Breaking a Heart of Stone

Today on my way back to Memphis, I saw an exit for Hidden River Cave in Kentucky. Curious, I decided to pull off to check the place out.

When I got there, I quickly realized God was using this experience as a metaphor for my life.  You see this wasn’t just any old river.  This was a river that was found deep within a cave.  As I descended the nearly 200 steep steps towards the entrance of the cave, my eyes were gazing at the exposed rock from a sinkhole back in the 1800s. It made me realize that this is how my heart was.

It was layered with such a deep layer of limestone rock that seemingly nothing could penetrate.  As I walked down the steps, I sound of a running river became louder and louder. As I reached the bottom and looked up, I was amazed that this river was still flowing despite on the years of limestone that was built above it. You see the source of water came from deep within.

How often in life do we live like this?  We know God wants to be good to us, but we continue harden our hearts when we here His voice. Why do we do that? Are we simply afraid of allowing such close intimate relationship with God into our lives? For me, the answer was yes.  The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to break through any stone that is remaining in my heart.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that we are covered in Your love and grace.  Your love and grace can break through any limestone we have built around our hearts. Lord Jesus, send the power of the Holy Spirit to penetrate our heart  and fill us with a source of living water within us.  Have it not lay deep underground so that no one can see it.  Have it flow like the Mississippi River and bring healing to everyone who encounters you. Blow through the caverns of of souls to overflow. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Check the video around 8:25 mark for the steps that lead down to Hidden River

The God of Restoration

Some people have a view of God that God wants to only take from you. “Why would I want to give tithe and give 10% to God?” “Why did God allow me to be unemployed?”  “Why did God take my health from me?” These are some questions that I commonly here. Listen up.

If God is in the process of taking from you, he also is the God that will restore the very thing you thought you may have lost.

How many times have I heard stories of being people giving to God, and being blessed financially and any many other ways? You cannot out give God. Period.  How many times have I heard stories of people of losing their job to obtain a better career that has more meaning to their lives? How many times have I heard stories of losing their health, to only have it restored? Countless is the answer.  Praise God, He takes away meaningless jobs!

Job 42:10 states”And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

You see the Book of Job is not about a blameless man that suffers for no reason.  It is story about a man that lost everything to gain everything in his earthly and heavenly lives. It is a story that is still relevant in 2015.

In many ways, I feel like a Job.  I thought I had it all, the money, the house, the friends, the resources, etc. In reality I had nothing.  I didn’t have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  I was a lukewarm Christian, which is a dangerous place to be in life (probably a blog post for a different date).

Like Job, I had to recognize that God is God and He can do what He wants in a person life.  As my bank account dwindles towards zero, I can’t help shake the feeling that God is about to do something that is about to do something awesome in my life. And not just financially.  In fact, I have more peace about my financial situation than I ever did when I was just hoarding my money.

God takes away from people, but He is also in the business of restoration.

Prayer: How grateful we are Father that you don’t take from us without the promise of restoration.  Thank you in advance for restoring lives, relationships, finances, and everything else.  You are the Provider.  You are the vine, while we are merely a branch.  Help us to draw closer to You in ways we could never imagine.  I pray in the power of the Holy Spirit that there is a spiritual awakening across this land.  Guide people to seek You and to find You. In Jesus name. Amen.

Be Selfish for Yourself

The word selfish has a negative connotation to it. It could describe a person that is self-centered and is only worried about themselves.

This is not what I am going to talk to you about today. I’m going to talk to you about being selfish for yourself so that you can be of service to others. You see it was in the hospital last year when I heard that phrase and decided to run with it.

To me it meant how could I truly help someone while something wasn’t right with me.

Matthew 7: 3,5 state, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! First pull the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye?

I love the strong language that Jesus uses. First he states that your brother only has a speck in their eye, while you have a plank (imagine a 2 by 4!) in your eye! I believe Jesus uses such strong language because often we go through life not aware that there is a plank in our eyes. I know this was the case for me.

I had such a judgmental mind of who I believed could “help” me get better. My early thinking was that the person must have a PhD and must be a Christian. What a plank I had in my eye! As my judgments started to melt away, I noticed how much I had limited myself.

I can remember my last therapist in Atlanta was a Buddhist and how there was no way I could work with her.  It’s like a heard God say, “Trust me Marc. This is the perfect person for you right now” Boy was God ever right! You see it was this person that taught me how to love myself for the first time. Because of that experience, I have been so much more open to help. I’m so thankful that plank is out of my eye now!

It’s Harvest Time Part 2 (Grace vs. Shame)

Friday, I began the process of letting go the fear of death through a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).  EMDR is known for being the equivalent of 12 sessions of talk therapy.  Towards the end of session, the leader asked us to imagine the doors in the back of the room were opening and asked us who we saw.

I saw Jesus and I started bursting into tears.  It was a catharsis moment that I had been waiting for so long. The next 24 hours took their toll on me.  You see this was the fear and shame I have been hanging on for so long.  The process is now under way of burning these weeds in my life.

Saturday afternoon, there was a deep root of shame in me..  You see I have a very critical inner voice that questions nearly every move I make “Should I of made that purchase?” “Should I of said that?” “Did I do this the right way?”

Now I know on a rational level, I can’t continue to live a shame-based life. However, my emotional mind hasn’t caught up yet.  I can quote from Romans 8:1 all day which states, “There is now no condemnation for those in Jesus Christ.” But it doesn’t stop the inner critic in my head.  I look forward to removing that shame in the coming weeks and replacing that with grace.

You see shame says that love is conditional.  It can be based on performance or achievement.  Grace says, “Ok Marc, you had a tough 24 hours.  It’s ok that you did and it makes perfect sense based on the facts of the day.  I love you anyways. I love you when you are at your best and I love you when you are at your worst.”

Grace is ultimately how God sees each and everyone of his children.  You could make the worst decisions for the rest of life and God would say, “I love you anyway my son/daughter.”.

Side note for my future wife, if we have two daughters, their names have already been picked out. Joy Kutylowski and Grace Kutylowski.

Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for sending Your son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.  Thank you that Your love is not conditional.  You paid our sins debt in full.  Thank you for replacing our shame with grace.  We love you Lord in Jesus name. Amen.

Fundraising Update: Thank you so much for your financial support to support my 6 week stay in Memphis.  Just in the first week, you helped to raise over $1,160!  Thank you!  You can continue to donate at the “Fundraiser” link at the top of the page.

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.

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

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