Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Love You...

If any of you have read my book Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening, you are already well-aware of how I believe "3" is God's number. Therefore, it should come as no great surprise when I say the most powerful words we can speak to someone else--or even ourselves--are the three words, "I love you."

I must confess that I was a stranger to these words until my third year at Longwood College. I can still remember sitting in the dinning hall and then finding out a friend had just lost her mother. Just a few days later, I then heard that she had lost her dad. This news totally devastated me and forced me to begin to evaluate my own mortality and the inevitability of the death of my parents. And to the lovely lady who may be reading this and you know that this is your tragedy; please know that it was your pain that led to my awakening.

I was so overcome with emotion after hearing this series of terrible events that I called my mom--with tears in my eyes--to let her know how much I loved her despite never having told her. You see, although I had felt love growing up, my parents were never really affectionate to each other  so exchanges of "I love you" were not commonplace around the house. However, during this single phone call I made sure mom received a lifetime payment of "I love you," with interest. In fact, as soon as I returned home during break, I made the point of lining-up my entire family and telling each one of them how much I loved them. From that point forward, "I love you" became a norm around the Hackley house and whenever we parted ways, it was the final words exchanged.

Unfortunately, not everyone believes  in the sanctity of these words and carelessly toss them around with reckless abandon. One of the most important lessons that I try to reinforce with my 6-yr-old daughter is that we should "love" people and "like" things. Somewhere along the way our great Nation began to embrace the concept of "material realism" and we began to worship things at the expense of others. Everyone seems to be in pursuit of a bigger house, bigger job, bigger car, and bigger paychecks. However, very few are in pursuit of a bigger relationship with God.

The next time we let the words "I love you" pass through our lips, let's mean it. Love is God's currency so if we choose to spend it foolishly, it should come as no surprise when we find ourselves spiritually bankrupt.

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How to Avoid Gaining All of That Weight Back...and Then Some.

You've probably heard the statistic that 95% of all dieters eventually gain their weight back. Has this happened to you? The key to getting the weight off and keeping it off is a complete change of mind. 

It’s very important that you begin to live your life as if each day is your last day on earth. Now that doesn’t mean that you have to fly to Vegas and rent a Ferrari to start checking things off your bucket list. But it does mean that it’s time to finally put all of the information that you’ve amassed into action. It’s no longer acceptable to know it all and not be a doer. Your tomorrow begins now!

Step #1: Make the Decision

In anything we choose to do, taking the first step is the most important step. You simply have to make the conscious decision to improve your existing life. By now, I hope that some seeds of change have landed in the fertile ground of your soul. Perhaps, you’ve already thought about beginning on this journey by watching what you eat or drink. Perhaps you’ve recently decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Perhaps you’ve opened up your Bible to investigate some of the verses that have been referenced herein. If you’ve done anything to put your life on a new path in the last 21 days, congratulations! If not, continue to nurture the seeds that have already been sown, so that one day soon you will be convicted to make the decision to begin a journey that will lead you in a new direction you could have never imagined. Whatever you decide, make the decision not to be the same person doing the same things.

Step #2: Be Accountable

When you make the decision to begin your journey, I strongly encourage you to tell someone immediately. Why? Your decision will hold you accountable for your future actions or lack thereof. Tell your spouse, children, best-friend, cousin, co-workers, and even your online social networking posse. Tell them you are about to embark on a journey that will change your life, those around you, and how you would appreciate their encouragement, support and prayer. It is these same people that may offer just the right thing during a moment of weakness or a fleeting instance when the comfort of your past becomes more attractive that the benefits of your future. Be accountable.

Step #3: Clean House

One of the first things you need to do immediately after you tell folks of your new direction is to remove the things from your life that may derail your plans. This includes unhealthy things in the refrigerator, pantry, cupboard and shelves, as well as negative people and places you used to visit. If food is your kryptonite, perhaps you’ll need to forego buffets until your “will power” becomes “won’t power.”  If you dread seeing a certain friend’s name pop-up on the caller ID, let them know you will be taking some “me time” for a bit and will talk to them again when you are in a different state of mind. If going to the clubs make you feel even lonelier than staying at home, simply stay at home. Be it people, places, or things; it’s time to clean house before the vomit in your past life begins to look more attractive than ever.

Step #4: Find a Place to Work out, Meditate and Worship

As we discussed earlier, the only thing you really need in order to improve your life is a dedicated mind. Find a place in your home to exercise, meditate, and pray on a regular basis. I strongly encourage you to find a place with like-minded individuals that you can worship with because there’s truly strength in numbers when it comes to prayer. If you simply aren’t disciplined enough to work out at home, join a gym. But when it comes to meditation, all you need to do is find a quiet place where you can quiet your mind.

Step #5: Schedule It

Once you’ve found a place you can dedicate to improving body, mind, and spirit it’s important to schedule it on your weekly list of things you “have to” accomplish. Just like those things your spouse or boss (in my case they are one in the same) expect you to accomplish, these are the things that you also have to prioritize each week. Sundays (the Sabbath) are best reserved for rest and worship. You have to figure out if exercising in the a.m., p.m., or midday works best with your schedule. Meditation is best reserved for the beginning of the day or at the end of the day to minimize the mental distractions that are apt to occur. It’s very difficult to quiet your mind when battling thoughts of either what you’ve just finished doing or what you intend to do once meditation is over.

Step #6: Do It

Now comes the moment of truth. You’ve told folks about your plans and found a place to perform your plan, so now it’s just a matter of doing it. Don’t let the moment of truth overwhelm you into rationalizing why “it’s best to begin tomorrow.” Like the restaurants that have the signs posted, “Free food available tomorrow,” you’ll quickly find that tomorrow simply becomes the next day and the next day, until you finally realize that your dream has been deferred and withered like a raisin in the sun. (Shout-out to Brother Langston Hughes! Roooo!)

Step #7: Enjoy It

At the end of your 1st month you will begin to notice changes in your life. Your clothes may be fitting a bit looser, or you’re not as anxious or as short-tempered. And perhaps you’ve now included some new positive people in your life to replace the negative individuals you were forced to nix. Stop and enjoy your success. It feels great when folks compliment you; it feels wonderful when folks notice your light shining within. Allow your soul to feed off this success and be assured in knowing that the best is yet to come!

 Step #8: Maintain It

Now here is the tricky part. Escaping the gravitational pull of the past can be a Herculean task, if we allow it to be. You’re seeing results; others are confirming your success, so why would you let off the gas and coast backwards towards the starting line? Don’t fall for it!! Satan uses your past to keep you in bondage, so it’s important to stay prayed-up so you can concentrate on your bright future. Satan will remind you of all the past diets you tried and how you always ended up gaining the weight back, and then some. Don’t fall for it! Satan will whisper in your ears that you were wrong for nixing certain people out of your life who were detrimental to your success, but don’t fall for it!

   Whatever you did to get where you are is what you’ll have to continue to do to get where you need to be.

Step #9: Become an Evangelist

Even before you’re 100% convinced that there’s no going back to the old you, your success and testimony will make you an ambassador for change. Others will begin to ask “what’s your secret?” and you’ll get to see how their faces change when you respond, “God.” Please don’t fall into Satan’s trap by thinking that you alone are responsible for your success. Others have been planting seeds in your life for years so you can never truthfully take all of the credit. First give honor to God and then to your support network that kept you on the correct path. Tell the folks at work, your friends, your relatives—anyone who knew the old you will be inspired by your transformation. And perhaps I’ll be able to read about your journey one day when you become inspired to finally write that book that’s been steeping within.

“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” ~ Ephesians 4:1

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

The Art of Meditation

I spent the last week down at Virginia Beach and Jekyll Island, Ga. with my family and had an absolute BLAST!   The first two days I got-up around 5:30 a.m. and simply sat on the beach meditating with and without my new found mala (prayer/meditation) beads. The sounds of the crashing waves and hungry seagulls allowed me to slip into such a peaceful state that lasted the entire vacation.

As you already know, it’s not easy to control your mind. It’s like a balloon in the wind–blown here and there by external circumstances. When things go well, your mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind and become less tethered to the fluctuations of our moods that rise and fall as the result of external situations. We are like my daughter Landon building a sandcastle who is very excited when she makes the first turret, but becomes upset when it is destroyed by the incoming tide or others on the beach making their way to the ocean. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the tides of life or others trampling on our dreams. Gradually, we will develop a mental equilibrium of a balanced mind that is happy, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency.

   Meditation is the art of silencing your mind. When the mind is silent, concentration is increased, and we experience inner peace in the midst of worldly turmoil. This elusive inner peace is what attracts so many people to meditation and is a quality everyone can benefit from. If we train in meditation systematically, eventually we will be able to eradicate from our mind the delusions that cause our problems and suffering. In this way, we will come to experience a permanent inner peace.

   The one challenge that everyone faces when beginning to meditate is simply giving up. Silencing your mind will not be an easy task, but don’t give up. We’ve all grown so accustomed to the chaos and useless chatter that clutters our mind, that any attempt to achieve mental tranquility will seem foreign. If you tell yourself you’re going to meditate for 15-20 minutes then that is what you should do. Don’t become frustrated when thoughts run through your mind. Don‘t sweat it when you begin to notice strange sounds in your house that you’ve never heard before. Your greatest initial success will come from not quitting. It is on the back of this triumph that you will continue to make the healthy lifestyle strides that you’ve never even imagined. Don’t quit!!! And before you know it, you’ll be meditating.

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

I try to meditate several times a week for at least 15-20 minutes and truly enjoy it. It may seem strange, but I feel happiest when sitting in perfect silence. The experience is difficult to express in words but is akin to the “peace that passeth all understanding.” It is also true that every meditation is not the same. Sometimes it is a struggle to control the mind, while at other times it feels effortless. Although this section will focus on the more traditional form of meditation, I’ve also come to discover that running, working in the lawn and pruning the rose bushes are also valuable forms of meditation. How do you meditate?
These are some of the benefits of meditation:

Ø   Improved Concentration – A clear mind makes us more productive, especially in creative disciplines like writing.

Ø   Less Sweating the Little Things – Do you sometimes allow yourself to get upset by little things? It is the nature of the mind to magnify small things into serious problems. Meditation helps us detach. Eventually we’ll learn to live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future. We will not worry about meaningless things, but see the bigger picture.

Ø   Improved Health – There have been numerous studies pointing to the health benefits of meditation. The reason is that meditation reduces stress levels and alleviates anxiety. Stress is often at the center of many of our emotional and health issues.

Ø   Knowledge of Self – Meditation enables us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self. Through meditation we can gain a better understanding of our life’s purpose.

Is Meditation Religious?

The great thing about meditation is that our philosophy/religious belief is not important. Meditation is about consciousness. The beliefs of the mind become trivial. We dive deep into the heart of the matter to gain access to our soul–our inner reality. Therefore, meditation is practiced by people of different religions or no religion. This is the one thing that I truly appreciate about Buddhism. In fact, I truly believe that Jesus was a Buddhist in practice, but reject all the highly speculative Internet rumors that He traveled to India during the “Lost Years” from age 12-30.

Don’t Have Time to Meditate?

Many people like the idea of meditation, but feel they don’t have enough time. When we really want to do something, we can find time. Get up earlier or watch 30 fewer minutes of TV. Meditation requires an investment of time, but clearing the mind makes the rest of the day more productive. Nothing is better than the feeling of inner peace. What is the point in being tremendously busy but unable to enjoy it? Meditation is not about retreating from the world; it gives us inspiration. Whatever we do, if we have peace of mind, our work will be more enjoyable and productive. Remember, time is really all we have. It’s solely up to you to decide how you will use it.

How to Meditate

Like anything worthwhile, meditation requires practice. To get the most from meditation you need to do it daily. This requires a place and time where you will not be disturbed.

1.        Sit with a straight back. Don’t try to meditate lying down because you are likely to fall asleep. Meditation brings relaxation and peace, but at the same time this is a dynamic peace. Meditation is quite different than the relaxation of sleep. When you really meditate, you are fully alert and conscious. Your sense of awareness is heightened. Afterwards you may have a positive feeling for the world and a renewed sense of dynamism (a theory that all phenomena can be explained as manifestations of force).

2.        Don’t eat before meditating. After a heavy meal your body will be lethargic with digestion and this could make you sleepy instead of alert.

3.        It is not necessary to meditate in the lotus posture. It is fine to meditate in a chair, as long as the back is straight.

4.        Since there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice hot shower, it may be helpful to take one just prior to meditating.

5.        Despite what you may have seen in the television series Kung Fu, burning incense and having a candle are not necessary, but they can add a little extra inspiration.

6.        It is good to meditate early in the morning to set the pace for the remainder of your day. Like exercise, it’s better that you fit the 15-20 minutes into your day whenever you can accomplish steps 1-5. 

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

Friday, August 3, 2012

Important Dates in the History of Abrahamic Religions and Buddhism

You may have noticed that “A.D.” and “B.C.” have seemingly gone the way of the dodo bird and now “C.E” (Common Era) and “B.C.E” (Before Common Era) are used more prevalently.
Those of us who have so much gray hair that folks often think we just beheld a “Burning Bush”, (Umm…not George W. but the Charlton Heston kind) may recall that abbreviations used to be A.D. for "Anno Domini" (the year of our Lord), and B.C. for “Before Christ.”  Jesus is believed to have been born in A.D. 0 and as an example: You are currently reading this guide sometime after A.D. 2011.

The abbreviations were changed from A.D. and B.C. to C.E. and B.C.E. to make them more politically correct (as not everyone believes in Jesus). However, in my humble opinion, political correctness is often quite incorrect.

Note: A.D. appears before the numerical date as opposed to B.C. which appears after the date.


c. 2000 ­­ –  Abraham, founder of Judaism, is alive.

c. 13th century  –  Moses, Hebrew lawgiver, is alive.

c. 563 - c. 483  –  Buddha, founder of Buddhism, is alive.


A.D. 0  –  Jesus Christ is born.

33  –  The Crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

c. 70 - c. 100  –  First four books of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - are written.

325 – The Council of Nicea established and defined the Trinity across the early Christian church.

c. 570 - 632  –  Muhammad the prophet - whose teachings, recorded in the Qur’an, form the basis of Islam - is alive.

622  –  Muhammad flees persecution in Mecca and settles in Yathrib (later Medina); the first day of the lunar year in which this event, known as the Hegira, takes place marks the start of the Muslim era.

1054  –  Catholic Pope Leo IX condemns the patriarch of Constantinople, finalizing the split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

1309 - 77  –  The Roman Catholic papacy is seated in Avignon, France.

1483 - 1546  –  Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and author of 95 Theses (1517) is alive.

1620  –  Plymouth Colony in North America is founded in December by 102 English Puritan separatists, known as Pilgrims.

1703 - 91  –  John Wesley, English founder of the Protestant movement that later became the Methodist Church, is alive.

1869 - 70  –  The first Roman Catholic Vatican Council, at which the dogma of papal infallibility is promulgated, is convened by Pope Pius IX.

1933 - 45  –  The systematic persecution and attempted extermination of European Jews, known as the Holocaust, by Adolf Hitler's Nazi party takes place.

1948  –  The independent Jewish state of Israel is declared.

2011 – President Obama supports the establishment of a separate Palestinian state and expects all parties to honor the original boundaries that were established.

(c) = circa/around

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

Science vs. Religion

Back in the day, the 18th century mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace wrote a highly successful book on celestial mechanics that became so popular, he was summoned to the royal palace of Emperor Napoleon. Napoleon is rumored to have asked, “Monsieur Laplace, you have not mentioned God in your book even once. Why is that”? (You see, back in those days, proper protocol dictated that God be cited a few times in any book that really mattered. Not a bad idea…) Laplace’s classic response was, “Your majesty, I have not needed that particular hypothesis.” In Laplace’s newly emerging Newtonian universe, God was simply no longer needed. Even today, it still appears that we rely on scientists to tell us what’s “real.”

   When Sir Isaac Newton popped on the scene in 1665, he truly changed the world. If you spent your Saturday mornings in the early ‘80s, plopped in front of a television with a big bowl of Honeycomb cereal like I did, I’m sure you are already aware of how the School House Rock episodes depicted Newton discovering gravity. There are many variations of the popular story that Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell and bopped him on his head. Suddenly, the Universal Law of Gravitation was born. However, I submit that apple also helped to usher God out of humanity and science, and those who understood it became the new gods. Newton went on to revolutionize science and along with James Clark Maxwell is responsible for the classic understanding of physics and how all, so it was thought, worked and could be explained. Prior to Newton, the unexplained was often attributed as simply an act of God. Now, everything could be explained with a Newtonian-Maxwellian equation.

   Following Newton, the next 400 years of science was largely built on the notion that everything was based upon matter. Matter is anything that can be touched physically. Everything in the universe (except energy) is made of matter, and, so, everything in the universe is made of atoms. Therefore, an atom is a fundamental piece of matter. As a refresher, atoms combine to make molecules, and molecules combine to make matter. Therefore, Newtonian Laws were used to explain how everything worked down to the atomic level. However!!

   Nearly 60 years ago scientists discovered that the atom could also be divided into subatomic particles consisting of a nucleus (neutron & proton) and an electron. So there you have it! Even at the subatomic level God provided a Trinitarian clue for man to discover once he was mature enough to better understand. Unfortunately, the old Newtonian ways of explaining things failed to hold up at this level and therefore ushered in a whole new level of science known as quantum physics.

***Sidebar***This is where my wife just told me that I need to simplify things and say that in the beginning God was used to explain natural phenomena until Newton and Maxwell began to gain popularity. During this time, God was explained away by classical physics until the ”unexplainable” field of quantum physics emerged where man could no longer explain what was happening at the sub atomic level. The only logical conclusion was God; despite man’s desperate attempt to understand leptons and quarks (lowest subatomic particles discovered by man.) Thank God for wives! *************

   Now, I don’t want to bore or go all egghead on you, but it is in the field of quantum physics where the metaphysical is now being explored. Quantum physics shows us that objects are really represented as waves, instead of discrete combinations of molecules found in one place at any given time. However, we understand that waves, like sound, can be at two (or more) places at the same time.


We interrupt your normally scheduled program to bring you the following SPECIAL report…

   The quantum physics “objects are represented as a wave” concept that I just mentioned is very important for you to understand. Think back to your 4th of July celebration where you and your family sat in comfy lawn chairs watching sky-rockets explode in the air. Next to the brilliant colors, you may also recall how everyone in your party not only watched the fireworks explode but you all heard them explode as well. Each rocket that exploded was heard by everyone next to you as well as folks a few hundred yards away. Why? Because sound travels as a wave and can be multiple places at the same time like in the ears of all who heard the sky-rocket explode.
Here’s the kicker!

Your spirit is like that sound wave and exists in multiple places at the same time.

   Once this thought fully begins to sink into your soul (mind), perhaps you will begin to see the potential of strengthening your spirit so it you can perform feats like never before imagined. Miracles like Jesus!!

   Have you ever wondered how is it that mothers can possess the uncanny ability to simply “feel” that something is wrong with their children? What about that déjà-vu feeling that you’ve either seen or did something before? What about the stories of folks who recall remarkable details of places or events that happened before they were even born? Many people simply dismiss these things as “metaphysical anomalies” that can’t really be understood or explained. This is the power of consciousness, the power of your spirit.

   When we observe a quantum object, we collapse the wave into being at a single point, where we observed it. Certainly, the objects couldn’t be in two or more places at the same time. Now I know this may read like a bunch of techno-babble but bear with me. Radical concepts of time travel, telekinesis, extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance, and their trans-temporal operation as precognition or retro cognition—even that strange intuitive sixth sense, are examples of quantum physics in action. This is about as far down the quantum physics rabbit hole as I think we should venture, but the bottom line is that we now know that something is happening at the subatomic neutron, proton & electron level but man has no idea what it is. Many have begun to label it “consciousness,” but I see it more as simply God’s domain where only a few are allowed to access via the supernatural gifts that He has blessed us with.

**I now return you to your normally scheduled program already in progress**

   In the Newtonian realm of matter, it seems like man’s only desire had become how could he possess it in all forms and as much of it as possible. This is now known as “material realism” where God has been replaced by our pursuit for bigger cars, bigger homes, bigger careers and even bigger bank accounts…so we can do what? Now that the world is beginning to understand that consciousness is the basis of everything instead of matter, will this spark a paradigm shift away from materialism into monistic idealism? Monistic idealism is the antithesis of material realism and is best described as the basis of all being. In other words, atoms, neutrons, protons and electrons are all made of consciousness and not vice versa.

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What an Incredible Day in the History of Loudoun County, and I Almost Missed It….

Earlier this week I received a call from my pastor, Michelle Thomas, letting me know that she had been selected to deliver the invocation during an upcoming rally featuring President Barack Obama.  Even more, she had scored a VIP ticket for me to attend this event with her.  Although I was elated that she had been selected for such an honor, I was not really bothered about enduring the heat and hassle that would come along with seeing the most powerful man in the world. Therefore, I told Pastor Michelle that I was happy for her and would be praying for success—from home.

I really didn’t think much more about it until I got up this morning and headed to the gym to get my a.m. workout on.  About 20-minutes into my rowing routine, the Holy Spirit whispered to me “It’s really not about you; it’s about showing support for your friend and witnessing history.”  Shortly after this epiphany, I phoned Pastor Michelle to let her know what I had now realized and to see if she still had a VIP Willy Wonka ticket with my name on it. After hearing that I had FINALLY come to my senses, she told me that she would call me back in few minutes after she did some wheeling-and-dealing. Glory be to God, when she called me back a few moments later, I was informed that I really wouldn’t need a ticket; because, I would be traveling in the SUV with her family and would simply be waived thru by security. (Can somebody say favor?!?!)

Later that evening…

So there I am being ushered into the event with Pastor Michelle and her family (P-Diddy style) and seated in an area that was so close to the stage that even me with my Blind Mellow Jelly vision ("I want my daddy's records back!"), I could clearly see the POTUS and was even close enough to see that even on a 90+ degree hot August day in a state that not too long ago was lynching folks who looked like the President, this brother was just too dang cool to sweat.

During the invocation Pastor Michelle truly invoked the Holy Spirit and left the crowd awed and amazed.  However, what was even more amazing is that this young Black female pastor of a 6-yr-old church that barely has a congregation of about 50 members, had been able to land such an honor. This was truly a re-hash of the story of King David!

Needless to say, the evening was absolutely AMAZING and now my 6-yr-old daughter Landon can tell folks for the rest of her life that she got a chance to see the FIRST Black President of the United States of America just before he was re-elected for a SECOND term! God is GOOD!

The lifelong lessons learned from today’s experience were:

·         If you travel with those who are anointed and have favor, some of it can spill over on you.

·         Always take the time to support those around you who took the time to share the good news about their blessings with you.

·         It doesn’t matter how big your church is; it only matters how big your faith is.

·         Man looks at the outside appearance of a person, place or thing. God only looks at the inside.

·         Faith indeed has a voice during the historic 2012 election. Will you make yours heard?

About the Author:
 James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and


If you know that God is with you and will never fail you, then you always have every reason to smile. However, depression is much more common than we can even imagine. In the United States, more than 19 million people suffer from depression, and it is the #1 cause of disability in the world. So what causes it? The best answer is many things. The contributing factors vary substantially from one person to the next. To start, biology matters–there can be genetic and neurochemical (an organic molecule, such as serotonin, dopamine, or nerve growth factor that participates in neural activity) factors that play a role in the onset and course of depression. The misconception many people have, though, is that you have a neurochemical anomaly and then depression results.

   Feeling hopeless and helpless is part of the disorder; therefore, depressed people are prone to believe there is nothing they can do to help themselves. Those are lies that Satan whispers. When people educate themselves and take proactive and deliberate steps to get help, the probability of overcoming depression is high.

   If we were to completely ignore the disempowering interpretations others offer about the meaning of our depression and focus on learning what our particular risk factors and vulnerabilities are, then learning the strategies we'll need for skillfully managing our mood can develop. Even when depression eventually lifts, we’ll need to manage our mood with self-awareness and skill. It's a life skill everyone needs, not just those prone to depression. In these uncertain times, the winds of change blow in all directions.

   Therapy can be of great help and should feature somewhere in our plans to overcome our depression. We can't effectively treat ourselves when we don't know much about what we're up against. So remember, depression can be treated, and we can feel better. Mental health experts say that most people who have depression–80% or more–can feel better when they receive treatment. Many see some improvement in their symptoms as soon as 4-6 weeks after starting treatment.

   People with depression often struggle with more emotional issues than depression alone. Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand, and stress can also challenge your emotional health. When anxiety and stress build up, they can affect your depression symptoms and make them more difficult to manage. Some simple relaxation techniques may help you escape your stress and anxiety, as well as better manage your depression.

How Relaxation Helps Depression

Caring for all aspects of your emotional health is important for managing depression, and that means easing stress and anxiety, too. A daily dose of relaxation may be just what the doctor ordered. Relaxation can help just about anybody. Anxiety, which is common in people who have depression, can make people feel tense. The anxiety can be severe and may even lead to panic attacks.

   Certainly when someone is depressed, much of their outlook is negative. Relaxation techniques can help with that; they can bring people down a notch so that they're not so anxious or negative. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, massage, and exercise can also release endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that relieve pain and are thought to elevate your mood.

   These techniques may even help prevent depression in some people. Environmental stress can trigger depressive episodes, so if you have a genetic predisposition to depression and you go through a stressful time, you are more likely to have a depressive episode. Learning how to control your stress levels may help prevent depressive episodes.

Relaxation Techniques for Depression

Which relaxation techniques will be most effective for improving emotional health depends on the person. My wife Angela finds a massage or pedicure to be calming, while those activities could actually cause stress for someone who doesn’t enjoy them. Your relaxation technique doesn’t have to be complicated–anything that makes you unwind and feel good will benefit your emotional health.

   Here are some relaxation techniques known to help ease depression and anxiety. Try the ones that appeal to you, and discover which ones deliver the most stress relief.

Ø  Deep Breathing. Deep, slow breathing can help release anxiety and relax from head to toe. Try it at set times throughout the day or whenever you feel stress building. Combine deep breathing with meditation for even greater relaxation, stress relief, and focus.

Ø  Exercise. This is a great relaxation technique and it offers great physical health benefits, too. Yoga is a particularly beneficial therapy because it focuses on meditation, balance, deep breathing, and relaxation all at the same time.

Ø  Surround Yourself With Scents. Some people find certain pleasant aromas very relaxing. Known as aromatherapy, this technique can be as simple as lighting a candle scented with a favorite fragrance.

Ø  Take a Mental Vacation. Called visual or guided imagery, this relaxation technique uses your imagination to carry yourself away from daily stress. Picture yourself in a serene, peaceful place that makes you happy. Take time to experience all the sensations in your mind.

Ø  Warm up. Treat yourself to a long, luxurious soak in a bubble bath or lose yourself in the steam of a hot shower. Even sip a cup of hot green tea or rosehip tea.

Ø  Scribble out Your Stress. If something's bothering you and you just need to get it off your chest, a diary or journal can be your best friend. Take a few moments each day–or any time you feel down or stressed–to write about your fears, concerns, or frustrations. Writing this guide has been an excellent form of therapy for me and I truly hope God blesses me with another opportunity to share something more with you.

   Everyone's idea of relaxation is different. It doesn't matter what you do to relieve stress as long as it helps you feel better. Make time each day for a short respite, something that you look forward to that will leave you feeling more hopeful as you face the rest of your day.

About the Author:
 James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va., and his latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

God’s Way of Thinking

When we examine the world’s most popular monotheistic religions and philosophy, we can easily see that we are all exhorted not to conform to this world's way of thinking, but to be transformed by God's way of thinking. Buddhism is not a religion and therefore does not promote the Word of God. However, a key component of this philosophy is that by conforming to the world we inherit its many issues, problems and subsequent suffering. Understand that "the world" is not just a euphemism for trash or a list of taboos. The world is basically a system of values which is contrary to the biblical set of values (Torah, Bible and Qur’an) that has been laid out for all of the Abrahamic practitioners to adhere to in their respective faiths.

   Let’s be clear—we are currently in the situation that we’ve been in our entire life because of our own way of thinking. The only way to break this cycle of missed potential and faded dreams is to submit our will to God’s way of thinking. Our thought patterns must be brought under the control of the Divine value system. For example, the world says that if we want to be great, then get to the top...go for number one. God says that if we want to be truly great, then "serve one another."  Are you conformed to the world's system of values or transformed by God's set of values? Do you serve others or manipulate others? What is your real motive for wanting a leadership position? We can see how easy it is for “Children of God” to operate on the basis of worldly standards rather than Biblical standards. You may not have a problem with drinking or drugs, but you are still worldly if you are trying to be great by some means other than serving God and one another. This is just one example which points out how polar opposite the world's value system is from God's value system.

   God also demands that we master our preoccupations. Immoral and selfish thoughts must be brought under control just like Klingons and Romulans who seek to disrupt the Federation. Truth be known, it’s almost impossible for us to keep detrimental and negative thoughts from running through our minds like a ‘70s streaker. However, we can prevent ourselves from being preoccupied with such thoughts. As Martin Luther (Not “Martin Luther “The King”…in my best Coming to America barber shop scene voice) said many years ago, "We cannot keep the birds of the air from flying over our head, but we can keep them from building nests in our hair!"  This is one of the benefits that I learned from meditation. We simply acknowledge the random thoughts that may enter our minds but not dwell on them.

   We can stop fantasizing about the things we really know we shouldn’t even be thinking about immediately upon recognizing that we are doing such. Or stop watching certain movies, television shows or listening to certain radio programs that put us in a frame of mind that we are trying to avoid. In today’s society, we can certainly control the Internet sites and groups we frequent. In short, we can prevent our minds from becoming preoccupied with thoughts that are not honoring God or ending suffering for ourselves and others. We can control a lot of what goes into our minds and we can certainly control the preoccupations of our minds. Let’s no longer allow harmful thoughts to take control of our thought life. I’m sure if you are in a relationship, you are beginning to think, “Wow, what harm can my private thoughts do? I’m not going to act on them.” You already know the answer to that question better than anyone else. If not, simply ask your mate if those thoughts are OK with them.

   A humble mind is also an important part of controlling our mind. We should resist thinking of ourselves as better than whomever we are dealing with. We may indeed be smarter, wealthier, better looking or even more athletic; however, we should always consider the "other guy" to be more important than ourselves. Although God created all men equal, God still tells us that the key to controlling our thoughts, in the area of pride, is to always think of the other person as more important than we are. You can be sure that if you were to follow this line of thinking, the problem of pride would be checked. A proud “godly person” may look like he has it all together, but unchecked pride always ripples out to other people in hurt waves and is a sure sign of a mind out of control before God. Let’s endeavor to have a servant’s heart.

   We must also conquer prejudice towards others when controlling our thoughts. Peace of mind and heart through prayer (not through manipulative persuasion of others) is undoubtedly the way to go. Let us not fix our thoughts on the differences or “faults” of those who believe in God. Jesus instructed his disciples to be “fishers of men,” and I believe He intended for someone else to clean the fish. That someone is the Holy Spirit that man received during Pentecost. Unfortunately, many Christians fail to stay in their appointed lanes and attempt to do the Father’s and Holy Spirit’s assignments. We just need to play our spiritual positions.

   When someone rubs us the wrong way, let’s focus on whatever may be admirable or noble about that person. Despite our initial thoughts, there’s got to be something good about this person. Besides, his momma loves him! Let’s think about whatever is pure and lovable in that O’Jays kind of backstabbing lady who likes to smile in your face and all the time try to take your place. She must have at least one good quality. We all have our faults, issues and weaknesses as well as strengths. But if we make a definite effort to think about the strengths of the person and not focus on the negatives, we will find that we are able to conquer our prejudices about all of God’s creation—especially those who don’t even know Him.

   Finally, consider how much time we waste thinking about things that are not going to matter 100 years from now–or even one year from now. Not even tomorrow…  Let’s train our minds to think more about eternal realities, like “the line,” instead of temporal things, like “the dot.” Maybe we should start by cultivating the priority of spending some time alone with God every day, reading His Word and speaking to Him in prayer. A regular quiet time with God is not the easiest habit to maintain, but such disciplined control of our minds is of primary importance because it leads to practicing all the other principles of mind control.
So how do you spend more alone time with God and train your mind? Prayer and meditation.

About the Author:
 James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va., and his latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

The Subconscious Mind

We only have one mind but that mind has two distinct functioning parts: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, the voluntary and the involuntary. The best way to describe the subconscious mind is to compare it to a lawn.

   When Angela and I purchased our dream house in 2008 it had actually been built a few years earlier in 2004, but the original owners had never really lived in or taken care of it. This house had been built just for us four years prior to ever imagining that we would be able to afford it. God’s favor! Although it was a bank-owned foreclosure that had been sitting empty for nearly two years, we immediately recognized its potential and knew that all it needed was someone to appreciate and take care of it. The true owners were finally going to occupy it. After waiting for what seemed an eternity to “go to closing” on the house, Angela and I immediately began to paint the sterile white walls with vibrant earth tones and the inside instantly began to come to life in just a matter a few shorts days. Queen Angela decreed that the half-acre lot (that the house sat on) was my domain alone to conquer and tame, because it clearly had far more weeds than grass. Nevertheless, after seeing how my neighbors had such lush green lawns I knew that it was just a matter of time before our lawn would be the talk of the neighborhood and be upgraded from Watts to Hollywood, as it were.

   Like many of our subconscious minds, the lawn had been neglected, not nurtured or fertilized with important organic components that it so desperately needed to thrive. I core aerated (punched holes in with a mechanical device), thoroughly fertilized, and reseeded the lawn with Kentucky bluegrass seed and watered the lawn so that the seed would properly germinate and take root. Today, I’m proud to say that our lawn is now indeed the talk of the neighborhood and it continues to thrive because of the attention I heaped on it and refused to become discouraged by what used to be. My only concern was what it could be.

   Our subconscious mind is much like a neglected lawn. It will happily accept your conscious seeds of neglect just as easily as it will accept any positive seeds you sow. A lifetime of destructive and negative conscious thoughts make an impression on your subconscious mind in a way that you may have never even thought of prior to reading this. When you take a minute to ponder how various private thoughts have manifested negative actions and hurtful deeds in your life this premise will be made crystal clear. Sooner or later, most of our conscious thoughts seem to always emerge and take shape as an outer experience that corresponds to their internal content, either weed or a beautiful blade of grass. Please begin now to sow thoughts of health, balance, peace and prosperity into your subconscious mind and imagine what your bright future will entail. It really doesn’t matter how much your subconscious has been neglected in the past. Today you will begin to aerate, fertilize and nourish it with positivity.

   It’s important to realize that your subconscious mind is always working. It never sleeps. The only way to tap into our subconscious mind is thru our conscious mind. Try as we might, we will never be able to dictate how our subconscious mind commands our heart to beat, lungs to breathe and digestive system to do what it does. However, we can consciously decide on choosing heart-healthy meals, exercises that strengthen our heart, refuse to smoke and eat plenty of fiber to aid in the digestive process. We truly need to keep our conscious mind constantly occupied with positive thoughts of how we can improve body, mind, and spirit so that it feeds this information to our subconscious. This is the key!

   It has been estimated that on the average, we entertain around 50,000 conscious thoughts each day. That’s a lot of thoughts! Some will be positive but the majority of these thoughts will be negative and lead to stress. If your conscious mind has been consumed with the following thoughts, it’s now time to feed it some new direction.

Ø  I can never change.
Ø  I always fail.
Ø  Nobody cares about me.
Ø  There’s no use in giving it my all.
Ø  Success only happens for other people.
Ø  It’s too expensive to eat healthy.
Ø  I don’t have the time to exercise or pray.
Ø  God will never forgive me.
Ø  Others will always remember what I used to do and remind me of it.
Ø  Change takes too much effort.

   These are just a few examples of the conscious thoughts that have kept you in bondage. Refuse to be a slave. Refuse to settle for less. Your reward awaits you. Starting now, begin consciously thinking and speaking the following several times each day, each hour, each minute.

Ø  I will change my ways starting now.
Ø  I am successful.
Ø  Thank God I have folks around me who care and love me.
Ø  Anything less than 100% effort will not do.
Ø  God loves me.
Ø  It’s too expensive not to eat healthy.
Ø  I will pray over everything I consume and thank God in advance for His blessings.
Ø  God has already forgiven me, so today I have forgiven myself.
Ø  My past is my past. I’m focused on the now.
Ø  It’s easier to change than to remain the same.

   One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate about reading the Word is how Scripture not only gives us the responsibility of controlling our mind, it also gives us some definite guidelines to follow in order to have a thought life that is controlled and pleasing to God. Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism also emphasize the power of our thoughts and even lay out important guidelines for all practitioners to follow. Our thoughts lead to actions and certain actions are abominations to self, others and most of all, God. Therefore, if we put ourselves in a positive frame of mind, we can accomplish anything. If we can clearly see our goal and see that which is within our grasp, there’s nothing stopping us but ourselves and our negative thoughts. That’s why surrounding ourselves with positive images is an essential part of total happiness.

   Up until a few months ago, every weekday morning when the alarm sounded, Angela and I would rise (well, maybe Angela would get-up first and I would try to squeeze out a few more minutes) and one of the first things we did was turn on the television to our favorite a.m. local news broadcast and see what we missed during our period of slumber. Unfortunately, other than sports and the weather it was always the same thing. Someone was killed, raped, shot, robbed or wronged in some horrible manner.

   One morning I said to Angela, "this is too depressing," so I turned off the television and turned on some gospel music. Then it hit me! I, like you, have been allowing what I see on television and hear on the radio to knowingly and unknowingly color the mood of my entire day. Think about it: everything we see and hear is designed to attract viewers/listeners and make $$$. Therefore, others are telling us what they want us to hear instead of what we really need to hear.

   Imagine, if you will, a day where the majority of the information we receive was good and how that would positively influence your day. Some of us have even recently experienced those rare occasions. Got any unexpected money back from Uncle Sam for taxes? Found out you got that surprise pay raise or new position? That one bamma at work who gets on your last nerve called in sick? During these times we seem to get an increased pep in our step, more energy, and a glow that would light up a room.

How can we produce more of these days? I say we need a paradigm shift!

   For example, somewhere in our upbringing we all learned the joy of getting things instead of giving. Let's endeavor to rewire our neurons so we can find pleasure in giving things as much as receiving. We can't control what folks give us, but we are in 100% control of what we decide to give away. There is such an unspeakable joy that comes from the act of giving without an expectation of reciprocity. In this karmic universe, we always seem to get back more than we give. I’m one of the best examples of this law of karma that I know. What about you?

About the Author:
 James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va., and his latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and