A Call to Arms
Week 1

Hello Church on the Hill! I am so excited to start my internship. To give background to those who do not know me too well, I have grown up going to this church and have finally gotten the chance to practice ministry within its walls. I received my calling to ministry through the Holy Spirit at the moment of my salvation. With that calling happening around 6 years ago, it brings me joy to have this internship as my first ministry experience.

I’ve talked about my calling. Now let’s talk about yours. Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (NIV). My gift is leadership, so I am using it. I am starting this position to lead and develop my leadership skills.

To find your calling in the Kingdom, you should first pray. Pray that God opens up your mind to the gifts He has given you. When you have a good idea of what your gift is, talk to Pastor Winters or any other leader within the church to get a good idea of how to use it. How will you fulfill God’s calling?

Focus on the Spirit
Week 2

Wow! This internship has had its biggest challenge: the Sunday Service. Anyone who knows me well can tell that I am a big talker, but walking up to the pulpit and speaking in front of a group of people I have known my entire life is a different story. As Pastor Winters introduced me, I felt a rush of nervousness. I was working myself up over just talking to forty people. All I had to do was read a projection and pray, but it felt like so much more.

Spiritually, this was a failure. Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (ESV). I set my mind on worldly things and only thought about trying not to embarrass myself in front of my friends. I really should have thought about how to use my words in a way that glorifies God.

Most of the things that we do are not Christ-centered but rather self-centered. Have you ever noticed that when we focus on our own benefit, we seldomly succeed, but when we focus on God, everything becomes easier? Maybe it’s not actually harder to do things when we are doing them for ourselves but instead, the Holy Spirit is not giving us our “life and peace.” Your mindset leads to your success, so what is your mind focused on?

We Need a Revival
Week 3

We need a revival. The entire Kingdom of God needs a revival. It seems as if today's Christianity is absent–absent of spirit. What happened to the fire we all felt at salvation? I see many Christians (including myself) at some points just put on their church face every Sunday morning to return to work or school the next day acting like their old self. Everyone is guilty of this at some time or another.

We need revival. Ephesians 5:13-14 says, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” How will Christ shine onto us and through us to others when we act in a worldly manner? How can others see Christ in you if you are even trying to be Christlike?

We need a revival. Revive your lives! Awake from your death! Christ is shining his light on us so why not embrace it? Rise from your dead ways. Rise from sin. Instead, walk in the spirit. You are called to be the salt of the world so be it. What do you have to lose? Your worldly pleasures? Those mean nothing after death. The only thing that matters is how much you love Christ so show it.

The Best Laid Plans
Week 4

John Steinbeck said in his book Of Mice and Men, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Life is not perfect. For those of you that came to 1Night, some technical difficulties made it… interesting. Despite the technical error, the presence of God was still with us. A little bit of feedback did not hinder our worship of the one true God.

The devil often makes things hard for us but God is always there. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (ESV).

Things don’t always go perfectly. It’s just part of our cursed world, but there is something that can bring us joy with His presence in times of tribulation. That something is Jesus. If everything around you comes crashing down, you still can have hope and peace in Jesus.

Week 5

Overcoming sin can be one of the hardest things to do. It is human nature to sin, but when we live a life of it, we tend to fall down a dark hole. This dark hole for some can lead as far as depression. Sin makes us happy when doing it but then empty and sad afterward. Sin is a deceiver sent from the Deceiver.

Sin is a trap. It traps us in slavery, and there is only one way to break free. Romans 6:22 says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (ESV). The truth is that, no matter what, we are all slaves, but we do have a choice.

We can choose to be slaves to sin or God. I don’t know about you, but being a slave to God seems a lot better. The following verse says, “the wages of sin is death” (v. 23, ESV). I would rather take life in Christ than death in sin. We can only obtain sanctification and life if we decide to change who our master is, so who’s your master

Forgive and Forget
Week 6

We don’t deserve to be here. Humans are horrible creatures that just keep messing up and doing wrong. You might say that what I just said was pretty harsh, but it is true. Romans 1:32 says, “Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (ESV). Compared to God, we are too unholy and blemished to even be in His sight. Humanity deserves nothing other than Hell, but there is a workaround.

In Old Testament times, the solution was to sacrifice the best animals for God, but all this did was cover and camouflage our imperfections. This was not enough, so God sent his son. Jesus’ sacrifice made way for forgiveness. Hebrews 9:15 says, “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant” (ESV). In the old covenant, our sin was still present, but through repentance and faith, our sin is gone and we are redeemed.

To attain His forgiveness, we must ask and repent. His love is abounding and all He needs is your love and faithfulness in return. God forgives and forgets, but it needs to be asked of him. So what are you waiting for?

The Elevator Pitch
Week 7

If you were there, I gave my testimony at the Church Family Breakfast. Throughout my time in church, I’ve noticed that not many people really give their testimonies. For those of you that might not know what it is or have a full understanding of it, a testimony is your story as a Christian. Some people have long and drawn out ones like that of Jeff Miller, but most of the time, it is better to explain it in a few minutes. You most likely aren't going to have some stranger listen to your life story for an hour straight.

The whole reason for me saying this is because of YOUR testimony's importance. A testimony conveys your story and why you are a Christian. Jesus called us to be missionaries to the world stating, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19,20 ESV).

The Great Commision tells us to go and make disciples, but to do that, we have to convince unbelievers that the Bible is the Truth. The most effective way to win an argument is with tangible evidence. YOU are the evidence. YOUR story is the evidence, so start working on your elevator pitch to tell people. If you want the Kingdom to grow, you have to make it.

Good Enough
Week 8

Our society tends to strive for perfection. We want perfection but we can’t get it. No one will ever be good-looking enough to meet our standards. No one will ever be smart enough to meet our standards. No one will ever meet society’s standards, so what do we do? We get depressed because we aren’t good enough.

Let me tell you. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. YOU are good-looking enough. YOU are smart enough. YOU are good enough. Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (ESV).

Let me tell you. If you are alive, you are part of God’s will. His love is more important than the world’s. The opinions of the world are infinitesimally small compared to God’s, so just leave them behind. When you focus on worldly things, all you are doing is drawing your attention away from God. Your faith and love for God is the only thing that matters so block everything else. God loves you more than anyone or anything ever could, so embrace it.

Just Ask
Week 9

We all go through trouble in our lives. We may feel the weight of a heavy burden or be going through a rough patch. Our tendency as humans is to break our own hearts. There is no such thing as someone or something breaking your heart. Humans tend to take our internal and external griefs and issues out on ourselves; thus, breaking our hearts. We take these issues that we have magnified and let them overtake us.

It may seem like you will never escape or heal from your issues, but you can. You can’t do it alone, though. Psalm 34:17-18 says “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (ESV).

You may feel trapped, but your faith will set you free. As people, we usually tend to go to God as our last resort to fix things, but this is all wrong. No matter where you are in life, God will save you. No matter how brokenhearted you are, God will save you. All you have to do is ask.

No Fear in Love
Week 10

Who’s a fan of human nature? Not me. It tends to take us down a dark path in life. Human nature always seems to get in our way. One of these downfalls is fear. We live our lives in it. In many cases, fear drives our lives. We do or do not do things because we fear social repercussions. We are afraid to take risks because of the fear that the outcome might not be what we want it to be. Fear manipulates us.

When we are in fear’s presence, we fixate on it to the point that everything else becomes null and void. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (ESV).

It is impossible to love and fear at the same time. It is either one or the other. Naturally, we gravitate toward fear and feel trapped, but there is only one way out. “Perfect love casts out fear,” says it all. The only thing that has perfect love is God. The only way to cast out your fear is to put it into the hands of God.

Bad Habits
Week 11

Who has a bad habit? I do. I have many, actually. We all have a lot of bad habits. They can be as simple as biting your fingernails, or they can be as bad a major addiction. Regardless of how bad they are, bad habits always find a way to make our lives or the lives of others worse.

Our habits affect us. They make us feel bad and look bad. There is only one way to stop them. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV).

God has given you self-control. It is one of the fruits of the spirit even, so use it. If you need help with practicing things like self-control, ask the Father. He is the only one that can guide anyone into self-control. Use your spirit-enabled power to gain control over your life. No matter how bad your habits are, God can help you out of them.

Suffer Through It
Week 12

We all experience moments where we lack confidence. It could be speaking in front of people, meeting new people, etc. We tend to have a fear-based lack of confidence that is motivated by our fear of others. When I preached this past Sunday, I experienced a strong lack of confidence. I was afraid that I would give incorrect scriptural references. I was afraid that my sermon was going to be horrible, and that I would just embarrass myself. Even though I did not have a lot of confidence, I still got on the stage and preached.

I did not let a lack of confidence stop me. I persevered. Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (ESV)

A lack of confidence can cause us to suffer, but it is a part of life. If we are to continue forward, we need to look past not being confident. If we go through small suffering like this, we can build up endurance to fight the true battles of this world. We are under a curse and just have to suffer through it.

Worry for the Future
Week 13

Who is conscientious about their future? I am and most of the people reading this are. We make decisions every single day that affect our future, so naturally, we think before we do. This is usually good, but sometimes, we tend to get wrapped up in this to the point of our future overwhelming us. It can stress us out and change our mood.

The thing we fail to look at when contemplating our future is God. Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you” (ESV).

Don’t let your future scare you. God has it under control. He has a plan. He has a will. As long as you follow it, he will give you a bright future. If you trust in him, that future is attainable. Trusting in him is the only way to gain this, so where is your trust?

Week 14

Thanksgiving was just last week, giving us a moment to pause our busy lives and think back. Many of us expressed our thankfulness to our friends and family. Others expressed thankfulness for the things they had along with their own prosperity. Some may have felt like there was something else to be thankful for, but they did not know.

That something else is God. A lyric from David’s Song of Thanks says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV). It seems as if people are forgetting to thank God. He made Heaven and Earth along with everything in and around it.

He is responsible for you being alive, but most fail to even respect Him for doing so; much less thank Him. People need to stop being ignorant of what God has done for them, so now I ask: Have you thanked him yet

Don’t Blame God
Week 15

We all experience bad things. Some people have worse experiences than others, and we all know that this is just a fact of life. Bad things happen to good people. We are in a fallen world so nothing will be perfect. As humans, we can’t help but look for a cause for the bad things. Sometimes people end up viewing God as the root of the evil in the world.

This truth is that God is not the reason why this is happening. Lamentations 3 is titled Great is Your Faithfulness. This is a chapter in which God’s love for us is expressed through the writer explaining their horrible experiences but still standing strong through God’s love. Verse 33 says, “for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men” (ESV).

God is not the cause of all the bad things and circumstances in this world. Satan is. God is here to love and support you. Because of the shortfalls of man, we are here, so we have to make the best of it. Instead of blaming God for your issues, ask him for the strength and power to fight them

The Christmas Perspective
Week 17

Human nature tells us to think about flaws more than good things. When you have just finished painting a wall, you tend to focus on that one tiny spot in the corner you missed. When you have just finished a project for work, you only focus on the small part that didn’t look right rather than the vast majority of the project you did correctly.

Not everything goes smoothly. Just take a look at the birth of Jesus. Luke 2:6-7 says, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them” (ESV).

That’s right. The King of the World, the Messiah was born in a barn. Sure, this wasn’t the optimal place for such an important person to be born, but this was the moment in which God became human and lived with his creation. This was the moment when the Savior was born. Even though things may seem bad, they aren’t. You just have to look from a different perspective.