Life Writes Its Own Lesson Plans

The following is an excerpt by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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There are, without a doubt, certain invisible laws that exist within the universe. For instance, there is the “law of cause and effect.” Certain actions or conditions can, and inevitably will, cause reactions to follow. To know these things ahead of time can make life much easier.

An example? “Because there was ice on the road, the car slid into the ditch.” Well, if you know that the temperatures and weather conditions are such that there might be ice on the road, you should altar your normal driving pattern in order to adjust. If you don’t, well… the law of cause and effect will have its way with you. In other words, life will get more difficult. It is much easier to listen to a driving instructor “teach” this information than it is to deal with the consequence of ignoring it and ultimately paying the high price of both life and property. There are many things, which fall under the purview of cause and effect. Because he was drinking… Because they were intimate with one another… Because he drove 100 mph… You can fill in the blanks, as to the effects that will occur.

There is also the invisible “law of sowing and reaping.” If you sow, as in a seed, an action, an attitude, you will reap exactly what you have sown. You don’t plant corn and expect wheat to grow in your field; so, too, an attitude or an action. You don’t plant anger and expect love in return. You don’t plant infidelity and expect fidelity. You don’t steal and expect freedom.

Life, with these universal laws, will write its own lesson plans in response. It is, indeed, a harsh taskmaster. We don’t get to choose the end results, the consequences. Some get off easy, like only wrecking the car, but life is spared. Others are not so fortunate. Either way, the lesson will be taught and a price will be demanded. So… nurture, teach, instruct, and train those who are willing to listen, but do not become distraught about those who refuse. Life has its own, unique, teaching style. It has a way of instructing those who will not learn any other way, and it is extremely effective at its job.

One final thought… we must not interrupt those harsh lessons, by easing the effects of consequences. The consequences themselves are a part of the essential tutorial. If we rescue people from their choices, and the consequences of their choices, we are enabling their behavior.

Galations 6:7-8
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

A Clever Teaching Style
A poem by Minister Mark A. Albert

Nurture, teach, instruct, and train,
All those who care to listen,
But ne’er become distraught or pained,
‘bout those who fail the lessons.

Life has a clever teaching style
From which it will not vary.
If you run from wisdoms words,
Its lesson plans won’t tarry.

Experience? A harsh task master;
But effective in its career.
So learn your lesson the easy way,
And to sound advice, adhere.

If you run wild, and do your thing,
Popping off, acting out, being crass.
Life’s not afraid of your running mouth,
It will gladly kick your SASS!!!!

If those who love you understand…
You will live in your creation.
Relieving the consequence, of your choice,
Will destroy your life’s foundation.

So learn from mentors, family, friends,
Each lesson that they bring.
For if you fail sound judgment’s quiz,
Life’s waiting in the wings.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

Success is a Little by Little Event

The following is an excerpt by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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Life works much better for us if we develop a patient, progressive, plan that helps us grow our wisdom, our project, our career, and our family. An unhurried approach is the most prudent path.

Historically, in the year 1445 B.C., when the Hebrews came out of Egyptian bondage, they were not ready to inherit the vast land that we know as Israel today. They had been slaves for over 400 years and had not been properly trained or educated; they had not learned to live a liberated life. They didn’t know anything about being landowners, farmers, ranchers, or entrepreneurs. When they came out of Egypt, free for the first time in centuries, they were told that they needed to take possession of their new “Promised Land,” in a gradual manner. They were encouraged to go “little by little” into the land until they were fully ready to take complete control of their vast inheritance. So, a little by little approach is how they grew into a great nation.

We, like Israel, must stop looking for the quick fixes, and the windfalls. We must embrace the gradual, slow growth, plan that brings experience and expertise along the way. How can we possibly be expected to handle the big things if we don’t know how to do the little things, yet? We can’t! As a result, we must reject the “win the lottery” lifestyle. Slow, steady growth brings real success.

This patient plan applies to every area of life, including real, productive change in a human being. Change is not a cataclysmic moment, no matter how emotional the decision or how life altering the event. The real change will happen over time, after the emotion has worn off, as we grow bit-by-bit daily.

Exodus 23:30
Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

A Champions Place
A poem by Minister Mark A. Albert

A Champion’s Pace

Little by little’s
How victory arrives,
Eschew the plan,
That quick fix contrives.
We search for windfall,
And lottery deals,
Like those who hunger,
Seek microwave meals.
But plans and programs
That seek change fast,
Seldom succeed,
Infrequently last.

It’s time, and patience,
Hard work, and skill,
Which brings the prize,
And pushes the will.
You see, slow and steady’s
A champion’s pace,
Cause the contest we’re in,
Is a life long race.
So, eschew the plan,
That quick fix contrives,
For, little by little’s
How victory arrives.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

The Winding Way

The following is a poem by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

The Winding Way
By Mark A. Albert

Life is like a country road,
With curves and holes galore,
Adventures from their winding ways,
Share insights to explore.

It’s not on gentle highways,
Enlightenment is found.
On byways, course and craggy,
Great wisdom does abound.

Every bend and chuckhole,
Brings lessons truly taught.
So we must pay attention,
And not become distraught.

Each veer’n swerve contains within,
Britannica’s full knowledge.
The strength and wit that it reveals…
Is a hard knocks kind of college.

Each bump’s a lesson taught,
Professor Pothole… demands his say.
On every winding country road,
A degree will come our way.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

Every Path Has It’s Potholes

The following is an excerpt by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has grtaciously agreed to allow this blog to publish some of his work over the coming months.

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Life is not a smooth road. No matter what path we take, we will face adversity. Difficult times, however, can be the greatest learning events of our lives. It is during life’s difficulties that we can uncover our own emotional and spiritual capabilities. Tough times show us, first hand, those areas on which we need to work, and those areas in which we can flex our emotional muscle. In other words, we can clearly see our strengths and weaknesses during times of trouble. Tough times are a mirror in which we can see ourselves more clearly.

It may be during times of difficulty that we learn to adjust our “self-talk” and encourage ourselves as never before. In fact, it is during troublesome times that some people actually figure out that they have “self-talk” and it is, quite often, negative in nature. Those who embrace a more positive inner conversation recover from difficulty more quickly.

When life throws us a curve, we learn about establishing boundaries. We now know what we will, and will not, allow in our relationships in the future. In fact, not having proper boundaries may be the reason we are going through a tough time in the first place. We can now celebrate that “bump in the road” as a wise old classroom professor, who just taught us a truth we will never forget.

Distress may, even, teach us “who” our friends are, and “who” we cannot depend upon when the chips are down. How many showed up to help during our season of difficulty? Who were they? Why were they there? These are all legitimate questions to ask. Does this mean that we should be angry with those who did not help us? No… it simply means that we have had revealed to us the true nature of certain relationships. We would not have learned this information during stress free times. That knowledge may become very important to us in the future.

So… negotiate troubling seasons with skill and grace, looking for the learning, because, contained within the event is an encyclopedia of knowledge.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

Words Are Cheap

Blog Post Marker

The following is a poem by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Over the coming months Minister Albert has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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Words Are Cheap
By Mark A. Albert

There comes a moment in every life,
Due to sadness, rejection, or constant strife;
When you look in the mirror, then look around,
To judge what you have, to see if it’s sound.
Is there a way to unveil the truth?
Of course, there is; love has a proof!
You see, words are cheap, a penny a pound.
It’s deeds that are rich, and actions sound.

May I, Can I, Shall I Dear?
Love’s a function; love draws near.
So, if you wonder: “Is love there?”
Watch what they do, not what they share!
Calling it love, when it’s clearly not,
Is lying to self, inaccurate thought.
You see, Words are cheap, a penny a pound.
It’s deeds that are rich, and actions sound.

Waiting for exploits that never occur,
S’like a ride in a limo with no chauffeur.
Begging for progress, while parked on the street,
Is selling yourself, way too cheap.
So, if they say it, but never come through,
It’s time to rethink, they may not love you.
You see, Words are cheap, a penny a pound.
It’s deeds that are rich, and actions sound.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

Love and Respect

Blog Post Marker

The following is a poem by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Over the coming months Minister Albert has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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Love and Respect
By Mark A. Albert

Just give and you will get it:
A requirement for love’n respect!
It’s what we hear consistently:
Don’t just ask… expect!

But, do we seek from a man
Things he’s never observed?
Can we demand from him,
What he’s never learned?

Don’t presume a Picasso,
If they’ve never seen a palette.
Don’t expect a Vivaldi,
When all they have’s a mallet.

Respect is something modeled…
Mentored from childhood days.
Not something which is required,
Of those who know not its ways.

Respect them, though they struggle.
Love them, though they’ve no fans.
Respect them, because they are human.
Love them, and show it first hand.

When they’ve seen us model,
Only then can we demand!!!
When we’ve been a mentor,
Only then can we take a stand!!!

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Minister Mark A Albert is a great friend and valued community member of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.