Friday, April 23, 2010

We are constantly on the move continuously on a journey. Some of our destinations are within walking distance while others take many days. Whenever we decide to try something new we should take into account the challenges that we may encounter on the way, I call it "The Climb" Some climbs are like like a flight of stairs while others are like a mountain. In order to be successful on the climb you have to make sure that you have the correct equipment. One of the tools that you will need is persistence. The stairs could be wet, steep or weak. You may encounter a fall or it may require a little more leg muscle than you think. The stairs may also not be strong enough to support you and you may fall through. If the individual is not persistence he will not be successful in the climb. You will also need to make sure that you are in shape. We normally think that being in shape always means physically but you have to be mentally ready to scale that mountain. How many times have individuals attempted to climb a mountain only to turn around because they could not endure the challenge? Focus is another piece of equipment that will be needed to make the climb. If you are not focused on the goal you can get easily thrown off course.
Live, Love & Learn
www.mchenryimages.com
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Transformation

Transformation

Webster's dictionary defines transformation as the act of changing the condition nature or function of. In the Book of Romans 12:2 Paul encourages us to be transformed and to renew our minds not to conform to the status quo. We should aspire to be people that dance to the beat of a different drum. Every individual must take constant care to continue to evolve. It is easy for us to become satisfied and set in our ways but it is in those times that progress stops. The butterfly is a beautiful example of a dramatic transformation. Who would think a butterfly would come from something like a caterpillar? Just like the caterpillar must go inside its cocoon to develop we too must take time to develop, grow and mature. Some people go through this faze without a glitch while others tend to get stuck in patterns that are not healthy and sometimes destructive. The become stuck in their cocoons and their cocoons which are the circumstances that are created to enhance them become prisons which trap them. While inside of the cocoon we must take special care to equip ourselves with the tools that will help us get to the next level. Have you ever noticed that some people never change? There are individuals that are the same as they were 20 years ago. They have the same mindset, same attitude, and hangups that they had when they were younger. When we continue to struggle with the same problems we have not successfully emerged from our cocoons of development. Our transformation is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Have you become the butterfly? Are you stuck in your cocoon? Are you still the caterpillar?
Live, Love & Learn
www.mchenryimages.com
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is a Real Man?

Being a Man and a Male are two different things! To be considered a male all one needs is to be anatomically equipped but being a man is much more than having a penis. There are certain characteristics that a man has and a certain way that he carries himself. He is not defined by having a certain swagga or street credibility. You cannot tell if a person has the characteristics of a man by simply looking at him. There is a major misconception of what a man is these days. Many people rely on the outward appearance and most of the time that is what gets us in trouble. The media has sold us the image of a hyper masculine guy oozing with testosterone, ready and willing the knock anyone down that gets in his way. The man that is being sold to the masses has no trouble spreading his seed however he places very little if no priority on taking care of it. This media creation is not looking to commit and is a bad boy by all means. The problem lies in the fact this is the man that many seek to be and to be with. I cannot count the times I have heard women say they need someone who is rough and can handle them or they didn't want to date a guy because he was "too nice" I also have ran into many women who fell in love with the bad boy, had lots of children and depend on the state to either help them take care of their children or enforce child support from that "rough"man that they fell it love with. In addition I see a plethora of young men who are imitating styles, mannerisms, and other behavior that they think is associated with being a man. Being a man in an urban area often equates with wearing ones pants hanging off of their butts, serving time in prison, dying or killing do prove ones manhood and the list goes on and on. A genuine man works to provide for his needs and the needs of those that belong to his household.
In the book of Genesis Chapter 2:15 we see that the first man had a job. His duties consisted of tending to the habitat in which God placed him in. EVERY man that is physically able should work if at all possible. A real man is not looking to be taken care of. He uses what is within his resources to make a living Secondly a real man will take care of what belongs to him that includes his offspring and the person he chooses to be in a covenant relationship with. A real man does not walk away from his responsibilities as a father and provider. He is careful to look out for the spiritual, physical, and emotional care of his family. Thirdly a real man will stand for what is right and his willing to defend it. Have you ever been in a situation where you were surrounded by males and a MAN was needed to stand up but no one did? Mankind was God's Greatest creation he was created to lead, subdue, and be righteous. The absence of men that are equipped and prepared to lead has led to the downfall of the family and communities. His absence has made it possible for imposters to take his place and mislead the masses and take advantage of many. Men that are really doing their jobs have been clumped together with those that are not by bitter parties and have been labeled no good. The strange thing about that is close examination more than likely has not been done and what looked like a man has been accepted instead of the real thing. In order for us to truly know what a man is we need to examine the scriptures, refer back to a time when men knew their roles as fathers, husbands, leaders, and mentors and accept no imitations.
Live Love & Learn
www.mchenryimages.com
follow me at twitter @belmertwan

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Emotions Doubt &Fear


As God's SPECIAL creation we are Spiritual, Physical and Emotional. We fight a constant battle
trying to maintain balance in our lives. Sometimes
the flesh is victorious while other times our spiritual
selves is the guiding force within our life. What happens when our Emotions take over? Think back to all the decisions that you made and closely examine the ones that were made in the heart of the moment when your emotions were running wild. Did you notice that those decisions were not made with much care and that the outcome more than likely was not the best for your situation. Emotions can be tricky at times, they do not always guide you in the way that you should go. Emotions have two cousins that often get us into trouble especially if we are trying to conquer a problem defeat an enemy that is in our lives. The first cousin of Emotion is doubt. Websters dictionary defines doubt as being uncertain and not sure. How many decisions have we made when we had that gut feeling that it wasn't right? Whenever you are in doubt you need to stop and consult the creator to make sure that the decision is the correct one. There is however a bad side to doubt. There are things that children of the most high are promised. We are told not to worry because God tells us he will take care of everything YET how many of us have worried ourselves into the hospital? When God gives us his guarantee on something we need to go forth like we already have it because his promises are firm and unquestionable. The second cousin to emotion is fear. II Timothy 1:7 in his letter to Timothy a young minister in the Gospel Paul tells him that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. It is natural to be afraid however letting fear rule your life is contradictory to the word of God. Fear should not govern our decisions or send us cowering. When we dwell in fear we discount the trust that we should have in God. Trust God and don't lean on your emotions when making life changing decisions or be led by doubt & fear. LIVE LOVE & LEARN

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Make It Happen!

How many of us have uttered the words I wish I could get my BIG break? There are millions of people sitting and waiting for the dreams to come true but that's just the problem all they are doing is waiting. James 2:20 states that faith without works is dead. That BIG BREAK is going to require a lot of hard work sacrifice and sleepless nights! Personally I have spent the last 7 months on my life pursuing a Masters Degree in a field that I really have no interest in because I thought it was safe.I spent many long nights writing papers for classes while I could have been putting that same time and energy into building my Dynasty. We are currently in one of the worst financial states of the history of our country yet millionaires are still being made. While the regular man or woman is sitting scratching their heads leaders are MAKING IT HAPPEN! The people who are going to be on top when the rough times are over are the ones who are working day and night. The biggest organizations will be the ones who are continuing to build. Now is the time to WORK TOGETHER. We need to be combining our resources and pushing one another ahead. This is not an easy task because one has to walk away from the ME syndrome and embrace the US mentality. Who is in your circle of influence? Who are you working with? Who has a dream that you can align yourself with. The best way to move forward is to help someone else attain their goals. ITS TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
LIVE LOVE &LEARN
www.mchenryimages.com
Follow me on twitter @belmertwan

Friday, April 9, 2010

Watch, Remember,Teach




Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9 Moses speaking to the children of Israel reminded them to be obedient to God and to keep his statues. He encouraged them to remember the GREAT works that God had done for them and how he rescued them from their enemies. He encouraged them to remember that there were those who were with them that did not make it because they chose to follow other Gods. Three things that I want to talk about in his speech are how he said they should WATCH, REMEMBER and TEACH. I am often chastised because people say that I am too quiet. I admit that I am an introvert but I believe that it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the people in them. As I look out into my community I see many things; crime, neglect, depression, hopelessness. I also see trust, sincerity and love in the faces of the children that I work with every day. One thing that is scarce is strong warriors that are watching over the village. Where are the watchmen? Who is guarding over the city? Some people may say that the police do a good job of keeping us safe but normally they come after the law has been broken and many people are not cooperative with them. There was once a time in our communities where men protected the village, everyone knew each other, strangers were scrutinized and enemies were locked out and flushed out. It seems that these days no one is watching the borders and anyone can go in and out of the city without being noticed.
We need to be more observant of the people that are in our village/city. The watchmen know who are in their city and they alert the people when an enemy is in their midst. Fear has stopped the watchmen from doing his job as well as partnering with the enemy to sell the people out. If enough havoc is brought unto a person that is not willing to die to protect their own he will cave and cower. If you dangle enough carrots in front in front of the donkey he will eventually walk to your beat. Remove the watchmen and you are open to all sorts of danger. Moses also encouraged the Israelites to remember. Remember how far you have come from, your triumphs, and how you were rescued from your enemies. I am saddened when I ask children about their history and they have no idea of where they came from. The trials of their ancestors seem to be something that was simply put into a history book for them to study. They have no idea that the blood of their ancestors have allowed them to have many of the privileges that they take for granted. There as others that simply don't want to remember the pain that they have experienced so they submerge it and others want to be seen as perfect and spotless so they don't share any of their shortcomings or or faults that they have triumphed over. If we fail to remember we will repeat the mistakes of those before us. Finally we need to be teachers. We teach every day of our lives! You don't have to be certified to lead someone in the path that is safe for them. You don't have to have a doctorate to educate someone.All of us are teachers whether we embrace it or not! If we fail to prepare our children they will fall and they will fall HARD! We need a new breed of watchmen. Who will accept the challenge?
Live Love&Learn
www.mchenryimages.com
belmertwan@twitter.com


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Back in the Dayz




I remember sitting with my grandmother who I affectionately call Ma Ma and listening to her and her brothers and sisters talk about the transition from Mississippi. They recalled memories of how many made the journey to Chicago in hopes of a better life. A vivid point of their memories was the fact that there was one house where everyone would journey to, a sort of transitional place that you could stay and save money so that you could get on your feet and make it on your own. Listening to these historical accounts taught me the importance of loving and supporting each other. They showed me the importance of the extended family and how it is important to help each other get on their feet. That was back in the day. As time progressed families got smaller, people attained more education, values changed and the income level of many increased. As a country many of us have more than our relatives ever had yet we have lost the loving relationships in our families and our morals continue to take a nose dive. What happened to the days where we supported each other in EVERYTHING that we did? What happened to the traditions and stories that the elders passed down that made us better people? Have they been replaced with the every man for himself mentality? There was a time when three families could live in the same house until they could all could afford to have a house of their own but that doesn't happen too much. There was also a time when people could pool their money together and buy real estate that the entire family could benefit from. WHAT HAPPENED? Could it be that some people were more concerned with being on top than the health of the family as a unit? What happened to the days when EVERYONE looked out for each others children? If you got out of line any adult that your parents were cool with could straighten you out. These days parents don't want ANYONE to say ANYTHING to their precious little darlings but when they raise hell and end up in a bind they are quick to ask the family, the church and the school for help. WHAT HAPPENED? We need the MaMa's, Auntie's ,Uncles and the family friends that are not afraid to tell the truth and put you in your place. We need to love each other enough to support each other in all our endeavors. We need to have sense enough to pool our resources together to weather the storm. We need to be loving one another, encouraging one another, and building one another up. Bring the good old days back we certainly need them!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

STATE OF EMERGENCY






The village is burning! Every time you
turn on the news some innocent person
has been shot. Unemployment is at
an all time high. URBAN TERRORIST
are killing men, women and children
via crack cocaine, kush, meth, and
gunfire yet nothing substantial is
being done about it! We have a
black president who many thought of
as their savior but when they realized
they had to be part of the solution
they said he didn't change anything.
we are in a STATE OF EMERGENCY and the capital is currently burning. When teachers are looked at as the main reason children are failing its a STATE OF EMERGENCY. Education starts in the womb not once children can be shipped off to an all day school program. When sex tapes are the way to become a celebrity we are in a STATE OF EMERGENCY. Sex is suppose to be something special between people in a covenant not shared on a browser. When a young girls goal is to be a video vixen we are in a STATE of EMERGENCY. Young ladies used to be groomed to be doctors, lawyers, homemakers etc but these days they settle for being the item of the week for a cheap meal and a bargain basement purse! When a welfare check is a way of life we are in a STATE OF EMERGENCY. II Thessalonians 3:10 states that if a man doesn't work he should not eat. The free mentality has destroyed our country and communities. When political correctness has replaced truth we are in a STATE of EMERGENCY. Soothing lies slowly poison the nation.
Today is the day, the hour is NOW! There will be casualties in this war! It's time to rise up and start the revolution! Will we get up and fight or will we continue to let our communities burn, our families be destroyed and our future held in bondage? We need soldiers that are ready to mount up and do battle! We need people who are willing to be light that cast out darkness!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rise up and be VICTORIOUS part 2


Buried by your past
"Don't allow your past to be your grave"

If the past is not dealt with it can be used to bury
you! How many times have we seen celebrities
have their names dragged through the mud
because they didn't deal with issues from their past?
Many individuals are tormented by experiences
that they have gone through early in life. Some
issues can range from neglect as a child, rape,
abandonment, and the list goes on and on. We all
have had to deal with a mountain at one time or
another but when pieces from that mountain begin
to crumble and bury you it is a different ball game.
How many young men that end up incarcerated
have laid the blame on their absent fathers? They
have buried themselves and their futures with
the lack of guidance from a strong make figure! How
many women pick no good men to marry and have
children with because any man will do? They have allowed
the lack of LOVE from a man bury their love lives and cloud
their decision making progress! These illustrations happen
everyday. Many people are buried alive and suffocating!
They would rather drown in dirt than deal with hurt. There
comes a time when you have to reach out of the grave and
begin to claw your way out. Emerge like a ball held under water!
Genesis 26:15 mentions that the wells of Abraham that were
covered by the Philistines. Water is essential to survival when
you allow the Philistines of your life to cover/bury you, you
risk drying up and being eternally BURIED. Make a decision
to break free from the past because its a brutal task master!
Live Love and Learn





Monday, April 5, 2010

Rise up and be VICTORIOUS part 1


Burial typically symbolizes the end of the mile.
Its a time when the family gathers to say its last goodbye.
Its also a time when those that are emotional get VERY
emotional. Some people even go as far as to scream take me with you! Normally people that are that overcome with grief like that fall into two groups: they have not made peace with the person of they do not understand death however there are some exceptions. A Burial is not always a bad thing. In the Christian faith believers are said to be buried with Christ in Baptism (Colossians 2:12) and are promised that they will rise and live again eternally. Throughout this life there are many ways we can be buried in a bad way. For the course of this discussion I will talk about them for a few post. Many people become lost in their past which is very dangerous. Listed are some ways that we can become buried in our past.
Many people are buried by the absence of a mother or father figure in their lives.
Others are buried with the abuse and hurt of their past.
Failure buries and prevents people from moving forward.
Many people miss GREAT opportunities and are buried because
of it.
People become buried with the mistakes that they have made in
the past and cannot get over them.
These are just a few things to examine tomorrow I will address a strategy for tackling some of these issues until then LIVE, LOVE and LEARN.
In Love
Antwan

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Me Myself and I loving yourself enough to be comfortable alone!


If you don't love yourself be assured that no one else will but GOD. All of us have quirks that we don't like I have a scar that I got from high school a bump on my lip that I got from falling when I was young but that's nothing that a quick session of photoshop can't fix LOL. Loving myself is the most valuable lesson that I have learned while growing up. People who do not fit the status quo are often tormented throughout their school careers and I was no exception I simply did not fit in. My individuality and the words of my paternal grandmother who stated "Don't try to be like anyone else helped me to stay true to myself. I encourage everyone to fall in love with yourself. Smile at yourself! Walk by the mirror and wink. If there is something that you truly do not like that can be adjusted make a plan to change it. Our quirks are what makes us unique. Remember God did not make any mistakes. Live Love and Learn!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Don't Let Fear Paralyze you!

Fear
Fear is a paralyzing force that makes you come to a standstill once it has thrown its anchor down.
  • Fear is the cause that many great wars have been lost.
  • Fear is at the root of many dreams being crushed.
  • Fear is the chain that keeps many locked into relationships that are unhealthy.
  • Fear must be abolished in order to step into your destiny.


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