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Is Cable Really Necessary?

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I have been thinking lately of all of the distractions that keep infiltrating American lives. The endless flood of social media apps. The endless nuances of cell phone use. And more cable channels than I could have ever remembered having as a kid in New Jersey.

I did a personal inventory of myself and I learned that what I pay for cable is just not worth it. I mean, this thing is really in the triple digits on a consistent basis. I love working and to be honest there is no reason for me to have all of these cable channels. I can remember I cut it off before years ago with no alternative in sight. So that meant that there was nothing but a blank screen sitting in my apartment, because there was no way that I could get the basic channels like I used to. Whatever happened to that? I guess the antennas had to take effect. But, me and my arrogance felt that I had retired from antennas and there was no way that I was going back.

Fast forwarding to the future there are just too many cheaper alternatives out there. Unfortunately, I am an avid sports fan like most Americans and I can’t help but stay up to date with all of the sports gossip and the latest trades that seem to happen more and more frequently in the world of social media. I just can’t help myself. I played sports, it’s a staple of entertainment for me in the midst of ridiculous reality tv shows. But, it I have made amends and have decided that it is finally time to cut the cord. I am spoiled with DVR since I can’t watch commercials anymore and Direc TV just won’t cut it anymore with all of the outages that I hear about when it rains outside. I have never tried them and don’t think that I ever will. If I am going to pay for something…it better work period.

After some grueling research and some help from the endless holiday commercials. I have come to learn that I was overwhelmed by all of the alternatives out there. There was Amazon Fire TV. Then there was Roku. Then there was Google Chromecast. A lot of these came with some viable options such as HBO, HULU and even Sports Center! That’s all I need.

I was thinking that if I wanted to really watch something live. It would definitely give my wife and I an excuse to go out and watch it at a public venue. But what about you out there that love your favorite cable news channels and debates. Duh…PODCASTS. I tend to like those a lot myself, because I can skip commercials and I can stay up to date all day at work. Not to mention that I can exercise as I listen to my podcasts and they are FREE! After calculating what I needed to do I have found that I can save well over $2400 for the year! Easily something that could go towards paying something off and still having something left over.

My next rant will be about these crazy cell phones! No wonder people had more money in the 80’s!

Scary to Die

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I was watching Sports Center and I had the pleasure to watch an emotional John Wall during a post game interview. You can read the article here. I heard the announcement and unfortunately my second grader son overheard the news as to why the emotion.

Mr. Wall dedicated his game to a six year that died of cancer yesterday. This news just crushes anyone that has a soul and for any parent it could shake you to the core. It makes me think of my children all of the time. But back to my second grader. He gasped, “Wait a minute. A six year old died of cancer? Did that really happen?” My wife and I both wanted to lie so bad, but we knew that we would have had a guilty conscience for days to come

“Yes, it is true,” replied my wife.

“Well, that’s just terrible,” he shot back folding his arms. “It must be scary to die. Isn’t it? I want to live forever.”

The response was definitely thought provoking. I could have went into my whole theologically spectrum of how no one would really want to live forever. Or, I could have been a little more philosophical as to the older one gets the more glorified death is to a degree. But, I just let it go and maybe it was a missed opportunity. But, it was good to have a child throw my mind for a little bit. In fact I always encouraged it. Talking to adults all day really makes my brain shrivel, because most of us really think we are just in our finite wisdom. In other words “stuck on stupid”.

Is it scary to die? I guess I would feel more for the people that I would leave behind as opposed to being scared for myself. Most people are scared of the unknown; which is why it baffles me for someone to force themselves to think that God doesn’t exist. I know all of the “atheists” want to jump on me, but I know how to handle non-believers.

Living forever is something that I definitely wouldn’t want to do. All of the bills, headaches, pains, and aches. My belief system tells me that we live in a fallen world.  After looking at the news every evening how could I deny it? By the time I’m 200 years old all of my friends would be gone and if I think my kids’ music is bad now; what would I think after a few generations. Wisdom could still be there, but my brain would be beyond rusty. I don’t want to walk around with dementia all the time. It’s quite embarrassing. I’ve had the unfortunate blessing of watching an elderly man use the bathroom in his drive after getting the newspaper. Yes he will be a character in one of my new books. Living forever sounds great, but I would rather be born again and live my life as a new in the spirit after I am done here on Earth. Scary to Die? I guess it depends on your perspective. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living with the fear of the Lord.

The Holiday Drag!

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I’m sure like me everyone was super excited about Thanksgiving. It’s the first official holiday where we kick off the cold season and everyone tries their best to get out of working the entire week. All of those miles to be traveled. All of that food that needs to be cooked. And wham! The next thing you know…it’s Sunday afternoon and the countdown to get back to work has begun. The clock waits for no man or woman and it is almost that time again to get that coffee popping and the pondering of working out to take flight in your mind all over again. Some like to hit the gym after Thanksgiving and others just “hold off” until the New Year.

My holiday personally was a lot of fun and gave me some time to take a breather from all of the hustle and bustle that comes along with a regular work schedule. I’m glad my career affords me the opportunity to take the holiday weekend off, because I can remember some jobs where I would be right back at work the day after the holiday and it really felt like there was nothing to celebrate. I couldn’t stay up late with the kids and to spend quality time with my wife was very short lived. So it was back to looking forward to the weekend all over again .

I had so many things that I just knew that I was going to get done, since I had all of this extra time on my hands. But when it came down to what was really important; it was time to put work to the side. I don’t regret it one second either. It was nice to do the things that I normally didn’t do all of the time with the kids. We had a chance to make it to the movies and laugh together, eat some great home cooking, and watched tons of football.

Now that all of those things were done non-stop, I’m thinking of ways to rebound from what was and to get back on track. As a human being we are not designed to just sit and be idle. We are designed to do great work in the world with the time that we have. I can only sit on the couch for so long and after awhile I get bored with the remote control flickering it over and over again. After awhile the entire network of channels looks like it is just nothing but reality television! Thank God I am a sports fan, because this week was packed with it. I have to stretch my back every so often and I can’t even stand the look of food at this point. There was just a lot to take in that I shouldn’t have done. I guess the older that you get the more moderate you realize you can be.

As the hour wanes by I am thinking about getting myself back to work, hitting the gym, and helping out with homework. I know there are a lot of you out there who would rather be working as well. It’s just something about being on a normal schedule, some created discipline, and the demeanor of having things in order. I couldn’t imagine being rich, because after a while I am sure that I would have bought everything I ever wanted in the first month and then look forward to dying, because I would just be too bored. When at work I am usually complaining how I want the day over with. But, the reality is I would just be wishing my life away. So I have taken steps to enjoy the week and not just the weekend. Besides, hoping for the weekend just brings one closer to Monday. So what would you think if you were able to get yourself to enjoy the entire week? I used to think that Christmas wasn’t right unless I got a lot of toys, but I have quickly learned that it is about enjoying the time that God has given me and loving those that have crossed my path one way or the other.

AND I’M BACK….AGAIN!

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I know it’s been some time, but I have been going through a serious inspiration session. Sometimes authors just put out books so that they can keep accumulating some revenue. It sounds like a lucrative business move, but there are more to my books than just putting something out. My goal as a writer is to usually put my readers through and emotional roller coaster. As of late I’ve been a busy man at work and there isn’t too much downtime. I’ve been planning my retirement (albeit 10 years late), but a start is a start and I laid out a pretty good plan to write until I’m dead or get massive carpal tunnel.

One morning I woke up early and really didn’t feel like getting started, but I had no choice if I wanted to see a brighter tomorrow. I usually sit still for a couple of seconds and pray before getting started. Then an epiphany hit me….No matter how much it sucked to wake up. It was a good day. I reflected on going through my middle and high school yearbook and looked at all of the kids I graduated with that had passed away. My senior class was only about 100 students and I could count at least 15 that were no longer walking this Earth anymore. Now I know what some veterans mean that it was a good day everyday that they stepped on the battle field with all of its chaos and mayhem. The fact of the matter is that there were a lot of people that didn’t get a chance to see today. I was thinking how fast 20 years went by and how much I have missed out on in terms of opportunities like visiting some of my friends whenever I went back home to visit. Or, saying good bye to my sister before she passed. Which ultimately brought me to my inspirational indulgence. Everyone knows that I am an avid music fan and there is nothing more intriguing to me than listening to some good Christian hip hop that would rival any rapper in the mainstream. The music made me think about the times that I almost died a couple of times and never told anybody and realizing that I am here to do something big. Not big in the sense of what people would think of as big, but what God would want me to do. Everyone wants to be famous and do things that are just absurd in order to make their names known. Which is why someone that doesn’t have a whole lot of talent resort to making pornos in order to feel some fulfillment. I’m not into that route and there are some costs associated with making everyone else happy. Someone tried to get me to write some porn in order to get noticed like 50 Shades of Grey.

So I have a new series of books that are on the rise that are mind blowing with plots that are not only inspirational, but highly entertaining. It’s crazy to see how some books I have written five years ago still sell in a variety of ways. Well…I’m back, fresh, and not dressed to make a million bucks, but hopefully to save a million lives. If you have any questions just write me in the comments section or email me. Opportunity is knocking.

Why the Wait?

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I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he was talking about getting married and do this and that with his new fiancee. As I continued to talk with him I finally asked him, ” how long have you been together?”. To my surprise he said four years. Then, he dropped another bomb on me and said that they had one kid together and now were expecting another. 

They were living together, shared bank accounts, rooms, and just about everything else imaginable known to a married couple. As I continued to probe some questions to him he finally began to realize that some of things that he was saying was just out of order. “Well, Ahmad what I’m thinking about doing is getting married when the time is right.” 

“Uhhh. What makes the time right? You already did all of the other permanent things. What’s the holdup now?”

He stopped and thought about it. Nothing seemed to ring a bell in his head. 

To interrupt his thought process and in hopes of fine tuning some common sense. I asked in a different way, ” what does the perfect time look like? Is it when the risks look as if they will be no more? Or, does it have to be when it doesn’t look so daunting?” The latter question was nothing but an interpretation of the former.

“Ahmad, I know what you’re saying and we’re going to be getting married in September.” That revelation told me that he was not one hundred percent comfortable with telling everyone, because of what they would think. 

As someone who studies the Bible it made me think of the Scripture in the book of James 4:15: “Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” As I thought about it. It means that we do not have very long here on Earth. Most older people that I have the pleasure of speaking with. They always seem to say the same common theme: “All of those years flew by me. The older that I get, the faster time seems to go.”

Now this is not something that is just related to marriage, but to many of the meaningful aspects in our lives. Maybe it’s hitting the gym more often; maybe that trip you wanted to take; maybe to be married sometime down the road; and maybe to see that relative that you haven’t seen in awhile. How about getting that photo album together that you always wanted to have taken care of. Why the wait! Waiting is nothing but wasted time. Just sitting there in the air with many seconds of missed opportunities that will never come back again. 

I’m not immune to such a way of living. There are a lot of things that I wished that I could have done at a younger age; which now has become a past time that I am ineligible to do now. What about starting that business? It’s right there in front of you. Grab it, attack it, take it down. If it doesn’t work out, it simply wasn’t meant to be, but to not have the willingness to fail, there is nothing to pursue. Not taking the risk to fail is more detrimental than not trying. That is something that lasts forever. That’s a void that could never go away. It remains as space stored in your head, with the inevitable “What if?” The time here is not long, but very rich for opportunities to be taken advantage of. So if there is delay, I ask you as I asked the young man. “Why the Wait?”

What is God to A Non-Believer?

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My latest project is finally out. It’s a serious question that could prompt a lot more questions after my take on it through another famous character named Lionel. So if you are half as curious as the title please take a peek HERE

It’s only available on Amazon so it’s an easy find. If you have any questions or want to learn more about my position please ask away. Happy Reading.

 

What you do in the dark comes to light

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This post is going to focus on the process of being successful. Many pursuing a goal feel that there are some things that are just not worth going for anymore. If your gut feeling is telling you that there is something within you then you have to feed that hunger. There is nothing more painstaking than to let a dream linger around you and you have nothing to do with it. There are just some things that need to be done. That’s right it’s called taking care of business. Like I said before, easy is not an option. Expect hard and nothing else. I was doing some studying in the Bible and I read something that Jesus said the book of Matthew 6:6 “when you go to pray…pray in private and the Father will reward you with what is done in secret.” 

Reading that hit me like no other. It clearly explained to me what all successful people have done over time and time again. Anyone that is successful spends countless hours on their craft. When others are sleeping or thinking about sleeping they are working on their craft. For example, on Sunday afternoon when most people are taking it as a day to chill, my son and I hit the gym! It was out of the ordinary, but we want to put the work in so that we can be proud of the bodies that God has given us to train. It was out of the ordinary and the gym was empty. That was music to our ears. And I must tell you….looking in the mirror the following morning was living proof that we were doing something worthwhile. We didn’t go during the time when everyone else was in there to show off, we want to be different so we can’t do what everyone else does. In order to separate ourselves there needed to be something in place that would give us that lift. In other words we were in the dark. Putting in hard work, puts in the dark by default. There is no other option. When most people want to enjoy leisure we need to be working. It only takes a little bit of discipline. 

I looked at the length at some of J.K. Rowling’s books and I read an article about her work ethic. The whole Harry Potter thing took her 17 years to complete.  Yes that means from preschool until about high school to get that done. When most people would have been fed up she took no shorts in believing that she would get it done. Too easy. I continued to read this article and I learned that SHE LIKES TO WRITE THROUGH THE NIGHT. Do you see the pattern? Consumers embrace sleep….producers don’t. To obtain this type of energy you have to have some sort of passion there needs to not only be a way of working but there has to be a certain type of love to go along with it. Please do not take this to mean obsession. In other words, there has to be something that energizes you; that’s passion. I have no problem staying awake til about four in the morning researching new authors, music artists, or finishing a story. Then, turn around and wake up at 7 am to get my kids off to school. If you have a passion there is no reason that you will ever feel like a failure. To do something out of obligation, means that there will be some draining involved, but that has to be superseded with some passion that overwhelms your life. When you are happy you can do anything. Literally. At least you will think you can. And from experience there is no other feeling like it. I always wondered why professional athletes felt compelled to win multiple championships. My thinking was always that if they won it once why go through all of that grueling all over again in the next couple of months? The answer was simple, “There’s no other feeling than excelling at your passion”. To fulfill that long dreadful journey makes it so worth it in the end, even though during the process there are excuse voices in your head to tell you otherwise. Squash that; quickly! Those are voices that come up and tell you that you are wasting your time. 

Keep working in the night. Go to work tired. Let doubters tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Let them tell you how hard it is. Work through the night while they are out partying, drinking, watching television, and being entertained. You are a producer and that takes being awake and not being entertained. Stay in the dark, because what is done in the dark comes to light. Ask J.K. Rowling!

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