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

The Fatherless Find Rest

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Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege to grow up in a household with my Father. Some ask how did it change you as a person? Were you angry? Were you sad? Do you feel like you have daddy issues? The answer is no.

I never thought, growing up without a father would determine my fate as a human being. Fortunately, God placed specific people in my life to encourage me to know better and do better. To reach for things beyond my community. To want more out of life than what was around me.

I first recognized that I didn’t have a dad when I was about 6 years old. I cried, asked my mom where was my dad, and why wasn’t he here? She explained the situation and I later to came to understand through a series of unfortunate events that my parents did not stay together, and unfortunately my dad was not in my life. I honestly felt like after that moment, I never felt sad about not having my dad around again.

Much later, I developed a relationship with my dad and for me, it honestly felt like no time had passed. We didn’t miss a beat. I was never angry. Being angry never felt like the “right” emotion to have towards my father. True, he wasn’t there, but I never felt like I was missing anything. I always felt like I had everything I needed from my mom and the community around me. I always felt spiritually and physically taken care of.

Feeling close to God at a young age also gave me comfort. For as long as I could remember I was always drawn to God and I’ve always had a relationship with Him. I’ve always felt safe, protected, and guided. Although, I didn’t have my physical father, I’ve always felt the presence of my spiritual Father.

So the words of this song resonate with me so well. “The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of your great name.” Jesus died so that we could be sons and daughters of God. God knew before we were created that “though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will.” If that doesn’t bring you joy inside, I don’t know what will. If you are feeling abandoned and like no one loves you, no one cares, look to God. Cliche and cheesy to some, but very true. I am proof. You already belong to Him and He will never leave you no matter how many times you try to run away.  Feel free to share your stories in the comments below. 

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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

My Problem with Forgiveness

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I have always been such a proponent for justice. In my mind things should always be fair and those who wrong others should always pay the consequences no matter what.

At 31 years young, I have come to the realization that I have a problem with forgiveness. Not only forgiving those that have wronged me, but those who have done wrong to those around me. In the past, if someone did wrong to me or my loved ones, it seems like God granted me grace and just removed them from my life. I no longer had to see that person or deal with that person again.

These days I feel like God is teaching me something. In recent years I have not had the pleasure of escaping those I feel have done wrong to me and my loved ones. I have had to see and interact with these people. So much so that I’ve actually had to be cordial and try not to let my emotions show about what they have done.

Injustice is such a hard pill for me to swallow. I know that eventually these people will pay for their sins against others, but it’s just difficult for me when I don’t see justice served sooner rather than later.

It’s such a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. That God would allow people to get away with such evil and manipulative deeds. But thank God for Matthew 5:44-48. Love your enemies. Not only do we need to forgive others and show them the same grace that God has given us. We also need to love others as Christ loves us. Loving those who love us is easy, but loving those who are “hard” to love is something we can only do through the help of Christ.

Our greatest command is to love God with all our hearts and to love others. So instead of complaining about those who have wrong me and others, I need to be praying for them. My purpose is to spread the love of Jesus, not to judge and condemn people. Not to wish that I get to see them reap their comeuppance. Even though, to be honest, I really want to see justice served. I can only fully love everyone, the just and unjust, through God’s help. Through prayer and petition that He would soften my heart and win the souls of those who do evil not only to me, but to those around me.

If you can relate, let me know in the comments how you were able to overcome your personal feelings and forgive.

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