Live, Laugh, Love
“Live every moment, Laugh every day, Love beyond words.” In each moment we should make an attempt to make the best out of it, whether it be a situation that is already positive, or whether it be a situation that we need to help spin in a positive light. Live every moment, and remember that eventually the future will be the present. Take time out to laugh each day, laughter is not only food for the soul, but it also helps to heal the soul in parts it may be broken. And Love. Love with everything inside of you. Love because love is the center of life. Our souls are filled with love, so be sure to thoroughly love whatever may be in our hearts. Love the people around you. Love your friends. Love your enemies. Love the memories you are able to make. Most of all make sure you will love the legacy you leave behind on earth.
It’s #FGF – Feel Good Friday – and this is the #GraduationEdition! #BrotherWord is giving you a double dose of the feel good. Each year hundreds of high school seniors prepare to walk the stage, receive their diplomas, and embark on a new phase of life. And as common as graduation ceremonies may seem, it is the bright futures and amazing individuals who we will continue to applaud and celebrate.
First up is Boston Latin High School senior, Phillip Sossou. Students are remembered for a myriad of reasons, some good, some bad, but there are certain students who carve out their own legacies, or in this case, draw them. Sossou wanted to make sure that each of his classmates was remembered and at the beginning of the year he began memorializing all 411 in charcoal portraits! His art teacher did not think it was possible but before the last day for the seniors, he displayed his beautiful portraits of all his classmates for the entire school to admire. A school marred earlier in the year by racial tensions, Phillip Sossou used his talents to mend the fences, bring all together, and leave a lasting smile. Watch the video to see more about this amazing #ClassOf2016 graduate.
Our next Feel Good Friday comes from senior Kevuntez King, a three-sport athlete who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and has already earned enough to pay for his entire college education! The senior from Memphis, TN., spent the last five years waking up at 3:45am to sell newspapers. His dedication proved more than fruitful as he has earned enough to pay for his entire college education. Aside from graduating with honors, King epitomizes what it means when drive and dedication result in the manifestation of of our dreams coming true and that is the message he expressed to all his classmates, “Just chase your dreams.” Already accepted into Tennessee State University, King is not resting on his laurels, but staying true to what got him to where he is now and beginning his college career this summer.
We applaud all the graduates of 2016. Never stop chasing your dreams, keep striving for greatness, and no matter what, believe in the impossible!
Miracles happen around us everyday, but oftentimes we are blinded to them because our idea of what a miracle looks like is based on something only derived of on a hollywood movie set using a green screen and plenty of CGI. But prayer is powerful and miracles still exist!
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Tony Yally is living proof that miracles still happen and how a little faith can turn even apparent death around. Pronounced dead after 50 minutes of no recordable vital signs, Yally’s son refused to accept his passing and began praying over his father’s body. What resulted could only be deemed a miracle as doctors have no explanation. Check out the video below about this astonishing story.
It’s #FGF and we are feeling good for the Yally family and also for knowing that no matter the situation or circumstances, it is only dead when we give up. No, every story will not be as triumphant like the Yally’s, but what is universal is that life only ends when we stop living it! #FeelGood knowing you too are a walking miracle!
Our mind is our strongest tool and greatest asset and how we perceive life and the events that happen daily will shape the life we desire. Everything may not be in order or as we wish, but a positive outlook can literally transform the impossible into the possible.
As a man thinketh, so is he! Nothing can be more true and the endorphins released through positive thinking revitalizes and refreshes and like all energy, transfers and infects all around us. Being positive is a mindset that is intentional and on purpose and must be routinely practiced. A positive attitude awakens inner strength, energy, motivation and initiative. Every situation may not be positive, but we can find a positive in just about every situation.
As you practice your positivity today, here is a jumpstart from the great people @PowerOfPositivity. The video only lasts a minute, but the impact will last a lifetime.
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
It’s #FGF – Feel Good Fridays – and today BrotherWord is sharing a story about how one man turned tragedy into triumph. In 2007, Dr. Kevin Morton Jr, was a victim of gunshot. At the time, Morton was the manager of a fast food chain in Eastpointe, MI. and a student at Oakland University. Rushed to St. John Hospital in Detroit, he was operated on by Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski who removed the bullet that had passed through his stomach, diaphragm, pancreas and two main blood vessels. The surgery saved his life.
Inspired and motivated, Morton pursued a medical degree, studying at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated last week, nearly nine years after tragedy struck. He begins his residency next month at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Madison Heights as a surgeon, the very hospital where he was saved! In the very same community that could have cut his life short, Morton is paying it forward and giving back. As he says, “It’s that classic story of someone who is down, but not out. And a story about someone never giving up.”
Share with #BrotherWord your #FGF moments and keep the good feeling flowing!
This pain I feel is wearing me down, how much turmoil can one person endure before they begin to drown. One thing is for sure, either you are going through, about to go through, or just coming out the storm, but before you give in, it’s after when the sun comes out and rainbows are born. There’s purpose in this pain and lessons learned, what didn’t kill has not only made me stronger, but made me wiser and for that, I no longer have to yearn. ~ BrotherWord
Pain attacks in a multitude of ways and affects us in all areas of our lives – physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual. Pain is one of those things that is inevitable, but what is often missed and overlooked is that even in the pain, there is still purpose.
Pain in the physical form brings forth a reaction from the central nervous system telling us that something is uncomfortable, does not feel well, is conflicting with our body. When our body aches, it triggers the mind to do something different or stop altogether, cease whatever action is causing the pain, but anyone who has ever worked out, trained, done any physical activity, will tell you that is not until you push through the pain that you begin to conquer the mind and your body. As much as pain may warn you, it can also trick you into prematurely quitting. If you succumb to the pain, how would you know how far you could go, how much you can achieve, how would you discover the deeper purpose.
Emotional pain is even more debilitating. An emotional blow can cause a ripple effect that will destroy the psyche and the physical if allowed. Emotional wounds attack the deepest recesses of our mind and cause us to doubt others and ourselves, retreat from the world, and at worse become recluse and anti-social. Some of this can be diagnosed as chemical imbalances or mental breakdowns and require medication and therapy, yet there are so many more instances of people being disappointed, hurt, betrayed by someone else or even feeling inadequate and having a self-loathing demeanor. It is painful to think you are alone, no one cares, or everyone is against you, but do not let the pain fool you into thinking you do not have purpose or were not created for a purpose. The greatest trick of the enemy is to make you believe you are inadequate, your life is irrelevant, and you have no worth. The devil is a liar! Discovering purpose breeds a renewed energy, it invigorates and revitalizes, the purpose in the pain is knowing that despite what the world my say or, you have confidence knowing that you were created on purpose for a purpose!
Spiritual pain can possibly be the most devastating and dangerous because at this point you have lost hope and any reason for carrying on. A pain such as this will not only cripple, but can possibly lead to internal and eternal condemnation. To lose hope in life, in others, and self means you have given up and given into the pain. The misnomer about pain that escapes us all is that pain is temporary! It will not last forever nor will it always be painful, because the same thing that once caused you pain may very well be the same thing that elevates you to your purpose. When you feel like quitting, don’t! It is at that very moment when breakthrough happens, revelation takes place, and your are enriched and enlightened. It is at the moment of last hope and desperation that we discover inner strength and realize that all the pain we endured was meant to strengthen and never to break us.
On the mountaintop we get to bask in our achievements, but it is in the valleys where the lessons are truly learned. It is in the pain that we discover what we are truly made of and also why we are experiencing the pain. If you are willing to endure, to tarry just a little longer, I promise you that on the other side of pain, you will discover a greater purpose! Do not get me wrong, pain is not fun and no matter the target, physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, it hurts. Just know that it is temporary. If you just started exercising, at first it will hurt, there will be pain. But if you continue and push through, inevitably you will see the desired results and the pain will dissipate. No different when tackling emotional or spiritual pain. Do not succumb… OVERCOME!
Anyone that is feeling the pains of life, please hang on! Pain reminds us we are still alive, alerts us there is still fight left, is an alarm to the brain, heart, and thoughts, letting us know we are near our purpose. Pain is no more than a prelude to finding purpose! Do not believe me? During childbirth, a woman suffers what may be the most excruciating pain of her life, her body literally being stretched and ripped apart, yet she endures the labor. And if labor can be defined as physical or mental exertion, a painful or arduous work, especially one that is difficult and exhausting, cannot the birth of that child not be deemed purpose – the very reason why something is done, a determined, resolute outcome. In other words, your labor is not in vain because what is birth was worth any pain!
Your pain is a divine right of passage through which you will be reborn as a being of strength, wisdom, and purpose.
~ Bryant McGill
Sometimes the things we are most THANKFUL for are things that have yet to happen. It is the very definition of faith – the substance or assurance of things hoped for, the evidence or conviction of things not seen. Oftentimes in life, people pay it forward because they have been blessed and because their love outweighs circumstances. They simply do the things they do for another person’s happiness, even if they may never get to see the fruit of their labors.
I am so THANKFUL for those that have sacrificed, gave blood, sweat, and tears, and have gone above and beyond to lay a foundation so someone else could follow to a better life. From our ancestors as we continue to celebrate Black History Month every day, to our teachers and counselors, to our family members, each of these individuals has shaped our lives in a positive way. Sadly, many of them have gone to glory far too early to witness firsthand the impact that made, but that impact live on nonetheless.
It is said to give people flowers while they can still smell them. While you are giving them their flowers, also tell them how THANKFUL you are for the small and big things, for the way they pushed and challenged you to achieve beyond your own imagination, how they disciplined or counseled you when you fell short not allowing you to settle, and how they prayed without ceasing so that no harm would come your way. Let them know that their sacrifice was not in vain and although you may not understand it all now, just like faith, you are assured all that they do is for your good.
Today I am most THANKFUL for those that gave their all in order for us to have more, who prophesied, prayed, and proclaimed victory for us, when we could not see it for ourselves, and for those who believe in us more than we believed in ourselves. I am THANKFUL for the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, mentors, and anyone who poured into someone else, gave unselfishly, fought for the sake of someone who could never pay it back, not knowing if they would even see their efforts come to fruition. I am THANKFUL for those that had enough faith to cover them and me.
Dedicated to all the angels, especially Gail Turner Bell, who I never had the pleasure of meeting, but has blessed my life in ways never conceived or ever imagined. I hope to pay it forward and be a blessing as she was and continues to be for her legacy shall live on through us all! Rest in paradise and know your efforts were not in vain. We love you!
You may find it hard to be THANKFUL when life keeps kicking you in the teeth and at every turn failure continues to loom, but I can guarantee you that on your worse day, there is someone out there who would trade with you in a heartbeat. Life can be a cruel and relenting piece of work, but you are far greater than anything life can throw at you.
So THANKFUL that I was made in His image, made to be a conqueror, made to be great, made to overcome, and made to win! One of the hardest things to absorb, let alone live by, is understanding that obedience is better than sacrifice and being obedient even when it makes no sense and is incomprehensible, is a feat in and of itself. But my God! I am THANKFUL that with obedience comes favor and with favor comes the blessings of God. Walking in God’s will can be a complex conundrum wrapped in an enigma, yet it is a fulfilling journey that cannot be replicated or replaced. That is more than enough to be THANKFUL for on any given day!
Tomorrow when everything seems to hit a nerve, when the traffic is moving too slow, co-workers become annoying, family is losing their minds, and the walls are closing in, remember this too shall pass and because of your obedience in fulfilling your purpose, you have already claimed the victory. Be THANKFUL for the noise because it is an opportunity to calm the hysteria; be THANKFUL for the chaos because it is God’s way of putting life back in order; and be THANKFUL for the unknown, because it is in the wilderness that we find direction, purpose, strength, courage, and gain knowledge.
Yes, life can be hard, but I am THANKFUL that my God has seen it all and is the architect, so no matter what may happen, when I am obedient to His calling, my prayers shall be answered.
“Obedience is a word and concept from which the valiant look for their deliverance.” ~ Anonymous
“I have thought about it a great deal, and the more I think, the more certain I am that obedience is the gateway through which knowledge, yes, and love, too, enter the mind of the child.” ~ Anne Sullivan
“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot
There is no greater motivation than LIFE itself! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone and at any giving moment, it can come to an end. Today’s Motivational Monday is as personal as it gets as five years later I reflect on my sister who unknowingly helped to birth BrotherWord and all that has come to fruition.
The people around us affect us in so many ways without them even knowing and through those interactions, we discover who we are, what we are about, and in that rare occasion, they help us to unearth our God-given purpose. Through my sister I learned that life is what we make of it, the lives we touch, and that fulfilling God’s purpose is the truest route to not only happiness on earth, but everlasting joy and peace.
Find what and whom motivates you to be your best and then latch on to them, learn from them, ask them questions, and most importantly, take the time to let them know that their life has and is making a difference on your life in return. This thing we call life is shorter than we think and fleeing, so give those you love and cherish their flowers while they are breathing.
5 years and running and still wondering why. Still questioning God, “Why she’s not still alive? Why she had to die? Yet no more tears left to cry.
How do you mourn when there’s so much pain? When the grief hits so hard from just mentioning her name?
Where do you find comfort when you cannot find peace? The memories begin to fade, the voice becomes a whisper, when the agony never seems to cease.
How do you begin to move forward when the past keeps dragging you back? How do you let go of the hurt when every waking moment seems like an anxiety attack?
Look to the heavens from which your blessings flow, remember what you reap is also what you sow. But when I look upward all I want is to see her face, but instead the clouds hide her and and I find myself in an empty space.
I’m thankful to God for the time spent, the laughter, the conversations, the hugs and the kisses, but what do you do when all you can think about is how much you miss her?
Counseling, communication, and church, nothing fills the void; and here we are 5 years later and it still feels like yesterday, one continuing, horrible nightmare, that has come forth to steal, kill, and destroy.
But the devil is a liar and my Christ is the forever joy that can make us whole, because even in death, Melissa transformed lives and saved countless souls.
5 years later and yes it still hurts, but as God as my witness and my sister as my motivation, I must continue their great works!
We each have a purpose and my angel’s work was done, so now it is up to us all to pick up the mantle and make sure that we complete our task before the setting of the sun.
Can never repay her for all that she gave nor all that she means, so I will live my life in her honor, never forgetting the love we share or the unbreakable bond, knowing she watches over me and I can see her my dreams.
Rest in paradise baby, you fought and won the battle, and Heaven is your reward. Know that you taught your big brother more than you could ever know and now I live for us both as I edify our Lord.
Rest in paradise on your birthday as we blow out the candles wishing you nothing but peace; and know how much we love you and your memory and legacy shall live on and never cease. © ~BrotherWord
“I am the New Year and I come to you pure and unstained from the hand of God. Each day, a precious pearl is given that you must string upon the silver thread of life. Once strung, it can never be unthreaded, but stays an undying record of your faith and skill. I give to you free and unstained, twelve glorious months of soothing rain and golden sunshine. The days for work and rest, the nights for peaceful slumber. All that I have, I give with love unspoken. All that I ask… keep the faith, unbroken.” ~ J.D. Templeton
Welcome to 2016! If you are able to read this post, count yourself amongst the blessed! So many were not fortunate enough to see another year. In 2015, there were over 2.5 million deaths and yet, here we are. So what now? Do we continue as we did in 2015, going through the motions, making plans with no actions, catchy phrases and slogans and still no deliverables to account for, or do we not take action and get to work?
The answer is obvious, but if you are still hesitant, think about this. What you want has always been right in front of you, but seemingly always just a bit out of reach. Is it really that unattainable or have you not pushed the extra mile to bring it to fruition or possibly gave up when you were in the verge of breakthrough ? Well no more! It is time to go to work; no more talking about it or sitting around devising plans. This is the season of action and action requires actually getting up and doing.
Gary Ryan Blair stated. “Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing, a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.” Guess what? It’s sowing season! Time to lay the foundation for tomorrow’s crop. Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most and if what you want most is to achieve your aspirations and dreams, NOW is the time to put in the work.
To everyone reading this, and hopefully you will share it with others, 2016 is all about 3 simple philosophies:
1.) Wake up each day ready to maximize the possibilities of the day. Each day will be filled with a multitude of opportunities, but unless you are in a mindset (open, prepared, equipped, ready to face the challenge) to capitalize, you may just miss out on an ideal situation;
2.) Give everything your all. Anything you pursue, you should willing to give your all to and pursue it with an ultimate zeal. If not, why are you even entertaining it. If it takes your time and effort, should it not also get the very best of you? Energy is transferable, so what you put into it is what you will receive in return;
3.) At the end of each day, have a short evaluation. Did I make the most of today? The opportunities that presented themselves, was I ready and did I take advantage? Did I put forth my best effort today? Was I able to accomplish at least one objective today? The evaluation is meant to reassess the day and as tangible reminder of a day well done. Even if you did not accomplish all that you felt you should or could have, know that you did what you could and made the best of this day! Rest, recuperate, and repeat.
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, many continued blessings, and seeing the fruits of your labor. Make the best of your 2016!
Actions are the seed of fate deeds grow into destiny. ~ Harry S. Truman
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. ~ Confucius