Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Thoughts

As I was writing the last blog I was listening to an individual that discussed have you lived a life that would pass the mustard if God came today to collect.  Yes, the bible states a day will come when…..well I want preach today but I will say that I have seen miracles and I am what you would call Work IN Process!

For me it isn’t a lack of belief it is my willingness to give up control (like I said Work IN Process)….Yes as a leader I have a control issue in which I believe I need to be a part of everything and I can fix everything.  In doing so, I forget the big picture, and I push back the thought that God is in control.  I once was told that wounds run deep and they do for sure.  

Even at a young age I was told to be strong, stand firm, and you must be there for your mother.  I was nine years old when my grandmother passed away and in the same breathe my parents were split up.  At my grandmother’s funeral a family friend told me I had to be the man and take care of my mother from that day forward.  

I recall standing firm and yelling at my father as he hit my mother and asking him to stop and leave.  He did, and at the age of nine, I thought I was in control and could fix everything.  

Fast forward a few years and I remember my mother calling me to meet her that afternoon saying she wanted to speak with me.  This wasn’t normal, but it never dawned on me that something was wrong.  That afternoon she told me that she had cancer and the doctor gave her six months to live, but everything was going to be OK, that she was going to fight the cancer.  Not exactly 6 months, but three days before the tragedy of 9/11, my mother passed away.  She was 42 years old.

I shared that last insert with you not because I saw my mother passing away as a miracle, but so that I could lead you into what God did and continues to do with me that I consider a miracle each day.  
After my mother passing I went into a downward spiral and didn’t even realize it.  The pain that I was feeling, the hate, the disbelief, and the loneliness that filled my heart and soul was pushed so far down that many wouldn’t have known I was hurting.  Some of my closet friends knew, but like young individuals, they had spread the word not to mention my mother or the loss.  The thought was, if you don’t mention her then the pain would be forgotten, or in my case the pain would be washed away in a bottle of alcohol. I wasn’t old enough to buy alcohol but I was trying to wash it away with the only thing I could think of.  

At that time, God was the last thing I wanted to hear, the last thing I wanted to believe in, and I wanted to run from him.  During that less than six month time period I remember praying and praying each night to cure my mother…..and when she passed Away I thought I had been let down.  I was sad, angry, and lost from what I was supposed to do. 

Fast forward a few years and Christina and I are married.  I was in search of something to help me out of the ditch I was in.  I was at rock bottom and I was searching for anything to help me out and when I gave up and said God can you help me……it is your life to control.  Things started changing.  My miracle happened.  The miracle that I was given was the opportunity to learn what a relationship with God was like and why I needed a relationship with him.  Ultimately we are not in control, he is, and we have to give him full control.  

Granite I still miss my mom very much, but looking at the big picture, I know she believed in God and she is in heaven.  Really I am pretty jealous; she is getting to hang out in heaven with some pretty cool people.  

I understand that our time here is short when you look at it, and I want to be ready when that day comes.  I have seen a miracle in me and my family but as I said early, I am Work IN Process.
My goal as a person and as a leader is to put my faith in God, hand over my issues, and ask him for wisdom to move forward so that I continue to grow.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. 30 The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Thoughts

What an amazing Easter Sunday. The weather was great, we took Kai on an Easter Egg hunt, cooked out with friends, and then in great fashion I watched Life Time with my wife. It was a great Sunday, but more than that it was a celebration of Jesus being ALIVE!!! Jesus had risen on the 3rd day just as he said he would……..

Ok…..most people are saying Anthony you normally blog on leadership and now you are pulling in Easter and Jesus. You are correct! I have said over and over look to your past and you will find great leaders to learn from. Jesus was the best, hands down. He was perfect in everything… why would you not put him on your team.

Like so many things I am always looking at the big picture. In the book of Matthew, Chapter 28, we read how the angel tells the women to go and tell the followers that Jesus is ALIVE and he is going ahead of the group and he will meet them in Galilee. It is the greatest event ever……Jesus defeated death for us! So many times the discussion ends there, because it is such a huge event with major impact, we overlook what happens next.

Matthew 28:16-20
16 The eleven followers went to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 On the mountain they saw Jesus and worshiped him, but some of them did not believe it was really Jesus. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. 19 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age."

Even after being beaten and left to die on the cross, he kicks death’s butt, and commands the followers to go and spread the good word. As a leader I think I would have struggled to give that pep rally speech. Talk about leading without fear, leading with an open heart, and leading with a bigger purpose. There are so many things we can learn from the great leader that there is NO way to sum up in one post.

All I can say is that I am grateful that Jesus was looking at a bigger picture, and leading with a purpose so that my sins could be forgiven. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time is Passing--Leadership

My son turned 1 this past Thursday and instantly I thought the world was moving too fast!  Yes, it seemed like yesterday we were driving home from the hospital.  It is amazing how much he has changed over the past year.  He weighed 6 lbs 5 ounces when he was born and now he is approaching 30 pounds.  He went from sleeping every two hours to crawling around and getting into everything.  I am having a hard time remembering what it was like at 3 months and 6 months.  Time has flown……..

As I sit here I think that everyday life is very much the same way.  In our time as leaders how many days have we faced like this?  Life is flying by, we are pushing hard, and the next thing we realize that life just passed us by.  How many important things have we completed that we don't recall?  I have discussed in previous blogs about learning from the past.  That includes our past experiences.  If this is the case, how do we document our past experiences so that we can learn and grow on?  Journal is the best way, but who has time?

I know that I don't have time to journal everyday but I feel like it is more important to document and express my thoughts.  I am taking a personal challenge to journal for the next 30 days of how life is passing by.

I encourage you to take 10 minutes each morning to take the challenge as well.