Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Beauty, Children, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Generosity, Giving, God, Happiness, Health, Jesus Christ, Love, Parenthood, Perseverance, Racism, Relationships, Sharing, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth, Willpower, Work

I’m thankful for…

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving.

This has always been a sore spot for me ever since my second year of high school. That’s the time that I learned about the betrayal and almost destruction of an entire race of people at the hands of the Pilgrims.

Since that time, I’ve learn to find good in a day marked to celebrate their evil. Thanksgiving is somewhat like the Trojan horse. Both involved a festive occasion marred by betrayal and a massacre.

But there is hope.

Instead of thinking about the historic events that make this holiday ugly, I choose to be thankful.

I am thankful that I knew to make the most of my opportunities.

I’m thankful that I didn’t have circumstances like abuse, grief, drugs or poverty to hinder me from seeing the potential in myself.

I’m thankful for all the people who are close to me. I’m thankful for their love and understanding. I’m thankful for their friendship and kindness. And mostly I’m thankful that these people formed a hedge around me to ensure that I  knew I was loved and shielded from hurt.

I’m thankful for my parents. I am what I am because of the parents I have. And even though they were not perfect, they turned me into the best me I could be.

I’m thankful for my race. Despite the tragedy and racism that still takes place, I am proud of the contributions of my race, the rich tradition of the African culture and our resilience. I still pray that more African Americans will come to know this truth. #cutitoutFerguson

I am thankful to everyone who has ever disciplined me. I needed it and I realize how evil it is for others to go around not disciplining those in their scope of influence. Every child needs discipline and one of the problems in our school systems is that they lack discipline.

I’m thankful to every man that has been or who is currently in my life. You have taught me about a very diverse brotherhood that I am thankful for. The closeness, intimacy and trust we share has made me the strong heterosexual man I am today. I am blessed to be able to draw from brothers who are White, Indian, Cuban, German and Black.

I’m especially thankful for every woman who has ever built a relationship with me. You taught me love and respect the right way and made me less of a dog. I learned how to be intimate without having sex and I learned to appreciate beauty.

I am very thankful for the three children I have. They are all little models of me. I’m learning so much from them. They make me a better man.

I’ve saved the best for last. I am most thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. All of who I am and who I hope to be rests in Him. Christ, you represent all for me and I love you with every inch of who I am.

Please take time to share your thanks with the people who have earned it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Achievement, Beauty, Change, Confidence, Determination, Faith, freedom, Happiness, Life, Progress

Renewed strength

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Recently I was watching footage of eagles in motion. I was attracted to the effortless motion of the eagle in flight. An incredibly powerful creature with very keen eyesight and powerful claws — clearly there is majesty with this bird.

I was then reminded of the words which appear in the bible from the prophet Isaiah which says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” There is much metaphorical language here that once understood will empower us.

To wait on the Lord says you will trust him. It’s a little thing, but we all have people in our lives that we would not trust enough to wait on them. These people may be nice folks, but I know I have some relatives that I would not ask to pick me up from the airport unless I had a lot of extra time. Some people are very challenged with these situations. Hopefully you feel our God is worth the wait. What he can do for you, makes him worth the wait.

Here, our text says he will “renew their strength.” This means that he will not replenish the strength they had, but give them a strength they never had before. The strength in this text allows you to run and not grow weary and walk and not get tired.

The symbolism displayed in mounting up with wings of an eagle is a poetic way of saying you would have the same confidence and power shown by the eagle when he is about to take flight. It’s like playing a high stakes card game with your enemies and you know you have the best hand. There is an overwhelming confidence in knowing. This is the very thing that God is bringing to you. But this knowledge sustains you forever. You never doubt, you never grow weary and you never have a bad day.

Running is just symbolism for doing. To run and not grow weary is to operate in God’s purpose and be blessed in it. Walking is just symbolism for lifestyle. To walk and not faint is to live without stumbling. Both of these rely on your commitment to the one who judges justly. It all rests in the knowing.

So what is the knowing? This is where you learn that the dealer in the card game of life is God. It’s when you realize that every trap Satan sets for you has been sponsored by God — meaning that he set the limits of the trial and the duration to bring you to his will, not Satan’s will. And that he has freed you from sin so you don’t have to dwell in it any longer.

The question is do you really want to fly like that? Do you need the confidence that your source of power is greater than any power you will face? Do you want an eternal source that makes growing weary and getting tired a thing of the past? You then must trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, helping, Justice, Life, Love, Perseverance, Progress, Sharing, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Truth

The power of one

untitledIt is easy to look at this world and all of the evil there in and feel that as one person we are powerless. It seems like my voice and vote doesn’t matter and my single voice is too small.

Well, this ideal is family to the fear and doubt that is given by the evil one. This concept has halted a lot of would be powerful movements. A wild forest fire can be started with one match and whole wars have been started with one shot.

What if the energy that was donated to the negative thoughts were reserved for the one? The one who would dare to speak out against injustice or the one who would dare to love their spouse in spite of infidelity.

Or the one who would dare to challenge a bully or plead for the less fortunate. Or the one who would choose to see that the glass really is half full or understand that the best dancing is done in the rain.

Jesus made a huge impact living only 33 mortal years on earth. God has given most of us more time and the same power!

Let’s celebrate the power of one and do something with it.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Happiness, Life, Mind Power, Perseverance, Progress, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Thank God! Spring is here!

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Spring symbolizes a new beginning. The death of winter is gone and all things are made new. Spring is like a second chance.

Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship? Or worked a dead-end job that stressed you out whenever you thought about the drive to it? Or how about a bad circumstance that needs to end? The advent of spring should be the start of a new beginning for you.

New beginnings are symbolized in scripture by the number eight. It means the next in a new series or a new beginning. For example, when Noah was told to build the ark and warn the wicked world that God was angry, he preached about the next chapter or new beginning the world would take. You see, God was getting ready to start over and Noah and everyone who listened to him would be part of that new series.

It is no wonder then in 1 Peter 3:20 that it says of Noah’s time that “8 souls were saved by water”. And in 2 Pet. 2:5, Noah is referred to as a preacher of righteousness and called the “eighth person”. I would’ve  thought with Noah being the head of his household, he would be number 1. This text calls him the eighth person for a reason: He represents the new beginning. He was the next in a new series.

There are many others in scripture that could be pointed out, but the point is to show the healing power of Spring. This is your new beginning. What are you going to do with it? The rest of your year will be dictated by what you do now, today, during the spring season.

It’s time to stop planning and making excuses. Now is the time for action! Don’t let everything around you change and become beautiful and you stay the same.

You deserve a new beginning. God knew that and allowed you to live and see the Spring. Make the most of it! This is your season!

Posted in Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Happiness, Health, Progress, Success, Uncategorized

Welcome 2013!

2013Now that 2012 is gone and the fiscal cliff has been avoided, we can not get on to the real business of the new year and that is to make ourselves better. Each of the 365 days in this year will be special because they are from God. But what will we do with the time?

I have pledge to lead a life stress-free and eating healthy. I want to exercise regularly and take more time to meditate. I am preparing to make the leap from being vegetarian to vegan and I want to spend more time alone. This is my year to take a break from the daily grind and take care of myself — spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Everything that I do in 2013 will have 2014 in mind. This year should be a game changer.

What about you dear reader? How will you spend 2013? Hopefully, you will not waste any of the days living with regret. Hopefully you will not take any of the days for granted, but seek to live each day to the fullest. Will you spend the year making promises you can’t keep? Will you spend time preparing to do something all year long without ever getting anything accomplished? Will you be able to walk away from bad relationships or people who bring you down instead of build you up? Will you stop being afraid of the unknown? Will you take responsibility for your own mistakes? Will you return to church? Will you save any money this year?

Whatever it is that you decide to work on, I want to encourage you to go all out. Give your ideas a fair chance to breathe. Don’t allow those who doubt you to get under your skin. Turn a death ear to negativity and fly like an eagle this year. It is all up to you! Happy New Year!

Posted in Accountability, Bigotry, Change, Determination, Giving, Justice, Love, society, Taking Responsibility, Uncategorized

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of victory, but for what?

For years I celebrated Cinco de Mayo thinking that it was the equivalent of the Fourth of July for Mexico. I grew up with Mexican neighbors, I still love Mexican food (minus all that cheese) and never did any of them ever correct my thinking. Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

In the spirit of unlikely victories I’d like to say that I am dissatisfied with the way civil rights is rationed out in Christian America. Our civil rights movement of the sixties advanced African-Americans some. Not that African-American’s have arrived by any stretch of the imagination, but it just seems to me that those who have been through a struggle would reach back with empathy  to help others going through a struggle.

Based on our history, you would think that on a massive scale, the Jewish nation would have done more things to assist African-Americans in their struggle. I’m not at all saying that nothing has been done, but with the reparations as a result of the horrible Holocaust and the fact that Jews maintained their identity through that process, Jews had information that would have changed the state of African-Americans today. Now I say this fully aware that most of the houses sold by Jews from the 60s-80s were sold to Blacks because Whites would not live in homes formally owned by Jews. Southfield, MI is a perfect example of this. There have been educational, healthcare, housing and other services given to assist African-Americans which were funded by Jews. These things were great helps in the struggle and they specifically dealt with the RESULTS of the struggle. I don’t know of anything done to PREVENT the struggle — and that’s my point. After slavery, Blacks needed direction and guidance. There was a need to know how the financial system functioned and ownership of real estate. Other than Tulsa’s Black Wall Street (and we know what happened to it!), this knowledge was missing. I wonder what if the Jews taught Blacks how to succeed much like the Native American taught the pilgrims how to succeed what would things look like now?

Fast forward to the 21st Century and African-Americans should be doing more to help Mexicans and Hispanics in their struggles with this nation. The very same struggles that we are still trying to overcome. Granted this should be the responsibility of everyone including federal, state and local authorities. When you start running statistics you will see that Jews went through some very horrible things here in America. African-Americans are still going through some horrible things in this country. And Mexicans and Hispanics are catching hell right now. From being kicked out of our country, to not having their healthcare disparities even addressed, to not receiving fair wages and benefits for work and poor education.

I don’t mean to sound harsh or offensive, but we need to stop accepting the unspoken pecking order that ranks the races.  I want to do something about this. I’m not sure what exactly, but I would like to do something to help with this cause. I realize that there are a lot of causes out there, but this Cinco de Mayo I would like to not only celebrate the Battle of Puebla with them, but I also want to end that celebration, by asking them what I can do to help. What about you?

Posted in Achievement, Change, Determination, Faith, Happiness, Life, Mind Power, Progress, Success, Willpower

Spring Forward

One way to look at this weekend is to say that we have lost an hour or we had to repay the hour we stole in the fall.

Benjamin Franklin came up with this idea of manipulating time in order to have more daylight. The point was it would give us another hour of light for productivity.

We’re using the light, but the productivity part is questionable.

I would like to borrow Ben’s concept of “springing forward” to make a point. Many are suffer with and from a troubled past. If we are not constantly reminding ourselves about what we’ve done wrong, there’s always someone else ready to take this job over for us.

We are unable to move forward because we are stuck in the past. It’s hard to move ahead when you’re constantly looking back. We all need to consider the idea of “springing forward” to a better place than where we are today. To not be complacent or content with mediocrity, but be the best we can be.

The Apostle Paul instructs us this way: “… forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13,14).

This is our springing forward! This is our time to let go of bad things from the past and press toward the mark today.

Don’t allow the circumstances of the past to dictate what your future looks like.

Spring forward my friend!