Slide background
Bending To The Truth

More To Life

Taking A Byte Out Of Lies

More to life: three people share where they found fulfillment, acceptance, and purpose in life.

Have you ever felt there must be something more? Something beyond merely existing? The following are some straightforward accounts that offer opinions about real life and God's role in it.

More to LifeMore to Life: Fulfillment    by John G.
Maybe you've heard about the guy whose life goal was to climb a certain mountain. When he finally reached the top, he was terribly disappointed. There was nowhere else for him to go, and something was still missing in his life. It's like the pro football player who gets depressed after winning the Super Bowl.

My college experience was a lot like that. By my senior year, I had achieved everything that people were telling me would make me fulfilled -- being in a fraternity and other campus organizations, having lots of fun partying, making decent grades, and spending time with girls I was really attracted to.

Everything that I wanted to do and achieve while in college came to pass. And yet, when I got to the "top of the mountain," I was still unfulfilled. Something was still missing, and I had nowhere else to go.

Of course, no one knew I was feeling this way about life -- on the outside I didn't show it. Ironically, I sensed that many of the guys in my fraternity looked up to me. Maybe they wished their lives were more like mine. They didn't know how unfulfilled I felt.

There was, however, another group of guys in our fraternity. I called them "Bible-beaters." Even though I made fun of them and was always looking for reasons to condemn them, there was something about them I couldn't get over...they didn't seem to be missing anything. They seemed to have that real fulfillment I was looking for. They seemed to know the meaning of life.

The summer after my last year in school I was invited to a Bible study at a church. For some reason I went. I guess I was feeling more open to spiritual things than usual. When the guy started teaching from the Bible, I was astounded. "Hey, that stuff's right-on-the-money." I was awe-struck by how true the Bible was and how relevant it seemed to my life.

It was as if God was knocking on the door of my heart...but I still didn't want to let him in. I kept thinking about how my life would change and how my friends would think I was weird. I was scared. But the more I thought about it, the more God helped me to realize that entering into a relationship with him was the right thing to do. So I told him that I sincerely wanted him to come into my life.

What happened next is difficult to describe. I can only put it this way: I "met" God. And when I met him I discovered real fulfillment. I felt a wholeness I had never experienced before, as if an empty part of me deep down in my soul had been filled -- a wholeness that has been a part of my life ever since that day.

What I found out is that my experience was not unique. It's what Jesus Christ offers to do in anyone's life. He said (and still says), "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." Jesus offers us a relationship with himself.

Life still has its ups and downs, its disappointments, and struggles. But what gives my life meaning and makes it so satisfying is the real fulfillment I've experienced in knowing Jesus Christ.

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

  [by Robert C.]

When I was growing up, watching The Wizard of Oz on TV was like its own celebrated event. Maybe you remember the story. Dorothy leaves Kansas and crash-lands in Oz, where she conveniently kills the wicked witch and thus becomes an instant celebrity. All this homage and goodwill from the Oz residents, however, fail to fill her aching need: the desire to be home. But, fortunately, all Dorothy needs is a trip to see the Wizard...the wonderful Wizard of Oz. So, before she knows it, she's on a journey with three new companions in tow, growing in joyful expectation of meeting this great figure.

Remember what happens next? Instead of a kind and caring wizard, Dorothy and her friends are greeted by an angry, frightful voice that demands a near-impossible task for proving themselves: obtaining the wicked witch's broom.

So much for the wonderful Wizard of Oz.

After numerous, tumultuous ordeals, Dorothy and her friends are standing before the Wizard of Oz once again (this time with the broom) when Dorothy's dog, Toto, pulls back the curtain to reveal a kind, old man who is nothing like the bellowing Wizard.

When I was growing up, God, to me, was a lot like the Wizard of Oz. I thought he was mean and short-tempered and that he actually knew very little about me. The few images I saw of him in church as a child made him seem distant, other-worldly, unreachable. His death on the cross -- a constant image -- I understood as a great sacrifice, but one he seemed to do reluctantly. What really counted with him, I thought, was how well I behaved, and how well I lived up to his standards. If I was ever going to be accepted by him, I needed first to prove myself worthy. As you can imagine, God was not a great figure in my life. Wonderful was not a word I used to describe him.

Then, in my freshman year of college, all this changed. The curtain was pulled back. For the first time in my life, someone showed me in the Bible -- a book I'd always thought was full of a lot of smoke -- who God really was. He was not angry or mean -- just the opposite. He was loving and compassionate. He knew I was incapable of living a perfect life and of ever keeping his standards. So, out of his great love, he became that perfect human being and met those standards for me.

Jesus Christ, I learned, was not my example, he was my substitute. I wasn't supposed to imitate his suffering, but to take advantage of it. In his death on the cross -- which I discovered he did willingly -- my sin and my failures were judged. On the cross God demonstrated his great love for me. It was there he showed me how well he did know me. It was there he accepted me. As the Bible says, "God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Real acceptance, I discovered, lies in the someone new behind the curtain. I challenge you to pull it back and discover him for yourself, and to consider his offer of acceptance and forgiveness.

 

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
More to Life: Happiness    by Ron B.

Iwanted to be happy! That is until I found out what happiness really is. Happiness is a state of your circumstances. When life is going great and your "Happenings" around you are good, your happy. But Life is not like that. Things do not always go as planned. And many times, your best plans do not work out. Let's face it, Life is not "Happy".

That does not mean that I do not pursue Happiness, or pleasure, but I came to realize that it does not last. It's here for a moment, then gone. What about the rest of the time? Does this mean that life is only good when all my stars line up and the universe smiles on me occasionally?

When we were very young every story began with "Once a pond a time" and ended with "happily ever after". We longed for our love ones to read stories to us. We wanted to find out how the dashing prince would save the damsel in distress. Story after story would send us into a land far far away where we would meet strange creatures that would captivate our minds. We just did not understand just how captivated our minds could become.

When we grew older we found out that life was not always like this and our visions of happily ever after grew strangely dim. Disappointment after disappointment tragedy after tragedy clouded our vision, shaded our dreams, and finally closed our minds. Yet we longed for our dreams, we had visions of hope yet our minds were captivated by other things.. Is there a happy ever after?

When all our hopes and dreams are destroyed right before our eyes, when the vicious dragon of life has us in his claws, all seems lost. Do we see a knight in our horizon? A knight so in love with us that he will fight to the death for his beloved prize? I tell you the truth my friend there is such a tale. This is the tale of my life in the grip of the dragon. A tale of death, life, wounded hearts, broken dreams, yet in the middle of a lost hope a dashing knight that saves the day. Do you need a dashing knight to save the day for you?

Things seem to start out well for me. I was your clean cut mid seventies church kid. Wearing suit and tie, a bible under arm, and a lapel pin, which read, "God is love" I could be found most times in some sort of church activity, meeting with my chritian friends, or just being my happy self.

I was fourteen when a friend and I found a pornographic magazine on the roadside thrown out of a passing car. This was my first experience with any sexual material. I did not know while entertaining these new thoughts and desires gave birth to a creature, a creature we know as lust. It lurked inside of me yet I never even realized just what it was. I now call it a dragon. In many ways this lust behaves mush like a dragon. After giving birth to this dragon I quickly realized that it needed to be fed. That is a story for later.

It's A Cute Little Dragon

I really did not understand that the lies of this world were so indoctrinated in me that my little dragon on a leash was Ok. So, I fed it some more. Pretty soon the dragon was so big it was not I controlling the leash but he. It led me down some very dark and gloomy alleys. To shorten the story I was beaten, homeless, jobless, and just about as hopeless as a person could be. Oh, by the way, the dragon, still on the leash. Of course I was not "Happy"!

It was around this time in my life I questioned God, who by the way I felt let me down. I struggled to pull myself from this pit I found myself in. Many people passed by and looked in the pit and had "pity' for me but only one came down in the pit with me to help me out. He, by the way, was a Christian.

No, not so easy! I am not sure I believe this crap anymore. Look where it got me. So, I searched, I began a journey to Prove God's either real or just another fairy tale of disbelief. I wondered for some time looking into science, philosophy, and other, intellectual reasons why there was no God. For sure, I was not going down this path again unless I am positive that God is real.

The rest is history. The pages on this website have been the kind of evidence I found to prove to myself that God does exist. Each page here has been my steppingstone. I went through a crisscross of yes he does, and no he does not, before I came to this conclusion. But this still did not make me happy! Somehow I wanted more.

I guess it was the realization that now that I know the truth, I am somehow responsible for it. I was so amazed that I could actually have a relationship with this God of the universe. Not just knowing the truth, but the truth giver. That is when I realized that the meaning of life was completely resolved. I was not after happiness any more for I found joy! Joy far extends the realm of my happenings, and it goes into my soul and completes me. In other words a relationship with God completes me.

These things didn't occur just on one obscure, stormy day. It was a genuine two-way relationship with God that I was enjoying on a consistent basis, and still do. It wasn't because I became a saint, but because Jesus Christ will enter anyone's life who truly wants to know him and follow him.

There is a deep joy that comes in following God. Unlike anything or anyone else, knowing Jesus Christ has brought real purpose to my life.

More to Life: Purpose: Jesus Christ, The Dragon Slayer

Real life is a life filled with fulfillment, acceptance, and purpose. Not a life being controlled by "Your secret little dragons." I had been in distress, and He came to save the day. I found myself in a relationship with Jesus Christ. No one in human history has made the claims Jesus made and given such great proofs to back them up. He claimed to be God, to be able to forgive sins, and to be the only way through which we can know God the Father. Jesus backed up those claims through his resurrection from the dead. He is, truly, the most unique person who ever lived...much more than a great teacher.

The Bible says that Jesus was God who became man -- "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." He was "the exact representation of his [God's] being." In short, Jesus Christ revealed exactly what God is like. So how do we begin a relationship with him?

We don't begin a relationship with God by trying to be a better person. Trying harder to win God's approval is not the way he wants us to live. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone in which you had to try to win that person's approval? It's no fun.

God has such a genuine love for us that he himself provided the way for us to get close to him...but there is a problem. Currently, what stands in the way of us connecting with God is our sin (our dragons of self-centeredness shown by our anger, our hurtful words, our impatience, our selfishness, greed, etc.). If you've ever wondered why your prayers seem to go nowhere, that is why. Our sin has separated us from God, who is holy.

So what has God done so we can have a close relationship with him? Jesus Christ ("God in the flesh") took all of our dragons on his shoulders. while he willingly died on a cross. He took them to hell, slayed them there and then conquered the last dragon of death by His resurrection so we could be completely forgiven, completely acceptable to him, and be with him forever.

This is exactly what Jesus did for each of us on the cross. He made the great sacrifice of being beaten, humiliated, whipped and crucified on our behalf. He now asks us to respond to his sacrifice by inviting him into our lives.

More to Life: Knowing God

He wants us to know him and to experience his love, joy and peace. When we ask him into our lives, we receive his forgiveness, and we begin a relationship with him that's meant to last forever. Jesus said, "I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him (or her)."

If this is now the desire of your heart, the following is a suggested prayer (but the words aren't as important as the attitude of your heart):

Dear God, I confess that I have sinned against you. Thank you for taking all of my sin upon yourself on the cross. I want to receive your forgiveness. I want to enter into a relationship with you. I ask you to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. Please give me the real life that comes only from you.

To understand how to begin a relationship with Him, please see: Knowing God.

 

Also, Watch This Video
 
Why Do You Feel So Empty?

Imbeggar

IMbeggar is about finding new, different, creative, positive, entertaining, hard-hitting, and most importantly, accessible ways to talk about God (without being preachy, judge-y, didactic, sappy or boring… we hope). Whether you are part of the choir, on the fringe, angry-annoyed-fallen away, still searching, or just struggling to figure it all out like the rest of us… you're in the right place. We ask the questions we all ask, address the obstacles we all face, and present an opportunity to re-consider, or maybe even re-discover, God. The door is open, the choice is yours. See more about Imbeggar

  • Website
>>>>>>>>>>