Saturday, October 31, 2009

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

I have found that being honest and transparent can be dangerous. I have also found that it can lead to transformation and change. Let me be honest. I went to my very first AA meeting last night. I was blown away by how honest, transparent, real and raw the people were. Try telling someone who believes in AA and has seen it change their life and the lives of others that honesty is NOT the best policy. Go to an AA meeting if you want to experience an extra large dose of honesty. I pray that God brings me to the point in my life that I can be half as honest as the people I met last night at my first AA meeting.

Try being honest with others. Look in the mirror and try being honest with yourself. Do I always do a great job in the "Honesty is the Best Policy" department? Nope.

So what do you think? Is "Honest The Best Policy" in all that we do and say?

If you'd like to see an extremely honest and transparent TV commercial watch the clip below.

Honesty is the Best Policy... from John on Vimeo.

 22-24Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. (James 1:23-24, The Message)

My thanks to @MichaelHyatt and @human3rror. They are Twitter and Blogging Kings!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Follow The Garbage

I hugged my son just a little harder today. I watched him walk into the school just a little longer. Why? Yesterday they found the body of a 7-year old girl in a landfill in Georgia. How did they find the little girl's body? One of the detectives had an idea to follow garbage trucks to the landfill. A police chief on TV said they would have never found the little girl's body if they had not followed the garbage trucks. A beautiful little girl is dead. A family grieves. A community mourns and wonders why. Closure can begin because someone followed the garbage.

It's not often that we come up with an idea to follow the garbage. When the idea comes to mind, we refuse to go to the landfill. If we follow the garbage we might find things we don't want to see. It's dangerous. Garbage is ugly. It's not pretty. Garbage can be ugly at first but after some digging we can find beauty. I followed garbage by stepping into the lives of the homeless and discovered the reality of their lives. In return they gave me back the beauty of their love.

Garbage can be ugly and remain ugly if it remains hidden. Today in this blog post, I am asking God to help me go digging in the landfill of my sin. I need to follow the garbage to uncover my dirty, stinky, rotting sin. By sincerely asking God to join me on my trip to the landfill, He will stand beside me as I dig. After being discovered, my sin can be discussed with others I trust, confessed to God and forgiven.

God can turn your garbage into greatness. God is waiting to join you on the trip to the landfill. Follow the garbage.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I take everything personally (repost)

I have a hot and cold friend. One minute he can't wait to hang out with me. Sends me emails. Calls me. Then all of a sudden. No phone calls. No emails. No lunch invitations. I suddenly go from Rock Star to the Ugly Girl at The Dance. I literally rack my brain trying to figure out what I did or didn't do. I take what he does or doesn't do personally. I feel like such a fraud as I write this post. I take everything personally.

Have you heard about "The Four Agreements"? One of the 4 agreements is "Don't Take Anything Personally". Below I posted The Four Agreements along with scriptures and quotes. I pray that they are helpful to you. I need to read these at least once a day.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Matthew 5:37 (The Message)
"And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

“Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action”

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Acts 7:59-60 (New International Version)
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Matthew 18:21-22 (New International Version)
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times

Luke 23:34 (New International Version)
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

QTIP: stands for Quit Taking It Personally.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


Mark 2:15-17 (New International Version)
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Luke 10:25-28 (The Message)
Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. "Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?" He answered, "What's written in God's Law? How do you interpret it?" He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself." "Good answer!" said Jesus. "Do it and you'll live."

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

2 Timothy 2:15 (New International Version)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth

Colossians 3:23 (The Message)
Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abe Lincoln

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Playing The Hits and Scratching My Pits

Some of the most messed up folks I have ever met have been radio station personalities. I used to be a messed up radio station DJ. Now I'm just a messed up Christ follower. When I was doing the radio station deal, Dee-Jays would say nutty things on the air like, "Playing The Hits and Scratching My Pits". Strap yourselves in. For your listening pleasure I am going to put on my headphones, lay down stacks of wax and play messed up DJ.

"Hey cool cats and cool chicks! It's Mighty Messed Up Mike on your radio. You're no fool but are you ready to kick it old school? I'm here to slam down a cool groove to make you move. This song will make you feel so fine you'll feel like you're walking on sunshine. Look down. Look above. Click on the clip below and listen to The Beatles sing a song about LOVE!"

(Don't Miss The Powerful Lyrics Below!)

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, It's sunshine
It's the word, love
In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I've got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you'll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, It's sunshine
It's the word, love
Everywhere I go I hear it said
In the good and the bad books that I have read

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, It's sunshine
It's the word, love
Now that I know what I feel must be right
I'm here to show everybody the light

Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way

It's the word I'm thinking of
And the only word is love
It's so fine, It's sunshine
It's the word, love

Say the word, love (4 times)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today I Have Hope

Today I have hope. Today I have hope that I will get past this battle of depression that holds me back. Today I have hope that I will be a better father. Today I have hope that I will have a great weekend with my wife. Today I have hope that that I will not listen to the enemy who wants to destroy me. Today I have hope that I will not be cynical. I will not be negative. I will not complain. Today I have hope that I will look at things differently. Today I have hope because I have been given a new heart and a new set of eyes. My hope doesn't come from me, Dr. Phil, Oprah or even Joel Osteen. My hope comes from Jesus Christ who holds me in the palm of His hand. Today I have hope because I know what happens at the end of the Book. Today I have hope because He accepts me "Just As I Am" and thinks I'm actually pretty cool even though I'm really messed up.

My dear friend @LuvStomp posted this video clip on his blog. This song is a song of hope. I pray that the song below and Jesus Christ bring you hope today.

Follow @LuvStomp on Twitter

Follow the @LuvStomp Blog

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Am An Expert

The past several months due to food allergies I have been on a new food program. Certain foods. Whole foods. No dairy. It has been challenging for me.

My wife gets up every morning and makes my breakfast and lunch. She works hard to create portions and types of foods for me based on foods I can eat. The past couple of days she has made salad for me. This morning I didn't say, "Thanks for making a delicious salad for me! I am so thankful that you get up every morning and make my breakfast and lunch". Instead I said, "Eating salad the past couple of days has been a challenge". I am such a whiner. I am such a complainer. I am such a grumbler. I've got a great lady in my life who is helping me eat well and I don't have to make anything. I should be doing cartwheels when I leave for work each morning. Although it didn't feel very good at the moment, my bride pointed out that I was doing a top notch job of bitching and complaining. As I write this I now understand why. She cuts up celery, carrots, cucumbers and lettuce. All I can muster up is a bunch of bitching. I really dislike this part of myself. I will be talking about this today with my "talking doctor". I have become an expert at griping, whining and complaining.

One of the people I follow on Twitter is @GuyKawasaki. Today he tweeted a YouTube clip about a young lady who is doing amazing things and has NO arms. Guy said, "Watch this video and you'll stop complaining". I watched it and realized just how much I need to stop complaining.

Click here to find out more about Guy Kawasaki.

Click here to find out more about Jessica.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whine, Complain and Grumble

I've never met Kevin Martineau in person. Through my Twitter and blogging contacts with Kevin I have determined that he is a great man. He posted the video below on his blog. It reminded me how much I truly have. It also reminded me to stop whining, complaining and grumbling.

Do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing
--Philippians 2:14

Check out Kevin on Twitter @KevinMartineua.
Check out Kevin's blog by going to "Shooting The Breeze"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love Bombed By Tweeps

What's a meat market?

An establishment, such as a nightclub, where one looks for a sexual partner.

Some people believe that Twitter is just a "meat market". It's not. Over the past several days I have discovered that Twitter is a large community full of extremely caring and loving people. Last Thursday I traveled to Washington state to say "goodbye" to my Grandma Eva who is dying of cancer. On the way there, during my stay and on the way home I was "love bombed" by truckloads of tweeps from Twitter. They weren't looking to hook up for some "red hot" loving. They simply wanted to show their care, concern and love for me. Their tweets encouraged and supported me. It was if God timed their tweets during some of the toughest times of my trip. My thanks to the following tweeps:

@PaganKelly, @ChristieSays, @DailyGrindDB, @LuvStomp, @Dana88, @JohnDobbs, @ChinaKat79, @Anne4JC, @wade_caldwell , @KyEkinci, @Allisoncds, @marni71, @jenuine512, @The_Photo_Guy, @BridgetChumbley, @heiresstonya, @johnbeattyart

(Sorry if I missed anyone.)

These are more than nutty people addicted to Twitter. They have become my friends.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm so messed up I can't write

I've just started new gig at my company, flying to WA state to say "goodbye" to my Grandma Eva and my body is physically hurting from doing outdoor Boot Camp. I don't have much left when it comes to being creative. My blogging buddies are doing a much better job when it comes to writing blog posts. With that in mind, I thought I'd direct you to some great blog posts from talented folks and friends that I admire and love.

Louie Mercer: I Wanted To Bust Their Windshield

Peter Pollock: Lessons in Obedience

Russell Holloway: Doggie School Dropout

Anne Lang Bundy: Looking Unto Jesus

Kevin at Shooting the Breeze: Living Out The Gospel Together

And because I couldn't do this post without "A Little Help From My Friends", I thought I would include one of my favorite songs. Enjoy YouTube clip below.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saying Good Bye to Grandma Eva

My Grandpa Ray died a couple of years ago. Since then Grandma Eva has not wanted to be here. She has not wanted to live. She misses Grandpa Ray. 2 days before Grandpa Ray died, I had the honor of leading him to Jesus Christ. I sat in a hospital room and held my Grandpa's hand as he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Grandma Eva is 92. We just found out that she is dying of cancer. The doctor said that she has "just a few weeks to live". Thursday I am going to Spokane, Washington to say goodbye to my Grandma Eva. It will be the last time on this earth that I will kiss and hug her. It will be the last time that I look into her eyes to tell her how much she means to me and how much I love her. Tears fill my eyes as I write this. My heart aches just thinking about it.

Last weekend, my cousin Tracy came to say goodbye to Grandma Eva. Tracy didn't leave without sharing Jesus with Grandma. Tracy led Grandma Eva to Jesus Christ.

When Grandma Eva dies I will cry and mourn. I will miss her. But I will be comforted by the fact that I know where she is and that she won't be missing Grandpa Ray anymore.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What does a "Hopeless Cause" look like?

We walk by them. We ignore them. We drive by them. We look the other way. We'd prefer that they didn't exist. We say things like, "They need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get some work!" Let me ask you a question. Have you sat down with them? Have you listened to their stories? Some of them will take advantage of you. Most of them won't. Some of them just want you to sit down and listen. Some of them are so messed up you can't imagine that they'll ever be anything other than homeless or hopeless. My brother in Christ John Thornton is really messed up. John is a young man who battles addiction demons. He has been in and out of jail and rehab centers. He broke the hearts of his parents more than once. Eventually John burned so many bridges he had no bridges left. Although I am not sure, I think John was fairly close to becoming homeless himself. God led him to The Daytona Outreach Center in Daytona Beach, FL. Daytona Outreach Center is focused on people that the rest of us kick to the curb. Some call them, "Hopeless Causes". John Thornton was one those that many said, "That kid is a hopeless cause!" I felt that way about John on several occasions. I am happy to say that I was wrong. John is doing extremely well. I am so proud of him and I praise God for the work he is doing through John. John is doing ministry 7 days a week at The Daytona Outreach Center. Along with his social media duties, John is putting together great videos like the YouTube clip below. Please watch it and pass it along to others. Thank you.

What does a "Hopeless Cause" look like? They look like you and me.

Click here to find out more about The Daytona Outreach Center.