What Are You Doing?

Have you ever thought “What are these Christians talking about! I have tried everything to grow closer to God and my life doesn’t seem to get better.” You aren’t alone, I think if you ask anyone who has had any growth in their faith they will have been there at some point or another. Sometimes, doubt creates an opportunity for God to show Himself.

God has really used the times in my life when I have had doubt to challenge me and create opportunities for growth. There was a time in my life when I looked up to someone as a leader in my life, and when he began to talk to me about faith and life I took his words as gospel. That is until those people in my life who I admired for their faith and wisdom started to speak the real truth into my life. This caused me to have doubts, I wasn’t sure who or what to believe. However, through this doubting, God opened a door. He made a way for me to discover the truth, squash my doubt and grow closer to Him. I began to earnestly read the Bible in search of specific answers, I turned to those people that I knew had spoken wisdom into my life in the past, and searched tried and true resources on the internet, books and of course in the Bible for answers. When I actively searched for the answers to my doubt, God took that opportunity to grow my faith, reassure me, and give me the truth.

So my question to you is: What is it about your faith or God that you doubt? Once you can clearly identify the “issue” it becomes easier to address it. If you just say I don’t understand Christianity, or I don’t believe in God, that isn’t clear. What don’t you understand, what don’t you believe about God? These are the questions we need clarity on so we can address them. If you know what the doubt is, then you can begin to search out answers. There are so many resources available to us, and the biggest one is the Bible.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

Seek out the truth that is the Word of God and put a stop to the doubt in your heart so you can begin to grow!

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15

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Falling Down… Time to Get Back Up

I have shared this part of my story with a number of people, but not a large majority of people.

Over the past 4 years, I have been on a journey; this journey has not been easy and still isn’t always easy. A lot of the story has only been revealed to me over the last year.

Let’s start in 2014. This is when my life started to change, I think a good place to start is my education. In 2014 the CGA, CMA and CA designations decided to unite under the new designation CPA. Well, I was a student in the CGA program, and when we (me and other students) tried to get information regarding the transition, we were met with answers of we aren’t sure what will all happen, just keep taking courses so that they can transfer. For some reason that I’m not even sure of this really affected me and I began to feel extremely discouraged. I kept taking courses as suggested, but the motivation was gone, and discouragement had taken over. I failed 3 courses in a row. When you are already discouraged, this does nothing but make your self-esteem drop. Let it be known, that I am not trying to blame CGA or CPA for anything, it was just a trigger.

That summer I stopped taking courses, and began to seclude myself, and start up bad old habits like a porn addiction I thought was dealt with. Satan knew my weaknesses and exploited every single one of them. Over the next 2 years, I would find myself sinking lower and lower into this pit.

The next attack came in late 2015/early 2016 when I began to obsess about my body image. I knew I was overweight, and with the added pressure of society constantly showing what the ideal male body should look like I decided I needed to change, not for God, but for me. So my new year’s resolution for 2016 was that I would stop eating sweets for 6 months. It worked! I lost 30lbs by the time my Brothers wedding came around. However, even though I looked healthy on the outside, I was not healthy mentally or spiritually. Looking back, I can remember that on a regular basis (maybe once a week) I would think about driving my car full speed into a hydro pole. I never thought of myself as suicidal and wasn’t even aware I was doing it on a regular basis, until afterward. Living life to be healthy for the sake of being healthy is not ok. Living life to follow God is the only way.

This would be the lesson I would re-learn over the course of 2017. Through all of this, I was still involved in youth ministry and Sunday school, but I had begun to distance myself from the Sunday morning service. I would use excuses like “I was too tired” or “I would watch a sermon at home”. These were lies I was telling myself and others. What was really going on was subconsciously I was too afraid to face those around me that would probably be the ones who could help me. One day though I got caught. As I was leaving Church one Sunday, I got a text from Autumn Dueck, the youth pastor at the time. It read something like “Which Church are you going to?” I replied, “I’m actually going home, I had a long weekend.”. A LIE! But man was this a wake-up call. Later that afternoon I sent an honest response, explaining things as I saw them at that time (my eyes have since been opened to seeing so much more of my story). Starting that week I made a commitment to myself. Be more intentional! I started attending church weekly, with the intention of learning. I started greeting people and actually having conversations and opening up. It has made a tremendous change in my life.

I know now that this was a valley I had to go through to re-ignite my passion for Jesus, Church, people and youth ministry. I’m not perfect and I still make mistakes (secluding myself on occasion) but things are still going up!

Two verses that have really been my internal anthem over 2017 are Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 103 (the whole chapter). I am so thankful for the people that have challenged me and encouraged me through this time, and for an amazing church family. Can I end with a few prayer requests? Please pray that I stay strong in my faith and continue to seek Jesus every day, pray for wisdom as I mentor youth over the next 4 years, and finally for endurance to continue to be intentional every chance I get.

Thanks for reading, this has been a very hard story to write (I had planned to post this months ago)

 

Jordan

The Wide Gate: Did We Walk Through It?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.

When I look at the world today it is very easy to see that many will find the path of destruction. The world has seen two things this week that clearly show me that. One is the gunman in Moncton (my prayers go out to all those affected) and the second is the first assisted suicide bill being passed in Quebec. These two things show me that the world is only getting worse as more people choose the path of destruction.

My bigger fear is that we as Christians might find ourselves on that path. Matthew 7:13-14 says that the path to life is narrow and the gate is small, I know in my own life that I have veered from this path and joined the easier path, but because I believe in Jesus and when I take the time to learn more about him I know that he will guide me back to where I belong.

The thing is though that we don’t know where our brothers and sisters in Christ are, we have know way of truly knowing which path they are on( often there are outward signs, but these are not always present). So, I want to ask all of you to join me in a month long challenge of devoting a portion of our prayer time for not only the Christians in our individual churches, but in all the churches. Make sure especially to prayer for church leadership and teachers, that they would get things right and be lantern on the path of life.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” -C.S. Lewis.

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