Monday, November 23, 2009

Da Word... 232! What goes in will come out

I've heard some stories about people swallowing some insaaaaane things.  What they fail to remember is that if the body can't digest it..... someway or another, it's going to be coming out!  And in some cases, that coming out may not be too comfortable.... ahem..... if you know what I mean.  The point though is this, anything we take into our bodies will certainly be expressed, even if transformed, and will have a rippling impact.

 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
- J (Matthew 12:35)

In this passage, my man J (Jesus) is verbally whippin' some Pharisees into shape.  I mean, these guys did not know who they were trying to step in the ring with.  Here's my man J, healing some people, and in come the Pharisees attempting to attribute his good to the work of evil incarnate!  Ludicrous... so J took off the gloves and, in the process, conveyed a great truth.  What one fills himself or herself with will most certainly express itself in leaps and bounds.

It's all about perspective.  Two people can look at the same situation and interpret or act upon it in completely different ways.  And that response has to do with one's body of experience.  The verse above speaks to the extremes.  But of course we know there is always gray.  However the point is clear, we are what we eat.  Think about it, if all you ever do is ethical, humble, compassionate, encouraging, committed, and passionate, such actions will affect your thinking!  You will have trained your mind to operate in a certain way, and now it's straight muscle memory.  Like in any physical activity, you do enough reps of a certain maneuver and it becomes second nature.  You perform without even having to think about it.  In the same way, whenever something new comes around, your mind has already been trained to snap into a mode of approaching the new experience with the great perspective you've trained it to use.

Now if you always teeter on the edge, that thin line between what's right and what's not, you will soon enough train your mind to always operate in that fuzzy area.  And if you tend to step over that line, pretty soon it won't take much to push you over. It is true, bad company will most certainly corrupt good character.  Even if a person appears to be a pillar (and it only works if his or her beliefs are anchored into something much greater than he or she), if that individual's common experience 24/7 is with bad company, the probability still exists that that person's thinking could be altered for the worse.  Pretty soon, those gray areas no longer seem all that gray, and stepping over the line no longer seems like such a bad thing.  The transformation is subtle. You never know it until one day, BAM!  It hits you square in the face. But alas, you are already in too deep.

It's about perspective my friends.  And we can change our perspective.  All we gotta do is change or augment our eating habits.  Who do you wish to become?  What kind person do you want to be?  Do you wanna be the line stepper?  Or that inspiring leader?  It boils down to one question that we should ask ourselves weekly:

What am I eating?


  - patrick

Monday, November 16, 2009

Da Word... 231! Anything Constructive?

I'm sure there are more annoying things, but this one's got to be up there: people who tear down but never bring anything to table.  You know what I mean?  That person who is always looking for something that is wrong, or just gunning to call somebody out... the most probable to get decked out, heh heh.  It's a good thing this person usually surrounds himself or herself with people who are self-controlled!

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath.  His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look!  Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
- Matthew 12:1,2

The entire passage following these verses are primarily about the concept of mercy vs. sacrifice, mercy being the greater of the two.  Jesus teaches about compassion, and where law must take a backseat to the expression of love and the true purpose of the Sabbath and the Law.  Jesus even healed someone that same day, and the Pharisees tried to call him on it saying, "isn't it unlawful to heal on the Sabbath!"  Crazy isn't it?

Let's focus a bit on the disposition of the Pharisees.  They are like that person described in the intro, always looking to find fault.  But that's not all!  These peeps tend not to take on responsibility nor put forth any ideas to help a cause or bring people closer to a solution!  It's perfect ;-D  They can never be at fault, but can always attempt to expose fault.  It's a recipe for breeding self-righteousness and conceit.  The effect on your character?  Let's just say, it's probably not the path you'd want it to take.

Instead, let's endeavor to focus on being constructive!  That's how we all, together, can move forward as a people.  It is the building of on another up that elevates our quality life, both tangibly and intangibly.  And it's that intangible stuff that makes that quality light years better!  Because in this scenario, you know that your fellow man or woman is actually looking out for you.  And that makes all the difference.  Let's embrace compassion, for compassion with a mix of passion accelerates progress.  Word.


  - patrick

Monday, November 02, 2009

Da Word... 230! The Purpose of More

Sometimes you wonder, why am I so fortunate to have received so much!  I'm speaking abstractly here, but it could apply to many items, both tangible and intangible.  It could be fortunate opportunities, great friends, an uncanny knack for something in a particular area, intelligence, social "karma", and more.  Does it ever hit you, why me?  What is the purpose of more?

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
- 2 Corinthians 9:10,11

My man Paul is writing to the Corinthians and he's got tons of great knowledge to drop.  This is one of those great pieces.  In the verses surrounding, Paul is talking about generosity and giving to help the cause.  He talks about giving cheerfully, not begrudgingly.  He reminds them that Pops above supplies and it is up to us to be good stewards of what he has given.

Now there are many pretty sweeeeeeeeeeeeet things that happen when  we give. Good stuff.  But here we are talking about the purpose of more.  It says in these verses that the person who gives generously will be given even more!  It says that Pops who supplies the seed, will supply even more seed if we give that seed away.  So the path to more isn't hoarding, but sharing.  Go back and read that last sentence one more time. But why are we given more?  Now this part is pretty AWESOME!

We are given more so that we CAN be generous at EVERY possible opportunity!  We are given more so that we are enabled and empowered to enable and empower others!  And the result?  MASSIVE RIPPLE EFFECT BABY!  You have NO idea the lives being touched by your giving of what you have to enable another.  That one person could impact two. Those two could impact four, and BOOM!  The juice is loosed. Now imagine the repercussions if we instead hoard.... not good.

The purpose of more is to impact lives, to have a positive effect on our fellow men, women, and children.  The raising of the collective well being of all those around us by being selfless elevates the true quality of life and being of everyone.  And that, my friends, is when we start to really experience life!  Don't let it escape you!  You don't wanna miss it, trust me.  We are all blessed in unique ways, share it!  And watch as you are elevated ;-D


  - patrick