Running With Christ…

This picture was taken at the New York City Marathon. I don’t know when, but it is striking, telling that no matter what Christ is right there beside you. What I like about this picture is that it is a physical representation of a truly spiritual aspect.

There are a wide variety of verses in the New Testament that share this sentiment such as the prominent one: Luke 9:23-24 which says,

“And He said to all, ‘If come would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (ESV).

And 2 Timothy 3:12-17:

“Indeed, all who desire to live a Godly life will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from who you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof (disapproval), for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (ESV).

And we must not forget about 1 Peter 2:21:

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps” (ESV).

These are just a few verses that say that if you choose this lifestyle (as a Christian), you will be persecuted for sticking up for Christ; look at Acts of the Apostles alone. You will see there that not only was Peter, John, Phillip, and Paul being persecuted (until physical death) but also just regular followers of Christ, like Stephen in Acts 6-7. Or more current, read or listen to “The Insanity Of God” where you will find that followers of Christ are currently being tortured for the name of Christ.

However, there is a more true, more current story that has yet to be written, completely. I am talking about the true story of myself. I know there are far better true stories of people overcoming far worse conditions than I had to overcome and still have to overcome. Just take look at some of the true stories in “The Insanity Of God”/”The Insanity Of Obedience”. However, what I am trying to do is make a every person that visits this website a true reason to continue on the set goal of us True Life Believers-that is “Running With Christ…

Now on to my true story: Early on, back when I was about 11-12 years of age, I decided I wanted to be one of the ones who would be taking it to the limit. In fact, to test my limits I decided to go roller skating. When I first began, I was a fumbling, falling down mess. But something inside me said you are going to master this as I went to “Spinning Wheels” every Saturday from 9-12 pm in Londonderry, NH. Sometimes, I would spend all-day there.

Like every roller skating rink that is around America back in the mid-1980’s, “Spinning Wheels” had an oval polyurethane floor that made it easy to slip on with roller skates. The first few times I went, it was torture to keep myself upright. Before long, however, I was able to keep myself steady with a pair of boots with death wheels attached to them. Yes, it took months of fumbling around before I became steady on my feet, and it took me a few more months to begin to try and roller skate backwards. Yet, by the time I started roller skating backwards, I had enough experience in skating frontwards that I was willing to give backwards a shot. Pretty soon, I was doing nothing but backwards. I remember weaving in and out around people at the rink. I even started to lift my leg with the other one just skating along. Those were the days.

Yet, my new attitude only did not affect my roller skating abilities, but it now affected my spiritual life. I knew God wanted it all-to “Take It To The Limit” as it were, not just a half-hearted effort into whatever you are doing. So, I started looking for ways to share the gospel, then it happened, nearly 2 years later when I was 14.

Searching my memory, I landed on a specific instance in which it happened that it affected my spiritual life. It was in 9th grade. Less than dreadful as grey clouds can sometimes be, grey clouds surrounded that September school day. It was right after school. The school had a make-shift basketball court, and I was shooting some hoops. Figuratively, the basketball came down like someone put cement in the ball instead of air in the ball. The feeling was ominous. Ever trying to decipher what I went through, God knew how to grab my attention, just like He does you.

See, I was praying that God would use me for about a year before the incident at the school happened. During that year prior to the incident at the basketball court, I was an active listener to overseas missionaries, inner-city youth pastors and leaders, etc. So, I decided the youth was where God was going to send me. And God played along with that until shortly after my high school graduation and eighteenth birthday. During those playing along years that God allowed me to go through, I achieved multiple recognitions and awards for preaching 5-minute sermonettes that were directed at the youth. God was preparing me for what I had to face. I knew that I was going to a Christian college to become a youth pastor from the age of 14.

However, God had different plans for my life. Proverbs 20:24 says this,

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How can anyone understand their own way? (NIV)

Well, I was about to find out in a big way what the Lord Almighty had in store for me. Twenty-five days after my high school graduation and eighteen days after my eighteenth birthday (when you become an adult in the USA), I fell asleep at the wheel just working the night-shift as an unarmed security guard. I should have been dead but wasn’t. No, no, no the Lord had different plans for me. But had I known beforehand, I would have changed my actions before June 28, 1989.

See, that was the day I was overtired and driving (not something I encourage anyone to do) on the highway with absolutely beautiful granite ledges that they tore through in order to make the highway. I crashed into one of the granite ledges that surrounded the highway and instantly put me into a coma for one month with my whole right side paralyzed. That left me with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

One of the doctors assigned to my case said that rarely does anyone see a complete recovery from this type of injury. He said that I would be “lucky” if I progressed any further. Howeverr, through prayers to of Almighty God of much more than my family, I woke up out of the coma.

Although I was out of the coma, I still had a hard and long way to go. For Matthew 7:13-14 says,

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. For the gate is narrow and hard that leads to life, and those that find it are few” (ESV)

Remember that prayer I prayed to my Daddy outside this world? The prayer that said I would do anything to proclaim His Word back when I was just 13-14 years of age? Yeah, that prayer. I almost protested to God, but thankfully I didn’t. Instead, I eventually accepted it nearly 3 weeks into my rehabilitation process, and thus began my process of physical and spiritual rehabilitation.

It has been over 30 years since that almost fatal car accident, and 37 years since I prayed that original prayer of dedication of taking it to the limit. I remember that prayer of dedication to the Lord Christ Jesus, only to be resaid during my stay at the rehabilitation hospital. To say that my life has been easy is a misnomer. I struggle with a limp, slowness of speech, expressive aphasia (think of it like you know what you want to say but are prevented from saying it), and all about slowness in this fast-paced world. Yet I was looking for verses that showed us True Life Christians exactly how we are supposed to live and operate in this broken-down world. This is when I found this verse: 1 Peter 2:21 and it goes like this-

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. (ESV)

Now, nearly 31 years after my accident, I am trying to evangelize the disability world. However, don’t think of “the disability world” as those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a wheelchair. For instance, I am not in a wheelchair. It comprises much more than that. You have your physical disabilities, your cognitive disabilities, your emotional disabilities, and also spiritual disabilities for those who haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Rather, God wants perfection in His Kingdom, and by accepting His Son you will have perfection when you physically die.

So, if you are a True Life Christian, you will identify with me in being frustrated at there are so few websites that tell the truth about serving God. It is a farce that God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, and wise here on this earth. For only God contains true wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19). Rather, be like the ones in Acts that said the continuous prayer to be bold in the face of opposition (Acts 9:27) and continue “Running With Christ…

“Running With Christ” ~Kacey

“I Will Run (The Race Set Before Me)~Misty Edwards

~ Darren L. Beattie (sole author)

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected” By Nik Ripken

“… Seven of us-three western believers and those four local believers- met at a prearranged time in a privacy of an abandon shelled-out building in the heart of Mogadishu. Each of us coming alone from different directions. Once we gathered and affectionately greeted one another, my friend led in a time of prayer and fellowship. We shared a light meal together, then as Jesus’s followers have done for almost 2000 years, we shared the Lord’s supper in remembrance and celebration of Christ’s willing and the sacrificial death on the cross in our place and atonement for our sins.”~Nik Ripken

“Sea Of Faces” ~Kutless

“Cold-Case Christianity” By J. Warner Wallace

“The Reliable Bible: In the end, it all comes down to the reliability of these accounts. When I was a non-believer, I heard Christians talk about the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible… I examined these concepts in-depth and in seminary many years later. But as I first read the accountsof the Gospels, I was far more interested in evaluating their reliability as eye-witness accounts than in their inerrancy as divine communcais (communication).”~ J. Warner Wallace

“Reliable” ~ Jimmy D Psalmist

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected”

“… My Somali chief-of-staff and my right-hand man (Omar Aziese) became a dear and trusted friend. He was one who was street-smart and compassionate individuals I had ever known. One day, he came into the office weeping. I did not know what had happened or how I should respond in a culturally appropriate manner. I did what seemed natural. I waited out his tears. He soon wiped his eyes and told me why he was so upset.

He had been on an errand, walking down the street in his own neighborhood when he spotted a malnourished woman sitting in the shade of a small tree, leaning against the trunk nursing her baby.

Omar Aziese greeted her as he walked by. She had returned a smile but her baby never stopped eating. When Omar finished his business and returned the same way (less than an hour later), he noticed the same peaceful seen: the same woman under the same tree with the same baby in the same pose. But as he strolled by this time, he heard the baby whimpering. He glanced in that direction and sensed something was wrong. The tiny child cried and squirmed in its mother’s arms, but the woman seemed oddly still. For just a moment Omar assumed the woman was asleep. As he stepped over, however, he realized the truth. In the time that he had since walked down the stateet, the young mother had died.”~Nik Ripken

“Missions Talk: Nik Ripken, ‘The Insanity Of God’ Episode 1.2”

“Cold-Case Christianity” By J. Warner Wallace

“The Apostles saw themselves as a group of eye-witnesses. …As I read through the Book of Acts, the Apostles repeatedly identified themselves as eye-witnesses and called upon their testimony as the foundation of all their preaching and teaching. In Peter’s very first sermon at Pentecost, he told the crowd that the disciples are all witnesses of the fact of the resurrection (Acts 2:32).”~J. Warner Wallace

“Dr. Peter Williams ~ New Evidences The Gospels Were Based On Eye-Witness Accounts”

“The Resurrection Of Jesus (The Historical Evidence) ~ Inspiring Philosophy

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected” By Nik Ripken

“… Somewhere, even today, there are a few Somali’s who still believe that Elvis was a singing relief worker, very much alive and well in the early 1990s in Mogadishu. When I finally had sometime to consider what had happened in those few moments, I had concluded that I had observed one of the most impressive demonstrations of Jesus’ love that I had ever seen.”~Nik Ripken

“If Paul Gave A TED Talk | Acts 17:16-34″~ (preacher unknown)

A Unique View Of The Explanation By Jesus Of The Parable Of The Farmer And The Seeds (Who Knew That This Parable Was Speaking About The Church?)

“Hear then the parable of the sower (farmer/planter): When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on the rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures it for a while, but when trials or tribulation arises on account of the Word, immediately he falls away. As for what falls among the thorns, this is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes undruitful. As for what was sown in good soil, this is the one who hears and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another case sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:18-24 ESV).

The first reading of this parable, Jesus was explaining the parable to His disciples explaining why those who reject the message of this parable of the Farmer (Sower) and the Seeds. However, a little bit of change in perspective is needed here if we are going to get the TRUE LIFE meaning of what Jesus said. Let me break it down for all of us.

Christ explains that seed that fell down on the rocky ground took on instantaneous growth in that the seed (people) accept the Truth of Jesus Christ readily, yet when trial or persecution comes because of the Word of Jesus Christ, they immediately wither and fall away. Maybe because the way that it is written (because it is), rather I always thought that this could never be inside the church, the local gathering of believers in the way of Christ. Nevertheless, TRUE LIFE CHRISTIANS have a duty to spot this trickery inside the church as well.

Even Jesus had the same problem. You can see it all through the Gospels. Fallen church people has the same problem of getting excited for a while, and they appear as they are all on-board with the mission of the church. However, something happens, like a necessary surgery that God won’t heal instantaneously, or a personal financial situation that God won’t take care of, or you get sick of going to your local church with the perception of God not caring because you don’t see Him evident in your life. You start to speak to yourself, justifying your actions of missing church. It is our duty to watch out for these things, especially among oneself.

Another example was in Jesus Christ’s 3-year ministry. Although Jesus Christ was perfect and could have picked the “perfect” Apostles, He would have never died if He did. Instead, like everyone of us, God the Father has chosen to give each human being free will. For the same goes for choosing the 12 Apostles. Judas Iscariot, the only one of the 12, to sell out for a measly sum of money Jesus Christ. I am pretty positive that Judas Iscariot was just like any other of the other 11 Apostles when Jesus Christ first met them. However, the evils of riches finally overtook Judas. Three years of following Jesus around, staying in uncomfortable places, with uncomfortable people, sleeping in rocky places, seeing miracles that fallen human knowledge can’t understand, and finally the hard teaching of communion (which on the surface {to the fallen human ear} seems like He is teaching cannibalism of His own body as found in John 6:22-71). Please don’t let the spirit of Judas Iscariot overtake you, especially not among the local believers in the way of Christ Jesus (the church); for He knew one of the twelve was a devil (John 6:70-71).

As for what falls among the thorns, this is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. This is where us local believers in the way of Jesus Christ have got to be careful on how we interpret this vital part of the explanation of Jesus Christ’s words. After seeing this in action over several local churches I have been a part of, Jesus is primarily talking about a warning about those who say they got saved, but worries in their life keep them from producing “fruit.” I almost was caught up in this several times because I was more concerned over not enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month. It wasn’t until I continuously gave it up to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit that I received peace about that situation.

Another situation early on in my life, took place when I just celebrated my high school graduation and my eighteenth birthday. Shortly after that (18 days after my eighteenth birthday, 25 days after my high school graduation) my car crashed into a granite ledge, forever changing my life. After suffering an almost fatal car accident in which I incurred an open traumatic brain injury, I spent a month in a coma. As soon as I woke up, they sent me to a rehab hospital. In a fog where everything was not clear to me, I was sent to the head psychiatrist. His assessment of me was not good. In my hospital room, it took two to three weeks later that I prayed that the Lord God take me out of this. Yet I was confident that It was all an extended dream, so I promised that I would serve Him no matter what. My prayer, that night, however, did not get answered in the way I was expecting; yet God did answer my prayer because I tagged a promise on the end of it- “I would serve Him no matter what.” Although God had delivered me and gave me miraculous healing. Still, He left me with a variety of issues that I would have to get closer to Him in order to make sense of it all. For I could have worried about all my personal cares of this world, how my life would never be the same as it was pre-accident; several years after that near fateful day, I indeed try to do that-seeking, God, in prayer. I could not tell you how many times I sought the Lord in prayer because it was a lot.       

“…the deceitfulness of riches… I always thought that this didn’t apply to me because I was never going to be rich; however, just worrying about money to pay for things you legitimately need is sin. For the people that go to the local church, most of them are in the same boat. They worry about making their house payment, rental payment, car payment, utilities, etc… I can go on and on. Then time comes for church. The people that go to the local church are inendated with other bills that they can hardly see where the money to go to the local church will come from. So, either they don’t give, or they give a little amount to satisfy the social pressure. Our family was caught in this too, but 5-6 years ago, we decided to trust God with our money. I happy to say that we are giving much beyond our 10 percent.

“What falls among the thorns…” The thorns are the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” for they “choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.” I beg of you, do not let this happen to you or any other True Life Christian! Jesus talks about the Vine in John 15:1-17.

In the first verse of this passage, Jesus says He is the True Vine, and His Father is the Vinedresser. And He says in the second verse, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He (the Vinedresser) takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.” Yet Jesus says it more than once in this short little passage-“Abide in Me (Jesus), and I in you” lest something happens and you will be lost caring more about the things of this world and less on Jesus Christ that you ultimately forget Him.

Please don’t be caught on the wrong side as it pertains to “A Unique View Of The Explanation By Jesus Of The Parable Of The Farmer And The Seeds (Who Knew That This Parable Was Speaking About The Church?)

“The Parable Of The Sower Song” ~(unknown artist)

“Abide With Me” ~Matt Redman (2015 New Worship Song)

~ Darren L. Beattie, BA, MSHS

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected” By Nik Ripken

“… We also continued efforts to establish 5 feeding centers in and around Mogadishu. Our team distributed food for 10,000 people each day at each center. …Most of the people we helpd were actually refugees who had flooded in from the countryside because of drought. They had no jobs, no money, and no resources. They slept in abandon buildings, make-shift tents, and hodge-podge shelters.”~Nik Ripken

“Hunger” ~David And Nicole Binion

Isaiah 58:10

“Cold-Case Christianity” By J. Warner Wallace

“… But when I read through the Gospels and the letters that followed them, it appeared clear that the writers of Scripture identified themselves as eye-witnesses and viewed their writings as testimony.”~J. Warner Wallace

“Testify”~ Social Club Misfits ft. Crowder