God’s Dream Come True

Verna J. Dozier was a leading African American theologian and prophet who touched countless lives and transformed hearts. Her work and service were prolific.  As a teacher and Board Member of Examining Chaplains, she often spoke and wrote about the dream of God.

She believed that we have the capacity to bring forth the realization of Howard Thurman’s vision of ‘a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky’.  She believed that God wants all creation to live together in peace, harmony, and fulfillment.  She believed that we are called to restore that dream together. I believe she was right.  In truth, how could it be otherwise?

The wounds and struggles of the past have the power to separate and destroy us.  But they also have the power to move us forward to new life, a new identity, and universal oneness.

Our suffering is what we all have in common.  It’s not single-mindedness and strength that will overcome, but acceptance and shared vulnerability.  The Dream of God is attainable if we are willing to let go of our chokehold on yesterday by engaging in healing here and now.  We can start by loving where we once hated.

I think this is about the best starting point for building up the Dream of God;  A boy named Camden asked New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady at a press Q&A in Atlanta what we should do about haters.  “What do we do about the haters? We love ‘em,” said Brady. “We love them back because we don’t hate back.”  There it is…a glimmer of a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.

Freedom from Fear and Regret

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves…regret for the past and fear of the future.”  ~ Fulton Ourslear

When the end of life comes we will not regret the business deals that didn’t work out, sales that weren’t made, or final exams we didn’t ace.  We will regret the squandered opportunities.  We will suffer the most from our failure to devote enough time to our loved ones.  We will regret our lack of attention to a skinned knee.  We will long to have the moment back when our words of criticism bruised a heart.

I have found that healing begins when we take action here and now. The way to eliminate regrets from the past and to dispel the fear of the future is to fully evaluate what really matters and pay attention to it. We will put an end to the endless repetition of mistakes by unshackling ourselves from the past and freeing ourselves from the future.  We can start by putting first things first. 

The present moment is when to make that extra effort. All we have to do is more fully avail ourselves to those important people in our lives.  Another phone call, a written card, or any added gesture that proclaims our love will wash away fear and regret as we go forward.  By making time and freely giving our gifts of love, we will discover that our resources are unlimited.  This is the next right thing to do.  Nothing is more important.

This Is It

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“People who cling to the past and resist change have a hard time participating in God’s and their own future.” ~ Richard Rohr

The future is unfolding and we join in it here and now.  Full participation, looking forward while accepting the past, is absolutely necessary if we are to live out our lives in meaningful ways.  The universe is expanding in ever larger spheres and orbits.  Though this rapidly changing reality may be scary, it is undeniable.

We cannot make ourselves ‘great-again’ by attempting to recreate the past.  But we can make ourselves great.  There is no turning back.  There is no standing still.  There is only moving forward.  Imagine this universe being created anew every moment…evolving, changing, and unfolding.  Who I have been is not who I am.  Who I will be is becoming.

This is the mystery and the miracle of constant union with God.  Created as co-creators, we have a responsibility and a mission to carry out our destiny.  Embrace change and celebrate life.  The future is in your hands and carried out by your efforts.

Alligator and Turtle at Sunrise

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Being Present to the Present

“If we refuse to think of anything except what we are doing or the person that we are with, we develop the habit of being present to the present moment. In a way, the present moment becomes as sacred as being in church.” ~ Thomas Keating

Looking Glass Falls, Brevard, NC

Living in the moment is a key to emotional and spiritual well-being.  But this kind of mindfulness is not always easy. The dark recesses of our yesterdays with their brokenness, wounds, resentments, and regrets drag us backward.

Fear and worry about tomorrows try to tug us forward, whispering that there is so much to do, so many mountains to climb, and so many perils ahead.  All of these distractions blur the importance of here and now.  We miss the chance to listen deeply.  Our ability to be compassionate escapes and the moment is lost.  We have missed a sacred opportunity.

How often do we succumb to the lure of money, security, fame, power, approval, or control?  How often do we sacrifice today on the altar of tomorrow?  How often do we throw caution to the wind, behaving in ways we know we might regret?  The best fix for this is to welcome the moment right in front of us by being ‘present to the present’.  We can fill ourselves with the possibilities of here and now by being mindful.  Slow down.  Look around.  Be still. Listen.  God will take care of the rest.

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

Live In This Sacred Moment

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“To let the moment teach us, we must allow ourselves to be at least slightly stunned by it until it draws us inward and upward, toward a subtle experience of wonder.” ~ Richard Rohr

All of eternity has been waiting for this moment. 

Life has deposited us right here, right now.  We should be filled with wonder and awe.  The secret is to look to this incredible moment for all that you have desired and dreamed.  For these things cannot be held in yesterday’s memories.  Though they may have been fully realized, that bird has flown.

They cannot be found in the mist of many tomorrows.  Though they are ripe with promise, they do not yet exist.  Now is the time. Today is the day.  Real promise is unfolding.  Opportunities are presenting themselves.  People are holding out their hands with gifts and offerings.  Everything we ever needed, wanted and anticipated has been awaiting our arrival.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” ~ William W. Purkey

The sacred moment is here.  Can we deny the amazing prospects that are open to us?  Sure we can.  But what a waste it would be.  Rise and shine.  The door is open!  Let’s dance through it with a song of joy and hope on our lips.  Now is the time to make Life Wonderful!

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Enjoy The Ride

“Life can be great…but not when you can’t see it. So, open your eyes to life: to see it in the vivid colors that God gave us as a precious gift to His children, to enjoy life to the fullest, and to make it count. Say yes to your life.” ~ Nancy Reagan

I propose that the best option we have is to enjoy life with every fiber of our being.  The alternatives are bleak really, but the choice is ours to make. My personal credo for the past decade has been this; Life is a celebration. You just have to decide whether you are coming to the party or not.

There is nothing in the past that can sneak back into the present and drag you into its’ distant murky caves.  There is nothing in the future that can lift you to its’ sunny shores either.  Say ‘Yes’ to this morning.  Say ‘Yes’ to this afternoon.  Say ‘Yes’ to this evening.  Say ‘Yes’ to Life. Then loosen your tight grip and let go.  It’s your chance to embrace the moment. What are you waiting for?

“Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet and most of you suckers are starving to death” ~ From the movie Aunie Mame

This is how I learned about loosening my grip on life.  Several years ago I was asked to go with my best friend Steve and his nephew Greg to an old, rather run down amusement park in the Smokey Mountains. It was not what I had in mind, but the kid really wanted to ride the rides. One of them was an ancient wooden roller-coaster.  It reeked of danger. But, like a good sport, I got in the seat and was buckled in.  I was holding on to the safety bar with all my might before the thing ever took flight. When Greg saw my grip he asked why I was so freaked out while just sitting there.  I was embarrassed and let go.  He said that his Uncle Steve always told him to hold his hands up in the air during the ride and that I should try it.  Not wanting to appear a chicken, I took his suggestion. It turned out to be the best roller coaster experience of my life.

So let’s all hop in…let go…and enjoy the ride! Why not? Life is Good.