7 Characteristics of People of the Lie

At first with hesitation and great contemplation, do I produce this piece of communication. Like other, I was rocked by the shooting incident that occurred in the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Like others, my first reaction was to think who is this crazy person who committed such an atrocity??? Then I saw his face, the face of Dylann Roof. I hate to even type the name, however, he is an actual part of the event. When I saw his face or shall I say his eyes, the evil within him, riveted uncontrollably. It immediately brought me to the wisdom delivered by Dr. Scott Peck in “People of the Lie.”

Essentially, Dr. Peck, teaches us that psychology cannot cure all maladies, because some maladies are of the spirit and not of the mind. Psychologists and scientists of other fields are always driven for the logical solution, the mathematical formula for each problem presented. However, in the case of Dylann Roof and many others, sometimes the formula is not so tangible. Sometimes, it take more spiritual effort and seeking to find out how we can truly help such spiritually overturned individuals, if we are of the power to help them at all.

In Dr. Peck’s book, he shares case studies that reflect certain characteristics of these “People of the Lie,” these individuals who are spiritually overturned. These are seven characteristics that are often found in such individuals.

  1. They seek to control others. Dylann Roof wanted to control the saints in the church by killing them with his gun. He wanted to control others by evoking fear due to his terroristic attack. 

  2. They lack empathy. In order to enter a church, a place dedicated to God and falsely pray with those in a meek position, while actually preying on them violently, Dylann Roof lacked empathy for his most immediate and vulnerable neighbors. 

  3. They have a permeating problem linked to negative behavior. Dylann Roof’s life was dedicated to hate. He studied it, conspired with it and made it his lifestyle. 

  4. They strategically plan and calculate their wrongdoing. Dylann Roof planned for, at least months, his violent killing, from which he expected to receive glory. He even shared of his plans with others. 

  5. They are atypical in their ways. There are many good people who are different and unique. However, there are also those who are unique and unique in a bad way. Dylann Roof stands out as someone who wore hate paraphernalia, rebelled against modern day laws and modern day harmony. 

  6. They don’t show remorse. Dylann Roof has not apologized nor reflected any indications of regret for his malicious actions. 

  7. They are not corrected by punishment. Even in his time in jail, Dylan Roof still stands by his atrocious call of duty to raise hell where people of color exist.  Even behind bars, he still believes that his evil, terroristic acts were righteous.

     

7 Steps to Success

7 STEPS TO SUCCESS (Synopsis of message by TD Jakes message)

 

  1. Know where you are going. When you wander aimlessly, you can end up anywhere. The first step to achieving anything is to aim specifically toward it. Otherwise, you might as well spend your time gambling at horrible odds.

    It is important to do target research and understand your target whether it be a professional, spiritual, social, financial or other goal. As the Bible says, Write a vision and make it plain.

    Ask and try to answer important questions such as: what can increase your chances to get there? What success formula’s have worked for others? Is this what God wants? Is this really for me or am I just experiencing envy of someone else? This answer to this last question could make the difference between $1 million and $1,000, an A grade or a C grade, peace or discontent.

  2. Wash your past away. Bishop Jakes says to wash your face. Don’t dwell on the past and its related negativity or fantasies. If you didn’t finish your last marathon- focus on preparing for this one, not the past failure. Don’t dress like the cable delivery guy that you used to be, if your job is now to serve as an office professional. Don’t assume that your past persona, disposition or style does not need to adjust to your new role.

  3. Put on a Grand Attitude. As Maya Angelou once said, people don’t necessarily remember what you said or did, but how you make them feel. Bring positivity to your encounters, whether it be your manager, co- worker, spouse or child, come with a grand attitude. You are able to get more from others when you are willing to give more. If you bring joy to your friends, you are more apt to get joy in return. Sure, we all have bad days. However, we also have the option to focus on good or the bad. There will always be both. As TD Jakes says, Everything isn’t right, but everything isn’t wrong either. Make the right choice. Serve others with positive energy and they will likely serve you with the same. 

  4. Prepare for what has not happened yet. It is your job to prepare. If God brings the opportunity, and you’re not prepared, you may forfeit the opportunity. Faith without works can be dead. Do your part. If you want to be a manager, but there are no openings, read best- selling books about management, take a training course. If you want to move to a Spanish- speaking country someday, then learn Spanish. 

  5.  Go to THAT place. Don’t be afraid to move. Bishop TD Jakes says that it is dangerous to stay “overdressed” in the wrong place for too long. He uses the grand example of walking through a hotel lobby full of swimmers and you have on a tuxedo headed to a wedding. If you stand there for too long, you will start getting funny looks. Just as if you stay in a place where you are overqualified for too long, you will get funny looks, be underappreciated and stunt your potential growth. Similarly, if you are looking for a spouse, go where you are likely to find one- golf course, church, dancing? Not likely to be in your living room on the couch, eating popcorn. 

  6.  Be still. Don’t be afraid to wait for God to tell you when you don’t know. It is okay to be a “misfit” for a little while. There may be a time when you have outgrown your current place or are new to your current role. If you feel unsure about moving, give God time to move you to your elevated chapter or to help you adjust and adapt to your new one. Sometimes, waiting is the most powerful.thing that you can do.  

  7. Don’t stand in the light, when it is not your time to shine. Bishop TD Jakes reminds us to know when to “push” and when to not. As when a woman is having a baby, her nurse will tell her when she is pushing too early in order for the woman in labor to reserve her energy for the right time. If it is not your time to be a manager, help your manager to look his/her best. Celebrate the successes of those around you. Then when it is your time to push, give it your all.

                                                          

T.D. Jakes’ full message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQcXEckW7B8

Inventory Your Social Contracts

We all have social contracts. Some of the terms of the contracts are discussed in a straightforward and deliberate manner, while other terms are assumed that agreement has been made with the other parties. Social contracts are the agreements that we make or believe that we make with others regarding how they will treat us and how we will treat them. Social contracts can be made in romantic relationships, friendships, family, work and in business deals. The more types of relationships that you share with the same party/ person, the more terms of expectation, thus greater likelihood of a breach of contract occurring and risking the overall agreement/ or contract.
What am I talking about? For example, In a work scenario, you may have a formal contract with your manager for you to work 40 weeks and for your manager to give you a positive performance evaluation if you perform A, B, and C work duties. What is not written is that you expect your manager to look out for your best interest if a promotional job becomes open outside of your area unbeknownst to you. If you believe that you have performed exceedingly well and your manager does not go above and beyond to help your career grow, you might be offended even though that is not written in the formal contract. It might be your understanding that it was in the social contract. Another example is if a woman is dating a man for two years. They both have discussed marriage very seriously. The woman takes a job in distant city without consulting the man first. He may believe that they were in a social contract to discuss such important details whereas she may not because they did not formally agree to do so. In a friendship, you might perceive someone to be a "friend" and look out for your best interest in a certain manner because you have known someone for several years. Whereas, the other person may not have the same social contract with you to honor the same levels of friendship that you would do so and expect in return. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that we all have relationships that could stand to have expectations clarified. Please do take a peek at the video and consider what social contracts that you currently have in your life that may or may not be clarified.

 

How do you measure your Spiritual Intelligence?

We mostly have heard people talk about mental intelligence. Intelligence that reflects our cognitive ability to do what we want to do. Emotional intelligence has also gained popularity reflecting our emotional state needed in order to accomplish what we want to accomplish. For example, a steady emotional state helps us to stay calm under pressure. Our emotional state is also often reflected in our relationships. How well do we get along with others, especially those different from us? How well can we partner and collaborate with others to produce a successful product or outcome, whether it is at work, church, at home with family or with an organization.

Another form of intelligence is Spiritual Intelligence. Many have talked about different ways to define spiritual intelligence. However, I define Spiritual Intelligence quite simply. Spiritual Intelligence consists of four factors:

1. Our level of desire to hear from God;

2) The work that we contribute to hear from God, how often do we pray, talk to Him? How often do we meditate, listening to Him? How often do we read His Word?

3. How well do we hear from Him? What is our level of accuracy? When we think that He told us to do something, how often are we correct?

4. What is our commitment to action when we hear from Him? How obedient are we?

Our mental intelligence is only as important as our Spiritual Intelligence. Our emotional intelligence is only as significant as our Spiritual Intelligence. How important is it to do something well with great skill and steadiness if it is the wrong thing to do?

P.S.  The desires of our heart and this world are fleeting, whereas whatever comes from God, whatever joy He gives to you- is forever (1 John 2:17).


Seek Authentic Joy

There is one thing that everyone wants- and that is joy! We all say that we want to be happy, when what we really want is joy. Happiness is for the moment with the given situation. Joy is a state of mind, heart and being that we can carry with us anywhere to, and in any situation.

Have you ever wanted something or wanted to go somewhere really badly? You felt as if once I get ____ or go to  ____, I will be so happy. I can’t wait until God gives me this new job or new car, etc… Only to find out that once you get it, it’s not what you expected that it would be or the direct happiness from it is short lived. Next we’re on to the next thing or goal that we desire. Complaining about the other thing that is slightly less annoying than the problem just solved.

Joy is different. Joy is in your belly. It is that appreciation and gratitude that resounds inside. It’s that steady contentment that never goes away no matter how much the people at work annoy you or whatever disappointments may come.

In order to get that real joy, authentic joy we have to look to God when living our lives. A relationship with God allows us to realize that there is someone who is taking care of us and has our back in any situation. A relationship with God will lead us to follow His direction and go after what is good for us. 

A relationship with God gives us peace. Peace in knowing that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and have what we are supposed to have. Peace is a prerequisite to joy.  We can have happy moments without peace, but we cannot have sustained joy without having peace in knowing that we are on a path that will have eternal meaning vs. a short lived celebration. Only God can provide authentic joy that lasts forever.

P.S. Before you make any more goals, pray to God to ensure that what you think is best for you truly is.

www.drlepora.com

Six Ways to Meditate

We often hear people talk about the benefits of Meditation. Meditation is very beneficial:

  • Meditation helps you to receive guidance from God.

  • Meditation calms you and helps to reduce stress.

  • Meditation lowers the risks of many diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure

  • Meditation decreases the impact of ADHD on performance and behavior.

    There are several benefits of meditating. However, we often discuss only one way to meditate.  We often think of someone sitting with their legs crossed and their eyes closed when meditating. This is definitely a good way to meditate; closing the eyes especially helps you to relax, in addition to taking deep breaths.  However, there are other ways to meditate as well.

  1. As mentioned earlier being still in solitude is definitely a beneficial way to meditate and help you to bring peace upon yourself.

  2. You can use God’s Word to meditate. You can select your favorite Bible verse or the Bible verse most appropriate for you in the moment to recite repeatedly in order to remind yourself, increase your faith on it or to call onto God.

  3. You can use music to meditate. Sometimes I’ll meditate on a certain praise song several times. For example, Captain of my ship by Oleta Adams is a beautiful song that reminds me of how beautiful God’s love is and how important it is to keep Him in control of my life. The melody of the song is just as soothing as the words. Music is a very powerful tool in meditation.

  4. You can use your body to meditate. By focusing on every part of your body you can meditate on the feeling in your toes up to the top of your head. This helps you to tune in to yourself. This type of meditation is often used when praying for healing of certain body parts unto God.

  5. You can meditate with movement. Some people couple meditation with Yoga in order to focus on body movements as a way to center the mind and emotions. You can also use walking or running as way to meditate on your movement and center your mind and emotions.

  6. Once you become really advanced, you can meditate doing anything. You can focus on God and being still during any part of your day, whether at work, home or in the grocery store. Meditating is exercising the muscles of your mind, spirit and emotions.

    P.S. Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10

     

Spiritual Train Tracks

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Spiritual Train Tracks

This whole concept about Spiritual Train Tracks has been on my mind and heart for a long time. Sometimes you look at families and multiple generations and wonder “why can’t they just get IT right?” Or you look at your own family and wonder “why can’t we just get IT right?” Some of us have habits that we have been “trying” to break for years and we simply cannot let go…

For some these are just isolated bad choices and isolated bad actions. For others, there is an inevitable chain that can be seen if we just look closely. If you are like me, you believe that there are few coincidences and far more connected patterns. Some call them generational curses, some call them spiritual strongholds. I call them spiritual train tracks. They’re like train tracks because it is behavior that it automated or almost automated for you. Its things that you do automatically, it comes naturally without making great plans for it. You do them so quickly, perhaps as fast as a moving train, that you it’s hard to stop doing them.

These spiritual train tracks often start with ancestors. In one generation, grandfather drank a bit too much, and “coincidentally” so does the grandson. The mother was entrepreneurial and so are the daughters. The dad was an athletic pro- baseball player and the son is athletic as well, perhaps in basketball.

These “genetic” spiritual train tracks can be positive or negative. They should not be ignored. We should be aware, to what we are normally inclined to do. Does that mean that we should continue to do it? Not necessarily. It obviously depends on the action. However, we should make a conscious intent to do it or not do it. To get off of spiritual train tracks can be very difficult, especially of the intent and desire has already turned into action several times. It can feel literally like jumping off of a fast moving train.

If one wants to get off of particular spiritual train tracks, it has to be a conscious effort with prayer to God for help in the radical change in direction. Some may be delivered instantly from their spiritual train tracks when prayer is rendered, while others may take longer. What we do know is that it has to be a decision made by you… made by me. All life should be lived with conscious intent. Every action is a decision. It is either an active intending decision or a passive decision to let things continue in status quo. By doing nothing or something you are still making a decision. By saying nothing or something you are still making a decision.

So on that note, I recommend that you identify your spiritual train tracks today and make a decision regarding which tracks you are staying on and which ones you are jumping off.

 

Have a blessed one!

Five Steps to Holistic Renewal

There comes a time, for most of us, many times, when we look at our lives and realize that something is just not right or something needs to be realigned.  We realize that something is missing or we are doing too much of something that is taking too much of our time.  Ultimately, we realize that whatever is wrong, whatever is misaligned, needs to be evaluated and corrected in order for us to fulfill our greatest achievements and efforts in life for today and the subsequent future.  

I want to talk about five steps to obtaining holistic renewal in our lives. There are many elements of our lives that when they are misaligned, they negatively interfere with the other aspects of our lives. The five elements that I want to discuss today include our mind the mental area, our spiritual area and relationship with God, our physical area including what we intake and what we exert also known as diet and exercise, and our social area also known as our relationship with others. If any of these areas are messed up or off- balance it will affect other areas.

Let's talk about the first step. Our mental makeup is considered by most to be the ultimate navigation for everything that we do. I do know that it is a large influence on everything that we do. It is important that the intentions that we have in our minds are aligned with the actions that we take and the decisions that we make. It is important that our energy focus remains consistent with the goals that we have decided in our mind. If we do not take the time, effort, and energy to place intentions in our minds and make decisions regarding those intentions we will be very confused and live very passive, disoriented, unorganized, and possibly dysfunctional and low achieving lives. So the first step in holistic renewal is to review our intentional life goals. If we cannot identify our intentional life goals then that means that we need to develop such intentional goals for our lives, which may include placing intention toward where we are already giving our energy and efforts.  Our intentions should be aligned with how we spend our time and give our energy.

The second step for holistic renewal is to conduct a spiritual inventory of ourselves. We can do this by asking ourselves certain questions and exploring our responses. How is our relationship with God currently? When was the last time that we spoke with him? When was the last time that we listened to God? How often do we speak to God? How often do we listen to God? When was the last that we took the effort to thank God and show our gratitude for what He has given us? Other important questions include: how authentic are we living our lives? Does the way we spend time align with what we claim to be the important priorities in our lives? Do we do what we say is important to do? Do we refrain from doing what we say is important for us not to do? Are we honest with others regarding what is important to us? Regarding what we do? Does our character, our regular habits reflect what we believe that they should reflect? Do we have the right balance in our lives? Are we placing the right value on people and things in our lives, in the right order?

The third step is to take an inventory of our physical intake. That is referring to our diet, what we normally eat. Many people have different rules regarding what they choose to eat on a regular basis. Some people eat whatever and whenever their heart and emotions desire. Some people do not eat meat. Some people do not eat certain types of meat, for example beef or pork. Whatever physical intake/ diet you choose should align with the goals that you choose for your life. For example, if you need eat 500 more calories than your body needs, your goal should be to have a heavier physical package. If you choose to eat 500 fewer calories a day than your body physical makeup needs, then your goal should be to have a physical makeup that is malnourished and lacking full strength and energy. There are health risks when under eating and/or overeating. When we make a decision to do either one, we are saying that we accept the health risks associated with our respective choices.

There are many types of food to eat, including meat protein, non- meat proteins, vegetables, fruit, starches, refined carbohydrates, fiber, milk products and other types of foods. It is important to be aware of how these different types of foods affect our body. There are general benefits and cons to eating any of these and definitely cons to eating too much. Every person's body is different. Therefore, some of our bodies are more sensitive to some of these foods than others. Some of us may even be allergic to some of these foods. It is important to observe and study how your body reacts to these different foods so that you know the best way for you to eat and how much of them. What balance of foods gives you the most energy? What balance of foods gives you the body makeup that is healthy for you?

The fourth step of holistic renewal is taking inventory of our physical exertion. How often do we exercise? Some people need to exercise three times a week. Some people need to exercise five times a week. Some people need to exercise for an hour a day. Some people need to exercise for 30 minutes a day. It is important to exercise and sweat. It helps to build physical strength, energy and endurance; it helps to clean out toxins from our bodies. It also helps us to maintain healthy emotional balance by increasing endorphins that give us positive energy and feelings.

The fifth step to holistic renewal is to review our relationships. What relationships do we currently have in our lives? What are our relationships at home, work environment, church, extended family, friends, and civic organizations? When we think of the people and organizations, with which we have relationships, how do they make us feel? Do they help us to achieve our intentional goals? How important are our relationships to us? Do we contribute and give our best in our relationships? Do we receive appropriately in those relationships? We should be able to rank the importance of our relationships among the individuals and organizations of our lives. When we look at our relationships, we should be able to identify how they can be improved. Is there something that we should do to contribute more? Should we request more from our relationships? We should make the best effort to make our high priority relationships the best.

In completing our five steps of holistic renewal, we must make sure our mental and spiritual goals are aligned. We should review all elements of our lives and make sure that they align with our mental and spiritual goals. We must ensure that our focus and intent is aligned with what we believe that we should be doing. This renewal process is not a once in a lifetime exercise. This renewal process should be reviewed with some regularity. It should definitely be reviewed when you know that your life is not achieving what you believe that it should be achieving. We must make a continuous effort to be in tune with ourselves.