Easter is a fun Holiday that we have been accustomed to being known as a Holiday in which we worship a Bunny Rabbit bringing colored eggs and candy and toys to children. If you think about it, it is very similar to Christmas, and how on that day we long for Santa Clause to bring us presents.
Though we have all grown up to the ideas of Easter being about Bunnies, eggs, and candy, we must not forget about what this day really represents and is truly known and remembered for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He is Risen
There have been many tales passed down from generation to generation about the Easter Bunny, but did you know however that the The “Oschter haws,” or Easter hare, first originated in Germany? It has been said, wise tale or not, that as German immigrants came to the United States way back in the 18th century and settled in Pennsylvania, a rabbit hopped across the pond with them.
History also suggests that Easter has been derived from the German culture of children hiding nests made of upside down hats around their homes in lieu of such a magnificent bunny creature placing colorful eggs inside of them as a reward for good behavior.
It was said that later in the 19th century that the U.S. adopted that tradition in what we now today call the infamous Easter Egg Hunt.
The folklore of it all doesn’t stop there as even pagan cultures in Western Europe were known to have tied the bunny creature to the season of spring, birth, and the Virgin Mary, who to them has been seen as the goddess of fertility, and has been shown holding eggs and rabbits a time or two.
It is really quite fascinating to know that to ancient Greeks believed that a rabbit could conceive as virgins, thus being tied to the Virgin Mary of having become pregnant without knowing man. Thus in medieval times were exhibited alongside paintings of the Virgin Mary to represent purity.
That in which of course but a myth, but one in which a folklorist himself, Jacob Grimm depicted in his fairy-tale suggestion of the Easter Bunny derived from German pagan origins. Yet suddenly thereafter, the rumors began to spread, as others would soon catch on to this belief that the Easter Bunny comes from Saxon Goddess Eostre, a mystical woman believed to have been associated with the season of Spring, and Rebirth, all the while the dyeing of eggs a colorful symbol of fertility and new life.
Despite the fabled history and the Legend of how the Easter Bunny came to fruition, we must not forget about the more Truest story of how the kin of the Virgin Mary in Christ Jesus himself had been resurrected after his sacrificial death on a cross in effort to relieve all us children of the almighty Father God of our sins and transgressions that the world itself is consumed of.
Therefore, Easter Sunday’s are to really be remembered for the fact that Gods infant, everlasting,and steadfast love for all who dwell in his creation, while not only celebrating, but the Three days of this Easter holiday also must remind us to accept and Receive the Lords abundance, Mercy and Grace in which the Death on the Cross symbolizes, and should be practiced all throughout the year, year in, and year out.
This perhaps is what intertwines the myth of the Easter Bunny, and the Resurrection of Jesus into one, is for the fact that they both represent the rebirth and the reborn spirit of a new life in general.
I’d be hard pressed to suggest the Easter Bunny and all the traditional propaganda that is associated as an afterthought, after all, that’s what we all grew up to believe. Including myself. So, I must tread lightly on the subject, especially as a parent of two young children myself.
But what I know I can do, and must do as a child of God, is my duty to spread the gospel. Therefore, spread to others, this True, more richer idea of a God who has bestowed his Heavenly spirit among all of us. And encourage you to accept and Receive his gift, though it’s not in the figurative form of a colored egg, it can be more manifested through first through a humbling surrender of oneself and a strong belief, thus act of courage and showmanship of integrity and faithful love for others around us, and by around us, I don’t just mean our own family, but our neighbors. Neighbors not just of those in our neighborhoods, but those who are all around us all day, every day, through good times and the bad.
That is the way Jesus lived, and wants all of us to follow suit on Easter Sunday.
This is yet another one of those questions the world will be asking for many years to come. It may not hold the same weight to you as other National Tragedies, such as 9/11, Oklahoma City Bombing, or any Natural Disasters that have dominated the airways. However, especially if you are a sports fan, whether you were a fan of his or not, you must admit that the News of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death was of the same magnitude of other National Celebrities that have also left us unexpectedly.
This one really hit home though, as the accident also unfortunately took the life of his daughter Gianna, and the 7 others that were killed in that Horrific Helicopter crash the morning of January 26, 2020 in Calabasas California.
Well I was exercising in my living room when the news broke. I received the news on my phone, so reading it, I of course had to do a double take. I then quickly turned on the Television to see what was unfolding of this. I of course was shocked, and again was like, “Did that really just happen to Kobe Bryant of all people”?
“OMG! IT CAN’T BE!”
Sadly, just like all those other Breaking News Moments, lives had indeed been perished as I saw the footage of what was once a Helicopter, shattered down to just debris. It is still so surreal to fathom just a few days later.
Kobe Bryant as you may have all known, played Professional Basketball in the NBA for the Las Angeles Lakers. He was drafted right out of High School. That is unprecedented as only a select few have made the jump straight to the NBA out of High School as well. Besides Kobe, Only Kevin Garnett, and Lebron James come to mind. It is very rare indeed. However, it only goes to show how very talented all three of these men have made a solid career out of it.
Bryant himself, managed to play for 20 seasons. That is 2 decades, and all with the same team, the Las Angeles Lakers as well. That too, is fairly uncommon for any athlete in any sport. But Kobe had a certain swag if you will, about him, that separated himself from the rest of the pack. Midway through his career he gave himself a nickname, The Black Mamba, and with it, he developed what he liked to call a Mamba Mentality.
This all stemmed from an alleged rape charge that Kobe Bryant was accused of early in his career but was later dropped as the accuser never appeared in court. Kobe and his accuser would eventually settle and go about their separate ways, which would only light a fire inside Kobe to then develop the Black Mamba alter ego as he discussed in this interview with CNN. He simply just wanted to ditch the old Kobe for a new and improved, more relentless, and intimidating one. I like how he used the example:
Would you either want David Banner, or the Hulk
A quote from Kobe Bryant on Developing the Mamba Mentality
Perhaps this is also why he changed his jersey number from 8 to 24, both of which were retired by the way. Yet another magnificent feat. The one in which he holds alone as no other athlete in history has had two numbers retired, and by the same team for that matter. After the news of his death has already been speculated of like Baseball’s late great Jackie Robinsons #42, no one will ever again dawn the #24 jersey on any team whatsoever in the NBA.
Kobe won 5 NBA Championships in his illustrious career, also being named to the All-Star Team 18 times of his 20-year career, all while remarkably winning 2 Gold Medals with the USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. Three of the five championships came early in his career whom many didn’t give Kobe much credit for since he was aided by another superstar in Shaquille O’Neal. However, the Lakers organization later would decide to trade away Shaq and run with the younger prodigy in which then became Kobe’s team. This too would spark Kobe to unleash the Black Mamba to show that he can win championships on his own.
What we all had seen from Kobe on Television was of a venomous persona on the Basketball court. It seemed as if Kobe may have been a boastful, egotistical, arrogant, player on the court, which I suppose is understandable if you only want to be the best athlete on the floor. You must be Ruthless, and Relentless, when you are in the moment. Though to us spectators, it may have come off as rude and cruel, what we have all come to have found out is that it could be further from the Truth. He was Bold, Brave, and fearless.
While the old Kobe who wore #8 may have seemed slightly immature, the new Black Mamba #24 persona only humbled him even more.
If you see me in a fight with a Bear, Pray for the Bear. That’s Mamba Mentality
Kobe on what Mamba Mentality means
All Kobe ever wanted to do was win, and continue winning despite what critics said, along with that woman who accused him of something terrible that almost cost him his career in the NBA. Kobe became an even more fierce, Relentless competitor on the court, and even off it as well. It suddenly wasn’t all just about a Persona while playing, but he wanted people to know that he had an overall Mamba Mentality.
You see, what I have learned is that the Mamba Mentality is something that takes great courage to obtain, because though a Mamba snake is known to be dangerous, it is also very skillful in its craft. It takes chances and attempts things where not a whole lot of others will. It will carefully examine, study, and practice its attack methods until it becomes great at it.
And it is in those attempts that it is not afraid to fail, as it has no fear. This is what it means to be Relentless, to be a champion. To always strive to be the best at whatever it is you do, while also showing others closest to you the tricks of the trade. It is the willingness to put in the work no matter what the cost. Mamba’s can see the victory in all things. They may not know how or what will have to happen to get to the finish line, but they will stop at nothing to get there.Putting themselves in the moment. Kobe instilled this mentality in everything he did, on and off the court.
The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win
A quote from Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant intimidated people with his skillful talent, though it was not all a bullish type of intimidation. It was his type of play that branded a winning mindset, not just on the court, but in life as well. Kobe played with a chest out, head up, can do attitude, and he was going win even if it meant he had to go right through you. His game was not meant to just leave you hanging high and dry, but he had a killer cross over that would leave even the faint of heart curious.
Another unique trait that he had was that he never bragged or boasted out loud about his Super Star status. All he ever wanted to do was keep getting better and better, as he never was satisfied. He wanted to make things better around him too, even if it meant improving the things that were in his path, including people.
Whether you loved him or hated him, Kobe developed a mantra for a successful life, that all of us should strive to live for regardless of our circumstances.
Why do I succeed?
I succeed because I am willing to do the things you are not. I will fight against the odds. I will sacrifice. I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt. I feel those emotions–drink them in, and then swallow them away to the blackness of hell. I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak–kills their heart from within. If I fall, I will get up. If I am beaten, I will return. I will never stop getting better. I will never give up, ever.
That is why I succeed
A quote from Kobe Bryant
Like a Mamba snake, Kobe had a killer instinct, but it wasn’t to murder and leave for dead. His instinct was to put to death the false reality that when faced with dangerous opposition and hurdles, he can endure it, persevere, and survive any attack, no matter what.
Kobe Bryant left a long-lasting legacy that will be cherished forever, but Kobe Bryant the person, along with his adopted spirit of the Mamba Mentality is something that should live on forever. People will always try to imitate his game, but more importantly, will they imitate this mentality he had, to a point in which it becomes an overall character trait of their own?
The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do
There is a version of the Mamba Mentality inside all of us. That of course is not to say that we are all like Kobe, we can never be Kobe Bryant, but as long as you believe it in your heart, you can find the same Bold, Courageous, Fearless Enduring, Persistent approach that the Kobe’s Mamba Mentality stood for, and overcome anything in our way for the sake of our own salvation.
Guitar Gangster walking into the unknown… Got his six string in toe… Walking down this lonely dark road… Looking to strum a melody tone… My weapon of choice is guitar… Fighting in concert at Dive Bars… Fingers gently trigger the chorus cords… Firing the music into the crowd. Sound spreads like bullets all around… It’s a war zone in here… A soulful victory of rhythm declared… As many people surrender in cheer… The Guitar Gangster has No Fear…
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, look into my eyes so that I may see it all.
Help me to see all things in creation, as though they stand. And allow me to admire all that which I AM.
photo credit: pinterest.de
If you’re like me, married with a heart driven by the desire to be close to our Lord Jesus Christ, or even single with the same driven goal, then I hope you would open up your eyes to this passage.
What is the one thing we all intend to do when we look into a mirror?
It’s obvious we stare into it to make sure we look our best. We survey the seen to make sure everything looks how we expect it to be, whether that is brushing our hair, brushing our teeth, shaving, putting on, or wiping off something on our face such as makeup etc. We simply take in the admiration of how we look through the vanity image on the wall.
But what happens when we see a blemish or flaw that we do not like? We try to cover it up by any means necessary. Of course any bumps and bruises in our image requires the proper adhesive to help said scars heal, but most of us will tend to disguise our own natural God-given aesthetic, and not appreciate the image for what it truly is, or how it truly looks.
In our culture today we have the common materialistic ways of disguise such as glasses, sunglasses, hats, wigs etc. that help us hide ourselves so that others cannot see us. Sadly, even technology has taken that a step further with social media sites that create a filter image of those objects as well as illusions of animal extremities such as eyes, ears, noses, mouths, among other body parts. It even has a makeup filter that portrays the impression of a beautiful vanity. There are several different other things to create just that; a virtual illusion of something that is not really you.
What’s even worse is this same technology even allows us to take photos of ourselves with these virtual masks, and post them to our social media, giving others a impression of ourselves. Though our society has invented the idea of the “Selfie” portrait that we seemed to inherit as a part of our culture today, the world gave us a tool to assist with hiding our natural, God given beauty that the majority of us have taken and run with. Sure it is meant to be for fun and games, but that is all that should be used for, recreation, and not intention, as our creator did not intentionally create us to hide from ourselves, or even our neighbors for that matter. We are called to show ourselves off from the natural clay that were made of, and for who we really truly are.
This is not so much our external looks, but even how we feel on the inside can sub-consciously disturb that image we see. This happens because life is tough, and things happen to us in this life that we may not like that affects us externally, internally, or both. Thus, it is easy for us to be critical towards ourselves, that can easily be beaten into its own image self-hatred of any and all of the flaws that of which any mirror whatsoever may portray back at ourselves.
Thus, causes us to put up some sort of internal shield that acts as a mental block that bleeds down to our conscious that in turn subconsciously creates a negative image in our heads in which corrupts our minds to lose sight of that we were all wonderfully made.
Now I understand completely that there are a lot of people who really do need the kinds of aesthetics and adhesives just to get through life on a day-to-day basis. I really hate the fact that there are people who truly must suffer through natural defects and deformities, but even those people have to realize that there is a purpose of living even for themselves.
My point is that even though a person such as a blind person can still find advantages to that in which he or she cannot even see. Perhaps it is for another story, but though the Blind cannot see an image of themselves, they’ll still find ways to make their True presence felt.
For those of us who are fortunate to use our own eyes, why not take advantage and use our vision and Focus on the Person, even the person’s that are right in front us.
Having said that, let me take a moment and explain how this mirrored image may look within a marriage. And I think this quote that I got from a book I read called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas sums it up best, when the author himself quotes a passage from another book:
One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse. Had there been a card attached, it would have said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you are really like!”
-a quote from authors Gary and Betsy Ricucci in their book Love that Lasts.
If you are struggling in your marriage, I strongly recommend this book. Or perhaps if you’re not married quite yet, but thinking about it someday in the future, might I recommend this book give you a head start. This above mentioned quote pretty much sums up what it means to be married all together in my opinion. At least in my own experience, after being married once before, and currently in a marriage of 9 years, in which in the middle of those nine years having moved from one side of the globe to another side, especially after been living the vast majority of my entire 40-year-old old life in the one state. That experience among others, have led me to truly understand that quote, that it is not entirely your spouses’ fault who you are or what you have become.
It is simply suggesting that your spouse is like a mirror that bounces our reflection right back in our faces. Here is my own interpretation on what I believe is being said. Is that we spend a lifetime developing certain traits, habits, that define our character, and it is through that character we inherit over the years that when acted it out in front of somebody else with those same inherited habits and traits which will only reflect right back to us like a vanity mirror to our own self made images. In other words, your marriage should not act as a mirror, but more as a window of opportunity.
Marriage is an opportunity to gain God like courage and take off our masks, let go of our filters, knock down our walls while exposing our flaws, but, here’s the part where it might get a bit scary; it’s not to surrender ourselves so much to our spouses, but surrender ourselves to, well, ourselves. Better yet our creator, Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We must mature within ourselves with the help of our Holy Spirit, and not rely on our spouse to make us happy. If we can do this, and mature through, and become Christ-like, then we can see through those windows, look past the mirrors, and walk with our heads held high in confidence that we can get through anything.
This is what hinders a lot of us these days, we quarrel and fight, while hiding our internal characters behind things that are external. What a lot of us fail to realize though is that if we expose these flaws with a great sense of integrity and humility toward others, whether it is a spouse, neighbor, or both, then we will not have to rely on a false hope.
photo credit: dreamstime.com
So, let’s go back to the mirror on the wall for a moment. Now I am not foolish to know that I am not the only one who talks to himself at times while looking directly into that person’s eyes that I see reflecting right back at me. I’ll admit, there was a short period of time where even I did not like looking at what I saw in the mirror every day, but I come to realize over the years that the guy in the mirror wasn’t going anywhere, and so I was kind of stuck with him no matter what. So, I decided to start praising him by showing gratitude, and smiling while staring right at him and telling him that he was going to have a great day no matter what, with a smile still intact. I became confident in what and who I am more and more over time, the more and more I did that.
I shall encourage you to do the same thing. Even if you don’t like the person you see, may I ask you to just remain patient and give it some time and allow the clay to form.
What can you create with a pallet? There are several things you can re-create with one, such as a chair, table, some sort of shelf, or rack etc. To obtain a pallet though is not easy to come by. Chances are even that the pallet you use has held many things on it.
At least in my line of work, I encounter a lot of pallets every day. I am required to scoop them up with my forklift and take the material that is on them to certain destinations. Most of which are mixed pallets, meaning there are multiple part numbers on the boxes stacked on the pallet in which also have multiple locations on the box(s). Those destinations are primarily in a warehouse in which holds a wide variety of stock that is housed on shelves and/or racks throughout the warehouse. The stock is meant to replenish the material that is used to build the product that my company distributes to those who seek it.
It’s people like me that make it possible for people like you to be as creative as you want with an empty pallet. My job also requires me to dispose of the pallet when I am done with it, or at best, take it to a location where the pallet gets taken away on a truck to be recycled and/or used for another set of material. Trust me when I tell you that I have developed a sense of attraction in seeing the beauty of what all that wood that makes up the pallet, and how it can be reused and turned into something else that is not only useful, but affordable too. So, you would think a guy such as myself whom works around pallets everyday would have a way to collect pallets for myself to do other things with, but I would unfortunately have to cut through a lot of red tape if I wanted to take pallets home to keep for myself. It’s not like I can just stow the them away in a place for safe holding, nor fit them in my car either.
Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. What if you had to empty that mixed pallet to the multiple destinations/locations in which they go? What if you had to sort through the many different part numbers mixed throughout the stack? Truth is you do, and you can apply the mixed pallet concept that it is to many other jobs, but it is the revelation I had after putting away the mixed pallet that really applies here.
You see, there are a lot of things you yourself will encounter in your lifetime that can relate to my mixed pallet. Our whole life is a mixed pallet if you really think about it. Think of it as how your mind works. We start our days as one solid piece, but with many moving parts. It is most common however for a lot of us as humans to want to just keep all of those part numbers on the same pallet, and shove them all in one area of our warehouse like brains and not take the time to sort through them, and put the materials in the proper places that they really belong or need to be. Instead we have this sub-conscious feeling like things can be taken care of later. It’s because it requires actual work. To act, do the physical or mental labor it will take to sort through it all.
In a perfect world, the whole pallet can be stocked on a shelf all as one, but I got news for you, even warehouses aren’t perfectly stocked. The one I work at anyway is a total mess, but this is not so much about my warehouse (SELF) that I work in, as it is your own Self and well being Warehouse like pallet. The pallet is not going to unstack itself, It is up to us as human beings to sort through it and come up with a way of organization to deliver the whatever material that is on it to where it really needs to go. It’s all about taking action and picking our materials up off the pallet and moving them to your desired location. That material must be stored in a location in which it is easily accessible for you to replenish your product, thus your goal for the day.
I hope you see where I am going with this. My mixed pallet is just a metaphor for a lifestyle of success. Here is another thing you must know. That pallet took me nearly three whole hours to get through all the part numbers and put them in their proper locations. I even knew it was going to be a challenge and take me a while to finish, and it obviously was but I accepted the challenge and got right to work. I faced many discouraging circumstances putting that pallet away, and it was certainly frustrating. I fought through it though, and not just because it was my job, but it was because of my work ethic. Your lives will present many unknowingly and unwanted challenges every single day. You can either choose to avoid those challenges or receive them head on. Kind of like how me and my colleagues receive pallets. We most of the time have a choice of which pallets we want to put away, and which ones we don’t, and either save for later, or hope somebody else puts it away.
Their lies the problem, we subconsciously tend to procrastinate all the hard work, and only seem to go for what is most easy to us. Nobody wants to take the time required to sort through all the excess material. We just want to put it away and be done with it. We think that it is more gratifying to do the easier thing, and fear the inevitable of the unknown, unfamiliar hardship of putting in the work. It is easy for us to feel as if we do not have time to do things because of the processes in which it takes to get certain things done. Therefore, it is easy to refuse to even approach the pallet in the first place or hesitate to stick our forks under the pallet to grab it and pick it up.
YOU CAN’T JUST GET TO KEEP THE PALLET AND DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH IT!
Can I press you to say that you are not a person of great integrity if you always just chose to put away the easy pallets though? Can I also venture to guess you are not courageous for thinking you do not have the time, and are just wasting time if you take the time to dig into the pallet and sort through your material issues? I want to issue you a challenge then. The challenge is to find a mixed pallet in your mind and use your heart to dig deep through all the material that is on that pallet and put it in its proper place. Commit to create a process flow through your own warehouse (SELF) in which your material is accessible to you whenever you need it. I know, I know; It’s not easy, but I can personally guarantee you that if you can just start the process, even just by cutting the saran wrap off, or maybe just one layer at a time, that soon after that you will be able to empty that pallet like I did, but for you, you can accomplish whatever it is. You may chose to create a masterpiece out of that pallet if you just put in the work that is required, and I can promise you will indeed become even more satisfied, fulfilled and grateful for achieving it yourself.
In The Waiting, The freight gets so Heavy. We suffer through circumstances, while clinging to a stronghold of the Levy. The Sinful Pleasure so hangs in the balance. Anxious thoughts suddenly eclipse with an indictable malice. The Good and the Bad juggling back and forth in my Head Brain. The Soul searches to stay peacefully sane. Nerves mount up inside where we just cannot control it. Perhaps there’s a Higher Power somewhere to Help us Console it. Though I Don’t need no power from some crazy external substance. Because Power is Internal, it’s can be found spiritually inside us. It just requires Faith and Believing that we’ve been wonderfully made. And an Acceptance among us that we Our Selfish ways don’t have the final say. For it is the act of Repentance, in acknowledging God leads the way.
Through a season of Stoppage, of a time forced with ration. Let us not fall short, as we must continue to take action.
We shall continue to fight, through the sadness,and pain. When it Rains, it pours, yet we’ll still Dance to sustain.
After all, there is a glorious victory through dignified change. Our desire for goodness remains that of the essence, because of a predicated notion of an unforeseen presence.
We are uncertain of the things of what our future may bring, but certainly we’ll remain faithful to the Almighty king. For God only knows, and will reveal the Truth behind the curtain.So it’s then we must Trust in his Mercy as we are Blind to all life’s Beasts and Burdens.
We Must Trust in the Lord, and not lean on our own understanding. As long as we can just understand this, life wouldn’t have to seem so demanding.
It is the natural to feel pressure when we don’t get our way, we lean towards a culture of panic in a world full of dismay. Let’s Counter this cultural, premature epidemic, by creating new habits, as a source to get past it.
Let’s not fret in all of the bumps and bruises, and not drown in our own sorrow. If keep swimming on past what has passed, then God promises a better tomorrow. Nothing is Easy, for this God Never did intend. That’s why he created things such as determination and courage, to see it all through until the end.
There are times when all things will come to an end and be put to death. It is in this understanding that God calls us to gather up all that’s left. So be prepared and show Awareness, it’s a risk we must chance. The more we believe this, the better we can endure our current circumstance.
Let us not be afraid, instilling the discipline to open up and Obey Gods Red letters. For it is his word that will shine light on the stars, as Darkness doesn’t last forever.
What is lost can be gained by a simple act of faith, as it was the Universe had been commanded by Gods Power. Therefore he gave us the power to choose, even when we win or lose, we will remain confident, rejoicing our voices to the Mountain Tops, through every minute, every day, every hour.