I normally write things in a little notebook of mine to keep to myself, but why not put them on here for the world to see?

 

Jesus, Friendship and Young Life

A little over a year ago I did not know what Young Life was.  If it weren’t for my best friend Zach McCord I still wouldn’t know.  And I would still be lost.

Zach and I became friends in high school when we started spring travel soccer together.  However, as we went through high school we drifted apart because we were rivals on the field, and simply because we didn’t go to school together—I went to Robert C. Byrd High School, and Zach went to Bridgeport High School.  By my senior year, my life was a mess, and our friendship was nonexistent.  Zach, meanwhile, had become very involved in Young Life at BHS.

My senior year, I became a four-sport athlete because I thought I would be more popular.  I was very prideful when it came to sports, or anything else for that matter.  It was because of that pride that I almost died four times that year.  I went to party after party trying to fill a hole that couldn’t be filled with alcohol, and I repeatedly almost killed myself from alcohol poisoning. 

Then came the time to choose a college.  It was April of the year I was graduating and I still had not committed to any college yet to play soccer.  Out of nowhere I got a call from Zach asking if I wanted to go to a small college with him in Ohio to play soccer and be his roommate.  Two weeks later I committed to the school.  Looking back, this is one of the most important decisions I could make. 

During my freshman year of college Zach and I became really good friends.  He had to put up with my partying and coming back to the dorm room late almost every night, but that did not change the way Zach treated me.  He was always there for me, making sure I was okay.  He never condoned my actions but he never condemned me either.

The following summer, I came to Christ at a church camp I go to every summer.  I was sitting there one night, and I felt God pulling on my heart and saying, “Just let go and let Me take control.”  That night I prayed for Him to do just that, as I was tired of trying to do it on my own.  When I got back, I needed to tell someone.  Naturally, I immediately called Zach.  He helped me understand a lot of stuff that I was feeling because he already had a relationship with Jesus.  From that moment on Zach and I have been best friends and my life has looked completely different.

I stopped running to things like sports and partying to fill a hole in my life.  I no longer desired to party, and I knew that life was not found in soccer either.  Instead, I desired to know God more and to live the life that He wants us to live.  Most importantly, I wanted to tell everyone about the Man that changed my life.  That’s when Zach started talking to me about Young Life.

At this point, I wanted to do exactly what Zach had done for me.  At first, I started a Bible study at my college, but eventually I felt led to stop playing soccer and going to school there, and instead complete college online and move home, to see what God had in store for me.  My desire was to reach out to kids at a time in their lives when they are searching, just like I was when I was their age.  I wanted the opportunity to lead kids to Jesus.

A couple of days after Zach had told me about Young Life I found myself in a room full of Young Life leaders in Morgantown and sitting beside Zach.  It was there that I realized Zach had been my Young Life leader even though I didn’t understand what that meant at the time.  He was always there for me and was always trying to lead me to Jesus.

      _______________________________________________________

I am now a Young Life leader at Liberty High School.  I treat my kids at Liberty and Bridgeport the same way Zach treated me.  I may not condone their actions but I do not condemn lost kids either.  I will always be there for them and will be always trying to lead them to Jesus, to a life of fulfillment.  No matter what happens, I am trying to grow in my relationship with Christ and follow Him.

I am thankful for the impact of Young Life in my life, first through Zach, who grew greatly in his faith through Young Life and eventually reached me, and now for giving me purpose and a mission to carry out as I follow Christ.

A Train Wreck in a Cavalier at Midnight

As I lay here in my bed on Christmas Eve I have a massive amount of thoughts running through my head.  It’s not that I am worrying about things but rather I just have a lot on my mind.  You know when you have a lot going on in your life and you keep pushing things aside and try to act like nothing is wrong?  Yeah, If you know me you know I am really good at that.  But the thing with me is that I get to a certain point where all those things I push aside come rushing in all at once and in an instance I am an emotional train wreck.  When I was driving home tonight from work I had a train wreck.  

The thing is, my family has been through a lot in the past couple months.  For the sake of writing (and it being 1 in the morning) I’ll make a long story short: my brother has cancer and is three weeks into chemotherapy.  I know, right?  This is not an easy thing for anyone to handle.  It is especially not easy for my brother because he is only 32 and is only a year and a half into his marriage with his wonderful wife.  However, if you were to talk to my brother today you would have absolutely no idea that he has cancer (other than the fact that he looks like Mr. Clean).  This is where the story becomes a little more unique.  

When my brother was diagnosed with cancer I knew it was going to test his, as well as everyone else’s, faith in God.  And it definitely has.  I go through spurts where I get worried and break down and I know everyone else in my family is as well.  But the one that should be worried isn’t.  I have not seen a single bit of doubt or worry come from my brother.  He has been nothing but joyful throughout this whole situation.  In a worldly sense this doesn’t make any sense.  But when you are around him you realize that he has something else with him.  He is not just relying on chemo to get rid of his cancer.  He is not relying completely on his wife and the rest of us to keep his spirits up.  He is not saying, “Woe is me!”  Instead, he is focusing on God and relying on Him to provide his daily bread.  He is relying on God because he knows God is the only One who can fulfill his needs completely. 

There is no doubt in my mind that my brother is a Christian.  I don’t know when he became a Christian or how, or really anything about him coming to know God, but I do know one thing: he is taking his faith in Christ seriously.  I am not saying this because he has been praying more, going to church more, serving at the Mission more, or reading his Bible more.  I am saying this because his life has been changed.  Bad news has been dropped on his lap time and time again, and he should not be happy.  But he is.  He has taken Jesus’ words seriously when He said, “Come, follow me.”  His life does not look that same as it used to.  His perspective on life is different.  He has a genuine love for God.  When he should be having an emotional train wreck he is texting me at 1 in the morning to talk about Scripture he is reading.

When I see my brother like this it is hard for me to admit that I had a train wreck of emotions tonight while driving home from work.  Although, this was a good train wreck.  This song came on called, “All the Faint Lights.”  It’s not a worship song but I’m pretty sure Steve Moakler, the artist, is a Christian.  Regardless, one line in his song struck me and I became very emotional.  The verse said, “I want to hear you call my name and not look back.”  This verse brought me back to the place where I first called out to God for help.  The place where I placed my faith into Jesus Christ.  The place where my life changed forever.  The place where I surrendered my life to God…for eternity.  

You see, I know my brother understands this concept.  I know a lot of people who do.  I also know a lot of people who don’t.  The important thing is this: God is saying to each one of us, “I want to hear you call my name and not look back.”  God desires for all of us to come to Him and not look back.  Some of you may not understand that.  You may say that God doesn’t want you or that you are too bad for God.  Whatever excuse you have does not and will not ever work.  God is calling out to you out of love for you.  You may not hear Him because you have earplugs in, though.  He knows what is best for you because He made you.  You don’t have to fix yourself before you come to Him.  God specializes in making straight lines out of crooked sticks!  I pray that you unplug your ears this Christmas and listen for God.  I pray that you realize that there is a God who loves you and longs for you to call out to Him.  His name is Emmanuel, or “God with us.”  He is with us, are you with Him?

Don’t Wish Your Life Away

As I was waiting to board my flight home from Seattle I thought to myself that it would be awesome to just go to sleep and wake up at home in my bed.  I just didn’t want to deal with all of the traveling and the fact that I missed all of my friends from Malibu.  But the longer I thought about it the more I realized that I wasn’t thinking the right way.  We tend to look at our lives this way a lot of the time.  We wish so often that we could fall asleep one night and wake up to a wife and kids and a secure job with a nice house.  We are looking to another stage in our life and wishing it was here now instead of focusing on the journey leading up to that stage.

If that way of thinking was the right way then God wouldn’t have made the earth.  We would just wake up in Paradise.  Instead, God created everything the way He did so that we can live an awesome life now, as well as looking forward to Heaven.  God wants us to enjoy our lives now, to enjoy our journey to eternity, by living our lives for Him now.

When we give our lives to Christ we see things through a different perspective.  We look at creation in awe (Romans 1:20).  We begin to understand that God has given us this life to experience His goodness and walk with Him in it (Ephesians 2:10).  We finally see that full life, life with a meaning and purpose, is found in Christ (John 10:10).  When we wish our lives away we are missing out on some amazing things God has planned for us today.

If I were to fall asleep and wake up at home right now I would miss out on some amazing sights.  I would miss out on seeing snow capped mountains from a different perspective.  I would be missing out on seeing God’s creation, things God has created to display His divine nature and eternal power, that He has strategically placed to amaze me.  I would miss out on a full journey across the United States.  I don’t know about you but thats not something I want to miss out on!

I believe that God wants us to wake up and open our eyes to see His goodness and see the things He has created for us.  Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad to wish we could wake up in Heaven.  But the difference is knowing where you are headed and enjoying your trip on the way.

My dad has always told me to not wish my life away because before I know it it’ll be gone.  It makes so much sense now that I’m older because it feels like just yesterday I was in high school playing sports and being the class clown.  But the past two years of my life with Christ make up for the time i’ve wished away.  I mean I just got back from one of the most beautiful places on earth!

My heavenly Father tells me every day with the sunrise to not wish my life away. He tells me to wake up and open my eyes to see His beauty and to take His hand to experience real life.

Unity, Humility, Selflessness

This is a prayer that I took from a book that I am currently reading called, “Living Out the Mind of Christ” by Dr. Ben Gutierrez.  I believe it is a prayer that I believe every disciple of Christ should pray.  It is based on Philippians 2:2-5. 

"Lord,

I love You and I long to bring honor and glory to Your Name.  I have recently learned how practical the Mind of Christ is and have been encouraged to live it out in every area of my life.  I long to commune with You every day to make sure that I maintain this three-fold heart attitude.

Now, give me the wisdom and strength to obey.

I desire to live a biblically unified life - to the people with whom I have once been distant and impersonal.  Help me love them as You have loved me.

I desire to live a biblically humble life - to promote Your glory and Your Name.  Help me see Your world as You see it - as people whom You love, and for whom You died, and desire an intimate relationship with.

I desire to live a biblically selfless life - to be ever looking for those who need my prayers, support, love, and friendship.  Please bring to me opportunities that will afford me the privilege of offering my support and prayers to people.  I want nothing more than for You, through me, to bring comfort and provide support and provision in their time of need.

In making this request, I know the Evil One would not want me to live out the Mind of Christ and will attempt to persuade me to believe that it is foolish and futile to live according to the Mind of Christ.  Help me not to listen to the Evil One’s lies and deception, but to know that You have blessed Your Word, that You are more powerful than all, and that YOU will be honored, praised, and glorifies through me and my commitment to follow Your Word.

Thank You for allowing me to exhibit to the world Your very character and heartbeat for your people!  Right now, I commit my life to living out the Mind of Christ.

Thank You.  I love You.

Amen.”

Putting on Christ

As I have been enjoying my third year of college I have also been enjoying God working in my life.  As said in previous posts, I have been involved in Cru and I lead a Bible study once a week.  These two things have been a huge help for me to stay in fellowship and not fall.  But this year has been a little bit different.  It has seemed like I have been getting a little more out of each thing which is awesome.  Along with Cru and my Bible study I got involved in a weekly meeting called Men’s Time which is sort of a Bible study but a little different.  I am telling you these things to kind of get a perspective of what I am doing in college so that; if you’re reading this and you’re in high school you can know what to get involved in, or if you’re in college you can see that you can have time if you make time for the important things (Jesus things). 

This recap is what leads me to a couple of weeks ago as I was reading a book titled “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream.”  If you haven’t read it or heard of it go to amazon.com right now a buy it.  You won’t be disappointed.  But anyway, I’m reading this book and it is just consistently giving me reality checks about my life.  The book was making me ask myself if I was really living the kind of life God has called me to.  At the time I didn’t like that the book was making me do that until I realized that that is a good thing to do: take a step back, review your life up-to-date, and see if you really are living the life God called you to live.  This book kept giving me challenges and I was loving it.  I starting praying more and really seeking God.  It’s crazy what happens when you put a lot of focus and prayer and seeking God.

As I’m continuing to pray and seek Him more I feel God telling me to do something a little different that might make people ask some questions.  He was telling me to get baptized.  Some may wonder why it would make people ask questions but here’s why.  I had already been baptized when I was 9 or 10.  “Get baptized again? God you’re crazy” I said.  But the important thing is is that I didn’t completely ignore His voice.  I started doing a little Bible research to see if it was okay to get baptized again.  Much to my surprise, there’s not a single word against it.  So then I asked God why.  He said “Read my Words.”  So I did read over the same stuff I read before and started realizing the importance of baptism and how it relates to the forgiveness of sin.  Peters words in Acts 2:38 jumped out at me. 

“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Repent, turn to God, be baptized, then receive the Holy Spirit.  I never realized that.  I was just ignorant about baptism but God was revealing His Word to me to get better understanding.  So I kept praying about it and then started seeking some council about it.  I asked Christian friends and leaders their opinions to make sure I wasn’t crazy.  Turns out I am crazy but not because of wanting to get baptized again! I then realized that I needed to be obedient and get baptized.  It turned out that my home church was having a baptism weekend during all their services.  And I randomly got an e-mail from Elevation Church, a church in South Carolina that I never gave my information to, about baptism. So then I was like, “Alright God, I know you’ve got my back on this one.  You’re opening the door right up for me.” Coincidence, huh?  Not a chance.

So I signed up for baptism.  After I signed up I found out that one of my best friends was getting baptized too.  Another coincidence?  Nope.  Oh, and did I mention that it happened to be a weekend that neither my brother nor dad went away to hunt?  Keep counting the coincidences.  And I could choose which service to get baptized so my mom could come before her church service.  Crazy amount of coincidences now.  If you can’t tell I don’t believe in coincidences you need to check your sarcasm detector because it might be a few clicks off. 

The weekend is now here and I’m ready to get baptized.  I keep reading more and more scripture to back up what I’m about to do.  I arrive at church on Sunday morning with my whole family and my friend.  Meanwhile my best friend Zach is rocking out on the stage on his guitar.  As the music is playing I couldn’t even sing alone the whole time because I was so emotional.  All I could think about was getting baptized, getting my sins washed away, putting on Christ, and declaring to the public that I was going to live my life for Jesus.  Pastor Aaron gave and awesome message about Grace.  Now the time was here. Baptism in t-1 minute.  I walk up to the baptism pool as nervous as could be.  I take my socks off and step in the water.  Pastor Terry and Pastor Chip are talking but I can’t really hear them over my own prayers.  What happens next I will never ever forget.  I hold my nose and am guided backwards by their hands into the water.  When I entered the water I entered into death with Jesus.  Then they pull me back out of the water, entering into life with Jesus.  I had “put on Christ, like putting on new clothes,” Galatians 3:27.  When I came out of the water I through up my hands as someone would when your team scores a touchdown, although I had just done something eternally greater than a touchdown.  I through up my hands because of victory in Christ.  I had my sins washed away and received the Holy Spirit, why would I not throw up my hands in victory???

Then I look out at my family in the crowd and see my dad in tears.  My dad.  The macho man of the family that hides his emotions. Seeing this let me know that there was more to my baptism than just for myself.  My dad came to church because I was getting baptized if I wasn’t getting baptized the chances of him coming would’ve been slim.  What I’m trying to say is that when God calls you to do something that might seem a little weird to you could end up being a blessing for someone else.  My dad doesn’t go to church much but I know he was there when I got baptized and I know God touched his heart in some way.  I am so thankful that God keeps using me to reach out to my dad.  And I know that sooner or later my dad will realize what God is trying to do and he will repent, turn to God, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit!!!!!!!!!

I will remember this day for the rest of my life, maybe even eternity.

JBC ‘11 

Judson Baptist Camp 2011….. I can’t even figure out how to start out this blog about such an amazing place that very few have ever even heard about.  It may not be the most elegant place, it may not have air conditioning in the boys cabin, it may not have the cleanest water, but it is for sure one of my most favorite places to spend a week on this earth.  I honestly can’t think of another place that I have so much fun in a week, not just any kind of fun, but the best kind of fun.  It’s in the middle of nowhere an hour past Buckhannon, WV in a valley with no cell phone service.  Talk about isolation.  But I have continuously gone there for the past 16 years of my life.  It is the place that I talked about in my testimony blog.  It is the place that I gave my life to Jesus last summer.  This place is also where God revealed His plan for my future.

As I said in my testimony post, I was given the opportunity to speak on Monday night during our campfire sermon.  Leading up to this moment was a nerve wracking time span.  I was nervous because it was going to be the first opportunity that I would have to give a sermon in front of a ton of people.  I was also nervous because it was going to be in front of people that I knew and have known for a while, as well as them knowing my past.  The most nerve wracking part was knowing that my family was going to be there, including my father.  My dad isn’t much of a church goer so I was really excited/nervous that he was going to come.  The reason I was nervous to speak in front of all of these people is because I kept thinking, “what I say to these people could have a huge effect on the way they live their life, I could be the reason my dad starts going to church regularly or pushes him further away.”  I was a nervous wreck all day Monday.  But then I got to thinking that that was the devils way to try to get me off track.  He was putting those thoughts in my head to get my focus off of the big picture, the topic that I was going to speak about, “Making God the Center of Your Life.”  I turned my trust away from God and put the trust on myself.  But I came to realize that I’m not even the one that’s going to be speaking to these 250+ campers and staff.  It’s going to be God speaking THROUGH me.  When I realized this I started praying and thanking God that He was going to be using me as a tool that night to witness to a ton of people.  My prayer finished and I was a calm as the water in a lake.  God gave me comfort immediately.  God was teaching me humility and trust.

My sermon ended up going great!  During the sermon God revealed to me that He wants me to keep preaching in the future, so that’s exciting.  One young man gave his life to Jesus and a couple rededicated their lives to Him that night.  I know that it wasn’t because of the things I said but instead it was the words God spoke through me. I didn’t get to speak to my dad afterwards but I know that God touched his heart because my mom said tears were pouring down his face and eventually things will start to click for him.  But that was just the beginning.

I also had the opportunity to speak to all of the teenagers on Thursday during chapel.  This sermon was unique in a way that it felt like I was talking to each of them individually.  I can’t explain how awesome that sermon was for me as well as the experience.  There was no way to deny the fact that God is wanting me to preach for the rest of my life.

As the week went on we learned about so much.  The theme for this year was “What on Earth am I here For?”  We learned that we are to be sowers of His Word.  We are here to please God by witnessing to others.  We are here to glorify God by making Him the center of our lives.  We are here to be a Light in this dark world.  We are here to be examples by our words and actions.  We are here to trust Him.  We are here to LOVE Him and reflect his love to others.  Along with many many many other reasons.  There is no possible way to try to explain every single day in this blog.  I already tried and only wrote about Monday when I realized it was wayyyyyyy too long and too self-centered. 

But altogether it was probably the best year of camp for me out of 16 years.  The reason; I didn’t go in expecting to get my life back of track, I went in expecting to help others get their lives back on track and how to secure that change.  It’s crazy how God will use you when you take the light off of yourself.  When you focus more on others and God rather than yourself, God is pleased.  I have deleted this blog two times tonight because I wrote too much about what I did at camp, instead of what God did at camp.  Being humble is something that you have to constantly look at and asses.  It is easy to get caught up in yourself when your doing God’s work.  You start to think that your the one that had an awesome sermon because that’s what people tell you.  But it is very important for us to keep the focus on God and know that without Him, we are nothing. 

What God taught me this past week has been huge for me now that I figured it out.  I figured some more out during that last paragraph I just wrote.  Crazy how God works, huh?  God taught me that with speaking in front of people comes great responsibility and humility.  Preparation and reflection is required also. 

Preparation because I can’t just stand up in front of people and expect God to just start moving my jaw up and down and speaking through me.  No, I needed to prepare so I could have confidence in what God was having me say.  Like I said in my sermon on Monday, we must walk hand-in-hand with God, we can’t just sit back and expect things to happen. 

Reflection because people are going to tell me I did a great job but it’s up to me to reflect those compliments to God.  It may not make sense to you but it doesn’t have to haha.  I am simply just putting “My Random Thoughts in Writing” so that I don’t forget.

I tell you these things to hopefully help you out as well.  I know there will be at least one person that this blog will truly inspire them.  Better one than none.  But for others you may not see an immediate effect from this but I pray that you do see an effect sooner or later.  I will be posting my sermons on here eventually as well as other sermons preached at camp. So stay tuned because your life could change.

My advice to you though, get the information on this camp for next year and don’t miss out on all the fun and have to read about it in a blog!!!!

My Testimony finally written out.

This is my testimony of how God has changed and is still changing my life.

When I was little I was always going to church. I attended Rynoldsville Baptist Church for a while with my mom and her friend Julie. This church is the church that got me involved in Judson Baptist Camp which I still attend (going on 15 or 16 years.) I don’t remember details of my childhood but when I was in elementary school (I think) my mom, my brother and I changed to Clarksburg Baptist Church. My first visit there I ended up getting chicken pocks that night. Not saying that the church was why I got it but its just the first memory I have about the church.

I continued going to Clarksburg Baptist all through middle school, high school and into my first year of college. The summer following my first year of college is when God changed my life drastically so that’s why the timeline ended there but I will get to “why?” in just a minute.

I got saved when I was 8 years old at Judson Baptist Camp following a sermon preached by Rodney Sandy. I loved listening to that man. But when I look back on that time now I ask myself, “Did I truly mean that I wanted to be saved or was I using it as a get out of Hell free card?” I can answer that question now as a no.

When I got to high school the normal things a high schooler is introduced to was introduced to me, mainly in the form of alcohol. By my senior year I was letting it consume my life, as well as affecting the people closest to me. To give you a short explanation of alcohol in my life, I can’t even count how many times I’ve been blackout drunk (passed out or puking). But at the time I thought it was the cool thing to do. I was popular and meeting new people all the time, mainly meeting new people because I would forget about meeting them when I was drunk. It wasn’t until the third or fourth time waking up in a pile of my own puke that I don’t even remember puking up, the summer following my first year of college that God pointed it out to me that my life was a mess.

I had hurt so many people close to me because of the way I had acted. I had made my parents worry constantly, I was going to transfer schools because I wanted to party more, and worst of all I had pushed people away from Christ because I claimed to be a Christian but kept living in sin. 1 John 1:6-7 says, “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all sin.” I was lying to myself, to other people, and to God.

But even after God revealed this to me I continued to drink. I ended up going to Philadelphia to watch Manchester United play and drank basically the whole time I was there. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I didn’t have a good time. But four days after this game was church camp…

I had always looked at camp as my time to fix my life and get it back on track. I had been looking forward to camp that year, especially after I had witnessed God trying to point out my wrongdoings. Well that year at camp, which was last year, has changed my life completely.

On Monday night of camp after vespers, which is a sermon preached around campfire (awesomeness) I sat there on the bench while the other campers poured out of the vesper circle and pondered my life. God was speaking to me but I couldn’t understand His voice. Then one of my counselors came up to me and started talking to me. I now recognize that was God telling me straight up, through Phil Lantz, what He was trying to tell me. Phil said, “How long is it going to take you to finally figure this out? You come back every year with the same problems, YOU are never going to figure it out! Only God can change you, so let Him in!” (It wasn’t said in a mean sense but I was definitely being confronted.) Right then and there I gave my life up to Christ completely because it finally hit me, that I alone was trying to fix the problem instead of seeking God FIRST!

The rest of the week seemed like every little thing made sense. Basically, everything I had been worrying about, such as my past sins, present actions, and future consequences faded away by different scripture that was revealed to me through sermons preached or friends just sharing scripture with me. 1 Corinthians 10:13 was the biggest help. Paul writes, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful, He will not allow temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” This gave me faith to know that no matter what, God has my back and will help me with temptation, which was my biggest problem. Then for the first time in my life, I actually sat down and read my Bible expecting to understand it.

So camp finished and I wasn’t ready to get back in to the real world with the problems and everything. But I knew I needed to make changes in my every day life in order to continue the changes that God was making in my heart. So i looked towards my best friend, roommate, and spiritual mentor, Zach Mccord. He introduced me to a bible study once a week that he and his friend Jacob Nixon went to and also the church that they both went to. These two little but actually huge changes I made have been the biggest help. I needed a change in scenery along with a change of heart.

Since I have made these changes I have had such a better life. I (try) to seek God first in everything that I do. Now I’m not saying that by the snap of my fingers my life was changed. It was a very difficult time in my life when I was making these changes, I lost a lot of friends, I put my parents in financial trouble, and was criticized for what I was doing. I was simply seeking a relationship with Jesus and I knew there would be worldly consequences but Jesus did warn us about the world hating Christians like they hated Him.

But because of me seeking God first things are happening to me that I never imagined would; I am now part of Campus Crusade for Christ, called Cru, on my campus (was kind of a loner my first year), I started up a weekly bible study for athletes on my campus which God uses me to lead through (used to be scared to be a leader), I got to share this story that your reading at Cru in front of about 30 college students (I used to be terrified in front of people), I have read a handful of books by the likes of Louie Giglio, Fancis Chan, Joshua Harris and Donald Miller (never read books before), I have been sober for a year as of tonight, and most importantly I have been given the opportunity to speak two times at church camp this coming week. I am not boasting about my own personal accomplishments, I am praising God’s work in my life and thanking him for transforming me into the Christian I am today.

My purpose for sharing my testimony is to show you that when you truly let God take control of your life, your life is most likely going to change like crazy. You will start doing things you would never ever imagine yourself doing. The reason, in my opinion, you start doing things differently and seeing things differently and understanding things differently is because you have something not everybody has. You have the Holy Spirit and start seeing things through an eternal perspective rather than a worldly perspective (explaining is a whole new blog in itself). If you believe what I’m saying then start rebelling. Don’t conform to this world. Don’t act like everyone else that is of this world. Pick up your Bible, talk to someone random about God. You’re not called to live comfortably. Show the Love of Christ to everyone you encounter and in everything you do.

Be a rebel.

Laziness

For the past couple of weeks God has been changing my heart and pointing out different idols in my life.  While these changes were happening I could have done one or two things; 1.) Listened and trusted God or 2.) Listened but not trust that God’s plan is greater than my feelings.  Needless to say I did the latter at first.  I knew what God was telling me to take care of in my life but I only chose to listen to bits and pieces. 

God, I thought, revealed to me that I was spending too much time playing Xbox rather than reading books or enjoying fellowship of other Christians.  To explain how much Xbox I was playing in words that most people will understand… I played a lot of Xbox.  Around two or three hours a day, sometimes more than that in a day.  God told me that was an area of my life that needed changed. So instead of trying to figure out how to change it on my own I went to the Lord in prayer the next morning and asked, “What can I do today to glorify You the most?”

I ended up spending the whole day laying around doing nothing. At the end of the day I realized that it wasn’t the Xbox that was distancing me from God, it was my laziness.

What I’m trying to get at with this post is that when things aren’t going the way we want them to and God reveals that things need to change we tend to look elsewhere to find the problem.  I can say from experience that most of the time the problem is us.  We are corrupt human beings by nature, so why would we not just assume that we are the problem?  Our natural reaction is to blame other things or other people when it’s almost always our own fault.  My Xbox wasn’t the problem, my laziness was.  But in order to recognize which was the problem I needed to listen to God and trust that He would reveal the problem to me. 

I now use my time throughout the day to read or listen to pod cast’s that will help gain knowledge and wisdom that I can, in turn, share with others.

I encourage you to sit down and pray that God will reveal areas in your life that need to be changed in order for you to glorify Him more.  You never know what He’ll reveal but you need to listen and trust Him because His Way is far better than our way.