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April 1, 2020

COPING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

I greet you with this prayer by the Apostle John: Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 2 MSG)

In these uncertain times, we see different sides of people. There are none more worthy than those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic who have to confront it each day, such as the doctors, nurses, technicians, cleaners, EMTs, fire fighters, police officers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, delivery people, volunteers, etc. To make their lives as easy as possible, it behooves the rest of us to do our part by obeying the instructions from the officials—primarily, to stay at home. For people at home, the Internet and News outlets offer lots of information on ways to cope and to help others. I have seen innovative ideas, funny things to do, and many heart-warming stories of people coming to the aid of others in different ways.

However, there are some people who are fe...

February 1, 2020

Stop and think before you act!

I must admit that I don’t always have a loving disposition towards people I dislike,

nor do I act right when situations are not aligned with how I want them to be. However,

as a Christian, I am called to a higher standard. For most of us, there will be times when people or circumstances push us close to the edge and when that happens, we must be careful of the way we respond. Consider the two scenarios below and think about your reaction:

1.  At work, the boss gave the promotion you worked hard for, and pinned your hopes on getting, to someone less qualified. Then he assigned you to work with the person on a project. She’s loud and arrogant, and the two of you didn’t get along even before the promotion. Additionally, your work styles were different. She loved being the center of attention, monopolizing the meetings with graphs and charts, while you prefer getting down to the fundamentals of doing the job. 

2.  At home, you have a certain way you do things...

November 1, 2019

YES OR NO? 

I mentioned in a recent blog that you should say “no” to the things you don’t want to do. While I still hold that to be true, especially in cases where someone is pressuring you, I do believe that you should be aware of your motives before saying “no.” You may be unavailable or have other genuine reasons in denying the request. However, I hope the reason isn’t that you are afraid to get out of your cocoon. Yes, I know it feels good being in your comfort zone, going along your merry way with your regular schedule. Nevertheless, there are times when you should take a chance and do something different. It may be unfamiliar but can offer the opportunity for growth and the experience of something new.

Someone recently asked me to do something I wasn’t comfortable doing. However, the “ask” was so persuasive and powerful that I immediately said “yes.” When it dawned on me all that it entailed, I groaned and fretted to the point of pulling out...but knew I couldn’t do that. The resul...

September 5, 2019

Anticipate Better Days

I write these blogs, aka love notes, to share what I believe to be a good way of being in right relationships and developing into our best selves from a Christian perspective. I talk about personal stuff and the experiences of others, sharing funny stories and quotes—all with a slant to inspire positive change. Do I have all the answers? Certainly not…I am with the Apostle Paul when he declared in Philippians 3:13-14, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

What I do know is that life can be short and we should be living joyfully, doing the things we love and being comfortable saying “no” to the things we don’t want to do. Now, when things ar...

Turn it around! 

We all have been disappointed at some point in our lives, so know the bitter taste it can leave in our mouths. Disappointment always comes at the wrong time and hits like a whammy! It can be in the form of someone letting us down by saying or doing something hurtful and out of character, or from a lost opportunity or failed expectation.

When things don’t work out for me, my first reaction is disbelief—say this is not happening! Then comes sadness, followed by that well-known, one-word question, why? Depending on what it is, the disappointed feeling may last from a few minutes, with a “oh well” shrug, to days as I recall the issue…aargh, lots of SMH! The latter occasions called for much prayer as I go through the futility of the countless “what if” reasons.

It doesn’t bode well to allow the sinking feeling of disappointment to percolate as it can turn into depression or anger. Although for some people it has to sit for a while before being purged, the key is to let it go s...

How do you respond?

How do you respond to someone whose views you disagree with? I know there can be a big divide with religion and politics, so I am not referring to those hot topics. Do you tell the truth or remain silent if you see a friend faltering in areas such as lifestyle or relationship choices?

You may have heard the adage, “Be kind instead of right.” I didn’t use to adhere to this principle and would be brutally honest when I shared my opinion, knowing that I was right—chest puffed as I set the person straight, ha! Some of you probably have done the same…butt in a conversation to share your superior knowledge, cut people off in mid-sentence, or give a sarcastic retort.

I have since toned down my responses and now emit a silent gasp when I see someone wearing what I consider to be an inappropriate outfit, and dismiss a viewpoint I can’t relate to or agree with—groaning inside with that famous word, whatever. On some of these occasions, others responded with delight at the wonder...

Are you comfortable giving recommendations?

How do you feel about recommending someone for a job, promotion, project, or even hooking up with a love interest?

Here’s what Flo says, “I don’t have any qualms about giving a reference even if I know the person is not qualified. You see, I got to help out a sister, so if it means just getting her in the door, then I am for it. Now, if she screws up, that’s on her; I did my part. Same thing with a blind date, they either have a connection or not.”

Moe puts it this way, “No way am I going to recommend a friend for a job, which he doesn’t qualify for. Even if he is capable, it would reflect badly on me if it all goes south. So I am not taking that chance in a work situation or with a relationship; it would affect our friendship.”

These little scenarios show how we differ when thinking about recommending people. Some of us do it effortlessly without hesitation, while others 'hem and haw' or flatly refuse. To be honest, I would not co-sign a loan fo...

April 1, 2019

Have faith that it will work out for you!

Have you ever stepped out on faith and did something you were scared of doing? Yes...how courageous of you! There are people who want to begin a project, run a marathon, write a book, sing solo in a choir, turn a hobby into a business, etc., but keep procrastinating. Fear of failing, other people’s opinion, financial obligations, or feeling just too comfortable with the status quo may prevent some people from even trying.

A friend recently told me to post my blogs on social media. By not having an account on any of these platforms, you can surmise that I am not a fan. I would even warn people not to post a video or picture of me, which often fall on deaf ears when others reveal they saw me at events posted on Facebook or Instagram, whew! My friend went on to list the reasons why I should post the blogs, and I understood where he was coming from. However, while there are some positive attributes to social media,

I am hesitant about putting myself o...

March 1, 2019

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6, and ends on Easter Saturday, April 20. It signifies the 40-day period of suffering Jesus went through in the desert. People use the 40 days to fast, give up certain things, or perform some other form of self-denial. In the past, I had used this time to practice meditation and to work on areas in my life that I needed to get under control, like being more patient…still working on that!

This year I am going to do something different, and I would like you to join me. Before March 6, write down the names of 40 people with whom you are acquainted. In addition to your immediate relationships, the list can include people from your past, coworkers, members of your social clubs, workers at stores and restaurants you frequent who provided excellent service, teachers at your children’s school or college, and your local politicians. Need more people—add strangers. I pray for people who I see along my commute to work, and sometimes I smile and think to myself,...

February 8, 2019

Being alone is different from being lonely. You may find yourself alone when you move to a new place where you don’t know anyone or it can be thrust upon you due to circumstances, such as the passing of a loved one. Some of you, like me, may relish your time alone. I like the solitude as I engage in doing things I enjoy.

Loneliness, on the other hand, can leave you feeling neglected or depressed. One reason for this could be the way you interact with people. Let’s say you get into a huge quarrel with someone and instead of coming to a mutual agreement to end it or at least agree to disagree, you decide to stop speaking to that person. If you do this often enough, you could end up with no one around, lonely and bitter at others for causing the rift, not even considering how your actions contributed to the fallout. Pushing people away doesn’t benefit you.

Additionally, jealousy or envy can prevent you from connecting with people, and feelings of resentment can stop you from forming or keep...

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