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Charging The Paddles! Clear!
I write this morning as a reminder to self, that I’m sharing with others. I have spent quite sometime looking at the building process, with a particular focus on structures. What makes a structure strong? What makes a structure last? What could cause the most problems if it’s done incorrectly? Well…two things come to mind. 1. The ground upon which something is built 2. The foundation upon which everything else will rest. I have discovered that even if you build on good ground but the foundation is poor. There will always be trouble and the trouble can’t be fixed at any other level. The cracks can be hidden, the sagging floors can be shored up, but if the problem is in the foundation. You will always have a problem.
What goes in to the structural foundation of most buildings? Concrete, and the concrete is poured into a form of some sort. But before we even get to the pouring and the forming the concrete is made of a mixture. A mixture of sand, crushed stone or gravel, cement, air and water. These must be mixed in the proper portion in order to achieve the kind of concrete for the right foundation. Too much of one and not enough of the other will cause a weakness in the concrete, which will create a weakness in the foundation and it will be a source of problems and could lead to structural failure.
The problems in the structure may go unnoticed if you are only building a story or two. But if you are planning to build high and/or big there will certainly be problems. So here is one thing to know, the higher/bigger you build the more evident the problems in the foundation will become (. The issues with your foundation will grow in direct proportion to the size of your entity, company, ministry or relationships (whatever you are building).
The right mix of ingredients is important but the ingredients by themselves don’t make concrete. The ingredients put together in a container won’t make concrete. There are two other components that are important to this process. They are the mixing (shaking, stirring up, tumbling, turning) and time.
The makings of any good foundation requires the right mixture, stirring up that mixture and time.
Here’s one takeaway…If you are building something strong don’t get discouraged when the mix is not right, don’t get discouraged when the right mix has to be shaken/turned, don’t discouraged when the mixture has to be stirred over a period of time. This is so the right consistency (tightness/elemental bonding, uniformity) will take place. I want to remind you that all this just the process of getting it ready to pour into the right form.
Motivation One Moment At A Time
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There once was a farmer who awakened every day joyous about being a farmer. He loved everything about being a farmer. He loved raising chickens, pigs and cows. He loved growing crops. He loved everything about it. He loved the planting, he loved watching the seedlings grow, he loved the harvest time, he loved the rain and he even loved the droughts. He loved everything about being a farmer.
One day as he was passing the pig pen, he happened to notice that one of his pigs was significantly bigger than the others. So he separated this pig from the others and treated the pig as a pet. He took the pig and cleaned him up and put a leash on him. Wherever he went the pig went, when he ate the pig ate and whatever he ate the pig ate the same. While out in town one day he had a custom pearl collar made for his friend, his companion, his loyal pig. To him this was no ordinary pig this was his friend.
One day the pigs leash broke and the pig went running to the pig pen jumped the gate and splashed down in the mud, feces and slop. He couldn’t recall having ever seen the pig so happy, he suddenly realized that he had to leave the pig where he was the most at home. He then noticed the pearl collar that he bought for the pig was still on the neck of the pig and now it too is covered in mud, feces and slop. He began to fill silly for taking something of such great value and giving it to a pig. A pig who was neither equipped nor possessed the desire to appreciate something of such great value. A great gift that had come by way of the sacrifice of someone who wanted better for him/her.
To some, this story may seem funny but we do this all of the time. There are times in life we take the great pearls of our wisdom and experience and place them around the neck of a pigs. I know this seems harsh and judgemental but sometimes the truth can be that way because it has to be. I write this so that we will be careful and discerning of who we share our pearls (things of great value) with.
Here’s the takeaway…. you can easily recognize pigs in most cases. Pigs are the happiest when they are in the middle of, creating and neck-deep in mud (dirt) slop (anything messy) and feces. These are the people who are not just in it but when they don’t see it they will work to make everyplace they go a pig pen. All of us know people like this and I share this simply to say don’t cast the greatest things of value to you to someone who doesn’t have the slightest intent or inkling of hearing or accepting it.
You see whether you like it or not WE are all farmers in some sense. My question is this, how many pigs are wearing your pearls?
Motivation One Moment At A Time
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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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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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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.
I was considering this morning why so many people feel stressed. They feel especially stressed around this time of year. I believe a good amount of stress can be boiled down to the active use of the right word at the wrong time. I firmly believe the right word at the wrong time can cause stress for any one us. I believe that one word can be the source of stress more than any other if it’s used when it shouldn’t be. We have somehow inherently learned that NO is a dirty word. We feel guilty sometimes when we even consider saying it in certain situations (even when we know that we should).
We are, at our very basic level hopeful people. Most of us have a need to satisfy someone else at some place in time or another. We hate to disappoint people and we try to avoid it as much as possible. There is an invisible bridge of tension between two simple words. This is largely due to them being two different worlds, with one word opening the doors of possibility and the other shutting them. I really haven’t looked at in this light until now. (I am getting it even as I write this)
When we last spoke we talked about the concept of being territorial. There is a lot (portion, territory)in this life that belongs to you. You own it lock, stock and barrel. It very well may be similar to someone else’s lot but even with the similarity the uniqueness of it is that it’s yours.
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I write this note to serve as a reminder to some and as a warning to others. As you succeed in any field or arena of life, know that there are people who don’t want(and can’t) to see you succeed. As hard as it may be to hear, they may be people who are in your corner. The truth of the matter is that often times they are in your corner. Until… things start to happen for you. Please know that as things start to happen for you, doors open, opportunities come, there are people who you would think would be happy for you and their not and they’re behavior, attitude and even their words will let you know that they’re not.
Let me ask you this…How can someone who’s not happy with themselves, where they are, what they’re doing…Let me go deeper
How can anyone who’s dissatisfied (insecure) in his or her social, emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, intellectual space be happy for you when you are succeeding in yours? They can’t!
So stop looking around and wondering why people hate on you when you are doing what you should be doing. When you are taking possession of the territory that is yours. Know this one simple fact: IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY