Changes For My Future

This past week I made a major decision that will affect the rest of my life. As many of you know, I have been working at Dick’s Sporting Goods for two years and I have worked my way into low-level management. I love what I do working in footwear and could not have asked for a better manager than the one that I have currently. It has taught me a lot about people, communication, and just general business. However, I have been feeling as though I’m heading down a path that I really won’t enjoy. This type of job to most people leads to the “American Dream” but to me it just it kind of just sounds like a nightmare.

crossroads_web-200x300On a different side, I have been volunteering in churches with youth and with other organizations as time permits for nearly a decade . One of those organizations is CrossRoads Missions. In November of 2006, I attended the International Conference On Missions (then National Missionary Convention) to help with a division of CrossRoads called Help Build Hope which does wall builds for groups. What exactly does that mean? From their website they say “Help Build Hope demonstrates the unity of the church and creates hands on service for all ages through the framing of homes for partner organizations to enhance the impact in their community.” Over the past ten years I have attended many builds in many locations as a volunteer.

Last week I changed how I will be helping CrossRoads. I accepted a position on the Help Build Hope team with intentions of being a full-time CrossRoads staff member beginning in 2018. That might seem far away but it is a short time to prepare for this change. During 2017 I will be a part-time with CrossRoads while I continue working at Dick’s. Also, I will be using the next year to build a support base for my full-time status. For funds, CrossRoads and its staff rely on donations from people and organizations. All support raised during my part-time status will help me have support raised to go full-time in 2018.

What does this mean for the short-term? Not much other than beginning to talk to people about being supporters. I will still be in Frankfort and helping at my church. If you have any questions about what I will be doing or interest in supporting me, please feel free to contact me.

I’m excited for the future and for what God has allowed to happen. May what I do bring glory to His name. Thanks to all who read and your prayers are appreciated.

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Change Is Hard

I was playing volleyball with some students the other night and after the game was finished one of them said to me “Hey you did good tonight.” It caught me a little off guard and really didn’t feel like a compliment. Let me explain why. We have been playing volleyball after church for about a year now (when we can) and I’ll admit, when we started, I was probably one of the worst out there. Maybe even the worst. However, the reason it didn’t feel like a compliment was cause I am not even close to that bad now. I’ve played the same way I did the other night a dozen times. Yet even as I’ve improved, they continue to harass me about being the worst. Granted I’m not the best, or even good probably, but I’ve definitely improved. Now I’m not upset about this at all. My love for these students doesn’t allow me to be upset over something so trivial but it did raise a question in my mind. How do we see change in others?

downloadLet me tell you another story, this one a bit more serious than me sucking at volleyball. A young man in my life group spent a week at a CIY Move event. It changed his life and he came back a different man. The young man used to party and was highly involved in everything that went with the party scene. On the way back from the event I had the privilege to talk to him and to hear him so resolved to be different brought me a lot of joy. Not even a week after we got back I heard that many of his old friends had said “Let us know when you go back to the old you.” and similar things. It made me stop and ask How do we see change in others?

Change gets a bad rap in our world. One of the most common phrases about change is “People never change.” Its such a cynical view of change and it affects the way we treat people. If someone we know changes, we often view them suspiciously till they have proven they have changed and even after that sometimes we don’t really accept their change. When we see change in others we often assume its not genuine or not gonna last. Culture tells us to be skeptical and we take that and run with it to the point where the idea “people never change” becomes a life motto.

As Christians we should be more willing to accept peoples change quicker than the world does. Weren’t we all once enemies of God in need of change? Change is hard; on that I believe we can all agree. Going at it when everyone assumes you are going to fail or that you are faking it only makes it harder. It reminds of the story of Saul in Acts chapter 9. After his conversion, he was run out of Damascus on death threats. From there he went to Jerusalem to see the apostles, but verse 26 says “When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer!” What a way to be received; no one believes that you are actually changed. Everyone believes that your change is fake or that you’ll go back to your old ways. However, the next verse shows us a glimpse at what we should be; it says “Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles…” Barnabas didn’t leave Saul out to fall back into his old way but trusted God and believed the change Saul claimed. Through Barnabas’ trust in Saul’s change, Saul became Paul and the church is definitely better because of it.

Now let me be clear I’m not saying we should except every change blindly and right away. If someone has hurt you (especially repeatedly) or proven that they don’t really want to change, then being skeptical is healthy. Yet we should work our hardest to always believe and accept a change as much as we possibly can so that we might be a part of helping that change stick.

So when I asked the young man how he was handling everything he responded “I honestly have not even been tempted by going back to that” He continued on to explain that the people he was surrounding himself with now were helping him keep his commitment to being changed. He made the choice himself but the belief in his change has helped him keep it. Change might be hard but when we don’t have to do it alone ittumblr_inline_mlc3i1qwap1qz4rgp sure is a lot easier.

So the next time someone is talking about changing, don’t be like this world and disbelieve them. Accept them and love them through the change. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason the change sticks.

Be Better, brothers and sisters, Be a Barnabas

Making A Complete Faith

I’ve been relearning my faith over the past year or so and I’ve been realizing that it was kind of incomplete. Its not that I wasn’t a Christian before (at least I think) or that I’ve discovered some great secret. Its been more about how there are some things missing from what we call Christianity here in the U.S. Now before I go any farther I want to clarify two things. One, this isn’t written about the nature of “Christian America” or anything having to do with politics (not directly at least). Two, I’m well aware this is a generalization and that it will not apply to every church or every person. I’m writing this simply about one of the things I’m coming to realize is missing from the way I’ve seen churches teach Christianity in the U.S. and more personally my own faith.

When you go to a gospel centered church (of any denomination) you’ll hear a lot about grace, forgiveness, and love. There will offer invitations for first time believers and people that need to “rededicate”. They tell people they need to admit they are a sinner, believe in Jesus and accept him into their life and be baptized. There may even be an emphasis on seeking the lost and bringing Christ to them. While these are all great things to talk about, I feel we do people a disservice when these are our only focuses. We leave out some crucial pieces to what is a complete faith.

One major missing piece is repentance. It’s not that it’s labeled as unneeded, but that it is just kind of left out. We expect people to live for Christ and even share Christ without fully making changes in their life. I’ve heard some say that it’s no big deal when it gets left out; that it’s implied in the acceptance and baptism. After all, isn’t baptism about being a new creation.Yet as I look around at my generation and the next I’m beginning to see how much leaving this out is hurting people’s faith. I’m not saying they aren’t Christians. It’s not my place nor do I believe that but there is such a thing, I believe, as an incomplete faith.

We have generations that are growing in a faith that seems to say you only need to fix the really bad parts of your life. They’ve more or less be told “It’s ok if you leave some things unchanged, after all, no one is perfect,” As long as they fit the “normal Christian” mold they don’t have to do anything else or change any more. Its all about looking like a Christian. To me, this is what a lack of teaching repentance gets us; a generation of Christians content with only doing the “Christian thing” instead of developing a complete faith. Repentance is the key to a changed life that is fully devoted to the glory of God and the one we call Lord.

So why repentance? Well, it’s not about perfection. It may seem that I’m suggesting that we should repent so that we can be perfect people, but that’s not the case. Perfection is not something that we can achieve but it is something we should work for and repentance points us in that direction every time. After all isn’t it Jesus who said “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) This doesn’t mean that repentance is for our salvation. We are working towards perfection and repenting when we fall short, but it isn’t a method of salvation. There is only one of those and it is belief in Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God.

It’s also not about being better than other people. Some will “repent” just so that they can look down on others and judge them for not being better. They announce their changes to every single person they meet and make comments about others mistakes even as they hide their own. This is a false repentance and is full of pride and hate.

Repentance at its core is more than just an apology or altering a piece of your life; it’s a complete change from who you were to who God wants you to be. It was so important to the early church that it is mentioned nearly as many times as baptism in the New Testament. If we want people to have a complete faith we need to start emphasizing repentance again. We are called to a life outside of sin, one that looks different from the rest of the world, and that starts with repentance. So instead of having people come to a half life of faith, lets teach people about repentance so they can seek a full faith. Then when they make a mistake, don’t hold it against them, but accept their repentance and help them to be better.

More Powerful Than You Imagine

So as I’m writing this Star Wars Episode VII has just been released and it’s all anyone can seem to talk about. Friends, acquaintances, social media, new media, and even TV shows are making it their primary focus this week. Star Wars is literally everywhere around me right now so of course its been on my mind a little bit. One of the most impactful scenes that comes to my mind when I think of Star Wars is where old Ben Kenobi is fighting Darth Vader in episode IV. In it we see the two of them fighting and then Kenobi just lets Vader kill him (sorry spoilerdarth-vader-killing-obi-wan-star-wars-7-darth-vader-s-past-is-even-darker-than-you-imagine-jpeg-289044 but if you haven’t seen it just shame on you). However right before Vader kills him, Kenobi says these eerie words:

“You can’t win Darth. If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Those words are just haunting. Powerful…in death? How can that even be possible? The way we understand power it just doesn’t make sense but it isn’t the first time someone said these words. I picture an epic spiritual fight between Satan and Jesus that ends with this quote. Its a sad moment in the story. I mean Jesus had brought a new hope and it just seemed like all Satan did was strike back at that hope and even strike it down. Jesus didn’t stay dead though and became the power to defeat death itself. Talk about a win for the good guys.

Here’s the thing, just like Star Wars didn’t end with episode VI, God’s story didn’t end with the return of Jesus.There was and is still a battle to be fought. We as Christians are the soldiers fighting this battle. The enemy we fight is a scary one. He is ancient beyond days, wiser than any of us, craftier than we could imagine, and literally hellbent on eternally separating us from our God. Basically you could call him a menace. How could we ever think that we could overcome someone like that? Sure Jesus did it but He was God. We are under constant attack by our foe and his clones. How could we hope to stand a chance against such a formidable enemy? The answer: We must die.

“We must die.”

Check out what Paul says in Ephesians

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (5:17 ESV)

That’s our first step to power. For us to be in Christ, to be a Christian, we must become a new person and the old person we were has to die. It isn’t just a partial thing that we do sometimes. We give up everything we were to become a new person; we die to ourselves completely. In that death we receive the Spirit. Romans 8:11 says

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you….” (NLT)

That’s right. God lives in us. We no longer have to do this battle on our own and let me tell you that comes with some perks.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you….” (Acts 1:8 NLT)

Those are Jesus’ own words. The guy who beat death and came back from the dead. He said that we would get power but not only that He also said

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” (John 14:12 NLT)

We have a power in us to do greater things than the man who conquered death. This isn’t to get us arrogant because we only have that power because of His death. However, it should get us excited. I mean we have a power unlike any other. A power to stop a seemingly undefeatable foe flows through us. Isn’t that great news?

“The power in you so what are you gonna do with it?”

The power of God in the Spirit lives in you. Power in death is no longer a question but exclamation. Now the question becomes, “the power is in you so what are you gonna do with it?” uncle_ben

Another great movie quote comes to mind as this question is raised.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

The power we receive from the Spirit isn’t just given to us to have to protect ourselves in a bunker. We are soldiers who are called to battle. Check out the rest of Acts 1:8

“…And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NLT)

We are called to be witnesses to the entire world about the truth that Jesus conquered sin and death. To tell others that we serve a risen God who loved us enough to bring us back to Him when we were separated from Him. The foe will not run from us, he will fight us so that we aren’t heard. I mean he’s out seeking his revenge for the defeat he suffered at the hands of Jesus so he is going to give it all he’s got.

If you follow Jesus though, you have the power. The problem is many of us let fear and life get in the way and that power just sits on the back burner. This power healed the sick and raised the dead, I’m certain it can help us overcome sin and fear in our lives. I’m also certain its meant for more than that even. Everyday there are people around us lost and we have the power to show them the way. Its up to them if they follow. We are the army of God. We are a force awakened. So the question remains “What are you gonna do with the power?”

Check out this song by Jeremy Camp about the power that we have in us. May it be an anthem to move you to use the power that lives in you.

 

We Fight For

So The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 just came out and in the spirit of that I just recently finished watching the first three movies for the first time. I can hear you asking “How could I wait so long to watch them?”

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Source: fotonin.com

To be honest I just did. No real reason but I did, and really, I’m glad I did. I’
m not sure I would have thought as much about them if I hadn’t watched them all together.

See fighting is human. Its just something we do. We start from a young age and it just grows and shifts all through our lives. Sometimes we fight for righteous things and other times we fight for stupid things. Sometimes we fight for love and other times we fight out of anger and hate. The world seems to thrive off of fights and it has for years (think the gladiator games if you are having trouble thinking of an example).

As I watched The Hunger Games, I thought about how we as Christians are in a battle everyday. A fight that goes on all the time; all around us. The more I watched and the more I considered the fight we Christians are in, the more I realized there are two major problems for may Christians.

1. We are too busy fighting people to fight the real enemy.

Too often we get caught up in the politics that seem to surround our fight. We start fighting the people on the opposing sides of issues. The problem is that the Bible makes it clear that we aren’t fighting a battle against other people. Its against the darkness and the powers that dwell within it. Paul tells us in Epheisans that

“…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (6:12 NLT)

In this fight, out enemy isn’t the person who does wrong but the one who tempts, lies, misleads that person. Satan is waging war around us all the time and instead of fighting him and his methods we fight the pawns that he uses who have no idea they are even in a battle. You ought even consider them prisoners of war for they are nothing more than people held firmly in the enemies grip. So when you fight are you fighting the true enemy or just a person who has been mislead?

2. There isn’t any passion in our fight.

In any story with a good fight scene there is always a scene were the main character has a moment of passionate build up before going into battle. What is unique about the Hunger Games movies was that you saw your main character both with and without passion for the fight (especially in Mocking Jay Part 1). We see that without the passion there really is nothing there. We see nothing more than a depressed young woman when the passion is gone from the main character, but put that passion in her and we see a warrior ready to go into battle.

So where is the passion in our fight as Christians? Shouldn’t we have great passion to see the hold of the enemy lifted from those currently in his grip? Isn’t that something that should be driving us in our battles? Yet when we look around most Christians would rather cower in a church building than go into battle. This lack of passion becomes even sadder when you realize we have more reason than any other fighter in history to launch into battle. We already know the outcome: WE WIN! God has conquered the darkness already and the battles we fight are nothing more than minor, outlying scrimmages in an all ready finished war. Even more, we who are the weakest in His army have been asked by the Great Commander to go rescue those caught by the enemy and He reassures us saying “And be sure of this: I am with you always…” (Matt 28:20 NLT).

 

Paul truly understood what it was to be passionate about the fight knowing that the outcome of the fight had nothing to do with him.


For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed [of the Gospel], but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Philippians 1:20-21 NLT)

 

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Source: ethosyoungadults.com

It was something that Paul looked forward to each day because he knew that he was either going to bring glory to Christ by being in the fight or he would be standing next to Christ in a victory over death. So when you start each day, are you ready to passionately fight the true enemy or do you pick little fights in an ever growing state apathy towards what really matters?

 

 

 

Grace

So for those that don’t know me, one thing you would come to find out about me pretty quickly is that I’m a science nerd and as a science nerd I have a strong liking for science fiction. Books, movies, tv shows; I love all of them. Some are quite predictable while others are embarrassing to carry the label science. There is one show though that has appealed to me since the first time I saw it. There has always been something about Doctor Who that grabs my attention. I’m not real sure what it is…maybe its the arrogance of the Doctor or the fact that nothing is certain or maybe its the glimpses into humanity that the writers somehow manage to give the viewers. Every once in a while though they hit something that goes deeper than humanity; something divine. Check out the clip below:

There is only one word that even remotely describes the reaction of the Doctor: GRACE. If you felt even a remote stirring in you as you watched the clip, that was your soul longing for grace. The world is filled with a lack of grace or “ungrace” as author Philip Yancey refers to it in his book “What’s So Amazing About Grace?.” You get what you deserve or at least a piece of what you deserve. There’s no room for Grace in a mind-set like that. Yet we are a fallen people who have betrayed our Creator. What we deserve is full separation from him; to be cast out of His presence forever. It is because of this that our souls long for Grace. Our minds however tell us Grace can’t be real, that it’s too good to be true for there is one element of grace that our ungrace-filled minds can barely comprehend if we can understand it at all. Grace is completely undeserved. If there is anything that can be done to earn it than it ceases to be Grace. Paul says this exact thing in Romans 11:6 “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” (ESV)

God brings us back to Him reminding us of His love not because we did something right or good but because we are loved. He loves us so much He is willing to give us as much Grace as possible. In fact its like the old hymn says “Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe!” His grace is boundless and our betrayals only show that Grace more. However, there is a catch. Grace given has to be received. You can give as much Grace to a person as you want but if they refuse to receive it then it is no good for where Grace is not found only ungrace will grow.

So the next time you feel like God should throw you away because of your betrayal or  you feel as though God has abandoned you, remember that his grace is boundless and endless. Hear him saying “Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?” and accept his offering of Grace.

World changers

So anyone who watches the news or reads the paperjust knows that every once in awhile there is a hype about the generational differences. Its this idea that groups of people born at certain times have a certain way of viewing life. I believe this is quite true. I myself belong to the generation now termed Millennials (although just barely). My parents are part of Generation X and my grandparents are part of the Baby Boomers. Each generation has certain things that have created a worldview in them that makes them different from the generations around them. Since 1900 there have been four generations that are recognized by most people. (In case you are curious the oldest is called Traditionalists).

The fifth generation and the newest includes those born around 2000 and on. They are the yet to be named generation and the oldest of them are just now freshmen or sophomores in high school. I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time with this generation over the years. Most recently I spent a week with several hundred middle schoolers at CIY MIX. It was fantastic and I had a blast but while I was there I realized something that has me more excited than ever to watch them grow. This youngest generation I truly believe can be named World Changers. (Although social science will probably name them something boring like Post Millennials)

I have had the opportunity to watch this generation grow and have seen what my generation has done around them. They’ve seen it too and many have no real desire to be like my generation. Talk to them and I think you’ll find that they see the world different. We need to work on encouraging that too. Let them see the world their way and don’t try to shape them into a previous generation. They don’t need to make the same mistakes the last generations have and are making. Matthew West has a song called world changers and a line in there says “Don’t you ever lose that fire in your soul.” Encourage the spirit of change in this generation that is already in them. There have always been world changers in every generation but there is a chance we could see an entire generation of World Changers.

Just imagine if they believed they could change the world. Just imagine if they were changing the world for the KINGDOM OF GOD. Great things could happen. Great things are going to happen!!

So wanna help change the world? Invest in this generation and encourage them to be the world changers they can be and then watch what God will do through them because he already worked through you. Check this post to see what creating world changers looks like.

Check out Matthew West’s song World Changers 

The Questions No One Seems To Ask

I love small talk. Its easiest way to start to get to know someone. Just asking questions and listening to their response. You learn a lot about a person by doing that. Sure it can be awkward at times but I love getting to know people, to hear the stories that come out as you ask questions. But the best part of small talk is it can lead to friendships and everyone loves having friends. How do we keep a friendship going though? We ask more questions. They range from basic questions to ones that would be considers little deeper.

Here’s the problem I have noticed that has lead to me writing this though. Even as the questions go deeper and friendship grows they are still only surface level questions. We never ask the questions that truly matter. This is especialy true of Christians from what I have seen. We ask questions about the physial aspects of life. A good friendship will even ask questions about emotions and feelings. Yet the questions that truly matter, the ones about our spiritual life, are often left out.

Now you might be thinking “But Jeremy, my faith is a private matter. It’s just between me and God.” That false idea has allowed so many to fall away. Now I’m not saying to be nosy or rude or judgmental, but asking a question as simple as “How’s your faith?” or “What has God been teaching you recently?” isn’t bad. In my life its the people who haven’t been afraid to ask these questions that helped keep me thinking about my walk with God. There are times I am not willing to share without being asked about my faith even tho I should always be willing to share. People asking me these type of questions has forced me to make sure i truly am walking with God. I’m not saying to just ask anyone these questions. It is something built on trust, built on friendship. However if you claim to care about a friend but you don’t ask them about their spiritual life, the life the ultimately matters, how much are you caring?

There is just one more question to ask then…Is someone asking you the hard questions?

I Misunderstood This For Many Years

Have you ever really thought about holiness? I mean we use that word a lot in Christian circles. It’s definitely an important word in Christianese (that language that only Christian know how to speak but not even them seem to really understand it).However, if you ask anyone to define it would they really be able to do it? If someone asked you to define holiness, would you be able to give an answer?

Maybe there are a few of you reading this who would be able to but I would wager that most could only give a partial answer at best. The word has been thrown around for so many years without really understanding it, and that’s a problem. Holiness is so important to what God wants for our lives. In fact it is what he wants for our lives. Check out this verse from 1 Peter But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”(1:15-16 NLT) As Christians we should desire holiness because we want to look like our Father.

So if it’s a major player in our faith, what is it? Yeah it means set apart or different (for those who knew that) but what is it really? Well most simply put holiness is when God is directing your life and your actions follow. When we become Christians we aren’t just saying that we believe Jesus is real. It’s not even that we are saying we believe most of his teachings. Becoming a Christian is making Jesus (God) the master of your life. Its giving up yourself and seeking him. When this happens we let what He wants direct our lives and our actions become follow that direction. This is why the opposite of holiness is selfishness; letting our own desires control our actions.

Everything in our lives is selfishness vs holiness. There really isn’t much else for there to be. Nevertheless, the church (notice the little ‘c’) has turned the act of becoming holy into selfishness. We think that our moral lives are what make us holy and that God is seeking cleaned up people to come to Him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul reminds Timothy of this saying “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT) He saved us and then called us. How selfish it is for us to think that we can save ourselves through our own actions! Paul says it again in Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (NLT) If we could make ourselves holy there would have been no reason for Jesus to die.

So what can be done to separate holiness and selfishness in the church? Stop making it about morals and rules. Holiness is first about the decision to make Jesus Lord and then making the steps towards Him and away from selfishness. We don’t just become holy by deciding to be a Christian. We walk daily away from selfishness towards holiness after making that decision. Along the way we will make mistakes and look at times very selfish but part of holiness is looking past those mistakes and loving each other; cause isn’t that what God did when he sent Jesus to die for us?

I Have Failed The Kingdom

One of the TV shows that I have been watching recently is Arrow. For those that don’t know, Arrow is a TV rendition of the comic book character Green Arrow. The whole premise of the show (at least in the first couple seasons) is that he is trying to clean up the corruption in his city. So he seeks out those who had the ability to affect change and takes care of them. Before killing them or taking them to the police he says a line that has always been somewhat haunting to me and I never realized why until this weekend. He says “[Person’s name] you have failed this city!”

It might seem weird for me to call that phrase haunting but it always just sent a small chill down my spine. I had just kind of racked it up to the suspense of the show. However looking back now I realize that it was more than just suspense. It could easily be what Jesus says on the last day. Often as Christians we talk about Jesus saying “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Yet to those who He doesn’t say that to, they may as well hear “You have failed this kingdom.” and to be honest that’s what I feel like right now.

This weekend a lot of things came together to really open my eyes to my failure. I’ve spent the last 6 or 7 years not really living for the Kingdom. I’ve had the ability to affect changes in may ways and in many people but have often been to busy with myself to take the kingdom into account. I became so wrapped up in me that I left my purpose in the Kingdom to the wayside. I’m won’t go into the details cause that’s not my purpose for writing tonight but if anyone is curious all you need do is ask and I’ll tell you my story.

The reason is twofold. First, I am writing to night is to offer a broad and general apology to the many people I hurt, let down, or left out while I was so focused on me. I wasn’t the example many of you needed. My life didn’t reflect Christ in many ways and because of that I let you down. Not just for those who expected better of me but for those who needed me to be better; who needed me to show them Jesus. I pray that you saw him in someone else in spite of my failure; That my lack of Jesus didn’t keep you from the Kingdom.

Second, I write tonight to commit to all who read that I will do better. Through the grace of God I am offered yet another chance to make my impact on the Kingdom. This time though I won’t go at it alone to where I can get all wrapped up in me. I’ll be relying on Jesus for the strength, wisdom, and power to live for the Kingdom but not only that I want any Christian brother or sister who reads this to hold me accountable to my words here.