Some say that to appreciate someone or something as beautiful, then someone or something else must be identified as ugly. This also works in the reverse: To see something as ugly, then we must identify something else as beautiful. This comparison is based on duality of two or more things being opposite from one another and one being better or worse than the other.
We practice the idea of duality in all of our life and living. There is living and dying. Dying is what makes living so precious, while dying makes us think twice about wasting our living. Other examples include fat and skinny, short and tall, love and hate, male and female, young and old, up and down, black and white, good and evil. You get the idea, right?
The world we live in has trained us to judge everything in the realm of duality, but what if instead, we viewed it all as a big part of the Master Plan? The real problem with duality is that it requires us to make a judgment and it is usually the judgment that messes us up, breaks our relationships and moves us away from the life of blessing we were created for.
We like to say: “Well everyone is entitled to their opinion!” Really – who says? Why do we have to have an option? Why do we feel so compelled to make a judgment? While there is clearly duality in the things we have mentioned, it’s not the duality we need to concern ourselves with. We need instead to be looking for the unity, because in the unity is where we find freedom, purpose and peace.
Life and death are different, but the same. Good and evil are judgments, but one cannot be made without the other, so both are necessary. You are a paradox in unity yourself, because you are human, but spiritual at the same time, meaning that part of you has limits and another part of you is unlimited.
You are not any one thing, instead you are billions of pieces, a mixture of divinity and humanity, spirit and flesh, heaven and earth. You are powerful and powerless, so what’s your choice? How will you live? You can live as a jumbled up mixture of criticism, emotions and judgment or you can live a blessed, fulfilled and inspirational life that goes with the flow of the One who brought you to the dance…
I still remember taking those test in High School that are supposed to tell you what you are supposed to be when you grow up and mine always indicated that I had the potential to be and do a lot of things, but no real desire or focus in any single direction. I remember thinking, I just wish someone would tell me what to do?
What I really loved was the spiritual life and the idea that we can have friendship with God, but back in those days, there were not many people big on the “personal relationship” part. The focus was more on getting you saved, baptized and into membership of the local church.
I could not really see myself being a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher,, because I just did not think of myself as being intelligent enough and I absolutely hated studying. I thought maybe God wanted me to be a Youth Minister. Down deep in my heart, I knew I was called and gifted by God to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher, but I felt like everyone else would judge me as inadequate, because I certainly did not feel that I was qualified or could even become qualified.
I remember a traveling evangelist coming through town and he came and spoke at our school. The story he told was that back in his younger days he had been running with the wrong crowd and one night he was with some guys that decided to rob a store. They all got caught and he went to jail and while he was in jail, he met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. The relationship with Jesus changed his life and he was so on fire because of the amazing relationship he had with Jesus. He was in our town for about a week and I remember going to hear him preach every chance I got. I do not remember his name, but I do remember how God began to deal with me and my future in a very real way during that time. For the first time, I knew what I felt in my heart about growing in a personal relationship with God was of vital importance to the Kingdom and we’ve got to start talking about this.
I had accepted Christ at a young age and had been a pretty good boy growing up. My family and church had raised me to know the difference between right and wrong. I generally chose right, because I wanted to be pleasing to God and especially because I did not want to disappoint my Granny or Mother. A lot of the teenage temptations did not interest me, because I cared more about what other people thought and that often kept me on the straight and narrow. (Not for the right reason, but it worked for the most part.)
After the evangelist left town, I really began to grow in my devotional times with God. I began everyday in His Word and I journaled and did my best to pray without ceasing. I can still remember going out at night to have long walk and talks with Jesus. Trying to figure out what He wanted me to do with my life. I remember praying one night: “God if I have to go to jail in order to find your will and serve you, then I am willing to do whatever I need to do.” Looking back, this was the very first time that I truly began to acknowledge God’s call upon my life.
As I grew in my faith and relationship, God began to also make it clear that He wanted me to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher for Him and His Kingdom. He showed me that a big part of what I was supposed to do, was just share the relationship and help others get into it and grow through it. So that is how it all started. There is a lot more to the journey, but that will be for another time.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:1-4
Today I was thinking about my “WHY?” Why am I a Minister (Pastor/PreacherTeacher)? Why am I a Master Life Coach? Why am I a Mentor? And here are Seven Reasons That Make Up My Why!
1.) God has called me and gifted me to do what I do!
2.) There is a much bigger picture of God and I really do want everyone to get it!
3.) The Bible is more than a book, it’s a love letter full of directions, guidance and instructions for living the blessed life we were created for.
4.) The Church is God’s best plan for us doing life together so that we can encourage, grow and motivate one another.
5.) A Relationship with God really does make all the difference and someone has to believe that, share that and help others get it right.
6.) I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be, because God actually wants to use my imperfections to bring greater glory to Himself and encouragement to others.
7.) I’ve given God plenty of opportunities to give up on me, turn His back on me and/or zap me with a lighting bolt, but every time, He reminds me that His GRACE is sufficient…
I try to have a word for the day for most days and today my word was confidence. There are times when confidence seems to come easy for me and there are others times when confidence seems to be an illusive animal that I just can’t seem to track down. It’s kinda funny, because there are times when I am pretty confident of my confidence and other times when my lack of confidence really throws me into a state of confusion. So today, I wanted to think a little about confidence, what helps me to be confident, what gets in the way of confidence and the price I pay when I can’t figure this confidence thing out.
So one of the first things I needed to figure out and why do I want to develop my confidence, if that is even possible? And of source I think it is possible, so in order for me to figure out, I started to think about where my lack of confidence comes from and what it may be costing me, so that I could figure out if this was really even a battle worth fighting.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalms 139:13-14
I want to develop more confidence, because I know that I don’t like the feeling of limitation that a lack of confidence produces in my life. You know that moment just before and right after you walk into a room full of people. That time and space, where you just don’t feel like you are enough. Not smart enough, good looking enough and we could fill in the blanks all night long. One of the major problems here is our getting caught up in the “comparison game”. Do not play this silly game, you will lose every time and if you don’t lose, you still lose!
I feel like I lack confidence when I am around people, because I want to be accepted and loved by everyone, but don’t always feel that I deserve that, because of past experiences. In so many ways I was loved and encouraged by my family and friends growing up, but that never seems to be what I focus on. Rather than focusing on the acceptance, encouragement and love I did have, I tend to think about what I didn’t have and it takes me straight down the road to a lack of confidence and often paralyzes me where I stand. We know this is not a right way of thinking, but it is the way that most of us do it, so now what?
One of the things I have been doing that has been a big help to me in a lot of different areas is taking time at the very beginning of my day to focus in on my day, who I want to be, what I want to accomplish, where I want to go, when and how I’m going to get there and why all this really matters. Thinking through these questions help me to put together a workable plan to get more meaningful things accomplished and this emphasis on meaningful work over busy work has contributed to me feeling more confident.
We have a choice, we can get distracted by who we are not, by what we don’t have and how we can never get there or we can find confidence in our success, build upon it and dream of growing better.
Think about just three words. Three words that help you to think about who you want to be, who you are going to be as you grow in your confidence. My three words that describe my future best self is blessed, confident and successful.
Everyday that I get to do what I was created to do is a blessing. The by product of growing is that I develop confidence that helps me to become even more effective in all that I do. Living this life and being happy is the greatest form of success that I can ask for and I have discovered that I have ll of this and more when I am fulfilling my called and created purpose…