God is an infinite and  all powerful being. He is far too big and complex for any mind to fully understand, so it would be arrogant of anyone, including me, to say they know the mind of God. We cannot fully comprehend Him, we can only know what God has revealed.  (more…)

I haven’t completely figured out the official cutoffs, but it’s generally accepted that I am a late Generation X’er. There are many things that differentiate us from other generations but I believe one of the greatest differences is that we are a passion driven generation. Before us, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations were all focused on potential. To this day, Boomers are concerned that their grandchildren live up to their potential by pushing  education and getting a good job. Think about the civil rights movements, feminism, and the space programs of the sixties and early seventies, and you will see how much that generation wanted to maximize the capacity of what they could do. I was raised and educated by that generation, and they are still watching me to make sure I live up to my potential. (more…)

The three words I have often uttered to describe where I am in my ministerial career: “ministry is hard”. Lately, I’m coming to learn that these words may actually be “full of it”. While it is true, for me at least, the ministry was not a career move. I never chose ministry: ministry chose me. I do it because I am truly compelled to, and I feel it is my God-given calling to mainly teach, then preach, and lead. Yes, I feel an obligation to God to fulfill this purpose, and some have made me feel as if the simple presence of purpose should make the process painlessly easy. And I don’t ever want to negate the hard work that goes into studying, planning, and executing ministry, while performing some of the mundane tasks of pastoring. All this may be true, but these aren’t the reasons ministry is hard.  (more…)

So ….

Twitter has announced that, effective immediately, they are expanding their character limits by two times. In other words, instead of a 140 characters limit, it has been bumped up to 280 characters. I must admit, as a content creator I LOVE this new expanded freedom! There are thoughts I want to share, but just can’t figure out the way to squeeze into 140 characters. I’m excited!  (more…)

Last month, I shared a sermon series about generosity; and as I was preparing for the last sermon, something in the scripture hit me hard in my chest. In 2 Corinthians 8, The Apostle Paul was describing the generosity of the churches in Macedonia. There was a great need and the apostles were receiving relief funds to help some of the saints that were in dire straights. The churches in Macedonia urged the apostles to participate in the relief efforts, and this surprises Paul because the people of Macedonia were living in poverty themselves.

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I’m not one to believe that this world is the product of chance. You and I are not accidents, but we are the product of divine purpose, because anything created has a reason for its existence. Simply put, purpose is the reason for which something was created or done, and even though we can’t always see it, purpose is always present. With that in mind, there has always been a creative nature to purpose, producing something that wasn’t there before. To this end, I believe purpose creates passion.   (more…)

There is an age-old debate circulating the making of sandwiches, tuna, and potato salads. Mayo or Miracle Whip? While superficially, these two dressings look alike, use most of the same ingredients and operate with the same functions, there are distinct differences between the two. Mayo is typically heavier, and more tangy, and whipped dressings are lighter and sweeter; but you wouldn’t know that until you put it on your sandwich and take a bite. Sure, some people can’t tell the difference, yet the differences are there, and clear to those who take the time to truly savor what they are eating. So no … Mayo is NOT THE SAME as Miracle Whip!

I’m sure you’re asking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Well, you have been given a gift; a function to serve in this world. God gave it to you, for reasons that are all His own. It is very easy to look at what’s been given to you generically, assuming it is the same thing such-n-such, and s0-n-so have been given. Sure, on the surface, there are a lot of people who have the same gifting, but upon further inspecting, you will discover they are NOT THE SAME.

There are subtile, and seemingly undetectable, differences that make you … well … YOU! While you may even serve the same function as someone else, your differences may determine the contexts in which you will flourish. For example, if I may continue my analogy, I prefer my potato salad be made with mayo. I also prefer my tuna salad be made with whipped dressing. However, when it comes down to a sandwich or burger, I can go either way. With either context, mayo and Miracle Whip could be used interchangeably, but their subtle differences suit my tastes differently.

So, don’t get discouraged when you see a gift like yours, functioning like yours, looking and sounding like yours, that is being received differently; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t think that you deserve the same platforms as similar gifts with a wider reach; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t assume that someone with the same abilities or comparable styles reflect where you are going; you are NOT THE SAME. Embrace your differences and shine where you are. At the end of the day, God knows what He is doing, so trust the process.

© 2017 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

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