Sunday Worship

Going to start something a little different for the Sunday posts. Im going to start posting a song that has been on my mind and just talk a little bit about the meaning.

This week’s song is “Mighty to Save” by Laura Story. Pretty simple message here. It’s been amazing how God has led me to the point as I begin to transition to a thriving life!

The Joy of Being Broken By God

Last week, I wrote on God’s plan for brokenness and wanted to further elaborate on that post.

God’s plan for brokenness isn’t to break us and leave us there. Rather it is to show us the love, grace and mercy He has for us. The process of being broken may be painful for some. The pain is a direct correlation between how apart a believer lives apart from God.

You see God gave us all free will. He desires to be in relationship with each and everyone, but a relationship is a two way street. God will use any means necessary to break the thinking of our self-sufficiency.

He may lead you through a time where you are unemployed and wonder how you will survive. He may remove certain people that you have developed a co-dependent relationship with. He may use a situation to uncover sin in your life. He may even allow a tragedy, like the death of a loved one, in order to break someone.

You may be saying right now, “Why would I want to serve a God that takes a loved one away. That’s not fair!” Let me assure you that I have been there, but I am also reminded that God’s ways are not our ways!

It is in brokenness where God can shine light through a believer. Imagine a vessel that is completely enclosed and no light can shine through it. The only way to have light shine is to crack it. Then the (God’s) can shine through!

Prayer: Father, how grateful we are for your gift of brokenness. We thank you in advance for not leaving us broken, but to allow Your light to shine through us. Help us to not keep that light to ourselves, but to spread that light to the world. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

World’s Design for Life vs. God’s Design for Life

World’s Design for Life at its Best.

Go to school. Graduate from high school, Go to college. Graduate from college. Get a job. Get married. Have kids. Watch kids get married. Have grandkids. Retire. Travel a little. Die.

God’s Design for Life at its Best:

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you”

Romans 12:2

“Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve God’s will-his good pleasing and perfect will.”

Which system are you in?

Less I, More Him

Since the start of the year, I’ve noticed in my talking and writing less “I” statements. Looking back on some writing, I was amazed how almost every sentence started with an an “I” or “My”. It’s taken a concerted effort, but the benefits have been instrumental.

After all, it really isn’t us living on our own, but the spirit living in us that guides us. Sure we have free will, but more often than not, our spirit can control our thinking.

For example, I’ve stopped beating myself up when I misplaced my car keys for a meeting and end up missing it.  You see there was a reason why God wanted me to miss that meeting. Often God that is a signal that God wants me to spend more time with Him. And as a bonus when I do, I find my car keys.

The beauty of brokenness is I am starting to realize it was never me living in the first place, but the spirit within me. It’s a humbling place to be, but it does bring about more peace.

My prayer for all of us is that we begin to realize how God is involved in every aspect of our lives. From missing car keys to the long traffic jam. Just maybe there is a purpose you couldn’t find your car keys this morning. Maybe God had your best interest at heart.

God’s Plan For Brokenness

Yesterday I was sitting at service where Charles Stanley preaches in Atlanta.  Like before, he was looking directly at me while preaching.  This title of his message was “Getting in God’s Way”.  It was a powerful message of how sometimes with the best of intentions we get in the way of God doing an awesome work in someone.

For example, no parent wants to see their child suffer, but maybe there there is a purpose in the suffering. Maybe the suffering is bringing the child into God’s plan for their life. Maybe its the suffering and brokenness that God is after.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 says, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

You see, it is in the complete brokenness that God can use someone and become a vessel for God. It is ALWAYS done with love.

While Charles Stanley was preaching I was bursting into tears because this is the point of my recovery where God is breaking totally.

Then he looked directly at me said, “You know in my early preaching days I always wanted to fix everyone.  It was until later that I recognized that wasn’t my job.  God uses brokenness to bring people closer to Him and I don’t get in the way of that anymore.” What a powerful and moving moment that was for me. Not easy to hear, but the absolute truth!

Some of you have asked what is next for me. Well I don’t have the entire picture. In fact, I only have the next two days planned out.  Tomorrow I will be meeting with someone that works at In Touch Ministries. Wednesday, I will being going for one of my last sessions of therapy through EMDR, which is the process of letting go of the trauma in my past and breaking me.

Where I am Thursday only God knows!

There is Power in the Blood

Well as I depart for Atlanta today, I don’t really have time for a post today. However, I wanted to share with you some good ole’ Southern Gospel Music.  It has been a source of strength for me the past several months. Have a JOYFUL weekend everyone!:

God’s Plan For My Life

If God told you to sell everything you have, would you? Would you walk away from the woman/man of your dreams with no promise of being reunited? Would you trust that God would spare your life from a suicide attempt? Would you move to a different city without a plan? Would you listen to God no matter what the cost?

These are the questions that I had to answer at one point in my life. And in each step I had to walk in obedience and trust that God had a plan for my life.

And this weekend, I will be returning to the place where I first got a glimpse of God’s plan in my life.  It was at First Baptist Atlanta where Dr. Charles Stanley preaches. On February 1st, 2015 I went to FBA to hear him preach.  There I was sitting in the church that seats around 4,000 and I got the sense that Dr. Charles Stanley was looking directly at me.

Convicted that he was, I took out a piece of paper and thanked In Touch Ministries for being a great resource before and after my suicide attempt. After service,  it was Charles Stanley who came up to me and asked where I was from. I handed him the note and we chatted a bit.

The following week before Charles Stanley started to preach, he asked me to stand in front of the church and shared our encounter. It was a very humbling experience.

After service many people came up to wish me well, but one particular person stood out. Sitting directly to the left of me was the Executive Ambassador for In Touch Ministries.  Long story short, we went out to dinner that week and I couldn’t shake the feeling it was an interview of sorts. Since that day in February, I am convinced that I will be starting my new career at In Touch Ministries in Atlanta.

This weekend I return to FBA for a special weekend. You see I can’t shake the feeling that the Holy Spirit is going to fall upon me where it all started this Pentecost Sunday.  After all, it was at FBA where I got a small 5 second glimpse of the “peace that surpasses all understanding” back in February.

Holy Spirit I invite you into my life. I’m ready now.

In fact, In Touch just put up that video of Charles Stanley’s message from February 1st when I sensed Dr. Charles Stanley . looking at me. Here’s the video, I can be seen around the 19:20 mark. I’m wearing a red shirt 5 rows back:

http://intouch.org/watch/steps-to-gods-guidance/listening-to-god

d75b26db-578a-4dfb-bc21-edae5a6771ee_profile

Lord, I’m Ready Now

Wow, what a spiritual journey this has been to this point.  Filled with moments of great hope and moments of great despair. Today, is one of the last days of the healing phase of my recovery. Today, I let go of my earliest wound inside my body that haunts be to this day.  The fear of death.

I can remember exactly where I was where and when I found about death from when I was three years old.  What I didn’t know was the impact it would have on my life.  And yes there was some wheat and also weeds in the fear of death.

The weeds prevented me from living a life of joy.  Instead, I often felt like a little boy inside a grown man’s body. I felt powerless as a result.  I can also remember trying to control when death would happen. I can remember being 8 years old and saying things like, “I’m one tenth of the way through my life!”  I had developed and victim’s mentality.

The wheat of having the fear of death is that it kept me safe.  It kept me from accepting adult responsibilities at an earlier age.  You see if I didn’t have the fear of death, I may have accepted a “mediocre” life. You know go to work from 9-5, come home, have a little fun, go to bed and do it all over again. Sounds miserable! It also kept me safe from ultimately committing suicide last year.

You see I could never actually see myself committing suicide. Underneath the facade of life I had been living, I loved myself and others too much to let that happen. As I have worked through the other emotional scars in my life, I am finally ready to let go of that fear. I’m ready to reap the rewards of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 states, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Come have Your way. Lord, I’m ready now.

“Oh Lord I’m ready now
All the walls are down
Time is running out
And I wanna make this count
I ran away from you
And did what I wanted to
But I don’t wanna let you down
Oh Lord I’m ready now
Lord I’m ready now

The Joy of God’s Discipline

The word discipline has a negative connotation to it similar to. It implies that someone did something wrong and corrective action must be applied. It is almost sounds like punishment. There is significant difference between the two.  Discipline is a tool of God’s love for His Children.

Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Yesterday, I talked about how God is a jealous God after your heart.  You can be sure God will remove those obstacles that keep God from going after your heart.

Here is a practical example from my life.  Sometimes I can have the tendency to be on the internet too much.  I can remember a few weeks ago, the internet went out for a few days and I took a different approach to the situation.  This time I viewed it as coming FROM God.  He wanted me to spend more time with Him. It wasn’t a punishment where I felt the wrath of God for doing something wrong.

Rather, I viewed it as a sign of God’s discipline and love. It was a perspective changed. God loved me so much that He needed to provide a wake up call.

Hebrews 12:11 goes as far as saying, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it,”

So the lesson in God’s discipline is that it is a sign of God’s love for us.  We should take great joy when we are being disciplined by Holy God because it is shaping us into the Godly men and women that we were destined to be.