created

Footprints

My writing process footis very interesting. Sometimes I think of a topic or subject matter and write about it on the spot and immediately post, and other times I do it with in a few days if I am not able to actually write for one reason or another. Then there are the times I have a topic or thought, and for some reason it takes weeks or months before I actually put it out, which may be because I lose interest, I forget my thought process, I haven’t been convicted enough, or I just don’t have as much as I thought in order to make it longer than a Facebook post, so they sit in my drafts, and to be honest, I have about four like that now.

Most of my ideas come from my personal devotion, books, a point in a sermon, or topics within the society, and of course I am inspired elsewhere like movies and music. I am not sure if you care about this or not, but if you are still reading this, I guess you do, so I will keep it moving.

Nonetheless, this piece was inspired from a devotional based on Paul telling the church to follow his and the other apostles’ example, and the purpose, of the devotional that is, is that the footprints, the influence, of those that have gone before us are washing away. This was almost a week ago, and it touched me so much, but I wasn’t fully convinced to write about it, at least in blog form, but I couldn’t get it out of my head and I even reverberated the message to someone, who received more so than I expected, so it was like confirmation that I needed to translate it here. Truth be told, I really don’t know why I felt the need to give you all that introductory information, but God has a funny way of doing things, so I’m convinced that someone will be inspired by it some way…Moving on…

When you think of the great people of the past, including Biblical characters, what you won’t find is someone acting like someone else, but rather ordinary people who decided to step outside of the box and step out on faith to be who God had called them to be. Now were they always “great”? No, but at some point in their life, they chose to go against what their culture or the society said they were. It was these individual’s who changed the world, whether they knew it or not, and we still talk about today. However, as time progresses, manfootprinty of these people and their names, let alone their impact are being forgotten. As do the waves of an ocean, the footprints they made in the sand are being washed away. Is that to say their life meant nothing and their work counted for nothing? Of course not, but even the Bible talks many times about how fleeting life is and how quickly we are forgotten.

Nevertheless, it raises the question, what now? Whose footprints will be the ones that guide and lead and influence the generations to come? The answer, you.

We can not depend on the people of the past, using them as a crutch. God wants your feet. God wants you who He created for such a time as this, to leave fresh prints that people can follow toward Christ. Your mark will be made by the life you live. You cannot leave footprints with someone else’s feet. And you can’t lead if you are not willing to move your feet. The disclaimer, you can’t keep looking behind to see who is following, but rather just to keep walking and following the Leader, which keeps you from pride and ego-tripping. The crazy part is that even when you look back to see who is following, that’s when the Enemy messes with your mind most, making you feel no one sees you, or you are not making any impact, and as a result, we tend to give up and or start living a meaningless life, because we think it’s not worth it. Yet, the reality is that most of the people who are behind you watching, are you can’t see because you don’t know them, and may never meet them. I can’t iterate enough how many people are looking at you and the life you live, whose name you don’t even know, let alone talk to.

Trailblazing does not mean becoming a superhero overnight or doing something substantial, big, or extraordinary. Instead, it’s about being deliberate and intentional in just being the person God has called you to be, and being obedient to even the smallest tasks. Every word spoken, every thing done, and every reflection of Christ that the Lord tailored to fit your true identity in Him, leaves deeper footprints that will last through generations.

The footprints of those that have gone before us are disappearing, and it demands a new generation of greatness to take their place and make their footprints in the sand, leaving impressions on the hearts and minds of people. Be you for a purpose and leave footprints worth following.

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Women, Stop Acting Like Men

So I was listening to a message by Lisa Bevere and she made this statement, “Being a confident woman is not acting like a man.” I almost fell over, because that is the truth that so many ladies fail to understand. Furthermore, it picks at the implication of many feminists. Tony Evans put it like this, as far as value is concerned, men and women are equal, but their function is different.

God knew what He was doing when He created man and woman, if they were to be the same, He would have given them the same function, or created two men first or two women. Especially in the Epistles written by Paul, he lays out the function of each. I was actually at the nail salon and they had “The View” on and I was watching it (not a fan) and they brought up a quote from Kirsten Dunst (I believe) about how women need to be more feminine and take more of the female role and how it was a lost art, in a nutshell. So of course they talked about it, but really none of them agreed, and said that there should only be a difference in the bed room, and that a man and woman share responsibilities, and one of them is a lesbian so her view point is already tainted. Pause. I would have to agree with Kirsten Dunst, because feminism is a lost art and being a confident women has become all about being independent, stubborn, self-ambitious, with an “I don’t need a man” mindset. First off, Paul explicitly says that men and women are interdependent on each another, and as my Uncle Jeff put it, you have never heard any man of any sort say, “I don’t need a woman,” but far too often you hear a woman say “I don’t need a man.”

It actually makes me think of the Taraji P. Henson’s character in “Think Like a Man,” when it was hard for her to have a healthy lasting relationship, because she was always acting like the man. Women are called to be women, act like ladies and not be afraid to be feminine, and if you read the last article you will see some qualities that make up a confident woman. But you may be asking, “So what is acting like a man?” From my understanding, it is a matter of seeking to be domineering, too strong-willed, and forcing their independent life on others, while your home life is suffering. We should not be always battling men to try and prove our worth, that disproves our confidence in who we are; being a confident woman is being confident in who it is that God created you to be, a woman, a lady. Now is this to say we are not individuals of different personalities and livelihoods? No, we are each unique with our styles, our own strengths and weaknesses, and we definitely can be independent and be passionate and strong leaders in our communities, and in many cases women and men can share the responsibilities. However, there are certain things that distinguish us from men and praise God for that! The way the culture and mass media sets it up, it’s hard to draw those lines just considering homosexuality that forces women to be men, or the reality shows that my last article discussed. So as you seek to be a confident woman or you seek to find a confident woman, desire to be or find a woman that understands who she is as a woman and finds her identity in Christ, it really is a beautiful thing. It’s okay to be strong but you have to be willing to be soft, it’s okay to be independent but you have to be willing to submit (it’s not a scary word). Men are more confident, able, and happy to be men most when their women are acting like women, not men, that’s when problems begin.

Be Myself Again

It’s been a while since I have done a music piece, but this song by Eric Benét, “Be Myself Again,” I had to post this. It’s such a positive song and the truth is that sometimes we do lose our rhythm, those innate qualities that make us who we are as an individual, priceless and unique. We lose our true identity, whether we were trying to fit in intentionally or we unintentionally conform to the world around us. As a result, many times we wind up unhappy, unsatisfied and discontented, but that moment you decide to play the music of your soul, the melody God composed for us, that’s when our lives change forever. So if your life notes ever sound muffled, dull, off key, just plain sour, or all of the above, give it to the Lord and He can help you find your way again.

It’s an amazing freedom to be yourself without compromise. Listen to the song and rock out to it. Be you for a purpose. Be encouraged.

To Be a Woman

Being a woman, there is nothing like it. For so many reasons I can say that I am so happy that God created and chose that I be a female, although I can’t lie, because there are times I wonder what my life would be like if I was a man. Nonetheless, as a woman, we have so much at our feet. Just on a superficial level, I am proud to be a woman because of all the option in make-up, hair, accessories, clothes, shoes; men don’t have those option to choose flats or heels, short or long dress, studs or chandelier earrings, or a bronzy or colorful eyeshadow look.

As a woman, we are what the man is not, soft, delicate, feminine, tolerant, the voice of reason, nurturing. We were made differently, we think differently, we give and receive love differently, we feel differently, and we operate just in a whole other dimension than men. Now is that to say that sometimes things don’t overlap, of course not, because we are each unique, various personalities, cultures, education levels, desires, interests, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and talents.

In today’s society, women are often times scene as sexual beings with little intelligence or intellect, but I beg to differ. Yes, we are sexual creatures, and done in God’s design, we are to use our sexuality to bring pleasure to our husbands. However, God gave us a mind, reason and emotion to make up for what a man can’t produce. In ministry alone, it is said that a 75% of ministries that fail, fail because a man didn’t listen or take the advice of his lady. James Brown wrote the lyrics “it’s a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl,” and I’m sure you heard the statement, “behind every good man is a great woman.” You see, we are women, we hold so much power that many of us fail to realize. The insight we have to offer, the wisdom, the finesse, the awe factor, the extra something, the “it” factor, that’s who we are. God created us to keep this world going. What we are given we turn it into something great, whether taking a sperm and making a baby, a house and turning it into a home, or a smile and create a love that won’t falter.

In the same breath, we are the backbone. We are the neck, which means we have the ability to turn the head any way we want, with discretion of course. I just love being a woman. God has a special place in His heart for women, just look through the Song of Solomon. God has a special purpose for his princesses, his daughters and he wants them to stand up and rise up for what He wants to accomplish that requires a woman’s touch. Have you noticed that even in prayer, yes it’s great to heat men pray, but it’s like the heavens open when women cry out to God in only the way only they can.

As a woman, there are perks that I love, like having doors opened, having meals paid for, being pampered because that is a lady. If nothing else, if God allows, we have the opportunity to give birth, that in and of itself is a miracle.

I just want to encourage women to be proud and confident in your womanhood. There is enough bad press going around, it is time for women to be bold and release the power locked inside and break free from the chains and bondage so many of us are trapped in, which was not God’s intention. God created you for such a time as this, recognize your place and acknowledge your womanly role and function at home, in work, in ministry. It’s all worth it. You are worth it. You are the gem of man, and to let any man or any other person or thought to creep and tell you otherwise is destroying what God purposed and undermining what He feels for you and what he has called you to be.

Irreplaceable or Not So Much?

One thing is that is popular in Christian culture is the belief that God is so loving, He is a friend, a big-brother, sometimes almost like a fuzzy teddy-bear you can talk to about anything and hug tight, and the belief that He has amazing plans for our lives. Now don’t get me wrong these things, minus the fuzzy teddy-bear, to are true and there are Biblical verses to back each of these up. However, in the midst of all the fuzziness, I think that we lose sight of what God is, a holy, righteous, all-powerful Being, whose every word that goes forth does not return void.

I think the problem that we have is that we think we are doing God a favor when we decide to follow Him, when in reality it is the complete opposite; it is an undeniable honor and privilege to be chosen by a God whose train of His robe filled His temple and has unimaginable creatures that call Him holy non-stop. Far too many of us take for granted God’s love for us and play with God like a tease, as if He needs us to accomplish His purpose. In my humble opinion, that is furthest from the truth. The moment we think God can’t operate without us, the moment we defeat ourselves.

Instead, I would say He doesn’t need us, He just desperately wants us. To me, that’s even more awesome, to know that the God who SPOKE the earth, the heavens, and the universes into existence and can very easily do what He wants when He wants how He wants, desires to use me as a vessel. That is incredible and just blows my mind. The Lord by no means had any reason to call any of us, but He did. We are sinful, wretched, messed up, and selfish people apart from the blood, but God still wanted us to be His. This should make us even more excited to go after and fulfill the purpose He has destined each of us individually, because He saw something in us that many times we never see for ourselves. He wants to take the scars, the brokenness, the failures, and somehow fit it into His master plan.

These thoughts come from several different places, somethings I heard years prior and some fairly recent, but it was Esther 4:13-14 that brought it home for me. In this part of the story Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, was trying to get her to help save the Israelites, and after she gives her reasons for apprehension, he pretty much tells her that she is not blessed for no reason and that God can still do what He needs to through someone else if she didn’t step up. First off, the same things apply in that we are blessed to be a blessing, no matter how little we think we have. We are not to be selfish people that only look out for “mine.” Our position, gifts, talents, skills, are not to be hoarded or disregarded, for God is very strategic in how He places people, but it’s the following verse that explains what I have been saying. He tells her that she very much can bring deliverance for the Jews, but if she decides to just chill out, God will use someone else, and she herself will not be saved.

The Lord’s patience is amazingly perfect, because it’s not unusual that God has to ask us over and over to do things. Like Esther, someone’s life hangs in the balance of our obedience whether we realize it or not. Furthermore, when we don’t pursue to discover and fulfill our purpose, we find ourselves dead, maybe not physically, but often times mentally and spiritually, and dissatisfied in life. (Another verse of reference here is Matthew 16:25.) On the other hand, people have shared that because of their disobedience, a person they were supposed to minister to in one way or another, died or suffered.

Nevertheless, praise God for the Esthers, those that may have needed some persuasion, but heard the call and were not afraid to put it all on the line (Esther 4:16), but believing their purpose was bigger than their own life.

Irreplaceable, in the sense that there is no other you past, present, or future, absolutely, but in the sense that we determine God’s will from being done or not, maybe not. He will get His work done with or with out you or me, so I don’t know about you, but I am willing to be drafted and willing to fight if I know I’m going to win, even if the battle looks otherwise. The Lord is gracious and created us for His glory and sent His Son to restore us back to Him so that He can use us to impact the world with His love, despite how backwards, slow moving, impatient, stubborn, lazy, irrational, needy, clueless and selfish we are. He wants you. He chose you. So go and act like it on purpose, for His purpose.