Logan Rhea: True Brotherhood

Posted by in Brotherhood | January 14, 2013

friends

Editor’s Note: Logan’s heart for the things of God shines through this post. It should be encouraging and perhaps a bit convicting when he speaks about the importance of discipleship, mentoring, and investing in other brothers throughout our lives. Thanks for giving us a peek into a college campus being impacted by the intentional actions of our brothers.

“True Brotherhood is making a huge impact on my life right now. My name is Logan Rhea and I’m a college student at Middle Tennessee State University. Campus Crusade, or Cru, has brought a lot of benefits and awesome resources to help me grow in my walk with the Lord and become a stronger leader and man of Christ. Life is about relationships and what we do when we encounter them. We can encourage and share and bring one another up in Christ or just go through the motions and be afraid to get real and ask the hard questions. I’ve found that when you take the time to get lunch with someone and take your own time to love on and be friends to a fellow brother or a person in a dark place in their life, Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit just can’t help but shine through your actions and words. As our relationship with Christ grows, it is portrayed in our daily lives.

All this said, I’ve been given some amazing brothers in Christ here. We’ve been able to fellowship and truly do what Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” It’s been really cool to see God at work in our lives as we share our stories of surrendering our desires and needs for things that won’t satisfy and giving them to God. When we trust God in times that are tough and great, we develop a stronger faith.

Anther cool thing about the true brotherhood here is fruit and evidence of listening and walking by the spirit. For instance, we had about 20 people over at my house on a Saturday night for a bonfire. I got some of my brothers and sisters in Christ and challenged them to be intentional about showing and sharing God’s love and their testimony of what he’s done in their lives to some of our non-Christian friends that were there. We ended up talking in different circles about passions, life issues, and the meaning of life till about 1 am! Then 7 of us went and had a “house church” spirit-led bible study on James. We talked, prayed, worshiped, and listened to each other till 3 in the morning! Now it’s a weekly study for anyone to come! God is good and his presence is active.

One last note about the brotherhood and importance of investing in one another’s lives and making disciples; I’m doing a study on a book called Discipleship Essentials with an older brother who’s taking time to invest in me once a week. The book is great and has broadened my perspective on this issue. Investing in someone is so important as believers in Christ and it has a ripple affect as the body of Christ grows. For instance, in one year if you took time to disciple/brother/mentor and invest in just 2 guys it would leave an impact that only God is capable of. Teach them how to make disciples and then each invest in 2 guys for a year. Now we’re up to 4 disciples in 2 years. The same pattern goes on: those 4 guys invest in 2 each, which leads to 8. That leads to 16, then to 32, then to 64, then to 128, then to 256, then to 512, then to 1,024, then to 2,048, then to 8,192, then to 16,384, and so on. Just imagine after 16 years since your investment in just 2 guys, 65,536 brother in Christ will have been impacted since then! They would all be making disciples and the biggest thing in all of this is how God would shine his love through them not just to the disciples they’ve made but also to all of the people they come into contact around the world! It’s the beauty of the reality of the great commission and the joy of making disciples! Keep living for the king, putting everything in Him first and make the most out of every opportunity to let Jesus shine through you!”

Your brother in Christ,

Logan Rhea

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Kevin Kubandi: You Don’t Have To Prove Anything

Posted by in Faith | January 7, 2013

ocean

Editor’s Note: Don’t let the brevity of this letter blind you to the immense truth Kevin bestows upon his younger self. An entire life can be changed in half a sentence and Kevin gives enough advice in this single paragraph to pull most kids through some pretty challenging years unscathed. Thanks to Kevin for condensing his advice into a powerful piece we’re pleased to share.

Dear younger me,

I didn’t know how to start this letter so I’m just going to jump into it. Please live every day like there’s no tomorrow. Treat people better than you would treat yourself. The loudest voice in the room is not the wisest. Listening will get you further in life than arguing. Listen to your farther. You don’t have to prove anything to him; he corrects you because he loves you. Never stop showing your sisters you love them; they might not always acknowledge it but they love you more than you know. Work hard at everything you do. God has given you a gift so don’t waste it. Honor your mother. As much as you think she loves you, she loves you even more. The sport you play does not define you. The parties you go to don’t define you. The girls you date don’t define you… You are who God says you are. So read your bible and find out what he says about you. Treat the girls you date like you would want your sisters and mom to be treated. Value your family and friends and don’t just say you love them, show them. Don’t sell out. You have a dream; hold on to it, no matter what other people say to you.

Hey, you’re going to make mistakes. Admit them and get back up.

KEEP FIGHTING, LIVE FOR CHRIST, AND HONOR YOUR FAMILY.

You’ll be alright kid. You’re a fighter. Plus God’s got your back… Be blessed.

Kevin Kubandi

Stephen Jaques: A Prince Is Proud but Not Vain

Posted by in Faith,Temptation | January 1, 2013

Editor’s Note: Stephen has written a really powerful post for us to kick off this new year. He starts with light-hearted advice to his younger, more awkward self, and slowly delves into the heart of the things that he will be at risk of in high school and college. He gives excellent advice concerning the opposite sex and in fighting against idols. And he ends the piece with a powerful reflection on what it means to be a Prince. Thanks Stephen; you give us all hope and a clear path toward claiming our inheritance in God and stewarding it well.

To a younger me,

I know you. Right now you have just finished 8th grade. In a month you will turn 15 and in 3 months you will start high school. I’ve almost forgotten how naïve and socially awkward you were. The struggles you are going through still impact me today. I have so many things that I wish I could tell you but I will try to boil it down. I’ll divide it into spiritual and non-spiritual stuff.

First, the non-spiritual. Ditch the jean shorts. Get rid of them! Burn them and forget you ever wore them haha! Also, wear shirts that fit, not too bulky or too tight. You have several important places to make friends (senior high youth group and high school) and dressing well will help you avoid looking like an awkward homeschooler. Don’t judge others by their appearances but understand that people will judge you by yours; so go buy some polos and khakis and a decent pair of shoes. That said, always remember, it’s the man that makes the clothes, not the other way around. Don’t put your identity in your appearance.

I suggest learning the slang so you don’t get laughed at for not knowing the jokes and references. Learn the terms of your peers. Go catch up on your movies as well. You may have been raised in a cave, but now’s the time to start respectfully pushing some boundaries. Don’t make an idol out of parental approval.

And be excited! You have big things ahead of you! The cross country and track teams are going to be great experiences. Run hard. Be tough. Don’t be afraid to go out hard at the beginning of the race; you will be trained well enough to finish strong. Do not fear failure. Coach Clanton will be one of the greatest men you are ever around. Additionally, do your homework. I’m at UGA because of your self-discipline.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, get a different summer job than Publix. They’re nice people but they won’t give you enough hours.

I know you have some assumptions about how life will turn out. Let me burst one of your bubbles. Our family doesn’t have unlimited money; so if you want a car or some other big-ticket item, you better find a job that can pay for it. You go to a rich school but don’t expect everything to be paid for by Mom and Dad. It’ll save you some disappointment if you realize that now rather than a few years down the road. But be thankful for your comfortable life. God didn’t have to give it to you.

Speaking of comfort, get comfortable with yourself but also branch out. I know you can be quiet and you are not extroverted but please go talk to people. Seriously, be aggressive in pursuing friendships. Be friendly and don’t be afraid to cut it loose. It’s fun, I promise. You have to stop being so worried about whether or not people will judge you. Perimeter’s youth group will be the hardest place you ever have to break in. But it will be worth it. God is doing great things there; and you will meet some amazing people and have amazing opportunities to serve!

College is still a few years away, but I’m going to tell you a couple things about it. First, if it’s not the greatest four years of your life, don’t worry about it. After all, it would be depressing if the best times of your life were behind you when you graduate at 23. I know you will be burned out after working hard in high school, but don’t give up in college. Push through, get good grades, and find a couple organizations to join as well as places to serve. You’ll find a special place to serve the poor and disadvantaged, but don’t forget to serve where you live, work, and play. Once again, put yourself out there and meet people.

There’s one big thing I haven’t talked about yet. Girls…

Read more ›

We’ve Begun Filming our Stories!

Posted by in Brotherhood | January 1, 2013

Here’s a Sneak Peak – Videos Coming Soon!

Editor’s Note: After a long and strenuous journey toward our goal of sharing our stories with the world, we are happy to announce that we have taken our most significant step yet! We have begun filming video testimonials, where our brothers give you a glimpse into their intimate journey toward becoming men of God. Our story as Christians is one of redemption; and our lives should serve as reminders of where we have been and indicators of where God is leading us. These videos will serve as a critical medium that allows us to be good stewards of the incredible stories we’ve witnessed as brothers of IRON and FIRE.

See All Our Instagram Photos Online!

Posted by in uncategorized | December 12, 2012

http://Instagram.com/IRONandFIRE

Editor’s Note: So, we’re excited to share some cool news with you. Instagram (the social photo-sharing service) has recently released web profiles; meaning you can now view all of our Instagram photos online, even if you don’t have an Instagram account! Incidentally, if you have an iphone or an android powered smartphone, you should really consider downloading the free Instagram app. It’s a great way to keep in touch by seeing what your friends are up to via photos. And if you’re already all over Instagram and you haven’t hit us up yet… welp. Sheesh, we’re @ironandfire, come find us!

Gavin Brand: Love and Lust start with the same letter

Posted by in Temptation | December 3, 2012

Editor’s Note: Gavin really blessed us this week with a letter to his younger self. His journey through life from a typical, struggling Christian kid to a strong man of God, confident in his identity and purpose, is a real testament to fighting the good fight. Gavin reminds us that we are washed in blood, and that where there’s blood, there’s battle. Thanks to Gavin for being a light in the city of Seattle and for his honesty in writing this post as a brother of IRON and FIRE.

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.

  • You don’t have to hide your sin. Jesus sees it.
  • You don’t have to blame others for your sin. Jesus took the blame.
  • You don’t have to make light of your sin when you talk to your friends. Jesus died for it.
  • You can own your s#!%, because Jesus set you free.
  • 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.

    In Christ,
    Your Older Self

    Gavin Brand