Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Post: "Embrace (my) Fatigue to Find (greater) Power"

Embrace (my) Fatigue to Find (greater) Power

I am (totally) selfish in my capabilities
and completely undone in my own strength.

Often I awake in the morning
and plow ahead without pausing
to consider how things should be done
and instead do that which I can.

But sometimes, my strength fails me.
I awake sick or exhausted,
struggling in my allergies to breathe (or sleep).

You may not know this
but even minor allergies
can affect a person's ability to concentrate.

In these days - I must completely rely on God.

My fatigue keeps me from thinking.
I dont react, but I do respond.
I am unable to live with energy,
but instead must stumble to complete anything.
Yet this is when God takes over.
He provides answers through the Holy Spirit.
And all I can do is wait on Him.

I dont like this feeling of powerlessness-
however this is when I am most available to God.

I cannot figure things out on my own,
and so I must wait on Him to guide me.

When I am strong, I normally rush ahead 
without taking time to seek Him.
Yet when I am weak, all I can do is pause
to consider what God might have me do in this moment.

And this is when I am most effective for God,
other people, and even myself.
Because in my lack, 
I cant figure things out when I am left alone.

Thank You God - 
that in my weakness
You are with me,
leading me, protecting me, and providing a way for me,
to bring Yourself glory in ways I could never do!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

New Post: "Uncertain Identity"

The Struggle with our Identity

From birth our identity is ever changing.

We rush forward to appear older, and capable.
Then fight the responsibility that comes along with these new labels.
 (My two year-old wants to be a 'big-boy', 
 but doesnt want to go practice going potty every two-hours!)

Soon other people begin to ascribe us with a label that allows them to identify us;
 Like an athlete, artist, dancer, smart, messy, slow, or stubborn

We may like what they ascribe to us,
 and come to crave their attention.

Or we may not appreciate the way other people label us 
 And we can feel unliked or ashamed of what they say.

But must we accept how they describe us?

Will we fight to reject it?

Maybe strive to find another way in which we are seen?

Or perhaps hide ourselves from any inadequate feeling that results,
 pulling away from the world because we are frightened by what others may say about us.

A False Identity 
One day we learn that the identify someone has given us is wrong, incomplete, or perhaps  we have outgrown it.
It could be age related, like a child, or teenager, student, or unemployed.
And we may chase after a new identity in a job, as married, or a parent.

What happens when we find the new identity we desired 
 comes with attributes we don't want?
A parent becomes a servant. 
A manager becomes a counselor. 
A friend becomes a money lender.

Another example: Unrequited love.
A person Craves acknowledgement, acceptance, understanding, and appreciation.
Chases this by identifying with someone else, Hoping to be identified with them.

The target of affection now has a new identity they may not want,
 They can in turn become fearful, and mean.
While the first could becomes obsessive, or demanding.
No one gets what they want, and as a result each persons identity may suffer.

What part of your identity would make sense to hold onto forever?

How would you like to be seen by others?

Perhaps a rewarding way to be seen is as merciful and kind.

We may think little on the idea of defining "Values" for ourselves,
but I have never heard someone opposed to being identified as - Trustworthy.

What if others would see you as Trustworthy?
Is this something you could work toward,
no matter what previous labels has been attached to you?
Inherent value versus Ascribed value

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Re-Post: "Push Into the Difficult - Part 3"

How can many of the problems in our lives end?
When we learn to see things differently.

Each day you and I have a choice;
how are we going to see the world?
Good? Or bad?
Lovingly? Or fearfully?
With hope? Or with hopelessness?

It is not easy to remain positive in life 
when many of the circumstances we face are so negative.
But strength comes in our ability to choose!

We choose how to react.
We choose to believe the best.
And we choose to trust in God over our own abilities.

When I was looking at my upcoming prison sentence,
I had many powerful choices in front of me.

How would I spend my remaining “free” days?

What would I do when incarceration began?

The first things to realize is that God is in control of everything,
and although everything is permissible, not everything is good for us.

What this means is that God could have kept me from prison,
but I also could have taken a taxi home instead on the night of my accident.
The difficulty then was to accept that God would allow me to enter prison.

So the second thing was to set my heart and mind on the positive
by making a choice to push into the difficulty.
With the time I had remaining, I chose to love on those people closest to me.
I would work hard to build up my professional reputation,
and I chose to believe that Gods will for me would prevail.

One friend asked me to go out drinking with him before I was to be sent away.
I quickly realized this would steal the important moments I had available for others,
and it would instead give that precious little time over to wastefulness, and to Satan.
No worthwhile memories would have been built.

Next, I made a plan for incarceration.
Yep. You read that correctly.
I made a plan for what I would I do with my time.

I read - studying subjects I had long forgotten. 
I exercised - keeping my body from growing weak.
I prayed - and shared God with others whenever I could.

Here is a startling secret... the time went much easier with a plan!

By making goals for myself, and sharing them with others,
I set myself up to win in a time that could have been easily a "loss".

And God showed up in real ways that I could have missed,
if I had let the difficulty wash over me, or hidden from it in fear.

What will you do the next time things get tough?

Originally posted on Nov. 29, 2012