Love – What it Really Means

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The Love of many is waxing cold. That statement comes from a very popular scripture in the bible. The more that I live the more I find out that the saying is so true. People are more cold now than I have ever seen. There is a lack of compassion for others which introduces a strong strain of judgement and condemnation. We have become a selfish generation that only thinks about themselves and no one else. With all of that being said, I’m not surprised that the bible suggest that if you really want to know who is a Christian or not, inspect the way they love each other.

Isn’t that amazing that the contrast wasn’t based on how many times you go to church in a week or the amount you put in the collection container, but the contrast between followers of Jesus Christ and others is LOVE! Love – out of all of the things! If you are not “showing” love then anything you do is in the Name of Christ is null and void. Now I put the emphasis on “showing” because love is an act. It’s more than speaking to the lonely visitor on Sunday during fellowship time, it’s a consciousness that exudes into your lifestyle. You become love and everything you do surrounds it.

How does your love meter add up? Are you erring on the side of the world or the side of Christ. Don’t let your dedication to the work of God feed you a false sense of eternal security and make you think that you have a sure ticket into heaven. If you are not BEING or BECOMING love, you are not being Christ’s example on the earth and could risk your entrance into Heaven!

The Power of NO

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From a child we have been warned about the guile of peer pressure. Not following the crowd. Standing up against right. It’s a part of the life lessons of childhood. What they didn’t teach us (at least as far as I can recollect) is how hard it is sometimes to say no. As well, what no is connected with. No is connected with loosing friends, being an outcast, and feeling vulnerable. It also means you run the risk of hurting someones feelings.

Yet in still, NO is a powerful word.

No is a measuring tool  which we can establish and maintain healthy space and self identity. No speaks loudly, “This is who I am; this is what I value; this is what I will and will not do; this is how I will choose to act.” There is nothing wrong with loving others, giving to others,  and cooperating with others, but that shouldn’t come at the risk of loosing our self.  When it does NO is in order!

No empowers you to create your own limits. Most of us need this self-in-charge-and-wholly-responsible empowerment that comes with the word no. This empowerment has no cost to it (financially that is) and you can start today! Create boundaries and when anything or any person tries to cross them – Just say No!

Trusting in Him

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One thing I know for sure is the world is filled with uncertainties. From terrorism, to the economy– not one second past the present is really guaranteed. With that being said I often wonder how those who don’t believe in anything greater than them handle the inescapable trouble of life. I’m reminded of the scripture

Psalms 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

This scriptures totally sums up my life— when life gets hard I reach out to something that is bigger and better than what I am and he helps me EVERY TIME. See it’s my Faith that gives me the strength to do what I do. My Faith fuels my smile, my drive and my temperament. It is the motherboard of my soul. Without faith, I’m left to myself and my own reasons.

Psalms 3:5 – 7 says:

5. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

This is the benefit of trusting someone higher than you – I’m not stuck with my own understanding. The truth of the matter is I don’t understand it all and I can’t figure it all out all the time, but when I pray he gives me direction.

I want to encourage you today to not take it all on yourself. This is what God is for, take time right now to talk to him, give him all your troubles, he’ll give you an understanding that’s far beyond what you can see right now.

What Death Taught Me

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One thing that has stood out to me as I ponder over 2015 is the untimely deaths of loved ones this year. This has caused me to shed tears that I preferred not to have shed. If you’ve been reading my blogs for any length of time you will understand that I’m always looking for a lesson out of everything in life. We talked about this on the last blog as well, no matter whether it’s good, bad, or ugly – finding the lesson is essential.

As I pondered on the lives of the individuals, all in which left us too soon, what they did – how they lived their lives – how old they were, I instinctively thought about my life. See, there are a lot of us that are still breathing and going about our lives, but really we are the walking dead. We are rotting with issues of the past, hurts from loved ones and unspoken secrets. We are living, but full of dead issues. Now I’m going to say this and it might sting a little bit so brace yourself – are you ready?

What better off are you than the those who are no longer with us if we are so full of negativity and darkness that we can’t produce real true life?

(Let’s take a moment and let that sink in)

I want to challenge you before the turn of the year – DO SOME HOUSEKEEPING! Don’t carry the dead stuff over, confront, deal, do whatever you have to do to make it right so that you can LIVE!

How Do You Know When It’s Time For Change?

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I feel like this needs repeating.

A lot of times we live a hesitant, tentative life, totally unaware of the strength and power that we have to get much more out of our lives. Today I want to challenge you to NOT be one of them.  Don’t wait until you have drained yourself of life completely before paying attention to the signs it’s time for a change.

I want to share with you some tell tell signs, when it’s time for a change.

You’ve forgotten you have choices. Learn to recognize when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to stop hitting your head against the proverbial wall and move on. You don’t have to continue living in the drama just because it’s familiar.

Allow yourself to let go of people and situations, ideas and feelings that aren’t conducive to the nourishment of your growth, or your soul. Let go. Let go now.

You’ve forgotten that you’re deserving of the best. Not everyone will look at you the same. But everyone deserves to have someone in their corner who appreciates them just as they are. Feelings of worth will never flourish in an atmosphere of criticism, where mistakes aren’t tolerated and differences are belittled.

If you’re besieged by people who are discouraging and critical, the spark of inspiration and hope that allows you to be in touch with your deepest potential is not easily recognized.

You’ve lost your passion. You’re lifestyle no longer fits the person you’ve become.  There’s no spring in your step, no joy in your heart. Life is just one ho hum day at a time. You’ve forgotten a time when you jumped out of bed with a smile in your heart.

External motivation doesn’t last long. Material possessions and money all have their place…but if you want to live a passionate life it’s the internal motivation that will get you there. And it’s rarely exhausted until the dream comes true.

Life is too short to continually go around the same mountain over and over. If you find yourself in the above, IT’S TIME TO MAKE A MOVE!

Sometimes you have to get dirty with it!

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Hello family!

I hope you guys have been well over the holiday weekend.

You know a lot times as Christians we put a lot of emphasis on staying clean, and to that point we push everyone around us to be clean just like us (or just like we desire to be). First of all, let’s define the meaning of clean. When I say clean, I’m speaking of those set of spoken and unspoken rules that you better not break or you just might not make it in to heaven. You know “those” rules.

Though striving to live a clean life for Christ is commendable, it can become a two-edged sword. I have seen church people judge people and even evaluate the measure of Love that God will give an individual based on how they keep the rules or not. I have also seen individuals concentrate so  on getting or staying clean that when they make a mistake they are so guilt ridden and find it hard to grasp the Love and forgiveness of God for themselves.

We can easily start to preach and evangelize this hard to understand, legalistic gospel that leaves very little room for grey. This ideology also affects how we evangelize and who we evangelize to. We tend to shun the person that is “too far gone” The dirtier the individual the less we will embark any kind of evangelism with them.

Hear is what the bible says about ALL of us in Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

So in essence we are all in the same boat, we are all dirty. The difference is those that follow Jesus decides to take part in the Grace of God everyday that keeps our Judgement from our sins remedial and not penal.

Have you been so concerned about living an upright life before God that you have turned legalistic? Are you judging others by those same hard legalistic points of view?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I want to challenge you to get to know God again. His way is easy and His burden is light!

Getting Ready for the Holidays

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The holiday season is COMING! Are you ready??

The Holiday Season is a high time for depression. For some it’s triggered like a Pavlov’s dog experiment. I know it’s early in the year, but I wanted to bring awareness to this topic now for those who suffer through the holidays. Let’s talking about 3 things you can do to prevent the holiday blues from taking over you this year!

Be Honest. One of the biggest reasons why people that are depressed can’t get help is because they never voice how they feel. Even now in mid-October you should be sharing your feelings and preparing your loved ones for what’s coming. This year make a decision not to hide, suffering from depression is not your fault and noting to be ashamed of.

Mend Relationships NOW. If you have family members, co-workers, and/or friends that share a strained relationship with you and you haven’t made an effort to fix it, the time is NOW. Relationship woes are an easy and accessible trigger to induce depression. Don’t let another week go by without fixing any relationships that is out of kilter.

Be Open to Change. Changing your routine is a great way to break inner cycles as well. Be open to doing things different. Maybe plan a trip away with your immediate family at a resort or cook/bake different foods this year (plan a Mexican theme meal)

I know it’s not quite the Holiday season yet, but this is the time to be preventive so that you can enjoy this Holiday season to the fullest!!