Take a minute to take stock of your life. Identify who and what is a positive influence. Be that by their guidance, friendship or love. Embrace them and move forward with them. Then negative influences? Discard them and move on. Everyone and everything can not come along with you on your path. Reaching for the stars is hard enough by itself don’t let yourself be weighed down by those that bring only negativity to the table.
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Today we celebrate the 90th birthday of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Both of these men exemplified class and dignity. They inspired us to treat each other as brothers and sisters and motivated us to be a better person today than we were yesterday. They represented the promise of what America is supposed to be and it is in acting in their spirit that will Make America Great.
It is that time once again. The ending of one year the beginning of another.
A new year! A call to action! The opportunities to be better tomorrow and each succeeding day than you are today.
A chance to break free of the mundane, to refuse to paint in black and white and between the lines but instead wherever your imagination takes you. To paint your future in the bold strokes and daring colors it was meant to be painted in
A new year is the chance to embrace the truth. The truth that nothing is impossible as long as your faith remains strong and you dare to dream.
A new year,
A blank canvass,
A new beginning,
Make it yours
Because after all the future is but what you make it
Sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do so that we may do the things we want to do. As Spock would say it is not logical but it is often true.
When I first moved into my new apartment I was gifted an African Violet as a house warming gift. I remember thinking how beautiful it was with its purple blooms. Now I’m not exactly known as someone with a green thumb but the African Violet did not need much attention. You have to keep the soil moist to dry, and allow the soil around roots to dry out before watering. It thrived in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Pretty much it was set and go and enjoy its beauty.
In the beginning I made a point of taking great care of the plant, it was after all easy to do. I also found myself looking to it as a source of relaxation and motivation due to its striking color and amazing blooms. Just by looking at it I could feel my spirits being lifted as it seemingly gave me a sense of purpose.
As the months went by the good times were plentiful. Success seemed to be around every corner. With success I found myself spending more time at the office as I endeavored to continue which at the time was a rapid rise up the corporate ladder. When I wasn’t in the office I was out networking and enjoying the social scene. During this time I neglected my beautiful African Violet that had provided me with so much inspiration. Then as fast as the success came the economy took a downward turn. Cutbacks were on the horizon. I survived the company purge but the rise up the corporate ladder came to a dramatic halt. The large bonuses, that I had foolishly incorporated into my budget to finance my over extended life style, dried up. At the same time my girlfriend who I believed loved me answered the question New Edition once asked. Can you stand the rain? Her answer as you may have guessed was no and she told me it was over. She made up some excuse about us growing apart but it was pretty obvious the distance between us only widened as my bank account lessened.
I fell into a funk. Depressed I cut myself off from most of the world. Constantly asked myself why is this happening? Spend many a weekend laying in bed with no desire to get up and embrace the day. One day I went to look at my long neglected African Violet in hopes in could once again inspire me with its beauty. When I looked at it I saw it had stop flowering and its leaves had turned yellow. I immediately understood that it was my failure to water it and cultivate its soil, because I was so busy enjoying the good times, that was. responsible for its current condition.
I had taken it for granted and assumed that it would always be there in all its beauty as an inspiration when I needed it.
Your faith is like the African Violet, it does not require super high maintenance. But it does require that we not neglect it. Not cultivate and continue to strengthen it in the good times and expect that it will simply be there for us in times of angst. We must continue to take steps along our spiritual journey, praising the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon us in good times. Strengthen our belief each day so that we do not turn away from the Lord and egotistically pat ourselves on the back for achieving such success, forgetting that without the Lord we would literally be nothing.
I looked at the African Violet and took the steps need to restore its beauty. Watering it, cultivating its soil, ensuring that it received the proper amount of sunlight. Soon its beauty began to return. It started to bloom once again. New bright and vibrant green leaves took the place of the ones that had turned yellow. My renewed commitment to the African Violet brought me a new and stronger plant and with it a new source of inspiration. Now each day I now look at it in all of its beauty and go out and embrace all that the world offers me good and bad.
As with the African Violet you can renew your faith by recommitting to the Lord. The Lord does not hold grudges and His blessings are always there for you. As you restart your spiritual journey and you offer your praise unto him you will soon see that your situation will in time begin to brighten.
Good Morning and Happy Monday
Let us sing with praise yet another opportunity to see a new week and continue our spiritual journey. As the new week begins remember that there are a multitude of new and exciting opportunities waiting for us. Many of them hidden from us in the dark waiting for us to find them. It is with an unstoppable faith in the Lord that we will find that we are blessed with the vision to shine a light on these opportunities and bring them to fruition. For truly the Lord is great and he has blessed us with many remarkable opportunities for us to claim in his holy name.