Archive for the ‘Self’ Tag

Removing Layers   1 comment

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Today I was thinking about the discovery of boats which have sunk to the ocean floor many years ago.  Have you ever watched a show on television which documents the discovery of one of those vessels?  Once the vessel is discovered, it takes a long time to bring parts of the vessel and its contents to the surface.  Even when the items are brought to the surface, there is a painstakingly slow process of removing all the sediment, barnacles, and effects of being underwater from each item.  Yet, the end result is a restoring of the beauty and detail of each of those items.

As I was considering all of this, I began to think about how this can be said of many people.  Over time, each of us takes on the dust and crud of life.  Each person and event which touches our lives adds its own mark and leaves a residue.  More and more lingering aspects of life attach to us so that we have layer upon layer, much like those items discovered with sunken boats in the ocean.  These layers add weight to us and can hide the beauty and details of who we were originally created to be.

So it becomes important to take time to remove the layers.  Like the removal of the ocean effects on sunken treasure, this process can take a lot of time.  At times, the process can hurt.  Yet, if we pursue in doing this work, the true beauty and nature of ourselves will be able to be seen.  We will once again remember how wonderfully we have been created.  We will be reminded of who we truly are and what we have to offer to others.  Our self will shine forth with a luster which dazzles ourselves and others.

My encouragement to all of you is to make sure you take time to remove the layers of life which cover you.  Let your truly amazing self be restored and shine forth.


Seeing Beyond Self   1 comment

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During my morning devotions today, I explored the question of how I can be blind to Christ?  The discovery that occurred was that the most frequent way to be blind to Christ is by being inward focus.  I know that this is a problem which I have from time to time (probably more frequently than I care to admit).  I would venture a guess that others struggle with this problem.  I would say without any uncertainty that this problem prevails in the Church.

There are many reasons which lead to an inward focus.  Besides the obvious view that “if I don’t look out for myself, no one else will,” there is the reality of greed and self-centeredness.  I find it very easy to isolate myself as a mode of survival.  My view of the world and others becomes very narrow.  I exist in a small area of awareness with me in the middle.  Anyone or anything that attempts to invade that space or to pull me out of that space meets violent resistance. I might lob an attempt of a kind gesture out of my box of existence but that is more to make me feel good about myself than it is about making someone else a little better.

Whenever I behave in a manner of inward focus, I cannot be looking at Christ.  I am blind to Christ because it becomes all about me.  Christ set an example of an outward focus.  He often sacrificed his own physical health to meet the demands of the people around him.  He called upon his disciples to follow this example and to see beyond themselves.  Christ continues to call us to do the same in many different circumstances and many different ways.

How are you looking beyond yourself?  You will be surprised when you do so, you will see Christ.

Not Easy Being Green   Leave a comment

puzzle piece graphic

puzzle piece graphic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many years ago, a famous celebrity sang a song that became a huge hit and was very helpful to many adolescents and adults.  The famous celebrity was Kermit, The Frog, and the song that he sang was, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”  Kermit is lamenting about being a color that doesn’t stand out and seems quite ordinary.  But then he ends the song stating that he is what he is and it actually is good.

I think that there are many times in our lives that we question why we are who we are and lament to be something different.  There are also times when we feel quite different from others.  We may even be placed in situations where we are raising a voice that seems alone and does not fit very well with the voices around us.  Like Kermit, we may wish to be something different.

However, we have been made to be the wonderful piece of the puzzle of which we are a part.  As a puzzle piece we are unique and only we can fill a certain place in life’s puzzle.  There are times when we blend in as part of a beautiful image and other times when we stand out.  I have a very important role and voice which are vital to the Creator’s plan of life.

So like Kermit, we need to come to the realization that while it may not always be easy being what we are created, we are good and play a very necessary role.  The next time you are feeling too ordinary or too unique, take time to listen to a good friend, Kermit.  He will remind you that while it may not be easy, you are definitely who you were intended to be.

Posted October 12, 2012 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

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Defining Me   Leave a comment

P question

P question (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the universal aspects of humanity is that each person strives to define who they are as a person.  It is a quest that we begin during our toddler years and I believe it continues all of our life.  There are some aspects of our definition that are established at different significant points in our lives and which remain the same throughout the rest of our lives.  However, I believe that there is an aspect of redefining that is ongoing throughout our lives.  Some times the redefining aspect becomes very frustrating and at other times it is a great blessing.

The major pitfall in this quest for definition of ourselves is when we allow others to define us.  Comments that people make to us and about us can often impact the way that we define ourselves.  A wise person in my life is prone to remind me that “just because someone says that you are a chair, it does not make you a chair.”  Yet, I frequently find myself allowing individuals to define who I am and believing that their definition is correct.  Occasionally, the comments of others can provide a different perspective that does help me to see myself in a different light.  However, accepting these comments must be done with caution.  I must make sure that the comment is supported by other input that I receive.  Instead of living into what another person says about me, I must live out what I truly am.

There is one part of my self-definition that is completely unchanging.  I AM A CHILD OF GOD.  This truth is not unique to myself but it is at the core of the definition of myself.  No matter what life or individuals throw at me, this fact is completely unchanging and unaltered.  Through my belief in Jesus Christ, my adoption has been complete.  Because this is the core of my self-definition, I remind myself that I should treat myself and I should be treated as such.  No matter what other comments are made about me by others, God will never change this definition of me.

The really cool thing about this core definition of one’s self is this…..  Each and every person that reads this blog post can make exactly the same claim.  So as I try to define myself and realize that the definition is fluid, I know that the most important component of the definition is unchanging – I AM A CHILD OF GOD.

Thank you Lord!

Posted October 5, 2012 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Faith/Life Connections, Life

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