SALT

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“Ye are the salt of the earth..” Matthew 5:13

Salt in ancient times had many different purposes; it was used as an ingredient in fertilizer to help things grow, as a preservative to help things last and in temple ceremonies for purification. Salt is needed in the human body to balance the essential fluids that sustains life and as an electrolyte to transfer energy from cell to cell. Because this simple chemical compound can do so much, grow, preserve, purify, balance and conduct energy I have chosen it as my One Word for 2017 to help me grow, preserve a legacy, become more Christ like by living a more pure and balanced life and to have the energy to make a transformational impact on myself and those around me.  To help me do this I will think of Salt being a combination of four words; Stretch, Attitude, Legacy and Transformational.

STRETCH

“Nothing happens inside your comfort zone”

In order to grow you have to stretch beyond your fears.  You are responsible for where you are at today and you will be responsible for where you will be tomorrow. Don’t let your history control your destiny you have the control to become the person you want to become but it will never happen if you allow the fear, opinions and criticism of others to limit your growth. Stretch! Become a person of action!  Failure is only a myth! Failure only becomes a failure when you quit! Stretch through the pain of a loss! View challenges and set backs as a gift an opportunity to learn and improve. If you don’t’ move either left or right you will stay right where you are at; average and average is right where sucks starts.  Decide today to stretch yourself beyond the twilight of the gray where nothing happens into the glaring light of boldness in action.

ATTITUDE

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”Viktor Frankl

Andy Andrews in his book “The Travelers Gift” states that one of the seven decisions you need to make to determine your success is that you have to choose to be happy. I believe that you choose to be positive! You choose to be grateful!  It’s hard to be depressed when you have a heart full of happiness and gratitude.  It’s never the event that is good or bad but rather our reaction or better our response to that event.  If we have a negative reaction we will have a negative outcome, however, if we have a positive response we can end up with a positive outcome even in the face of great distress and horrible circumstances. There are thousands of examples where people have overcome hardships and set backs because they chose their attitudes. Our thinking paves the pathway to our success or failure.

“Today I choose to be Happy”

LEGACY

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike

The philosopher and author Immanuel Kant is most famous for his “categorical imperative” a general rule Kant argued that we should follow for all our ethical decision-making: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”  I will focus this year on what type of legacy I may be leaving behind.  Are my words and actions such that I would want them to become a “universal law” ? Is my daily walk such that I would want my family, friends and teammates to imitate them?  Let’s be honest we have all at one time or another imitated someone else; be it an actor, sports star or speaker.  So if I want people to imitate me who should I be imitating? I can think of no better person than the apostle Paul who exhorted in his letter to the Philippians “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things….” Phil 4:9. He commanded Titus to follow his example “in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified , sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us” Titus 2:7-8.  But if we read the writings of Paul more deeply we will see that he isn’t asking people to imitate him but to imitate him because he is imitating Christ Jesus. So I will seek to imitate Christ more fully this year so that I may leave a legacy as he has left that being a legacy of love.

TRANSFORMATIONAL.

“You don’t have to like the process just fall in love with the results.”

If this coming year I can focus on stretching beyond my comfort zones, keeping an attitude of gratitude and leaving a legacy of love I will have the opportunity to not only transform my life into one of passion and vision but I may just may help someone else do the same and that will make all the hard work and discomfort worthy of the price that I will have to pay to get there. I will have to awaken each morning with excitement and passion and go to bed each night exhausted knowing that I gave it my all each and every day. The only limitation to the realization of my dreams and transformation for tomorrow will be the limits that I place on myself today and I hope that I will be able to throw off those chains of doubts and fears to accomplish those goals.  I don’t have to like the process I just need to fall in love with the results knowing that I am just clay on the potter’s wheel and at times I will have to be broken down to be built back up.

I am looking forward to this next year with much excitement, passion and vision as like I have never felt.  I hope you have that same feeling but if your life seems a little dull and tasteless right now I would suggest that you just add a little salt.

A Lesson in Persistence from My Daughter the High School Athlete 

  

This picture was taken in 2011 when my daughter was in the seventh grade and attended a softball camp hosted by the Howell High School Varsity Softball team. She had been playing softball for several years prior to this date but it was after this camp that it seemed she developed the love for the game and the desire to wear the Green and Gold of the Lady Highlanders. Over the next several years she played, practiced and prepared for that spring tryout her freshman year. Although she didn’t make varsity she wasn’t too disappointed because she had made the JV team as a freshman. So she worked hard during the season and played travel ball during the summer and worked out in the winter nervously waiting the spring tryouts. March came and at the end of tryouts, heartbreak again. Although the coaches liked what they saw they felt it would be better if she played one more year at JV to gain more game experience. Although again disappointed she went back to work, playing practicing and preparing.  As March of her junior year rolled around she was especially confident about tryouts this time because she knew all the hard work she had put in as well as the excitement of a new coaching staff, this year was going to be different; but no heartbreak again. As a parent you hurt when your child hurts and that was one of the toughest car rides home after picking her up after finding out she had not made varsity. She said the coaching staff wanted her to stay and be a part of the program but wanted her to play a third year on JV, I asked her what she wanted to do and between the tears she said “I just want to play ball”. So she went back to work, had her best year ever in JV, hit the weight room all summer, played travel ball and pitching lessons on most Saturday’s all at the same time playing basketball for her high school team.  So here we are spring of her senior year and tryouts are upon us and we finally get the call “I made Varsity!”.  I couldn’t be more proud. Even if she never plays a single inning or gets a single at bat, she has won. She has proven to all the young girls coming behind her and to me that if you just keep working with a singled mindedness on a goal you can achieve most anything regardless of what others think of you. 

GRIT

 

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GRIT: Grit is a passion for a goal with a powerful motivation to achieve an objective by overcoming obstacles that lie within an individual’s path to accomplishment.

As you work towards the progressive realization of your goals this next year I hope the following acrostic will help you overcome those obstacles that lie within your path.

 

G – Goals

 

“Where there is no vision, the people perish:” Prov. 29:18 KJV
If you left the house this morning you knew the location you were headed and the “road map” to arrive at that destination. Life is the same way. You must know where you are headed; you must know your goals. These goals must be specific, motivating, achievable, and timely. Once you determine your goals you have to write them down and take action towards those goals, if you don’t they then are just dreams. And one last thought on your goals is to keep what Yogi Berra said in mind: “If you don’t know where you are going you might end up someplace else.”

 

R – Relentless.

 

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
I believe you can have anything you want if you will just work for it. Don’t wish for it work for it! No matter what obstacles that may become before you this year just keep grinding. We usually face our strongest resistance right before we reach our greatest break through. I read that over 90% of New Year’s resolutions will be broke with more than 50% before the end of January. Don’t be a statistic; resolve to be relentless this year! But don’t get the “destination disease” ; don’t get so wrapped up in your goal that it becomes a Bataan Death March, enjoy the trip and the type of person you will become along the way.

 

I – Impactful.

 
“It is true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill.

 
Poor is the man who cannot leave his home, town, state or country in a better condition than the way he found it. No matter your lot in life you can find a way to ease the burden of someone else who is less fortunate.

 
T – Thankful.

 
Most people spend time talking about what they don’t have. They use phrases like “If only I had more time.” “If only I had more money.” “If only I was older/younger.” “If only_____.” Let’s spend this next year talking about what we do have and be grateful those blessings. Keep in mind that the Disciples only had five loaves of bread and two fish and they had to borrow that and yet were still able to feed 15,000 people. And remember David he started out with only five stones and a sling shot but yet ended up a King.

The Awesome Responsibility of Leading

The Awesome Responsibility of Leading

LeadToday

Lots of people occupy leadership positions without really leading. Many people identify themselves as leaders even though they actually lead no one.

To those people leadership is apparently just a word.

To a truly Authentic Servant Leader however ?Leadership? is much more than just a word; it is an awesome responsibility.

Leadership, true leadership, comes with the responsibility to help your people grow and succeed. Every time you move up within an organization the weight of your responsibility increases. If you’re not prepared for that or you are unwilling to accept additional responsibility then don’t accept the move either.

It’s not unusual as you move up the ladder that your responsibility will grow faster than your authority. That’s a challenge for lesser leaders but Authentic Servant Leaders use their influence in place of authority to get things done. Authority is important if your trying to rely on compliance to motivate…

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“One Word”

For the past several weeks I have been struggling to come up with One Word that I could focus on this coming year. One Word that I could apply to all areas of my life to help keep me focused on my goals and vision. I had several words come to mind such as Focus, Drive and Passion but no one word stuck in my mind or kept reoccurring day after day. So one Sunday after talking myself into and out of attending church, which I had not attended in several weeks, a voice deep inside convinced me to attend that day. Was it a voice or was it the fact that if I didn’t go I would have to take down the Christmas lights? Driving to church that morning with the New Year approaching I was still thinking about my One Word and still having no luck choosing one. After entering church with my wife and taking our usual spots I noticed that Pastor Ben our senior pastor was not in his usual spot meaning he was not delivering the message that day which was at first disappointing because I enjoy his lessons. The message that morning was being delivered by Pastor Tim, who leads the Celebrate Recovery program at the church, (Note: If you are struggling in your life with addiction, abuse, depression or divorce please check them out.) as Pastor Tim began his message that morning he used a phrase that quickly caught my attention and I knew why I was moved to attend that morning, the phrase he used was One Word. Pastor Tim had chosen his One Word for the year and his message was based upon that word, the service ended with a song focusing on that one word. The rest of the day I kept seeing, hearing and thinking about that word. The next several nights I went to sleep with that word in my mind. Then one morning I awoke at 3am thinking of that word and an acrostic for it began to formulate and that’s when I knew I had my One Word for the year; THRIVE.

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Thrive: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances

As you work towards the progressive realization of your goals this next year I hope the following acrostic will help you reach them:

T – Thankful.

Most people spend time talking about what they don’t have. They use phrases like “If only I had more time.” “If only I had more money.” “If only I was older/younger.” “If only_____.” Let’s spend this next year talking about what we do have and be grateful those blessings. Keep in mind that the Disciples only had five loaves of bread and two fish and they had to borrow that and yet were still able to feed 15,000 people. And remember David he started out with only five stones and a sling shot but yet ended up a King.

H – Hopeful.

Without hope there is no faith. I believe that if we Have Only Positive Expectations that more good happens then bad. It takes the same energy to be positive as it does to be negative so why not be positive.

R – Relentless.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

I believe you can have anything you want if you will just work for it. Don’t wish for it work for it! No matter what obstacles that may become before you this year just keep grinding. We usually face our strongest resistance right before we reach our greatest break through. I read that over 90% of New Year’s resolutions will be broke with more than 50% before the end of January. Don’t be a statistic; resolve to be relentless this year! But don’t get the “destination disease” ; don’t get so wrapped up in your goal that it becomes a Bataan Death March, enjoy the trip and the type of person you will become along the way.

I – Impactful.

“It is true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill.

Poor is the man who cannot leave his home, town, state or country in a better condition than the way he found it. No matter your lot in life you can find a way to ease the burden of someone else who is less fortunate.

V – Vision.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish:” Prov. 29:18 KJV

If you left the house this morning you knew the location you were headed and the “road map” to arrive at that destination. Life is the same way. You must know where you are headed; you must know your goals. These goals must be specific, motivating, achievable, and timely. Once you determine your goals you have to write them down and take action towards those goals, if you don’t they then are just dreams. And one last thought on your goals is to keep what Yogi Berra said in mind: “If you don’t know where you are going you might end up someplace else.”

E– Excellence.

Excellence is a moving target that is pursued with integrity, relentlessness and zeal. In everything you do pursue it with a mindset of excellence. Remember that we don’t get what we want we get what we tolerate so don’t tolerate anything less than excellence in all areas of your life.