Making Investments

August 23, 2016

making investments

I love talking with my friend and mentor. He’s much older than me and is full of wisdom.

He has been like a Father to me, encouraging me and sharing with me wisdom that he hopes that will make me go further ahead than what I dream and even further than him.

In one of our most recent discussions, he spoke to me about making sure I keep making investments in my life. He was pretty blunt with me!

“I had to change!” he said. “I couldn’t wait on my circumstances to change.”

Something boyish rose up within me. Something unsettlingly immature. A lot of men know what I’m talking about here…the feeling of the inner boy exclaiming, “no…I shouldn’t change! Why should I! Shouldn’t things just work the way they should! This is unfair! Why should I put in extra work!? I paid my dues!”

Looking back, it was the condition of my head and heart. But my mentor, with grace and mercy, let me know what the reality of it all is. We we have talked for years about the old thoughts and mindsets I used to have…the woundings from my boyhood and the responsibilities of manhood…everything that I needed to understand to be all that God created me to be! That helped…believe me!

Now, I was in advanced classes as I sat with my mentor and gained insight that years ago when we met I wouldn’t have been ready for.

If I want change in my life…real change…changes in my life spiritually, mentally, physically, financially….I would need to make investments. I would have to make the time. I would have to make…(gulps the inner boy)…sacrifices!

I had to let go of the notion that I “paid my dues” and that I was owed something. That was hard, because it seemed like I was waving the white flag to those who claim that others are “entitled” when in fact some claim it under the guise of self-proclaimed humility.

I also had to let go of the idea that “it was too much!” My friend told me, “you have everything you need!” He was right. It was time to simply grow up. It was time to make investments…and double up into the ones I have already made…into what mattered to me the most.

Faith.

Relationships.

Career.

Finance.

Entrepreneurship.

Writing

Cartooning.

I could only imagine what your list might be!

When you sacrifice and decide to change, from the way you think to the way you act and react, you began to approach things from a different perspective.

You Were Made For This

August 19, 2016

blog post 4

On Sunday, August 14th, I preached on the topic “You Were Made For This,” using the text from 1 Peter 2:9:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

The 3 points that came to mind in the movement of this text were the following:

You Were Chosen

You Were Set Apart

You Were Called Out

For those who believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted Him into our life and His gift of salvation, we no longer walk in disobedience and sin, but righteousness and life and holiness. This is huge for us because we have a “living hope” in Christ that reminds us that we are “chosen.”

As believers, we are a “royal priesthood,” which means we can go before God through Christ. We also have the opportunity to serve the Lord and serve other people in our lives through our talents and gifts all while being empowered by Christ.

We are a “holy nation,” which means that we are to embody the characteristics of believers in God and Christ. We are to operate as the chosen, holy people of God, set apart to do His will both in our lives individually and in the world.

We do this because He called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light, whereas, we lived in darkness but through the shed blood of Jesus, we have become God’s possessions, whom he called out.

After writing the notes to my sermon, the Lord encouraged me to really think about my own story as it relates to the scripture. I shared with the congregation what it felt like to be outcasted, ignored and left behind.

I was often bullied and teased in the classroom, on the school bus and anywhere else that kids existed. I was also in Special Ed, which often made me the first one to take a test and the last one to walk out. Because I was different from majority of my classmates, I was often teased and picked on for what kids called “talking white” (speaking proper English) and for the way I carried myself. Being a precocious kid made me a target.

During the sermon, it got personal, as I shared my own deep hatred for others in my community, but how Jesus healed (and continues to heal) my wounds of the past and delivered me from that darkness. Also, the Lord forgave me, because after all, His own disregarded Him as well, and I couldn’t claim to love God but hate others.

Everything I went through…everything you are going through right now…you were made for this! The times we are living in…this period that you exist…you were made for this moment!

You were chosen, you were set apart and you were called out for this appointed period of time. That is not a coincidence! It’s an assignment!

And you were made for it!

blog post 3

Years ago, I answered the call from the Lord to do ministry, writing and cartooning. I’m beginning to see, through this blog and through my interaction with people, how all of those 3 can actually exist together.

I’m sure they can exist in other ways, but, I am merely learning how over time.

I have always had an affinity, dare I say it, passion for cartoons and have always expressed the influence it has had in my life. Reading comics, watching cartoons and doodling became as much of a staple for me as church on Sunday morning. It was more than just “something I do,” it was a part of my life in a way that actually mattered.

What I hope happens is that as I share my passions you’re inspired too. As I tell my story…the story of a the boy who became a man and defeated all odds…the man of faith who tries to daily live for Jesus in a really real way…the geek that loves to geek out over the most peculiar things…..that you enjoy the journey.

After all, we only have one life, and I think we tend to speed past it just to get to an end when in fact the journey is the most important part of the entire experience.

Hmm…that sounds like another blog post right there!

Being In Love

August 18, 2016

blog post 2

I am in love….there, I said it!

I believed that love existed and I believed it could be. But, I was pretty skeptical about it ever happening to me.

Then, I met her…this amazing women whom for the long time was a friend. I’m not mentioning her name here right now because, frankly, I didn’t ask permission to do so.

The more I got to know her, the more I wanted to know. Curiosity turned into something else…appreciation…affection…love. And this time, I didn’t fight it. Every other thought about her began to turn into every single thought.

Interesting thing about love…real, genuine love. It makes you want to be a better person. You’ll want to step up your A-game. You’ll want to think of awesome ways to make that person you truly care about feel special. You even want to improve and grow and learn a little better. And everything in your life gradually stops being all about “me,” but turns into “we.”

You know the feeling, right? Your heart races, you get lightheaded and you can barely speak because it’s like the wind got knocked out of you and, add to it, silence seems to say so much more than your own words.

The feeling is AMAZING. It’s like, as Charlie Brown said in “The Peanuts Movie,” “all of life’s possibilities become so clear.”

Part of me, as I write this, wants to say, “you should try falling in love sometime,” but that would be like asking you to experience something that is actually a gift…a gift that I didn’t think I was truly ready or capable of handling…until now.