Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Believe a Lie: I'm Gonna Take Back What He Took From Me...

I woke up early this morning. I was filled with a sense of impending dread.

I felt anxious. [But why? Everything was in place, nothing was wrong.]
I felt unworthy. [Where did that come from? I've been doing great.
I felt fear. [Here we go... now this is making sense...]

I felt like I was being watched. I felt like I was late. I felt troubled. I felt like I was "in" trouble. I felt like my career was uneasy. I felt fear for my finances. I felt unaccomplished and like I'd wasted my life. I felt regret and remorse. I had one hundred things running through my head. My dreams seemed small, insignificant and well, stupid. My heart was pounding. My mind wouldn't calm. I couldn't seem to get the name of Jesus out of my mouth. I felt like I didn't want to even get out from under the covers. I wanted to hide and call into work. I wanted to just "not be." I wanted peace and to find something that would quiet that noise. Those were the emotions. Those were the feelings. Those were the... lies.

But here's the reality: I've done my job well - really well. I've made a career out of it, even when I should have gone into ministry. And God's blessed that. I've done more and accomplished lots: secularly and spiritually. God has used pretty bad things done TO me, and God has used pretty bad things I've done to others... in ways for healing and reconciliation that I could have never engineered. The bottom line is, I've got more in me. I've got more to do. I'm not done yet. I've not reached even my potential yet. I'm not coasting on the other side of a hill, and this isn't my greatest achievement yet. Do you know why? Because I was promised more. Do you know why I believe that? Because I'm not dead, yet. It is really that simple.

Now, about this morning... the truth is I did pray. I did get the name that can calm any storm (even emotional or spiritual) out of my mouth, and I did start to rely on what I know vs. what I feel and I did get up. I even got in the shower and got ready for work. I sang and mentally prepped for my day. And over and over in my head started an old kid's chorus... "Well, I'm a-goin' to the enemy camp. Gonna take back what he took from me..."

I can't imagine how I would have handled those thoughts 2 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago, even. I'd have likely used a mental health day, shopped online, watched some movies and worried needlessly all day. Maybe I would have called some friends, arranged a time to go out and complain about it. Maybe I would have medicated those feelings. I would have taken a pill and ignored them, rather than confront them. How would you handle that? For those that go through mental anxiety and stress and worry... what do you do? When you know that you are told one thing, and that you believe something, but your feelings take over and run wild with you? Have you been lied to lately? Have you been told you can't do something? Regardless of if it is church, or secular, have you been told that you can't complete something, learn something, know something, be something, or accomplish something? I mean, that's just not true, is it? (Philippians 4:19)

What's your dream? What's your calling? What excites you and makes you get out of bed in the morning? What do you love? Why aren't you doing that? Have you been told that you can't? Have you been turned down? Failed? Messed up? God is faithful to help you execute the dreams He calls you to. (1 Thessalonians 5:24) Did you try once and give up? Did you try twice and give up? Why? There is a great Japanese proverb that says, "Fall seven times, get up eight." Have you been lied to by people telling you your dream will never happen? Have you been lied to by people in church, telling you how you have to be "this" or "that" before you can come to God? God never retracts his callings and He never gives up on those He calls. (Romans 11:29) Have you believed those lies? Have you been told you can't be a Christian unless you're "good?" Have you been told that if you don't walk, talk, and look like everyone else that you are not "there yet?" (Revelation 22:17) God will meet you where you are. Don't worry about people, or tradition, or even being embarrassed. God will clean you up, and He doesn't require input or help from anyone. He will convict you, wash you, change you, and help you. And He can do it all without the condemnation of even one of His trusted saints! Take for instance the woman at the well (James 4:1-26) Jesus did address her sin, but he also gave her salvation. Or how about one caught in adultery? (John 8:1-11) Can anyone really cast a stone? Yes, he helped her and saved her, and yes... He told her to go, and sin no more. Lies would have had her killed in the street, with self-righteous theologians feeling justified. Don't believe the lies of anyone. Trust me, God will use you anywhere. God loves you everywhere. God is a god of everything. You are not unlovable, unsavable, and expendable. If you never ask, the answer is never given. If you never reach, your hand will always be empty. If you hold onto your past, your hand isn't open to receive your future.

I want to list a few things for you. These are secular, but valid, examples of what this world may never hold if people believed lies and never tried:

--"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

--"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, 1949

--"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.

--"But what...is it good for?" -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

--"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

--"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Attributed to Bill Gates, 1981, but believed to be an urban legend.

--"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

--"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.

--"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

--"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility." -- Lee DeForest, inventor.

--"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible." -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

--"Who wants to hear actors talk?" -- H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

--"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper." -- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With the Wind."

--"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make." -- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

--"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

--"Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax." -- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899.

--"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" -- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

--"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

--"It will be years -- not in my time -- before a woman will become Prime Minister." -- Margaret Thatcher, 1974.

--"I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious sensibilities of anyone." -- Charles Darwin, The Origin Of Species, 1869.

--"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market." -- Business Week, August 2, 1968.

--"That Professor Goddard with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react--to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." -- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work. The remark was retracted in the July 17, 1969 issue.

--"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training." -- Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.

--"Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality." -- Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.

--"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." -- Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

--"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

--"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." -- Albert Einstein, 1932.

--"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project.

--"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

--"There will never be a bigger plane built." -- A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

--"Everything that can be invented has been invented." -- Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899, but known to be an urban legend.

--"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.

--"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon." -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

What if any of these believed the lie? I wouldn't be typing this on a computer. I wouldn't be using a service that connects me to others called "the internet." I wouldn't have a phone, a tablet, #Glass, and the history of mankind in the palm of my hand. Why? Because the lies were present. Progress was considered evil. Phones, TV, Computers, Copiers, Internet, Cell phones... Surgery, psychology, treatment... travel, airplanes, ships, and cars... People rail against change, be it technological, social, societal, political, and spiritual. But hear me:

You have been lied to.
You will be lied to.
You will believe some of the lies.

But fight against that!! Fight with everything inside of you. You are not made to be broken, belittled, and thrown away. Your dreams, your callings, and your worth are not tied to any political party. You are more than a pawn as a woman, a minority, or a type of sexuality. You are worth more than what your vote is, who you vote for, and what you sell your vote for. [Yes, I really did just type that.] What you vote for, and what you sell your voice for, matters. And while you can rally, and rail and fight for or against, bear this in mind: you are a real, live human that has something to offer. You have a life to live. You have stories to be written, songs to be sung, and your own destiny to fulfill. You are more than a number in a multitude. You are more than a statistic. You are more than what someone else tells you that you are. Believe that you are capable. Believe that you are able. Believe that God has you, even when you don't know what to think of your neighbor, your family, your old church, your new church, your friends, and your own self at times. Believe God. Believe that you can trust that. Believe that where you are short in your ability, that God will complete rest. There is a proverb that says "God uses your availability, not your ability."

Please be kind. Kindness is never the wrong answer. Compassion and love are never the wrong choice to show others, even when they hurt you. I love you, right where you are.


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