Archive for April, 2014

How To Stress Joyfully Blog Post ImageAs a college student when finals week approaches, it seems like the entire campus falls ill. Everyone seems to have the same symptoms of becoming monotonous, tired, and quite frankly unpleasant to be around. With dreams of summer, the beach, no stress, and relaxation jumping around in everyone’s head, we are forced to find some way to focus on the work that needs to be done. I find myself falling into this trap not just during finals week, but also just on stressful weeks in general. This year, I have challenged myself to try and be joyful around others, no matter what life throws at me.

With Easter just having occurred last weekend, I find it appropriate to relate this to what Jesus went through about 2000 years ago. Jesus knew what was going to happen to him, and he may not have been able to be “joyful” knowing that he would die a death that he didn’t deserve. However, Jesus continued praying and pursuing relationships with his disciples and those around him as He powered through what he knew must be done in order to fulfill the word of God. As it says in Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'” Jesus did not want to die on the cross, but he knew that it was his Father’s will, so that we could be saved.

As Christians we are called to live a Christ like life. Going through a stressful week does not even begin to compare to Jesus preparing to sacrifice himself for us. For me, when I am going through finals, or a stressful week at work, I think I am called to be joyful and fun to be around. There are going to be enough people moping around feeling sorry for themselves. We need to go againstiflow and encourage people to do well, and power through. I believe by doing this, you will not only find that you will bring joy to the people around you, but you will also find yourself filling up with joy.

We are called to have a smile on our face as we cross the cafeteria or walk through the library. We should start conversations with those who are obviously stressed and give them a cookie that mom sent us in a care package. If we are to live a Christ like life, studying for finals should be a perfect time to profess Jesus’ name by just being joyful and happy! People are going to be tired of reading their chemistry books or responding to emails anyways; start a friendly conversation and really invest in someone!

Over the next couple of weeks, I encourage you to pray Philippians 4:4-7 over your classmates, co-workers, and even yourself:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Brothers and Sisters, be joyful! Make a joyful noise for the Lord! Wear a smile around for the Lord! Make people wonder why you are so happy, and when they ask use that as a platform to spread the great name of Jesus! Live againstiflow!

Read Your BibleFor daaaays now I have been trying to write a blog to put up on the site…and I have not been happy with anything I have written. Valuable time that I could have spent doing much more productive activities almost feels wasted. The funny thing is that the purpose of this blog is to shine a light on Jesus through what He has done in our lives, but in trying to come up with a blog I have sort of put Him on the back burner. Don’t worry…He showed up.

It started with a phone call. I was complaining about how everything I wrote just wasn’t flowing and I couldn’t bring all my points together. I was frustrated and I really wanted to get a blog up for you guys! It is all your fault! The guy on the other line says, “Just back away from it, read some scripture and get in the word to see what God has to say about what you are writing about.” I go home and guess what I do…I kept working on the last draft I had started…of course! I felt like I was so close! I couple of hours later I had come close to giving up.

I turned on some tunes, Hillsong United mostly….absolute jams, and opened up my Bible. I always hear about people saying how they flipped open their Bible and the page they flipped too had the perfect verse…yeaa…that never happens to me. Well, I did some flipping around and ended up in flippians (Philippians ha). Some highlighted verses on the page caught my eye so I stopped there.

Philippians 2:14-16: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like the stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

I had been complaining for days. About a blog. That’s stupid, but it made me realize how easy it is to lose focus of the big goal in life. We are called to “shine like stars” so that we represent Jesus in a good light. What kind of representation of Jesus, of the Church, and of our faith are we if we go around complaining about our job, relationship, marriage, or blog writing? This blog, you, or me might be the only Bible some people ever read or hear. I am guilty of complaining about things, but a simple look in the Bible woke me up.

The closer you are in your relationship with Jesus Christ the more you will mirror Him. So don’t put off praying and reading your Bible like I did. I thought I was doing it for a good reason, but it is funny how things work out. God definitely has a sense of humor.
#againstiflow

Everyone would agree that some of the most elite athletes such as Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant, and Derek Jeter have worked extremely hard to get where they are today. But they didn’t just wake up and say, I’m going to be a professional athlete one day BOOM. Each one of them had to put in hours of hard work, grit, perseverance, determination, focus, discipline, application and many other traits to attain the position and platform they now have. With that being said, sports are one of the main things we as Americans associate ourselves with on a daily basis, especially dudes. Our day: Wake up, turn on ESPN then go most of the day scrolling through various webpages on different sports and sporting events. On the weekends we attend some of the biggest and loudest football games one could imagine. Sports are some of the greatest ways to bring friends and families together, but they can also teach us a lot about different things in life.

Being a sports junky, analogies like this one I’m about to tell you are so prevalent to my walk with Christ and hopefully will be influential for your walk with Christ. Growing up I have always been around some type of sport or attending a sporting event. It has been my life, my escape, a way for me to express myself, and a way for me to be challenged at the same time. All in all, not the easiest of rides though. I have dealt with many ups and downs along the way. Sometimes frustration gets to you while other times you cannot seem to miss a shot out there and the game is just…. easy. In the end, sports have shown me a lot about how to have a successful walk with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

To play any sport, practice and preparation are necessary. This is the same in our walk with Jesus. God asks us as servants of Him (2 Timothy) to be fully equipped for every good work. If I am not preparing and building on an area of my game on a consistent basis I will fall in tricky places throughout competition. The same goes for our walk with Jesus. We must work to consistently and intentionally be filling our mind with the good word, taking next steps, and seeking Godly community around us to hold us accountable. We are in awe when Tiger Woods makes a putt to win or Kevin Durant makes a game winner, but do you know how many hours of preparation these guys have put into their job? What if we practice living for Jesus like these professional athletes practice for a game or tournament? We would be hitting game winners almost every week and be on Heaven ESPN top ten. My point is, to be successful in living an AGAINSTIFLOW lifestyle, changes and hard work are mandatory. The work can be hard, but the end results are priceless.

I’ve seen it in my own life when I’m clicking on all cylinders and able to really feel a connection with Jesus. I’ve seen the power of one or two guys encouraging me and the impact that can have. It is a powerful spirit that can really help you overcome any thoughts or things the world throws at you. And the thing is, it’s totally possible for all of us to live fired up for Jesus on a consistent basis. So let’s break it down in the Holy huddle and start feeding off each other. Time for us to stop waiting and wishing for a perfect pitch and shift our attention on preparing ourselves for the pitch we think we can’t hit. That’s the name of the game. As always, live life against the flow, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2

Are you ready??

Always Put Your Relationship With God Before Your Relationship With Me

If I ever put you in a situation that compromises your faith…or makes you have to decide whether to make me happy or to make God happy…please side with God on that one. He is going to be right 100% of the time.

Be Confident In Yourself

I will do everything I can to make you feel loved. I will tell you that you are beautiful, surprise you with flowers, make you laugh. But don’t let me be your main source of confidence. To me, confidence is one of your most attractive attributes. You don’t need me for that. God made you perfectly and you can be confident in that.

Be Quick To Forgive

There will be times when we argue and you will not want to be in the same room as me. I am going to mess up from time to time, but please forgive me. By forgiving each other our marriage will only grow stronger. God forgave us.

Have Fun

Laugh uncontrollably. Play pranks on me. Don’t take life too seriously.

Know You Are Beautiful and Always Will Be Beautiful

You are one of God’s daughters. He beautifully and perfectly created you for this earth. Your outside beauty caught my eye, but your inner beauty kept me by.

What’s Your Platform? Part II

Posted: April 1, 2014 in Faith
Tags: ,

photoIn, “What’s Your Platform?” we talked about the opportunities you have around you daily to make an impact on someone’s life. We also talked about the resources you have to enhance that platform. The next step is the conversations you have with the interested people. What do those look like? When someone shows interest in what you are about here are a few tips to lead you through the conversation:

Be Honest and Confident

I think sometimes we will put on the shirt or wear the wristband, but when it comes down to the conversation we get timid. If you truly believe in something then don’t be afraid to publicly display that belief, not only through a t-shirt, but most importantly through your words.

Ask Questions

This person has opened themselves up to you and they are interested in what you are about. After you answer their question to you find out something about them. I think there are more people out there than you could imagine that want to know more about Jesus, but they are just waiting on that invitation.

Be Intentional

Through wearing your t-shirt or wristband you are being intentional, but also be intentional in the conversation. Jesus was always intentional in His conversation no matter who He was talking to. Intentional means purposeful, on purpose, or planned. In sports you do not practice one way and then when it becomes game time completely switch things up. In faith you shouldn’t practice one way and then when an opportunity to share Jesus with someone comes along decide to switch things up. You already put on the jersey so be ready for the game.

Use Your Story

God has given all of us a story and he wants us to use that story. Sharing your imperfect story with someone who is not a believer shows them that you don’t have to be perfect to be a Christian. It is the greatest example of how a relationship with Jesus works. No one is too imperfect to give their life to Jesus.

Whatever platform God has given you at this moment be sure to take advantage of it. If your heart and your desires are to please the Lord you will know where He wants you to be in life. He will light a fire inside of you and there will be no question what you are supposed to be doing. Follow that desire.

The entire course of humanity was changed when 12 people followed that desire and used their platforms to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to “go into all the world” and that is what we need to do. Nothing fires me up more than seeing people’s lives change forever.

I just think about my close of group of friends and it is crazy to see how God has worked in and changed our lives. We don’t know what the future holds, but we sure are excited about it!

#WhatsYourPlatform