Happy New Year! Some Thoughts for 2014

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This post is a combination of a few things… some thoughts inspired by real life experiences in 2013, some thoughts inspired by devotion for 2014 and 30+ years of life. Hope it blessed you!

Last year’s goals are important.

I’m looking over my goals for 2013 and am categorizing them as follows:

1. Wasn’t God’s will.
2. I accomplished this goal!
3. I didn’t work hard enough to accomplish this goal. Need new strategy for 2014.
4. I was hopeful and overshot and can revisit for 2014.

A few Facebook posts from this year that sum up the progress I hope to be making.

September 28, 2013: I know enough Facebook friends in real life to know that lovey dovey posts about their spouses, friends and organizational affiliations normally don’t equate to commitment and dedication live and in living color! I hope that when I post that that I love something, those connected aren’t thinking, “uh…” Nevertheless… Here’s my bold proclamation: I love Jesus, my family and real friends, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., college football, community service, Nordstrom, traveling and mentoring/coaching!

September 17, 2013: Don’t let the people who criticize you distract you from making progress. Learn to properly categorize feedback. If it is constructive, integrate. If it is destructive, say thank you and keep it pushing.

August 18, 2013: 11 murders in Oakland over the weekend. How many of those folks planned to die? Our days are all numbered. Must live with purpose and intention.

July 1, 2013: I was sitting on the plane and an older couple asked if they could sit next to me. I wanted to say no but I didn’t own the seats. The wife immediately started asking me “what are you reading?” “Did you play basketball?” “Where are you headed?” I tried to be nice and thankfully, her husband shut her down. Shortly after, Mayor Kevin Johnson and his wife boarded and the lady yelled, “Mayor Johnson!! We go to Capital Christian Center!” The mayor acknowledged her ad told her she had a great pastor. The husband asked me what church I went to and we started talking about Jesus and family… from then on, I gave up on my book because these people weren’t intending to stop with the 100 questions. Long story short… after speaking with them, I decided to pray for them (to myself) and as soon as I started doing so, the wife said “There is something I want to pray for you for. What do you have before God?” I returned the courtesy, only to learn that the husband and I were praying about the same thing… anyway… these people blessed my life even though I didn’t feel like being bothered with them initially! Service and ministry call for huge sacrifice. One of many reminders I got over the last week. I’m asking all of you to say a special prayer for my new friends Allen and Helen. Pray that God would bless their families, ministry and enlarge their territory for his glory! [A :LESSON IN MINISTRY]

March 1, 2013: My granny gives the best “how to deal with church people” advice! Its somewhere between “street” and “wise” and always in line with the word! This is where I get my “foolishness-free” attitude from! LOL!

Some scriptures for the New Year.

1.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

2.  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19

3.  “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

4.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

5.  “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

6.  “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14

7.   “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”  Psalm 65:11

8.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

9.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

10.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  1 Peter 1:3

11.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

12.  “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

13.  “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  Lamentations 3: 22-24

14.  “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11

15.  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:28:31

16.  “A blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”  Deuteronomy 23:5

17.  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.   Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”  Ezekiel 36:26-28

18.  “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”  Psalm 96: 1-3

19.  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”  James 1:17-18

20.  “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,…”  1 Chronicles 16:11-12

21.  “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  Mark 11:25-26

22.  “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15

23.  “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

24.  “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  Psalm 20:4

25.  “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  Habakkuk 1:5

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[New Video] “If We Had You Eyes” – Michelle Williams

“If We Had Your Eyes”

Can you spare some change is what I heard him say
At the light, so I dug thru my ashtray
My good deed today, changed my life
I thought I knew it all, quick to right him off
Looked like he was lost, until I heard him speak
Now I’ve heard that voice before knew that it was yours
He said you loved me more than I even believed Continue reading “[New Video] “If We Had You Eyes” – Michelle Williams”

Trayvon Martin’s Mom says “God is using me…”

I love God. I thank him for life. Many things have occurred in my life that have caused me to believe that God is using me to be a vessel for him… but… nothing I have experienced compares to losing a child too soon and not even being able to experience the justice owed to the families of murdered people.

That said, God has comforted our sister and allowed her to see beyond her own grief and acknowledge what good can come from such a dark reality. Thank you, Lord. Strengthen this woman and her family! Answer their prayers. Give them the resources they need to continue to pursue justice… and most of all… remind them that you love them,

17 Minutes to Finding a New Church…

Moving to a new city is hard. There are  things to set up and people to meet. You have to find a barber,  dry cleaner and somewhere to get groceries. All those are necessities but not nearly as important as finding a place to worship! Having moved to several cities, I have experienced the process of finding a new church and have determined that one can glean whether a church is a good fit within 17 non-consecutive minutes.

Let me start off by saying that I believe that everything that you see at church is a reflection of the vision that the leader has. He or she may not be able to cross every T and dot every I, but in general, things should be flowing in a way that suggest that the leader is leading the ministry towards growth. So here we go… 17 minutes!

Minute #1: When you drive up to the church, you ought to be able to assess whether somebody has been assigned to make what is considered “God’s house” look half-way decent. Not a HUGE deal but something to consider! Certainly, someone in need of prayer will not pass up a ministry because the grass needs to be mowed, but it does make a difference! Did anyone greet you in the parking lot?

Minute #2-4: When I assess whether I could be a member of a church, I consider what the experience may be for those I might invite. Since God is inclusive and loving.. so should the ushers/greeters be! from the time it will take you to get from the door to your seat, you should get more smiles and “welcomes” than backs and funny looks! Continue reading “17 Minutes to Finding a New Church…”

Tim Tebow is a Patriot! Who is mad?

Bill Belichick must feel like God’s little agent? No? I know that sounds corny, but who would have thought that when Bill said he didn’t think Tebow was all that bad, he was considering having him on the squad? Whatever the case may be, Tim Tebow said, “The earth is the Lord’s and the NFL thereof.” He may be benching, but he’ll be banking!!!!

 

 

 

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Knowing your value is half the battle. Once you do, you have a mandate. God has given you every tool to be your own champion! He expects you to be your best and bring out the best in others! Start now! Be you own MVP. Get off the bench. Quit complaining. Quit waiting for other people to save you! Play fiercely and passionately! Train. Run. Prepare. Plan. EXECUTE.

 

[Jam of the Day] Lose to Win – Fantasia

This song is special. I think it’s good to have a few bad days so that you can appreciate all that God is creating. Some of what were experience by way of challenges are specifically for our benefit and growth. Sometimes you gottta lose to win again!

fantasia 2013 VIDEO: FANTASIA LOSE TO WIN

Happy Birthday Brandy & Kelly!

This is is an ode to two of God’s most precious gifts to the world. These extremely talented and beautiful women have held it down for chocolate women for close to 20 years! It’s no surprise that they both share the same birthday! In tribute to their beauty and friendship, here are some pics of the the two of them together!

 

10 Tips to Improve your Life


I borrowed these from 100 Tips to Improve your Life! Go check ’em out!

 

[Video] President Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration Speech + Transcript

Obama

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens, each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.

OBAMA: What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

(APPLAUSE)

That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today we continue a never ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing. That while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on earth.

OBAMA: The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people. Entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. And for more than 200 years we have. Through blood drawn by lash, and blood drawn by sword, we noted that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half slave, and half free.

OBAMA: We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers. Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all societies ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.

For we have always understood that when times change, so must we, that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges, that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.

For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future. Or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.

[CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]