Everything is fitting together into a plan, and God is working the plan, even when it looks like nothing is working.
What we now know: A solar Eclipse occurred on August 21st, 2017, an event that was described as the “Great American Eclipse.” It was the last total solar eclipse since February 26th, 1979. Scientists have predicted that the next total eclipse in the US will be April 8th, 2024. Wow! The weather prognosticators have been spot on when it comes to predictable weather patterns.
The Gurus of hurricane tracking and predictability, have kept you and I updated on the latest and most powerful hurricanes to visit our generation. Texans and Floridians have braced themselves for two of the most horrific storms to ever pass our way, Harvey and Irma. The National Weather Service has been vehemently urging people to take cover.
In the wake of Irma’s diabolical journey toward the US, I must say, she is not welcome here! Since the start of hurricane season, so far, we have had eight hurricanes baring down on us from all over the place. As well as earthquakes that have caused significant damage as well.
The best story line in the midst of all the atmospheric chaos, is the story Harvey and Irma Schluter, who have been married for 75 years! He is 104 and Irma will turn 93 in November. The Schluters have been retired for many years, and happily retired I might add. Given the ferocity of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017, this will probably be the first and last time the names appear in tandem. And that is absolutely perfect with me!
To the Bride and Groom, Harvey and Irma, enjoy your twilight, as we enjoy the daylight and better weather conditions. We give thanks that we are still Standing on the Rock!
Leadership has been defined as “the ability to influence people through inspiration, generated by a passion, which can only be created from a God given purpose.” We should always be in a perpetual state of growing and developing as leaders. Leadership means, seeing yourself as a resource for other people’s success. That reflects a mandate of embracing a serious responsibility of leaving something for the next generation.
I have come to understand that people have eight basic needs. If you are going to lead people well, these eight things can help you.
People need eight essential things to keep them going:
- Affirmation/Encouragement – encouragement is like oxygen to the soul.
- Appreciation or praise – Create an atmosphere of approval.
- Recognition or Attention – “Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are in making others feel good about you.” John C. Maxwell
- Inspiration – Tony Robbins asserted, “Motivation doesn’t work!” People need to be inspired to change.
- Compensation or reward – pay peanuts you get monkeys.
- Comprehension or understanding – People want to be listened to.
- Reconciliation or forgiveness – A lot of people are broken or come from broken families. Unconditional and unlimited forgiveness help to heal the broken areas of our lives.
- Enthusiasm. – The Greek word for enthusiasm is “En Theos,” God within ness. People need a spiritual guide to navigate through the issues of life, to accomplish the essentials of life.
Always remember, no human being can validate your sense of self-worth. To find out the purpose for your life, you must go back to the creator of your life. God’s commentary is this: Colossians 1:16 (Msg) “I am your creator you were in my care even before you were born.”
If we will keep standing on the Rock, we’ll always be safe and secure in Him.
Being the sort of history buff that I am, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to the first black Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. Bass Reeves. Mr. Reeves’ story is absolutely astounding. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons and bringing them to justice. He is also credited with killing 14 outlaws in self-defense.
Born into slavery in July of 1838, Bass Reeves is better known as the original “Lone Ranger.” There were no sidekicks named, Tonto, and his stellar career must be kept in the annals of time and history. Freed by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in 1865, Reeves settled in Arkansas, had 11 children, and farmed near Van Buren.
But law enforcement was his real passion. There are a plethora of things that can be said about the life of Bass Reeves. I’d like to add my voice to the legacy of a man that many have never read about or considered in the Real West.
Marshal Bass Reeves lives in the hearts of every rugged man that will “boldly go where no man has gone before”, and sometimes, alone. The characteristics of courage, grit, honor, fearlessness, and a bold appreciation for what’s right, helped to define this modern day Apostle of Justice.
And if we must have hero’s, why not consider a freedom fighter and lawman who carried a six shooter and towered over his enemies with a profound intelligence and keen marksmanship. Leadership has been defined as: “The ability to influence others to follow through inspiration.” Marshal Reeves encouraged people to follow through the confidence of his good shooting finger.
The real steering wheel inside of Bass Reeves, was his gargantuan heart that beat inside his chest when at rest, 144 times a minute. The human average is 72. Myth.
When Jim Crow laws prohibited Bass Reeves from continuing as a US Marshal, he joined the Muskogee, Oklahoma Police Department and served faithfully there until his passing.
In 2011, the US 62 bridge, which spans the Arkansas River between Muskogee and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, was named as the Bass Reeves Memorial Bridge. How fitting for a man who’s life bridged the gap between notorious outlaws and the calm backdrop of the wild, wild west. “Bad News for Outlaws,” that Bass Reeves was born. The good news for the pop culture generation, is that he will never be forgotten.
Keep standing on the Rock!
For more information, visit the Bass Reeves Western History Conference July 21st and 22nd, 2017 – The Three Rivers Museum 220 Elgin Avenue, Muskogee, Oklahoma
Independence Day in the United States of America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The day that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, no long under British rule.
The Declaration explained why Congress had voted to declare independence from great Britain. One of the greatest documents ever written, the essence of it’s meaning is found in line two of the draft:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This would include the “unalienable” right to freedom. When the scriptures say that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, that includes poverty, sickness, and death, I think of the purchased price of our redemption.
In America today, we are divided among many racial, political, and social-economic lines. I believe for us to function as a community, we must realize that unity is essential. You wouldn’t find this in Webster’s Dictionary, but UNITY is spelled, “You and I Tie.” What a powerful definition.
The Great Northern Geese give us a powerful example of working together: they fly in the “V” formation because flying in this formation is 70% more efficient than flying alone. The birds honk from behind to encourage the other birds to keep flying and keep up the pace. What a great lesson in working together.
We must continue to work together; to live together; and to stand together; And, to keep honking for our fellowman. The power to encourage others and to embrace what is different, sets us apart as God’s creation.
I dedicate this Independence Day to the families of all of our fallen First Responders, and to the families of Mr. Martin, Mr. Brown, Mr. Gray, Mr. Crutcher, and Mr. Castile. May we continue to remember our Unalienable right to freedom, life, liberty, and happiness. And oh yes, the freedom to take a simple walk down the street.
Happy fourth of July and Keep standing on the Rock!!
The presence of fear can indicate a sense of impending danger, emotional stress or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined. The anxiety of fear can have a paralyzing and debilitating affect on those that will yield to it’s invading power. I heard an acronym for the word fear that really helped me years ago; F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal.
Many times the thing that we fear, never happens. When I was a kid, there was always a great relief when the creepy fingers of the monster outside my window, turned out to be the limbs on the tree in my front yard. Yikes! Yet the fear of failure, or spiders; Or the fear of falling; the fear of rooms, feels real for many people. I was on an airplane recently and an older lady asked if I could open the window a little because she had a phobia of being closed in. My immediate thought was apparently she keeps getting back on the plane!
Eleanor Roosevelt once declared, “Do the thing that you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” What a powerful declaration to those that struggle in the face of fear. Claude Bristol in The Magic of Believing, revealed that thoughts become reality because of our subconscious mind, which produces our feelings, instincts, and actions.
What we focus on, is what’s growing in our lives. Focus can bring about fear if we’re focusing on the wrongs things. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
One great chapter of my mentors book, Failing Forward, by John C. Maxwell, is called “If you’ve failed, are you a failure.” The answer is a resounding, NO! In the seven abilities needed to fail forward, point number one is: Achievers reject rejection. (Read Failing Forward for the other six points)
Someone else’s opinion of you never has to become your reality. If you have to do something afraid, I say do it anyways. You can declare no more fear in your life because you simply did the thing that you feared.
“Fear makes come true that which one is afraid of.” – Victor Frankl
Keep standing on the Rock!