The Death of Hope – Robin Williams


Are You Okay?

My husband and I were out enjoying our boat. We had to slow it down when we came across other boats, people in rafts and kayaks. Etiquette, when out on a boat is to wave to those you pass by. I remember seeing two women in a raft. We waved and they waved back. They seemed to be going nowhere, but who were we to second guess how people were enjoying the water. They said nothing and neither did we. My husband was anxiously trying to get passed the slow pokes so he could go full throttle. Some half hour later, we doubled back to go in another direction to head towards the beach when we saw the same two ladies. I called out, “You guys doing okay?” One of the ladies said, “No.” Humbly, she said that they had been out there for awhile going in circles. They just couldn’t get the hang of things. We grabbed their ropes and pulled them to shore.

I think about this as I reflect on the passing of Robin Williams, one of America’s finest comedians. I was saddened to hear that he had committed suicide and that he struggled with depression. I believe it was T.D. Jakes who once said that ‘suicide’ is the DEATH of HOPE. Williams had also been recently diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson Disease which probably compounded his depressive disorder.

9 Reasons They Resist Change

change resistant

A man celebrating his hundredth birthday was interviewed by a reporter. The reporter said, “I bet  you have seen a lot of change in your life!“The man replied, “Yes, and I have been against everyone of them!”

In the cartoon above, could the people be resisting the change simply because they do not understand the purpose of the wheel or perhaps because they were not involved in the process or could it be that they like things just the way they were?  Perhaps the answer is all three or even more.  Either way change has got to be managed but before doing so it’s important to understand ‘why’ people resist change in order to develop a strategy that help people in the process of change.

John Maxwell identified nine reasons people use to resist change

  1. Misunderstanding.  When people do not understand why they should change, they will work to oppose it.
  2. Lack of ownership. Church members who are not involved in the change process, they resist any new thing being pushed on them.
  3. Habit patterns.  Routine makes people comfortable.  Since many people are habit prone anything that threatens their habits, they resist.
  4. Change is not worth the price. Change is often costly. People often want to get something in exchange for their sacrifice.  The reward for changing may appear too small in comparison.
  5. Losing security, money or control.  People resist change when they are threatened with he loss of something that is valuable to them.
  6. Satisfaction factor. People are simply satisfied with the old ways and don’t want to change.
  7. Negative attitude toward change in general. Some people’s thought process is  based on the idea that NOTHING should be changed.
  8. Lack of respect for leader. Unless followers trust the leaders, they will feel uncomfortable with change and will fight against it.
  9. Tradition. People’s attitude is, “We’ve never done it that way before.”

As you read the above reasons why people resist change, can you now understand how one might go about devising a strategy for change? Not managing change effectively will lead to undo stress and unhappy people and certainly delayed projects.

As you look to introducing new ideas in your church consider this list before introducing your new concept or idea.  For some of the items, they will be harder to manage such as #’s 6, 7, & 9; however others are more manageable.. According to John Maxwell, it takes more than a good attitude and desire to effect change.  There MUST  be a good strategy for change.

What are some of the strategies you use in managing change as you introduce new ideas in your church?

Bishop Eddie Long’s Wife Returns and Speaks Out


STAY or GO? – STAY! At a recent meeting with the women’s ministry at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Vanessa Long spoke about her personal struggles during husband Eddie Long’s sexual misconduct allegations in 2010.  We could tell she wrestled with the decision with whether to stay or to go as she announced that she was filing for a divorce, then rescinded, then filed again.  And now she is back again and revealed an intimate part of her life with the women at New Birth.

HURTING, ANGRY, SHAME, EMBARRASSED! She stated that last year she was in a storm and she got off the ship.  She stood before the women bare, saying “As much as I love my husband, my family, my New Birth Family,  I could not take another minute PRETENDING to be OKAY.” This spoke to the pain she felt.  The infamous MASK church folk usually wear was off.

AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY. I must say that I respect Bishop Long and the leadership of New Birth who gave her the platform to share what many churches have come to term “AIRING THEIR DIRTY LAUNDRY” instead of hiding them like most churches do.  I believe it speaks to humility and a greater concern for the healing, restoring and reconciliation process.

HEALING TAKES TIME. As I write this post, I am happy for Vanessa, Bishop Long and the New Birth family. However, counselors, both secular and Christian, would agree that before Vanessa can help minister to others, she will need totally healing.  I would suspect that that wound is still open and susceptible to a great number of triggers reminding her of those painful events.

NO APOLOGIES. NO FAILURE.Vanessa tells the women of New Birth that it was also extremely difficult to return because she felt like she failed the very people who needed  her to be their strength because, they too, were in the storm and they elected to stay.  To that I say, “WHAT?#! But they were NOT the wife.” That’s not reasonable. How could you give out strength you did not possess yourself? “How could you minister strength to others when you needed ministering to?

ENTITLED.Vanessa was entitled to do what she needed to do for the sake of her sanity. And for that, she owes no one an apology.  Eddie was her husband.  When you get married you become ONE. She needed to get away to preserve herself for how ever long she needed.

THE SPIRIT WORKS! I am happy that Vanessa allowed the Spirit to give her the strength to return, pulling up the ‘LOVE RESERVES’ to make a bold move in order to extend forgiveness and to reconcile.However, it must be said that before she can minister to others, she needs to be ministered to. Weighing in on her statements it is clear that her healing will be a work in progress.

LEARN FROM OTHERS. Lastly, I pray that all pastors truly realize that ‘betrayal’ cuts deep and is extremely painful for SIN extends and has a long reach as it impacts everybody attached to you or who has things in common with you.  As pastors, I pray we learn from the painful experiences and mistakes of others lest we too, fall prey to the traps of the enemy and risk losing it all.

May God Bless the Long & New Birth Family

What are your thoughts on the video clip? What sayeth you?