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Start Working Towards Something!

Message! Breaking News! News alert! Whatever we want to call it, we need to get to moving. As the new year is approaching us this should cause for a time of reflection. Each year around this time I love to look back over the year and reflect. I usually ask myself questions such as:

Did I meet the goals I set?

Have I grown in my walk with God?

Have I grown as a person?

Am I in a better place mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically?

Did I give my best this year?

It’s easy to say in our minds that this year is going to be our year. We believe it. We write down our goals, resolutions, what we need to let go of, the areas we need to focus in on and then we go after them. Usually the chase, the drive and the ambition last for a few months or so, then we are right back to old habits. I’m sure it is not intentional on our part to turn back to old habits but they happen. Life happens. We get busy, overwhelmed, challenged and instead of stepping up to life we tend to back down.

Here is what I want to go out on the limb and say: When it comes to making a change in life and breaking bad/old habits let’s not try to do everything at once. I believe this is where the problem lies. We try to make every change at once, we try to work on every weakness we have at the same time, and we try to put all of our energy into too many things at one time. This is not a good set up for success. I’ve been there. In the past two years I’ve tried to do at least 4 to 5 things at once. Sometimes I make myself to believe the more I do the more productive I am. Boy, have I learned!

Can we be productive doing more than one thing at once? Sure, we can. Here’s the thing. Mentally and emotionally it gets exhausting. As time goes on being productive becomes hard to keep up with. What you will come to find out is you won’t have time for breaks, hanging out with people who mean the world to you and you will not have a lot of time for yourself.

(Here is a side note: Some seasons in life you will have to grind like crazy. Working several jobs, school and being involved in multiple things. Don’t do it forever! Know when it is time to take a break and cut back.)

Here’s a suggestion. Focus your energy, time and talents towards one or two things. If you can work one job, work one job and become great at what you do. Focus on your strengths, develop them, live in them and celebrate them. When it comes time to working on your weaknesses, work on them one a time. Study shows that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and 21 days to create a new one. Go 21 days at a time to break your bad habits and reverse your bad habits with new good habits.

Remain consistent in your day to day walk. Work towards making your dreams become a reality. Forgive the person you need to forgive. Let go of the hurt and pain you need to let go of. Strengthen your relationship with God. Work towards something. There is no more time for being passive. Let’s make 2015 a great year! It all starts with you!

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God, I Give You My Plans!

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“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, nevertheless it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.”

 Proverbs 19:21

I’ll never forget the first time I stumbled across this Scripture. Talk about a Mike Tyson knock out blow! For 20 + years of my life I was trying to figure out my plans. God saved me at the age of 17. The odd thing about living for God at a young age was my life was in God’s hands but my plans were not. I know this sounds a bit confusing but what I mean is, I was totally committed to living for Him and serving Him with all of my heart but I still had an agenda for my life. I knew what I wanted to do and I figured that’s the way everything would go. I can hear a voice in my head saying, “not so!”

At a young age I knew I had a calling on my life to do God’s work. Even in my sinful lifestyle before Christ, on my worst days and in my troublesome teenage years, each day and night God was on my mind. I could not shake Him. I tried to run, I tried to give up, I tried to forget who He was, I tried to not read my Bible and go to church, I tried and I tried and I tired to stay away from surrendering my life to God. I remember asking God, “Why me? Out of all of my friends and family members, why do I have to give up my life to come and live for you?”

But there was a calling on my life to live for Him. From the age of 11 to the age of 17 I wrestled with God. I’m not talking about WWE wrestling. I’m talking about hard core street fighting type of wrestling. I argued, I complained, I made excuses, I whined, I lied, I yelled, I cried, I fought, I cried, I dreamed, I cried and eventually I could not take the burden anymore. I couldn’t continue to run. I couldn’t continue to fight. I came to a point where I said, “God, You win. My life is Yours. I tried doing it my way and it is getting me no where. Please forgive me and accept me as your child.” At the age of 17, I found myself pouring my heart out to God and laying down my life to follow after Him.

It was during college, where I ran into this Scripture. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, nevertheless is is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.” What a great time to run across it! The college years, the young adult years is a time where people are trying to figure out life, the future and plans. That was me. Chasing the dream of playing basketball for as long as I could. Education and even God’s plans for my life were secondary. It was basketball or nothing else. Whenever something comes in front of God and before Him, this is labeled as an idol. That my friend is a problem when you are in a relationship with God.

What I had to learn was; as a follower of Christ the best thing to do is lay down our idols. It’s not an easy thing to do. Idols can be strongholds. They can have control over our minds. Trying to find your purpose with God and trying to chase your dreams: Talk about a headache, confusion and late night conversations. The constant conversations is what made everything make sense. One thing about God is, He does listen. The problem is, we don’t give God enough time to respond.

When giving God your plans, a person has to allow God time to respond. You will never know what direction to go in, what to let go, who to let go if you do not allow God to speak. Does God speak? Of course He does. God speaks in many ways: Prayer, the Bible, through people, through worship, meditation, a sermon, life experiences, dreams, books, etc…

We have to open our eyes, ears, hearts, spirit and soul to the God that created us. He has plans for our life. If you believe in Him, God will bless those plans and set the path for you to take. I encourage you to not try to figure out your path of life on your own. Get in tune with God. He will help you. He will speak. He will give you direction.

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Broken Promises

Waiting for the train

The power of our words. How often do we find ourselves not following through with the words we said or declared? Promise by definition means: A declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. To assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen. I want to spend a moment of your time talking with you about the broken promises we make; whether we do them intentionally or not we are all guilty of breaking our word.

Here are a few broken promises I am guilty of:

Hey, I will call you back.

I will see you later.

I’ll be there.

Sign me up, I am all in.

I’ll get you something.

I’ll pray for you.

What are some broken promises you can think of that you are guilty of making?

I’ve been processing writing this blog for over a month and to be honest I’m still struggling. I want to hold true to my word, I want to follow through with everything I say but for some reason it doesn’t always work the way I want it to. Majority of the time when I break my word it is because I forgot what I said I would do or I remembered and it was too late. Please tell me I am not the only one this happens to? I know I’m not. 🙂 Life, our schedules, the busyness, our attention spans all play a role into not holding true to our word. I know this concept of breaking promises may sound minute or not a big deal but really it is. It bothers me and I’ll be the first to admit I need to make some changes.

There’s a text in the Bible that haunts me. Okay, maybe not haunts me but it is what I think of often when it comes to making promises. I think of the earthly words I declare and make to people but even deeper than that the words I make and declare to God. Check out this Scripture:

When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin.Ecclesiastes 5:4-6

Did you catch the last sentence? “Don’t let your mouth make you sin.” Yeah, about that… :/

Me: So God, You’re saying every time I don’t hold true to my word or something I say, I commit a sin?

God: Yep

I want to share some lessons and some practicality to holding true to our words so that we don’t fall into sin because of the words we say:

Lesson 1: Don’t make a promise, say something or make a commitment that you are not willing to do everything possible to make sure it happens.

Lesson 2: Follow through with everything you say.

Lesson 3: Write down the promises and words you commit to others so you will not forget.

Lesson 4: Pray and process before you speak it.

Lesson 5: Apologize to people and seek forgiveness including to God when you don’t follow through with your words and assure to them and God it will not happen again. – Make sure it doesn’t happen again!

There is room for us all to grow. There is room for us to get better. May we continue to push ourselves to be the best we can be. May we be people of integrity, holding true to our words. May no person find an ought against us. May people remember us for being a people that follows through on all we say. Most importantly, may we live out the words we speak to God and to people. May our message speak loud through our actions.