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Logo of GYC 2019: By Many Or By Few

Our Greatest Need: Testimony

Kristyn Dolinsky Ryan Dolinsky

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Ryan and Kristyn share their testimony of how God reached them.

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  • January 2, 2020
    10:45 AM

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It was presented at the g.. In Louisville Kentucky for other resources visitors. All right good morning. How are you guys all doing. Good doing well Happy New Year to all of you. My name is Ryan this is my wife Christy and we're both from California and I just wanna make a quick disclaimer not disclaimer about housekeeping note on your attend if I add to if you saw that the title of this message was called teamwork. It's actually it actually was changed we're actually going to share my testimony so we mention that last night so just so you guys are aware so we'll be sharing how Christina I came together and committed our lives to God And so we'll plan to share the things that God has taught us along our journey and particularly what it means to live. In these last days and what we believe is a vital duty of ours and so we'll be sharing our story with you this morning so we have a lot to cover there's a lot to happen to someone story so we'll get started right away let's open with a word of prayer. Father in heaven we're so thankful to be here this morning. Lord I just want to pray right now that your Holy Spirit will be in this room and I pray that you will speak through Christina this morning Laurie may you share the story that you written for us not the one that we think we live. And Father I just want to pray that everyone in here Lord whatever they're going through each and each individual or that you'll speak to their hearts or if there is something they need to hear this morning I pray it will be shared lower that we may be prepared for you when you come back on that morning we pray in Jesus name him and. So as I mention my name is Ryan I. I currently work as a physical therapist in Loma Linda California I did level or physical therapy school there. My journey to get there was actually quite interesting and that's partially what I want to share with you this morning and then also how I got married to this lovely lady over here. So I'm just going to get right into it how many of you guys were born into a 7th Day Adventist home Ok good so a lot of you can relate to maybe relate hopefully not actually but you might be about to share so I was born into a 7th Day Adventist home. I Ever since I can remember the Sabbath has been something we keep we eat big Franks we already Terry in. We go to camp meetings I play with felts you guys sing felts Yes Is that still a thing Ok we play with belts. Basically mud the whole culture I grew up in was very adventurous my dad was always a deacon or an elder in our church my mom was a piano so she always played the piano. And so in my church family to my church circle this was just this was a life ever since I can remember it was just Adventism this is what we do Ok can anyone relate to that experience maybe partially You are born and this is all you know. And so as I'm going through the experience I want to share something that happened to me if you didn't know. You can actually live within a novice home and not be converted to Haven't ism and I'm a walking example of that and I will show you what happened in my life. You see early on I started to become aware that. I would go to church and I would listen to how avenues have the truth we have all of the understanding's all the prophecies all the all the teachings which is true there's a lot that we know. But I didn't really see it being lived out in the life in my church circle. It was a very it was a very contradictory experience for me. And as a result I never learned actually what it meant to be a 7th Day Adventist I'm not blaming anyone for this this is just my experience and I'll share with you what's so important we need to have later on so basically I grew up and I did everything I thought qualified me to be a 7th Day Adventist but I didn't have an identity I didn't have a mission I didn't know what it meant to be an s.t.a. So basically I was homeschooled about the age of 10 and when I was 10 I got put into the and having a school and the children that I was associating with they didn't. Actually probably more than half of them were not having a store did not at least live the same avenues lifestyle that I did so I quickly realized I was different I quickly realized that I had a culture that not everybody else lived and because I didn't know why I quickly became insecure. And I didn't really understand why I should be doing what I was doing and because of my insecurity it led me to actually want to seek to fit in with my friends this is a normal thing I think we all go through you don't want to be different right I mean at least you know naturally you don't want to be different unless you know why you're different. So I never I felt different didn't know why I was different I just knew this is what we did and so quickly as I started want to fit in with my friends I started becoming involved in things that my friends were doing so I got exposed to video games I got exposed to music rock music particularly from my friends and I started to actually gain a love for these things at a very young age. And when I can sit here and talk about all that I'm just going to say that this led to more experiences later on I actually developed this these 2 lives one life was my heart was with my friends I wanted to be outside of my home doing these things that were more fun than what was in my house. Meaning the culture I was around I love my family don't get me wrong but it was it was it wasn't fun I found this intertainment value outside so this would actually start to grow and grow and I would get to high school and I would go to one of our academies and an academy this is where things really escalated. In academy you obviously get more exposed to more people you're a little older you start to be exposed to more things that older kids are exposed to so not too long into my high school experience this this rift between the life I wanted to live with my friends the life I want to live at home started to get bigger and. Pretty soon I got involved in drinking I got involved in drugs. And I got really deeply into metal music I actually bought a drum set and I would say one of my favorite things to do too or to release this energy inside of me was to play drums and know that I got involved in to pornography a lot with my friends and this really became a secret life that I would live when I would go home. I would do everything that qualify me to be in half and in front of my family but with my friends it was totally different it was a different life and I had to live these 2 lives separately I try to keep them apart. Some of you may or may not be able relate to this again like I said hopefully not but if you are there's hope I'll share with you. And so this really became my experience my family sensed that something was different something was wrong but I did it pretty well. And really so so I thought anyway so I would go through high school and this was the start to become my identity I became very disillusioned with the Adventist life. It was just kind of like yeah it's something I grew up doing but this is way more fun and I'm finding a lot more fulfillment and identity in my friends in my friends circle I felt accepted I felt warm there my insecurities could be kind of hushed there because everybody was kind of doing the same thing. So high school would and. Still doing all these things in high school and. Because I was so absorbed in what I wanted to do and just having fun I'll show you just a brief picture I'm not going to picture long if you want to see my attitude in high school. That was my attitude in high school. I mean I pretty much encompasses it I was looking for anything fun and anything to do that didn't have anything to do with the life I grew up with so when I quickly go through that one. And so I it becomes the end of high school and I literally get to this point where I don't know where I'm going to go next I know the logical thing is I would go to college. But I was so absorbed in my friend group and what I was focused on just finding the next excite exciting thing to do that I didn't I didn't even know where I want to go to college I mean you know what I want to do with my life and so this is how I decided where I went to college I asked all my friends I said Where are you guys going to college they all said Well you know we're going to go to we're going to go to p.c. because you know if you see that kind of close to home because in Southern California is where I grew up so I said All right cool I'm going to p.c.. Because that's what friends were going that's how I made decisions at the time. Ok so I know it's kind of crazy but it's true and little did I know there would be one thing that I heard in my ear that God would use later on and someone said hey we're going to study I remember who said this to me and I said I have no idea I like sports I like these things like oh yeah you know you do great at physical therapy used to physical therapy and it was just like a note my mind I was like Yeah Ok great I guess I'll do physical therapy because I had no other idea so I chose physical pretty physical therapy I get to college and at college this is where a lot would change for me even more so because remember when I left my home my home was the only place that. Had some sort of influence in my spiritual life and I say meaning just the home I grew up in so when I left that. I binged. And I binged on what I wanted there was no control there was no one telling me or encouraging me to live a certain way so just to give you an idea My most of my most of my nights would be playing video games from late at night till like 3 or 4 in the morning and I would sleep until 1 pm and then call up my people and say all right where are we going out tonight to do whatever this was kind of a common thing for me. And. This happened for about a couple quarters my grades would completely suffer as you can imagine and my academic advisor told me you know what there's no way you're going to do prefer 80 or physical therapy with grades like this you better you better change that to something else so I was like Ok. And as was my life at the time I said I'm just going to cited for no undecided no career choice I just got to do my generals and see what happens. Again that was my mentality. So this would continue on this lifestyle not choosing what I was doing not doing well in school and I don't know if any of you've hit this moment but when you when you actually start to deeply indulge in what you want you actually become very depressed. You become extremely depressed and this happened to me I don't even realize I was becoming depressed but I started to become extremely afraid of where my life was going I was completely directionless and I could sense it but I didn't know how to fix it. I was controlled by this desire to to fulfill my. My desire for fun and excitement. And I was extremely afraid I didn't want to turn I would just put on a face for my friends and. It was in this moment for the 1st time that I realized I needed help and again I didn't know where to go. But I remember growing up. That if you need help who do you turn to you turn to Jesus you turn to God sounds like so this was how this was how cursory my experience was I was like Ok I have to do something and really Mind you I grew up understand all these listening to all these avenues teachings that we've had about Jesus some bones most beautiful teachings but it never was applied to my life for the 1st time I was like I need something I don't know what it is. And I said Ok yeah I need to turn to Jesus and so I said Ok. So I guess what I'm supposed to do is sometimes to read the Bible and pray so I said Ok I remember pulling out my little i Pod Touch thing we had a little Bible app pulled it up and. At night I would just read a bible verse I don't know what I was I just read it and and then I would say a prayer and say you know. You know Lord help me to be good I mean that and that was how cursory my experience once and so little did I know. God will start to work but before I continue. I'm going by my wife to share her experience. Hi everyone. Well you may have heard last night that I spent 16 years in the entertainment industry as as a film and television actor and that was my 1st career and I thought it was going to be my only career. So I put together some photos of what my life was like there and the kinds of roles that I played over the years just to give you a you know a visual of how my life was. That over there the 2nd one down from the left I played a witch. That one's a little dark but I played a prostitute in a murder there. I played a cop up there you can see the uniform here I played a kid trapped on a deserted island. So you may be wondering how does a 7 day adventists get to this point. Because I was born into a 7th Day Adventist family if Ryan's family was a typical 7 did but his family mine was not. I basically would call my life to be a nominal I was a nominal 7th Day Adventist I knew that we went to church on Saturdays and that's about it and I can tell you why. As a kid I I would consider myself a really big nerd I really really loved school I love to learn I love to read and I started to excel in a lot of things everything I did I wanted to do well. Everything I did I want to do 110 percent give all of my effort so you know I was a little bit of an overachiever. And I was also pretty tough as a kid. I. My mom went through a divorce when I was really little and so it kind of got to that point where you know I was that kind of person who said I can take care of myself I can do things on my own I don't need you I don't need any help. I'm self sufficient I can handle it. And that's the way I was and that's the way a kind of grew up in in school as well and as I began to excel in school I began to get a lot of awards and a lot of accolades and a lot of praise for the things that I did education wise and I especially had an interest in singing and performing and acting and those are the kinds of awards that I got you know summa cum laude and the best performer and most likely to succeed and I you know I got got in early to Stanford you name it and I got it and. At 1st it was it was like you know I just like to do what I like to do and that's the reason why I did it but as time went on and you get used to getting these kinds of praises and these accolades you start to like and get used to and start to want to live up to that image. So the other important thing that started happening around this time as I started getting more involved in singing and performing 2 was that my family stopped going to church why because it was never that important to begin with so why should it be now even even less so. I had singing performances school activities to do all of those things were more important to us at the time so my life continued on a few years would pass and I find myself as a freshman in high school I'm in the fall play and there's a manager there who's scouting. He manages young actors and actresses and he wanted to sign me and so I ended up signing with him and my life really began to change at that time. I. Really guess you could say I went through the school of the entertainment industry someone of 635 says but were mingled among the heathen and learned their works. And that's what I did I learned how to talk like them and look like them and behave like them. I learned how to wear a lot of makeup I learned how to wear revealing clothing I learned how to swear these were the kinds of things that I had to do for my job I took headshots and went to photo shoots I went to auditions to get a job and remember I was that person who did everything 110 percent and I said Ok this is going to be my career for the rest of my life and I'm going to do the best I possibly can in it so I went into this full throttle. And. At the end you know of about what is what was it 5 years I started this when I was 1516 at the end of 5 years I had graduated from high school I had graduated from college and I had worked all the while that I was going to school and had gotten a lot of work more and more work and I had had a little bit of success at this point and I suddenly found that I was a very different person. I was proud and I was competitive and I was ruthless and I definitely thought I was better than everyone else all those other girls in the waiting room couldn't stand up to me. I. Was self sufficient I could handle myself I was tough I was that girl who was empowered and who I wanted everyone to want but no one could have me that kind of image and those were the kinds of roles that I went out for. And so I crafted carefully carefully craft crafted this this image. And. I'll give you a good example. It's a sensitive topic but it's a reality in the entertainment industry of where my mindset was at the time. When my 1st manager signed me one of the 1st things that he asked me was are you comfortable with nudity and I said no absolutely not I will not no not for anything and then a few years passed and my answer was Ok Well only if the role is really good and then a few years passed after that and it was I don't care I'm going to get that role nudity or no. But the only difference was was that in my head I didn't think that I was like that I thought I still had the same morals I thought I still had the same standards that I had when I had begun as an actor and so my reality. Was different from the reality and. It's so in perceptible that you don't even realize it. So I'm sitting there you know I have like I said I had had a little bit of success in my early twenty's I was a regular on a t.v. show I had bought myself a home in West Hollywood I had bought myself a brand new car that I was super proud of my mentality was spend spend spend and spend some more I would. Drop $700.00 on a pair of sunglasses I was smoking and drinking and partying in. Snorting and doing things with people that I shouldn't have and I was that person who kept a perpetual carton of cigarettes in the trunk of my car and I bought cases of wine weekly and those are just the kosher things. And I was very proud of it so I remember this one day very distinctly I was sitting in my home I remember exactly what I was doing I remember exactly what room I was in and the start something popped in my head and the thought was I don't think there is a god. And. It's very interesting when you think about it because I hadn't thought of God in 15 years I hadn't gone to church in 15 years and it just popped just like that. Which tells me one thing is that whether you realize it or not whether you're aware of it or not it all always comes down to who we worship So I'm sitting there thinking Well I made all the success on my own but I didn't need anyone to do this I did this on my own merit my own talent my own gifts my own hard work my own dedication I don't need God not even know if you really exists as a 4710 says and now has said in dying heart I am and none else beside me and that's the same thought that I was having. And. The next thing after that I remember is that I couldn't get a job I couldn't get any work and month after month after month past and. No job which meant that I couldn't pay my mortgage it also meant that I had. Years of unpaid back taxes that. I had yet to pay of course and a bunch of credit card debt. And not only that but. Turns out that when it rains it pours so I broke up with my boyfriend at the same time and my grandpa who I was really who I'm really close to had a massive heart attack and everything was just blowing up everything was being destroyed. Limitations 120 says for I have grievously rebelled broad the sword breathe it at home there is his death and that's what it really felt like. Symbolically to me. So I'm sitting there and I'm on the brink of declaring bankruptcy and at the last 2nd I don't I foreclose on my home. And I move in with my parents and that was the 1st time I really had ever failed big time. And that was the 1st time that I really understood that I needed someone that I couldn't do it on my own and it's so funny right it's like texts not very much at all to do to defeat me. Just one little thing. Than all the cards crumbled. So I'm sitting there in a hospital room and I'm with my grandpa who survived the heart attack and he was about to have open heart surgery and. This is him and smite poppy and. I'm sitting there and we're coming up with a bucket list and we're coming up with a bucket list of all the things that he's going to do when he gets out of the hospital and I had this thought that I hadn't I I never said to anyone but it was this thought that I that I just kept on thinking about and thinking about and thinking about. I'm finally I just I just said it I said it out there in this hospital room I said I know. Let's go back to church. And I'll take you. And we did and when he got out of the hospital I started taking him and my my grandma back to church and in a few months after that my whole entire family was going back to church and it was I don't know I had been nearly 20 years since we had and I couldn't tell you why at the time like I couldn't tell you why I wanted to go but I knew that I needed that someone of 644 says nevertheless he regarded their affliction when he heard their cry and whether I could say it out loud at the time it was a cry for help and God answered my prayer and none of this would have happened had it not been for the fact that I couldn't get work I had to foreclose on my home move in with my parents and I'll never ever forget it December of 2010. So Christy. Goes through this experience where she's back at home going back to church and I'm going to transfer you back over to me a p.c.. So I'm a p.c. And if you recall I had entered the deep state of depression and I started actually picking up for the very 1st time that I can recall in my life picking up the word of God and actually reading it for my own intention. It wasn't for class it wasn't for Sabbath school it was because I needed it so I'm reading it I can't tell you I don't member verses I remember things that were like oh yes I needed that phrase Lord and I didn't it wasn't like that for me I just did was doing it routinely but. Someone 1130 says the entrance of the words giveth light it give it understanding and to the simple and I was very simple I was a very simple person but little did I know understanding was coming but even realize it was coming you know God works with us in our times when we need help heal bless the efforts and so I was doing what I knew at the time of how to have a relationship with him and little things will start to change now I'm going to kind of it wasn't a massive transformation for me it was a slow process but there were a couple big highlights along the way and I'm going to share them with you the 1st thing that came to my mind as I started having these these little devotionals was I sensed that people were doing things with their lives that was meaningful and I wasn't and I was like Ok I'm undecided I don't have a career all my friends around me you know in college that's what people like an on going to do this I'm going to go here I'm going to be this professional going to do this and that wasn't me so I was like Ok I need to figure out what I what I'm good at what I want to do so I want to act and advisor my academic advisor at that school and she said Well here take this take this test you know this aptitude tests Yeah so it's like Ok great I'll take one of those you know you can answer all the questions and then it comes out with a little bar graph of how high you rated on where you'd fit and it was like math. You know English was like you know and then like you know teaching was a little bit up there and then some other things or things and then and there was one that was just like. 97 percent medical field and I was like what and then immediately physical therapy popped back into my head and I was like no no can't do that way too hard you need to get grades really good you need good grades to get into p.t. school by the way and sells like that is no way I can do that so I was like Ok You know what let me just look at some. Medical choices that require the least amount of science classes this was how I was in school is not a good student right. So I picked. And if there are anyone in the room it's this is a great career by the way but I just it wasn't for me radiation technology x. ray tech It didn't require at the time a lot of science I think it requires more now but it didn't at the time sounds like you know what I'm going try for that one so and again it was just like whatever I could do because I never experienced applying myself to anything. So I started doing that and I started going through the classes I started getting my grades or my my classes aligned I started actually going to the library and studying amazing for me if you knew me at the time you would know it's hard to tell you know and I actually started studying in the grades were actually doing Ok they were going in the right direction but I'll never forget 2010 what happened this is the 1st time I had interaction with God. And he's never quite spoken to me an impression like this ever since. But it was the strongest impression I've ever had and I remember it was a Sabbath afternoon I was surprisingly away from my friends I cannot remember why they were doing something and I was by myself I have had a I had a bike in my dorm room was like you know I'm going to bike ride so I go on the bike ride if ever been up P.C.'s and beautiful areas back there to bike and so I was I was biking in the back area and I remember coming up to this point where it was sunset just about and I kind of parked my bike I just there was a bench I just sat on the bench and I was just staring at the sunset I've always I've always enjoyed sunsets just very pretty and so I was I was sitting on the bench and watching the sunset which is why it's like well you can hear the breeze in the trees. I was sitting there and I was just reflecting I didn't do this very much I don't like to look at myself. We don't like to look at ourselves we really don't and so I was actually reflecting for a minute on my life and as soon as I was reflecting this this strong impression I mean it was like it was allowed as day but it wasn't words it was like Autobytel it wasn't it wasn't a verbal someone talking to me was just in my mind that God spoke to me in my mind and what do you think he said so I got to. Go to church not yet he actually said you have to do physical therapy a strange you would think you know go to church Something that but no he said you need to physical therapy and it was just like in this immediate fear went up in my heart like I can't do that that is way too hard I can't you know it just kept coming stronger and stronger never had your heart burn when God talks to you when you know you're like you're like I know I should do this but I can't It was one of those moments I knew was coming from God So finally after anough prompting knocking at the door if you will I said Ok God you know what I'll do it but you have to get me there because there is no way and this is the moment that I didn't realize the time I took a step of faith and I didn't even realize it but when you take a step of faith when God called to do something he's got a plan. And so I took a step of faith the very next day I go to my academic advisor Sunday morning I go to academic advisor I'm like I'm changing my career and she's like well we just set you up for this one and I was like yeah I know and she's like Ok Ok so what are you doing like I'm doing physical therapy she goes what and I was like yeah sorry I'm going to do physical therapy and she goes. Ok well here's what you have to do because this poor lady was like This guy's like you got to study and I was like Ok so. So I she's like Ok well here's what you have to do your science is you know she try to be nice She's like it's not that you know it's not very competitive and I'm like Ok she goes You're going to take like these 7 science classes and she goes and you have to get all A's and into me it was just like so you're telling me to climb Mount Everest basically is what you're telling me and I was like but I still had that conviction and I said Ok I'll do it she goes yeah you're probably going to take some or chemistry as well do the whole year of general chemistry in the summer and then do all those upper division science classes the next year if you want to apply in 2011. Ok. So again I'm on a fast forward this this portion because it was a slow process but I'll just tell you what happened I started applying myself how I knew and the 1st few classes that I actually got A's in I just was overwhelming to me it was the moment I was like oh my word I'm doing something I don't think is possible I know to you there may be some good students in here you guys get is it easy for you it wasn't for me so under under understand. So I mean I was like I remember going through summer chemistry Oh my goodness and I got A's the whole time and I could not believe I did not know it happened but it was that moment where. I just I felt like I just saw God leading in my life I end up getting all A's in all these upper division sciences and I ended up liking them I even became a t.a.a. for a couple of them can you believe it might my friends like literally it was so funny there was one night one of my friends I won't repeat exactly what he said but he was like he walked into my dorm room he's like Ryan he's like dude you grab your life by the horns man and like you just like walked out it was like that's how they were like. You changed and I didn't realize I was changing I even started developing a little bit more of a spiritual life slowly but my spiritual journey would really start to pick up when I got to Loma Linda. And I jumped but I'm going to go anyways so by the way at the end of the science classes my my science was my science g.p.a. was competitive enough to get into p.t. school so I applied to Loma Linda and Anders and I got into both. Unbelievably and I prayed I prayed to God is like Lord I want you to take me where you want me to go you know where you want me to go and I felt this impression to go along Linda I said good choice because it's cold over there and. I'm kidding I truly I truly felt that God was leading me to Loma Linda I didn't know why at the time but you'll see why the minute so I get to Loma Linda and at this point I am on cloud 9 I'm like God is leading me I'm on fire I'm like man like I am at the top of the mountain I didn't think I could be here. And I was like All right you know what like I'm a wake up early I'm going to start studying my Bible. So I started my 1st devotional like real devotional life like I'm going to wake up study the Bible I'm even going to read this book that I heard about called Desire Of Ages Yeah beautiful book and I was like you know again that was like I hadn't read any of these things and so I you know I pulled open a great book and I enter into this spiritual journey and pretty soon my on fire and this if you will died and I was still doing devotionals I was still reading the Bible doing what I knew how to do but something was wrong because all the sudden I felt like I have to get that feeling back. Otherwise I don't like God's leading me. So I would get in my devotion and get into this experience like you know Ok I'm close to you now God you know if I just feel bad enough or when I say and I'm close to you now if I just you know read enough I'm close to you if I and at the time recall that I I still hadn't really changed a lot of what a lot of what I was doing I did I did eventually stop drinking by the way and doing drugs. At the beginning of p.c. I didn't tell you that but that eventually stop because I got I started getting around the right people but I was still heavily involved in music and drums so I was like you know what I'm going to try and I'm going to try and use my drums for God So I started going into praise bands at churches and I would play around local church isn't and I use that isn't it as a way to elevate myself to an experience and then I walk out after these out of these church services and just be like it was like it was gone it was like you had this moment that you felt close but it was gone and it was like a roller coaster I don't know if any of us going to can relate to this experience but you feel close and then you feel far and I'm here to tell you that how you feel is not an accurate description of where God is in your life how you feel has no dictation of that I didn't realize at the time but that was my experience and I was struggling and I was struggling so much until God placed certain another group of people in my life and I quicker Kristie Can you show me where. This is a group of guys that was put in my life later on in p.t. school and I'm going through this experience and these are a couple med students a couple p.t. students at a time I became really good friends with and if you as you can see we we all cycled we all enjoyed biking so I'm there in the. Tank top there and there's one gentleman here that I'll introduce you to a minute but basically we would go on rides every Sabbath morning that was our routine would wake up early and go bike riding together and. So we were doing this for a long time and there was one gentleman here is name is his name is Nick and Nick was a little bit older than the rest of us but in a little bit more spiritual maturity you could just tell when talking to him he just he seemed a little bit more in in tune with you know his spiritual life than all of us a lot lot of us by the way in this picture had a very similar ravenous experience just kind of ambivalent to it just kind of what we did and so one morning Nick texted us before our ride he was like you know guys I sorry I can't make it to the ride this morning I'm actually going to go to a Sabbath school starts pretty early saddest called called Ave hope and I'm not going to be able to make it and I was like and we were all like Ok that's weird so it was we're going to bike ride he just continually misses Sabbath mornings he just up coming and so we're all pretty close knit group so you know like when you when someone's not there you feel it and we felt that with and if we really liked having Nick around and so I remember. This day was not a Sabbath ride this was a Sunday rather what we went to the beach can go to next picture. This was the ride on our way to the beach and I was able to talk to Nick Nick is actually right behind me and I found this photo I was amazed because this is exactly where a conversation happened that would change my life. I talked to Nick on this bike ride and him and I just got started Thomas spiritual things I started sharing a little bit of my struggle with him spiritually I actually opened up to him and he was the only guy I opened up to about my spiritual walk. And it was like you know he was just kind of understanding me you know trying to relate and then I said you know man you know I think really cool I was like you know maybe we should just get a bunch of guys to go study the Bible together like was just well just do something because I just feel like I'm just missing something with God here and so he's like oh you know that's a great idea and he's like and you know what I'll bring the bible studies and I didn't I was like Ok fine I thought we just are the Bible but if you have study let's use and go and so. Anyways and so we start planning we start talking all the guys like hey guys you know we got a cool we're going to make a little group let's just start a little like ministry type thing like most of the Bible together maybe we'll do stuff together and so we were all at a point where God How does what we all searching in our lives actually And so we start put together a little Bible study group and we turn into a little ministry and I'll share more of that about that just a moment. Well. So after I started going back to church with my family I started actually reading the Bible for the 1st time as an adult on my own. And I was I mean I was excited I was enthusiastic I was so hungry to learn all these things that I never had before and. My experience was I liken it to this it's like if you take all these upper division upper level courses without taking any of the want to ones I was just like searching for all this information I had no basics whatsoever but I was genuine and I was really really enthusiastic and. But the thing is is that you know just because you decide to go to church doesn't mean that you're changed in a day and there was a lot of me still in me a lot of self and so I remember doing things like you know I found a great controversy and then I read it through all in like you know 2 days and then I took the Bible and then I read it through all in like a week just to say that I did it and is like yeah it's all head knowledge but I didn't get anything out of it because the whole purpose was that. You know I I just I wanted to do it I wanted to achieve it that's all I knew how to do at this point was to achieve which it was to do 110 percent to do better to do better to do better than anyone else so I'm not competing with any one. So you know I I do these things but I'm really searching I really really genuinely I'm searching and something is missing I don't know who God is at this point I'm trying to figure it out and at this point several things happen and one of them was that I started getting work as an actor again. A few months later and I start living these 2 tracks one is an actor one with God and it kind of just starts going on for a few years the other thing that happened was that my grandparents health was deteriorating so they moved in with us which meant that we had to move to a bigger home. So we moved to a suburbs a small suburb right outside of l.a. which meant that we were even further away from our old church than we were before so we decided to go to a new church a new 7th Day Adventist Church it was a smaller one and we got involved there and we found a pretty close church family and and we got to be pretty good friends with with a lot of them. And so I'm feeling as I'm as I'm studying more I'm feeling more and more convicted as I'm living these 2 lives to quit acting except every time I'm seriously starting to think about it I get another job. So it's just kind of like this tug of war back and forth back and forth and it all basically comes to a head. Around the holidays one year the end of the year and around this time you know families are coming back into town children are coming back from school and. At one of these holidays social gatherings I start talking to the son of this couple who. We've made good friends with at church and he had just come back from p.t. school and. We start talking about this ministry that he wanted to start with these guy friends of his and as we started talking more and more. It came to the point where we're like hey I could have a part in this ministry and it was exactly like I was so so happy I was like yes finally like I get to a community and people around me and I can take this next step and and I can do something I can do something for God I can do something for God. But that's what I was at the time and and again it was genuine I was excited. Except So we we planned Ok let's actually officially start this ministry in the new year the only thing was was that I had a job an acting job at the same time. This was only a couple weeks away and so I said you know no no no it's Ok never mind I'll handle it because I could always handle it. I just figure it out on my own I'll do both. So. The new year comes and. I go to my job my acting job and a couple hours later I get a phone call that I was fired. And it was like a bucket of cold water in my face because for me that took me straight back to 2010 when I can get work and I had to foreclose and I realize that I needed someone other than myself that was that was what it did that's what it was for and I suddenly realized. You know you've been promising God to quit and Rene and promising and reneging promising and Rene again and so the next day I called my agent and I quit and that very very weekend just a few days later I went down to Loma Linda and I started a ministry with Ryan because that's who I had been talking to and all of his guy friends. So I pick it back up I had met this actress at the time and. Yeah and so she had a lot of interest I was in coming down and helping out with this ministry and it was very interesting. And a whole other story we can't have to have time for today and so anyway so Chrissy starts coming down every weekend to Loma Linda she is a living level and she just travels on every weekend when we do our When we started our ministry and one of the things that we started and actually you know before I go into this I just want to I want to back out so you guys understand something. In our lives Christine I obviously a bit more separate in our experience in our struggles we are so much the same. We are so much the same in our need for God. But we didn't realize that God brought us through this experience but you'll notice in 2010 we believe was divine intervention where both of our lives would change courses and they would eventually create impact at this ministry. And then what God did at this time was very interesting because if you recall Nick Nick said I got just the bible studies for you guys and remember Christine I grew up in Avonex homes we grew up hearing about all this stuff but we had never actually sat down in learned what we believe a set of the advice about the Bible. So these studies were actually created by a medical student name is John shin some of you might know that and you might not anyways but John Shinn created these bible studies while he was in medical school he sacrificed medical school time to create these bible studies and when you give your time to the Lord and you don't even know what you want even see the repercussions of it maybe you don't know you might just planted a seed but John gave us time he gave these studies and Nick brought these studies to this Bible to our little segment Study Group in none of us had learned about the sanctuary in detail none of us had learned about prophecy like like it was explained in the studies and any of us had learned about the millennium about the judgment about the law of God and all these amazing things we've heard about all these things and we you know we talk about it but when you sit down and when you're when you're searching and you want to find something concrete to believe in that's what this did for us so for me I was blown away at the sink where I was just like oh my goodness the plan of salvation is here. And I said you know my goodness God has predicted that he's coming back again soon and all the sudden identity came. I was like there's a purpose God is in the sink rate right now $844.00 our heritage God is in the same way right now ministering for us and all of the sudden instead of this emotion that I had of like oh God close No I had of the say at the Lord now. And that that is a true experience right now that is part of the true experience is understanding. And so Christine I we're coming to this understanding of what it what we believe is and the administers it was making sense we were convicted were like this makes sense and this is true. Along the way we were also becoming you know like emotionally closer together if you will we were going spiritually and emotionally together and to make a somewhat long story short for time sake. Christine I would continue to spend a lot of time together we started to connect because we were both on a spiritual journey together we were very equally yoked if you will in our spiritual experience and our need to learn more so we grew together and we realized that we by the way in this ministry we started to create outreaches we started to actually put our learning into action. And when we did that Christine I knew like we wanted to and when we did it together even though we're very different we're very different but when we acknowledge that God brought us together for a common purpose we're very powerful together. And the same way with all of us when we recognize our strengths that God has given us and we ask God to lead it we can be powerful together and so Christine I eventually came together and not too long after this we would. We would start courting. And then 2 years later we would get married. And again fast forward a little bit so we will get married. With our little dog Beatrix down here in her little sweater. And then that's not our wedding photo by the way. This is on the day of the wedding and there she is down there. So. So if you'll notice the person in the front is our is a person who married us and you probably can see him very well in the other picture this is Nick. Nick had a delivery to marry people because he had he's a he's out he's an ordained minister in the in the evidence church he just has a you know you go on line and you become a pastor. But he had one and we asked him to Marius because he was he was just listening to the Word of God and he brought the studies and it changed our lives and so Christine I got married in 2014 and as we wrap up here we just want to share with you what God is currently teaching us through our marriage. So you may have heard that. Marriage is like a mirror. That someone holds up to you and it magnifies all your flaws Yeah that's true. That's really true you're right and I really learned that. It wasn't until after we were married that. You know we we started to to understand who we really were compared to God like you know who you really actually are. All of your flaws all of the sins secret public that you have. And this is when for us tonight just a few years ago that. The need. That we 1st felt there was just this raw something's missing and all the head knowledge that we had collected over the years all of it kind of came together and came here. Into the Heart. So it just kind of all jelled and and just came together and it was a marriage that showed us that but I think that there are lots of different mirrors. Not only through marriage but mirrors and you can definitely see them in the Bible that are held up to people and there are 2 options really that you can you can do there really at the end of the day you can deny that. What you see is there and you can run away. Or you can accept that what you see is there and you can give it to God so that he can transform you and that he can help you to overcome from where you are and so I just wanted to go really quickly if we could go to 1st Samuel 13 we were obviously looking at our you know theme verse and we're looking at the life of Jonathan and looking at the people around him and I know briefly covered this last night in his message I just wanted to go on and in chapter 13 you know this is the chapter before our theme verse so these are the events setting up what Jonathan does and I wanted us to look at the character of Saul. Infamous Saul his infamous behavior in this chapter he explicitly disobeyed the Lord's commandment by offering the burnt offering in Samuel stead right and so he does this and then right after he does Samuel comes so Samuel arrives and starting in verse 11 I wanted us to read what Saul says and what his reaction is and this is not a mere hasn't even been held up to him yet but he says it says and Samuel said What has that done and Saul said because I saw that the people were scattered from me and that the came this not within the days appointed and that the Philistines gather themselves together and make mash and he continues on says I force myself therefore and offered a burnt offering So in this verse alone I see one thing this tells us one thing about the character of Saul is that all of those things that he mention all those people that he mention didn't have anything to do with him so all the reasons that he gave for his own actions didn't have one thing to do with himself. And he doesn't look at himself we can see this throughout the life of Saul he has a hard time looking at himself and admitting to himself what he is. Which consequently what that means is that you really don't feel your need for anyone if your the one who didn't do anything wrong and it was the fact that your army was deserving and that Samuel the prophet didn't come on time so you said and that the your enemy was gathering together and they're about to attack and none of it has to do with you but everyone else then you don't really need anyone and. I wanted to contrast this with Jonathan's life so in just the next chapter worth the inverses. You know I think we. We think of Jonathan as someone who's courageous and loyal and faithful and all of those things he is but I'd like to bring up another aspect of his character and I think that it's probably no I believe that it is the most significant part of his character for us in these last days and. It's that he really truly understood his need for a savior and that's why he got to be courageous and strong and loyal and faithful it was all because he knew that he had a personal savior and in just our theme verse Ok so let's see so so in 3 different verses in this chapter alone the only times that he that Jonathan himself mentions God he refers to him as his Savior specifically as his deliver so verse 6 he says it may be that the Lord will work for us for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few and then in verse 10 again he says for the Lord have to live or them into our hand and in verse 12 for the Lord have delivered them into the hand of Israel everything about God that Jonathan mentions is the fact that he's a savior and a deliver a not only a the the Savior The deliver and he's a personal one at that and you may have also noticed that Jonathan. Is a type of John the Baptist so he is a forerunner to David the same way that John the Baptist was a forerunner for Christ. In just and we won't go there but in chapter 18 he literally. Jonathan as the heir to the throne he literally gives his clothes the robot his back his belt his weapons whatever he has and he gives them to David he's heralding the king to be giving it from from his own hopes and his dreams. So if we are the heralds of Christ's 2nd coming if we are to usher in his 2nd coming what can we learn from the character of Jonathan. Is there a hard work to be done is there a looking inward of ourselves and a a searching of who we really are I submit to you that there is there's there's a deep deep need it's our greatest need is to 1st look at ourselves and who we are in comparison to God and I think it's inevitable that if you actually do that and accept who you are you will understand. In a heart sense that you have a need for a savior. Like because of this this quote here. This is from review and herald this is a quote that. I think is very powerful especially for the days that we're living in. She says a revival of true God and us among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs to seek this should be our 1st work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord not because God is not willing to bestow his blessing upon us but because we are unprepared to receive it but it is our work by confession humiliation repentance and earnest prayer to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us his blessing and then check this out we have far more to fear from within than from without the hindrance is to strengthen success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Guys I can tell you this right now I interact with quite a few people. That are not they don't believe in God in the one thing that all the world is looking for is true godliness. Not necessarily the teaching the teachings are part of it but they're looking for the teachings to be applied to the life and the only way that we can actually come to that realization I believe is when we spend time reflecting on ourselves and allowing God to search our hearts. And I'll just leave you with a verse you can do you have the verse some 1000. This verse. Thank you. Some one night 139 versus 23 and 24 says Search me oh God know my heart try me and know my thoughts and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. So we just want to leave you guys this morning. With the challenge in the Encourage meant that. We can all live lives prepare for God's coming. If you've had an experience like this year I remember keep giving God time in prayer there was a reason that Jesus would leave his disciples and spend time alone in prayer it was to reflect it was to speak to the father this is our 1st work to spend time understanding who you are so you can give it to God Let him show you who you are. So that you can give it to him and then be revived for his coming but let's pray Father in heaven we're so thankful for this opportunity to be here together at g y c Lord each and every event Lord we just pray that we don't come to these events and leave the same before that we will allow you to search our hearts that you will show us any wickedness that is in us Father that we may surrender it to you and experience the full joy of having a son glorified no lives we ask in prayer this on Jesus' name in. This message is recorded at the g y c conference by many or by few in Louisville Kentucky do I see the supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to challenge and inspire young people to take the sacrificial initiative for Christ to download other resources like this visit us online at u.s.c. wed dot org.

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