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You GET to live


A new day.

A new week.

A new opportunity.

Remember: You don’t have to. You get to. Life is a gift. Even Mondays are a gift.

It’s easy to lose track of that. More bills. More annoying customers. More school work. More taking care of kids. 

The same tasks. 

What if we had the perspective that we GET to live. Life, is a gift. We didn’t create ourselves. God did. He gave us breath and a heartbeat. There isn’t just ANOTHER day wen you realize God created you and gave you life….for this day. There is great meaning and purpose in that. Even in the hardships. We have a choice to either com pain and give up or to seize every moment as a chance to grow stronger. Your “boring” job will still be hard. However, you get to live. You get to work. You actually have a job. Work with thankfulness. You have to work anyway. You might as well try and do good at it, instead of complaining and working with a bad attitude. Live everyday full. Live with no regrets. And remember to live your life so it doesn’t live you. Remember God is with you each morning: “His mercies are new every morning.” So, live today with joy because God is with you.

Information on The Bible


The Bible is a book, an old book for that matter. 

The Bible was written over 1,000 years, by 40 different authors, on 3 continents, in 3 different languages. The Bible contains 66 books (39 OT, 27 NT). The Bible also has close to 24,000 manuscripts.

What is the Bible?

A book. It is a book from God. It reveals God to humans. It is God communicating truth about Him, us, and the world we live in.

Who wrote the Bible?

God and men. Also known as the “dual authorship of Scripture.” God used over 40 authors, in 3 different languages in specific cultural contexts to write His revelation down. God used kings, prophets, scribes, apostles, missionaries, historians, and doctors to write Scripture. He did this by inspiring them by the Holy Spirit. He oversaw the process, but at the same time still allowed the writers of Scripture to communicate in their own unique way. Simply put, God spoke perfect truth through people.

Where did the Bible come from?

1. Revelation (God spoke)

2. Written (Authors wrote/scribes copied)

3. Translation (scholars translated original language to other languages)

4. Preservation (God sovereignly preserved His word to us)

5. Composition (The Church combined the books chronologically together)

6. Distribution (Missionaries, theologians, scribes distributed Bible’s to others)

What is the purpose of the Bible?

The Bible has many purposes such as teaching us about God, and how to live life in His world. It’s main purpose however, is to testify to the person and work of Jesus (Matthew 5, Luke 24, John 5).

 

Next generation Chuch


Here are a few hopes for my generation of Christians and leaders within the church. It excites me to hear, see, and experience my generation talking through, wrestling, and applying these things to their communities. 

Vocation over Job: We need to see our work as our calling from God. This doesn’t mean you will be a barista, customer service representative, or cashier your whole life. It just means that God has sovereignly placed you at your job. He has given you the gifting to be able to do that job in a way that honors Him. We need to not just see out 8 hour work shift as something annoying that happens everyday. Rather, we need to see it as being part of God’s larger mission. He has placed us here, he has called us here, he desires for me to serve others, work in a way that honors him, and share the gospel when opportunities arise. 

People over building: The church is not a building, in fact it never has been. The church is people. People who have trusted Jesus as Savior, who are committed to him, filled with the Holy Spirit, and sent on mission for his glory. Sure, they gather together. But, they’re people. A building doesn’t change the world, people do. A building doesn’t serve the broken, people do. 

Creativity over Copying: God has designed us all. He has given us creativity, beauty, and amazing minds. We can be innovative, at the center of culture coming up with new ideas for the common good. We dishonor God with our lazy thinking, ideas, and copying of other churches, and organizations stuff. It’s not bad to borrow, reinvent, and contextulizing other organizations ideas. Just realize God has given people within your community the ability to come up with new, fresh, and creative way of doing things.

Team over The guy: We need to move away from focusing on just one guy to get things done in ministry. We need a team of people who re committed to a common vision, with complementary gifting so that God’s mission can go forth in an effective way.

Authenticity over Fake: Being the next someone is NOT cool. We don’t need a clone of Mark Driscoll, CS Lewis, or whoever. We need to be the people God has uniquely created, gifted, and called us to be. We need to stop faking that we have it all together. Authenticity breathes life into a fake world. God can’t use the fake you, but he sure can use the true you. 

Why God created sex for marriage.


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It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex. People do it all the time. But opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, dreams… that is being naked. Our culture has a messed up and distorted view of sex (and marriage but that is a different post). Some people just think it is gross. Other people treat sex like a god, worshipping it through porn, sleeping around, and masturbating five times a day. My belief is that sex makes the most sense in the context of marriage. Yes. I believe that. The evidence just points that way. Here is three reasons I believe sex is meant for marriage only. 

 

Reason #1: God created sex for marriage. 

Sex is more than an impulse or desire. How do I know this? Because, for example lets take hunger. That is a desire that we have. When we’re hungry we go and eat. So, some will conclude sex is the same way. It’s a desire I have, therefore I should satisfy it by just having sex with my girlfriend, or FWB, or whoever I want!

However, that argument falls apart. If you have a girlfriend and she eats lunch with her friend (who is a boy) you probably won’t get all that ticked. They both had a desire for food, so they went to get lunch to satisfy that desire. However, if they had the desire to have sex (which we all obviously do) and they fulfilled that desire, you would be angry. You wouldn’t say “Oh, thats okay. You just had to satisfy that desire of sex. It’s not a big deal.” No, you would feel betrayed. Why? Because sex is deeper than just any desire like hunger. There is a deep commitment, and intimacy about sex between two people that is different than just sharing a milkshake. 

What is the biggest commitment on earth? Marriage. Two people coming together as one. Leaving their families, traditions, and old lives….becoming united together and starting their new family. Making vows to love one another, stay faithful to one another, and commit to one another for the rest of their lives. That’s a bigger commitment than a date to Chick Fila for some waffle fries (yum). So, what is one of the most amazing ways to express this commitment to one another? Sex. God isn’t against sex. He actually created it (surprise). He just knows better than us. That is why things get messy when you had sex outside of marriage. If you’re married, heck, go ahead and express your love and commitment to one another through the gift of sex. God is totally cool with that.

Reason #2 God created sex for marriage.

Children are born. I know thats a surprise. Sorry if you thought it was the stork who just randomly brought babies to people. That would be super weird. God’s design for reproduction of human beings is sex. If you have sex, unprotected, there is probably a good chance you’re going to have a baby. So, if you’re a fifteen year old dude having sex with your girlfriend, stop. You’re not responsible enough to support yourself, let alone a baby. Heck, you probably couldn’t buy toilet paper let alone a crib and diapers. Babies have the best chance to flourish and thrive in the context of a healthy married couple. God desires that a baby is born into a healthy home with a mom and dad that can provide for and nurture the little one. The most stable environment for a child? A married couple who is committed to the well-being of one another, and there beautiful child. 

Reason # 3 God created sex for marriage.

Because He is good. Sex is great. It’s a gift from our Creator to us. It images his commitment to us. He is always faithful to us, and loves us (not in a sexual way) but in a spiritual way. God allows us to express the deep desires of our body with the one we’re committed to, thats profound. That is beautiful. 

There are obviously more reasons. These are just a few to wrestle with and think through. This is my view. I believe God’s way makes most sense. I’m not here to judge you. If you have different thoughts or objections, feel free to contact me. Would love to dialogue and hear you out.

 

Interview: Faith and Basketball with Tyler Lewis


 

 

 

 

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I had the honor of sitting down with my friend Tyler Lewis earlier this week to discuss Faith and Basketball. Tyler’s humility, love for basketball, passion for God, and work ethic are evident. I hope this brief interview inspires you as you get an inside look at Tyler’s faith and life.

 

 

ME: When did you start playing basketball and why?

LEWIS: I started playing basketball around the age of three or four. I saw my dad and brother playing all the time, and looked up to my brother, so I naturally wanted to play too.

 

ME: You were heavily recruited and nationally ranked in high school, what were the schools you had it narrowed down to?

 

LEWIS: Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Miami.

 

ME: Why did you pick State?

 

LEWIS: I had made a verbal to State when I was a sophomore. I really loved the atmosphere, the school, the students, the fans, as well as the team. It would have been a school I picked even if I wasn’t playing basketball.

 

ME: How does NC State look this year? You guys lost Scott Wood, CJ Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, and Richard Howell.

 

LEWIS: Those guys were obviously a big part of our team. I think a lot of people are definitely going to be sleeping on us. We have some good recruits, as well as returning players. The chemistry of the team is better this year; we are also putting in a lot of work. I think we will surprise a lot of people this year.

 

ME: What are your goals this year at State?

 

LEWIS:  I really want to step up as a leader, both vocally and by example.

 

ME: How does your relationship with God impact how you play basketball?

 

LEWIS: God leads me in everything. I try and honor him when I play. That means putting in the hard work, as well as leading by example. I know God will get me through the tough times, and the good times. I just stay true to Him through it all.

 

ME: When did you become a Christian?

 

LEWIS: I became a Christian at a young age. I grew up in a strong Christian family. I would always go to church with them. I enjoyed learning about God in Sunday School. I knew Jesus was my Savior from a young age, and that He sacrificed everything for us.

 

ME: What is God currently teaching you right now?

LEWIS: Just to stay true to my faith in God. Sometimes when stuff isn’t going the way you want it to, you start to question stuff. God has a plan. Even when I don’t know what He is doing, He always works it out.

 

ME: What is your favorite book in the Bible?

 

LEWIS: Proverbs. It has a lot of great advice and wisdom on life.

 

ME: What is your major at State, and what do you see yourself hopefully doing after you graduate?

 

LEWIS: Sports Management. I would love to play basketball professionally for a few years. Ultimately, I want to be a college basketball coach. I have a good basketball IQ, leadership ability, and just a lot of experience playing the game. I think I’d be a good coach, and I’d love it.

 

ME: What are your favorite accomplishments?

 

LEWIS: I have had a lot of accomplishments, but a few stick out. Going undefeated at Oak Hill, and winning the National Championship. Playing in the McDonalds All American Game was really fun. It was a blessing to be able to play with great talent, as well as meet children at the Ronald McDonald House.

 

ME: What NBA player would you compare yourself to?

 

LEWIS: Steve Nash.

 

ME: Tyler, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

LEWIS: Man, you put me on the spot. I’ve been given some great advice. However, my sister told me once “Don’t worry about what others think about you, life is short, and be happy.

 

 

Garrett Ventry is a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, NAMB Church Planting Intern, Community Group Leader at Vintage Church, and Founder of Rebel Ministries. @garrettventry

 

Tyler Lewis is a sophomore point guard at North Carolina State University. He was a McDonalds All American, and National Champion with Oak Hill. @tylewis_12

 

Growing as a Leader


Here are some key components and values of young leaders.

1. Humility: be teachable, gather wisdom from leaders who have gone before you, read a lot, be thankful for the gift, and responsibility of leadership, use your platform for others benefit, not yours. 

2. Talent: leaders have to have talent…..period. you can be nice and humble, but if you can’t inspire others, cast vision, be passionate, and communicate well, then no one will follow you. you have to have the talent to lead.

3. Character: reputation is what others think of you, character is who you really are. do you really practice what you preach? good leaders have integrity, honor, commitment, and ethics. 

4. Hard Work: good leaders work hard. you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard, you will never accomplish anything.

Talent built on the foundation of humility, that is continually fueled by hard work, and a make it happen attitude will succeed.

See ya later porn


Porn. Many men and women have either viewed porn, struggled with being tempted by porn, or addicted to pornography. There have been numerous blogs, messages, and books about how to fight porn from the church. However, a good amount of them focus on accountability, porn itself, or trying harder to fight temptation. If we’re honest, they leave us feeling more guilty and frustrated then before. 

The statistics:

Every second 3075.64 is being spent on pornography…..

28,258 internet users view pornography…..

372 internet users type adult search terms into search engines.

This is a dilemma. 

This is a struggle.

It’s real.

It’s not just happening out in the world. It’s happening in the church:  54% of Christians said they had watched pornographic material within the last year. (survey from pastors.com)

Why Porn?

Why porn? There is something deeper that is behind porn. It is the desire to be satisfied. We watch porn because we think it will satisfy our longing. However, it leaves us feeling guilty. Porn is self-centered sex. It is rooted in lust. True sex is rooted in love, joy, and commitment to your spouse. Porn distorts the beautiful gift of sex. Porn objectifies women, and lies to men.

Porn leaves us guilty. It seems the more we try to fight it by ourselves the more we become frustrated and guilty. Listen. You can delete your internet history, but you can’t clear your sin history. We always try and clean up our porn temptation/addiction by ourselves. We go get something that blocks different sites, tell ourselves we’re done with watching porn…..and then we’re right back at it again. 

More frustrated.

More guilty.

The solution:

Jesus. Only Jesus can satisfy your hearts deep longing for satisfaction. The guilt, shame, and frustration you feel because of your weakness and sin…..Jesus paid for that on the cross. The internet history that lingers over your head, he cleared that. He died for it. God isn’t counting your sin and struggle against you. He loves you. Only when you realize that (Jesus>porn) will you be able to actually experience victory over porn. Accountability is helpful but will not solve the issue. Fighting hard, memorizing scripture, and praying is helpful but will not solve the issue. Only Jesus will. Only trusting in his grace. Only resting in his forgiveness. Only being satisfied in him over lust. Focus on Jesus not porn. Walk in the freedom Jesus offers to us. Enjoy God today. 

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