Saturday, November 10, 2007

As I sit here in the silence, I feel actually relieved. Life is loud. Life is fast. Life is always going. Sometimes I feel that when you slow down, when you take time to see things, then you truly can appreciate what's in front of you.
Personally, I have always been a forward thinker. One to plan things accordingly and if they didn't go that way then it's a lost cause. As of late, I've been feeling God slowly whisper to my soul to take things slow. In my relationships, in my walk with Him, in life in general.
A wise man once told me "the days are long, but the years are fast." If you take a second and think about it, there is so much truth in just that little statement. We live our days as get up, go to school, get work done, play some sports, come home, eat sleep shower and do it all over again. When you think of the day at hand before you do it it's like how am i going to do this, then you blink and it's all over. Things don't need to be fast or rushed, life shouldn't be like that.
More than ever I've come to appreciate the time that's there to make things grow. In my growing with someone personally, I have found that God takes care of those who wait patiently for His hand in it. It's been amazing.
I want to enjoy being 20. I want to remember these days. I want to live them in an upright and passionate way so that everything I do shouts the praises of God. Never do I want to look back and say I just survived but thank God that's over with. I yearn to look back and be like God used me, He put amazing people and amazing situations in my path for a reason. There's a reason for the present, and that is to take hold of it. So that's what I'm going to do.
We are but a moment in the time scale of eternity, but if we are just that moment then let's make it burn bright. Burn as a heart united for something bigger than ourselves, burn for a love that people can actually feel and know personally, burn for a desire to take everything as it's given and be strengthen and encouraged by the people that God has put around us.
As much as I may want things over with because I'm worried about certain situations or events, I have come to realize that in the whole grand scheme of things there's no point in worrying. There's no point in drama where people get stressed. There's no point in all this pain that's so evident in today's society. All we must have in our minds is that faith, hope, and love for the generation today is what calls out. And I hope I never wish for another day gone, because that just means one less day to cherish with God and with people who could experience that love as well......

Michael Tropea

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Call Out...

As of this moment I am back in Buffalo for another school year. I wait in anticipation, yet find myself still at awe of the graciousness and blessings that God has provided me this summer. I met both brothers and sisters who are on fire in their walk and hearts for the Lord. There is an amazing feeling one gets when he is immersed with people who just beat to the drum of the Lord....

I'm all alone in my apartment at the moment and in all honesty i feel so surrounded and alive. Surrounded by the greatness that this world offers through God's good grace. I'm so glad to be alive so I can shout His praises. I know people may ask me, what is going on with you Mike?
Where did this all come from? Well for those who don't know or haven't heard my testimony I'm laying it out on the line for you....

I went through a rough childhood (there are many worse case scenarios but in my view at the time) with my parents being divorced. In all honesty, at first I didn't really think much of it but once I hit my early teen years I felt the ache for a unified family...like I saw everyone else had. In addition I put pressure on myself to always do good, be it in sports or schoolwork, I had to do good or else. All this pressure was overbearing! I tried to fill it with drinking, relationships, drugs, anything that could fill that void in my heart....it never went away. I fell into a deeper hole trying to search for meaning to life. The drinking was just a fix for a night, the drugs just wore off and never gave me what I needed, I continually hurt and wanted sufficiency in life. Not knowing where to turn I just kept on walking life as it was one big party/game. What's going on tomorrow night and not caring about where I'd go if i died right then...

I grew up in the Catholic church. Went through confirmation knowing ABOUT God and Jesus, but just knowing them as examples I could never live up too. I was invited to Grace Assembly of God in November of 2003 just because I wanted to meet new people....this was at a time where my life was consumed with desperation for something more but still trying to fill it with drinking...Never did I expect to hear what I did that night...

I heard about a God who I could know personally. A Jesus who died for ME... A relationship that I could have with God through Him. I had my doubts still but found myself drawn back for an unknown reason. I met people sure, but I was drawn back to hear about this fulfillment that Jesus provided, this bridge between ETERNAL life and death, that he made possible. Still I dabbled in my seasonal activities, but felt a tug on my heart to pursue what this Jesus had to offer. Then I heard about the struggles he went through for me, through for all of us, and I felt a pull on my heart like I could feel the pain he went through. I felt myself being opened in my heart, but I still held out because I doubted that this could wipe out my pain and heartache with the things that life confused me about. It couldn't wash away my family's problems, it couldn't heal the wounds that I endured, this relationship couldn't wipe all that out......but I started to question at that moment...or could it?

I decided to tag along on another outing where I saw people worshiping. Now at the time I didn't know that worshiping involved songs that were new age. I was so use to hymns that just weren't heartfelt to me personally. Then I saw people shouting out to this Jesus who I grew up knowing of and lifting their hands in thankfulness. What are they doing? But as I questioned, at a single moment, I saw a peace and happiness that they had on their face while worshiping this Jesus. I saw a calmness of life that they had. It was as if they didn't have any problems and that pain ceased to exist in that moment...I wanted that? I wanted that peace! I wanted that calmness! I wanted that hope! I wanted my pain to be wiped out!....As I started feeling that, I called out, called out to this Jesus that I heard about and said Jesus I want that, I want that peace, I want everything you have to offer....At that moment, a lifechange happened...I felt broken, but in that brokenness I felt lighter, lighter in a burden sense...I had a peace about me, a calmness that was scary at first but I realized that it wasn't this Jesus I heard about....it was my Jesus...It was me believing that he died for me and now knowing God personally...On January 25, 2004 my life changed for good.... I was a new person...

From that day until now, life has been amazing beyond what words can describe...I've been through my struggles yes, fallen back at times yes, but I carry that hope around in my that Jesus provided, that void is filled with a love that never ceases to exist, it follows me and is always with me...and I'm so thankful...Even in times when I fall behind, I realize I can always turn to the thing that provides fulfillment and get my fill of God's amazing grace and mercy...Now I know that God and Jesus aren't just examples, they are living so that we can know them personally and take hold of their spirit....I can truly say that I look forward to the day I die because I died in Christ already and it'll only be better afterwards....So if you have any questions about wanting this amazing relationship I'm here, if you think your not good enough, think again, we all fall short, but He died for all of us...if you totally think I'm a hypocrite for what I write we all are but my footsteps are being directed by the One who saves and lives forevermore and in all honesty I'm unashamed now, because I've found my reason in life and it's amazing and good...I'm here for whatever reason and just thought everyone should know the real Michael Anthony Tropea...transparent and humbled because He humbled himself to die on the cross for me...God Bless

A Call Out...

As of this moment I am back in Buffalo for another school year. I wait in anticipation, yet find myself still at awe of the graciousness and blessings that God has provided me this summer. I met both brothers and sisters who are on fire in their walk and hearts for the Lord. There is an amazing feeling one gets when he is immersed with people who just beat to the drum of the Lord....

I'm all alone in my apartment at the moment and in all honesty i feel so surrounded and alive. Surrounded by the greatness that this world offers through God's good grace. I'm so glad to be alive so I can shout His praises. I know people may ask me, what is going on with you Mike?
Where did this all come from? Well for those who don't know or haven't heard my testimony I'm laying it out on the line for you....

I went through a rough childhood with my parents being divorced. In all honesty, at first I didn't really think much of it but once I hit my early teen years I felt the ache for a unified family...like I saw everyone else had. In addition I put pressure on myself to always do good, be it in sports or schoolwork, I had to do good or else. All this pressure was overbearing! I tried to fill it with drinking, relationships, drugs, anything that could fill that void in my heart....it never went away. I fell into a deeper hole trying to search for meaning to life. The drinking was just a fix for a night, the drugs just wore off and never gave me what I needed, I continually hurt and wanted sufficiency in life. Not knowing where to turn I just kept on walking life as it was one big party/game. What's going on tomorrow night and not caring about where I'd go if i died right then...

I grew up in the Catholic church. Went through confirmation knowing ABOUT God and Jesus, but just knowing them as examples I could never live up too. I was invited to Grace Assembly of God in November of 2003 just because I wanted to meet new people....this was at a time where my life was consumed with desperation for something more but still trying to fill it with drinking...Never did I expect to hear what I did that night...

I heard about a God who I could know personally. A Jesus who died for ME... A relationship that I could have with God through Him. I had my doubts still but found myself drawn back for an unknown reason. I met people sure, but I was drawn back to hear about this fulfillment that Jesus provided, this bridge between ETERNAL life and death, that he made possible. Still I dabbled in my seasonal activities, but felt a tug on my heart to pursue what this Jesus had to offer. Then I heard about the struggles he went through for me, through for all of us, and I felt a pull on my heart like I could feel the pain he went through. I felt myself being opened in my heart, but I still held out because I doubted that this could wipe out my pain and heartache with the things that life confused me about. It couldn't wash away my family's problems, it couldn't heal the wounds that I endured, this relationship couldn't wipe all that out......but I started to question at that moment...or could it?

I decided to tag along on another outing where I saw people worshiping. Now at the time I didn't know that worshiping involved songs that were new age. I was so use to hymns that just weren't heartfelt to me personally. Then I saw people shouting out to this Jesus who I grew up knowing of and lifting their hands in thankfulness. What are they doing? But as I questioned, at a single moment, I saw a peace and happiness that they had on their face while worshiping this Jesus. I saw a calmness of life that they had. It was as if they didn't have any problems and that pain ceased to exist in that moment...I wanted that? I wanted that peace! I wanted that calmness! I wanted that hope! I wanted my pain to be wiped out!....As I started feeling that, I called out, called out to this Jesus that I heard about and said Jesus I want that, I want that peace, I want everything you have to offer....At that moment, a lifechange happened...I felt broken, but in that brokenness I felt lighter, lighter in a burden sense...I had a peace about me, a calmness that was scary at first but I realized that it wasn't this Jesus I heard about....it was my Jesus...It was me believing that he died for me and now knowing God personally...On January 25, 2004 my life changed for good.... I was a new person...

From that day until now, life has been amazing beyond what words can describe...I've been through my struggles yes, fallen back at times yes, but I carry that hope around in my that Jesus provided, that void is filled with a love that never ceases to exist, it follows me and is always with me...and I'm so thankful...Even in times when I fall behind, I realize I can always turn to the thing that provides fulfillment and get my fill of God's amazing grace and mercy...Now I know that God and Jesus aren't just examples, they are living so that we can know them personally and take hold of their spirit....I can truly say that I look forward to the day I die because I died in Christ already and it'll only be better afterwards....So if you have any questions about wanting this amazing relationship I'm here, if you think your not good enough, think again, we all fall short, but He died for all of us...if you totally think I'm a hypocrite for what I write we all are but my footsteps are being directed by the One who saves and lives forevermore and in all honesty I'm unashamed now, because I've found my reason in life and it's amazing and good...I'm here for whatever reason and just thought everyone should know the real Michael Anthony Tropea...transparent and humbled because He humbled himself to die on the cross for me...God Bless

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Unity of Titans...


As of late I have been encouraged. Encouraged by members of a church who bring about a sense of urgency and dedication to the true Word of God. But with this encouragement I see unity. Unity is a key characteristic in the Christian faith because it provides stability and a fallback to people who stray from the group
Whenever I think of unity I think of the movie Remember the Titans. If you haven't seen the movie, well you should, but moreover it's about a football team that must come together at a time in the United States where segregation of schools is just ending and the culmination of black and white schools is beginning. Attitudes of racism and superiority exist at the outset of this movie when the football players are just basically 2 teams: Blacks vs Whites. They were separate units that couldn't function as one. Now Denzel Washington is Coach Brown who is determined to bring this team together as a cohesive unit. He puts them through trials, scenarios, and activities that bring about out the tolerance of one another based on necessity to survive. One key point in this movie is when Denzel takes them to a open field near where they are practicing and says:

Coach Boone: This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe... I don't know, maybe we'll learn to play this game like men.

After this amazing event happened, the team realized that it isn't about color, sex, or any other difference. Life is about unity with one another and to reach goals you must have it.
What this whole movie made me think of is that Christ driven believers must be encouraging to one another wherever we go if we wish to extend the kingdom of God. We must look past the downfalls of one another and stop criticizing each other and rather uplift each other in a fashion that says we all fall short of the glory of God but we are all faithful believers nonetheless. Unity provides an atmosphere of open communication where one can not be afraid to bring problems or ideas to a group in fear of being criticized, but can be brought with anticipation of growth.
I challenge you to go that extra mile with one another, write a little encouragement card to someone saying how much you appreciate them and who they are. You'd be surprised how much the little things matter to people. So as for everyone I met this summer I love you all. Love you in a way of graciousness like Paul did when he writes in Philippians 1:3-6 :

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, the he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

If this gets to anyone or if anyone reads this then I'm glad. And if anyone wants to know more about the gospel I'm more than willing to talk about how my life was changed due to God's amazing grace and power. Just needed to extend my great appreciation to my brothers and sisters I met this summer. God bless

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Walk Ain't Always Easy

As of late, things have been changing in my mind. Reasoning for the way situations are, have come into better picture like a camera thats out of focus slowly coming into perfect frame. I found myself consumed with situations that I had to make hard decisions for. My mindset has changed and the chains of these events have been broken....
One may not get what I mean by some of my statements, but let me digress a little more. You ever have a time in your life, where your whole mindset, whole being, whole life goes into overdrive and you are totally immersed and over your head in that one, single, solitary event. Be it a boyfriend/girlfriend, school, sports, whatever it is your life is totally devoted to that. Being the imperfect person that I am, my eyes have been awaken by God's grace to how much emphasis I placed on certain things that I totally was shut out from God in that one area.
You see, we should let God immerse our life in situations, rather than have ourselves dive right into them. We should look above for answers that we have in life, such as what should I do about a certain relationship/friendship that is taking up all my time thinking. I feel that as of these last couple months my mindset has been to just ride out the situation and let God take the driver's seat. I've been blinded by my own pride, by my own selfishness, that I totally put God out of the equation for such a long time.
Throughout my whole walk with Christ, it has been hard to follow the narrow path. Not going to lie, I've fallen off sometimes, I've hit roadbumps that broke my spirit, but through it all the answer has been inside and wanting me to come back to Him. I love reading the verse in the Bible that says God will never put us in situations that He knows we can't get out of....Something about that is just so amazing and humbling. You see God could just not worry or care for my life, but he chooses to test my relationship with Him and knowing I'm going to fall he always provides an outlet....it's just so humbling a thought.
So the point of me writing this is to let you know what I'm realizing in my walk. Sorry if this doesn't put into perspective anything for you, but this revelation in my life has really changed my attitude in relationships for the better so I don't get hurt/or hurt others. And overall these past few months have been the happiest of my life, thanks to God, family, and the many new friends and the one's that have always been there....God bless

Michael Anthony Tropea

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Transform


Now today I am in North Carolina, awaiting my departure for Florida on Tuesday. Can't wait for the beaches and sand. Anyways, I went to see a really amazing movie today "Transformers". It was by far one of the best movies I've seen all year. The acting by those 2 guys to the left was great and it gave me a sense to get up from college, pack my things, move to california and start taking lessons to become an actor. Random, spontaneous, with great possibilities; but also alot of room for failure. Not gonna lie, it's in the back of my mind....

Anyways, these past couple days have been trying to say the least. From wondering things about situations to taking 14 hours just to get here in North Carolina, alot of thinking was definitely done. I realized something after I watched this movie though, after all I've been through, after experiencing life, after trusting in God, after realizing my failures, that I have been transformed....such a ironic thought after seeing that movie.

I've found myself at a place of understanding lately. Things are hard to deal with in certain areas, some of which I will not delve into, but at the same time I wonder what the heck, live, love, take chances, and put your trust into something bigger than yourself. I realize that through these past 8 months I have been transformed for better and my relationship with God has definitely become the forefront. I'm going to say with confidence, not cockiness, that I am different from alot of guys. My heart is beating for something bigger, my life has an open road of possibilities, and I can offer someone something great if they just see who I am, not what I am. I have met so many people over these past couple months of summer and love it. For the first time in a long time I am content with life, except in one area. But that's not in my hands, it's God's....Just remember that you can have "the best of me" and I can give you the best of everything.....

This entry really doesn't have any meaning besides that things are going good. Life is going great and I am continually humbled by the example of Christ....God bless

Michael Anthony Tropea

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Been Awhile...

Lifehouse - Broken

The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like You've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In Your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to You

The broken locks were a warning You got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm hanging on another day just to see what You will throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words You say
You said that I will be ok

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In Your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to You

I'm holdin' on
I'm holdin' on
I'm holdin' on to You

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well the summer is finally here. Alot has changed since my last post about hmm lets say about 4 months ago. First and foremost, school is over with which is kind of a bittersweet feeling. I loved it, yet wanted to come back home, yet find myself anxious to go back. Overall, it is definitely the place God has intended for me at this point in my life. I have really enjoyed this past month of summer b/c I've gotten a chance to meet so many ppl, have time to grow friendships, and have had time to grow my dependency on my faith. Now for the meaning of the above song.

These past months have been a challenge, both relationally and spiritually. I have come to the realization that I'm so undeserving of the grace I've been blessed with. Be it friends or the grace God has provided, I am constantly failing in areas in my life. But you know what, I'm fine with that. It makes me humble, makes me aware. This awareness has given way to my new perspective on faith, freshness. Freshness is characterized as something that is healthy and ready. That's what I want to be whenever the time comes. I realize I have screwed up in various areas of relationships, pride, and self-reliance, but from reading the Word I find out that today is the only day that matters because I have a new, clean slate. God has definitely showed me that healing of pain can definitely be done if you trust in Him and as of late that's what I've been doing. I've opened up to my mom more lately and my relationship is growing there. She advises me to move on, meet other ppl, date, and just enjoy it. I think I'm at that point now. It's been a while but I think I'm almost there. Having fun with life, don't take things too serious, and just let God lead me. I'm broken yes, and I'm glad I'm constantly reminded that because it keeps me seeing the glory and perfection of Christ. I screwed up in various areas but the ones that ultimately love you are the one's that care about the person you are today and don't look at the past. I'm becoming that way and forgiveness is what I'm constantly working at.

Like the bridge of the above song states, "the broken lights on the freeway have left me here alone. I may have lost my way now, but I haven't lost my way home." I'll always know where to turn and I'm thankful for the family, friends, and God's grace on my life.

So here I stand transparent, humbled, and happy. Life is good and I can't wait to see what's in store for my future. But I realize today is just that today. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today. Right now I'm thankful for my breathe, thankful for my past mistakes on which I continuously learn from, and thankful for not knowing what tomorrow brings. God Bless

Michael Tropea....