Archives For Faith

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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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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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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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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In life we are bound to go through dry points that test our resolve and trust in God. In my life there has been times where I didn’t trust God. I questioned whether He was for me and didn’t know if He was even listening. God has been faithful to me even amidst my doubt, fear, and unbelief. Thank the Lord.

Total trust is difficult. We have dreams and ambitions in life and God’s timing is often a mystery. We experience tension between where we are and where we want to be and it feels just like the Israelites wandering in the desert waiting for the promise land. At times I have felt like God is punishing me through the desert. That if I just fix one thing He will then come through for me.

Though we do have consequences for actions, I don’t feel this is the purpose of the desert. I believe God is protecting and preparing us through the desert. If you are in a desert moment in life, I believe He is trying to teach you these 3 things.

1.We learn to move when God says move. God wants you to move when He says to move, not when it is comfortable. God’s training periods simply requires us to do what He tells us to do when He tells us to do it.

The Bible says that God is the comforter, but some of us have gotten that confused and are aiming for a comfortable life. That is not what following God looks like. There is more to life than existence and ease. Life being led by Christ is alive and uncommon. It is bold and courageous. It requires long suffering and it is the bringer of life, not merely a comfort bringer.

Exodus 13:21 “The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”

2. We learn patience. The Israelites were in the desert for forty years. I have been in desert moments in life, however, never anything that long. God will use these times in our life of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and bring about change and growth in our lives. Though this is uncomfortable and very painful it is necessary. Man I hate to learn this lesson of patience!

If you are struggling to trust God in the desert that’s okay. Faith is exercised and strengthened when fear and doubt are the strongest. Patience, although highly frustrating, honestly is what keeps us engaged in the process over time.

3. We learn to rely on God’s provision. God will give you what you need when you need it. The problem is we often try to control the uncontrollable. The more you try to control something outside of your control, the more control you are giving it. Trust Him and He will mold and shape you into what He wants you to be.

When you learn to trust God and His provision, He will direct your path and He will lead you in ways that don’t make sense to you.

Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

God is not subject to your time table. The Bible says that He is never late. Things will happen in your life when they are supposed to happen. It is not your job nor mine to figure out when, but it is our job to press through until the finish line. Believing and trusting God brings rest and life to areas of desert and disillusionment. I pray that God gives you revelation knowledge this week and that you trust Him and give Him more access into your heart. Be blessed on your journey even through the desert.

What does God teach you in the desert?

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Restoring Joy

Zechariah Newman —  November 24, 2014 — 8 Comments

My emotions are so fickle sometimes. I wake up and everything is terrible. I frankly wallow in moments way too long, giving in to the drama in my mind. Everything becomes wrong and inadequate with thoughts like, “When God are you going to come through? When is my business going to come to new levels? When will all of my kids be potty trained?!” 🙂 It is simple when there is a constant tension on our lives from where we are and where we want to be to get dissatisfied and lose our joy. The first thing we must do when we feel like this is recognize that we lost it! After that it is easy to regain with a few practical steps.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

When we are missing Joy, these 5 things will restore it to our lives.

1. List. To proactively shift our moods, we need to change our thoughts. Emotions will follow good thoughts. The other day I was really struggling with my mood and I did this simple exercise and my negative heart turned to one of gratitude and joy! Spend a simple five minutes to think about what you are grateful for, then write down everything you can think of. Look at your list and notice how blessed you are!

2. Prayer. A life focused on God will be one of joy. Pray to Him and ask Him to show you how you are blessed. Ask Him to open your eyes and He will be faithful. Then it is our job to look, keep vigilant with our eyes up, and our hearts ready. Talking and listening to God will realign our thoughts with His. Focus on the Creator and joy will return.

3. A close friend’s words. One of our jobs as believers is to prophesy into each others lives. If you don’t like that word, it is simply to call out the attributes that are godly into each other. We need each other to call out godly characteristics when we don’t see it ourselves. Rather than think of yourself, how can you encourage and speak into someone else this week? Your words may be the words someone needs to hear. You may encourage them to live a life more full or your encouragement may even save a life! Speak life!

4. Be present. One common thread happens when we are depressed and angry. We are either in the past or longing for the future. We need to live lives of focus and power and the only way to be that vibrant is to be present in the second. If you feel yourself getting anxious and worried, I assure you you are not living in the present. Realign with the here and now. You have a job to do today that only you can fulfill.

5. Go through the motions. We need to live a life of transparency, so I say this cautiously. Fake it until you make it. Go through the motions and your emotions will follow. Smiling, for example, can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, change your mood and boost your immunity. It can also be contagious. Be honest with your feelings, but you may need to go through the motions to feel more joyful.

When we are feeling negative, the bottom line is we need more gratefulness. That is one of the things I love about this time of year. Today and this week, let’s return joy and hope to the journey. Happy Thanksgiving and be blessed on your journey.

What are you thankful for?!
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My son is a very active four year old and is a little clumsy at times. This past couple of weeks he had two big blows to his face. One he fell and hit the front of his mouth on a door jam. His lip swelled up pretty big and his gums were bruised. This last week he was wrestling with his sister and long behold her head jammed straight into his chin. I heard a whack and he started screaming. I ran to him and noticed one of his front teeth was knocked straight back in his mouth, but still attached.

I calmed him down and got on the internet to look at what to do. I found that you are supposed to apply pressure on the tooth until it is back in place. I explained to him that I had to fix his tooth and asked him if he wanted to watch in the mirror to distract him. Applying pressure his gum and tooth made a loud pop and blood came out everywhere. He stared screaming and asking me why I hurt him. Man that broke my heart. I felt terrible, but the reality is no matter how bad that hurt him it was the best thing for his little mouth.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

How often is our life like this? Tragedy happens and we ask God why he is hurting us. We wonder if God is really for us. We cry out to Him in pain. I get this sense He is holding us saying, “Son, this is the best thing for you. I know you don’t understand, but just trust me.” If you are struggling to trust God with your life, if you doubt like I do at times that all things do work for your good, try the following steps. These 5 steps renew my trust in God!

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1. Prayer. Prayer is crucial to having a trusting relationship with God. One of the ways we learn to trust is by spending time with Him. We must pray daily when things are good and when things are bad. Talk to God! Bring your petitions to Him. Pray for help and healing in your life. The second aspect to prayer, which is the hardest for me, is listening prayer. In listening prayer, get quiet before God with paper and a pen. Allow God to speak to you! Both verbalizing and listening in prayer are crucial to renew our trust in God.

2. Study. You must study the Bible. You must build this discipline into your life. God will speak to you through the scripture because as you read and study you will find that it examines you, not the other way around. As you read, it will remind you of God’s promises. Studying is another way to spend time with God. It is through time that trust is built in any relationship. Read the Word to build trust in God.

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

3. His thoughts. This can only happen if you read the Bible. Once you know what God thinks about you then you can meditate on it. There are parts of our minds that are diseased and malfunctioned. Parts that have been given over to the troubles of this world. We need our minds to be transformed. As our thoughts begin to change our emotions will follow. Cast down your thoughts and imaginations and pick up God’s!

4. The love of a close brother or sister. If you want a healthy trusting relationship with God, you need other Christians that are going the same direction as you. Community challenges us and refines us. Community gives us visible reminders of God’s love for us. We need this built in our lives. We were never intended to do life alone. Jesus ministered and operated with twelve disciples. He built relationships into His life and we must do the same. Build relationships to renew your trust in God.

5. Worship. I have worship music playing at my store, in my car and at my house. Everywhere there is worship music playing because it is that important to me in my life. It is through authentic worship that our stance and posture toward God is changed. Worship is a natural response to God’s love and goodness. As we begin to be freed of the tyranny of wrong thinking, we have an outpour of worship. Worship God because He changed you! Build relationship and trust through your part of worshiping the Creator of the universe.

Come to your heavenly Father like a child. Just be honest with God. “God I want to trust you fully, however I am struggling. I don’t want to trust in my own strength, but in You. When I don’t understand why, I will trust you. Lord I believe; help me to believe.” Keep on walking it out. King David, a man after God’s own heart, cried out in anguish but in the end said, “Nevertheless I will trust you.” God has you in the palm of His hand. Keep on walking! Keep on pressing in and picking up His thoughts. You are more than a conqueror, now go be blessed on your journey.

How do you strengthen and renew your trust in God?
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I Failed! Now What?

Zechariah Newman —  November 3, 2014 — 11 Comments

I have had a day of wrestling with God. I wrote a few articles for big sites and I didn’t even hear back. It feels like a punch in the gut. A big NO coming in the form of silence. It feels like asking to sit at the “cool” table and everyone ignores you; just this air of silence and dejection. I can get into a mode where I feel like if I switch a behavior or have enough faith, then He will allow my want to come through. If I change, then I can sit at the table and will be accepted.

It's possible

photo by: KCNewman Photography

This dream chasing is not easy. Your path will be littered like mine with rejection and failure. Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” How true this is. Our dreams are going to require us to dust ourselves off and get back up. To rise again after failure is one of the most important habits to get into. To learn to not quit, separates history makers from the forgotten.  These 5 principles will bring you back from rejection and failure.

1. Speak Life. In Proverbs 18:21 it says that, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Talk about conviction. When I have a problem I talk about it and think about it until no one will listen and then I will start calling people to talk about it some more. This is not what God tells us to do. We need to speak life into our situation. Speaking the promises of God gets our minds off of our own inadequacies and on the One that changes us! Talk about how big your God is and not how big your problem is. It is okay to wrestle and cry out to God, but in the end we need to bring it back to His promises.

2. Take Ownership. We must take ownership for our actions and inactions. It is easier to blame others, however, the truth is the responsibility is ours. Shirking responsibility gives power to others and is the beginning of justification for our actions. Take ownership of what you can control and give the rest to God. I will write new pieces for some of those sites trying to improve my writing. Trying a new angle and a fresh look to see if that’s what they are looking for. How can you take more responsibility?

3. Get Counsel. Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” I will get counsel from my coach as well as other people I trust. We have blind spots as people and that is one of the reasons why we need each other. Get counsel before you shoot again. Your dream is your baby and frankly no matter how impartial you think you are, you aren’t. A group of people can help you look at it more honestly and lead you in a proper direction. Get counsel from wise people.

4. Reconnect With Why. Your why is your anchor, not your what. Stop getting hung up on how and what. We always like to go there. Rekindle your passion for the dream by cementing with your why. If you are married talk with your spouse. My wife remembers things that I forget that help me when I am feeling low. Times that God came through and things that I have said. Write down why and say it out loud.

5. God’s Plan. The reality is when we are living in God’s will, we need to lay down our timing. Sometimes, like the Israelites, we think we are ready to fight and we are not. Sometimes we need to walk around in the desert to prepare instead of going the quick route. God loves you and I believe He wants the best for your life even if it’s not what you want. Continue to push forward, but remember God is the dream giver. You are the one partnering with Him to do His plan. Trust God. He is faithful and just.

Remember your feelings in failure are just that; feelings. The fact is God loves you and has your back. Get back up and fight. Fight for things worth fighting for. Every person that has accomplished anything has had obstacles to overcome. The bigger the obstacle, the sweeter the victory. God will be faithful my friend. It is not easy, however, it is worth it. Be blessed on your journey.

 What makes you get back up?

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5 Killers of a Dream

Zechariah Newman —  October 28, 2014 — 12 Comments

When I was twelve I wanted to be a major league baseball player. I practiced all the time with my dad and brother. This was my dream. I got pretty good making the local All-Star team, being amongst the best in a playoff. I was so excited to play and thrilled for the chance to compete. The playoffs started and I found myself on the bench. I didn’t get to play much at all that summer but just a few innings. Then the last game came, I got to play and went 4 for 4 while the team lost. That was the last time I ever played baseball. I quit, disillusioned I never suited up again and lied to my parents that I didn’t like baseball anymore. This is not an uncle Rico story, that if coach would have put me in we would have taken state. It is a story of my struggle in life to give up before break through. To lay down a dream just because it got hard or didn’t go the way I wanted it to. If you are chasing a dream avoid these 5 pitfalls.

abandond

photo by: KCNewman photography

1. Comparison. I compared my skills to people who were different from me. In baseball, I had never hit a home run except an inside the park one. I thought that I was inferior because of this. Comparison is a good way to kill your dream. You were made unique; don’t try to be someone else or you will give up. Comparison leads down a path of wearing a mask, which leads to isolation and exhaustion.

Psalm 139:13-14  “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

2. Disappointment. You will face disappointment along your journey. Everyone that has accomplished anything had something to overcome. Your life will be the same way. It is in those places of disappointment that determines our lives. Will you cling to Christ or lay down? It is God that moves mountains. We merely partner with Him. Use disappointment to shape you and bring you closer to Christ.

Romans 8:37 “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

3. False summit. This goes with disappointment, however, it is the hardest disappointment for me. There will be times where you think this is the summit, only to find out you’re not even close. Our expectations getting shattered is the biggest blow. When you reach a false summit, take a deep breath and carry on. Dig deep in Christ for energy and never grow weary in doing what He has called you to do.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

4. Justification. Justifying how hard it is, is how we talk ourselves into quitting. Justifying is the beginning of the end. As soon as we start justifying, we are removing our power in Christ and giving it to another. Focus on your part and what you can do as this will move you on. The only justification we need is in Christ!

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

5. Ignorance. I have been ignorant to so much and I still am! Ignorance kills dreams, mainly because we spend a lot of time on the wrong things. Those that have achieved the dream you want, know how to get there. Ask God for wisdom and ask others that have made it. No one was meant to be on this journey alone. Remove as much ignorance as possible. Ask the One that gives wisdom. He is faithful!

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Press into God and find someone to talk to. Allow yourself to acknowledge disappointment and fear, then get back up and shoot again. Dreams aren’t stopped by failure, rather they are stopped by inaction. Sometimes a dream needs to die for another to start. Make sure that you have exhausted all possibilities first. You don’t want to wonder the rest of your life. Keep up the good fight and be blessed on your journey.

What motivates you to keep going?

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