my 999 plan

 Someone told me about a new tax plan – something about proportional taxation.  Seems like an interesting idea & I can see that our economy has some challenges & we need to make some changes.  From these 2 sentences, please don’t project that I’m advocating any political position, party or platform.  Rather, my point is that we need to always be learning, growing & adapting – this is my 999 plan:  to continue growing.

I want to always be growing, learning & maturing.  Along this line, I want to always be growing in my relationship with God and truthfully, I never want to say “no” to God.  I don’t want my intellect to be a limit to God.  I don’t want my desires or will to be a hindrance to God moving in my life.  I don’t want my past failures or successes to impede God’s presence in my current daily living.  I don’t want my pride to cause a separation from God.  I just don’t want to say “no” to God in any way or context.  I don’t want to say no to God in my marriage, finances, relationships, with Saving Moses, my values, perspective, thinking,  or in any area.  Simply put, my 999 plan is this:  Yes, God 🙂

freedom of speech

 In America, we are very intense about our right to the freedom of speech.  We have no appreciation for anyone who would try to censure our opinion or limit our expression.  And in some ways, I really appreciate this right & I wholly appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to retain this privilege.

On the other hand, just because we have the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we should say anything & everything we want.  Proverbs says that even a fool appears smart when they keep their mouth closed.  There is tremendous wisdom in knowing when to say something, what to say & to whom something should be said.  These choices can be very productive if we make the decision to be constructive with our opinions & freedom of speech & not merely selfish.  In the end, the right to freedom of speech with a selfish intent is often more destructive than constructive.  Here’s a simple idea that I’m trying to work into my daily living:  I want to compliment & encourage more than I criticize & judge.  Want to join me?  🙂

whole food :)

 I think it’s pretty important to eat healthy food – Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine & medicine be your food.”  That’s some good timeless wisdom, in lots of different contexts & not just for our bodies.

I think that we also need to pay attention what we feed our minds & hearts.  Here’s an interesting example:  one of my favorite movies in my 20s was Aliens.  I loved this movie & almost had the lines memorized.  But this became a problem for me because there’s a fair amount of violence in this movie & I began to start having very violent dreams & thoughts.  My mom suggested that I take a breather from Aliens for a bit & viola, the dreams & thoughts became less & less violent.  So my line of thinking is that whatever we feed our hearts & minds is going to be what starts to grow & bear fruit in our lives.

With this in mind, I had a really good conversation with God this morning about several items that have been stressing me of late – He was kind enough to point me to Ps 55 & from this conversation, I’ve been thinking about this Psalm & reading through it several times.  Rather than my mind continually running through the various stresses & challenges, I’m letting Ps 55 be my whole food today 🙂

swot analysis (strengths & weaknesses)

I have several friends who are really business-smart & I thank God that they’re my friends because presently, I don’t consider myself business-smart (although I’m getting better).  One of the exercises that many businesses commonly run through, from time to time, is the swot analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats.  After having gone through this exercise in various organizations, it’s been really helpful to kind of do a personal swot analysis & to consider some outcomes: 

Something that I consider to be one of my strengths is my indepdence.  I can do alot of things by myself & generally, that’s something that I like about me.  Lately however, I’m seeing that more & more,  my independence isn’t so much a strength, but rather is a weakness because I see that I can easily isolate myself & thereby minimize my effectiveness.  Furthermore, I’m learning that teamwork isn’t only about the accomplishment, but maybe even moreso about the personal development & growth that teamwork cultivates.  I’m writing all of this to encourage us to be mindful that whatever strengths we have, that we appreciate that they can also be weaknesses.  Maybe this is some of what Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 12:9-10, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness .” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, . . . ” 🙂

first reactions

I’ve been noticing some things w my kids that are somewhat eye opening.  When I ask them to do something, like the pick up the things they were playing with or clean their rooms, etc, they can sometimes tend to have 1 of 2 reactions:  complain or argue.  Both of these reactions are becoming very annoying & probably reflect some bad parenting shortcomings on my part.  With that being said, the whole complain or argue strategy has started me thinking about how I react to God’s directives in my life.

 There are times that I know that God is asking me to do something & I have some “creative answers” that include:  I don’t have time, I don’t want to do that, why do I have to do this? that’s a really big sacrifice, I’m not smart enough to do that, I’m too busy doing the other things You told me to do, . . . . .

Some of the ways that my kids respond to me have really started me thinking about how I respond to my heavenly Father.  I always want my kids to respond with respect, honor, hard work, no complaining or arguing, etc.  I think my heavenly Father would like me to treat His requests in the same way – what great opportunities to grow!  🙂

insider thoughts about Saving Moses

 I’ve been thinking about this year & the various achievements & shortcomings for Saving Moses – reflections.  There have been some really cool developments – we made some great initial contacts for nightcare in Asia, we got a SUPER deal on some baby formula in Angola (over 40 metric tons for free if we would pay $5k for the transportation, an obvious no-brainer), some amazing progress with our media abilities, we’ve made some great potential relationships for the future, along with many other things.  On the flip side, there have also been some disappointments – our India trip was frustrating & I found that one of the malnutrition clinics that we recently visited in Angola didn’t have any milk, due to some poor communication.

Truthfully, I always want everything with Saving Moses to be 100% positive, but my experiences this year are teaching me that this isn’t always going to be realistic.  Furthermore, I’m finding that even though I want Saving Moses to be MASSIVELY effective, I need to be patient as we grow & continue to keep taking steps along the journey that will continue to help us be increasingly effective.

Something that you could do to help us grow is to be a fan on our facebook page 🙂

mentorship or mento-ship?

I’m really thankful for the many mentors I’ve had in my life – from my high school basketball coach to my mom & many others 🙂

I’ve never really set out on a mission to find mentors, but when I think about it, God has placed people in my life at very strategic times to mentor me & I’m super thankful.  It also seems to me that God gives me mentors for different areas in my life:  for my theological development, cooking, social skills, management skills, etc.  Furthermore, many of these mentors have invested in me through a variety of mediums:  phone conversations, coffee chats, books, CDs, podcasts, etc.  I always want to be open to God growing & challenging me – helping me to live out His purpose & destiny.

So with that being said, here’s a fun video on some creative uses for Mentos & Diet Coke   ,)