Healing broken relationships and building better lives – ClydeStyle.

What if there were no mistakes?

When I review my life, I see many colors. Colors which represent the good and the bad. All the good things about my life are the very bright colors – things like the success stories I have, fears I have conquered or the birth of my three children. And then there are the dark colors – things that I regret doing, saying, and falling for. The dark colors represent the times when I was a sucker. They are blemishes that prove I’m not perfect.

I had a thought while I did this review: What if everything that has happened to me was not an accident or a mistake? What if the things that happened to me were my destiny and that a higher power had purposed and set some things in motion to bring me to a certain point? What if the words “accident” and “mistake” were all part of a big conspiracy to make us believe that we had a level of control we don’t really have?

I heard an atheist say once that God, the creator of the universe, was no more than an imaginary friend who we created because we were scared of death and the unknown. He said that everything that has happened was going to happen anyway and because of fear, we invented religion. Religion then gives us something to do when we’re scared.

I believe that there is some truth to what my atheist friend has said.

The truth is that I believe, we have been allowed to believe, that there are accidents and mistakes so as to point blame when something happens. This is not to be confused with things that we cause to happen that were not accidents. For example, another friend of mine lost his job. He started off telling me that his racist boss finally got rid of him. I asked what happened and he said that they made him take a random drug test and the marijuana he smoked last weekend was still in his system. Trying to keep from laughing I said, “So how does this make your boss racist?”

You can probably figure out the rest of the conversation. My friend lost his job because he was careless with it. Smoking illegal substances is a quick way to get fired from most jobs – especially in our economy. Not that it is impossible for his boss to be a racist – it’s still a challenge we face in the 21st century. But even with this scenario, there was a deeper reason – other than stupidity – for him losing his job. When we lose things, there is a lesson in that. For my friend, the lesson was responsibility. More than anything else, he needs to be more responsible. He needs to take responsibility for his actions and stop blaming others. Blaming others is a diversion from learning the personal lessons.

What I want you to see is the beauty of trials and tribulations. I want you to understand the other side of a mistake. The point is that if we take away the concept of a mistake, then we would be clear to see the true destiny in the trial and we could “count it all joy.”

Remember the old record players that required a needle to play the vinyl records? If you are old enough to remember them, you will also remember that sometimes the needle would skip. A CD player will sometimes skip too. And in both cases we would know that either the player or the record or CD needs cleaning. Could I say that the CD or record player made a mistake? Think about it before you answer. Was there a mistake made or is the “skip” just a by-product of usage?

We don’t call it a mistake because we accept that things won’t work properly sometimes and we move on. Why can we not do this with our own mistakes?

I remember years ago when I left one research company to work for another one. The one I was going to was paying me 15K more to leave. I felt unappreciated at the current place, so I left. I worked for this new company for 19 months. I signed off on the construction of the building, I purchased all of the furniture and hired all 44 employees and set this research company up to run like a well-oiled machine. Once that was done, they let me go and hired another person with very little management experience. I have to say, looking back on the experience, that when they let me go it was one of the best things that happened to me. At the time, I thought I made a mistake leaving the other company. I shudder to think that I could still be at that other company, complacent, underpaid and miserable.

It would have been great if I could have taken the word “mistake” out of my vocabulary and automatically thought about the scripture in Romans 8:28.

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Fixing the disconnect

We have a disconnect between what we know of God and what we see in this world.

All who say they believe in God would believe that all things are possible in him. We would say that God is the creator and controller of the universe. We would agree that God had no limitations.

But almost in the same breath, we will look at circumstances in our lives and we will doubt, fear and totally give up when faced with great diversity.

Equally problematic is that we who are finite speak of things sometimes as if we were infinite. We say how we think things are supposed to be. We strong arm people to conform to our way and we act as though we are in charge.

Well, the only way to remedy this is to surrender what little control we think we have and trust in the almighty.

If I believe that the living God is the creator of the universe and the savior of the world, then there should be a level of trust to match the level of belief I have.

We all need to ask ourselves if we really trust God the way we claim to? We need to ask the follow-up question of do we believe what we know of him?

If we do, then we need to take action. Now. We need to live what we believe and not waste any more time with fear and doubt.

Let’s trust God! It will make the rest of this year a whole lot better and much more prosperous!

What Labor Day is all about

For most of my life, Labor Day was the closing of the weekend that I watched the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon and wanted to see how much money was raised. I had no clue as to what Labor Day really was about or how it got started so I decided to see what the United States Department of Labor had to say about it. This department is led by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

The department of labor says, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

“The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.”

This celebration is supposed to be honoring our country’s labor achievements. In the 40 years I have been aware of this holiday I never knew what it was for. I don’t recall us doing anything to celebrate working, except by taking the day off which seems like an oxymoron to me.

This reminds me of the Martin Luther King holiday. I disagree with children having the day off from school. I would think Dr. King would want more learning on this day. What if in celebration of Dr. King’s commitment to excellence, why not have a marathon of learning. Or even have academic challenges where kids can earn bonds for scholarships. Or maybe it’s a day where the kids who excel in school assist those students who have trouble. Having no class for the King holiday proves we have no class.

Back to labor day:

I think on this day we should have a rally and an incredibly large career fair for those who are unemployed. Maybe we should also have the working class donate professional clothing, resources and their time to spend giving advice to those who are not working. I don’t have the greatest ideas, but I just think we could be doing more with this day. Labor Day could be so much more than it is. Maybe the only telethon on this weekend should be a fundraiser to replace the money given out by each state for unemployment or aid for those not working.

I love the scene in the movie Cinderella Man where the main character is shown giving money back to the welfare office because he didn’t want to have to take the aid anyway. What if this was happening all across the country as people got jobs, they thought to pay some part of the money they received back. This to me is what Labor Day should be about.

The modern miracle of love

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Love has got to be one of the most misused words in our language. It’s been so watered down that we use it for like, lust, greed (as in I would love to have that car or that purse or those shoes), and definitely religious practices.

The scriptures say for us to love one another. It’s not a suggestion. Love one another for love is of God. This means whoever loves is born of and knows God (1 john 4:7).

The same chapter in 1 John gives you the converse and the conditions thereof. If you don’t love, you do not know God for God is love.

If this is to be understood correctly, one must take from this that the result of your encounter with God would give you this quality forever. You would exercise love simply because you now know God and have been born of him.

Please understand that if every so-called church today really loved as this scripture in 1 John 4 teaches, they wouldn’t have the room to hold the amount of people that would come.

Your greatest modern day miracle is your ability to love. Not raise the dead or speak in tongues or heal anyone. First Corinthians 13 says the greatest (of these gifts) is love.

Therefore, we help unconditionally, we never meet strangers and we put expectations only on ourselves.

All we need to do is love like God loves and we’ll change the world.

Can you guess why I told you this?

I get by with a little help from my friends

Everybody needs a friend.

The word friend comes from the Old English word “Freond” and it means to love or to favor. This beautiful word has become so watered down as with the very loose interpretation found on Facebook. In 2005 Facebook coined the phrase ” to friend someone” changing our noun to a verb and look what happened. The word has lost its power. It’s lost its spunk! It’s lost its vitality!! Now this generation goes around calling anyone who walks around bipedal a friend. It seems Facebook has given insecure people a venue to prove their self-worth. They say with a smile, “I have 1000 friends on Facebook!”


We don’t know it, but we are being robbed of one of the most powerful bonds of our day. Take away the true meaning of the word friend and what kind of place would this world be? Every Fred needs a Barney. Every Lucy needs an Ethel. Every Burt needs an Ernie. Secrets are shared among friends. Loneliness can be destroyed by a good friend. True friends don’t allow suicides. Who else could tell you that you are wrong? True friendship breathes honesty, integrity, truth, solidarity and true love. We truly get by with a little help from our friends.

A true friend can look at you and you know what that look means. Friends allow us to be ourselves when the rest of the world says we can’t. Friends give us a sense of belonging. Friends make us feel like someone gives a damn about us.

So you see, contrary to Facebook’s zeal for the word only, I’m attempting to show you a more excellent way. I’ve noticed that instead of having tons of “friends” online, I have a close circle of people, who I can count on one hand, that I know will run through a fire for me. It’s through that circle that we’ve created trust. My closest friends only know of each other through me. They are not friends, but will do things for each other at my request. To have money, cars, support and love at my disposal whenever I need it is what true friendship means to me. And the coolest thing about it is that I get to reciprocate.

I get to be there when they need me. I get to rush to the bank when they need money. I get to tell them the truth when no one else will. I get to make sure they never spend a birthday alone or never have to worry about being homeless. Their children don’t have to worry about what if something happened to mommy or daddy.

We see this type of camaraderie among police officers, gang-bangers, sports teams,wise guys and military troops. We need a few more folks in the world willing to step up and be a true friend and not a foe. If you don’t know friendship like this, you must investigate why and I promise you will learn something very important about yourself.

Here’s to friendship! May everyone have the chance to experience its purity, truthfulness and honor like I do. So to my bosom buddies, chums, companions, comrades, consorts, partners and soul mates … well, you know.

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Can you take a hint?

One of the most embarrassing moments in life is when you have been given hints regarding something about you and it doesn’t register.

I’m not talking about the simple things like your pants are unzipped or there is something hanging from your nose. I mean really embarrassing things like you are obnoxious or you dominate the conversation so much that people hate to talk to you. Or something worse like your kids are bad or your spouse is cheating on you.

These things can put us in very awkward positions and it really defines our true friends. I mean after all it’s our real friends who have the responsibility for making sure we are in step. Right?

But what is it that makes us blind to the hints we get from those around us? Why is it that others can see things about us that we cannot see?

There is a blindness that affects our ability to reason and be self reflective. This blindness comes from our inability to keep reality during a reality check. We already dislike when we are wrong. We don’t like when people point out our faults and we really don’t like to own up to any of it. Add insecurity to the mix and we instantly create a disorder.

This disorder I speak about blinds our conscious, not our sub conscious. In other words we know these things are true about us, but the pain of this realization is too difficult to bear. So we lash out in denial and become defensive. We get upset and participate in other destructive behavior instead of just taking the hint.

The hint is actually our help. It helps us to quietly get the information without it being broadcasted all over the place. It’s our last shot a maintaining our dignity and correcting our trouble spots.

Can you take a hint?

I love because I know God

There is a goodness that is overwhelming about the love of God.

In a previous post, I wrote about the modern miracle of love and said that the basis of love was our knowledge of God.

I want to shed a little light on that topic now because I believe there are many who use love as a cover up because their actions say something totally different.

It is impossible to say that you really love, when you hate. You cannot follow Christ, but hate Muslims. You cannot say you have the love of Jesus in your heart and hold a grudge. And you cannot claim that you are a child of God and deliberately cause hurt to another human being.

God’s love is not limited to whether you are Black or White; Republican or Democrat; Christian or something entirely different. We are not the originators of love, God is. That means HE gets to define the concept and those who have experienced it, imitate it.

Did you catch what I said?

We love, because we’ve been loved. Not because we believe the object of the love deserves our love. We love, not because we expect something in return. We love because we know what it feels like and we are now constantly responding to God’s love toward us. We understand why we were the recipients of his love and we pay it forward.

I have a love for humanity because God does!

I love my enemies because God loves his enemies and he loved me when I was his enemy!

I love those who are less fortunate because I see and understand how God loves and takes care of them!

The only reason people don’t love is because they have taken for granted the love God has already shown to them.

The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”

It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus on that cross, it was love!

So how are you going to love?

For His namesake


America needs prayer. In times of trouble and civil unrest the best thing for everyone concerned is to pray. Most people will not argue that prayer changes things. Well why is it that we don’t think to pray first?

Jesus, when teaching his disciples to pray, wanted them to learn a little something about the God they were praying to. So in Luke 11, Jesus tells a story about a friend who would come to another friend in the midnight hour needing help. The friend in the story would not help because it was too late, everything was shutdown and the family was in bed. Jesus then gives another scenario to this story. He says that the friend in the homeß will not assist his friend in need because he’s a friend. His says he will help because of who he is.

This is extremely significant. My friends, our father in heaven does not respond to us based on how good we think we are. He doesn’t respond because he feels sorry for us. And he definitely doesn’t respond because of the religion we claim. God responds to us because he is God. Remember the 23rd Psalm? He leads me in the paths of righteousness for HIS NAMESAKE!

Since God responds the way he chooses, doesn’t this give us a greater reason to pray. The bible is filled with stories about God responding favorably to his people. Why would we then hesistate to approach his thrown of grace and mercy?

It would benefit this world greatly if just a handful of true believers began to pray for our government, our greed, our peace and our undone condition. If we would stand united in prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven and if we sincerely prayed for God to heal our land, I believe he would cause a condition to happen. This condition would give the world an opportunity to repent of its sins and then healing would begin.

I believe this. Do you?

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