Stop Skating By

At the age of fourteen Christian Hosoi had already become a professional skateboarder. He emerged as one of the top competitors of the sport often rivaling with Tony Hawk. Over the next ten years, he would win countless competitions and gain sponsorships. However, his world came crashing down as his drug addiction led to his arrest and incarceration.

We caught up with Christian Hosoi and Brian Sumner four years ago when they were in the movie Risen produced called, Hardflip. Both Christian and Brian use the skateboarding talents God has given them as a platform to share about their relationship with Christ to not only the skateboarding community, but others as well. We admire them because instead of “skating by,” they use every opportunity to talk about how Christ has changed them. We talked with Christian about his experience in prison, how God changed his life, and how he now uses it to be a role model for others.

“Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.” Psalm 31:17

It’s funny how people finally cry out to God in a rock bottom experience, and for me, it was that. It was me not being able to get myself out of a situation – all my strings were cut, there were no resources for me to draw on, so I finally cried out to God. And from a prison cell I said, “God if you’re real, will you help me?” and in the prison cell I questioned, “God why am I here? What did I do wrong?” I’m sitting there pointing my finger at all these people that I thought should be here [behind bars] and [why] I shouldn’t, and in reality I’m not responsible for anyone else; I’m responsible for my choices. In that place I cried out to God and God revealed himself through His scriptures. My wife Jennifer said, “Christian you need to go get a Bible.” And I was like, “What are you talking about? I need a lawyer…I need bail.” She said, “No we’ve got to trust in God; God’s going to get us through this [trial].” And that was the moment that I finally opened up my heart and asked God to come in and He revealed His truth to me. I was in a prison cell, but really a revelation happened. It was like I had been in a prison of sin and death my whole life, and then actually being in a real prison cell, [allowed me to ask] and to be set free by the Lord. He loved me and died for me to give that freedom and the liberty to live a life of peace and joy and forgiveness.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

While many people would be embarrassed about their past, Christian openly shares what God did in that prison cell with others. We love that he wants to help others by being a role model and hopefully lessons can be learned.

Yes, I consider myself a role model, and not because I’m so great, but because I trust in God, and I believe in God, and I want to be used by God, and that right there is not a prideful thing, but a humbleness that I’m just a servant of God. I want to be that example to this generation and it first starts with my kids, then my friends and whoever else. Hopefully, they see the Lord in me and they see the light of Jesus Christ living in me. Everyone says actions speak louder than words, because it’s true. But if your words can back it up, then that’s double power. 

I think kids are looking for someone that will tell them the truth, love them for who they are, not judge them, not condemn them, but tell them God loves them and He desires to have a relationship with them, and requires change. God doesn’t call us to stay where we are, He doesn’t leave us where we’re at once He saves us; He desires us to go further with Him. I’m still growing, I’m still getting better and making better choices, I’m still falling more in love with the Lord everyday and that’s what a relationship should be like.

While we may not be professional skaters like Christian Hosoi, God did not intend for us to skate by in life. He wants each of us to use the gifts and talents He has given us to be a role model and impact others for Christ.

Risen Reflections

Have you hit rock bottom? It is time to turn to the Lord. Cry out to Him. Your prayers don’t have to be perfect. Pray in spite of your hurt, brokenness and frustration. He hears your prayers and wants to help you. God often uses other people to help us during difficult times. Turn to a pastor, counselor or trusted friend or family member to help you during your difficult time. Remember you are not alone!

Who is your role model? God created us for community. We do not have to live this Christian live by ourselves. Whether it is relationship advice, career or ministry insight or just how to live your life for Christ, there are people around you that can be a role model. Pray and ask God to show you whom to ask. Church, small group or a ministry that you are involved, with are a great place to start.

Who can you be a role model to or mentor? God has placed people around He wants you to help in their relationship with Him. You don’t have to be perfect. We are all works in progress. Ask God to show you what He wants you to share. It could be using your talents as a platform to share your testimony like Christian Hosoi or it could be sharing a life lesson to a group of people going through something similar.

To read our entire interview with Christian Hosoi and Brian Sumner click here.

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