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It’s all in the process

Done in a Jiffy!

Jiffy cornbread mix has been around since the 30s and households all over America have completed many meals with this very handy staple.

I don’t mean to challenge any of you closet chefs. I know you can make homemade cornbread. But my point here is the simplicity of it.

Empty the box, add an egg and about 1/3 cup of milk and blend. You can’t get any simpler than that. Then you toss it in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes and you have a pretty good stand-in for homemade or hot water cornbread.

The magic happens in the process. If you trust the process and follow the instructions, you will do fine. There is no shortcut with Jiffy — it is the shortcut!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if our problems could be solved in a jiffy? How much easier would it be if we could follow these easy steps and our greatest challenges would be fixed.

Most of our problems did not begin in a jiffy so it’s foolish of us to think they can be solved that way.

Follow the process.

No need of complaining. No need to have a pity party. Just follow the process and it will be over — well, in a jiffy!

That was so corny but you get my meaning — patience looks good on everyone going through a process. Don’t fight it. Embrace it! You’ll be done in a — nevermind!

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Aretha Franklin is gone but will never be forgotten

19 year old Aretha Franklin

On the south side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard lies the star of Aretha Franklin. That star serves as a great acknowledgment of what every native Detroiter feels in their heart for this women. She was one of our stars and now she is gone.

According to news reports, Franklin, 76, has died surrounded by family and close friends in her home in Detroit.

Her singing and songwriting skills were top notch making her the first African American woman to be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Growing up in the same town that Ms. Franklin grew up in made you a part of her family. Her father, the late C. L. Franklin had one of the liveliest churches back in the day and hearing Aretha sing at church, on the radio or around town was pretty common — it was her very distinctive voice that was uncommon.

Her soulful music could change your mood, brighten your day, make you cry or get you through a break up. It earned her the title of Queen of Soul as she was such an R&B innovator!

Released in 1967 by Atlantic Records, this album made Rolling Stones Magazine’s top 500 albums of all time. It is listed as number 83.

All the greats live on through their music and we are thankful for the time we had her here. Her first album with Atlantic records still remains my favorite. And as a true fan of hers, my favorite song is not a common one. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream is my absolute favorite song by her but I could easily name another 29 that are still hits in my eyes.

I am proud to be from Detroit and one of the many reasons for this pride died today. May her family, friends and fans find peace during this time. Do yourself and your mind some good this week by spending a few hours on YouTube remembering this awesome talent! R.I.P. Aretha Franklin! We love you!

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Bridges or walls?

City of Bridges

One of the beautiful things about Pittsburgh, other than loyal sports fans, is that not only have they cornered the market on the steel industry, but the city has more bridges than any other place in the world. Pittsburgh has 446 bridges earning it the name “City of bridges”.

I’ve been through one section of town where I was able to see about 38 of them. With a claim to fame such as this, Pittsburgh ought to be one of the friendliest places to visit.

You see, building bridges is considered a good thing where as burning bridges is the great evil. Some people prefer to build walls. Walls are meant to keep things hidden or private. A wall makes the statement that you are not welcomed.

Bridges tell a different tale. Bridges say it’s safe to come over. It protects you from troubled waters and it serves as a great connector.

So in your life do you build bridges or walls? Are there people that you want completely out of your life? Are there people that you feel are beneath you or so less than that you just prefer not to be around them? Do you have so many secrets in your life that walls are needed to keep them secret? Are you just such a private individual that walls are necessary in your life?

With every relationship I have, I try to make my bridges joint efforts. If we are truly friends then we built a bridge together and we travel back and forth on that bridge as it is the cornerstone of the relationship. If one of us is short of money, the other crosses the bridge to supply it. If one is in trouble the other comes running across the bridge to help.

Imagine having a bridge like that as friends and then one day as you are crossing the bridge you saw a wall — built right on the bridge. Without warning this wall appears and hinders the bridge relationship. What do you do?

Kill the bridge builder? Realize that your relationship is over and building the bridge was a waste. Accept the betrayal of the so-called friend and blow down the damn bridge?

The materials wasted on one bridge will help build another. Some bridges have to be destroyed.

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Do you know the help you need?

So many questions…

When going through the trials of life, how do you know the type of help you need?

I mean, is it spiritual, mental, emotional or physical? A person could need $200 because they either mismanaged their money or don’t make enough. What type of help is that because financial is not on the list. Physical you say? That does not solve the real problem. Emotional? Sure support is needed but that won’t eliminate the problem.

Spiritual?? Well, the bible gives several truths regarding finances but none of them will give you $200 today.

The truth is if you need $200 then you probably could use $1000 and if someone gave you that today, you would be back to square one in a month. Money is not the solution to your problems.

Your problem starts mentally. If you talk to the church about it you will get a spiritual principle that very few are trying to practice — which is why the benevolent committee (if they even had one) didn’t help.

Your friends can give you emotional support but they have their own financial woes — meaning they can only ride to the poor house with you because they live on the same street.

You see the problems you face today are related to the issues of your past. There were things that happened decades ago that still effect you. And it just doesn’t show up in your memory, but in how you see certain situations, how you approach trouble, how you spend your money — even why you hang around the people you do.

If we don’t manage our past, we will be uncomfortable in our present.

So mentally, your finances could be better, but so could your job. Are you in your dream job? Is this the career you talked about in third grade? What derailed your plan? Ok. Nevermind that, tell me this: Have you been settling? Settling for everything: Relationships, jobs, pay, decisions. Are you living YOUR life or someone else’s life?

Would your last 10 decision prove the love you have for yourself? Or would it show the sacrifices you made for other people who don’t really understand or appreciate it?

We are headed into the fall of 2018. This year is about to be over. Was it all you thought it would be? Wasn’t this supposed to be your year??

Ok. Enough of that. I think you get the picture. Today I just want you to be honest with yourself and if you can’t describe yourself as “winning” then you need to make changes. If you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t be able to do anything for anyone else.

Change happens slowly.

Make a list of 40 things you need to change — yes 40. Big things, small things, it doesn’t matter, write them down. Then prioritize them from 1 being the biggest priority to 40 being the least. Then start making the changes and drawing a line through your victories. Did you hear what I called them? And when you get to your 7th thing — contact me!

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I’m baaaaack!

The bar is now open…

Ok. I never really left but here I am again to hopefully be inspiring, insightful and humorous all for the sake of helping you with your vision problems.

It amazes me how comfortable people are sitting in a bar. The atmosphere is perfect for sharing. I was sitting in the Philadelphia airport when I took that photo and it was in an area that was not too busy and not too noisy. I spent 45 minutes “people watching” and what a relaxed environment I observed.

So in that same spirit, the bar (blog) is now open. I am here to dialog and attempt to help. I want to speak to your hurt if you will allow me to assist you.

I am working on two book projects for this fall and I’m feeling pretty confident about them. The first is vol II of my 2015 book The Sincere Milk of the word. And the second is about relationships titled My Current Situation. There is a third book on church growth and I will elaborate on that as we get closer to the release date.

My blog will continue to speak to the ills of our world and offer sound advice to help you overcome.

Thank you for your support. Spread the word! Pray for my handlers as I have a great team with me and they are handling the editing, management of social media, blogs, books, speaking engagements and the video blog that will start in 2019.

Get ready for Clydestyle 3.0

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Guess it does not matter anymore . . .

I remember in the 90s when then President Bill Clinton had charges brought against him for perjury and obstruction of Justice because Congress was attempting to impeach him. The real reason behind the impeachment was the sexual harassment charges filed against Clinton by Ms. Paula Jones.

Old boy Bill had been a bit naughty on more than one occasion and the Republicans went ballistic! The party used the morality argument saying how could a man run the country if he could not manage his home?

Evangelicals pounded their chests, pointed fingers and threw Holy scriptures at the Clintons. The First Lady did not get much support as she attempted to pick up the pieces of their broken relationship. Rev. Jessie Jackson reached out to help the couple and despite the president’s success, hanging was too good for him.

This just shows that family values were to be honored in this country and it mattered for the highest position in the free world that whoever stepped  in those shoes could tow a moral line.

I have no problem with that, in fact I applaud the effort and at this level we should expect a higher standard of morality from our leaders. Say what you want about the current president, but the Obamas were very strong in this area.

In the history of the US presidency there has only been one divorcee and that was Ronald Reagan. Two presidents were widowers and married while in office and one president was single.

Donald Trump is on his third marriage and has a blended family. He has had as many wives as he has had bankruptcies and people still believe he is a successful business man and his marriages have never come up.

I assume this is where our country is now. We no longer care about family and the purity of marriage. If you have money in this country, you really can do whatever you want because the gatekeepers are sellouts!

The Clintons or Trumps should have never been allowed to run for office. In the 80s and earlier I don’t believe they would have been eligible because of their moral issues.

I appreciate the Bush family for the standard they set for family and all the other presidents who sought to set the example this way. The soul of America is sinful and the spirit is ignorant. It won’t be long before this body is destroyed.

BUT I guess it really doesn’t matter anymore ….