Saturday, January 28, 2012

Spread the Wealth

Okay, just heard a politician on tv speaking about how the "financial pie" in America is uneven. A small group making lots of money while a large majority aren't and how he was planning on "leveling the pie". Alright...is that the governments fault? My mommies fault? I love living in America for this reason. If one man can any can. If someone can come up with a great idea and financially set his and thousands of other families financially free why not me? Why not you? We have 24 hrs in a day how we spend it determines a lot. I don't believe it's the governments responsibility to solve people's financial woes. If we would wake up and be honest our financial pains are due to bad choices. Sure, sometimes things happen that set us back, rainy days I believe Mr. Ramsey calls them. It's not that anything cost too much is simply that we don't have enough money to buy it. The whole point of this post is that we live in the greatest place in the world where opportunity is not limited to race, sex, age or background. The only crippling factors I see are our own self limiting beliefs. So how about the government stop focusing on spreading out the money and begin to focus on educating young people in schools on financial education. Then maybe our elected officials will truly understand debt and it's crippling powers and create ways to eliminate it. Could you imagine a nation that understands wealth and what to do with it!? Then maybe we could have less paid pro athletes and movie stars and more clean drinking water across the world. See the government doesn't have to "spread the wealth" when compassionate people are financially educated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Plain Salt

Was recently in a teachers lounge and this was sitting on the table.  I couldn't help but think how many people are okay with living their lives like this. Plain Salt, it just reeks of mediocrity. Most people are happy with the mundane and feel to ask more is to not be content. I feel that we were created with an inner urge to serve, to be more and want more for ourselves and our families. When I hear the phrase, "you just need to be content" I tend to cringe because all I'm hearing is an excuse of why they quit trying. I struggle with this myself, this idea of contentment. I find myself questioning if I should be more, could be more.

I walked into Walmart yesterday to pick up a few items and decided to wheel down the baking section to check out the salts. I was blown away at the vast selection of salts. Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Natural Sea Salt and the list goes on and on. What amazed me was that the Always Save salt wasn't the one I would have picked. Not because it wasn't the prettiest or best salt for my body but because it would have only saved me 20-40 cents from the name brand salts! Is this what Always Save Plain People do? Take the easier route because it can save us a little time, money, or pain? I read a quote once that said, "I will not trade what I want most for what I want in the moment." Yet millions of people do this day in day out. They trade the beach sunrises, mountain sunsets, debt freedom, financial freedom, and family vacations for the mundane, the safe and the comfortable. What about you? I now more than ever believe that we were not created with a spirit of timidity but one of courage and continual desire for growth. What is going to make you stand out and set you apart? What will you leave on this earth when you no longer walk it?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Perfect Storm

I was reading through Matthew 8 this morning and came to the story of Jesus and his disciples crossing the lake.  Jesus had healed many who were sick and we see the faith of the Centurion soldier just a little earlier who asked Jesus just to "speak the words" and his servant would be healed because he was not deserving to have Jesus come to his house. Jesus actually says "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." But that's not the story I want to write about, it's while they are in the boat that intrigues me.

Matthew 8:23-27
"Then they got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came upon the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him?"

Here's what amazes me about this situation.  I've been on a lake, in a boat, when a massive thunderstorm suddenly appeared!  I was freaking out!  The winds and waves were crazy but the lighting sent me into a panic.  We were a couple miles from the truck and knew we had to attempt making it back.  That was the roughest, scariest, most painful boat ride I've ever taken!  Looking back it seems funny because we survived but during the moment it wasn't funny at all! So I can sympathize with the disciples, that's not what amazes me it's Jesus reaction that is worth pondering. The comment is "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" I think I would have been, "hello, Jesus we are in a STORM! Isn't it obvious!?" But Jesus rebukes the waves and the winds and it becomes completely calm. He wasn't scared or afraid because of His faith in knowing that storms aren't the biggest things or things to fear.

"Fear and faith can not co-exist." I've heard Johnna Parr say this numerous times and it's always made sense, but really hit me this morning while reading this passage in Matthew.  What are the storms in our lives that we allow fear to control us instead of faith? It was obvious that the Centurion's servant was very sick and must have meant something to the Centurion for him to come to Jesus for healing. The Centurion didn't need Jesus to come to his house to heal the servant but just speak the words, he had no fear that Jesus had the power to heal. Fear can be paralyzing. Fear can keep us from our greatest victories and successes and also cause our greatest defeats. But where faith exists, fear cannot. Do you have faith?  Faith in yourself, your product/service, God, your kids, your spouse, friends? If so then nothing can stop you from rebuking the winds and the waves and allowing God to do mighty things through you. God doesn't call us to a life of fear in the storms but a life of faith that they too will pass and on the other side is calm water. God bless and remember, today's outcome depends on you.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Is the Right the Issue or the Individual?

Amendment II states:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Why is this being questioned?  I'm confused.  Why attack our right to bear arms because some lunatic shoots someone or some moron walks into a gun show with a loaded gun?  Should we be questioning the right or the individual?  When I was growing up a man drove his van through a preschool playground and killed a child and wounded many more. Do we outlaw vans and our right to drive?  Someone picks up a bat and beats someone maybe even to death.  Now do we outlaw bats and our freedom to play baseball?  Doesn't even make sense does it? How is it that the government wants to attack this so adamantly but they aren't concerned about curing the root of the issue?  Where is the anger and hatred coming from? Who and or what in this person's past has caused the initial wound that has yet to be healed?

Did you know alcohol use is involved in more incidents of sexual violence, including rape and child molestation than any single drug?  Why hasn't the government attacked that? Now, I don't think alcohol or our right to drink should be banned but how about exercising a little common sense and educating people of the dangers, then if an issue arises address the individual.  Are you getting the picture?  It's not the object it's the objective.  What's the person's reasoning and where does the anger come from?

This is simply a call to think before you act or re-act.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

24 Miles...

I missed a day and I apologize for that!  We ate supper as a family last night at one of our favorite Italian places and when we came home with our bellies full I laid down with the kiddos to read a book and the next thing I remember was the clock at 1:30 am!

Today was beautiful, reaching almost 70 here and we took advantage of it.  After work yesterday I ran for a couple miles and today a buddy of mine set out to bike a few miles.  We ended up going 24 miles it was a great ride.  First ride of the season for both of us so we are sore but had a great time.

So what's the nugget in the story?  I can't tell you how many times today I wanted to quit, my legs began to burn my thighs cramped on mile 18.  I lead us down a wrong road and so we had to backtrack once which was a momentum killer! Here's the thing though, we never quit.  We never gave up and when we rolled back up to my friends garage and the emotions and feelings of success set in it was fantastic!  Darren Hardy's book The Compound Effect (a must read), shares that it's the daily disciplines repeated daily that created the MASSIVE results.  Simply put; not quitting.  So many people give up on their dreams and their families dreams when things get tough, maybe a wrong turn or choice, pain is experienced or they've never done it before.  What did you do or not do today that will compound over time?  Jim Rohn says be cautious of the little things like throwing our clothes on the bed or dresser instead of putting them away, not washing that one dish, not making that one call. Remember the key is not quitting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

#Hashtags

Living and operating in Twitterland and don't understand the power of hash tags and their value? That's okay because it's not too late! Here are a few simple and quick tips to help you get started!

  1. Visit hashtag.org and type in a phrase, product, event, or service. (i.e. apple, stevejobs, marketing)
  2. When wanting to get more views on your post place a # and something that has to do with the post. Example, "Baking my famous apple pie." #applepie #greatrecipes. People look for these hash tags and choose to follow you and glean information based upon your common interests.
  3. Give people something worth viewing on the hash tags. If you are talking about your amazing pie then link the recipe, don't leave us hanging!
  4. Hash tags are a great way to find out about your product or service so pay attention. Want to develop better services or better listen to what people are saying about a subject? Again, pay attention hash tags can allow us all to be better equipped in today's market.
Happy #hashtagging!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life is Full of Choices...

Or is it choices are full of life?

Today I talked to the High School students about choices, probably my favorite day, the day it all comes together. I start the eight day program with students having little to no clue what they are walking into and who they are walking in with. I let them know my goal is to provide them facts, what they chose to do with those facts eight days later is their choice. At no point in our lessons do I cram down their throat my beliefs or opinions I simply speak the truth and always point out that it's ultimately their choice of paths. I always have students comment about that, "I love how you presented facts and then left it up to us." The final day we have a few things we cover but the main thing is we share our goals for life with each other. I'm a firm believer that if we have a vision of where we are heading that will help us avoid the risky behaviors that sometimes can seem to be the "norm" or accepted. If we have a clear picture it drives us to remember no temporary high; physically, emotionally or mentally is worth what we desire in the future. I've had students in my classes that you can watch in the 2012 Summer Olympics, one swimming against Michael Phelps and the other playing volleyball! How great is that? I have students that are going to be famous authors, politicians, school teachers, great parents, travel the world and the list goes on and on! It's so exciting for me to hear and be a part of the lives of these students who have a vision for their future and are going to truly change the world. The Bible says, "Where there is no vision the people will perish." Before the class is all over I always thank the students and here is my following comments to them and I ask you to let it be my final comment to you today as well.

"You are fixing to walk out this door and into a world that has consequences for poor decisions, you have goals, you just shared them with me, these consequences can destroy those goals. You now have good information and you can make better choices, your past does not dictate your future. The best news is the choice is yours and in those choices lies freedom."