Category Archives: Advice

Falling from the Peak

climb-a-mountainHave you ever found yourself hysterically scratching, excessively grabbing, intensely pulling yourself up the hill of life, only to unexpectedly lose your grip or footholds and fall from the peak?  Wherever you may be, we’ve all experienced this abrupt fall, the sudden callback, the rediscovered pain, the reckless reminder of brokenness. 

To summarize the above said, we can simply say relapsed reminders.  Have you ever tried to walk/run up a wet or muddy hill?  It’s nearly impossible, always slipping back, struggling to keep your footing, only to slide further and further away from the top.  In these moments of struggle, in these moments where we find ourselves stuck in the same place as before, our pace is delayed, but now our focus is tactfully reexamined and reimplemented into finding sturdier ground, with each step cautious and more sensible than before.

It’s in these moments when we fall from the peak, when we fall from the near top, whatever your personal metaphor may be, we can choose how and where we take our next step.  Will you continue to claw your way up, only to risk falling again, or are you simply going to keep falling…and falling…and falling? 

Recently, God has exponentially been moving in and around my life and as I reexamine my past and my current state of affairs, I quickly realize how much I’ve carelessly disappointed, thoughtlessly hurt, and recklessly dealt with situations.  At the time, I never had these moments of falling from the peak, I never had these feelings of “what am I doing” or “why did I just say/do that.”  When I fall down now, I promptly diagnose and distinguish the factor/s that led to the fall.

I can only point to one thing, I now have the ultimate lead climber, and that is Jesus Christ.  When I fall, I can be reassured He will always catch me, He will always be right there saying, “it’s ok, you can climb, do not fear, for I am with you.”

For all the falls, for all the inevitable mistakes I’ve made each day, I’ve learned the hard way; forgive yourself and forgive the ones around you because this life is getting shorter and shorter each day, so why hold onto these burdens, why not give your regrettable grievances and excess baggage to the Lord?

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.-Psalm 55:22

So the next time you fall, turn to God, for He is the only one who can put you on the right course to conquer your mountain.

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Jesus Loves Pornstars

Stop!  Don’t be upset!  Please continue reading.  Now, before you skim and skip to the next blog post here under your categorical listing; this won’t be a distasteful, repulsive post, but instead, a very, very ambitious undertaking to converse about an awkward, yet profoundly troublesome concern of our society today.

As Christians, Believers, or simply churchgoers, we all may agree church and pornography shouldn’t even be in the same sentence together.  Or if it is, self-reproach or contrition is the clandestine driving force.  In other words, it’s a buried topic.  It’s something we shield and hide.  But it’s only lurking.  A snake in the grass.  A covert killer.  A secluded problem of our culture that’s beginning to be exposed or even worse, is being withheld as the root problem of the ever-increasing social and relational problems of our modern culture.

Urbanity-created images of flawless, photoshopped, skimpy-clad male and female models have evolved into an identity of acceptance.  Whether it’s on the newsstand, car commercials, or apparel companies, we’ve gone beyond the point of simple recognition of the ever-popular excuse “sex sells.”  Because these images are omnipresent and nearly impossible to avoid, we may conform or accommodate to these societal standards.  By way of explanation, we’re subconsciously attending to and monopolizing every single image that passes through the cornea, no matter the subject.

It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, there’s always temptation of physical or sexual/sensual desire, even if you may feel impenetrable to such thing.  Pornography is an immoral, damaging catalyst, leading to, but not limited to: emptiness, deceit, delusion, fraudulence, addiction, promiscuity, and so on.  This is a beast, a force to be reckoned with.  As a society who’s irrationally evolving into a more accepting and affirming to new communal values, we’re amusing, nay playing with the fallacious interpretation of love.

The shifting landscape of our new societal norms and values corresponding to definitions of intimacy, love, and sex should be alarming.  To be subject to such misrepresentative illustrations of non-Bibical standards, access and availability of sinful features is beyond convenient and effortless via the Internet.  Research on Internet pornography statistics is staggering.  Every second, there is $3,075.64 being spent on pornography.  In that same second, 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines.  Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the United States, according to toptenreviews.com.

For every second, for every moment someone may be subjecting themselves to naughty, seemingly harmless images, contradictory, detrimental thoughts consume your attention and imagination.  Sinful auxiliary speculation creates ignorance, creates inadequacy, creates unsatisfactory attitudes towards a significant other.  Specifically, we think our personal, intimate relationships should mirror the fraudulent fantasy experience pornography offers.  But it doesn’t.  These two worlds were NEVER meant to be equivalent.  They were NEVER meant to align.  Because there’s disappointment in the bedroom, because there’s mediocrity, compared to the falsified experience seen through pornography, you become unsatisfied, you become unhappy.  Satisfaction and happiness should be synonymous to a healthy relationship, not the opposite.  The snake has struck…

God didn’t design us to absorb such sinful content!

In order for change and healing to occur, we must be honest.  We must be transparent with this topic.  We must not hide from it.  As tough as it is to admit, I’ve struggled with this in my past relationship.  It is demoralizing, it’s destructive to relationships and marriages.  It can be adultery.  It can be idolatry.  It’ll ruin your life.  And our solution is so often avoidance.  We always want to hide our sexual, fleshly sins, we always want to cover it, bury it; “who will find out,” “this is ok,” “Men’s Health says masturbation is healthy.”

The Bible tells us to run away from these parents of evil.

“The body was not meant for sex sins.  It was meant to work for the Lord.  The Lord is for our body”-1 Corinthians 6:13. 

“Have nothing to do with sex sins!  Any other sin that a man does, does not hurt his own body.  But the man who does a sex sin sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a house of God where the Holy Spirit lives?  God gave you His Holy Spirit.  Now you belong to God.  You do not belong to yourselves.  God bought you with a great price.  So honor God with your body.  You belong to Him”-1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

Just recently, I found this amazing ministry called xxxchurch.com.  It’s a ministry for pornography addiction, sexual issues, and concerns; focused at loving on, encouraging, and faithfully inserting Jesus Christ into the porn industry; a business you’d think would be impervious to any sort of non-pornographic message.  But as Luke 7:36 to 7:50 describes Jesus’ encounter with a prostitute, her sins were forgiven because she allowed Jesus into her heart.  She gave herself to Him, even though she was trapped in sin as a “lady of the night.”  But through God’s grace, salvation, and forgiveness, no one is too far away from forgiveness and deliverance from evil, and yes, even pornstars!

Here’s a prayer below for those of you who may be stuck/addicted on images, stuck on physical and sexual attractions; for those of you who may be dealing with looking for better, looking for something more, finding yourself desensitized to your relational intimacy, love, and sex because of your secret behavior.  I love you all and hope you can overcome this through Jesus Christ, as I have!

I do not understand my own actions, for what I want to do I did not do, but what I hate I do.  The battle of my flesh seems to conquer my spirit every time.  Lord, help me to overcome this struggle.  Put this flesh under submission.  I must practice to feed more of my spirit and less of my flesh so when the temptation comes I will not fail or beat myself up for sinning against you, but I will come out victorious.  O’God hear my desperate cry.  I need your strength, self-control, and discipline.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!


A Busted Heart

Isn’t it funny how we get into these “comfortable” stages and moments of our lives, where everything is going as planned, everything seems to be seamlessly happening in the exact order, the exact timing of our plans are all coming to fruition?  Whether it was for our own life ambitions, relationship, careers, family, or what, we think we have it all figured out, there are no doubts, everything is perfect.  But is it?

Are we sure we’re on the right path?  Do we keep on chasing the wind, from one selfish ambition to the next, as if we were all hummingbirds; expeditiously traversing God’s creation only to stall for a brief moment at the expansive medley of colorful, sweet, nectar-filled flowers, simply stopping for one mere gratifying accomplishment after the next, seemingly enough only to wet our palates?  In other words, sooner or later, we realize the emptiness these flowers, these accomplishments, the road traveled, has merely been the road to nowhere.  All of the wandering, all of the self-explorations for personal achievement have been all in vain, if one aspect isn’t straight, if one facet of your life is missing or suffering, and that is your relationship with the Lord.

Whether we’ve gotten ourselves into sinful relationships, made wrong career choices, or simply living our lives to buy the latest and greatest gadget, God can turn it all around.  Even though we may be lost, even though we may feel inadquate, even though one season may be ending, He will always meet us right where we are.  It doesn’t matter the hardship, whether it’s a major relationship disappointment or a broken heart, we must admit we’re in desperate need of Jesus Christ.  Because He is the only One who can mend us, to renew us, to reawaken our spirit.  First, we must realize all of these sinful components have torn us away from His Love.  He loves us so so much that He allows us to stray.  He allows us freedom.  He allows us to do all the aforementioned without Him being in our lives because He loves us THAT much.  Think about that again.  He lets us sin, He lets us go our own ways because He loves us so much.

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22 (NIV)  

Doesn’t matter your history of straying, doesn’t matter your inconsistencies, doesn’t matter if we have selfishly fallen on our faces, or lost our way innumerous times; only Jesus Christ, His unfailing love, the one who loves all, the one who IS love, will always meet you where you’re at and will never let you lose your way again.

Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”


Zombie Commuters

Recently, I moved to the windy city, Chicago, Illinois.  And as quickly as the weather changes, I realize how people are zombies.  I don’t say this because of the latest infatuation with zombies, but honestly, people are easily programmed.

A zombie is a person who acts automatically, an automation, a drudge, mechanical, robot.  You’re probably wondering, where is he taking this???

The next time you find yourself in a crowded area, whether that’s walking downtown, commuting, or at a local mall, watch how people act.

From my already numerous CTA (public transit) trips, this fact is evident, there are zombies living among us.

The unemotional, humanly contact between people is superficial, irresponsible social behavior.  Giving up your seat to a woman on the bus should be a given,  but to not do anything or speak up when someone cannot get the door open because people are simply “plugged in,” is simply insensitive behavior.  When people care more about playing games on their phones and contaminating their characters with unGodly music, this lifestyle is the perfect storm to a ‘zombie apocalypse.’  Sad to say, but it’s already happened.  People are stuck in their daily routines; wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc, etc, etc, repeat, all systematically formulated over days, months, years of automated rituals.  Granted, there are so many exceptions, but as a conglomerate, we’ve lost the touch of intimiate social interaction.  We’ve lost sight of holding doors open, we’ve forgot to thank people for a nice gesture.  So why has this happened?

We’ve become comfortable and satisfied.  We don’t like change.  We like consistency.  We like regularity.  Any alteration, any detour, or stepping out of our comfort zones, we become disoriented because it’s not our norm.

Maybe it’s our employer, maybe it’s the bus schedule, maybe it’s the culture we live in.  Yes, those could be explinations, but they shouldn’t define our lives.  We shouldn’t be products of our daily conformity we’ve established.  In other words, we have gotten so caught up with pleasing our bosses, pleasing ourselves, or pleasing others, we’ve forgotten to please the one and only who needs our attention.

For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not  be a servant of Christ.-Galatians 1:10

Don’t be distracted by others.  Don’t find yourself trying to please others when you should only be focused on Him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.

Wake up, don’t be a zombie!


The Meaning of Life

Have you ever experienced a moment of clarity, a moment of life transparency, a moment where you realize your life is exceptionally worthy?

Today, I responded to such question, thankfully not being apart of a mournful incident.  Earlier, a gunman held up a real estate agency here in town, holding hostages for over 6 hours, only to end the holdup by heartbrokenly shooting himself.

Can you imagine being one of the several hostages?  One inevitable thought I guarantee going through all of their minds was, “am I going to get out of this alive?”  And respectfully so.  Wouldn’t we all think this?

The worth, the importance, the price we have on our lives is my daily embrace proposition.  Yes, we may all highly value our lives, but do we truly understand the meaningfulness of why we’ve been put on this Earth?  Why we live each and every day?

Not to burst your bubbles, but it wasn’t to be the Mark Zuckerbergs or Oprah Winfreys with all the riches in the world. Fame and fortune isn’t our ultimate goal.  Obtaining your dream job isn’t the pinnacle of your life.  Money cannot be what you’re always seeking out.  Money doesn’t satisfy.  Things we can buy only holds temporary atonement value.  Because what happens when we buy something new?  We ‘play’ with it, show it off for a while, then store it away until a newer ‘toy’ comes along.  We continually seek out the next and newest item.  Why?  Because we’re always trying to fill a void.  We’re always trying to seek out contentment in things.  But do we want to be known by the things we own?  When someone mentions your name, do you want to be known as the “guy with the car collection” or the “woman with the most beautiful jewelry?”  How superficial is this when you take a step back?  Do we really want this status?  Don’t you want to be more meaningful to others?

Think back real quick on the person who’s had the most influence in your life….

Did they have those expensive items; did they flaunt them?  Or were they caring, motivating, giving, or simply friendly?

You’re answer is probably the latter.  So what does this all mean?

It means we’ve been created for a purpose.  Created by Him.  Created by Jesus Christ, the Creator of your life and this world.  The meaningfulness of your life can be found in His Word and through Him alone; not through the media, the popular crowds, or the celebrities of Hollywood.  God made each and every one of us for a purpose.  We were designed and formulated not to buy the latest and greatest gadgets, but to worship Him and give Him our attention.  If you can put Him first in your life, you will be fulfilled and begin to see how exceptionally unique and meaningful our lives truly are.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.”-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

So what is the meaning of YOUR life?


9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Today, my dad challenged me to research/find out about the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit.  And to be honest, I wasn’t familiar with them.  I vaguely remember him talking about it a while back, but nothing significant comes to mind.

After some website skimming, I realize how important this topic is.

If you aren’t familiar with the 9 fruits, it’s essentially character qualities God wants to instill in us.  Whether we have a few of them already or need to rid ourselves of bad traits, these qualities or fruits are as follows: love, joy, peace, longsuffering(patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Essentially, bearing these fruits or qualities tells you how much you’re being led by the Holy Spirit.  The closer you are to the Holy Spirit, the more spiritual fruit you will bear.

By showing or mainifesting these fruits throughout each and every day, whether when we’re at work or at a neighborhood barbecue, we bear testimony to the God we serve.  It’s not about what we say because (no offense), but anyone can say they’re a Christian, but we’re judged on what we do!  It’s similar to how we communicate with others.  The majority of communication isn’t even about what we say, or how we even say it, but through expressive, nonverbal means.  And it’s unbelievable to the percentage of actions over words that take place, 55% and 7% respectfully.  Meaning, our actions truly do speak louder than words!

So if you are led by God, the Holy Spirit will brightly shine through your behavior and actions, more so than what you say.  By bearing these fruits, Jesus can move through you, being the vessel of His word, ultimately living and fulfilling His calling for you.

The key is to open yourself up to bear these fruits and to do this, one must give your life to God, seek Him out, and put Him first in your life.  By focusing on Him and not just his blessings and gifts, we can begin to see why He has gifted us with such talents and abilities to fulfill his will for us.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”-Matthew 6:33