Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tell Em' (Who They Are)

Bob Goff in his new book, Everybody Always, writes:
"Instead of telling people what they want (or need), tell them who they are." 
 I think that most people are aware of their shortcomings, and probably hear about those more than their strengths. When one of my little league baseball players strikes out, they know it's counterproductive and are probably somewhat embarrassed. They don't need to hear that from their teammates and coaches also. As their coach, and with longer term goals in mind, it's my job to get them back to the plate batting feeling confident. The best way to do that is to tell them who they are in that moment. Telling them what they need to correct at that very moment is nothing but counterproductive, as there is no way it can be fixed in short time. Instead, I shout, "Hey Jimmy - show em' who you are man! You're a beast up there! Flex your muscles!"  Getting these players to be the best they can be requires placing an identity in them that is un-shakeable, and is completely separate from their performance. Performance based identity will always fail.

In an even grander picture, I think God is the same way, and constantly wants to remind us who we are in him. I am not saying God does not want to strengthen our weaknesses, he is the redeemer after all. But I think lots of the time we miss out on God's encouragement. When we don't understand what God really thinks of us, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:15), we lose our ability to bounce back from sin, and may get swallowed up by shame and guilt.

I think our planet may be a little better off if we spent more energy telling each other who we are instead of what we need, or are missing. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A World Where I Belong

"...If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world..." - C.S. Lewis
This just really puts "it all" into perspective. Insert what ever desire, accomplishment, failure, longing, or maybe even a relationship into "it all." Why do our greatest accomplishments, material items, and experiences not satisfy our deepest longings and passions?  Maybe you and I were made for something more than our selves and this world. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe there is something so big, in which we cannot comprehend, that not only influences the entire universe, but also our day to day lives. It seems that these deepest desires which cannot be satisfied by this world were instilled so deep into our very being that there is no full satisfaction here on earth. Despite this, we are unable to lose hope in experiencing complete satisfaction. It's as if these desires are real and fulfill-able, but need to occur in a world where we truly belong.

I'm probably selling myself short when I take too much comfort in the things of this world, and treat them like more than a blessing. I am a refugee here. There are better things for me in Christ. May my hunger and thirst constantly be a reminder that I was made for another world, a world were I belong. May I enjoy the blessings that have been bestowed upon me in a manor of a gift that I never earned. A gift from a father who loves me for one reason, because he takes pleasure in it.

Nothing draws a better picture of God than his creation in nature. It's wild to think that this is only a glimpse into what he truly has for us. 

This post in not just inspired by the CS Lewis quote, but also by a songwriter who I have found second to none, who has routinely and deeply validated my beliefs, questioned my beliefs, and has inspired me to wonder and stand in awe of my heavenly father. See his song In A World Where I Belong by Switchfoot. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Love Your Neighbor

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The Second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment great than these" Mark 12:30-31

I am 99.9% convinced that if "we the people" spent more of our time loving our neighbors versus trying to change things that are nearly out of our control (I have a few in mind if you want to ask me about them. We are all guilty.) we would:

1. See more positive results
2. Develop stronger communities
3. See the needy's needs met better, faster, and more genuinely
4. See personal accountability go up
5. See violence go down
6. See overall quality of life skyrocket

If you grew up like I did, you were taught to plan ahead by thinking at a higher level, and knowing how do get down into the weeds when you need to. I think the best approach to making Chicago (and other hurting areas, even the entire US) a better place to live is by building from the ground up, or from the weeds. Be a neighbor, be a mentor, coach a team, have people over for dinner, share your values, listen to other's values, have a bonfire, generate genuine relationships with people around you, do life together, love your neighbor as yourself and ultimately BE THERE. Very few can influence an entire organization, but everyone can influence their neighbor.

For betterment's sake, we must humble ourselves and learn to serve the people around us, and not expect others to do so. Be the hands of change, there are already plenty of brains. Anyways, what is the point of doing anything if it's not rooted in love? Everything else is temporary...

“You don't need a plan; you just need to be present.” - Bob Goff

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

60 Seconds of Wisdom - Making Your Bed

I do not remember why, but months ago I was watching a University of Texas commencement speech given by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven. I recently heard his name come up in a podcast I was listening to, and decided to share a practical thought from his speech:
"If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."
If you haven't already noticed, I have great respect for our armed forces. I believe they do a dang good job in what they do. Therefore, considering what these men and women have to say is well worth your time. Link to Adm. McRaven's Speech

PS. Adm. McRaven was not the first to say it.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Luke 10:16


Sunday, April 2, 2017

DOG TAG BREWING - Beer With A Purpose

About a year ago, I heard of Dog Tag Brewing. I recently made it a point to go pick up some their Legacy Lager. 100% of Dog Tag's profits are used to partner with Gold Star Families who are building legacies of our nation's fallen soldiers. WOW! Additionally, each can shares a dog tag of a recent fallen soldier, building their legacy and paying respect and gratitude for their service.

In a broken nation, and a broken world, it is great to hear about Dog Tag bettering communities by starting with family's and America's servicemen and women. May these fallen soldier's legacies live on.

Check out dog tag here:

PS., the beer is good.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Five Seconds of Wisdom III - Success by Preparation

I think a common component of success, or even survival, is having the foresight to see what can go wrong, and being prepared for those things.

The new locks MWH designed for the Panama Canal are located near two major fault lines. Earthquakes can be very severe in the region. In order to build a successful product, these new locks had to be designed to withstand catastrophic earthquakes and remain in operation. A large earthquake has not hit yet, but the new locks will be ready.

Image result for panama canal

Monday, January 16, 2017

Five Seconds of Wisdom II - Embrace the Suck

Embrace the suck. It's a side effect of growth. Don't let difficult things stand in the way of your goal, mission, or calling. Instead, channel it and use it to your advantage.
Image result for determination