Monthly Archives: April 2015

Just Asking… (Do you know a fool utters everything that is in his heart?)

It is amazing to listen to the things people share in order to get attention. They tell the most intricate details of their lives, not because they want to help others, but because they want an audience. They tend to exaggerate the facts because if they can make the facts juicier, they can get more attention. They leave nothing sacred or private; they expose everything, leaving nothing to the imagination.

 

People with loose lips readily expose the secrets of others. Others may have spoken to them in confidence, but because they are quick to speak, they spread rumors and gossip as quickly, or quicker, than they share their own business.

 

Wisdom admonishes us to be quick to hear and slow to speak. Wisdom goes on to state that a fool utters everything that is in his heart, but a wise man holds some things back.
A person needs to think about what he is going to say before he says it; he needs to determine whether it elevates, encourages of educates. If it doesn’t add value, maybe it doesn’t need to be said.

 

Be labeled among the wise; know when to speak and when to be quiet. Don’t fall into the category of a babbling fool. If you do, it may come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize the wrong kind of fear will immobilize you?)

Have you ever known someone who is in a miserable situation, but he will not do anything to change it? That person says he wants to change. He cries about his situation, complains about his situation and even dreams that one day he will be in a better situation. He may even map out plans, hoping for a better day. However, if one observes that person five years later, he is five years older, singing the same old tune and caressing the same old situation.

 

After a while, that person’s complaints and tears become redundant. Others wonder what is wrong with him. They even question his desire for change. On the surface, it may appear that he’s lazy and uncommitted, but if one looks closer, the observer may see a force that paralyzes him. That force is fear.

 

Even though it cannot be seen in and of itself, fear is powerful. It is an emotion provoked by the threat of pain, harm, evil, hurt, peril, etc. The threat may be real, or it may be imagined. Regardless, the person is restrained from moving pass his situation because he fears something bad will happen if he does. He may be uncomfortable where he is, but he fears something worse will happen if he moves. Most of the time, he fears failure. He knows what his present situation feels like, but he is not sure about the unknown; therefore, in his mind he conjures up the worst-case scenario.

 

The first thing a person must do is evaluate his fear. The right kind of fear prepares one to fight or flee. It reveals real danger, something that will really harm a person. For example, if a poisonous snake is within a person’s perimeter, that fear signifies real danger. In this instance, the body prepares itself to fight or flee. The other form of fear immobilizes. It provides reasons why a person shouldn’t do something. It sets up barriers to keep a person from moving to the next level. One may feel the same intensity as the other type fear, but many times, there is no supporting evidence that comes with the claim. The fear is surrounded by “what ifs.” When someone experiences this kind of fear, he needs to face it, even if he needs to get help to silence his emotions. If he refuses to do so, fear will keep him a prisoner.

 

That being said, a person needs to do something courageous (even if it’s something small) in the face of fear. If he doesn’t, he will spend the next five years singing the same old tune and caressing the same old situation.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize your success may be different from someone else’s success?)

There are various kinds of motivational materials in the marketplace. If a person needs a nudge to change his life, he can read books, listen to CDs, watch shows, read blogs, attend conferences, etc. Many times, he is bombarded with words of encouragement, telling him to dream dreams and work towards his goals. He is told that he can be successful if he would apply himself. To motivate him in his endeavors, examples of successful people are mentioned, describing hurdles they overcame to reach their desired goals.

 

When one examines that word success, it is defined as accomplishing one’s goals or reaching a desired end. It suggests that once a person reaches something he has aimed for, he is successful. That is true in some cases, but it is always wise for a person to examine what he is pursuing. Not only is he to examine what he is pursuing, but he needs to examine his motives for pursuing a thing. If he’s accomplished a goal that was set for him because others expected him to go that route, is he successful? If he has accomplished something only to prove he is better than someone else, is he successful? If he has reached the pinnacle of wealth but lacks health, is he successful? If he has reached a desired result but lost his self-respect, is he successful?

 

Remember, success for one is not success for another. One person’s success may be running a household. Another person’s success may be helping someone else change his life. Another person’s success may be to own a business.

 

Not all will be rich and famous, but all can be successful. Not all will be showered with accolades by the masses, but all can be successful. Not all will accomplish the same things, but that doesn’t negate one’s success. So don’t measure your success by someone else’s standards. If you’re pursuing something worthwhile, and doing so with “clean hands” and a pure heart, move forward; when you’ve reached your desired end, that’s your success.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize that being a stay-at-home mom or dad is one of the hardest jobs a person could ever have?)

It takes great tenacity to be a stay-at-home parent. It isn’t a glamorous job, and many times the person in this role doesn’t get many accolades. This person doesn’t check in at a specific time, take a lunch break then check out at a designated time. This person may not receive raises for a job well done. This person will not climb the corporate ladder and will not be sent to different trainings to perfect his or her skills. Many times, this person doesn’t have the comradery of co-workers, people to encourage him or her when times get hard. Sometimes the very people a stay-at-home parent serves takes his or her services for granted. In spite of these things, the stay-at-home parent gets up relentlessly and performs his or her tasks.

 

When you examine the skills of a stay-at-home parent, you will discover that they are multifarious. In some cases, the parent will serve as a decision maker. Oftentimes, decisions have to be made on the spot, and consultation is not available. This person will also serve as a manager who multitasks. He or she may not have the luxury of doing one thing at a time; the demands of his or her day require that two or more things be done at once. If this parent is fortunate, he or she can delegate some of his or her duties. This person also holds the role of a counselor. Even if he or she doesn’t possess a psychology degree, he or she is expected to know how to consult the subjects in the household on various life issues. He or she may also perform duties of a chef. This person may not be able to attach executive in front of this title, but he or she is responsible for preparing nutritious meals for the family. He or she is also expected to dabble in the role of a nursing assistant, finding cures or remedies for minor ailments. The list is endless when it comes to this role; however, the stay-at-home parent performs his or her duties tirelessly, oftentimes sprinkled with love.

 

If you know someone in this position, encourage him or her. Tell that person what a great job he or she is doing. Buy a small gift to show him or her appreciation. Celebrate that person for all that he or she has done. And remember, even if this person doesn’t receive accolades from the world, he or she is doing something awesome. This person has the responsibility of shaping young minds for the future. And who knows? One of those young minds may grow up to do something or be someone great.

Books by Levon

 

 

Just Asking… (Do you know it is not constructive to support a lazy person?)

Some people do not want to work. They sit back and rely on others to provide for their needs. They manipulate others with their words, always reciting sob stories in order to receive handouts. They look for ways to beat the system, and when they are offered honest work, they have many excuses why they can’t perform what’s offered. Oftentimes, they tell others they will work when they get their dream job, a job they have conjured up in their minds, but they haven’t put any effort into working towards that position. They know how to get over on others, and they use their efforts to do just that.

 

Sadly, a person like this knows how to identify enablers. He knows how to pull on the heart strings of those who want to see him do better. He knows how to bamboozle the caring heart out of his money and goods; he knows how to make his situation seem desperate, singing the perfect song to get others to act on his behalf. He has mastered the skill of playacting, and he will go as far as the enabler allows.

 

Many times this scenario may be played out in parents taking care of healthy, adult children who won’t work. Other times, it can be seen in a hard-working woman taking care of a lazy man. It may be seen in a woman running from man to man, staying with each man as long as he foots the bill. The possibilities are endless. Regardless the situation, the motive is the same. An able-bodied person refuses to work, and he preys on others for support.

 

Are you supporting someone who refuses to work? If you are, you may need to cut the apron strings. Insist that this person learns to stand on his own two feet, and if he refuses, allow him to experience the consequences of his actions. Discomfort has a way of waking this type person up. Once his stomach starts to growl, and his lights are turned off, work starts to look like a viable option to him.

Books by Levon

 

 

Just Asking… (Who or what is first in your life?)

You can tell what a person values by looking at how he spends his time. If he spends an excessive amount of time golfing, you could guess that golf is one of his priorities. If he spends a lot of time on his job, you would assume that his job is one of his priorities. If he makes time to spend with his family, regardless of what else is going on in his life, you would imagine that his family is one of his priorities. Regardless of what he says, his actions are good indicators of what he values.

 

But have you ever watched a man or woman who puts God first in his life? Have you ever noticed how things seem to fall into place when he puts the Creator of the universe at the helm? It seems as if that person’s life flows in a manner that other lives don’t. Even in difficult situations, that person seems to have a calm assurance about him. When others are panicky or in disarray, he goes to his Creator for comfort. When others are confused, he goes to his Creator for answers. When others are looking for revenge on their enemies, he asks his Creator for vengeance.

 

If you ask this person about his habits, he will tell you that he etches out time in his daily schedule to spend time in God’s Word. He takes time for prayer, and he makes time to sit in silence, waiting for guidance from the God of the universe. Even though he may have a hectic schedule, he doesn’t allow his schedule to rob him of his relationship with his Maker. Even when others demand time from him, he is careful to preserve his private time with God.

 

Think about your priorities. Are they things that surpass the moment and sow eternal benefits, or are they only providing you with temporary satisfaction? Don’t be fooled, spending time in the presence of God is never a waste. In fact, it helps you get your life in order, allowing you to prioritize things in a way that brings value instead of chaos to your daily routine.

Books by Levon

 

Just Asking… (Do you know you can move beyond your difficult situation?)

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult place? A place where you can’t see your way out. A place where you feel uncomfortable. A place where you don’t want to be. It seems that time lingers in this place. The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months and the months into years. You have done everything you know to do to change your situation, but nothing seems to budge; nothing seems to change; nothing seems to improve.

 

You’ve read all of the motivational material that’s available to you. You’ve followed all the recommended steps. You’ve followed the advice of your mentors. You’ve done all you know to do, but still to no avail.

 

You want to give up and throw in the towel, but something on the inside won’t let you quit. Every time you throw up your hands, an ounce of motivation will appear from somewhere. Someone will come with an encouraging word, or you’ll make a decision to try for one more day.

 

We all have reached these points in our lives. We all have encountered things that made us wanted to give up and throw in the towel. We all have felt like giving up at some point. But in spite of our feelings, we must not give into the overwhelming pressure. We must muster enough courage to continue. We must forge our way through our difficulties. We must know there is an end to the pain.

 

Whenever you encounter such an ordeal, just know that this ordeal came to pass. Just as we move from season to season, we also move through our situations. Know that your situation is temporal; it’s subject to change.

 

When faced with a dilemma, comfort yourself with these words: this too came to pass. Once you believe this, it gives you the fortitude to hang in there, continue to do what you know to do and never give up.

Books by Levon