personally, I like “to do” lists
check boxes and color codes and deadlines, all of that grabs my attention
but alas, just making the the list won’t do
neither will ripping it up
you have to put in the work
this week’s post is part-recap of the Relationship Goals Reloaded Series at Transformation Church, and part-open letter to myself.
if you’re unfamiliar with it, Transformation Church is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Michael Todd is the lead pastor, and last year he did a really popular sermon series called Relationship Goals. at the heart of it is the idea that none of your relationships (romantically, platonically, professionally) will reach their full potential if you’re not good with God first. you can’t reach a goal if you’re not aiming at it, and to aim at it, you have to know where, and what, it is. this year he brought the series back, dropped a book too. it’s been great.
there have been 11 sermons since April 26th:
part 2: Rip Up Your List
part 3: Rip Up Your List pt.2
part 4: Worship is our Weapon
part 5: Happily Ever Before
part 6: Racial Reconciliation
part 7: the rEVOLution of Racism
part 11: Attraction 2 Satisfaction
now. that is a lot of content. at the end of this post you’ll find a lil* summary of the series so far, but since it’s not over yet, I’d definitely encourage catching up before next Sunday! I’m mostly gonna grab from parts 2, 3, 4, and 11 for the first part of this post.
* it’s not little
I’ll be honest. I’ve been questioning myself and what I’m doing a lot recently. blogging? YouTubing? drawing? studying for the MCAT? why? to what end? who sent me? I look at these questions in turn, and then I look at what I’ll have to do to keep up with the deadlines I’ve set for myself, and by the time I have a plan, a literal list, that I’m happy with, I’m tired. or I have get on a call. or literally anything, any distraction that could get in the way of me getting something done, and then I’m back at square one with the questions of why I’m even doing all of this.
part 4 of this series was just a huge worship session, but during one of the brief messages that were shared, someone said “what do you want from being impressive, a handclap?”
it’s such a humbling question. why do you do what you do? what’s motivating you? is it purpose? praise?
if you’re a Christian creative or creator, you can probably relate to where I am. like, a pastor knows there’s church every week, which means they should have a sermon every week. but guest preachers are a thing. it’s all so *juggles imaginary objects* y’know. there are a lot of moving pieces, and like I said in 20, the best way to weather shakiness is to be on a foundation that’s steady.
even though I have a lot of new post ideas (and a lot of old series to finish lol–there are so many sermons on John 4 (including part 6!), lemme free myself from that weight. finish what you start tho.), I’m gonna focus on these questions a bit more. I want to keep producing, I know I’m supposed to do that. but we wanna be healthy outchea. we want to be moving off the strength of the right motives. and who knows–I could’ve had this post just be a recap and worked (on myself) in silence, and y’all would’ve been none the wiser. but I know there are lessons in my process of learning, and I also know that with being transparent, y’all can see what I need and pour back into me. gimme allll the advice.
so that’s just where I’m at. it’s taking a lot of patience to learn how to be patience, to let old tendencies be pruned away and learn new habits. but we’re getting there. progress, not perfection.
be blessed bbys ✨
summary of parts 1-11 (based on my notes):
we start with the idea of a manual. “manu” means to make, and “manual” means the maker’s thoughts. so since we have our Maker’s thoughts (the Bible), are we reading them before we start? like a lot of the series, this message doesn’t just apply to relationships. but rushing into anything without knowing God and His Word is like driving a car you know nothing about and then having to take it to the mechanic, someone with a lot more knowledge and experience, who’s now fixing problems you probably could’ve caught yourself if you’d read the manual. living by the principles of God will help you avoid the problems of life. the peace you need is found in the principles you keep. focus on knowledge, understanding, obedience, and application. bonus point: if you have a smartphone, there are probably a lot of features you’re missing out on because you haven’t read the manual. think about it.
the next two sermons were about lists. we might have the things we want from a person or relationship, but God is not Santa Claus. He gives us our needs, not our wants, because He’s more committed to our destiny than our desires. a good dream is based on your preference, but a God dream is based on your purpose. that’s what’s on His list. if you look at Joseph’s life (Genesis 37), he went from having a dream to being in the palace it described. but the path wasn’t dream, support, opportunity, promotion, palace. it was dream, betrayal, slavery, prison, palace. same beginning and end point, but he went through a pit (a valley, ba dum tss) before he got to his destination. God’s plan is for you to succeed, but the path to success might not look how you expect. as you go through it, don’t stop at thinking “this is trash”. trash it is, for sure. “this is trash, but I trust you God” is the mindset that’ll get you through. you’ll have to fight, you’ll have to say no to sin and doubt. don’t give in to “I’m too ___”–there’s nothing God can’t do. delayed doesn’t mean denied; just continue to be obedient. people’s lives are dependent on it, your life is dependent on it. trust God and allow Him to rewrite your list.
the next week was just a two hour worship session, which I /needed/. this is lowkey a Chandler Moore stan account, and he was visiting to lead worship that week so everything was just hitting y’all. they took breaks here and there to share the word, but here are some of the lyrics I put in my notes:
“I run to the Father, I fall into grace”
“You are the one who fills my cup, You are my God, I will trust in You”
“Your name cannot be overcome”
“welcome into this broken vessel, You desire to abide in the praises of Your people”
“to You alone may my spirit yield”
“I wanna be tried by fire, purified”
so that was great. the next sermon focused on Genesis 2:8-9, 15-19, because you have to be intentional in that season before the person. in the before, there are 6 P’s. presence, place, provision, personality, purpose, and parameters. you have to know how to be in God’s presence for yourself–a relationship without a goal is pointless, but relationship without God is senseless. you also have to be where you’re meant to be–God didn’t ask Adam where he wanted to go, but He knew Eden was where he needed to be. in Eden, God had provided everything Adam needed. even when the Israelites were grumbling in the wilderness, God provided manna. it may not be your taste or come how you want, but God’s provision will sustain you. He gives you what you need, but He’s already given you your personality, your character. your identity, which came from Him and should reflect Him, however uniquely. and with all of this comes your purpose, which you cultivate and look after. you don’t get to your purpose, you walk in it. lastly, there are parameters, which are set up for protection, not punishment. lots of P’s in this sermon. but these are the building blocks to the foundation you need to build before you go and put a relationship on top. a lot of good visuals w this sermon, they helped me understand the message so I’d def recommend watching this one.
parts 6-8 were a break from the original series, but they still worked. people across the country and world had began to really step up and speak out against the racial injustices that just. keep happening. the girls are tired (I’m the girls). for part 6 they played a sermon from a few years ago, I really liked how they highlighted the racial significance of the story of the woman at the well (John 4). though they had different backgrounds, Jesus (note, not Jesus and His disciples) communicated with her and engaged with her humanity. He identified with her, literally drinking from her cup. He gave us this example of racial reconciliation. if we’re gonna see heaven on earth, we have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, be intentional about learning and growing, and to fight the good fight, physically and spiritually.
part 7, you have Michael, Tommy Todd (his dad), Charles Metcalf, and the founder of Transformation Church, Bishop Gary McIntosh. they share their individual experiences as a collection black, mixed, and white men and what they’d learned in terms of remembering racism without raising it in order to keep it from repeating itself. it has to be starved, has to be addressed and excised. it may not be your fault, but it is your fight. everyone has a role in this revolution.
then with part 8, we have Dr. Dharius Daniels who shared a message highlighting how we have church in buildings, but we can only be the Church in the world. the world is not our home, but our calling. our relationship with God should change our relationship with others–this applies in every way. he breaks down racism very clearly, and uses the story of the Good Samaritan to show what kind of lives we should lead as Christians. towards the end, he asked a question that really hit me: “will you speak even when your voice shakes?”
I’m not sure if part 9 explicitly fits into the racial injustices mini series. probably. Charles is a Creative Pastor at TC, and he shared a very straightforward and encouraging message. we have to fight the good fight, but if we don’t know who we’re fighting, we won’t know how to fight. you can’t just brings words and emotions to a heavenly battle, a spiritual fight. Ephesians 6:14-18 bc the devil not boutta take you out. if you don’t have the right why, know that your fight will always die.
part. 10. this one was funny for me because I spent like all of college hearing about sEaSOn oF SinGLenEsS and boyyy. I learned a bit. Rich Wilkerson Jr. was the guest pastor for this week, it was pretty advice heavy. if you feel stuck he says to: focus on you, be the minority, and break up.
focus on you -> focus on what you can control. healthy relationships require healthy individuals. be the minority because the majority is overcrowded; all of us could work on our purity. and you may not have a person to break up with, but is there mindset? a perspective? happily ever after is a journey. yeah.
some gems from Rich. “just because you’re an asset doesn’t mean you’re appreciated” and “make that man work”. I’ll leave those there.
and now, part 11. Pastor Mike is back with the visuals so again, def watch this sermon for yourself. it smacked me all over the place and it’s the reason we have this post. still not exactly sure how I got here, but we love a lil push. we’re told to question what we’re attracted to and why we’re attracted to it, because attraction can get you in a lot of trouble. see: David and Bathsheba. David, Psalm-writing David, mans KNEW God and still ended up in all that mess because a passive attraction became a distraction and he started paying attention to the wrong things. moral of the story is that when attractions arise, your decision needs to win. you need to say “no”, not “I want know more”. stop giving attention to what’s taking from you, because what you give attention to is what produces results. people can see when you’re not walking the–don’t be fooled. so repent, turn from your attractions and face your front. more specifically, fix your eyes on God, because any growth, and solution, is gonna come from and through Him.
‘For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.’
David wrote that.
part 12 will be continuing this attraction segment, but what are y’alls thoughts so far? are there points I left out that stood out to you? let me & the other readers know!