A Good and Simple Man

Today is the seventh anniversary of my father’s transition to the heavenly realm. He will always be with our family in spirit. I love you daddy.

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While listening to a religious radio programme, the moderator noted that only men could teach their sons certain lessons. Living in a matriarchal society, the percentage of fathers who live with their sons is decreasing, for a variety of reasons. Women have had enough of being treated unfairly by their partners and they ask the fathers to leave. Some men choose to abandon their families. Other men live apart from their children who are raised in other households. Yet there is an increase in the percentage of men who live with their children as they either follow the good examples set by their fathers or vow to be unlike the fathers who left them as children.

My father taught his daughter what it means to be a good father. The moderator explained the four important lessons which only a man can teach his son. A father must teach his son…

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Reflections

Every morning on Daystar Channel there is a series called Reflections. Scenes of peaceful places around the world are transmitted with inspirational and peaceful musical arrangements. Accompanying this, are a series of carefully selected Bible passages which reflect the themes expressed by the music and the scenes. For instance, if the scenes have free flowing water, the musical arrangement will compliment it and the Bible verses will revolve around the themes of spirit, freedom and water. It is a wonderful way to begin your day.

Throughout the week, several themes have come to mind and will be reflected upon. Unlike the series on Daystar, there are no peaceful scenes, no peaceful music and no inspirational quotations. These are personal reflections of the mind; sourced from reading inspirational publications and speaking to close friends and family members. Above all these reflections are as a result of the private and public worship sessions with Almighty God, ruler of the universe.

My love for Jesus is always here. I express it more boldly today than I did before. Many are not tolerant of my expression of my beliefs. But I smile as I remember the blessed attitude in the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 5, which states that when you are persecuted for righteousness sake your reward is great in heaven. So instead of getting even, I respond on the spiritual level and get God. What that means is that my response to them is one of tolerance, kindness and respect. The response of the flesh is to become angry. The response of the flesh is to get even. The response of the flesh is to waste your time and energy on your enemies. The response of the flesh is to speak negatively.

Anger is a natural emotion. Yet it is considered to be a deadly sin. When you accept anger, you reject God. There are many ways to deal with anger. Some involve getting back at the person who has enraged you. The others involve journaling your thoughts and feelings, venting on a trusted friend and participating in physical exercise. Writing is very therapeutic. It is the process in which your thoughts become tangibly expressed in black and white. This provides the opportunity to reflect on your views and use wisdom and understanding to demonstrate the sense which lies within. Writing is truly inspirational for at times the writer is in control of the thoughts expressed. What may be said to others may come back to you through another source. Jesus is your closest friend and confidant. Take everything that is bothering you and express it to Him through prayer. Similarly to writing, prayer is therapeutic. At the end of prayer there is spiritual refreshment which gives the strength and courage to take on anything life sends your way. Physical exercise is a wonderful way to deal with anger. There is a surge of energy in your system. Some persons go to the gym, some run on the beach and others take nature walks. Doing these activities may not eliminate anger but it channels that energy into a positive outlet. Your body will love you for choosing the physical route.

On the opposite end on the love spectrum, both you and your enemies agree on the fact that you do not like each other. Do not waste your energy and time on them for they are not wasting their time and energy on you. Eventually with time, your enemies will cease to bother your resolve. All of this revolves around your assignment of value. Once you assign a high value to negativity, it will rule your thoughts. This transfers to your words and your actions. Then it becomes your truth. In essence the highest value should be assigned to positive thoughts and to optimistic feelings. Only then can life be lived to the fullest. With positivity and optimism your light shines. Even disappointments and tribulations look good because through them you depend on God. This develops your character for the disappointments are seen through God’s perspective. With the big picture in mind, the love of God is paramount. God is everywhere. God is in control and He sees everything.

Value lies in the constructive element of criticism. Do not take things personally. However if that is a part of your personality, find a way to express what you feel to that person. Otherwise this occupies precious time and results in a waste of energy as you over-think what was said to you. If the person knows that you take things personally, flip the situation to them. First let them know that what they have said hurt you. Once aware, the person should rephrase their words, so that they will have an uplifting instead of a debilitating effect.

Finally, value also lies in the ability to discern whether it is time to speak or time to be silent. Silence can be powerful and effective. Silence gives the opportunity to reflect and listen to what is being said. Silence speaks volumes as sometimes words are insufficient at times. Silence can communicate acceptance. Yet it can also communicate revolution. Use the warfare of silence carefully. Overall use silence to reflect on the mercy and grace of God. Be grateful for everything in your life. It has a purpose. You have a purpose. Go live your purpose, selected exclusively for you by God.

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Live to Express

 

My all time favourite Walt Disney movie is Beauty & the Beast. Tear drops glisten from my eye lashes when I watch the scene where the Beast has a surprise for Belle. The Beast tells Belle to open her eyes. The camera pans out into the immense library in the castle. My love for books is immense like that library. I would spend the rest of my life reading. Reading quenches my thirst for knowledge, broadens my mental and spiritual horizons and leads to a deeper and fuller understanding of persons and circumstances. I am an avid reader and an advocate for reading.

I inherited my love for reading from my parents. My mother came from a large family. In order to avoid my grandmother’s punishments, she always buried herself in a book. My father instigated my love for languages and history. ing. As a reward, my father would take me to the bookstore to buy a brand new book for my book cases at home. I had Enid Blyton books, Babysitters’ Club books and Sweet Valley High books. Of course there were the classics such “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Great Expectations”. Reading provided an escape from the loneliness of my life as an only child. I visited the worlds between the front and back covers. I needed spectacles as a child. After my parents said my prayers with me and tucked me in to bed, I would get a flashlight and read under the covers.

My dream job revolves around reading. Teaching provides the opportunity for me to research subjects of interest. Teaching allows me to aid in the fight against illiteracy which is threatening our children especially boys. Thanks to Kindle, Amazon, e books and google books, there is the new dimension of paperless reading. The traditional readers are not ready to embrace this new style. However it is the opposite for the modern day reader who finds that paperless reading fits well into their busy schedules. At the touch of a screen, everything is before you and at a more reasonable price. It does not take up space in the house and is environmentally friendly from the perspective of cutting down trees to make more paper.

I have been a faithful member of the Library for the past quarter of a century. My children are members as well and I encourage my students and their parents to join the library. Reading broadens your horizons as you fill your mind with understanding of a plethora of subjects. Reading opens new worlds within the pages. What you choose to read should not only impress you but also be an avenue of expression as you go about the adventure of self discovery.

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Choices

Today I feel disrespected, upset and betrayed. I choose to feel that way. Happiness is a choice and some days it is not the easiest choice. The temptation to wallow in self pity and regret presents itself. The temptation begins as a lie and then by giving it enough focus, time and energy, it turns into the truth. Regrets revolve around situations. If only I had made another decision I would not be where I am today. Yet, is where you are today really that bad. Due to the unique nature of circumstances, there is a sense of loneliness. However, it is a new day to share with genuine friends and family.

The negativity must be released and named in song or writing. Sing while completing the daily tasks. Sing and cook. Sing and wash clothes and dishes. Sing and garden. Sing to release the negativity of the turmoil in life. Sing to release anger, grief and depression from your spirit. Have a reason to sing here on earth so that it will be even lovelier in the afterlife. Music is the only thing we take from heaven to earth at birth and from earth back to heaven at death. Music spans both realms.

Write to release the negativity from life. Journal and meditate on your thoughts. Sometimes written thoughts may be too much for others to bear. Writing is seen to be threatening to some people. Many may agree that writing should be done in a quiet corner in your home. Live to express and not to impress. Writing is a personal expression. The problem lies within the reader when what is being written makes them feel uneasy. The writer has achieved the goal of making the reader examine themselves and realize their short comings.  

Write down personal thoughts or interesting quotations from philosophers or other famous people. The knowledge base will be strengthened and will undergo an extreme transformation. Mental horizons will broaden as more essential knowledge is acquired. Furthermore, wisdom will be obtained as by understanding yourself, by extension there will be a deeper understanding of others’ unique personalities. Wisdom provides the necessary tools to step out of mediocrity and to become a leader. First there is self transformation, through the examination of spirituality. Afterwards there is a one on one leadership through communication with like minded individuals. Thirdly, team leadership will be achieved through understanding others’ contributions in a group and respecting their differences. Within the fourth and highest level of leadership, that is organizational leadership, others perceive qualities that they admire and wish to emulate.

There are three choices to be made. How will you renew and refresh your mind, body and spirit? What philosophy will you adopt in your life that will make you an effective person? Who will you surround yourself? Renew yourself through meditation and prayer to Almighty God. Work for a cause not for applause. Live to express not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed just make your absence felt. Finally   be surrounded with like-minded family and friends who support spirituality and epitomize confidentiality and trustworthiness. Don’t worry for you are not alone in this journey called life. Just be you and everything else will fall into place.