When Life Feels Empty

I’ve gone through a dry and difficult time recently. If you’re like me, you try and hide it. From the outside looking in, all should appear well. I have a job. I’m in school. I lead people and talk to groups of people. I have a great family. I have lots of friends. If you look at my Instagram, my life looks exciting. Why, then, do I feel so dry?

When Life Feels Smpty

There’s the obvious question asked in Christian circles. How are you and Jesus? My friend Micah said to me recently, “The longer you believe in God, the better you get at faking intimacy with Jesus. In fact, your fake is better than some people’s real.” That hit me. I’m a master at being fake. I cover up all my emotions, hurt, and struggle to paint some picture of my ideal self.

What a tragedy to spend our days as actors in our own lives.

Jesus was so about other people. I’ve realized I’m not. Most of my relationships are business exchanges. We talk about work and every now and then life comes up. I don’t invest in people like Jesus did. I don’t ask hard questions or have deep conversations very often. I accidentally programmed myself like an ATM. I deposit in people out of obligation. My parents so they will feel happy. My friends so they think I will care. I withdraw selfishly without realizing I’m already bankrupt.

Intimacy with Jesus, life feeling full, means looking at who Jesus was. Jesus was someone who loved people. Do you reach out to people? Do you ask tough questions? Are your friendships meaningful? Is your life full? Or, are you an actor with “fake-deep-friendships”? If you’re like me, upon a closer look, it seems I’m missing it.

Fake, figured out lives are so opposite from the message of the gospel. We are empty, but Jesus satisfies our emptiness. People truly do matter. Faking it only works for so long. Jesus is enough.

When our lives begin to look like obligatory obligations with people, it’s no wonder we feel so empty. If our lives are overrun with people who love us, who sharpen us, and who point us to Jesus, I think we will see that while life is not easy, it is good, and it is worth it.

What do your relationships look like?

No More Church Division

Isn’t it odd that Bible believing Christians are often the most outspoken and divisive people in the Church? There’s a plague in the local Church of people who don’t like each other, speak badly about other Churches, and are simply divisive. Disclaimer: I wrestle with this all the time.

As believers in Jesus, let’s stop being the enemy of the Bride of Christ. We are called to build up the Church and to encourage other believers. Somehow, though, when a Church is too loud for our taste, too edgy, too boring, or too pushy, we take it as our mission to tear it down. When a Pastor hurts our feelings, speaks too long, or doesn’t remember all of our names, and our favorite foods, we tear him and his ministry down. We leave a Church and bring all of our negativity to our next Church. It’s time to stop it. It’s divisive and that mindset is hurting the body of Christ.

No More Church Division

We must be champions of the local Church because the local Church is the hope of the world. I’ve said some really terrible things about other believers and Churches, and I’ve needed to repent for tearing down what Christ established. Maybe you need to do that, too. No person, team, or ministry is perfect, and neither are you. The Church is a gathering of broken people in need of the Gospel of Jesus.

I made a promise with a friend recently. We are going to speak better about other ministries and believers than even their own congregants and staff do. I’ll tell you what, that challenge is changing my whole outlook. I want to be a champion of all Bible believing Churches.

So, here’s a challenge for you. Do you speak badly about your old (or current) Church? Do you speak badly about certain believers and pastors? When you hear a new believer is going to a Church you don’t agree with, do you tear it down? Do you use phrases like, “I wasn’t fed at that Church”, or “That Church is for new believers?” Ask God for forgiveness and become a champion for His Church.

Pastors: As a Pastor in training, nothing breaks my heart more than hearing you tear down another Church. Imagine a unified Church where different organizations are working together for the Kingdom of God. Pastor, it starts with you.

Here’s what I had to do and what you need to do as well: repent and change your ways. The Church has enough enemies, it doesn’t need more within it’s own walls. 

5 Tips Young Adults Need on Money

American debt has reached record highs and continues to climb like a monkey who sees a golden banana. Due to this, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve picked up along the way with personal finance as a young adult.

Why should I be able to talk about this? I moved out of my parents house when I was eighteen and became a full-time staff member at a Church at nineteen. At age twenty-one (6 months prior to this post), I stepped down from my role, and have been financially independent since then because of decisions I was able to make along the way. I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me.

Money!

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3 Truths About Young Relationships

I recently had the chance to speak to a group of high-schoolers about relationships. We talked about singleness, picking the right person, and not being dumb about it.

I knew that I was uniquely qualified to talk about this subject because of all the awful relational choices I’ve made! I have made many stupid decisions and caused a lot of emotional damage. I have learned through experience. I don’t write with pride, but with learned lessons.

Our culture tells us a a lot about relationships. We need to be with someone now. The other person is our everything. Plus, when it doesn’t work out, Taylor Swift will write a breakup song for you.

I think our young generation is relationally brainwashed.

Relationships

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For Young People

Miley Cyrus. Wrecking Ball. Party Rock. Twerking. Yolo. MySpace Tom. Zuckerberg you thief. Hipster anchors. Cory & Topanga forever. Swag.

Our generation is a weird one. Born with the internet and raised with a cell phone and social media profile. They call us ‘the generation where religion dies’, the fatherless generation, and more negative names.

Yet, our generation is about movements! Causes! Hope! Purpose! Live a life with a story! Do something that matters! Why all the issues, then? Why do we all know someone who has committed suicide? Why can we all point to someone addicted to something?

Young People

There are a few things I’ve realized about our generation. Below are some things that  older people should know, and younger people should care about. (Note: This is not every person, just an overview)

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Hope: Do you have it?

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I recently got back from a cruise to the Bahamas. I know what you’re thinking, it was awesome. We spent a week cruising around in luxury and living the good life.

My parents went on the cruise with me. For context, my Mom has endured a medical condition for many years that has prevented her from doing basic things we all take for granted, like swimming. One day, however, we found ourselves at a beach in the Bahamas.

Our group watched the waves roll in and out and my Mom sat in her wheelchair. All of a sudden she said something that felt like we were in a movie, “I want to go into the ocean.” I’ll be honest, my first though was “yeah right.” A weird thing happened, though. Four of us gathered around her wheelchair and carried her to the edge of the water.

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A New Day

A New Day

I promise, I have no misconception about my importance in the world, but enough people have asked: What’s going on in my life? Where do I work? What am I doing for money? Am I moving?

My last day as a staff member at Central Christian Church was June 30, 2013. I am nothing but thankful for my time at Central. I became a Christian at Central. I preached my first sermon at Central. I was given the chance to lead at Central. I am thankful for that place. However, in the spirit of growth, I have moved on. This decision was planned over a long season. Thankfully, I had time to budget, and not be forced into another job. I have no plans to move from Vegas currently, and am not calling a specific Church home.

In this next season of life I am going to be an adventurer (sounds fun, right?). I am 21 years old and will be focusing on speaking, writing, creating, and traveling. I am not putting any bars on what options are out there and am not settling in on another role too quickly.

What am I learning?

You have to give up to grow more. Sometimes you have to give up what is comfortable in order to make room for new passions, abilities, and opportunities to grow.

Nothing lasts forever. It’s not a bad thing, seasons must end. Things change. It hurts, and there are days I miss things, or regret decisions, but nothing lasts forever.

People will disagree with you. People aren’t perfect (myself included). Your decisions will be questioned, broken down, and studied – that’s okay! Welcome the challenge and opposition, it means you’re doing something that matters. Great stories aren’t written without a little conflict (think Star Wars).

The world is a big place. The world is bigger than our small context and routine. Get out and explore – don’t waste the time. The world is more than making money and gaining prestige. Our lives can be about adventure, life change, and hope. Do not box yourself in.

Making changes takes time and planning. I didn’t wake up one morning and change everything impulsively. It took me a lot of time to be financially, mentally, and spiritually ready to change things around. Seek the counsel of wise people and when it’s time to jump, do it.

I hope this serves as an update and benefit to you in your own journey.

I’d love to speak with you or answer any questions. You can reach me at derekjbeauchamp@gmail.com

#Firstworldproblems – Good Things Take Time

Have you ever heard of #firstworldproblems? It’s this concept that we get annoyed at ridiculous things that only the ultra privileged have access to. For example, my Netflix occasionally takes awhile to load. When that happens, I freak out!

We live in an instant demand and receive society. It’s not unfair that we were raised this way and that we are wired to want things instantly. Here’s some truth that I am starting to see in my own life. Good things take time. It sounds overused, or obvious, but it is true. I say it because I don’t think we can hear it enough.

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I Just Don’t Like That Guy

Have you ever argued with someone? That’s a dumb question, sorry, of course you have, it’s part of being human. We’re all messed up people, with pride, motives, and differing viewpoints. Consequently, we argue, and have issues with people.

When’s the last time you shared your issue about someone with someone else (mine was last night)?  How quick are we to judge someone’s actions? We write people off before we know their name, and we judge people like they elected us for it. Be honest, I do it too.

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