Structure

The beauty and simplicity of the right structure can add balance and effectiveness to our lives. A system of routines, people and resources can inspire us and hold us accountable to complete important tasks and enable us to maximize our potential and provide greater value to others.

In Nature, all of life is organized;
The body systems’ elegant design
Rivals a universe categorized
As millions of stars in the night sky shine,
As planets in order orbit in space,
As structure keeps each object in its place.

We need structure and a firm foundation;
To set boundaries in our routines,
So we concentrate in conversations
On short term and long term and in between;
To keep us on schedule and on track,
To manage a structured plan of attack.

We have a purpose, as we run this race,
Programmed with a sequence for us to win;
There is a pattern that we must embrace;
A series of actions we must begin.
We set goals and methods to reinforce
Each goal with a checklist to stay on course.

There’s structure with diet and exercise;
Willpower and demonstrating constraint;
The flexibility to improvise;
To be creative and resolve complaints;
We need discipline, so we can abstain;
From actions that will later cause us pain.

Structure is a gift that we should enjoy.
When structure appears confining,
A well tuned strategy we should employ;
When our performance is declining.
It has a formula like a lecture,
With strength in content and architecture.

We need structure that is clearly defined;
That includes respect for authority;
To help develop our heart and mind
With excellence as the priority;
The structure will hold us accountable,
So obstacles aren’t insurmountable.

Structure will lead us to the right decisions;
Those consistent with what we want to be,
To excel and thrive with supervision,
To channel our time and energy;
Its skeletal framework will ease the threat
Of reckless actions that place us in debt.

To live comfortably within our means,
We have standards and a choice to say no;
We are not just for self, but for the team,
Interdependence is the status quo.
We use ambition as a strategy;
For the good of group and community.

We need structure in order to advance;
To study harder and perform the tasks;
Learn fundamentals before we freelance,
And give the assignment all that it asks
And know structure’s role in all we do,
As it gives us guidance to follow through.

Structure trains us to allocate the time,
So life is far less complicated,
And puts us on a path away from crime,
That’s choreographed and orchestrated;
To be on the field not on the sidelines
And functioning according to guidelines.

Structure can be seen as stimulation;
Keeping the mind engaged and occupied
Through a number of planned simulations
To grant experiences that provide
The guard rails to sustain us in our lanes;
And to fully utilize our brains.

When we master how structure should be used;
We will not easily be distracted;
Temptations will be ignored or refused
And we will no longer be attracted
To positions of mediocrity,
When it is excellence that makes us free.

Copyright © 2016 Orlando Ceaser

In Our Lifetime

Consider the things we would like to see during our time on Earth. Our contributions are welcomed, as leaders to help it happen. The In our lifetime (Remix) https://youtu.be/DiMCh_R8c2U is available for review and preview on Youtube and for purchase on streaming and digital services.

In our lifetime

In our lifetime,
Let us pledge
To stem the flow of violence;
To have courage to stand on the edge
Of fear and shout through the silence
Of apathy and turn the tide
On racism, poverty and genocide.

In our lifetime,
Let us commit to heal
The division among the races
And issue a universal appeal
To love as a spirit that replaces
Selfishness, to release
Old information as new interactions
Help form a foundation for peace,
And heighten our sense of obligation
To change the world,
Through an imperfect nation.

In our lifetime,
We should be known
As contributors, as well as consumers;
And millennials should bond with baby boomers
On major issues whatever they may be,
Freedom, justice and equality;
And serve as activist and catalyst,
Advocate and protagonist,
To diminish, devices of division;
To challenge consensus for the best decision.

In our lifetime,
May we provide healthcare
To the uninsured masses
And make progress to share
The world’s wealth;
As compassion surpasses
The generosity of generations
Present and the past,
As biases, stereotypes
And prejudices are cast
Into oblivion, we will be content
If our life time was life
And time well spent.

In our lifetime,
May we walk across a room
And shake the hands of neighbors;
May we ask questions and not assume
That we’re entitled without labor;
And hold people accountable for their deeds,
Develop citizens who meet the needs
Of others and honor and will not shame
One’s heritage and family name.

In our lifetime,
Communities on committed patrol,
Reclaim their neighborhoods,
Their values,
Their souls.

In our lifetime,
We can approach a mountain
With the faith to move
Impediments and cope
With adversity.
We can improve the planet for posterity,
Redistributing prosperity,
And the capacity to hope.

In our lifetime,
An enormous task lies before us;
To consciously congeal
Around a greater purpose;
To be strategic as we invest
And endure the chorus
Of special interests;
To build coalitions in our zeal;
To stoke the fires of innovation
For the evolution of new ideas,
To suspend competition,
And collaborate on solutions,
To make our world a better place
For the environment and the human race.

Copyright © 2008 Orlando Ceaser

Alone with My Thoughts

When I am alone with thoughts,
I am not lonely.
I do not feel abandoned;
I am not bored,
For God is my companion,
And in the company
Of infinite memories,
My Lord comforts me.

When I am alone with my thoughts,
I do not feel ignored,
For solitude refreshes
And satiates my spirit.
The still small voice is audible
And I hear it speaking softly.
As I climb down from lofty
Expectations, I know
That in God’s eyes,
I don’t need a disguise
To be accepted.

When I am alone with my thoughts,
I delve beneath the dermis of the stream.
I descend beyond shallow excursions
And risk the unthinkable and stretch my dream
To adventures and exotic diversions
That require me to bend my mind,
To think hard and transcend my mind;
To seek, to contemplate, to find
My way to inner peace.

When I am alone with my thoughts,
God is there with me,
And if I sought His counsel,
I would be taught marvelous things.

Copyright © 2002 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Look for the Blessing

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“Take Me to Your Leader” – Who Is Your Leader?

A common refrain from extra-terrestrial beings in science fiction movies was “Take me to your leader.” The visitors from another planet would land on planet Earth and their first comments, through translator software, was “Take me to your leader.” There was an assumption that we were governed by, ruled by or were followers of a single individual. The visitors had important information to present to this one sovereign person. They did not want to go through individuals in the middle or on the lower rungs of the hierarchy. They wanted Number one, the Boss, the person in charge.

“Take me to your leader” was an important question. The question I have for us today is who is your leader or to be more precise, who are the leaders in your life? In my poetic interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, I answer the question by saying the Lord is my Leader.

Please read the Lord is my Leader and answer the discussion or reflection questions to stimulate additional thought and conversation. They may be used individually or as part of a group discussion.

The Lord is My Leader

The Lord is my Leader I shall not lack
Direction for He is standing at my back;
While in front of me He makes decisions
To meet my needs with ample provisions.

I shall not want for his abundance fills
My cup with affluence and as it spills,
As water flowing from a mountain top,
His goodness and mercy will never stop.

He mends my brokenness
And I find rest,
As He restores my soul,
He refreshes my spirit,
Changes my countenance
And makes me whole.

He leads me where the waters are still;
He tutors me as I study His will;
He comforts me in righteousness;
Though I walk through the valley
Of difficult times;
Disease, disasters and immoral crimes
I fear no evil for He
Protects me from my enemies
And loves me though there is sin in me,
And promises me an eternity
Of matchless splendor and serenity.

(Adapted from Psalms 23)

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Discussion Questions

1. Have someone read the poem allow or each person should silently read to themselves.
2. What role does God play in your decision-making process?
3. Do you believe in the second stanza to be true? How powerful is your faith?
4. God is making you whole as you read this. Discuss the importance of these words. The Lord is your leader. How are you following?
5. How are you resting on his promises and finding comfort in His words?
6. God as a leader has a vision for your life. Discuss your thoughts about his vision for you.
7. Ask for final comments from the members of the group.
8. Pray and conclude the session

The Lord is My Leader is reprinted from my book Daily Resurrections, published by Watchwell Communications, Inc. The questions are added separately to stimulate conversation.

A Greater Story to Tell

Challenges are part of our development and survival curriculum. With a change in perspective we can see them as exercises making us stronger and providing opportunities and data that will be useful to us and those we influence. These challenges, struggles and tribulations can also make us more interesting and therefore, give us a greater story to tell. I have used the poem and process in a workshop with cancer survivors and their care givers as they shared their cancer journey and other challenges faced in their lives.

A Greater Story to Tell

When you reflect on hurdles in the race;
The many times you stood after you fell.
When you think of dreams you’ve chased
And replaced;
They give you a greater story to tell.

With struggles intense and continuous
Life buckled your knees, but your back was straight.
The footing was unsure and strenuous,
But you managed through faith to challenge fate.

You wonder why circumstances are hard,
But remember the woman at the well;
His living water made her disregard
Her plight with a greater story to tell.

The magnitude of His majesty smiles
On those who ask for wisdom in the storm.
To pray for optimism in your trials
For mercy, grace and the strength to perform.

If you will seek you first the kingdom of God
Within you the Holy Spirit will dwell.
His joy will guide your footsteps as you trod
Through life with a greater story to tell.

As subjects of the omnipotent King
With blessings unmatched without parallel;
Amazed we find, in our suffering,
There’s often a greater story to tell.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Discussion Questions

1. Please discuss hurdles you are facing that are challenging you and
keeping you up at nights.
2. Discuss how you have shown strength in your current circumstances.
3. What are your practices, routines, disciplines to stay connected with
God?
4. How has your story become greater?
5. How are you using it to influence, role model and help others?

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