Moving up in the world

After days of debating, thinking and certainly praying I have decided to invest in my own domain. I will keep this guy going for a while until I have the other site up and running and spam free. If you would like to check it out feel free! http://www.codysweeny.com Until a date later specified I will continue to post here with hopes of reaching more people, followers and followers of Christ. 

I posted on Sunday a bit of a story, a judge and no jury, (read it here). The story goes as any supper hero story goes; bad guy is defeated and the innocent bystandered gets to go with the hero. The sad part here is that you have to know the hero. You have to know Jesus, or else as you are standing in the courtroom, no one will come. The harsh reality is that hell is very real, and Satan is realer, and death is the most real thing in life. The bible speaks and I will leave references at the bottom, that we are damned to hell. Our ancestors have sinned, and no ones perfect right? We all have sinned, and we deserve death. There is 2 ways out of death. Either you are completely and 100% perfect, or you can trust Jesus Christ as your personnel savior. He took the sin away from us, and put it on himself. All you have to do is believe. 

It goes something like this: “Jesus, I know I am a sinner, I know I have screwed up, I believe in you and confess my sins to you. I ask forgiveness for my sins and pray that you will come into my life.” 

Here is the kicker, FAITH. The reason I said this prayer more times than I can count is because I lacked faith. Don’t! He is real, he has risen, and he will come again. 

In love AND faith

-Cody Sweeny

Look these up for yourself:

Ephesians 2:8-9

John 3:16-17

Romans 3:23

 

Romans 8:18

3 Years

Over the next 30 days I have signed up for a free promotion system. My goal isn’t a large fan base. My goal is to help other guys that struggle with lust and pornography. Whether you are here from headliner or here because you know me, you should read this. Please bear with my as I explain the past 3 years of guilt. (great way to start a post, right?).

I will try to be as transparent as I can but would like to keep this PG if I can. Three years ago it’s the summer of 2010. Life is going great. I am spending the night at my dad’s side grandparents. They put me up in a room with a comfortable bed, and a room filled with pornographic magazines. I have seen them before but never actually seen them. They were always classified as “Grandpa’s reading material”. Slowly I take a look. I feel great and free looking at those magazines. I actually sat by the door just in case anyone came by, but for hours that night I scanned through them.

Months went by and my birthday came up in October. I had been saving up for an iPod touch. Finally, I bought it. Excited by the whole thing, I played and watched movies with that thing like crazy. It was the end of October 2010. I was up late playing on my iPod and wanted to do some research on a certain app. I went to a site and saw an ad. Right away the ad reminded me of what I saw at my grandparents. That’s when my addiction started.

The rest is what you would call history. I was hooked. During the last 3 years I was challenged more times than I can count to stop my addiction. But I wouldn’t.

A great guy I met at Lake Ann told me that as guys, we love porn. We love it, but the thing is, we can only love one thing, either God or porn.

It was that week at Lake Ann that I gave my sin to Christ. I have failed many times after that, but overall have been better. The reason why I say the last 3 years were hell is because when you are watching porn, you are always guilty, you always think someone will hear or someone will walk in. Or the people at school will hear. Who cares? They might give you looks, but it is worth it to get it off your chest. You don’t have to tell the world either. I did, but you don’t have to. So my story is over, well not just yet. Through this blog I want to see people come clean with their sin. I want to see lives changed just like my own. That is my mission, that is my goal.

If you want to beat it, here is what you need to accomplish.

1. Confess. Don’t you dare tell Jesus you are sorry and it won’t happen again. Get down on your knees and cry over your sin, confess it to God.

2. Buddy System. Just the same as swimming we must always have a buddy, or buddies. Every time I was challenged about my addiction there was no one behind me. Having a strong group of guys behind you is great, even one or 2 will help.

3. Be Open and Honest. First off be as open and honest as you can. Easier said than done.

4. Stay in the Word. This is crucial in the battle against sin.

5. Last, but certainly not least, J.O.Y

Jesus

Others

You

Remember that you must put God first before anything and everything. He must come first! Then others: put other people before yourself. No matter how much you hate them (I really struggle with this). You: We all need time to sit back and reflect. Make time to relax, but do no become selfish with it. Take time to read the Word, but never forget your real mission.

The battle has been won, but the war has just begun. Get ready, it only gets worse. This is the truth about our sin, it won’t get easier. Now that you are conscious that it is a sin and ready to fight it, it only makes Satan try harder to make you stumble. He will be hiding, ready to trip us up. Get ready, get some buddies, and get back to what really matters.

If you have lasted this long reading this post please like, comment, share it. Whatever you are challenged to do. Don’t be ashamed by your past, but be conscious of your future.

In Love

-Cody Sweeny

This Post Didn’t Go Where I Thought it Would

Lake Ann has to be the most awesomest (not a word, but I don’t care) camp in the world. I don’t have much to compare Lake Ann to but I don’t think you can compare it.

Everything there has a purpose, from the challenge courses to the games and activities. Everything has a spiritual purpose. I went to a Baptist (nothing against Baptist) camp when I was younger. The camp which I talked about a week ago pushed salvation. If you don’t get save you are going to hell, BAM! That is all the preached. I got saved so many times. The reason was out of guilt and the fact that I didn’t want to go to hell. And well, who does?

Lake Ann provides a great experience. First off, you are put our of your comfort zone. You are stuck with people that you have never met before. You might just have 1 or 2 people that you know in your cabin, but for the most part you don’t know any of them. This is super scary, I’m a naturally quieter person so being stuck with 20 other people that I haven’t ever met before is very scary. This allows you to open up. There is absolutely no way that I could have opened up in front of my youth group. I see those guys everyday at school. I would feel their watchful eyes on the back of my head wondering if he’s screwed up. Psychologically this was my thought about coming clean with my porn and lust issue.

At Lake Ann you:

Wake up

Devo time

Breakfast

Chapel

Challenge course

Lunch

More Challenge courses

Group activity (teams) Each cabin and sister cabin are in a team and they have activities to challenge your team and another.

Super time

Chapel

Camp fire (weather pending)

Lights out (usually at 11pm or 12)

This schedule is harsh mentally and physically, if you are lucky you might get 6 hours of sleep. Lunch is horrible too; you eat but then you are cheering trying to gain points for fight night. This schedule doesn’t leave much time for free time. This whole set up is to promote spiritual discussion and thinking. The Chapel time is pretty powerful, and the team building gets you comfortable with your cabin mates. Lunch is to physically stretch you and also team building. The whole experience is getting you to open up to these people you met just hours before hand.

With me, I already had been to Lake Ann, I knew what to expect, but then again I didn’t. Right away I was challenged, and had a meeting with my counselor and explained to him some of my troubles. I did not explain my issues with porn, just my issues with mentoring and trust. Being able to open up to him was astounding on my part. I don’t open up to very many people. Actually there is only about 2 or 3 people that actually know me and sadly none of them are my own family. I have a hard time opening up to them. I have always had trust issues, but being able to open up to Matt totally helped. About a day later, that night actually, after chapel I talked to Matt about my issues with porn, and was severely convicted. This is where we cried. Read about it here. The whole Lake Ann experience brought me back to what really mattered. It opened my hear and allowed me to be honest about my struggles. That night we had what called the glory bowl. It’s where you can speak about what you have been challenged with, or whatever God has laid on your heart. I sat in line for 1 hour and eventually warned the junior highers not to be naive. To be ready to fight porn. Years ago, I knew what porn was, I knew that I should of avoided it, but I didn’t. I fell to my knees in the face of it.
My goal: If I can stop one kid, teen, adult; from struggling the same I have won. I don’t want to see other go through the pain and the guilt that I have went through. I don’t want people to have to hide and lie about it. I myself have lied about it to my own parents. I have jumped around the bush about it. It is time to wake up teens and adults.

FATHERS: Be real with your kids about it. Even your daughters. It is an epidemic that affects everyone. Not just guys, even women struggle with it, if they don’t then you obviously don’t have facebook. It is everywhere. Be real about it, be honest to your kids when they bring up their questions. It is your job to prepare your kids for the real world. Prepare them! How can you prepare them when they don’t know about lust and the sin that comes with it.

This article didn’t go exactly where I wanted it to go, but please don’t throw this off like it’s nothing. I hate it when people doubt my maturity just because of my age. Take heed and be warned, that it is real and it’s only the beginning.

-Cody Sweeny

Philippians 1:12 May the gospel be advanced through you and the words you share.

MAKE WAR!!!!

How Important is Music in Spiritual Battle?

On a 1 to 10 where does the importance of music relate in your life? 10 music is very effective in my spiritual battles, or a 1, music is there but not as important by any means. As Christians we tend to here songs on Sunday and then on the radio and eventually get sick of them. Believe me, I have. We here the same song over and over. These are great songs, but through this we have a tendency to push towards secular music. Therefore wrecking our week with language and sin. I have noticed this in my own life. It isn’t healthy to let music dictate what is happening for the week, but we tend too. If you are listening to morally bad music, then your just adding fuel to the flame of sin. There is nothing in the bible against secular music, but as Christians we should be listening to music that will build us up, and give glory to God. There are many great secular songs, but we can’t get brainwashed by music that is unpleasing to God.

For instance: you listen to music on the ride to work. You hear language that isn’t pleasing to God, everyday you are surrounded by coworkers that say that same language. Later on in that week you start letting “one” or two fly. Then you are right back where you started. It is inevitable that we are going to sin, but the general thought is that your music might not be helping your battle.

So, we started with the bad, now it’s time for the good. Music is great is spiritual battles. I’m currently in my own battle over porn and lust. During the reformation they sang the hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God. They used this song to propel them to victory. Historical proof that music helps. This song is on the line between Christian and secular. It doesn’t use unpleasant language. Note: I am not responsible for this content, I did not write this, or help in the production of it in anyway. Sorry I have to say that or else I might get sued. (Shrug emoticon here)

This song has been my “revolution” song. Whenever I am struggling I think of this song. This song reminds me what and who I am resisting. “If you can here that you want a resistance, burn a candle in your window til the wicks end, If you can hear this you’re the hope of our mission, To change the future through the power of resistance.

Here we go

Video doesn’t seem to be working, but this link will take you to the actual video. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Our goal as men and women of Christ is to change the future, some might argue that resistance isn’t the best path. Resistance is! As Christians we must embrace change, but stand for what we believe. It is time to wake up and fight. We have millions of churches across the world. What would happen if we all started to share the gospel. If we all, at the exact same time started knocking on doors. First off I think the media would have a frenzy, but second I am convinced that the people would come to Christ, why? Because we have God on our side, and on the other we have the Holy Spirit. Wouldn’t this be awesome? It might be my childlike ambition, but WHAT IS IN OUR WAY? What is stopping us? Fear? Forget fear, forget the devil, we are challenged as Christians to go and share the gospel.

Please, do not read this article and throw it away. Think about it, pray about it. Now is the time of revolution, just like it was during the reformation. It is time to bring people to Christ.

In Christ

-Cody Sweeny

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

With everything said, how important is music to Christians. Hint: After everything I have said, it should probably be a 12.

Thanksgiving: Salvation

Here goes:

(notice the new header?)

My salvation is pretty basic, I went to a camp up in northern Iowa, and through guilt of death in hell, I was saved. At this particular camp the only thing they preached was your going to hell, accept Jesus as savior. After that I got “saved” at least 4 more times either through church or Jr. boys camp. I was raised with this question the other day: Why do I believe what I believe is true….

That question sent my head spinning, I grew up in the church, I grew up knowing everything. Sunday school, Vbs, Awana. I did it all, and I couldn’t answer a simple question. After thinking about it I had a few different replies back:

Logic (God is the only logical explanation)

What I grew up doing

And what I truly believe.

Ironically I went with the last one. I truly believe that Jesus is in heaven, preparing a place for me. I have seen Jesus in action At different camps and retreats I have seen people saved, I have seen some of the toughest guys I have ever met, kneel down and cry. I have seen the power of Christ. This is why I believe what I believe.

I was one of these hard guys. Over the years I have been used to being in church. I knew all the answers. I went to Subzero 2012 and my mindset was changed.

Right away Don Jackson told us to open our hearts. To not let this weekend go by just as another retreat, but to be challenged and changed. It was after this weekend that I really lived up to what I believe. I didn’t hide my faith. Everyone needs a moment like this, where they know what they believe, but they truly live up to it. As Christians we tend to hide in the background of the world. We need to need be on the front lines with a bible and a pen. Ready and prepared to share the gospel.

So I guess you could say that I was reconfirmed in my beliefs at Subzero 2012. I am still a work in progress but I am getting better each and everyday. Thank you!

 

-Cody Sweeny

 

Thanksgiving:Lakeside Fellowship

This is the start of my Thanksgiving posts. I will be posting occasionally what I am thankful for. To start off I am thankful for Lakeside Fellowship.

I grew up seeing my dad every other week, and really relied on my mom and Lakeside in order for me to mature. Lakeside was and is a family to the fatherless. My dad was part of my life, but we never really bonded. At Lakeside, I had fathers and grandparents and aunts and uncles. I had the family behind me, that loved and cared for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom very much, but everyone needs a father just as they do a mother.

So here we go:

Barry Johnson
Barry Johnson took me fishing a few times – we need to do it again. He is an awesome guys that has taught me that if it’s broke, it can be repaired. If you need something, build it yourself. Such a great guy that is willing to serve where it’s needed, even if no one else wants to do it. He has built many of our rollers, so we can transport sound equipment back and forth every week.

Nathan Nemmers (Worship leader and kind of an assistant pastor)
Nathan has shown me passion in music, how to listen, how to hear. He didn’t teach me any instruments, but he taught me practical common sense. He taught me how to wrap wires and plug stuff in. He taught me a vast majority of stuff at the time.

Dean Gildersleeve
Dean has taught me patience. In much of what we do every Sunday morning, it is easy to get mad at the circumstances. Dean has taught me that even though the situation looks bleak, I need to slow down and start at the back and find the problem. Another great guy with a servant’s attitude, ready to do what it takes every Sunday.

Bryan Carlton
This guy is amazing, he has taught me so much. You can’t beat his sarcasm any day. He has a fun-loving, down to earth personality. He is such a nice guy. He has great honey, too! His down to earth feel on life has taught me compassion and understanding. He has taught me that just because I missed a recording doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. He always calls me Mr. Sweeny, for reasons unknown. I enjoy that; in turn I try to call him Mr. Carlton but tend to forget. He is a cool guy with a passion for Christ. Thank you Bryan

Doug Porter (Saylorville Tech Guy)
This guy right here got me curious about technology. I remember spending a few summer days with him working on some project. He is a cool guy, with a true servant’s heart.

Josh Byers (Former Youth Leader)
Josh Byers is a great guy. I won’t divulge too much info about him just yet, but he got me into tearing computers apart. I can’t remember exactly, but we were in his garage and he was close to putting up a garage sale. I remember seeing a DVD drive for an older style computer. He must have seen me eyeing it. He told me I could have it. I remember the ride home, thinking all about what I could do with that drive. I didn’t mutilate my computer just yet, but I saved the drive. Must have been weeks later, but we were out looking for interesting stuff on the Polk city curb day thing – it’s where if you have junk you can put it on the curb. Bob brought me some computer towers that I instantaneously tore apart. I flip-flopped drives and video and sound cards, I went crazy. Thank you Josh. Doug got me curious, and Josh got me into it. Thanks guys!
This whole post wouldn’t mean anything if I was sexist and didn’t mention some of the women in my church.

First off:

Terri Johnson. Terri is awesome. She won’t shake my hand but instead she’ll give me a hug. She is such a nice person, ready to serve. Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, and any event, her and Barry are there putting up roasters and lights. Helping out where they can.

Teske Drake. I admire Teske for her faith and strength. Please check out her website: http://mommieswithhope.com/
There are many other women in the church I could name, but won’t at the current time.

I just want the Lakesiders to know how thankful I am for you guys. You guys are crazy and fun but overall you guys are awesome. Whenever there is a need, you’re there. Thank you!

-Cody Sweeny

775 words isn’t enough to describe how much I love Lakeside and all you guys do for the community. Thank you!