Miracle are Made of Moments Like These….

Clouds heart shaped

Miracles are Made of Moments Like These…

In August 2013, I shared a post titled “Fear Not.” I was then in Florida reflecting on a fairly tough time in my life.  In that post, I promised I would in time share some good news with you. Since then, against significant financial odds I was accepted to graduate school and I am now just a few months away from graduating with honors.  Also since that date, I married Charlene, my compliment, best friend and the woman I love dearly.  Plus, my first book will be published by the summer.

Despite the unbelievably devastating loss of my mentor and friend Dr. Myles Munroe, I reflect on the telephone conversation we had three days before the plane crash that killed him, his wife Pastor Ruth and seven others.  It was November 6, 2014 and Pastor Munroe and I were confirming arrangements for him to talk to students in the leadership perspectives class I taught at my university.  He died before it could happen but during that conversation he had said something remarkable I will never forget.  He told me he was proud of me and had recently reviewed a copy of my life’s vision and mission statement I gave him more than five years prior.  He told me I was on track and encouraged me to continue my work.

In similar form, I encourage you to have a personal vision and mission statement for your life and then to pursue it with vigor.   Now is the time.  Your moments are here. Let not life triumphs and/or tribulations distract you.  Miracles may take many forms and may be as “simple” as the change of ones heart from apathy and unforgivenness to altruism and compassion.  What you do matters!

The First Duty of Love

Couple“The first duty of love is to listen.”  Wow, that quote by Paul Tillich held my attention from the moment I read it.   Then the slight twinge of guilt followed as I evaluated myself.  “How good of a listener am I?”  The last two years in my new business have been fast paced and extremely demanding – physically, emotionally and financially.  It seemed as if I didn’t have enough time to really listen to me much less anyone else.  But, how does that affect the people who matter to me?  I think of my fiancé, my family, my team, my close friends and most importantly, GOD.  How well am I listening?

As a relationship coach and talk show host, I’ve had the privilege to invest hours listening to persons share their thoughts and concerns.  Yet, I hold myself in contempt when it comes to how well I have listened otherwise.

For example, I love my ‘special lady’ and my folks and make it a point to tell them.  Yet, as I look more closely at my level of listening, I become more self-critical.  I’m not saying that I don’t listen but rather that good isn’t good enough when you can do better.  In the words of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required.”

So I challenge you as I commit to being an effective listener.  More so, an ‘active listener.’   Starting with my spiritual life.  My level of listening impacts the quality of my life and relationships.  By the way, your level affects yours too.  Active listening can be compared to the way the pores of our skin opens in response to hot water vapour.   It expands our awareness as it benefits both the sender and receiver.  Relationship experts Linda & Charlie Bloom says ‘The Three Magic Words in Relationships‘ are ‘communication, communication, communication.’  They say that in good communication, speaking is only half of the equation.  The other is listening.

With active listening by all involved, relationships become stronger as friends and love ones see life through each other’s eyes.  Stress levels lower.  Arguments and misunderstandings are avoided or amicably resolved.  Conversely, failing to actively listen can corrupt even the most promising relationship.

What is active listening?  Essentially, it is the act of making someone else the priority by focusing your attention on understanding and validating their message,  even if their view differs from yours.   In his article ‘Become a Better Listener,’ psychologist, Dr. John M. Grohol says active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust.

Hence, I will hold my tongue and open my ears to honour my special lady.  To be her safe harbor where she can freely express her thoughts, hopes and dreams.  I will set aside distractions and decidedly listen to my love ones and to my inner voice.  I will make it a part of my daily life to listen to GOD as he speaks to my heart.  Ours is a commitment to actively listening to each other.   Are you already committed to the same?

What you do Matters.  ~ Kirk Johnson

The Other Woman

Affair at the OfficeKaren’s married but she’s kissing her boss. I’m sitting here seeing it for myself but I still can’t believe it.  I feel the anger building inside.  Am I expected to sit here and pretend I don’t know what is happening?  Her coworker Shirlene knows what’s going on and as if on cue, delays Wade’s wife Sophia in the office next door. Sophia doesn’t suspect anything but how long will this deceitful game continue before the walls come crashing down and the truth is exposed?

Today, I am on the set of “The Other Woman” a dramatic and emotionally charged stage play, produced by twins Radel and Ranel of Redemptive Productions.   It is another day of rehearsals and the actors are an impressive bunch.   Graciously, I am one of them as is my fiancée Charlene.  You won’t believe the roles we play but I will share more about that in my future blogs.  Opening night is still weeks away but the country is already buzzing about this “real to life” Bahamian drama inspired by the styling of actor, director Tyler Perry.

How many of us know of similar true stories?   I am talking about the men and women in marriage or committed relationships that decide to go rogue?   Cheating, like most things, is a process.  It begins as a seed in the mind and grows to something more.   Some experts contend that cheating happens when an unfulfilled partner seeks fulfillment elsewhere.  To others, “stepping out” is the act of selfish ingrates who would be unfaithful under the best of circumstances.  The fact is that it happens and often results in deep hurt, anger and resentment.   However, I am not writing to castigate anyone.   But rather, to remind  us of the importance of honouring our commitments; exploring and discovering who we are and our values; openly and honestly talking with our mate or spouse about our desires, struggles and aspirations; resolving conflict in a timely manner and investing the time and effort to understand and meet the needs of our love one.  Faithfulness is a decision and a responsibility.  What you do matters.