Posts Tagged ‘Life Lessons’

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Back in 2011, I posted this in honor of the greatest fighter that ever lived. As a result of his passing this weekend, I wanted to repost in his honor. Whether you liked him or not, he changed the sport of boxing with his style and his personality. He was a game-changer and very fun to watch him “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.

RIP Mohammed Ali…

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali and 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 really knew exactly who he was and exactly what he wanted.

Many of these quotes are truly inspirational but the bottom line is, 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 just a “little” commentary…

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

Without a doubt, 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 focus on 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.”

In my opinion, 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…? That is 100% up to you because YOU get to choose…

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

If you are focused exclusively on what you can’t do, or no focus on the impossible, I can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Stay focused 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 your energy each and every day on reaching the next level, YOUR next level. Every day do just one thing towards your goal.

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you’re 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 all about making choices…You can be whatever YOU want to be…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 going to give 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 enjoyed his quotes and I hope you did too. Yes I know that Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring. After reading about his philosophy through his words, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying.

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration to help face a new day. I know all of you will face tough times like unemployment, or your 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 really cares and the best part is he will never leave you OR forget you. No matter what your circumstances may be, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

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.” Psalms 91:9-16

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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I have always found this interesting in that I have had many friends over the years tell me that they aren’t very close to their moms because of reasons that don’t make any sense to me. I have had friends tell me that they tolerate having their mom around because she participates in taking care of their kids… and I have also had friends tell me their mom had passed on and they desperately wish they had said something or done something different to heal the brokenness between them…but they did not. I can’t imagine the guilt some of these guys have because of what they should have said.

Honestly though, none of these circumstances apply to me when it comes to you Mom. None.

54 years ago, I was blessed to be born to you and Dad because of what I now understand you both stood for in our home. The plain and simple truth, God was at the head of our house and you both followed that path. We were not rich, but that didn’t matter because we were truly blessed and being Christ-centric made a difference in our home. Honestly, when I look back on my childhood, I can only remember the good things, the happy times, and most importantly, the sacrifices you made for my brother and I. Over the years I have figured out that raising kids is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but without a doubt I learned the “HOW” because of how you raised me.

Looking back, I can see how difficult I was to raise because of one main thing…I was rebellious. I remember flat out…NOT liking being told what to do by anyone. As you well know, I got in trouble in school, with you and Dad, and even at my job. At one point to multiply my poor attitude for all the world to see, I was pulled over by a policeman for a simple taillight problem and he ended up citing me for as many problems as he could find simply because I was such a jerk to him. That is probably something I’ve never told you before but to say the least, it is not something I am very proud of considering how much I have tried to teach my own kids to respect the law. So YEP…YOU got to deal with all of that just from one punk kid.

Years later, when I look back at everything you had to cope with I find I am embarrassed because I realize now that even though I thought I knew everything, I really didn’t know anything. Up to that point, I had ZERO life experience and wasn’t smart enough to listen to you as you tried to explain the “whys” and “why nots” to me. I can’t tell you how thankful I am though that you didn’t give up on me. Thank you for not giving in, and giving up because that would have been the easier road to take. Instead, you and Dad persevered and stayed the course in my life and both of you chose to pray me thorough the mayhem of my teenage years and helped me get to where I finally began to understand some of what you were saying all these years.

The Bible says that, as Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another in Proverbs, but I can tell you that the solid iron determination that you displayed in my life WAS the difference in me figuring out the “whys”. You made me angry many times but I always knew you loved me and I thank you for that.

Mom, it is extremely important that you understand this from me right now instead of me waiting until it would be to late to say it. Even though I don’t say it enough, I do love you and I thank God that you are my Mom. To be truly honest with you, I couldn’t let one more Mothers Day go by without telling you this. Of course, posting this on my blog for the whole world to see maybe a little too much in your eyes but not in mine.

I truly do wish you the best Mothers Day any Mom could ever have…

I Love you,

Your Eldest son

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We recently finished a very successful Little League season that had us advancing to and winning our local city tournament. After a 24-game season and then a tournament where we faced 6 more local teams…to actually win first place, was very gratifying…

But I have to be honest it wasn’t always that way.

This season provided many of the normal low points that most seasons typically do with one exception; as a team, we discovered something we dislike universally…playing badly. But even more important, we discovered a way to stop this team from “falling off the cliff”. Honestly, this one simple moment truly saved us from being one of the worst teams into being one of the best.

I remember the actual game and frankly, the one particular inning where we literally could not do anything right. We could NOT get an out to save ourselves…hit after hit and run after run, we could not stop this train from certain destruction. When we finally hit the 10-run threshold and to many errors to count, I told the other coach “let me go talk to them”…he mumbled something completely incoherent because I honestly think he was in shock.

As I walked to the mound, I called the entire team over for a conversation. As I stared into those 11-12 year old boys faces, I saw tears and I saw anger but most of all I saw hopelessness. They literally had given up the thought they could do anything right. They were so upset and had completely lost their direction…does this sound familiar to anyone?

I told them “Guys, you are so much better than what I see here today. We have practiced these plays over and over again…frankly, to many times to count”.

“Here is what I want you to do, in this game right now…I want you to hit the reset button inside of you. From urlthis point on, we are starting this game over. We are playing from the beginning again…We are resetting”.

They all looked at me like I was crazy. Our shortstop Tyler spoke up and asked, “what do you mean coach?” “How do we reset?” I told him, “When you reset something, it clears the past or the previous from affecting the future”. Everything that has happened in this game is now over. We are each going to reset and focus on the next play, our next at bat and all of us are going to try our hardest to get out of this inning”

Our catcher chimed in at this point, “come on guys, we can do this, we have to reset. We have to hit the reset button”

So here is what I will tell you, we did not win that game. But we did get out of that nasty inning without giving up another run. More importantly however, the next time we had the beginnings of another poor inning, our catcher pulled the infield together and gave them the reset speech…and guess what, it worked…

As you can imagine, that simple life lesson got me thinking about you guys and the painful 10-run bad inning equivalents we have in our own lives. News flash: sometimes life hurts and it does NOT go our way. In fact, I firmly believe there are many of you right now reading this that are having a very hard time for a variety of reasons and frankly are just looking for some hope. Guys, I am not going to insult your intelligence by saying to just hit your internal reset button and everything will magically get better. We all know that is not the way anything in this life works.

What I will tell you though is if you hit the reset button with God…that will work.

Right now, God is patiently waiting for you to run to Him. He is not the God who will write in the sky, “Hey (your name here)…call me now and let’s fix this” we know He doesn’t work that way. Our God has a still, soft voice that is always calling…we are just too loud or too busy to hear Him.

Guys…today…take my challenge to you…

Hit the reset button with God by praying this prayer right now:

“God…things are not going well right now and I need you to help. Humbly I ask that you take over my life and cause me to reset my relationship with you. I can’t do this on my own. I need you to direct my steps and make my paths straight.

God, I trust in you and I believe in you and no matter what happens, I know you are in control. Please use your Holy Spirit to help guide me during difficult times and thank you for what you are doing for me right now”…

If you prayed that prayer and believe you hit the reset button with Him, I could not be any happier…congratulations. I would also ask that you leave me a note on this blog if you prayed that prayer. This blog has always been about encouragement and knowing you hit your reset with Him is very encouraging to me…

Until next time guys…

I am one of those lucky Dads who gets to go through Little League a second time because we have a young son that was born when I was a little older. I like Baseball and I like Little League. Baseball, like other sports, teaches kids lessons about life in a symbolic sort of way. It teaches them perseverance, to keep playing hard until the end of the game no matter whether they are winning or losing. It teaches them how to handle the adversity that challenges them throughout a game like when situations don’t go your way. But more importantly, it teaches them how to handle disappointment when a game slips away that you really wanted to win, like a championship tournament. Bottom line, the way kids are taught to learn to play the game of Baseball and to deal with the outcome of difficult games will be evidenced in their future lives by how they handle situations then…

But it all starts with a game…

As I mentioned before, I am going through Little League a second time with my second boy but because I am older now, my perspective on what is happening out there has changed. Don’t hear me wrong, I want to win every time we step onto that field but I’ve learned that I care more about what kids get out of the game along with the effort that they put into the game. Let me explain;

My goal, along with the other coaches, is to teach proper fundamentals of baseball; how to hit, how to throw, how to run bases, how to catch and then the best part, the situational aspect of baseball…In other words, What to do with the ball when it comes to you…The cerebral side of the game is the most fun for me because baseball is very much like a chess match between the two managers. Each one moving players to different positions and inserting players in order to put both the player and the team with the best chance for winning or make the most impact on the score…I understandI am explaining something you already know because that is the strategical side of baseball. Some people get this and some don’t care…

What’s different for me now is because I’m older, I care about the effect this game has on them. Simply speaking, like when good things happen during a game but i think more importantly, when bad things happen, like when the game gets out of hand… Because games produce adversity and losses are very hard to handle and if kids don’t learn how to “flush” a loss out of their head right away, they tend to drag it around like an anchor, always slowing them down and frankly, just making them sad.

I recently went though Little League’s, Tournament of Champions tournament for the minor division, ages 9-11 and I experienced the feeling of absolute euphoria as one of our boys hit a walk off grand slam to win the final championship game. Honestly, a once in a lifetime experience to come up to bat, down two runs with bases loaded and send one out of the park…incredibly amazing. Our team, along with the coaches, were able to experience the excitement of winning that game with everything on the line. This was truly..a win, or go home situation…but yet at the very same time, I began to put myself in the other dugout and wonder the magnitude of their feeling of loss. Needless to say, the post game handshake was filled with many tears as I went through telling each member of their team, “great job” I realized it was to no avail. They were inconsolable at that moment and as I watched their coach lead them to the outfield to have one more post game chat, I realized how critical his job was for those boys to help them deal with that loss. Honestly, they did everything right…they put themselves in a position to win but you can’t overcome home runs. It was checkmate.

So let’s bring this baseball game analogy to you and I…We have all played the games on the field our entire lives and now we are challenged with the game of life. Every single day we have ups and downs and as adults, we can’t let a business loss wreck our focus. I recently watched an attorney friend of mine lose a very difficult case in court, one that he prepared for, spent a great deal of time and money to win but he lost the judge’s decision…completely. Right now, my friend is a small ship floating alone in the big ocean. So far, he is unable to shake this defeat and move on…He can’t overcome the loss…

God never promised any of us that if we commit to Him there wouldn’t be any loss, pain or discomfort…but He did say there is rest and relief through Christ Jesus. In fact, Christ himself tells all of us in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

To me, this verse helps because I know I am NOT alone on days when I feel like those boys did above after losing that big tournament game. Can you imagine finding peace or just simple rest when you’ve had your worst day ever? And guys, the peace and rest I am referring to here isn’t like anything you have ever felt before…

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Heavenly peace is WAY better and more effective than anything we have here on earth. Granted, the Bible tells us we have to seek Him…which means we have to DO something…we can’t just sit on our hands and expect Him to just fix our problems, otherwise how can we learn?

So my challenge to you today is simple. Teach your children how to overcome game losses and then translate that to your own life. Don’t let adversity or failure stop you from reaching the goals God has for you! If you get bucked off…get up, dust yourself off and get back on…

Do me one more favor, hold on tight, because it’s going to be a WILD RIDE!!

Until next time guys…