Tell The World – (Lecrae feat. Mali Music)
“Other people inspire me…they always have…But it’s not the big things that they do, and it never has been. It’s always been the little things, the little decisions that they make that impact me the most.”
The quote above is from myself…it is the opening lines from the very post in this Ten Days In Love blog called MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION.
This is the last and final story, the last post in my journey in Ten Days In Love. I truly felt called and challenged to write 36 posts every ten days for a full year about love…so I want to take this moment to say THANK YOU for everyone who has followed along with me, sent me text messages, emails, social media shares, all of the encouragement, and all of the amazing love that you have shown me. I love you all…
I never knew what I wanted to tell each time I was to sit down and tell a story but I always had in mind a story, from 6 years ago, that I would save for my last post…but God had a different plan. I will not be telling that story…instead this one took place just five days ago…I was on my way to an afternoon band practice with some friends and I noticed my gas tank was on empty so I stopped at a local gas station that I always stop at. I usually go there just about every other day since it is so close to my home. I remember getting out to pump my gas and this large SUV pulled up next to mine. I couldn’t help but over hear the loud conversation even over the loud music. One of the guys was talking about how he had just got out of prison and I glances over at his friend and noticed a “tear drop” tattoo, which usually means that person may have killed someone, spent time in a prison, or lost someone in a gang. They went inside ahead of me and I went in after I had finished pumping my gas. When I opened the door I could hear some laughing and I looked over and there was another guy that was begging people for money to buy something to eat…and nobody was helping him or looked like they wanted to. He turns to me and says, “Excuse me sir…sir…can you buy me something to eat?..please?…” and honestly I don’t know how I reacted so fast but I remember saying the words, “Well yeah man if you gotta eat then let’s eat.” So I bought him the biggest barbecue sandwich they had and he just kept smiling the whole time. The other two guys just looked at me like I was crazy…grabbed what they had paid for and walked out. But just as I am getting my stuff off the counter, I turn back around and the guy with the teardrop tattoo had come back inside and is standing right in my face…he just looked at me in a dead-honest stare and said, “Look man…I wouldn’t have helped that man at all…but you did…and that was good. You’re a really good man…” I remember in that moment all of the different people in the store…we all just kind of silently looked at each other with a look of “everything is gonna be ok.” Then he walked out and got back in his SUV with his friends staring at me. It was a very tense moment…but one that I will never forget about.
And it was just one of the “little things” of love that went a long way…
How do we make the right decisions? How do we know when it is time? How do show love everyday? Have you ever been tested? Has your faith ever been tested? How did react in the moment? With love?
“I know one thing’s true: I don’t even really deserve to know you, but I’m a witness that you did this and I’m brand new. So I’m ready to go, and I’m gonna tell the world what they need to know. A slave to myself, but you let me go, I tried getting high but it left me low…You did what they could never do, You cleaned up my soul and gave me new life – I’m so brand new.”
Lecrae Devaughn Moore, known as Lecrae, is an American hip hop artist, songwriter, record producer and actor. At a very early age of 11, Lecrae started taking drugs, fighting, and was arrested in high school for stealing, and eventually ended up on a gang list. With no father around he quickly fell into a life of crime. After being arrested for drug possession, the officer saw a Bible that his grandmother had given him in the car and let Lecrae go on a promise that he would agree to live by it. Lecrae said that “I remember ripping the pages out of that Bible and throwing it on the floor. I don’t want this Bible. I couldn’t wrap my hands around this being true or real.” He talks about how he turned his life around at a Christian conference where he prayed, “God get me out of this life, don’t kill me; do whatever you have to do to get me out of this, just don’t kill me.” After leaving the conference, Lecrae rolled his car on the highway…He had no seatbelt and the roof and windshield of the car caved in, his glasses were molded into the frame of the car, but he survived completely uninjured. He says that is the moment when he turned his entire life around to God. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of his own record label Reach Records, and now is signed to Columbia Records in a joint deal with his own label. He is also now the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization called ReachLife Ministries.
James 1:3 | For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
On the same day as the day this story took place my devotional app verse was James 1:3…it’s amazing that God would test my faith just an hour after reading it…I named this entry Running On Empty, not just because my gas tank in my SUV was literally on empty, but because most of my adult life I always felt I was running on empty. I was always searching for something to fill me up…kept wanting to fill my tank up, wondering what else I could do in life to make me happy, to try and fill this void. I turned to drugs and the power of distributing them to try and help fill me up…And it never quite lasted and it just turned into me driving around in circles my whole life. I wanted to be full and I needed help…as much as I didn’t think it was possible, God saved me. To my non-Christian friends they think it is crazy, and hey I did too…until it happened to me. His love for me filled me up. Can’t ever force you to believe that and I simply won’t…but all I can do is tell you the truth about how He changed my life. Through all of these stories there is a plan… Do I still screw up? Yes!! But now I have faith in God and I know He is there to pick me up and carry me with His love. That’s the difference, I have the hope, I have happiness. I have grace and love. The guy in the gas station called me a good man…and all I could think about was how thankful I was to be able to hear those words when for so long I was a bad man… I want to be a better man everyday now, for myself, my friends, my job, my family, and the family that I hope to have one day… but no matter what happens tomorrow… even if it all comes to an end, I will be thankful for God giving me purpose. I chose the last first at the bottom from 1 Corinthians and it is probably my favorite in the entire blog…because although you may feel like you are running on empty some days, there are three things that will never run out…ever! Faith, Hope, and LOVE. Love will last forever.
This has been my story…this has been my song…and I thank you for reading, listening, and following the path God laid out for this journey. People always ask the question “How can we really change the world?” The answer? Go tell it. Just like in Lecrae’s song at the bottom of this post that says be a billboard and tell the world about LOVE…show people how to love. Tell it everyday.
Final 1ØVE Challenge: Try and make the right decisions, remember what your name means, show just a millimeter of faith, look for an iron man or woman in your life, believe in angels, know when it’s time to give up certain things in your life, get our of your prison and love the population, no longer be the walking dead but become the living, if you feel God giving you more and more chances then follow His will, pray any chance you can, open up your fences and let people see your light, focus on the right plan for your life, let what you see in the looking glass everyday show your truest reflection in life, pray for those in prison, be aware of the “passengers” in life that surround us and show kindness to them, keep your eyes on the prize, have value, know God will provide a calm after every storm in your life, seek the perfect pressure in every decision you make, ask God to guide you down the dark side of your mountains, pray for a new heart daily, drop new and better rocks in your water and watch the ripple effect, remember that you are more than conquerors, pay attention to the warning lights in life, if you feel no rhyme then trust then trust in the reason, seek eternal “shelf life”, let God be your captain to get you to your destinations, change your attitude to get up out of your valleys, learn to become like a child, don’t let the seconds add up when you need to forgive someone or yourself, ask God to wash over any dirt in your life, tell someone you love them today even when life may feel unfair, always give thanks for everything, “give a man a fish” and give your time to those who need it the most, believe in true love stories, and last but not least… when you are running on empty fill your heart with love.
I will end this journey with the same way I ended my first blog entry:
“I think in everything we do we need to be thankful for what we have in this temporary environment we live in…because that’s the truth of our situation at the end of the day. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us so try to remember the little things. Love God and love others…and I can’t promise that you or I will always make these right decisions, but I can promise you I have seen what truly happens when right decisions are made = LOVE.”
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE…
1 Corinthians 13:13
13 Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
(Feature post photo by Maarten van den Heuvel)
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