Playing small doesn't serve the world....
All your fun isn't worth a fail.
Is time like money, does it grow on trees?
Are you wasting yet another great commodity?
Your gifts and time, your heart -- opportunity.
Don't you pretend, when you and I know...
Yes, you and I know...
There's more, much more...
Wisdom will change your course.
Only courage will beg your try.
Yes...you must try.
You know, and I know, what you prefer...
You. Prefer. Peculiar.
Try... You must try.
Give yourself permission to fall.
Give yourself permission to soar.
Give your voice permission to speak.
Give your heart permission to roar.
Own. Embody...Live your truth.
Grow and Give...
There's more to you...
I'm a church baby.Not at all. I love being a church baby. I'm a proud church baby. I'm grateful to be a church baby. But you learn some things.. You learn things like..
There must be more to going to church than just "going to church."Perfect attendance has nothing on an actual relationship with God.
Church babies.. still need to come to Jesus.
Church babies...still need to get saved.
Church babies are still in need of relationship....
And I know, because I am one.
You've seen it all. You've seen mess; You've seen miracles. You've seen the glory of God fill a room to where no man could stand to teach, or preach.. or sing, or dance...You've seen flesh on parade. You've seen how important it is to have an extended family beyond your extended family - you've experienced its challenges. You've seen your blood relatives leave, you've seen them stick around.. You've seen yourself... in different seasons of life - still press your way..still seek, and find -- no end to a limitless, MIGHTY, faithful and loving God. You've participated and you've experienced...then life taught you, so you'd know for sure... JESUS is the main attraction. There is literally nothing more appealing - no man, and no gift, more capable of drawing a lifelong, committed crowd or heart than Jesus. We must always remind ourselves... "JESUS is why I'm here.... JESUS called me into this family. JESUS has a plan for my life .... I'm here because of HIM. We can get so easily caught up in the parties and services, the fun, the fellowship, the minor meetings and major rehearsals that we become too familiar with how good and pleasant it is that we would even be together, too familiar, and sometimes even take it for granted. We forget that with each year we share the pew with our neighbors - perhaps we should be growing closer....Closer, to one another...closer to our Father. Iron should often be sharpening iron, and we can't be afraid to love one another because we're called to more, we're brothers and sisters. We learn that offense should never separate us and love should always bind us. We learn that we do have an enemy, but it's not one another... We learn that each trivial distraction in life, in church - or outside of it, was only meant for our decay....we learn that we're smarter than that. We learn that Jesus is still the answer. Never be too proud, church baby, never be too familiar. Don't get "used to it." Don't get tired. Don't get lost in "knowing it all..." Never let your familiarity remove you from your reverence. Don't let it remove you from your commitment to knowing Him more. In all you've seen, in all you've experienced, in all you've come to know...there's still so much more. Read "Dear Church Baby, Part 4"
"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard....there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore." (Psalm 133:1-3)
Psalm 25:14-15: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare."
Ephesians 5:18-20: "... be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father"
Ephesians 4: 15-16:
"... speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love..."
"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise."
Galatians 3: 29
"One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: "…Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.…"
I believe the joy of the Lord is my strength...
I believe the Lord hears, the Lord listens, the Lord cares...
I believe the Lord loves me at my worse.
He loves me to my best..
I believe the Lord helps.
He's with me.
Going before me...leading the way.
I believe the Lord claims me, saying proudly - "She's mine.."
"Her name is written on my palm... She'll never be snatched from my hand."
I believe the Lord watches.
He guards me jealously.. Protecting me from destruction, covering me with new mercies..
I believe the Lord heals...
Making me whole..
Keeping my mind...
Holding my heart.
I believe the Lord speaks..
Feeding me daily..
Words of purpose. Words of truth...
Words that soothe.. Words that peel -
.. at the layers of me... at the issues that be..
The Lord is faithful to complete...
The Lord, He's committed to patience.
The Lord is faithful to deliver..
The Lord, He's committed to love..
Great Anchor of My Soul..
My Lord -- my lifeline..
If nothing else is real.. I know that You are..
I woke up one morning, and all I could hear was... "Never give in to the never lies...." "Never give in to the never lies..." ...I don't remember having a bad day prior, or a restless, sleepless night, but this one thing rang out in my heart over and over and over again... it was as if I'd need it for life.. and I do. Funny thing is, we all do. EVERY single discouraging suggestion comes from the enemy. And every single thing that comes from him is a LIE. It's math. It's easy -- but.. What lies have you allowed to take a deep seat in your heart? What defeats have you wrongfully accepted? The enemy will always strike where your hardest battles are fought. And though turbulence is his greatest weapon - defeat is his fate. So WATCH what you allow to linger in your ear gates... And watch what you say, because that's what you've accepted. ...Watch what lurks; trample lies with truths. Never, ever, don't you ever believe...
Never give in to "the never lies."- You'll never start your business. - You'll never succeed. - You'll never be forgiven. - You'll never forgive. - You'll never get over it. - You'll never be good enough. - You'll never be loved. - You'll never be healed. - You'll never finish. - You'll never have kids. - You'll never lose weight... This list will go on, but only if you let it. And Jesus didn't debate with the enemy, so neither should we. As the father, the author and creator of lies... If he's talking, you can trust, it's unbelievable. Life or death? It's in your reply .. because as a man thinketh, so is he..
You can, and you may....
You will have whatever you say.
PRAY for God's best and remember He's a good Father.
A child has access to his Father's good favor.
"..For God has said, "Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you."
If there is a "never," that sticks around.. that lingers long and won't let up..
Make sure it's based on faith and not fear, make sure you recognize the voice you hear..
Never. Give Up.
Never. Give. In.
Never ever, don't you ever...
NEVER give into the "never lies."
Scripture References:2 Corinthians 10:5: We demolish (and cast down) arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. John 8:31-32 … So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:44(b): He (The enemy) has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 10:5, 14: (5) A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers...(14) I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.. John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:28: I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me. Philippians 4:8: And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 1 John 4:18: There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves torment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love. Psalm 43:3: Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling! John 15:7: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 1 John 5:14-15: And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, (it is) being convinced of what we do not see.
(#1) I've Learned "...that sometimes you can only love someone in the love language they understand."
It's practical, I guess. When two people intend to share their love for one another, you would think that the message is successfully sent without any undue interference, confusion, refusal to accept, and etc. for all other possible hindrances. You could assume one's determined demonstration would yield happy receiving.. But not always...not so much.. Complications can occur when a person doesn't really comprehend the way that you show love. Would you believe that relationships are challenged and can even end where these gaps occur...?? ...Over the issue of how love is demonstrated?? I have a particular family member who shall remain nameless - who technically requires big gift givings and expenditures every Christmas, birthday, and oh fine, I'll tell you - Mother's Day :) President's Day, and Fourth of July (I kid now..). But if the occasion suggests gifts are in order, you best have them wrapped and packed, ready for presenting. Now I love gifts, and we all do, but I would experience an unnecessary amount of pressure as I gave thought to how much I'd spend trying to buy my way to meeting the value of the relationship. I could be in stores forever for my parents -- just to show them that I wanted the best for them...just to show them that I loved them. If I could give them the world, I thought, why not? But since I knew I couldn't, I'd ask, why try? Call me weird, but quality time, pictures, affection, jokes.. kind words...a day spent celebrating life and good times, that was my preference. Memories made my holidays. The memories.. were priceless.. ..Since my mom is the type who knows what she wants, as these holidays drew near, my sister and I would sometimes receive a list of suggestions for gifts that we were to pull from if we were thinking of doing anything. Forget creativity, forget any risky "from the heart" type gift, forget surprises - "Here is a list of items I will accept on this occasion.." In my college years, especially, I was a little appalled as I compared my "low-maintenance" lifestyle to her's and considered what I thought to be a tasteful way to handle holidays. Why wasn't an evening in watching a movie over a home cooked meal, enough? ...She didn't light the house on fire if we didn't pull from the list, but it was clear that gift giving put the biggest smile on her face. I realized she had a point - a good one :) After talking with my mom and considering the principles of giving, I understood this one thing... There wasn't anything wrong with her, per se... we were just different. We literally saw things differently. Sacrifice, savings, and discipline towards checking off her wish list added to her appreciation of our expression of love. When quality time and affirmation may have been enough for me, tangible gifts spoke louder than words for her. I remembered that she would go out of her way to leave no space under the Christmas tree every year. But I also remembered, that as a pre-teen, gifts weren't everything to me, that this form of Christmas left me unimpressed. We were different --- By high school, I was sure that I could easily save up and go buy what I wanted when I wanted to. I didn't need or want gifts to validate her love for me. I was thankful -- and amused of course, but it didn't light up my heart like perhaps some pleasant quality time might have. You can't pay for that. She still had a point -- a good one: Quality time is fine and appropriate all year long, but on her day, or any gift giving occasion, it's another chance to give honor where it's due. Holidays are set aside to remind us that we have to take time to celebrate what's special in our lives; and, if we don't take the time to do so, it's simple... we will forget. It lets your loved ones know you value them enough to do something particularly special - that even if it cost you a little, you wouldn't let the day go by without watering the relationship with a little heartfelt giving. Relationships blossom even the more when a person feels appreciated and is certain about the significance of the role they play in your life.. So why GIVE if it costs you? Well, because giving is the very embodiment of love. Any sacrifice for the good benefit of another.... is love in action. I'll try to stay on task, but here, I must:
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
***Ever read this book? The Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman I appreciate the author. Not because these 5 languages are settled in heaven and earth.. and not because it's the rule of thumb when it comes to love, but it assists us in creating dialogue that effectively articulates our needs and gives voice to our misunderstandings. Most importantly, it removes us from judging one another. The 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Quality Time Physical Touch (Affection) Receiving/Giving Gifts When you rate these on your personal scale of love expressed - which are the most important? What can you go without? What is absolutely non-negotiable? Are we in relationships with people we love, but because we don't speak their "language" they'll never know? I look at the five languages and realize mine are affection, quality time and affirmation - I've once dated a guy who had completely different love languages. I thought it wouldn't be much of a challenge initially, but I then realized it WAS if his way of showing "love" was mostly acts of service and giving gifts. If at that time I considered myself to be fairly independent, then an act of service was practically a crime.. I can tie my own shoe! And I don't need you to buy me shoes, I want you to tell me I'm wearing nice shoes and spend time with me at the mall as I look for them : ) Please don't get me wrong - I do appreciate a strong arm, but as you may be able to tell.. that was just one reason it didn't work out lol.. No worries people : ) I'm fine, and I digress.. *** My mom is turning 50 this year, and because I love her, I know better than to surprise her with a default, surprise 50th birthday party. She's a supervisor at heart - so as much as I'd love to rid her of all tasks, blindfold her and walk her into a room full of loved ones, I know deep down that she'd love to be involved in the planning and picking, the theme development and menu. I know that she may not even want a party, she may want a trip. And because I love her, I know to give her a choice. "Party or trip?? Or is there some unrighteously priced pair of earrings you have your eyes on?... What can I give? How can I love you on your birthday?" She's got 4 months to decide... I'm waitingggg.. I hope this helps you in some way or another : ) Remember..I don't insist you spend your life trying to prove your love to an incompatible, BUT, the least you can do is meet the object of your affection half way.... All for the smile... All because.. well, why not?
*** Bible Verse References***Acts 20:35: "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 2 Corinthians 9:7: "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Hebrews 13:16: "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." Romans 13:7: "Pay everyone whatever you owe them—taxes to whom taxes are due, tolls to whom tolls are due, fear (respect) to whom fear (respect) is due, honor to whom honor is due." Luke 6:38: "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Proverbs 3:27: "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverbs 21:26: "…the righteous give and do not hold back."
Have you noticed..how the world turns??
How everyone needs inspiration;
And everyone needs a friend?
So much talk about getting out of the boxes we've put ourselves in.
..There must be an enemy...
a worldwide discourager
that we're all up against
because we're all fighting for:
freedom, expression... joy - settled hearts.
Each morning, like a team, we take swings at the dream killer..
We post public minute motivators, happy quotes and choice words...
...we push forward...
Jubilantly. Unrelenting. With tact.
We advance together as an army, with the Champion of the skies.
For we know and we're sure,
We're champions in disguise.
Everyday realizing, that we are not alone.
Everyday we realize that we are not alone.
Did you notice how the world turns?
how everyone needs a friend,
and everyone wants inspiration...
...that everyone wants to win?
Our victory is here: He's near.
He is Present. He is Friend. Daily strength and unmatched courage...
...hovering above... ...residing within.
How do you know you're a writer?
When you wake up with an abundance of thoughts and remain unsettled until you put them into words -- on paper, on a recorder, on a post it note, somewhere, anywhere...
How do we know we're writers?
When our experiences cast an overwhelming shadow over our years of living, and at young ages we become, old souls.. When you know too much, too soon - and there is much to wrestle with, much to reckon...You write..and there's rhythm, you write, and there's resolve. You write, you learn, you grow, and perhaps... you should share.
To write is to conquer fear -- if with might you fight for a right to privacy: a right - to your own life. What selfish claim...
Writers have one commission: With the amount of thoughts, questions, answers, resolutions and lessons that graze through the pastures of our hearts and minds daily... it is quite obviously God's will, that we write.
The world depends on its writers, its speakers, its teachers and preachers.... ... the people who have fallen, gotten up, but given up their right to private note taking. A writer can't ignore the world out there, the people who have to keep living a long time after their dying. A writer understands that humanity needs to know... how to love and relate, how to survive, what to avoid, how to overcome...
So then writing isn't so much a choice as much as you are chosen. You really don't have a say in the matter.
You are a writer.
You must write..