Moving Beyond & Becoming …. .. .   get busy livingWhat a powerful statement!   To MOVE BEYOND means to leave behind what you chose to leave behind … and BECOMING implies the process or journey of moving into something new.

That is what a NEW YEAR is about….an opportunity to MOVE BEYOND and BECOME something new … BUT … we should be doing that every day.  The PAST (good or bad) is NOT where we should stay … there is much more for us in our lives IF we chose to LET GO and MOVE FORWARD.   What are uou needing to MOVE BEYOND in your life … And what are you chosing to BECOME?   THESE are the most important questions you must answer EVERY DAY of your life … if you do not … then you will REMAIN STUCK in your past.

In the classic movie “Shawshank Redemption”,  Andy Dufresne said to his closest friend (Red) the day before his amazing escape …  “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

IF we cannot make that choice of MOVING BEYOND and BECOMING  … than we are chosing to STAY STUCK .  What do you need to MOVE BEYOND – Emotionally – Physically – Mentally  in your life today?   It’s a journey … begin that journey TODAY … and CONTINUE ON IT … You will be glad you did!

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JOY on the JOB


“Joy on the Job”? … HHmmmm … sounds like a contradiction.  One survey conducted in 2012 showed that “Only 19% said they were satisfied with their jobs. Another 16% said they were “somewhat satisfied.” But the rest, nearly two-thirds of respondents, said they were not happy at work”*.

To be honest, from what I hear by “word-of-mouth”, I’m surprised the survey showed that high of a number of people satisfied with their work.  Nonetheless … the majority of people are not happy with their job.

SO … having said that … is “Joy on the Job” even possible?  I am 65 now and, like many Americans, still working.  I have worked a number of jobs over the years and I will admit … the majority of them I did not like.  Somehow though, I have always found “Joy on the Job” which helped me to not “hate my job” … and actually made it possible for me to enjoy going to work every day.   How was that possible?   Well … here are a THREE SIMPLE THINGS I did which changed my glass from being “half empty” to “half full”:

  1. Life is a journey … as is your employment.  It is constantly evolving and changing.  No job is “forever” … even the ones which you enjoy.  SO … when I had a job I did not like very well, I reminded myself that this is only “temporary” and that there is something better around the corner (either with this job or a new one) … so just hold on … it will get better. 
  2. This job, as with any job, is meeting the needs that are important in my life.  Needs of my family … my personal life … my recreational needs … the things that really matter to me.  At times it seems like there isn’t enough money … BUT … if I adjusted my lifestyle to what I NEED and not what I WANT … AND … If I keep a proper perspective of what is really important and what I really value in life … I will be much happier and I will find joy in life and joy in the job that allows that to happen.
  3. Find something “pleasurable” about your job.  It can be a variety of things from something “specific” about your job you find pleasure in … even if it is just the satisfaction that you are doing your best.  OR … It can be something not necessarily related to your work … like quiet time to think of meditate … to finding new friends … to learning new things in life … or just developing new character traits which this employment is developing in your life.  

These are the THREE THINGS which I did over the years … and still do … which brought “Joy on the Job” … and they work … IF YOU WORK THEM. 


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The “MASK” is defined as: “a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one’s identity”.   We wear them at Halloween, or other events and celebrations to disguise ourselves or to pretend we are something or someone else.  Much of it is done in fun and is an enjoyable experience.

The sad truth is that many of us have worn a different type of “mask” in life … one that hides who we perceive or fear we are.  We all at some time or another have been “mask wearers” … and some of us still are.

Someone once said: “The mask we wear disguises much more than the face underneath it, but it hides who we truly are inside and protects our soul from being tainted and torn in shreds by the harsh judgment of others.”*

There may be a number of reasons we find ourselves wearing a mask:
1. TO HIDE: We wear the mask which we have created to “hide” what we don’t want others to see in our lives … Something embarrassing which we may be ashamed of.
2. TO PRETEND: Sometimes we are not what we would hope to be … so we have designed this mask to give us a new identity … The new person which we long to be.
3. A NEED FOR APPROVAL: Those of us who have been taught that “love” and “acceptance” are based upon “performance” have learned in life how to wear the masks which people hand to us so that we may win their love or acceptance.
4. A DEEP SHAME: Maybe there is something in our lives … or … something about us that we find shameful or disgusting so we create this mask to give us a whole new identity … The person which we long to be or wish that we were.
5. GAIN RECOGNITION: Like to “class clown” in school, some of us long so desperately to be seen or recognized so we wear this mask to create attention, cause laughter or demand fear and respect … all in a desperate attempt to be seen by others.
6. FOR PROTECTION: Maybe somewhere is life we were deeply hurt and the wound is still so real that we have created this mask to protect us from any future harm … thus putting up a wall of protection which hinders transparency in our relationships … BUT … seems to keep us “safe”.
7. MANIPULATION: Finally there are those who feel a tremendous need to control or manipulate other people. Usually due to deep insecurities this “mask” becomes their tool or weapon for survival giving them a sense of power and authority over others.

WHATEVER the reason for wearing the “mask” … this marvelous “cover” which seems to have brought us such pleasure … now has become the monster which controls out lives.

At first, like in the movie with Jim Carrey, the “mask” seems to accomplish what we deeply long for: acceptance … recognition … popularity … power … freedom. … and … much more.  BUT we soon come to realize that we DEPEND UPON the mask to maintain what we have acquired.  Now we are DRIVEN BY FEAR that our mask may “slip” or “crack” and people will see what lies beneath our mask.  Now “mask wearing” becomes a “WORK OF LABOR” and CONTROLS our lives by REDEFINING who we are … which results in losing our true identity.

The sad reality is that while we work so hard wearing this mask to accomplish what we set out to do (hide – pretend – approval – etc.) IT IS STILL ALL ABOUT THE MASK … and … DEEP INSIDE those needs still go unmet. WHAT IS EVEN MORE TRAGIC is that many times we don’t even realize that this in happening.

It has been said: “Sometimes, we wear our mask for too long, forgetting that we even had it on. One day we will look at a mirror and realize that we don’t know the person who is staring back. We will learn that the mask we have worn for so long became our true face, and the one underneath that has been too afraid to be shown to the world has become our true disguise. That it was hidden for so long that we have even forgotten the person we once truly were, and we’ll be afraid to know who we once were ourselves.” *

A few years back I decided that IM DONE with “Mask Wearing”.  I have chosen to walk in authenticity and genuineness of “who I am” and to be “ok” with that.  Since then, I have experienced such a freedom and joy that cannot be explained.  Oh there those each day who keep trying to hand me a mask to wear … and at times I am tempted to put it on. But I am quickly reminded of the “bondage” and “slavery” that comes with mask wearing and I quickly proclaim “NO … I do NOT need to wear that … for THAT is NOT who I am!”

David was a perfect example of one who was told how to act and what to wear when Saul gave him his armor to face the Giant of Goliath.  Though tempted at first to wear that “mask”, David quickly proclaimed “No … this is not who I am”.

I trust that you have discovered the freedom and joy of walking in authenticity and true identity and are not in bondage to “mask wearing”.


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I heard of this conversation between two lovers where the man, who had been wounded from past relationships and was having difficulty trusting in this new affair, said:  “I’m sorry … but my past is haunting me”.    She looked him steadfastly in the eyes and replied: “Give me a chance to change your past”.    WOW … what a statement … “Give me a chance to change your past” … is that even possible?

WHILE IT IS TRUE that we cannot actually go back and literally change our past … there is something deeper … something more profound … something more meaningful and eternal here!

The Bible speaks of a person’s past being “changed”.  The apostle Paul said: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)    WOW … “The old life is gone” … Is that possible?

IT IS POSSIBLE as far as my past being a “haunting memory” or a “determining factor” for my future.  That is what Paul meant when he stated:  “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”  (Romans 6:6-7 NLT)  SET FREE FROM OUR PAST … WOW!!!

In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah said that we are NOT defined by our past … but we are defined by WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE … and we need to WALK IN THAT TRUTH:

 “You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your God is happy with you

(Isaiah 62:2-5 – message)

SO … BACK TO THE TWO LOVERS … Is it possible for her to fulfill what she promised?   ABSOLUTELY!   In the same way God does that for us … we can do that for someone else.   We can fulfill that by NOT defining them with their past … but by loving them for WHO THEY ARE.   When we can perform this amazing act of love we are helping that individual to experience real love … AND … through your example … find healing from their past enabling them to walk this new journey of WHO THEY REALLY ARE.

SO … in that way … OUR PAST CAN BE CHANGED … to where it no longer defines us … no longer controls us … no longer has power over us … AND … we are now FREE to love … to live … and to be the amazing person God says we are.

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I have had many blessing in my life … and … many disappointments.   I am convinced that life is a journey and every moment in life will become what we make of it.  I’ve had my gains and I’ve seen my losses.   I have had two major moments in my life when I have literally lost everything  …. Employment … finances … marriage … everything in a moment.   At those times, when it seemed all was lost and hope was nearly gone … somehow … deep inside of me … there was a voice that said “git-up”.   So … with no emotion and not knowing what direction to take … I would make that decision to “git-up” and move forward  … “step-by-step” … and rebuild my life from scratch all over again.

At times I would envy those who claim they had their trials and difficulties BUT never have gone through the experience of “total loss” like I have … not once … but twice.   I would hear them complain about things that were important to them … and yet, to me, seemed so trivial.   I guess it’s all a matter of perspective

When I lived in the Philippines, which is one of the poorest countries in the world and yet has some of the happiest people I have ever met, I really learned to put things into perspective.   People there appreciate what little they may have and yet, if you know anything of their history, the Philippine people have suffered great losses over the years … much more than we can even imagine in America.  They are a resilient people and know how to “git-up” when knocked down.

In America we used to be like that … for those experiences are what made our country so great … and I believe there are still some in my homeland who are like that … but, for the most part, we have become a people who can’t handle loss and if we do experience any kind of loss we ask two things (1) who, besides me, is to blame for this? and (2) who, besides me, is going to fix it?

I think our losses in life ”define”  and  “refine”  us.   They DEFINE us in that our true nature rises to the surface in that time of crisis revealing our priorities and values in life.  They REFINE us ONLY if we let them … for it is an opportunity to learn … to change … to grow … and to become a better person.

I am now being challenged with the third “git-up” in my life.  In many ways, just as dramatic as the first two which were fifteen and thirty years ago … but nonetheless major changes with some substantial loss … career changes … and social adjustments.  I am 65 now and, though in my past I would bounce back quickly, I find I’m moving slower these days.  For a few brief moments the other night I felt pretty tired and discouraged and said to myself: “I don’t think I have another GIT-UP left in met”.   As I lay in bed contemplating all of this I realized that, while at my age I may be a little slower, my life journey has given me wisdom, experience, patience, calm and the endurance to do it again!

SO … I woke the next morning with a NEW PASSION and ONE MORE GIT-UP to move forward and witness the great things that will happen in my life and my career over the next 15 – 20 years of my life.

I’m just being transparent and authentic in this writing today …  and … maybe that’s what happens when we get old and sentimental … BUT I hope this writing has given you the courage and strength to find JUST ONE MORE “GIT-UP” in your life today.

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AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE is defined as “an illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system.”  The immune system is a complex organization which is designed to protect the body … BUT … “Autoimmune Disease” turns on itself and attacks its own body.

I have been deeply grieved in my spirit lately when I witness “Autoimmune Disease” within the “Body of Christ”.  This deadly spiritual disease will lead to “Ecclesiastical Cancer”.  I have in recent day’s received emails or messages from Christians attacking the credibility other Christians or denominations.  Articles carefully scripted with selected scriptural references condemning individuals & denominations which differ from “THEM”.

I remember reading when Jesus disciples came to Him one day and said “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is NOT WITH US.” – (Luke 9:49) Then Jesus answered by basically telling  them to leave him alone.

In I Corinthians chapter 3 Paul spoke “sternly” to those within the church who were judging and criticizing those who were “NOT WITH THEM” when he said: “You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?”

No wonder the world is turned off by the Christian church and has little interest in our message! We can’t show “love” for one another (a trait which is suppose to define us) … let alone have “unity” with “diversity” which is what the “Body of Christ” is all about.  Aren’t their enough other enemies or causes we can pursue without attacking Billy Graham – Joel Olsteen – The Pope – Joyce Myers  – the Charasmatics – the Catholics – or any other person, denomination or Christian cause?

We are ALL a part of the “Body of Christ”.  Paul made that very clear in I Corinthians 12:12-20 when he compared the church to the physical body and emphasized that not only is every member of the body necessary and important … BUT … that it is WRONG to attack any member of the body just because “we feel” they are of “less value” or because they “function differently” than we do.

I agree … maybe their “theology” or “practices” may not be perfect or match up with what “WE FEEL” they should … but show me a person or a denomination which is perfect in their theology or practice!  We have ALL had our failures and we will find when we get to heaven that our own personal theology may not be perfect either.

Maybe this sounds a bit stern … but I am deeply saddened, as Paul was in his writing to the Corinthian church, when I witness Christians and Christian leaders using God’s Word against members of their own “body” … AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

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mano po      “Mano Po” is a practice in the Philippine culture of respect and honor.  It is taught at a young age and practiced all their life.  When someone enters into the home or presence of someone older than them they ask “Mano Po” … which is a request to take the right hand of the elder person and press it to their forehead.  It is a gesture of respect and honor and a request of blessing from that person.   This is more than just a gesture though.  It is an attitude which is constant in their life … and is displayed by this amazing custom.

I am humbled and honored whenever this happens.  Being from America … we have forgotten how to respect elders.  In fact there are many things we have lost over the past 50 years in our American culture which used to have an important place … Like honoring men and their place of leadership in the home … respecting the family unit (husband & wife) … discipline and guidance of children … honoring the wisdom and role of our elders … and … most important of all … keeping God at the center of everything.   While the Philippines is not a perfect place … and considered to be a “third world country” … THESE are traditions and practices which are very much a part of life here in this amazing country.

When I was a boy during the 1950’s I remember many of these concepts and practices of honor and respect being  carried out in our country … BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED … and disturbingly … not to the better.   America is a great country and I am still very proud to be an American citizen.  I am also deeply saddened that I had to come to the opposite side of the world to recognize and experience what used to be prevalent in our culture back home.

I am normally not a negative person … and certainly don’t mean to be here … I just want to draw attention to something we are losing in my homeland which will ultimately destroy our culture and our nation … The rapid erosion of the foundation America was built upon which made her a great nation.  Those building blocks that made our country the strongest nation in the world are the same principles being practiced here in the Philippines:  The respect for marriage (man & woman) … The honor due to men who are leaders in the home … respect and honor given to our elders … and keeping God in the center of our lives.  THIS is the foundation which made America great … and the destruction of these things will be the fall of our society as we know it.

I am determined to do MY PART … and in the words of a man in history who was honored and respected in his home and culture said: “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”   While I can attempt to spread my influence outside my home … I only have control over my home and these are the basic principles that I will see are practiced and carried out in my home.  I will change my world … by starting at home … and starting with ME!

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