Being Peculiar

I am chosen and set-apart.

There’s something really peculiar, different and weird about that isn’t it?

In a world that wants to follow the lead of the most popular and most hip thing, we have a culture that’s desperate for something different. But, no one wants to take the plunge because doing so will put them in the middle – to be embraced or to be embarrassed – or both.

You’ve been created for something greater than the status quo!

Growing up, I recall most people seeing me as somewhat strange, peculiar to say the least. I didn’t really use slang, if at all. I thought about things that most average kids usually didn’t think about. And I had this intense fascination for storytelling, science, cartoons and the list goes on.

By age 11 I watched my first State of the Union Address and by the time already knew the basics of how a Nuclear Reactor worked.

Maybe this sounds like you. Maybe this sounds like a kid you know. Maybe it’s your kid and you’re thinking, “oh my gosh, how did you know that about my (insert name).”

And yet, the pressure is on and the fight is on to keep being that person.

Why!?

Because their are people with vested interest in knocking you out of your rather peculiar place. Their are people with vested interest in teasing you, bullying you, judging you and looking at you like you’re crazy rather than embracing you.

But, don’t be surprised. Stay encouraged.

Because the person whose peculiar and who suffers the peculiar life grows to live a peculiar purpose.

I’m a living witness that it’s worth it.

For every moment I stayed true to myself even after criticism and bullying, it was worth it.

For every moment I ended up alone because I didn’t follow the crowd, it was worth it.

For every moment I felt like a loser, a failure, a wimp, a nobody, it was all worth it.

It’s even more worth it, because I’m able to live to tell about it and encourage someone else.

Dreams

A few weeks ago, I asked some friends on Facebook, “do dreams die?”

I was told by some of those friends that “dreams don’t die, they change.”

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a Meteorologist. But, because my math was not all that great, I chose to get into Journalism. The rest is history.

I then began to think about where I am in life and about my life, my purpose and calling in life.

Perhaps we get too wrapped up in our original design of what life should’ve been like. To be honest, I’m kind of glad that things worked out the way it did for me as of late. It’s not perfect, but it’s so much better than the alternative.

Just because things don’t go your way doesn’t mean that you failed. Just because what you desired and wanted didn’t take place doesn’t mean that you are a loser.

If anything, where you are now in life is a perfect opportunity to start new and start different.

Dreams may not die. But instead, change.

And change can be a very good thing.

 

Parable of the Sower: Hearing, Understanding and Producing

Earlier this week, I went through some notes that I wrote about what I learned from Matthew 13:1-23. As I read over my journal, I thought it would be a great idea to share what I learned with you. 

In this text, Jesus is telling a parable, or story, regarding the Parable of the Sower. The scriptures I want to deal with for a moment are in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23 like this in the New International Version: 

Matthew 13:1-9
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Matthew 13:18-23
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Jesus tells the multitude and the disciples this parable and goes on to explain the purpose of parables as well as the meaning of the parable of the sower. He points out four scenarios in which seed was sown but with different reactions and results. 
In the parable, some seeds fell by the wayside but birds came after it and devoured them.

Some other seeds fell on stony places, like gravel, and ended up being scorched by the sun. The seeds withered away because they had no root.

Some seeds fell among thorns but the thorns sprang up and choked them. 

But other seeds fell on good ground and produce a crop in great size!

Jesus explained between verses 18 – 23.

But look at verse 23 for a moment. We are told that those who HEARS the Word, UNDERSTANDS it will BEAR FRUIT or PRODUCES.

The term hears means “to receive news, to pay attention.”

The term understands means “to comprehend.” 

And Bears Fruit or PRODUCE means “to work, behave toward and cause to be.” 

We have to be in a place to receive the news and pay attention to what God is showing us. We must intelligently comprehend it and in turn we will produce and be productive in our walk in the Lord. 

Where are those seeds falling in your life? What kind of soil do you have?

Do you hear the Word but only get it on the surface but not deep down only for the enemy to talk you out of believing? 

Do you hear the Word but get more excited than committed, only to get depressed and discouraged again when trouble really hits?

Do you hear the Word but worry so much about wanting and desiring things that it chokes the truth of the Gospel in your life?

Or, do you hear the Word and it really soaks through the surface and into your heart and you become productive and bear much fruit as evidence of you hearing and understanding? 

I used to be very concered about being productive in the Kingdom of God and throughout my life. Those anxieties, however, are knocked down and taken out when time is spent with the Lord, seeking to understand and hear and grow in Him in order to bear fruit. 

The potential to grow and produce is great so long as you Hear, Understand God’s Word and put it into practice. In turn, you will bear fruit.