The Ultimate Test for 2018

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HEY….THERE….AWESOME PEOPLE!

How are you guys doing? I hope well.

Okay! Hands up if you have been worrying about…well…everything?

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C’mon, don’t lie…

Well! STOP IT! (lol)

Seriously though, have your peace. I pray blessings over you. I pray for peace to flood your soul, for grace to be your own, and for a renewed strength to go your way in Jesus name.

THIS IS GOING TO BE AN EXCELLENT YEAR

For the past week, I have been reflecting about what would be one of the most important things to consider moving forward this new year. Though this is going to be an excellent year, I sense that the troubles and challenges we will be facing will be on a level that will require us to be grounded in this – one thing – I am about to share.

Let me do just that using a true story I came across in a book called – Translating God – by Shawn Bolz.

1 + 1 may reach the mind, but once upon a time reaches the heart  – Lou E.

So here it goes…

An enthusiastic young man, Dan, came to a conference of leaders where they were some leaders. He was excited about the opportunity to possibly be called up to speak even though he was not on the list. A discussion panel was being organized and Dan was hoping to fill in one more spot.

Dan went to see the head organizer, telling him of the numerous things he could do for everyone there, especially the head organizer himself. The head organizer had never met or heard of Dan. Certainly, he had talent. There was just one lingering possibility though.

And so, the organizer said to Dan, “Can I ask you some questions?”

Of course!” Dan replied.

Where did you go to celebrate Christmas last year?” the organizer asked.

Dan was confused since he had been expecting questions about what he could bring do or bring to the table.

Um, I don’t remember. I was invited over to a co-worker’s house.” Dan said.

Fantastic. Is this co-worker your closest friend?” asked the organizer.

No, I met him and his family just a few weeks ago,” answered Dan.

How about last few years before that? Where did you spend the holidays?” There was no answer.

How about your birthdays? Who celebrates that every year with you?” There was no consistent answer.

Have you been to the hospital in the past few years?” asked the organizer.

Yes, I have,” answered Dan.

Who came to visit you while you were there? Did anyone go with you?” asked the organizer.

Well, some women came every now and then to look out for me,” said Dan.

Then the organizer said, “I put up this conference every year with my best friends and people I worked and studied with. People I trust and can depend on. Who are your best friends?”

No answer!

Then the organizer said,

Dan, here, we value our connections and relationships. We grow because of it. We are accountable because of it. We prosper because of it. And when we are falling on hard times; when we lose our step, when everyone else is done with us, we fall back to the springboard of our bonds which sends us flying higher. But, you are so disconnected that I don’t think we will be willing to hear what you have to say.”

And then he added,

Whatever you say will just be a tool about doing this or that instead of healing, lifting and leveraging relationships for a healthy journey toward destiny. Frankly, there is a lot of that and if we needed someone to do that, we would find someone we knew.”

…the end…

Did you get it?

I figured instead of sharing this during or at the end of the year, it might be worthwhile to begin the New Year (2018) with the right focus and the ultimate springboard for a fulfilling year, life, and destiny – your people (family, friends, community).

It is not good for man to be alone – Genesis 2:18

So, let’s be honest?

Are you connected? How connected are you to “your people“? Do you feel connected and are you confident in your people’s connection to you? How’s your family? How’s your team? How’s your tribe?

We can’t do this journey alone. We can’t.

 

About two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer these questions. I was moving in life too fast. Today, its different. Not all of us come from good families or have strong friendships. I get it. But at least, we can make do with what we have. Let’s build from there. Putting effort into The Main Attraction can be part of the New Year’s resolution. Let’s keep this focus together as we charge into this New Year with excellence.

Here at my cousin’s villa, we are preparing to celebrate this little guys 1st birthday.

Being born is God saying you matter. Your birthday is God saying you still matter

And God uses your people to remind you, to tell you just how special you are.

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Happy Birthday “Boubou”

Last week, he seemed to have realized that he had a functioning vocal cord. And now, he is yelling at everything and everyone. My goodness!

Phew! Children –

They are the greatest blessing, BUT also a pain at one end and a smell at the other. Truly a gift from God!

I am thankful for you Mr. Bubbles. I am thankful for your parents, for my cousin and her family, for the shabbat family, and for my friends. I hope you too have people you are thankful for and can do 2018 with.

If not, I pray God will bless you with people who will love you unconditionally, bless you joyfully, challenge you fearlessly, and boldly correct you where necessary.

This year is going to be an excellent year. I feel it. So, I wish you a week full of good health and prosperity. It is well.

 

One Love, One Spirit

Ish’mael


 

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