Growing Like Weeds by-Morio

image1Growing like weeds. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that phrase growing up. It seemed like the popular thing to say among the people who hadn’t seen you in a while. They were usually referring to the three feet and facial hair you had grown over the 10 years since they’d last seen you. Recently, I found myself using the same terminology when I talked to others about their kids and now even say it about my own.

I can humbly admit that I never fully grasped the meaning of the phrase until we planted our garden this year. We usually do raised gardens, which minimizes the weeding process. But, we figured we would take it to “A Whole Nutha Level” this year, and go big. It’s only been three weeks and I can already tell I’m in way over my head. Now don’t get me wrong, we are seeing some amazing growth in the seeds and seedlings that we planted, but the weeds seem to be growing at an accelerated rate.

As I was thinking about this, I couldn’t help but notice how much this relates to my life as well. God has planted some amazing things in my life. These things will produce good fruit with the right amount of water and Son. On the other hand, I have this flesh. Which, being born into sin, has a natural tendency to produce the weeds that are native to its soil. If left unattended, the weeds can get out of hand and become unmanageable very quickly. Before you know it, the weeds have overtaken and become the focus of the garden instead of the plants the garden was intended for. So just like that garden, we have to take action quickly against the weeds that pop up in our lives so that we can focus on our intended purpose.

Remember when in the beginning I was talking about those kids of mine growing like weeds? Well, they actually taught me another lesson in all of this! It’s a whole lot easier weeding a garden when you have help! So don’t neglect the resources God has placed in your life to help you along the way.

Morio

Friend Morio on Facebook or follow him on twitter @thaConsciousOne
Follow Journey Church on Twitter @Journey_MO

Advertisements

Building Blocks — by Morio

BuildingBlocks_WrayThis past weekend, myself along with countless other members of our Adopt-A-Block team hosted our first annual Adopt-A-Block Block Party. There were bounce houses, concessions, life-sized games, raffles and much more. We were there to celebrate the transformation God has allowed us to be a part of in our community. But this transformation goes much further than just mowing some grass, trimming some trees and removing a couple of eye sores. God is using us to transform lives!

Through this outreach, we have built relationships with the residents that go far beyond just a work day. Several residents of the block have begun to attend church while others have served with us, and we even had a couple donate their fence for the kids to paint while attending the block party. All in all, God is continuing to make an impact in this community through the efforts of His people!

While sitting back reminiscing on the amazing events of last Saturday, I kept seeing images of the field where we held the Block Party. But these images were not of the people, the bounce houses or games; I saw the field as it was before. Overgrown trees, broken bottles, littered with trash, and weeds that were 10-feet tall.

Then, I saw the purpose behind the images. God was showing me how he can take something that this world would call ‘a mess’ and use it to bring joy to all those around it. Afterwards, I began to see the parallel between my life and this field. God chose to clean me up despite the fact that I was considered ‘a mess’ and has given me a heart and purpose to serve others and bring joy to the world around me.

Just a quick reminder before I go. No matter how much junk or clutter we are carrying around … God is willing to step in, clean us up and use us to make impact in the world around us.

Morio

Disconnected — by Morio

Disconnected_WrayOn Saturday mornings, myself and a few others meet up at a café in Wentzville to share life, enjoy some great food and study apologetics. (It is the evidence to support why we believe what we believe.) As I sat there drinking my coffee and going over my notes waiting for the guys to show up, my attention was drawn to a mother and son as they entered the café.

I’ll admit that I’m a “professional” people watcher, but that’s not the reason they caught my attention. My attention was drawn to them because the young man, probably around 13 or 14 had a look on his face that would scare a lion. I could tell that he was just so happy to be spending time with the woman who gave birth to him and loved him more than he would ever know or imagine.

So as they sat down I continued to observe them. The mother tried to engage in conversation but was quickly put on the other side of a smart phone that I’m sure she’s paying the bill for. She instantly got discouraged but tried again… After several more attempts to connect with her son, she conceded and began to look at her phone as well. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “How have we become so disconnected?”

I immediately thought to myself, is this how God feels with us?

Like the mother, He wants that intimate one-on-one connection, but we are so caught up on crap that doesn’t matter like our phones, games, sports and more that we totally tune him out. As Christians, our disconnection is usually caused by reducing or eliminating our personal time with God. Rarely does our relationship dry up if we are reading His Word and spending time in discussion. Also known as prayer in most circles.

Are you feeling disconnected in any area of your life? Whether it’s God, your family, your job or any other area, I challenge you to spend some personal one-on-one time in that area and see how the tide begins to turn.

I’ll leave you with this … WHAT YOU FEED WILL GROW! WHAT YOU STARVE WILL DIE! Who and what is eating/starving in your life?

Morio

Friend Morio on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @thaconsciousone
Follow Journey Church on social media @Journey_MO

Roadside Crosses — by Morio

RoadsideCrossesHow many times have you seen them on the side of the road and never even gave a second glance? To be quite honest, I couldn’t count. But this past week changed all of that for me.

On Thursday morning, I received the news that one of my best friends had lost his entire family in an automobile accident along Highway 61. This tragedy really hit home and opened my eyes to things previously overlooked.

I began to take notice to all the crosses placed by families whose loved ones had also died so sudden and tragically. Each one of these crosses represents a father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter that was taken in the words of most, ‘way too soon.’

In the blink of an eye, their entire world changed. In the blink of an eye, our entire world could change. Don’t allow tragedy to be the reason that we take notice to the many important things around us. Let us not take for granted the countless blessings that surround us each day. Personally, I have been given so much but acknowledge so little! It’s time to take off the blinders and tune in to the world around me. In the famous words of Steven Tyler,”I don’t want to miss a thing.” Especially when it comes to those who matter most.

As you journey on life’s road, I pray that you don’t allow the most important things like your kids, family, friends and church to fall by the wayside. I pray that you treat these things with the importance that such a blessing deserves.

Hold them in the highest regard and give them the attention that they deserve everyday. Truth is, life is busy and life is hard. But it would be an even greater tragedy to permit life to take precedent over those near and dear to our hearts, and allow them to become crosses on our roads.

Morio

I Have A Dream — by Morio

MLKDreamI have a dream. In this dream, there is a community of people who stand united in one cause. That cause is to make the community we live in and the surrounding areas a place where as the great Pastor (of the LA Dream Center) Matthew Barnett would say, “We find a need and fill it, and find a hurt and heal it!”

I see a place where WE, along with our children can have safety, security, and the opportunity to dream without being hindered by social and economic barriers. I see a place where we all come together to answer the call of our neighbors without hesitation. I see a place where we fill the voids that life can leave. Some would say this kind of place only exist in our DREAMS? I would say that we can begin to create this place one moment and one situation at a time.

On Monday, there was a Daddy Donut Day at school, and there was a young man who in the words of his mother, “Was upset and uncharacteristically quiet.” Why you ask? Because his daddy wasn’t going to be there. I know what it’s like to be in that situation as my dad was killed when I was a young boy, so on “Daddy Days” I was either there by myself or with my mother. I was always grateful that she showed up but it just wasn’t the same.

So I put myself in his shoes and began to imagine the thoughts that might run through his young mind, the dream that he envisioned for that day. To stand in line with a man by his side just like the other kids. To give a high five, or a gut shot to a man that is there just to put a smile on his face and to show him that he is significant, that he is worth the time, and most importantly that a man loves him. Also, to not have to answer that dreaded question from his friends and classmates, “ Why he doesn’t have a dad there?”

I had the opportunity to be the person that filled one of those voids for this lil’ man that I hold very near and dear to my heart. I’m no one special, just someone willing to step up and answer the call to be the person in his life that I longed to have in my own when I was a child.

We all have what it takes to make this place I see in my dreams a reality; we just have to grasp each moment and make every opportunity count. Who is dreaming around you today? What part can you play in fulfilling the dreams of those around you?

Morio

Friend Morio on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @thaconsciousone
Follow Journey Church on social media @ Journey_MO

The Fear Factor — by Morio

FearFactor_WrayHave you ever come face to face with your greatest fear? No matter what it is — snakes, heights, spiders, darkness, tight spaces, PUBLIC SPEAKING — they can all leave us paralyzed if we succumb to that fear.

Over the last few weeks, I have come face to face with a fear that has haunted me as far back as grade school: public speaking. But this time was different; it wasn’t for a grade. It was to break down barriers, not only in the lives of those who would hear, but also in the life of the speaker!

I believe this particular fear was a barrier in my life that prevented me from moving forward into my purpose. But it wasn’t until I pushed through the fear and overcame the limitations I had placed on myself that I was able to realize this experience would change my life forever.

I still can’t properly articulate the feelings and raw emotions of that pivotal moment, but I can say that I am so grateful I did not allow that fear to hinder the progress God has been making in my life. I am also beyond blessed to have the support and encouragement of so many in this community. I could have never faced this alone. The encouragement I received empowered me to press on and chase after my dreams.

We all need those people in our lives that believe in us and push us to do our best, a community of friends and family that will live life with us. Truly, I encourage you to find those people in your own life. People who believe in you, people who speak truth into your life, people who will not allow you to turn and run when the going gets tough. People who will not only stand with you, but hold you up when you can’t stand on your own.

When you find these people, and couple them with power that you possess through the Holy Spirit, FEAR WILL NO LONGER BE A FACTOR

Morio

Friend Morio on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @thaconsciousone
Follow Journey Church on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram @Journey_MO

The Chase — by Morio

TheChase_MWrayLast week, I had the opportunity to work with a couple guys from church. While pulling into the gas station that most locals call Hilltop, we were rear-ended. Not a big deal, right? I mean, we were all shocked but no one was injured. The real shocker came when the vehicle that hit us took off down the street!

So, of course, Shawn gave chase while Mike and I tried to keep an eye on the vehicle we ASSUMED was running from the scene of the accident. Immediately, I’m thinking the worst about the person in the fleeing car so I grab my phone and am about to call the police, but was told to, “See how this plays out.” So we follow the car at speeds only rivaled by the famous O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase (20mph), and to our surprise ended up leading us to a church not too far away.

We pull up in the parking lot and the car very nonchalantly pulls into a parking space and stops. The driver gets out; she is visibly upset but pays no attention to us pulling in behind her. Shawn gets out and informs the lady that she had just hit him but did not stop. Her response was, “That’s why my beans flew all over the car.” She went on to say that she had just prepared the pot of beans for a funeral that was happening later on in the morning and that she was very sorry she had hit him and didn’t even realize it had happened.

Now to some of us, it seems almost impossible to believe that someone could run into another vehicle and not realize it. But how many times a day are we so focused on life’s events that we miss what’s going on right in front of us? Long story short … no police were called, we prayed with her and all involved were blessed by the situation.

You know, if it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see God work in this situation (first because I would have called the police), but God used a good friend and a special situation to remind me that sometimes EVERYTHING IS NOT AS IT APPEARS!

More importantly, this is just the message I needed in my life. God is so amazing; He used us to help the lady, and the lady to show himself present in my life at a time I needed Him most. Oh, and by the way, nothing was wrong with either car … just dusted off a little rust.

So, go on out today and don’t miss ANY opportunity for God to speak into your life … even if you have to chase them down.

Morio

Friend Morio on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @thaconsciousone
Follow Journey Church on Twitter @Journey_MO