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Forgive Me

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Forgiveness is a healing agent; repairing the spiritual wounds caused by others as well as myself. The internal process of forgiveness remains the most difficult as I continue to navigate through life as an imperfect person – destined to make mistakes. I’m always trying to “fix” things, so when I break something (e.g., hurt someone unintentionally), I wouldn’t initially forgive; I’d beat myself up more than anyone else ever could.

When I think of the situations I should have avoided or the people I shouldn’t have trusted – I found it hard to forgive myself for placing my life in harm’s way.

Through God’s Word and continuous prayer, He reminds me that He has forgiven me; therefore, it’s okay to forgive myself.

I refer to forgiveness as “healing and repairing” because it is something that lives in the present with me. In order for forgiveness to work in my life, I must keep it in the NOW; I cannot leave it in the past nor anticipate it in the future.

As it relates to others, I need forgiveness to release the pain caused by others. It has nothing to do with their remorse or apology. As we hold on to their actions, it erodes us from within. The anger, bitterness, resentfulness, etc. spills over into other areas of our lives. I’m called to lead in a world predestined to work against me. If I hold on to what others have done to me, I threaten the destruction of my purpose and weaken my effectiveness to live in that purpose.

Forgiveness is not an option, it’s a mandate from God that keeps my adversaries from winning. Despite it’s non-negotiable status, it is one of the most excruciating actions to employ; but thank God it gets better with time.

My spiritual, physical, professional and personal goals are directly linked to my being a man. Forgiveness is an invisible action with highly visible results. In the natural, I thought it would make me appear weak. In the spiritual, I’ve learned how forgiveness is like strength training for my soul. It keeps my sins from being remembered by God. It is the sledgehammer that breaks the lock of guilt, depression, anger, envy, anxiety and bitterness. The caveat is that the sledgehammer is heavy at times. Thank God I’m a man with upper-body strength!

Thankfully and prayerfully, God grants us the strength to wield that sledgehammer of forgiveness, regardless of our size. The process starts with Him. It continues with Him. I didn’t truly understand what it meant to be a man until I embraced the potency of forgiveness. It has healed  decades of self-hate, bitterness against those who probably don’t remember my name and blockage between me and the Almighty God who has forgiven me countless times.

The process of forgiveness has saved my life… eternally.

 

 

 

Mind Renewal

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It started when she said “yes” and posted their picture on Facebook. I saw where he used to be and where he stands today. He used to look like me; but now he resembles where I’d like to be: tall, brown, fit and focused. His renewal compelled me to reach out to him via email and discover his habits and lifestyle. The brother was empathetic, enthusiastic, encouraging and most of all – informative. We agreed to stay in connect so I can power through the same journey of transformation he experienced.

I’ve taken steps without moving my feet. Before making a grocery list or buying new workout T-clothes, I started the journey in my mind. Now I’m in the midst of my body following the leadership of my mind instead of the other way around. Our destination is an oasis of better eating habits, increased physical activity and proper rest. We must get there together.

Following God’s divine order is guaranteed to be met with persecution. There’s only so much I can do and I’ve chosen my work, talents and time to be given to the glory of Him who saved me. This requires prioritization that will often leave those around me, in their feelings. As much as I dislike hearing it, the truth is that I don’t have time.

I don’t have time to binge watch reality TV for 8-10 hours. I don’t have time to stare at 3429856324985734 games on my phone (unless its for 5-10 minutes while I’m in the checkout lane). I don’t want to be complacent where I am, with no desire to move forward. I don’t have time to divest the precious commodity of my lifespan, into activities that aren’t beneficial to God, the kingdom and those He specifically directed me to help.

There’s a huge majority of people who could care less about me beyond my capability to do something for them. I am the sum total of my talents… that’s what I used to think.

When you tap into God’s purpose, you must re-prioritize people, goals, etc. and someone is going to be pissed. It shouldn’t be you.

God has been the only consistent source of peace and my mind needs it above all else. My mind needs peace.

I’ve had to close the IMAX theatre of my brain that played continuous, 3-D renditions of every mistake, bad decision and sadness that has darkened my doorstep. First, I had to kick out the people sitting in there, chilling with popcorn. Heh. Forgiving others was doable, because God told me it was something I must do. The hard part was getting my mind to forgive myself and that’s still an ongoing process.

In order to enter into a new dimension of ministry, health, family and creativity, my mind must be renewed with the promises of God, fruit of my labor and stewardship of resources placed in my care. Some days are easier than others, but I’m believing my mind will renew, those meant to stay in my life will be happier having being in my life and my lifestyle will reflect peace, vitality and boldness in the name of Jesus.

Three Is The Magic Number

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My new BASICS notebook keeps me connected to that “analog life” while consolidating four (4) digital calendars by way of organized paper and my trusty Pilot G2 gel pen. I love my devices (e.g., smartphone, tablets, laptop, etc.) and I believe the muscle memory associated with handwriting allows my written words to adhere to my mind better. In addition to calendar entries, this notebook contains weekly prompts to stimulate me. This week’s prompt was:

Each day this week before going to bed, write down three things that you are grateful for.

My reflections on this task today took me to a revelation that gave me comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. My three grateful things for today found themselves far from the cliché…

I’m grateful for a successful surgical procedure. This morning I underwent oral surgery with a myriad of mixed feelings. I’ve only had one surgical procedure in my life (which was also oral) and that experience crafted an unpleasant memory of pain, abandonment and regret in which I needed (and received) deliverance (Amen!).

Today was not only a simple process, with manageable discomfort, but my recovery the past several hours has been nothing short of miraculous. I know it is because of the prayers of my family, friends and colleagues all over the country. It’s amazing to actually “feel” the power of prayer surround you and I’ve very grateful for that experience / lifestyle.

I’m grateful for syndicating my defunct podcast. Seven years of my life was spent producing a podcast showcasing the best indie music in the world. I was blessed with awards, partnerships, friendships and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. I produced my final podcast in December 2013  and there are literally hundreds of one-hour MP3s of my show sitting on an external hard drive as well as the cloud.

The site was shut down in ’13 as well, but I’ve revitalized the domain and re-broadcasted shows will be available for download on Mondays and Wednesday. I’m grateful I have such a vast library of creative expression that features so much obscure music that still needs to be discovered. Despite that season of my life ending, it will live on via the Internet.

I’m grateful for phenomenal friends and prayer gladiators. There have been subtle events this week that attempted to make me sad, angry, disappointed and extremely cautious towards individuals. Watching passive aggressiveness mix with long term memories as a function of manipulation just made me shake my head… and pray. The sobering reality is some people enter your life with a one-sided agenda that only benefits them. The harsh reality is some people feel it’s their duty to remind you of your torrid past, under the guise of living in their truth, while lazily acknowledging the deliverance and diligence to walk as a new creature.

The problem is some people choose to exit their season in your life as a victim or martyr rather than embrace their contribution to the departure.

In contrast, there’s a group of people who pray aggressively, consistently and sincerely – with no agenda – and their prayers have become an added layer of awesome over so many areas of my world. Thank you, Jesus.

I recognize the God-exclusive beauty of subtraction actually ADDING to my life. Having a tooth extracted adding to my improved health. Resurrecting a defunct podcast, that’s been dead for three years, will incite discovery into the most creative souls of our generation. Feeling the intercession of those whose ink is still drying from writing my name on their prayer list, while those who’ve professed to care for decades — are leaving with the memory book of sarcastic nostalgia still tucked closely underneath their hearts.

Subtraction can equal addition when you serve a God who defies logic, nature and our perception of reality.

Thank you, God. 

 

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