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.
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
For every bad there might be a worse; and when one breaks his leg, let him be thankful it was not his neck.
~ Joseph Hall
As I rolled down the highway earlier this week, probably going faster than I should have trying to make a meeting, suddenly out of nowhere, my rear tire blew! Anyone who has ever experienced this knows how terribly wrong this could have gone, but THANK God for grace and mercy. With little traffic on the highway, I was able to decelerate and as I was near an exit, able to coast off the highway and conveniently roll into a nearby parking lot. No further incident and minimal damage, and more importantly, both my passenger and I were safe. So THANKFUL that is was not worse.
As we waited for assistance and began to reflect on what just transpired, both of us almost simultaneously uttered the same phrase, “It could have been so much worse.” Just like life, sometimes our hopes and dreams are blown and shredded suddenly, but if we only take a step back, survey the situation, and reflect on what could have been, we realize what seems so bad, could have been a lot worse. At that speed, on a blown tire, we could have easily been flipping down the highway or loss control and slammed into other drivers, but because no one panicked and acted decisively, no harm occurred. What if when life begins flipping out of control, when others impede our progress or attempt to cause us harm, instead of panicking or acting out, we move decisively to make the best out of a terrible situation. I am not only THANKFUL we came out of the situation unscathed, but very THANKFUL for the tangible lesson learned.
Before you began to think woe is me and how unnerving the current conundrum may be, think about how incredibly worse it really could have been. One analogy reads, “If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.” If that is not something to be THANKFUL for, I do not know what is.
Today, I am THANKFUL that I am still here to tell my story, still have full capabilities of all my faculties, and so THANKFUL that the only damage caused was to a tire. Remember, life may not always seem fair and may deal you a terrible hand, but even when it does, someone else’s hand is a lot worse. Be THANKFUL for the good and equally for the bad because we learn lessons, grow stronger, and find a new appreciation for this thing called life.
“And just when you think nothing could go worse, there are other people wishing they could have your life.”
~ Gabriela Barnard
How we view the world around us greatly shapes our outlook on life. More often than not, if we see the world and our surroundings as dreary, gloomy, or overcast, more than likely, we view our life in the same manner. But when we see the sun piercing through the rain, not only can we find a rainbow in the sky, but we can also find a silver lining in any situation.
Recently, I had an opportunity to literally change my view, to unplug, disconnect, and take in the scenery. Not only was it an eye-opening experience, but it made me realize how bogged down I had become with the everyday hustle and grind. Additionally, I discovered how conditioned my mind had become and distorted my view was now. So consumed with life’s demands, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees and as cliché’ as that may sound, it was a reality I had orchestrated unknowingly.
But as soon as I changed my view, not only could I see the forest, I could also free my mind to see far beyond my present circumstances. Changing your view may take changing your surroundings, discovering new territories, visiting a new place, physically shifting the scene of your true to life stage play. Do not fret if in this season you are not able to change scenery. Our imagination can take us to any distant land we desire and can transform our world with the blink of an eye. Physically, spiritually, metaphorically change your view. Take a trip, whether it be a 100 miles away or thousands miles away, and see a different world from your daily perspective. Discover all the wonders this world has to offer and in the meantime, remember in spite of any perceived ailments, life is as bright as we choose to see it. Even if you cannot go any further than from one room to the other, look out a window, open a book, or simply close your eyes and let your mind take you to a new land. Either way, do not let circumstances, fear, contentment, or anything stop you from exploring a new realm.
Changing your view does not mean you have to change your location. It means changing your mindset so that the way you envision the world around you has a positive and enriching return. We live our lives by how we see it. Change your view from within and watch your world change on the outside. Choose how you see the world and watch it bend to your will. Shape the images of life as you see fit and watch life begin to unfold in ways never seen before. Change your view and your life will become your personal rainbow dispatching any cloudy day.
Colossians 3:15-17 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
On a day full of things to be THANKFUL for, I am truly THANKFUL for life’s teaching moments and learning what is truly important. I know and have seen, and honestly have been one of those people who thought happiness came through the pursuit of power, possessions, and people and did not realize that real happiness is only found within. I am so THANKFUL on this Thanksgiving for an inner peace. (more…)
In a world where all the odds seem to be against you, every obstacle seems to find you, and no matter how optimistic you attempt to be, there is something that inevitably tests your will, it is great to know that those things have not and will not break you… as long as you do not allow them to. I am so THANKFUL for the failures, the setbacks, those that have gone out of their way to try to destroy my mind, body, and soul. Thank you for showing me what I am capable of, forcing me to dig deeper, and pushing me to realize that not only am I strong, but greater is He that is within me than that which is in this world!
Over the past few days, we witnessed unified strength as the African-American student athletes, backed by the student body and staff, stood for righteousness sake and united to right a wrong. I am THANKFUL that they had the courage to band together, willingness to face the repercussions and ridicule, and the conviction to peacefully protest and make a difference. Some will still question their motives and timing, but no one can deny the impact! As other universities and institutions join them in this crusade, we should all be THANKFUL seeing our future generation put a stamp on the annuls of history. It is still amazing and moving to see those with a purpose and passion for the right causes fortify and use their platforms to become catalyst of change. I applaud those that led the charge at Missouri, as well as those that supported them and did not try to dissuade them from pursuing justice. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand for your beliefs knowing all you have worked for could be swiftly taken away.
In the same vain and on the heels of Veteran’s Day, we have to salute our men and women in the armed services who valiantly fight for our freedom and risks their lives routinely to assure we maintain our civil liberties. I am especially THANKFUL for these courageous souls who stand at the forefront protecting from us all from enemies far and close. Salute to all you for your service and dedication
Face fear head on knowing that every challenge is just another test, another path along the journey, and another building block to boost your resume. Be THANKFUL for the hardships knowing that the most precious pearl had to be put extreme pressure before its beauty could be revealed. No matter how hard it may seem, how difficult it may get, how insurmountable the terrain may appear, remember three key things. 1.) Every thing we go through is working together for our good and no matter the circumstances or the situation, there is a lesson to be learned and growth to accomplish. 2.) No matter the test or the challenge, if you were not capable of handling it, you would never be presented with it. Each stepping stone is just that, an opportunity to elevate your mind and spirit and come to new realizations about who you are and what you are capable of. 3.) You are not the first person to travel this road. Many have gone before you and have weathered to storm and are the better for it. Do not let the unknown create fear or doubt, but know that you too can claim the victory as long as you continue to push forward and never give up.
Today I am extremely THANKFUL because I refused to let fear dictate my life, I fought to fulfill my purpose, and I even when I thought about giving up on my hopes and dreams, I allowed myself enough space to welcome new opportunities. I am THANKFUL because even when all looked lost, I did not stay in the abyss of despair, but instead chose to seek greatness, chase hope, and fight for a better outcome. I am THANKFUL because I know now that hardships only last for a moment, but the tools and traits we gain from them last a lifetime.
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. ~ Winston Churchill
In 1994, Chicago based restaurant consultant, Allen H. Kelson, wrote an article entitled, The Ten Commandments for Menu Success, referring to food menu items. Would if we applied some of those same principles to our everyday life and in our pursuit of accomplishing our dreams and goals, we had “commandments for everyday success?” Here are 5 life skills to finding success in all facets of life:
1.) Speak plainly. – Speak those things as if they are. Have said it time and time again and I thoroughly believe and live by the mantra that our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny. Speak destiny over your life and remove negative thoughts, destructive actions, and anything that does personify a successful character. If you do speak positive into your life, why are you surprised when everything turns out negative?
2.) Say what is important. – Learn how to separate the important stuff from the frivolous. Do not get lost or distracted in the mundane, but instead focus on and put your energy to what is truly important. If it is not growing you, it is holding you back!
3.) Describe it completely. – Write the vision and engrave it plainly on tablets, so that whoever reads it will run (takeoff). For the vision is yet for an appointed time, it hurries toward fulfillment, and will not fail. Though it may tarry, patiently wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Describe your vision completely from inception to fruition, plainly laying out every detail so that as you continue on your journey you have a tangible blueprint to follow, mile markers to achieve, and you never lose site of the ultimate goal.
4.) Less is more. – Do not try to overdo or complicate things. Many times the road less traveled carries with it less traffic and far few more complications. Do not make things more difficult or cumbersome. “That which is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated than what is more complicated; simplicity is preferable to complexity; brevity in communication is more effective than verbosity.” ~ Ludwig Miles van der Rohe
5.) Maintain a sense of perspective. – Everyday will not be the same nor will it turn out exactly as planned. It is vital to keep the proper perspective and remember the big picture. Just because something may not turn out as exactly expected or there may be a setback or detour in direction does not mean you have failed or it is time to scrap the whole idea. Remember, He that began a good work in you will perfect it (carry it on to completion) and remind yourself that you are just as dedicated to achieving it! Do not let perspective betray your progress or tarnish your purpose.