Cake For Everybody! Part 2

Part of being in community with people is seeing how others you know are being celebrated, favored, and straight out blessed. Right in front of you.

Time for a moment of truth:

I haven’t always found it easy to instantly go into celebration mode whenever someone else have had their socks blessed off.

Even when I know I should be leaping with joy, do cartwheels around the block, and shout until my voice is gone, it doesn’t mean I feel like doing so.

Something in me reasons that when someone else are celebrated, favored and blessed, there’s less left for me. There’s not enough to go around. Someone else received what I also needed and wanted, and therefore, I can’t have it, or as much of it as I desired. A spirit of poverty, rejection and comparison takes root in my heart (if I let it).

The truth is, there is enough to go around; more than enough.

There’s cake for everybody!

Instead of feeling that I miss out on anything, I am reminded that because I choose to go and celebrate someone else, I also get a reward (the party and what it has to offer).

The celebration of someone else is also a testimony that good things do indeed happen. I’ll wait a bit longer, and those good things will surely come my way.

 

 

Cake For Everybody!

There’s cake for everybody, did you know that?

When you go to a birthday party, there is one particular person being celebrated that day. He or she will probably receive some gifts.

They will get the most attention. They are the ones whose lives are celebrated that day. 

But you get to be at a party. There will be fun, games, cake and other treats. All because you chose to go and celebrate your friend! 

Celebrating others always gives a reward, even when it’s not literally raining cake over you. 

As you attend the parties of friends, it will also remind you that your time to be celebrated will come. It’s like a Law. Everyone has a birthday, and yours will come up, even if it is 359 days from now. 

Everyone will get celebrated in due time. And in the meantime..

..there’s cake. Yum. 

Love Yourself

So He (Jesus) answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV)

I’m sure there’s a lot I could say just from this one sentence. About loving God. Loving your neighbor. 

But I’m not going to. 

Instead, I will focus on the part where Jesus says we need to love others as we love ourselves.

Isn’t loving God and others important? It’s pivotal!

But so is loving yourself. As you love yourself, you’re supposed to love your neighbor (those around you, basically) accordingly. 

Having a high value for yourself (healthy love), actually enables you to love others even more. 

Valuing yourself is not arrogant. I can be confident and still humble. I am not more, I am not less. I am everything I’m made to be. Valuing myself is actually honoring God, who created me. 

 

How can I love myself?!? (In a healthy way) 

Stay in community with God and people. Listen to what He has to say to you and receive His love for you. Meditate on His love for you. Listening to what God has to say to you is by far the most effective way to start loving yourself. Others can do so much, but God is the key. 

Let significant ones speak into your life, and learn to receive from them as well. Be vulnerable. Be accountable. Share life. 

Be aware of and communicate needs and boundaries. 

Some needs are very practical, but a great way to love yourself. Enough sleep. Nutritious food. Good friendships. Feeling valued and safe. 

Now would be a good time to make an action plan in order to love yourself well: 

Set aside time with God and significant others. Get accountability partners and mentors. Write down needs and necessary boundaries, and make sure to communicate them when needed. Make a plan to have your basic needs met (that are currently unmet). 

Sit down and record a 100 things you love about yourself or that you’re good at. 

Ex: 

I love my eyes. 

I’m a good listener. 

I’m a great dancer. 

I love the way I speak. 

 

If it’s hard for you to get to a hundred (or even 30), well, then you really need to make this list! 

Find someone to share the list with. Keep the list and go through it regularly. Tell yourself: 

“I have beautiful eyes!” 

“I’m a good friend”  

Especially when you don’t “feel it”. 

 

Good luck! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Simplest Words

You know when you really want to share something extraordinary, or write something quite profound? 

And then you find yourself too tired to think of anything

That, of course, never happens to me. 

 

Actually, I was reminded today of one of those extraordinary, yet simple moments. 

Last year, I was part of a group of people meeting on a regular basis. From time to time we’d have visitors coming, and custom here is to give visitors a “word”*. 

For some reason, no one really jumped to the occasion, and the leader of our group jokingly said: 

“God loves you, and has a great plan for your life.” 

So cliché. 

And still.. 

It was as if we all paused for a moment, and although everyone laughed, it was a very sobering moment. 

God loves you.. 

Is that not a good word? A needed one? What loving parents would stop telling their children how much they love them just because they’ve already heard it once or twice? 

He has a great plan for your life.. 

Honestly, who doesn’t need to hear that from time to time? 

We all needed to hear these words that day. And we need to hear them every day and stop and think about the implications of these simple words. They contain so much. 

God. Loves. You. 

And. He. Has. A. Great. Plan. For. Your. Life. 

* Word 

In case you’re wondering, word here means a word from God to a person or group. The word needs to be encouraging, comforting and/or edifying. The word given above is truly encouraging and comforting, but also very general. Words from God can also be very specific, giving direction and encouragement into a person’s life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Real

When I was a small child I was for real, I was true to myself. Then I grew up, and somewhere along the way I learned to pretend. Basically I thought that I needed to be someone else to be loved, liked and successful. But even if I could pretend I was someone I wasn’t with others, I could never fool myself. I knew better, and therefore I didn’t love, like or approve of myself. I had so little love for myself, I’ve had to ask my heart for forgiveness later on. I hurt myself. It took me some time to learn to trust and love myself again.

Believing we’re not important, lovable, beautiful, etc., is so destructive, yet oh, so common. Look around and you’ll see it spill all over the place. Or, maybe you won’t even have to look around to find this belief.. ?

For years tried to prove myself, to others, to God, to myself even. I always improved, but never enough to fill the void on my inside. No matter how far I reached, total success was just out of reach.

Not long ago it dawned on me how little I know myself. I hadn’t allowed myself to have needs and wants for such a long time. I asked myself,

“What do I like?”

“What do I need?”

“What am I passionate about?”

These questions were hard to answer. It was hard for me to come up with any, or just a few “likes”, “needs”, and “passions” that I was certain about. Some things seemed so shallow, so meaningless. Then there were other things I felt I should feel passionate about, but wasn’t.

I had to come to terms with that, and it took me a while. I felt disappointed with myself, and a little despairing too, having a hard time finding anything at all that I could see myself being passionate about for more than a short season. The way I felt, Heaven would be like Hell in this state.

Slowly but steady, however, I got to know myself better. It was as if my heart crept out of its shell after being in hiding for a long time. I realized that I did indeed like a lot of things, but maybe not what I had thought. I had to be honest with myself and agree that there were things I felt that I should like, such as for instance being in the lime light, or preaching, that I didn’t like at all. I haven’t quit doing these things, and I will probably keep doing them, but I honestly would feel better about someone else doing it, and I’m more and more ok with admitting that.

I realized I had several needs that were being unmet, such as enough sleep, a good bed, or having good boundaries in certain relationships. Eventually I learned to love myself better, and acknowledge that I do indeed have needs. I’m not entitled to these, and I don’t expect to always having my needs met, but I now acknowledge that my needs are there, and that they are important, even if I sometimes (often) have to put my needs aside for someone or something else.

God created us with needs, for love, for community with each other. For us to help each other meet each others’ needs.

When you ask yourself, are you able to answer:

“What do I like?”

“What do I need?”

“What am I passionate about?”

If not, you should sit down and find out. Find out who you really are, appreciate and love yourself, and you’ll get so much further.

Going To The Impossible Places

(Written 2012) 

I’ve gradually become aware of how I tend to write things off before even considering them.

I won’t even ask myself:

“Do I want to do this?”

Instead, I move on and go for something else; something I know can happen. Something that is likely to work out. Something I know I can afford. Some area where I know I am qualified. Something I can do in my own strength, so to speak. 

During Christmas Break I had more time than usual to sit down and really think about life. Especially life coming up in the next few months. 

I realized how much I won’t even consider certain things, but instead I’d say “No” before I’d even dared to dream.

Why?

Either because I didn’t know how it could happen financially (which is really an issue of not trusting God).. 

And/or because if you have dreams, they can be shattered. You may not get to do what you dream of, at least not as soon as you’d like to. You may have to face being rejected some times (whether it’s personal or not). 

As I realized how I was thinking,  I knew I had a choice to make – ASAP!

Would I go on to the Impossible Places, or would I stop my journey right here and now and go home? 

I decided to go for the Impossible Places. I decided that I would go for my dreams, unless God specifically led me another direction. It didn’t really matter whether I got that dream fulfilled. I’m not saying it didn’t matter to me at all, but I knew that even going for the impossible was the most important for me in this season. This meant stepping out and being vulnerable. I would have to really trust God to come through. I would have to trust that He was backing my dreams. And I would have to trust people in the process. Trust people with my dreams and desires. 

And, since I know God is good, I knew that if He stopped me from doing a certain thing, it’d mean He had something better in store for me! 

Going to the Impossible Places is an interesting journey, though; much like finding the end of the rainbow, I can imagine.

It’s beautiful, exciting, it’s different.

It’s also a bit surreal, and no one will understand what you’re doing, unless they’re going to the same place. Most of all, what you attempt to do is impossible, as the name implies. Then, as you’re there, it’s not impossible anymore, and the Impossible Places aren’t quite where you’re at anymore – they moved. Just like that rainbow. And, suddenly you’ll find that what seemed impossible has become possible, and not only that – others will look at where you are – and think it’s totally normal. That means it’s time to move on. 

When I go in search for the impossible, everything can happen! I set myself up for success. I let God prove “them” wrong, all those saying it can’t be done. You see, it can be done – with God! 

What are your impossibilities right now?

I invite you to go on a journey, find the place, and make a way for others to follow! You’ll find gold at the end of the rainbow. You’ll always move on a wealthier person. 

 

Being Ministered To

(Written 2012)

God want us to be whole. Did you know that?

This truth really hit it home with me a few months ago, while I was on a ministry-trip.

Yes, a ministry-trip. Those trips where you minister to other people in different ways. I’m not even sure where this lie snuck in, but somewhere in life I bought in to the lie that I’m here to minister to others, and that I’m not that important. You’ve probably heard it; be a servant, be humble, love others, etc.

When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense though. I mean, none of us are going to care about being ministered to ourselves, but we need people to minister to!?! Where do those people come from? In this kind of mindset, you’re either a receiver or a giver, and you’re told you should be giver!!! So we’d produce a culture of givers, but with no one to receive..

I’ve been on a bunch of ministry trips over the years, and although I would grow from the experience, see great things happen, and overall be encouraged, I’d also always feel burned out by the time we were done, or even before we were halfway through. I had this mindset (unconsciously) that I could only minister to others while on a ministry-trip – or in any kind of ministry. My own needs were not important, were they sleep, nutritious food, being loved on by others, getting alone-time, or other things.

I wanted to love on others, but didn’t love myself much, or didn’t dare to! Jesus however, tells us to love others with the same measure we love ourselves (Luke 10:27).

Why?

Well, you can’t love others more than that! You can try, but it’s not going to work.

Back to the ministry trip:

The team leader told us (the team) that:

“I don’t care if you don’t minister to anyone on this trip, as long as you are being ministered to and made whole by God.”

To me, it was as if God Himself spoke through that man and directly to me. God told me:

“I am healing you right now.”

God wanted me to know that He wants to and can minister to me at all times.

He wants me to be whole, which means a whole, healthy body, soul and spirit, as I am a triune being.

I am important to Him!

How sad it would be if I was created only for what I could do, and not for who I am!

Then God would only like me for my works.

Instead, I’ve come to realize more and more how I am pleasing to God the way I am. And He wants to make me fully whole – for my sake, because that’s how real love is.

I have a full-time job; would you like to hear what it is?

To be loved.

I was created to be loved by God. This is not something I can only enjoy in my spare time.

No, it’s a FULL-TIME job!

During the afore-mentioned ministry trip, I discovered that God had set me up to be ministered to by Him!

It was like I couldn’t escape HIS ministry to me!

That’s the beauty of it – you can receive it anywhere. And from anyone!

One instance was as I stood in front of a congregation with the rest of the team, to prophecy over and pray for anyone who’d want it. The first man in my line didn’t come to get ministered to (this is highly unusual, by the way!)

He gave me a word, and left me baffled. And that was neither the first or last surprise ministry I got that day. God ministers through people. A whole lot.

Later that evening, our last evening there, I was planning on going out into the hot tub where we stayed, with some other people. As it turned out, no one else were going, and I was contemplating whether or not to go, after all.

Then I was reminded of this person I heard about who had had a God encounter in a bath tub. For me that was a green light, and I got up to get ready. Just then, a guy called my name and told me I should go in the hot tub even though no one else were going, because:

“I think God wants to encounter you there.”

Sweet.

Well, I went, and had a good time, feeling like God really spoke and ministered to me there. But that’s another story 😉