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Moving and Morphing

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We live life stuck in mental self images of ourselves based upon past experiences. It becomes hard to see ourselves developing in stages rather than fully developed. At times we forget that we are involved in processes and cycles that grow us and develop us in life. There are times that a mind change must happen to keep up with our life’s changes. Our inability to change our own self concepts can impede progress and cause for us to become irrelevant and stagnated.

When this happens we know it and can sense that there is something wrong. David had to change his self portrait from shepherd to messenger; from messenger to defender; from defender to musician; from musician to warrior; from warrior to general; from general to king; and finally from King to architect.  

These different shades of one person are a lifetime on display. We see these moments or snapshots of his life but if we were to drop into his life at any given time without prior knowledge of his life we would place David in a box not knowing that his purpose and lifetime carried many assignments. One assignment was not the whole assignment but it did prepare him for the next assignment. What a revelation to know that there is more required of my life than what has already been.

Back to a Contemplative Life

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I was taking a drive on Dallas Baptist University’s campus and was redirected many times. You see there was construction going on and the road blocks were established to direct people around it.

IThe only problem was that the cones were confusing. So I ended up going down many dead end thoroughfares. It was frustrating but if I would have stopped trying to find my way out I would have been stuck in a place that has no flow. Where there is no flow there’s no life. This is sometimes the way we think.

The flow of our thoughts are sometimes directed and redirected to move us around obstructions in the road. However, when we experience a dead end in thinking or in life we pause. We become comfortable in stopping and complacent in meandering around mediocrity. We have to become intentional about critically analyzing where we are and potentially where we could be with more effort. On this campus I had to become unsatisfied with stagnation. I had to look at the barriers and figure out a way to get out. It was possible as long as I kept critically analyzing my current situation and being motivated to getting out. This was a life lesson to me not to be obsequious about life.

We have a preponderance of motivation but one thing we do not do enough of as a people or nation is think! We have disconnected motivation from contemplation. We may be motivated to change but if we have not calculated a plan then we will be disappointed with life. If Paul writes about how we should think on things that are lovely, honest, just, praiseworthy, virtuous, etc. then he implies that we have the ability to do so. The thing that separates us from animals is our ability to think, reason, rationalize, ponder, and muse. That’s right we can think! The Apostle Paul, when locked up and brought before King Agrippa, said that he thinks himself happy. Wow! Can your thoughts have that much power? Yes they can and they do. God has given us the ability to think and it can be a very liberating thing to do. Thinking is like a muscle the more you do it the stronger it gets.

I think the tragedy in life is that we find ourselves doing jobs and work that is not challenging or we do not like to work in those careers that would be challenging because it would require for us to think harder than what we want to. Passion and purpose should release creative and imaginative thought. It should spur you to think outside the box. Instead, we have become a nation of lazy thinkers seeking cultural status norms that makes us average. There have been times when I have fallen into this rut, but I have reminded myself of this great gift. I have also seen the results of what life is like without a progressive thought life. But often times assimilation and indifference impedes progressive thinking. We are satisfied with getting our information from Wikipedia not taking into consideration the source of the information. We prefer for someone to do the thinking for us instead of us thinking for ourselves. As a result we are amused by television and internet. A – muse, not think, yes that’s right the actual implication of the word says that we don’t think when we are engaged in total amusement. We prefer our Pastors to think about a Bible text and talk about it rather than reading it for ourselves and asking questions of the text that lead to self and God revelation. We are a culture who trains their children to succumb to the peer pressures of not asking teachers questions for fear of seeming moronic by peers and insolent by teachers. We deride questions as if it is ignorant to ask them. But let us consider how ignorant it is to stay ignorant and the only way out of ignorance is asking viable questions.

There is a story of Aristotle that says that one time he was up at night thinking about the universe and how things change. It is the same night that he asked a question of nature, “…how much change has to occur before something is not what it once was?” This is a great question for another time. While he was thinking about this phenomenon people started gathering outside his veranda just to see him think. What a concept that thinking can be entertaining. We would rather assemble to pay money to see people act like buffoons but we have lost our zest for the art of thinking. We laugh at mediocrity, cheer vulgarity, laugh at stupidity, embrace complacency and reproduce apathy only to find ourselves living in a culture of amusements. If God tells us to consider the ants, nature and the works of his hands, it would insinuate that he wants us to use one of the greatest gifts ever given to mankind, the ability to think.

We find ourselves having mental obstructions because we have gone as far as we can in that line of thinking, but have we? What would happen if we thought longer and harder and what would happen if we were around people who thought as well? How far would we be in life? What would happen if we used our creativity to think and execute a plan for creating loving communities, world peace, cures for diseases, homelessness and hunger? Every invention, idea or legislation was created through thinking. The Bill of Rights, I Have a Dream Speech, Computers, cell phones, cable television, McDonalds all came about because people were willing to think. If that’s the case then the old adage is true, we are where we are because of our thought life. “Such as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

 

The Blessing in Community

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“The strength of the wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf. “ –Rudyard Kipling

This quote is from the poem The Law of the Jungle from Jungle Book and is packed with much revelation about community. It suggests that there is something powerful about the community we find ourselves in.

There is synergy found in the dynamics of community that is unmatched by the energy that one person may try to create alone. I was blessed to be able to see the Lion King Production at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. One of the most powerful parts, among many, was when Simba was reintroduced to his purpose by his community. In the beginning of the play/movie there is a coronation of the sort recognizing that he is next in line to be king. When a series of unfortunate events occur he runs away to another community that teaches him a mantra of “Akuna Matata – no worries.”

The community that he ran from taught him the mantra of responsibility and that everything is to be respected and valued as a part of the circle of life. He learned that he must take his rightful place in order for the circle to continue. To make a long story short he learned a new way of living but was not fulfilling his call as King. While he was in a place of no worries the land that he called home was being over run and ravaged by illegitimate leadership.

Once again this is packed with a multitudinous of teachable moments but suffice it to say that he was happy but not fulfilled. Is this possible to be happy with life and yet not live a fulfilled life? Can you really be happy with running away from life’s responsibilities, a major key being doing what you have been created to do? I think this is the location of many people who are living to be happy with life but who constantly disregard the inner promptings that they were created to do more. They shirk responsibility to purpose because they have grown accustomed to living without true community. You see, a true community will place responsibility on you to do your part according to your purpose, not just gifts but purpose.

Simba operated in a foreign community exercising gifts but not purpose. How did he get back on track? Characters from his past community admonished him home. Dala challenged him to come home because there was responsibility waiting for him. Raphike challenged him that he was the rightful king and that his dad was inside of him. When he was lost it was people from his community, including the spirit of his father that called him back home to participate in the circle of life. His community provoked him to live in his rightful place. What a joy to know that we all have a rightful place, a place where we fit. We are called into community where purpose is revealed and realized, where we can be ourselves and be affirmed at the same time.

Community is this place where you can be who God is calling you to be and operate within the synergy of that community. You will be able to do more in a community that affirms and confirms the gifts, callings, promptings and impressions of your heart; a circle of people whom adds life to your life – the circle of life. Find your wolf pack!  

He's Able

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Just got finished listening to He’s Able by Deitrick Hadden. You know there are times in my life in which I have been tempted to give up on God.

There have been inner feelings that I was created for His glory and there are many parts of my character that has not been fully actualized. I have been trying to figure out why there are times when I feel like this and its because of viagrasansordonnancefr.com many prophetic words that I have received. Many of which I have not seen come to pass.

This song ministered to my heart and said simply not to give up on God because He won’t give up on you and then ends by saying “He’s Able!” What a word. I must admit there are times when I wanted to give up on God. Many times it’s because of my impatience and conversely because I have believed so hard. My dreams seem like they have been deferred and my heart has been sick. I have seen the character of men and my own character and have not been pleased and often times disappointed with both. I have experienced church hurt and have seen the integrity of the church and its leaders pale and tarnish but I still hear YOU saying through this song don’t give up on YOU because YOU won’t give up on me.

I confess that there have been times that I have posed like I had more faith than what I actually had. The truth is that there have been times that I have lived in doubt and my patience wore thin with You, the church, its leaders and its rituals and habits. But I’m still here by your grace hanging on by a thread but still able to hang. Even though I thought the strength was in my grip it was really in your grip. It wasn’t so much of me holding on to you as it was you holding on to me; keeping me together. Lord thank you for not giving up on me when I wanted to give up on you. In my heart you have read it and you know it. I apologize for doubting you and still anticipate greatness. I know that you are getting me ready for something else that is bigger than me. I receive your grace to endure. I receive your grace to breakthrough. I receive your grace to increase. I receive your GRACE! I won’t give up on you Lord because you never gave up on me. Bring healing to broken hearts; hearts that have been hurt and disappointed by the church, both its members and leaders. Help us not to give up on you, or your bride I know there may be some that may have felt like this but God's Able!

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