Poetry: The Concrete Carpet

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For those who are used to receiving my typical posts, you will find something different in this poetry post. This is a poem that is a part of a Poetry collection that comes from a time of my searching.

THE CONCRETE CARPET

The birds are talking

they have much to say

the day of revolt

when we’ll have to pay.

The trees are still green

the plants are still alive

the moments still quiet

except for the drive.

A blaze of power

sweeps down the road

disturbing the peace

and breaking the code.

You can pull off the road

admiring nature’s ways

thinking of the past

and remembering old days.

The days when harmony and peace

went hand in hand

with progress unimportant

more vital the land.

And so with this carpet

and the stones  that were laid

man pursuing the rush

while the trees  sit decayed.

Who cares for the beauty

what profit can it bring

the harmony of the chirping

the birds as they sing.

The times have changed

now money the factor

to settle for convenience

we bring out the tractors.

In a society  that’s greedy

and rushing for ease

as a people we’re in trouble

when we choose roads over trees.

So the carpet’s been laid

nature moved aside

there’s no stopping progress.

So make the best of the ride

look out the windows

and appreciate what is here

while I daydream quietly

attempting to steer.

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Try and Love Again (revised)

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My apologies, but I just noticed that the line and name of the the song, did not carry over in the opening intro in my last post, so I just wanted to correct it .

Here is a corrected version:

One of my favorite songs right now is from The Eagles called, . It’s a song about a person who is painfully aware of the memories of failed past relationship experiences.  He can still feel the emotional scars they left. Man-Thinking1

In light an opportunity to start a new relationship with someone, he’s caught at a crossroads–a time of choice.  Should he take another risk and try and love again?  In this raw moment of transparency, he asks himself these very honest and real questions:

“Should I stay or go

I really want to know?

Would I lose or win

If I try to love again?”

He goes on in the song to say, “I’m going to try and love again”.

This song is about a person who has been burned before by love. We don’t know all the reasons, but we see the current consequences. He is fearful and unsure about loving again. The empathy I have for a person with this kind of emotional story and choice before him , which is so raw and real, just grips me.

In a kind of interesting way, I’ve been thinking about this song in a different kind of way than you might be thinking.  I’ve run into a lot of people over the past several years with stories similar to this, only it’s not been with a past failed relationship with a girl or guy that has left emotional wounds with them, but rather its been with God.

Like in the song, I can see these people at a crossroads where they can recall past, painful memories with faith.  Maybe their experiences were in churches where there was no life or relevancy for today.  Maybe they had some kind of personal crisis experience where they spoke out some distress call to God and He never responded. Maybe they were crushed by seeing a role model, someone they looked up to, who had some kind of moral failure that shattered their hopes for living a better life.  Whatever it was, these painful memories still exist and influence their current choices.

In the song, the person confronting his relationship fears goes on to say:

“Well it might take years

to see through all these tears

Don’t let go,

When you find it  you will know

Going to try and love again”

I want to encourage you regarding your relationship with God to try and love again.  People make mistakes. But this matter of faith, first and foremost it’s not about a  focus on people, but on God.

He is a powerful God who chose to make a painful decision to send His Son, Jesus Christ in to the world where He would accept the limitations of a human body, endure the ridicule and physical and emotional abuse by people (even those closest to Him),  so that He could fulfill His purpose of dying as a criminal to accept a punishment that He didn’t deserve, all so that we could become reconciled back to God.

Focus on finding a church (and there are a lot of great ones out there) that are excited about telling this story of our awesome, living and loving God.  Their passion can be seen in the preaching and worship during their services.  It can be seen in their efforts to go beyond their walls and love people in their communities.  It can be seen inside the walls as the people in this church look to minister to their own who are hurting, as well as encourage each other to grow in their understanding of the faith.

In closing, I don’t know what occurred in your past when it comes to matters of faith, but if you have been burned and still deal with the painful realization that you know things are still unresolved, let me encourage to confront those memories and try to love again. He is a good God and has open arms for you, so try and love again!

Talk to someone you may know who is a Christian.

Go to church this Sunday.

Find a Bible, open it up, and read it (you might want to start in the Gospel of John)

Talk to Him out loud and let Him know what’s on your heart–He is listening

Try and love again!

Try and Love Again

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One of my favorite songs right now is from The Eagles called, . It’s a song about a person who is painfully aware of the memories of failed past relationship experiences.  He can still feel the emotional scars they left. Man-Thinking1

In light an opportunity to start a new relationship with someone, he’s caught at a crossroads–a time of choice.  Should he take another risk and try and love again?  In this raw moment of transparency, he asks himself these very honest and real questions:

“Should I stay or go

I really want to know?

Would I lose or win

If I try to love again?”

He goes on in the song to say, “I’m going to try and love again”.

This song is about a person who has been burned before by love. We don’t know all the reasons, but we see the current consequences. He is fearful and unsure about loving again. The empathy I have for a person with this kind of emotional story and choice before him , which is so raw and real, just grips me.

In a kind of interesting way, I’ve been thinking about this song in a different kind of way than you might be thinking.  I’ve run into a lot of people over the past several years with stories similar to this, only it’s not been with a past failed relationship with a girl or guy that has left emotional wounds with them, but rather its been with God.

Like in the song, I can see these people at a crossroads where they can recall past, painful memories with faith.  Maybe their experiences were in churches where there was no life or relevancy for today.  Maybe they had some kind of personal crisis experience where they spoke out some distress call to God and He never responded. Maybe they were crushed by seeing a role model, someone they looked up to, who had some kind of moral failure that shattered their hopes for living a better life.  Whatever it was, these painful memories still exist and influence their current choices.

In the song, the person confronting his relationship fears goes on to say:

“Well it might take years

to see through all these tears

Don’t let go,

When you find it  you will know

Going to try and love again”

 

I want to encourage you regarding your relationship with God to try and love again.  People make mistakes. But this matter of faith, first and foremost it’s not about a  focus on people, but on God.

He is a powerful God who chose to make a painful decision to send His Son, Jesus Christ in to the world where He would accept the limitations of a human body, endure the ridicule and physical and emotional abuse by people (even those closest to Him),  so that He could fulfill His purpose of dying as a criminal to accept a punishment that He didn’t deserve, all so that we could become reconciled back to God.

Focus on finding a church (and there are a lot of great ones out there) that are excited about telling this story of our awesome, living and loving God.  Their passion can be seen in the preaching and worship during their services.  It can be seen in their efforts to go beyond their walls and love people in their communities.  It can be seen inside the walls as the people in this church look to minister to their own who are hurting, as well as encourage each other to grow in their understanding of the faith.

In closing, I don’t know what occurred in your past when it comes to matters of faith, but if you have been burned and still deal with the painful realization that you know things are still unresolved, let me encourage to confront those memories and try to love again. He is a good God and has open arms for you, so try and love again!

Talk to someone you may know who is a Christian.

Go to church this Sunday.

Find a Bible, open it up, and read it (you might want to start in the Gospel of John)

Talk to Him out loud and let Him know what’s on your heart–He is listening

 

Try and love again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry: Living with Values

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For those who are used to receiving my typical posts, you will find something different in this poetry post. This is a poem that is a part of a Poetry collection that comes from a time of my searching.

LIVING WITH VALUES

While I try to relax

in these few minutes of peace

putting things in perspective

and renewing life’s lease.

In a world that is aggressive

people tunneling to the top

I’ve finally now realized

that all aggression must stop.

The values that I have

are too important  to me

Patience, Faith, and Trust

not to mention Honesty.

Its too easy  for me to forget one

when I get caught  up in life’s stream

getting  swept up in the current

well to me that’s how it seems.

But, I’m going to try

at paddling harder than before

making myself smile

and myself all the more.

Remaining Honest and Content

that’s all I want to do

I know it will be hard

but not if there is you.

So smile  away your troubles

and live a life that’s free

Appreciate  living this life

and the miracle of WE.

 

Leaders, take the time to CELEBRATE!

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In the competitive business climate we find ourselves in today, which is being super-charged with the added pressure to keep up with the rapid changes in technology (and their resulting ramifications), there is a relentless pressure to meet new individual and corporate goals,  after new goals.  One of the casualties of a “your past performance doesn’t matter, you need to achieve your new goals” is burn out for volunteers and employees (depending on what kind of organization you are with).   They never feel like they have achieved anything because there is always stretch goad demand for performance upon them.  It must be how a racing greyhound dog feels chasing a mechanical rabbit – you really achieve a success AND you never have time to CELEBRATE.business-team-punching-air-celebration-12974901

With that idea in mind, I found this excerpt from “The Intangibles of Leadership” by Richard A. Davis, PhD very insightful:

“Celebrating wins lets your team know when they have satisfied expectations.  The absence of such  celebrations  creates the perception  that nothing they do is ever good enough–that no one can satisfy you no matter what they do or how much  they achieve.  This can lead to unintentional  and highly damaging  messages: ” Nobody is as good as me,” and “Nobody  will ever meet my expectations.”

Celebrations need not be elaborate affairs. A public pat on the back is sufficient; so is an e-mail blast. Your goal, as a fallible leader is to recognize  and acknowledge when a milestone  has been achieved.

Find out  what people have done  and give specific recognition. A few years ago at RHR, our CEO  started to send out “In Case You Haven’t Heard” e-mails to everyone in the  firm to acknowledge  noteworthy  efforts or achievements, including what the situation   was, what the person did,  and the outcome.   The e-mail would  not only point to  what the consultant had done and why it was successful, but also how  it aligned  with the firm’s strategy   and benefited everyone in the organization as a whole.   It may be just an e-mail, but it speaks volumes and sends  a powerful leadership message.”

Leaders, let me encourage you to take the time with your management team, or your board to recognize the achievements and hard work of your entire staff. From your top-level executives to various coordinators, every person performs a needed function if an organization is going to be successful.  Celebrating accomplishments and hard work goes a long way in building and sustaining morale.

This Thanksgiving – who are you really more like?

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Happy Thanksgiving!  Question though for you–“what does that really mean?  Happy Thankfulness  Day? ”    Which leads me to ask–“how thankful are you, am I really? and for what? and to who?

Let me bring home my point with a story that Jesus told (Luke 7:36-50 nlt):  immoral woman-washing-feet4

  “One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.  Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
    When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
    Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
  “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
    Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other.  But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
    Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
  “That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
   “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
  The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
   And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” 

 

On this day of Thanksgiving, let me encourage you to take a few minutes and think about who you are more like in this story: the Pharisee, or the immoral woman who was forgiven?   How much do you recognize your sinfulness before a holy God AND how truly grateful are you to this living and loving God who would offer up His own Son on your behalf to take upon Himself the punishment that you and I deserve, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to Him?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Learning from John Wooden on controlling your emotions

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As a leader,  keeping your emotions in check  is of huge importance.  It role models wise behavior for your followers. It also instills confidence in them as they see that you are not going to be shaken up by surprising or challenging circumstances.  Being in control  also prevents having to do repair work for something that was said or done in an emotional outburst.

I found this excerpt about John Wooden, legendary former coach of the UCLA basketball team  from the book “The Intangibles of Leadership” by Richard A. Davis PhD to be motivational for me:  Wooden -coaching picture

“John continued to build on his mantra of equanimity, insisting to his players that they must behave the same whether winning by ten or losing by twenty , He demanded intensity, but punished emotionality, enforcing composure both in his players and himself. He gave no rah-rah speeches or contrived pep talks. His players were prohibited from exulting after scoring on an opponent or brooding after being scored on themselves. he told them if they let their emotions take over, they would be outplayed , and if they were outplayed, they would be outscored. He maintained the same posture in a preseason game as he did in a national championship. After following either one, he made sure to conduct himself in such a manner that one could rarely tell whether his team had won or lost.
-The formula worked wonders . John’s team won the Indiana collegiate conference title in 1947 and received an invitation to the national tournament in Kansas City. But John refused , citing the tournament’s policy banning African American players. Thanks, he responded but no thanks. I and my players, Clarence Walker included, would rather not participate.”

Application:

How are you doing in the area of controlling your emotions?

If this is an area of challenge for you, is there someone who you can mention your struggle with and hold you accountable?

When is the last time you took inventory of yourself in the area of how you are doing in controlling your emotions?  If its been awhile, could this be a blind spot for you?