Posted in Accepted, Change, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, freedom, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Love, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Uncategorized, Worship

Too much wind for ya??

It has been a while since I expounded on God’s word so I would like to share Matt. 14:23-33.

In this passage of scripture, Jesus was with a multitude and once he sent them away he went up on the mountain to pray alone. By the time he had finished it was getting late and the ship where his disciples were was in the midst of the sea being tossed around about by the waves and the wind.

Jesus comes toward them walking on the sea (yes, he was actually walking on the sea as if there was a makeshift walkway) and his disciples saw him and were afraid as they thought he was a ghost. The savior calls out to them to let them know it was him.

Astonished, Peter was the brave soul to take it a step forward when he asked for proof that it was in fact Jesus. His proof was that Jesus would allow for him to walk on water and meet him. The creator granted Peter’s request and here is where we get the meat for this story.

Verse 30 says that the wind was boisterous. That means it was loud and forceful, but this is something the text says Peter saw, not heard. Peter first saw Jesus walking on water and he was afraid. He also “saw” the wind boisterous and was afraid.

Which do you think scared him the most?

The assumption here is that when he saw Jesus and realized that it truly was him, he wanted to do what Jesus was doing. And he actually did walk on water.

But the wind’s actions were accompanied by force and it stood in opposition of what Peter wanted to do, Peter backed down because he felt he was no match for the wind. He knew that the force of the wind was far greater than he was. When he began to sink he cried for Jesus to save him and immediately the text says He did but asked Peter why did he doubt.

The lesson: The wind represents everything that is against us here from trials and tribulations to sin. Jesus is still Jesus in this lesson and Peter represents us. Jesus did not save Peter because they were good friends. In fact, any of the disciples could have done what Peter did. Peter just happened to be the one bold enough to ask. The assumption is that if you asked the question, the answer should have produced faith. In other words, Peter said Lord if it is you, then let me come to you. By the fact that Peter was able to come meant that it was in fact Jesus and now your faith will be made perfect in your work (walking on water).

Am I going too fast?

Faith without works is dead. Peter’s question was answered and he began through the work to demonstrate his faith, but the wind (trial) was too much. And even though Peter did nothing to earn his salvation, Jesus saved him anyhow. Why? Because he is God and that’s the business he is in.

Dear reader, do you believe that God will save you? Have you come to him in obedience to his will and allowed your faith to grow through your works?

Or is there just too much wind???

Posted in Change, Fear, freedom, Happiness, helping, judgment, kindness, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized, Working together

Being emotionally aware of emotional poverty

It seems that uncontrollable outbursts would be embarrassing, but for some it is absolutely not embarrassing! Some people could care less how they are viewed by others so as a result they show out anytime someone does something they don’t like.

These are the type of people who would get loud in a crowded restaurant or in another place of business because someone crossed them. They would have an outburst in church (if they went regularly).

Grocery stores, department stores or any heavily populated place would not escape this disruption. You see the more the people the greater the show — and someone emotionally disturbed would not want to disappoint a good crowd.

Emotional poverty is when you are unable to handle life’s challenges without self destruction. You may have seen people at work who you avoid because you know that if you get into it with them it would be ugly. It’s the person that could take you to that emotional destructive place you used to go to back in the day.

People respond to pressure a number of different ways. Sometimes they react and don’t understand how or why they took things so far. By the time they realize they went too far, it’s too late. The solution is not as easy as you think. The emotionally poor need response help from someone who is the opposite. To move forward they need a mentor or good friend who can help them model better behavior — I call it loaning them some scratch!

It’s not enough to just be aware of bad behavior, but take responsibility for those we love who suffer from emotional poverty. I am my brother’s keeper!

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Fear, freedom, Happiness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Progress, Self, significance, Taking Responsibility, Uncategorized

How hungry are you?

When we think of hunger, we think in terms of the absence of food. But being hungry can actually represent any phase of your life where you are trying to advance.

You can be hungry for success, hungry for wealth, hungry for relationships or hungry for the sake of hunger. It is interesting the factors that decide whether we stay hungry or not. Fighters who are successful and have gotten comfortable with the title, often fight against success.

Let me be clear: On the way to the title, a fighter would eat, drink and sleep that title. They would dream of what it would be like to taste victory. But once obtained a fighter needs to work harder at keeping that title because there is normally 9 or 10 other contenders who have never tasted the title and that becomes their fuel.

In business as you climb the corporate ladder there are colleagues coming behind you that want your spot. You just got it and they are hungry for it. There is always someone coveting your position.

But I really want to focus on what makes us stop. What are the things that make us not reach the goal? You see, success can do that to you, but failure can too. When you have failed 9, 19, 29, 39 times, it’s hard to make that additional attempt because too much of your past says you can’t do it.

Further, we can actually be our own worst enemy with this. We get worried and start to doubt our own ability. Then the voice inside of you that is supposed to be “for” you ends up saying and causing the worst damage. You will hear yourself say, “you are out of your league.” “You can’t do that!” “Who do you think you are?”

Sadly, we don’t need folks from the outside to “stick it to us”, we do it ourselves. What goals have you abandoned because you just were not hungry enough? What are you missing out on right now because you did not follow through or you just gave up? What areas of your life are not fulfilled because you didn’t fulfill it?

It is never too late. You need to empty yourself of the impurities that are making it difficult for you to eat and regain your hunger! You started the journey and your destination is not as far as you think. You owe it to yourself to get there. You can do it!

Posted in Accepted, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, God, Greed, Grief

Failed expectations

There are people in this world that imitate animals. You have the Alpha Male who figures the Lion. Gentle giant men have the image of the grizzly bear and then there are the people who love to act like snakes, rats or chameleons. These are the people who have no problem betraying others. There is no level of consciousness that is disturbed by their distrust.

Betrayal comes from expectations that are not met. It’s the breaking on trust and the vengeance from misunderstanding.

In Greek Mythology Jason was with Medea and they had kids together and everything. All of a sudden he decides to leave her with the kids stating that they were not married anyway. Jason was off to marry a local king’s daughter. To pay him back Medea kills the kids.

Benedict Arnold fought side by side with George Washington and had his trust. He was considered a trusted soldier and friend to Washington until he defected to the British in 1780. Arnold went down in history as a symbol of betrayal.

The question this blog asks is how does it feel to betray someone? How does it feel in your heart? How does it feel just before the betrayal is realized? How do you live with yourself? What kind of person do you have to be to overcome the negative feelings of betrayal? What will your conscious allow?

It’s clear that your spirit has to settle into being a rat or a snake, but is there any coming back from that? Mr. Arnold would probably tell you no, there is no coming back. The anger towards those that betray always seems to be met with death — whether that be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Hopefully, we can avoid this concept and realize the opposite is greater. Let loyalty ring!

Posted in Accountability, Change, Death, Determination, Fear, Free Will, freedom, friend, Generosity, Giving, Happiness, Health, helping, History, judgment, Life, Progress, Relationships, Self, Sharing, significance, society, Success, Time, Truth

We were robbed!

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Happy New Year!

This is the time for reflection and change in our lives and hopefully life’s lessons have taught us well enough that we are heeding the call and understanding what we must do to be better. By heeding the call I mean you are actually listening to your inner reflections on your past and adjusting accordingly.

It seems that for some of us our inner voice is “spot on” with reality and helps us out greatly in our decision making. Then there are others who’s inner voice is wounded and we need a little help to make sure what is said is correct and not detrimental to us.

This is all important because we live among thieves. Thieves are all over the place and we all have a little thievery in us. We all don’t loot or rob people at gunpoint, but what I mean is we steal another persons time, energy and space. We rob people of their joy and happiness and we steal ideas and concepts, friends and lovers and items of clothing like there is no tomorrow. It’s hard to be angry with someone when at some level you are doing the same thing. However, as we mature our thievery should subside. We should not be as taxing on our friends and families and we should be more giving with our own resources.

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So when you evaluate the people in your life, this tends to be a common denominator when deciding who should stay and who should go. As we get older it becomes more difficult to deal with theft. So we excomunicate them from our lives.

To help you with this task of elimination, I submit four categories of thieves. The first is called commensalism and these are the thieves that are like suckerfish who ride along with the shark to grab his leftovers. These fish do not bother the Shark, but they exist and thrive because of the shark. These would be your family, particularly your kids (17 and under) and older parents. There is such an obligation to help this bunch that this really becomes a labor of love. In addtion, you may have brothers or sisters in Christ who you have helped them get out of foolishness in the past and since they continue to get better, you continue to help them progress in anyway you can. This group will burn a lot of your energy but the results are priceless.

The next group is parasitism and these are the folks are flat out selfish. Family is not excluded from this category. These folks do almost everything at your expense. It is their consistent selfish behavior that makes them so toxic that you have to decide how much more you can take. With this group, over 90 percent is them taking from you. It is even possible for you to be in denial of this and allow them to continue.

The next group I refer to as spitefulism. I may have invented this word but the meaning is real. This is when two people are together and their brain’s pleasure center allows them to be so taxing on eachother that both are suffering from the interaction. I have seen these couples in counseling. They have come to me and neither party wants to give up anything. This proves that some people should have never hooked up. How do you stay in a relationship where both people are miserable and neither wants to get help. This behavior leds to eventual self-distruction.

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The final group is mutualism and this is exactly what it sounds like: Both parties benefit from eachother. In this relation you don’t mind giving so that there is no thievery. This can be with a spouse, sibling or friend.

So now you have been blessed to see another year. The longer we live, the better life should get. If life is not getting better, this is the first indicator that something is wrong. Choose this day who will be in your life. Part of our free will is having the choice to chose our circles. Choose wisely my friend. Because although there is not a precise measure of your stress to life ratio, what is certain is that stress is killing you. Not only is stress killing you, but there are already people plotting for your stuff.

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 Accepted, Accountability, Adam and Eve, Change, Death, Faith, Fear, Free Will, freedom, Garden of Eden, God, Guarantor, Happiness, Jesus Christ, judgment, Justice, Love, Opinions, repentance, Resurrection, society, The Family, Truth

The Truth about death

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Death gets a really bad rap I suppose because it can be so sneaky. Death doesn’t always come timely and it sucks if it happens too soon.

There are much older folks wondering why they are still here and some young folks wasting their life away and it seems that there could be a better use for that life.

From the very beginning we were introduced to death in the negative for God told our first parents that death was the result of disobedience. Since then, mankind has been running from the death sentence. As if death was the sheriff carrying bounties for us all, we attempt to cheat death.

There is another way of looking at our friend — yes I said friend.

Without death, how can we measure life? What actually makes life precious is the fact that it doesn’t last. Further, death was not just given to us as a result of disobedience, but a reminder that this world is temporary and that we should make good use of our time while we’re here.

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Moreover, our God will transport us to himself in a vehicle called death. You cannot get to God without it. With that said, death can be a beautiful thing, like a flower with a prickly stem. The prickly stem does not take away from the beauty of the flower. Likewise, untimeliness cannot lessen the true effect of death.

For some of us, death will have a sting. For those that are in Christ, there is no sting. The worst part of death is the sting, but if you have been born of the water and the spirit into the family of God, the sting is gone. And death only hurts on the time-side of life, not the eternal side. Therefore, as a great songstress once said, “…living in Christ we know that death is our friend. It will take us home.”

Make death your friend today. Believe that Jesus died according to the scriptures and he was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. You don’t need a degree in biblical studies to understand the facts of the gospel and the fact that the savior himself said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Death is coming. Will it be your friend or foe?

Questions or comments welcomed!