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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Got bored while sitting in the hotel room, so we decided to go for a walk and grab some vitamin D. Thanks to the oncoming traffic that waited as we got a selfie. 😂🤣 #joking #somewhat #notreally 🤷🏾♂️
So honored to be here. The history of Shiloh Church is so rich, and I’ve enjoyed hearing all about it. What I’m most excited about is their future. Their contribution to the world through missions work is worth emulating. In addition, this California weather is AMAZING! I’m waiting on the word to launch a GO campus in Cali! I’ll be there e’re Sunday! 😂🤣😎
We love talking about marriage. We just keep it real (frfr😎) with the people, and sometimes it’s funny to them..and us. What we’ve endured thus far and overcome is truly a testament of grace and mercy. We shouldn’t have made it, but we have! God gets all the glory because of it. We ain’t perfect, but we’re perfectly fit for each other. I enjoyed this session on marriage. Now, I get to talk to the men about our identity in Christ.
I’m so excited about our experiences this weekend! Join us at either, or both, of our campuses this weekend. We love you already. Service times and addresses are in the flyer. cc: @thegatheringoasischurch @thegodowntown #GodGatherGrowGo
It’s so cool that we get to do this together.
My wife and I would love to see you tonight at Shiloh Church if you’re in the Oakland/Bay Area at the Limitless Conference. We’re preaching the entire weekend.
Y’all know that I’m #veganplus so I was cool with hitting up this vegan spot in Oakland after we landed. Folks always ask me what’s #veganplus. It’s simple; I’m strictly vegan plus some fish...and bison...and turkey...and parmesan cheese...and lamb (not the one that was slain but the other ones🤷🏾♂️). My wife’s eyes lit up when we walked inside. I think it’s the same way I feel when I’m around oatmeal raisin cookies😳🤤.
If you’re in the Oakland area, we’d love to see you and your squad at Shiloh Church. The party don’t start till I walk in and it usually don’t end until the day ends so in the meantime and in between times, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Just playing...the event begins at 6:30pm whether I’m there or not, but I plan on being there!
This verse is worth spending a considerable amount of time analyzing. There are many concepts that are packed into such a short verse. The first is the powerlessness of worry. Then, it’s the power of prayer. Next, it’s the identification of the Provider, which signifies our weakness and His strength. Finally, it’s the concept of thankfulness.
Worrying is such an empty activity. It produces nothing of value. It cannot add anything to our height or our intellect. In fact, it robs us of peace. On the other hand, prayer is powerful. To focus on the action without mentioning the power of the Source would be foolish. Oftentimes our focus is on the methodology of prayer instead of the realization of the great God we’re praying to. Just that one realization alone would radically change our prayer life. We, temporal beings, are able to converse with our eternal God of provision. He not only knows our needs, but He provides them! He will not allow His children to go without what they need, and He’s shown that by providing the greatest gift of all—redemption and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have no other choice but to be thankful! No, we do not wait to see the answer before we thank Him because He’s worthy of the thankfulness regardless of what we see. In addition, we thank Him because we can trust His word. He stands by it. If He says that He will provide all that we need then we can rest because He will do it. Worrying about what we cannot see is nonproductive because He’s faithful to fulfill His promises. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Bruhhhhhh.....it’s so hot that my sweat is sweating! It’s so hot that I can fry an egg on an ice cube! It’s so hot that Siri asked to go to the pool! Nevertheless, everyone is smiling, and that makes me happy. As long as they’re happy, I’m happy. That’s all I really care about...well...that and an air conditioner...definitely an air conditioner.