Monthly Archives: September 2014

Matt Sims: Not Done Loving

Posted by in Faith | September 30, 2014


Editor’s Note: We all know what it’s like to fall into a routine. And we all know how hard it is to break out of our comfortable cycles. Matt Sims speaks on the constant struggle to keep God at the forefront of your life. He also touches on the beautiful promise of God to never leave us or forsake us, even when we feel defeated. Thanks for the reminder, Matt.

“I find myself going through a routine each week. I go through the week without living how I should be living—on fire for Jesus. Then I’ll get to Sunday and sit in church and get inspired. I’ll think, yeah, this week is going to be different. I’m going to make a difference and be a light for Jesus. I am finally done sinning… And then the routine begins again.

Thankfully, God is up there, saying, no Matt. No you’re not done sinning… but I am not done loving you, either.

I have been so incredibly blessed with so many talents and I don’t use them for his glory. Even though I may say I’m playing ball for God to be glorified, in reality, I don’t mean it. Constantly living for God is not easy at all; but I challenge you brothers to strive for this and not to get caught up in the typical Christian routine. Believe me, it’s not fun.

Recently, I have been better about glorifying him in all that I do and praising him in my victories and failures; but I’m nowhere close to perfect. It’s so hard to praise him during failure. But what I always try to remember is what Jesus did—why he carried his cross.

Behold, he said, I am making all things new.

That hits me hard. I’m through waiting on my moment. Every day is my moment to praise him, no matter what. And I encourage ya’ll to join me.

Were not done sinning. BUT, God is most definitely not done loving us and never will be.

Have Faith. He’s coming to make all things new.”

Matt Sims

Drew Wernick: What Defines Me?

Posted by in Faith | September 24, 2014


Editor’s Note: What inspires your faith? Drew Wernick takes us through the fictional account of one of our beloved superheroes and pop icons, Batman, and asks the haunting question, What if Bruce Wayne just sat in his mansion and let his city crumble? He suggests that the benefit to sharing our faith is not just one-sided but benefits us as well and we couldn’t agree more. Whether by making us more comfortable in tough situations, or by giving us the chance to learn how to prepare ourselves better, the experience of sharing our faith will inadvertently buoy it if we find our satisfaction in Jesus. Thanks Drew!

Its not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

“Almost every guy my age will know that this is a quote from Batman ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’ But have we ever taken a second look at that quote? Yes, this quote does come at a very inspirational point in the movie; but in many ways it can be an inspiration to our faith. One could argue that what’s underneath does matter; and I completely agree with that statement. Although, what good is it to believe everything we believe and yet do nothing about it? The reality of it is that, as believers, we are called to go out and do something. We can go to a Christian school our entire lives and learn all the right and wrong Jesus answers… But what good does that do if we don’t go and live our lives for the Lord? We are, in theory, this world’s Dark Knights. So if we are the Dark Knights of this earth, then we must go out and save it as we are called to do.

What if Batman went through all of his training and learned the right things to do, but he never did anything about it? What if he never went out and fought Gotham’s criminals but instead stayed in his mansion and watched his city crumble? That is what we are doing as believers when we do not share our faith. We have been equipped with all this great knowledge and yet, when a situation comes for us to use our skills, we back out and say, ‘Well, now is not a good time.’ I challenge you to take a stand. And the next opportunity you are presented, share what you believe. This may not be some ground-breaking experience where your friend turns their life around and follows Christ; but it will make it easier as time goes on and you are given new opportunities.

Batman took a stand to fight Bane and walked out of that fight with a broken back. He did not win that first fight; but it showed him what he must do in order to win future battles. We, as sinners, are going to lose many battles; but we should not let those losses define who we are. When we lose we must rise back up and keep fighting—because in the end we know God’s side has won.

God individually hand-picked every single believer and called them to a unique purpose here on earth. Now, I can’t say that I know what my purpose is yet; and many of you are probably in the same boat as me. But how are we going to find that purpose if we hide in the shadows and say, ‘Well, God didn’t give me the gift of preaching so I’m going to let the preachers invest in possible believers and I will sit here and watch?’ That is not the mindset God intended a believer to have; and if we believe that mindset, then we are really just being selfish. If what we believe is true, then why in the world would we not go around sharing the name of Christ to everyone we meet? Is it because we are insecure and we don’t want to be judged? Well, what if I told you that you shouldn’t care if those people judge you because you have all the satisfaction you need in Jesus?

‘It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.’

So go out and do something.”

Drew Wernick

Jesse Vaughan: The Importance of Friends

Posted by in Temptation | September 16, 2014


Editor’s Note: Have you ever been faced with the choice of following along with your friends, though you might not approve of their actions, or risk being without friends at all? It’s a difficult place–one that we need not visit if we’re careful to have a band of brothers that we can fall back on and a savior we count as a friend. Thanks to Jesse Vaughan for his introspection and his careful wording as he details his own battles and the lessons he learned.

“My name is Jesse Vaughan, and I am going to share how friendships have affected my life greatly. Friendships were designed to make life more enjoyable but also to strengthen the soul of each other. Unfortunately, the part I lacked was that some of the friends I made were in no way good influences on the way I wanted to live.

This story begins when I decided to start public high school with no Christian guy friends. As baseball season came along, I made some friends, whom at first seemed completely harmless. In fact, I was fooled into thinking I was leading them to Christ. At the end of my freshman year, two of those friends decided to smoke weed for the first time, which then ended up being a weekly thing for them. I was influenced greatly although I was able to stay clean for quite some time. At this point, I would still hang out with them because – well, they were my friends. I was not ready to give them up and be alone. I thought I could continue to be friends with them and still live clean from drugs and alcohol. I would soon learn how difficult this would be.

The first weekend after school started I went to my friend’s lake house with another friend. This is where I finally gave in to the temptation of alcohol, which later lead to the use of drugs. I must explain all of this to emphasize that the main reason this occurred was due to the fact that I didn’t choose the right friends at first. “Bad company corrupts good morals” is what I have always been told, but just didn’t get it until later.

During baseball season of my sophomore year, a parent of one of my other friends caught her daughter with drugs and told all the parents of the kids she had been texting. I was not on this list but two of my friends were, which is how my parents found out about their actions. I then could not hang out with those two kid anymore, and I couldn’t help but feel as if I was lacking a best friend (later I would recognize that I have a perfect best friend who is there wherever I go). As my friends got kicked off the baseball team, all I felt was guilt because I was right there with them doing that stuff. This lead to me confessing to my parents, and truly repenting, and coming to the realization that without Jesus as my best friend, I would never be able to overcome the devil.

God tells us that every day it is necessary to put on the armor of Christ, which is true. Although, fighting a battle with no other soldiers from God’s army is a definite loss; therefore, it’s also necessary to find a band of brothers all fighting for the same cause; but to be certain of an overall victory, God has to be the leader. Of course, there will be fallen soldiers and lost battles; but I have read the back of the book and if we stay on God’s team, we win!”

Jesse Vaughan