The Return Part Deux (Decided to be all French and whatnot!🗼)

Ok. This is what the first part should have been. (Sorry for hitting you with that paragraph and cutting out.)

Today, I made the decision to focus on God and my work. The goal was to hear only from God. To gain wisdom and direction. To realign myself with His Will.

Ok. Honestly, [sick of this word yet?] I expected this loud booming voice as the roof ripped off of my house and a blinding light from Heaven filled my room. For me to to be sobbing uncontrollably as I lay on the floor barely moving. Sort of.

What ACTUALLY happened…

I turned on some music and sang along. I prayed. My mind wandered. I got on my floor and sang some more. My mind wandered…YET AGAIN! This time I prayed for whatever it was. Not necessarily bad things but I wanted to focus solely on God. (What are the rules here, by the way?)

I fell asleep. Twice. After coming out of hibernation, I felt disappointed but I read a devotional and pushed past all desire to give up. I even thought about working on projects and the lesson for Children’s Church. But even that seemed like a distraction. While there was no rending of the skies, there was a peace in that place.

I admit I talk often about just being a child of God but it is so easy to get anxious in waiting and before I know it I’m “trying ” for Presence.

Its easy to put on some music. To read devotionals and scripture. It’s easy really difficult to sit still and just listen. To quiet those voices including my own. BUT I AM DETERMINED!!!

The Bible used terms such as seek and knock. It tells me that it wont be easy. There will be difficulty. But there will be reward if I persist.

So I don’t care how many times I have to ignore emails/calls, close myself in my room or hospital chapel, fall asleep, struggle to read/understand the Word. I will keep pressing forward!

P.S. I will keep WordPressing as well. In this season, follow me as I return to the “basics ” of what it means to be in Christ.

Thanks for reading!!!

Jason Thomas Blakley

The Return (I’m Back!!!)

It’s been a while. (If you’re still here, THANK YOU!!!)

Not just another entry but since Ive spent quality time with God my Father. And it sucks to admit it but honesty is essential to this blog.

Everyday, I wake up and do my best to not focus on the lack of proper rest I should have gotten or how the day may potentially go. And on a good day, my mind is clear enough to just focus on Your Holy Spirit.

Sitting in my car, I turn on Spotify (this thing is way cooler than I thought) and hit that one song I just can’t let go of. (Just Want You-Travis Greene) I’m playing it now. As the words pour from my heart through my lips, then I realize just how much I mean it. It is easy for me to go about my day and forget that time with You. And no I dont forget You. You are an essential part of my everyday. I need YOUR strength to help me in my weakness, YOUR joy to keep me on my journey to model Christ to others, YOUR wisdom to help me understand my circumstances and myself.

So (here comes painful honesty) because of my lack of responsibility, my hours have been reduced to Saturdays. As my boys Andrew and Jay relate it, it’s a miracle I haven’t quit! And it really is interesting for me to think about.

First, Im grateful that God was gracious not to fire me. I really deserved it.

Secondly, making a little money is better than none at all. (Don’t misunderstand. I trust God to take care of me. He has shown Himself abundantly to be a Provider.)

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly it gives me so much free time! I get to do all of those things I get distracted by at work.

Ok, I just realized this went on a tangent. (Sure you’ve noticed a pattern, right?) Believe it or not I’m getting better. That mind of Christ though…🙌 And it’s been a while so extend a little grace please. Ok? Thanks. (Alright. The train gets back on track.⤵)

So not only has this been a time of creative struggle but also one of spiritual warfare. As nice as it would be to say this free time just allowed me to work freely, it’s not realistic. At all. Its been fighting all that I know and tend to be to make the decision to keep searching for God’s Truth and the strength to move forward when I simply dont feel like it. Baby. Pity Party of one. Your table is ready!

[To be continued…]

Hard To Believe 

Watching my computer screen for the third time this week, it’s hard to believe.
It’s hard to believe I’ll ever find a wonderful wife and be a faithful husband.
To desire only her and nothing else.
As I sit here at my minimum wage job, with tears in my eyes.
Feeling less than i should with each passing second…
Damn. It’s hard.

Hard to believe
that I will ever get off this not-so-merry-go-round of menial, repetitive, unchallenging, SOUL-SUCKING jobs and finally start a career where i can excel.
And as I stare blankly into the hurting eyes of yet another person who I’d rather not be bothered with…I wonder.

How can i ever be a willing vessel able to minister to others?
Can I be an agent of reconciliation?
Capable of showing God’s redeeming love?

Is any of this possible? Is it really…hard to believe?
And why?

Because…
I am walking by sight and NOT BY FAITH.

So I am asking you…
Shut my eyes.
Let me be blind to circumstances.
Let me not focus on my problems.
Lord, shut my ears.
Make me deaf to the lies Satan tells
To keep me confused, distracted, frustrated, and discouraged.
Open my heart and fill it with Your Love, Your Holy Spirit, Your Overwhelming Presence.



Open my mouth, Lord!
So that I may pray, praise, and prophesy…IN POWER.

Lord, help me in my disbelief.

Reveal and renew your promises,
So much that it will be hard NOT to believe!!!

tsi

    Quick Thought

    So there are times when the Holy Spirit calls me to do something. My heart races and I get so hot it feels like Satan is sitting on my shoulder like “Whatchu bout to do? (Message version) I’ve been shy for a while. (Stop laughing. I’m serious.) And I’ve had my fair share of encounters with anxiety. Now, the “issue” I had was the reason behind it. Why would I be afraid knowing the Truth? Because I’m not perfected in love. Yes. But what if God stripped all of the nervousness away? Would I eventually, in a prideful spirit, assume it was of my own merit? Would I not give God the credit He rightfully deserved? Most likely. I can say for sure that while my nerves are a mess, there is NO WAY I could do it without His help!!! So be encouraged. So what if you didn’t act perfectly at least you were obedient!

    (IN MY DJ KHALED VOICE) ANOTHER ONE!!!

    Look at me. Two posts.
    I’ll be brief. Sort of.

    So I was praying on my way to the bus stop for protection of my mind and heart. As I looked up the street, I noticed someone moving constantly from the sidewalk to the street. Almost haphazardly. I started to pray. Seconds later, this guy, teenaged, comes bounding down towards me. He asked a few questions then we boarded the bus. The Holy Spirit would not let me turn focus from him as he casually glanced back at me confirming what I knew. Within seconds, I was writing him a letter, allowing God to speak through me. I folded it up small. Really small. I sat there, sweating, wondering if he’d even take it. As the bus arrived, I handed someone a bracelet. She appeared ill in some way. Heart beating, I raced across the station to hand him the note. He took it. And that’s all I know. Why? Because I ran off. (Like what evangelist does that?) Yeah. It was pretty fearful. But I trust that God will continue circumcision of my heart and perfect me in love. BTDub,(my awesome way of saying “by the way”)in case you haven’t caught on, I share my experiences not to brag (hence the rawness and imperfections included) to show how anyone can evangelize. To spread the love of Christ. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations and all. And also to show how exciting it can be.

    Oh look what you made me write. This started as a prayer request for that young man and woman.

    (Insert Funny, Engaging Title Here.)

    Yesterday, I danced and sang my way around my Circle K. Full of joy and life and being me in all my peculiarity.

    Today, I laid in my bed, (about 5pm 😒)not having gotten up since I went to sleep at eight this morning. As I looked around my room, spotting clutter at every turn, it hit me. Why is my room looking like this? Why do I not feel able to get out of bed? Am I depressed? I’ll spare you the other questions. Mainly because they involve curse words. (This would be the “ugly” I mentioned before.) So I immediately thought here it goes again. Remember Adidas?
    (If not, go check out my other blog posts to catch up. I’ll wait here.)

    Okay…Not a good look at all, right? Was I really about to repeat all of that? Remembering that place. That feeling. Then God said look deeper. I realized it may have the similarities but it is different. Because I’m different. Our relationship is different. I met him there. Now I’m WITH Him there. I have the mind of Christ. I know that peace and joy. I’ve known Him at the top of the mountain and can use that wisdom to sustain me in the valley. God will allow Satan to use circumstances to get us down. In OUR feelings.

    Meanwhile, God has work for us to do. And news flash, it involves OTHER PEOPLE! God has shown his love and provision for His people countless times. (That Bible though…) He will take care of us. But what about those OTHER PEOPLE, who don’t know God’s love, Christ’s power? Who’s there for them? WE ARE! To let them know about what we have been given and is available to them.

    So get outta your feelings and walk in the Truth of Christ. And there in the Presence you find overabundance of joy, love, peace and whatever else you TRULY NEED. (And yes I’m preaching to myself of course!) Yes, circumstances may suck. (Minimum wage and no vehicle comes to mind.)But hold on to Christ who never changes. Let Him show you those deeper places of His love and peace. Now pump the brakes. Let me warn you. It is not going to be easy. (Did I mention that it may suck? Last time, I promise!) It takes a lot of work. You have to find that determination to fight. A renewing of the mind. (Daily, hourly, by the minute and beyond.)Not just your external circumstances, but those internal as well. Ask Him to bring the wisdom and mind of Christ to help you understand and persevere. And even though it’s not always sunshine, (Rain in my case.☔😊👍), rainbows, puppies, and kittens, there is no reason to be mopey or a donkeyhole! God has a plan for your life. It’s all intentional. I’m going to cut it here because this could spin different ways. If you need prayer in this or any other area, hit the comment section and I’ll get on it.

    Thanks for reading. And to those who follow me, I appreciate you sticking with me. (I’m more quality over quantity. I hope.) Also, if you know someone who might be encouraged by this blog, share. I want more to help more. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
    -Jason Thomas Blakley-

    Daaang, Jason! Back at it, Again…(Work, Work, Work, Work, Work)

    So, let’s recap for those who haven’t read my first blog entry. (Mega-thank you to the three of you that did!)

    Scientist. Journalist. Advertising executive.

    And we’ll add actor to the list of things that I DIDN’T become now that I’m an “adult”.

    What I am is an associate at a Circle K in Akron. (Trust me. This was not even close to a plan!) In January of 2015, I packed my whole life into a Chevy Impala and drove thirteen hours alone from Spartanburg, SC. And I knew nothing more than that was the place God wanted me. My parents were concerned at the very least. (Could you blame them?) But hey I had a car and a “guaranteed” job, right? (Catch those quotation marks?) So first the job fell through. Eh. No big deal. Just hopped in the car and hit the application hustle. After months, I was still unemployed and frustrated. (I have the journal entry to prove it.) Then out of sheer rebellion and disobedience I was out of a vehicle. But God was merciful enough to give me a job within walking distance. I was thinking Subway, but God said Circle K. I was grateful at that point just to be employed. (Some of you probably remember the video of me dancing to Shake It Off and I Want It That Way! Yes, THAT excited!)

    Let me say I am no stranger to jobs of “convenience”. While we are being forthcoming, I’m also a college dropout. (There it is. Jesus still loves me.) So, without a degree I’ve made it super easy to find minimum wage jobs. I’ve had a range. McDonald’s, golf course, DISH, strip club, Denny’s, Adidas, Salvation Army, and Harbor Freight Tools. Each of these jobs seemed to be “last-ditch efforts”. They have been jobs I doubted I could do but was “lucky” to get. And yes I struggled in these places. Mainly because I didn’t know my identity in Christ or what I was called to do. There were physical challenges but more importantly and evidently spiritual ones. In my first factory job at Adidas, I WAS MISERABLE!!! I HATED MY JOB!!! I was lost and didn’t know if I could ever get out. Or if Jesus would let me out. Everyone else seemed to have a job they loved and got paid well to do. I was getting treated like a work animal with no essential purpose. I had no ministry, no fellowship, or any friends who would understand. After a while the fake smile turned into a scowl and I was just another angry fish in a sea of negativity.

    But God, being loving and merciful, met me and revealed to me who I really was. That I couldn’t be like everyone else. I had to be that light he called me to be. It took a lot of prayer and constant worship in intimacy to overcome. But when I did not only did he change my heart but also my reputation. I went from being a laughingstock to a model of productivity. And I was known as one of two joyful people in a factory of people. I’m grateful because in that period I learned how to walk alongside those who struggled while being an example of faith and joy. It also introduced me to my life as an evangelist. I got to know people. Also, I was praying for a job with customers. Where I could be a better fit. I believed He would provide this as well as a family. (I wrote my family’s names and reminders of why I was working on box lids. I got sooo much teasing for it!)It kept me focused and strong. (Still does! And yes I have names and a Pinterest board for them!!! Go check.)

    (Apology. I didn’t mean to explain my life at Adidas in detail like that. It’s just hard not to when it was an important part of my testimony dealing with depression. And the topic is work so…Wait. I’m not sure on the blog length rules either! (Feel free to comment any insight on that.)

    ANYWAY…In every job, amidst the pain was purpose. (Ooh. That’s good.) God always led me to at least one person who needed me to spend time with or minister to. Many times they had similar issues I was able to give insight on. A lot of times prayer was required because they were total a…”personal growth coaches”. (I had to coin the phrase so my “Christianity card” wouldn’t be revoked. And no I don’t think of people as donkeyholes anymore.) They’ve challenged me and caused me to pray unusual and real prayers. God wrecked my heart for others. I learned patience. I paralleled my relationships with mine with Christ. (Still do.) I always strived to keep an open relationship because I never knew how much I would be involved in their lives. And I’m happy to say that I’m friends with at least one person from every job I’ve had. I do my best to share their lives (mostly on FB). To let them know I still care and that I’m still here for them no matter what. This includes some atheists and even people who have cursed Jesus and one who has caused me physical injury. But they know they can come to me for strength, encouragement , and prayer.

    Ok. I’m calling it. It’s like 6:30 and I’m not nearly done.  (My alarm goes off in about an hour.) And I have an eight hour day ahead. So while I didn’t get to my original point, I hope you can be encouraged by my story.  I will continue with the theme of purpose and hopefully explain more directly in the subsequent post.  And if you made it this far…(You’re awesome!)

                      —Thank you VERY MUCH for reading this!!!—      

                                                                                                                         Jason Thomas Blakley

    http://daaangjason

    Allow Me to Introduce…Myself

    Well here I am…finally. I’m very good at procrastinating which is why you haven’t read this years ago. But I’m overcoming it. Anyway…My name is Jason Thomas Blakley. I’m a 33yr old Ohio resident hailing from the Bronx. I was raised by a loving family who are marked by their faith and compassion and loyalty to others. My grandmother, Lillian taught me to read at a very early age and my mother was a teacher. So of course, I developed a love for reading and knowledge. (I love puzzles and pretty much any word game!)

    At the age of thirteen, I was baptized at the urging of my grandmother. Honestly, I was afraid. I think mostly because I was thinking about drowning. (Yeah, I know.) But looking back, I knew it was the right thing to do. What I wanted to do. (I could of ran out of there, right?) Once I came up, I felt different. I felt at peace. I wasn’t afraid or crying anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of things were still the same. I was still pretty judgmental toward others. If I could live holy, why couldn’t everyone else? (Yes. I was quite the donkey!) It didn’t help that I grew up in a fairly decent neighborhood, went to private school, and was in church eight days of the week.

    The plan was to become a scientist who took great care of his kids and always paid taxes. But then reality set in. Reality being my absolute inefficiency in science. So I turned to my love of writing. I once again set a plan. This one to be a journalist. I even enrolled in Mass Communication in college. I was going to travel the world, camera and pen ready to document the social injustices. WAS. As suddenly as the idea came, it went. There I was. Without passion. One day it found me in the form of a project for a media design class. Chasing it, I switched over to Art Studio. And then came the last plan. And while, I didn’t become an important advertising design executive, I was still opened up to a world of creativity that now I cannot be without.

    I enjoy cardmaking, abstract drawing, miniatures, jewellery, and pretty much anything arts and crafts. My other hobbies include dancing, writing, and acting. One of my goals is to seek ways to bring glory to God through these and other things. To share the love of Christ and bring people to a relationship where they can experience His power.

    So there you go. A little about where and who I’ve been. And now it’s time to see where I’m going and who He is making me to be. I’m a believer who desires to follow Christ. A crazy guy who does crazy things. A loyal and loving friend who tries daily to lay down his life for his friends. An evangelist who is on a mission to preach the Gospel, while trying not to have a panic attack just riding a bus. You get all of it. The good. The bad. And of course the weird. And hopefully you’re encouraged and inspired in the process!!!

    —Thanks for reading!—