What Not to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Life has a way of going a certain way. Sometimes it makes you happy, sometimes sad, sometimes you’re angry, sometimes you’re rejoicing. But no matter what, life always goes a certain way. Believe what you may, that it’s destiny, or fate, or you can believe what I believe, that is, God is sovereign over all things and truly does make it all work out for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). I can’t go into detail every time I decide to write a blog post, not because I am embarrassed or because I am too prideful to share, but rather because I know that I am called to build people up; sometimes full disclosure doesn’t build anyone up, rather it distorts and destroys what should be used for good. Within this post, I’d like to help anyone that might not know exactly the next steps he or she might want to take, what EXACTLY they ought not to do. There’s a wise Romanian proverb that translates to this: “A smart person learns from the mistakes of others, a fool doesn’t even learn from his own.” Basically, whenever someone sets a bad example, take that as a LEARNING moment in life. Remember what went wrong and do the right thing.

I want to open up a little bit so that if even one person reads these words and can use them to grow and be encouraged, then I’ve done my job. If you are easily convicted by stronger language, then maybe stop reading the post because I am going to get a little gritty and real for the sake of those who think the church is made up of nothing but healthy, super spiritual, GOD-IS-GOOD-ALL-THE-TIME-type Christians… because it isn’t. It’s made up of spiritually dead sinners who have been saved and brought to life by Jesus Christ, who still struggle and fight daily to overcome he who is in the world because the One within is greater and stronger. The purpose of this blog post is to encourage anyone that might find themselves in a similar situation and hopefully give them a slight focus on the light at the end of the tunnel that is seemingly nonexistent. This post IS NOT for the sake of giving haters ammo to use against me and to disqualify me from God’s calling upon my life. I already know I am unqualified for whatever God is calling me to; but that’s the beauty, just like Steven Furtick says, “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” Whether or not you like him doesn’t matter. This truth is beautiful and freeing.

The last few months haven’t been exactly peachy keen. In fact, they have been downright awful. Now if you’ll permit me to be frank and honest with you, they actually have been simply sh**tty. I can look back and point to at least a few of the terrible mistakes I made and can only advise you and hope you don’t make these choices yourself. It isn’t easy to pick yourself up once you’ve fallen down, and unfortunately a lot of times, when others find out, either they keep us down because they don’t want us to get back up. But sometimes, it’s even worse than that…we simply don’t allow them to help us back up, even when they try.

The first of many of my mistakes was that I cut out my closest friendships in a time that I needed the most closeness. The Bible speaks of friendship all over, however in Proverbs 18:24, 13:20, 27:17, and 17:17, we can get a clear understanding of the purpose of friendship and the ways in which it influences us. During a time that I wasn’t too sure which direction was up and which was down, I could’ve really used the guiding voice of my friends and mentors who have always been there for me during the good times. If they were with me in the good, surely they could’ve reminded me what it was like while I sat and basked in the bad. Most people have others they run at the first break of good news. Most people also have those they need to confide in with the ugliest parts of themselves, without feeling judged or hated. 1) Be a good friend to those in struggling times and don’t push them away because of the pain or suffering or poor choices they’ve made in a difficult time. 2) Don’t ever cut your closest people out; that’s a sure way to start on a dark road that’s headed nowhere fast.

Second, I cut out my God time. I don’t know about any of you all, but when I am doing great in life, I enjoy my time with God. Maybe I feel more connected because of my surrounding experiences, which I know and understand shouldn’t be the primary reason for my joy…but I’m human. I’m still learning how to do this thing we call life. Especially when you’re doing life with God, you don’t have it all figured out. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of crap. There is no formula to this life, but there are some key elements that can help you move forward better. These being prayer, the Bible, and fasting. Because I was so blinded my my anger towards God, I couldn’t connect with him, even after waking up morning after morning to get on my knees and beg him to answer me with tears in my eyes, sorrow in my heart, and heavy burden upon my shoulders. So what was my solution? I decided to cut him out completely. This was easily one of the most stupid, foolish, and irresponsible decisions.

Third, I cut out church. Yes, the church isn’t just some building or location for worship, it’s the living body of Jesus Christ that we have been grafted into. However, there is a physical church I attend (as should all believers do), and in this time period, I just stopped. I got mad at God and decided that maybe it was because of the church. I made nothing but sorry and pitiful excuses as to why maybe the church had some role in this season of my life. Thoughts were rushing in and out of my head, “oh they’re too … or too …”, “maybe if XYZ didn’t … so much, maybe I’d actually enjoy being here”, “I can’t stand that … does that like this”, and so on. This is just evil. There is no place for bitching and criticizing other believers in such a spiteful and ugly manner. It’s so easy to point fingers when you aren’t doing anything yourself, not to mention, when you don’t do ANYTHING, none of the blame goes to you because you’re in the lazy safe zone. That’s where I entered for a period of time… and I’m supposed to be on the board of youth leadership right? Church cannot and should not get cut out from out lives. I feel something deeply wrong whenever I don’t attend even one or two services back to back. I can feel the fellowship draining from my reserve tank and the accountability slowly fade. How much more is this true for those who stop going altogether and simply grow numb to whatever conviction used to be there?

Fourth, I stopped being self-aware and became self-critical. One is healthy and one is absolutely destructive. This is one of the most important things to realize as a Christian. A very dear professor and woman of God said that one of the most important things she would advise any believer is this: “Always be self-aware.” It sounds so simple, yet it really isn’t. Being self aware doesn’t just mean to understand the location of where you are at the moment in time you’re there. Rather it means that you understand yourself. You understand when you are tired and need a break, whether it’s from school, ministry, family, friends, your job, a combination, etc. It means you know what your strengths are and focus on those, while also understanding your weaknesses and struggles so you could better yourself. It means knowing when you have to open up to others and bring people alongside you in difficult moments instead of shutting them out. It means understanding that you DON’T know everything and that you could really benefit from others’ help. It means that you can go out and seek counseling or therapy when you’re losing it. It means you are able to identify the triggers that set you off and the ones that motivate you. It means knowing your “love language” and how you best communicate your feelings to others. It means all of this and so much more. Be self-aware.

So what? Right? No one ever wakes up one morning and thinks “oh hey, I want to cross the bridge from ‘doing great’ to ‘absolute friggin’ disaster’. I thought maybe I need to try things on my own for a little bit. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Life never got so dark so fast EVER before. And the truth is, I can’t pinpoint exactly one wrong choice that brought me to this place, rather I think it was a combination of several of these different choices. However, I can tell you that because of these decisions, I faced a darkness and depression that I had never faced before. That grey cloud hanging over my head just wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t pray it away, I couldn’t wish it away, I couldn’t talk it away, I couldn’t. But God could and God did. But it required some serious effort on my end. I finally decided that I needed help, that I needed community and people, that I needed my church, that I needed my pastors and mentors, that needed to be open and honest, AND YES THAT I NEEDED TO GO BACK TO COUNSELING AND GET SOME THERAPY. There is no shame in any of this. I think it’s important to be able to open up your heart to someone in a safe place where you know there is no judgement and confidentiality and support is at the pinnacle of the session.

I thank God for this dark valley that he let me go through. Although I felt alone through it all, he was right there, every step of the way, cheering me on and rooting for me to make it just over to the other side. Little did I know of the blessings and victory that would lie before my eyes once reaching the end of it. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12-13, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” The fact of the matter is that we all need Jesus because we are sick and need his healing and salvation every single day. If you are not sick or in need of healing or salvation, then I guess you probably don’t need Jesus… and that’s the worst place to be in. Check yourself, check your heart, your mind, your desires, and refocus yourself. Don’t let the enemy keep you down and beat you any longer. Stand back up and take what’s given to you by Christ, freedom and grace.

I hope this post encouraged you, I really do. If it did, please let me know. If it didn’t, I’m sorry, maybe it wasn’t for you. If it offended you, good; I hope this is the first of many challenging posts you read from me. God bless you all and I look forward to this next season of life.

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Faith Known In All The World

I started reading the book of Romans again today and I came across something small, yet so big. If you read chapter 1 it’s so easy to just pass over this significant (or at least to me it is) verse without realizing. In 1:8, Paul says:

“First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

So what’s the big deal? This is: That these Romans had such a faith, that they were being talked about throughout the world. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really think my faith is being talked about throughout the whole world. That’s a very big and powerful statement.

There are many people in the scriptures who had great faith, Hebrew 11 is an awesome read about faith! But today I want to encourage each and every one you as well as myself to have a greater faith, to walk more by faith, to trust God more in faith, to bless others in faith, and everything else we do, to do in greater faith. Knowing that if we do something, we are doing it with a confidence in the Lord that He is leading, that He will take care of what lies ahead, that He will provide, that He will replenish the blessings we shower on others in greater measures, and so on!

All this being said, it’s great to hear about big faith. It’s tickling to the ear to hear that God will provide and that He will take care. Then why is it so hard to live by faith? Because often times we are bubble Christians. We live in a comfortable bubble that revolves around ourselves instead of Christ. (What I am describing next is not all Christians, just a vast majority in modern day America, and possibly other first world countries) A bubble that revolves around our schedule and what we want. A bubble in which we go to work, school, spend time with our family, and everything is nice and dandy. We know when the next paycheck is coming. We know that when we go to work or school, we are going to see the same people we see each day and they won’t be interested in hearing about Christ, because we never do anything to reflect Christ, and we are scared or nervous about what to say or do. We come home to our family and even more so are comfortable at home, so comfortable, that a whole other side of our character is visible. We raise our voice, make rude remarks, get lazy about chores and helping around the house, and so on.

So let’s pop this bubble! The only way to pop it, is to realize that this bubble that revolves around us, needs to go away and we need to center our lives around Jesus. When we do this, Jesus shows us how to use our time. He convicts us of where we must invest more or less time. Jesus will reveal himself more and more to our hearts and we will know how to speak with people at work or school. He will help us understand what we must do to live out the Gospel. He will give us wisdom to speak to our wife or husband. He will help us become a better brother or sister, son or daughter, father or mother. When we give it all to Him, every aspect of our life, and let it revolve around His desires for us, that’s when we begin living by faith!

I hope todays post encouraged you as it did me. May God continue blessing each one of us according to His perfect will for our lives! Please continue praying for the rehab center we have here in Austria. We have need finances to pay off the van we have for the center, the heating system, and now especially since winter is approaching, we must get wood from somewhere to burn for our heating! Thank you for reading. Feel free to share and encourage someone else with this post.

Against All Odds

Today I read something so encouraging that I had to share it with you all! I was reading from the book of Acts and I just read about how Apostal Paul just pleaded his case before Agrippa in and now had been on his way to Rome to plead his case before Caeser in chapter 26. In chapter 28, he was on his way as a prisoner on a ship and many difficulties arose. Storms arose and many feared death, but Paul told them that an angel of God came told him to not be afraid because he had to stand before Caeser and that God has granted everyone on bord with Paul safety! Later on in the chapter, we come across the following verses:

“The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn’t swim ashore and escape. But the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul, so he didn’t let them carry out their plan. Then he ordered all who could swim to jump overboard first and make for land.”‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭27:42-43‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This is where I get to the encouraging part! So Paul was on board as a prisoner. Being that he was a prisoner in chains, meant that the Roman soldiers were not on his side. Technically they were opposed to him.

Many times in life, as Christians, we find ourselves in situations where we feel like there is no help. We feel like all the odds are against us or that theres no way we can escape this problem or circumstance. Even if we are in a situation facing death, as Paul was, we have a hope! 

The soldiers wanted to kill all the prisoners so that they would not escape if the ship was wrecked. According to man, Paul and the other prisoners should have been killed. But God turned the situation around in Pauls favor! An angel of God spoke to him and told him that he would live and he was going to stand before Caeser. 

God fulfilled what He spoke through the angel, by softening the commanding officers heart towards Paul. He had something in his heart for Paul and did not want this plan to come to fulfillment, so he stopped it and Apostal Paul and the rest were spared and lived!

We need to have this confidence, that nothing can stop us or prevent us from fulfilling God’s plan in our life! Even if the situations we face seem impossible to overcome, if we stand up against only people that are opposed to us, if the odds are stacked against us, we need to not fear! God has a plan, and only when that plan comes to fulfillment will we be taken home. Until then we have nothing to fear! 

I believe God put this on my heart and revealed it to me in this was because in times like we have today, too many people are scared to do anything for God or step out of their comfort zone. They’re scared of making mistakes, people hating them, not doing what people like, sometimes even for fear of death. But this passage really helps us to understand, that if we are living for God, no matter what we face, God can and will come through for us to make the impossible possible, the big to be small, the complex to be simple, and even the enemy to become our friend.

Do not fear! Take heart and be bold in the Lord! If He is calling you, answer to your calling and He will lead and make the way for you!

Thank you for taking the time to read todays post. I pray it encourages you and may it help you grow! 🙂 God bless you all! ✌🏼️➕❤️

Something Different

I  usually post on wordpress when I’m at a great point in life and when nothing is bothering me. Well today I am at one of my lowest points that I’ve been in a while. I decided to share with you guys what’s on my heart and bothering me today. I am always in an argument with one of my brothers, always verbally abusing each other back and forth. I’m always arguing with my dad and always butting heads with him. I don’t know why, but the hardest place for me to be a Christian is in my own home. It’s so hard to tame my tongue when my brothers or dad bother me. It’s so hard to refrain from fighting with my brothers when they do something to tick me off. I really don’t know why but it is. I guess devil will work in the places where you probably find yourself the most, in my case at home. I do my best just to fall harder the next time around. It’s really something, God’s grace. It really is. That He could love someone that’s always messing up and bringing Him shame. That whatever we do, is covered by the death of His own Son….Thats phenomenal.

I am really down right now, but I need to do this. I would rather blog while at my lowest, than go smoke a pack of cigarettes, or drink some liquor, or smoke some weed because I’m upset at my brothers.

Going back to Philippians 1:27, I memorized this verse so that I could refer to it when i would be brought down and my character would become opposite of Christs. Today I ignored this verse and went crazy. Details aren’t important, however it is important that I share this: We need to act like Christ. I feel like a hypocrite saying that at the same time as knowing how I acted earlier today. I say this with confidence however, because the Word of God says that no man is without sin and if someone claims to be without sin, he is a liar. So in other words I am not afraid to share my short comings because you are not better than me and I no better than you. We are all in the same race, we are just moving at different speeds.

Let’s do our best to remember this verse. Philippians 1:27 ” Above all, you must act as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good news of Christ.” Be blessed and thanks for sharing your time with me.

Todays Devotional – Christ Character

After I came back from WIU, I think my biggest struggle was acting like Christ, being a Christian in all aspects of my life, not just at my church services and youth services. I struggle with being peaceful in my household. I struggle with anger towards anyone that bothers me. I struggle with pride towards my father. I have a hard time being humble towards my brothers. I struggle with many other things that if you looked at me, you wouldn’t have the slightest clue if I was Christian or if I was just a lost soul.

This has made me desire Christ even more recently, to desire Him with a spirit that’s unashamed to seek His help for my imperfections and to ask Him to use me to help anyone with the same issues.

I thought that if I went back to college, I could get away from my problems and stress that I accumulate in my home with my parents and siblings. But i realized going away isn’t going to help solve the problem. Rather it’s only going to postpone it for a later time. 

Today I read from Philippians and Christ gave me peace and strength once again as I decided to study this book again. As I read chapter 1, I got to verse 11 which says

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:11

In this verse alone, God opened my eyes, mind, and spirit, to just be more reverent on this idea and this message and theme of righteous character. This is the thing we need in our life more than anything as followers of Christ; a CHRIST-LIKE character!

Later on in the passage we come to verse 27 which says in the beginning of it

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good news about Christ.” Philippians 1:27a

Just in this part alone we are reminded once again of the character we must have and obtain. I do believe repetition is a strong emphasis in the Bible whenever an important theme, message, word, or idea was to be delivered, repetition was the tool in which that sense of importance was delivered by. Here in this chapter 1 alone we see this message and theme of having righteous character appear twice.

Lets ask the Lord to reveal to us in which ways we are faulting and messing up and ask Him to help us realize these mistakes and change them. Let’s ask Christ to mold us as He wishes for His divine plan because we are never truly done growing in Him.

Thank you for reading my message today, and I hope Christ works in you as He is in me. Praise His holy name. Peace and Love!

Just a Quick Thought

For such a long time I was afraid to post up again because I didn’t want to post anything without being “good” in my own eyes. I wanted to be the perfect human and Christian before I posted again. But i realized this a long time ago, and I’m realizing this again right now: that we are all imperfect and none of us deserve anything. But there are people out there that can use us even as imperfect as we may be. They might be weaker than us and we may not even realize, how much they need us. To ourselves we may be so weak and useless, but to that person, you might be stronger than a ton of bricks. (sorry I didn’t have a better analogy haha) But anyways. We should not stop ourselves from doing the work of Christ. That if anything, is the least Christ-like thing to do. We must continue on strong and not look behind us.

I personally still cant full grasp how or why God has such amazing grace towards us, but I can say that no matter how lowly you may see yourself, God doesn’t see that which you see. He sees Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for you, for me, and for each ad every one of us “lowly humans”

It’s funny because last year I started this blog not knowing in which direction I was headed in with it. Not knowing what would turn out from it. All I wanted to do was make time and post everyday. I almost cant believe it, but I did so successfully for a very long period of time; maybe about 4 or 5 months (which by the way for me to do something that long is an achievement). I just wanted to help people out. Hoping that if just one person read my blog they would get something out of it and that I myself could grow closer to Christ as I did so. 

This blog was a blessing and encouragement for many including my very self. Im thankful for the time I spent investing in it, and I pray I can continue to do so now as well as in the future.

I ask you though, please, please, give me feedback. Message me, email me, do something, I just want more interaction with you who read my blog. I don’t want to feel like I am just talking to a computer screen. So if I can ask you to please communicate with me, I hope it isn’t too much and I hope it doesn’t send out the wrong idea.

Thank you so much for the support you do give me, all those of you that do, and I pray that God may continue to bless us all and help us be fruitful and praise His holy name in all we do.

A Little Something For Now

I know I’ve been off this for too long. I almost forgot how to write. Anyhow, I just wanted to say a little something:

First, God is so good. In this long period of time I haven’t posted, I went through a bunch of small ups and ginormous downs. Reason being, my eyes weren’t focused on Christ the whole time. However God is good. He reminded me about a month ago what my purpose is here on this planet. I had a strange feeling in my heart to go to church this one thursday, so i did. From the moment I walked into the sanctuary, it took but 10 seconds for the brother to come and speak what the Lord wanted to tell me, that my life in the community I have been born and raised in isn’t meaningless and that there is a leader waiting to be born in me. I need to allow God to work in and around me and to wash me of my ridiculous old/current self. He needs to increase and i must decrease. Please take Him seriously. Fear Christ the right way. Not in a shivering, hiding under the bed kind of way. Rather in a way that you would fear your very own father at one time in your life if you showed up 2 hours late home. In a respectful way.

Second, we need revival. Revival is so crucial to us and to our generation. Especially now that we are surrounded by the worst of the worst from the world, especially now that for us men to live is lust, sex, and drugs, especially for you women that to live is beauty, or should i say unrealistic goals of beauty, materializing your body’s, and degrading yourself. We need to ask Christ to intervene in our lives and to make us new in Him. We need to have the Holy Spirit reign in our lives and control us fully. And when i say control, I mean drive, motivate, and guide us. I mean that we need to be constantly fighting on our knees, constantly asking the Lord to perfect our ways of living through circumstances and dealing with struggles and temptations. We need to be more seeking of Him in order for Him to come to us and be in us and for us. We CANNOT expect something to happen out of nothing; after all, that’s why the big bang theory is discredited. SOMETHING CANNOT COME OUT OF NOTHING. A revival WILL NOT sweep us if we don’t dive in wholly and fully. 

We need to give God everything! Not a little bit of us and a little bit of facebook. Not a little bit of us and a little bit of Big Sean. Not a little bit of us and a little bit of a dirty mouth. Look I know I’m not perfect, but each day i acknowledge that and ask God to start me fresh so that I can do His work. I dont know when i will get a chance to post again. I dont know how often i will be posting, all i know now, is that it’s time for a revival and you’re either in or out. You’re either a follower of Christ and a leader for Him, or you’re a cheerleader/spectator who does nothing and will go nowhere in life. Please take this life seriously. Why is it that people have to die for us to realize how short life is? Why is it that someone has to leave our midst in order for us to realize that not only are they missing, but that God is too? 

Let’s live new lives. Let’s be holy. That’s all God wants from us. Sincere holiness. From that everything else comes.

Remember these passages:

Ecclesiastes 3:20 “All go to one place: all are from dust, and return to dust.”

Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.

God bless you all and Godspeed. ❤ 🙂