Saved by Grace

There’s a void in all of us that only God can fill and sometimes it takes going down to a really dark place to realize that. After one year of almost going through with the unthinkable, God saved me. When we’re at our weakest, God’s power over us is at its strongest. God’s got your back always. Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not. God is guiding you. It’s not always going to be easy, but at the end God is always enough and he’s the only one who can fill that void. Know Jesus, know peace.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

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BTW – I would change happiness to joy 🙂

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P

The Yo-Yo Love Story

60ad7e391b7d3dc2f4924a316985e0f3Yes, I’m in a relationship. It may not seem like it sometimes, but I’m all in (or at least I try to be). Before you start asking, I’m talking about my relationship with the Lord. There are many of us who try to follow God, but it’s hard! We’re born as sinners, so it’s natural to gravitate toward sin. I strive to have an authentic relationship with God, but often times I fall short. It’s a Yo-Yo relationship: sometimes I’m super passionate about God and have a strong prayer life and other times I get complacent and go through life alone.

Today at church, our pastor preached Pslam 84 and it was definitely convicting. Basically this chapter is about a psalmist who is extremely passionate about God. He yearns to be close to God. He wished he was a sparrow so he could sit near God’s alter. He’d even trade 1,000 days just for one day with the Lord! Verse 10 also says, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked”. Basically he’d rather have a lowly job because every time he opens the door, he’d be able to event get a glimpse of God. That’s pretty powerful.

My pastor went on to discuss the importance of being passionate about the Lord and having that hunger for him at all times. This is the Lord who created the heavens and the Earth; he provides when we most need him. He is always faithful even though we don’t deserve it. We deserve eternal damnation, but he sent us his only son to die for us! Now that’s true love. So why do we fall into this yo-yo love? I fall into this trap all the time and it’s something I’m working on, but when we think about how much God loves us and how faithful he is, how can we not have the same passion as the psalmist?

b4105296fdaa483e827d28b772b1d985-1Sin. The world feeds us lies about how following God is boring. However, if your life is boring, then you aren’t living it correctly! A life with God is filled with joy and I know this from experience. This time last year my relationship with God was nonexistent. I was going through the motions (well not really even that since I didn’t pray, read the word or go to church). It was definitely the darkest period of my life, but fortunately, God saved me from myself. A life without God is meaningless. All good things come from the Lord. Verse 11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” – Now this doesn’t mean he’s going to give you a $1 billion dollars, a nice house, etc., but he will give you exactly what you need. He is faithful and he will always come through. Now blameless doesn’t mean perfect in this context, because the Bible says no one, but Jesus is perfect. It’s basically those who follow the Lord.

Screen shot 2015-08-23 at 7.12.29 PMGod’s love is something words cannot describe. I can try, but I’ll fail miserably. However I hope this is something everyone can experience because it’s life changing.

This tree is a small symbol of God’s love. So basically pink cherry blossom is my favorite type of tree and while every other tree on my block was either another kind of tree or a white cherry blossom, the one by my apartment was Pink! Now, you’re probably like OK so God’s giving you a tree? It’s more than that. He knows us best – what we like, what we don’t like, etc. If you want a bigger example: NYC. I never had a desire to move to NY and only did because of my job. However, I fell in love with this city and God has provided everything I need and more. Now, that’s not always going to be the case. For example, the previous year I was going through a hard time, but God is still faithful and got me through it.

Having a relationship with God isn’t easy because sin likes to creep up on us. But once we have the same passion as the psalmist, we can live life to the fullest. God’s love is the ultimate true love and even when we stray, he always pulls us back – like a Yo-Yo*.

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P

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**Note: Yo-Yo refers to us straying and God pulling us back in addition us going back and forth because when God pulls us back that’s when we get our fire back. Once we get complacent, we start to stray.

Waiting on God’s Timing

49729bbb322042cc547a9d6878e82f87Lets face it – we all want to be in complete control of our lives. We think we know what’s best for us, what we want, what we like, etc., when in all honestly we can even decide what kind of sandwich we want half the time.

It’s been almost 6.5 half months since I’ve moved to New York and on my way home last week I started thinking about all the little things: the pain, the waiting, blind faith, etc., so get to where I am. Life isn’t perfect, and as always I’m still in the constant state of “waiting,” but I have peace that the dude upstairs knows what he’s doing.

My journey wasn’t always easy. When I applied for my first PR internship, I was rejected (seven times to be exact). Slowly anger started to fill my heart and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t land an internship. I even called random companies and offered free help. Nothing happened. Shortly after I took summer classes and started applying for fall internships. Same thing – still couldn’t land an internship. Doubt started to creep into my mind. Should I be doing PR? Is this really what God wants me to do? After seeking the Lord, I knew this is what he wanted for me. Would I stick with him and trust his plan or would I quit?

I continued fcfe10c0b76ea4cf407c6ea856e04b6ato persevere and apply. All I needed was one ‘yes’. However, during the “waiting” period, I made it my goal to learn as much as I could on my own. I had informational interviews with professionals in the area, watched webinars via PRSA (thank you PRSSA membership) and started a PR blog. Once I had an opportunity (I thought to myself), I would work hard,  and make all of those people regret passing me up. While I was able to find a semi-internship during the summer after calling West Oaks Urgent Care (which was great because the doctor worked with my school schedule), I started thinking about fall 2013.

After four more rejections, I put my trust in the Lord. I gave up control and gave it to him. One day I received an email from the Baylor journalism department about an internship opportunity with InterviewStream. Not only was it paid, but it was a semi-startup (which is rare in Waco). I decided to apply because at this point what did I have left to lose?

A couplee37606047de1042e0f749c64b228208e of weeks after I received an offer. Thinking back this was the best thing because it cemented my love for Tech PR. It also helped me land an internship with Walker Sands which then led me on the path to Weber Shandwick Dallas and then NY in their global technology practice. Additionally, if I hadn’t taken those summer classed that summer, I wouldn’t have graduated on time.

It’s been a long journey and it’s obviously not over, but it’s amazing to see how far God can take us when we trust him. The best things do come to those who wait, but what are we doing during our waiting period? Are we sitting on a couch eating/drinking our sorrows or are we taking the time to draw near to God and trying to become the best version of ourselves? God sometimes tests us to see how badly we want things and if we’re going to stick with him during the trials.

No one likes to wait, especially if you’re as impatient as me, but like Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Give God control over your life because he knows what he’s doing Also know your waiting isn’t in vain.

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P

Jets Camp and More

IMG_3081Yesterday a friend and I traveled to Florham Park, NJ to attend the New York Jets training camp. It was a great experience and Jets fans are entertaining, lively and passionate (minus one notoriously annoying fan). But I still think us Cowboys fans do it better (#WeDemBoyz). Now this isn’t a sports blog, so this isn’t a recap of training camp or will I be dishing any analysis. However, for all the Baylor fans reading this, we did see QB Bryce Petty in action and he looked pretty comfortable in the pocket and made a couple of good throws, so that’s a good sign. Now don’t get too excited, because the Jets starting QB Geno Smith (yes, the QB of the WVU team who scored 70 points against us in 2012) looked good as well, but I digress.

The city we arrived in was a bit far from the Jets practice facility, so we had to hitchhike up these great hills with the sun directly hitting us to reach our destination (Jk, we didn’t hitchhike nor did we walk up any hills, but it was still a long 30 minute walk in the sun – thank God we’re both from Texas). Once we got there, we were told we couldn’t bring in our bags (forgot about the dumb NFL rule) so we threw them in a ditch with thorny plants. Fortunately, I’m a beast and was able to retrieve both bags from the thorny plants without a scratch. Overall, it was enjoyable and definitely one of those “bucket-list” items I can scratch off my list.

IMG_3071Anyway, apart from Jets camp, it was nice to escape the city for a while without having to spend much money; it was a relatively cheap ride out of Penn Station. Plus the town we were in was gorgeous. It had a Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girl reference) type feel to it. There were little shops, restaurants and on our way back we saw a Jazz performance as people relaxed and watched.

Honestly, I didn’t really care about visiting the actual city, I just wanted to watch some free football. However, it’s the little surprises like walking through a city like this that makes life worth living. The unexpected always tends to surprise us and make the experience truly great.

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P

More football pics below: 
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CB Darrelle Revis AKA face of the franchise

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