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 freedom, Grief, Happiness, Progress, Uncategorized

Suffering with midsummer depression…

Everyone seems to be enjoying the beautiful summer weather but you. The idea of taking in the sights and getting some sun or taking a trip or even going to get ice cream just doesn’t seem appealing to you.

You begin avoiding people because they keep asking you what’s wrong. You stay in bed, don’t shave, lessen communication with your usual circle of friends and there is no desire to eat. Or you actually could be eating a lot or sleeping a lot — the point is you have no balance, you are living on the extremes.

Nothing hurts at least that can be measured. You either have a broken heart or a shaky mind.

Clearly you are depressed.

Seasons can actually do that to you. The year is not going like you think it should. There are ongoing problems that tend to be getting out of hand. You’re in a bad relationship and it’s wearing you down or just life itself is getting too difficult.

During this time it feels like this is only happening to you. The silence in your life is more like a fog that is coming to make you sad. It’s chasing you and making it difficult for you to escape.

Here are the top 5 things you need to force yourself to do when you are depressed.

1) You need a confidant who doesn’t solve problems for you, they just listen and support you. They get you out of the house for a break and keep you connected to the non-depressed world. You’re living on the depressed side. This person can be trusted and you know they have your best interest at heart.

2) You have to exercise…everyday. you need to break a sweat to release some of that negative energy and help balance your hormones. You need exercise to help you with step 3 as well, so pick something that will tire you out.

3) You need sleep. Find the right amount based on your age. If your magic number is 8 hours then make sure that’s all you get. Not 5 or 6 hours and not 10 to 12 hours. Eight is your number.

4) Drink half your body weight in water and try to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. It would be great to cancel added sugars in your diet for 10 days. You want to stay hydrated and not have anything that gives you highs and lows.

5) Eat healthy. Plant-based whole foods are best. If you can, only eat meat once a day. So you might have fruit and oatmeal for breakfast. A huge salad for lunch that includes seeds, nuts, fruit, lots of green leaves with carrots and olives. Your snacks for the day would be granola, fruit and trail mix. Then dinner could be a vegetable, sweet potato or brown rice and your meat of choice. But whatever you do, don’t eat after 9pm or 3 hours before bed.

Need any additional support contact me.

Posted in Accepted, Confidence, Determination, Forgiveness, Happiness, Mind Power, Perseverance, Progress, Relationships, Self, Success, Taking Responsibility

The psychology of disappointment

So you had an expectation of something — that’s how it starts. Then you feel that you deserve that expectations fulfillment. Excitement follows. Expectation grows and an adrenaline rush ensues.

Then suddenly something unexpected, uncontrollable or undeserving happens and all you were left with is disappointment.

Disappointment is hard to swallow. It doesn’t go down easy. It causes heartaches.

Chasing disappointment is anger. Anger allows the feeling of disappointment to linger. The greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment. You can experience periods of sadness, depression and resentment.

It’s as if disappointment laughs at you. It calls out to you saying, “who told you to have expectations?” Disappointment burns.

To protect ourselves we need to stop having expectations for anyone but ourselves. The likelihood of you letting down yourself should be less.

Do yourself a favor and don’t desire something to a level that leads to greater expectation and possible disappointment. Your emotional orientation takes a hard hit everytime you do.

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 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!

image

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.

image

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.

image

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 Accepted, Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Discipleship, Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Progress, Self, Success, Truth

Happy birthday to me

image

Today I turn 49 years old. It is hard to believe that when I was 16 years old I did not think I would make it to age 30. It was because there were gangs in Detroit and Black males between the ages of 18 and 34 were killing each other or going to jail.

So, I made it…and some. I have learned so much between the ages of 16 and 32 and now 32 to 49 I believe that I have arrived in a few areas and I would like to share.

image

First, I am thoroughly convinced that I am overall a good person and I love me unconditionally. I make mistakes, I am flawed, I still carry a level of inmaturity and I’m OK with all of that. I love being me and I would not trade that for the world.

Second, I do not have or own anything that I am not willing to part with. Understand what I am saying, all material things serve as my enjoyment, but I can give them up in a heartbeat. Furthermore, my “status” in life does not define me. I am a pastor, author, business owner, psychotherapist and family man and if it all ended today it would be well with my soul. The reason is because I understand that all of these things came with an expiration date. If my bible study is correct, my real treasure is in heaven.

image

The last thing I will share is that I am most proud of this truth: I am my own man. I am free to do as I please and I chose to serve Jesus the Christ. I understand that whatever I set my mind to do, I can do it. I am not loyal to any earthly group and my belief and ideas are not shared or pressured with a common interest. I am a driver. I make things happen and I fix things. I have many items available to help in my tool belt and I am an agent of change. I am a healer.

So as I celebrate the day of my birth, I thank all who thought to give me a shout or post something on social media. I am praying for continued growth, health and strength but most importantly that I can always live with the person I see in the mirror. Thank you God that I am not a sellout and I understand that I have been purchased already and my soul is not for sale. More on this in 364 days!

Posted in Achievement, Books, Career, Faith, Fear, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Prayer, Progress, Religion, Truth

Finally

image

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.