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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unplug!


It is amazing what we allow ourselves to be exposed to. Whether it is listening to negative comments from others, watching television shows that impart fear or some unrealistic expectations of what love is; Or just allowing society to sway our beliefs on the definition of what true prosperity is. Despite the example, we are all plugged in to something.

Being a movie fanatic, I can't help but to think about the first Matrix movie. After Neo took the pill, his eyes were opened to a new (or true) reality. Once in that reality, he had to be plugged in in order to maneuver between each alternate world.

This is similar for us in our day to day lives. Everyone has their own reality (or belief) of right and wrong, good and evil, true and false. We can mentally and emotionally allow ourselves to gain other's truths to the point where it clouds our judgement on what's real.

A friend of mine was talking about a friend of theirs to me, and in the conversation they said, "I'm not saying it's true, but that is their truth". In other words, that is how they feel about it so it is true for them. 

I remember staring at this person, thinking to myself... Huh?! But believe it or not this statement rings true for a lot of people. Most have allowed life's problems to identify them and sculpt an image of what life is. 

Such as: If a person was cheated on, then it is sometimes hard for most to see any relationship as being a trusting, dependable, stable relationship that you don't have to hold up a 24 hour guard, waiting for something bad to happen.

Or

If one had a horrible childhood, it could be hard for them to not attract the same type of people in their lives later on and in some cases not want children as adults.


So here is where we get to the point when we need to unplug ourselves from stereo types, negative talk, bad news, lies, bad experiences and negative thoughts. We should allow ourselves a life of freedom in every area of our being. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36 NIV)

But here is the catch. When we unplug, we must get plugged in to something else so that we don't move back into our old ways. "If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32 NIV)

Whether it is the bible in addition to inspirational music and books along with positive people, you must plug in. Yourself and those around you depend on it. 

Just like you giving your body the good fuel it needs to continue on throughout the day and in years to come, so it is the same for your spirit man. If you want to live a long healthy life with as little complications as possible in the future, then you eat right, exercise and try to get proper sleep right? Then we should do the same thing for our spirit, mind and soul.

Plug in to what God's Word says about you. Plug in to positive self affirmations and proclamations. Plug in to becoming an optimist despite the situation. 

You have a right to be happy despite your circumstances. Make the most of this life. Despite what it looks like now, remember it can always get better because you are an Overcomer! But you MUST be plugged in to the right source. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Always A Way Out



I love movies! Especially inspirational movies with an under dog that rises to the top at the end, despite all their obstacles in the process. The Bible's true stories as well as Hollywood's elaborate scenes and awesome actors have given us great examples. One feels encouraged and inspired after reading (or watching) the main character overcome every negative thing that tries to stop them from reaching their divine purpose.

Sometimes life gets so heavy that it feels like you're suffocating and everything around you is closing in. The walls seem too high to climb and you feel that your voice is just a faint memory that God, or anyone else for that matter, can't hear.

Even though you pray, believe and try to press through as hard as you can, your perception creates a smoke screen as if there is no way out. Almost like between a rock (Mount Everest) and the hardest place ever. You're not weird because everyone has been here before. However, no matter what you do or think, there is always a way out.

I can remember different times in my life that I was disappointed, hurt, absolutely annoyed or all the above, and although that feeling was dominant then, I (or God) managed to bring me out each time. Being allowed to go through that era in my life has made me a better, stronger and WISER person. Though I would not want to go through those particular situations again, I can not deny that (like the word says) everything worked out for my good.

One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:2-4, 'Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.'

This scripture has got me through so many hard transitions in life. Yes change is inevitable and problems come and go. But the one thing that remains is if you endure, not give up and (allow yourself to persevere in everything), you will reap a harvest (Galations 6:9).

There is nothing that you can't come out of. Whether your problem is physical, psychological, emotional, financial or spiritual, God has created a fail safe for any situation you may have. His possibilities are endless, so therefore yours are too. See what He says about you and who you are in him and you will gain the strength you need to endure difficult times.

Look up and don't give up! Picture yourself rising to the top and breaking through. See yourself in the opposite light of what this current season is for you. Remember, there is ALWAYS a way out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

GET OUT!


I chuckle to myself when I hear "GET OUT", because it reminds me of Tyler Perry as Madea saying that phrase in one of his infamous plays "Diary of a Mad Black Woman".

Anyone who has ever watched a horror movie with some type of possessive poltergeist trying to take back a property from its living inhabitants, has found themselves screaming at the screen from the top of their lungs for the dense and clumsy character to get out of harms way.

But what about real life? Do we know when our time has come to an end in a particular relationship, season or job? Do we hang around longer than we ought waiting for some deep sounding voice to yell from the heavens to GET OUT?

We've all done it...stayed around longer waiting for that majestic sign or just plain waiting for things to get better and they don't. That's because our season for that particular thing has come to an end.

The truth is, we have an innate ability to want things to get better, no matter what it looks like. However, we can learn a lot from nature and how it is constantly changing from season to season without hesitation. Ants don't gather food in the winter. Snow doesn't fall in the summer. And flowers don't bloom in autumn. So why do we force ourselves to stay in something that has expired?

There could be countless reasons. However, personally speaking from my own experiences and what I've seen in others, I know there are 3 main reasons people stay out of season.


FEAR 
(an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.)

This one is major. Fear can paralyze you to the point where you don't move at all. It can be the fear of the unknown 'what's next?', fear of failure 'what if I succeed then go back to rock bottom?', fear of success 'what if I do succeed, can I stay at that level or improve?'. And the biggest one...What if God doesn't do it and leaves me hanging? 

Tip:
Despite these fears, God will not, has not and will never fail us. We have to move past this stage by reassuring ourselves in what the word says about us and his plan for us despite what it looks like now.


COMPLACENCY
(pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situations, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect)

Complacency can be just as dangerous as anything else. You become numb in your current situation, not allowing yourself to feel, change, evolve, discern or move forward. You believe where you are is good enough but you are living beneath your potential. You are just getting by day after day.

Tip:
Wake up and drink some coffee! Begin to feel again so that you can be filled again. Filled with an excitement that each day brings your closer to fulfilling your destination. Try something new every week. Let it be something you're passionate about. Something that makes you happy. Take a break from the day to day mundane life that has sucked you dry. There is so much potential in you waiting to be born. Now it's up to you to decide what you will do with it.


PROCRASTINATION
(the act or habit of...putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention) 

Benjamin Franklin put it perfectly when he said, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today". Procrastinating is an ongoing disease that spreads like cancer if you allow it to enter your life and daily routine. It's easy to not do anything at all, but the gratification of completing the task at hand gives a great feeling of reward. And the truth about procrastination is not just laziness, but its root is fear. So now you're dealing with not only one thing, but two major hindrances keeping you from moving into your new season.

Tip:
Scheduling is everything! Schedule a few important things for you to do each day and just do them. If you have to start with one today, two tomorrow, three the next day and so on, you will begin to break the habit of procrastination. You will begin to feel and act like the conqueror you are. In addition you will have a freedom like never before.


Here's the light at the end of the tunnel: No matter what is keeping you from leaving this season (whatever that is for you), you can change it and come out of that which holds you back. You have to shed old skin in order to hold new wine. That old skin can look like many different things for different people. But regardless of what it is, get rid of it so you can move forward and leave this dead season, job, church, relationship etc. Just Do It (as Nike puts it so simply) and GET OUT!