‘Tis the Season
It’s holiday time again! The time when Mothers worldwide see children that they may not have seen for months, grandchildren get more gifts than they can open in one setting, and all of us, and I do mean all, eat WAY MORE than we should. It’s a good season. Even as I write this I am smiling as I listen to laughter from up the hall. Stories of “Remember when,” and “Can you believe?” Stories and change and transition. Moments of quiet reflection as we think about those that are no longer with us (R.I.P. to Theresa, Mary, Ben, and many others).
However for some, there are other sounds that may be heard during this season. Sounds of jealousy and envy, bitterness and unresolved anger. What reminds some of love and gingerbread hugs, reminds others of pain and emptiness. It hurts. For some people the holidays flat out hurt.
PLEASE PERMIT ME TO BYPASS TO THE USUAL NICETIES IN ORDER TO GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. SET YOUR FEELINGS TO THE SIDE AND LET'S EXPLORE WHAT YOU GET TO DO.
Typically on Monday's it is acceptable for people to grumble and complain as if Monday should be glad we stopped by. I don't think people realize this actually establishes a tone for the week. Let's celebrate what we get to do! We live in an awesome country. Perfect -no, but pretty dang good. We live in a country where if you do not like your status, your class, heck-even your gender, you can change it. There are so MANY things we GET to do!
Stop moaning and complaining. Instead, what do you GET to do today? Most things complained about are first world problems anyway. Too Much Ice in your soda? Too Much Heat in your coffee? Not enough room to park your second Lexus? THESE ARE NOT PROBLEMS! :)
Hey, if you HATE where you are in life, make changes. Begin to make a plan to direct you (i.e., your life) to where you want to be. If not, you will be even more miserable next year and so will those around you. If you love them, make a change. A long and short journey have this in common- they both start with one step. UCDI stands for YOU CAN DO IT. We are here to help you make the MOST out of your life. Let's Go, let's go. Let's Get It, let's get it!!
“My husband needs, my wife needs, my kids need…” are words we hear every day before we even leave the house. Often before we even fall asleep the night before. Everyone needs something. It can feel like we are pulled in ninety different directions within ninety minutes.
All of this before you’ve had your Monday morning coffee. You arrive on site and awaiting you are 4-7 fires that the weekend has left for you. Some cases delayed, three physicians unhappy, and God forbid something was cancelled. Off to the races, you are- refereeing personality conflicts and mediating finger-pointing contests. We have not even touched the your workload, meaning, you still have meetings with Infection Control, EOC, Risk Management, the Executive Team, and the list of vendors, suppliers, and various sale reps vying to get on your calendar.
“Good Grief, Charlie Brown!”- Lucy
This time of the year can begin to rub at even the most proactive people. members are navigating back to school transitions with holidays and school expenses using mental real estate. Volumes begin to increase as patients begin to schedule procedures to accommodate insurance timetables. Not to mention the very competitive nature of healthcare.
This can be an overwhelming time of year. It’s the season, and though I cannot (honestly) give you a 4-step plan to avoid it, I can share real time tips to navigate it.
Here are a few tips to “Whip the Whelm!”
“When feeling overwhelmed, we usually react by being frantically busy, by procrastinating, or by doing things clumsily or inefficiently... When a person is experiencing the paralysis of procrastination, he or she is suffering the pain and consequences of inner conflict. This pain is the product of helplessness, apathy, psychological paralysis, and a disconnection from one’s intelligence, self, and will…”- Peter Michaelson
Something that often happens, yet is not readily acknowledged, is the fact that procrastination affects you even when you are not the party that procrastinated. This can create feelings of resentment, and sometimes an unwillingness to assist the habitual procrastinator(s)- which leads to the inner conflict Peter references. However, that is not the focus here. 😊
The focus is recognizing when we are frantically busy. When overwhelmed, if you don't RECOGNIZE you are overwhelmed, the probability is you will remain in a state of overwhelm-ness. A state of off-the-cuff decision making, firefighting all the time, running from this to that- unable to maximize your time. RECOGNIZE this state. And then…
Take a breath. Take two minutes and just breathe. Once you recognize the feelings, emotions, and activities that come with “overwhelm-ness,” take a moment- 5-10 seconds or 5-10 minutes to just clear your head. A clear head gives a clearer picture. Get a clear plan, make a clear checklist (whether you write it out with pen and paper, type it into your device, or speak it into your phone’s voice recorder). Technology IS YOUR FRIEND. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the time you spend doing this saves you time and removes you from the proverbial hamster wheel.
NOTE: It is important to use clear and concise language when creating this list. Use the language that reflects how articulate and intelligent you are, and that will drive you towards the accomplishment of the listed items.
i.What needs to be done right now?
Look at what you are/were doing. Is this going to help you accomplish what needs to be done today? If not, stop allotting time to it. Honor what needs done TODAY.
ii.What needs to be done this week?
Follow the format for question 1, but line up the week instead of one day. After you prioritize the week (which may seem an eternity away), smile and get to work with question 3.
iii.Who/What will it involve?
Will this involve other departments? Will you need to arrange/schedule a meeting room? Does it need to work around the surgery schedule? Who will reserve the room? Who will send out the invite?
These quick tips do not mean you will never be overwhelmed, flabbergasted, flustered or frustrated. It simply means you will not live there. Moments of being overwhelmed can actually strengthen you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. However, continual and extended periods of being overwhelmed are unhealthy at best, and destructive to personal relationships that are meant to bring life and refreshing.
Deadlines and due dates are a part of life, sometimes converging all at once. Focus on what you can influence today. And if you find yourself unduly irritated with your spouse, mad at your staff, and eating back to back pints of Ben and Jerry’s- RECOGNIZE you may be overwhelmed. Breathe… and STOP. Deadlines should not be deadly.
Life is too short to miss.
Another executive order signed. Another fight involving Chris Brown. Another unarmed black man shot, another armed white man not...or vice versa. Whatever IT is, its goal is to gain your gaze, and to get you to focus on worthless ways.
My birthday was last week, and instead of partying and raising the roof -did I just date myself? ;) -I chose to slow down, get still, and reflect on the full life I have been blessed to experience.
Now, depending on what you are focusing on currently, the fact that I believe my life to have been full and blessed could cause you to smile, or it cause cause you to sneer. You may feel as if I am not concerned enough with the injustices that are constantly pushed down our throats, or that I am stirring the pot because I even mentioned an unarmed black man got shot. Again. :(
But that is not the topic here.
The topic HERE is that things are constantly pulling for our attention and trying to get our gaze to turn towards events, activities, and results to be our fuel for current and future decisions. And sometimes I want to let them...sometimes, I LONG to let them. Sometimes I long to scream in the face of practices and perspectives that are dismissive of my pain, to tell people what it feels like to be me when I get stopped at 1 am in Rattan, OK (in a Mazda CX-5) after referreeing four basketball games in Broken Bow and then have the officer ask me if I have any weapons before he asked my name, or for my license and registration. Some will say, "Well, he has to protect himself and he may be afraid." To that I say, "Am I not? Alone on a country road with absolutely no witnesses and an officer who clearly has lied about me going 30+ miles over the highway speed limit?" Whoo! I still feel the sting of that thing.
But I can't let it hold my gaze or become my filter. I can not. I will not. I refuse to. Because in reality, that is just another hand trying to turn my head.
And steal my gaze.
So what is my strategy? My response?
I choose o hold even more tightly to the One that holds me. And not let go. To peer through His lens and let IT influence me.
"LORD, turn away my eyes from worthless things." There are so many beautiful things to be seen.
So when the culture SCREEEAMS for your attention and demands that you react to its tantrums, and built-on-sand systems, I encourage you to deny its demands. To wipe your hands of foolishness and say "No," to practices, promotions, and pursuits that do not line up with who, and Whose, you are by re-adjusting and focusing your gaze on things that are gaze-worthy. And I'll do it with you.
Have a wonderful week!
Feel free to share!
"Therefore sent he horses, chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant cried to his master, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" And the master answered and said, "FEAR NOT, FOR THEY THAT ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THEY THAT ARE WITH THEM."
This section of scripture (2 Kings 6:14-17) is a reminder and a promise at the same time. As we come off of a time a family gatherings, hope and celebrations-it is easy to be blindsighted and held hostage by what we see in the natural. But hold your form, and deviate not from the process.
See, I have been this servant (more times than I'd like to admit), caught up and distressed by what I saw as overwhelming odds and insurmountable tasks. And try as I might, I couldn't see the 'more with us' that the boss, leader, friend, motivational speaker, or even my pastors could see. I mean, I tried to! I told myself there are more with me, I spoke to the fears, "be gone," -but it wasn't working; it just made me even more worked up. And it was PARALYZING.
Until I cried, "Alas Master!"
By focusing on the chariots and horses, or in more simple terms- the expectations of others, the what ifs, the comparisions, the bills, the belittling words of naysaysayers, etc.- I would remain paralyzed. Trying futilely in my own strength to emotionally hype myself to see the vision. But 'Alas Father' and the simple key of crying out shifted my perspective. And that shifts everything. Every. Thing.
You know how someone runs through a troop? They run through. They don't run to a troop, they run through. Their focus is on the other side. When I cry out, my focus shifts from my bumbling attempts to make something to partnering with what God has already created- a way out, a method, or even better, good works created beforehand for me to walk in.*
So alas friend, when stuff looks crazy, the water is choppy, and you want to cover your ears and eyes and hide; cry out and fear not.
Then Run Through.
* Ephesians 2:10
A few years back, during a family gathering, a father was questioning his eleven-year-old son about the son’s behavior on a team trip. Apparently, the kids stayed up making late night runs to the vending and ice machines throughout the night. Initially the son was attempting to articulate valid reasons WHY he would be running in a hotel hallway (at age eleven), but eventually he could only state a description: “Dad, it was a wild weekend!”
Game. Set. Match.
Although the father, nor any adult bystanders cracked a smile or laughed aloud, we ALL understood immediately. We’ve all jumped on a bed, chewed gum in class, eaten ice cream after ten, or even (gasp!) ran down a hotel hallway. I remember being proud of the father, for remembering the thrill of adventure, autonomy, and new experiences all rolled into one and recognizing that THAT is what his son was communicating.
On March 16, 2016, UCDI hit the publish button on our website (including the blog you are now reading) and I was so excited! We were going live! If I had an image to describe it, it would be like a store owner switching on the OPEN sign and standing behind the counter barely containing himself while waiting for the millions of hungry customers to rush in with mirrored excitement. A year later; I am still excited, and grateful. My “why” is still my why, and I am absolutely amazed at the things that have happened since we hit that go live button. Here a are few:
Of course, there were some moments that I was completely overwhelmed, too excited to be any good at the actual work, and very naïve regarding the competitive nature of humanity. I published YouTube videos that were not as polished as some desired, I was more transparent in blogs than some considered wise, and there were a few times that I, too, stood in front of my Father trying to articulate valid reasons. Anxiously trying to validate me running down hallways- when I should be resting, making noise- when it was time for silence, or following- when I knew I was called to lead.
There really were none, other than my wide-eyed excitement and the belief that anything is possible. But before Him I stood. And every time the anxiety and searching for reasons melted into peace, focus, and contentment.
I’m glad He is so gracious.
It’s been a wild weekend! Only in this case, weekend means year. :)
Love, La Sharyn
GUWYWU (pronouced G-you-Y-you). Get Up When You Wake Up. Time Management 201. I am continuing my 2016 time tool of getting up when I wake up until ALL of my sleep thoughts bow to my God given authority to master my thought life in all areas. Like a well trained K-9. Why? Because...
One day, after almost six solid months of working late into the evenings and still not having enough time, I began to feel increasingly overwhelmed. I began to believe that it was not enough time in the week for me to accomplished the items I desired to accomplish. What a disheartening feeling! And a counterproductive one! I began to look for shortcuts and settle for less than my best. As a Life Coach, you cannot exist in that space and still help your Clients. After three months, I noticed I was turning away new Clients because I was in this ‘space.’ I was hitting snooze several times everyday because I felt I was losing and wasn’t going to get everything done anyway. Plus, for about a month, I was even waking up BEFORE my alarm would go off! It was horrible!! I was praying asking for help, but in the same breath, I was complaining that it wasn’t enough hours in the day!
On one of the days I woke up pre-alarm, I was about to force myself to go back to sleep when I heard, “Get Up.” I remember my natural mind immediately saying, “No, I am going to get this sleep.” Why would anyone get up early for no reason? I used to wonder about people who would say they couldn’t sleep; I always felt as if they weren’t trying hard enough because I could will myself to sleep. Or so I thought anyway. But that day, as I lay wrestling within myself over whether to get up, it hit me. Simply and like a ton of bricks at the same time. "You. Are. Already. Up. If you choose to use this time for sleep, then sleep is your goal. But recognize that this, daughter, is TIME."
THIS was the time that I kept saying there wasn’t enough of, yet I was wasting anywhere from 60-90 minutes a day wrestling over 'faux' sleep every single day. That is over 300 hours a year! How many books, speeches, and workouts could be accomplished with that time? How many house projects checked off or vacations gone on? God had been answering me for over a month (at least), and I was complaining too much to hear Him. Yet He still blessed me with the simple answer of GUWYWU.
What mindset areas are YOU mastering this season?
The odds were stacked against Chinaza Duson from birth. Born in Buffalo, New York, her mother was a prostitute and her father was a pimp. Duson soon found herself in a youth home. However, being taught discipline and the value of never allowing yesterday to define today fueled her desire to overcome her rough upbringing.
She received her MBA and BA in business administration from Stayer University and after surviving some bumps in her career path, she eventually became a top network marketing professional. But the job closest to Duson’s heart is serving as founder and chair of the SheSpeaks Worldwide Foundation, a platform which empowers women, children and anyone with a dream to live to their highest potential and be a pillar in their communities.
SheSpeaks does amazing work creating programs that educate budding female entrepreneurs and uplifting various communities. The foundation gathers some of the wisest, fiercest professionals to speak life into women yearning for mental, spiritual and financial enrichment.
In Her Own Words
I was an executive working at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). I walked into my office on April 14, 2010, and they dropped a bomb on me. Literally the day before, I received the Top 40 Under 40 [award] in Mass Transit Magazine. The next day, they said “We’re sorry, but in six months, your position will no longer exist, but you’ll be fine.” I said, “Excuse me?” I was a single mom with two children and at that time, I had a Facebook friend who inboxed me. I was known for posting things empowering people, but my energy had dropped. So he said “What’s going on?” and I told him life as I knew it had changed. I made a total of $20,000 over a total of four years. But in 2013, I got into my stride. I literally woke up one day and I went full speed ahead to get to where I am now, in the No. 1 position.
I began to tell it (my story) little by little and realized people were being liberated and wanted to understand that if you can do it, I can do it. When I saw my story was serving as an inspiration and point of healing, I said “Wait, there’s nothing to hide anymore.” It freed me. Whenever I tell my story, I stay free, and when others are empowered to tell theirs, they get free.
Dr. Kathy Martin PhD., Coach, Author, Conference Facilitator and Keynote Speaker, Wife, Mother, and more. Dr. Martin takes great joy in helping others discover the hidden possibilities that often lie dormant within individuals, and training them in the practices necessary for sustained success. Her dedication to transformation is evident in her book, 'Transformational Prayer.'
For more information, visit http://www.possibilitythinkingconsulting.com/services.html
Dr. Howard Hatcher has worked with the Bureau of Prisons and is the founder of Color Free America (CFAM), an international reconciliation program. His work has been examined by Universities and colleges in thirteen countries as well as being utilized in the United States public school system and educational systems in South Africa. His most recent initiative, the Joseph Project, counters the effects of systemic dysfunction and poverty biases nationwide.
Apostle Hatcher is the Senior Pastor of International Outreach - Ministry and Training Center (IOMTC) in Tulsa, OK, and serves as a consultant to many Pastors, Apostles, and church leaders worldwide. Mr. Hatcher also serves as a Business Consultant and lecturer for colleges, high schools, business organizations, and public events both civic and private, including a previous appointment by the Kansas Governor to a state commissioned task force. Relational grounding and organizational impetus for divinely inspired growth are his specialty. For more information, please visit www.iomnetwork.org.
Huge thank you to Ms. Karen Cherry, successful business woman and motivational speaker. Karen started her first company with one worker (her) and a volunteer (now her CAO). Since then, that company has grown to over 100 employees and she has expanded her interest into commercial leases and residential properties. She is the first of this month's It's Possible selections to get you motivated and encouraged to keep moving forward. :) You Can Do It! -LaSharyn C.
For years I've asked those close to me,"How are you living?" Initially they would give me a safe and surface answer that they were living well and everything was good. I would usually smile and ask again, "How are you living?" At which point they pause and look at me like "what do you mean? I just answered you." -Bear in mind, I only asked this of people to whom I was close and who knew my heart.
Experiences and social norms have groomed us for specific responses and typical actions. But those actions are not always reflective of how we are living. Life is what happens when no one is looking. When I saw the video below, it made me think of these conversations with a beautiful soul named Trish. When we initially had this conversation, she was taken aback by the question but she rolled with it. #warmsmile4Trish I went on to share that most of life occurs when there is no audience, and in some ways, is a more accurate depiction of how we're living for real. Our life flows out of us and has an impact on our immediate circle and every circle that connects with it. Do we care how we treat people if no one knows about it? Do we lie and gossip to divert attention from our own (in)action? Are we honest about the (mis)perceptions we hold as it relates to this melting pot we call America? How about our own internal battles and insecurities? Is it even safe to acknowledge or mention?
As many know, I confess the name Jesus and try my utmost to be governed by biblical principles. I rub some the wrong way when I ask questions that are designed to identify how we are really living. And today I am asking, you and I, this very question. We may not be as close as the ones I've asked previously, but in today's climate it is a questions that warrants asking. The responses will vary from, "How dare you?" and "Who do you think you are?" to "Hmm, how am I living?" If your response veers toward the former, I submit to you there may be some contempt influencing the response and it is difficult to pray God's will over someone or something for which you have contempt. If your response veers toward the latter- kudos for being willing to look but make sure your reflection includes the Holy Spirit (no condemnation). :)
Here's the thing, I'm not asking how we are doing. I can wash dishes and still be angry about it, or come to work and hate every minute of it. I am asking how are we living? The question is just that- a question. It is not meant to qualify or disqualify.
That being said ...how are you living?
A few years back I attended a youth function that showed a DVD focusing on hip hop music and the youth culture. The video was very strong and persuasive. It made you think that any song outside of Amazing Grace equals SIN, SIN , SIN!!! Even I, an adult, was looking over my shoulders and praying I wouldn't die that night. :) Ninety percent of the youth in attendance threw away CDs, books, and vowed to not watch several TV programs. I mean, I definitely agreed with some parts and asked the Lord to run His Gaze over and through me; I even cleaned stuff (I needed to) out of my house. But, after the video, after that evening, there was not a life change like what normally occurs when I've heard REAL truth. Not for me, and not for the teens. The teenagers went through a period of tremendous condemnation for not being able to keep their self-willed vows. And my heart broke. There is a difference between a scare tactic and the fear of the Lord. The Fear of the Lord honors God versus just being scared that I'm going to miss him or go to hell.
The Cookie Jar thievery example highlights the difference between not stealing cookies because it's wrong, and not stealing cookies because I might get caught. Not wanting to get caught has no effect whatsoever on my heart (which God looks at); it makes me legalistic and kinda tell-ish like the Pharisees ("Jesus,they don't wash before eating!"). Or, it makes me envious like the older brother in the prodigal parable. A key point in my walk with God is the scripture, "perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment." My desire to not want to steal from the cookie jar holds regardless of whether if I would get caught or not. I want to not steal because that is settled in my heart and I understand I don't have to steal from My Father.
If I, or anyone for that matter, am spooked that any or every move might be just the move that gets me kicked out of the Lamb's Book of Life, I am not walking in faith. That walk is in fear- and definitely not secure in the very secure promise that I am accepted in the Beloved. I would lack Joy, real Joy, -which results in me becoming a skittish, insecure believer since the joy of the Lord is my strength.
On the other hand, if I have joy because nothing wrong goes in my temple, then I might begin to take credit for "my righteousness" or begin to thank God that I'm not like other people because I fast twice a week and I give a tithe of all I have, etc.
So here's what I think: Any thing that corrupts is dangerous, but I don't believe that fear that should control you. Only the love of God will keep you, and compel you to do more and go deeper. Not the threat of a whupping. Hmm, perhaps Paul meant it when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith... not your own doing; it is the gift of God."
But hey, this is my take... :-)
Hear Ye Hear Ye! Do I sound like the town crier? LOL! DTF4T (below) reminded us to be careful of our thought drivers. The climate in our nation according to media is so polarized that it has become acceptable to be insulting, disrespectful, demeaning and dismissive of our fellow citizens. And that, my friends, is NEVER okay. How do you love yourself? Are you core beliefs encouraging or discouraging? How do you want to be loved? Oooh, I know it's hurting some toes...
Listen to this video and let's do our part to remind ourselves and others that we ARE a civilized people and can discuss and accept different perspectives without vilifying our neighbor- and therefore ourselves. -LaSharyn
First, thank you. Thank you for spending time reading Shazzi’s Short Short Blog. And now, I bounce once on the diving board, flip, and dive headlong into HOT MESSNESS.
We all have circles. A set of friends, business partners, a group or network to which we belong. For the most part, each circle has a leader and/or vision that guides the flow and direction of said group. This narrative is going to recount some activities of a certain group that really worked well together and made serious headway as it relates to influence and branding. A top notch company.
The part I am going to address is there always seems to be one. One that repeatedly has to be given extra. Extra attention, extra direction, extra instructions, extra re-direction. Just extra!! Although I hadn’t joined this particular network when this one required the extra; I have heard about his misdeeds and read about his extra-ness in the meeting minutes. Why would he even be allowed to be a part of anything associated with this membership?
The leadership states the vision; this guy states an opposite vision. The leader says peace; this guy gets violent. And then when the pressure is on and it’s crunch time, this guy gets missing. When he is located, he acts like he isn’t, nor has never been, a part of this awesome group of individuals.
When I read over the record of the meetings he was a part of, it’s hard for me to reconcile the way the headship treated him with the way it would be recommended that leadership addressed him today. It almost doesn’t make sense. Unless…Unless that is a function of the group, as in, one of the group’s purposes. Maybe the record I’m reading is to not demonstrate this guy’s loyalty but the loyalty of the leadership. Maybe it’s to let me (and others) know that when I agreed to become a part of this membership, the membership came with certain membership rights. So that when I am the under miner of vision, or acting emotionally immature, or hiding my membership, I can know in my knower that the leadership won’t give up on me. Even when other members want to withhold benefits that the Leadership says, “No,” and sends for me by name. Specifically. I still have a seat at the banquet and an invite to the wedding.
So maybe Peter being a hot mess turned out for my benefit after all. For our benefit. Because as long as today is today, we have an opportunity to line back up with the vision; to walk in peace, and acknowledge who our Leadership is. In spite of our own hot mess moments.
And that concludes this headlong jump into the hope and encouragement of Hot Messness.
Hey Friends, Family and Business Partners! This #30 Day Re Set has been absolutely life changing! I am ASTOUNDED at the feedback. (#BigSmile #persistenceoverperfection) People are engaging in the Re Set and being more intentional about life! Today is day #9 and I just want to say, "Good Job and Keep Going!" Live It to the Full! -Shazzi
Day #5 30 Day Re Set. Grace both ways; one that covers, one that enables us to carry out purpose and function. Kudos to those that give out to the masses, we appreciate you! Grace. Grace.
Check out tomorrow's, "You Are Enough. BeYOUtiful."
Hey Friends! Superrr pumped this morning! Absolutely ready for the world! Right up until the time I walked into the workout area. Suddenly, my body was extra tired and superrr sluggish. Lol!
Oh, the hang of my head as I walked shamefully back up the stairs to my still cozy bed. Gratefully, I used the time to study God's Word and came away more graced and focused than if I had completed four workouts. I guess that really is the purpose of this reset and time of preparing for our next season. Getting quiet in such a way as to hear what applies for each of us, from the inside out. I can't wait to hear the awesome stories of discoveries and re-discoveries on this 30 day reset! Commit and just do your best- even if your best today looks different than yesterday. Use it as hope for tomorrow. See you then!
August 24 through September 22, 2016 -UCDI and friends will set aside thirty days to review, revise, and re-set goals and priorities for the upcoming year! Why wait until January first to declare what 2017 will be? Join us as we touch up on our goals, refocus areas that may have gotten blurry, and celebrate the many targets we've reached. This is an opportunity to look at the last year and, A) pull what needs to come forward and, B) release what needs stay back. If you'd like to join us on this 30 day journey of synergy and change, submit your email information in the contact tab above with the comment "30-Day Reset" and we will share the raw and uncut 30 day videos with you! UCDI! -Shazzi
Romans 12 Challenge!! Ends August 1, 2016 at 6 pm CST.
Any Social Media posted and/ or shared must fit every item on the below checklist...Are you in???
If the post does not violate the checklist below, it is cleared for take-off. If it does, can we be self-controlled enough not to post until the challenge ends? Only 12 days...
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Give liberally, lead diligently, show mercy cheerfully
Love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This concludes the list...is your post compliant? :) This will be a good gauge of whether we are more moved by sight than we may have realized.
#UCDI #harderthanitlooks #guardyourgates
Today is July 12, 2016. It has been a crazy week for sure. Seven days ago there was a controversial killing of a minority male in Louisiana, followed the next day by a clearly uncalled for shooting death by law enforcement in Minnesota-in the presence of the victim's girlfriend and a four year old child in the backseat. I had such an unrest in my spirit trying to reconcile what happened and what I sensed could happen. I asked those close to me to pray for my heart because, although these questionable deaths are new to some, they are all too familiar to me. Only now we have added the very effective component of Facebook Live, which does not allow for the usual filtering before a video is released to the public. A pastor friend called me on Thursday, hours before what would later become known as the Dallas Ambush on Police.
During the pre-ambush conversation, being transparent, I admitted that I was having difficulty with the disparity in law enforcement's 'diffusing/de-escalation' applications. As in, what appeared to be noticeable inconsistencies. I then gave a list of said disparities. I admitted I had not seen the LA video-because I couldn't bring myself to watch someone unnecessarily shot. My pastor friend maintained that the shot was indeed necessary because the victim had a gun in his pocket and he was not complying with the officer's instructions. When we ended the conversation, I still FELT the same -but based on our friendship history, I agreed to 'hold my form' and my voice (influence) until I had more time away from social media and more time listening in prayer. Besides, we all know feelings can and will change. I then went to a relative's house where a cousin showed me the MN shooting. Initially my response was I don't want to see that and he said, "No- you NEED to see it!" I honored his request- and immediately was filled with anger and a lowkey desire for revenge. About two hours later, the Dallas ambush occurred less than fifteen minutes away from where we were.
Shamefully, I had mixed feelings at the start of the Dallas Ambush. Just a short hour before I had felt frustration- like, quit just shooting us for no reason and then justifying it with statements like, "I asked him to quit moving, etc." But seeing it live- the chaos, the horror, and lawlessness of people running around while snipers shot at innocent people like target practice, and watching as the death toll began to be revealed- had an equally frustrating effect. Like, "Nooo, stop this! This isn't the answer." We stayed up most of the night discussing things from a raw and emotional place. Some felt as if it was inevitable because, "THEY keep killing US." (Division) Others knew this would only bring retaliation, equating to more of the very thing that sparked the outrage- Killing based on race. I drove home somberly, sad in the deepest part of my being. I have a rainbow of friends, family, and loved ones. All ages, races, classes, and gender identifications. Would I really have to make a decision on who to like and associate with based on reasons outside of character content? And if so, how do I reconcile that with biblical principles I have covenanted to live by?
So I got quiet. I logged off Facebook, turned off the TV, and just got quiet. For a few days. And in the quiet, I got a glimpse into the matrix. Below is the information that kept my attention and disarmed my anger:
If you don't know (discern) what it influencing you to watch the videos, DON'T. David was a mighty man of God influenced to count his army, and it resulted in a high death toll. Something simple, disguised as innocent or not a big deal resulting in lives lost and anguish multiplied. Don't watch the videos of a person actually expiring. As in, don't watch someone actually die on a video for the sake of frivolous conversation. If you haven't seen the death videos yet, don't watch them. Deep in in the covers of sadistic pornography, there is a something that is called a snuff film. Snuff films video the death or suicide of the actors, only the actors are real people that actually die on film in the deep web. The metaphorical use of the term "snuff" to denote killing is derived from a verb for extinguishing a candle.
Watching the video(s) releases (released) a spirit of murder on both sides. Especially for those that are not spiritually discerning. They (or we) become driven by anger and the need to strike back. Our perspective becomes overtaken by bitterness and hate, and we become the participants in the very behaviors that we initially railed against. Cavalierly justified because it's so unfair, or because group-think has set in, and it has groups rushing off cliffs in a self-justification frenzy. Stop. Pause. Pray. Before you are ensnared by the words of your mouth. Conform wholly to the principles you desire to LIVE by- because we are making are making life choices right now. Choices that will govern you and your children. Don't listen to the frenzy, the reactions, or the chaos. Be still. Be silent. Pray. And then DO.
The whisper is this; while we fight among ourselves in the form of group against group, and blame against blame; who is fighting our real enemy? Are we so caught up in our groups that we've neglected to discern the tactic of the enemy? Lastly, how did something so buried as a snuff film become everyday viewing without us recognizing the slime of the Spirit of Murder?
Father, protect us from Barabbas. And forgive us for releasing him.
I Kings 19: 11-12
11“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper."
The topic statement: "I don't go to church because they...(fill in the blank)"
Response from a believer: "The same things occur work but you still go..."
My response to believer is below;
It has to do with levels of value and respect....What a person values is often allotted more respect. Society in the US (as the rule, not the exception) views church as a place to get their needs met. When people in said group (church) offend, the 'rule' is to use that offense as a measuring stick that works on behalf on the offense, but not necessarily those offended. Work however, as a rule, is a 'Source.'- People find ways to work out offenses and relational barriers when it comes to their Source. In the US, we tend to value our jobs more than we value humbling ourselves-again as the RULE, not the exception. Just addressing practices born and fueled by offense will result in people coming at you personally, transferring to you the FULL weight of the offense still influencing offended decision making. Offense is an effective distraction/barrier both ways- against attendees and non attendees alike. Stay focused.
When folks say why they don't do something, I have learned to say..."That's interesting..." and move on with other conversation. The truth is, none come to the Son save the Father draws them. And if He is not drawing, why are you? John 6:37, John 6:44
Is this a valid question? Let me know what you think. -Best, Shazzi
Everything was moving fast. So fast. An extended house guest left Friday evening, and unexpected weekend guests arrived later that night. I still needed to prepare for an upcoming business trip. I had a list of to do's that had yet to be 'ta-done' and I had already pre-planned my weekend to focus on finalizing details and tying up loose ends. This was before: a kitchen spill created a reaction with my stove top striker (that resulted in a fire truck and discovery of a gas leak), one of my house-guests had a medical flare up that lasted twenty four hours, the broken phone that added even more anxiety to my house-guests so now we need to visit Sprint on a weekend and still make it to the Open House and family dinner (Mother's Day), etc. Everything was moving FAST and too much was happening at once.
During this so very 'life happens at inconvenient times' moment, I remember clearly thinking, 'Ugh!' But I don't like to live in 'Ugh' moments. So I immediately began to focus on my thoughts, and remind myself that perspective has a very real effect on any given situation and subsequent feelings and resolutions. This gave me enough of a pause to look at everything happening- and what could of developed into chaos magnified- and say to myself and my house-guests, "Fortunately, no one was hurt, the stove did not explode; and if it wasn't malfunctioning, we wouldn't have found the large liquid spill near the electrical socket, nor would we have identified the gas leak so promptly." A simple statement that started an unplanned conversation about perspective which then grew into an awesomely deep conversation and then I realized:
This inconvenience was not an imposition at all. It was a divine moment that was almost missed because of FASTNESS. It was a moment in time that God chose to trust me with precious souls that needed a place of rest, refreshing, and impartation. And I almost missed it.
Over the next thirty days, we will be discussing the day to day processes of consistency as it relates to working out. Deronda Lewis, the founder of Beautiful, Intelligent, and Gifted (B.I.G.), has agreed to let me step behind the curtain via short media clips to discuss consistency, justification, rationalization, realization, and achievement in relation to Making A Habit. (Combs and Lewis, 2016).
I hope you will chart along with us to see if, and where, YOU are on the Habit Making Spectrum.