10 Beautiful Tweets That Will Make You Book a Trip to Hydra, Greece Right Now. Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece | Please contact us at [email protected] for feedback, writer and advertisement requests. For those that are unfamiliar with the Greek Islands — “Hydra” is one of the […]
11 Magnificent Greek Doors That Will Make You Grab Your Camera
Written by Kathy McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | Hydra, Greece Vacations | Contact us below or at [email protected] for comments or writer requests.
For those who are lucky enough to plan a vacation to the beautiful island of Hydra, Greece this summer–a sleepy, majestically nestled harbor town in the Aegean Sea; you know that one of the predominant and mesmerizing characteristics of the island is the old world architecture, incredible Renaissance-like charm, and simplistic lifestyle that will immediately surround you once you arrive. By the way, if you haven’t yet made the decision to put Hydra on your vacation list, please stop what you’re doing and read the hugely popular Goombay Tally article, 11 Reasons Why Hydra, Greece Needs To Be on Your Vacation List Immediately.
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Regardless, here’s an interesting vacation “must-do” project for you while you’re enjoying the island…I truly believe you and your family will thoroughly enjoy this adventure…especially if you need an alternative activity to the lazy Hydra beach excursions, top-notch food and restaurants, and shopping in the harbor. Moreover, if you happen to be a professional photographer, you will totally crush this project and we certainly invite you to share your results on our website.
Once you step foot off of the Aegean Flying Dolphin hydrofoil from the port of Piraeus, close to Athens, and onto the harbor of Hydra, you will quickly notice many complex labyrinths of steep and narrow streets coupled with fantastic doors that adorn the small, quaint houses throughout the island. Mostly colorful…often rustic…some artistic…you will absolutely love the bright colors, bold hues and detailed granularity of something so basic and mundane as a ….”door.”
— Hi my name is Harry (@hrgardiner) August 9, 2017
Mind you, an object that is so inherently functional and generally non-impressive as a door, would typically go unnoticed and completely ignored in most towns and cities in the United States.
But not on Hydra.
On this island, (at least in my eyes) doors also serve as functional artwork. Exhuming a burst of individual personalities on cobblestone alleys, much like canvases on display in an outdoor gallery; I tend to believe that each door has a unique story to tell. A quiet and visual display of their history–or the life of those who dwell on the other side.
While on vacation in Hydra, I made sure that I reserved at least one of my vacation days to walk throughout the town and take pictures of the wonderfully colorful doors and to carefully archive as many as I could. As you can imagine, not every door on the island is necessarily “beautiful” (per se) or even interesting; but that aspect simply adds to the challenge of finding the ones that will give you pause and cause you to simply gaze in admiration.
Believe me, when you see it … you will know it. There will invariably be one there that personally resonates with your soul.
— Rodrigo B Gonzalez (@bragancaphoto) May 15, 2016
So I’m certain that some of the island residents truly thought that I was a disturbed tourist, but I was mildly obsessed with the “doors of Hydra” and I enjoyed every minute I spent studying and admiring them, or “door hunting” — as my family now refers to it. In fact, I would like to officially submit the term “door hunting” — by definition: the “studying, admiring, and archiving of beautifully built doors” to the good folks at Webster’s Dictionary for consideration. I’m sure they’ll be amused.
I’m also certain the friendly residents of Hydra are used to tourists scampering up and down the mountain, photographing Hydra doors as an activity and art form. I suppose that no one really minds the attention that their doors receive on Hydra, as long as you respect the residents’ privacy and personal property–a rule that can be respected and understood in any language.
So in the interim, I encourage you to finish booking your vacation on Hydra and please share your Hydra “door hunting” pictures on this site when you return.
Written by Kathy McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Greece | Contact us below or at [email protected] for comments, writer requests, or advertisement details.
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Written by Andrew Brock | Staff Writer for Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Goombay Tally | Race Relations and African-American Culture| Contact us below or at [email protected] for comments, writing or advertisement requests.
11 Vital Life Strategies Every Young Black Man Needs to Know Right Now.
So, I’m really sitting down today to write this article for my handsome, funny, 4-year-old son so he has some archived words of wisdom from his father when he becomes a man. My true hope is that he will listen, learn, and avoid some of the traps that his “old man” and other black men have fallen into in the past.
I write this article not only because I love my son and don’t want him to fail, I also love our black community enough to write about some tough issues that require a great degree of self-reflection and painful transparency. No, this article will not win me any fan mail or NAACP indorsements. So be it.
Newsflash: The Black community is in a state of extreme crisis right now that appears to be systematically and hopelessly spiraling out of control.
But you already knew that. Right?
But more specifically, our young black men are in a free fall state in this country. If you’ve been following the news for any reasonable period of time, you know that we’re at combative odds with essentially everyone: law enforcement, the media, the White House, the purse-clutching old lady on the elevator, and sadly enough … with ourselves.
We’ve essentially devolved from the great Martin Luther King and the powerful 1960s civil rights movement to trap houses, mumble rap, twerking teenage girls, exponential abortion rates, and homicide numbers in America’s largest cities that easily rival American military casualties in Vietnam and Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. That’s insane!
The question is: how did we get here?
Have you ever mistakenly programmed the wrong address into your GPS and finally realize that it’s trying to send you to Boston, Ohio … instead of Boston, Massachusetts? That’s where many of us as black males are today: following GPS coordinates that were programmed for us generations and generations ago, and are still sending us to the wrong destination. Even worse, we tend to disparage or vilify those who attempt to mentor or call out those activities or characteristics that keep us headed toward mediocrity, poverty, and ultimate failure in life.
Why are brothers in our community who work hard to get an education or better themselves through traditional hard work and sweat called sell-outs or soft? There’s a plain and simple answer to that: perpetual negative social programming.
So what do we do?
It’s not rocket science, but it does take life-changing effort and dedication. And no … most young black men in crisis won’t have the internal drive or motivation to change their course in life without a coach or mentor kicking them in the ass every day. Like the GPS programmed to send you to the wrong city of Boston, our young black men have to be reprogrammed and set on the correct trajectory.
Remember that brother from the neighborhood whose Mom basically forced him to join the Army or Marines because he was either on a fast path to prison or the cemetery? Do you remember him disappearing off of the face of the earth for six to eights weeks, before finally reappearing at the corner store or at a friend’s party — squared away, standing a little taller, and sounding a little sharper cognitively?
Yep, that was the beauty of reprogramming that you witnessed there.
Unfortunately for way too many of us, our pastor, football coach, or military basic training drill sergeant will serve as the first influential male figure in our lives. The first male that is more than willing to get in our faces and tell us that we’re screwed up and need to get our *hit together if we want to be anything in life.
The direct, honest, and aggressive form of “mentoring” acts as a shock to the system for many of us and helps “reset and reprogram the GPS” if you will.
This article is certainly not a cloaked advertisement for the U.S. Armed Forces, but I will say that the military has saved as well as propelled the lives of many of our young black men for decades. Many troubled young black men in the past were told by a judge inside a tense courtroom that they had a choice of either joining the military or going to jail … you can easily guess which decision they chose.
But many of these same men went on to become successful professional soldiers and are now retired and excelling in the corporate world. All because they had a blunt, aggressive form of intervention in their lives at the right time, and by the right mentor.
I’m not saying that the military is the only solution for our misguided black men today … but I do believe that void of deliberate and methodical discipline and mentorship of any kind, many of our young men will continue down the inevitable path of destruction. And yes, there are wonderful single black mothers out there who are providing that effective, gritty, in-your-face discipline that we all need for success in life. But the news only reports the net results and effects of those men who don’t have that system in place. The drive by shootings, gang activity, homicides, drug overdoses, home invasions, baby momma drama, and the list continues.
This article will draw a considerable amount of fire from readers who choose to continue to blame “the white man” or society for the problems that we are having in our community right now. Yes, many of these variables serve as incredibly limiting factors to some degree, but none of them will be able to argue the fact that something drastic and urgent must be done if we are going to survive the next couple of decades. Regardless of our past, the excuses or finger-pointing, WE are ultimately responsible for initiating real change in our young men and communities. And that, ladies and gentlemen … falls squarely on our shoulders to fix. No one else’s … not government, law enforcement, the education system, the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Santa Clause, or the tooth fairy.
If our GPS plants us square in the middle of Boston, Ohio when we needed to be in Boston, Massachusettss; we can choose to blame Garmin, TomTom, or even the vehicle that we drove to get us there. But we will still remain in the wrong Boston until we take responsibility for our own actions and re-program the GPS correctly.
I believe that these following 11 life strategies are essential disciplines for our young black men today and need to be taught at the earliest age possible and of course, within reason. Love it or hate it … they will be taught to my son.
1. The CPT Stereotype Isn’t Funny! So Stop Perpetuating It.
Stop reading this article for 1 minute and set your watch 5 minutes ahead so you arrive on time to appointments and meetings — every time.
Remember that people judge you by your punctuality. “Colored People Time” is a racist phrase for a reason — because many of us chronically show up to meetings, appointments, church, and activities late. Hell … I once watched a sista’ walk into a movie theater with her three kids in tow–damn near at the half-way point of the movie. Don’t afford others the opportunity or satisfactory of excusing our actions because of this “unspoken” expectation. When you show up on time or ahead of time … you tell people that you’re serious about what you’re doing and should be taken seriously in kind. When you show up late to important meetings or events – you lose your “seat at the table” and in turn, lose you credibility. And let’s face it y’all … these are two things we can’t afford to forfeit as black people.
When you show up late to important meetings or events – you lose your “seat at the table” and in turn, lose you credibility. And let’s face it y’all … these are two things we can’t afford to forfeit as black people.
2. Change Your View of Success and Value. An “On-Fire” Community Volunteer With $100 in His Bank Account is More Valuable To Me Than a Social Leech With a $1.7 Million Bugatti in His Garage.
As you probably already know, American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffet is worth roughly $30 billion. He lives in a modest house in a middle class neighborhood, and drives around in a 2006 Cadillac XTS, that he purchased for $42,000 cash. Notice I said “drives around” … yep, he doesn’t employ a chauffeur to drive him around town in Omaha, Nebraska. The interesting thing is that most of us wouldn’t recognize Warren Buffet if we walked past him on the street today – yet he is one of the richest men on the face of the earth. Mr. Buffet doesn’t have to prove to you, me, or anyone else that he’s rich … that’s not important to him. He invests his time and efforts into things that have true value: family, great investments and philanthropic work.
Too many of us define success by the number of gold chains around our neck and the cars that we drive instead of investing in the things that matter — like education, family, and community. We value bling more than the church and spirituality. Many of us can fund a few semesters of college with the amount of cash we spend on new rims for our ride, clothes, jewelry, and Air Jordan sneakers. These things will eventually wear out and get tossed out however, your education and acquired skills will lead to a career and progressive income instead of a short-term appearance of success.
3. Stop Having Kids Out of Wedlock Dammit! It’s Destroying the Black Community.
During a conversation about problems in the African-American community, a popular CNN anchor stated, “just because you can have a baby, doesn’t mean you should.” He also went on to point out that more than 72 percent of African-American children are born out-of-wedlock. Although he faced a fire-storm of criticism from many who felt that his comment was insensitive and myopic … the truth is, he was spot-on. This goes back to the GPS programming theory: our community perpetuates a practice that “keeps on giving” if you will. The cycle of poverty and social failure will never end as long as we keep popping out children without stable families and solid support systems that put them on the right path. Black “intellectuals” citing socioeconomic statistics and blaming slave owners from 1619 is psychologically and emotionally satisfying, but not incredibly productive. Worst yet, impregnating a women who you have no intentions of building a life and family with — while leaving her on government assistance to raise your kid on her own is irresponsible, and has nothing to do with slavery, Jim Crow, white supremacy, or President Donald Trump. Bottomline: It just makes you an *ss-hole and part of our social economic problem. Be a man. Real men take care of their families. “Smart men” don’t start families until they can adequately support them.
The impacts are real. Read this Washington Post piece by Valerie Strauss. [Washington Post]
4. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle … and Outwork Everyone Around You.
The black man generally has to live with an abundance of damaging stereotypes every day. I think the one stereotype that bothers me the most is the one that says, “black males are lazy and unproductive.” Mind you, I’ve seen “lazy” people from every race in my lifetime, but I’ve lived my life out working everyone around me so supervisors and co-workers can’t use that excuse to marginalize my achievements or contributions to the job or organization. Out-working everyone around you means going above and beyond what is expected of you. Not just barely meeting expectations. It means exceeding expectations every opportunity you have. Doing this puts everyone on notice that you’re to be taken seriously and that you intend on expanding and accelerating your personal brand.
5. Treat Every Women You Meet Like You Want Other Men to Treat Your Mother.
Women are to be respected and honored [Period]. The fact that some of them don’t live up to that respect is on them, not you. That means women should never be called “hoes” or any other “cute” name referenced in any popular Little Wayne, Two Chainz, or Drake song today. A women brought you into this world and nurtured you to where you are in life right now. That deserves a special place of honor in our society. When you objectify, mistreat, abuse, and disrespect women, we not only devalue what it means to be a women, but it devalues everyone in our community. In addition, it teaches other races that our women have no true value to us [outside of sexual pursuits] and subconsciously invites others to do the same. Do you really want that for your mother? Yep, I didn’t think so.
6. Don’t Run Away From the Law, Learn How to Use It.
Yes, there are systemic problems with many of our law enforcement agencies in America right now and specifically, public engagement inequalities when dealing with African-Americans. These are matters that must be addressed at the local, state, and national level. However, I believe that “most” law enforcement officers are there to do the right thing and serve the public. I know many good police officers who would give their lives for our safety. I also believe that 50 percent of the negative engagements between black men and law enforcement that reach the levels that we see on CNN, could have been prevented with better behavioral strategies and rules of engagement. Here are mine:
- Police officers wear body cameras as evidential material if their actions or the subjects actions are called in question in a court of law. As a citizen, you also have every right to buy a vehicle camera or body camera to ensure that your civil liberties aren’t trampled on. However, cameras don’t give you the right to act like an *ss-hole. *ss-holes are despised by everyone … law enforcement included.
- Visit and speak with a trusted attorney in your town and ask them if you can have a few of their cards to keep on your person. During an engagement with police that you feel is getting out of control. Always show them your personal identification if requested, but also hand them the attorney’s card as an additional form of validation. Mind you, if you are in the wrong — an attorney’s business card won’t be of any value to you at that point. But if you happen to run into a bad cop who is operating outside of ethical lines, this non-threatening gesture puts them on notice that you know your rights and also know how to contact someone who makes a living from protecting them.
- Learn about The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV). The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. It also requires governmental searches and seizures to be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant, judicially sanctioned by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Yes, these are lessons we probably slept through in civics class in high school but our national situation is too serious not to know your rights as a citizen now. Especially as a black man. That means that police can’t just search you person or residence without probable cause. Probable cause is basically strong evidence that a crime has been committed and more importantly, that you are the brother who did it.
7. Memorize This Phrase if a Police Officer Engagement Goes Terribly Wrong.
First, follow “every” command that police officers give you during a traffic stop or on the streets. Your ego at the time is not worth occupying a drawer at the county morgue tonight. Leave the Tupac-thug posturing and chest-beating to the low-intelligence brothers. You have a life to live. Remember, police officers just want to get home in one piece just like anyone else … don’t give ’em a reason to think that goal will be put into jeopardy during your engagement. It’s not being a punk, or weak … it’s being smart and alive. It just doesn’t make sense to start beef with anyone with a weapon … police officer or otherwise.
However, if you are following all of the officer’s directions, but still feel that things are getting out of hand and the officer is artificially escalating the level of force being administered, repeat this phrase: “I am unarmed, in compliance, and not a threat to you officer … my hands are right here … please follow your department’s mandated use of force training and protocol.” Reciting this phrase tells the officer that 1) you are aware that this engagement may be witnessed by others in a legal environment in the future via video and that 2) you are aware that the officers are being held to a standard of performance that will be evaluated and scrutinized in the same court of law. Hearing an innocent suspect stating this phrase on video right before getting shot doesn’t make for good optics. Police officers and Police Chiefs know this.
Again….I repeat: this phrase only works if you are fully compliant and “indeed” not a threat. Saying this while holding a gun or knife is as useless as wearing shower shoes in the 100-yard dash.
“I am unarmed, in compliance, and not a threat to you officer … my hands are right here … please follow your department’s mandated use of force training and protocol.”
8. Respect Age, Rank, Position, and Authority.
Many of our young black men (yep, and sista’s too) are raised without a shred of respect for our elders and authority. I truly believe this lack of respect translates into and negatively impacts the classroom, the workplace, traffic stops, and the streets. The military demands discipline and respect for rank, position and authority because these variables are vital drivers for the execution of orders and missions. Young black men have to learn how to respect parents, their elders, and those in authority first, before we are going to address and fix many of the social issues that plague us today. This notion will certainly not be popular in this era of “pass the blame” and take no responsibility nonsense, but think about this: even gangs and organized crime syndicates have a hierarchy and rank structure that is respected and adhered to by its members. So you’re telling me that this concept shouldn’t be exercised in a positive way by our black men? Get out of here!
9. Treat Your Education Like a Business or Investment – It’s the Key to Your Future.
I remember sitting in my english literature class in high school and watching a brother sitting in the back of the class and tying his fat shoe laces into his new Adidas high tops (yes, I’m dating myself here … 1980s) for the entire duration of the class. He never looked at his text book, never followed the class instruction, and only looked up occasionally if he thought the teacher was about to call on him. Education was not important to him because he didn’t see the connection between what education offers him and his quality of life in the future. He was under the flawed assumption that being a “fly break-dancer” with “ill” high tops would sustain him into the future and put food on his table for life. I’m certain he was wrong. Treat your education like a business or investment. Mainly because it is. Poverty is serious business – there’s nothing funny about it, and certainly nothing cool about it.
10. Be A Hero to Your Community – Not a Cancer Within It.
You must treat drug-dealers, thugs, thieves, and general criminals in our community as a dangerous cancer that must be rooted out and eliminated. Stop pretending that they are heroes or role-models. Stop rapping about their exploits in our music. Stop putting these criminals on undeserved pedestals. They are systematically dismantling our neighborhoods and killing off our people at genocidal rates–far greater than the police, or other races by the way. Instead, help organize school supply and food drives for our neighborhoods. Volunteer for programs like Meals-on-Wheels that help take care of our valuable elders. In fact, take the time to listen to their stories and life lessons … they will be infinitely more insightful and interesting than I ever can be. Form a neighborhood watch program to help keep our youth and communities safe. Volunteer to escort our young ladies and youth safely home. Don’t leave this task solely to the cops. Volunteer at your local church … don’t just pray to the Almighty for social change, he’s already commissioned you to go out and be that change in our community.
Our neighborhoods need young “black leaders” – not “bottom-feeders” … we have enough of those already.
11. Save at Least 10% of Everything You Earn – Start Investing Early and Often.
Make it a habit of saving no less than 10% of every dollar that flows through your pockets right now. It doesn’t matter how large or small the amount is … get into a consistent routine of paying yourself first. Treat that 10% like you don’t even own it in the first place and drop it into a savings account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or CDs. In addition, one of the best financial decisions you will ever make, will be to consult with a “certified” financial advisor who can help you assess your goals in life and develop a plan to reach them. As black men, we have to stop the “broke cycle” by starting small and managing the modest financial gains in our lives before we can begin to achieve significant economic growth in the future. Learn how to capitalize on the power of consistency and the beauty of the compound effect. Making small, but consistent deposits into your investment account of choice will eventually put you on the road to independence.
Written by Andrew Brock | Goombay Tally | Share us on Facebook/Twitter
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Had a Bad Day? Read This First and Keep Moving Forward.
Written by Kathy McGinnis | Staff Writer for www.goombaytally.com | Mental Wellness
Regardless of how beautiful and dreamy you think your life is right now, we all will invariably, and inevitably encounter some (seemingly) insurmountable challenges and trying times in the future.
Whether you completely tanked a speech right in front of your demanding and critical boss today–and that speech was suppose to help propel your career right into the stratosphere; not to mention that corner office with a window. Your wife of 13 years just told you that she wants a divorce. You just lost your job and don’t know how you’re going to keep the house and support your family. Last night you received a phone call from your brother that one of your parents is sick and only have a few months left. And the horrifying list continues. We’ve all been there in the past–or maybe you’re going through one of these crisis situations right now.
Many motivational speakers and mental health specialists may tell you: it’s not your existing situation or crisis that really matters right now, it’s how you deal with the situation that counts in the long run. I certainly agree. We also know the quintessentially debilitating aspect of a crisis is often that the person going through these events feels completely hopeless with little to no enlightenment or remedy in the near future. Essentially, we just don’t see an immediate or long-term way out of trouble.
“Life Isn’t Always Sunshine and Rainbows – At Times it Can Beat You to Your Knees…”
Life is not like a glossy, star studded Hollywood movie where the world’s problems are neatly diffused and resolved within two hours and the hero walks off into the sunset. Roll credits. Toss your empty popcorn bag and coke into the can as you leave. That certainly would be awesome … but typically not likely. In reality, a crisis cycle will probably look something like this instead:
- A horrible event happens.
- We experience the shock of the event.
- We deal with the event the best way we can given the coping mechanisms that we are personally equipped with (or lack).
- Those who lack effective coping mechanisms may do harmful things to themselves or others that initiates secondary and tertiary impacts which compel a negative spiral and unrecoverable state of dysfunctional behavior.
- Those with healthier coping mechanisms begin the recovery process and initiate positive–rehabilitative actions.
- The situation begins to improve either at a slow or advanced rate accordingly.
- We recover, to some extent, or at least move on with our lives.
…life is not like a glossy, star studded Hollywood movie where the world’s problems are neatly resolved and normalized within two hours and the hero walks off into the sunset.
People who are in crisis often find it hard enough just to crawl out of bed and stumble into the shower everyday, much less get themselves pumped up and motivated to face their problems and seek resolution. Depression will steal your appetite, obliterate your sleep cycle, make you lose interest in things that your are normally passionate about, and compel you to abandon your friends, family, and existing support system.
Some of Life’s Issues May Require Professional Help – Go See Them Now!
I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the credentials to pull you out of the funk you may be in right now, but I can share with you some quick, guerrilla strategies and tips that helped me wade through some certifiably cringe-worthy situations and crisis in my life.
First, if you are dealing with a problem that you don’t seem to be able to functionally and effectively manage, please stop reading this article and seek professional help from a clinician who is trained to provide you with the right level and degree of behavioral and psychological assistance. There are resources available to you right now, contact the following numbers if you need help:
- US Suicide Hotline – 800-784-2433
- NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group – 800-826-3632
- Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline – 630-482-9696
- Crisis Help Line – 800-233-4357
(Source: psychcentral.com, John M. Grohol, Psy.D.)
I’ve simply listed some quick, actionable strategies that at times may seem superficial or even silly, but have helped me muster through some tough times. That said, the absolute best advice I can give you when you’re dealing with hard times, is to talk to someone…don’t hide from it and don’t pretend everything is O.K.
Here we go:
1. Starbucks and a Buddy.
Call a family member or friend right now and go have coffee. This is a great opportunity to talk about your issues. Additionally, he or she may have valuable and insightful perspectives on your issue that you’ve never even thought of. Conversely, hiding in your apartment with the curtains drawn and the lights turned off will probably lower your electric bill next month, but won’t do anything for your mental and emotional well-being right now. Moreover, dealing with your demons alone or drowning yourself in alcohol or drugs is the last thing you need.
2. Read the “Good Book” and Pray.
O.K., this is not the part in the post where we debate the existence of God or whether Christianity or Islam is the path to true happiness and enlightenment. I’m just sharing helpful tips that worked for me. If Buddhism is your spiritual remedy during tough times…more power to you. In addition, praying or meditating does wonderful things for your mental well-being and mood. Sometimes we just need to slow the brain down just long enough to catch up cognitively and spiritually. Again, regardless of your religious affiliation, the Bible and prayer presents incredibly comforting words of encouragement and hope that will help change your immediate perspective on life. Here’s a few passages that have helped me:
- Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and mountains quake with their surging.
- Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
If you don’t actually own a Bible, “there is an app for that.” Just download “Bible” app from the Apple App Store or any number of other Bible apps for your particular device.
3. Listen to Awesome Inspirational Speeches.
Love it or hate it, You Tube can serve as an incredibly helpful resource for motivational speeches or excerpts from world renown speakers like Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Linda Larsen, Colette Carlson, Joel Osteen, Dr. Eric Thomas (The Hip Hop Preacher), and many more. A number of these speeches are set to dramatic orchestral music and will stir your soul and ignite your spirit during rough patches in your life. Listening to these inspiring speakers will get you pumped up and ready to fight.
4. Be Grateful. Write Down 10 Things You’re Thankful For.
Yes, it sounds stupid, but when I found myself in a bad situation some years ago, my mentor at the time told me to sit down with a sheet of paper and write 10 things that I’m grateful for in my life right now. Obviously this can be a daunting task when you feel like your world is literally collapsing around you. Yep, initially, this will feel counter-intuitive, and frankly, counterproductive. However, if you actually do this simple task, you will soon discover that regardless of your current situation, God has given you infinitely more in the form of family, friends, health, and spiritual wealth than life appears to be “stealing” from you right now. Your perspective will begin to right-size itself. In a few weeks, you will find that your list will grow exponentially as your fears begin to diminish.
5. Watch The “Rocky Balboa” Motivational Speech Every Morning.
Yes, I admit that I’m that cheesy guy who watches hours of Rocky reruns during Christmas break. I love the enduring story of the underdog overcoming incredible odds and a lack of God-given talent to ultimately succeed in life. To many, Rocky symbolizes the common person coming from humble beginnings and a limiting and disadvantaged environment to prove that shear determination and grit will inevitably shatter the odds and ultimately level life’s playing field.
I invite you to listen to Rocky’s powerful interchange with his son in the movie Rocky Balboa (2006), where his son tries desperately to convince his father not to go through with his upcoming and ill-advised boxing match. I dare you not to walk away feeling ready to take on the world. It still gives me chills every time I hear it today.
6. Run Forest, Run.
No…you’re probably thinking I mean get “out of dodge”, move to Mexico, and run away from your problems. Instead, I’m referring to (literally) grabbing your Reebok or Nike running shoes and stepping on the treadmill or running trail. Why? Specialists believe that running, or exercise in general, promotes the release of the feel-good chemicals called endorphins.
Much like a natural antidepressant, running assists your brain in holding on to mood-boosting neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. In fact, Runnersworld.com recommends “running in quiet green spaces instead of on crowded streets…” trust me, you will feel 100 times better and running will help dissipate some of the fog and help provide you with some emotional clarity when you need it most.
7. Study How High-Achievers Overcame Debilitating Adversity.
Abraham Lincoln, arguably one of our greatest presidents, was born into poverty, lost eight elections, experienced two failed businesses, and literally suffered a nervous break down before ultimately winning the Presidency. Famous inventor Thomas Edison was known for saying “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Imagine if Edison gave up on his telephone invention after his third or fourth failure. Heck, you wouldn’t be reading this post on your iPhone 7 right now would you?
There was a time when hugely successful motivational speaker Dr. Eric Thomas was broke, homeless and eating out of trash cans for three years before he turned his life around. Now he probably makes more in a month than the Goombay Tally staff makes in a year. More importantly, “E.T.” is motivating people all over the world to be better, and achieve more In life.
Bottom-line: failure and mediocrity is not an experience just reserved for unknowns like you and I. Some of the planet’s most inspiring and talented geniuses have been to “hell and back” in their unrelenting pursuit of greatness. Remember, the problem that you are going through right now is only temporary. However, your reaction to this challenge will greatly impact the trajectory that your life will take starting today…starting right now. Get up. Move forward. Do the same thing again tomorrow morning. Things will get better, and you will be shaped and molded into a better version of yourself because of your tested resiliency and perseverance.
Is It Time to Find a New Church? Here’s 5 Blinking Light Indicators.
Written by Kathy McGinnis | Staff Writer for www.Goombay Tally | Religious and Humor
Experts claim there are over 37 million churches in the world right now with roughly 34,000 different Christian denominations mixed in. Additionally, there’s nearly 50,000 new ones added to that “holy roster” every year with about 1,200 of those being right here in the good ol’ United States. You guessed it, that’s a lot of different ways to “serve the Lord” if you will.
And just like a unique fingerprint … no two churches are exactly the same.
Furthermore, those statistics also mean that the probability of you and your family finding a church body that (specifically) meets every single one of your spiritual, doctrinal, and fellowship needs, is probably a long-shot at best. Instead, as Christians, we tend to find a church body that meets at least 70% of our perceived spiritual needs, and then we gradually become uncultured into that community.
That’s generally how it works I think.
But what happens when you start to feel that your church no longer sparks that fire in your soul anymore or as the legendary blues singer B.B. King would sing, “The Thrill is Gone”?
Now, before I get a ton of hate mail from churches across the world…I get it, the thrill for the Lord and his mercy should be in our hearts regardless of the church body we find ourselves in. But let’s be real here for a second…unfortunately, there are pastors and congregations out there that have the uncanny ability to suck the very life out of a church service specifically, and out of the Christian experience in general. We’ve all been there and done that I’m sure. Some of you are there now.
I remember moving to a new town in Colorado years ago and visiting my first church in the area. Without getting into the painful details, I nearly fell asleep (or as I now tell friends–fell into a holy coma) before the sermon was half-way over. Embarrassing drooling action and all. Yep, not proud of that moment by any stretch, but that first-time experience was enough for me to quickly continue my search for a new spiritual home without investing anymore time in a church that just wasn’t going to work out long term. And I suspect that we’ve all been there in the past.
So what do we do when we feel the need to exit the proverbial church “back door” (the metaphorical way to describe people leaving the church) as Dr. Thom Rainer wrote in his blog post, The Main Reason People Leave a Church. (thomrainer.com)
Thom Rainer also outlined in his post some direct quotes from exit interviews of people who actually left congregations:
- “The worship leader refused to listen to me about the songs and music I wanted.”
- “The pastor did not feed me.”
- “No one from my church visited me.”
- “I was not about to support the building program they wanted.”
- “I was out two weeks and no one called me.”
- “They moved the times of the worship services and it messed up my schedule.”
- “I told my pastor to go visit my cousin and he never did.”
Fascinating excuses for leaving your church, but I’ve attending many churches throughout my lifetime; not only within the United States but in seven separate countries. Each pastor, minister, or priest brought to their church and congregation their own unique brand of Christianity and worship.
That said, one universal truth that I’ve learned over time is that nobody (regardless of how much they convince you otherwise) has a complete lock on “Jesus” and what it takes to be an effective Christian. Grant it, some ministers are just better equipped to deliver and interpret the Word of God in such a way that resonates with our souls and seemingly enhances our personal experience with Christ.
…One universal truth that I’ve learned over time is that nobody (regardless of how much they convince you otherwise) has a complete lock on “Jesus” and what it takes to be an effective Christian.
These tend to be the churches that are logistically required to hold three separate services on Sunday morning, and require local Police or Sheriff Department traffic control checkpoints on Easter Sundays. They are huge.
And good for them. Their outreach capability and capacity is “boss.”
But if you are already well entrenched and established in a church — what are some signs that you just may not be getting the spiritual nourishment and growth that you were hoping for when you first started attending? The following is light-hearted (but all too often true) food for thought:
1. Your pastor lives in a $3 million mansion while the rest of the congregation is struggling to keep the lights on.
I’m not saying that God doesn’t want us to be prosperous in life and to enjoy physical blessings … on the contrary. But let’s be honest here…if your pastor is the only one in church driving a brand new Mercedes-Benz, living in a mansion the size of “Prince’s” compound, and wearing $5,000 suits…rest assure, his or her “prosperity ministry” only has one successful beneficiary…and it definitely ain’t you.
Now I’m certainly not knocking the successful televangelists who make millions of dollars a year, own sleek personal jets (and flight lines, *Kenneth Copeland), and need personal bodyguards when they travel … but the obvious irony here is that they are all living quite extravagantly by preaching and teaching about a man who lived a very servant-oriented, simplistic, minimalistic, and transient lifestyle by comparison.
Worst yet. I suspect that if Jesus physically set foot back on earth this afternoon and decided to pay a visit with one of his “elite” and dedicated evangelists at one of their uber-mansions in north Texas, their security teams would probably attempt to apprehend him and ask … “what business he has with Reverend (fill in the blank).”
Isn’t capitalism a wonderful thing?
2. When you invest a fortune into the “church fund” but the roof is literally falling in on itself.
I once sat through a church service years ago that collected three separate offerings from the congregation for the “church fund.” Frankly, it was embarrassing. It essentially turned the church service into an extended NPR fundraiser marathon. My family and I now refer to that service as the “Holy Shakedown” or the “First Baptist Church of the ATM.” Mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of the physical building where you worship the Lord. That’s just good stewardship. However, if your church collects an extraordinary amount of money for a church fund but you can’t recall seeing a single major repair or upgrade in years … nuclear launch-style red flags and sirens should be blaring. (Also refer to Reason#1 above)
3. High fashion! Low outreach.
Have you ever attended a church service where the congregation looked like they were all in competition for the “Best Dressed Baptist of the Year Award”? No, that award doesn’t actually exist, (I don’t believe) but you’ve probably visited that church at one point in your life.
Essentially, if you’re not “dressed for success,” i.e., wearing fancy suits, expensive dresses, name brand footwear, and imported ties, don’t think about entering the holy sanctuary.” There have even been stories told of first-time attendees being turned away from worship at certain churches because they were not dressed in slacks, a suit and tie, or expensive dresses etc. That’s just shameful to me.
Personally, in a country where regular church attendance rates are dropping exponentially every year, I believe God is less concerned about what you wear in his house than the fact that you actually get your butt in a pew on Sunday in the first place. And yes, there is the issue of “appropriateness”… you certainly don’t want to see revealing clothing that distracts away from the service either. Trust me…eyes will wander…church or not. But I refuse to believe that God will turn you away at the door because you’re wearing a “John Deere” T-shirt and Wrangler jeans. But that’s just me. Bottomline: churches that seem more interested in outward appearances than how they can minister to the physical and spiritual needs of those that attend, may not be worth your time.
4. Wow! That was a great service…now what was the sermon about again?
— Zac Novak (@zacnovak) May 16, 2014
Growing and keeping a [young] church congregation in today’s socially progressive environment has to be a daunting task for sure and I don’t envy any pastor or church staff for that challenge. Let’s face it, the modern church is in direct competition with Hollywood, MTV, Drake, Kim Kardashian, the NFL, Swooping Meadows Golf Course (or something like that), and a society that rewards humanism and individuality while vehemently attacking religious institutions.
Moreover, pastors are slowly moving away from the traditional trappings of the past and embracing the subtle (and not so subtle) integration of modern technology, multimedia, coffee kiosks and donut stands, contemporary christian music, social media, and live streaming service capabilities. And honestly, I think it’s not only a good thing, but inevitable. Additionally, I don’t buy the belief that your service or worship is “more pure” if you forgo the cross-pollination of modern day technology or popular trends. But I have experienced services where you know the church leadership is not only “trying way to hard” to attract today’s youth, but probably find themselves out of bounds both biblically and spiritually. Bottoming: If your church has so many distractions that you walk out not really remembering what the main takeaway was from the sermon, there may be some focus issues going on.
5. Checkbox Christians.
I’ll be the last person to proclaim that I have everything in life all figured out and that I’m the poster child for Christianity Today Magazine. I fail on a daily basis. Sometimes hourly.
So I certainly tread lightly when I use the term “checkbox christians” or professed christians who [really] only attend church to meet their perceived civic, family, or traditional obligations. I remember inviting my roommate in college to church one Sunday and he surprisingly agreed to attend even after a late night partying at a few of the local clubs in the area. I still chuckle today when I recall my roommate and I quickly finding a pew to sit down and him suddenly focusing his stare on an attractive young lady sitting to the far right side of the chapel. I cringed to think what comment he was about to make about her but was even more surprised to hear him yell out instead, “Hey, I saw her at the club last night!” It was both mortifying and hilarious at the same time.
But to my point.
I attend church to draw inspiration, mentoring, motivation, and encouragement from those who are patently different from regular “Joe” who drinks too much, chases too many women, and uses the Lord’s name in ways that will make you grandmother slap you into next Thursday.
When I attend church, I personally need the strength and motivation of those who are going to help keep my sorry butt out of the clubs and hangouts that will destroy my walk with Christ. If you find that your church lacks those mentors in an exponential way…it may be time to find a different church to facilitate your continued spiritual growth.
In summary, there is no perfect church out there in the religious ecosystem, but there are certainly (more than) enough to find the one that facilitates your walk with God in a meaningful and inspirational way.
Written by Goombay Tally Staff | Goombay Tally Blog
The People of Alabama Appropriately Handled Judge Roy Moore … Then Twitter Mercilessly Finished Him Off With These 11 Crazy Tweets
By Andrew Brock | Staff writer for www.goombaytally.com | Judge Roy Moore
The December 12, 2017 Alabama Senate seat race wasn’t just a major political event for the people of Alabama, or even for the United States. This race was closely followed, scrutinized, and analyzed on the broader global stage as well. Why? Well, most would agree that this race served as a windsock, or gauge for the current administration’s net influence, momentum, and political potency in United States right now.
With the state of Alabama electing its first Democratic senator in over two decades, do these election results tell us which way the 2020 winds are blowing? Maybe … but who really knows. Right?
Last year’s elections taught us all a valuable lesson about the accuracy of pre-election predictions and the “myth of absolutes” in the strange city we call Washington D.C. (cue the You Tube montage of bumbling CNN and MSNBC reporters trying to figure out what’s going on with the early Trump and Hillary poll numbers. All wide-eyed, frazzled, and perplexed … like Mike Tyson stuck in a Calculus 301 class at Stanford University on a pop quiz day.)
And I think the rest of us were honestly just waiting to see if the good people of Alabama would actually live up to their existing stereotypes and “reputation” by electing a candidate that nonchalantly used the words: slavery, great, and country in the same incoherent sentence.
A modern day, living, breathing artifact from Alabama’s twisted civil rights past. Not to mention a man facing a barrage of sexual harassment and assault allegations from women whose level of social stress and anxiety at such a young age should have been attributed to things like: figuring out what to wear to the prom … or does Jimmy Bob in her history class, like her … not from being stalked by a grown man wearing a cowboy hat.
Now, I believe in due process and innocence until proven guilty like anyone else, but as one of my mentors once told me regarding the cumulative effect of a lifetime of dishonesty, corruption, and lawlessness on a human being’s life, he said: “If you get to where you are in life by treating people like dirt or nonhuman… the wolves will come for you. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. Hell … it may not even happen for decades. But rest assure, they will eventually come for you.”
“If you get to where you are in life by treating people like dirt or nonhumans… the wolves will come for you. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. Hell … it may not even happen for decades. But rest assure, they will eventually come for you,” he said.
Judge Roy Moore … I think the wolves have finally come for you sir. And they’re wearing high heels to boot.
If you’ve been paying attention to Twitter over the past 12 hours, you will notice that the tweets are also coming for Roy Moore and they are not merciful or forgiving by any stretch of the imagination. Here are 11 that will certainly leave a mark shaped like the state of Alabama on the “good” judge:
Sounds great Roy – let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) November 30, 2017
Bring It On is a movie about high school cheerleaders https://t.co/THLhYwpZSf
— Chris Hansen (@tankcat) November 16, 2017
— StillLes4Hill (@StillLes4Hill) December 13, 2017
Alabama voters to Roy Moore:
**** you and the horse you rode in on !!#AlabamaSenateElection #ALsen #Alabama #DougJones #ThankYouAlabama #RoyMoore #Resist #Trump #1u #tcot #maga #NewDay #MorningJoe #TheResistance pic.twitter.com/Mw2xh9owqI
— Richard Angwin (@RichardAngwin) December 13, 2017
Roy Moore Spokesman appears to have a seizure after being schooled by Jake Tapper. pic.twitter.com/hn4BpKqdNI
— Rogelio Garcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) December 13, 2017
Live look at Roy Moore's horse pic.twitter.com/G1zHbQHDu7
— The Glare (@TheGlare_TM) December 13, 2017
Roy Moore could try out for the cowboy in The Village People except he’s been banned from the YMCA pic.twitter.com/kBq1qKdYfk
— Paul Lander (@paul_lander) December 13, 2017
Roy Moore waiting on the Lord pic.twitter.com/PYDAcTKa3H
— Carlos de la Torre (@voiceofthetower) December 14, 2017
Forget the senate election. Roy Moore still hasn’t conceded the Civil War.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 13, 2017
Forget the voters of Alabama. Even Sassy the Horse rejected Roy Moore.
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) December 13, 2017