Why write this book? That is a question that my friend and co-author David Hill asked me as we were thinking of writing a book together. Both David and I have our own personal reasons for writing, but one thing we do share is a love for God, people, and a love for the truth. For me personally, I have several reasons that I felt this book needs to be written and I will share those with you but first let me give you some background of the journey that has led me to where I am today.
There has never been a point in my life where I didn’t believe in God. Growing up in a small town in the south, the Bible-Belt, church was just a part of life. As a child I never even questioned the existence of God. My grandparents were Christians, my parents were Christians, so that meant my brother and I were Christians also.
As of this writing I am 45, and frankly for most of my adult life, I never doubted that there was a god. My family went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and occasionally on Wednesday nights. As I grew older and moved on to college, I still believed in God, but I didn’t attend church as much. Partially because I was playing baseball in college and we had games every Sunday in the spring. I don’t know what my excuse was during the rest of the year. Lazy?
In 1995 I married my wife, Nicki. For the first 4 years of our marriage we lived in South Carolina, and we attended church almost every Sunday morning. Very seldom did we attend on Sunday nights and never on Wednesday. We believed in God, and we were doing our duty to Him by going to church once a week.
Then in 1999, we moved to Kansas where I started a new career. In Kansas we went to church occasionally in the beginning and eventually settled on the church that we are members of now. We were the typical American church going family. In 2001 our first child was born and in 2006 our second child was born.
Most of what I knew about God was what I was taught by preachers, family, Sunday school teachers, and some other people. I had read many parts of the Bible. The stories about David and Goliath, Abraham, and other figures that are in the Bible I knew. Jesus dying on a cross, rising on the third day, and that he is coming back was something that I believed, and still do, but I didn’t know why. Preachers and teachers told us as kids to read the Bible, and I did read some out of guilt for not.
My faith had never been really tested until around 2008-09. These events are all documented in my first book, The Road to Complete Fitness, plus what led to the existence of Complete Fitness. For the first time in my life, I began to question what I believed. With the guidance of my pastor and friend, David Welsh, I started reading the Bible in earnest.
There are many details that I am leaving out of this for brevity so I can get to the points of why I wrote my part of this book. In 2014, along with two friends, I introduced the concept of Complete Fitness. Frankly it was just a name, but it became more to me than just a name, and now it is a mission.
For over a year and a half, I simply moved forward with Complete Fitness without knowing what I was really doing, yet I felt compelled to continue. Frustration set in because I wasn’t seeing any real progress although, we were able to help some people along the way. Sometime in 2016, when I was probably the most frustrated because I saw things that just didn’t make sense, and that’s when I met David Hill through a mutual friend.
My prayer dating all the way back to 2008-09 timeframe was to know Truth, and today I still pray for that. What I saw was solutions to many of the issues that we face in society today, yet they weren’t being done, especially by the church. Little did I know there was this guy that lived in the same town as I live that was doing something, and somehow I had never heard of it. His foundation was feeding thousands of people, helping sick children, fighting against the sex trade, and numerous things that you can look up at www.1spark.net. He, David, gave me hope and since has become a good friend and a partner in this mission.
Someone once told me when a verse of scripture is quoted. Then go back and see ifthe person that quoted the verse is using that verse in the proper context. His advice was to go one verse before and one verse after the quoted verse. If you still do not have the proper context, continue doing that until you do. What I learned was many verses or scripture, when taken out of context, can be used to manipulate. One of the reasons that I am writing this book is to take some of those commonly misused verses put them back into the context in which they were written. In doing this, I hope to expose those that are purposely manipulating others for personal gain. At this point, I do not plan on naming names because I want you to learn the truth, remove emotion, and let God lead you to the truth.
David nor I are perfect, so we ask first that you understand that. And, second that you test our words against scripture. Not because we are trying to pull a fast one, rather because we are only interested in the Truth. Even the Bereans in scripture tested everything that Paul taught them, and we do not claim to be Paul.
Another reason I’m writing what I write is to not only challenge you, but to challenge me. Jesus and the apostles that wrote the books in Scripture are pretty clear on how we are supposed to live. Things that are very hard and go against our human nature, yet Jesus perfected them all. He is our standard, and Jesus was and is perfect. I can never be perfect, but I’m given hope because the people written about in Scripture were not perfect either. Some were adulterers. Others were murderers, yet God used them in mighty ways, and He provided the perfect sacrifice for your sins and my sins.
Some will reject us, and I’m very aware of that, but some of you are thirsting for the truth. We hope to bless you through this writing, but more importantly we hope this is just the beginning of changing lives and creating a community that looks like and chooses to live as God meant for us to live. A life of Freedom!
The foundation of all that we write comes from the words of Jesus himself when he was asked by the religious leaders of his day, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
May God bless you and lead you to the Truth, and the “Truth shall set you free.” John 8:32