Hi my name is Carlos and I am 3 years NEW
Today is Thursday! Im writing you from stage 23 at Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, CA. I am in awe of what is currently in front of me. Five old school (full size) cars, a complete drive in movie theatre and we can’t forget about the full working snack bar. I truly consider myself blessed to be doing what I love every single day. For that I thank all of you incredibly generous people who make it possible for entertainers worldwide to continue living our dream of entertaining.
This past weekend I attended Saddleback church for the first time. Besides my fingers almost freezing off because the room was so cold…It was AMAZING. Rick Warren preached a sermon that got me thinking a lot about certain things in my life. I quickly realized that I needed to start blogging about what I learn each week so I can get these precious and life changing words of wisdom out to you all!
“Life’s tough”, is a common phrase that I find myself saying weekly. Well, it IS tough. I like to think of life as a war. A war with constant battles day in and day out. We get knocked down and have to get right back up! Scars (battle wounds) from events that sometimes changes us for the rest of our lives. We are soldiers that wake up every morning to take on all the craziness this world has to offer. I get excited thinking about it! But what do soldiers do before they go into battle? They train! They build up stamina to go long distances. They learn how to use every weapon at their disposal. If they don’t prepare for the war, chances are they will lose the battle. I don't want any of us to lose the battle!
BATTLE #1 - The OLD you VS The NEW you
There is the OLD you and then you have the NEW you. Lets just lay it all out on the line. Be real with yourself! The old you is clearly stronger then the new you. Its been around longer and is so ingrained in you that sometimes you do things that you shouldn't without even thinking about it. Don't beat yourself up! As long as your aware that this is the case you have already taken the first step! Im 26 years old. When I decided to give me life over to Jesus I was 23. So if we are being technical here, I am 3 years NEW and 23 years OLD. Clearly the old me is WAY stronger than the new me. Think of it like a child. When a baby is born it needs to breast feed, be carried, and watched over 24/7. As the baby gets older it still needs to be fed, taught how to walk and even trained to use the toilet! Eventually children go to preschool/lower and middle school to learn all the basics. Then high school, college and what ever other higher education is needed to teach them their craft. Now thats A LOT of things to learn! So for me bring 3 years NEW in my faith, I still need to be fed consistently, watched over and even taught how to do the basics. Now think about THIS! The NEW me won’t be the same age as the OLD me until I'm 46! That blows my mind! I have to take such good care of the NEW me because it is still a baby and needs all the love it can get! I’m not saying its easy. Im not saying I don't slip back into my OLD ways. But I can honestly tell you the only way to continue growing our faith is to be CONSISTENT in “feeding the NEW you.”
Lets take going to church for instance. I go to church to be fed the word of God. I go every Sunday and then I have my individual studies throughout the week. I am constantly feeding my soul so that I am challenging myself to be more and more like Jesus everyday. Im always hungry for more and I feel renewed and connected after each service. If I only went to church once a month, I never prayed, and never studied, how much would I grow? Is that feeding the OLD me or the NEW me? Now let me put it to you this way. You’re hungry and you only eat once a month. What do you think your body will look like after only eating one time in a whole month? You wouldn't survive! You would look famished and sick. It’s the same with your faith. I like to use the term “being in it.” There are moments in my life when I'm “in it” with God and times when I'm not. During Dancing with the Stars I drifted away from attending church services on a weekly basis. My weekly studies and reading my bible became less and less as I got busier with rehearsals. Then things started to become more difficult for me. I struggled to maintain the peace that God brings to my life when I’m fully immersed in his word. Ever get the feeling that everything just aggravates you? The smallest things tend to make that switch flick on in your brain? You know in your head that what your doing is not right but there is nothing in you that can stop it? I got there quite a bit. The stress of the show just made everything multiply. It drifted over into my marriage (which was the only thing keeping me sane during all the chaos) as we got closer to the finals. Believe me when I say that 99 percent of the time it’s because I neglected reading my bible and going to church. It’s taken me years to figure that out! So going back to being fed, CHURCH feeds us! READING feeds us! Being around LIKE MINDED people feeds us! We need to be fed on a weekly basis so that the NEW you can strive, grow, and conquer!
BATTLE #2 - SELFISHNESS VS UNSELFISHNESS
*True humility is not thinking less of yourself.. It's thinking of yourself less
This one stings. I think this is something that we all will be battling for the rest of ours lives. We all like nice things. We all like when great things happen to us. The trick is figuring out how we can get that good fulfilled feeling when its for other people. In the entertainment industry we’re automatically placed in pool of people who “like” what they do. They love who they are. They want to continue doing what they do. Its fun. It feels good. I’m one of them. It was tough for me at first to be happy for others when they booked the job and I didn’t. It was tough to be happy when one of the boys in my band got to sing more on a song because they sounded better than me. Why do we get so jealous? Why do we get selfish and want everything for ourselves? These past few years I've managed to transfer most of those feelings into wanting to help others first.
I’ve actually noticed that when I am selfless with others, I am a lot happier inside. Wanting to make my friends happy has actually become a priority for me. Now I don't get angry when someone gets something over me. It all started with me having to verbally say “Amen, thats amazing! I’m happy for them.” Now to be honest, at first I would just say it and move on. I didn't really mean it, but I said it. But then strangely… I started feeling happy for these people. I (now) meant what I said when I said it. Our words are so powerful. We need to be speaking life into our lives. When you wake up in the morning and its been a rough one, don’t say, “Its going to be an awful day.” Chances are, if you do that, your day will probably end up being pretty crappy. I know from experience. Look at the scriptures! They tell us right there that our words are beyond powerful!
Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
When you walk into a room full of people what is your initial thought? Im guessing if your anything like me its, “I wonder what all these people think about me?” Now lets flip it. What if the next time you walk into a room you say “I wonder if there is anything I can do to help anyone in this room?” You have to start somewhere. Speak these new feelings into existence.
BATTLE #3 - FORGIVENESS VS BITTERNESS
“Let go of your pride!”
Thats a sentence that my wife and I share a lot. It’s as if each one of us has a tiny green monster inside that likes to take over. I cant tell you how tough forgiveness is of me. I have spent the last two years learning the benefits of ACTUALLY forgiving someone versus staying bitter about it and letting it eat me up for months and months.
At the end of the day you can't choose how your going to be hurt. Thats’ impossible. But what you can do, is choose how long your going to hold onto the pain. Want to know the secret of a great marriage? The Union of two great forgivers.
People get so confused. I hear it all the time. “Well if your Christian than you cant get mad right?”, “Its a sin to get mad!”, “You should be happy all the time!” I hate to break it to you but all that is wrong. Not get mad? Who are we kidding? Were human. We gave feelings! Anger is sometimes an evidence of love. You can be angry and not sin. It's not the anger that's the sin.. It's the holding onto it. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the person you’re mad at.
I like to think of things like this. When you give your bad to God, He is able to make it good. Sometimes what was intended to break or hurt you ends up helping you and making you. Your distractions now become developments. You with me here?
But lets not stop there. Lets break it down even further. Why is it so easy to be bitter and not forgive? Our society is built on this is idea that we all have to think short term. What can I get RIGHT NOW? How is this going to make me feel TODAY? The battle for your soul is not short term but long term. You could also call this the battle between what is right and what is easy. The easy road is always well, EASY. But because of this short term mentality we forget that its about what is RIGHT. Sometimes what is right seems like it will take a lot longer. We become inpatient and anxious. Don’t lose the opportunity to do whats right just because it seems “hard.”
Galatians 6:9 - Lets us not get tired of doing what is right, for AFTER A WHILE we will reap a harvest of blessing IF we don't get discouraged and give up.
Lets start taking this approach with our thinking:
“What do I need to do today to get me where I need to be tomorrow?”