Daily Archives: August 9, 2012

Michael Blish: Always Pray and Never Fear

Posted by in Faith | August 9, 2012

“Be a man!” says the world. This phrase gets tossed around so much. Too much. The reality is that it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it means, and yet this is the mandate demanded by our friends, teachers, and family. “Be a man!” What does it mean to you? Does it mean facing cold hard reality head on? Does it mean being the biggest guy around? The richest? What qualifies us worthy of being a man? Is there a purpose in the lives of young men these days perhaps much greater than what the world says we are to be?

If you’re reading this post, chances are that God led you here. God is moving you in a certain course through life. He knows where He wants you to go and where you’ll end up. There’s also probably a point in your past when you realized this and gave in to it. When you submitted your life to Christ, and you asked God to come in and work in you. Though we may wrestle with the path sometimes, we want to follow what He’s laid out for us. For me that journey started in 7th grade. Up until that point, church was a place I had to be guilt-tripped into going to where I would sit for an hour or so solving puzzles on the little children’s pamphlet while this old dude talked too slow for my tastes. God seemed cool and all but never did He cross my mind outside of Sunday morning. That all changed when my brother started losing it.

I was hiking through the woods one day when I came across a small box. Inside was a small copy of some book called “Psalms and Proverbs”, a candle, and a box of matches. Being a naive young man, I run back home thinking I had found some sort of treasure. Upon returning I soon found it was my brother’s. I had apparently stumbled upon his secret praying spot. But he was done trying. That box hadn’t been opened in some time.

Many people seem to remember the exact point at which they received Christ. I’m not one of those people, but I do remember my first prayer. “God, if you’re real, please help my brother.” Since then I’ve made many prayers. And many of them have been geared towards my brother. There have been countless times where I all but assumed he was too far gone. But I’ve learned that a huge part of being the man that God wants us to be is having faith. And the first step in being a man of faith is being a man of prayer. Rest in God’s works knowing that He has the greatest plan. We never have to fear. We never have to give up on our brothers. I wanna challenge you guys to live like that. To always pray and never fear.

“The prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:16.

Love you guys,
Michael Blish

Chris Varalla: Peer Pressure, The Silent Killer

Posted by in Temptation | August 9, 2012

I was once asked, “What’s one piece of advice you wish you could’ve given yourself when you were a freshman in high school?”

Going into high school, all I heard about was how I would be peer pressured to do this and peer pressured to do that. I thought that kids would tell me if I didn’t do something, then I wouldn’t be considered, “cool.” Looking back on high school, I realize that peer pressure was completely different from what I had envisioned, and it took advantage of me when I wasn’t looking.

Peer pressure comes in many different forms. You certainly face the peer pressure of a kid saying you won’t be cool if you do something, but the most dangerous peer pressure I faced was what I call the, “silent peer pressure.” This type of peer pressure can be a killer if you don’t know how to recognize it. In high school, I was rarely openly pressured to do something illegal because my peers knew that I would say no; however, I was silently peer pressured because I hung out with the wrong crowd. I surrounded myself with a worldly crowd and slowly let my barriers slip down to their level without someone ever actually pressuring me. In no time, I found myself drinking and smoking just like my peers because being around it had numbed my mind and compromised my judgement. I thought that it was all okay and it would all work out.

If I could give any freshman a piece of advice, it would be to pick the right crowd and a group of friends that love the Lord and support each other. Keep a close bond with each other and hold each other accountable. Don’t be afraid to tell your friend when he/she screws up because if it goes unacknowledged, it will just become a slippery slope into worse decisions and more difficult situations.

Chris Varalla