Posted in Accountability, Change, Generosity, Giving, Greed, guilt, Happiness, Health, helping, kindness, Life, Love, Relationships, Sharing, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Time, Truth, Uncategorized

What if?

Upon occasion I like to sit and day-dream about the world being different. I mean if we as Americans had a different way of thinking. What if we never looked to gain anything from anybody? What if the motivating factor for everything we did had to do with the betterment of humanity and not the financial gain of ourselves?

Dr. Jonas Salk was the person credited for the discovery of the cure for polio in 1955. Two years later Dr. Albert Sabin created the oral version. As time went on and the research continued we began to learn more things about polio all in the interest of science and humanity. These two men lived good lives and neither wanted to gain financially from their work. Dr. Salk, when asked who owns the patent for the polio cure said, “the American people own it.” These two vaccines helped remove polio in many different parts of the world. Within the period of 1988 to 2007, the number of cases was trimmed down significantly from 350,000 to 1,652. 

By 1994, polio was completely removed from the Americas. In 2000, it was erased in almost 36 countries within the Western Pacific region including Australia and China. In 2002, Europe became polio-free. By 2008, only four countries remained affected by this disease, namely Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria. Today, the transfer of poliovirus from one person to another has been widely disrupted. However, wild poliovirus transmissions are still very much possible, particularly in areas with poor sanitation as well as low vaccination coverage.

What if this effort was repeated for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and AIDS? What if the pharmaceutical companies were all not for profits and a successful year for them would be to “break even” with their budgets and not make a profit. What if their sole drive and goal was to make themselves obsolete? What if hospitals were all not for profits with the same goal– to educate people to the point that they never needed to be hospitalized? What if as a country, it mattered to us what we ate, how we interacted with the environment and how we treated one another?

You can’t help but wonder if we, working together, would have figured out time travel, gain the ability to move objects or even learned to fly. We would most certainly have worked out starvation and degenerative diseases. We could even eliminate rich and poor people, make education completely free and enjoy world peace.

And then I woke up.

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 Accountability, Beauty, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Faith, Fear, Free Will, Generosity, Greed, Grief, guilt, Happiness, helping, History, Honor, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Marriage, Opinions

So what I’m trying to say is . . .

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In January we tried to start the year new.

February was the month to build new relationships or strengthen old ones with the help of cupid. It didn’t work.

In 2013 March brought us the memory of the resurrection as we pondered our relationship with the cross. We felt guilty.

April always fools us. We’re fooled by people and things and we suffer loss of income, respect and dignity.

In May and June we remembered our parents, but failed to do anything more meaningful than a visit. We try, and try and try and there just isn’t enough time in a day. These visit are probably the most sincere things we’ll attempt all year, but we have a hard time going beyond that.

We celebrated our independence in July. The freedoms we enjoy allowed us to over spend, over indulge and over react. We came out of the month with one truth — it’s hotter than hell in July.

August meant nothing to us. Only emptiness and uncertainty wondering what the rest of the year would bring….

September was a reminder that we have to work. We must work for our living and work to pay taxes for other people’s living and work to support our government. The ninth month reminds us that there is no rest from our labors.

October is full of tricks and lies. It lies about the treats because they never existed. And all that’s left is tricks. We live in a world full of unmet expectations and unused potential. The only thing that really happens in the month is that we get tricked.

November we’re supposed to be thankful and in December we are supposed to be at peace. That doesn’t happen either so all we get is tricked.

Sooooooooo,

Dear significant other,

Since I regularly participate in May and June, I won’t April you. I’m December and I’m November so despite what happens in September, October and August, our February will be July. So let’s January!

Posted in Accountability, Change, Free Will, Generosity, Giving, kindness, Taking Responsibility

Kindness knows no shame

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I am very grateful for a good night’s sleep. For most, being able to sleep through the night comfortably says something about the way you live your life.

We don’t often think of Satan’s attacks as covert, but he’s a master at that too. Satan can get you all upset about one thing while he’s actually sticking it to you in another area.

Have you ever wondered why the Apostle Paul, when he talked about putting on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6), mentioned the fiery darts of the devil? Why fiery darts? When cowboys and Indians fought, you would see a circling of the wagons by the cowboys and the Indians would shoot arrows at them while the cowboys would return gun fire. Eventually, an Indian would set fire to the tip of the arrow and shoot it at the wagon. It would be difficult for the cowboys to put out the fire and fight the Indians.

So, when Satan shoots those fiery darts toward you, he’s not aiming for you, he’s trying to hit something or someone dear to you.

It’s easy to lash out, curse, throw a fit and complain about something. It’s a whole other thing to be a change agent. I find one of the greatest tools God gave us for this is kindness. Just once, try fighting with kindness. It’s very difficult to argue or be angry with someone who has and is showing you sincere kindness. True kindness is the fire extinguisher that can put out grease, electrical and wood fires at the same time.

There are only a few things we can retaliate with that knows no shame — kindness is one of them. So the next time you want to open your war chest and grab a handful of hate and hurt, try kindness. It will be the one that looks the newest.
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Posted in Accountability, Change, Discipleship, Generosity, Giving, Jesus Christ, Love, Progress, Sharing, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Jesus — The Good Shepherd

ShepherdSheep are not the smartest animals. I mean, they really need caring for and who better to care for them than a shepherd. There is supposed to be a little shepherd in all of us. As Christians who are supposed to imitate Christ, we need to embrace the shepherd within.

Look around you. There are many people who struggle with life’s challenges and make horrible decisions. We witness their calamity and in most cases we walk on by. Jesus said in John 10:11, “I am the Good Shepherd!” He explained that he was different from those who help because they are looking to get something out of helping. Jesus helps because it’s his nature.

This being true, all who have been crucified with Christ have Christ living in them. This means that the life we now live in the flesh is a life of faith in the son of God who loved us and died for us (Gal. 2:20). So then, the Christ in me is a shepherd. And I need to take my part in the progression of the sheep. We have the ability in Christ to be game changers for some people. We know things, do things and have experienced things that would help others. A good shepherd searches for opportunities to do just that. And it’s easy to help people you know and care about. But what about the people who struggle that you don’t know? What kind of world would it be if we all took our “good shepherd” calling seriously? Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

The Good Shepherd was willing to lay down his life for the sheep. Dear reader, Jesus is inviting all of his disciples to be shepherds and lead those less fortunate to a path of righteousness. He wants us to join him in loving and caring for all mankind. Now what are you willing to do?

Posted in Faith, Generosity, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, The Family, Truth

Benefits of sitting at His table

20130112-234503.jpgIn the middle of the 23rd Psalm, David writes that the Lord would prepare a table for us in the very presence of our enemies.

The curious student would ask, “well, what’s the benefit of that?” You see, God got real personal about us and the universe knew it. He created us in his image and as the angels stood in amazement at God’s affection toward us, Satan hated it.

He thought if He could only get us to transgress God’s law then God would be forced to kill us or cast us away. This is something Satan knows all too well. Formerly Lucifer, he hoped to strike a blow for his cause. What happens in such cases is that your enemies will strike out against the people you love when they can’t get to you. Satan could not do anything with God on any level. So it stands to reason that he would bother us.

When we stumbled in our garden (yes, everyone has their own garden that they were cast out of when they sinned) the angels didn’t even know that the manifold wisdom of God would be known by the church (Eph. 3:10). So in other words, God had a plan for us before the foundation of the world! His plan was perfect and it was hidden from the universe. His plan was John 3:16!

It wasn’t enough to just save us. God had to restore us. Restoration is still a work in progress for us because it’s something we expect God to do for us, but many of us are still holding grudges against a brother or sister because we’re mad. God’s restoration puts us back where we were — with him!

This is symbolized in the story of Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9). Remember, he was the grandson of the former King Saul. He should have been put to death as part of the former royal family, but David not only spared him, but restored him to where he would have been if he was king. David understood restoration.

This concept is ever present in the story of the prodigal son ( Luke 15). His father killed the fattest calf for his youngest son who had returned home from learning the most important lesson of his life.

And finally, this concept is symbolized with the taking of the Lord’s Supper. This divine feast is for believers who are continuing in the faith and are looking forward to the coming of the Lord. Jesus designed this Holy feast and it’s more of a demonstration of his love for us in front of the unseen world. It serves as a reminder to evil as to who we belong to. It’s in the presence of our enemies that God showcases our relationship to him. This is when your big brother tells the bully to “back off or else!” This is God’s celebration for our decision to follow him.

This very important table is another step in the direction of making us fear-free. Our God who promised to provide all of our needs according to his riches in glory does not want us fearful. So instead of being afraid, why don’t we simply remember where we sit in Christ and enjoy the feast!

Posted in Generosity, Giving, Life, Love, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth

I wish I could gift wrap common sense this year

tumblr_m6z628lfAf1r566gro1_500Years ago I would have said that it seems around this time of the year that people loose their minds when it comes to shopping. Now I have to say that all year round there are constant reminders that all sense is not common.

This year in particular it is really difficult to see anyone down on their luck when you go to the malls. People are shopping, but the shopping experience is not jolly. There are lots of attitudes, ignorance, selfishness and foolishness to go around — and that just the store employees. In addition, customers are ungrateful, unruly, liars and theives — and I saw all of this in just two hours at the mall.

I couldn’t help but wonder wht is this all for? Is it all to make someone in a day feel like we should have made them feel all year? Is it our way of trying to buy off someone’s forgiveness instead of just apologizing? Or are we trying to make up for lost time or for not being there or for someone missing?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we spent the entire year helping other people and then used this time of the year thanking folks for it? Imagine if we all had the mission of making a difference in our communities and that the more we made a difference, the less taxes we had to pay. Wouldn’t it be cool if thinking was a requirement and you were given tickets for not thinking in public? I guess the more we live the lesson is the same, all sense ain’t common! I just wish I could have Santa bring this gift to a few folks so that they can have a better New Year!