Continue His Legacy

 

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, is a true American Hero. Few men have done what he has done. Few men has faced such great adversity that he has. Few men have been willing to give anything for a dream. He is a true American. And I am grateful he fought for equality and for the end of discrimination.

He set an example to everyone, on how to get things done. Never once did he raise a gun. Never once did he call for killing. No, he marched. He talked. And he got things done. He paved a way for equality through peaceful protests. He showed everyone that the only way to defeat evil, is by love. He once said, “Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.” We all could learn from that.

He believed in what America could become. He believed that one day the preamble of the Declaration of Independence would become a reality, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As we reflect on his life, let us continue his legacy. The only way that our country can be truly United is by talking. It can not become great through riots and fights. It is not possible for any good to come out by destroying cities, killing police, or killing each other. Cruel words and names will not help anything, it will only make it worse. We must meet on the common ground. We must be willing to see the other side of the conversation. We must listen to each other.

We must do away with Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. We must do away with labeling each other and defining each other based upon the color of our skin. We are not defined by our race, we are all Americans. We must work together to make Dr. King’s dream a reality. Let us link arms in unity. Let us forget about our differences and focus on our needs.

We must live in love. Love one another. And as Christians, we must lead from the front. We must be the first ones to set aside our differences and find peace. Our country needs us to step up and talk. No more killing, no more riots. Only debates. Only conversations. This is the only way that things will be different. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen. So let us continue his legacy.

.5%

 

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99.5%. This is how similar we are to each other. Your DNA is 99.5% the same as mine. This kind of makes sense when you think about it. God says in Genesis 1:26 & 27, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

We were all created by the same God. We were all created in his likeness. This is why we are so similar. But I don’t want to focus on the 99.5%. I want to focus on the other .5%. The last little bit of each of our DNA determines who we are. It determines if your ugly, like your brother. It determines if your athletic, or lazy. It determines if you need glasses. And in my case, it determines if you start losing hair when you started your freshman year of high school (true story).

This last half percent determines who we are. It determines our personalities. It makes us unique. Your fingerprint is the only finger print like that, that has ever been in existence. There has never been a fingerprint like yours before, and there will never be one again. You are the only person that can be you. God created us individually.

Psalms 139:13-16 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes say my unformed substance; in Your book were written, everyone of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” This means that God took his time and planned everything out for our lives. He took his time to determine how he wants the .5% difference to look like.

My .5% difference enables me to fulfill my calling. I am the only person that can do what I do, the way that I do it. I am the only person that can reach the people I am meant to reach. No one else can reach those people.

I can not do what Matthew West does. I can not sing if my life depended on it. But he can. He can reach people that I can’t reach. Matthew West can not do what you do. You are the only person that can do what you do.

But a lot of times we think that we can’t do anything because we are too young, or not smart enough, athletic enough, or what ever enough.

But God says otherwise. Jeremiah 1:5-8: “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the LORD said to me. ‘Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.’”

And again in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young…”

You are the way you are for a reason. You are perfect for the calling God has for you life. When you are feeling down and think that you are a nobody, remember that you are SOMEBODY. You are you. Dr. Seuss puts it this way, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive that is you-er than you!”

You might look at yourself and see all your past mistakes. Or you might look at who you want to be in the future and think that you will never be that guy. Let me tell you that where you are at is a lot better than where you were, and where you WILL be is a lot better than where you are at now.

If you don’t believe me, and still don’t like something about yourself, believe Jesus. Jesus says to everyone of us, “I love you for who you are. I love you even with those three grey hairs on the right side of your head (hashtag my brother)” or “I love you even with your 6th toe on your left foot.” It doesn’t matter what it is, Jesus still loves you. And he wants you. He doesn’t want what the 99.5% similarities, he wants the .5% difference that makes you you. He doesn’t want a clone of someone else, he want’s you.

It doesn’t matter what you have done, or what you will do, he loves you, and he wants you. He wants you so much that he came and he died on the cross for you.

All you have to do is accept him. If you are tired and worn out. If you feel like you can’t go on. If you’ve been hurt by the people you love, or you feel like you’re worthless, go to Jesus. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus will give you rest. To him, you mean something. His grace will make you new. You are you for a reason, someone needs you. We all have a calling. You are the only one that can fulfill your calling. Whether it is to be a preacher, a missionary, an athlete, a singer, a video game designer, or anything else. Whatever it is, nobody else can do it like you. Our callings are unique, and they are that way to reach a certain person that no one else can. The end goal and the mission is the same, but the way we do it is what’s unique.
Draw strength from God, stick to Jesus your whole life, never go anywhere without him. If you remain with him and you let him lead you, you will be all right. Through him, you will truly be you.

 

 

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The Void

“As the days went by, the evolution of like into love was accelerated. White Fang himself began to grow aware of it, though in his consciousness he knew not what love was. It manifested itself to him as a void in his being- a hungry, aching, yearning void that clamored to be filled. It was a pain and an unrest; and it received easement only by the touch of the new god’s presence. At such times love was a joy to him, a wild, keen-thrilling satisfaction. But when away from his god, the pain and the unrest returned; the void in him sprang up and pressed against him with its emptiness, and the hunger gnawed and gnawed unceasingly.”
– excerpt from White Fang by Jack London

I recently finished White Fang. It was a great book that was very captivating. If you haven’t read the book you should. It’s about a wolf, that was “3/4 wolf and 1/4 dog.” Him and his mother was captured by people when he was just a puppy. Through out the book he was beaten, got separated from his mom and fought to the death several times, killing his opponents.

He had a total of three masters by the end of the book. And the last master was the most humane one of them all. He treated White Fang with love and kindness, the way dogs should be treated. White Fang knew him as the “Love-god.” Because of this man, White Fang was able to go back to his puppy hood and learn how to love and moved from hate, to liking and finally to loving.

White Fang became a completely different wolf. While he was owned by the second master, he became known as the “Fighting Wolf.” But by the end of the book, he became known as the “Blessed Wolf.” And I believe there’s something we could learn from this.

The lesson we can learn is that no matter how far gone you are and how terrible people think you are, you are not too far gone for love. Love will change you. Not superficial love, and not the “love” we know today. But true love, genuine love, God. God is love. And love is God.

When we enter into a relationship with God and allow him to be our master and Lord, we begin to change. We move from hating to liking and finally loving, just like with White Fang. When we grow in love and learn what love truly is, we become consumed by it. Like the quote says, it becomes a “hungry, aching, yearning void that clamored to be filled.” And it only is quenched in the presence of God, by the touch of God.

We become dependent on God and we have a void in our heart and soul that is only filled by God. Because of this void, we become hungry for more of God, we NEED more of God. And that’s perfectly ok. How much better is it that we have a void that is only quenched by God than having a void that is unquenchable by anything?

I think that the void thing can be taken even further. What if we have a void even before we choose God? It would make sense. People try to fill that missing piece in their soul with alcohol, drugs, sex, you name it. But yet it’s unquenchable, or at least it seems that way. And that’s why people return back to those things, because it leaves them more hungry than when they started.

But when we DO choose God, the void slowly begins to be quenched. And we become more hungry for God than before. His love and his glory and righteousness are ALL consuming fires that is unstoppable. And we want more of it.

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Do I Really Matter?

 

 

 

Before I begin, I would like to apologize for not posting anything for a couple months. I had some issues to attend and family emergencies. Once again, I apologize.

Now I’ll begin. Do I matter? This is a question we all asked many times in life. I can guarantee you have said it numerous times. It’s not something to be ashamed of, everyone has asked it.

It usually comes to mind when things aren’t looking to good. Like when you have a bad day or you mess up something. It never is asked when we accomplish something, or discover something marvelous. I wonder why.

Maybe it’s human nature. Maybe  it’s the truth. Maybe you don’t matter. Or maybe, it’s a trap. A trap that the enemy places in the back of your mind, always present, to fool you. To make you doubt.

So that when you fail, you go back to that question, and you begin to question everything. You question your life, you question your dreams, and you question God.

When you ask, “Do I matter?” you are really doubting God. You are throwing everything God planned for you, everything he’s given you, in his face. You are saying that you don’t trust him.

Now I’m not trying to shame you. I’m not trying to make you ashamed. I’ve done this too.

Here’s the truth. You do matter. The Bible says that God formed you in your mother’s womb. That he knitted you together. He has a special plan for you. God has laid out great things for your life.

You matter so much, that he sent his ONLY son to die on a tree for you. Not because we deserve it, but because he loves us. Everything he has done, and everything he will do is because you matter.

The enemy will try to trip you and scare you. It’s only because he knows that you are meant to do great things. Why else would you go through everything you’ve been through? Why else would you have had all those trials?

So do you matter? Definitely. Your life has meaning. Your life has a purpose. Don’t make the mistake that thousands of people have. Don’t make the mistake in falling in the trap that is asking if you matter.

If you ask that, you can be lead down a dark path. If you start asking that question, remember Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

Maybe the question shouldn’t be “Do I matter?” but “How can I show others that they matter?”

 

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Truth = Healing

 

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Healing is a process. It takes time to become fully healed, and more often than not, it’s painful. Most of the time you have to face the truth and the truth hurts. But the only way to be healed is to face it.

When you face the truth, you find things that are “unsettling.” Things you don’t want to face. Things that you might have pushed further and further into hiding. And when you face them you feel helpless and broken. Trust me I know. But this is when healing begins.

Healing begins when you face the things that you would rather hide and you feel broken. Truth floods the cracks in your broken heart. No matter how small those cracks might be, truth still floods in.

And God says, “Don’t worry, I’m here. I got you. I know it hurts, I know how you feel.” You might barely hear his voice, but it’s the voice that’s been there since the Garden of Eden. It’s the first voice, maybe not the first voice you hear, but the first voice there ever was.

When you hear God’s voice you have two options. You could either listen to his voice and begin to be healed, or dismiss his voice and listen to one of many voices the enemy throws at you. You know what I’m talking about, “You’re worthless. It’s all your fault. You’re a failure.”

But if you listen to God’s voice, you will be healed. Not over night, but over time. The truth that I wrote about earlier will begin to repair your heart. It will start “scabbing over” your wound. And eventually your wounds will become scars. Those scars will tell a story and you will be able to say, “Look at what God has done! This happened to me, but now I’m healed! God saved me! He made me new!”

And oh, what a blessing it will be. God will heal you, and change you. He will make you a new creation, better than ever before. God will use your story to touch someone else.

Healing is messy. It’s a continuous battle. A battle, which sometimes you have to fight alone. Not all the time, but sometimes. There is a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like you take two steps forward and three steps back. But there’s always a sunrise. Night doesn’t last forever. When the sun rises, the SON reigns. I’m not saying the Son doesn’t rain in the night, but when it’s dawn, he shines ever brighter.

When you are healed, the Son will be present. He will be impossible to miss in your life. I can’t help but remember a verse from “Give me Faith” by Elevation Worship. “I may be weak but Your Spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God, You never will.”

When you are at your weakest point, God is at his strongest. When you’re flesh fails, He will succeed. This is when you are healed. When you can say, “I am weak, I may fail, But God is strong, God does not fail! I am NOTHING with out Him. He healed me! He made me whole.”

I pray that whatever you are struggling with, no matter what it is, you are healed. Confront your problem with truth. If it is your father, confront him. If it is any other person confront them. They will give you truth. And it will hurt everyone involved, but your relationship will begin to heal.

Same thing with addictions. Truth will set you free. Truth will heal you.

Thank you.

 

The Search of a Young Man’s Heart

 

 

 

The title of my blog is “Finding the Truth,” and part of finding the truth is stepping out of your comfort zone and doing stuff your not so sure about. And this post is one of those times. I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while now, but frankly, I was scared about it. I didn’t want to pour my pain and tears out on the internet for everyone to see. But I am. The truth is more important than my fears. So hear I go.

I’ve been hurt recently by someone super close to me. This person hurt me and my brother. And this pain I feel, is worse than anything you could imagine. It hurts worse than a broken heart. The title of this post is “The Search of a Young Man’s Heart,” and these past few months have really been a time of searching for me. And during this search I realized that my God is my father. Even when I feel alone, he is with me. My God won’t leave me.

I was in Colorado for Thanksgiving and I met my cousin’s baby. And my cousin kept calling the baby son. It hurt. Watching movies where the father of a young man going off to war says, “you’re my son, that’s my son” hurts. And I realized, my dad never said that. He never said, “You are my son.” It hurts a lot.

Through my heart’s search, I have cried, I have felt pain, and I have felt hopeless. But I also have felt peace, hope, and joy. I read in my Bible the other day about Jesus being baptized and how God said, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” That was for me. I am God’s son. He is pleased with me.

And for the person who hurt me, if you are reading this, what you did hurt me and my brother. What you did was wrong. But I forgive you. I truly forgive you.

Just Pebbles

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A year ago (about), I wrote a post called “Just Pebbles” and I was reading it from my notebook (I write most of my blog posts in it) and I read it. It really spoke to me. As many of you might know from my blog post “Where’s Dad?” I wrote about my parent’s divorce. Well when I wrote “Just Pebbles,” it was a few months after they first separated. And now after what happened a few months ago, there’s no reason I need to go in depth about it on here, it really spoke to me. So here it is:

One night on the way to church the other night, I looked at my mom. I told her, “Even though we are going through something difficult and hard, it’s just a little pebble. Jesus is blocking all the boulders and rocks Satan is throwing at us. Jesus is letting the pebbles get past. We will get through this.”

Pretty powerful right? To tell you the truth, I am just now realizing how profound that is. Jesus is standing in front of us with his arms spread wide and blocking the boulders. He is getting hit by the boulders for us.

Now I understand a little more why he let them beat him and kill him. He loved us. He did is for us. He would do anything for us. We follow him and he never leads us astray. He protects us.

Like a good shepherd he does not let the wolves attack, kill and devour us. Boulder after boulder he stands. Through the pain he stands. He stands there and says, Come on, you got this. It’s only a pebble.” We do not and cannot comprehend what he’s protecting us from.

He loves us so much that he is willing us to get bruises and beaten so that we are safe and not harmed. The pebble is just something that Jesus believes we can handle.

It’s small compared to what Jesus is blocking. I can’t help but think about John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

As you finish reading this, just remember, whatever you might be going through, no matter how big and tough it is, it’s just a little pebble.

I hope this touches you like it did for me.