The Bio

“Tyson, there’s a difference between calling ourselves Christians and being filled with the Holy Spirit.” These were words spoken by my friend Jordan at the University of Texas in 2001. To understand where Jordan was coming from, let me start at the beginning.

I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of 13 at a church camp, but my Christian life from 1993 to 2001 can best be characterized as up and down. It came to a boil my freshman year in college as I found myself firmly planted within the “partying” community, celebrating my newfound independence and “freedom.” The Lord then brought two guys into my life who He would use to wake me from my stupor. One was a staunch agnostic named Pete and the other was Jordan, a strong Christian. The two would regularly engage in theological discussions, and one night, I happened to be sitting in the hall when Jordan walked out of Pete’s room after one of their talks. He noticed me sitting there and still excited about his discussion with Pete, he sat down and before I knew it, started witnessing to me. Immediately, I got defensive and shouted, “Whoa dude…I know all that…I’m a Christian!” Jordan, taken aback, graciously apologized. He got up to leave but as he was leaving, he turned to me and said, “There’s a difference between calling ourselves Christians and being filled with the Holy Spirit.” The words hit me like a ton of bricks and I fled to my room and fell on my face before the Lord, broken and humbled. I cried as the Lord cradled me in His arms and drew me close to Him and from that moment, I have passionately pursued Christ and strived to embody His love in all that I do. What is more, over the next few months, Jordan and I began meeting regularly to pray for Pete and soon, Pete came to know Christ.

I look back on my experiences and realize that I had missed an important aspect of Christianity growing up. My high school youth pastor was great at keeping kids entertained but very little emphasis was placed on being active in our faith and renewing our minds through time in the Word and in prayer. In 2001, I finally understood that Christianity was not a set of rules or just a promise to live a Godly life. It is the Hope of Glory and it is Christ dwelling in me.

I love John Piper’s quote, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” For so long, my life as a Christian had been a series of “Thou Shalt Nots” rather than a life that celebrated my freedom from sin. Genesis 2:16-17 says, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree in the garden you may eat freely; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it, you shall surely die.’” I had put so much emphasis on the prohibition mentioned in these verses that I missed the first part about God’s desire for us to be free. My desire in life is to see people (and students especially) embracing this freedom and combating the immorality and temptation in this world with an uncompromising passion for Jesus Christ.”

Tyson serves as the Minister to Students at The Austin Stone Community Church.


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