Month: January 2014
Skin is something that we all have, but unfortunately it’s also something that many of us don’t feel comfortable in. These days people tend to allow that uncomfortable feeling to lead them into various outlets, endeavors, and under takings in order to feel better about themselves. In our society it has become too simple to change what we don’t like about ourselves in the areas of outward appearances, sexual assignments, and gender roles.
We have all become victims of media overload which influences the ways in which we view life, our bodies, and others around us. It is clear that with the prevalence of television and other 24 hour media outlets and connectivity that our society has taken a severe down turn. In today’s society most people seem to live in an almost constant state of confusion about who or what they are as they try to wear the many hats placed upon them through the media. Examples of this can be seen throughout a variety of areas in life especially in the younger generations. It seems that certain things like homosexuality,bisexuality, transgender, gangster/thug, and many many more terms/lifestyles have become fads. My question is why?
The answer can be found in the Bible, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy”John10:10. In this parable Jesus is speaking about a shepherd and his sheep and he explains the plans of the thief. I know you’re wondering what that has to do with the topic at hand, right?
See the point is that we as humans are open vessels that can acquire and learn things based upon our environment and surroundings. So if the media, which includes television, radio, social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.), billboards, magazines, commercials, etc. constantly bombards you with images, music, and other subliminal messages that suggest you need improvement, you need this, you need that, it’s okay for this, and it’s okay for that then the seeds of distraction, confusion, and discourse have been planted. And if you are young and impressionable then these images and sound bites begin to sprout and become real in your life especially if there is nothing to contradict them. But not only do children fall victim to these things adults do also, which is why cosmetic surgeries are at an all time high throughout the world.
It seems that no one is comfortable in the own “skin” anymore everyone is striving to be something or someone else. Ironically, after all pursuits of fulfilling this unattainable standard are exhausted many will realize that, that which they were seeking was with them the whole time. In that space that many are trying to fill, only the one who fashioned the skin you’re in can fill it. God.
…”For whatever is in your heart determines what you say”~Matt.12:34
So much can be said about the power and use of words in our lives. They are one of our gateways to the world that surrounds us and allows us to play the roles of both sender and receiver in communication.
In as much as we know as believers in God the world was created through speech. The pronounced words of God said “Let there be” and there was. In many instances the same can be said for us today. We are masters of our own fates, determining what and who can influx and influences the worlds we create.
Ultimately we posses power. A power so strong that it can be used to uplift or to destroy depending on how we choose to use it. We have all experienced a case in which words were used as a tool to harm us instead of inspire. The truth has been stated time and time again that left in the minds of people will be the one instance an unkind word was spoken. These words will sit and fester inside an individual for sometime and in an instance paralyze them in moments where courage is needed.
The same is true for all of us. Fear is often inspired by the words spoken over our lives from others or even worse from the rehearsal of negative self-speech. So how do we combat the power of words that have generated fear, doubt, or negative thoughts??
We overcome with words. The words that come out of your mouth will over crowd and replace the words that have been rehearsed in your head. The Bible instructs us to ” take every thought captive” 2Corinth.10:5, and in order to do so there must be a reprogramming of your thinking.
For most of us myself included we speak the things that are in our minds and more often than not if those things are negative they tend to breed negativity in our lives. And once negativity has settled into our speech it brings along it’s friends bitterness, doubt, depression, and despair. For many years I lived in the land of negativity which I called “realistic” , until I realized that to be “real” you don’t always have to look at the worst of everything at all times. That’s the joy of coming into fellowship with Christ, a new perspective on life because he gives us hope.
Steps to new thinking:
1. Replace negative words with positive ones out loud
2. Set your mind on good things
3. Ask God to help through prayer
4. Repeat as needed
This is just the beginning! For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of accomplishing many things and producing literary works has been one of them. My mantra this year is “dream big, believe big, and put in work.”
As I grew as a child life and the inner most parts of my being told me I wanted more. My upbringing was rough as I was nurtured by a family that was heavily enthralled in the drug trafficing trade. But upon examination of the life I was reared in I realized that there was a decision to be made. And I made it. At 8 years old I decided I wanted more and the way to accomplish it was through a new means, that was Christ.
All along God had purposed for me to be different even within my environment. And to initiate the process he placed an unlikely source right next door. My neighbor Mrs. Allen, was a saintly woman. Everyday after school I would race to her house for a snack and a life lesson.
Mrs. Allen introduced me to Christ as a savior and as a source. In those 60 minutes after school each day Mrs. Allen imparted in me the greatest lessons of all.
1. Jesus is lord. He rules the land we inhabit. He is our source. He is our friend and through prayer we can speak to him and expect things to happen.
2. Prayer. The purpose of prayer is open communication with god. Everyday Mrs. Allen would enter into prayer with me and as we knelt down she would say “listen with your heart.” This taught me that the communication went both ways.
3. The power of agreement. Unbeknownst to me at the time Mrs. Allen was enacting a biblical principle with me. Asking of anything in agreement with another shall be done. Also the bible speaks of the pressence of god where “two” are gathered.
4. The power of praise. In all of our meetings we began and ended with a song of worship. This ignites god’s pressence and is an act of submission. Mrs. Allen would tell me that there was always a reason to be thankful whether it was the sunshine outside the window, the foid we ate, or simply being alive. Praise him for everything.
5. Dream big! Every afternoon Mrs. Allen would ask what my dreams were. Through this she wanted me to realize that in everyday there should be a purpose, something that drives you and with that trust god with them. In our talks we discussed school, my going to college one day, and the work of letting god lead my life. “Dream big” she would say “god can do great things!”
In my memories of my neighbor I can’t help but thank god for placing her in my life. The lessons were immeasurable. Dream big all you dreamers, and don’t be afraid to put the work in.