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APR 2010

provoke
THOUGHT | CONVERSATION | ACTION

Go Where Your
Imagination Leads You
Personal Thoughts of Tim Valentine

1 | PROVOKE
You’re Forgiven | Written By: Timothy Valentine
provoke | Page 2

I want to share my thoughts


about Tiger Woods and
forgiveness.

I am not condoning the


acts, but who am I to act in
judgment towards him
when I consider the things
that I’ve done, said or
thought?

I just find it difficult to cast


any type of stone towards
him without giving him
some stones to cast back
towards me. The results are
still the same, we have all
have done things that we’re
not proud of and wish we
hadn’t done.

We’ve all acted selfishly and


believed that we wouldn’t
get caught. It’s unfair,
because I know of his sins,
Jesus simply asks the question of consideration. “If
but he doesn’t know of mine.
any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to
throw a stone at her.”
So how why should I treat him or view him any
differently than I did before I knew of his sins?
The same goes for Tiger Woods, you or anyone
else.
To consider others beyond yourself means you
seek a position of compassion.
Who dares to be honest enough to demonstrate
compassion towards others sincerely?
I’m reminded of two things when I think about
this situation Tiger has found himself in.
How can I cast stones when I am not perfect?
One is one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Martin
Is one sin greater than another?
Luther King, Jr. “We are caught in a network of
mutuality. I can’t be what I ought to be, until you
Do two wrongs make it right?
are what you ought to be.” If I seek to be forgiven
for the things I’ve done, I must be willing to
In the case of Tiger Woods v The World this is the
forgive.
only judgment I can offer. So if no one else is
willing to say it, I will.
The other is the story of “Jesus and the woman
taken in adultery”.
(John 7:53 – John 8:11) You’re forgiven.

We often are quick to verbally stone someone for


the mistakes they’ve made without considering our
own in our critique. Many unconsciously take the
same position the Scribes and Pharisees took as
he confronted their judgment of the woman
caught in adultery.
Revealing Your Secret Identity | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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We often spend much of our time desiring to be We truly become free when we abandon the
what others see instead of what you were meant labels, perceptions and stigmas we place on
to be. Some pursue careers, relationships and ourselves and share what’s most important about
lifestyles that ultimately don’t fulfill us, although ourselves.
we may have accepted it.
Discovering what you were born to do is a
What were you born to do? process of gradually revealing your secret identity.
You may not identify with me by what you The tragedy of life is living it in secret or in fear.
perceive of me, but when you give me the fair
and sincere opportunity, I am sure we will No matter how great the mountain may appear,
discover the invisible things that define us will be approach it as a stepping stone and keep moving
revealed. forward. Reveal your secret identity and discover
what you were born to do.
When you begin to consider others beyond
yourself you also reveal your secret identity. It’s
the person you see in the mirror, the being you
can’t hide from. It’s what often goes undetected
by many with the exception of a few.
Sitting Silently Before God | Written By: Timothy Valentine
provoke | Page 4

Too often we choose to move towards the noise But when the pulpit becomes an echo of the pew
of life in order to escape sitting silently before it loses its significance, its authority, its power. We
God. all have a message to deliver. The pulpit
represents our lives as Christians. The pew
Sitting silent before God is not praying, nor is it represents the way the world sees how we live it.
reading, but opening yourself to God.
What is your message?
In the busyness of our lives we often fail to take
time to sit silently before God. We often God to When you begin to sit silently before God, the
God with our problems and not our praise. When significance of His word has authority and power
we’re quiet enough to listen through our spirit we in the pulpit of your personal and daily ministry.
can hear the voice of God speaking loudly to us.
We all our ministers whether we acknowledge or
Those who seek God often seek to ask Him for practice it or not. Some choose to be an echo in
something, whether it is a better understanding, the pew of life, insecure of witnessing to what
patience, grace, forgiveness or deliverance they know is true to the world for a more
instead of seeking what He has to tell us. When comfortable religion of conformity. Others choose
He instructs us to act we don’t listen, leaning to be the pulpit, sitting silently before God and
more to our understanding of the world instead of allowing a relevant word live through their voice,
the Word. through their gestures and actions.

One of the greatest and I believe the most under Some will tell you how great your ministry is, but
valued attribute God has given to us is the gift of it’s not wise to strive to be a great preacher, but
Choice or some may say Free Will. We have the strive to be a vessel that shows what a great
choice to believe that he’s real or not, the choice gospel it is.
to worship or not, the choice to walk by faith or
by sight. The bottom line is essentially, the choice We should all take the time to sit silently in the
is yours. presence of God.
Our Political Differences | Written By: Timothy Valentine
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The difference between Democrats and perspectives before making objections if winning
Republicans is the measure of concern towards is what's important to you. We fail to put
an issue. When each sincerely considers the ourselves into another persons shoes. This is what
perspectives of the other is when you discover is missing in politics today.
true bipartisanship and not just a political
bargain. When one tells you to pull yourself up by your
bootstraps, while the other is selling you some
The measure of partisanship we experience today new shoes. If both would just listen and realize
is hinged by multiple issues that range from that we are walking the same path, maybe we
economics to culture. can figure out how to fix the roads that tears up
our shoes. We can do this by working together. I
You can not become someone’s teacher until you know it's a foreign concept, but it's been done
first become their student. This means that in before many years ago.
order to correct something or someone you must
understand how it or they think. How it or they Inconsideration for others may excite a particular
learn. What it thinks and how it processes what it political base of support, but its foundation as a
thinks. political strategy is weak and will eventually give
way to what we are experiencing today.
You must be more willing to listen than you are to
speak. This is how you learn what to say and/or What are the differences between Democrats and
how to convey the message that you want to Republicans? Seek consideration of our political
deliver. This doesn't mean you agree with their differences for the answer.
position or understanding of the issue, but it
allows you the opportunity to demonstrate what
they may not realize or have incorporated into
their argument; consideration for others.

When you become more focused on what is true


than just being right or winning an argument you
can find the solution. Experience the other
What Could Be | Written By: Timothy Valentine
provoke | Page 6

When you hear or see


someone protesting against
someone with zeal you
must not assume, but ask
them how many people do
they personally know like
the people or person they’re
opposing and what type of
relationship is it?

Just wait for their response.

Conclusions, not
assumptions can be made
when you have data to base
it upon.

As an example we can use


race, because it’s easily
understandable to almost
everyone. This is only an
example, but there are
many others to choose from. people can be avoided and emphasized by your
We do not need to get caught up on this example words, illustrations and gestures and use of them.
alone.
The other side of it is when you generally have a
Typical situation relationship with a person, through a genuine
Two people, one Black and the other White friendship, not just an association or
discuss an issue. The White gentleman says acquaintance; you are less prone to make these
something that can be seen as racist. Understand mistakes.
that he may not of intended it to come out the
way it did, but never-the-less it is done. So the Of course, “you’re best friend may be Black” or
Black gentleman is offended and without “you use to work with a Latino” or “you use to sit
consideration reacts and calls the White beside an Asian guy in class” or “your neighbor is
gentleman a racist. This now offends the White gay” or whatever it may be. If you didn’t have a
gentleman because he sees that as an association real relationship with them, then you did not
with what he has been taught is a negative aspect relate to them because there wasn’t a
of the history of White people towards other relationship.
groups. So without consideration he reacts and
says something that makes it worse. Think about what you’re doing, before you do it
or say it or act upon it. What does it say about
So the cycle continues, all because of the lack of you?
consideration and the failure of each to relate to
each other as one beyond their circumstances If all of the people you’re around looks like you,
and history. This takes consideration beyond meaning they are all or overwhelmingly of the
themselves. Which means to not be so prone to same race, gender, religious belief, economic
react without consideration of the other person’s status, educational background or sexual
experiences and history of the relationship? orientation, then diversify yourself and your
environment. Because when you do you begin to
I speak about the relationship not just in terms of see the beauty in them and them in you.
you and that person, but in a broader context.
You don’t have to be a scholar, but to understand
the social, cultural and racial connotations of
certain characterizations towards a group of
Dealing With Life | Written By: Timothy Valentine
provoke | Page 7

What are the things you would like in your life? have not accepted or recognize its existence or
legitimacy based off of your own inconsideration.
That is not as general as it may seem, because
your life is multifaceted. So what are the things Conservative is not necessarily intended to be political in
you would like in your financial life, work life, definition, but can refer to how one can approach politics.
personal life, spiritual life, social life, etc?
Ironically, I’m taking a more liberal definition of the word
We spend far too much time defending our conservative, because I’m not confining the term to a
position, than understanding where we are, what
single point of understanding. Another way to consider this
path to take and how best to get there.
is to understand that liberal means you can be
If you are involved in a conversation or conservative, but conservative can only be conservative.
discussion with someone who seems to only be
concerned with their position and being seen or
perceived as right or are uncomfortable with your We may not always solve our problems we face,
reply of No. Then ask yourself and/or them if you but can always learn from them. To learn from a
like these questions and observe their response. problem, issue or situation takes observance and
consideration. Because in the end it isn’t what
Why are they/you so invested with being right? we did that will torment us, but what we didn’t
even try to do that will condemn us.
Do you want to cling to a conservative stance of a
position or would you rather experience the Ask yourself the question, what was I born to do?
freedom of a more liberal position? Then evaluate whether you’re doing that or not.
I’m not speaking only about your professional
When you resist what is doesn’t mean you have life, but your relationship with life itself.
not accepted or recognize it existence, but
question why it exist. To be in denial means you
provoke
THOUGHT | CONVERSATION | ACTION

I thank and appreciate all who has taken the time to read
what I have to say. You continue to be the ones who provoke
thought, conversation and action by your comments,
commentary and on occasion, criticisms.

Either way it goes, it’s always good and the reason why I
am inspired to write. Thank you.

Please share your thoughts about what is written with


whomever you feel may appreciate or gain something from
it. Also, I would welcome your feedback as well. Simply
email me at timvalentine@ymail.com or you can send me a
tweet @timvalentine.

Consider Others Beyond Yourself,

Timothy A. Valentine

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