As I think about the Savage Race I participated in last week, the thought of motivation comes to mind. What is it that motivates you?? I've been working out on a fairly consistent basis for almost a year now. Honestly, I can admit that the only things that motivate me right now are results!! I see the results of my work and I feel better about my physical fitness than I ever have in my life.
Don't get me wrong, I am GRATEFUL for the motivation and encouragement that comes from my friends, Nicole Spears, K.D. Gipson, Dawn Lee, Crimesha Cutts-Blaise, Denise Prince-Ezell, and Charmaine Nicole Ward, but nothing motivates like positive results. Yet, I must admit that Nicole rivaled the motivation of results by name-calling the other day!! If only y'all could have seen what she called a brotha!! You can still see the burn mark on my pride!! LOL!! THANK YOU, HOMIES, FOR KEEPING YOUR FEET WHERE THEY NEED TO BE IN ORDER TO MOTIVATE MY SOMETIMES STUBBORN SELF!! LOL!!
I completed the Savage Race in roughly 2 hours and 9 minutes, which is better than I expected. Don't tell anybody but I was kinda skerrd during the few days leading up to the event. I was not sure that I'd even complete it. I was concerned about my blood sugar too. Not knowing what to expect, often messes with your head, especially before doing something you've never done before. I was intimidated!! That darn 2-paged, 100 initial blanked waiver didn't help either!! LOL!!
As the medal shows, I FINISHED!! Just finishing is result enough to motivate me to do it again in September, but a competitive heat this time. This time, I KNOW, I can finish in an hour and a half or less. That's the goal anyway. Now think back to you, your desired results, and where you want to be five months from now. If results are your best motivation, then what must you do to achieve those results?? WORK, right??! You can't have results without it!!
What we achieve by never trying is forfeit and failure!! This is not just in this age of physical fitness and beast modes. This applies to anything you set out to do in life. This includes school, career, parenting, your spiritual life (if you go that way), marriage, finances, etc.
I commend those friends I've mentioned and all else who have challenged themselves to do and be better!! I'M PROUD OF YOU ALL!!!
Not one of us is able to achieve ANYTHING by doing NOTHING!!
I'm just sayin.......
HAPPY HUMP DAY Y'ALL!!! I LOVE ALL Y'ALL, NO MATTER WHAT!!!
P.S. The next Savage Race is scheduled for September 27th.......hint, hint!!
Some of us have experienced some low points in life where we felt we were left with nothing. Some of us are there right now. There are two ways we experience nothing. The first way is WITH God! The second way is WITHOUT God!
With God, your nothingness seems to still have something. There is still light in your life, illuminating the potential and possibilities for you. There is still hope and this weird little bit of assurance that keeps your legs strong, although your heart feels faint. God is a CERTAINTY and we TRUST Him at His Word. We don't "believe" He will pull us through. We KNOW that He will deliver us! Steadfast Faith in the Almighty is what we have when we KNOW God!
Without God, there is darkness, a partial blindness that only allows us to see the magnitude of our circumstances. It's kinda like how Israel saw Goliath back in the day. An entire nation was ready to surrender itself at the fear of one dude, a big dude, but ONE friggin dude!! God was nowhere in their arsenal. For their fear was greater. Fear was their idol at the moment and they were ready to bow down and serve it. We do that from time to time, allow things like fear, uncertainty, and lack of knowledge to be our gods.
I've been called very optimistic more than several times, but what I have to be clear about is my Faith. I accept that I am optimistic and I know that I am. Often times, I believe we mistake the Faith of some for optimism and vice versa. In my mind, Faith is about CERTAINTY, while Optimism is about HOPE! Both are GOOD! I am not trying to down play either one. For Faith is a combination of both: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)." Optimism says, "Let's stay positive and hope for the best." Faith says, "It's a done deal and I will carry myself as though it's done!" Be optimistic, but be faithful in ALL things! For God is Faithful and keeps ALL His promises. In life, we need both, optimism and faith. Without them, we are sure to fall short and victim more often than not.
I am reminded of the time I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At the time I was admitted into Mobile Infirmary, my blood sugar was 996. That number meant nothing to me. I felt fine and did not expect to be there long. Later that night, in ICU, my doc came in to tell me I had Diabetes. I thought about it but it didn't bother me. In my mind, I figured I'd live fine with it. Even the letters "I", "C", & "U", together, found no registration in my brain. I was fine. It was a Saturday when I went in. By the following Tuesday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My optimism began to fail. I was talking to my cousin Derryl on the phone, and I broke down. I thought, "I have a DISEASE and there is no cure!! I HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!!" That was the ONLY time and moment I mourned the passing of my old life.
Faith stepped in, as I worked with my counselor and took classes on living with Diabetes. Over time I realized the severity of a blood sugar of 996, how some have gone into comas and passed away at sugar levels not as high as mine was on the 1st of December, 1990. I can attribute that to NO ONE but God!! When you realize such things, you KNOW God has got your back!! I recognized God at that point in my life and new that there is much more planned for me and that NOTHING is gonna end me unless God gives it HIS permission. Think about the situation prior the trials of Job.
The devil was bored and looking for some mess to get into. He actually had to get clearance from God before he could start picking with Job. Read it for yourselves in Job, chapter 1. This leads me back to James 1:2-8, that I used in my last post about "dross". If God sees fit to allow certain adversity into your life, then KNOW that HE will get you through it. JUST HAVE FAITH!! My Faith tells me that diabetes WILL NOT end me, nor any complications of it. "PUT ME IN COACH & GIVE ME THE BALL!!" is how we should approach trial and tribulation, KNOWING that we have that winning "3" in our hands, in our ability!!
Now take another gander at the picture I've used to illustrate this post. Imagine the size of the courage, the faith, the fire in the little man's heart, as he faces the giant, KNOWING that the victory is his. The giant is NOTHING compared to God. When fighting for God, with SOLID, UNBREAKABLE FAITH, victory comes naturally!! That giant is an over-sized defeat waiting to happen!!
As you face grand and great trials in your life, simply remember this verse:
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." - 1John 4:4 -
HAVE FAITH, MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS!! NOTHING OF OR IN THIS LIFE IS GREATER THAN THE CREATOR OF ALL LIFE!!
Definitions of "dross": "Waste matter; refuse; a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting; the scum formed on the surface of molten metals; worthless matter."
I was led to this thought while reading, what I believe to be, one of the most life affirming set of scriptures in the Bible, Psalm 119. Verse 119 says, "All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes." While gold is being "tested" by fired, the dross rises to the top and is eventually removed and trashed. In other words, the impurities are separated from what's good and pure.
Now imagine that we, mankind, are the gold of the earth. It is by trial and tribulation that our purity is tested. We often see the wicked with nicer and better things than us. We even find ourselves frustrated with being "the bigger person", being "good", and being obedient to God. Right?? As the corrupt and criminal rise to the top, think of them as the dross found in God's gold. Pure gold is what God wants of us once the fires of life die down and He is ready to take home is treasure.
The easy way is always appealing during tough trials and adversity. The faithless become the dross, for they trust in themselves to be their own saviors, seeking ill ways of quick gain. The faithful remain pure by maintaining and trusting in God, His promises, and His Word, Jesus Christ. So, please want NOT your name to be synonymous with "dross". Hold strong through your trials and KNOW that God WILL see you through and provide all that is NEEDED!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." - James 1:2-8 -
HAPPY HUMPDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
Give me your minds for a hot second. Have you ever seen evil in the eyes of another; a fury that seems unreal or supernatural in the eyes of someone? Imagine THAT evil in the eyes of your own children! Imagine humbling yourself before your children, emancipating them from all chores, housework and homework, taking on all those responsibilities yourself. They have nothing to do but go to school, come home, and be glued to whatever their fun is considered to be. They recognize NOT all that you do for them. They disrespect you as often as possible and even invite the angry mob in to verbally and physically abuse you, disrespect you and your property. Entitled is what they feel to all that you've given and all your sacrifices.
COULD YOUR HEART TAKE IT?? To be spit on, pissed on, and treated like garbage by the ones you love the most, the ones you have cherished from the days they were born, YOUR BABIES?? After you have lowered yourself to humble servant, leaving them with the simplest of responsibilities of just loving you, being with you, and living the easy life; the only thing they have to offer is hate, resentment, gossip, and all sorts of ill intent. WOW!! Would it not rip your heart to pieces, to the extent of wanting to simply give up?? Would you not just want to walk away, leave them, and let them have their destructive ways to themselves? Would you not want to move out and never tell them where you are going?
PAINFUL, right??!!! Now, how do you think God felt about putting all His power aside to come here and serve us, with our unwilling, rebellious, and trifling asses??!! THINK ABOUT IT!! To have the ultimate power of creating universes, yet lay it aside to live an example of love, compassion, and care for others. IMAGINE the restraint!! Imagine the agony Jesus had to feel as He simply walked the Word!!
This thought came to me, as I pondered Holy Week, beginning today with Palm Sunday. How many of us are gonna just follow the same ole rituals we have followed all our lives without TRULY putting forth thought or putting forth our hearts to understand the magnitude of what happened at this time, centuries ago. My heart cannot handle the thought of my children, who I'd die for, treating me as many of us treated our Savior back in the day, as walking refuse.
Think about your life, right now. Do you honestly feel worthy of someone's dying for you?? Truly, DO YOU THINK YOU ARE WORTH SOMEONE DYING FOR YOU??!! Then, respect this week as though someone did!! Respect your life, as though someone did!! Respect your family and friends, as though someone did!!
SING A NEW SONG TO THE LORD!! NOT A HYMN WE ALL KNOW!! NOT A SONG READ FROM A BOOK!! SING A NEW SONG TO WHICH ONLY YOUR HEART KNOWS THE WORDS!!
I remember walking down Lakeshore Parkway, in Birmingham, back in 1999. A car passed with a tag that read "Psalm96". Upon seeing it, I immediately stopped and sat on the ground, across from John Carroll High School, got out my Bible and read Psalm 96:
"1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness."
What would YOUR Psalm sound like? After reading that Psalm, I began to sing whatever words I felt in my heart for God, my God, my Savior, and ALL THE THINGS HE HAS DONE FOR ME IN THIS SHORT LIFE OF MINE!!
Think on THESE things in your own hearts this week as we approach Easter Sunday!
HAPPY SUNDAY Y'ALL!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!! BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED YOU, IN YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR FRIENDS, AND YOUR CHILDREN!! AMEN!! THANK YOU LORD FOR YOU!!!!
Bryan Hollomon Williams