One of my favorite movies of all time is The Matrix, the story of Neo, a man on a mission of discovery about himself and the world he inhabits. Neo is told by Morpheus that he is "The One", the person who was born to win a war against the machines and set humans free. Neo is naturally skeptical of this information and is taken to visit the all-knowing Oracle. The Oracle, aware of Neo's disbelief, tells him "you have the gift but it looks like you're waiting for something."
Later in the movie, Morpheus is captured and Neo works to set him free, but he himself is trapped in the Matrix. Confronted by the nemesis agent, Mr. Smith, Neo has two choices; run or face Mr. Smith. He opts to stay and fight. When Morpheus is asked what's he doing, Morpheus says "he's beginning to believe."
Hearing versus believing. Do we really need to line up at the altar Sunday after Sunday for the Man or Woman of God to tell us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made? Do we need to continuously, mont...
Today my Pastor, Viatta Carter, preached a message called "The Pain Produces The Promise" about how who we are is the product of everything that we've gone through in our lives; the good, the bad and the ugly. Ultimately it's about learning how to see our trials and tribulations from a different perspective, and to respond differently than we normally do. We need to see those things as a part of the process of God making us into who He wants us to be.
I started thinking about the things in my life that have cause me pain, the way I responded - usually negatively - and how God had, in the end, worked it out for my good.
For many years, the Fourth of July had been a very difficult day for me. It was on that day in 2009, under the backdrop of Independence Day fireworks that my marriage began to end and my life was forever changed.
I've written extensively about it so I won't rehash it again. When I think about what has surely been one of the most painful things that has ever ha...