Guide on how white people can talk about Trayvon Martin

31 Mar

Take a look—some insightful comments!  What do you think?

MPH’s Guide On How White People Can Talk About Trayvon Martin

 

 

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This Blog WIll Change Your Life! And Other Empty Promises

30 Mar

Forward this blog to at least 14.5 people that are awesome beyond words and you’ll get a unexpected blessing within the hour.  I don’t know about you but I always scratch my head when I get forwarded emails containing similar instructions….and promises.  Are the people that send them convinced that the simple act of forwarding an email to a pre-described number of people will magically generate the answer to that perplexing life situation they’re facing?  Or the failure to send said email will solidify their demise?

source :fun-optical-illusions.blogspot.com

In the end I know that the people forwarding the emails are intelligent and hard working people and they have more logic than to truly believe that an email train is the cause of anything good or bad that happens in their lives.  But I think the continued presence of these sort of emails represents the part in all of us that longs for an easy answer, a good luck charm of some sort.  If the answer is as easy as hitting the “forward” button then why wouldn’t we take that step? And perhaps forwarding these messages gives us some sense of control over the things that we WANT to have control of.  It’s that feeling inside that if there’s anything that might POSSIBLY make a difference that we should do it. This applies to so many more actions than forwarding mass emails.  Maybe it’s a rubbing a rabbit’s foot (which, BTW—ewww), wearing a lucky jersey, maintaining a specific routine before a big meeting or a number of other I-know-I-seem-ridiculous-but-I’m-doing-it-anyways activities. 

And regardless of the practical results we see (or more often don’t see) because of these actions, we continue to do them.  We wish for an easy answer to the issues we face, for something to appear from nowhere to make the sands shift in our favor.  Its the feeling of scratching a lottery ticket for the tenth time saying “I have a feeling, THIS one is gonna be a winner!” even though we know the outcome will most likely be just like the previous nine tickets and we will be out ten bucks with no real reward.  Our bills are still piling up, our rent is still due and our job still beckons us on Monday morning. The forwarded email and lottery ticket make no impact.

If you have a relationship with Jesus, the Bible tells us that we can rest assured that life will be OK without any forwarded emails, good luck charms or sleepless nights of worry (Matt 6:33-34).  It assures us that there is no possible thing that we can do to ruin this security–even when a forwarded email tells us differently.  When your pile of bills outgrows your income source.  When you are facing a health diagnosis that freaks you out.  When you are going through trials in your job (or lack thereof), marriage (or lack thereof), family or community. Do an exercise with me.  Look at today’s date on the calendar.  Rewind your life six months, one year, five years and ten years.  When you mark those previous dates down I need you to do one more thing.  Write down the things that you were worried or anxious about on those exact dates.  Then write down what good came from those anxious thoughts and emotions.

What did you write down?  Can you even remember the things that troubled you then?  And if you can show that your worry actually produced positive results I would love to hear about it! (seriously!  post it below!)  Whenever I’m in the midst of my flavor-of-the-day stress, I remind myself of that in six months or a year I will likely have completely forgotten about whatever seems so important right now.  And associated with it, all of the energy I spend on worry, anxiety or trying to prepare for any possible outcome/scenario is completely wasted because it has zero effect on what actually comes to pass. This is profoundly stated in the NLT version of  Luke 12:22-32 where it asks “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”  The answer is always no, so why do we even bother with the worries?

Instead I remind myself to pray and let it go, like I’m reminded to do in Philipppians 4:5-7 which says that I can exchange anxiousness for peace.

Whatever you find yourself anxious about today, I urge you to let go of the stress and enjoy what you can of your day even though it might feel like you’re doing the opposite of what you should.  Challenge yourself to put the worry away and instead pray and let God’s peace wash over you.  The only thing you’ll change by stressing out is your ability to experience peace.  Not the outcome of that interview, health screening, discussion with your spouse or whatever situation you find yourself in.  Let the results of those rest in the hands of the ever faithful God!

Do you have any tips for others that are facing stressful situations?  How do you remind yourself to focus on God instead of your trials?  What “good luck charms” have you relied on in the past?

PS–Forward this blog to 14.5 people that are awesome beyond words.  I don’t promise anything amazing in return—just my gratitude 🙂

Link

Forgiveness In an Unexpected Place

25 Mar

Forgiveness In an Unexpected Place

Check out this story off forgiveness!  

We Got the Funk

17 Mar

ImageWe Got the Funk

I can’t explain it, there is no concrete evidence of why this is happening.  There’s no major catastrophe, no difficult health diagnosis, no break-up, not one iota of unemployment.  The bills are paid, social calendar is full and my heart is healed.  Yet somehow there is still a grey cloud that lingers, toying with my joy and draining my energy.  My self-diagnosis: I’ve got the funk.

There are sufficiently more good days than bad, but more bad days than I care to admit.  Creative juices stop flowing, my thoughts dead end and I am left without direction.  I don’t WANT to feel this way but for some reason I can’t escape it.  I’ve prayed.  And then prayed harder, longer. I ask for guidance, search Scriptures for answers that will take me away from the grey cloud and back to the comfort of my typical positive outlook.  It works sometimes, but not every time.  I’m ashamed to admit that I feel this way because I fear that it then appears that I am a weak Christian.  That somehow I’ve missed the point and am missing out.  After all, if I have nothing to complain about—quite the opposite, I have much to be thankful for—I should never have a grey cloud, right?

But maybe its these grey-cloud moments that make the sunny blue-sky days mean more.  Could it be that these moments of anguish actually produce a deeper walk with God?  I mean doesn’t Scripture tell us to give thanks in all circumstances, including days filled with funk (OK, OK, that’s from the Kelly International Version)?  If life was always joyful then we wouldn’t need a REMINDER to be thankful because its easy to be that way when things feel good!  So rather than beat myself up because I have these seasonal highs and lows, I’m learning to give myself grace and walk through them in strength and faith, even when I have to fight for it.  To do that I hold fast to the truth that this too shall pass, that God works all things (and feelings) to the good of those who are called according to His purpose, and that I won’t feel like this forever.

Whatever the cause of these funky diversions from bliss, I have to remind myself to have grace and not feel like a failure when they come.  I let those close to me know how I’m feeling so that they can help me avoid twirling down the funnel of self-pity or isolation.  Many times my “cure” actually comes in doing the very things that I feel the least like doing.  When I’m in a funk, I have little energy left to be social and put on a happy face, so the easy solution is to spend more time by myself.  But what actually helps me FEEL better is to be around people I love, that make me laugh and that help me focus on God in the midst of the grey.  Of course I always have to balance that and make sure I’m not replacing my God-time with friend time.  That is a challenge I have to address in all seasons of my life (sounds like another blog topic!).

I know that I’m not the only one to feel this unexplainable funk.  And I’m sharing part of my story because I want you to know that if you’re one of the “funky bunch”–you are not alone.  There is nothing broken about your faith or your Christianity.  You are beautiful and you will get through this.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you trust and tell them how you’re feeling.  Pray together, laugh together and hang in there because this too shall pass.  And say hi to Marky-Mark.

If you’re part of the “funky bunch” how would you describe your season of grey?  What do you do to get through these seasons?  Your experiences might encourage and guide someone else so please share!

Keep It Beautiful

The Mud and the Stars

19 Feb

Last weekend I took a flight to join friends in celebrating the baby shower of a college friend in Nevada. The plane took off late enough into the evening that the moon was already rising in the sky and as we lifted off the runway I could see the twinkling lights of my great City of Angels. I’ve always loved the beauty in a nighttime cityscape, somehow all the lights make life look soft and romantic. And this night was no exception, but for some reason my eye was drawn to a different set of lights. As the plane ascended higher and higher, I noticed floating lights somewhere between where we were and where we had just come from. I looked more intently and realized they were the helicopters (affectionately also referred to as ghetto birds in my ‘hood) that fly above the city aiming to protect the millions of residents and visitors roaming through LA every day. And then i looked directly across my field of vision and suddenly we had risen so high that I literally felt like I was on even turf with the huge moon. It looked so close that if I had a rope I could have lassoed it like a cowboy at the rodeo.

I know that I was still incredibly distant from that big white moon, but because my elevation had shifted, the way I saw both the moon above and the helicopters below had changed. The choppers that seem large when standing near them were now but little fireflies flitting around the sky and the enormous beacon of light that the moon normally is seemed more like just a giant flashlight in the sky. Perspective changes things.

I can see this in my everyday life too. The perspective I take in any given situation has the power to completely shift the way that I feel, think and even what I do. To all the singe readers, how did you approach Valentine’s Day last week? It is the same day with the same set of circumstances for every single person on the planet. But there are generally two camps of single folks–those that suffer through it and focus on the fact that they are “alone” and those that recognize they are not in a relationship but have plenty of great things to appreciate and enjoy on “Single Awareness Day” (which BTW, why are we holding onto that statement…its acronym is S.A.D!). Obviously Valentine’s Day isn’t a major life changing day or issue but I use it to demonstrate the point that often the perspective we choose affects the way that we live.

Life often brings seasons, circumstances and situations that make us sad, uncomfortable, disappointed or angry. But the perspective with which we respond affects the ultimate results we experience. Cynicism is easy, optimism takes work.

We don’t have to wait to board an airplane to shift our perspective, that’s the amazing thing about it! There are choices we get to make on how we respond to everything and the timing is largely dependent on US.

This quote has always stuck out to me-
“Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud, the other sees stars.”
Frederick Langbridge

One scenario, two perspectives.

What is the mud in your life? And the stars? What has the potential to move from mud to stars?

You are His Princess!

30 Jan

You Are His Princess

Truth!

I love this! Which lines stick out most to YOU??

Tyler Perry- How To Be Successful

25 Jan

Thanks to http://thepkonedayblog.tumblr.com/ for sharing this! What is the ONE thing you’re going to focus on in 2012?