Get out of the shadows…

October 2, 2018

Jack Freed had a post that is so good today on his blog Jack’s Winning Words that I need to re-post the whole thing before I add any comments.

“We’d forgive most things if we knew the facts.”  (Graham Greene)  Being prejudiced means to judge before knowing all of the facts.  RLS wrote: “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me…” and that shadow, at times, can be the tendency to form opinions based on partial knowledge.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, nationalism…these are more than words.  Leaning, left or right…we daily have to examine “our little shadow” of pre-judging. – Jack

It’s interesting that this tendency to pre-judge, to be prejudiced, comes from the shadows, preacher-pointingfrom a dark place – a place in our hearts and minds where the sun doesn’t reach or perhaps where the Son doesn’t reach. Just as these preconceived notions, most born in ignorance and fear, could not stand the light of the truth, they also could not stand having the light of Christianity shined upon them. The fact that many words of hate and prejudice are hurled from the shadows by people thumping Bibles and loudly devilproclaiming to be Christians just shows the power of the Devil in their lives. They have allowed fear and hate to overcome the love and acceptance that Jesus taught.

Get out of the shadows…

What “little shadows” do you allow in your life? Is it a fear or prejudice against of people of color? Is it disgust or disdain at hearing others speak a foreign language in a store? Is it the ignorance and loathing of homophobia? Is it just the discomfort that you feel being around people who are “different”? Perhaps you sneer at eyes of revengea women wearing the Habib or those who look or dress differently. Perhaps you have allowed yourself to become a snob about some things and tend to discount the tastes of others who do not share you appreciation for that thing. Maybe your little shadow is just the indifference to your fellow man that allows you to turn away from the homeless beggar in the street, rather than reach out to try to help.

Get out of the shadows…

Whatever your personal little shadow is, you need to get out from under it. Shine the light of Jesus teachings on those fears and prejudices. Get yourself one of those little WWJDWWJD bracelets and start wearing it. When you find yourself in a situation where the shadow of pre-conceived notions is starting to darken your judgement, take the time to look at the bracelet and ask yourself that question. If you take the time to ask yourself What Would Jesus Do in those situations, you will find that the shadows go away. They cannot stand the light of the Son.

Get out of the shadows…

Have a great day walking in the light of the Son.

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Be the person that you would like to be…

March 13, 2017

I attended a very good real estate training session last week, put on my Steve Woodruff of The Woodruff Group. Steve is a well-known in the real estate world as a great motivational speaker and trainer. I came away with enough sayings from that session to last me a long time here, especially when I combine them with things that I get from Jack Freed in his blog Jack’s Winning Words.

One of the first good quotes from Steve was this one – “How would the person that I would like to be do what I’m about to do?” Some might try to substitute the little phrase WWJD“What would Jesus do?”, but I submit that doing so abstracts the process too much. These are our decisions to make and it is up to us to make them. Perhaps a better way to phrase that last saying might be to ask yourself, “What would a person who follows the teachings of Jesus do?” That at least brings us full-circle back to thinking about the person that we’d like to be – a person who follows the teachings of Jesus.

Bringing up thinking leads us to a little quote from Jack’s blog –

“Many problems in life are caused because we act without thinking or because we think without acting.”  (Unknown)

How often do we see an injustice or someone in need and just pass the situation by, thinking that we don’t have time for that right now?  That leads to the second quote from Jack’s blog –

“How soon, not now, becomes never!” – Martin Luther

Perhaps the situation is one that requires that you break away a bit from the norm and gopredjuices against the stream of what appears to be commonly accepted practice. That requires courage and a strong belief that what you are about to do is the right thing, the thing that the person that you wish to be would do. Steve had a great quote for that –

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” – Rollo May

It takes courage to stand up for the person being bullied. It takes courage to befriend the person in your class who is “different”. It takes courage to stop hiding in the closet and come out and live the life that you were born to live. It takes courage to admit that you need help and seek it. It takes courage to stand on the opposite side of the police line and courageprotest the treatment of people of color or ethnicity. It takes courage to stand up and say that I will not be treated like an object anymore or take any more of your abuse. It takes courage to decide that you are not going to continue to “go along to get along” anymore. Be the person that you would like to be and act now, before “not now” becomes never in your life.

Many people like to play the role of the victim. They are constantly complaining about what others have done to them or done that holds them back. Steve had a great quote for that, too.

Do not complain about what you permit – Anon

I found a great follow-on to that quote – No one can “walk all over you” unless you lay down and let them. – Maria Moore

The point to both quotes is that you control what happens to you – the situations that you life-choicesget yourself into and the reactions that you have to them. Ask yourself how the person that you would like to be would act and react in those situations. Would that person show courage or cowardice? Would that person act without thinking or think about it without acting and perhaps let not now become never?

A great way to start off this week is to take a moment before you dive into your normal workday life and think about another short series of quotes from Steve Woodruff –

Success is a choice not a circumstance – make the choice and act upon it

Take Responsibility – It’s your life and no one else can live it for you and make the decisions for you unless you lay down and let then walk over you

Attack your Fears – Fears, uncertainty and doubts are just temporary roadblocks that life throws up in front of us. Do not let them stop you. Attacked them, overcome them and move on.

Invent your Future – Become that person that you would like to be and you will have the life that you’ve dreamed of living.

Have a great week ahead.

 


A life lesson from the King of golf…

October 20, 2016

arnold-palmerArnold Palmer was called the King of golf because of his key role in making golf successful in the 1960’s and establishing it on TV. Palmer was followed on the golf course by his army and was the first great athletic hero of the Television Era. Palmer passed away this year at age 87.

 Palmer was extensively quoted during his life and Jack Freed used on of his quotes in a recent blog post to his blog Jack’s Winning Words.

“Success in golf depends less on strength of body than on strength of mind and character.”  (Arnold Palmer)

I would submit that Arnie’s saying is good advice for life in general. Success in life is not about physical things, such as strength or beauty; it’s much more about the strength of one’s mind and character. We’ve probably all known someone who was very beautiful or handsome in their looks but totally insecure and perhaps shy or withdrawn. Certainly most of us have seen many examples of very strong or athletically-gifted people whoGandhi failed in life, due to severe character flaws. Certainly Mahatma Gandhi was not strong of body ans not all that good looking, but he had tremendous strength of character and mind and was wildly successful in his efforts to free India from Colonial oppression.

Dicionary.com defines character as –

the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.

So, character is what makes you unique; and your character can be viewed as having good or bad traits or features. You might be described as kind, gentle and loving or perhaps arrogant, loud and self-absorbed. You could be seen by others as a saint or a sinner, a winner or a loser, or trustworthy or flaky.

Likman lifting weightse lifting weights to build strength, there are things that we can do to improve our minds through training and education. We can be more ready for things that may come at us in life. We can also strengthen our characters.The key to developing and having a strong character, to my way of thinking, is to base your character on a strong foundation of faith and belief. Character built on the teachings of Jesus will make you stop before acting and consider what the “right” thing to do is in the situation. A mind trained the teachings of the Good News makes decisions based upon asking the simple question that has been printed on millions of posters and bracelets – “What would Jesus WWJDDo?” If you can’t see Jesus going down the path that you are about to take; why would you go down that path yourself?

Many might say, “Jesus was perfect; why should I hold myself up to a standard that I can never achieve?” The answer is found in the benefits that accrue when you continue striving towards that image of perfection. A better question for us to ask ourselves might be, “If I understand what the right thing to do is, why would I do the wrong thing.” Doing the right things is both based upon and further adds strength to your character. It gives your mind a stronger base upon which to make life decisions. Conducting your life, based upon a strong character and a mind rooted in faith and belief gives us integrity, which is the right path to true success in life.walking man

Proverbs 28:6 – “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”

Face the day and the rest of the week with strength of character and mind. Peace be with you.


It’s just a boo-boo; you’ll live…

January 14, 2016

“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.”  (John Sinclair) – as seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I really like that little saying because it is such an appropriate way to think about the failures and setbacks in our lives. The analogy holds up to a good deal of thought, too. Usually the event that causes a bruise involves something that causes pain first – a bump or a fall or running into something. It hurts at that instance and then your body may turn the site of the bump it into a bruise. The bruise still hurts, if you poke at it; but over time it heals and goes away. Of course, if the incident was traumatic enough to have broken or cut the skin, you may also end up with a scar instead of just a bruise. Scars are more like tattoos: they stay with you for a long time, but they, too, fade away over time. Some failures in life may leave scars, too.

Remember when you were little and fell off your bike or ran into the door while trying to mother with childrun away playing tag. It hurt; but, your mom kissed it and told you it was just a boo-boo and that you’d be OK – you’d live. Life’s failure are much the same, only mom isn’t there anymore. If you’re lucky you have a life partner who can kiss you and tell you that it’s just a boo-boo and that you’ll live. That failure is just a bruise (primarily to your ego) it’s not a tattoo. It may take a while for the bruise to heal and for you to forget about it, but it will heal eventually and you will forget and move on with life.

There are things that can tattoo you for life and I suppose that they might be called failures; although most of them are called crimes. Having a criminal record, especially for the more heinous crimes definitely act like tattoos on those who commitment. The record follows them around and some crimes involving sex or children or both result in those tattoos being registered in databases that all in the public can see. The exceptions usually involve juvenile offenders whose youthful criminal records are expunged when they turn 21. It’s sort of like having that tattoo removed through laser surgery.

Other things that we experience may causes bruises in our lives. The loss of a loved one, remorsefulrejection by someone that we hoped would be a loved one, loss of a job, divorce and more can all cause bruises. All of those bruises heal over time, though some require quite a bit longer than others.

There is a corollary saying that also rings true – “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” You may not think that the healing of that latest life bruise will make you stronger; but, you will learn something from it, you will know better the next time and you may be able to avoid getting bruised again by the same thing or person. If you develop the ability to look at life’s failures and setbacks as temporary bruises, it will make life much less stressful or depressing when you have those failures.

If you don’t have a loved one to turn to for a kiss and the reassurance that everything will be OK – that you’ll live; turn to the One who is always there for every boo-boo in life, the One who will never judge you or abandon you; the One to whom you can and will turn to even in the final moment of your life – embrace God and let Him kiss your boo-boo and make it better. In fact, even if your mom is still there, or you do have a loved one that you share your life with; taking your boo-boos and bruises to God in prayer will speed the healing. As you get older you may get a bit cynical about the medicinal impact of mom’s kisses, but you should never lose faith in the healing power of God.

If you must get a tattoo, get a small cross tattooed somewhere where you can look at it when yo need to. Then, in those times when something has just happened that you know is going to leave a bruise WWJDor maybe even a scar; you can look at that tattoo and say out loud, “this is the only thing that is permanent in my life.” That will start the healing process. If you really don’t want a tattoo, get one of those bracelets that have WWJD engraved or printed on them and wear that; because what Jesus would do is kiss your boo-boo and make it better.

It’s just a boo-boo: you’ll live and you’ll be stronger for it. Have a great day.