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Friday, July 30, 2010

Rounding the Corner

07.30.10

Rounding the corner

God knows I’m stubborn. I have a one track mind many times, that cannot be changed by any human circumstance. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife, the Saint!

God also knows I’m a creature of comfort. Think about it, no man goes on a “vacation” with no running water, electricity, or HVAC! (Or wait, I guess some call that camping…. Eh.) The point I’m trying to make is we naturally want life to be easy, simple, and avoid stress.

Come on, admit it!  You know what I mean here.

If you are a bold and outgoing person, that last thing you’d want to be caught doing is bookwork for several bosses. If you are a caring and empathetic counselor, chances are the thought of cold calling businesses door to door scares the ba-jee-bees right on out of you!

We want to be in our zone!

Reconcile this to a once “cash-cow-esque” industry, now tightening its belt. Appointment after appointment, with similar battle cries: “competition is fierce, we need to lower our cost to be competitive.” At every level, this affects the supporting industries surrounding. (including my day job)

Loyal customers of years and years are being forced to shift their focus from quality and service to commoditizing products. Trusting relationships that I/we have worked so hard at to develop over the years are now compromised for the all mighty dollar.  (It's not their fault.  And I'm not complaining.)

I’ve heard it said, “Dog eat Dog.” Not until recently did I fully understand the ramifications of that level of hunger. Kind of reminds me that new Discovery Channel show, “The Colony.” -- A MUST SEE! (I predict they will cannibalize by the end of the 40 day season… lol)

So, I’m feeling very anxious about this waiting period. This “gap” between where I am and where I feel/see/hear God calling me to is not comfortable. 

Why do I see the iniquities of the “same ol’ same” and “comfortable” life so much more today? 

Why am I so unsettled when I consider changing NOTHING in my world?

I think I know why. God knows that I’m prone to comfort. I’m prone to familiarity, and mastery there within.

I think to myself, I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel of my true calling for the past 27 years, what’s the harm in taking another quick cat nap for the next few years?

Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
More Than Conquerors
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.

Could it possibly be that God has been slowly unsettling my heart and closing the doors behind me so that I will lean in to Him for complete survival?

If I truly feel called (and I do) then acknowledging that and asking for God’s blessing and guidance would essentially be the same as signing the disclaimer for Him to take over.

Am I ready for this?  Only with His guidance and power... but I think I am...

The road behind me is crumbling, with every forward step I take. I feel that I have now turned a corner, and a whole new world exists before my eyes. I surely don’t know what/how/who/where/when/why… but I do know a few comforting truths that God has given me through the Holy Spirit:

1. God loves me more than I can ever imagine, and wants His best for me. Jeremiah 29:11
2. God has given me a unique and specific calling. He authored my identity. Psalm 139:14
3. God has called me to bring Glory to Him through innovation and breathing start-up energy. John 17:4

In my most recent Day Away With God (DAWG DAY) God simply told me, Cling to the call. I’ll take care of the rest.

Step by step, I need Him to lead me more and more.

Ironically enough, I’m getting the sense that living the purpose He’s created me for may actually be more comfortable (and significant) than I could ever imagine.

…. And He knew that all along.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

REFOCUS in Four Steps

REFOCUS in Four Steps (From Seeds of SUCCESS email):

The average person loses focus every six to ten seconds. When you find yourself drifting, recognize it and make a conscious effort to set yourself back on course. Here are four ways to refocus yourself:

1. Start writing a to-do list. Just the cathartic act of writing down what you need to do will help you get back on track.

2. Dive into your email. If you’re a deadline-driven person and find yourself without something pressing to do that minute, checking your backlog of unaddressed emails will help refocus that sense of urgency.

3. Get up and walk around. Fresh air, a drink of water or a little conversation will help “reset” your mind for your next wave of productivity.

4. Do something easy, that you know you’ll do well. That sense of accomplishment will help propel you into harder tasks on your to-do list.

~~~~~

My spin: 

I've recently become a big fan of the "organic to-do list" that sits beside me on my desk. As I'm tackling my game plan for the day, many times other urgent, important, or valuable actions items pop up. NOW is not the most efficient time to tackle many of these, so they get added to my to-do list. A few times throughout the day, I re-prioritize this list and then engage "Game-plan 2.0" (or 3.0, 4.0, etc.)

Another thing I started doing (some may call it anti-social) is carrying 1 Gallon water jugs of drinking water with me to my desk each day. This protects me from the 3 minute water refill distractions throughout the day, and allows me to stay "zoned in" to the task list at hand.

And finally, I really try to do the hard/difficult/uncomfortable tasks on my list, FIRST. If I can get over these humps early in my day, then the rest is down hill. :)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The CRITICAL Idea

7.28.10

The CRITICAL Idea

The Lord is so good. He knows that the incubation time is exactly what I need, in this season, to grow and mature the passions and dreams He has given me. I’m the type of guy that would charge in to “Heck with a water pistol” and just start spraying!!! But God knows I need to time to simply THINK.

As of recent, I’ve stumbled across a simple idea that seems so obvious… Yet I hadn’t truly considered it early on in this process.

This idea can help shape and mold my calling, and solidify my convictions within. It has the power to microwave years and years of lessons that could otherwise have been learned in textbooks and conversation. (Being a husband, a father, an Entreleader, businessman, ministry leader, and an amateur landscaper, I’m all about leveraging my time!)

I’ve read testimony after testimony, life store after life story of OTHER entrepreneurs who optimized this idea, intentionally, and succeeded because of it.

Pastors preach on this idea. Business coaches lead their clients from lessons contained by this idea. NOTHING Great happens without this idea.

Jesus taught this idea. He lead from this idea. His disciples only mission, was THIS IDEA.

This idea starts small, perhaps. Some may consider the first 50% of a lifetime worth of this idea small or insignificant. Unfortunately, many of these people quit and give up on their dream at the 49% mark of this idea, writing it off as “an unachievable asymptote.” (click on link for definition)




And the idea is:  






Experience.





Experience. It is impossible for a surgeon to learn his trade 100% via text book and discussion… He has GOT TO GET HIS HANDS DIRTY!!! (in a “surgical” sort of way.)


James 2:17 (New International Version)
17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
-We can believe, we can talk about it. We can even PREACH it! But without DOING it, it is DEAD.

Matthew 25:14-30 – PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
-God gives you instruction and resources… and no matter the quantity or size, you better do something with them!

Luke 12:48 (New Living Translation)
48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
-If God gives you a vision, passion, and calling… He expects and requires us to do something for His Glory with it!


So the question I ask myself: Is God asking me use the batter He’s given me to pilot a few experiences? And as I even type this, I feel the drum beats confirm… YES.

So what does that look like? What will that become? How long with that season last? These are all things that will reveal themselves in time… but for now, I will trust and obey.

One thing is certain: I have been called to “bring Glory to Him through innovation and thrust energy.”

To GOD be the Glory. His will be done. On earth as it already is in HEAVEN.

I think it is time to get my hands a little dirty...

Mind Teasers

7.28.10

A fun mind teaser from Dan Miller's 48 Days to the Work You Love book, Pg. 190


Many times in exploring new directions we are limited by our past experience. We tend to see boundaries that may not actually exist. Here are a few MIND TEASERS to help you think in unexpected ways...

1. A bus with 15 passengers crashed and all but 9 people were killed. How many survivors were there?

2. How many animals of each species did Moses take on the Ark?

3. I have 2 coins that total $.35 in value. One is not a quarter. What are the two coins?

4. Mr. Jones was driving along the thruway with his son in the front seat. The road was icy. When Mr. Jones rounded a curve, his car skidded and rammed into a telephone pole. Mr. Jones was unhurt, but the boy broke several ribs. An ambulance took the boy to the nearest hospital. He was wheeled into the emergency operating room. The surgeon took one look at the patient and said, "I can't operate on this boy. He's my son!" How could this be?



Think you know the answers? Please post them in the comments section (below)

Monday, July 26, 2010

While I'm Waiting

Play this video:

video

Waiting on God is NOT the easiest part of this journey.  The closer I get to my calling, the more I begin to realize that I absolutely NEED him to show up in order for it to work out.

Perhaps the lessons I've been learning of patience, peace in waiting, and giving glory to Him have been the primary purpose for me to be sitting on the sidelines this month.  Could I have learned these things had I just jumped into the game?  Could I have truly pursued God's will if my journey didn't require me to wait for His leading?

Nope.  And God knew that.

And so, I continue to wait.  I wait on the Lord... for His Plan (Proverbs 16:9), for His Resources (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19), for his CALLING to move forward. (Judges 6)

I will wait.

Your plan, Lord... Not mine.  Your Will be done on earth, as you've already made known in Heaven.

Give me what I need for the journey, nothing more... nothing less... so that I may have just enough to stay focused on giving you the Glory you deserve, and not become full of myself.

Waiting... the perfect medicine to an impulsive, entrepreneurial "D"...

~~~~~~~~

Lyrics to John Waller's While I'm Waiting :

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Reflections of a HIGH D

07.26.10

Reflections of a High “D” Personality Style

Being a high “D” personality style, I often find my emotional mind locked into one single focus track. When this drive is harnessed properly, it can be a great contribution to my calling of “thrust energy.” When left to run rampant, it can definitely limit my perspective to only seeing what my pride filters to me. ☺

Wikipedia defines the “D” personality as follows:

Dominance – relating to control, power and assertiveness
People who score high in the intensity of the "D" styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low "D" scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High "D" people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.

What can I say? I’m a natural born “D!”

Please understand, words like control, power, and assertiveness are not inherently evil. They only grow a negative connotation when driven by the flesh, and not the spirit. (When they become more about what I GAIN, than what I GIVE.)

Groups need assertive leaders delegate and empower. Businesses need decision makers to take powerful action. Social issues need assertive mercenaries to pioneer solutions without being asked.

But alas, there will always be that tendency for me to revert back and lash out in commanding orders. Especially when I’m exhausted after a long day, or drained of energy… it’s like the “governor” of my internal engine is removed, and this caveman can only think about getting his basic needs of sleep, food, and peace and quiet met. With this survival mode instinct in mind, all other approaching needs/requests/favors/people fall off my radar completely.

My poor wife can tell you more about this than I’ll ever know. She is an “S” personality style, through and through. Check out Wikipedia’s definition of the “S” personality style:

Steadiness– relating to patience, submission, persistence, and thoughtfulness. People with high "S" styles scores want a steady pace, security, and do not like sudden change. High "S" individuals are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. Low "S" intensity scores are those who like change and variety. People with low "S" scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.

My wife and I can be in a conversation with a couple, and she will hear totally different things than I heard! My wife can sense when “something’s wrong.” My wife takes the time to listen. My wife rarely has emotional explosions, but rather is even keeled most of the time. My wife orders the same things off the menus of the same restaurants that have made it to her “approved dining” list. My wife is a true S, through and through.

I’m always amazed at how our two personality styles blend as well as they do. It’s almost like that barrel analogy: where my planks are low, hers are higher… thus allowing us a greater capacity as a unit!

And I love her for it. She and I complement (and compliment) each other's styles well.

I need to slow down. Be quick to listen, and slow to speak (James 1:19)… even when I’m tired. I definitely need the Holy Spirit to guard my heart (Proverbs 4:23) so I don’t put my foot in my mouth and say something that hurts or offend. I definitely need to overfill my heart with the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), so that I will overflow them in my actions. I need Jesus… in a BIG way. Without Him, this D stands for “Done-for.”

Good thing for Jesus’ Grace. I definitely don’t DESERVE salvation… But He gives it as a gift. Jesus died for my sins of selfishness, and egotism. He has atoned them on the cross, so that I won’t be punished for them. The gift is free. The salvation is real. Man, we serve an AWESOME God!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Positive Optimism

07.23.10

Positive Optimism.

I’ll be honest. I started this entry with a few paragraphs of puke and smattering complaining about a “leadership with no vision” moment I experienced at the start of my day today.

After typing out the first few paragraphs, I realized that I had oh so eloquently built a case that could rival a litigation attorney… and justify to the whole world my feelings of frustration. With this, I probably would have had a few people thinking:

YEAH! You tell em’. Same ol’ crap happens to me too!

Then after spewing that ugliness out, I would not have experienced reconciliation at a soul level for my anger and frustration today… only would have added fuel to the fire.

And worse yet, I’d have left OTHERS worse off than when I found them. (My Life Purpose 1.0 was to “leave people better than when I found them.”)

Thank you Holy Spirit for stopping me!

Paul had to have had a similar experience with flesh-filled temptation of “misery” and sin…

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong,; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7: 15-20

The sinful flesh patterns within us try to trap us into sin.

But… Paul goes on to say:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. ” Romans 8:1-2

This is the hope I need. (WE need) The chains of flesh-patterns/ sin-patterns are broken, because I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is by His gift of grace and mercy that I am forgiven. The OLD ROB is dead, and the NEW ROB is alive.

Let us all accept this good gift, and release ourselves from the shackles and chains of a law-filled sinful life.

As an after thought, I once heard a wise man say, “Choose the hills worth dying on.” This particular “leadership with no vision” hill, was NOT one of those.

GREATER things are yet to come!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Art of Mingling (From Seeds of SUCCESS email)

Not everyone’s a natural conversationalist. In fact, 93 percent of us self-identify as shy, says Susan RoAne, known as The Mingling Maven and best-selling author of How to Work a Room. Here are tips for entering a room of strangers and effectively working the room:


1. When entering a room, head for the dessert table. People who are contemplating calories will always talk to you.

2. Don’t approach two people in a conversation; opt for three or four people. It’s an easier number to approach and reduces the chance you’re interrupting a private or sensitive conversation.

3. Looking for an “in” to a conversation? Say, “Excuse me, may I join you?” It’s an elegant way of inserting yourself and no one’s ever said no.

4. Wear something people can connect with. Madeleine Albright always wore beautiful brooches, so people would start conversations about that.

And one tip from a SUCCESS editor: Before a social gathering, catch up with what your friends are doing on Facebook. With this information, you can easily strike up a conversation about mutual interests or their latest vacation. Something easy like, “I saw your vacation photos on Facebook—where in Mexico was that?” is a great way to get them talking about their favorite topic—themselves.


---


Good, quick, simple advice. I'll be using this at the next trade show/convention...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FLOW

07.21.10

Creative FLOW

In Daniel Pink’s book DRIVE, he talks about the concept of “FLOW.” Flow is simply that current of natural “umph” that swallows you up like an under toe but feels so natural and right that you can feel God smiling when you are doing it.

It is simply doing what you were born to do.

video


Can “FLOW” actually exist in today’s workplace? Is it even right to love what you “do?”

Solomon addresses this in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (New International Version)
18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

So if we take what Solomon is saying literally, then:

1. It is proper for a person to find satisfaction in their work because…
2. Their work is a gift from God.
3. If we receive the gift of this from God, then our hearts will be preoccupied with gladness!

Just last night, I was developing a sermon talk… and time FLEW by. I had way more energy when I was done that when I started. I felt “God’s pleasure.”

When I brainstorm, and create ideas from thin air… I feel FLOW.
When I engage in “iron sharpening iron” conversation, I feel FLOW.

When do you feel FLOW? What were YOU BORN TO DO?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Life

07.20.10

Romans 6:12-14

“Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer a master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

New life starts now. Use what God has given to you to make a KINGDOM difference.

Today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Short.

Open Doors and Closed Doors

07.19.10

Doors

Have you ever prayed the prayer, “God, close the doors you do not want me to walk through… and open the ones you do?”

In my pursuit for God’s calling on my life, my wife and I have discussed many potential road blocks. Money, time, expertise, unknowns. All of these and many more have come up in conversation… and they are legitimate concerns. All of these conversations (God bless my wife) have ended in us agreeing to seek the Lord and ask Him to open doors He wants us to walk thru, and close the ones He doesn’t.

If you have prayed it, have you truly stopped to think about what that could mean?

As my internal drum beat gets louder and louder, I realize more every day how much I NEED God to show up to make this thing successful. This is so beyond me, that no man could think it up. A vision this strong only comes from the Creator of all vision. So, for me, the prayer of total surrender to God’s will is a comforting blanket. (a spiritual SNUGGIE… if you will!) ☺

Until recently, I haven’t totally or fully understood the sheer power of this prayer. Yesterday, I may have gained 10% better understanding through a “door opening” situation that had to have been God breathed. Here are the rough bullet points from yesterday:

- An adverse situation, that frustrated us at the time lead to my wife and I attending an event (pushed thru this DOOR)
- At this event, I networked with a fellow believer whom I respected greatly for his charisma and business acumen (met at the same DOOR)
- This fellow believer laid out their restless heart (only from Yah-Weh) in their current “job,” and then subsequently expressed their interest (unsolicited) in the core area of this vision… (the DRUM BEAT GETS LOUDER)
- I subsequently lay out brief conceptual vision of what God had placed on my heart… and it makes sense to us both. (another DOOR)

Lord, could you be this crazy? Could you be independently shaking our hearts up for change? Unsolicited, and without influence, you have stirred the soul of this fellow believer, in perhaps the same way you’ve stirred mine? What are you up to here, God?

I love your WORD, God.

In 1 Chronicles 28:9, King David says: “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD (Yah-Weh) sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. (opened door?) But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. (closed door?) So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

By worshiping God with our whole heart and willing mind, we will find him and his plans. I love that last statement: “Be strong and DO THE WORK.” Powerful stuff.

My life is in HIS hands. They are capable. They are strong. Only by God’s ushering through open doors, will I truly discover the John 10:10 “Full” life He has offered me.

If you have not yet surrendered your life to the living God, I would encourage you to do so. Don’t be like me before: running head first into closed doors!

By surrendering your life to Christ, and inviting him into your heart, you can begin a relationship with the King of Kings. Through this relationship, you will learn to hear His voice, and just maybe… His guidance.


John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Why walk blindly through life, when the giver of true VISION is offering you His Holy gift now?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

WHY do bad things happen to GOOD people

07.18.10

Problems and Trials

Ever hear someone say, “Why do BAD things happen to GOOD people?!”

I have. And this statement is not true.

Bad things happen to all people, at some point. The “difference maker” is in how we respond to adversity, trials, and tribulations.

Let’s take a look at Paul’s charge to the Roman Church, discussing this very topic…

Paul wrote:

Romans 5:3-5 (New Living Translation)
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When bad things happen, we should embrace them as opportunities for our faith to develop endurance. How we respond in the moment determines the amount of strength our character (and hope of salvation) develops!

We may not understand WHY the bad things in life come about, but we do know this: God loves us dearly, and wants to condition our hearts for abundant levels of faith and love… even if that means growing our spiritual muscles with a little pain along the way.


 ***NO children were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Skills Wisdom and PRIDE

07.17.10

Skills, Wisdom, and PRIDE


Okay, I guess wisdom is knowing what you don’t know, and asking advice of those who do. I concur with this thought, especially right now.

I may not know all that I’m good at, but I do know (situation by situation) all that I am NOT good at. ☺ Here’s the scoop:

My wife and I (God bless her) decided today would be a good day for yard work. Being the astute lawn maintenance professional that I am, I decided to delegate the weed pulling to her and the tree/bush/shrub trimming to me. (after all, these tools are sharp)

I cheerfully threw on my iPod, started listening to some convicting LifeChurch.tv sermons via podcast, and began my duty.

After a few aesthetic trim cuts, I thought to myself boy, this could take FOREVER to trim the tiny tree branches. I’ll bet if I start trimming inward, toward the core of the trunk, that I could save a ton of time and mess. So, with that impulsive logic in mind, I grabbed not the trimmers, but the LOPPERS and began to go to work.

I trimmed some baseball bat-sized branches all the way to the trunk of the tree… some as big as 3” in diameter.

Tree sized offshoots began falling, as if Paul Bunion were at work.

As the branches began piling up, I became prouder and prouder. I had created a mound of accomplishments, that would prove especially convenient when mowing the lawn around these trees, or for the dogs to run through. In the moment, I was HAPPY.

Take a look at my handiwork:

As I stepped away to view my hard work from afar, I quickly realized I had become that “parent who decided to give their kid a haircut for the first time.” Lop-sided and awkward. How many “pant-less” evergreen trees have you seen?

My trees are so embarrassed. Equally, I am too.

The best part was when my neighbor, Tim the Yard/Tool/Project-man Taylor casually made yard observations to me… inferring that I really jacked my trees up. He’s the neighbor that cuts his grass with Binford 3000 lawn scissors, and then vacuums the clippings up, daily. Seriously, there isn’t a blade of grass out of place on this guy’s property. I am truly impressed.

Oh well. I never claimed to be the best yard-smith. I only claimed to be willing. At least I now know that running a lawn maintenance business is NOT a calling form my creator. ☺

PS: my wife did end up trimming many shrubs, that all look GREAT!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

as the sun stands still

07.15.10

A “Sun Stand Still” type of faith…

He’s made me uniquely wonderful (Psalm 139:14.) He’s prepared opportunities in advance for me to use my unique gift set (Ephesians 2:10.) He wants me to focus more on bringing Him the Glory through how I use my gifts in the opportunities he lays before me, rather than me gain “success” from a worldly perspective (John 17:4.)

Now, there is a fork in the road. Which road will I take? The safe, secure, predictable road (there is no such thing), or the calling by my King?

Which road would you take?

Joshua knows all about this type of juncture.


Check out this excerpt from Joshua 10:
7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:

"O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."

13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on [b] its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!


Joshua was given the ability to lead an army, He had previous successes and life experiences that equipped him with wisdom and lessons. He was directly connected to the LORD’s Rhema (inspired word.) And NOW, he was given the opportunity to use all of his preparation.
And what does Joshua do? He PRAYS.

Not just any prayer. Joshua prays a BOLD, GOD SIZED prayer for supernatural assistance in this fight.

He prays for the sun to stand still! And God granted this “crazy out of the box” request.
Now, I’m certainly not here to tell you HOW God will answer prayers… as we all know “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” But what I am saying is that NOTHING LIMITS our God of the Universe to help us, love us, support us, resource us, bless us… if we are seeking to accomplish a calling He has placed on our life.

I am UBER encouraged by this slice of Joshua’s story. Wow.

Join me in praying for the impossible, and then anticipate God’s answer to our request.
Maybe… just maybe… ANYTHING is possible.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Simple Pleasures

07.14.10

Simple Pleasures

I’m a “High D” personality style. Sometimes, in this, I forget to have fun and laugh. Work can become my playground. That is not necessarily bad, if you work on a Island by yourself. But the problem is, I work with other people who are NOT high D’s…

So one of my “performance goals” over the past year has been to “have more fun.”

Today, I accomplished that goal.

The Chinese are very “inventive.” They manufactured this torture device, called an “electric fly swatter” (seen below)


For approximately the past 5,280 seconds, a fly has been hovering around me. Recognizing that I already showered this month, I assume he was attracted to the pheromones mixed in my “Sex Panther” cologne. (Which, incidentally has real bits of panther in it, so you KNOW it’s good.)

At any rate, the fly now knows who’s in charge around here.


To enhance the fun, I walked around the office, proudly displaying my latest “trophy kill.”


… I’m thinking of having it stuffed and mounted on my wall…




Am I having “fun” yet?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Work Ethic

07.13.10

Work Ethic

So, I’m headed home from a day of work, when my amazing God-given wife/soul mate texts me and simply asks “could you please pick up a bag of salad on your way home?”

No problemo! Superhero husband to the rescue. My damsel is in green-leafy distress and needs me to save her! (I love doing stuff for my wife)

So, I take the road less traveled home, forgoing the highway so that I’ll conveniently drive past a large chain grocer in our area.

I walk in the front doors, past the rows of shopping carts, and to the fresh produce section. Scanned for sales, none today unfortunately. So bought the best dang lookin’ bag of “hearts of Romaine” that I could find. Check out the self checkout… begin walking toward exit. (Average day in the life of a marital “superhero.”)

No more than 10 steps into my journey to the parking lot, I notice a familiar person sitting at the “Apply Here!” kiosk.

Let’s call him “Bert.”

I know “Bert” pretty well. He’s a “special-needs” person, who has a learning disorder. Give Bert an inch, he’ll take a mile. For instance ask him “how are you Bert?”… then prepare for a 20 minute rambling about all sorts of crazy circumstances that Bert has been through in the past 2 hours that lead him to become a victim and thus deserving your pity. (Bert doesn’t do this to be evil, as he’s probably grown up around many people relating with him by how sorry they feel for him/his disability)

No reason today should be different.

I started with a brief (and guarded) small talk with Bert, saying close-ended statements like “applying for a job?”
Here’s how the exchange went:

Rob: “Hey Bert. How ya doing? Applying for a job?”

Bert: “Yes. I just HAVE to get out of the Press.” (Bert delivers newspapers full time apparently.)

Rob: “Oh yeah? I guess I didn’t realize you delivered papers.”

Bert: “I just can’t make enough money with the Press. If it weren’t for CUTTING LAWNS, DONATING PLASMA, AND COLLECTING POP CANS there’s no way I could make it.”

{{-- insert stunned shock --}}

Rob (awkwardly): “Well, good luck buddy.” I then allowed the momentum of my guardedness lead me toward the exit door of the store.

Then I began to think: Bert just told me he 1. Delivers papers 2. Cuts lawns 3. Donates plasma 4. Collects pop cans in order to make ends meet!


Listen, if anyone has an excuse to not work or live off Social Security Disability, it’s this guy. The fact he chooses to get out and GRIND it out for a few bucks here and there to make ends meet just astounds me.

We can all learn a little lesson in work ethic and tenacity from my special-needs friend Bert.

I thank God that our paths crossed today, as I probably learned more in that small interaction than any seminar could teach me.

Thank you Jesus. And God bless Bert.

Monday, July 12, 2010

As the drum beats louder

07.12.10


-Drummer beat is getting louder, and I march on-

Okay, so here I sit. Ready. My prayers have been filled with statements like “Lord, close the doors you do not want me to walk through, and open the ones you do want me to.” Yikes. Scary when you think about it!

So I have a few ideas. One idea that I feel is REALLY solid. It hits the overlap/zone that I feel God asking me to pursue. Most importantly, God will naturally be Glorified each step of the way.

This idea allows me to tap into my spiritual gifts of Wisdom, Leadership, Discernment, and Evangelism (in that order as of July 1st, 2010).

This idea allows me to utilize my unique abilities: to create innovative ideas, relate with people, help others find meaning and purpose in their lives, and lead others to their God given potential, strategic planning, communicating, networking & relationships, innovation and creativity, emotional intelligence, public speaking and presentations, goal setting, selling, prospecting, coaching & mentoring, startup ideas, GIVE THRUST ENERGY.

This idea allows me to flow with my natural personality style: take charge of group effort, think strategically, laugh and have a good time, creatively solve problems, be the “conductor” as God has wired me to be. Most importantly, this idea would invite NEW and EXCITING ventures, regularly.

This idea ties both my wife and my life experiences in very well. I know what you are thinking: Rob, you can’t work with your wife!!! You’ll go nuts! True. ☺ But at least we’ll both be nuts! ☺ My life experiences of motivating large groups, speaking in front of classroom sized audiences, reinventing the “common” into “extra-ordinary,” managing company finances, networking, and leading a team will overlap nicely in this.
My wife’s experiences of coordinating, scheduling, planning, and event management will overlap well in this… should she decide to join the effort? (By the way, that may NOT mean she works for me… but rather helps me identify the qualities I’ll need in a hired staff member/contractor… have to think OUTSIDE THE BOX, MAN!)

This idea hits my “passion button” in many ways, also. Specifically, this idea will regularly touch my passion areas of: leaving people better than when I found them, listening to/giving motivational talks, learning new things, connecting people with other people, and serving the King of Kings!

This idea is a solid overlap of all major aspects that God has wired me for. In theory I’m ready. I’m ready to take the plunge and start it.

But I’m scared.

I’m scared because I have a family to care for. To provide for. I have a son, he’s 4 months old. I have a wife who just gave her job up to be a “stay at home mom.” I have a house to pay for. I haven’t ever done something like this idea before. I don’t even personally know of anyone who has done anything, even remotely close to this idea before. This idea is so “other.”

Could this be what Ray Crock thought about when he first ventured into selling franchises of McDonald’s? Or other modern day innovators?

God gave me prophesy a month ago, as he knew I’d be conflicted:

“Cling to the call I’ve placed on your heart. I’ll take care of the rest.”

Peace transcends understanding, as no logic can guide me at this point.

~Diligence, faithfulness, surrender.~ 
This must be my motto.

My creed.

My BATTLE CRY.

For now… I march on…

In the ZONE

7.12.10

-In the ZONE-

You need not see what someone is doing
to know if it is his vocation,

you have only to watch his eyes:
a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon

making a primary incision,
a clerk completing a bill of lading,

wear the same rapt expression, forgetting
themselves in a function.

How beautiful it is,
that eye-on-the-object look.

-W.H. Auden


When I’m in the zone, I don’t even realize it until I look up and see 4 hours has flown by… or I take a step back and reflect on my emotions, thinking: I feel MORE energy now than when I started!

That “in the zone” feeling is what I desire, because I know it is God’s delight. He has created me for a purpose… for HIS purpose!  When I engage my world around His unique calling for me, it just feels RIGHT!

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

With this in mind, join me in seeking the “zone” overlap of our CALLING, GIFTS (Spiritual and Physical), and OPPORTUNIES (which come from God alone.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hungry

07.11.10

Hungry

What am I truly hungry for?

This is a relevant (12:20PM as I write this = lunch time) and yet spiritual question. Think about it: what are you truly hungry for? Can that hunger ever be satisfied?

From time to time, while flipping channels on the TV, I’ll come across some ESPN special on “competitive eating.” Some of these guys train for years to be able to pound back 100+ hot dogs, and win a trophy.

Should I put myself in their shoes, I would approach training by starving myself for days or weeks prior to the competition, so that I’m good and hungry.

Believe it or not, that is NOT how “Eating Athletes” approach their training routine. Unfortunately, the opposite is true!

According to Wikipedia, Competitive Eaters consume large amounts of food and liquids in the weeks prior to their competition. This over-consumption of foods and drinks expands their stomach to unnatural capacities. If you were to talk with many of these competitors, I’m sure they would tell you “The more I eat, the more I want to eat next time.”

I guess I can relate. Thanksgiving dinner usually results in the annual “food coma” for my family and me. Funny to note that the morning after I’m usually pretty “starved” and thus justify that 3-egg omelet with cheese, turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing as ingredients! Yum. Between breakfast and lunch, no less than 3 additional “snack sessions” have commenced where in a sliver of turkey on a bun, a quick scoop of stuffing, or a slice of that pumpkin pie simply helps “tie me over till the next meal.”

You know what’s worse than all this eating? The Monday-workday following that 4-day weekend gorge session! My stomach is NOT use to eating only 3 times per day, and usually cries out for more, more, more!

Could this mean there is a universal law that states, “more leads to more?” or “you hunger for what you feed yourself?”

If that is true, then it would stand to reason by INTENTIONALLY feeding myself things that honor God, I would naturally desire things that honor God! Right?!?!

Hunger is not a bad thing. If we, as humans, have it… then God designed it in us as a reflection of Him. Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

So the question I ask myself then, is: “What would God want us to hunger for?” Then... I should FEED it!

Lord, you have created me as a reflection of you. I pray that this sense of hunger you have instilled in me would only glorify you even more. Show me what you want me to feed my mind, body, and spirit… and I pray I desire more of you as result of that feeding.

Galatians 6:7-10 (New International Version)
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Here are a few things God has asked me to be feeding myself with, thus hunger more:
1. Daily scripture time = I desire to understand the WORD more and more
2. Approach every day challenges, needs, and celebrations in prayer = I desire deeper connectedness with God through prayer
3. Reading at least 1 book to sharpen my sword every month = I hunger for knowledge and see wisdom from these books in every day life
4. I romance my wife by protecting our “date nights” = I desire to love her more and more
5. I read to my son, nightly = I love spending time with him more and more each time
6. I workout 4-5 days per week = I will look forward to feeling the endorphins kick in and be motivated to continue working out
7. When I make sales = I want to make more sales
8. When I eat healthy foods = I want to continue to eat healthy foods
9. When I save money = I want to save more money
10. When I give money = I fall in love with the generosity and blessing of giving!


How have YOU scratched your hunger itch?

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Simple ASK

07.09.10

The Simple “Ask”

Maybe it’s my own ego? Maybe it’s an offshoot of “the lie” that I flirt with? Maybe it’s me minimizing the roles God can play in my life, by isolating him to only the “big things” or “catastrophes?”

I don’t ask him for help, as much as my soul desires to.

This gap between soul desire and body action probably looks like an ocean’s wavelength. Times where they intersect and time when they are far apart.

Perhaps I’m overcomplicating this? Look at Jabez, for instance:

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 “There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him “Jabez” because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”

Such a simple prayer, yet so all inclusive.

Remember, I’m certainly not advocating a certain “spell” or “phraseology,” but I am saying that I would LOVE for my relationship with God to graduate to such an intimate level as Jabez. A request like this one, I could only bring to someone who was inside my inner-“inner circle.”

God desires that of us. He desired that with Jabez. And because our Heavenly Father LOVES us, He naturally desires to give us awesome gifts. Often, when our heart’s desire is aligned to His, He answers our prayers. Not for our own happiness, but to bring him even more Glory than before.

Matthew 7:7 (New International Version)
Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


So What?
1. Pray to God and ASK. Keep it simple!
2. Search the scriptures (He may have already answered your prayer and it is written in the WORD!)
3. Knock! Take a bold step of faith, and follow God's voice and written word...
4. Watch God open doors (or close them) in accordance with HIS perfect Will.


Thank you, Lord, for the generosity you showed Jabez, and the love you give to us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Iron shavings

07.06.10

-Iron shavings-

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Prior to entering into a Christ-centered life, my whole world lacked the accountability and brotherhood this verse refers to. Only after I accepted the undeserved gift of salvation from Christ, and surrendered my mind, body, and soul to Him, have I been blessed with “iron sharpens iron” brothers in my life.

So here’s the question: What about the entire life I already had setup prior to salvation? Prior to complete surrenderance, I had assembled friendships. I had established exercise habits. I had entertainment preferences. I already had a deficient life setup prior to Christ entering into my heart… So now what?!?!

The answer lies in Proverbs 27:17!

I bring my mud, my mess, my deficient world to the cross… and God gives me grace, love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.

I thank Jesus for his model of discipleship.

The men in my life, true men, have stood by my side through thick and through thin.

Picture iron sharpening iron. It’s nasty. Shards of metal flying everywhere… swords tearing into swords ripping shrapnel from each other as they get to the core. The core issue? ☺

Through a shared walk both with Christ and fellow believers, our previously establish life gets ground up like some fresh Kona Grounds ready to be used in a beautiful cup of “wake up.”

BUT…

It’s only when we pass these ground up shards back through filter of our new found identity in Christ that we can truly live the life John 10:10 promises. (…”I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”)

In summary:

Accept the free gift of forgiveness and salvation from Jesus.
Surrender your heart, your life, your all to Jesus… thus gaining a NEW IDENTITY in Christ
Get around brothers (or sisters respectively) who will sharpen you, in accordance to God’s word
Pass the sharpened shards and grounds of your world back through the filter of God’s perfect identity for you
Enjoy the “full life” now. (Salvation is a PRESENT transformation!!)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Freedom to Choose

07.04.10

-The Freedom to Choose-

Choices
My way
Feels Good? Do!
Emptiness can’t be explained
Transformed by God’s Holy Sacrifice
True purpose in existence
Grounded in scripture
Surrendered believer
Choices

What will you do with the freedom to choose?

Freedom isn’t free… but it is worth pursuing.

Friday, July 2, 2010

2008 Psycho-Social Executive Profile

On January 8th, 2008, I took a pshycho-social executive profile assessment. Of the many insightful things it brought out, I want to share a brief excerpt from page 8:

“Different occupational interests have been found to be associated with personality qualities. Robert shows personality characteristics similar to social persons, who indicate a preference for associating with other people. Such interactions are distinguished by a nurturing, sympathetic quality. Robert may find it very easy to relate to all kinds of people. In addition to being warm and friendly, social persons are typically receptive to different views and opinions. They feel most comfortable in positions that allow for regular social interaction. Occupational fields associated with social personas are teaching, counseling, psychology, social work and health services.

Additionally, Robert shows personality characteristics similar to enterprising persons, who enjoy interactive with others in an assertive role. Social interactions are warm and animated; enterprising persons may enjoy being the focus of attention. Such persons are socially bold and may try to persuade others or assume a position of leadership. Occupational fields associated with enterprising persons are business, sales, political activity, management and law.”

Interesting…

Impulsiveness

07.02.10

On Impulsiveness



As I journey through life, I am always floored when I objectively reveal a personality trait of mine that requires “extra grace.” I am not perfect. Nobody is. The goal is not to BE perfect, as nobody will ever be (except one man who moved up North 2000 years ago). If I had to rank my most challenging traits, right up at the top would be this one:

Impulsiveness. …. (reconcile that to Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.)

Now, I didn’t say “quick decision making.” I said impulsiveness. Webster’s defines impulsiveness as follows: Acting or doing without forethought.

What can I say? I’m an idea guy. I love dreaming up ways to improve things, motivate others, develop the team, or create a product that nobody else has yet. If my brain had a pedometer attached, it would probably clock somewhere between 50 and 100 business related ideas per day, all of which ABSOLUTELY MAKE SENSE in the moment.

I am EXCELLENT at selling myself on anything!

Its probably a good thing I don’t have unlimited financing available! Otherwise I’d probably have a garage full of “super watt rental generators for power storms” or “large propane kettles for kettle corn” or any of a million other venture ideas that I’ve thought up in recent hours.

Knowing that ideas are my blessing (and curse…) it would be simply irresponsible to allow impulsiveness to poison them. God did not intend for my ideas to be ignored. He did not intend for them to ALL be implemented. He intended for me to honor him through them, even if that means slowing down and inviting wisdom to help refine them.

My mentor encourages me to:
1. Pray over any idea/decision to invite God’s wisdom and guidance
2. Fast.
3. Seek wise counsel from spiritual authority in my life.

I’d also like to add to this one more:
4. Search the scriptures. Logas (written word of God) will never change or be contradicted by Rhema (inspired/spoken word of God).

He’s also given me some amazing tools for processing calling and opportunities. Some day I will write about them, because they are incredible…

I heard a wise man say this tongue twister once:
“You don’t know what you don’t know, because if you knew what you knew… you’d have!
To know and not to do… is NOT TO KNOW.”

Do you KNOW what your personality challenges are?

Can you take an objective look at them, so as to not be personally offended or fall victim to “excuse-itis” (a common disease)?

If you KNOW… What are you DOing about it?

James 2:17 (New International Version)
17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I praise God for mentors in my life, that help me identify my areas of challenge and give me mechanisms to fortify my areas of weakness, and control the potential resulting damage (or expense).

Proverbs 27:17 (New Living Translation)
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.