Shame on....Jesus?

Ever felt ashamed of yourself for something you’ve done? Ever been shamed by someone else or even worse, by a church for something you’ve done? If that’s you, or someone you might know, please watch this.

If you’ve been told your whole life, “God is good, you are bad, try harder!” then you’ve been told a lie. True Christianity has nothing to do with being GOOD. It has EVERYTHING to do with being SAVED.

Shame on you? Jesus says…cast your shame on ME, and I’ll nail it to a cross. Forever.

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Bridal Party Gifts Personalized with Scripture Verses


Searching for a special way to thank your bridal party for the role they are playing in your special day? Your groomsmen and bridesmaids are the people that have had the biggest impact on your life. These friends stood by your side encouraging you, loving you, and praying for you to find the husband or wife God set apart for you. One way to show your gratitude and appreciation for your bridal party is giving customized gifts featuring your favorite bible verses.

Is there a verse that has been a major part of your friendships and encouragement through the hard seasons of life? Or perhaps, there is a passage that captures part of your love story. makes personalized gifts, which allow you to choose a verse and include the name of the recipient. Here are some unique gifts with text customization options as well as verse ideas to pair with them:

  1. Gifts for Any Member of Bridal Party - Beverage tumblers are gifts that can travel to work, to school, on errands and wherever life takes you. Add a sweet message to let members of your bridal party know you are thinking of them.

    • I hold you in my heart, for we have shared together God’s blessings. Philippians 1:7

  2. Gifts for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom - Engraved wooden cutting boards and garden flags are great decorative gifts that parents can display in their homes. Here are two verses that serve as helpful reminders to foster love in the home.

    • And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14

    • But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

  3. For Your Maid of Honor - Thank your lifelong friend for all the wisdom and joy she has brought to you with a Bible cover made just for her. This Proverbs verse highlights the strength and wisdom a true friend can bring to life.

    • She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31: 25-26

  4. For Your Best Man – Your best man can use a leatherette portfolio for keeping important papers together. Whether it’s for work, paying bills, or taking notes in church, a folio is a keepsake that is sure to get plenty of use.

    • A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

  5. For the Bride and Groom - As you customize gifts for your friends, you may want to get something special for each other. A poster with the Love Chapter is a wonderful item to hang in your home and help establish habits for the family you are creating.

    • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.


A beautifully displayed passage of Scripture is a keepsake that your friends will see as they carry on the tasks of their everyday lives – even after all the wedding festivities have ended. These mementos can serve as reminders of the love and blessings you get to continue sharing for the rest of your lives.

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Desperate Prayer

This is a sermon from several years ago by Pastor Joby Martin from Eleven22 during a series called Miracles. I remember watching this in person and by the end crying like a baby. I recently dug this up for a friend of mine in Scotland who’s going through a particularly difficult situation right now and I re-watched it last night. Again, cried like a baby.

Are you currently in the middle of a desperate situation? This is for you.

Please watch all the way to the ending. It’s important.


Infinitely Valuable - Night to Shine Fan Film

This past Friday night I got to experience the Night To Shine event put on by the Tim Tebow Foundation and…..


All I can say is, I don’t know what you were doing that night, it may have been something fun, but it could not have been better than this. I will never be the same. Multiple times while filming this I was holding back tears.

Forget harps and fluffy clouds. If you want to know what Heaven will probably be like, it’s this event. Do yourself a big favor next year and do whatever you can to be there. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

A Message For Parents - Doug Fields

Are you a parent? Well then do yourself a VERY big favor and take the next 45 minutes to watch this teaching. By tomorrow you are not going to remember most of the useless junk you scrolled through on Instagram or Facebook. So why not do something right now that could have an incredibly positive impact on your children??

THIS VIDEO WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PARENT. Or at least, if you respond to it’s teachings it will. So watch this for the benefit of not just yourself, but even more importantly….watch this for THEM.

Worth it.

A Heart for Panama

If you've been following along with me here, you may be familiar with my 2016 mission trip to Panama with Eleven22. That trip was absolutely incredible and had an enormous impact on my life. Fast forward to 2018 and I was called back to Panama but this time as a trip leader. And once changed.

Come along with me and take a look at The Church of Eleven22 Panama B 2018 Mission Trip!



So I really have to start with this before I get into anything else. Two trips now and it's official, the people of Panama have set up shop and now have a permanent address in my heart. Including one little girl in particular who, moving forward, will be a major part of my life. Her name is Krislyn. She is 7 years old and was clearly the reason I was meant to go back to Panama. Let's start with her, and then I'll take you through the rest of the trip.

So if you ever go on the Panama trip with Eleven22, you'll get to participate in the Manos De Fe Family Assistance Outreach. Manos De Fe translates, "Hands of Faith" and it is a Christian ministry based in Caisan, Panama founded in 2008 by Julie and Gary Proctor from Jacksonville, FL. (To keep things simple, I'll refer to Manos De Fe as the "Mission House" or "Mission Partner" from here on.) The program involves bringing things like food, soap, toothpaste and medical supplies to families in the area that are in pretty desperate need. The program helps to get them back on their feet and as families graduate out of the assistance program and become self-sufficient, they have the opportunity to transfer services to another local family.

When I went to Panama the first time in 2016, one of the first homes that I visited on the program was Krislyn's. (Although on that trip I never learned her name or went inside the home.) I remember seeing her for the first time as she curiously peeked her head out through the front door. Once she worked up a bit more courage, she stepped all the way out and I got this picture of her. We dropped off the food, said a prayer for the family and then left. I truly thought that was probably the last time I would ever see her again.

Of all the images I got during that trip, this one by far left the biggest impact on me. Probably due to the fact it was my first trip after becoming a parent myself and I have two daughters of my own. But it just stuck with me in a way I am not real sure I have words for. It's almost like it's been imprinted on my soul.


Fast forward to 2018 and my first opportunity to do the Family Assistance Outreach for this trip just so happen to be Krislyn's home again. Now keep in mind, I had absolutely nothing to do with which homes I'd go to and when. There were others on the team who had already started going to other homes in the area before I had my chance to go on one. And even when it was my turn, the Mission Partner is still the one who selects the different homes to go to each day. We just go wherever they tell us. So once again, I did not choose to make her home the first family I went to. It was chosen for me. And none of them would have known I had that strong memory of Krislyn from two years prior.

Now, I am not someone who believes in coincidences. In other words, I believe there is a God, and he has everything planned out ahead of time. So I don't believe it was an accident that almost two years apart (to the day) that the very FIRST child I see on the outreach is the same one that had left that big impact on me from before.

So as I walked up to the house once again, memories from the previous trip started flashing through my mind. As we approached the door, I started to think to myself "I wonder if that same little girl still lives here." We knocked on the door and kindly called out "Hola" and when the door opened up........there she was........two years older......and with a look just as striking as before.

2018 trip.

Right away something just started working in my heart. After the rest of the team had moved on to another family's home, I stayed behind with one of the mission partners and a translator and we had a chance to go inside the house (something I did not have an opportunity to do on the past trip) and learn more about their family dynamic. When I stepped into the home and saw how incredibly small the living space was (about the same area as my kitchen) it was terribly sad. Krislyn, her three siblings and mother all share the space. The dad is not a part of her life and it's likely she has never even met him. Then we pulled back a dirty old bed sheet hanging on a wire to act as a curtain and I saw the bedrooms, if you can even call them that.

Then my heart pretty much broke in two.

It was at this moment that something in me started saying that I was being brought back to this girl for a reason and I needed to step in and help them more but wasn't quite sure how yet. Eventually we left the house to catch up with the team but the thought of sweet Krislyn stayed heavily on my mind the rest of the day. But once again, I was starting to wonder if that was the last time I'd see her for the rest of the trip, or quite possibly ever again. In fact, I began to heavily regret that I had not stopped to take a picture with her and I missed an opportunity. The thought was eating me up all night after that.

The next day, I had just returned with a small group from a morning outing and I was making my way back into the mission house for lunch. When I opened the front door, much to my surprise, there was little Krislyn standing right there looking at me in a pretty dress with a little bow in her hair. I can't even tell you the excitement that I experienced in my soul in that moment. I think I started saying to her (in english of course) Hey there you are! You're here! It's you! (Which she wouldn't have understood at all.) But I was just extremely excited. Of course, I had to stop and get a picture with her this time JUST in case.

(Notice the orange sticker on her dress. Keep reading.)


Quick rewind, when I went to Panama in 2016, there was a guy on the team with me named Paul Martinez. It was his first ever mission trip. In Paul's own words he will tell you "I did not even want to go." But thank goodness he did because like many others who finally work up the courage to try one of these trips, it changed his life. Paul is the President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida. After he saw the conditions down there and being moved in his heart to act, he decided to turn the mission house into the local chapter of Boys and Girls Club for Panama! So not only does it help serve it's missionary purposes, but now during the week they house 57 local children each day to come after school to receive hot meals, homework support, English lessons, technology training and more. And when you live in a part of the world that has virtually nothing, that means this is a BIG deal to these kids. There are no movie theaters, theme parks or arcades around. In fact, most of these kids have no clue those things exist. So if you get to be a "Boys and Girls Club" kid, you are envied by all the other kids around town! There is simply no other opportunity that exists like this available to these children.

Ok so all that being said, slightly confused on how Krislyn could be there, I later found out that the mission house is fronting the money to allow some of the kids to come to the program after school but that little orange sticker on Krislyn's dress meant, she was one of the kids that needed a sponsor to pay for her membership otherwise eventually she'd be unable to keep attending. So after some thought, prayer, and sending the pictures of her room to my wife back in Jax, she gave me the go ahead and said "Let's sponsor her!" So by the end of the trip, I went back to Krislyn's home and had the rare privilege of telling the mother in person that I had decided to pick up her daughter's sponsorship. Some tears were exchanged along with some hugs. It was one of the most fulfilling and incredible experiences of my life. And I'll NEVER forget it.

So much more gratifying than a Carnival Cruise or Sandals Resort. Nothing wrong with doing those things, I like being on boats, I'm just can't compare.


So before I take you on the rest of the trip, here are just a few more images I captured of this sweet precious girl who now means so much to me. I would also like to point out that the next wedding I am hired to shoot, 100% of the cost will go towards Krislyn's sponsorship. So if you're reading this and know someone getting married, let them know about this unique opportunity to help! ALSO, her little brother still needs a sponsor as well. So if you're feeling any kind of tug on your heart, just visit and click on DONATE to help him too! It is only $40/month to sponsor him. A few less cups of Starbucks and maybe eating at home once or twice a month and you've just massively increased this kid's chance of making a life for himself. And I can guarantee you that you would not trade the full feeling you'll get in your heart for that temporary feeling you'd have in your stomach even for one second.

Want to learn more about kids who need sponsors? Watch this short interview from the Principal of the Club.

Ok back to Krislyn...

Did you notice her shirt said "FOLLOW ME" on it? Again, I do NOT believe in coincidences. ;)

Ok, thank you for taking the time to read all of that. I hope it did something for you today. Now let's look at the rest of the trip.

The Ngobe

So one of the most intriguing parts of places like Panama is that there are still pockets of families that are practicing a cultural way of living that has its roots in the Ngobe (No-Bay) Indian tribe. I am not exactly sure how far the culture dates back but in present day Panama, it has unfortunately resulted in prejudice among some the local communities.

Ethnically speaking, there are not any differences that I am aware of between Ngobe Panamanians and the other Panamanians. Economically speaking however, it is quite clear that families who still practice Ngobe culture are considered to be "less than" or a lower class of people. The Ngobe hold tight to their cultural roots. Therefore very few of them are able to own land, have the appropriate government paperwork and are unable to attend school which puts them at a great social disadvantage. In some cases this has resulted in many families with children who live in homes with dirt floors, no electricity, and inadequate water supplies. And furthermore, this means many of the kids are malnourished and when they get sick they are unable to obtain simple medicines to treat their conditions. One family below even recently lost a baby due to these circumstances.

One of the Mission House's initiatives in Panama is to bridge the gap between the local people groups by showing love and respect for the Ngobe families regardless of their socioeconomic class. Efforts like this can take years to see changes happen in cultural behavior but I am happy to report that cracks in the barrier are starting to show and they are now seeing more and more Ngobe people interacting with the other locals and even some being hired for open jobs. This is a BIG deal. But the challange is still an up hill climb.


Julie's heart for the Ngobe showing up here as she begins to tear up and pray for this girl. Julie and her husband Gary founded the Mission House and are truly some of the most inspiring people I have ever met.

The Boys on the Hill

So this is not just some clever name I came up with for the section of the blog post. These kids have actually become known in the area as "The Boys on the Hill" because, you guessed it. They live on these steep hills.

The exact details escape me now but, the story goes something like, their family is extremely poor but has been picking up some farming jobs on the various hills in this part of the land but about every 9 months once the work is up for that project, they have to pack up and move to another hill. It just rips your heart out for these kids. True survivors.

The Panamanians

Here are some more families in the area who are struggling to make ends meet but with very little resources available to get the help they need. This first family below also had some particularly sad circumstances they were going through. The grandparents at this home were keeping their 4 year old granddaughter because her mom and dad did not want her. (They had left her behind for a party life in Panama City.) We brought them food and supplies and prayed for the best outcome for the child. The gratitude of the grandparents was shown to us when the grandfather went into his chili garden and picked us some fresh chili's. For a family with so little, this was a BIG gift from them!

95 Years Young

This man was born in 1923 making him 95 years old. And this is where he lives and sleeps. Sure makes me feel silly for ever complaining about the luxuries I own. Every day he slowly walks several miles from here down to the village area although I don't remember exactly why. But spoiler alert, it is very HOT in Panama and it rains And not just a light drizzle. Torrential downpour. So when it starts raining, if he's not within several yards of cover, he gets soaked. Every day.

The most humbling thing I remember from meeting him was, although he lives in a house that is about the size of a small bathroom, and he has a significant amount of joint pain and health problems, when we asked him what he needed prayer for, he replied by saying he didn't want prayer for any of his own needs, and to simply pray and thank God for our visit to him. Pretty remarkable really. Don't let that scoot passed you too quickly.

Clase de Musica!

So one of the big plans for me personally on this trip was to get some of the kids exposed to playing musical instruments. Music has always been a big part of my life and I love to pass it on to others. Especially kids. On my last trip in 2016, I gave away a guitar to one local boy who later on went on to become an amazing musician and to this day sends me emails saying what an impact it has had on his life.

So we set out to do the same by teaching some guitar and keyboard to the little ones throughout the trip. My hope is that one day some of these kids will pass on the same to future generations as they remember the first time they held a guitar when some random white dude in a Star Wars t-shirt showed up one day and showed them how to hold a G chord.

Local Schools and Generosity of Others

So one of the other big plans we had for this trip was to bless the local schools with some much needed supplies. Once again, resources in these areas are very hard to come by. And one of my amazing co-leaders Jamey has a big heart for helping teachers and students. So we collected a bunch of school supplies back here in the U.S. and loaded them up in extra suitcases to give away in Panama. This is just one of the local schools we helped out. We started the day off with me totally butchering the song "Happy and You Know it" in Spanish (hey it got the kids laughing) and then later donated the supplies to the teachers. The response was awesome.

I need to do a special shout out for my AMAZING co-workers at St. John & Partners Advertising Agency for all of their support. Look at all of the stuff they sent me down to Panama with. ( These are just some of the faces of the kids you helped. Thank you for your generosity! You are quite literally the answer to these people's prayers!

Cerro Punto

Throughout the hard work and long days, we did find some time to break off and enjoy some sights. Including one town called Cuerro Punto that had different villages, shops and a steep hike up one of the mountains with an incredible view for the payoff. Not to mention 60 degree weather that felt amazing.


Cami finding an unexpected souviner. 

Co-Leaders and New Friends

My amazing co-leaders, David and Jamey Burns. Two people who now mean a whole lot to me! It was a privilege to serve along side you and lead this brave and bold team together! Thank you for being shoulders for me to lean on. I truly hope we get the opportunity to lead together again in the future. I am forever grateful for you two. Your hearts for Panama are as big as those mountains behind us. And I know you will both continue to do incredible things with your ministry in the years to come!!



To finish up, I thought it would be fitting to end on this. You may have noticed the older guy throughout the pictures with the cool safari looking hat. The one that looks kind of like Steve Spurrier (and actually kind of sounds like him too.) Two years ago was the first time I met James. I had no idea what was about to hit me. He is one of the most brave, courageous, humble and selfless people I have ever been around. I vividly remember the discussion we had one night when he gave me his back story. He was living in Texas working hard to make a good living. He was running his own business and things were going really well. As it grew and grew, he continued adding on more staff and hitting bigger and bigger sales numbers. He was quite literally living the American Dream. Business was going well. Really well.

Then one day something in him changed.

In his exact words to me that night he said "I couldn't get satisfaction from those things anymore." So he gave it all up, left the business behind and moved down to Costa Rica where he now resides. In the years since, he spends his time driving his pickup truck between Costa Rica and Panama getting to know all of the families in the assistance program. And he is the one who drives the different mission teams to each home and arranges the bags that have the various foods, soaps and medical supplies for each family. And he does it all for either no pay or virtually nothing. I've never seen anyone quite like him before.

Thank you James for your inspiration, devotion and your love for Jesus that has left me strangely jealous of the life you now live. I hope to be like you are when I am older.


Hasta La Vista...Baby

If you actually read all of this, please tell me so I can A) personally thank you and B) buy you lunch. Trips like these mean A LOT to the people who go on them. So any time someone shows even a little bit of interest in hearing how they went, believe me, the person you ask about it will be THRILLED that you said something.

It can be challenging to go off to another country like this and spend a week in the trenches in some of the poorest conditions imaginable only to come back home to an American lifestyle that can suddenly seem very.....well, selfish.

At the time I am typing this, I am personally experiencing some of those feelings. Although I know in a couple weeks from now I may resort to my own selfish ways of thinking. So I cannot judge anyone. But if this trip has left any kind of impression on your heart, I STRONGLY encourage you to ask more questions about how you can be a part of one of them too. Just talk to anyone who's gone on a mission trip, specificially with Eleven22, and they will all tell you the same thing...... I wouldn't trade it for the world!



Help Me Bring Joel to Panama!

So first up, I'm way way wayyyy behind on blogging. So I apologize for those who are regulars around here and haven't seen much in the way of recent work. I am planning to get on that soon. I've been incredibly busy and also working through some health issues that have had me fairly distracted the last few months. But keep an eye out for some updates soon! In the mean time, I wanted to share a VERY important post.

In June of 2018 I will be leading a mission trip to Caisan Panama with Eleven22. If you've been following here for a while you may have seen my last trip to Panama. ( But now I am being called back and this time to lead! I am incredibly excited about this opportunity since I just led another mission trip to Jamaica back in late August that was amazing. ( While I was there I met a very special young man named Joel. He is 15 years old and one of the most gifted young musicians I have ever seen. During my time there he and I got the incredible opportunity to do musical ministry for many local kids in Jamaica ranging from music lessons to worship gatherings. Through that experience I developed a great relationship with his family and of course with Joel as well. At the end of the trip, Joel's dad asked me if I could do my best to stay a part of Joel's life and be a role model for him. I promised him I would although at times it has been challenging due to us living in separate countries. But when I found out I was going back to Panama next summer, God immediately put it on my heart to take Joel with me on this trip. But it's not exactly the easiest thing down in Jamaica for their family to raise money as simple as we can here in America.

And that leads me to the point of this post...

I have talked through some logistics with Eleven22 and with Joel's family and I have made it a personal goal of mine to raise the money to help cover the cost of Joel's trip participation. The total amount of the trip for a regular participant is $1,800. If you are reading this now anything is stirring in your heart, YOU can be a part of supporting what would be an INCREDIBLE opportunity for Joel by contributing financially in ANY way you can. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL.

To make a financial donation towards Joel's trip cost simply go to the following link. You can make an online donation and even do so anonymously if you'd feel more comfortable doing so.

And if at this time you are unable to donate, please consider passing this along to someone you know who may be able to.

With absolute utmost sincerity,
Adam Szarmack


The Faces of Jamaica

About 8 years ago, I took a vacation to Jamaica. After going back a second time for a mission trip, I am not sure I could ever vacation to Jamaica again. (Keep reading)

The tale of two Jamaica trips...

The last time I went to Jamaica, (we'll call that trip "Jamaica A") I stayed at one of the Sandals Resorts. I remember landing at the airport and getting onto the shuttle with a bunch of other tourists. The next couple hours we cruised down the coastline highway drinking Red Stripes and listening to Bob Marley. I remember looking out the window and seeing some of the impoverished Jamaican families living in shacks and run down old homes. At that time, I was about 9 years removed from the last mission trip I had gone on to Peru. In fact, I was about 9 years removed from living out my faith in any kind of meaningful way entirely. I was living for myself and whatever made me feel good at the moment. So when I saw the conditions and how much they resembled past mission trips I'd done, I just did what anyone on vacation would do. I said "wow look at them--that is sad" and then buried it deep down so I wouldn't have to deal with any feelings of guilt while I passed right by them on my way to the resort. Eventually we pulled up to Sandals and we came up to a massive gate. It slowly opened, we drove through and then the gate closed behind us. And the people in need that I saw were closed off behind me. I no longer had to "deal with them" causing me any guilt for all the fun I was going to have. I was free to just enjoy myself.

We spent a lot of time poolside, drinking unlimited mojitos and eating as much as we wanted. We got to do a zip line and some waterfalls too and sure those were cool. Then on the last day we sat on the resort's man-made beach watching and laughing as pasty white northerners would run into the water only to find out that the floor is made of sharp rocks and not sand. We'd laugh as one by one they'd go running in and then slowly (and painfully) walk back out shouting "ouch-ouch". Yeah it was funny, I'm not going to say that wasn't a memory from that trip I enjoyed. But....THAT was the highlight for us. Sitting on a fake beach drinking beer watching drunk tourists cut their feet. Eventually the trip came to an end, we got back on the bus, and came back home to Florida. Was it fun? Sure, it was fun. But 8 years later, it did absolutely nothing to change any lives. Now that trip just rings a bit hollow.

Now let me tell you a little bit about "Jamaica B."

Last week I went back to Jamaica but this time, it was a much different story. 21 people (including myself) went to Jamaica, and 21 people had their lives changed forever. Not one of us came back the same person we were before we left. Instead of watching drunk tourists running around a fake beach with mojitos in their hand, I watched the people on my team step out in BOLDNESS and love and care for the men, women and children of Jamaica with a passion! The very people I turned my back to 8 years ago. Far more rewarding than any vacation experience could ever offer. And on top of that, I witnessed first hand bravery like I have never seen before as people on my team pulled together and helped one another work through some of their deepest most painful struggles. Many late nights with a lot of tears. And it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I cannot even begin to put into words how incredibly PROUD I am of each and every one of them. On behalf of my AMAZING co-leader Jenn Heller, I just want to say to you all, Adrian, Arden, Aruna, Ben, Brenna, Caitlin, Carrie, Diana, Diane, Doug, Hailey, Kaylie, Leslee, Lori, Matt, Mike, Michelle, Ryan and Sharon......WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!! I am absolutely honored to call you my friends.

I'll let the images tell the rest of the story. We worked hard but we had a lot of fun too. Take a look at some of our shots from the Eleven22 Jamaica B mission team. And if anything in here tugs on your heart and you want to know more about what these kinds of trips are all about, just ask. The door is open any time. You just have to take that first step of faith and walk through it.

Want to see last year's trip to Panama? Ok. Go here:

Prostitution vs. Religion

Let me start by saying, I apologize for the bizarre title to this blog post. But in a world now where you've got constant media feeds all competing for your attention at once, I needed to go a little bit, for lack of a better word, intriguing with the post name.

If you track along with me on here, you're probably aware that I have written many posts and shared various videos from my pastor at Eleven22. Every Sunday I walk out of that building and feel like I had just my life changed. I cannot say this enough, no matter who you are, where you've come from, regardless of your beliefs, background or past....GO and check out Eleven22. It is a movement AND invitation for ALL people. Repeat, ALL people. No one is excluded. Period. Just come as you are. Leave fancy "church clothes" at home because they don't care about stuff like that.

I could share every sermon they post but this past Sunday's message was one I found particularly important to pass on to others. You may have read a past post of mine that discussed the definition of what "religion" is vs. having a relationship with God. The difference between the two is of absolute utmost importance and should not be overlooked. As I mentioned, in my previous post, being a true Christian is actually the opposite of being "religious." (For reference, you can re-read the post here: Religion Sets Rules. Jesus Sets Free.) This weekend's sermon was a perfect supplement to that topic.

So about that post title...

In this sermon a very important parable is being taught by Jesus. Per the words from Jesus himself (while talking to a group of heavily devout religious people)...he basically told them that (paraphrasing) prostitutes and terrorists are more likely to make it into Heaven than the person who grows up in church being a "good rule follower." (AKA, religious) Why? Because as I mentioned in that older post, you may be surprised to hear this but according to the bible, getting into Heaven has absolutely NOTHING to do with how good/bad you are, how much you go/don't go to church or follow a bunch of rules. Repeat NOTHING. It is not about your activity but rather it is about your IDENTITY. That is why someone can be a Christian without being "religious." Because being a Christian really just means one thing--believing that when Jesus died on the cross it counted for YOU and by putting your faith and trust in him. When you do that, you get a new identity that is a 100% a free gift. And the thing about getting a gift cannot be earned. Hence why, being "religious" will NOT earn you a ticket to Heaven. Identity always precedes activity.  Therefore, being a Christian is not about being "religious" rather it's about having a relationship. Big difference.

Please take the time to listen to this message by pastor Joby Martin who can articulate it much better than I can. It could be the best news you've ever heard. And if anything in this message intrigues you, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me and let's chat some more. And if you're someone who just thinks I'm totally weird and all this stuff is complete BS, believe me I don't blame you. It was weird to me once too. Call me anyway I'd love to buy you a coffee and share my whole story.

With utmost sincerity,
Adam Szarmack

Do You Need a Do Over?

About two years ago, I found myself in a place in my life where I was pretty broken and battling some feelings of depression. I kept it to myself and even my closest family had no idea I was feeling this way. I didn't want anyone to know.

During that time, at my place of work there was a spare office that no one was using and so I moved my computer into it without even asking for permission from my management. The reason I did that was because most of the time I was sitting in there fighting back tears. (And losing that battle more often than not.) Occasionally one of my peers would stick their head in and say "Hey what ya doing in here?" to which I would reply "Oh I think I'm getting sick so I'm just doing everyone a favor and separating myself from the group." But the truth was, I didn't want anyone to see me crying. And when it was time for a company meeting, I'd do my best to push all the tears in and put on my best fake smile--holding it as long as possible until I could get back to that office and be alone again.

I needed a Do Over.

And by the grace of God, he gave me one.

I tend to write too much so if anyone reads this and wants to know the rest of my story, please contact me and let's setup a time to chat more. I'd love to meet you and have a heart to heart.

And if you are currently in a place in life right now and YOU need a "Do Over" too, I've got good news...

Here is the Do Over you've been waiting for...

Photo I shot of my pastor, Joby Martin, preaching his guts out at Eleven22 on Easter Sunday.

Photo I shot of my pastor, Joby Martin, preaching his guts out at Eleven22 on Easter Sunday.