I received a miracle yesterday. Oh boy, you guys. Do I have a story for you. First, really quickly – thank you again for everyone who has been doing their Christmas shopping through my Amazon link, http://www.amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones . It’s a free and easy way to support this blog. And thank you for everyone listening to…
Happy Holidays Happy People,
Christmas is upon us. And I am really excited – for no particular reason. Okay, I expect some good surprises. You know – gifts, family, friends, food, drinks…the usual. And maybe I’ll be lucky enough to kiss a girl under the mistletoe…(Hey, I believe in miracles okay).
Yes! I believe.
B…u…t, my point is – I am excited and fell awkward at the same time. No shame, no gain!
To begin the season (The entire December), here is a christmas carol – Silent Night – sung in the ? – Language. That’s right. There is a language called “?”.
Think I’m kidding? Well, check out this funky fellow sing Silent Night in “?.” This is the BEST SILENT NIGHT I have listened to – EVER!!! Be sure to share it with family and friends. It makes the atmosphere a little – merrier – yes? Its my own way of sharing the merriness.
I have a brief thought to share today.
I heard someone say that a bottle of beer after a days work is a therapeutic. Well, instead of that, you did you one good.
I brought Elvis “back to life” in my little chateau and asked him to set a jazzy mood to relieve you of stress while you read my brief thought.
[Elvis – just for you! Listen and read on]
Its the 21st century. The world is already a risky place. You could get pranked by someone who straps a fake bomb on a dog and makes the dog chase you. Your dog could be drugged and stolen in the middle of the night for no reason (Snoopy, my mom’s dog got nicked last week. No joke).
People are going cray-cray out there. (I think they need Jesus!)
Sans the shootings and bombings, there are many uncontrollable variables out there that can make our lives, our dreams, and the fulfillment of our destiny a living hell. But, locking our truest identities in “internal prisons” and marooning ourselves in our “safe spaces” won’t do us any good either.
It is the 21st century alright. The world is already a risky place.
The only way to learn, live, grow, and succeed nowadays is to learn the language of the age. And the first rule to living in a risky world is this – Take risks. This season, do something a tart different for a change. Practice the new language of the age.
For instance –
Dance freely. Salsa with the breeze. Give freely even if you don’t feel the utopia. Travel freely on the byways and highways. Love relentlessly. Forgive quickly. Reconcile immediately. You’ve got imagination – employ it. Each moment is a treasure – enjoy it.
Success – whatever that means to you – is the destination. Lifelong learning is the journey. Risk is the vehicle.
That’s why –
I am going to kiss a sweet and fancy mademoiselle under the mistletoe (Oui). If you are a fine dame reading this, assume I will claim plausible deniability for writing this post if it turns out to be you (Hahaha).
Take risks…! As my friend, Louis would say –
Life is too short to be boring.
And as you practice taking risks this season, think of this song by K.T Tunsall. It’ll help you have fun while as you play “real life do or dare.” It will make your bloopers and awkward moments seem a little cheek.
So let me remind you –
Life is not full of surprises – YOU ARE.
So, take risks!
I hope you enjoyed my attempt at making you laugh. If not, I’ll do better next time. But, I hope you enjoyed the songs and the brief thought. Thank you for reading my posts. Your likes, comments, and encouragement mean a lot to me. Thanks again. I love you guys.
No, not really.
Honor is something that should dwell among us. A step further: it should dwell on our lips in what we say or what we keep ourselves from saying. Let honor fare better with us that among thieves. This coming from a man who has made so many mistakes in this area. Oh well…God help us.
Let’s cross examine Joseph (the dreamer’s) story. First, we learn that Joseph has dreams of ruling. Jacob loves Joseph more than his other children which sparks jealousy and hate. Joseph’s brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites (ironically my name is Ishmael) and the Ishmaelite’s sell him in Egypt.
We know Joseph rises in rank and is in charge of Potiphar’s house. Next, he is framed by Potiphar’s wife, he is put in prison, and years later, after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he is made Viceroy of Egypt. It will be 7 years later when a famine (agricultural depression) hits and his brothers come to Egypt to buy food (1).
Woa wooa wooa…! What’s your point?
Okay! Why didn’t Joseph send an email back to Canaan to tell his father Jacob he was alive? I’m sure they had either Camel or Donkey telecommunication services. That’s how word traveled. Okay, maybe when Joseph was being transported by the Ishmaelites he was only a transaction with no rights. No big deal.
What about when Joseph was head of Potiphar’s house? He most definitely could have sent an e-mail (eagle/bird mail) to his dad. Why didn’t he? Even so, when he became Viceroy of Egypt, he could have gone back or sent a messenger: why didn’t he? Continue reading “Honor among gossips? WHAT!”
So, a while back this thought came to mind –
In life, you won’t always have ideal circumstances, but you will always have opportunities in un-ideal circumstances for advancement.
Nothing is ideal.
The world is not ideal. Our circumstances are not ideal. People are not ideal. The stars won’t always line up for you to be able to make your move, date, marry, or start a business. Even when we hope for the ideal times to take a risk, they never come.
And if you are waiting for that ideal thing or person, gifts and blessings will always pass you by. But, indulge me for a sec.
I noticed that in the midst of the un-ideal circumstances are silent opportunities, echoed only by the wind.
You won’t see these opportunities. You won’t hear them. But for a brief moment, you will feel the breeze of one or two opportunities caress your countenance. ONLY for a brief moment.
*If you are adamant about perfection, perfect circumstances, and ideal circumstances, you will likely dismiss silent opportunities too quickly. You will brush it off as a temptation and miss the God moments, signs, numbers, symbols, and signals. You may miss God’s voice in the mundane and the unconventional.
*If you have an open mind, you will pick up the scent. And perhaps you will debate in your mind the outcome of either choosing to pursue set ideals or risk taking the opportunity in front of you. (NB: I’m not talking about values and ethics. Just life).
*You may consider that going with the opportunity you find. But of you, this choice will require great honesty on your part. Honesty about what is currently possible about your situation.
Honesty about what the current limits, boundaries, and restrictions of your situation are. And honesty as well as a painful admission about whether you are willing to pay the price to overcome set obstacles and limitations.
The choice will always be yours.
We don’t live in a world of fairy tales and happy endings.
THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. WE ARE LIVING IT
We can’t always make situations ideal but we can at least grow toward becoming our ideal selves
What makes our failures, hopes, ruined expectations…painful is hope deferred.
That’s because we have to contend with life living its own life. Life has a life of its own. It has its own good days and bad days.
But, even as we contend with what we wish were an ideal set of circumstances for our lives at the moment of pondering a decision, there will always be hope.
There will always be an opportunity or a possibility in the midst of un-ideal circumstances to chose something, chose someone, or make a simple choice that can be a long term blessing. But that will require some mental, emotional, and physical work.
That’s for sure. So –
We may not have ideal circumstances. But we can manage and have the ability to shift our journeys and circumstances toward the ideal side of the life spectrum after the fact
On the other hand –
Failure to take an opportunity just because circumstances are not ideal may become the one pivotal thing in life that you look back on as failure. Regardless of that, you can become a pirate of your crisis. So –
Work with the ideal in mind but plan elaborately for the worst and for alternatives. Better yet, “Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will order your step (Proverbs 3:5).”
This is the real world.
Even so, its in the midst of us living “in the real world” and being a part of it that makes the work of the Almighty in us and through us a light, a delight, and a testimony.
Still reflecting on stuff! Its been a lazy week for me – because I am still in reflecting mode. But, its been helpful for me to STOP and go back to basics. While at it, I have been reading things I wrote years ago. Perhaps this has been the reason for this season.
And I want to share something which – you already know (I hope).
C. S Lewis wrote –
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
In your soul is the light that gives you life. It may be dim, but that’s the journey most of us are taking. Our souls embody the dreams and visions of grandeur, the essence of our ideas, the motives of our success, and questions of worth and meaning.
When we lose our will to live, we die. When we give up or quit, we become the living dead. When we lose our passion for life and our enthusiasm for a bright future, our faces become dim and we begin to crash into despair and depression. Continue reading “Back to Basics”
Hello fam –
For a while now, my life has been like a game of pool and my actions like the pool stick. Everything I did felt like I was trying to hit stripped balls into the table’s pockets. Finally, I am at the “8” ball, the last piece for me to play to win the game of pool.
In real life lingo, I can’t figure out what that “8” ball is for me to do so I can complete this season of my life. I am thinking if I can figure it out, I would know what to do to complete this season of my life.
But, it seems God is hinting that it has to do with STOPPING and REFLECTING on my roots. Its as if He is urging me to do this before this circle of my life, which has felt like an evenly matched game between my faith and the forces of evil, ends.
After the shooting in Texas this week, I stopped to think. As I interceded for Sutherland, the Texas Files in my soul were opened. I recalled and smiled at good and bad memories. But, I had to STOP what I had been doing altogether when I received unpleasant news yesterday.
I called to greet my godmother and found she died on September 20th. That’s almost a month and a half ago. I was in shock. And this is happening around the time of my “twin” brother’s one year death anniversary. So, this week, has been interesting.
So, instead of the usual posts about faith, family, process, or developing destiny, I want to remember my godmother, share what she did for me, and some defining lessons from her life as a woman, mother, wife, and missionary.
First, I have to confess.
The first thing that I thought of after hearing the news of her passing was whether I had honestly spent enough time with her
Whether I could have called her more often to just talk and connect. I do my part but I almost felt guilty of not talking to her as often as I wished
Nevertheless. She wouldn’t want me having those feelings.
So, in brief,
This is what Esther Lekunze (Pastor Es as we called her) did for me – Continue reading “IF NOT FOR HER…”
Are y’all doing alright?
Well! I ain’t!
First, because of my initial reaction to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
When I heard of the shooting, I didn’t feel any pain or connection. None! I was angry at myself for not feeling pain. I didn’t know why. Maybe I have been desensitized by TV. Even though I planned to lift Texas up in prayers before bed last night, I forgot.
I felt horrible for forgetting. I’m sorry!
But, in Zumba class this morning, a country song was playing and in that moment, I remembered the shooting. I had completely forgotten about it. Even then, I felt no emotion. No connection. I am embarrassed to even say that.
But when I slowed my dancing pace and looked around at everyone laughing, smiling, and two-stepping to the beat, I wondered –
“Is anyone in here thinking about Texas? Do these people realize what happened in Texas in that little church? Why do we feel so detached from this?”
And, that’s when it hit me. Continue reading “RAISED BY TEXAS”
Did you enjoy reading the Circle of Competence: Your Gifts & Talents? Was it helpful? Did it resonate with you? [Please let me know. Good or bad, it helps me grow].
(If you didn’t already, I encourage you to read it. This post is a continuation of the explanation of The Life-cycle of your Gifts and Talents)
In the first post about your Circle of Competence, I ended on the note that you can trace your steps from uncertainty, obsession, and desire back to your gift. Let me demonstrate that insight with a true story. Continue reading “CIRCLE OF COMPETENCE: Stories & Application”
So, I am back from the “dead.” Praise God!
I had a terrible cough and nose bleeding for a week. And traveling didn’t make it easy. But my travel wasn’t all cough, blood, and tears. I met, connected with, and drove with a wonderful young man for 10 hours from Redding, California to Los Angeles.
Meet Landon from Idaho.
He is an organic farmer (7 years running), world traveler, and extreme hiker from a wonderful family. Plus, he is only 23. Our drive was fun.
Landon shared his passion for storytelling, script writing, film, and production. But, he had questions for me. And the questions was the sign to share this post. Initially, I felt that it was premature to share this, but Landon inspired its release.
Exception: I like writing short posts. But, because of the weight and life changing nature of this post, this will be a little emphatical for the sake of clarity. It will benefit you greatly. It might change your life. I will try to be brief. (That said…)
Here’s the deal –
We all have God-given gifts and talents. Let’s call these cluster of gifts and talents – your circle of competence. They are your strengths and can cause you to blossom.
“The gift makes way for the man” ~ unknown
Having gifts and talents does not mean you will succeed. Finding them doesn’t mean you will automatically grow.
Understanding the lifecycle of your gifts and talents (circle of competence); and understanding where you are in that lifecycle can help you to – become clear, find peace in your search for meaning, and enable you to grow intentionally and effectively on your journey toward destiny.
And the insight which I share with you below is what I shared with Landon. Continue reading “CIRCLE OF COMPETENCE: YOUR GIFTS & TALENTS”
I love dancing and singing.
I really do! Especially when it comes to worshiping God in song.
Often, I get lost in it that I forget about time and commitments. That often causes problems.
And that is the dilemma Ale faced recently.
She is a beauty, a dancer, a worshiper, a lover of Jesus, a friend of God, a risk taker, a woman of faith…from Columbia. She is (in typical Ale lingo) – just amazing!
When Ale experienced getting lost in God’s love, goodness, and presence while praising God “in the closet,” she too forgot about her time and commitments with her parents. She got chewed out for it. Trying to find an answer, she asked –
“Ish’, how do I balance worship of God with honoring time and other commitments even though I get so lost in worship and conversation with God during adoration (quite) time?”
At first, I didn’t have an answer. But then it hit me. Continue reading “RAISE THE ROOF!”