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THOUGHT | CONVERSATION | ACTION
Go Where Your ImaginationThoughts of Tim Valentine Leads You Personal
1 | PROVOKE
You’re Forgiven | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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I want to share my thoughts about Tiger Woods and forgiveness. I am not condoning the acts, but who am I to act in judgment towards him when I consider the things that I’ve done, said or thought? I just find it difficult to cast any type of stone towards him without giving him some stones to cast back towards me. The results are still the same, we have all have done things that we’re not proud of and wish we hadn’t done. We’ve all acted selfishly and believed that we wouldn’t get caught. It’s unfair, because I know of his sins, but he doesn’t know of mine. So how why should I treat him or view him any differently than I did before I knew of his sins? To consider others beyond yourself means you seek a position of compassion. I’m reminded of two things when I think about this situation Tiger has found himself in. One is one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We are caught in a network of mutuality. I can’t be what I ought to be, until you are what you ought to be.” If I seek to be forgiven for the things I’ve done, I must be willing to forgive. The other is the story of “Jesus and the woman taken in adultery”.
(John 7:53 – John 8:11)
Jesus simply asks the question of consideration. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” The same goes for Tiger Woods, you or anyone else. Who dares to be honest enough to demonstrate compassion towards others sincerely? How can I cast stones when I am not perfect? Is one sin greater than another? Do two wrongs make it right? In the case of Tiger Woods v The World this is the only judgment I can offer. So if no one else is willing to say it, I will. You’re forgiven.
We often are quick to verbally stone someone for the mistakes they’ve made without considering our own in our critique. Many unconsciously take the same position the Scribes and Pharisees took as he confronted their judgment of the woman caught in adultery.
Revealing Your Secret Identity | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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We often spend much of our time desiring to be what others see instead of what you were meant to be. Some pursue careers, relationships and lifestyles that ultimately don’t fulfill us, although we may have accepted it. What were you born to do? You may not identify with me by what you perceive of me, but when you give me the fair and sincere opportunity, I am sure we will discover the invisible things that define us will be revealed. When you begin to consider others beyond yourself you also reveal your secret identity. It’s the person you see in the mirror, the being you can’t hide from. It’s what often goes undetected by many with the exception of a few.
We truly become free when we abandon the labels, perceptions and stigmas we place on ourselves and share what’s most important about ourselves. Discovering what you were born to do is a process of gradually revealing your secret identity. The tragedy of life is living it in secret or in fear. No matter how great the mountain may appear, approach it as a stepping stone and keep moving forward. Reveal your secret identity and discover what you were born to do.
Sitting Silently Before God | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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Too often we choose to move towards the noise of life in order to escape sitting silently before God. Sitting silent before God is not praying, nor is it reading, but opening yourself to God. In the busyness of our lives we often fail to take time to sit silently before God. We often God to God with our problems and not our praise. When we’re quiet enough to listen through our spirit we can hear the voice of God speaking loudly to us. Those who seek God often seek to ask Him for something, whether it is a better understanding, patience, grace, forgiveness or deliverance instead of seeking what He has to tell us. When He instructs us to act we don’t listen, leaning more to our understanding of the world instead of the Word. One of the greatest and I believe the most under valued attribute God has given to us is the gift of Choice or some may say Free Will. We have the choice to believe that he’s real or not, the choice to worship or not, the choice to walk by faith or by sight. The bottom line is essentially, the choice is yours.
But when the pulpit becomes an echo of the pew it loses its significance, its authority, its power. We all have a message to deliver. The pulpit represents our lives as Christians. The pew represents the way the world sees how we live it. What is your message? When you begin to sit silently before God, the significance of His word has authority and power in the pulpit of your personal and daily ministry. We all our ministers whether we acknowledge or practice it or not. Some choose to be an echo in the pew of life, insecure of witnessing to what they know is true to the world for a more comfortable religion of conformity. Others choose to be the pulpit, sitting silently before God and allowing a relevant word live through their voice, through their gestures and actions. Some will tell you how great your ministry is, but it’s not wise to strive to be a great preacher, but strive to be a vessel that shows what a great gospel it is. We should all take the time to sit silently in the presence of God.
Our Political Differences | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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The difference between Democrats and Republicans is the measure of concern towards an issue. When each sincerely considers the perspectives of the other is when you discover true bipartisanship and not just a political bargain. The measure of partisanship we experience today is hinged by multiple issues that range from economics to culture. You can not become someone’s teacher until you first become their student. This means that in order to correct something or someone you must understand how it or they think. How it or they learn. What it thinks and how it processes what it thinks. You must be more willing to listen than you are to speak. This is how you learn what to say and/or how to convey the message that you want to deliver. This doesn't mean you agree with their position or understanding of the issue, but it allows you the opportunity to demonstrate what they may not realize or have incorporated into their argument; consideration for others. When you become more focused on what is true than just being right or winning an argument you can find the solution. Experience the other
perspectives before making objections if winning is what's important to you. We fail to put ourselves into another persons shoes. This is what is missing in politics today. When one tells you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, while the other is selling you some new shoes. If both would just listen and realize that we are walking the same path, maybe we can figure out how to fix the roads that tears up our shoes. We can do this by working together. I know it's a foreign concept, but it's been done before many years ago. Inconsideration for others may excite a particular political base of support, but its foundation as a political strategy is weak and will eventually give way to what we are experiencing today. What are the differences between Democrats and Republicans? Seek consideration of our political differences for the answer.
What Could Be | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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When you hear or see someone protesting against someone with zeal you must not assume, but ask them how many people do they personally know like the people or person they’re opposing and what type of relationship is it? Just wait for their response. Conclusions, not assumptions can be made when you have data to base it upon. As an example we can use race, because it’s easily understandable to almost everyone. This is only an example, but there are many others to choose from. We do not need to get caught up on this example alone. Typical situation Two people, one Black and the other White discuss an issue. The White gentleman says something that can be seen as racist. Understand that he may not of intended it to come out the way it did, but never-the-less it is done. So the Black gentleman is offended and without consideration reacts and calls the White gentleman a racist. This now offends the White gentleman because he sees that as an association with what he has been taught is a negative aspect of the history of White people towards other groups. So without consideration he reacts and says something that makes it worse. So the cycle continues, all because of the lack of consideration and the failure of each to relate to each other as one beyond their circumstances and history. This takes consideration beyond themselves. Which means to not be so prone to react without consideration of the other person’s experiences and history of the relationship? I speak about the relationship not just in terms of you and that person, but in a broader context. You don’t have to be a scholar, but to understand the social, cultural and racial connotations of certain characterizations towards a group of
people can be avoided and emphasized by your words, illustrations and gestures and use of them. The other side of it is when you generally have a relationship with a person, through a genuine friendship, not just an association or acquaintance; you are less prone to make these mistakes. Of course, “you’re best friend may be Black” or “you use to work with a Latino” or “you use to sit beside an Asian guy in class” or “your neighbor is gay” or whatever it may be. If you didn’t have a real relationship with them, then you did not relate to them because there wasn’t a relationship. Think about what you’re doing, before you do it or say it or act upon it. What does it say about you? If all of the people you’re around looks like you, meaning they are all or overwhelmingly of the same race, gender, religious belief, economic status, educational background or sexual orientation, then diversify yourself and your environment. Because when you do you begin to see the beauty in them and them in you.
Dealing With Life | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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What are the things you would like in your life? That is not as general as it may seem, because your life is multifaceted. So what are the things you would like in your financial life, work life, personal life, spiritual life, social life, etc? We spend far too much time defending our position, than understanding where we are, what path to take and how best to get there. If you are involved in a conversation or discussion with someone who seems to only be concerned with their position and being seen or perceived as right or are uncomfortable with your reply of No. Then ask yourself and/or them if you like these questions and observe their response. Why are they/you so invested with being right? Do you want to cling to a conservative stance of a position or would you rather experience the freedom of a more liberal position? When you resist what is doesn’t mean you have not accepted or recognize it existence, but question why it exist. To be in denial means you
have not accepted or recognize its existence or legitimacy based off of your own inconsideration. Conservative is not necessarily intended to be political in definition, but can refer to how one can approach politics. Ironically, I’m taking a more liberal definition of the word conservative, because I’m not confining the term to a single point of understanding. Another way to consider this is to understand that liberal means you can be conservative, but conservative can only be conservative. We may not always solve our problems we face, but can always learn from them. To learn from a problem, issue or situation takes observance and consideration. Because in the end it isn’t what we did that will torment us, but what we didn’t even try to do that will condemn us. Ask yourself the question, what was I born to do? Then evaluate whether you’re doing that or not. I’m not speaking only about your professional life, but your relationship with life itself.
THOUGHT | CONVERSATION | ACTION I thank and appreciate all who has taken the time to read what I have to say. You continue to be the ones who provoke thought, conversation and action by your comments, commentary and on occasion, criticisms. Either way it goes, it’s always good and the reason why I am inspired to write. Thank you. Please share your thoughts about what is written with whomever you feel may appreciate or gain something from it. Also, I would welcome your feedback as well. Simply email me at email@example.com or you can send me a tweet @timvalentine. Consider Others Beyond Yourself, Timothy A. Valentine
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