I was off-kilter a bit and so I talked to a friend to see what was going on in their life. They were actually going through a lot. At that moment I told myself, oh crap, I really don’t have anything to feel bad about me like the world has so much going on. We ended the conversation with well you can’t do anything about the things that are happening in life all you can do is let Jesus do some heart work.

Welp. We never know the monsters that others are facing. We have this internal hope that if we can kiss this situation it will turn into a peaceful beach, sunny weather and all the rainbows and unicorns that go with it. But that never happens. We can’t do anything to change the monsters in our lives and make the disruption of peace not happen….but at the same time the monsters have no power to change us.

I remember how there is that Christianese answer that if you’re going through something someone will say Jesus as if things changed after that as if you could stop struggling after that. That was me then, now putting this idea of heart work where you can’t change what was or is being done to you but you can change who you are and how it affects you, I get now how all you really have to do is say, Jesus. All it is is a perspective change, heart change and Jesus is the master heart surgeon. God isn’t scared about the monsters on the field, I actually don’t even think He is actually concerned about them at all in His moves because God has made the checkmate move for your situations a long time ago, He’s just reminding us of that. The Bible says to confess Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart, those are the two things that change your outcomes, that changes you being fixed on what was or is being done to you focusing on who you are. And who you are is someone in complete victory, on the beach with sunny skies and all that other jazz.

Taking down Giants

People know the story of David and Goliath (1 SAMUEL 17) but when it comes down to taking down giants in our life, we forget the story. David had a promise, God will deliver him from the hand of the Philistine. He knew he would be ok, he experienced it before in his life but when David came up to face his giant, he didn’t set out that morning to do it. He had loads of people weighing him down from doing what was right, what was good. Most importantly, that dude was not ready to sling shot anyone, he picked up the stones on the way to see Goliath.

When you are facing whatever giant are in your life that’s overwhelming you, stick to your experiences with God to what Holy Spirit has and is telling you. Don’t stop and compare why giants are in your life and definitely don’t let people weigh you down with their perspective. Listen to God and obey. As the prophet said, to obey is better than sacrifice. You have what you need to take your giants down, just obey and move forward, Jesus will most certainly have your back.

Figuring out how I should pray

I asked God, if I’m not supposed to be be anxious for anything/strong and of good courage/believe/cast my cares on you/let grace be sufficient for me, then when I pray what do we actually talk about because I find a direct correlation with how bad things are with how much I’m talking to You and You answer back. God simply replied ‘Other People’.

At that moment I thought of Jesus’s prayer ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done,’ and something about that doesn’t seem to be about me. I believe, I’m redeemed, I’m a son, to keep praying for the job, the healing, money, the pain, it seems almost excessive when it’s not downright complaining. But to pray the kingdom comes for other people, to pray open doors/peace/love/joy/patience/forgiveness for others, that almost makes perfect sense for me. Don’t get me wrong, things are going to come up in our lives, and we’re going to pray for ourselves and ask God for help. But from this interaction I had, I’m just thinking that 80% of the time we’re asking God to work with us to move the kingdom forward for others rather than the kingdom work for us. My confidence as a child of God is that my Father loves me, that He is coming after me. My confidence as an Heir with Christ is that we love others, and we’re going after the brokenhearted, the chained, and the lost.

The heart of the matter

I was looking at this picture of my daughter the other day, and I was filled with so much joy. Does she give me so much joy because she’s my daughter or is that something she carries, joy?

We know the story of the three wise men. These maji who come from a long ways and say to the king of the region, where is the new king of the Jews, we saw His Star. It hits me, how did they know? How did they know there will be a messiah, how did they know which Star was His? I am convinced that more than words can say, people can discern what your sincere hearts intent is. When a good thing is coming, when someone is doing something not with integrity, there is a discerning voice that tells you what the fruit of what you are interacting with.

Jesus years later, preached love and forgiveness. He doesn’t break it down to being good or bad but instead love and forgive. And those attributes would then follow all that believe in His name, that the true heart of the believer will always be able to find His way, His start, His truth. Love, forgiveness, peace, grace, mercy, patience, and goodness.

When there is no hope

Yesterday I lived three minutes of the most excruciating pain i have ever felt in my entire life. It was a three minute conversation with my 2 year old daughter that will forever be etched into my memory. I can’t go into details of the conversation, its just so raw, but she shared feelings and thoughts to me like she was a 20 year old. She shared her thoughts and she started to show so much despair and sadness and when she couldn’t bear it any longer, she reached her hand out to mine as we were both blind sided by this wrecking ball of emotions. I don’t know how I could recover as a parent but to my joy and dismay, she picked herself up, wiped the tears from her eyes with my hand, kissed my hand, looked at me and said dad it’s okay, we’re both going to be ok.

I reread a post I had written a while back, prisoner of hope. I am meditating on the ideas of how easy it is to be stuck and defined by the words spoken against you or the events that happen around you. What I have learned since then that it is not the words or the events that happen that are important but what comes out of you that makes all the difference.

My best friend came into town recently. I can not sing his praises enough, he is such a stand up human being . His story is so interesting and he is definitely not a stranger to the dark nights of the soul, but what I want to highlight here is that I have never seen this guy not give out 100% to others. Things can be going well for him or bad for him, you will still see an attitude of love and peace from the guy. Getting to spend some vacation time with him, I saw dozens of interactions with people that he meets and people just leave a little lighter, a little happier, a little better from interacting with Him.

I’ve been humbled by this good and loving man. I tried to walk a little more like his example, ultimately we’re just trying to walk like Jesus walked and with Jesus. This week I’ve seen tremendous differences in myself where although things were pretty dark, what I give out is love and forgiveness. Things have been rough, just like the conversation with my daughter but my reaction has an opportunity to give out love and grace even though I seemingly (in my own head or even in reality) am not getting any of those things. 10 out of 10 times, the more I sacrifice what i want to say or how I want to react with what I think is right or good,but rather give out love and grace to others, it directly affects the grace and love I feel. I don’t get this dynamic where I give out and receive so much more but its significant enough that I write it down here.

When you’re stuck, when things suck and you cant tunnel your way out, just give out love and grace. As little as it is, it’s so significant that you can see people’s’ lives change and you will most certainly see your own life change. This lesson helped me in my conversation with my daughter, it helped me pick myself up and just be there for her disregarding what I felt in the moment. Today where i want to lay defeated by week’s events, but I can honestly say, where I see no hope all I feel is love and grace, it is directly proportional to what I give out.

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock

I Love You 100

A year ago, my daughter used to ascribe numbers to how much she loved someone. The numbers were 2 or 3. I wasn’t secure enough to stay a 3 with the zoo worker who made the carousel ride go round, so I stepped up my game a little, and I told her hey, I love you one hundred!

The saying has become our thing, and it was long a thing before ‘love you 3000’. I said it to her today, and I looked in my daughter’s eyes and thought if she really could understand what it meant. That at any given moment, no matter where my emotional or physical energy levels are, I give her 100 percent of me, she has it all. Sometimes I’m at 20 percent, and I have to push it 100, but for her, my standard is always 100.

When I said it to her this morning, it just made me think of God. Jesus loves me, this i know, but He doesn’t have to struggle or strive to give me His 100. His love is constant and consistent and at times where I’m whining and complaining, ‘ where are you’ and what not, His love for me is the same. So when I think about Jesus and the way He loves me and how consistent it is, I think of how great His love is for me

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

Today is just another day

I was talking with a friend about self-love and the trap or paradox it creates. Whatever is good for me, or “loving” for me is not necessarily good or loving. In a hard day of work or when tough life happens, what’s loving to me is some pizza, cheesy goodness, soda, maybe some other junk food. That’s not necessarily good for my body, but that’s “loving” myself. Take self-love on what it means to outside relationships and the people we interact with. Self loves folds because it does not love, but rather it replaces love with ‘what makes me feel good’. However, there are some truly hurting people out there with real issues, how can they heal then?

I was on this rant with God, and I remember saying when will You show up, why does this hurt, help me… all this me stuff and you know what I heard? SILENCE.  I didn’t say I heard nothing, because I was acutely aware of His nearness, but the sound was like complete silence which dumbfounded me and irritated me to no end. When I remembered that Jesus was near, I realized that every single pain and thought that came my way had to come to Him too. He was so close to me that those things had to pass Him first and what do you think His reaction was to those things were, SILENCE.

God doesn’t have to react to the problems of my life because they react to Him. He exists He is I AM. I AM does not flinch with betrayal or worry when bills need to get paid or wonder when happiness will finally come, I AM exists. There are a lot of people in this world that will try to bring you down, indirectly or directly, you can love on yourself and try to make yourself feel better but then love becomes subjective and not concrete and in that subjective love, victim mentality is produced. A mentality where everything becomes about me and what is done to me and what will be done for me. There is no growth there; there is no love.

When you are hurt, when the world gets at you, I AM, you exist, you are loved, and the proof and beauty of life after such things is you standing up in complete silence and rest because what happened in your past does not define you because I AM is near you. I AM loves you. Once you can rest in the clouds above all the noise, you realize that with whatever you are going through, today is just another day because I AM.