The Scary Part of Being Authentic

There are a lot of days I feel pretty lousy about myself. I struggle with my frustrations, insecurities, and failures, and even sometimes I wonder if people will find out I’m a fake. I don’t mean fake in that I am imitating something I am not, but fake as in I’m not what others may think I am. I’ve come to realize that it is easy to look at someone and assume they have everything together, but the sad truth is that hardly any of us have it together at all. I grow really tired when I feel that I need to keep it all together.

When I feel like a screw up or a failure what I like to do is to be around life giving people. To spend time with people that will encourage me. People that believe in me, and actually know me well. It’s easy to get encouragement from people that aren’t that close to you. Especially in our social media world where we only put our best face to the public. It’s more difficult to hear from people that know you well. One of my bucket list items is to be a hero in my own house. I want the people that are closest to me to respect me the most. A few months ago I sat with a new friend and we were talking about his father-in-law who is a fairly well known and respected man. As my friend talked about his father-in-law he said, “He is one of the best people I know.” I love that. I love that this man is known as an incredible guy from his son-in-law. How hard is that?

The other thing I like to do when I feel lousy is to actually open the Bible. Strange, right? I like to look at who God says I am. The Bible reveals so many things about who we are when we become new in Christ. He says that we are more than conquerors and that He is for us (Romans 8:31-39). This also implies how valuable we must be to Him. No one goes out of their way to pay a huge price for something that they don’t value very much. When I realize that even though I screw up and often fail, He still looks at me as his child and counts me as valuable. This changes everything. It changes my perspective on my day. And it changes how I look at myself. I no longer feel lousy, but confident–with a confidence that comes from someone that knows me better than anyone else.

And by the way, I need this reminder daily, because that’s how often I screw up. I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. Join me in engaging the Bible to see what God has to say about us.

After Puerto Rico (Adam’s take)

adamblogPRI have to be a little honest about our trip to Puerto Rico. If it was not for my wife, I may have asked them if I could stay. It was an intense trip that was action packed. We did so many things, and I watched our team grow so much. We were stretched by dancing (which was more fun than I like to let on), we prayed with people, and we just loved on so many.

I’m not always the best at communicating my emotions, but my heart broke in Puerto Rico. One evening we participated in a ministry called Rescate Cenicienta (Rescue Cinderella). This ministry is a prostitute outreach in which we drove around looking for prostitutes and passed out roses to them. We were looking for an opportunity to love on these women and tell them that they are loved and beautiful. We prayed with many of them, and I met a young woman named Sandy. Sandy has been doing this work since she was 12 and is now 20. She has a young child, and is pregnant with her second child. We were able to talk to her, and she even hugged us as she left to go to her next client. Talking to her broke me down. I thought of my wife who is just a little bit further along in her pregnancy than Sandy. I thought of all the children in Kid’Mo and House youth that are the same age as when Sandy started.

It is hard not to get overwhelmed by all the need on a trip like this. It’s easy to look at all the work that needs to be done and get frustrated. But knowing that God is bigger than any situation and circumstance is comforting. I know God is doing a work in Puerto Rico, and I’m glad I got to be a part of what He is doing.

Mission trips are an incredible opportunity for God to transform our lives as we are serving others. I know I am different from this trip, and I hope you would pray about joining us on our next one.

Bittersweet End of a Series

CHRISTIAN fb 2I must confess that my wife and I are frequent Netflix users. In fact we have watched multiple shows from season one episode one to finishing what is provided on Netflix from that particular show. It is a weird sadness that happens when we get near the end. It’s almost like I want it to finish, but I don’t want it to be done either. Sometimes I’ll even avoid watching the last episode just so it’s not over yet. I recently did that for almost 6 months I left the final episode of Sherlock sitting there just waiting to be watched before I finally finished it. I kind of felt this same way with Rich’s “Christian” sermon series at Lc. I enjoyed it so much, but I just didn’t want it to be over. I feel like it is causing serious growth in me as I attempt to live as a disciple of Jesus.

This series really challenged us to live out our faith more as we walk through our weekly routines, and share the love of Jesus with those around us. This series was pretty basic, but also very powerful. It has been one of my favorites that Rich has done, and if you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend you downloading the podcast. I know our new series is going to be great too, but just like finishing a show on Netflix I’m a little sad for this one to be done.

-AK

Grace vs. Truth

CHRISTIAN fb 2The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

This idea that Rich spoke on (Christian: Part 5) two weeks ago of living a life full of grace and yet full of truth is so hard for me. As I sat in my small group discussing this idea, I realized how much I have changed over the past five years. Five years ago I would have described myself as more of a truth person. For me this meant many things were very black and white and clear cut. On the negative end of this I was left a little jaded and legalistic. I was zealous and wanted to live righteously, but at the expense of sharing grace with those around me.

Now I would describe myself as more of a grace person. I love to share the love of Christ with those around me, and I’m not too thrown off by much of anything that people do anymore. I am constantly challenged with living in the tension of these two. Since I tend to lean more toward grace,  it’s good to recognize where I am and try to live in the tension more.

Where do you live? What do you struggle with on either side of this? The tension is where we should live. The tension is good.

-AK