Taking others into the promised land won’t happen by accident, somebody must take the lead.
I often find myself awakened by frustration after frustration, believing that people do the right thing. They may know what is right and wrong but wether they do right is anyones guess.
When we find ourselves in a toxic environment, it may just be that our senses have finally acknowledged that it is toxic. It’s often hard to come to grips that we’ve tolerated a toxic culture in our ignorance.
Making a transitional change doesn’t have to be ugly but it does need to be deliberate.
It’s all to easy to leave one toxic environment only to fall into another and then another, if we don’t recognise what the real issues are.
Toxic environments have a way of fashioning our thoughts and actions. We become carriers of its toxicity, like some sort of virus. It’s important to remedy the effects before we pass it on to someone else.
1. Start with a good self evaluation, check in on your thoughts and actions. Are we conflicted inwardly without casting blame on others.
2. Consider the art of transparency, laying everything on the table and decide what stays and what goes.
3. Surround yourself with a handful of individuals that are equally wanting wholesome change and build a resistance against unacceptable behaviours.
4. Being deliberate about change requires incremental actions towards an outcome. Nothing just happens.
Jesus describes change agents as light ambassadors, shedding hope of change by their words and actions. He also made a point of a light ambassador finding the highest point on a hill to show their light and not hide it under a table.
Changing a culture from toxicity to wholesomeness is definitely challenging but one of the most rewarding experiences you could ever achieve.
I hope you have an awesome day being a light ambassador.
Discovering what a failure we were when we did our best can be very sobering.
Being the absent father, husband, son, trying to figure out how to put enough food on the table, make the right career choices and even trying to work out who we are can take it’s tole.
All along we thought we were doing our best and then we find out we crossed so many lines to end up here.
Life does not go as we planned, what then?
Set a new plan and with our renewed understanding of life, let’s do our best again. It’s a good chance the older we get, the more experienced we are, we end up doing ok. Just don’t lose heart.
My personal best as a young person was so shallow. It was very focused on less than a handful of priorities, with me right in the centre.
My personal best, as I get older, seems far deeper. It focuses on even less priorities, with the greater good as its outcome.
When others point out how you failed in the past, we have two choices.
1. Believe them wholeheartedly and allow such failure to make you incapacitated to try better, or
2. Believe aspects that resonate with you, adjust and keep moving forward.
No one on the planet can completely take away your confidence without your permission.
Dare to do your best again in light of your new understanding of what matters most, I guarantee, even those you’ve disappointed that are close to you will reconsider their unconditional judgment.
Jesus exemplifies this beautiful picture of redemption when he rescues a woman about to be stoned to death. He masterfully points the light at the accusers and asks them, “Let the person who has never made a mistake cast the first stone”
The power of that story is the next statement Jesus makes to this woman who sees herself as completely lost and without hope, “Where are your accusers?”
The woman has to acknowledge from that moment every accusation against was no more but she had to make a conscious choice to stop beating herself up for past failures.
When the woman acknowledged that no one was accusing her, Jesus challenged her to move on with her life and do her best in light of this new experience.
You and I have the same privilege in life if we dare to believe that we are free from accusations if we move forward and try again to do our best.
A society where fathers are absent, the next generation struggles with identity.
We acknowledge that prisons are predominantly filled with men. Not necessarily are all these men evil but most have very little references of restraint, tough love, discipline and purpose.
Men have an innate desire to hunt, protect and provide. Men definitely are created uniquely different from women who have an innate desire to birth, nurture and domesticate.
While both sound like stereo types of a 1950s American patriarchal society, fact remains men are very different from women.
I’ve had the privilege of travelling extensively and mixing with all sorts of cultures. Men typically want to be warriors, save the damsel in distress, marry her and have children that bring honour in their dying days.
When things don’t go to plan, men can become warmongers, play the field and disregard their offspring, leaving the damsel in distress to pick up the pieces.
This vicious cycle plays through the generations and we have what we can definitely call, a fatherless generation in many parts of the world.
Our laws can’t stop the incarceration numbers. Our liberal views haven’t stopped the flood. Our political parties just keep building new prisons.
What’s the alternative?
Men that are living testimonies of purpose must go out and mentor the next generation as well as reach out to our incarnated brothers.
We have a responsibility as stewards of manhood to give back and bring balance back to the tribe.
1. Teach them how to hunt for their tribe and not just hunt to feed themselves.
2. Teach them to protect their tribe, the vulnerable, the weak and defenceless and not abuse them.
3. Teach them the value of sustainability and long term investments for the greater good of the tribe that will one day be their inheritance. Where their children and their children’s children will provide, protect and honour them when they are old.
Very few men are purely evil, they’ve made their choices. Most men are lost and need to be found and set on a wholesome path of renewal.
There was a beautiful prophecy given thousands of years ago about a fatherless generation without hope with a promise of restoration. It started when the fathers returned their hearts to their children.
I believe we are living in that generation!
Dad, it’s time to come home.
Years ago I heard this quote ‘A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still’, implying, we can’t make people see what we want them to see.
Having an attitude that we are always right or our way is the only way creates all sorts of road blocks in life.
1. Parents do this to their children until the children resist and pushback
2. Bosses have this with their workers until their workers pushback
3. Governments have this with their constituents until their constituents vote them out
Having a belief or a strong opinion may help us cope in life but we must be mindful that not everyone sees life the way we do it.
If it’s truly important that we want others to see what we believe is revolutionary, then just live it to the full.
If what we have warrants any consideration, let others come to your revelation in their own time and space.
To pressure others to see things our way is nothing more than manipulation at best and a poor confidence in our own self worth at worst.
I’ve learnt and am continually learning this the hard way and it’s worth every moment of new understanding.
I’m less inclined to prove anything these days.
I’d rather live my beliefs and develop my opinions, hopefully casting light wherever I am rather than shine a torch in the eyes of those around me. Imposing my beliefs causes those around me to shrink or disregard what I have to offer.
Can I encourage you to shine your light and be steadfast in all that gives you hope. Be like a lighthouse on a hill not trying to navigate every ship that passes by, but allow each captain to take the light as a guidance.
Don’t stop having strong beliefs and opinions, just live them to the full until those around you need them as a guide in their storms.
I pray you have an awesome day being a lighthouse or guided by one.
A human being has the capacity to do all sorts of atrocities in the course of survival.
A human being also has the capacity to show all sorts of empathy and sacrifice to equally thrive as a species.
The first reflects a ME generation the second reflects an US generation.
There is nothing new under the sun and when Jesus says “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you”, He challenges humanity to be an US generation.
There is something beautiful about a human being who loves the unlovable, who has compassion on the bully. This type of human transcends basic instinct and seeks a higher meaning for life.
Jesus goes on to say, ~ “It’s easy to love those who love you, even barbarians can do that”
For me to love the unlovable or to have empathy for the bully, I need to be connected to the one who sees all. By developing a strong prayer life, my heart sees everything in a new light and not just my basic instinct.
Jesus isn’t encouraging permissiveness, he is stirring us to see humanity through God’s eyes which takes away fear, intimidation and retribution.
We are free from becoming judge and jury over every miner offence and we are free to exercise justice accordingly.
Loving our enemy doesn’t give our power away, it gives us our power back.
Doing good to the bully doesn’t endorse the bully, it frees us from their emotional grip of fear and allows us to think clearly.
Jesus introduces a greater way of living rather than reducing all of life to basic instinct of payback.
I pray you have an awesome day and you discover love and prayer for the wealth of your soul.