Love… Self… Freedom: Part 2… Worth

The song behind this post is by a young lady name, Casey J. The song is called Journal. This song speaks to something that is a challenge for many; something that isn’t necessarily spoken about but is a challenge daily. Worth. And not just worth in general, but self worth. The one question we don’t necessarily ask of ourselves, what is my worth?

For many years, I wondered what is my worth? What value do I have have? What positive impact do I have? Do I really love myself? The truth of the matter is, at 37 years old, I still wrestle with this. More so now than ever. It’s interesting… when we are younger, things tend to roll off of us or so we think. But as I am getting older, I am realizing that isn’t always the case. I can still recall from childhood things that hurt my feelings. Growing up timid… afraid… Being in my 20’s doing whatever I wanted to do and thinking, I have it all together, finally. Now at 37, I realize I don’t. I think I mentioned it in the last post, but the worse critic is the person staring back you in the mirror.

For me, it’s so true. Because the bottomline is… I have made mistakes, I’ve failed at times, I have hurt and been hurt, I have come up short… and while that is part of being human and a christian… for me to find the balance; sometimes… sometimes it is truly difficult. There are days, on the outside, I’m on cloud 20+… all along on the inside… I’m in the thick of darkness.

I am reminded of a recurring dream that I’ve had since I was a little boy. I’m home (at my parents’ house typically) and I know it’s home, but it is completely dark. So dark to where I can’t even see my own hand in front of me. I move to the left or right… the darkness continues. The dream always would end with me seeing this small speck of light; almost like a tv is on, but its not a tv. Over the years the dream has progress; to where now… I can feel a coldness or hear many voices… but always that light is there. Over the years, I paid attention to that light more and it was like a level of peace and love would come over me; while in the midst of the darkness… the coldness… the voices…

Still to this day, I still have that dream and like when I was 5 or 6, still to this day … it shakes me from the inside out. Over the years, I began to interpret and try to understand what it may mean. I think that maybe there is some type of greatness over my life to where the darkness … the coldness… the voices… are distractions, pain, hurts, past, and so much more.

The song however, sums up everything… There’s one part in the song that really hits home for me…

“You know me completely… And yet You love me so deeply”

Amazing… to think in all of my mess… in all of my ways that are not like God… in all the self deprecation… the darkness… God still loves me. God still wants to use me. God still chooses me. And to be real… I don’t deserve any of it. Many times, I feel unworthy… like a failure. Life for me so far hasn’t been bad, but internally, it’s been rough. At times, for me to believe what God thinks of me is challenging, because of my mindset. Somedays, I try to go look myself in the mirror and say to myself, “You are a child of God… You are amazing… Your mistakes, your pain, your past do not solely define you… You are enough…” Hard to accept that times when you are so use to saying to yourself, but you are a failure… but you missed the mark… but you’re not enough…

But God… He reminds of something that I have received every second of the day…

God says that:

You are valuable… “You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)” …

You are a new creature… “In my eyes, you are a brand new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)”

You have My Spirit… “Don’t live by your own power or understanding. No, live by my Spirit within you (Zechariah 4:6; Proverbs 3:5)”. “Remember, I have given you the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you (Romans 5:5; John 14:17)”. “The Spirit will guide you into all truth, help you to obey me, and empower you to do my work (John 16:7, 13; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16)”.

You will be transformed… “As you seek me and see more of my glory, I am transforming you into the image of my Son (2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 33:18)”

You represent Me… “Therefore, walk in a manner worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1)”. “You are no longer darkness, but light in my Son. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8)”. “You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14)”. “I have called you (2 Peter 1:3)”. “I have chosen you (Revelation 17:14)”. “You are now a saint, a servant, a steward, and a soldier (Romans 1:7; Acts 26:16; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:3)”.

Even with these reminders, it is still indeed a challenge. There are still days I second guess my worth. Goals that I have…If I am of value period. But God is faithful… God reminds me each day, that I am His Child and that He loves me unconditionally. Now the key is to apply this and love myself unconditionally. Bits and pieces that is occurring…

This process is not something I can fully articulate… Just have to keep moving.

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God,

I thank You for who You are. For Your Love, Your Joy, Your Peace. Thank you… I have no clue from day-to-day how I will maneuver on this journey. Often times I ask, why was I given this life? Why not another life? Often times, I ask am I really equipped for this life?Am I really worthy of all that You want for me? What is it that You want for me lol? A lot of questions… But I have to make an effort to trust You God. Help me to trust You… Help to better than yesterday and to be a better person on the next day. Help me to always see myself the way You see me… Help me to love myself as You love me.

Help me to affirm myself as You affirm me. I’m grateful for others that do these things; however, it means nothing if I can’t do for myself as well. God… help me to be who call me to be… whatever that is…

In Jesus Christ… Amen.

Be blessed… Stay tuned for Part 3. Drifting In Mistakes… Such Is Life…

Love… Self… Freedom… Prelude…

The Divine Detour…

I recall back in 2007, my mom let me watch a video of the “Last Seven Words” done at her church 1st Baptist Church of Mahan St. – Suffolk, Va.

There was one pastor, Rev. Janelle Riddick – 1st Baptist Church of Franklin, who spoke on “The Divine Detour.” I can’t recall what scripture she used; but it was definitely a message that stays on the mind. But what does it mean? The Divine Detour… Let’s break it down.

Definition of Divine. Having the nature of or being a deity. Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation. Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred.

Definition of Detour. A roundabout way or course, especially a road used temporarily instead of a main route. A deviation from a direct course of action.

Hmmmm. Divine; being in the service or worship of a deity (in our case God). Being in the presence of God. And while that’s good it’s not enough. It’s when we operate in that presence or invoke His presence with praise and worship. After all that is the ultimate goal. But how many of us are just content with the presence? Let’s look at the Word.

God’s Presence & God’s Glory.

Matthew 13:53 -58

[53] When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country.

[54] He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”

[55] Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.

[56] All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”

[57] And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”

[58] And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.

How many of us have gone away to the military, college or some job and when you come back “home” folks looking at you strange. Here’s a case with Jesus. He went back home to teach in the synagogue and the people wanted to discourage and belittle Him; saying he’s a carpenter son’s. Because they were offended and refused to believe in Him, Jesus only performed a few miracles because of their unbelief. Same with us; because we want more, the very ones that think they know us want to carry us. Because all they can talk about is your past, but they don’t know; God knows your past too and holds tomorrow.

But the key here is this; these people were in the presence of Jesus and yet not in His glory. How many of us are like this? We think it’s enough to have God’s presence, but what good will it do if we don’t invoke His presence with praise and worship? That’s how His Glory comes through and when that happens… everything changes.

Detour; deviation from a direct course of action. Let’s be real. At times, we feel like we have it all mapped out on how it will happen. Sure, we talk a good game but can’t play the game. But real talk, we don’t have all the answers, and we don’t know it all. But God does. In Psalm 139, David says that God knows our thoughts… On top of the fact that God knows our thoughts, we must also and always realize that God’s thoughts for us are more than our thoughts for ourselves.

In Isaiah 55:8-9
8)”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9)”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Now one of my favorite people from the Bible that comes to mind is Paul; you know the “Saul conversion to Paul”. Amazing. To think that this man, a persecutor of Christians would be converted to a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I’m pretty sure he did not have thoughts of this event, but God knows better. And yet while on his way to Damascus, God intervened with what I would think of as a divine detour. See Saul (in his mind) was to continue persecuting Christians, yet God got his attention long enough for Saul to realize the error in his judgment and to press forward in the Will of God.

Let’s look at the Word…

Acts 9:1-22

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5″Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6″Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13″Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

Maybe for you it’s not persecution of Christians, but we all have demons that we battle. And yet God will intervene on our behalf. And that’s great! Great because, He will remove the problem and issues… but what He is really trying to do is take us on a divine detour to get to root of that issue. Many of us are dealing with crazy relationships, drugs, alcohol, bills and just self esteem issues. We ask God to remove it and He will, but what’s the reason why we deal with this stuff? What event or person has caused these issues to unfold? There’s always cause and effect, even when we don’t see in black and white. So instead of asking God to remove this issue or while He catches you off guard, ask Him to give you power to cut it off at the root. If that means you go back to the past and deal with some stuff… or if that means you gotta cut off folks that “love” and “care for” you that spitefully use you in Satan’s puppet show… YOU MAKE IT DO WHAT IT DO AND LET GOD LEAD YOU THRU.

Going on the divine detours are difficult… You are force to do self examinations and asking yourself questions that have been asked by others. Let’s face it, who wants to deal with all of that… but as you deal with it, you can become a stronger person in God and truly be a blessing to others all while God takes you to the next level. Not everyone will understand you once you start this divine detour, but don’t worry about it. When you are truly serious about what God has for you… plans… blessings… TASK and MISSION… you can’t allow others and yourself to deter you from the Mission that God has ordained for you. After all you may be the one that God uses to claim some of the false prophets and fake people back to God.

THOUGHT: Don’t be afraid of the Divine Detour. While it is a challenge, it’s worth it. We heard the song Pure Gold… and we sing it like we wrote… but when do you stop just singing it and start living it? We desire to be pure gold, but are we willing to tired in the fire?

Stay Tuned for Part 1. Isolation

New Series: Love… Self… Freedom…

Hello All… Well it’s been quite sometime since I wrote anything, let alone, a series. But this has been in mind and spirit to do for some time now. Even with it steadily coming to pass, I still wonder how it will turn out. This series will be based off of songs that really 18009992_1441615679193163_382806897996563823_nstrike a chord with me. Thought provoking lyrics. Of course with me, I want to tie back to the Bible, as well, my life. Below is the list of titles for 37 blog entries to come. Know that each entry is tied to a song. I will also make an effort to tied that titles back to the Word of God. Should be interesting given some of the titles. But I believe something amazing will come from all of this. One thing is to be a blessing to others. That has always been my prayer. Another prayer is that I be able to dive back into writing and really embrace it. Initially I set a time around September 2018 to start, but I think I will start sooner. How soon, I’m not sure, but I am looking forward to it.

So sit back and take the journey… Let’s learn together…

Love… Self… Freedom…

Part 1. Isolation (Kelly Rowland – Beyond Imagination)

Part 2. Worth (Casey J. – The Journal)

Part 3. Drifting In Mistakes… Such Is Life (Phonte – Such As Life)

Part 4. The Audacity To Trust (Dorinda Clark-Cole – Tis So Sweet)

Part 5. The Pain… The Blood… The Tears… I Am Here… (Dennis Reed Feat. Fantasia – Necessary)

Part 6. You Have To Make A Decision… (Phonte & Eric Roberson – Who Loves You More)

Part 7. Augustus, Jr… 6 Years Old… (Carmen Jones – Dream)

Part 8. The Lost Found… (Lalah Hathaway – Lose Yourself)

Part 9. The Lost Found II: His Thoughts (Roy Ayers – Come Into Knowledge)

Part 10. The Decision… (Maurette Brown Clark – I’ve Decided to Follow Jesus)

Part 11. Just Bees and Things and Flowers: The “Son”Shine (Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine)

Part 12. D.N.A. (Destiny… Naysayers… Affirmations…) (Kendrick Lamar – D.N.A.)

Part 13. Freedom (Jill Scott – Free)

Part 14. One Way or Round-Trip? (Erykah Badu – Window Seat)

Part 15. Imaginative Reality (Statik Selektah – Make Believe)

Part 16. The Idea of Being Free (Donny Hathaway – Someday We’ll All Be Free)

Part 17. The Storyteller’s Water (Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst)

Part 18. Augustus Jr. 37 Years Old… (Phonte & Eric Roberson – Find That Love Again)

Part 19. PSA (The Foreign Exchange – Be Alright)

Part 20. Reflection From Within and Above (The Foreign Exchange – Face In The Reflection)

Part 21. The Reality (Adriana Evans – Reality)

Part 22. Tried In The Fire (Mary J. Blige – My Life ’06)

Part 23. In The “Son” (Adriana Evans – In The Sun)

Part 24. Restoration (Yolanda Adams – Restore Me)

Part 25. Fight Back The Darkness (Beyonce & Kendrick Lamar – Freedom)

Part 26. The Love Within (Kierra Sheard – Found Love In Me)

Part 27. Perfectly Imperfect (Kierra Sheard – Flaws)

Part 28. Haus Collar’s Message (Kendrick Lamar – Real)

Part 29. “Heal”th (Phonte – Expensive Genes)

Part 30. The Rain Stings… (Amerie – Forecast)

Part 31. The Rain Purifies… (Yolanda Adams – Wash Me)

Part 32. The Illuminated Euphoria… (Phonte – Euphorium)

Part 33. Whose I Am (Kenny Lattimore – I Won’t Forget)

Part 34. Brother Paul (Koryn Hawthrone – Won’t He Do It)

Part 35. I Never Knew… (Donnie McClurkin & Marvin Winans – Who Would’ve Thought)

Part 36. Mirror Mirror (Jojo – I Am)

Part 37. Dear God (Smokie Norful – Dear God)