Tag Archives: self-help

Shadowlands: This Real Life illustration pictures ‘Divine Love’

old spice guy

Old Spice gives us a great take on manliness; über coup for Isaiah Mustafa today!

Is God manly?

We live in the shadowlands. The goodness and love we find is a shadow of perfection, of the Eternal Mind. God, the Divine. The source of pure love and goodness, or mercy and grace.

God is not the father you had, God is the Father (or mother) you wish you had, and still need.

At the moment, I don’t think it can be better shown than in this clip of precious love that sees us through. (Olympian, Derek Redmond and his dad. It’s great stuff.)
Friends, let us love each other this way.

Training for change: “The Show about Me” part III

conversation is not about you

I use the word “training” here, because if I used the word “discipline” it would be an immediate turn off. You may just click away in a huff or something. I’m tip toeing around for you this time.

Discipline has a “dirty word” feel to it now, right? We seem to associate it with pain for the sake of gain, or something too hard, or bothersome. Really, a disciple is a person in a training mode, learning, and absorbing things meant to improve him and his life.

This post is the third installment to deconstruct and renovate our lives that have taken on the “personal reality show” traits. This default setting we have to center our lives around our desires, wants, needs, and shortcomings, keep us stuck. Gone is the life-giving existence that comes from understanding that Reality is the realm of God–It’s not about us. We are invited into a richer, deeper Story that isn’t gained or lost with our successes or failures. God is the Star of the show, and it’s his Story. This is a life lived in the realm of peace/shalom. Lay your burdens down, friend.

You may have some ideas in mind of what life looks like once this changeover has been made. I’m hoping you’ll share your ideas about it. I’ll 5 ways a person lives out a greater Story, and maybe we can all learn something.

When you live the bigger Story…

1. You regularly  make and keep unlikely friends.

You don’t see people as tools for your own purposes, or to satisfy your desires and needs. No one is beneath you in the social strata, because you can well see that it’s not your story, but God’s. God’s Story includes all people, so you do too.

2. You regularly give to those who cannot repay you.

(Volunteer) Your actions stop being about personal gratification and getting ahead in some way. Giving freely punctuates this idea. You realize that generosity is life-giving in its own right, and it’s a win-win situation.

3. You shut up more, ask questions, and wait for the full answer.

Talking with people isn’t about saying something, being heard, or pitching some kind of agenda. It’s about the other person. You ask questions to know better, to understand better, and you give up the selfishness inherent in small story communication.

4. You stop self-promoting.

Making sure others see you in a certain light doesn’t balloon anymore as a thrust of your interactions. Sharing has nothing to do with making yourself look good, or impressing people. The self-centeredness is gutted from your words and actions, making life about something far bigger and better than you.

5. You listen.

In small stories we listen to get an edge. Sometimes what we call “listening” is really just pausing briefly out of some rudimentary convention, so that when we speak, we can be better heard (but only because we aren’t literally talking over someone). It boils down to merely “listening” for a chance to speak; but this is not genuine listening. When we listen, we change. The interaction makes us somehow different than we were before.

If you train with these 5 ways of interacting and seeing Reality in mind, it will give you no choice but to improve your life as you yield to a bigger Story.

Share your thoughts…

Who are You?

WHO are YOU?


Long ago, singer/song writer, Bob Dylan sang  that we’ve all “gotta serve somebody.” Nothing could be truer. Dylan wasn’t preaching, he was capturing the human condition.

Look at anybody you know, or watch a few people for a while. What do they love? What do they work for? What do they invest in? Of course, ask yourself the very same questions, because your answers are the ones that start the thoughts and insights that produce growth, or betterment.

Whatever someone starts to love or invest time and effort into, that very thing becomes their master. (It owns them, etc.) It becomes the object of their worship.I realize this sounds negative, but that is not what I’m shooting for here. It’s just an observation. But notice how, a kind of power or attention shift happens, like it or not.

It’s true with hobbies, goals, money making, fitness, drugs, career, relationships, material wealth, fame, ministry, and yes, God. So, what ever it is we love or enjoy had better be the best master, the most good, or the highest way, so when (not if, but when) it soon rules us, the fit will be for our good, not ill, because, “you gotta serve somebody.” We’d like to think we’ve mastered independence, and we make our own decisions, but what we love (worship, adore, spend time on) influences us. And that’s that. (I got folksy on you, at the last second.)

You can tell so much about you, if you write down 10 adjectives that best describe the thing (person, item, idea) that you love best or put most of your time into, (like a strategy, trade, or discipline). Give it a try if you don’t believe me. If you leave 10 adjectives in the comments section (answering honestly), even if I don’t know you, I’ll reply and tell you something about you. (Or, maybe it’s more than you want to know. lol.)

Interestingly, it’s those who that say they love God, for instance, when they describe God as judgmental, angry, and so forth, they are really describing a god they have worshiped, which is different than the Being who made, loves, and redeemed us.

They also describe who they have become. We become that which we serve and worship. If we adore an ungracious god, we become ungracious. However, in this case, we are not worshiping the Living God.

(I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments; and if you were tagged to read this, thank you for reading and responding in a way that best suits you.)


(photo source)