Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nothing Else Matters.

"He has cheated Hell and seated us above the fall.
In desperate places He paid our wages one time once and for all"

::John Mark McMillan::
::"Death In His Grave"::

"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
::1 Corinthians 15:12-14::


Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lion.

"'Is- he a man?' asked Lucy.

'Aslan a man!' said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion- the lion, the great Lion.'

'Ooh!'said Susan, 'I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.'

'That you will dearie, and no mistake' said Mrs. Beaver; 'if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than me or else just silly.'

'Then he isn't safe?' asked Lucy.

'Safe?' said Mr. Beaver. 'Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'"

::C.S. Lewis
::The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I am the son of the Most High King.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Prone To Wander...

Brokenness is not weakness...Weakness is not evil...Weakness is not even weak...Please, please, give up your false notion that you have to be strong all the time...You cannot do it...You are prone to wandering and fading...You are not above sin...

I am prone to wandering...I try to hide my weakness...I fail...

Give it up.


Let it go.

Hold onto something that will not fail, falter, wander, give way or ever be weak.


Be man enough to admit you can't do it alone.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." _2 Corinthians 12:9-10_

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Character & Integrity...

It has been one long dang time since I have written anything...

Another year older today...College over...Job hunting...Life...Alas...

I was given the opportunity to speak to a student body of fifteen hundred on my last day of chapel in my undergraduate career...I read and listened back over it recently and needed to hear the truths I spoke again for myself...Kind of a weird feeling getting told a new one by yourself...Anyways, here it is...Remember I am as broken as the next person and have trouble following my own advice...


Hi. I’m Jake and I think it’s funny when people get coffee drinks with skim milk and then ask for whip cream. I also want to ask you all to open your Bibles to Jeremiah 29:11 as I give a sermon taking the verse completely out of context…Just kidding…However, I am a senior who is about to walk at graduation this Saturday. In light of that, here’s a few things I have thought about, learned, observed, lived out, and not lived out, in my time here at college…
I’ve learned that character and integrity are much more important than they get credit for…I’ve learned that life is an inside job and we are not victims. Everyone has their own junk…On the outside we deal with those weaknesses by blaming things around ourselves, when we are truly the idiot… The problem is that we have to admit we are the idiot and we have to admit we want to change ourselves…
See, character is who you are when no one is looking. So let’s start with this. If I sign a contract that says I will follow certain guidelines while at this school, but break a few I personally disagree with, then my character is flawed in some way. See, I signed the contract, a bond, that said I would keep my word. I don’t care if you don’t agree with some of the rules, you still agreed to follow them. For the record, I am personally not above anyone for having followed or not followed the handbook while here. It’s not even about the typed ink on the paper anyway guys, and if you think it is, then you are missing it.
Not entirely related….Girls, I probably can’t fully understand what it means to have to wait on guys for us to take the initiative, but I do see some of the great lengths you girls go to wanting to get our attention. While it initially may be something you want, how you dress matters. Some of us want to treat you as God intended, we truly desire that, but when you’re not intentional in a positive way with the way you dress, as an example, you send us mixed messages. Respect yourself enough to not give us what our male desire wants. Save yourself for somebody. It’s worth it. It really is.
Guys, just because girls show you some cleavage or dress in other immodest ways, doesn’t give you an excuse to have a lack of self-control. However, all of us are tempted to act on carnal urges, in which we tend to treat women as objects if we let go on control and intentionality. But real men rise above carnal urges and treat women well; in a way they deserve. It takes a real man to have self-control and go completely against how culture says to look at women. And once again, I personally am not above this. I speak to you from a place of forced humility, as God has brought me, dragged me, a loooong way to where I am today. And if you guys don’t think that pornography will affect you, mentally and physically, the rest of your life, then you are dead. wrong. Every time you settle for a fake image of God’s beautiful creation, you create an expectation your wife will never live up to, because porn isn’t real love. Never, ever, sacrifice your future on the altar of the immediate.
Honestly guys, I want to be a perfect man, a man wholly surrendered to God…I really desire that…I desire to have solid character and integrity, and I do fail. You need to know that.…But, if we become a community that is seeking character moment by moment, then we become a people who can transform little tiny Spring Arbor…Jackson…Michigan…The U.S…The world…for Christ…We don’t become impactful when it is eleven o’clock at night and we’re in our third hour of Call of Duty or Halo, with two more to go…We don’t become impactful when it’s eleven o’clock at night and we have spent the last two hours gossiping about who we think is worth less than us on this campus…
We are impactful when we are followers of Christ cleverly disguised as something…I hope to be a follower of Christ disguised as a resident director of a college next year…I also still want to change the world…I want to do something that is bound to fail unless God intervenes…However, I have to change myself to the likeness of Christ before I can change the world…It’s an inside out job…
I was an RA for a year and half here, and the reason it was only one and a half years was because I tried to form myself from the outside in…I let my personality and reputation carry me into a second year of student leadership, and when I could no longer hide from my awful grades that were not characteristic of a committed student, I had to be let go of my position. In the middle of the year…I’m kind of embarrassed to share this too…It sucked. It really did. I cried for the first time in three or four years that night…I wish I would have had the depth of character to avoid that…God did use it…But I am telling you because we mature a little bit more when we spew our crap…
I mature a little bit more when I recognize my depravity and get in front of someone who loves me enough to tell me I’m an idiot, in love…James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The person whom you confess to won’t let you off the hook, but they won’t beat you up either…And you can’t jump into the listener’s seat without ever having sat in the confessor’s seat…
For those of you going into ministry of any kind this summer, you are all followers of Christ cleverly disguised as a counselor, foreman, director, coach, lifeguard, and so on…Don’t say you are going to a camp this summer to get changed, or that you will get changed on whatever summer trip you have planned…Get changed now, with your roommate, with your best friend, with people whom you are close to…And do it today.
For everyone in this room, whether you care about God or not, it’s time to acknowledge the struggle. Everyone on this campus has crap?, from freshmen to the administration…You are not alone. You are also not as strong as you think, so stop thinking you are. Right now. Right this second. Stop pretending you have it together…Come on, no one does…But be encouraged in the community of brokenness that exists all around you. We all suck at life sometimes, but we are dragged back to our feet by God and each other.
As you leave Spring Arbor someday, leave a mark, not just a reputation…Leave having been a servant, rather than being served…Will you leave and have at least one person say you really impacted their life for Christ? Or will they say something like, “Man, you really knew how to party hard?”
Desire to be a man or woman of character and integrity. Work hard for it. Be intentional. And refuse to be complacent. To quote one of my favorite verses from Ephesians: “Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”