Look, squirrel! - Distractions
Look, squirrel!

Not much effort is required in distracting me. I most often am distracted in one of two fashions. Number one being, out of the blue or random distractions, and the second being fixated or captivated distractions. Both forms endlessly battle for the steering wheel of my emotions, mind, and will. The devious culprit here recently has been more of the second. 

From a young age I have always had a difficult time remaining focused. As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD, which is a common attention deficit disorder in the United States. An overactive imagination was more of the terminology I preferred, nonetheless however, I had a problem. Medicine was recommended, and so I took prescriptions for the disorder most of my childhood and adolescence. The medicine helped tremendously, but I felt like a zombie day in and day out most of my school years. I grew agitated with it and finally was able to quit taking the medicine in my later years of high school. Of course, when I stopped taking the prescriptions I had a higher sensitivity to distraction; I was determined however to live without the medicine. I fared well and completed high school better than I expected.

I still struggle with being distracted, but not so much in the same manner as I did growing up. Since I have come to School of Discipleship, I have noticed the strategy of attack that distractions have assumed, has been more subtle and sneaky in its efforts. Often, it comes in simple everyday day distractions that evolve into unreasonable daydreams. For example, I may see someone working outside from the office window in the web department in which my cubical is placed. The distraction would first begin as a longing to be working in the beautiful sunshine. Once I give into the longing further, that’s when the simple distraction has grown into a head trip. Within minutes, I’m dreaming of a crop lavished farm, front porch sitting, a plain-jane white washed house, watching the sunset with my wife (non-existent at the moment) after fulfilling a hard day’s work. I’m telling you…all the works.

Like the example used, most of my distractions, here recently have a key element constantly present…my future. Anytime I’m deeply lost in a daydream, it’s concerning my future. I have come to the realization, that the enemy is working ever so diligently to bewilder me from what the Lord has for me at this present time.

As this year’s School of Discipleship class is coming to a close within just a few months, I asked God what His next plans were for me were. His answer…to simply trust Him in the everyday acts of obedience He desires of me. Upon feeling that this was all God’s answer was, I became perplexed; I wanted a more definite answer. Despite my own desire, this was the Lord’s plan, and still is. Reluctantly, I decided I would give it a shot. There was a problem however, I never gave up thinking about my future.


I began to look for everyday acts of obedience in which God prompted of me. With each day they came, some different, some the same every day. Something was not right however, I knew I was not doing what God was really asking of me, and that was to stop worrying about my future. As the days went on, I merely acted as if I never heard that command. Of course, in this disobedience it made it nearly impossible to be at peace with God. So, as the days carried on and on I became more and more distracted. The enemy threw every single concern of future my way. Things being a job, dreams and ambitions, and the most notorious distraction of all, for me at least…MARRIAGE. This one has always been a distraction for me, even as a kid. Romance is ever present in my mind; indeed, it is a strong burning desire. But God had His answer: “Stop worrying about your future and trust Me. Quit asking me what’s next. Focus on finishing your year and pursue Me and nothing else.”

Now its April, and farther and farther I have grown from the Lord. As I mentioned earlier in this paper, my School of Discipleship year is coming to a close…is this really how I want to finish it off, on bad terms with my Father? This is something I will have to allow Him to break me in. My advice to whoever may be reading this: be cautious of worldly distractions. We face them every day, and frankly, we will fall into them, we’re not perfect. However brothers and sisters, keep your eyes peeled for distractions big and small. Remember, the little ones can evolve into large ones as well. Pray constantly that God would make clear the distractions in your life and obey when He shows you. Pray for me too.   

Read an article by Dr. K.P. Yohannan about distractions.

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Jeremiah Seventeen Nine

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)

This verse used to make my skin crawl. If you would have asked me if I agreed with this scripture before coming to GFA School of Discipleship, I would have perhaps said something along the lines of “Well, it is the Word of God, but I don’t believe our hearts are bad. We should live free and pursue whatever our hearts’ desires are. Do whatever makes you happy!” Note–just because I admitted in this response that Jeremiah 17:9 is Scripture, does not result in my comments afterward being correct. The response I provided was absolutely deceitful! It literally stands in direct defiance of the verse, which is the Word of God! (more…)

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Dying To Yourself

When the ad for School of Discipleship says, “die to yourself for a year,” they sincerely mean that. Upon arriving here, the concept was presented to my intellect and I perceived that I understood the practice…goodness, was I wrong! Knowing a concept or ideology and establishing the principle in your day to day life, are two drastically distant stand points.

I considered myself an individual accustomed to sacrifice before I checked in at Gospel for Asia. I’ve always loved people and desired to help in any way I could, and if one is to genuinely help another, it requires sacrifice, most typically. However, I’ve been learning that sacrifice is not only reserved for our fellow man, but most ultimately to God.

Romans 12:1 says (NIV): “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” This ministry wholeheartedly embraces that verse! GFA is an organization dedicated to sacrificing and giving all to Christ. Upon arriving here, I was on fire for the Lord, and thought I was ready to embrace this lifestyle as well. As my first month proceeded, I slowly started losing my passion more and more. I became burned out and grew bitter toward sacrifice; not so much sacrifice unto others, but primarily sacrifice unto God.

The Holy Spirit began convicting me to relinquish loved things that I held dear. Things that are not good for my spirit, and that are harmful in my growth with Christ. Upon being convicted of this, I became angry with the Lord and refused to surrender them over to Him. My course of action was an undoubtedly horrid mistake; when I refused sacrifice, I became bitter toward my Creator.

man kneeling, praying, surrender, sacrifice

The reader must note that my goal in confessing all of this, is not to drive you away from School of Discipleship or Gospel for Asia, but rather to inform you that you will face tremendous amounts of personal sacrifice. You, as an individual must choose to relinquish dear things that the Holy Spirit convicts you to let go of. From personal experience, if you do not, the School of Discipleship program will increasingly become more difficult and you will feel trapped. Prepare yourselves brothers and sisters if you are considering coming here. If our Father has called you here, then follow His commands. This is a wonderful and blessed place to be and I highly recommend it! The program is excellent: marvelously prepared, and supremely taught, but it will not benefit you if you are not willing to die to yourself.

I’m currently struggling with a multitude of convictions; relinquishing them is immensely difficult, in fact I would dare say it is near impossible without the strength of our Loving God. As our Messiah told us “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV) (bold letters not in actual text).  If you feel that God is calling you to this wonderful ministry, then by all means come! However, brothers and sisters, prepare yourselves to sacrifice to the Lord. Dying to self hurts…that is why it’s called dying, but know that our Loving Father is using this necessary and painful process to benefit and bless your life here and in eternity!

– GFA School of Discipleship Student


Read about another GFA School of Discipleship student who was challenged to re-learn what it means to lay her life down.



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