Sunday, August 2, 2015

The battle of July...

     So I just came out of a whirlwind of a near fantasy month. So amazing it is difficult to describe.

     It began with the celebration of our freedom on Independence day weekend.  How can one not rejoice in a time as such. With everything going on in America many have lost hope, but hopelessness is not what our nation was built upon. As Bono of U2 stated, America is not a country it is an idea. The definition of an idea is "a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action" or "the aim of purpose". It is ever evolving and whether you believe it or not we do maintain a certain level of control within the shaping of that idea. One thing we have to remember is that media thrives on the negative because they want ratings. They will use images and sounds to paint a picture to portray to the minds of the world in a way they feel will draw more people in and increase their ratings. Kind of sick, I know. But there is also so much good progress happening right here in America and in the world abroad. It is there if you will just look for it. Do not give up, keep your hope alive.

     A week later I found myself on a plane heading to Germany. This was my first time to Europe and I absolutely fell in love with the town in which I stayed. I learned a lot while there. About Germany, about America, and most importantly about myself. I met amazing individuals and I got to experience true, authentic Germany thanks to the fact I was staying in such a small town. I got to enjoy German beer, history, culture, the autobahn, food, and oh what beautiful country it is. I also got to visit Bavaria one of the days I was there and see some amazing small villages thanks to an error with the GPS in the rental car on the way back to Frankfurt! It was the experience of a lifetime that will have a lasting impact on me for the remainder of my time  here on earth. If given the opportunity I would definitely go back.

     The next great adventure was the best of all! My son Andrew made his first trip out to Texas to come stay with me for ten straight days. Truly the best time of my life up to this point. He is such an amazing young man who brings immense amounts of joy to my heart and soul. There are no words I can type in this post to describe that either. Nothing I put down would give justice to the visit. Just know it was amazing. With this visit I learned even more about myself, which was not my mission. My intent was just to further connect with my amazing son and build upon our relationship. I definitely walked away with knowledge of things I can do to be a better father and a better man.

     Through all of this I also realized the growth I have experienced as a person over the years. Many emotions were involved with everything I experienced. And for the first time in my life I took control of it all rather than allowing my emotions to control me. As emotions have been stirred I have learned to dig down deep to find what is stirring those emotions. In doing so it helps me grow even more. Because just like the idea of America we too are ever evolving, growing and we do have a certain level of control. Can we control our circumstances? Only the ones with which we are provided choices, some just hit us like a bag of bricks. But we can control our reactions to them and then seek out how we can grow.

     So how about you? When you look back on your battle of July were you victorious? If the answer is no do not beat yourself up. Use it as a learning experience and move with confidence into the battle of August. You may be asking why I use the term "battle". I do so because life is tough and it is a battle. Even when everything is going your way are you not fighting for something even in those moments? Maybe none of this makes sense to you, but I know it makes sense to me. If this only speaks to me and no one else I am OK with that.




Friday, July 10, 2015

Catalytic synergy...

    You, yes you are created for greatness, but you are also built for relationship. Actually we all are, but for now let the focus be on you.

    You have a calling, an intentional purpose in life. Stephen Covey says you want "to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy." Your calling is what you will do in life that fuels your passions and creates an environment of true accomplishment for you. The kind of accomplishments that impact the world...your legacy.

     If you look throughout history at great men and women they all had the ability to get up when knocked down. You need to do that too and the more quickly you get up the better. You ever increase your risk of further pain or suffering the longer you stay down. Just look at giraffes; at birth the newborn baby giraffe will immediately begin the ever so challenging journey to its feet. What happens next? The mother will knock the newborn baby giraffe over. Seems cruel right? Well, it is actually a loving act of the mother which is simply giving life lessons from birth of the importance of quickly getting back on its feet to avoid the many dangers in the world. This repeated act also builds strength to the point that eventually the baby giraffe can stand firm without falling over. The same can be said about butterflies. You may have heard the story of the young man that found the butterfly struggling for hours to escape the cocoon through the tiniest of holes. When it appeared as though it was close to death from exhaustion the young man cut open the cocoon. A day later the young man noticed that the butterfly still lie on the ground with a swollen body and dilapidated wings. What the young man was unaware of was that the struggle to push through the walls of the cocoon, was actually what built strength and pushed the fluids to fill the wings.

    OK so in typical Jeremy fashion I derailed from my purpose of this post, but I believe that was good supplemental information lol

     Anyway you need to be in relationship with others that are encouraging to you in order to reach your greatness and truly succeed. If you are on a team or in a workplace that is more discouraging than encouraging then you need to move on. Catalytic Synergy will guarantee this occurs. The Catalyst is Jesus and and the Synergy is relationship. With those two things aligned you will find your calling, gifting, anointing. You at a minimum, do one thing better than anyone else in the world. God designed you that way.

"You'll never succeed with people who devalue you." Bob Beaudine 
"Success is geographical; go where you're celebrated not where you're tolerated." - Bob Beaudine






Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Unfettered determination can help you enjoy everything along the way...

     Are you content in life? Complacent? Comfortable?

     Well are you?

     Or are you working to improve yourself?

     You may be in the best place of your life. Great friends, great job, debt free, 100% healthy, etc. But is that where you want to stay? I would hope not. There is never any reason to stop growing in life. When I was younger, I used to always quote a saying.

"Birth is the beginning if the dying process."

     There is so much wrong with that statement.  Whereas one could argue the "truth" in that statement I would have to wholeheartedly disagree. While we are on this earth we have so much to live for and when you are living your life to the fullest and the best of your ability then you can truly have an incredibly positive impact on those individuals placed in your path.

     Have a I perfected this thing called life? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Fat chance! But you know what? I am still GROWING!

     For example, several years ago I completed the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and mine are as follows:

  1. Relator
  2. Learner
  3. Achiever
  4. Woo
  5. Individualization
     In other personality analysis studies I am typically shown also as a leader which is embodied in much of my top five Strengths as well. So one should think I am pretty good at being a leader correct? Am I though? Well yes and no. You have to be careful with your strengths just read this powerful quote from the great Kris Vallotton

"Your greatest weakness is your strength overemphasized." - Kris Vallotton
     So what does that mean? Well to different individuals it may have different meanings. To the same individual in a different season in life it could mean something different as well. But to me, in this season, it means exactly what it says. 

     As a leader you want to help guide and direct whomever you are leading to wherever it is you are going; whether it be an emotional place, a physical place, a Spiritual place, etc. So me as a leader and having Achiever in my top strengths can be an issue when that strength becomes overemphasized. (FYI this is one of many areas I need to be and grow more aware of.) But in this case, as an Achiever I would like to "lead" to the "destination" as quickly as possible. The problem with that is there is so much to see along the way. In an effort to "streamline" the process do you mistakenly miss out on some of the most intricate details that are important to the process? If you know anything about Lean Six Sigma you know that in a perfect world you would eliminate all of the non-value added functions in any process. However, there is a specific way to go about it that must be followed to define, measure, analyze, improve, and then control the process improvements. Even in the end it is impossible to remove all "non-value added" functions because they add a value somewhere or could be required for reasons outside of your control. I will not go into the examples from my project so as not to bore you to death...if you are even still reading! My point being that in my haste and by the overemphasis of the achiever I feel this could potentially be my greatest weakness in this season. 

     The great news is that I am now aware! To help me grow in this and all other areas of my life I have a great great God! I have an incredibly amazing son whom I love and adore so much. I have truly found a Proverbs 31 woman in my girlfriend. And over the last year I have also had amazing people placed in my life with which I have been building good, healthy relationships. 

     So with that I choose to work with unfettered determination to create different results in my future. The outcome of my future actions will be the products of consistent, focused effort in all areas of life for constant improvement. I choose to live out of my Spirit and stop living out of my soul. The mind and emotions can take you down a slippery slope.

   

Monday, May 25, 2015

Land of the Free...Home of the brave...

     So today on this Memorial Day of 2015 when we honor our fallen troops of past and the men and women currently serving our country to protect our freedom I felt led to open the blog, blow off the dust, and write a new post.

     Today I exercised my great freedom by participating in the Murph Challenge. I did not really have a strong desire to do so, but knowing all the sacrifices made by the aforementioned men and women I felt I could endure some suck in honor of them. More specifically Lt. Michael P. Murphy endured far more than I have in my entire life so it only felt right. His story can be read here.

     I can also say that as hectic a day as I have had, awakening at 5:30 this morning and just now getting to a point where I can sit an relax (now 5:25 pm) this was sincerely the most amazing and memorable Memorial Day I can remember in all of the 39 times I have revolved around the sun. Good exercise, good friends (see below), good food, and my Spirit is overflowing with love as a result. Life is good.


     We live in the greatest country in the world. I have friends that disagree and because of our freedom that have that right...it is a great thing!

    With that being said, are you truly living in freedom? Freedom from anxiety. Freedom from betrayal? Freedom from debt? Freedom from failure? Freedom from fear? Freedom from indignity? Freedom from insecurity? Freedom from stress?

     I did not think so; and neither am I.

     Impossible you think? To live completely free from all of these things 100% of the time...I do not believe so. Not in this world we currently live in. But what is possible is to live more free than you currently are. I live exponentially more free now than I did several years ago, even last year.

     Many of our struggles are rooted within our will; the soul is the battleground and we are the service men and women fighting the everyday battle.

"The battle is over the will. Our will is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us. It is part of the soul. It can be influenced and controlled by the mind, the heart, our bodies and our spirits. We can control our will, or be controlled through our will." - Duncan Smith #consumedbylove
     Jesus came to earth, died, and rose again so we could have access to His true freedom. All you have to do is believe and accept His Lordship and you have access to an everlasting supply as stated in John 3:34 - 36.

     It is also important to live a life of humility. This too will help with much of what we are in bondage to as a result of others in our lives.

"You will get less offend-able the less you think of yourself. That is humility." - Alan Smith

     I do not have much more to share on this at the moment, I just felt led to put this out there. You can now exercise your free will to pursue this freedom. Unless you are complacent with where you are.





Monday, January 12, 2015

Life/Limited...Death/Limitless

     Perception of limits is so skewed; naturally by human nature. Such a negative connotation comes from boundaries, rules, regulations...whatever you can think of that is limiting in our world. Have you ever thought that without these limits life would be what was truly limited?

     Percentages, time, symbols, language...all things created by man.

     Are there truly limits?

     Where do they begin?

     Where do they end?

     Distance...

     Emotions...

     Finances...

    Honestly the list could go on. But how much of our "limits" are simply created by our own perception?

     My perception tells me that my life over the last few months has been limited in many ways. Too many hours at work limit certain things. Allowing someone into your life far too rapidly to only have them vanish without a moments notice. Poor choices when exercising my free will. (Key word choices)

     For weeks, maybe months I have felt as though I had not been hearing. In reality I believe it was the fact that I was taking the time to listen.

     Tonight I heard Him.

     To move past the limits and go limitless requires trust, honesty, surrender.

     The time has come to expand upon the limitless boundaries given to me during this time I have been blessed with on earth.

     Will it be easy? No, it takes perseverance and hard work...but the time has come.