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!!!!

Live Through It!

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The definition of live is simply to stay alive. Often times, we plan our own demise. We go through tough times and in the midst of it, instead of seeing ourselves living through it, we slowly die while we’re in it. The situation itself could not kill you but your mindset and your reaction to the situation is usually the deal breaker. Of course I am not speaking about dying a physical death but death to your dreams, your purpose, your future. It’s hard to have a positive outlook on going through something if you can not see yourself coming out of it. So what is the solution? I’m glad you asked. The solution is this, change your perspective and see yourself coming out alive! Just think about it. What if someone said “I want you to go through a house made of wood while it’s on fire and when you come out alive, you will be given $1 million.” Your task is to walk in the house through the front door, navigate through the house while its on fire, and come out through the back door. Sounds crazy right. But what if they added, you will be wearing a fireproof suit, a smoke mask, and the house is only a 350 sq ft. cottage home? Considering it under those circumstances, you would reconsider. Why? Because you could actually see yourself surviving that and coming out alive. Not only coming out alive, but coming out alive, $1 million richer!. Your perspective of the “burning house challenge” has changed. It’s the same thing with life. Of course you don’t have $1 million waiting on you at the end but you will come out alive with something. You’ll come out alive with a stronger will to live and hopefully a determined mindset to build from your experiences.

Just like the burning house scenario, we have been given everything we need to live and survive the flames of life. But instead of strapping up our boots and walking through the fire, we stand in the middle of the fire and subject ourselves to being burned. Sometimes we even settle in the fire and remove the very things that we have been given to protect us.

All I’m saying is, choose to live through it. Dying from it is a decision you don’t have to make. The fire can only consume you if you stand in too long. Don’t commit suicide by not choosing to live. You have way too many reasons to remain alive.

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!

Impact Strength

img_2137-editIt all boils down to one thing, you have what it takes to survive!

This past week, I was blessed to sit under the teachings of Pastor T.L. Taylor of Memphis, TN. While he said many things that caught my attention, one thing really stuck with me though. He gave an analogy about a basketball and a bowling ball. He stated that if a basketball and a bowling ball were to be dropped simultaneously, at the same time, the basketball would bounce back up while the bowling ball would remain on the ground. The conclusion is, the basketball was just built out of the right material to handle the impact and bounce back while the bowling ball was not.

We could easily use this analogy and apply it to our lives. Let this be hope to you! Ever wondered how you were still going when life has hit you with so many blows? Maybe you’ve questioned why you’re able to bounce back and not quit after so many failed attempts. Or maybe you’re unsure how you’re able to handle the pressure and endure so much adversity. It’s simple. You’re made out of the right stuff! There may be times where you want to quit but your inner man keeps pushing forward.

Do we get tired sometimes? Yes. Do we want to quit? Yes. Does it feel good all the time? No. Definitely not. Truth be told, sometimes it may not seem worth it but because you have Impact Strength, you withstand and press on! Impact Strength keeps you from being broken when you’re dropped. Impact Strength keeps you from being destroyed when you’re mishandled. Impact Strength causes you to be able to smile when you’ve been wounded. Impact Strength keeps you focused in a world of confusion and disorder! You have impact Strength! How do I know? Because you’re still here! You haven’t given up! And you won’t! Because you’re built out of the right stuff!

You’re clothed in strength and grace! Your make up is unique! So, no matter the situation, you’ve been dressed for impact! Even when you think you’re not prepared, your strength shows you other wise! Don’t underestimate your ability to bounce back! The ground can’t kill you and the walls won’t destroy you! You were built for it!

Empower Yourself

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If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll see that self empowerment is a big deal to me! I’m a firm believer of self empowerment! I truly believe that if we would take as much time to empower ourselves as we do looking for someone else to empower us, our lives would be much easier. We spend a great deal of time waiting for someone to tell us who we are and what our purpose for living is. Instead, we should be pushing ourselves to be better and to grow more. It’s not because we are being selfish or diminishing others, it’s because SELF MATTERS!

Think about how much of your life has been wasted on waiting. How much time have you spent preparing for a “shift” or a “movement” to happen? There is nothing wrong with expecting your “change to come” but the problem comes when we expect other people to cause the change to come. Let’s think about that…what if the other person is also waiting on their change? What if they are not assigned to you? Or better yet, what if they are assigned to you but they don’t feel like dealing with you? Now guess who’s being deprived? You are! And what’s even worse than that is, you’re being deprived because of your own personal choice! It’s because you choose to sit and wait on something from other people instead of empowering your own self!

Sometimes it’s as simple as educating yourself, or putting forth the effort to try, or stepping outside of the box, or just deciding to defeat laziness and complacency. One thing I always tell people is, “I do not promote division or separation, I promote self-empowerment!” We have too many people that are dependent on another person. Having support from others is good but please know that you may not always have the support you want. And when this happens, because you have empowered yourself, you will still remain in motion!

In my opinion, we would not have as many addictions and failed dreams if more people would empower themselves. Why is this my opinion? I’m glad you asked! This is my opinion because addictions and failed dreams often times stem from things like disappointments, hurt, fear, and temptations. But if we empower ourselves and build up our faith and confidence in God first and then build confidence in who He created us to be, those disappointments and hurts and fears and temptations would not rob us of our life! Our inner strength wouldn’t allow it! So I say, life is too short to wait on another person to talk you up or to reveal to you who you are. Be the person that you need! Then, count the extra as a bonus!

Finding Me in Him

IMG_0279There are no words to describe how I felt when I came in contact with Jesus for the first time! All I knew was, there was a connection established that I could not afford to lose! At the time, I was searching but I didn’t quite know what I was searching for. I remember being baptized at the age of 7 and confessing that I believed, but I had never had a conscious experience with Him!

As I was growing up, I made my life much harder than it had to be. I was born into a great family, we were not rich but we were not poor either, I was a fairly bright student, and I was raised in the church. However, as time passed, curiosity began to grow, as it would with any other child. I took a lot of wrong paths, I made horrible decisions, and failed countless times. And after all of my bad decision making, around the age of 21, I found my self lost in a world full of mixed emotions and turmoil. Yet in all of this, I was searching for something. At the time, I didn’t know what I was searching for, I just knew I was searching. In retrospect, I see that I was searching for a way, The Way. And this Way would lead me to the exit of all of my self-inflicted pain!

I was very gullible and easily persuaded, so I believed most of what people were saying to me, even the wrong things. In my world of confusion, lies seemed to be the truth and the truth seemed to be a lie. I trusted so easily until it backfired. I had given out all of my trust but just to get nothing but lies in return. So I stopped believing all together. Everything and everybody was a liar to me. Yet, in all of this, I was still searching for something. At the time, I didn’t know what I was searching for but I knew something was missing. In retrospect, I was searching for The Truth, My Truth, His Truth.

Another issue I had was death. Not physically, of course, but in every area of my life. My dreams were dead, I had no hope, nothing I put my hand to would prosper, and all I seemed to be doing was existing. There was no life around me! Nothing was growing and the little that I had earned was quickly fading away! It was a place of no vegetation! Yet, in all of this, I was searching for something. I was searching for something to give me life, something to make me feel like I had a reason to exist. In retrospect, I was searching for Him the whole time!

It was like I knew that I had found the Truth. And once I discovered that He was The Truth, I knew that I had found the Way and through that He had given me Life! Maybe you feel like you’re lost without direction, or its hard for you to trust and believe what you hear, or maybe you’re just in a place of little to no vegetation. The truth is, at some point or another, we’ve all experienced this! So I’ll leave you with this, Jesus has the ability to be your Way out of the darkest and toughest times. He also has the ability to show you the Truth again, the truth about yourself and your life. And He’s able to give you a Life that you can’t even imagine!

When I found Him, I found Me! The search was over!

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

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!

It’s Hard to Walk Forward While Looking Back

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I remember praying constantly to God and asking Him to help me to release a certain stronghold in my life. It seemed as if the harder I prayed, the stronger the hold would get. Many times I made up my mind that I was letting it go and everything that came with it but I always found myself creeping back to it one way or another. Then He showed me, my heart was trying to move forward but my feet were walking backwards! I was praying one thing but my actions were contradicting my prayer. God was trying to honor my request but because He gives us free will and I was pulling in the opposite direction.

I could see my future ahead of me and I knew that the situation I was in would only prolong my journey. I knew that if I could only release myself and be free from my stronghold, my life would take off and productivity would take place. But I was in so deep until some days I would convince myself that I didn’t have to release my stronghold, I could just adjust my life to it! I couldn’t have been further from the truth. When we compromise our freedom to stay bound we are basically saying our future can wait. We allow our struggles and our circumstances to overpower our purpose.

Make a conscious decision to not waste anymore time by looking back. If you want to walk forward, pick up your feet and make the biggest step you’ve ever made! Not only is it a step towards your freedom, you’re making a step out of your situation! Once you make that first step, you’ll notice the weight on your ankles will become lighter and it’ll become easier to put one foot in front of the other! And just like that, you’re walking in the same direction as your prayers!

It’s time to leave it all behind and face forward! It’s time to line your feet up with your words!