Outward Focus

Naomi had an incredibly hard life. After moving to a new country with her husband and children, to find work, tragedy struck. Her husband and both her sons soon became ill and died. She was left with depression, incredible pain, and the loyalty of her foreign daughter-in-law Ruth. She decided to return to her home country with only Ruth in tow. So distraught with what had happened to her, she told her family to change her name to Mara (translated “bitter”). 

At her lowest point when it seems she should throw in the towel and die, she turns her focus away from herself toward her daughter-in-law. She helps and instructs Ruth in the customs of the country. Long story short, Ruth marries Boaz and becomes the great grandmother of one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history, David. 

We all have gifts, blessings, opportunities, tragedies, illness, pain, and sorrow. Thank God, we also have a choice. Choose to focus outward both in times of blessing and in times of need.

Stewardship is not about the hand you are dealt, it’s how you play it.

And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

Ruth 1:5 KJV

Keep Doing

Cliché: Do the right thing at the right time.
Virtue: KEEP DOING the right thing.

I’ve watched my son achieved 4th degree Black Belt at age 14. He has been training Taekwondo since age 5.

My youngest daughter is now a cosmetology magician. She has been braiding hair as long as I can remember. (It’s amazing to watch)

My oldest daughter has started and currently runs multiple businesses. All while juggling the responsibilities of wife and mother. She started the first business in 5th grade.

I had my first interview with social media influencer Lauren Norris yesterday. The takeaway message from our conversation and foundation for her success… CONSISTENCY.

The oldest of these examples is only 23.

For the young people out there…be inspired. Keep doing the right thing.
For the old-heads out there… be encouraged. Some young folks are still doing the right thing.

And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

Ruth 3:11 KJV

Testing

Always have a testing environment. 
Stress test and bug-fix the new stuff before releasing into production.

Mistakes have already been made, fixes implemented, and documentation produced. There are “best practices” for a reason.
RTM!

Pressure

We use physical pressure to accomplish amazing feats. We can move water uphill, cut steel like butter, and lift thousands of pounds by harnessing the power of pressure.

We can leverage personal pressure and do things that are almost superhuman. Climb snowy mountains in shorts, run 100 miles in a day, write novels, live a virtuous life, and give of our own necessity.

And then there is the power of peer pressure. Good or bad, it can influence us to act out things that are not consistent with who we are or want to be.

Use pressure.
Choose pressure.
Lose pressure.

Every situation requires us to pick one.

And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;

Judges 16:16 KJV

Payments

We can easily see that reading a book to our children helps them fall asleep at bedtime. It takes a while to see the lasting bond it creates.

We can easily see getting drunk at a party gives us instant attention. It takes a while before we believe we have to have alcohol to be normal.

We can easily see weight training increases strength. It takes a while to see the benefits to our overall health. 

We can easily see more work produces more income. It takes a while to realize we allowed our most important relationships to die.

Payments will be made.
Dividends will be collected.

Long term thinkers and goal setters are usually receiving the benefits.

Afraid

The use of the word “afraid” has skyrocketed since the 1990’s. It has become so commonplace, we say it even when we are not fearful. 

I’m afraid I don’t know why!

I know this…
Our words impact our actions.
Fear is a liar.
Fear is a cheater.
Fear is a thief.
Fear will help you make bad decisions.

We have enough problems overcoming doubt without giving FEAR a land-grant in our subconscious mind. “I’m afraid” is a terrible byword.

And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

Judges 6:15 KJV

Focus & Flow

The words are effortless; the code makes sense; the sculpture reveals itself; the music is smooth; the decisions are clear; the game comes to you.

Flow is magical.
Flow is euphoric.
Flow is freedom.

Flow does not multitask.
Flow does not have a schedule.

We can’t summon flow at will, but we can send an invitation.

Dear Flow,
I am willing to do the work necessary to become a master at my craft.
I will be consistent and show up for practice every day.
I will have a good attitude no matter how long it takes.

Your friend,
Focus

Whose Shoes

Instead of saying, ” Walk a mile in my shoes.”

Let’s start thinking, “If I could walk a mile in their shoes.”

The only way we can bridge this STUPID divide in our country is with perspective and empathy.

A Clear Choice

From the way I see it, there is only one clear choice.

How can we possibly resolve issues where two people see things totally different? Start with these four.

Humility.
There is always a possibility I could be wrong. Empathy starts with humility.

Relationships.
Friends have much more influence than bosses. People don’t care what you say until they know you care about them. Build relationships.

History.
Given enough time, we tend to do the same stupid things over and over. We can’t change the past, but we can use it as a guide for the future. Study the past.

Principles.
Knowing your rights and doing what’s right are two different things. Let’s focus a little less on “can I” and a little more on “should I”. Demonstrate the Golden Rule.

If we can agree to start here, we can repair almost any divide.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15 KJV

Inheritance

Leave an inheritance of how to work, how to act, and how to think.

Character and integrity can build wealth.

The opposite is not true.

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children …

Proverbs 13:22a (KJV) 

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