The Making of Moments

The word moment is defined as a very brief period of time or an opportunity.

Over Sunday Dinner I engaged in a conversation discussing with Father in law and my sister in law’s boyfriend regarding things we remember from our past. Ironically this post refers to how we only remember certain things concerning our yesterdays and needless to say, I can’t remember exactly how the conversation began.  What I do know is that we were in agreement.  We are unable to go back in our minds, press rewind and again see the clips we missed.  Nope, everything’s spotty and we only remember moments. Have you ever tried to go back to your childhood and remember a whole situation play by play.  If you can then I commend you for tapping into a part of your memory muscles that many of us cannot.

For example, I can remember acting out the role of a Lion in a 3rd grade play in the library at Grifton Elementary School. I recall the sun shining through the blinds and my mother showing up to support me.  I had one line the entire play which was “I don’t care” until at the very end something caused me to finally say “I care.” What I can’t remember is other classmate who was in that short play with me. I remember the time while in high school we performed a play for the elementary school kids. I played the lead role as a King who allowed someone to sale him a royal outfit persuading him that it was of the most well-designed and extravagant outfit people would ever lay eyes on. But my friends, the kicker was the outfit was invisible. I remember not one line from that play 20 years ago, but I recall walking out on that wide wooden stage in my loud underwear covered in big yellow smiley faces and watching those kids go wild!! Oh, What an incredible memory.  I played baseball for fifteen years, but I can only remember certain moments of certain games.  I travailed through boot came for thirteen weeks but the moments I can remember are very few and in between. The only vivid recollection is when the Eagle, Globe and Anchor was placed in my hand and in that moment, I had achieved my greatest accomplishment ever.  I wish I could remember more moments with some of the loved one’s I’ve lost or some of the people I grew up, but I can’t.  You see I understand that all of my experiences in some way has helped shape me into who I am today, but they all didn’t make the cut to the memorable moments team.

I think the value of memory is neglected by our own desire to make tomorrow more valuable than yesterday.  I hear some many people say, “the past is in the past” or “you can’t change the past”. True!! All True! But remember that every day we are present, we are creating a past. So, it is vital my friends, to recognize that your future and your past are impacted by your present.

It is in The NOW, where you must make moments for your family that will become positive and powerful memories.  When both of my grandmothers were buried, the moments I recalled during their funerals were full of warmth, love, wisdom and peacefulness. Their homes were a safe-shaven for everyone.  What moments are you leaving for your family to remember you? What moments will your family have to Cherish? Are you teaching those around you to create good moments? Your destiny, your fulfillment of purpose and your legacy is built by the way you manage the moments.

Recollections of great moments remember the emotion and overwhelming love when you held your first child for the first time. It is when you understood the pressure to be an amazing parent when wiping your child’s tears and lifting their head up. It is when you feel purpose fueling when leading a lost soul to salvation. It’s like seeing your father stand again after doctors said he would die. It is the hearing someone tell you simply that you have helped them become better.  These moments keep us grounded. Seeing impossible things become possible are monumental reminders, in the moments we forget that everything really is going to be ok.

Today, Moments are ready to be made. Which means it is important for us to make our decisions count. Whether big or small make them count.  Because when someone stands over our casket it will be good for them to lose us knowing that we gave them the best of who we are.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~ Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

God Bless you,

Aquila T Carmon

 

The Other Side of the Door: Credit Tips

So, what happens on the other side of the door? You know, while you’ve went to a car dealership, applied for a loan online or anytime you are waiting for someone to run your credit and make the approval decision for your loan.

First your personal information will be pulled and placed into a system that will scan and analyze your credit report. Then it will provide the creditor some feedback based on your score and general items on whether you should be approved.  This system will analyze items such as credit scores from Equifax, Transunion and Experian, the number or accounts, how many are delinquent accounts, how long have you had the accounts open, how many late payments and your debt to income ratio based on the income information you decided.

Depending on where you apply would determine if an automated decision will be the final factor for you.  However, some creditors will take the next step, put human eyes on your credit report and begin to discuss with the finance manager if there are things that must be considered. You wondered while the salesman was probing? he was trying to get to know a few things about you to include in that “credit conversation.” Quick insert: If you have bad credit, please don’t be nasty and rude to the salesman. His opinion of you might play a part in whether the lender wants to work with you or not if your credit is already bad.

So, on the other side of the door they take a deeper look into the credit report with human eyes to determine, did it all go bad at the same time? Did a life event bring about this problem such as job loss or relocation?  Someone may even come sit with you to ask additional questions about your credit report. Trust me, I know because I am the guy that has sat across on both sides of the table. Once with bad credit and later to ask the questions.

Here are some tips before applying.

Know your credit situation:

  1. Know where you stand: Pull your credit report, know your scores and what is helping or hurting on your report and be ready to talk about it. Hopefully you are working on a plan to resolve any issues.
  2. Prepare mentally: If you have bad credit, prepare yourself for the result and remember that NO could mean, Not until a few things are fixed on your credit report. Meaning negative items removed or paid.
  3. Decrease some Debt: Pay down all credit card balances to less than 30% of use and wait for this to reflect on your report before applying for any credit.
  4. Understand that it may be best to struggle a little while longer and commit to getting your credit improved before even walking into to submit an application.

No matter where you stand in the credit world, know that you have or can take control of your credit situation. It may take some time and it is a process but by educating yourself, understanding how credit works and develop certain financial disciplines you can change how you experience as you sit on the consumer’s side of this process.

If you or someone you know has less than perfect credit. Let’s talk. Give me a call at (919)904-6960 or email me at aquilacarmon06@gmail.com. Go to www.myfes.net\acarmon1.  I am connected with a team that can help.

Aquila T Carmon

My Daughter’s Motivation

How many of us have ever found motivation from frustration? Have you ever been motivated by difficulty in reaching a goal, obtaining a level of achievement or making something happen when it feels like you don’t have much of anything to make it with.  Has failure ever motivated you to the place where you say this will be the last time I find myself in this situation?

My most recent motivation came from my seven year old daughter.  I wish I could say that it came from watching her do something amazing or seeing her not give up. Those are always great moments that motivate me to do and be better.  Unfortunately, not this time.  I was picking her up from after care along with my two five year old sons.  She came running to the car with an amazing amount of excitement and I begin to think, boy she has been in there having fun!! She runs up to the passenger side but today she didn’t reach for the back door to get in. She says, “Daddy, Daddy you have to come inside the school for the Winter festival!!” At that moment I’m thinking, “OH NO, What did I miss?” Knowing that this is about to be a hard conversation I reply, “baby we can’t, I have to go back to work.”

So far there are two dilemmas.  The first, not knowing this winter festival is taking place because I didn’t read through all of the teacher’s communications. The second is that my daughter really wants me to attend this event but I’m on the particular day I am scheduled to work the late shift even though I have been working since 8am to catch up on unfinished assignments and to meet fast approaching deadlines.

So my baby girl who sometimes will make it known she is upset and sad breaks down to cry.  Not an “I am mad” kind of cry.  But a “This is the most disappointing thing ever” kind of cry.  My heart is pierced to the point that if I wasn’t a grown man I would have cried with her.  I immediately become angry that I haven’t “made it” yet.  I become angry because I have been exposed to opportunities that if I had worked and pushed years ago I would be financially free by now.  I become angry because my job, as important as, it is should not be putting my in a position to chose an income over my children. Not in 2018 when people are making six figures in their 20’s. I became so angry that I became motivated. You see she cried until I promised her Chinese food and a bag of takis.

You see, as I begin to promise her some of her favorite things.  I began to promise myself some things too. I promised myself that I would not stop building my own business until it is a business that will provide for them what my kids need.  That it will produce the type of residual income that will afford me options. The Word of God says in Ecclesiastes 10:19 “A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry and money answers all things.” You see money unlocks options.  It provides opportunities and choices for us.  Its the difference of where you get your education, how you spend your time and who you spend it with.  It can determine how you can get out of your normal routine and rest or if you have to work 2-3 jobs to make it.  I’ve pulled countless double shifts, stayed in terrible hotels, hoped for a ride to come and the “friend” never showed up.  My father and mother are the hardest working people I know. But they taught me to get hired on a job, pay the bills, take two weekend trips a year, then rinse and repeat. I have no desire to leave my children with the burden of being routed and steered by society. Neither would I have them facing road blocks, rejected credit and a limitation of resources because I refused to exist outside of the box that I have grown up to know.  I desire to leave them with a way to fund their dreams and a way to finance the cost of their goals. Sometimes we are waiting for a miracle after God has given us a resource to produce right here in our hands and our minds.

My daughter’s tears became another motivator for me to be better and to do better.  My daughter’s tears have motivated me to revisit my dreams and push for them.  They motivate me to build and work more intensely in ministry and for my community for the children who don’t have the parents that say “Baby everything’s going to be alright!”

Be motivated, stay encouraged and know that anything is possible. Nothing worth building is built overnight. It may take all you’ve got to build it but build it none the less. Build your Church, build your marriage, build your business, build relationships. Build yourself until you can look at your life and know you’ve given God and the people he has entrusted you to impact all you were meant to give.

Aquila T Carmon

About Trust (Part 1)

Simply stating what trust is, it means placing confidence in something that will work well. Trust holds value because it’s a key element in successful relationships. It involves taking an intimate part of yourself to entrust that part of you to someone else. Trusting someone means “letting them in.” The collective understanding of trust equates to unlocking our inner emotions and thoughts to become vulnerable enough to allow another person to handle those intimate parts. Parts of us that should not particularly be handled by people. I believe before confidence is deposited into someone we should complete a checklist that justifies the choice to trust. Before investing love, energy, time, and confidence take the time to evaluate how they invest these same things into themselves or the people around them. Do they truly love themselves? If they don’t then they won’t love you? Do they have respect for themselves, do they try to take care of themselves and their own things? If you dated somebody whose car was always full of trash, that allows no rights to join them in matrimony then argue about how they won’t aid in keeping the house clean. What is the process of deeming a person worthy of trust? When you purchase a vehicle you should get the service records, check the blue book value and have it inspected before you drive off expecting it to be dependable. You must WATCH and OBSERVE before you offer trust.

Trusting and placing your confidence in someone means you become reliant on them, resting your mind on their integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or any other sound characteristic we have witnessed in people. Trusting means leaning on others with hopes that they will not fall. But what is problematic with trust goes back to the opening statement which expresses placing confidence in something that will work well. But in my opinion, humans are more flawed than anything else on this earth so there is never a guarantee in how well a person will “work.”

That’s why Psalms 118:8 says, “it is better to put your trust in the Lord than put your confidence in man.” Psalms 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes nor the son of man in whom there is no help” Jeremiah 17:5 “cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength” Micah 7:5 “A man’s enemies are the men of his own house”.
Wow! Do we still need to ask how or why we all find ourselves in a place where our trust has been broken? It is dangerous to place an expectation of commitment without an expectation of failure. Let me be clear, man is not like God and man will fail you! Give him enough time. But remember that the way you perceive them failing you is based on the measure of which you trust. You can’t fail me if I don’t trust you. If you make a stupid decision and I don’t trust you then I will not be disappointed. That’s the reason there are people right now that won’t trust anybody. But that’s why we must re-evaluate the purpose of trust.

In relationships trust is necessary because produces something grand. Confidence! I hate it when my wife says to me “you’re supposed to be an Elder!” The last time was exactly a year ago when we tried to save money on a trip and I agreed to one of those ninety minute presentations. Well that turned into three hours and a brother lost his cool. Her translatable version of what I am “supposed to be” is “I am trusting that you can be better than this.” That means she puts her confidence in me and because of that I am now held accountable. This is true for employees, managers, Pastors, church members, marriage and friendships.  For someone to put their confidence in us nudges the pride in us producing encouragement, pushing us and drives us to be better. But on the end of the trustee, emotions should not be attached to the trust. Trust becomes simply a tool used to inject accountability in relationships. The mistake we make too often is trusting others with parts of us that only God should have access to because only He will be perfect to respond to our trust without disappointment and failure.

I guess the take away would be that trust is risky, but John Donne wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a part of a continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.”  Trust is powerful and because we cannot make it alone we have to learn how to trust seeing that it truly has the ability to make us better.

God Bless you,

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

 

Have Hope

Four Years, four months and three weeks ago my wife gave birth to two of the greatest blessings God could ever give to us. Our twin boys, Zayden weighing in at 6 pounds and 11 ounces. Then Gavriel aka G Baby weighing 5 pounds and 14 ounces. We were excited, well at least I was, my wife was a bit on the nauseous side. It had been quite a journey for her to carry those sluggers for 36 full weeks and then enduring the toils of a C-Section. They showed us little Zay -Zay whom his mother sometimes calls Baby A. Baby B though had to be taken directly to the table and I had to leave my wife’s side to meet him. He was different from Zayden. Although they looked very much alike, Gavriel was born with a birth defect. The defect is called spinal bifida which means a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. Basically, his spine needed be pushed into place. I will spare the medical details but I will tell you that we knew this would impact much of our son’s functionality. I was 30 years old and I was being told that if my child would walk it would not be without braces and/or physical therapy, nor would he be able to potty train like a “normal” child. As a matter of fact, during the pregnancy I tried reading to prepare myself for it all and with all the information I only found myself walking off the packaging line at my job just to go in the locker room and flood the floor with tears at the thought of feeling hopeless for him.
So, after walking over to meet my little guy he immediately went into his first of three surgeries before he would ever see his new crib. For the next seven weeks, we had to be the hope that he didn’t know existed. Fresh in the world and life begins with pain! Sounds almost like life when God has given us something incredible to birth and as soon as we choose to move forward on the dream we find ourselves under the blade,  cutting through what we thought was perfectly put together. What happens under the blade is a reconstruction of our defect, surgery getting us close as possible to what we were supposed to be. I guess enduring the blade during the initial stages of birth somehow makes us tougher because until now my son has never cried from a shot or having blood drawn from his arm. (In my bragging voice) “That’s my lil soulja” Somehow, we are all born crippled and all of us that choose to be great or exceptional end up on an operating table that hurts us but hurts us for the good.
Let me be honest with you. During those weeks I wrestled with hope. One night I even gave In, sneaking a few beers into the Ronald McDonald house. For those that know me, don’t try to figure out the math, Yes, I was already an ordained minister during the time. Don’t judge me! But I distinctly remember God sending an angel to us one day, as my wife and I, along with my one year old daughter and my other son a few weeks old were heading back to visit with G Baby. A prophetess met us in the elevator offering to pray with us. She prayed saying something that confirmed that this was a moment where hope was essential. She said, “We came to remind him today that he is a man of God.” My eyes of hope opened again in that very moment. The moment that I found myself down. I was reminded that the knowledge owned by man is incomparable to the knowledge that exists within God. This consciousness emanates an incredible ability to place our Hope in a God that has never failed when encountering sickness with the intent to heal. I spoke healing over my son when I gave him his second name, “Josias” which simply means “Yahweh Heals.” It’s no longer about the doctor’s education but God’s power. It’s not about all the resources but it’s about God’s wisdom. It’s no longer about the statistics but God’s promise. It was about God honoring the prayers of the righteous and God did just that!
You see three months prior I wrote on a piece of paper a vision for my sons. I wrote “My sons will walk, my sons will run, my sons will jump, my sons will live and play together” and God honored the vision that I made plain for my sons. My son never needed braces. The other day he took off running through the yard and I had to hold back tears while thanking God for answering my Hopes. Although there are some struggles and conditions he must deal with, God honored my prayers and while there were times of wrestling we can’t lose hope. I want to encourage you to put your Hope in God. Remember that Proverbs 10:24 says “…. the hope of the godly shall be granted.” Believe beyond what you know and see and put your hope in God.

God Bless You,

Elder Aquila  T Carmon

 

Fearless Faith

What is this vision paralyzing, heart gripping, plan staggering, speech stopping, goal blocking and dream killer doing here. You call her hesitation but I say it’s not a “her” but a male because of his competitive aggression to beat me to my destiny. I call him my enemy, I say he a worrisome pain in my “you know what!” I call him FEAR! How did he get here? Better yet why is he here?

Don’t you get it! Your path is a dedicated key to dreams that haven’t even been dreamt yet! Upon the pursuance of your journey are answers to questions that our world’s been asking. There’s something within you so phenomenal it will force light to explode in hearts of men when you decide to release it. You will impact the world so greatly that the prince of darkness will fail another great fight he so desperately expected to win. Why are you afraid? Is it because you haven’t an inkling of how much power is really inside you? My friend you must understand and not discount the incredible strength laying beyond the boundaries of your thrust through darkness. Being fearless does not make you a hero. You are a hero when you can be cradled by fear yet stand through the challenges and adversity of the precise entity you were in fear of. You must allow fear to do what it does best. Allow it to puncture your perception of limitation and frighten you in to moving through and forward from it as fast as possible. Fear has the ability to pump mass adrenaline through your veins. This is when your dream, your purpose and your life must all carry the same significance of survival. You must decide that this thing called fear that has caused so many to give up will not stop you from getting where you need to be.

You must learn to alter the fear you feel and convert it to energy. You must administer faith to that ugly dog and tell him that you are the authority and it was issued to you by Almighty God when He created you. Realize this, you cannot walk by faith while remaining fearful. One will defeat the other. Determine to possess fearless faith! Tell Fear this: By Faith I am boundless. By Faith I have already conquered all. By Faith no weapon formed against me shall prosper and with unfailing promise my Lord shall crush every fear that would exist in my life. By Faith I am FEARLESS “for God has not given me the spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind.”(2 Timothy 1:7)

Let me encourage you today with a firm reminder that there is something great in you! God has invested it there and He protects His investment. Therefore you must rush through fear like it stands between you and your next breath because that treasure within you is necessary for the world.

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

Who Am I?

Recently during a meeting a gentleman asked where I saw myself three years from now.  I sat back in the rocky office chair, interlocked my fingers and placed them in my lap and I looked at him directly in the eyes.  I began to speak and for the first time this question was posed to me and I felt uneasy.  Even though I gave an answer I realized I was unsure.  I mean, I haven’t been so uncertain about my future in 13 years.  Even upon graduating high school I knew that I would spend eight years in the Marine Corps, spend a few years on a local police force then the last 15 or so years working as a private investigator.  I dreamed of being a crime fighter without the cape.  Instead life took a turn and I adjusted. God placed a calling on my life, while I was making big mistakes with the one He had given me.  I found a wife and we have created a family with three beautiful kids. I worked eight years in manufacturing and the last five years in collections and now here I am.  Life took a few turns and through it all I have found myself wondering who it is I am.  Yes I do know the significance of life and I firmly believe that just as sure I am here I have purpose but there is a need to zone in on the details of that purpose or otherwise feel very lost. There are questions that we must ask ourselves in search of who it is we are. Such as what are my gifts, my interests, and what makes my heart sing? What feels right to me Is a good question because what feels wrong normally is in fact wrong.

A few things to think on when it comes to discovering your purpose:

1. What are your aspirations? If there was one thing in your life, in your community or in the world that you can change, do you know what that one thing would be. Have you given thoughts about your strongest desires. Dreams aren’t just some made up wants. They are implanted in us as the roots of our destiny and our desire to reach them grows more and more.  It is important to be attentive to your positive desires because most of the time they are in you because the world needs them to manifest through you.

2. Where is your Motivation? Many times we have become so comfortable with life we lose our aspiration and our desire to move out of the comfort zone onto the path called destiny.  Many obstacles come our way such as dealing with uncertainty of life, unexpected death, sickness, layoffs, demanding jobs and even greater demanding kids. You must make it priority to pump your mind and soul full of inspiration and positivity.  Rid your life of negative talk and doubt and focus on the fact that you are made for something great.  A positive mindset will reveal who you truly are because where the mind goes your life will go.

3. Will I reach my destiny?  You certainly can and I certainly believe you will! But the choice is all yours. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! You were made, wired, created, designed and equipped with every single piece of equipment you need to fulfill your very significant purpose in this world. You’ve got to ask yourself, what is it that makes me tick.  I get a cringing feeling in my gut seeing homeless people and I believe Its because I need to make a difference in that area.  So the question is this. What does it for you? You can reach your destiny, fulfill your purpose and impact this world. Only make the decision to believe in yourself, to chase after knowledge and be diligent in your works then you will find who it is you really are. This decision is the beginning of the authorship of your legacy.

Believe in You

Aquila T Carmon