Do I Really Matter?

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We have all asked the questions at one point in our life. Yes you do matter, you may not mean something to everyone but to someone you are everything. I recently read in a blog post that if you think you are a pro then you are one. I think that works for some professions, but not all. It is easier for me to call myself a writer than a pastor.

The reason being is there are gatekeepers in becoming a pastor. I have to go through so many hoops (its almost ridiculous) but I am doing it because it’s what I feel called to. I have since I first came to Christ at 20 years old. It is often a struggle to feel like my calling is real because I have so many obstacles in front of me.

Even if things do not turn out how I would hope for them to, God is still in control. It will require faith and humility to learn how to trust God in these situations. Whoever tells you it’s easy is lying to you. God is going to allow you to reach a place where all you have is Him. In that place your faith will grow and you will learn to be more dependent on Him and trust yourself less. In doing that we start to learn our value in Christ.

Why do we ask the question of whether we matter or not? It’s because we all want to feel like someone cares. We can say we know that Jesus loves us, but if we are honest that isn’t enough for most of us. It is a condition of the fall that took place in Genesis 3. When Adam and Eve were tricked into believing a lie. It was a lie that they could be like God, when they had missed the point that we were already like God, being created in His image.

As we begin to really live in the love of Christ, we begin to feel our significance. We stop looking to things that are outside of our control for satisfaction. We want to feel loved and wanted by someone. We should feel love and acceptance from our parents, our spouses, our children, even our friends. In the end they are all going to let us down to some degree. But in Christ we find all of those things and so much more. I am not promising that life is going to be easy peasy, or a walk in the park.

Life is still going to have its challenges, but in knowing Jesus loves and accepts me I can face those challenges head on. Trust Jesus with your life so you can experience this same feeling.

Question:How can you learn to rely on God for your identity/significance?

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You’re A Failure So What!

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Have you ever heard the words that you are a failure? How about speaking those words to yourself? I know I have even in the last six months I have felt that way. And guess what you may be. That is the brutal honesty of it. However, that doesn’t have to be the end. I know what makes me feel like a failure is my inability to work a full-time job due to my health. That is why I am in school working toward a degree in ministry hoping that I will be able to land a job doing what should be easier on my body.
I feel like a failure as a parent, a husband and a son. You see my family has lived with my mom our entire marriage which has been seven going on eight years. I have never been able to hold down a good job. Hell, I’ve never had a good job. Everything I did was menial working 12-15 hours a day for pretty much minimum wage sometimes. We have always struggled to take care of our family.
Even with these struggles though I still believe God has a plan for my life. Like I have quoted in other posts Romans 8:28 is my life verse. I know Jesus is working things together for my good, even the things that look bad.
Remember how bad things looked for Joseph in the book of Genesis? He was accused of rape and thrown in prison. At that point in his life I’’m willing to bet he felt like a failure. That is not how the story ends. The story ends with Joseph becoming second in the land of of Egypt only behind the pharaoh.
Just like Joseph, my story is not over with either. I am pursing my writing with more passion, while still working toward my Mdiv.
You can think what you want of me. I’m lazy or worthless, or whatever you like. It doesn’t matter to me, because I have learned that God has me where he wants me. When He wants that situation to change he will give me the ways and means to do it. I have found my worth in Jesus and that is good enough for me.
So right now you may be in a place where you feel like a failure, just remember that unless your dead the story is still being written. God knows what he has in store so trust in him.
Where do you feel like a failure?  What steps do you need to take to change your situation? Let me hear from you.

Don’t Despise the Small Things!

   

The title of todays post comes from what was  gleaned from a church service on 12-14-14. That was the biggest take-away I got. Don’t despise the small things, because they can turn into great things. One thing that comes to mind are two of the biggest computer companies in the world, Microsoft and Apple. They both started out small, but with a vision. And they didn’t let anything get in the way of that vision. Because they new the potential that their product had. This is a lesson I am begging to learn. While I do not have a huge following right now, I believe I will one day as long as I continue to produce material people can use. 

     My hope for this post is to encourage you, maybe even challenge you! What do you have inside of you that you are about to let die because you are upset with your meager beginnings? When I first started this blog I was happy when I had 10 visitors a day. Now I am averaging around 140 a day. Which for me is great. Do I think we can do more yes, I DO! But, I know it depends on the plans the Lord has for me and this ministry of writing he has given me. Another reason not to despise small beginnings is because that is exactly how our Lord and Savior started out. He was not born in some fancy mansion in Jerusalem no he was born in a manger  in Bethlehem. He would go on to live a normal life until the time his ministry started. He was not drawing big crowds at first either. It wasn’t’ until people started to take notice of what he was able to do that he grew a following. The biggest problem with Jesus following is they were always in it with the whats in it for me category. Which is okay some of the time, we have to be willing to give back. Sometimes it is the smallest gestures that make the largest impact. Looking ahead there are things we learn from Christ interactions with the disciples. 
     Christ tells the disciples a parable about the mustard seed being the smallest of seeds, yet when it is planted becomes the largest of all garden plants.(Mark 4:30-32) While Jesus was referencing the kingdom of God in this parable we can take a lot away from it.  There is another reference to a mustard seed I like for our context just a little bit more. Jesus is speaking to the disciples and tells them that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed  they can move mountains.(Matt 17:20) It lets me know that I can start out small in anything and still have potential to become more. I don’t know about you but I long to do big things for the kingdom of God. While my faith may be small, God says its all I need. It will grow over time as I exercise it.So for my faithful readers I am VERY appreciative of you and say THANK YOU for all of your support. If you have been blessed by this or another post would leave me a comment letting me know. It is just one small gesture to help me to continue trying to be a blessing to you all. 
Life is hard, but God is good!
Preach
What are you exercising faith in to see it grow? What is your small thing?

Gratefulness

     What comes to mind when you hear the word gratefulness? There are several different things that jump out at me when hearing that word, they are more concepts than things. I think of humility. I also think of generosity. Both of those things seem to play a role some way or another in gratefulness. It takes humility to receive something with a grateful attitude, while it takes some one being generous to give making it possible to be grateful. 
     The best picture we have of this combination comes from God to us. God is gracious enough to come down to this world in the form of a man to take on a burden that is rightfully ours. That is generously giving of ones’ self. This gift requires humility on our part because a proud person will not accept what has been shown to him in his need of forgiveness. (1 Cor 1:18).  I know for me I thought all Christians were crazy hypocrites. It wasn’t until I came to know Christ personally that my view changed. It takes a change of heart to begin to  understand the riches that are found in the kingdom of God.
     We can learn great lessons from our relationship with Jesus on how to be grateful. While Jesus walked this world he often appreciated all that was done for him, such as the women who took care of him. One instance that comes to mind is when a woman anointed His feet with nard, washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. (Luke 7:36-50).  This section of Scripture show that both Jesus and the woman were appreciative of the actions the other took. There are many people in the world who need some assistance and will be eternally grateful. 
Q: What are somethings you are grateful for from this last year?