Archive for the ‘Positive Impact’ Category

Every Day​ is Game Day

Posted: January 22, 2018 in Positive Impact

Some people don’t have a problem receiving instruction and discipline from an athletic coach but seem to have a problem with a pastor or life coach. Some have a problem with receiving any type of coaching and wonder why their life is a mess. May we each have someone we can follow who has experience in life and can give us some pointers and encouragement to pursue our calling.

Get off of the sidelines, find your position and discipline yourselves so that you can be the “Most Valuable Player” in your game of life. It’s only when we commit that we find opportunities presenting themselves for us to play and have success.

Finally, I hope you don’t mind me slightly contradicting my title. Don’t forget to take necessary rest and recovery days. This is an instruction from our heavenly life coach. Learn from Him and you will have good success.

Study Matthew 11:28-29 in the playbook.

Have a blessed day and stay peaceful.

school in session

by Alan Delery

Well, it’s that time of year again. Summer break is over and students of all ages are preparing for school. Whether we are parents of someone in school or not, we are all responsible for or impacted by the education of our young people. The impact is more than just noticing the increase in morning traffic.  While our institutions of education are tasked with developing competent and compassionate citizens who can contribute to the building and strengthening of our communities, the reality is we all have to accept this task. We may have different roles but we have to invest in this generation if we want the future of our cities to be better.

School’s in Session

My twins are beginning college next week and the task of educating them is not over.  I’m praying that the community that they are moving to will care for and support them as they continue their journey into adulthood. They will probably make poor decisions, as I did when I was their age, but that should not be the end. It would just be another opportunity to teach them that they are a part of a community that needs them to consider the impact of their actions. That being said my expectation is for them to utilize the positive social skills that they have been taught since childhood.

School’s in Session

As I talked to my sons recently they mentioned that they wanted to find opportunities at their school to connect with others who are involved in community service. As I listened to them, I was filled with joy to hear their ambitions and wish them the best as they seek those connections. Because I know it’s easy to fall short of good intentions if you are not in a supportive community, I will count on others to be supportive when I am not around.

School’s in Session

As I close, I’m asking you to take a moment and consider if you are one of those individuals that other parents could count on to support their child to bring out the best in them. Don’t shy away from the youth that you come into contact with but find ways to connect with them. Even if you don’t have children of your own or they are grown and out of the house, your cities youth need a community to help them to be the best that they can be.

The mission of Positive Impact is to build safe and caring communities through positive relationships. Please keep an eye out on this website on ways that we can work together to accomplish that mission. Let’s keep in mind that school is always in session as we all continue to learn and practice being competent and compassionate members of society throughout our lives.

Stay peaceful.

Peace Fest Group PicI’ll have more to say very soon but I didn’t want to wait any longer before acknowledging all of the young adults who acted on an idea to promote peace in their community. While we have more to follow-up with from the Algiers Peace Fest, I have to say that planning and implementing the event was one of the most pleasurable processes that I have been involved with. They truly are a peaceful bunch.

Thanks to each one of you for being you.

peaceBWI recently started teaching a conflict resolution course at a high school where I work. During my reflection on a recent class, four ideas emerged that I believe are central to a study on violence. These ideas are: Respect, Weakness, Power and Control.

When we were developing our group norms for the class, I asked each person to describe how they wanted to be treated in the class. Every one of them said respect or some variation of it. We went on to detail what respect looked like and it was clear that they were passionate about being respected.

What was interesting to me, about the value they placed on being respected, was their treatment of others in the class. While they maintained their value of respect, they mocked the weakness of others and some expressed that signs of weakness deserved to be taken advantage of. They said that if you don’t display strength or dominance it was OK to be controlled by others.

An attitude of power and control permeates our society and is rewarded. It is my desire to turn our conversations towards how we treat the weakest among us. Rather than just fighting for our rights, we should be fighting for the rights and compassionate treatment of others. In doing so we can raise individuals who care for rather than prey on one another. I believe that we can raise a caring society rather than a violent one. I believe in the capacity of our youth to reflect this compassion but we have to show it to them.

What are you doing to advocate for those who are mistreated because they are assessed to be weak? God says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” As busy as you might be, please do not neglect your birth responsibility to be a peacemaker. Otherwise, you might not be called a child of God.

The world needs more Peacemakers. Are you one?

I am calling for individuals who are willing to take a coordinated step of faith to become change agents for peace. Write back to me to let me know that you care and you want to be that change agent. The first step is to say yes to the call.

Today, I’d like continue with a line of thought from a recent post where I used the analogy of sorting and folding the household laundry to discuss the process of dealing with societies problems. I addressed the thought that might be on a person’s mind who has become overwhelmed with the problems of society. Some have concluded, “Why try?” because it won’t make a difference. As I pointed out, “Love never fails.” We try because of love. We make a difference because Love never fails.

Before we can effectively deal with society’s ills we need our mind renewed. Just as we can be overwhelmed with making a positive impact in the world, we can also be overwhelmed with our own personal issues or attitudes that prevent us from walking in love with both ourselves and others. If we were able to peek into one another’s minds, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw chaos. Crazy thinking that has gotten out of control.

The reality is, we can see into the minds of others by what they say and do.

That leads me back to my initial reference to sorting and folding household laundry. Imagine your mind is the laundry basket full of cloths and your thoughts are all of the items of clothing. Mindfulness is sorting and folding your thoughts into neat piles.

Simply put it’s dealing with your thoughts. Using the laundry analogy, some socks are old and worn out and should be discarded. They are not worth hanging on to. We also have to be careful not to let unwashed items get thrown into the pile by mistake. Sometimes we must take and smell an item to make sure it doesn’t stink. Relating this back to your thoughts, you have to check for stinking thinking.

It’s time to do the laundry. It’s time to sort your thoughts.

Just as we wear clothes on our bodies, we wear our thoughts on our inner man through our feelings and actions. Have you ever heard someone say, “you’re in your feelings?” I put it this way, “you’re in your thoughts and feelings for all to see.” You probably heard the expression, “You wear your heart on your sleeve.”

Imagine what you might look like if the way you dressed represented what your inner man looks like.  Would you be wearing dirty, unkempt, non-matching cloths? The other day, I was getting dressed and went to my unsorted sock basket. Needless to say, this was a very inefficient and frustrating process. Sorted and matched socks are easier to grab than a pile of socks. I pulled out a sock that had its toe cut out. This was not the first time this had happened. Each time I threw it back in the basket.  My wife asked me later why I didn’t just throw it away.

What if I put the sock, with the entire toe cut out, on and went to work?

That’s what we do, when we are not organized in our mind. We put on the first thought that comes to mind, which usually have a feeling attached to it, then walk around in both PRIVATE and PUBLIC for others to see. People might think I was crazy if I was not careful with what I put on.

It’s time to take control of our lives by Doing the Laundry. Casting down every imagination and high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. The way we dress impacts the way we live.

ADelery_1222px-150x150As I approach my ½ century birthday, I have been reflective of my life’s mission. It is summed up in Jesus’ own words when he was talking to the religious leaders of His time. They asked him to state the greatest commandment of the Law.

37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

Almost 20 years ago I attended a community workshop and the speaker asked a question that continues to linger in my mind. He asked, “What kind of world does God desire?” He went on to ask, “What kind of community is able to create the kind of person who is able to put into practice the life that God desires?” His response was a “Caring Community”. It is my belief that the Law of Love that Jesus talked about is a  restorative approach in the community. It is a community that builds up people rather than tearing them down. It’s a community that teaches and practices patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness as well as accountability.

Let me be clear. I understand the reality that we deal with conflict on a regular basis. Conflict is normal. It’s how we handle it that can determine if it will be positive or negative outcome. It can become destructive or it can be transformative. Whether it’s with a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a stranger, even internal conflict with ourselves, we must practice the Law of Love.

How have you been responding to conflict recently? Are your words and actions helping train up the next generation to walk in fear, hate, unforgiveness, mistrust, selfishness and pride? Sit down with your family, friends, club members and others in your community to Talk About Love. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are walking in the God kind of love.

I’m serious. Examine your love walk. Sit down with others and discuss what love is. I personally am tired of the violence but believe that Love never fails. I hope you’re not getting tired of hearing me talk about love. Someone might say, “Kill that already.” But I say, “Love never dies.”

Next time we will examine the role our feelings play in walking in love.

When I first conceived of the phrase, “Let’s Talk About Love”, I was dealing with an almost overwhelming feeling of despair for my community, nation and for the world. I had been reading many post on social media and having conversations about the state of affairs which almost seemed hopeless. Societies problems seem so expansive and complicated it’s easy to think, “Why try, what difference would it make?”

A quick response that came to mind was to stop looking at just the problems and think about solutions. A simple analogy came to mind. In my house, keeping up with the laundry is a major complaint of my wife. We have three teenage boys in the house and doing the laundry along with all of the other chores needed to keep the house in order is a priority that we must stay on top of. If not, things quickly get out of control. We have a vision for a clean house but we must consistently work at it.

Every now and then I notice several loads of laundry beginning to pile up. I look at the pile and think, “Not me.” No one has been assigned to fold the cloths and it seems overwhelming.  I then think, “If not me then who.” and decide to tackle the task. A short while into folding it appears that no progress is being made but when I stick with it I began to notice a change.  Finally, the task is complete and I am satisfied with a sense of accomplishment.

Dealing with societies problems is very similar. Many people look around and see all of the things that need to be accomplished but allow themselves to be overwhelmed and do nothing. Things pile up and get further out of control because enough people do not have a sense of responsibility. I have learned that folding cloths is an act of love that goes a long way with my wife. The boys might not fully appreciate it but they reap the benefits as well. I have also learned that complaining doesn’t change anything. When I talk to them from the perspective of love rather than anger, I have a greater chance of changing their behavior to meet my expectations.

After considering this, I came to the conclusion to begin addressing life’s problems from the perspective of love. I don’t know how society can expect change without it?  I looked around and realized that people are not talking about love but want the benefits of a life where people practice it. I thought, “How foolish are we?” This is how I came up with the idea, “Let’s talk about love.” I have begun to talk to more people about this idea and want it to truly become a way of life. Like the pile of laundry, it may seem insurmountable but we know that with a little faith and patience we can see “mountains” moved.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

It’s time to make a change. Take the challenge and began to study and meditate on love and talk to others and see the difference it makes.