Author Archives for jaylite1225

LET IT GO…let it go!

Thankfully, Spring has sprung.

But it felt like we endured the LONGEST winter ever…it was as if Disney’s Elsa wreaked havoc all over the country.  There we were in mid-March, still experiencing a winter wonderland.  Elsa’s signature song and declaration in the movie Frozen is “Let it Go!”.  Some of my friends who have children have heard this song more than they care to, but we could all stand to learn a lesson from this animated princess.

About two years ago, I stumbled across an interesting article about a woman in Belgium who, for an ENTIRE year, lived with her dead husband. My mind always seeks to find a rhyme or reason behind someone’s thought process.  What was this woman thinking? It would be one thing if he’d collapsed in the basement and her senescence limited her mind or memory.  Or perhaps if he’d gone out for a hunting trip with friends and she was somewhat unaware of his whereabouts. None of this was the case.  This woman willingly, intentionally, and without any sense of wrongdoing, slept in a bed (nightly) with her deceased husband until his body became mummified.

…her refusal to embrace the truth…conveyed more insanity than romance.

 

While some would view this as a case of extreme love, the reality is, her refusal to embrace the truth – that her husband’s life was over – conveyed more insanity than romance.  With no medical support or equipment, any method of care, or without the basic honor of a proper burial, this woman held on to a dead thing. What’s worse is that officials only discovered what was happening in her home after neighbors complained of the extreme odor noxiously seeping from her domicile.

Us “normal people” may marvel at this woman’s inability to separate herself from (what had become) a dead thing, YET how often do we stay connected to people and constructs that are dead?  We romanticize dead relationships by imagining what our family would look like now, and how old our children would be now, omitting the abuse, neglect and gross incompatibility.  We engage our future based on a dead past and wonder why we keep getting the same results.  We beat ourselves with the whips of dead words spoken over us as children by rehearsing them every time we make a simple mistake.  We remember anniversary dates of harmful events and erect monuments to moments of failure and pain in our lives only to visit them, presenting, upon arrival, a bouquet of mixed flowers – suffering, angst, anguish and wasted time.

The reality is simple: there’s a season for everything.  Seasonality runs the earth.  We define our calendars by seasons.  We plan trips and events by seasons.  We decide what clothes to wear by seasons.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

A right thing in a wrong season is frustrating…a wrong thing in a right season is heart-breaking…a wrong thing in a wrong season is an absolute mess. BUT A right thing in the right season is a BLESSING…and that’s the only combination that works…lol!  Follow me!

We’ve got to constantly ask the Father, does “this” serve a purpose in my “now”.  I know you felt excited about volunteering for the greeting team when you first joined the church 4 years ago.  You were single then with a lot of time on your plate.  Now, you’re married, with an infant child and are wrestling with going back to school.  You don’t feel the same joy about it anymore…now, it’s much more of an obligation than an opportunity.  The demands of what was once A blessing is wrestling with what could be “THE” blessing in your life.  You started the business with your friend.  You were the ideas guy.  He was the tech guy.  Your ideas kept growing…his tech stopped.  Do you handicap the future of your business by the limited skill of your friend?

Sometimes, God promotes us to our next, by frustrating us with our now.  He literally brings an end to a season.  What once worked simply ceases to satisfy.

Death is one of those inevitable “life things” that just happens.  You can never be truly prepared for it. But when it does  happen, when something reaches its expiration date in your life, you’ve GOT to LET IT GO!  Harmful things happen when food is consumed beyond the expiration date.  You could be doing more damage than good by trying to make a temporary thing a permanent fixture in your life.

The reality is, while this lady was (still) in love with her dead husband, there was a smell that filled the air…a deafening odor so foul, so pungent that her neighbors (unbeknownst to her) reported the smell to officials.  WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ONTO that is so foul everyone around you can sense, smell, detect that something is off, but because of affection you’ve gone nose-blind to it?

Pray that God will give you the grace to Let It Go!

See the original article here.

13 Words That Changed My Mind…

Ambition /amˈbiSHən/ is defined as a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. I hate to start anything with the typical …according to Webster’s…; however, I find it necessary to start there this time.

It’s interesting how competitively ambitious our society has become.  Reality competition shows are a staple in the secular and religious communities.  We work hard to achieve what we want by any means. Good or bad, logical or irrational, planned or spontaneous, deleterious or  beneficent, when we set our mind to do something, anything…WE MAKE IT HAPPEN. We have created a culture that is SO self-serving and -gratifying that the concept of a greater good is almost lost…even among church people (lol)…who are the people I know the most about.  

If it doesn’t benefit me, I’m not participating.  If my favorite preacher isn’t there, I’m not going.  If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.  So we enter the rat race and resort to our lower functions – fighting, gossiping, scheming and cheating – just to get ahead in life.

Recently, I picked up A.W. Tozer’s The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship (I’m literally just starting to read it), and this statement jumped off my iPad and into my spirit:

My ambition is to love God more than any one of my generation.


Whoa. What? Wait.

I had heard of ambitions to become famous or rich or even (occasionally) to help people.  Never had I read or heard words that pricked my heart so severely and changed my thinking so instantly. Only 13 words, but they shifted my paradigm.  Because competition does exist in church, but not on this wise.

my-ambiton-social

I thought about what a different society and even church culture we would create if, instead of competing to fulfill self-serving goals, we pointed our strong desire to achieve something towards how intensely we could reciprocate our love for God.  I say reciprocate, because we honestly don’t have to compete for his love or strive for it.  He has given it to us freely.  But instead of competing for who will get the best parking spot, or gets to be the closest to the leader…instead of spending hours scheming on how to get the promotion or bait that mate (uh-oh)…instead of devoting our goals to revenge or success, what if we set out to love God.

We worship in a church culture that rewards the ambitious and the eager.  Ministers don’t study to empower people to grow closer to God.  Instead, WE practice to be the most charismatic and entertaining, raise the best offering, and garner the most retweets and youtube hits.  Singers don’t pray to write the songs that please God and encourage the people.  No, WE sing to entertain, to prove to other singers how good we are, to earn our honorarium and get spins on the radio.  

SO WHAT! our messages and methods have no standard, forget the fact that our music is dedicated to depression, sounds more like the blues than the hope of the gospel, and is so musically complicated the average worshipper can’t sing along. I digress.

A competitive ministry model has empowered and rewarded those who, by mere will and ambition, outperform others, but my goal is to perfect passion and not performance. The legacy that I leave for future generations may not be that he was the best or won a lot of awards.  They won’t say, “He was ruthless, but we tolerated him because he was talented.” Maybe someone will say that he acted justly, loved mercy and walked humbly before God.

…perfect passion and not performance.


Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart
.
(Psalm 37:4 ESV)

 

My pastor recently challenged us to really think about the phrase To God be the Glory.  Her question to us and my question to you is, when you say that…do you REALLY mean it? I wish you could hear how she says it…lol!

I leave you with another quote from Tozer, “No man has any right to die until he has served his generation.” How have you served your generation?

An Idiot-Proof Blessing: Part I

About a year ago, I traveled to North Carolina to celebrate the life of one of my great mentors, Elder Vernon Chapel.  I rented a car.  I had no idea that the rental agency in NC would give me a newer version of the very same car that I drove every day back in Texas.

Though my car in Texas wasn’t even 5 years old, the upgrades and amenities, the smoothness of the ride, and even the way the steering wheel felt in that rental car had an unexpected effect on me.  I loved the car I had at home, but knowing that, in such a short span of time so many things about the car that I loved were upgraded, discontented my daily routine.  It increased my desire.  It changed my capacity and shifted my perception of normal.

Almost done paying off my car, but one weekend unsettled me.  I was fine and had no real issues with my car, but I had tasted and I had seen…and I would never be the same.  Every upgrade I’d ever paid to have added to my car at home was already in the base model of this car.

I had to have it.

Having driven the newer model…I was no longer content with the one I owned.

Exposure.  One of the greatest things that can ever happen to us is to be exposed to opportunities that redefine our normal.  The thrill of newness.  The excitement of the unknown.  Exposure is one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.  Exposure can wake up hidden dreams and unlock your potential.  The right exposure will pull you out of a bad relationship or drag you back to finish school.  It will bulldoze every limitation that you unknowingly set for yourself. When you fully assess the gulf between where you are and where you are going, the steps to process your next direction can be daunting .  But how often do our tomorrows die famished prisoners of our todays?

That’s just like God. He will expose you to greater – not just to excite you, but to challenge you to do whatever it takes to move from where you are into your destiny.  What has God exposed you to that you’re not attaining?  Let Him expose you to more.  Let him stretch your limitations.  Let him expand your territory to conquer more.

Before David ever reigned as king or Elisha uttered a prophecy, before Sampson brought down great pillars or Joseph administrated over Egypt, God carefully and intentionally exposed them to fragments of their future successes through individuals, circumstances, and divine encounters.  In this way, God institutes success for us by giving us small glimpses of purpose and passion along our journey.  If we won’t fight the process, He can literally make reaching our destiny idiot-proof…I’ll explain more later!

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