Category: Inspiration

Your Purpose

Reflections

People do it everyday. Wake up maybe put the coffee on, turn on the television or scroll through the phone, never mind reading the newspaper anymore. After that, we’re off to the nine to five grind. Same old people same old traffic and come back home just to get ready to do it over again. It is the same thing day in and day out, but what’s it all for?

Some people might say, well I live for my kids or my family is my sole purpose in life. Reflect on that for a moment. Is it, really? Life is simple and yet complex. Tell me, who created your family? Where did they come from? What was your purpose in life before your wife, husband, or children? Again I ask, what is your purpose in life?

For instance, I too, have a family, wife, children, but they are not my purpose in life. The scripts I write for movies, short films, etc., may be fulfilling but it is not my purpose. There has to be more to life than the up down up down state of being we go through sun up to sun down on a daily basis. And it doesn’t matter if it’s for you or your family. There is something more to life we can’t see, something that compels us to move forward everyday.

Once we find out what that something is, your driving force, this will be your purpose in life. And once you find your purpose, life takes on a whole new perspective.

What is your purpose?

Life’s Twists and Turns

Not All Paths are Straight
Not All Paths Are Straight

 

I posted on Facebook yesterday about how life is full of twist and turns and no matter how jacked up the path we are on is keep moving forward. Okay, that’s not exactly how the post went but I really do need to elaborate on the nub of a post that it was. Bottom line, people are hurting. If you think that I’m lying, all you need to do is watch the news for one night or listen to your neighbor whose relationship with God is lacking (sadly, a lot of people who do have a relationship with Christ are hurting as well but walk as if they don’t and look down on others). I also call this *Faking* Why? Because the life we live is portrayed quite differently than what God sees. This happens when we refuse to deal with the real issues in life and cover them up with the lifestyle we live or pretend to live.

When are we going to get real with ourselves? More importantly, when are we going to get real with God? It is true, life’s path is filled with twists and turns and pot holes and detour signs. But it is not about those twist and turns that is important. What is important is how we react to those twists and bumps in the road that matters. We can not go for long faking people out like we have it all together when issues on the inside of us has us three seconds away from a nervous breakdown or some violent tendency. In fact, the very bumps in the road are designed to shake us up for that very reason, to acknowledge we have a problem in a particular area. Oh, if we are living a “perfect” life with no apparent problems we do so without Christ.

I beg to differ, I’m a sinner with real problems and issues and Jesus Christ came for people just like me. However, His hands are tied based on how much I am willing to give of myself. See, God knows exactly what’s wrong with me but the problem is not what God knows, it’s about what I know (or don’t). Point blank, the sooner I accept that I have a problem the sooner the problem can be dealt with. I know a whole lot of you know exactly what I’m talking about because this is one of the first things they talk about in AA or drug programs. It’s no different with God. Only with God, he goes much deeper all the way to the tip of the root and not just the root.

Calvin has dealt with some major mountains in his life. Don’t worry I am not writing another book through this blog post on what God has brought me through. But I will say it has been very painful dealing with some of the generational curses in my life dating who knows how far back in my family line. Sex addiction, my attitude on life, anger, and bitterness  are some of the majors. Compassion for people, the way I think about myself, and selfishness are some of the minors (actually selfishness might be one of the majors). Anyway, all of these things are all wrapped up in one word: Fear.

Fear is the one four letter word that destroys people faster than Superman can catch bullets. Once again you do not have to believe me on this but I guarantee a gang member or drug dealer is not going to come out and tell you he is afraid of you the reason why he shot you over something trivial such as a fight or the money he lost over a bad drug deal. Think about that for a second, yes, it is out of fear that we do anything negative.

We lie because we are afraid of getting in trouble. We cheat on our spouse because we are afraid of losing something we thought we had like “game” (stupid, but this is a generational curse). We kill because we are afraid of what the other person might take from us. I could go on, but the bottom line is fear drives us to hate which is completely opposite of love. This is what the twists and turns in the road of life is for to come clean of all of that negative crap that’s ruining people’s lives including our own. The problem is we can’t do it without Jesus. And for all you people who don’t believe Jesus is the only way, keep watching the news. You are the very reason they air such garbage because you refuse to believe. And once again, you don’t have to believe me…we will see.

Don’t let the twist and turns of life slow you down. Instead embrace them flow with them and let them make you stronger without feeling defeated. Turn your situation into Christ and let Him be over everything. Find Jesus Christ in the picture above and keep moving forward. You might have to search and examine your life for the true meaning of the twist and turns but at the end of the day, keep moving forward. Keep Christ in the picture.

 

 

What I Learned from being Homeless

Some people may look at adversity in life as having bad luck. However, adversity is necessary in life and it allows us to grow and reach deeper within ourselves for strength. Adversity builds our character and suffering makes us strong.

For instance, take a young man named Calvin who lost his home and material possessions. One night he looked over at his wife in the front seat of their pick-up truck, and then watched his six month old little girl fall asleep in her lap. Their other two children ages one and three were finally asleep in the back seat of the truck as they sat in a McDonald’s parking lot in Dallas Texas. He had lost his job and his wife was not working and they did not have any other place to go. After staying in several hotel rooms, they quickly ran out of money and had to live in a homeless shelter.

Living in a homeless shelter humbled them and gave them a new perspective on life. They worked in the kitchen of the shelter and served meals for other homeless people. The shelter had a faith based program that allowed Calvin and his wife to join in order to cope with the struggles of being in a homeless situation. The program taught them in every situation there is hope, and set backs are only temporary.

Calvin, being the leader in his house, could have giving up completely after he lost his job and a roof from over his families head. But instead, he spoke to his wife and said, “God is a God who strengthens us and turns our adversity into victory.” As a result of persecution, Christians found themselves building and clinging harder to their faith in God (Luke, A.D. 63). They found adversity led them closer to God, and it was no different with Calvin and his family, because affliction was not leading them away from their faith it was strengthening it.

They spent nine months in the homeless shelter going through their program, learning about a different lifestyle and learning about other people. But most importantly, they learned a great deal about themselves. Calvin and his wife never had a wealthy lifestyle, but being homeless and living in a homeless shelter gave them a new perspective on life. And it taught them respect for themselves and respect for other people.

In essence, being in a homeless situation was teaching them humility and making them stronger. It was teaching them to persevere even when the outlook seemed hopeless and endless. That homelessness was not the end of life but a new beginning, a beginning of renewed faith in God and themselves. Looking back they realized being homeless made them stronger people and their suffering made them equally strong. Some people say that adversity is the result of having bad luck. But in the eyes of Calvin and his family, adversity did not have anything to do with having bad luck. Instead, they saw adversity as a teacher building their character and their struggle as a weapon making them stronger.

Believe in Yourself

2012-06-29 19.12.39Believe in yourself. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, no matter where you come from or where we you are going, no matter what education level you have, and no matter how tough life gets, believe in you.  But in such a chaotic world full of deception and lies and in what that lie creates, the brokenness of people…

How do you believe in yourself in such a deceptive world? How do you believe in yourself after all the lies that have been told to other people or maybe they have been told to you?  How do we believe in ourselves after we have been hurt by so many people?  The enemy tells us that we will not succeed at anything we do or that if we do not do what he wants (by controlling our actions) we will fail.  He sticks his head up and sneaks into our lives so deceitfully that by the time we have noticed, it’s too late.  We have just become victim to a wrong choice in life that will affect us from one generation to the next.

How do we overcome every fear known to mankind?  Because it is fear that drives us to lie.  It is fear that causes us to talk down on one another.  It is fear that puffs us up and makes us think that we are the most corrupt “homie” in the land and that no one can stop us.  It is fear that tells us that we cannot when God tells us that we can.  But there is no fear in God, for God did not give us a spirit of fear.

There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.   (1 John 4:18)

But,

The fear of the lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.  (Proverbs 19:23)

So how do we overcome fear?

We put everything we have into trusting our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  If we believe that God exists and that he gave his only Son for our sins then we should believe all the way and not part or halfhearted that God can deliver us from anything.  God wants it all not some part or half, but all of our hearts.  He wants us to trust him in a way that in no matter the circumstance we know with all of our being that he will save us out of every trouble even though chaos is right at our front door.  This is how you overcome fear: God throws us in the fire and allows us to stay there for a while so that we can be tested, tried and tried again.  Well how do you know that Calvin, because he has done it many of times for me and my family.  Yes I am a witness to the power and saving grace of Christ and not only I, but my wife and though they do not understand right now my kids also are a witness, He is no joke. We absolutely 100% live by the Word of God and the Lord tests us in His Word every day. From Genesis to Revelations, God refines the people whom He loves through the books that will always stand as His written word in the bible.

God is the only source who will allow you to believe in yourself in such a way that only he can.  First of all, he will show you how to be content in your own skin.  You will not need to look to others for approval or admiration, he is all the approval you need.  Second of all, he will show you how to let go of years of pain in order to see him clearly. You will need to clean the murky waters of yesterday in order to see the now that God wants you to see today.  This will be entirely up to you, because this you will have to want to do. God will not force anyone to change, only encourage. And the only way you are going to want to do it is if you get completely tired of your own mess. Third, we have to let God be God.  How can we being mortal made by God tell God how we should run our life?  Does He who has made all things not have it (all things) under control? Can we make the earth spin on its axis?

How can we say we trust God if we do not allow ourselves to give ourselves completely over to him?  In other words, how much of our lives does God influence?  One arm, two legs, three fingers, or is it the whole body from the inside out?  I believe one of the first important keys in believing in you is to fully believe in the God who created you first.

One of the lessons that I learned from watching Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon on a two inch rope of steal is that this guy believed in himself. But what is more important than that is he believed in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ first. Even if walking across a gorge on a wire sounds pretty crazy, we need to have crazy faith like that in order to achieve BIG things. Extraordinary things, great things, crazy faith things. Jesus said that we would do greater things than what He did. However, I do not believe Jesus would have to use a rope to cross the Grand Canyon, but I do believe that we as a people trusting and believing in God with every inch of our being will do things never heard of in this generation. You can only use your imagination in the type of things that God is capable of doing through us only if it is His will and for His glory.

The bible says that nothing is impossible for God. And considering where He has brought me and my family from so far, I believe also with everything in me that there is nothing impossible for God. I believe in myself because God believes in me and I believe in Him. My walk is not a regurgitated walk from someone else’s experiences or just memorizing verses. It is a genuine relationship with the Most High God developed over time from great hardship that only first-hand experience can explain.

I cannot speak from other people’s experiences because I did not walk in their shoes, but I can speak from my own experiences and testify to the power of God. Nik trained hard to be able to face his fears and walk over a canyon on a rope, but that training alone did not accomplish the job. The man had to believe he could do it and that God could help him do it, he had to have crazy faith. All things are possible if we allow God to change us and use us for His glory. Is it easy, no, but neither was dying on a cross for the sins of man. Compared to that our job of letting go and letting God is easy. Believe in yourself, because God believed in you first.

If you really want your life to change, separate yourself from negative people.

Scripture taken from the NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

Aberration is Coming!

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It has begun, and a new series is just about to get underway in production starting in August. What?

I’m talking about a new thrilling Sci-Fi Inspirational book called Aberration written by myself that will soon be entering the production stage of publishing over at Tate Publishing. This is an exciting time, and I would like to keep each and every one of you updated as to how everything is going during each step.

A little back story:

Anthony Sullivan has returned home from the military and has begun his new civilian life that he is not adjusting very well too. He is thrown into one life changing situation after another, due mostly to his own choices. He can’t seem to find his way in the trouble world he has created for himself, until he finds a relationship with God through his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is through this relationship that he eventually becomes endowed with supernatural gifts that propels him into dimensions that makes him a powerful leader of Gods people. And then leading them into the dominion God had for them in the beginning.

His arch enemy, General Davis, is one who will do anything to stop Anthony from achieving his goals, but ultimately a surprising twist in the story stops him in his tracks. The first book is Anthony’s supernatural state and what he accomplishes with his rival Mr. Davis, and uncovers some dramatic life changing events.

I will be posting short stories on the beginnings of Aberration giving you a sense of the beginnings and how it all unfolds. But for the dramatic ending….you will have to crack open the book, possibly a series, no definitely a series. 

Stay tuned…and get ready for a change!   Aberration

God bless!

By the way, I will also be re-posting Aberration series blogs that I had linked to a previous website I have since deleted.

Thank you and I do hope you enjoy!

For more information visit Aberration at http://www.calvinlbender.com

The Poor Old Man Alongside of the Road

IMG_0002There was an old man who sat alone on a busy street day in and day out rarely moving. He wore the same old clothes and coat no matter if it was hot or cold outside he kept what he had on. Everyday people would pass along the road where the man sat just before the intersection of another street that was not so busy, and they never stopped to check on him. Day in and day out the man sat. Rain, sleet, or snow the man sat and no one ever offered a hand to help.

One day a driver stopped and tried to hand the man a dollar bill, but the old man just sat there and stared off into the distance. Another day a group of kids past by the man and began making fun of him. “Look at him, he is old and he stinks sitting there wasting away!” said one kid. “Yeah and he’s a crazy old guy just sitting there staring out into space doing nothing for himself.” said another.
There was not a day that went by that someone was not making fun of the old man or passing him by along the road without talking to him.

Finally, another driver pulls up where the man is sitting and gets out of his car and lifts up the hood. He takes a look under the smoking engine compartment of the car and begins to cry out, “Why now? Why here this stupid car has to break down?” He slams the hood down and reaches for his cell phone. No power, he looks around to see where the nearest store is. Frustrated, he turns around and sees the man sitting on the side of the road. Curious, and with nowhere else to go until he can figure out how to get his car fixed, he goes over and sits by the old man and waits.

He looks at his watch and then looks over towards the old man. “What are you waiting here for?” the man asks, but the old fellow remains silent. “How long have you been sitting here?” said the man as he tries to strike a conversation with the old guy but he just sits there silently still staring out into space.

The man looked down for a moment with a puzzled look on his face wondering why this old guy seemed to be just sitting there silent and waiting for absolutely nothing to happen. And then just when the man was about to get up and leave, the old man spoke. “Twelve years ago the Lord God said to me, ‘Go to the place I will show you and wait there for Me.’ He didn’t tell me why nor did he tell me for how long. So I waited without another word. Day after day people would pass me by and pretend not to see me and the ones who did either made fun of me or thought I was beyond help. And so they didn’t even bother to ask me why I was here, or even walk over to ask me if I needed any help. But then you came and showed up out of nowhere on this day and asked me ‘Why are you here?’ and finally the Lord just said to me ‘Now it is time!’ and that the reason I am here is because of you.”

At this time the man became even more puzzled, and his curiosity deepened further. The old man knowing this continued to speak, “For years you have built a successful company and have made millions upon millions of dollars that represents that success. But hear now the word of the Lord, ‘I have made you successful in your work and have multiplied your possessions many times over. Now is the time to give away what I have given you to the poor so that you may prosper in your life. Now is the time to give to my servant who sits before you so that he may do my will upon this earth in this time, thus said the Lord.'”

Then a Spirit of the Lord came over the driver after the old man had said this and the man began to take out his check book. Right there on the spot the man started writing out a check to the old man. No sooner than he had finished writing it out, a tow truck pulled up and offered the rich man his services to tow and get his car fixed. The man was amazed, because he never called a tow truck nor did he tell the old man anything about his business.

However, as the man pulled away with the tow truck driver, the poor old man looked down at the check the rich man had left him. The pay to was left blank, but the amount, as the poor old man’s eyes lit up and he bowed down to worship and praise God, was one million dollars.

And so as it is this day, the poor old man was no longer poor because of his obedience to the Most High God. And he did with it what the Lord commanded him and began to prosper greatly in the land from the hand of the Lord.

The moral of the story: The prosperity of the man was not in him receiving a million dollars. It was in his obedience to the Lord that his true prosperity was gained. How is our obedience to God?