Our lives are puzzles, designed by the Master, Creator of all things. Over time, we work on putting it all together. In too many cases, we've thrown away the box which holds the picture of who we are meant to be. We end up cramming in pieces that don't fit and don't belong, killing the entire harmony of the work. We find our lives out of order, full up pain, and disappointment. So let's dig that puzzle box out of the trash and set it back on the table as our main point of reference. That way, we'll know what the hell we are doing with this thing called life!!
Bottom Line: Understanding the Masterpiece leads to the Master's Peace.......
HAPPY MONDAY Y'ALL!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
When most of us hear the word "testimony", our minds go to either of two places: Church or Court. As I was reading the Book of Judges this afternoon, this scripture jumped out at me, Judges 2:10. It reads, "After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel." The question that branched out of this trunk of scripture is, "How can we expect our younger generation to do or be any better than us, if we are not sharing our testimonies, often and regularly. This goes so far beyond the performances we see at church or in the courtrooms. It boils down to us being open and clear with our children with the "why's" of what we teach and what we say. There is a reason for everything under the sun, and what we've experienced of this life thus far is not something to bottle up and bury. As parents, WE are the primary teachers and instructors of our children.
Imagine an entire generation lost because we kept our mouths shut about what their hearts and minds needed most.......
That's all I got right now.
HAPPY SUNDAY!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
How can I explain this conundrum of a mind of mine? Thanks to the more enhanced vocabulary of an awesome friend of mine, I might be able to illustrate this thing in my head that NEVER takes a break.
Imagine an internal combustion engine, with no exhaust system, enclosed in a steel ball. On the side, there is a tiny relief valve, labeled "catharsis." This is the only "viable option" that this engine has of finding respite from it's 24/7 working and working and working. This valve is not on a schedule or a timer, and only opens as it pleases. Even, I, the vehicle in which this engine travels, have no true control over the timing or functioning of this valve. Yet no matter how much heat the catharsis is able to pull off of the conundrum, the conundrum forever remains a conundrum.
What in the world did I just say?? LOL! I'm laughing at this because I see confused faces in my mind, reading this. It's okay! I promise it is. I often confuse the devil out of myself. Just follow me a little further.
All of us, every one, needs an outlet in our lives. We all need a way of escape from the stressors of and in our lives. Some of us use exercise, while others of us go fishing or something. Sports are often release levers for us. Whatever it is, we all need something, like Calgon, that takes us away to our own special places of relaxation. It's healthy! It's a must!
We all have to understand this of one another and be willing to allow our spouses, significant others, children, parents, friends and other family to have THEIR moments! It's a matter of respect, as well as love. We all want what's best for those we love, and this is part of it. Yes, there are some that take advantage of their "me" time to corrupt and pervert the whole process. This ruins relationships!
I'm just sayin.......
YES, I STILL LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!! CONTINUE ENJOYING THE BLESSING OF THIS DAY!!
They say, "Hindsight is 20/20." The present always seems to present the past with much clearer and sharper imagery, in ways that you see so much more detail than you did in the moments passed. One thing that I've learned over my short 37 years on this planet is that mistakes NEVER approach you as this: "Say blood, you better watch out for me! I'm a mistake!!" No, they rather approach you as viable options, during times of mental, emotional, financial, even physical instability. These are moments of weakness when the predators of failure, forfeit, confusion, selfishness, etc, come out to play and prey.
You know, the 20/20-ness of hindsight also shows me that mistakes are going to be made by us all throughout our lives. It's a part of being human. It's part of growing. The human factor is one of the most missed factors of life, by those who prefer to judge and criticize others. One who is humble enough to accept the human factor and spend more time looking into a mirror, rather than at others, will find that there is not much time to waste on the human factor in others. When I look at all the flaws within my own vessel, I see a LOT of work that still needs doing, in my own mind, heart, and life. Focusing in on the flaws of others means that I am neglecting something of myself that needs more immediate attention.
The happiness in life that God would like for us to seek and to have is LASTING happiness, and NOT the millions of moments of instant gratification that came and went with our last breath. By taking a thing that was meant for a second and trying to live a life by it, only leads to misery, heartache, resentment, disappointment, and all sorts of negative stuff that God NEVER meant for our hearts to endure. The majority of the trials we face in life are trials we, ourselves, opened our doors to. Spend some time thinking about it, and I'm sure you'll see.
Viable....................(and my thoughts run away).
HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
Your words are seeds that will take root wherever you spit them. They will either grow into something you can deal with or something you can't. Some words grow beautiful botanical gardens while others are the weeds covering vacant lots, the places where no one wants to be. Be mindful of the words you speak. For they will either build up, that which is around you, or they will destroy it all.
That thing you criticize so harshly could be treasure to another, another you consider to be a friend. This reminds me of a scripture, Psalm 55. Verses 12 to 14 pierce my heart as I think about a person being crushed by the ill spent words of one who is close: "If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers." I've seen people gossip and speak all kinds of ill behind the backs of those who don't deserve it. We've all heard it said, "If you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all!" Plain and simple, words are dangerous when misused. They devastate easily.
Words are seeds! What are you planting today? What have you BEEN planting over the last few weeks or months? The future holds all the answers. We will be reaping fruit, or we will be reaping feces, all dependent upon the words we plant today. I'm just saying.......It just hit me.......
HAPPY SATURDAY!! BE SAFE AND ENJOY YOUR WEEKENDS!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
Think about your birthday, your most recent one. Now think about the day you were actually born and all the years you've survived to make it to your most recent birthday. Does it not amaze you that you've made it this far in life? With all the drama and dangers in the world, YOU'RE STILL HERE!! Now, think about this. At the time of your birth, God already knew what you'd be doing today, at this very moment. Whether you are living out your dreams or still struggling to find your way, He knew this day, at the time you were born.
Follow me on this, if you can. Some believe, while many others don't. Guess what! That is perfectly fine! We are all still human and people, in need of love, understanding, grace, and mercy. Think back to God, the One Who knows you better than you know yourself. The fact that He knew all about your today and all the things that would occur in your life to ultimately bring you to your today, should drive some form of curiosity or desire to know this Almighty Creator a bit more. I'm just saying. As I have mentioned before, this is just one yellow man's opinion that he chooses to live as fact.
On any long journey, who would you trust the most, yourself or the one with the map? God has the map of every life under the sun and even that of the angels above. Why not spend a little time getting to know the Navigator? Why not pray a little more? Why not spend time with those who spend time with Him?
On the day you were born, God KNEW about your today and all it took to get you here. Why not ask, "God, what's next? How do I get there?"
HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL!! WE'VE ALL SURVIVED ANOTHER WEEK!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
This is a message about compromise. Everything we do is about relationship. Work, home, marriage, parenting, and partnerships all involve some form of relationship with another. We hear about how compromise is involved with relationships and how it is such a must for successful relationships. To an extent, I agree. I will attempt to be brief. In any type of relationship, NEVER is it good to compromise one's heart, soul, loves, or dreams! Plain and simple! It's okay to compromise when it comes to how the remote is controlled on different days or evenings. It's okay to compromise over how tasks are completed at work. It's okay to compromise on whether to use the extension cord, a switch, talking, timeout or an old faithful brown leather belt (that's probably still in your closet to this day, DAD!!) when it comes to how YOU choose to discipline YOUR kids.
BUT, when you compromise your heart, your soul, your loves, or your dreams, your heart begins to reside at 247 Harm's Way, Hellsville, Anystate! The traffic you find creeping by your heart on Harm's Way are old enemies, pulling drive-by's! Your heart, on Harm's Way, is constantly attacked by regret, resentment, and ridicule! Your heart, on Harm's Way, is in danger of falling victim to deception, envy, and jealousy! Your heart, on Harm's Way, is often raped by defeat and depression! Why does the caged bird sing? VERY good question! Is it a song of joy, or one of sorrow?? Hell, if I know!
At the times we compromise, this is what we think and feel, "I am strong enough! I can handle this!" Depending on what you've compromised and the value you've put into it, ALL your life prior to the negotiations, you are only strong enough for SO long; until your peace escapes you like air from a leaky tire. Your spirit becomes unsettled! Your mind becomes chaotic! Stress levels skyrocket! It's reality people! Your motivation dies and you find yourself at or over the edge of "don't give a flip." I've been there, done that, and it is NOT an okay place to be! It is damaging to your being and adds unnecessary baggage that follows or attempts to follow you into your brighter future. The pit of "don't give a flip" is DEEP and you never know that you've made it out, until you know. I'm sorry, but I can't tell you when that point is or what it looks like. When I am certain, I'll let you all know, and hopefully I'll be able to map it out for ya.
Hearts, Souls, Loves, and Dreams should NEVER be compromised. This is just one yellow man's opinion!
HAPPY THURSDAY!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY, I LOVE Y'ALL!!!!!!!
When getting down to the hearts of people, no matter who, you find a come request: "Give me me!" Simply put, let me be me. Try to understand that I am who I am. I am unlike anyone you will ever know. Though similarities may exist, I am one of a kind, by God's design. After every child is born, a mold is broken. Imagine the number of molds that God has destroyed over the time span of man's stewardship on earth.
Now, the world & our society would rather bury us deep under the debris of its deception. It needs to put us all into categories, classes, and castes. It doesn't want to put in the work of treating us according to our individual gifts, abilities, and callings. Some of us find ourselves so disconnected from who we truly are, striving to be what the world tells us to be, and never finding satisfaction or contentment with anything. Your hearts knows who you are. Do you??
Parents, we have got to be on point with helping our kids to realize their potential and understanding who they really are. Feed and fuel the flames that flare inside their hearts, so that anything that may come against them is consumed and turned to ash! God created us all to be SPECIFIC human beings, unlike any other. Think about it! Not even twins are the same, no matter how identical they may be!
Get to the heart of the matter!
I am who I am. The only me that I can be is the me that I am. So respect me as me. Love me as me. Treat me as me. GIVE ME ME!
I was just listening to Creed's "One Last Breath" and it made me think of today's young folk and the pressures they deal with on a regular basis; pressures that we didn't have to face as kids, not to today's extremes anyway. Teenage suicides are way out of hand, I feel, and I think that we, the parents, teachers, and adults are failing tremendously at preparing our youngsters for the reality of bad days, the reality of loss, the reality of failure, and the reality of evil for no reason! Such things, when we were kids, were simply to be expected and was a part of growing up and general living. Key word, "EXPECTED"!! What expectations are we setting for our youth, for them to feel that death is even an option of relief from life's curve balls, bumps, and bruises??
The song I mentioned above has a verse that says, "Hold me now. I'm six feet from the edge, and I'm thinkin, maybe six feet ain't so far down." This song came out after a time when I struggled to see a future for myself, and I got to a point where six feet didn't seem so far down at all. I became a fan of Creed after hearing their song, "My Own Prison," and I've loved their music ever since. Now, the verses that stand out to me in this particular song was, "I cry out to God, seeking only His decision! Gabrielle stands and confirms, I created my own prison." The prisons we find ourselves in, are all in our own minds. I had created a mental prison for myself, unable to see beyond my own hurt, upset, and disappointments. God has given us the freedom to be whoever it is we want to be. In such times, when we cry out to God, I imagine His "laying it plain" response being, "Get your mind right!"
I stress "thinking" to my children so much, and that they should NEVER allow anything to prevent them from progress and finding solutions. "There is ALWAYS a way!", I say to them. We cannot allow our children's minds to be content with inadequate knowledge. We've seen, done, and been through so much by now that our kids should be learning, PRIMARILY, from us, all the ins and outs of life. When someone begins to accept that "six feet ain't so far down," it's because they've reached a barrier, a wall that they can't see themselves beyond. We MUST be in tune enough with our children to see, sense, and feel this. Letting it work itself out, is NO LONGER and option with today's youth.
I hear about youth who have taken their own lives and how "nobody saw it coming"! I refuse to believe it! I just REFUSE to!! After the fact, I'm sure no one close to the person wants to admit they noticed something, yet chose not to do anything. There was a time, when I ignored the look of "done" on the face of a co-worker. I knew something was not right and he was hurting, but I felt it wasn't my business. So, I kept it moving. The next day, he didn't show for work and we got notification from a friend of his that he had taken his own life. To this day, I still vividly see his face on that last day. WE MUST BE PROACTIVE in reaching the kids we KNOW to be hurting or struggling or suffering.
Our kids have to know that death is TOO FINAL!! We've gotta get it out of their bag of options, when they hit those brick walls. We can certainly see over the walls, so let's tell them what we see, and tell them OFTEN!! THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING!! We don't get to see it all the time, but it's ALWAYS there!! We've got to encourage our kids to speak up about anything going on in their little hearts and minds, at school and in the neighborhood, and even at home. They HAVE to feel safe when talking about things. It's tough at times, I know. I, myself, am working to improve my ability to make my kids feel comfortable talking to me about anything. It's a different day and a much different world, and I'm sorry "Old School" but we've got some changes to make ourselves in this modern parenting game. IJS.......
Death is way too final for us NOT to be pouring as much life as possible into our kids!!
HAPPY MONDAY TO YOU ALL!!! SPEAK LIFE ON THIS DAY AND ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIVES!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
P.S. Creed got me through a LOT!!
She called me down, unexpected, and out of the blue. I hit the road on the long journey, but by the time I arrived, she had already gone. She left me with her love, her compassion, her grace, and her mercy. She left me her place, at the head of her table. As family and friends began to gather around, I invited them all to have a seat. There was anger, confusion, sadness, and questions from all directions. I calmly passed along her words, her advice, I begged them to heed, as I disbursed her lessons, her grace, her instruction, and her love. Her, through me, they began to see.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams