Time capsules serve purposes: one, an individual reminiscing about an earlier time in their life. They get the opportunity to relive their childhood or another enjoyable time in their lives. Second, the time capsule can be used to teach future generations about the past; how they lived, what they created, and the impact they made to the culture around them. When a capsule is uncovered it teaches us a lot about a previous time, whether it be for personal growth or societal growth.
What is often forgotten is that time capsules are often made without even realizing it. Time capsules could be shared or hidden in secret. Today’s examples of time capsules could be videos and statuses posted on social media, letters to a friend or family member, a personal journal or diary, or merchandise that we own.
Have we ever considered what is thought when these long-term time capsules are found? What do they tell us about the previous time that we once lived? These are the exact questions I found myself rolling through my mind when I read an article (linked below) about two women who found a jar with three letters in it from two high school students and a teacher from Clayton, Indiana. the letters were dated September 10, 2001.
While these three letters did not come from New York, nor did they come from survivors of the 9/11 tragedy, but this is still very fascinating. This is fascinating because it shows the livelihood and interests of the regular teenager in 2001. Everything from regular and mundane to the ultimately interesting.
At the time, I'm sure that these letters would have been mundane and ordinary, yet so many years later it gets the audience thinking about a major time in our history and the changes that have happened since September 11th, 2001.
These three letter writers had no idea that their letters would be found in such a time, nor did they know that the tragic events would happen the next day. They just created something new and sent it into the world.
Let’s look at today:
Time capsules are vital in learning from the past and moving into the future. Therefore, we should all try to leave our mark on the world, whether small or large, we need them all. Whether your talent is still developing or whether your talent is professional level.
Let's find our passion and leave our time capsule through our art so that future generations can learn from it, giving them a further step in leaving their mark on the world.
I was recently sitting in the church seats awaiting the start of the service, when I looked at the top of the program that was handed to me as I walked into the building. On the top of the program it stays: Anger. I was shocked. I knew that this service was meant for me in such a time as this.
Without knowing it, I realized that this service would speak to the core of my un-forgiveness for my father. Without realizing it, this service would dig into the anger that I’ve carried throughout my life for my father. All I knew was I needed to hear this and I needed to take it seriously.
As I listened to the sermon, I scratched notes fervently on the program, allowing my heart to soak up the wise words of the pastor. I knew that I’d look back at the notes and the scriptures and I would be putting meat to the skeleton of my un-forgiveness and bitterness.
Throughout the sermon, the pastor highlighted Ephesians 4:26-27 where it says, “…Do not let the sun go down when you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Here’s the truth, often when we are hurting due to the words or the actions we tend to burry that pain into our hearts and we carry it. When the Apostle Paul wrote the words “…Do not let the sun go down when you are still angry…..” it seems that Paul is encouraging us to deal with the pain that has rested in our hearts. Do not carry this anger around from the different seasons of our lives.
Hearing these words, I realized that I’ve been carrying bitterness for my father from season to season: from my childhood to my adolescence to my adulthood. I’ve been carrying this bitterness around too long! I need to let it go!
Now, that’s easier said than done. I’ve told myself for years that I needed to forgive my father, yet I still hold bitterness so close. The question is: How do I deal with it once and for all?
Listening to the sermon, the pastor described three steps that helps lead to healing and forgiveness.
We are asked to observe communion not only as a remembrance of Christ forgiving us, but in remembrance of us forgiving those that offended us. For me, that is my father. After church Jessica and I returned to her mother’s house where we discussed the sermon and the idea of forgiveness. She spoke about the pain that she continued to carry and I spoke earnestly about my desire to forgive my father.
After speaking earnestly about our bitterness and our need to forgive, we opened our sealed communion cups. Holding each other’s hands, we approached the Lord in prayer. I prayed specifically for Jessica and she prayed specifically for me.
We took communion together.
I can finally say that I’ve forgiven my father for the pain that I’ve carried over the last three decades. I will no longer blame him for my jagged edges; I will thank him for his provision. I will no longer allow the enemy to control my emotions toward my father; instead I will choose to forgive. I will choose to gift forgiveness to my father.
I am going to trust that God will heal my heart and allow me to rebuild a relationship with my father that have never had before. I am going to trust God throughout this process so that create a better future for my fiancée and my future children.
I will trust in God as Christ forgives me and I will pray that my father also seek forgiveness from a Holy and perfect God.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:31-32.
While I am working on the condition of forgiveness on my heart, one of the questions that I was faced to ask myself was: Why has God placed this burden on my heart?
The obvious observer would easily be able to answer this: We are called to forgive those that have hurt us in the same way that we ask God to forgive us. Yet, I think there’s a deeper, more personal reason to God placing forgiveness on my heart.
The truth is I am growing in my faith, which means that I need to grow as a man. I can no longer hold on to the pain of my adolescence. The thick burden of guilt on my spirit cannot remain, it needs to be lifted from my shoulders, especially since I am getting married and I am about to start my own family.
Since I am beginning my own family, I know that I cannot carry the burdens of un-forgiveness of my childhood into my adulthood, if I do, then I will be inevitably infecting my new marriage and my future family with the same insecurities that have plagued me all of these years.
Working through the Past
Since it is imperative that I begin to heal these years old hurts, I need to go back to the three sources of my pain that I wrote about in part one and I need to begin to see God’s view of my insecurities. That means I need to allow my identity to transform me by the words of Christ in relation to the insecurities that I labeled.
Through a few late nights of thinking through these issues, I realize that I am not alone in these feelings. None of us are alone! I honestly believe that many of those who maybe reading these words may also suffer from these insecurities. Too often they feel insignificant, they may feel insecure, or they may feel inferior. The truth is God never desired us to feel these insecurities. It is because of these insecurities, we never truly encounter God’s purpose for our life. I know that’s what I was feeling throughout my childhood and my teenage years. I believed that I had no purpose in life. I believed that I was a mistake or that my family’s lives would have been better if I were not involved.
That was not God’s truth…….
If you are reading these words and you have ever felt any of these insecurities, just know that you are not alone. You may be trying to let go of things from your past that is keeping you from fully knowing your identity in Christ, but that doesn’t mean that you are facing your obstacles alone.
Everything that we are facing can be common for many others. That means that we are part of a community. Even though the enemy tries to convince us that we walk these difficult paths alone, we are actually part of an in-depth community where we can work through our insecurities and our broken pasts together. So, while the enemy believes that he is isolating us, he is actually building a community that God can use overtake the enemy’s attempts to destroy the body of Christ.
At the end of the day we have the opportunity to hand our pain and our insecurities to our Heavenly Father. As I am going through a time of healing from my past, I am able to feel the freedom that God has delivered through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Can we be honest, forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that we are asked to do. Whether we are asked to forgive a family member who has hurt us, or we are asked to forgive a friend or former friend due to an offense that was caused.
If we were truly being honest with ourselves, we would never forgive the person that hurt or offended us. We would ignore the problem. We would never truthfully discuss the offense; it would only be buried in an internal graveyard where we keep all of our personal demons and skeletons at bay.
I can say that this is all too real for me. In recent months God has placed one person on my heart: my father. Let’s face the facts, my father and I have not always had the best relationship over the years. From missing large chunks of my childhood to not being able to relate to me throughout my teen years extending to my adult life, my father and I just never truly connected.
Due to these major events, I have developed animosity and anger towards my father, which has been burning in my chest for many years. Just when I thought these issues were healed wounds and I had moved on, I have had to come to the agreement that the wound is still agape and yet to be healed.
The time for healing is now….
In order to fully heal these wounds and forgive my father, I need to hand the pain that I’ve carried for so long over to my God. Through that, healing will be evident.
Consider the source
Here’s what I’ve realized, you can’t heal from your past until you take the time to truly understand your pain. I’m not talking about just being able to discuss your shortcomings, but digging deep into the wound, discovering the root of the issue of the shortcoming.
This is what I’ve had to do. For every issue that I carry, for every layer of unforgiving thick skin, I need to be able to identify the source in order to allow healing to occur. As I searched my heart, I found three major topics that I discovered that require work in order to fully forgive my father and heal my heart.
My Christian Call
At the age of nineteen I gave my life to Christ. I accepted that through the blood of Jesus, I was given a new life. Over the last eleven years, I have grown into a better man. I have been given the opportunity to share my faith with friends, family members, and even strangers. I have walked away from my relationship with God and I found my way back to Jesus.
Over the years God has challenged me to step out in faith in many ways; yet, forgiving my father has been the most challenging. First of all, God spoke to my heart about this situation years ago. To be honest, I thought I had dealt with the bitterness that I carried. I thought I had forgiven my father. I guess I was wrong.
Here I am again, the Holy Spirit urging me to forgive my father for his shortcomings and mistakes. This time I will do it properly and fully. I will pray for my father daily, asking God to transform my heart, to see my father as a man who works hard to provide for his children, a man who needs Jesus just as much as I do.
Have you ever had a moment where you were given the perfect message at the perfect time for the current stage of your life? Now, I imagine that before you even finished reading the question, you already formulated the answer:
“Well, of course! God’s word always gives me exactly what I need whenever I read it.”
Yes, that is true. Whenever we read the Bible with an open heart to hear God speak, we will always been given exactly what we need from the Holy Spirit to lead us through the various stages in life, but what I’m actually asking is: have you ever had the perfect message given to you at the perfect time from a source besides the Bible?
Recently, I’ve had a real message penetrate my heart from a very unlikely source: a fortune cookie. When most of us think of fortune cookies, we think of cute “good luck” sayings that we read, mentally digest and forget about soon enough. Yet, I found a fortune cookie fortune that will be sticking around for a long, long time.
“Be brave enough to live creatively.”
These are the words that I read from the crumbles of a table top fortune cookie and they instantly reached to the root of my heart. I love creating. I love the process of brainstorming ideas, crafting a draft and going through the process of perfecting my art. Yet, I must ask myself: am I brave enough to LIVE creatively?
In order to fully understand the message from the fortune cookie, I need to consider the meaning of the fortune. What does it mean to live creatively? Also, in the process of living creatively, how would my life change? Lastly, what result would I expect to experience while living creatively?
Well, let’s take this one thought at a time.
While I’m contemplating these questions, I am left with a choice: am I going to take this live creatively challenge? Yes! I realize that I need a change. I need God’s best for my life and I am unable to achieve this goal without guidance and wisdom from God. As I look through my favorite men and women from the Bible, I see a pattern: they all place their trust in the LORD and they choose to live creatively, meaning, they are willing to take risks to enhance their lives and their faith.
The truth is, Jesus wants us to live the best life that we can and in most ways that doesn’t allow us to live in a safety bubble. We need to be creative in the way we live. In the right times and in the right moments, we need to take risks to enhance our lives and more importantly to enhance the reach of the Gospel.
In John 10:10, Jesus speaks, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
In all honesty, fear is a tool of the enemy and through that fear; the enemy steals our potential and our strength. When we lose our potential, we submit to a zombie-like existence that destroys our creativity and our passion, leaving dead inside. Yet, Jesus came to us to give us life and through our passion and creative lifestyle; we are able to achieve an abundant lifestyle that enhances the Gospel of Christ.
Now is the time to live creatively. Now is the time to live passionately. I will live to love Christ and I will use my gifts and talents to reach my audience with the Gospel. I am going to use my writing talents to exalt the LORD that has freed my life of sin and brokenness.
Here are the steps I take to achieve this goal:
Now is the time to follow the LORD. Now it’s time to live creatively. Let the journey begin.
What do you think when you hear the word, “Marriage Counseling”? Too often couples believe the lie that going through couple’s counseling is a bad thing. The belief is that if a couple is going through counseling; they’re relationship is in trouble or too damaged to be repaired.
Jessica and I recently decided to go through pre-marital counseling before we get married. This is not a curse on our relationship! In actuality, we believe, it will provide us with the tools to have difficult discussions through our marriage.
Our first session went really well. We had great discussions that should lead to further discussions in the sessions to come. In this video we discuss our first counseling session. We discuss the tools that we have already been given through counseling.
“Worship the Lord your God and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”
Areas to look at:
They had a feast or famine attitude. Moses was taking the people from the wilderness into the promise land; from slavery and oppression to a land flowing with milk and honey.
What does this promise mean for us Christians, living in the contemporary world? To answer this question, this author has broken down the passage into five sections:
“Freedom can be ours when we call His name.” (Song lyric)
God has designed us to be in community with one another. The perfect journey from anxiety into his perfect peace is not one that we will ever have to make alone. God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit. Your church family contains within it mentors in the faith. These mentors are there to guide and encourage us.
So that when anxiety strikes, we can remember that God is in control of every situation. He, through Christ, cares for us; so that we can come to Him, laying our burdens down at the feet of Jesus. Then, we can truly be more than conquers!
Love and Peace through Christ Jesus,
It is often said, "To be the man, you have to beat the man." Often this phrase is used to express a desire to be the strongest and most powerful person in a particular field, but one must wonder if this quote actually goes deeper.
What if "the man" that needs to be beat is actually one's own personal demons and addictions?
Too often in our society we are bombarded with identity issues and insecurities that leave us uncertain of who we are and what we are capable of. We allow our brokenness to become our identity. We carry our baggage into our jobs, our friendships, our relationships and even our lifestyles. Too often we are destroyed by our personal demons and we destroy the lives of the ones we love.
So, the question how do we beat "the man"?
How do we battle our personal demons and become victorious on the other side? How do we remain strong throughout the fight to insure the ultimate "one, two, three?"
1.) Identifying the problem: When it comes to fighting our personal demons, the first thing that is required is identifying the issues. For some the issues could be a variety of insecurities. For others, the issues could be broken relationships that seem impossible to mend.
When the insecurity is identified it allows the human brain to create a pathway to an appropriate solution. using the metaphor of a fight or a wrestling match, if you know who your opponent is you can study their attacks and their defenses for a better chance of victory.
As a large fan of professional wrestling, I often find myself watching episodes of WWE's flagship show Monday Night Raw, both new and old. As I watch these over the weeks I notice rivalries form and develop. As I watch over the years, I quickly learn the strengths and the weaknesses of the WWE Superstars. As the storylines develop, it is easy to see which performers truly know their opponents due to the fact that they have faced them time and time again.
Over a series of matches, one professional wrestler gets to know their opponent's in-ring offenses as well as their defenses. At the same time, the two Superstars even get to know the personality of their opponent. This knowledge is genuinely beneficial when looking for victory in the obstacle that the professional wrestler is facing.
In the reality of fighting our insecurities or our addictions, we must also get to know our opponent just as intently as the two WWE Superstars gets to know one another. By "getting to know our opponent" I am suggesting that we pay close attention to the big and little details that make up our insecurities.
For example, an insecurity that I feel like I am continuously tackling is my relationship with my family. On my Mother's side of the family I feel a level of closeness that seems to never diminish, yet, on my Father's side of the family I struggle to fit in or become part of the fold. In order to conquer this insecurity, I must first do some major soul searching to discover every detail of the insecurity and how it relates to my family members. I must pick apart the tiniest aspect and analyze it in order to better understand. In my case, I need to gain an understanding off my role in the insecurity as well as the role of the family members that I struggle to relate to.
2.) Strategize: Once we have identified our personal demons and we get to know "the man" better than we may know ourselves than we can then strategize on how to defeat our personal opponent. Now, the truth is, the strategy that we create will be different depending on what person demon or insecurity we are facing.
As warriors we need to know what our attacks are going to be in order to disorient our opponent. We can't only know know what our next move will be, but we must also know what our next few steps will be as well as the future attacks of our opponent. We must know how our insecurities or our personal demons will stack us throughout the battle. By knowing how our insecurities and personal demons will attack us throughout the battle, we can better strategize on how to defeat them when the time is right.
Looking further into my example of my own personal insecurity with my family, I must develop a strategy on to how to close in the gap of awkwardness that has formed between my family and myself. After spending long hours into figuring out the intricate details that make up the heavy insecurity, I now am expected to develop a strategy that will help defeat this existing insecurity. Some examples of strategic steps that I could take would be; cutting out time throughout the day/week to communicate with these family members in order allow them to better know me and it will allow me to better get to know them. I could also find activities that could better bond us together as a family.
Now, with any strategy there is the opportunity for setbacks and pitfalls. There is always an opportunity of failure, but we must never allow that to defeat us, we must actually have a strategy to compete with that failure and set us back on the track for victory. Within our strategy, we create ways to find victory even when we struggle and lose.
For example, while I try to build a better relationship with my father's side of the family, I understand that I may not achieve victory right away. To be honest, I can bet that I will be met with failure time and time again. yet, if I want to defeat this insecurity that was buried me, I must keep trying.
3.) Fight for victory: Here it is! The moment of truth! After identifying our personal demons and strategizing the battles. It is now time to fight. Now, this fight may seemingly have no end in sight, but the most important part of the fight is the beginning.
When we are fighting our personal demons and our insecurities it is important to realize why we are fighting. Every person's reason to fight is personal, therefore it is different for everybody. For some it could be for self-preservation, for others it may be for family members such as kids and spouses, and for others it may be a valued relationship. This reason is personal to every person.
Now, one of the most common misconceptions is that the fight will one day end. The truth is, when we are fighting our personal demons it is an ongoing battle that we must face daily. There may be times where we feel as if we are winning our battles, there may be times where we feel as if we are losing these battles, regardless we need to keep fighting.
So, look yourself in the mirror. Look your insecurities and your personal demons in the eye; don't blink. Don't break your gaze. Let your demons know that the fight of their lives is about to start.
You must ask yourself, "Do you want to be the man?"
Now, tell yourself, "Than you have to beat the man."
The man is yourself: every single one of your insecurities, every personal demon, every addiction. Stay strong and never stop fighting to be a better person.
"Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her public disgrace, he had a mind to divorce her quietly. " Matthew 1:19
what may be going through Joseph mind:
1. he may feel betrayed by Mary.
2.he may feel hurt deeply by the news.
3. he may feel cheated and embarrassed if it becomes public.
4. he may feel unloved or not valued as "husband"
How he acted:
1.He put Mary's self-esteem/image/reputation before his own.
2.He acted out of love toward Mary, even though he was possibly hurt.
3. He acted out in faith/ obedience when the angel of the LORD appeared to him.
4. He didn't choose to jump to irrational conclusions towards Mary.
5. He forgave and loved Mary.
1. Would we react this way toward those who "hurt" us?
2. Have we ever felt betrayed or hurt by someone we loved? How would we react at first?
3. Do we put the other person's needs above our own, even if we are hurting?
4. In this situation, would we see this as a way that God is working all things for good?
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.