Welcome to my ongoing journal of my journey with God!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Me...?

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lam. 3:20-23)

In the first days of my Angel’s passing, I was in a stunned somber state. It took weeks for me to settle into the devastation of my new reality, and the remnants are still coming to rest. I suspect that these unsettled moments will continue with me throughout my journey with varying degrees of intensity.

When I reached the first plateau of this new emotional infancy, I questioned God. My obvious inquiry was “why, how could this happen”? Strangely, I did not feel as though I was being punished. Although I had my bouts with poor decisions and sin, I had not been blatant in my transgressions; but I most definitely had not been a saint. So the question of “why” I came to realize is something my human nature would never discover or understand…I just prayed for peace in these matters.

As I became somewhat stable in this realization, I began to appreciate the plight of others that have experienced such a loss. The fact that I had not been singled out as a target somehow eased my anguish, and the thoughts of “why me” became an obvious venture into selfishness. Early on, it’s as if I thought I was above reproach from the course of life that had tackled so many. I am now aware that life’s course has a gravity of it’s own, and how it falls is a mystery that no one is exempt from.

This realization I have discovered is God’s answer to me as I raise the question of why. It does not explain the purpose, but it gives me the comfort and peace I need to continue. I came to the true awareness recently that I will see my Angel girl again; this was confirmed in my heart in a way that I cannot express. I have voiced this thought in the past, but this particular instance was a gift from God that confirmed my faith in Him.

I pray that I continue to seek God's comfort, peace and understanding as I walk with Him in this new awareness that has fallen upon me as a gift.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why, Oh Why Read the Bible?

I have never been a reader of books. It always seemed like too much work and a waste of time. I would dabble in flipping the pages on the occasional thriller, but it would take an eternity to complete. With this in mind, the thought of reading the Bible was an intimidation beyond my comprehension. Besides, I already knew the ending, which soaked all the intrigue and motivation out of this undertaking.

Let’s face it, the Bible in a sense, is a small library consisting of sixty-six books, with approximately forty authors, spanning over 1,500 years. It covers the all-encompassing elements of life from despair to love and everything in between with salvation as the conclusion. The repertoire of topics, subject matter, and the shear size of this Good Book is enough to threaten anyone’s attempt to complete such an endeavor.

The Good News (no pun intended) is I do not have to tackle this feat by a cover-to-cover approach. I realized I could break in by exploring individual books and then focusing down into single chapters. Initially, the lessons were lost in translation and at times, a re-read was necessary to grasp comprehension. I have discovered this Living Word changes as my understanding grows. As I delve into previously read books and chapters, it is as if the meaning strikes me at a deeper level, which has me striving for more.

…You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. (2 Pet 1:19-21)

It has become a habit that I would encourage for anyone. Reading this biblical narrative is not imperative for my salvation. The apostles and early church did not have this written road map steering their way to deliverance. I will say this; my daily venture into the Word of God keeps the truth of Christ Jesus fresh in my heart and is a constant reminder of sacrifice and love. It allows me to lean on a truth that I had not known before, giving me comfort in my time of despair.

I pray that God’s Word will continue to peel back the layers of my understanding exposing the love in my heart for His truth, and that I may be an encourager to His word for others to search their own path as revealed in this life saving book.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Without a Doubt...

Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. (Matt. 21:21)

There has been a pattern in my journey that has been difficult to disband. The resistance attached to this pattern has followed me and at times paralyzed my progression and altered my decision to proceed. The debilitating thought of uncertainty, better known as doubt, has hindered my faith along the way more than I care to reveal.

When I was younger, I had no care or fear of consequences, so the doubt I experienced in these times was hidden under the ignorance of my actions. My imagined fearless nature allowed me to ignore the direction in which my lack of knowledge led me. In the end, I found myself in a place I would not have chosen. I know it was doubt that left me stranded in this “how did I get here” place.

As I began to mature, there was more importance placed on the results of my decisions. This is where the hesitation of doubt began to gain momentum. The opportunity to second-guess myself became more prevalent. I developed skills I was confident in, which allowed doubt to subside in certain areas. But this just gave me the illusion that everything was fine in all areas. This unbalanced cycle needed to take a different course and the idea of faith is what was needed to break this pattern.

My recent path has brought this debilitating thought front and center leaving me to wonder what my next step should be. My revived faith has me relying on God more and more for assurance, but the pattern of doubt still lingers. It is in these times I need to allow my reliance on God to be strengthened. Just as my sorrow ignited my new found faith, it is my hesitation to proceed that beckons to have a deeper relationship with Him.

I know as I continue to place God in this position, doubt will subside and I will have the ability to move mountains without a second thought, for…I can pray for anything, and if I have faith, I will receive it. (Matt. 21:22)

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inner Exposure!

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Heb. 4:12)

I am who I am and that is me. That is who I have always been. I know this along with all of the inner dialogue and thoughts that have accompanied me throughout my journey. Contemplation, that at times, led to action, and other times settled in the comfort and safety of my own hidden intellect. My true motive and intention, rests solely on my shoulders. As long as no one discovered any negative agenda, all would be fine.

This has been the mode of operation much of my life. Nothing vindictive or wicked just unfiltered beliefs and opinions that I regarded as unfit to share, making them harmless in my mind. This was my safety net. By choosing not to vocalize them, I settled on the no harm, no foul concept. This being simply a concept, allowed for self-betrayal to escape and be exposed. This unintentional reveal would slip out by means of sarcasm, anger, or humor of the harmful variety.

No matter the method of exposure, these verbal acts were at least released, and my need for repentance became evident. It is the unrevealed instances that pose a greater danger to my spirit. These are acts that get internalized in hidden, unknown agendas causing damage in areas of faith and my relationships with others.

As I walk in my journey today, I have become more attentive to the ill will that seeps into my thoughts. I now release them to God as soon as I become aware of their presence. God has and will always know the truth as it rest in me. Early on I was entirely delusional to assume my scheme was concealed. As the scripture reveals: Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (Heb. 4:13)

I pray that my innermost thoughts find rest in peace and compassion, and if thoughts of disgrace emerge I will release them to God without hesitation.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For the Love of Sorrow...

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. (2 Cor. 7:10)

In an instant, our path can change or switch course without notice. There are joyous moments that give life a lift and bring accomplishment to its full attention. Then there is the steady as she goes even keel of life, which brings comfort and stability, yet tends to bring her progress to a stand still. Finally, there is the sudden impact of sorrow and tragedy. This valley sweeps at life’s core, longing for a light to shine and bring it back to the surface.

We all go through varying degrees of all of these life-changing moments many times on our journey. It is what we learn from and helps shape our spirit. The first of these scenarios brings our rewards into focus allowing us to relish in a job well done. The second states a business as usual attitude as life lingers on, permitting us to just settle on the assumption of peace. While the latter wells up grief, bringing the entity of God front and center, driving us to search for purpose and prayerfully lead us to salvation.

Throughout time, the valley of this latter distress has brought many a soul back to life. Whether it is the All Mighty’s way of allowing tragedy to step in and resuscitate us, or His way of revealing to us that nothing is more powerful than love. After all, it is love that empowers us to reach beyond our means to achieve what we thought to be unattainable.

With this truth, I now rest in a faith that is far deeper than I ever imagined possible. This is difficult for me to understand, and I find it impossible to explain, although I will continue to try. It is my sadness that has delivered me to this state, which is where my confusion lies. It is heartbreaking to realize that it takes such tragedy to snap us to our feet and search out our salvation; it seems to be God’s Divine plan that none of us will fully grasp until it is our due time.

I pray that I will continue to grow deeper in my faith, and though confusing at times as to the path it takes, it will lead the way to clarity and the truth that I seek.

May God bless you and give you Grace

Monday, January 17, 2011

Disciple Michael?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt 28:19-20)

Disciple: A follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or any other wise person. Someone who accepts and helps in spreading the teachings of another.

Up until this past year I would steer clear of others pursuit of spreading the Good News. This quest they were on would render me anxious and I detached myself from the nuisance as quickly as possible. I thought it a nuisance because they were unaware that I had my own translated version of Biblical fact, and it didn’t seem to match theirs.

My Biblical fact was set and tailored to the lifestyle I was enthralled in at the time. It was a “God and I have an understanding” kind of thing. This self-imposed, “I’m a good person” mentality ruled my devotion, and I failed to see the truth in what I was doing. I advised myself, it would all come together eventually, which required little or no effort on my part because God would take care of the loose ends.

I now find myself drawn to the interaction of the Good News. The beliefs I obtain through my studies and experiences are now ever changing as I grow. If another’s view does not match my own, I am challenged to discover the truth as it pertains to the Good Book. This change of heart allows others to disciple me because I am willing to listen and learn as they spread their faith and knowledge.

The act of stepping out physically and spreading the Word on my own is more of a challenge. I am eager to participate in faith based conversation, but to initiate the Good News to non-believers is a different story altogether. I find myself frozen, and tend to reminisce about my own reluctance to such dialog. This online journal acts as a means of spreading the Gospel and my hope is that it does; yet I need to be more active in the physical pursuit of growing the faith beyond these written words.

I pray as I continue my journey, I will be given the courage to step out of myself and physically spread the Good News without reservation, and be sensitive to others and allow for patience in their acceptance of this truth.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Sinful Nature...

I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (Rom 7:21) …Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Rom 7:25)

Growing up, I was somewhat of a wild child. I wasn’t evil in my intentions, but my sinful nature was defiantly in charge of the decision process. In some cases, I was able to steer clear of its hidden agenda, but the percentages weighed highly on the success of its destructive nature. At this point in my journey, my sinful nature was the free spirit that ruled my actions.

As I began to mature, I viewed life from a different perspective; the awareness of my sinful nature and its destruction began to take shape. It was at this time when struggle set in. This struggle consisted of the ongoing conscious knowledge of this inner transgression and whether to follow it or not. Sad to say, although lower, the percentages still weighed in favor of the self-diluted indulgence of sin.

My journey continued in this manner for miles, battling the inner dialog of should I or shouldn’t I. It became a constant conversation of how to step on the road that led to peace in this matter. I would lay awake at night thinking to myself why did I say, do, or act out the way in which left me in this desperate state. I was at a loss and could not find my way.

I have found reverence in the opening passage. The truth is my sinful nature is part of who I am. I cannot remove it or make it go away. It will continue to rear up thoughts and suggestions as to what and how I do things. It is a very cunning enemy that trickles in at a moments notice without warning. This truth is what enslaves me to sin. It is also what beckons me to lean on Christ Jesus to diminish its power of persuasion.

The Holy Spirit also dwells within me and is the advocate with the power to keep my sinful nature in check. As I continue along this path, I find the more I rely on this truth, it lessens the ability my sinful nature has to steer my thoughts. This in turn strengthens my relationship with the Holy Spirit, allowing for greater victories in this ongoing battle.

I pray that I continue to strengthen the relationship I have in Christ through the Holy Spirit and He continues to deliver my ever-growing victories against my sinful nature, as I am a slave to sin.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Gal 6:4-5)

Whether it is human nature, the culture I live in, or a little of both, the act of comparing myself to others has been a subtle theme throughout my journey. At times, I felt I was owed something by the achievements of others. This usually followed my own failings of some sort. Whether it was jealousy or envy, this scavenger hunt attempted to deliver satisfaction from outside myself.

“Turn envy into inspiration” is a so-called profound statement I would use at times. Rather than be envious of others success, I would try and let their success inspire me. This didn’t work! It placed my attempted accomplishments in their hands, and when I failed to match their stature…envy would return two-fold. This would lead nowhere until I set out in another direction, usually with discontent as my motive. This cycle followed me for some time, pushing me to strive for a more simple solution.

My renewed faith and self-reflection has become the simple solution that answers this calling. This path has me settled in the direction of following God. It has taken others out of the approval role, placing that designation firmly in the hands of the All Mighty. This simple solution requires consistent reflection to remain renewed in my faith. As I read the Word daily and apply it to my journey with truth in my heart, the satisfaction I seek falls into place, and my faith becomes renewed with each day.

My accomplishments are now centered in my faith, and the need to compare them with others no longer exist. I am responsible for this truth, and pray God will continue to lead me in this way.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tumbling Guilt?

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:20)

There are times my daily circumstances can be difficult for me. I have found peace in my renewed relationship with the Lord, but my joy becomes complicated, and fails to take flight. The peace I sense is God’s comfort allowing me to be secure in my conviction of faith, while Joy brings the tumbling sensation of guilt. There remains resistance in my heart to allow the emotion of joy to settle in my soul.

The simple pleasure of laughter at times can bring the after effect of guilt, rearing up my wallow of grief. Then there is the idea of moving forward with the plans of life – this ignites an ambush of uncharted emotion, which paralyzes the ability to enjoy life’s progression. It is difficult to find God’s purpose in this portion of my journey. I realize time and continued prayer will bring this answer to the surface in this challenging matter.

I tend to believe this is Gods way of showing me there are more essential things in this physical state, than even happiness. I also believe that the instant I realize this in my heart, I will be flooded with the emotion of joy and it will flow freely throughout my remaining journey. I know my Angel Girl would want the joy to continue in my life. She is the one who brings the evidence to my heart revealing the necessity for me to discover such things.

As I work through this battle of emotion, I know that God sees my heart. There is purpose attached to my journey and I pray I have the awareness, courage and wisdom to reveal my heart to Him as He wishes it to be, and that I fulfill my purpose that He has laid before me.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Choices We Make...

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (Rom. 6:16)

I want to preface this entry that upon completing the last sentence, I realized I had written from this passage once before. I was astounded and began searching out another scripture to write from. I then realized this passage has layers of depth for me that need to be explored. And so I continue…

Through my journey, I have battled a number of desires, temptations and several bouts of misdirection, which have altered my course and caused me to stumble many times. I could claim the illusion that these encounters were thrust upon me, removing all accountability for the sinful actions that inevitably followed.

The truth is, whether thrust upon me or the choosing of my own free will, I am ultimately responsible for the choices I make. It is just the way things are. Some of these decisions come with little resistance, and require a simple sidestep one way or the other. Others are attached to greater adversaries and are overwhelming to conquer alone. Yet In the end, it is I who has to make the ultimate decision as to which direction I choose. This scenario could play itself over and over again, and with each roll of the dice there is no guarantee of the outcome.

I now choose to pray and obey God in this process. This has removed the guesswork of my old tendencies and has brought clarity to the direction I am headed. It leaves no room for indecisiveness when it comes to vital choices of faith and the path I should follow. With God as the lead, it clears the pull of temptation and allows them to fall away without a second thought.

The choices I make can either enslave me or set me free, and by choosing to obey God, freedom and righteous living are at hand.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I am a Christian!

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Eph. 3:17)

I have always considered myself a Christian. It was a label I assumed at a young age attending church and Sunday school. It became the auto response when the question of faith was presented…“yes, I’m a Christian…” I would say. Reflecting back that is all it was, a label. I had no true concept of what it meant. In fact the main value I attached to this was that I was a “good” person. It is a bit chilling when I think of it now, but Christ had little if nothing to do with this self imposed Christian label.

This being my Christian concept, when I encountered people truly convicted in their faith, I thought of them as occult. This is to say, my perception was they were too enthralled in Jesus, and were not in touch with reality. I would steer clear of these “bible thumpers” for fear of entrapment or exposure.

Early on this past year I began a different perspective on my Christian concept. I was hearing a different message in sermons and other faith based discussions. The truth is I was beginning to listen rather than just being present in these encounters. I began to allow the fear of letting go dissipate, and began to tune into the truth of the message…and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). The truth is Christ died for my sins, and now makes His home in my heart as I trust in Him. There is more to this truth, but this powerful beginning hooked me, once I grasped the depth of this reality.

When my Angel passed away several months after this change of perspective, I was shocked and overwhelmed with confusion. I most definitely had my questions of why, how could this happen! It was a surreal state that is impossible for me to convey. In this state, I never blamed God or became angry. I attribute this to the new relationship I had in Christ. My Angel Girl now knows a deeper truth in all things and I believe that Christ is using her to grow my faith in Him.

I am a Christian because Christ makes his home in my heart as I trust in him. He died for my sins and will continue to wash them away as I release them to him with true repentance. I will be bold in my convictions of Him trusting His light will shine from me. I am a Christian!

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Judging Criticism!

Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. (Jas. 4:11)

The act of judging others is a thought that seeps in without warning, which in itself leaves danger lurking in the midst. But to act on this judgment brings criticism into the picture and takes this trap to another level entirely. In other words, it announces my judgments to those around me, leaving myself exposed to my own demise.

These announcements may be revealed in any number of ways. A sly statement made on another’s behalf, the agreement with someone else buying into their judgment, or even a critical look thrown in the direction of an unassuming victim. All of these acts reveal a weakness in me that removes God as my ultimate authority, and leaves me open to His ultimate criticism.

I pray as these unwelcome judgments seep into my thoughts, I have the awareness to dismiss them instantly, removing any and all power they have to transform into the criticism of others, no matter the means by which they manifest.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Failing Expectations!

So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny. (Job 23:14)

When frustration sets in, the cause usually lies in the failure of my expectations. This swells my blaming nature into target practice searching out prey, and the injured victim is inevitably me. My pride, ego and self-worth take a direct hit, which leaves me in disarray trying to catch my spiritual balance.

Job was frustrated with God because the results of his circumstance were failing by what he expected from God. He was determined that he deserved favor from God and questioned His wisdom by not observing his loyalty. In the end, Job surrendered in the presence of God realizing with all His power there is purpose in all He allows.

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

As this sinks in, I begin to understand that the timing of my surroundings are not in my control, and what I expect to happen does not fall within my boundaries. If I observe what takes place and allow Gods timing to fulfill expectations, my dissatisfaction does not occur. I am learning to accept the fact that there is purpose in all things. I believe God allows the unexpected to take place to strengthen our spirit, and pull us closer to Him. With my situation, I am in the midst of experiencing that very attraction.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Selfish Ways!

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Throughout my journey there have been many times I’ve allowed myself to become focused on self, which threw distance between me, and everyone else. This tunnel vision blinded me and took all opportunity for growth out of the picture. This may have been as trivial as taking the last cookie reserved for another, or as severe as not speaking the truth to save myself from the shame I would endure. No matter how grave the act, the effect it would take on my soul carried the same weight.

This selfish behavior brings isolation to the foreground, and thrusts the love of others to the shadows. The result then has a progressive effect on my relationships and pushes God further away with each occurrence. I know this to be true and realize the further I push God away, the harder He is to reach for. To dismiss these ego driven tendencies would be to shorten this gap, bringing God within my grasp.

As I read and study the Word of God daily, this self-centered attitude has gradually fallen away. I have found myself willingly stepping aside or stepping up without hesitation. I have witnessed the courtesy of others more often than I have in the past. More vital than anything, my strengthened relationship with God has me looking to His Spirit residing within me rather than grasping for Him at arms length.

I pray that my unselfish ways continue to grow, and as opportunities arise to breakthrough the layers of ego driven tendencies, I have the courage to push them aside to make way for a selfless spirit.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Good Samaritain

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34)

Early last year as I was on my commute home from work, and I ran into a bit of a traffic jam. This normal occurrence is just part of the daily grind I experience on my travels in the Houston area; I had become oblivious to my surroundings. As far as stalled vehicles and their possessors…they just added to the inconvenience. On this particular day, I was almost to my final destination, when one of these inconvenient time eaters emerged. As I crawled along the pavement at a lingering pace, the source of the gridlock was revealed. An incapacitated vehicle with its female owner, cell phone in hand, became the answer as to the delay.

As I followed suit and drove on by as the other passers by, I was struck with the notion that I should stop and assist this damsel in distress. But, my time sensitive self, being on the way to nowhere rationalized it as unnecessary; she will work it out somehow I thought to myself. As I got home shortly there after, this act of ignore-ance, weighed on my heart and I needed to some how resolve it. I confessed it to a group of friends hoping that would act as my repentance and left it at that.

A few weeks ago, I ran into the mirror image of this scenario on my way to work. Well, as a good little commuter, I again followed suit and drove on by. Yet, this time God spoke to me, and flashed the previous incident into my thoughts. I immediately turned around to give my assistance. I thought to myself, I’m not a mechanic; hopefully she just needs gas or a simple jump. I approached her as she is now out of her car, and standing on the side of the road. I asked her if she was out of gas. She said, “I’m not sure, it just stalled and the keys are stuck in the ignition.” So, I went to try, and the car miraculously started up with no problem and I pulled it to the side of the road. It was as simple as that.

God was letting me know here that being a Good Samaritan is a simple act that just takes willingness. I know there are other more involved acts of kindness, but this shows me if I follow my heart, and listen to what God is telling me, that being thoughtful and considerate becomes effortless.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Prosperity of God!

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. (1 Tim. 6:6-7)

My journey has brought me to understand certain things, which prior to coming to my proverbial fork in the road inhabited my thoughts, more than my heart. I failed to realize the depth of where true prosperity lies.

There have been numerous occasions in my past, in which pacifying a void resulted in me needing more possessions. The initial rush of this filler just prolonged the inevitable. This cycle would continue, causing me to lose sight of what caused the onslaught. The idea of having more or keeping pace with the tempo that surrounded me became impossible to sustain. Whether accumulating possessions for actual comfort or to maintain some facade of status, doesn't matter in the end.

There is nothing wrong with living well and acquiring the comforts of life. I just need to be careful that I do not allow this to define who I am…all of these things are temporary. I have learned to become very content in my current state, realizing there is no possession I could obtain to replace my sorrow. God is the only comfort that consistently lifts this burden from my heart.

My true prosperity lies in my faith. God is abundant! He is my constant comfort that came with me into this world, and will be there when I go home.
May God bless you and give you Grace!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Broken Promises!

…You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord. But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. (Matt. 5:33-34)

It has been simple for me to this point of my journey to be self-indulgent. This is to say my concern was focused on myself ahead of others, somehow developing the illusion I was more significant. This has led to isolation in some areas of my life leaving me to wonder why.
The one area that has been prominent with me this past year is the all encompassing power of prayer. Not the individual prayer I reserve for myself, but the focused, targeted prayer I extend to others in need. There was a time that I would extend the gracious act of prayer for individuals in crisis, or had a burden on their heart. My intentions were completely genuine at the moment this vow was offered. Time would then alleviate this offering from my “to-do” list and the extended prayer would never take flight.
My fulfillment in this powerful act has taken on a different routine in my recent journey. I now understand that the paths by which these selfless opportunities come to me are not by happenstance. These moments take me out of self and bring me closer to Christ. In fact, I’m sure Christ has placed them within my course to do just that. I now take more efficient mental notes or stop in the moment to reflect and pray for the cause at hand. It is a private act and to myself, or at times it may be vocalized within a small group.
These vows are promises to Christ that I will lift others up in times of need. I never related not following through with these acts as breaking a promise to God. But I have come to realize this to be true. I am allowed to say no to these selfless offerings, but if I say yes…I need to follow through with reverence.
May God bless you and give you Grace!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Change of Heart!

Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. (2 Cor. 7:9)
The New Year brings with it the renewing idea of change. Change the way we eat, the way we exercise, handle our finances, attend church, and so on. There is a reverent attitude that the New Year brings that motivates us to change. This inner dialog of commitment has me observing the change I have experienced which continues to transform me.
The sorrow that landed on my heart last year propelled the change that I continue with. This inner transformation was a choice, and it could have gone in any number of directions. I could have chose to wallow in my grief, become a victim, and allow God to be the blame. There was also the option to go numb and medicate the emotion, losing all sense of reality. Then there was the option to search out God for comfort and understanding.
The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die. (Ps. 116:15)
As I fell to the option to search out God, I have come to KNOW that He weeps along with me. This KNOWING has brought an inner change that is necessary for me to grow and witness how God works around me in all situations. The blessings I have been in tune with and realized, have always occurred, I just failed to notice or brushed them aside as coincidence. This change in my heart has opened my eyes to these blessings as Gods interaction in all things.
I will continue to seek the change that God has planted in my heart. I know as time goes by, the change that I have today will continue to transform me and I will have a greater perspective of Him tomorrow.
May God bless you and give you Grace!