Looking Back, Moving Forward

It is that time again isn’t it? Time to review our renewal, measure our progress and reexamine the week that was here on “Becoming Today”.

So where to begin. How about on Monday as all our weeks here do. This past Monday brought us a discussion titled “The Return”.

It was one of those points when the time has arrived.

Aligned with purpose and intent it is time to return. 

It is a time of refocusing, renewing, revitalizing and yes returning; however not in the ways many claim to be hoping for.

Yes, the time has come to return.

To get back to living fully, but not like the common refrain we hear about getting back to normal. 

Those who long for the good old days of 2019, may perhaps be a bit askew when desiring to go back to a time when we lived in nation that was dealing with natural disasters, mass shootings, racial divisiveness that those who never lived through the “civil rights era” declared the worst ever in American history; as well as being “led” by a government so divided it literally shut down.

Doors were closed as the rhetoric heated up about building walls to keep people out, while workplaces, stores and entertainment venues were victims of mass shooting attacks ( 394 in that year alone) by lone gunmen targeting many times random people that were “unlike” them. 

Who wouldn’t?’, she says quite sarcastically, ‘want to get back to living like that?’.

No I’m not talking about having Sherman ask Mr. Peabody to set the wayback machine, rather “The Return” that is arriving is our chance to advance.

To go forward, lessons learned and refocus our “Becoming” on renewing and revitalizing all our lives for the betterment of the whole. 

It’s time to put the whiny rhetoric to bed and resume life as it was intended. 

To get up each day and approach things from a place of calm and peace, seeking wisdom and further enlightenment.

As we truly attempt to learn something new each day in our proverbial search for wisdom “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day”.

Return to the Source that created you, living a life of good intentions with renewed passion and a revitalized concern for your fellow human beings. 

Choose to return and declare your intentions, then you shall become empowered in “The Return”. 

Decide for this moment to be your catalyst. There is no time like the present for you to embark on the next level of this shared journey of “Becoming”. 

Know who you are. Plus what you would like to become, then return to the Source and see how it all works out, for before you were born he promised that in the end all things with Him, always end in all is well.

Take the action to decide to recommit to your return and watch this year of “+2” reemerge in blossoming and “Becoming”. 

We also  embarked on the third part of our series on Turning Point Toosdays.

Our discussions on this particular day of the week focus around how we can create a catalyst for our own growth, development and who we are “Becoming Today”.

What is our purpose? In determining that we can help to co-create a plan for heading along the right path. Afterall for every destination there is a right and wrong direction.

In trusting the timing and believing that what we want to achieve is possible we are exercising an essential aspect in supporting our purpose – faith. Defined as  confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, faith draws us closer to our motivation, our objective, our reason for doing whatever our individual outcome may be.

In doing so we need to simply ask and be receptive to the answer. Listen for that small still voice and know we do not need to be either an Apostle or a Prophet to receive the complete and unconditional love and protection of the Lord. 

HIs compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy and peace are not only available to each and every one of us, they are renewed fresh daily.

All you need to do is to accept his offer and Him. 

Return to the Source that created you, living a life of good intentions with renewed passion and a revitalized concern for your fellow human beings. 

Choose to return and declare your intentions, then you shall become empowered. 

Having made the decision for this moment to be your catalyst, let’s examine some steps to determine what purpose you are being called towards. 

 can not give you a definitive answer. No two people nor paths are identical. Your calling is unique, created expressly for you, even before you were formed in the womb. 

Though how we can go about determining our own purpose and path has shared attributes. 

To begin with we need to ask. How do we do that?  In prayer, consistently. 

Practice makes perfect. The old adage holds true especially when considering our daily commitments to ourselves. Just like your workout routine, think of prayer as an added form of exercise, in which the results are guaranteed.

Now for exercise to be effective, we know it has to be done earnestly and regularly. That’s why the first step in developing our prayer life is to continuously engage in it.

A strong well developed prayer life is truly the foundation for the arrival of nothing less than miracles along our shared paths.

Prayer is the process of “abiding in Him” ( John 15:4-5 ). 

When we participate in open, honest, steadfast prayer it is more than talking. It also involves listening. To pray involves listening with our hearts, for in doing so our Spirit is transformed. That is a time of joyous celebration and revelation that we are truly “Becoming”. 

Trusting Our Search, we are now three Wednesdays into our weekly search and rescue mission for wisdom.

In examining the “Rewards of Wisdom“  in Proverbs 3 we are urged to remain focused on the search and remember that integrity is integral. As it is written in verses 3 and 4, 

Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go,

    and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught.

    Let your life be shaped by integrity,[a]

    with truth written upon your heart.

That’s how you will find favor and understanding

    with both God and men—

    you will gain the reputation of living life well.

Being faithful, steadfast and forbearant is how you improve your journey with integrity. It also allows others to see the truth you live and aids in you being accepted for the person you truly are. 

With that in mind, then we can look at the next several lines, where there are some tips as to how to seek wisdom. Beginning with verse five, we read:

Wisdom’s Guidance

Trust in the Lord completely,

    and do not rely on your own opinions.

    With all your heart rely on him to guide you,

    and he will lead you in every decision you make.

Become intimate with him in whatever you do,

    and he will lead you wherever you go.[b]

Don’t think for a moment that you know it all,[c]

    for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion

    and avoid everything that’s wrong.

Then you will find the healing refreshment

    your body and spirit long for.[d]

So to seek wisdom we must first trust in the process. In this case that is putting your trust in God.Do it with all your heart, not your mind. Don’t overanalyze or attempt to outreason the statement. Your mind will p[lay tricks on you, but when you tune into your heart you can clearly hear the truth. 

Thursdays we continue our weekly series on the exploration of the 8 Points of Light that I came to understand through personal discovery and revelation during My Revival trip.

Last week our discussion tugged at the first petal as being Compassion. “A single act of compassion can change a person’s life forever.” Making it a very Becoming quality.

Just as important is treating all, including ourselves, with dignity.

When you have chosen to live with dignity, it means you are worthy of respect. That you have achieved a state of attitude, acceptance and caring that fosters a vision of you being worthy of being held in esteem, regarded as trustworthy and dare I say “Becoming”. 

Dignity requires us to be self-confident, value our self-worth, foster our self-esteem and always be loving towards ourselves, as well as to practice self-care.

There’s no skipping steps here. All these personal qualities work together, and we need all these tools to empower ourselves from within. When we have allowed and accepted these strengths to be firmly established then we can work towards assisting others to do the same. 

So in finding the true meaning of having a sense of dignity, we must comprehend that it starts with the qualities, values and beliefs which we hold and choose to share. Building a healthy sense of dignity is developed over time and requires patience. It is something that is easier said than done, though is quite achievable. 

Then how do you know if you’re living with dignity? First realize it is an ongoing process, changing, developing, growing (or declining) throughout our lives. It must be nourished. You must consciously seek to renew it regularly. 

Dignity is loving and appreciating yourself just as much as you are willing to love others. The truth is that it looks different in each of us. True dignity is a solid foundation you can rely upon everyday. It also cannot be taken away from you no matter the circumstances, challenges or obstacles you may encounter. 

I can hear some of you saying that having dignity is a lot like self respect. It is in part though there are some differences. 

Dignity and Respect are two words that often go together. The notable distinction is when we refer to them as being given to or shared with others. Dignity refers to the state of being worthy and honorable. Respect in part is defined as having an admiration for someone because of their qualities or achievements.

Dignity allows you to set boundaries to maintain your personal power and sense of identity. It also enables us to start living and stop simply existing. It will make your life more purposeful . It can give you a new reason to get up in the morning. It can be your jump start to “Becoming”.

Living with attitudes of being compassionate and empowering dignity allows us to transform our suffering, pain or pasts into productive, beneficial healing, growth and change.

At the time I planned this discussion I had no idea how timely it would turn out to be….

Fridays have become our free form days, as I randomly wander here and there sharing some observations and remarks that have been on my mind throughout the week.

Yesterday I found it ironic that after we spoke on Thursday,that  the need for dignity would be thrust into the headlines the very next day. 

History was made Friday as the first ever Black woman was confirmed for a seat on the United States Supreme Court. Ketanji Brown Jackson will accept her role later this year, following what at best can be described as some very contentious questioning.

Contentious is one of those apparently faux-politically correct words meant to sanitize the actions of the aggressors and lull us into complacency.

I say faux-politically correct because when things fall into this category they are not meant to help others rather use to divide people further and keep the truth from getting fully into the light.

I mean why bother to let people see what is really going on behind closed doors? How can that be helpful if it shows people the reality of a situation?

I of course am being very sarcastic here.

The words that should have been used were disrespectful, rude and undignified.

Politicians using the questioning period as a tool for nothing more than manufacturing sound bytes for their fundraising efforts is a travesty. It truly should be a crime.

I also found it somewhat disheartening that in the moment history was made so many so-called leaders literally turned their back on it. Not only did they oppose the nomination which is their prerogative, but to walk out in unison in an undignified  showing of their lack of respect for the process and thereby the American people was disgusting. 

I will point out that in the partisan effort to further show disdain for “We The People”, the Constitution and Judge Jackson, there was one beacon of light. 

Standing tall. 

Not feeling pressured to join his colleagues in their disrespectfulness, was Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

Romney was the only Republican recorded to not only applaud history but to remain in the room as it was celebrated. 

To me this was not only the right thing to do. 

I mean there was a time when the two parties could at least remain in the same room and show decorum towards one another, but the fact that it was Romney who chose to reflect the better nature of humanity is also important on many levels.

Without question throughout his life Mitt Romney has proven to be a public servant. A very devout man, he not only himself has served in positions of leadership within his church, but his father was called to be among the top leaders of their faith. Obviously lessons learned and blessings shared across the generations.

I salute him further for the courage and the statement made in him remaining in that room. History has shown his church at times has struggled with the roles and acceptance of both women and persons of color. Now today in this year of “+2” there he was set apart to honor and confirm his blessing upon someone who fits both of those categories. 

Thank you Mitt Romney for being true to your beliefs, faith, values and us the American people.

Those other elected representatives, including one who made the nation wait 16 minutes for him to arrive and showed up as if he was working a casual Friday, definitely need a refresher course in Dignity, which I had previously scheduled for yesterday. 

Isn’t it somehow ironic our conversation here was based upon “Illuminating 8.2: With Dignity”, while the complete obvious was on display for the entire world to see?

While we’re discussing reporting events of the day I also need to share these concerns.

There is a new “news” program that debuted just about two weeks ago. They’ve promised to share “both sides” of an issue as well as encountering the stories they choose to tell from a faith based perspective.

I was excited as I watched the 90- minute announcement of the program, enjoyed their extended first episode and then within 24 hours, the wheels fell off the cart. 

Suddenly there were changes in the on air titles of participants and now the main focus of the camera is not only limiting the broadcast to presenting people who he agrees with, he’s saying things like never before have we seen crowds of college students shutting things down because they oppose a view.

Really? 

Yes really. He reported this alarming fact last evening. 

To that I’d like to offer these images from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s…

Have we really forgotten the 1960’s? Are those claiming to be leaders really unaware of what happened then, which  in terms of the world, really was a very short time ago? Or do they believe you are so unaware and gullible that you will accept anything they say without question? 

No wonder so many of our headline breaking news issues are focused on issues including unprecedented inflation, gas prices at an all time high and the impacts of Roe v. Wade decision

Do a search for top news stories of 1973. I’ll make it easy here’s a link and notice how if everything changes it remains the same. 

While the “pain at the pump” hurts the world did not end when gasoline hit an all time high of 59 cents a gallon and it won’t as we pay an average of $4.24 today.

Hope remains and that’s where our shared focus should be. 

That’s the week that was. As we prepare for the next one, it is a time that will focus along with our month long observation of “Celebrating Resurrection”.  Easter week officially begins for may with tomorrow’s observances of Palm Sunday, a day of peace, which we all understand the world needs now.

Please pray for it and have a safe and blessed weeknd, then come Monday decide to join us again for the next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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