identity

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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Purpose Before Opinion

I think far too often many people think of God as some impersonal, unemotional being, that has no positive thoughts about humans. Thus, I tend to be amazed when I read a passage like Galatians 1:15-16.

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.

First of all, I just want to point out that God set us apart, before any of us even entered the world (which is a point against abortion, but I digress). God set us apart as His children and as His child. He designed us to operate in such a way that we don’t blend; we stand out; our lives preach more than our words. His idea was to use us in whatever way that fit how we were designed to show the world Jesus, in whatever way He has called us to preach.

Once we are sure and walk in who He created us to be, it pleases Him. It’s as if He feels we are finally ready to receive all that He has for us. He is pleased…with us. Being ourselves pleases Him. Hard to believe, isn’t it? He is pleased enough to use us, but the next part of the journey is being satisfied and confident in who and what He has called us to, so much in so that we don’t consider, let alone care, what anyone else has to say. There is a saying that says, “you had a purpose before anyone had an opinion.” If you keep reading Paul expands even further of who he chose not to consult or ask for approval or permission. The only thing that he was certain of was what God had called him to do, and that’s all that mattered. God said it, and that settled it.

It speaks a lot to what we often deal with today. God reveals things to us and puts things in our hearts and at times we know very specifically what He has called us to be and what He wants us to do, but we don’t trust it or care too much of what others will think of us, and it is usually because what He has for us disturbs reality and is something that is out of our norm or even comfort level. It may scare us or it may simply be something we don’t want to do (I’ve been on both sides of that fence), and when we get the opinions of others, even if they mean well, we are discouraged or persuaded to not believe or adhere to what God put in us to do.

Bottom line, let God have the final say. Believe Him and trust Him with your life. Plus, I’ve learned many times not to share my dreams or thoughts or revelations with just anyone, because they are not meant for everybody, if for no other reason, not everyone will understand, let alone support you for one reason or another. If God speaks, you don’t need anyone’s approval or validation. If He is pleased with you, you better believe that He has something incredible planned for you in a way that will glorify Christ and edify you.

Be you for a purpose, because you don’t need anyone’s permission.

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.

Identity – James Fortune

I really have nothing to say apart from, this is my motivation for life: being more and more like Christ as much as I possibly can on this side of glory. In every thing I say and do I want Jesus to be reflected in me; I want his being alone to define me, and his glory be satisfied through my life. Thank you James Fortune for this song, you music is changing lives.

Jewel of the Garden: Woman

The more I hear and think about the story of creation and consider all the characters and flowergemthe events that took place, the more I am fascinated by the creation of women. I’d like to think of us, women, as the Jewels of the Garden. Unfortunately, in today’s world it’s hard to feel that beauty and value, when it is often times measured by the superficial. However, God knew what He was doing when He created woman. He had a special purpose for woman that makes her so unique, which is why as women, we have to find our identity in Christ alone, so that our greater purpose can be fulfilled. He already has proven his love, in that he loved us enough to die for us, therefore, we should love him enough to live for him. Nonetheless, the whole story of the creation of woman shows what David meant in Psalm 139, and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To start off, I read a book by a great author named Donald Miller. In this book he laid out the events that took place before God brought Eve to Adam. First, He created the world, then He created man. However, the point he made was that right after God created him, He put him to work. He told Adam that he was to work it and watch over Eden, and on top of that to name all the animals…ALL of them (Genesis 2:15-19). Can you imagine how long that would have taken. Think about all the animals, in the land, water, and sky. More so, all of them had mates…except Adam. The interesting thing is that even before God told him to name the animals, He promised Adam that He’d give him a suitor, because it wasn’t good to be alone. I don’t think Adam quite understood the significance of what the Lord had promised, until he began to see the mates of each creature and how they complemented each other. Thus, seeing pair after pair, and watching their interactions, he was probably more excited to receive his. It had to be a very long process. Think about it, naming everything, then after a while you have to make sure you don’t use the same name, and then having to classify the types of creatures.

gems5So, when Adam was finally finished working, God put him to sleep. It was then that He took from Adam’s side, his rid, not the ground, and formed Eve. I heard my dad preach one time, that in pulling out from Adam, to created Eve, He took all that was feminine out of man and produced woman. This explains why there is such the connection between male and female; the very make up of a woman He took out of man. As a result, how do you think Adam felt when He first saw and met Eve? I would think excited, in awe, but most of all appreciative. I think he recognized the undeniable value and irreplaceable blessing of the gift God had given him, and the uncompromising purpose he saw within her. So if Adam felt this way about Eve and appreciated her ever so much, why would a woman settle for a man that treats and feels about her any differently? God’s purpose was never that a woman be abused, taken for granted, mistreated, and or neglected by any man. You are the precious jewel of the garden, God knew it and Adam knew it. David O. McKay said it best:

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

God already called you beautiful (Song of Songs 4:7) and truly takes delight and sings about you (Zephaniah 3:17). You are like a jewel in His crown. Do you know your worth?