I love Barnabas. We first meet him, he’s selling his field and giving it to the disciples for use in their ministry. Our first introduction to him is an act of giving. And it just gets better from there.
Barnabas is the first disciple to come beside Paul when nobody else would touch him. Paul’s history as a persecutor of Christians made the believers understandably fearful, but, Barnabas’ perfect love for his new brother drove out that fear.
Not only does Barnabas take Paul in, but he also takes the man with him on his important gospel missions. Pretty soon, he takes a step back and lets Paul do all the preaching, paving the way for Paul the Evangelist, who would take the Gospel to the Gentiles like no other disciple ever had before. Barnabas’ selfless love empowers Paul to become not just a part of the family, but a fully realized individual as well.
Barnabas’ journey takes an interest turn from there. You see, Paul wants to take a return trip to all the places he and Barnabas visited together. Barnabas wants to take John Mark with them, but Paul is having none of it. Apparently, Mark had ditched them on a previous mission and now Paul sees him a liability. Barnabas remains Barnabas though. So, Paul heads off alone.
It just goes to show ya: we are often far too quick to forget that the same God that called us out exclusion calls others too. But God never forgets. He continues to extend the olive branch, sometimes in spite of us.
The story has a happy ending, though. At the end of his live Paul summons Mark to his side (2 Timothy 4:11). That Barnabas love finally got through.
There’s a rumor going around. It’s the “get (fill the blank) quick” ghost. It sounds great. Eat this thing for a week, chant this mantra, do this exercise, and *bang* you’re healed.
Yes, maybe over time it will make a difference. And yes, sometimes there are stories of instant success. But for the most part it takes a while.
Think about growing up. It takes time to walk and talk and chew your food and pretty much everything else. You may skip a step, but it still takes time.
This goes the same for strength building of any kind. People say it’s a no-brainer. Do this thing, change this factor, and everything will just work out. I say, it takes time.
You want to get to point B, even Z. You have to start with A. You start with nothing. You’re broken and you’re scared. Then it’s on to damage control, picking up pieces and seeing if the ground will hold me. Then, once things begin to get okay, you start to get comfortable. When you start getting comfortable, then you can start taking risks, because there is the notion that there is some semblance of net to catch you if you fall. It’s not a chronological process. You’ll go back and forth all the time. Maybe you’ll skip lots of steps and then something happens and you’ll sail back even behind where you started. It happens. Trust the process. Keep going.
Allow others the same grace. Oftentimes, we forget how far we’ve come and how long it took us to get here. To us, it’s overnight. But remember that it wasn’t. Be gracious and encouraging. Let others know your story. A realistic view of life helps more than you know.
Together, we can build a stronger, more beautiful world, except you gotta be in it for the long haul to make it happen.
Remember Sméagol from The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
He had that special ring that gave him great power, but in return for that power he invited Gollum into his life, an evil presence reeking havoc upon Sméagol’s soul. *Spoiler alert* His addiction to the ring ended up destroying him.
It’s easy to look at this poor, sad creature and write him off a pure fantasy, but the truth of the matter is we all have our rings, things that made us feel empowered or important, helped us survive, but in the end will end up destroying us.
Be mindful of these things. Each person has a different one. Often you can find it when it is taken away, so be mindful and aware. We are called to live an abundant life in Christ. Beware the roadblocks and thrive!
You can take what you want from me
for I was born with a primal glory
so even if everything I have is gone
I still have that
always did, always do, always will
it is a God-given gift
the seal of the incarnate Divine
placed upon my skin like stigmata,
letting the Earth know I am His
and He is mine and we are ours together.
If you’ve made it this far,
You’ve made it this far
It’s not easy
I’m sure there were times
Maybe you wanted out
to give up to give in to say it’s not worth it
I’m better off gone
but you’re not gone, you’re here
Thank God for you!
You are wonderful!
There’s no time like the present
Start making a difference
You are the pebble in the pond the endless ripple
Go out and touch the lives of many
who will benefit from your light
Expel the darkness
It’s a new day
Live it to the full
I think it’s funny: we believe our deficiencies disqualify us from official ministry. Yet, God is not interested in our lack. Sometimes musicians will make intentional “mistakes” in their tracks just to prove it wasn’t a pre-recorded track. Some of the most valuable collectors items are the ones with a flaw in the casting.
Yes, we are called to remove impurities from our souls; but, many of the things that distinguish us, that make us unique, are the things we most often want to hide. God knows who we are. Our task, as humans, is to find the same, to celebrate it, and to toast to the Maker who crafted us this way.
Your limits are your limits
don’t be embarrassed
Feel free to test them,
very often they are just a glass ceiling
beyond which is your true reality,
but even still limits exist,
they are your body, mind, and soul saying,
“not now, and maybe even not ever”
Stand and celebrate them,
our weakness is just as much a part of us
as our strengths,
in fact, embracing what we are not
is just as beautiful and healthy and good
as embracing what we are.
So, be honest with yourself,
let the critics have their say,
but rejoice in knowing who you are