Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CALLED

Written by A. White
 


Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God... -1 Corinthians 1:1 (NKJV)


Within our human hearts, there's a natural longing to belong to a cause that's greater than us. For those who never encounter God through Jesus Christ, this internal itch is destined to go unscratched. But those who know Christ discover they play a part in a story with an eternal scope.

 
Paul taps into this truth as he begins his first letter to the Church of Corinth . He starts out by identifying himself as "Paul, called to be an apostle." This reveals that God had an important purpose and plan for Paul's life. God didn't just save Paul for the purpose of letting him sit around on some spiritual shelf. Instead, He desired to involve Paul in a plan that would prove to satisfy his built-in desire for purpose, direction, and meaning.

 
But we need to understand that this wasn't just something special or unique between God and Paul. The Bible tells us that all Christians have a divine commission and calling that has been placed upon their lives (Ephesians 4:1).


In this regard, the Christian's identity is completely different from those around them. They enjoy a sense of purpose because they've chosen to play a part in God's master plan. Unfortunately, we tend to forget this fact from time to time, and consequently we tend to relate more to the world's emptiness than the fulfillment that God desires for us.

 
Because we've been called by Christ to play a part in His grand design, our lives are filled with purpose, direction, and meaning.

Friday, October 5, 2012

FulfillMentor

by Ade Walker
 
 
Part 3
We've talked about awareness of self and how it is a vital component of growth towards fulfillment.  Now, as you are being aware, by paying attention to the present moment, I challenge you augment that skill with accepting advise and instructions from yourself, friends, family, etc., so that you have clear indication of where you are going.  Also, maintain a wonder, curiosity, and openness to feedback and critiques.  When you have connected attention to acceptance of the current situation, openness to change and a curious hope towards a positive outcome, you have developed what is known as mindfulness.  We cannot expect to have fulfillment, unless we are mind-full, able to self-regulate present situations to prepare for future success.  Once we have a faithful outlook on the future, we put ourselves in a destiny that does not exist and we get pulled toward our outcomes.  
 
As a Christian, one becomes mindful by filling their mind with spiritual ideals.  Philippians 4:8 (NLT) states: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  The Apostle Paul is exclaiming that once we have faith in God spiritually, we mentally are filled with character that fosters our growth and makes us socially adept.  By replacing what is currently in our mind with what is on God's mind, He promises to lead us to fulfillment, by dispelling every limitation in our mind and giving us the image of God instead.  Alex Osborne said, "The potential power of creative imagination is all but limitless."  Faith creates fulfillment by placing the image in us of where we want to be.  Many times we have difficulty reaching where we want to be because our mind is on comparing and competing with others, instead of being happy with ourselves.  Dr. Mark Chironna says, "A key is made in an image, it is not made in the image of another key, but rather in the image of the lock."  We live in a world of duplicates; we perceive that others are fulfilled, so we attempt to be like them.  However, a key is connected to the lock of the door, not to other keys.  In fact, the right key to the right door is so essential that unless the key is correct, the door will not open.  What do you feel is the key to your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment?  What doors have been closed to you because you did not have, or misplaced, the proper key?  Whatever the answers to these questions are, one thing is clear; a person can show you keys, but they cannot open the door unless the key and lock (ability to personally apply information to overcome obstacles to fulfillment) are congruent.
 
Congruence is a powerful key to fulfillment because it takes your mindfulness (awareness and acceptance) and matches it with a mission.  Congruence is the state achieved by coming together, the state of agreement.  According to Wikipedia, in psychology, “congruence could be defined as rapport within oneself, or internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity or certainty.”  At a deeper level, personal congruency exists when your true desires (intention), thoughts (attention), feelings, and actions are aligned with your core values.  Only then can you move toward balance in your life and experience more joy, fulfillment, and peace. Congruence is about honoring the deeper truth within you. 
 
Take this quick Congruence Quiz to see how far away you are from fulfillment:
1.      Do you find your heart and mind pulled in different directions?
I want to be a chef, but I was told being a doctor makes the money.
2.      Do your actions sometimes disagree with your thoughts?
I know I should focus on bettering myself, but I need to give her a piece of my mind.
3.      Do you suffer any of the physiological effects of incongruence; i.e., stress, inner turmoil and disease?
Could all the pressure put on me by my parents be a reason my backaches and I am stressed?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then we are just beginning our journey to fulfillment, but all your dreams come true at the end of this destination!  Join me next time as we continue by showing how the mind brings you to fulfillment!
 
The FulfillMentor is Adé Walker, a published author, certified Life Coach and educator, and ordained minister.  His degrees include a B.A. in Philosophy/Religion and English, an M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling, and an M. Div. in Religion.  He is working towards his Ph.D currently, while he and his wife, April are the ministry leaders of the Streams of Restoration Ministries.  They are dedicated to leading people into spiritually and socially relevant change in the areas of “Christ-likeness”, coaching, counseling, and crisis/career development.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


FulfillMentor

by Ade Walker

I was taught that a full cup cannot be filled.  When people are filled with negativity and their needs, saying, “I and nothing else”, there is not room for fulfillment.  When we empty ourselves before something greater than ourselves, then we allow much more, then our limited capacity.  I want to help you learn how to be filled with the outcomes you want to possess.  Do you constantly strive, but never seem to obtain your desired outcomes?  If this is the case, you may be living in what is called the outcome gap.  The outcome gap is the space in between what you wish to happen and what actually happens to you.  Do you also see a disparity between what you have planned and what is your reality?  This means you have a performance gap.  We all know what it is like to have holes in our desires and achievements.  However, what does it take to turn those problem areas around?  In short, it is awareness.  Awareness involves seeing things for what they really are.  Yet, if one only looks at appearances then they could get depressed and oppressed, far away from fulfillment.  Instead, we must learn the previously given advice of emptying ourselves of negativity, which prevents our overall success.  Many of us have experienced a low state of awareness due to blind spots; (areas about our lives we cannot see); unfinished business, (issues from our past that stunt our growth); or impaired self-image and physical issues.

So how do we begin to think in a positive way as we move forward towards fulfillment?  We must change our frame of mind!  According to Dr. Mark Chironna, “A frame of mind is a complex mental structure that you use to organize and simplify your knowledge of the world around you.  It is your learned concepts and constructs which contains unquestioned beliefs, values, and judgments that you use when inferring meaning on something that has happened or is happening to us in life”, i.e. lost job, lost loved one.  Your frame of mind answers the questions, “Why is this happening? How do I deal with this issue?  Where is/what is God doing?  Research tells us “learning and growth does not happen when we just add positive thoughts.  It happens for us effectively when we challenge negative thoughts.”  When you do not reach your goals and only experience heartache in what happens to you, then you have developed a negative frame of mind.  This simply means that you must change your explanatory style; it is how you describe to yourself about the things that PUSH you--Phenomenon—Unexplained Events--Situations—Happenings.  If your awareness is grounded in appearances then things that look negative (low income, lack of education, unhealthy relationships, etc.), cause you to fill your life with the poison of negativity.  If you walk by faith, then your frame of mind tells you that “all things are working together for my good” and each experience is a learning one.

In other words, what you are experiencing in terms of happenings and circumstances mirror your mood and motivations.  Say you are having issues with your spouse, and the symptoms are dissatisfaction, loss of finances, etc.  Does that reflect who you really are?  Are you really a disappointment, poor, and broken or is that just a current reality that must be changed in your mind and then behavior?  I believe in you and know that just because you faced setbacks does not mean you are worthless.  So let me give you the top three keys to developing awareness in your life, which is a key step towards fulfillment:

1.    Be aware of the facts.  Write down what you want (desires); what you plan to do (intentions); and what motivates you up (passions).

2.    Be aware of the feelings.  Write down your emotions and realize that they only define you if you let them. 

3.    Be aware of the friends/family.  Share what you have written with people that know you well and can hold you accountable with your goals.

By developing greater awareness, you move towards greater destiny because you were designed to be fulfilled!  Remember your FulfillMentor is in your corner!

 

 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Racism in America


Written by Deputy Editor Brian Ganges
Racism, discrimination, and hatred are very touchy subjects for many people around the world. All of us have been affected by and/or have experienced some form of the three (directly or indirectly) at some point in our lives. The concept of racism (or any form of hatred) has never made sense to me, because even during my childhood, I always liked or disliked a person based upon how he/she interacted with me, not based upon his/her skin color or ethnic characteristics. I know that we all have different mindsets and we view things differently, and as a society, we aren’t perfect; but we are better off today, than we were yesterday, and we can be even better tomorrow.
What is Racism?
By definition, racism is the belief that one’s race is superior (in any way) to another race. So based upon that definition, one can dislike someone and/or disagree with someone and NOT be a racist. One can dislike a person and/or his/her views and not necessarily feel any superiority over that person or a group of people; and even if a racial slur is used (by definition) that does not necessarily constitute racism. Remember, racism entails a sense of superiority of one race over another. In addition, one could argue that the use of a racial slur or some other insult is ignorant, insensitive or hurtful, and I would agree; the person who hurls the insult could be a racist, but his/her ignorance and saying hurtful things are not necessarily racism.
But to further clarify what racism is (in its simplest form)…it is a collectivist mindset with which a person is judged based upon the external characteristics of the racial group, rather than judging the merits and the character of individuals. It’s kind of like judging a drink based upon the container in which it was bottled, rather than the contents/quality of the drink. The unfortunate reality is that overt and covert racism are still real factors in the 21st century, but we must continue to be better than the low levels where some in our society wish to drag us. I believe that by illustrating what is and what isn’t racism, I hope to build a case to expose the misconceptions of racism, so that we can get a better grasp of what we are truly facing as a society, and act upon viable solutions to combat the ignorance.
The Race Card and the Media
I have found that it is very difficult to have an intelligent discussion with people who are racists, biased, bigots, prejudiced, etc. Generally, these people have pre-packaged/programmed thoughts, and they can’t turn off the filters in their minds long enough to hear reason and truth. It is a small number of people in the media, politics, and in our society whom I consider to be the “race brokers.” These (white and black) people thrive on stirring up racial matters and injecting race into an equation, even if it doesn’t fit. Their audiences tend to be more of a passive crowd who are usually less interested in facts, but they are always ready to hear of the next injustice, so that the racial case can be made once again.
When the “race card” is carelessly tossed around, we water down the clarion call to combat real racism and hatred. I liken it to one of Aesop’s fables, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” It’s the tale of a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricked his neighbors into thinking a wolf was attacking his flock. When a wolf actually did appear one day, the neighbors didn’t believe the boy's cries for help, and the flock was destroyed. The moral of the story illustrated how liars cannot be trusted; even when they tell the truth, no one believes them. This is what happens when the “race card” is played ad nauseam; we become numb to it, so when the real threats of racism show up, there is no real motivation to resist it. If we are objective and use the definition of racism as one’s feeling of racial superiority over another race, then we will quickly learn that a lot of the claims of racism are not accurate.
For example, on the 2012 Presidential campaign trail, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were labeled as racists for various comments that they made regarding food stamps, President Obama, African Americans, and employment.
Rick Santorum stated: “I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money.”
Newt Gingrich called President Obama: “the best food stamp president in American history. He also claimed: more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” So if a white man calls a black President “the best food stamp president in American history,” the media and the black community get unhinged and claim racism. A black civil rights leader (Jesse Jackson) defends the black President for being labeled as a “food stamp President” and Jesse Jackson responds, “It is an honor to be a food stamp President.” Immediately, the claims of racism disappear and the media and the black community accept what Jesse Jackson says. All of a sudden to be labeled as “a food stamp President” is seen as a badge of honor, not racism, because Jesse Jackson said so. This is how the argument gets lost and people instantly lose credibility like the boy who cried wolf.
Newt Gingrich also stated: “I'm prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention to talk about why the African-American community should demand pay checks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”
Later, during the South Carolina debate with Juan Williams (political analyst for Fox News Channel), Gingrich answered, “What I tried to say [is that] New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the unions. You could hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out, they would actually have money in their pocket, they would learn to show up for work, they could do light janitorial duty, they could work in the cafeteria, they could work in the front office, and they could work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money… One last thing, I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.
An argument could possibly be made that some of these remarks might have been insensitive or the presentation of some of the points were inaccurate; but to make some sort of nexus between these (in context) comments and racism is a stretch to say the least. These are not examples of racism because none of these statements has even the slightest inference that whites are superior to blacks: the actual definition of racism. Again, this is partly the reason why the race debate is a joke, because we have casually thrown the “racism” claim around to the point that people are tired of addressing misinformed opportunists.
As I am writing today, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are criticizing Vice-President Joe Biden for comments he made in Virginia this week. The full context of the quote is: “The last time we liberated the economy under their (Republican via George W. Bush) proposals, the last eight years, put the middle class in chains.” There were many African Americans in the audience, and the assumption was made that Biden’s comments of “division and attack and hatred” where directed at black people. Again, for the sake of argument, if Biden did direct those comments towards black people, that still does not demonstrate hatred or racism. One could argue that it might have been an insensitive statement, or a poor choice of words. But once again, the race issue is being played to the point that it seems as though people are looking for racism and division. It’s sad, because the old racial division wounds never heal, and the people who continually get sucked into these debates don’t realize that the media is controlling them with racially charged buzzwords in order to produce an emotional response.
White Guilt, White Privilege, and the Fear of Racism
One thing that really bothers me about discussing racial topics is that the “woe-is-me” white guilt bunch continually beats themselves up over the sins of the previous generations. The white guilt people are Democrats and Republicans who are always apologizing, patronizing minorities in the name of cleansing their conscience, and doing anything they can to further the “cause” of equality and making things better for minorities. In addition, the black folks who understand the white guilt trip use the opportunity to pile on the situation by philosophically beating white people up with the “white privilege” rhetoric. It is pathetic to say the least, because these white guilt people are being used and abused, and they don’t even realize it. The controllers of the racism game are masters of deception and they play on the ignorance of the participants, i.e., the white guilt bunch, the white privilege bunch, and the race brokers. I have seen many white people become afraid to engage in an intellectual discussion because either they were wrongly accused of being a racist, or they were afraid that the “racist” label would be cast freely upon them without justification. I can’t begin to tell you how many white people have approached me to convince me that they aren’t racist. These white people always play defense, and their voice is always neutralized via the “race card” and white guilt. Race brokers 1, white guilt 0.
Racism is also a very marketable business. Division is very profitable, and instability allows certain people to make a lot of money and/or advance a particular agenda. Think about it in terms of the stock market: Do investors make more money when prices are stable or when there is volatility in the market? I equate price stability to all races of people living together in harmony; it’s good for the people. However, more market volatility means more profits, because money is made when prices rise and fall. If more division and racial tension that can be stirred up, that equates to more protests, more TV viewers and advertisers, more fear, more uncertainty, more civil rights/hate crime legislation, etc. That is analogous to price instability, and the media and their handlers love it. I know that this sounds crazy or conspiratorial to the average person, but some people will always find a way to make a profit at the expense of others, rather than at the benefit of others.
The Southern Strategy
One of the most popular examples of the cry of racism in American history is the “Southern Strategy” of Richard Nixon and the Republican Party beginning in the 1960’s. Most people who casually observe the Southern voting patterns in the 1960’s will see that a once dominant Democratic stronghold shifted towards the Republicans. By the 1980’s, the South was a solidly Republican region for presidential races. The claim is that since Nixon and the Republican Party won the Southern, white racist vote, by default the Republicans are racists. Further, the claim is that Nixon used “dog whistle” politics and political code words to call in the votes in 1968. This claim continued on with the “welfare queen” comment during Reagan’s 1976 Presidential campaign, and the 1988 Bush (41) Willie Horton ad. Neither of the latter two incidents fit the definition of racism. Again, insensitive, exaggerated, insulting, misleading, or even scare tactics might be a reason to debate the matter; but not racism, because neither incident insinuated or stated that whites were superior to blacks.
Another theory that is believed by many is that the Republicans and the Democrats switched Parties decades ago. But a deeper historical look into the infamous Southern Democrat “voting shift” to the Republican Party during the 1960’s to the 1980’s, paints a much different picture, than the claims of racism suggest.
What happened? Traditionally, the South was one of the poorest regions in the U.S. As industrialism and manufacturing increased and prospered, the South’s anti-union stance, lower taxes, lower wage labor and cheaper land costs became very attractive to many northern businesses and members of the Republican Party. As businesses moved to the South to take advantage of these benefits, wages increased and lifestyles improved for many Southerners. In politics, the best campaign tool is economics. If people feel as though they are (financially) better off today then they were yesterday, you have a better chance of winning their support. As a result of being better off, these white Southern racist Democrats eventually started to switch over to the Republican Party for the economic benefit, not because Nixon and the Republicans were racists. Besides, in 1968 (when the “shift” began) the racist Southern voters overwhelmingly supported their racist Democratic candidate George Wallace, not Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey. So the claim that dog whistle politics was used is inaccurate.
They are Trained to be Racists/Dividers; I’m Trained to Combat it
Some of you might be asking yourself, “Why are you defending these white hatemongers?” I’m not defending anyone. I just want us to properly label things as they are so that we can locate the real issue and provide some real solutions. Or some of you might be asking, “Are you one of those naïve black folks who believes that we live in a post-racial America?” Absolutely not! But I do know what the true definition of racism is, and I am doing my part to combat it.
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15
In other words, to whatever you give your attention is what you will see. Think about it. An accountant is trained to read, to understand and to decipher income statements and balance sheets. By a force of habit, I bet many accountants routinely analyze random numerical values and do number crunching when it isn’t even required. They can become a victim of their own training. Construction workers will walk through a brand new mall with family and friends, and critique the architecture rather than the products for sale. Why? Accountants, construction workers and others are trained to see things that the average person isn’t. They can see a bad financial deal, a crooked doorjamb, or an out of square wall, or some other thing that is obviously out of place to them, but not necessarily to the average person. Likewise, people who spend a lot of time cultivating a collectivist mindset and focusing on the past (rather than growing from those experiences and moving forward) can find racism in a bottle of ketchup and a pile of pencil shavings. I have asked myself many times in various situations, “How did he/she conclude that these statements were racist?” It’s all about training and/or intellectual honesty. Those who are trained to see goodness and truth, they will find goodness and truth all around them. Others might say that is naïve, but I call it a good way to combat ignorance, and to keep your composure in the midst of weak-minded people.
Why be reactive? Why not be proactive and control your own destiny and your emotions. How would you react if someone called you a “nigger,” “a white cracker devil,” “a spic,” “a kraut,” “a nip,” “a mick,” “a ruskie,” “a kike,” or whichever racial slur was created to be offensive to your race? Would you be ready to fight? Would you retaliate with a racial slur of your own in order to offend that person? Well, you have to remember that racism is not an intellectual or a reasonable position to have. So, if you are dealing with a racist, you are dealing with an unreasonable person, and you don’t want to get into a mindless war of words with an unreasonable person. Think of it as trying to convince a two year old that Elmo isn’t real. Yes, Elmo is on TV, and yes Elmo said he was your friend, but he isn’t real. Why engage someone in an unreasonable argument if you can’t win the argument?
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11
I am dead to racism. I am not a “nigger” and I liken that word to be a sharp knife that stabs me. I can’t feel the stab because as far as that word is concerned, I am dead. If I am dead, I can’t react. I know my name and I know who I am in Christ Jesus. The use of that word will only alert me to the level of maturity, education and/or the spiritual condition of the person using the word. If I chose to retaliate, I am no better than him/her and I have already lost that battle. I want everyone to remember that, because it’s how we react to racism (in part) that helps us to defeat racism.
I wrote this article in order to remind people that real racism needs to be identified and eradicated. There is also the game of racism, where certain people encourage division, and they benefit as a result of our ignorance. Civil Rights were and still are a serious issue. People fought and died for the very rights that we enjoy today, and we have to continue to fight in that same spirit and with the same tenacity to expose the dividers and to support the defenders of everyone’s God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The only way to identify error (the dividers) is with the truth, whether it is a spiritual truth, the definition of racism, a mathematical truth, etc. You have already been armed with the true definition of racism. So the next time someone is or you are called a racist, you can superimpose the true definition into the conversation and conclude whether or not the accuser is fighting to stamp out racism and hatred, or if he/she is promoting another agenda. Don’t let these people make you play defense, and divide us. All of our blood is red and it all came from God. So if God doesn’t play racial favorites, then we shouldn’t either. If you let these people divide us through (a combination of) their calculated agenda and our ignorance, then they will destroy us one by one. If they destroy a person, that will destroy families. Destroyed families will destroy neighborhoods. Destroyed neighborhoods will destroy communities. Destroyed communities will destroy cities. Destroyed cities will destroy counties. Destroyed counties will destroy states. Destroyed states will destroy regions. Lastly, destroyed regions will destroy the nation. But the destruction or the rebuilding starts with individuals. Will you be a part of the destructive force of racism and division, or will you be a rebuilder of people in order to rebuild the nation? Will you educate yourself and speak up to inform others? Will you stand up against racism, and promote unity and humanity? Can you see the divisive attempts to tear us apart? Will you be a part of the solution? Let’s END RACISM!
PEACE!
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


FulfillMentor
by Ade Walker
 
What does it mean to have fulfillment?  Does it mean success in relationships, finances, and spiritual life?  If we decide that we want fulfillment, we all at some point have probably decided that we need help reaching our goals.  So let’s look at full-fill-meant. 
 
All of us want to be full of what we are seeking.  According to MSN Encarta Dictionary the word, full has several definitions that can point us in the right direction to fulfillment, including, “holding as much possible; with nobody missing”.  Many of us feel that we are holding on to too much in our lives, to the point we want to let go.   It also means, “With no part uncompleted”.  Some of us think as if we are incomplete without money, man/woman, or material things.   Next, it means, “at the peak of development”.  There are times when we decide that there is more to attain and develop in our careers and community.  Lastly, full means affected by “strong, deep emotion”.  We focus on the dramatic and emotional instead of pragmatic and rational; that does not help us with fulfillment. 
 
These definitions show that many times we are “full of it”, but we do not possess the right resources, internally to get the outcomes we desire.  We must be filled with the right resources to achieve our dreams.  MSN Encarta Dictionary denotes that fill means: “to become abundant; to take up all the space; to make somebody feel powerful emotion; to meet need:  to provide something; to choose somebody”.  Which one of these do you need in finances, family, faith, or friendships?  Looking at these definitions should make us excited, because we realize if we get filled then all that was once missing is now properly placed in our lives.  Yet, in order to be filled we must live our lives the way they were meant to be lived in every area. 
 
The word meant speaks of intention to express something or the intention to do something.  So how do we get fulfillmeant-- that sense of achievement, satisfaction, completion, and ambitions realized?  Fortunately for us, the Holy Scriptures, have a lot of ancient wisdom on the subject of fulfillment.  In Luke 5:37-38, we see Jesus saying, "And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.”  This means the new things that we intend to fulfill our lives cannot be contained in old ways of thinking, believing and seeing.  He is discussing our intentions, which flow from our heart to our mind and will.  The Bible says that our hearts are desperately wicked and we don't know them.  We need help for our heart.  Our hearts determine our behavior and if they are not altered then we maintain or develop characteristics that take us away from fulfillment.  This is like developing the bad habit of being a “couch potato”; we know it is not good for our health or mindset, but we hope somehow that what we watch or what we ingest will somehow fulfill us.
 
Jesus is teaching here about priority alterations, which lead to fulfillment.   Many of us only attempt primary alterations, which are “superficial changes within a system that do not change the structure of the system itself”.  These are, according to psychologists, reflections of good intentions, i.e., "She made fun of my weight!  I know I am not as active as I should be, so I'll show them; I’m going to lose 30 pounds."  These are changes which reflect what people see about us and how they measure fulfillment.  Yet, priority alterations require a fundamental shift and envisioning of the system's structure and function, i.e., “I am a three part being, so I am going to change my idea of how I value my spirit, soul, and body.  I am going to pray more, have stress-free thoughts, eat right, and exercise.”  Jesus, the Great Filler of our emptiness, does not merely seek to remove the symptoms (an empty heart, empty bank account, or empty relationship), but He assists in altering our interaction patterns and internal resources.  This would not just involve saying, for example, “I am going to eat healthy foods”; it would involve engaging helpers (exercise buddies); strategies (replace healthy snacks with unhealthy ones); new rules (hang around people that love you for who you are); and a reorganization of the way things are functioning (spend time reading, enjoying family, or exercising instead of just watching television).  So have you realized that you need help yet?   Here are some affirmations and questions to guide you along the way:
 
Do you agree that Tyler Perry is a great role model, entrepreneur, philanthropist and celebrity?
  My life was meant to be like his. 
  My life needs to fill up with money and fame to have meaning like his. 
  My life is already full of kindness, talent, and a good work ethic, things that he possesses. 
What are my dreams, desires, and destiny?  In what areas do I need fulfillment?
What must be done in my life to provide true meaning?  What must I be filled with in order to achieve that meaning?
What am I already full of that aligns me with the meaning?
Let me help you answer these questions over the next several articles!  Let me help you reach spiritual, mental, and physical fulfillment.  Let me be your FullfillMentor!
 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dig Up Your Dreams


Book Excerpt: Get Off the Gerbil Wheel: A Remarkable Way to Stop Running and Going Nowhere in Life by author Jason Daniels www.jayramon.com


What dream have you buried? What unexplain­able passion have you stuffed in the back of your mind? What issues from your past are keeping you from celebrating life to the fullest, embarking on the voyage toward “the best you”? What words have you heard from your mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend that paralyzed you and kept you from developing a business plan, applying to graduate school, enjoying a successful and fulfilling relationship, living a life of truth, selecting a faith community, getting out of debt, losing weight, or something as simple as displaying your artwork for the world to see?

Just as sure as you’re reading this, you know you’re ready for a change. Every fiber in your body is tuned in to your pursuit of happiness. You can’t deny your longing for contentment, your desire to move from good to great, or your overwhelming need to say “yes” to your heart’s desire. So stop resisting.

You know everything there is to know about the gerbil wheel. For some time now, you’ve lived with the squeak of your wheel. You know how that squeak bothers you most when you’re trying to sleep— always reminding you of your dreams, begging you to get off the wheel.

Like a puppy pulling at your shoelaces, your dreams are constantly trying to get your atten­tion. You know the feel­ing—you lose your balance and feel that tug throughout your entire body. Your passion is calling your name. Your business is calling your name. Your future is calling your name. Your desire is calling your name. The whole earth is calling your name!
 

So jump off the wheel and quickly pursue the life you have been waiting for.
Do it today… the timing is perfect.

Visit www.jayramon.com for more information or to order a copy of the book.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Acting Like White People

Written by Brian Ganges, Deputy Editor

Have you ever heard a black person tell another black person to stop acting white? Or you may have heard a black person make the comment, “You must hang around a lot of white people.” Why would someone say that? How does a white person act? In parts of the black community, there are many things that are hurting our people, such as: crime, poverty, immorality, the status quo, broken families, etc. In addition, ignorance, disunity, and the lack of education promote and accept the misconceptions, which needlessly tear down our neighbors, and contribute to our own demise. Sadly, we don’t have to worry about an outside enemy destroying us, because in many regards, we are our own worst enemy. Will we continue to accept and to promote the self-sabotage and self-destruction? Will we break the chains of the wrong thinking and the wrong actions that are keeping our communities in bondage?

Unfortunately, when people speak out of ignorance, most times any possibility of making a positive connection with others or building a bridge is shut down; and any statements or arguments that follow are generally discounted, ignored, and/or given no credibility. Whether it is fair or not can be debated, but I have seen this scenario occur many times. However, the best way to dispel ignorance is to get the right information.

So what does it mean for a person to “act white?” This misconception and misnomer of “acting white” is always associated with success, proper etiquette, excelling, accountability, or achievement. For example, some in the black community would consider getting good grades in school, articulating a grammatically-correct sentence, being on-time, dressing neatly, being responsible, having a professional job or working towards one, eating at a nice restaurant, etc. as “acting white.” So if these positive things are considered to be “acting white,” then what is considered to be “acting black?” Should we be failing, always late, lazy, wearing our pants below our waist, unkempt, irresponsible, doing immoral things, only working entry-level jobs, and always eating unhealthy foods? It seems as though the segment of the black community who uses the “acting white” label never says it when our people are behaving unmannerly. Negativity is accepted, given a pass, seen as a badge of honor, or at the very least considered to be “keepin’ it real” by that same segment of people. Is being negative or a bad example what “acting black” is really all about to some people?

We have to expand our minds, so that we can see the world more clearly and in a more complete scope. If not, we will always be left behind and we will never be taken seriously. If all you know is your surroundings, then how can you judge the rest of the world? If all you know is Hamburger Helper, then how can you judge Filet Mignon served Oscar style? If you have never read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, then how do you know if calling someone an “Uncle Tom” is an actual insult or a compliment? Was “Uncle Tom” a good guy or a bad guy? The next time someone uses the term “Uncle Tom” in a negative manner, ask him/her if he/she has ever read the book or if he/she has ever researched the “Real Uncle Tom,” Josiah Henson. Most people have never heard of the man who was the inspiration for the character “Uncle Tom.” When you get a moment, read the book or research the life of Josiah Henson. He was a good Christian man who helped to free many slaves, and to educate many former slaves. But the neighborhood lingo will teach you that an “Uncle Tom” is a sell out, or a black person who wants to be white. Again, we dispel ignorance with the right information.

I am convinced that ignorance is a tool of the enemy to stop people from achieving God’s best. The reality is that no one can stop you from achieving God’s best. Only you can stop you, because if you begin to believe the negativity, the ignorant lies, and the misconceptions, you will lose. Negative words can only hurt you if you believe them. Don’t let ignorance steal your confidence, frustrate and defeat you. Remember, you defeat ignorance with the right information. There is nothing “white” about intelligence, cleanliness, responsibility, proper grammar etc. You just have to make the quality decision that you will not be influenced by ignorance, and that you will do the right thing and succeed. The choice is yours.