Are you tired of being hurt by selfish people who misuse and abuse your good-hearted nature? Are you the one always giving, but never receiving anything but hurtful behaviour in return? You might have been wounded by a narcissist and need to learn to protect yourself from their emotional games.
A narcissist is a self-absorbed individual who believes they are superior to other people. In their world, they are always right and they’re only concerned about meeting their own needs.
Narcissists are attracted to my INFJ personality, the spiritual gift of mercy and highly sensitive nature.
I have noticed a trend in my life. The narcissistic people would be attracted to me because they see me as someone they can control. They knew I will never challenge them because I am mister nice guy. I was their punching bag and they spoke to me as if I was garbage. I…
For the last several months, I have posted a lot less than normal. Honestly, I’m in a season where I don’t feel like I have much to give in the area of writing. I could flood this blog with worthless posts, but I don’t see any use in wasting my time or yours. I sit down with the intent of writing, only to find myself reading the writings of others. To put it simply, it is time I refuel my tank.
Many of us spend so much time giving of ourselves that we do not refuel the tank. We do not take the time to feed our minds and souls. It is important that we take that necessary time. So, I find myself more frequently taking the listen to listen (or in this case read) what God gives others. That’s the joy of the blogging experience. Time would not allow me to name the many great bloggers who bless me with their content. I’m so thankful.
Is your tank empty? Do you find yourself with little to give? It might be time to refuel.
Many of us have a distorted view in relation to receiving our own desires. While some propose that we deserve everything what we want, the Bible gives a prescribed formula. Psalm 37:4 says that the requirement for receiving the desires of our hearts is for us to delight in the Lord. When we delight in the Lord, our desires align with His perfect will.
I must say that I have received the desires of my heart frequently, but it has often been for the wrong reasons. I can assure you I was not delighting in the Lord. I was delighting in my selfish pleasure and desire for personal gain. God allowed me to have what I wanted, but it came with a lesson and sometimes long-lasting consequences.
I have also discovered that some of my desires were not bad, but they were not God-given. Preaching is something I am passionate about, but that does not mean I am supposed to pastor a church or plant one. I have done all of the above. There are aspects I have enjoyed, but these are not for the faint of heart. I am passionate about music and worship, but many modern churches don’t have a fit for someone like me. That may be changing.
I have been contemplating the desires of my heart for the last several months. In fact, I have been assessing many things over the last several months. I have asked myself if my ability to preach was something that is a God-given gift or something a bunch of grannies lied and told me I’m good at. I have asked myself if I was pastor material since my church planting effort did not end as well as I would have liked. I have also asked myself if my musical ability was in my head. I guess, in these cases, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. I had to interject some humor, while there is some truth to that.
I do know that I began to desire church ministry again early this year. I applied for a church that was way out of my comfort zone. It was very clear that God was not leading in that direction, but I met some really great people. I met with another church, and God clearly revealed that I was not the man for the job. I knew I would go into that and be a horrible fit. A most recent opportunity opened without me looking. The month of June will reveal what God is doing there. More info to come!
A final thing – I have wanted to be a consultant for smaller churches that were looking for some help in various ministry areas. Not the kind of “know it all” consultant who comes from out of town with a briefcase and has no idea of how to connect principles to a particular context, but someone who can take the principles and help churches apply them to their individual context. This is a rare find. It looks as if God is affording me an opportunity tomorrow night to explore a situation that I was contacted about last week. It is a very unique situation, but I should know this week if I can be of help in their context.
At the end of the day, the one thing I know is that you and I should be available to God. A guest speaker at church this morning said something along the line of “Your will, Your way, Your timing”. I honestly struggle with that, but God is reminding me to remain surrendered and available. God has so often taken available people who had some raw talent and multiplied their ability. As the game of my life is coming to the end of the second quarter, this is my prayer – God, take what little bit I have and multiply it for Your glory!
I must say that Sunday, May 12, 2019, was the most unusual Mother’s Day I have ever experienced. I am accustomed to attending a morning worship service and maintaining the typical Sunday structure. Yesterday defied it completely.
The day began with me going to my Mom’s to pick up my Dad so I could meet up with the person with whom he rode down here. FYI, my parents are still married but live in separate states…it works beautifully that way. And, yes, my Dad stays at my Mom’s when he comes to town. Now I will proceed. I left at 10:00 am to take my Dad to his destination and returned around 1:00 pm. I picked up lunch and took it to my Mom’s so we could spend some time together on Mother’s Day. I could not stand the thought of not attending a worship service, so we attending a church that meets at 4:00 pm. Here is where I saw a church that looks a little more like what Christ intended.
This church started in 2014 with a goal to reach people that other churches would not touch. It has accomplished its goal. When you walk into the room, you will find people who have very little to their name, no church background, and some who are homeless. They sing worship songs to the top of their lungs and cheer on the pastor to where he can’t help but preach. They provide food each week for those who need it and meet various needs. It’s a beautiful thing. A struggling ministry in the area reached out to this church and offered its assets. These are exciting times.
After encountering this taste of Heaven, my wife, mother in law, and the kids went out to eat. The day ended with the normal chaos of trying to get kids in bed.
While we have our ideas of how schedules should go, God has other plans. These plans are far sweeter. Don’t get so busy scheduling and organizing that you fail to leave room for the Holy Spirit to work.
This month is Mental Health Awareness Month. For many of us, mental health was never on our radar as children. For me, it was. As a young child, I was depressed. I was no stranger to depression because I saw my mother struggle. Her journey with mental illness began in adolescence, when much of mental health was crazy experimentation with the use of horse tranquilizers and things that would now be considered inhumane. The worst of her journey hit when she was in her thirties. It would be something that would change our family forever.
I remember my mother being hospitalized when I was in first grade. If my memory serves me well, she did not return until I was in sixth grade. The visits were very frequent for about two to three years. Repressed memories of sexual abuse resurfaced during this time, and she was facing things that were what I call “hellacious”. I am an only child, and this caused my Dad and I to really lean on each other. I was going through those awkward middle school years during this period, so life was challenging.
I faced my own journey of depression in 2010 when I admitted to my doctor that I was depressed. After two years of being a “guinea pig”, I was referred to a psychiatrist who treated both my depression and the new “resident” of my life also known as General Anxiety Disorder. That began the most stable years of my life.
I am happy to say that my depression and anxiety are, for the most part, under control. My mother is also experiencing her best days. She still has bad days. So do I. But she and I can both testify to how God has used these difficulties to broaden our ability to minister to people.
If you don’t understand mental illness, I encourage you to do some research. The saddest thing I see is that some of the ones who are least educated in this area are those in the church. We want to blame it on demons, sin, and a lack of prayer, Bible reading, and faith. The worst thing we can do is be ignorant on the matter.
To those who struggle, I admire you for waking up to face another day. I know it’s difficult. To those who love someone with mental illness, be understanding. Hang in there. Don’t criticize. Just be present. To those with the right knowledge, share it.
Because today is a special anniversary, I will skip a part of my story that I will pick back up in the next post. Today marks the 22nd anniversary of when I surrendered to the call to ministry. It was a call I fought knowingly for two years. That day was a game changer. I have never been the same.
What events in your life were game changers? I would love to hear from you.
Have you ever had one of those weeks when your workplace gets inspected? That is us right now. They have set up shop for the rest of the week. As you can imagine, stress comes with this.
I am reminded that the psalmist said, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad IN it.” Despite the stress, I can rejoice IN this week. That does not mean that I rejoice because of the week or for the week, but I rejoice in the midst of all that is happening in this week because I see the Lord in the midst of it. I see God’s hand in placing a good team together. I see God giving us grace when we want to scream. I see God in the midst of the unexpected. So when you are having one of those weeks, remember God is still God and is making all things works together for good.
I know many of you bloggers have social media sites where you share your blog content. I would love to follow and also help promote your links. Please leave them in the comment section if you would like. Mine are below:
I am part two into this, and I guess you have figured out this is not my opportunity to reminisce about Will Smith as “Fresh Prince”. This is a series where I am walking through highlights and “lowlights” of my life with the prayer that God will use excerpts to help others for His glory.
I began the last post with the story of how I came to Christ. I was 6 years old and discovered and responded to my need for a Savior. Not long after that, people were talking about me being a preacher. It was mainly “old people” who thought it was cute. Within weeks, I was conducting a worship service (music and preaching) with a floor fan as my pulpit, a Baptist Hymnal, and a Gideon New Testament. I had no clue how prophetic that childhood dream would be. I would like to say that everything following this was happily ever after, but it was not. Stay tuned…
I was nominated by Jackie. I am so thankful to be nominated for this award. You can find her blog here.
She and I recently connected on Twitter and Instagram. I highly recommend you read her blog.
Why did you start blogging? I began this blog in April 2015 with one post but did not write again until September 2015 when I found myself without a ministry position (a voice to proclaim God’s truth). Over a period of months, I discovered that people connected with my straightforward thoughts about faith and the church. God was using this outlet, and I had no clue what I was doing.
What is your favorite blog post you’ve written and why? This post is my favorite because it was not only my most viewed, but many people agreed with statements I made. My goal was not to be controversial but helpful. I believe you will agree. Click here.
Do you have a post that you hesitated hitting publish on? All the ones I hesitated to post are still in my drafts. Some of them are almost as old as the blog itself. I still revisit my drafts to see if God will allow me to proceed with some of these.
Savory or sweet? Give an example of the perfect snack. Sweet and salty. My wife slips a little salt into most everything she cooks (including sweets). I love it!
What is your blogging/post schedule? I have none. When God gives me a post, I publish it. Sometimes, I get on inspiration overload.
What is your favorite social media platform and why? Twitter. Up until the end of last year, I found it very restricting. Now I have some pretty great interactions with people. God has even opened doors and used me to encourage some people along the way.
Is there anything you wish you knew before you started your blog, besides the tech stuff? Honestly no. I love the fact that I was totally ignorant and God did something beyond my wildest dreams. I know it sounds crazy, but I would not change the journey.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging? Blogging is so much more about the audience than the writer. I love connecting with people through my writing.
Did your friends and family give you their support when you started your blog? Absolutely! My friends and family continue to cheer me on to this day.
Have you ever been nominated for and/or won other blogging awards? I have. Sadly, this is the first time I have taken the time to answer the questions. I used to blog on my phone, but it is difficult to post things of this nature. I use my notebook computer now, so it is much easier.
Are you, so far, proud and satisfied with your blog’s progress? I am satisfied with my blog’s progress, but I don’t want to stop here. So many people need encouragement, and God is still giving me content.