You’re Not Alone

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

Loneliness is a terrible feeling. We are now in the thick of this quarantine era of life, it’s a forced time of being alone. Dear Danielle and I have noticed how the days slip away and you have to create structure or time just melts. Hopefully you’ve found a rhythm, a way to make sure your mind stays active rather than become a zombie. This is a hard time for everyone. Whether you’re introverted or extraverted, we need connection, and when you can’t actively step outside of your home, the isolation turns to loneliness. Loneliness can be a dangerous place, it often leads to depression and a deep yet unknown sadness. I want to talk about this time, you may be grieving the way you used to live your life, but in this moment, know that you’re not alone.

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Better Together

One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12

I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of unity and community. As people, we are intrinsically tied to others. We have a craving for human interaction and seek it out in different avenues. Even for introverts like myself, it’s great to have alone time, but having coffee with a friend is so life giving. We need each other, we crave being connected to others around us, but something is wrong. We begin to fight two struggles, we lack community and unity. We push people away because we’re afraid of them hurting us or us hurting them. We live in a world where people are divided based on perpetrated stereotypes of race. We believe we are better than others or think others are better than us. We are in a fight. We are in a fight for our connection to others, and we fight it because we have an enemy that doesn’t want us to live in freedom.

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For Our Neighbors

It’s here! Christmas time is among us (Though for many of you it began as soon as your Jack-o-lantern went out). I really love this season, not simply for all the cold air and the smell of cinnamon that seemingly is everywhere (how does that even happen?). I love it because it’s a season of caring, at least for me it always has been. Christmas has never been a specific day for me. My family was in Wisconsin so we would celebrate several Christmas days, but what I learned is that Christmas is so much more than the day (or about a creepy man who reverse robs you), it was about giving back. Reaching out and being intentional with others. I really love giving gifts, not big expensive and crazy things, simply things that are meaningful. Last year though, my mom executed this perfectly. She gave my dad, sister, my brother-in-law, Danielle, and myself gifts that really spoke to me. They weren’t insane or wild, simply intentional gifts that poured into us. That got me thinking about this Christmas season, and what I want to do this month. I want to talk about intentionality. I want to talk about being purposeful with the people around us, because we are called to love our neighbors.

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Misfit Culture

“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

1 Corinthians 12:24-26

I’ve been thinking a lot about people recently. Not in a sense of, oh yeah there are other people around me, but more of the fact that there are so many different people all around me. We live in a world where we can have many hobbies, come from different walks of life, and lived through all kinds of events. We are different people that crave community. No one likes to be alone, and no one likes to feel pushed away, yet recently in the climate of our culture we grow secluded and push others based on stupid differences. I have been wanting to write about misfits in community since I did the Misfit series a couple months back, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to say it. Then this past week, a couple of events sparked the words and God spoke to me about some things that are vital in the upcoming season for all of us.

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Misfit: Live in Community

I’ve really loved doing this series the past few weeks. I felt like God wanted me to speak to the misfits like me, people who feel like they don’t fit in, but have been made with purpose unlike anything else. I started writing it when I was dealing with my own fears and thoughts about feeling like I didn’t fit in with people. During this time, I felt like God wanted me to start reading through the first couple of books in the new testament, primarily focusing on the misfits that surrounded Jesus. What I saw was how people who never fit in were used, and they ushered in the church and spreading the gospel. It is quite an amazing thing to see, and it culminated in this last post which I am writing now. I want to talk about being a misfit in community with other misfits. The thing that’s hard about feeling like you don’t fit in, is the fact that many of us stop there and begin to believe there’s no place for us. The truth is, we can come together as misfits and be in community together, because when we do this, we become the church.

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It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

Well, the season has finally come. Fall is here! That means sweaters and hoodies, new TV shows are back, my birthday (shouts out to October 7th, yo), and Halloween to kick off the holiday season. I love this time of the year, maybe it’s due to the break of the heat, or maybe it’s something else. I often get a sense of spiritual refreshment during this season, new ideas and new adventures to undertake. Last year I did a series that related to classic b-movie themes to celebrate the Halloween spirit and reveal spiritual truths in silly movies. I want to do the same this year, but I want to be more focused. You see, recently I have been feeling spiritual attack. The enemy has been throwing storms my way, and through some difficult decisions I’ve made, I’ve had to persevere through some hurtful words. I think we all experience this kind of attack, often it means we are moving in the direction that God is calling us towards. We have an enemy, a very real enemy, not just a little red devil we see in cartoons. His plan is to steal, kill, and destroy us; which makes it hard for us to pursue God when we are attacked. We need a plan, a battle plan, one that we can turn to in moments of spiritual attack. This month I want to have a series based on this, each week giving a new piece to the battle plan for your life. So join me as we create our plan of attack.

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Renewable Energy

We’re tired. Running around all the time, not standing still longer than a three minute video on your Facebook feed, and spending so much time pouring into others that we forget to fill ourselves. You see we all get tired. As leaders this can be dangerous, we have a duty, a responsibility towards those we lead to guide them. In your personal life, physical rest is vital to simply functioning as normal people. In our social lives it can make us not enjoy the moments in front of us. So, what do we do? The past two weeks I have been tired, but I found a source of renewable energy. Now before I continue, yes the title of this post may be a little deceiving. So if you came here thinking this was about the hot topic issue of finding renewable resources, hehe, I’m talking today about renewed energy that comes from Christ. The past two weeks I have been on a high school camp one week, and the next on an Elementary camp. After the camps I took a journey up to Virginia to see my brother-in-law graduate, and then participate on serve day with our church. It was a lot, I’m still catching up on sleep (ish). The past two weeks have been incredible and God has taught me so much in the midst of physical tiredness. In that mindset of needing energy each day, I had to come each morning and ask God to give me all that I need for that day to lead and serve others the way he wants me to. You see, God gives us all that we need when we abide in him, he is the source of our renewable energy.

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Family Factor

We are not made to be alone. This is a truth that God said about us in the very beginning. “It is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18a).” That’s pretty straight forward, something I love about the teachings within the bible, simple ideas that radically change lives. I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, the idea that we are not made to be alone, and because of that, God gives us a family. This then lead me to think about what exactly a family is. Sure one way to view it could be your direct biological family, but I think there is more to it than that. One of the best definitions of family that I found while researching this idea was simply this, a person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy. To be treated with special loyalty or intimacy. How powerful is that? Family is a factor that each of us needs in our lives, a community that is loyal to each other and can be there for us in times of need. The traditional idea of what a family is has changed. I used to think of the Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want painting, the one of the turkey dinner, all the family gathered around with big smiles. This simply isn’t the same, family goes through hard times. Families aren’t all white picket fence home owners, we are unique and different. We have families of divorce, children who have been victims of abuse, families that have experienced the death of a spouse, homes being combined after parents re-marry, and countless other looks of family. My family has stayed together, but we have seen what addiction can cause within the family and the death of grandparents. In these hard times of family it can be hard to see the essential factor in family, but family is so much more, and there is always hope when God is a centerpiece in your life.

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Altered State of Mind

Last week I talked about making a very important choice, a choice that will affect the rest of your life, but what happens afterwards? How do I go about living my life? So often we are able to make the choice, but we continue to live our lives as they were. This isn’t me saying we should all become hermit people only reading the bible every moment of the day, not a bad thing just basically impossible if you have to drive and interact with people, what I am saying is that we become changed people. A relationship with God isn’t some checklist to complete, that isn’t a relationship. We are in relationship with so many people, friends, family, co-workers; but the most important relationship we have is with our creator. When we spend time with these people in our life, we make an effort to connect with them, that’s what God wants for us. When we make the effort to connect with him, our outlook is altered.

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We Are Never Alone

This past Sunday evening, and student from my small group gave a message on the idea that we are not alone because God is always with us. I loved this topic because it’s such a true statement and an idea that I have faced and I think many have faced as well. This feeling of loneliness that plagues so many. It’s not the idea of being alone, because we can’t be around everyone all the time, the closest to that you can get is having a spouse, but that’s not what this idea is about. It’s an empty feeling, one that makes it seem like there is no one around to talk to, no way to open up about what we are feeling. It’s not only a horrible feeling, but a dangerous trap. Isolation is the word that best describes this lonely feeling because it encompasses the problems that can arise. Isolation leads to a blocking out of outsides voices trying to guide you. What happens is we fall into a downward spiral of chaos and cause us to sin, and be trapped with no way of escaping. This is a pretty heavy idea, but it’s one that needs to be brought to light for those who are feeling alone or have fallen into complete isolation, and it needs to be brought to light for one simple idea and that is that we are never alone.

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This I a simple statement from the Lord to Joshua, because Joshua felt alone. He was a man tasked with a job of leading the people of Israel after Moses passed away. He was left to guide hundreds of people, to lead them through the dessert as well as guide them in actions that were pleasing to the Lord. He was scared, he felt like he could not make it, yet God spoke to him and said that He was with Joshua wherever he went and through whatever he did. This passage in scripture has been a comforting piece for me especially. There have been many times where I have felt unable to keep going, when life gets hard and I feel alone, I want to quit. Yet over and over I am reminded of the fact that I am never alone. I struggle with this loneliness, I understand feeling like there is no one around you to help, but this myth is a lie from the enemy. When I feel this creep up around me, I turn to the one I put my trust in. It didn’t begin this way, it took me a long time to realize the importance of knowing that God is always there and that we need to seek out community. Today I’d like to share three of those discoveries that I have come to that have helped me overcome isolation.

God is with us in the darkness.

In all situations God is with us, this is the message my student Chris spoke about on Sunday. It is the key to begin this journey out of a life of isolation. When we feel like no one is with us, we don’t see the point in moving towards community with others, the darkness in our life begins to consume all that we are. Once we realize that we have an all-powerful God in our corner, we can rise up out of the darkness and fight back. It gives us the confidence to say that we can make it. When Joshua realized that God was with him, he rose up and knew that he could lead the people. Not by his strength alone, but with the strength of God.

We were not made to be alone.

God is always with us, but at the same time we cannot stay in that place. Back in high school I knew that God was with me, but I didn’t want to make any effort into looking for a community. I had been made fun of and that made it hard for me to want to get close to anyone else, I was still isolated. One of the best things for me, and I’ve talked about this before, my High school small group allowed me to be with others who were like me and who were willing to be open about their lives. I was no longer afraid of what people would say because I had a group that could guide me. They helped me to no longer fear what anyone would say. I knew that God was with me and I had a community of guys that helped me take on whatever was thrown at me.

We are better together.  

As you may know by the name of my blog, I love comic books, and one of the biggest life lessons that I have learned by reading comic books is the fact that we are better together. So many stories have a hero who finds themselves with a great power and learns how to use it to help others. They have a mentor and a close cycle of people they trust and rely on to be accountable and get better. Then they face an evil that is too big to defeat on their own, then they find a team, whether it’s the avengers, x-men, or any other team, they unite and win. I just described every superhero story ever to you, and guess what? It’s not just a story. In life we find a passion that we pursue, we seek a mentor who is wise and helps us. Then we cling to a community of like-minded people to grow together and encourage one another. A problem that happens is that we forget to take that final leap, and when we run into a bigger struggle, we fall away, when all we need to do is run to that team of skilled people. Once I joined Daystar I felt as if I had just joined a mission that was bigger than me, but still wanted me because they saw that not only I but everyone is important to the body of Christ. I began to serve, I helped others that were new to the Church, and we become a stronger force when come together. My struggle with isolation diminished, because I had a community that would love and help me no matter what I faced.


I hope today you have realized that not only are you never alone, but you have a bigger purpose than to be trapped in isolation. It may seem like there is nowhere to go, believe me when I say that I understand, know that there is a way to be free. Just like God told Joshua that he was with him, God is with you. Find community, build a trust with them, and realize you are made for more in this world. I have seen the effects of isolation, and I have seen friends that were close to me never break free, believe me when I say this. No matter what is happening in your life, you can find freedom, you just need to grab hold of it.

Thanks for reading, where do you find life giving community? I’d love to hear from those who are reading these. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

-Joshua Thomas