Belief Beyond Boundaries
The Great Resignation
I've noticed something in the last few years. The "Great Resignation" seems to be permeating our entire society and not just the workplace. Aside from jobs, good and bad reasons alike, people are leaving their jobs, churches, their religions, toxic relationships, etc in order to escape perceived injustices in the organizations in which they belong. As Christians, we seek like minded Christians who value what we believe, but for some cases, I have to ask, is the world better off when people leave organizations so readily?
In the case of workplaces, unhappy employees quit and slip away only to have someone take their place and be equally unhappy. In churches, parishioners leave, only to have new members join and encounter the same jezebel spirit. In the age of "ghosting," is it possible that quiet-leaving organizations becomes a destructive force itself?
A friend of mine recently expressed she was thinking about leaving her church, because of their aggressive criticism in how they approached the topic of homosexuality. She explained that the rhetoric of the ministry seemed destructive and hate-filled when it came to this particular subject matter. Although a controversial subject, any reasonable Christian would know that although we disagree with sin, we should not hate the sinner as Jesus taught us. We are all sinners, so we should consider this when judging the sins of others. Naturally, intense and hateful rhetoric is at odds with Christ's teachings and can leave people feeling emotionally jarred, especially when encountering this mentality in "safe" spaces.
Unfortunately, polarization and fear is occurring all over America, but could your voice be a voice of reasoning in a polarized environment? After all, Jesus didn't call us to be politicians. He called us to love each other. He taught us we could love all people, regardless of where they come from.
With that, I wish you courage and strength in your life when you stand up for the values of Christ to bring change, even when the enemy appears to come against you. Consider carefully the power you have in Christ and that you are called to be a lantern in the dark. Whether it is your church, your workplace, the public, or even your own household, do not be afraid to speak the TRUTH of Christ. Just as Jesus' teachings were not in agreement with the common teaching during His time, perhaps what you have to say is also needed, even if others have not yet realized it.
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" John 8:31
The Master's Work
Your God has created this world and everything in it. He loves your enemy as much as he loves you. He knows the number of hairs on your enemy's head. He knows all the thoughts, desires, and hearts of everyone you have ever met and every single person you've never known to exist. When He looks down upon the earth and sees all of his children, he sees a collective masterpiece of His will and you are but a brush stroke in His Great Commission. There are many colors, but together it all works and is all in subtle balance.
When he looks at his work, like the artist, he loves the whole of it. It is a reflection of Himself. He doesn't look at the imperfections and ruminate on them, because the whole of it is perfect. He sees and knows the perfection in everything and greatly loves His Creation. Therefore, you too can share in that great love. Each soul is delicate and treasured in his eyes. Love everyone.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." -Jesus Christ, John 13:34 (NIV)
The Power of Time Blocking
One of the most powerful habits you can integrate in your life is developing and adhering to a routine. While it is great to have a habit list, a road map of goals, and a solid foundation, having a planned routine helps by sort of automating the time factor of achieving goals. By setting up time blocks, you can achieve a routine that works well for you. Now, although time blocks may not help everyone in every situation, they can help for many habits, especially if you have a business or a lot of processes that you are working through each day. So what classifies as a time block?
A time block is a specified amount of time you work into your schedule to dedicate to a specific type of task. Even though I don't ascribe to time blocking my entire life, I do set aside specific times for some things. For instance, every day when I get home from work, I make it a habit to work on home maintenance or my task list for at least an hour and a half. This could be working on goals, checking emails, or doing home maintenance. It all kind of depends what needs to get done, but the point is, I have set aside time each day to look at what I need to get done by reviewing my task lists and current goals.
Some people may need more structure than I do, so they may set aside a time in the morning to focus on spiritual work, another time of the day to work on goals, while a separate time to work on home chores. If you own a business, you can use this technique to focus on specific activities throughout your day. For example, you might set aside 2 hours in the morning for customer communication, 2 hours for routine tasks, and 4 hours of sales calls. Sales calls could be further broken down into smaller time slots such as specific regions, customer types, or products for example. By allocating time to specific slots throughout your day, you take ownership of your time and are less likely to allow distraction to take over your day while also prioritizing how much time you intend on focusing on various tasks.
If you struggle with being productive, I highly suggest integrating time blocks into your schedule. If you can, take a moment to create a schedule of your activity for each day of the week. You could allocate time to exercise, skill building, maintenance work, Bible reading, or anything else that will help support your current goal work. I hope this helps allowing you to gain more control over your time.
If you find this information helpful, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Have a great day!
Body of Christ
I see your true purpose for my life is simply to serve others and care about those who are in need of your help. I understand that I am your hands to those who are weak, your eyes to those who are blind, your feet for those who've fallen, your voice for those who cannot speak, and your loving presence for those who are grief stricken.
Love me in my imperfectness, let your wisdom rest upon me, and allow me to understand your ways. Have mercy on me, protect me, and let your favor rest upon me.
In your mighty Name I pray. Amen.
Identify Your Purpose
I've wrote a little bit this week and last week about finding your purpose. Last week, I wrote an article titled, Turn Your Dreams Into Action (Click Here) that addresses this a little big too. I hope you too are starting to see your own purpose as you work through my posts. That is really what life is all about isn't it? I want to ask you something, but before I do, remember that finding your purpose may not be something that changes the whole world and it doesn't have to be complicated. Your purpose can also change! Right now, my purpose is online evangelism and goal inspiration using this blog as my medium.
Have you thought about a purpose you could pick today and kind of just roll with for a few months and see if it becomes a passion? It really is a simple thing. No need to overthink it. I'll wait here and see what you come up with if you already haven't. Think about your skills or interests along with something that is very meaningful. Could you combine them? For instance, aside from this blog, I love to sing and have developed that skill to a degree. Bringing Christ into people's lives is also important to me. Perhaps, someday, my purpose will then be to serve Christ through music. How about you? Got something for me?
Now that hopefully you've come up with a couple ideas, think of a couple ways you could get involved. Could you spend one moment per week being involved with this? Whatever it is, try it for a few weeks. You don't even need to commit beyond that. This is your moment to try out a few new things. Even if you don't hit the moon, I promise you won't regret trying. Do me a favor and also if you haven't started a Goal Road Map, please do that. This is just a journal that keeps track of all your goals and aspirations. To remind yourself of your current purpose, please write that on your Goal Road Map now.
If this post has been helpful for you, please comment. Also feel free to share. Your support is always appreciated.
Dream Testimony - War Mask
On the night of September 20, I had a dream. I'd like to share it with you if you'd like to let me know what your thoughts are in the comments. I have my own theories, but I'm excited to see if you guys validate what I was thinking.
In the dream I had a war mask tattooed on my face. It looked like this: It was a black “U” shape going down each side of my face starting at the temples and going under the chin. Then there was a single line going from the bridge of my nose down to the bottom of the “U” so that it looked like the symbol of a trident. On the outsides of the “U” there was no paint, but in the space on the left side, it was painted blue and on the right side space, I believe it was another color, but not sure. I was very focused on the blue side of the mask. Over my right eye (left side looking at the mask, the blue side) was a black rectangle over my eye. I also looked in the mirror at myself to see the mask (which meant the blue side was on the left physically and the reflection). Nothing I could do would let me remove the mask from my face. I distinctly felt as if God put this tattooed mask on my face.
Afterward, I saw a newspaper. At the top of the newspaper, the name of the newspaper read “ALPHA.”
Plan a Trip in 10 Easy Steps
1. Make a list of 10 bucket list type places you would like to visit in your lifetime.
2. Pick the next one you'd like to visit.
3. Write down 5-10 activities you can do while you are there.
4. Where would you like to stay? Hotel? B&B? Camping?
5. Do you need plane tickets or car rental?
6. Based on your activities, rental or tickets, and cost of stay, how much will this vacation cost?
7. How much money can you save each week to accomplish this trip?
8. Based on that amount, how long will it take before you can take your trip?
9. Now make a list of food and supplies you can bring with you.
10. Enjoy your trip!
Seek Wisdom First
I absolutely love what goals can do for a person's life. I love the idea of taking thoughtful and purposeful time each and every day to make life just a little bit better and more productive than it was the day before. I look back on my own goal work and realize the small mountains I have moved and it leaves me in awe. One thing you may not see me talk as much about is wealth building and making money. Sure, making money is a goal many people have, but I feel like it is rife with complication when you consider what it takes to achieve "making money" and how shortsighted this can seem. What is the purpose? How does making money actually serve you? I would like to discuss how this mentality can actually harm you in ways, not only because you are putting the cart before the horse, but you are missing out on some key elements in the process that money can't buy.
Let's consider your purpose; the natural talents and skills that you have all working together to fulfill what is most meaningful to you as a person. Think global here. What do you see in the world that you'd like to change? This change can be your purpose. How many of us, however, quickly take a job so we can simply pay the bills? I'm guilty of this myself. After all, sometimes beggars can't be choosers.
If you're like many people today, after finding a job you are comfortable with, you find yourself asking, "now what?" Are you going to improve some skills and become more promotable? Maybe if you've already earned the skills, you start looking for a job that pays better after you've spent some time with your company? Does that bring you fulfillment? For some, this means making widgets in a factory to becoming the manger of workers who make widgets in a factory. Congratulations. The challenge is that even after you begin making more money you may still be struggling with finding fulfillment in your life, because now you may find you have even fewer hours in the day to work with. This is the problem with equating "making money" with fulfillment and success.
Keeping your eye on the money also short circuits a critical process: The value of finding fulfillment in wisdom through self-improvement. See, making money is just one fruit or product of the investments you've made in yourself in the past. It is but one reflection of what you've earned from your hard work. This is, once again, where having a purpose comes in handy. See if you're serving out a purpose, every action you take will be made out of passion; out of necessity and the power of will to see your vision come to fruition. Before money comes flowing in, think about the other fruits you are developing: Wisdom, patience, understanding, and fulfillment. It is through our purpose that we find these things.
I want you to think about your specific purpose again for a moment. Do you have one? You may have no idea what your purpose is! The truth is nobody can pick that purpose for you. You have free will and are free to choose anything you wish. You don't need to move mountains, just work toward doing something that would make your life feel more fulfilling. It is through the wisdom you gain through the successes and failures that will ultimately reveal your true calling.
If you haven't had a chance, I suggest writing down a few goals along with some simple subtasks to help you get started. If those subtasks seem daunting, break them down into even simpler tasks to make them even more achievable. Always take time to look at your list of goals each and every day, because there is something at stake: The life you've been dreaming of. Remember that money has very little to do with living out your passion. Have a great day, friends. I wish you many blessings in all your pursuits.
Psalm 49 (New International Version)
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed--
and people praise you when you prosper--
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
Dream Interpretation 101
If you have dreams, chances are you've been very confused by their randomness at times, wondering what they could possibly mean. More often than not, however, dreams can have very significant messages to relay to you, if you just give them a chance. So what are these messages and what is their purpose? Some will say that they are simply reflections of your current reality. Others will say that there may be spiritual significance, while others believe they are direct messages from God to raise your awareness. I believe we are each capable of all three types. So you might be asking, "how do I know and where do I start?" As someone who has been dream journaling and interpreting dreams for over a decade, rest assured, I will show you how.
Step 1: Write down your dream
First write down a paragraph or two illustrating in detail what happened in the dream. First, this helps you recall all the events and helps commit the dream to memory. As you're writing, you will find yourself remembering more detail than what you would by simply trying to remember the events as they occurred. Take note of how each event or object in the dream made you feel. For example, if you're dreaming and see a horse running toward you, did this event make you feel joyful or disturbed or simply neutral?
Step 2: Write down all the symbols and research their meaning
A horse can mean freedom, power or strength in a specific situation, or even fun and play. Take note of the color of the horse. In this case, we will say the horse is white. Perhaps it is running toward you quickly with a storm coming up in the sky behind it. If you feel an uneasy feeling watching the horse run at you from a distance, it may mean there is something or someone in your life that may be bringing negativity. The storm would indicate strong emotions such as anger or fear that you've kept bottled inside.
Take special note of numbers and colors to give further insight into a specific symbol. Numbers, as in the case of the story of Joseph, can indicate a timeline as well as a number of challenges or other pertinent information to you. In Joseph's case, he saw 7 fat and thin cows indicating 7 years of abundance followed by 7 years of famine in Egypt. He saw 11 sheaves of wheat bowing down to his sheaf of wheat. This represented his brothers bowing down to him when he would become powerful in Egypt.
Regarding color, it will often imbue the symbolism of the item with the qualities of the color. For instance an elephant by itself could mean power and knowledge. If the elephant is red, this could denote passion, love, and intense emotion in regards to that power and knowledge. Depending on your emotion in the dream, this could mean feeling overwhelmed in a new job or feeling big feelings of love coming from someone. The mood of the dream is often very telling.
In regards to symbols, go with the interpretation of each symbol that feels most in tune with the dream. Lastly, don't be afraid to go off the cuff a bit if you cannot find a specific interpretation for a symbol that feels right. In this case, you may have to look within yourself to capture the perfect meaning for a symbol.
Step 3: Rewrite the dream symbol meanings as an interpretation
In regards to the horse dream, from an interpretational point of view, it could indicate a need to be aware of your emotions toward a specific person (storm), because those emotions may come back on you through someone forming resentments (horse running at you), thus chasing away your peace (white horse). If you were the dreamer, I would ask if there is anyone that you might be having a feud with and indicate it may be a time to show compassion and kindness to that person.
So how do you know if a dream is from God or yourself?
Truthfully, it can be hard to tell until you interpret the dream and convey its message, but great indicators are seeing Jesus, God, or angels in the dream. If the dream lifts you up and gives you revelation, it could very well be insight that God intended for you, however, if the dream reveals insecurity, fear, and frustration, it might be time to look within and determine the root cause of the issues being brought to the surface. Whether it is from God or yourself, it's always important to address potential causes of negativity in your life that the dream is presenting.
If you haven't started, dream journaling is a great practice. It helps keep the dream in perspective even years after having the dream. Case in point, just last night I started pondering a dream I had over 4 months ago. Because I had written it down, I was able to check on some details that proved very helpful in expanding the interpretation and providing further detail to the interpretation I wrote down at that time. Sometimes insight reveals itself over the course of months or even years!
I hope you have a great day, friends. Please let me know in the comments if this information was helpful for you.
The Law of the Lord is Perfect
Many people have wondered throughout the ages how to solve all the world's problems. A world whereby hunger, famine, war, poverty and greed have ceased. As Christians, we believe this will happen when Jesus returns to rule over the world again for a thousand years. I ask you, however, could the wisdom the Lord left us in the first place along with the commandments God delivered Moses be the solution that solves all these problems? The Law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:10) I keep asking why we have to rely on our worldly governments to deliver every need. Is it time Christians begin to come together? Why is it necessary to wait for the Lord to return in order to begin the true work of His Kingdom. Could establishing this true "Kingdom" actually bring the return of Christ right now?
As we read through the Bible, we see so many problems that have already been addressed and solved by God, yet governments fail to solve the problems that have been solved already. Why? Because governments tend to be atheist institutions and value their own humanly knowledge more than the ancient and divine knowledge of God. Let's ask ourselves how God addresses some of these most pressing issues we see in our time and what His solutions are:
Hunger, Need, and Famine
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.” - Leviticus 23:22 (NIV)
This is an instruction given by God explaining that the leftover edges of our productivity can be used to help others. This goes beyond just fields and instead, is the spirit of how we should conduct ourselves in all things similar. In other words, if you have extra and it benefits you little to withhold what you CAN give, it is important to share with others. This translates into:
“Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity...Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond...I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?” - Ronald Reagan
I ask you now, is this threat just military war or could this extend to the a war for your attention, your relationships, family, your lifestyle, and your wallet? If the Kingdom of God is not worth all of us working together for the common good and turning our swords into plowshares, I don't know what else would be. As a Christian, you are already a member of that Kingdom and though you may have to work in conjunction with your domestic government, you can and should have a Christian code that you can also live by.
"Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:9-11 (NIV)
In this verse, it is clear that the common thread that can tie us all together is the common thread of His glory, which can be found in His Son, Christ Jesus.
"Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest." - Deuteronomy 23:19 (NIV)
“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit." - Leviticus 25: 35-37 (NIV)
How many of the world's problems alone could be solved by just removing greed alone? Interestingly enough, it is the American corporate system, underpinning the world's economy, that is epitome of greed. Think about this for a moment. Corporations have shareholders. It is the duty of the corporate managers and the board of directors to put shareholders first, which involves maximizing profit. The first step is to hire a talented CEO, whom will be paid, most-likely, tens of millions of dollars each year. Next, in an effort to minimize expenditures, managers will demand the highest quality for the cheapest price when it comes to resources, capital, and executive salaries. In an ever growing needs to minimize expense and maximize profit, only political and universal ethics are considered first, not environmental or religious ones, because all humanitarian-centric decisions cost profit and corporations, as a whole, are purely profit driven.
How can the corporate problem be fixed? In a word, private or group-owned companies that are committed to paying employees well, making religious based decisions, taking care of our environment, and are strictly non-profit companies. This doesn't take into consideration small businesses of course, which are the engine of the economy. From that perspective, small business owners can commit themselves to the same by taking a personal vow, committed to running a greed-free business. In the end, the more funds that can be funneled into reinvestment and human capital will only allow the business to become more profitable and valuable.
Lastly, regarding lending money at no interest, it is natural to think that some people will neglect to pay the money they borrow from people back, however, Jews and Muslims have been doing this for hundreds or thousands of years and, in fact, still do this today. This system works on honor and is very effective at helping people rise out of poverty.
How does all this tie together?
As Christians, a time will come when we will need to separate ourselves, to an extent, from the existing systems of the world, coming together, and establish a new paradigm in how we conduct business, grow wealth, and solve world problems. We have a King and his name is Jesus. The question is, when will we begin to take the Lord seriously and begin putting his laws into practice. After all, Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” - Matthew 5:17. When will we allow Him to truly rule over us? Some may say many of these laws are out of date or not relevant. Sure, some of these laws were enacted in a world where animal sacrifice still took place, but most, if we search our hearts, are as relevant today as they were then. Also, we must then ask ourselves if it is the law that is not relevant or if it is our society and our time that is not relevant to what God has commanded. If you find yourself asking how any of this is even possible, you may also want to ask yourself how intertwined your own identity is in the world systems.
In the future, I envision a world where, as Christians, we not only bring the Kingdom to Earth spiritually, but also physically in how we conduct ourselves and truly find our identity in Christendom. Christianity will no longer just define the fact that we go to a Christian church, but also how we as a Christian community come together in honor of our King, Jesus. Whether it be disrupting the war on individuals and nations, business, moral character, or serving each other with our skills in an affordable way (i.e. medical care, legal services, retail, entertainment, or lending), I see a major disruption as the power is taken from the kings of the earth and returned to the true King, Jesus, and His believers. Are you ready for the return?