Friday, November 30, 2012

Woman At The Well (Video)

WOman aT THe WEll

This is one of my favorite YouTube videos. It's a monologue from the Bible scene when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well who everyone judged, but Jesus.

Let It Go

LEt It Go

Why is it that we feel the need to hold on to that one person, thing or idea? Is this you? Do you have that one thing you cannot let go? When letting go seems like fate worse than death? For some it's that boyfriend only you can see as charming. For others, it's status or recognition of achievement. For others still, it's long held beliefs that have become ingrained in your very identity.

Ever heard the saying; "set in my ways"? "I just can't?" This is wrong headed thinking. This may very well be your comfort zone, but it overshadows and squeezes out any potential for new and exceptional things. By holding so tightly onto things in the past and present, we deprive ourselves of future blessings.
We grieve for those who have died, but then make life become death itself. We long to be treated special, even if it means enduring abuse and humiliation. We buy and hoard things to bring us happiness, though the very same 'stuff' clutters our lives and comes with at a hefty price.

I too am guilty at times; holding onto things I once cherished. I don't want to let go. I want to store it away in a glass box so I can admire it and take it out whenever I want to escape reality or rationalize the present. It's so much easier to blame the past for the present and blame the present for the future. It's much more convenient to hold rather than let go and face my demons.

Just because of some stupid person or incident, some are putting themselves down and not caring about present or the future. Why choose to remain a prisoner of hurt and pain? Why choose to live a facade to please others? Why hold onto what is bad and unhealthy for fear that you may not find something better in the future?

At the moment it may seem like it's the end of the world because you aren't  the person you wish you were or not having the person or life you wished you had, but better things always await. Time heals all things and tomorrow will come.

I really don't know if you care anymore but I know one thing, "if your past or present holds you back then it is by no means worth it". Whatever is standing in your way, it's time to Let.It.Go.

Chasing Trains

CHasing TRains

I had a dream last night. My daughter was the conductor of a train. It was one of the more modern one, like a subway. She had pulled the train in to pick up a wedding party. I was standing on the opposite platform as she left the train and ran over to greet me. As she gave me big hug, we watched in shock as the train rolled out of the station, leaving the wedding party behind...and my daughter. Apparently, she had failed to secure the brakes before exiting the train.

Next was the inevitable movie-like mad dash to catch up to the runaway train and regain command. We ran to the platform as another train pulled in and barely managed to jump on that one. Once safely on board, It finally gave me the opportunity to question her with my fatherly tone; "How could you let the train get away?". She replied embarrassed and apologetic: "I don't know. I thought I set the brakes". We rode the train and brainstormed as how to catch up with the one that got away.

That was the extent of the dream, but it so captured my daughters nature. She is the apple of my eye and more like me than any of my children, which to her credit, may not always be the best thing. She is outgoing, a prankster, takes risk and impulsive. It's the impulsiveness that always gets her into trouble and leaves me and her mother thinking of way to fix the situation.

This dream made me think; 'How many of you are chasing your train?' You sit on the platform in horror as it rumbles down the track and away from the platform. On board are your dreams, goals, opportunities and passions; your precious cargo, but not you. Does that sound familiar?

So often in life, we get caught caught up with life. The things we wanted to pursue and things we held dear, sometimes slip away while we unwittingly leave them unattended and neglected as we momentarily turn aside to something else. I think back and remember all the plans I once had. As I was busy creating a family, having fun, pursuing other interest, many of those treasured dreams pulled out of my station. 

Only difference between the dream and my life was that I never took off to chase the train.

How about you? How many hopes and dreams have or are pulling out of your station? It's not too late to give chase. You are alive! The sun has come up again today and it's a brand new day. Don't fret over yesterday; make your dreams a reality. I know you can do it!

Put your running shoes on ladies and catch that train!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happiness And Joy

HAppiness ANd JOy

As the Christmas season approaches, the words "happiness and joy" are more frequently being inserted into commercials, advertising and the songs of the holiday. That warm and cozy feeling washes over us as we dream of being happy and joyful; but is there a difference between the two?

Happiness: a state of well-being and contentment, a pleasurable or satisfying experience.

Joy: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, a source or cause of delight.

The  definitions at first glance seem so similar, but in reality, the meanings are huge! There are many things that can bring both happiness and joy, but one is fleeting and the other lasting. The late pastor and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Adrian Rogers once said:

"Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. Happiness depends upon outward experiences, but joy comes from within." - Adrian Rogers

Happiness is an emotion caused by outside influences or things that 'happen to' you, such as winning the lottery or getting a raise. Joy is an emotion caused by something that 'happens in' you, like a profound spiritual transformation or the birth of a child. Joy, unlike happiness is internal and eternal. Joy does not depend on outward experiences, so no outside source can take it away; it is a state of being.

Which do you want? Although I wish happy things for you, I pray that you will be filled with endless joy! You deserve joy; a feeling that transcends anything that is personally going on in  your current life. Find and focus on what brings you joy and pursue it vigorously. 

Accept things that make you happy, but pursue joy. God believes in you and so do I. Joy is your inherent right. Don't spend your life chasing things and people that will make you happy for but a moment. Make joy a priority and your life will be full. Start by seeking the spiritual, emotional, mental and not merely the physical.

Be strong, be blessed :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Change Is Coming

CHange IS COming

It's autumn in my neck of the woods. This means the weather is getting colder, the leaves on the trees are starting to turn that beautiful orange, yellow and brown, and the days seem longer. Although it happens every year like clockwork, it never ceases to amaze me. Seems I'm not alone either, for many have experienced that same awestruck wonder time and again.

The ironic part is that I have always viewed change as a scary thing; something to be avoided. I was taught from childhood to find "stability". We have many catch phrases here that express this very notion: "Don't rock the boat", "The grass is not always greener on the other side" or "better the devil you know than the devil you don't". All those sayings imply one thing; stay safe, don't change.

As life would have it, i'm forced to change yet again....and I don't like it! There are some who say, "change is good", but change can be scary also! All of the what-ifs and unknowns stalk me like lion tracking its prey. A part of me wants change, begs for change! We all want something better, but give me a ticket to the safe route please.

I have found out one thing though; change, whether planned or unplanned, will stretch you and make you grow. I think this is what nature intended. Just as the changing cycles of the seasons brings new life and new beginnings, so too, we must change. Could you ever imagine a baby, or anyone for that matter, staying exactly the same? How about looking at the exact same sunrise and sunset over and over? Get's pretty boring very quickly.  I imagine almost anything, no matter how wonderful, would lose its 'wonder' if it stayed the same and we beheld it day after day after day with no change.

So why fight the inevitable? Embrace the changes that come your  way! Like a caterpillar going into its cocoon to transform, so too must you continue to change and be transformed into an even more beautiful creature than you are. When life's rules change, you must change with it. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm still a little scared of the 'new' change, but I'm also getting excited thinking about the journey.

What changes in your life will begin your journey? Don't fight it so much. It's just a new beginning!.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Good To Be Alive

ITs GOod To BE ALive

It's late here; past midnight. As I sit here in the dark, except for the glow of the computer monitor, i watch my beautiful wife sleep. To be honest, it's bitter sweet. On the one hand I have everything a man could ask for: a loving wife, great kids who do well, a home and a few of life's enjoyable extras. On the other; I still have the unknown hanging over my head like specter, haunting me. I'm halfway in the hole and scared to fall all the way in, oftentimes paralyzing me.

But man it's good to be alive!

It wasn't too long ago I almost didn't make it with my heart condition. I'm still here and it's kind of hard for to take too many things for granted. I have in the past. Please don't make that mistake.Life is too short for you waste time chasing things that, in the scheme of things, don't really matter. How many great opportunities have you missed? What about the relationships you wished was better? How about the dream you hoped for but let fear hold you back? I know I'm sick of being afraid!

Life is like cool spring water being poured into your hand. All it's freshness has the nutrients to pour life into your soul, quench your thirst, cool your body and clean what's been dirtied. It also flows, just like life, and if you are not careful it will run through your fingers, carrying with it everything you desired from it.

There is a term in Latin: "carpe diem"; meaning, 'seize the day'. Don't let life pass you by! The things you can do today; don't put off until tomorrow. Give hugs and kisses when those whom you love are still around to receive it. Reach for your dreams and goals while you are still able to do so. You have nothing to lose but your fear. Let's lose our fears together.

It 'is good to be alive....but it's better to "LIVE" life!

As A Woman Thinks

AS A WOman THinks

Proverbs 23:7
For as she thinks in her heart, so is she.

What do ‘you’ think? What do you think about yourself? What do you think about deep inside your heart? Do you know that you help create your destiny by your thoughts? What a woman holds in her heart, or thinks, has a great effect upon her spiritually, mentally, and physically and will affect all areas of her life…YOUR LIFE! 

This proverb has unbelievably huge spiritual and universal implications. This wisdom of truth from God acts as a universal law. No matter what race, gender, social status, origin of birth or education level, it hits the mark every time!

Some call it the law of attraction. In 1937 Napoleon Hill wrote a book based on this principle called, “Think And Grow Rich”. It sold millions globally and is still selling today. Why? Because it works! 


That’s it in a nutshell. In its simplest form: You are what you think you are. It doesn’t matter if what you think you are is correct or incorrect, self labeled or something you believed from another. If you accept something as true in your thinking and act upon it, you will become what you are thinking about.

This is not random thoughts the Bible is talking about, but deep rooted thoughts that have set up home inside your heart. The thoughts that you guard with your very life. These are the thoughts you fight for and sometimes even die for. 

The most astounding thing is, it works for your good or bad, it has not prejudice. What is more amazing is; “YOU can control what you think deep in your heart!”

STOP! Letting your negative and wrong thinking continue to rule in your life and bring hardship upon you. We ALL could use change; if only to make things better. If  every time you think it may be possible, you let  your negative thoughts creep back in and steal your hope; or you believe that what you have now is all you can ever hope to obtain; or you tell yourself every excuse not to try or to stop hoping., you have to change your thinking!

Think about positive changes you want to see in your life. Do this daily and meditate on it. See this being lived out in your life. When you have it deep-rooted and self-fulfilling, go back and pick another positive. Try It and tell me what happens!

Overcoming Adversity

OVercoming ADversity

I know a few things about adversity and about going through, under it, around and over it. My life hasn't always been peaches and cream. I've had mt share of disappointments, tragedies and struggles. I remember when I lost my job and nearly lost everything! I felt like such a loser, especially with a wife and four kids looking for me to fix the situation.

As late as this year, adversity came knocking again. My wife lost her job at the beginning of the year. Happy New Year to us; 'Yeaaaa"..Not! For 8 months she searched to find work, until she landed a job nearby! Problem was, I soon had be checked into the hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Bye job. :(

So now I was sidelined again and still trying to figure out how to provide more for the family. Did i tell you that a month later my youngest daughter landing in the hospital for severe hydration caused by a failing gall bladder and pancreaticis? She spent 18 days in the hospital and missed a month out of school.

My wife's new job was understanding of situation that they let her work a couple of days at home, until they let her go because of her 'family issues'. I believe it had more to do with the fear of her getting the health benefits from the company that was due to kick in within that month.

How's that for adversity?!

We are hanging in there for now. We still have each other and faith in God. We are still alive and that gives us opportunity to keep striving to move forward. No one ever promised a great life with no bumps, so we have learned to count our blessing and roll with the punches.

Whatever you are facing in your own life: 'This too will pass". Be strong and courageous! If you stand strong and firm, you may bend, but not break. Concentrate on one day at a time and keep going forward. Ask for help if necessary and try asking God for a little help, even if you may not necessarily believe. Overcoming is one step at a time; it's a process. I promise; if you continue, things will get better.

Keep stepping.

Prince "Boaz" Charming

PRince "BOaz" CHarming

This is something I thought worth repeating. My daughter heard it from a speaker at Liberty University where she attends. 

Boaz was a man in the Book of Ruth; one of the books in the Bible. He may very well be the first 'Prince Charming". Ruth was young, beautiful and  graceful. She was also a foreigner to the nation of Israel and a widow. As an outsider with no man, no status and no man, she was pretty much out of luck. In those days, having a good man to provide for you was essential. (sorry ladies :) To be an outsider almost guaranteed a life of despair.

In short; Boaz takes a liking to Ruth in spite of the strikes against her. Boaz was a little older, wealthy and had a good standing in the community. He decides he would "redeem" Ruth as was the custom and marries her and they live happily ever after.

Now that you have the background, this was the speaker's message to the ladies:

“Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.” While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives: Broke-az, Lyin-az, Cheatin-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothingaz, Lazyaz and especially his third cousin Beatinyouaz. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz!

Hope You Enjoyed! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

When Life Falls Apart

WHen Life FAlls APart

What do you to when life goes off track? Lay down new tracks! Ever examine all those train tracks that where laid to guide trains along all over the world? Miles of tracks that direct the train to its next destination. Every so often we hear of a horrific incident when for some reason or another, the train jumps the tracks or the tracks fail to switch properly.

Your life is like a train: moving speedily to your next destination. On board are your hopes, dreams, desires, experiences, baggage and maybe even some uninvited stow-aways. Every so often, your train may jump the rail and go off track. In the midst of these calamities, it can be heard to get your bearings and get back on route.

You have options: Give up and quit or repair and lay down new tracks.

Life won't quit just because you are willing to, so why not repair and rebuild? I'm saying it's as easy as it sounds, but just like a train; if you continue moving forward, eventually you will arrive! 

Have you been hurt? Turn that hurt into determination. Suffered loss? Let the good memories motivate you to lay new tracks. Financial or job setbacks? Seize the opportunity to move in a new direction. Sometimes, the train were on was taking us to destinations we needn't go.

Whatever has knocked you off track, today is the day to get moving again! Pick a brand new destination and lay those tracks and get going! Hear the whistle blow and feel the wind on your face again as you begin to pick up steam for your next destination!

It's not the end, but a new beginning.

You Are Special

YOu ARe SPecial

I'm a man of faith, but my faith doesn't have to show me how special you are. I know there are many times you doubt what is special about you. Sometimes, through the up and downs, the bumps and bruises and the joy and pain of life, it's easy to feel insignificant.

I believe, no matter where you are, where you've been or what is coming your way, you are a priceless and exquisite masterpiece in this existence! You matter! 

You are you! Wonderfully and Awesomely created! No matter what you story is, there has never been, nor will there ever be another soul like you. Keep that in mind as you reflect on your life. The most sought after things in life are those which are the rarest. What can be more rare than a one-of-a-kind you?

I know some of you out there seem to have everything under control and think; "I don't need this, i'm fine!"
That may be...for now. I've lived long enough to know that 'every day won't be sunshine.' And when that beautiful day grows dark as the clouds roll in, don't listen to the negative voices in your head.

Yes, you are special and I want you to know it, feel it and embrace it. You have a beautiful mind and unique talents. It's the inside that makes you shine for this is the 'real you'. Everything else is simply window dressing. Don't hide behind the looks, clothes, career, car and houses. Material trappings can only cover up so much.  Let 'you' shine for the world to see! Believe in yourself and the fact that there are millions of people waiting to discover you!

Just remember; Unique = Priceless!