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.
You are someone’s example. They will follow you as you follow Christ; therefore, be Christlike.
You can have two......red velvet 🤢 and peach cobbler 🤮
#squad #niecesandnephews #uncleandauntieduties
The pain of losing loved ones, going through a divorce, and the like is usually amplified during the holidays. Don’t be ashamed of crying or talking through the pain. Don’t think that laughing and spending time with others means you’re forgetting about the person(s) who are no longer with you. Do all you can to get in an encouraging, godly environment where you can feel the presence and love of empathetic people. And always remember that God is near to the broken-hearted. He isn’t dismissing your pain, but He’s calling you to walk through it. You’re loved!
I love to embarrass my mother-in-love in random stores. 🤪😎🧔🏾👵🏻
Encouraging children while they’re young reinforces their strength and ability to take down any giant! They see who you they say they are and live beyond their perceived limitations.
Children are like bumblebees—captured in myths that speak of what they shouldn’t be able to do. Their wings are small in comparison to their larger body, which would make it impossible for them to take flight. However, they operate like helicopters, not airplanes. To compare the bumblebee to an airplane would complicate its ability; however, to identify it for what it truly is allows us to challenge and encourage it appropriately. Could it be that we’ve wrongly identified our children by telling them what they’re incapable of doing, which is mostly based on myths and human error, not the Word of God? We should view them for the intelligent beings they are, classify them appropriately, challenge any myths that speak of their inabilities, and encourage them to do what’s impossible to others. We become the ceiling they stand on and the instrument of encouragement they rely on. #imperfectfamilyman
I’ve learned that one of the most insensitive things to say to someone is: “GET OVER IT!” Unfortunately, I said that to others, especially my wife, and assumed their inability to “get over it” was a sign of weakness and an indication of being insecure. Little did I realize that I was the insecure and weak one. It wasn’t until I finally realized that there are many things I’ve suppressed in the name of “getting over it.” I didn’t get over it, I hide it, and that makes everything worse.
Those three words lack empathy and healing. Telling someone to get over whatever hurts or pains they’ve experienced without addressing the root issues isn’t beneficial. It causes those who are hurt to live in their pain instead of dealing with it righteously. Being raped, molested, bullied, wrongly convicted, abandoned, divorced, being told you have cancer and the like takes time, confession, and wise counsel to heal. God doesn’t belittle our pain and suffering, so why should we?
Our society promotes an ambitious culture where everyone is trying to get “ahead” but they fail to realize that they aren’t really moving. We’re walking on the treadmill of life—having the look and feel of progress but remaining in the same position. And our brokenness isn’t merely abandoned; instead, it’s carried into every relationship we get into. Our family secrets, undisclosed hurts and very real pains aren’t insignificant. If we continue this path then we’ll stay in a repeated cycle of pain and immaturity.
Give yourself permission to hurt, to cry, and to be angry—just do not sin. Our emotional health is important; therefore, it shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed.
There’s a growing voice that says marriage isn’t relevant anymore. I believe many are so turned off by the idea of marriage because it has been falsely displayed. This picture shows my wife and I laughing and having fun together, but that isn’t the full scope of marriage. There are some days that we’re very angry with one another. We’ve both said things to each other that we’ve regretted. We’ve done things that we wish we could take back. However, we have to choose to reconcile daily. We have to die daily to flesh and resist the urge to quit on one another. That isn’t always easy. We work together, live together, sleep together, eat together, and do everything else together. And there are times when being together so much causes arguments and tough disagreements because we want our own way. We both have VERY strong personalities, so that causes challenges at times that can only be solved through wise counsel and counseling. On top of all of that, my wife and I are TOTALLY DIFFERENT! She wakes up with a smile like she just swam in a pool of tulips, drunk from a river flowing with honey, and ate from the best vegan buffet of her dreams! I wake up expecting the world’s destruction. My wife sees the glass half full. I prefer to throw the whole glass away and start over! In total, marriage required work; it is work. It requires grace, mercy, and unconditional love. It requires communication, especially when you don’t want to. It requires confronting things you don’t want to talk about and exposing things you’ve tried to hide. It doesn’t have to be feared. You can have a great marriage despite what you’ve heard or seen in the relationships around you. BREAK THE CYCLE OF DYSFUNCTION AND DIVORCE. Be the change in your linage. Just know that marriage is God-ordained and relevant. And know that it’s possible to have a successful marriage.
Not sure if I was preaching here or practicing balanchine! 🤪 Years ago when I started preaching, I felt like smiling or laughing during a sermon meant I didn’t take the truth seriously😡. I criticized those who found humorous ways to convey simple truths. I don’t feel that way anymore. It’s amazing how tests, trials, and wise mentors can humble you. I’ve grown in empathy because of some of the things I’ve experienced. A little comic relief doesn’t hurt anyone; in fact, it’s helped to heal anxious hearts. Laugh a little, and preach the truth in the process. Ultimately, I look forward to sharing some clips from yesterday’s sermon with you all this week.
To grandma’s house we go! #nothinglikefamily #imperfectfamilyman #readyforthefunandjokesandunneccesarycomments😂
We who are redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and fully convinced of His deity and life, which has been confessed because of opened eyes, can boldly speak of what’s new! Our old life is behind us, and we’re able to look ahead. We no longer have to serve sin or submit to its pressures. We don’t have to hope without hope. We’re new. We’re redeemed.
When people try to remind you of who you used to be, confront them with this truth: “I’m a new creation. The person you’re speaking of is in my past, I’m living in my present, and I’m excited about my future. I’d like to remind you that its the enemy who wishes to remind me of my past, so don’t do his work. Live in my present, and encourage me to good works as I walk into my future. The only past I’m interested in reciting is the finished work of Christ because it’s a reminder of my salvation!”