Martin Luther King Jr. on Forgiveness

Posted: January 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »
Copyright AP Photo/PL

Rev. Martin Luther King with Harlem Hospital's Dr. Emil A. Naclerio. AP Photo/PL

On September 20, 1958, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was nearly assassinated. At a book signing, Izola Curry stabbed Rev. King in the chest with a steel letter opener. It was reported the next morning that it was so close to his aorta that if he’d have sneezed it would have killed him (source).

I cannot imagine what I would feel toward that woman those five days in recovery, but I can give you the words of Rev. King one month later.

“I am deeply sorry that a deranged woman should have injured herself in seeking to injure me. I can say, in all sincerity, that I bear no bitterness toward her and I have felt no resentment from the sad moment that the experience occurred…

“And finally, as I indicated before, the experience I had in New York gave me time to think. I believe that I have sunk deeper the roots of my conviction that nonviolence {non-violent} resistence is the true path for overcoming injustice and for stamping out evil. (source)”

Incredible. Not only does he forgo any sympathy toward his injury, he focuses on his concern for the woman that tried to drive a letter opener through his heart! Sometimes I have a hard time forgiving my own family of petty differences and incidents, yet this great man did not hold a single ounce of malice toward a woman who tried to end his life. He did not even press charges against her and instead encouraged her to seek treatment.

And then I consider the words of Jesus, “But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:15 CEV)” Wow, really? Is God saying that harboring unforgiveness separates me from him? And I see Jesus hanging on the cross looking down at the people screaming obscenities at him while demanding that he prove his claims, at the soldiers with blood splattered hammers in-hand gambling for his clothes while he gasps for air. Then I hear those final words, “Father forgive them.”

I’m left empty, praying. “God help me to be like that. Help me to let go of any debt I feel others owe me because of the pain they’ve caused and truly forgive them. And not only to forgive them but show them love and compassion.”

I’ll leave you with these words from Rev. King and a challenge. Who has wronged you that you have been unwilling to forgive? Now take the time this moment and truly forgive them.

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”


Night Lights

Posted: December 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | 2 Comments »

If you have kids who are afraid of the dark or have ever been yourself, you know it’s no small matter. There’s just something that happens in the imagination when the lights go out.

Snakes hiss through the fan, ghosts play behind the curtains in the breeze. Any cold air seeping under the blanket becomes a slimy tentacle determined to pull you under, every flickering shadow a night terror.

There is one thing though that can extinguish even the most rampant imagination; the night light.

As the dad of six kids ranging from in-the-womb to eleven, I see these little wonders calm a child in a way I never can. Why? Because no matter how many words I use to tell them that the doors are locked and assure them of their safety, it’s nothing compared to the fear that five-watt light vanquishes on a nightly basis.

I think the world is like that child.

We walk around in this world and it’s full of darkness, and it makes us afraid. Storms blow and beat us to our knees. The pressures of life seep in and pull us down until we’re drowning in despair. Circumstances in life get magnified by that darkness to appear to be more than we can bear. All the while the boogie man is at the door.

Sometimes I feel that I have to be some great and powerful light, that I have to do some marvelous Christian work in order to reach the world with God’s love. But it’s just not true. Because even a faith as tiny as a night light can have an incredible effect.

God walks across the room and plugs a little light into the wall. His love and power flow through us, no matter how small that seems. And he uses that humble light to illuminate everything around us so the world doesn’t have to be afraid. Their hissing snakes fade into soothing white noise. Their curtain ghosts are transformed into a barricade protecting them from the outside distractions. The cool air seeping into their blankets a refreshing wind that relieves them of heat and exhaustion. The looming shadows and night terrors wilt into play things that instead are used for their good.

Yes, we are to be like a night light to the world, giving his love to others like a beacon that extinguishes their darkness. And it doesn’t take much light to fill a room. A simple five-watt night light will do just fine.

And that gives me hope.


How Tall Will A Tree Grow?

Posted: December 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

At first glance, the question appears unanswerable. There are too many variables, right? A definite answer across the board seems elusive, but it can be answered.

Whether the tree’s a gargantuan redwood or a Lilliputian size dwarf willow, the answer is the same; a tree will grow as tall as it can.

You may be thinking, “What a cop-out, Mooney,” but hear me out.

Regardless of the breed, each seed has the potential to grow as tall and fruitful as its species will allow. Even if you compare specific species they still grow to different heights depending on a number of factors like soil, temperature, and precipitation.

If the tree is devoid of essential nutrients or exposed to harsh elements its growth will be stunted, but if given a healthy environment it’s free to grow to its fullest potential.

We’re like that.

Each one of us is different, with our own unique personalities and quirks. Each of us has a different level of talent and potential. In order to become what God has intended for us, we have to create an environment that fosters that growth. This includes praying and reading the Bible, not as a matter of obligation but with a desire to know God. It means excluding activities and relationships that aren’t beneficial to this relationship.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.  Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.


Motivational Monday: Famous Failures

Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Motivation, Videos, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Famous FailureI know, you’re probably thinking, “How can ‘famous failures’ be motivational?”

It’s simple; because I’ve failed. Miserably. I’m writing a book and at times I just want to take my laptop and through it through the window. I repeatedly set writing goals and miss them.

But you know, I just can’t quit on it. There’s something that burns deep inside me to get the words on the page. I have a message buried in the marrow of my bones, and though it aches when I try to extract it, it must come out.

Our youth pastor Joe Gilchrist preached at church yesterday and shared a list of famous people who appeared to be complete failures before they found their way to success. And I loved it. Not in a morbid way where I said, “Ha! You suck too!” but where I could say, “Wow, they overcame so much more than I have to. With God’s strength, I can do this.”

So I found a video with some of these “famous failures” and I hope it motivates you to keep on keeping on.


Hearers only?

Posted: October 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I listen to a lot of teaching material and sermons at work. Many of these are from YouTube and the video plays in the background while I work (they are not a visible distraction). When I need to get up, I pause them, and I have noticed a trend.

Here are two screen captures that I took of recent YouTube teachings. One is a seminar by Jim Rohn, and incredible personal development guru. The other is a sermon at a church. Can you tell me which photo belongs to which teaching? (I blanked out their eyes for privacy)

If you couldn’t guess, the left picture is the sermon, the right is the seminar. There is a distinct difference in the two. In the sermon picture, the attendees are observing the teaching and committing it to mental memory.

The people attending the seminar are participating and writing down the information so they can go over it again later.

Given the different level of participation in the teachings, which group is more committed to the topic at hand?

Which would you say is the group simply hearing?

Which do you think are more likely act on the information they are receiving not just that day, but weeks, months, or years down the road?

Which are you?

 


Motivational Monday: How Bad Do You Want It?

Posted: October 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Motivation, Videos | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There’s a reason this video has been seen over 11 million times. It’s awesome.

I’m almost finished writing my first draft of my first book. One of the keys to that progress is answering the question, “How bad do I want it?” When you can answer that honestly, you’ll be a giant step closer to accomplishing your dreams.

The narrator is Eric Thomas.

 

 


Motivational Monday: No Arms, No Legs, No Problem

Posted: October 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Motivation, Videos | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I saw this video of Nick Vujicic, a guy with no arms or legs and I had to post it here. This guy is incredible. My assumption would be that if I had no arms and legs, life would merely be existing, but this guy is truly living!

He says that our greatest disability can be our mind, and the choices we make.

What’s keeping you from accomplishing your dreams? Make the choice today that nothing will.

 

 


What I Learned From The NFL Replacement Refs

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Random | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Like it or not, the NFL ruled the last second  touchdown by the Seattle Seahawks against the Green Bay Packers to be the correct call. You didn’t see that in the headlines did you? (story link)

For the first three weeks of the NFL season, it seemed that the games were a side note to the officiating. While some despise the mishaps of the replacement referees in the first three weeks of the NFL season others found that they added an entertaining an unpredictable aspect to the games. Either way, they taught me a few things:

 

1.    Do the best you can, we all make mistakes. The regular refs were on strike and the NFL found what they believed to be the most competent replacements. I’m sure being thrust onto the biggest stage in the world was overwhelming, but they found a way to get the job done.

And sometimes we feel the same. Pressures  mount and stress is added at every point, but just do the best you can. Take what knowledge you have and apply it. Will you always get it right? No. Learn from the mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

2.    Give the other guy the benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe anyone wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says, “I’m going to be a jerk today and tick off as many people as I can.” Likewise the refs didn’t start each game with the mindset of blowing calls. I need to remember that people on the other side of the aisle from me are trying their best to be great at their work, that the customer has a right to be upset if you messed up, that service reps can have bad days too.

When in doubt, just treat the other guy how you would want to be treated if you messed up: with compassion and understanding.

3.    Don’t make excuses The post-game press conferences were full of players and coaches calling out the missed calls (that went the other teams way). They had a right to be upset, but a bad call is rarely the only reason a team loses a game. There are scores of missed opportunities: a pass that was thrown to hard, a hold on a block that calls back a touchdown, and missed tackles.

Bad things happen that are out of our control. In the end we need to take responsibility for our decisions and let the cards fall where they may. The alternative is repeating failures by blaming others for our missed opportunities.

4.    Even if the world is against you, show up.  I can’t imagine being one of these guys. It seemed every round of games, these they were less popular with the public. Regardless, they showed up. The world rejected them, but they didn’t run, hide, or quit. They clocked in and did what they had to do.

It’s the same for us. Sometimes we aren’t going to win the “Most Popular” award at work or home for the decisions we make, but that doesn’t mean we shrink into a hole. We must stand up and be proud of what we do. Half of the road to success is simply showing up.

What did you learn from the replacement refs?


Motivational Monday: Maybe It’s My Fault

Posted: October 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Motivation, Videos | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, had a great series of commercials awhile back about becoming legendary. Yeah, I think he knows a little about what it takes to be a Hall of Fame player. This one is called, “Maybe it’s My Fault” and has a twist at the end about why we may not become great.

So what’s your excuse?


Motivational Monday: Sleep is for Suckers!

Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Here is the inaugural Motivational Monday Post!

Here’s a ditty by my man Eric Thomas, an incredible speaker and motivator talking about how people who really want to run after their dreams make them more important than everything, including sleep. I picked this one as a result of a comment by my friend Ron.

Follow Eric Thomas on Twitter.

Follow Ron Porter on Twitter.

Buy Eric’s book “The Secret to Success” at Amazon!

Enjoy!