Justin's Opinion
Relationships reveal the voids we have in our lives.  If we are not careful, we fill those voids with the unnecessary.  In essence, living single in a relationship.  We seek to consume what makes us feel worthy in a relationship instead of seeking how to drive the relationship forward.  This has been, and still is, an ever evolving process for me.  How can we live a “blessed” life, knowing the places where “curses” exist.  Allow me to call that a “blessed*” life.  It is not a cursed life, but a life where we constantly discern the emptiness in our lives to fill with God.  Consequentially, we have a life so empty that you stay on full.  

A life, where you know what makes you, tick.  If not carefully addressed and dealt with, it not only kills you, but the person you are connected to.  A Blessed* life.  None of us have achieved perfection or may have even seen the sign that leads to the process.  In the same effect, the blessings of our sheer existence breathe life into our nostrils on the possibility of potential

 with God leading us.  A blessed* life refocuses you on who God is to continue to pour out your life for others, but continue on the path towards self-recognition, self-reconciliation, and joint exaltation.  

Sounds great huh? or nah.  

Once I remember one of the greatest weeks I had in high school.  I began the week participating in “maxing” out in weightlifting and ended up getting on the top ten board in the school for two lift.  That weekend I went to a forensics tournament and ended up not only qualifying for state, but qualifying for nationals.   That Sunday I was preaching my trial sermon.  In the span about 5 days, I had accomplished so much!

My issue was not that I had the ability to accomplish all I had done because I had the talent and possessed the ability to be great.  My problem was sustaining it.  

-I maxed out in weight lifting….and then stopped lifting.  
-I made it to nationals…but never worked on my speed and got 13th (the top 12 make it to the final round) 
-I preached my trial sermon…wasn't until recently I became comfortable with my voice.  

We all are so blessed! I will confidently say I am blessed! The difficult task to undertake is living out those blessings.  Constantly working those blessings after you have been blessed to flesh out your image of God and your image of yourself.  

Now…i know you have heard that.  You have heard your pastor preach on it, your choir shout on it.  “if you're blessed Say so…” an all of that.  Hell, if you have heard me preach…I’ve closed on it…”Won’t He Do It?” 

This isn’t a blog of sustaining, its a blog on after you are blessed, how can you make more room to continue God’s pouring.  Our issue as humans is not that God cannot bless us, our issue is we don’t create prophetic possibility for God to continue.  In essence, living life with a joy of pouring out to God because you cannot fill up until you pour out.  Pouring is not shouting, pouring is surrendering.  It is the placing of all you have at the Feet of God seeking God’s power to refill the void you have intentionally created.  

How does this apply to our relationship? Court and I brought our relationship baggage and things we enjoyed when we were single that we needed to give up in order to strengthen our relationship.  Without God, we would not be as strong as we are now because the voids that it created could not be filled with each other but had to be filled with God.  For example, I love looking at churches.  From sanctuaries, old music, different types of preaching, various pulpits etc.  A strong relationship required me to give up my constant searching for random artifacts, but filling that void with God knowing that what God has destined requires a new focus.  This my friends is a blessed* life.  Emptying yourself so God can fill you up.  

Courtney's Opinion

Has the word “blessed” become another one of our church clichés masked in new cars, jobs, and huge movements in our lives? I will never forget, sitting in New Year’s eve service thinking this year has indeed been a good year but it hasn’t been great or so was my mindset at the time. In that time of meditation, the consciousness of who God is and what God does was laced in what I thought was huge and tangible. However, it’s restoring the joy in those blessing. This idea really hit me as I was syncing my phone’s pictures to my computer. As each picture was being imported it became a slide show of my life.  I indeed had an eventful year and God has been truly blessing but I lost my passion in the blessing that God has given me. I felt empty. 

During my devotional God arrested me and brought me to Psalms 51. In this particular Psalm, David is crying out to God.  The burden of sin and maintaining everyday life of being a king was heavy upon him. God had certainly blessed David, but he felt…empty. Now, of Course, David was guilty of sin and was hiding from God the but he prayed a prayer of restoration.  I think so many times we are guilty of losing the passion of the things that God has given us. Verse 12 says: “Restore the joy of my salvation.” The reason of all things in life to get God the glory, however we can immerse in everyday life that we lose the joy of doing what we were called to do. 

It’s easy to not see the joy or find your passion in the blessings that God has given us, but daily we need to restore and replenish to reveal the true joy of our salvation. Intention for all that we have is to honor God, and through it he blesses us. My outlook on the relationship, career, and finances has been changed because my perspective has changed in looking why I believe what I believe. No need for something new but for restoration of the Joy that was instilled through Christ.

Our Opinion
Living a blessed* life is not “going back” to fleshly desires.  It is looking into tomorrow, daily embracing the maintenance that God gives.  That my friends is what having a blessed* life is.  A life that embraces being blessed, understanding that as we seek to climb higher, it calls for you to constantly get lower.  Lower in your surrender, giving.  Consequentially it leads you to get higher in your life.  

It is taking a risk to get to the limb of life, emptying yourself of everything you can imagine knowing that at the brink of your life, God will recenter you on what is truly meaningful to you.  You will never see what is truly meaningful if daily you are not constantly and earnestly seeking the divinity and power of God in your life.  

Don’t miss God’s blessings and how God uses you trying to fill a void.  Work together in your relationship with others by first working your relationship with God to fill you in places as you continue to pour out.  

What voids do you need to fill.  What is stopping you from living a blessed* life? A life so empty that you stay on full.