Living . . .

NOTE: This post is from 2012 . . .

So let’s start with a story. This year I really started hunting deer with a bow. I hunted last year but not too seriously. This year is a very different story though. I hunted just about every opportunity I got! On opening day of deer season (rifle), I got my first buck! WOW! Completely exhilarating and buck fever set in like nobodies business. Last day of rifle season, got another deer! Man was I pumped!

But then I got my first deer with a bow and I had an epiphany as I was field dressing the deer, “This is what God had in mind when He made man!”

You see I have owned three businesses, sold two of them and done some great business deals in my days. I have traveled all over the world for business and achieved some great moments. I wrote a book and saw it on the shelves at Barnes and Nobles. And all those moments were remarkable but all pale in comparison to getting that last deer.
But the killing of a deer with a bow is not really the deal. Being in the room when my three children were born was better than any deer hunt! Seeing my wife walk down the aisle on our wedding day still gives me goose bumps like nothing else!! But still there was something unique about the experience with the deer.

You see that day I was all alone in the woods when that deer came running up to where I was. I still do not get why your heart starts to pound like no tomorrow when a deer shows up but I do know that I got to experience a remarkable moment with God that day.

I was able to provide food for my family with this hunt and it was not shooting an animal at 150 yards but rather being completely silent and still so that the deer would get within 20 yards. Then carefully and slowly draw the bow and take a careful shot. But it did not stop there, I had to go field dress the deer and haul it out of the woods.
The adventure of it was remarkable! The challenge was tangible and yet indescribable.

And that is when I realized that God did NOT intend man to live life on the coach or in an arm chair!! He intended man to LIVE!

Living is not sitting there watching a sports game on TV or going to a movie to watch someone have an adventure. Living is not living through the experience of others.

Living is getting so cold you can barely sit still waiting for an animal that may or may not show up. Living is playing ball with your son or daughter in the backyard! Living is taking your children out to the woods and showing them the creation that God has made.

Living is showing them how to make a fire, roast a marshmallow, skin a fish, clean a deer, and then make sure you leave the woods like you found them.

Living is providing for your family, helping your wife with the dishes (ok that is pushing it I know), loving your wife more than yourself, dreaming with your wife and respecting her!

Living is not a spectator sport but being in the game! You see God made man to provide, to hunt, to have adventure and to LIVE.

You cannot live life safely and expect to see all that God has for you. Especially as a man!

No more arm chair quarterbacks, go coach a team of underprivileged kids that have not seen a REAL man in a long time. No watching Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, go teach your daughter how to dance and your son to open the door for his sisters!

Go dig a garden for your wife! Go hunt/fish for dinner! Get outside and live the life God has created in this remarkable world.

So you see hunting is not the answer for your manhood, living the life God intended is the answer and He did not create you to be a spectator.
Now go live!

Excellence

Excellence: “the state or quality of excelling or being exceptionally good;extreme merit”

“Being exceptionally good”, now that is a big statement.

In this world today, it seems that being average is the standard. Years ago a good friend and I were having one of those deep conversations about what made certain people different. We spent many hours postulating over why most accepted mediocrity for their lives and were not willing to be “excellent”. Well what we concluded was the following:

“Most individuals idea of excellence is our idea of mediocrity”

This was something that has stuck with me for years now ever since Chad and I sat there in our apartment and had our deep conversation. But to me no where is this more prevalent than in many churches today.

So back to Excellence. Think of your church, what are they truly excellent at? Be honest, brutally honest. Not looking for good or even OK but honest to God excellence. Did you find anything? Shouldn’t everything be excellent when it comes to God’s children and His home? But do budgets, operations, staff, and “tradition” get in the way? (Disclaimer: I LOVE traditions!)

Think to the old church days (pre 1800) and look at the things they brought to the world with respect to excellence. Cathedrals, Art, Music, and Literature. Ever seen an illuminated biblical manuscript or walked through St. Peters in Rome? WOW! Ever listened to Handel’s Messiah or seen Michelangelo’s David? That is excellence!

Yes I know all about the missteps of the church.

But the church set the example for so many areas in the past but now the majority sit on the sideline and let the world set the standard for us. We look to copy instead of create. Remember early Christian contemporary music, ouch! But it has gotten much better in the years since.

The church needs to look at how to be excellent! People will rush to see excellence! Authenticate excellence is what God is all about! God did not create an average world just look at a sunset or marvel at how your hands work or how the body can breathe without you thinking about it.

We wonder why our youth abandon the church. What are we offering them? We offer mediocrity and luke warm faith. Sure some will make an argument for consumerization of the church but I am starting to think that is just an excuse to keep doing what we have always done. I do not believe Christians should “church-hop” because their “needs” are not being met or they are not entertained. What they should do is fight to make their church excellence.

Do not accept mediocrity.

Jesus did not die mediocre and He surely did not save the world half ass.

So what is our excuse?

Fear . . .

I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time as it really drives so many actions and inactions by people.

Fear is a tremendous motivator. It can motivate people to complete inaction or cause a tremendous amount of action. So is fear in and of itself bad?

YES! But it can be harnessed for good.

So let’s investigate that together.

On the bad side of the coin, fear will drive many people to be completely frozen in a status of inactivity. Fear of what others think keeps you from being your true self. Fear of change keeps you in the same situation. Fear of failure causes you to never try new things. Fear of pain keeps you from going on that date because you might get hurt again. Fear of the unknown will keep in a dark cloud instead of moving into the known.

But on the good side of the coin, fear of failure can make you try harder to deliver good results. Fear of falling will make you be safe. In fact in rock climbing we often would say the day you stop being afraid is the day you need to stop climbing.

So fear can be the single biggest motivator for you to step out and make that change that you need to make.

Fear can drive you or it freeze you.
Your choice.
What are you afraid of?

“Do or Do Not. There is no try”

So what drives me to consider another blog on this over-populate etherscape we call the Internet? What could I possibly say that will not have already been said? Or what will even be said that someone will listen to or read?
Great questions for sure but what is driving me to this new venture is a desire to be a part of change even if it is only one person that is impacted by something I might say or even the way I say it. You see, I am rather blunt and not afraid of much, some would argue with that last statement but that will come later for sure. As a result readers will be sure to get a pure unadulterated view into my thoughts around a variety of topics.

So what is the overlying theme behind this new venture? Honest perspective of the world, technology, business and entrepreneurship with a hint of spiritual context thrown in to keep us all honest. I am confident you will hear my bias and see life through a unique set of eyes. Sometimes you may not like what you read and sometimes you might cry or laugh. But hopefully one thing happens, you pause and think. No one is asking you to agree but simply think about your own life and what you could make better. Maybe I can point you in some direction or steer you clear from something.

A lot of my experiences will be around small business (I have owned five separate business, sold two of them and always contemplating the next one). Most will be about technology as two out of the three businesses have been technology companies. I will speak to my experiences and maybe something in these writings will give you insight into your experiences.

There will be a very strong Christian bent to all that is said but I am also sure you will wonder at times if the thoughts are Christian. “We are all imperfect people in a imperfect world.” But it will be real. No fluff, no posturing, and no posing (that will make sense later)

There will be passion in what I write because I am VERY passionate about what I believe and what I think. Will I be right? Maybe but I will be real.