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 Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Death, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, freedom, friend, Generosity, Giving, God, Greed, guilt, Happiness, Health, helping, Honor, judgment, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Mind Power, Opinions, Pain, Progress, Racism, Religion, repentance, Self, Sharing, slave, society, Success, Truth

No middle ground

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We are a society of extremes — and it doesn’t have to be that way. The way things are going we will of course destroy our planet and ourselves.

There seems to be no middle ground that anyone wants to choose. Think about it? We live in a world where people actual starve to death. And then on the other side of the world there are people so obese that they struggle through their lives suffering from degenerative diseases until they die.

We have generations of people in poverty living in conditions that are deplorable and then just a few days journey away, there are people so wealthy that it would take 4 generations to spend it all.

This crazy world has Christians that practice hate, record keeping of wrongdoing and feel murder can be justified, while there are atheist seeking to live in peace and harmony.

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There are workoholics who hold down two and three jobs at a time while others can’t seem to find one job.

The question today is what will it take to move us to the center? Get rid of the media? Seek Jesus for real? Eliminate big business? I want to raise our conscious level higher so that we are more sensitive to our fellow man.

Did it work? I would love to hear your feedback.

Posted in Beauty, Change, Diet, Faith, freedom, friend, Generosity, Giving, God, Happiness, Health, Healthcare, Life, Progress, Relationships, Self, significance, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Time, Truth

The importance of my well being

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I understand psychologically that I can not see myself, all I see is a reflection. All of these images I see of myself need help from the people that actually see me. Therefore it is the images I see in conjunction with what is said that allows me to come close to seeing my actual self.

With this in mind, the people who I surround myself with become extremely important. I need for the people I allow in my inner circle to be beneficial to me. I want them to feel that I am beneficial to them, but they have to be able to add value to my life.

If we spend the majority of a 24 hour day sleeping, working, eating and traveling, then that means there is not much time left to make a positive impact.

This means coming home has to be in question. Is my house for me or against me? Am I really replenished while being at home or is my household just adding to my stress?

Is the time I spend traveling during the day beneficial? The type of music I listen to, the people I talk to on the phone and even the ride to work now matter in regard to my well being.

Sleep is one of the most important things you can give to your body. Am I getting enough uninterrupted sleep?

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I also need to be concerned about the things I eat and drink. This has a huge effect on my wellness. I need to seek whole food without man-made additives. It’s hard to do in the US but not impossible.

This message is about how we handle this gift called life and the body God put it in. If you understand that the life you have is only because of Christ, then how are you treating this beautiful gift he gave you?

Posted in Accountability, Beauty, Children, Confidence, Determination, Generosity, Happiness, helping, Honor, Love, The Family

Tribute to my mom

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One of my favorite songs we sang growing up in church was Home of the Soul. I never really understood this song beyond the melody which I liked.

But as I got older I started listening to the words and discovered this is a song describing the place that Jesus is preparing for us. I eventually matured to be able to put scriptural application with this song and in addition to seeing the place Jesus is preparing for me in the future, I saw another place. This place was prepared for my living in the past.

My mother, Annie Mayberry, is like no other. Pound for pound she’s the best mom you could have. (I know I’m bias but bare with me)

Looking back at what we had back in the day, I realize how hard it was to make that happen. We were not rich, but we lived in an extremely clean home that was comfortable and had nice stuff.

I looked forward to coming home from a hard day at school, hard time at basketball practice, frustrating day with friends and the reason I loved coming home was because it was prepared for me.

My mom in anticipation of us coming home made sure things were right. There was always more than enough food. All of my needs (and some wants) were taken care of and she did this despite how she felt on any given day.

My mom never wanted anyone to look down on us. She never wanted anyone to think we were not cared for and she never wanted us to feel cheated in life. She gave us a respect for the arts — from paintings to great music — she kept beautiful things around us.

She took our senses and used them to her advantage. We were surrounded by beauty, grew up on incredibly delicious soul food, clean clothes, warm bed and toys — what else could a child want.

But the greatest thing my mom gave me and my siblings was her love. Her love truly covered a multitude of sins — ours and hers. There was no doubt that she was in our corner and would not hesitate to whip our a$$ or kick somebody else’s a$$ in a New York minute.

So today I give honor to my first love. A woman who I admire and appreciate greatly! Thanks for everything Annie! Love you much!

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 Generosity, Giving, Happiness, Love, Parenthood, Relationships, The Family

Praise for our First Lady!

It’s time to praise everyone’s first lady. The woman who you first fell in love with; the woman who will forever be in your corner; the woman who knows how to make things right: Mama.

If you are as fortunate as I am to still have your best girl alive, I would ask that you show her a little extra love for Mother’s Day in honor of the mothers who have passed on. And if your mother is alive, make sure you share her with those you know have lost their mom.

If your mother is no longer with you I believe it would be fitting to adopt a mom. You see, just as there are sons and daughters without mothers, the converse is true. This is why the “adopt a mother” concept makes so much sense.

Find her within your church; at the closest nursing home or Assisted Living facility; or take a stroll through your neighborhood — she’s out there.

And once you find her, make her day special. Flowers are always welcomed as would be something sweet. Mother’s also like cards of appreciation. Whatever you choose make sure on Mother’s Day you offset some of the evil in the world by showing unconditional love to a mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Faith, friend, Generosity, Giving, Happiness, helping, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Mind Power, Opinions, Perseverance, Relationships, Sharing, significance, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Trust, Truth

Reaching full potential

We have all heard the old adage of “fake it, til you make it” and of course we know what this means. This speaks directly to potential. One of the saddest states to be in is to look back at you life and realize that you did not develop to your full potential. The only scenario worse is to be at the funeral of a person who never reached their full potential.

Potential is defined as something that can develop or become actual. It’s not automatic and it’s not always the end of the world when it doesn’t happen. I have a friend who had the opportunity to play professional basketball. He got a college education out of the deal, but every now and then he looks at his life and thinks about the what ifs. He has actually done well for himself, but he can’t see that because he’s caught up looking at what didn’t happen instead of enjoying what did.

There are many people living like this and what’s worse here is that some of them live their lives out as failures. They carry this defeating attitude with them where ever they go. Their view of the world becomes skewed as to see everything as a negative. They are truly wounded.

What they need to realize is the greatest thing about potential is that it’s really never too late to develop into something. The most important ingredient in this equation is our belief system. You are what you believe you are. So if you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you’re right!

Often times these folks of little faith just need someone close to them to say, “you can do it!” Successful people tend to come equipped with this option already planted in their heads. They have a little voice that says “you can do it!” every time the going gets tough. For the doubters this is not so. They take every opportunity to doubt the possibilities of anything positive.

So, for those of us who help, we need to jump at the chance to support the folks around us. We know and understand that some people really need you to literally speak possibility into their lives. In most cases they just need this little push and then they can get going. But without our encouragement, these potentials have no hope.