Category Archives: Social Media

Winning-vs-finishing

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In light of the Olympics taking place right now in London, our morning devotions were centered around a very familiar passage of scripture.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

-1Tim 4:7

ImageMany times the end result focuses on whether or not we win or lose.  Olympians train for years in hopes to receive a gold medal. They are not celebrating a piece of gold valued around $10,000.  They celebrate what years of preparation has done in them as individuals, for their team & their country. They would never trade that for anything!

In life, each of us have fought good fights, although they may have seemed pretty bad at the time!  We have finished a particular course & in no way does this measure whether or not we won.  Finishing a race or course, regardless of the difficulty endured, speaks volumes of us as individuals.

We can look around & see how many people have not finished any course.  Let’s face it…..America is filled with “given-ups” not grown-ups.  Once we endure a struggle, trial or test, we look back & realize it helped define how strong we truly are.  Win or lose, not giving in or giving up is the most important trait to possess.

Keeping the faith is not as easy as it sounds.  I’ve got amazing friends who have endured traumatic experiences & have completely relinquished faith.  Not just relinquished faith in God, but faith in people/humanity, trust, Christianity,  & worst of all….themselves.  This truly grieves my heart.

I want to take a moment to congratulate you the Olympians for their extraordinary accomplishments.  Mostly I want to congratulate you for fighting when you feel like you don’t have another punch left, finishing when you feel like quitting every day, & keeping your faith in people who love you, a God who will never leave you & most of all…..the phenomenal person you are. I love the picture used in this blog. The London Bridge represents what happens when you finish your race.  You gain wisdom, sometimes born of pain, & strength.  You can bridge the gap & pass the torch to someone who is experiencing their own fight or battle.  Run, finish & keep the focus on what your victory can portray for others.

We may not always win, but we can always finish.

Blessings,

g

Stoplights of Life

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I had a “eureka” moment on my way to work this morning. This certain event has happened millions of times during the past 38 yrs., but somehow this morning, it caused me to think differently.  

I have been tweaking my quick route to work & there are two stop lights that regardless of what I do, I am always stopped by.  There is one located at the Market Center & World Trade Center, Dallas, which is iffy!  While stopped at the Market Center light this morning my “moment” occurred.  I was in the center lane behind one other vehicle & just as the light changed, cars on each side of me zoomed past.  The vehicle in front of me finally took off & we continued our journey.  Nothing extraordinary, just normal stuff right?  

As this happened, I was enlightened that this is exactly what happens to us in life.  We are all on a journey & there are things that could stop us along the way.  Some things are unavoidable, while others are distractions.  I have realized in the past 5 yrs. most are self-instituted distractions.  Once you stop the momentum, even for a season, it is extremely difficult to gain it back.  Being in the “middle lane or middle of the road” in life is not always the best lane.  The story I often use to describe myself is “The Tortoise and The Hare.” You know the story & we see it hundreds of times in life & business.  Some people start off zooming past everyone, have a false sense of accomplishment, stop to rest, & lose the race.  The others are steady, confident, & never stop focusing on their goal.  The journey is the destination & we often miss the most beautiful parts of it.  The cars this morning were a metaphor of  our journey.  Many things break our focus & cause us to stop pursuing the things that will produce the greatest results for us.  We look around & it appears others are zooming past us. Stopping, being distracted, or just quitting on your dreams & goals take much more effort to get started again than if we would have simply exercised the example of the tortoise & just kept going.  You may not appear to be gaining traction or zooming past others, but you will win the race.  Here are some great quotes on momentum. 

If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum. -Holly Near

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.-Michael Korda

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life? -Tony Robbins

If you are stopped in life, I can only suggest making the choice to begin again.  If you have goals & dreams that you have longed to accomplish, begin again. If you are at an “intersection” in life & don’t know what to do or which path to take, please find a credible mentor & discuss a game plan.  Playing it safe, staying in the middle of the road is something I would suggest for you to reconsider. Following those who play is safe is even more detrimental to your goals & dreams.    I love Ben Franklin & believe he is one our greatest examples to follow. He says, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”   It isn’t about you!  It’s about the countless thousands of people who could be given a spark of hope by your courage & momentum to accomplish great things.  Here is something to ponder, “Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.” – Thomas J. Watson   I couldn’t have found better words to say it!  Sounds like a Rascal to me!  

I encourage you to count the cost of what each decision will make in your life & in the lives of others.  What will the result be if you quit?  What will the result be if you succeed?  Who will benefit or lose from each decision?  The choice is yours. Choose wisely. 

Blessings, 

g

Where are the Leaders?

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Many years ago, 27 to be exact, my best friend’s husband was being relocated to a military base.  This in itself was difficult as I loved her dearly. The other factor making a huge impact was the part of her being the director of a well-known AOG children’s ministry, Missionettes.  She was fabulous!  I on the other hand was her “helper.”  I served perfectly happy as the craft person.  I went from class to class each Wednesday night & devoted time with the kids performing arts & crafts.  This was my niche.  We were a busy group with meetings, camps, promotions, etc. & I loved to assist!

The Christian Education leader was a brilliant, resourceful, passionate, woman named Doris Asbury.  She talked about kids as though there was nothing more important on the face of the earth than ministering to them.  I, on the other hand, had 1 kid of my own, but didn’t like kids.  I know that is weird, but it was true.  I liked crafts.  Teaching kids annoyed me. Doris would tell stories that would hold your attention forever concerning how to teach kids.  I would listen & think, there is no way I would ever get this thrilled over children’s ministry.  You can imagine the number of times I rolled my eyes & let the speech go in one ear & out the other.  Yes, I was not interested.

No way until my friend moved leaving a huge, gaping hole for that program.  Doris called me to her office & informed me I had to be the director because I knew everything about the program.  I laughed & said, “No way, I am a follower not a leader!”  She strongly encouraged me that I had to do it because there was no one else.  I leaned across her desk & told her she had one month to find a replacement.  30 days!   I was adamant the director was not going to be me.  I went home, got on my face & admitted my dislike of teaching kids to God & asked Him to give me His heart.  One month turned into 4 yrs.  Our program grew, we had teachers & assistants for each class, each child & teacher had uniforms, we entered & won many promotions, attendance was at an all time high, missionaries would visit us while on furlow & I sincerely learned to love kids.  Each age group that I declared I would NEVER teach, I taught  at some time, falling deeply in love with them.  One night during pre-class praise & worship, a 3 yr. old gave her heart to Jesus.  A couple of months later she & her father died in a car accident.  Children would pray for their parents, friends, lives & their tender spirits melted our hearts.  That 4 years was the most incredible time I have ever had.

Having that background, several years later I was the program director for Saturday Sunday School which operated out of our Bible School.  Along with my administrative duties,  I was a clown!  Literally!  I painted my face each Saturday, wore my bright clown outfit & loved my time with kids. To this day, kids have a very special place in my heart.  Such a place that there are times I feel like giving everything I own away, taking my favorite red back pack & moving to Brazil to work in our MORE Project.  I would trade room & board for teaching Life Skill Classes!  This haunts me more some days than others.  Working in Singles Ministry for over 17 years, having such a passion for single moms & their kids mirrors the ministry there & I feel it would extend I feel called to do.

This passion & love would have never been developed had Doris not strongly encouraged me to stand in the gap, & make up the hedge.   She was a leader who developed leaders.  Leaders accept you where you’re at, but love you into the future.  I am forever grateful Doris loved me enough to love me into children’s ministry.  Since 2006, I have been extremely blessed to be partners in a leadership development organization. I believe leadership is lacking in our nation in epic proportions.  I listen to personal development CD’s every morning while getting ready for work & throughout the day while driving, or at home instead of watching TV.  This morning a quote was given that I had to research because it pierced my soul (mind, will & emotions).

We live in the crucible of a most extraordinary moment in time. Never
before have we faced the vast ethical and leadership challenges that lie
before us today. Those leaders who guided the moral fabric of society
up to this point are coming to the end of their leadership careers. New
leaders must be empowered to take their place. Who will share the vision
of emerging leaders? – Mentoring Leaders , Arrow Leadership

My story of time spent with children is just a mere fraction of what our nation needs.  Percentages of absentee fathers, abandoned children, divorce, business failures, & character compromises increase on a minute to minute basis.   I have repeated the word crucible over & over today. The definition that screams loudly at me is this:  a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development. 

Never before has our nation, or planet for this matter, needed a more concentrated force of influence than right now.  I can’t force anyone to change.  I can, however, change myself & emulate the change.   John Maxwell, #1 World Leadership Guru says, ‘Leadership is influence.”   I love the quote,  “A rising tide raises all ships” & I believe we need a tidal wave of leadership development in our midst.

Just as I fell in love with teaching kids, I have fallen in love with learning.  There are ka-zillions of sources for leadership development, but I have always had discernment on who to follow.  Numerous opportunities, both in business & ministry, have presented themselves to me, yet in my spirit, I knew to walk away from countless many.  I have had the privilege to learn from the #7 & #12 World Leadership Gurus, best-selling authors, & other credible men / women who have earned their  respect. This association has broadened my horizon & helped me gain a perspective unlike any other. This is a leadership movement like no other.

If you feel called to become the person God has intended you to become  & have no idea where to begin, there is hope.  There is a world-class educational system in place for you to learn from.  Executives, corporations, renown ministries & organizations use it on a daily basis. It is a level playing field as we all have much to learn & lots of growing to do. Peter Senge once stated in an interview, that a learning organization is a group of people working together to collectively enhance their capacities to create results they really care about. This describes the mutual passion of those involved in our education system to the letter.

As the quote mentions above, who will share  in the vision of emerging leaders?  Will you answer the call?

Blessings,

g

Comfortably Numb

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This morning, for some strange reason, the words, “Comfortably Numb” came to mind.  While this was clearly a song referencing the drug scene, I feel like this is what Americans have excepted with their debt. We have received a steady  infusion of mediocrity & complacency creating an apathetic numbness. Funny, but some of the lyrics say this:

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown the dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb

I talk to people daily whose response is, “I’m doing alright” & it saddens me to think they’ve compromised the dream of doing something great or even significant with their lives.  Doing alright is clearly a matter of opinion.  Christine Aguilera has a line in the movie, Burlesque, that hit a chord within me the second I heard her say it. When Jack asked Ali why she left her hometown, she says, “I looked around at everyone I knew & there wasn’t one life I wanted.”  I have to admit, there were people whom I admired because it appeared they had it all together until I realized appearances aren’t always what they seem.  It wasn’t the type of togetherness I ever wanted to settle for.  I still respect them as humans, but would never covet their lifestyle.  Some of these were doctors, lawyers, prestigious business men/women, executives, & etc.  Once you see beyond the norm into the realm of possibilities, it completely warps your brain!  Thank God!

The words from the Lennon song, Imagine, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” resonate deep within my soul.  I was a nurse at age 4.  Everyone knew it, especially the dogs who were usually my patients!  Later, after fulfilling that career dream, the stirring of being more & doing more kept nagging at me.  In 2003, through a desperate set of circumstances, a friend gave me the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”  by Robert Kiyosaki.  It provided the answers I knew existed.

In 2004 I left my hometown in Louisiana & moved to Texas with the sole purpose of discovering my destiny & fulfilling my purpose.  I have never had a problem with dreaming BIG!  I only had the problem of having the vehicle of making those dreams come true.  I realized working  as many hours per week as possible in 3 jobs  never provided that.  I have seen the effects of people who just accept this is a way of life for them.  You see it too. The glimmer of hope is erased from their eyes; their smiles are forced; relationships mirror the results & conversations locate their heart.   I am grieved, because as I have discovered, there is so much more.  I’ve never felt the numbness of giving up on my dream, only the anxiety of not getting it fast enough & there is certainly nothing comfortable about my lifestyle either!

I encourage you to inventory the parts of your life that perhaps you have buried.  Search your soul, which is your mind, will & emotions, to discover what really drives you.  What subject, when mentioned, excites you to the point of even bringing tears to your eyes?  What dream have you stuffed so far down in your psyche, only a soul search will unfold?  Once you determine this, believe me, there is a vehicle to provide the resources to accomplish it.  I know, it has changed my life to the point of never looking back in regret for making the choice.

 

There are many enemies out to steal your dream.  They come in the form of promotions, titles, pride, self-sabotage, friends, family, material things, etc.   The biggest enemy is, “I’m doing good” because good is the enemy of great.  If your dreams have been shattered, it’s time to dream again, only dream bigger than ever before.  The “Dream Giver” made sure you were born with seeds of greatness in you.  Break up the fallow ground, sow into the lives of others & receive a rich harvest in a life only imaginable in your dreams.

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to  pursue them –Walt Disney

Blessings,      

g                                                                                                                                                                          

Being broke is never a money prob$em, but a thinking prob$em!

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I talk to people on a daily basis about the benefits of owning a home based biz.  I have been involved in a home based biz since September 2006 & can honestly say, from experience, that it is the greatest position in the universe.  Reading books such as “The Next Millionaires by Paul Zane Pilzer” clearly defines four specific areas in which to invest your time & resources with the greatest ROI.  Not only return, but HUGE return.  His prediction of having ten million new millionaires by the year 2016 is right on target.  He says if you have a business in just one of the four categories, you are guaranteed to become one of those predicted millionaires.  The categories are:

  • Home based business
  • Internet
  • Health / Wellness
  • Intellectual Distribution

My business embraces all four so you can see why I am so psyched all the time.  When you read the book “The Business of the 21st. Century by Robert Kiyosaki”  you will know even more of why I am psyched!  He states to have a successful business you need two things:

  • A Duplicateable System
  • Leadership

Yes!  Not only does my business have both, but it has both with excellence!  When I sit down with a potential business partner, I have nothing to hide, will not apologize for having pride in what I stand for & certainly know the benefits of being involved with this business model. I edify my mentors with assurance of knowing they lead with character, integrity & honor.  I have noticed many ways people attempt to justify not becoming a part of a home based biz.  It is easy to find blame or use excuses when honestly they don’t have the courage to step out on their own.  They also don’t have belief in themselves & listen to others who are cowards.  That may be strong, but everything I do is a step of faith.  As a single woman, I had to exercise courage to become a business owner.  I also had to get over myself by overcoming fear, rejection, intimidation, past failures, past successes, insecurities & self-sabotage.  I have become a better person in many ways because of this.  I love this scripture & apply it in every facet of life.

Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.~ Heb.11:1

I find some of the “reasons” people use as to why they can’t start their own business interesting.  It is real to them, but to me, it is just a sad assortment of selling themselves & their family short of  their highest potential.  I can recognize it because I used it too!  My observation is that when people say they can’t afford to invest in their future, they don’t realize the things they invest in on a daily basis moves them further away from freedom.  I used to partake of temporary satisfaction or self-entitlement.  I had a problem with compulsive shopping causing me to work even more hours away from my kids. Thanks to a world-class financial training system, I  have learned long-term vision & delayed gratification.  I haven’t “arrived,”  but I am totally not the same person.  It is amazing how I define my wants -vs-needs & discipline myself to them.

I often hear people say they can’t “afford”  their own biz as I watch them eat out every day for lunch & even several times a week for dinner; use the vending machines at work numerous times a day;  hit the restaurants & movies on weekends or other entertainment sources;  then there could the smoking habit or yes, even ***$$$ coffee; (Gals)ALWAYS have nails / toes / hair done, & sport the latest fashions; (Guys) ALWAYS have leagues/card games/hobbies/fantasy sports game pools. Some of these expenses are daily, weekly, bi-weekly & monthly, but if they ever calculated the cost per year, they would be surprised at the discretionary funds they could have.  I can honestly say I had to do this when I moved to Texas.  Budget?  What on earth was that?  I NEVER kept a budget & yes, it showed in my finances.  When I actually had to keep receipts & report to someone bi-weekly to explain why I purchased what I did, I gained control & exercised discipline.  I  vividly remember the first trip to Sam’s Club after beginning this program.  I loaded my cart in the usual fashion, strolled around the store & then realized, “How am I going to explain this to Blah-Blah?”  I immediately unloaded the things from the cart in their respectful place & never did it again. Seriously now I only visit Sam’s maybe once or twice yearly.  I gained control thus changing my thinking.  This was the precursor for what I would begin to learn 2 years later in my own biz.

I believe the saddest thing I hear  is to use their kids as excuses when they should be the reason.  My kid has ______practice, or belong to ______team or is going on ______trip.  Short term sacrifice for your kids could result in you being the parent who has a motor-coach or bus & is able to take the entire team to playoffs because you are time & financially free.  You would be the coolest parent in the community & a hero to your kids. Or…what about actually taking them to every point of history in our nation instead of letting a conveyor-belt school system teach them?  When school starts, you could buy supplies for your children & adopt kids for each of them to assist with supplies?  What about telling your wife to go shopping & there is no monetary limit to her spending because you now make more in a week than you did in a year from your J.O.B.?  Hey it’s summertime & kids camps are in progress all over the nation.  Could you sponsor ten kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go?  Camps literally change lives & this is an investment worth making.  How about seeing the Angel Tree in your church at Christmas & adopting every single parent & their kids?    Maybe you want to help an aging parent?  Write a check to pay off their house not just a house payment here & there.

Here’s a novel idea!  How about practicing what I did with my daughter, son-in-law & grands did last year for Christmas?  We gave the gift of “presence” instead of “presents.”  We started small because we had recently had the expense of my son’s wedding in October so we limited our budget.  My son-in-law chose Chicago.  I live in Dallas & they live in the outskirts of St. Louis.  I drove to St. Louis where we went via Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago.  We stayed near the Magnificent Mile & spent  time there exploring things that will forever be etched in our memories. We love aquariums & have added Shedd Aquarium on our list of ones visited.  Trains, aquarium, Giordano’s deep-dish Chicago style, pan pizza, shaved  Portillo’s roast beef subs, snow, American Girl, Lego Store, & etc. You know the greatest part of the entire trip for me?  Was it spending time with my grands & watching them as they explored the things they couldn’t wait to see?  Was it seeing my grands faces as they watched dolphins for the first time in their lives perform a Christmas play?  Should have been, but it was to hear my son-in-law talk to friends / family on the phone while we were there telling them they have to try this!  Priceless!    The possibilities are endless & are only limited by your imagination.

What I have learned is that people will always have money for what matters to them.  The mentality that you will always be in debt is a lie handed down for generations.  Our forefathers were entrepreneurs.  They networked within their communities.  They used the cash system.  Many first generation millionaires used the principles written about in the book, “The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.”   Timeless principles that have endured generation after generation of millionaires.  How about the book, “The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko.”  This book is one of my favorites to resort to when I feel when the pressure of  “fitting in”  or “self-entitlement”  starts to creep in.   I keep it at my office!

Our future matters!  More than this, the future of our children matter.  Our ancestors & their families fled the tyranny of an evil government to what they pictured as freedom in a new world.  They had nothing but hope & a dream. Somewhere down the chain, we have marred that determination & have turned dreams into nightmares.   You see, debt isn’t the American Dream, it’s the American Way.

I admonish the people who have the courage to defend the rights of freedom globally by stepping out of their comfort zones, getting past two knobs — the TV remote & the door — and defending their family.  My favorite book & the greatest of all eternity, the Bible,  has sound, financial scriptures I will paraphrase:  “Be a lender to many nations & never borrow,”  “A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren,”  “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.”  Regardless of your faith, these are amazing principles, yet we would rather follow in the footsteps of our neighbors, friends, & even family members by being in debt living paycheck to paycheck.   At your hearts discretion, not your bank account, choose to be a blessing to many.  Reading the inspiring book  “L.I.F.E. = Living Intentionally For Excellence by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward” gives tremendous examples of how to live a life that truly counts.

Think about what you would do if you knew you couldn’t lose.  Being broke is never a money problem, but having broke thinking.  This is something easily changed.  Another of my favorite books, “The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson” has made a tremendous difference in my life & in the lives of millions.  The simple phrase, “It’s easy to do and it’s easy not to do” captures my attention when I have to make decisions daily toward the disciplines I have set.  Get a mani/pedi bi-weekly or learn from millionaires every day?  Easy!  Pay a salon to color my hair or do it myself so I can attend a convention? Easy!   Slight edge discipline in every area of our lives can change the course of history for our family.   Be the person others write about in ancestral searches as the Rascal who made the difference.

Change your thinking, change your results. Build trust in yourself once again & fulfill the destiny you were created to fulfill. On the journey, help someone else fulfill theirs.  Pay it forward & dream BIG!!!

Blessings,

g

Humbled by paperclips

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A short note this evening about an “ah-ha” moment I had today.  In processing grants there are usually several trees worth of paper involved on a daily basis.  Certain funders have persnickety requirements such as font size, margin width, word counts, no staples, page numbers, no page numbers, number of pages, double-sided pages & yada-yada!  Whew!  I’m tired just thinking of what I actually read through on a daily basis!

I am organized, sometimes to a fault!  When positioning several documents for mailing, I usually align clips in that they don’t bunch up at the same place when bundled together.  I know….anal comes to mind doesn’t it?  Anyway….I have discovered the wonderful assortment of paper clips.  I am now raising my right hand repeating, “I will not become a “clip-aholic” like I was a “pen-aholic” in nursing!!!”  There are some that just stand out in front of the rest. Sturdy, slick, heavy-duty & I always use them first.  Then there are the square ones I reserve for my files only.  And I have this cute one that is my symbol for my biz.  I never use it because I don’t want it lost.  Hey, it’s my symbol! My latest fav are the vinyl coated ones.  Colorful, clean, secure & colorful!  Yes…that’s my personality! I have found we have some regular paperclips that leave ugly marks on my pages.  God forbid!  Today allowed me the time to dig through my space & sort the ones I don’t care for.  In doing this completely worthless, time-consuming task I had my “ah-ha”  moment.  When I send documents out, I always send my semi-favorite clips leaving the ugly, distasteful ones to accumulate.  Why not send the ugly ones out instead & get rid of them?  Eureka!  I know… I actually wasted brain cells on that thought?

The gist of the story is that in my eyes they are ugly, useless & in my way.  To someone else they could be useful & welcomed.  I realize it is just a stinking paper clip, but bear with me here!  At that moment, I couldn’t help but think about the gifts & talents God has given to us.  We allow insecurities, poor self-talk, the opinions of others, fear, intimidation, or complacency sabotage  us to shuffle the gifts back in the proverbial drawer of life becoming useful to no one.  In our society we have a growing number of “given-ups”  instead of grown-ups.  We may possess an uncanny ability of drawing the best out in people, yet we shrink because if we fail, we will leave a mark on our soul or reputation.  To someone else, we could add value & display the hope, faith, trust & courage  they need to take another step.  Our smile, positive words, kindness in action, affirmation, & belief in who they can become should never be reserved, but freely offered. Who are we to hold them back because of our tarnished self-perception?

My drawer is sorted, not neatly, but sorted, (see! I’m not THAT anal! ) I purpose to send all the clips out that were once held back in hopes that when returned, they will be newer & shinier!  No! It’s not selfish! I’m recycling!   In L.I.F.E., I purpose to use the gifts & talents God has entrusted to me in hopes to help humanity.  The return will be better because I have already gained valuable insight! Who knew?

Humbled again in such a simple lesson. In-tune to learn more & more of the nature of the One who sent His best so that I may be picked from the crowd as useful.

Blessings,

g

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.-Jim Elliot

Blue Hue Effects

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Here’s a question I heard this weekend.  If you watch TV every night for 5 years & do what it tells you, will you be financially FREE? I think debt, disillusioned, distressed, & destroyed are more terms to identify the results from this practice.

Lets explore your options!  As a result of media influences, how many will:

  • have a cable package that costs more than our support to our local church or charity?
  • finance exercise equipment that is never used?
  • apply for every credit card available for rewards that will change the next month?
  •  fill  cabinets with the wrong foods & kitchen with gadgets which will supply the  next garage sale?
  •  have all the toys: TVs, game consoles, stereo equip  only collecting dust b/c they are working 3 jobs to pay for it?
  •  re-fi their house which will cost  more money annually due to closing costs than their current house note?
  • do a reverse mortgage  on a home that is almost completely paid for?
  • buy that car causing insurance payments to increase?
  • have that gastric bypass surgery, lap band, or sleeve only to realize it was a quick fix & not a discipline for the root cause?
  • join a weight loss clinic, because the previous surgery didn’t keep the weight off & they are the exact same size as before?  Now they are paying fees to join &  for purchasing boxed processed foods with little to no actual nutritional value.
  • join a gym because it soothes the middle age insecurities, become sexy,  have an affair &  lose everything they were having trouble keeping?
  • wonder why they are on Xanax for anxiety, blood pressure meds to prevent a stroke & sleeping pills to help us forget we begin the rat race over in T-6hrs!

This is just a short list of influences the media has on our daily lives.  Reality TV is as far from reality as it can get, yet we numb our minds living the lives of someone else when we were created for greatness. Reality is, we need to turn it off & engage in activities that will challenge us to become who we are destined to become.

The average person has 24 hours to a day. Lets break it down with 6-8 hours spent on sleeping; 8-12 are spent on work, not including time to get ready & commute time which could add another 2-3 hrs.  Then, once home, if you have small kids, you pick them up from daycare, do homework, prepare dinner, get ready for bed & the cycle begins again.  In that home time, how many people shuffle their kids to video games, DVDs, etc. while the blue haze from the TV hypnotize their minds away from existence?  More than I would like to calculate. So how many hours are actually left out of those 24 to spend communicating, building relationships, preparing for our future or serving others? What about using that exercise equipment?

I love movies, but discipline my time even for those.  I have not had cable in over 3 years & can’t imagine what I would do with it now.  My vice was DIY, HGTV or CSI, Criminal Minds, anything that would make me try to figure out the solution before they did which appealed  to my melancholy personality with intrigue & details! During the phase of  HGTV, DIY my budget reflected the cause & effect from those shows. I could justify that it  would save me money rather than paying someone else to do the project & believe me….I have taken on some projects.  In actuality, my time is worth more than what it takes to indulge in said projects & technically I should have paid someone to do it.  However…I have left every one of those projects behind for someone who may or may not appreciate my hard work & labor of love. For example….I spent a couple of years & quite a bit of finances landscaping a yard for a house I owned in Louisiana.  It had a beautiful semi-circle drive which I lined with white miniature Crape Myrtles.  I had a gorgeous bird house pole with a purple wisteria & extraordinary curb appeal around the house itself. Trees such as Wax Crape Myrtles, Curly Willows, Purple Plums & Cherry. Flowers like powder puff, camellias, Althea, roses, hydrangea, lilies, lambs ear, dusty miller, sweet potato vines, containers with perennials, & etc.  It was amazing & lush!   When I sold the house, the person who bought it had a fear of snakes & leveled everything.  EVERYTHING!  So much for my investment right? Of course….I was “hypnotized”  to believe it would increase the value of my home.

Anyway…below is an interesting article I found on the subject of TV media influences.   While it is from 2007 & there are many articles available, I can only hope we understand the importance of  feeding our subconscious mind.  Even if the TV is in the background, our subconscious mind is very alert picking up on what is being said & suggested. Consider the effect of what these inputs will make during the next 5 years. Monitor your budget & analyze for yourself.

Blessings,

g

http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

I bid you STAND!

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Had to work late tonight & miss one of the most important days of the week to me–Tuesday night at the office.  A night where we gather together with one vision & in one accord to declare freedom to the captives of the industrial age or the 45 yr. plan!   Some may think this is a waste of time.  You don’t know what you don’t know, right?  They are the ones that have accepted the way of philosophy where we went to school, made good grades, got a secure job & worked for someone else’s dream.  I, somehow, have always thought this was the most absurd thought anyone could ever hold over me.  From a child I had “Dreams” of greatness.   I would sit for hours & “dream” with my sister.  I must admit, they were mostly about Donny Osmond, but….nevertheless….I never saw myself as “normal.”  The town I grew up in  had what I describe as “city limit mentality.”  Generations lived & died in the same house.  Some never left the state of Louisiana. Serious!   Somehow God blessed me & I never developed that mentality.  I have not only traveled out of the state of Louisiana, but many amazing places!

From the time I can remember, I said the same prayer every night while gazing toward the heavens. “God I thank you for who I was, who I am, & who I’m going to be.”  Years I prayed this never knowing the power of this one prayer.  How could I thank God for who I was?  A simple country girl, baby of the family, who possessed the power of a dream?  How could I thank God for who I am?  A popular student in high school, who had the boldness & tenacity to stand up to any opposition?  How could I thank God for who I was going to be?  A statistic? Pregnant in high school, married, divorced, married, divorced & a single mom for now 17 yrs?  Or….How could I thank God for who I was going to be?  A successful entrepreneur who longs to give hope to millions?  How could I?  The same way I have lived daily! With the KNOWING of who I am, & whose I am.  The person with an insatiable dream!

You may feel like you are simply going through the motion of every day life, but my friend, I have great news for you!!!  Your life  doesn’t have to be this way.  You see, I made a choice at a very early age.  My choice, unbeknown to me,  was to  never  accept what I saw others do as a way I should live my life.  I left a safe, secure, career to discover what God had for me.  Was it scary?  I have to admit, YES!  It was in those times, I reached further for my Father’s hand & listened ever more intently to His guiding voice.

There are seeds of greatness in all of us.  Seeds, that once watered, could be the inspiration to spread to someone less fortunate.  Seeds, that once watered, could be like the mighty oak.  Once a tiny acorn, now giving shade to generations of humans, animal life, & nutrients  to  an underground ecosystem existence we never see.

I felt drawn for some strange reason to watch an all time fav movie of mine.  One I fought for years to accept, but now can quote it.  Lord of the Ring, Return of the King.  I won’t go into the detail of what this movie series means to me, but understand, I love it for the right reasons.

There are a few scenes that I inspires me every time I watch it.  One is when the King of Rohan tells his warriors how to attack the “Elophants.”  As he shouts, “Bring it down, bring it down, bring it down!” I can’t help but think of what enemies we face on a daily basis that can be brought down by our strategic attack.  NOT a physical attack, but completely by the Spirit of  the Living God.  Then….my favorite part of the trilogy is when King Aragorn is addressing the troops at the Black Gate.  His speech is so totally inspirational to me.

Here it is: “Hold your ground!”  “I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.  A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends & break all bonds of fellowship, but it is NOT this day.  An hour of wolves & shattered shields, when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is NOT this day.” This day we FIGHT!” By all you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you STAND….”


There is something so powerful about that speech.  They are facing the last of the enemy, knowing they could very well be defeated.  Until the very end, he, Aragorn the King, as a leader,  empowers his people.

Of course, those that know the trilogy, knows Frodo Baggins  & Samwise Gamgi destroys the ring.   Let me ask you a question?  What enemy are you facing that is just accepted?  Hidden? Who are you bowing to that you have absolutely no  reason to bow?   Never bow to man, only bow the King of Kings!

The “King” has given you power over all the enemy.  Again, bow to no one!  All power & authority has been given to you, so STAND!  Express total humility, extend a hand of hope & courage, & together…face the enemy.

Somehow, this part of the trilogy has an entirely different meaning.  I have watched the eyes, the true attack, the victory!   Fifteen months passed & to their friends & family they were merely neighbors.  To the outside world,  they were heroes.  Sound familiar?  If not….my friend, you are not in the battle for anyone.  I can only feel sad for you now.

I walk daily with men & women who endeavor to make this their quest.  I applaud them, encourage them & bid them…..STAND!!!  Leaders who stand up, stare into the face of  their Goliaths & declare, “NOT THIS DAY!”

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand, there is no going back?”   I ask this question all the time.  The answer?  I have nowhere to go.  I don’t EVER  want to go back!  Those years of staring into the heavens in prayerful thought forever changed the course of my life.  Not only changed the course of my life, but challenge me daily to help others alter the course of theirs.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”  or “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything” are all too familiar quotes. I know this may have seemed like a silly movie adventure, but…..it goes much deeper.  There are people waiting for you to exercise bravery & courage.  They are praying for an answer & the answer could be YOU!

 


Write your own story, illustrate it well, but don’t forget to include others in your journey.

“The last pages are left blank for you to write your own story.”  What are you waiting on?

Enjoy the journey,

Blessings,

g

The Theory of Forced Associations

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During a meeting this week my mentor mentioned something that got me to thinking.  He explained that while he was in Jr. High School, lockers were assigned alphabetically.  The names P-S were in his group. To date, he is still friends with those guys & best friends with one of them.  They were forced to associate because of random locker assignments.  Did it end with just a mere friendship over unlocking a lock?  There were kindred spirits at play as well.  Both guys, Kirk Porter & Raffaele Recchia were entrepreneurs.  From buying candy in bulk & selling it at school,  to buying old cars that would be used in movies, they were always looking at alternative income sources.  Both were from Michigan & if I’m not mistaken, Kirk’s dad was transferred to the General Motors plant in Arlington, Texas.  Does the theory of forced associations end in Jr. High?  The cool part is that it actually affected my life.

Kirk marries a Texan girl, Nicole.  They start a family, build a house in Ovilla, Tx,  & attend The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak.  In 2004, I moved from Louisiana to Texas.  At the time of my move, I knew one family  in Texas. One. In an attempt to find an awesome youth group for my son, Bryce, we began attending The Oaks.  There were three classes suggested that all newcomers, who are interested in leadership positions at The Oaks, attend.  One was a 13 week course, Discovering Your Purpose.  Time progressed,  & during the course of attending church on Sunday & Wednesday, my sphere of knowing only one family increased & I had made several friends.  Who do you think was taking that same class?  Kirk & Nicole Porter.  To this day, I remember our last class.  An assignment was given to us to stand up in front of the class, read our spiritual gifts test results, match it to our passion & explain how the intertwining of each would place us in a ministry.  I still have that paperwork & love to read over it again & again as a reminder of how far my journey has evolved.  Many people spoke of teaching Sunday School, being involved in Missions, & various other awesome ministries.

I will never forget the look on the faces of people as I stated mine.  My bold & confident speech went  like this, “My spiritual gifts are administration & discernment. Prophecy & prayer are also among the highest scores.  My passion is for single parents.  If you were to cut my heart open, you would find that each beat would be beating for a single parent.  My determined purpose is to fill stadiums of single adults, both nationally and internationally, instructing, equipping & empowering  them  how to survive as a single adult.”  By this time, jaws dropped & stares intensified!  I continued, “I want single adults to know they are not alone & do not have to feel alienated in what could be the greatest season of their lives.”  I thanked everyone &  sat down.

Kirk presented for he & Nicole.  He mentioned that they were interested in missions, street evangelism, church planting. Because of his background, he wanted to be the best dad & husband he could be.  It was emotional for him, & became emotional for us as well.  Thirteen weeks of forced associations, learning together, created a bond.  We wanted what everyone wanted.  We encouraged & supported each other to be the best at where their passion would lead them.

Did the theory of forced associations end at a required class?  Well, no!  Kirk & Nicole became Small Group Directors & I became the Singles Director.  Because of our church leadership structure & the fact that I taught a Small Group…we were “forced” to interact on a regular basis.  Mutual respect was established, as well as friendship.  In 2006 Raffaele entered the scene again.  I love him for being the faithful friend he is & I am forever grateful for forced associations!  Raffaele had discussed with the Porters’ about this internet business he was doing.  He sent info to them in the form of audio recordings.  He then came from Michigan to Texas for a visit. On the last day of this visit, being pressed by Kirk, he explained the business to them.  Being the ambitious people they are, Kirk & Nicole soared immediately!  Shortly after becoming biz partners with Raffaele, they exposed me to the opportunity.  We have been partners since September 2006 & my life has forever changed. You see…I moved from Louisiana because I was looking for something different.  In 2003 I had been given the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, by the one and only person I knew in Texas.   Imagine that! See…..success occurs when preparation & opportunity meet. Lease Purchase Real Estate was the catalyst for me, a single mom, to forever leave behind my Louisiana family & life-long friends, walk away from a lifetime nursing career & move to a state knowing only one family.  God knew all along that the theory of forced associations would come into play.  I call it divine appointments, divine connections & supernatural relationships!

Bible scholars see thin, scarlet threads intricately woven throughout the Bible.  Read how a harlot saving a disciple is mentioned in the Hebrews “Hero Hall of Faith.”  How a widow clinging to her mother in law,  gleaning wheat of a prominent man, led the lineage of Jesus.  Joseph who being sold into slavery, put into prison, & interpreting dreams of a King, led to saving his family & the nation.  Many times forced associations aren’t pleasant, but the reward is beyond description.

At this point, I encourage you to look deeply at the associations in your life.  Are they helping you move closer to or further away from your passion & purpose? In the past several years, I have shed lots of weight. Weight in the form of associations with people who do not contribute to my purpose in life.  People, who if allowed, would have sucked the life out of me.  Does this sound cruel to you?  It may, but my heart continues to beat for single adults & there are stadiums to fill.  Because of other professional associations I have submitted to,  I can show them how they can not just merely survive, but thrive in a community as a single adult, while paying the gift of life forward .  My life purpose is to hear amazing words from my Father, not hang my head in regrets because I neglected to embrace the thin scarlet threads He has woven in my life.

I am eternally grateful for Kirk & Nicole Porter.  I have watched Kirk, not only be an amazing dad & husband, but be a mentor to men across the globe, encouraging them to do the same.  Nicole is a beautiful, amazing women of strength & influence.  They are my best friends, yet I continually allow them to be my mentors. Who knew alpha-assigning lockers would lead to associating with world leaders, building successful  communities, transforming so many lives, creating so many friendships & embracing so many dreams?  Only Jehovah God Almighty! In February 2007, during a Leadership Convention held in the St. Louis Ram Stadium, Nicole turned to me & said, “Here’s your stadium!”  To this moment, it brings tears to my eyes knowing at any moment I could have missed this opportunity.

Let me ask you a question? Who in your life could have such an impact? Life is precious & I urge you not to waste another second until you find them.  But … I will push one step further & encourage YOU to be that person to someone!

Blessings,

g

HE calls me “friend!”

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There are some people who when they refer to me as their friend, or simply call me friend, it just makes me warm & fuzzy on the inside. Literally my soul is comforted.  I actually save posts from them or even tweets to re-read in times of challenge.  I know….you may say it’s crazy, but it is a lifeline in some instances!  My goal is to be that type of person to others!

Some acquaintances can use the term “friend” as casual as I say “hello” or another term of endearment for southern hospitality.  Those times are simply acknowledged & appreciated for just their intention–hospitality.  No warm & fuzzies!

The past couple of days I have been singing an old song by Phillips, Craig & Dean, I A Friend of God!  They are actually from my hometown in La.  I am basking in this moment & recognizing it as a gentle reminder from Him. I believe it is times such as this, God wants us to know, He is more than just on the throne gazing down on our situations.  He is our friend, mindful of us & all we experience.  He is almighty & nothing passes from His sight, nor his heart!  This is a perfect example of the type of friend we should all aspire to become. After all…we are created in His image!

Be encouraged today that regardless of who you surround yourself with, He calls YOU friend!

Blessings,

g