Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just A Thought May 21, 2009

"Blessed are the ears that hear the pulse of the divine whisperer, and give no heed to the many whisperings of the world."

I had a talk with a minister from my former church last night and for what seemed like the hundredth time in the past 4 months, my greatest fears were confirmed. I have been called into ministry. I am compelled to speak, driven to write, dying to sing, yearning to dance and its all for the glory of God. For the past three days I've had no voice really. As I thought long and hard about why I'd lost my voice, I came to conclusion that there must be something that God wants me to hear and since I wouldn't shut up on my own, He had to do it for me. Well, what I heard was no different than what I've been hearing. Only this time, I'm really listening. I'd be lying if I said that I am not afraid. I feel as though I'm being set up. When I think of ministry, I don't think of people like me. I think of people that inspire greatness. I think of people that have much and do much with it. What is it that I'm supposed to say? And who in the world wants to hear it? While I pray daily for the answers to these questions, more than that I pray that the Lord is pleased with my response.

"Theology, not morality, is the first business on the church`s agenda of reform, and the church, not society, is the first target of divine criticism."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just A Thought December 19, 2008

"Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?"

I have had more jobs than the average person will have in their entire lifetime. This is something that some would say I should be embarrassed about, but I am not. I have had the opportunity to explore many different fields and be paid for the training I received. Each job afforded me with an in depth look at the ins and outs of each industry. As someone who is passionate about so many things, I find it hard to stay in places that require me to pigeon-hole my talent or interests. I enjoy being able to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I find that often times we miss the opportunity in life to indulge in what makes us happy. We've been conditioned to believe that we "must" attend college or that we must "choose" a profession and then stay on that path. I encourage you to abandon that way of thinking. The only thing we "must" do is find our passion. You will often times find that God has gifted you in a way that complements your passion. Dedicate your life to living out that which fuels you. You will find then that you never "work" another day in your life.

"Chase your passion, not your pension."

Just A Thought December 18, 2008

“Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.”

I had an interesting discussion with a good friend of mine about welfare. He didn't understand how someone who has benefited from social programs can be so adamantly opposed to expanding them. (You know the rule about not commenting on that of which I do not know........:-) I began to explain that the problem is not with having social programs in place, but with the TYPE of social programs being expanded. The idea of welfare was initially to give people a "hand up." But years of low expectations have turned it into a "hand out." Welfare ought to aid people in becoming self sufficient, not enable them to live like everyone else without doing any of the labor. Think about it people, this is why we oppose socialism! I work in the social service industry and I see first hand how people learn to "work" the system. Who can blame them? Why get up and go to work when there are people who will pay your rent and all of your utilities without requiring you to do anything more than provide your personal information and sign on the line? I understand that life sometimes deals us a losing hand, but even then we have an opportunity to turn it around. I have a dear friend that survived Hurricane Katrina. He lost his father during that ordeal and his family was torn apart. However, 3 years later he and his wife are living in Texas raising two beautiful and healthy children. By all accounts they have succeeded in triumphing over tragedy. THAT my friends is what welfare ought to do..................assist people in stepping up to the level they've worked so hard to reach.

“I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.”

(This thought in no way implies that my friend is or ever was a welfare recipient. )LOL

Just A Thought December 17, 2008

"Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.

I have a tendency to measure my relationships against those of my past and those of others. This is a terrible thing, as I have been in some pretty awful relationships. Add that to the fact that other people tend to look alot better off than they really are and you can see my dilemma. I am at a point now where the best relationship I have ever had is slowly deteriorating before my very eyes. I know how to stop this from happening but I am afraid that I can't. From day one I've been waiting for the point where the relationship proves itself to be just like all the others, and finally it has come. I realize that its ME. We have a tendency to refuse to let a new relationship be just that, A NEW RELATIONSHIP. This is a person who has been down the road we've been down, but not WITH us. They may have experienced the same hurts we have, or perpetrated the same wrongs as our exes, but that was BEFORE us. Instead of creating new memories to replace the old, we choose to relive our past through our present. This is only okay if we want to end up alone. If we keep looking for misery, confusion, dishonesty, and heartbreak, we will eventually find it. That you can bet on.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."

Just A Thought December 16, 2008

“Fighting is essentially a masculine idea; a woman's weapon is her tongue."

I have a tendency to become embroiled in some of the most heated discussions. It is not something that I do intentionally. It sort of just "happens." It's like, I can't help but tell people what I think. I have a rule that I do not comment on that which I do not know, but rarely does a situation arise in which that the case. (I promise I am not lying :-) What I have found though, is that being right is not always winning. I mean, theoretically you may win, but at what cost. Having people feel as though they'd just "rather not" whenever you come around can be a little daunting. Sure, people will acknowledge and admire your intellect, but at the end of the day who really wants to go head to head with a "know it all?" People enjoy conversation in which they can play an active role. This means that sometimes it's okay just to listen to what someone else thinks and to not have the last word. Even though you really are right! :-)

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win."

Just A Thought December 15, 2008

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."

I had a very interesting discussion with a good friend of mine this morning about the reality of eternity. As I was reading my Bible this morning I began to wonder about why it is that everyone won't make it to Heaven. The preacher makes it sound so simple. The only thing that will keep us out of heaven is our choice NOT to live right. Is it really that simple though? God calls and qualifies us for our rightful places in His will. Throughout the entire Bible are examples of sinners being chosen to carry out a divine work. Could it be that there are some people in this world that are destined to lead others to Heaven although they won't be going themselves? My friend's mother suggested that Heaven would be for all that God chooses but WE will not know the chosen until we've arrived. I can dig that but it doesn't diminish the "what if" factor. What if I'm not one of His chosen? Will I look back at my life and be satisfied by how I have lived? Or am I only living this way because of where I am trying to go? One thing I know for sure is that there'd better be room for more than just 144,000 of us.................or alot of us are in trouble.

"Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult."

Just A Thought December 14, 2008

"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."

Sometimes its just not our fault. I get that. But what about when it is? One thing I honestly cannot stand is when a person refuses to accept responsibility for something that has taken place............that is THEIR FAULT. Shifting blame is not only unattractive, but a sign of immaturity. Its mentally draining to be around someone that blames everyone and everything else for all their problems. I know how easy it can be to chalk your lack of progress up to "the man." He seems to be responsible for holding generations of folk back. As a matter of fact, I think he is only second to Satan. We blame so much on the devil that I am sure from time to time he has to pause and say, "Now that was NOT me!" There will come a day when we will be called to speak on the life we've lived and "it wasn't my fault" won't be good enough. There are things that will happen that will be beyond our control, but those things pale in comparison to the circumstances and events we have the power to avoid and/or change.

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

Just A Thought December 13, 2008

"I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was 'the man goes on top and the woman underneath.' For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds. "

How is it that such a natural activity is the absolute hardest thing to explain to our children? My daughter is nine years old, and I don't know whether or not to have the talk with her about the "birds and bees." In this day and age our children are learning the ropes whether we teach them or not, but I don't want to throw her in the midst of a world she has no idea even exists. My biggest fear is that I'll take my mother's approach and end up with her result: ME (Oh Lord.......that would NOT be pretty). The way I see it, there is a fine line between what she's gonna do and what I want her to do. I want to teach her that sex is an evil evil deed that will only destroy her life. But I know that all it takes is one opportunity with a cute boy to throw that tale out the window. If I tell her the "real deal" I am afraid that she will be curious and anxious and go running into some lil boy's arms. Either way it goes............I'm doomed.

"Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble."

Just A Thought December 12, 2008

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."

I used to complain alot (right now people that know me are dropping their jaws in awe thinking "used to?"). But it's true. I used to complain about everything. That changed one day when I was reading the book of Romans. The verse said that the "wages of sin is death." This means that every day God allows me to open my eyes to see another day, he has already given me more than I deserve. That fact is enough to stop you right in the midst of a complaint. Does this mean that there is nothing to complain about? LOL No not at all. Any one of us can easily find something to be unhappy about. What I am saying is that there SHOULDN'T be anything to complain about. For everything you find to fuss about, I guarantee you that there is someone out there who is managing to make it without that very thing. Think about it: that gout in your left foot (yep, somebody is making it by without a left foot), those kids that get on your last nerve (somebody is begging and pleading EVERY night that He would just bless them with ONE child), that raggedy car that you are sick of driving ( the person at the bus stop would probably be glad to switch with you). My point is that every now and again, life can hit us hard. It is in these times that we must remind ourselves of all that is right in our lives. If that ever gets too hard for you to do, stop and take a deep breath, and begin RIGHT THERE.

"When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place"

Just A Thought December 10, 2008

"If you don't make a total commitment to whatever you're doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on."

I realized this morning that I may have a few "commitment issues." I believe in my heart that I want to be in a committed relationship, but then when I get what I want, I feel smothered and head for the hills. I thought that this was only something that men do (Go figure!), but it's not. The funny thing is, the more I talk to other women, the more I find out how common these feelings are. What is it about getting what you want that's so scary? For me its the "what if" factor. What if I get played? What if this ain't "the one?" What if I miss out on "the one" while I am in this relationship? All those thoughts run through my mind and prohibit me from being as happy as I could be. What I realize now is that I am in control of these thoughts, which ultimately means that I am in control of my happiness. I cannot afford to expend my precious energy worrying about what might be occurring somewhere I am not. I have before me an opportunity to finally have my little piece of heaven..............what am I gonna do with it?

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Just A Thought December 9, 2008

"Most people tend to think the best of those who are blessed with beauty; we have difficulty imagining that physical perfection can conceal twisted emotions or a damaged mind."

About a two weeks ago I discovered makeup. I mean I REALLY discovered makeup!!! I am like a whole new woman..........on the outside. Bronzer, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, concealer and more. But after packing all that crap on my face, I feel burdened down. Funny huh? I mean...........people approach me and tell me how beautiful it looks and all I can think about is how I feel about it. I feel as though I am fooling everybody but myself. I still am the same sick, twisted, sordid individual with the same thoughts. The makeup doesn't change that. A friend and I just had this conversation the other night actually. I told her that I prefer to go without makeup because I want folks (men) to see exactly what they get. That's why so many folk (men) end up disappointed now. To use her terminology, they meet our "representatives," and fall in love with them, only to end up with us! Serves you right, if you ask me. Beauty is deeper than the surface. It's not your "look" as much as it is your attitude. As beautiful as people tell me I am, I see my true ugliness when I look in the mirror. I hear it every time I think and there's nothing makeup can do to change that. That's a God size problem.

"Beauty itself soon fades, and when a woman has beauty and nothing else, well, it's like putting all the goods in the shop window, isn't it? And the moment she loses her good looks--poor creature! what is she? Just a mere bit of faded finery to be thrown aside."

Just A Thought December 8, 2008

"Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back."

I had a really honest conversation with a good friend last night and I must say that it felt good to hear what she really thought of me. I couldn't help but wonder if others felt the same way, and if so, why hadn't they said so? Whatever the case, it was truly time for a little self examination. The funny thing is, she highlighted some things that I have been wrestling with for quite some time that I thought were oblivious to others. That's when it hit me: Good friends tune in even when we've tuned out. And it is in these times that it takes the rod of a friend to get us back in line. Solomon said it best "iron sharpeneth iron." So today I am thankful for all the true friends I have that love me enough to tell me that I need to do better. Because they are I am.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"

Just A Thought December 7, 2008

"Most of us spend six days of each week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure."

Friday night some friends of mine invited me out to enjoy some live music. This is not unusual, as I have recently grown fond of watching live musicians perform. I got a call informing me that there would be some people from my church there and suddenly I was uncomfortable. What I couldn't figure out is why. I have never been one to hide anything about me, but for some reason the idea of seeing the people I worship with in a "club" atmosphere was unsettling. This has really been eating at me for all the wrong reasons. I have heard my Pastor say so many times that we have to be careful in our walk to not be a hindrance to anyone else. I guess I get confused at that part. I don't ever want anyone to see me at church and be confused. You know how it is, folk act like saved folks can't party. Well that ain't me, but I do feel forced to choose. I suppose that I agree to a certain extent that people in positions of leadership ought to be an example. What I have trouble understanding is what KIND of example. I do not feel as though anyone should be watching me as an example of how to live. I am not ashamed to tell the world about God and his goodness, but I'll be the first to tell you that I am a long way from righteous. Is that shirking my Christian responsibility? Am I just looking for an easy way out? Some would say yes since:

"Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking."

Just A Thought December 6, 2008

"I have yet to meet a man I couldn't live without."

Last night I was listening to Toni Braxton's "Breathe Again" thinking back to how popular that song once was. I was a young girl, but I remember women everywhere were crazy about that song. I remember thinking "I can't wait till I have THAT kind of love." I was crazy! Who wants to love to the point that you would die if it ends? Ha! It takes a few good heartaches for you realize that life WILL go on. We women have fallen into the trap of thinking that we have to have a man in order to be complete. That is SO not true. We are not halves in search of another to make us whole. 1+1=2. It always has and always will. Until we realize our true worth, we will continue to find ourselves searching for ourselves in the presence of a man.

"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."

Just A Thought December 4, 2008

"Problems seldom exist on the level at which they are expressed."

I have a quick temper. Often times I become upset with the way that people talk to me. The funny thing is, most times when I get down to the heart of the matter, the person was not even addressing me in the manner I suspected. (I said most DOES happen though) What I have found is that often times we allow our personal feelings to transcend our professional attitudes and responsibilities. When this happens, it all just comes tumbling down. Think back to the last argument/disagreement you had. What was it REALLY about? I find that more often than not (for me), the disagreement is never about the issue at the surface. Most of us are walking around upset, about what he said before we left the house, about how she "always trippin'," about how the kids don't ever do what we ask them to do, about the 50 million things we need to do but can't because we have to get to work and so forth. What I am saying is this: the moment you feel an argument brewing, take a moment to ask yourself what it's really about. Give the other individual the benefit of the doubt, maybe they're just having a bad day. The chances of you being wrong are slim.......and even then it takes the bigger person to just walk away.

"Look to their positive intent, especially when they appear to have none."

Just A Thought December 3, 2008

"Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell."

My grandmother called me yesterday with a question about something she heard. Later that same night a coworker called me with a totally different question about something she had heard. As I was winding down last night I couldn't help but think back on both conversations. I spend a lot of time attempting to clarify things that people may have gotten wrong about me. But why? One thing I realize is that regardless of what I say, or what lengths I go to to prove that which is correct, people's opinions will still remain. So I decided (at my supervisor's suggestion) to change my focus. Who cares what THEY say? I mean really, who in the hell ARE they? What is it in me that feels the need to be affirmed outside of myself? I've always thought that it was a natural feeling to want to be liked. I don't believe that so much anymore. It's more like this: the desire to be affirmed by others reveals a lack of affirmation within one's self. Who exactly are we living to please, man or God? The down side of this line of thinking is that it can be mistaken for narcissism, but there I go again caring about what others may think. I have decided that I can no longer be concerned. I want to respectful of other peoples feelings, but I will no longer allow them to super cede my own.

"The biggest liar in the world is ' They Say.' "

Just A Thought December 2, 2008

"Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were."

I am in a very uncomfortable place right now. I am trying to love with ALL my heart but I can't. I cannot get past the fact that I am being played like Atari and it hurts. I want to do something that I know will make the person that has hurt me feel just like I feel. But what is the point? What will I gain by making someone else feel like I feel right now? Nothing at all. Fleeting joy because it will NOT last. I will still be hurt. "I'll probably always have these ugly scars.......but right now I don't care about that part." So what do I do? To say I forgive is easy, but I always thought that true forgiveness forgets. I CANNOT how can I forgive? I don't know the answer to that. I suppose the true growth will come through my ability to continue to interact with this person in a loving manner. To wish them well in all their endeavors and even still help them achieve the level of success that God has ordained for them. I suppose that is the true test of character and the actual act of forgiveness. After all, I am one of the strongest people I know and they say:

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Just A Thought December 1, 2008

"Everyday I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work."

People often times look at me crazy when I tell them I work 80 hours or more a week. This is laughable to me because I don't think I work hard at all. I honestly work harder at home with my children than I do at work. I guess it all depends on how you look at the situation. Don't get me wrong............I am ready and willing to accept whatever assistance people want to give me, BUT it sure feels good being able to provide myself and my family with the things that we want and need. This is why I have never completely understood the people that just refuse to work. I mean, if you can afford not to work, do you. But being able to afford to not work does not consist of you living off of my hard earned (and lately piss poorly spent) tax dollars. Where is the pride in receiving a handout........ALL THE TIME? We will all need a hand up at some time in our lives. I would be naive to think that we wouldn't, but all the time???? I guess some people feel:

"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

Just A Thought November 30, 2008

"Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch."

I was in church this morning praying a prayer of forgiveness and thanks when I began to think about some of the temptations I am presently battling. While I stood there asking the Lord for both forgiveness and mercy, it occurred to me that I had not once requested deliverance. The more I began to think about it, I decided I didn't truly want deliverance. Being delivered would mean that I would no longer be tempted by these things, and I am not really sure that I am ready to give these desires up. Why do I choose to continue to struggle with things that are so obviously beneath a child of the King?? Well for me, that answer is easy. I am not yet ready to be all the things God has told me I am. There is a small part of me that feels that submitting my will is too much. I want what I want. How do I know that what He has for me will be sufficient? I wonder how many other people fight this same losing battle..........refusing to believe that the promises God has made are to you as much as anyone else. Temptation is not something that we must always feel compelled to avoid, for avoidance only postpones the inevitable. Temptation is to be resisted, and after the first time, it seems to get easier and easier, if you want it to.

"Temptations are as thick as the leaves of the forest, and no one can be out of the reach of temptation unless he is dead. The great thing is to make people intelligent enough and strong enough, not to keep away from temptation, but to resist it."

Just A Thought November 29, 2008

"Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs."

I have a tendency to care just a little too much about what everyone else thinks. It is for this reason that I am overly critical of myself. I am reluctant to step into the fullness of my God given gifts because there are folk that will say I am not "holy" enough to carry out His works. As a good friend of mine and I talked one day last week, he pointed out that all of the people I considered to be spiritual role models were all imperfect in some way. Isn't it amazing how we can idolize someone and place them on a pedestal when in reality they are just like us? What is it that keeps us from seeing ourselves as just as if not more so worthy of God's grace and favor. In just about every Biblical miracle, God used some imperfect person to bring forth His perfect will. What's keeping you from being used? A Bishop I heard preach this summer says that its our "buts." The word but when used in a sentence negates everything that comes before it. He said we need to learn how to "get our buts out of God's way." God knows that you have faults and have fallen short of His glory. That's the reason He allowed His only son to be the ultimate sacrifice, to perfect in you that which you would never be able to perfect yourself. Decide today to work on submitting yourself to His will and His way, and in the process use the abilities He has bestowed upon you to carry out His works.

"Should we all confess our sins to one another we would laugh at one another for our lack of originality."

Just A Thought November 28, 2008

"Prayer is not intended to change God's purpose, nor is it to move Him to form fresh purposes. God has decreed that certain events shall come to pass through the means He has appointed for their accomplishment. "

As my uncle blessed the food yesterday, I couldn't help but be impressed by the sincerity and brevity of his prayer. One of the things that drives me crazy, is when people make prayer an ALL DAY ACTIVITY. I am a classic "the Lord knows my heart" individual. I know I should be shamed, but the truth sets us free right?? I used to hate praying. It was awkward and uncomfortable, and incredibly boring. But now that God is my homie (LOL), I have no problem taking a little time out to touch base with Him. The mistake we so often make is utilizing our prayer time to make one request after another. Why must we only be serious about consulting God when we want something? Just like you pick up the phone to tell your Mom you love her "just because." You should take time out to just thank Him, not for what He has done, is doing, or will do in your life, but because of "who He is." Real prayer is not an attempt to manipulate God into giving you what you want, but an opportunity to reverence Him for allowing you to be.

"Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him. "

Just A Thought November 27, 2008

"You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."

Thanksgiving is a day that many have reduced to just a day off of work culminating in good food and football. I have come to view it as so much more. I have been blessed to be a part of so many different families, and on this one day I can catch most of them all in one place. What a blessing. Even though sometimes I take it for granted. I am always whining about wanting a more close knit family and here I have a great grandmother that is hospitalized as I write this, that I have yet to go see. I can't explain why I don't feel compelled to go, just that I don't. I don't know her the way I feel I should, and I kinda think it's too late to try. The truth is.......I feel like that about so much of my family. We are related by blood, but so many of them I would not know if I walked past them in the street. Some might say that this is my fault, because if I truly wanted to know them I could. They might even be right. So today I choose to be thankful for the new beginnings and mercies that are bestowed freshly upon us each day. I am going to make a valiant effort to reach out and get to know the family that I have yet to embrace. No longer will I sit around asking for more of what I already have. I choose this day to make everyday a day of thanksgiving for "Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."

Just A Thought November 26, 2008

"Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves."

I have been cursed with the inability to think before I speak. LOL (Well let's just say most times I choose not to) People often times will make the mistake of asking me what I think. They will even go so far as to say......."Tell the truth now!" Knowing full well that they do not REALLY want to know what I think. The sad thing is that after I tell them the truth, I'm left feeling bad thinking perhaps I should have lied. So what's the right road to take? I can't really say, because I still opt for the truth. "No.....that dress doesn't MAKE you look fat, you ARE fat." I guess it could ultimately be said in a nicer way, but the truth is the truth and it will still hurt. I may not like when my friends tell me what they think, but I am grateful for their honesty. It's a blessing to have people that you can be 100% yourself with. So speak up and speak out. Let your voice be heard. Just make sure that along with your opinion, they hear a little love.

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."

Just A Thought November 25, 2008

"If you believe everything you read, better not read."

It never ceases to amaze me how people will read something once and run with it. I have always been one to wonder why it is so. It is for this reason that once I read something, I have to pick it apart to completely understand it. This is to me the difference between reading and studying. I want to truly understand what I read so that when someone asks me my opinion about what I have read, I can give it to them. Don't just repeat back what you take in, because that's not your opinion. You are simply stating the author's position. To be in agreement is cool, but etymologically can you explain why the point makes the sense that it does to you? Do you REALLY understand the background of the text you are discussing? If are cheating yourself out of a wealth of knowledge, and in turn misleading the poor sap that's actually paying attention to your foolishness!

"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours."

Just A Thought November 24, 2008

"Those people who tell me that I'm going to hell while they are going to heaven somehow make me very glad that we're going to separate destinations."

I was telling a good friend of mine this weekend about some new things that are going on in my life, and her response was that she would pray for me. While I always welcome a prayer, I couldn't help but be offended.I can think of several times that I made decisions that were OBVIOUSLY against God's will for me, and never once was a prayer offered up on my behalf. Actually, there was a lot of high fivin' and personal advice being given. So what's different now? Well........the way I see it, it's all in the rating system. We the people tend to rate sins as though one is greater than another. You know how it is, his adultery is worse than her fornication. Their homosexuality is SO much more wrong than your "shacking." Ha! We really need to quit. I believe that many a people will be surprised by where their soul spends eternity. Understand I am not making excuses for not being righteous, although it may seem that way. I am simply saying that we should be more careful how we judge one another and be sure that when we chasten, it's always in love.

"If God doesn't like the way I live, let him tell me, not you."

Just A Thought November 22, 2008

" We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."

I LOVE conversation. Its essential to life. To me, being able to speak is being able to educate. But when you're talking, you are not listening. Listening and understanding what others communicate to us is essential to our growth. Its also how we learn about others. While hearing WHAT they say is one obvious way we learn about them, there is also a wealth of information in what they aren't saying. But how will you ever know if you're the only one ever doing any talking? There is much to gain when you listen. Listening imparts wisdom, which enables you to make better decisions. It also reveals that which may be hidden, allowing you to discover much more than you had anticipated. Many opportunities are uncovered when one chooses to listen. But most importantly you gain the speaker's respect.

"He who speaks; sows. He who listens: reaps."

Just A Thought November 21, 2008

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in."

I have been beating myself up for about 3 weeks over a decision I did not want to make. Knowing that something needs to be done, does NOT make it any easier or more desirable to do. Especially when the result will be losing something or someone you truly love. However, when they've got to go............they've got to go! So now what? They're gone............and you hate it. Well the good news is: I'm still here. Living , loving and laughing. I realize that I have wasted some pretty valuable time whining about what I thought I had. Something so much better has blown on into my life, but I can't fully appreciate it cause I am stuck on Stupid. Why is that? What in the world causes us to feel bad about walking away from the worst thing that has ever happened to us? Whatever it is, I have decided today that I can no longer entertain it. I cast down any and all regret that finds its way into my psyche from this day forward ............................. for Lord knows:

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

Just A Thought November 20, 2008

"All weddings are similar, but every marriage is different."

As I was reading a bridal magazine in line at the grocery store yesterday, I couldn't help but think about how pretty I'd look in a wedding dress. (Hell, I lost 6 lbs. last week on "the flu" so I'm looking good. LOL) How many other women waste precious time with these same silly daydreams? I wonder how much time is actually spent daydreaming about the marriage itself. So many women spend time picking the perfect dress, location, flowers, ring, etc. that they lose sight of the fact that "ever after" begins the moment the wedding ends. Marriage is about so much more than the wedding. Why do you think so many men are scared?? LOL They UNDERSTAND that it's no longer about them anymore. I think us women tend to be a little selfish in our expectations of marriage. I can tell you from experience that failed marriages cause more people to suffer than just the bride and groom. If we put half the thought we give weddings into marriage as an institution, I believe more marriages would last till "death do us part." Next time around (Oh my, did I just say that?), perhaps I'll elope and focus my energy on building a solid foundation for my family that culminates in a celebration after 5-10 successful years of wedded bliss.

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together."

Just A Thought November 19, 2008

"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."

I have a tendency to think that if the world were just like I like it, it would be a perfect world. The problem with this philosophy is, EVERYBODY else feels the same exact way. Last night I was taught a very humbling lesson about the difference between what I see and how things are. I am that choir member that forever has a suggestion for the director. You know the one, burning cds left and right with songs that I like (never mind the fact that our choir may not be able vocally to handle theses songs), always suggesting that we try "something new." Last night the director obliged. He said "Not only are we going to learn a couple of the songs you selected, you're going to teach them." Now my crazy self was first. It sounded easy. SOUNDED. Fast forward to choir rehearsal. There were people there that had not been to rehearsal in MONTHS. Instantly I was nervous. I was also very much unprepared. Being that these were songs I listen to all the time......I had not taken the time to learn the various parts. I took for granted that all of that would just flow together. So what did I learn? A few things............1. To appreciate and RESPECT the work my choir director performs 2. To appreciate and respect the decisions he makes for our choir as a whole 3. Things are not always as simple as they appear to be, and 4. To be careful to not let my suggestions become criticisms unless I am prepared to fix that which I see as wrong. Solomon told us that pride comes before the fall, and last night I fell HARD.

"The wisest mind has something yet to learn."

Just A Thought November 18, 2008

"If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles."

I have a friend that seems to speak an annointed word into my life everytime they open their mouth. Yet when I ask why this person sits on their gift, the answer is always the same. "Because." Why do we hold on to the very thing God has given us to bless others with? Well, for most of us, its an esteem issue. We fear being judged. People have a tendency to suppress the gifts of others with their condemning attitudes. We are all with fault of some sort. This is real. Some of the best advice out there comes from people who don't follow it themselves. So decide today to no longer worry about what others may think of you............USE YOUR GIFT. Jesus said himself that "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." You have something that no one else can contribute to this world, so stop holding out!

"The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation."

Just A Thought November 17, 2008

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child."

I have four small children. Between the hussle and bussle of working and my involvement in extracurricular activities, I get pretty tired. It can be easy to slack off in the area of parenting from time to time......especially if there is a good program on television. But what I notice about children is this: they have an innate desire to learn. To reduce their learning to the schoolhouse is a great injustice. Especially in this day and age where no child is "left behind." There is too much going on in the world for the teachers to possibly instill everything your kids need to know into them. Think back on your life, where did you learn your most important lessons?? For me, it definitely was not school. I have a good friend that is a teacher. One night I upset her (unintentionally) when I said that schools ought to teach kids manners. Her position is that parents ought to teach kids manners. I never realized until that night just how much pressure our teachers are under. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children. Teachers merely serve to reinforce those things which we have taught. It takes a village to raise a child, and that is true, but the village starts at home with you. Talk to your child like you talk to anyone else. This helps their vocabulary. Leave the "Baby Talk" to the Teletubbies. Allow your children to read to you. Even though they can't read. Did you know that looking at pictures and creating stories is one of the first steps of reading? This is also a great way to learn shapes and colors (besides you can always "rest your eyes" when they read to you). Allow your children to help you with day to day activities. You will be surprised by how much they are learning when you don't even think you are teaching.

"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."

Just A Thought November 16, 2008

"The perfect church service, would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God."

I learned about 6 months ago why it is I need to be in church. I had reached a point where I felt like I was no longer growing. God had been putting things inside of me that I was just letting sit there. Well as we all know, things that sit around unattended soon grow stale. If something is allowed to stay stale long enough, it ferments. You see where I am going. Well I began a quest. What I was searching for was the real reason I go to church. At that particular point in time, all I could come up with was "because I am saved." People gave me all kinds of step into the presence of God (well isn't he in the midst of two or three gathered in his name?), to fellowship with other believers (is it REALLY fellowship if I don't speak to anyone at my church?), to give back to the Lord what he has given to me (Oh, is this about money again?), to worship God (What does that mean?). I have deduced it to this: Praise is what we give God for what He does. Worship is what we do for God because of WHO HE IS. When was the last time you showed up for church just to worship Him? Not to thank Him for your blessings or ask Him for some more, but to truly just REVERENCE Him for being who He is. That's why we should go to church. When worship becomes our driving motivation for being IN the church, then and ONLY then will you really receive your breakthrough.

"Some go to church to see and be seen. Some go there to say they have been. Some go there to sleep and nod. But few go there to worship God."

Just A Thought November 15, 2008

"Most sermons sound to me like commercials - but I can't make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product."

When did church become a country club? An elite niche in society for people to congregate in their fanciest digs and relish in all their "giving." A friend and I once discussed how we can't afford the cover charge to get in the church. We were only joking, but the more I look back on that conversation, the more real I feel it was. There are many people right now that do not attend church because EVERY time they do, they feel like they are beat out of ALL their money. Why is that? Sure, the Bible teaches us to give the Lord our first fruits. And we all know that the church doesn't run on love, but really, must we always TALK about the money? Prosperity messages are always tied into your giving, as if you can buy God's grace,mercy and favor. NEWSFLASH: God is NOT for sale. Contrary to what some may have you believe. Faithful givers suffer trials, just as those who don't have it to give. God is not impressed with what you have, for he gave it to you. What he is impressed by is what you CHOOSE to do with what he has blessed you with. In the Bible Jesus instructed us to TELL the "Good News," not SELL it.

" I believe in God; I just don't trust anyone who works for him."

Just A Thought November 14, 2008

“Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to.”

Letting go of something that we really want is the most difficult thing to do. We know that it needs to be done, yet we search high, low, and in between for the slightest reason not to do it. All the while we are slowly dying inside. Why are we holding on? For everyone the reason is different, but I believe the root is the same: esteem of our self. We often times make the mistake of defining who we ARE by what we POSSESS. This is why often times happiness is so far out of our reach. Happiness resides in truth and truth resides in freedom. Freedom is only attained once you make the decision to let go. Until then, you're destined to live a lie.

" There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new life.

Just A Thought November 13, 2008

"Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful."

I was always one of those people that had to learn things the hard way. I thought that rules were put in place to keep me from enjoying my life. But as I began to experience life, those rules I chose to break seemed to make perfect sense. Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20. God's will is for us to be happy in Him. The problem comes when we confuse His happiness with our own. His rules (strict as they may seem) are for our own good. When we choose to do things our way, our happiness costs us so much more. We make conscious decisions every day to do things that we know are outside of His perfect will for us, yet when it all starts to fall apart we wonder why. Take the time to truly consider the consequences of your actions. His mercies are new every morning but that doesn't mean you have to abuse them.

"Men are not punished for their sins, but by them."

Just A Thought November 12, 2008

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest."

I woke up this morning unable to move my arms and legs. I mean, when I tried the pain was unbearable. All I could think about was how was I going to get to work. I have a big project to complete today. The kids needed to be taken to school. I promised some friends I'd run some errands for them. Tonight is Bible study. As I lay there crying all I could think about was everything I needed to do. I closed my eyes and began to pray. A calm like I have never felt before came over me, and suddenly I realized, I needed to take care of me FIRST. If I am not well, then nothing I set out to do will be done well. We are not cheating anyone when we rest, it's actually just the opposite. Sure some people may be disappointed, but in the long run, they will appreciate you for it.

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."

Just A Thought November 11, 2008

"Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how."

People tend to live their lives based on the theory of "reacting." We wait to see how to respond to a situation, rather than taking the initiative to make things happen. This is a passive approach to life. In choosing to simply react, you relinquish your power to control your destiny. Instead of waiting to see what THEY do, why don't you show them what YOU do? Make eye contact, smile, and introduce yourself, because friends are made in the unlikeliest of places. Every face has a name and a story to go with it. Take a moment of your time to indulge in a story other than your own every once in a while, for it is only when you reach out to the world that it reaches out to you.

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Just A Thought November 10, 2008

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."

I dated a guy once that told me (when we met!) that he wasn't the "marrying type." I paid him no nevermind because I was "different." He meant that about all those other girls. So I proceeded to fall head over heels into this relationship, waiting for him to realize that I was "the one." That realization never came. After several months, we began to fight all the time. The arguments would begin over the most trivial things, but for me they were all about the same thing, his refusal to commit to me. What am I saying? Simply this: If we would listen to what people tell us, instead of hearing what we want them to say, we could save ourselves lots of time, grief, and mental anguish. How many days, weeks, months have you wasted in relationships that were destined to go NOWHERE? Was it really not apparent to you in the beginning that he really didn't want kids, or that she loved her career and intended to continue working? These types of issues don't just go away or change. Stop expecting them to. Besides, the last time I checked, the miracle working messiah ascended into heaven over two thousand years ago and has yet to return....................

"Most couples have not had hundreds of arguments; they've had the same argument hundreds of times."

Just A Thought November 9, 2008

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means."

I was blessed to commune with some friends over lunch yesterday and we happened to begin discussing some Bible verses and their meanings. I was respectfully impressed by a difference in opinion that my friend and I shared. I resorted to my bible later that night and even after prayer, I didn't see things the way my friend did. That's when it hit me: God is individual and specific to each one of us. His word is His WORD, but no two people will read and understand it the same. Think I'm kidding? Meditate on this: Proponents of slavery use the Bible to support their position. Proponents of capital punishment use the Bible to support their position. People opposed to same sex marriages use the Bible to support their position. I am one that believes that the same Bible that condemns, is also the same Bible that forgives. You cannot read a verse and take it at face value any more than you would pick up a raw chicken and eat it. God's word is food that needs to be prepared, ingested, and digested properly. Take time to understand what you are reading. Learn not just that it IS so, but HOW it became to be and WHY it is so.

"Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing."

Just A Thought November 8, 2008

" We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways- the ways we react and behave when we love someone."

I love hard. Nothing makes me happier than to see the object of my affection satisfied. This means that often times I will go above and beyond the call of duty in order to make him happy. The problems usually arise for me when I feel slighted. I often times make the mistake of expecting to receive the type of love that I give. Understand that that love does not exist. There is only one you. When we base our expectations of others on what WE would do, we are being unfair and setting the stage for turmoil. Take time to learn HOW your partner loves. Some people are not affectionate. Some people are not talkers. This does not however mean that they do not care for you. They just don't care LIKE you do. Love is a verb. We ought not gauge it by what people say, but rather by what they do. Measure it any other way and you will miss out on happiness, because YOUR expectations will never be met.........unless you're loving you.

“ Anger always comes from frustrated expectations."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just A Thought November 6, 2008

" Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom."

I go to church faithfully EVERY Sunday. Bible Study has become a MUST for me. About 2 months ago, I joined the choir and within another month I was on the Praise Team. While I am what one would call "actively involved" in church and its activities, understand that these activities say absolutely NOTHING about my relationship with God. Showing up is merely an outward showing of my spiritual connection. My belief in God's word and my desire to share it with others is what defines my religion. My belief that God sent His only begotten son to die for the pardon of our sins defines my religion. My belief that His son rose on the third day to ascend into heaven with all power in His hands to sit at the right hand of God defines my religion. Most of what I have learned about God and His goodness, did not come from the church. I do not depend on the church to TEACH me about God. That's what the BIBLE is for. Church is where I fellowship with other believers, and enter into the presence of the Lord. It's not the building, its the people. It's not our actions, but our beliefs that make us who we say we are.

"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car."

Just A Thought November 7, 2008

"To feel sorry for the needy is not the mark of a Christian- to help them is."

Last night I drove past a woman who was holding a sign that simply stated, "Homeless. Please Help." I felt bad for her, and wished that there was something I could do. Still I kept driving. At that particular moment, my mind was on all that needed to be done. But later as I sat down to pray, I saw that woman's face. I was convicted because I had not done all that I could do. I had no money to give her, but I had resources. There is a coat right now in my car that I do not wear because it's not "cute." Noticing that it was 44 degrees and she was coatless, that would have helped. I work for a prominent social service agency, so I could have referred her to a shelter. Yet, I didn't. Why not? I was too busy, and felt like I didn't have an immediate fix. Often times we neglect to help people for that reason. But know this: helping someone does not always require you to solve their problem completely. Sometimes it's just a matter of pointing them in the right direction. I get that now.

"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other."

Just A Thought November 5, 2008

"You don't have to wait till your party's in power to have an impact on life at home and around the world."

Many people were energized by this recent election. Half of those people are now feeling rather dejected. Disappointed by the fact that their candidate was defeated. While that's sad, the real travesty is that a large majority of these people will now pay no attention to politics until it is time to choose another president.These people are not seekers of change. For if they were, they would be focusing and preparing for what happens next. The fact that your candidate lost, doesn't mean that the change you sought won't come. Politics is the sport of the people. We are all players. Familiarize yourself with your new elected officials and their positions. Inform yourself of the issues. Write your new Governor, Congressman, State Rep. or even PRESIDENT. Attend a council meeting or two. Get in the game. Be instrumental in evoking the change you desire to see.

"Everybody knows politics is a contact sport."

Just A Thought November 4, 2008

"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote."

As important as this election is, there are people who will not vote. It will be too hot or too cold. They did not know that they were required to register or they don't have a ride to the polls. The lines will be too long or they won't even know where to vote. While there are those people that argue these excuses can be eradicated, I disagree. The truth is, the poor will ALWAYS be among us. Your finances are not the only area in which you can be poor. People can be mentally, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt, as is evidenced by their lack of concern for their nation, state, county, city, or school board. So what does this mean for those of us that do care? That all depends on your outlook. For a losing party or cause, these people represent hope. They can turn the tables, making all the difference. But just because anything CAN happen, doesn't mean it will. Connect with like-minded individuals and organizations and resolve to make a difference. There's strength in numbers, and elected officials know this.

"People who don't vote have no line of credit with people who are elected and thus pose no threat to those who act against our interests."

Just A Thought November 3, 2008

"Although He's regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics."

There's been a lot of talk about the upcoming election. Rightfully so, for it is one of epic historical proportions. My biggest fear however, is that everyone is going to cast their vote for president but neglect the other areas of importance on the ballot. Elections are about so much more than who should hold the top office. Aldermen, Congressmen, State Representatives, Mayors, Governors, Attorney Generals, Treasurers, School Board Officials, Senators, Judges, and Lieutenant Governors are all just as important as who our next President will be. Actually, they are even MORE important when you think about the fact that they directly impact your day to day living. These people decide things that affect you at the city and state level. While the bills the President will ultimately approve or veto are important, think about who ultimately initiates these bills. Be sure to study the candidates and the issues at hand. Cast an informed vote for EVERY office or issue printed on the ballot. That's how REAL change takes place.

"In politics, an organized minority is a political majority."

Just A Thought November 2, 2008

"I don't miss him. I miss who I thought he was."

When its over, we often spend lots of time reflecting on what has been lost. It is my belief that the way you feel about the break up will influence your reflections. When we've made the decision to end it, we tend to spned our time reaffirming our decision. We look at everything that was wrong with them. When they call it quits, we spend our time wondering "why?" Especially if things seemed fine. We reflect on all the things we were doing right. This may be why we find ourselves in the same types of relationships over and over again. Take time to assess your former relationship in its entirety. Were you who YOU thought you were? What did YOU do that could have been done differently? Ultimately, the answers to these questions are the key to a successful relationship in the future. You have NO control over what your ex did, does, or will do. Reflecting on them will cause you to remain in the place that you are in, because you won't change. Even if it WAS them and not you, use this time to find out why you put up with it for so long!! There's always something to improve upon within you.

"He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today."

Just A Thought November 1, 2008

"Nothing hurts more than realizing he meant everything to you, but you meant nothing to him."

When you are convinced that you have found love, no one can tell you different. This is often why many times we miss the various signs that the object of our affection doesn't feel the same. What's even worse is that sometimes we SEE the signs but convince ourselves that if we wait just a little while longer, spend a little more money, compromise our standards just a LITTLE bit more, that this person will see just how wonderful we really are and feel the way we do. When we do this, we fool ourselves. Furthermore we become manipulative and deceitful. These are not characteristics of true love. Once you decide to try to change someone's mind, you decide to be on the losing end. Love does not have to forced because it flows. So get up, dust yourself off, and try again. Just remember next time:

"Giving someone all your love is not insurance that they will love you back."

Just A Thought October 31, 2008

"Love is unconditional, relationships are not."

When you compromise yourself for love, be prepared to be on the losing side. For the very thing we gain by compromise, we will eventually lose. Views, opinions, and positions can all be compromised. Your self respect cannot. There has to be a line, and when that line is crossed, THAT has to be it. Second chances become third, fifth, and seventh chances. While the time to be clear about boundaries is in the beginning, the moment something feels wrong to you is the moment it needs to be addressed. "Anything goes" is a cool attitude for an Ultimate Fighting Championship match, but not for your heart. When you've had enough say so, and move along keeping in mind that:

"The stupidest mistake in life is thinking the one who hurt you the most, won't hurt you again."

Just A Thought October 28, 2008

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."

Have you ever expected the worst and then been devastated because you found it? How does that happen? Plain and simply, because you look for that which you expect. Any time this happens, your expectations will cloud your vision. Get rid of your tunnel vision. Quit expecting the worst thing that could possibly happen, telling yourself that at least then you won't be disappointed. That is a defeated attitude and has no place in the spirit of a conqueror. Contrary to what you may think, you are more than a conqueror. You have been given victory over any and every situation in your life. You just have to expect to win. Choose to walk in your God given authority today with your head held high because:

"Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy."

Just A Thought October 30, 2008

"Assumptions are the termites of relationships."

I hate asking questions. Questions entice people to lie, and since I hate to be lied to, I figure I'll cut it off at the pass and not even ask. The problem with this philosophy is that I am left to my own assumptions of what's going on. Let me just tell you that assuming is the WRONG way to go. We all know what happens when we assume right? Often times if you would just ask, you cut out about a day's worth of uneccessary emotions. Yes, there is the chance that what you assumed is correct. But if so, at least you KNOW that its so, and you can make the decision you need to make and press forward. As long as you rely on assumptions, you will forever be at war with your inner self about whether or not your decisions are right. Kill the confusion with a question because you're wasting valuable time making assumptions.

"Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by."

Just A Thought October 27, 2008

"I shut my eyes in order to see."

I trust my heart WAY too much. Some might say that this is the way to live. I am here to tell you that it is NOT. Your heart will get you in trouble, right along with your feelings. It isn't our vision that we should be using to find our way, but our hearing. You can't see God, but if you sit still long enough and shut up, you can hear Him LOUD AND CLEAR. The problem is often times that we hear Him, but don't agree with what He is saying. It can be hard hearing that "he is NOT the one," or "now is NOT the time." Those sound like "No" to me. But what I have learned is that often times "NOT NOW" sounds like "NO," because we are too busy cutting God off when He's trying to tell us something. The Bible tells us that our first mind is not the mind of His will, so that is reason enough NOT to trust in your feelings alone. Resolve today to find your direction from God.

"Life is God's novel. Let him write it."

Just A Thought October 25, 2008

"If all my friends were to jump off a bridge. I wouldn't jump with them. I'd be at the bottom to catch them."

I am blessed to have a few friends. When I say friends, I really mean family. We are just that close. I trust them with my life. I know that at the end of the day, they only want what's best for me. The thing is, sometimes my actions may not show them that. They will give me advice and I will do just the opposite of what they advised. I know this has to frustrate them, for I get mad when people do it to me. One thing I have realized, is that what I love and respect most about my friends is their individual personalities. I have some of the strongest, most intelligent friends. They are capable of making good decisions for themselves. Their choice will ultimately be what they FEEL is best for them at that time. In those instances that they fall, I know that what makes all the difference is that I am right there to help them up. Not with an "I told you so," but with an "Are you okay?" Acceptance is the key that makes friendship work. Sooner than later they'll get it right and you will have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in the process.

"Friend derives from a word meaning "free." A friend is someone who allows the space and freedom to be."

Just A Thought October 24, 2008

" Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them, since you cannot even make yourself as you wish to be."

Have you ever noticed that when you get to the root of disdain for someone, the very quality you cannot stand in them is one you posess yourself? I can't stand cynical, sarcastic, flip at the mouth individuals. Those who know me say I have a lot of nerve, because I am THE MOST cynical, sarcastic, flip at the mouth individual this side of the Mason-Dixon line. It is for this reason I have started to take a second look at people that get under my skin. What is it about them that upsets me? Once I figure that out, I examine myself. I welcome what I find as opportunity to change. Maybe if I change the way I talk to people, they will respond differently. Maybe if I smile when I walk into a room, the scowls on the people's faces will turn into smiles. Change is an action that begins first and foremost with us. The problem is that most times we expect it to begin in others. Its up to us to be the change we want to see.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

Just A Thought October 23, 2008

"The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him."

I have trust issues. There, I said it. Now what? Well, for me the key is exercise. I allow everyday to be an opportunity for me to exercise my trust. Some days are easy, and others are not. I realize that I always end up back at the same place...............ME. See, the truth is, for a long time I didn't trust me. What I know for sure is that when you do not trust yourself, it is IMPOSSIBLE to trust anyone else. Trust in my book is right up there with faith. Faith......."the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of things not seen." Doesn't that sound like trust? The difference however, is that trust lies in man, making it fallible. Faith should ONLY BE PLACED IN GOD. The two intertwine when you align yourself with His perfect will for your life. Have faith that God gave you everything you needed BEFORE He placed you here, and trust yourself to do what is right.

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."

Just A Thought April 15, 2008

I was doing my laundry Sunday morning before church, and I noticed that the washing detergent now comes in a smaller packaging. It SAYS "ultra concentrated" (meaning that you can do the same amount of laundry with less detergent) but I wasn't so sure. Anyways I went ahead and began getting ready for church and it hit me, why not? Isn't God "ultra concentrated?"

When you look over your life and think about the way of the world, we are taught that we need more. More is classified and recognized by bigger. We make more money, we buy bigger things.......we learn more, we get bigger checks (in a perfect world :-), but you get my point.

Not so when you think about God and His amazing grace. The bible talks to us about small things doing "big" works all the time.Don't believe me? Ask yourself this:

Of all that he blesses you with, how much does he ask of you to give?

What did David use to fight Goliath?

What can you do with faith the size of a mustard seed?

What exactly did Jesus use to feed a multitude of people?

What does it take to be saved?

While the answers to these questions are small, they enable you to do gigantic things. So yeah, "ultra concentrated," is not only possible, but right.........God's grace is so "ultra concentrated" that he is able to bestow it upon you, and EVERYONE else. ( EVEN those that don't believe) How awesome is that?

All the "stuff" that took up room in your life begins to clear itself out when you submit to Him. You find yourself having more joy, peace, love, and _________ (you fill in the blank) than you ever had before. Maybe the world is finally starting to catch on.............

Just A Thought April 24, 2009

"Affection means more when it comes from a guy who doesn't normally give it. "

This past weekend I ran into a guy that I used to work with. I had an idea that this guy was interested in me, but his actions seemed to contradict my beliefs. Needless to say, I moved on. Well as we were catching up, he asked me why it is that women always walk past the guy that's really interested in them to choose the guy that only wants to play games. It was in this moment that I realized the problem: nice guys just don't get it! It's not that we women want to be mistreated, or even that we like it. Truth is, we don't purposely pick the wrong guy. We are drawn in by his confidence. See, the wrong guy has NO problem stepping to us. He's not ashamed that he lives in his Mom's basement, or that he hasn't worked in over a year. It doesn't bother him one bit that he's got kids that he can't really support, he still wants more. The fact that he has no car doesn't bother him one bit, cause hey, you've got one! His gimmick is: I'm trying. That's what reels us in, hook, line and sinker. He's trying. We love the fact that he's willing to include us in the process. It appears genuine and all we want is someone that's gonna put forth an effort. The nice guy is too busy admiring us from afar. He's afraid that we're not going to receive him because he's yet to reach where he wants to be. It usually takes us a few trips around the block to realize the game and by that time we've accumulated so much baggage that there's really no room for the nice guy. I said all that to say that confidence is what gets you in. Nothing more, nothing less. If you don't think you're good enough, why should anyone else?

"The difference between winners and losers is that winners do what losers don't want to do."

Just A Thought April 22, 2009

"One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters."

The state of our community is such that if we don't all pitch in and do something, we're going nowhere fast. What group of individuals convened and decided to define fatherhood by how much money a man is able to give on schedule and why did women go and fall for it? Have children really been reduced to mere liabilities? From where I sit, children are an asset to each one of us, whether or not they are our own. As I listened to the radio this morning, I was disgusted by how one particular show was making light of the results of one man's DNA test results. Before having the test results read, this man was talking about his profound love for these babies and even the woman who gave birth to them. He said that they were in a loving relationship and all was well. Maybe I'm slow, but if this is the case, why did he feel the need to have this test performed? As soon as the results were read, his whole attitude changed. I understand his frustration, it's a humiliating thing to find out that you've been cheated on........period. To add to that the fact that these children are not your flesh and blood, I get it, it hurts. But, to punish these babies for the actions of their mother. Not cool at all. DNA results are great for absolving ill placed financial obligations that are regularly levied against men without so much as a second glance these days, but DNA results are slowly but surely also absolving what little hope we have as a people to reconnect and get this thing right. Back in the day, men raised children that weren't their flesh and blood all the time. Our communities were full of surrogate parents. I wonder today if that was only because they had no way out as they do today, or because they really cared about their legacies. Every child in your community is your child. You have a responsibility to help them in whatever way you can. If it's a dollar so be it, but what's even more valuable than your money is your time. Just as kids say the darndest things, they remember them as well. Give them something to not only talk about, but to remember.

"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad."

Just A Thought April 20, 2009

"As you develop your feelings of self-worth, your very purity and strength will begin to purge out anything and anyone negative surrounding you. You will also start to attract people and situations that honor who you truly are and enhance your own positive energy. Eventually, this will lead to changes in you external environment."

A couple of weeks ago I attended a revival and listened to a Pastor preach about coming out of Egypt. She touched on how often times we are reluctant to free ourselves from bondage for as oppressing and depressing as it is, it's familiar. We get comfortable in our situation because we at least know what to expect. She went on to say that sometimes we stay in bondage because we are afraid of who our freedom may upset. That's when I began to get uncomfortable. This woman was in my business and that's why men don't want women preaching! =) That's what I love about the word. God will use any and everybody to get His message to you. I began to think about how I have remained in bad relationships because I felt like I at least knew how bad things could be. I was afraid that if I let go, I just might end up with something worse. There were even times that I remained in situations where I was unhappy spiritually because of what other people would have thought if I left. But in all of our lives there will come a time when you are forced to make a choice. Who are you living for? If your answer is anything other than God, I regret to inform you that you'll be hanging around in Egypt for quite awhile. You'll be in bondage as long as you base your actions on the desires of others. Cultivate your relationship with your creator and freedom will be just around the bend. The only problem then will be staying free!

"Do not become paralyzed and enchained by the set patterns which have been woven of old. No, build from your own youthful feeling, your own groping thought and your own flowering perception."

Just A Thought April 20, 2009

"We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice -- that is, until we have stopped saying ''It got lost,'' and say, ''I lost it.'' "

I had the privilege the other day of attending a graduation. It wasn't a typical graduation in that it wasn't an elementary, middle, or high school graduation. It was not even a college graduation. It was a group of fathers graduating from a program designed to help men become better fathers. When I first heard of program, I wasn't impressed. As a single mother of four small children, I suppose I was bitter. I felt like I was being asked to praise these men for choosing to do what they are supposed to be doing. As I sat in the ceremony however, my hard heart began to soften. I found myself with tears in my eyes as these men spoke. Here were men of all ages from all walks of life with one common goal in mind: becoming a better man. As one gentleman so eloquently put it, in order for them to become better men, they had to first learn what a man was. It hit me in that instant that so many of us are walking through life trying to better ourselves but we're unsuccessful because we have no model of what we're supposed to be. I thank God for blessing people with the vision and resources to not only create, but to operate initiatives such as this. We are all students in some shape, fashion, or form. I've been in the presence of some highly decorated graduates from some of this country's most prestigious institutions, but have never felt as proud as I felt that afternoon. No matter what anyone tells you, life is the most prestigious institution of them all and each and every one of us is blessed beyond measure to be enrolled. The question is: What's your major?

"A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong."

Just A Thought April 18, 2009

"It only takes a minute to cause hurt but sometimes a lifetime to repair. Be careful with your words and actions."

Have you ever considered the actual cost of your actions? Everyday we make conscious decisions to participate in activities that cost more than we are actually willing to pay. We make crude jokes that can cost us our jobs, friendships, or status. We do things in the dark that if brought to the light could cost us the respect we've worked so hard to earn, the pride we so delicately wear on our sleeve, or the esteem we've placed so high on the shelf of our life. As much as we would like to go back in time we can't. We owe it to ourselves and others around us to be more mindful of that which we say and do. What you consider to be funny might very well be hurtful to someone else, especially someone who has no idea that they are even the "butt" of your joke. Often times in these types of situations the people we hurt are the one that actually the ones who have our back. No amount of money can ever compare to the value of true friendship, love, and support. When left without either however, money is often how we will choose to make amends.

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."