Written By Ryan Walters
Loaded. This post is loaded with a plethora of topics. Birth & death, apologies, resurrections, new websites. Yikes.
I’ll start with the basics: This Wednesday marks the two-year anniversary of my dad’s sudden death (see bottom left photo).
This Friday marks my 23rd birthday *insert ‘happy birthday song’ here* (see bottom right photo, current Patriots fan; not current photo).
This Friday also marks the day we celebrate ‘Good Friday’: The day of the crucifixion & Jesus’ hanging on the cross (see top photo).
Clearly, my rollercoaster emotions and thoughts of joy and reminiscing will be all over the grid this week.
But first I have three important announcements to make!
I recently purchased rights to host my own domain name & am in the midst of forming a website. Besides my desire to have a more professional appearance online, the primary reason for this is so the worldwide web may access my blogs, photography, quotes & videos with a more ‘user-friendly’ site. It may take up to a few weeks to complete this project but I will be sure to notify all my readers, viewers & followers when the transition from this blog site to my personal website goes live.
- As most of you are aware, I released my first short film based off of one of my blogs about two months ago called “Noahzite Nation”. You can check it out here on Youtube if you haven’t watched it already. Well, video number two is on it’s way. I am partnering with Matt Johnson once again & this time I’m adding Travis Boothman to the mix as well. Both of these fine gentleman bring a diverse set of skills to the table & I am quite excited about having them both on board. The filming should be taking place within a few weeks so please keep this next project in your prayers as we desire to glorify & honor God through it.
- Announcement #3 is something I’ve never done before during my short period of time as a blogger; hence, the ‘unusualness’ of this post. I’d like to give a confession as well as make an apology to just about anybody who regularly or infrequently visits this blog. God has strongly placed it on my heart the last few days not just to recognize a heart problem I possess but to share it as well. He has received my confession & apology on this matter and now it is time to relay the message to my audience.
I am confident that many of you who utilize social media in some form, whether you tweet once a day or are nonstop on Facebook, can relate to my heart problem. I’ve discovered that my hunger to distribute my own message & passion for reaching lukewarm Christians has actually swallowed me up to some extent. My eagerness to be so proactive online & in social media has resulted in a distancing from the Lord in my relationship with Him. Lately, it feels as though my intimacy with Jesus has been strangled by a vine. The closeness of the relationship therefore has been choked time & time again; the circulation of communication has been cut off kind of like blood circulation gets cut off when constricted by something or someone. Funny thing is, the constriction occurs almost every time I have the worthy intentions of pursuing something godly such as doing daily devotionals.
I sit there & read a portion of a book while a particular line catches my eye & immediately it’s off to the races to quote that line on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. You know what that does? It totally distracts me & takes my focus off the actual significance of the line as well as it’s spiritual truths & how I can apply it to my own life let alone allow the Spirit to convict me about it.
In the knick of time, God has beaten me over the head to get my attention about this sort of behavior. I was even brought back to my own words of my one of my own blogs! Here is a quote from one of my most recent blogs “Going Through The Motions | A Christ Follower’s Struggle”: “We try every once and a while to be sneaky and talk to God with the “godly intention” of actually intending to speak with Him. But doing all the talking doesn’t cut it and results in our loss because we shut down the most worthwhile opportunity there is- hearing from God.”
Wow. I’ve been shut down by my own feedback. That pierces the heart. I am the absolute last person who wants to say one thing but do the other. I strive to achieve “walking the walk” & “talking the talk“. However; this whole experience has been a reminder I can boast in my weakness ( 2 Cor. 12:9) of admitting to being a hypocrite of my own dialogue. I’ve been humbly reminded I will constantly fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) no matter how high I am.
With all of the above expressed, I hope you as a reader & follower can accept my apology. Perhaps, you can even relate to a social nut like myself & take this confession in it’s entirety as a precaution for your own walk with Christ.
But what could not be a more perfect timing to vent that out is this week’s reminder through Good Friday & the Easter season that Christ died on a cross & bore all my shame & sin just because of the Father’s love. Phil Wickham says in his song ‘Because Of Your Love’, “Because of Your cross, my debt is paid. Because of Your blood, my sins are washed away. Now all of my life I freely give, because of Your love I live.” Beautiful. It is precisely my heart’s cry the last few days.
It was an unusual turn of events that Jesus’ would be betrayed by one of His own disciples with a kiss & nailed to a cross by His own people for a false accusation. It was unusual that Jesus could be put under more pain & suffering than any of us could ever comprehend for not even committing one sin in His three decades on earth. It was unusual that not one person could understand the reasoning behind such a tragic but divine event.
It is UNUSUAL that as believers & heirs of Christ,
we still continue to BREAK GOD’S HEART by disobeying Him & CHOOSING OUR WAY OVER HIS.
Just let that sink in & allow God to break your Spirit for a minute to come to terms with the fact that your sin placed Jesus on a cross.
But then remember that the cross represents Hope. It represents Love. & it represents Grace. Let it be a symbol of your Faith.
In this unusual week, the cross brings hope to me because I know that without it my earthly father would not have accessed eternity.
In this unusual week, I am overwhelmed by grace offered to me by the cross for my hypocrisy being removed as far as the
East is from the West. (Psalm 103:12)
In this unusual week, I feel so incredibly loved by God who created me & my family & friends who helped raise & educate me.
Ryan Walters. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Founder, Blogger