This is Probably the most important question you can ask in any relationship.

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Huck and Olivia Pope

Are you here for now or are you here to stay?

This one question can save you time, hard times and heart aches. Anyone who has any knowledge of relationships and succeeding in them would be the first to tell you that communication is key. Two people who can effectively communicate can make it through the majority of relationships issues.  The problem arise when the clear line of commination begins to become cluttered. A friendship, romantic relationship or even a business relationship must maintain an uncluttered line of communication. That way , expectations are clear and the parameters of the relationship are defined.

Most if not all of America tuned in to the Season premiere of the hit ABC show “Scandal”. I must admit, I was late to join the gladiators but I am now a full fledge “Gladiator”.  A quick  recap of the show: Olivia Pope played by Kerry Washington has moved away to a deserted yet beautiful island to get away from the hustle and bustle of her life as she knew it living in the nation’s capital. While doing so her team has since disbanded and all went their separate ways. Upon receiving news that “supposedly” one of her friends and former employees have died she decides to come out of hiding to plan a proper funeral for him. Its getting juicy isn’t it? I know!

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Upon returning to the nations capital Olivia Pope tries to assemble her team to work together on planning the funeral. She approaches another of her team members who goes by the name “Huck”, who is known for being straight forward and forth right. She begins to start a conversation and Huck asks her something that cuts right to the chase and clearly would  define the rest of the conversation. He asks. “Are you here to stay or are you here for now”?

How many times in our lives have we put incorrect expectations on our relationships? Imagine how much differently that friendship split may have went if there were some tough conversations that we would have had from the beginning. Any type of relationship that will stand the test of time will have to be rooted in clear lines and defined parameters.

Knowing whether the people you allow in your life plan to stay for now or good, will save you heart ache and pain and will allow you to decides from the beginning if this is something that is worth your time and effort.

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So what I’m saying is…….

Be clear, be straight forward, announce your expectations of a friendship or relationship. Am I saying that there wont be instances where people will try to lead you to believe one thing and then do another? No. There is a chance that people will deceive you, but more often than not you will vet out all of the people with ill intentions  by asking a tough question. Are you here to stay in my life, or are you just here for now?

While you’re sitting there, the clock is ticking.

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There’s a brutal battle going on. A battle that’s being fought every single day of our lives. A battle that if we are not careful we won’t recognize that we are actually losing. This is the battle for our time. Our time equates to our productivity, and our productivity equates to our impact and effectiveness. You need time to hone your idea, your gift or your product. There are a few things that if we aren’t careful will cause us lose the battle with time and ultimately the war of impact and effectiveness. These things, if consumed at too high a level can be devastating.

Social Media

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In this 21st century probably one the biggest distractions to our lives is social media. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the opportunities that these various outlets present us with. The idea that we can connect with an old high school friend that we have lost track with is priceless. The fact that we can promote different business ventures and invite others to attend is awesome. However with this “blessing” of social media there is also I dark side and that’s the mismanagement of social media. The same outlet that can be a blessing can also be curse if mismanaged. Think about it, How much time do you spend watch a random video of someone who obviously knows that they have no music ability, stand there and belt out their best Whitney Houston note, off key and out of tune. How many times have you logged in only to find yourself watching something completely pointless. Before you know it, you’ve spent between 10-20 minutes per day watching and engaging in something that holds absolutely no value in helping propel you into building your brand, bank account or body (promoting healthy living). Just 10 minutes a day adds up to nearly an hour for a normal work week. What else could you be doing with an extra hour of positive production?

Television

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There’s a link between high television consumption and poverty.

There’s an old saying that goes “Do you know why Rolls Royce and Bentley’s don’t have commercials? Its because the people who can afford them don’t watch T.V”. That has never been truer. The time that is spent catching up on your favorite episode of__________ you fill in the blank could be time that you can be spent polishing or even perfecting your product or even yourself. Too often we flop down in front of the T.V not to watch a training dealing with advancing ourselves in some way, shape or form. We often would much rather engage in an hour of “not so Reality T.V”. Spending hours a week feeding our eyes, ears and minds things that are totally contrary to where we all want to be is counterproductive at best. There is a place for entertainment in life however there is a link between high television consumption and poverty. Beware of what you watch.

Dead end relationships

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I like to say that your “Network can determine your Net worth”. Who you are connected to speaks volumes about where you ae going in life. Your surroundings will either push you to greatness or pull you further from greatness. We all can attest to the possibility of you getting in trouble increases greatly when engaged in a relationship with a person or people who have no good intentions. My suggestion is simple. Evaluate and communicate. Evaluate your friendships and decide whether this is a mutually beneficial relationship in which you both are enjoying the friendship at the same time pushing each other to greater. Lastly communicate, if you decide that this relationship is draining out of you the energy that’s needed to be applied in the area of your purpose, destiny or professional career.

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So what I’m saying is…

Imagine if we saw someone with a match and gasoline. In front of him is a pile of $100 bills and he is taking each bill lighting them one by one watching them go up in flames. We would be livid! We would say, “ how could this man stand there and burn up all of that money. Doesn’t he know how hard it is to make that much money. Well friends that is exactly what im saying to you. Don’t sit there and slowly burn up the time you have engaged in pointless things. Make the moments matter. Unlike money you dont get an opportunity to “earn more” each week. Time is our most precious commodity, stop wasting it. You’ve got lives to change!

Is There a Shortage of Spiritual Fathers?

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While speaking with several other young pastors recently regarding marriage and ministry, We stumbled upon a subject that I believe has not received enough recognition in the local church. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years then you would know the great influx of young preachers and pastors that are sprouting up. Now a days its not uncommon to see a 26 or 27 year old pastor of a church. Years ago that just wasn’t the norm. I believe its a wonderful thing that so many “younger people” that are accepting the call to step into leadership on a pastoral level. These young preachers are undoubtedly gifted and unashamedly zealous. This is a great thing!

 

On the flip side as I begin to speak further with this group of young preachers and pastors, I noticed a reoccurring theme. That theme was that neither of the individuals involved in the discussion had someone that they considered to be their spiritual father. Years ago to not have a spiritual father would almost be something punishable by stoning. Relax its just a joke. However whats not funny is that this theme is not exclusive to these individuals.

 

The body of Christ is seeing a increase of churches, an increase of membership an increase of participation but a decrease in spiritual fathers. Which begs the question, Is there a shortage of spiritual fathers, or a shortage of submissive sons?

 

When asked why it is that there seems to be a shortage of spiritual fathers, the answers varied. Some stated that the pastor that they were under attempted to hold hem hostage and didn’t want to see them launch out into their own ministry. Some said that they don’t desire to have a ministry that is in the same vein of the church or denomination that they came out of. Some said that they don’t trust the integrity and lifestyle of many of the bishops/pastors, this mistrust is partly due to past church hurt and things seen while serving under that former pastor.

 

At the end of the day I don’t know that we will ever be able to pinpoint exactly while it is that we have an influx of young preachers but a shortage of spiritual fathers.

 

Could it be that the young preachers of today are rambunctious and unwilling to be submissive?

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Is this new wave of fatherless pastors and preachers healthy?

 

Is  not having a spiritual father/mother a bad thing?

 

Is there a shortage of spiritual fathers or a shortage of submissive sons?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Excuse me, Can you Please Stop Interrupting Your Success?

Joey Foster:

Leaders, must read!!

Originally posted on Honest Leadership™:

Business Man Talking to Himself The one thing I find many of my clients and colleagues have in common is excuses. I often hear of goals, life objectives and hopeful achievements during our conversations and when I pose the question inquiring about the action behind the goal, I receive a slew of reasons why they haven’t achieved them.

I’ve found that generally it’s not other people getting in the way of our success, its us!

We limit our opportunities with poor excuses of why we didn’t seize them. Instead of going the extra mile to accomplish something, we delay and procrastinate. We allow unimportant things to take our attention away from our mission and goals. We overlook, we compromise and we choose to find other reasons to describe our clear lack of motivation. I know this because I too have been subjected to what I’ve labeled as “self-interference”. I define self-interference as the…

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Good Leadership is not About Being Right

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Originally posted on Honest Leadership™:

Im-Right “Being right means nothing unless you’re the one that holds the cards.” That is what a great boss once told me. He learned that after being fired from a prestigious law firm after arguing with his boss over who was right. His boss said to him “You know what, your right – and you’re fired!” I later discovered that we never really hold all the cards. Even when we own our own companies, we are still at the mercy of our loyal customers our brand and those we hope to gain valuable relationships with in the future. Good leadership is not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.

A good leader understands and value in making mistakes. Being wrong is a humbling experience that teaches us what not to do the next time. Leadership doesn’t require you to know everything, rather it requires you know how to find the…

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THAT CUBICLE IS GOING TO KILL YOU!

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America we have a problem. No………….. An epidemic of mass proportions on our hands. The death toll is literally rising every minute of everyday.

People are dying right in front of our very eyes and we aren’t doing anything to stop it.Congress congratulates it and the Senate supports it. However CEO’s disdain it and Entrepreneurs shun it.

Everyday there are nearly 40 million workings Americans that wake up at ungodly hours of the morning, risking their life driving while half asleep on dangerous highways, all to make it to their “Coffin” also known as their “Cubicle”. I wont even go into the startling resemblances that Cubicles and Jail cells have or even worst think about cubicles and cemeteries. OOOooooo(insert cheesy 1980’s scary music effect) Scary isn’t it?

Let’s look at this, We sit in a cubicle and stare at a computer for 8 to 9 hours, while dreaming about possibly doing something that we would actually at least need a pulse to do, go home, go to sleep and do it all over again. We’re not able to go anywhere, with the exception of that one hour that the “warden” I mean the “company” allows us to. Sounds like recess huh, or a reward for good behavior? You hardly want to get to know the person beside you because well, they’re just as miserable as you are. Every conversation almost sounds like “Hey, what are you in for?”  Meanwhile your God given purpose is being smothered by piles of meaningless paperwork and the smell of burnt coffee from the break room. Listen to me, “THAT CUBICLE IS INCARCERATING YOUR PURPOSE AND KILLING YOUR DREAM“.

Do you believe that that’s what you were created to do?

Now I understand that we all have responsibilities and above all we should satisfy those. However the question I pose is, If all you’re living to do is fulfill responsibilities, are you simply surviving or are you thriving“. Those who only survive dread waking up every morning because they know that their day isn’t filled with anything purposeful. Those who thrive, wake up with a sense of purpose and passion, ready to take on the world.

The “kryptonite” to you thriving is “stagnation”.

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What do cubicle represent? A place where you SIT, STAY and STARE all day long.  Sitting in one place, Staying there all day and Staring at a screen. Now if those three skills were the missing links to wealth, health and wholeness then there would be nearly 40 million more people successful and thriving individuals. I want to suggest to you that those are antithetical to all things that are PURPOSE.

So now I cry out to you like a friend who sees a wild animal behind you…..RUNNNNNNNNN!!!!! THAT CUBICLE IS GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!

Don’t let it!

I know you have a passion.Pursue it.

I know you have a Dream. Don’t detour from it.

You don’t have to simply survive, you can THRIVE!


 

What are some other things that we don’t realize that are hindering us from pursuing purpose?

The Life Behind the “LIKES”

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Since the Boom of Social media in the early 2000’s, many have speculated that the face to face interaction between individuals have dwindled. Many sociologists have stated that human beings are less social than we were, say 30 years ago. In a time where families are text messaging each other while in the same house and Children and adults alike have their faces glued to the smart phone or tablet. One thing we for sure no one can seem to not engage in the various social media outlets. Whether it’s Facebook, Social cam, twitter etc. It seems that there is now more than ever an assertive effort to connect and communicate with each other. So I have respectfully disagree with some who state that this generation is lack the communicational skills. It’s not that we lack the skills to communicate; I believe the way in which we do so is not like anything this world has never seen before. Right, wrong or indifferent, the communication is unique to say the least.
In the era of Status updates, retweets and Shares, this generation has found a way to communicate not merely through verbal communication. A form of communication has emerged through us co-signing our agreement or disagreement with a person or point of view through the infamous “Like” button. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what that is, Its works like this. If I were to post a statement via Facebook stating my opinion on a particular subject, underneath that post there is an option for you to click the “like” button. In doing so you have said that you are in agreement with the statement that I wrote. Simple enough right? Wrong! You see now its not as simple as that, now a days for many, its not merely “liking” a status. Its reported that 79% of people trust online reviews and social media opinions more than they do person to person contact. Some have equated “liking” a status to being in total agreement with the person who wrote it , their morals and values as well as with their character. Interesting right? So now there are some individuals who will not “like” a status, post or tweet simply because they believe that other individuals may believe that they are in agreement with something this person may have said or will do in the future. Confusing huh?

If that’s not confusing enough, there are some people who “like” a status even though dislike the status. They are merely “liking” the status to let the person who wrote the status know that they have seen it and disapprove of it, assuming the person who wrote it already knows the way that he/she feels about that situation or update. For example, a couple that just experienced a break up. So the boyfriend goes online and updates his status saying “It feels good to be starting a chapter in life”, innocent enough right? Wrong! So the girlfriend goes and “likes” the status, Not because she “likes” the status but simply to let the boyfriend know that she has seen the status and that she knows he is referring to their situation and she does not “like” that post. Now you can’t tell me that that’s not complicated communication.
Social media has amongst other things empowered the individuals to convey what they genuinely feel without having to verbally speak it. Some individuals ration out their “likes”, so they can’t give all of their likes away because they understand that others will look at the fact that someone “liked” several pictures from one person and from that, those outside individuals will draw certain conclusions about the relationship between the two people.
I’m of the school of thought that if I “like” a picture or post, its simply that. There’s no thought into who the person that posted it believes or their moral system. Maybe I’m alone in that thinking who knows.
The “Like” button has gained so much acclaim and criticism that I don’t even think the creators behind it imagined it would. We didn’t even get into the fact that others will investigate not only your page, but your “likes” as if what you liked gives us a peek into who you are. That may or may not be true, but one thing that is true is, that your ability to endorse or agree with a particular posting weighs way heavier than anybody could have think dreamed or imagine. “Like” it or not, going forward as we interact in this booming social media generation, one word of advice I would offer, for clarity purposes is, to “like” what you “like” regardless of if anyone else “likes” it,but understand that people are always watching because there is a life behind the “likes”.

Throwback “Remember When”

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Remember when you were about 5 or 6 years old and your mom or dad would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Remember what you said? Doctor, Police officer, Lawyer, Ballerina, Actor, Singer, Business owner.

Remember how you would even answer that question with a straight face by saying “superman” or “wonder woman”?

Remember how you would practice for hours and pretend that you will  hit that last second shot in a basketball game, or come in 1st place in that dance competition?

Remember how no one could convince you that you couldn’t be that super human hero?

Remember how you were dead set on being known as something great? Remember that?

What happened………………….

What happened in life that made you stay down where you got knocked down?

What happened to you then, and now you’re still emotionally limping from an incident in your past?

What happened to that drive you had?

What happened to that strong will you had that no one was going to talk you out of your dreams?

You were right!

No one talked you out of your dreams.

You talked yourself out of them.

But now I offer you the opportunity of a lifetime,

An opportunity to BECOME.

An Opportunity to “Be” who God created you to be.

An Opportunity to “Come” to your senses and start over.

An Opportunity to “Be” the dreamer you once were.

An opportunity to “Come” to life again.

I offer you an opportunity to start over.

Its a renewing, refreshing, revitalizing offer.

It’s an offer that unfortunately hasn’t be claimed by millions, but you can take advantage of.

The mere fact that you woke up this morning proof in and of its self that there is still life in you. There are still things for you to accomplish that will change someones life for the better.

Its an opportunity for a FRESH START.

Remember when you woke up everyday thinking this is going to be the day that your life changed forever?

Well it is….Go for it!

DREAM AGAIN.

1 Cor 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature, OLD things have passed away and behold all things are FRESH!