When Is Good, Not Good Enough?

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Riddle me this? It is something I have been pondering for a while. When is good not good enough. I mean you try and do your best yet for whatever reason its not good enough. Or another way to ask this question is, “why is good not good enough?”

Could it be because we live in a culture were everything has to be an amazing experience. Isn’t the goal for all of us to be better than good? When we start to do something we never set out to be mediocre we strive to be great or at the very least the best we can be.

Who is to tell us what is good or our best? We are the ones who determine that. We set the standard for our lives and the things we go after. There are goals we want to reach and should not allow someone else’s perceptions ruin our goals.

There will be those who will tell you, you are not doing enough to meet some standards they have set up for you. Wanting to measure you against others in the same aspects. Like for me I am hoping to become a pastor or in some type of full-time ministry. However, unlike the average pastor I have some sever health issues (specifically fibromyalgia) which can be debilitating at times.

With these additional challenges it is hard to be measured by regular standards, but I do my best. I hope live a life honoring to God. So I try to measure up to the standards set-up by others. We are still left with the question of when is good not good enough? And the answer is when someone else sets the standards and you are unable to reach them.

The next question to arise is how to do better than good? So we can do more than enough. The answer which comes to mind, is to trust in Christ. I know it sounds hokey, but it is the best answer I can give you. When we commit ourselves to Christ we can know we are going to achieve the best standards possible.

As long as we are committed to Christ, and are fully committed then we can know we doing our best. And our best is good enough. With all of this in mind we can know we are on the right path.

Question: Are you still trying to live up to someone else’s standards?

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It’s Hard Being All Things to All People

I don’t know if you have ever lived like this but it is hard and rather frustrating at times. I want to be the best at everything in life. I want to be the best husband, father, Bible study leader, and the list goes on. Do you ever feel that way?

I am not sure what has made me this way, but I am here now. One thing comes to mind while not exactly in context are the words of the Apostle Paul, when he tells the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 9:22b I have become all things to all people that I might save some. Paul wanted to be the best example he could be in order to win men to Christ.

To my family I want to be the best example of what a man of God should look like, not only to them but to those I lead. It is hard trying to be Superman. My health is a challenge in and of itself. Somedays it takes all I have just to get out of bed and do the simple things people take for granted like making breakfast. So how can I be all things to someone then.

There are times when depression gets a hold of me so bad I don’t know which way is up and I am supposed to be the light to those around me. It is my hope that by sharing this with you, you will realize life doesn’t have to be perfect to be used of God. He wants us to attempt to do our best for his glory and he will take care of the rest. We are told, to plant and to water but the harvest is up to God.

There are so many ways to live life. I don’t think it is inherently wrong to want to be all things to all people, but there has to come a point where you are who you ultimately are meant to be. The basis of all this is to say before I can be everything I have to be one thing. The one thing for me is a Christian. This is my basis or as some would say my foundation.

Once I know what my foundation is it allows me to build on it. You cannot become what you weren’t meant to be. A dog cannot become a cat or vice-versa. What I can be is the best me God has created me to be and in doing so I become all things to all people. I am a  better father to my children, a good husband to my wife, a devoted friend, and loving son. There is so much more that I am but it comes after all of these things.

Question: What is your foundation? How do you attempt to be all things to everyone?

Are We Supposed to Learn Something From Everything

church-402213_640I only ask the question because today I had to sit for almost three hours in a boring courtroom on a very hard bench. I couldn’t slouch or stretch without the bailiff having an attitude. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while you know how bad my health is (I have fibromyalgia). So having to sit there was excruciating.

What made things worse was the fact I had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. It was a rough night, only have to wake up early to go to a Bible Study. The study was a good time of fellowship around the Word of God in Daniel 5.

But back to my original question are we supposed to learn something from everything? If so I wonder what it is I’m supposed to learn from sitting in a place being so stiff and in pain. I guess you could say I am supposed to learn patience and endurance as my wife was saying.

It was definitely a test. I took a book with me to read, but was at first too tired to read, and then was in too much pain to focus on the book. I don’t know if your courts are like ours, but you are not allowed to have your phone or anything else electronic it looked like.

I can say today has been an eye opener for me in one regard. The same way I write for myself and it resonates with you all. So does a simple phone call placed to a brother in Christ to check on him. I know I appreciate it when one of the brothers reaches out to me, so I took it upon myself to give some guys the same care.

You may be asking what have I really learned today? Well, I’ll tell ya. I’ve learned courtroom benches hurt, and I am not the most patient of people. Most importantly I learned the importance of a well place act of kindness. You never know the impact it is going to have on someone. One of the brothers I contacted said the simple gesture of me calling him “Made my day.”

I don’t know about you, but being able to make someones day just warms my heart a little more. So yes we can learn something from everything, but we can not learn everything from one thing.

Question: What is something you have learned in the recent past?

Being Brutally Honest

Honestly speaking life is hard. I don’t just mean work, but every aspect of life. It feels like you have to always be on for people. At least that is the way it is for me, since I have fibromyalgia. Living a “normal” life is a struggle because there are days I don’t want to get out of the bed. I especially don’t enjoy leaving my house anymore.

Going to the store is a challenge for me. It is draining in all senses of the word. I used to be such a people person. That was until this stupid disease/syndrome got a hold of me. It has changed who I am on so many different levels. I am no longer the bubbly person I once was. My patience has gotten shorter. There is however one positive that has come from this.
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My relationship with Jesus has gotten better. I turn to him more often. I find peace in the fact that he told us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.(Matt 11:30). Even with that peace though it is still hard to maintain a great attitude all the time which is what I feel like I am supposed to do. When I am at church I want to talk to people and be polite most days. There are just some of those days, like the ones when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Trying to talk to people then is just plain rough.

Then there are my kids, I love them to death. They can just be a hand full sometimes. Especially the oldest who has the special needs. He can cause more stress which in turn causes fibro flares. Putting me in more pain. I don’t believe he does it on purpose. Either way it happens though. It is in those moments of struggle that I RUN to Jesus. One because I know he will always be there for me and two I don’ t know of anywhere else to run.

Add on top of all of that I am studying for my Masters of Divinity. Which takes up much of my time when the semester is in. With all of these things in mind I know of no other way in life to get by, than to run to Jesus. Sure I can run to a functional savior. In the end what good is that really going to do me?
What trials are you facing and how are you dealing with it?

Living with Pain- My Perspective

            Pain is not something new to the follower of Yahweh. It is not how God originally intended for life to be, but due to the fall of man in Genesis 3 pain has become a part of life. God promised Eve that she would experience pain during childbirth Gen 3:16. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul tells of a thorn that was given to him to help keep him from getting conceited. This should give us as believers some comfort that in our weakness God is getting the glory for the strength we do have. It is not of ourselves. I know suffering from fibromyalgia has changed my life and my perspective on life. And that is what things boil down to is perspective. Paul choose to see his strength lying in his weakness, and coming directly from God.
            I like Paul realize that it is no longer my own strength that things get accomplished, but through the power of Christ I am able to handle most anything. I remember what it was like to be completely healthy and do whatever I wanted; I would be remised to say I don’t miss it. However, due to my current circumstances I have grown closer and more in tune to the Holy Spirit. I can only hope to maintain the attitude of Job (Job 1:21). God gives and he takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord. It is never easy trying to live in constant pain or dealing with the inability to concentrate going through what is called fibro-fog. Job was a special man he lost everything except for his wife, and she wanted him to curse God and die. Job 2:9. Job not only lost his lively hood, his kids, his home, he ended up losing his health to the point that he was covered in boils. Leaving him not only in a depressed state but in constant pain. Even with all that he trusted God.
            While chronic pain has taken much away from me, it has also given me something I would never have gained without it, a stronger confidence in God. There are some in the Fibro community who will disagree with me, and that is okay.  I believe it has allowed me to trust that God has a plan for my life beyond what I can comprehend, there is a Christian rapper named Trip Lee that I really connect with because he suffers from a similar condition known as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I mention him because he not only raps but wants to be a pastor (which is what I am studying to become). Because with Fibromyalgia comes a very heavy fatigue some days. I have met the man in person and he is very down to earth and loves Jesus very much. On another note back to my point God is working something together for my good, I have a life verse I hold on to dearly it is Romans 8:28.
            So all of this to say, don’t allow the circumstances of life to dictate how you view life. Remember it is all about perspective, you can choose to view the glass as half empty or half full. It is my hope that you will see it as full and running over because of the work Christ has done on our behalf. Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 2:23-25.

-Preach