Dealing With Pain 

I have spent much of my young life reading on pain and suffering from many viewpoints and angles.  Much of my college experience was dealing with the issue at hand.  However you may feel about Lewis, or Nietzsche, there is still things we can learn from both of these men and their life experiences.  I read Nietzsche a good bit over the years and could definitely parallel much of my experience in life with what he talked about, yet I found that he was living in a place of self pity and anger without hope for the rest of life to come.  Lewis has many of the same experiences as Nietzsche yet we see a very different outcome as far as his attitude while seeing true peace with the things that have happened in his life.  I say all of that to say this, that life comes down these two things. It comes down to who you know and your attitude. Who you know you say? Yes, who you know. The biggest difference between these two men is the God Lewis knew as opposed to the god Nietzsche didn't believe in.  With God there is hope and peace that Lewis at the end of the day could say he had.  Our other friend Nietzsche could not say the same for his life.  When you have truly met God in a real way (I like to call it a conversion experience), you will have the most real and evident peace.  I'm not saying you won't have troubles in this life.  On the contrary, you may have more than most people but at the end of the day you can and should be able to say "It is well with my soul".  Secondly, your attitude is everything.  There are days when I don't feel like getting up and moving forward in the day.  I have to choose to make today a good day and be a help to others on this day!  I don't know what others are dealing with and I could potentially be the change in their life.  We don't know who we will touch on a daily basis.  As a child of God I am called to be the light to the world and why would anyone want to be like me if I am no different than they are?  So today, I challenge you to be the change in someone's life.  If you don't know this Jesus, then I hope you meet Him.  As my best friend says so much, "To be ninety-nine percent sure, could mean you are one hundred percent lost".  I hope you know that you KNOW that you are changed completely.  With that being said, have a good attitude and you can be the change! I pray for you my friends that God would bless you.


Nate

All Things Work Together 

It has been a whirlwind of a year to say the least.  When I was asked to join the hoppers (for the three hour tour I always say) I was never in my wildest dreams thinking it would be for more than a few weeks.  Needless to say it has been just over a year and God has been so good in my life.  I have learned so much from my experiences on and off the bus.  Though I will say that this has been one of the hardest years of my life, I can truly say that God has proven Himself true and evident in my life once again. Satan has been fighting everyone on our bus from, Connie's cancer, to Claude's stroke, to Kim's mom and so forth.  It has been one thing after another, but isn't it just like God to have a plan all along?  I say yes and amen to that! Through it all, God has brought forth "The Hopper Brothers" and boy it has been wonderful.  These guys are my best friends and God has truly been so good to us.  God truly does work all things together for good to those who love Him.  That I believe and know to be true.  I am one to hold things in and stress over the daily aspects of life.  I let it build until I cannot handle anymore.  I have found more and more that it is all more than I can handle, but when I reach the end of my understanding, God is waiting to lead the way.  He was waiting the whole time for me to give it to Him.  It's hard for us control freaks to give up control to the One who has and can take care of our daily problems, struggles and heartbreaks.  Through it all, I can say I have grown in Christ and I am stronger in my own weakness, knowing that He will carry me.  He will do the same for you and you will be so pleasantly surprised when you give it ALL to Him.  So I challenge you today my friends and put on the whole armor of God and give everything to Him.  Your hurt, pain, heartache, tears, suffering, fear and let Him give you real peace, joy, happiness which only He can give.  True peace only comes from the Father.  Everything else is just temporary.  Continue to pray for us as we continue to share the Gospel.  I so look forward to being back with my wonderful friends in DC soon and my friends in the UK to share with you all the Word! 



God Is good,

Nathan

The Heart Of The Matter 

I have admittedly throughout my life been one to like to argue my point across until the bitter end even when I have nothing to argue about (My parents can tell you all about that!).  I have always known that I have a knack for apologetics and the like but I never knew I would be able to use it in my life.  As the years have gone by I am getting more and more opportunities to share about my experiences and I am so humbled by the opportunities God has given me.  I recently found out that I was featured in a Documentary by Abigail Disney on gun control and church leadership called the "Armor Of Light".  An interesting topic for sure and one I never thought I would end up in the middle of, yet still I found myself staring into the lens of a camera sharing my point of view on an issue so divisive that it has truly split the ranks of americans.  I would call myself a conservative Bible believing Christian and a gun owner, gun toting red blooded american.  I Love my country, I love my family and I love the Lord even more.  After watching the finished film I was very troubled by what I saw.  I saw people on one side who were clinging to their guns and people on the other who were clinging to an idea of utopia that doesn't and will never exist.  I also saw a lack of concern for the real question at hand which is the question of the Heart.  Are the hearts of our culture truly good? Do people respect their fellow man like so many once did?  I would have to say for the most part no but no one seems to want to ask these questions and no one seems to want the answer to this heart problem.  The right wants to just shoot away at those who are so lost and in need of a "Heart" transplant and the left wants to put a band aid on a cancer stricken patient instead of addressing their real problem.  Both of these are not the answer.  What is the answer you may ask? Jesus Christ is the only answer to these problems.  Need we more than this and have we forgotten that He is more than capable of handling the ills of our nation? We are faced with an ever growing heart condition in America today and the only doctor who can fix it is Jesus.  We need to love people and love them as hard as we can as Christians.  Show people the love of Christ in every possible way we can  That is the only way to change the hearts of man.  We must also pray for our nation and repent of our wickedness.  My how wicked we truly are and how much we need an Holy God.  Let us be like the kings of the past who fasted and prayed for God to forgive their land.  During these coming days of prayer let us think on these things.  I love you all in the Lord.  

Heaven Is For Real - The God of Love 

I went last night with a few friends who invited me to see the new movie "Heaven Is For Real".  I enjoyed the film so very much as a production.  The acting was great and the story line was better.  The film truly pulls on the heart strings and makes a good case for Heaven being very real as I believe it really is.  I was in fact though troubled as we neared the ending of the film.  The question is asked many times by people who have lost loved ones.  Is my son or grandfather in Heaven? The movie goes on to state that in fact they are.  My trouble with this film is that there are never any scenes of people choosing to follow Christ before they die.  It is merely stated that God is love and that they are in Heaven.  The film makes a large jump from a child experiencing God and Heaven who does not yet understand what it means to be saved (which I believe God covers those who do not understand this if they are to leave this earth) and someone who is a grown man who as it states in the film was not a follower of Christ.  The film makes it evident that God loves no one more than another.  While I agree with this, they are putting the responsibility on God saying He could not allow anyone to die and go to hell because He loves us so much.  I believe that the responsibility is on you and I.  We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.  It is my fault for causing a rift between myself and God.  Though He longs to save me, it is my choice to choose or not choose to serve Him.  He is not required to save me at all and the ball is not in His court; It is in mine.  The movie also says that hell is the hate we experience on earth.  It never speaks of a literal hell at all.  What I am trying to say is that I am afraid that this film is subtly pushing the idea of universalism and this new idea that hell is metaphorical in nature.  This is dangerous and inclusive.  The world we live in does not like anything that is exclusive which is what the Gospel is.  One way to Heaven and God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  There are not many ways into God's Heaven.  There is only one my friends.  This is becoming less and less popular as the days and seasons change.  I fear that so many who will watch this film will be mislead into thinking that they will just pop into Heaven when they die because God wouldn't dare allow them to go anywhere else. Am I saying do not go watch this movie? No I am not, but if you do take your children or friends to go, be clear in your Biblically based disagreement with the film in LOVE.   Let us be critical in our thinking and clear in our words.  Be clear and firm in love.  These things are consequential to our faith and the future of it.    



Nathan

A neglect for the truth 

In current popular Christian culture there is an underlying tone today of unconscious christianity.  A composite nature of relaxed living.  Typically it is seen in the way we live, yet more and more it is being preached from the pulpit in these troublesome days we live in.  It once was prosperity gospel that had taken the church by storm, yet today it is something completely different.  A gospel of love without the justice of a Holy God.  While it is true that the Gospel is about love, there is more beyond that itself.  We have missed the entire point of the Gospel.  A suppliment to God's justice.  Someone to pay the price of sin. I.E. Jesus.  God's incredibly perfect justice requires that there be payment for the sin of man.  Though God is love and gives HIs love to us, this does not negate the fact that God is still the Lion, and that He is a just God.  This whole idea that God is so full of love that He would never or could never send someone to a place called hell is a lie from the pit of hell itself.  Anytime someone says to me that they believe that God could never do something when the scripture clearly says He will, I quiver in fear that they have turned to relativism.  This idea that God tells people things that do not aligned with His word is scary, yet so many in the church today especially in my generational church have been swindled by this idea.  Where does this line of thought end and when will Christians begin to thwart this kind of false teaching?  My young friends, I beg of you to listen to wise council (those who have been around for a long time and are students of the scripture).  Just because something is old does not mean it is wrong.  Perhaps we in our young minds have so pridefully thought that we know better than the great saints of God? I have been so convicted in my own being that I have been prideful and I ask you to look at yourselves just as I do daily.  The truth; God's truth is never changing and God's voice will never conflict with His Word.  


Nate

Pardon the bad grammer if there is any, as I have typed this from my cell phone in the car. =)

An Update Letter 

 As I write this letter to you my friends, I am sitting at my kitchen table listening to music for a new project in Nashville. The song is called "The Love of Christ". I was thinking about what that means as I am going into the production of this new record project. His love is an incredible thing. That is really in essence my anthem. Loving people so that they may see Christ through me. Whether it is through my music, or my life, I want people to see Jesus. That is my goal and purpose. Songs that uplift the body of Christ. This new project is so exciting for me! I am entering into a new realm of music that is so different, but has been a blessing. I wanted to write you all and let you know a little bit about my goals and dream that the Lord has laid upon my heart. When the opportunity arose to work with Don Koch, I was a bit hesitant and wanted to spend some time praying and seeking the Lords face. After about two weeks of doing so, I decided with the help of prayer from friends and family that the Lord was leading in this direction. Since that point, the Lord has continued opening doors for me. I am so thankful for that. There are three things you all can do to help me with this new endeavor. First I covet your prayers for me and those who are working with me on this project that we be selfless in our attitudes, loving in our nature, and fervent in our continuing work. Secondly, if you feel led to help financially with this project, you can do so. We are just short of our current goal for this weeks deadline. Our next deadline will be in July. We will need about $10,000 at that point and then about $10,000 in September. Anything you feel led to help with is so helpful for this project. Whether it is $10, $20 or even $500 it doesn't matter the amount. It all goes towards the goal. The third thing I ask of you is to share this project with others and share the vision. My vision is to see people saved and touched by this music. I want you all to be a part of this with me no matter what. If you cannot help financially, that is no problem at all. I just ask for your prayers! One last thing I would ask for is your feedback. I want to know what you all think. A letter, email or even a phone call would be so very welcomed. I am searching for Gods will for my ministry and your feedback helps me in finding this out. My dream is that God allow me a wider value of influence for His glory so that people may be saved. This is my dream. I hope you can catch it as well!

Why Should I Keep Buying Starbucks? 

     With the ripple effects of the recent starbucks claim pushing Christians away from buying their coffee, I would like to give a different perspective for those who will read, have an open mind and heart. I want to take you back 50 years when the Bible and Prayer were both under attack in the public schools. Christians scathed and cried out against the public school system with all bark but no bite. We really did nothing to help the situation. We merely cried out and then after school hours went back to the four walls of our church to enjoy our private club of worship or whatever it was we did. We lost the battle for the hearts of our children because were not truly engaged in saving them to begin with.
     Just the same today, we have an entire culture that has suffered the affects of our negligence. Starbucks is a microcosm of the big problem in our culture. The question is, are we willing to be engaged in the fight to save the next generation. My generation. I will fight for my generation with or without the help of others, but it cannot be just me. There must be more than ten righteous who are willing to stand up for truth in a day when most will not. So why will I keep going to starbucks? I will keep going to starbucks not to support their homosexual agenda, but because there are many homosexuals who work at starbucks and how will they ever be reached if first I quit going to the neutral place where they are, and secondly if I do not show them the love of Christ? If I boycott this establishment, then who will share the Love of Christ with these people? If I boycott this establishment, then will I be any different then the homosexuals who boycott chickfila or other Christian organizations? We cry out that they should not treat chickfila that way, but we do the very same thing. Now I may not go to starbucks because of their exorbitant prices, however, I will not quit because of whom they support or not. Where else in culture can you go that is neutral place where you can share God's love with people? Why destroy that? There you have it! My thoughts for today.

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