Tag Archives: identity

I am a Poet

I am a poet

Although I don’t look the part

Nor do I act the part

What could that mean anyway?

 

I may not always rhyme

Or follow the rules

In fact I rarely choose to do so

I don’t even know that name for what I do

 

However, that which I choose to do

Through lyrical composition

The expression of senses

Of the heart

 

Comes more naturally

Than almost anything else

It flows with such little effort

Thus, at the core, I am a poet

 

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What Are You Feeding?

I recently read a post from Mel Wild (http://melwild.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/working-from-rest-part-one/ ) on “why we should work from rest, which is simply abiding in Christ when you’re busy doing other things”. One of the main things that I got from it was a notion  that I felt I had slipped recently from living a life of worship into more trying to find time slots for God. This is a message I have heard several times before & something I have tried so hard to implement over the years, especially the past few years. The thing is, it is difficult, very difficult. It takes an initial conscious discipline that I am not always very good at.

In a way the most difficult part is rationalizing my life in my mind. I am without questions my harshest critic, often times I focus only on what I perceive to be the negatives of my life & behaviors instead of recognizing and embracing the good.

The problem with this way of thinking is that when we focus on the negative, we feed the negative and when we feed it grows, it becomes bigger, it becomes all you can see when you look at yourself. All of a sudden you are beating yourself up form not reading enough or meditating enough or praying enough or whatever it is that you’ve convinced yourself you should be doing more of.

It is the same with most of our struggles, struggle with working too much or drinking too much? The more you think about it the more it is all you focus on & invariably the more you do if it regardless of the fact that you know you need a better balance in your life.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of our life, not just the perceived negative. For me that is almost always initiated by a moment from / with God. Following these moments I always find myself focusing on God more & life in general just works better when I am living that way. When I focus on Him instead of the rest, the rest sort of just fades away.

This past weekend I had one of those moments, actually several. Following on from Mel’s message last week, there was a powerful sermon at my church on Sunday which taught on being patient, waiting for God to do what He has promised. To surmise, we were looking at when Joshua was walking around Jericho, six days they marched around with only trumpets playing, yet nowhere does it say that Joshua ever told his army why they were walking around this seriously fortified city & then going back to camp without saying a word.

What do you think the soldiers were thinking as they sat there in the evening? What were they saying to each other? Yet they prevailed, they trusted & on the final day the walls came tumbling down. Sometimes we have to remember that we may only be on day 2 or 3 of what God has planned (in this context). We have to trust, keep going, keep believing, keep pressing.

Sure, maybe you’re not who you think you should be yet (I know I’m not), but you are a work in progress & God, unlike us, is not in any hurry, so be gentle to yourself, be kind to yourself & trust that in His time, your struggles will pass away. The struggles or doubts or fears that you may be going through now are just a small part of your much larger journey. They are an opportunity for growth, and opportunity for faith. Hold fast, keep believing, he will see you through the whole journey, not just this one part.

Prior to this message on Sunday though was a real moment of God speaking identity to me through someone (I love it when He does that). A moment that confused me slightly at the time, yet has caused me to look a little differently at myself this week. Maybe I need to stop focusing on my perceived lack of time management skills that makes me feel somehow less devoted and instead live out of this identity that was spoken to me. Somehow I feel that my failings and struggles will seem less significant if I do this (it always has in these seasons in the past).

So what happened? On Saturday I was at Solomon’s Porch leading worship as I usually do once a month. In between sets a young lady came up to me and asked if I was the worship pastor. She asked as she wanted to thank me for leading worship and offer some edification. My initial reaction to the question was, no, that’s not me, I’m just a guy who plays guitar and sings here some times.  I’ve been called many different p-words before, but never a pastor, lol. Yet, in that moment at least that is exactly what I was.

Later in the day another person asked if I wrote songs, when I explained that I write many but finish few she strongly encouraged me to get working on them & to finish them. She told me I had a gift & that God would use it to help people if I would let Him.

Now, here’s some absolute honesty, I really wasn’t feeling it that morning. I felt physically a little under the weather, dehydrated or something, also my allergies were messing with my throat. To me I wasn’t doing that well, but to everyone that spoke to me during or after I brought the gift of beautiful worship.  Leading worship is not about the leader, I get that, yet in those moments I think it finally really sank in. Even when I am not “feeling it” personally, genuine love, devotion & worship will still be heard.

In these few simple moments, my loving Father spoke to me, He spoke to my true identity in Him. Yes there are some wonderful titles that people used, but that is not what I am referring to, He showed me once again that He loves me & He sees & loves my affection for Him. I need to stop looking at what I am “doing wrong” and get back to just focusing on loving my Father, for when I do, the rest will fade away regardless.

Focus on the good my friends, not the bad, feed your love, not your fears. Your life will be better for it, I promise you , my Daddy told me

 

Be blessed

 

 

PS Part 2 of Mel’s post came online this week while I was (slowly) figuring out what I was trying to say here J you can find it here: http://melwild.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/working-from-rest-part-two/

 

 

Broken male culture – Part 6 – Identity

Identity, this is a subject I have touched on so many times in different guises over the last year it seems almost redundant to write about it again. Yet in addition to giving you the links to some of my previous entries, I feel there is something specific to broken male culture that needs to be said here.

You see, I firmly believe, and you will never shake me on this, that the only way to receive your true identity is to hear it spoken to you from God. The Father who you can only gain access to through Jesus Christ. This is why identity crises are such a problem in male culture today. So many people who garner their identity from what they do, instead of who they are.

Don’t believe me?  Until the past few years, if you had asked me to describe my identity to you, I would have told you about my geographical origin, about my job, my sports affiliations, my family, on a goo d day, maybe even my faith.  The result of my identity being tied to these “things” is that it only ever added to my struggles. Just look at my twitter handle, LUFCTX, on the face of it, it looks like a Leeds United fan that lives in Texas. Which is true, however, the truth is I garnered a big part my identity from that for many years. A big part of who I would tell you I was, was based on people I will never meet who either watched and cheered for the same team as me or people who chase a ball around a field for obscene sums of money. Heck these days they’re not even any good at it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being passionate about sports, or anything else. However when it becomes who you are, when something like a sports team is the highest ranking thing in your life, it should be a warning that things are not right.

How did Leeds United come to be at the center of my identity? Looking back, it was about acceptance, about belonging. At a time when the world around me made very little sense, football mattered to me, it was my passion. Standing on the kop screaming, singing, shouting with thousands of others, it felt good, it felt right. So over time, as the rest of life went from crazy to chaotic and back again, the one thing that was always there was my identity as a Leeds fan.

Of course, that is an external identity; much more significant is the identity at the core of your heart, the things you believe to be true about yourself. I’ve heard it said that a lie believed to be true will accept you as if it were true. Some of the things I believed about myself were that I was unlovable, unforgivable, insignificant and would never be good enough. The route of these beliefs? That is for a face to face conversation. The effect of this collection of lies? I lived with a spirit of fear for most of my life, perfectly adept at surviving and living life in the world. To the outside most people would not even notice anything, I was just like everyone else. However on the inside I was rotting away, my light was not allowed to shine for fear that it was not a good light. That is what Jesus changed, that is the lie based identity He took away and replaced with the beautiful truth. I am a beloved child of the King. Adopted through salvation, significant, worthy, forgiven, loved and just the type of good enough that He likes to use.

 

My hope with this series, other than to get back on track blogging? Is the hope I have for the rest of my life, to encourage others to move away from what is secretly rotting them inside. Whether it manifests itself in a spirit of fear keeping you from being who you were created to be; or if it manifests itself in some obnoxious overly confident front, yet you have never let anyone get truly close to you. Whether you are trapped in a quest for success at the expense of all else; or if you are trapped in medicating your pain through whatever your substance of choice is. Whatever ails you, even if you have yet to admit it ails you.  You have a Father in heaven that loves you and wants to help you move into your true identity. He wants to heal you and He wants to use you. We all have a story to tell, our stories are our testimony. We overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. You may not see it yet, but my friend, your light is beautiful, it is time to let it shine. Ask God to tell you who He says you are. Be patient, pursue Him and watch him change you before your very eyes into the you that you were created to be.

 

Be blessed my friends & have a wonderful Easter.

 

Here are the links I promised, just some easy unhiddenlight reading if you have nothing better to do today.

 

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/02/17/identity/

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/06/16/happy-fathers-day/

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/04/18/the-kingdom-matrix/

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/08/05/the-disguise/

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/05/31/living-an-authentic-life/

https://unhiddenlight.com/2013/04/26/complete-surrender/

 

The Disguise

He walks through life wearing a brilliant disguise

He looks the part, the part they expect

Yet he has never felt comfortable in that role

He never conformed like he should have

The destructive wild streak

Feral instincts so difficult to subdue

 

Ashamed of the truth, he hides it

The disguise serves him well

Nobody believes what he is capable of

Nobody needs to know, at least that’s what he tells himself

Distance is kept, full access never granted

What shocks or regales others, he finds familiar comfort with

 

Assimilation, can the disguise become the reality

Can the part, the role, become the reality?

Would it be possible for satisfaction to be gained, without wanton self destruction?

Would calm seas actually be preferable to the raging torrent?

If the ways past could be abandoned, could peace be found?

Is the disguise even a disguise anymore, or is what was just deafening echoes of distant history

 

He asks, is it what is really wanted?

There is the fear of losing the fire

Right or wrong, the fire feels good, it feels part of him

As calm fades into rage, as hate drifts into love

Why is he so complicated, so defective?

He feels like a drifting soul with no place to call home

 

This of course is a lie, yet what is fully known in the head

Struggles to penetrate the soul

As he touches the bottom of the ocean, yet again

He begins to rise and wonders what it would be like,

How would it be to live outside the ups and downs

So help is sought, in the places of old and also places new

 

 

Or just turn off the faucet of the soul

Retreat into the depths of subconscious

Be like all the rest, at least how all the rest appear

Think less, feel less, be numb

He knows however, that this is not possible

The truth cannot be unlearned

 

Wallowing in indecision

Struggling with things he was convinced were finished

He turns, he runs, towards what he knows to be true above all

Received graciously into the loving arms of the Father

Once again he finds solace in the one who gave the truth

The future is a clouded mystery, but He will never be alone in it

Sometimes I Miss the City

Sometimes I miss the city

I miss feeling like I belong

Not lost in a sprawling mass of muddled towns

But part of something identifiable

 

Sometimes I miss walking to the store

Stumbling home from the pub

Maybe catching a train

Or riding the bus with stinky people

 

Most days though, I prefer the country

I enjoy the quiet, I like seeing stars

I like feeling safe, I like saying hello

I like being the limey cowboy I was born to be