Tag Archives: love

We Heal Together

One at a Time… A Call to Heal.

Fear crushes people.  You see the evidence all over social media and the news today.  Many of my friends who are the brightest lights in their communities are struggling to make sense of what is going on, struggling with anger and struggling with people who think or act differently.  Their words show the struggle is real as we try and make sense of killings that are not rational.  It can all seem so out of control and like it will get worse before it gets better.

My heart breaks for the people in our nation… From Ferguson to Baton Rouge to Chicago to St. Paul to Dallas, My heart breaks.   My heart breaks for the families, for that poor woman who filmed the man dying in the car, for families of police officers and for the communities of West Chicago where people are afraid to go outside.

together-we-heal-617x347Praying can sometimes seem so futile in the face of rage, hurt, killings but Prayer is the only place where light starts to break through the darkness.  I have no answers but I am learning where to direct my questions.

Words spoken to others make you feel better.  They won’t bring back those whose lives are lost.  They won’t stop men from bleeding on the streets.  They won’t stop the bullets.   Words spoken to God, change hearts and move mountains.

Blame doesn’t matter.  Labels don’t cure and yelling don’t heal.

Bringing people to justice makes us feel better and gives us a time to rally. Until the next time.  Justice is so limited and taken to an extreme demands a life for a life.  We need better than that or this crazy cycle we are on never stops.   It is all temporary until the heart changes.  Our love for each other has got to be greater than fear or each other.  Our Love for each other has to louder than that shouts of hate and fear.

There is no Fear found in Love.  Love actually pushes fear away.  God wasn’t screwing around.  He told us that is we love each other, pray for each other than this crap stops.  If we don’t, there are not enough marches in the world to unite us.

Love is not a feeling.  It is a decision.  A decision to fight for and with the one next to me, not against them.

One Life touches immeasurable people… One Death too early, even more.  Neither can or should be summed up in hashtag.  People’s lives are not a political forum.

Start with you… Are your words bringing people together or are your words filled with the same fear that already divides. Your words amplify bringing us together or being right in your rage.  One Unifies and One Divides.

You can be a bridge or you can be a wall.  Not both.

Control what you can.  Today, God Knows, that does not feel like much.  Today, I can control My words, My prayers and My love for people.  I can hug those around me begin building.  Seems like a place to start.\

Praying for you.

Orlando…Healing Together Starts by Grieving Together.

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Healing Together Starts by Grieving Together.

Yesterday, I was in line at my favorite BBQ place on my way to church when I saw the news. 50 people dead in the largest mass shooting in American history. My day and in someways, my life will never be the same.

My heart is broken as a city grieves. Afterward, talking with people and reading the news, people quickly wanted to turn attention to the topics of gun control, politics, radical Islam, or the gay, lesbian, transgender community.

When Politics becomes a religion or idol, it seems to infest everything and people want to quickly blame, categorize and move on. Politics makes us feel better and shifts responsibility away from us. I pray as a nation, we can feel this one and come together for those in need. Let’s not be so quick this time.

All of the above issues are important, but not as important as we think. This week, let’s grieve for the people, for the community of Orlando and all the families those who were affected. We should pray for those still in need of healing and unleash generosity on those in need of blood, counseling and donations. Let’s not be too quick to move our focus away from the faces, the stories, and the sorrow.

Today, some of the names are starting to come out as we see the faces of the victims, the families and come to the grips with the reality of this tragedy. Any life cut short, has a domino affect and this one will rattle Orlando and this entire nation.

We grieve with those who are grieving and our most important gift is to love and help each other. There are issues to discuss but they fall tremendously short of the importance of us coming together and realizing that none of these issues will comfort the families and friends who has their word ripped apart.

If we let this moment be another issue that divide us. hate wins. Let our response be greater that that, let our response be to love our neighbor, to send whatever is needed to Orlando and then to reach out to a neighbor where ever you are and let them know you are for them, no matter how different you are. If you don’t know where t start, try, “How can I help?”

We grieve together, we live together, we pray together and if we are willing to really love each other, we win as we step out of the darkness and toward the light together. Love is way more powerful and I know it can sound naïve but when applied, Love Wins every time, we just need to take some time to show it.

Pray: Pray for physical healing for victims, Pray for healing for families, Pray for peace and Pray for communities coming together.

Give: For those who want to donate to help victims.. Click https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

Raise Up for Higher Performance

There sure seems to be a lot of pressure in business today. Pressure to grow, pressure to come out with the next “New Thing, pressure to hit targets, pressure to win, and pressure to beat out the competition.

The drumbeat of commerce has gotten louder and the pressure to win continues to be at a high-level.

I grew up in a community that was surrounded by wheat-farmers. These man and women actually had their lives fully dependent on getting top dollar for their crops.

One bad year, and they could lose everything.

An amazing part of this community was that when one of them was in trouble, instead of pouncing on their competition, they all rallied around. The entire community would sacrifice to make sure that everyone was ok. Instead of pouncing at the chance, they used that opportunity that take care of the person and build them up.

In today’s marketplace, people’s failures are way more public. With access to social media, it has never been easier to complain about or pile on a business failure. This is the time to find out who you really are and what you want o be about.

If your business plan depends on you piling on a competitor, you need a better business plan.

The truth is you can have high growth and still walk the high-road. If your only goal is to beat your competition, then you need to set your sites higher. Build your skills, your team, your company or your industry. You can be a person who tears down or builds, not both. How do you want to build impact and legacy?

The real value of a leader is setting and living the culture. This has to start with you.

We are called to be a light to those around us… to be that helping hand that reaches out to those in need and helps them back to their feet.… The Marketplace has never needed this, real leadership more than today.

Like squeezing a tube of toothpaste, pressure will push out what is really inside us.

I am all for healthy competition. Competition can give us a chance to challenge ourselves to bring out our best. Let’s make sure, it brings out our best and that excellence is the standard we judge against.

So here comes that test, everyone will stumble, including you, what will you do when your competitor stumbles? When you see that opportunity, how far will you go? How far will you go when you see a chance to build your career by knocking someone down a peg? Will you take credit for someone-else’s work? How far will go?

Take the opportunity to reach out, teach, counsel and help. Encourage them to learn and get back up. That’s Leadership.

Excellence needs to be our standard and we should expect nothing less from ourselves and our teams. Excellence includes not just what we do but how we do it. Excellence means that we bring value to every transaction and interaction and that we see the growth opportunity in building… Not tearing down.

Let’s Raise the Bar by Raising Each Other!!!

The Love that Moves us Forward

I love being around people who encourage me. I love it when they tell me what a great job I am doing, how incredible I am. We all do, if we are being honest. Those who tell us what we want to hear are so easy to be around. Seriously, since we are being honest, I could listen to others tell me how awesome I am for quite a while before I tire of it.

I might even protest a little, then prompt them to get started again. “Oh stop….   Now… come on, stop it…no come on.”

We love being around those who tell us what we want to hear.  

Two things happen if these are the only people we hang out with.

  1. We have to put on a performance for those around us only showing the awesomeness that is in us. We are now on stage. Goodbye to anything real coming out of our mouths.
  2. Those around us also have to perform or we replace them with others who will tell us what we want to hear.

Welcome to the theater of flattery.   Ever been here?

Jesus did not approach the world this way. He came to save the world and tell us about a hope that had nothing to do with our performance. He came to tell us that he loves us no matter what and that we need to stop performing and get real.

We see this example in the story below where a wealthy young man approaches Jesus.

As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’

 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

We can picture this young man. He is a mover and shaker. He is one of those young men who just have “It.” They seem to have it all figured out. It all works out for him and he seems to have a plan for everything. People flatter him wherever he goes. They have been telling him he was meant for great things since he was a youth.

We know this guy more importantly, Jesus knows this guy.

It says in the Message Bible that when Jesus responded to him, “The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.”

Many times, astruth-and-love Christians, we read this story and talk about the dangers of the love of money.

I look at this story a little different as I see a young man that represents so many of us. He is successful and wants more. He wants to be closer to Jesus and is doing the best he can to balance life, family, career, faith.

By seeing how Jesus responds to this young man, we see a picture of how He responds to us. This gives me hope to go on every day and take the step that leads me closer to Jesus.

 

  1. He loves you where you are. He may not love where you are but He loves you.  It says that Jesus felt a genuine love for the young man. He may not love where you are but that does not affect the amount He loves you. Let me say that again. He loves you regardless of where you are. You may be on tip of the world or on the bottom of the pile. His love for you never changes and He always loves you.
  2. He loves you enough to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He knows exactly what you are holding onto that is keeping you from moving forward.
  3. He loves you too much to let you stay where you are. In Fact, He loves you so much, he is willing to have you be mad at him for being the one person who will speak the truth you need to hear.

We need this love in our lives. A love that says, I am willing to sacrifice and give my life for you knowing that you will screw up. When you do mess up I love you. When you win, I love you. When you lose, I love you.

He turned away when Jesus spoke truth to him. He may never have heard it before. I wonder what would have happened if He had stayed and just hung around a little longer.  

God’s desire is that respond to His love with faith and take a step closer to Him. To hang out even when we don’t’ understand why He would ask us to do something that crazy. The Faith to endure is built by knowing God’s ridiculous love for us.

That is the love that changes the world… Starting with Us.