How's it going?
I go by the name Anthony, I am 25, and a graduate with a BFA in Screenwriting from Azusa Pacific University. I am also a member of a unique post-graduate program that seeks to hear, invest and serve those least reached/unreached throughout the world.
I have the privilege to be sent by GoCorps with an inspirational organization to North Africa for the next two years. I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity! In 2013, my passion to serve flourished because I pursued short-term ministry overseas in Kolkata, India - quickly understanding that although I’ve had access to Jesus my entire life, those who have been given just the smallest witness of faith in difficult places, their stories possess some of the most powerful experiences with our Lord and savior. God's grace certainly transforms people from every walk of life. To be humbled by the Lord while grasping His Word through these small ways overtime, I've grown to learn my own perspective just becomes so small. And yet, exceeding every experience, God has placed an overwhelming desire in my heart to love each person I encounter, especially street kids, showing them they are deeply loved and are worthy of that love. From vibrant students struggling with the alphabet in America, India, Mexico, and now North Africa, to elderly stumbling on the bus in places disregarding their stories, everyone matters.
My understanding of the Gospel is the irrevocable account of Jesus Christ. The Son of God, sent to the world to save us from sin through his sacrifice on the cross. As followers of Christ we can learn many lessons about the Lord’s vision for humanity through this account.
From scripture we can better understand the traditions Jesus put in place for Christians of today to follow. To understand that to be Christ-like is not a call to be Jesus, but to live as he did in prayer. Praying to our Father for wisdom when confronted by trials and temptations. We may then reason the choices for ourselves, having discernment between right and wrong, honor and shame, fear and power. Through these opportunities, we’re called to experience, or participate in a way that is God-honoring, giving Him the glory. This is where I believe the Great Commission is referenced in our lives. In order to make disciples of all nations is to first be a disciple and follow the commands Jesus has given to you. By obedience, we may teach or pass on this knowledge to those least reached and unknowing of it. This I can reference in 2 Corinthians 5.
To know me is to know I've struggled with the idea of perfection, it may come as no surprise to read the words, “to be Christ-like is not a call to be Jesus.” This was an idea I struggled with for a long time because I think this misconception is one of the most substantial dilemmas inhibiting western society today. I became aware of it by immersing amid eastern society. I believe when Jesus means for us to “make disciples of all nations” it is to participate and learn from other cultures to better discover where Jesus lives in their worldview. How else are we to love them? How else are we to express our personal relationship with Jesus when we have no way of forming more relationships with others? Western societies, from what I’ve experienced, can get hung up on the idea that to be Christian is to live perfect lives because Jesus is perfect. When in reality, living to become Jesus is to forget that He is our Savior, one of immeasurable power, and not merely an example to emulate. It is under His authority we are to reach out to others different from ourselves and to love them as He loves us.
The difficulty with western society is that most are aware of Jesus or have been reached in someway, and consider Him irrelevant. In eastern and middle eastern society, Christianity is not popular and is blocked by other religions with many people still left unreached, unknowing of Christ’s love, power, and grace. It is my hope to listen and understand these worldviews so that I may effectively communicate the Gospel in a way that pleases the Lord.
Be free to join me, through this blog, on this new Gospel venture!
In His Name,