|Posted on October 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM||comments (2)|
The greatest miracle of your life may be closer than you think.
‘But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.’ (Exodus 14:29)
When they closed their eyes that night, there was a red sea in front of them, when they opened their eyes the next morning there was a dry highway in front of them.
Here was the most awesome thing...Through the midst of the red sea, not only can God bring you out but he will bring you out in such a way that you will never look like what you been in.
The three Hebrew children came out of the fire without the smell of smoke on them.
I don’t know what you may be facing today, but I firmly believe He’s got it all under control, and if you’ll just quit worrying, and complaining, and fretting, and start praising Him, He’s going to turn it around.
In addition, there are some enemies that you have been fighting that you are not going to have to fight anymore. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:30)
Paul and Silas were locked up in prison, beaten and bleeding, their feet bound, couldn’t go left, or right, couldn’t go forward or backward, but they knew a secret…God had it all under control, and God works the nightshift. God sent an earthquake, shook the doors off their hinges, and got the jailors entire household saved.
Don’t seek after people’s approval but rather seek the approval of God. Jesus was such a powerful and effective leader, yet sometimes rejected, because He did not focus on getting His approval for external mechanisms. His actions were not based on what Peter, James, and John thought. He did not come unglued when John the Baptist began to doubt Him. He didn’t care whether Caesar liked Him or not.
There will come a time in life when you will reach a decision where you know something is right. Your intelligence will be questioned and those with authority and power will try and make you feel inferior. You will learn of clicks, and circles, and games life can play. You will learn of hidden agendas and open conflicts. You won’t always be included in the in-crowd. Jesus knew this. He trained His staff to ‘Wipe the dust from their feet’ and keep moving. He went on further stating for them not to, ‘Cast their pearls before swine.’
Jesus was so aware of His own energy that once when a woman reached out and grabbed His clothing in the middle of a crowd, He turned around and asked, “Who touched me?” They were probably all astonished, since there were so many in the crowd that day. “Everybody’s touching you,” they thought. Jesus said, “No, I felt power go out from me.” He then turned and faced the woman and healed her. He literally felt her faith.
For every experience you encounter, you should see new dimensions of God’s glory. The bumps in the road and the unpleasant experiences are just training-wheels for your faith.
I am reminded of Paul. They tried to kill him and couldn’t. They beat him. He was shipwrecked more than once. Yet God had a plan and a purpose for Paul’s life.
When folk or plotting and planning, Jesus is up working the night shift. His approach to situations, circumstances and people, often runs counter to what you see today.
You have been given divine excellence. Don’t let anyone dim your light. No matter how many self-help and leadership books you read, no one, and I do mean no one, led quite the way Jesus did. He was able to add love, inspiration, motivation, empowerment and good will toward those He was teaching and serving, without ever being belittling, unkind, condescending, controlling, and chavanistic.
Each of us is required to become empowered leaders, but you must first decide what type of leader you want to become. My personal mission is to recognize, promote, and inspire excellence in others. When I am in an environment or culture that rejects my core mission, then I know I am in the wrong place.
I encourage you to heighten your awareness. Stay true to who you are. There may be some rejection, painful moments, loss and frustration along the way, but at least you did not sell yourself to the highest bidder.
God is in constant search of those who are willing to plant the fields that lead to a harvest, recognizing that we must all make personal, professional and spiritual decisions that lead to holy and fertile ground.
In the Master’s Grace,
|Posted on October 19, 2016 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
It's your responsibility not to keep going around the same mountain time and time again. Its time to stop rehearsing all of the things in life that brought you tears, sadness, devastation, disaster and defeat. I am not saying that it will be easy, but I am suggesting it will be worth it. It is time, high time, to stop pushing rewind and playing the same ole' song over and over again.
It's time to take new responsibility. With the eye of faith, you have been commanded to go and possess the land, and anything that God has said you can do...you can do. Any place God has said you can go...you can go. And anything God has said you can be...you can be.
You cannot get by on second-hand faith. The prayers of others will only take you so far. At some point you've got to get over yourself and get out of your own way so that what needs to happen, can happen.
The devil will whisper in your ear telling you that things won't change; that your spouse will never understand; that your children will always take you for granted; that the ideal job will never surface, that others will always take you for granted; that you will always be misunderstood, devalued, and unappreciated; that the problem has been going on for too long. He is an imposter and there can be no truth found in him. He is always on his job. The work of the enemy is to trip you up, sift you like wheat, and to knock you off course.
You have the victory, so why are you walking around in defeat? Don't use every precious moment to talk about a failed marriage, a lover that broke your heart, a boss that mishandled you, being a single parent, being single, a friend who betrayed you, depleted finances, a family member who doesn't like you, the job that downsized, the money that got away, the home lost, the car repossessed, the bad name someone called you and the ones who walked off and left you. You may find this hard to believe, but you are not the only one who has gone through things. I repeat, 'You are not the only one.' There are scores of individuals who are battling the same crisis, some far worse, so please, let's work on gathering a healthy perspective so that God can begin a new work in you.
You are not exempt from things happening, and with that said, please don't ever laugh or gloat in the misfortune of others. As sure as you are alive, eventually something will befall you. If you stick around long enough, your day is coming. And you are going to want and need grace, mercy, forgiveness and understanding along the way. We empathize and understand that pain is often associated with outcomes and choices, but to keep reliving things over and over again is unhealthy because it erodes away at your self-esteem without you even knowing it.
Your life balances on the hinges of sanity and insanity. You cannot afford the luxury of one negative thought. The knowledge of God, walking in the Spirit, and self-mastery are key.
The mind is delicate and must be guided with exquisite precision. Every now and then, cry out to God and let Him know that you totally depend on Him. He needs to know that your faith is complete and whole, and that you've grown to understand that neither family, friends, associates, co-workers, money, power, prestige or material possessions can do what God can.
I am believing God for you today. Take Him at His word to propel you higher and higher. In your work and play, make room for Him. Don't depend on yourself because if and when you do, you will fail every time.
The supernatural in your life cannot be released if you are holding on to pain and past disappointments. If you are still stuck and blaming others for your situations, circumstances, addictions and attitudes, it won't work. A pity-party is a lonely party because no one is there but you and the devil. Even if someone hurts you, it is still your responsibility to turn your face toward the SON so that He can bring you into His marvelous light.
Make today a sacred one. Make your journey extraordinary. Don't use this day hashing out old stuff. It won't move your life forward and it won't make a significant difference.
Simply take God at His word. According to Phil 4:13, you can do all things through Him that strengthens you. Don't give up. Keep pushing because 'He that began a good work in you will perform it.' 'Eyes have not seen nor ears heard' what the great God of heaven is going to do to you and through you.
If you can, just for today, call or visit a friend or a loved one, and with all of the strength you can muster, try not to dump on them with negativity or a whole bunch of problems. We much consciously chose to be change-agents, problem-solvers, and solution-oriented individuals. Grant it, we all need a sounding board or someone who acts as a voice-of-reason from time to time, but if we never grow in our faith, we actually are being unfair and abusive to the other person, over time.
Are we one another's keeper? Yes. Which is why we must hold each other accountable. At some point you are responsible for your mental health and well-being. And if you keep going back to a place that hurts you physically, mentally and emotionally, the desire would be to see you healed, yet others must be careful when they are drawn into a vicious cycle of repetitive madness. We must each decide if that is a ride we want to take.
Not to sound insensitive or cruel or inhumane, but you cannot drive your life forward if the gear is still in park. You cannot run to second base if you refuse to take your foot off first. Either you are going to forever cry over milk that has been spilled or you will pull out the cleaning supplies, clean up the mess as best you can, and keep moving.
Your story has not ended. Don't ever place a period where God may have placed a comma. Sometimes He's simply repositioning you, and all those trials that came along that you thought was going to take you out, were simply put in place to strengthen you for greater things to come.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus called it the Great Commandment—to love God with all we have and to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. But it’s not always that simple, is it? Some people are easy to see and to understand, easy to love. Some people invite our compassion and make us want to reach out. But what about:
• The family member who no one wants to be around.
• The person who only calls when they need money.
• The friend who talks negatively about everyone because of how her life turned out.
• The alcoholic sister.
• The drug addicted family members.
• The friend who always calls you with her family problems.
• Those who fail to raise their own children and use you to do it for them.
• Your mother when she’s being needy and demanding.
• Your father when he’s being stubborn and dictatorial.
• Your husband when he’s acting clueless.
• Your wife when she just won’t stop talking.
• Your children when they push you too far
• The guy on the corner, holding up a “will work for food” sign.
• The tattooed, pierced girl hanging out at the gas station.
• The student who beat up your kid at school.
• The man who cut you off while driving, and gave you the finger.
• The grumpy next door neighbor.
• The woman at church who dresses like a prostitute.
• The young man who stole your lawn mower.
• The rude clerk who forgets you are paying his salary by making a purchase.
Every encounter with another human being brings a test. And with some of them, the test is really a challenge. Will we choose to see this person as God does? As our neighbor? As someone to love? Can we really get it through our heads that God sees every person we encounter exactly the way He sees us?
Each one was created in the image of God and bears a divine spark within him or her. Each one is a sinner, just like you and me. Each one has been sinned against, just as you and I have, and bears the scars of that sin. Each one suffers and struggles in ways we probably don’t know.
And every single person you and I meet is someone Jesus died for. Someone God loves passionately. Someone He wants to provide with a future and a hope.
Can you get your mind around that? Can you manage to look that way at every single person you meet?
Probably not. I know I fail at it all the time.
Seeing people as God does becomes an uneasy choice when it comes to the people who make me uncomfortable. People who push my buttons. People who are tiresome. People who intimidate or hurt me. People I fear. I’m sure that’s true for you, too. So how do we learn to see those people as God sees them?
First, I’m convinced we won’t be able to manage it until we understand how God sees us. We can’t love others unless we know what it is to be loved. And we’re going to have a hard time seeing others unless we take it to heart that our heavenly Father takes notice of us and cares for us.
Second, I’m convinced we need to depend on the Holy Spirit within us to show us what we can’t easily see on our own. Our human empathy and understanding can only go so far. We need Christ within us to be able to see with God’s eyes.
And we won’t get it perfectly, of course—not here on earth. Just as we can only see God through a fog, we’ll always struggle to see other people clearly as well.
But every time we manage it, each time we shift our perspective to view another person the way God sees him or her, a little miracle happens.
Truth of the matter is we are all sometimes hard to love. We are fickle, moody, sometime-y, irrational, controlling, manipulative…and guess what, others have to figure out how to love us in spite of ourselves.
None of us have it all together 100% of the time. Families fall apart, marriages break up, relationships dissolve, and friendships are broken when we refuses to give the other person a little grace. We get sick and tired of being sick and tired, then we decide in our minds, no more.
Aren’t you glad God is not like us? He chases us down with his grace. He not only loves us, but he tolerates all of our jacked up ways. We know the wrath of God, but do we truly understand the love of God.
You and I are going to have to lighten up a bit if we are ever to get this love thing right. For as long as we live, we will encounter those who are hard to love. And the more we come to know them, we will find that the difficulty in loving them has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them.
Love them anyway.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for this day. I thank you for my being able to awake once again, to see, to hear, to taste, to smell, to touch this morning.
I'm blessed because you are a forgiving God and an understanding God. You have done so much for me and you continue to bless me.
Please forgive me every day for anything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you, and I ask now for your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.
Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from you. Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Let me continue to see sin through your eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive your forgiveness.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember the example of Jesus -- to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. It is the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.
Continue to use me to do your will. Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those who are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those who are misjudged, misguided and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don't know you intimately.
I pray for those who don't believe, and I thank you that you are in my heart and that I do believe and have true faith in you. I believe that you change people and you can change all things.
I pray for everyone’s household. I pray for peace, love, and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than you. Every battle is in your hands for you to fight.
Please pray for those who are in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, hospices, nursing homes, psychiatric wards, juvenile centers, jails, prisons, foster homes, group homes and shelters.
Help me to never discount or look down on anyone. Give me a spirit that looks for the good in everyone, even when it may be hard to find.
Help me to suspend all judgement.
I am not asking for a bigger house, a nicer car, lots of clothes or more money in the bank. I am asking for intimacy with you. Help me to always love people and to be genuinely concerned about what happens to them.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.
This is my prayer in Jesus’ sweet name.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
The story of my career actually began in the back of a Goodwill store on Jensen Drive in Houston, Texas. Half-price Sundays meant shopping for 10-cent books while my mother bought $1 shirts and $2 jeans for the family.
In the back near the musty dressing rooms and dusty glass candy dishes, run-over shoes and purses wreaking of disinfectant became my audience. There, more than 20 years ago, among the discarded remnants, a gallery of second-hand merchandise shaped my career as a speaker and author into the company that it is today, one that is built on the premise of hope, promise and a desire to want more and do better.
That pursuit of excellence is what prompted me to go into business. It was to be a means to an end, but has turned out to be my life’s calling. I knew I wanted to go back to college, but faced with family obligations and financial limitations, I was forced to choose between the better life I sought, or maintain the one that had become so familiar, so comfortable.
Leaving behind lucrative jobs in Corporate America, I went back to school and turned my 20 years of speaking engagements and keynote presentations into money for tuition and books.
"It was the hardest decision I've ever made," said Rasberry. "But that is what separates the willing from the risk-takers. Whether I sank or swam, it was up to me."
Within months of starting my company, I started receiving invitations to speak from around the world, and writing assignments for major corporations.
I truly believe what has set me apart from the pool of other speakers is my take on grace. I am a huge component of grace. My testimonies of struggles against low self-esteem, strength to leave toxic relationships and surviving some of life's most painful moments is the fuel that catapulted me to achieve. My honest, no-nonsense approach has propelled her into the boardrooms of companies such as Halliburton, United States Department of Interior and Anheuser Busch to college classrooms at Julliard, University of California and Notre Dame. Speaking engagements include international appearances in Johannesburg, South Africa, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Rome, Italy, Madrid, Spain, London, England and Paris, France.
I remember donning the red carpet at the White House and performing for President George W. Bush, Condelizza Rice, Rod Paige and Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The same people who laughed at me when I told them I was quitting Xerox to go back to school were the same ones who had to welcome me back when I was invited as the featured speaker for a board meeting," said Rasberry. "Sometimes, you have to be willing to face failure in order to make your dreams come true. You have to see yourself at the finish line even before you get there. You have to see yourself as successful, well-accomplished and highly-favored. Anything else just won’t do."
Today, I successfully operate a premier company that handles not only speaking engagements that cater to women and youth, but also adult concerns over relationships and business worries in an age of corporate scandal and downsizing.
Drawing on my experience as a worker in Corporate America, Rasberry has spoken at length on Employee Value, Business Communication Strategies and Diversity in the Workplace.
The breadth of knowledge also extends to the arena of education. I recognized early that there were scores of young people in America's schools who are not able to verbally articulate their ideas and who lack the basic fundamentals necessary that promote good speaking habits. I have taken on the challenge of teaching speech to students in public & private schools, colleges & universities, in addition to my national speaking engagements and student responsibilities.
It troubles me to know that there are students who have no hope for the future, or who can’t think beyond the right now. That tells me that as a nation, we aren't doing all we can to make sure that the American dream means something to the kids in urban, depressed areas.
The ability to connect with all people is paramount, regardless of environment or age, has made me one of the most sought after speakers among business, educational, social and non-profit groups. I don’t take that lightly. It has also enabled me to hold in high regard the sacrifices made by my family, the unpleasantness of life, those old glass candy dishes, shoes and purses that served as my audience when I was a young girl shopping with my mother at the old Goodwill Store, and the absolute beauty there is in struggle.
Struggle builds character. And every detour I had to take along the way helped me get From Jensen Drive to Pennsylvania Avenue."
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
The well-known statement, ‘ignorance is bliss,’ is not only deceiving but can produce unpleasant consequences. In fact, I don’t find anything blissful about ignorance. The stark truth is that ignorance is what is hurting and crippling us.
The facts of our changing society is concerning, and oftentimes disturbing. People have tried to ignore the philosophy and events that have been undermining our traditional values and morals, only to be rudely awakened to the fact that America is in a serious crisis. The very foundation upon which this nation was built is being rewritten, causing the future of children and the strength of America’s families to be threatened.
If America is to survive, we must be armed with information and go to battle daily to protect our freedoms, children, our heritage and our future. As Christians, we have not only the right to protect our beliefs, but a responsibility to take a stand for righteousness. The echoes of such teachings appear in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober,” and, along with these important verses, places the practical and effective ways of impacting your community and, ultimately, the nation. We must not remain ignorant of the issues. We must avail ourselves of the different sources of material for information and action and be alerted to what is happening and what can be done about it.
We are all called to be politically active, whether the action is simply going to the polls to vote on Election Day for candidates who reflect biblical principals, picketing an abortion clinic or running for public office. We must all go to battle for the very soul of our nation, keeping in mind Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
Somehow, someway, someday, we must get to a point where no one will be guilty of even thinking, “What can I do? I am only one person.” Elections are won and lost by one vote. Bills are passed and defeated and Supreme Court decisions are won or lost by one vote. Elected officials and justices are influenced by one letter.
Often, just one knowledgeable brave voice makes a difference. As times goes on, I realize more and more the importance of taking a stand for the things in which one believes. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, popular or unpopular, whether people like you or dislike you for the stand that you take, it is still imperative that you stand.
With more than twenty years on the speaking circuit and ten years of working in the media in both television and radio, having the where-with-all to step forward and not be afraid to tackle the controversial issues of our day as well as educate myself and the American public concerning the consequences of our decisions has made the difference.
There is a battle going on and we could lose it. But it is not as one-sided as you might imagine. I have learned that there are a lot of organizations that believe in traditional values. They are out there on the firing lines, too.
When I really research the issues, I realize that most of us are being inundated with misinformation - wrong, misleading half-truths. This, of course, can be worse then no information at all, because we then are used as pawns by self-interest groups and business enterprises, urging us to rally around some issue so that they can make a profit.
The word motivation is taken from the Latin word ‘motere,’ which means to take action. I do all of us an injustice if I do not write articles that will stir the pure mind, prick our conscious and cause us to take action. Therefore, I’ve consciously decided to steer away from writing fluffy, picture-perfect articles. It sounds good, but unfortunately, it distorts realism.
Life consists of so much more. It is a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly. Life consist of highs and lows, hills and valleys, smiles and tears, sunshine and rain, and it is our strength and tenacity of learning to deal with life’s good moments as well as its unpleasantries that make a difference.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
You’ve only got one minute to curtain call to scurry to the center of the stage to perform an award-winning number. Your spouse, children, in-laws, neighbors and critics are all watching. The tight-rope is positioned and all eyes are on you.
Everyone wants you to step on the tight-rope, balance yourself and begin walking from one side of the rope to the other. It seems to be a long stretch.
You know all the scriptures and you’ve memorized a few bible verses, but all of a sudden, it isn’t even applicable when you are on the tight-rope. Theory, practicality, and whatever else you once used to make life make sense to you is immediately thrown out of the window.
If you receive one more call from the school you are going to scream! The only logical answer is that the teacher is picking on your child, but when reality sets in; you admit to yourself that your son or daughter can even be a handful at home.
As much as you hate to admit it, your own mother is ill. It won’t be long before you’ll have to make some life-changing decisions. Mom is slipping, and slipping fast. Her health is deteriorating, and her mind, oh God, she is becoming more forgetful by the moment.
Your husband’s affair is no secret to you. The secret is for years he thought you didn’t know. The rest of the world is shocked, but it is only because they don’t live in your house. The handwriting has been on the wall for years, but because of so many other battles you had to fight, you chose not to exert your energy on this one. You are aware of who she is, how long it has been going on and where they meet. There are times when you inwardly chuckle at your own husband as he scrabbles to justify his whereabouts, explain the phone calls or create some wild scenario to explain inconsistencies in his behavior.
Your boss doesn’t realize just how close you are to giving her a piece of your mind. You are flirting with insanity and obviously to keep from going postal, you’ve been thinking of making a career move.
There are moments you want to scream, curse and shout. You are angry, disillusioned and sometimes sad.
A still small voice keeps reminding you that you are on the tight-rope. Careful, slow and easy is the only way to the other side. Concentrate. If you fall, it could be to your detriment.
Each of us is on a tight-rope, trying to balance life, trying to get safely from one side to the other. Every moment is crucial. Every turn, every gesture and every heartbeat will determine whether you can stay on the ropes or whether you tumble down.
Take a deep breath and balance yourself. Something tells me that you are going to make it to the other side.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
I’ll admit, the role of speaker is oftentimes a daunting responsibility. People confuse it with psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist, sociologist, counselor and minister. After each speaking engagement, I am normally flooded with calls, letters and e-mails that tend to go something like this:
• My daughter is on drugs and it has taken a toll on the entire family
• My son is in jail or prison
• I am a single parent
• I am a widow
• My son or daughter has admitted that he or she is gay or lesbian
• My aged parent needs additional help and is now living with me
• I just went through a very bitter divorce
• I am raising my grandchildren
• Bills are due and I don’t know where the money is going to come from
• My home is near foreclosure
• My car has been repossessed
• I am not in the best of health myself
• Someone I loved didn’t love me in return
• I am unhappy with my job
• Someone I knew recently died
As I listen attentively and try to respond positively, I cannot help but think that if the devil had his way, he would steal, kill and destroy. It appears that pressure is escalating on every hand and even with our best intentions and thought-out-plans, something is bound to happen. There have been times when it has taken everything out of me to hold back my own tears as others have tearfully poured out their heart and soul to me in confidence. So much hurt. So much pain. So much disappointment.
Most have become accustom to trouble though, therefore the question is no longer, “What is going to happen next?” but rather, “How long will I have to endure it when it does happen?” I have discovered that even if we knew how long, knowing still would not make the pain any easier to bear. It is something we say to appease favor and to make whatever it is we are encountering bearable at the moment.
I am reminded of the story of Job. Job was considered an upright man full of integrity, and even with his great moral fiber and character, he still had to weather severe storms in his life. He experienced financial ruin, the death of his children, his wife turning her back on him, and sickness. Even when we read and hear of Job’s restoration, we still don’t want to have to go through it ourselves. What stands out most concerning the story of Job is that none of these things happened to him because of something he did wrong. Perhaps it was done to test his faith. I don’t know. Even at that, pain is often hurtful and it tugs away at our very being.
The next time you go through something, and you know that it isn’t because of anything you’ve done wrong, why not consider it a ‘Have You Considered My Servant Job Moment,’ but instead of using Jobs’ name, replace it with your own.
It is easy to consider high profile people and their misfortunes and scandals. The television stations, radio programs and other media outlets aid in the excitement of our wanting to know what is going to happen next. As painful, hurtful, and excruciating as it may be, we tune in for the latest events.
I’ll admit, I too keep up with what the media has to say next concerning Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I also want to know what is going on with the Kardashians. I am fascinated by the lifestyle of Beyonce’ and Jay-Z. I am the first to watch DVD’s of T.D. Jakes, Pastor Ralph West and Pastor Terry Anderson. I love keeping up with the works of Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner, and I am A lover of books by Rick Warren, Max Lucado and Victor Hansen. I am all over the place at the same time.
Yes, I tune in to hear Juanita Bynum, Joyce Meyer and Paula White when I’m in a spiritual high, yet, in a matter of moments, I will flip the channel to BET to learn the latest developments in Denzel Washington’s marriage as well as to see who showed up with who at the Oscars. I want to know who’s sleeping with who on Grey’s Anatomy and I also want to know whether or not the kiss was real between American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and Hollywood Actor/Singer Jamie Foxx.
As inquisitive as I am, I still try and keep things in proper perspective. Misfortune, scandal, and disappointment has a way of teaching us that none of us are above reproach, and at any given moment, it could be you or I with our faces plastered across the news screen, sitting before a judge, or hiding out until the heat cools. Whether it is you being fired from public office or you losing a child to the streets, both can be and overwhelming, embarrassing and painful experience.
Sure, I can debate the issues and come up with criteria and resolutions to defend my own views. I can get caught up in what happened, how it happened as well as who it happened to. I can go a step further and debate whether or not the person deserved what happened to them or whether he or she was offered a raw deal. And all while I am wrapped up in the rapture, time is passing by, not only for them, but for me too. Is this to say that I am apathetic, insensitive or do not care about what goes on around me? Of course not. But it is to say that I’ve learned to find a healthy balance. I’ve learned to pick and choose carefully which battles I will fight for the day, as well as how I will go about fighting them. I’ve learned to ensure that despite what goes on around me, for my own personal sanity, I must stay grounded. Even if the bottom falls out, at the end of the day, I must be fit for myself to live with. Therefore, a great portion of my day is spent on my own self-improvement.
When I see and hear of public servants who have fallen from grace, just as when someone approaches me after and event to tell me something painful that is going on in their life, I whisper to myself, when I just can’t think of anything else to say, “there by the grace of God go I.”
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
When I was kid, money did not seem hard to get at all. I would easily find ways to earn money by babysitting or helping an elderly neighbor. I was a young speaker and always had offers from adults to speak at events. On top of this, my parents gave me and allowance and allowed me to work a summer job, providing I had good grades.
There were always reminders of how poor we were and what we lacked in the inner city. I never once believed in lack, despite what the media had to say.
My allowances along with my summer jobs were my first experiences handling money. It was all about having an inner picture of abundance and thinking in unlimited ways. Being open to the guidance that receiving money provides showed me avenues of attaining wealth.
Every time I find a coin on the ground, I stop. I pick it up. I put it into my pocket and say out loud, "Thank you, God, for this symbol of abundance." Every penny counts.
Try this the next time you see a coin in the street. Rather than step over it, and keep on walking, stop. See it for what it is. Picking it up and expressing gratitude will keep you in an abundant state of mind.
“Money isn’t everything,” as motivational speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud would say, “But it sure is a good down payment.” Money won’t rid you of all the demons in your life, but it can pay tuition for a child who wants to enter college. It can be a nest egg for retirement years. It will allow you to enjoy a special vacation. Most importantly, it can be the means by which you can help a friend or family member who may be going through a difficult time.
There are times when you may have to work more than one job to attain the things that you want. You may have to work at jobs that you don’t particularly like. It may mean working overtime and other sacrifices.
Whatever the case, we cannot succumb to mediocrity. Obtaining wealth is not for the weak at heart. In fact, if obtaining wealth was easy, we’d all be rich.
The bible states that money answereth all things. Interesting. On the other hand it states the love of money is the root of all evil. Finding a health balance and keeping things in the right perspective speaks volumes.
We won’t all be rich. Neither will we all be poor. But to make good use of what God has graciously given us is the ultimate way to say, ‘Thank you.’
Not only am I praying for your abundance and prosperity, but I am praying for mine too. When we have more, we can do more, and that is the bottom line.
In the Master's Grace,
|Posted on October 14, 2016 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
All I know is that it works for me.
Most people spend way too much time fretting and worrying over what others may say, think or feel. When it comes right down to it, we are all independent contractors as it relates to our relationship with God. Most of us came into this world by ourselves, and in all likelihood, we'll probably be taking a solo flight out of here.
Let people be who they are. It is not always our job to try and change them. That is God's business. All that matters is that we’ve come to know Jesus for ourselves, and we can attest to the fact He keeps bringing us out of trying times and hopeless situations. He keeps restoring us. He keeps blessing us. And He keeps giving us chance after chance after chance. We don't need anyone's permission to thank God for that.
Caring for others is a crucial part of a child of God’s makeup. Yet, we cannot lose ourselves in the process. The key is to encourage and motivate others to do for themselves as much as possible.
A healthy balance keeps us from tilting too far to the left or right. It keeps us centered and in His will.
Learning to say ‘No’ when it is needed doesn’t make you and me evil. In fact, it releases us from the notion to always say ‘Yes,’ when perhaps, we are feeling overwhelmed.
Replenish your spirit and your soul. Listen to your mind and body. They both will speak in powerful ways.
Self-Preservation is paramount. It is key.
The best way to be of service to someone else is to ensure you are taking good care of yourself. If not, you’ll burn out. Your soul will get tired. Your spirit will grow weary.
So love yourself and others enough to take care of you in the process. If you don’t, no one else will.
In the Master's Grace,