Archive for July, 2011

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali. We know that he tended to be controversial because he was so outspoken. What I find interesting now is when you go back and listen to what he was saying, he knew who he was and what he wanted. Many of these quotes are truly inspirational. Bottom line, don’t let other people make up your mind about what YOU are supposed to do OR become…With Christ’s help, you can become exactly who He wants you to be…exactly who you are designed to be…Enjoy these quotes and a little commentary…

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Life is ebb and flow and most of the time you are relaxed, but every now and then you have to stick up for what you believe in. When that time comes…sting like a bee!

2. “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Stop procrastinating and live your dream…don’t put off what you can do and be right now!

3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Impossible is a cop-out. Impossible is for people who like to live inside the box…I prefer to think outside that box…how about you?

4. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.”

Confidence starts with you…What can YOU do and what can YOU achieve…? You get to choose…

5. “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”

If you are focused on what you can’t do, or the impossible, I can tell you what will happen…focus on your dream…

6. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that don’t allow you to reach your mountaintop. Focus energy each and every day on reaching the next level…Every day do just one thing…

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you are going in the right direction. Goals keep you focused…Goals keep you motivated…

8. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Life is about choices…You can be whatever YOU want…Make the right choices

9. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

A friend of mine told me recently” Life is too short, drink the good wine first”…I like that.

10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

I have found age to be only in my mind…I work hard to stay young….what do you do?

11. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

I am NOT giving up on you…but you have to help…

12. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Another way to look at this is “when in doubt, shut up…”

So what do you think? I really liked these quotes and I hope you did too. Yea I know Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring…and…after reading these quotes, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying…

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration towards facing a new day. I know you all are facing tough times like unemployment, or hours being cut or something worse. My words to you are don’t give up, keep on trusting in Jesus Christ for your life’s direction. He cares, truly cares and the best part, is he will never leave you OR forget you…No matter what your circumstances are, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

Psalms 91:9-16

If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Why is it that some of us think being a Christian is accepting Christ and then walking away and just moving on with our lives without Him? I can’t tell you how many times I see this and I am just stumped. To make matters worse…when we ultimately come to our death-bed, we want to reconnect with God because we certainly don’t want to miss out on the benefits of heaven…I mean eternal life has a nice ring to it, right?…But all the time in between, the life we live, we choose to go the journey alone, living life the way we want…or…maybe you might check in, now and then, and attend church, put on the right face, but go right back to our own way. If that is your plan….

Guys, that life is a total LIE from Satan, and if you fall victim to it, heaven is NOT in your future…

The reason is simple, living your life without a RELATIONSHIP with the Creator, is NOT God’s plan for us. You have heard me say in previous posts that “life truly is all about the journey”. God set up salvation as something we seek everyday of our lives and I can tell you with authority, we ALL need His divine strength to help us persevere and live a life that is pleasing to Him. The Psalmist writes in 105:4, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always”…why must we do this, everyday? Because the journey of life is NOT and easy one and without His strength, we will face spiritual weakness and ultimately, defeat.

But this post is really is about a relationship with Him and it cannot all be one-sided. If we put forth effort, by seeking Him with a humble heart, He will reward our efforts with His presence and power in our lives. I do know this, you can’t disappear for a lifetime and then show up and say, “Here I am God!” and expect all to be forgiven, especially if that was the intent all along. Remember, God examines the heart, your heart, and He knows your motivation. If your intent is to reject the Holy Spirit throughout your life and then “make it all better” in the end…not really a good plan…

The choice then, belongs to us, as it always has. Our responsibility is to actively seek God each day in order to have a relationship with Him. I encourage you to get to know Him on a different level. The more we hang out with God, the more confident and comfortable we will be with Him. There is truly no better place to be in this world, than comfortably resting in Gods grace, knowing you are right where He wants you. Conversely, don’t fall victim to Satan’s lie that tells you it is OK to do your own thing for as long as you want because it is way more fun…I assure you whole heartedly…the fun part is only temporary…Trust me, an eternity is a really, REALLY, long time…

Guys…my best advice to you is simply to, seek Him, trust Him, and believe in Him…

We were never promised that our lives would be easy here on earth, but if we persevere each on our own journey, we were promised Heaven…and that my friends, is worth our effort…

Until next time…Let me leave you with this…

For those of you who remember rising before the crack of dawn, or were chased by dogs, or who struggled against windy and rainy days and also had to pay for the windows you broke…all to deliver the morning paper, this blog post is for you you.

I had an overly large response to a post I wrote a few weeks ago on the subject of work ethic which got me thinking about my own life and why I feel so strongly on the subject. I struggle mightily with lazy people or people who put things off until the bitter end and as you probably can guess, I tend to be the opposite of these types and therefore get frustrated when I see this behavior. That being said, why do I feel the way I do about work ethic? Where does one learn work ethic? I wrote in my first post that work ethic must be taught in the home with our children. They need to see you up in the morning (or whatever shift you work) and doing what you have to make ends meet around your house…That being said, even though we grow up with strong parents who are an example that still doesn’t guarantee you, or your children will have a strong work ethic. Like me, you probably can trace your work ethic back to another person who you respected or maybe, like me, it was the job…

My time as a Paperboy taught me work ethic. When I was a kid, my brother and I both got paper routes at the same time. My brother took one in the afternoon and I took the one in the morning. He didn’t particularly like getting up early and frankly neither did I, but for some reason, I could do it so I accepted. My brother didn’t last very long working his route, but I have to say I think I may have quit to with his circumstances because his route consisted mainly of apartment buildings and people were always moving out and not paying him. Back then, when that happened, the paperboy always got screwed. Me, well I ended up having a paper route for all 4 years of high school. It gave me spending money and bought my first car, but it did require me to get up, everyday, 365 days a year, at 4 am to fold, load my bike, and ride 15 miles on my paper bike to deliver to 115 customers.

Now you ask, how could an early morning paper route, teach you work ethic? I thought I would list some of the good and bad things I recall about being a paperboy below just to give you an idea of the “everyday” with an explanation after.

Early Morning Wake up
I think I mentioned the early mornings earlier. 4 am was required to have the necessary time to fold all of the papers, load and deliver them to 115 doors, or in some cases, specific areas on their porch so they didn’t have to look for it. Then I would come home, shower and get ready for school, pretty much all before 7am. Getting up everyday forged inside of me a necessity to just get the job done quickly and correctly so I could forget about it for 24 hours until the following morning. Saturday mornings were great too because I could come home and sleep some more…and that was a luxury. Bottom line, I look back on 4 am risings and realized I must have really wanted that car…

Over Sleeping and Panic
Along those same lines as above was the panic rattling on my bedroom window by my paper manager when I overslept…and that happened occasionally. When the reality of that moment would set in, the immediate panic would also come. We have all overslept so you can relate. How am I going to accomplish my morning routine with 1 less hour to work with? I always found though, that as long as I kept myself cool, controlled and efficient, I was usually able to make the deliveries happen in time and still make school. That was a HUGE lesson…

Paperboy Economics
Part of my job as the paperboy was to collect the money at the end of the month. I had a receipt book I would fill out with 115 names on it and what they owed, then I would have to come home from school and go out in the evenings on my bike and collect. This either went well or not. Sometimes, I would never catch people home but yet my bill was due to be paid by the 5th so if I couldn’t collect enough what was a paperboy to do?…sound familiar right now? Sometimes I would have to discuss the latest broken window, or the fact that their dog was chasing me or…every now and then…they would give me and extra dollar or two for a job well done…I liked that. In fact, if you wanted your paper in a certain spot each morning, and were willing to give me an extra couple bucks or maybe even a Christmas bonus…no problem. I learned the value of effort will convert itself into money, people just have to get to know you…

Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
Sometimes, I found that simply by being the only one up, very early in the morning, I was just guilty. Blame it on the paperboy! That was never more true than one Saturday morning on my way home at the end of my route. I was peddling my Schwinn Heavy Duty, 55 lb paper bike with reinforced steel forks and wheels when all of a sudden 3 police cars converged on me from all directions. In a matter of moments, I was up against a car, being searched with literally no information as to “why” from any of them. Turns out, there was a complaint of a peeping tom and I was the prime suspect although they were not talking at the time. After a few scary moments on my part, they gave me the aforementioned reason and said, “sorry kid” and left in a “police” hurry…I learned a valuable lesson that day, take a different route home the next day…No…Seriously, don’t panic, things WILL work themselves out.

Paperboy Summary
You have heard the expression that “youth is wasted on the young” well in my example, that wasn’t necessarily the case. My time as a paperboy taught me many lessons that have served me well long into adulthood although at the time, I had no idea. I look back on the rainy mornings, or the Sunday paper which was so big, I had to stop and fold papers half way through again, or the same hills over and over again…everyday and I think why did I do that? What made me do that less than thankful, very hard job for 4 years?

I said YES…and where I come from your word, well…it means everything…

My time as a paperboy taught me work ethic…what taught you?

Well that is my experience with work ethic from my youth, what is yours? I would be interested in hearing them…

Until next time guys…