Tag Archives: Mental stretching

What’s In A Name?

My name is Michael Joe Harvell and I can’t think of a better name for myself.

One of my favorite country music singers is Johnny Cash and one of my favorite songs he sings is “A Boy Named Sue!” It’s a song all about a fatherless young man, whose father had named him Sue just before the father decided to disappear out of his life and into nowhere. The boy grew up hard, was made fun of, because of his name and had to get tough to survive. One day, he was sitting in a bar and met his Dad, the man who named him Sue. A fight ensued and son got the best of his Dad. The Dad said: “Before you kill me, let me tell you why I named you Sue!” “It was because I knew life was hard and tough and you were going to have to be to, if you were going to survive.”

Some times I wonder is the name making me or am I making the name and most days, I figure, it is probaby a little bit of both???

So let me share with you the story of how I got the name Michael Joe Harvell: I was born May 9, 1968. My parents could not agree on a name for me. My biological Dad wanted to name me: Ralph Maxwell Hiott III after himself and his Dad. My Mom wanted to name me Harry James Hiott; Harry after her favorite uncle and James after her Father. Neither would agree with the other on the name, so one day my biological Dad came to her with the idea of naming me “Michael Joe Hiott”, Michael after him, everyone called him Mike (I have no idea why?) And Joe after her, because her name was Martha Jo. So that became my name and a few years later, after a divorce, My Mom would remarry and the man she married would choose to adopt me, become my Dad and my last name would change to Harvell.

I have always felt I fit my name and my name fits me. I sometimes think that had I been named Ralph Maxwell Hiott III, I probably would have been a book worm, bratty and entitled. Had I been named Harry James Hiott, then I probably would have become a drugged up musician, looking for my next gig. Instead I was named Michael Joe and I really do feel like it’s who I am…

Michael in the Hebrew language means “One Who Is Like The Lord” and Joe in the American Dictionary means “An Average American”. I’ve always said this combination of names is my testimony in a nutshell: I am an average american, who is trying to be like the Lord…

So, I have enjoyed growing into being Michael Joe Harvell and have been blessed with a pretty amazing life, which I’m still living, learning and loving everyday…

Forgive Yourself!

We all make mistakes and sin. Everyone knows the feeling and frustration of failure. But our missing the mark is not the end of us and it is not the end of our lives. The God who created us, loves us and understands us better than we understand ourselves. He has made a way where there wasn’t away. God made a way for us to receive forgiveness and restoration as we learn from our mistakes, sins and failures.

Don’t allow the giant of guilt to beat up on you. Admit your failure, learn from it and receive God’s gift of restoration. If God forgives you, then who do you think you are to not forgive yourself? Forgiveness is making the choice to focus on love and let go of the guilt. It is not always easy, but it is always possible and life changing when we get it right.

The big battle is with our ego, because the ego tells me that I am what I have, what I do or what I think others think of me, so the continual temptation is to look down on or belittle others, at least in our mind, so we can feel better about ourselves, but when we do this, we can’t help but to bring the same conviction into our own lives. This game of judgment backfires and catches us in it’s flames.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” -Matthew 7:1-3

Fight against the temptation to judge yourself or others. Stop finding fault and start looking for what you and others are doing right. Focus on the good and the good will grow. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in self defeating trap of criticism and condemnation.

When I look for the light in others, I cannot help but to be reminded of the light in myself, which helps me to realize that it is through forgiveness that we receive peace and in peace we find true freedom…

REBIRTH!

The Scriptures speak of being born again. This has always been a fascinating and at the same time, confusing consideration. It is fascinating because, we want to understand, it is confusing because, most of us usually don’t make the effort. But we should, because while being born again is not necessairly an easy work, it is a very necessary one.

To be born again is to be born of the spirit and it is a spiritual process. It is the re-awakening to our potential and while it does require some effort on our part, it is our God, Spirit, Lord, Christ, Source, who does the heavy lifiting. Spiritual labor, just like physical labor can be challenging and tiring. It is work from the inside – out. It involves us surrendering our will and coming to a place of giving up, letting go, and allowing our heart to grow tender.

“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” -John 3:3

In the spiritual labor of being born again, it does not matter who gets the credit, who is right, who is wrong, how long it takes, what the opinions of others might happen to be or who gets the prize??? The only thing that matters is the end result and some where along the way, we begin realize that all of our effort is just not enough. In the tired weariness of living in this old sin sick world, we finally surrender, give up and allow ourselves to rest in the arms of our Creator. It is at this place that the miracle of rebirth begins to happen.

Being reborn is finding the love we’ve been searching for all of our lives. Once we are reborn, we quickly find comfort in our new skin, because we understand that we are loved. We are loved because we were created by love and for love. We are not so easily distracted by the stuff of this world, because we finally understand that we are just passing through to a better and more perfect place. We experience freedom that sets us free from fear and allows us to overcome any and all challenges with love, sweet love.

This new energy of love opens up a whole new spiritual world within the physcial world of our dwelling, which offers us opportunities for growth outside of ourselves and into the supernatural. It is within the supernatural, that we find the strength, maturity and spirit to grow as we have never grown before. This growth in grace is the sweet and beautiful gift that we were created and re-created for, so please make sure that you enjoy it, every baby step of the way…