Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Cape Is Stuck In The Phone Booth

The title was my feeling, and the above has been my resolution. The last few weeks have been interesting to say the least. I was feeling somewhat stuck, I wasn't sure what I was doing anymore. I felt like I was slipping away which led me to slip a bit. For no reason, recently I had been generally discouraged, distant, cold, apathetic, bitter, frustrated, and struggling to catch a grip. I don't know what has been up with me lately, I'm still working on it; but I do know it sucked. Just as I felt myself taking off again, I wasn't going anywhere. I was stuck in the phone booth. I couldn't get back in the way I wanted; and I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed harder but nothing. I tried worship and praise, heart 100% in it, but still didn't help. I've written quite a bit, possibly a few future messages, that I feel good about that they were inspired from Him, but I haven't been doing all the things I need to do to get back. I do all the bits and pieces but not as a whole which is problematic. I will admit the last 2 weeks I wouldn't say have been tough, but challenging to say the least. I've experienced some things unlike before, and I'm still not sure if those things are what has had an effect on me. I'm dwelling on, I know who I am but I'm getting reminded who I could go back to being (not entirely true because I am a new creation). I have moments I am me, and others I am glimpses of my old self. There are a lot of frustrations I don't need to share. Some things have happened to me recently that I won't share with everyone. Things I want to say and do that I won't. My friend pointed out I am in a battle; and they were right I am. I prayed to be a warrior for Christ, and in a way I am getting my chance. Things are coming my way to get me to fall even further from the glory, but I refuse to allow it. So many different messages have been delivered lately all speaking to me, trying to warn me. I realize it now, truly have my grip back. I got cocky, saying I'm good, I'll keep it up, but geez have I failed. The only way I will succeed though, is through my resolution posted above. I have to reduce me, and keep reducing until there is no me left; to the point that who I am isn't me but it is You. That is how I am going to come back. That is how I am going to fight the good fight. That is how I am going to become who He wants me to be. Honestly, I'm going to cut this short and leave it here. It always seems to come back to dying to the flesh, dying to self, and following Him. I think that's why He tells us it is a daily thing. Die to self daily, continually, and follow Him. That is my prayer for myself and for all of you.

Thank you and with love,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

If You Believe Me.


Believe in God, for me that is rather easy. The evidence in my life is just too undeniable. The impact my Father has had in the 6 months and 4 days of me being a Christian has been beyond anything I would've imagined. Personally it is easy to believe in God, and to know He exists. Even Satan knows God is very real. Now the part where people just rather not deal with, having faith in God. That is a hard thing for us, as human beings, to do. So many things get in the way of it, mainly fear. The fear of the unknown is something most people choose to pretend just isn't real, but how do you get by life like that. I mean the phrase, ignorance is bliss, is partially true but it is also incredibly frightening.

Thanks to a decision I made months ago, I no longer have that fear nor have to worry about that fear. I have that hard thing to have, faith. Sure, it can waver from time to time when I choose to be foolish; but I have a faith in an incredible and loving God. As I said though, that faith can waver; the question is, why though? Why can't we just be fervent followers with a unwavering faith that is simply inspiring to others?

Unfortunately, faith is not so easy to have all the time. We are visual creatures. We need to see things,  to believe it exists. We need to have proof of it to have faith in it. Take a simple thing as sitting in a chair. If someone told you to sit in a chair, normally the first thing we'll do is look at it. It's just instinctive for us. We analyze the chair to judge whether it is a good idea or not to follow through and sit. It's easy if the chair is nice and sturdy looking; but if the chair was a rust-infected crumbling piece of metal would you still be willing to sit in it, probably not. Why is that, simply because based on how it looks, we'll put no faith in it. I say that to show we put our faith based on what we see, but what about what we don't or can't see? Not being able to see God or have "proof" of God is the reason a lot of people choose not to believe in Him. But I bring up two things we have no visual proof of, gravity and wind. Neither of those two things we can see, but we sure do have a lot of faith to know they're real. And why is that, because we can see the effects of it. Can you see gravity? Nope, but you can sure the effects of it and better the effects of what it's like without it. With it, we're grounded to the surface; without it, we'd be nothing more than floating away to our death in space. So again you see the effects of it therefore you believe in it and know it is real. How about wind? You sure as heck can't see wind, nor can you grab or chase it (and to try so would just leaving you looking foolish). But if you ask anybody on this planet, is the wind real, and I would bet every mentally functional human being would say of course! But why, we can't see the wind, but we sure can see the effects of the wind. Therefore we sure do have faith in it being real and active everyday.

Now to me, I think the same principle can apply to God. You can't see, touch, hear God but you sure can see the effects of God. I'm bold enough to say, use me as a prime example of what faith in God can do. I knew of God, but I chose not to put my faith in Him for the first 22 years of my life, and I can tell you there is plenty of proof of a lack of God in me and my actions. Everything just screamed, faithless. Now look at me after I decided to put my faith in God, and the proof is evident that God is real, amazing, powerful, merciful, loving, limitless, and just defines what the Bible says He is. There is no explanation as to how or why the changes where made the moment I chose to put my faith in God, but the evidence of the changes are beyond visible to those around me. I am not boasting but simply pointing and praising His power.

But I can admit it isn't always easy because I am still human, and I still sometimes walk by sight and not by faith, which is completely opposite of what the Bible asks of me (2 Cor. 5:7). That has been one of my problems as of late, which leads to the ensuing of more frustrations and struggles. My stubbornness and pride sometimes gets in the way, and I choose to walk by what I see. I can see the effects of it quickly, and they aren't good. I easily become discouraged, frustrated, quiet, and distant; which is not what I should be. See choosing to have my faith in what I see in front me, and basing what to do and think based on what is in front of me, almost always leads to my failure and fallsfirst His kingdom the rest will take care of itself (Matt. 6:33). The Lord knows the desires of my heart, but the desires of my heart need to be prioritize and reminded daily to have His kingdom at the top. That takes strong faith to do my friends, that is why I tell you I am no better than most because I struggle just as much as the next. It is one of my goals to daily die to myself, and walk by faith, not by sight. What is helping me right now is the realization of my past; looking back at the times I kept my walk by faith and not by sight, and how much my relationship was different, also how the things in my life were different. I need to get back to it, I need to stop ignoring my hunger for Him and His word. I need to get back to praying without ceasing. I need to get back to engulfing myself in Him. I want my life to be a prime example of what walking by faith is (it is my honest prayer right now). I need to stop getting frustrated because things aren't the way I perceive they should be or the way I want them, rather I should strengthen my faith in Him in those times. He has yet to let me down, nor will He ever. I would have given up on me a while ago, but He trusts in me as His child. So I live to trust in Him in everything. I live to surrender every aspect, every concern, every desire, thought, wish, observation, all to Him. I long to walk by 100% unwavering trust and faith in Him, faith in what I can't see. I pray that you guys can join me in having that goal, and achieving it. Let's do what He asks and believe in Him.

with love,

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
               - Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Forward Motion

"when i grasp the concept
then i'll sleep where you slept
when i know i need help
when i allow myself (allow myself)

to experience the bittersweet
to taste defeat
then brush your teeth
experience the bittersweet
to taste defeat
then brush your teeth

cause i struggle with forward motion
i struggle with forward motion
we all struggle with forward motion"
- Relient K, Forward Motion

Personal growth, and how it is achieved. I think that is a question a lot of us ask ourselves often but can truly struggle to reach an exact answer. Honestly, I don’t think there a set answer because I feel a lot of factors come into play in order for full personal growth to be realized. It starts with stopping for a moment of self-acknowledgement and understandment. It is acknowledging and understanding various aspects of your own life.

Let’s start with the easy one, the positive aspects. We all have some aspect in our lives that is positive. There is always some degree of worthiness to build from; some more than others, but we all have at least some form of it. Now before you get ahead of me, don’t boast those things you do right, or the good things happening to you, but rather acknowledge them, understand and accept, and build on them. Your positive attributes are building blocks for you to be a better person. You have a foundation on which to build off to further better who you are. Understand, but don’t boast because you didn’t get them or do them on your own. God has blessed you, and provided opportunity for you to demonstrate what He has instilled in you. He does to show you, or pick you up, to hopefully motivate you to grow more in Him.

Now for the tough one, the ever so awesome negative aspects. These are the aspects people tend to ignore, reject, hide, or pout about. Listen none of us are perfect, we all have our faults, but we’ll never grow or move pass them if we’re just pouting or ignoring them. This is where God provides us with true opportunity for personal growth. There are bad things about us and bad things happen to us, but it all pends all we choose to carry ourselves about it. Are we going to be selfish in our thinking, or are we going to seek God?

The negative characteristics about ourselves are things that should be focal points for us to work on, not for us to ignore like they’re not true. Be accountable for yourself, and admit it. Be honest, don’t lie, just realize and accept them. Once you’ve accepted those things about yourself, submit before God. Now this is where we fail. We can’t just submit it to God, and sit back, like we tend to do. God is not our magic genie to grant us wishes, and make things happen on the spot when we command. No, we got to work at it. Once we submit to God, we have to act upon our submission for Him to help us. I believe it is the process, not the product that gets us to develop that personal growth. So if we were to just get the product and skip the process what would we learn? So if you got something about yourself that you need to work on, first admit it and submit before God, and try to work on it. And remember it’s a process, so it won’t be fixed overnight but rather development over time.

Now the negative situations that happen to us are what I believe the perfect opportunities for personal growth, but it all depends on your outlook or perspective on the matter. We need to realize everyone goes through rough patches in life. Some people’s lives are a lot clearer patches than some, and other seems like their patch is a natural disaster site. Listen we all go through stuff, we have all experienced stuff in our past, are experiencing in our present, and will experience in our futures, but how do you view those experiences. Do you pity yourself, do you blame aspect of yourself on those experiences, or do you just give up? Once we view negative situations as opportunities and as a blessing then we give ourselves a chance for personal growth. Listen I’ve gone through a lot in my 22 years of life, and I know other people that have experienced more than most, but no matter the degree of the experience it was all opportunity to grow from it. There is always a purpose, or a reason, but we have to seek God for it. Notice I said seek Him, not question Him. Oh, the cliché, “Why God why?” rather than “Alright God show me and guide me through this”. He has a reason for every single thing, His providence reigns over all. When we get that, those things will allow us to build character and attributes that can help us; then we can begin to experience personal growth.

Look life is a nonstop opportunity to grow, you are given your past, and your right now, not your later on, and with every passing second comes a second chance; a chance to embrace every opportunity at hand, and work at it. Why should we? First as His, we need to bring Him glory. We’re no good, no matter how much positive you have, when it comes to the glory He deserves. So we must strive to realize and accept, and strive to grow. It won’t be easy, and I don’t guarantee it’ll get done. But that’s when you remember it’s the process, and not the product.

with love,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I so hate consequences

I've been variously getting things off my chest this week. It has felt good to just let go of nonsense in my life. Unfortunately, I need to vent off a little bit.

It sucks, I have gotten to understand my actions have consequences. For a long time my past actions remained hidden to everyone. It isn't until now that I've let people in as to what was going on inside me before I became a Christian, before I've made all these radical decisions. If people knew what was up before, they wouldn't call it radical, but rational instead. Unfortunately though because my past self was very to himself about the inner struggles, I now have to deal with it. But it's fine, I promise. I am a big boy, and I can reap what I sowed; I can lay in the bed that I made. I can do this because I've learned about accountability, mainly accountable to self and God. Now this is what sucks. When I have to be held accountable for someone else's decisions. When I get left to lay in a bed someone else made. This is where I'm at now. This is to you. You left me quite screwed. You didn't think about how your decision could have such an affect. Well, I'm reaping what you sowed. No matter what I do now, I will be questioned, judged, analyzed, and doubted; and it is all because of you and your cowardly act. Your decision to be a liar. Your decision to be fake. You're quite like a lemon, yellow and having left a burning sensation on the wound. Can I be upset at you? Yes, I very well could; but I'm not. I forgave you, but I can't help but hate the consequences of your actions. You have no idea what you left behind, the damage and wreckage I now have to pick up. The irrationality I now have to deal with. It's alright, I can do it. Unlike you, I can handle it. That leaves me embracing, yet unfortunately hating the consequences at hand.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bee Your Man

Words. Emotions. Thoughts. I have plenty, actually I'm full of them at the moment; just, oh so many.

I'm struggling, because I truly feel sometimes I get in the way of being the man You want me to be. I know You are with me, everywhere and in everything. I can feel Your presence, I can feel You moving and molding. But I'm still such a child; I can make some mature strong decisions for You, and yet crumble to the flesh that I can't seem to rid. I don't want to anymore, I just want to die to myself. I want You. I want You alone. You're filling me up with encouragement, everywhere. Through conversations with those I can share with, through Your word, through messages, and through random thoughts You put in my mind. You speak to me all the time. You are telling me, I've come a long ways. I know I have. I know I am not even a fraction of the man I used to be, well correction, the immature stupid fool of a child I used to be. I know, I am surely moving and becoming a man. A real, true God-seeking, God-fearing man, but I know I am not there yet; I am not even close yet. How can I live out Your purpose, if I am not Your man yet? It makes no sense to me. I need to be fixed still; I am still very much broken with need for repair. I don't want to be held together by duct tape. But at the same time, who the heck am I to tell You, Well God, I still suck. So yeah You can't use me yet. Psssh, who am I kidding? You amuse at that thought, I know You do. I know You are like, sure Adam, that's right; NOT! I know because I've seen how You've used me in so many ways these last few months. Not to boast in the least bit; because trust me, I am on no holy high horse, I am just as much as a sinner as the next. I've just realized how much He has done for me. How I've been carried along by Him through all my circumstances. How even the things of my past when I didn't have a relationship with Him, still are used to shape up the man He wants. I can feel something forming and rising up inside, and I like it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Truth.

I am weeping. I want to be lost in You. I want to be so consumed in You. I'm struggling, at least when it comes to the standard that I want to be held to.

I finished my fast a few weeks ago, it was an amazing experience. Was I perfect? Unfortunately no, I wasn't. But God spoke to me so much those three weeks, and I was actually able to grow a personal relationship with my Father unlike ever before. Most importantly, I made it a point of dedication to praise and thank Him everyday for everything He had done for me. I prayed hard for many situations in my life, some past, mostly present, and some future. I asked for His guidance through it all,  for His aid to resist every temptation imaginable. He showed and taught me about His grace. I learned about His sovereignty, and His divine providence. I began to develop a hunger for His word, like never before. I spoke with Him nonstop throughout the day. It was incredible! The amount of spiritual growth that He blessed me with made the fast 100% worth it. It was a challenge, a struggle, but overall a great success.

The fast allowed me to set a brand new standard to the type of Christian I want, need, and am called to be. Which brings me to where I'm at right now, feeling frustrated. How much is too much? Despite the immense positive that came from the Daniel's fast. I find myself still falling so short of that standard. I'm not praying hard enough still and without cease yet. I'm not hungry enough yet. The flesh still eats at me. And it is gotten intensely harder to maintain since the fast finished. I still fail like a major noobcake. Am I being hard on myself, some have told me I am, but I need to be. He IS worthy, and I am not in my present state. I've remained rather quiet about my frustrations until now. I'm so sick and tired of excuses. I'm tired of slowly going back to distractions here and there. I want discipline. I need discipline.

I am not worthy, but Your grace is so enough. You made me realize by reminding me, who I am right now, and who I was before. It has been almost 6 months, and what You have done in me and with me, through Your grace, is beyond my comprehension. Why me? Why You have chosen me, this inept young man, to become Your servant, I'll never know; but I know I am not going to question it any longer. I am righteous in Your eyes, I am a new creation in my faith through You my Father. I may fall short often, but I am still Your child, Your project, Your servant and with that I take pride in You.

Last week during one of my quiet times, I came across a verse that I decided to make it one of my life verses. That verse was Acts 20:24 - "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." It has been mentioned several times in services and conversations since I originally came across it. And we all know when it is important, God repeats it and makes it known. 

And it all comes, as retarded me is trying to reason when enough is enough. And with every passing moment God is ripping me apart like a true Father does, to make an even newer sculpture and letting me know His grace is endless. I need to keep running the race, I need to stop pouting and allowing myself to get distracted. I have a task at hand in need of being done and completed. The way I look at it, I don't know how long I will be here so I need to make sure I am getting the mission done while I am. I need to make sure my life is a walking testament of His grace. I am going to struggle, I will fall short, but He is there waiting with His grace, ready to drown me in it again. It is boundless, endless grace that makes my Dad who He is. It'll be when I stop to sulk saying, "Meh, I screwed up again! Dang it man!", that He throws His bucket of grace on me and says press on my child. I am going to keep striving to get better, to  be bigger, and stronger. I have a standard that I may never reach, but I am going to strive for it, and let every one of my failures in my life be a true testament of my Dad's grace to me as I continue on towards the goal.

Thank You Dad for Your never ending grace. Never allow me to forget what You have done for me, and to never stop testifying Your grace, Lord. I am not worthy, but You still want me for Your purpose. So I lay down my life for You and Your glory. Remind and allow me to do so continuously daily, so that I may truly live my entire life for You. I can never stop singing praise and worshipping You my Father. I long for the day to come face to face with You, but until then I will live Your purpose for me. Continue to pour Your love, grace, mercy, comfort, guidance, growth in me. I pray for my future and every aspect of it, You know my heart Lord but may it be Yours and Your will that be done in me. Thank You for wrapping Your arms around me in my time of need. Thank You Dad, I love You, and I need You more and more everyday. Amen.

with love,