After working on a new vlog with my son, I realized something about myself that made me very self-conscious. Writing it out makes it seem somewhat simple and not important, but it was something that really caught me by surprise. One would imagine it to be something I had on or something I said, but it was neither of those. What I noticed about myself was that I smile–uncontrollably. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Well it was a cause of concern for me. Each time I spoke a big smile emerged on my face. Some would wonder why I would see this as an issue. It’s just a smile, right? For me, it’s more than a smile; it’s an irregularity, an insecurity. It doesn’t seem “normal.”
As I watched myself on the camera I started to dislike the person I was looking at. I quickly turned it off, and I immediately felt a sense of disgust. Yes, I was disgusted at myself.
I’ve always dealt with several “irregularities” about myself that I felt were not “normal.” Honestly, the whole idea of being normal is overrated and superficial. In my sixth book, Suffering in Silence, I wrote an entire chapter about the pursuit of being “normal.” Here’s a little of what I wrote:
“I was chasing after an image that was not real or attainable mainly because it was a figment of my imagination. I formed my idea of what was normal from what I saw on television and the people around me.” “I was trying to chase after this perfect image while ignoring the perfection of how I was created. I was so dissatisfied with myself that I never looked in the mirror to accept who God created me to be.”
Those are beautiful words, but I must admit that I still struggle with the man I am today and the man God has called me to become. I still judge myself by my insecurities, and I sometimes doubt whether or not God chose the right vessel. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It’s very silly. Who am I to challenge what God chooses to do on the basis of my insecurities? You should probably ask yourself that same question.
I ask that you join me in putting aside your insecurities once and for all for the sake of obedience. I wonder how many people have hesitated to obey God because of their insecurities. I don’t have to search very far to convict someone of that sin because I am a culprit. I have absolutely no rocks to throw at anyone else. Yes, I smile uncontrollably. I have many things about myself that separates me from the masses, but I’ve learned that value isn’t found when everything is similar. It’s found in the beauty of what’s different and unique. Embrace the unique qualities about you that are beyond your control. End your quest for being normal, and don’t allow your insecurities to cause you to hide the light that’s been lit inside of you by Christ. Let’s continue to discipline our bodies, renew our minds, humble ourselves, and receive discipline from the Holy God. Embrace the beauty of God’s creation, and let’s obey His word and promptings immediately.
Stay focused on the narrow path. Eternity is a heartbeat away.
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To be strong is to be marked by having great moral, physical or intellectual power. To be strong is to be desired for help and leadership. It means those who are weak pull your strength for assistance. To be strong is something that’s greatly desired but, once obtained, it’s a heavy burden to carry. The weight of strength can be too heavy a burden to support, but putting it down isn’t an option for many. Therefore, the stress of it all leads to fatigue. You gradually breakdown until exhaustion consumes you. Yes, you’re strong, but you’re TIRED! And being tired leads to making foolish mistakes you wouldn’t have made if you were thinking clearly. Being tired fogs the mind, which is why rest is so important. Admitting you’re tired is the beginning of the process. Seeking help is part of the process. Joining a local community of believers where you can be encouraged and uplifted is part of the process. Continuing as you are will lead to the ballon effect—you’ll continue to swell until you explode. Be wise; don’t wait until you collapse to ask for help. Seek it out now.
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Over the years my wife and I have witnessed countless marriages leave our retreat refreshed and reinvigorated to cling to the vows they've made to each other and God. Our desire is to continue this trend.
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The offspring went on a nature walk today for homeschool. My son’s attentiveness is bananas. The kid watches and hears everything! Then, he tries to lead the group🙌🏾. We remind him daily that he’s a leader and to live like it. Our daughter is the powerhouse, adventurous one. As you can tell from the video, she was getting everyone straight, giving instructions and having her own fun. Love them! #homeschoollife
Committing to do something can seem difficult. That’s because we oftentimes try to commit to things we aren’t truly passionate about. It’s easy for a man to commit to a sport’s team he loves because he’s passionate about it. He shows his passion by publicly showcasing his support and privately reviewing the stats of the players and the team. You can tell a woman’s commitment to her appearance by the amount she spends on it and time she gives to it. Ultimately, the gap that rests between you and commitment is passion. I don’t have to manufacture a commitment to Christ because He’s already lit a passionate fire within me the day my eyes were opened to the truth of His lordship. Many people are frustrated in life right now because they’re trying to commit to things they aren’t passionate about. For example, you’ll never truly commit wholeheartedly to a profession that you aren’t passionate about. If your job is just how you make your money, then you’ll leave it once a new opportunity is offered. If your local church is just the place you take what you want without ever giving back to it, then you’ll leave it for another one as soon as you can’t get your way. If your relationship is more about you not wanting to be alone and selfishly taking whatever you want, then you’ll find someone else once you’re finished using the one you’re currently with. Until you find passion—an undeniable, extravagant enthusiasm towards something or someone—then you’ll continue falling into that gap of frustration. Identify your passions, and you’ll find that it’s easier to commit.
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Woe [intense grief or misery] to me if I don’t __________________________! (fill in the blank with what you know you should be doing that you aren’t)
You may think you’re ready for what you’re praying for, but it might be a great blessing that you don’t have it yet. Simply put, you’re just not ready and it’s not time yet. Be patient. Be faithful where you are. Pass your current tests. And, stay focused on Christ.
If you're always the main idea, then there’s a problem. On your journey of faith you should not be the focal point, the focal point should always be God and His will. Removing ”self” from the picture makes it more about God and less about your endeavors. After you’ve abandoned your worldly endeavors, you automatically allow room for God’s divine providence to operate within you to usher you throughout your journey of learning how to walk by faith. Ultimately God’s purpose will be done in your life.
Throughout this book you’ll read about my personal walk of faith. I share why I dropped out of college, why I resigned from my job, and how I started my ministry. You will also learn what it means to truly walk by faith.
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My Monday. #imperfectfamilyman #chilaxinwiththeoffspring #watchinganotherDisneymovie🙄😩😭😒👎🏾
Don’t give an audience to unnecessary drama. It’s wise to just walk away.