Passionate Pursuit of Purpose

Faith

2 lessons from Frozen

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Leadership, Parenting | 1 comment

2 lessons from Frozen

WithFrozen 3 young girls I get to watch frozen on a regular basis. Of all of the Disney animated movies, this is the only one I will let the watch as often as they want. There are 2 themes I reinforce and teach them from this movie.

Don’t keep your gifts and talents hidden:

Each of us has a unique talent and skill set that if used properly will make this world a better place. Don’t let fear allow you to keep them hidden. You will be miserable. When you unlock and use your talents, you will find your destiny, and be happier.

Sometimes others will do things do encourage you to hide your talents. They could be well meaning teachers, parents, or friends, and they will try to steer you into a “safe” or “normal” life. “If you are to busy living the life someone else wants you live, who will live your life?”

You owe it to the world and yourself to pursue your passions and talents.

You talents can be used to help or hurt others:

She used her talent to help her sister have so much fun. Her anger and frustration almost destroyed her city. It almost killed her sister. It all depended on how she chose to use her talent.

A persuasive person can help others by helping them search and buy the perfect product that meets their needs, or they can con someone and take advantage of them using that same skill. The strongest kid in school can stand up for the oppressed or be an oppressor. We choose!

 

 

The beauty of that tower she created is awe inspiring. (Yes I know it is magic and not possible in the time she did it.) Your life will be a “swirling storm inside” until you unlock your true calling.

My most important job as a parent is to help my daughters find who God created them to be. I can’t let my desires for them or thoughts of what they should like affect my responsibility.

Your Life’s work should be a thing of beauty!

When you unlock your talents and passions you will find yourself dancing to work. You don’t have to live in misery. Don’t let others hold you back from the life you were created to live! 

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Do you have a sandcastle marriage?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Faith, Finding Destiny, Parenting, Personal Finance | 0 comments

Do you have a sandcastle marriage?

SandCastlePicture a beautiful sandcastle. Hours spent crafting intricate towers and walls.  Elements in the sand glisten as the sun sets. In the “perfect” location, Ocean front property. This beach is amazing, gentle sand, clear water, and void of human clutter. It is perfection…

Until…

The tide begins to rise. The sky turns dark with angry clouds. The wind begins screaming like a toddler tantrum. The waves become larger and larger… then with a violent crushing force… The sandcastle is obliterated. There is no trace of those hours of work. The beauty of it is gone.

A sandcastle marriage seems great when there are clear skies and calm seas. Everyone will tell you how beautiful it is. BUT when the storms of life, the baggage of the past, frustrations of the current day, and stress of 2 people becoming 1 appear, the greatness fades. That beautiful sandcastle marriage is shattered by the crashing waves of life.

Some foundations of a Sandcastle marriage:

  • Infatuation (a powerful feeling that can fool even the best of us)
  • Lust (desire to derive personal pleasure, satisfaction, or status from that sexy, powerful, or wealthy person)
  • Baggage (lots of intimate experiences with others outside the covenant of marriage or other unhealthy dating relationships)
  • Selfishness (My spouse is going to do all these things for me)
  • Co-dependency (Need to fix someone else’s problem, making it your problem. Enabling the other person in the process)
  • Unresolved emotional issues (most of us have things in our past that could use resolution, perhaps with the assistance of a counselor or physiologist)

None of these provide a foundation for marriage. A long-term successful marriage has a strong foundation. When the storms of life come blasting in; it may damage aspects of the marriage relationship for a season, but the foundation is solid. The couple can easier stand back up and rebuild together on that solid foundation.

Some foundations for a life-long marriage

  • Love (a choice one makes, love is not a feeling. Hollywood wants us to believe love is a magical feeling but in reality it is a choice. Infatuation and lust are the feelings often mistaken for love)
  • Purity (I can only talk about this one from the other side as I wasn’t pure before marriage. I know what it is like to have your mind constantly bombarded with past baggage. Baggage that comes crashing in on your mind with waves of guilt and shame.)
  • Honesty and trust (speaking the truth with gentleness, being trustworthy and trusting)
  • Communication (Set aside times to communicate about your life together, Daily is best)
  • Vision and goals (What is your shared vision? You can’t have separate visions for your life or your foundation will crack)
  • Dedication and loyalty (Divorce is not an option. Be dedicated to finding a solution. Speak well of each other to others and to each other)
  • I am sure several of you have some other foundation blocks you could add. Please share them in the comments below.

None of us are perfect with all of these points. Sometimes our marriage foundations have cracks in them. Be quick to address and work together to fix them. While harder to repair, they are so worth taking the time to repair. There is an exponential power released when a married couple comes together with 1 vision and set of goals.

Storms and challenges in life will come your way. Your marriage will be threatened, attacked, and beat up at times. As Dr. Thomas Stanley (author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind) found in his research, the vast majority of millionaires have long-term happy marriages. Children who grow up in homes with both parents are more successful.  Married people have a longer life expectancy. The benefits of making a marriage work far and away exceed the costs.

It is better to build the solid foundation before marriage, but not required. Maybe your marriage seems to be a sandcastle right now. All is not lost.  You can start working on your foundation today.

Question:

What are some other foundation blocks for a good marriage?

 

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Have a fire plan (Daddy’s love)

Posted by on Jun 11, 2013 in Faith, Parenting | 2 comments

Have a fire plan (Daddy’s love)

This article will be different. It is born of an emotional story of a father who died trying to rescue his 3 year old and 18 month old daughters.  At the time of writing this article, the ages of my first 2 daughters is very similar to the ages of those young girls.  When I read it I picture my Ruth and Abigail.  Read the story here.

First you will read a simple poem.  It is an emotional outlet for the pain I feel as I picture that 3 year old in her room screaming for her daddy.  Next is a section about a father’s love.  Then lastly I discuss lessons we can learn from this tragedy.

A father found holding the baby,
A daughter silent in her room
No more tears will they shed
Lives taken much to soon

What is a father to do?
When he has done all
Nothing more to give
He answered the call

Human flesh facing the limit
Nothing more he could bring
Wishing he could find a way
As the flames begin to sing

No regard for himself
Daughters his only concern
Courage born of love
Our lesson to learn

I would gladly trade my life for theirs.

(My Daughters)
I would gladly trade my life for theirs.

Tears flow as I write this poem inspired by such loss.  I have daughters of a similar age.  I too would run back in the flames without a second thought.  Even if there was nothing I could do.  So deep, is a real father’s love.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to experience this love from an earthly Father, there is hope.  It is from that same heart of love; Father God sent His only son to die so that you might have eternal life.  Your heavenly Father, who created you, loves you greater than any earthly father ever could.

Our lesson to learn;

First this is not a meant to be judgment in any form toward anyone who inspired this story.  It is a tragedy and the wife and mother needs our prayers that her broken heart will be healed.   Pray that she finds a future with hope and doesn’t blame herself.  It was not anyone’s fault.   It just sucks.

We can learn some lessons; that perhaps will prevent and reduce the occurrence of such tragedy in the future.

  • Create a family fire plan. (Here is a great resource for doing this)
    1. Especially what happens when we are sleeping.
    2. What parent will take what child?
    3. Where is the primary exit?
    4. Where will we meet?
    5. Having a plan will allow your brain to focus your adrenaline rush.  Without a plan it is very easy for the adrenaline to turn into panic and cause bad decisions.
  • Have working smoke detectors in your bedrooms and test them.
  • If your home has knob and tube wiring replace it.  This stuff is ancient and extremely dangerous.
  • Know common causes here is a list of the 10 most common causes of household fires.

Please don’t ignore this subject because it is scary or uncomfortable.   If you create a plan it should alleviate fears.  Do a risk assessment based on the common causes work to reduce them.  Talking about this is loving those you care about.  

Most likely you will never face a serious fire in your home; But lets be prepared because the risk of being unprepared can be deadly.

What is your fire plan?

How is the wiring in your home?

Do you have  working smoke detectors in your home?

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3 methods to Giving Critical Feedback (without Destroying the Relationship)

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 2 comments

3 methods to Giving Critical Feedback (without Destroying the Relationship)

When I was 19 years old I was madly in lust with this sexy 17 year old high school dropout.  She was my first real girlfriend and I thought I was in love.  After a few weeks I bought an engagement ring and was ready to propose.

Excitedly I called one of my best friends to tell him the “good news.”  He was a friend whom I trusted and respected a great deal.  When I asked him his thoughts, he wisely responded with a question “Are you moving a little to fast?”

Ask a Question

Ask a Question

That simple question saved me from making a tremendous mistake.  I was not ready, I was not in love, and getting married would have been awful for both of us.  The same friend would end being the best man in my wedding 10 years later.

He could have said a lot of things.  Told me I was an idiot, crazy, jumping off a cliff with nothing but rocks below, however he chose to ask a question.  Asking a question is one method to giving critical feedback without destroying your relationship.

In the bible there is a story about King David after he had committed adultery and murdered the woman’s husband to cover up his sin.  The prophet Nathan came to bring correction; to a man whom with a word could have Nathan killed.

So Nathan tells David a story of a rich man and a poor man.  The rich man had many sheep and cows, but the poor man had one lamb that he loved very much.  A visitor came to the rich man and the rich man took the poor man’s lamb and fed it to his visitor. 

Tell a story

Tell a story

Then Nathan asked a question of David, “what should happen to this rich man?” David indignantly replied “As the Lord liveth this man should die.” Nathan replied to David “you are the man!”  Read the entire story here

Here we notice that Nathan used a story to seriously judge King David’s actions.  His story opened the King’s eyes to the complete wickedness of his actions.  Storytelling is the second method of correction.

Sandwich the critique with Praise

Sandwich the critique with Praise

The third method is the sandwich method.  In this method you sandwich the criticism with praise.  You praise something that your friend did (this allows them to put their guard down).  Then you give them the Criticism.  Lastly you leave on a positive note by praising something else they did.

No matter which of these three methods you use, you must genuinely care about the person to have a chance of success.  Here are three attributes that are vital:

  1. Share with the right attitude
  2. You must have relationship and affirm that relationship
  3. Criticize actions not people

So next time you go to give criticism remember the three attributes and use one of the three methods (Asking a question, telling a story, or sandwich). As you implement these I believe it will help your friendships and relationship to grow to deeper levels and lead to greater success for all involved.

Would you like your friends to give you more feedback?  Read “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

Do you have people in your life that will give you feedback?  Who are they?  Can you increase that number?

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Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 0 comments

Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend

This ancient Hebrew proverb can have profound impact on the success of your life.   Good friends have the ability to see things in our life that need correction.  Often we are unable to see these things ourselves.  Good friends who care about you are will to point these out.

A real friend corrects you not to hurt you, but to help you be more successful

Picture a house with only one door to get in the house.  Now you are standing behind the home and can’t see that door.  You need in the house, so you start to go in through a window.  Your friend can see the front of the home and encourages you to use the door.  Immaturity will reply to that friend, “there is no door.”  We all see things from one perspective.  Your friend can show you options to achieve your goal that you may not see.  Friend can point out pitfalls we may not see.

Friends help us see things from a different point of view.

Friends complete our life picture

3 Keys to receiving faithful wounds from friends!

1.    Develop real Friendships

To receive faithful criticism, we first need close friendships.  Zig Ziglar would often say  “If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”  If you put Zig’s quote into practice you will find friends.  Once you have friends invest in those relationships.


2.    Give them permission!

Give your good friends permission to give you honest feedback about your life.  Not every person should be given this permission, as some will abuse you out of their own pain or insecurity.  Your friends who should be given this permission often won’t speak up unless you ask for their feedback.  So it is vital that you give them permission.

3.    Gratitude

Thank your friends for caring and sharing their thoughts.  Even if you disagree, thank them.  Your friends will not always be correct.  However, if you show gratitude it will encourage them to give you more feedback in the future.

In the end your friends can’t live your life for you so the final decision is your responsibility.  If we want to achieve high levels of success in our life, critical feedback is vital.  We need relationships with others. People who see things from a different view point. This allows us to have a more complete picture.  A more complete picture allows us to make better decisions.

Also read  3 Methods to giving critical feedback!!!

Has criticism from a friend kept you from a bad decision (Tell us about it below)?

Have you ignored the advice of a friend and regretted that decision (tell us about it below)?

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What is the price of salvation?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Faith, Finding Destiny | 0 comments

What is the price of salvation?

Often people refer to salvation being free… and yet is it really free?  It is so true that you can’t buy salvation, and yet it can cost you everything you ever had or wanted. 

Salvation cost Christ pain, suffering, and ultimately His life. 

What did my salvation cost me:

My Marine career, cost me all of my self-righteousness, it cost me my ideas about race and culture, it cost me my dream of being a small town policeman, it cost me my angry scowl,  and it cost me headaches from worries and fears. 

Although, perhaps cost isn’t the correct term it was more like a bartering or making a trade.

My salvation was like trading a rusty old bike with flat tires for a Ford F-350 dual cab 4×4 diesel pickup truck.Your choice

Here is what I traded: 

  • I traded my unsuccessful Marine career for an education in business which inspires me. 
  • I traded my self-righteous standard that I failed to live up to, for His righteousness which empowers me to live a life free of self-condemnation. 
  • I traded my racist thoughts for deep friendships with many from other ethnic groups and an amazing and beautiful Asian wife.
  • I gave a dream of boring future in a small town for a life full of travel and adventures that fills my life with joy. 
  • I traded my angry scowl for laughter and joy beyond compare. 
  • I traded my worries and fears for His peace that pass all understanding.  
  • I traded my sin and eternal damnation for an eternal life with my CreatorThe Cross

It cost me everything that weighed me down. It cost me everything I thought I wanted.  I have received more than I could have even dreamed possible. Life is better than I could have ever hoped.  It was the best choice I have ever made.

It cost Christ everything, and it will cost us everything we think we want. The eternal reward both in heaven and on Earth is beyond our wildest fantasies.  I believe there is nothing greater than living the life you were created and designed to live.  I believe you can only find your entire purpose through knowing your Creator (The Lord Jesus Christ)

What did your salvation cost you?

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Greatest gift ever!

Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Greatest gift ever!
Buy it from Amazon

Buy it from Amazon

I remember Christmas of 1988, my parents bought me the Garth Brooks “no Fences” cassette tape. (for younger readers cassettes tapes are the predecessor to CD’s which were the predecessor to digital music) I was so ecstatic, I could have peed myself and not cared.  It felt as though I was literally walking on air. I remember jumping and seeming to never touch down.  At that moment it seemed as though “it was the greatest gift ever.”

That cassette has long since disappeared and I rarely listen to the songs from that album (I could still quote many of them though).  As I have grown older, my idea of the greatest gift has changed drastically from that cute little ten old rejoicing over a simple cassette tape.

My favorite gifts now have an intrinsic value far below that $10 cassette tape.  They are:

  • A collage my wife gave me for a birthday present

    The Great Smoky Mountains

    The Great Smoky Mountains

  • It is my daughter saying “love you daddy”
  • It is a shared meal with a good friend or even potential friend
  • It is a word of advice from wise counsel 
  • They are the beauty of Tennessee Mountains
  • It is the vastness of the stars
  • It is friends around a warm campfire
  • It is the quiet time talking with God

The greatest gifts aren’t things that rust or decay; they are relationships with people and quiet moments observing the beauty of the universe.  The gift of eternal life, bought and paid for by the Son of God.

What is your greatest gift ever? 

Are you taking the time to enjoy those gifts?

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