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Bookshelf : Relationships

                       

Bookshelf : Enlightenment & Development

                

The Upside to Breakups

Let’s face it, breakups can be hard and many times they can leave us wondering what in the world could possibly be positive about this experience. Well, to say that I understand how you feel is an understatement. Yet, what I’ve found, is that there can be many upsides to breakups if you just take the time to break them down…here are just a few.

You’re free! Cus face it, some of us weren’t!

Now that you are a single you can take back your freedom and release the responsibility you once had for the other person, the relationship and perhaps even regain portions of your own identity that may have become tied up and dependant on who you were as a couple.

Get back to me…focusing on self

If after a breakup you have found yourself asking, “so what do I with my life now?” the answer is simple, “what do you want to do?” Just remember that trip you wanted to take to NYC or that hobby you pushed to the side. Being single doesn’t mean you have to be lonely and doesn’t mean life is now boring. If anything it can be the most exciting time of your life if you wish it to be. This is the time to get back to focusing on the things that make YOU happy, enrich YOUR life and bring YOU closer to that person YOU want to be. Just think, you never have to spend another Saturday watching college football only to be lost and confused as to what a Crackback block is. Unless of course you want to and in that case please explain what it is because I still don’t know.

Freer to do ministry & service

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34

    This is a wonderful time to get in touch with the one who loves you most. Make yourself fully devoted and available to whatever God may call you to do. As a single you are not divided between a spouse and a family you have a remarkable freedom in service and in ministry.

Brighter days ahead, your someone is still out there

I know I know, your ex was perfect…riighhhht… Well its over. So imagine this, they may have been perfect perhaps…but perfect for someone else and maybe not the perfect one for you. And that’s a-o-k because all it means is that there is still someone out there who is. Sure there are no perfect people but there is someone who will accept and love your perfect imperfections and for them you will do just the same.

10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Enrich Your Life

Get More Rest
The benefits of getting an accurate amount of sleep every night are surprisingly substantial and include improvement of memory, creativity, health, energy, performance and lower negative energy and stress.

Exercise
Exercise not only helps you look great but feel great too! when we exercise, our bodies release a chemical called endorphins which creates feelings of happiness and euphoria. Plus, lets be honest, when you feel good on the outside its definitely a boost to your confidence on the inside.

Meditation/Prayer
Getting in tune and connecting with the creator of the universe is nothing to be taken lightly. This connection transforms us from the inside out. According to huffpost.com prayer is the most widespread alternative to therapy in America and spirituality has been shown to help alleviate stress levels, increase positivity, crativity, outlook and health.

Give to others
The best advice I was ever given at a time when I was feeling pretty down and discouraged was to go out and serve others. when we take the focus off of ourselves and our issues and we begin to give to others the worries of our circumstances decrease and goodness increases.

Plan Ahead
Good planning, prioritizing and organizing decreases stress and anxiety. Having an idea of what is to come and whats expected will give you time to prepare and be at the top of your game.

Surround Yourself With Positive People
Attitudes are contagious. When you surround yourself with  positivity it breads positivity. When you surround yourself with creative people, passionate people or people who are excited about life you are compelled to be more inspired, empowered, and energetic about life as well. Make a point to be in relationship and community with people who are like minded and uplifting.

Indulge
Just because we have jobs, or school, or kids, or responsibilities does not mean we cant afford to take some time off and invest in ourselves by indulging in something that brings joy and excitement to our lives. If its going to the beach, taking a roadtrip with a friend, cozying up with a good book and a latte, going on a netflix binge, reorganizing your living space, working towards a dream, or going on a shopping spree finding something you enjoy and doing it will reenergize you and yourself will thank you later.

Connect With Friends
Relationships make the world go around. Honestly, that’s why snapchat and facebook are so successful because they capitalize on our human nature that longs for connectivity. Since I live far away from most of my immediate family and friends so using media outlets and phone calls to connect are essential. However, if you can put down your phone, grab some starbucks and catch up with your loved ones face to face the authenticity and connectivity will be well worth it.

Try Something New
Whether it’s making new friends and establishing new relationships, trying calamari for the first time or taking an interpretive dance course at your local community center get out there and try something new. Life’s experiences make for  life fulfilled. And even if you disliked the experience at least you will have an interesting story for the grandkids and the bragging rights to say that you did it!

Be Grateful and Celebrate Success
We can spend tons of time beating ourselves up over what we don’t have and what we think we are lacking in character and life. But if we can take a time-out to be present and in the moment with ourselves, love ourselves with a grateful heart for who we are today and celebrate the success we’ve had to get us to this point our esteem and outlook on life will completely change giving us the freedom to be confident in ourselves and appreciative and supportive of others.

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RL Day 5: Love Is Not Prideful

 

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“love does not brag and is not arrogant,” 1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB

 

Ew, no one likes that guy. You know that guy, over there, that has all the answers, that’s always bragging and ragging, strutting around like he owns the place? He may think he is the flyest to ever grace this earth but the truth is his arrogance and self absorption is obnoxious and unattractive. That, my friends, is what love is not. Love is not proud or flossy. In fact, a part of what makes love so attractive is the fact that it doesn’t have to prove itself or convince anyone that it is what it is. You know love because love is genuine, it is humble and it doesn’t need flashing lights and arrows pointing to itself to be noticed.

 

1 Healthy and unhealthy pride?


photo-1441123100240-f9f3f77ed41b.jpgNow please do not misunderstand, pride can mean more than one thing. (Frankly, a lot of things can in the english language.) I believe there is a healthy confidence and a pride one takes in oneself or their work that is respectable and encouraging. For example, the pride a mother feels for her children or the self appreciation one has for a particular success. These things are healthy and rewarding states of being that encourage goodness, healthy development, appreciation, and esteem.

The pride that we speak of that is contrary to love is the pride that is defined as “A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit,or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.” It is the pride that says “I am better than you…”

2. The look of Pride

One way pride begins to creep into our lives is when we take our focus off of love. Love being God. When our focus is off of Christ, just like Peter, we begin to sink; sink into the sea of conceit. We start to look in all sorts of places for validation, value, direction, etc. And one of the most convenient and common areas we end up setting our gaze usually isn’t too far away because we usually look right into the mirror at ourselves.

Here is where we begin to become obsessed with self and assessing ourselves with a skewed and tainted view. For some of us we see ourselves in a space of false humility. We see ourselves as being lowly, not measuring up, and unworthy. It is there you find those who suffer from low self esteem or what I call mistaken identity, which is the process of conforming to whoever you think others think you ought to be. In this way, forgetting we are children of the King, heirs with Christ, friends of God and highly valued royalty. Made uniquely for a unique purpose.

Pride is the inability to authentically humble oneself before others and God. There is a reason why they say pride comes before a great fall (Proverbs 16:18-19). I know we don’t often think of ourselves as being prideful but when we do not reach out to others when we need help, or refuse to go to God about that same old sin we’ve been struggling with for years were operating in a form of pride. It’s refusing to be humble, to see ourselves or the situation through the eyes of truth and often believing that we are bigger or more capable than what we actually are. photo-1447619297994-b829cc1ab44a.jpgConvincing ourselves that “I can handle it.” “I’ve been dealing with this thing for 4 years, I can overcome it. Besides, God is probably tired of hearing me say I’m sorry anyways.” This may work for a while, if at all, but eventually we discover life is a lot easier when we become humble and honest. When we let go of our pride we open the door for God and others to bless us, strengthen us, and encourage us through the process. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:3 ESV

For others of us we blatantly see ourselves too highly and far greater than what we actually are and so we become inflated, judgmental, prideful and full of ourselves. Problem with this (besides the obvious) is that the prideful person will always run into the next source of “competition.” A prideful person can not appreciate himself wholeheartedly and value others differences, strengths and success at the same time. He will always run into someone he views as either bigger, better or greater and in order to reestablish his self worth and esteem he must deflate, minimize and demean in order to refuel his sense of worthiness. Truthfully, it’s one thing to think we are good or even great at something but when that train of thought begins taking Gods glory and putting down or devaluing others in order to validate ones own selfish hunt for superiority, it’s no longer confidence, its pride.

All points of view are inappropriate and are not grounded in the truths we find in God and in his word. It is in the word we find that not only are we valuable, fearfully, wonderfully and uniquely made. We too are all broken, flawed and in need of the grace, mercy, strength, love, life and breath of an almighty God. A God who is NOT a respecter of persons and loves and cares for each and everyone of us no more and no less than the next. 

 

3. Conquering Pride

The reason why we must conquer and overcome our pride is because it is not only offensive to man, but most importantly it is dangerously offensive to God.

“In the pride of his face the wicked do not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”” Psalm 10:4 ESV

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Whether pride be displayed in what is said, they way one acts or even what one may think or grumble about behind closed doors God knows and cares about it all. The bible makes it clear in Proverbs 23:7 AMP “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior—one who manipulates].” Our thoughts and heart are just as culpable as our outward manifestations because God looks at the heart and sees all things man cannot. 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Therefore in order to conquer pride we must first renew our minds and get to the truth. This is the cry of David in Psalm 139:23-24  Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

This is a process one goes through by the help and direction of the Holy spirit and in conversion with Christ. It takes conscious effort and practice to begin to recognize pride, be honest with its manifestation and make the choice to turn away from the behavior.

Another way to conquer pride is to encounter God. To be honest with you all, I have never been more humbled and challenged in the way of my heart than when I was brought low due to some really bad choices. Because of which, I was forced to come face to face with God in a way that I’d never experienced before. Where I not only experienced God’s love, His saving grace and renewed mercies but hid mighty correction.My eyes were opened my pride was crushed. I’d like to say that I hope no one would have to go through painful loss or hurt in order for God to get their attention and crush their pride but the truth is that for some of you, like myself, a good dose of Fathers loving discipline will be exactly what is needed.

Lastly, I’ve found that community helps keep us in line. Its nothing like that friend, classmate, brother, sister or spouse that is not afraid to tell us when our stuff stinks (attitudes included.)
photo-1416453072034-c8dbfa2856b5Along with the word of God that is to be looked at as supreme in our lives, a strong community of sound, honest, and loving people we know and trust is always a great way of seeing ourselves for who we really are. Yes men need not apply to this position in your life. It is here you need some: “No, you were wrong,” or “Maybe you should rethink that,” or “Yes, those pants do make you look fat,” kind of people in your life who are gonna tell it to you like it really is. And not only tell you, but tell you in love and walk that thing out with you.

We find that when we surround ourselves with truth, cover ourselves in truth, accept and apply the truth to our lives and invite God and others to be apart of that process love flourishes and pride no longer has room to thrive.

Reflection

1 Are there an areas of your life where you can see the fruits of pride?

2 Who does your community of honest and trustworthy people consist of? Have you given them permission to boldly speak into your life?

3  What are some other ways you’ve found to conquer or overcome pride (or any other undesirable behavior) in your life?