Archives For Lord

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When I was a boy, I often lived with negative, pessimistic and narcissistic thoughts. I was quick to assume the worst, be anxious before asking questions and consider the negative before the positive.

I didn’t truly start dealing with all of those thoughts and feelings until recently, or as recently as age 28 (I’m 33 now at the writing of this blog post).

After a long talk with my wife about my emotions and my mindset, she recommended a book that addressed the fact that our mind is a battlefield, a spiritual war zone where we have to be on guard with the thoughts we think and be cautious with what we feed ourselves.

“Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer’s is pretty interesting. I don’t usually read her work but for the most part the writing and the Biblical points she made about the mindset we should have as followers of Christ is poignant.

Normally, I make sure to study for myself what the Word of God says after reading material like that. It is a habit that my wife and I have cultivated along the way.

After studying and reading God’s Word, the Lord began to show me that a lot of my thinking was negative and often defaulted that way because of not only past experiences, but, also because of some areas in my life where I lacked faith. Also, it was the result of what I was and was not setting my mind on:

Colossians 3:2 (NKJV)

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

When I didn’t think and meditate on God’s Word, my anxiety and frustration would increase. I would become depressed. And it certainly didn’t help if I didn’t eat well or get enough sleep.

Psalm 1:2

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

The study on the mind over the past few weeks with my wife and I has gotten so deep, that we’re learning to help each other catch one another when we are thinking negatively, or doubting.

“Hold on, let’s see what God is going to say or do about this,” I would say.

“Can’t limit my God,” my wife, Rachel, would say. “We don’t know what all the Lord has for us!”

It’s been several weeks and I can’t believe that I got so used to having a mindset and a thought life that was not great.

As I learn to trust the Lord with my mind, I’m more able to trust the Lord with everything else.

Romans 8:5-6

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Instead of focusing so much on things of the world and concerns I have in life or on myself and “my abilities,” I am learning to trust the Lord and have Faith in Him, saying YES I believe that God can and will meet our needs. He has before and still is.

As I draw closer to Jesus through the reading of the Word of God and through prayer, I’m learning not only how to keep my mind on Him and on the Lord and His will for my life, but also about where those negative thoughts came from — thereby, receiving healing from the Lord in them.

Editor’s Note:  More on the healing and restoration process will be addressed in part 2. 

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If you have never been in the place where it seemed like more was against you than it was for you, then, as older folks have told me, “keep living!”

When it seems like debts, disasters and decisions tend to be the thing that’s holding your dream hostage, it is an easy feeling to just blow off whatever that’s in your heart that’s good to do and just go on with your life.

Because of issues in our lives, many of us have simply stopped writing, blogging, drawing, speaking, teaching, preaching and much more.

And people suffer as a result of that.

I have 3 reasons that I can pull from the top of my head on why giving up is just not an option:

My Family Can’t Afford It!

No…seriously…as a husband, as a man…I can’t afford to just “give up!” It’s okay to take a break and really reflect, but, after you’ve prayed and cried, you have to have faith and go forward.

You have to make the choice to stand up even when you feel like sitting down.

Someone Is Watching!

Somewhere out there, I can imagine a young me, sitting somewhere on a computer or playing with their smartphone and running into a drawing on Instagram I did or an article I wrote.

Perhaps that kid is lonely, lost and filled with anxiety. This is the kid that needs to know that they are not alone and that they too can be encouraged to not “give up.”

And it’s not just kids…it’s adults too.

This is one of many reasons why I keep writing, drawing and creating stuff!

“Somebody is always watching” I’ve been told. That’s not to be taken as creepy. Fact is, you’re an example and an influence to somebody.

The Calling on My Life

When I don’t write or draw or create, it really, really bugs me. Even at my worst, there’s still something that just burns in me that says “yeah, I still want to do this! I must be a special kind of crazy!”

But, that’s awesome!

I believe that the Lord called me to the work that I do and I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m learning more and more about what I’m here on this planet for and it is amazing. It’s humbling.


What Do I Do To Get My Groove Back

On days that I just feel a sense of failure and wanting to throw in the towel, it is usually because I have not properly taken care of myself.

If I haven’t taken time to pray, read my Bible, rest and relax or even journal a little, I get a little cranky…spiritually, mentally and physically. These are my must have things to do FIRST to survive and accomplish anything and everything that needs to be done.

I also look at my schedule book, reviewing what needs to be done and what can wait.

And there’s something about just “DOING” something! Even if it is to go outside and get fresh air and take walks, the momentum of exercise really helps get things going.

Tuesday, I was reading a devotional on my Bible app and it got things for me going. I then passed on the lesson to my wife. Turns out, she needed a Word as much as I did.

Because of not giving up, I was able to be a blessing to somebody else!

And even if being a blessing to somebody else was all that was accomplished that day…then that was a pretty big accomplishment!

Seeing God as Father

May 24, 2017

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Early Wednesday morning, I was writing in my journal while having a coffee in one of my favorite local shops in Garland, Texas. While writing, I was chronicling the experience I was having with the Lord for the past 24-48 hours.

 

Then, out came this narrative…a narrative that really described what I was experiencing.

The entire experience could be likened to that of a 16-year-old boy whose outrageously upset.

About what!? Sure, he’s a teenager. What could he possibly be angry about? It can’t possibly be THAT big of a deal. He’s a teenager. But, his Father doesn’t approach it that way. He’s got an issue…He meet’s his son where he is in his sons maturity (or lack there of) for that moment.

In the teens’ moment of anger, frustration and teenage angst boosted to 100 on a scale of 1 to 10 he sees that everything sucks…his life sucks…and he wants a do-over and feels totally mistreated and misunderstood. He wants things to work for him…but…he can’t see past his wants to see how good he actually has it. Sure, a couple of really awesome things are going on…but…he’s lacking a true view of how blessed he really is.

He stomps his way to his room and slams the door. In this story, the Father stops at nothing to get his son to talk. But, he knows that the boy has to cool down before really being able to reach him.

Once the son leaves his room and enters the space in the house where the Father often resides, the Father asks him to sit with him.

He wants his son to explain, specifically, what’s troubling him.

The young teen tries to use his words. His Father can read between the lines. He moves closer and wraps his arm around his beloved son. And in between the words come tears from his son. His Father asks his son to let him handle the problems.

Once the son and his Father talked it out, the son decided to trust again and love again.

And, he apologized for his attitude in the moment.

The son realizes that he was being pretty self-centered and selfish…but the Father was well aware of where it was coming from. And, he dealt with his sons heart…he dealt with the the legitimate aches with legitimate truth.

 

 

I’m so grateful for God being so patient with me and so loving and so kind. I’m grateful that He sent His son Jesus. I’m grateful that the Lord stops me before I make things become more about me rather than about HIM. I’m thankful and grateful that He loves me where I am and invites me into more in Him…a life that perpetually shows that Jesus is FIRST and ONLY.

When I actually seek the Lord FIRST I not only have nothing to worry about, but, I also stop worrying, period!

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

I’m grateful for the Lord loving me and disciplining me so I can actually come to a place of maturity in Him.

God and I in 2016

December 8, 2016

By and By - Growth in God

In the year 2016 I have seen God allow for doors to open and doors to close. I have experienced deep joy in some parts of my life and periods of deep sadness and disappointment.

Even major bouts of depression, wondering if I should give up on everything…hopes…dreams…goals…everything.

I went back and forth on whether I should’ve done this or that, or, maybe if I had only made this decision or taken this opportunity or gone this or that direction.

Those moments, I was angry…frustrated…lost…confused…hurt…even a little scared. I wanted things to happen in my life that were the complete reverse of what I was seeing. I was told to trust God and keep the faith but was hurting so much inside that I was numb to it.

Even as I write this its…to be honest…really uncomfortable…like “naked in public” type of uncomfortable. But, kind of refreshing at the same time.

Living for Jesus is hard. And yet, I’ll have it no other way.

Jesus freed me from a life where I walked in bitterness and anger towards my own race…towards my own people.

Jesus freed me from a life where I could’ve chosen to live any kind of way…to a life that said that He was all I need.

Jesus is tearing down the walls of my own agenda, making me rethink my life as a whole and totally rewiring my mindset. I

In this, I think of the scripture in Romans about being transformed by the renewing of my mind!

That is happening in a big way and I thank the Lord for every moment that transformation to be in His image is taking place.