Flight Control

I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. To me it just seems so amazing to be able to leave the ground, and take flight in a giant metal bird. Such freedom, seeing the ground from a bird’s-eye view. It’s so humbling seeing how small the ground we live on really is just by changing your perspective. I do plan on getting my private pilot’s license, Lord willing. But while I do love planes and flying in general, they also form a great metaphor for my personal life.

The last couple of weeks have been very odd. I haven’t felt this down in a while. It’s nowhere near what I use to deal with, but it’s still been enough to notice. Sometimes it can come without any reason, like now. Without any one specific thing being the culprit. While other times it can be brought on by a situation or circumstance.

There have been times I’ve felt like my life was spiraling out of control, like an airplane that has stalled trying to climb too steep of a grade. There are always, of course, times when control is regained, and steady flight is maintained.

Lately I think this time it’s mostly been brought on by spiritual reasons, and health reasons. Sometimes you can begin questioning things, and the more you question things, the more answers you seem to lack.

Don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings.

But one thing I have learned through everything is this: don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings. It’s easy to trust in the Lord when you feel like it. It’s easy to worship when everything in your life is perfect. The true test comes when trials come. For that is when you’re left with a choice. Will I stall out, spiraling out of control? Or will I push the engines a little harder, and navigate through the rough turbulence, trusting He will see me through?

I have chosen the latter. If Job went through what he did, and never wavered, then surely anything I might go through is nothing. So, big or small, drought or rain, I want to be someone God can trust. Uncompromising, unwavering, and completely sold out for my King. Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

We’ve got to learn to trust Him with everything, for our lives are but vapors anyway. His timing is not our timing, and His ways are not our ways. He’s God, and we’re not. The creation never supersedes or knows more than their Creator.

We’re truly nothing without Him. But I find comfort in that. It takes the burden off of me, and He gives me a yoke to take up, for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

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Fix Our Eyes

What we look at, or dwell on, becomes magnified. Not literally, just in our own view, or perception. I have learned, and seem to have the need to keep on learning this truth.

Our perception or viewpoint really determines how we see our world. Whether sitting in an auditorium or stargazing at the night sky, where we’re seated and how feel at the moment can affect what and how we perceive what we’re looking at.

I’ve been learning in my own life lately how keeping my focus on Jesus just changes literally everything in my life. The storms in my life, the fears and insecurities I fought, all seem to just melt away when my focus is on Him, and His goodness.

I feel like everyday, I’m Peter asking Him to call me out on the water.

I feel like everyday, I’m Peter asking Him to call me out on the water. And everyday I have the decision to step out of the boat and walk to Him. But also everyday I want so badly to make it to Him without taking my eyes off of Him. But day after day I still seem to fail. I partially have my eyes on Him, but, just like Peter, the storm rages, I lose my focus on Him, and begin to sink. I then cry for Him to save me from drowning, and He pulls me to safety.

Most recently especially, I feel like I’ve just been in one spiritual battle after another. The more I want Him, and the closer I seem to get, the more the battle rages. Just tonight I realized something was very wrong, and I had to get back to the simplicity of pursuing Him. Without an agenda, without a time clock. Just Him, and I.

He is so Good. And don’t even know how Good He is. He is so mighty. So just. So pure. So holy. So loving. I don’t even know where to begin in understanding Him. I just know I can’t live without Him. There is nothing good in me, and everything good in Him. The only thing good in me is Him, and without Him I can do nothing.

Chasing God is not easy, and I wouldn’t want it to be. But He wants to be found. He wants us to find Him. He wants a relationship with each one of us. That’s the very reason we were created. So if you’re discouraged, or feel like your problems are just too big, two wonderful chapters of God’s word I recommend you read are Isaiah 40, and Job 38. If you need to be reminded how big God is, how small your problems are, or just need some humility(these chapters work great in humbling me for sure) give them a read, and ask the Holy Spirit for help. He so wants to help and empower you.                                                                                                Shalom and Love,                                                                                                                                                                     Joshua

Looks Like We’ve Got A Runner

We’re all runners. We’re either running to God, or away from Him. There’s not really any in-between. Except being luke-warm I suppose, and that’s not a good place to be.

Today I want to talk about running. As I’m trying to get back into running, I know I need to do it, but I have a love hate relationship with running. It’s hard, and breath-taking, quite literally. But the benefits far out way the cons. Plus nothing good ever comes easy.

Sometimes I run half-heartedly, just enough to get the job done. But if I was running in a race that mattered, where there was a great prize, I would run with everything that I had. I would run until I couldn’t run anymore, and hopefully that wouldn’t happen until I crossed the finished line, victorious.

I usually hear about those people who run to God whenever they’re in trouble, but I’ve usually been quite the opposite. I used to run from God, when I needed Him most. I don’t really know why exactly, but I would run from Him when I needed Him, knowing that only He could fix whatever the issue was. I would only stay close when things were going well. When I ‘Had it all together’. But let something come up, and I would try and rely on my own ability.

We humans are very complex creatures. We have a body, soul, mind, and spirit. Not to mention emotions, and everything in between. As life goes on, I’ve learned more and more to trust God, and NOT my emotions. Does that mean they’ve settled down and don’t try to have their way? I thought they had settled down. But no. They’re still showing up crying out from time to time wanting to take the reins.

But what I am learning, is, when I’m sad, I go to God. When I’m overjoyed, I go to God. When I’m upset, or bewildered, or lonely, or afraid, I go to God. I used to just sort of wallow in whatever emotion I was experiencing, and still do sometimes. But I’m learning more and more to hold fast to the Word of God, and His promises. To take my feelings and fears to Him, so He can replace them with His Joy, His Peace, His Love.

Part of the problem can be that I’m looking at myself too much. When I keep my eyes on Him, and embrace His Love for me, and know that He will never leave or forsake me, that’s when everything becomes alright.

On my journey to find Him, the One I Love, the One I need to Love so so much more, I find myself running. Running fast after Him. Even in my imperfections He still loves me. Even when I fall, His Grace is sufficient. And His Grace is enough to empower me to keep running. My salvation, my healing, and my eternity were all purchased with a very great price. The Precious Blood of Jesus.

Will you run after Him today? Will He become your everything? I pray that He does. And that you run after Him with every atom of your being.

Patience

A dilemma. For some patience I have, but patience I also lack. In the day-to-day, I don’t really have a problem with road rage, or dealing with people, waiting on an order, or anything of that nature, but when it comes to life, aka future life, I’m about as impatient as one could be.

I want things done now. I want to be where I want to be now. But is where I want to be where I’m meant to be? I continually pray that doors are opened, that my path is made clear. But it seems like so far it’s just been silence. Maybe God hasn’t spoken yet. Maybe I’m not listening.

I have learned some lessons lately about patience. The old saying, good things come to those who wait, holds true. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I Am God”. So sometimes it is best to be still, to wait and see. But sometimes it feels like procrastination. And other times, it feels like life is passing you by. You look at other people’s lives and feel like you’re not accomplishing nearly what they are.

It can be good to have people you want to be like. People that inspire you to do more and to be better, but you have to be careful not to compare yourself to them. Each person’s journey through life is different. I have my own things I have to go through, and you have yours. Jesus is the ultimate example, and we should only try to truly model our lives after Him.

So is there a balance to be found then? Between waiting and stepping into action? I’m sure there is. But personally, I’m still trying to find it. But I’m sure as long as I’m waiting, and watching, and praying, everything will work out.

Trust, Part II

I have come to find a new meaning to trust. Well maybe not a new meaning per say, but more of a new way of looking at it.

I always thought trust was more of a feeling. You trust people based on a feeling. They just seem trustworthy. But have you ever trusted someone and been burnt? Yeah, sometimes that old feeling can be wrong.

But what I’ve learned lately is, sometimes you have to trust, whether you feel like it or not. When you drive a car or take a flight, you automatically trust that the vehicle is sound, that the plane is safe, and that you’ll make it to your destination. We’re so quick to trust a machine, and yet we can still have such a hard time trusting people.

I suppose fear of people has something to do with it. We fear what people will say or do, or think about us, and in turn we don’t trust them. We won’t trust them.

Yes it’s true that some people just aren’t trustworthy, but we don’t trust people enough, and yet we can trust them too much. Let me explain.

We trust in government. We trust in money. We trust in weapons. We trust in our own logic and our own abilities. And yet, we have such a hard time trusting God. The God of the universe. The God who literally hangs our planet and solar system in the balance of our galaxy. None of His words fall void or to the ground. If He says something, it is, or it will be.

So while yes we trust in so many things, people, ourselves etc, how much more should we put our trust in the one who created us all anyway? And trust is more than a feeling. My faith doesn’t always feel like it’s all there. My hope fails continually.

But I’ve been leaning lately, it’s not how you feel. It’s also a choice. You won’t always feel like putting your faith and hope and trust in the Lord, but you can choose to do so. You can choose to have faith and not give up. You can choose to trust in Him, no matter your feelings or circumstances or doubts or fears.

Be courageous and simply trust that He’s always there, and He’s always in control.

Breaking Point.


What do you do when everything around you is falling apart? It may not even be all at once. But over time, things accumulate until they reach a breaking point. And when it breaks, what do you do about it?

But what if not everything is falling apart? There are still many things going right, and to be thankful for. And yet, it’s still so easy to see the cracks that are widening, until they cause the structure to become compromised, and inevitably crashing to the earth. 

It’s a vicious cycle. Yesterday could have been a perfectly good day, with good spirits and trust in the Lord. And today, it could be the exact opposite, down and out and little to no trust at all. 

There’s a story in the Bible where Elijah is fleeing for his life, and at one point just asks God to take him. The story actually gives me hope. This great man of God, who eventually was caught in a chariot of fire to heaven, was ready to give up. He was ready to say, ‘Things are too bad, and I just can’t do it anymore’. 

There are moments when I want to give up.  But I’m constantly reminded that no matter how weak my faith may get, my only real option is to put my faith and trust in He who holds me in the palm of His hand. That no matter what my circumstances are, or how bad it may seem, HE IS IN CONTROL. 

I may not like it, I may not understand it, but His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts. And every day I don’t give up, just shows me how much I can really put up with, and deal with. Every time I think I’m at my breaking point, He always ends up giving me the grace to bear it. 

Sometimes trusting is a lot harder than it seems. You think it’s easy to trust God, until something comes that makes you question everything. Will you give up? Or will you allow it to make you stronger? And temper you as a bladesmith tempers a blade.

Don’t Stop

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It frightens me how easy it is to change my mind sometimes. How easily I succumb to suggestions. What frightens me even more is how easy it is to fade back. To live totally free in the love of God one day and to live in defeat the next.

There are times when I make up so much ground, only to lose it in an instant. Oh how easy it is to lose sight of what’s important! Just a few days ago, I wanted to never blog again. I wanted to isolate myself from others and just fade into the shadows. And yet, here I am, writing another post.

The more I learn, the more I understand, the more I come to realize how little I really know, how little I really understand.

The more I learn, the more I understand, the more I come to realize how little I really know, how little I really understand. The more I learn about God, the closer I get to Him, the more I realize how little I actually know about Him.

As stated in other posts, I can be a very indecisive person. I try to weigh out the positives and negatives of a decision or decisions, and sometimes in doing so I don’t really fancy any of them at all. I try to be the best I can be, and yet, sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. Something sounds great in my head, but said out loud, it just doesn’t work! So sometimes, if I get tired of feeling like I say the wrong things, or become insecure about really anything, I just talk as little as possible.

Really I think it comes to a matter of insecurity. We should be secure enough in God and who He made us to be, to own our words and own our actions. Own who we are. If people find us weird, who cares?

But I can’t do that. I care too much about what people think of me. And yet at the same time I don’t. I guess in some areas, I don’t give a hoot what anybody thinks or says about me. But in others, I try not to, but I actually care very much.

If someone knew all the things you’ve said about them behind their back, how would that make them feel?

I often wonder what people say behind my back. We all say all kinds of things about other people, but never directly to them. If someone knew all the things you’ve said about them behind their back, how would that make them feel? Would they appreciate you? Would they feel loved and honored? Or would they feel embarrassment and shame in knowing what you really think of them? Sometimes I think about that. What do people say when I’m not around? What jokes do they crack? What do they really think about me? Am I a good influence? A kind person? I try not to think about it, so much to the point if someone says, “Oh there you are. We were just talking about you”, I’m actually kind of surprised.

It reminds me of when I couldn’t feel love. It was a season when I felt totally alone, even surrounded by people. People told me all the time they loved me, but I didn’t believe them. I didn’t believe them. It doesn’t matter what someone tells you, if you don’t believe them, their words mean nothing. And it’s not even their fault, when you simply trust no one and believe no one there’s no reason to believe they love you.

But now I look at things differently. Despite all my flaws and all of my problems, I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to believe what people tell me, not being gullible, but hopeful that they mean what they say. Besides, I love them, and real love doesn’t need to be reciprocated. God Himself loves a world full of people who pretend He doesn’t exist. So I hope and pray to have that kind of unconditional love. I’m not even sure what caused me to lose trust, I’m just glad that I feel like I’m on the right track.

See I know what to do. I know what I should do. How I should act. How I should be. But that’s the hard part. Doing. It’s easy to know. It’s harder to do. Jesus says to feed the poor and help the orphans and widows, but that’s easier said than done. How many of us think of helping someone and never do it? There’s a world full of hurting people, but what do we do to help? I feel like I don’t do much of anything. I help with what I can, but sometimes it’s hard enough to take care of myself, let alone help other people.

I don’t even really know how I got off onto all of that. I just sat down to finish a post, and it kind of just shifted into something else. As a writer, sometimes you don’t know what you’ll write until you just sit down and write!

None of us are perfect. We are all flawed and have things to work on. I guess that’s why Jesus said not to judge one another, because He knows none of are perfect and that we will fail in one way or another, which only makes His love even greater. But it’s all about not giving up. As Paul said, we’re in a race, a marathon, even when we stumble and fall, we have to get back up and keep running. Even if sometimes it feels like we’re only crawling, only making inches at a time, don’t stop, don’t ever stop.