Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

imagesHave you ever heard the expression “if you give him and inch he will take a mile”? I know we have all heard that one once or twice before. But why does it matter? Here is why…I want to talk briefly about that first inch that you give up, that you concede, that you compromise. You see, the expression “give him an inch” indicates from the very beginning that you gave in…or you gave up…something…that you thought maybe you had to, in order to improve the situation. What you did was compromise. Now, please don’t get me wrong here. Compromise in a relationship is crucial for it to last, Am I right? We do not agree with our spouse’s or our friends all the time. Have you ever “agreed to disagree” and hopefully still maintained the relationship? Good debate is healthy and promotes independent thinking and I think is the key to long-lasting friendships however compromise in other areas of our life is what I am focusing on today.

I am reading a new book by Dr. David Jeremiah called, The Writing on the Wall, and it talks about the prophet Daniel who while captive in Babylon for 70 years, Daniel did not compromise his God ever, no matter what his circumstances, even in the face of death. His consistency is astounding and frankly a model for all of us to follow. But Dr. Jeremiah makes a point here that I want to illustrate with you which is simply that it takes guts…real guts, to say no, even with God on your side. Daniel was resolute in his defiance in Babylon and for you and I, no matter where we are in life, we do not “have to bend the rules to be blessed of God. Success is NOT dependent upon our compromise”. Everywhere a compromise is worked out in the Bible…bad things happen…

From the very beginning, we see compromises;

  • Adam, who fell right in line with Eve’s sin by compromising and eating the forbidden fruit… Well, he lost Eden.
  • Sarah’s lack of faith in God caused her to compromise and send her husband Abraham in with Hagar, who gave birth to Ishmael. As a result, life in the Middle East will never be the same.
  • We all remember Esau who compromised his birthright because he was hungry.
  • King David, who was a man after Gods own heart, compromised Gods morality by sleeping with Bathsheba and then killing her husband Uriah. He lost his son…

The list goes on and on with Solomon, Judas and Ahab. All of them compromised something significant in their lives and it cost them. To think all they would have had to do was to just say NO…I am going to stand on what my God has promised me and take whatever comes my way.

I want to finish with a story Dr. Jeremiah shares in his book about an exchange in a high school class between some students and a godless professor.

In one of his lectures he said, “will all of you who believe the myths of the Bible please stand.” Several stood.

 Then he added, “now this semester I am going to free you from this religious Bible nonsense. I have read the Bible, and it is certainly written by a bunch of mixed up men.”

 One young Daniel stood up and said, “Sir, the Bible is God’s letter to Christians, and if you are confused it’s because you are reading someone else’s mail.”

Guys, I pray that all of us can stand firm and NOT compromise in the face of this kind (or worse) of adversity against your faith or yourself. I will tell you this, this life and its “adversity” will continue to get worse and you are going to be in circumstances where you will be asked to “give an inch”. What’s an inch you say? In our case as Christians, it is truly the difference between a life spent with God in Eternity or the alternative…Hell. It is that simple

You get to make that choice…

My advice, choose Daniel…no compromise…

Until next time Guys…

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it_happens_in_a_blink__by_jsf22x35-d3c4oejYesterday, I attended a memorial service for the wife of a former business owner/ friend of mine who recently passed on and has gone to Heaven. The service was great. I say “great” because it was NOT one of those very dull, dreary experiences where the person who passed had no hope and we will never see them again. Everyone in that service knew where this woman was…Heaven…no doubt about it. But yet at the same time, the service was incredibly sad because my friend’s wife was gone. Physically, she is no longer here anymore to participate in her life doing the she things she loved like running, riding bikes or spending time with her husband and her kids…instead, she went to Heaven and it happened in a blink.

 

This coming June 21st, my own daughter Kylie, will have been in heaven for 9 years but yet it only seems just like yesterday to me when she passed. She was a very happy 12-year-old girl who truly loved her family and her life but yet one day, God decided to take her up to Heaven and live with Him…and that too happened in a blink.

 

Now, I will be honest with you here..I am not one of those guys who believes that Kylie is up there watching over our family.  That has never been one of those things told to me that ever gave me comfort. I will also tell you that this post isn’t about wrestling with God or bitterness or anything like that….It’s about recognizing what is right in front of you and possibly losing your pride and being the man and asking for forgiveness…The people we know and care for can be gone in a blink and then what? Well, the hard truth is you must live without them for the rest of your lives…and for some of you, that may mean living with a mountain of regret. The “I should have talked to him/her sooner” conversation that should have happened…never happened…only now it is too late.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to friends who were angry at their kids or their wives or their parents and that anger or pride caused them a broken relationship and then as I have experienced first hand, that special someone is gone in a blink and now they live with this bitter pill regret at never reaching out to them and mending that relationship…

 

Remember: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

 

Guys, if you haven’t picked up on the theme of this post…It happens in a blink…It’s because it does. The unexpected can happen before you blink and I assure you there isn’t anything you can do. One minute, all is well in your world and the next, someone YOU LOVE is gone. No matter how hard we try to hold on to someone, we can’t.

 

What I am saying is simple…don’t wait to save your relationships. Please consider taking the high road and do it now…because truly…life can change in a blink. I encourage you to please don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today…

 

Until next time guys…

 

Over the last couple of years, I have been trying to convince a friend of my to guest post on the Ironman Strength blog…up until just recently I have been unsuccessful until now…My friend, Albert Gardner who is a Husband, a Father, and a leader of men has been moved by some athletes and coaches who have announced their retirement in recent weeks and he has decided to share his thoughts on the subject. I know you will enjoy his insight as he delves into the greater meaning of his post…

True Greatness     by Albert Gardner

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This past weekend, two football greats announced they were stepping away from the game they love, Ray Lewis and Bob Ladouceur. Though even the most casual of football fans knows of the name Ray Lewis, Super Bowl MVP, guaranteed first ballot Hall of Fame, He is not the one who defines greatness for me; Bob Ladouceur has coached De La Salle Spartan High School football team for the past 34 years by taking them from obscurity to national prominence…even dominance. Under his leadership, the Spartans have never had a losing season, in fact they’ve enjoyed 20 un-defeated seasons, established a record 151 game winning streak, and enjoyed an overall record of 399 wins, 25 losses, and 3 ties. Yet it isn’t the wins, or records, or trophies, or championships that make Bob Ladouceur great;

Coach Lad, as he is affectionately called by his players, has always loved coaching high school football. In his prior life, He had worked as a probation officer but his job brought him mostly frustration because he felt he was getting these young men too late to help them. He believed he had no affect on their lives. But high school, he said, gave him the best opportunity to do something of value, even saying once in an interview, “that he believed he had the most important job in the country, molding young men”. In the process of molding these young men Ladouceur built a dynasty but ironically he never focused on winning. He said they won because he emphasized doing things right. The Spartans “out worked” every team they played so as a result, they beat every team they played. But in Ladouceur’s own words, and the words of his players, “the Spartans didn’t win just because of their hard work, they worked hard and won because of their love for one another”.

That’s right, Love. He wrote about this in a letter titled “What is a Spartan?” A copy of this letter was given to each member of his 1998 National Championship Team and it was later published in a local newspaper in response to all the criticism of his winning program. In the letter the coach wrote:

It’s upsetting in so much that (the criticism) questions the integrity of school officials and coaches sworn to uphold the ideals of our founder St. La Salle. What’s worse, it completely nullifies the hard work, sheer grit and determination of our student athletes at De La Salle. Society has its share of pessimists and sceptics, many believe that success cannot be achieved without dishonesty. It’s hard for them to see our success and not assume that it was achieved by cheating, stealing, or just blind luck. But I don’t care what society believes. I know the truth and I sleep every night with a clear conscience.

He goes on to use words like “commitment, relationship, responsibility, accountability, and trust.” He speaks of being vulnerable and of the self-reflective process in which real growth can occur.I wish I had a coach like that. You may wonder if he personally walked the walk or just talked the talk or maybe saying one thing when the cameras were rolling, and another once they were packed up and gone? Here is your answer, current rival and former De La Salle player Patrick Walsh, recently weighed in on who Ladouceur truly was; “Coach Lad is one of the most important people who I’ve ever come across in my life,” Walsh said. “I’m thankful that my mom and dad paid the tuition and sent me to De La Salle and gave me the opportunity to meet a guy like Bob Ladouceur, who’s affected my life profoundly.” Walsh, a 1993 De La Salle graduate who ran for over 2,000 yards his senior season, gushes about Ladouceur. “Outside of my mom, my dad and my faith, just being a spiritual individual and believing in God, he’s next.” The quotes and accolades from former players to Super Bowl winning head coaches are too long to list, but his impact will not be fully measured in this life.

By now you may be asking yourself “What does all this mean to me?” I’m glad you asked. In his letter, “What is a Spartan?” Ladouceur quotes Jesus Christ and the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30, he then concludes with this:

The assumption here, is that each of us has some sort of ability: talent. Now it’s our responsibility to discover what that is and what’s more, have the courage to use it.

I know most of us won’t be called to coach football, but I believe that if each of us will commit to using our talents humbly…Psalm 25:9, and courageously…1 Cor 16:13, we have no idea how far God will take us…Ephesians 3:20.

Just ask a retired Spartan, who just wanted to make a difference in the lives of a few young men….

Yep…True Greatness…

Albert Gardner, great contribution…thank you.

Until next time guys…