Posts by JB:
The country is abuzz because LeBron James has chosen to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state of Ohio to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, again. Amidst all of the excitement and chatter there are some life lessons to be learned from the life of LeBron.
Lesson 1: Everyone Doesn’t Like Decisions You Make
Lebron had the right not to resign with Cleveland back in 2010. After deciding to take his talents to South Beach, the Cavs fans went ballistic. Not only did the fans of Cleveland go off, but the Cavs Majority Owner, Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter about Lebron’s decision. He called Lebron’s actions, “cowardly”. And to make matters worse, Dan Gilbert’s sports-memorabilia company Fathead, lowered the price of wall graphics depicting James from $99.99 to $17.41, the birth year of Benedict Arnold.1 All of this teaches us that even when you make decisions that you feel are good for you, someone is going to be offended.
Lesson 2: Some People Want You To Do What’s Best For Them
Some Cavs fans said James had no integrity, some even burned LeBron’s jerseys in a public display of James free will decision. The hate for LeBron grew to a point that he became a “villain”. This teaches me that people will be upset when you don’t do what they think you should do.
Lesson 3: Money Is Not Always The Most Important Factor
LeBron took a pay cut of millions of dollars in order to win a championship. For the next three years, though James was clearly the best player in the NBA he chose to lose money in order to accomplish a personal goal. What a lesson. Money is important, but there are some things that are more valuable than a paycheck.
Lesson 4: Everyone Needs Help To Succeed
LeBron was highly criticized for joining DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to form, “The Big Three”. But with the Heat winning two NBA Championships in three years is an easy lesson to learn, no matter how great you are, everyone needs help to be successful.
Lesson 5: There Is Power In Unity
Wade, Bosh, and James planned and agreed to come together for a common goal, to win. These three men agreed to take a pay cut in order to reach their goal. They endured the grind of the 82 game NBA season. They overcome the opposition of the fans and media. The rose above the hate on social media to finally obtain their goal, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. By the way, they did it twice! That’s a powerful lesson learned, there is power in unity.
Lesson 6: It’s Possible To Move Forward With Forgiveness
On July 11, 2014 Lebron decided not to resign with the Miami Heat and to sign with the Cavaliers. Despite the disagreements from Lebron and the Cavs management, both parties have reported they have forgiven each other and are ready to move forward. It’s almost like the prodigal son returning home…and instead of getting the fatted calf, a ring, and a robe, Lebron will be greeted with a 2 year 42 million dollar contract. In order to find fulfillment, forgiveness is mandatory.
Lesson 7: You Can’t Please Everybody
If LeBron stays in Miami, the Cavs fans can only wonder what would have been. If James returns to Ohio, he disappoints the Heat Nation. Too bad Lebron’s not from Atlanta. Oh well, you can’t please everybody, lesson learned.
© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”.
How you start a new year is very important. However, most people begin their new year running hard and fast, only to faint and never reach their goals by the end of January. In order to be productive in 2014 the way you desire, it will take self-motivation and discipline. Here are seven ways to help you accomplish your goals for 2014.
1. Move forward
2013 is over! All of the mistakes and mishaps you experienced last year are over. The best way not hinder what God has for you this year or to stumble again in 2014 is to learn from your past and the keep moving forward.
2. Be ready to overcome
There will be some goods days ahead, but be assured that there will also be some trials, temptations, and tribulations awaiting you also. There will be days that people will get on your nerves. And other days that you will not feeling like getting out of the bed in the morning. When times like these arise dig deep within and look to God for some strength to overcome whatever attacks you. Always remember, God has got your back and with Him nothing is impossible.
3. Watch the company you keep
Everyone is not for you. Some people want to see you fail. And some people are always negative minded and hateful. You always have a choice of who you allow to get close to you, so watch the company you keep. On the other hand, there are people that are supportive, ambitious, God-fearing, and fun to be with. Either you will let someone pull you back or push you forward.
4. Don’t underestimate yourself
It seems easy to come up with excuses of why we can’t accomplish something or change something about ourselves. But this year make up your mind that you can do it. It may take some extra time, money, or effort but you can do it. Quit saying what you can’t do and start preaching to yourself that you can do it. Having a better attitude may be new or unfamiliar but you can do it. Studying may be harder, but you can do it. Not depending on people’s opinion of you as you change for the better may be awkward, but you can do it. My friend, this is your year, you can do it.
5. Constantly seek God
Prayer is essential to God directing your path on a daily basis. One benefit to prayer is that God promises to answer prayers. However, prayer must be in faith, consistent, in line with God’s Word, and in the name of Jesus. If you seek God no person, devil, or circumstance can stop the prayer from being answered. Know that the Lord stands ready to guide you, keep you, and bless you throughout the year. So be sure to stay connected to Him in prayer.
6. Be enthusiastic
Don’t let anything or anybody still your joy. Throughout the year ask God to show you the good in everything bad that happens to you. Enjoy your time at school, living at home, or working on your job. Always remember it could be worst.
7. Be determined
Success is not going to fall from sky with your name on it, you have to go and obtain it. It will take faith, patience, hard work, and a good plan to be success in life, so determination is key. There will be days when it seems as if your heart’s desire will not come to pass, still be determined. When it seems like God has not heard your prayer, still be determined. When you make mistake after mistake, remain determined. God rewards determination and at the appointed time you will receive your harvest if you don’t get weary in well doing. So remember in 2014, remain FOCUSED.
By Jerome Baker
Everyone has an opinion and most young people are not shy about voicing their opinions about other people amongst their peers or on cyberspace. Sadly, some words even from the closets friends can be harsh and quite harmful. With that in mind in is vital to be a young person that develops a strong and stable mental and emotional perspective about him or herself; especially since most teens want to be liked, followed, and accepted by their peers. Here are three quick ways teens can strengthen their self-confidence and remain assured of who they are despite what others may say or do.
1. Realize That God Made You Different
You are the only you! There will never be another person totally like you. When God made you He did not ask anyone else for assistance. You may look like your parents or even act like them at times, but you are you. Never waste time and energy trying to be what someone else wants you to be in order to be happy. Simply be who God made you to be according to His Word. If you don’t fit in with a certain group, it’s their lost. Be strong and realize no one can beat you at being you. Psalms 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
2. Realize That You Are Not Perfect
If you don’t like your size, skin color, facial features, or family…hey welcome to the club. Some issues that you have are not your fault. Some things you can correct with the right effort. And some shortcomings you just have to give to God and allow Him to help you to overcome them. There’s no need to get depressed, try to smoke or drink away your problems, or even pity yourself; everyone has imperfections.
So, if you or someone else tries to harp on what is wrong with you, learn to flip it and tell them what’s right with you…or just ignore them. As a teen (even now) people would constantly talk about my big feet. Then one day my grandmother said, “Jerome, if you didn’t have big feet, how would you stand up?” My confidence went through the roof because I thought, “I sure would be talked about if I had some small feet as tall as I am.” Nobody could tell me anything from that day on!
3. Disconnect From Pessimistic Peers
If you constantly hang around people that are always negative and seemingly have little to say that is edify or encouraging, it may be time to cut them loose. Sadly, some people only feel good about themselves when they disgrace and “diss” other people. If someone keeps “killing your vibe” it’s time to tell them “see-ya-bye”.
Words are powerful. What someones says will either cause death or life. Friends that are pessimistic are deadly. And whether you believe it or not some friends would rather see you “be down” with them instead seeing you excel as high as you can in life. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker. Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of his locate church in Carrollton, Georgia.