Adam Hart: Rescue Me Captain

Posted by in Faith | March 4, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Don’t let Adam’s light tone at the beginning of this piece deceive you. He’s no stranger to the darkness and boldly reminds us of Psalm 34:17-20. Thanks to Adam for his brass and strength while relating his struggles with self-hatred and reflecting on how hard it is to actually give your anger and words to God. Lives are valuable. Relationships do matter. And anger can be weakness masquerading as strength.

“To a younger Adam,

Hey, me. It’s me… you!

In order to avoid the confusion of how I’m able to defeat the time space continuum and give you a letter, I’m just not going to explain it and hope you don’t flip out over the sci-fi nonsense (that you tend to look way too deeply into anyway).

At this point in your life, I know you’re getting picked on severely. You might have just come home from school and you might be crying to mom, hoping to seek comfort for what those bullies have said to you. Because of them, you will fall into a severe state of self-doubt, self-deprecation and self-hatred. I’m afraid you will get tangled within a twisted love of loneliness and feel like it is the only thing that can give you comfort. You’ll want to be alone with your thoughts and you won’t want to go back to school and risk giving people more motivation and reasons to dislike you.

You don’t know it yet Adam, but there is something growing inside of you called anger. This anger is the reason why you’ll yell at your parents, your friends and yourself. You will be disgusted by everything and it will be the reason you become more cynical every day. And when you feed this anger, it will feel absolutely amazing. When you see those people that despise you, you will yell at them and hope that you’ll be able to hurt them in some small way. But sadly, your words will be the cause of your own demise (metaphorically).

Every day your anger will become stronger and you will learn new ways to hurt people with your words. But unfortunately, you only think you’re becoming stronger, when in fact you’re becoming weaker; and you’ll miss the fact that there will always be a bigger enemy. Adam, there is no worse bully than yourself. You are the reason you still haven’t broken free of your struggle with self-hatred. You are the one that so willingly sits and listens to the lies Satan whispers into your ear. The devil has such a tight grasp on you that you will have no idea where to go. You will yell to God, “Rescue me captain, I’m at war with my demons!” And God will come and rescue you; but you must give all your words to him. It’s easy for me to write that; but deep down, giving up your own anger and your own words will be the hardest thing you will do in your entire life.

I know you have a hard time connecting with other people. But everything on this earth was created to help make our lives easier. There must be a reason for people building and creating things to give our lives more ease. The reason is that life is valuable. Yes that’s an incredibly cliché statement that embarrasses me to type. But people will become more and more important to you, to the point where you write stories and tell jokes on a stage for them as your career. You are a person and you are precious to people. It’s hard to read that, I know because we have had such a hard time believing it; but I guess I wouldn’t write it if I didn’t have some kind of preconceived motivation. I can’t really give you any advice other than this verse:

Psalm 34: 17-20
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Adam, your relationship with God and other human beings is more important than anything in the world. Even grammar.”

Sincerely,
Adam

Micah Mabe: When Demigods Fall

Posted by in Brotherhood,Temptation,Video | February 27, 2013

I was living for myself, you know. I was my own god. In fact, my friends were my gods… and I worshipped them.

Telling words from our own, Micah Mabe. We’re proud to present a portion of his journey in his own words. From a wandering high school existence centered around serving himself, to IRON and FIRE’s college ministry CORE 2:42, and Covenant College, Micah rediscovered what it means to live life to the fullest. It’s been a struggle, but Micah stepped up to the plate. Glory be to God.

To learn more about Micah’s story, you can read his blog post here.

Micah Mabe Video Story Teaser!

Posted by in Brotherhood | February 25, 2013

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Editor’s Note: At long last, we are merely days away from sharing the first of our video stories! Nearly six months ago, we sat down and discussed capturing testimonials. We truly believe that we have an obligation to our stories, and we couldn’t be happier to share our first one this Wednesday. Thanks to Micah Mabe and everyone involved in making this happen!

Jeff Knapp: When You Hit Empty

Posted by in Faith | February 19, 2013

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Editor’s Note: The world will never know the full weight of the work Jeff Knapp shoulders without complaint. A true disciple, he wrestles with the greatest truths and works tirelessly to impart them to our youth. It is encouraging to hear Jeff open up about the times when he hits empty and relies on God to fill him up. His thoughtful reflection on a recent Solitude Retreat and the lessons he learned are well worth your attention.

I believe the children are our future. And this isn’t just a play on words to remind you of an old Whitney Houston song. I really believe it! I believe it so deeply that I pour myself out, sometimes past the point of exhaustion, in order to invest in them. However, sometimes the pouring out seems to come from a shallow well, while other times it seems to be a roaring waterfall. This past weekend, I was blessed to discover a waterfall.

Back in December of last year, I was approached by a friend at Perimeter Church who invited me to be the guest speaker at their annual Solitude Retreat. This retreat is only for high school students and focuses on getting students away from the distractions of their regular environment and taking time to be alone with God. I said yes without any hesitation. This was an opportunity to not only impact the Brothers of IRON and FIRE who would go on the retreat, but also to impact their peers. This was also a great opportunity for partnering with the local church in order to support her in one of the intentional ways she is forging the next generation.

Little did I know that this would end up being one of the greatest challenges and blessings of my life to date. It started with preparation…

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IRON and FIRE Welcomes our Newest Team Member

Posted by in Brotherhood | January 28, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Shana Cash will be serving IRON and FIRE as our Administrative Assistant – helping with various aspects of the ministry including donor relations, communications, operations, and marketing. Shana graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Marketing. She has worked in various industries such as banking, marketing, call center management, account management, and donor cultivation. Shana is married to Tom (almost three years) and they have one son, Taylor (15 months).

Shana is passionate about serving her Lord and her family well. Several years ago, the Lord revealed her life’s calling to serve ministries through the gifts and talents that He has given her. Shana says, “I am thrilled to join Jeff and the team at IRON and FIRE. I have watched this ministry grow from an idea on paper to one that is daily fulfilling its mission. It is truly a privilege to be a part of the transforming work that God is doing through IRON and FIRE Ministries in forging the next generation.”

Welcome Shana! We’re so happy to have you.

Greg Robbins: The Disgusting Lies

Posted by in Faith,Temptation | January 21, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Greg, like many deep thinkers, has struggled with doubt and self-worth, and has written a lengthy post taking us through his journey of claiming the truths of God, in spite of the deeply entrenched lies of the evil one. The sincerity in his voice is evident throughout as we relive his anguish and struggles in fighting against his old mindset as he becomes a man of God.

“It is now winter break, and since spending time as a brother of IRON and FIRE over the summer, a lot of things have happened in my life. Though I have done things that I am not proud of, God still, over the last few months, has worked on me greatly in growing me away from my fearful flesh and more into a man of God. I am learning to trust and receive His love and truth and to fight as the warrior He created me to be in The Spirit, adding onto what He did in me over the summer as a brother of IRON and FIRE and what He has done throughout my life. 

Here is a little about where I came from, before I started doing community with Iron and Fire. All throughout my life I have greatly struggled with very heavy amounts of fear, insecurity, constant doubting of almost everything, a misplaced self-identity, and a lot of anxiety, stress, worry, self-hatred, and confusion. Much of this came from a rocky childhood in which my biological father left me at an early age. Though my mother got remarried a few years later, and my step-dad adopted me legally as his own son and treated me like it, there was a lot of damage in me that was never resolved, and which has carried into my life even until today…

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