One of the greatest “selling points” of Christianity is that it has no correlating culture. Culture, as defined by clothing, music, food, or anything that gives a group of people an identity, is virtually non-existent in the Christian faith. The culture of Christians are as various as there are nations in the world, because the faith can be practiced in any cultural context. This is why Jesus’ great commission is so relevant, because He commands us to go into all the world and make disciples. You can’t accomplish this mission with the love of Christ, by assimilating the world into “our” culture; so there HAS to be some cultural tolerance as it pertains to Christian orthodoxy, or what is accepted to be correct belief. (more…)

It’s been said, time and again, that everything that has a beginning has an end; yet we tend to always be surprised when relationships end. Excluding death, people will end relationships for any variety of reasons. Some legitimate, others … not so much. As an introvert, I tend to be somewhat of a loner, but coming to grips with someone’s departure from your life, can difficult, no matter your predisposition. Here are 5 tips to help you through the transition of “moving on”:  (more…)

I’m not one to believe that this world is the product of chance. You and I are not accidents, but we are the product of divine purpose, because anything created has a reason for its existence. Simply put, purpose is the reason for which something was created or done, and even though we can’t always see it, purpose is always present. With that in mind, there has always been a creative nature to purpose, producing something that wasn’t there before. To this end, I believe purpose creates passion.   (more…)

At over 32 million units sold, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is by far the most successful recording in history. I just want that to sink in; after 35 years, no other record has sold more than this instant classic. It is the epitome of recorded music success, but at what point do we determine that it was a successful venture or not? We are talking about the critically acclaimed work, that millions of people around the world still listen to. This is the same record that catapulted Michael Jackson in to pop music royalty. When was this work a success?  (more…)

There is an age-old debate circulating the making of sandwiches, tuna, and potato salads. Mayo or Miracle Whip? While superficially, these two dressings look alike, use most of the same ingredients and operate with the same functions, there are distinct differences between the two. Mayo is typically heavier, and more tangy, and whipped dressings are lighter and sweeter; but you wouldn’t know that until you put it on your sandwich and take a bite. Sure, some people can’t tell the difference, yet the differences are there, and clear to those who take the time to truly savor what they are eating. So no … Mayo is NOT THE SAME as Miracle Whip!

I’m sure you’re asking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Well, you have been given a gift; a function to serve in this world. God gave it to you, for reasons that are all His own. It is very easy to look at what’s been given to you generically, assuming it is the same thing such-n-such, and s0-n-so have been given. Sure, on the surface, there are a lot of people who have the same gifting, but upon further inspecting, you will discover they are NOT THE SAME.

There are subtile, and seemingly undetectable, differences that make you … well … YOU! While you may even serve the same function as someone else, your differences may determine the contexts in which you will flourish. For example, if I may continue my analogy, I prefer my potato salad be made with mayo. I also prefer my tuna salad be made with whipped dressing. However, when it comes down to a sandwich or burger, I can go either way. With either context, mayo and Miracle Whip could be used interchangeably, but their subtle differences suit my tastes differently.

So, don’t get discouraged when you see a gift like yours, functioning like yours, looking and sounding like yours, that is being received differently; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t think that you deserve the same platforms as similar gifts with a wider reach; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t assume that someone with the same abilities or comparable styles reflect where you are going; you are NOT THE SAME. Embrace your differences and shine where you are. At the end of the day, God knows what He is doing, so trust the process.

© 2017 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!

I hate to say it, but reality is relative. We all have our own variations of what is real and what is not, and we subsequently live in response to the reality we choose. Where there was once absolutes surrounding things as fundamental as gender identification, we now live in a culture where all those concrete concepts are now being broken up, and we get live in our own relative realities.  (more…)

 

I was working for a parcel delivery company, years ago. I was the only one working at the time, because my wife had two toddlers and a new one on the way at home. All of my coworkers knew my situation, so one day, a young lady I worked with, pulled me to the side and asked “How do you do it?” (more…)

Whenever bad things happen, or relationships end, people go on the hunt for closure. Closure is the sense of resolution at the end of something, that brings a conclusion after an emotional or traumatic event. Tons of doctors and tv shows make their living on trying to bring closure to the people who need it. But trying to find closure, in many ways, can be like chasing mermaids and unicorns. I’m not saying that closure doesn’t exist, it just may not come the way most people expect it.  (more…)

TV. Movies. Advertisements. Shoot … even Facebook and Instagram. In order for the public to see any finished product, there is a lot that happens behind the scenes.

Beyonce has had a team working behind the scenes since

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As natural as these pictures look, ,on the left, they were actually the result of a lot of behind the scenes work before and after the flash.

she was 10 years old, maybe even before that. There have been people on here team, who invested time, talents, energy, and yes, even money into every level of her career. Of course, the people she started with in 1992 aren’t the same people today, but there have always been people behind the scenes that give us “THE” Queen Bey.

The work that happens behind the scenes is just as, if not more impressive than the things we see. I remember doing the photo shoot for my official head shots, taking about 2 hours to produce only about 6 usable shots. The photographer gave me so much direction, that at the time, made no sense, but his attention to details, made my pictures look effortless. Even the simplest things, take a lot to get done right.

People only tend to want to be the one on the stage, or the one in the audience. Hardly ever do people want to put in the work that produces what we see. From creating, to planning, to prepping, to producing, to directing, to editing, to packaging, to promoting ; for every thing we enjoy, there is more than meets the eye.

© 2017 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!

 

I have been watching a new show entitled, Designated Survivor. The premise is as follows: the federal government designates someone from the president’s cabinet to sit out from the state of the union, in an undisclosed location, on the chance of a catastrophe  wiping out the line of presidential succession. This person is the designated survivor, who would assume the office, keep the federal government rolling. Throughout the years, this has been a mere formality, until the unthinkable happens; and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Tom Kirkman is thrutsed into leading the country and the free world, after the Capital Building is bombed, killing almost everyone in every branch of the government.  (more…)