Tag: fun

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.

I talked with my friends daily and often for hours, cracking jokes and laughing so loud it messed with my neighbors. These opportunities for relationship and growth are so numerous I bought a Planner to set times for both tasks, phone calls, and meetings.

During these odds weeks, I would meet one person and one thing led to the next and then something else happened. It felt like a domino effect.

I met U.S Secretary of Labor nominee, Andrew Puzder, was adopted as grandson to a British Grandma who was married to Prussian Royalty, was invited to The oldest business clubs in LA and in the world, met a family of inventors that created a machine for picking grapes, went swing dancing with friends and a beautiful lady (Yes), led a TV graphics crew under the supervision of Baby (another friend whose name is actually Baby)…and loads of others.

I have been lost in the real world and it feels surreal. I have loved it so much, I am wondering if I should get back to social media.

img_3497
A..n..y…who

I see God’s fingerprints all over it as he brings all things together. All of it has been the result of his goodness. What’s weird about all this is the less I do, the more I see God do. I don’t get it. I just show up or take a baby step in faith and viola…domino effect. So strange.

I still don’t know how God is going to pull off that miracle I have been praying and believing for. Only He can do it. But, at this point, I’m not worried. I have given up my desire to know how it will happen. I have given up my willingness to understand. I have chosen to simply be, to enjoy the moment, to enjoy my people, to rest, and to let God.

I will be unpacking the lessons from the past two weeks.

Until then, a tip for you.

God’s promises are true. And though we often pray to ask, we often miss the most important thing in the process. We forget to believe while we pray. It’s about trust, not understanding. Have faith. Even a little is okay. Remember to believe while you pray. Take the baby steps he inspires you to. God loves you. 

One more thing.

Don’t try to fix what is not broken. In Christ, you are not broken. You are a new creation. Yes, there is brokenness, but you are not broken. You are new and you can only discover what’s new about the new man, the new you. His Majesty will do the healing on the inside and culture your old man’s habits into new man habits and beliefs as you are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12).

Meanwhile, start your thinking from here –

Life is NOT full of surprises, YOU ARE!

.

.

One Love, One Spirit


 

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.

I got together with some folks who visit Skid Row each Sunday. We went out, set up a tent, and just worshiped God with guitars and all. I was told that the homeless don’t show until they start giving care packages. But, as we just sang, they started coming out. Some to worship, sing, talk, and pray with and be prayed for.

img_3178

Then, we stared giving out care packages – sandwiches, soda, apples, and water. Then this one homeless woman (in the photo) showed up. She was anything but ordinary. She prayed up a storm and blessed people and us too. Then, I met Mary. And this is where it all started.

See, Mary was standing by her cart on the other side of the street. I went to invite her and she wouldn’t burge. She kept saying, “Next Sunday.” Translation – never. It turns out Mary was broken inside. Lost all hope. Felt worthless. So, I brought stuff to her and just talked. Then Mary said, “I want pants. Do you have pants? Its cold and I ain’t got none.”

I told her I was going to ask but doubted there was any. So, I went back and asked and well, there wasn’t any. Right when I picked up some more stuff for her and walked over to Mary and her cart, a brand new pair of jeans all glittered up was in her cart. I was shocked and asked how that happened. She said, some random person came by and gave it to her and left.

???? Random person ???

As I walked back, a car pulled up and said I got stuff for you guys, pulled out some bread, a guitar, and pointed us to a backseat of Hand Sanitizers. And people, let me tell you. These good people with unfortunate stories love their Hand Sanitizers. They would kill for one.

Not long after that, car after car came by with more food, groceries and drinks. And I was like, is this the feeding of the five thousand again? The big one was roasted chicken. Wooo! It got through in a flash. But here’s the mysterious thing.

All those folks who brought stuff? We didn’t know them! I inquired and I was told they were not friends (but for one or two). Most of these kindhearted folks were just lovers of our Lord Jesus who saw what was happening and decided to unite in the pursuit of applied compassion.

And, I haven’t ever seen a homeless man serve God with gladness like one homeless brother who showed up to serve alongside instead of being served. It was humbling. He was diligent, making sure nothing was wasted. He would tell you point blank if something was good, if chicken bones was still enough chicken for someone and all that good stuff.

img_3169

He knew who needed extra and who had a wife or kids to take food to. I really enjoyed how others who came thought of asking for extra for loved ones and neighbors who they felt would never approach the tent for personal reasons.

When I reflect on the privileged service and conversations, I can’t shake the thought that some of these men and women in unfortunate positions who have had to make compromising decisions to protect or provide for loved ones –

may just turn out to be better human beings than me and some of us

This humbles me.

I chose to share this to give glory to God for inviting me to be a part of this and also to share this as a piece of the bigger story we the redeemed have a part to play in.

Lessons Learned or Reinforced:

  • Think baby steps. Take baby steps.
  • If you think its the Spirit. Test it. Go and do it and you’ll find out real quick if its Him or not. Sometimes, that’s the only way.
  • Swift and complete obedience with no reservations.

.

.

~ One Love, One Spirit


 

 

Thank You Mrs. Mom

I am currently working on my Master’s defense. But, I just had to squeeze out time to brag about the person who has made it physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally possible for me to be able to do it.

I’m talking about an African Queen, Mrs. Mom.

She is one tough cookie. She is sharp too! In fact, she is so sharp you could get cut standing right next to her.

If I told you about her, you’d feel like you just got served a slice of heaven. She is dubbed the Iron Lady, has one “hell” of a right jab, and knows how to groove to the beat people. If Michael Jackson was alive, she’d beat him hands down on his moonwalk.

Her presence is a triple threat.

But she didn’t start off like that. Mom grew up poor. I mean…really poor. She used to carry me on her back like African women do, frying and selling “Gateaux” on the side of the road. See, I grew up watching this.

I heard and felt her pain, tears, sorrows, betrayals…you name it. Figuratively speaking, she’s been left at the altar several times. But she did what she could to survive and with the help of God, she pulled through.

Both her and grandma would send me out to the streets and markets to sell peanuts and other stuff. That’s how I made my lunch and transport money.  Mom eventually got into typewriting school and got a job working as a typewriter. She went on to work for the Department of Finance. Being a woman didn’t help. But, she took her talents into business while working at the department.

That’s how she eventually emerged successful, beating men at the business, rewriting the rules, and inspiring a community of young and old women. That’s where the name – The Iron Lady – comes from. If kids were stubborn, their parents would say, “We are taking you to Ma Ceci’s” house.” That alone made literally “ALL” the kids and even parents in our community readjust.

No kidding.

She now takes care of orphans and widows and mentors young women and single mothers.What’s cute though is that kids still loved to come visit her and talk about life. My goodness, how does she do it though?

How does she make both – love and terror – seem so casual and fun?

She is a trip! Kids with love and laugh and play with mom. But, when a kid knew they’d done wrong, they ran away before mom got back. Mrs. Mom is a real firestorm, but you’d never know it because she seems so sweet and cuddly.

Listen! Ms. Mom is so loving and terrorizing that a stubborn cousin who was forced to live with her because of her behavior studied hard and passed an exam that took two years to prepare for, in a year.

Do you get the picture yet?

And…Lawd….we had our moments.

Oh yea – an uppercut worthy moment. Like a Mike Tyson type of moment. Mom and I got into it after I graduated high school. Let’s just say emotions were high and I wasn’t exactly a peacemaker then. Mom got so furious, she wrapped that cloth around her waist and well…my face was almost history.

Awkward…

But, she is wise too. She often tells us –

  • God has a broken clock. Stop trying to hurry. His ways are not your ways
  • A closed mouth is a closed destiny
  • Always think beyond yourself
  • Speak forward and learn to enjoy life even in the midst of a mess
  • Don’t be afraid. My life is a testament of what God can do. Keep looking up and forward
  • In life, only 5% of people fulfill their calling. How come only 5%? Because they chose to pay the price. Stick it out and it will be better for you too
  • Ahhh…don’t worry about what people say. Let them talk. They talked about me too. Where are they now? Be strong and courageous
  • When you are in a place where you are not in control, be humble and respectful. Take whatever “shit” is given to you. You have your own time and your “own” is on the way.

There is more to tell. But, let me finish preparing this defense. Let me do “us” both one and make her proud. After all, I’m her son.

And to you Almighty God –

Cause the works of my hands to prosper so that I can honor her even as I live to glorify you, in Jesus name. Amen!

 

I love you mom.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 


Takes Two To Tango

Be the best you can be.

Engage in self-refinement. Learn. Grow. Take risks. Try new things. Become the best possible person someone else would want to spend time or spend their lives with.

Learn all you can about dating; about marriage, about being a good spouse, a good parent. It will certainly pay off.

But, if there is something more important to consider, it is this – Continue reading “Takes Two To Tango”

THE EXPONENTIAL REALITY OF MARRIAGE

No!

I’m not married. I’m just excited about it. I never used to be. Marriage used to terrify me. I grew up in a matrix of a home. I love my folks. But, I must confess that my family had quite the baggage. Ok, my side of the family. That contributed to the doubts and fear I had about marriage.

But, as one of my favorite bloggers would say,

We are all recovering from something – BBB

So, what can I possibly share about marriage that could get you thinking, preparing, and as excited as I am, you wonder. Let me share some observations. Continue reading “THE EXPONENTIAL REALITY OF MARRIAGE”