Archives For Faith

Fear Of The Unknown

Zechariah Newman —  October 21, 2014 — 5 Comments

The part of being faithful with the small things we often don’t want to talk about is that when we are being faithful with the little, we are not fearing, worrying, having anxiety and agonizing over our next step. It is a simple concept, but hard sometimes. Taking steps of faith were not meant to be easy. I often get stuck in thinking, “Is that you God?” I find myself analyzing and in the end talking myself out of the next step. The time, energy and effort spent worrying about things outside of my control is pretty sad.

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photo by: KCNewman photography

I have operated, at times, like faith is the absence of doubt. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I believe that great faith is movement in spite of doubt. It reminds me of the gazelle.

The African gazelle can jump thirty feet in distance and fairly high. However, they are easily held captured. This animal can be held captive by a three-foot high fence for one simple reason. If they cannot see where they are landing, they refuse to make the leap. Though they can easily jump the fence, the gazelle won’t.

We are often like the African gazelle; great bound up potential refusing to move. Just sitting dreaming of more; dreaming of a full life. A tiny wall that mentally looks like a big obstacle holding us in.

True faith requires risk. It demands a step into the unknown. Faith requires doubt. Stop waiting for all the answers, for that day will never come. Leap with the risk of the unknown. Today work with excellence and diligence, walking in peace, continuously moving toward your goal and dream. Take steps of faith and allow God’s will to be done. Move and the path will be revealed to you. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you overcome the fear of the unknown?

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I get caught up into “the grass is greener” thinking all of the time, sometimes resenting my very life and the gifts that are in it. I can be blinded by the beauty and stuck in my mind of “what ifs.” I’m guessing you struggle with this to. Do we really think that our dream will make us happy? Pause and think that over. I believe most dreamers believe that it will, I know I do at times.

I want you to chase your dream, but you and I need to be happy and content in the life that God has given us today. If we do not appreciate the moment, we will be unhappy on the journey. Guess what? We will be unhappy when we reach our dream as well. Yuck!

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

We believe sometimes, well at least act like a dream or a thing will complete us. Like Jerry Maguire, “You complete me dream.” I believe that this is a false trap of the enemy to distract us.

If you are in your job right now that you don’t like, I believe it is your job and mine to be a faithful steward. If you don’t know what step to take, it is your job and mine to love God and others today. One of the most honoring things to God is a cheerful heart and appreciation for all that He has entrusted you with.

Why would God give us more when we aren’t faithful with what He has given us today?

Chasing your dreams the right way with surrender to God’s will, while doing all that we can is so fulfilling. However, chasing your dreams with a victim mentality is deflating and depressing. Trust me, I have tried it both ways and still fall back into victim mode on certain days.

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

The point of today’s post is simple. What we all have is a heart problem. Not a job problem. Not a money problem. A heart problem. God is more concerned with what is happening in you than in what you do for a living. This does not mean you shouldn’t chase your dreams, but that you should chase God first, then family, then your dreams. Surrender to God by doing all that you are physically able with a cheerful heart. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you keep a cheerful heart?

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Who’s Fault Is It?

Zechariah Newman —  September 23, 2014 — 9 Comments

You don’t understand! No one will help me. They got lucky. These are all the thoughts I have had. Protecting and defending my choices and actions can be a full time job. Even my sin I can shove aside as a generational curse or wounds of another. I have no responsibility for my actions. I am a victim to the failures and sins of others.

It is so easy to blame circumstances outside of my control for my lot in life. Blame for me is not hard to find and I have played the victim more than I would like to admit.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

As I write this with tears in my eyes, I am amazed at how I have let my flesh and Satan distract me from God’s purpose. I have been so busy squabbling for scraps that I don’t even look at what I can do! Today no matter what circumstances arise, no matter where we are, we can do something.

If we don’t take responsibility how can we change?

If we don’t admit that we picked it up, how can we put it down?

If we don’t recognize ourselves as a sinner how can we be saved?

2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.'”

Failures, setbacks and challenges are real. Generational sin and wounds from others affect us, but you and I have a choice to stand and say, “Jesus I need you! Change Me!” Only when we take responsibility for failures, can we have the power through Christ to change. So this week walk in boldness. Be a warrior for Him by being weak and in need of a Savior. Do what you can and give what you can’t to Him. Be blessed on your journey.

How can you take more responsibility?

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I Feel Like A Fake!

Zechariah Newman —  August 17, 2014 — 26 Comments

I feel like a fake. All of this talk of chasing your dream, pressing into God, and putting your family first and I struggle. I struggle with having patience and keeping my family in the proper order. I struggle with trusting God with His timing and His plan for my life. I struggle sometimes with anger toward God. I struggle with resentment toward my wonderful children.

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Photo by: KCNewman photography

I never once want you to think that I am the man with the answers. I have few and most of the time I wonder who am I to write advice to others? I often believe my dream will never happen and wonder what is wrong with me.

I struggle with self-hatred and feelings of being unworthy of the call that I feel tugging at my heart. If you struggle with this you are not alone. As a Christian, sometimes we feel we have to have answers. This is so foolish; only God has the answers and only God can bring my dream into fruition. Yet, I struggle thinking I must have a magic bullet and I have to write the words to inspire someone into action.

If I just work hard enough or get the right person to tweet my work, it will fall in line. That somehow my work will magically matter to millions. That with the right uppercut, I will have a knock out and see that ray of sunshine. That God will say, “Well done good and faithful son whom I am well pleased.”

I struggle with trying to please God instead of trusting in His beauty. Instead of basking in His presence, in this moment, I wonder what is wrong with me. Why can’t I get it right?

It is not as hard as you and I make it. It is simple and it is easy if we let Him. If we allow God to take the yoke, it is easy. What if being His son or daughter really was enough? What if trusting God is all we need? What if…

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I believe this is the Truth. God loves you and I the way we are today. He wants you to mature, but will never love you more than He does today. I believe that God already says well done! I struggle, however, I believe! Lord raise our eyes to ONLY You! Not some fake, pretend relationship, rather an authentic and real one. One that can admit that I don’t always trust You and that I can cry out in anger and pain. A relationship that’s bigger than playing church, rooted and transformed by surrendering to the cross. Overwhelm us this week with Your presence. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you believe?

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A close friend of mine that runs a highly successful tech company asked me a few weeks ago, “What are your plans for the future?” I heard myself say, “I don’t know?” Like a slow motion fail. To me this interaction showed a deeper problem. Interactions just like that surrender opportunities to advance and spread our vision. One small question that could be an open door surrendered. You and I never know who people know and what they need. In these moments, the dream inside of me and the dream inside of you almost shrinks back.

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photo by: KCNewman photography

Why do we get so confused?

Doubt and fear pull us down. Good opportunities push us away from the dreams we feel God speaking into us. This is why I stopped and had no answer. Has this happened to you? Bold in a direction one day and then a few days later bold in a different direction. Yeah me neither. I was asking for a friend. In all actuality this happens to us all, yet we feel fear telling us not to talk about it. Our minds change on their own. What we think matters. Someone we trust says, “It doesn’t matter.” These things will push and pull us causing us to stand still. Stop the confusion!

Don’t waste another opportunity!

I don’t want you or I to waste another opportunity. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” So, with vision the people shall flourish. What is your vision? Could you explain it to me? What problem are you solving and for who are you solving it? You need to write it down. You need to know what you are aiming at. This is the only way to overcome the push and pull that will happen in your life.

Write down what you feel God calling you to in 3 to 5 years. In other words, where are you headed? Don’t think about the obstacles for a second. We live so small. We overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a few years.

Stay focused!
The power of being focused for a period of time cannot be overstated. Writing and sticking to what you wrote will save you time and energy. Your written vision will help you in what to say “no” to and what to say “yes” to. It will stop you and I from getting so distracted with all the shiny things out there. Make it a priority to pray, seek God, and write down what He is saying.

Expand your horizons. Allow yourself to have the expectant hope of a child again. Write it down and start walking in that direction. Be prepared to share, learn from me and capitalize on opportunities to share your dream. Be blessed on your journey.

What do you feel God calling you to in the next three years?

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God has given me almost all of the dreams of my heart. Yet it seems like some of the dreams may never happen. It reminds me that I am no different than one of my favorite dream chasers from the Bible, Abraham. The great faith that this man had amazes me. He was not perfect, yet he showed time and time again that he would trust God. Unfortunately, I think he is most remembered for one of his mistakes; a time in his life when he and his wife lacked faith to see the full promise of God.

God had promised Abraham that he would be the start of a great nation. That his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. I can only imagine his excitement because Abraham and Sarah had no children. This is something that they both longed for.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Years went by and God had given them land and great wealth but no children. That is when the major doubt started to come in. So much that Sarah decided it was a good idea to have her children come through her maidservant, Hagar. She presented the idea to Abraham and he agreed. He took Hagar to be his other wife.

Hagar went on to give birth to Ishmael. God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation was still there. He was to make Abraham and Sarah the start. She would have a son named, Isaac. Honestly, all they did by taking the dream of having numerous descendants into their own hands complicated their relationship and their lives.

It is amazing to me what we are all capable of when we want something so bad. When we elevate our dream to an improper height, it can easily distort and change to find a way that seems logical at the time but has major consequences.

On the path to your dream you will face the Ishmael test. It looks different for all of us, however, there will be a point in time that you will be tempted to settle and plan for what you know is second best. For what you are fully aware is not what God intends. You will have a point where your hope is weak. This is when great faith will be required of you.

When Abraham and Sarah had the Hagar idea Abraham was eighty-six. He had lived in the land God promised him for over ten years. This is the time where you will be tempted to settle. When the window of time appears to be closing. When the journey has been long. Don’t stop. Just keep walking out the path that God has laid before you.

What God promises he will fulfill in His timing and in His way. Do not rationalize and justify, but do your part. Keep taking focused steps and trusting God with the rest. Be blessed on your journey.

Have you been tempted to settle for less than God’s best?

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It is amazing to me that God created everything. Both what is seen and unseen. It says in Genesis 1:14- 15, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth;’ and it was so.” Have you ever thought of this simple truth that God invented time?

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Priorities with our time is crucial, yet I have failed time and time again. Judging by emails I received this last couple of weeks I am not alone. We as God believing people have failed, at least at times, to put God as Lord of our time.

Busyness. I believe this is an attack from the enemy. It has invaded every aspect of our culture. It is so all-consuming that it is our response when someone asks how we are doing. “Really busy” is an excuse we use and for me is a sign I am out of alignment. We struggle with slowing down and we certainly don’t have time to sit at the feet of God. We get stuff done although a lot of the time we can’t say what we have accomplished.

Take a step back. Often in life we need to step back and examine how we are spending our time. Are you getting results out of your time? Are your priorities in line with your belief? Are you keeping God first? Why? These are just a few questions I am asking myself this week. We all will have moments of failure, moments where we have overstretched and have been ineffective. The question always will be in time of failure; how will I react to this? Will I crumble or will I rise stronger? I will choose to center myself back on the cross. I pray you will too.

Multiplication of time. Giving first of anything requires faith. That is why our first fruits in all areas are so important. In Mathew 6:21 it says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I believe that when we give of our time first to God He will bless the rest. When we leave God out I believe it doesn’t have that blessing accompanied with it. I would rather have an hour that is blessed to work on my dream than four hours that are not. God will multiply your time as you give Him your first fruits.

Today I exhort you to put God first. I guarantee you will have enough time for the things that are important. As you trust God to be Lord of your time He will be faithful. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to keep God Lord of your time?

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Restoring Vision

Zechariah Newman —  May 20, 2014 — 15 Comments

Can I be honest with you? My hope has been deferred. I have settled for comfortable in my heart. Though I have written posts the last few weeks that stir me, I have settled for good content as my aim. I have been focused on the information of content rather than the Creator. vision

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Have you been here? Where you noticed you had changed your perspective though no one could tell? My arteries were clogging with a hopeless feeling though few could tell. Proverbs 13:12 states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” I began to buy into this hopelessness slowly and steadily my vision of restoration was being laid down for safe and the status quo. My thoughts changed too; just raise your family and settle here with good enough. The problem with this thought is that risk takers are the ones that are change agents. These 5 things will return vision to your life.

Meditate on scripture. Our thoughts need to be transformed from earthly things by His love for us. I have come to this truth. My thoughts left to their own vices communicate worthlessness and fear. However, Romans 8:37 says, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” God’s word is truth, not our thoughts. Meditating on God’s Word will align your vision with His.

Prayer. Talk to Him! Prayer is essential to a fruitful life. I have felt Him reminding me that my dreaming nature was made by Him. That He loves me. I am growing to understand more and more His love for me. He will speak to you too. Phone home and He will restore your sight to a godly perspective.

Community. I use to be isolated on an island. Not so anymore. Being able to confess and confide with people is essential. Reach out and gather men or women that you can do life with. You need to walk with brothers and sisters in Christ in good times and bad. Walk with people going the same direction in life as you. This will be a big investment in time, but more than worth it. Community opens my eyes to what God says.

Silence and solitude. This is the hardest for me. I am always thinking. Bathing in the presence of God allows Him to love us right where we are. Just rest in God. Start small. This is a muscle that needs to be built. Sit in His presence with no agenda and just listen to Him. Silence and solitude are required to return vision to your life.

Fasting. Fasting is declaring that Jesus is our food and drink that He alone can satisfy. Fasting does not need to be food, however, it must cost something. Since it needs to cost something, do not fast something you don’t enjoy. In fasting we meet Him and hear His love and devotion for us. Fasting can return our vision to His.

Turn our gaze toward You and give us your vision. We bind the father of lies and tell You to reign in our lives. Fall on us in a new way. Reign your glory here in the hearts of your children and fill us with your love. Let those that have ears hear your words. You are who we want. In your timing and your glory. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you return your vision to God’s?

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I’m scared. I wish it wasn’t true. I wish that I could be the man that I pretend to be. Confident, bold and not worried. Fully trusting God with my whole life. Trusting His timing and trusting that I don’t have to earn anything.

I wish this was me, but it’s not.

I worry that I will run out of things to say. That I won’t ever see the things I have begged God for come to fruition. That I will leap and there will be nothing on the other side. That I will lead and no one will follow. That I will fall and take my family with me. That my failures will affect the ones I love the most.

I worry that my kids will be safe and grow to love the Lord and love their family.

Worry fills my mind. If you are worried and scared, you are not alone. In your greatest fear and worry God is there. In the deepest, blackest night He is there if we reach for Him.

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He whispers to our Spirits to step out on the water. (tweet it) He whispers so softly that we say, “Is that you God?” If we would only listen to Him instead of the shroud of doubt and shame that we let invade our minds. For He died for this doubting sinner once and for all; doubt and shame have no place here.

We have an enemy and it is Satan. So I will stand and say that I need you Jesus, that we need You. We need you to soothe us with your peace. Whisper your dreams over our lives while we sleep. Let us dream big dreams for Jesus’ name. We trust you Lord…help us to trust You.

Let these verses restore your faith in God’s plan for your life. Walk in His righteousness this week. It is His strength not ours.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

1 Corinthians 6:14 “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.'”

The only one that will ever be perfect is Jesus. He will perfect us. Today I ask for an extra level of peace and faith for you and I. Forgive us for our unbelief. Be still and know that He is God. Be faithful in what He asks you to do today and today only. Be blessed on your journey.

How can I pray for you this week?

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I don’t know what dream you have in your heart, but I do know that chasing your dream is hard. There will be setbacks, rejection and many discouragements. It is difficult chasing your dream because dream chasing requires many steps of faith with no hint of light on the other side. It is like walking in the night; each step leading you in a direction, however, you aren’t one-hundred percent certain. Sometimes you step on some kid’s toys and sometimes it’s smooth sailing to your destination.

It's possible

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Every dream chaser imagines the end result, but I have become convinced that this cheapens the ride. The fact is we don’t know the end and frankly I don’t want to know. Faith is required when we don’t know the outcome.

Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Faith is required to have a relationship with God and it is also required to live a fulfilling life. Hope and faith are two things that need to be at the forefront of any dream chasing journey. Without these things we will stand on the sideline waiting for our luck to change. God has a plan for your life and you and I need to walk it out.

I get way too wrapped up in the how instead of just taking a step. How about you? What has helped me is something I heard from Les Brown. It’s the statement, “It’s possible.”

Your dream is possible! As long as you keep moving and keep trusting God for his plan in your life, it’s possible to see your dream come to fruition.

Trust God and keep moving as He may hinge your dream in a direction you were not expecting. If He does, it is a better dream than you could  ever imagine. Have faith that Romans 8:28 is right, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Walk in His purpose taking steps of faith.

Hope and faith proceed any action, however, they are also increased by intentional action. When you head off toward your dream, life begins to look and feel differently. Your dream is possible. Get focused on the next step to make it a reality. Embrace and pursue your why with everything in you. It’s possible. Be blessed on your journey.

 

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