Lesson 2: Be Relentless

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you are buried – but actually, you’ve been planted

How are you all doing rockstars? Its been a while, hasn’t it? I went off the grid because I was working on this –

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Ta da…coming out on Amazon shortly.

It began with Continue reading “Lesson 2: Be Relentless”

Lesson 1: Leverage Your Challenges

Today, I begin unpacking some lessons that I learned and those that were reinforced during my social media absentia. Before that, I must confess –

I have stepped back from social media and I am just enjoying friends, family, and new connections in real time. Still on a people high, folks. Wooo…

Anywho…back to Lesson 1.

If you have been reading my post, you may remember that one of the challenges I faced was finances for tuition. I explained the unforeseen circumstances that wrapped itself around my dilemma, making me seemingly powerfulness to do anything. Here’s what I didn’t tell you. Continue reading “Lesson 1: Leverage Your Challenges”

Lost in the Real World

Happy 4th folks.

It’s been a while. But thank God, I’m alright.

I haven’t been on social media for two weeks. The horror!

However, terrifying that was, I learned many things. And many miracles happened, see.

First, time is so precious and limited. I had so little time to do all I needed and eliminated social media to rid the distractions and focus. My goal was to capture and mine the gold of every minute in every hour of every day while I observed and measured the impact on my relationships.

And let me tell you – amazing results. But, there was still not enough time even after eliminating social media for a bit. On the other hand, there was no shortage of contacts and connections. In fact, I hardly had time to keep up with my old and especially new friends.

I learned much about the people I was meeting and about what they were doing. The opportunities that emerged from mere conversations were mind-boggling. My conversations were real, simple, filling, and refreshing. Continue reading “Lost in the Real World”

No…You’ve Got to Be Kidding!!!

That’s it.

I can’t figure HIM out. He is somethin’ else. Our heavenly dad’s ways can be frustrating at times, won’t you agree Making us wait when “It don’t make no sense.” I mean who does that? Doesn’t it bother you how sometimes He seems to be talking with you about something trivial like He didn’t see the elephant in the room?

Like “Duh” Jesus, hello…challenges here. What’s up with that?

But, He will be who He will be. The meaning of I AM THAT I AM (Not hating Jesus, just saying). Anywho!

So, something happened last week. Continue reading “No…You’ve Got to Be Kidding!!!”

Diplomatic Inspiration 2.0

Do I have a cool story for you!

But first,

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9)

Yesterday, I was at a Diplomatic Peace Summit.

The speakers consisted of Sikhs, Monks, Hindu Priests, Bishops, the Former President of Ecuador, Heads of various Parishes from The Americas, and one of my friends, Angel Roman, who was representing a fledgling Peace Initiative.

In attendance were thousands of young people, the general public, and honored guests. Thundered applause electrified the room from start to finish as each speaker gave their 3-5 mins speech in native lingo. Angel’s mother shed tears of joy seeing her 20-year-old boy made his entrance on the International Stage. Quite moving.

Then, came the SHOCK wave that pulsated the room and left me breathless!

This is how it happened. Continue reading “Diplomatic Inspiration 2.0”

The Kingdom of Brotherhood

Last night, I was going through some archives and came across this description of the Kingdom of God that moved me and has since shaped the way I approach life. I heard it from John Paul Jackson of righteous memory on his show, Dreams and Mysteries on the episode – The Kingdom of God. It was worth sharing today.

On that episode, the scene begins with John Paul sitting down with a woman. He begins talking about the inner life. Then shifts to the subject of the Kingdom. He talked about the woman’s inner issues which he noted were mostly spiritual. Then, he said –

Because it is spiritual, they require some change. One that begins inside of you more than anywhere else.

We all live in a kingdom and there are many kingdoms.

There have been many kingdoms of men throughout history.

They come. They go. They rise. They fall.

But, there is a kingdom. A kingdom above every kingdom that spans far beyond the limited kingdoms of men. One cannot see the castles on earth of this kingdom because this kingdom begins in the heart. It begins inside of us.

This isn’t a kingdom of politics or economics but of brotherhood.

It has an aristocracy not based on dominance but on service.

It has a house of Lords but it is not filled with eldest sons but of selfless brothers.

It’s not a kingdom of pride but of humility.

It knows no greed but fosters selfless giving.

It’s a kingdom that does not banish the weak but offers to make the weak strong.

This kingdom is the kingdom of heaven.

And in the final analysis, how we’ve lived our life in this kingdom is all that will matter.

There are some things that God wants to do that begins inside of you that’s going to change everything in your life. But it is going to require you accepting His only begotten son.

That kingdom begins with Jesus and with you accepting him and his sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins and payment to help you draw near freely and boldly to God your creator who longs to be a good father to you.

Thank you, John Paul. Until we meet again

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One Love, One Spirit


 

It’s the Final Test. Don’t Get it Wrong!

Reflecting on my adventure –

As I near – The Promised Land – I can see it. I see the difference and I can see why its hard. I see why it’s counterintuitive. Don’t get it wrong.

First, let’s see what you think.

In the Books of Exodus and Numbers, we read about journeys. They are strikingly similar and hard to tear apart. In both books, the people of Israel are on the journey which ends in sin and then, destruction. In Exodus, its the golden calf and in Numbers, the story of the spies. In both, God threatens to destroy them and restart the journey with Moses. And in both, Moses pleads for Israel.

Now, the difference. According to Rabbi Sacks, in Exodus, the people are departing while in Numbers, they are arriving. They have left Egypt far behind. Unlike in Exodus, in Numbers, the people are not looking back or thinking of the danger they are fleeing from (Egyptians chasing them at the Red Sea, Amorites etc.). Instead, they are thinking of the destination they are traveling towards, The Promised Land they are about to enter.

One would have thought that as they approached the promised land after escaping many dangers, they would be more relaxed, happy, fruitful, and less demanding. On the contrary., they become more rebellious. Moses becomes more tired, telling God to end his misery (Numbers 11:6) and is now easily prone to anger and despair. He becomes less likely to listen to God, acting on his emotions instead of swiftly obeying the Lord’s command to “Speak to the rock,” INSTEAD OF striking it.

And reading through it now seems like God is calling me out on it (ouch).

Contrasting both stories reveal that –

There are two journeys – The Journey from and the Journey to. The journey to is much harder than the journey from Continue reading “It’s the Final Test. Don’t Get it Wrong!”

Is it 10 or 11?

Once, at the end of a conference, we were told –

Fill out these one-page surveys and bring them to us when you are done. Be honest. We will like to know how we are doing and how you enjoyed the conference.”

To be honest, the conference was a blast. I had so much fun. I learned so much. I made friends. And I had a breakthrough sharing the most vulnerable part of my life with a complete stranger who also took time to reciprocate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this leadership conference. The people, the dancing, and two-stepping to folk music was a refreshing experience. So, how could I accurately convey how I really felt? On this survey, words were not permitted. Only checks in boxes. And as usual, the survey read –

“From 1-10, 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, rate your experience. How did you enjoy this conference and was it helpful?”

How then could I convey everything I was feeling? Selecting 10 would reflect the outcome but, not what the conference and the people did for me. I need to check this box in a way that filled the page with the level of joy and gratitude I wished to express.

But, wait….! I had an idea. Continue reading “Is it 10 or 11?”

Miracles on Skid Row

If you didn’t know…

Skid Row is a popular block close to Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the homeless. Tents pegged everywhere, smells, garbage…and then men, women, and families.

It is home to some good people who made mistakes, good people with unfortunate storiespeople with good stories who made poor choices, and others.

Yesterday, I saw miracles on Skid Row. I saw miracles in the streets. But first,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… (Mt 25:35-42)

For about two weeks, the Holy Spirit seemed to pull strings inside of me, pointing me toward that end. So, instead of the regular dose of Sunday Service and Sunday Netflix, I decided to follow Him. And the entire day turned out to be one big divine appointment.

Its the miracles on Skid Row I wish to highlight today. Continue reading “Miracles on Skid Row”

Motown Sister: Musical Analysis of her Leadership Style

Sometimes, you meet people who just light you up. Following mother’s day, I thought I’d share about a woman whom I met and listened to last week. She reminded me so much of my mom.

Speaking of Mrs. Mom, I called and read Thank You Mrs. Mom as a gift for Mother’s Day since she is so far away. Well – she sobbed. Scary stuff. But, it made her happy. Oh…and the defense? I think I did alright. Presentation was good. But, I could have done better on one or two questions.

Back to our Motown Sister.

I shared a leadership framework which I use to analyze different leadership styles called Sharp Leadership which you can use to carry a vision, your people, and their conversation. Speaking of the Sharp Leadership rubric, it includes five core principles which are:

(i)- Tell the truth, (ii) Be accountable, (iii) take care of your people, (iv) give/receive feedback, and (v) be fair

Based on that rubric I want now to talk about a Soul Sister.

Say hello to an achievement model and a conflict resolution legend. This role model embraces her roots and culture and colorfully champions BET’s “Black is Gold” and “Black Girls Rock” theme in her person like a hashtag representing ethnic pride on different social media frequencies. Quite simply, she is – A Rockstar – whose passion keeps her forever young.

Ms. Avis Ridley-Thomas is that Rockstar. In my observations from dealing with people, I find that the type of music one listens to says a lot about them and about what moves them. Like a Celt, I was curiously searching for the reason for Ms. Avis glow throughout her lecture in order to musically explain her inclined leadership style.

Though she listens to all kinds of music which explains her love for diversity, I may have been sidetracked in my attempt by her preferred love for Motown which compelled me to express a hint of pleasure during her lecture class. I wonder if my reaction was childish. But, I can explain my engagement as delightfully professional.

So, why does she listen to all types of music?

In the words of the Rockstar herself, she said, “It is because I can hear all the talents that people have.” This was music to my ears. Though her statement may sound like “Old Skool” slang, as a fellow Motown lover, also nicknamed Motown for the love the genre, I am certified to translate her wisdom as –

she can understand what drives people, their talents, their strengths, their weakness, and use it to understand the wavelengths of people’s emotions andRaison de Vivre.” Continue reading “Motown Sister: Musical Analysis of her Leadership Style”