Don’t Be Proud; Carry on the Legacy!

This evening Granny Lola shared with us the story of Weldon’s Funeral home.   The Funeral home was founded 4 generations ago by her Great Grandparents Mr & Mrs. David Weldon.  The question that sparked this blog:  Did it make you proud that your family owned land and a business?

bf86fea2f9a38254fa867631c0bdac29She replied.  “My parents taught us to never be proud. Carrying on the legacy is a way of showing your pride in the legacy you come from.”  She spoke about the way many carried themselves who came from prominent families.  Many carried the title and the accolades of the past with pride, but their willingness to rest on what the past generations accomplished ensured the legacy would soon cease.

The true enjoyment of being a part of a rich heritage or legacy is the honor in extending its reach.  It’s the ability to not only hold the torch until the flame expires, but to work in such a manner that the flame will not  be extinguished by your efforts but will burn with such vigor and fervor, that it has enough fuel to survive to two generations.

tourchWhat are you doing with the torch?  Are you reveling in public appearances?  Eating meals from the past?  Enjoying the celebrity of the fruit of yesteryear?  Or are you taking the seeds from the past and planting a harvest that will put seeds in the hands of your children’s children?

Pride should not found only in what was accomplished by those before you, but in the work of your own hand.  One should not only receive the legacy, but should be driven to carry it in the same manner in which it was received.

What are you doing with the seeds of others?  What are you doing with the seed you have?

Most squander the seeds of others, and worse are eating their seed, and in turn, ensuring that they will leave no legacy.  A legacy is what you leave behind, not just what you accomplish while you are here.  It’s the torch that continues to bring light from generations past that gives sight to those yet to breath their first breath.  Your legacy sets a stage for those coming, and gives power to those who will carry on your dreams both born and unborn.

She concluded by saying, “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!”  Being a part of a legacy is a responsibility more so than a privilege.  While others feel the freedom of not accomplishing and not excelling, the responsibility of extending that which has preceded you restricts from you the luxury of being lazy or complacent.   “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!”  Honor past generations.  Give Tribute to those whose hand first tilled the soil.  Let every action, accomplishment and accolade be a tightly woven effort to bring glory to all that sacrificed for you to sit and to stand.

 

 

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Put your Glasses on!

I wrote this to an African American friend who expressed his disgust in having to speak to his children about racism:

“This experience
Is one that not all have
An appreciation for
Or understand.
In our desire
Not to place the Racial Sunshades on our children,
Teaching them that God created
And loves everyone,
We are forced to give them
Fruit from the tree for their own safety.
Watching their innocence fade away,
And the layers of clothing slowly put on is a sad process.
Even further frustrated by the younger siblings
Who are still naked,
While their elder siblings are fully clothed!”

 

 

#PastorJDO3

A Gentle Breeze or a Harsh Wind?

This evening, a talk with a parent left a seed for thought for fellow parents.  Having a High School Senior, we find ourselves seeking wisdom, advice and encouragement from those who have gone before us.  Today, the word given was, “This year, I stopped driving, and started guiding!”

As the conversation continued, the image of a mighty sail boat appeared.  One can imagine our children on an ocean, sailing into their future.  Now captains of their ships, standing at the helm, navigating their future.  As parents, we have worked to train them on how to navigate life, and prepared, repaired, built, and structured them as sea worthy vessels, placed in them a sense of purpose and helped them discover their identities, only to face an approaching release into life’s treacherous waters.sailboat

What a challenge before us?  The parent spoke words to live by.  At some point, we must believe that the training given to them will be enough to aid them in navigating the waters.  We must believe this in confidence, knowing that the complete training of a person takes an entire life time, and that many of the lessons that will continue to mold and shape will take place after we release them to sail.   What was being said in the statement, was that the release was not one that turned their child into the raging sea, but one that understood the role of the parent shifting from the “Wheel” to the “Breeze”.

The difference between the “Wheel” and “Breeze” are key to proper navigation.  Many parents will spend the bulk of Supervision Years (college), Managing as Hands On (Grade School), fighting over the wheel that will inevitably be surrendered.  It is this fight that strains relationships, often resulting in outright rebellion. Realistically, the job of the parent is never done, but the methods and modes used to teach are different.  And while our job is never done, our jobs are not to maintain the wheel, but to release the wheel with our wisdom, counsel and advice.  Our purpose now becomes to keep them from sinking or running ashore, not choosing their dock.  We do this, knowing that there is still growing to do, but must do so in order to aid them in becoming effective sailors.

The teachings we render and direction we give from this point will be less hands on, but more vocal driven. We must trust our “breeze!”  Our “breeze” is relative to the love, trust, respect and influence our children have for us.  It is this “breeze” that will remain steady and aid our children in navigating the waters of life, allowing them to find more security in whom they were created to be, and to adjust their sails to the wind in route to their identified harbor.  We must trust that the wind; though missed at times because they have folded up the sails, must continue.  Its steady stream reminds them that they are not subject to the shifting of the current to take them, but that they can still access power to navigate life when they are ready to move forward.

We thought it necessary to also distinguish that a Gentle Breeze and Harsh Wind are very different.  A Harsh Wind is more powerful, but can make life difficult to navigate; especially with shifting currents and impending waves.  It can cause the sailor navigate improperly, panic and in some cases, topple a sea worthy vessel from lack of experience or frustration.  As they are learning to navigate the waves and currents, fighting through Harsh Winds can cause them to loose sight or question the compass, depositing them into uncharted territory.  As parents this is challenging, especially if they seem to be off course or make a navigation error.  It is our love and passion for them that often causes us to run aboard and assume the controls, but we must resist!   As said, training is on going, and while being in control seems fun or best, it will become a chore once you are unable to do so.  They have to learn how to navigate life on their own!

Thus, don’t be a harsh wind!  A Gentle Breeze will provide enough power to navigate challenging waters, giving out children the guidance they need to become productive and successful.  Keep Blowing Parents!

 

 

The Rain Came

Each weekend at VUU, you would sit in my arms and as ask me to tell you a story.  I know it doesn’t happen much anymore, but today, I publicly give you a story to celebrate 18 years of marriage.  Don’t worry, the interpretation will follow 🙂
Discouraged,
A King went to a private place
To silence the noise,
He was experiencing a drought
That brought a kingdom to its knees,
For days and weeks, nothing would sprout,
And the things that broke through
would wither away,
Decades of hard work would waste away,
As the kingdoms treasures began to wither away, IMG_0207
As the vibrant king slowly began to decay,
His crown too big for his head,
Once a perfect fit,
Now sat around his neck
Certainly headed for his waist,
What once crowned his head,
Would eventually adorn his hips,
As the praise from his heart,
Dissipated from his lips,
He bowed low,
With his head between his knees,
Crying out for rain,
The ground wet with his tears,
His shirt damp from his tarry,
His knees blistered from the weight of his temple,
His face smooth from the ground,
As though foundation had been gently applied,
His voice bore out the ground,
As he screamed for change,
His voice grew weary,
As his praise began to fade,
But his faith gave him the power,
And with determination,
He cried out
Until his screams were too low for human ears,
But his passionate plea brought forth his reality.
Rising from his knees,
He looked towards the heavens,
Reaching his hands up
As if to grasp what was his,
He walked away from his praying grounds,
Certain that death was waiting,
As the sun warmed his face,
A voice warmed his heart.
The melodious sounds of rain
Glimmered through the noise,
Creating silence through a quiet still voice.
Its tone customized to his mind,
Brought dew to his grounds,
And a smile to his face,
He captured each word,
Hydrating his fields,
Softening the ground,
He tilled his soil,
Collecting each word as droplets for his harvest,
Seeds were planted on each row,
As he gained confidence
That the dew was the sign of the coming rain,
A loud clap of laughter broke forth,
Sending a shower of rain into his life
That would bear much fruit,
Returning life to the kingdom,
Rehydrating the king,
Making him alive again.

 

Story Key:  Use this to interpret the story.
Your whisper is my Dew. Your Voice is my Rain. Your Laugh is my Storm.
The Kingdom is my mind.  My Voice was my Prayers. The Grounds my Brain.  The Noise were the Voices that Once Existed.

Choose Peace….

It is true that we must choose life,

though others has scheduled our breath,

giving us the poison to remove ourselves from earth,

we must leave the vile sealed, though it be tempting to peal back,
the cover,

feeling that it will keep concealed our pain,

the break of the seal will bring a highlight to the shame,

releasing the pain from one to another,

thus guard your heart,

close the gates of your ears and eyes,

select friends carefully and soberly,

understanding,

the pain we mainly experience is self inflicted and relationship inserted,

freedom and peace lay within our decisions,

so make choices that will bring about peace and not frustration.

From the Mouth of Babes…

This just in:  He is loyal!  He is Faithful!  He will do just what He said!  If you let Him.  If you stay with Him.  If you maintain stride with Him.  If you allow Him to complete you.  If you allow Him to prepare you!  All things are truly possible.For the most part, I believe many of us speak this concept from our mouth, but our actions would reveal that we are either ahead of God, or that we wan’t God to sing to us like Flo, “I’ll stand by you. Wont let nobody hurt you….”  A Popular Progressive Insurance commercial has a set the bar of humor with its character Flo, and her portrait of their company.  By watching her, one understand the company to be one that thinks ahead, uses creativity, offers the best price possible, is not bogged by traditional rules, and protects is customers.  The current add, “I’ll Stand By You”, features an amazingly off key performance by both Flo and a separate salesman, which displays the companies commitment to the customer and the extreme levels they will go to provide the insurance and the security one needs to sign with their company and trust their products.  Truly, I love this commercial!  It brings a smile each time. maxresdefault

Today, while changing the fuse in the dryer, my 5 year old daughter came into the laundry room and looked over my shoulder.  “Stay back” I exclaimed.  “It’s dangerous in here, and I don’t want you to get hurt!”  She replied, “I know its dangerous dad.  That’s why I stayed behind you where it was safe.”

I continued working on the dryer.  Smiling first because she had no idea that I was scared and working on a complex machine after watching several youtube videos, but inspired as I worked, thinking, what if we took this approach towards our Heavenly Father?  Furthermore, what an important role we have as parents.

In her few words was displayed the complete the trust and faith that she has in me.  There was no doubt in her mind that she would be safe as long as she was positioned behind the one that could protect her.  I focused in on my walk with the Lord, and life her as we travel.  There are moments where it seems the pace of the Lord is too slow for my own liking.  It has been tempting to break rank, and run ahead towards the goal.

Oddly, God gives us a vision of our future, and then helps us journey towards what He has revealed to us.  I wish If I could put into words the frustration of seeing the flag on the hill!  Seeing the flag gives us a point of reference, and often makes us desire to take a straight line towards the prize.  Our desire to conquer and to obtain what God has for us, has a tendency to take us off the path God has designed to get us there.  God’s path rarely seems to be a straight line.  It is more like an obstacle course that takes us around and through many challenges, in an effort to build and train us not just to obtain the flag, but to take the flag, and have the strength and character to be able to conquer more land and plant that same flag in new territories!

In many cases, we can obtain the flag without following Him, thus we have to be leery of those things that come to easy or without struggle.  God is a God that develops, and takes us through processes that help us understand the territory being conquered and not just feeling the joy of holding the flag in our hand.  God knows that the flag we see, is just the first of many.  Thus getting out of line, might avail us to obtain the flag we see, but disqualify us from obtaining the flags we don’t see. This just in:  He is loyal!  He is Faithful!  He will do just what He said!  If you let Him.  If you stay with Him.  If you maintain stride with Him.  If you allow Him to complete you.  If you allow Him to prepare you!  All things are truly possible.

As parents, we also see the importance of our relationship with our children and their environment.  Our job is not only to keep things working, but to make sure we are in between them and danger.  We are, like God, protectors.  Our kids need us to take and play an active role in their lives, providing an environment that helps them maximize life, getting the full benefit from each moment, while steering them away from harm and danger.  People argue that children are different.  It’s a different child.  A different environment.  Let us not forget, that these are different parents.  We are witnessing a group of parents that are more proud of corporate advancement that raising a family.  This be the lead cause, if you will, of the change in children.  Are you fighting for your kids?  Can they depend on you to not only stand by them as Flo sang, but to be between them and danger, as my 5 year old said?

In conclusion, standing behind the Lord is not a long distance and neighbor is standing behind us as parents.  Standing behind is much like my 5 year old.  She was literally looking over my shoulder.  We must stick close to God, and we must allow our children to stick close to us.  We must be peering over His shoulder, and they must peer over ours, watching what is being done, and being obedient to what the command is to do!  This will being glory and honor to the Lord!  Let us live our lives behind, but in stride with God.  Feeling the full trust and protection He provides, as we keep stride with Him.

Being Heard is an Honor

“The honor in speaking to ones parents about an offense is not to correct or change their ways, but in being heard.” PastorJDO3

In life, there are many milestones.  Moments in which growth is both experienced, and times where growth is acknowledged.  It’s the moment that you walk into a room, and the adults continue speaking.  The day that you join a conversation; and your presence is welcome. Growing Up

These moments carry much weight because they are simple milestones that mark one’s journey from childhood to adult hood.  As children, your voice and your opinion go without recognition, thus your feeling and thoughts remain silent; for if expressed, one will suffer further punishment and or stricter restrictions.

As children grow, they long for the day they can address the wrong they have seen or experienced.  And when adulthood is reached, they not only desire to be heard, but began to develop hope that the words spoken can lead to change and result in healing of past or present hurts.

Though age wise one is an adult, father, husband, and CEO, there is one title that will always remain, child.  As a child, one will always be speaking up the chain of authority and position, and must remember, that the position’s rights and benefits remain relatively the same.  Though one is given a voice, the words will always carry the same power as the silent existence.  Though this might be a sad reality to some, however to some, it is a cherished promotion.

Though Jesus was not promoted, we can find a powerful moment between God the Father and Jesus the Son.  Jesus on mission from God to restore relationship with mankind, sat in the garden speaking to God about the task at hand.  He spoke, pouring His heart out, sweating like drops of blood, returning 3 times checking to see if the will of God had changed.   He spoke to the Father, making His feeling known, and was satisfied not because He received the answer He sought, but that He was heard, and His word was considered by the Father who wanted the best for all and did not change His mind.

As we grow, we must keep proper perspective when speaking up the chain, understanding that, “The honor in speaking to ones parents about an offense is not to correct or change their ways, but in being heard.” 

 

Matthew 26:36-46