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Stories of Hope /
December 7, 2021

Meet Pastor Bryan – A Faith Mentor and a Covid Story of Hope

Adam and I have a great friend and mentor in our faith that came into our lives through technology.

A few years ago, we were introduced to Pastor Bryan through his relatable podcasts and vlogs. We really appreciate how he communicates and how clearly he teaches God’s Word (the Bible). Then last summer we had the opportunity to finally meet him face to face and we filmed our conversation about faith for the Deepen Your Faith Course which we are so excited to offer to everyone for FREE…check it out!

Pastor Bryan leads St. Paul and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Churches in Austin, TX where he lives with his wife Keri and their four children. He is the author of a few books, including A Martyr’s Faith in a Faithless World , one of Adam and my faves! I’ve read that one 3 times! He is the co-host of Table Talk Radio podcast, posts videos on his YouTube channel , and has a number of other projects you can check out on his blog.

In our sit-down with Bryan we talked through some of my favorite faith themes and verses, including grace, our identity as beloved children of God, gratitude, discipline, John 16:33, and overcoming. Ultimately living an Unstoppable life is not through me and my strength – it is Christ who has done the work and makes me Unstoppable – Christ coming in where I am weak and He is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have certainly found that verse to be true throughout my life, and Pastor Bryan has a new understanding of God’s promises in 2 Corinthians 12 after his intense battle with Covid in 2020.

Last June, Bryan ended up in Urgent Care with a fever and tested positive for Covid-19. After 8 days of high fever the real challenges started in the form of neurological impact. For weeks, Bryan suffered memory loss, stuttering, and brain fog to the point that he was unable to read and it took him 10 minutes to write his name and the date. Even as he started to improve he could not drive a car and relied on his wife and kids and community daily. He recalls that losing his mental capacity presented him with one of the biggest trials of his life because he had to face the possibility that he might lose his vocation which was centered on reading, writing, and speaking.

Yet, there was also light that shone through the darkness. Along with Bryan’s battle came the gift of fully realizing the truth of God’s promise from 2 Corinthians 12 – that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. His compromised mental and physical capacity allowed Bryan to embrace in a new and very real way the fact that he is saved by God’s grace and not by his own performance and actions. He was comforted by the deep knowledge that the one thing that couldn’t ever be taken away from him was his core identity as God’s beloved child.

Bryan also recalls truly learning contentment during his weeks of affliction. “Affliction lets us practice contentment” – the only way to learn something is to practice it and hardship allows us to practice living with contentment no matter our circumstances. Amazingly, Bryan shared that he “arrived at a place I could accept affliction and I learned contentment…and then I actually had a hard time readjusting back to normal”. When he healed he mourned the true and deep contentment and dependence on God that came with his struggle. So often, as was the case for Bryan, suffering and trial become a gift allowing us to experience God’s love, grace, provision, comfort, and nearness in a whole new way. This is why many people would not want to change the hard things that happened to them in their lives – God can do beautiful things with our trials.

You can listen to more about Pastor Bryan’s Covid story here in an interview.

Life is full of endless challenges, and though we share many amazing tools and concepts through the Unstoppable Life courses, for us, it is incomplete without faith. We hope to encourage you in your faith journey and we want you to know that wherever you are in your journey, God has open arms for you.

We believe faith is essential for an Unstoppable Life!

Journal It:

In the Deepen Your Faith Course we talk about this practice with Pastor Bryan. Give it a try…

Pray The Lord’s Prayer throughout this week. Think on what every line means and the promises given to you in each part. Write down your thoughts. Try to memorize the prayer.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

Dig in deeper and look at the full context of Matthew 6 and be encouraged by all that Jesus says in that chapter.

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