Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seek, and You Shall Find!

There are seasons of my life where God appears to be absent or on sabbatical. These moments, in the past, have proved to be difficult and trying for me. During these seasons God seems to be aloof, disinterested, and even disengaged regarding the details of my life. I know what the Scripture says as it relates to God’s presence. For Psalm 46:1 declares that God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Psalm 37:28 reminds us that God will not forsake God’s faithful ones. And even the famous words of Jesus that are offered to the Disciples as He departs for heaven…“Behold! I am with you always; even until the end of the age.”

But, there is something that happens between reading that God is ever present and knowing and feeling that God is ever present. The realities that we face in life have a tendency to cloud our vision and hearing making it difficult to see and hear God. I can’t speak for anyone else, but there are times when my clouded vision and hearing causes me to believe that God’s vision and hearing are cloudy as well. Because I can’t see the outcome, I somehow trick myself into believing that God can’t see or doesn’t care about the outcome.

It was the words of one of the Associate Ministers at my church that caused me to remember the faithfulness and attentiveness of God. She said to me, “As long as you keep moving towards and seeking God you’re headed in the right direction…just don’t stop!” It was like a wake-up call! I was ready to give up because I couldn’t feel the presence of God. And while I was busy reminding God that God said God would never leave or forsake us, I somehow ignored God’s Word that declares seek and you shall find. To seek God would suggest that God, and perhaps God’s Will for our lives, are not always easily found. This is not to suggest that God hides God's self to send us on a wild goose chase, but in seeking God we often find out what it means to seek God with our whole heart.  

While we may being looking for God in overt and obvious ways, God's presence is often found in the subtleness of committing to seeking it. There is a promise to believers...those who seek God shall find God! Keep Seeking and You Shall Find!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Lose Heart!

There's something magical about the sparkle in a kid's eye when they've conquered the ultimate toddler feat: shoe-tying! Being able to tie their shoes gives children something to brag about; something to take pride in. Once they have accomplished this new-found craft, they are eager to show everyone with whom they come in contact. Parents use many techniques, including the "bunny ears" method to teach children how to tie their shoes; however, I am convinced that something more than technique drives the children to learn. They may whine and complain, throw tantrums and display their frustration with the process, BUT they never give up on mastering this artistry. I believe that there's something innate in children that gives them an extra boost of confidence. Something in them says, "I can do this, and I won't stop until I get it!" They do not lose heart.
We, adults, can learn a thing or two from those driven kids. Somewhere along the path, we lose our determination to master that thing that we just can't seem to conquer. We lose heart and give up after we're unsuccessful one or two times. We quit trying after things don’t work out the way we think they should. We punk out when we run into the smallest obstacle. We pronounce last rights over our efforts when we run into the slightest glitch. Somewhere along the line, we stop telling [or forget to tell] ourselves, "I can do this, and I won't stop until I get it!"
I encourage you to take notes from the toddlers. No matter how many times you fail and/or feel like you will never accomplish that goal that you've set out to accomplish; no matter how many "techniques" you try and fail to grasp, reach down and draw on that innate energy that you had as a child: the energy that made you driven and unfearful! Get in mind that thing that you've set out to accomplish, even if you've flopped at it before. Grab a second wind, and try your hand at it again. Mimic the toddlers.... Don't give up until you get it. DON'T LOSE HEART!

Written By: Shun Davenport

Monday, September 19, 2011

Never Can Say Goodbye Pt. II

After writing the blog “Never Can Say Goodbye”, I felt compelled to raise and deal with the question of why we have a hard time saying goodbye to things that don’t promote healthy and prosperous living. Why can’t we say goodbye to fear, worry, lust, jealousy, envy, gossip, poor choices, bad debt, impoverished thinking, low self-esteem, low self-worth, manipulation, and a host of other things. What is about such things that keep us bound and living a less than desired life? While I do not have all of the answers, I have wrestled with ideas that I would like to share here.

One of the primary reasons I believe we hold on to things that don’t promote prosperous living is because we have a hard time embracing a reality where those things no longer exist, reign, or have us bound. In my opinion letting go of things like fear and worry can mean yielding and being vulnerable to change and uncertainty. As one who likes to be in control I understand the struggle of saying goodbye to worry. Sometimes holding on to worry makes one feel as though they have the power to change their situation; when in fact letting go of worrying is often the remedy needed to release the change! Issues such as jealousy and envy oftentimes have roots of low self-esteem and low self-worth. Discovering this and letting go of envy and jealousy may mean dealing with internal issues in our own lives.

Saying goodbye to issues, situations, characteristics, and lifestyles that don’t cause us to prosper can mean embracing a new reality that allows us to experience a newness of life that takes us beyond what we could have ever imagined. Saying goodbye to fear and launching the new business, seeking the new degree, embracing the career change, or even allowing God to manage every aspect of our lives could mean opening ourselves up to new possibilities. I have found that in life sometimes letting go of something can and often does prepare one to receive something greater. So. Just. Say. GOOOOOODBYE!        

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Never Can Say Goodbye

Never can say goodbye, no, no, no, no I; never can say goodbye.
I keep thinking that our problems
Soon are all gonna work out
But there's that same unhappy feeling
and there's that anguish, there's that doubt
It's the same old dizzy hang up
Can't do with you or without

These words were not only true for a young Michael Jackson and his brothers who found themselves wanting to leave their love relationship and stay at the same time, but there are elements of this song that are true for us. We may not be caught in a bad love spell or having bouts with leaving an unproductive relationship. Instead, some of us are having trouble saying goodbye to old habits, people, and situations that mean us no good.

The lyrics of this song doesn't hide the fact that there are obvious problems in Michael's relationship. He says "I keep thinking that our problems soon are all gonna work out. But there's that same unhappy feeling and there's that anguish, there's that doubt." So one may ask Michael, "Why stay in a situation that brings unhappiness?" It doesn't seem logical, right? But how often do we keep ourselves in situations that make us unhappy.

Michael answers the question by saying he stays because he can't do without. Although this is a mere 70's tune that ruled pop culture during its time, it serves as a platform for asking a relevant question: What is in your life that you FEEL like you can NEVER SAY GOODBYE to? Bad habits, bad people, bad situations, etc. you'll have to fill in the blank on this one! What is in your life that makes you unhappy, but you continue to hold on to it and refuse to say GOODBYE?

~Selah (Pause, Think About It)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Put It In Drive!

IMAGINE THIS…You're sitting in your car preparing to leave for work. You go to work and have a nice, productive day. Your boss is in the best mood, and everything you have put your hands to today has been a success. After a long day's work, you get off and run the errands that you so tediously added to your iPad calendar. The streets are all clear, the cashiers you encounter are all perky and excited about their jobs, and nobody has run you over trying to get to the sales rack first. Errands are all done, and now you're back home enjoying a nice hot bubble bath. Relaxed, refreshed, and accomplished! The only problem now is that you never started the car, and you never put it in drive! Therefore, none of these things actually happened; you only ENVISIONED them.
Much like the stagnant position of the car, our dreams are still stuck in "park". We wake up and envision where we want to go, who we want to be and what we want to do, but we never put the process in "drive".  We see ourselves as college graduates but never complete the college application. We want to be great business owners but never reserve the business name or obtain the business license. We strive to be financially stable but will not commit to saving. We desire to have a fruitful and abundant life, but we never enter into relationship with God!
We must realize that we cannot reach the outcome of our desired goal until we move. We have to put action to our vision, and set out on the journey toward our destination. At some point, we must decide to turn the ignition on our dream, shift gears, and PUT IT IN DRIVE!

Written By: Shun Davenport, Guest Blogger