speak life

Pardon “My” Progress

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6D40ECFA-86C1-4621-9434-10CE7EB5C7BCI notice over several weeks going into my office building a sign that was posted on a door leading out to the parking garage. This sign simply said, “Pardon Our Progress.” The more I would read this sign coming in every morning for the past several weeks, the more it begin to resonate in my spirit. I begin to think about how that simple message has so much profound meaning. The phrase made me think about myself and what kind of progress have I made. Sure, this message was on the door in lieu of the entire building going through various stages of construction but I could not help but think to myself, “Pardon My Progress.”

But it doesn’t make sense right? Because the meaning of Pardon is: the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense and when I think about some of the things I have changed in my life for the better, I don’t owe anyone an apology for that! So it’s really a little play on words. To define Progress means forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I am familiar with seeing a sign of this nature especially when some kind of work or construction is being done and it would normally say, “Pardon The Mess,” which made more sense. But the phrase, “Pardon Our Progress” is intended to state that this mess that you see now, is a work in progress towards something greater, an improvement, an upgrade. (WHEW~ That BLESSED ME!)

One major change I made on April 11, 2018 was purchase an Apple Watch to keep me accountable with my physical activity and to commit to a workout time that would best accommodate my busy days. For the past 2 months I have been getting up at 5am Monday – Friday doing ‘fasting’ cardio for 30 – 45mins to kick off my day. This change has made a major impact on my life in multiple ways: My energy levels are up and when I get to the office I am ready and alert for work. I love coffee but I don’t feel like I have to depend on it to perk up my mood. I feel better and my body, along with watching my food intake, has resulted in a stronger, healthier body as I continue to slim down gradually.

This change physically has also changed my time management. I wasted a lot of time after work watching several hours of television leaving only a few hours to read and to work on more constructive projects. I really desired to get in more time reading but also time to work on some personal business goals for myself. As a result of staying more active during the day, it helped me to focus longer in the evenings without feeling too tired from the work day. Talk about a huge CHANGE for me! Progress should be measurable in order to be effective meaning you should know what you should change, create a record and test through trial and error. Progress always involves risk. “You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~quote by Fredrick Wilcox

Look at it this way also…Progress does not only just involve all of the positive changes you have made but mistakes and failures are also progress! Especially if what you have learned has taught you what not to do! This result gets you closer to a solution or destination in your life because the goal is to be able to look back over your life and witness to progressive changes of yourself. There is a quote by Muhammad Ali that says, “A man who views the world the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Let that marinate….

So, let me give it to you All Black, No Creamer, No Sugar, No Honey…

You have talked yourself into thinking a little change isn’t worth the effort because you looked at the end result from the end instead of looking at the end result from the beginning…the bible says to not despise small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..(Zechariah 4:10). Progress is Progressive….it doesn’t go from 0 to 100…it’s 99 other steps that you missed or ignored. Take it one step at a time until what you desire is present.

So “sorry not sorry” for how I have progressed in a little over 2 months. I don’t owe anyone an apology but I owe it to myself to do whatever I need to do in order to present my BEST self. #unapologeticallyPROGRESSING…..are YOU?

Xoxo Charlene Evans

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Every Time We Speak, We Are Prophesying Our Future

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A scripture I hold very close to my heart is Proverbs 18:21 and it says,”The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.”(NIV)….

So in other words, your life takes on the shape of what is spoken! Yes, being negative attracts negativity just as being positive attracts positivity. What will the fruit of your lips taste like? LIFE….or DEATH?

Years ago, I wrote this poem called,”Lips-based off of Proverbs 18:21″ which is on my poetry CD,”Wildflower Vol.1. Check out a snippet of the poem here and option to purchase! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chiccybaritone  —shameless plug::Ha! The  message in the poem is simply this…be careful what you SPEAK! If you feel like you live a defeated life and ‘everything bad always happens to me’ then check your conversation…Do you complain all the time? Have something negative to say all the time? Never look at a situation in a positive manner? Predict every outcome to be bad? Speak discouragement over every situation that is challenging? (….this list of negativity can go on and on, but I think you get the point) then your words and thoughts will begin to shape your life!

Going into 2016 and what this year will LOOK like for you will depend on what your ‘release’ out of your mouth. Your life will begin to take shape based on what you speak. So make a conscious decision to watch the words you speak…the conversations that you have…and believe by FAITH, that everything will work out! God said it would and I believe it! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I have enjoyed sharing my top 5 nuggets of 2015 with you. I pray these Blogs have been a blessing to you! Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

2016..today is page 1 of 365

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#5 (last blog for the New Year series)

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Give Back

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Give Back

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

Maya Angelou

“The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.”

Rick Warren

“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.”

Albert Einstein

“Happiness… consists in giving, and in serving others.”

Henry Drummond

“Identify your divine gift and use it to serve humanity.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

Trust me…I could have made this whole Blog post a list of quotes pertaining to Giving Back through acts of service because that is how important serving others is to me and hopefully you feel the same way.

This nugget #4 is one of those, “exceptions to the rules.” Which only means this is not only unique to something I made a priority in 2015 but this is something that has been a lifetime practice for me, starting in my home. My mom and dad are givers and being around it became a part of me. Every quote that I chose to illustrate ‘Giving Back’ are all special in unique ways.

Earlier this week, I posted this on Facebook & Twitter:

***Pet Peeve: Selfish People

It is outrageous to me for people to be selfish when nothing we do can be accomplished ALONE…ever…yep, I said it…think about that for a minute….

And now think about how impactful and powerful God could really use you if you used your gifts, talents and abilities with the goal of helping someone else!

That is what God would want. Here are a few bible verses about “Giving” that I want to share along with the quotes I mentioned earlier:

**Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “ 

**2 Cor. 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

**Prov. 18:16 “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” 

**Prov. 11:25 “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Being a ‘giver’ and creating a life of ‘service’ to others has been the most fulfilling part of my life. I take great joy in being a blessing not for acknowledgment or show, but because I am the child of the “Most High” God who gave the most sacrificing gift to us all…His son Jesus the Christ!

So, even if your parents never taught you what it means to ‘give to others’ you have one of the greatest examples in Jesus who gave unselfishly! I promise you, in some of my most hurtful, disappointing times in my life, I found ways to give of myself. It took my mind off of me and put it on someone else in need. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained….I challenge you all to do more “Giving Back in 2016!”

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#4

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Wake up…

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Wake Up…

But first let me explain what I mean when I say “Wake up”. There are many people who are ‘unresponsive’ to how they are feeling…really feeling, about the latest events in the world, more so in South Carolina, that has received national attention. This attention has also cause a lot of tension in our Country and a lot of people talking…and some, not talking, that I feel should speak up and speak out but they have chosen not to..why?

I don’t think that all public opinion is effective but there are some voices that are choosing to not respond to the latest tragedies in the United States..What I don’t want to sound like is a ‘broken record’ reiterating every incident and any details surrounding those incidents but for those who have said,”I’m just going to go back in my hole (figuratively) and wait until it all blows over or becomes a thing of yesterday,” I want to challenge you to speak UP because what’s on your mind may be that very perspective that someone struggling with the reality of every hate crime, massacre or racist issue need to hear. While I struggled initially with the back to back events (Charleston, SC Mother Emmanuel AME church massacre to 9 black people in the middle of bible study, The debate and protest over the Confederate Flag in Columbia, SC coming down and the U.S Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage) I took a ‘pause’ to pray and seek spiritual guidance from my Savior Jesus Christ because my ‘natural’ response will be the wrong response. Then I begin to have these conversations with my friends and family. My desire is that I represent God every time I open my mouth…Yes, it’s the ultimate challenge, but the power of the ‘pause’ helps me to direct my thoughts FIRST to what I should say that would represent my God and my faith. As a poet, I take it very seriously what words I choose to use because my desire first is to speak TRUTH and in LOVE…then to edify the spirit of the listener…and if creatively you are entertained, well that’s a bonus *smile*…but what I am troubled by is the ‘careful’ response to not  ‘offend’ because clearly, as long as you are living, there will be a time in your life where offense will come, but what’s important is stating your difference, in LOVE, and thinking about what is the standard of your LOVE.

Think about that statement for a minute. What does LOVE represent to you and how you view people? While hate and evil is an inevitable part of this world, and many people are responding because of their own fear to their ignorance, what would you want to say or do that will be the difference in the outcome of every situation I listed above? For me, I will write about it, talk about it and move in whatever direction God would have for me to move in order to bring awareness which is different for everyone. But being “unresponsive” is not acceptable…you know why?

Because there may be young people either in your home, your family or in your community that need to understand the history behind what is going on. They need to hear other perspectives outside of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. etc.) and TV. They need the voice of experience, maturity and honesty to penetrate what is or is not being said. And as much as we may not want to admit to it, one thing I know for sure when it comes to change…..

Communication will always be our life line to change!

“The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

You have the power to change the mindset of anyone who is talking ‘destructively” or living a ‘destructive’ life simply by what you speak and the power of what you speak. It can go either way—but saying nothing…at all…should not be an option. So, here’s my alarm clock (blog) reminder to you to “Wake Up”

~Chiccy Baritone

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