Go Ahead and Fall

falling

 

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  I actually take a lot of pride in a characteristic that most people may not know.  That characteristic is that I don’t fall.  I guess I am just not that clumsy, but people will literally try their hardest to make me fall and nothing happens.  I can count on one hand how many times I remember falling in the past few years.  It is actually weird how much pride I take in that, in my own head.  If you are reading this, please don’t make it your mission to try and make me fall.  I want to keep the teeth I have, and even the ones that have already been replaced.

 

So when I read James 1:2-4, I am sure you understand why, it caught me by surprise.

 

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

 

When I first read this I stopped and gasped at the word fall.  “Count it all joy when you fall,” I questioned to myself.  That makes no sense to me.  How are you supposed to think falling is joyful.  I fell, 2 weeks ago, off of my back porch.  There are 3 steps and I missed the second one.  I would have caught myself, but I rolled my ankle, which just made me keep falling.  Let me tell ya, it scared that hidden pride right out of me.  When you have one idea in your head and the opposite is what happens it is really scary.  I also scrapped up my hand.  So from my memory, falling is not fun.  So, it is understandable that I stopped at that point and wondered what the heck He was talking about.  Then I kept reading and saw that we are supposed to find joy in falling into trials.  “Okay God, You really lost Your mind on this one,” is what I thought.

 

So… What does this verse mean?

 

I think God is actually showing His protective attributes of being our Father.  You see, in Matthew 7, it talks about how you can judge a man by his fruit.  A bad tree WON’T bear good fruit, and a good tree WON’T bear bad fruit.  A good tree will bear good fruit.  One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience.  So, falling into various trials leads to the testing of our faith which leads to producing GOOD fruit.  So, in my opinion, I think God is saying that He cares about our reputation.  He wants us to have the fruit of the Spirit.  He wants it to be good fruit people see when they look at us.  God wants people to look at us and say, “That is a good tree.”  He wants to protect us from when those people come against us with false accusations.  I mean, let’s think for a second.  If someone comes with an accusation against Johnny that is terrible, how do we judge Johnny in that situation?  We look at his fruit.  Let’s say Johnny is bearing the fruit of the Spirit, then we can judge that Johnny is actually a good person.  Which means that the terrible accusation is actually false, resulting in the Almighty God not only protecting you but protecting your reputation.  You can even take it a step further and say that the person who gave the false accusation was giving that out of bitterness.  So, seeing that there is bitter fruit, we can now see that that person is bitter.  Now, do not go bashing and thinking low of everyone who gives a false accusation.  That’s not what God is trying to bring to your attention.  I was just saying that as an example, really to be a thought for us to wonder about ourselves.  Am I being bitter?  Do I have bitter fruit that needs pruned?

 

So to finish up, I want to look at verse four.  We need to let patience have its perfect work.  We need to let it be complete, and this kind of relates to my first post “Why Wait?”  You see, God wants us to lack nothing.  He does not want us to have to walk around with a limp.  He doesn’t want us to prematurely walk into a situation we are not ready for.  He wants us to be prepared, lacking nothing when we live our life.  Trails are hard.  They will test not only our patience but our strength, but we need to see that trail through till the end.  Yeah, a lot of times there is an easy way out of a trail, but then we will be leaving a trail incomplete.  If a prisoner goes to court to see if he is released but the trail is incomplete, then he will have to go back into prison until that trail is done.  So yeah, we can take that easy exit, but a lot of the times, it will just lead to more shackles.

 

God wants to see us grow, He wants to see us bloom, and He wants to see good fruit.  But we have to be willing to go through the pruning.  God wants to protect us, and He doesn’t want to see any limbs missing.  Ironically, sometimes that means we must fall.  So, go ahead and fall.

 

Hope my process helps you with yours.

 

Trev

Coming To Terms

I’m telling you, I’ve come to terms,

And what I’ve come to terms with, you can’t learn.

You see, this is no mind issue.

It deals with a different kind of tissue.

A tissue with its own beat,

And when it catches something, it’s concrete.

Yeah, this issue is with the heart,

And this issue actually deals with art.

“Trev, don’t act like you got this on lock.

We all know you’re just a jock.”

Trust me, that’s something I’ve said myself,

But it’s time to put the jock on the shelf.

You see, I’ve come to terms with my Father.

You can’t rock this boat, so don’t even bother.

“Okay Trev, what are these terms?

These terms you say are so firm.”

They are that my Father is a Creator

That loves me for worse or for better.

If you didn’t know, He is also an artist.

If you doubt, then I can give ya a list.

The moon, the fish, the air so crisp,

And yes, even Johnny with the lisp.

That’s not it, you see.

This God I call Father, created me.

He didn’t make me a man in bondage,

But a free man that looks in the mirror and see His image.

What is the thing that makes me so free?

Well… I finally realized I’m not a random fish in the sea.

Think about a God that sees so much potential,

That He creates you with so much detail that anyone else would need a stencil.

“Okay, okay… Get to the point.”

Its okay, once it sets in, it won’t disappoint.

You see, I’m in His image and He is creative,

And the more I think about it, the more I get proactive.

Writing, music, or whatever it is.

Acting like my Father just brings me such bliss.

If you aren’t as excited as I, then I’m sorry.

It will come soon, don’t you worry.

Mountaintops

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Before I start this post I need to make something clear.  I am not one of those Christians that are against all other Christians.  When I say things I might sound extreme.  I kind of do this on purpose actually.  You see, I have been through a lot of… well… let’s just say crap.  My past has actually taught me to be able to take my own emotions out of a situation and look at both sides before I form an opinion on the subject.  So, I am thankful for what I’ve been through, because I see some adults, way older than me, not be able to do this same thing.  What I like to do is throw out an extreme version of an idea that usually goes against what most people believe.  I do this to allow people to think about another way of doing or thinking about something.  Americans are extreme and stubborn, and yes, we would not be the great country we are today without those traits.  But as my brother, Andy, told me one time, “Trevor, a lot of times our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.”  So, Americans are sometimes extreme and stubborn in areas that aren’t necessarily good for us.  This is why I like throwing out the opposite idea on a subject, even if it is against what I believe, because we need to have an opinion on what we believe in stead of what our culture says.  I know that was long and drawn out, but trust me, that answers questions for a lot of people.  I am not against you guys.  I am simply processing stuff and praying that it can help you process, too.

ANYWAYS… Mountaintops.  I have noticed this “debate” going around lately about “mountaintops vs. valleys.”  I have also noticed that there are a lot of people going toward the idea of the valley is actually the better place to be, and they have very valid statements.  Hear me on that, their reasons are valid. I hear things like “the valleys is where there is vegetation.”  “The mountaintop is meant to be a temporary experience.”  “There is no growth in staying on the emotional high.”  “Low times build strength and character.”  I am sure you can quote so much more than those.  Like I said, these are true statements, but there is something dangerous about this.  “What’s that,” you may ask.  Well, like I said earlier, Americans are stubborn.  What this may cause is a state of stagnation.  You see, someone may hear that growth happens in the valleys, then decide I want to grow, then decide I want to keep growing, then possibly get prideful in that growth, and end up not ever starting the climb up the mountain because he enjoys the growth to much.  Then, that becomes a problem…

As many of you know, I just spent 6 months in the UK, and during that time I actually went to Wales.  Did you know they actually have neighborhoods nicknamed “the valleys?”  It’s self explanatory really.  They are neighborhoods in the valleys, but there is something interesting about these valleys.  They are actually a living example for why I think having a valley mind set is dangerous.  You see, the valleys in Wales are not a place you would take your family on vacation to.  It is a place where families get stuck, and unemployment gets worse every generation.  A place where drugs and abuse are very common.  We prayed for people who were messed up on drugs because they were celebrating their last day outside of jail.  If that is not heart breaking then I don’t know what is. Yes, valleys are where there is vegetation, but stagnation brings death to any form of life.

By definition, a valley is an area of land between two mountains or hills.  This means when you are chilling in your valley you’re are looking straight ahead at a big mountain.  There is no denying a mountain in your front yard.  That is when I start to wonder why people choose to stay in a valley when everyone is on a journey of pursuing God.  I think that if God put a mountain in the middle of our straight and narrow, then that must mean He wants us to climb that mountain.  I do not think that mountain means He wants us to chill with our homies in the valley.  But, sometimes, we start thinking too much.  We think about how there is vegetation in the valley and climbing a mountain is really hard work, and we lose sight of the fact that God put that mountain for us to climb and have a mountaintop experience.  This make me think of a poem I heard recently by Donna Shaw.

“Then your sweet voice whispers in my ears…..

You will climb, you will be strengthened

You may stumble, you may get tired and want to lay down

In those times, my dearest, is when you will see

My love for you the most”

You see, God wants us to be stronger.  He wants to show you His love.  God knows that the climb is hard but He knows the plans He has for you as it says in Jeremiah 29:11.  Those plans are plans of prosperity, not of a stagnate life that leads to death.  Think of some of the great men in the Bible like Moses and Abraham.  If they didn’t have their mountaintop experiences, then the Jews may still be slaves or possibly still waiting on the law instead of having Jesus.  Heck, without Abraham’s mountaintop, then that would mean he disobeyed God, which leads to no blessing, which leads to now Jews, which leads to no blood line for Jesus to come through.  Mountaintops bring blessing, favor, and breakthrough.  God wants us to be on the mountaintop, you see, because that is where the best isolated, one on one time is able to be born.  It has been since the beginning of time.  God knows that those experiences are not long term.  He knows that you will spend more time in the valleys and more time climbing the mountain than you will ever spend on top of it.  BUT He knows the amazing time He will have with you along the way, and definitely the times He will have with you on the mountaintop.  He also knows that there is a grander mountaintop coming next.  If you don’t climb this mountain then you won’t make it to the better mountain that is behind it.  God wants the best for you.  Sometimes that just means your thighs will have to burn a little bit.

So, what I get out of this thought process, and what I hope you understand from my thoughts, is to not be stagnate.  Don’t become stagnate in the valleys because of how things look.  Don’t stop and become stagnate on the climb because of your thighs burning.  Also, don’t become stagnate on the mountaintop because of the feeling.  He has more for you.  Just keep on keeping on that straight and narrow path, no matter how big of a mountain comes your way.  Why? Because… Stagnation brings death to any form of life.

Hope my process helps you with yours.

Trev

A Change of Scenery

Riverside Wales

I was going to name this post something like “The Mind of a Jock” or something, but I didn’t want to lose your attention before you started reading.  I think this title is a better fit.  Anyways, I realized that I have not made a post explaining a little bit of who I am and why I started this blog.  So here it is, finally.

So, a little about myself…. And I think I will be open with this, too.  First off, I am no where near perfect, and I don’t ever want to claim to be.  I am pretty much a typical male that has been raised in the south.  Let’s just say if I was born on Saturday, I still made it to church the next day early enough to grab a coffee.  Okay, maybe just to get checked into the nursery.  I also, like typical southern boys, grew up playing baseball, basketball, and football.  So you can kind of say I also carried the title “jock.”  Like a lot of jocks, I was on and off track in a relationship with Christ and replaced it with relationships with girls.  Yes, you also probably guessed right, I did have my fair share of drugs and alcohol, too.  So, as much as I hate to say this, I did fit that stereotype.  I am definitely not perfect, and it feels good getting that out of the way.  BUT…

I’ll just fast forward to where I am now.  I got on fire and stable on those tracks with the Lord and moved to London to do missionary work in the UK.  Yes, that is when I realized that I fit the stereotype of a typical, patriotic, southern jock.  Being in London will make you realize that real fast.  There was something deep down that didn’t fit in that stereotype though, and that serviced while in the UK.  You see, I also grew up with music being a very big part in my life.  Whither that was my mom leading worship, listening to Bob Marley, or even playing music myself.  I always enjoyed finding a different perspective while looking at a photo, painting, or even a real landscape.  I also love reading peoples different perspectives.  So, there has always been this creative side of Trevor that I was embarrassed to show because, well you know, I was the “stereotypical jock.”  Jocks aren’t creative.  HAHA.  I bet there are actually A LOT of creative “jocks” out there.

Anyways, while in London I came to terms with the fact that my baseball career was done.  Would have been easier if that happened three years ago hahaha.  It so happened to be that the only way for me to have alone time was for me to put my head in a book or jam with my good friend Carlos.  So, without me even realizing, I was sparking my creative side.  I actually even started to feel like God wanted me to start to write.  Then, while my team was chilling riverside in Wales, I wrote a song.  A week later I began a great relationship with this guy named Kier.  He is a photographer and is currently working on a novel.  Right when the creative side started to spark, God sent someone with oil to turn the spark into flame.  (I’ll add his links at the end.)

Rereading this, I realized that in speaking this will seem rushed and vague, but I was trying to keep it short and to the point for the blog’s sake.

This brings me to this blog.  Honestly, this blog is my starting point.  I actually got the idea while reading Parker’s blog.  Parker is a good friend that I spent a lot of my Christian high school life with.  (Will also add his link.)  So, I guess you can say this is kind of an experiment, but hopefully it will keep the earlier title of starting point.  This blog is nothing special.  There may be changes of style because it is an experimental beginning to the change of scenery.  BUT, the main theme will be writing about the process of life.  Whither that is processing the day to day, new revelation, or seasons of life.  Also, since this is experimental, I will be posting poems that I write.  This is simply because of the start of this change (the song by the river.)

Point is… I am not perfect, this blog won’t be perfect, and my style of processing is not perfect, but maybe… just maybe, my process will help you with yours.

Hope my process helps you with yours.

Trev

PS The photo is of the time when I wrote the song riverside in Wales.

kieradams.com (Kier’s photography)

kieradam.wordpress.com (Kier’s blog)

parkerrichardson4.wordpress.com (Parker’s blog)

CHECK THIS GUYS OUT!!!  WON’T BE A REGRET!!!

Persistence

Persistence when you don’t feel like it,

And all you want to do is forget.

When life hits you with a left hook,

And your only friend turns into a crook.

Persistence when that special girl says no,

And the traffic gets really slow.

When the odds are stacked against you,

And that rooster starts to coo.

Persistence when you are down for the count,

And zero it says in the account.

When you are losing the game by eight,

And they say it’s too late.

Persistence when you can’t see the reward,

And it feels like you’re overboard.

When there is the most resistance,

Persistence, persistence persistence.

Trev

The Bloody Storm

The water was red,

And run is what they said.

But that’s not how I was led.

For some reason, I laid in my bed.

There was a bloody storm coming,

But I just continued on with my humming.

 My shutters started to rattle.

I could hear the stress of my cattle,

But it just sounded like prattle.

Cause I knew I’d win this battle.

 The storm was there!

But there was something in me that didn’t care.

 One thing came to mind as I got cozy.

Holy, Holy, Holy

Is the Lord God Almighty.

Then no longer did I feel lonely.

 Then my roof arose,

And the red water came close.

 Then it hit my toes.

Then flooded up to my nose.

For some reason, I kept my pose,

Even though I started to decompose.

 What was this?

The feeling of sweet abyss.

In fact, it wasn’t water.

It was like blood from a slaughter,

But felt like an alter.

An alter of reorder.

 Then I wondered why they ran.

They should have gathered this in a can.

 It wasn’t any old blood in a bin.

It was blood that whipped away sin!

This blood wasn’t a scene of horror.

It was blood from the Savior!

Trev

110% Makes Sense

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Most people know the saying, “Give 110%,” wither that was coming from your coach, boss, or even your parents.  Almost everyone has had this expression yelled at them from “across the field.”  For me though, it always just made me upset.  “How can I give 110% out of 100?  That is impossible! You are expecting too much out of me,” is what I would say to myself.  If your mindset is more on the logical, mathematical side, like mine, you have probably thought the same things.  They never knew what they were talking about… or maybe they did.  Here lately, that saying has started to make sense to me.

Before I explain why this makes sense, allow me to explain why this expression would even come back up in my life.  I have had it in my mind to start running for my sport.  My idea was to just do stuff like charity runs, but some of my friends have talked me into running a Spartan race.  These races are the normal race distances, but they throw obstacles in the middle of the race.  If you are not able to complete the obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees.  These races, from looks, are pretty much like military training.  There are 3 main levels; a sprint (5k), a super (10k), and a beast (half marathon).  Take note that I have not worked out for endurance in over four years…  So, we are planning on doing the sprint in 5 months.  That would have been easy to get ready for, BUT someone talked me into doing the beast… in 9 weeks…  So, to get ready for this, it is going to take more than what I have, but how do I do that if all I have is 100%?

110% started making sense in an athletic sense, while I was actually in a church building.   This past Sunday, the pastor was giving the normal spill about tithe.  How we should give our first 10% to God, and it got me thinking… What would happen if we started giving the first 10% of everything to God and not just our money?  What would our days start looking like if we gave the first 10% of our day to God?   What would our vacations look like if we gave our first 10% of the road trip to worshiping God in the car?  What if we gave the first 10% of our energy in a sports event as dedication to God before dedication to our sport?  Let’s just think about that for a moment, and let that concept sink in.

“But Trevor, that would still leave us with only 90%.”  Yes, this is true with money, but let’s look at this a different way.  Giving 10% of yourself to God before a game would be a mental and spiritual act.  This is not a physical act, unless you set up a worship set and worship to God for 30 minutes before the game.  So, seeing that giving 10% to God in a game is mental and spiritual but actually playing the game is physical.  These things would all be linked into playing the game, but they would not directly affect each other.  Therefore, you can give 10% to God and still give 100% physically to the game.  If you add those, they equal 110%.  This is when 110% made sense to me.  It actually is not a deep concept, but if we start putting this into practice, it can take our whole lives deeper in relationship with God.  Who would say no to that?  Heck, with this concept, you can even give 200% of yourselves to whatever you are doing at that time.

“Okay Trevor, that makes sense, but it is still too much effort for me to do that.”  Did you know that God actually has given us permission to test Him in an area of life?  Guess what area that might be.  Yep, in the area of giving 10%.  In Malachi 3:10 it says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”  So, I want to challenge you to try doing this.  You won’t be alone, because I will definitely be doing this with you in preparation for my race.  It is the only way I will be able to finish the race that as been set before me.   What do you say guys?  Let’s start seeing God open up the heavens over all areas of our lives.  10%, or let’s just say 110%, leads to an overflowing storehouse.  What is there to loose?  If you don’t believe me, test Him.

Hope my process helps you with yours.

Trev

Why Wait?

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By the title, you will probably think that I am about to say, “Stop waiting around and just go for it!”  That is not what this one is about.  I know, sorry to get your hopes up, but we all know that is what we all want to hear because it is easy.  A lot of times we enjoy hearing a way that makes it easier.  The problem I see with that is, easy is comfortable, and comfortable, a lot of the times, leads to a state of being stagnant.  Being stagnant just stinks.  If you don’t believe me, then Google the meaning of that word.

I am currently in the season of waiting for the next thing to come my way, and I have a feeling that a lot of people may know that feeling.  Before I move on, let me get this out there now.  Even though a home cooked meal is better than a microwavable meal, I am not going to shove that “microwave generation” crap down your throat.  I know you are tired of hearing that, and quite frankly, so am I.  Actually, I think God even likes that side of us, because when we pray for healing, we will expect it immediately.  Maybe the saying, “Maybe it’s not God’s timing,” is just an excuse to cover our lack of faith.  BUT, that is a harsh side note.  The real point of this post is to come to terms with the fact that a season of waiting is perfectly okay.

Waiting sucks! Trust me, you are not alone when you have that thought.  You may feel like you are being left behind when you are being forced to wait.  “I feel alone when everyone is going everywhere, but I have to stay in Memphis.”  I have actually heard people say this to some extent.  To the athletes out there, you may feel like you are in a slump.  I know the feeling of exhaustion while waiting for that next hit or 3 pointer.  By the way, I was a center in basketball, so that slump lasted a LONG time.  On a side note, the saying, “I can’t wait,” does you no good.  I have had many times where I regretted not enjoying the place I was in because I “couldn’t wait” for the next thing to come.

There are 3 things that come to my mind that might help you to stay motivated while you are in the process of waiting.

1. For a baby to grow to its full potential, he/she should spend nearly his first year of his life in another person’s belly.  Think about that for a second.  No one, in their right mind, would ever want to go back and do that again, but this is so vital to every person’s life.  We had to wait 9 months just to see light or to breathe.  Think what could happen if that baby was born premature…  Possible birth defects, possibly a slower start to life, or possibly even death.  No one wants that.  Please, do not prematurely give birth to a new season of life that is not ready.  No one wants to walk into a new career without the right tools.  Maybe an earlier start date means a slower beginning.  I don’t want to see someone’s purpose come to an end, because that person did not have patience to fulfill the season at hand.

2. During a drought, it often looks like the trees are losing life or at least drying up.  That is a valid observation, but a drought is good.  It is good because of something we don’t see during this drought.  We do not see this because it is underground.  You see, a tree’s roots grow towards the water.  When there is an abundance of rain, the roots stay near the surface.  BUT when there is a lack of rain, the trees have to search for water.  How do they do this?  They grow down!  Trevor, why is that exciting?  This is so exciting, because when the roots are deep, the tree is STRONG.  The tree forms a FIRM foundation!  Maybe we need to stop praying for the rain and start praising God for the foundation that is being formed!

3. Have you ever wanted to fly like an eagle?  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  To soar through the sky, with so much strength, like no one could stop you.  Well, there is one more thing I would like to share with you.  Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (NKJV) This gives the answer to the feelings we have while we wait.  While waiting, I often feel weak and tired to the point of fainting or giving up.  The crazy thing about that is, the cure to the feelings of waiting is to wait.  “OH COME ON!”  I know, it is a hard truth to hear.  Play through things people often say though.  “I want to go to this place I like.” “I want to go where everyone else is going.”  Those sayings are not only common in most people’s lives, but it was very common in my life.  There is a major problem.  We are leaving God out of it.  Kim Walker sings, “Where You go, I’ll go. Where You stay, I’ll stay.”  That needs to be our prayer and our saying for now on.  Then, that verse will bring so much peace and excitement.  When we wait on the Lord to speak or move, then and only then do we stay in His will.  It is so comforting to know that the Creator of not only the universe but also you and me is controlling the next season in our lives.  What do you say?  Let’s wait, because waiting leads to a more peaceful, fulfilled life.

Hope my process helps you with yours.

Trev