Taking Care of Busyness

I know…it has been awhile since my last post. Life has been crazy, and I simply haven’t gotten around to the blog. Today I will share a few updates, what’s new, and what some hopes are for the future. To be honest though, it has been a pretty tough time, physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually. It has been truly difficult to balance everything. I suppose most people are good at it, but I am not. For me, I start taking care of one thing, only to let the other things suffer. Spiritual life going great? Awesome! But while that’s going on, I’m neglecting my health, then that starts to suffer. It’s crazy to think how hard it is to have a nice balance in taking care of everything. With the introduction out-of-the-way, here are some updates.

I’m going to college! Which is both exciting and crazy! I’ve been enjoying it for the most part, but it’s adding to my workload, which means I have to really learn to manage my time. And as mentioned above, I really need to work on. This first semester has flown by. I did end up missing a couple of weeks due to sickness, which put me behind. I’m almost caught up now though. I’ve also been getting some hours in at the grill on campus. So everything is going pretty well all in all. While this all may seem like no big deal to some, we’re talking about someone who used to not like going through drive-thrus, or answer the telephone, because of social anxieties. Those anxieties were only for a season though. Growing up I never had a problem with that. It was only during my later teenage years those issues arose. The Lord has brought me so far!

But alas, it can’t be all good things, can it? For there is some things that seem to be doing worse. While I’m still learning about living life, I find it difficult to remain focused spiritually. It’s easy to spend time with God when you don’t have so many things going on. It really has to become intentional when you are so busy. It may not seem busy compared to others, but for me, I’m the busiest I have ever been. Throw in still trying to maintain proper diet, exercise, and not to mention keeping up with ministry, and that’s a full schedule. They just never tell you how much responsiblity being an adult really is. Everyone says enjoy being a kid while you can, but you never realize why until it’s over. I just hope and pray that I can stay rooted and grounded while being busy, that I don’t get too busy for the One that really matters.

Please do not take me wrong, I know how writing about a subject can make it seem exaggerated and bigger than it really is. I’m enjoying all of this journey. And I cannot wait to see where the Lord takes me. It’s just that in all of this, I’m learning to prioritize. It’s very important how and what we spend our time on. We’re only given so much, and I don’t want to waste any of it. Love y’all!!

Advertisements

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.

Pride And Salvation

I have recently discovered something I didn’t know I had. It’s something I’ve always feared. Something I’ve always despised. Something I’ve never wanted……PRIDE.

How could this happen? Where did it come from? Here’s the thing about Pride, or any other sin for that matter. It’s sneaky. It doesn’t show up where you expect it to. We often think of Pride in the form of arrogance, you know, those people who act all important, like they’re God’s gift to mankind. But that’s too obvious. And anyone looking for that kind of pride within themselves may miss other less obvious areas Pride likes to take root in.

PRIDE: In The Form Of Judgement

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11

We have to be so careful, not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. In doing so, we might not only be humiliated as in the previous passages, but we will subconsciously be judging people while we’re at it. How often do we judge people or think of people based on appearance, social status, what they can do for us etc. Man looks at the appearance, but God looks at the heart. But I have come to the realization that I have thought of people differently. I haven’t loved people the same as God has called us to do. I have judged people based on the very outward things that God says not to judge by.

PRIDE: In The Form Of Self-Righteousness

This one hits me really hard. I’ve always been a perfectionist. Whether playing video games, instruments, or making decisions in life, I don’t like to make mistakes. I don’t like to make a wrong decision. But I’m afraid I’ve allowed that mentality to enter my spiritual life as well.

But when I sin, I get mad at myself, because it is yet again a reminder that I’m not perfect, that I need a Saviour. And as a perfectionist, that bothers me. And on my journey of seeking the Lord, it REALLY bothers me that I’m bothered that I need Him. As humans we have this tendency to want to be independent. We want to better ourselves and not need anyone. “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” -1 John 1:10

Not only that, but I have this idea that I need to ‘Pay Back’ what Jesus did for me on the cross. This is such a dangerous idea. I can’t pay it back. I can’t be good enough to get into heaven on my own. I can’t do enough ‘good’, or just sin less. If that were possible, Jesus wouldn’t have had to even come.

We are to obey the Lord and not willingly sin, but that comes after we’re saved. We don’t have to clean up and get our lives together and then come to Him. He wants us just as we are. The cleaning and renewing comes after He’s saved us.

Sin is wrong. And we shouldn’t be trying to sin, or freely sin. But when we do sin, when we do mess up, we have an advocate with the Father. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9

We are each on an even playing field. We have all sinned. We all fall short of God’s Glory. And none of us can save ourselves. It’s only in our faith of the Lord Jesus that forgiveness of sins even possible. Period. Which makes us totally helpless on our own. We are totally dependant on Christ and Him alone. And as that soaks in, let it keep us humble and never become so prideful that we ever think we have done anything of ourselves.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.” John 3:16

“For you are saved by grace through faith. It is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: it is not of works, so that not anyone can boast. For we are His workmanship, as we have been created in Messiah Y’shua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we would walk in them, the good works.” Ephesians 2:8-10

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.

Unresolved But Hopeful

In life, one can often become distracted. We tend to become so focused on things that have little to no real value. Things that are trifle, and things that don’t help our souls in any way.

Sometimes we can become so fixated on our selfs, our circumstances, our inadequacies, that we forget to whom we belong.

I came to the realization, that I’ve allowed things spoken about me, lies I’ve believed about myself, and a form of pride I thought wasn’t pride, to affect me in a very negative way. I allowed offense to affect me more than I ever thought it would.

Things I had thought I had dealt with, in all reality, were only temporarily resolved, and yet the roots remained.

How did I get to such a place? Surely not all at once, but little by little. A chip here, a chip there, until great damage was done. There are many wounds, and most of them self-afflicted.

Perhaps it’s simply a case of looking too much at myself. If I was truly keeping my eyes on Jesus, maybe I wouldn’t have to come this place.

I just want to Love God, and love people. I want to be confident and not prideful. I want to be sure of who I am in Him, and in the abilities He has given me. Those are my goals. That’s what I want to strive for. And hopefully with His help, I can attain that.

I’m tired of making excuses. I’m tired of being offended by others and especially myself. I’m tired of listening to the lies of the enemy. I’m ready to make a change. I’m ready to walk in the freedom and goodness that God wants us all to walk in. To live a life always hopeful, prayerful, and pleasing to the Lord.

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.