3 Ways Marriage Blesses Your Socks Off

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Marissa!!!

Let’s press into marriage!  This is not what culture says

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Marissa! A.K.A. Best 3 years EVER!

culture’s environment does not propel this. But as residence of God’s Kingdom, marriage is something to look forward to and to take action of faith toward. I know you’ve heard me before encourage guys to not wait around but if you know who you want to pursue to marry, do it!  Three years ago on February 23, 2014, I married the love of my life. That week when we set up our joint bank account, the personal banker told us that he is waiting years for marriage until he has a certain amount of money, a house, etc… My wife, who listens to the Holy Spirit well, in her sweet voice reply. “We highly recommend marriage”.  In like-heartedness, here are three ways marriage will bless your socks off:

  1.  You’ll experience Jesus like never before!  When you are single, the blessing is you have  time and an undivided mind to do more for the cause of the Gospel. When you’re married, the covenant of your marriage represents the Gospel and helps you experience and be the Gospel to others: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27).”
  2. Where one is weak, the other is strong!  You probably know this without me even typing it slowly… I’m slow at… well at just about everything I do.  Marissa is the opposite.  She’s the most efficient person i have ever met.  You already know who takes care of the details.  Not me.  I’m a visionary. I struggle with the details.  I meet  people EVERYWHERE I go.  That’s not her. She meets more people through me but she goes deeper with fewer friends.  She teaches me about that through her life.  The wisest man ever lived explains this well:  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).”
  1.  Someone is ALWAYS on your side! When I was single, it was just me. Yes, I had Christian community that would bear some of my burdens.  But day in day out, it was me. I faced oncoming situations with the help of God and community.  Being in tight-knit Christian community now prepares you for marriage. Then when you get married, you join a team.  One plus one equals three. Marissa and I as a team with Jesus leading, there is always someone on her side and on my side in God’s calling that He walks us into. When we’re attacked by Satan or circumstances of life, there is always someone with me to help overcome. Solomon also fleshes this out in his words: “If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone.  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:11-12).”
Are you ready to get your socks blessed off?!  Marissa and I really encourage you to press into marriage or if your married, we encourage you to press into the covenant of marriage God blessed you with.  Like Marissa said ever so sweetly: “We highly recommend marriage.”
What does it look like for your to lean into the covenant of marriage? What other blessings do you see in marriage?  Comment and let’s carry on the conversation below.  We’re praying for 20 new monthly supporters this month for the “Heart for the Kingdom” campaign. Please click here, fill in your important monthly amount and click “make this a monthly gift”. Meet, mobilize and multiply with us.  All giving is tax deductible.
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A God Encounter with Bono and The Edge

Anyone who knows me knows I’m fanatic about U2.  I became a fan in the middle of their career at the time of the Auchtung Baby album.  God used their music to touch my heart and deepen my relationship with Jesus.  The more I dug into their music, I noticed that every song was about Jesus, faith, and was saturated with Scripture.  But their music drew me in because their lyrics were “nonreligiousy.”  They could fill stadiums and touch millions of lost hearts with the Gospel; this has amazed me.

As a student growing from a lukewarm Christian into a hard-core disciple, U2’s music ministered to me so much that some friends  heard them at the Starplex for their Popmart tour.  I loved how they wrote through their struggles with faith and how they mocked the ways of the world.

My passion for seeking God through their music grew when they released How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.  I nicknamed this album the “social justice worship album.”  Through it, Bono invited people to be aware of and love the wounded.  He called us to take responsibility to alleviate the AIDS epidemic in Africa.  Bono urged people to “journey beyond ourselves,” unite as one, and minister to these hurting people.  Millions joined this campaign.  Stars such as Brad Pitt and Beyonce joined the cause and took action.  This reminded me of Jesus inviting the fishermen into a journey beyond themselves to help the sick, oppressed, poor, and hungry.

I’ve nicknamed Bono “the greatest evangelist of all time.”  I bet I’ve watched the Vertigo tour on DVD at least 100 times, and it ministers to my heart every time.  In 2005 I went to the Vertigo concert in Dallas, and I prayed then that I would meet Bono someday.

Their latest album, No Line on the Horizon, was meant to be a worship album.  A good friend and ministry partner, Jeremy, went with me to see U2 at the Cowboys Stadium.  We received a phone call a few weeks before the concert saying they reconfigured the stage, so we had to come pick up new tickets right before the concert.  The venue’s attendants led us to our seats, and on the third elevator down (the one that we met Jerry Jones on), I thought, “Wow, these will be pretty awesome seats.”  They were!  We sat in the front row on the 40 yard line—the closest seats to the stage.

During the concert, I kept rolling back to the VIP area to see if there was any way to sneak backstage, but I could not find a way.  I overheard a lady who worked in VIP talking to a coworker about Bono’s assistant!  I immediately went to meet her and told her how much Bono has influenced my walk with God and asked if I could meet him.  Later she returned and relayed that Bono’s assistant said no.

The next Sunday, October 18, my friend Tracey and I journeyed to my alma mater, OU, to see U2 at the OU football stadium.  Let me stop here and share that many people who know how God has used U2 in my life had been praying for me to be able to meet Bono.

We found our seats in the wheelchair section in the end zone.  I was familiar with this stadium and section because of past experiences at OU football games.  I knew that the field house—where the band would be—was right under the seats behind me, because I used to hang out there back in the day as a student visiting my friends who were on the OU football team.  To my left in the wheelchair section was a ramp going to the corridor of the field house.  Concert attendants blocked the ramp.  When the Black-eyed Peas came on stage, I left my section with out telling anyone I was with, got past the attendants, and was right next to the front door of field house.  There were many people in front who worked for the tour, but no one asked me to leave the area.

I soon met a nice guy with long dreads and asked him if there was any way I could go backstage to meet Bono.  He replied, “There’s no way.” I went on to tell him how U2 has impacted my life, and he kept repeating there would be no way he could let me meet Bono.  I was down but still had a little faith about meeting Bono and the band.

I headed back up the ramp to my seat.  Half way up the ramp, I looked to my right, and there stood Bono less than a foot away from me!

He wore a boxer’s hoodie with no glasses.

I stopped and put out my right hand. “Hi, Bono, I’m Todd Lollar.” He warmly and firmly shook my hand.  Surprisingly without a slur or stutter, I said, “Bono, God has used you in my life and ministry in amazing ways.” He bent forward and replied, “God bless you,” and hugged me.

I was in a daze and in a dream state.  I looked at the person standing beside Bono and it was The Edge!

He bent forward and shook my hand.  It was not like an encounter with two reknown rock stars as it was meeting two older brothers in Christ who have impacted my faith in Jesus in profound ways.

Still in a daze, I left them, rolled up the ramp to my seat, and yelled for two minutes, “I met Bono, I met Bono!”

This encounter happened so quickly and I was in such shock, that I didn’t get a picture—even though my cell phone was right on my lap!  But this amazing gift from God always will remain vivid in my heart and memory.

I keep asking myself: “How do I use this experience for the Glory of God?”

This is a great testimony of how faith and prayer prompts the power of God to move in unbelievable ways.  He does do immeasurable more than all we can ask or imagine!

How To Be The Greatest

Two Shocking Truths

We live in a culture in which like never before, you can be

“Whoever humbles himself like this child”

known by your greatness. There are all types of platforms to elevate a voice, a gift, an art form… These platforms allow for recognition to the best and to the worst. Critics have stated that so many want to be YouTube stars and criticicize this journey to stardom and call it narcissistic. But, this desire to be great, especially stewarding God’s gifts to be great for God’s Glory, is not bad in itself. In fact, followers of Jesus were even bold enough to ask who is the greatest?!… “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew‬ ‭18:1‬)?”” ‭‭

If you think that asking God on earth this question is surprising, you should be even more shocked at Jesus’s answer:

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew‬ ‭18: 3-4).” ‭‭‬ ‭

Here are two shocking truths Jesus responds to those who want be the greatest:

1. Jesus does not rebuke this desire to be great. This is shocking to me! I grew up being taught the religious belief that any desire to be great would be prideful. But, not Jesus! He never labels it as wrong or being sinful. Instead, Jesus redeems the question and tells them how to be the greatest.

2. Jesus uses children as the prime example to be great! Again, there are just a few theological circles that continually teach about children being depraved and evil. Contrarily, Jesus tells you and me, as followers of Him to turn and actually become like these children, emptying ourselves of pride. Jesus proclaims in doing this you’ll be the greatest in His Kingdom.

Get excited with me that young professionals want to be great! Do you want to be great? Let’s humble ourselves like children and become great for King Jesus in the Kingdom of God!  Speaking of the Kingdom, join this ministry by being apart of the Heart for the Kingdom campaign this month! Click here, enter the tax deductible monthly amount of your choice! You’ll be one of the 20 new monthly partners we’re praying for!