Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Season of Growing; Battery Percentage

Hello world. I am so inspired about an idea that I'm going to write and capture a video about it. I've decided to write it out to innovate more thoughts on the subject and speak it out on video to release my passion. The reason I love writing is to stop and meditate. I put deep thought behind writing and have noticed it takes longer than an impromptu video. I love capturing my thoughts on video to show my outward passion. When you read, you use your mind to understand. When you watch a video or are present during a speech, you see the conviction and passion behind their voice. You use 2 of the 5 senses. Sight and hearing tied into emotions creates an indescribable experience.

I don’t want to, in any way, come against writing. Many people would rather get away to write their convictions. It takes a good amount of thought to go deeper than the average conversation. It’s hard to stand up in front of a group to speak your convictions. But others like me would rather share convictions through speaking to a group or talking one on one with a friend or stranger. I believe that it’s important to use every sense and every tool out there to reach every person possible; that’s me. Others have different ideas than me. I love to journal, write, use speech-to-text to write, use an audio app to record my memos and podcasts, use video to show my face. There are so many tools to use in this amazing technology age.

Before I finally begin, I want to give credit where credit is due. Jesus is the reason I live and breathe. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am not writing about the thoughts from the mind that has been so freely given to me. I take no credit for my ideas.

Have you ever had the struggle of your phone dying or your car running out of gas or you not having enough food for the day? I raised my hand for every one of those. Here’s another question… Have you been on top of those at least once for a day? How awesome did that feel!?

Have you ever thought of charging your phone constantly or making sure you have more food than you need or topping off your gas every time you drive your car? I know that most people don’t do that. You see that too. For example, when I eat out, go to the library, hang out at small group, hang out with my friends, or at a gas station. I notice that everyone lacks one of those things. People plugging their phones in an outlet, eating at a restaurant because they’re hungry, or at a gas station because they need gas. Our bodies, phones and cars need attention. We are like cars and phones… We need constant attention. But our bodies and minds are way more valuable and powerful.

Some of that is gibberish, I know. Here’s what I’m getting to. Whatever walk of life you are in, you need to plug your body in. What percentage do you run on daily? Do you charge yourself just enough to get through the day? Are you dead from the start of the day? Or do you run on 100% and constantly maintain your energy and health?

Are you someone who is more concerned about your car and phone that you don’t take care of your powerful self? Or are you more focused on your body and mind?

Whatever walk in life that you come from, I challenge you to grow a little bit everyday. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Read 2 pages and listen to a 15 minute podcast on an area you want to grow in. Make that a daily habit. I’m preaching to myself when I say HAVE IT DOWN EVERY SINGLE DAY! It takes me 6-8 minutes to read 2 pages if I study the pages thoroughly. If you “don’t have the time”, you need to change something in your life. Reading 2 pages and listening to a podcast takes less than a half hour. You NEED that in your life. You deserve that time to focus on yourself. Once you have that habit down, you can read more, listen to another podcast or make time for another discipline, but FOCUS on little wins first! Create your discipline sheet right now! It’ll take you 2 minutes!

I’m blessed to be an Electrician’s Apprentice. It’s one of those many jobs that requires driving from job to job on a daily basis. It means down time in my car every few hours. That’s valuable time. Most people spend that time listening to music or the radio. For me, that’s wasting time. Music and radio are great, but it’s the same song as yesterday and radio talk stations talk about who died and what happened in politics. I’m young and believe in hearing about thriving people, not dying people.

I spend that down time listening to health experts, church sermons, personal growth strategies, and getting financial advice. I need to maintain my mind at 100%. No negativity allowed. Always growing, always learning. I have this fire for learning and I don’t want it to burn out. It starts in the morning. A decision to get better. If I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse. I want to plug in every chance I get… Otherwise, my battery gets lower and lower. My goal is to run on the highest performance possible until bedtime. That’s when I fully recharge. Thank you Lord for rest!

Find your prime time to plug in and grow. I usually listen to podcasts during the day while I journal and read after work or even sometimes during lunch. Find 2 areas that you can grow in. If that’s journaling or reading, or even painting. Spend that time growing in your passion. Once you write down your areas of discipline, comment below and tell me what they are! I fully believe in YOU! Ready, GO!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I Confess

Lately, I've had such joy; I confess. But just like Colorado, that season can change in an instant. You create that joy by the steps that you take. Don't get me wrong, God is the creator of joy. He gives it to us. In His presence is the fullness of joy.

I have surrendered my life to Him. He promises that when anyone gives up their life, they may receive true life. But our actions have consequences. Both good and bad. Surrendering your life will in turn give you life. Keeping your life will in turn cause you to lose it. Blah blah blah. I know Michael. Stay with me. Before I tell you my story, I want you to know this: my goal is to be vulnerable and honest.

This last Friday (2 days ago), I was almost in 2 car accidents. On the first incident, I was driving down from Denver day dreaming when someone slammed on their breaks and I almost hit them as I slammed on my breaks. It wasn't just me. Many people behind me mirrored me and I imagine it was the same ahead of me. The second time, it would have been my fault; I confess. I was coming out of the Walmart parking lot and was stopped at the stoplight. My roommate at the time was right next to me and as soon as the light turned green, off we went. I confess, I am a street racer at heart. I love the adrenaline. I love speeding. I love passing aggressively. I love racing other racers. It feels good. If you feel the need to judge, please do. I'm being vulnerable and honest. The problem is that I don't see the consequences until right before they come.

We race a couple of times and just about every time, he beat me. I found out later that he had a V6 (6 cylinders) and mine was a small 2.0L 4 Cylinder engine (slower engine). The higher the cylinders, the faster the car. We were on highway 24 heading to Peyton. David was behind me and there were 2 cars ahead of me going 62 in a 65. I find the opportune moment when the street line was broken and the path was clear; except the hill. As I pass them, a car comes over the small yet non visible hill. I hit about 90 when I finally pulled into my lane after I passed the 2 cars. I didn't think about it until after I survived, but I was driving a little too dangerous. I could have hit that car that I was heading toward. I was going 90 and I could have died. Is my life worth taking over trying to prove who's a faster or efficient driver? Is it worth taking a strangers life? Those questions came to my head after the fact. Thanks self. I've noticed that because I'm still young, my brain hasn't fully developed. It's those moments that I learn to think before doing. Actions have consequences.

Before we came into Peyton, David passes me. We turn into the road near the post office and I take a back way home as he takes the normal route. I totally ignored the fact that I put myself in danger and the questions that came into my mind. We again race. This time on different roads. To make it short, I get home and we start talking about our racing moments. He hit 100 and I hit 95 on our race home. Again, those questions come in my head. I am so convicted by this time. The joy that I've been experiencing, the revelations with God, the overwhelming peace and love, the power of the Spirit working through me... All could have vanished on here. Heaven is a better place, yes. But I don't want to meet Jesus on a moment after stupidity. The friends I would leave behind. The family I would leave wondering what had happened. There is just so much I would have wanted to explain. So much I would have wanted to talk about, pray about, and experience with. Life.

I write this to save a life. I write this to be up front with my piers and mentors. I'm not hiding anything from my life. I'm exposing it. I don't know if I would consider it sin, but I wasn't valuing my life as I should. Jesus is the reason I have hope to live and to throw it away is to spit in His face. He has forgiven me for it 10 times, but I love Him and He loves me. I don't like doing things to hurt Him. I confess. My life and your life are so valuable, we don't even know.

Nothing is mine, not this life that I have
Everything I own, oh Lord is a gift
So who am I, to hold it with a firm grip
I give You my talent, I give You my time
I give You my eyes, I give You my mind

Lyrics by Flame - Tonight (All Of Me)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Season of Change - 1

I cannot tell you how excited I am to start this new blog! First, I want to give you an overview of this blog and second, write my new years story. I absolutely love Ecclesiastes 3. It's about the seasons of life and the work of man. Please go read that chapter so that you understand more about my story.

This blog is dedicated to the work of Jesus. My prayer now and will continue to be that you see and understand the work of the Holy Spirit. I was so excited to begin writing that I needed to use the restroom and spend time with the Holy Spirit to give me the words to write. You may or may not know, but when I get excited, I tend to say gibberish and speak all over the place. My prayer before writing this was that the Holy Spirit would give me the letters to type and that you, reader, would not only understand, but would see AND experience the conviction, joy, overwhelming peace, and the unconditional grace that I've experienced! Only the Holy Spirit can interpret that to you; because He is in both you and me (if you have believed and confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior). I can say all the words I want and have the best posts, but without the Holy Spirit, it would mean nothing. If I have the most knowledge when it comes to writing, but I have not love, I am nothing. But I have God and love and this blog is for Him and Him alone.

For those of you who don't know, I was in California for 4 months. September through the end of December. I felt called to move out there. It was in August when I was working with Woodmen Nissan that I was in a rough spot where my mom had been in California for many months already and I was in Colorado working full time. At this time, I was struggling with debt and making just under what my bills were demanding. I admit that I could have been better with my budget. Because of the full time hours at Nissan, I had to quit working with Vector Marketing/Cutco since I worked 9-6 and by the time I got home to eat and get a break, it was 7 or so. Not many people would want to meet for a demonstration after 7. My life was broke in many areas and the biggest was that I didn't hold on to my faith and much as I should have. I would wake up just in time to get ready and head to work and by the time I was done with work, I would eat dinner, take a shower and play video games. That was my lifestyle. Amazingly enough, Jesus knew I loved being spontaneous. I had already been planning a trip for a Cutco conference because everything about it would make a huge impact in my life. The people, networking, power personal growth messages, and the amazing hotels rooms that we would stay in.

I believe it was on a Tuesday that my mom called me. I was at work making sure the car lot was maintained and looking in good shape. I hated talking on the phone at work because I didn't want to get in trouble, but I needed to talk with my mom about what was going on. During the last few months, mother told me how great it was to spend time with her parents, yet at the same time, it was tiring and overwhelming her. Again, I was planning a trip to Texas for the conference so as she brought up the subject of the possibility of me coming out, I became fired up. At first, I said yes! After thinking for a few more seconds, I told her I would pray about it and brainstorm the idea. I had to make sure that it was what God wanted before I started packing and telling everyone. Believe me, I've had situations happen where I thought the situation was what God wanted and it fell through. There are times when we go through the motions for certain things and realize that it's not what the end goal was.

During the spring time, I was hanging out with my brother Peter consistently and I was convinced that we were doing to Texas to spread joy among our piers and thought that Peter was convinced too. When I found out he was accepted in to Young Americans in Orange County, California, I shifted my focus to going there. Young Americans is a dance school that travels around the country with all kinds of dance performances. I was super stoked for Peter. I knew that his dream was to dance around the country and eventually make it a living. Aside from the celebrating, he had to come up with a deposit in 2 weeks in order to begin the process with YA. He didn't know where the money was going to come from. Other concerns and he and I faced were finances for room and board, food, tuition, and for me, a job. We had to come up with all that in 2 months. I reaffirmed Peter that I could take out a loan for the both of us. I know it wasn't the best decision but it was considered "college" for him. The story came down to him quitting Starbucks at the time he was transferring his barista skills to Cafe Velo. I may be correct or not when I say that Starbucks paid him for the last 4 weeks in one paycheck while he was expecting pay from the last 2. That amount was just enough for the deposit with very little left over for food. He told me he didn't know how he was going to make it, but knew that God would provide. I don't want to get into too much detail because this is his story to tell. I do want to mention a few more details. One of the moms that he knew through dance had blessed him in the past with groceries and days after our conversation, this lady had blessed him with more groceries. God is GOOD! I could not explain how great I felt to see the favor of God pour over this man. To make the story short, we ended up not going to Texas or California. There are certain reasons why... You'll have to ask me. Moreover, ask Peter. He had a beautiful prize waiting for him at the end of the year.

That is why you shouldn't tell everyone when an exciting idea pops in your head. Unless, you want to explain to everyone that you didn't leave the state after you told them you were. Now, I don't know the full answer as to why we didn't go, but I am glad that God has given me the gift of optimism because when one door closes, there are always many more that will open.

This was a season of knocking on doors and finding out which ones opened. The first two doors didn't open for me. The third was San Jose, California. That door opened freely and with open arms (that is, if doors had arms).

This is the beginning of a series because there is so much to it that I don't want to leave out. It's such an amazing story to look back at and see the blessings that God had placed in my path. The next post will be about my experience going to Texas!

Thank you so much for reading! Again, I pray that you will understand and experience the emotions and be in the journey with me. I really do hope that you will see everything that God has been for me as He has been with me so that you can know Him on a deeper level and be aware of who He is.

"I'm more than you dreamed
More than you understand
Your days and your times
Were destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on my heart
Be still and trust my plan
I'm more than you think I am"

Danny Gokey