On this episode of The Hope Over Coffee Podcast, we are honored to sit down with Tyler Churchman, a survivor of addiction and suicidal thoughts. Tyler shares his journey with vulnerability and honesty, inspiring us all to find the strength to overcome struggles through our faith. Through his story, we learn that hope and healing are possible even in our darkest moments. Tyler’s journey has taught him the importance of reaching out for help and the power of community in overcoming addiction and suicidal thoughts. In this episode, we discuss the harmful stigmas surrounding mental health and addiction and how we can work to break down these barriers to help those struggling. Join us for a powerful conversation as we find hope in Tyler’s story and learn how we can help others on their journey to recovery. Be sure to share this episode with anyone who may need to hear Tyler’s inspiring message. Thanks for listening to The Hope Over Coffee Podcast.
Giving space to those around us seems harder today than ever before. Everyone wants to be heard and have their viewpoint be the right one. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christ follower or not, whether you are in the church or not. But giving or holding space for someone is the first step to being empathetic with someone. Why is it so hard for people to listen to what others are saying? Why do we require others to agree with what we believe? As a Christ follower, do I want to bring the Gospel and have everyone believe it? Absolutely. Does it mean that I can’t still be friends with you or be in relationship with you if you don’t believe? The answer is I can definitely still be your friend. I can hold that space where we disagree on our beliefs or preferences… My question is, what will it take for others to hold that same space? Culture is no longer a “live and let live” mentality. It’s a bend to my beliefs or your dead-to-me attitude. My challenge to you is to find a way to give that space. Stop trying to think of the next thing to say and listen to what is being said. Put yourself in their shoes. Be available to them, to allow them to process life, trauma, and the discomforts of life. Be in community together instead of trying to shove each other out.
[Legacy with Tim Gothrup]
Equipping a man of God. What does that look like in today’s culture? What boundaries do you have set in place while you are trying to raise your children? Do you have a mindset of equipping your kids with tools, wisdom, and knowledge to handle the unknown? Will you have enough grace, compassion, and foresight to lead your kids through their bad decisions? We live in a culture of relentless pursuit of sex and porn, and it is highly likely that your children will be exposed to porn by age eight. What does that mean for you? What does that mean for you kids? Being exposed to things like porn at an early age makes them susceptible to a lifestyle that revolves around pursuing porn. Possibly an addiction to it. So how do you handle that, a believer? Are you free from addiction to it? Can you lead your family with pure intention in your life? Are you able to talk about this with the community? Do you have any support if you have questions or struggles related to porn for you or your family? We must be intentional with the legacy we are leaving behind. We must be equipping a man of God that is coming up next. What are you doing to reach that goal?
Do you know who you are? What is your identity wrapped up in? Could it be where you spend your time, energy, and money? I know that when I was heavy in my addiction there was a lot of effort put to satisfy that addiction. Now that I have found freedom from that addiction I spend a lot of effort to not satisfy that addiction. I’m spending my time, energy, and money on things that bring me closer in alignment with being Christ-like. Do I get it perfect all the time? Absolutely not! But I know there is more to life than getting the next fix! The is more than me trying to fill what I thought was the greatest need in my life, which was much self. Now, I want to challenge believers in their spiritual walk. I want to challenge their assumptions about how they pursue Christ. We are sleepwalking through life and it will probably take a “rock bottom” experience to wake us up. We have generations at stake, and we can only think about that next fix. That “I gotta get comfortable because this life is uncomfortable, and I can’t take it.” What are we doing? What will it take to get you to live in the uncomfortable, to live in a space where we can’t stay passive and allow our families to take 3rd place in our lives?
Stop Start Continue. The new season of The Hope Over Coffee Podcast is here! I took a few weeks off and got the opportunity to upgrade some of the Hope Over Coffee equipment. In other words, I got a new computer… So with that, I now have the ability to produce a video for the pods. I am super nervous about it. I don’t think it’s any different than putting out audio-only other than everyone can see me! All my insecurities are on display. But I think this is a good way to get the message of hope out there. Maybe that is why it scares me the most. It may actually get seen by people, and I could be misunderstood. But I’m gonna keep pressing on. Fight the good fight and talk about what I know. With that, in this week’s episode, I tell more of my story and try to share my heart with everyone. I know there are guys out there who don’t want to be stuck in the cycle of porn addiction. I want them to know they are not alone. I was there, I have freedom now, and I still live a life where my flesh wants what it wants, and I must deny myself to serve Jesus. Most days are just like any other. Some days it’s harder. The rest are relatively easy in the sense of keeping my boundary of porn. I also want guys to know that in the freedom I found, intimacy has grown exponentially with my wife. You can have that too. We have to put in the work. So let’s stop what we were doing, start doing the work it takes to pursue Christ and continue to the end. Run the race.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again, death no longer is master over Him.
Here Paul is reminding us of our place in Christ. If we are a believer, then we are united with Him. In death and the resurrection. We have been made new through the cross, and our old nature has been laid on the altar. This means we are no longer a slave to the things that displease God. We are free to choose a life of pleasing God. In choosing a life with Christ, we should not fear death, for we are also united with Him through eternity’s future. We cannot be separated from the God of the universe.
What exactly does being united with Christ in the likeness of his death really mean? Yes, it says that our old self is crucified, so our body of sin might be done away with and no longer slaves to sin. But how do I live that out in my life? Is the goal to follow rules that measure up to a righteous life in Christ? Am I to read the bible cover to cover every year? Take notes on what and what not to do. Is that how I become free from the slavery of sin? Overcoming my broken flesh by working harder at righteous things so that my works win out?
That sounds like a painfully long, excruciating life. How does any of that set me free? I would be trading the master of sin for a master of works. Neither have grace involved. But when we find the One full of grace, the bible still calls us slaves of Christ. I thought I was finding freedom in Christ and still being called an enslaved person. I get that Jesus is our example of holiness and righteousness, but He was also perfect. I am an imperfect man living in an imperfect world that is broken and wants something more significant than self.
What does it mean
I think our issue is we are applying a modern definition to an older word. Slave, servant, and bondservant in the Greek text all are Doulos. A bondservant was someone indebted to someone else. If the indebted individual could not pay the debt, the individual would become a bondservant to pay off the debt. They would use work to free themselves from debt. A bondservant/slave was not a lifetime requirement. However, when the individual reached the end of the term to repay the debt, the individual had a choice.
Do I go back out in the world with what I have, or do I stay with the master willing? Will my life be better if I try to do things on my own, or will my life be better under someone else’s authority? I am making a choice. But in that choice, I must be fully committed to that choice. There was no halfway. In my decision, the individual was marked, and everyone knew that the individual belonged to a master freely chosen. No one decided to be marked and six months later changed their mind. You were all in, or you weren’t.
Where do you fall in your choice? Have you been freed from the bondage of sin, or do you still free trapped by the sin that so easily entangles us? Do you call Jesus Lord? Has the master marked you? Does it mean that being under the authority of the master, we won’t ever struggle with sin? Of course not. We are still broken people who do the things we don’t want to do. But now, we at least have the ability to be an overcomer. Before believing in Christ, we had no chance of moving past our sins controlling us. We were at the mercy and will. Could we have good days when the struggle was lighter than others? Sure.
But to overcome and be free to choose not to follow through in sin comes from being united with Christ in death and the resurrection. We now have the option and opportunity to choose to follow God instead of our flesh. Our freedom comes from knowing Him and the power of His name in our lives. We can do nothing in ourselves; it is Christ living in us. His power is the power to overcome, to say no to disobedience. It is his righteousness that the Father sees in us. I think the church needs to understand better who we are in Christ and what it means for Christ to live in us.
Father, help us understand what it means to be free in Christ.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Here Paul starts with a question. Do we get to sin more because God’s grace covers us? Is the freedom given through the abundance of God’s grace in Christ a free ticket to indulge in every sinful activity under the sun? Paul has an emphatic no! Them asks if we are new in Christ and died with him, how are we still living in sin? Do we not understand? Those who proclaim to be Christ followers through the example of baptism proclaim a new life. One that died to sin and is raised to walk in this new life.
The word or concept of counterfeit has been coming up a lot in my life lately. Most of the time, it is a preacher, sermon, or a Cristian-based book discussing the idea of something being counterfeit. What does it mean to be counterfeit? Merriam-Webster dictionary says counterfeit is made to imitate something else with intent to deceive or insincere. Have you ever had something in your life that you thought was authentic only to find out later it was a counterfeit? Or did you purchase an item knowing full well that it was an imitation?
Years ago, I worked with a guy that used to buy boxes of “Oakley” sunglass and sell them to the guys he worked with. He never tried selling them to us at the price of Oakley sunglasses; it was always much lower. They looked like the real thing, but I knew they weren’t. I broke a pair or two just putting them on. The item was from a distance; I could look like I could afford hundreds of dollars in sunglasses. The reality was they were twenty-dollar knockoffs that were cheaply made. But I knew that when I bought them.
Where is the counterfeit in your life? Do you know that it is counterfeit, or do you walk around believing that whatever it is authentic? How can you tell the difference between the two? What do you use to measure what is real in your life? What if you are the thing that is being counterfeit? Does depending on where you are, make a difference in how you are perceived? Is there a church version of you, a work version, a party version, or any version of you that has the intent to deceive or be an imitation of the real you?
We live in a culture of death, but as Christ-followers, the wrong things are dying. Instead of dying to sin, we kill that still small voice of God. When we should be dying to ourselves, we indulge in what the world has to offer. We find ourselves immersed in political views, sides of opinions, and dealing with distractions of every kind. Instead must be focused on a life of freedom in Christ. If we are made new in Christ, we are free from this world’s pressures. We should find our “want to” of loving our neighbor instead of tiptoeing around what can and can’t be said.
Are we in Christ? Or are we slaves to sin and bondage, living in fear of men and this world? I think we all want to live free. To sever others. I want us to encounter God regularly and be stirred in our souls to be Christ-like. But our distractedness, we miss out on that stirring and turn to those fleshy things that help us deal with the pain of life. We will encounter hard things. Life is not promised to be easy. What will it take for us as believers to take that step toward a holy and just God? To die daily for things I want in my flesh and strain for the Kingdom of God. We can do it! But will we do it?
Father, we are sinful people who get wrapped up in our kingdoms and neglect Yours. And your loving kindness always leads up to repentance. It is an absolute miracle that you are always there waiting for us no matter how often we choose sin over holiness. Let us never get to thinking more sin equals more grace from you. Let us find the will and want to choose You over everything. To bring you glory in everything we do. Amen.
7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
In this passage, Paul has reminded us that the most significant gain in life is knowledge. A knowledge that every selfish pursuit up to this point in life is an absolute dung heap that leads to the trash. Everything done in my vanity and pride is utter waste. Anything that I do to bring me salvation or righteousness is futile. Only with my faith in God and my belief in Christ will I be saved and made right with God. And as I grow in my knowledge of God and in my conformity to be Christ-like, I will be conformed to His death to attain the resurrection from the dead. I can know Christ and the power of His resurrection, but I must also know the fellowship of His sufferings.
What am I trying to gain in this life? Do I need more money, or do I need a bigger house? What is the best car I buy? When can I get the next most fantastic cell phone coming out? How much stuff can I acquire in a lifetime? What is the number of trips I can squeeze in before I die? Is there a magic number that I can reach in my bank account to say, “finally, I have enough?” Why do we pursue these things in our life that will never bring fulfillment? Maybe we feel we have lost something. Could we be trying to feel valuable or significant before we die?
We want to know we mattered in that dash between our birth date and death date. Our problem is that we were born with a God-sized hole in us on that birth date. And we do our best to earn something that will fill that hole. Our more significant problem in filling that hole is our lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and our boastful pride of life; we avoid the One who could fill that hole.
You are here ->
I came to a point in life where I accepted the saving grace of a Holy God. And from that point on, I am being conformed to Christlikeness. Every day means I should look a little more like Jesus than the day before. And instead of counting wins and losses by what I think I should or shouldn’t have, I need to see life through the lens of Christ. If that means I must give up some luxury in my life because it means I will draw closer to Jesus, so be it.
When I draw close, I get to know God more. I want the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. And whatever I think I lost in the process of following Him is not losing at all. Knowing Christ is living as He did. I can’t take anything with me when I die except the knowledge that I will be in His presence. How am I going to live my life in this dash? Trying to earn something, or living with the hope of Jesus in me?
Father, we are prideful selfish people. We vainly attempt to find worthless substitutes for a Mighty God. Clutter, activities, and provision fill our eyes and minds to the point that we can’t see you anymore. Get the things out of our way so that our relationship and knowledge of Christ become our life priority. Amen.
18He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
God? Verse 18b “he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” We are condemned to an eternity separated from Him if we do not confess that He is Lord in this lifetime. This speck of time that we call “ours.” We have but a moment to see the Light that has come into the world. In this vapor we call life, our pride tries to rule over what we think is our kingdom. Truth is any kingdom that is not God’s kingdom will surely perish—and not bending the knee to the King while we can indeed leads to a consequence of unbelief.
What does it even mean to confess Him as Lord? How does that apply to my life today? If I confess Him as Lord, does it mean I have to give all my possessions away and live a life of poverty? Does it mean God is angry with me if I’m not giving my tithe to the church? Does it mean I have to be in “Church” every Sunday? Or does it mean that I have realized I cannot make it through this life on my own?
I need a savior because, in my strength, I have a natural bend to want to accumulate a lot of possessions. Possessions that I think will make me comfortable in life. Or if I make enough people happy, I’m a good person. I confess He is Lord. I understand that my relationship with a Holy God is far more valuable than anything this world can give. And I want to spend eternity with Him!
How do I wrap my head around eternity? How can I fathom someone not spending eternity with God but completely separated from Him? My finite brain only has a concept of time. And my mind is generally focused on my present. Sometimes, it dwells in the past and tries to plan for the future. But in my finiteness, do I care about the person next to me? Do I see them the way God sees them? How can I live in this life of comfort and know that there are people who will not confess He is Lord? They will spend eternity separated from Him. I believe in this miracle that is salvation.
In my confession of who Jesus is, I struggle to share the gospel. Is the pain of rejection from men more significant than the pain of disobedience to God? I know I can only plant seeds of hope in someone’s life. And it is up to the Holy Spirit to lead them to salvation. But am I doing my part? Am I sharing the gospel? Do I share the good news of Jesus?
I know starting this platform to send out what I read in the bible is a form of sharing the good news, but it will never replace sitting down across from another human at a table and sharing hope over a cup of coffee. God is a God of communion. He is a personal, relational God that cares about me and you. He loved us in His creation so much that the pain of breaking communion with His Son was far greater than just allowing us to our own devices. There is Hope; there is a savior.
You are loved!
Father, You have given us so much. Thank you for Your Son, thank you for the Cross, and thank you for the miracle of salvation. Stir something inside us to bring hope to those who feel hopeless. Let us be a vessel for you to bring You glory and honor in our everyday life. Plant seeds of good news and strive to be Christ-like in loving others. Amen
13No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
In Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus is revealing His soon death on a cross. He tells Nicodemus that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will have eternal life. They will believe that He suffered God’s wrath for us and died on a cross. That through His death, I can be forgiven for my sins. In verse 14, Jesus refers to Moses lifting the bronze serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9). This was a time when Israel had sinned against the LORD. This lifting of the pole with the serpent was a symbol. It was a banner of hope for those that had rebelled against God. They could be forgiven for their sins if they believed and looked at the serpent. Some of the people did not look and died from the serpent bites. Others lived because they did believe in this banner of hope and lifted their eyes to it.
Today we are still a rebellious people. We receive blessings of goodness from a good Father. Then instantly turn to the side and grumble and complain in the pit of entitlement. What are we owed? We find ourselves in challenging situations. We’re confused about what it means to have a good Father in heaven who cares about us. And when things don’t go our way, we kick and scream and shake our fists to the heavens. We begin demanding what we think should be our relief.
Instead, we should be embracing the pain of life. Not chasing what we think will dull the pain. Is life hard, absolutely? Should it be pain-free? Why would we believe that? My God and savior stepped out of heaven into a broken world and was dealt the same pains that I deal with today. I find that comforting. To know that my savior understands what rejection is. The builders rejected the cornerstone (Mark 12:10). Our faith is built on God’s son, who His people rejected, and those that did accept Him seemed very confused the whole time He was walking the earth in human form. But whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.
A new banner of Hope!
So, when I feel insecure and insignificant because of rejection, I know my belief lies in a new banner of hope! Hope is found in the Son of God, Jesus, hanging from a pole. He was beaten, abused, ridiculed, rejected, and heartbroken. I can find peace because my Jesus is right there in my pain. He knows the pain of rejection and humiliation. Through His actions, something meant to kill and destroy became a thing of beauty. Oh, that wondrous cross today, that symbol of suffering and shame, is dear to me. The answer to my unbelief is knowing the truth; God loves me some much He poured out wrath that was due me; on His son. The pain of His son dying on a cross is more bearable than allowing all of humanity no path to redemption.
Father, help me when my belief begins to waver. Lead me through those moments when I think you are not there. Remind me that my purpose is knowing Christ and not dulling the pain of life. Teach me that the pain I’m dealing with can be turned into beauty in those moments. Teach me to use my pains as an opportunity to minister to others. Refine us to find hope and do what is pleasing in your sight. I surrender so my life will look more like Jesus today than yesterday. Amen