Often times on our journey we will come to a place that feels like stagnation or like we’ve hit a wall. To be quite honest, most of the time we are the stagnation or wall.
We ask God to increase our faith but when opportunities arise for us to exercise that faith we fail to launch. We must remember that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) Sometimes you’re going to have to leap.
This isn’t a free pass to make impulsive unwise decisions but rather a reminder that a “a good man’s steps are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). It was explained to me once that many people misinterpret this and think it means you just standing around waiting for God to hand you a detailed itinerary of His plan. While you should always move in wisdom, once you have received your confirmation (sometimes multiple times) you’re going to have to walk. When you walk, God will order your steps.
Even if you make a mistake, He always has a plan to get you to your destiny at the moment it was predestined for you to be there.
I just learned something and I felt compelled to share it with my beautiful readers. Let me back track for a second and tell you that today for me wasn’t exactly ideal. Spent the entire day in the emergency room and about an hour ago noticed that I had a flat tire. For some people that would have been enough to drive them right over the edge and they would have started screaming, swearing, asking “why me?” and all of that. I wasn’t thrilled when I saw the tire however, I realized that it could have been a lot worse. I had actually just added road side assistance to my policy two-weeks ago, my car was at home in my drive way, and I was grateful I didn’t notice it at 6:00 a.m. when I had somewhere to be. I’d like to also point out that this calm, cool, collective individual I am describing as me was not always me, believe me. But the trials and tribulations that allowed God to mold me this way we’ll visit another day during another lesson.
The tow-truck guy gets to my house and all of the sudden I found myself lending an ear as this man poured his entire life out to me as he was changing my tire. I learned that his son was killed in a car accident a few years ago and he suffered a heart attack soon after. He also was letting a friend who is battling cancer live with him and that friend lost his wife to cancer a few years ago. You might be thinking “Wow, that’s not really professional” or “Who cares?”, but that’s not what God wants you to think. See sometimes we get so caught up in what’s happening to us and we as a people have become so self-drama centered that some of us have even lost the ability to feel compassion for other human beings because we can’t think past our own emotions or own situations. Here’s a shocking reality check though, YOU are not that important. I am not that important, WE are all important.
As this man got up to leave, I told him I was sorry I didn’t have any cash on me to tip him and he said, “don’t worry about it”. I told him I will pray for his friend and he looked back at me and said quietly, “Please do, his name is Juan.” I realized that sometimes when things happen to us, even bad things, there is always an opportunity for you to help someone else. We can’t allow ourselves to be so consumed with the little annoyances of life that we end up missing the chance to be a blessing to someone else who may very well be in more need then we are. If you’re a believer, then you fully comprehend exactly what I’m saying. We can’t say that we love God, make witty Facebook or Instagram posts to make people on the internet see how super “spiritual” we are and then miss the chance to share God’s love with someone who needs it just because we’re drowning in our own drama. What that man was carrying in his heart was more important then my stupid tire and maybe all he needed was someone to listen.
A lot of people have their hands held out to receive a blessing but have closed fists when it comes time to be a blessing. Trust me when I tell you that if you want to see the favor of the Almighty move in your life? Be a giver, be a blessing. Stop telling people you love the Lord, SHOW THEM. You can’t be a “boss” if you haven’t learned to be a humble servant and the reason for that is because you can’t experience a divine appointed promotion without being a humble servant. You will always be called to be a server, you will always be required to be humble, you will always be required to think outside yourself. The most amazing thing about all of this is, God is so merciful and gracious that even a non-believer can find evidence of God’s hand on their life simply because they allow themselves to be a blessing to others. We are not animals or savages but if we continue to choose to behave like them then we have nobody but ourselves to blame when we reap the fruit of planting those crops. I used to be one of those mad at the world for everything that went wrong in my life people. It made a world of difference when I started to develop (and I’m still a work in progress) an attitude of gratitude.
I hope this post was a little bit of soul food for you, and if you are a praying person? Please send up a prayer for “Juan” because God is still in the miracle working business.
Love yourself from the inside out sounds kind of funny to say, but no piece of advice you’ll ever receive about loving YOU will ever be better. This came to me earlier today because I was taking a long look in the mirror and I had a moment that I actually embraced the fullness of how much God loves me. My whole life kinda flashed before my eyes (both good and bad) and I realized how thankful I am for my life, victories, defeats, trials, good, bad, blessings, lessons, and the process. Most of us have heard over and over that God loves us no matter what, He gave his life for us (John 3;16) but I don’t think I’m alone in the boat when I say although I heard that, it really didn’t mean that life changing “ah-ha!” like it should have. For most people, it is extremely difficult to fully comprehend an all loving creator that you can’t see when most of your life most of the experiences you’ve had paint a very different picture about the world. It can be drowning, exhausting, depressing, etc. What we forget most of the time that we as human beings are made up of 3-parts (Spirit, Soul, Body).
A lot of people leave out the Spirit part and say mind and soul which are actually the same thing. Your soul includes your mind because it’s the part of you that your memory, emotions, and free-will are. Your soul is the part of you that experiences the emotional side of your life that your physical body lives. So when your physical body’s life experiences rejection, abuse, hurts, disappointments, pains, etc. the memory of it lives in your soul (your mind). Just because something doesn’t haunt us on a daily basis anymore doesn’t mean that we’re over it. A lot of people experience things and unless you looked very closely or knew what to look for (i.e. close enough to know someone has trust issues) you’d never know that it still exists. So when we find out God loves us, that’s good news and our spirit receives it, but most of us can’t even comprehend what that even really means because our souls are busting at the seams with contrary information. What happens then is our spirit wakes up and begins to try to climb it’s way out of the quicksand of our soul. I use this analogy because this is exactly what it can feel like on the inside when you make a decision to follow Christ but there’s that “thing” that keeps blocking you from experiencing the fullness of it. (We’ll get into the “How thick is your soul’s quicksand” in another article)
We are constantly fed through media outlets “the quick fix” for just about every problem we can create. The truth of the matter is, the quick fix isn’t always the best fix. You can’t put a band-aid on a broken leg. Sometimes the real reason we can’t fully receive God’s love, is because in all honesty we have no idea what love is actually supposed to look like. The hardest person to love, is always going to be yourself. Loving yourself has nothing to do with being conceited or running around in designer shoes with a T-Shirt stating “I woke up like this”. Loving yourself is the inner sense of knowing that you are unique, precious, and irreplaceable to the creator of the universe and He wants nothing but the best for you no matter what has happened, what you’ve done, what you have accomplished, what you’ve failed at, in your brokenness, and in all your flaws He loves you. Loving yourself from the inside out encompasses everything from allowing God into the secret cracks and crevices of your soul, letting him into every memory, hurt, pain, attitude, or poor self images you have collected or been given over the years, all the way to the food you feed your body.We have been mislead thinking the answers to it all was to make it look good on the outside because that’s what everyone sees. What good does it do you to put lipstick on a pig or a fresh hair cut on a bag of rotten garbage? Isn’t it still a pig? Isn’t it still garbage?
Take sometime to really search out the things that have or still hurt you. Be honest with yourself and be honest with God. There is no problem you can bring to him that He can’t or won’t fix, but it has to start with you. When you can begin to see yourself the way God see’s you, the outside will eventually catch up to your inside. The happier you are on the inside will begin to change what’s projected outwardly.
You’re probably wondering how convenience can be dangerous if it’s convenient. When we think of convenience, we think of things that make life easier for us. If your new house is close to the highway, your child’s daycare is close to your job, the pizza place you like delivers to your area, grocery stores offer self check-out, the rental car place is at the airport, etc. all of these things are examples of the good kind of convenience. The danger lies in being dependent upon convenience.
Have you ever been in a convenient relationship? (Some of you might be as we speak). This is the relationship that you both know needs to end but you become dependent upon the convenience of the relationship where it has now almost become a habit and the thought of having to make changes, move out, get a new place to live, find somebody else, or pay for bills all by yourself becomes so overwhelming and stressful that you stay exactly where you’re at, which most of the times is a miserable place. How about have you ever not done something either for yourself or for someone else simply because it wasn’t the convenient thing to do?
This happened to me recently actually. I was in a tough spot and I needed some help and I’m sure some of you can relate because the last thing I want to do is ask anybody for anything. The truth of the matter is though that we all need help sometimes. So I had a situation recently and I was telling one of my family members the news and before I could even express what I needed help with, the person quickly let me know that they couldn’t help. I spoke to another family member and got the same response. Reasonably I knew that what I needed help with was going to be inconvenient so I was determined to get it done on my own however, God had other plans. See sometimes there is a lesson for ourselves within even having to ask for something after being shut down or rejected because it keeps us humble. The situation I was trying to do on my own? Just was not even remotely possible for me to do on my own. I was talking to a friend about what was going on, not even thinking to ask them and they offered me a solution to my situation. Soon after, the first family member asked if I had found a solution and when I explained the solution I found their response was “Well why are you doing that? Why are you inconveniencing yourself? Isn’t doing it another way more convenient?” What I responded surprised even me! I said, “just because something is more convenient, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”
How many times do we pass by a blessing simply because we are unwilling to be inconvenienced or uncomfortable to get there? Have you ever stopped to think that the parts of a struggle, trial, or blessing that help you grow actually come from the parts of it that are uncomfortable? Convenience can lead to comfort and comfort can lead to complacency. Your comfort zone could very well be the exact thing that’s blocking your path of being a blessing to someone else or even your own break through. Don’t be afraid to be humble, “for the humble shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12) and don’t be afraid of the inconvenient thing, especially when it’s the right thing.
A root is a part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.
Roots aren’t just about plants. A root can also be defined as the basic cause, source, or origin of something. People have roots too. We have ancestry roots, ethnicity roots, family roots, and we have roots in our spirit. How do we get roots in our spirit? Life, love, hurts, pains, experiences, etc. all of these things form roots within our spirit and manifest themselves in the forms of our behavior, speech, perception, etc. When a Mother or Father holds their baby, tells the baby they love them these words are like seeds that are being sprinkled in the baby’s spirit. These seeds grow, take root and begin to grow. If these seeds of love are nourished, they will grow and become the foundation of what makes that baby grow into an emotionally healthy adult.
Most people do not consciously plant bad seeds, but it happens. Rejections, hurts, pains, sickness, disappointments, traumas can all plant bad seeds. Bad seeds can take root inside a person’s spirit and grow with them their entire lives. Have you ever heard someone say that they don’t trust anybody? It’s because seeds of mistrust were planted inside their spirit long ago and every additional incident layering the original is like its fertilizer. If you look at a picture of a tree most of the time all you see is what is on the surface or above ground. If you look at a picture of a tree both above ground and what is underneath the surface, this can help you visualize a picture of how things may appear normal on the surface but are very complex underneath.
What we have in our world today is millions of people walking around with internal rotting spiritual vineyards inside of them and most of them are completely unaware that it is these roots that are choking the life out of them and their ability to be in peace, control their emotions, control their behavior, and in the worst cases? It prevents them from giving and or receiving love. When people get involved in personal relationships with either on a friendship or personal level, nine times out of ten the relationships fail, break down, or are the empty shell of what it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, this becomes a domino effect because these thoughts, feelings, and emotions get passed to the next generation unless someone at some point breaks the cycle and charts a new course.
With God all things are possible. I don’t say it because it sounds good, I say it because I know it. I’d be here all day if I was to sit and write everything He’s done for me, in me, and through me. God does not like me better than anyone. Grace, healing, and freedom are things He gives freely to anyone who truly seeks it.
Compromise can be one of the best things in the world and one of the worst. Knowledge without wisdom is useless. If you have knowledge but yet not the wisdom to know where & when to use the knowledge, what good is it?
Compromise is very important in a marriage, relationships, at work etc. When dealing with other people and their feelings, to a healthy degree compromise is necessary. Today we’re not going to talk about healthy compromise, we’re going to talk about when compromise can become dangerous. There are things in this world that are right or wrong, black or white and there is no in between. If you really examine it, sometimes people advocate for the “gray area” because it justifies the way they want things to go.
There are something’s in this life that absolutely can’t be compromised. What those things are to you personally, only you will know because the core of them comes from your own personal beliefs and value system. Sad but true, most people aren’t even sure what they believe. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”? Have your feet firmly planted so that you won’t get washed away by the storms in life.
There is one thing though, that cannot and will never be compromised and that is the truth.
New American Standard Bible
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
King James Bible
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Something’s are right, something’s are wrong. This is not a free pass to insult or disrespect anyone, but by all means there is never a dollar amount, man or woman, material object, or fears of what people might say or think about you that is a good enough excuse for us to compromise the truth.
I have missed blogging! Been very busy lately with the music & travel, but I think we’re all long over due for a QTP blog. I know that “religion” is a touchy subject for people and that’s why I don’t talk about religion. I actually don’t believe in “religion”. The word religion in my humble opinion is a trap. It fools the people of God into dividing themselves in to denominations where they then argue about things that don’t even matter. My question to all those religious people is, if you’re fighting each other… who’s fighting the devil? *cue the crickets*
Funny, people don’t like to acknowledge a devil and that’s fine, but how can you deny there is an evil in this world that is just not natural? Who consciously would walk into a school and shoot children? What kind of mother would harm her own children? What kind of father would touch his own child in an inappropriate manner? Mental Illness? Shut up. I have an extensive background in Social Services and a formal education. You can fool yourself into making up illnesses for evil all you want, but there are somethings that are EVIL. Now, don’t misinterpret this, the person is not evil. People are not born evil, they can learn and develop evil ways but the person (the soul inside) is not evil. We call come into this world the same way and are impacted by environmental circumstances that shape, mold, and develop our character. I do not believe in calling a human being evil, if they don’t know any better. Someone should knowing better and actually knowing better are two different things. How could someone know better, if they were never shown better? Think about it. Everyone’s reality is different. Your reality is based on your personal perception of your life, your experiences, and your circumstances. Sure we share certain “norms” in common, but the truth of the matter is every single one of us is a unique character.
With that uniqueness though there is a fool proof way to tell if a person has the love of God in their heart. The answer is how they treat people. Period, point blank, end of story. Nobody is perfect Fam, not one of us. But the regular behavior of an individual towards other people on a consistent basis is a good indicator how connected to God they are. How do you tell fruit trees apart? If it’s an apple tree it has apples and if it’s a crab apple tree it has crab apples. Even in that, a crab apple tree doesn’t always have to be a crab apple tree. You can always plant a new tree and start over, but you must first make sure you take out all of the roots, no matter how deep they have grown, then plant a new tree. *light bulb moment*
There is a lot of bad ugly that goes on in this world. We may not be able to control everything, but we can certainly control ourselves. If a million people gave me a dollar, I’d have a million dollars. If you truly want to spread God’s love, judging people, kicking them out of church because they don’t wear the right clothes, or whacking them upside the head with the bible isn’t going to work. Incase you haven’t noticed, this world is DESPERATLEY in the need of love. If you want to show people that God loves them, then you love them. Let your conduct define your character.
Do you even really know what the pursuit of happiness means?
You should. It’s personal.
Fam let me shed some light in a dark place…. I’m not sure who lied to us, but there is no point to EVER try and live up to someone else’s definition of happiness. You won’t ever be able to. Happiness is personal. The world makes us believe if we’re not married by this age, or have a house, or have this kind of car that we never will and we will just be rejects of society because we haven’t “arrived”. Let me tell you something, some of the happiest people in the world go home every night and stink to high heaven because they were shoveling cow poop all day.
Ask yourself this…. are you fulfilled? Do you have peace in your home? Do you have rest in your soul at night? Do you have meaningful relationships in your life? Do you have faith? Fam… even if you never see the outside of the city you live in, if you have those things you are wealthier than most folks who spend money on crap they don’t need in order to impress people who they don’t like. If you don’t have those things, you might want to examine the goals you have set for yourself.
Mark Twain said something along the lines of the most significant two days in your life is the day you were born and the day you figure out why. There is nothing wrong with success and wealth. If you’ve read anything about #OPERATIONREVOLUTION you know we believe EVERYONE is entitled to some of it, that’s why we’re successful. Whatever it is you choose to follow in your life, make sure your passion is appropriately placed. You can love something but have no passion for it. We all have passion for something… it’s that thing that makes you zone out, it holds your focus, you never get tired of it, it becomes everything of who you are. Passion with no love is dangerous. But when you have passion for the thing (or person) you love…. you can literally feel the forces of the earth moving. You know I’m telling you the truth…..
All I suggest is if you are trying to find happiness, stop listening to everyone else and start doing some soul-searching. Words or opinions of other people can hurt you or drive you nuts if you let them. If today you stood before God, would any of those things matter? If you were able to go back and get more time …… I highly doubt anywhere on your agenda would be people pleasing. But whatever was on that list of things you’d go back to do…. start paying more attention to those NOW. Have those stable and my dears you will find happiness.
Don’t panic Fam, nobody is about to beat you in the head with a bible. We are though going to discuss the realities of forgiveness. Luvs, I certainly don’t have all the answers and I can only speak about things I’ve actually experienced. I do know that no matter what has happened in your past, it does not have to define your future. We live in a crazy world, crazy things happen. Some of those things we bring upon ourselves by choices we make and sometimes things beyond our control happen that wound us.
We live in a world that tells us if something doesn’t make you happy, go find what makes you happy and move on. Yes, we all deserve to be happy. The one thing you hear less often (more then likely because it’s the HARDCORE truth) is that personal responsibility should always come into play first. Something’s we have to accept the consequences for our actions and then move on. Other things it’s harder to move on because we have been scarred and we want that apology so bad… it often times destroys our happiness and we never end up getting it.
Fam, I love you so I’m going to tell you the truth. Nobody owes you anything. Even an apology. What THEY do is on THEM. Your response, your action, your life IS ON YOU. There comes a point and time where we have to take control of our emotions and life. Forgiveness is NOT ABOUT THEM, IT’S ABOUT YOU. Carrying weights and wounds of your past can absolutely destroy your life. If you research, unforgivness is a common link found in over 80% of people diagnosed with cancer. Stress as we know causes all kinds of health problems including high blood pressure, anxiety, obesity, depression, and cardiovascular problems. It’s just not worth it. A bad relationship should not be the reason you never have a fulfilling one, having parents that didn’t do right by you does not entitle you to be a bad parent, going to jail is not an excuse to be mad at the entire world, being abused in any fashion is hard enough as it is… it can leave you feeling hopeless, powerless.. DON’T LET IT OWN YOU FOREVER.
If it angers you, it controls you. Do not let unfortunate circumstances destroy your life even if it wrecked havoc on years of it. If you need help, GET SOME. Stop being so proud. Getting help is a sign of strength not weakness. When you choose to forgive, you are choosing to no longer allow that thing, situation, or person have power over you. It doesn’t always happen over night, trust me. I’ve had things happen to me that would blow your mind. There were times I actually had to tell myself out loud I forgive them because everything in me still wanted to ring their neck. It eventually got easier and once it becomes a pattern of your behavior, it becomes like a second nature and you will live freer because of it. I promise.
The hardest person to forgive though…. Is yourself. We are our own worst enemies and our own biggest critics. Fam, nobody has the right to judge you. That’s God’s job. It’s not a free pass to intentionally do wrong things, but if you made a bad decision you don’t have to live in it. Time is short, life is precious. Don’t waste either. The question I dare you to ask yourself is if you’ve tried it the other way, what do you have to lose by trying it this way?