Still finding the goodness of God in the land of the living

Jack Tillery tells his story of still finding the goodness of God in the land of the living after surviving a double transplant. Jack narrates his personal journey of discovering Jesus, even after serving as a staff member in a church. He also talks about his experience of undergoing a double transplant of a heart and kidney. Despite the challenges he faced, Jack’s account highlights the goodness of God. He openly shares his life’s ups and downs, both in the past and present, as he continues to serve in ministry.

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protecting you

Who are you protecting? – Episode 26

Who are you protecting? Are you living a life of self-protection? Are you hiding a secret life? Do you hear the lies “If someone really knew me, they wouldn’t love me!” Self-protection builds walls that keep people out and keep you in! God has created us to be known and know. Not only God but others. Will you keep denying God’s intention and purpose for your life by continuing to live a life of self-protection? Have you found a safe community? Do you even know what to look for in a safe person? You need safe people and intimate relationships in your life. God has created us to have these things because we are created in His image. So what are you not talking about, what are you not getting out, and what are you going to do to stop living a life of self-protection? Who are you protecting?

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Verses Mentioned:

Psalm 101:4
I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ps 101:4.

James 5:16
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 5:16.

Hebrews 6:7-12
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it. 9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Heb 6:7–12.

Where do I find fulfillment?

Episode 25 – Am I a dooms day prepper?

Am I a dooms day prepper?

Do we know why we do the things we do? Do we go to bible study, small groups, and conferences to prepare ourselves for the doom and gloom of life? Am I a dooms day prepper? Are we just trying to feel better by filling your life with good things, all the while holding your sin close to our chest? Deep down you are not ready to let go of the earthly things that bring you comfort. You want the “best” of both worlds. You want to be the “King” of your own life and have all the blessings of the “King of Kings.” You have to find your patterns of sin and eradicate them in your life. How can you let go of your kingship if your pattern keeps putting you back on the throne of your life? You have to surrender it to the Lord. In that surrender, you are going to find your purpose and calling in your life. You are going to figure out what it is costing you to keep chasing these patterns. Do you want to pass on a legacy of sin or righteousness? In this free gift of grace and salvation, we do have a part to play. We have lived a life worthy of our calling and pursue Christ with a full heart! We cannot keep going back to the things of dead life. So what is God telling you, and what are you going to do about it?

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Verses Mentioned:

James 1:19-27

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. 22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 1:19–27.

1 John 1:9

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Jn 1:9.

James 5:16

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 5:16.

Working together to overcome!

Episode 24 – Special Guest my wife Angi Ogea – We’re in this together!

We’re in this together episode description

We’re in this together! Are you? I have been wrapped up in the world of pornography addiction most of my life. And in my journey, I have found grace through the example of Jesus my wife has given me. This week Angi and I sit down talk a little about our journey through redemption and what it looks like to live a life of oneness together. We talk about how in my broken state, we were missing out on what it truly meant to live as one in Christ. I don’t think we understood what it really meant to in a state of oneness until I started living a life in a community of men and breaking free from that bondage of porn. I was able to pursue who I am meant to be in Christ and lead her in our marriage. Listen as we talk about these things, and be encouraged that you can find the same things in your marriage. 

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Are you fighting the good fight?

Episode 23 – It ain’t about how hard you hit!

Description

We need to remember that we are in a fight! The fight of our lives, our brothers’ lives, and our families lives. And in that fight, it ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about what happens after you are knocked down. Do you get up again? Are you preserving? Are you fighting the right fight? We have an enemy, and it’s not your spouse, your job, or even your kids. Join me on this journey of identifying my target and attacking it by surrendering to Jesus.

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Verses Mentioned in It ain’t about how hard you hit!:

1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 1 Ti 6:12.

Nehemiah 4:14

Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ne 4:14.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Pr 27:17./

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Co 9:24–27.

Who am I in Christ?

Episode 22 – Do you even know who you are?

Description

Do you even know who you are? What areas of your life are you living in the counterfeit? We have been called by name to a purpose in the kingdom. Husbands, Fathers, Ministers, and Leaders. How are you being effective in the kingdom if you are stuck in bondage to sin and addiction? We must work out our salvation and pursue a life worthy of the kingdom of God. If He has called you to it, He will get you through it. He provides a way to escape sin, but we have to take the offerings. You are built for more, you are loved, and you need to share the good news of Jesus.

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Verses Mentioned:

Mark 3:13-16

13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. 14 Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, 15 giving them authority to cast out demons. 16 These are the twelve he chose: Simon (whom he named Peter), 17 James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), 19 Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Mk 3:13–19.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

9 Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. 10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. 13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Th 2:9–13.

Philippians 3:17-21

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Php 3:17–21.

Palms 27

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. 4 The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. 5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. 6 Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. 7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. 11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. 12 Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ps 27:1–14.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Co 10:13.

How do handle opposition in our life.

Episode 21 – I don’t think you can handle this!

I don’t think you can handle this! Can you handle what is opposing your walk with Christ? What sins are you hiding? What sins are you just disregarding? Guys, we must get to the point of being broken over our sins. We must get past the pride and talk about what is going on in our lives. Find other men who are further along in their walk so they can lead you. Dive in the word! Work out your salvation and learn what it means to pursue Christ. Expose the sin in your life! Figure out what it will cost you to follow Christ in your life. What boundaries do you need to set so you can work on heart change while maintaining a behavior change?

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Verses Mentioned:

6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 1 Pe 1:6–9.

How do we deal with addiction and discipleship?

Episode 20 – How do we deal with addiction and discipleship?

Description

How do we deal with addiction and discipleship? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? I want to say it must have been easy for them when Jesus walked alongside them, but I don’t think that is true. The 12 had to reshape their theology, mindset, and everything they thought true. How is that any different from today? Everyone has their belief system. They worship and seek comfort in/from something. When we, as believers, try to disrupt their beliefs, we are causing a crisis of faith. A change in what we know to be true. Does our truth bring us comfort from the things of this world, or does The Truth set us free? The 12 disciples were able to watch The Truth and The Life firsthand. They saw miracles happen right before their very eyes. I have been able to watch miracles firsthand. To see Jesus working in someone’s life to the point where they realign what they know to be true. To flip what they believe on its head. So, what are we doing with that knowledge? How are we teaching others about Jesus? What do we do with our idols that we are addicted to? How does our life live out for others to see that following Jesus is different from anything else in this world? Where am I stepping out in faith? How am I leading my family? What do others see in me? Am I turning the world upside down? 

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Verses Mentioned:

Matthew 28:16-20
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.28.NIV>

Matthew 10:42
42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.10.NIV>

Mark 16:15-18
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MRK.16.NIV>

Luke 10:22
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LUK.10.NIV>

Luke 14:26
26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LUK.14.NIV>

 John 8:31–32
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.8.NIV>

John 13:35
35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.13.NIV>

John15:8
8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
From <https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.15.NIV>

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What does it mean to be discipled?

What does it mean to be Discipled? – Part 7

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

These are the last two verses of the gospel according to Matthew. These are the final instructions that Jesus gave his disciples before ascending to heaven. It is better known as “The Great Commission.” Jesus has wrapped up His earthly teaching to His disciples with one last command. Go and make disciples. Take all your life experiences and everything I have taught you in the past three years. Please bring it to other people in your life. Follow my example and find those to follow Me through your example. And Jesus’ last statement is, “no matter what happens; I will be with you!”

Teaching Them?

I never considered myself a teacher of anything until recently. The idea of trying to get someone to understand something always seemed out of my capacity. I feel that way my brain views the world through the eyes of a puzzle solver. Breaking things down or building them up is easy for me. “There is no way to teach someone how my mind works, so just let me go do what needs to be done.” “I can get this done quicker if I do it and don’t have to stop and show somebody else what to do.”

Could the fear of failure have kept my teaching abilities at bay? Or that I struggle with relationships and the fear of being misunderstood was more prevalent? The idea that I would open and share a thought, and no one would listen to me paralyzed me. Feeling insecure and insignificant was easy to hide when I never opened my mouth. The problem was God had me with a purpose and calling. I was not living up to that calling, and I was allowing the spirit of fear to control my life. I didn’t see myself the way God sees me.

Goals?

So now I am looking at verse 20 of Matthew 28. And it is Jesus’s final words before he ascends into heaven. He says disciples are to teach disciples to observe all that He commanded. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, this statement belongs to me. The guy who struggles with the concept of teaching anyone anything. I would say that I wrestled with this for a while, but that’s not true because I was not intentionally making disciples. And If I wasn’t intentionally making disciples, this verse doesn’t have a lot of weight in my life.

The preacher we listened to this past week made an interesting observation about these passages I have talked about for the past seven weeks. If Jesus’s last words on this earth were to make disciples, teaching them to follow what He commanded. Could His first question to us in heaven be, “Where are your disciples?” If nothing else, his observation had me thinking. How are we, “the church,” living a life worthy of the calling? Where are the disciples making disciples? How important is it to the men in the church to lead their family or the guy next to them?

My Goals?

Last week in part 6 of this series, I talked about how broken-hearted I am because of the state of children in this culture, how they are trying to cope with life with all the wrong things and are headed down paths of destruction. Do you think it could be that they were discipled to be who they are becoming? Were they taught to run to sex, drugs, and alcohol instead of Jesus? How many kids at a church camp do you think have church-attending parents? Does it add up to you? There is a gap between men being Godly disciple makers and men just being in the church, and the next generation is paying for it.

Is there a perfect generation? No. Does every generation suffer the consequences of ages before? Sure. But right now, in this time, what I see is time for men to step up and be Godly men. To quit being passive in their leading of the family. Stop being blinded by how their inability to allow self-control in their life impacts the spiritual needs of those around them. We need to wake up! Stop being so self-centered! Find our purpose and become who God has called us to become! What are you becoming? A consumer of God or a servant of God?

Prayer

Father, I need Your help teaching others to follow your commandments. I need help following Your commandments. I am a prideful sinner who tends to do what I want instead of what you want. But you are a gracious God that loves me, and through your loving kindness, I am led to repentance. Thank you for being a marvelous God!

What does it mean to be discipled?
What does it mean to be discipled?

What does it mean to be Discipled? – Part 6

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

These are the last two verses of the gospel according to Matthew. These are the final instructions that Jesus gave his disciples before ascending to heaven. It is better known as “The Great Commission.” Jesus has wrapped up His earthly teaching to His disciples with one last command. Go and make disciples. Take all your life experiences and everything I have taught you in the past three years. Please bring it to other people in your life. Follow my example and find those to follow Me through your example. And Jesus’ last statement is, “no matter what happens; I will be with you!”

Authentic?

Have you ever been part of a group you believed was a true community? Were you able to be vulnerable with those in the group? Did any of those group members know you at your worst and your best and yet love you just the same. Was something inside you challenged, disrupted, and elevated so much that it caused you to be long to know God better? Was life poured into you as you were pouring that same life into someone else? We are desperate for security and significance. There is a hunger in us to be known, loved, and feel like we belong somewhere. We search for the perfect community, and I think few of us ever find it.

God is a triune God. He is in a perfect community with Himself. All three persons of the trinity equally pour into each other. When God created Adam in His image, I believe we received that desire for a perfect community. I feel far too often His people are given counterfeit community and drink it as if it were the real thing. All the while, they are drowning in death instead of receiving Living Water. Then the lies they consume are passed on to the next generation continuing the cycle of living off scraps of what a true community could and should be.

Camp?

This week I went to church camp with the students from our church. Long days, little sleep, and 100-degree heat are always fun. Watching the kids during worship, recreational games, and bible study has been remarkable. The guy preaching was phenomenal! His messages were ringing truth through the air, and I hope that some of these kids snatched them right up. Words that point us to the Cross and the good news of Christ. Truths that they could take home at the end of the week and apply to our lives.

On the flip side, I became very broken-hearted for every young soul on the campground. And paralyzed to do anything about it. We live in a culture determined to drag our children into any depth to find peace from everything other than God. They will do anything to try and fit in and find a community that accepts them. They will find anything to try and numb the pain of life. All the while, they are getting further away from the one who can provide peace. They will destroy their bodies to find the security and significance that only God can provide.

Burden

The revelation of how much our children are trying to cope with life in all the wrong ways was staggering. All these souls cry out for relief and peace in their lives, not knowing what to do to “fix” it. How are the communities that they call home working for them? How much abuse, neglect, and apathy are they enduring? Not every kid at that camp had a relationship with Christ when they got there or left. But the droves at the alter calls make me believe they realize they are missing something. Are they getting “fed” at home? Is their student ministry the only place they can find some semblance of what authentic community looks like?

Coming from a background of working through my addictions to sexual sin and overeating, I carry a burden for those who struggle as I did. With today’s culture and trying to be careful of not overstepping boundaries, I wrestle with how do I help? Pornography is hitting our children as young as six years old. We are way behind the curve if we must wait until they are eighteen to start helping them deal with it. That’s twelve years of training a body to live outside of God’s purpose before they can begin to find real help.

Freedom

I think discipleship and finding an authentic community is crucial to helping the next generation. I can’t see every discipleship group, and to be honest, I only know of a few. As the Church, we need to step it up. We must figure out what hinders our walk with Christ and start dealing with it so God can work through us. Then we must stop being passive. Men lead your families first and then find the next guy to disciple. Women, there are other women out there who need you to walk alongside them in the same struggles you have dealt with. Be a part of an authentic community. Allow God to use your struggles of brokenness as something beautiful.

Prayer

Father, thank you for allowing me to be a part of camp this week. To be reminded that the next generation needs You just as much as I need You. It’s just that I was able to find a community that helped me find freedom. I want these kids to find freedom in you as well. To find the healing that comes from doing life together.