Known

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It’s funny how some of the best moments in our weeks happen in unconventional places. There have been times where I’ll be having a tough day and suddenly someone will surprise me during my break with a visit, or I’ll bump into a friend at the grocery store and just talking with them for 5 minutes will completely encourage me. Well, recently I had one of those moments in my car, by myself.

I’ve had some really amazing days in my life, but I’ve also had some really dark ones. I think for me what makes a situation even harder is when I can’t put words to what I’m feeling. The feeling of knowing something is wrong, but you don’t know where that feeling is coming from. I thought being emotional and not knowing why was reserved for pregnant people, but last time I checked I’m a guy so I guess pregnant women aren’t the only ones to have that honour.

Anyway, back to my car. I was driving into the studio and just feeling off, I don’t know what was causing what I was feeling, I just knew that I was feeling off. So I started to have an honest conversation with God. I told God what was happening around me, I started talking about this situation and that situation that was happening in my life and just getting really honest with how I was feeling. I started thinking about my health, because I had been previously under the weather and how I had been feeling drained because of that and then I began to tell God how I was trying to keep things moving forward in all areas of my life. As all of these thoughts were rushing through my head, I heard that familiar friend of mine, that still small voice say two words, ” I know”. Immediately, I started to think of different situations, almost trying to justify what I was feeling, but one by one God showed me how He never left me through anything I had gone through. He was there when I was misunderstood, He was right beside me as I was recovering from some health complications, He was there when I was having those great unplanned moments and He was there all along when I was going through the hardest points in my life. Do you know what hearing that did for me? It took so much pressure and weight off my shoulders. I think it’s no mistake that in the Bible it talks about people sharing in the same temptations and struggles as others, because there’s something that happens to a person when they feel like they are the only ones going through something. The truth is, we are never the only ones. So today, wherever you are, not just geographically but also emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually let me encourage you, God knows. When you think in your mind that no one could ever feel as violated or as hurt as you are, God knows exactly what you are feeling and He cares for you very much. I hope that whenever you read this, it encourages you as you realize that in whatever you face today or tomorrow, you are not, and will never be alone. He knows.

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The Storm Before The Calm

TheStorm

Sometimes I just smile to myself. Do you ever go through so many things in a day that just seem so crazy and chaotic that you just smile and think “Are you kidding me”? It’s probably not a bad thing because it means I’m not banging my head against a wall. And I hear that smiling releases things that make you actually happy.

I wanted to talk about a famous saying that I have probably heard countless times throughout my 23 years.

“It’s the calm before the storm”

Well I think in my life it’s pretty much flipped. The storm before the calm. Do you notice that there are times where life will be good, things are great but you’re not really growing? Then all of a sudden a massive storm hits, suddenly you’re getting things thrown at you from every angle. Struggle after struggle, trial after trial, times where it seems like there is literally nothing good happening in your life. Times where there seems to be more darkness then light. But then you keep moving forward, you keep persevering in prayer, you don’t give place to the devil, you pull a James 4:7 and resist him. And light starts to break through, the clouds start to lighten up, the sun starts shining again and then you move to a higher place of authority in the areas that you are called to. You see that storm, was a furnace, refining you to live at a higher level because God had something even greater in store for you. The most patient people that I know are the ones who have had the greatest reasons to be impatient. The kindest people are the ones who usually have been treated the worst but in spite of that have kept a smile on their face. Wherever you are in your world today, whatever challenges you are facing, don’t see them as random problems, see them for what they are, chances for a victory.

I think joy and hope can’t be forgotten in these tough times, that’s what I want to encourage you with. The battle can’t be won with retaliation and anger and irritation and bitterness. The battle needs to be won with faith. There are things in your life that need to be moved, so move them with faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7

“We walk by faith, not by sight.”

The Storm Before The Calm

I Choose To Keep My Peace With Me

Peace

A few weeks ago I was doing some work away from my home and by the time my day was over I was pretty hungry, so rather then do the financially responsible thing and wait to eat at home, I stoped at Subway. It was around 11pm at night and as soon as I walked in I noticed the only employee left just sitting on the counter with nothing to do. So, we started talking. It must have been a really long day with no customers because as soon as she began talking she didn’t stop. She talked about how she has to work over 12 hours because the people who were set to work called her and told her that they were not coming in. Then I believe she started talking about her boss and how they don’t really care what happens, and that the responsibility all falls to her sometimes. As she was talking I could tell that she was getting more and more worked up, almost as if the sound of her thoughts coming out her mouth was making everything even more “real”. I waited for her to finish and then I said, “I know this is going to sound really new age, but do you want to know what I do when I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed?”. She said sure. I told her how I imagine peace as a tangible thing that surrounds me, and then I see these situations in my life that are stealing my peace, weather that be a personal situation, stress at work, finances that just aren’t there or whatever, and imagine that when I get stressed or overwhelmed, the peace that is supposed to surround me is released and given to these situations. So now, I told her, when something comes up that stresses me, I visualize my peace leaving me and going to these situations, and then I have to make a choice, will I let my peace go, or will I choose to keep it with me. She told me when I was done speaking that she never looked at it like that before. I payed for my sub, and I left.

What that woman does not know is who I partner with or what I’ve been through to develop that mindset.

James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

People have asked me throughout the years why I am a Christian. I remember someone even told me that I would be such an amazing person if only I would give up my beliefs. I’ve spoken with people who only see Christianity as rules, red tape, as something that is only about controlling the fun they could be having. But they never stop to ponder the things that they are forfeiting.

The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace etc… I would give up anything that those people would offer me for the peace that I now have. You see I have lived long enough to know that tough times are inevitable, there’s no getting around them. But when they come, I don’t feel fear like I used to, I don’t feel like my whole world is coming to an end like I used to. I might still feel the adrenaline or even some nerves, but I rest secure knowing that I am surround by a peace that surpasses all understanding. I know that things will come against me, some directly from the devil and those who serve him intentionally or not, and others that will come just as a part of the world I live in. But when I allow peace to rule in my life, I can see things with my eyes that should scare me, I can hear things that are going on around me that should rob me of my sense of security. But when I allow peace to rule in my life I know that I will get through them all, and win, because I’m acknowledging that I can’t do things on my own, I need the one behind the fruits of the Spirit to take me past the end of myself.

Let me ask you a question, what situations in your life do you give your peace away to? More importantly, what are you going to do about it?

I Choose To Keep My Peace With Me