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, Divorce, Giving, Greed, Happiness, History, Life, Love, Marriage, Opinions, Perseverance, Relationships, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth

Unconditional marriage?

unconditional loveSo we know that the divorce rate is really high. But it doesn’t have to be. Is it really possible that all of these divorced people just happened to marry the wrong person?

I know that there have been some in terrible abusive relationships and for safety reasons they had to get out. But the lion share of divorces stem from unmet expectations and selfish motives.

No one told them that unconditional love was supposed to be brought to the marriage, not generated from within.

They didn’t know that forgiveness wasn’t optional when they said “I do” and that expectations were only conditions you place on yourself.

They were ignorant to what things should have been the most important. It’s a bad feeling to be judged by how much money you make, how you dress, how shapely your hips are or the size of your breasts. It’s extremely shallow for someone to expect their own version of what’s perfect to be matched or exceeded by their partner.

Of all the scriptures we take literally, no one bothered to take Jesus seriously when he said, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out!” Or “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off!” (Matt. 5:29-30).

The simple fix for marriage is for each party to take a step back and really look at what they are bringing to the table. What you are bringing to the table can’t just look good to you alone. It needs to be valuable to the person you pledged to live forever with.

If it is not, and it probably isn’t, the two of you need to talk and stop playing married and truly work at being married.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Beauty, Books, Change, Giving, Greed, Happiness, History, Iraq War, Life, Love, Opinions, Pain, Patriotism, Politics, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Lessons confirmed in 2012

20130104-234856.jpgIf you are reading this blog, then once again there were foolish folks that believed the world ended a few weeks ago. We should all be thankful we made it out of 2012.

I have to say that I didn’t learn any “new” lessons, but I definitely confirmed some lessons I thought I knew. It’s always good to recap the previous year so that the next year is better. Each year we’re supposed to get better. Life is supposed to get easier. After all we matured didn’t we?

Well, I hope that you are enjoying the new year and you are already working your plan of action to make 2013 better than 2012. With that said, here are the top 5 things I confirmed in 2012. I’d love to hear about your list.

1) Read more non-fiction books and watch less TV! This one is a no-brainer. TV is run by corporate America and it is designed for one thing: To get you to buy the ads you see. There is science that supports the ability for ads to reach your subconscious mind. Your spending habits are linked to this. Now before you go thinking that I’m crazy, there is a company called NeuroFocus and they probe consumers subconscious by using Electroencephalography (I’m not smart enough to make up a word like this). The other problem with TV other than being a big waste of time is how your body handles your emotional reactions to shows. For example, whenever you get angry, your blood pressure rises and your arteries take a hit especially among older groups. So when you get so into a character on a show and their actions make you angry, your body doesn’t say, “Oh, you’re just watching TV.” Since your body can’t tell the difference, it handles that situation as if you were really angry.

2) Life is too short so to maximize your time you should spend time letting the people close to you know how important they are to you. Your circle of trust should know who they are. Your family should know they are loved because they heard you say it as well as demonstrate it. You should make sure you are living forgiven meaning that no one should die thinking you have a grudge with them or that you thought ill of them. Be known as a giver and allow others to benefit from your generosity — not just your money, but even more important is your time.

3) Get your house in order and keep it that way. This means that no matter how old you are the people close to you should know your advance directives and your wishes at end of life. We don’t know when our time is up, so it’s always a good thing — no matter how old you are — to have a plan and let those closest to you know what your plan is and the role they play in that plan. If you have done this, every year it’s a good idea to make sure it is current and your wishes are still the same. You want to make sure that the people involved in your plan at the end of life are still willing to carry out your wishes at the end.

4) Everyone needs a day of rest. God rested from his labors on the seventh day and he created us with the idea that we would need a break from the natural rhythm of life to reset. There is an awesome book written by Dr. Marva Dawn called “Keeping the Sabbath Holy” and she beautifully describes this concept and gives a lot of great information on the topic.

5) One of the most hurtful things is to have expectations for someone or something and get let down. It would help us all to remember that in America we make money. That’s what we do above all else. There are some secondary things that we do, but due to big business and politics, our system is flawed. Case in point: Sandy relief was recently left for the next session of congress because there was so much other stuff (like a new roof for the Smithsonian Institute) written into the bill. One would think that a bill with the subject Sandy Relief fund would only include things immediately related to people. I’m sure the Smithsonian probably does need a new roof, but at this point it is at the expense of the Sandy survivors. Our wars are about money and greed. There is an excellent documentary series by Oliver Stone on Showtime that talks about the untold history of the United States. It’s a sobering look at how the world sees and has seen our country over the years. This documentary has challenged me to re-evaluate what’s important to me and to help make America truly beautiful. Make the most of 2013 my friend!

Posted in Giving, Happiness, Health, History, Life, Love, Perseverance, society, The Family, Uncategorized

Smelling the roses

The latest census says that those who are 85 and older are now the fastest growing population. We could learn much from these aged pill takers.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with a few of them and in no particular order, these are the top 10 things I learned:

1) Wake up with the sun. Too many young folks sleep the day away and are unproductive. Wake up with a purpose and enjoy the sunrise.

2) Read twice as much as you watch TV.

3) Deny yourself and save money.

4) Eat healthy so that you can enjoy your golden years.

5) Get plenty of sleep.

6) Drink plenty of water.

7) Get plenty of exercise.

8) Control your use of technology; don’t let technology control you.

9) Enjoy family.

10) Practice loving everybody.

I wonder what it would be like if we spent 2012 with these 10 suggestions?

They all seem so obvious, but why don’t we do them? Who wants to wait for a degenerative disease to happen before we begin to take care of ourselves.

This age group is far more conservative, morally intellectual, far more cultural and more responsible than the generations after them.

Let’s accept the lessons and the responsibility that follows. If not, we might not have any roses to smell.

Posted in Faith, God, History, Jesus Christ, Pain, Uncategorized

Remembering the prophecy of Christ

There is much written by way of prophecy regarding the coming of the savior. Matthew wrote his letter to the Jews to prove that the things that had been done by him were written and therefore they could trust in it and believe.

Many historical events have taken place to show the relationship between God and his people. Israel’s salvation was based on their obedience to God. When they were faithful, God blessed their efforts. When they were disobedient God normally allowed their enemies to overthrow them. There is nothing like reading about God’s people prospering because of the relationship. Joshua’s life had its ups and downs, but when you consider the battles during his time and the taking of the promise land, you can’t help but praise God for he is good.

My favorite passages in the Old Testament which point to the salvation of Christ are in Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53. Much of the 22nd division of Psalms is pretty obvious when we talk about prophetic scripture as it points to the savior. In fact, my studies have led me to believe that Jesus was not just shouting out in agony on the cross, “My God! My God! Why has thou forsaken me?” I have heard many lessons on this passage from Matthew’s gospel account and clearly, since there is no other logical reason why Jesus would start speaking in Hebrew, I believe he was quoting Psalms 22. The part that is most profound to me is in v.16 where the text in Psalms declares, “ … they pierced my hands and feet.” A quick study of history shows us that during the writing of this Psalm, crucifying people had not happened yet. These chilling six words show us the power of the prophetic word as well as the great power of God.

In Isaiah 53, the prophet proclaims the truth about the savior, generations before he was born. Verse 5 says: “ … he was wounded for our transgressions … bruised for our iniquities … the chastisement of our peace was upon him and by his stripes we are healed.” These statements describe the actual work done by Jesus on the cross. But it also describes the significance of the events on the cross. The completed work of Christ summed up in one verse.

Another one of my favorite parts of this chapter is in v. 8 where Isaiah asks the question, “…who shall declare his generations?” I believe that is for those whose feet have been shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace! Selah.

Posted in Bigotry, Black History Month, Change, History, Perseverance, Politics, Racism

It’s February and you know what that means…

February is Black History month and I guess I’m still stuck with asking the same question: Why?

I mean, I guess it’s a good thing, but I would still love to see each month being dedicated to a different race. I get this idea from growing up in Detroit. In the summer time, the City of Detroit hosts a summer full of ethnic festivals each weekend and scores of people come down to the heart of the city to celebrate. There’s always music, food, people dressed in authentic clothing and lots of trinkets to buy!

It’s always fun — no matter which festival it is — and it’s always educational. I’m sure that this social event draws most of the people because of the location and all the happenings. However, there is that side of me that wants to believe that in Detroit we are more cultured and care about and support our difference more than despising them.

Just having Black History month seems like a quick solution to shut someone up. I mean, was this the solution to stall talks of reparations? Is this so that Blacks will have something of their own or unique to them?

So who is celebrating Black history month exactly? It seems that many of the businesses that are supported by Blacks are doing some type of tribute whether that be in the form of a commercial or hosting some event. Now of course we’re not talking about a lot of companies here. Sales show that the number one fast food company for Blacks is McDonald’s. For whatever reason, McDonald’s has profited off Black dollars more than any other fast food chain. Johnson and Johnson sells more hair care products for Blacks than any other company. Look for these two companies to run commercials and sponsor events during this month.

I don’t mean to put this in a negative light. I just like it better when purpose is clearly seen in what we are doing. I’m not opposed to educating the world on the contributions of Blacks in American history. I would just rather see it in the classrooms and accurately written in our history books instead of just dedicating a month to showcase a couple of folks.

Frederick Douglass once said, “America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”  This is a powerfully true statement. All the problems we face as a country come because we have not been true to our past nor true to our present. We categorically deny all charges of wrongdoing in the past. When has the American government admitted any wrongdoing? The treatment of minorities in this country is the worst. There is not a country that has been more deceitful. This has led to many of the problems we face as we worship the almighty dollar!

We cheat our future by lying in the present. Our government (I’m including the current and last presidents and congress over the last 12 years) has not been a good steward of our economy. There are too many lies and empty promises. The result of this is a dim future for our children.

So I wonder what the history books will say about this era? Twenty years from now will Black history month be celebrated by talking about President Obama’s contribution to the national debt or will Black history be a thing of the past by then.

Only time will tell.