Some Resources For You!

I decided, because I had to go and update my auto insurance (which took a decent chunk out of my normal writing time) to give you all a list of awesome resources I have found invaluable in my walk with Christ, below are links and pictures, enjoy!

(click on the pictures for the link)

Desiring God
-For everything related to The Bible and life, plumb the depths of their many articles and sermons!
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Bible Gateway
-A great resource for looking up and reading scripture!

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Plugged In
-When it comes to new movies, it’s hard to tell how crude it’s going to be. Plugged In gives you every instance of Sexuality, Cussing, and anything else before you even watch it!

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Downcast (APP)
-The BEST podcasting app i’ve ever found, though it’s only on iOS, the interface is clean and easy to use. I found ALL of the sermons I listen to and easily download them daily. I great tool for sermon and teaching consumption.

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Gospel Community

A community built on and driven by the Gospel is a powerful thing. The gospel empowers a community of believers to forgive, love, confront, and much more in a way that cares for other believers’ souls and nurtures our own.

Now I’m not referring to Church alone, though that is a necessary gathering of the Saints in every way, and I can’t and won’t minimize that vast importance of a local church body. heb 3n 13But within the Church there are those who wish to pursue deeper relationships with other believers outside of the Church House, and this should be encouraged by our local pastors and overseen in a Biblical way, so as not to start some heresy.

So in my case, one of my deacons started a small group where we meet and go through a book called “Gospel Centered Discipleship” where we talk about things we as a body need to be doing and truths we need to be applying to encourage, exhort, and come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. Though the book certainly isn’t easy or comfortable at times, it has shown me the immense value of having a group of brothers and sisters who are in unity together share how we’re doing in life and in our walks with Christ. Also of even more encouragement are a smaller group a brothers (within the group) who I can encourage and be encouraged by for more personal struggles that are closer to home for us guys.

All said, being in a gospel community is of the utmost importance for these (and many more) reasons:

  • It’s a time to be transparent and real about struggles. (instead of just saying “oh… I’m good… u?”)
  • We can be accountable to (in my case) godly men who care for my soul.
  • I can help keep other men accountable.
  • It’s a time to pray for each other.
  • It’s a caring atmosphere to lovingly convict (and be convicted) of sin.
  • Rigorous Bible study.
  • Much, much more!

Anyways, thank you for reading and I hope that you find (under the authority of your local pastor) a small group to be a part of. It’s an indispensable gift God has given us as provision to fight sin and love God. If you don’t know where to start, talk to your Pastor about him starting a book study, I’m sure he’d be happy to see someone exited to grow more in Christ.

The Amazing Gift Of Community

Night_Maze     So this past Saturday, I went to the “River of Life Night Maze”. It’s basically a Christian event from 5pm-Midnight where they have big inflatable obstacle courses, games, etc, an amazing speaker, and a corn maze! On top of that, a bunch of my friends who were off to college a few months ago were on a ministry trip to help out so the Night Maze would run smoothly and effectively.

It was a great time. Quality time with close friends I hadn’t seen in a while, a great message from an amazing man of God i’ve known for a while, and just plain corn maze awesomeness! Seriously, corn mazes at night are fantastic. Loved it.So at this little outing, I was very encouraged, I had laughed so hard it hurt, and beat my good friend at an obstacle course game. (My favorite type of inflatable game.)

So all in all it was great. Great time, great friends, great God.

It was encouraging because there are times in my week where I just need to get out. Get out of the house, see new sights, or just the occasional brief change of scenery.
My life is pretty simple, nothing too amazing, nothing too terrible about it, it has its highs and lows just like anyone else. I wake up, I eat, I have school, I have work, I have plenty of things that keep me busy throughout the week.

But I’m sure there’s plenty of us who just need something more every now and then. What with the daily grind of life, and the times it seems just too monotonous and hopeless and you feel just plain down. (I don’t know about some of you, but that’s me a lot.)
So I tried to medicate the problem, asking myself:
“Do I need more time in my bible?”
“Do I need to sleep more?”
“Should I pray more?”

All those are good options, and we always need to make sure we’re getting a proper amount of each, but those didn’t seem to be the problem.
So usually at this point I begin to pray and ask Jesus for some wisdom in my predicament of (we’ll call it) loneliness.
Why do we feel lonely? Why as Christians do we say Jesus is enough and then turn around and feel lonely? Is it unbiblical to be lonely? Is it ok to feel even a little bit down?

These questions always run through my head. And, for me, the answer usually isn’t any I listed. (Although sleep is a legitimate problem at times I admit.)

The Answer? (For me at his point.)
It’s people.

Godly people Jesus has placed in my life to encourage and lift me up and show me Jesus through how we talk, laugh, and interact.

Community, The Body of Christ.

I’ve heard of many Christians who live lives thinking if they “need” people, or if people encourage them, it’s somehow an idol in their hearts and interactions should be strictly platonic, because, after all, shouldn’t Jesus be enough?
Well, yes, He should.
But, we’re really missing something. Jesus commanded us:

“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
~Hebrews 10:25

We see clearly in this verse to “all the more” seek the community of godly people, not neglecting it! How encouraging is that? We’re to have friends and love and serve people, and God does it for His glory and our good! (Romans 8:28)

Pretty encouraging! I was so encouraged seeing my friends this weekend and seeing how God’s been working in their hearts and minds, and I hope and pray anyone reading this would remember to seek out godly people for help and wisdom, and to find a good, bible-teaching Church to grow in community and service with other believers!

Seriously, when Jesus commands something of us, He knows best. So believe that and be encouraged!