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Unorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz

This week, I get to sit down and talk with a guy who was a student of mine when I was doing full-time student ministry, Eric Schwarz. He’s an amazing guy with an amazing story. Here are a few of the bulletpoints form our discussion… though you REALLY need to push play and hear Eric’s story for yourself!

  • Eric was born & raised in San Diego
  • Grew up at North Coast Church and I knew Eric’s older brother, Tony
  • Loved skating & punk rock
  • Knew Jesus was real, but wanted to do his own thing

Why didn’t you follow Jesus if you knew it was real?

  • “I didn’t care about my salvation at that point. I just cared about having fun.”
  • Eric did all the church events, but not any of the relationship with Jesus.
  • He knew there was a reason that everyone else believed, but he never took the time to grasp it and engage with it

Eric’s life dramatically changed… and it all started with an accident

  • One day, Eric got high after school and skated home
  • While following his friend home, his friend crossed the street and as he went to cross, he was hit by a truck.
  • Eric woke up in a hospital with no idea why he was there.
  • Later, Eric learned that a Nissan Titan hit him at 45 mph, Eric was thrown 30 feet, destroyed his shoulder and smacked his head on the concrete.
  • Eric was diagnosed with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • After getting home from the hospital, he went right back to his old life of smoking, partying and skatingUnorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz
  • While watching his grandfather die, Eric saw what true commitment to Christ looked like.
  • His grandfather’s example and strength led Eric to follow Jesus for real
  • Now, with this life change, Eric has finished school, advocates for people with TBI and works at a school for the disabled.

What are the long-term impacts of the injury?

  • Life long headaches, anxiety, depression, lower functioning motor skills and lack of focus
  • Eric has found that creating art helps cope with depression

What are words of advice for people going through brain injury?

  • Practice gratitude – gratitude helps you focus on the good things in this world
  • Don’t Isolate yourself – talk to others who know more than you do: professionals, doctors, family, friends
  • Admit you need help – get the help you need!

What advice do you have for people who are in relationship with others who are dealing with depression or TBI?

  • Just be there – you don’t need to do it all
  • Don’t just say good words – have good actions

Eric’s favorite Bible verse?

  • John 3:16 – it is the entire Bible summed up in one verse. It is the Gospel.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Closing thoughts:

What you earn give back to others. Keep your word and live in truth

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Heavy metal, flames, skulls, wings, free weed and beer… sounds like church to me!

Seriously! To tell us all the details of this amazing ministry is Brian Smith, Senior Pastor of the First Heavy Metal Church of Christ.

To put it in a nutshell, Unorthodox Heavy Metal Church: An Interview with Brian SmithFHMCC is a non-denomination, Bible-based Church in a comfortable atmosphere with great music! They are a group of people from all walks of life and age groups. It doesn’t matter what you wear, they just want you there!

The Church has no racial, ethnic or social status barriers and they could care less about your past or present life. Brian and his church only care about your FUTURE life in Christ!

Most people want God in their lives, but think they must clean up first before coming to Christ… You don’t clean up before you jump in the shower, do you? God wants you EXACTLY the way you are at this very moment. As long as you actively seek God, He will actively seek you, and the Holy Spirit will gently clean you up along the way.
The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ is unlike any Church that you have ever attended, and THAT I can guarantee. Just walk on in, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Here are just a few of the topics Brian and I discuss this week:

  • Saved young, baptized at 6, but not part of a church
  • 12-years-old, went to church and was told he was going to burn in HELL
  • Rededicated his life to Jesus and then told he needed to follow all the rules… so he walked away again
  • 20’s-30’s just chasing everything the world offered
  • Loved the Lord, but didn’t follow Him
  • At his best, he knew he wasn’t following God and he decided to get back with God
  • After rededicating his life, he started a bible study that grew and grew until they started a church.
  • June 2011: Started the church. In six years, they have baptized 800 people and their videos have been viewed over 100,000 times worldwide.
  • Brian went to see Marilyn Manson recently, and was offended by the Christians yelling at the concert goers, not the metal crowd or band.
  • How do you reach those who might not want to be reached?
  • To reach the lost you need to go where the lost are
  • Your Most Influential Metal Bands: Iron Maiden, Ozzy, AC/DC, Judas Priest
  • Best live band: Chris Cornell, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Robert Plant, Jethro Tull, Dennis DeYoung from Styx
  • Been hurt by legal Christians
  • True Christian go out and spread the word
  • Reaching lost world through secular concerts
  • Not looking to attract Christians but reach the lost
  • Hate from other Christians & churches
  • Favorite Bible story or verse
    • The life of David – messing up big but loved God and repented
    • Romans 10
    • John 3:16

This is just part of Brian’s story. You’ve got to hear what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today. As Brian says, “No matter how you worship… ROCK ON!”

For more information about Brian’s amazing ministry, check out HeavyMetalChurch.com!

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For God so Loved the World?

John 3:16 says:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

What a great single verse summary of the Gospel!

But, even though this one verse stands true on its own, there’s still a context we must consider: Jesus was talking to Nicodemus – a Pharisee who recognized by the miracles He did that Jesus was sent from God.

No there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2)

But, Nicodemus didn’t get the things Jesus taught, even though Jesus referenced the prophets to show they wrote about Him.

Nicodemus said, “How can these things be?” Jesus said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.” (John 3:9-11)

Jesus said, “Aren’t you the teacher of Israel and you don’t understand?”

So, He gave another example:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him has eternal life. For God so loved the world that He sent His Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:15-16)

See, Nicodemus thought the Messiah the prophets talked about was coming to save the Jews. Jesus used this story from Moses, when God sent serpents to punish the people for their sin (Numbers 21:9), to foreshadow how God would deliver from his wrath a people that would include every tribe, tongue and nation on earth. (Revelation 7:9) That’s what is meant by “For God so loved the world”.

For God so Loved the World?It doesn’t mean every person in the world, it means more than just Jews. God loves people from all over the world.

And in both verses 15 and 16, the qualifier is whoever believes will be saved and have eternal life.

The love of God the Father includes people from every nation, that He gave His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of His people.

He gave His Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of His people (Titus 2:14)

Whoever believes in the person and work of Jesus Christ would be saved from the wrath of God and have eternal life.

So take this Gospel message to every nation, that they would believe and be saved!

…when we understand the text

(This video is by WWUTT. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central.)

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Jesus in HD Slider

Luke 10:1 reads,

“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.”

In light of that verse, I want to float a theory.

My theory is this: Jesus did nothing arbitrarily or randomly. There was purpose behind everything that Jesus did.

Including His sending of the 70.

So if my theory holds, that Jesus did not send out the 70 randomly or arbitrarily, we are face with two most-intriguing questions:

  1. Why in the world did Jesus send out 70?
  2. What does it mean to us today?

And as you will soon hear in this PODCAST, it means everything to us today.

Back in Genesis 1:1, we read an incredibly austere and dramatic statement. Especially when compared to other Middle Eastern creation accounts:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Everything you need to know about the Bible, this world, you, your relationship to this world, and more importantly your relationship to God is contained in that one verse. All of the rest of the Bible is commentary.

Now, from the moment that God created Adam and Eve, the entire human race has always been the unique focus of God’s attention and the object of His love. Additionally, from the moment that Adam and Eve declared their independence from God and willfully defied Him, God has been on a rescue mission of epic proportions. His goal being to save everyone who would allow Him to do so.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Now, I often say the truism that “given enough time, God will give us exactly what we want.” And that’s just what happened here in between God, Adam and Eve in the garden. What did Adam want? What did Satan offer? To be like God. And that’s what they got.

So, immediately after Adam and Eve took Satan’s offer, we see God decree the following:

“And I will put open hostility
Between you and the woman,
And between your offspring) and her Seed;
He shall fatally bruise your head,
And you shall [only] bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Now, admittedly, this is just a hint – barely a shadow of what would become a vivid redemptive reality. And, oh, did mankind need it. For, right away in the very next chapter, we read about Cain killing his brother Abel – the first recorded murder. Then, just a few verses later, we read the Bible’s first song, written by the first recorded bigamist:

19 Lamech married two women…

... 23 One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
    listen to me, you wives of Lamech.
I have killed a man who attacked me,
    a young man who wounded me.
24 If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times,
    then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!” (Genesis 4:19-24)

The depravity of mankind sank and sank and sank, culminating to what we read in the very next chapter:

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil

 Now, you know that this resulted in the Great Flood, but what you may not know is what was occurring for the 120 years prior to the flood. As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:5,

Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment.

For 120 years, while he constructed the ark, Noah warned his neighbors, pleading with them to accept God and get into the ark – God’s rescue mission.

Then we move ever so quickly to Genesis 11. Flying in the face of God’s promise to Noah in Genesis 9 – instead of heeding God’s advice and adhering to His covenant of peacefully repopulating the earth – we read these disastrous words:

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Eventually, the people of Genesis 11 settled into 70 distinct nations.

Now, here’s something most people don’t catch: Genesis 11 gives us the cause of the world’s situation. Genesis 10 gives us the effect. Genesis 10 talks about the dissemination of nations stemming from Noah’s family, due to the events of chapter 11.

So… we have 70 different nations. Within one of which is the city of Ur, where there eventually lived Abraham – a monotheistic man living in the midst of polytheistic Babylon. Once again, God extended his rescue mission… this time to Abram:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

The focus of God’s rescue mission has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS will be ALL THE PEOPLE of the world. We see this in the Old Testament, and even more so in the New Testament:

For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9)

He (Jesus Christ) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

You (Jesus) were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9)

You see… from end to end, from Genesis to Revelation, God’s rescue plan is laid out. God did not choose the Jews to be the only inheritors of salvation. Also, God did not choose the Jews to only be the inheritors of salvation.

He chose them to light the way.

That’s what Jesus was doing when He sent out the 70 – trying to elevate the world to the highest moral and spiritual level possible, and to perfect the world under God’s rule.Jesus Sent out The 70 for EVERYONE

This is why, in the two months between John 10:21 and John 10:22 (between the Feast of Tabernacles in October and the Feast of Dedication in December), He was preparing the way and painting the picture that not just the twelve tribes of Israel, but the 70 tribes of the world were who He was sent to save.

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1)

Seventy. It’s more than a random number. It’s God’s rescue plan for you, me, and the rest of the world.

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Christian teaching how to influence the culture in the culture war.

It’s been said that there are four things that God doesn’t know:

  1. He doesn’t know a sin He doesn’t hate.
  2. He doesn’t know a sinner He doesn’t love.
  3. He doesn’t know a plan any better than the one He gave us.
  4. He doesn’t know a time any better than NOW.

John 3:16 tells us that:HeavenJohn316_sign

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Could He have figured out a better way to solve the problem of our sin at a lesser cost to Himself? Sure. He’s God. He operates by the “Golden Rule”: He who has the gold makes the rules. He has the most gold. He made the rules. He could have chosen another way if He wanted to.

Could He have chosen a way that cost Him more? No.

Could He have chosen a way that would have better demonstrated the amount that He loves each one of us? No.

So, John 3:16 is the way that He chose.

Salvation, “Born Again”, “Being Saved”… they’re all synonyms that mean a secured eternity in heaven with God – and thus an avoided eternity without God or His attributes – is only possible through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are a “Point in Time” Christian or a “Process” Christ-follower. Either way, as a human, this eternity “problem” is something you need to think about… NOW.

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Christian teaching how to influence the culture in the culture war.

It’s been said that there are four things that God doesn’t know:

  1. He doesn’t know a sin that He doesn’t hate.
  2. He doesn’t know a sinner He doesn’t love.
  3. He doesn’t know a plan any better than the one He gave us.
  4. He doesn’t know a time any better than NOW.

John 3:16 tells us that:

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Could He have figured out a better way to solve the problem of our sin at a lesser cost to Himself? Sure. He’s God. He operates by the “Golden Rule”: He who has the gold makes the rules. He has the most gold. He made the rules. He could have chosen another way if He wanted to.

Could He have chosen a way that cost Him more? No.

Could He have chosen a way that would have better demonstrated the amount that He loves each one of us? No.

So, John 3:16 is the way that He chose.

Salvation, “Born Again”, “Being Saved”… they’re all synonyms that mean a secured eternity in heaven with God – and thus an avoided eternity without God or His attributes – is only possible through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are a “Point in Time” Christian or a “Process” Christ-follower. Either way, as a human, this eternity “problem” is something you need to think about.

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In this, the first installment of Jay Carty’s “Playing with Fire” series, Jay reviews the fact that we’re all onions.  You stink.  I stink.  We all stink.  Our sin nature that we are born with causes us to stink.  According to Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus in John 3, the only way to get rid of this stink is to be born again.  Now, this happens differently for different people.  Not all people are born the same, nor are they born again the same.  But no matter how you’re born again, you need to know that you know that you know that you are in order to spend eternity in Heaven.  Confused yet?

Listen to Jay for 12 minutes and he’ll clear it all up.

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It’s called the most beloved verse in all the Bible, no pun intended as it is a verse about God’s love.

It’s called the Gospel message in miniature.

It’s the most memorized verse in the Bible, and usually the very 1st verse most of us memorized.

John 3:16 is all of that, and so much more.

But note this: John 3:16 did not come out of a vacuum. It came out of a singularly important conversation that Jesus had with a singularly important individual — the man named Nicodemus.

Nicodemus: a man we need to meet up close and personal. Nicodemus: a man from whom we will learn some startling lessons.

In a very real sense, in this PODCAST we will expose a hidden family secret, one that affects every single church represented by you, my precious listeners.

So sit back, open your heart, and spend a few minutes with us as we meet the man who came to Jesus at night.

To learn more about Dewey’s ministry, go to www.deweybertolini.com

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