Dear America

Dear America,

With so many voices speaking loud and clear, I don’t know if you’ll hear me but I must try.

I want you to know that I don’t hate you. However, I am tired of your lack of understanding or maybe its lack of care?

Just because you speak the loudest doesn’t mean that you are correct. And yes, some do have privileges that others do not. Though this is not your fault, it cannot be ignored.

America, it is hard to be in love with you. For so many years, my ancestors have been treated as less and the treatment still persists. Yet, with all of this going on you want me to defend you? You want love from me? You want loyalty? You desire the understanding that you refuse to give me?

America, your benefits can be great but the already high cost for them is even higher for a lot of minorities.

America, all I ask for you is to just listen. Don’t say how there is no racism. Don’t get defensive. Don’t ignore the problem hoping it will go away because how many of your problems have gone away doing this? Simply listen for understanding because we do not blame you.

America, I do not hate you but it is hard to fall madly in love with someone who has decided to hate you from the beginning.

Sincerely,

A Fed Up Black Woman

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What Does God Really Want From Me? My Stuff?

Joel 2:12-14

“Even now,” declares the Lord“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.

The book of Joel begins with God’s punishment towards his people.

locustsIn Joel 1, you will find that locusts have devoured the land, nations have invaded it, and everything is dried up.

 

Joel 2 is the turnaround. The people began to return to God and humble themselves before him and God relents on his punishment and restores the people.

Over and over again the Bible tells a tale similar to this; God’s people seek his face, then turn their back on Him and break all of His rules. Then, calamity strikes and they are back humble before God.

Isn’t that how we are? We know the right things to do yet refuse to do them. Yet, the minute something goes wrong, we are back on our knees begging for God. He comes every time.

 

But through my rebellion, it leads me to ask. Is Christianity really about grace or is it about rules? Because right now, this book seems like a bunch of “do’s” and “don’ts.”

stormtrooper-rebell

But what I’m really asking is what does God really want from me? It seems as if He just wants my stuff and to act a certain way.

Consider these verses:

Joel 2:13

13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

 

1 Chronicles 28:9

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

 

1 Samuel 16:7

…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

And there are many more verses about how God searches and changes the heart!

God wants our heart but sometimes He uses our things to test our heart, help others out, or for other reasons we cannot describe.

Ultimately, God wants our heart which determines our actions.

Consider one more verse. This is in 2 Samuel 7 where King David decides he wants to put the Ark of God (where God dwelled with the people at the time) in a house. Look at God’s response.

2 Samuel 7:5-7

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

When I first read this verse, this was a big deal to me. God gave David all of this success and prosperity and never once asked to be put in a house instead of a tent! This was David’s idea.

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Friend, God is not after your stuff, He is after YOU! But sometimes he does use, take away, or add to what you have as He sees fit.

Here is another article on this topic: www.christianpost.com


Do you have questions or comments that you’d like answered here or privately? Click here!

How do I Get to Heaven?

Christianity is all about faith. Simply believe that Christ died for your sins and give him your life. Talk to Him; He wants to hear from you. No matter how messed up we are, God loves us enough to work with us exactly where we are!

God’s love or salvation does not require you to be perfect nor does it mean getting your life together first.

Here is another website to help with what is salvation.

Here are some verses for you (all are in NIV):

Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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Are You a Chrisian Who Feels Alone?-1 Peter 5:8-9 | Loneliness

1 Peter 5:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

 

Thought: It is easy to believe that we are the only one going through a hard time. Likewise, it is easy to disconnect from everything and everyone. Satan loves to play with me on this one!

Stay in. Fight! Remember that there are others going through the same thing!

Leadership 101: The Hypocritical Leader

Practice what you preach.

team spirit

Haven’t we heard this many, many times?

Yet, interestingly enough, it’s one of the principles that I see neglected time and time again.

Let me give you a bit of insight:

I was talking to one of our employees who is looking to be a team leader. Mind you, a team leader in this organization is simply a step below managers. Team leaders have the responsibility to know the rules, follow and enforce them in a smooth and professional manner when a manager is not around.

This particular team member asked me what all being a team leader requires. So, I gave him the rundown of how team leads are to be leaders and what that meant. I gave him the powers that he had and the responsibility that these powers entail.

superhero-534120__180

“However,” I told him “you cannot be a hypocrite.” “You cannot tell an employee not to do something while you turn around and do that exact thing.”

He then thew me for a loop when he answered, “You mean, like *Hannah?”

I was shocked and slightly defensive. Hannah is a member of management that constantly seems to want to improve staff by noticing how slack they have gotten on policy and trying to correct it.

As I was about to pounce on that comment, I thought to ask him what he meant by that comment.

He went on to list several examples of how that particular manager is always doing things that we encourage and strongly prohibit staff from doing.

I found that interesting.

A few days later, I walk in to see that manager, as well as another one, doing the very thing that we strongly discourage employees to do. Yet, these are the same managers who complain about these very issues and wonder why staff doesn’t take the threats seriously.

In life, I have learned that people don’t care what you say unless you back it up by action. This seems simple enough until it is applied to a management role.

 

A lot of times, we can be lulled into the thought that because we are the boss, people will automatically respect and follow us when that is simply not the case.

This position must be earned through discipline, mutual respect, and empathy.

You set the tone.

leadershipIf you want your employees or followers to stop or start a particular behavior, you must do it as well. If it is not practical for you not to do this, be sure that your staff understands why you can do something while they cannot- as there are several times this may occur.

 

People pick up much more than you think. Even if others don’t agree with your rules, you will be respected for simply doing what you ask others to do or not to do.

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*Name Changed for Protection of Privacy

How to be Successful at Anything You Do – 3 Steps (2 min read)

Millionaire's Digest

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Felicia Fielder

Founder & Owner of: Thoughtful Minds United

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Blogging Writer


One of the things I see fairly often is people who want to change or accomplish something but won’t because of their own self doubt. Yet, they look at others who they view successful as humans who are made of some supernatural “stuff” when that’s just not the case.

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Memory Verse: Psalms 23

ps 23

Psalm 23(NIV)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

On This Day Last Year:Someone Died Today but It’s Okay

Originally Published in 2015 after the death of my 107 year old great Grandmother

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My Great Grandma died today but it’s okay.

She was 107 and I wasn’t close to her anyway.

No, not insensitive but just detached.
I find that I’m like that with most things, in fact.

Not too much happiness, not too much sadness.

Because if I have either, I’d be full of madness.

Vulnerability is an asset of mine but why do I act like I lack it?

I know the answer, I know it’s true.
I hate the rawness that’s due.

I don’t like feeling exposed.
I’d rather feel opposed.

Needing and loving someone takes a lot.
It takes the strength to be  openly sought.

It takes the courage to pull my heart out while you inspect it.
Every vein, every pump, you get to dissect it.

Instead, it’s much easier to wear a mask.
I’ve done it for years and can focus on other tasks.

But that’s gotten…

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Leadership 101: How Doing Others Work Helps You

“The managers always step in to help when needed.”

At least once per year, I try to meet with each person of my staff during work. During these meetings, we discuss things going well within the company and things that can be done better. I always make sure that they know that they can discuss anything and anyone that concerns them so that we can improve the operation of the company.

This year, one of the phrases I repeatedly heard was some variation of:

“I like that the managers always step to help when they are needed.”

 

I’m sorry…what?!

hearing-listenWhat causes so many to mention this and why is this such a big deal? Isn’t it natural to see a team member in need and try to help them out?

Maybe this is not as common as I thought.

Digging into the trenches with whomever you are leading automatically credits you respect and credibility.

Why?

Respect: By helping your employees with their work, you show that you can take the work you dish out. Whether you like it or not, many people act based on the example set before them- especially when they are unfamiliar with the task. So, by doing this, you are not only saying that you aren’t too “important” for that type of work but that you are qualified and that that is the way in which the job should be accomplished.

Credibility: By completing (or helping to complete ) a task, you show others that you are capable of doing their job which eliminates some of the questions that others may have about your leadership.

How do  I begin?

It is simple. Just do it! Whenever you see a need, try to partner up with a staff member before ditching it all on them. Although delegation is important, it is also important for everyone to recognize that when it comes to your mission, everyone must chip in even if it is not in the job description.

So, let me leave you with this thought:

Being a leader is not about telling other what to do. It is organizing, enabling, encouraging, and helping a group of people to work towards a common goal for a common good.

As always, I love to hear your questions and thoughts! What do you think defines a good leader?