Such a powerful song that you may’ve already heard but if not…enjoy!
Recently, under the weight of insecurities, fears and the inevitable self-evaluation we all perform in the process of transition I came to the place where I was considering to quit writing. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy writing but I honestly felt I have had nothing to say of value. If I were honest, I’d say in many ways I still feel that way. Good thing I refuse to let my emotions keep me down.
I finally got around to listening to an audiobook named “Quitter” a New York Times Best Seller from Jon Acuff. In chapter three, Jon got me good by talking about his two sides “today Jon” and “later Jon.” Today Jon says, “today is a good day to write…I’m gonna hammer out a few ideas.” Then Later Jon interjects, “ya…you could…or you could just do it later…you will have more energy and feeling much more creative…later.” This analogy hit home pretty hard for me. It describes me where I have been.
I can’t, we can’t, allow this mindset to settle in because it is a cancerous thought that will root its way to the place where we want to give in and give up. Regardless of whatever level of success or accomplishment we achieve, we are not immune to its effects. Allowing that conversation in my head almost stopped me from writing…it may be stopping you from your “more” whatever that may be. Whatever it is you feel you should just give up because of this or that I encourage you to join me in taking the risk and invest wholeheartedly into the dream of our hearts. I refuse to be a quitter. What about you?
I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, or any subject really. This is simply what has been burning in my heart on this topic concerning America. Terrorism is a subject that will never leave us in our lifetime. In fact, as much as we hope for things to get better, they will only increase in getting worse. We are living in the last days before the Lord’s Return as as such the enemy is running rampant.
The Boston Marathon bombing marked the beginning of a new wave of terrorism in America. There will be more similar bombings to come; the smaller yet deadly bombings is the new style that terrorists will carry out. Malls, airports, festivals, state fairs and even in churches, wherever large groups of people are we will see attacks carried out. They will be in smaller communities and not just isolated to larger cities. We will see attacks in Arkansas, Ohio, the very heartland of America will be rocked.
The enemy has been given access like never before into our country…we as a nation, have given permission to satan to operate however he pleases. We have set God aside in the majority of public avenues and as such we leave ourselves open to the schemes of the enemy. All this is not said for us to shrivel in fear. We have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind! God will protect His people but that doesn’t mean that we will not face persecution. In fact the Church will be the largest target for terrorists and some attacks will succeed in this new era.
Persecution is inevitable and the battle will not stay in the courtrooms for much longer. Through it all, God will use the persecution to draw His Body closer to Himself and just as in the Book of Acts we will rally in unity and revival will break forth as only dreamt about. This will be a difficult yet rewarding season we are entering into as a nation. Multitudes will get saved and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church, in the face of terror, will be that shining city on a hill that will lead America in the roughest of days.
Through much prayer we can slow down and hinder the speed at which these events will take place. Prayer releases back to the Lord the authority needed to make this so. By our silence we empower the enemy; by our authority we can slow him down. This truth makes it all that more important that we pray and do everything we can to ensure that those around us are in relationship with Jesus. Dark days may be ahead but it is in the dark that the light shines the brightest!
How many of you have participated in the trust building exercise where you allow yourself to blindly fall back and “trust” that your partner behind you is going to catch you? If you haven’t done it personally, then odds are you have probably seen the epic fail versions that are all over YouTube. Sometimes we laugh at these awkward moments of letting go control into someone else’s hands but in reality it reflects entirely what Jesus has asked us to do. The Lord dropped in my heart tonight, “Are you willing to trust Me? Even when you fall?”
Trust is a lesson He is teaching me more and more of. I believe God is always calling us to a place of trusting Him, as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” When we truly trust God we not only give permission to be led by the Spirit but we willing make room for Him to lead us. Too often we speak it and think because we love God that we trust Him when love is based on His initial love for us (see 1 John 4:19) and trust is based on a consistent track record in a relationship.
I choose today to trust God with everything I am and all that I do because I know He is faithful, I know He is true to His Word. Whether I fly or fall, I choose to trust God. Do you?
Home, sometimes the most inviting place is the place you are most familiar with and that is where I find myself now. With Spring Break behind me I look back and I see it was a week set aside for me to encounter God and refocus my priorities. Each day was an adventure, a refreshing break from routine, in which God met me right where I was. I was empowered to be who I was made to be like never before and I bring that home with me. That made all the difference to me; because of that I was able to boldly be me and it led to a week of watching God move.
Now, the adventures don’t have to end. In fact new ones have started and I am determined to look for those opportunities to recognize and enjoy them like never before! If I have learned anything is that everyday can be an adventure with God if we are open to it! I believe this a part of that abundant life that Jesus came to bring us (see John 10:10). Let’s greet this day as a day that is full of God-appointed adventures, intentionally, letting Him have His way and watch the difference it makes.
I don’t know about you but I am a creature of habit and change it not an easy thing. Yet, it seems life is constantly changing around me, good, bad and indifferent change is afoot and at work. In most of the times that I have been confronted with change its always been terrifying. It was scary when I realized my inadequacies to save myself and so I gave my life to Christ; it was scary when I had to get my first job and pay bills; it was scary when I quit one job for another and even worse when I was fired from a job. Fear tags alongside change but what most people miss in times of change is faith because fear chokes out faith.
Thankfully, God is constant (Hebrews 13:8), unchanging and undaunted by the circumstances we face in life. Nothing takes Him off guard. When change comes in fear will try to creep in but when we allow God to invade the spaces of our life…faith will always arise. Faith that our God has a great plan, faith that He is ever faithful, faith that He will finish the work He has started in us! Change is not always bad but the enemy will do everything he can to get your perspective of change off of God and onto the mess. Too easily we forget that God is the expert on taking our mess and turning it into a message. God makes all things new…but only if we can give it to Him. Today I challenge you to do that: embrace the change and the newness that God has and as Jon Acuff says, “PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE!”
Terrorists aim to strike fear and cause chaos in those that they attack but the truth is whoever may be responsible for the terror attacks at the Boston Marathon today has only done the opposite. Tonight we are one with Boston. You are in our prayers and we pray for justice to be done swiftly! #prayforBoston
Things have been ramping up lately here my way in such a fast pace it’s exciting to see what God has been unfolding. There is nothing like the feeling of success in what you do. As things begin to fall in place all I can do is see God’s hand all over things. It proves that God meant what He said concerning us in Jeremiah 29:11-12, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.“
If the fact that the God who created the universe not only hears your prayers but begins to answer them with the details that you’ve been praying for…that’s motivation! The Cross & Resurrection is motivation enough because he demonstrated His great love for me while I was still His enemy, trapped in my sin, He died for me, to give me life! That provides more fuel to the fire…it’s motivation to go deeper in the heart of God, motivation to build His Kingdom, motivation to do whatever He sets before me to do! It begs me to ask the other question: “what motivates you in your relationship with God?” Share you thoughts on Twitter or Facebook!
It’s always good to be reminded of things that we so easily forget in day to day life. Today I got my reminder on the power of depression and how to combat it. If you are facing depression I can guarantee you being around “church folk” (religious) does not work. Often the “church folk” will offer a kind scripture and send you on your way. However, you and I can know Scriptures like “the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)” but unless we learn and intentionally tap into the truth of them they will remain as empty words.
The past couple of days have been rough for me, as soon as I have come home, I got attacked out of nowhere with a depression funk. It was the oddest thing as I was fine at work and even had some great days at work. Yesterday, I slept the day away thinking it was just being worn out from returning to the routine but then tonight was far more brazen. While I was reading and praying, I noticed my thought suddenly turned deeply negative. It was an onslaught of depression that put me in the dumps for no reason at all.
I had the wisdom to text a good friend who then called me and prayed for me. Before we ended the brief call he told me God put in in his heart to tell me to put on praise music (not worship) and to dance before the Lord. Gotta love a timely word of knowledge to bring life to your situation! No sooner had I made a quick playlist on my iPhone and started dancing a fool the depression was gone and I celebrated in who God is! Depression can not inhabit the same place as praise; it’s like telling a sword and a ballon to share the same space. That ballon will pop as soon as the sword moves in place…depression in praise is much the same way.
It was this no hold crazy praise dancing that invited an awareness of who God is and who He is to be that forced any remnant of depression to flee. Joy is constant because it is not based on circumstances while happiness is flexible depending entirely on our circumstances. Praising, not worshipping, invites nothing but joy, that exists no matter the circumstances of life so next time you feel a bit low turn up some songs that praise Jesus and dance. You will quickly discover that the joy of the Lord truly is your strength.
This is a poem sent to me by a friend who wishes to be anonymous but it is amazing and worth the read. It’s awesome to see what you the readers have in yourself and it is my honor to showcase it! I pray you enjoy this submission as much as I did!
It starts with questions, questions, questions, questions.
I want answers, answers, answers, answers.
But no one can give me answers to such simple questions.
The answer is complicated. The Answer is simple.
Simple questions means simple answers right?
Simple Answers only help difficult questions.
Wait, I’m just rambling.
Simple questions can have simple answers.
The same as hard questions can have hard answers.
The way I see it, I make my own answers.
Answers to please my simple questions.
Answers easy to hear.
Answers that make living simple for me.
That’s the way I like it.
We live in a society of convenience.
It makes things easy for everyone.
Or is that only cause everybody likes hearing simple answers.
Answers soft, like a smooth whisper into the ear.
A soaring song, floating lightly into your mind.
Sweet as honey on thy tongue.
A warm gust of summer wind in the frigidness of winter.
A cool breeze in the blazing desert.
Anything to make life a little easier.
Getting a high off of the feeling of it filling your lungs.
Swallow that pill it’ll make things all better.
That’s the kind of answer I want.
That’s the kind of answer the world gives.
We don’t want truth.
We want simplicity.
The way I see it, I have my answer.
So why search for a different one?
Doesn’t this answer make me happy?
I think it does.
I hope it does.
Wait, does it?
Just like that I am lost.
We are lost.
Even though we have that answer our hearts remain cold.
We don’t care to work.
We don’t care about others.
We don’t care to love.
But wait, I care.!
Well, ya. So what.
I care for myself.
But I wanna care!
I haven’t been taught that though.
I haven’t been taught to care.
The answer I digest into my stomach isn’t that of caring.
I take the answer the world gives me.
That 30 seconds of euphoria.
But I don’t want that any more.
I want a different answer.
Where to turn?!
I wish it was simple.
I want it to be simple.
So we stop searching.
We take what we can get.
We don’t want truth.
We want simplicity.
While that’s what the world teaches
I am learning better.
I can assure you, the answer won’t be easy.
Not a check box on your list.
Not a signature.
But it will change your life.
Teach you how to care.
I don’t need that small round pill that I used to strive for.
To make me happy.
I don’t need that smoke that I used to skip school for.
To make me smile.
I can assure you,
You will leave things behind.
Things you will miss deeply.
Things you will want again.
But these things you will be missing are short.
But I can also assure you,
It is for the better.
It is like leaving a torn down apartment to a mansion.
A scooter to a Ferrari.
But even better than that.
I can assure you.
It won’t be easy.
But it will be worth it.
Have faith to get through it.
Know that making this decision means your life.
It meant mine.
And I’m all the better for it.
I promise you…
You won’t find it here.
But if you want to live a life of fullness.
This is it right here.
Jesus wants you.
God wants you.
It’s not the answer you may want.
It won’t solve your problems.
But you need it.
I need it.
It is the answer that the world won’t give you.
The world wants you to live the way you’ve been living.
”Keep on drinking that drink and sucking down that smoke.”
Don’t listen though my friend.
You will find the answer you are looking for.
You will find the answer you are looking for.
It is not one of simplicity.
Not of convenience.
But you will find the answer you are looking for. Trust me.
I have found mine.