October 20, 2017

Let It Go! – The Spiral of No Control

dont-panic

 

I wrote this poem as I asked myself three questions. I often struggle to let God take control of my life. I want to do things on my own initiative, even though I rarely have control over what occurs around me. With the obvious answers to these listed questions, it becomes apparent that our future is undetermined. Today must be enjoyed because the present is all we have. The moment, now on this day, is what matters most. The future lies beyond our reach. Therefore, without stressing too much over little things, it only makes sense to let go and wait for God to drive the steering wheel in the direction He will have us go. This mentality makes life a lot easier with less worries. Enjoy the poem of this related theme below, titled Spiral of No Control.

 

Spiral of No Control

Can I control it?

No, it was beyond me.

Did I cause it?

No, the cause I could not foresee.

Can I cure it?

No, illness sometimes just comes to be.

If the answer remains “No,”

Give the matter to God

And be certain to know

That we must just let it go.

3/28/16

Let Go of Control….then the Blessings We Will See (Guest Writer and Poet Entry)

20131228123041_letting-go-is-hard2

This intimate poem was given to me by someone very special. She has stood by to encourage my will to persist and self-confidence when down in midst of an island far from home. I believe this poem will touch your heart as it has touched mine.

For the Glory Given Up

I give up
Where’s my life going I have no lead
I give up
My heart is broken; its hope that I need
I give up
I am stuck in the middle of life’s road
I give up
Carrying many of life’s burdens like a heavy load
I give up
I fall on my knees in total surrender and submission
I give up
I give it all up to the One who makes my life’s final decision
I gave up
Now I can see life through a new light
I gave up
There is something great ahead that I am waiting to see with my sight
I gave up
I will praise God no matter the cost
I gave up
Without Him my life’s passion would be lost
I gave up
I thank him for all he has done and will do for me
I gave up
I know there are many more blessings He will soon let me see

-Lisa C., August 27, 2014

At the bottom of this poem given to me, the author wrote the reference for the following Scripture verse. One could say it inspired the poem above about our relationships with God.

Inspired by Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

DO NOT BE A FLAKE! Abide others’ time as your own!

Now I would like to comment that my family recently has supported me more than perhaps ever before. My sister, brother-in-law, mother, and father continually stand by and behind me no matter what the circumstances; however outside of family, many have disappointed me and let me down. Some are not as fortunate as me with such a supportive and caring family. For that I am extremely grateful. Please also realize that I am not picking on one gender over the other. This blog entry pertains to men just as much as it does women.

My request remains easy: DO NOT BE A FLAKE! There are enough people in today’s society that let others down. Specifically with family and friends, I am agitated with those who no longer take their word seriously. They continually cancel plans or provide lame excuses for why they cannot make it to whatever they said they would.

The solution here is also simple: Do not commit to something if you cannot do it! The following verse from the Bible simplifies this idea even further:

 “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

I remain continually confused and frustrated on how many individuals truly struggle with this Biblical principle. I admit at a time early in college I used to overcommit myself. I was afraid to say, “No,” however I quickly realized that overbooking myself led to a miserable existence. Working towards the commitment of relationship requires hard work especially if you are married or have children. Many hide behind their families as excuses for backing out. I cannot tell you how many times someone tells me they need to spend time with a significant other after already committing to do something with me, a group, or others. I hope when I marry my wife, she allows me to live outside of our house with an occasional night on my own or with close guy friends. I think sometimes you should take a stand in a commitment you make. When someone pleads for you to back out on your plans, stick by your brother or sister you already made original plans with.

I challenge you: DO NOT BE A FLAKE! Decide to be a committed friend, or simply do not take on more meaningful relationships. Your unbalance of time exhausts and wastes the time of those who etched out blocks in their own schedule to spend time with you. When someone plans to spend time with you only for you to back out, does that truly honor God?

It further disheartens me when leaders fail to abide and manage their time with appointments and commitments to their followers. I especially see this with spiritual leaders who feel anointed in their higher status the stage brings each Sunday morning. A leader is no more important in the eyes of God than their followers, and it becomes discouraging when leaders see things differently than this perspective. None of us are higher than another.

I really mean to write a blunt honest entry to challenge you in your spiritual walk. The more you disappoint and back out of your commitments, supposed friends lose faith in you, and you lose credibility. I lost friendships because I put forth much more effort than others to stay in contact or spend time with. I got tired of chasing those friends. Are there things that come up sometimes? Sure life happens. But does this excuse every single time you cancel if this is a disease in your life? Eventually it tires others, and before you know it, no one will take your word for what is because you can never keep it.

DO NOT BE A FLAKE! Because if you are a flake, then without honor, a flake you will be in your own failure to keep your word and commitments you make to both friends and family. Let your No’s be No’s and your Yes’s be Yes’s. That sounds easy enough to me!

This video on commitment adds another level to your faith with deep challenges. Fulfill your commitment to friends, family, and God by keeping your word to those most important in your life, your relationships. Give your heart, and give your commitments the follow-though individuals deserve!

Freedom in Christ – Experience It! Believe in the Infinite Power and Love of God! Do you believe?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Mathew 6:25-27 (NIV)

Now I know this is a verse most remain familiar with; however it assists me to believe that Christ in Me shuns and evaporates all worries away. If God takes care of the birds of the air, he will surely take care of us. Honestly in self-reflection, I ask both you and myself: Do we add value to our lives with worries in the nag it tears down on our minds?

I become exhausted when I think about such things. The Law of Attraction simply premises that negative thoughts lead to negative thoughts or positive thoughts lead to positive thoughts. That observation is both Biblical and true. As Tinker Bell pleads with Peter Pan to fly on the way to Never Never Land, “Think Happy Thoughts, Peter.” Think happy thoughts, indeed, we should. Perhaps that is the calling of us as Christians to spread the joy of Christ through positive thinking.

Do you ever feel weighed down by worries, concerns, problems, challenges, troubles, or adversity? Recently I have felt more anxiety than usual. I believe decisions are coming where I will change lives just as much as others’ lives will change my own. Constant change is necessary for those who seek growth and constant improvement for every area of their life, but it can also become nerve-racking as well.

I also feel the negativity of others bringing us down sometimes as well. No matter what you do or say, some always combat you in defensiveness or think of something bad to say no matter what the situation, maybe even just in regular conversation. I find this observation especially interesting when you try to grow closer to someone, only for them to turn you away with a protective survival mode like attitude. I understand protecting your heart when another hurts you, but when you hurt those who care about you because of another person’s past actions, you distance yourself from what could potentially turn into a very good relationship, friendship, or possibly an eternal life partner. I know we all have encountered people of this nature.

I believe the simple truth is that we find freedom only through Christ as believers. It often comes to down to simply kneeing before Christ bedside with the request for freedom. Believe when you ask that God relieve of your worries that he will. Really all we have to do is let go and believe the request that we make. Christ will care for you! Christ will have you! Christ will love you! I listed four principles that have changed my life and will continue to do so as I focus on a year of Christ, change, growth, and movement forward for dream sake.

1.) Focus on today and only today.
2.) Believe that good things will happen again.
3.) Surround yourself with positive, faith-building relationships.
4.) Realize God’s Infinite Power and Love.

The same chapter in Mathew mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry ends on this note:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Mathew 6:34 (NIV)

When we focus on today and the responsibilities of each hour now, we live in the present where future moments live and stay in the future without blocking the work of God we are destined to achieve. The Enemy will say, tempt, or do anything to keep us off track from achieving our purpose-filled, driven commission. If you believe and realize God’s Infinite Power and Love, you and I together will become unstoppable in any endeavor we attempt to pursue and successfully surmount. Bring it! We are to go down and get down with God’s business to save souls, orphans, widows, and anyone that needs service in His Name. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him FOREVER!

Someone told me recently, “God is pleased with you right now. You do not need to publish books, plant churches, and start nonprofits for God to notice your goodness. For you live in Him, and because he is good, so are you!” Now that simple reminder of truth speaks to my heart as it perhaps does you. Remember to think positively about such thoughts in forever-inclined-eternal-mindsets to realize that God is the most powerful advocate who works for your behalf. He loves us all more than we can humanly understand or imagine!

Let’s end on an amazing passage from The Message Bible. Read, refresh, and become inspired!

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” Ephesians 2:1-6 (The Message)

Young and Talented – “Too Fly” featuring Jacque. -Do not settle! An interesting date…I’M TOO FLY….for her!

Young and Talented (YT for short, also known as the future Dr. Mannheimer) remains an artist and a friend I continue to respect with his beliefs, morals, and creative works as an up-and-coming talent. YT rises from the plains of Auburn University (undergraduate) into the Seminole country of Florida State University (graduate studies). His music video relates to a recent dramatic date I lived through.

Recently I tried going on a date with a girl I met in Tuscaloosa while attending a Blues Festival at the new amphitheater. Upon first interactions, Taylor stood as a short cute blonde girl with some feisty tendencies and social inclinations to speak with anyone and everyone she knew which seemed like every party and individual out on the town that night. She seemed tipsy with an inclination to take part in some wild drinking activities and to “smoke while drinking socially,” whatever that means.  

My first hint and sign that asking her out was not necessarily a great idea included the observation she raised a five year old child as a single mom. Please understand I do not believe there is anything wrong with dating single moms; however, while praying about a future match and wife, I have never felt called to date a single mom myself. I also want to marry someone with a college education and a nonsmoker.  While many might think I am wrong for such parameters on my dating life in which girl I pursue, that is how I feel about the matter. These are the belief systems and standards I will adhere to and not budge from.  

I planned to drive down to Tuscaloosa, approximately an hour from Birmingham, to take Taylor to a local Italian restaurant and to see The Dark Night Rises. I thought as a brief introduction date a traditional outing appeased nothing too serious just to have a fun and good time. Upon the start of dinner, Taylor immediately ordered two glasses of white wine, something tipsy with her small petite figure, representative of an Olympic one hundred pound gymnast. She forgot to mention that wine gives her migraine headaches. If you know of this fact, then why would you drink wine in the first place? That question still remains a mystery to me. Taylor also insisted on smoking a cigarette outside the restaurant before commuting to the movie and then again before the movie even started (two cigarettes) which then made us late to the movie. Halfway through the movie Taylor’s migraine acclimated to a level so bad that she insisted we leave. We did not even make it halfway through the movie (wasted costs on tickets and drink with no possible refund). When I returned Taylor to her car, she forgot her cash and credit cards at her father’s house??? She asked me to borrow $20.00 to buy gas for her empty tank as I pumped that amount into her car. At this point, my expenses included dinner, an incomplete movie showing, gas to Tuscaloosa, and gas for a girl I was not even dating seriously (about a total of at least $120.00). I thought “mama moocher” in my mind, another standard I try to avoid and leave behind.     

Taylor also seemed nervous during the date when I asked her simple questions to know her. I opened the door for her and paid her way because I could afford to. Those are just basic courtesies for the way Mama Cartee raised me, a southern gentleman of some sort. She mentioned, “I usually date jerks. I am not accustomed to dating a nice Christian guy” (actual word-for-word quote here). I knew originally I should just leave the date alone. I settled for one date below that Too Fly standard I before committed too. YT’s song and video reminds us to never settle for a subpar relational match.

I gladly provided Taylor with an evening she may rarely experience, a nice meal and gas on me; however it did not set the better of first impressions with me. She asked if she could see me again. I kind of raised my eyebrow, wondering what planet she lived on, and then slowly said, “We’ll see.” I think she knew what I meant, as I quickly jettisoned out of Roll Tide Land, never hoping to date a girl from the University of Alabama ever again. I could not help but laugh to myself after experiencing what culminated to the worst date I may have ever had up to this point in my life.         

Now you might ask how and why this narrative related to the YT rap song, Too Fly? The theme of the song remains simple for me: Do not settle for less than God would HAVE FOR YOU! Whether male or female, you just might be TOO FLY for whoever you meet. In fact I think dangerous grounds include missionary dating, hoping and believing someone will change to your specifications after you start seeing them. I think all of us fall into such a trap at least once or twice in our lives before we learn not to partake in such lost cause ventures. Perhaps the girl in this video figuratively chased a jerk in missionary dating, thinking he would change eventually. I never understand as a guy or girl why we date those who never define our personal preferences. It has nothing to do with being picky but rather setting a bar or standard for what brings you joy in relationship. If nothing mirrors your relationship with God in pursuit of another, you waste your own time in addition to that of the other person. God has so much more for you in store! Please believe!

I will not settle for less again. Perhaps God wanted to refresh my memory to focus on those who focus on him, something Taylor’s lifestyle never suggested, like “I am saved, but I do not really live it out.” For someone of my own religious conviction, this match would never work! Next time before tempted for a reckless date and direction, I will watch and listen to the following wise words of Young and Talented. His lyrics go a little something like this:

This ain’t a game I am playing.
I really want to be with you.
Don’t know how much
I have to say just
so I can convince you.
Look at your life
and picture it with me
because the way I see him treating you
is sickin’ your seed.
You deserve the very best,
nothing less than respected,
but all I ever hear about
is how you get neglected.
He doesn’t put it any time.
Don’t think that you owe him.
He won’t know what he’s got
until it’s gone.
So you should show him
because he is messing with your mind.
I know he’s got you stressing.
He’s trying to bring you down,
but I ain’t going to let him.
He sees you a possession.
I see you as a blessing.
Girl, you got them pretty wings.
I just want to see you spread them
because you’re too fly.  
You’re too fly.  
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly….for him.

I think I might be too fly! Maybe you also are too fly for whoever you date! I am not going to let anyone neglect me as you should also, and I am certainly not going to fall short of what God has in store. Please also remember the following promise of God when you question or settle for less than what God’s Word promises you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

I am convinced my path will cross in ministry at some point in time with both YT and Bane Productions with an eternal product that will save souls and inspire youth in amazing ways.

WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO HERE ON THE BLOG. “YOU ARE TOO FLY FOR HIM (or HER)!”

Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.

The GROWTH Track Series – GO and DO! (Step Seven)

GO and DO!

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the plan provided below.

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream

VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

Once you connect, grow, and discover your passions in the body of Christ at an individual and/or group level, I really think you will find your vision to pursue your life purpose. Of course, with time that certainly may change, but once found yourself in this capacity, then GO and DO whatever God calls you to! Realize the friends and family in the relationships you formed, reached out to, connected with, and grew into, will in good consciousness support you in your life’s journey when you go and do.

FIRST Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points

1.)    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

2.)    “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.” 1 Corinthians 14:3 (MSG)

A.) The Great Commission calls us to ALL nations.

Scripture in the New Testament calls us to reach out to every corner so that God’s Name becomes glorified. We are meant to travel in country and out-of-country to every corner where the Gospel has not yet reached indigenous peoples. Your passions in dreams rendered will determine if this is your dream to be had.

B.) God watches over us when we choose and pursue our calling through the Great Commission.

The Scriptures say and show we remain guarded by God’s protectors when we follow the calling portrayed before us in the Great Commission to do and go wherever we are led. Our guardian angels step into action so to speak. I believe if one has never traveled overseas for mission purposes that you should do so to open doors and become more like-minded in Christ. Our minds tend to open when we have seen beyond our front doors. The world suffers, and your life will be changed forever when you see it in person.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT)

A.) The Good News perpetually spreads forward each and every time shared.

When we go and do, salvation continues with a pay it forward effect. Each person who receives the Gospel is likely to spread it to the next person. God’s Salvation is just that good and promising that we want to continue sharing it with others onward from the very moment we become saved.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious
standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.
That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” Colossians 1:28-30 (MSG)

A.) God through Christ lives in every single one of us, and through Christ in us, we accomplish God-Size, Purpose-Driven dreams.

It is through Christ in us that we attain the Bigger Dreams through remembering the Bigger Picture. Christ lives in us as part of the Body, and our perfection through His Body in perfection gives us the means and power to achieve Greatness for Kingdom purposes. It is Christ in me that gives us the power to rise above and achieve.

The following are five more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“Yes, Lord, walking inthe way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8 (NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” Daniel 12:3 (NLT) 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NLT)

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a  lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)

I believe we are meant to follow the steps of the growth track to go and do whatever God calls us to. I also believe we are most fulfilled when we follow God’s calling for our lives. It takes an extra grit and mile worth of work to achieve dreams. I am learning that as I grow older I must almost work twice as hard to separate myself apart from the rest of the pack. Personal success for me involves growth and progression in the pursuit of my dreams. This growth came to me this year as I turned thirty working each level of Scripture to pursue where I know I need to be.

These three videos creatively illustrate concepts of going and doing your mission through The Great Commission. The videos ask relevant questions and are extremely short. I think you will find them relevant to struggles we face every day as we seek to shine through with Christ-likeness in commonplace environments.

The GROWTH Track Series – PURSUE THE DREAM! (Step Five)

Pursue the Dream

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the plan provided below.

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream
VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points -“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)

A.)  Pursue the dream with ALL YOUR MIGHT!

If we stay the course to never give up, God’s Word promises us that our work will be rewarded. We cannot give into complacency which becomes so easy with discouragement faced in daily survival mode. Would a dream be worth fulfilling if easy?……probably not if you think about it. The things we work the hardest for tend to be the things that are most fulfilling. Give it all you got! God will give you the extra inch when exhausted to reach the finish line.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

A.)  Pursue the dream with all your prayers!

Pursue God intentionally with your prayers. He will show up to answer the requests presented before him. Remain on your knees in gratefulness, and the dream will come. If you desire God, you will desire to speak time with Him in prayer. Pretty simple here….He loved you to call your name. So we shall therefore call on his as well.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:7-9 (NKJV)

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking!

 

A.)  If you never ask, you may never receive.

I think sometimes we know the desires of our heart, but we never ask God. This includes myself especially. And then we wonder why such prayers are never answered. We must ask in order to receive God’s Blessings. He delights in hearing from us. So why not talk to him with any requests that may be on our hearts?

FOURTH Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points

“Joseph had a dream….”We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”… Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” Genesis 37:5-9 (NIV)

…and the story continues…

“‘Here comes that dreamer!’ they said to each other.” Genesis 37:19 (NIV)

…and the story continues…

“We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us.” Genesis 41:12-13 (NIV)

A.)  BE LIKE JOSEPH!

Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters! His stories of tribulation to fulfill the dreams of God’s provisions on his life inspire me! I believe he is a true example of patience for dreams to become fulfilled. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers and family and then told to be dead. Potter’s wife then lied so he was thrown into jail among an onslaught of many other escalated and harsh consequences for troubles that were not his own. Eventually he rose to become second on the planet only to Pharaoh in the worst drought the area witnessed in the history of the region. It is Biblical giants like Joseph we must remember to emulate when our dreams seem stagnant. It was twenty years before God granted the original dreams sent to him. Now that seems like forever to me right now especially since I hope God answers a dream prayer request as soon as possible.

In a previous entry, I wrote a strong blog entry about Joseph that touches on more Biblical principles with his life as related to this growth sub point. Check it out!

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.”

Numbers 12:6 (NIV)

A.)  You are a son or daughter of The Most High God while will reveal your dreams and visions to you.

We really are prophets of the Most High God, and God informs us here in this Scripture that he will deliver our dreams to us through signs revealed in personal and profound ways. While it is hard to wait, sometimes it is all we can do to pursue – wait for God to give us that green light. God sometimes requires us to wait to learn the lessons of today to prepare us for tomorrow.

SIXTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points– “At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered… ‘Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’ The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.” 1 Kings 3:5-15 (NIV)

A.)  Ask for the right dreams, and ALL shall be given to you.

Solomon asked for discernment through wisdom, an unselfish spiritual gift and blessing to serve his people. When you ask God for an unselfish dream in order to really serve others, I believe with pure and genuine motives in heart you receive all the more. Your original intention like Solomon also intended to ask for further wisdom or spiritual gifts to make an eternal Kingdom-Building difference. That is the heart of a matter that God yearns for and loves. He rewards us when we seek him pure in heart. What it comes down to is this: when you serve God for the sake of His Name, your dreams and more come forth into reality, fulfilling your innermost joys.

AND THAT IS A POINT WORTH ENDING ON – the pursuit and choice of receiving God’s joy for our lives!

The following are two more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23(NIV)

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ ” Romans 4:18 (NIV)

I would consider Jon Acuff, the author of Quitter, a modern day expert on the logical pursuit of a dream come true achievement. He advocates keeping your day job until that job becomes a dream job. Acuff may in fact be the reason I did not recently quit a commitment I made. Our cubicle day job serves as a platform to reach for our next dream job. You are capable of pursuing a dream with the pursuit of Christ. Acuff works for Dave Ramsey, and I think his book will change your life much like the growth track here on the blog. I would recommend Quitter with my most sincere regards. If you like his advice in the videos below, you will love his book! Dream big, and eventually together we can quit the day job to leap into our dream job!

To Stay or Not Too Stay? That is the question. The Greatest Commandment Some Forget: Love your neighbor as yourself. REVISED Edition.

Mark 12:31

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” New International Version (NIV)

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” The Message (MSG)

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. King James Version (KJV)

This is a revised entry because both my mother and father reiterated the concept of loving others as I myself would want to be treated by mentioning the good in Kristen Brown as a sufficient example of how to love and care for/on friends.

This past weekend I visited and stayed with Kristen Brown, an old friend I met while at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville for a Basic Interpreter Program with American Sign Language in 2007. I must admit that Kristen remains one of the most loyal friends I have ever had and generally loyal individuals as well. Anyone who befriends her certainly becomes blessed to do so. She understands the Christian act of service loving others as you yourself would desire to be loved. My transmission in my Chevrolet 1998 S10 pickup truck burned up requiring a rebuilt transmission casing which cost $1600. It literally stopped at a red light a couple of miles from Kristen’s house, near Memphis, TN on a road trip for the weekend from Birmingham, AL. Kristen never complained about chauffeuring me around town as the car towed to two separate garages by two separate tow trucks, as we woke early on both Saturday and Sunday to take care of the extraneous circumstances. She represents what true friendship Biblically symbolizes. We made reservations to go to Graceland that Saturday, and Kristen did everything to make sure we took care of the car and still made it to the Elvis amusement park and tourist destination. She also escorted me to both breakfast and dinner to meet up with friends she never previously met. Kristen extended herself to make the best of things for what looked like a catastrophic and wasted weekend of a trip. Honestly I still experienced a great time with a lot of fun because Kristen went above and beyond to make me feel welcome. We planned my visit about three weeks in advance, and Kristen made it a priority to show me the sites and see some long loyal friends from both Clemson University and the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO).

On the contrary of my experience at the beginning of this month, I flew to another city and experienced quite a different story where my visit turned out not to be the best of trips. Our demeanor often reflects our character. If you invite another into your home, then treat one like a guest. Love on them. Treat them like you would want to be treated as if visiting someone else’s home. That might include some local sightseeing. Most importantly if you invite someone to visit, then acknowledge the visit as planned. Your weekend routine will more than likely not occur with attention directed towards the one traveling to your home. It often also becomes expensive for the one coming for the visit, much more expensive than staying at home. Take this fact into consideration. Often why we hardly see this perspective: the person coming to visit might sacrifice more in the trip than the person hosting them. It is okay to say “No” if it is just not the best time of year for such a visit. Plan perhaps another mutual better time for the visit when it is convenient for both parties.   

Now you evidently notice the attitude and approach of Kristen. Kristen opened the door of her home to me with obvious grace and mercy, going out of her way to make my trip the best of June and early July. The trip dramatically blew my expectations away with her love and Christ-like treatment to make the best of a burned out transmission. Memphis stands as a weekend to remember as my best moment thus this summer. As the greatest command, love your neighbor as yourself. Kristen understands this principle through her given example. She is a lifelong friend understanding the nature of what Christ calls us to be. Those are the friends worth holding onto. Let the others fall by your side because you may realize they never were true friends in the first place when you really need them as I learned the hard way.    

If you are having a bad day, just give a brother a hug. You might be surprised that is just what the doctor ordered.

Do we take things too seriously? You? Me? All of us probably.

I personally walk around in life often taking things personally and extremely way too serious. I ran an errand yesterday morning and spent ten minutes waiting on a bus in traffic to load and unload elderly people. I felt like I watched the geese and ducks in my neighborhood march across the road while cars piled in traffic behind the zoo crossing. I walked into the building to speak with the person who I planned to work with me on a nonprofit project. When I cracked a joke about slow elderly people, she took offense to my harmless joke and flustered in embarrassment and frustration. She could return the joking comment to then discuss how young people seem so impatient this generation because we “fly through and accomplish tasks.” We might still work together; however the meeting thankfully ran short because she had an unexpected emergent occurrence come up. I was thankful to say the least because this person took her leadership position and maybe even her work way too seriously. I like to laugh and cut up. Those who work with me on an everyday basis especially understand this component of my personality. I walked out a little frustrated from the older person’s lack of humor but then shrugged it off laughing to myself once I got into my car. Some people stress so easily while others go with the flow understanding how to experience fun, something uptight people often forget. With the last two years and my transmission burning up this past weekend, I am especially learning to go with the flow and do my very best to let go and let God, relinquishing control.

Please understand I too am guilty of taking things too seriously. I think the things we often take out of context, misinterpret, and even worry about often inflict us with unneeded stress. I believe if you learn to let things roll, going with the flow, and making an active choice to only concern yourself with what you can control, that is really all any one of us can do.

If you meet someone like I did yesterday morning that really takes things too seriously, simply laugh, let it go, and thank God you are not like the person encountered. Daily joy continues forward because you did not let a negative person affect you with that person’s strict code of conduct. If we choose joy and trust God’s Plan for our lives, the rest should take care of itself. Take God Seriously. Take Grace Faithfully. And Take Life Hysterically.

12 – In My Soul Where He Stays

One more to complete thirteen poems others claim I am crazy.
Absolutely right I will never settle in my refusal to be lazy.
So much negativity floats in the word of those who negate.
Now is the time to live purposefully for it’s never too late.
A one stop light town girl picks up a guitar to play
Wondering whether dreams will fall in the steps we lay.
It’s amazing how successful we become when our nerves surrender.
As a writer with words of meaning in my passions I become her defender.
Falling into likeness with a sudden knight who rises in his armor,
I rise to protect those so jerks will no longer be able to harm her.
A gent from twilight sessions could not relax to let go
Because it is no longer my own growth in the pursuit that I sow.
It is a force in relationship with Jesus who brings two together
So nothing in the past or future can break two in any endeavor.
Two become one in the pledge of a life spent worth the words of an exchange.
I might not finish the goal in the lives that together two could change.
I believe that with a common vision for eternity two far better reach than one
As a pursuit to complete the journey both reach the highest in worship for the Son.
I cannot, will not, and refuse to settle for what I know what God has in store.
That belief in faith impels me forward to a friendship so about you I can learn more.
We settle in the stupidity that God never shows or reveals himself to those who follow.
That hopelessness burns a hole in the soul like rotten wood in the silence so hollow.
I cannot imagine my life forever without the one in the hopes of tomorrow.
I try my best so that I fulfill the joys reaching beyond my own self-pity and sorrow.
Even with failure the end will present a glorious celebration of all days
Because the Lord delivered at the surrender of my hands in my soul where He stays.

JLC iii, 6/23/12