So, I intended to use the phrase "Go for the Gusto" in a different manner this morning, but before using certain words and phrases, I often research them first to be sure I have a clear understanding before setting myself up to sound like an idiot or fool, as so many do these days, through social media. "Gusto" basically means taste. To "go for the gusto" is to go for the taste or enjoyment of a thing. After seeing this, I think using this phrase now works much better than my initial intent. Most of us use the phrase as in saying "all in" which derives from the usage of "go for the gusto" to say "go for the gold" as it was used during the 1976 Olympics. That's just one take on it.
Most addictions start with a mere taste. This applies to food, drink, drugs, sex, power, evil and even material success. This overall thought came about early this morning, as I played Bid Whist Plus on my phone. I had a potentially awesome hand. I only needed a couple of cards to make it a beast. So I bid high to gain the kitty, but the kitty let me down. So, I lost the hand, the game, and $10K in fake money. I often find myself in that place, over and over, wanting the kitty to have what I need and allowing myself to believe that she has it every time, only to fall short and suffer yet another loss. Some of us are the same way about various things. What's your "gusto"? Now, in real life, I am not so careless with money and valuables. Looking at society these days, sex is gusto for many, as well as hate (white on black, black on white, black on black who like white, white on white who like black, etc.). I mean, does it not seem that in the past year or two, hate has become more prevalent in action than in thought? Hate hit the poker table in 2016 in ways this country has not seen since the sixties, SO MANY unsuspected racists went "all in."
But, I digress. If there is anything any of us should go all in on, it's Love. The source, the tap, the conduit to this Love is Jesus Christ! He is my "Gusto"!! He is the Taste for which I keep going back. He is the Gold for which I keep striving. The Gusto of Jesus is a healthy addiction, unlike drugs, alcohol, sex and hate. He does not corrupt souls and spirits. He sustains them. There is no major loss, in going for the Gusto in Jesus Christ. Yet, you may shed some unneeded and unnecessary things. Faith in the kitties of hate, drugs, sex, drink, and any other form of evil behavior will always lead to loss: loss of health, loss of relationships, loss of teeth, and eventually loss of life (physical & spiritual).
If there is an ear for this one, let it hear.......
As I got myself together this morning, I examined the many scars left on my legs, arms, abdomen, upper buttocks, and thickness of the skin on my fingertips. Infusion site after infusion site, finger prick after finger prick, my relationship with diabetes is written all over my body. Then, my mind began conjuring this post, calling forth something that may mean something to someone some day. My body is SO tired of diabetes! We, Type 1 Diabetes having blessings in disguise, make this stuff look easy, but we are scarred and calloused in more ways than one. No, I am not crying out for sympathy or "bless his heart". Think about your body. It tires from work, exertion, exercise, etc. But, how's your drive. How's your determination? Mine says, "Bryan will LIVE with this thing called 'Sugar' and live well!" What does yours tell you?
I think we often apply physical fatigue to our spirit and our determination. Drive and determination are ever-rolling, ever-fueled vehicles. They have a brake pedal and a gas pedal, like any other automobile. How they run is totally on you. Do you brake at the sight of every distraction? Are you braking a lot because you have a habit of making wrong turns? I hope what I am about to say encourages you all to never lose your fires for life, for love, for success, for peace, for happiness, for God.
Are you average? Do you settle for mediocrity? Do you settle for the norms of society and the stereotypes it has created for everyone under the sun? Are you content with being hood, ghetto, trailer trash, hypocrites, hateful, racist, democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, Catholic, Baptist, Non-Denominational, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian? Is God ANY of these things? Have you forgotten that we are ALL made in his image and likeness and set above all these things? All these categories, just named, are man made. God has called us to be NOTHING but HIS!! In being His, we are to behave as He has behaved toward us. He expressed His Love and Will to us through Jesus Christ. In doing so, He simply said, "Here I am! Follow Me!"
Our bodies will tire. Our bodies will be scarred, bruised, and even broken along The Way. Yet, our WILLS should ever be restless, full of energy, and propelling us even when our legs tire. There is a certain power that can only come from God, and through intimate relationship with Him. On this highway of life, when your car breaks down and you begin to walk because you refuse to stop, God will be your eternal Uber. He WILL see you through! He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do you know Him??
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
I began writing about this woman of mine in the early stages of us. If one took time to read through my blog, beginning in January of 2014, he/she will find my heart pouring out its love for this awesome and amazing gift from God. One would see the relief and redemption my soul finds in her. I am very expressive of my feelings at times, and ones with the right eyes and ears can easily learn so much about my life, my trials and much more through reading what I write. I am truly blessed to be able to call this astonishing treasure, my wife.
We go through life, often wanting and seeking something like something else. We want relationships like this or that. We want marriages like his and hers. So forth and so on, we go about life wanting "like" things. What if I told you that you were like no other? What if I told you that it is impossible for you to have the "like" things you seek and desire, and be happy? You'd probably think I'm crazy right? Well, think about it. If you are like no other, then why seek and strive to be like or to have like others. If you are truly like no other, would it not make sense to accept that anything you have or anything that you are meant to be and have will be like no other? The only way to know what is truly meant for you is to consult the Maker of you heart. God has very specific, unique, and customized plans for each and every one of us. So, to want anything not meant for you, according to God's will, is to limit His ability to work marvelous things into your life.
In my post titled, "Does The Fork Ever Come Back.......?", the question of second chances was addressed. In our case, this was a fourth chance for me. This woman who I met at Bugsy's after the Xavier/Dillard game on January 28, 1995 still had sway in my chest. My heart has ALWAYS been at home with her. Given my history of haste when it comes to relationships and marriages, and my full acknowledgement of that, we took it slow, flying under the radar for over a year before introducing the monkeys to the mix. Yet, my heart could not contain it's love for this woman, and this fantastic thing between us. So, I wrote many posts throughout 2014, alluding to us, but in ways "we" could not be proven in a court of law, so to say,
As we grew deeper and deeper; stronger and stronger, I began to realize that God intended this. For it is unlike ANYTHING I've ever had or experienced. This Love can only come from God! Realizing what we have now, I know for a fact that every "I love you" spoken prior to Crimesha was hollow and without ground. I knew not what I was doing or saying. I've learned a new language with her that only she and I know, can speak, and understand. I am her and she is me. THIS is what God intends for each of us, if we allow HIM to do the work and leading, and guiding. Too often, we go into relationships, wanting to be like folks we know, like what we see on television or in movies, like what people say and accept, or like the things society encourages and promotes. Why not take a chance with God? Let Him show you your "like no other". All it takes is a heart and spirit, tuned into and obedient to His. Our meant relationships are not much different from our DNA. They are very distinguished and cannot be cloned. What God's Will is for you is yours, and yours only. No one else can have it. I am grateful that I have finally met this level of spiritual maturity and that I finally listened to my heart and the whispers God placed there. I am grateful that the fork in the road came back. I now have something like nothing I've ever had. I treasure it. I cherish it. I thank God for it.
This woman right here.......
I stand before God and see that I am shorter than the sole of his shoe, unable to reach the leather or the lace. I compare myself to God and realize I am nothing, as I struggle to see His entirety. I look high and pan wide. He spans the universe and encompasses Heaven. I humble myself and accept the fact and truth, that I am simply the six before the seven.
On Saturday night, thanks to our Mother, Crimesha and I were able to experience and enjoy an evening at The Velvet Note, where we had our very first official date night over four years ago. The performing band was a group of young men out of Canada, called "B's Bees." They were accompanied by Delfeayo Marsalis. His name speaks for itself. The show was GREAT and we loved every bit of it. Some of the music reminded us of our times in New Orleans, while in college at Xavier University. We don't get out a whole lot to enjoy such things, so we are ever grateful to "Ma" for this awesome gift.
As we watched, I took turns focusing in on each instrument and the player of it. First the Bass and Bassist; one hand high, pressing and sliding up and down. The second hand was down low, plucking and picking feverishly. The face of the Bassist was focused, eyes closed, grimacing here and there, as though desperate to bring the best out of this wood and string combination. My eyes shifted to the Guitar and Guitarist. Again, two hands doing two different things at the same time. This time, the look on the face along with the posture was more seductive and sexual. With eyes closed, his hands moved as a husband's who's blindly touching and testing the curves and contours of his wife's body, calling forth the sweetest sounds from this thing of wood and string.
Now, to the Piano and Pianist. Two hands with fingers, shifting from side to side, pressing, stroking, and tapping keys of black and white alike. His head down with eyes closed, as he tickled his instrument which in turn touched our ears in a calming, captivating way. Also, there was the Trombone and its Trombonist. Words cannot explain what this gifted man did with his brass. With his eyes closed, it was as if he were seeing with a spirit in tune with his music maker. Back and forth, the slide slid; note after note; not one fell sour. Finally, there were the Drums and the Drummer, "B", the leader of the band. His eyes remained open, watching each player, leading them with his beat. He controlled the tempo, and by his count all others obeyed. Fast, then slow, then fast again, two hands that may as well have been detached and doing as they pleased. Eyes could not follow.
Each member of this band, drew the best out of their diverse, dissimilar instruments. Focused on and drawing from their individual gifts, while following the beat of the leader, great music was made for ALL to enjoy, love, and respect. The Leader brought this group together and simply said, "Follow me."
AMERICA!! We are off beat, out of tune, and making a musical mockery of the band our Leader has called us to be. If only we will call on His name and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from Heaven and heal our band!! Soak your ribs in that!
Those who have ears, let them hear!!
"Woke" is the past tense of "wake", simply put. My kids hate it when I am in "lecture mode", "critique mode", or "correction mode" but guess what? I care not! If I, Crimesha, G-Mama, Cathy, Buddy, and Grandaddy don't do it, then who will?? Now, as I was working earlier today, I decided to listen to a playlist I probably have not listened to in over four years. The song, by Skillet, attached to this post hit me today and I began to think about the multitudes saying and shouting "stay woke" all over the place. Now, some may be offended by what follows but sometimes what I have to say and share stings.
I have a very hard time seeing and saying, "stay woke." Grammatically, it just doesn't work for me. Words and how we used them are powerful. Let me tell you all how important grammar has been to me in my life. Many of you know I worked at Footlocker while in high school. I met many people through this job, some of whom are still great friends to me today. Anyway, my co-worker (Victor Goode) gave this chick my phone number without me knowing. She had come into the store a couple times inquiring about me. So, she calls me one evening, tells me who she was. I remembered. She went on to say, "I'm instrested in you." I hung up the phone. Yes, I'm THAT anal when it comes to communication and conversation. I've NEVER been a fan of meaningless conversation or talk.
Eloquence can often open doors to opportunities you'd like to have offered to you. It is a sad reality, but I've known people to be passed over for greatness because bossman/bosswoman didn't like the way he/she "talked." So, we run rampant with a semantically incorrect statement, making it the "new thing" to say or hashtag with crumbs of knowledge you should have known and been practicing when you were teens, if not earlier. Now, according to your chosen use of our language, you're in a perpetual state of waking, meaning you're still taking time to sleep. Now, consider the fact that there are those in positions to advance you in life, but are highly offended by poor use, better yet, LAZY use of the English language.
Another thing about "woke" we need to be reminded of is that it's PAST tense. Can we get to a state of "I am" that does not revert to the past? Now, God "woke" me on August 21, 1998. Since then, I've been AWAKE and haven't slept at all. "Woke" is no longer a part of my being. So, forgive me if I can't bring myself to support what makes no sense to me. I'm not perfect, but I do know that faddish and capricious bandwagons are not for me. If I chose to do anything for me or for my family, it's what I choose as an individual. I implore everyone at all times to intentionally seek knowledge and education beyond the classroom FOR YOURSELVES!! Just because something strikes a nerve does not make it bad, untrue, or unworthy of your attention or effort to understand. Look deeper. For in the depths is where Truth can be found. It's not in the fire, flood, wind, or earthquake. It's somewhere sitting silently and minding its own business, wondering when we ALL will come see about Him.
I stay awake. I do so by seeking knowledge, education, and truth beyond the bashing banter of buffoonish bandwagon straphangers.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
How many of you have yet to grasp the True message found in the story of David and Goliath? This is such a power-packed story, I struggle to keep my thoughts and words in order as I type. Goliath was a huge, battle-tested, Philistine approved, enemy crusher. The entire Israelite army was stagnant with fear. Why? Because of what they SAW! Forfeit is often inspired by our very own eyes. The Israelite army had TOTALLY forgotten Whose they were. So, along comes this little shepherd boy and joke of a soldier, David. He questions as to why they are all standing around, just taking the insults of this heathen. Baffled by Israel's forgetfulness, David decides he'll go out and face this giant, with Saul's (THE KING'S) permission.
He went out without any armor, just with his sling and a few "smooth stones". Now this is where we must be able to get hold of the power. Considering Goliath and his reputation, do you seriously think a pebble alone could kill him. I am sure a warrior of such record has already been hit with things much more harmful than a pebble. I am sure he's taken cuts and stabs throughout his career in the Philistine army. Shucks, he might have even taken a brick or two. One of the main keys to the message is how David approached this battle: "David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.'"
The Name of God is probably the most powerful thing you will ever know and have access to. Moses asked God Almighty, back in Exodus, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?' 'God said to Moses, 'I Am who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’” How does this relate to David? Well I have heard many interpretations of this scripture concerning God's Name. They include, "I AM, THAT I AM; I AM; I AM BECOMING; I AM THAT I BECOME; and I BECOME." Now, considering these along with my own personal study, life experience, and witnessed miracles, God is ALL things to me! God, Yahweh, Jehovah, however one chooses to call upon Him, is my Provision, my Protection, my Portion, my Victory, and Defeat of all my/His enemies and adversity! This is exactly what He was to David in this story. God is ALL He needs to be for us. For, HE SIMPLY IS!!
Now, another message in David's story is this. No matter who you are, how insignificant you may feel your skills, talents, and gifts are when standing amongst the great army, God CAN and WILL use them to HIS glory!! Throughout history, God has proven Himself to be the THE GOD of all, over and over, in using the least to nothing to defeat the most and greatest. When you have opportunities, refresh your knowledge of the stories of Joseph, Moses, David, Gideon, and many others. Not one of us can exist without God. Not one victory, success, or accomplishment can we have without God first allowing it to be. It is what it is! He is Who He is! EVERYTHING WE WILL EVER NEED!!
Those who have ears, let the hear.......
I'm shackled to a stone, a black stone. My stone is not too heavy for me to drag, carry, or throw over my shoulder. So, I walk my path of life. Parallel to my path are the paths of others, carrying stones of varying colors; white, red, brown, yellow, and like mine, black. We all appear to be headed in the same direction, the right direction. Every now and then, we have to stop and rest, putting our stones beneath to sit upon. There is even great conversation and laughter among us. Yet, there are few that are contentious with stone bias.
We journey for many days with some relationships becoming stronger while others become even more quarrelsome. Eventually, we reach a common end to our paths. We stand at the edge of a short cliff, overlooking a vast and beautiful ocean. A little ways out, our Savior Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God Jehovah, stands as a Figure of Light upon a boat. He calls out to us to join Him. Hastily, the contentious ones rush to the edge and jump, in effort to be the first. With stones attached, they sink to the bottom and drown. The rest of us reach into our pockets to find keys we had along. We release ourselves from our shackles, dive in and swim out to our Savior, whose being matches none of the stones we once bore.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Mr. World? Can you hear me? Can you open your eyes? Good. Well, I'm Dr. Lexeme, your new doctor. Dr. Utterance has retired and turned your case over to me. I just want to go over your charts with you to be sure I'm up to speed. You've been in hospice, ever since you contracted death, in Eden. Wow, you've outlasted many doctors over the years, and may even be around long after I'm retired and gone. Okay, let's get into what's happening with your body. I know, I know, you've heard it over and over for centuries, but it's required by law that I, as your new doc, go over the details of your condition. I just need to be clear on my understanding.
It looks like you've been receiving love since the beginning, in pills, shots, suppositories, liquid, and dermal patches. Yet your condition only worsens with time. I do see that you've consistently refused your wisdom shots. Now, your white blood cell count is low, yet they have been running rampant throughout the body destroying everything they can. Your bones are working overtime to produce more and more red blood cells to keep up, all while growing weaker and more brittle. Simply put, all of what makes you what you are is fighting against itself and destroying itself. Your current and chronic condition is the result. All I can do is care for you as you wither away.
I know all of this, you've heard before. I, being who I am, can only continue providing the love and care you need while you still live. Now, considering the fact that there are still a few organs that are in very good condition, once you've passed on, we will definitely be harvesting those and giving them new bodies to benefit.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams