Resurrecting Your Dead Situations

Standard

As I sit in my office and reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus,  I realized that he took the time to get to himself, to tap into his power source. The ability to resurrect from the dead came from a source of power greater than himself. He took the time to get to himself to tap into his God power, he had to tap into the source of his strength and power, his relationship with his Father. When we rely on our own strength and power there is a limit to the things we can accomplish. However, when we can tap into God’s power and strength, we can tap into unlimited power, potential, and strength. It is a power greater than our own, it is the secret to the unlimited potential within you.

There are times in life when you have done all you can humanly do, there are no more answers, there is nothing left to do. If you have never come to this crossroad in your life. You are lucky, but then I would have to investigate how long have you lived. Because if you live long enough you will encounter situations, people, and things that take all your human strength and something more in order to overcome. They will be crossroads in life, periods in life, when you need an answer, you are blocked,  or you are in a place where you just can’t seem to make a decision. Then there may be times, when you have done your best, all you can do, and things just did not turn out like you wanted them to. You feel lost and defeated, you know you have to move forward, the situation is dead, but you do not have the strength to move.  What do you do in those situations?

You have to go, to a place inside of yourself, a place where you can plug into a source of power, and energy greater than yourself. That place is your relationship with God, if you do not have that relationship, you are missing a link to your greatest potential. This source of power lies in the knowledge that you have access to a power and strength beyond you. You have to take the time to quiet yourself, through prayer. Sometimes, the simple prayer of God help me, or I need you now. These are the only words needed to tap into the strength and power that is greater than your human potential. Luke 23:46 states that just before Jesus took his last breath he said these words, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” These words show, that Jesus knew his greatest power and strength was activated when he surrendered to the power and strength beyond his human potential, the Resurrecting power of his Father. So when you find yourself in dead situations, surrender to the power greater than your human potential the power of God in you.

Advertisements

The Missing Girls and DC, Six Tips For Parents To Make Their Child Safer

Standard

I have heard a lot about the missing girls in the DC area. The Washington DC police department is saying that there is not an actual increase in the numbers of missing girls, but that through the police’s use of social media, especially through tweets they brought more awareness to the issue of missing young women. The numbers fluctuate with the last being 25 teens in the last month. I have also read that the D.C. Mayor has created a task force and other initiative to find the missing girls. I will have to applaud social media and the outcry of others for bringing more awareness to this issue. As I ponder over this issue there are some questions that come up for me, such as:

If these young girls are runaways, what is happening in their home environments?

Where are these young women’s parents in all of this?

Are we as the public being told the truth, it seems it may be more to the story?

I don’t believe they are all runaways, but what is happening to our young girls?

Either way this is an alarming story, and has shed light on the issue of missing children. My children are all grown, but my heart strings are  pulled for these young women and their families. Obviously, as I look at this situation, I see that the most vulnerable, are those that don’t seem to have family connections, or their parents may not know their whereabouts. Then there are those of lower economic groups, and certainly young women of color. While there is a lot of social issues attached to either of those thoughts. It all boils down to, how can we as parents, keep our children safe? I don’t have all the answers, but listed below are a few common sense approaches, I always used with my girls, who all have grown up to be awesome young women. In their teenage years we had our share of disagreements, and struggles, as any honest parent of teenagers will admit, but I think these ground rules helped me.

1. Know where your children are- Keep up with there schedules, there friends, and their friends families. Make an effort to meet their friends and the families of their friends. Do not let your children spend the night with any and everybody. Remember you are the parent, and ultimately you are responsible for their safety.

2. Keep up with their internet activity- You pay the bills, so you can check their phones, computers, etc whenever you like. Put any safeware protection etc, block certain things, and do what you need to do, to ensure your child’s safety.

3. Drive your children where they need to go, or make sure they are with other responsible adults that you absolutely trust. There are to many, unattended children on the bus etc. I know that there are times when you may work, or some parents do not have a car, this can be difficult. However, if they must travel on public transportation, try to get them in large groups. Ensure your child has a cell phone to be able to contact you, especially in emergencies if needed.

4. Create a safe and loving home enviroment, where your children feel loved and safe. Even if there are disagreements in the home, if children feel safe and loved they will come home. Be the person your children come to, for support, wisdom, and love.

5. Make sure, that even when they travel in groups to the mall etc, that you pick them up and drop them off. Make sure you arrive and pick them up promptly, at the agreed upon spot. If they are late, find out what is going on, investigate, get out of the car, and look for them.

6. In the unfortunate incident, that your child comes up missing, contact the police, neighbors, and friends. Form search parties, talk, use social media, posters,  use whatever or whomever you need to get the message out. Ask for help from others in searching for your child.

7. It takes a village to raise a child, we are all members of the village. Know your neighbors, ask for help and help them by reporting anything or anyone that is suspect. Protect all the children in your neighborhood, by looking or checking on them. If you see children in your neighborhood out playing, even if they are not your children, check on them periodically. Start neighbor hood watch programs. But enlist the help of your neighbors that you trust, and know. We are each other’s keeper. It is not about being nosy, it is about keeping our children safe.

These are just a few items. I thought of , do you have others, add them to the comment section.

Maintaining Joy, Finding Those Moments of Joy Throughout Your Day

Standard

Joy, “A feeling of great pleasure and success” this is the dictionary meaning. I believe throughout the day we can experience pockets of joy. Brief moments in our lives that bring us great pleasure. Joy, and the experience of sheer joy is sometimes a choice, and other times, these blissful moments just unfold. I suggest looking for these moments, as if you were going on a treasure hunt. This makes you excited, and able to savor and carve out these precious moments everyday. We have these moments in our lives everyday, we often just let them slip by without noticing them. It’s the moment of enjoying the smell of coffee in the morning hours, a quiet moment by yourself snuggling up to a fire and reading a great book. It maybe snuggling in your lovers arms, and feeling the warmth of your love. It could be making a snowman with your six year old and enjoying life through the eyes of a six year old. All are these moments are pockets of joy ,that often become treasured memories of a life time.

I say treasure these moments, look for them, and don’t let them slip by. Often we are too busy with mundane task, and we let these valuable moments pass us by. Take the time to stop, recognize, and enjoy these pockets of blissful joy in your life.  Here are some tips to find pockets of joy everyday:

1. On those very busy days with deadlines, and task coming to you from every direction. Stop for a moment breathe, take a coffee or tea break for 10 minutes, smell the coffee, feel the warmth of the hot brew in your hands, find a spot where you can look out a window, and daydream for 10 minutes. Claim those 10 minutes as yours, and enjoy!

2.On those very busy days when you are trying to complete chores around the house, and your children are laughing at something else in the other room. Take a moment to enjoy their laughter, find out what is so funny, the best times are created when you take the time to join them. Before you know it, you have created another pocket of joy, simply by capturing the moment.

3. Your on one side of the couch, your husband or significant other is on the other side, and you are  looking at a movie. Slide up close and capture the moment to plant a big kiss or just snuggle. Both of you will find joy knowing that you have each other, and its’s a moment to say I love you without words.

4. If your parents are still living, which is a blessing in its self, send them a silly picture of you or you and your family, and follow it with a call telling them you were thinking of them.

5. Make a date for lunch, brunch, or just coffe with a dear friend to catch up or share memories, laugh and enjoy.

These are just a few, that came to me, be creative, capture, savor, and find your own pockets of joy. Take the time to savor each of those moments, by using all your senses to truly find joy in everyday life. Finding joy in your life, is the definition of success.

5 Ways To Survive The Political Climate of America

Standard

When I look at the news or read people’s comments on social media, I am still amazed at the divisions in America. I am not surprised by prejudice, or racism that has been around all my lifetime. I am surprised at the increase in numbers. What that says to me is that people have been stuffing there true feelings, and somehow this presidency is allowing, and maybe even encouraging those feelings to surface. America has not become greater, it is as if we have taken 12 steps backward. I guess the only positive thing I can see or say is that each side of the fence is very passionate about there beliefs. The purpose of this blog is not really even to state where I am in all of this negativity, but to encourage peace. I will say that I am for freedom, justice, and equality for all. I am for peace, respect, and basic human compassion and dignity. That is my position.

20140328-232319.jpgI am learning to agree to disagree in the true since of the word. To respect the opinions of others, even when there opinion differs from my own. Also to encourage freedom of speech for others without violence or corruption. The America of today, exemplifies that everyone has an agenda. I would also caution people to not always believe the hype, but to investigate and evaluate for yourself.

Listed below are some of my suggestions for surviving in the present political climate of America:

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Respect your opinion as well as the opinions of others. Do not allow your self to get into a shouting match with someone else. When emotions get involved in any debate, effective communication is lost. No one is hearing the other person, and it is just a shouting match.
2. Violence is not the way, walk away from violence. Do not allow yourself to get so heated that you initiate a violent acts or become the victim of a violent act. The violence then becomes the focal point, and it is not effective in communicating your views. If you want your point to be heard, stay away from violent acts. Especially if you are marching, when violence occurs, the whole point of the march is lost, and the media focuses on the violence that occurred.
3. Use wisdom when communicating your political views. Getting in a heated political debate at the office is not the epitome of wisdom. If you know in advance that this is going to turn into a very heated argument, and the other person is not really going to listen. Don’t waste your breath.
4. Live your life, regardless of the opinions of others. Do not let the views of other people define you as a person. Love who you love, laugh, pray, work, and enjoy life. Stand and fight for you and others to live their life to the fullest. This is the best defense against others who strive on racism and prejudice.
5. Choose your battles and your battleground, Everyone is not called to every fight. Marching in protest is not for everyone, there are other ways. Use your voice in social media, attend rallies and town hall meeting, voice your opinions patiently and intelligently. Listen to those who have an opposing view, when you can listen without reacting, you can really see and hear the person behind the words, which can be very enlightening.

We all have a voice, and we can use our voice effectively. We do not have to be silent when injustice occurs. However let wisdom, respect, and intelligence guide your actions. Do not let your emotions get the best of you, and remember violence begat violence, and no one wins.

Looking over 2016 I Realized My Best Moments Were shared Moments With Family

Standard

This year has been different. I wouldn’t say it was good or bad, just different with  many unexpected things happening throughout the year. I guess I would call it a year of unveiling, the unveiling truth of people and who they really are. This year I really had the chance to look and examine me, the good, bad , and the ugly. I have had to make tough decision, make needed changes, and move forward with the positive changes. I guess I would call this year the year of self examination. In that sense, it has been a good year for my internal growth.

I admit I am not a Trump supporter. However, I see that some people are really showing who they really are,since this election. I also admit I had to hold myself accountable for my feeling toward some of Trump’s supporters during this election. I think Trump’s election has unveiled a lot about America. I think a lot of Americans thought we had made strides, and were progressing toward people being treated equally and with fairness. I think Trump’s election to president has unveiled the hidden thoughts and feelings of many Americans. Most of it is not pretty. It has unveiled a lot of feelings in me. At first,there was fear and anxiety. Then there was a calmness, as God intervened into my thought processes. Then there was a quiet resolve. There was the reassurance that I trust God, and that my life will continue to prosper daily no matter who is in office. Once I got there, I have decided it was time for me to move forward with my life, my hopes, and dreams. I will not be deterred by social circumstances,  for I am a child of the Most High God.

Although, this year has had many surprising twist and turns I have thrived, and I will continue to do so. As I went through pictures, and social media post over the last year. I also realized what has never changed is how much I love my family, and how much joy my family and close friends bring to my life. That the most important things in my life are God, my family, and my work, the service I bring to the world community. This is my joy, and this is what I will continue with in my life. So no matter what goes on in the world my love for God, my family, and the work of trying to make the world a better place; will be my focus. How about you?

                                       So Now What’s  Your Next  Move Mr Trump?

Standard

Trump is now the president-elect, I did not vote for him, but he is the president-elect. I understand the frustration of those who are protesting, but I ask, what is that going to accomplish now? I see no need to protest now, save your steps, save your voice, be wise, wait and see. Sometimes, I find it so hard to believe that anyone with common decency , and belief in God, could vote for Trump. Oh but they have, and his supporters say, they wanted a change. I hear, I see, and maybe all will get just what they asked for, a change. My question is, what kind of change will it be? Will it be a change for the better, or will it be a change that will change the lives of our children, and children’s children?  Or will it be the positive change you hoped for. Is the change you are hoping for freedom, equality, and justice for all, or is it a change for a chosen few? Be careful, you just might get what you asked for. I also have to wait, and see, breathe, and pray for the best. I also have to find a way  to not expect the worse. America is reacting, and not thinking, sometime you have to be quiet, breathe, and wait. That, America is where we are, in this moment of time.

  I admit some of my fear, is that America will digress, where freedom for all, is just a dream long passed, that may never manifest. Therefore, before I react, and let my fears get the best of me, I will wait, I will see. Yet, I will not stand by idily. I will listen, I will educate myself, I will not be silent when wrongs are committed. I will not sleep on how others are treated, I will not sleep on justice for all, I will not sleep on teating all equally. I will make my voice heard, when it needs to be heard. I will march, when the steps lead to justice and equality for all. However, now, in this moment I will wait to see what is next Mr. Trump.

But, I ask you Mr Trump, now that you have won the election. Will you make bigoted, racist statements, and policies. Will your past dictate your future? Will you leave a legacy, of hatred and bigotry? Will the history books, tell your story truthfully, and what do you want them to say about you?  Will your legacy be one of inequality, will you serve all Americans, or just the ones who believe you will make America great again? Is the slogan, I will make America great again, the code word for I will take you back to an America where bigotry and racism was the theme of the day. I say not again, and not on my watch. I will wait, I will give you a chance, but I am not asleep. My eyes are fully open, my mouth is shut, but it will speak loudly if it needs to. My feet are not tired for they will march and protest for equality. In the meantime, I will breathe, and I will wait and see, what is your next move? Think about all that can be gained and lost, with your next move. The state of America is in your hands, and it really isn’t all about you, or a chosen few.

The Charm Of Living In Nashville

Standard

    Nashville, is a city of wonderful contradictions. In my opinion it is one of themost sophisticated, cosmopolitan cities in the United States, yet, Nashville retains its southern charm. It is old and new. It is old south and modern progressive. It is old school country mixed with new school urban. 

 Nashville is truly worthy of its title of Music City . When I moved here I knewI was moving to a city famous for country music. What I did not realize was that Nashville s music roots are so diverse. Yes, country music is king, but the other music genres are certainly present. Jazz, blues, contemporary, alternative, you name the genre and you can find multiple venues to enjoy. To me, the music culture of Nashville is unmatched anywhere.

Also, it just seems to me that Nashville revels in its entertainment diversity. It s a little hard to explain, but, like no other city I ve been in, Nashville seems to place its culture as a top priority. Included are all the arts, not just the music industry. Nashville has what I would describe as an arts district on 5th avenue in which a full day can be easily spent going from one art studio to the next. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center just has to be experienced. It is a simply gorgeous facility that must be seen. I can only say from first-hand experience, that being in the hall during a symphony is to feel as if you have been transported to one of the great opera houses of Europe.

Nashville has professional sports, such as the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Predators and the Nashville Sounds. College sports are available via Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University. 

Nashville has its hip areas such as the Gulch and Germantown, but, also the quaint such as downtown Franklin and Leipers Fork.

Here are a few more spots to mention, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Grand Old Opry and The Ryman. The list goes on and on.

You can hang out on the West End, vibrant with the influence of Vanderbilt University and Centennial Park. Or you can find the best and most diverse shopping in Cool Springs. I love the prevalence and beauty of the wonderful parks. There are communities that thrive on their character, such as Germantownand East Nashville. Or, you can drive outside of Nashville and discover beautiful countryside or meander along the Natchez Trace.

The Grand Old Opry is very much alive and vibrant. If you want to see the greatest stars of country music, the Grand Old Opry is the place to visit. It has a new face, but is still the Grand Old Opry. And, here is the pleasant contradiction: the Grand Old Opry now lives in a very modern, wonderful venue including the Marriott s huge Grand Old Opry resort. My wife and I recently celebrated an anniversary at the resort. It is incredible. It is a must see. I could go on and on about the resort, but let me just say, we decided it shouldbe one of our regular visits, not to just stay overnight, but to spend a day enjoying the many restaurants and pleasant hangouts. 

 The West End of Nashville is full of the modern / new contradiction. To me Vanderbilt University is the true star of the West End. Vanderbilt University is incredible. There are so very, very many activities available with Vanderbilt and you don t have to be a student to participate. The Blair School of Music has a large number of concerts happening all year long. The majority are of the concerts are free and open to the public. 

 The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has many opportunities to continue learning. The public is encouraged to join the OLLI as a member or you can register on a class by class basis. There are just so many wonderful, interesting opportunities to grow with this group that I cannot begin to list them. 

 Vanderbilt is steeped in tradition, yet conducts some of the most important scientific research in the world and is on the cutting edge of the reinvention of the US healthcare industry. 

 West End life is vibrant. Centennial Park is one of my favorite destinations. From early Spring until late fall, it is unlikely that you can t find some type of outdoor event or entertainment; Shakespeare in the Park, big band concerts, arts and crafts festivals, the Musicians Corner and on and on. If you just want to enjoy the outdoors in the midst of a city environment, I think you would be hard pressed to find a more pleasant, beautiful setting than Centennial Park.     TheWest End population is incredibly diverse, undergraduate students, grad students, working professionals, foreign nationals, old, young and anything in between. One of my favorite activities is to find a good spot at Starbucks, Panera Bread or Vanderbilt s owned Barnes and Noble, get a cup of coffee, fire up my laptop or reader and just enjoy the atmosphere. People watching in the West End of Nashville is a real treat.

I lived in a downtown loft only two blocks from Broadway, a little further to the Ryman and Bridgestone arena. It was a real treat living that close to so much activity. If you re a country music fan, I don t see how you could not enjoy Broadway downtown. There are many venues for live country music. One of my favorite activities was to go to Broadway on Saturday between 11 and 3 and gofrom one honky tonk to the next. During this time, most of the live music is performed by bands comprised of Nashville s legion of studio musicians. The quality and talent is incredible. No cover charge and it is difficult to stump these bands with a special request, I know, I ve tried.

If Broadway Avenue is the old, then the Gulch is the new. This area has really taken off and now has a very vibrant life with the latest and greatest shops, mixed with local restaurants and is a favorite of the young professionals.

The Ryman, known as the mother church of country music is an old tradition. But, it is not just limited to country music. Though some of the greatest and most legendary country musicians still perform at the Ryman, it is also a great place to find the new and modern.

At the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) you can see the latest Broadway plays, ballet, musicals and on and on. It is a truly wonderful venue, with three different theaters ranging in size. My wife and I have enjoyed multiple events there ranging from the most popular musicals to a children’s ballet and have never been disappointed.

Nashville s triple-A minor league team, the Nashville Sounds is a personal favorite. I am a minor league baseball fan, having gone to many games all over the country. The Sounds new baseball facility is one of the very best. There not a bad seat in the house. The events are family friendly and a true financial bargain (tickets from $8 – $32).

Nashville s Farmers Market is a great hangout. Of course, there is the Farmers Market, but there are also numerous local eateries. On many Friday and Saturday nights there is live, free music. It truly feels community . 

Leipers Fork, southwest of Nashville, is a quaint little village of art studios and antique stores. It is home of the original Puckets Grocery Store, which is really a great home style restaurant in disguise. Leipers Fork will provide an extremely enjoyable Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Downtown Franklin is a great place to spend a day. It is full of easy walking, local stores, restaurants and the best antique shopping anywhere.

Because of Nashville s music industry, live, up-close musical entertainment can be found almost anywhere. One thing that is unique about Nashville is a tradition called writers in the round, where three or four songwriters will share their stories, play their songs and interact with each other and the audience. Writers in the round is a unique way to feel as if you are a part of the music industry. Bluebird Café in Green Hills is probably the most famous venue for writers in the round, but on any given night there are four to five venues that can be enjoyed.

​I could go on and on about Nashville. I have enjoyed many areas of the country,but the southeast is my favorite. And, though I miss my family and friends in Alabama, I don t think I could find a better place to live than Nashville.