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Yearly Archives: 2012
Dear Younger Me,
You’re 15. You are running cross-country and making friends, but you are sitting under your brother’s shadow. God has a lot more in mind for you than you could ever dream. He is going to blow your mind – so get your boots on, and get ready for an adventure.
First things first. Recognize your enemy. At this point, you probably think it’s the guys wearing all black, dealing weed, or getting in trouble with the law. It’s not. As a guy who loves Jesus, your enemies are Satan, sin, and death. Scripture tells you that the thief comes to kill and destroy; so don’t freak out whenever the youth pastor starts talking about spiritual warfare. Just because mom and dad never talked about it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s real; and if you’re not careful, it can put you in a hole. Satan loves to take what’s God’s and keep it in a cage. Remember this: You are God’s son, a son of the King, who was paid for in blood. Blood is a result of battle; so don’t think for a minute that you aren’t in one. Every minute of the day you need to be ready to fight.
Here’s the short of it. I know you struggle with porn. I know you wish to God that it would go away like a bad dream. I know you cry sometimes, and can’t fall asleep sometimes, because you’re so disgusted with yourself. I know that you sometimes rationalize your addiction saying, “Well, it’s not the hard stuff. I’m not actually addicted. It’s not like I’m as bad as the other guys.” I know the shame, guilt, and grief you experience every time you close your eyes to God and open your eyes to lust. So, here’s what you need to know. Love and Lust start with the same letter. Why? Because the enemy takes love and twists it to become evil. You’ve got an addictive personality; and when I’m telling you that you need to fight every day, I mean you need to fight every day. Fight with the full knowledge and assurance that the battle is already won. The thing about love is that it’s different than lust, it has a name: Jesus. So, make war with your flesh and with the spiritual forces of darkness. Turn from death (cause that’s what your sin leads to) and run, run, run, to Jesus.
How are you gonna do that? Call your two best friends tonight and say, “brothers, I need to confess to you a problem I’m having. I can’t fight it on my own and I need you to keep me accountable.” Next, talk to dad. Tell him what’s going on and ask him to restrict your access to the computer. Pray every day, all the time, not only that God would continue to free you, but to renew your mind to see women as he sees them.
The next thing you need to know is that God is the one who saves, exalts, and upholds you. Who you are is not determined by how well you run, how well you play, how good a student you are, how well you listen to mom and dad, or how involved you are at church. You are a child of the King and all of life is a gift from him. What does that mean? It means you can say, “Thank you,” to mom and dad for taking such good care of you. It means you can run cross-country because you love it, not because you need to prove yourself. It means even your study time is a gift to be stewarded. All of life is a gift; so never stop thanking, praising, and exalting the Giver. It also means that you can quit living in guilt, fear, and shame.
God is the one who will lift you up; so don’t squander his gift. Pray. Pray that the Holy Spirit would fan into flame the ember that God put there when you said yes to Jesus.
The last thing I’ll say is to speak up. SPEAK UP! The world needs to hear what you have to say. Don’t ignore the voice in your head that tells you to reach out to the person sitting alone at lunch. Don’t ignore the voice in your head that tells you speak up about Jesus to your friends. Don’t ignore the voice in your head that tells you speak up about Jesus in class. Do ignore the voice that says you won’t ever succeed. Do ignore the voice that says you’ll never outgrow your brother’s shadow. Do ignore the voice that says that you’re too evil to save. And do ignore the voice that says that your identity is in what you do. Instead, listen to the voice of Jesus because it’s always the best way. Praise God that even your future is in his hands; and that even the flaws in this letter are covered by his Son’s blood.
Your Older Self
The next morning I woke up on a couch confused as to where I was. After a few minutes I recognized my friend’s basement where I had passed out the night before. My friends eventually showed up to make sure I was alright, but something was different about their expressions. I asked them what was wrong; and what they showed me on their phones and the report from the night before left me shocked, embarrassed, and numb. The videos showed me doing things I would never think of doing. And they informed me that one of the guys that spent the night stole the keys to my Dad’s car, got pulled over for a DUI, and that the car was impounded. Days later, I was in the police office being interrogated and was asked to recall what happened the night before. I didn’t even know where to begin because I drank so much alcohol that I passed out and didn’t remember anything. As I took it all in, I found myself looking at my Junior year in high school and asked myself, “How did this happen? Who am I?”
I grew up in a Christian home, was a member of Perimeter Church, and went to Perimeter Christian School until eighth grade. I attended Wesleyan School until my Junior year and spent the last two years in public school. I led a small group for a church retreat, mentored younger friends, and was a leader on my baseball team. I was living the dream, yet I longed to be free. Because on the outside I had everything together, but on the inside I was running in every direction trying to satisfy the need and pressure to please others and myself.
It started early my seventh grade year with pornography. As a seventh grader who was raised in a sheltered, Christian environment, sex was just an education…Read more ›
The mysterious grandeur surrounding college won’t go away until the day your parents drive off and you realize this is it. Life is a book and, as humans, we are always trying to get to the next chapter. The only thing keeping us from skipping to the end is the time that it takes us to read the pages. In middle school, one will always desire to walk alongside those in high school; and the only thing a senior in high school has on his mind is college; and each time we perceive that the next chapter will be better. But all to often we find ourselves turning back the pages to where we once were.
In each chapter of our lives as we attempt to plot our own destiny, we frequently forget that our story has already been written. When reading, many times one might find oneself skipping over sections deemed boring and unnecessary, forgetting the entire time that the author placed those parts there for a reason. If one could title the chapter of one’s life story regarding college, it would sound something like The Never Ending Sleepover. We all remember those rare hallowed Friday nights in which all your buddies would gather together for the sleepover. Generally, there was a division into about 5 or so groups during these nights. You had the kids who stayed up all night, the ones who played videogames till the break of dawn, those who just ran around seeking mischief, the uncomfortable kid in the corner, the binge candy eaters, and finally you had the one who always sought sleep. The same generalities exist in college today; mischief is sought and, “candy” binges carry on 24/7. But the question to ask is, when is it time to take a moment and separate yourself from the crowd and just rest.
More often than not I find myself veering away from rest. Rest can come in many forms; sleep is the most obvious, but others include moments of solitude and time spent in prayer. All too often, I find myself glancing over sections that I classify as unnecessary and time consuming when in fact, these are the parts that the author knows I need the most. The author of your story has written a best seller or two and knows what’s important and what isn’t. To leave you with one piece of advice, read the whole story. You might end up glancing over the part about the binge “candy” eating next time. And remember to thank your author because his story ended with the ultimate sacrifice for every book he has ever written.
Radical Mentoring, A Radical Plan to Change the World, a Few Men at a Time
Taken from Radical Mentoring’s Website
Radical Mentoring is produced by the Next Generation Mentoring Foundation.
After years of mentoring younger men individually, Regi Campbell heard a speaker say “More time, with fewer people, equals greater kingdom impact”, and he set off to mentor a group of men for the first time. Since 2001, he’s mentored nearly 100 men personally in what he calls “Radical Mentoring Groups” and his model for mentoring has been embraced by many other Christian leaders.
Along the way, Regi came to see that the success of Radical Mentoring was derived from the fact that he was simply doing what Jesus did:
He mentored in a small group context.
He handpicked the men.
He invested in them for a defined period of time.
He mentored them for Kingdom purposes.
He served them and modeled selflessness.
He made and received a mutual commitment from His mentees.
He expected multiplication, not addition, and a commitment to pay it forward.
He steeped the process and the men in prayer.
He taught them within the context of life, along the way.
He modeled a God-centric life allowing them to see how He applied His faith in every aspect of life.
He lived, taught and interpreted Scripture throughout their time together.
Campbell has written a book that dives deeper into the application of these practices and mentoring small groups. Mentor Like Jesus was released by B&H Publishers in May 2009 and can be purchased here.
In 2007, High Tech Ministries embraced the model. Four mentors led 30 next-generation leaders through the Radical Mentoring process and each of the men involved realized incredible results. The process was proven.
From 2007–2011, over 1,100 men and, subsequently, their wives and children have been impacted by individual mentors throughout the United States, Canada and the U.K. who have invested in them through a Radical Mentoring Group.
In 2011, Radical Mentoring has extended it’s borders to all of the English-speaking world by providing its content in an electronic format that allows the mentor more flexibility to customize a “track” that is meaningful to him and his life experiences.
The Radical Mentoring team includes:
Regi Campbell: Founder and Chairman
Chris Hornsby: Executive Director
John Richie: Convene Chair; NGM Foundation Board Member
Dennis Latimer: Exec. VP – Web Industries, Inc.; NGM Foundation Board Member
Dave Katz: Sr. VP, Midwest, Coca-Cola Refreshments; NGM Foundation Board Member
Ross Campbell, MD: President, Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology; NGM Foundation Board Member
High school was fun. I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t say that it was the time of my life. There was a series of events that rocked my world to its core. I would later find that these things were God-ordained, and I thank Him for it now; but as the story unfolds, we will see that it was avoidable. I wish I could go back to my freshman self and teach him this all-important lesson.
For a lot of high schoolers, especially where I’m from, life is comfortable. Most of us have a short list of major responsibilities like schoolwork or sports but after that we are free to enjoy life. Most of us do not experience depression, suicidal thoughts, and other, “big ticket,” problems. But we all experience the, “routine,” problems of life, rejection, breakups, and failure on a variety of levels. I used to think God wasn’t part of these problems. He was there like the insurance company when your “house burns down,” but not when you have a “flat tire” in life. That was wrong. God, I found, often uses the routine ups and downs of life to teach us important lessons and he cares about the big things in your life as well as the small stuff.
So here’s where the story begins. I’m going into my senior year of high school expecting the greatest year of my life to date because that was how it had been sold to me. I had great expectations! But underneath these expectations were idols…Read more ›