It’s Harvest Time Part 1

Tomorrow is the start of the transformation process I have waited for so long. I will start the process of letting go of my fear of death.

I first learned about death when I was three years old.  I can remember specifically being in my best friend’s kitchen and my parents had just got back from a funeral for a relative.  I remember asking my parents, “Am I going to die one day?” Very innocently, they told me that I would. From that moment, I have been separated from true self.

I remember crying my eyes out at night as a young kid and feeling completely helpless and powerless.  You see it’s that part of me that lives inside me still.  Sometimes I feel like I am 26 year old trapped in the body of a 3 year old. After a year or so, of teaching myself self love, the little boy is ready to let go of the fear of death.

It’s hard to explain how the fear of death manifests in my life. But I can remember being 7 years old and having thoughts like, “I’m one-tenth of the way through my life”.  I know I can’t control death, but there was a part of me that thought that I could…….and everything else.  I thought I could control my bank account, my relationships and almost every aspect of my life.

Going through the suffering I have been through I have learned that I am not in control.  It is God who is in control.  The only control I have is I have the free will to follow His plan for my life. And I am more than ready. It’s harvest time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that you are even closer with me during the coming days.  I know I will be looking my demon square in the eye and then letting it go.  Lord, I need you more than ever in my life right now.  I trust you have prepared me for this moment as my life begins the transformation.  I pray in the name of Jesus that even I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.  In Jesus name. Amen.

The Problem with Church Denominations

Methodist. Presbyterian. Roman Catholic. Baptist. Adventist.  These are just a few of the approximately 41,000 Christian denominations.  That’s at least 41,000 ways to divide the Christian church

Earlier I made a post about the difference of being spiritual vs being religious.  Naturally, there were some people quick to defend their denomination, but not their God.  Why do we divide ourselves among denominations and Baptists shout at Catholics and say, “We are better than you” or Catholics say “No we are the one and true faith”.  To steal a Catholic hymn, “We are many parts, we are all one body.”

The church is divided in more than 41,000 different ways.  As I have been exploring my faith, I have personally gone to Baptist, Catholic, Non-denominational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.  Here is the common denominator between them all.  It is to “Love God, Love Yourself, and then to share that love with other people”.

I long for a day where a church is no longer hiding behind their veil of a denomination.  I long for a day when someone asks, “Which religion are you?” That the response is, “I’m a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Spirituality vs. Religion

My good friend Joey once told me, “Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell and spirituality is for people who have already been to hell and don’t want to go back.”

The first part of the statement definitely rang true in my early years of life.  I went to Catholic church every week, said my prayers, gave a little, but always felt like something was missing. It wasn’t until I went into my deep depression that I realized what that was. A personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now this isn’t something that could be obtained by going through the religious rituals that I had been doing. I needed to put my faith into action.  But how would I know that I was actually following God’s plan for my life?

Well I guess that’s why they call it faith because to be honest I didn’t know for a long time.  I didn’t know at the time that I was following God’s will for my life by walking away from that well-paying unethical job.  That was blind faith.

Matthew 17:20 states, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” I always find it fascinating how the parables told in the gospel ring so true even in 2015.

You see God isn’t interested in your religious practices. He isn’t interested that you go to church every week or that you skimmed through the Bible for the week.  He wants to have a relationship with you more than anything.  He wants you to be spiritual more than religious. Ultimately, He wants to know you.  The question is, do you want to know Him?

Prayer: Father how grateful we are that you desire us more than anything in the world. We are thankful that you are not interested in how perfect we perform religious rituals, but desire us to follow Your promptings in our spirit.  All you ask is that we are obedient to you. There is nothing we could ever do to repay you for what Jesus did at Calvary. We love you Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.

The Awesome Impact of Your Story

I had dinner with my friend Danny this evening and he really got me thinking.  He recently converted from Judaism to Christianity a few years ago.  He mentioned the best teachers about the Bible aren’t necessarily the best sermons, but the ones that have the best stories to tell.

It made me think about my story over the past few years and my obedience towards the Lord when everything in my head tried to tell me to do otherwise. I’ve walked away from people that no longer were beneficial in my life even though I care about them deeply.  I’ve walked away from a well-paying unethical  job.  I’ve even trusted the Lord that he would spare my life during my suicide attempt.

Then it made me think a little bit deeper about the stories in the Bible and how I relate to certain biblical characters.

I feel like I’m just a David that I am just a Kent State graduate with a political science degree being called to greatness. I’ve been told recently by several people that they see me having the same impact of a Dr. Charles Stanley. That’s mind blowing for the person that worried about a $2 cup of coffee.  I feel like a Job that I really didn’t “deserve” this suffering I have been through, but recognizing that God is God and can do what He pleases. I feel like I am an Abraham when called to sacrifice my own life, but being spared like Abraham’s son Isaac at the last moment.  I feel like a Jonah being told to go to Nineveh, but going to Tarshish (57 times in my case :)) Finally, God got my attention and I am heading towards Nineveh.

I feel like we all have an awesome story to tell.  So I have a few questions for you.  What is your story to tell?  What biblical characters are you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that You are the Alpha and the Omega.  You have already planned our days in this land.  Help us to continue to seek Your guidance for your story you are building in our lives.  Then help us to have the courage to share our story and to inspire others. I pray this Jesus name. Amen.

When All Hope Seems Lost

Today was my first day of my trauma resolution therapy and on the surface it seemed like a miserable day.  Old thought patterns of feeling unworthy, not mattering, seemed to flood my mind.  It made me feel like I was starting back at square one in my recovery. I felt hopeless again today.

But I’ve seen this deceiving trick played by the devil one too many times.  Whenever, I go through a tough day or two now, there is almost always a new level of freedom that awaits on the other side.  God is teaching me to be patient and boy is that a tough lesson I am learning.

I’ve learned this lesson out of Colossians 3:2 that says “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

This means despite FEELING like today was a bad day, I can change my perspective now.  God is in the process of refining my rough edges and that requires a little bit of pain. I am learning not to live off of my feelings, but what God says.

God says in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

It doesn’t say to trust only when I feel like it or when I feel good.  This verse makes it crystal clear the pitfalls of falling into my limited mindset.

A good way to combat my negative thinking is start reciting verses from the Book of Psalms.  Psalm 27:1 has become my battle cry.  It states, The Lord is my light and my salvation of whom shall I fear?” This single verse reminds me of seven principles from God. I matter. I am not bad, I have power, I can do good, I am love, I am worthy, I am joy.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, surround us with Your presence when the enemy attacks.  Help us to not become bitter with You as You are the source of our hope and strength.  And help us to recognize the lessons we learn from You are not done out of a place of punishment, but love.  Father, thank you that we are becoming more and more like Your son Jesus Christ everyday.  And then sharing Christ’s light in the fallen world we live in. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

God’s Grace

What is grace?

Well the Christian definition of grace is, “of the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”

The ultimate sign of God’s Grace is Jesus dying at Calvary for our sins. Because Jesus died for your sins, and paid your sins debt in full, we have a cup full of grace that will never run dry. Because of this we can do NOTHING to earn His grace. It is already a gift from God!

Ephesians 4:7 says, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” What an awesome promise from God!”

How has God shown me his unmerited favor in my own life?
-Having me walk away from a from hitting a bus head on and walking away without a scratch.
-Providing for me when I didn’t see a way.
-Starting to reveal His purpose for me.
-Giving me a shooting star for a promise.

These are just a few examples for myself. So how has God shown you His Grace throughout your own life? I encourage you to do so.  Please tell me in the comments below.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that you lavish is with your grace and mercy. We love you for sending your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full. We are so in awe that we can do nothing to gain your grace.  It is a gift you have given to us as children of God. We love you Lord. As we about to embark on another week, continue to fill us with Your grace that only you can provide. Help us to give Your grace to everyone we encounter this week. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Shoutout to Amy Licata for the suggestion of this topic. If you would like me to cover a specific topic. Please fill out the information under the “Blog Ideas” tab located at the top of the page.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

The third member of the Holy Trinity is perhaps the least talked about.  Yet it has such an awesome impact on a believer’s life. So who is this mysterious Holy Spirit?

John 14:26 says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

So its best way is to think of the Holy Spirit as a teacher.  The Holy Spirit is what enables a believer to carry out God’s purpose in their life.  This is why Paul would gladly boast about his weaknesses while in prison.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 states, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Paul would gladly boast about his weaknesses because he recognized where the source of power came from.  It came from the Holy Spirit.

I have started to do this in my own personal life. During my depression, I often complained about how the daily tasks always seemed so burdensome.  Just taking a shower, shaving, or eating became monumental tasks.  All of that complaining did not accomplish anything.  My new approach over the past few months is to boast about the daily tasks being so burdensome for me.  Slowly, but surely these tasks are getting easier.

We must come to a place where we recognize that the source of true power is not by good works or good religious rituals.  It is by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Lord, I pray that every reader that reads this message has a stirring down in their spirit.  Help them to draw closer to you in ways unimaginable.  It was you that said in Galatians 5:22-23 that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Father, I pray that every reader is touched by this message and is encouraged to form personal relationship with your son Jesus Christ. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thank you so much for your cash and online donations to fund my Memphis stay. My seven day a week trauma resolution therapy starts tomorrow (6 weeks).  You can continue to contribute online at:

http://www.youcaring.com/other/fight-on-for-marc-kutylowski-/345691

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowski

Joy vs. Happiness

“Do you know the difference between joy and happiness?”

This was a question that rocked my world a few years ago. Up until then, I thought joy was sitting (okay I was standing and shouting) in the stands at Dix Stadium at a Kent State football game. I thought joy was running my personal best marathon time.  I thought joy was me getting a raise at a job.  But that’s not joy at all.  These moments would be considered happiness.

You see with all the examples above, there was always a external condition that affected my mood.  If I didn’t run my best marathon time, then I wouldn’t be happy. If I didn’t get that raise, then I would be upset.  So what is this sometimes mysterious concept of joy like?

Joy is something found deep in the heart of everybody.  It’s an internal peace that is often difficult to put into words.  During my recovery, God has given me a few glimpses of what this joy looks like. Ultimately, most people try to fill that void in their heart with everything else. Drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions, personal accomplishments, overworking, food etc.  This will always lead to a disappointing life.

Romans 15:13 states, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This is what God wants for all of his children.  He wants us to be overflowing with love and joy and to share that with others. In fact, it’s why one of the reasons we were created.  By spreading love and joy we are bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that you gave us a spirit of love and not of fear.  Help us to overcome our life challenges not on our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit.  It was you that said that the Holy Spirit would enable us to accomplish Your will in our lives.  Help us to lean in and trust You in ways unimaginable to us.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowksi

The Adventure

I feel like for the past month or so that God has put the brakes on my life. Today (Friday) was my discharge date from Skyland Trail in Atlanta and I am now off to Memphis. Why Memphis?

Well as of Tuesday morning, I didn’t know what my next step was. My treatment team was recommending I go back to Cincinnati and work on trauma therapy. I felt an uneasiness in my spirit that this wasn’t the best step.

So I started to pray to God about where he wanted me to go. Now I had known a few places around the country that specialized in trauma resolution therapy. So I asked God, “is it Cincinnati? No. Arizona? No. Florida? No. Memphis? Yes!”

“Memphis?! That doesn’t make any sense God. I don’t know anyone there. Where would my support group be? I don’t have the finances for that.” These were just a few questions wildly going through my head. Also, I had strangely been seeing my college colors everywhere I went for the past few weeks (blue and gold)

Now I did barely know one person in Memphis. He was my favorite blogger (dannyb73) on a Kent State sports blog page. I asked God, “is this who you want me to reach out to? Yes Marc. But that’s crazy God. I don’t even know him!”

long story short, I reached out to the guy and in less then five minutes he called back and helped me find a perfect housing situation. Within about a three hour span, all of my unanswered questions were answered!

This brings me to a life principle I have learned from Charles Stanley. “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”

Personally, I’m scared for the next step. But if there is where God wants me to go, I will obediently follow. How can you help me personally? Well the Lord told me to set up a fundraising site to help support me over my 6-8 weeks in Memphis. I ask you prayerfully consider to assist me.

Remember my recovery has never been about Marc Kutylowski getting better. It has been about me getting better to serve others.

So as I sit here on a Megabus on my way to Atlanta, all I have left to say is,

“Fight on for Marc Kutylowski (and KSU), fight for the blue and gold, we’re out to beat the foe, fight on brave and bold! Fight on for victory, don’t stop until we’re through, we’re all together, lets go forward Marc Kutylowski (and KSU)!

Here is the link to the fundraising site:

www.youcaring.com/other/fight-on-for-marc-Kutylowski-/345691