Miracles Require Faith

I just heard something intriguing that I wanted to share with y’all. In “third world” countries such as Africa, Brazil and India they seem to experience divine miracles almost on a daily basis…..why is it then that the western world, why America doesn’t see these types of miracles take place as commonly? The simple answer is that we have 911.

We have a safety net and when something goes wrong our first instinct is not to turn to God with everything we have, but to pick up the phone and tangibly call someone to help us. These other countries don’t have 911, the only option they have is to turn to God with everything they have. The reason these countries see the divine hand of God working in miraculous ways so often is because He is all they have….He is there only help….He is there only hope.

What if we were able to adopt this thought/faith process? We are so blessed to have 911 but if we were to seek God with everything we are….imagine the movement of the Holy Spirit that would take place in our country, just imagine.

In our lives, in our troubles there is only One who can help us, and He’s the One that took our place! Let’s turn to God first and show this country the reality and the power of God!
Written by: Justin Ludwig

Passion and Hate

There is a thin line between love and hate….

Love consumes, so does hate

hate festers

Love does also

They both birth joy, fear, hope, safety and protection…..rage.

…..what is the line?

If the mind distorted by hate sees an action as best for the other, then where is the line?

People like me tend to hurt the ones they love, so it isn’t a matter of caring….

What’s the line?

I bet each answer would be different.

I used to believe self sacrifice was the deciding factor…but I’d give my life to take the life of one I hated.

There is a word……a hybrid word that I feel is the only real answer…..passion.

The real question is, what is your passion and why? If we seek that question, perhaps then we will discover the line that is too thin to truly understand alone.

Be blessed and love well my friends

Confession of a Dead Man 

I spent my whole life taking…..

I think that harsh truth fuels my urgency to love in action. I spent most of my life serving myself. With a combination of self loathing, whispers from the enemy, and a haze from whatever I happened to be addicted to at the time, I was able to to ignore what I was, a bad person. A man completely consumed by sin.

I lied, cheated and stole indiscriminately. It didn’t matter if it was my mother or a stranger, I would manipulate them for my selfish needs, and when manipulation didn’t work I would just take. I was emotionally and at times physically abusive. I lied constantly, cheated and schemed for a living and I was okay that….. this is the confession of a dead man.

Once Christ came into my life my eyes suddenly were opened to my condition. Suddenly my heart wept over the thoughts of the things I had done…. I still cringe at some of these memories that I used to be okay with… I cringe at the thought that I was even okay with it. I suddenly was unable to bear the sight of my selfishness, my destructiveness….my sinfulness.

These thoughts of my past didn’t and don’t make me feel ashamed, because I am brand new. All of a sudden I had a desire to love…. to go out of my way for strangers and a need to want to make people’s lives better, not worse.

This is what God does to every single heart He touches. God is love, and when He touches us, we can’t help but respond.

Be the blessing and love well, because when we love God is present. God bless

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
-1 John 4:12

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone and the new is here.”- 2 Cor 5:17

Written by: Justin Ludwig

How Can a Good God Let so Many Bad Things Happen?

How can a good God let so many bad things happen?

This is probably one of the most common questions I have heard from not just non believers but believers as well. There is an answer to this question and I wanted to share it in the hopes that it will give someone a response when they are asked… or perhaps you are wondering this yourself. When we as Christians are asked such questions it is important for us to be prepared to defend what we believe with love and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

The answer is this, God gave us free will because He desires a love relationship with us, that’s it. It says in 1 John 4:8 that “God is love”…. everything God desires for us and from us is all rooted in love.

Without evil, one cannot choose good. To make us incapable of choosing evil, God would have to eliminate free will. If He eliminated the ability to choose then we would be incapable of love….and love is everything God wants from us.

So the question is why could God let this happen…. He wanted us to simply choose to love Him. Our choices as humans have brought us to this point, not God. Men chose evil over love, but they have the choice. This is a hard truth because what this means is that the innocent suffer right along with the evil….so many specific and personal scenarios, it doesnt seem fair. But we have to choose what we believe, God is either good or He isn’t.

Choose love, because it’s the entire point. Choose to trust Him, because He is trustworthy.

Be blessed and love well.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”  Peter 3:15

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:8


Written by: Justin Ludwig

Only Jesus Satisfies 

I have chased a fix my whole life. From drugs, women to cutting myself, you name it. My whole life I was longing for something…. maybe some of you can relate. I didn’t feel right…  there was something missing and I just couldn’t satisfy that longing….. I didn’t know what it was that was missing, so I searched, and it damn near killed me

On my journey looking to fill an emptiness I didn’t understand, I discovered the Truth. And the truth is what I was longing for was God, and I didn’t even know it. In fact Jesus was the last thing I thought I wanted.

I have lived a crazy life; experienced the spectrum of emotions, highs and lows to a sickening degree and I am here to tell you that there is no better high….no experience greater than being in His presence and feeling His love. I’ve chased every fix and Jesus is the only thing that truly satisfies.

Don’t let the enemy deceive you… don’t let the illusion of worldly satisfaction distract you, it’s all a lie. Chase Jesus with everything you are and you will see for yourself.

He will complete you in ways you didn’t think possible.

“For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” -Ps 107:9

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

When Opinions Overshadow Compassion

We are not our politics, our social status or our country…. we are human beings.

When tragedy strikes it seems I see and hear countless comments of blame and claim but very little mourning for the lost of the innocent. Being completely real with you I have been guilty of this in the past on more than one occasion, maybe some can relate. When we get swept up in the politics of a tragedy instead of the actual tragedy; ie. arguing a point on gun control or getting upset because of some political move made by a world leader while nothe really focusing on the fact that innocent men, woman and/or children may have died, or worse. All the while overlooking the sheer horror of a situation or event…..

We cannot let our opinions replace the love of Christ in our hearts, we cannot turn a blind eye because it’s uncomfortable and we must always seek compassion and love over all else.

“I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.” – Ps 35:14

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”- John 4:7-9

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” -Col 3:2


Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo credit: Rachelwojo.com 

Choose Unity Over Being Right

Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Protestant and Evangelical. The list goes on and on…..

I don’t know if I am the only one, but my body tightens at the question that I am so commonly asked when meeting other christians. It seems to be the ice breaking question to ask someone what denomination they are.

This question bothers me because I don’t hear someone looking for common ground. I hear someone looking for differences, not necessarily intentionally but they are seeing if I am someone “like them”.

In the body of Christ we are one and when I see this division because of a group’s interpretation of a scripture it just feels wrong to me. It feels like we are saying that my views….my interpretation of the scriptures is more important than being united; one body, one church…..

I hear it all the time, christians talking down about believers of another denomination like they are fools or the enemy some how. It seems some have let their interpretation of the scriptures….. their personal views about the passage that are open to interpretation become more important than the Truth. And the Truth is if anything divides the church…. if anything takes the place of unity, grace and love then we have made ourselves more important than Christ in our own hearts. Because if our interpretation of scripture is dividing us, then our opinion or pride is more important than Christ, period.

In Christ we always find each other.

Choose unity over being right and choose love, always

Written by: Justin Ludwig

It Only Takes a Spark

When we understand that our ministry is about glorifying God and not ourselves, we recognize that the size doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if we touch one heart through a small blog or ten million through a mega church. Through Christ, each heart has the capability to change the world, ignite a revival or inspire hope, with a single spark.

Don’t let the world’s view of success discourage your ministry. It only takes a small spark to ignite a raging fire. Continue to throw out sparks wherever you go and trust that God will ignite a raging fire.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Free From The Lies


​I fought my whole life…. 

I fought against an enemy that cannot be seen but that most are familiar with. An enemy that whispers into our ear that we are not good enough….. an enemy that won’t let us forget our mistakes…. an enemy that tells us that there is no hope for us. Being completely honest, I was losing this fight in a very real and devastating way for most of my life.

It wasn’t until I stopped fighting and surrendered that these lies lost their power over me and I felt something I had never experienced before…. hope.

Thank You Jesus setting me free!

Believe and Then You Will See

Sometimes in this life we are looking for signs. Messages from God clearly telling us if we should do something or not. I don’t know about you but I would love for God to give me a burning bush experience or some undeniable sign…. but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes we have a hard time hearing God’s voice…. perhaps what we are asked to do seems more than we can handle.

So we wait for signs….

What if we simply leaned into our passion without reservation, knowing that God would come through for us?What if the only thing standing in our way is simply our lack of belief in that God is capable and will come through for us?

Think about it, He left the Israelites in the desert simply because they didn’t have faith. The Centurion whose servant was healed from being paralyzed simply because he believed Jesus could…… If we have the faith of a mustard seed we could move mountains….

Don’t let fear dictate your ministry, your path or your life. Learn to lean into your passion knowing that God will show up. And He will show up, because He is faithful. 

Believe and then you will see


Written by : Justin Ludwig

Exiles of this Age

Holy Spirit impressed something on my heart I wanted to share with all of you. In Mark 5:1-20  Jesus comes across a cursed man. This man was possessed by not one demon, but a legion of demons. The hold that they had on this man was so great that he was written off by society. They exiled him to the tombs, hastily forgotten, helpless…hopeless. The villagers didn’t know what to do with the man. They tried everything they could think of to help him, then they resorted to simply trying to confine him. In their fear and desperation they chained the man down, but his demons were so powerful they snapped the chains like strings. Unable to deal with him, they exiled him to the tombs, to suffer in his torment.

Imagine this man, possessed by such darkness. The scripture says he howled into the night, cutting himself with stones…. The pain of this man… this man who fell victim to a darkness much stronger than himself.

Everyone was terrified of this man, Jesus sought this man out. Everyone wrote him off as a lost cause, Jesus saw a man who needed to be set free.

This is such an inspirational model for every one of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to the exiles of this age. We must not confine our ministry to that of our own comfort.

There is a large world out there, filled with so many people without hope. People broken, lost, hurting and alone. Those outside of our comfort zone that are howling in pain like this possessed man. How will they know the hope we have found unless we tell them?

The homeless man, the convict, the orphan…  Men and women bound and gagged in their sin, their pain or their circumstance.

I am not saying that you should head down some dark alley looking for lost souls. I am just saying that He wants to use you. Don’t be afraid or over think how what you should do. With a single smile or a word said from love, the Holy Spirit is capable of changing the heart and life of a person otherwise hopeless.

Jesus has called us not to stand on the sidelines, but to roll up our sleeves and love the unlovable. It is our responsibility to remember the forgotten and give hope to the hopeless, in Jesus name.

 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:19

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Love Never Fails

​Sometimes I feel like I may disappear….

Lost in the shuffle of the same papers since the fall

Accumulation…..

    gain and accomplishment

     again and again

Lost like a whisper in the wind

  Hypothetical memories torn and tattered 

  Like the faded memories on life support in a wallet

  Love…..

   It carries forward 

     A force that cannot be contained 

by the tangible or even the rational 

      …..it the darkness we cry

     In the darkness it screams 

     Love never fails

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

  

We All Have a Story, Here’s Mine

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For as long as I can remember I was unhappy. No matter what I would do or what I would experience nothing ever seemed to take that empty hopeless feeling away. Which is probably the reason why I turned to drugs and alcohol at such a young age. I had found my place in this world, and that was tucked away, disconnected and simply trying to escape from how much it hurt to simply be alive. I won’t go into all of the details of how my life fell apart, but my addiction and self destruction cost me everything. Once my wife and kids left me I made a decision to handle the situation the only way I knew how. I was going to go on one last insane run and just hope that it killed me so I could just be done with all of the sadness.

I remember when I made that depressing decision. I said a prayer to a God I didn’t know and I told Him I didn’t expect Him to help me. I knew He felt the same way about me that I did. That it was my fault and I didn’t deserve saving. I remember thinking, “Who am I to ask for help, I deserve all of this.”

The days rolled on, chaos overlapping chaos until the pain and despair was all that I could see. I had receded into the shadows with no thought of making a change for the better… I had truly given up on myself and there was nothing stopping me from completing my lifelong run of self destruction.

Then one night like every other night I was driving. I looked in my rear view mirror to the twinkling of flashing red and blue lights. I received a 4th DUI which landed me with a felony on top of everything else that was going on in my life. I had no clue, but when that squad car door slammed shut, I had begun down a road that was going to change everything. That felony left me with two choices; I could do a year in state prison or I could go into some program called Teen Challenge.

Repeating similar patterns I decided to take the easy way out and go into the program. My plan was to do my time, play the part and get my felony taken care of so I could go back to my so called life. A month or so into this year long discipleship I was sitting in a worship service scanning my bible. I was just killing time more than anything else and my eyes focused on a single verse. I stared at it and unintentionally I muttered it outloud, “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

It was such a comforting statement….I just couldn’t understand why.

So I began to pay attention. I began to learn of a God so different from what I had thought I knew. A God not of condemnation but of neverending love and patience for me, for us. Not disgusted or angry with me like I once thought. Being a father myself, the love of a Father on the divine level really intrigued me and drew me in. Not being able to fathom how much God loves us opened my mind to the infinite.

Through that year with everything that I learned I was convinced. This sounds like a strange way of describing it, but I am a skeptical person by nature. The presence of the Holy Spirit was undeniable. But all of the study, teaching and experience that I was exposed to there showed me that our faith is not a fairy tale, that it’s real.

I graduated in 2013 and immediately got plugged into a local church which is my home church today. I joined a small group to get me plugged in, which evolved into me being the facilitator of an ongoing weekly small group so diverse and loving that my faith and love can’t help but continue to grow. In the last several years God had placed me and used me in ways I never would have dared dream.

I love to tell my story because looking back is when my faith is strengthened. When I am reminded that if all of those horrible,….just terrible, painful things didn’t happen to me, I never would have gotten to where I am at today. Each piece of the puzzle fitting perfectly into place. And when I recognize that God’s plans are so far beyond anything I can anticipate, understand or predict, I will be able to to remember…. to have the wisdom, “To simply be still, and know that He is God.”

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” Ps.46:10

Written By: Justin Ludwig

Every Response Matters

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I read the comments on Facebook and see Christians spewing hate in response to non believers automatic assumptions that Christians are judgmental hypocrites…..I read these things and my stomach tightens.

We as believers either cast doubt in the minds of the scoffer or we reinforce their views of Jesus and believers. We cannot let our pride pervert our ministry.

We are promised that we will be hated because of the name of Christ. So we must expect it and respond with the unexpected, love.

Be the blessing and represent Him well.


Written by: Justin Ludwig

imageI find it so incredible how the Spirit speaks to us. I was walking into work this morning and as I am walking up the stairs, I dropped my keys. As soon as I heard them hit the ground I froze. I heard something, it was an almost audible voice in my head saying,

“You are not immune.”

I kid you not, I stood there for atleast a minute, staring at those keys, mumbling to myself, “I am not immune.”  It didn’t hit me right away, but about an hour into work it clicked and I understood what He was showing me.

For as long as I can remember, every time I would see someone drop something, I would  joke in my head that if I was holding it, I wouldn’t of dropped it. It’s silly I know, but what can I say, I’m weird. And when those keys hit the floor, with that joke as far from my mind as could be, I found myself recognizing that even I couldn’t stop myself from letting those keys drop out of my hand. Which guided my thoughts to a verse.

“Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” -Psalms 26:2

That’s when I realized that the Spirit was both reminding and warning me about the severity of my condition. The bottom line is that I/we have a sinful, selfish and destructive heart. As a human we were just born with this sinful condition, passed down through Adam, and we will remain that way until we are glorified with Him.

There are so many things deep within me that can throw me off track in my walk with Christ. Selfish, sinful motives….my pride. Dare I say unintentional distortion of God’s word. Perhaps from past hurts or points of view that had been ingrained into me since birth. We all have things like this. If we didn’t then there would be no need for a Savior.

What the Spirit was reminding me was that if I don’t remain vigilant with the knowledge that I am not immune to this sin condition…. That if I am not vigilant in inspecting myself against the word of God daily, then I will surely become one of those Christians who lost their way.

I am not talking about the ones who turned away from God. I am talking about those who still truly believe that they are perfectly in God’s will, but their sin has changed their path. Their pride skewing their perceptions and intentions … and they just can’t see it.

Before we know it, we have become modern day Pharisees, proclaiming God’s greatness for our own glory.

Until we are face to face with Christ we are at war. With the powers of darkness and with the darkness within ourselves, and they both seek to destroy us. We must remain vigilant, humble, and seek His face, always

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: Google Images

Jesus Will Light Our Way

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The Spirit is always speaking to us, and if we are in tune with Him, the seemingly trivial events of our day to day life have the ability to reveal to us His truth. With that said I wanted to share a quick story with all of you.

Almost every morning when I get to work it is the same thing. I lock up my bike, I walk into my building and head to the bathroom to get myself situated to start my day. I open the door to the bathroom and walk in, expecting the motion sensor to see me as I enter and automatically turn the light on, and every morning I walk in, and that stupid light doesn’t turn on. I make it around 4 steps in complete darkness, waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. I guess I assume if I walk a little further or move enough the light will click on. Every morning it is not until either I simply turn towards the sensor, or reach out and almost touch it that the lights turn on and I am able to see.

I always laugh at myself and think,”Damn Justin, how many times are you going to do this? You know what will turn the light on, So just do that fool!” This is the Spirit’s almost daily reminder for me. Pointing out how ridiculous it is for me to stumble around in the darkness trying to figure things out for myself, instead of doing what I know will work, and that is simply to turn to Him to illuminate the way.

I smile every time I turn around and that light clicks on, because I have been guilty of this in my walk with Christ on way more than one occasion. I’m sure all of you can relate. We know what we are supposed to do, but for some reason, even though we know that God will help us and make things clear for us, we still sometimes insist on fumbling around in the dark, hoping the light will just turn on and show us what to do or where to go.

God is always right there, waiting for us to turn to Him, so He can shine in our lives.

Write this truth on the tablet of your heart. Accept His offer of love and guidance and seek Him in everything you do, especially in the trivial, and He will light your way.

 

“But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.”-2 Chronicles 15:4

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.” -1 Chronicles 16:11

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” -Psalm 16:8

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” -James 1:5

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” -Psalm 119:105

 

Written by : Justin Ludwig

I want to Share Your Experiences with God

Recently I have created a Facebook page which has the same mission as my blog, which is to glorify Christ. I wanted to reach more people and I felt this was a way to do it.

It has been a blessing so far knowing I am reaching so many more people to share about the awesomeness of God. If you have a powerful testimony or have a writing that glorifies Christ, inspires hope or even a vulnerable encounter you have had with Him that you feel needs to be heard, I am offering you a chance to be heard by more people. No tricks, you get all credit… I just want to glorify God.

I can’t assure that I will use every one I receive but I want to share other peoples stories and experiences, not just my own. If you want to look up my page before you send me a piece just search “RawDisciple Ministries”

I feel this is an opportunity for you to get your voice heard by more people and help me share about Christ. If you are led, send the link, to rawdiscipleship4u@gmail.com

Justin Ludwig 

Victorious Surrender 

I fought my whole life…. I fought against an enemy that cannot be seen but that most are familiar with. An enemy that whispers into our ear that we are not good enough….. an enemy that won’t let us forget our mistakes…. an enemy that tells us that there is no hope for us. Being completely honest, I was losing this fight in a very real and devastating  way most of my life.

It wasn’t until I stopped fighting and surrendered that these lies lost their power over me and I felt something I had never experienced before…. hope.

Thank You Jesus setting me free! 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Friends Of Angels -Autism Ministry

Friends of Angels (FOA) is a ministry in the Los Angeles area focused on serving families with children who have autism. This ministry was birthed by a member of Journey South Bay Church who has a child with autism. Once a year, in June, the Friends of Angels Ministry holds a weekend retreat at Pilgrim Pines Camp where the parents and children are invited to enjoy the beautiful and serene mountains of Yucaipa, California. They have a number of prescreened volunteers who will watch over the children throughout the weekend in order to give the parents an opportunity to have a weekend to rest and relax. A number of activities and events are available for both the children and the parents.  From guest speakers to quiet beds to sleep the day away, the choice is yours!

I participated in this ministry as a volunteer back in June of 2015 and since it was such an awesome experience, I will be participating again this year. If you are a parent with a child with autism or know someone who is, I urge you to check this out because it is such an awesome experience for everyone involved.

If you don’t know anyone affected by autism, but you want to get further information on how to volunteer or get involved, please check out the FOA website and see how to get started. If you live in the South Bay area, this ministry is in action every Sunday at my home church, Journey South Bay in Redondo Beach, CA. There is a Sunday school service specifically for autistic children and young adults so the families are able to be blessed by the service while knowing their children or loved ones are well taken care of. Whether a family comes to mind, or you suddenly feel like you want to volunteer, I urge you not to hesitate and reach out through one of these links. Be the blessing and love in action.

http://www.friendsofangels.org/

http://www.journeysouthbay.org/

rawdiscipleship4u@gmail.com

 

Called to Love in Action

“Dear children, let us not love in word or speech, but with action and in truth.” -1 John 3:18

God has called each of us to love. The love that God desires from us is not a feeling or an emotion. It is a call to a action. It is a call to put the needs of others before our own, especially when we don’t feel like it. There is a whole world out there of broken souls who are desperate for hope, for love….for Jesus

We are called to love in action and I just want to be a resource so you can get involved in a ministry.

Below are several links to different organizations that you can get involved with. If you know of any causes that you would like to see added to this list, please contact me and let me know.

This is your call to love like God desires and bring light to this broken world.

 

Baja Bound Ministries -Building Homes for the Working Poor

Teen Challenge – Christian Discipleship for Addiction

Sponsor a Childs Education and Break the Cycle of Poverty

Friends Of Angels -Autism Ministry

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Knowledge

I, like so many other people, was told growing up that I could be whatever I wanted to be. This is an inspiring and motivating declaration told to children to remind them that if they work hard and do what they are supposed to do, they can achieve anything…. that they can really have the life of their dreams.

We live in a country with so many blessings. We live in a place where we have so many opportunities to shape our future, as long as we are willing to work for it. Recently I have had a first hand experience that revealed to me just how blessed we truly are to have such opportunities.

Last year I went down to Ensenada, Mexico with my church to build homes for the working poor. This experience opened my eyes to a world of blessings I had overlooked for most of my life. I have always thought of myself as a pretty grateful guy, but to see these people with no running water, no electricity, homes that consisted of 4 rickety pieces of plywood for walls and a tarp for their roof…. I couldn’t help but realize that I have been taking a lot for granted..

This trip was one filled with many humbling moments, as well as many blessings. I remember looking around the neighborhood while I was taking a break one evening.  I turned to the person next to me and said, “I had no idea, I can’t imagine living in these condition”, and I began to praise God for all my blessings. Then the man said something to me that broke my heart.

He explained to me the real hopelessness of their situation. What he told me was that school there isn’t free, like it is back home (US). He explained to me that everything costs money to attend school; from books, to supplies, to uniforms.. everything. As I am listening to him say this, and I am looking around at a level of poverty surrounding me, my heart just broke.

My heart broke because these people are so poor that they cannot even afford the basics. There is no way that they would be able to afford to send their children to school and be able to survive. What this means is that this is a cycle of poverty that will never end! In order to break free from a life of poverty they need to get an education, but they cannot get the education because they are in such poverty they can’t afford it.

Think about it, these shackles of poverty are passed down from father to son, mother to daughter. No matter how hard they work, they are always going to be trying to just keep their heads above water. Generation after generation of people desperate, poor and stuck, with no end in sight.

This is why I am writing you this letter. I am presenting you with an awesome opportunity to affect real change in this broken world, and not just for one individual, but for an entire family line. By sponsoring a child’s education, you have just helped to change an entire family’s future by breaking the never ending cycle of poverty and hopelessness. By sponsoring a child, he or she gets the chance to build a future that they otherwise would never have been able to have.

This right here is a chance to begin a chain reaction that will continue to bless long after your donation has been spent. Think about it, the child works hard, earns their degree, now they will be able to afford to send their children to school, and so on, and so on. The donation you give now will still be paying off and blessing  people generations down the road because you helped set them free from this cycle! Talk about a worthy cause!!!

This ministry is a perfect picture of the saying, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and they are fed for a lifetime.” This is one of those life changing opportunities, and I want you to be a part of it. No donation is too large or small. This is an opportunity to be a part of the change that this broken world so desperately needs.

Please join me, and be the change that we wish we would see in the world. Below are the links if you feel led to donate as well as links with further information on this ministry

 

Baja Educational Initiative website:   http://bajaed.weebly.com/

Donation Website: https://goo.gl/BIjLl6

Facebook Donation: https://www.facebook.com/BajaEducationInitiative/

 

Written By: Justin Ludwig

Addicts Aren’t Beyond Hope

I went to Teen Challenge in 2012 and my life has never been the same, all glory to Jesus! I was as bad as it gets for most of my life. I was strung out, full of hate and pain. Thanks to this ministry and the grace of God I have been redeemed! It was all God but Teen Challenge gave me the foundation in Christ that I needed to overcome a lifetime of addiction, hurt and brokenness. I tried everything from rehabs, jail and mental wards…. gutters, inpatient and outpatient programs… nothing worked.

I am walking taking proof that no one is too far gone, nobody is beyond redemption, and through Christ everyone has hope.

I encourage you to get involved, however that looks. Be blessed my brothers and sisters.

http://www.teenchallenge.org/

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

How Can I Serve You?

RawDiscipleMinistries, rawdisciple.com

Below are three links depending on why you would like to reach me. If you would like to contact me regarding something other than these please feel free to email me at rawdiscipleship4u@gmail.com

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

Speaker- Testimonies (Free)

Fundraising or Donation Letters

Ways to love in Action, Ministries and Service

Can you hear Him?

wp-1507962515119.jpgCan you hear Him?

In the midst of the chaos, He is assuring You that He is in control…..in the middle of our very personal, excruciating pain and sadness, He is screaming how much He loves us…. can you hear Him?

I’d like to say that I always feel completely confident in my faith, but that would be a lie. There are times when the pain is so deafening it seems to distract me from hope and His voice is drowned out…. I begin to feel like I am sinking…. then the doubts begin to whisper. “God has left you”…. “you are just fooling yourself, give up”…. “you are alone and hopeless”….

Unfortunately in our journey with Christ we will not always feel His presence or comfort. We won’t hear His voice and we will feel like we are on our own. Speaking just for myself, this place can be terrifying. When my world seems to be crumbling down around me and God seems to be silent….

It is in these times we must choose to trust. These times can be the hardest for a christian. When everything inside of us is screaming doubt, hopelessness or fear. When we must disregard every fiber of our flesh and rationality and choose to trust that God hasn’t gone anywhere….. that He is working on something. It is in these places that we must choose to believe that He does love us and that no matter how hopeless it seems, He will come through.

We won’t always hear His voice, but I am here to tell you without a doubt that God is right there, in the middle of your agony, screaming His love for you.

Choose to believe and you will be blessed.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

I have talked about the power of prayer on so many occasions. In my walk with Christ I have come to recognize and understand prayer as much more than some ritual or something we do to make ourselves feel better when we are out of options. Prayer is a time we are able come before God with boldness, openess and sincerity. We come before God with our hearts laid bare and with hope. Knowing that He hears us, that He loves us and that He can be trusted…. But if we were to pause and ask ourselves, “How much do we truly believe in the effectiveness of our prayers?

If each one of us were to take a fearless look at ourselves and ask, “Down to my core, do I truly trust that He hears me? Do I trust that my faith is for real, that God is absolutely, unequivocally a reality and when I pray it does make an actual difference?

I don’t pose this question to challenge, judge or question anybodys faith. Being completely raw and real I will be the first to admit that there have been times where the doubts have crept in…. I had been deceived by the enemy before, just as I am sure you have.

Prayer is such an intimate and powerful experience….. we cry out to Him in our anguish and we request the desires of our hearts! We sing His praises when He blesses us and we ask for guidance in this confusion we call life.

I am here to remind you that the power of prayer is for real. We are called to pray for each other and to do so often, in private and in action…..

In my journey with the Lord I have seen prayers being answered first hand. I have seen people’s hearts changed over night in dramatic ways. I was able to experience the gift of toungues, which I didn’t even believe in until He spoke trough me, all because my friend was praying for me. I have experienced freedom from unbreakable addictions and afflictions…. I could list countless experiences that have brought me to this firm knowledge that prayer does indeed work; both practically and in ways that cannot be explained by the secular world beyond coincidence.

What we must realize is that the doubts will come from time to time. The enemy is working night and day to mess with our head. To try and cast doubt about God, about ourselves and each other….this punk is an influencer of self destruction and hate and is always trying to fool us into doubting God!

I want everyone to know that prayer the most powerful thing we do. I want each of us to know, down to our core the reality of our faith and the real power prayer has. I want to offer my heart to you. Below is a link to my prayer page which allows you to send a prayer request or praise report.

I keep all prayers is complete confidence and if you put your email I will email you a heartfelt and faith filled prayer so you know how I am praying so you can see God working. No tricks, no advertising…. just love, in action. Please feel free to get specific with your prayers, because when we pray specifically, we will be able to see God work more clearly and our faith will grow!

If you feel Holy Spirit tugging at your heart, don’t hesitate. Let me intercede for you.

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

Written by: Justin Ludwig


He replied l, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move.. Nothing is impossible for you.” -Matt 17:20

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16.

We Need Love

wp-1505536933002.jpg​I am so tired of the anger and hated…..the insane political division and suspicion on every level.

Sometimes I feel like the only one, looking in from the outside, weeping for humanity…. This world so desperately needs love.

Some may scoff at this proclamation but I stand by it with everything that I am. We must choose love. We must look past ourselves to the needs of the one beside us and then act.

This is the only hope we have. We must be the blessing and help change this broken world.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

So Much Joy, So Much Pain

​My heart weeps over the randomness of my recollections…..

The look on my dad’s face when his mom refused to see him on his death bed….. the look of pride of my father’s face when I hit a home run or did something that pleased him as a child. The look on my kids face that first moment we are reunited after 3 months of longing for each other… that pure excitement and joy! Immediately my mind is pulled to their faces waving goodbye in the rear view mirror driving out of my life……such heartache.

So much pain….. so much joy.

I try to focus on the beauty but the gut wrenching images always seem to taunt them, even if only slightly.

Our lives are a series of blessings, heartaches and adventures. The enemy will draw from our pain and remind us constantly…. I know he does for me. Constantly attempting to rob us of the joy that God has given us and the joy we have experienced through our relationships and our journey.

This is where action meets our faith. God is good…. God is awesome in fact and He will fill us with hope. What we must never forget is at the same time there is a very real enemy who is constantly trying to undo everything that He does. 

This is the reality of spiritual warfare in each of our lives. The devil constantly trying to remind us of the hurt… the times God did not give us what we wanted or when He didn’t answer the prayer that still causes us pain. A lyric comes to mind, “When you didn’t part the waters I wish I could have walked through, still I will trust in You.”

I speak now from a place of attack and sadness. Right this moment I feel the tears welling up because if the hurt and pain….. but we must remember the goodness of God. The blessing upon blessing He has rained down in our life. This is how we fight off these attacks from the enemy. We must not let the enemy rob us of the joy that God has already given us, and has promised to continue to give us.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:8

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Why do you love Jesus?Please Share Your Hope!

Who is Jesus to you? Jesus asked Peter this question with great passion

This is a question that every single christian needs to know the answer to…. if they don’t, then why are they following Christ in the first place?

Beyond the clichés and the Sunday school lessons…. Dig deep and truly ask yourself, who is Jesus Christ, personally in your life. This is a very personal answer because as you know, the walk with Christ is an intimate, personal one.


I hope and pray that anyone who reads this will comment with their intimate, personal answer to this question. There is no “right” answer and I pray Holy Spirit will inspire you to share your love affair with us…. when we share our story, we share our hope and we grow stronger, together.

For myself, Jesus taught me not only to not hate myself but that I am worthy of love. Jesus is my hero because he changed things in my life that would have been impossible without Him.He completely softened my heart and freed me from a lifetime of self destruction. He showed me that I am loved and showed me how to let go of my past. Jesus is my strength… He gave hope to a man who has been without hope his entire life.

 Be blessed and love furiously.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Soldier’s for Christ

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When I don’t feel God’s presence it freaks me out a little.The doubts, anxieties and frustrations intensify in these times and sometimes I wonder…..am I kidding myself? In an attack, I begin to doubt and second guess everything. This is a humbling thing to admit this but the truth is the truth. When I find myself either under spiritual attack or simply completely overwhelmed by life I try to think back to a sermon I heard once.

It was a true story about a soldier who was sent on an important assignment. He was a sniper and was going to take out some enemy leader behind enemy lines. This guy planned and studied for this mission for weeks. This planning was deciding the path to take to avoid the enemy’s patrols, exit strategies, his position for the assault and every other possible angle that could or would play a factor. After lengthy preparation the soldier was confident in his mission plan. He was going to crawl several thousand meters through heavily patrolled and fortified enemy territory to a spot he determined the best opportunity for achieving his goal. He knew his plan was not going to be easy. In fact he knew it was going to be painful and a real test of his commitment to the “cause” and his objective.

In the early evening this soldier began his inch by inch slither into position. He was rested, confident and vigilant. As the days of slow, inch by inch creeping wore on he began to weaken as fatigue set in. His stomach cramped, his lips were parched and the constant close calls with the enemy was wearing on his nerves. I would imagine sleep deprivation beginning to take its toll since he was in such a vulnerable position. I would assume he didn’t sleep much….. he was tired. When all of the planning meets the very painful reality of the mission…. this is where this soldier was at.

Then his mind did what I think most if ours would in the same or a similar situation, he began to compromise. He was 450 meters short the position decided upon earlier as their best chance of success….. this man was so tired, facing almost certain death and was convinced that he didn’t have to go the entire way to complete his mission…. he was so depleted feeling and it sounded like a good idea and was sounding better by the second.

Completely exhausted and running desperately low on hope he made the decision to continue on the last 450 meters to the original spot. The way he saw it, he had made this plan in the right state of mind. This plan was formulated after a lot of research, deliberation and thought. He recognized that if that was the conclusion that he decided on when he was in a right state of mind he would have to trust that decision. In his wisdom and training he recognized that he could not trust his own thoughts now that fear, fatigue and a dwindling hope was distorting his thinking.

He decided he would have to ignore every bit of fatigue, fear or exhaustion. He chose to disregard every shout of his mind to give up, that you can’t do it!  His body and mind had turned against him. He had to decide if the mission was more important than all of that pain and discomfort……

When we accepted Christ we had an encounter. Everyone’s story is special, unique and connected at the same time. Something happened that brought us to a decision that we are/we’re going to follow Christ. We saw the Truth and knew exactly what we needed to do….. then the months and years roll by. It seems to be one tragedy after another. Death followed by death… your children go away and you hurt. You lost your job or your entire life seems to be crumbling around you…… these are the times we MUST draw on the wisdom and strength like this soldier did. Every single one of us that made the sincere decision to accept and follow Christ is a soldier. We are soldiers for Christ because we saw the plan, in our sound minded discernment we decided to trust our Leader.

We cannot let the fatigue of our trials, disappointments, and pain lead us into believing the lie….

God is positioning us….He is using us, and if we continue to draw off His strength and persevere, we will succeed. The exciting thing is, we won’t know what that looks like, until we get to where God is calling us.

Trust in your decision to trust Him….. no matter how you feel. God is good and if You seek Him,  you will be reminded of that time and time again.

 

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. -2 Tim 2:3

 

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 

Stand fast brothers and Sisters. If you need prayer to help you persevere click the link and let me pray for you.

 

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Blessed to be Broken 

In the blink of an eye I am a thirty three year old man. I look over my life and shudder because of some of the choices I’ve made. I spent my whole life destroying myself and I had a bad habit of hurting others in the process.

I look back on my life, before I knew God and remember….I don’t ever want to go back to that place.

I have come to recognize my self destruction as a blessing. By this I mean, when I begin to drift from the path He has called me to, the darkness always comes back, and it comes on in way that I cannot ignore… When I am not seeking Him with all of my heart I begin to listen to tell lies of the enemy and they begin to crush me.

I thank God for my addictions, my depression and my past because it is only because of those things that I will never forget that I am lost without Jesus. Without Jesus I, you, we all are doomed to an eternity alone, without hope and without love.

For some, when they decide to turn away from God, they live a seemingly happy life. Blinded to the fact that just because they turned their back on God, doesn’t change the facts. They are able to ignore their fate because they have the pleasure of the world.

I am blessed, because I am broken

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Grace & Warfare 

wp-1509244780595.jpgGrace…. His love for us is so far beyond our finite comprehension….. To fathom the mind of God is truly a humbling experience. An impossible journey into Something so far beyond us that it truly boggles the mind.

When I think about His love and grace I find myself constrained by my very human thinking, how could I not?…. the depths of His grace and love is so far beyond any of our comprehension…. I always pray that this extremely crucial truth in written on each and every saint’s heart and that every single one of us focuses on this truth deeply and often.

I cannot stress enough that this is not me preaching!!! This is me desperately wanting every person to understand how free, and how loved they are, even if they don’t fully comprehend it. There are Christians still shackled in the illusion that they are not forgiven. They carry around such guilt and shame….. they doubt that God loves them or their very salvation. THIS CAN NOT STAND! We all must understand the reality of what we have been given and share this truth so that no one is fooled by this lie from hell!

A quick glimpse into me, I have always been the hardest on myself. I have a feeling quite a few of you can relate to with me on this. Even when people would forgive me, I couldn’t accept it. I would continue to beat myself up over mistakes, both intentional or not. I never felt I was being adequately punished, (whatever that means) so as a result I carried a lot of guilt.

In hindsight, this inability to forgive myself was one of the more effective chains that satan used to successfully bind me for so many years. I was unaware of the grace of Christ at the time but the self condemnation took me into such darkness that I had no hint of light……I was consumed by the darkness of self hated.

This is a tactic used by the enemy continuously in the hearts and minds of believers and non believers alike. He wants us to forget the fact that we already have victory. He wants us to doubt our salvation….. he is constantly whispering, because he wants us to doubt our worth based on our mistakes.

“Am I really saved?”,”I keep messing up, I must not be saved because I keep sinning.” How many of us have said or at least thought this at some point as a believer?

And for the non believer, “How could God forgive me!? I can’t even forgive myself!!! I deserve punishment, pain and every bad thing. You don’t understand what I have done!! My past is unforgivable!”….. this quote right here was the truth of my condition until Holy Spirit changed my heart, praise God!!

I am going to be real with you, my heart still aches over a time a yelled at my son because he wanted me for something but I was too busy… This random moment, like a million others, randomly come to mind…. Sometimes I shrug them off and other times they take root. The enemy’s whispers have the ability to drag me/you down to a place of darkness. I begin to feel the familiar pull of self loathing, guilt and hatred that I had carried all of my life.

I kid you not y’all, spiritual warfare is for real and we are always vulnerable while on this earth. We have protection and power yes. But the reality is there is an enemy and he is specifically after you and me. And if we don’t hold close to Holy Spirit and other believers, we will not make it!

We must know what we believe and we must know how to stand up against the devil’s schemes, lies and tricks!

This place of self condemnation robs us of basking in the scandalous grace that God has already given us. I can only speak my story, because it’s the only one I know. And for me, these self condemning whispers are a reality for me to this day….the enemy is always pulling at me. Trying to use my very human thinking against me…. and he will do the same to you.

Sometimes the guilt of our mistakes allows the enemy a foothold. We feel we don’t deserve to be forgiven so we condemn ourselves. The beautiful truth is, we don’t deserve it, but we get it anyways! God’s love and grace is so far beyond our comprehension. Be blessed and bask in the freedom of His amazing grace.

Be blessed and bask in the freedom of His amazing grace.


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.  Isaiah 41:10

“As far as the east is from the west, so far had He removed our transgressions from us Ps. 103:12

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Our Message 

Why do I write?

For as long as I can remember my head has always gone so fast. Thought after thought and then thinking about those thoughts….. If you ever met me and spoke to me you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that my mind is constantly going… I talk extremely fast….some would say frantic.

I have so much to say and I just can’t seem to properly articulate my thoughts fast enough or eloquently enough to convey my true message. Sometimes my message gets lost in my stuttering….my tendency to talk fast can and does distort my messages from time to time. Other times I simply lose my train of thought. It is very frustrating to never be able to communicate the intricacy of an insight or to properly share an experience I have had with God.

I thank God for giving me the ability to write. I by no means think I am some talented writer. But what I do know is that through Holy Spirit’s help, I am able to clearly and concisely share with the world what Christ had done in my life. And the awesome thing is people seem to respond!

Honestly, I don’t fully get it because my grammar is atrocious and I make the most basic of errors. But through my writing, people are able to see beyond the flawed person that is Justin and are able to hear of a God so good, so powerful and loving. They are able to hear of a God that saved a man so broken…. so lost, through His amazing grace and overwhelming love. They are able to hear what I am actually trying to say and they are able to gain hope because God can be properly glorified because the work He has done in my life is truly a miracle.

I wonder if Paul felt this way? He was not a charismatic speaker… He did not have a commanding presence and he didn’t exude power when he spoke. Not to mention that this guy was most likely not an impressive looking man. He endured so many beatings, flogging and stonings for the sake of Christ that he must have looked very broken, frail and weak.

But when he put the pen to the paper and let Holy Spirit take control… this flawed, “unimpressive man” faded away and all that was left was his message.

Don’t ever let your shortcomings stifle your ministry. If you are not a speaker, then write. If you are not a writer, then pray. If you cannot pray then love. Your message will be heard… just let Him show you how to share it and then boldly and fearlessly do it.

 

“For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” -2 Cor 10:10

“Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? -Ex 4:10-11

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

 

Called to Love

Every Christian is called to choose love in every situation. We are called to forgive the unforgivable and to always put the needs of others before our own….. so why is it that so many people recoil when they hear the name of Jesus Christ or hear that I am a christian?

There are many different answers to this question depending on who you ask. Some have experienced a lifetime of unchecked christian hypocrisy. Perhaps they constantly saw Christians who spoke of the love that is God and then in the same breath had the audacity to claim God hates gays. Maybe it was those Christians who say that we need to love everyone and then they turn around to hate on their neighbor because of the color of their skin or because they have a different faith. Others may simply assume that we are going to try and convert them to our “religion.” They get figity and defensive like we are some sales rep at some high pressure time share presentation.

No matter what their reasons may be, we as children of God must recognize each one of these awkward encounters as an amazing opportunity to set the record straight. Not with long drawn out explainations of why you or they should be a christian. But by simply having the heart of Christ in everything we do.

The way I see it, how could anyone be offended at the mention of a faith centered completely around loving EVERYONE equally and forgiving everyone who wrongs us?

The only answer that makes sense is that they have an incorrect view of who Jesus is and what it means to be a christian. They hear christian and immediately they think of judgemental, hateful, two faced bigots who think they are better than the rest of the world.

They simply don’t know that everything that has brought them to such opposition of Christ is a lie. They have been blinded by the hateful and judgemental rantings of people who claim to be christians but turned a message of love into one of hate…. those who stand for judgement, not grace.

The world does not understand that these people do not represent Christ because Christ is love… Christ is unity.

Gay, straight, christian or Muslim, it doesn’t matter, we love. It doesn’t matter if someone wronged us so horribly that we may never recover, we forgive. These are the fundamentals to what it means to be a follower of Christ. And if each one of us lives these truths out, people will see that we stand for love, not hate, because God is love.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Trust in the Silence 

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We have these periods in our life when our passion for God has ignited in a way that sets us on fire for Him. In these mountain top experiences it seems that every scripture is speaking specifically to us and God’s hand in our lives is so predominant that we cannot help but praise God and bask in the indescribable comfort, peace and hope that comes in these times.

Then there are other times in our walk….there are time when God seems absent….when it seems to be one disappointment after another with no end in sight and no counsel from God, no matter how hard we pray. These two ends of the spectrum are the reality of our walk with Christ.

A lot of people turn away from God when they find themselves in this silent valley period…. and I get it. When it seems like the darkness is consuming you and God seems to have abandoned you when you need Him most….

The question is, has God stopped being good because your life is in a difficult period?

The answer to this question, dispite how you may feel, is No. God never stops being good and never stops using our trials and struggles to bring about something incredible and beautiful in our lives.

This truth can be hard for people to grasp in the middle of their silent darkness, again, I totally understand it. Mainly because I have had my share of long intense valleys.

In these times, when God seems so far away, I focus on the fact that God is our Teacher. He is the best Teacher of all because let’s face it, He is God. And any good teacher wants to equip us. They will spend days, weeks, months or even years touching our lives, speaking truth and helping us in times where we feel  confused or lost. They are there when we need them because that is what they do.

But when test day comes around, the Teacher is silent. He knows that He has given you all the tools and training you need to figure out the solution on your own. If He were to tell you the answer you would never learn how to recognize it on your own….so we struggle. All the time the Teacher is watching, hoping and silently rooting for their student to really understand what they have been taught

When you are in that silent period and God seems to be absent, you must always remember, He is not absent. He is merely silent while you put what you have learned into practice.

Don’t lose hope and never forget that God is incapable of giving up on you. If He is silent,  He wants you to learn something on your own.

Trust Him in the silence, and you will see.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

I Trust, but I Worry

I lived most of my life not walking with God. My life was consumed by addiction and self destruction. The love and faithfulness of God did the impossible and completely changed who I am today. My story really shows that with Christ, nobody is a lost cause.

The things God has done in my life and my heart….the divine appointments, revealed knowledge and being slayed in the Spirit. Speaking in tongues when I didn’t even believe that tongues was for real. Answered prayers and encounters that touched me in ways that cannot be put into words.

I didn’t go looking for God, but He moved in my life in a way that could not be denied.  I can say confidently that I trust God….. so why do I worry so much?

It’s a glaring contradiction in my walk with God that I became aware of over the last several years. It’s something that I have struggled with, I am sure some of you can relate. I trust God, yet I stress over the what ifs. I worry about what’s going to happen or I get bogged down by regret. It is not until recently that Holy Spirit moved inside of me and revealed something to me that couldn’t truly penetrate my heart without His help.

He simply whispered, “Just let go”.

In that moment, It was like I was hearing those words for the first time. In that moment I felt a weight slide off as I made a conscious choice to let go and trust that He will make something beautiful out of this. It somehow made more sense than it did before, it was somehow much clearer.

It can be so hard to let go of our circumstance, whatever it may be, and trust enough to leave it completely up to God…..but He is trustworthy, He is alive and active and will show up for us. We just need to let go and watch Him work.

God bless you guys. If you need any prayer I would love to intercede for you. This link will take you to my prayer page. Be Blessed

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

Written by :Justin Ludwig

Today’s the Day, Seize It

​Don’t let the time you wasted or the regrets you have cripple your future. 

           It’s not too late! 

You are not too far gone, and your better days are not behind you! You didn’t miss your chance! 

Today is the day… today is YOUR day to make something beautiful out of your life. Seize the moment;  live well, love hard and forgive often. Be the blessing and watch your life flourish.


“Brothers and sisters, I do not considermyself yet to have taken hold it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I  press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 3:13-14

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Prayer is Power Y’all! I am ready to Pray for You

IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER, PLEASE READ THIS!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

If you need prayer, fellowship, and/or need a brother in Christ to lean on, I am here for you.

I don’t just believe, but I know that as Christians, prayer is the most important, most powerful thing we do. To know someone is there, day or night when your heart is breaking that is ready to pray for you, praise with you, or simply be here to listen can and does change everything.

If you are not a Christian, it’s okay. I love you just as much as the Christian, the Muslim or out right haters of God. But wherever you are at, God loves you. I ask that if you feel that twinge in your stomach,  that pull from the Holy Spirit to reach out, don’t hesitate, don’t think, just respond.

Your prayers and/or messages come directly me, I share them with no one I urge you to leave your email address so I can email you my prayer, praise or comment so you know, without a doubt that you are loved, that you are important,  and that you are being prayed for. Your email will not be given to anyone, this is strickly for you, and for me.

Let me love you, let me pray for you.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by Justin Ludwig

Shame, Heartbreak and Broken

Where’d she go!?
    choking on my heart
Frantic to remove it
 Where’s that knife?
Wait…
    I believe it’s still in my back

NO RELIEF!!!

….. guilt trips
     Woes me!?…..
          NO!!
       I only blame me, same as you
   Rest easy princess
Still punishing myself
Take solace in my devastation
    Your help isn’t needed
   ……do you hate me so?
 did all the love dissolve away?
      leaving only a spiteful residue
    Though it seems you forgot
         Loyalty
     pain
        ME…..
If change was with ease
   I wouldn’t have lost my All
    I can’t help who I am
    I tried for you….
I failed.         
……   you gotta set me free


Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012

We are Not Immune, Stay Vigilant

I remember my first serious relationship. About four months into this relationship she told me how happy she was and that it had been the best relationship that she had ever been in. I remember because it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me. What I didn’t realize was that that moment was also the beginning of the end of our relationship. Eight months later she broke up with me because our relationship had tanked.

When I looked back over the relationship I realized that as soon as she told me that and I felt like I had “arrived” at happiness I started to slack. I would flake here or there, perhaps I wouldn’t apologize this time because I felt that it wasn’t needed…. I had stopped giving it my all because I felt I was in such a good place that it wouldn’t matter…and little by little it began to chip away until it was too late.

Why do I share this? I share this because like our walk with Christ, vigilance is the difference between happily ever after and total destruction. The moment we feel like we have arrived… the moment we think we got this thing wired and can begin to slack off is the beginning of the end…

We will never have our sin under control…. we will never be strong enough to stand up against the enemy unless we remain vigilant in our walk and in our faith. No matter how on fire we are for God we are always vulnerable if we are not vigilant. Our pride sneaks up on us, our frustrations take root in our heart and slowly turns us bitter.

We must seek God with everything we are or we will begin to be chipped away…. until it’s too late.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Hate me if You Want, I Love You

​​I was standing by a wall before work this morning and I saw a woman sitting behind my office building. She was sitting in the dirt putting on her make up and cleaning her wounds. It was obvious that she was strung out on meth and homeless. She was sitting by the door I was going to enter so when I approached the door I turned to her and smiled. I said good morning and offered her my sandwich. She kind of laughed at the offer so I didn’t know how to read her. I couldn’t tell if she was offended or just smoked out, so I started talking with her.

She was tripping on how I had just woken up and was starting my day. She was asking me if I had my huge coffee with 8 shots from starbucks and some babble I couldn’t quite make out. I could tell she was being condescending by the sneer on her face and the tone in her voice but it didn’t phase me one bit. I could tell she just thought I was some yuppie trying to take pity on someone I viewed as less than myself. I laughed and told her no, but I did drink about a gallon of coffee this morning. In that moment I saw a look in her eyes saying, “You yuppie idiot, you don’t have any clue.” I recognized the look because it is the look I had often throughout my years of wandering.

I smiled and told her that I was stuck on meth, booze and anything else I could get my hands on for most of my life and that I had been clean for 4 or 5 years. This statement got her attention and she responded quickly, “Do you have a line!?” I smiled and told her again, “Nah, I’ve been clean and I’m not going back”, and she replied, “Well if you ever change your mind come see me and I will hook you up.” I chuckled again and smiled. I looked into her eyes and said, “that won’t be happening but if you ever want some Jesus or some hope you come back here and see me again. I told her God loved her and told her to be safe and went up to work.

I came back down an hour later to smoke and she was still sitting back there with someone else. I smiled and said hi and then went to my phone to mind my own business while standing next to them. I heard her begin to make comments to her friend about how I loved Jesus. Not in an inspired way, this chick was talking some smack.

They were giggling away making their comments and what I noticed was that it wasn’t bothering me. I am sitting there listening to her but not responding because it would have done nothing but escalate a situation that didn’t need to be escalated and I felt joy. It was so noticeable to me because I don’t do well with being disrespected.

I began thinking with excitement, “they are hating on me for Jesus, this is so awesome!” Then I began to feel so grateful because this persecution was nothing compared to what our brothers and sisters are facing around the globe daily….

I didn’t inspire that girl or have the reaction that is always hoped for when I witness, but I was still blessed because I was obedient. Our conversation could click with her a month down the road, 10 years or never…. that is not for me to know. But I was and am filled with joy because I was obedient therefore loving.

I may not have brought her to Christ but I showed her that not every Christian is what she thought, and I showed her for a moment that there is an end to addiction, there is hope and there is a way out

Don’t worry about the outcome of your witness… focus on your motives.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Want to Feel God’s Presence?

​”This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” John 4 10-12

This scripture jumped into my mind last night and something stirred in me. If we want to feel God’s presence…..if we want to be who He wants us to be and be blessed, all we need to do is love on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

God is love, and if His love, which essentially is God, is made complete when we actively love, then He is fully in us while we are loving.

Want to feel God’s presence ?…. love on a stranger.

Be the Blessing

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

A Father’s Visit

​Anticipation, anxiety, excitement 

  A whirlwind, so fast

….so slow

     It’s not like it was

how could it be

     Love overflowing

  Roaring like a river

Rocks of insecurity, regret and hurt cut the flow

…..the precious moments sting

   They are priceless through

In the blink of an eye

   Silence, distance…..waiting 

The love will always grow 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Jesus Freak and Proud 

​I am a Jesus freak, through and through. What’s that to you ? 

Church, Jesus, Rancid, D.R.I., The Crucified, T.S.O.L., Jesus Culture, etc? Do you got me figured out yet?

Jesus freaks gotta be chumps right? 

Don’t kid yourself!  From the gutter to the gospel, from gritty to grace. I am me, plus love, times grace. If you don’t feel it read it again. I’m as hard and soft as they come. Jesus is Lord and I will tell you again.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Why do We Love Christ?

​I am sitting at work, doing my thing and all of a sudden I was filled with such an urgency to write about Christ.

There is a conversation Jesus has with Peter;

– Luke 9:18-20 “Once when Jesus was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”(red letter)

I feel this question is the most important question every believer needs to ask themselves and pray about. We may think we have the “right” answers, or have heard moving or inspiring opinions from others which we have chosen to grab onto and make our own. Some can comb over the scriptures and have books of the bible memorized but have no real understanding of who Jesus truly is to them, in their lives.

How can we truly love Christ, appreciate fully what He has done for us if our faith, and our love is based on clichés? I am not saying that these clichés are wrong, what I am saying is we need to know why we love Him, personally and sincerely.

How can we fully love someone if we don’t know why we personally chose to love Him and to follow Him?

My prayer is that every follower will delve into their faith and ask the question, “Why do I love Him?”

This question will strengthen our faith, dramatically strengthen our witness/testimony and will cause us to fall further and further in love with Jesus.

Be blessed and seek more of Him!

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Seek the Lost and Love Them

Holy Spirit impressed something on my heart I feel I should share with all of you. In Luke 8:26-39, Jesus had come across a cursed man. Possessed not by one demon, but a legion of demons.

The hold that these demons had on this man was so great that he was written off by society. Exiled to the tombs, hastily forgotten, helpless…hopeless. The villagers didn’t know what to do with the man and they tried everything they could think of. In desperation, they chained the man down, but his demons were so powerful they would just snap their chains….unable to deal with him, he was exiled to the tombs to suffer in his torment.

Everyone was terrified of this man….. Jesus sought this man out. Everyone wrote him off as a lost cause. Jesus saw a man who needed to be set free…..

This is such an inspirational model for every one of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to the exiles of this age. We must not confine our ministry to that of our own comfort. There is a large world out there, filled with so many people without hope. Broken, lost, hurting and alone. The people outside of our comfort zone, so different, or dare I say scary to us that are howling in pain like this possessed man.

In so much pain, consumed by their demons…. How will they know what we know, unless we tell them? The homeless man, the convict, the orphan…. Men and women bound and gagged in their sin, their pain or their circumstances.

I am not saying that we should head down some dark alley looking for lost souls. I am just saying that He wants to use us. We don’t need to be afraid or over think how God could possibly use us. With a single smile or a word said from love, Holy Spirit is capable of changing the heart and life of a person otherwise hopeless.
Jesus has called us not to stand on the sidelines, but to roll up our sleeves and love the unlovable. It is our responsibility to remember the forgotten and give hope to the hopeless, in Jesus name.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:19-20

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Shackles of Yesterday 

​ …….selfish

 Consumed by a lifestyle obsession     

         Destroyed my heart

Suddenly 

    Morbid thoughts take hold 

        Futile escaping the pain 

    Indescribable aching of the soul   

                 Freedom

        sorely needed 

                Unlikely 

     Aware previously

                but blinded 

          Contradictions

         Desperate to forget 

   Unwilling 

       Move on!

  Impossible…..

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

In our Wandering, He is There

20180512_1013201078402913.jpg

The times in our life when we feel like we are wandering in the desert can be the most discouraging. When God’s voice is silent and we have no idea what is going on or what is going to happen. We look back over our faith and wondering how we got to this place….

“Did I take a wrong turn?”, “Did God bail on me?” It is in these times when our faith is tested. When there is no end in sight and all we seem to have is a promise that He will see us through, even though our hope seems to be rapidly dissipating.

If you look in Exodus, you will see a story of God’s people who were promised freedom, a nation and a life beyond anything they dare hope or dream. God told them not to take the familiar route out of Egypt because when things got hard they would be tempted to turn around and head back into slavery….into darkness where it is familiar.(Ex 13:17-18) God knew that the road He had for them was going to be very hard and He wanted them to press on so He could fulfill His promise and bless them like He said He would.

I have come to recognize these times of wandering as a very clear indicator that God is about to do something important in our lives. When He takes us on the unfamiliar path to protect us from our own weakness, fear and doubt. He sends us somewhere where we must rely on Him completely… then boom….it becomes clear.

Have faith, He will see you through, I promise.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Love, in Action 

​When I stare at the rain I cannot help but think of my old life.

Cold, alone, hurting and not a friend in the world. Something about rainy days made it so much more painful.

Sitting behind that dumpster, my head would drift back to days of my youth. Cuddled up next to my parents, safe and secure with the whole world before me…. My mind would drift back to this place of nostalgia and comfort no matter how hard I tried to push it away.

Why did I push away the happy memories you may ask…. it’s because I had lost all hope. 

I had no doubt in my mind that I had carved out my path long before and that I had blown it. My memories were nothing more than a taunting from a God that was giving me everything I deserved…. I knew that not a single soul gave a damn about me and my days of hope and love were long gone…. I had past the point of no return.

I didn’t know that people cared…. I didn’t know that God loved me and that my life was not over… that I had hope.

There is a whole world of people in this exact same prison…. lost in the illusion that not a soul on this planet gives a crap about them.

They need to know they are loved, by God and by us, but they will not know this if we don’t tell them.

I talk about this often because I will never forget that place…. I talk about it often because the smallest gesture, the smallest act of love really can change everything.

We don’t need to worry about what to say to the broken because it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that our love is sincere for these people. That love is what they will see and it will speak to their hearts, I promise you that. Even if you don’t get the response you are hoping for, you can know that right in that moment you showed them that they have not been forgotten, that they are loved.

My prayer for all of us is that our eyes will be open, are hearts filled with love and that the Spirit’s voice will be heard.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

New Years Resolution? Nah, I got Christ

​Resolutions…. I hear them all around me; on television, at work, at the store. It seems like the whole world is jumping at the opportunity for a clean slate…a fresh start. They want to put a year of shortcomings and failures in their rear view mirror as they strive for something better.

I could not relate more with their desires…. for something new, a do over on some of the choices made in the previous days, months or years….but I can’t help but wonder, what’s different than any other day of the year? 

Then I think about the life of a Christian. Every single day… every single moment, we have the opportunity to start fresh.

All year long people are waiting for a pivotal moment, a marker where they feel change is a good idea. The world gets so excited because they feel they have a real chance for a clean slate.

We as believers are blessed beyond any other person on this planet because we know the Truth… the Truth is, every single day, with every single shortcoming, we are given the gift of a clean slate. By knowing the freedom that comes through Christ, every passing moment really is another chance to turn it all around.

We are free from the burdens, the stigmas….the tainting of who we are because of our mistakes. 

We are free to live new everyday…. I don’t know about you, but that truth sets me free in a way that no amount of resolutions ever possibly could or would. 

You are free!… what you do with it is up to you. 

Happy Hew Year Y’all. May you bask in the freedom of the Son.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Trust Beyond You

​You know, I was just thinking…. I was thinking of a man of faith who isn’t really recognized all that much, and that is Joseph, husband to Mary and step Father to Jesus. This man wasn’t married to Mary yet, they had never slept together and he gets hit with the news that his future bride is pregnant. Not only is she pregnant, but he is told she has been inpregnated by Holy Spirit. 

I don’t know about you, but if I were Joseph, I would have a hard time processing that information. There is no way that he wasn’t even the least bit suspicious that Mary had slept with someone else….. 

How easily Joseph could have bailed on Mary if he was a man without faith. For myself, if I didn’t know how the story played out….if I hadn’t had so many very real experiences with Holy Spirit I honestly don’t think I would have or could have believed what had happened. 

But Joseph chose to believe…. he chose to believe that God was working and that He was more than capable of doing something beyond Joseph’s understanding….. what if Joseph chose to bail? Say he did choose to believe the worst, he leaves her and Mary dies not being able to take care of herself and as a result Christ wasn’t born.

It really is amazing if you think about it. A man who really didn’t play a huge role in the story was in fact crucial to it. If he did not chose to believe God past his own understanding, we could still be living in darkness, waiting for the Messiah that was able to come because Joseph believed. I don’t know about you, but I find that very encouraging.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your role isn’t important. If we chose to trust God beyond what we can explain, understand or feel, then He will use us. 

So I guess my question is, Do you believe? 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Choose to Trust Him

wp-1508802537930.jpgThe enemy’s lies are always speaking. Whether it be a personal spiritual attack or commercials on television, the voice drones on…..and if we don’t focus on Jesus, if we don’t seek the cross…..we can never be free.

We all have our battles; some feel too much, some not enough. There are Christians who are trying to leave a past behind, while some are desperately searching forward, looking for something.

Wherever you are, the Truth remains the same. Jesus will meet you, right where you’re at. The enemy will try and bombard you with doubts, with fear….with lies.

Never forget, it comes down to a choice. You have to choose to trust God. Anyone can trust God when His presence is thick and the blessings are raining down. But when you are in those dark places, where you feel alone, lost or abandoned…. choose to remember God’s goodness and never let go of the Truth… that He is incapable of failing you.

God is constant, God is love and He is not going to give up on you, hold a grudge or punish you. Remember that!

Take heart y’all, God has not forgotten about you! I know it feels that way sometimes…. when God feels absent, and it seems to come at a time when you feel you need Him most. Don’t let the enemy get you twisted. He will come through for you, just like He does for me, time and time again.

Your hope will be revealed, of this I have zero doubts. Just hang on, pray and love, especially when you don’t feel like it, and you will see. I promise

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”-Romans 8:38-39

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Bitter Sweet Blessings

​I went and visited my kids this week……It was such a blessing getting to see them….. man, they have grown up so much.

This week was filled with so many blessings. The conversations that were had, the countless dances with my princess….the laughter. I think that’s what I miss the most,hearing them laugh. It brought to life all of the love I possess, and it was incredible. This week was also a week filled with regret, tears, indescribable hurt and pain that I would not wish on anyone……

In our walk, in our faith, in this life, we are constantly making choices. This experience for me is one of great difficulty. I have focused on the bad all of my life. I dwell, I complain and can be very cynical.. just ask my wife 

But right now I have a choice…. I can bask is the sweetness of those moments that nobody can take away from me, or I can allow the pain, hurt and fear to rob me of that precious gift from God.

We all have situations like this in our lives. God creates such beautiful things through trials and pain, and though your story is not the same as mine, you have a choice, just like me. Do we bask in the blessings or allow fear and pain to cripple us and rob us of our joy?

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Writteb by: Justin Ludwig

Echos of Past Sin

​Second hand experiences

  part time leader….

Echos of past sins

  Intensifies with each bounce 

  A blink…..their gone

Eternity in a moment 

…..so many moments

  Wondering 

     Worrying 

         Helpless 

…..reduced to a by standard 

   the love…..

The beauty replaced with pain

      And so the wheels spin

Spinning, spinning, spinning. 

  Intensification with each reverberation

   then a flash…

Echos cease

   Love abounds

        …….Love 

more than words could muster

    A moment captured 

         Treasured

Refusal to blink 

     Don’t blink!

It can’t end!

   then…. 

 Like a flash 

All too familiar tunnels

      Fears

         Aches of the soul

Echos…… constantly reminding

      Love…. forever driving

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

   

Love in the Darkness 

​Drowning in a sea of faces 

      Breathing 

           suffocating

              Merely surviving

  …… to what end!?

 one of a billion helpless souls 

            breath, fear, doomed 

        Resides 

  …….festers to the final breath 

      in the silence I welcome the end 

       My eyes close…..

   they open facing an angel 

    a million questions 

       She smiled

    all answered….

My savior 

    A million more…..

           …those can wait 

                   for I feel

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012 (Mel Inspiration #2B)

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

I want to Pray for You, Use Me!

​IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER, PLEASE READ THIS!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

If you need prayer, fellowship, and/or need a brother in Christ to lean on, I am here for you. 

I don’t just believe, but I know that as Christians, prayer is the most important, most powerful thing we do. To know someone is there, day or night when your heart is breaking that is ready to pray for you, praise with you, or simply be here to listen can and does change everything.

If you are not a Christian, it’s okay. I love you just as much as the Christian, the Muslim or out right haters of God. But wherever you are at, God loves you. I ask that if you feel that twinge in your stomach,  that pull from the Holy Spirit to reach out, don’t hesitate, don’t think, just respond.

Your prayers and/or messages come directly me, I share them with no one I urge you to leave your email address so I can email you my prayer, praise or comment so you know, without a doubt that you are loved, that you are important,  and that you are being prayed for. Your email will not be given to anyone, this is strickly for you, and for me.

Let me love you, let me pray for you.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by Justin Ludwig 

By Grace Alone

​Typical opening

  Laughing

     running

         ……doubt

Typical to the extent of understanding 

typical, becomes branded

   Transformed

Standard to a thumb

  Impressed on my character 

Toeing the line

    ….a flash 

 The dot suddenly in the distance

   Freedom to function 

Functionally dismantling 

Deafening silence…. obstructing the Truth

  Deeper deeper deeper 

Like gazelles 

     Once so free

         Rejoicing in ignorance

Basking in the illusion 

     one by one 

               they fell…..

  Blood stained reality

   Invisible to the sheltered 

     …horrors spoken

Experienced promise

     Monsters 

       …..the whispers 

If you have the ears, you know 

    Bedrock descends

deeper…… deeper 

  Weight is shed

     ….it’s so cold

Starving on only half the story

     Condemned 

          Helpless 

Lost

  Alone

        Confused 

Desperate!!!

  Acceptance…..

deeper and deeper 

      the chasm has no end 

Falling falling falling 

      the depths….

Where deep meets deep

  Sinking

      how far down will I fall 

Down down down 

….. Suddenly 

   Without recognition 

        Down became up! 

I don’t understand…..!

       What!?

            Why!?

                  Me!?

Faster I fall 

  Falling higher 

      Higher and higher

       Blinding light 

Fueling my ascent

Risen from the ashes

  by grace alone 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Trust Him, No Matter What 

​I remember the drive up to Teen Challenge, it was July 19th 2012. I was a man at the end of my rope. My addiction and self destruction had taken everything from me. 

Once my wife took my kids and split instead of getting sober, I decided to give up. I dove headfirst into my self destruction until it finally put myself out of my misery….. but I just wouldn’t die.

With the sickening amount of drugs, alcohol and horrible decisions… all that happened was the pain got worse…. I just couldn’t die.

But the pain, oh the pain!! I cannot put into words. I would begin screaming in agony at random because the grief, sorrow and regret was just too intense…. I kid you not.

All around me, my friends were dying, going down for murder…. the life of “partying” was long gone….. but my heart continued to beat.

God showed up in handcuffs, and I didn’t even know it. God saved me by giving me a felony and sent me to a year long discipleship. At the time I had no idea He was working. It wasn’t until the third month did His plan begin to become clear.

Have faith my brothers and sisters. In your pain, in your struggles and your impossible circumstances, God is working on something. Every horrible thing that happened to me was crucial to get me where I am. I speak of what I know, and I know that God can be trusted.

Trust His plan, no matter what

He is trustworthy, I promise. 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Holy Spirit is A Gentlemen

Holy Spirit is a Gentlemen and His truth is not to be forced upon anyone. (Matt 10:14) 

Some non believers feel they are being bible thumped, which is pushing them further from God. At the same time, some christians think that the great commission requires them to hound and pressure everyone to follow Christ. This is not how Holy Spirit works.

 It is our love that will open their eyes to the Truth. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, move on….don’t bible thump. It is our job to present the Truth, it is not our job to convert, that is God’s job. Love in action, no condemnation or pressure.

Love atheists, muslims and God haters the same way you love christians. That is how people will come to the Truth. Unreserved love, with no agenda.  So come on church, the world is waiting…. and they don’t even know it. 


Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Prayer,Motives and Truth 

​Some Christians say we are to pray in secret. That God values the intimacy and a very personal, private prayer life with us, which is true. They/we believe that prayer should be motivated by nothing other than the sincere longing for His presence and fellowshipping with Him, and I couldn’t agree more. 

What concerns me is, from time to time I have seen people who hold so tightly to specific scriptures, which have led them to go as far as to feel it is a misuse of prayer to proclaim blessings, to make “spectacles”, to lay hands and pray aloud for others.
Matthew 6 5-15 says,

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him..”

This scripture displays the importance of the motivation of our prayer lives. It supports the importance for a private, personal prayer life. Telling us clear as day to be humble in our prayers and to not make it about us by having motives other than the desire for sincere fellowship with Him. Based on this scripture they are absolutely right.

(This next part I wanted to emphasize that I am not trying to preach. I speak boldly because I genuinely love Jesus, His church, and you. Our church is everything to me and I want to strengthen it, so with that said )

As followers of Christ we have to know what we believe! We must be careful not to base our understanding about prayer, grace…. anything for that matter, from one passage, or from one sermon, it is dangerous! Be the good Berean. (Acts 17:11) 

When we are at a church service, if we are going up and pray out loud so everyone can see how “holy” or “Christian” we are…. we would be as bad as the Pharisees…… If we do do this; pray in loud voices, with all the “proper” words for all to hear, in the hopes of impressing others…..we would be choosing our own ego over His desires. Using God in an attempt to make ourselves look good, better… or more “christian”. We would be choosing ourselves over God.

Now, if we see a person hurting, alone or we just feel the Holy Spirit telling us to go pray boldly for someone for no particular reason, it’s about God, it’s about love…..not us. We don’t just write it down and pray for them later in private, we love in action! (1 John 3:18)

When the Spirit moves in our hearts and an outpouring of prayer and/or praise takes place, we must respond…. but it always comes down to motivation.

Just you, and Him…. wherever that may be. 

This scripture’s lessons about humility and the importance of motivation is crucial to a successful prayer life…. but there is more. The more you dig into the scriptures, you learn that there is more to prayer than intimacy…. there is power! 

There is another group of Christians; people motivated and driven by the Holy Spirit, driven to step out in faith and approach people, to pray openly for healing, grace and salvation, led by the Spirit’s love, guidance and power. There are many scriptures that support this truth about actively praying for the world in this way as well. A few include; Matt 5 14-16, Acts 13:3, 5:14-15, (more on request)

Both of these are scripturally accurate….. but just like everything in our walk with Christ, it’s a matter of motivation. We cannot walk in blindness, pride or fear, but with and always by the guidance of Holy Spirit. And when we do that. … Ohh man!!

Holy Spirit I ask that You spark a revival amongst Your children and teach us. Teach us to pray as You desire, to love like You and to lift each other up in prayer and petition from the right heart. Help us to hear Your voice and to be equally bold as well as humble. In Jesus name I pray this, amen

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

We’re Blessed, not Failures 

​At the feet of our Hero, we try hard to learn….. But the lessons are lost sometimes….. because we aren’t perfect……. but we’re blessed to know. Know that You are our Savior….. One I don’t deserve.

 I will always follow…. for where else shall I go. You are my Hero…… for You, my heart burns.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

I Trust So I Wait 

What do I do

  What do I do?

     What! 

Frantic conflict

 Peaceful…… fear

   Terrified, but with hope 

Letting go …..

    I have to do something!

  ……”wait”

      Waiting

Accomplished only by the determined

  Attacks 

      Lies and pain

 Ensured so endured 

Truest test of faith

 …..waiting 

From my core …. I believe 

…. but he pain does not subside 

What do I do!

   Trust

I do, but……..

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Want to Change a Life?  Here is Your Chance!

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I say this proudly and without hesitation to anyone,because He saved me from a living hell. He grabbed ahold of me and changed me…. I truly became a new person. I say it proudly because I am so grateful for what He has done for me, for us.

I write about my faith, my God, and my belief all the time. Right now, I want to put my faith into action and invite you. I want to invite you to make a real difference in this broken world, to affect real change. There are two links below which will take you to two donor letters that I wrote last night. They are for two ministries, one builds homes for the working poor down in Ensenada. I went down there last year and did it, and it was truly amazing, I share about it in the letter. The other ministry is sponsoring children to get their education. They cannot afford to go to school because they are poor, and they are poor because they have no education. It is a tragic cycle and this is also down in Ensenada, the level of poverty is truly heartbreaking.

I am offering you an amazing opportunity to love, in action and change lives. Please click the link and read my letters.

Thank you and God Bless

Baja Educational Initiative. Help End Poverty with Education 

Baja Bound, Building Homes For The Working Poor 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

You Needed Prayer, Here I Am 

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

 ​

Life sucks sometimes… It hurts,  it’s unfair, we get afraid, angry or downright hateful or just can’t let go. I want to invite you to let me pray for you. You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to be anything.

The support of someone who genuinely cares can make all the difference. I am offering a word of hope and a blessing over your life, I’m not looking to convert anyone 🙂 

 If even for a second, you felt that twinge to act on this, please click the link and let me lift you up.  No tricks, no strings, no ads or mailing lists. Just love and hope.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

We Love You, Right Where You’re At

​Why is it such an uncomfortable topic, Christianity? 

I think through a lifetime of bad experiences, we have all encountered christians that twist our faith into something hateful or full of judgment. 

Time and time again we see christians say one thing, and then do another. Who speak of love and then in the same breathe speak judgment or hate…… I want you to know, there is a whole world of us. Christians who love you, right where you are at. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, Muslim, democrat or a republican, we love you, truly and sincerely. There is a world full of Christians who know that we are not better than you. We don’t judge you, we don’t look down or condemn you. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I say this proudly because Christ is love, Christ is unity. And that is a beautiful thing.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Why God Excites Me 

​People ask me, “Why do I get so excited about God”, I can only smile at what flows through my mind.

I get excited about God for saving me from a life of addiction. From a life of self loathing, hatred and constant pain. I get excited about God because He loves me, every part if me and always will. He has saved me from an eternity of suffering and punishment, from hell on earth and He has saved me from myself….

We read of who He is in the scriptures and we believe. We believe the stories, the prophecies and the promises, but sometimes we can have the tendency to view God as a God of the past, or a God of the future. But the truth is,”God is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb 13:8) Which means He is alive and active today, just like in the days of the Apostles and that is an awesome exciting thing!  I am excited because I have experienced His “impossible” works, first hand and I have witnessed things that cannot be denied. 

I get excited because God is real! His power and His presence is real and He not only wants to work in our lives, but He wants to use us to bless others and to change the world through love, one person at a time.

God is hope, God is love, God is good. 

He is alive and active and I love it! 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

God is Speaking, Are we Listening?

There is a man standing on his roof during a torrential rain and the water is rising so fast. He calls out to God saying “You know I love and follow You, please save me!!”

 Moments later a boat pulls up and they say “come with us, we will save you!” The man on the roof says “No that’s ok, Im waiting for God to save me”. The boat leaves and shortly after that, a helicopter appears overhead saying “Grab the rope, or you going to die!”. The man on the roof replies “No that’s ok, I’m waiting on God to save me” So the helicopter leaves and shortly after that the water engulfed him and he drowns.

 When he got to heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you save me? You know I love You!?” And God replys “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, what else did you want Me to do??” 

How many times in our lives are we waiting and waiting to hear from God, but feel like we are not being answered? Everyone would love to get a clear cut answer from a loud booming voice from the sky or a burning bush experience. When in reality God works so much more practically. He speaks into our hearts, through those around us and through situations. My prayer for everyone, myself included is that we stop waiting for God to “speak” to us and just listen to what He is already saying.


Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Brokenness Inspires Hope

Brokenness is beautiful

Inspires hope

An embedded reluctance within

hiding the weakness in fear

dare I expose my truth?

  ….”no!”

     …”strength”!

 

 Compulsions emerge

Masks

Confidence

Smiles…..

     whitewashed leaders taking point

facades of perfection

Incarcerated in secret walls of shame and sin.

Brokenness is leadership

   Vulnerability

  Everyone is broken…..all alone

……..They must know!

          We are one

……. we struggle

Humility, vulnerability, brokeness

Righteousness, aside from Christ, does not give hope, brokenness does.

 

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”2 Cor 12: 9-11

“Whenever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. “Ps 28:13

“It is better to be humble in Spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” -Ps. 16:19

   “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Ps34:18

God desired authenticity, not an illusion of righteousness.  No matter what your head tells you, it is OK to hurt,  it is okay to doubt, and it’s  impossible not to fail. Share your trials and shortcomings with enthusiasm and I promise the authenticity of your heart will speak volumes more than playing it off like we got it all together or having all the perfect answers.

Keep your witnessing genuine and your love overflowing and watch the Spirit work! This right here is how we can make a difference in this broken world.

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

The Story of 2 Timothy 

​The writer of 2 Timothy was the apostle Paul.  Paul was a man that gave his everything to God.  Before Christ revealed Himself to Paul, he was known as Saul of Tarsus.  He was born in Tarsus in Cilicia around A.D. 1–5 in a province in the southeastern corner of modern day Tersous, Turkey.  He was of Benjamite lineage and Hebrew ancestry.  He was a pharisee who hunted down, imprisoned, and even murdered Christians.  He participated in the stoning of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, and was possibly the overseer of that execution.  This was a man who would not tolerate any disrespect to God, which is why he hated the Christians in the first place. Saul, with all his murderous hate towards Christians, requested a letter from the high priest to present to all the synagogues in Damascus that any follower of Christ was to be imprisoned in Jerusalem.  On his way to Damascus to present and in force this order, the resurrected Christ appeared to him in a flash from heaven, asking Saul, “Why do you persecute Me?”  Christ in all of His glory revealed Himself to Saul as the Son of God.

    It is a common misconception that God changed Saul’s name to Paul once the conversion took place on that road to Damascus, like when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Cephas, which translates to Peter.  In actuality, all of his life he had the dual names Saul and Paul, which was custom in those days.  The reason for the switch was because before Christ, Saul, being a pharisee and obviously very proud if his Jewish heritage, chose to go by Saul.  Once he began preaching Christ to the Gentiles, he decided to change it to Paul since this was a name that the Gentiles were familiar with.  Paul is an amazing example of the transformation Christ can have in even the hardest of hearts, and that His grace is extended to the worst of the worst.  Once Paul’s eyes were opened to the truth, he dedicated the remainder of his life to preaching the gospel to the world.  Paul was very intentional with his ministry.  In 2 Corinthians 11 for example, before he lists the hardships he has endured for the sake of the gospel, he points out all of his qualifications as a Jew; bringing up his lineage and accomplishments as a pharisee, in order that they will hear what he has to say about Christ.  This is a man who was flogged 5 times, beaten with rods and shipwrecked 3 times, and stoned once.  Paul was the greatest apostle by demonstrating his unwavering devotion to Christ under such extreme opposition.  Not only that, but the grace and power that God blessed him with shows that nobody, not a single soul, is too evil or too far gone to be restored and renewed by Christ’s love, sacrifice and grace.

The letter of 2 TImothy was written approximately A.D. 66 or 67.  Paul was imprisoned yet again in Rome for his preachings of Christ as the Messiah.  This time though, Paul knew that his earthly mission was coming to an end and that he would soon be executed.  This book contains Paul’s final words to his young protege Timothy, essentially passing the torch of leadership on to him.  Timothy’s father was a heathen Greek and his mother was a Jewess named Eunice.  It was Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Lois, who instilled such a strong faith in Timothy.  Timothy heard the gospel from Paul on his first missionary trip in either Lystra or Derbe and believed the Truth.  Based on Acts 14:6, Acts 20:4 and Acts 16:3, it can be inferred that Timothy was a native of Lystra, but that is not definite.  On Paul’s second missionary trip, when he returned to Timothy’s town to preach again, Timothy joined him on his missionary journey.  On this trip, they traveled to Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, Troas, Neapoils, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth, which is when Paul wrote the book of Romans.  Timothy’s faithfulness continued through Paul’s earthly ministry and he was the pastor of the church at Ephesus when this letter was written. 

After Paul expressed much love for Timothy in the opening of the letter, he reminded Timothy of the qualities that would be necessary for him to continue a faithful ministry of Jesus Christ: boldness, love and self discipline.  He called Timothy to join his suffering for the gospel for the sake of Christ and to always use his gifts with boldness.  He reminded Timothy to always keep to the truth and to keep his eyes focused on Christ.  Paul challenged him to hold to sound doctrine, to reject error and to correctly handle the word of Truth.  He warned Timothy of the opposition that he and other believers would face in the last days from self-centered people who use the church for their own gain and who will teach false doctrine.  Paul told him to prepare for dealing with these unfaithful people.  He reminded Timothy to follow his example by emulating his way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions and sufferings.  Paul continued by articulating to Timothy the proper functions of the word of God.  “That all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17)

In the final chapter, Paul gave a stirring charge to Timothy to preach the Word, be prepared in every season, and to use God’s word to correct, rebuke and encourage others, with great patience and careful instruction.  He forewarned Timothy that in the later days, people wouldn’t follow sound doctrine.  They would begin searching elsewhere for answers that better suit their selfish desires.  He encouraged Timothy to keep his head up, endure hardship, and to do the work of an evangelist.

In the closing remarks, you can really see Paul’s loneliness being revealed, his feelings of betrayal, and his strong love for his brothers and sisters in Christ.  I have always really liked this letter.  I have a hard time with people.  Since becoming a Christian, honestly I have had a hard time loving the way that God desires of me.  Throughout this letter, Paul expresses and assures Timothy that he is going to encounter extremely hateful, selfish, wicked people who will seek to harm him and his mission.  Paul’s instruction is not to back down, but move forward with love, patience and endurance.  A man who had experienced so much pain and persecution, insists that God will deliver us, so we must love them in the hopes that they will come to the Truth.  I guess I can only speak for myself but this instruction to Timothy might as well have my name in place of him because it feels like Paul is talking directly to me.  When we are confronted by the many haters, perpetrators or instigators of our faith, we must stand firm in Christ’s truth, and always respond with patience and love.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Bibliography

Got questions.org

http://www.godvine.com/bible/2-timothy/2-18 Albert Barnes’ notes

Zondervan Study bible app

Zondervan Life Application study bible, niv

Podcasts 

http://thebiblestudypodcast.com/bible-studies-book-studies/bible-study-2-timothy/ 

Parallel Resource  

http://www.biblestudytools.com/compare-translations/ 

I am here and ready, for You

​IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER, PLEASE READ THIS!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

If you need prayer, fellowship, and/or need a brother in Christ to lean on, I am here for you. 

I don’t just believe, but I know that as Christians, prayer is the most important, most powerful thing we do. To know someone is there, day or night when your heart is breaking that is ready to pray for you, praise with you, or simply be here to listen can and does change everything.

If you are not a Christian, it’s okay. I love you just as much as the Christian, the Muslim or out right haters of God. But wherever you are at, God loves you. I ask that if you feel that twinge in your stomach,  that pull from the Holy Spirit to reach out, don’t hesitate, don’t think, just respond.

Your prayers and/or messages come directly me, I share them with no one I urge you to leave your email address so I can email you my prayer, praise or comment so you know, without a doubt that you are loved, that you are important,  and that you are being prayed for. Your email will not be given to anyone, this is strickly for you, and for me.

Let me love you, let me pray for you.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by Justin Ludwig 

You are Loved

​I was suddenly overwhelmed by the Spirit to tell you, this very second, that God loves you so much. That sin that nobody knows about, that secret shame that you are carrying. God want you to know that He knows… and He says “it’s ok, He loves you.” 

We have a hard time forgiving ourselves…… loving ourselves. Never forget that God adores you, right in your mess, your mistakes,and your sin. You are loved, and that will never change.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Love, Not Knowledge

With all of the theology, all of the “religion” and knowledge…. if the result of all of this isn’t an out pouring of love towards the world, then the entire point was missed.

Don’t make excuses, just love. Don’t ignore, just love. Love, because it is the best thing we do…. because God is love and His love is made perfect, when we love.

The world will not come into the saving embrace of Christ’s grace through theology…. They will be saved by simple, pure love.

1 John 4:11-12

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Trust His Plan

wp-1509728802651.jpgThere is this toddler, he is going about his day and comes across a paperclip. He sees this paperclip and wonders to himself, “What’s the purpose of this,  what can I use it for?” Then like a beacon of light, he notices two holes sitting at the base of the wall. It must seem like such a clear and obvious answer. It fits, so this stick must go into that hole. So he walks over and begins to place this piece of metal into the socket and out of nowhere, his dad runs in and smacks his hand and begins to scold him…..

I don’t know what must be going through that kid’s mind when the smack connected and the yelling started. I bet he wasn’t thinking, “My dad loves me so much, thank you for smacking me and yelling at me.” No, in the confusion and hurt he blames his dad, because he doesn’t understand. “Why would you do that to me!?” I hate you, you are so mean, I thought you loved me!”

This child was completely oblivious to the fatal mistake he was about make. A mistake that there quite possibly was no coming back from. Yet, it made sense to him; it fits, it’s here, this must be what I should do.  In the moment he cannot see that what his father had just done was save his child’s life, saved him from extreme pain…. he saved his child from destroying himself.

There are times in my walk with Christ when I feel like this child. When it feels like I am serving God to the best of my ability, but doors seem to constantly slam shut, my heart gets broken or I feel like God is depriving me from some blessing.

This toddler eventually learns exactly why his father did what he did, and only then can he realize what would have happened if he was able to do what he thought was a good idea.

When God closes the door on your dream job, trust Him. When the love of your life leaves you and you feel like your world is coming to an end, trust Him.

It is so easy when we don’t get what we want, when we want it, how we want it to turn on God. To blame God for withholding our blessings, or to come to the conclusion that He doesn’t love us and that’s why He stopped us from achieving our goal.

Time and time again, when I look back over my life I am amazed at what He saved me from, and I had no clue that I needed saving.

No matter what, trust Him. Because He is trustworthy and one day it will all become clear.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Unity through Love

​It seems disagreement instantly incites insults, hate and strife. What if, and nowadays it’s a big what if, but what if we discussed instead of insulted. If we are so passionate about our beliefs and want others to see what we see. How can we ever hope for change and unite as a peope if we dig our heals in and say “nope, my way’s right and you are an idiot.” I am not here to lecture, I am sharing to say, unity is the only hope we have. Discuss and share out of love, because if anger and frustration is your motivator, all that will be created is further division. At this point in our country if we do not unite, even when we don’t agree, we are doomed. I am not saying change your beliefs to keep the peace. What I am saying is just voice it through love….always through love, and you will be amazed at the changes that will take place.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

God Will Cover the Impossible, Just Get Back Up

​It is so easy to become overwhelmed by our situation. It is so easy for the burdens of our trials, the shackles of our shortcomings, or the illusion of hopelessness to blanket us.

  I have seen and experienced many amazing things with and from God. I have been touched by God in ways that changed everything….. I have felt His power. But to be honest,  I still catch myself at times believing that God is not enough.

With the pain of loss, the continuous consequences of past sins crashing over me day after day, year after year, I sometimes find myself feeling defeated. I find myself suddenly feeling out of control. So tired of trying to fight the good fight that I can’t seem to summon the strength, the drive, or desire to even want to stand up again and keep going. These feelings of doubt and defeat well up in me more often than I care to admit. And when they do, I feel heavy, I feel flooded with a hopeless feeling that things won’t work out…. that I am kidding myself and I need to just give up. This morning was one of those mornings, and without asking Him for clarity, He presented me with a passage.

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” – John 5:1-9

This man was blinded by his situation. This man was consumed by his very real problems and his very real pain. I think it is safe to say we have all tasted a portion of what this man lived up until this encounter at some point in our lives.

“I have wasted my entire life, I don’t know any other way… I can’t change”, “You don’t understand how hard it is for me, there is no happy ending for me, I deserve this!”…., “I just can’t do it. I am tired of hoping, I am tired of fighting… I  give up.”

The Spirit smacked me I’m the face this morning with this truth. When Jesus asks this man, “Do you want to get better”, the invalid could only reply with why he couldn’t get better. All the invalid could see was the hopelessness of his situation. All he could see was the impossibility of his healing, of change in his situation.

In all of this man’s disbelief Jesus met him. In the incredibly painful, hopeless life that this man lived, Jesus has but two words for him, “Get up!”

It doesn’t matter if we cannot see any hope in our situation. In a life broken beyond repair, Jesus doesn’t ask us to fix it, to do better,  or to try harder. He simply wants us to trust Him enough to stand back up, so He can do the impossible for us. 

Don’t lose heart in your situation, just stand back up and keep following Him. And when you do, I promise you, He will come through for You, probably in a way you never saw coming.

He is trustworthy, He is good and He is capable. My prayer is that every one of us will never forget that.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” -2 Thess 3:5

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Power is prayer, I am ready

**Please Read ** Prayer Is Power!!

I felt led to share this invitation  again. I want to pray for you and support you. Our fellowship and support gives us such strength and encouragement.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

You don’t know me and I don’t know you. If you are a Christian brother or sister then we are one.  If you are not a Christian no worries, I just want you to know that you are loved.  By myself, my fellow christians and most importantly by Jesus Christ. With that said,

I feel that prayer is the most important thing we can do in our lives as a Christian. To support each other, to be able to lift each other up in love to the Father is such an awesome thing. I truly believe in the power of prayer and experience it’s effectiveness time and time again. As we grow deeper in our prayer lives we come to know our God on a much closer and deeper level. I would love to pray for you and I always love to hear how God is coming through for you. If you include your email I will email you my prayer for you. I don’t put you on
emailing lists and don’t care about marketing. The sole purpose of this is for me to lift up your prayers and support you any way I can.

This link simply navigates within my own blog to the prayer requests. I encourage you to put your email so I can email you back a prayer so you can read what I prayed for. Either way, prayer is power y’all!! God bless and take advantage,  you have a man ready to pray for you, with no motivate other than I want God to work in your life.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance”- 2 Thess 3:5

Justin Ludwig

He Has a Purpose for Your Pain

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There is always a motivator, an inspiration that is hidden within our pain, our trials and our burdens.

I remember when my dad died, God’s hand seemed to be in everything. From divine appointments, to the the healing that took place in our broken relationship that would not have happened if this painful ordeal had not taken place. The extreme pain and sadness of watching my dad wither away to nothing in such a tragic and slow way filled me with an urgency to increase my love for others. To watch my dad dying while not knowing Christ opened my eyes even wider to the truth of the importance of my witnessing, my ministry and my service. I found myself on fire for God in a way that I would never have thought as a result of such sadness and hurt.

I suddenly was overwhelmed with the fact of how important it is for me to share, proclaim and pray without hesitation or reservation. To share the love and grace of God now, not later.

God does not put these suffocating experiences, these painful trials in our lives for no reason… there is always a reason.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Knowing this, and believing it with all of my heart to be true, I have been struggling to find my motivator in my present trial. I so desperately want God’s inspiring wisdom on how I can learn and grow from my kids moving so far away from me. My children leaving has left an emptiness in my heart that only a father who so desperately wants his children but cannot have them would understand.

This trial has been a heavy one for me and I have been seeming to sink deeper and deeper into this dark winding road. I have no doubt in God’s faithfulness, in His plan for my life, or His goodness. But I have been feeling thinner as the days of pain wore on with no revealed knowledge on what I am supposed to do with all of this.

I was praying to God the other day ,” I trust You Father, but I can’t see Your hand in this. Please reveal Your purpose for this pain in my life, help me to use it, for Your glory.”

Yesterday I got my answer. I was sitting in IHOP with my wife, overcome with sadness because I was about to fly home again after saying goodbye to my children. As I am sitting there eating my pancakes, the Spirit suddenly brought to mind the book of Hosea.

How God uses the relationship between Hosea and his prostitute wife to show him God’s perspective on how painful it is when you love someone so much, but they constantly cheat on you, leave you, and don’t fully commit themselves to you. Hosea was able to taste a fraction of God’s perspective, how much it grieves our Father when His beloved children don’t stay faithful to Him.

And that’s when it hit me…. this is God’s inspiration in and for my trial.

The extreme heartbreak of watching my children leave me time and time again is almost more than I can bear.  My heart breaks in ways that I simply cannot put into words….. How much more does God weep when we turn from Him?  How much deeper is the heartbreak of a God who loves us an infinite amount more than I am even capable of…. and then the Spirit whispered His response. “Let Me use you to bring them back to Me.”

He has put this pain in my life to remind me of how much He loves us and how desperately He wants His children with Him. He has allowed me to feel such extreme hurt to remind me that I have a job to do. To bring the estranged children of God back to His loving, comforting and saving embrace.

Why do I share this with you? I share this because it is so easy for us to be consumed by our pain and our trials. How easy it is to turn our painful situations into bitterness, anger and hate. How easy it can be to be consumed by hopelessness because God is silent in the midst of our sufferings.

What we as believers must remember is that God has a purpose for every single thing in our lives, especially the painful and hard ones. And if we trust Him in the pain, in the silence and in the hurt no matter what, the Spirit will reveal the purpose of that trial when the time is right and then it will become clear why we had to experience such hurt.

In you pain, loss, chaos or wandering never for a second be fooled into thinking God has forsaken you. He is silent because He is waiting on you to learn what He is trying to teach you.

Never lose hope, because He WILL reveal His purpose, and when He does you will be astonished because you will see that your trials no matter what they are, were imperative so God could bless and use you.

Stay the course my brothers and sisters. He will come through in amazing ways if you trust Him in the darkness and the silence.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Defending the Faith, Standing Up For Christ

​A conversation with an atheist…

The very statement that you do not believe that the God that I worship to be real, is a contradiction in itself. Let me explain to you what I mean by that. Based on your statement, you recognize that I believe in God. A Being who is perfect in every single way, and that cannot possibly be improved upon. For you to be able to understand of such a Being but do not believe that He exists in reality doesn’t make any sense. Let me break it down for you. If you can understand of the God I speak of. And if you can comprehend the thought of a Being who is absolutely perfect, that cannot be improved upon. Then by the definition of your understanding of God, He must exist in reality, or He would be less than perfect, and could be improved upon. Because if something is perfect but does not exist, it would only be surpassed by perfection in reality. So if you understand the concept of a God that cannot be improved upon, then how is it possible for it not to be real, because that would be an improvement on the understanding you have of God.

To believe that everything in existence came about as a series of random events takes more faith that it does for someone to believe that God is in fact  the creator of everything. Starting with the obvious, I assume that you can understand that it is impossible for something to come from absolutely nothing. With that fact established,  when you push the course of time’s events back far enough, you eventually must come to a beginning. How can nothing, create everything? Then I would think the only rational explanation is that something had to exist before everything, outside of our understanding of time and authority. To believe that everything that has ever existed or ever will exist is the result of a random explosion that birthed everything for no reason, is ludicrous. Okay, say that I can accept that somehow scientifically an explosion would create all things, I would be forced to ask you, “What caused that explosion”. I mean this explosion took place before there was anything… how can that be?  

For a moment, let’s put aside the question of the very beginning of things, and let’s take a look at right now. If you believe that everything around us is the result of completely random events with no purpose or design, then I would like for you to look at a single cell. If you were to put that cell under a powerful microscope you would see what appears to be a little machine. All of the parts and pieces of this “random” thing working so intentionally, with such purpose and function.To look at our most basic of building blocks and to see that it works like a machine. Something that was intentionally constructed for a purpose.  How can random events produce such order? If we were to wait  3 trillion years, do you think it is possible for car engine to be created by nature? If enough random events happen for long enough is it possible for a piece of machinery to just be created?  

How can you explain the  beauty everywhere around us? How are we even able to understand the concept of beauty? Why is it that if you were to look at a painting of a sunset, and an actual sunset, that the real one seems to speak to you on a deeper level somehow. Like something in your soul is rejoicing, just because the earth’s rotation has caused the sun to not be seen for a few hours, just like everyday. But we see these things every day of our life, and they still speak to us, into us. To see such beauty, and for it to speak to you on such a level that cannot be expressed, shows that the world is pointing towards its Creator, Even if those that choose not to believe in God, experience something that they cannot explain, a connection with the world around them, a connection with their Creator.

 Now I would like to talk about us for a second. As humans we all seem to be built with the same sense of right and wrong. Whether an atheist, christian, muslim or scientologist, we all have a very similar understanding of what is right, wrong, good or bad. To murder is bad, but why is it bad? Yes if you get caught you will spend the rest of your life in prison. But what if you knew without a doubt that you would not be caught, would it cease to be bad? No, because deep down inside of us, the thought of a woman or a child being raped or murdered is offensive to everything that we are, why is that? We don’t have to be taught to be repulsed by these things, it is just who we are. To be in such agreement on the very concepts that guide who we are and what we do, that must lead us to realize that there must be a Law Giver who instilled in us the ability to differentiate between the two, otherwise why would we even care? Look at it this way, If there was no authority or law giver in a land or country, that would result in anarchy, correct? For all of us to have the same sense of what is good and what is bad, points without a doubt to one Lawgiver, who made the decision for us, otherwise there wouldn’t be right and wrong, because everybody would would choose differently, and if nobody could agree what what was right, it would cease to be right and it would just be. 
It seems that an atheist’s go to response for why they don’t believe in God, is it takes to much faith. To these people I say, It takes more faith to believe that He doesn’t exist.
Written by: Justin Ludwig

Alone, I am Not

​Unexplainable bond 

    Shared by few 

     Fortunately 

  Appreciated presently 

    Skeptical Still 

  Bond or blood 

     A strong will 

    Suffers undeservingly 

       Wrong or right 

 Alone I’m not 

       Proven failure 

            Repetition  ensues  

 Seeing what is yet unseen 

    Faith 

     Support 

 Forgiveness 

   Deserved?

   …. Not a chance 

            Yet…..

 Remarkably 

 Previously seen in solitude 

       Emerges for some….yet

 Must be understood 

          Support’s the key 

 I hold the key I once shunned 

     A lone drive 

       Long awaited hope 

                Awakens in the depths 

  Differing for all 

          Personally 

   Abandonment of ignorance 

Construction been underway 

     To fill the void 

              Myself 

  …..Unimportant 

            Support never ending

      Awoke a dormant urge 

 A sudden awakening 

            Waste 

  No more 

     Tomorrow is lost 

 Voyage commences instantly 

             Bottom line

        Those never halting 

     Inspire something 

  Unfamiliar situation 

      Alone I’m not 

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

 Love…. Please Love

​We all have our reasons to be angry, to hate, to resent, to judge. We have these burdens and offenses which we have accumulated over the years, every single one of us. Don’t let the corruption of life dominate you, choose love. It is the only hope we have…. hate begets hate. But love disarms, unites and connects. In this horrible, and tragic world, love is our only hope

“Bear with each othrt and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col. 3:13-14

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Cor 16:13-14

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

The Gospel is Love

The gospel is simple, when we get over ourselves, and love on the one who is in front of us. That’s it, that’s the gospel.  Love, without obligation, without judgement and without hesitation. Nobody will be impressed by your “religion”, they will be impressed by your love, by Christ’s love. That is how He saves the lost, by simple, pure, passionate love.

Look at this way, if you don’t have Jesus in you, then nobody is going to want what you have.

Jesus is love, represent Him well!

God bless, love furiously, and watch Him work.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

God Will Not Fail You

God is not capable of failing us…. God is not capable of making mistakes… and He is absolutely, indescribably in love with us.

When my marriage fell apart it hurt so bad, the last thing I was thinking was that this pain was the only way for me to become the man I wanted to be. When my kids moved away from me, it hurt so bad…. the last thing I was thinking was that the excruciating pain of losing my children was exactly what I needed to become the father that I wanted to be, and that my kids so desperately needed me to be. And when I gave up all hope and I finally accepted that I was a lost cause,  the last thing I was thinking was at that moment God was about to change everything. 

This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you… He will come through, and in a way you will never see coming. 

No matter what your situation is, He is working…. No matter how far down you are, He is working…. and no matter how uncertain your future or present seems, He will come through.

Thank You Father for being so perfect… so trustworthy

“As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him” -Ps 18:30

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” -Deut 31:6

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Demons Within

​open uncertainty

 coarse

         direction?

quite the contrary

  simple outcome

         what!?

bowing to my demons

     ……they’re lurking       

    stagnant and many

thirsting, craving, lusting

   Famished for pain

 Chaos 

Self inflicted annihalation 

  …no reasoning

     motives unclear

delving into the abyss

shall I emerge victorious?

 …..I  am uncertain

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Power is prayer, I am ready

**Please Read ** Prayer Is Power!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

You don’t know me and I don’t know you. If you are a Christian brother or sister then we are one.  If you are not a Christian no worries, I just want you to know that you are loved.  By myself, my fellow christians and most importantly by Jesus Christ. With that said,

I feel that prayer is the most important thing we can do in our lives as a Christian. To support each other, to be able to lift each other up in love to the Father is such an awesome thing. I truly believe in the power of prayer and experience it’s effectiveness time and time again. As we grow deeper in our prayer lives we come to know our God on a much closer and deeper level. I would love to pray for you and I always love to hear how God is coming through for you. If you include your email I will email you my prayer for you. I don’t put you on
emailing lists and don’t care about marketing. The sole purpose of this is for me to lift up your prayers and support you any way I can.

This link simply navigates within my own blog to the prayer requests. I encourage you to put your email so I can email you back a prayer so you can read what I prayed for. Either way, prayer is power y’all!! God bless and take advantage,  you have a man ready to pray for you, with no motivate other than I want God to work in your life.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance”- 2 Thess 3:5

Justin Ludwig

Trapped in the Cycle,  Desperate for Freedom 

Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Your Have the Power, Trust Him

​Every day I listen to Christians. Some speak of love, some speak of judgement. But one thing I have heard time and time again, is this,

“Oh I wish I had the gift of healing, but I am no Todd White or Heidi Baker. I can’t evangelize like Kim Walker or Will Hart. That would be amazing to have such power, to have God use me in such amazing ways, but…..” 

and that’s usually where the statement ends.

Heidi Baker, Darrin Wilson, Todd White, Kim Walker, Will Hart, the list goes on and on. It seems sometimes people put these Christians on a pedestal, viewing them as the “extraordinary christians” who have some exclusive power or gift that we have no hope of receiving, let alone performing.

And with those doubts, we put the power of God in our lives in a box, cutting ourselves off from being used by God for these very same miracles, revivals, and ministries.

We as Christians have to realize that our doubt in the power of God is the only thing standing in our way from the miraculous. Our doubt is the only roadblock stopping us from being used in such a way that will blow minds, heal bodies, cast out demons and glorify God to the extent that He desires, by making the impossible possible so the world can see that this is for real, that He is for real, and that we are loved in such a way that we will never fully comprehend.

You want to know a secret about these “extraordinary christians”,  they are nothing special. Not to say that their faith in God or the things that they are doing are not extraordinary, because they are. What I am saying is that the gift that they received to be able to do these incredible things is the exact same gift that every one of us as believers has been given, the Spirit of God.

It is not Heidi who restores sight to the blind, it is God. It is not Todd who strengthens the legs of those who cannot walk so they are able to stand and walk after years of being crippled, it is the power of God, in him.

Do not limit what God can do through you…because God is limitless.  Let go of all the understanding and logic that this world has embedded in us from birth and know that God’s power is alive and active in you. 

 I cannot emphasis enough that you CAN do these things, if you believe in His power, love and faithfulness.

My prayer is for a revival of the Spirit, let’s step out on faith and get started!!

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Lost in Darkness 

​Empty

    she got it 

        like so many

or claimed to

    darkness

        silent to smoke

    ending my life

          methodically

    intricately

…. slowley

the calls stopped

        they call 

    some call

I can’t answer!

    fear

of what?

     Being saved

being loved

    saved from my hell

    how sick

once a child’s boast

    now his cancer

those who know me

  assumptions run rampant

…… yet wrong

I feel it growing

        deep from within

    won’t delve deeper

        wont!!

    those who know, know

Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

  Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

Written by: Justin Ludwig  November 14 2011.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14