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The Gift.

found this beautiful picture on the internet...

found this beautiful picture on the internet…

Do you sometimes feel that people use you? You seem to give and give to a particular person, friend or family member, but when you need something that person is never there for you? They never check in on you. How about when you are in a conversation and it is dominated by their issues and ‘you’ never come up; even though you have issues too? You are often a good ‘go-to’ person, but it is never reciprocated. You are there to help, to lend, to listen, to cheer up, or just there, but it feels one sided.

Many of us become frustrated, irritated and resentful in these scenarios. Friendships fall off and relationships often become strained. People feel used, abused, misused and plain old taken for granted. This topic has been in my spirit for a little over two months now and I have been dragging to write on it. As I was mulling it over weeks ago, I came across an analogy that the late Dr. Myles Munroe used.

He was giving a seminar and he said that he had to learn and understand that the reason people came was to partake of the gift he had to offer. He likened it to an apple tree. The gift of the apple tree is the apple itself. People go to the tree to pick and eat apples. They don’t care whether the tree will bear more apples or not. They don’t care about the leaves, the limbs, the roots or anything else about the tree. The tree on the other hand is not discriminating who gets apples nor is it worried about keeping apples for itself (eating its own fruit); it serves its gift: apples.

There are those who take from us what we serve. Things like advice, counsel, companionship, loyalty, unconditional love, knowledge and a plethora of things. It is a mistake for us to believe that we will also receive, from them, what we gave them. Many times that comes from an entirely different source. Just like God sends the rain and the sun to nourish the apple tree. And perhaps a gardener prunes the branches and takes care of the other areas of the tree, so He does for us. God replenishes us and there are those whom we ‘get’ from. We must quickly identify who these people are in our lives. And more times than not, we don’t ‘give’ to them. It is such a beautiful interdependent circle, and in my opinion it keeps us humble to be able to serve others with our gifts; because someone in turn serves us. People pick apples off of my tree and I pick mangoes off of someone else’s 🙂 (I love mangoes!)

Anyway don’t let me ramble.

A few years ago a friend ditched me when I needed her. I was so hurt, because if I am nothing else, I strive to be a loyal friend. God told me that I put her in the wrong bucket and she couldn’t give me what I needed in a friend. That hurt because I truly loved her and wanted her to be my friend; the kind that I was to her. Many of us find ourselves in this situation or similar ones. Our frustrations might be justified, but that person might not be capable of giving us what we need. Can we accept that?

These are my thoughts on this cold Wednesday 🙂

I encourage you not to be weary in doing well to others… (Galatians 6:9).

Serve others what you have been blessed to serve, we each are relying on the other’s gift.

Blessings

JC

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7 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Daily Inspiration

 

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Freedom…..wear it well!

Are you living to your fullest potential?

We recently did a study on FREEDOM and while preparing for that study I was talking to a friend of mine; a very beautiful, intelligent and successful friend. We were going back and forth about bondage and the things that hold people back. I was telling her about how I got criticized in a former relationship for always wanting to pick the underdog and the disadvantaged. This came to light years ago as I was picking a puppy from a litter of nine. I wanted the little runt in the corner, with the shabby ears and a limp. I made no apologies for my selection because I wanted to help the puppy and I knew that it would need extra because it already was at a disadvantage. Well she said she would pick the same puppy, but it wouldn’t be to help it, she would pick it because it was the one she believed she deserved. Even though she is gorgeous, brilliant and successful, she didn’t think she was deserving and couldn’t remember when these seeds were planted, but she has felt this way from a very young age.

We talked about low self esteem and other things, but that comment about theDSC_0855 puppy lodged itself in my spirit and I couldn’t shake it. As I talked to God about the topic of FREEDOM, He said that the key to freedom is not merely what is written in the bible, it’s what’s written between our ears. The imprinted beliefs we have that cause us to put on so many layers. Beliefs that come from carelessly placed words. Beliefs that have tied us to well camouflaged low and high self esteem. Layers we wear that if they were to be removed, we wouldn’t even know who we are. 

Beliefs that cause us to be people pleasers. Constantly wondering and motivated by what others think of us; how we would look in their eyes and what they would say about us. Wanting everyone to be a friend…..Afraid to be who we really are, say what we really feel and do what we really want to do because of what others would think of us. This is not FREEDOM.

As I mulled it over I checked myself to see what holds me back. I like people to like me and sometimes I hesitate because of what I think someone’s reaction would be. In my musings I came to the startling conclusion that I have turned into the person I never wanted to be! The person who is ALWAYS talking about God in some form or fashion 😉 In my late teenage years and early 20’s I always felt assaulted by Christians and it was so offensive to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t know or want God, I just didn’t want you in my face all the time telling me what I needed to do and beating me over the head with it . I do believe there is a tasteful way to do things to where good intentions and bad presentation don’t turn people away.

This was my perception so I didn’t want to be ‘that’ person; beating people over the head with the bible. I held back; didn’t want to post my blogs on Facebook, didn’t want to be talking about God all the time at work. But it dawned on me that those few interactions from my youth warped my thinking. There is a tasteful way to present God and as long as I stay in tuned with God He will show me how to present Him. My pastor said on Sunday that some of us have been saved for so DSC_0860long that we don’t know how to talk to lost people. My prayer is to be like Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, ….to the Jews I became as a Jew. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself was not under the law) so that I might win those under the law….to the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak….

This is me…I love God……I love to study His word……I love to write and believe in the power of well placed words……I believe in implementing what the word says…..I am a loyal friend and if God connects us I am there…..I am passionate about God and might seem excited or even a little aggressive at times……I love to teach and am always looking for those opportunities…….I am available to God 😉

This is what FREEDOM looks like for me. It has caused me to come ALIVE. I am enjoying life on another level. I can feel it in my smile and the gleam in my eyes…..I can feel the excitement brimming in me 🙂 For the past couple of weeks every time a certain coworker from another side of my building saw me she would say that marriage is agreeing with me because I was ‘glowing’. I finally told her it wasn’t the marriage; it was God freedom (I guess a marriage indeed)!

For some of us, no one really knows who we are; our fears and insecurities. We present a façade that takes so much energy to maintain. We cloak it with many successes, nice clothes, expensive makeup, humor and lots of ‘friends’. So we struggle with FREEDOM, not wanting to be vulnerable and afraid of how our TRUTH will be received. Lugging around unresolved emotions, anger and pain. Freedom requires transparency and TRUTH.

Last note about FREEDOM: another friend of mine has her own business, is serious about God and performs poetry for God. Well after one performance an old acquaintance made negative comments about who she used to be. For some of us, people will never FREE us from our past. They will always bring up who we slept with, how much we weighed, how much we drank, how much we smoked, bad relationships we picked, affairs, abortions, depression and any other foolishness we did.

For all the record keepers…..RELEASE it. We all are an ‘EX’ something….

When God frees us we are free indeed. As I write this I am jamming to Donald Lawrence’s “The Gift”……”your gift looks good on you and you wear it well……be you boo 😉

God has graced us all….wear it well! That’s FREEDOM!

Be blessed

JC

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Daily Inspiration

 

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Forgiveness…the gift you give yourself!

forgiveness...the gift you give yourself :)

forgiveness…the gift you give yourself 🙂

Forgive – to stop feeling anger or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

Forgiveness is an issue that many people struggle with, not to mention Christians. We have a hard time getting over wrongs and slights. Some of us carry it around for years and we are very proud of the grudges we hold. We carry them around like a badge of honor. Not realizing that we are drinking poison and expecting someone else to die! Most times, we carry the badge alone.

You see, more times than we can count, the other person has moved on. We boast about cutting people off because of what they have done to us. We boast about who we don’t talk to, whose phone calls we ignore, those we wish bad fortune on. Yes, unforgiveness can run deep and get ugly. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Daily Inspiration, Forgiveness

 

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