life, success

Micromanage

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There are various leadership styles all of which serves their purpose if implemented correctly with the right personality type. Some persons, however, do not need to be in management positions as they will drive away good employees leaving the organization to suffer. Some leaders I would say are gifted with the ability to micromanage. They hire professional employees to get a task done and use their gift to chase individuals away while their plastic smile is painted on their face. For those “gifted” leaders I say stop it!

STOP IT!!!!

Stop using your gift that does more harm than good to create hostile work environments. Stop abusing your position of power to prove how effective you are as a leader. Allow people to breathe. Allow them to do the job they were hired to do. No one likes to be stifled so just stop it. If you want to kill an organization, create your own and use your gift. Maybe then you will realize how your gift is really not a gift.

 

5/3/2017 Dr.R.A.

 

life, Spiritual

Discouraged- Now what?

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The vicissitudes of life have a way of breeding discouragement in our lives. If this feeling of despair is not handled effectively, it can lead to our detriment. This is because discouragement can cripple us and prevent us from accomplishing our dreams. It has a way of making us want to take a break. Making us want to hit the pause button on life (if one existed) and catch our breath before we continue on the journey of life. Additionally, sometimes to be quite frank, discouragement has a way of making us want to throw in the towel and just calling it a day. It makes us want to hit the stop button and never hit play again, causing all the sounds from the music of life to end.

Discouragement may be defined as the loss of enthusiasm. As we all know enthusiasm comes from the Greek word “entheo” which means “in God.” This simply means that when we are discouraged, we have lost our grip in God.  Discouragement shows that God is no longer at the center of our focal point but rather has been replaced by whatever “boisterous winds and waves” that is causing turbulence in our sphere.

Becoming discouraged is very common to all humans, and its causes are too many to mention. Therefore whenever we find ourselves in this state, we should not become alarmed. Instead, we should employ tools that will cause us to break free from this prison and get back into the game of life and enjoy the music.

The Bible tells a story of a woman named Hannah who was barren. She had married the man of her dreams, and he loved her like none other. He would always show her ways of how much he loved her. Yet all this display of affection did not satisfy as she could not bear children. Although, Hannah’s life seemed perfect in regards to love and material needs she had an adversary named Peninnah who would taunt her for being barren. This made Hannah very discouraged, so much in fact that she no longer had an appetite for food. Additionally, nothing her husband said brought any comfort to her. She could have remained in her state and become bitter and become consumed by the “woe is me” syndrome, but she took a different approach.  She instead decided to pour herself out to the Lord. At a time when everyone was rejoicing and being merry, she made a sacrifice unto the Lord and pour out the anguish of her soul. This was being done so emphatically that the priest noticed and thought that she was drunk in the temple. However, in the end, we know that the Lord heard her petition and granted her request.

So how do we really push through these dark clouds of discouragement? How do we pick up the pieces of the chips that have fallen and begin to build again? I am in nowise saying that it will be easy but it is very doable. With a little effort, one can push through and encounter astronomical breakthroughs. So how can this be achieved?

  1. Get Up. Move from the place that you are familiar with. Move from the area of your comfort zone. Often we become so comfortable with being discouraged that we just want to remain in that place. However, coming out is going to require some movement on our part.
  2. Let go of the crutch. Often we use things and people as a crutch and refuse to let go even when we are able to stand and walk on our own. Releasing the crutch will reveal to us that we are able to do the thing and achieve the goals that we thought would never come to pass. Take baby steps if you must but let go of the crutch.
  3. Pray. Do not be afraid to pour out the deep anguish and cry bitterly to the Lord. He is God and He will hear when we cry out to Him. There is nothing that is too insignificant or too major to pray about. Prayer should be a part of our lifestyle.
  4. Ignore the eyes. People will always be looking at you, whether you are doing good or bad. Learn to ignore the eyes and that include the voice. They may have all kinds of negative things to say about you as you are getting our of the discouraged state but press on as the reward is greater.
  5. Be thankful. Even before you receive that which you are hoping for be thankful. Being thankful even before receiving will show that you are resting in God. He is your father and the One who is more that able to supply all of your needs. Remember gratitude will determine your altitude.

4/23/2017 Dr.R.A.

life, Spiritual

Drop on Purpose

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Often when we think about receiving a blessing, we presume that very little effort needs to be exerted to obtain one.  This often proves to be a flawed perspective as often we miss out on great opportunities/blessings because we do not want to exercise the required efforts to receive. Moreover, we are of the mindset that whatever we are going to receive as it pertains to blessings will be placed in the palm of our hands. This is also a very erroneous view. Have you ever considered that your “blessing” may be falling at your feet? Also, is it possible that is it being dropped on purpose? Have you been missing that which is designed to sustain you because you will not bend to pick it up off the ground?

The Bible relays a story about a young woman named Ruth who lost her husband and went to a strange land to live with her mother-in-law.  She may not have been the most confident as she gathered leftover grains for herself and her mother-in-law to survive. However, while she diligently worked picking up these grains, her kinsman redeemer (Boaz) took note of her and inquire about her. He was a man who was very affluent and influential. Upon hearing her story, he advised his servants to pull some heads of barley from the bundle and “drop them on purpose” for her. Now one may think yes that is a blessing, but not one that is “big of a deal,” since she did not receive it in the palm of her hand. Additionally, she had to exert the effort of picking it up from the ground. It was not gathered together and placed neatly in a bundle for her to take home. Instead, it was being dropped on purpose a little at a time, and she had to bend and pick it up to receive her “blessing.”  It was deliberately being placed at a low place.

I wonder if we could adapt Ruth’s attitude and never be too proud to bend and pick up what is already laying around to bless us.  Is it possible for us to take our eyes off the lofty things, the get rich quick schemes and look at what is already laying at our feet to bless us? Could glancing at the ground instead of gawking at the cloud be more profitable now?

The Bible admonishes us to be clothed with humility so that we can be exalted. Furthermore, it requires us to serve so that we can be leaders.  These both show that there is a purpose to being in a lowly position. Besides, when we pick up what seem insignificant an even greater blessing awaits us. Do not be distracted by the position of that which you need. Bend if you must and pick it up as it is being dropped on purpose.

Prayer: God help us not to be too high-minded that it prevents us from receiving that which you have purposefully given to bless us. Let there be a shift in our perspective as it pertains to receiving. Help us to recognize that as our father you will drop that which we need on purpose. Strengthen us to exert the effort required to receive a blessing. Amen.

life, Self Esteem, Spiritual

Beautiful Scars

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You look at me but what do you see?

Pain,  ashes, fear, shame, mourning, regret, mistake,  failure, and lost identity

You assume that you have the 411 on me because of what you heard on the street

When I pass by, you blatantly stare disdainfully with the intent to intimidate

Sorry to inform you that your information has been outdated

As a matter of fact, it is ancient history

And to stay with the current then you need an upgrade and an update

You see the scars you see is only skin deep

And there are deeper dimensions lying beneath the surface

You think the scars have disfigured and completely deformed

But you cannot comprehend just how beautiful they truly are

As all these scars have been transformed

You see my pain has been enveloped in joy

My ashes has been exchanged for beauty

Strength has replaced fear, gladness has been traded for my mourning

I could go on and on but the credit does not belong to me

It belongs to a man that I met who showed me my true identity

It is His love that drew me out of the pit of despair and planted me firmly into His purpose for my life

He loved me through my bad and  my good and He keeps on loving me unconditionally

The thoughts He has for me did not change because of my past and neither will it because of my present or my future

When I showed Him my scars He was not ashamed and shifted my paradigm from being that way

He showed me that He also had some scars as He was beaten and nailed to a tree just for me

And so we laughed together as I discovered that we are both beautifully scared.

 

4/20/2017 Dr.R.A.

 

Daily Post, life, Spiritual

Climbing

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Using both hands and feet

Climbing over hills and mountains so steep

Mountains and hills that seem impossible to climb

Like fears, doubts, hurt, past failures and even lies

Lies uttered regarding my demise

That want to take over and layer the foundation of the thoughts in my mind

Yet I persist

Although sometimes I feel like I am being punished

Suffering bruises due to slipping while missing my grip

Nevertheless, I muster up the courage to persevere

Using every ounce of strength from within

Knowing that glory awaits at the top of my mount

I place a downpayment using my faith as currency

Trusting to believe that I am who You say that I am

And I will achieve everything that You have destined for me

4/16/17 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Climbing

Daily Post, life, Self Esteem, Spiritual

Timely

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Often we think that we should say whatever we feel or whatever we want at any given point. However, I say although you have the ability to speak words should be spoken with caution. This is because words are one of the most powerful weapons that an individual possess. One word may have a profound impact on a person and shape the trajectory of their life. Words can be used as weapons of mass destruction or building tools. When uttered they can never be taken back. Instead, they live on in a person psyche, either propelling them or crippling them from progressing. Remember we live in a voice activated kingdom. As such, we should endeavor to speak a word so timely that it will lessen stress and heal and bless.

4.14.17 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Timely

life, Spiritual

A Crown of Life

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The society in which we live is saturated with the notion of everyone being royalty. Almost everyone refers to themselves as queens/kings or princess/prince.  Yet although this is being professed the fact still remains that they wear no actual crown in this life. However, there is an opportunity to obtain a crown to wear. This crown will require us to “go through.”

To hear that one has to endure testing and temptations does not sound very enticing.  If the question should be asked who wants to undergo intense periods of testing, no one will volunteer. Nevertheless to obtain this crown then one has to endure these things. God designed this training regiment to build us up in our most holy faith. As such, the Bible declares that we should count it all joy when we fall into diverse temptation. It is only through these difficult periods of suffering and our faith being tested that our need for patience/endurance is developed.

Developing endurance is very critical as we as when endurance is fully developed we will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. And who really does not want to perfect and complete? Who does not want to have no need of anything? I am in no wise saying that enduring testings will be easy, but I say, it is doable. When persons join the army or the navy, then they usually go through a period of rigorous testing, and if they do not quit, they get the honor of serving their country. It is the same way with believers if we do not quit then we will receive a crown of life. Then we can definitely declare without the shadow of a doubt that we are royalty.

Do you find that you are currently going through diverse testing and temptations? Has the trials and temptation been so overwhelming that you want to quit? Do you love God enough to endure the testing phase? Would you like to one day receive a crown of life?

Prayer: Lord life can become so overwhelming at times because of its various testing and although we want to serve You wholeheartedly our flesh becomes weak. We are frail and sometimes are not able to withstand the fierce winds that are blowing. As such, we ask that You take our weakness during this phase of testing and give us Your strength. Empower us to endure these diverse temptations so that we can obtain a crown of life. Lift every spirit of being overwhelmed and give us the clarity that we need to see the purpose. Help us to fix our eyes on You so that we do no sink in these troubled waters. We ask for Your divine provision and guidance. Your word admonished us to ask if we lack anything and so we stand on the principles of Your word and look to You with an expectation to receive. Do in our lives only that which You can do and we say thanks. Amen.

4/13/17 Dr.R.A.

Daily Post, life, Self Esteem, Spiritual

Unravel

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You unraveled the negative thoughts that I had tightly woven of myself

Thoughts solidified by the lies told by voices both internally and externally

Thoughts that left me constantly carrying the weight of  feelings of  defeat, unworthiness, regret and shame

You liberated me from defining myself by the wreckage of my past

My name is no longer, broken, shattered, forsaken, unlovable, wretched, undone, etc

You continue to unravel my true identity

I now walk in liberty because of the stripes that You bore for me and the fact that You hung on Calvary’s tree

I am forever grateful for the price that You paid for me

4/11/17 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Unravel

life, Spiritual

Fan into Flame

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Given the advancement in technology, it is easy to start a fire. However, there are key components that are required to keep that fire blazing, namely oxygen, fuel, and heat. If any of these elements are missing, then it will have an enormous impact on the intensity and even the existence of the flames.  Sometimes at the beginning stage of a fire, the flames are most vehement, but as time rolls on, it begins to dwindle until it eventually goes out.

The same scenario can be used to describe our passion for God and the things of the kingdom. As we continue along the pilgrim’s pathway, the flame that was once filled with zeal and passion begins to lose its intensity. This can be a result of many factors such as disappointments, sickness, broken heart, fear, etc. However, regardless of the circumstances that cause us to lose fervor, whenever it occurs we find ourselves in a perilous zone.

The Apostle Paul was aware that this could take place as such he admonished Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God.” What was the gift that God had given to Timothy? Was it fear? Was it timidity? Was it defeat? Was it hatred? Was it lack of self-control? No!!! Paul continued to “for God has not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” This simple means that if we find ourselves at any point being fearful, envious, malicious, hating, not having self-discipline, etc., then the spirit we are operating in is not of God. We were never made to live in fear, cowering in shame and defeat, overwhelmed by depression or oppression and trembling because of inadequacies. Instead, we were created to live in victory, consistently displaying His power, love and wise discretion.  Therefore, we should fan the flames by thinking about things that are praiseworthy, lovely, admirable, right, pure, true, noble, honest and of good report. Additionally, read and meditate on the word of God, and pray about everything.

Has your passion gone dim? Are you fearful of things? Do you have malice in your heart? This is a sign for you to draw closer to God and fan the flames of His gift.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to be confident in Your Word so that we can be confident and victorious in every aspect of our lives. Realign our thoughts so that we can focus on the things that promote growth within us and make us better individuals. Empower us to draw closer to you so that our feet can be planted on higher ground. Wherever our flame of Your gift has gone out, I pray that You will rekindle.  Show us the areas that have gone dim so that we can fan them into flames. Amen.

4/5/17 Dr.R.A.

 

life, Spiritual

Stepping into the Unknown

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It is often said there are no certainties in life except for change. I want to add to say that facing the unknown is also a guarantee. The longer we walk this journey called life, the more we will face the unknown. Whenever these situations present themselves panic often set in our minds. We start to hyperventilate because of fear, our heartbeat race and our limbs begin to feel incapacitated. However, stepping into the unknown does not need to be scary. All we need to walk into the unknown with confidence is God because He knows exactly what the future holds. Additionally, the best part about walking into the unknown with God is that He is a God that is loving, kind, merciful, who has good thoughts towards you, a God that will give you an expected end, and a God that can be trusted. Therefore we can have faith in Him and step into the unknown. F.Buechner states “Faith is stepping into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp.”

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In the Bible, we read about a young woman called Ruth who after suffering the loss of a loved one still clung to God and walked into the unknown. She made up her mind that she would follow her mother in law back to her homeland. Her mother-in-law tried to persuade her not to because she believed she had nothing more to offer her. Nevertheless, Ruth declared emphatically, “entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

Ruth was completely unaware of what she was walking into. She was not familiar with the land, its customs or its people.  Notwithstanding she was trusting God to keep her safe and guide her footsteps into the unknown. The outcome of stepping into the unknown with God was beyond her expectations. She became the wife of a very wealthy man, a man of prominence (Boaz) and had children. She was also able to turn her mother-in-law’s sorrow into joy. Additionally, it was through her lineage that Christ came. She was given quite a legacy because she entrusted her life to God and stepped into the unknown with Him.

Looking at your life right now you may not be where you had hoped. Your life may have been filled with disappointments and broken dreams. You too like Ruth may have encountered loss and you may feel there is no reason to carry on. Those who surround you may be encouraging you to remain in your place of loss. They may be encouraging you to play your life safe and remain in your comfort zone. However, life only begins when we step out of our comfort zone.

What unknown situation(s) are you faced with? Are you allowing fear to cripple you from stepping into the unknown?  Do you have the courage to go wherever God leads so that you can receive the blessings that He has in store for you? Are you willing to step into the unknown with God?

Prayer: God please help us to be willing to let go of all our inhibitions and entrust our lives completely to you. Break off all the limitations from our lives and everything that will leave us feeling incapacitated. Breathe your strength and joy into our lives. Help us to recognize that as long as you are with us then there is nothing to fear. Empower us to walk confidently into the unknown with you, knowing that we already have the victory. Amen.

4/3/17 Dr.R.A.