Tag Archives: Help

Sifting Through Social Media Opinions

When I was a kid, I often watched my Mom bake bread. One part of the process I really thought was neat was when she dumped the clean pure bleached flour through a sifter.  I asked her, Mom, if the flour is already clean pure and bleached then why do you need to put it through the sifter? She said, “It makes the flour lighter and it blends better.  Plus, it removes any potential non-palatable hunks, chunks, or impurities.  When it comes to baking a “Great” loaf of bread, I never assume the machinery that spits out the finished product is flawless.”

Wow! What a lesson. Today, I think about social media and how it has the potential to produce non-palatable hunks, chunks, and impurities.  Now, I am not attacking it (Social Media); I use it.  At first, I despised social media, I somehow thought I was subject to every opinion I read. News Flash:  I am not and neither are you.

What is an opinion?

Opinion Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

How many opinions do you think you sift through on a daily basis?

How many of those opinions do you understand to be truthful?

Does the act of opinion sifting cause you unnecessary stress, depression, worry, anxiety, and/or fear?

I asked myself these questions as well. And, because I was truthful with myself I discovered just how much the opinions of others, if I let them, attempted to mar my identity.  I then thought about my Mother’s flour sifter. I wondered, how can I sift through the junk, hunks, chunks, and other impurities found in social media?  Then all of a sudden it hit me:

  1. I have the power to question any and all opinions before I accept them as truth.
  2. I have the ability to educate myself on the truth of the matter before I consider absorbing what I have just read or witnessed.
  3. I have the strength to bypass those opinions or comments that in no way uplifts me or any other human being.

Oh yeah! And because I am Christian I can recall the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8-9):

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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My Mentors

Often when I talk to people about mentoring, Christian or non-Christian. I get the same response: “I’m ok I don’t need anyone like that in my life? I have it all together!” I don’t say this to their face but I can’t help but thinking: “Go ahead, keep on believing that lie.” I don’t mean for my thought to be malicious. I mean it to be a sign of how much I care. Fact is – we grow the most from our relationships.

I think about what my mentors have done for me. Yes, I have mentors. I have a mentor near my age, a mentor in his eighties, and mentors younger than I am. Why? Because having mentors of all ages help eradicate my preconceptions, presuppositons, prejudices and unecessary judgments.

My mentors have:

1. Assisted me with the dynamic of shaping my character.

2. Helped me see life from different perspectives.

3. Urged me to read often and seek a life of education.

4. Taught me how to survive in a combat environment.

5. Helped me stay in tune with today’s technology (Young mentors)

6. Helped me through relationship issues, and other Major life issues. The list goes on and on.

Once the timeless principle of mentorship/discipleship is accepted by an individual here is the question I get: “How do you find a mentor?” Easy, you ask someone if they would be willing to mentor you. I have never been turned down. I bet you won’t be either.

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How Can A Mentor Help You Navigate The Pressures and Pitfalls of Life

What a Mentor is Not:

1. A mentor is not a fixer.
2. A mentor is not a crutch.
3. A mentor is not an enabler of negativity.
4. A mentor is not a Psychologist/Psychiatrist/Social Worker.

What a mentor is:

1. A mentor is an encourager.
2. A mentor is a good listener.
3. A mentor is selfless.
4. A mentor is a servant.
5. A mentor is secure in how they are.

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A Refugee is My Displaced Neighbour

How did Christ define the word “Neighbour (Plesion Grk.)? “According to Christ, any other human irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet” is our neighbour. By the very nature of the word “Refugee” I would say we all, Christian or not, stand a chance to meet our displaced neighbour.  The meeting itself, where it is or when it is, is not the issue. How we act toward our neighbor when we meet, is.

When Christ implored me to “Love my neighbour as I loved myself” it caused me great pains. Why?  The biggest reason, I didn’t love myself, therefore loving my neighbor wasn’t possible.  The other reason, I had no idea who my neighbour was.  Oh! I knew the couple that lived next door to me and those living on my block.  But, does the “human neighbourhood” really stop there?  Sometimes I find myself thinking so small, like I am in my own little world.  For the longest time I defined my “Neighbor” as someone who liked me, thought like me, liked what I liked, someone that believed how I believed, and of course my neighbor had to make me feel safe. What a narrow and fearful mindset. In order to overcome my fearful mindset I heeded the words of the Apostle John. John said, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love.” (1 John 4:18 AB)

My relationship with Christ, and after having spent months imbedded with Muslims as a Military Advisor has helped changed the narrow and fearful paths my mind used to travel. Loving our neighbor, a human being made in God’s Image, may not be convenient and may not be easy.  However, I do not think Christ would have commanded us to do so if it wasn’t worth it.  Christ never hesitated to accept and love me.  When I came to know Him I was a refugee from a nation of unbelief. Now, as I glance over the media’s usage of the word “refugee” the love of Christ (Perfect Love) blocks out those letters and replaces them with “Neighbour.”

As a Christian the directive, right, and privilege to love perfectly is inherently ours. The decision to allow fear to overpower perfect love is generated by the opposite of Grace.  Yet both are still a decision.

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Had I Known

Jesus said, “The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)…

Had I Known
Had I know my words were spiteful
A better song I’d sung
Had I known my words were hurtful
I would have changed the theme
Had I known my words were vengeful
I would have damned the stream
Had I known my words were wistful
In mind they would have hung
Had I known my words were lifeless
I would have held my tongue

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