Fear Not

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I am on my knees in a Florida hotel room with tears running down my face.  Honestly, I would much rather keep this to myself but I know someone needs to read this.  I feel a little overwhelmed but not with sadness.  Rather, it’s a sobering awareness of GOD’s mindfulness towards me.

The past year and a half was tougher than I have admitted to anyone.  Frankly, there was only so much I could explain with words.  You may know like I do, what it’s like to have limited cash with barely enough money to buy gas for your car and then to lose that car.  You may have an idea of what it is like to face a crisis and feel like you’re quickly running out of options in a world where people are often measured by the contents of their pockets instead of the content of their character.

Although most persons in Orlando are vacationing,  I am not. I’m here on a very important mission that I will tell you more about in future blogs.  Right now, I’m reflecting on today’s devotions.  The words got pass my ears and have reached my soul. My spirit marvels at GOD’s love. “Fear not,” it reads, “for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’

For anyone who has a dream and you are wondering how you will beat the odds, I am talking to you. For that person who is at odds with a spouse, friend, coworker, business partner or family member and wants to find peace and resolve, I am talking to you.  To that teenager or adult who wants to better understand him or herself or forgive herself, I’m talking to you.  To that educator, construction engineer, student, CEO, administrator, carpenter, doctor, and unnamed persons who want to fully understand and complete their life’s purpose, I am talking to you.  For that person who wants to be loved, valued and respected, I AM TALKING TO YOU.

I’m not trying to give you a panacea like the one found in the “Alice in Wonderland” fairy tale. In most circumstances, clicking your heels will not make things better.  Rather, I am talking about forming a foundation of faith that you build on with your actions.  I can only share my personal story and the rewards of my relationship with CHRIST.  I’m not perfect but HE is.

We all have our own minds and hearts and I respect yours even if we don’t share the same convictions.  My heart is not to offend but to remind you that you are valuable, you are worth it. You can push beyond your ‘pause.’ Face your disappointments, even your fear of failure.  “The fears we don’t face become our limits”, says Robin Sharma. If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl but by all means keep moving,” Dr. Martin Luther king Jr.

What you do matters. ~ Kirk Johnson

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Meeting Oscar-Winning Actor Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier honoured by President Obama

Sidney Poitier honoured by President Obama

My meeting Sir Sidney Poitier was without the extended entourage, fine tailored suits and clamoring reporters we often see.  It was not at the renaming ceremony of the Paradise Island Bridge in The Bahamas, nor was it during his guest of honour  appearance at Oprah’s “Dinner of a Lifetime with Sidney Poitier”  or President Obama’s honoring ceremony.

Rather, It was last weekend on the set of a video shoot for a new production by Regal Shine Films.  We were shooting in a cemetery near historic Nassau in The Bahamas.  However, the internationally acclaimed actor and diplomat was there for a completely different reason.  His limousine quietly drove into the cemetery’s parking lot and after a few minutes, a small group of persons made their way towards us.  It wasn’t until he was within 30 feet that I realized it was Sir Sidney, a few family members and a single bodyguard.  I would also later discover that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the honourable Fred Mitchell, his driver, a press officer from the government’s Bahamas Information Services and a few others were present.

However, they, like us were not the focus of his attention.  We would later greet him, shake his hands and listen to his personal words of inspiration.  But right then, it was as if we weren’t there.  Understandably, he had a singular focus.  He was there to visit his parents’ place of rest.  He first walked to his father’s gravesite and spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation.  Then he walked the extra 50 yards to visit his mother’s grave and there he sat alone with the woman who gave birth to him 85 years ago.

My emotions were torn between the enthusiasm of meeting the man who inspired my father and whose cousin was  my mother’s neighbor and the sobering sense of loss that he was likely experiencing.  It was not the first time I had met Mr. Poitier but I can’t help but wonder if it was my last.   It made me think about how fortunate I am to still have my parents alive. More importantly, the need for me to fully value them in ways that are clear to their understanding.  Truth is, we can love someone all we want but if they don’t interpret it as love that meets their need, then there’s a shortfall.

In your case, my encouragment may relate to a friend, love interest or coworker, a family member or a complete stranger.  Life doesn’t always give us that “second chance.”  Make every moment count.  What you do matters.

KJW