Self Love and Loving Others

Love 

Hey There!

So there has been a little bit of a transition and I am in Grad School!!  So yeah, a lot has been going on and its been a while since I’ve last posted anything.

Amidst the transition, I’ve been doing a biblical word study with Angel Walston who can be found on YouTube at  www.youtube.com/user/AngelWalston and it has been really great.  The point of the biblical word study was to come up with a list of words of things that you struggle with in your Christian walk and then spend an amount of time studying those words in scripture and finding out how those scriptures apply to your life.

One of the words that I studied was Love.   I actually started off with Lust and wanted to know how Lust could be confused with Love and I compared the two.   Overall I wanted to know what it meant to love and how to do it the right way.  Because if you didn’t know there is a right and wrong way to show someone what it means to love given the many definitions of love floating around today.

One funny thing was that right after the first day of my study on Love, I attended a different church from the one that I usually attend and the sermon for the day was part of a series called UN-Jesus, detailing things that Christians do that are unlike Christ, and the message for the day was UN-Loving.   They talked about the five love languages and told the story of the prodigal son from the stand point of the brother who never left home and how he did not show love for his brother as the father had.  I was like Whaaaatttt this is going right along with my study!!

Okay let me get to the point.  Anyway…in my biblical study one of the scriptures that went with Love was the greatest commandments found in Mark 12:30-31 which says

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV)  

And in thinking about how to do this, I was just like okay Lord, I love you and I know you love me, but how can I love others as I love myself?  A deeper question was: do I even love myself?  If I do, how do I show myself love?  And lastly how can these same ways in which I love myself be transferred to the people that I come in contact with?  I was digging deep.   

In the end I came to the conclusion that yes I do love myself.   Some days are a little shaky depending on what’s going on in my life but for the most part I am in love with myself and the person God created me to be.  I realize that I show myself love in different ways.  Here are five ways in which I show myself love and ways in which it can be transferred to others:

1)  I love God and I seek a relationship with Him.

This is the best thing you can ever do.   God is so Great and His Love is so real.   Loving God is good for me and I take joy in resting in Him.  Now I say all of this for the Glory of God.  There is no way you can truly love yourself if you don’t Love God and understand his love for you.   Loving God calls for you to keep his commandments and spread the gospel.  (That’s a sermon in itself)

2) I don’t beat myself up but forgive my own mistakes

I am not perfect but I do strive to be as Christ who is perfect.  Yes, I mess up sometimes and I pray to God for forgiveness.  But sometimes even though we know God has forgiven us,  it is hard to forgive ourselves.   We think, I just never should’ve messed up in the first place or who would forgive a mistake as big as this?  This just lets you know that you are in a place where you haven’t forgiven yourself from what God has already forgotten about.   Knowing that people are at different points in their walks and that they struggle in some areas just as I do, allows me to not expect them to be perfect or belittle them when they aren’t.  We all need forgiveness, so forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others is really big here. Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt.

3) I don’t talk down to myself but find ways to encourage

I have moments when I already feel low about some things but telling myself that I am worthless or stupid or such things as that only makes me feel worse.  I can imagine how it feels to others.   I also don’t like to hear my name dragged through the mud or to feel disrespected (Who would?).  So I try not to put my mouth on people or disrespect people in any way.  Instead I try to uplift, respect and give words of encouragement. They truly go a long way.

4) I take care of myself.

I feed myself.  I bathe myself.  I clothe myself.  I groom myself.  I put myself in my bed.  I teach myself things.  I buy myself things.  I patch myself up when I get a scratch.  I do what I can for myself and I only do it by the Grace and Provision of God.    My ability to do such can be taken away at any time.  So a great way to show love for others is to do what you can for others.  If they are in need, find a way to help a brother or sister out.   Be that Good Samaritan in somebody’s life.

5) I work to be better and I appreciate myself for me.

You are who you are and God made you that way for a reason.  Appreciate your gifts and talents.  Appreciate your body shape and intellect.   Appreciate all the special things that make you unique.   In the same sense, appreciate people  and try to see the essence of who they are.   Now some people may not be good for you and that is okay.  But don’t brush people off because you think they are weird or ashy looking or something superficial like that.  You never know they could be angels in disguise.

 

So yeah, sorry that this is so long.  But I love You All.  Here is a song by a great artist by the name of Moriah Peters featuring US.  Hope you enjoy

 

God Bless,

Love Presh

 

 

 

Beautiful Feet

 

image taken from bucketofjunk.com

Have you ever gazed upon such beautiful feet?  Feet that are sore and crusty, toes curved and bruised, nails blackened and chipped, soles blistered, bloodied and aching.  Bare, walking on the straight path, dusty with the sand and rock of the holy ground on which they stood.  Feet in need of rest, but facing the rising Son of the new day, and still up for the starry display of grace in the midnight hours.  Feet that no longer stumble in darkness but seek to be lit by the lamp of the Word.  Feet that feared only the prospect of not doing what God commanded.  Feet that would not be turned around but sought unseen lands.  Feet that not only felt the green pastures and the cooling water of God’s salvation, but also the heat and fire of Earth’s evil, destruction, and persecution.   Feet that moved with purpose, pressing for the higher calling of Christ.  Feet shod with the Preparation, carrying that good news to the ends of the Earth.  How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the Gospel of Peace.

 

Lord, I pray You prepare the feet of Your people for this race.  And I pray you bless the feet of those out on the battlefield of Glory.  May Your name be lifted up high and spread to the ends of the earth!   May all bow before the God of all the Earth and the True Risen King!

In Jesus Name,

 

The Graciousness of Prayer

“Praying Hands.” Image via Wylio http://bit.ly/smNXdA

I know that it’s been a while since you all last heard from me.  I’ve been out living and learning and experiencing the beauty of life. One purpose of this blog was to showcase some things in this life that are worth stopping and appreciating and today I want to tell you about Prayer.

Prayer in itself is just a beautiful act of communication and expression.   It is meant to be heart-filled, self-less and spiritual.  It is the single solitary moment where are minds should be lifted up to the heavens as we express our deepest concerns, fears, and hopes.  It should be a humble experience as we are before God’s Holy Throne of Grace with our petitions.

Personally, my prayer life isn’t as disciplined as I want it to be but I do pray often and sincerely.  I use three methods.  The first and most known way is bowing down or kneeling down and just praying silently and sometimes out loud. These are usually the longer prayers.  The second is through inward prayers that are short prayers that often take place throughout the day.  The third and most common form that I use is through a prayer journal.  I write my prayers out and get out all my stresses and emotions, as I empty out my mind and ask the Lord for guidance.

Honestly, Prayer has been a saving grace for me.  Communion with the Father is the sweetest feeling imaginable and some days when my heart is heavy I find myself racing to a quiet place to unload my burdens on Him who said:

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

So I admonish and encourage all to work on a prayer life.  No need to worry about the specifics, just start off with an “Our Father, which art in Heaven” or a “Dear Lord” and let the spirit guide you with the rest.   Be personable, for the Lord knows whether your prayer is sincere or selfish, whether it is honest and true.

The Lord has opened a door of communication, that allows us to talk to Him each and every second of each and every day.  Like they say “Jesus is on the mainline, tell him what you want.  His line is never busy”.  This is only one aspect of the Graciousness of God.  Don’t take it for granted.

If you would like to know more about the purpose of prayer, how the bible tells us to pray, and lastly the power of prayer, stay tuned for the next posts.

I pray God’s blessings upon all, and may you all grow in the knowledge of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, In Jesus Name.

 

With Love,

Presh

The Big 22!

 

22

It’s my birthday…yep I’m 22 today and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  🙂

One thing I do know is that for the next 22 years of my life,  I want to do something that leaves a mark on this world.  I want to live in a way that is unashamed, without regret and most importantly in a way that brings Glory to the God of all heaven and earth who blessed me to see this day.   How? Well that is definitely the question right now.  Smh…

BUT, it’s a good thing to know that I don’t have to have every aspect of my life all figured out.  I don’t need to have a set plan either, and I thank God for that.

My favorite scripture is Matthew 6:33 which says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

(To get the just of what this means you can start off at Matthew 6:25)

Basically this scripture is saying that I shouldn’t worry about what I should eat, drink, wear, or whatever else in life that may cause worry.  I can plan as little or as much as I want but in the end God has something in store for me, that is just for me and nobody else, and my job is not to worry about that but to put all my energy toward the Kingdom of God, toward seeking His face, and growing in His will and righteousness.  Everything else…well God’s got that covered.

With this, I don’t have to worry, and I don’t have to know exactly what’s coming next.  I have faith and trust in God and I know that he will bring me into what he has planned for my life.

So 22, yeah, I think this is going to be a big year for me and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

 

Be Blessed,

Presh

The Hard Knock Life of a Christian

“Time Well Spent” by Henry Battle

Some people own this lifestyle and wear it proudly across their chests.  Others are ashamed and like to hide it revealing it only on special occasions. Some people misunderstand it and fall into the misconceptions and stereotypes of this lifestyle.  Others judge it as one full of rules and regulations that limit the way they can live.  What is this lifestyle I speak of?  It is the lifestyle of a Christian.

Want to know a bit of truth?

Well lean in and listen up because I am here to tell you something that is not meant at all to discourage you but hopefully something that will strengthen and motivate you to push harder, stand taller, pray longer and praise louder.

I am here to tell you that being a Christian is not easy.  Christianity is not something you CLAIM, it is something you LIVE and those that live it, must live by the Word of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.

When you take it on, life does not become a walk in the park.  There are real struggles, real problems, and real battles that take place to shake you and bring you down.  Trust me when I say there is no easy way in life. Just like you work to get a job, work to develop good relationships, and work for self-development, you will have to work to build your Faith and grow as Sons and Daughters of the Living God.

I am a Christian. I was raised in the church.  I was baptized and Holy Ghost filled by the age of 13 and for the longest I thought I was set.  I walked around with my nose in the air, and even had the nerve to think I was better than others because I was saved.

Ignorantly, I carried this mentality all through school and on to college.  It was freshman orientation week, when I met a group of strong individuals that were honest enough to tell me about myself, about how judgmental, hypocritical, and stuck up I was.  They even made sure to throw in the “Christians are not supposed to act like that” at the end of it.

Sucker punched by their words, I ran back to my room and pulled out my bible.  I tried to do some reading, and tried to understand where I’d gone wrong.  How did I become the “Holier-Than-Thou” type of Christian, thinking that I knew everything just because I read a few scriptures? I asked my parents deep questions about life and all of that.  I went around in circles, evaluating myself, evaluating my purpose in Christ and to be honest my faith was a little shaken.   And it didn’t help that I was surrounded by the “God-loves-Everybody-So-Live-The-Way-You-Want” type of Christians who did any and everything under the sun, even telling others that it was okay for them to do it as well.

For years, my faith was up and down.  I had a foundation, but the living was not easy.  Some days were good, other days were far from it.  There was a struggle. I could not find contentment.  I was jumping from church to church and not being satisfied by any. I was going through the motions, praying repetitive prayers, reading but not understanding.  I was faced with temptations left to right, thrown curve balls that I never had to face before, and I dealt with issues in my spiritual life that I’d never thought I would have to deal with.  I was MESSED UP! Some of the things that I had hidden in my heart like lust, pride, envy, low self-esteem, negativity, depression and the like began to show their ugly faces, and I was fighting for my life.

It was then that I realized that if I did it on my own, I wouldn’t be able to make it.  I needed to go back to that place where I first believed, back to that moment when I confessed that God was real and that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us.   It wasn’t until after I surrendered it all at the altar and told Jesus that I loved Him more than anything else in the world, that I was made whole again.

And still, days when I am far from His presence, my spirit is downcast and there is no joy and no peace.

But days where I speak to my Savior, and commune with Him, my heart is filled and I know that I can go on.

So with all this being said, the life of a Christian is not easy.  We stumble and fall all the time but we always run back to our Savior.  We have to build ourselves up in the word of God and strive towards righteousness and it is a task that takes a lifetime to achieve.

We. Get. Hit. Hard.

But we don’t let our faith get shaken, because we know in the end it will all be worth it.

God Bless You All,

Love Presh