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…

Your Story…

Happy Friday All…

Hope it has been a good week for all… Just want to share a thought…

your-story-could-be-the-key-that-unlocks-someone-elses-6064127

“1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, 

even as also ye do.”

Your story is needed… Your testimony is your sermon… What you have been through was and is designed to edify you and the Kingdom of God.

Here’s a quote, “Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison. Share your testimony.”

Have a blessed day…

The Reflection…

Inspired by Men’s Retreat @ Sandy Cove

The Reflection…

A reflection can tell a lot…
From the abstract colors to a simple blemish or spot…

For years and years, I was ashamed to look at me…

Ashamed, because I felt within me… there was no good deed…
Satan said look… your worthless… hence you will be my seed…

And even with that, I still would look at my reflection and see…
All the things that I desire to do and to be…

And then there was a time when I looked…
Only to see a demonic being within that had me shook…

At this point I was going down…
Vincent was dying and Lucifer had me bound…

But once again, I heard a voice…
A voice that said you have a choice…

The choice to look at another reflection…
But what was the point… I only would see rejection…

But His voice called out to me…
God said, My son… don’t forget what you can be…

Remember, I created you and love you most…
I will never leave you; stay by you close…

Years would pass and through God I would gain…
Yet, He reminds me of His Power through the past; the pain…

It was Saturday afternoon when I saw a reflection…
A reflection that cause me to fall under subjection…

The creation of the sun; as it kisses the sea…
Reminding me of the Son; who died for me…

I am reminded that all I endured…
Christ died for me; so one day I would be pure…

Ahh, the things you see in the reflection…
The way He reminds us; we’re His Selection…DFD2D5B7-545D-4761-9608-10796D4F4CB2

It’s true; a reflection can tell a story…

From the pain of the world… the enemy of Satan…the worry
Yet it all works together in God and now I represent His Glory

And so when I look in the mirror, I see more than me…
How Mary Mary put it…. It is the God in me…

Father God:
Thank You for who You are in me. Thank You for You are Love… Thank You for everything… Thank You for giving me back me…
In Jesus Christ Name… Amen …

Steps…

Hey everyone! It’s been quite some time since I posted anything. I think I’m ready to get back to writing some. So for the month of November or should I say Movember… I decided to do two challenges; raise a $1000 for men’s health awareness and do a 120 miles for the entire month. Well the fund raising has been challenge but I’m glad I put it out there. The bigger thing is the actual 120 mile challenge.

For the month of November, as part of the Movember Movement… I decided to participate in the walk challenge. For the month, I challenged myself to 120 miles total for the month. That broke down to 4 miles each day of the month. Initially, I thought this challenge would be a mountain to climb. But to much surprise, it was fun and fairly easy. So… how would I be able to reach this goal? I would literally have to make the time to walk. Okay sounds easy enough? Yeah right lol. I work in the office environment and deal with numbers, so it’s pretty easy to get lost in the numbers and forget to get up and walk around. So now I had to start thinking what do I do to ensure I get in 4 miles per day? Well the first thing I did was download an app that monitor my progress. Now I don’t have a Fitbit like many do, so I actually downloaded an app called Argus. It’s actually pretty cool. I may do a blog on it later on. But it follows the progress of miles and steps. So I got the thinking… maybe I should shoot for 10,000 steps a day. That’s over 4 miles… Why not?

Again, I didn’t know what to expect so I wondered if I would stick with this challenge? I was very surprised that not only did I stick with it, I surpassed it! That in itself humbled me. But what really humbled me was the reason. Each step was to show support for men’s health (cancer, mental illness); but the major reason was suicide prevention. This was personal for me. See I was facing suicide 12 years ago. Trying to figure out life then was not something that was on my mind; I was in my 20s… just wasn’t a thought. I figure I got all my life to deal with serious stuff; I’m having fun and doing what I want. Then 2005 hit and life completely changed. I immediately shut down from family, friends, myself, God… it was a dark time. So dark that I wanted to end my life. Thankfully, God had another plan…

Fast forward to now…I realize as I continue to make the steps, I was doing this for me. Not just because of the suicide attempt over a decade ago, but also because here’s something that I set out to do… Because God laid it in my spirit. I guess one thing I have learned through this challenge is that I can be truly committed to myself; meaning, I’m being intentional about investing in myself. Physically, because it’s great exercise. My legs and thighs are thanking me lol; I’m pretty sure of that… I even want to getimg_1150 back into running. Baby steps though lol. But my blood pressure has stabilized more. Mentally, it’s really relaxing. I mean, it’s amazing what a 30 minute walk can do. Again I love my numbers, so when the numbers start running together… yeah a good walk really helps. On top of work, my mind is everywhere at times, so walking helps my mind to relax. Which leads to spiritually… Spiritually, it’s peaceful… Definitely can take it all in and be grateful to God. I recall the second day of the challenge. I decided to walk around the National Mall in DC. From my job, I walked to just all the monuments. Man, talk about surreal? Just to simply take in all the trees, the reflecting pool, the monuments and if those weren’t enough… the clear skies with the moon just shining right beside the Washington Monument. In taking it all in, all I could think was God, thank You and forgive me for taking your creations for granted… people, places, and things.

So what was the verdict on the challenge? Did I meet it? And by how much? 368,700 steps or 156.82 miles!! How about that!! I was amazed some days I did up to 20,000 steps… the last day of November, I decided to do 25,000 + steps… I’m really glad that I stuck with the challenge. There were days when I didn’t want to get in my steps, but I still managed to do so and to know that I pushed myself feels good. The cool thing is that, I’m not stopping with November… I’m incorporating my steps in daily … It has motivated me to get back in the gym some and I’m grateful for that. It’s helping with the overall health (mental, physical, and spiritual). All and all… I’m a better person because of this.

The Standard of Rose Marie…

Today is an amazing day in history… Indeed it is. Now I know many are on their hustle and bustle… But today is my mother’s birthday!!!

Today, join me and my sisters as we celebrate Mom’s Birthday.  Rose Marie, girl you done cross into a new year!!!  Out of fear tha14370404_1226823864005680_1166484384654453922_nt I will be cut and taken out of the will, I won’t tell Rose Marie’s age lol.  But I will say, she looks younger than her age… hence why I am 35 and can pass for younger lol.

You know, the biggest thing that sticks out to me about my mom is her willingness to be a nurturer and to give people words of affirmation that continues to help along the way.  In my opinion, my mom has always been one that encourages.  Someone that will immediately lift you up when you are feeling the blues.

Mom and I talk a lot and she has shared a lot with me; life lessons, her past, her future and so forth.  And that’s on top of the sacrifices she has made for Erika, Monique, and I.  But I think about the conversations and I’m like wow…

1381885_646617615359644_115724964_nWhen I think of mom I am reminded of the smile on her face.  And there’s nothing fake about it.  She understands the importance in a smile.

Point #1.  Smile, because you really have a reason.  Folks, yes; the world presents challenges and experiences, but each day you are blessed to open your eyes is reason alone to smile.  Take a step back and realize, you can smile, because God loves you.  After all, He allowed His Son to die so that you and I can live.

Also, Mom is serious about the Kingdom of God…

Point #2.  If, in fact, we are children of God, understand that we are charge to live a life of Holiness unto the Lord.  Folks, let’s challenge ourselves to live holy.  Let’s live a life that will be a standard for others to see. It’s not the most popular thing to do, but the blessings 1381719_645625432125529_1779268673_none receives, the lessons one learns, the example one can be… is all worth it…

Leviticus 20:7 (The Message)

7-8 “Set yourselves apart for a holy life.  Live a holy life, because I am God, your God.  Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you.  I am the God who makes you holy.

And so…

Mom,

I just want to say thank you for all you do.  For the lessons you teach me, the discipline you give, the respect you demand, the example you set as a mother.  Thank you for being a praying Mother.  When I was going through and even though you didn’t know exactly, you 14606455_1246482892039777_469489225996726294_nsteadily prayed and I thank God for you.  God has blessed you as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother, a friend and most importantly, God’s Daughter.  Mom, Happy Birthday to You… and May God continue to bless you all the more.

Love,

Son…

P.S.  For Mom and everyone else…  Enjoy the best of Jesus…

 

Romans 16:20 (The Message Bible)

19-20And so while there has never been any question about your honesty in these matters—I couldn’t be more proud of you!—I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing.  Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil.  Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt.  Enjoy the best of Jesus!

A Journey of Wisdom… Remembering Grandpa…

Inspiration: My Grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. and Proverbs 3

14317476_10155230417966679_9182297703261013377_nThe first thought of this great man that comes to mind is the amount of wisdom he possessed. Always willing to teach… show… inspire… I know many always focused on the tangible of my grandfather. And yes, it had its place. But then there was the intangible of my grandfather. His strength… His knowledge… His tenacity… His perseverance… His Love of Christ…

Here’s a man that was all about his walk with Christ. He would speak on it, but he preferred to put it in action. Always humble with a servant’s heart. Always willing to help fellow man out. Always the defender of family.

I can recall many times of being in the workshop with grandpa. There I was, helping him build this and that. In the garage or car port helping him work on Betsy emoticon20n-1-web … That’s what we called his blue truck. How many times, did I have to go on a job with him and we first stop at Hardees… I’d get sausage biscuit lol… He get his steak biscuit and from there… we are installing furniture all day LOL! Those were some good times… As he got older, we would talk and talk and talk. He would always tell me, “Vincent… Always keep God first and you will be alright.”

I continue to hold onto those words, especially now that he is no longer here. After learning of his death, I was going through my phone and stumbled across something that reminded me of some things that he would always tell me…

Proverbs 3:1-6; 21-26 (NIV)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,

For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

22 They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26 For the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love you the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love your neighbor as yourself.

Here’s a man that understood and applied Romans 15:1-2… paraphrasing, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. We should have a desire to build up fellow man for their good.

Here’s a man that understood that he still had joy when facing trials, because the testing of his faith develops perseverance and that perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…

This was a man that stuck by his motto: “To let your yea be yea and you nay be nay…”

Grandpa… you were blessed to live an incredible life. You taught so many… You were instrumental in my love for math, science, and technology. You were inspirational in my 14310339_1228518283836238_5449568540964846771_ocareer choice in statistics. You were the standard of a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, friend… but most of all… You set the standard of a man of God. I hope to be half the man you were. God I thank you for my grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. For the wisdom You blessed him with. For the love of family he had for us. Grandpa, you were my last earthly father… but you now are another angel watching over me. I will miss you. Take your rest… You have earned it.

Love… Vincent

P.S. Kiss Grandma for me. Tell Dad hey… I love you.

Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr… Natural Birth: September 9, 1927 ~ Eternal Birth: September 17, 2016

Achieve With Child-Like Passion

I can recall at the ages of 5, 6, 7, and so forth… watching cartoons; something that I still do at 34… Of course lol.  But I can recall as a lil’ dude having dreams of being a doctor, firefighter, and a whole host of things.  Who’d thought I would grow up and be a statistician and an accountant lol…? But one thing that sticks with me, the passion of dreams and goals… To know that I am working towards something is very exciting. Today, I wonder; what happened to most of us once we became adults?11987195_1008648372489898_4704843183473159616_n  The child-like imagination simply faded away… our very innocence just went away.  We as adults have given up, yet God hasn’t forgotten… and He knows all of our dreams and goals and I’m sure most of them in some way, are part of His Plan for you…

Remember…

As children, many of us sang a familiar set of words:

“This little light of mine…

I’m gonna let it shine.”

Still to this day, it is a favorite of kids (and kids-at-heart).  Children tend to sing it very loud and could care less if they are off key, while adults sing it with “dignity” (Yeah right). Now, why is that? Could it be that children sing it loud and off key, because they don’t believe in limits? A child’s mind is rich with imagination and thirsts for knowledge; hence they don’t feel that there’s a boundary when it comes to dreams and goals.  Yet as adults, we set limits. We question and second guess ourselves, because we think we’re too old or we don’t have the energy or simply said, “I can’t.”  By whose authority says you can’t achieve? 

Stop saying what you can’t do… be like Nike:  JUST DO IT. Stop giving the enemy the glory; rather, Praise God. For a moment, think back to the ages of your childhood.  All the things you wanted to be.  Don’t focus so much ochildren-readingn the what you wanted to be.  Rather, think of the passion, the excitement, the drive you had.  And the best part is; that passion, excitement, and drive is still there.  And with God leading, you can still live your dreams; your goals; the God-ordained purpose.

Stop holding the dream and live it.  Don’t give up; for God will always hold you up with His Hands… Look you gotta a whole host of angels from Heaven; cheering you on!!! What you waiting for?!?! Walk into your destiny!!!