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An open hand

Read the full Story on Medium “John, when your hand is open you can give things away and at the same time make room for more.” Advertisements

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Thankful ain’t what YOU think

I used to dream of the ability to shower people with gifts that I thought would thank them properly and adequately. I used to pine tirelessly to imagine a way of thanking my bride for all she did to lift me up with “a big house” to quote […]

Pepop: A Decorated Veteran of the Game of Life

Some months ago I wrote a story about my grandfather and how he taught me how to be full of CHIT: Curious | Humble | Intentional | Teachable. Today, I want to talk about this World War II veteran and how he has lived a life as a […]

Hello in There?! The call to seek connection and be known.

Who do you let in? Who do you seek out? How often do you stop, cup your hands to your mouth and cry: Hello in There? We all yearn to be known. We have this inborn appetite to be seen. We are also prompted to connect with others. […]

A Tribute to Tim the Writer

On October 21, 2018, I was one of four people asked to share some of my thoughts with some of the gathered family and friends of Tim Sader at only the first of two services.  The following is the first draft of what I shared.  As usual, on […]

May Your Torch Burn Long and Prosper

According to his parents May 19, 2011, was a Tuesday, it was the day they lost their first son and it was a day that his brother had the hardest time writing his blog, Tuesday’s Torch, but he wrote it anyway. He wrote it dutifully, beautifully and eloquently […]

Once Upon a Time, There Were Three Little Girls…and I was their Bosley

Our childhood wasn’t all Charlie’s Angels and Bosley to be sure! We rallied around each other when times were tough.  I call them my war buddies because we’ve seen and been through some scary stuff together….I can see when someone has the potential to grow from obscurity to the highest heights…  My sisters are such people…read more: click on pic or link in bio

We DON’T Get To…

Today, I feel compelled to write about what we DON’T GET TO do. We don’t get to be more than we were created to be. ..Read more at four4soaring.com

Change your lens to see more light.

Change your lens on life and change your life (and maybe others?) for the better. Read more at http://four4soaring.com .

The Struggle is Real…Sometimes…

I am a restless person.  You might even call me “Restless by Nature.” That is not quite as cool as “Naughty By Nature” but I am anything but cool.  This restlessness is all too big a part of being human.  We struggle from the moment we emerge from […]

Convey your idea, mission, or project through the power of story.

One of the most powerful ideas I have heard recently is that when you share a concept, in reality, you as the presenter are not the hero, your audience is the hero. Nancy Duarte shares this concept with us in her TED Talk as she reveals her passions […]

People are more important than things.

As I prepare to sit through this storm my thoughts and prayers are not for all the THINGS that are already lost and will be lost.

Unsunk and unstuck: Open the door to more!

My friends, what I have now realized is that those sunk costs had me sunk.  I was drowning in them.  I was mired in a morass of my own self-absorption, intent on getting and keeping…

Hope prevails at any age

One of the starkest tragedies of our lives is that we are horrible predictors of the future.  This affects us in a myriad of mundane and profound ways.  We can be hurt by this in the way we choose our kitchen tile or cast our vote, by our inaction around saving and multiplying our money from a young age or when we fail to see the good things happening around us or, tearfully, when we give up. Even when we don’t do something as extreme as giving up permanently, those of us who fall prey to a life without hope can find ourselves existing day to day, as Andy Stanley explains, as a “languishing life preserver.” 

There are two futures…

A quote about two very different futures by Eric Haseltine of Ted Talk fame. I love what he describes here as it speaks to both our limitations to imagine the future and the endless possibilities. In my estimation, our job is to realize as many of those possibilities […]

Don’t Hate…but how?…and why?

When you are lost and you feel like no one is in your corner it is easy to gravitate toward hate.  Hate is seductive. Hate is unifying and affirming in a sick sort of way.  Hate feels good at the moment your stoking it or feeling it.  Hate can be a crucible to burn off, and distract from, your feelings of rejection, discontent, and discomfort. The ironic thing is the whole time your hating you are secretly yearning to love and be loved…read more at http://four4soaring.com

What’s the alternative to telling someone to shake it off?

What’s the alternative to telling someone to shake it off? When you see someone who consistently falls down, do you lecture them, run the other way, or do you lean in with grace and compassion?

Summer Melt and Mentorship

I had the right people around me at the right times to avoid the “summer melt.”  Summer melt is a term that refers to a phenomenon where every year, many students who have overcome daunting obstacles in high school receive good news — they’ve been accepted to college, and often they have been awarded enough money to attend, but they don’t show up to start classes. 

How Can I Influence Others With a Shovel?

I was treated to a great lesson on influence recently at a conference I attended. Justin Elam’s message was one he has been sharing for a while now about how to equip others by asking questions vs. providing ready answers.  The outline of his talk started with this Strauss quote: “The wise man doesn’t give the right answers.  He poses the right questions.”

What my grandfather taught me about being full of C.H.I.T.

There is a hilarious image I have in mind of a cartoonish, slightly more balding version of me, giving myself a Homer Simpson slap on the forehead and exclaiming “DOH!” as I think back on just how many things I got wrong as I was growing up.  For instance….

Golden Child or Pariah : Is this the right choice ?

Should we strive to be the golden child or should we suffer as the pariah? What is the right posture to assume as we move through life? Is this the right choice? Must we choose one of these paths or is there a third choice that leaves us better positioned for true success?

Moms and Teachers: Every Kid Needs A Champion, Thankful For You and Those Like You

Moms.  They are our champions.  Whether it is your actual Mom or someone who simply pulls you into their circle and treats you like their child, like the best teachers do, they are fiercely and ferociously for us.  They provide us with the unfathomable, unconditional love that we typically only receive from one Other Place, far above this one.

Look Up

(Hint: You may have to click this open to see it formatted as intended 🙂 ) Look Up When you want to look down Look Up When you feel like a clown Look Up When you’re lost and not found Look Up When you’re slammed to the ground […]

Angry or Afraid? When people act out, do we see someone to fear or someone to serve?

I still need help practicing consistently: quickly changing my response from one of “equal and opposite” reaction to one of service, grace and compassion

The Wolf Ate My Checklist

What kind of society could we have if we unleashed our children to play and fall and re-work their environment as the wolves did in Yellowstone? What kind of society will we have if we don’t?

Troubled Waters ? Don’t get washed away see and be the bridge.

My wager is that you know, deep down that there is hope, even in the midst of sorrow and that there is always an “other side” to cross over to and always a bridge you can cross.

Easter A to Z

Before I got past my biases of what Easter was about, it was just another holiday where I got to eat all my kids leftover chocolate. Now, I still dip into the chocolate, but I have a renewed way of looking at it.  I now have a new language for Easter. 

Got Circle? Sometimes you NEED to go where everybody knows your name

Cheers Theme: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name..and they’re always glad you came….  You want to go where people know, people are all the same, you want to go where every-bod-y knows your nameeee.”

What if that want, was really more of a need?  What if we don’t just want to be with people who are just as messed up as we are, but we really need to be with people, just like we need the very air that we breathe? 

What Motivates You Defines You…or is it Who?

I came away with a strong conviction to be more aware of my hidden motives and to be conscious of not just what motivates me, but Who. Here is how I got there…

You don’t know what I’m feeling

I recently listened to this incredible TED Radio Hour titled Decoding Our Emotions. This really impacted me deeply…

I have this friend…a tale of Dr. Awesome and Mr. (other A word)

We are all broken and none of us is going to get it right 100% of the time, no matter what the perfectionistic slogans say on Pinterest or Facebook.

Recipe for a Hallmark movie

1 part 80’s or 90’s TV star – preferably B or C list (sometimes they double this) 1 part lovely single woman who has experienced tragedy, loss and/or heartbreak (or is just profoundly misunderstood by her current boyfriend who is either completely milk toast (or just mean to […]

Stuck? Lift the needle on the broken record in your head!

When our minds are new and scratch-free,  they play the song they are meant to play.  The songs that were printed on them by their creator.  However, as we age and get hurt or scared, we have a tendency to let the scratches accumulate.  We start forming thought patterns that are toxic to ourselves and others.  We get caught in a quagmire.  We repeat ourselves until, what was once a beautiful, soulful or just a flat-out kick-ass song is ruined.  

We get to…

We get to be who we are created to be…read more at four4soaring.com

Surviving change without going ape

How many times have we left for work, fully intending to play the part of the ever-composed, quietly observant, always benevolent Jane Goodhall, only to find ourselves at the end of the day, flinging feces at our teammates in a primitive display of dominance and one-upmanship? “You cannot get […]

Out of the loop and in the loop – a leader’s conundrum.

I have witnessed, up close, the heart of leaders who want nothing but the best for their organizations and share everything they can as soon as they can.  I have seen the opposite as well.  Leaders who hoard information.  Leaders who leverage intelligence and news for their own benefit, high on the “sexy” drugs of status, secrecy and self-importance. I confess, I’ve been (am?) one of these leaders too. 

Do we become the bully after the bullies are all gone?

Whether you have experienced “real life” external bullies or not, we all have this tendency to be our own bully.  The question you have to ask yourself is.  How long are you going to take it, before you say you’ve had enough?

Be a Leader of Leaders

One of the most profound things I have learned in recent years is that the most effective leadership posture I can assume is to strive to be a relentless servant leader who spends his time building into other leaders. This may seem intuitive, but many of us drive […]

Embrace the Contrarians in Your Midst

Having contrarians in your daily life, at your dinner table and in your community can be maddening at times…but can we and should we try to live without them?

Thinking of adding things to your life? Add depth to existing or new relationships.

patterns.

As someone who is trying to grow closer to others and sprinkle as much salt and light into the world as possible before I go, I am humbled.  Dunbar’s number tells me a story.

No Capes!

Have you ever had a leader or manager like that? A parent? I bet we all have at one time or another. How did it make you feel? Empowered? Emboldened? Full of drive and energy to tackle the next big project? Probably not…

I Was You

I was you
You wouldn’t know it now
My brand has changed
What you see now is “The Church guy”
The “Christian guy”
It is hilarious to me, that when I meet you…
You think I am “one of them”
I used to sit in the back…

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