Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who Are You?

Over the years I know people think they know me, but truth is, few do.  As an example, let's see how well you know me.  Of the following items, which ones are true, which are not true?

1) I have appeared on National Television at least 2X's
2) I have been quoted in Time Magazine
3) I have spoken to over 26,000 people on one occasion, and 10,000 plus on at least 5 occasions
4) I have contributed and been published in Psychology Today and The Psychosocial Journal
5) I played pro soccer for 6 years, and premiere soccer until I was 38
6) I played soccer for 2 years with the Tulsa Roughnecks
7) I have coached NCAA National Wrestling Champions
8) I was a boxer in High School
9) I am friends with many former and recent Olympic Wrestling Competitors
10) I have written 1 book and contributed to 4 other books
11) I was in a gang
12) I have been homeless
13) I was endorsed in a political election by Al Gore, The National Right To Life and the NAACP
14) I have confronted 2 governors about their policies face to face, one after they were governor, one while they were governor
15) I served on a Presidential Task Force for the Hiring of Persons with Disabilities
16) I served on a Federal Task Force regarding Fair and Reasonable Accommodations for The American's With Disabilities Act, (ADA)
17) I lived in a YMCA Transient Center for approximately a little over 2 years
18) I have had writings appear on the official web sites of George Romero, Johnny Depp, and Stephen Spielberg
19) I have appeared in 4 movies
20) All of the above are true

www.mosaicwichita.comThe answers to which of the above are true and which is not true will follow at the end of the post.

The truth is, there are many more things I could share that are true that people would have a  hard time believing and many things that people think are true which are false. People like to make assumptions though don't they? They think they know you and in reality don't, or if they do, there is always so much more they don't know.

Truth is I am not who I used to be and am so different in so many ways it is unbelievable.  I kind of muse at times at people who think they can pull things over my eyes through their manipulative behavior or where they think I am not smart enough to figure things out as to what they are doing.  I don't give much credence to IQ testing but my IQ test has me test out to a superior level. I always wondered how someone who failed in school like I did could be smart?  This doesn't mean much to me though other than to say I am smart enough to sometimes figure out a persons intentions and what they are really up to. It also means I am smart enough to not try to compartmentalize people. I have made drastic changes in my life; myself, and thankfully others along the way have benefited. I care about that, in the past I would have cared less but God has the ability to bring about change to the unchangeable.

I was a thug, a punk, a bully. Most people who know me now couldn't have stood me. At times some of those attitudes of, "I don't care what you think," still come about, sometimes the confrontations come out, but I hesitate, I think, I hold back what would have at one time been certain inappropriate responses. I'll be honest, for those who try to manipulate or control me, I kind of laugh, thinking, if you only knew. I come from a family that is strong, a family of Alpha's if you will who over the years where the men and women seldom took crap from anyone. 

Now why do I say this? It is simple; if I am that difficult to figure out, if I have had to learn to manipulate, create and figure out others and myself to maintain my own sanity, I figure there are others who have done the same. We do what we must to survive as the human desire to survive takes us to places we never imagined. We will eat, drink and do unimaginable things to survive. Yet, in that willingness to do unimaginable things, sometimes the issue of pride is what holds us back. Pride is one of those determining traits that can lead us down the path of destruction, whether it be relationships, opportunity, potential, or even a major thing, like eternity. 

You see many are unwilling to look adequately at who they are, why they are the way they are, and ultimately, give that over and become a slave to the person of Jesus. It comes down to realizing, I am nothing, He, (Jesus) is everything. I am a slave, He, (Jesus) is my master. At that point we come to the place where we realize the potential of change, not to be who our environment or situation makes us to be, but to be the person God wants us to be.

It is one of those areas where people who are not followers of Jesus don't understand. The Christian or follower of Jesus puts all of their trust, all of their value in Christ, He is the one we emulate. Others will and do think they know God but the truth is, they have never opened the Bible to do serious study on God. They may have heard a sermon, albeit from a horrible teacher a time or two but they have never seriously investigated the truth of what the Bible says themselves. When they say things like, "You should never judge," or "The Bible contradicts itself," or any number of things we may have heard, we know they have never opened or studied the Bible because the things they say the Bible says, it clearly doesn't.

Here is the challenge, while we may have had many experiences, those experiences do not make us who we are. I am not who I was and while there is value in the things I have done, there is more value in who I am now and what I will do tomorrow. My eternity is secure, I know that! It is secure because I no longer live for me, I live for the creator of the universe. Am I perfect in my ability to follow him? Heck no, but I am on my journey. While I am not sinless, I sin less today than I did yesterday and hopefully will sin less tomorrow than I will today. That is the journey that leads me to the place where the things of Jesus matter. It is a journey that understands, it is no longer I who live but Christ Jesus who lives in me. That is the challenge for all of us that follow Jesus isn't it? What an honor to let Jesus show and shine through our lives. We get to the place where we want to be like him as opposed to being who we are or what others think we should be. At that point, when people ask, Who are you, we can say;  "A disciple and follower of Jesus." Who are you? 

Just in case you may have forgot, the answers to the above questions follow: 

Here are the answers to the above questions.  #1 - 4 True, #5, sort of true, I played semi pro soccer for Texas Instruments and Umbro International against various premiere, select, and college teams for 6 years., #6 False, although I did practice some with the team, I never played for them, #7-18, all true, #19 False, I have appeared in 1 short movie, 1 feature film, and numerous documentaries, #20 clearly, False

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