Regenerated!

After an eventful weekend, exciting, yet exhausting…I managed to make a video.  It’s a more simple video, compared to some of the others that I’ve made, but I just thought about it over the dinner that my wife made for us and our daughter, along with her two friends from church.  Hey…it only took about three hours!  And I have barely had a conversation with my wife all day…

****NOT THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE BLOG VIDEO.  THIS IS THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR THIS SONG BY THE BAND HIM.  AND SINCE I CAN’T USE MY OWN, I WILL DO THEM THE HONOR OF USING THEIRS, AND I LOVE IT DAMMIT!!****

This weekend my wife and I attended and volunteered at The Regenerate Women’s Conference hosted by our church, Central Christian Church of the East Valley in Arizona.  It was AMAZING!!!  We’ve both attended a “Women Of Faith” concert a few years ago while we were in Atlanta, so when the opportunity came up again, we couldn’t wait for another chance to experience the music, the fellowship, and the workshops that came along with it.  Problem was…the price was a bit too high for our resources this time around.  When I think about it, I can’t even remember how we managed to make it the last time, and that was an experience to remember, but a very funny story for another time.

Thankfully, through the resources of our church, and our availability and desire to serve our Lord for this event, we were both able to attend through a scholarship deal.  My wife was given the task, appropriate for her abilities, to be out in the public eye, attract and market products for Christian comedian, Kerri Pomarolli…who is crazy funny and an amazing servant of the Lord both on a professional and personal level, and she helped by handing out lunches to everyone who attended the conference.  I, who have been searching for a place to serve for a while now, had met up with one of our worship leaders a few days before the concert, had been given the opportunity to be on cameras for the event.

I had never worked cameras before, in fact, I haven’t picked up a video camera since I was, probably, nineteen years old, when my friends and I used to set up a camera in the corner of my basement (I had the entire basement to myself) and just leave it running, our own reality show.  Well, I had asked God to give me a task, and He charged me with something He must have known that I was capable of, and furthermore, to test me with.  It was not just a matter of working a camera, and not just a matter of working a camera for a major concert event with a major Christian recording star, Natalie Grant, it was about overcoming the fear of actually taking it on and following through with it.

Suddenly, all those prayers that I had prayed, asking Him to help me find my way and to find a place in this world had been answered.  Now, if I were to let my disabilities stand in my way, my panic/anxiety problems, my fears hold me back, what good was I to stand and proclaim His glory if I were to back down and cower in those dark zones of comfort that I usually find peace in.  How could I proclaim my own Faith if I didn’t have enough faith in myself to act upon a task that He had placed in my hands, and found me capable of.  How could I write this blog, from which the very foundation of it is “Faith without works is dead” if I have the Faith, had an opportunity, but didn’t act.  My credibility, my discipleship, and my guidance would be worth nothing…and that’s not good enough for me, because I know it’s not good enough for Him.  So I prayed to Him to help me through my fears and my anxiety, I took my task head on, did the best I could with what little knowledge I had, and with His help and the help and faith of everyone around me in that production booth that night, I made it through.  Although I have to keep praying on this…because panic/anxiety is not something that just goes away…thankfully, prayers are something you can do ALL the time!

So, the concert was called “Regenerate.”  That’s what I did…that’s what I’m doing.  I’m regenerating…we all are.  Every now and then we need to plug ourselves in and get the juice back so we have the strength and power within ourselves so that we may find the ability and the desire to continue doing all that we may do through each day to serve in every capacity.  Not just normal capacity, not just waking up, making breakfast, going to work, or doing the house-work, and then making dinner, doing whatever it is we do at night until it’s time to go to bed and wake up to the same next day…but serving outside our normal routine that satisfies what the world expects of us.  That’s the easy stuff.  That’s the stuff we can without barely having to think or try, and that barely pleases anyone, including ourselves.

It’s getting to the point to be able to regenerate…things happen in our lives that make us pause and think, wonder, question, even back away from God and our service toward Him.  Those obstacles are important, not to be overlooked and not to be looked down on by those struggling to understand the person that is stuck in that moment, however long it may last.  Those moments test us only to strengthen us and bring us closer to the The Lord once we can start handling each day with a little more ease and understanding of so many things, of our lives as a whole, of ourselves, of the world, of God.

At the conference, a woman was speaking about roses, and unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up with all that she said because I was in the production room and I was hearing a lot of other things going on as well.  My apologies to that speaker.  But, in essence, she spoke of how roses imitate the struggles of life.  Instantly, it reminded me of a video I made over a year ago when I was struggling quite a bit through a whole host of emotional hardships going on in my life.  My therapist had asked me to draw a vase with some flowers coming out of it and how it might represent, going from the bottom of the vase up to the flowers, a possible transition in my emotional journey that I hope to achieve, considering the sorrow that I felt at the moment, which would have, in her mind, been at the bottom of the vase, and the hope of happiness toward the flowers.

Well, I, being a little more creative than that, made a video with my favorite flower, the rose.  The stem, the part that people actually interact with, the hardest part for people to interact with because of it’s thorns…and the bloom, the flower, the most fragile part that we don’t really touch, but love to look at and smell, even lightly run across our skin because it offers that moment of gentleness.  It’s “life” in a flower.  It gives us thorns that we have to deal with, we get poked, we bleed, more times than other times…depending on our journey, but if we are committed to nurturing that flower because we know that in order to have it, and all the beauty that fills our senses that come with it, we must hold it and risk the suffering from the thorns.  But sometimes we’re stuck with a dead flower for a while, not that they, in their own right aren’t beautiful, because they are (I collect dried roses), they hold us down in a moment that makes it tough to rise from.  We hadn’t watered our soil, and all we have is a collection of dead leaves, and if we don’t pay attention to all those that may offer guidance, our Lord, our loved ones, and ourselves, those dead leaves will collect to be too much for any light to shine through so that one day, we may start to bloom again, in our own due time, with prayers and patience.

We bloom again, we’re regenerated, and we are once again back on track, walking on our individual journeys toward our Lord.  He knows of all our individual sufferings thus far, and to come, and what we are all capable of if we continue to let His light shine on and through us.  He taught His disciples well so that they could teach theirs and so forth, so that we may learn, and teach just as well, and with our experiences, our joys and sufferings within us, as guidance to help us, and others, along our path of the unknown toward the most amazing, heavenly rose.  I would love to show you this video, but YouTube blocked it and I can’t, as of yet, get it to post directly to this blog site.

Our commitment to Jesus should not be one of obligation, but one of pure Love, for He granted us freedom to leave Him at any time, although He would love us still.  Some people have chosen Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, and do faithfully Love Him and attend church every Sunday and know the Bible.  Some have accepted Him and have their own relationship with Him outside of church, may or may not know the Bible.  Some may be headlong in and know the Bible backwards and forwards in three different languages, and may also have Jesus as their Savior.  None of these, in my opinion, are wrong, as long as along with knowing the Bible hasn’t interfered with you’re understanding of the Bible.  Our Senior Pastor said today, that if you “dig too deep past your objective, you no longer enjoy the objective you set out for.”  So…let the “aha” high of the moment set in and linger before you just keep digging for more information, that’s no fun…and besides, knowledge is nothing without application.  All that knowledge isn’t going to pay off, so to speak, if you don’t take the time to do what you’re clearly being told to do.

So what are we being told to do?  Be Christians!  Christ-like!  Disciples.  Followers of Christ.  However you want to break it down…we’re being told to follow Him, for He is the way, and we’re being told which way to go to get to Him, because the road isn’t easy…it’s not supposed to be.  Christ died for our sins so that we may enter the kingdom of Heaven, He didn’t die for our sins so that we would never have earthly suffering.  It’s what we do with that suffering, and what we do with the joy that matters.  While our journey was nothing compared to His, why would it be so bad to commit our hearts, give the same passion in our journeys toward Him that He gave for us?  No…I’m not saying you should go try to get some anti-Christian group to start torturing you…but I am saying that it’s not so wrong to want to please Him, praise Him, guide others toward Him, glorify Him…do as much as you can to feel like you did as much as you could when the day comes for you to go to Him.  But then there are questions about that, now that I’m thinking about it…would it be at all costs?  I would not, by any means, let you think it’s okay to put your family, your marriage, your job on the line…you have to find a balance, but God will help you with that if it is your desire as well.  So be cautious, remember your earthly support, the ones you need when the chips are down.  And what about our responsibility as Christians to guide others toward the light of God?  Yes, it’s our responsibility, but we can only plant a seed, do our best to water it, but, ultimately, we can’t make something grow where the soil just may not be rich enough.  Or maybe just prayers and patience….but then that leads me back to the question of “at all costs?”  Would you, as a Christian, having accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, offer your salvation up to Jesus in exchange for someone else’s soul to be saved instead?  In the event of an emergency and you knew they questioned their salvation?  Makes you wonder about the conversations that go on around my house, huh?  Maybe those conversations are just inside my head…for our minds and our hearts are truly a deep web of confusing, chaotic chambers of thoughts and emotions.

Well, thankfully, The Bible, while a long read, and quite confusing if not taken on with an open mind and a touch of patience, has a much easier guide on how to walk the Christian path, regardless of your individual steps, to help us get back on track, get on track, or just keep on track.  It’s pretty much all written in the book of Hebrews.  But in Chapter 13, there’s a fairly good summary…

Hebrews 13: 1-8

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

   4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Simple, yeah?  Love one another, practice hospitality, show compassion to the suffering, stay sexually pure (don’t be creepin’ outside your bed), always be content, learn to follow Godly leadership, and God was..is..and always will be.  When you’re time has come for Him to take you into Heaven, don’t you want to have taken your place proudly?  Think about it…when He blesses you in your life, doesn’t it make you feel great that He’s done that for YOU?  When you get to Heaven and He’s seen that you Love Him that much, that you’ve done all that for Him…think about how good that would make Him feel, knowing that you didn’t just hear…but you listened.

~Dear God, thank you, once again, for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon our family this weekend.  For offering us the chance to serve you, meet others along the way, and gain knowledge in order to apply to our mission to find you, Lord.  Thank you for keeping our loved ones safe and healthy, and for continuing to do so, as we continue to have Faith in you that you have wrapped Fatherly arms around them, Lord.  Please continue to offer your guidance in our trials and your blessings where you see fit as a new week comes upon us, and help us to see the opportunities to serve you as well as we serve those immediately around us, to Love and Honor you just as much.  In your precious and holy name, and with my gratitude, I pray to you, Lord.  Amen.~

This is a song by HIM that brings out the emotion of what I’m trying to say up there in all that explanation of Christian craziness.

****I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT SONG THIS WAS, BUT IF I EVER DO I WILL UPDATE IT****

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