Fear, Faith and Favor

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Today I write this note to address a group of people in general and specifically. I write this morning to those who live with fear, for those who live in fear and to those who have multiple fears. Sometimes you can feel lonely because someone has told you/us that fear and faith can’t exist in the same body. This day I will beg to differ on this assertion. Fear and Faith can exist in the same body. The reality is that Fear and Faith can coexist in the heart and mind of any person. Faith is not defined as the absence of fear and fear is not defined as the absence of Faith.

The real question is which is bigger? Is your fear bigger than your Faith? Fear will cause you procrastinate to the point of paralysis. You see fear and Faith have statements that they make when they are lived out. You see the fearful (fear filled) will say because of. The Faithful (Faith filled) will say in spite of. What I want you to see in all this is that your sight or vision is enhanced or impeded by one or the other. Fear seeks to impede your vision to keep you from seeing what’s really working for you. Faith helps you to see it more clearly.

I write this simple note to you, that we all may know that fear is to stop you from seeing the Favor that’s working on your behalf. So here is a suggestion, when you feel fearful move forward in spite of. Here’s why… every step is moving you out of the territory of fear and moving you to the stronghold of Faith. With each step you move that much closer to seeing the picture correctly. It will be by your steps in Faith in spite of the fear that will move you closer to seeing the presence of Favor.

Here’s the takeaway…Favor is ever-present but you need more Faith than fear to see it. The Bible says ” The Just Shall Live By Faith”. So in essence it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s a choice to see Favor where you should be fearful. When your Faith is bigger than your fear, you can see Favor. When you have a bigger Faith than you fear, you can see God’s Favor in circumstances that seem unfavorable. Got Faith? Faith comes by hearing……….

Motivation One Moment At A Time

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The Life of Chivalry

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Is there still a need for chivalry?
I would say yes, there is still a need for men to be chivalrous. I know it may sound old-fashioned but, here is still a need for us to open doors, pull out chairs, to carry bags. There is still a need for us to walk closest to the traffic in public. There is still a need for us to be the provider and protector, the need still exist. If you ask me, I believe now more than ever before.
Chivalry is not about going thru the motions for appearances sake. Your chivalry can’t be a symbolic public gesture that’s not reinforced privately. Chivalry is the outward expression of thoughts and feelings expressed with simple gestures.
News Flash: To provide and protect is not about having the larger income, the biggest ego, the loudest voice, or having a physical and emotional presence of domination.
You see public chivalry is an extension of the private relationship. It says that I place you before me. It’s saying I will open doors to new opportunities for you. I will close doors to limit your exposure to unnecessary elements. I will stand on the outside so that any harm that comes to you has to go thru me first. I will lift and carry things regardless of the weight so it doesn’t burden you. I will pull out chairs and seat you first so you will know that I will work to make a place for your comfort first. Chivalry is deeper than it appears on the surface.
*Please note that Chivalry is the work of a gentlemen (better said a gentle man). Any guy can perform the outward or the surface activities, but only a gentle man will perform the private work.
Somehow we traded Chivalry for Rivalry. Keep Chivalry Alive!
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If You’re Going Thru

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This morning I was just thinking about something that I hear all the time. I often hear people say things like ” I’m going thru right now” ” You’ve got to go thru something to get to something”. I have decided that I like the latter part of the latter statement. I believe words have power. I believe words can shape and redefine our understanding of our current experiences. So today, I have decided that I’m no longer  using the term that I’m ” going thru” anything. I want to announce today that I’m “getting to” something.

 
I know it seems like a play on words but it’s not. See when I say I’m going thru it makes me look around at my current circumstances so I can get a real clear picture of where I am. I am simply suggesting that we change our focus so that we are not always “going thru” something but we are always “getting to” something.
I choose to think this way, because what I’m “getting to” will always be greater than what I’m “going thru”.

 
Here’s why, because what I’m getting to has me arriving at destination with the added benefit of having gone thru. See when I “get to” I will be better than I was when I was going thru. I’ll be stronger than I was when I was going thru. My praise will be different, my worship will be different, my walk will be different, my talk will be different, my faith will be different. I WILL BE DIFFERENT.

 
I choose to focus on “getting to” because It will help me feel better even when things aren’t better. Because I’m looking forward to the revelation of my experience.
I don’t know about you but from here on out. I’m not “going thru” something, I’m “getting to” something.

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The Break of Day

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Day Break

The dawning of a new day always brings new hope and good feelings. The new day is subject to mixed reviews. The new day symbolizes change. We should feel hopeful and be hope filled when we see the sun start to rise on a new day. While a time clock will tell us differently the rising of the sun is most often when we know a new day has begun.

I felt this way too, but I don’t anymore. I started to examine more closely the dawning of a new day. I began by examining the night before the new day. What I learned is this…When darkness falls, it is present until the light of the new day reveals itself. We understand clearly that when the light of new day arrives, it marks for us a new day but in reality, it is only a symbol of a new day. You see between 9pm and 11.59pm on the day before, it’s dark and we are ok with that since that is the cycle of the days. But something happens between 12:00am and 3:00am of the new day. It actually gets progressively darker during that period of time.

Here’s the takeaway, the darkest part of any night is the beginning of a new day. So don’t way until daybreak to celebrate,  learn to celebrate even at the darkest moment because the darkest point in our situation is the mark of a new day, it is the symbol that day light is on the way. The darkest point marks the beginning of something new, not the ultimate end. So don’t quit because its been dark for a while and you don’t see daylight. Know this, when things seem the darkest it is the beginning stages of the light breaking thru.

For dark nights will come, but remember that when the night is at

its darkest point it only looks like the experience of yesterday but the truth of the matter is a new day has come. The darkest point in the night is the sole possession of the new day.

Motivation One Moment At A Time

“weeping may endure for a night……….but joy

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A Father’s Heart

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As we rapidly approach Father’s Day I want to ask a simple question to the Fathers that we know and those in our lives. It’s a question that at some time in your life you should share with your children.

Question:

What’s the best thing you’ve learned in life that you want me (your child/children) to know and live out?

Please answer in the comments section of the blog and I will post responses.

Friendship (Redefined)

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Are you a friend or a trader? This is a personal question that I ask that we all may evaluate how we operate in relationship with the people we call friends. I ask are you a trader because what has been revealed to me as of late about friendship is the understanding that friendship is not based on reciprocity. It is not based on you do for me and I’ll do for you. Let’s say you are there for a friend in a time of need and then in your time of need they are nowhere to be found. Is that person your friend? My answer to this question just a few weeks ago would have been no. How could they be my friend and they didn’t even show up when I needed them to. What I understood about friendship says that when a friend needs you, you show up period. But I want to share what I’ve learned that was contrary to my information and understanding. Here is what I now understand, true friendship is not based on or in reciprocity… here’s another revelation…Friendship also means there will be times where I’ll be a better friend to you than you were/are to me. (I know these are two tough pills to swallow)

I have learned that in a lot of instances we have behaved more like traders (where exchange is the basis) than friends. You see, when I have an expectation of receiving something because I have done something for you. I have taken on the attitude of a trader. This trading involves gestures of friendship and the attitude is I will do for you what you do for me. This is not friendship it’s a trade. I will be there for you since you were there for me. But should a time arise when you don’t fulfill your side of the unspoken agreement. We are no longer friends and our friendship in its totality is called into question.

Here’s what I learned, Real friendship is a singular personal activity that involves another person or persons whom you care for and respect. Real friendship is deeper than a this for that arrangement or experience. True friendship will put the expectation of reciprocity to death.

Here’s the challenge… Never let the limitations of another person’s friendship affect your boundaries of friendship. Why? Here me clearly on this… We can only operate in our level of understanding and revelation we have at that moment in time. Please know that our level of understanding is the maximum potential of application. We can’t apply what we don’t know and we can’t effectively apply what we know until we understand it. No matter who it is they can only operate at the level of what that they know and understand.

Here’s what me must be willing to say to ourselves about ourselves as it relates to friendship. Who I am and how I function with this new understanding is deeper than what anyone does or does not do for me. You are my friend and my expression is in the core of who I am and I commit myself to never letting anyone alter or cause me to alter  my friendship based on their actions or inaction.

I even have proof of this (John 15:13) When Jesus says this he certainly mean that it’s a great love for a man to lay down his life. In this context life is made up of heart, mind and soul. The issue of our heart we lay down for a friend, the thoughts that we have we lay them down for a friend and it is thru this, that a great agape love is expressed. This is the truest expression of friendship. Jesus was a better friend to the disciples than they were to him. Sometimes, it takes our true friend to leave for understand. Thank you Min. Catherine Williams for this revelation.

Motivation One Moment At A Time

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Who’s The Culprit

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Over the years ehi logoI have taken in my fair share of movies and have watched a great many that focus on relationships. I have often heard a statement that people make when a relationship is coming to an end. It is often used as a means of getting out of a relationship by shifting the weight of responsibility onto one own self. This is a way to take false responsibility for the failing of the relationship. This is the tactic or the strategy of the person who wants out. No matter what the reason this statement is always hard to argue with whenever it’s used.

“It’s not You It’s Me” Have you ever heard this before? Has anyone ever said this to you before? Did you ever say this to someone else? “It’s not you It’s Me” Over that last few weeks I have begin to look at the power of this one statement as it pertains to so many areas of life. I know, the simplest approach to life is to a have every issue or problem be charged to someone else. This is the ultimate in conveniences. To essentially say it’s not Me it’s you. The source of my drama, my discomfort, my pain, my problems, my difficulties and all of my troubles boil down to YOU. “It’s not me It’s YOU” Wow!

The more and more I looked at this the more I uncovered that the former is truer than the latter. (It’s not you it’s Me) You see we can get some great understanding of self when we look at things this way. Because in life, it’s not what’s done to me it’s how I respond. It’s not the way you mistreat me, it’s the mistreatment I allow. It’s not the fact of you not valuing me; it’s me giving you that much power to be involved in my valuation of self in the first place. It’s not the love you don’t share or display; it’s me being secure in the love God has for me and the love I have for myself and being secure in those loves that’s essential.

(I know this is a bitter pill to swallow) There is some depth in this statement. It’s not You It’s ME. No matter how badly I want the blame to be on someone else the responsibility of what I do falls on me. It’s not you it’s me; don’t miss the liberating part of this statement. It does the one thing that’s impossible when you put the blame on someone else. It gives you the power to so say I Can and not I Can’t.  I have the power of I Can as it pertains to me. I can change the way I act, I can change the way I respond, I can change what I say, I can change the way I think, I can change what I am exposed to. I can change who I spend time with; I can change whatever it is about myself that challenges my growth. Yes I Can

Here’s the takeaway… When I shift the blame on someone else I am powerless to do anything about it but if I can accept that it’s not you it’s me. I am now empowered with knowledge of what I am accountable for and what I’m responsible to do.

Yeah It’s not you It’s ME

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“Something to See”

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The featured picture of the page is a picture of New Orleans. Let me ask…Do you think its post storm or pre storm? I know looking from this vantage point makes it hard to tell whether a storm has yet to arrive or if this is the aftermath. This picture was taken five years after the storm and from this picture you have no idea of the damage that was still present five years later. In other words, when we got on the ground it looked as if the storm had just passed thru in some areas. The damage was still there; the rebuild hadn’t started or never arrived.

Have you started your rebuild after your storm? Are you like the city of New Orleans that from a distance everything looks fine but there are some areas where the rebuild effort hasn’t started? Are you still focusing on the wreckage that was? What was lost in your storm? I ask these questions because the city of New Orleans is in constant pursuit of rebuilding and restoring, yes there are challenges in this but nevertheless they are moving forward with the rebuild. Your storm is no different. While the storm is raging you can only wait for it to pass. But when the storm is over start rebuilding. I know the storm has done damage, I know that there were some things lost in the storm; I know that rebuilding is not easy. But it’s necessary.

Here’s why…. From my vantage of this picture I can’t see, feel or be in touch with the rebuild effort or even see the damage but as I begin have a deeper experience within in the city it becomes easily evident of the lingering state of disrepair. You and I are no different; the more people have closer encounters with us they will know whether or not a rebuild effort has even started, completed or if it has even begun.

Here’s the takeaway…… when the storm is over start rebuilding. Don’t remain a wreck long after the storm has passed.

Motivation One Moment At A Time

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Time & Space

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I was inspired today to write about time and space as they pertain to life, love and relationships. I know that in the hustle and bustle of day to day living the importance of our time and space can get out of focus. We all have so much to do and so many places to go. This is true for almost everyone I know. I want to take a moment and return our focus to the subject of our time and our space. Have you ever had an event in your life that helped to bring time and space into focus for you? As the days roll on the calendar one of those days are on the way. You see, i’m doing a personal evaluation of how I spend my time and how I use my space. More importantly, who do I spend time with and who I allow in my space.

I must admit that I am focusing on one specific goal in particular. My goal in this is to become better relationally, but that first requires that I be aware of the opportunities and the significance of both concepts and how I function within them. They are bound together and I can’t separate myself from either. When I begin to look at time and space in the context of relationships the context changes everything. Shouldn’t the context of relationships change everything? Shouldn’t the time and space we share and partake of in relationships change how we look at time and space?

I mention all of this as I have to this point in my life (and I believe you have too) have been a part of some very special relationships. I wanted to do more than just think about these as a thought but I wanted to journal how awe struck I am that I get to share time and space with extraordinary people. I want you to understand me clearly, I don’t consider what people have gained or acquired in terms of material possessions to see them extraordinary people. I know that the culture that we live in today has a tendency to believe popularity, fame and money makes a person extraordinary and interesting. Sorry, I don’t and furthermore you shouldn’t either (I’m not telling you what to do but consider this a significant suggestion). When I think of the time, space and relationships. It is relationships that add quality to my time and space.

I write this as a reminder so we (you &me) won’t lose sight of what’s important. I understand that every relationship in your time and space is not a perfect one. I realize there is a part of the relationship you don’t control but there is a part that you do control. We should seek to do our best in the parts where we a have choice to do so. Why is this important? Because in every relationship where you spend time, and you share space, you have the opportunity to influence or be influenced, inspire or be inspired to love and/or be loved, to trust and/or be trusted, to forgive and/or be forgiven.

I say all that to say that you have a limited amount of time and the space you can occupy at one time is limited too. But within the time and space you’ve been given you can be an extraordinary and significant person in someone else’s time and space. So make certain that the time and space you share with people is something you don’t take for granted. Learn to see your relationships as the collateral that extraordinary people trade upon. You can do this by valuing their time and space that they spend with you.

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Maturity & Security

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The more I live the less I am surprised by the behavior of people. I often wonder what is the root cause to the behavior that people exhibit… Have you ever been puzzled by unprofessional and unethical behavior of individuals in the corporate environment? What about in social settings or relationships? Have you ever wondered why some people act the way they do?

If you find yourself sometimes wondering just what makes people do what they do or make them not do what they are supposed to do. I have two suggestions for you to consider. Most issues with people can almost be boiled down to their level of maturity and their level of security. We somehow have been led to believe that maturity should be attached to a person’s age. We expect a five year old to act like a five year old; we are shocked when fifty year old acts like a five year old. Why, because we believe that somewhere in a persons living they should have gotten by/over childhood issues and behaviors. We are far too often caught off guard by the immaturity of adults.

If we evaluate it at every turn I believe that we would find that connected to immaturity you will find the underlying driving force is insecurity. Somewhere there is a lack of self-awareness and confidence that warps an individual’s everyday living. To say it a different way, people have no assurance or confidence in who they are or what they should be doing. Let me pause and clearly state that “when someone has no confidence in who they are DRAMA will be attached. They carry this drama with them into every environment and every relationship. I say all of that to say this….  There is NO way to know who you are and what you are to do UNTIL you are secure in Whose you are.

You see, it’s knowing Whose you are that will make you secure and mature no matter where you are or who you are with. It is this clear understanding of Whose I am that grants me the security of not having to change based on my environment, it’s knowing Whose I am, that will let me be secure with your gift, your looks, your financial status, your marital status, your education, your home, your profession. It is knowing Whose I am that will shape the context in which I live and control my conduct because I can live Mature and Secure not because of who I try to be but because of Whose I am.

Here’s the takeaway…. you can’t expect to see maturity and security in any individual who has no idea of who they are. Furthermore, it’s impossible to know who you are if you don’t know or if you are confused about Whose you are. It’s KNOWING Whose I am that will make me live and act maturely and securely.

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