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?
I know that you’ve been feeling alone. I know that you’ve been feeling lost. It seems that the minute you’re in your bedroom, the minute that the door closes behind you, you feel a wave of loneliness that grips at your heart. It hurts, trust me, I feel it too.
I know that you are trying to find solace and you hope to find joy. I know that it seems that you may never find it. The only comfort you get is when you hold her in your arms, when you see the smile that you love and adore. Every minute you spend with the one that you love, the pain in your chest eases. As a matter of fact, you actually feel loved. Yet, those times don’t last. You hold her, you hug her, you kiss her and then you say your goodbyes; leaving you alone once again.
You see, I know you. I know that you don’t blame her for your loneliness. In fact, you don’t blame anybody except yourself. You know exactly why you’re lonely: You’re unhappy. I know that you’re unhappy with the career path that you’re in, even though I can see that you enjoy the quiet time that the job offers. You enjoy the time that the job allows you to listen to various podcasts and music. The fact is that you’re unhappy with the large step back you had to take in economic status.
When you look at the man in the mirror you see a man that failed at his first career path, although you truly tired time and time again. You see a man that wishes to be in a different stage of life, just like the friends that you have. They’re married with a house and kids.
In your moments of quietness, your heart is cocooned in a thick layer of pain and loneliness. All too often you find yourself reminiscing of your life, trying to list the pros and cons; she is a definitely the biggest pro on your list. You know that you love her.
The truth is: she loves you too. I know, I can tell. She understands you. She understands your dreams; the reason you are writing. Every single day she encourages you to keep writing, to pursue that dream. She believes in you. Every word that you write; every single word that is published on your website, she reads.
To be completely honest with myself, I truly believe that she even understands why you write; the true reason behind it. Truthfully, you write because without the power of words you would have nothing to express yourself to the world. These words help to heal you and help you understand the world around you, regardless of how hopeless you may feel at times.
Believe me, hope it coming. The loneliness will not last forever.
I know that it may seem as if you’re never going to get out of this rut, but I know that you will. The LORD has a plan for you. Yes, it is true that you have had your ups and downs, but God has not abandoned you, He is with you. I can tell you that your trials and tribulations will actually be the very things that strengthen you. Your trials and tribulations will soon become your own personal ministry.
God will use these times you are facing to build your faith, allowing you to place all of your trust in His hands. These new strengths will allow you to lead her through the trials and tribulations that will come in the future.
In these current times of loneliness, I ask you to rely on God. When you feel lonely, or weak, please pray for strength. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and fill your heart with contentment in this current situation.
The truth is; you are you not alone. There are people all around you that love you and want to ensure your happiness. These very people are here to help you to be your strength and to be your company.
As for your writing; keep writing. She believes in your ability and God has perfectly organized your story to benefit others. Tell your story. Allow the words that you are inspired to write to heal you, and in turn allow them to heal others.
Keep your head up and trust in God’s timing.
James Chapter 3:
“4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.”
This verse creates a big impact with a simple idea: the little things in life usually can create big outcomes. Throughout the beginning of chapter 3 and on through verse 12 it is reiterated that we, as Christians, need to watch the way that we talk and interact with each other as well as others because those actions tend to create the biggest impact on our relationships.
This verse, and even this section, allows the reader to better understand the consequences and outcomes of what we say. It does this by simply comparing our tongues to various parts of something bigger. For example, our tongue is compared to the rudder on a ship, which is small yet it makes a large impact on the direction of the ship. The tongue is also compared to a small fire, which so often becomes a large blaze that sets destruction to an entire forest.
This example could also point to the fact that, like a small fire, our tongues could burn bridges of formers relationships, destroy current relations or help in the destruction of ourselves if we do not learn to control the way that the tongue is used. If a fire is misused, not used properly, or not properly extinguished than it could easily become a hassle to try to control, preventing these areas of destruction. In the same way, if we use our tongues to speak wickedly to people or about people than we are going to destroy a once meaningful relationship. At the same time, when we get into the habit of speaking wickedly and we never learn to control it than we tend to lose focus on the times that we may have crossed the line, therefore we destroy even more relationships.
I believe this topic is a topic that often comes up in church, yet it seems that it is usually concluded with a list of don’ts that are attached. It seems that we rarely take the time to discuss what we should say or how we should deal with conflicts and constructive criticism.
“4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people!”
This verse gives us a great insight on the battles that happen within our own personal lives. Often believers find themselves battling their desires and the holiness of God. Too often our desires do not initially line up with God’s desire for our lives. Therefore we are in a battle to fight off our unworthy desires to follow a perfect and Holy God.
As you can see in this passage we often covet something in our live that we do not obtain and because we are fighting to obtain what we covet, we end up creating more chaos within our own hearts and minds.
As we grow as Christians and as people, we begin to develop an idea of what we want and what we expect in our lives as we get older. Throughout this journey, we need to learn that our desires are wicked and we usually misuse our blessings that God has given us.
During our time in prayer we tend to ask God for developments in life and blessings, but too often our hearts are misdirected by our desires. We have yet to align our hearts and our desires to God’s word and will. When we ask God for these blessings, God is able to look into our hearts and determine the motivation of our hearts. Due to the fact that our hearts are misdirected, God chooses not to answer every prayer with the answer that we expect.
“7 submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Due to the fact that we are not aligned with the word of God, there are many things that we should do in order heal ourselves from our wicked desires. In order to become aligned with God’s will for our lives, we need to develop a relationship with God. The closer we grow with God, the further we will be from the Devil and the influence that he has on our thoughts and actions.
In order to truthfully further this relationship with God, we must submit ourselves to the word of God. This shows that only God can bring us closer. We can be healed and made new, but we need to surrender to God’s will for our lives, it is then that we will finally be made new.
Another part of submitting to God, we will be asked to leave our past behind. We cannot create a new life following God, without first letting go of the past that had already happened. Regardless of what we have done, or what has happened to us, we cannot move forward without letting go of the past.
“7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
There are so many things in this life that confines us and restricts us; sometimes it is difficult for us to learn to be patient when life gets stressful. Due to our culture of the ticking clock, we often find ourselves stressing about many aspects of our lives.
We need to learn to be patient in our times of confusion or miscommunication. In these times we need to be reminded that God is working in our lives and we need to remain patient until the moment that the plan is revealed to us.
We are asked to remain patient and trust God during these times that may be difficult. When God puts us through difficult times, those moments are put into our lives in order to develop us as believers. The truth is, everybody goes through hard times and we can trust God to get us through those hard times, but we should not forget to learn more about whom we are and who God is developing us to be.
“13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
Prayer is a powerful tool when it comes to our spiritual lives. When you are facing difficult times and you are having difficulty the most important thing that we can do is pray over the situation, asking God to guide us and heal us.
Prayer can be used to lift up our own difficulties to God, or it could be used to lift up the needs of a family member or friend that is in need. Prayer is often used to focus our hearts, minds and our spirits to God’s hearts.
This spiritual tool is strong and should be used in every instance of life. Whether you are struggling with something large, or you are in a good place in your life, we should always be in prayer. We should be thanking God for the blessings that he has given us as well as we should pray when we are in difficult times.
James Chapter 1
“16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”
When I first read these words it seems simple enough and very straight forward. The basic idea that every aspect of Earth and our galaxy as well as our daily blessings are all given to us by our Father in Heaven is a pretty simple idea to understand, yet there is more to this story. Everything that we receive that is good is given to us by God. That is a straight forward idea, but look at verse 18:
“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”
God has handpicked his people so that they can be the first fruits of his creatures. In order to better understand this, we need to understand what the first fruits are. This idea comes from the Old Testament, where the family income would be divided. God commanded his people to give 10% of the income, or stock, back to God through the church as a way of showing faithfulness. Those who give the 10% to the church would be blessed by God, which could be argued that those are the “good gifts” that are mentioned in verse 16.
Going back to verse 18, since God sets his people apart from all of his other creatures, we are being devoted to God as the “10%”, which is meant to be an example of God’s graciousness and glory to the rest of the world.
James chapter 1:26
“26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.”
Along with the verse 18, I also looked deeper into verse 26. I thought intentionally about the idea of bridling your own tongue. Now, to most who read this verse may believe that this verse refers to foul language and rude humor and I do believe this to be true, yet I also believe that there could be more to the verse. At the end of the verse it says that we should bridle our tongue so that we don’t deceive our own hearts.
As I thought about that, I began to realize that before you bridle your tongue to keep from offending those around you, you have to think about how you are talking to yourself throughout the day and how that internal conversation could actually deceive our hearts.
This means that we need to stop filling our own hearts and minds with lies from the enemy and begin filling our hearts and minds with truths from God’s word. By doing this, we will be able to build ourselves up with truth instead of tearing ourselves down with lies.
When we can finally control our tongues with the way we speak to ourselves, then we can dedicate more time to building up our friends and family in truth. As we move from speaking God’s truth to ourselves to demonstrating it and speaking it to others; that is when we begin to discover the “good gifts” that is spoken about in verses 16-18. It is then that world will be able to see our first fruits and that we can truly point them to the Glory of God!
James chapter 2:
“10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”
At first reading this chapter 2 section of verses 8-13 is very basic and unassuming. Yet, there is still a deeper look that we can take to these verses. The verses 10 and 11 are a part of a section that demonstrates the need to fulfill the entire law of God.
While in our personal lives we easily find loopholes for every section, the Word of God tends to discourage partiality, especially when it comes to the holiness of God’s word. At the surface of these two verses James shares the importance of not only knowing the entirety of God’s word, but applying the entire Bible to our lives. Due to the fact that God is the same “Yesterday, today and forever” that means that God’s intentions for His people remain intact regardless of our preference.
What does this mean for God’s people today? Well, it begins with the understanding that the entire Bible is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and that means that all of the scriptures within the Bible are on the same playing field of importance. In other words, in the eyes of God all of the promises, commands and parables within the texts are held to the same standard. This shows that God does not have a hierarchy of which commandments or the most important for us to obey. We need to realize that they are all equal; therefore they should all be obeyed with the same intention on our parts.
We cannot pick and choose which commands that we will fully follow and still be considered believers and followers in Jesus Christ. For those of us who play favorites with God’s word, the outcome is still the same as a sinner who breaks all of God’s commandments.
James Chapter 2:21-22
“21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;”
“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Verse 24
When you think of faith, I would imagine that most people think of just a belief system that assures them that everything is going to work out fine. Most people probably prefer to leave the idea of faith as just a warm fuzzy feeling of accepting a situation. Most don’t want to imagine faith as a thing that requires them to take action on their faith.
In God’s eyes this is not the case. It seems that God requires us to move past the idea of merely believing in something and actually move into us put our faith into actions. This is especially true when it comes to God’s word and fulfilling God’s will.
The truth is, it is easy to believe in God or to believe in a specific mission, but it is an entirely different thing when you believe in God enough to put real-life action to your faith. We as believers are called to be doers of the Word of God, which is actually a reiteration of verses 22-25 of James chapter 1.
The belief of faith and the doing of action are married in the eyes of God and it is a marriage that we cannot separate or divorce due to the fact that faith without works is dead and works without faith is also dead. Therefore if we try to live our lives with the fullness of one and not the fullness of the other, we are not living to our pure potential. It is through the perfect marriage of faith and works that the world will see the ultimate display of the glory of God and the world will change for the better through the actions of Jesus!
When Jesus came to the earth, he declared that he came fulfill the law. Therefore we, who actually cannot fulfill the law in its entirety, don’t have to. Jesus lived the perfect life that we couldn’t so that his holiness, or perfection, can be accredited to us when we put our truth, or faith, in Him. Jesus willing died a death that he did not deserve as a way of suffering himself to his Heavenly Father for our sins, or our disobedience to God’s laws. It is through Jesus that we are able to fulfill the entire law of God. It is because of Jesus that we are able to display our faith to the world through our actions. It is because of Jesus that we are adopted into this Holy people even though we do have sin that separates us from God and God’s holiness. Finally Jesus resurrected on his own authority, which offers a new life to all those that believe in him and walk out the faith that they believe in.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: Love for the family.
Today in my personal prayer time, I had a single thought: How well am I showing love to my family? Let me explain, I live with my father, step-mother and younger brother. While we live together, there are little to no opportunities to spend a lot of time together. With crazy work schedules and other activities getting in the way it’s like we are three separate people living in three separate houses, living three separate lives.
Here is the honest truth, the majority of my summer has been filled with me sitting at my laptop computer creating story after story while I binge watch movies and my favorite TV shows. On a good day I would write some 5 or so pages of content, which at the end of the day leaves me tired. One of the downfalls of this as a daily activity I am often locked in my own head for most of the day. Now, one would think that because of the isolation during the day that I’d want some kind of companionship at the end of the day, which would lead me to meaningful conversations with my family. Yet, the truth is, after being trapped in my head all day, I typically find myself with the desire to stay in my silence, ignoring my parents and brother.
The only thing that seems to save me from this level of isolation is the three or so nights a week that I would go over to my girlfriend’s at the end of the day. When she would get off of work and after a long day of from writing, I would face the heat of Arizona summers and drive to her place for Bible studies and dinner. Sometimes even the idea of socializing with her and her mother seems daunting to me. I would often have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it is important to socialize after the long hours of isolation.
Now, back to my family; I would love to say that I am particularly close to my father, step-mother and brother, but our behaviors may argue otherwise. Now, don’t get me wrong it’s not like we disagree or fight and argue constantly, but sometimes it takes a lot for me to want to talk with them or to share with them about any aspect of my life that may seem personal to me.
During my prayer time this idea of loving my family entered into my mind and I began thinking of things that I could do to simply show them that I cared:
After this time period where I prayed over this situation, I realized that it was up to me to help improve our way of life while sharing the same house. I believe that this is a simple mission field for someone like me, who currently spends the majority of my days locked in my room writing.
This will also be helpful for me to break the daily isolation by filling parts of my day with meaningful interactions. This will allow me to reach out of my comfort zone and get to know my own family a bit better.
I pray that God is with me during this time as I continue to venture out into new journeys of faith. I am asking for a better understanding. I am writing an sharing this because this is something that I truly deal with daily and I believe that there is somebody else that deals with this as well; but for that person/persons who relate to this the people that they need to reconnect with maybe be friends, family, extended family or anybody who is important to them.
This is my way of proclaiming the hope that Jesus gives us in these moments. When we feel the need to build or rebuild relationships, there is a way. There is hope and that hope is found in Jesus! Also, as people who deal with this desire to rebuild relationships with those we are close with, we, as the church, need to extent a hand of support and accountability in these situations.
I know that for many these situations may be difficult or they may seem impossible, but they are not. That is the best part about a new life in Jesus, we are given a new opportunity to build or rebuild strong relationship through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, I will be praying for you all who are dealing with broken relationship and I ask that you would be praying for me as I rebuild and strengthen the relationships that I have with my family.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: Love for the family part two
Recently I posted at tidbit about my flesh-filled desire to isolate myself many people, including my family. I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me in the understanding that my family is a group of that love me and care for me. My family should be the place where I could be myself and share who I really am, but the truth is for me that was not always the case. Yet, I am currently taking steps to fix this behavior, but I recently had to face another truth: I am called to be a light to my family members who need hope.
Here’s the honest truth: I have many members of my family who deal with a multitude of difficulties; whether those difficulties are homelessness, drug addiction, raising children, dealing with relationship issues, or dealing with their need for hope.
Now, because I am in a different state of many of my family members, I find it difficult at times to keep in contact with my family, especially if they are facing difficulties such as addiction, homelessness or brokenness. Unfortunately for me this news comes more often than not.
Now, some of the questions that often enter my mind when a family member is struggling or suffering: What is my response? What should my responses be? What are the motives of my response or action?
What is my Response?
This is first question that usually enters my mind and this question usually indicates my love and caring for my family members. I often find myself wondering what I should do or what I want to do. Now, because of the fact that I live in another state, I am not involved in their day-to-day lives. Therefore I seem to ignore the issue with a simple phrase of “I can’t do anything about it.” Or “It’s not my problem to fix.”
It seems that too often I ignore the issue, hoping that it will clear itself up with effort or trials. Yet, I forget that this is my family member that I am willingly ignoring. I am ignoring their suffering for my own comfort.
In my prayer time I realized that I have been really only focused on me and needs. When The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about my family, I realized that I wasn’t willing to help them, not because I couldn’t, but because I didn’t want to become uncomfortable in their situation.
What should my response be?
This is the second question that usually runs through my mind. This question follows the first question after the Holy Spirit confronted me on my behavior. I realized that while I was growing into this level of comfort, my family members were growing in their suffering.
Now, the question still remains: What should my response be? While it is true that I can’t just throw money at the situation to fix their suffering, I realized that I could do something: Pray! I realized that I may not be involved in their day-to-day struggles; I could easily take part in their healing and transformation through the power of prayer. The truth is, I do love my family and if that is true than I have to be active in showing them and extending my hand in prayer. I’m not saying just whispering a half-hearted prayer that means very little, I talking about true prayer of love.
What are the motives of my response or actions?
The third question filled my heart simply because I needed to understand why I chose the route that I did. While thinking through my motives, I realized that I was being very selfish and caught in a bubble. By the grace of God and the hard work of my father and stepmother I am and always have been fully provided for. At the same time I am looking for a job, hoping to find a place that I can grow as a person. So, it’s easy to understand why I would be predominately focused on myself, but I think that is a misunderstanding of our role in the Kingdom of God.
As I said, I am basically caught in a bubble of comfort. For the longest time I only needed to focus on me and my path, therefore I forgot that I came from an entirely different background where some of my family still lives, and many of them may need help or hope.
Therefore, if I am going to aware of the bubble that I have currently been living, the questions are: How do I burst the bubble and actually help? How will my life change if I burst my bubble? Before I can effectively pray for my family and help them or reach out to them, I need to adjust my motives.
I can no longer solely focused on my own problems, but I need to remind myself that my family is part of me and if I ignore them and their need for hope, than I am ignoring some of my own issues. I need to remind myself that me saying “I love my family” is an empty statement if I don’t see their struggle as part of my struggle. In truth, I need to see my family members as people as who are in need to have hope and I need to remember that I can help them connect to that hope. Before I can help them, before I can pray for them, I need to adjust my motives away from my own needs and truly pray for their needs.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: A time of transition
So, let’s be honest, I haven’t posted on Beautiful Feet in a while. There are a few reasons for this fact. At the end of May my school year ended, which means for those who are teacher, I am on summer break. This means a few different things; (1) I have my days free and (2) I could be posting on the website more often.
Now, before I continue, I must say that this month or so has been a freeing month that has allowed me to grow spiritually and creatively. Over the last month I have been granted the opportunity to reconnect with God in a way that I have not had in a while. Also, I have been given the opportunity to focus on my art of writing and storytelling.
You could easily be asking; if you’re writing so much, than why are we not seeing more posts on Beautiful Feet Entertainment? Well, as I said above, this is for a few different reasons; first, I am writing two books, therefore I am putting the majority of my attention into these two projects. The second reason is because along with writing these two books, I am looking for another job.
Yes, it is true.
As of the end of May I am not longer a teacher. Now, I understand that for many of my family and friends this is not news, it is something that has been in the works for a few months, but it is still vital to the growth of Beautiful Feet Entertainment.
I left the teaching profession so that I could focus more of my attention on my personal life as well as my upcoming career as a poet and a writer. Over the last four years I have discovered that teaching is a noble profession of passionate people, yet it was not a profession that I am passionate about.
I had to leave the profession.
I prayed deeply about this decision and I truly believe I’m on a new path and I thank you to all of those that prayed with me and counseled me through this transition; a transition that I am still in the midst of, a transition that I am still growing in.
Now, to talk about my two projects that I’m working on:
Thank you for being a part of Beautiful Feet Entertainment and I am asking you to keep me in prayer as I move further into this new field.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: A New Journey
Every so often things in your life change. For some this change could be detrimental, for others this change could be a blessing. Sometimes it all depends on how we decide to react to the change that is before us.
I am currently going through a change that is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Let me explain, for the past ten plus years, or so, I have been working on becoming and being a teacher, yet I have recently decided that teaching was not for me. Between the work schedule, the attitude of many of the students, the attitude of many of the parents and the constant fear of a finger being pointed at my face for the smallest infractions, I prayerfully decided to venture into a new journey.
Now, please don’t take this the wrong way, I admire the teaching profession and I believe in the influence that teachers have on the next generation, yet, I struggled to find my place. I struggled to earn the respect of the student, the parents and even some of the teachers. Also, I realized that the stress of this job was mutating me into something that I never wanted to be; something that wasn’t me.
As I write these words at 9:30 pm on Tuesday May 30, 2017 I have been out of a job since May 25th. Yeah, I know that’s not very long, but I am already beginning to feel uneasy. Before my departure from teaching I would often be asked, “So, what’s next?” or “What are you going to do now?” or any of the varied questions that show the least bit of curiosity about the future and the only answer that I could say was, “I’m going to write a book!”
I am excited!
I have been writing since I was ten years old and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to publish my own book. I wanted to be an author. This year and I am now turning thirty. I have figured, “If I don’t try to achieve this goal now than when will I do it?” I guess you can say that I’m gambling on myself right now. I want to make Beautiful Feet Entertainment into something that I can be proud of, even if that means I only publish one book and keep the website up-to-date. I want to at least be able to say that I did it, and I’d like to say that God used my words and my books to impact the lives of those who read them.
Here’s where the uneasy feeling comes in: All I know is teaching and being in a classroom. As I’m scanning through job searches and online wanted ads, I am beginning to wonder, “What can I do? What can I excel in? What other field of work would I be interested in?” Yet, I seem to fall short when it comes to discovering an answer. I have even had to fight the temptation of responding to schools that have tried to contact me through job sites and email, asking me to interview for their currently open teaching positions.
In some cases I feel like the Jews in Exodus that roamed the desert for forty days looking for the promise land. When the people would become wearied and tired of wondering the desert, they would wish to be enslaved in Egypt yet again. During the difficult times they desired to go back to what they knew, even though the life that they knew was enslaving and killing them. Due to the uncertainty of their current situation, the Jews thought it would be best to return to what they knew, even though they hated the slavery that they endured.
As a teacher I felt as if I had my hands tied behind my back and I was expected to perform. I often felt ridiculed and disrespected and yet I was expected to smile. I thought I was going into the profession to spread the love of God to the students, staff, and parents; but often I felt like the life was being drained from my body, leaving me a grumpy, unsatisfied shell of a man. Yet, when the uncertainty of my next job, or my next paycheck, was looming over my head, I quickly feel the need to return to something more familiar, even if it wasn’t healthy for me.
Now is the time that I focus my attention on God’s promise for my life. In this time of uncertainty I must remember that my God is the same yesterday, today and forever. My God is creating a path just for me to walk. No one can walk it for me. No one will be able to tell my story to the world. No one will be able to impact the lives that I can impact in the same way that I will be able to impact them. Before I can impact these lives for God, I must be molded by the hands of God through the struggles that I face. Therefore, I must go through these struggles of uncertainty and uneasy feelings in order to better understand the path that God has placed me.
As a friend, a family member, or confidant or an acquaintance I am asking you to partner with me in prayer. Please pray that God grant me the wisdom to discern the steps to take during this time in my job search. Please pray that God would open doors of opportunity that would best glorify His name. Please pray that God would use Beautiful Feet Entertainment to point the readers to the Love that Jesus has for them. Please pray that I could find a publishing company, whether self-publishing or another publishing company, that would best handle my upcoming book. Please pray that God provide any resources needed to publish my upcoming book. Finally, pray that God would begin to work on the hearts of those that may read my upcoming book, pray that they are encouraged and inspired.
Thank you for your understanding during these times. I am truly excited for this new journey and I am truly trusting God to provide everything needed for this new journey. I am looking forward to whatever God has in store for me as well as the community that I am a part of. I do believe that God will bless this ministry and those that it reaches. I am thankful for the opportunity to trust God in this new journey.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: Who am I?
This is a very common question that we all face throughout our lives. As we become an adult and begin to face our biggest trials and tribulations, we often realize that we have no idea who we are. It seems that we often forgot our identity. Either we've forgotten our identities or we never knew what it was.
Often when we go through difficult times or we face difficult decisions, we continue to question our identities. We are trained to believe that our identity is formed by our social status. our careers, or the amount of money that we have in the bank. Also we begin to believe that our identity is created by the company that we keep.
I've got to be honest with the reader, Right now I am facing a hefty decision. This challenge has me thinking deeply about who I am and what I am meant to be. In my mind I know that I need to pray for direction and trust Jesus to lead me to the right decision. While my mind knows this truth, my heart often finds itself straying away from my mind, leading me down a trail of questions, anxious thoughts and worry.
Maybe you're in a similar boat. You have a large decision ahead of you and you're worried about it. Maybe your facing a difficult fork in the road and you're unsure the path that God wants you to take. The longer to stare at the fork in the road, you more time your mind journeys down the two opportunities, creating fearful possible outcomes that paralyze you with worry and anxiousness.
In this time we must believe that God is all powerful and we must rest in this fact. We must spend time in prayer, handing our worry and stress to our almighty father. We must know that God is God over all. Now, I know this all sounds cliché and overstated, yet it is absolutely true!
Jesus loves us!
Jesus loves us so much that that as He allows us to navigate through these dark and difficult time He journeys ahead of us lighting our way as we navigate through. Jesus never leaves us. He never abandons us. In all actuality, Jesus is with us through the difficult times and hefty decisions.
Due to the fact that Jesus loves us and is with us daily, we should pray to Him daily and ask Him to lead us and give us clarity. We need to remember that our difficult times strengthen us. God uses these moments to bring us closer to Him and more dependent on his plan and His will.
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.