Category Archives: Brotherhood


Heroes Don’t Get to Take Days Off

Posted by in Brotherhood | May 27, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Today, while many of us are relaxing and enjoying our freedom, soldiers are serving, fighting, or even dying to protect it. Some of them will never see another memorial day. Fewer still will have the ability to enjoy this day without thinking of fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate price. Memorial Day is especially hard on the grieving family members who are still paying the price of having their loved one taken away for the cause of freedom.

All across the world, brave Americans are on guard so we can take the day off. They are losing sleep and even their very lives in order to grant us the blessing of a relaxing day at the lake. This country isn’t free by choice, by vote, by victory, or by chance. No, this country is free by hardship and death. God has blessed this country for sure, but it has not come cheap. Great men and women, who chose to give themselves away to the cause of liberty and freedom, have paved the road for us that leads to peace. Let us honor them today, through prayers and parades, and make sure to enjoy this extremely expensive freedom.

Never forget that on any given day there are people on guard so you don’t have to be.

With Heavy Hearts, We Ask for Prayer

Posted by in Brotherhood,Faith | April 30, 2013

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Editor’s Note: It is with a heavy heart that I bring you this news. One of our first brothers, JJ Russell, is gathered with his younger brother Chad and the rest of his family at the hospital. Their mother is on her deathbed, and never have the prayers of the saints meant more to our brotherhood. May we honor our brothers JJ and Chad, and their beautiful mother Beth Russell (who has valiantly battled cancer over the past year), with prayers of comfort and sorrow and a spirit of peace and thanksgiving. The family needs will be many in the coming days and months, but nothing will replace the need to be with her. We take comfort in the fact that one day we too will join her to walk the streets where there are no tears. JJ and Chad, we love you. You and your family are a treasure we boast of and a joy to everyone you meet. You have our hearts and our hands, our ears and our prayers, tonight and in the difficult days to come. Friends, please pray. Our family is losing a mother and a friend; her husband Terry is losing a wife. We know that God will welcome his daughter with open arms, but we wish it wasn’t so soon. And in times like this, our purpose is so clear. To be there for the Russell family and to cover them with prayer. We believe in its power and we claim it as our own.

Drew Hagenstad: The Universe is Rigged

Posted by in Brotherhood,Faith | April 15, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Drew takes us down an interesting pattern of attempting to fill the proverbial void with idols of friendship and brotherhood. Things we all feel will cure that ancient sort of loneliness. All credit to Drew though, through years of let-downs and constantly seeking the truth that was right under his nose, the peace and comfort found in Christ and brotherhoods centered around God is finally his.

“Several years ago, I would have told you that I thought a brotherhood was just a group of bros that do stuff together.  A group of guys that are all good friends with each other.  Maybe date some of the same girls, play the same sport, do some of the same drugs, or study some of the same stuff.

I wanted to be a part of something like that.  In middle school and most of high school, I had friends, but I wasn’t a part of any of these “groups.”  I always felt like I was naturally excluded from these brotherhoods, figuratively (and sometimes literally) standing on the outside of the circle, looking in and listening.  If only I could be part of that circle!

It was only when I started becoming part of these groups of friends that I realized that I still wasn’t satisfied.  This multi-friend phenomenon I built up in my mind wasn’t as fulfilling as I imagined.  I was still missing something.

I was on Young Life work crews at camps for three straight summers, where I experienced and learned an astronomical amount of important things about life, including what a true friend is.  But after every single time I was on work crew, instead of dwelling on and living out the most important things as I returned to real life afterwards, I spent all of my time either clinging on to the long-distance friendships that began at camp, or exhaustingly working to get the friendships I had at home to fill the void left in me after I had to leave camp and the friends I made there.

These are just a few examples of how I’ve spent my entire life continually searching for people I can develop relationships with, thinking that such relationships would satisfy the longing inside me.

I just didn’t get it.  And despite all of the truth God instilled in me off and on throughout the next four years, I still didn’t get it.  The idolatry of interpersonal relationships had completely poisoned my brain, and only a complete and utter embrace of truth could cure me.  But I ran away from the truth and continued to chase after the lie that this world is more important than the next.

A wise friend once told me that the universe is rigged so that anything that doesn’t revolve around God completely falls apart.  In my life I can say with certainty that I have spent far more time thinking about my relationships with other people than my relationship with God.  And only in the past couple months have I realized that this is not normal, this is not natural, this is not the way God intended life to be.  These fragile, meaningless friendships I had weren’t satisfying because I was missing Jesus the entire time.  Everyone around me was on a pedestal above my Father.

I was loving, pursuing, worshiping my best friends, my work crew friends, my girlfriend.  I was trying to serve earthly gods I had crafted in my mind from a desire for acceptance and love.  And when the respective universes surrounding those gods always fell apart, it never hit me that they fell apart because those people were not gods.  They are broken, sinful people like me.  They couldn’t handle all of my struggles.  They didn’t have the answers to all the questions I asked them.  And they weren’t the creator of the universes that revolved around them in my mind, and therefore everything fell apart.  Voids were left in my soul when those universes fell apart, and instead of running to the only One who could help me, I rushed to fill that void with more idols, more earthly persons I could love and worship and yearn for love and acceptance in return.

As I said earlier, I was missing Jesus the entire time.  And it was right under my nose.  Every time I went to church or went to youth group or spent my summers at Young Life camps, my Father was calling for me to cast away my idolatry, run back to Him, and to immerse myself in His perfect love and holiness.

I know now that a true brotherhood is a group of men which is centered on God.  A group of men in Christ who gather to spread God’s glory in this world, where each member ensures that he and his brothers are keeping the only true God at the forefront of their lives.  And I invite any of my brothers that are reading this now to pray for me and for each other.  Idolatry is one of the most formidable weapons used against our identity in Christ, and God knows I could use some help in keeping Him at the forefront of my life, thus ridding me of the idols that have corrupted my mind for so long.”

Drew Hagenstad

Will Ogletree Video Story Teaser!

Posted by in Brotherhood | April 10, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Tomorrow we will release our 4th video. In it, Will Ogletree opens up about how his disappointment with circumstances in life led him to regularly seek God, instead of only honoring him when receiving life’s blessings. It’s a lesson we all need to learn. Thanks Will!

Andrew Collins: Blood Brothers

Posted by in Brotherhood,Faith,Video | March 28, 2013

One break in a family can cause a ripple effect throughout the rest of it…

Andrew Collins’ story will really move you. From the initial questions he began asking about the savior he thought he knew and the lukewarm faith he practiced, to a life-altering retreat with his brother that shook their relationship to the core, God is alive and working to restore his family to himself. Thanks to Andrew for sharing a part of his story.

Andrew Collins Video Story Teaser!

Posted by in Brotherhood | March 25, 2013

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Editor’s Note: In a couple days we will release our 3rd video. It features our own Andrew Collins, a young man who earnestly questioned his lukewarm faith and then set out to do something about it; however, he could never have predicted what he would find…