It’s Not About Me | Blake Glover

Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord but let me first say farewell to those in my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” — Luke 9:61-62

Life. It isn’t mine. It doesn’t belong to me and it surely shouldn’t be made about me. When we choose to follow Jesus, we lose a life we once had in order to surrender and submit to the life He has for us.

If you have ever served alongside me, there is a chance you may have the words, “its not about you” come out of my mouth. While serving on mission trips in Honduras, it almost becomes the laughable punch line when someone wants to complain (and man, is it easy to find things to complain about.) Last year, we had access to a pool at the camp site where we were staying. When I say the water was cold, it truly is an understatement. This was like mountain water on crack. Its the type of cold that takes your breath away, makes your lips turn purple and your leg hair grow back instantly. Not going to lie- I wanted to stay as far away from that pool as possible but the orphans we took to camp that year- they wanted to spend HOURS in that pool, so guess what- we jumped in. It may seem silly or small, but those girls wanted US in the pool with them- and for the rest of the week as we jumped in we shouted “for the kids.” Our perspective shifted off of ourselves and our obligation to opportunity. This may be a story from last summer, but it happens within our lives on the daily.

“I really wish I could just stay at home tonight instead of going to set up chairs in a hot gym – but it’s not about me. I have 25 better things to do than serve other people who I don’t feel deserve it- but it’s not about me. I really don’t want to love my spouse after they did that to me – but it’s really not about me. Is it really necessary to sit and listen to this person talk about their life for 30 minutes – it’s not about me.” I am sure you can fill in the blank.

The moment we choose to follow Jesus, we lose our life in order to follow him. Luke 17:33 says, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will surely lose it, but whoever loses their life will keep it.” To be honest, this verse makes me feel indifferent. More times than not, I think about hanging on to the sin nature of my life, and how easy it would be to live recklessly and selfishly in my sin. This verse is asking us to do the opposite of that. When we lose our reckless, sin nature lives, we find life in HIM. Abundant and eternal life. Its not easy to follow Jesus. You may not see the reward right now. You may feel tired and worn out. My friend, hang in there, because Jesus is worth it, and his people are worth it. He gives life to the weary and the broken hearted and my prayer for you is that He would resurrect that in you today.

A time must come when we move from obligation to opportunity. We live in such a place of entitlement that we are blinded by the opportunity that sits in front of us. We feel like we deserve a reward or something in return for following Jesus before we can serve other people and if we selfishly wait for a reward, we will constantly miss our opportunity. Opportunity to love and serve people who are broken and hurting in this world. A place where I once was before I knew Jesus. Luke 9:62  “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” There is no room to look back to your old life, your sin nature, your life of obligation and entitlement. There is a dying world out there, and if our eyes are constantly looking to what could be or what could have been then we can’t follow Jesus fully.

As much as you may want this life to be fully yours, it isn’t. It belongs to the One who created it. My prayer for you reading this is that you would surrender your life fully to the great calling that our sweet Father has placed on you to follow Him. Count the true cost of knowing Him and knowing His people and that you would move from a place of obligation to opportunity.

In His Presence, Everything Changes | Holly Myers

When I was a little girl I would often create elaborate stories to get out of trouble.  It was an attempt to soften the punishment. It would be partially true but somehow a major turn of events would happen and it just seemed to make the story better just not necessarily believable.

“There was this one time….”

I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys. I had a few girls I would hang out with but the boys just seemed to have more fun.  However on this particular morning my neighbor (a girl) and my little sister and I decided we were going to see what would happen when fire touches dry grass. I mean what could possibly go wrong? We laughed a lot and finally got the spark we needed and we were mesmerized by it.  But before long we looked at each other and knew we were on our way to burning down every house surrounding those woods.  We started stomping and throwing soda on it and after a lot of panic and a whole lot of soda it finally went out. As we walked away from the smoke billowing over a huge black charcoaled patch of what use to be grass my mind started churning with what I was going to say the story was.  I mean the grass was dead and it no longer served a purpose.  It was how I would explain to my mom if she found out.  I had it all planned out in my head but she never found out until now so now she knows but she can no longer ground me or spank me.

Have you ever asked or been asked the question “what do you regret most in life?”  Maybe I should answer starting an almost forest fire, or lying to my mom growing up. I once was asked that question and I quickly answered  “my relationship with my father”.  As I think about that question a little deeper today I realize that it was so much more than just my relationship with my father I regretted.  As a kid I couldn’t truly verbalize just how angry I was at him and so that led to years of pain frustration and vulnerabilities that led me into sin.  I would dress and do whatever I could to gain the looks of boys, I would hide food and binge simply because I felt pain and I would do and say what I needed in order to gain friendships.  You see the anger I had for my father gave root to lots of different sins in my life which led to many regrets along the way.

James 1: 22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

We all want our marriages to be happily ever after, our friendships to always be healthy. We want our houses to be spotless with beautiful decorations hanging without a bit of dust on them and perfectly behaved kids sitting by the fire-place reading their lengthy chapter books with smiles on their faces. And as men I’m sure you want your yard to be the best in the neighborhood and your team to go all the way.  For some of you this may be your lives and I say to you WOW!! But for most men and women we struggle to keep the dish piles out of the sink, the oil changed, clean underwear on our kids and dust off the ceiling fans ha (well I just keep my going so no one will notice). What I realized is that all throughout my life I have done things in order to gain some type of control just to keep the anger and hurt from surfacing. 

Food was a way out for me. At a young age boys were a way out for. As I got older approval and food addiction set even more defeat into motion.  

When I read verse 25 I see one word and that word is FREEDOM. I desperately want to walk in freedom from guilt of measuring up as a perfect wife, mother and friend. I will always fail and yet God’s perfect grace is what causes me to walk in any type of confidence what so ever. The first part of that verse says but whoever looks INTENTLY into the perfect law. God’s word is the only thing we can know that brings about change in our lives and circumstances. When we look INTENTLY into God’s word it always reflects the parts of our hearts that is keeping us from gaining freedom. 

Just this morning I was reminded of this beautiful truth in John chapter 8 verse 32

‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set free.”

His word will set me free I just have to open it up and listen with the intent to change.

This past Tuesday marked 20 years from fathers death and if you asked me what do I regret most.. 

It is not the relationship with my father nor is it all my past mistakes. You see God’s word tells us we don’t have to walk in regret because he keeps NO records of our sins when we confess. Today as the enemy reminds you of ALL the wrong things you have said or done in your past remember you are a NEW creation and the Creator of the universe loves you with a love that knows no bounds yet will ALWAYS bring about change within us.

In His presence EVERYTHING changes.

If you’re struggling with your circumstances… | Brad Faulkner

To me, one of the best feelings ever is the feeling I get when I can make something work. The feeling of accomplishment that I get when I fix or create something is awesome. If I fix something at my house by myself – automatic man card points. If I build something that is functional and actually looks good – instantly feeling like a champ. Your welcome, Ariel! But then there are times when things don’t work as planned and that inevitable feeling of failure is quick to follow.

A few months ago, the ignition broke in my car. For days I researched how to fix it, gathered all of the tools I needed, and got to work. I spent hours on that thing! After a couple of weeks of working on it in my spare time, I was finally done. Went to start it up – nothing. Same problem. Time = wasted. I’m not going to lie, I was frustrated. I was mad and ultimately felt like a failure. Then I had this recurring thought “I should have let an expert handle this”.

 

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A Minister

What does it mean to be a minister?  One of the definitions of the word minister is to attend to the needs of another.  We generally call our pastors ministers because they are looking out for our spiritual needs by bringing us the Word and visiting us when we are sick or in need.  A minister is the person that we look to as “the” leader in our church and is generally the guy responsible for just about everything that happens (or doesn’t happen).

Now what if I told you that you were a minister, that it was your responsibility to take care of the needy and tell the lost person about Jesus.  What if I told you that you had to give up some of your free time and go cut an old ladies grass or visit a sick person in the hospital?  I am sure that most of us would not mind doing this a few times now and then.  What if I told you it was your responsibility and burden to do this kind of thing all the time?

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I’m No Longer a Slave to Fear | Brittany Henderson

“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God..” the lyrics to a Bethel worship song kept ringing in my ear.  My ears asking my heart to listen, my mind questioning how true freedom could really be obtained.  I’ve said it before, fear is paralyzing.  The enemy has a way of using your broken circumstances and dreams against you, filling you with insecurity and doubt, leading you to be completely paralyzed in fear.  It’s a feeling you all may be used to, in fact you may know it all too well, which is scary, especially for God’s children. So where does all of this come from, and what truth can we apply to break free from what’s been putting us into fear’s corner?

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AJ’s Story

Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 7 months since Heather and I moved to Gastonia for Revolution Church. I can’t begin to describe how thankful and grateful we are to Richard & Holly for giving Heather and I the opportunity to minister to the students here at Revolution.

Hopefully by now you guys know that Heather and I LOVE students. We love student ministry. And we love the students of this church specifically and deeply. But outside of that, you may not know too much about me, so I thought it would be cool for you guys to hear a little bit more about my story: my background, how I came to know the Lord, and where God has taken me since then.

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Seth + Brittany Oprea

When we got married we wanted to make it our goal to have a strong foundation of unity as our top priority along with maintaining a strong faith in God in our daily lives. Not surprisingly, having faith in God is sometimes easier than working daily to create a sense of “togetherness” in our marriage. That’s not to say that maintaining faith in God is a pushover because it is certainly not, but placing your security and trust in another human being is different than placing your security and trust in our God that oversaw creation and the sending of Jesus.

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Gary + Jo Anne Isom

As Richard talked about in the first week of Blood, Sweat, and Tears – “I do” is easy to say, but being committed is harder.With Gary, I was saying ‘I do” for the second time. And I knew our marriage was going to take more than those two words. It was going to take commitment.

When we were in marriage counseling with one of the elders from our church, he asked Gary, “ Do you understand when you marry Jo Anne, you are not only marrying her but her two children?”. When he answered, it was what I needed to hear. Without hesitation he said “Yes, I understand”. The counselor said it was not going to be easy, and it has been very difficult at times, but the good times have definitely outweighed the difficult ones.

What does being committed look like for us?

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Jason + Amy Kelly

 

You would think writing about your marriage would be one of the easiest things to do… I mean you love each other so much and you have all these warm fuzzy feelings that you can’t even stand it. Right? That’s sarcasm at its finest.

I wished I could tell you what a fairytale our marriage has been. That’s the hope of every little girl, a beautiful wedding, with a beautiful dress and a happily ever after with her Prince.  Instead of feeling like a princess, I feel more like a warrior.

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Steve + Sandra Collis

Don’t give up, when the odds seem insurmountable, but push through to see your marriage thrive.

Back in the summer of 2008, we had a lot going on.  Construction was almost complete on our new house and we had just sold our house of 19 years.  Completion on our new house was still a couple of months away, so we decided we would live in Sandra’s dad’s camper until the house was complete.  We figured two months in a camper wouldn’t be so bad and it would be easier to check out the progress on our new home.

Well it was during this time that Sandra was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Sandra and I were devastated.  We were not attending church regularly and our prayer lives were almost non-existent at that time.  But it is funny how a life altering event can change your perspective.  Needless to say our prayer lives dramatically increased.  I prayed to God as hard as I could.  “Please just let Sandra live,” through this I asked Him.  We prayed for the right doctors and for God to guide them.

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