Posted in Achievement, Beauty, Children, Confidence, Giving, Racism, Sports

The Greatest of all time!

I would like to say happy birthday to Muhammed Ali who I haven’t had the opportunity to meet, but his life has been a strong influence on me and I still admire him today.

He is arguably the greatest fighter to put on a pair of boxing gloves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmaHGY7BEog&feature=youtube_gdata_player

When I was growing up in the 70s I remember watching the wide world of sports on ABC with my brothers and my dad and we watched all of the great heavyweight fights from that era. I remember watching sports reporter Howard Cosell go back and forth with the champ and I remember hearing folks say that they argue like an old married couple.

Ali would shout about how great he was and how attractive he was. He would boast about his accomplishments and what he planned to do next. And he would do most of this in the form of a rhyme!

I didn’t understand the psychology behind his actions until I was much older. When I ask myself how many images were on TV that depicted African Americans in a positive light, my answer was not many. Other than James Brown proclaiming that he was Black and proud, how many shows on TV in the 70s brought this before America? None.

You see, if Ali was great and he matched the color of my skin, then subconsciously I had the potential to be great too because we were the same color.

The point is clear: Ali made greatness possible for every minority. The path he lit stayed bright for me and my pursuits. He saved me from a lifetime of hang ups regarding my appearance, my intelligence, inferiority and my possibilities.

I can because Ali could. And I’m glad he took the time to send the future generations a message. A message that I got loud and clear!

Thanks Ali! For me, you will always be the greatest of all time!

Posted in Accountability, Discipleship, Faith, Free Will, freedom, Giving, guilt, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Progress, Sharing, significance, Truth

Are you really faithful?

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So there is this story about I guy who could teach people how to spin grass into gold. The people could not believe that he had such a skill. The man he taught reacted pretty much like you thought he would. With dollar signs in his eye he spun all of his grass,  his families grass and his neighbors grass into gold. He made tons of people rich with his new gift. And everyone was happy.

What does this story have to do with faith you ask?

We are encouraged by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:6-7 to walk in Christ. And the way Paul says to do it is remember and apply what you have been taught with all thanksgiving.

Do you think that the man in the story was joyous about what he had learned?  Do you think he thought any about the person who taught him? What do you think was his attitude about doing the work?

The point is that when something is a benefit to you,  no one has to make or force you to do it. You do it because it brings you joy.

Our faith in Christ Jesus is based on the gift God gave and the effects of that gift in our lives. As a result, we love and honor the work done by God and imitate it.

This means that the joy and understanding I have on the inside of me will manifest itself in what I do. And by looking at that you see my faith.

So I ask again. Are you really faithful?

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Children, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, Giving, God, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Trust, Worship

Some day at Christmas

Some day at Christmas we won’t be farmerry-christmas

from making friends no matter what color they are.

We will be color blind and our hearts will see

that God made you and me.

 

Some day at Christmas we won’t be rude

and pass out to everyone who has a need for food.

We will not covet all the things that we see

because we live for him who died on that tree.

 

3142505786_793baeb9a7Some day at Christmas all wars will cease.

Our heart’s desire will be to seek peace.

We’ll take responsibility for all that we do

and make this world better for me and you.

 

Some day at Christmas the deed will be done.

Our lives will be judged by God’s only son.

We lived our lives for Christ and stood in his Grace

and spread love thoughout the human race.

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 Faith, Forgiveness, Free Will, Giving, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Relationships

I love because I know God

There is a goodness that is overwhelming about the love of God.

In a previous post, I wrote about the modern miracle of love and said that the basis of love was our knowledge of God.

I want to shed a little light on that topic now because I believe there are many who use love as a cover up because their actions say something totally different.

It is impossible to say that you really love, when you hate. You cannot follow Christ, but hate Muslims. You cannot say you have the love of Jesus in your heart and hold a grudge. And you cannot claim that you are a child of God and deliberately cause hurt to another human being.

God’s love is not limited to whether you are Black or White; Republican or Democrat; Christian or something entirely different. We are not the originators of love, God is. That means HE gets to define the concept and those who have experienced it, imitate it.

Did you catch what I said?

We love, because we’ve been loved. Not because we believe the object of the love deserves our love. We love, not because we expect something in return. We love because we know what it feels like and we are now constantly responding to God’s love toward us. We understand why we were the recipients of his love and we pay it forward.

I have a love for humanity because God does!

I love my enemies because God loves his enemies and he loved me when I was his enemy!

I love those who are less fortunate because I see and understand how God loves and takes care of them!

The only reason people don’t love is because they have taken for granted the love God has already shown to them.

The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”

It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus on that cross, it was love!

So how are you going to love?

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.