Faith Leaders and Accountability, How?

Wellenss Wheel

Part of the faith journey is meant to get you to a place of wellness, to guide you and society.  Faith leaders are meant to set forth scripturally correct principles to get you there, to guide you on the journey.  What the heck is happening?  What’s happening is that Eden is alive and well.  People often don’t really check, study, and look to see if what they are being taught is really congruent with scripture,  For example let’s take the Sabbath, why Sunday?  The commandment is to keep the Sabbath holy, doesn’t specify Saturday, only the Sabbath.  If you look at the NT, it speaks of the New Covenant, so for those who do accept Christ, the Sabbath would naturally be Sunday, as we are basing our Sabbath on the third day after Christ rose.  There are minor things that cause differences within the Faith community of that denomination, but what if the leader is giving a seemingly green light to what is contrary to scripture, to even Constitutional truth etc..? Do you just sit, let it slide?  Do you start world war three over it?  Is it your place, or mine to correct a faith leader?  Yes it is, but it’s really important how we do it.  We must have solid scriptural truth to present, along with a logical argument to back up those passages.  This does not only apply to the church or synagogue, but to every sphere of life, even within our own relationships.  We need to be able to speak truth in agape love as much as we can, but we should aim to speak the truth when others are engaging in a path of sin, of destructiveness and such.  Again, how we do it matter, the approach matters, so meditating, and praying on the best approach in regards to that person matters.  

What we can not do for the sake of soul and society is keep silent, not when biblical truth is being trampled on by those in charge of being the gatekeepers, that includes Pope Francis, and all leaders.  When they violate the core principles of Constitution, God and Country, God and Scripture, they have to be held accountable.  As we must be held accountable, so must those in leadership.  Whether through music, the arts in general, media, different venues in very balanced and logical ways, we must let them know when they violate Scripture and Constitutional truth.


Parental Authority

Who's In Charge?.jpg

When kids or anyone sees they can push buttons, ahhh, that’s the beginning of the end.  Parents take stock and see if any or all of these things are happening in your household.  If they are, then you are setting them up for a life of negative patterns, which is not what as a parent you are supposed to do.  There are times when there are mitigating factors that have to be discerned, mental illness, and such issues, but even within those contexts, it’s important they learn positive social interaction and respect for others. How do you communicate so there is mutual respect? That’s the next posts coming up.


Tools For Dealing with Criticism, Rejection



Everyone has dealt with feelings of rejection, criticism in some form or another and often it is hard to process, and if one has had rejection in childhood, then it is like being prickled with thorns.  I came across this article and I hope it helps and gives insight.

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

Ouch! Whether it’s feedback we’ve asked for, an unsolicited remark called out from the audience or a simple “no” result of an audition or submission process, criticism and rejection are a huge part of our lives as creative artists.

Sometimes we’re so fearful of being criticized or rejected that we keep our creativity bottled up and don’t let it out.

Other times we constantly adapt what we create, focusing only on the “market” and what they seem to be liking or disliking this week. Then we end up feeling like we’re not truly expressing our creative impulses.

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

1. Be Open. You may be hoping for a specific reaction or response to your work, or a specific result of an audition, gallery submission, performance or contest entry. If you’ve done your best and you’re rejected or criticized, you might feel that you’ve “failed”, and it’s probably hard to see anything positive about the situation. Try to be open to the possibility that this “failure” is actually leading you to something else, usually better than what you thought you wanted. As I read once in Cheryl Richardson’s newsletter, “Any rejection is God’s protection”.

2. Be Consistent. Keep going, doing the little things every day that keep you creative and that keep you connected to other artists and to your customers. The dramatic moments and big wins and losses will come and go. Have a steady routine you can keep coming back to, and this will help to place any criticism or rejection into perspective. Today is a new day, another day you get to be an artist.

3. Be Focused. Keep your end goal in mind, and always be mindful of why you’re doing what you’re doing. That will help you focus on the big picture and not get tripped up by each bump in the road along the way.

4. Be Resilient. Remember that your sense of self-worth comes from inside of you. When you’re able to be confident in yourself regardless of the feedback you get from external sources, you’re able to bounce back much more easily from any negative feedback that you may get.

5. Be Positive. Focus your attention on the positive and you’ll attract more of it. This is the premise of the “law of attraction”, and I’ve certainly seen it work in my own life. Hear the positive feedback you receive and replay it over in your mind whenever you need to.

6. Be Clear. Approach constructive feedback with an accurate perspective, not muddled with thoughts from your own inner critic. Take it as a helpful tool for your own growth and remember that ultimately the only opinion that matters is your own – because you need to be happy with what you’re producing.

7. Be Grateful. Be gracious to your critics, accept all of the feedback you receive, sit quietly and let it sink in. Be grateful to be actively creating – to have gotten past the fear and other roadblocks. Be grateful for the opportunity to have your work seen and heard. Some never get the chance.

8. Be Responsive. Decide consciously what to do with feedback before responding, instead of reacting with the first thought or words that come to mind.

9. Be Selective. Once you’ve decided what to do the feedback you’ve received, be selective and willing to let go of the hurtful feedback. This usually doesn’t have anything to do with you anyway; it’s a reflection of that person’s own happiness, state of mind and comfort with themselves.

10. Be Loving. Be loving of your critic and ESPECIALLY of yourself. Plan some self-care treats for the day of the audition or submission. Regardless of the outcome, you deserve it!

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)


Doing What Needs Doing

Holy Ghost

I find that the Holy Spirit speaks often to me, gives me flash of insights as to what to do, as to possibilities for different situations etc.. and I then have one that I sense is the best option based on long term goals and keeping alignment to my faith.

I see where my parish is, am given a strong sense of what it urgently needs, and as concerned parishioner, as well as music coordinator, artist etc… I realize fundraising is the first thing we need and that well organized concerts several times a year can help with that.  We have monthly concerts, but they haven’t rendered fruit, so I decided when asked to manage them this summer, to reach out and try to find artists that would donate their time for us to do a benefit concert.  The director of the Downtown and Select Chorus at BMCC reached out and offered to put on a concert, show for us and provided dates in August they were available, the 9th and now has offered the 16th.  I am not the producer, and not the program director, so I knew I had to have him okay it and all that so I presented the first date option, but no response back, and to hire artists, well the cost is not not feasible.  Frustrated I reached out to the Downtown Chorus director again to ask if there was any other date and they presented now the 16th of August as an option.  This is where the taking the bull by the horns comes in, and where I had to decide that priority was what the parish, what the church needed and I had to go ahead and say yes.  I explained in a message to the producer why I did so, how it would be nuts and foolish to turn down this offer, that they would be long term partners we could work with artistically.  

I realize this could create friction, they might feel I am being pushy, but that’s not it, not about being pushy.  It’s about seeing what need to happen for the sake of the organization, the greater good, doing it, even if it means people are temporarily pissed off at me.  I can only pray that they realize I did was done for the sake of the big picture.  I care very deeply for my Catholic faith and Italian cultural heritage, for this parish, so when this opportunity came up to do something that could benefit it, I had to grab hold of it, couldn’t wait around for endless contemplation before deciding, I had to act and act fast.  Is this something I want to see repeated where I have to make these snap grab hold decisions and repeated often? No, but I also am determined to help save this parish, so if that means I have to push a bit, make in the moment decisions all that jazz, then I will.  If that is what the Spirit leads me to do, then so be it.  If that means people are temporarily pissed, okay.  As long as I am doing what the Holy Spirit is guiding me to then that is what matters most.  I am taking the bull by the horns, organizing benefit concerts, High Mass, whatever it takes in the context of the liturgy and such to make this church thrive, share the beauty of the faith.  All I can do is pray it is understood in that way, context, not in any way as me trying to be pushy or anything like that.


Glimpse of Beauty In Midst of Darkness

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Life and Liberty, God Bless America
The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

A cup of coffee and a snack paid for, then someone comes up short at the supermarket by 87 cents, and it’s taken care of.  Prior to that a weekend spent with a dear friend and her lovely daughter who is now just starting to walk, and tomorrow Mass, then time with lovely people and someone I feel beautifully connected and hope the connection really grows socially, in deep friendship and professionally.

I went to my alma, where I can use the library, computers, less wear and tear on mine, and they have lots more gig space I went in to get a cup of coffee, a snack and the student next in line says “I got it, have a great day”  I thanked him and he said with a smile “no worries, all good”.  Then when I went to the supermarket the lady in front of me realized she was short 87 cents after she got the bill and I recalled the act of kindness from that student, so I took care of the 87 cents and it felt really good.  It felt good to do something good for someone, be a positive force in society in that moment in time.  This weekend I got to spend it with a dear friend who brought her daughter, recently turned one and when it was time to go, the kid was crying not wanting to leave, to get into her stroller, but I got her calmed and smiling.  That child playing with me and the joy she brought out in me was a gift, great gift.   Tomorrow I go to church and then spend time with some wonderful seniors, great ladies and see a person I hope to build a great, awesome life long relationship with creatively, professionally and a really solid deep friendship, organically developing.  I felt so in synch and at home with him the moment we connected and that is a lovely thing in any kind of relationship, and of course if one is going to work with another in any significant way on any project I firmly believe in getting to know each other inside out, especially any creative and spiritual projects.  As I look back on these past few days and look to tomorrow, any darkness in this world is muted by the beauty of was occurred these past few days and the lovely day I hope to have tomorrow.  This is just one of many lovely moments the present and future give, provide, so whatever happened in the past, in my childhood, whatever crap goes on, sadness has been thrown at me and I may have naturally as an empath, and from just wearing my heart on my sleeves etc… when I reach out and no one reaches back, it can’t take away from the beautiful moments.  

Does this mean that I don’t see the dark clouds, or I ignore them, or have a pollyanna outlook, or attitude about life? No, not my style, not the grown up me, which is not so bad, this grown up thing, actually facing your stuff, inner demons etc…and thus being able to live a life of peace, yet joy and beauty, not having to be a honeybee to experience and understand life.  Aristotle was wise in that he understood that if you observe nature, you can pretty much figure out and understand life because nature mirrors what is life, humanity, relationships at different times and even different kinds of relationships, positive and negative ones. I can just observe nature and learn a lot of what there is to learn about God, life, and like the sun that peeks out through the clouds I can get those beautiful moment glimpses, particular ones that just really grab me, make me smile, beam and my heart skip a beat for two for good reasons.  

I hope that you will also have beautiful moments, understand and experience life without feeling the need to be a buzzing bee here there all over the place, but be very focused and let nature itself be the greatest teacher to understand life and people, as you focus on your one true path.  May you have that true twinflame soulmate to make the journey with you, that is also my wish for you.


What’s Needed To “Take Charge”?

Life and Liberty, God Bless America
The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.


A lighthouse is a beacon, a clear signal in the dark, in the storm, can’t miss it, can’t mistake it for anything else, so it is a perfect symbol I think for a leader, in any capacity.  Having said that, lets make one thing clear, the beacon won’t save you magically from the storms etc…, and to have a pollyanna unrealistic give everyone around you acid reflux optimism ignoring and avoiding the fact that there are incoming storms for present storms, not dealing with them head on is well, OYYYYYYYY!  Don’t do that!  Now that we have rid you of that, we can discuss what take charge leadership entails either on a larger scale or even within a singular project one is involved with.

There are a few key points to look at and they are as follows.  One key element is communications, particularly of the vision, the mission and goals.  these have to regularly be spelled out and everyone needs to be on the same page, and if there are those who simply won’t be on board then this is not the place for them, best they find elsewhere to be.  It may seem harsh, but a cohesive vision with everyone on the same page for the success of the organization etc.. is crucial.  Those within the team have to able to have problem solving skills and ability, so if anyone in the group sees anything that is not working, they have to be able to bring that to the attention of the group, including the leader and that crack be fixed for the success of the organization etc…, action has to be taken, the leader has to be willing to take action.  Feedback needs to be balanced, so while praising what works is okay, false constant praise and not relaying what has been presented by customers or an audience, fans that ticks them off is not okay.  That also has to be presented and in a way that is not mean or anything like that.  If the group or the parties involved refuse to hear it or make changes then the leader has to issue some tough love whatever that tough love needs to be.  This is where the leadership part is not always fun and why say about the pollyanna thing “DON’T DO THAT!!!!!!”  If you do, you won’t be able to deal with any of this stuff and if you have a “the whole world must love me, like me” thing also a problem.  No, the whole world mustn’t love you or like you, respect you, your gifts, talents etc.. recognize them, okay, sure, I’ll give you that.  As for everyone must love and like you, no.  As I used to tell my students when I taught ESL in college even with their own kids to let their kids know even though they were parent and child they could love each other, but they didn’t always have to like each other and that was perfectly fine, so long as they respected each other and everything was perfectly clear.  There are those who don’t want conflict, ever, literally, and would like to go through life totally conflict free, very pollyanna, but not very realistic in the grown up world, unfortunately.  The issue is not conflict, but whether as a leader you address it, confront it, deal with it, and how.  This is why for example if you are leading any kind of ministry or if you have any kind of a faith based group or organization it is a good idea to start things off with prayer, for wisdom of the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Holy Spirit, strength to address all issues fairly and in wisdom. Often when people don’t want to deal with an issue or confront it, they will hint and hope it deals with itself, which it won’t and things will just get worse, but the pollyanna view just thinks that things will magically get better just by hoping and thinking it will, which it won’t of course.  I am a firm believer in prayer, but we also have to do our part as well.

Leading, taking charge require a combined dose of optimism, but also realism, and sometimes confrontation, tough love, all this, which can make people uncomfortable, but if you are focused on doing what you are meant to do and what the Holy Spirit means you to do and really have discerned it is the call of the Spirit guiding you then you proceed and it may not be all smooth sailing and you have to be ready for that, and for some to abandon ship, to escort some off the ship.  Leadership is not always comfortable, and like I said if you have a pollyanna, avoidance of any conflict, have to like me everybody  tendency, well “Don’t Do That!!”  Lead, guided by the Spirit, a very cohesive, firm, concrete vision etc.., conveyed and those who refuse to be on board with it, well their loss and they just won’t be a part of it. Pray for them.