The Other Side of Fear

Have you ever wondered what could possibly be on the other side of fear? Think about it. What could be on the other side of the thing that has you paralyzed?

When we allow ourselves to be gripped by fear, we limit our opportunities. Our decision making process becomes cloudy and our determining factor becomes “comfort.” When we operate in fear, we tend to choose whatever makes us comfortable. Instead of overcoming the fear and seizing the opportunity, we settle for whatever feels safe. It’s time to do it; even if you have to do it afraid. You can not afford to keep missing opportunities because of fear. And what’s really bad is the fact that there is nothing identifiable to be afraid of. So it becomes the fear of the unknown.

There are doors set before you and there are rooms waiting to be occupied by your presence….but where are you? You’re somewhere in a safe zone; avoiding the unknown. There could be a room of endless opportunities waiting for you but because you’re afraid to face the other side of the door, you never get the chance to experience any of it. Ask yourself this question. What do I actually have to be afraid of? Is it failure? Is failure really the worse thing you can think of? Let’s say it is. You try and you fail. Guess what? You have just discovered a way that won’t work. So what’s the solution to that? Try another way.

Your ideas are actually great but the great idea never has a chance to come alive because of an unseen feeling, called fear. That great idea could be a game changer for the world….but on the other hand; your fear could, too.

So ask yourself…Is the world lacking something because you refuse to conquer fear and push forward?

Let’s Be Free

Today, it seems like being offended is the new trend. Don’t get me wrong, we all feel and experience hurt but I’m referring to the voluntary action of remaining offended, just because you feel as if you have “right” to. It seems as if people are preparing themselves to be offended. Think about it this way….

How many times have you convinced yourself that you have a “right” live in offense? How many times have you made a decision based on your offense? Now think about how many minutes, hours, days, or even years you’ve spent living in offense…crazy, huh?! As “right” as you may think you are, the truth is, you’re only creating a 6×8 frame for someone to live in. And guess who the prisoner is? Its YOU!

Living in offense keeps you captivated. Your decision making is not as stable as it should be. Your moods and emotions shift with the wind. Your drive and stride is fueled by irrelevant matters, such as haters and revenge. You lose focus of your goals. And the things that should really matter begins to fade into the backgrounds of insignificant time wasters.

Life is too precious to not live free. It’s time to free yourself. Go on and forgive that person. Let go of the guilt. Accept the apology that you may never hear. Set up the meeting to talk it out. Reconcile. Do what ever you have to do. But what you CAN NOT afford to do is live another day in offense. It doesn’t matter what kind of “right” you feel entitled to, stop hurting yourself because you have a “right” to. Is it really worth holding up your own progress? Is it really worth wasting more minutes, hours, days, or even years?

Lets decide to be free!

The Fear of Judgement

I had a conversation with someone recently and we discussed the reason why this person felt insecure and scared to take the next step in life. This person shared how excited they were about the path that God was taking them on and how they’ve long awaited to have the relationship with God that they have now. But there was one issue. This person stated that they sometimes resented talking to some people about the “great change” that has taken place in their life. The reason why was because they felt as if people would over shadow their new found life with the past mistakes and decisions they had made. This person even shared with me their passion for reaching out to younger women and men about the street life and ministering to those who have been involved in drugs and gang activities. But once again, the fear of being judged was determined to be the factor in holding them back. At first this didn’t make sense to me. I was thinking, if God had done such a tremendous thing with me and had blessed me with another chance at this thing called life, why would I even care about the opinions and judgements of others.

Then I asked myself….how many times have I backed out of an assignment or not showed up to an event because of the fear of the judgement of others? How many times have I started typing a Facebook post about something that God had given me but deleted it because I felt like someone wouldn’t receive it because they know who I once were?

Maybe it’s the thought of that one person or even that one group of people that won’t see the good in you but will magnify your “used to.” You know, those people that love to say “he used to steal” or “she used to lie all the time” or “he used to curse everybody out.” Those people. Yeah, they make change and decision making difficult but the reality is this, they’re not going anywhere! You’ll always have those people who point to your “used to’s” because that’s all they have on you, is the person you used to be! Which is a good thing for you because that’s not who you are anymore. So their judgement can only be based on who you once were, not who you are now! And if you know that all things have become new, the “used to’s” don’t bother you as much.

So I say, go for the gold! Chase your dreams. Activate your faith and step out on it! Speak to those people. Start the organization! Start the ministry! Follow the voice of God! Eventually, the “she used to be something serious” will turn into “I used to go to school with her” or “we used to live in the same neighborhood”…because now their proud to even know you! Even if it’s only based on a “used to.”

No one is saying they’re ashamed of the Gospel but simply not wanting to be reminded of their short comings. It can be quite embarrassing. And let’s not mention the unspoken pressure of trying to explain the transition. This can definitely make a person feel not qualified for a task. Especially if you’re young in Faith. But however……

It’s time to get passed the fear of judgement. After all, we’ll all be judged one day, anyway. Right? The main difference is, on that day, we’ll actually face the judgement that really matters.

It’s time to be the person that used to be afraid but is now going for it all!!!!

Relief Valve

Question: Are you experiencing failure in an area in your life? Do you find yourself lashing out or exploding on people? How is your temper? How is your attitude? Last question, how is your character? Now ask yourself could my lashing out or exploding or bad attitude be an expression of my built up pressure?

According to Wikipedia, yes I said Wikipedia because I love this definition, a relief valve or pressure relief valve is a type of safety valve used to control or limit the pressure in a system; pressure might otherwise build up and create a process upset, instrument or equipment failure, or fire. Pretty much self explanatory so we can cut straight to the point.

We all know what happens when pressure builds up and has no way of releasing. It eventually turns into some sort of disaster. Okay, as a person, we may not have pipes that will burst or body parts that will pop off but we do have actions that will express our pressure! We also have organs and fluid levels that will be affected by our pressure. Based on the definition, pressure could cause a process upset, failures, or fire! In short, WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO HAVE A PROCESS UPSET. Look, the process is already tough enough by itself. Don’t add unnecessary stress to it. You must find a valve and quick! You were not meant to carry that level of pressure and you do not have o subject yourself to it. Don’t upset your process by holding on to the unnecessary!

Find a relief valve and utilize it! You do not have time for the upset or the malfunction. There has already been too much time wasted and moving forward is our only option at this point. Have you ever slammed your finger in the door? As time goes on, that finger builds up pressure and my grandmother told me to take a needle and put a small pinhole in my finger. Once I did, some of the pressure was released and my finger felt better. Sticking my finger with the needle was uncomfortable but in the end I could tell the difference. So by any means necessary, you have to keep moving. Push the button, pull the lever, unscrew the top, puncture the surface, do whatever it takes! But you MUST release the pressure before you explode. At this point, exploding would cause you to lose time, cause regrets, and damage relationships. This can not happen. Think about it. Would you rather cause a delay or simply release it and keep moving? Everybody’s valve is different. Some people use prayer, some use music, some people may write, and some people may express theirs verbally. No matter what, find you a relief valve before you cause a process upset! Pair your valve with prayer and release it!

Price Check

IMG_0278How do you measure your value? Do you measure it by your current status or by your past? Or are you measuring your value by your thoughts and dreams for your future? Either way is completely wrong! The only way you should measure your value is by the way God sees you! Not by the “miles on your tires” or by the “word on the street,” but by your Maker and Creator. He places so much value on you! Sometimes we need to do a price check! Think about your life and see if you can find any areas that you have discounted or devalued. Raise the price because you’re worth it!

Listen, people value you based on the way THEY see you. This is TOTALLY their opinion of you! THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WHAT THEY SEE IS THE TRUTH! People decide how they want to see other people! That’s our choice, which is fine. But you CANNOT allow their opinions to persuade you to see yourself from their perspective! Stop allowing people to devalue you and put you on the “SALE” rack because of their perception of you. If you are not confident in yourself and who God has made you, these opinions will become your mindset for yourself. So you have to be confident in your being! You’re worth more than they give you credit for!

If God Almighty thought enough of you to give His ONLY Son, you must be worth much more than they think! Too many times we lower our standards or our worth for no reason! You should NEVER feel worthless or devalued for any reason! You’re worth it! You always have been and you always will be!

Privacy Settings

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How many people have you deprived because of your privacy settings? How many times have you selected the audience to help and left out certain ones for unacceptable reasons? I understand discretion fully and I realize that we have to be careful. However, that is not what I am referring to. For my literal thinkers, this goes beyond a Facebook setting, think deeper. If the objective is to minister and witness to the loss or the broken or the whole world, why do we only stay within our circle? Why don’t we expand? I used to have a private fb page because I didn’t want certain people to see what I posted. Even though there were still ways that people could see, I felt better knowing that they had to send me a request in order to see my page or go through someone else to see it. But I started thinking, if I know that God has called me to give hope, I can not be selective as to who I chose to help or give hope to. It makes no since for me to distribute hope to the same people everyday and they’re getting stronger and stronger but there is someone out there that actually needs a word of hope but they can’t run across it because of my privacy settings! I challenge you to check your privacy settings. Are you limiting your reach because of personal issues with a hand full of people instead of giving hope to the masses? We can’t choose who we want to minister to, we can’t choose the people that we think deserve help. We form circles that are so strong and encouraged but we won’t share it with others.

Think about your bible classes, your prayer groups, your encouragement sessions, or even your testimonies. We have to stop thinking about the hand full of people and remember the masses that are thirsty for your word of hope! Just this week, I was messaged and contacted by several people that are NOT my friends on Facebook. They all had similar stories, they were inspired and encouraged by the hope they found on my page. All though I was not connected to these people personally, their words warmed my heart and through their words, my decision was confirmed to leave my page public. I realized that if my privacy settings had still been set to private, they may not have ever seen my posts or read my word of hope.

My goal is to inspire others to inspire others. And I feel that if someone was inspired by me, they will inspire another and so on! As children are using their blocks to build something, they don’t just pick the blue blocks, they use them all! We should do the same. Let’s not just pick those who fit our liking but reach all! Expand to the masses! They need to hear from you!

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Healing The Real You!

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God doesn’t want to heal the fake you, the one you show people, the one that puts on a facade in front of a crowd, He wants to heal the real you! Not the false strength you show out of pride, but He wants the brokenness and the insecurities. Not the cover-ups and concealers, but the real you! Not the superficial person that doesn’t have bad days in public or the person that always holds it together no matter what, but the real you! He wants to heal the person that doubts, the one that’s timid and afraid, the one that appears to be functioning but is actually lost in the shuffle, He wants the real you. He can’t heal the person behind the mask because that person shows no flaws or need of assistance. That person has it all together. We rehearse being ok, we practice covering up, and we become so accustomed to “appearing to be” when we actually forget that, THAT IS NOT THE REAL US!!! Could it be that we are not healed from past hurts because we keep giving God a person that doesn’t even exist and we expect Him to “perfect the fake?” Or, could it be because we’ve been “filtered” so long until we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking that we don’t really need to be healed? Either way is NOT okay! What good is it to have a healer if you don’t want to acknowledge the hurt?

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God is not a plastic surgeon, He’s the GREAT PHYSICIAN! Be real with Him so He can heal you!

Intentional Forgiveness

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Forgiveness should never be dependent on an apology. Forgiveness should be based on an intentional will to release and move forward. Somewhere in life, we were taught that we should forgive after an apology has been given or after someone has expressed sorrowfulness towards us. However, great strength is shown when one can forgive without the other party offering an apology- verbally or non-verbally. It takes a powerful person to forgive someone who shows no remorse for offending you but you can do it! As we’ve been taught, forgiveness is not for the other person but its for you. Being able to forgive signifies that neither the person nor the offense has any control or influence in your life. Being able to forgive frees you from carrying the burden of offense and it prevents bitterness from taking root. After all, none of us would like to be characterized as the “bitter one.” But since we all know someone who is bitter, we can see the effects of un-forgiveness. This goes deeper than holding on to offense because of the thought of “getting back at the person who offended us” or not forgiving because we don’t want to be seen as the “push over,” this is for your sake. Not only that, but intentional forgiveness shows maturity and it serves as one of the many layers of this thing called “thick skin.” Be bigger. Be intentional.

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True forgiveness is ALWAYS intentional.

Get Finished!

IMG_0143Ask yourself this, what am I waiting on to finish? Why am I not pursuing? When I have an idea, I am so vigorous until i can’t sleep. I’m constantly planning and writing in pursuit of my idea! The idea becomes my topic in every conversation and it becomes a major focus for me. I chase it hard! I educate myself about it! I even communicate with people that may be able to help me bring the idea to life! But somewhere down the line, I would always veer in a different direction. My drive would be short lived and I would eventually stop pursuing.

My mentor, Pastor Deona Benson, has written a book entitled, “Get Finished.” -GO ORDER IT!- Thinking about the title of the book, I’ve asked myself how many tasks have I left undone…how many projects have I picked up but placed them back down, UNFINISHED? I’ve learned that the problem is not getting started, its getting finished. We have so much motivation in the beginning but as time goes on, we find ourselves slowing down more and more. Ultimately, we just stop all together. Our motivation fades, discouragement kicks in, and our big idea becomes a distant memory. We have a bad habit of starting but never finishing. I need you to keep pursuing. It’s not too late for that idea. What do you want to do? What’s your goal? What’s your dream? Have you stopped pursuing? Pick it back up and run with it!! Stay motivated. Stay confident. Stay in motion. Get finished!

To order your copy of “Get Finished,” visit : www.deonabenson.com

Majoring In The Minors

IMG_0141Growing up, many times I got it backwards. I put my social life before my family. I put fun before responsibility. I put appearance before actual substance. I even put church before God! Now, before someone calls me, I’m not saying church isn’t important- I’m simply saying that I thought it was more important to be at church on Sunday than to actually have a relationship with God outside of church. I was majoring in the minors and didn’t even know it! I was more concerned about looking like someone important than actually being important. I majored in the minors for a loooong time and truth be told, I still find myself doing it. How many times have we made a big deal about being betrayed by so called friends but we forget to love and appreciate the family members that are there? How many times have we overspent to buy a certain brand of something but we neglect to make sure we have gas money? How many times have we wasted valuable time and energy trying to make a point to someone who shouldn’t even have a voice in our decision making? We spend time trying to prove, trying to impress, and trying to be- and we end up missing the big picture! We start looking at who don’t like us and what someone thinks about us. When we make these things major, we find ourselves altering our mindset and our daily habits according to their opinions of us. Or, we find ourselves getting caught up in shallow stuff like the latest trends and the hot topics of society, when in reality, those things change with the wind! Don’t major in the minors and lose focus on what really matters! In my photo, both jars are full but one contains all of the elemens and the other appears to have the bigger objects on top because they wouldn’t fit in the jar! Your life is the jar, once you place the bigger objects inside first, the smaller elements will fit around the bigger and everything will fit! But because the smaller elements were put in the jar first, that left little to no room for the bigger elements which in this case, represents the major!

Minors are only meant to be backdrops for the bigger picture, the Majors!