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Posts tagged ‘education’

WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES THAT GOES INTO THE MAKING OF A GOOD FATHER?

WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES THAT GOES INTO THE MAKING OF A GOOD FATHER?

Pastor Davis with Grand Daughter-Shania

BY MINISTER SHIRLEY RHODES

You are my FATHER/MOTHER: God breathed (SPITIT)

WE ARE:  Your gift from God, you were chosen

YOUR MISSION: To care for us; protect us

To teach us; lead and guide us

Provide a safe and secure environment for us to grow

To love and nurture us; lead by example

To provide the necessities of life for us, so that we can grow without worry or want

To ensure that we receive wisdom and knowledge that will shape us as we grow into our own

  • You may or may not have been there when I took my first breath
  • You may or may not have been there when I took my first step
  • You may or may not have been there on my first day of school
  • You may or may not have been there when I hit my first ball
  • You may or may not have been there when I lost my first tooth
  • You may or may not have been there when I shed my first tear
  • You may or may not have been there when I went on my first date
  • You may or may not have been there when I went to my high school prom
  • You may or may have not been there when I graduated high school/college
  • So many parts of my growth and development process you may or may not have been a part of, but you know what; it doesn’t matter because you are still my Father/Mother.

FATHER:

How tall and proud you stand with strong sturdy hands

Firms glance with eyes that see the truth in you

A heart that loves you no matter what it sees on your face or hears on your lips

How long his arms that embrace you across the miles and time, always finding the way to where-ever you are

How large his heart is, so full of the lives of others held dear with barely enough room for him in there

Always giving, always aware, always there; those are some of “THE QUALITIES THAT GOES INTO THE MAKING OF A GOOD FATHER?”

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TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART TWO)

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART TWO)         

Teaching Kids Respect-My-Grand Son Tony Byars (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Remember, the process for training up a child to learn respect begins with you, “the parent.”  Set the example for your child.  You as the Parent have a duty to God and to your children to instruct them in the reasons for being respectful, study (Proverbs 1:84:16:20Ephesians 6:1-4). These verses should enlighten your mind on what God wants us to know about the proper role we play in raising our children to have and show respect for authority.

These principles equip your children for success in life and prepare them to assume their place in the kingdom. You as a Parent do more harm to your children by not instructing and re-enforcing these truths (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

Your child mimics what you do — if your child sees you yelling, cursing, interrupting or being sarcastic, your child believes this behavior is natural, explains Dr. Robyn Silverman, child and teen development expert. If you want your child to respect you, teach him or her how to do so.  If you want your child to have respected you and other authority figures you must give respect to your child. This means you support your child and his or her feelings. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, and refrain from saying anything negative that can hurt your child.  Respect is a two-way street. Just because you are an authoritative figure doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect your child. Your child is a person too.

Let us be mindful that when God commands us to respect certain individuals it is assumed they are respectable. One of the difficult lessons to learn in life is that we are sometimes disappointed by those whom we have come to respect. Parents sin (Colossians 3:21); elders digress (1 Timothy 5:19-20); governments become corrupt (Psalms 9:17); men become wicked (2 Timothy 3:13). In times like these, we remember that the honor we give others, even the undeserving, is a reflection of the esteem with which we hold Christ (Ephesians 6:5-7).

English: Young saint Timothy with his mother

English: Young saint Timothy with his mother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the young demand respect for themselves. They are certainly entitled to the same honor which others receive (I Peter 2:17). However, the same assumptions hold for them as well, those honored are honorable and the respected are respectable. Paul admonished Timothy to let no man despise his youth (I Timothy 4:12). In order to accomplish that task Paul urged him to be an example in all areas of life. If we want to be respected we must learn it and earn it.

Now let us look at one of the most common and misunderstood ways that a child shows lack of respect for adults, it is by interrupting adult conversations.  For me as a child, this was truly a no, no. However, this is often done when a child continuously pulls on their Mother’s arm while saying, “Mommie, Mommie, Mommie, Mommie, Mommie,” repeatedly until Mommie gives the child her undivided attention. The child has demanded priority over the adult with whom her mother was speaking, and in essence has said, “Me first! I’m more important than you are!” The tragedy is that most parents are oblivious to this very prevalent way of showing disrespect to adults, and they will generally acknowledge the child immediately, even doing so when their adult friend is in mid-sentence.

A child who has something to say to parents who are engaged in conversation should be trained to come and stand quietly beside his or her parent, making sure that his or her parent sees them. At an appropriate time after the other party has completed a thought, the parent can say, “Excuse me one moment,” and turn and acknowledge the child, who has been waiting patiently. After answering the child’s question, the adult conversation can be resumed. The child’s concern has been addressed, but at the parents discretion, not the child’s.

When adults are engaged in conversation in the presence of children (for instance, at dinner), the children should not dominate or dictate the direction of the conversation. The way another generation expressed this thought was, “Children should be seen and not heard.” It is not that children should not speak at all, but that they should not think that they have equal status around the dinner table with the adults. Sitting quietly and learning to listen while at the dinner table is a key ingredient to a Childs ability to learn respect and proper communication with other adult figures.  Many children, if not taught respect by their parents, will actually dominate the conversation, making it impossible for the parents and guests to have an adult discussion.

Children should be taught to sit quietly and respond enthusiastically when spoken to, or when an adult shows an interest in them or their activities. They should be spirited responders, and not initiators, when adults are present.

We must always know our place and keep in mind, that we are the adults in the room, and we are either going to be the teacher are we are going to be taught by our children.  If we are Godly parents, we know that we must always remain in the will of God and be obedient to the word of God, knowing that everything we do our children is watching and learning from us.  A key ingredient to just how our children learn respect is through observation.  They learn how to honor their parents by observing how their parents honor one another (Ephesians 5:2829), and by seeing how their parents treat their grandparents (1 Timothy 5:4Matthew 15:6). They learn how to honor government by observing how their parents respect the law (I Peter 2:13-15Luke 20:25I Timothy 2:1-2). They learn how to honor their employers by observing how their parents honor theirs (Ephesians 4:286:6-72 Thessalonians 3:10). And, they learn to honor God by observing their parents do the same (Matthew 6:33).

Know this one truth, and that is God will always have the last word on how respect and honor works in our daily lives.  In (Ephesians 6:2-4 AMP) the word says this, “Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.  This honor is due because parents have sacrificed so much for their children.  They are the guides, the providers and protectors of their offspring. Their love and sacrifice should command our respect; this is why God says, “It is right.”

The aged are worthy of our respect (Leviticus 19:32Proverbs 20:29). However, it is again assumed that they command that respect by their character (Proverbs 16:31;Job 32:9). The aged have attained wisdom through their experiences and spirituality (Job 12:12). Their lives have been a blessing to their families and communities because of their accomplishments. Their posterity is indebted to them for their accomplishments. We do stand on the shoulders of giants.

Now in conclusion let me leave you with this final perspective, why has this become such a problem in the 21st century? I submit to you that this should not come as a surprise to you because we have a generation of kids raising kids.  With our economy in the shape that it is in and both parents having to leave home for work just to make ends meet, we have turn over the raising of our children to the T.V. and video games.  Drugs and Alcoholic has invaded our communities and the drug addictions and early death rate of so many of our youth are causing grandparents and great grand parents to become parents to their grand children at a time when they are ill equipped to do so.  The children have already grown up with a bad attitude of disrespect for the adults and the authority figures that now must care for them.

While it is unfortunate, it is nevertheless often necessary to apply correction. A failure to do this when it is called for encourages further disrespect (Ecclesiastes 8:11). For this reason then, God has allowed for government to punish evildoers (Romans 13:24), the church to correct the unrepentant (Titus 1:132 Thessalonians 3:6), and parents to discipline their children (Proverbs 13:24).

Let me assure you, this is not the final word on this subject by no means; I will speak more on this subject again soon.  It is a subject that has many view points. In my next message I will have others to share their views on this subject until we all get a complete picture on what and how to deal effective with this matter.  If you have a point of view that you would like to share, please email it to me and I will consider it in my next lesson on this subject.  I leave you with my peace, that you may enjoy the benefits of God’s grace and mercy.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

TEACHING OUR CHILDREN (SHANIA A. BYARS) PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS

What happens when kids grow up disrespecting authority figures? We see the prison system all over the country is over crowded with young children who grew up not knowing what it meant to obey authority.  The grave yards are quickly becoming a place where young children are been sent because people have become so fed up with children robbing, beating, threaten and even murdering their parents and other adults that the public is fighting back and shooting and killing these children when their own lives are threaten.  Here in my city of Detroit, just two weeks ago a sixteen year old boy attempted a carjack, the man he attempted to carjack was armed and after ordering the kid to get out of his car and the kid refused, the man shot and killed the young boy.  This is a tragedy and failure on the parent’s part to teach their son that they must respect authority and not be out robbing, stealing and killing other people.  Prosecutors around the country are putting kids on trial from the age of 10 and up as adults.

Respect for authority begins in the home, if your children are not taught to show respect for their parents are other adults in their home and community, they will most certainly not show respect for the government, such as police, teachers, the courts, all other authority figures and the churchRespect for authority comes through the realization that it is set up to help us and not to control us.  It must begin when the children are young and can understand that they are loved and what is being taught to them is that we love them and how to love others by the love and respect that they are shown.

This does not mean that children obey all adults; they only have to obey those to whom their parents have delegated that authority, such as teachers, coaches, etc. However, there should be a deference given to adults by children because of their age and experience.

Respecting authority is something our children should do without any hesitations; however, before they can do this, they have to be taught the meaning of respect and how and why it has to be a key ingredient in all of our lives. All authority is from God (Romans 13:1). Learning to respect an authority, no matter who the particular authority figure is, is respecting God, and is foundational for our children’s future.

As a young person growing up in my community, we all were taught to refer to all adults by saying “Mr. and Mrs., yes Sir and yes Maim,” this was a sign of respect, and immediately set the adult apart from the child’s friends.  Not understanding the principle involved, many adults will say, “Call me (their first name).” A parent can then explain that using “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and the last name is being done for the child’s sake, to help him to learn to show respect for adults.

Since a baby has no concept of respect, and feels only its own needs when it is first born, I believe that the only successful way to teach a child what respect is is to earn the respect of the child as they slowly grow into a thinking human being.

The way this is done is first of all by attending to the child’s natural needs, such as to be fed and nurtured. As the child grows, his needs change. He has increasingly sophisticated psychological needs. He begins to express his own views, his own preferences, and he has an increasing need for freedom, autonomy and independence. This is when the adults in his life can treat him with increasing respect and thereby earn his respect in return.

Let us understand a very important thing as to respect, and that is age affects children’s respect. Both Children and adults deserve respect at every age. Here is a guideline based on age:

Babies – They are too young to show respect but when you meet their needs, they learn to trust you. This helps as they get older because respect for authority is based on trust.

Toddlers – They are old enough to learn to say “please” and “thank you”.

Preschoolers – This is a good time to teach rules and consequences.

Elementary age – They show the most respect for adults who make fair rules. It helps to let them have a say in the rules that they are expected to follow.

Middle and High Schoolers – Allow them to show independence, such as clothing or hairstyles, but make sure you have guidelines. They will appreciate the respect you are showing them. We respect you and the incredible job that you have, being a parent.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to equip our children to function well in the world, and if we

Picture of me showing love for my Grand Children

neglect that responsibility our children could easily wind up in prison are the graves.  No parent wants this for their child, therefore it is important that we address the needs of our children when they are born and stay with it no matter how difficult the task may become into their adult lives.

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect. Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what’s best for them, and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is. Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.  Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.  Although you may not realize it, your child must also respect herself or himself.
This concludes part one of a two part message.  Please read and study this as the first session of many to come on this message.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

THE PRESIDENT SLOW JAMS THE NEWS

President Barack Obama appeared on the Jimmy Fallon late night T.V show and Slow Jams the News.  This involved a discussion about Congress passing the bill not to increase the college student loans. Watch and enjoy the laughs.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA PRESENTS THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT

Tonight President Barack Obama took the first step in putting America back to work by presenting to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol the American Jobs Act.

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART TWO)

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART TWO)         

Remember, the process for training up a child to learn respect begins with you, “the parent.”  Set the example for your child.  You as the Parent have a duty to God and to your children to instruct them in the reasons for being respectful, study (Proverbs 1:84:16:20Ephesians 6:1-4). These verses should enlighten your mind on what God wants us to know about the proper role we play in raising our children to have and show respect for authority.

These principles equip your children for success in life and prepare them to assume their place in the kingdom. You as a Parent do more harm to your children by not instructing and re-enforcing these truths (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

Your child mimics what you do — if your child sees you yelling, cursing, interrupting or being sarcastic, your child believes this behavior is natural, explains Dr. Robyn Silverman, child and teen development expert. If you want your child to respect you, teach him or her how to do so.  If you want your child to have respected you and other authority figures you must give respect to your child. This means you support your child and his or her feelings. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, and refrain from saying anything negative that can hurt your child.  Respect is a two-way street. Just because you are an authoritative figure doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect your child. Your child is a person too.

Let us be mindful that when God commands us to respect certain individuals it is assumed they are respectable. One of the difficult lessons to learn in life is that we are sometimes disappointed by those whom we have come to respect. Parents sin (Colossians 3:21); elders digress (1 Timothy 5:19-20); governments become corrupt (Psalms 9:17); men become wicked (2 Timothy 3:13). In times like these, we remember that the honor we give others, even the undeserving, is a reflection of the esteem with which we hold Christ (Ephesians 6:5-7).

Sometimes the young demand respect for themselves. They are certainly entitled to the same honor which others receive (I Peter 2:17). However, the same assumptions hold for them as well, those honored are honorable and the respected are respectable. Paul admonished Timothy to let no man despise his youth (I Timothy 4:12). In order to accomplish that task Paul urged him to be an example in all areas of life. If we want to be respected we must learn it and earn it.

Now let us look at one of the most common and misunderstood ways that a child shows lack of respect for adults, it is by interrupting adult conversations.  For me as a child, this was truly a no, no. However, this is often done when a child continuously pulls on their Mother’s arm while saying, “Mommie, Mommie, Mommie, Mommie, Mommie,” repeatedly until Mommie gives the child her undivided attention. The child has demanded priority over the adult with whom her mother was speaking, and in essence has said, “Me first! I’m more important than you are!” The tragedy is that most parents are oblivious to this very prevalent way of showing disrespect to adults, and they will generally acknowledge the child immediately, even doing so when their adult friend is in mid-sentence.

A child who has something to say to parents who are engaged in conversation should be trained to come and stand quietly beside his or her parent, making sure that his or her parent sees them. At an appropriate time after the other party has completed a thought, the parent can say, “Excuse me one moment,” and turn and acknowledge the child, who has been waiting patiently. After answering the child’s question, the adult conversation can be resumed. The child’s concern has been addressed, but at the parents discretion, not the child’s.

When adults are engaged in conversation in the presence of children (for instance, at dinner), the children should not dominate or dictate the direction of the conversation. The way another generation expressed this thought was, “Children should be seen and not heard.” It is not that children should not speak at all, but that they should not think that they have equal status around the dinner table with the adults. Sitting quietly and learning to listen while at the dinner table is a key ingredient to a Childs ability to learn respect and proper communication with other adult figures.  Many children, if not taught respect by their parents, will actually dominate the conversation, making it impossible for the parents and guests to have an adult discussion.

Children should be taught to sit quietly and respond enthusiastically when spoken to, or when an adult shows an interest in them or their activities. They should be spirited responders, and not initiators, when adults are present.

We must always know our place and keep in mind, that we are the adults in the room, and we are either going to be the teacher are we are going to be taught by our children.  If we are Godly parents, we know that we must always remain in the will of God and be obedient to the word of God, knowing that everything we do our children is watching and learning from us.  A key ingredient to just how our children learn respect is through observation.  They learn how to honor their parents by observing how their parents honor one another (Ephesians 5:2829), and by seeing how their parents treat their grandparents (1 Timothy 5:4Matthew 15:6). They learn how to honor government by observing how their parents respect the law (I Peter 2:13-15Luke 20:25I Timothy 2:1-2). They learn how to honor their employers by observing how their parents honor theirs (Ephesians 4:286:6-72 Thessalonians 3:10). And, they learn to honor God by observing their parents do the same (Matthew 6:33).

Know this one truth, and that is God will always have the last word on how respect and honor works in our daily lives.  In (Ephesians 6:2-4 AMP) the word says this, “Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.  This honor is due because parents have sacrificed so much for their children.  They are the guides, the providers and protectors of their offspring. Their love and sacrifice should command our respect; this is why God says, “It is right.”

The aged are worthy of our respect (Leviticus 19:32Proverbs 20:29). However, it is again assumed that they command that respect by their character (Proverbs 16:31;Job 32:9). The aged have attained wisdom through their experiences and spirituality (Job 12:12). Their lives have been a blessing to their families and communities because of their accomplishments. Their posterity is indebted to them for their accomplishments. We do stand on the shoulders of giants.

Now in conclusion let me leave you with this final perspective, why has this become such a problem in the 21st century? I submit to you that this should not come as a surprise to you because we have a generation of kids raising kids.  With our economy in the shape that it is in and both parents having to leave home for work just to make ends meet, we have turn over the raising of our children to the T.V. and video games.  Drugs and Alcoholic has invaded our communities and the drug addictions and early death rate of so many of our youth are causing grandparents and great grand parents to become parents to their grand children at a time when they are ill equipped to do so.  The children have already grown up with a bad attitude of disrespect for the adults and the authority figures that now must care for them.

While it is unfortunate, it is nevertheless often necessary to apply correction. A failure to do this when it is called for encourages further disrespect (Ecclesiastes 8:11). For this reason then, God has allowed for government to punish evildoers (Romans 13:24), the church to correct the unrepentant (Titus 1:132 Thessalonians 3:6), and parents to discipline their children (Proverbs 13:24).

Let me assure you, this is not the final word on this subject by no means; I will speak more on this subject again soon.  It is a subject that has many view points. In my next message I will have others to share their views on this subject until we all get a complete picture on what and how to deal effective with this matter.  If you have a point of view that you would like to share, please email it to me and I will consider it in my next lesson on this subject.  I leave you with my peace, that you may enjoy the benefits of God’s grace and mercy.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

 

 

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

What happens when kids grow up disrespecting authority figures? We see the prison system all over the country is over crowded with young children who grew up not knowing what it meant to obey authority.  The grave yards are quickly becoming a place where young children are been sent because people have become so fed up with children robbing, beating, threaten and even murdering their parents and other adults that the public is fighting back and shooting and killing these children when their own lives are threaten.  Here in my city of Detroit, just two weeks ago a sixteen year old boy attempted a carjack, the man he attempted to carjack was armed and after ordering the kid to get out of his car and the kid refused, the man shot and killed the young boy.  This is a tragedy and failure on the parent’s part to teach their son that they must respect authority and not be out robbing, stealing and killing other people.  Prosecutors around the country are putting kids on trial from the age of 10 and up as adults.

Respect for authority begins in the home, if your children are not taught to show respect for their parents are other adults in their home and community, they will most certainly not show respect for the government, such as police, teachers, the courts, all other authority figures and the churchRespect for authority comes through the realization that it is set up to help us and not to control us.  It must begin when the children are young and can understand that they are loved and what is being taught to them is that we love them and how to love others by the love and respect that they are shown.

This does not mean that children obey all adults; they only have to obey those to whom their parents have delegated that authority, such as teachers, coaches, etc. However, there should be a deference given to adults by children because of their age and experience.

Respecting authority is something our children should do without any hesitations; however, before they can do this, they have to be taught the meaning of respect and how and why it has to be a key ingredient in all of our lives. All authority is from God (Romans 13:1). Learning to respect an authority, no matter who the particular authority figure is, is respecting God, and is foundational for our children’s future.

As a young person growing up in my community, we all were taught to refer to all adults by saying “Mr. and Mrs., yes Sir and yes Maim,” this was a sign of respect, and immediately set the adult apart from the child’s friends.  Not understanding the principle involved, many adults will say, “Call me (their first name).” A parent can then explain that using “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and the last name is being done for the child’s sake, to help him to learn to show respect for adults.

Since a baby has no concept of respect, and feels only its own needs when it is first born, I believe that the only successful way to teach a child what respect is is to earn the respect of the child as they slowly grow into a thinking human being.

The way this is done is first of all by attending to the child’s natural needs, such as to be fed and nurtured. As the child grows, his needs change. He has increasingly sophisticated psychological needs. He begins to express his own views, his own preferences, and he has an increasing need for freedom, autonomy and independence. This is when the adults in his life can treat him with increasing respect and thereby earn his respect in return.

Let us understand a very important thing as to respect, and that is age affects children’s respect. Both Children and adults deserve respect at every age. Here is a guideline based on age:

Babies – They are too young to show respect but when you meet their needs, they learn to trust you. This helps as they get older because respect for authority is based on trust.

Toddlers – They are old enough to learn to say “please” and “thank you”.

Preschoolers – This is a good time to teach rules and consequences.

Elementary age – They show the most respect for adults who make fair rules. It helps to let them have a say in the rules that they are expected to follow.

Middle and High Schoolers – Allow them to show independence, such as clothing or hairstyles, but make sure you have guidelines. They will appreciate the respect you are showing them. We respect you and the incredible job that you have, being a parent.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to equip our children to function well in the world, and if we neglect that responsibility our children could easily wind up in prison are the graves.  No parent wants this for their child, therefore it is important that we address the needs of our children when they are born and stay with it no matter how difficult the task may become into their adult lives.

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect. Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what’s best for them, and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is. Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.  Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.  Although you may not realize it, your child must also respect herself or himself.
This concludes part one of a two part message.  Please read and study this as the first session of many to come on this message.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 1)

An image of Psalm 23 (King James' Version), fr...

AN IMAGE OF THE 23 PSALM

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 1)

WHY IS THERE AN INTERGITY AND VALUE CRISIS IN OUR LEADERSHIP?

Why is there so much turmoil at the top of our families, our churches, and our government? It appears that we have lost our moral compasses. We no longer live by the values that Jesus taught us. Fathers, who are the head of our families, are failing at an alarming rate. The church leadership is leading God’s people astray. In addition, we have our government leaders that are in total flux, they do not know which way is up or which way is down.  It is almost like the blind leading the blind, and we all are going round and round.  Where will it all ends?

Jesus warned us against doing the right things for the wrong reasons, things such as trying to develop integrity only because it would advance our career or help us to close a deal. Jesus called people who practiced this kind of morality “hypocrites.” Notice that he used this word three times in (Matthew 6:2,5,16 verses). Three times people are cited for violating their integrity by doing something only for the appearance. How excited would you be about doing business with people like this? In today’s marketplace, it appears that some of our leaders believe, that when no one is looking, they can do anything they choose to do, and get away with it.  What they failed to understand, is that God sees all, and know all things. Our God is a God who sits high and looks low. Anything that a person may do in the dark will come into the light eventually.

Therefore, the essence of hypocrisy (lack of integrity) is public-dependent behavior.  It is acting one-way while people are watching and another when alone. Typically this is not the kind of person most parents would want their daughter to marry; nor is this the kind of leader who inspires dedicated followers.

Jesus key to integrity is that his followers will live their lives by the standard of their unchanging, present heavenly father. Resist the temptation to dance to every vendor’s tune; instead, march to the steady beat set by our Almighty God.

Integrity involves living by one standard and for the approval of one judge. People come and go, and their standards are fickle. Trying to please all of them will at best drive you nuts and at worst turn you into a hypocrite. Nevertheless, God is unchanging and always present. Living for Him is foundational to integrity, and it reaps an eternal reward.

In order for today’s leaders to begin to lead in the right direction, they must go back to the core principles of Jesus teaching on integrity, and values. Now allow me the opportunity to define for our leaders, the first step of what their core values should be.  Until they understand, what it means to be equipped with core values, such as trying to steer their ship with no rudders. Vision, mission, strategy and outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, until values are clear. Jesus knew that; and in the process of developing His team off disciples, he forced them to confront this foundational issue.

Jesus urged his disciples to focus their values on things that would bear and eternal return. However, how, by making a living on Earth, while responsibly leading an enterprise on earth, while providing jobs, products, service and profit on Earth; do we build treasures in heaven? Whose nod of approval matters most? Who defines what really matters?

Jesus told his disciples that the core value, the driving value, that eternal value is this: “does what I am doing please God?”Every other value is second to that one. When that value is in place all other values line up.

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. Those are motivational, they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive, they placed boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.

King David demonstrated value driven behavior in Psalms 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart.” Because this person’s values truth and his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he does his neighbor no wrong. Because he values honesty, he keeps his oath even when it hurts. Because he values justice, he does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said, “They would never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.

As you reflect on the Psalms, considering what values drove the psalmist behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal; to more completely integrate God’s values into your professional and personal life.

THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE LIES IN THE UNIVERSE

DAVIS MIND REALITY

Davis Mind Reality teaching is not for every student.  Every student must come to the realization that His existing lies in the one.  The one is not separate from the whole.  The Universe is the one in which all exist from.  Therefore, we can never live separate from the Universe. To understand Davis Mind Reality Teaching I must describe it in this manner.  It is like a snake—it is dangerous.  There is a sutra that describes how being caught in the teachings is exactly like being bitten by a snake that you are trying to catch.  In the sutra, Davis Mind Reality says that the best way to catch a snake is to use a forked stick to hold the head of the snake so you can grasp the snake behind its head so you cannot be harmed.  If you try to grasp the snake with your hand alone, you will be bitten.  Studying the teachings is the same.  An intelligent person will not grasp onto ideas and notions and mistake them for reality.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin this discussion of the collective and the individual nature of the human being, and the power of his knowledge.  First, let us understand that every phenomenon has both a collective and an individual nature, that provides him with power and knowledge.  Just as the one and the many have to work, together to produce something, so the individual and the collective depend on each other to develop and transform.  We have to go beyond such ideas as same and different, individual and collective.  Now if we can move our thinking beyond the idea of birth and death, one and many, coming and going, permanence and annihilation, we can begin to see how God produce life into the universe as the whole of everything.

Birth is an idea that means something arises from nothing.  If we observe deeply, we see that things are not like that.  Something cannot arise from nothing.  We already existed before our birth, although in a different form.  Clouds are the past life of rain.  Rain is a continuation of the clouds.  When energy becomes matter; that is just a continuation, It is not that matter has been produced wholesale out of nothingness.  The laws of physics and the teachings of Davis Mind Reality agree that something cannot be produced from nothing.

In the same way, something cannot become nothing; it cannot completely disappear and cease to exist.  When we burn a piece of paper, the paper does not cease to exist; it becomes heat, ashes, and smoke.  Heat penetrates the cosmos.  Smoke and other gases rise into the air and form clouds, which give rise to rain.  Ashes fall down to the earth and nurture the soil.  Rain and soil are two of the conditions necessary for trees to grow.  Later, the tree may become a piece of paper again.  Looking in this way, we can see that even a piece of paper transcends birth and death.

The ideas of coming and going are also not true.  We say, I came from that place and I am going to this place.  Or we say:  Before I was born I was in another place and after I die I will be someplace else.  But we know from the teachings of interpenetration and interbeing that “here” and “there” are merely concepts, and that every place can be found in every other place.  There is really nowhere to go to or come from in the ultimate dimension.

The idea of permanence means that something goes on existing as it is forever, that it never under goes any change or transformation.  This too is an incorrect idea.  Everything is of the nature to change.  The opposite idea, annihilation, means that when we die, our body and our consciousness cease to exist.  We have already seen how something cannot become nothing.  Our body and consciousness simply change form.

Our mind is like a sword.  It cuts reality into pieces, separate from each other.  However, reality cannot be grasped by our discursive mind—the mind of imagination, discrimination, and discussion.  We have to learn how to touch reality without using our usual patterns of thinking.  If we practice looking into the nature of inter-being of things, we can unlock the door of reality and let go of the notions of same and different, individual and collective. These are ideas that cannot be applied to ultimate reality.

The truth of the matter is that we must learn how to release.  The more you are capable of releasing, the more joyful you become.  You think that this or that is essential for your happiness, but if you let these notions go you will discover that they were really obstacles to your happiness.  There are two kinds of obstacles; obstacles of knowledge and obstacles of afflictions.  If we cling to what we have learned as the absolute truth, we are caught by that knowledge.  For this reason, we have to be very careful about what we know.  It may be an obstacle to our transformation, our happiness.  Acquiring knowledge is like climbing a ladder: in order to step up to a higher rung we have to let go of the rung we are standing on.  If we believe that the step we are standing on is the highest, then we can climb no higher.

The technique of learning in this tradition is always to release, to let go of what we have just learned, of what we have already obtained.  Never believe that what you know is absolute truth.  If you are caught by the knowledge you presently possess, that is the end of your progress.  If scientists cling to what they already know, they will not be able to discover other truths.  They must be able to drop what they know about something the moment they learn something new that contradicts or supersedes it.  On the path of practice, knowledge is an obstacle that must be overcome.  We must be ready to abandon our knowledge at any moment in order to get to a higher level of understanding.  This is very important.

At the first stage of our learning we put to an end both the affliction-obstacle and the knowledge-obstacle.  The knowledge-obstacle occurs more in the realm of the intellect, while the affliction-obstacle is more in the realm of the emotions.  Our envy, hatred, anger, sadness, despair, and anxiety are all obstacles of afflictions.  If our sadness is so great that we feel paralyzed, that is an affliction-obstacle.  If we are depressed, suffering too much, or desiring too much, these are all obstacles to our practice.

Our ignorance and inability to see the truth belong to the knowledge-obstacle, this means that the way we see things is not the way things are.  Our point of view, perception, and learning are all the objects of our knowledge, and these are the things that prevent us from going ahead,  “I already know everything there is to know about that.  I don’t need to learn any more.”  Whatever the value of what our intellect and our insight has attained, we have to abandon it.  If we don’t, we put an end to further progress.  Even though it has some value, our knowledge has become an obstacle.  If we are caught in our knowledge, if we say that our knowledge is absolute truth, we suffer from the knowledge-obstacle.  Those who have knowledge but know that they have to abandon it in order to go further do not suffer from the knowledge-obstacle.

Objects of knowledge are like water that has become ice and prevents the river from flowing.  We need knowledge, but we have to use it intelligently.  When we think that our present knowledge is paramount, our way ahead is blocked.  Our knowledge has become an obstacle.  This way of looking at knowledge is quite special to the Davis Mind Reality Concept.  The Davis Mind Reality teaches that we cannot be attached to anything; we have to abandon even our insight, our understanding, and of course, our knowledge.

Knowledge-obstacles are easier to abolish than affliction-obstacles.  Affliction-obstacles need more time, more practice, to dissolve.  Our anger, misery, and despair are blocks in our store consciousness.  We have to practice touching them deeply with the energy of mindfulness in order to see their roots and transform them.  Solidity is important for our well-being.  When you practice walking meditation, each step you take in mindfulness should help you cultivate a little bit more solidity and freedom.  When craving, anger, or jealousy manifest as mental formations in your mind consciousness, it is like having a fever, it burns.

THE LESSONS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME

MOM AND DAD GOD'S SERVANTS

 My Mother played the most important role in shaping my life from the day I was born until the day God called her back home.  Today, I honor my Mother for who she was, for who I am and for who we both are in God, and I salute and honor all Mothers because God created you and gave you a special place of honor in this world to never be taken away by man.

God never meant that every woman should be a Mother, however, He did command that women should be fruitful and multiply.  The Bible tells us that whom the Lord blesses to be Mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

To me, the greatest thing we have is life.  In addition, where there is life as the old adage goes there is hope.  So maybe, if we can get into choosing life, it will not be as difficult as we might imagine.

One of the greatest lessons my Mother taught me was that I must take responsibility for choosing and defining my own life.  When I do, “she said, God will lift you up on the wings of an eagle and you can fly away to that place of peace and tranquility that nothing can stop you from living the life you desire.”  I took my Mother’s advice and it changed my entire life.

Today I believe most people are afraid of life.  I do not know why it is.  We are afraid to be what we are!  We get marvelous, insane feelings and we do not act on them.  As you see someone really attractive and you think, “I am going to tell her she’s really beautiful.”  Then you think, “Oh, I cannot do that.”  Then she goes all of her life not knowing she is beautiful!  It is a shame because if we really do not live fully we keep other people from living fully!

We are afraid of living life, therefore, we do not experience, we do not see.  We do not feel.  We do not risk!  We do not care!  Therefore we do not live, because life means being actively involved.  Life means getting your hands dirty.  Life means jumping in the middle of it all.  Life means falling flat on your face.  Life means going beyond yourself into the stars!

Nevertheless, you must decide yourself, for yourself.  “What does life mean to me?”  I am convinced if we spent as much time—no, one quarter as much time each day thinking about life, living, and loving as we do planning a meal, we will be incredible!

Nevertheless, life has a wonderful way of solving this problem.  It is always very fascinating to me because when life is not being lived, it explodes in us.  It is like trying to hold the lid on when the steam is ready to blow.  Something will happen I am convinced of it.  You will either turn to extremes of fear, pain, loneliness, paranoia, or apathy.  All signs that you are not alive, you are not living!  So if you are feeling any of these things, roll up your sleeves and say, “Let me live.”  The minute you start getting involved in life, the steam lets off, and you are safe.  It is easy, but life lets us know that it must be led.  How wonderful!

My Mother experienced this in her own way, and she used her knowledge of living and loving to teach me how to reach for the moon, and if for some reason I could not grab hold of it, I would truly be among the stars.  Because God provided all His children with the power to choose life and to live it to the fullness of all there is.

Now I truly know that there is a thing called joy, because I have felt it.  In addition, there is such a thing as marvelous madness because I have lived it.  Moreover, I know there is such a thing as loving because I have loved.  And I know there is such a thing as ecstasy because I have known ecstasy.  And I also know, because I have known people who have experienced it, and you can too.  Now think back about some of the lessons your Mother taught you, grab hold of them and begin to experience the joy of this life.  It is yours now enjoy it.

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