Faith

Don’t Bother

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Have you ever cringed at the thought of being a bother. If you’re at a restaurant and they don’t get your order right; if you’re trying to pass through a big crowd and you have to inch your way through; if you need to ask the busiest person in the world for yet another word of advice? Have you ever just felt bad about being a bother? Well I feel like this often. I absolutely hate to worry other people with my troubles.

I can’t help but think of the woman with the issue of blood. (Luke 8:40) I wonder if she practiced several times in her mind how she would approach Jesus and how she would get his attention to heal her. I mean, he was already surrounded by a crowd of people.  So many people, with so many needs and wants and only one person who could give it to them. I can’t help but wonder, did she think she would be bothering Jesus to ask for a healing?

I guess it all boils down to not only how desperate you are for what you want, but how deserving you think you are of it. I’m sure the woman went back and forth in her mind on whether she was even worthy of healing or not. Unfortunately, we do this to ourselves a lot. We never feel worthy of getting the things we want or even the things we desperately need.

If you are paying for a meal, don’t you deserve to have it exactly how you want it? If you’re walking through a crowded room don’t you deserve to get where you need to go? If you have an issue don’t you deserve to have it solved by someone who can help you just like everyone else? I think so.

I’m going to challenge you and myself to be like the woman with the issue of blood. Believe that you are worthy of whatever you want or need and go after it with your whole heart. Even if it’s just getting your foot in the door, being in the right place at the right time like the woman. Do what you need to do to get what you deserve. Nothing illegal of course! 🙂 You are worthy of all you desire. Be brave enough to go after it! 

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Faith

Take Every Thought Captive

Take Every THought Captive

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Thousands of thoughts swirl through our minds each day. Some negative, some positive, but mostly negative. With those negative thoughts come a flood of emotions. Frustration, anger and sometimes depression. It’s hard to get a hold of those feelings and make them positive. In other words take them captive.

Recently in my life I’ve experienced some great disappointment. Disappointment usually provokes negative thoughts. People have stolen from me (more than once), broken promises from people I thought were friends, and hopeful expectations of things I’ve wanted to pursue have fell through. Needless to say, those negative thoughts kept trying to creep in.

After coming across this scripture, I refused to let those negative thoughts take over. I refused to let those negative seeds plant roots and make a home in my head. Even surprising to me, blow after blow, I still felt this certain peace. Certain that all of these things were temporary and everything was going to be alright. I knew everything was going to work out for the best no matter what.

The key for me was taking things little by little. One step at a time. This way I would not and could not be overwhelmed. As soon as one negative thought popped into my head, I quickly counter attacked it with a positive more rational thought. For instance, with the broken promises from a friend, I refused to dwell on what they did to me. Instead I focused on the positive of the situation. Like the fact, that the person was only meant to be in my life for a season and God was making room for more loyal people to come into my life. As soon as I felt the negative thought coming on, I quickly rebuked it and planted in my head a more positive thought instead.

At the end of the day it’s all about your perspective and practice. The more you feed your soul, spirit, and mind with positivity, the more likely you are to be able to manifest a positive thought when negative things occur.

So I challenge you, the next time you have a negative thought, take it captive and make it obey what God says about you and your circumstance.

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Faith

Christians vs. Humans

Christians vs. Humans

Are christians allowed to be human? Can christ followers ever had a bad day, say a bad word, not be nice, do or say the wrong thing?

It’s unfortunate that some people think humans who proclaim to be christians are not allowed to do any of those things. The behavior of christians is constantly scrutinized and judged. Sometimes even by other christians.

There is a misconception that once we become saved we have to be perfect. We are not allowed to get tattoos, drink, swear, sin, or do anything else deemed “bad” in the eyes of others. The great news is good deeds don’t get us into heaven neither will bad deeds send us to hell. Even once you are saved, sin is still present. (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23) Confessing your sins and believing that Jesus died for you and your sins is what saves you. (If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9) Being saved is what leads to your relationship with God and your willingness to live and be more like His son Jesus.

Now, just because you are willing doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. We are all allowed to make mistakes, we are human. Learning from those mistakes and coming into who God says you are helps us not to make those same mistakes again.

At the end of the day only God can judge, according to Tupac and James 4:12. 🙂 It’s up to you to develop your own personal relationship. As a believer, you cannot impose your own personal convictions onto others. Your job is to help lead people to Christ not push them away with your judgments. The same goes for non believers. You cannot impose your personal norms and values onto others. Be led by our own moral compass, don’t try to be one for someone else.

In the grand conflict of christians vs. humans, if you didn’t already know, they are one in the same. The next time you see a christian, even your own pastor, do “bad” things, or have a bad day, remember, they are not only christians, but humans too.

 

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Faith

Be the Change You Want to See

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Have you ever gone through a period in your life when you constantly asked why God why, when God when? You continued to ask these questions for what seems like an eternity. Then finally, you say God I give up. Have your way.

I recently went through a period like this and God told me, be the change you want to see. The change you are so desperately longing for starts with you. You already have everything you need to change your life. I have already equipped you with the tools and talents you need to make your life better.

I was in a place where nothing fulfilled me. No matter how much I engaged in social media, no matter how much YouTube and TV I watched to escape, I could not find any relief for the void I was trying desperately to fulfill. Finally, God gave me an assignment, a desire and a passion. He told me, spread the love of my son Jesus. That is your sole purpose in this life I gave you. Be a light in dark places. Be a vessel to help lead others to Jesus.

I thought to myself “How Sway?!” 🙂 I have no platform, I have no influence, no one will listen to me. He said follow my instruction and I’ll do the rest. I reluctantly accepted the challenge. Every since I did, I’ve notice that I am slowly but surely becoming the change I want to see in the world.

There is nothing more fulfilling then doing the work of Christ and fulfilling your purpose in life, no matter how big or small you may think it is. Be the change you want to see. Whatever God has put inside of you, use it to change your own life and eventually you will help change the lives of others, and hopefully the world. 

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Faith

Praise & Worship

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Have you ever been having a weird day and decided to turn on some music, and after a song or two your mood totally changes. Well, that’s the power of praise and worship for me.

Sometimes it takes some convincing from myself to actually turn the music on, but when I do my spirit is immediately lifted. In Isaiah 61:3 it describes God giving us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are constantly fighting this daily battle, to think positive, speak positive, do positive and be positive. This verse confirms that God knows us and loves us so much that he gives us an outlet to release all of that negative energy.

Praise not only makes us feel good but it makes God feel good as well. Psalm 147:1 The creator of all things loves when His creations worship Him and spend quality time with Him. Psalm 50:23 Praise and worship is a great way to commune with God and thank Him for who He is and what He has and will do in your life.

So I challenge you today, if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or anything that’s keeping you down; turn on some music and begin to worship God. If you’re unsure where to start, I’ll list a few of my favorite praise and worship songs below.  Let me know in the comments below how your day has changed.

  1. Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli
  2. Here As in Heaven – Elevation Worship
  3. Do It Again – Elevation Worship
  4. The Anthem –  Todd Dulaney
  5. Fill Me Up – Tasha Cobb
  6. Heart Live Heaven – Hillsong United
  7. Oceans – Hillsong United
  8. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
  9. Overcome – Tye Tribett
  10. Bless the Lord (Son of Man) – Tye Tribett

 

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Faith

Stepping Up & Stepping Out

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It’s so wonderful when God calls you out into the “great unknown, where feet may fail.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s terrifying, but also exciting. It’s always scary to step out of your comfort zone, but very exciting to see what God has in store for you.

It’s not always easy to leave what you know!

We get so comfortable in our day-to-day routines. Sometimes even stuck. Who in their right mind would want to leave what is familiar to them? Who in their right mind would go on a journey when they don’t know where their going, how long it will take, or where they will end up? I bet no one.

If we listen close enough, God will give you cues on when it’s time to go, when it’s time to stay, and when it’s time to leap! The great thing about being led by God is that he will always meet you along the way.  As you take the steps in the right direction (His direction), He will always send you confirmation that you’re on the right path. Little blessings here and there start to manifest. The path becomes clearer.

You have to Step up and Step out!

There is no way you can you can grow if you don’t Step Out! There is no way you will reach your full potential if you don’t go for it! Break the boxes others have tried to put you in. Start living out the wild plans God has for your life.

The great thing about God is that He’ll never tell you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, don’t have enough because He has it all and has already given it to you and will always give you what you need along the way. It’s up to you to Step Up and accept it.

I know,  easier said than done. But I’d rather take a chance on God than live a mediocre and unfulfilling life.  

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Faith, Travel

The Trouble with Comparing

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Unfortunately, we now live in a society that revolves around social media. Getting as many likes and follows as we can. Everyone is so concerned about who likes them and who wants to hear what they have to say. What we don’t realize is we are fostering an environment for depression, self-pity, and self-doubt for those who feel like they can’t keep up.

I will be honest and say that I have fallen into the comparison trap before. Scrolling through social media, looking at the highlights of other people’s lives wishing I had what they have. Wishing I could be anyone but who I was. We can think someone’s life is perfect just by what they choose to show. Do you think people would choose to post their struggles? Most of the time, people only like to brag on their victories. It’s human nature.

The Problem:

The problem is perception. We perceive that the people we are “friends” with have better jobs, better money, better spouses, better cars, and just overall better lives than us. The truth is we don’t know what it took for those people to attain the things they have or if what we see is even really true.

Someone could post about the new home they bought. What we see is how we have failed at life because we don’t have a home (being facetious..lol).  What we don’t see is how much that person sacrificed for years, struggled to fix their credit, put off vacations and stuff they wanted to buy, just so they could have their dream home.

Someone could post about their fiancé or spouse and you feel like a failure because you don’t have one. The truth is you don’t know what goes on in their house behind closed doors. Their relationship could be a mess. They could have just settled on that person just so they could avoid being lonely. Just to have someone to post pictures with.

The Answer:

The answer is STOP COMPARING!!! We are all on different journeys in life. We just need to learn to appreciate the journey we are on. God has a specific path for all of us. It might not be the path we imagined, but we have to trust and believe that He will lead us to our desired end when the time is right.

We can never get to our future unless we live in our present. Our present is preparing and equipping us for our future. We can never be our best self in the future until we learn to master the small things that are building our character right now. Why rush God’s timing? I’d rather God develop me and take His time molding me than to end up in a situation that I regret or cannot maintain because I rushed into it.

Stop letting people’s highlight reels make you feel a certain way about yourself. No one’s life is perfect and no one has it all together. The only way to make yourself okay is to focus on God and focus on yourself. Start to work on the desires and passions God has placed in your heart now! Don’t wait until things are perfect, because they never will be. Don’t worry about how many likes and follows you get. Just keep going until you reach your goals.

 

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