Words, words, words!
You have to think them before you say them.
So guards your thoughts.
Words can uplift you.
They can also bring you down!
That small tongue given the wrong words has the capacity to produce big damaging results/consequences.
Once you spit them out, you cannot take them back.
Can you remember hurtful words that were said to you years ago?
Likewise, you can also remember the words that inspired, encouraged, and motivated you!
If you can remember what others said to you, they can undoubtedly remember what you said to them.
Proverbs 21:23 tells us that “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
Therefore, select and speak your words carefully.
The ears that hear them will for sure – retain them.
Conscientiously, think of their impact which can echo in someone’s ears, mind, and heart for a lifetime!
Simply said – Be careful about what you say!
Quote: Pastor Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church.
Cruising down my memory lane of experiences, the cotton fields of Mississippi indeed left unforgettable memories.
During the summer, you walked from one end of the cotton field to the other in the blazing hot sun chopping down the weeds from the cotton plants.
This removal was necessary to allow the crop to produce white snowy cotton for picking.
It was the separation process that determined the outcome and purity of the harvest.
Our lives are no different.
We have to remove the bad folks from our presence to allow our goodness and quality to blossom.
Unlike noticeable weeds, sometimes the badness in people can’t be immediately seen until their actions reveal their naughtiness.
Once their ugliness raises its head, it’s time for the separation process to begin. If you don’t remove yourself from their midst, you are subjected to continued infestation.
The wheat has worth; the chaff is worthless!
An alignment with worthiness cannot produce prosperity.
Nothing from nothing leaves nothing!
No more needs to be said. It’s as simple as that!
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Corporate great, Lee Iacocca once said, “If you have had 5 real friends, you have had a great life.”
How many of your family members are friends and how many are “leave them where you found them” types?
Do they really get on your nerves that badly?
This brings me to another fascinating phrase that has been echoed for years. “If they were not your family, you wouldn’t pick them as friends!”
Most definitely not!
Don’t shoot me I am just the messenger; specifically, the writer in this case. Neither did I invent the phrase; nor am I here to prove/disprove its validity.
I am certain that you have enough family members who have voluntarily tested the phrase’s authenticity and validated this scientific hypothesis.
Let’s take a look.
1. The family fights –
Just think back to all the arguments, fights, bite your tongue moments that have occurred in your family over the years; many over insignificant matters.
2. The hypocrites –
Some family members go around prophesying in the name of The Lord, yet they haven’t even spoken to some relatives in years.
Sounds hypocritical to me!
What do you think?
3. The reasons for the fights –
The fights encompass a lot of territory. Nothing beat this stalemate, namely
the relatives who have been at war for so long that they don’t even know why they are fighting?
4. Generational fights –
Through the family’s umbilical cord, the fights have moved from one generation to the next. Wait one minute! The kids have only imitated their parents.
Practice makes perfect!
We do what we see!
Children aren’t speaking to their peer relatives because their parents didn’t speak to each other.
“Can you feel me?”
5. Stop unrelated comparisons –
The Hatfields and McCoys are just plain neophytes compared to many noticeable family divisions and rivalries. I’m sorry … the Hatfields’ and McCoys’ represented two different unrelated families.
They were not blood related barracudas who sucker punched each other verbally, emotionally, and physically.
6. The hatred –
Lest not even enter the realms of those who can’t stand the other relatives’s guts and have make it universally known to any ear willing to listen.
That’s enough; hush your mouth!
Get this under control!
The list for the reasons for family disunity go on and on, but let’s end with this one.
7. Scriptural Warnings –
We don’t need circulating in our midst, Cain’s and Abel’s footnotes or tragedy. We were pre-warned of the ramifications associated with these types of jealousies and hatred in the Book of Genesis!
Show some love!
The circle of this madness, disrespectful conduct, and hatred can stop with us!
The family was lovingly created by God to foster love!
He knew what he was doing and what was good for us.
We need to get with the program!
We need to incubate love, show love, forget, and forgive.
Sure this is hard, but it beats the alternatives!
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It hit me like a ton of bricks. I would not in a million years have thought that the person in question could be that ruthless or sinister.
It didn’t look like they would hurt a fly.
How many times must we be reminded that looks are deceiving?
So when I heard of the betrayal, I was flabbergasted; speechless to be exact! What hypocrisy!
I don’t know why I was startled!
Jesus was betrayed by one who was within his midst!
Why would I expect any thing different?
Some folks asked, “How was this allowed to happen?”
That question is rhetorical at best.
We all know how closeness facilitates the removal of one’s inner fence.
We let our guards down with folks that we feel that we can trust; people that we feel are 100% loyal and are on our side!
We can all be fooled when perception and not reality is at work.
After all, we don’t expect betrayal from the group that we thought we could trust; the group that purportedly love us – close friends, confidantes, family, spouses/significant others.
Yet, these are the ones who become razor thin close; too close for comfort.
When that happens – down comes our barriers and protective shields. “Familiarity does breed contempt.”
It is easy to throw caution to the wind when we think that those close alliances are committed to our well being.
However, we have to discern that they are not who we think they are!
In fact, our mistake is that we too quickly or indiscriminately placed them in our circle of trust. Maybe it’s time that they are thrown out!
As the saying goes, “Know who’s in your boat. If they are drilling holes and not rowing, your boat will sink!”
Here’s what’s need to be done:
1. Remove them.
2. Forget them.
3. Activate the alarm if they come too close to the circumference.
4. Don’t become easy prey; “in range” target practice for the ill-intended.
5. Don’t mourn the loss of so-called friends; celebrate the fact that you identified who they were.
6. Re-group –
It is imperative that we “reboot; that we keep our guards up.”
7. Be equipped.
We must daily wear our weighty protective gear, though heavy it becomes!
8. Follow wise advise.
Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist used the expression that was coined by Al Pacino in his portrayal of Michael Corleone in the movie, “The Godfather II.” “Keep our friends close and our enemies closer.”
Regretful it is when there is difficulty in discerning who’s who.
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Being a southerner, I was always told that “The guard dog never attacks where the master doesn’t know.”
Don’t be fooled!
The guard dog in some settings is not a four legged animal.
It may be a person with feet running to badness.
It may also be someone who doesn’t like you and is determined to embarrass you.
Motives are hard to define particularly when they are synthetic and insincere.
Everyone is not your friend.
People wear so many disguises – many of which are hard to detect; others of which are not visibly noticeable.
I remember the old folks saying, “Everyone bears watching!”
It’s amazing how I embrace those quotes from the old folks today. In my younger years, I thought that those old fashioned souls knew nothing at all.
Stop categorizing people by saying what they will not do.
Although theoretically guard dogs, unlike watch dogs, are not trained to attack, they can!
All dogs have teeth that bite.
So keep your “guards up” around suspicious folks that you don’t trust.
People are not always what we see or think.
Can I get a witness?
Follow your instincts!
Your nose is usually not wrong!
You may find that your dog is more protective and loyal than the person that you assumed occupied that role!
There is such danger in assumption.
Take notes; pay attention.
Don’t be paranoid, but reasonably stay on alert.
Stop learning the hard way!
Truly, a dog may be your better choice. They’re cuddly, don’t talk back, and will love and protect you at all cost!
Photo credit: www.animaltheory.blogspot.com
Why do people stay involved in other folks’ affairs?
Is it boredom, the need to gossip, not enough excitement in their own life, jealousy, or what?
The answer may not be clear; the solution is simple! Stay out of their business; mind your own!
If you stay on top of yours, that’s a job in and of itself – very time consuming, I’ll say!
In fact, when you mind your own business, you really won’t have the time to meddle in someone’s else!
Plain and simple!
If you don’t believe me, take the plunge.
Mind your business and not theirs and see what happens!
You will be amazed!
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The day has finally arrived!
All of the traditional gentleness and happiness of Christmas permeates throughout the air.
Some celebrate the “White Christmas” that they dreamed of having. Peppermint candy canes, yummy gingerbread houses, glowing scented candles, stuffed Christmas stockings are everywhere.
The house smells of love! Gift wrapped presents with decorative bows are marvelously scattered under the Christmas tree. Family and friends are displaying bountiful love.
Children are thrilled at what Santa brought them. With Rudolph and his reindeer companions parked in a sleigh on top of the roof, some of the younger ones claim they saw Mr. Claus easing down the chimney!
The kitchen is filled with the aromas of Honey baked ham, turkey and dressing, home made rolls, sweet potato pies, chocolate cake, egg nog, and countless flavorful delectable dishes.
“Joy to the World” and timeless Christmas carols – one after another – are being played. (Silent Night, “The Temptations” style is my favorite).
A galaxy of colorful scenic lights and nativity scenes are on every street corner and fill every room of our homes.
Yes, Christmas is a day of giving; a day of love; but more importantly – the day that we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
He is the reason for the season!
“O come let us adore him.” Let’s rejoice and give thanks as we pray for our well being and that of our loved ones/families, the less fortunate, the lonely … and for a better world.
Let us show immense thoughtfulness, incredible caring, and undying love to one another!
Let us remember and never forget the memories of those that we love who are not with us in the flesh, but who are smiling as they watch us from the Heavens! Their love for us and ours for them is forever and a day.
As “Hark, the Herald Angels” sing “Glory to the new born king” – “Let there be peace on earth!”
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Lord, I come to you today in prayer.
My thoughts go places that they should not.
My mind thinks things that should not enter my space.
My heart pumps feelings that I wish did not exist.
I try hard to be descent, fair, kind, and respectful.
I need your helping hands God!
I ask you Father to “order my steps in your word dear Lord. Lead me and guide me everyday; teach me your will.”
Help me to be the best Mother, Granny, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, author, professional, and person that I can be!
Help me to walk in the footsteps of goodness!
Show me how to forget and forgive.
Forgive me for my indiscretions.
Put righteousness and kindness in my spirit.
Place the rights words in my mouth.
Anchor my soul in the streams that you see fit.
Let my conduct, speech, and all that I do glorify your name.
Keep my thoughts wholesome.
Allow me to have helping hands to support those in need spiritually, financially, emotionally and in all ways.
Let love flow from me like water downstream.
Surround me with people who love me and that I love.
Keep me on bended knee so that I stay prayerful and honor your holy name.
Guide me Lord.
Stay by my side.
I know that I can achieve greatness when you walk with me Lord!
Thank you Father for your love, grace, mercy, protection, guidance and all that you have done for my family and me!
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Integrating Steve Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” into our personal lives is not a bad idea. Habits eventually form our character.
Though written from a managerial point of view, – Independence, Interdependence, and Continuous Improvements – are the pillars of Covey’s approach.
They also work marvelously personally.
1. Be proactive.
2. Begin with the end in mind.
3. Put first things first.
4. Think win, win.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
7. Sharpen the saw.
This professional / management philosophy has found a personal home with me.
It adds up; it makes sense; it is effective; it works!
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You can present someone with an opportunity, but you cannot force him or her to take advantage of it.
Sometimes, it makes you upset; particularly when your advice can save them from calamity.
Remember this one important fact.
While you are worrying about them, having sleepless nights and watching your hair turn gray, the person in trouble is carefree, sleeping like a baby, and has no need for Grecian formula or Lady Clairol.
This scenario is upside down; right? Bottom line: People do what they want to do!
If you give solid advice and they don’t take it, you have done your job.
There are some people who want listen or heed advice.
Besides, if they get in the saddle, they must be prepared to ride!
So … Get with the program!
Go home, kick up your feet and get some rest.
Their lackadaisical attitude and inactions will eventually catch up with them. Sadly, when they are in doubt, they lose control.
With an unclear direction, they may land anywhere.
Hi Yo Silver! Away!
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