Believe Just Because You Can

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I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. 

I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.
It’s hard to believe God will give you something you don’t even want. That’s why it’s important to meditate on the Word. The Gospel according to John tells us the God is His Word and Jesus is the Word wrapped in flesh. When you meditate on it, you meditate on Him. Before you know it, His thoughts are yours. Your desires are His. 

You’ll be able to move past wanting random things and getting disappointed because you can’t have them. 

As you meditate, you’ll learn to wait. I don’t just mean sit idly, I mean to really wait on God. You’ll know the difference because the bible says that waiting on God will increase and renew your strength. If waiting is making you weaker, assess yourself. Are you being purposeful or doubtful? 

It’s hard to believe God for some things, but He knows that so He gives us faith. So believe because you can. 

OhCAE?

You Have to Try!

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Apparently, I’m pretty flexible compared to other people. I learned this because i tried bikram yoga and the instructor commented on it a couple times. Then when I started crossfit, the first night the coach asked me if I had an athletic background because of my flexibility. He complimented me on it every session for the first two weeks. 
  
I never would have been awakened to that talent if i wasn’t willing to try something.
There is so much in you waiting to be released, but it’s lying dormant because you’re afraid to be adventurous. 
Jesus tells us to come to Him as a child. As a person who has worked with children of all ages I have an interesting understanding of what that means.  One meaning is put this way by Bill Johnson “Embrace the adventure.” Because children haven’t had enough experiences to get bored with life they look at each day as day to discover something new about the world. They approach each day with new questions. They are fully aware that they don’t know everything and that doesn’t bring them a sense of shame. As a result, they’re always in a position to learn something new. 

Your journey with Christ is to be an ever evolving lifelong adventure. Ask questions. Try new different things. Step out into new territory and conquer it. The world is waiting for you discover who you really are. 

  

So I Asked

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This is a Part 2 to another blog called “Ask” so if you really wanna get this one and if you wanna make me feel good go read that one first. Click this link!
Ask, Seek, Knock

Oh Cae.. You done now?

As you read, for YEARS The Lord has been showing me that all I have to do is ask for what I want, but I still struggle to believe Him for crazy things.

I’m about to take you on a journey that I’ve been on since last summer. OhCAE? Follow me.

In July 2014, I moved to a new city after living in East Lansing my entire adult life, 8 years at the time. I didn’t have a job. I had spent my savings on my last few months of rent and car notes. The move was abrupt and I had no plan. Gas was still 3.75+ per gallon so commuting to my church in Lansing wasn’t an option. So I started going to another church that I was introduced to via my home church. Before I left the Lansing area, my home church started announcing a trip to Israel. I heard of it and thought it’d be cool to go, but as you’ve read I had no money. Fast forward to attending the new church and they announced the trip to Israel. (It took me a while to realize it was the same one). And when they announced it, they explained that this is an annual trip they plan to give people a right for Israel, but this year was different. This year isn’t gonna just be a normal tour. This is a year of strategic intercession, a year to be a watchmen on the wall, year to go into that region and be purposeful about shifting the atmosphere. That announcement charged me up, BUT I was bummed because although I had started making a LITTLE cash, a trip to Israel was super far fetched.

I started getting sad about my life in general and I just cried out to The Lord and asked Him why did it feel like I could never have or do anything I want? Why did I seem to only do things out of necessity. I told Him I really wanted to go, but it was impossible.

A few days later, I was rereading some of my blogs. I came across the one mentioned at the top of this one and The Lord began to minister to me through that piece. So… I asked. I asked The Lord if He could make a way for me to go on the trip.

In November, I decided to move to Detroit (yes, I was doing a lot). When I moved to Detroit, the family I was babysitting for didn’t want to lose me so they increased my hours as well as my salary. I was able to afford commuting and pay bills and still be able to save a little for the first time in forever. Still… Israel was a no go. I didn’t know what to do. So… I asked.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if I made a donations page would they help me pay for the trip.

I made it and chose an arbitrary end date in January and I was encouraged because people started giving, but that was before I found out the money was due December 18.

I wanted an extension. So… I asked.

I ended up getting an extension and I made the final payment the day before my extension deadline.

To paraphrase myself in “Ask”, There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. But just like with my shirt and trip to Israel, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!

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As you can see, I started composing this months before I had the money, but I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.

So… I asked.

Just Jump

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In August, 2013, I was taking a much needed vacation. Everyone had left the hotel and I stayed back just for some alone time. That day, I watched a little girl jump from the side of the pool into her mother’s arms. After a couple tries, her little sister did it too.

I thought that was pretty cool because they both tried something new and they were successful.

In that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Don’t you wonder who’s waiting for you to jump in and swim? I’m waiting to catch you.”

And I imagine that that is not just for me. If you know The Lord has asked you to do something, even if it seems crazy, dive in. He won’t let you drown and you’ll look back and see others who are willing to jump because of you.

People are waiting for someone to be brave enough to do something extreme. Someone has to be first. Why not you? Be willing to step out on faith. I know it’s scary. I know the unknown can be daunting, but you have to try. When you let fear drive your decisions instead of faith you are preventing others’ breakthrough as well.

Take a lesson from the little girl in the pool. Just jump. You don’t have to trust your ability to jump. You just have to trust that your Daddy is going to catch you. Your little sister is watching and getting strength from seeing you.

So just jump. OhCAE?!

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Ok. Now what?

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There was a pastor was at the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute (Freedom School national training) this summer. She told a story of when the leaders of the church asked the people in the congregation what they needed.

A homeless man stood up and said he needed a job to which she replied “We will pray for you to get a job.” He responded with “I don’t want your damn prayers. I want a job.”

Kirk Franklin has a song called “First Love.” There’s a line that says “They were quick to pray, but slow to move.”

I think that anecdote and those lyrics sum up my current frustration with Christian people. I feel the need to be a part of community movements especially those that deal with bettering people’s everyday lives so deeply that I literally can’t sleep sometimes because of everything that’s going on surrounding Mike Brown and every other Black victim of police brutality and racism in general.

I turn to Facebook to express myself and talk and some people hit me with “we just need to pray.”

I agree. Let’s pray because racism is a stronghold and a principality. Let’s pray because we need God to be our peace. Let’s pray because we need strength to be active.

I probably lost my amen corner on that last one.

I’m sure some people stayed at home to pray when Joshua and everyone else marched around Jericho.

Moses wouldn’t be all that cool if he had decided he’d done enough by talking to The Lord.

I’m curious if the Gospels would include the story of feeding the 5000 if Jesus had just stood there and prayed for everyone instead of feeding them.

How many people can you name in the New Testament who literally died for acting on what they believe?

To make this clear, I fully acknowledge that these people prayed first before they did the works they are known for. But I’d like to also make THIS clear. After they prayed, they did the work.

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But we wonder why there are so many people who are raised in churches, but grow up to be atheists. Based on observation and conversation they’re tired of waiting on Jesus to intervene.

What they don’t understand is the same thing passive Christians seem to be missing. God gave us the responsibility of doing His work in the earth.

My new favorite song “Do Something” Matthew West

If you don’t feel like listening to the song, here’s the first verse.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

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What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭14-17‬ NLT)
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Related, but not related: I was listening to a Christian radio station and they played a clip of Max Lucado. He said that non-religious people tend to have longer marriages than Christians. The reason? When they have issues in their marriages, they work on them and fix them. They take responsibility. Christians, on the other hand, pray about the problems and when God doesn’t fix them they say it’s not His will to stay married and give up. Y’all see the correlation or naw? God clearly wants marriages to last and I’m just as convinced that He wants racial tension to end, but we have to work.

We’re waiting on Him. He’s waiting on us.

But OhCAE, imma stop here cuz I’m getting riled up.

Stay tuned for my next post where I discuss some of the responses I got to a question as posed in my Facebook status. “Can a thinking person be a Christian? (or devoted to any organized religion)”
You may or be not be surprised by some people’s reasons for staying with or turning away from religion.

ASK

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When I was 17, I was in the Michigan State University Gospel Choir and we had an engagement at the Kellogg Center on campus. In the vestibule T-shirts were being sold for $15. One of them said “ASK” and had the Ask, Seek, Knock scripture on it.

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Me being the smartie I can be at times put my hand on the shirt, closed my eyes and said “Lord, can I have this shirt for free?” When I opened my eyes the man at the table asked me “What size do you want?” I still have that free shirt today.

I pray that I never forget that moment because it was such a simple situation that reminds me that if there’s something I want from MY Father all I have to do is ask!
If there’s something you’re desiring, by faith, put your hand on it and ask.
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I composed this post in 2012. Here I am two years after posting this the first time and nearly eight years after that moment and I’m still afraid to simply ask for what I want!

What is it about life that teaches us that asking is so bad? The worst that can happen is whoever we’re asking will tell us no. I’ve had innumerable experiences that have collectively shown me that rejection is not so bad and sometimes it’s actually good!

The hardest thing about being an emerging adult during the Great Recession is that it’s super hard to start a career. Millennials are the most college educated of any generation. Competition is everywhere. I have no idea how many jobs I’ve been turned down from and it’s even harder to know how many I never even received a call back from. What I’ve learned over the years since finishing my undergrad career is that it’s ok to be ambitious and it’s ok to be told no. Every opportunity is not a good opportunity and there’s often something better coming.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. And just like with my shirt, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!