Your bibles are burning in the heat of your hate,
You can’t spell supremacy
Yet I am supposed to look to you for direction,
Where are you going?
How great can you be if you have to oppress others to stand out?
What purpose do you serve?
What value do you bring?
Oh yes, you thrive in ignorance
You’re a master,
But you are scared
So you project your insecurities on me,
You try to devalue my existence
by calling me names
but you know what
I don’t care.
I don’t care what you think
Really I don’t,
You don’t know me,
You can’t understand me
You don’t define me,
So pour out your hate
It falls on deaf ears,
My greatness can’t be covered by your hate,
You don’t matter,
Go to your corner and scream all you want,
No one is listening,
The past couple of days I have been wrestling with a thought. The thought is why do black people value the opinions of white supremacist so much. There are so many derogatory words that affect us.
To name a few.
The thing is I know I am not a monkey or nigger or a boy why do I allow those words to trigger me to lose my mind. Who is empowering the words the ignorant person saying them or me the person receiving it? I feel that white people that resort to using these words know how it affects us and how it brings the worst in us. They win through our reaction. They win by us drawing attention to their ignorance. We can call a white person “cracker” and whatever names we have for them but it does not have the same effect on them that their words have on us. They created words that boxed us in and keep us distracted from how great we are. We can’t control what they think or what they say but we can change how it affects us. We can stop allowing others to take our power from us. We are powerful and there is nothing they can do to stop us. Yes, there is white privilege and entitlement. Just being white in our society has its privileges. There was a thought in the times of slavery that the wealthy would cause a divide between poor white people and black people by saying at least you are not black. So white privilege is not some thing you earn it is something you are born into. Even white privilege can’t stop us.
My thought to people of color is. We are great. There is nothing wrong with our lips, our thighs, our complexion, we are handsome, beautiful and intelligent. We are uniquely made and we don’t take a backseat to anyone. We don’t need validation from white people to be great. We are great. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, educated or uneducated you have a purpose in this world and nothing can stop you from expressing it but you. When I look at my kids I don’t ever want them to feel inferior because they are black. They have nothing to prove and neither do you. The word n*gger has no power until you give it power. Don’t let that word define you. You know it is not who you so don't let it rule or ruin your life….
I am not dismissing the effects words like n*gger have on black culture. Words matter but I am expressing that words power come from your reaction to them. What will happen when we stop reacting to the words of people that hate us without even knowing us. The only way we can eliminate the n*gger from our dictionary is by taking its power away. It is a word with no meaning; no value. Yes some white people believe we have no value and no meaning to live in this world. We don’t have to do anything for them to hate us and that can hurt but if they don’t love us we still need to love ourselves. They don’t matter more than you do. Your life has meaning because you make it have meaning. Call me what you want but it won’t change who I am. I am not a n*gger. My life has meaning and I won’t let you be the excuse of why I won’t live my life to it fullest. Your ignorant, limited word for me dies today.
Do I really want God's help?
The obvious answer is yes, yet my actions don't always align with my beliefs. I act alone, not even considering God in my plans. God is an afterthought until things fall apart. Then God gets the blame for my faith not being validated. It is like getting mad at a friend because you got in a car accident but they didn't even ride with you.
It is so easy to get caught up in what you do that you don't realize that you are ignoring the One that gave you the inspiration. We can make the excuse that we are too busy but we make time take "selfies". We have plenty of time for what we view as important yet we say God is the most important thing in our life. We don't want to miss out on anything but having a deeper more intimate relationship with God. Our "selfies" become our idol that keep us from seeing God's presence working through our life. God is with us but we don't know it and because of our ignorance we can't appreciate Him.
I don't want to be ashamed of God. I don't want to live with God out of the picture. I don't just want God's help, I want His presence. I want to walk with God. I want to talk to God. I want to be a part of God's life. I don't have all the answers and that is okay; God does. I don't know how my life will turn out but God does. I want to be fully integrated in God's plan. Honestly I don't know how I can change how I have been without God's help. I need God every step of the way.
God I just want to be a part of your picture.
Q: What's the most important tip in this book?
A: The most important tip for me is to listen. I have to tell myself to listen all the time because it doesn't come naturally. Out of the 15 tips, Listen is three of them. It is very important that I hear not only my wife's words but her heart.
Q: Do you have to be married to relate to this book?
A: I believe that it will benefit men that are married most but the tips are universal. When the tips are applied they can help strengthen any relationship.
Q: How can Husband Rules help someone on the verge of divorce?
A: It depends on if he wants to be married. If he is willing to build again then Husband Rules can be a great building block. If your heart is not into being married, there is nothing this book or any marriage book can do for you. Husband Rules can transform your marriage if you are willing to open your heart and invest time into building a strong marriage.
Q: Husband Rules is so different from your other books. Why did you write this book?
A: I wrote Husband Rules for myself initially. I wanted to write a book that related to issues that I deal with. Reading marriage books is like reading about dieting. There is a lot of restriction, which works while you are on it, but the minute you are off you are in a worse state than before. I wrote Husband Rules so that men could incorporate the tips to change their perspective on marriage. I am tired of seeing us lose in marriage because we don't have the proper tools and perspective. If Husband Rules helps one husband not to quit on his marriage, it was well worth it.
Husband Rules is no different than my other books, the central focus is love. I feel when we see love, we change. I want men to realize the power of having a good marriage. To know that you have one person that will have your back unconditionally is priceless. As men, we can get caught up in trying to be successful that we ignore the gift of love in front of us. Husband Rules refocuses our vision to what truly is important; love. Why not invest our energy in something that will not depreciate? Writing the book was not easy. I had to confront many issues that were uncovered in the process. I had a lot to work on but I can say I am grateful to have gone through the experience.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
I don’t have all the answers. I am not the perfect husband and I am not trying to be. I just want to love the woman that makes me happy. I want to give her the best me. Just like in sports, you learn the plays then you practice them. Through practice, you learn how to execute and master them. When I got married I did not have a playbook. I was a 20 years old learning how to be a husband on the fly. Through the years I picked up some plays that have helped me in my marriage. That is what I share in this book.
No More Participation Awards
If you played youth sports you received a certificate of participation. The thing is no one cherishes participation awards. Regardless if we want one or not we all receive participation awards for our life. Our life has to have more meaning than a cheap certificate acknowledging that we lived. Participating does not mean you are winning only existing.
The truth is a lot of us are content with just participating. Not you. You are not content with just existing you want more out of life that is why you are reading this right now. You don’t want to go through the motions you want to live with a sense of purpose and meaning. Deep down you know that you possess greatness. The thing is we all do but few pursue their greatness. You are one of the few that will not accept participating without engaging at the highest level. You will push yourself regardless of who is there to support you. You will win because you don’t accept losing. You don’t take no for an answer.
The point is we all can be tempted to settle for less than who we are. But we know what settling get us. A certificate of participation is something you receive no matter if you win or lose. You receive a birth certificate when you are born and a death certificate when you die. What happens in between is your choice. You write your life’s story through your choices and actions. Don’t settle for just existing, your life has meaning. Find out what you were born to do and don’t waste time, do it now. When you do your life with be filled with rewarding experiences that will leave a story to tell the generations to come.
If we are honest, we like to be distracted. We don’t want to see ourselves without the filters we carry with us. So we play make believe. Trying desperately to prove that we belong and that we are not a waste of space. We want to be someone more than what we feel we are. So we play pretend. We put on our capes and dress the part of super heroes with special powers able to do the impossible. We ignore anything that resembles truth because the lies look and sound better. The lies are louder. We like loud because there is a pain that can only be heard in silence. That pain is what keeps us from being who we are. It hurts too much to confront yet we can’t escape it. The truth is there is nothing scarier than loving yourself unconditionally. I mean every aspect of you. Everything.
How can you love your mistakes?
How can you accept your flaws?
True love is scary because it causes you to let go of your capes and filters and fully expose yourself with no condemnation attached to you. It causes you to confront the person in the mirror. You have to face reality which is not always pretty. It is not refined and it is not always attractive. The unmasked you is worthy of love and worthy to love. When you take the hard road of self-acceptance you discover that loving yourself is your superpower. That is your gift to share with the world. Meaning the world is easy to point out what is wrong with you. There is a long list of things that show how imperfect you are. But Love is what matters, everything else is a distraction. When you love unconditionally it gives your surroundings to do the same. You empower others to accept themselves. You free them from the monsters they have been tormented by in their minds. You show the world that we don't have to put on a cape to have the power we already possess the power.
You are a superhero. You have the power to change the world through the love in you. You don't have to play pretend, you are the real thing.
There is one thing that can stop a dream before it starts; non-action. You can say you believe in your dreams but never take action towards reaching them. When you don't act on your dreams, you forget about them. Life happens and as reality sets in you have no time to dream. The life you want may be a fantasy, it may seem impossible but what is wrong with that? What is wrong with having a dream so big that it scares you? It is okay to be scared as long as you don't let fear stop you from action. Your actions reinforce your beliefs.
You are more than able to reach your dreams. More importantly you can live the dream now. Your actions now may seem insignificant but they are purposeful. They shape your life and prepare you for where you are going. Keep believing in yourself. No matter how hard the journey may see, you are worth it. Your life matters. Your dreams matter go live them out.
I have found that when life is chaotic and it seems there is no place to rest. To take a moment. The moment brings me to the present. In the present, I find the Son. In Him, I discover freedom from the pressure to be someone I am not. I find acceptance of who I am. I find that my worries are nothing to stress about. In the Son, I find rest. The storms of life calm in His presence. I donât have to be afraid of what is to come or what has come for the Son is present in my present. Now I can believe the impossible. Now I can see. I see only this moment and in it, I see the beauty of it. What seems to be a blemish on the canvas of my life is merely an accent to a beautiful masterpiece.
The Attitude of Success
The world defines success by the accomplishments and positive outcomes you achieve. Basically, it is about your performance. Your performance determines how successful you are, but I have discovered you can be successful by the world’s definition and still feel unfulfilled. Your life can be void of purpose and passion even while having all of the achievements in the world. So, are you truly successful if you are unfulfilled?
I am learning that success comes from within; it's a part of me, not something I achieve. Success is who I am. I am successful because I choose to be who I am in all things. I choose to be present in spite of my insecurities and fears. I choose to love myself even when I feel I don’t deserve it. My success is not measured by the number of awards I receive or the reviews I get for my work. My success is rooted in the infinite love that dwells inside of me. My connection to the infinite allows me to live freely in who I am created to be. The Infinite created me and that means my identity is enclosed in unconditional love. No longer trying to prove I belong, I accept who I am and carrying an attitude of success wherever I go.
I used to think that something was wrong with me. I have always struggled with following the crowd – I need a reason to follow, while it seems most just follow because someone is leading. I don’t accept reality as is; I question it. I question everything. I want more than surface level understanding. I want to know things at its root and that’s where I tend to find trouble. Because I go against the grain, many people have a problem with me. They don’t understand how I “tick.” They think I’m being insubordinate but I ask, to whom am I supposed to be subordinate to – God?
We were created to have our own relationship with the Spirit. If you look at the examples in the bible, you can see that God worked through the contrarians. Jesus was a contrarian; so were David and Abraham. A true believer usually goes against the grain – fighting what’s comfortable and “normal.” Do you really believe that Jesus would have been satisfied with just sitting in church every Sunday morning? I don’t. Not with so many people ignorant of their purpose.
Our kids are being pressured to be on social media and keep up with the latest fashion trends and we feed into it, giving them expensive phones and shoes thinking that we’re helping them “fit in” and make friends. We don’t empower them to be who they are because we are not being who we are. We are just being who we are supposed to be. It hurts me that we can’t just be honest with each other. We can’t just live the way we feel in our hearts because we don’t want to be an outsider. We don’t want to be rejected and hated. We would rather be loved by others than love ourselves unconditionally.
The path of least resistance is what we take. We don’t want to rock the boat. We know what needs to be done but too afraid to do it. We must understand that our kids imitate us. The only way to break the cycle is for you and me to be who we truly are. We have to confront the humiliation of being different and be willing to lose friends; go a different way.
Jesus’ family was not supportive of His purpose. His city was not supportive either but as He went, He found people willing to help Him get his message of love to others. The heart of a contrarian leads even when no one is willing to follow. They show the world there is another way and those who are willing to take the path of resistance find fulfillment and love as they go. So what will it be? Are you willing to be a contrarian?
the flight soars,
breaking through the clouds
ground is felt,
framed in the sun
awaking the soul,
your time has just begun,
The waters are deep,
The cliffs are steep,
The way is unclear,
The world is deaf.
only through sight.
only through fright.
the lost lead,
"Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me."
The Way - The Outer Court (doorway)
The Truth - The Holy Place (doorway)
The Life - The Holies of Holies (doorway)
Through Jesus we have access to the presence of God. He came to give us a better way.
taking back seats,
at the bidding
of a breathless soul.
Danny loved football. His dad bought him a football for Christmas when he was five years old and he loved the game ever since. Danny took the football everywhere he went. It didn’t matter if he was in the shower or in his bed; his football was right there with him. The only place he could not take it was to school. Danny did not like going to school; the kids there did not like him for some reason. They called him weird and strange, so during recess, he learned to play by himself. He would run around, pretending he had his football in his arms, running for the game winning touchdown. The other kids would always laugh at him but it didn’t bother Danny, he just kept running.
One day, during gym class, the gym teacher gathered the students to play football. The teacher selected two team captains to pick classmates for their teams. The two popular jocks quickly picked the biggest and strongest-looking girls and boys first. One by one, each student rejoiced as their names were called. Finally, Danny was the last person standing. Knowing his inevitable decision, the last captain shook his head and called Danny’s name. Danny was instructed to stand in the back as the other kids moved into position to defend the other team. Carelessly, he ran to the back, eager and focused on playing the game he loved so much. Danny didn’t care that no one wanted to pick him; all he cared about was playing football.
The very first play, the quarterback threw a deep pass down the sidelines. The player covering the wide receiver fell down, leaving Danny as the team’s last line of defense. Danny ran towards the ball that seemed to be floating in the air. The wide receiver misjudged the ball and jumped too early. The ball sailed over him and landed right into the arms of Danny. Danny’s eyes grew big as the other team began to run towards him. He started to remember all of the days he practiced catching the ball and running for touchdowns at recess. Danny took off; he dodged and sprinted past everyone until he reached the end zone where his team comforted and cheered for him.
Danny was never the “popular” one or even seen as valuable but Danny the forgotten pick, now the pick that will never to be forgotten again.
A young, single mother of two sits in her car and prays. She is afraid. She fears that she will not be able to feed her kids. She can't take the looks of pity and disgust she receives from family members when she asks for help. Their giving is more harmful to her soul than what she receives in return. She prays but her tears keep her voice silent.
Her eyes open and immediately connect with the two angels in her backseat. She wipe away her tears and she smiles at them. The mother now feels at peace. Her situation has not changed but she has.
Anne sat on her porch, drawing the sky. She was an aspiring artist that had a fascination for nature and most importantly, the sky. She often sat on the porch alone, creating from the inspiration from above. There was nothing more enjoyable to her than drawing. However, her love for it was not admired by the ones she loved. Her mother wanted her to focus on her chores and homework, so Anne would rush and get them done so she could get to her porch. Her father wanted her to be a musician like him, so she took lessons every week to please him. No one saw her as an artist. They liked her drawings but didn’t see a future in it. Despite her lack of support, Anne knew in her heart, no matter the odds, that she was going to be an artist.
A neighbor was walking by one day and saw Anne as she looked up at the sky. The old man was amused by her awe. He had not looked up at the sky like that in a long time, nor seen anyone marvel it the way she did. He remembered that he used to count the stars while lying in the grass as a child. He would dream of traveling the world. His dream actually became his reality as he traveled across the world, meeting wonderful people along the way. He looked at Anne and knew she was different; her joy made him want to dream again. He walked up to her determined to find out more about this girl.
He asked, “What do you see?”
She was startled; no one usually speaks to her when she is drawing. She looked at the old man.
“I see… I see Love. I see beauty. Everyday I sit here, trying to capture the beauty but it escapes me,” she responded.
“May I take a look?” the old man asked, as he noticed her notebook.
She gave him the pad and as he opened it, his eyes widened. He was blown away by her talent. In all of his traveling, he had never seen such beautiful art.
“This is amazing.”
Anne was surprised; she wasn’t used to getting a reaction from anyone.
“Thank you, I am trying to become an artist but I don’t know if I can,” Anne said.
“What do you mean?” the old man replied.
“My parents want me to be someone else. They don’t understand how much I love drawing and they don’t see it in my future,” said Anne.
The old man stopped her, “Young lady, you can’t be anything other than who you are; and you are definitely an artist. You are the greatest artist I have ever seen. Regardless of what others say, you still draw. I can tell, you can’t escape it and I believe in you.”
The words cause tears to fill Anne’s eyes. He noticed her and she felt loved; the feeling was wonderful. The old man was emotional too as his heart was moved by her gift. He pulled out his checkbook, signed a check and handed it to Anne, “This is for you.” He continued, “Promise me one thing; that you will never stop using your gift. Carry this wherever you go; if you ever need it, you can cash it for whatever amount.” The old man remembered a time when he was her age, “Many years ago, I was given a similar check when a gentleman saw my gift of writing. He instructed me to do the same thing and I have traveled the world ever since. I have been writing in many beautiful cities and I still have the check he gave to me; I have not needed it yet.” He said, pulling out the check to show her. “Young lady, the world is yours, now go and discover it.” He turned and walked away, smiling and admiring the sky all the way home.
Anne held the check and a burst of confidence filled her. She put the check in her pocket and decided at that moment, that she was an artist; and the world, her canvas.
The Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came that we would have life and life more abundantly.
Satan is not a one-trick pony; he has many ways of distracting and keeping us from living an abundant life. One is being a thief. A thief doesn’t come into your house while you are there; they watch and wait for the perfect opportunity to take your possessions without you knowing. Thieves don’t just use the front door; they use a cracked window, a backdoor, a spare key, whatever advantage they can get to, they use. Thieves are at their best when you are distracted. They take what you have while you are focused and busy doing something. Your prized possession, your treasure, is taken and you suffer a loss.
Satan wants to steal your promise. He acts like he has your best intentions in mind, all the while, planting seeds of doubt and fear in you. You begin to think about the “what ifs” and worry starts to set in. You lose trust that God is leading you and you begin to take matters – your life – into your own hands. Satan wants you believe that God is speaking to you but the whole time you are not hearing God, you are hearing him. Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice." Your thoughts are becoming simultaneous with the thoughts of the enemy and you begin to destroy yourself. Satan plants the “seeds” and we water them. We feed into those negative thoughts, ignorant to the fact that we are enslaved to them. We believe the negativity, we believe the lies and when things start to fall apart, we blame God because He didn’t help us.
We have been fooled. The bible says to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ. Jesus simplifies the process for us. Every thought must be filtered through the voice of love; if our thoughts do not feed us love and peace, it is not meant to be apart of us. We must lock our “doors,” shut our “windows” and turn the “alarm system” on. Shut down every negative thought of inadequacy, fear, hate and doubt. When we do, the life Jesus has promised us will manifest right before us.
When Hope Finds a Way
A young couple sits in darkness in their living room. The electricity was turned off today. Despite both of them working, they have been struggling to pay their bills. The money isn’t enough to maintain the lives they chose to live, so, they reflect in the darkness. They can’t watch television or check their social media accounts, nor do they have money to go to a hotel. They are stuck with each other and their thoughts. Alec wanted to blame his wife for their situation. Rachel had maxed out her credit cards shopping with her friends. She was trying to keep up the appearances with them, knowing she knew she didn’t have the means to pay it back. Even still, in her mind, her husband is the one that should have managed their finances better. Her thoughts were on the two expensive cars Alec bought them. Unable to reconcile their thoughts, darkness wins.
As shame begins to rest on both of them, they hear a knock at the door. Alec opens the door but sees no one. When he looks down, he sees a package on the ground. Rachel anxiously waits as he opens it and at the bottom of this package, they find two scented candles and a lighter inside. There is also a fresh baked loaf of bread and water in the package as well. A small note reads: "I saw that your electricity got turned off and I made this package for you. My husband and I have been in your shoes. Years ago, I remember sitting in the darkness of our home, wondering how it got so bad. I wanted to blame my husband until we received a package like the one I am giving you. It is the package of ‘hope.’ When we wanted to give up, the package came and brought us together. We realized we made mistakes but those mistakes didn’t have to define our life. We knew we could make better choices and learn to handle life better. It was put on my heart to give you this package and encourage you. Blessings, Your Neighbor."
Tears filled both of their eyes as they embraced each other and shut the door. In spite of the shame and guilt that was on them, hope found a place in their hearts. They sat together in their living room, now under the warm glow of candles and began getting to know each other once again. As the sun began to shine, the light brightened, not only in their room but in their hearts. Hope had come and changed their lives forever.