I pray this helps, and it's been a blessing reconnecting with you at the end of this year. I pray to see more of you in 2021.
Once again, 365 days later, and here we are. In less than 24 hours, the year 2020 will be history.
2020. You literally had to live it to believe it.
I can't lie; this year has definitely been one for the books. It has been humbling, transformative, reformative, and stressful. This was the year that made me better. I'm thankful to note that I definitely ended the year a lot better than I started it. This year is hard to capsulate. There are so many facets of 2020 that I’m still processing; however, what I’ve learned has been essential.
Finally, I thought about you. I thought about the opportunity I was blessed with, to have individuals even interested in what I had to say on a given subject.
Soooooo…. It’s been a while.
If you're reading this, you're better to me than I deserve. You've actually come back to see what's going on in the world of #PIP. When did I last post something for you guys? (literally pauses to go and check the website…)
"However, avoiding such an assembly (or any gathering for that manner) leads to one of the most dangerous places for people of faith, isolation. When we are isolated, the highest voice we hear is our own."
Times have changed.
And as times have changed, people have changed as well. For example, I was having a conversation with a loved one about the differences between the older and younger generations. We contrasted the elders of today, from the ones we remember from our youth. We discussed how community discipline was more prevalent back then and how it had seemingly gone away. As we pondered on why this was the case, I responded, "It's not so much the elders have changed, as much as it is, the mindset of the new generation has changed.
“Don’t get me wrong. I know the Bible is essential, and I know I need it to grow in my faith. However, if I’m being all the way honest, I have to admit that sometimes, the Bible seems boring.”
As a minister, I know the importance of having a very intimate relationship with the Word of God. I understand the power of allocating a portion of your day to read and meditate on the Scriptures. The Word of God is the power of our salvation, our guidance in trouble, the fuel of our faith, and the reminder of God’s trustworthiness. The decline of the human race has been the result of our increased separation from God, and the Bible is God’s blessed Gift, designed to bring us back into the Light.
"Since there is so much power in the tongue, I plan to spend a portion of every day in 2020 verbally reaffirming my vision for myself, to myself."
365 days later, and here we are. In less than 24 hours the year of 2019 will be history.
"Still, in the spirit of our community, I have learned the power of acknowledging that I am indeed a Perfectly Imperfect Perfectionist who serves a Perfect God, Who's always perfecting me."
December is always a particular month for me. Naturally, I enjoy all of the typical things that most people love about the month. The crisp feel of cold weather, the joy of Christmas time, and the pending start of a new year. However, this month is always extra special for me. The month of December carries a few commemorative celebrations that I uniquely enjoy.
"Fact: we as a society are slowly, but assuredly losing our God-given compassion. We are rarely ‘us.’ Rather, we see ‘them.’"
So, there’s an illustration that people often use. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it before. It’s referred to as the “Boiling Frog Fable.” The story basically goes like this: a frog is placed in a pot of cool water. In time, the pot of water is eventually heated to boil. However, because the boiling process isn’t instant, and the frog is by nature able to adapt to very harsh climates, the boil is told to go unnoticed. And as a result, the frog is alleged to willingly remain in the water, and without knowing, eventually die amidst the boiling.
"However, while the point is true, you mustn’t forget that there’s a reason why they call grown-folks business, “GROWN-FOLKS BUSINESS.” It’s because this is the business that must be addressed and discussed by adults."
I may be alone with this one and if so, I’ll take it; however, I seriously doubt that I am…
Full disclosure: I am 38 years old.
That means I’ve been on the Earth longer than the earliest iPhone and even (brace yourself millennials) longer than the whole internet. I am 2 years shy of 40. That’s right, 40!! Right now, there are people that I really don’t think should call me “sir,” that really do call me “sir” (to my face)! And please don’t get me started on this grey hair.
"At some point, we’re going to have to take a look in the mirror, dig deep, and begin to ask ourselves the hard questions. Questions that will (and should) begin to expose what prayerfully, the real problem could be."
I’ve heard it said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. If that’s true (and I’m assured that it is), then I pray you’d allow this next statement to serve as the sugar.
Fact: it takes great courage and a very resilient spirit to keep trying a thing over and over again. To look at a task and make a convicted decision that, in spite of a number of failed attempts, you refuse to give up or accept defeat. J.K. Rowling had a manuscript rejected dozens of times until it was finally accepted by a London publisher. The title you ask? Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
"This means, as I step into the New Year, if I plan to overcome the old barriers of productivity, I have to consider how I ruined my plans. And, after consideration, I must implement new measures to minimize these failings."
If you’re reading this, then you need to celebrate.
Not because you’re reading this, although if that’s celebratory for you, I won’t stop you.
Kevin D. Jones, Sr.