I am a dream chaser. My dreaming nature was put there by God. I have discovered that most of the time my dreams bring life and energy to myself and those around me. Unfortunately, at times my dream has made my life miserable.

When in the right light, your dream is wonderful. However, being human we have to make sure that our dreams haven’t turned into one of these 4 things or the dreams will quickly become a nightmare.

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photo by: KC Newman Photography

Lust. Lust is an overwhelming desire or craving. I believe pursuing our dreams turns to lust when we can’t be happy with our lives until we achieve what great grandeur is in our minds. I have been guilty of this; putting the dream on a pedestal thinking it will create happiness. This is a sure-fire way to ruin our lives.

Pursue the dreams that God has placed in your heart, realizing that some dreams will be seen when you are gone. Chase the dream giver instead of obsessing over the dream. When you can chase a dream with everything inside of you and are okay if it never happens, you are in a healthy place. It is a hard place to be but, it is a sign of someone who trusts God.

Identity. Where is your identity found? When it is tied to a business, dream, or achievements your focus is off. I have struggled in my business of not liking the identity of a pizza maker. I have swelled with an unhealthy sense of pride for the ability to work my face off.

Our identity is in Christ, being a son or daughter of the King. Don’t cheapen your identity by taking on something other than a priest or priestess of the King!

Self-centered. When we make our dreams about ourselves, pride gets inflamed. We are easily offended and have zero flexibility when others voice their opinions. Criticism is personal and our egos are shattered when others don’t catch the vision.

Our dreams are not about us! They are designed for others and only when we learn to serve others can we be happy. How can you serve people with your dream? A life focused on others is the only way to be truly happy. If you are miserable, reframe your life and position it around others and how you can help them.

Impatient. Although I have done all four of these things, this is the hardest for me. Impatience is no other thing than us trying to be God. If we trust God and we believe the Bible, it says that He is never late. So if we are uptight about how long something is taking, we are trying to assert ourselves into the mix as God.

Trusting God is not as easy as we make it sound, however, it is necessary. Enjoy life while you wait. If you and I don’t learn to enjoy the journey, what else is there? Life is a journey so we better get to truly living by trusting God’s timing.

Chase your dream, but if you are miserable on your journey may I suggest you examine why? Move forward, trust God, and serve others. Be blessed on your journey.

Are you a happy dream chaser?

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I have struggled most of my life to rest. Scurrying around, I have been too busy trying to accomplish and achieve. I have pushed my life to the limit until I would literally crash into depression. I suffered from panic attacks and high blood pressure and was told by my doctor if I didn’t fix my stress level, I would be headed to an early grave. To top it off, I was in the prime time of life, my mid-twenties.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Slowly, but surely God has healed my life. I no longer suffer from panic attacks and my blood pressure is extremely healthy. Though I still need to fight to keep rest a priority, I now know why rest is so difficult, which makes it beatable. If you are struggling to rest, make sure these 4 things are not out of alignment.

  1. Trust. I struggle to trust God. If we are honest, most of us need to grow in this area of trusting God. I would focus on, “when, how and why” instead of just trusting Him and taking a step. Micro-analyzing and tiring your mind out is a sign of not trusting God. When you are missing peace and joy, you aren’t trusting God.

Trust with God is expanded through prayer, studying His Word, picking up His thoughts, and the love of a close brother or sister in Christ. If you are struggling to rest, it may be a sign of a lack of trust in God.

  1. Boundaries. Without proper boundaries, it is impossible to rest. We must have time of activity, but we must have time of rest built into our lives. Boundaries to insure proper sleep and to make sure we are observing times of quietness. In the world we live in, it is even more important to set boundaries. Technology has not made this easier. We live in an age where almost anything we want is at our fingertips. We must have points in the day away from technology.

Removing distractions and turning off technology is a necessary step to bring rest back to our lives. You must have a game plan to follow or life will swallow up every second. Make sure that proper boundaries are in place so you can get the rest that you need.

  1. Loss of Gratitude. When we don’t rest, we are missing a piece of gratitude. Throughout our lives there will be a gap from where we are and where we want to be. This is a great thing when it is healthy, however, it turns into poison when we lust after what God has not given us yet. Our desires can quickly turn into the cancer of our lives when not put in check.

The more you try and control things outside of your control, the more control you are giving it. You cannot control God’s timing. Give control of the gap time between where you are and where you want to be back to God. You can have peace on the journey while having gratitude with where you are and how far God has taken you. Contentment and peace return when gratitude comes back to our lives.

  1. Mask. For years I hid from everyone afraid to admit my sin and failure. Afraid to admit my lack of trust in God. Masking and hiding our lives at the root, is a lack of trusting God or man. In all actuality it is usually a lack of trust in both. Our relationship with man effects our relationship with God and vice versa. This leads to an unauthentic life and one that is a shell of what we are meant to live.

If you do not have authenticity built into your life, it is impossible to rest. The masks we wear leads to a Pharisee’s view point. We need to knock others down so that we don’t feel as bad about our hidden sin. The only way to defeat this unauthentic cover up is to let God and others into these places that we hide. It is not easy to begin to trust others, but it is necessary to a healthy life.

 

In the end, a lack of rest is a clear sign of us trying to make something happen instead of allowing God to work. God will give you what you need when you need it. Life being led by Christ is alive and uncommon. It is bold and courageous and it is the bringer of life. Allow Christ into the areas that you are protecting and guarding and rest will return to your soul. Deep healing is not easy and does not happen overnight. It is worth it though. Be blessed on your journey.

 Do you struggle to rest?

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This season in my life has been very challenging. It has been challenging in ways that I never expected or saw coming. When we are going through a hard time that challenge makes sense. The low point is tangible because where we want to be and where we are do not match. This latest obstacle had me so shaken that I had a couple days where I was so overwhelmed. I was on the verge of panic attacks and felt my breathe getting rapid and shallow. What was happening to me was growth and success.

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photo by: KcNewman Photography

Though we get much more sympathy for moments of struggle and lack, abundance can feel overwhelming at times. When your business or dream takes off, there will be moments in your life that feel like you can’t handle anymore. These 4 things will help you to prosper during the stretch of growth!

Seasons of unbalance. Balance seems to be one of the buzz words floating around these days. The reality is something will always be out of balance and it is okay! A lot of what overwhelms me and I am sure you too is all that I “should” be doing. I am a Christian, husband, dad, son, friend, and entrepreneur. Each one of these things are blessings and each one can overwhelm me at times. I am sure the same is true for you as well. It is okay to be out of balance for seasons. The reality is that is life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Breathe. Be conscious of your breathing. When pressure becomes overwhelming you can have physiological effects. Slow your breathing and take deeper breathes. God made you, both body and spirit. Make sure that you do not neglect your body or the signs that it is giving you. If you are having shortness of breath, your body is telling you something.

Write it down. In times of feeling overwhelmed, it is important to write down what you are feeling. What do you have to do? What are outside influences? What are unneeded pressures and expectations by yourself or others? There will be things on your list to delegate, others to cross off and say “no” to, and some that you just need to grind and get done. Writing it down will help to formulate your emotions along with your to-do list. Write it down to remove the mental pressure.

God. It is with God that all things are possible. These moments are really great for us because we realize what is always true. We cannot do anything without God. We are inadequate on our own. We are more than conquerors in Him. Pray to God and refocus on Him. You will be given more than you can handle on your own, however, you will never be given more than what God can handle. Make sure to maintain your focus on God through all seasons.

It is important to be ready for all that life can throw at you. Growth and success can be a challenge, but you can overcome to get to new levels. To get where you want to go will be a constant refining process that is only accomplished through surrender to Christ. God will make you into what you need to be when you need to be it. Just trust Him. Be blessed on your journey.

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These days we hear a lot of talk about “chasing your dreams.” And since you’re a reader of Zech Newman’s blog, chances are that you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are pursing some big goals in life.

But as leaders and entrepreneurs, sometimes we get caught up in the excitement of pursing dreams and we don’t take enough time to evaluate the dreams themselves. The danger is that we could spend months, years, or perhaps our whole lives chasing dreams we’ll regret.

As Stephen Covey said in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”

So how do you know if you’re chasing the right dream? Here are five criteria to help you know for sure:

  1. Your dream is realistic.

As dreamers and possibility thinkers, we like to believe that anything is possible. While that’s a nice sentiment, it doesn’t align with reality. The truth is that you can’t be anyone you want to be, and you can’t do anything you want to do. Life has limitations.

When I say that your dream must be realistic, I simply mean that it must be possible. I can dream that I’ll be an NBA star someday, but as a 40-year-old guy who needs to lose about 30 lbs., it’s definitely not within the realm of possibility.

However, if I say, “I want to build a business that supports my family within three years,” that’s possible.

Make sure your dream is something you can actually accomplish (even if it might take a while).

  1. Your dream is aligned with your gifts and passions.

Any dream worth chasing will require years of hard work and effort. If it doesn’t resonate with the core of your being, you will probably quit before you accomplish anything worthwhile.

This past year, I made the critical mistake of buying into a networking marketing businesses focused on health products. I saw it as a way to pay off debt and move us toward our financial goals more quickly.

But I didn’t take into account the fact that success in network marketing requires skills and gifts I didn’t possess. I loved the products (and still use them), but I wasn’t truly passionate about the company. I realized I had made a mistake and got out of that particular business.

(I’m not suggesting that network marketing is bad; on the contrary, it’s a great business if you are passionate about your products, want to truly help people, and can develop skills in that type of selling.)

What are you passionate about? What is your personality? What are your talents and gifts? If those are all in alignment with your dream, you have a much better chance of success.

  1. Your dream is ultimately about others.

This may sound like a paradox, but your dream is not really about you. It’s ultimately about the people you serve in the process of achieving your dream.

In other words, your dream is not an end in itself. It’s the means to a greater end, and that end is serving others, improving their lives, and making the world a better place.

Your dream might be to become a best-selling author. But it’s not really about the books. It’s about the lives you can impact through your words.

Your dream might be to own a chain of restaurants. But it’s not really about the food; it’s about offering great value to your customers and providing an atmosphere where people can relax and strengthen their relationships. It’s also about being financially secure and having the means to help others more.

Your dream might be to live in a certain place. But it’s not really about the place itself; it’s about the peace and happiness that place brings to you and your family. It’s also about how you can offer your best to the world when you live in a place that brings you joy.

You see, your life is not ultimately about you, it’s about serving God and others. Your dream has to fit within that context. Think about your dream and make sure it’s something God can use to bless others.

 

  1. Your dream is too big for you to accomplish alone.

Is your dream something you can achieve by yourself, with no help from others? If so, it’s not a very worthwhile dream.

Any worthy dream will require help from friends, family, coaches, books, and other sources of encouragement and inspiration. Whether you are building a business or writing a book, the truth is that you simply cannot achieve it through your own effort.

This means that at times, you’ll have to swallow your pride and admit you need help. But this is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength and wisdom. The best leaders know their limitations and are quick to ask for help.

When you ask for help, it’s not just a matter of another person giving and you receiving. It’s a mutual exchange where both people are blessed. If you never give others the chance to help you, you are robbing them of the opportunity to serve, grow, and give.

  1. Your dream is supported by your family.

This is the most important piece of the puzzle. If your family doesn’t support your dream, you need to reconsider your direction. You first priority is to be a husband and father. Everything else comes in at a distant second.

I have been married for 18 years. In that time, I have learned that my wife has an uncanny intuition about things (as most women do). I constantly rely on her wisdom and judgment before accepting any kind of substantial opportunity or commitment.

If your family doesn’t support your dream, it may not be the right time. You definitely don’t want to chase a dream that will cause friction within your marriage or family.

Other times we are chasing the right dream, but we’re doing it in the wrong way. This is where we must rely on our wives for feedback about our schedules and commitments.

When we chase our dreams, we take our families along for the ride. It’s important to stop every once in a while to make sure everyone is on board.

Bottom line: Chasing a dream is exciting, but we can’t let our emotions get in the way of good judgment. Take a few moments to think through each of the points above and evaluate whether you’re chasing the right dream.

Post by: Kent Sanders writes about doing creative work that matters at kentsanders.net. He is also the author of 30 Days of Evernote for Churches and Professor of Worship at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Missouri. You can connect with him on Twitter @kentsanders.

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Trying To Arrive

Zechariah Newman —  January 26, 2015 — 6 Comments

I struggle often wondering if I will miss God’s voice. Wondering if I will do enough. Wondering why and trying to figure out when.

With this mindset I tend to be very fearful. When I am advancing and working there is no fear, but when I stop and rest I really struggle. Doubt, depression, and reasoning fill my mind and I tend to feel like I am not doing enough or I am off the mark. My mind can be exhausted on “off” days from the mental circus.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

I know for sure that this reaction is not trusting God. That it is one of the ways at which I and maybe you try to do things on my or your own strength. I react to life as a man that is broken and in need of a Savior which is good, however, the problem is that it usually goes with a man that feels like he can arrive. That somehow the need for God will dissipate. That if I fix that one thing I will be on my way.

This type of living ends in a feeling of guilt, pain, and shame. When I approach life like this, I am always feeling guilty because I’m always a little short of where I “should” be. I feel like I don’t spend enough time with my family, on my business, health, friendships, church, rest and God. One thing is always not getting attention as I try an insane juggling act. Guilt that I am letting a ball drop and always guilt about what I am not doing. Rarely do I focus on victory.

When we walk through life in this manner, we self-reflect our inner dialogue onto others. Because we feel guilty about not doing enough and if our spouse says, “The kids miss you,” it is taken on as guilt of missing time with them and blaming your spouse for thinking that. All the while it is us that thinks these things. “See not doing enough and focused on money, we may think, but it comes out as an argument with our loving spouse.

There is a better way and it is simple yet difficult to do. Surrender. When you are surrendered to God, you are relying on Him to work it out. You are waiting on God’s timing and trusting He will let you know. You are trusting His purposes even when you don’t understand your current struggle.

I use to think that meant that I don’t do anything which drove me nuts. It is not that, however, surrender is acknowledging that your wants may be different than God’s plan. This does not mean we don’t want, but does mean that God’s plan is above our wants. We are to love God, love others, and do our work as unto the Lord.

When your life is surrendered, you are not rushing around defending yourself. You are others focused instead of wants focused. You are not trying to control and manipulate, but TRUSTING. Move forward this week with a surrendered heart and watch the worry and worn out mind dissipate. Be blessed on your journey.

 

How do you stay surrendered to God’s plan?

 

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One of the biggest attributes that is required to obtain any goal or dream is proper vision. If you can see where you are going it will create pull in your life, pulling you towards your dream instead of having to strain to take a step. A vision needs to be so compelling that you will push through and overcome roadblocks and setbacks. The ability to take a punch and keep on going will separate you from the pack.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Without vision there is death. Death of a dream and when vision is lost for your life, it can result in death of a body. It is important to unite with a vision. If you had vision and lost it, read this. The power of writing out your dream will keep your vision alive and cause it to thrive.

Proverbs 29:18 – Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keep the law, happy [is] he.

Writing out dreams was God’s idea! In Habakkuk 2:2-3 it says this, “Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Writing down your dream does these 4 things:

1. Makes it plain. We can make things more confusing than they need to be. Writing out the vision you hear from God will reduce your confusion and make choices easier. Make sure everything aligns with the picture and you will see your dream come about.

2. Speeds you up. Writing down your dream will pull you toward it. It is as if the writing helps your belief in what God has said. It is a way we agree and say, “Yes Lord.” Write out your dream and you will hit a whole new level of hustle and working your face off. Uniting with God by agreeing in writing will put rocket fuel in the chase.

3. Shows what is ahead. By writing down your dream you are agreeing and uniting with the dream giver. He gives us these dreams to give us extra motivation when things are rough. When the pain seems overwhelming and the rejection is all around us, it is the written dream that gets us back off the mat. Writing your dream will help you to carry on.

4. Gives patience. God is never late, but He isn’t early either. Man I wish He was early sometimes. When you look at your dream in writing, it will restore your faith both in God and in what He has said. What God promises, He delivers! Sometimes we have to wander through a desert and continue to trust God. At the correct appointed time He will be faithful to bring it about. Writing out your vision will give you patience when the road is long.

Write out what you feel God is speaking to you. Keep what you wrote in a place that you can look at it often. On this journey you will want a constant reminder through the highs and lows of what God said. You will be amazed at what following God’s example will do for your life. Your eyes will be opened as you trust Him and His timing. Be blessed on your journey.

Have you written out your vision?

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Busyness is something that entrepreneurs and dream chasers pride themselves on. We work hard and usually have very little space that isn’t filled throughout the day. All this talk of hustling and working our faces off can leave us highly confused and lure us into the myth that the key to our dream is to work even harder.

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photo by: KC Newman Photography

I fell into this trap of 70 hour work weeks. My dream wasn’t getting any traction so my natural response was to work even harder and as a result some weeks crept up to 90 hours. I was pushing and straining, yet going nowhere fast. I was feeling like a failure. Balancing life was not happening. I was either putting my businesses on hold, parenting, husband, church, or my health. No matter what I did guilt was my feeling that never left.

When we push this hard we can’t live a life of meaning and purpose. We are missing the very beauty of life and the very things that will catapult us to the next level.

Margin. When we remove margin it has consequences. Putting margin back into our lives gives space to make the best decisions. I have cost myself more money than I will ever recoup by living a rushed life. If you are rushing around, you are costing more money than you probably even realize.

Space allows for the next two things which is where life and momentum are found.

Presence. When we rush through life, we lose what will mean the most to our families. We lose what will catapult relationships, business, health, and our spiritual lives. We lose our complete presence. Life that is rushed is never fully alive and is focused on what’s next.  If you are trying to fit every last second with something you have, one part of your mind will always be thinking about what’s next.

A loss of presence is loss of life and true connection.

Smarter. If you return margin and presence to your life, you have the ability to work smarter instead of just harder. When I backed up and looked at my life I started thinking about what I was trying to accomplish. I built activity around my goals, not goals around all my activity. Often we get caught in the work harder cycle and spend time doing tasks that can be delegated or left undone. We end up not having time to do the things that can’t be done by someone else. Before you start any task, ask yourself if this can be delegated or dropped. It is easy to chase pennies and leave dollars. My shift in working smarter doubled my profit, gave me time to be with my family, and gave me space to train and run marathons.

Margin and rest will give you time to work smarter.

Working hard is required, but is useless if it does not have presence and intelligence. Create some silence in your life. Music without silence between notes is just a bunch of noise. It is the silence that creates the beauty. The same is true for your life. To create a beautiful symphony in your life you must have rest between activities.  Moments of working your face off must also have moments of rest and ease.

Do you have margin in your life?

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I really struggled with depression yesterday. Nothing bad happened, however, I felt a heaviness overtaking me.

My wife and I were talking about our next goal and frankly I went into a tailspin funk because of how long the road was ahead. The miles before us in the desert road can feel like an eternity.

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I have written on restoring joy and the desert road, but today I want to discuss the lens at which we are viewing those two things. As you and I head into 2015, it is essential to have joy on our journey to changing the world. God wants us to grow and mature while at the same time be joyful and happy today. Not at some distant time, but in the here and now. In the waiting we can be filled with joy.

Expectancy is the key to which we need to view our lives.

As we purposefully live in 2015 we must come from this place of expectancy. Expectancy is the state of thinking or hoping that something, especially something pleasant, will happen or be the case.

We need to set goals and plans then lay them at the feet of Jesus and move forward with expectant hope. With all of the studies done about how quickly people drop New Year’s resolutions, it is easy to lay down expectancy. Plan for success, not failure! Move forward as if you will succeed and you will be way more likely to get back up when you fall down.

Today I feel rejuvenated and excited because I am expecting good things to happen to me today. I am trusting God no matter what today. I am moving forward planting seeds and preparing for a harvest that surpasses my wildest expectations. I am preparing for success, not planning for failure and less than. I am writing this post in anticipation that it will be exactly what someone needs to hear.

Join me! Join me in believing that you will see your dream come to fruition. Believe that God has your back no matter what it may appear. Trust that today God is going to show up and be just what you need when you need it. Trust that even if life doesn’t appear the way you want or think it should be, that God has your best interest at heart. Trust that He has a plan that stretches to eternity and you are a part of that plan. You are a world changer and dream shaper. Today something good will happen through you. You will be blessed on your journey.

How do you maintain your expectant hope?

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Be realistic! I have heard this so many times. Mostly in my mind, but from others as well when I dare to tell them about my dreams. This phrase kills more dreams than we can imagine. Taking them to the grave, most people never dare to utter their dreams at the risk of being perceived as unrealistic. I heard once and believe it is true, that the graveyard has more ideas and inventions than we have in this world. People scared to look silly, scared to fail so they just settled for realistic; settled for something that is a shadow of what they were meant to be.

I want to shed light on this evil doer statement, “Be realistic.” At the root, it is just plain old fear. Fear of failure, fear of man, fear of going the wrong way, fear of the tough road ahead. FEAR! The killer of goals, dreams, and plans. Fear, the thing God warns us against over and over in the Bible. We may dress it up and put lipstick on it, but really it is nothing but fear.

We need to shed light on this fear. I talk about how to do that here. Another way to reduce our fear is to give hope by showing how others who have gone before us overcame their fear. Today, I wanted to highlight a few people who beat odds to achieve their dreams. You may have heard of these stories before, however, really take in how they must have felt before they knew they would achieve what their hearts longed for. Here are some people who beat the odds!

Abraham Lincoln. If I was to meet any person in U.S. history, this would be who I would choose to talk with. He was the sixteenth president of the United States. He only had one year of formal education. He lost more elections than he ever won. He was the first president outside of the original colonies and the first president from an unknown party. What an amazing man who outsiders would have never expected to make such a stamp on my country. President Lincoln was very unrealistic.

Helen Keller. At the age of two Keller became deaf and blind. At the age of seven she learned to write, read, and communicate. She learned Greek, Latin, French, and German and graduated cumlaude from Radcliffe College. Keller became an internationally renowned author and founded the Civil Liberties Union. Helen Keller was definitely unrealistic.

Albert Einstein. Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old. Throughout his elementary years, many teachers thought he was lazy and wouldn’t make anything of himself. He received good grades, but his head was always thinking of other things and complex questions that others couldn’t understand. This Nobel Prize winner, Einstein was definitely unrealistic.

You. Whatever limitations setbacks and failures you have had does not preclude you to something great. In fact, when we get focused on our shortcomings we are taking our eyes off God and putting them on ourselves. The Bible says that He is made strong in your weakness. So it is your very weakness that makes you qualified in Him. You are more than a conqueror through Christ.

Me. When I started writing, my wife who taught Special Education before we had kids, would have to spend twice as long correcting my work as it took me to write it. I never did great in school and dropped out of college to start my first restaurant. I have had a dream to write for Entrepreneur and recently found out I will now be a contributor to their site as well as Addicted2Success! There’s nothing realistic about that!

My friend Matt McWilliams says, “I am a world changer just like you!” So true. Together we can change this world if we say, “NO” to fear. Push through the limitations you have and cling to God. This world can be better and you and I can change it. Be blessed on your journey.

What fears have you pushed through?

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Effects of a Mask

Zechariah Newman —  December 22, 2014 — 1 Comment

My life is moving lately in ways I use to only imagine. There will be some big announcements coming. For years I hid from everyone afraid to admit my sin and failure. I was so concerned about what everyone thought that I refused to try anything. Life got stale slowly as I hid the bad and could not accept or feel the good.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Masking and hiding our lives at the root is a lack of trusting God or man. In all actuality it is usually a lack of trust in both. Our relationship with man affects our relationship with God and vice versa. This leads to an inauthentic life and one that is a shell of what we are meant to live. If you are hiding and masking your life, it has these 4 ramifications. 

1. Physical. When I hid, my physical body was in the worst shape of my life. I gained weight, had high blood pressure and was told by a doctor that I needed to reduce my stress or I would be headed to an early grave. When you hide behind a mask, your stress is high because of your lack of trust. The need to control things out of your control overtakes and consumes your life. Physical apathy is a sign of a mask.

2. Scared. Hiding is exactly that; scared of everything. When trust is missing, fear can freeze you into inaction. It can cause you to settle in all areas. It is not a restful waiting, but rather a nervous uptightness settles in your life. Fear is invasive and all-consuming. It ends up being the focal point of life instead of something to push past. An overabundance of fear is a clear signal of a mask.

3. Relationships. Masking up a life causes an inability to have meaningful relationships. You can only feel love and show love to the level that you allow someone in. The thicker the mask, the less love and support you will be able to receive. The less you can receive, the less you have the ability to show. Relationships end up being more manipulation than authentic love and understanding. Masking up your life makes it impossible to reach a full-fledged overflowing relationship.

4. Spiritual. It is funny how foolish we can be, thinking we can hide things from God. Our spiritual life looks more like graveling for our sins we committed and promising to never do them again, rather than having a true relationship with God. When we come to God all masked up, we get so consumed that we don’t approach God with praise, but with a heart of a Pharisee. After all, we need to knock each other down to make ourselves look better. A masked life does not allow for a fruitful spiritual walk.

These are just four ways that wearing a mask affects us and makes it impossible to have our true needs met. Removal of masks is a life long activity. It takes risk, but it is worth it. Trust is the antidote and it is not easy, however, it is worth it to allow God and others into places of shame and unworthiness. You can do it one day and one step at a time. Be blessed on your journey.

Have you ever worn a mask? How did it affect you?

 

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