Alone

While working out, I spoke with a friend who expressed to me that during this pandemic they had a moment of weakness in which they cried and had a bad day. They expressed how they missed their deceased parents, missed their job and missed the things they once did on a regular basis that Now are impossible due to quarantine and social distancing guidelines. And at the climax of these thoughts they posed a question….

“What if I get sick and die alone?”

I expressed to them that this is normal and they they aren’t alone in having these thoughts And continued my workout. But while running water for a bath and to soak these old bones(LOL) that question stuck with me! The reality is we’re seeing everyday on the news that people are, in many cases dying alone, whether in the hospital or in their homes. But as I continued to think… a scripture came to mind…

I thought back to my first sermon and the text I used was Matthew 26:39! I talked about being In Purpose, On Purpose! But if you continue to read the whole narrative you’ll discover that in later verses Jesus goes to check with his inner circle, who He brought to the garden with him and finds them sleeping. Initially we see Jesus frustrated that they couldn’t “watch with me one hour?” And he does this two more times, but that third time He makes a statement that I believe I’ve mis-preached or not fully preached…

After two frustrating exchanges Jesus finally says in verse 45 “sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners”!

Did you catch it?

I believe that Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson in Fully Fulfilling Purpose! He releases His frustrations of their sleeping and accepts that although he brought them along with Him, He would have to “finish the job” on His own! In fact, On the cross he would even express that His Father has forsaken him!

Lean close, maybe the reason you’re still frustrated with your Purpose is because you haven’t released your inner circle to sleep! Sure you’d like their prayers, their participation, and their presence but the truth of the matter is…. this is solely YOUR PURPOSE and you’re going to have to finish it alone! Doesn’t mean they won’t be AROUND but they won’t have an ACTIVE ROLE!

What are you saying, Fielder? I’m glad you asked…

They’ve done all they could do… all they’re going to do… all God is going to allow them to do….

Let them Rest and you do the Rest!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

As thyself……

This pandemic has its markings.. some of which are

When this is over you should have……..

When this is over you should be…….

When this is over you better…….

While these phrases have many different endings, I believe they all are birthed from the same place… insecurity. It’s much easier to tell others what to do than it is to be found doing it yourself. You’ve seen it… overweight people saying how folk shouldn’t eat all their quarantine snacks. People who’ve never been in a successful relationship telling you how much time you should be spending talking to quarantine bae. People who’ve never had a steady income telling you how you shills be spending and findings new ways to make money!! It’s getting ridiculous!!

So this blog isn’t about what you should be doing… this blog is about what I’ve discovered about me during this time…. One of the major things I’ve discovered is that I’ve been living a certain scripture the wrong way. In Matthew 22 Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment and Jesus responds by saying to Love God with all they heart, mind and soul. And then he says that the second is to Love your neighbor as thyself! Now I’ve never had a problem loving God and I believe I’ve done pretty good at loving my neighbor but I’ve struggled with the “as thyself!”

What do you mean, Fielder? I’m glad you asked. Lean close….

“As thyself” means that the same love that you show to others you should show yourself. We’ve taught it as we should love our neighbors as we expect to be loved by them and I’m not saying that’s is wrong but I believe there’s another step that we miss. Many, like me, don’t SHOW themselves the same love they give to others. I’m there for everyone in their time of need. I sow time and finances into the business affairs of others. I’m emotionally available to everyone who needs a shoulder to cry on I’m a listening ear to those who need to just let it all out! But not so much for myself.

I’m learning during this “downtime” that a little more energy spent sowing that same love into myself can make a world of difference in my life! I can accomplish more without having to depend on outside sources for the motivation and encouragement needed to do so!

So during this time I’d told myself….. love thy self! Embrace you. Support you. Encourage you. Critique you. LOVE YOU!

It’s not selfish, it’s a commandment!!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

Time

Just thinking…

Over the course of my 33 years of living, I’ve lost a lot. Some loss was due to my own negligence and other losses were due to things just being taken away from me. I’ve spent LOTS money on things and people that are no longer in my life! And I look back at those things and say to myself, it is what it is.

But one thing that really gets next to me is wasted TIME. I look at TIME in a way that other may call weird or even wrong… for me… TIME is the only thing in life that can be for you and against you at the same TIME.

While you don’t want to waste TIME, you also want to take your TIME! Make sense??

This can’t be more true than when it comes to relationships… of any kind. There are people who come into your life and it’s like you have an instant connection and TIME seems to fly by. You look up and you’ve been part of each other’s life for a looooooong TIME and then BOOM something happens and they’re gone. You then think to yourself that the great TIME you had was wasted TIME…. but was it really?

Was making great memories a waste of TIME? Were the fun times a waste of TIME? Were the deep conversations a waste of TIME? Were the lessons learned really a waste of TIME?

I can’t answer those questions for you but for me… NO! Everything that’s happened to you up to the point of you reading this played a role in making you who and what you currently are!

#MyOpinion So perhaps what I’m learning now is that we should learn to to just appreciate TIME for what it is….. TIME is just a way to mark and keep track of the things that happened to make you who and what you are. When you view it like this.. you’ll discover you can’t really waste TIME!

But who am I though, right?

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

Me.

I recently had to write a paper that required some pretty deep introspection. I had to sit with myself and really dissect who I am! I will admit, MOST of what I had to face was tough to accept. I’m certain I’m not perfect, by a long shot. I have some funny ways. I’m very nonchalant about MOST things. I can be a bit of a grumpy, surly man. I’m very particular about things. Sometimes easily irritable. I’m not the best friend all the time. I make some silly, stupid mistakes and choices. But in spite of all of that, I’m grateful that I’m me!

What do you mean, Fielder? I’m glad you asked!

Even with all that’s wrong wit me, one thing I pride myself on is simply being me. Unapologetically, me! I don’t know how to be anyone else. I don’t desire to be anyone else. And the best thing about all of this is, I can be with me all of my flaws!

You see, this acceptance of self is the beginning of all personal progress. One can’t move anywhere before they accept where they are. So my declaration, I’m Me isn’t about arrogance…. it’s acceptance and approval to ascend to who I want to be!

So my challenge to anyone reading this is to take some time to sit down with you and have a real conversation about you. If you don’t like what you hear, make the decision today to do something about it!

After all, both destiny and purpose are inside jobs! Until you want to get there, you won’t!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

Attachments

Usually when you receive work emails, the most important part of the email isn’t the message itself but the attachments that come with the email. The attachments are usually some very important communication that you need to read and remember! But you can’t see the attachments until you first open the main email and see the message….

Lean close….

In my personal experiences, as it relates to relationships, the attachments have proven to be more important and longer lasting! Prime example, 7 years ago I met a man who would be come my pastor and mentor through other people. He was an attachment. And through that attachment, I’ve traveled the world, graduated college and I’m currently working on my masters! I’ve also connected with other people who have become key in my personal growth and development!

You see the truth is….. we don’t consider attachments when we connect with people. The danger in that is that you may be connected to someone who is attached to viruses. On our computers, it isn’t the email itself that causes the virus to attack, but when we open the attachments.

So as you move through this year, consider who and what you’re attached to. It’s possible that the reason you’re not seeing much production in your life is because you’ve linked up with an attachment that draining the life out of you!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

ALP3

Feb 6, 2011 will forever be etched into my memory. It’s the day I lost a mentor.

Flashback:

January 2010, I went home to visit for my birthday. I sat in the choir stand of the Mt Rose Church and as Bishop Thomas read his text and gave a title tears started running down my face. No one around me understood what was going on, but I did. You see, I had been “running” from the call on my life. Preacher?? Me???? No way! Why??? How??? No preachers in my family! I was just getting comfortable playing the organ. But I couldn’t run any longer.

So upon my return home, I only told 2 people about my “decision”! The Late Pastor George Epps Sr and A. Louis Patterson III. When Pastor Epps answered the phone he didn’t even say hello, all he said was “I’m praying for you, son!” He knew. When I reached out to ALP3 the conversation was a little different. He responded by saying this words, “The responsibility is Great Fielder but your response shows that you’re ready!” There was so much more to the conversation And from that moment on he became my mentor. The long discussions about life and ministry. The jokes. The fashion tips. THE JOKES. The sermons. THEEEEE JOKES! The correction. THEEEEEEEE JOKES!!!!

I remember after preaching my first sermon, he saw a clip online and said “Boy I’m so proud. You remind me so much of myself. Be you and you’ll be great, perhaps greater than me!”

So here’s an open letter to my mentor…

Since you left us life has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve gotten married. I’ve gone through a divorce. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve preached in various places. I’ve gained weight(you told me if I got bigger you’d hunt me down and shake the weight off me)! I’ve found my “place” and “purpose”! The phrase you used to tell me to use more has really become my mantra. Many don’t know this but you were the one pushing #PardonMyProgress. I’ve heard you voice in my ear while preaching. I’ve seen your face while praying. I’ve gotten better with my wardrobe choices. You told me “don’t like what you wear determine where you can go!” Ive listened to one of your sermons while preparing every sermon I’ve ever preached. I’ve done my best to make you proud. You didn’t ask to be out front in my life. You told me to always respect my natural and spiritual fathers. You didn’t want their place, you just wanted to help a young preacher be the best they could be.

Truth is…. I miss you man. It’s been hard without you. I secretly cry when I think about what you would tell me when I face tough decisions. I don’t think this void will ever be filled. I love you and will continue to #LoveOutLoud and make you proud!

Your boy,

Fielder.

God Bless Ya Real Good Now

#PardonMyProgress

Lost in Loss

There are many things in life that require faith in order to see it happen, death isn’t one of those things. Death is one of the few certainties of life. Everyone living comes here dying! And while we are sure that death is certain, it is still one of the most difficult things to face.

This post will probably one of the most transparent blog entries I’ve ever posted….

2020 has started with what seems like an abnormal amount of death in my life. In fact, there have been 5 deaths in my life that have rocked me to my core. From relatives to the loss of an icon, Kobe Bryant, yesterday.

My family and friends will tell you, I’m usually the strong one. I don’t cry much. Not much gets to me. I’m usually able to take a blow and keep rolling. But if I’m honest, this month has been tough! My birthday was last week but if I’m honest I didn’t feel like celebrating because I’ve had to deal with the sting of death. And today and tomorrow we celebrate the legacy of two women who had great impact in my life. My grandmother, Bennie Mae Richardson and my great grandmother Sallie Lee. Those close to me know what these amazing women mean to me. During these times is when I miss them the most.

But even with all this, life has to go on, right? I have to continue to work. Continue to serve. Continue to study. Continue to be a source of strength and encouragement for those close to me. Right?

But who does strength go to for strength? Who does the encourager go to for encouragement???

I’m usually able to give an answer of assurance at this point, but right now I can’t find it! Now I know some will say “Go to God” and I have…. but it seems as though God has turned a deaf ear! While I know He hears and answers prayer, it’s as though I’m on hold. So in the mean time, how does one not get lost in loss?

Perhaps you know the answer, maybe you’ve been there and can help someone else, but the truth of the matter is, at this moment, while typing this, I just don’t know…..

Anointing and Purpose does not disqualify you from Humanity! Hurt, hurts.

So my word to someone reading this is, don’t allow life to cause you to become numb to it. Feel what you feel. Express what you need to express. Face it head on. No one is responsible for how you go through, but you! Go through it. Get through it. Somehow. Some way.

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

Reconnections

Just about every year around this time, people talk about who and what they have or need to DISCONNECT from. Whether it be “toxic”(that word irks me) relationships, dead end jobs, or even family members. They say things like “I’m DISCONNECTING from anything and anybody that’s draining me!” And the truth is, there are some things and people that need to be disconnected. Being connected to them or it is the very thing that’s been holding you back from who and where you want to be!

But while DISCONNECTING is often necessary, we sometimes DISCONNECT from things and people that are necessary for our growth and development. We tend to think that people and things that make us uncomfortable or aggravated are things we need to DISCONNECT from BUT this past week I learned a valuable lesson….

Sometimes we need to RECONNECT from what we DISCONNECTED

Lean close….

Beaumont, TX is a place that I have ill feelings toward because of a past experiences. Anytime I would pass through, I would crack jokes about what I should stop and do(those that understand, understand). But I had to travel to Beaumont to play for my pastor in November of last year. The time there was great. I was able to handle some vital business in order to move forward with some goals I set for myself. Then I went back to Beaumont to attend a conference where the word was preached that shifted my focus for the year and years to come. And just last week, to put icing on the cake, I was RECONNECTED with my godparents who I hadn’t seen or heard from since I was about 9 years old. And guess where they live….. BEAUMONT TEXAS!

The very place I felt I needed to DISCONNECT from, the place I almost hated going or passing through is the place where I received WHAT I NEEDED TO GET WHERE I WANTED TO BE and THE PEOPLE I NEEDED TO HAVE IN MY LIFE to help push me there!

Beaumont was once a place I enjoyed visiting because of who and what was there. When who and what was there was no longer good to or for me I threw the place away…. but recently Beaumont was the place I received what I needed to keep making progress…..

My words to you….. the very person, place, or thing you DISCONNECTED from could need to be RECONNECTED in order to get what you need to get where you need to be!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

Isolation

“No man is an island” is a quote I’ve heard all of my life. And on the surface it makes sense. I mean, no man goes through this life on his own. But life has taught me that there are and will be times that a man will feel and sometimes even realistically need to be isolated.

The question burning within me has been how can I feel everything and nothing at the same time?

Surrounded by hundreds of people and really not feeling connected to anyone. Being praised for great work in ministry, but feeling like you’ve done nothing. Thousands of social media likes and comments, but feeling unnoticed and unappreciated. Admired by peers and elders, but not feeling like you have anything to offer.

That’s where I’ve been the last few MONTHS! Of course, no one knew this because I keep it to myself. No need in sharing how you’re feeling when you feel no one cares, right!?

BUT the good in all of this bad is, while that’s how I’ve felt about myself, I’ve felt and heard God throughout the whole process! My prayer life has been LIT, as the young folk say. I’ve written so much content that I can’t wait to share.

So I hear you thinking, if you feel and hear God how can you feel this way?

Lean close…

Truth is….. Often times, where we are and where God has shared with you that you’ll be don’t match and in the meantime you feel like you won’t ever get there. But last Friday, at the Inheritance Conference at the Antioch Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX(You should make it your business to be there next year!) Pastor Paul Landrew of Houston, TX spoke a word that shifted everything in my life. While lecturing on Philippians 4, he began by saying that he encourages members of his church to be NOW what they see themselves being 10 years FROM NOW! I’ll share more of his lecture in later posts….. BUT..

Those words IMMEDIATELY freed my mind and my spirit IN the isolation I felt. i may still feel isolated but I had to realize that all I’m going THROUGH is just part of the journey of what I’m going TO! In other words, the isolation is FOR MY GOOD!

There may be someone reading this who feels like I’ve felt. Perhaps you’re feeling isolated.

My word to you is…. DON’T TRIP, IT’S PART OF THE TRIP!

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

But it Fits….

A Faulty Fit

“I need a new charger!” No doubt you’ve uttered this sentence a time or two. No matter how careful you are with your phone or any other electronic device, those chargers seem to always give out! And if you’re like me, you HATE paying the price for the charger that came with the device. Sooooo like me, you’ve gone the discounted route. You went to a store and bought a charger that is “compatible” with your devices but at a much cheaper price! You left feeling great! Feeling smart. You saved some money and got what you needed!

Fast forward a few days…. and you plug your device into the charger and you’re met with a message that makes you wanna utter words that aren’t in the Bible….

“This accessory may not be supported”

You mean to tell me, it fits, it looks just like the charger that came with the device, I spent my money, it worked for a little while but now it’s not supported??? And if you keep using it, it’ll cause your phone to malfunction!

You think this charger situation made you mad? Imagine connecting with someone who looks like a good fit, works for a while, only to discover they aren’t “supported” anymore??

Lean close….

Too often we connect to people who seem like the right fit but in the long run they only drain your energy and leave you in need of repair! It’s because we get lazy and lonely, and take the quick, cheap route! That’s not to say they’re a bad person, they just aren’t the right person for you.

Consider this…. how many heartbreaks would you have avoided had you taken the time to really find the right fit?

#MyOpinion

The right fit will cost you more than you may want to pay, but the rewards will be worth more than you could imagine!

But who am I tho, right?

God Bless Ya Real Good Now!

#PardonMyProgress

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