Viewing 1 - 9 out of 105 Blogs.
"Listen not to a tale- bearer or slanderer, for he tells thee nothing out of good-will; but as he discovereth of the secret of others, so he will of thine in turn." - Socrates
It would prove to be wise counsel to beware the talebearer. The talebearer is an extremely slanderous and scandalous individual. He speaks with a forked tongue that is as deadly as the venom of an Egyptian cobra. He weaves a web that is more intricate than that of a latrodectus, ensnaring and entangling his unsuspecting victims. The talebearer often knows a miniscule of the truth, and even that truth which he professes to know in time becomes twisted and distorted, resulting in one vicious lie after another being told. Seeking after the truth, or even telling the truth has never been and never will be his forte. Instead he basks in the hate and discontent that he causes by spreading malicious falsities.
Those who dare to associate with the talebearer place themselves in peril. At first he may appear as harmless as a lamb, but once he has gained favor, his true identity as a ravenous wolf is exposed. He will lure you into his den and hold you captive there. He will not release you until you concur to be a part of his devious behavior. In time you will become just like him, a slanderous and scandalous individual who spreads malicious falsities, causing undue malice and discontent.
And so, it proves to be a foolish adventure to want to tread upon the playground of the talebearer. If perchance you do happen to stumble upon his playground, it is to your advantage to vacate immediately. It will proffer you nothing but relentless stress and heartache to remain and try to befriend him, for in reality he is not the true friend of anyone. He only seeks to rally innocent victims to champion his cause. He is cold-hearted and ruthless, and when given the opportunity will use you as the subject of the next tale that he bears.
Tags: Talebearer Gossip Discontent Malice
Time is a precious commodity. Whether we are married, single, widowed, divorced, or single parents, there are things in all of our lives that can put great demands on our time. No single station in life dictates that one person is any busier than another. By the same token, just because a person's station in life is not comparable to that of another, it does not suggest that that person just sits idle with nothing to do; neither does it offer up his time for others to take for granted and consume because they assume that he has nothing else to do.
Each of us has a life to live, and in the course of that life there are things that continuously vie for our time. Regardless of our station in life, our life circumstances often dictate how our time gets divided in any given day. It is not for any of us to make the decision that what a person is doing or has to do is of any less importance than anything that we are doing or have to do. In fact, it is selfish on our part to want to take up a large portion of a person's time without taking into consideration that that person may already be involved in something else or has something that he needs to get done.
As with all things in life, having respect for others is an amiable quality to possess. Each of us is given 24 hours in a day to accomplish the tasks at hand. There are some days when the load that we carry will be light, and there are other days when we feel pressed and heavy burdened to get everything done that needs to be done. And so, regardless of our station in life, each of us finds that our time is valuable. Therefore, if we want people to respect our time, we need to reciprocate by having respect for their time.
Tags: Time Life Respect
It is easy to view another personâ€™s life, and to make rash judgments about him, when we do not have to live his life. We can enjoy the security of being an outsider looking in. From where we sit we may only see the â€śtip of the icebergâ€ť of his situation. We may have only a thimble full, if that, of understanding what makes that person the way that they are.
Every personâ€™s life is uniquely different. We cannot make unmerited judgments about a person, or adequately vocalize our opinions about how he should be living his life until we know and fully understand all of the ramifications and consequences that govern and surround his life.
We have no God-given right to assume anything about a person until we have at least taken the time to get to know him. In getting to know a person we may need to close our mouths and open our eyes to the reality of his situation, and open our ears to listen to what that person has to say. We need to realize that his or her life experiences are not necessarily comparable to our own. In other words there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. There is a time to be the voice in a conversation and a time to be the attentive listening ears. There is a time to be the teacher and impart knowledge and there is a time to be the student that is taught and takes careful notes.
In order to gain even a miniscule amount of understanding another personâ€™s life we need to try â€śwalking a mile in their shoesâ€ť, viewing the world through their eyes. Then perhaps we will not be so quick to make unfair judgments or formulate absurd opinions about that person.
We must learn to respect and treat everyone as we would want to be treated and respected. If do not want other people to make hasty judgments or formulate unfair opinions about us, then we should not do so about them.
Â© 2012 by Keith Lionel Brown
Tags: Life Judging Verdit Love Kindness
We often fail in lifeâ€™s challenges or feel as if we are failures in life because we are our own worse critics â€“ judging ourselves more harshly than the reality of our situation. In effect we â€śfailâ€ť because we fail ourselves.
Sometimes in life we are faced with seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Instead of trying to get over them, we view them as â€śmighty Goliathsâ€ť and run and cower. As a result, many times we fail to see our dreams and aspirations come to fruition because we donâ€™t have the courage to press forward and engage the "Goliaths" that stand in our way. Even before we make the first step, we convince ourselves that we cannot defeat the "giant" in front of us. We give up and give in without ever trying.
For each of us, the road to success in life is filled with obstacles and hurdles as well as those potholes called â€śfailure.â€ť These we need to try to avoid if we can, or at least realize that they are there and devise a plan to get past them without falling in.
No one ever promised us that life would be a rose garden. No one ever promised us that the road that we would travel would be smooth as glass. Life is full of many lofty mountains and many low and desolate valleys. There may be â€śGoliathsâ€ť which may cross our path from time to time, but we will never achieve anything in this life if we continually quit every time we come face to face with a "giant" who is blocking our way and daring us to go any further. We must learn to always carry a proverbial slingshot and a few smooth stones in our backpacks, and take courage like the little shepherd boy David, and face the â€śGoliathsâ€ť in our lives head on with the determination that we will defeat them, and not allow them to defeat us.
Â© 2012 by Keith Lionel Brown
Tags: Life Challenges Faith Endurance Tenacity
There are some people who appear to be blissful in their ignorance. They seem to be â€śsnug as a bug in a rugâ€ť in not knowing about, or even attempting to learn about, the world around them. On the other hand, there are those who become so enveloped in other matters that they often neglect important tasks at hand, including things that really matter most because of their blissful ignorance.
We are all ignorant of some things, but we can choose to increase our knowledge and enhance our understanding of things of which we are ignorant, or we can choose to continue to wallow in our ignorance and be blissful. The same applies to setting our priorities in life. We can turn our focus towards those things which matter most, or we can continue to journey through life being blissfully ignorant of the realities around us and allow further opportunity to completely pass us by.
Some may find comfort and solace in accepting the bliss that seems to result from their ignorance. Others may excuse thoughtless or offensive actions as simply a result of blissful ignorance on their part â€“ and hence not really their fault. In either instance, unless a person makes the choice to abandon ignorance, he may eventually find himself forever stuck in a quagmire without any hope of ever getting out.
Â© 2012 by Keith Lionel Brown
Tags: Happiness Blissfulness Joy Peace
The country of Iceland, also known as the â€śLand of Fire and Ice,â€ť will always hold a special place in my heart. It was in the capital city of Reykjavik, in the little downtown storefront chapel, where I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the evening of Tuesday, 10 March 1998. I remember that it had snowed all that day and my friends and I were concerned that we would not be able to get from Keflavik Iceland, where I was stationed and serving on active duty in the United States Navy at that time, to Reykjavik for the baptism, but God smiled on us and heard our prayers and the snow stopped a couple of hours before it was time to leave and we were able to make it to the chapel and back before the next snowfall came. I was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, 22 March 1998.
I have always been a firm believer that God calls the person whom he needs to fulfill His purposes, at the exact time that He needs them, for the period of time that He needs them, and in the exact place where He needs them to be. History and the scriptures are replete with accounts of those who were called at diverse times to fulfill the purposes of God. There were people like Moses who were slow in speech and felt totally inadequate to do the things that God had called him to do, but God told him to open his mouth and He would speak for him, thus demonstrating that God is not looking for great orators to serve Him, but He is looking for those who are willing to march on and press forward and deliver the message that He has for His people. There were people like the little shepherd boy David who seemed like the most unlikely choice to be called and used of God, but this shepherd boy was endowed with might and power from on high and was able to slay a mighty giant with just a shepherd's sling and a few smooth stones, and then went on to become king, thus showing that God is not looking for the most popular persons to serve Him, but he is looking for ordinary people who are willing to go and do the things that He commands. And there were also people like Joseph Smith, a 14 year old, uneducated farm boy who dared to believe God's Word when he read in the Bible, in James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him", and went and knelt in the grove to earnestly seek direction from the Lord, and there was visited by the Father and the Son, and was called to bring about the fullness of the everlasting Gospel in this the last dispensation of times, thus clearly demonstrating that God is not looking for the Rhodes scholar to serve Him, but He is looking for the one who is humble, and whose heart is pure, and is willing to be an instrument in the Lordâ€™s hands to do the work that He has prepared for him to do.
Even as a young boy growing up in the Baptist Church, I have always felt the hand of God upon my life. I have always felt that somebody was calling my name and that there was a work that had been prepared for me to do. I have always had a love for the Gospel and had for a time pursued studies in becoming a Baptist minister. Through all of my studies I was never fully satisfied with the limited knowledge that I had obtained about the things of the Gospel. I always felt that there was some sort of spiritual void in my life that I desperately wanted to be filled. After many soul-searching hours of praying, pondering, and searching the scriptures for answers to the many questions that I felt were not answered through my studies alone, I humbly believe that it was the Lord who opened my eyes and led me to begin investigating the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although I had never had any association with anyone who was a member of this Church, there was something about it that made my soul hunger to know more about it. Even the very name of the Church â€“ The Church of Jesus Christ â€“ stood out to me and testified to my soul that there had to be something uniquely different about this Church and I also felt that somehow becoming a member of this Church was a part of the plan that God had for my life.
I investigated the Church and its teachings for several years, meeting with quite a few missionaries before making the decision to be baptized. I suppose the main thing that hindered me from making the decision to be baptized and to become a member of the Church was my attachment to family and my own intellectual pride. I attempted to convince myself that I had been born and raised as a Baptist, I had been taught Baptist doctrine my entire life, I had read the Bible in its entirety six times, and that I should have been satisfied with the knowledge that I had obtained up to that point, as that was all that God intended for me to know at that time. I even began to wonder what others would think about me, or say about me, if I made the decision to leave the Baptist faith and become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All the while I knew within my heart that someone was calling my name and that I needed to put all of my logic, reasoning, and intellectualism aside and heed the true voice that was calling me and not my own inner voice, or the voice of others.
I am reminded of the Old Testament account of the Lord calling the boy Samuel as recorded in 1 Samuel 3:1-10:
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.
8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
Each time the Lord called Samuel he thought that it was Eli who was calling him. It was not until after Eli had perceived that it was the Lord who was calling the boy and asked him to lie back down and listen for His voice again that Samuel then knew also that it was the voice of the Lord that he had heard all along. It wasnâ€™t until I finally decided to let go of my own inner voices and all outside influences and truly listen to the voice that was calling my name, that on 10 March 1998, like the boy Samuel, I was able to say, â€śSpeak; for thy servant hearethâ€ť (1 Samuel 3:10).
Since answering the call and becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities to serve in such capacities as Activities Chairman, Single Adult Representative, Sunday School Teacher (Teens), First Counselor in the Young Menâ€™s Presidency (Ward Level), a member of the Stake High Council, a member of two Bishoprics as both Second and First Counselor, High Priest Group Leader, and now as the Ward Mission Leader for the Annapolis Maryland Ward. I have also been blessed to meet several General Authorities of the Church, and been invited from time to time to participate in various other Church related activities and projects. In the pages of my Patriarchal Blessing I am promised that as long as I am faithful, obedient, and willing to always listen to the voice of the Lord when He calls me, and like Nephi of old to go and do the things which the Lord commands, the windows of Heaven will be open to me and I will be blessed with even greater responsibilities in the Church and will play a major role in helping to build up the Kingdom.
Tags: Endurance Faith Family Gospel Life Learning
The old adage that states, "Quitters never win, and Winners never quit" contains an enormous amount of truth and can benefit a person tremendously if he would heed the valuable lesson that is being taught. I have often said to people on occasion that the easiest way to become defeated in this life is to never try at all.
There are many people in the world today who live their lives being overshadowed by an ominous cloud of defeatism. Many good people defeat themselves by never attempting to accomplish certain tasks because they view the tasks before them as being too hard or too big. Oftentimes they convince themselves that what is required to complete the tasks is far beyond their realm of intelligence and comprehension, or that abilities needed to complete such tasks are beyond the scope of the skill set they possess. As a result they give up without ever trying, cheating themselves out of the wonderment of what they may have achieved if they only had the courage and the willpower to forge ahead. Even after they have put forth their best efforts to accomplish a task and they discover that they still are unable to complete it successfully, they need not give up and quit. At that particular juncture it is time to ask someone who is a little more knowledgeable to help complete the task at hand. With such help, the person who began the project may not only complete it, but will also gain new skills valuable for future projects.
The attitude of defeatism can exist in our homes, on our jobs, and in our classrooms. Not necessarily is this attitude of defeatism brought about by a lack of trying to do something, but oftentimes rather by listening to the voice of a naysayer. For example, a husband wanting to save much needed money decides that instead of calling a plumber to come and make minor repairs, he would try and make those repairs himself. As he begins work making the repairs, his wife enters the room and asks him what he thinks he is doing. "Now honey," she says, "you know that you don't know anything about plumbing. Why don't you call someone who can fix it right the first time?" Her comment to this dear man, regardless of the intent behind it, has literally taken the "wind out of his sails" and causes him to give up and do as his wife says, call a plumber, thus spending the money that he had hoped to save.
Parents can similarly instill an attitude of defeatism in their children. For example, Johnny comes home from school and asks his mother if he can join the football team. Her response may be something like this: "Sweetheart, football is such a rough sport, and besides all of the other boys on the team are much bigger, stronger, and faster than you. You probably would not make the team anyway. Why don't you try out for something a little more suitable, or join one of the clubs at school instead." This dear mother, though being sincere but perhaps unknowingly, has just devastated her son and crushed his dreams of ever playing for the team before he even had a chance to try out for it.
Employers too can be found guilty of instilling the attitude of defeatism in some of their employees by never allowing them to progress in the company, and thus never knowing the employees' true worth to the company because they are never given the opportunity to achieve their true potential. Eventually those employees may begin to feel that they are stuck in a rut, and instead of trying to move ahead, become complacent in the jobs that they have, further reducing their value to the company.
Teachers in the classroom may be guilty of instilling this attitude in some of their slower developing students, often leaving those students feeling they do not possess the adequate intelligence to ever be able to achieve the things that their classmates do. As a result, many of them just give up feeling there is no use in even trying. Because of this defeated attitude, these students may never know what they may have achieved if they had only kept trying, and society will never enjoy those lost contributions.
On the other hand, if a person does not immediately give up and quit he can, and will, reap the satisfaction of knowing that he at least tried, even if his attempts are not fully successful. You and I will never know what our true potential is, or what we may ever be able to achieve in this life, if we never even try. To reach any goal or prize, we must never quit before we do try, but rather we must continue to try, and try again.
Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
Tags: Trials Faith Endurance Patience
A good leader does more than lead, guide, and direct other people. He first learns to be an astute protĂ©gĂ© as he is mentored, led, guided, and directed by people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than himself. Therefore, before he can become a good leader, he must first be willing to be teachable, learn how to be a humble follower, and be willing to accept direction from those who have blazed the trail before him and are able to lead, guide, and direct him into becoming a successful leader.
A good leader is not an autocrat. He does not merely give commands to his team members and expect them to produce miraculous results, but he himself is a mentor who takes the time to instruct his people as to what is expected of them in order to accomplish a given task, thereby having some assurance that the end result will meet the desired expectations. He does not dump (â€śfire hoseâ€ť) tasking on his followers, but doles out tasks only as fast as his team members can accomplish them successfully, insulating them from the pressures of higher authority and enabling them to take satisfaction in work well done.
A good leader is not a one man basketball team who basks in the glory of scoring all of the game points himself, but he is a team player and knows when to pass the ball to some of the other key players on the team, thus getting all of the players actively involved, hence allowing them to also be an integral part of the game.
A good leader does not delegate all of his responsibilities to someone else to have to shoulder the burden of getting things done, but he learns to accept responsibility for the tasks that he has been given, and he also accepts the fact that along with that responsibility comes a certain amount of accountability which he cannot easily delegate to another. He delegates only those parts of the tasks that need to be delegated to others, while at the same time maintaining an active participation in any ongoing projects to ensure that all tasks are completed with accuracy and precision, and all deadlines are met according to schedule.
A good leader is a people person and always keeps the best interest of his team at the forefront. He realizes that the overall true success of the team depends not only on himself, but on every team player getting their head in the game and burdening their fair share of the work load. As the leader he realizes that his position does not dictate that he is to lord it over his team members, but he understands that those team members are fellow human beings, and they deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and self-worth. He learns that he is not above or better than anyone else and no one is beneath his feet, or of a lower standing as a human being than himself. He also learns that any respect that he is favored is always earned, never demanded, and is a reciprocal of the loyalty, trust, and respect that he shows towards the people whom he leads. He praises his people publicly, and any correction that is needed is always done in private.
At the end of the day, a good leader should be able to rest comfortably at night knowing that he not only did a good job at leading his team, but he also treated each of his team members with dignity, respect, and as persons of self-worth. He was also willing to be teachable and was indeed taught by and learned from his team members how to hone his leadership skills in order to become an even better and more effective leader.
Tags: Leadership Life Service Authority
The little four-letter word "hate" can be a very powerful and damaging word depending on the context in which it is used. Therefore, people should be very careful about how fluently they use the word. I would venture to say that if people were afforded the opportunity to see real hatred in action, they would probably think twice before allowing the word to flow freely from their lips like water flowing from an open faucet.
The dictionary defines the word "hate" as follows: "to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest." Some examples of this usage of the word would be: (1) to hate the enemy, or (2) to hate bigotry. The word "hate" may also be defined as follows: "to be unwilling; dislike." An example of this usage of the word would be: "I hate to do it."
It is the first usage of the word, especially when a person says to another person, "I hate you", that can cut through the heart of a person like a hot knife cutting through butter. Those three little words, "I hate you", usually said in a moment of rage and not always truly meant, can cause unimaginable irreparable damage in any type of relationship. That damage can sometimes take a lifetime to reconcile. That is why even if we are furious with someone, we need to be careful what we say, whether we mean it or not.
If we are Christians we need to be especially careful about saying things like, "I hate my brother" because the scriptures clearly warn us in 1 John 4:20, "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" We are also exhorted in 1 John 3:15, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Solomon, perhaps one of the wisest men that ever lived, reminds us in Proverbs 10: 12, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." And we are taught in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Hatred towards another is a builder of walls and barriers that cause undue strife and division. It stifles any chance for reasoning and understanding, and alienates love completely. It receives its nourishment from unrelenting anger and pent up frustration, and has a disdain for people in general. At all cost, hatred should always be our foe, and never our friend. We must learn that we can never combat hatred with more hatred. The only thing that is accomplished in so doing is that the hot, glowing embers are kept ever burning, and at any given moment could burst into a raging fire that becomes out of control. The only way to combat hatred is through love and a congenial understanding which in time tears down the walls and barriers which hatred has built. Hatred causes nothing but pain and misery, but love brings about ultimate restoration and reconciliation. Therefore, as for me, I resolve to hate no more forever.
Tags: Hate Hatred Anger Frustration Bitterness