June 26, 2017

“If you do not work, you do not eat.” Yourself to Blame….

2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 The Message (MSG)

10-13 Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.

I think you can honestly see the message of this blog entry. I think this brilliant poem and The Scriptures validate a point Dr. Carson understands well. Please realize I do not intentionally point the blame towards those who seek working work in hard times, the widowed, the orphaned, or even those suffering from special needs. However I believe families remain responsible for their kin and those able who sit around doing nothing. Statistically many fathers own the blame for abandoned children and a spiral of violence for kids started on the wrong path for life without such a figure to follow.

Yourself To Blame
by Mayme White Miller

If things go bad for you
And make you a bit ashamed
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame

Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame

Whatever happens to us,
Here is what we say
“Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

And if you are short of friends,
I’ll tell you what to do
Make an examination,
You’ll find the faults in you…

Your the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same
If you travel downward
You have yourself to blame

Dr. Ben Carson, as a neurosurgeon with 38 doctoral honoree degrees and a John Hopkins Director of Medicine, understands that knowledge and education hold key significance in our current society. I rarely fail to comprehend how one could think differently with common sense. Truth spoken just makes sense unless in denial of statistics and facts.

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!

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)

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.

The GROWTH Track Series – Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction (Step Six)

Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction

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 our dream and vision becomes revealed, God provides us with the choice of free will to pursue our eternal direction. The steps synchronize to work together to the final step where you choose to GO and DO whatever dreams, passions, and eternal directions led you to choose and pursue.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points -“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)

I think when we pursue a Kingdom-building eternal purpose, God grants us peace in doing so. He is the author of our universal eternal story. As writer of our journey, peace comes in growth to discover our passion and then pursue the dream thus culminating into our eternal direction.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”

Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)

A.)  When you fall down in pursuit of your eternal direction, God will pick you up.

I believe it is a given in our life as believers that we will fall time and time again. As a choice to live with a higher code of morality in mind, we choose the high road to live through the adversity that pursuit in relationship with God brings. God picks us up time and time again when we can no longer carry ourselves through the fire. I believe I would rather be the one who jumps into the fire in pursuit of my eternal dream rather than the one who simply stands outside the fire watching.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-pointsJesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27 (NIV)

A.)  When you pursue your eternal direction, God will fulfill the impossible.

We or most often other people believe that things are impossible with societal given limitations; however as the Scripture demonstrates nothing is impossible with God. If Joshua can make the sun stand still with prayers and pleading to the Lord, I know we can accomplish more than sometimes we think we are capable of. We can and will accomplish the impossible if with faith we believe God will work such miracles through us.

FOURTH Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points – And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

A.)  When you pursue your eternal direction, God will give you all you need to do every good work.

When you live in the shadows of God’s Grace, the blessings come down in abundance. God gives us what we need every time even when we believe we can bear it no longer. When we pursue good works, God blesses the choice of an eternal direction. In the stride for good works, we might fall down, but then God remains there to pick us right back up.

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

“Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

A.)  Even when tired, God renews our strength to reach our very best and highest potential. We will not grow weary or faint and will spread our eternal wings towards heavenly songs.

I think this simple truth sums up that God follows through when we approach our upmost truest desires when we reach, choose, and pursue our God-appointed eternal direction. We remain strong because we know that what we pursue becomes the right and moral course of action that fulfills our dreams’ calling.

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.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

Regardless of what you think about Joel Osteen, his message about the power of believing should point you in the right direction when you
realize your eternal direction. When we believe in true faith without doubt, God shows up to answer our long expressed prayers!

 

The GROWTH Track Series – Discover Your Passion and FOCUS on God! (Step Four)

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 track plan provided below.

Discover Your Passion

and

FOCUS on God!

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!

I think we especially begin to grow in life when we discover our passions and pursue them with unmatched vigor and inspiration to become more. I am not sure how you might feel about the fact, but I refuse to settle into normalcy for a subpar lifestyle to simply pay bills and exist. Through good decisions and a focus on God, I will accelerate to my full potential to discover those passions to fulfill the dreams in my own heart.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-pointsA desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” Proverbs 13:19 (NKJV)

A.)  When we accomplish our desires, our souls become satisfied.

This seems like such a simple principle that when our desires reach fulfillment our souls find joy in such. I often feel that I must work twice as hard to reach this stage of development. While I will never use a bad economy as an excuse for new jobs, financial support, and personal advancement, growth for me often becomes blocked with limited opportunities. I think that sounds like a better way of mentioning things. Sometimes all we can do is make the most of where we are. Our passions with a focus on God when accomplished satisfy the soul.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

A.)  When you discover the passions of your heart, your soul remains quenched in its thirst to become MORE inwards and outwards.  

I believe we all seek to become more than what normalcy would define for us through unfulfilled passions. We only truly feel quenched as we reach our desired destinations to reach the more our soul seeks. Remember our focus towards, forward, and upwards in the direction for God brings this level of fulfillment and sufficiency. Our thirst no longer continues when passions are discovered and put into practice with our everyday roles.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9 (NLT)

A.)  Our good pastures only come through the gates of our hearts in salvation.

In our salvation living in the Grace of God, we find those passions in good pastures (in our heartfelt sweet spots). While living in the fast lane, we ride the journey through the gates of life. This is such a simple verse and concept but so profound at the same time. In our salvation with our relationship with God, good things are yet to come.

FOURTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

A.)  Your passions must involve vision because without direction your discovery to your passions will perish.

This is a deep but valuable thought based on this powerful Scripture. The discovery of your passions relies on the ability to develop and sustain your passion through a vision for your life. As you experience growth in relationship with Christ, you will then discover your passions. Let go, and let God. It will then come. Perhaps even through a personal epiphany will God deliver a vision for your life. The pursuit of growth for the discovery of your passion then really starts to show as you focus your life on relationship with Christ.

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7 (NIV)

A.)  Discovery of your passions comes with your shouts of praise to God.

When your heart longs for God, you will discover passions in your own shouts of praise to him through worship. When you praise God, I believe then in that moment that we will then discover our passions in him. In praise we become one with him.

SIXTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

A.)  With our shouts of praise to God, our delight in God becomes our true joy. The floodgates of Heaven then pour blessings to fulfill the desires of our hearts when you FOCUS on God in the discovery of those passions

When our praise reaches the heavens, God hears our songs of raised voices. While at times it becomes hard to see, feel, and taste within our souls, God hears our praises and our prayers. He hears us, and we must believe in His Goodness to reach beyond and as high as our arms can reach. When our praises feel genuine in the Spirit of the Lord with God’s heart, the desires will come. Keep praising God. Keep focusing on God. Keep your vision on Him to discover your passions, and you will!

The following are three 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.

1.)    “But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (MSG)

2.)    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you shold go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

3.)    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Now with these messages concerning passions you will encounter three amazing leaders in ministry: Kay Warren, David Platt, and Jon Piper. Each in their own approach shapes lives for Christ on a global scale touching hearts around the world. I enjoy Kay because her communication style remains straightforward. I understand her message right away. If you seek more provoking and heart shaken thoughts about discovering passions and desires, these two messages by both David Platt and Jon Piper will rock your world! You might want to get a TV dinner ready for some of these messages that will change your life in addition to the words of these blog entries. Pray and Enjoy!

 

The GROWTH Track Series – Connect! (Step Two)

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

Connect!

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!

The second step to connect with others builds relationships in confidence as our journey begins to mature and then grow in all areas of our life – career, spiritual, emotional, intelligence, and everyway where the support of one person will further bolster another. We connect, and together forward we strive to achieve dreams with support on both sides with those who believe most in us. Most time we do not even realize what we are truly capable of. We underscore ourselves when we really want the destiny God promises us. Most of us would not be where we are today without the support of someone else in the process.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points  The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” Proverbs 27:9 (NLT)

A.) A true connection will always remain heartfelt and genuine with real friendship and communion.

I believe that when we connect with other believers that friendships really flourish when we focus on our eternal purpose through a common true connection. Friendships in the body of Christ should certainly be heartfelt and genuine to the point where counsel feels gentle and encouraging.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:8-10 (NIV)

A.)  We connect best often with those who best connect with our common spiritual gifts.

I believe this truism plays out best in my life with friendships and also dating. I tend to grow closer to those who have common interests to connect with, especially with passions in ministry. For instance, I am one who instantly raises my ears whenever you speak of ministries that involve the fatherless or advocacy for the arts with children.

B.) When differences exist, still attempt to connect through love without complaining to those with different points of passion.

In college I roomed with Scott Burrell who loved smoking cigars which I frankly detested. Something about a Black and Mild calmed his nerves in the middle of exam week, and he continually requested as his roommate that I accompany him on his cigar walks around campus and the on-campus living complexes. He did not just want me to walk with him. He also wanted me to smoke the nasty cheap cigars with him. On a couple of occasions, I did not resist. I smoked a few puffs and walked around with our man time on campus. I did not complain about the smell or the nasty taste in my mouth. I walked and even enjoyed myself a little bit. What calmed Scott did not necessarily calm me during finals, but he enjoyed it and simply wanted company to talk and enjoy the experience all the more. It was a not a huge sacrifice of time but simply illustrates that to spend time with people we sometimes need to do things we would not normally do just to be with them. When you do so, you might realize they start asking to join you on activities they typically would not attend.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NKJV)

A.) The Simple Truth Stands True: Two truly are better than one!

When we connect with others, we become better together. Our connections in life, specifically within the family unit, will always carry us forward far longer than any worldly possession. The connection with a reliable, consistent, and true friend is an irreplaceable gift that necessitates that you reach out to connect with those who will carry us through when we cannot carry ourselves….turbulent times.

FOURTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15 (NLT)

A.)  When in doubt with how to connect, follow the example of Jesus in the Gospels.

Sometimes we all wonder how to connect with other believers for different reasons, possibly in intimidation, fear of rejection, or misunderstanding of another paradigm. I know personally sometimes I try best to avoid speaking to a female because I will never understand the dynamics of virtues of “That’s not what I meant.” However I believe the best way to connect with anyone involves researching and following the example Christ provides for us in the Word of God. We Are a Blessed Generation to rise up (like Derek  Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy) for this age and our fight – MY GENERATION, MY FIGHT!…..

The following music video and song performed by Chris Tomlin further illustrates the powerful words of this blog entry. Together we can and together we will change this nation and world as God’s Chosen and changed generation as brothers and sisters of an Eternal Kingdom and purpose. LIVE FROM BRAZIL AT THE PASSION CONFERENCE – CHOSEN GENERATION! 3/9/10

The GROWTH Track Series – Reach Out! (Step One)

I. Reach Out

As mentioned in the introduction to the series I sincerely believe this new series will change lives in the process of seeking dreams, remaining persistent, and looking forward (never looking back on the past with regrets). God develops us as we process through present resistance and adversity. In the last two years, I am just now realizing and pursuing ambitions to the point where open doors present themselves that I will passionately enjoy through the concept of joy. I lost joy in the fact that I really never liked waking up to a routine with not much eternal influence as I perceived it. I really seek to change lives without the twist of moral fiber within my heart, and I believe that search will soon become fulfilled with a dream fulfilled, something I desire to do in other words. I recently heard a message with some of the concepts, but I chose to extend the idea further with specific steps I perceived in my personal relationship with Christ and journey to eternity. The principles support themselves with foundations through Scripture. The series will break down into the following portions. I really again firmly believe that researching His Word to discover such standards will change your perspective as it has with mine, often trying to remain patient in a world of stagnancy.

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!

The first step to reach out helps us realize as believers understand that we are truly better together as teams instead of just individuals.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 (NIV)

A.) If reached through the Body of Christ, reach out and accept.

Take charge to connect with the body. At some point, you must make the decision to step out to receive acceptance and love from newly founded relationships.

B.) If observing one who needs to be reached, reach out!

Not every new believer reaches out so quickly, nervous of rejection. Sometimes as believers we must reach out to them. The relationship dualistically and inversely goes both ways. Someone might say a relationship is a two way street.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 (NKJV)

A.) Never be afraid to reach out and connect.

I believe as we stand in the Grace of God we never fear to connect or step out in faith often out of our comfort zones. God extends confidence even when not in our element; we find a place of refuge in newly explored opportunities as we reach out to try something new.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points –

“Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
For behold, I have made you this day
A fortified city and an iron pillar,
And bronze walls against the whole land—
Against the kings of Judah,
Against its princes,
Against its priests,
And against the people of the land.
They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.”
Jeremiah 1:17-19 (NKJV)

A.) Those who stand against outreach best beware. They will never prevail against the deliverance of God.

This passage sends chills up my spine as God warns those who stand against believers who profess to know him. In life I witnessed many times when individuals turned a grudge or offense into a personal mission to devastate and shatter the will of a devout believer, only perturbed when nothing happens. In many cases with those seeking to instigate a dispute, harm comes onto them with God’s divine protection on His Chosen Ones. Straightforward when we practice outreach to others and for our own sake, God delivers, even when we must rise up in prayer against those who rise against us. We must believe and know that those who stand against us stand no chance because God divinely appointed us as brothers and sisters in communion with a Heavenly family.

The following are two more verses that I find relevant to reaching out to connect with others. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37 (ESV)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

I think these are some sermon messages on this day’s chosen topic to reach out, that may potentially touch you. You got to love some Time Square Church with David Wilkerson and TD Jakes classic sermons. The TD Jakes clip is rather long. If viewing it, I would fast forward to the sermon segment.