Faith Playlist (abridged)

KMB’s Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/21xfwmmk5ebp5diun3rpap7na/playlist/59DMVnFZmmd7J0r3uH0gMO?si=8Fosh05SQZm_-XvnqE_pxA

For anyone who didn’t see my last post, I wanted to share a faith diary in the form of a playlist. Every song has a story and as I listen, I reflect and remember what God has done for me and my family.

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The playlist is always changing and growing, as it seems that my faith has to grow as well. I hope your faith grows also.

Here is the link for the blog.

https://thoughtsofkmb.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/my-faith-playlist/

 

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My Faith Playlist

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Whatever you feed, grows. The same is true with faith. Someone once wrote “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing Good News from God.” That is why I listen to gospel and inspirational music, because it feeds my Faith and puts my fears to rest. So, I thought that with this entry, I would share some of the songs that have helped me along life’s journey.

Click here for KMB’s Faith Playlist on Spotify.

Quick disclaimer: I am not discounting  The Anglican Book of Common Praise or 203 from the Pentecostal Hymnal. I love such songs, and my roots run deep. The following are more or less diary of entries of low to high points in my life in the past 5 years. I hope the stories attached encourages someone.

  1. Lord, I Need You (Matt Maher). / Jesus, I need You (Hillsong Music) Image result for i need you matt maher chords
    It was 2015. I had just lost my job of 15 years, my wife and I were expecting our second baby, and I had no direction. What used to work for the past 10 years was redundant and I needed help. I hit rock bottom. I needed God.
  2. Made A Way (Travis Greene) – A New ThingImage result for made a way
    New years 2016. Isaiah 43 was the scripture that took root. “God will provide, but not though your old formula.” We would need to forget the old ways that you did things, because God would do things differently; things would still get done, but He would do it differently. It was clear that I hit a turning point in my life and things were going to be really different moving forward.  There is a story here involving debt and cash flow, but that will have to wait until another entry 🙂 .
  3. Good Good Father  (Chris Tomlin)Good Good FatherNow ushered into a new way of thinking, I became open to different possibilities of work. I was mentored into something new, but encountered failure. Despite disappointment, a peace entered my spirit along with the message: The Good Father will Provide.
  4. Our Father (Hillsong)

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In the Summer of 2016, I got a call back to enter a new industry. Over the course of 3 months, I crushed sales targets and was offered a management position. The cry of my heart was gratitude to Our Father.  This song was on the radio and I couldn’t get it out and it has been with me ever since.

5. BIG (Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Int’l)

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I never expected this song to hit my play list. I was getting ready to settle into a job that didn’t pay enough, but for the sake of my family, I continued. I got a call from another company then had a meeting and a job offer with a raise and a premium to work the late shift. I never expected this blessing, and was only starting to realize how BIG God truly is.

6. Waymaker – (Pentecostals Of Alexandria)
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In a third and different industry, I set to work at my new office. People were saying that I was over qualified for the job. I was too nice, too helpful, and incredibly in tune with the clients. I put numbers on the board that year, being top salesperson two months in a row, but I was getting the feeling it was time to go. I prayed and asked God what to do next. I felt the extreme urge to apply to an insurance agency. I sent off the resume and was called a week later for an interview. I went to the meetings, and it felt promising. A job offer came 8 days later. The writing was on the wall. God had made a way for me. I was to leave this place and return to my old industry.

7. Humble (Just Pierre)

I was back in my old industry again, doing what I felt i was meant to do. I did the job well and my client feedback reinforced that, but management had a way of doing things that was different from the way that I was trained to do things. I would still be able to complete the tasks and do the sales, but the processes and procedures were not done in the particular way that the manager wanted it done. There were conflicts where I could have emotionally acted out, but I had to restrain myself and respect the chain of command. An apprentice is not greater than his teacher, and the treatment I received had to be met with humility. Kendrick Lamar wrote a song called “Humble” and parodied  with “Jesus twist” by gospel artist Just Pierre.

During this time I was mentored with the love and fatherly support of a wise soul who will go Nameless. Nameless reminded me that it did not matter if I was not liked by the management, but that I do my job the best way I knew how. Just be humble and know that Your Time will come. If you are reading this, Nameless: may God bless you. Maktub.

8. Do It Again (Elevation Worship)
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Our mortgage was up for renewal in 2018 and it didn’t look good. With the income shifts, the bank suggested foreclosure, but we had a fighter in our corner. By what seemed like a miracle, we got the approval at a higher rate and we knew that it would be a hard 12 months, but He brought us to this, and He would bring us through it.

9. There is a Cloud (Elevation)

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The mortgage issue seemed to be behind us, but we were behind on our utilities. The utility company cut the power that summer, and my wife and children sat with me in that cold dark house. It took every ounce of inner strength within me not to weep in front of them. But I knew somewhere there was a Cloud the size of a man’s hand, and we were to benefit from it. In an amazing act of only what I could call Divine Intervention, a minister from our congregation called a spontaneous collection for our family. We did not tell anyone how tight things were and we were silent about the struggle we endured. The amount collected was just enough to pay the entire outstanding balance with a little left over to buy the kids ice cream.

10. King of My Heart (Sarah McMillan , Bethel Music)
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The gas came on right before we got terrible weather in Calgary. And while we had heat, power, food, and shelter, work got worse. My work environment became so toxic that I started every morning with anxiety and every evening in tears. It got so bad that one day on my way to work, I got off the bus and urinated myself in consternation. I was released without cause several months later. As I was shuttled home by taxi that cloudy Thursday, I wondered how could this possibly be the Will of God. I was upset and heartbroken, and felt defeated. But somehow in the back of my mind, I know He wouldn’t let me down.

11. Tye Tribbett – The African Worship Medley

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My wife was sick and in and out of the hospital over the past several years after my first lay off in 2015. I was hired on to work with another firm in 2019, but there was a burden as my wife’s had issues with her breathing and her intestine that no one could figure out. It was really bad, but thankfully it wasn’t cancerous. She started a new exercise lifestyle that put me to shame as a former track athlete. But one evening after dinner, she began vomiting violently. She was admitted into hospital and it turned out to be her appendix. In the midst of this all I heard was “Thank you, Jesus” sung over and over again. My wife had surgery to remove the appendix, and ever since then she has been whole. Things had to go from worse to rotten before they got better-best. God gets the glory for this one.

12. Our God Medley (Jonathan Nelson) 

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For me this is “The Mortgage Song”. It was up for renewal again, and this time we thought that we had to move and sell the house. I was trapped in fear because I didn’t know what would happen to us afterward. I basically gave up. Then I found out we were not going to move at all. I got an email from a former pastor and wife who had been praying over us, who advised that the burden was about to be lifted. Two days later, the mortgage broker advised us of the best rate yet. I did not need to be afraid after all.

13. See a Victory (Elevation Worship)

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I received a phone call from across the continent out of nowhere from a friend, that reminded me that with every battle I encounter, I have no right to be concerned and that Victory will come. I’m convinced that it was prophetic. Because of my wife’s surgery,  money had run out and the creditors came calling. I was forced to remember what I was told and prayed for the answer. I had no idea how the bills were going to be paid. Seemingly out of no where we received a spontaneous deposit to our bank account that lightened the financial burden and the next day a message from a former client needing paid services. When I thought that we had lost, we saw a Victory. Hashtag 2020 vision.

14. Excess Love (Mercy Chinwo & JJ Hairison)
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This one is a cry of exultation. I don’t identify as Nigerian or African-American, but it doesn’t matter, because my cry is the same: “Jesus, you love me too much (Oh!).”

15. Holy is Our God (Zum Sanctus, Deutsche Messe)

I learned not to let my emotions over power what I know when it comes to faith. It’s easy to get lost in hype if you win a battle. This old German hymn grounds me and reminds me that He is always God in spite of what I want. He was God long before I came and will be God long after I am gone.

Translation:

Holy, holy, holy, Holy is the Lord! 

Holy, holy, holy, Only He is holy! 

He who never started, He who was always

Eternal is and prevails, Same as always.

Amen.

“It is a Process”

We ask ourselves, “Why does the bottom constantly fall out?” We go along with our lives we encounter a situation, somehow overcome it, and start to recover. And just as we think that we can take a breather, the bottom falls out again. This process continues over and over again so that we have an overwhelming arc of frustration and wonder when it will ever end, so we end up breathless and winded.

I spoke to a friend who reminded me that while God is touched by the feelings of our infirmities and empathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15), but He also doesn’t care about the temporary suffering because He knows that we will bounce back and we will revel in his glory once the suffering is over (Romans 8:18).

Now you may say that it is insensitive for me to say “God doesn’t care as I suffer…”, He does, but He knows that the small amount of pain now is worth the abundance of gain in the time to come. Let me give you an example: working out. It hurts to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning (because we love our sleep), just to run around the block 2 times in spite of the stitch in your side and the pain in your knees. We do push ups and squats even though there is a burning in our muscles and a soreness in the joints. We skip the extra helping at dinner and drink water, even though we miss the taste of soda pop. And we do this over and over and over again for a week, a month, 6 months.

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We then notice that our breathing has improved, we can walk stairs without losing our breath, and those pants you bought years back now needs a belt to stay up. We suffered with routine, uncomfortable movements and a lifestyle change and we end up with loss of weight and better health.

God sees the fit you at the end of those 6 months and is not concerned about the huffing and gentle wheezing, the sweat in your eyes, and the headache during your work out (nor is he concerned about how bad you look in sweats/yoga pants). God sees your future with a fitter and better you.

source: http://blog.anytimefitness.com/tag/success-story/

God allows things to happen to us in our lives that may seem niggling and annoying, but they help to shape our character and lead us into greater growth for ourselves and those around us. I have found that there are things that happen than are beyond our control in life that we cannot help or keep from happening that we end up responding to. The way that we respond to it determines that kind of person we become as a result of it.

Consider the story of the boulder: A traveler is walking to a city along a single country road. There’s a deep drop to death on one side and a sheer mountain on the other side. Suddenly, there is an avalanche and a boulder falls lands right in front of him. He can neither go left or right, and going backward is not an option, he must continue past this boulder and has no choice but to push. It eventually starts to budge, but only after much pushing and effort.

source: http://akosifelicity.weebly.com/myblog/push

 

The traveler has two choices as he pushes: 1) gripe and complain that the rock doesn’t move and whine that he needs to get to his destination by X o’clock and that the boulder is souring his plans, or 2) look at the strength in his limbs and back he gains from pushing and finds virtue in being patient for the stone to gradually move out of the way so he can continue.

It’s about perspective and knowing that this is not the end.

In our life, we seem to save up for that kitchen re-modelling that we have wanted so badly, and then the roof needs repair so that the money goes to that. Then, we are all about that meat supreme pizza and craft beer on weekends, but then the doctor calls us with a prescription and orders to cut back on high cholesterol and to exercise more. This constant back and forth is meant to regulate us and keep us progressing in the right direction.

God is funny, because while He intervenes in nonspecific and wondrous ways, He also works in us as we interact with each other and relay courage to each other through our experiences. These experiences are necessary for our ministries to each other, our spouses, and people in our reach, whether they be the guy on the bus, your neighbor down the road or a random person half way across the globe who decides to like your Instagram pic or tweet. We encounter hardships in life: that one exam that we can’t seem to get the passing grade on, that bill that needs to be paid or the power will be cut, or news from the doctor that there is a growth that they need to watch or work on. But we take these giants on one day at a time and know that these hard days will not always be like this.

 

Source: Discern Magazine: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/family/whos-looking-up-to-you/

Someone once told me:

You are standing on solid earth, suspended in space, rotating on an axis…” Further, God made that set up, then made you, and “failure” is not in His vocabulary. If he did all that and you are in His Care, why should you be concerned? It is to us to look up out of our frustration and see the possibilities of greatness.

I remember what I went through over the last little while. and can say this:

The bills GOt paiD.
The mortGage gOt reneweD.
I GraduateD the cOurse.
My spOuse Got better and is healeD.
The kiDdOs are alriGht.
MOm and Dad are Going to be fine.

But this was no magic of my own doing. In each of the above sentences, GOD Almighty was in the middle of it all through the mercy of a stranger, or help of a friend. Miracles happen in our life time, and although it is hard to glimpse Him at times I have found that God was/is in everything mentioned above. And when we have overcome, it was not I, but God that had turned that evil for good, and that truly takes my breath away.

When someone asks me “What’s good?”

Perhaps I am not the most telling product of the Hip Hop Culture and perhaps I am not the most dope with the greatest street cred, but when someone asks me a question, my first inclination is to answer it. The question “what’s good?” is no different.

“What” is an interrogative pronoun and one of the Five Ws of journalism (Who, Where, When, and Why being the other four). So when I see someone or get a message from someone and they blurb “what’s good, man?” I want to answer but am never really sure HOW to answer that question. Are they being literal or are they being polite in their own way? Through trial and error, the following is what I have encountered in the past as a closet intellectual (because I seem to have a problem not living in my head or in my thoughts) all have lead to some pretty interesting responses.

When someone says “what’s good”, I see it as a multiple choice exam with 4 choices within my mind:

A) Answer “Nothing much, you?” .

This is the easiest deflection but at the same time, this may not be true as there is much good in the world and with me, even though my perspective may be off that day. Also to say “nothing much” is lended from the equally popular conversational ice breaker “Whats up”. The “you?” offers the courtesy to ask the speaker their own question and see how they answer it, which may then mete out the tone of the coming conversation you’re about to have. Now if you wish to take the question on literally, be prepared to wrestle with them the inevitable question of “what is goodness” which can be fun and enlightening, or annoying and head splitting. But so far anyone who has asked me, “what’s good, tho [sic] ” is rarely open to existential debate.

B) Say “I’m fine, how are you?”.

This is very similar to A, except you might come across as someone from a completely different era. If you are an elder millennial like myself and speaking with younger millennials or post-millennials, you can be perceived as the old guy in the group, which could close some doors for you. You are not using the same cultural idiom of the asker and you will come across as old, out of place or a geek. But if you are at ease in your own skin, speaking this way will come naturally and if you have some charm, your answer will not be a hang up for long. Again, it’s a casual answer meant to deflect the question back to the person asking it and allowing them to determine the tempo and tone of your conversation.

C) “God is, and I try to be.”

This is one of the most out-there-answers that I could come up with and an existential question begs to be answered which may not be depending on the respondent’s feeling, religious inclinations or intellectual tendencies. This is a leading answer that may prove one of three things:

  1. I am a God conscious person and a literalist and in the next 3 minutes I can be sized up as not fun and left alone to nurse my drink for the continuation of the party
  2. I’m a religious nut that needs to be left alone and if anyone nearby is an atheist or a non theist they are to be offended and keep their distance from the “Jesus Freak”
  3. I am an arsehole who is poking fun at someone that I just met and should be avoided at all costs (This in fact may not be the case, but from experience I have been perceived this way because of my responses in the past to some casual questions at a gathering because I was being far too literal).

In truth, I only use this choice if I am amongst the religious type who understand the undercurrent of the meaning of Goodness and wish to chat in that vein with them. OR if I am not in the mood to be at the party and want to encourage others to be standoffish or offended so that I have a excuse to go home early and spend the rest of the night snuggling with my theology texts.

D) Shrug, smile and say nothing.

Here is the easiest response that has the most promise. You can think with the combination of A B or C in your head and not commit to any of the above. Dismiss “what’s good” as a poorly worded greeting that is an acknowledgment of your presence, but not begging for full divulgence on what exactly is good and you don’t come across as a presumptuous prig who takes himself too seriously. Answer D is the best way to win friends and meet new people. In truth, the question “what’s good” is not a question, but is an opening to a dialogue in an attempt to break the ice. I can go on about how silly the phrase “what’s good” is and how it works against a conversation in a lateral sense but I didn’t make it up. It’s out there and being used by people of all walks of life. So it’s use is not a detraction when directed to you, but it means that you are being acknowledged and invited to participate in a conversation, and that is better than being ignored and not being talked to at all.

Them: “Kanye got saved!”, Me: “Slow down.”

September 17, 2019

Two weeks ago, Kim Kardashian-West tells The View that her husband Kanye West is “Born Again, saved by Christ.” He was recently at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (www.newbirth.org) performing and leading worship for thousands in attendance, and millions watching online.
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RE: Kanye West born again. I don’t buy it.

Now before I begin, I will say that a walk with God through Christ is a PERSONAL experience, and because I don’t see you wearing a tonsure, a robe, holding a rosary or a bible doesn’t mean that I don’t think that you are saved from sin. Some people live salvation very privately and then come out over time. This may be the same with the subject mentioned, and I pray that he is sincere. But like any Christian, I have my doubts.

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For the past decades Kanye West was up and down the world lighting up arenas and shocking fans and critics alike with his edgy lyrics and his views on God and spirituality. He married into one of the most beautiful (and controversial) reality stars families in the world, shook hands and praised arguably the most hated American president in recent memory, and has been vitriolically outspoken to anyone who disagreed with his views. His tremendous talent has rocketed his popularity to the point that he changed his stage name to be on par with a religious icon and (in my opinion and faith) the Saviour of The World.

He was doing his “I am Yesus, I am YE” bit all up until 2018. Then, on first Sunday of 2019, he starts doing gospel renditions of his songs and collaborating with Gospel recording artists through out the year, and has an album scheduled to come out next week.

Coincidence? I think not. As wrestling fans would say “this is a work”.

Kanye West is a forward thinking genius that wants to influence ALL genres.

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I know the rest of the world is buzzing about “Kanye’s saved now.” But remember that we all thought he was saved in 2004 when he pushed “Jesus Walks” from his The College Dropout Album. But he dispelled that thinking with his continuous outlandish behaviour and edgy statements over the past decade and a half. Now 15 years later, some Christians are in a tizzy saying that he’s now (re-) found Christ and going to one of the Biggest Independent Baptist Churches in America. But I do not think that this is a mistake, but it is a planned move to push his career and influence into the next level so that everyone every where knows the name Kanye.

Do you remember Snoop Dogg: the hip hop icon? He recently transformed into Snoop Lion the conscious roots oriented Jamaican influenced reggae artist. He then evolved into Brother Snoop who collaborated with mainstream gospel greats to spread his name and influence among Christians? And while Snoop no longer does reggae and is not presently active in the Gospel scene, he is accepted with open arms in both circles, because his presence was felt.

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This is the same thing.

The funny thing with artists is that they don’t like to be pigeon holed into doing just one thing and re-hashing the same performance over and over again. Artists are creative souls and they like to look at common things from different angles and create. They must have outlets to express their outlooks on the world. It’s wasn’t enough for Michelangelo to simply paint, but he liked to sculpt as well. Elvis Prestley not only sang and danced, but acted (poorly) in movies and was technically a US Veteran. West is not just a black kid from Chicago that loves black music and pulled himself from the gutter. That’s a boring story-  he wants to leave a legacy about a black musician who rose up, was inspired by greatness, became great and touched all aspects of pop culture.

Even me writing this article is doing what Kanye wants on some level. I haven’t blogged in months, and with the recent announcement of his life change and studio project, I AM DEDICATING TIME TO WRITE ABOUT KANYE WEST. His influence is salient. And by speaking as a critic, I am also unwittingly spreading the “gospel of Kanye West”. You cannot deny that genius.

But based on what I have seen of him in the past 15-20 years, I have grown to like only a handful of things from Mr. Kanye West. And like alcohol and cannabis that can both help and hurt a person, I know my limits, and if you don’t mind, I’ll keep my distance.

“Your Gift will put you before Great Men.”

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I took a walk during my lunch break and, as I often do, I called my wife to check  on her day. As I was walking and talking with her I happened upon a middle aged couple who seemed lost. The gentleman looked up and looked me in the eye, and said “Excuse me, can you help us?”
I asked my wife to hang on and addressed him, “Yes, sir. How can I help you?”
“Do you know how to get to the Wal-Mart from here?” He asked.
His accent was not native to Southern Alberta.
“That would be in Deerfoot Meadows, about 3 km from here.”
“Is that within walking distance?” he asked.
“You may have to take the bus,” I responded. “Over there.”
“What about the Marshalls?” His wife asked.
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My wife chimed in my ear through Bluetooth, “If you guys are near the train station you can ask the operators for directions.”
I relayed the helpful advice from The Missus, and offered to walk with them to the nearby train station. We were headed in the same direction, so it was no trouble. I walked together with the couple. I asked my wife to call her back, and she understandably consented. As we walked, the Gentleman asked me where I was from. I told him that I am Canadian born, but the child of Jamaican immigrants that made Canada their home in the 1970’s. He then asked me to ask him where he was from.
“El Salvador?”
“No.”
“Mexico?”
“No”
We got to the bus terminal and approached a bus driver.
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“Ask him how to get to the stores”, asked the Gentleman, “and I will tell you where we are from.”
I spoke to the bus operator how to get to the shops, but he was rather short with me. “That bus there takes you to the Wal-Mart, and one of those buses around the corner will take you to the Marshalls.”
In spite of the driver’s tone, I thanked him, and I continued to walk with the couple. The Gentleman thanked me for being so available.
“I am here to help.” I heard myself say.
He smiled.
“So, where are you from?” I asked, hoping to know more about my travelling companions.
“Guess,” The Gentleman smiled. His wife started to chuckle.
“Columbia”
“Ha, ha , ha. No. Try the other side of the world.”
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“Australia”
“Try a place more ancient? The Middle East, perhaps.”
“UAE? Lebanon? Israel.. no wait, not Israel she became a nation in the 60’s.” my words stumbled out as I was lost in thought.
The couple laughed. It was clear that I was this afternoon’s entertainment, but I didn’t mind.
“We built the pyramids.” he hinted
“Oh, gosh. Egypt.” I murmured.
They could not stop their laughter.
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As we continued on, I saw a glint of metal on his right hand.
“I see that you have a scholars ring,” I remarked. “Are you affiliated with a university?”
“No, I am with the Navy,” he commented.
“Oh my. Well, you certainly have my respect, sir.” I responded. “I am afraid that I would not be cut out for the military.”
“I disagree,” the Gentleman said, “you would be a great military person. You are friendly, speak well and clearly, you stand upright and are helpful and respectful.”
This was high praise from a stranger who only knew me for five minutes. I felt like God was telling me something…
“Thank you. You’re very kind, sir.”
We got to the bus stop and I was about to instruct them to wait for the next bus, and wish them well when something said to me “Drive them.”
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In my life experience, I learned that it is best to listen when that Small Voice speaks.
So I offered them a ride to the Marshalls, and they accepted. I took them to my car which was a gift from my boss after accepting my position at my current place of employment.
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For the 4 minute drive, we talked about marriage, children, and clean living. I remember saying “My wife and I believe in saving the mystery until marriage and then growing together as a couple.” He agreed with me and said that the traditions an customs were very much the same back home in Egypt.
When we got to the destination, he asked me my name.
“My name is Ken, short for Kenneth. Yours?”
“It is easy to remember.” said the Gentleman. I am Aladdin.”
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“As in the story of the genie?” I remarked.
“Yes, but I have no lamp.” Aladdin chuckled.
I laughed, “Perhaps, but it is clear to me that I am here to serve you and grant your wishes.”
He sheepishly smiled, and gave me his business card. I shook hands with him and his wife and we parted ways.
It turns out Mr. Aladdin is a Navy Commodore, deputy chief of civil affairs recently promoted to Admiral, here on holiday.
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Humbled, I remembered a bible verse that I once read, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16). Then came a flurry of thoughts.
If I had not been released from my prior occupation, I would not have ended up at my current employer. If I had not taken that position, I would not have wound up with that car as a gift. If I did not have that car, I could not be a blessing to Aladdin and his wife, nor would I realize that he was a high ranking military official spending time and getting help from poor.. little… insignificant me.
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I felt like The Finger of The Divine touched me directly that day.
I then remembered about a reading from a book called “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo about a young man who was willing to change everything in his life just to get to Egypt and journey to see the pyramids.
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In the book, the writer dealt with the concept of determinism, summed up in a single word “maktub“, an Arabic word meaning “It is written“. In short, given certain initial conditions, everything that ensues is bound to happen as it does and in no other possible way; thus, nothing in nature is contingent, nor is there any room for us to do other wise.
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It is written. God wills it. Where I am is exactly where I am meant to be. And God cares for me.
So in gratefulness, I wept.
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The Inner Critic of the Faithful

As you celebrate and thrive

I scrimp and I cry just getting by

As you celebrate your plenty

I pray for just more than empty

My heart bleeds as you rejoice

And as you cry out I hold my voice

There MUST be a such thing as “seasons”,

or God is dead and I am

A fool.

Nuggets of wisdom from my mentor

  1. You already have everything you need.
  2. Pray to God. Ask Him for strength.
  3. You may not be your boss’ favorite, but you don’t have to be their favorite. What is important that you do the job as best as you can.
  4. It’s ok to be afraid or nervous; just don’t let fear paralyze you.
  5. Not everyone is a “(Your Name here) fan”, they don’t have to be, at the end of the day You are what matters.

One Day.

This past weekend, I was playing at a conference held by my local church, when I saw one of the older bishops who knew me from when I was a boy. I was so pleased to see him that after my set, I ran down to greet him. He was approaching eighty and was bent over, shaky and weak, but he still recognized me, and with that same charming smile, accepted my greeting and shared his time with me.

He asked how I was doing. I paused to respond with only what was relevant and succinct: “We’re not There yet but we’re getting There.” He smiled knowingly and said “good good” but then shared something with me that was very profound.

“Son, ” The Bishop said with a twinkle in his eye, “sometimes it only takes one day for everything to happen. Remember that God created the world in six days.”

I reflected on that. I remembered that in Genesis that it said it took six days for God to create the world and each day was profound. When God made dry land there was dirt, rocks and grass, lush vegetation and fruit bearing trees. And that was only the third day. Order was brought forth out of chaos in one “day”.

Now, there may be bible scholars and readers more learned than me that will declare that there is no way that one 24 hour day could have had all of that progress. Others may argue that the “day” is figurative, as 1000 years are as one day to God (Psalms 90:4) and it could easily been an eon. But the point to be drawn from this is that time may pass, but in hind sight that time is very small in comparison to the growth you have gained and especially when progress is accomplished in that time.

It is so important that though everything in your life may seem to mount as one catastrophe upon another; while you do your absolute best at a task or your job and there is always someone there to try to bring you down or point out your mistakes out of spite; you may get confirmation that you are in The Will of the Almighty and but every thing is topsy-turvy, know this: It can take one “day” and one incident where God orchestrates everything to be righted and everything comes together. All it takes is one day for the pieces to fall into place so that even your worst detractor will have to admit that something special beyond words happened.

This is how good our God is.

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