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:

God’s Economic System

Money. Did I grab your attention?

There are two types of economic system’s that you can live in.  You can either live under the world’s economic system or God’s economic system.  Most of you know how the world economic system works.  Constant fluctuation in prices, rising and falling stock prices and uncertainty.  Did you know there is another option though?

Welcome to God’s economic system.  In this system, a person recognizes that all they have comes from God.  When a financial need arises, the first question isn’t “How can I make more money”, rather what can I give to God.  While the world’s economic system focuses on “me, me, me”, God’s economic system focuses on “give, give, give.”

That brings me to the principle of tithing.  What is tithing?  Tithing is giving ten percent of what you make back to God.  God makes it real simple.  You make a dollar and one dime of it goes back to God automatically.  After all, it was God’s anyways. The money was never yours.

As a person that worried about a $2 cup of coffee, this was a radical shift in my belief that I am still working through but trusting.  As of right now, the only money I have coming in is my rent money for my house.  I could easily have the mindset, “But I need that money to pay my rent. Why would I give that away?”  Well I would give away at least ten percent of that because it created a contract with God and myself, that God will provide all of my needs.

Phillipians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Here is a brief 5 step guideline to help you if you want to make the shift from the world’s economic system to God’s economic system.

1. Recognize that God owns it all.

2. Give and least ten percent back to God.

3. Give consistently.

4. Don’t give to obtain prosperity.

5. You can never out give God.

Prayer: Lord I pray that every reader of this message that receives this message wants to turn to Your economic system.  Lord, it was You that said in Malachi 3:10 that You would “open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Father, we are so thankful for everything You have provided for us and continue to do so. We love you.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowski

Radical Obedience

Tomorrow, April 27th, will be the one year anniversary of my suicide attempt. From the outside, it could appear that I was at my weakest moment. However, I believe I was at my strongest moment.  In that moment, I learned what radical obedience is all about.

I recently became comfortable talking about that night and here is what I remember.  I can remember God telling me “Try and take your life.  I won’t let you. How much do you trust me Marc? Do you trust me with your life?”  As I reflect on that moment, I tried to find something in the Bible that I could relate this to.  Almost instantly the story of Abraham and Isaac came to mind.

The Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but at the last moment the Lord spared Isaac’s life.  Here is what it says in Genesis 22:12:

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Now why would God do something like this.  God wanted to test Abraham because He had an awesome plan for his life, that could only be found through radical obedience.  Genesis 22:17-18 states:

17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c]because you have obeyed me.”

I don’t claim to know exactly why God allows tests and trials in our lives, but I do know this. Each test is perfectly situated for where you are right now.  God is a God of love and He wants the best for His children.

The next time you go through a test remember the source.  All tests and trials come from God and are perfectly designed to bring you closer to Him.

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowski

Welcome to Wheat or Weeds

Welcome! Why did I choose the title Wheat or Weeds?  Well it comes out of Matthew 13:24-30.  Here’s what it says:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

This very much describes my spiritual journey over the last 4 years.  There has been so much wheat in my life, but has been difficult to see because of the weeds that were also there.  Ultimately, God decided to leave the weeds in my life not to torment me, but if the weeds were pulled out, the wheat would have been uprooted as well.  And that would have been tragic

I look forward to updating the blog once a week.  Some of the topics I look to cover are: profiting through suffering, why does God allow suffering, sharing my experience and much more!  If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me.  It is my hope that this blog serves as a source of inspiration to you whether you are currently on the mountain top or down in the valley.

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowski