Forward Relationships/ “RC Sloan”

God Gold of the Day

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 -Isaiah 6:8-9

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

-Proverbs 27:17

Today’s God Gold message is going to be a little different. Today, I want to take some time to give a shout-out to a guy who has been one of those relationships that God has placed around me that has moved my life forward in too many ways to count. That guy is, RC Sloan! Some of you may know him, some may have seen his face in the Rwanda posts, and some may have no idea who he is but it’s okay if you don’t because you’re about to!

I want to highlight this relationship that God has given me the privilege of having so that you too can learn from and be moved forward by the Christ-like example that RC is. But also, I share this with you to emphasize the need for these “forward relationships” in our lives. By “forward relationships” I mean, those relationships you have built with someone where that person is one who moves you forward in life, to better places and closer in your relationship with the Lord. I know we all have those relationships that seem to drain us, weigh on us and actually move us backwards and farther from the Lord after time spent with that person but those are relationships that can be impacted greatly depending on how much we spent time to invest and prioritize the forward relationships God has placed by our side. I’m thankful to say that I’ve got more than a few in my life and what a blessing that is but I too struggle at times to keep those forward relationships as a priority and important place to invest the majority of my time into. It’s those relationships that literally take you places you would have never gone otherwise, they move you out of your comfort zone, challenge you for more, and teach you so much along the way. I couldn’t find any better way to describe this relationship that I have with RC as a definite FORWARD RELATIONSHIP in my life!

To give you a little background, I would say one of the main reasons I even know RC, also known as Cory, but with his middle name being Russel and one of his favorite theologians and  Pastors being RC Sproul, RC is by far the cooler and more awesome name. But like I was saying, I may not even know RC if it wasn’t for my cousin Paige getting married to him and bringing him in as a welcomed addition to our family! So shoutout to you Paige for your good taste in men and snatching up RC as quick as you could! The fam appreciates you for that! So I’m related to RC and something I always thought was cool is how in the early years of their marriage, Paige and RC would go on mission trips to Rwanda, Africa in support of the Reach the Children of Rwanda International Organization. For many years I thought it was cool because of the traveling and adventure of it but I had no clue of the real purpose of these mission trips. I honestly wasn’t in a place in my faith to get past the cool part of it and recognize the lives they were serving and leaving an everlasting impact on.

Then year 22 of life for me, my faith started to grow in ways that is too long of a story for now but I’m sure we’ll get there one day. The Lord was opening me up to the life He has called me to as a follower of Him and also in the area of ministry. So one random Sunday while visiting RC and Paige’s church to see their little daughter and probably the cutest kid in the world go through baby dedication. Just being around them for that service, the momentum of “forward” in our relationship hit turbo speed. RC and Paige talked to me after church about joining them on their upcoming mission trip to Rwanda. They knew that the Lord was turning my life in His direction and all of the stuff going on with the “call” to ministry so they just went out on a limb and asked if this was something I’d be interested in. I could honestly type out 100 pages on how thankful I am for them asking this question that after two trips with them changed my life forever! Just going back to that moment and for them to recognize my need for a place to put this fire that the Lord had been burning inside of me, for them to be intentional to ask, to not think since it was so far and wild that I probably wouldn’t want to go but for them to put the ball in my court and take the time to be intentional in serving me by asking this question to join them for a two week mission trip in Rwanda. That is quite an example in itself and one I’m extremely thankful to be on the receiving end of their generosity to open that door for me. I could just stop there and that would be enough for you to say wow, but just wait.

After taking them up on this offer, those two weeks I got to see what they had been doing in Rwanda all these years, and it was much more than just “cool” when I actually saw and got to experience the literal life changing impact that the Lord was using them to bring to those people there. I had spent time with RC before, you know, family get-together’s and at different family stuff but it wasn’t until this trip that I really got to see who RC Sloan was. They had been going on these trips for I want to say three years already so I got to see just how they had built “family-like” bonds with the people there. It was easy to see from the first moments there that the people that we served had such a deep love for RC and Paige. It was easy to notice how they had been intentional in each trip, in how they served each person and got the most out of each moment there. They were our leaders on the two trips I got to go on and RC was the epitome of what a servant leader should look like. He is defintely one planned out and passionate individual and it showed in how he led our team with the “let’s go” mentality. He was so pumped up about everything on our schedules from prayer visits with families in their homes to the physical labor jobs, and even the jobs the time we weren’t serving, he was always finding things to do that would raise our spirits after long hard days of working by taking us to Rwanda markets, different eating experiences, and whatever he could find so that we could experience all of Rwanda as we possibly could.

I could talk for days about all the lessons I have learned from RC through that first trip til now, but it was his heart that led our team and moved all of us forward in ways that we probably wouldn’t have moved otherwise. He brought his heart and passion for helping the people there that are in such great need to every aspect of the trip. Whether it was planning out our days, preparing the tools and gathering the personal connections for serving jobs in the community, or just doing the daggum work. RC was led by his heart for the Lord which led him to serve not only our team but lead us to serve others along with him at levels that I honestly had no idea could be done. His heart for the people in Rwanda and especially those kids their is the most genuine, encouraging and passionate love I’ve ever seen. It didn’t matter how tired or sick or defeated he felt by so many wild and crazy circumstances on these trips, it was obvious that he knew that mission that the Lord has called him to and all of us, so he went anyways and served people in everyway possible while still looking for more ways in the meantime. This dude is an incredible testimony to what a servant’s heart and a life lived in the mission that Christ gave us, to spread His love with world around us. RC knew what this mission meant and it meant investing into and serving others intentionally with the purpose to grow them closer to Christ. He would tell me so many stories from former trips and all the things he’s seen/learned and it’s wild but awesome that he didn’t just share these things to share them, he shared them with the intention of me being opened up to experience and feel the same powerful moves of God that takes place when serving others in need. RC has served more than he’ll ever know, more than just these kids or the people there but the people there with him also and the people in his life here in the States.

I know it sounds like RC’s heart is strictly missions but that’s only one piece of it, the guy is a crazy good guitar player and singer and he serves in the same passion as he serves with in the mission field of Rwanda in the mission field that God has placed around him daily. He is heavily involved in his churches worship team, and serves in more ways that could be noticed. What’s so RC though is even being back home from trips he is already working hard to make the next trip better, and by better I mean finding ways to be more intentional in the service done there, to hit the biggest needs directly in the mouth and knock them out. He also serves on the RCRI mission board here in the US that works to support the organization in as many ways as possible. After talking to him recently after their last trip, the guy is already making moves and scheming up ways to better support each child and family involved in the RCRI mission. That’s RC Sloan. A heart filled with so much passion and a heart that serves in as many ways as the Lord will open up.

This is RC Sloan and I could go on and tell you so much more about how awesome and what a Christ-like example this guy is but I feel like this is more than enough for you to learn from the example that God has used him to set for us and so many others. Christ has given us a purpose and mission, it’s fueled by sharing His love with not just the world around us but the people He has placed in our path. To be intentional in every relationship whether that’s across the world, or right here in front of you, to serve and never stop thinking of more ways to serve others. I pray you have learned from the example of RC here, I know without a shadow of a doubt I have and will forever be impacted by his heart to serve and his drive to GO!!! The Lord has called us to GO, to go and serve others in whatever way He makes available, but to serve even better the relationships that He’s placed in our lives. Take some time and think about who the “forward relationships” are that God has placed by your side? Who are the people that when you spend time with drive you forward in life and in your relationship with God and others? Who are those people that sharpen your iron? Find out who those people are for you, then be intentional and prioritize how you invest in those forward relationships! Why does it matter? Because on this mission Christ has called us to, we are going to face obstacles and many things that will try to push us back and stop us from living the life and loving others as God has called us to. It’s those forward relationships that keep you moving forward past all that mess and into what God has called you to, it’s those forward relationships that keep your iron sharpened at all times so that you won’t become a dull comfortable Christian, but one who is flowing with the momentum given by your surroundings and into battle, sharpened and ready to fight the good fight of loving others as Christ has loved us! Yes, those forward relationships are more important and bigger than we think at times. You know what to do, now GOOO!!!!!

H-O-L-Y

God Gold of the Day

‘They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Isaiah 6:3

Just wanted to share this verse with you today because it caught my eye this morning and WOW! It just blows my mind how easily I get distracted and my focus on all these other things in life, but I don’t stop to think about the truths of just how HOLY and BIG God is near enough. Like seriously just sit and meditate in this truth some today, how holy God is, how powerful God is, and just this whole planet we live on, is filled with his glory from top to bottom. Just slow down, stop all you are doing and just find a quiet place to be still and sit in this………

Good ?’s Good God

‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

-Isaiah 40:28-31

Driving down the road today and heard these verses spoken over the radio. This is a piece of Scripture that I’ve heard time and time again but each time I hear it, it hits me even harder. I love that question that Isaiah is asking to God’s people here. Right before these questions, Isaiah asks some more questions to the people of Israel;

“‘O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?’ (Isaiah 40:27)

What I noticed about these questions is that they are rhetorical, meaning that Isaiah isn’t expecting a response from the people of Israel. They are questions asked where Isaiah points out where their little faith has failed them and questions that pierce right to the heart of the people. These questions for them and even for myself as I sit here asking them personally, they are extremely convicting!

There is so many moments of my day where I am so attached to all the doubts, lies, and seemingly impossible situations I am faced with in my life. There is so many moments where I sit just letting the lies of the enemy completely rule my heart and mind, as my thoughts increase in insecurity, my faith continues to decrease. It’s these moments where I am seeing so short sighted and horizontally, putting the things going on in my life that weigh me down in a perspective based off of what I have to offer, and my own strength. That is a recipe for disaster and defeat. It’s easy to get caught up in the weight of our problems and then when we match them up with what we have to bring to the table, which isn’t much, we are asking for these negative thoughts and insecurities to eat us alive.

It’s in these questions where I can hear the point Isaiah is trying to get across, in other terms it’s like; “DUDE, what are you doing? How could you sit there and act like God doesn’t know exactly what you’re going through? How could you sit there and act like you’re in these battles alone, with only your own personal resources to rely on?”

Then the BIG questions that seem to pierce right to where my struggle of self-reliance and lack of faith is;

Do you not know? Have you not heard?” 

Seriously, let those questions sink in for a moment. Let those questions come up as reminders when you are sitting in those moments that were mentioned above. And the truth is we all have those moments, we’re human and weak, some just do a better job of hiding it than others.

As soon as you begin to believe those lies that the Devil is trying to pour into you, “you’ll never make it out! You’ll always be defeated! This is impossible!” And there is so many more. When you hear those lies creeping in that always seem to lead into a deeper and deeper hole of fear, doubt and so many insecurities, ask these questions to yourself!

Do you not know the truth that you are not alone in this fight or any moment of your life, or have you not heard just how powerful and great the God you serve is? Do you not know;  “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,” 

Sitting in the truth of who God is and what His Word proclaims to us brings a different light into what was turning into a very dark situation. Knowing who God is, that He’s so mighty, so good, and so awesome that we could never begin to understand His characteristics fully. That’s a lot!!!

Then continue asking these questions to yourself as we encounter in these verse not only who God is, the magnitude of who He is and the out of this world characteristics that He possesses, but we see His promises that were made here to the people of Israel. And as Jesus has given us full access to God as sons and daughters of His, we are too His people and God doesn’t change, neither does how He treats His people.

Do you not know; “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak?” Yeah, as we sit in our own insecurities, in our own problems and living out of our own weak strength as if that’s all we got. The truth is, that’s not all we have because we have God by our side, right there with us when things are going good and even when things seem to be spiraling out of control. We have the God who created the heavens, and the earth, and everything in it with us constantly, fighting for us and being so faithful to supply us with His strength!!!! With His Almighty power!!! So many times I live and think as if I’m a lost cause, I have no chance, and I let my tough circumstances completely devour my confidence and faith. But why? Do I not know the truth that is written plainly for us to see in God’s Word????

Do I not know that; “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

These questions added to these truths makes me want to shake myself and loudly ask, “DUDE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I have no reason to live in insecurities of fear and doubt!!! I have no reason to believe the lies of enemy that has already lost the battle for our lives with the Son of God!!! The truth that God brings to our lives is SO MUCH GREATER!!! I have no reason to think and act out of only what I have when I have been adopted as a child of God Himself, where my identity is completely and fully in Jesus Christ. I have no reason to live in such a horizontal perspective of what we see is what it is when God says that the law of what makes sense to us where even the strongest humans alive grow tired and weary, even they stumble and fall. God has given us so much more to hold onto and to place our hope in. He’s given us Himself, He’s given us His mighty strength as our supply. God raises the “normal” or horizontal way of thinking and living to His vertical perspective of what reality is for us when our eyes are raised toward Him, His truth and His promises. That when we put aside all the crap that continues to burden us and weigh us down in our daily lives, and believe the truth that God is greater than anything we face, God is with us, God renews our strength as we surrender ourselves to put our hope in Him.

I was just thinking about the two main questions that hit me the hardest; “do you not know? Have you not heard?” At a quick glance it makes no sense why Isaiah would put the second question in there because they pretty much mean the same thing right? The question of hearing makes more sense now because it’s easy for us to read God’s Word and take in His truth, it’s easy to know these things about who God is and the promises He’s given us. Knowing is one thing but when it comes to our active faith, when we’re going through the nastiness and grind of these battles. That’s when knowing the truth can only take us far, it’s in those moments where we can easily go down the rabbit hole to lies, self-reliance, and insecurities or going God’s way, resting in His strength and in the power of knowing who He is along with our identities in Him. Those moments in the heat of the battle are the toughest ones and asking these questions can change a lot in the direction we end up going. This is where we know the truth but living it becomes hard. So ask the second question, “have you not heard?” It’s in those moments that we need to not only know the truth but HEAR IT!!! It’s in those moments where we need to speak those truths of God over our situations and weakness. Praying out loud the truth that of the mighty strength we have in such a present and faithful God! Knowing it is one thing but hearing it is what brings up reminders in our thoughts and hearts, it shuts out all the lies from the enemy and the lies that we tell ourselves. Really HEARING it goes deeper than just your ears, it goes to your heart and from the heart faith will overflow as you walk in the strength God gives us!!!!

That was one of the biggest lessons from this for me, constantly asking myself those questions especially in moments of battles and digging in deeper to know more of God’s truth so I am prepared to remind myself and speak His truth over all the lies and self-deceit that my weak flesh may want to create. In the heat of the battle, I know that I don’t have to take the easy way out that I might have taken in my past, because I can put my hope in God, and believe the truth that He will renew and replenish my strength in any situation! And I’m thankful to share that God gives you His way of walking through these battles too!!! With our hope firmly planted in God He WILL allow us to;

soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

 

 

Renewed

God Gold of the Day

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:28-31‬ ‭

 

Continuing to talk more about God, digging deeper into who He is, and just how amazing this relationship we have with Him is. I’ve heard these verses a few times before but mostly I just thought they sounded cool, “renew my strength, mount up with wings like eagles.” I mean, come on, tell me that doesn’t sound super cool?!??

But today I experienced these verses in my life and realized that this Word doesn’t just sound cool, it’s true, it’s cool and it’s so real how these aren’t just words but God’s Word to me and you, and His Word is real and true!!!! Sorry I’m getting jacked up! But been dealing with some allergy stuff the past few days, nothing major but with each day it’s just gotten worse and worse even with taking medicine. The tough part is that I’ve had things going on that I couldn’t miss, yesterday was work 8am-5pm then church from 6:30-9, then work again today along with wedding stuff to do and getting ready to move out. It was a lot to handle and to be honest I knew I didn’t have a choice but to handle it.

What’s crazy is that I’m not very good with being sick. I usually start acting like a victim, complaining, wanting to pull that sick card and I usually just lie down and give up. I wanted so badly to act with my “usual” and give up yesterday, call out of work, not go to church, I didn’t feel like doing either but I knew I needed the money, my soon to be wife needed it, and there was kids that needed to be served. I could tell you all day long that it was me that did all this, persevered and got through it but I’d be lying. If it was up to me I wouldn’t have even got out of bed today or yesterday. I was in a tough spot, I didn’t feel like I had enough in me to make it through and do what needed to be done, I had no one or nowhere else to turn to but God. So I prayed, then as the sickness didn’t get better but got worse, I kept praying.

I was simply just asking God to help me get through the day, to show a good attitude to each person I was around at work or at church despite how I felt and wanted to act. God just please give me strength to endure and survive. I wanted so bad to go my usual route but as the days went on, the worse I felt but I could feel God pushing me forward, giving me everything I needed to get through and even a little more to get through like a champion. I felt defeated but God helped me feel victorious.

These verses speak so true to what I went through these past couple of days. It’s an experience that points directly to God and what He’s capable of doing in our lives. I love how the beginning of the verses start, “Have you not known, have you not heard?”

It’s a question we can ask ourselves daily whether we are going through physical struggles, emotional or just life struggles. Have you not heard of God, have you not heard of what He can do, what He is capable of doing?

Then it’s like Isaiah is saying, alright buckle your seat belts and I’ll show you the answer.

“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

“Everlasting”- never ending, eternal, never dying, always living GOD!!!

“The creator of the ends of the earth.”

Wow!!! Think about that for a second, this God we have the privilege of having a relationship with, this God who loves us, this same God created EVERYTHING!!! Look at how powerful and capable God is!

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Now we see what God does for us, how He treats us and loves us. When we are weak, God is there to give us strength, if we have no might, if we are in a situation that looks impossible, a sickness, an addiction, anything! God increases the might of those people. Even when the people who should never be tired or give out do give out, like it says youths or young people. If you just “wait on the Lord.” Be PATIENT in His PROMISE, in His POWER, even when it looks like things are just getting worse, wait on God.

The Lord will renew their strength”

RENEW”: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection

When we feel old, worn out, weak, and a victim to impossible circumstances, God RENEWS OUR STRENGTH! He gives us a new energy, strength and power to endure that we didn’t have just a minute ago. God does what we think only a good nights sleep or medicine can do, He gives us what we need and then some to not just get through but walk through our struggle and weakness victoriously!

“they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

And the part I always thought just sounded cool. Well it’s even cooler now because it’s real life, it’s God! It’s what God can do in our lives! I’m amazed that I made it through these days and the only thing I can think to say is, God!!! It’s so awesome that we serve a God that is so constant in His love to us. When we take our problems or weaknesses to Him, we are speaking to a God that can do it all! Look around you He has done it all! But it’s just awesome to know when we take these things we’re dealing with to God, He always responds in provision and giving us all we need and then some. Realizing these verses weren’t just cool but real truth about God and what He’s capable of doing. Made me think of what the possibilities are in my life when I give my burdens to God, my addictions and my struggles. After watching God work these last couple of days it’s obvious that there’s nothing He can’t do but just looking at what takes place when God is at the lead, when all we have is depending on Him, God moves us from our “usual” or the worlds “usual” and lifts us up, carries us and gives us the strength to fly into the unusual!

With God in my life, He gave me the strength to rise up and do things that I usually wouldn’t do, things that I thought I couldn’t do. What do you need to take to God? How can God renew your strength? For what situation do you need strength? What happens when you trust in who He is and what He can do? Can you imagine a life risen above the usual or norm? Well if you have God then you can believe and trust that He will show you and give you everything you need to live that life! God takes us from our weakness and rises us up to His level of life, with His level of power, to fulfill His mighty purpose! If you think God can’t do it, think again because there’s nothing our God can’t do!!!!

Colorful Gospel

God Gold of the Day

Happy Easter everyone but more importantly if you haven’t heard already, JESUS HAS RISEN, HE IS ALIVE!!!!! Hope you find some powerful Gospel truth in these verses from God’s Word and this video adding some color not just to today, but EVERYDAY!! The truth of Jesus being our RISEN SAVIOR is an everyday, life-changing, hope-filled, powerful truth!!! WHOOOOO!!!!!

Isaiah 25.8: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.”

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; on him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his stripes we are healed.”

Romans 6.4: “…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

1 Peter 1.3: “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”