Posted in Achievement, Books, Career, Faith, Fear, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Prayer, Progress, Religion, Truth

Finally

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After more than 5 years of blogging I have finally reached the title of author. Although I have been a published journalist for years and I have a published dissertation floating around out there, my passion for helping others and my desire to glorify God have come together to produce this book.

The title: The Sincere Milk of the Word, Volume 1, I shall not be moved: A study of fear was placed on my heart in 2006 when I started Clydestyle Services Group. I always knew that I would be the type of psychotherapist who would mix theory with scriptures to help my clients. I have been apart of much healing and I am grateful for that. If God be willing I will have three additional books published in 2016 including a book on grief and Volume 2 of my current book.

The cover of the book was created by two very talented people. My cousin Marcus Mayberry — who is the best tattoo artist in Michigan — did the original artwork from a dream I had. He captured it perfectly! Then my personal graphic designer, Maggie Young, brought it to life. I shared the dream with her but never gave her the colors of the book. Believe it or not she matched the colors of the book from my dream on her own. I am extreme blessed to have each of them in my life.

The following is a segment of the introduction from the book which will explain a bit more of what this book is about. Preorders are continuing and today through Nov. 15th you can purchase the book for $12. Just go to http://www.clydestyle.org and click on “my book” tab and follow the paypal instructions. The official release date is Nov. 24th and there are several release parties scheduled. There will be more information about that forthcoming. Thank you all for your support.

A taste of the Prologue:

. . . This book is not meant to be a personal account per say as it is a spiritual journey with common sense application that has eternal benefits. I hope that is not vague. This is not a textbook, a dissertation for scholars or some exegetical discourse. These are the words of an unworthy guy, in an unlikely occasion, with the opportunity to magnify the Lord. If after reading this book you feel closer to God, then mission accomplished. If it causes you to evaluate some areas of your life where you have struggled then I just hit a homerun. And if it makes you smile, cry, shout and/or change for the better, then I present that as my evidence that God’s hand guided this work.

. . . This book is written for regular people who are searching. It is written for the person that has been made to feel less than. It is written for the person who occasionally experiences some suicidal ideation or just simply feels they are buckling from the weight of life. There is hope in this book. There are clear biblical principles presented here that should make your spiritual walk easier. You will feel that you understand your purpose in God’s plan and how to go about executing that plan.

. . . Many could not put two scriptures together and make sense and although they were acquainted with Christ (basically had followed Mark 16:16), they had no depth or second teaching to learn how a life in Christ works. So, without being taught they began to do and learn God based on Hollywood’s version. Movies taught them about God and fairytales were their application — and it was not working for them. So, instead of living this life like the child of the King they lived in fear — spiritual paupers left defenseless against their own vices.
This book will correct this scenario and put you on the path of righteousness.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Career, Change, Children, Divorce, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, friend, God, guilt, Happiness, helping, judgment, kindness, Life, Light, Love, Marriage, Mind Power, Penalties, Perseverance, Progress, repentance, Self, significance, slave, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Trust, Truth

Is it really yours?

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You know the old saying that if you let something go and if it comes back to you, then it truly belongs to you? I just wonder how practical the application of this saying would be today. I mean, I think that some of us may have taken for granted the people in our lives. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of people under our jursidiction and we really need a wake up call.

So imagine if you are the boss over a company or you are managing several employees, do you think that if they were released and given another job making the same money, they would stay with you? In the business world we believe sometimes that people get trapped and they don’t have choices. Are we taking advantage of them and treating them horribly because we can? As a leader are you making the environment your employees work in beneficial to them so that they can do the best job possible? Or have you made the place so in your favor that your colleagues hate the company and you? It should not take an episode of “Undercover Bosses” to make you do the right thing. The highest boss is watching and you will have to answer to him.
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Let’s take this a step further and look at the family because I wonder how many children would stay with their same parents. For those of you with children, do you believe that your offspring would gladly stay with you if they had another opportunity. I’m not talking about riches or a bigger house, I’m speaking pound for pound, comparing apples to apples, given a choice would your children stay with you? That’s a hard question for some and not meant to ruin anyone’s week, but we need to take a step back sometimes and see if what we think we are accomplishing is good and for the betterment of the people God has placed us over.

Now for the finale, when you look at your marriage do you believe your spouse would come back to you if he or she had the option to leave with no strings attached? Think before you answer. Do you make your spouse feel that he or she is the perfect match for you? Do they feel God’s full blessing being with you or would they rather be single? Is this even something you can talk about? Has chasing after success in life or bitterness or past failures turned you into an asshole? Don’t look at me, I didn’t say it your spouse may have! I just want you to take an honest look at your situation.
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Life is too short to spend the rest of it with someone who repels you. So before they sneak and talk to an attorney about their options, wouldn’t it be more cost effective for you to have that “come to Jesus talk” with them and say you’re sorry and you want to be better? If you really and truly love the person you are with, you owe it too yourself and your spouse a true confession and a heartfelt apology. Then you would spend your life prioritizing things in order of importance and you would begin with your relationship.

Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says this task is too much. It is just what your relationship needs. Be the leader you claim you are and lead in this effort to make your life better.

Posted in Achievement, Black History Month, Career, Generosity, Giving, Greed, Justice, Life, Mind Power, Progress, society, Success

Choices — a tribute to Dr. King

This week we honor a great man who dared to take what he knew and teach it to others. He did this with no regard for his own life, future earnings or even the safety of his family.

He chose a way of life that would benefit the greater good. How unselfish.

I often wonder what Martin Luther King Jr would  have done if he was selfish and had bought into the American dream?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with success if that’s your thing. And there is nothing wrong with earning money or climbing the corporate ladder. I just wonder for his time, what a guy with his skills could have done?

He was a great orator! He could have been one of the greatest spokespersons the field of marketing and advertising ever saw — especially with his popularity. The actor and former U.S. president Ronald Reagan made more money as a spokesperson than he did in all of his movies combined! As he became a household word, I wonder how that helped his presidency?

It goes without saying that King would have been the King of televangelism. Since the likes of Creflo Dollar, TD Jakes and Joel Osteen this has become a billion dollar industry. All of these guys mentioned are multimillionaires. Pat Robertson and Jim Baker didn’t have half of King’s ability and did alright in the financial department because of the power of TV. If Pat Robertson had the compassion, integrity and skill of King he would have had a successful bid for the white house.

And then there was Dr. King’s leadership ability. He was a transitional leader who really knew how to build relationships, empower and motivate people and change lives. Under such leadership, I don’t believe the auto industry would have had the near collapse it was faced with a couple of years ago.

Somewhere along the way the quality of America’s products took a dive and we were left holding the scrap metal. No one looked to blame poor management instead they blamed a struggling economy. We blamed the economy during a time when Toyota, Hyundai and Honda posted record sales. These companies didn’t need a buyout and they thrived in the same American market!

I could go on, but the point is that when you really examine the choices Dr. King made compared to his options, he’s an even better man than we thought.

Happy birthday and thank you for your choices Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

Posted in Career, Confidence, Faith, God, God's Promises, Jesus Christ, Mind Power, Relationships, society, The Family

God did not give you the spirit of fear

photoIn 2 Timothy 1:7 the bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of
a sound mind.” I really believe this, but clearly in our society people are afraid. The fear clouds our judgement and makes it difficult for us to make sound decisions. It was never God’s will for us to live in fear. There are things he has done for us mentally, spiritually and physically so that we would not fear. It is my goal and prayer that this little blog post will help us all see fear as a choice, and choose to trust God instead.

There is a lot to be learned from an indepth study of the 23rd Psalm. I have heard this psalm preached a number of different ways and they have all been correct and inspiring, but I have not heard one yet on fear. The 23rd psalm is all about eliminating fear from the mind of the child of God. It was written for us to remember the state the Lord, our shepherd, has left us in.

If we believe that the Lord is really our shepherd and we won’t be lacking in anything as the first verse says, then it’s easy to see that the first four things God does, takes away all of our reasons to fear.

The text says “he makes”, “he leads”, “he restores” and “he leads” again. All that hard work goes to waste if we receive it and still fear. The “still waters” and the “green pastures” speak to our physical needs. The “paths of righteousness” speaks to our spiritual being and I’m sure you need no help with what “restoration” speaks too.

Then the text declares that evil would not be feared because God is with us. And not only is he with us, but his “rod” (discipline) and “staff” (authority) comfort us. If God is for us, who can be against us???

Then this whole idea of setting a table before us is so deep that I will share it as a subject of next weeks blog. The anointing was to prepare us for service and the cup running over is pure blessings. So the way I see it is like this: The Lord as our shepherd is out in front of us. The rod and the staff are to our right and left sides for comfort and protection. The only area left to cover is our backs and you know how God gets our backs don’t you??? God covers our backs with two things which will always be there and he promised to keep us in his family forever. Read it for yourself and sleep well at night!

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalms 23:6).

Posted in Black History Month, Career, Change, Progress, Racism, Reparations, Success, Work

What does Reparations look like?

In the spirit of Black History Month, I’d love to enter into a serious discussion about reparations. It seems as though this has become a taboo topic, because of the tension it brings with Blacks and Whites. It’s sort of the new racism: If you are for it, then you want to get something for nothing. If you are against it, then you are a racist.

This should not be.

Maybe it’s another case that America is not smart enough to really deal with. I mean, as a country, we are already paying reparations to a variety of folks, including Native Americans, Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Holocaust survivors. The word” reparations” simply means “to repair.” This concept brings up the idea of being broken. The idea of pay is just one way; not THE way.

I am in favor of reparations. But I think we need to be careful what we call reparations. I’m not for cutting a check for every person that had a link to slavery. Actually, I don’t think reparations should even be connected to slavery. You see, there are some things that our government did deliberately to African-Americans. These things had lasting effects that have made it difficult for some to become anything but a permanent underclass.

There was a missed opportunity for the Bush Administration to redeem itself when the recession started. Consistent with his ideology of tax breaks and stimulus packages, Bush could have ordered reparations be given to the poor in the amount of $30,000 and say that it’s because of slavery. “Poor” would be defined as any African-American who is living in generational poverty (two generations or more). If Bush did this, he would have redeemed himself and the Republican party because he would have literally bought the poor black vote. At the same time,  in 2008, now President Barack Obama spoke against reparations. If we are being honest, we know that the 30k would have ended up right back into the economy in less than 30 days. What a jump start that would have been. It may have even ended the concept of White guilt … or maybe not.

So here is what I would propose for reparations. What I would like to see happen is to give opportunity, not money. The Federal Housing Administration did not do right by minorities in the 1930s. Low interest rate loans were given to White people to buy nice homes and the loans had nothing to do with their credit. They got those home loans because of the color of their skin. I say we do the same thing today. Identify the disenfranchised of our time and help them into a home that, on their own, they could never get. I don’t mean to give a mansion away to the poor, but I do mean to follow the example of Habitat for Humanity and make that single mom with four kids a homeowner. Literally, grant her a pass on the credit score and give her a loan to have a reasonable mortgage payment not to exceed $400 a month. This house has to be in a suburban area with a better than average school system. This could easily be done. As a country we’ve done it before.

The second thing I would do is grant 10 years of government paid education (or forgiveness if you have school loans and finished your degree). This would allow any minority who is on welfare and in a dead end career to elevate themselves higher. They would have to put in the work though. They could never be on academic probation and they would have to have a life coach. This would grant those who have had hard lives to get a second chance to fix some of the problems they have had.

The sad part of all this is that most would not take advantage of it. Nevertheless, it’s something that should be done. It’s finally an opportunity to get ahead with the assistance of your government working in your favor. This is what reparations should look like.

Posted in Career, Determination, Jesus Christ, Perseverance, Work

The parable of the lines: part 2

Parables are always wonderful stories. Jesus Christ is the master teacher and he told them far better than any man. This little parable of the lines gives us great insight to the condition of America.

There is a condition in our country that creates a permanent underclass. We have generations of people living on government assistance and this is never what FDR intended when his administrator looked for a way to provide temporary help for families in need. Families were quite different during that time.

There were many jobs to be had and they required little or no skill. A person back then could graduate from high school and secure a good enough living to sustain a family. Somewhere along the way we got greedy and began to get paid more for doing less. This sense of entitlement is what led to the first and second lines.

Struggle has become a way of life for so many in our country that it seems most don’t mind residing in the first two lines.  The second line at least tried to work out a plan and purpose for their lives, but their efforts were met with rules that were against them and a lack of real opportunity. The largest part of that opportunity comes because despite America being culturally diverse, the people doing the hiring are not interested in creating a staff that is culturally diverse.

What we have then and now is the hiring managers and the gatekeepers of the majority of our jobs hire those people who they feel most comfortable hiring – which is normally a person of the same race. That wouldn’t be a problem if the gatekeepers and hiring managers were already diversified. Now this does not make them all racists. It means that this trend has helped to create this permanent underclass. Still many companies are just now hiring their first black this or their first Hispanic that. And I’m talking about the real jobs, not the minimum wage gigs or the middle management positions. I’m talking about the six figure jobs.

The third line is basically your middle class and this group is just trying to prove that the American Dream does exist. It’s the group that doesn’t like everything that is going on, but because their scenarios are not as bad as others, they grin and bear it. The interesting part is that more of this class is beginning to understand how the fourth line got to be the way it is.

The fourth line cheated, benefited from old money and/or knew someone that showed them the way. It’s sad, but true.

This parable really is about change and the real need we have in America to change. This is one of a thousand scenarios that could describe this trend. We are in trouble. If we stay the course, we won’t make it. We need to wake up and be heard. What are you prepared to do?

Posted in Career, Free Will, Job, Sports, Success

We have no right!

I have been waiting to weigh in on a topic that is near and dear to me. I’ve been wanting to say something, but I wanted it to be received well so I held my peace. Sometimes it’s good to let certain things settle a bit before saying something about it. I am an avid basketball fan – especially NBA basketball.

 I actually love all sporting events, but I think over the years I’ve changed. Games are great to watch. I’ve even had an occasional bet on a game. I guess I’m a fan of sports because of how well I know that sports has changed many lives – both good and bad. The potential for lives to be changed for the better is almost worth all corruption that happens.

Sports have been the way some folks learn about life. It has been the ticket for some to go to college, become millionaires and even turn lives around. Sports have allowed us to witness the God-given gifts of men and women who excel through various levels. To watch Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan play basketball or Venus and Serena Williams play tennis or Usain Bolt run or Michael Phelps swim – well, you get the picture. Sporting events bring sports fans a lot of joy.

Recently, LeBron James decided to jump into free agency and sign a multi-year contract with the Miami Heat.  The reaction from Cleveland was clearly over the top. Once the announcement was made, Cleveland Cavs fans burned their LeBron James jerseys in the street. I was in Westlake, Ohio a few days ago and they were selling shirts which called the superstar the “Lyin King” among other things. I had not seen this much hatred since the owner of the original Browns football team decided to move the team away from the city. Ugliness ensued and the fans were left without a professional football team for a while, but the city was able to retain the Browns name.

Because of our love for the games and the passion that goes with it, I have found Ohioans to be very loyal to their teams. There are people who cheer for Ohio State that never even went to college. This was a shock to me coming from Michigan. I mean, I love the Maize and Blue too, but I’m not going to get into a heated argument after a game. When I first came to Ohio, a Buckeye fan keyed my car after U of M beat OSU because my car sported a Michigan license plate. I thought these people were crazy. They’d ask me each Saturday who I was rooting for and I would always say, “the Broncos” after my alma mater WMU. I would tell them that the game didn’t matter to me and that I just hoped we see a really good game. Even members of my former congregation would express their likes or dislikes on Sunday morning as to who won or lost Saturday night.

My point here is this: As fans we have the right to cheer or boo; to have favorite athletes and choose whose jersey we will wear. But when we start wishing ill-will toward our fellow man or wanting to do bodily harm to an athlete, we have crossed the line.

Earlier this year, now former UT coach Lame Kiffen left the school for the head coaching job at USC. UT fans showed their displeasure by publicly threatening his family, harassing his children and making statements like they hope his plane crashes on the way to USC. One fan said online in a statement, “Everyone is so upset now about this, but we need to let it go, it is out of our hands. Lame Kiffen’s day will come, just like the good ol’ book(Bible) says you do a good thing and you shall be rewarded, but you do bad thing and you will not be rewarded. Look on the positive side, we will get a better coach and our team will be #1 this year!” This quote is mild except for the obvious lie told on the Bible here. The good ol’ book as this fan calls it never says anything about good work always yields good rewards and visa versa. I though TN was the heart of the Bible belt?

This problem is widespread and we need to get a handle on it. If a professional athlete chooses to leave your hometown and go with another team and a few days later you are still stewing about their decision and raising your blood pressure as a result – or if you are getting so angry as to have thoughts of harming the athlete, you need help.

LeBron James is gone, Cleveland! You were not robbed and he does not owe you a thing. He made a choice that he felt was in the best interest of his family. Be thankful for the time you had him for. Be glad that a world class athlete played for your favorite team and gave his all. Be thankful that you got to witness such a talent. And above all else, remember that it’s a business and no one has to get your permission to do anything. When it’s all said and done, those of us who love sports are just fans. No more, no less. And we need to start acting like fans.