What will you do when they (cancel culture victimization culture, blame game types) come for your family, your friend, your neighbor?
When “they” attack the character of a person you know... when their livelihood is threatened….
Will you stand with your friend, family, neighbor supporting their God given right to disagree, even with you? That is a damn good question and test my friends.
If I don’t trust and rely on you, then distance and boundaries are increased. Separation can and will occur and it could be permanent. #musingtime
The culture around me tells me that I am a victim. Everyone is a victim of some oppression related to race, money, age, weight, parents, gender… you know how the story goes. We are told to wrap ourselves in blaming others and be dependent on ???
This is all a lie. I don’t know why so many are wired to think this way but it is toxic to life.
As a retired performing artist, perspective is important to me. I see and think about what I am seeing constantly. My life is filled with challenges just like yours. My life is NOT an exercise in suffering. Every day is an opportunity to do something, to improve, or maybe just to rest but it is not a burden to bear. Each day is a blessing and a gift. It is from God, bestowed on me, not because of my worth or my deeds, but because of Gods extraordinary love.
The constant complaint, blame game, victim approach is a construct, a choice, that destroys relationship. This is from Satan. It separates us from one another and most importantly it separates us from God. This is sin my friends. The seed may practically originate with your mother, your neighbor, your Sunday school teacher, even your wife and children but it is of the devil.
Life, my life, your life, is about loving and doing in spite of the human challenges which we all have. Living is not about fear and control and the constant envy of what could have been if… this is foolish fallacy.
I am not special. I am a specific, beloved, first born child of God. The systems of men always fail. Gods love does not. I am destined for glory in God, but not because of what I do here and now.
1. see the behaviors which are rooted in blame, victimization, and self
2. reject the victim mindset and choose to be grateful. Focus on blessings. They are always there.
3. Live into the future however it comes. Choose wisely, but choose. Don’t let others choose your thinking.
as to all of that blame and victimhood and pain… it is real. To move ahead, you must let it go and forgive everyone. Period.
To have a cohort where you can just be and speak freely... where you can eat and drink and be merry... all while understanding and appreciating authority and consequences…
this is a retreat and a blessing from the world we all live in. It is not a vacation. It is a cleft in the rock to recover and restore as the storm rages contemporaneously crushing so many.
There are plenty of people that i consider to be friends who are not.
There are plenty of people that I consider to be enemies who are not.
Family is not a blood thing but blood helps.
Most people don’t really care at all. Period. Most are self focused and self involved above all else.
Social media is a semi public, artificially created, construct of community. It is not community and it is a fleeting reflection of what authentic living together encompasses. #WakeUpAmerica
Social media is a pandemic public health crisis which is actually undermining society. No different than drugs, alcohol, big tobacco, gambling… it is an addiction that requires treatment and detox.
If another chooses to share with you. JUST Listen and be with them. Do NOT equivocate and do NOT share how much you know because of YOUR pain. They wish to heal and seek the light not wallow in the morass of self pity. Beware dragging them into your story. Be with them In theirs. Resist the urge to solve. Seek solutions with them not for them. Period. And only if they ask. Above all be with them. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Does NOT mean to turn the issues and topics to you. True friends can do this as hard as it is.
There should be more songs about this.
Inspired by the fellowship of the ring.
I’ve spent many days worrying about burning bridges. All good things come to an end is another important idea that I embrace. The reality is that In the last two years a ton of people chose to burn bridges to me and my cohort with their authoritarian behaviors, condemnation, and disregard of my and my fellow citizens agency. From speech, to firearms, to respect and even singing… and music making.
The wounds were frequent personal and sometimes vicious and even as I chose to suck It up buttercup, the indignant behaviors continued. I guess It wasn’t always malevolent intent. Often the outcomes were rooted in immaturity and pure incompetence. The results of those two realities are often identical.
So Many chose to embrace only their ways and treated me and mine with rank disrespect. Perhaps I’m just older and crotchety now. Maybe I’m wiser, maybe I’m foolish. The truth is… I’m not really interested in spending the time and energy required to rebuild most of those bridges.
Perhaps this is a character flaw. Perhaps it isn’t. There is a peace in personal liberty and morality. When I put aside what you think of my choices I am free to look to brighter choices, new bridges and spectacular new lands. I’m have some clarity now. More will come.
The fog will clear and it is my goal that those who chose to burn ties will find new ones elsewhere. Not sure mine can even be rebuilt. Grief cycle is real. Exploration is ways off but coming.
Assigning blame and convicting a leader is a weekly reality in most churches. Punishment is death. This is how the majority of the world of “church politics” acts in response to a message of hope, plans of action, and accountability for results and better choices. This is a story we all know and relate to viscerally. Apologies and reconciliations are rare indeed but they are a foundation for healing.
Couple of weeks ago I was attacked by friends in public, in my church. It is true that I was to blame for many results over the past year. It is also true that I deserve credit for inspiring, desiring more, and delivering when most did nothing and continue to do exactly that even today.
My choice as a leader was to stay and fight on terms of men or withdraw and let God work in hearts and minds. I and family made a hard choice based on principles, plans, and hope for a future for everyone involved. The pain is still real. The grief is stifling. This is the life we are provided. Every day is an opportunity to be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Some years go better than others.
Results can’t be determined one day at a time but my decisions over time will show that I’m proud to say. Look at what I did when I stand for judgement.
I’m pretty sure that I retired from vocational music ministry this morning officially. 25 years of doing the job, fitting in, and going along for the greater good with notes, rhythms, and service design are over in my mind.
I actually resigned from First Baptist Ridgeway for any that don’t know. No hard feelings but plenty of anxiety.
Ministry is guaranteed to always be part of my future. I’m a musician so there is that, but I can’t see a job for me which forces me to fit into a box anymore. The old Jeff, the tenor, the performer, the passionate powerful presenter has been in a chrysalis for a long time. Maybe I stay in there. Maybe I come out a moth. Maybe I come out a glorious butterfly. Who know? Only God knows.
I hope that I’ll be afforded and opportunity to lead again in the future. I adore choirs. I revel in live music making with passionate and skilled collaborators. I also love preaching and teaching scripture and leadership and using technology.
the future is bright but the one thing I know for sure is that it won’t be like it was. I’m grieving that loss. I’m a change champion but even for me it is exhausting and the cost is high.
What you do when someone says “I am not okay.” Says a lot about you.
Most people will never answer that way because they don’t trust. They expect judgement, condemnation, fixing, and controlling behaviors to follow such a personal admission. Fear is in charge.
What do they most often need?
Acceptance, attention, time... relationship and connection. LISTENING and Sitting/serving, maybe studying, eating or just silence.
Are you okay? Don’t ask the question if you aren’t prepared to put in the time, sacrificially, to love and serve.
Local churches too often thrive on a culture of control. We set a standard of fear and condemnation based on an unachievable standard and spend our precious relationship cycles telling people what they can’t do. Our control choice inhibits the mission of spreading good news.
We should be focusing our leadership and congregations on what they CAN do. That is GOOD News of great joy. God is love. We the people are charged to live in that example. The entire garden of Eden is ours and yet we focus on control and the one tree. That power choice controls us.
In order to proceed differently, we must accept what went well and what is failing. Changing nothing is accepting a likely outcome.
All we really know is that happened based on the actions in the past and even those facts are often interpreted differently. How do we define success and what are we able to actually do to make a difference? There is a judgement and the accountability for how we spend our time, money, and precious ability. We choose and we are thus accountable for our choices. Too many desire to be subjects to avoid accountability.
What is the job? What is the goal? What is success?
for your church? Your family? Your job? Your freedom? Your example? Your writing? Happiness?
The title of FAMILY comes with great privilege AND great responsibility. if you give away or minimize the responsibility and accountability you minimize the title and privilege.
That is a tragedy in most cases as we are made to be connected not isolated. Their is no real excuse for abandonment in any direction.
Selfishness. Self centered. Never want to actually help. Too much of a hassle.
I will not continue to beg. It is toxic. God forbid that you should be inconvenienced to help someone else. Or that you might actually have to spend money or time solely for another's benefit. I see you.
I won't tell you what to do. I won't address "it" directly. I will simply set a different example through my actions and choices. Some will be to minimize my exposure.
Every day is an opportunity. Words and deeds both matter. Some good some bad. Honesty is best policy but sometimes it is best to just shut up.
The choice to look down on others is a public health crisis. It is far more deadly than most would even consider as it robs us of the ability to respect and serve. As we destroy social links, relationships fail, dependency soars, and the elect elite emerge as morality police enforcing their world view on those without power.
Opportunity and elevation arise from a helping hand and sometimes a shove at just the right time. In individual achievement and liberty the spark of inspiration is fanned into a flame. Virtue and respect flow from results not signals. It is a choice and a profound signal to include but the virtue lies in the acceptance and love not the signaling and public affirmation.
The public choice to demean and demagogue, with its associated escalating division, destroys by planting and then nourishing insidious pride above all.
Authentic community (family) is what we all seek. A faith community must above all be authentic and honest. It’s focus must be on Jesus Christ and the great commission. Social services are not optional but neither are they the goal. If the seeker sees men first and foremost it is difficult, nearly impossible, to see the good news clearly. We must not be obstacles.
To voluntarily show respect for another person is a powerful testimony. It is essential to civility and community.
To force respect may be an oxymoron. Compliance can be forced. Respect is earned. Choosing to show disrespect erodes all respect sadly.
When a parent, mentor, teacher or elder sacrifices the wellbeing of their child, family, and student for their own well-being a tragic betrayal occurs. It is a blasphemy to the natural and ordained order. The wound created is deep and persistent.
When society exercises this same power collectively terrible things transpire. Terrible terrible things.
#musing on the importance of family and responsibility and sacrifice for the future. Leaders lead by example at home first and foremost.
You choose whether you focus on what you can do... or what you can't do. Words have power. Are you so tired, so sore, or so sleepy... or are you focused on how you can be less tired, less sore... less sleepy. Be better. Don't seek affirmation for failing in others. Be inspired by achievements of others. Be more than you are. Choose what you tell yourself and others.
For the Record... Black Lives Matter. I stand with my black, brown and other friends against hatred and bigotry...
as to BLM... -- that organization is a seditious, disaster area, Petri dish for violence and victimization culture...that is dead wrong in its view of family and community. The communist and utopian idealism driving insane ideas such as #defundthepolice MUST be opposed in principle... peacefully, with honor and dignity. This is very hard to do when mob rule reigns and groups of activists allow themselves to be corrupted into violence against property AND fellow citizens by agitators... It is impossible to discuss honestly even in principle when so many black Americans are being killed by other non-white Americans... It must stop.
Everyone agrees that Black lives matter. BLM should NOT matter. It is a virus that is destroying lives, families, and communities everywhere that it rises. That is a fact.
Even as a 50 year old white man... I AM allowed to oppose the BLM organization and its actions... AND still support the statement that black lives matter. I am millions like me am not the enemy but I will fight you if you threaten me, my family or friends. That is an issue at our core.
This is a free country, and it will stay that way, unless the BLM organization gets its way... Then, all bets are off...
Raising a child to be happy and productive and to not take for granted all of the advantages provided them. How? My children benefit from my decisions and support but they make their own. If they become entitled and poorly educated with little understanding of where they come from then the fault lies with me as the elder and senior.
Blame and shame is pathetic and useless. The young and uninformed do not know. The obligation to model, share, and teach values and principles while upholding standards AND maintaining relationships is on the elder/parent/mentor. The apprentice journeyman must understand and embrace their role under the authority and experience of the elder but they must be left free to question and innovate. This balance is the essential spark of success.
When we choose to blame and shame, or claim credit and crow as we inevitably do we must remember the balance and dependency.
Failure brings a fault line just as success does. We must release the pressure a little at a time and manage the explosion of energy to capture and evolve.
Every group, family, and relationship has cracks. Here is the thing. When that foundation stone is under intense pressure, it is NOT possible to repair the cracks. If nothing is done, then cracks will widen and eventually the foundations will crumble completely leaving a disaster zone for everything, and everyone connected. The problem to manage is repair, without driving wedges into the cracks and making the problem worse.
In our world today, our families, our churches, our institutions are under immense pressure. Cracks which have been present forever, are being stressed and widened. Many of these “institutions” will suffer catastrophic failures. As a leader in my family, in my church, it is my job to care for the entire system. I seek to repair the cracks, or at least fill them. HOW?
First, I use time to remove pressure and then I find the strong pieces, and use them to carry the load for the weaker sections as we add strength.
The mortar is love, but the solution requires more than simply loving and accepting. It is a balancing act of stress and relief, communication and care and accountability for change. Understanding the true pillars of the foundation is a required step. For me, that is faith and commitment to God.
As a family comes apart, there are flex points.. fulcrums and pressure points. The process is the same for bring one together. We must accept the cracks, and seek to fill them so that we can lift one another and shore up the foundation.
Disagreements must not be allowed to move to contempt.
Actions and decisions affecting the “whole” must take into account the needs of the individuals.
People are equal. Ideas and solutions are not. Decisions and actions separate but they also unite when connected to a shared purpose. Unity of purpose does not require uniformity of action, but it does require a shared understanding and direction.
FAMILY. FAITH. These are flawed and cracked… but the foundations rooted in stone, rather than sand will stand the pressure… and by working together, we can find a way to avoid collapse. IF… we choose to do so.
For me, it is unacceptable to see the coming failure and do nothing, but doing something must not spread divide and weaken the whole. We must agree on the definition of the whole.
When you have had Covid19... as a family... AND you recognize that fear is more deadly than the virus itself, but noone in the media is talking about it with any fair and balanced perspective.
THX to Luis and BTW 21 for this interview and honest discussion.
Intersection of principles and practices...