

So from this illustration we can see that we have nothing to do with the story of life and our lives are so small that realistically no one will even notice it when you look at the big picture. But still we put our lives and our problems ahead of God. As the extras that no one even notices, we try to put our lives and our small time in front of the main character’s who has always been and always will be. That’s pretty self-centered when you think about it, and well, I’m guilty as can be! So the thing to take from this is no matter how big or small we see our problems, or how good or tough life is right now, it really doesn’t matter. Sorry to be so blunt, but to live God to the fullest we have to realize this.

So what is the point of our life? The point of our life is to glorify God in everything we do. God is the main character so he is the one that needs to be glorified, the one that needs to be worshipped, the one that deserves the spotlight. Live a life that shows the world that you are from him, for him, and all you do is through him!

Starting your day off right

Have you ever wondered why we as humans keep falling into some of the same old traps? Why we continue to sin the same old sins? I don’t know about you, but I have! I do not have all the answers for these questions, but I do have a solution that has worked for me and some others I am close with.

I often meet with Avery Danage, one of the FCA leaders and the main speakers at FCA. Through our meetings, there was a reoccurring theme with me, I was constantly struggling with the same sins. He talked to me about the word “transformation.” The dictionary has the word transformation meaning: A marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better. And my response to that was, well, yeah I’m trying to change, aren’t we all? I know I need to change certain aspects and really want to, but I’m struggling with the how. He pointed me to Romans 12:2 which states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I thought about this verse a lot, and it still comes to mind when I’m deciding whether to do something or not. He then asked me what my morning routine was. It’s changed a little, but usually it’s sleep to the point where I have time to get dressed, eat a quick breakfast, and take off to class to just get there in time so I’m not late. While I’m waiting on my breakfast to cook I usually take a glance at my email, Twitter, Facebook, and Sports Center. As I told him this, the light bulb clicked after I told him the part about my morning social media routine. He challenged me to get up in the morning and instead of spending those 10-15 minutes on social media, spend them in my bible, prayer, and worship. You want to talk about a life-changer; this is one!

Have you ever heard the old saying, “what you put into something is what you’ll get out of it.” That’s true with anything, and especially with our walk with God. So let’s break this down and see if we can figure this out. When you get up, what’s the first thing you read or watch? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc? And don’t get me wrong, I use most of these often, they’re great for many reasons, but when you’re reading these first thing in the morning you’re filling yourself with the world. Often times you see a lot of posts on these that can cause us to stumble. For example, as a guy you can see a lot of pictures of really good looking girls and don’t get me wrong I thank God all the time for the beautiful women he has created, but the way that they are portrayed can cause us to lust. A sin. The same could be said for girls about guys. Or maybe you see these accounts that post pictures of cars or houses or whatever that make us covet. Also a sin. What about all the swearing or negative words that we see on there daily. Do you think that by us looking at this in the morning and filling our brains with it that it may have something to do with the way we act, think, and talk throughout the day? I can tell you personally it does for me, and it just might for you as well.

So here’s my solution to this that I learned from Avery. Get up in the morning and spend 10-15 minutes with God. Whether that be in your bible, in prayer, or worship. Find the time or make the time to be with God so that you can transform your mind. Starting your day in the world will lead to worldly thoughts, actions, and language. But God calls us to live a life that is not of the world, but one that is pleasing to him. (Romans 12:1-2) Spending time in God’s word and praying to him will allow you to see his perfect heart and thoughts. So start your day in a way that connects you with God and see how your day and even life changes. Take note of the way you treat people, the way you perceive things, your mood, your thoughts, actions, and the way you speak. I can tell you that you will definitely have a day that is much more pleasing to God and you won’t fall into the same old traps and commit the same old sins. Not going to say that you’ll never commit these sins again, but you will put yourself in a much better situation and your relationship with God will become a lot stronger! Give it a shot, it may be just what you need to help with a lot of your daily struggles!

 

 

I’m the worst sinner of them all!

One of my favorite verses in the bible is found in 1 Timothy 1:15; “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of them all.” It really resonates with me, because I know I constantly let Jesus down, but he still came here to save people like me from hell and give them an eternal life. It truly is mind-blowing when you think about it. This is the perfect illustration of God’s love and his grace. God sent his only son to earth to be beaten and hung on a cross to save people that constantly fall short of what God asks and expects of us. Personally, I’d have trouble taking a bullet for a friend, but this guy came to die for all people that believe in him. Wow! As I start this ministry  I know that I am going to be under a lot of scrutiny. Too many times I’ve gone against what I say I believe in and live a life full of sin. A life where sometimes I drink too much, or swear, or treat people poorly. I’ve made my mistakes and haven’t been very good with living the life I was called to. I am the worst sinner of them all. And now that I’ve started this ministry I’m going to be under a microscope, you know, one of those that can see even the smallest grain on a surface. People are going to watch my every move, listen to the words I have to say, look for me to trip up. And the thing is, I know I’m going to, because I’m not perfect. I’m still human! I am going to clean my life up though and put all my effort into living the life God calls. The great thing is though, God’s grace is bigger than any of that! He knows our hearts and our thoughts and every action we’re going to make, but he loves us anyway. We all need to remember that in our daily lives. No matter what you do, what you think, what you say…God still loves you. Think of how many people stop being friends with someone or cut off contact because of what someone says or does. We all know plenty of these situations, and you probably have a few yourself, but God isn’t like that. He will always forgive us, even though we don’t deserve it. Even the people that were there the day he died, the ones that beat him, spit on him, cussed at him, denied him…he forgave them and still loves them.

What if our world was like that? What if we could forgive everyone no matter what they do or what they say? What if we loved everyone no matter their background, skin color, religion, beliefs, etc.?  How different would this place be? Try it, why not! We can’t expect the world to change unless we change ourselves! Ask God to help you love like he does, and forgive people when they do wrong to you. See how your life starts to change for the better!

Introduction

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read the about and vision pages on the site and I want to take some time to expand upon these and give my background.

I grew up in a Christian family where I was expected to go to church every Sunday and to youth on Wednesday nights. I had great parents that set an example that I wish every kid could experience. They helped me along my walk with Christ and really pushed me to be a man of God. I am truly grateful for them. As I grew older I started to become less involved in the church and my relationship with God started to fade. I found myself in the party scene as an act to fit in with the guys. I had many drunken nights of bad decisions; pursuing girls, and popularity, and I was going nowhere fast. I was to the point that God wasn’t even a thought of mine and I wouldn’t make an effort to even make him one. That is until God put a guy in my life, Nate Vance, that would turn out to be one of my best friends. Nate asked me to go to bible study one night and I agreed. God immediately took hold of my heart and brought me back to him. I was so convicted the first few times I went to FCA, because I had been doing things I knew I shouldn’t and felt that I really let God down.When I was in that party stage, there was an emptiness inside, something that I would constantly attempt to fill by drinking and chasing girls. No matter what I did, I would still have this empty feeling and couldn’t overcome it. With the help of Nate and the leaders of FCA, God turned my life around and I started heading in a direction with God as the focus. God filled that emptiness I had and soon I was overflowing with God’s love. It’s a really hard feeling to explain, but trust me when I say it’s the best feeling there is. Since this time I’ve had my struggles and I know that I’m going to continue to do so because of man’s sinful nature, but I know there is a God that loves me more than I can imagine that will help me get back on the path. Nate and I started a men’s bible study that grew quickly and has been an unbelievable experience. The entire group has grown so much in their faith and is by far the realest place on campus. I really enjoy teaching people about God and his word, but God told me it was time to be done as a leader and start this ministry. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but was too afraid to do it. But when God says it’s time to do something, I’ve learned that I need to do it because of his perfect intentions and will. I plan on using this ministry to write blogs based off of my readings from the bible and other books, while also adding videos, excerpts from books, and anything I can to help people experience God to the fullest. I want to make everything as relatable as possible and hopefully you’ll get something out of what I have to say.

God bless and stay tuned for another blog!

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