Don’t Cut Nathan!

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment

week_5We are on step five of cutting things out of our lives. So far we have been talking about cut this and cut that, but we are going to yell, “WAIT!!! Don’t cut that!” You know often times when we get on a cutting spree it’s hard for us to stop. Don’t stare at your screen like that. It’s just like when Netflix adds a new show that you don’t think you’ll like. You watch one episode but you’re not sure if you like it so you watch another. Before you know it you’ve finished one season. You finally decide that you like it so you keep going and before you know it, 3 days have passed and you’ve finished all 9 seasons of the show and you’re looking around with nothing left, asking “how did this happen?” So maybe that’s an extreme example but bare with me. This is your intervention before you cut everything and have nothing left. So let’s get to it!

This week’s topic is Don’t get rid of Nathan! So we have to know who Nathan is before we decide he gets to stay, right? First of all, it’s important to know that Nathan was a prophet back in the days of King David. A prophet meaning he heard directly from God, and this guy wasn’t afraid to tell people exactly what God said. Whether the news was good or bad he did what God told him to.

So one of the first times we meet Nathan is when David asks if he should make a place (temple) for the Ark of the Covenant to reside. Nathan thought it sounded like a good idea so he told David to do it. However that same night, God came to Nathan in a vision and told him to go back and tell David that he could not build the temple but his son would. And Nathan did EXACTLY what he was told.

Another time we see Nathan, God sent him to deliver a hard message to David. So you see David was out doing some stuff he shouldn’t have been doing, and he gets another man’s wife pregnant. David then has the man killed in an attempt to cover his “indiscretion”. Well even the best cover can’t hide you away from God. God sent Nathan to tell David basically that he saw EVERYTHING. God saw it and he wasn’t pleased and David would have to pay for his sin. It couldn’t have been easy going to tell the King all this. The King could have you killed with a flick of his wrist. But Nathan did it anyway because God told him to.

You want Nathan in your life. A person who will tell you you’re wrong no matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. There are times in our lives when we get so wrapped up in “us” that we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit that’s inside of us or even our basic moral compass. So that’s when Nathan comes in. He’s an “external consciousness” that will tell you things you have turned your ears off to hearing. You might not always “like” Nathan and often times “he” will say things that WILL make you want to cut him, but “he” is vital to the formula that will balance your life.

So think about it: Who is your Nathan?


Training the flesh with moderation…

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment

week_4“Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.“~Jim Rohn

Are you a “yes-man (woman)” to your flesh? If you are, tell your flesh No! Well, at least sometimes.

Not too long ago I went to my regular doctors appointment and received the news that I was pre-diabetic. I have watched so many family members struggle with the disease of diabetes so how did I get here? Health….

I have always dreamed of purchasing my own home. The other day I considered what I needed to do to make that purchase. I ran my credit report (I finally paid off my last creditor, yay!) and my credit is not where it needs to be to purchase anything. When did this happen to me? Finances…

At my job I have been working in the same position for years. I see other people taking on leadership challenges. I like working with people but, quite honestly some of my co-workers get on my nerves! I couldn’t see myself managing some of them. Mental…

You see along the journey of life I did not pay attention to my natural tendencies, I just went with the flow…

Ø I love sweets so I eat them when I want.

Ø Okay, so I had a spontaneous spending habit and for a few years, I overextended myself and did not pay my bills when I was suppose to.

Ø Over the years people have disappointed me, so I learned to depend on myself, work on stuff solo and I lack the patience to lead people well.

So what’s the point in all of this? Along my journey in life I allowed my flesh to do what it wanted. Because of this I am in a limited position with some regret. None of the natural decision I made were bad (well maybe I should have paid my creditors, lol) but if only I did the opposite of what I desired to do, my position in these areas would be different.

Now we can always change, but to delay change costs us valuable time. Is the delay in disciplining ourselves worth waiting for the desire of our heart?

What areas in your life, if you practice some discipline, would start to turn your situation around?

Recently, I challenged myself to say no to sweets and carbs! I made this a 30 day challenge. The struggle has been real! However, I have lost 10 pounds and I gained something very valuable: Self-discipline in the area of eating.

I challenge you this week to take a look at areas that may be a little out of control. Make a decision to tell your body, No!


Monitor your thoughts so you can control our flesh…

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment

week_3So here we are again another Follow Up Friday. Today is Step 3 to cutting things out of your life. We are going to monitor our thoughts so we can control our flesh.

As human beings we often forget that we have control over our flesh and that it doesn’t control us. We often give into those cravings, forgetting that God has given us dominion over those things. We accept sayings such as “the heart wants, what the heart wants” or “I’m just gonna do me” from society and use those as excuses to do whatever our flesh wants. After the acceptance of these excuses get us into some kind of trouble, we often blame God for the circumstances we find ourselves in. While writing to the church at Philippi, Paul tells us what to think about and then goes a step further and tells us the outcome…

“…Friend, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.” (Philippians 4:8-9 MSG)
Hmm… “excellent harmonies”. Harmonies like music. Music like rhythm. And isn’t that what Session 5 is all about? We are getting our rhythm back, so that the harmony of our life is balanced. There is nothing like a perfect harmony. And how can we achieve it if our thoughts aren’t centered on the one who gave us the note in the first place?


Remove without considering emotional consequence…

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 2 Comments

remove-consequenceHello world! It’s Follow-up Friday and today we’re following up on step 2 of 20 ways to cutting things out of your life! If you haven’t read the book, I strongly encourage you to grab a copy! Email s5@vbcpasadena.org to inquire about your purchasing options!! If you joined us in person or online January 31st you’ll remember that Steps To Cutting Things Out Of Your Life was the first installment of vbc’s session 5 series for 2016.

Purposed to help us all gain and maintain good rhythm in our lives by intentionally applying biblical principles to the foundational areas of our lives: mental, spiritual, emotional, physical and financial.

I can hear you through the screen asking why does one have to “CUT” something/someone out of their life and what on earth does “cutting” have to do with rhythm and the five areas?

My answer to that is….. If you’ve EVER tried to get it in on the dance floor with stuff in your hands (we’ll call it baggage) you’ll know that you can’t quite groove to the beat as well as you’d like with excess “stuff”. Each item addressed in the book tackles a weight that can attach itself to one or all of the five areas, thus…. disrupting our groove, and stifling our stride across the dance floor of “life”. In this, we loose our balance and loose our rhythm. Lol imagine doing the Bankhead Bounce to the cupid shuffle!!! Hahaha …a mess!

Whew!! Ok so now that we have the preliminaries down let’s get into step 2: Remove without considering emotional consequence. 

With this step, PJ didn’t define what was actually being removed. So it leaves good space for you and I (lol. Yes I said “I” because I’m on the journey with you and sooo far from having “arrived”!!) to probe within and explore. Like, what is the “thing” or person I have to just remove WITHOUT considering emotional consequence? To answer this question truthfully, we need to first have a clear vision of what our goal is (be it, a state of mind, characteristic etc.). Once we set our eyes on that goal, we will be able to see what and who just isn’t lining up…even if it’s ourselves. (Romans 7:15-16 describes me more often than I’d like to admit). When it’s ourselves that has to be cut God definitely needs to be involved but you have to read the book and listen to the recording of the session to understand how. But back to step 2!! The “without emotional consequence” is so significant in this step because 1. Whether we admit it or not the mass majority of us are “moved” by our eMotions. We make decisions based on them, take certain postures in relationships because of them and develop certain thought processes. Both people, things and habits can attach themselves to our hearts and emotions. Over a period of time our inventory of people/things with sentimental value can grow tremendously. But what happens with these things when you make the decision to change, grow or when life causes you to naturally evolve?

If we really desire change, are honest with ourselves about the goal we have in mind and really earnestly from our hearts want to reach the goal, we have to evaluate the toxicity of the behavior, person, place, thing or idea. Like, how detrimental is this “thing” to my livelihood in general and how damaging is it to my goal? We might even be comfortable with “it, him or her” but it could be slowly and silently killing us and preventing us from being who we desire to be. To cut something or someone WITHOUT considering feelings being hurt, the void being left with you (because you were so used to them/it) takes a whole lot of courage. But if we are truly vested in our goals and desires, cutting away the baggage and that which holds us back from not only our goal (remember the one we thought about in the beginning of this blog) but also that which hinders us from living the life of abundance that Jesus left us when He ascended to heaven. When I thought about the “pain to change” in this context, it became evident that the decision I had to make to CUT without emotional consequence is a small sacrifice for the GREATER good!

Over the next 7 days lets:
1. Write down our goal(s)
a. Who do we want to be ?
b. What do we want to have (Joy, Hope, Peace, Etc.)?
c. Where do we want to be in life ?

Then let’s
2. Take a look at the habits and things (internal and external) that may be hindering us from going to our “next level” and evaluate the toxicity of it and make the bold decision to cut WITHOUT considering the emotional consequence.

I know it can be easier said than done but leave us a comment or inbox us and let us walk with you. I need you as much as you need me!

I’m going to drop the beat right here (Fickey Fickey) knowing that you may not be able to groove like you want to at this very moment because there’s still some things you want to “CUT” out but I will rest in the truth that like me, you will take the necessary steps (even if they’re uncomfortable) towards wholeness and enjoying the rhythm of life, whether its for the first time or you have memory of its melody from the past… before things got complicated.

You can do it!
I can do it!
We can do it!


Don’t ignore your fleshly tendencies….

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 2 Comments

fleshly_tendenciesSteps to cutting things out of your life….
Step 1: Don’t ignore your fleshly tendencies….

Matthew 5:29 says If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell…

Yikes, gouge out my eye. Really! Sounds brutal! But real talk, its hard to deal aggressively with our fleshly tendencies. First of all, in most cases frankly, we just don’t want to.

“I like what I like. It is comfortable and it brings me pleasure. “

“I like to kick back and have a cocktail. Its how I socialize.”

“I have been single for a long time, ok so maybe I will hold out for a minute but after all, I have needs.”

In Session 5 we are talking about the whole life.

How do I transform my life so I can become all that I was created to be?

How do I position myself to receive all that God has for me?

“Quite frankly I like what I like but truth be told, if I keep doing the same thing over and over again, I will keep getting the same results.”

There is a better life for us. A transformed life. A life that is better than anything we could ever imagine. If only we could get a handle of the fleshly desires that have a hold of us.

What is holding you back?

What is the thing that if you could only release, your life would go to another level?
Is it a relationship? Emotional eating? A negative mindset?

In Session 5 Pastor Jon stated that what we grab onto when in pain grows with us.

Could one of your tendencies be something you picked up in a time of pain?

The first step to change is to be honest about what exists.

I encourage you this week to consider the fleshly tendencies that are holding you back.

Transformation begins with complete honesty and awareness.

See you next Friday!