"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Death & Taxes (Part 3)

Universal: of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience. (2.)applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure. (3.) affecting, concerning, or involving all.

Universal facts! 
(Read part 2?)

What is Your Purpose? 

Seeking your purpose in life is often a journey. And my journey started like most journeys; without any prediction, planning or perspective. Most journeys are wonderful that way. We don't notice small details, opportunities for growth and changing wind patterns until we find our self in the midst of something troubling and traumatic; tremendous and terrific.

Wonderfully, we don't get to choose our journeys. They often choose us. I believe the same holds true with our life purpose, our purpose often finds us before we find it.

And so it was, as my lonely walk down a dirt path began I was praying, and wondering aloud, what God's plan and purpose was for me. "What do you want me to do God", I prayed, and when I prayed that very prayer in the spring of 2010, kneeling in anticipation, longing for God to speak to my heart, he spoke.

And speak He did.

He said write.

At that very moment I was in the middle of discovering God's purpose for my life. It wasn't until years later that I realized what was taking place then. My purpose was being revealed to me and I didn't even know it. 

"It" found me before I (discovered) "it"

I know many of you reading this right now find it hard to believe that God would actually tell anyone to write or to do anything for that matter. And I'm sure you really don't believe that he spoke to me. I get it. And as many of you ponder my words I'm without little doubt that more than a few eyes are rolling.

Like I said. I get it.

But this is more than a story; it's the truth. Over and over I would hear in my silence the word write.  There was no audible voice pur se; it was just a continual wave of urges that wouldn't allow me to separate myself from the constant thought or internal nudging to write.

"What do you want me to write", I said impatiently. 

"I can't write a novel or book... I have no idea where to even begin."

"Just write", He said.

So write I did.

And did I ever write.

In the past two and half years I have written roughly 250,000 words and over 225 pieces on mybabyr0c.

I was (developing) my purpose, and again, I didn't even realize it.

In those early stages of development I touched upon everything from the great Jackie Robinson to the top ten Michael Jackson songs (the top 5 when he was black and the top 5 when he was white) of all-time. I researched, and wrote, about superheroes and the virtues they embody, and the reasons why men and children become angry. I shared with my readers that my son Ryan met Picasso at McDonald's and that another one of my boys, Bryce, never wet to bed when he was young because as he stated: "the pee stayed in his underwear.".

"I even wrote about LeBron James and Jim Tressel.
The writings were the beginning of a journey in which God enabled me to create mybabyr0c; a journey, and a journal, that God has used to create significant growth in my life, and out of that growth I've been encouraged beyond belief.
I hope I have encouraged others too a long the way.

During those early days of writing I realized that I love Lenny Kravitz and his talent more than I thought I did, and all the while growing in that realization that I will never be as cool, or good looking, as Lenny Kravitz. I also came to grasp the fact that I don't need to drink orange soda everyday and that I don't have to hate anyone under any circumstance just because they hate me, or because they have hurt me. 

I arrived at the conclusion that pure silence and quietness that can surround ones thoughts, dreams and hopes is the best sound that I have ever heard. I came to the understanding that silence isn't only golden, its purposeful and meaningful.

In the past almost three years since I began writing I have become intimately, and keenly, aware that my wife, and Sting, are greater than I first thought, and that having a family is a blessing; not a burden. I have also grown in the fact that inviting God into my daily activities each morning, and thanking him for being responsive to my plea at the end of each day, is the single best thing I can do each and every day.

Recognition is vital. I recognize that I'm more blessed to have my children as my children than they are to have me as their father, and that my parents are the smartest people I know. I have also become more conscious of the fact that I have more questions than I do answers and that all of my questions have one answer... the same answer... God, and that writing my thoughts down has better prepared me to discuss what I believe and why I believe it, all the while enabling me to fulfill God's command in 1 Peter 3:15-17:

15 " But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. "

Realization is paramount. I've come to believe that James Taylor's song Fire & Rain and Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins to be two of the best songs ever recorded and during my journey I have noticed that I'm not an expert on marriage, parenthood, friendship, love, on doing the right thing, character, the bible or anything, but that I'm only an expert on me and me only. 

I know me better than anyone else, except for God.

And I know if God can transform my life he can transform anyone's life.

This I do know.

My journey thus far has shown me that when God provides you with salvation, forgiveness and purpose you are free to be who he created you to become.

That is powerful.
My journey has lead me to my purpose and God was with me the entire way. I understand more clearly who I am and what I believe, and how the things that give me passion were given to me from God for a reason and with a purpose in mind. The passions given to me, when used properly, will fulfill God's purpose for my life all the while giving my life purpose.


His purpose for my life is to encourage others.

Through spoken and written word I am to encourage others. I am to do it in a way that is honest, sincere, authentic and transparent. Because of this I believe that I will write multiple books that will encourage, inspire and challenge others to grow in ways that they once thought impossible. The growth will not be because of any knowledge, wisdom or cleaver thought I entertain. The growth will occur in others life's, as well as mine, because I was obedient to God's will concerning my calling; my purpose.

And because of the fact that God has carried me through the discover and development stage I believe that he is repositioning me, as we speak, so my purpose can be (deployed) on a larger scale. God will be with me during this stage too. God has increased my contacts that will aid me in the process of writing a book(s) and speaking all over the world. I truly believe that I will talk to athletic programs, military institutions, churches and different groups of people in many different places with the walking papers to inspire and the mandated purpose to encourage. 

This I believe.

In the end, ask yourself; "what would you do if you could do anything?" Would you do it for free? Whatever the answer is to those questions will reveal to you where your passion lies.  Then ask God to direct your paths and provide purpose. Ask him to reveal to you how this passion can be used to glorify his name and further his kingdom, and his gospel. Can this passion be used for His purpose? What is his will for your life? 

Remember this and never forget these words; His will for your life is your purpose.

Discover God's will, develop your skill and begin to live your life on purpose, allowing yourself and your God-given talents to be deployed for His purpose. When you live life on this level you don't have to worry about passion. It (passion) will delivered to front door like the morning newspaper.

And though I mentioned earlier our purpose often finds us we still have an obligation to seek out our purpose and be open to what God puts in front of us. We play a vital role in identifying what our purpose is and we have to be diligent, focus and strategic on
discovering, developing and deploying our purpose.

We all have to remember those three words involve action. No one but you, with God's help and direction, can discover, develop and deploy your purpose in life.

Finally, allow me to share one thought, one challenge and one belief.

Thought. In the end, who we are fuels our perspective, what we believe gives our life meaning and our deep passions fuel our true purpose in life. When we get to the point that we can more than adequately answer those questions we immediately become of value to ourselves and everyone we come in contact with. That is powerful. 

Challenge. Take the time to reflect on these three questions and begin to seriously consider answering them. My advice: write a 500 word mission statement for each question, and develop an opening and a closing paragraph totaling 500 words. Thus, by doing so you will have completed a 2000 word document that will represent the "mission statement" for your life. Companies, churches and non-profits all have mission statements because they realize that a missions statement is really a "vision" statement. People move towards their most dominate thought and accomplish things they put into writing. A mission statement equals vision, vision equals value, value to yourself and to everyone you come in contact with. As you begin this process observe and seek out quality people that you would like to model and emulate some of their behaviors and personality traits. Also, quantify and qualify your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. And finally, pray. Pray that God will reveal himself to you and that he will lead down the path of self-awareness and self-discovery. Begin to move your life from a rough draft to a blue print.

There are 1189 chapters in the Bible (929 old/260 new) and 31,173+ verses. The “middle” verse in God’s word is Psalms 118:8…it is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.” The shortest chapter in the bible is Psalms 117…Praise the Lord all you nations, Praise him all you people of the earth. For He loves us with unfailing love; the faithfulness of the lord endures forever.” At the “heart” of God’s Word he tells us to “put our trust in Him” and at the very center of His Word He tells us “to praise Him.” No matter where we are in life just “Trust & Praise” Him. God has a specific plan for you and for me, Jeremiah 29:11 says so. It is a plan “for good and not disaster”. If we remember to give our “storms” and “our” life to God we will never be alone. God has always wanted to be, and he always will be, our refuge in life’s most difficult circumstances. He will be with us in our darkest hour. He will be with us in the “storm”

You can count on that; like death and taxes.

sbb 15.9.12

No comments: