Spencer Stanton

RSS
Feb 2

Heidi Noelle

When I was young we moved around quite a bit.  After third grade, I don’t think I went to the same school for more than 2 years.  As much as I hated to admit it at that age, my sister, Heidi, was my best friend.   We went to Disney World together, she was a cheerleader for my pewee football team, we home-schooled, and the list goes on.

My parents tell us that when Heidi was a baby, I would sleep on the floor outside of her bedroom door.  I always wanted and felt a duty to protect her.  I was the big brother.  Of course I had to protect my sis. 

One day that all came crashing down.  I learned that my sister had become pregnant.  She was too young…she was still my little sister.  I had failed.  I felt I was helpless to defend her.  Worse yet, I was leaving for college in a few months. 

I watched as people reacted to seeing her, this pregnant teenager.  This statistic.  This lost cause.  Some supported her.  Some were apathetic.  Others put her out.  Some people didn’t say anything, but their eyes gave it away.

As her daughters grew up, so did Heidi.  She became an amazing mother.  It seemed that she set out to prove wrong what people thought about her.  But there was something missing.  In becoming an amazing mother, she had quieted her critics, but there is no sense of value in that.  The pain that was inflicted on her remained.  For years I prayed that she would see, I mean really see, how valuable and beautiful she is.

Then something different happened.  My prayers turned to belief.  I said it out loud.  “God will get a hold of my sister.  Things will be different.  She WILL see herself the way God sees her.”  I believed.  With everything in me, I knew that God was about to change her.

Today, I see her in love with Jesus.  I see a leader who will impact the lives of young women.  Women who others look at and see a statistic.  A lost cause.  They won’t have to go through the same things she did.  God did transform her.  Now, she knows how beautiful she is, because HE made her. 

In a month, my little sister will marry the man of her dreams.  A godly man.  I am so proud of her.  I am so proud that she withstood pain.  She grew up when she needed to.  But more than anything…I am proud that she responded to grace. 

Grace that revealed who she really is in Christ. 

Grace that turned that pain into a lifeline, extend to others. 

Grace that valued her.

To my sister, Heidi Noelle…I love you and I am so proud to be your brother.

The DEAD

You’ve seen it right?  The zombie apocalypse movie.  A massive outbreak of an infectious disease has killed off most of humanity.  There is one or maybe a few people left on earth.  They navigate through the seemingly, endless infested areas.  Avoiding the dark…always searching for life.  Always trying to find one more person who is alive that can help them.

I think it is every guys secret wish that there would be a zombie apocalypse and he and his friends are the only ones left.  I have my weapon of choice picked out.  I know exactly where I will hide out.  I know which friends I want to have at my side during battle.  I have a plan for something that will NEVER happen!

Sorry ladies if you’re not following me.  Maybe you can relate to this.

Luke 24:5 says, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?”  Some women were visiting Jesus’ tomb when they discovered he was not there.  They were distraught.  I love what the angels say here. “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?”


Sometimes we do this in our lives.  We look for the living among the dead.  We spend so much time trying to put our faults, insecurities, & sins to death.  We are looking for life in the death of all these things. 

It is true that we died to ourselves when we entered into relationship with Jesus.  That already happened though.  The focus is in the wrong place.  NOW we get to stand in the fact that Jesus made us right. 

Instead of trying to put our faults to death, let’s find what is right with us in Jesus.

Instead of trying to put our insecurities to death, let’s find our security in Jesus.

Instead of trying to put our sin to death, let’s focus on the FACT that it’s already dead and has no power over us.

Instead of spending so much time trying to put ourselves to death, let’s focus on Jesus and let everything else die off.

Apr 1

Kill Complacency

I have almost always been “good enough.”  In fact most of my accomplishments in life thus far have been “good enough.”  I was always “good enough” to make the baseball team.  I was always “smart enough” to pass my tests.  I was always in “good enough” shape, physically.  In college, I never entered the advanced programs.  I had the grades, but the program I was in was “good enough.”  I have spent most of my life just being “good enough.”

I fell into a trap.  My dreams changed.  My goals changed.  My attitude changed.  What was once a driving force to be great, had become an excuse to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.  It was easy to be an average performer.  No one ever expected anything more from me.  It was safe to coast.

Studies have been done on animals that have been kept in captivity for extended periods of time.  When the restrictions that were once holding them are removed, they stay.  They are so used to being stuck in a cage, that it has become “good enough.”  They have become complacent.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 says,

"For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”

If Jesus came to purchase freedom for everyone, then why do so many of us stay put?  Like the animal I mentioned above, we have become complacent.  Freedom means more responsibility.  Freedom means more risk.  Freedom means more expectations.

I don’t believe that we have been set free to stay in our little cage of complacency.  We have been set free to do GREAT things.

John 14:12 says,

  “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”

Jesus did some pretty great things.  It is a big responsibility that we are expected to do greater works than Jesus did.  Not only that; it is a big risk.  It takes us out of that “good enough” state of mind and throws us head-first into an unfamiliar place. That is where the excitement of the Christian life is.  That is when we find ourselves in our most memorable and rewarding experiences.

My challenge to myself and you is to never be satisfied with “good enough.”  Strive for greatness.  After all, we haven’t been set free without a purpose.