Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Painted Mirrors

      I opened the door and everything went pitch black. I walked in and suddenly my legs locked up and I couldn’t move anymore. I knew if I took another step something would happen to me. I would end up stranded in a deep hole only to find myself drowning in my own tears. I mean what’s going on? I thought for sure if I took off and got away from everyone I would be safe.  My life is a mess and the reality is no one knows it. I’ am not a very good artist, but I can paint a pretty face that tells a story that ends well. The truth is I feel dirty, ugly, and useless and at times I want to start from scratch. Maybe that’s what I need to do. I will pack a bag leave this place I call home and get new friends and never talk to my family and get a job at a small coffee shop somewhere in Paris. Yeah, that’s it. Sounds good to me. Its all coming together my life will be just the way I have……Wait what am I thinking. That would never work, my luck is so terrible that the very evil that haunts me here will buy a first class ticket to destroy my life. At that point my legs unlock and I’ am able to move again and I start to take a step into reality. Now I’ am in a huge room, one wall is painted with the words “ I LOVE YOU”.  Who me? No that’s not possible, someone cannot possibly love me.  On another wall reads “Wonderfully Made”. UMMM come on now I’ am not as wonderful as you might think. I have done things that would make people never want to talk to me.  The next wall has a giant picture of Earth on it and reads “ World Changer”. I wonder whom that is for, because there is no way anyone would ever count on me to do that. Might as kill me now, because if hope rest in my hands the world is doomed. I begin to turn to the next wall and there is no words, but a giant mirror that reaches corner to corner, but I don’t see my physical self, it’s a silhouette that is filled in with many words of love.
     The question that ponders deep in our hearts is can someone really love us. Well yes, I believe 100% in my heart that God loves each and every one of us no matter what harm we have produced or how worthless we feel. You do not need to feel ugly because you were meant for so much more. It is true you are wonderfully made, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well ”. I promise you are much more needed than you might believe. Life takes us on this roller coaster of a ride and often we feel useless and the exact opposite of wonderful. Truth is God sees so much in you.
     You are so loved, I know its weird to think that someone could possibly love pedophiles, murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, prostitutes, drug addicts, homosexuals, homophobes, alcoholics, child abusers, porn addicts, and racists. The reality is if you take every one of those words and bring them to God all he see’s are his children. No difference at all just people of worth when in reality we feel worthless. He loves us all the same, none greater and none any less. If we are being honest with our selves each one of us has done some pretty rotten things. None of us are perfect; in fact we will never be close to perfect. But Jesus allows us to be born into righteousness.
     I believe fully with my heart that you all possess the ability to change the world. The crazy thing is that God wants to partner with you in doing this. He is the creator of the universe and I believe if he really wanted to he could snap his fingers and things would be the way he would like it to be. But that would be selfish, The Jesus I love and God I follow is a loving God. With that he allows us to partner with him and build a relationship with him. He allows us to be World Changers. That’s what my heart desires to do. To change the world in the name of Jesus.

     Typically the image we see in a mirror isn’t exactly as we would like it to be. Maybe our eyes are not the right color our nose is too big our head to small our waist too large. God sees a mirror painted with Love. His child. His friend. His creation. His Joy. His story. His disciple. His partner. You are everything. You are so incredibly loved and needed. Never feel ugly because you were meant to be something to somebody. You may not know it, but its true you are a beautiful creation.

Signed By,

A Man Chasing His Dreams

Monday, May 12, 2014

I Do Not Think They Will Sing to Me

Hey People,

Im back. Well this week is a little different. I will not be writing anything by myself, but I will be partnering with a friend of mine. I asked him to write something and what he wrote blew me away. This week might be a little long, but I encourage you too take time to read it all. Its important and we need to realize how real these tips of thing are.Here it is.

I want to start off by telling you a story. This story is a real life experience and touches on a moment of worship. I hope that somehow you can relate. 

It was a very strange thing to see, its almost as if I were in a circus. There was so much going on that I didn’t know what to do nor did I know what to look at. Was I suppose to move a certain way? Was it strange if I just stood there. Did I need to sit down like the guy beside me in awe. The music was loud, I could hear everything they had to say, but at the same time  I couldn’t understand  any of it. Honestly I never heard words put into lyrics in any way like this before. Some people looked so happy with smiles brighter than the sun. Others looked as if they just lost someone dear to them.  I mean this wasn’t my first time in a place like this, but it was the first time I experienced such confusion. Time went by as the music played and slowly but surely the confusion began to fade. Thoughts of joy would come and for the first time in months I felt happy. You see the people around me didn’t know, but at home I was a mess. At this moment though I felt something different. Something was upon me. Something I've never experienced in my life. Just as soon as I felt that joy upon myself I crashed. BOOM! In an instant I was done. The next thing I know I was staring directly into the eyes of myself. Short clips of moments in my life were haunting me . They ran through my mind like a motion blur.
Before I knew it, I was swimming in my own tears. It happened. I caved in. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t want to be here,"why did I come here….this is so stupid”
My friends who quite frankly, I hardly knew asked me what was wrong, “ Nothing, I replied I just want to be alone… leave me alone”. I walked outside minutes passed and I just started putting myself back together when a man came and sat beside me. It was weird: he just sat there and didn’t say anything to me. I kept looking at him waiting for some clever statement, but nothing. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and began asking this random guy questions he clearly wouldn’t know, “Whats wrong with me? Why am I crying? Why is it so different here”. You see at this point I was even more confused than ever.  So many questions lingered through my mind, but no answers were given. The man looked at me and said, "can I pray for you”.I said yes and he did just that. He said nothing fancy in his prayer, but something happened at that moment. Something that made me want to go back in and sing along.So I walked  back into the room . The words became clear to me as I listened. I sang the words as if I not only knew them, but I meant them and at this moment I felt like I was singing with a purpose. A purpose to say thank you. I felt like I needed to just talk , but not to someone beside me. Someone I couldn’t see. Someone I knew was listening. Its at that moment I understood the circus that was in front of me. For the first time I knew what it was like to be the guy who just sat there in awe, for the first time I knew what it felt like to be happy for no real apparent reason. For the first time I knew what It felt like to be the person who looked as if they lost some one. it all came together. I experienced worship.

 This story is my real life experience. You see it was at that time I understood what worship was. I encourage you to look back to an experience of worship that changed you. Now i want to hand it over to my friend.

Mahatma Gandhi said these words. Why he did I do not know. Did he even believe in God? I do not know that either. All I know is that I believe these words are truth, and it's funny when you find truths that fit a season of your life so perfectly that you are reminded of the simple truths you threw aside, until they come back to you in a way that makes you have to fall on your knees and say "God why have I forsaken You!"
Worship through music is my calling in life. It is what He made me to do. He made us all to worship Him with song, in reality, but He's placed on my heart this certain passion with it. I've always believed and felt that there is something powerful and amazing with music that we often times forget. We watch a musical and secretly we all wish that we could break out into song and sing as part of normal life, yet we fear that. I don't know maybe that's just me, but I would bet it's not. I would bet that there is something in each of us that desperately wishes that. And here is why.
This past two month has been difficult for me. Are my problems of great importance or anything? No they aren't. They are silly and in eternal view really have no effect on my eternity. Yet I am hurt, and to deny that hurt would be to deny my true feelings and my true self. I can't deny that I feel lonely, heartbroken, and lost. I can't ignore the fact that for the past season of change I have felt simply this: meaningless. And then I was reminded of a story I had told many times before.
It's the story of the man who died for me. You see, I was walking down this road and as I walked I lived and did stuff to bring gratification to my flesh. Stuff so disgusting and disturbing that I am to ashamed to share. As I was walking and not paying attention I didn't realize that as I was about to cross a street a car was headed right for me. In the blink of an eye death was intimate. With it's black cape and sharp scythe, it reached out its boney hand and was ready to take me. And then a man I had never seen before jumped out and saved me. He wore nothing but scrubs and was gruff. If you saw him you would not realize that he was a hero, a legend. I had heard about him my whole life growing up but never thought I'd actually encounter him, actually get to meet him. All I knew about him were the myths, the stories. All I knew was his name. His name was Jesus.
It's an easy metaphorical way to look at it. You might look at it and groan or read it and say that's stupid. But it's truth. Jesus died for us. He saved us from the death we deserved. He took his place on the cross where we belonged cause He loves us. And you've heard the story a thousand times whether you are a Christian or not. But here is what You might not have ever thought of or known (or at least I didn't).
When Jesus was on the cross, right before He dies he says "my God my God, why have you forsaken me!" (Matthew 27:46). But did you know that those exact words are also found elsewhere in the bible? Written years before Jesus was even born. In Psalm 22 verse 1, David began a song with the words "my God my God, why have you forsaken me". The Jews knew this and they began to think Jesus was calling to Elijah.
You see, right before Jesus died He worshiped The Lord through song. In His most desperate, lost, lonely, time when His body was destroyed He sang songs of worship to The Father.  How intense is that? Of what value does this up the importance of singing. If this is the final act of Jesus before He died on the cross, what does that say about the importance of singing? To me, it means it is of the upmost importance.
So whether times are good or bad. Whether you feel on top of the world or lost in the bottom of a black hole. Whether you are alone or in the middle of a crowded mall. Whether you are at church or on the streets in some bar. Do this: sing. For as Gandhi said, it is not superstitious. It is more real of an act then any other we could ever do. It is what The Lord made us all to do no matter how good or bad we sound. We were made to sing.- David Stahlnecker

Singing is worship, even to the point of death Jesus worshiped. How do you worship? Why is it important to you? 

Signed By,

A Man Chasing His Dreams