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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial reflections


Today is Memorial Day. A national holiday where all businesses shut down, and families wheel out the grill for hot dog and hamburgers, in hopes of spending time together in reflection on what our soldiers have done for this country.

Soldiers do give their lives to fight for our freedoms.

I’ve never served in the military, but I can only imagine the struggles and challenges that present themselves at times could be utterly exhausting. The perspective I get from the movies is that a soldier may go months upon months without a shower longer than 30 seconds. They may eat the same M.R.E. (Meal Ready to Eat) for a week straight. In battle, they walk hundreds of miles with heavy packs on their backs… at times, even crawl miles to avoid being spotted. They are the hunted. They are our opposition’s enemy. Many times, they advance into enemy territory, unfamiliar surroundings, with only a “field manual” and “hypothetical scenario” training as their reference guide. They think quick on their feet and make the best judgment call they can in the field.

Some die… young.

So the question I ask myself today, this 2010 Memorial Day, is what in my life shows an appreciation, respect, and honor to the soldiers who go through hell to protect our haven? If “living for freedom” was illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict me?


If freedom is defined by the ability to:
• Watch American Idol ever season, and vote for who I choose
• Develop a grocery budget, and cook meals that fall within the budgeted funds
• Mow my grass every 5 days, as long as the weather holds out
• Go to work 5 days a week, while my newborn son and wife stay home
• Serve in a ministry, within areas that suite me
• Attend a church service, where I can worship how I want.
• Turn my air conditioner to 72ยบ as I sleep, for comfort.

But wait! All these pieces of evidence are about ME! Our soldiers are dying daily, NOT for themselves, but for OTHERS! What if, just What IF true freedom was not characterized by the amount of luxury and comfort one received, but about living for a exterior cause that called out MORE OF YOU in return for LESS REWARD. Our soldiers die for people they’ve never even met. Jesus laid his life down as a ransom for us, so that God may be glorified through our salvation.
Today, I choose to think outside myself. For one day, just one day, let us give our lives for the sake of others giving theirs.

THIS is true freedom.

John 15:13 (New Living Translation)
13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

First step, first lesson


Yesterday was a day for new hope and dreams. I kind of feel like the more I’m reading this 48 Days to the Work You Love book, the more my vision for a future is getting solidified. I mean, I’ve always considered myself a visionary, but this time I kind of feel like Dan Miller is ushering me down the aisle to meet my dreams again. Yesterday, I actually signed the contract, committing myself to a 48 day challenge of discovery through this book.

Shortly after reading yesterday’s section, my brain started working and storming on what the first opportunity could be. Feeling ambitious, I began scouring craigs list and ebay to find good deals that could be marked up and sold again. I searched for garage sales in my home town, and stumbled into one in a very prestigious neighborhood! “Jackpot” I thought to myself. Better yet, the garage sale was to have started at 5PM yesterday, right when I get off of work!

I jumped into my car at 3:30, to ensure I’d be home in time to be first up at the sale open. Lo and behold, I show up and dozens of cars were already parked, lining the neighborhood streets. One house (of two that were open) had a line of patrons 10 people long already at the cashier!

Day late? Dollar short? I didn’t find a thing that I felt was re-marketable. However… I will NOT allow this to shake me. I’ll admit, I felt a little discouraged. I mean, I showed up expecting to find a negotiable deal that would easily double my first $50, but alas… nothing.

The Dan Miller podcasts have been encouraging to me also. I think it is critical for me to continue surrounding myself with inspiration and hope. Even if it is intentionally forcing myself to read or listen, I need to counterbalance the negative self talk that can creep in without even realizing it.

So, here I be. Same financial position as yesterday, however I walked away with a first “skin toughening” experience. Let’s look at the bright side of this experience:
• I didn’t impulse buy something, just to buy it
• I now know that Garage sales open BEFORE their posted times
• I got a good reality check, and hopefully reduced my naivety without compromising vision.
• Fun story to tell. ☺

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step


Well, today could be considered the first day of my new journey. No longer will I consider my vocational life 100% employed… but rather, I now will think of myself as “Rob Incorporated,” of which one of my clients is my employer. They hire me for my sales, consulting, and operational leadership services on a contract basis. But they are not my “employer” as far as I’m concerned, any longer. God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit is the Triune chairperson for Rob Inc. I have been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for Rob Inc, and have the amazing responsibility of bringing Glory to God by completing the good works he has given me to do. Currently, Rob Inc is involved in Prepress services, Urban ministries, and Home Facilities Management.

I do feel God has given me a vision for passive income streams to be setup. Perhaps this starts with my gimmick of a “$50 challenge.” I know that I need start up capital, but don’t really have any… so begins the journey to double a $50 bill every month, until enough capital is raised for investment.

Could this really be possible? Could this really happen? My life has been absolutely filled, lately, with God-sized tasks that could NEVER happen without Him showing up and blessing it. Could this actually happen?

I should establish some core, foundational truths that will not waiver through this process:

Rob Incorporated will operate as a servant leader to consumer markets through the following guiding principles:

We acknowledge God as the true owner of all we have, do, and become. (Psalm 50:12b)
We will lead from a God-given vision. (Proverbs 29:18)
We will seek God’s Will in every strategic decision made. (Psalm 127:1)
We will serve God’s company in our area of giftedness. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
We will give all the glory and honor to God for any future business lessons and successes. (John 17:4)
We will regularly review our progress and check its alignment to our vision. (Matthew 7:18)
We will give God room to change the plan, in accordance with His Will. (Proverbs 16:9)
We will not borrow money to grow our business. (Proverbs 22:7)