Archive for Reflections

Veterans Day

// November 11th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Other, Reflections

I’d like to say “Happy Veterans Day” to all of our country’s finest, but somehow it doesn’t quite seem fitting to these men and women who have given their lives and their limbs for this land and the people who inhabit it.

So instead, to those who have served and are serving, who have given everything and are still giving.  I would like you to know you are in my prayers.  I would like you to know me and my family are thankful.  We are grateful.  You are not forgotten – not today, not any day that we remain free.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

God bless you!

The Depths Reflect the Heights

// November 8th, 2011 // No Comments » // Hiking, Reflections

Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake, CO

One of the things I love most about the outdoors is the chance it gives me to spend time with people that I care about.  To me a day out is as much about relationships as it is about wilderness and activity.
While participating in activities like rock, ice, and mountain climbing as well as road an mountain biking I find that there are plenty of times I need to depend on another person or that they need to depend on me.
The older the friendship, the greater the number of outings, the greater our ability to handle adversity together.

Recently while out climbing a peak I was given the chance to deepen a friendship – this is another way of saying we had a rough and trying day.  The peak threw everything it had at us and we had to dig deep into our physical and mental reserves to finish the day.
In this state of being it is easy to get rattled, to get short and impatient with each other and lose focus as well as a grip on the reigns of our thoughts, words and actions.

The beauty of a deep friendship built on a solid foundation is that it can better withstand such a storm and see the true person still buried deep within that cloud.  The cloud will likely pass and the friendship resume as normal with nothing more than a good story to remember.  However if it is a first time out in a new relationship – it well could spell the end.

This thought gave me the following words:

Friendships, like mountains, are born for adversity.
They stand firm spiting the weather and storms that threaten their stature.
Friendships deepen like the reflecting waters below
when they are tested on the heights that are scaled above.

The deeper the waters run, the greater the heights to be climbed.

 

 

 

Predictive Affirmation

// October 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice, Getting biblical, Leadership, Reflections

What is predictive affirmation?  These are words that foresee and encourage others towards a future filled with hope and expectation.  Backed by another’s stated belief in oneself, one’s skill and virtue, a person will often go forward in life fulfilling those statements like some sort of prophesy.  This is the idea behind predictive affirmation: more than just a positive attitude or a belief, or speaking fluff into someone’s life, predictive affirmation takes stock of a person’s character qualities and lays out a roadmap of where those could lead in the future.

On a recent trip to Orlando I got to use a little bit of this with a global organization which was setting goals for the next year.  Knowing the mission, the vision, and the values they had at their core, I was able to speak truth into their organization that by getting back to those roots and applying some fundamentals of success (things that they already owned) they would not only find the success they were looking for, but that they would be a stronger community in the process.

Since we were near Disney World I took advantage of the gift store to bring home two little Minny Mouse dolls for my twin daughters.  Disney characters had been a staple for me in my youth and I wanted my daughters to share in the joy that I had also found from the Magic Kingdom.  With boxes of toys, however, how would I get these little mice to stand out or stand a chance?  Predictive affirmation.  I found that by giving Minny Mouse ownership of some human traits and abilities, and then sharing those in a special way with my daughters Minny has not been out of their grasp, and has become the go to doll of choice.  When Minny arrived in our home I told my girls that she was special, that she loved them and travelled all the way from Florida to see them.  I told my girls that Minny wanted to play with them, sleep beside them, dance with them and be a friend.  It has all come true.

What I have learned is that if I speak that same way to my daughters they more than likely will become those things too – friends that love each other, look out for each other, are polite and kind with grateful, courageous, adventurous and laughing hearts.  My hope is that if I can speak of my girls as I did Minny Mouse, that they too will be loved because they first loved others.
Are you speaking this kind of affirmation into the lives of others?

Have you ever had the blessing of someone speaking this way about you?

Can the cycle of of negative affirmation be broken?  I know it can by the promise of Jeremiah 31:3 …I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving -kindness.  I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt… .  Also 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

May your future be bright and filled with hope and expectation.

Long Road to Nowhere

// October 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections, Stress Free Moments

As my friend Eric Peters writes “…it’s a long road to nowhere…I’m pretty sure I’ll get there” in the song that accompanies this brief video, he struck a chord with me.  If we don’t set goals and set a course for some of the desires of our heart it is pretty easy to arrive at that nowhere place you never wanted to be.  This clip is meant to be a 30 second stress relief for those that take a look, also maybe a chance to look forward to that destination in the recesses of your mind of where you DO eventually want the Long Road to take you.

Music by Eric Peters www.ericpeters.net

Time-Lapse video taken on iPhone4 with time-lapse app

Stepping Out of the Boat

// September 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Getting biblical, Leadership, Reflections

check out: www.hickerphoto.com

Every once in a while I call the church secretary to schedule some time with my pastor.  When I do this I don’t let her or the pastor know what the activity of that particular day will be, but leave just enough information to make them both a bit anxious like “bring a helmet, borrow an avalanche beacon, grab a life vest.”  Having taken him on backcountry ski outings, rock climbing adventures (true faith building experiences) we have had the opportunity to see first hand what it means to trust the rock that is “higher than I.”  Talking through tears about fears and faith yesterday’s adventure was no different.  With an injured back the outing needed to be tame but sitting in a coffee shop doesn’t really make for a memorable time and is too often disrupted by all the people we both know in this community.  We met at the coffee shop and then pulled up to a nearby lake.  I told my pastor to read some passages from the Bible on casting nets, calming storms, and even walking on water.  With hot java in hand I then revealed the plan, the boat, and the fishing rod.  The time was rewarding for both of us even though we didn’t catch anything.  We talked about life, the call on our lives, and what it meant to walk by faith.  I love how Peter illustrated this when he saw Jesus walking on rough water.  He didn’t wait to be invited as we often think, he said hey I want to do that – can I come out there too?  Jesus replied with a come on out here then.  Peter had enough experience to know that through Jesus it would be possible.  I would have been inclined to stay in the boat and when Jesus got to it I would have asked “how did you do that?”

The lesson from the day to me was that we need to be intentional and deliberate with each other, but also in our faith.  We often wait around in the boat for something big to happen instead of actin on faith and stepping out when something big is already happening right there in front of us.

(This blog was ready to be posted yesterday.  All was complete, and I finished by saying how the WordPress app on my iPad made it very easy.  Then at the touch of one more button I lost everything.  Today it is coming from my computer.)

Happy Father’s Day

// June 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice, Leadership, Reflections

My Little Melons

As a fairly new dad with twin daughters I am constantly living in a fog and state of flux, and I find it hard to look forward, set goals and priorities.  One of my top priorities is to be a good dad to my girls.  I was going to write a note about father’s day and how important dad’s are, when I received this great e-mail from my friend Bob Shueman (Coach Shue) with The Gathering www.gatheringpb.com.  Thanks Bob for these great words and this reflection.

- As we approach Father’s Day…I encourage you to reflect on:  Your role as a father in the lives of your children and/or the role of your dad in your life.

Happy Father’s Day     Coach Schue

5 Things Fathers Do Best*

Fathers teach us empathy
Fathers give us confidence
Fathers increase our vocabulary
Fathers protect us from crime & violence
Fathers promote better treatment of women

This Father’s Day, instead of handing dad another tie, thank him for making a difference in your life-in ways you may not have known about…until now.

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. Billy Graham

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.

Charles Wadsworth

* Focus on the Family


 

The REAL Job of Dads        by Tim Stafford 

A dad’s primary, underlying job isn’t control. It’s to validate every one of his children.
To validate means to let your child know over and over and over, through words and actions, that the following are true:
“Hey, you exist and you matter to me.”
“You’re good enough.”
“You’re an okay kid.”
Psychotherapists sometimes talk about the looking-glass-self principle. It’s the idea that children get their earliest, most lasting impressions of who they are from what’s reflected back to them by their parents.

The best time to begin validating is the day you bring your baby home from the hospital. Parenting a teenager begins when he or she is born. 

When he or she is born. Really.

 

But it’s never too late to start. Do it often enough to cut a record in your teen’s jukebox that says, “I’m okay. I’m good enough.” If you can do that, trying to compensate with control won’t be such a temptation.

Read the article here:

www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting_roles/successful_parenting/real_job_of_dads.aspx

 

Want to be a better dad?….Be a Good Husband First Jim Daly

It is no secret that parenting can be difficult. The secret to being a good dad is being a GREAT husband. Your children are constantly watching your relationship with your wife. As your children observe your marriage relationship, they’ll learn about respect and about what is important to mom and dad.

+ Have a regular quiet time as a couple
+ Regularly share deeply about life’s experiences.
+ Weekly Date Night..show the kids how much you value your spouse.

 

Have a Happy Father’s day!  “A good man obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 12:2

Respect and Remembrance

// May 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections

Today is memorial day.  A holiday where a lot of us have the day off and we don’t really even know why.  Well on this day I want to stop and reflect on those who serve and don’t get holidays off, those who have given their lives and limbs to defend a nation.  Today the banks are closed – idea: send a donation or give a gift to a soldier, a widow, a veteran or veterans group.  The Post Office is closed – Idea: write a letter to a service member and send it tomorrow.  Government offices are closed – Idea: let a Congressman know how deeply you love this country and how thankful you are for those who give their lives to defend the values and principles it was founded on and to defend the people which make it great.

Recently I had the opportunity to climb with some wounded veterans and be inspired by their desire to overcome, continue on, and remain faithful to serving this country.  God bless our service men and women, God bless the U.S.A.

Super Powers

// April 15th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections

There are times when I believe that I have Super Powers.  Maybe not quite like the Superpowers that a Superhero has, but not really all that different either.  The problem with these powers is that it is a choice to use them and far too often I choose not to use them.  The thing that makes so many Superheroes super is that they always think of others first, they fight injustice, and they take up the cause of the less fortunate.  It really isn’t the flying, the bulletproofness, the x-ray vision or superspeed, but more the attitude and foresight.

There have been those times where I would race ahead of a pregnant lady pushing a stroller while she is hauling suitcases, so that I could get on an airport tram first.  It is the lack of awareness of my surroundings and of others that causes me to do this, not necessarily pure selfishness.

What I have learned however is that when I am engaged and am looking for opportunities around me to fight injustice and say help that lady with her stroller, I become like a Superhero to her for that moment.  While I may not have Superpowers I have the power to be super if I just look around for opportunities and take the focus off of myself for a second.  I am pretty sure I am not bulletproof, and I know I can’t fly, but I know I can fight injustice and stand up for others (when I turn on my sleep deprived brain) and emulate the coolest attributes of a Comic book legend.T

Simplicity

// March 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections

DirtyDipes w a Smile

One of the greatest joys of having a two year old (times two) is that everything is new and exciting.  From “hairplanes” to “lemon m’s” many things that I see everyday and take for granted are transformed into marvelous objects of wonderment and delight.  So in order to keep from becoming an old crotchety crusty bitter and sour geezer I am going to attempt (perhaps just for lent) to give up my stale perspective and look at life with a fresh two year old’s perspective.  While I may not scream at the sight of a spider or fly, and though it may take Novocain for me to see some things as wonderful, I will try to see things with fresh eyes, dusting the crust off as I wake up and start a new day.

The Knot

// March 4th, 2011 // No Comments » // Climbing, Leadership, Reflections

Knotty

Knots are helpful, handy and useful.  Properly tied knots are essential for climbers and as I tie in with a partner I often joke saying “if ya can’t tie a knot, tie a lot!”  A reply may come back as “a knot not knotted neatly need not be knotted.”  I have been climbing for most most of my life and know how to properly tie dozens of knots using different methods and can do so quickly.  Slip knot, clove hitch, half hitch, girth hitch, truckers hitch, munter hitch, butterfly, bowline, bowline on a coil, butterfly coil, figure eight on a bite, trace eight, single fisherman, double fisherman, and the European death knot just to name a few, but it was only a couple of months ago that I properly learned to tie my shoe (and relearning, undoing 30+ years of motor memory, is difficult).

It is very humbling to admit that for most of my life the simplest of knots, the knot I tie most every day – the bow at the end of my laces – has been tied incorrectly.  “Big deal” ya might say.  Well seeing as how my shoe laces have often come undone rather easily, and how on a few occasions have caused a stumble, I have been quick to blame the lace material as the culprit and am fortunate the consequences have not been more severe.  Besides that, the big deal is that I have only now realized that for most of my life I have been doing something so simple the wrong way.

It wasn’t until I recently started training for a marathon that I saw an article online which showed me the difference between the proper knot, and the knot I had been using.  My laces now sit atop my ankle going perpendicular to my foot as opposed to running along my laces from toe to ankle.  Now my laces look neater, come undone less frequently, and give me a sense of pride that at mid-life I can still learn to tie my shoes.

It got me to thinking about other areas of my life that might also need some retraining.  Are there things I do the way I do them simply because it is the way I have always done them?  From driving my car to making coffee, to teaching my kids I think I will try to keep a humble attitude and open mind.  After all if a life-long climber can’t even tie his shoes (I could just switch to Velcro and flip flops) how proud can I be?