Start the week on the right note. Motivate yourself and find inspiration all around you. The only thing holding you back is YOU!
How many of us can attest to going through a storm, to being on the brink of no return, to being so overwhelmed with the weight of the world, you have lost all hope? As all of Houston and the surrounding areas continue to be pummeled by #HurricaneHarvey, I can imagine many people have begun to lose hope and worse, some have given up. But even in the storm, there is still reason to believe it will all work out.
It seems easy to weather the storm (pun intended) when you are not the one going through it, but as I am literally and currently dealing with the fallout of the hurricane devastating Houston, I promise you, easy is not the first thing that comes to mind. Not to mention as a native #NewOrleanian on the eve of #Katrina, this is far from an easy time. The memories of all that was lost during Katrina, the lives that were forever changed, and now watching it happen all over again in Houston is a painful reminder of how fleeing and fickle life can truly become.
But what does come to mind during this ordeal is the story of Jonah and the whale, for more reasons than the obvious. Jonah ran from what he was purposed to do, denied who he was, became disobedient and indignant, and caused himself to be a much dire situation. When we think we know it all, fail to accept who we are and what we are supposed to do, become stubborn and impervious to reality, we often find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with little hope and less of a chance for recovery. And here is where Jonah found himself. But I have great news… this is not where the story ends.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven…
Did you know you were appointed and anointed specifically and intentionally just for this season? It was on purpose, for a purpose and with purpose that God saw fit to give you this task. It was not by accident or coincidence that you find yourself in this place and at this time. This is your assignment!
When you have been appointed, that means someone (Christ) has decided beforehand that you were the right person for the job. You were designated to fulfill the purpose. And if Christ decided beforehand that you were the candidate for the job, rest assured that He went ahead and removed any obstacles, put the necessary people in place to assist you, and provided you with all the tools and provisions needed to accomplish the goal! Those that are appointed have already been equipped and furnished with all they need and given gifts and talents they have yet to discover.
A new Supreme Court Justice is appointed by the President and goes through a vetting process conducted by the Senate before being confirmed and officially taking a seat on the Supreme Court. But isn’t it good news to know that once God appoints you, you have already been found acceptable and more than capable of fulfilling the duties of your assignment!
Not only have you been appointed, but you have also been anointed. That simply means you have been marked, nominated, conferred, given the seal of approval, because when God appointed you, He most definitely anointed you! “He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. God set you apart, specially and wonderfully made for just this reason. Everything God does is on purpose, there is not one wasted act, and what He does is with a purpose in mind – to grow His people so that they may in turn reach someone else.
As the scripture reads, God “guaranteed what is to come,” so He knew ahead of time exactly where you would be at this moment in life. Knowing the end before the beginning, He appointed you anyway, called you by name, and consecrated you, anointing you to be blessed and be a blessing to others. So the next time you are wondering, “why me,” just remember that this is your designated time and you have been chosen to see it through, but the path has already been searched and cleared and you have been given every resource needed to succeed!
Always remember who you and whose you are no matter if the world tries to tell you otherwise or people attempt to persuade you differently. You have been wonderfully made, specifically purposed, and uniquely created. Who you are may evolve as the days pass along and life takes on new meaning, but your core essence will always remain. Whose you are, that will never change.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches… Proverbs 22:1; A good name is better than precious ointment… Ecclesiastes 7:1; … and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ William Shakespeare None of us chose our parents, but one way or another, no matter how you slice it, they chose us. When they chose us, they also gave us a name – who we are. Our name identified us to others and to ourselves. Our name became a marker of who we are and made us accountable to everyone who preceded us and responsible to all that followed. We have our given name and our surname, the one we inherited as part of the family. As we carry our name, we also carry the legacy of our families and try to preserve what is best and build for the next generation. Who we are is the byproduct of the past, present, and future and despite what hell the world may throw in your direction, who you are will always be just as sweet.
But whose we are, that is a completely different notion. We were chosen at birth by Christ and as a child of His, it is cemented whose we are.
You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. John 15:16 (AMP)
Whose we are is a direct correlation of our relationship with Christ and in order to have a relationship, you have to be in relation to the One who first chose you. Being in relation helps to clearly define matters as well, because when you truly know whose you are, the perils of life are not that daunting. When you know whose you are and stand firmly in that knowledge, you pray instead of panic, rejoice instead of regret, celebrate instead of criticize, worship instead of worry, knowing that all things are working together for your good and if it happened, God allowed it, and you will be the better because of it! Because we know whose we are, we have a level of trust and belief that surpasses all understanding and even in the midst of chaos and mayhem, we can still look to the hills and smile, knowing He that first chose us, is already fighting our battles.
Remember who you are can be found in your given and inherited name and when combined with whose you are, you become an unstoppable force. Just as God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, “father of many,” and changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, “mother of nations,” He too has designed a destiny for you too.
Remember whose child you are. You’re a chosen vessel, created for good works. You’re holy and acceptable to the Lord. You have not chosen Christ, but He has chosen you with everlasting love. Remember whose you are. You’re the child of the Most High God. A citizen of the kingdom of God, an ambassador for Christ with diplomatic immunity. Walk in the abundance of God’s grace, power, and privilege through Christ Jesus. ~ Buky Ojelab
“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today brings a wealth of pride and equally, a tremendous amount of sorrow. In a world where hatred and discontent is spewed with such ease and venom, I can only imagine Dr. King weeping outwardly wondering how so much of his efforts have dissipated. I shutter to think what he would say, but imagine it would be something like this.
“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. ~
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., following in the steps of Brother King takes an even deeper meaning and the legacy he left behind, we each strive to emulate and hold high daily. As Dr. King continue to reiterate, life is not about who we are, but what we do with the life we have. If you are still trying to figure out your purpose, need a little motivation, or caught up in self, take time to listen to the powerful speech below. Greatness lies in a willingness to serve, not be recognized, but to give, not receive.
Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr.!
Sacrifice is not without sorrow, but greater are the promises of tomorrow. ~ BrotherWord
As a #NewYear dawns on us, so does new hopes, aspirations, and resolutions. With each comes an invigorated spirit of excitement and dedication, but unfortunately by early February, many of us have loss enthusiasm or completely abandoned the plan. Thinking of what I hope to accomplish to do this year, I must say I have an aggressive list of things I would like to accomplish and although each is very achievable, it will require discipline, proper time management, and continued prayer.
No matter what resolution or promise you have made to yourself or others, remember each day is its own opportunity. Start small and work toward the big stuff. You did not gain that weight overnight, nor will you lose it overnight; it took longer than a week to accumulate the clutter in the house, so do not think you will blink your eyes and it will disappear either. Obtaining goals are more about the process than it is the timeframe. Anything that is done consistently becomes habit and habits become building blocks.
Focus on building good habits and watch the #ToDoList check itself off. And if you are having a hard time figuring out where to start, please take a moment to look over #30ThingsYouMightWantToStartDoingForYourself by Darryl Ricardo Matthews, Sr – @32ndGP. With any endeavor, it is always good to begin within and these 30 reminders are essential building blocks to life goals!
No matter what this year holds, do not lose hope and do not give up. Remember each day may bring its own obstacles, but it also presents new opportunities. (more…)
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. ~ Tao Te Ching
There are things in this world that once obtained, can never be taken away – knowledge, purpose, and love to name a few.
Knowledge like power is harnessed by a desire to grow, expand, to live beyond circumstances and situations, and once you get a taste of it, it is invigorating and empowering. Knowledge helps us not only on an intellectual plain, but also in our spiritual realm. The more self aware you become, the more you learn about the psyche of others, and the more verse you become on multiple topics, the quicker and better you are at adapting and adjusting to the many twists of life.
Knowledge is the sibling of purpose, because as you begin to learn, you begin to discover and it is on this journey that purpose is revealed and realized! Knowledge breeds passion and passion equates to purpose and purpose births love. Love is the byproduct of purpose as it stems from those things we are most passionate about.
Love is the result of pursuing purpose and can never be taken away. The misconception is that love fails or diminishes, but the truth of the matter is that love is an energy that shifts as we do. Love is not necessarily for the recipient but all about the giver as it is a manifestation of an inward impulse. It is spontaneous, unpredictable, consuming, liberating, and fulfilling and once given, it does the exact same for those that receive it! Love is the end result we all desire no matter the pursuit.
There are also things in this world that cannot be taken back once squandered – time and words.
Time is one commodity that cannot be bought or sold, you cannot get a return on it or recycle it, and once gone, you will never see again. Use the time you have to maximize the desires of your heart. Time wasted is an opportunity unfulfilled, but time used properly is a bottomless well of gratitude and thankfulness.
In the same breath (pun intended), choose your words carefully. Words can either build or destroy and it is a wise person who not only knows the difference, but also practices the principles. Our words are sharp double-edged swords that can cut, defend, free, or keep in bondage ourselves and others. A harsh word may be forgiven, but will surely not be forgotten. A kind word will not be forgotten, but will also break down walls and free people from captivity. It is a foolish man who uses words only to admonish, but it takes a wise man to let his words polish.
Hold tightly and guard those things that can never be taken away as they become roots of our tree that bear good fruit. And likewise, consciously remain aware of not forfeiting what can never be regained, as they too reflect who we are and will become and the fruit we shall bear.
Back against the wall and the walls are closing in. Do you coward in the corner or brace yourself, ready to defend? Champ or chump, choice is up to you. The only way to find out is come out swinging and make it do what it do. But the victor is not based solely on the one who wins, but victory comes in having the courage to pick yourself up, push yourself off the wall, and fight to the very end. ~ BrotherWord
There are tests in life that will have you teetering on the verge of complete collapse. Whether physical, mental, or emotional, everyone has a breaking point which they feel they can no longer go any further. How many of you have been at that point? How many have been at the bottom with no hope of ever rising again? How many have thrown in the towel and gave up?
This thing called life is not for the meek or faint of heart and as I am often reminded, those that have and are living in their purpose, the attacks are more frequent and twice as brutal! Isn’t that how a typical boxing match works though? There are two fighters in the ring, well trained, willing to throw punches, and ready to defend. But how quickly it changes when one boxer is taking a barrage of punches, pushed up against the ropes, and all the training in the world does not seem to matter.
No different in life. Ethnicity, social class, education, financial status, none of it makes us impervious to the punches of life. What separates champions is what they do in times of adversity. What will you do when you take a punch, get knocked down, find yourself with your back against the wall? Fight! There is not other answer. Fight! Sometimes the fight may mean swing and punch your way out. Sometimes it may mean ducking and avoiding the blows. Other times it may mean being strategic and cerebral. Could also mean taking an emotional and spiritual account of matters and reassessing your inner person. Either way, fight with every weapon you have and do not stop fighting until you find yourself victorious. You may find your back against the wall, but that does not mean that is where you have to stay.
Never give up or give in. It is at the bleakest times we shine brightest and when we discover there is no limit to how far we can go. At the edge of despair and defeat, God will either catch you when you fall or teach you how to fly.
There will be times in life when you literally wonder, “Can I go on?” With every triumph, there will seem to be a more imposing obstacle and with every victory, there will appear some random act meant to snatch joy from your life. Life simply isn’t fair and tough times are inevitable, but what do you do when the tough times happen?
Giving up and folding in is never the solution. Overcoming… that is the challenge. In life you can take the route of the potato, egg, or coffee bean. Which one are you?
The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” ~ Epicetus
Have you ever had a certain vision or image in mind or a design or pattern in which you think things should happen or unfold only for it not to remotely resemble what you envisioned? It can be frustrating and deflating, but do not let the detour deter the dream!
The beauty of dreams are that they are organic, fluid, ever evolving, and just because they may start one way, it is not unusual for them to take an alternate route. What so many of us miss is the beauty and message discovered in the detour. A detour does not necessarily mean you have been knocked off course, but instead reveals another way in which to reach your destiny. A detour is not a dead end!
You may have a usual route you take daily to and from work. After awhile, your vehicle could pretty much drive itself home. It becomes bland, mundane, and unadventurous. But now there is construction or an accident and you have been detoured and forced to take an unfamiliar passage. Although this new direction is foreign, it yields its own perks. You get to see new parts of the city, come across new establishments, and because it is new, your every sense is titillated, soaking in the fresh and fascinating scenery.
Same with life. Sometimes in life we get knocked off course for one reason or another or without rhyme or rationale, the course simply changes. Do not let the detour deter the dream. Although the road you traverse my change, it is the journey that should be cherished. Destiny is not determined by where you start, so no matter where you start or which roads you travel, your destiny is married to your willingness to withstand and continue on no matter where the roads lead.
Enjoy the detours life present. They offer us all an opportunity to experience new things we may have otherwise missed, to see new outlooks, and to learn alternate ways to reach our destiny. Detours also shield us from harm and protect us from unknown mishaps. Our detours remind us to be patient and to soak in the journey, not overlooking or ignoring the paths we travel or taking for granted the experiences that help us to grow. Remember, the detour does not deter the dream; it develops the destiny!
“The most fulfilling adventures happen when you start your journey without knowing where you’re going, because only then are you free to experience the unexpected detours you’re meant to take.” ~ A.J. Darkholme
“I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed. You will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours – so enjoy the view.” ~ Michael York
Part of reaching your destiny is understanding your detours.” ~ Tony Eavns
Opportunity waits on no one and unless you are willing to face the challenge head on, you will constantly miss the mark. Those that succeed the most are those that not only seize opportunity when it appears, but are prepared to capitalize at a moment’s notice. But it’s the rare few that make their own opportunity that really stand out!
With so much controversy and hoopla over #Oscars2016 and the lack of nominees for African-Americans, it shines a tremendous spotlight on how important it is to carve out your own path and make your own way. Not every breakthrough is by traditional means, i.e., go to school, develop a trade, work your way up the ladder, and retire happily. Sometimes the path to success means paving the road yourself, a leap of faith, or building your empire from the ground up through unconventional means.
Many have heard the familiar stories about Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and so many others, but what escapes most is that the path that lead to their success was a lonely, grueling, and self-inflicting journey that they chose. They decided at some point that in order to find success and their own happiness, they would have to build their own lane and ride it to the end no matter where it led.
In a world where too many are waiting for handouts or depending on someone else to give them a chance, those that have chosen to chase their dreams have discovered what to some seemed to be an elusive chase meant breaking down walls and barriers and paving their own road. If you want it, make it happen. If you are passionate about it, pursue it. If you want to succeed, be willing to map your own success. If you want to be happy, do not be afraid to follow where it leads. And finally, if the road does not already exist, build it yourself!
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson