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Sermon Outline - Sharing My Testimony

Monday, March 11, 2019
SCM Message
- It’s good to be here in SCM chapel.
• Transformational process of students.
- My relationship with the school is not just an academic one…
• PT calls. Job offer.
• Like I said, I came here to teach filmmaking
• Passionate about training up the next gen of storytellers.
Tell Me Your Story
- My intro courses and introspection exercises.
• Looking back on our SCARS.
• Learning to create from the inside out. Our SCARS help us understand our life and
the type of STORIES we are qualified to tell.
• I have them write out their stories. Helps me understand them better.
• “We all know as adults that our stories impact the decisions we make today as
adults. And sure enough they usually start somewhere in elementary/middle
school and they walk me through they’re journey which is often a journey of
mistakes, of failure, of overcoming obstacles both intellectually, emotionally, and
physically. Whether it was coming from a happy home or a dysfunctional home but
whatever their story was it impacted why they chose to come to Emmanuel. And
that’s why I absolutely love getting to sit with them and hear what it is they’ve been
through and why they feel God lead them here.”
- Running into Dr. Luper.
• Late for class. Funny story. “Can you share your story? “I know that trick.”
• Never forget, “I look forward to hearing what the Lord lays on your heart.”
• “Can I do this myself? No one has ever asked me to tell them my story? Can I
share my story? And would anyone really want to hear it?”
Monday, March 11, 2019
- Our stories DEFINE and EMPOWER us.
• What dawned on me is that “a story that is untold can’t help anyone.” And as I sat
in my office and thought about that idea: “If you never learn how to tell your story
it’ll never connect and will never have the potential to help someone who might be
able to relate to it.” So I began to type it out and if I where going to share my story
to a student, a family member, a friend, or even a crowd what would I say? Where
would I even begin? What would I want them to know?
• My hope in sharing my story. “I can relate to that feeling he had. I can relate to that
experience he had in his younger years… I may not be able to relate but I
understand his thought process.
• My hope is that every single one of us can look at one persons story and say I
have a story too. Maybe I haven’t told my story. Maybe I’ve been too ashamed to
tell my story. Maybe I haven’t felt too courageous enough to actually open up and
say “this is me.” But the reality is we all know we’ve been CAST into this great role
of life and that there is something more for each of us and we’re all playing just a
small part in a much great story and that each of us have an individual story that
connects to a greater story. And maybe the 1st STEP to us being able to truly
realize our potential is being able to say “what’s my story? How can I be able to
tell it?”
Chapter 1: The Scars of Divorce
- Not a story of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
• Ordinary guy from Athens. What Athens is best known for.
• Essentially my mother had two boy… Sure enough my parents got divorced…
• And a week later, as my mom drove off… a father I barely knew. I was afraid of.
- My most memorable SCAR.
• Witnessing my father physically abusing my mother.
• Not the images that still haunts me… the calmness of my father.
• That’s a SCAR. And when a child sees something like that what that scar has the
potential to tell you… is that when you see your father commit acts of violence you
come to believe those same acts are possible in you. And they are and that’s
scary. But when you hold your father’s acts of violence up against your heavenly
Monday, March 11, 2019
father’s acts of love… you begin to come to believe that those same acts of love
are possible in you. And they are and that’s hopeful.
- Some time later my father remarried.
• A woman he was having an affair with… came with a new brother.
• What we had in common was one thing… working for my father.
- The look of REMORSE on my father’s face. Not ANGER or INDIFFERENCE.
- Ankle SCARS remind me 1. that I nearly lost my feet which could have altered
the course of my life from that point forward… 2. That a boy/girl never stops
craving their father’s love. All the more so when we are in the midst of pain.
Chapter 2: The Latch Key Kid Makes Friends
- There I was in this house with these strangers that I barely knew. Familes don’t
look like this. So I began looking for family in other places… FRIENDS.
• No friends means you gotta make them.
• The Latch Key Kid. Defintion: A child (usually younger like age 7-13) who comes
home (usually from school) to an empty house and is left unsupervised and to fend
for themselves until someone older comes home to watch over them. This is
usually done for 2-4 hours. This name/phrase originates from the latchkey of a
door because the child is often given the responsibility/privilege/burden of carrying
a key to the house around with them (even in school). The key is typically worn
around the neck or kept in a hidden area of the book bag but is also sometimes
hidden under a door mat of the house, or in some other hidden location near the
• Funny: “You got any kids in that house.” FEAR of being ALONE. Hard to avoid
when your father moves you to different schools. Have to start all over again.
- Sure enough we moved to Oconee County in 5th Grade.
• Getting off the bus my first day of class… walked 3 STEPS… froze. Car riders. I
remember thinking, “Why not me? Why can’t I have that?” Head down and walk.
• Fight with Luke “Hey new kid. What’s wrong with your legs? Twigs?” Karate Kid.
Monday, March 11, 2019
• Meeting John Smith. “Standing up to the most popular kid in school.”
• Word spread of me standing up to Luke I became apart of the popular crowd.
- Luke and I became friends… secretly.
• Word had gotten around among the parents… new kid. Family situation. Divorced
family. Troubled kid like to fight.
• And I knew it. And I remember thinking, “I’m different.” It was the first moments in
my life that I realized I was different.
• My parents were one of the first families in that area to get a divorce. I used to get
teased about that. I remember one day… Johnny story. “At least my parents…”
• And I processed Johnny’s words that night lying in bed and I processed them
through the absolutely brutal years of middle school all the way into high school.
But I always had an outlet… because remember I couldn’t stand being alone. And
one of those outlets was… sports.
Chapter 3: Sports Covers All SCARS… Or So You Think
- I played every sport when I wasn’t working for my father.
• Looking into the stands.
- Football: score touchdowns.
- Baseball: hit a home run.
- Basketball: nail a three pointer.
- I remember thinking after we’d win the game that “I just can’t win.”
• Waiting late. Asking for rides.
- I was at football practice my sophomore year. All my teammates and friends
had started to get bigger… Oklahoma.
• Looking into the mirror all I saw was skin and bones.
• Oklahoma story.
• I just QUIT that day. Quit all sports. Quit trying. Quit caring. Quit fighting. Quit
hoping for something more. Accepted the path that life seemed to be driving me
toward… a state of being obsolete. Unused. Neglected.
Monday, March 11, 2019
• And when you start to feel neglected… like there’s no one there and you actually
BELIEVE that… you will do anything to fill that void. Sex. Drugs. funny here.
anywhere for anyone/thing to tell us otherwise. So I found friends who felt the
same way as me. Friends from broken families.
Chapter 4: Friends in Low Places
- To compensate for those feelings we… PARTIED.
• Evolution of drugs.
- By age 15, first experience with alcohol.
- Age 16, smoked my first joint.
- Age 17, first hit of ecstasy.
- Age 18, crack and heroine. Not directly but in pill form.
• And I did it everyday for the next 4 years. I remember one day when I was 18 and
working construction, smoked a joint 5 times that night. This period in my life I was
getting high up to 8 times a day.
- My senior year, my father and step-mother left for a 1 week vacation. “Don’t
have a party.”
• Known for throwing extravagant parties.
• Taken to jail and bailed out by my mother.
• Kicked out of homes (father… mothers)
• And just like that I was homeless. Couch to couch. Finally landed with 5
roommates and we partied all the way untilI was 21.
Chapter 5: Finding God In The Basement of Life
- As you’ve probably guessed I wasn’t raised in a Christian home.
• My only experience of church (Catholic and Pentecostal)
• But before I was kicked out my step-mother had given me a Bible. Bible Story.
Never read anything. Barely graduated.
Monday, March 11, 2019
- Moving out God answered my questions with a preacher.
• John Smith again.
• Real family.
• A call to preach is a call to prepare.
• Still carrying this weight… the drugs and the addictions had went away but the
holes they were intended to cover were still there.
Chapter 6: Grace Deeper Than Your Scars
- After I graduated I found myself right back where I had started and became
depressed. So depressed I didn’t talk.
• Given a book “The Gift of Being Yourself.”
• Meditation story. “I know your parents never would have…” “I know you’re alone.”
• I know you have SCARS but my GRACE is deeper than your SCARS.” And he was
reminding me of how he brought me to him. No preacher brought me to Jesus. No
parent. No friend. Just me and His word. And he was reminding me of that in my
meditation and prayer.