Saturday, March 12, 2016

"If Trump Wins"

If Trump wins:
 I will be convinced that the election system is currupt.
People are talking about moving to Canada. But isn't that what "they" want you to do? Give up.
America will not be great again. It will be more divided than it has ever been.
The average American's vote won't and has never mattered.
We will see the greatest gap between the rich and the poor.
We have to get wealthy and influence others to get wealthy.
There has to be a shift in the culture to go from being entertained, to being educated.
How will it effect his businesses and companies?

Friday, February 5, 2016

"Walmart Versus The World'

Last month, the big box retail chain Walmart announced that it would be closing 269 stores worldwide.  These closings include 154 stores in the United States.

A statement from Walmart said that reasons for the closings included the lack of success of it's small Walmart Express stores, stores in close proximity to other Walmart stores, and an increased demand in online shopping.

For Walmart, this move was taken to improve shares of the company, which has fallen nearly 30 percent in the past 12 months.  Also, the company said it will instead focus on "strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing the e-commerce business and expanding pickup services for customers."
Walmart will continue to "invest in ITS future," the company said, with plans to open 50 to 60 supercenters and 85 to 95 neighborhood markets in the U.S. 

Even with all these store closings, it only represents less than 1 percent of Walmart's global square footage and revenue. 

What these store closings mean for the people and communities they were in, is a different story.  These store closings mean a loss of over 10,000 jobs and many people without a place to buy groceries within a 10 mile radius from their homes.  Major real estate and developed land is now vacant, and not producing taxable revenues for the communities they are in.

Also, when these Walmart stores originally opened up, many small businesses and mom-and-pop stores went out of business.  These smaller shops just couldn't compete with Walmart prices and the "Walmart brand".  It is in my opinion, that this is the biggest negative effect out of the whole situation.

Now I must admit, that I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Walmart.  Before they opened the supercenters with produce, meats, bread, etc; I remember them having stale and expired off-brand Cheetos and potato chips.  Even now, they have broken carts with "stuck" or squeaky wheels, 57 checkout lanes with only 3 open, and non existent customer service, in my opinion, rightly so (because of the low wages of employees).

But, let's leave that aside for now.  It is my suggestion, that the closing of these stores provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and the people of the communities that they were in.  The closing of a Walmart opens the door for groceries stores, clothing shops, electronics stores, and many other small retail shops.  Also, this also provides the opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to beat Walmart to the online demand.  The increase of e-commerce businesses would provide competition and spread market share away from Walmart's e-commerce and pick up service.

It was small businesses that made the country and communities we live in great and I believe it's going to take the growth and increase of small businesses to make the places we live in great again!

Friday, January 8, 2016

"How To Save Money In 2016"

Ahh, yes.  It's that time of the year again.  A new year with new goals. Another set of New Year resolutions.  

Many of us set a goal of making or saving more money in the upcoming year.  But as with all New Year Resolutions, we don't always make a plan of how we are going to attain those goals.

Over the past few years, I have looked at the previous year and asked myself how can I do better? How can I save more money?  I make a list of areas that I feel that would make a noticeable difference in saving money, or simply not wasting money, in order to improve the over all "bottom line".

So here it is: The annual list of How To Save Money in 2016!  May this list help you make your dreams a reality, by taking measurable steps of action.

  1. Pay bills on time-  Sounds like a no brainer huh?  You may be thinking, so much for the expert advice.  But many times when we set goals, we only think of the benefits of accomplishing that goal.  But in most cases, the consequence of NOT reaching the goal is far more important.  The major thing with not paying bills on time are LATE FEES.  From cell phone bills, to cable bills, to credit card bills; over the course 12 months, those fees can really add up.  The average late fee for a cable bill is $7.50.  The average late fee for a credit card bill is $25.00.  Banks make so much money on fees that it accounts for almost 32 billion dollars in annual revenue.
  2. DIY-  Although all of us are working with limited time,  most people have more time than they have money.  By doing things yourself, instead of paying someone else can allow you do save a lot of money.  From home repairs to personal care such as hair and nails; a little DIY can go a long way. If you pay attention to the paperwork on service calls and repairs, it's the labor that's expensive.  YouTube has tons of videos that help with projects.
  3.  Order Carry Out- In most states, if you dine in, you are charged "eat in tax" on the food you buy that you are not charged when you order carry out.  Also, the extra items ordered like beverages are an additional expense when dining in.  The last but not least additional expense with eating out are tips.  We are talking about saving money, but a worker is worth their wages.  So if you are dining in, at least an additional 20 percent should be factored in.
  4. Go Digital-  The days of "extreme couponing" are nearly over.   Nobody wants to go shopping with a shoe box full of cutout coupons and have to make a shrine out of 1,700 rolls of toilet paper.  Many stores now have apps with digital coupons that you can use with your phone right at the store.  Also, popular sites such as RetailMeNot has sale, discounts, and coupons from multiple stores right on the app.
  5. Don't Give Up-  One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard was to "never accept a no from a person who doesn't have the ability to say yes.  Basically, it means to go to a "higher up" person when you are trying to negotiate something, or get something done.  Too many times we are told no one time, by a "gatekeeper" or entry level person and give up there.  In the past, I have gotten fees reduced, free upgrades, and favorable settlements by using this principle.
By using these tips combined with focus, determination, and consistency; you will be well on your way to a more financially productive year!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Different Toilet, Same Crap"

The Toilet. The Potty. The John. The Oval Office.  We have so many names for this ever so important bathroom fixture.  In fact, there are over 100 nicknames for the toilet.

There are over 1,647 models of toilets with different features, but they all have the same purpose; to get rid of waste.  With so many options, it would be a tough task to pick one, if presented with all the choices at the same time.

I was thinking about the famous definition of insanity from Albert Einstein, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".  Many times, in our lives we do this very thing.  The thing that we don't realize is that we mask this by changing everything but "us".

We get fed up with bosses and companies. Have you ever said or heard this before, "I'm tired of their crap"!  You quit the job or find a new company to work for, but go with the same "you".  Many employees leave one job for another and take the same marginal work ethic, the same skill set, and the same "workplace mentality".  But as time progresses, the same "crap" comes up again.

The same thing applies to relationships.  The honeymoon phase of any relationship eventually goes away.  You start to notice their annoying habits and what we deem as character flaws.  When we get fed up in relationships, "crap" often is replaced with a stronger, more suitable synonym!  The "dear john letter" is already sent or today texted, before finding the "crappy" flaws in ourselves.

You can even apply this to churches and places of worship.  The church where "things are happening" seems great when you first join.  The music and worship is good.  The pastor or minister is on point with the messages.  The people are nice and conversations are great at times of fellowship.

But as years past, you notice that you aren't growing, and you are in the same "place" you were when you joined.  You see the religious menality of the people and the church that you joined, and determine that it's time to make a change.  In this situation, the religious mentality in yourself and in every "Christian" organization organization can be missed.

Sometimes, there is no question that we need to make changes in our lives; whether it's a career change, a relationship, or an organization.  It is my suggestion, that when we make a change to anything outside of ourselves, we need to access the changes we may need to make in oursevles.  If we don't, then it's just going to a different toilet with the same crap!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"The 7.4 Billion Piece Puzzle"

It is estimated that their are 7.3 billion people on Earth today. Out of that 7.3 billion, their are 112 million pregnant women also.

The world is growing at a rapid pace.  What was once cutting edge technology is now obsolete.  Culture, laws, and traditions are changing daily.

Lately, I have become increasingly aware of the state of our society as a whole.  Problems have continued with no solutions.  It seems as if crime, lack, and the separation of races and groups are at an all time high.

If you were able to paint a picture of what our society looks like right now, what would it look like?  But that's the easy part, right?  To observe what is going on and form a conclusion.  No "think tank" is needed to point fingers and complain about how bad the world is right now.

So how does does the world look to you?  I view the world as a 7.4 billion piece puzzle with billions of pieces out of place. Each piece is a person with unique gifts, passions, and purposes that can't be replaced.

Some are spending time trying to fit into spaces that they don't belong in. This hurts them and the people/pieces around them also.

Others are sitting on the sideline trying to find their space and where they fit in.

It is my suggestion that every time someone  discovers their passion and pursues it, then the world looks a little better. This also inspires and helps others fit into their space too.

It's amazing that we can change the world by simply doing what we love. The best thing you can do is be yourself and fill that space that God has designed you to fill.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"Refrigerator Called Religion"

When rehabbing a house, there is a specific process that you go by.  In order to install or put in new things, you have to remove the old things that are damaged, broken, or simply just don't work anymore.

Sounds like common sense right?  Imagine having a plan to remodel your kitchen. You have picked out the cabinets you want.  The wall is lined up with paint swatches of colors that you have been trying to decide on since making the decision to redo your kitchen.

You start the work. You tear out the old cabinets and remove the counter tops.  The pictures and wall decorations come down to prepare for painting.  You plan to put down new tile floors, but first you have to bust up the old yellow and tan floors that have been there since you moved in.

Before you remove the floors you have to move out the appliances. The stove is pretty easy to move, especially if you have a dolly.  But then you glance at the refrigerator.  That old greenish-yellow refrigerator!  It's big and bulky and isn't like the new ones that come with wheels for easy moving.

That refrigerator has been there for years. There's no telling what has fallen behind it over the years.  Imagine the dirt and grime that has built up over time.  

This hunk of metal has been decorated over the years with coupons, pictures, report cards, and much more.  But now, it barely keeps food cold.  And once a month, you have to defrost the freezer because it builds a cocoon of frost and ice around whatever is in there.

This refrigerator must go!  It just isn't cutting it anymore.  

There is no way you can put in this new stainless steel refrigerator without first removing this old mess!  It's a no brainer when you think of it in the terms or rehabbing house. Out with the old, in with the new.

But that is exactly what we try to do when it comes to the process of rehabbing our minds.  We discover a new mindset, a new pattern of thinking, we discover the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom is God's way of thinking and his way of doing things.

Religion is man's thinking, and his way of doing things.  In the scale of things, religion is just not cutting it anymore.  It possibly never cut it, but at a time seemed like the right thing, and was "better than nothing".  A religious mindset is a limited mindset.  It has boundaries and much baggage that is not needed.

A Kingdom mindset is universal and unlimited.  You have so much more with a real relationship with God.  In fact, you have access to everything.

But many of us try to "install" a Kingdom mindset without first getting rid of that old "Refrigerator called Religion".  That way of thinking and acting that simply isn't working anymore.  That box of boundaries that's preventing you from being the real You.

Just as you can't install a new refrigerator without first removing the old one, you can't install a Kingdom mindset without first removing the Religious mindset.

Think about what relationships, careers, and dreams has "fallen" behind this Refrigerator called Religion.  Think about all that you can have and "house" with this new mindset that you couldn't with the old one. 

Mind Rehab is the process of removing negative, self-defeating thought, actions, and emotions, and replacing them with thoughts, actions, and emotions that are positive and true.  It's time to rehab our minds!

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Remembering Dr. Myles Munroe"

It was 1998.  My Senior Year at Scarlet Oaks CDC.  I was preparing for graduation and my career plans that would soon follow.

At the time, I was an avid reader of True Crime books.  Books about the mafia, big time drug lords, and "smart" gangsters like Meyer Lansky.  I read all kinds of books, but this particular genre was my favorite.  I was amazed by the accomplishments, leadership, and structured discipline of organized crime.

On one of my frequent visits to my aunt and uncle's house, who I believe was working for at the time as a co-op before graduation, I was given this book from my aunt called, "Becoming A Leader", by a guy named Myles Munroe.  She spoke very highly of the author, and said he was a great speaker also.

The title peaked my interest, I mean, who doesn't want to to be a leader right?  I ended up reading the entire book in like 3 hours.  I loved the book.  It made a lot of sense and was easy for my, "high school mind" to understand.

I liked the book so much that I had two of my closest friends read it, and gave it to another person to read.  I would never forget this book as years passed on.

Fast forward like 6 years. I had become heavily involved in my church teaching bible studies, leading youth ministries, and serving on the church board.  As I began to study the bible, Christianity, and how it relates to "everyday life", I began to ask the question, "is this it"?  And as I began to research and study things for myself, I discovered a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies between the knowledge I was receiving from the bible, and "church" and Christianity presented as a religion.

I had discovered something. I had discovered The Kingdom.  This began a personal quest.  A quest to "unlearn" the lies, ignorance, and religious mindset that I had been taught for years was "right".

I started seeking out preachers and teachers who knew and taught about The Kingdom of God also.  Then I came across Dr. Myles Munroe, the author of the book I had read years ago, on TBN.  I was captivated.  It was like he confirmed everything that I had discovered in my time of research and studying!

He became my mentor from a far.  I read just about every book of his I could get my hands on.  I watched YouTube videos of his messages for hours, while taking notes intently.

You see, to me, Dr. Myles Munroe was like the Michael Jordan or the Tupac of Spirituality to me.  I learned "God's Big Idea" from him.

Yesterday, when I heard that my mentor, my role model, one of my heroes, had died in a tragic accident, the best way I can describe it is,  I was, and still am, stunned.

But I remember what he taught me: He said, in one of his messages that I was fortunate to hear in person, very bluntly, "people die everyday, go on". Many people have died so that we can live.

So as I am remembering Dr. Munroe and the many things I have learned from him,  I vow to remember him by dying empty and standing on the shoulders of this mighty man of God.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"A Chance To Be A Woman"

Life, when does the fun start?  It's a question that many of us ask ourselves, God, or life itself.

With a mind full of urgent things that you "have" to do, comes a heart full of important things that you "want" to do.  How many of us have a mental cart, bucket, or wish list of things that we want to do but just can't seem to get a chance?

Consider this situation: A young woman graduates from high school and starts college soon after.  She grew up in a single parent home, being raised by her mother.

Freshman year is exciting!  The icebreakers, the parties, the freedom, and the boys!  Ah yes, the boys. She starts seeing a fellow male college student and ends up getting pregnant. Because of the situation, she decides that it is best that she drop to part time classes so she can work and take care of her child.  The boyfriend bails and she is forced to raise a baby on her own.

In less than 1 year, she goes from being a young woman with her whole life ahead of her, to being a single mother, father, and head of her household.  Fast forward a couple of years, and the roles mentioned earlier start to take a toll.  She feels that with all the roles and responsibilities that she has missed her chance.  The critical time period before being a mother, stand-in father, provider, protector and head of household.  The time of discovery where you have the chance to just be a woman.

Now this is not to condone the mothers who leave their kids with whoever so they can go to the club every weekend.  

But everyone needs a break.  Whether it's a day or an hour where you can put your roles and your armor down and just be and do "you".

I encourage women to make smart life decisions and no matter what season of life you are in, take a chance, a chance to be a woman.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Immature Genius"

Have you ever said or done the right thing at the wrong time?  The effects of an ill-timed statement or premature move, can have damaging effects that can take a long time to recover from.

I am reminded of the bible story of Joseph, the son of Israel.  Joseph had a dream that he would be a ruler, and placed in a leadership position in his family, and in his generation.  Now this dream was a good thing, because it revealed to him his future, gave him a sense of purpose, and gave him confidence.

But not everyone is ready, or wants to hear your dreams.  Out of immaturity, Joseph told his brothers and his parents what he should have kept to himself.  This is what I call an "Immature Genius".

Joseph grew up to be a genius at business and leadership.   But his immaturity, got him sold to slavery, thrown in jail, and accused of rape.

Another example of Immature Genius is Kanye West.  The whole Taylor Swift incident, along with a few other situations, have had a negative effect on Kanye's career.  Now this doesn't take anything away from the fact that he is a musical and creative genius.  It was in my opinion, that with the Taylor Swift incident, he was absolutely correct with what he said.  But it was a case of saying the right thing at the wrong time.

I believe that everyone is a genius.  Everyone has a gift, talent, or ability.  Some are visible, some are undeveloped, and some are still undiscovered.

When the moment of discovery arrives, we must be careful not to make immature moves.  Doing the right thing, at the right time is priceless.

Do you have an idea, a business, or dream?  It is my suggestion that you seek wisdom in sharing or taking action on the "genius" you have been given.  Let us learn from the mistakes of Joseph and Kanye so we don't be an "Immature Genius"!

Visions are meant to be shown not told. When you are ready to show your vision, others are ready to receive it.  Jameen Willis

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Balls And Blocks"

Have you ever wondered why it is so much easier to move something heavy when it is shaped like a ball?  I was thinking about moving a refrigerator, and how heavy it is if it doesn't have wheels.  But if it has wheels, you can move it with ease, whether it be to clean behind it, or to move it to another location.

Things like appliances, tools, and other products are made to be movable or permanent based on how they are made.  If something is supposed to stay in place, wheels or a ball wouldn't be the best design for it.  But something that is made to be portable, has to be moved, or can operate in different places, wheels or a ball shape is perfect.

The Bible describes God as the author and creator of all things.  I believe that God places "balls" and "blocks" in our lives based on what He has called us to do.  Some people are able to get things going with ease, as if it were placed on "the wheels of life".  Another person will try to do the same thing and will experience difficulty that perfectly describes the term, "a stumbling block".

One of the things that I am currently focusing on, is seeking God's direction on what the "balls" are in my life right now, and also what the "blocks" are.

It is my suggestion that many of us have made things "blocks" in our heads that are really "balls".  True enough, some things are hard and heavy, but if we just "get the ball rolling", it is amazing what we are able to do.  The other side of it is---the "blocks" that we have made to be "balls" in our minds.  Some things haven't moved for a reason!  It may not be the right time or just not in God's will for some of the "balls" we are attempting in our lives. 

Today, let us seek to have the "balls" and "blocks" in are minds, be in perfect harmony with God's will for our lives.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Fat Doctors"

Have you ever seen a fat doctor?  You wonder, how come they don't follow their own advice?  Many doctors are specialists in a particular area and their main problem is the very thing that they specialize in. 

It makes you wonder how did they ever get good in the area that they specialize in.  But doctors all over the world are solving problems, helping people get healed, and advising people to make changes that will have a lasting impression on their lives.

I was thinking of the recent stories in the news, of a few pastors that have gotten into trouble over bad decisions and unacceptable actions.  We have a lot of "Fat Doctors" in ministry and leadership.

People who are good at teaching others what to do, but not following the teaching themselves.  What has happened that as leaders we have become comfortable with "selling" what we have not "bought" yet ourselves? 

In leadership, we become so consumed with helping others and seeing results, that we forget to stop and take the "pills of principles" that we prescribe out daily to others.

How much more effective would we be if all our words were confirmed with actions, that show the instructions we give to people really work?

I challenge those who are in leadership, ministry, and positions of influence not to be "Fat Doctors".


Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Big Fifth Grader"

Repeating a grade.  Nobody likes it, but sometimes it is necessary.  The learning, growth, and development that was supposed to take place during this time period just simply didn't happen.  And if the child did advance to the next grade, they would not have the skills required to succeed at this level.

As a parent, this can be a tough decision to make.  On one hand, you want your child to be in their "right" grade, not get teased for "sticking", and stay with friends they have went to school with since kinder garden.  On the other hand, you want what's best for your child in the long run.  And you don't want your child to constantly struggle through the years ahead.

If the decision to repeat a grade is made, many times the child is upset.  This is understandable.  A lot of times, they will have the same teachers, same classes, and same tests.  Their friends and peers go on and leave them to the next level of education.

I was thinking about this idea of "sticking" when it comes to our spiritual lives.  A lot of us are frustrated with being on the same level spiritually that we have been on for years.

God desires to have a closer relationship with us and take us to higher levels of faith, knowledge, and  revelation of Him and His kingdom.   We have bigger "kingdom assignments" to accomplish in our lifetime, but many of us are stuck taking the same tests of years ago.

As a result, we have become a population with a lot of "big fifth graders", in a spiritual sense.   A lot of us have been saved, going to church, and have had a relationship with Christ for 10, 20, 30 years, but still spiritually immature.

Some of us even have the nerve to be angry at the people who have advanced to new levels, dimensions, and realms of faith.   This anger, jealously, and also guilt are the very stumbling blocks that prevent spiritual growth.

We have to realize that in order to advance in the Kingdom of God, their must be times of testing, trials, and hardships.  These are the training grounds for advancement in the Kingdom.  Out of ignorance, frustration, and the lack of perseverance that we quit, fail, or drop out of the very things that were sent to help us.

This scripture sums this up the best:  All this is evidence that God's judgement is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:5   

 We are kingdom citizens, and the kingdom of God rises under pressure.  Let us be mindful of this as we go through the tests, trials, and hardships in life.  Nobody likes to be the "big fifth grader"!

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Offended By God"

I couldn't believe it.  This can't be right.  "Something" must be wrong.  I couldn't understand why this was happening to me.

You see, at this particular point in my life, I thought I had it all together with my relationship with Christ.  I went to church, prayed, read my bible, fasted, taught bible study, etc......  I felt that I had faith, and a pretty good relationship with the Lord.

What I couldn't understand is why the closer I got to the Lord, the worst things started going for me.  I had basically left a career, to devote my time to ministry and fulfilling His purpose for my life.

My faith was running low.  The pressure of being a husband, a father, and provider was looming.  And to top it all off, the lack of what I thought was success in ministry caused me to doubt the whole reason I was going through all this in the first place.

Cars started going, accounts got closed, and relationships were strained.  Then--- I got angry, no, I got offended.  Offended by God.  How could He allow someone who had given his life to Him and His will allow me to go through all this?  How come I wasn't being delivered from this?  I could count off and quote a dozen scriptures that said I "win"!

I was so offended, that I questioned my calling, I questioned "Church", and I questioned what being a follower of Christ was really all about.  As I evaluated all of these things, I decided that I was going to have a relationship with God, "by myself", and "my way".

My perception got distorted.  I started thinking, "well, since God isn't going to help me, I have to do things my own the best way I can."  I felt alone, and "forced" to do things my way.

What I didn't realize is that I was being tested.  The things I was going through, were the training grounds for my assignment in life.  The hardships were building a platform that would last, for me to stand on.  But, I failed the test, and went through even more things than I had to, and longer than I had to.  I had become the "big fifth grader".  I had "stuck", and had to repeat the "spiritual semester" of my life.

You see, as many scriptures that I had that said I shouldn't have gone through this,  there were an equal amount, or more, of scriptures that said that I had to go through this!

What I am suggesting is that we don't get offended by God when we go through things, or if we go through things a lot longer than we think we should.  God is testing us, training us, and building us up for our assignments in life.

The bible says that we must endure hardship, persevere, and trust in Lord with all our heart.  What I learned, was if I would have held on a little longer,  kept my faith, and persevered, deliverance was just around the corner.

In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"A Chance To Be A Man" Part 3

What is a "real man"?  Is it someone who makes money, fixes things well, and likes sports?  In conversation people say, "be a man", "man up",  and "act like a man".   So is a man someone who is strong and tough?

During the civil rights movement,  African American men fought for equality and a chance to have the same rights, privileges, and opportunities as men of other races.  But what exactly was this "manhood" that they were fighting for?

In part 1 of this series, I talked about a man's role and responsibility in a relationship from a woman's point of view.  And part 2, was about growing up without having the affection and example of a father.

The saying, "it's easier said than done", is an understatement.  It's easy when you are on the outside looking in at someone else's situation and suggesting what they should do.

As for me, I feel like I have been given a chance.   A chance to be a leader and a follower of the good examples that have gone before me.  A chance to be a father who teaches his children by word and example.  A chance to be a husband who loves his wife as Christ loves us.  A chance to be strong and courageous enough to fulfill God's purpose and plan for my life.  

I feel like I have been given this awesome chance, "A Chance To Be A Man".

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"A Chance To Be A Man" Part 2

One of the most not talked about parts of growing up without a father in the home, is the "absent heart" of a father.  What I mean by this is: a father is physically in the home, but his heart and mind are not in the home. 

Most of us have heard stories and points of views of people who grew up not knowing who their fathers were, or how they knew who they were, but they were just not around.

But not so often do we here about the effects of not getting the attention, love, and care that a child so desparately needs growing up, even when the father is in the home.  Often times, this can feel worse than the father not actually being in the home.  It can make a person wonder if there is something wrong with them, or if they have done something wrong to receive this lack of attention.

Something that seems so small to an adult, can mean the world to a young man, and have a huge impact on his "chance to be a man".  It can be going outside to throw the football, a trip to the movies, or just a special time set aside where a son has his father's undivided attention.

This unspoken void has contributed to low self esteem, depression, addictions, and a general feeling of identity crisis in the lives of many young males.  Young boys grow up and turn into young men, often blaming their fathers for the many shortcomings in life.

This process, this cycle, continues to go on, from generation to generation.  Pride, fear, and an overall feeling of vulnerability prevents men from talking about these feelings. 

When a boy grows up lacking the skills, the knowlege, and the example;  it seems like it lessens his chance, "a chance to be a man".

Let us be mindful to break this cycle, and talk about it, to give our sons a "chance"!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"A Chance To Be A Man" Part 1

It's 2012.  You have all types of situations in households now.   Couples where both people work, just the man works, and also situations where just the woman works.  It's all about finding the combination that "works" for your particular situation.

A lot of women have such big hearts, and such a strong desire to find love in a relationship, that they settle for less than what they desire in a man. It is in my opinion, that in that settling for less than what they desire in a man,  they short circuit the guy in the relationship's "chance to be a man".

Here's an example:  A woman and a guy meet.  They date for a while, and things are going good.  They decide to move in together.  She has her own place, but the guy still lives at his parent's place.  So the guy moves in with the woman who has her own place.  The guy goes from his mama's house, to her house.  Now since this was already her place, of course she already manages the bills.  And since she was taking care of the bills before he moved in, she isn't necessarily depending on him to pay the bills.

Now not all, but most of the women that I talk to, want to one day get married.  But when you live together, and are already having sex before you get married, it lessens the urgency and desire for a man to want to get married.

A lot of people in their early twenties are looking to find a good job, and still trying to figure out what they "really" want to do.  Many women are sensitive to this, and willing to wait for a man to figure out what he really wants to do.   So all of a sudden, the relationship becomes lopsided, and turns into expensive companionship.

 For the man it's his first serious relationship.  He went from is mama's house, to her house.  Since, she had the responsibility of the house, she has to still work while she figures out what she "really" wants to do.  And her situation provides the opportunity and more time for him to figure out what he "really" wants to do.

In her settling and desperation, a situation was created in the relationship that lowered the possibility in his "chance to be a man".

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Two Kinds of People"

There are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who are doing things, and those who watch others do things.  Who are you going to be?

There are two types of followers of Christ.  Kingdom citizens who do what Jesus did, and religious Christians that just talk about what Jesus did.

You can only believe two ways; either by faith with the substance of knowing, or merely hope which is empty and has no substance.

There are two kinds of people in this world.  People who make decisions, and people who let life make the decisions for them.  Which one are you going to be?

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Title Faith"

When I was sixteen and got my driver's license, I bought a 1988 Toyota pickup truck as my first car.  I had saved up enough money to buy it myself by working, and sacrificing lunches at school.

At the time, I didn't know the importance of a car title.  I had paid cash for my car, and I kept the title in the glove compartment of my truck. 

One day, on my way home from visiting a relative's house, I got pulled over by the police for the first time.  I was thinking, "what did I do wrong"? Was I speeding?  Am I being racially profiled?  As my heart was pounding, not knowing the reason I was being pulled over, endless thoughts were running through my head.  The officer asked my for my license and registration, which I had in my glove box also.  I fumbled through the glove box looking for what he had asked.  Then he stopped me, and said, "why do you have the title to your car in the glove box"?  Then he said, "you know, whoever has the title to your car, has control of your car, so you should keep that in a safe place"!

Those words he said to me that day stuck, and I never forgot what he said.  And just in case you were wondering, he pulled me over because it was getting dark and I didn't have my lights on!

But I learned a valuable lesson that day.  It doesn't matter if you don't have possession of the car, if you have the title, you have legal ownership of the car.  Without the title, you can't get registration or tags.  But with it, you can sell the car, get a loan on the car,  or even trade it for another one.

As I was studying to prepare a message one day, I thought, that's what we need, "title faith"!  You see, in a spiritual sense, the bible, it's laws, principles, and promises are our "titles of faith".  It doesn't matter if you don't physically have the thing, as long as you have the title,  what the bible says is legally yours, it's yours!

Anyone who has possession of what is rightfully yours by "title", is illegal.  It's time for the Kingdom citizens to call for possession of what is rightfully ours, by way of the promises of God.

Just as a lender repossesses a car from someone who doesn't have the full title for the car, it's time for us to repossess the rights, privileges, and promises in the Word of God.  Today, let us remember the bible is the substance, or "title faith" for the rights as God's children.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"I Want A Rematch"

It was the fall of 2009.  I was just coming to grips with the fact that my career as a Realtor was coming to an end.  I had decided that I was going to pursue what I felt was my true calling and God's purpose for my life.  I started writing and preparing to speak anywhere that someone would allow me to speak.

I had a vision of what I wanted to happen, and I went for it with everything that I had.  Doing something new, after years of doing something so long that it seemed like second nature, was a struggle for me.  I knew that I couldn't go back to the good old days as a successful Realtor, and I wasn't used to my new career in the speaking and writing business.  But I kept moving forward.  I got my business registered, built my website, and joined organizations in my field.

I began calling people and looking for opportunities to speak and write.  Some people seem interested, and told me they would keep me in mind.  Then I got my first paid speaking engagement, and that was a very good feeling.  I'm thinking, "wow, this is really happening".  I was going to schools, youth groups, and having a weekly bible study at my house. 

But the money wasn't coming in like I needed it to.  Bills were getting overdue.  Tensions were flaring with me and my wife, and all of a sudden, my new business didn't seem like such a good idea.  I felt defeated and if I had been let down by God.  So I began to slow down.  I stopped having the bible study at my house.  I called a few places here and there, but for the most part I stopped prospecting for speaking engagements.  I would still write, but not with the same enthusiasm that I had before.

It felt like I had gotten into a fight with life and lost.  I started to do other things.  A job here, a job there.  And the next thing I know, a couple years had gone by.  My passion hadn't gone away, it was just buried in fear, disappointment, and lack of confidence.

So I decided to give it another try.  A couple of years had past.  I learned some valuable life lessons, and had developed more wisdom and insight on how to do things. 

I declared to life, "I want a rematch"!  Sometimes, you have to declare to life that you want a rematch.  During the time period that you felt you had lost and now, you will have grown, become stronger, and learned things that are going to help you in your "rematch".  And the fact that you have an opportunity for a rematch,  means that God wants you to win.

So review the, "tape" of life.  Look at the mistakes you made before and learn from them.  Use the training, teaching, and development that life has given you, and declare "I want a rematch"!

Monday, May 21, 2012

"A Second Opinion"

Every day someone is diagnosed with an incurable disease, terminal illness, or something that requires a major operation or surgery.  The shock of this news can be a life changing experience.

When people receive this news and unfavorable reports, many like to get a second opinion on the situation.  Some people have lost confidence in doctors with all the recent mistakes and malpractice suits that have been going on.  But some people just don't agree with the doctors, and search for a doctor who agrees with their point of view on the situation.  It's like this: one doctor says you need to have surgery, and you don't want to have surgery.  So you search for the "second opinion" of a doctor that agrees with you.

This made me think of how God searches for a "second opinion" that agrees with Him.  So many of us are living by sight instead of by faith.  Many of our thoughts, actions, and emotions are being ruled by the 5 senses.  But God is looking for us to be in agreement with him so that His culture, nature , and way of doing things can forcefully advance in the earth.  

When our thoughts, decisions, and emotions are in line with His, that is when we will see the power of God and results in our lives.