Dare to be you
March 11, 2010 | Posted by: brwneyes
Ever think about the mask we wear and wonder why they judge and stare?
Ever think of being true and rid yourself of what hides you?
That blanket of pretense does not give protection, but only gives cause for so much rejection.
We struggle and fight to be who we’re not ‘cause society dictates who’s cold and who’s hot.
Why do we care what others may say and allow them to mold us as if we were clay?
That person within us, way deep down inside, should not be afraid and continue to hide.
It is not society that determines our fate nor commands us which road it is we should take.
We are each unique and wonderfully made so take that mask and throw it away.
Be proud of who God has made you to be and don’t be ashamed to let people see,
that you are a gift from God above so let Him shine through you with unconditional love.
The Battle Within
January 18, 2010 | Posted by: brwneyes
There is constantly a battle within me, as I believe also in many, where the mind and flesh play tug-of-war with the spirit within me. Fighting for this person that I am and the life that I will or will not lead. Sometimes the battle lays dormant and all is quiet; all appears to be well. Then something happens to awaken the soldiers and the battle begins and causes confusion, pain, and heartache.
There's the side of me that is able to fight the good fight of faith; stand strong on what I believe to be true. The side of me that has this never ending desire to grow closer to my God and share with all who will listen the things that He teaches me through the guidance of His holy spirit; to take that which He teaches me and use it to spread the gospel and bring people to the Lord. The side of me whose goal is, at the end of the day, to hear those wonderful words from the Father that says "well done good and faithful servant." This side which studies the word, shares the word, and teaches the word with a pure heart. This side of me which has taken bad experiences and poor choices and learned from them. This side that strives to continue to be a better person.
Then, just as life appears to be going well, the other side of me is awakened by some tragedy or disappointment and the fight begins. The other side of me, the one I don't like comes walking in and begins her work; pulling at the rope as hard as she can. This is the one who is told that she is not good enough; that she is selfish and cares only about herself. This is the one who is reminded of past mistakes and hurts that she had caused. The one that feels she is no good to or for anyone. This is the one that is filled with anger and sometimes even rage. This is the one that allows this body to feel that ache in the heart that fills her being. This is the one that cries out and screams and just wants to crawl up in a little ball and just disappear. This battle comes and goes and sometimes, it feels like the worst side is getting stronger each time. My hopes begin to fall, my faith begins to crack and even though I know what I know about the Lord, even though my love and desire for Him is great, this pain, at times, feels greater. All I want is to just go.
I hate when this happens because I know better. Still, the battle continues and sometimes I just don't know what to do. I will never doubt that the Lord can and will always be there for me, I will never turn away from Him. This is what makes it all so very hard. It gives me such a headache; all the things that rush through my mind. God I just wish I could go home. My real home where non of this ever takes place.
I truly believe that the first side of me, the better side, will win in the end. At least that is what I am holding on to. Still, this battle within me gets more and more draining every time it occurs. And though I do know better, sometimes I do wonder which side will win.
Untitled for now
December 04, 2009 | Posted by: brwneyes
The misquoting and misapplication of God’s word by many religious leaders, as well as misguided laypersons, turn His laws into an obscure collection of rules and regulations. Because of this, too many people, especially those who claim to be Christian, fall into an unwarranted sense of self-righteousness which opens the door to the enemy. These modern day Pharisees then embrace the tools that enemy gives them in the form of judgment and condemnation; they focus their energy on preaching damnation and doom. And they do it all in the name of our Lord.
Too many forget why God had inspired man to write the Holy Scriptures. Too many people have not and still don’t truly look into the history of this great collection of books within the one book we call The Bible. If we are to use the scripture to judge people, which we ought not do according to the teachings of Christ [Matthew 7:1-5], the least we can do is take these simple things into consideration:
First, when was the particular scripture written? We have to understand the laws of that time and what was happening during that period. Second, where was it written? This is important to know because it would explain the culture and the laws of that particular culture. Next, we would need to know to whom the writer was addressing. We need to know this so that we can then learn what the people were doing at that time to warrant the words of the writer. We would have a better understanding of what God was trying to teach through the one chosen by God to give His word. And then, we need to take what we learn and ask ourselves, how does this apply to my life today? Does it apply to my life today? Most importantly, we need to check ourselves; did I pray before reading the scripture? We all have a tendency of forgetting to pray before we read the scripture. We forget to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us through His word. So, before we get into the holier than thou mentality, we need to have truly considered those questions.
If we are truly going to take the time to read God’s word with the intent to live our lives for the Lord, shouldn’t we do so in its original context and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit? If so, we have to go into unfamiliar territory. We have to rid ourselves of the teachings we received in the past; clear our minds of what we were told by man to believe and take that leap of faith into God’s hands with a clear and open mind, heart, and spirit. We have to trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us, teach us, and yes, even provide the right person or people to come into our lives that will assist in this journey.
Whether you are a Christian or one who is seeking to know Christ, this is a journey that will open your eyes to see the things more clearly, it will open your ears to hear the truth that only comes from God, it will plant a seed in your spirit that will grow in a powerful way you never knew possible, and your heart will be restored of all the hurts and pains; you will feel love like you have never known. Not because of anything I do or say, but because of what God has to teach us all through the power of His Holy Spirit.
HAVE YOU EVER REALLY TAKEN THE TIME??
October 18, 2008 | Posted by: brwneyes
Have you ever really taken the time to “stop and smell roses”? What does that mean anyway? Well, you can smell a rose, that’s fine; but, is that what the question truly means? Personally I don’t think so. I think the better question is have you ever really taken the time to just be still and look around you?; take in your environment?
Ok, here’s an example; I was standing outside this morning and noticed the moon. So, what’s the big deal? The moon is always there and every now and again you can see the moon during the same time that the sun is shining; big whoop right? Yeah, it is a big deal. Think about it for a second.
The moon, which lights the nights’ sky, shares the same space as the sun, which lights and warms the day; two planets/stars, with their individual jobs for different times of the day/night, sharing the same moment. Have you ever really stood still and thought about that?
Let me share something and I ask that you just bare with me for a bit. I love music; all kinds of music. There are so many times I listen to a song and enjoy the beat, but never really listened to the words. I
might get the chorus or a few words here and there, but it’s the beat that catches me. One day, I started to actually pay attention to the words. It was funny because, though I loved the beat, the words were less appealing. So, I began to pay more attention to the words of the music I was listening to. To me, the point of listening to a song is because it touches me in some way. It makes me reminisce, it makes me feel happy, it makes me want to dance, or it makes me cry; but, in my mind, there is a purpose for music; a purpose for the lyrics. Anyway, there are many songs that touch my heart and make me think. I want to share this one song that really made a difference in me; a difference in the way I see things in my Christian walk. And, as I stood outside this morning looking at the moon, it came to mind. The song is called “Redeemer” and is sung by Nicole C. Mullen. The words are as follows:
'Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who told the moon where to hide ‘till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
Well I know my redeemer lives
I know my redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my redeemer lives
The very same God that spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory
Now I know my redeemer lives
I know my redeemer lives
Let all creation testify that this life within me cries
I know my redeemer
He lives to take away my shame
And He lives forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave
And I know my redeemer lives
I know my redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within my cry
I know my redeemer lives”
Like I said, this song came to mind this morning as I looked at the moon. I just took a few minutes and thought to myself how cool the moon looked. It was almost transparent against the clear blue sky as the rays of the sun kissed it ever so gently. I started thinking about how these two awesome stars are always where they are supposed to be whether we see them or not. How is that possible?
“Who told the ocean you can only come this far”? How true is that question. Have you ever thought about that? The ocean stretches so far and so deep, yet, as it becomes shallower when it comes closer to the shore and then, stops. The ocean stops. It doesn’t overflow onto the shore and into the rest of the world. How is that possible? Really think about that. Now, I’m not talking about those horrible tidal waves or tsunamis that occur every now and then. I’m talking about the average day. Granted, the bottom of the ocean has its highs and lows in many areas to capture the waters and keep them deeper in some areas. But how did that happen? How does the ocean floor know where to hold the waters and where to release? Ok, sounds a bit silly, I know. But, these are things that sometimes come to my mind.
I am a firm believer that there is a reason for everything. I believe that things don’t “just happen”. I believe that for every affect, there was a cause. I believe in creation. I believe that where there is a creation, there is a creator. I believe in God. I believe there is only one God; one triune God who created all things on earth, in earth, and around earth. I also believe that science proves it; at least in my mind. How’s that? Well, The big Bang theory for one. Ok, so the theory is that there was this atomic nucleus that eventually exploded in such a way that there are no real words to explain it. This explosion created subatomic particles… matter…. Energy…. Yada yada yada. There is a scientific explanation for what happened after this “explosion”. This only tells me that scientists/astronomers have discovered proof of the power of God at the point of creation. “God said” and….. BOOM!!!! Creation begins. I believe that God created the universe and placed everything where He wanted it and how He wanted it.
Now, for those who are into science, you may disagree with me and that’s totally ok. I am not into science and I am not ashamed to say that I truly don’t know much about it. All I know is what I believe in my heart and science can’t touch that. So, there’s also no need (or desire on my part) to debate it. I am not afraid to debate; I just see no need for it. The squabble between faith and science is something that may have no end and I am fine with agreeing to disagree. With that said, I also believe that God has blessed many people with the mind; the knowledge and wisdom for science; and I believe He did so for a reason. I also believe that God has blessed many people with the desire to learn and understand the human body; people who become doctors. When I get sick, I go to the doctor and if medication is needed, I take it. At the same time, I believe in the power of prayer and divine healing. Can one truly believe in both? Why not? If modern medicine cannot help (for whatever reason), I believe that is when God takes over (when we ask Him). Just simply asking isn’t enough, in my opinion. One would have to truly believe in the heart that God will heal. This subject can take many directions and I don’t want to write more than I feel led to, so I won’t go into it all. The point is I believe that there is room for both faith and science.
When I think about the galaxies, and all that God created, I think about the Love He has for us and all things. I think about the sacrifice He made for me; for all of humanity. So, once in a while, I try to take some time to just be still; to look at the moon; to look at the stars; to smell the freshly cut grass or to enjoy a cool breeze. Once in a while I think it’s pretty awesome to really take some time; even for just a moment to take in all of God’s creation. It certainly doesn’t hurt anyone or anything to do that. Life is way too short and this world has become so chaotic. I want to enjoy life. I want to have peace and joy. Ever since I decided to have a relationship with Christ and grow closer to God, I had begun to understand real love, happiness, and joy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, crap still happens and things in life get messed up. But God never promised that everything would be easy, but He did promise that He would help see me through those hard times. He made that promise, and thus far, He has never let me down.
For the benefit of those who say they don’t believe in God; let me say this; what do you have to lose? You have one of two choices. One, you can continue to believe that there is no God and nothing changes in your life. Or, you can give God a chance and find out how your life will change. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Continue to disbelieve in God and continue as you have been… nothing lost. Decide to take a chance with God and, hmmmm… if nothing happens, you still haven’t lost anything right?
But what if something does happen? What if you start to get to know Christ and you find out that He really is cool. Not this cosmic killjoy that some people make Him out to be. What if you find that your life does take a turn for the better and that you feel things you have never felt before (for the better)? If this is the case, then you have so much to gain. When you think about it, you don’t have anything to lose by giving God a chance, but you can have so much to gain. And the awesome thing is that you don’t have to pay for it. What God has for you is free. Jesus already paid the price; you only have to accept that and accept Him for who He is.
Take the time once in a while to really take it all in. Stand still and listen to the birds. Stan still and look at the stars. Stan still and feel the crisp air. It certainly can’t hurt you.
God bless you.
September 19, 2008 | Posted by: brwneyes
I feel like I struggle between two people within me. Not that I am schizophrenic or anything, but there is a struggle within me and I just don’t know how to handle it.
Father, I love you. I love what you have taught me and what you continue to teach me through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I love teaching and sharing with others that which you have provided. My heart sings with such joy whenever I have the opportunity to talk about you and the awesome things you have done in my life. All I ever wanted was to make you proud of me; and to make my mother proud of me. She told me yesterday that she is proud of me and that she always has been. This came about because of a discussion we had where I shared with her how something I had said, helped someone else in his spiritual walk with you. She told me how she was proud of the way I have grown in my own spiritual walk. It made me feel good to hear her say it. I have been told by others how I have helped them (spiritually) and it felt great to know that. I started to feel that I was closer to making you proud of me. My spiritual life seems to be getting stronger. I struggle at times, but who doesn’t? You are always here to help me though. You have never left me. You have never judged me or condemned me for anything. You have corrected me when I needed correcting, but you are always gentle in your corrections and make me want to do better for you. I desire God to be all that you want me to be and to do all that you will have me do. In this area of my life, I feel content and happy. And, I strive to go deeper with you. I desire to see your face one day and just sit in your lap like a little girl sits on her dad’s lap; to just be held by you and stay in your arms forever.
Father, there is such a struggle within me. I have such love for you and can spend all day everyday talking about you and how I feel about you. Yet, there is a part of my life that is so totally different; separate from what I believe it should be and I don’t know what to do about it. The difference sometimes makes me feel like a hypocrite; something I never want to be. This is a part of my life that opens the door to doubt and all I want to do is go to sleep and never wake up. It’s when I look up into the sky hoping and praying to see you return to take your children home; hoping I am one to be taken up; growing inpatient for that day.
Lord, help me to be strong. Help me to be a better person. Father, help me to be the person you want me to be. Help me to be a better person for my wife and for our child. Help me find the strength to cry, to scream, to do whatever I have to do so that I can get rid of the hurt. Father, I want to go home.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK, WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING?
August 24, 2008 | Posted by: brwneyes
There are many questions that can be asked of someone that would really make you think. Pondering whether or not we would change anything in our past, if we could, is one of those questions. It is not one that can be answered on the spot; at least, not for most people.
August of 1989, I was asked that question when I was in New York volunteering my time for the month at a Christian youth camp. It was during that time when my spiritual walk began to grow along with my relationship with Christ. It was during, what we called, Urban Week. There were kids from the inner city of places like P.A., N.Y., Chicago, and the like. They were kids involved in a Christian youth group through their High Schools and this Organization holds field trips for these kids where they can spend time learning and sharing about Jesus. There were so many that month that gave their lives to Christ. Urban Week was a difficult week also because, at some point, there were some fights and brawls that broke out. There was much prayer going on and the possibility of cutting their time short and sending them home early was high. But, thank God, prayers were answered and everything had cooled down.
I was asked to give my testimony to these kids on the last night of their stay. This was an honor, but at the same time a difficult request for me. First of all, there were a couple hundred kids I would have to speak in front of. I had never spoken in front of so many before. Plus, my testimony was not something I had shared often and especially not to more than one or two people. I prayed about it and accepted the request. I was sick to my stomach, but I did it.
I explained that I had always known about God because of my upbringing within the church. I knew the stories and I knew some of the bible. But I didn’t have God in my heart for a long time because of my anger and bitterness. I was sexually abused by the Pastor of our church for some time. I was angry because he was supposed to be a shepherd of the sheep, and instead was nothing more than a wolf. He was put on a pedestal by many in the church and I was unable to tell anyone for a long time. I became angry at God because I felt that He was not around to protect me. The questions that haunted me for so long were “where were you God when he was hurting me? why didn’t you protect me God?, if this is what Christians are like, why would I want to be one”? For a long time, I stayed as far away from a church building as well as “Christians”.
I had eventually learned, many years later, that God truly was there and that he cried just as I did. I learned and understood the meaning of free will and the unfortunate ramifications when that free will is twisted and used in an evil way. I learned and understood that God was not at fault, but the man who hurt me was at fault. And I also learned and understood that God would take care of that man in God’s own way and in His own time. As I had learned more about the true God and as my relationship with Him grew, I eventually felt comfort in knowing that the Pastor would get what he deserves and that God will heal my pain. I also found that God would use my experience to help others. That was proven on the night I gave my testimony.
When I was done talking, there were many young girls, and even a young boy who had hugged me and thanked me for sharing such a painful time in my life with them. They shared that they were now able to speak about the abuse that they too had endured. They now felt free to accept the Lord and move forward with their own healing. This was one of the most awesome things to ever happen. I was also asked to visit one of the girls’ cottages to speak some more to a small group of girls.
About a half hour or so before lights out, I visited the cottage. I was able to take that opportunity to share a little more with the girls about the things God had done in my life, and the things He was doing in my life at that time. It was then that a young girl asked me, “If you could change what had happened to you, would you”? “Wow”, I said. No one had asked me that before and I had never really thought about it either. Surprisingly enough, it truly didn’t take me but a moment to answer her. “No” I said.
As much as I hated what had happened to me, I would not change one thing; because if I did, I would not have been there, in that room, sharing with those girls. I would not have been at that camp sharing my testimony and being a part of why they accepted the Lord in their lives when they did. And the few that had finally spoken up about their own abuse would not have done so and their healing would not have begun that night.
Nineteen years later, I think about that question and my answer remains the same. For the same reasons I had 19 years ago and also because I know that I would not be the person I am today had I changed anything in my past. What had happened was hurtful and wrong, but like it or not, it assisted in shaping who I am today and what kind of relationship I have with The Lord. And because of that relationship with God, there have been so many important people in my life.
Everything that happens in our lives, good and bad, has a domino effect in our lives. If just one domino is removed or changed its position in any way, the rest of the dominos would change in their direction as well. And some dominos would not even be touched by another if it weren’t there. My life has been affected in both a positive and negative way by the abuse I had endured. If I had the opportunity to change that abuse and made that change, everything else in my life that followed would have changed as well. Places I went and people I met. I never would have needed to search so hard for God. I would not have met 90% of the people I had met and their lives would not have touched my heart, nor would my life have touched theirs.
I do not in any way believe that the abuse was the cause for my being a homosexual. Though many people blame abuse as the direct result for a persons’ homosexuality, it’s just not the case. If that were true, then every man and woman who experienced abuse (sexual or otherwise) would be homosexual. But there are many men and women out there that have survived their abuse and are not homosexual. I am who God created me to be. It’s that simple.
God takes situations in our lives and, when we allow Him to; He will take the hurt and replace it with joy. He will take the nightmares and replace them with peace. He will take the evil done to us and turn it into a blessing. We just have to be in the place where God can do His work. He is a gentleman and will never force Himself on anyone. He will not do His work through us unless we open ourselves up to Him and let Him do what He will through us. Because of that, not only can we be a blessing to someone else, but God will truly bless us as well.
So, again, if I could go back, would I change anything? No.
I pray that this bit of who I am can be a blessing to whoever reads it.