Be The Best

How can you refine your personality to be the best? Some persons might think that you could do so by taking care of your exterior. They might think one thing you must do is dress well, by wearing a suit, as you sit in important meetings. Having don a tie, put on a piece of jewelry, and wear a fashionable wrist watch, to match. A religiously inclined person might display a necklace, with a cross dangling on his or her chest. Others might pay attention if their hair, is it black, brown, or blond? To be sure they are well-groomed they might even wear a pair of the latest style shoes. Such attire is undoubtedly beautiful, might strike some as having an air of respectability, however, there’s a lot more to being the best you can.

What about you having a well-rounded education? Your goal ought to be growing emotionally, intellectually, and physically. With improved speech, you’d be able to score points. To be kind and courteous are goodness to have. These qualities will make you an actor in the world. You might want to view your personality, as a mask of different colors. Ezra Pound’s Personnae (1909) literally means “masks of actor,” for we’re basically actors on the world’s stage. Some persons might even consider more favorably, if they are blessed with intelligence, cleverness, and happiness.

Imperfections as Gifts

One thing is certain. That is: we’re all imperfect. By working hard to improve ourselves, we might still find that we are dogged by imperfections. In considering our attitudes toward such defects, is viewing our imperfections as important gifts. Don’t worry overly about them, but embrace them for what they really are. You might be an alcoholic. What then should you do? Recognize your affliction and take responsibility for it. Seek treatment, join Alcoholic Anonymous, and be open to others about your disease. Share your story as a blessing in disguise and see the stigma melt away. This gift you once regarded in such a hateful way might well be the catalyst, for helping other alcoholics.

Through afflictions, Christians and non-Christians alike, have been known to develop a deeper love, and understanding of God. By being an inspiration, saints have been able to mature more deeply, in their faith. Cancer patients in remission might end up giving alms to suffering patients at hospitals. They might view their newly found afflictions as a vocations. Their outlook would inevitably become more than coping with ailments. Their afflictions might appear gloomy and hopeless to many, but they might well discover what they do as valuable. We must always praise such sufferers and their commitments to ailing patients. Their services must be applauded, for some will be able to find hope, encouragement, and strength through them.

There are some that might view having imperfections as bad. American comedian, actor, writer of the TV series “Roseanne,” Carrie Snow, observed, “Technology … is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” Could Carrie be referring to the conflicting faces of our media – good and bad? In the media we learn about some opinion leaders, their glorious achievements, contributions, and after awhile, their names are dragged through mud, by the same commentators who were praising them. Like media as in life, we’re presented with the good, bad, and ugly, but the wise would still learn from these situations. Technology, whether radio, TV, cable, or the Internet, has its imperfections, but must still be viewed as precious gifts. Imperfect gifts though they might be, but those which present us, with different faces, some of which we might dislike. God-faring people will always benefit from what’s best in the media.

With Care & Respectability

Why must we be flippant connivers? We are entrusted at birth with a myriad of gifts. Even a brain-damaged child has gifts to share with us. The tramp that might be ignored is also gifted. In God’s providence we are all his caretakers. Law abiding citizens dislike criminals running rampantly in their cities and will do anything to stop them. Why don’t we do away with anxieties we nurture about people? Don’t be too upset about situations you can’t control, for God’s always in control. Life can be a struggle, but we’re blessed with grace, and goodness, to see problems through. A lot of situations aren’t as menacing as they appear, they need prayer, understanding, and handling them wisely. We have to be sure to promote honest values and morals in our world.

Refine your personality by laughing a lot, be good-humored, about little, and big things. With fortitude and persistence we would touch what’s authentic about life. Be good Samaritans, help the less fortunate, and focus on Our Good Shepherd, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for men and women are basically good. Allow Christ to refine your personality, and you’ll know what it means to be whole again. Every day when you sit down for a meal, especially on Good Friday, do so in commemoration of the Lord’s Supper, for you could only become the best through him.

Keys of Faith

Keys of Faith (2016) is available at  It contains nine doors that come with spiritual keys to open hearts on meditations for living.  In the various sections of this book each meditation is assembled within doors.  This work addresses many facets of American culture with chapters which focus on themes that “all lives matter,” even for those who have disabilities.  These writings do homage to biblical verses that explain spiritual concepts.  While national and international personalities reflect on the grandiose and omniscient nature of God.  This book will serve beautifully as a wonderful companion for Christians and believers of other faith traditions.

Watchdogs of Christian Development

Watchdogs of Christian development are eagerly doing their jobs in making us have a closer walk in our faith. In the Book of Genesis, God spoke his creation into existence. Thus demonstrating the inherent power of speech and the Word. Through his supreme love, God created Adam and Eve to live in abundance. He told them not to eat the fruit of the tree of life, but they disobeyed, and sin entered the world, with their disobedience (Genesis 1-3 ).

Ban Ki-moon (b. 1944), eight and current secretary-general of the United Nations explains our condition, “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.” Unlike God’s laws, in the Garden of Eden, the secretary-general was proposing fundamental ideas for growth and development of planet earth.

His proposal followed a 1998 paper on Bahai perspective entitled, “Valuing Spirituality in Development” that was part of a World’s Faith Development Dialogue hosted by the World Bank and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, London, which outlined the following factors:

  1. The intellectual development of the individual
  2. The guarantees of freedom
  3. Fostering equality and partnership of men and women
  4. The nurturing of families
  5. Protecting the environment
  6. The widespread participation of all groups in a society
  7. A desire to serve

It was felt that the events of this world were expressions of our spirituality and it was further noted, spirituality, mass media, and national development were intricately related. In From Yahweh to Yahoo: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press, Underwood saw a connection in the importance of God’s Word, discussion, and debate, in the promotion of values, and development in democratic countries.

The Importance of Public Trust

It was acknowledged that public trust was important for growth – news, information, and entertainment. Freedoms of speech, religion and the press have to be guaranteed. Citizens must be exposed to a variety of media in making the best choices. It’s ideal when there isn’t any restraint from their government, corporations, and competing interests, in America. British conservative politician Benjamin Disraeli ( 1804 -1881), who was twice Prime Minister advised, “Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.” Disraeli believed that what leaders, officials, and gatekeepers sell to the public would be on their minds and in their outlook. It’s best for citizens to think great thoughts. Thinking represents social growth and development.

David Suzuki (b. 1936), Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmentalist, states, “We need love, and to ensure love, we need to have full employment, and we need social justice. We need gender equity. We need freedom from hunger. These are our most fundamental needs as social creatures.” Leadership policies bear fruits in well-run societies that are living in blessedness, in the joys of Christ.

The Role of Watchdogs

The press and citizens must have a special role to play as social watchdogs. Journalists especially must uphold fundamental principles of fairness, accuracy, decency, and honesty. With this commitment there will sustain unity of diversity. Everyone must contribute to nation building. Citizens of every persuasion, complexion, creed, and nationalities will be the reporters, builders, designers, architects, doctors, and engineers. Their missions will attain the highest levels of spiritual, moral, intellectual, and creative growth, for all. These developments start in our hearts and minds.

Dalai Lama (b. 1935), current living incumbent of Tibetan spirituality, observes, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Christian faith encourages us to love our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Indeed with this love, all of us have the responsibility as authentic watchdogs, in building up our earthly home.

Who Are You?

Who are you? If you were to be asked this question you will probably answer it in an obvious way. “My name is Clinton Harris. I’m 30 years old. As you can see I’m a self-employed male African American – repairing computers in Lincoln City, OR, a stanch Catholic, and I love the Portland Trailblazers.” This answer although fine – you could make a better response.

“Who Am I?” is a Christian song by the Casting Crowns. It’s more a prayer for the confused and lost souls of the world. “Who Am I?” (1998) is also the title of a movie in the Internet data base by directors Benny and Jackie Chan. It tells about a secret agent who lost his memory. He didn’t know who he was. “Who Am I?” has been a quest in games, riddles and quizzes while a Christian may ask, “Who am I in Christ?”

Individuals who are serious in knowing “Who I Am?” have accessed the Internet to look at Dr. Ann Dranistaris’s Questionnaire. By doing so they can find answers to this probing question:

Am I nurturing, caring and supportive?

Am I loyal?

Am I rigid and over-controlling?

Am I responsible and spontaneous?

Am I knowledgeable and creative?

Am I secured and altruistic?

Or, am I like the rock of Gibraltar?

Who Am I? is Important

Knowing “Who I am in Christ?” tops the list as one of the searches on the Internet. It’s so for many reasons, because you’ll be looking to the Head of all Principalities and Powers who has freed you from sin and death. Through him you can pray for healing, an ability to lay hands on the sick, and be led victoriously through the storms of life. Your overall ability to do most things will be fostered and you’ll be known for good works.

To be a co-heir with Christ is an astounding blessing. As his divine ambassador many will be touched by his presence and emulate a Christian lifestyle. In being part of a royal priesthood you will shine your light brightly on a broken world. You’ll be filled with mercy, kindness and humility. Being redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and poverty, you’ll be living victoriously in praising and thanking Almighty God. The devil with his schemes will flee from you because you’ll be able to resist him in the name of Jesus Christ. God has not given us a spirit of fear – but the power of love, a sound mind, because the Holy Spirit dwells within you.

Pick up your Cross

Join forces with other believing Christians and raise your cross high. You’re a new creation in Christ and are on the front lines of an ongoing battle. Your salvation is assured and your objective is to win souls for the Lord. This is accomplished when interacting with people that you meet on the highways and byways of life. You must comfort and guide them to know God’s promises and blessings. These souls must be consoled and reminded – if they haven’t done so already, to accept Christ, read the the Gospels, and put their faith in the Lord. That’s your responsibility when you are in Christ.