August 18, 2017

Captain Wylie Swagger’s Booty (The PIRATE) – A new wakeup call! Arrrrrggggggghhhhhh!

Do you find yourself miserable with life? Do you work a job you honestly loathe every minute and Monday morning you wake up for? Many generations lived year after year to retire. Only I find that thought of due diligence, without a guarantee of tomorrow, dreadful and almost nightmarish. I do not expect life to ever be perfect, but I do hope to find joy in my wakeup call with day-to-day living, with the light of Jesus present.

This video sent me rolling to the floor of my desk with laughter, with something simple that glimmered hope for why Monday morning brings out the best in me with new beginnings.

If you seek a laugh in Captain Wylie Swagger’s endorsement for James Cartee, here you are! If you find that life breaks you more than it inspires you, think of what you can change. Sometimes the only thing in the way of a dream occurring is you. I have come to learn that reality the hard way, that I am sometimes my own worst enemy. I challenge you to seek whatever it is that will make you smile each day you wake…..not just for Captain Wylie’s Booty but for yourself!

Hope in The One Who Comes Next – Poetry by James Cartee

This photograph is just one of many taken in Peru and other areas of South America by creator of this blog, James Cartee. His work is available for view and purchase at the following website: www.jamescartee.smugmug.com

 

Hope in The One Who Comes Next – Poetry by James Cartee

I miss the sound of you
That strikes my heart.
Strings play beautiful symphony music
At the steps of your pace.
I never won with a crush
On the playground
With a wild imagination.
You would not have me
At the end of my pursuit in the chase.
I lost without remorse
For in my heart
I gave it my absolute all;
I gave it my absolute best.
I stand proud today hopeful
In the one who comes next.

With continual struggle of stagnancy
In a new home I loathe,
Even three years after last contact
Through mutual good byes,
You stand and serve
In frequent mindful imagery.
In transition as a partner in presence,
I dream you would alleviate my fallen feelings.
I was wrong to expect such from God
And from you in circumstances beyond control.
Somehow I still feel you lost,
But many choose to play it safe
Without running the risk to take ministry
To a newfound level for thousands.
I shock and shine others in unseen ways
With outgoing boldness unlike most people.
I cannot fathom a lifetime without
Service towards a higher purpose.
We serve in an army of light
For the salvation of the lost,
The plight of the fatherless,
And the next coming of The Christ.
You poisoned me with false words,
And I fell into the bear trap
Of an abyss with no end.
I imagined in a message from God
What would never be.
If only you saw what I see,
Then hearts connect for eternity.
It no longer matters what you want
Because together we serve God
In His timing, in His ways,
And to the very end of our earthly days.
You missed the journey,
And now I gallop into the sunset
With my White Knight,
Unstoppable alone until the end comes.

I miss the sound of you
That strikes my heart.
Strings play beautiful symphony music
At the steps of your pace.
I never won with a crush
On the playground
With a wild imagination.
You would not have me
At the end of my pursuit in the chase.
I lost without remorse
For in my heart
I gave it my absolute all;
I gave it my absolute best.
I stand proud today hopeful
In the one who comes next.

JLC iii, 11/9/12

The Call From the Orphan – God’s Heart! Why Do Churches Hesitate to Rise Up?

I once heard Chris Hodges, Senior Pastor of Church of the Highlands, ask his 15,000 member congregation, “Do you know why some people are gay? I think I figured this paradigm out.” We all sat on the edge of our seats with the expectation of some Scripture revelation, the secret this long debated question about to be answered. Hodges continued, “I think it is because they are lazy.” The building audience erupted into laughter at his proclamation. He asserted that a relationship with the same sex was much easier than one with the opposite gender. I must agree that my guy friends and I never fight! I really cannot remember the last time I fought with a guy, seriously. I admit that a relationship with a significant female other is real hard work. I understand Hodges’ logic on some unusual levels. After his awkward moment of humor, Hodges began his Sunday sermon.

Does this same statement apply to churches that ignore the cause of the fatherless (in addition to the widow, the poor, the diseased, the underprivileged, and so on)? Are church leaders and passive congregational members lazy? Most will claim that the temptation to fall into complacency in Pop Culture Christianity is easy. How many people genuinely volunteer and serve in capacities outside of a Saturday Southern football tailgate? In my opinion with where I worked in the past two years (not the Salvation Army headquarters), most settle for each night’s schedule of sitcoms and sporting events on ESPN. Many don’t do anything outside of family and watching television for the local community and international relief. Even my own family is guilty of this epidemic on several accords. We conduct ourselves according to convenience.

I serve as the current Christian Alliance for Orphans State Coordinator for Orphan Sunday. I am responsible year round for gearing and managing events, seminars, discussion panels, and anything related to the cause of the fatherless, even radio interviews. We specifically focus on Orphan Sunday, November 4, with a concentration for a national and international movement where thousands come together for one day to stand for the orphan. The Christian Alliance for Orphans stands as a joint coalition of over one hundred organizations who commit themselves to save every orphan for the sole sake of God’s Glory. We were after all adopted by our Heavenly Father!

Recently I approached several churches in the Greater Birmingham metropolitan about participating on Orphan Sunday, November 4th. Between last year (2011) and this year (2012) with this annual celebration in advocacy for the orphan, I definitely received more “No’s” than “Yes’s,” sometimes even with simple requests for orphan-focused prayers, still to receive another “No.”  I even had ministers commit to events this year with their given word without following through, some things I worked hard on through my own free time through volunteering, only with nowhere to implement my hard work.  A great example of someone who fights for the orphan is Jon Walden, Executive Director and on air personality for Revocation Radio, a nonprofit radio station who plays Christian music that honors God, healthy for the ears of youthful listeners (as opposed to the cussing of gangster rap or any other colorful music).  Jon is interviewing five individuals over the air with leaders from five different orphan-related organizations. Walden remains busy with public appearances, youth rallies, a family, and his own mission with his nonprofit ventures. He makes the extra effort for the sake of ministry, not excusing the assistance with his own busyness with life responsibilities. Many could learn from his diligence for all the causes he stands for simply for the sake of Christ. Nothing more else motivates him so. Jon Walden rises to the challenge, and I wonder if other nonchalant ministerial leaders will do the same.

Another example to emulate as a country is Rwanda who seeks to eradicate orphanages, YES, THERE WILL BE NO MORE FATHERLESS in the next twenty years within this country! I mean no disrespect to this country or any other African country, but in the eyes of western politics, this is a third world entity. Countries with much more economical means stand still while those less fortunate pave the way for something many should have initiated a long time ago! Leaders in Rwanda have risen together as The Church to train citizens within their country to raise orphans. Rwanda does not ship their troubles to other countries. Internally they seek to improve as a country within their own borders. Nothing wrong exists with international adoption; however I am inspired when a country heals an epidemic for the fatherless at home, for example our failing foster care systems, which we still have yet to remedy in the United States.

While hosting events is not necessary with commitments, fighting and caring for the orphan worldwide is not an option. In fact, God commands it through His Biblical Word. For those of us who lack initiative, reference the following Scriptures:

Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

“Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.”

James 1:27 (NIV)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Exodus 22:22-24 (NIV)

“Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.”

John 14:18 (NIV)

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Psalm 82:3 (NIV)

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”

I think the question remains worthwhile to consider: Are leaders in ministry too lazy to fight for the cause of the orphan? The blessing and burden to carry the cause cannot fall solely on those who actually rise to acknowledge the world’s fatherless. The rise for change is not easy. Anything for the sake of Christ will never be easy. But leaders like Jon Walden step up to play for eternal reasons often beyond those who live more on earth than in heaven with human indulgence. I grow tired of fighting without the support of local church leaders. I challenge the next time a door opens for church leaders to rise, instead of offering lame excuses for why this conflicts with a year round sermon scheduled series, year after year ignoring our call to solve the problems of this world. If Rwanda can, I am confident any United States congregation can as well. It is time to stop the laziness and to work hard for God’s Glory. Together we can and together we will fight for the fatherless and end the orphan epidemic. It is not impossible! It is very doable! And if you make the decision to lead and take a stand, God will honor our hard work for His Heavenly Heart.

Personally seek to feel the CALL of the ORPHAN through this video about Orphan Sunday, 2012! We are adopted! God never abandoned us! And we should never abandon them, the fatherless!

Orphan Sunday 2012 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! ….my own rise in down times.

Ephesians 5:13-14 (NIV)

But everything
exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes
a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Have you ever sat in your cubicle wondering to God, “When will my time come to rise and fulfill my passions’? The battle of everyday survival floats around bills paid and the suppression of dreams. With the unwise decisions of leaders in this country, opportunity for young professionals appears dwindling! …the truth is it is!

I applied for at least four hundred jobs before something of true dreamlike essences patiently prevailed. I skimmed all over the country for hope where my day-to-day existence became more than routine. It became dreamlike. Eventually the monsoon rolled where the hard work snowballed. Each day brought a new surprise and phone call from a prospective life-changing moment. I am also almost complete with a three hundred page manuscript of my first major memoir, each chapter edited seven-ten times, a two year project in the making.

I faced the largest challenges and adversity when I felt no motion in my life, no momentum towards a given goal in my mind. I incline to feel the least motivated in life when I see no growth, no movement forward. At this moment in my life I never measure life monetarily as a single Christian but instead through growth to reach a level of leadership unprecedented by all before me. It is those who are most motivated who continue to do what they need to, even when they do not feel that motivation emotionally, or simply “just don’t feel like it.”

I cannot describe the sudden drive in my life or where it came from. However when I tasted a sweet notion of success and saw God’s work in my life, I wanted it all the more. I realized that many individuals, including me, wait to rise up. We can wait forever for things to look up, to feel better, or to achieve the dream constantly on our heart. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! We fail more than we succeed, but with each failure we step closer to success. As I tasted success with a recent life victory, then the failures faded into the background. We cannot forget the sweet tastes that come with a new job, an upper level graduation day, our firstborn child, our wedding day, or in my case, a first major book contract. Those successes push us to yearn for more, but not for ourselves, but rather for God’s Glory.

LATER IS NOT THE TIME! NOW IS! When you doubt where to start, just go! When I cannot think of a blog entry or chapter to write, the best strategy begins with just starting. Eventually while maybe not at first, meaningful words flow.

If you are like me, I am tired of sitting on the sidelines. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! ….not tomorrow but today, starting with simple progression through small steps. We bring world change one small step at a time until the snowball launches down the ski slope. On the 400th job application, we get that interview offer we want. And then we feel the rise and crave to rise in the moment this very day.

Through Christ, we are truly risen! With our personal resurrection, we already live in the light through salvation. Now with each blessed day, rise with me! Rise together! Rise up! Now is the time to rise! And with Christ, it is up to you! Do not procrastinate. Do not quit. Do not put the project down. Rise to become more and reach your fullest potential! …for that is the only place where God truly will have us!

Believe inspirational speaker, Eric Thomas, when you realize GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! This video WILL FIRE YOU UP! He coincidentally happens to be speaking to the Auburn football team. WAR EAGLE!

Perception – Reality versus Imaginary? Where do you live?

 

It has been a long time since I saw the movie, High Fidelity, but I do love this scene once recollected as it relates to the fantasy versus realism of relationships. Americans get caught up in their imaginations of what an ideal relationship quantifies often without the realization that the ideal factor is Christ. Through a focus on Christ, only then will harmony become realized. We have all fallen into the trap of love or like where we visualize in a false dream what role someone will fill as a certain something. These internal thoughts often mislead. A person must reciprocate feelings and often times they will fail to fill the shoes of the perfect vision you imagined in your mind. American Pop Culture falls into this trap because we tell ourselves that our lives are all about us. Things are easy. And everything will go exactly as I planned it or expected. There is nothing farther from the truth.

My advice is simple here: FIND someone who lives in reality and appreciates it in the simple things! Find someone who WANTS you!

Many times we pursue those who have a sense of entitlement, too good to extend a chance to the common man or woman. I do not know about you, but after thirty years of often pointless pursuits, I want to make someone feel wanted as they make me feel wanted. The real perception of another person comes true with a genuine sincerity towards all walks of life. With keen observation, each of us can feel a cynic, a narcissist, a self-righteous person, or someone who looks down upon those who actually live inside the fire of a pursuit.

Leave those types in their own imaginary worlds. Pursue reality in the perception that honest believers in Christ illustrate. Some in their own immature ways will at least for this time’s sake fail to extend the chance Jesus gives to all. Their own sense of self denies you any possibility of a chance at your dream or fantasy. And reality brings us back down to earth. Those who lack the ability to dream will not succumb to the belief of another person’s dream. In fact they will look down upon your dream caught up in the reality of whom and what they consider best only for themselves. A selfish insight blockades the potential for a servant’s insight for an eternal mindset.

Sometimes in the pursuit of reality we eventually discover what our imaginations dreamed of since the beginning of prayers and hopes as it pertains to love. The girl or guy you imagined in the crush or a high school or college cognitive photograph becomes the person you envisioned several years later down the road. You focused on the right things, and God rewarded the pursuit of integrity by bringing together both reality and fantasy in an ideal match made by heaven just for you.

Surround yourself with those who want you, and then Hunter Hayes’ lyrics here will ring true in his hit song “Wanted.” No imagine feeling like this!

 

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 – “The Road” featuring Bane – Eternal Decisions! Which road will you choose?

We continue our Young and Talented (YT) Hip Hop series with another of my favorite songs, The Road. If you missed out on the first of this series with the hit song, TOO FLY, click here for an official introduction to YT and his life-changing music (the first blog entry of the YT chronicles).

Our journeys in life always seem to offer various tracks to follow with decisions rendered in relationship, institution, career, and any individual aspect on the road where God takes us home. Those decisions bring glory to God in our direction in path towards eternity, or believers remain caught up in the trap of desires here on the Earth with our own dust. The Earth will always pull us in the direction of men and as a result sometimes the desire to follow those men; however as followers of God we draw to a higher force. The chorus from the song illustrates this struggle.

Looking for the road that will take me home,
Please show me the way to go.
Should I move fast or take things slow?
Sometimes life is a hard road we hold.
Looking up to you for a sign above,
This world just want to be loved.
So let’s go before our hearts turn slow.
Show me the road that will take me home.

The choice to follow Christ will inevitably mature and evolve into a difficult journey. We stare to the skies seeking answers through prayer as sin often holds us back caught in the midst of human-created temptations and worries. Before our hearts turn cold from sinful indulgences, we continue to turn home, yearning for God’s deliverance. There is something comforting about the idea of singing, “I’m coming home. I’m coming home,” close to our perishing, dust to dust, returning to the earth God created us from. We reach eternity as God says, “I am proud of you. Welcome home.” Now that sounds like a glorious end to the road of light that will take me home.

Two warriors that understand the eternal road include both the Biblical legends of Daniel and Nehemiah. Their firmness shines through the millenniums to exemplify with choices and decisions the journeys with the righteousness pointed towards our eternal home. This demonstrates the rewards of faith in the pursuit of God’s higher roads. The following passage in Daniel reads:

“So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.” Daniel 6: 6-9

Of course, if familiar with Daniel, he chose never to pray or bow down to King Darius. He chose the higher path in his journey to worship the true God. Thrown into the lions’ den, God protected him with an angelic guardian. Then those who falsely accused Daniel and constructed a trap with such an edict and decree actually became the ones thrown into the lions’ den, eaten along with their families. I believe when we choose God in firm belief for our security, safety, and salvation, he clearly protects His Chosen Ones.

Then we see another man on track for God with Nehemiah, an anointed servant of the Most High God, called to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Now imagine this: Jerusalem contains no system of protection, and the people exist surrounded by their enemies who make their determined ambition to make sure Nehemiah never succeeds. Once protected, a city transforms into more than just a destination. It shifts into a fortress that enemies can no longer triumph so easily in conquer and conquest.

I am confident Nehemiah came to points where he doubted his plan and his journey with his chosen road; however he persevered in God’s mission to complete the wall with his King’s blessing.

Can you imagine God calling you to a den of lions to faithfully believe in his protection? Can you imagine God’s calling you to build a city wall around a territory of constant battle where bloodshed, crime, and enemies rule the land against a people God desires for you to protect? These historic men only accomplished these feats through God’s divine intervention, leaning into his provision.

The stand against evil depends on the women and men of God to take the high road with our earthly decisions. We come to points in life where we carry the cross or drop it because the weight persists as too much for our earthly bodies to wear. Our choices while often thought to remain trivial affect our eternity and often the eternity of others.

The following Scriptures shows that we are not of this world but simply passing through like a passenger with a train station. Remember our eternity pulls us through Saturn’s rings towards the stars into heaven. We were never meant to belong here because God created his sons and daughters to join him.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”  John 15:18-20 (NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

I often fall into the trap of survival on a journey without the passion of Christ. In some ways, that trap develops into reasons why I lose vision of my eternal driven purpose. Life seems as though I am missing the right road stuck at a fork caught up in my own consumption, worries, pursuits, or earthly concerns. I know the road to travel. Sometimes a glimpse of our Heavenly Father through reconnection becomes all we need to stand and serve on the road to eternity. A humility to kneel and come before Him serves as the starting point towards the right direction.

Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.

Young and Talented – “Lost Dreams” featuring Kate Devick. Have you lost your dream? Find support in Relationship! Rise and Resurrect!

We continue our Young and Talented (YT) Hip Hop series with another of my favorite songs, Lost Dreams. If you missed out on the first of this series with the hit song, TOO FLY, click here for an official introduction to YT and his life-changing music (the first blog entry of the YT chronicles).

“It is kind of upsetting how I chased that dream, but I couldn’t quite catch it. It’s lost.” With the power of Christ in us….in me….in you, our dreams will certainly never become lost. However I believe YT’s lyrics hit home in that we all feel lost in pursuit of our dreams as we fall down again and again over and over. Failure is one of the most discouraging factors especially when as a theme in your life it never seems to go away no matter how hard you try. God’s Word claims that the testing of our faith develops perseverance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)

I remember at one point in my life when I wanted to quit college, withdraw from UT-Chattanooga, and move back home with really no clear direction on what to do next. I recollect that I received a phone call on my cell from the Vice Chancellor of the School, Dr. Richard Brown, who mentioned the following: “We, the family, at UTC, certainly do not want to lose one of our best and brightest students. What can I do to make it work for your return this spring?” Our dreams and goals only become accomplishable through the assistance of others like Dr. Brown through support networks. I do not care who you are or what you have accomplished in life. We all hold our current positions only through the foundation and support of those around us some way, somehow, or in some fashion. Someone in everyone’s life supported, assisted, or helped him or her to accomplish in career, faith, or perhaps even our own spiritual journeys. You are who you are based on those you surround yourself with, friends, family, leaders, and mentors. Dr. Brown continues to mentor me as we catch up sporadically in life through email or over the phone or even sometimes over breakfast when I visit Chattanooga. He continues to serve as a reference while I seek further opportunities in life on a number of different levels. I guess he changed my life then and continues to do so now.

In regards to support with those you associate or surround yourself with, I know one person who lives for bar-hopping like a professional sport, drinking like a fish and bragging about it, versus those actively involved in the church with devout, firm, and stable relationships with others and God. The bar-hopper cusses like a sailor and really exists for self-satisfaction with a mediocre position at his present job. I would rather hang with those I know I will see in eternity rather than a smoke-filled room with individuals who seek to indulge our worldly desires and their own sinful nature, living for boozes and our desires of the body. Those I surround myself with in life define who I am with input and a shoulder to lean into. I want friends to remember the night before when they wake up the next morning with whatever transpired. I am not opposed to drinking. I am opposed to those who cannot control foolish, immature ways. I may still live at home, but I would like to think I act my age as a twenty-nine year old male. If easily influenced by those around you, I am not entirely sure dreams will come true. It takes a true confidence in God to become more, to stay the course, and face adversity with the grit to overcome it.

I love the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, because the movie resembles the resurrection experience that all true Christians face, recognize, and rise from. We trip. We fall. But as Bruce does best as Batman, we eventually rise as the hero of our own dream to possibly defend and protect what is most dear to us. Alfred never gave up on Bruce Wayne in the first movie, Batman Begins, as he almost gave up when Wayne Manor burned down due to the revenge actions of the League of Shadows (the group Wayne essentially caused the downfall of with the death of Ra’s al Ghul). Alfred as the best friend, father-figure, and protector to both Batman and Bruce reminded that “we learn to pick ourselves up.” As his adopted sons and daughters, God never gave up on you or me, and like Alfred in the Batman movies, the right friends never will either. We best succeed when reminded that when we fall, we continue to learn to pick ourselves back up. We rise to become stronger than ever before. Like Batman and like Christ, we resurrect through the adversity we face to reach the other side. Then we save the city and defeat evil villains, perhaps with a resemblance of spiritual warfare. Perhaps that is a blog entry for another day though.

Bruce Wayne: I wanted to save Gotham. I’ve failed.

Alfred: Why do we fall, sir? So that we can
learn to pick ourselves up.

Bruce: You still haven’t given up on me?

Alfred: Never.

As you listen to this music video, think about a low point you passed through. We all suffer from the thoughts of lost dreams, but when we reach for the sky with the right positive support and a God who loves us, calling us each individually home by our God-given name, we cannot and will not fail. Our dreams will never be lost. In fact, it is very inevitable that they will transform into our own reality. I encourage you to believe and pick yourself up because with each fall, we grow. And eventually with that growth, our time will come. Go, do, and seek to believe once again. Eventually our efforts catch up to fulfill whatever it is we hope for, desire, and seek to achieve.

YT (Dr. Mannheimer) currently teaches the subject of Sociology in Hip Hop Music and Culture at Florida State University. He continues to press forth with both his academics and music, apparently intertwined. I would say his dreams are anything but lost. He just had one of those “is it worth it?” moments that all of us have with the words and vision of this song and video. I guess he decided his dreams were absolutely worth it, and we will see just how many stadiums Andrew Mannheimer fills up with support from friends like me. I do believe with the God we worship anything is possible.

Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.

The Conclusion of the Greatest Spiritual Series Ever! – The Growth Track

THE CONCLUSION!

This series applies to my life as much as it also applies to yours. I believe some of these steps will speak to you if you read the Scriptures and contemplate the main points. I seek growth in my life and witness as I focus more on eternal matters, doors seem to open, or at least I get leads for promising future ventures with a focus on God in relationship as my number one priority.

I pray that my readers become touched by my words and the hours I spend actually constructing words of inspiration as I struggle with my own journey for personal advancement.

I often rush through moments pressing on forward to the next goal in mind. I believe while chasing growth in opportunity this series also reminds me to slow down and appreciate where I am. I am in a good stable situation seeking doors to open. I believe that remains a much better situation than those who do without, those desperate for any way to provide. It is a matter of a paradigm shift to remain grateful for what you possess and have.

Pursue growth as I do, but also do not forget to enjoy the moment and what we have now. Our present moment often leads as a platform to the next endeavor closer to the dream we seek to accomplish. With all things considered, reach out, connect, and grow. After growth with roots planted, discover your passion with a definite focus on God. Pursue the dream and chase forward towards your eternal direction. Then I promise with obedience to God’s calling for your life, success is evident and inevitable. Sometimes it just takes time and a patience to wait on God’s timing.

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.