Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chess Pieces in the Game of Life

I love that God calls broken people, with limited abilities, with some degree of capabilities to do great, enormous, and extraordinary things to fulfill His purpose and plan. I believe the call of God on the life of an individual is the most serious summons one can receive. You see, I suppose there are others waiting for someone else to answer and fulfill their call whether it be an assignment, function, or ministry so they can move forward in the succession of events, or the next move of God in their life.

I was brought up in the church in the late 70's and the "Old School" teaching at that time was that God always calls an individual to Himself before He gives them an assignment. If this theory is true and I question its validity. What about those people that are used by God to fulfilled specific assingments without realizing they are being used by God?

Whats your thoughts?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Life Afer Layoff

Life After Layoff

Is there life after a layoff? The answer to that question is a resounding Yes! There is life after a layoff. After seven years of working for a non-profit organization, in August of 2006, I experienced being laid-off without notice and without a severance package. The layoff came on the heels of a few mountain top experiences that left me basking in an euphoric high that initially minimized the overall affect of being unemployed. I was just recently told that Bishop Melvin Clark preached "Watch Your High Moments". The unemployment thrust me into a full-time business owner. The thoughts of what am I going to do now wasn’t my biggest challenge. My challenge was being able to continue to attract business to generate addional revenue streams.
For some; layoffs, down-sizing, and organization restructuring is awful news, therefore,
you have to be able to quickly land on your feet and bounce back after a set-back;
sometimes what appears to be a set-back is really a set-up to move you forward.

First things first, take the appropriate time to grieve your lost, just don’t get stuck in the moment because you will not be able to grow or move forward looking backward and dwelling on the past. The most painful part of life is loss. The closer one is to the relationship the deeper the
lost. The loss of anything that matters will trigger the grieving process. This process
can take a short period of time to a few years, depending on the depth of the attachment. So
understand the process that you are going through. To become an over-comer you
must effectively navigate through the five stages of grieving and loss.

Denial is usually the first emotion or reaction to the loss of an attachment. What we all
need to know is denial is normal. An individual is not unbalanced because they are
trying to wrap their mind and thoughts around losing something or someone. How to
overcome denial is to tell yourself, “Yes this did happen to me”.

Anger is the result of the pain experienced from grief. Anger causes deep hurt that is
unhealthy and unnecessary. Anger must be dealt with immediately. Prolonged anger will
causes you to lose the years you allowed the anger to consume you. Let it go. Forgive them and release yourself. Forgiveness is not for the other person it’s for you. Forgiveness gives you the ability to heal yourself from the your loss.

Bargaining is the process of making an attempt to gain back what was lost. Another
perspective is not viewing the attachment or position as a lost but that you’ve outgrown it.
For example, you have a plant in a small planter once the plant reaches the capacity of
the small planter; you re-pot the plant into a larger planter so the plant can grow adquately. You
would never consider taking the plant and putting it back into the smaller planter. The is moved to an area for growth and for greater opportunity.

Depression is normal and it is the most dangerous stage of grief. Depression is
different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your
ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness,
hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief. It
may last longer in some people than in others. Emotionally healthy people work through
their depression a lot quicker than those that are emotionally unhealthy. Transition from
depression is what brings a person to the final stage. There is always a light at the end
of the tunnel, for those suffering from depression the tunnel appears to be longer and
darker than for most.

Acceptance is the decision to be at peace with the choice or results, knowing that no
amount of denial, bargaining, anger or depression is going to recover the loss.
Accepting loss is part of life and moving forward is removing the emptiness that exists
within. Acceptance is picking up the pieces and move on with your fife but putting
together a game plan to assist you with moving forward.

As we transition through life there are times, reasons, and seasons and knowing the
purpose that you exist will help with in transitioning through the stages of grief and loss.
Three years later, after my layoff I’m a much better person; despite the unfairness, set-backs
and hard-times I'm still standing and I’m still in business. I realize that sometimes we can stay too long in a place and its the grace of God that allows events and circumstances to move us where we are to where He wants us to be, because when we stay in a place longer than we should we stunt our own growth.

I work long hours (twice the amount I did for my previous employer). One of my greatest appreciations that I have is every day when I unlock the door to my office I remember God’s promise to me "That I Am The Job" and I thank God for His Grace and His keeping power.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Call To Worship

There comes a time in the life of ever believer that God Himself, calls the believer to Worship; not a service, not a program, not even an experience or a song but a position in Him which is a pre-set arrangement that He has in you that will reflect the character of His continued posture of Worship. You see true Worship is always a response to a revelation. John 21-24 says it like this "Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. 23-24 “It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration." (The Message Bible).

In this economic famine that the United States is passing through is a perfect example of how the believer should be operating from a different perspective than that of the world. We are all in the world and most of us are experiencing some affects of the world’s famine, but our response to the famine is different than the worlds. We don’t operate by the world’s customary standards or norms when God is in the equation. We are instructed to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2 KJV).

Let’s look over the call of worship in the church setting and the approach that necessitate how we operate for effectiveness in the spirit. Since, true worship is a response to a revelation then the church has to take it’s role seriously. Our words, actions, motives, attitudes and songs should bring the fullness of our glorious Jesus into what ever setting we are in and burst into flames a fresh fire and heart-felt response by everyone. Revelation is the result of true worship with the underlining tendencies of obedience and devotion to the will of God while aligning your will with His will. William Temple wrote: To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
To feed the mind with the truth of God,
To purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
To devote the will to the purpose of God.

What’s Your Thoughts on the Call To Worship?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TARP: For The believer


I was encouraged to begin this blog by a friend who thought others would benefit and be interested in hearing / reading some Christian studies as well as take part in the study via blogging.

I was in my office last week and I was reading the bible prior to the start of my work day and a friend of mines came into my office. We begin to have a conversation about tithing, a topic that I was studying. His perspectives on tithing caught me totally off-guard and we began to dialog far into the morning. His perspective was “tithing is strictly under law the Old Testament and we are under grace, therefore, tithing is not mandatory and giving should be from the heart.”

This was interesting to me because I hadn’t heard this perspective in over 20 years and particularly from a Christian. My spiritual teaching and training was grounded in tithing and giving offerings. The sacrifice of such is considered as a part of our walk with God. The community of Christians that I am affiliated with believe in the same.

As we quickly near the end of the first quarter of 2009, we’ve heard much talk about the “the Bailout Plan, the Rescue Plan, the Stimulus and the TARP. As our new President, Bracka Obama and his designated leaders make attempts to get control of this economical crisis; many have lost faith in the government and its ability to manage, delegate and spend dollars that they have been trusted with.

As a result, of the economical crisis that our nation faces, banks, corporations, small businesses and agencies are suffering and churches are not exempt. Faith fuels tithing, offering and service which are major components for the sustainability of the church. When one or any of those components shrinks it make an impact.

My biblical study of Malachi 3: 7-12 is to enter into and interrogate the text by asking the right questions.

Today’s Questions: Should tithing and giving be from the heart? Does God expect people to tithe today? Do you believe that church service / church work can be substituted in the place of tithing? What are your views and scriptures references on Tithes, offerings and giving? Distinct