What do you say?…

When you first meet someone, one of the typical questions are, “So what do you do?” So what is your typical answer? Mine often goes something like this, “I am a father/brother/son/friend that pours love & wisdom into my children & strives to make a positive impact in other people’s lives” Often I get a pause, or a deer in the headlight look, or better a smile. You see, the questions wasn’t what do you do to earn an income. The questions was, “What is you do?” Making an income just helps facilitate some of what I do. So let me ask you, What is it that you do?

Other than the question people often ask you, other than, “So what do you do?” when you first meet them. They make ask, “How are you doing” Unfortunately, it may often be a rhetorical question in passing. With me, regardless, I may respond with,”I’m learning, serving and growing, because if you are not learning, serving, and growing, you’re not living” If it is someone I know well; I may say, “I am surviving. Would you like to know about some of my techniques as I am interested in learning some of yours” Another response may be, “I am blessed and highly favored.” Again, all of these responses may again get that pause, deer in the headlights look, or a smile. However, with either of these responses, it often opens an opportunity for dialogue for engagement and/or connection with the other person or at the very least, a smile.

 

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Are you familiar with a “Mission Statement?”

Are you familiar with a “Mission Statement” do you know what “Ikigai” means? Do you have a “Purpose” or know what your “Purpose” is? Do you have a “Vision”, “Goals”, “Aspiration”, “Dreams”? Do you have a personal & family Missional Statement?

ikigaiSome people go through life & may never discover their purpose or “Ikigai” Years ago I began a journey of “self-discovery” Some were provoked by life events, others by questioning what is it I like the most, what is it I may good at, who am I best teamed up with…. So I took the Meyers Briggs Typology Test, (and other Personality, Character, as well as Psychology Tests), I went through a 10 week study by Networks to discover what my Spiritual Gifts are, I even read the 5 Love Languages & took it’s test… I arrived at my purpose & knowing I am a Father, Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Employee, Friend; my purpose is to pour as much love & wisdom into my children & make a positive impact in the lives of others for the Cause of Christ. I strive to launch each day with this understanding & to begin it with purpose, navigate with principles & explore with passion.

I measure my days if I adhered to or did not adhere to this purpose. I took it a step further & discussed & collaborated with my children to discover & write out our Family’s Mission Statement too. I have discovered what I am best at, where I may need to improve, as well as where & whom I need to surround myself with others & their talents & wisdom in areas I lack. (Christ Himself was surrounded by 12 disciples, & every good leader has an accountability team of wise people or a board) I now gear my ministries, serving, work, & career around those discoveries so that I may be best be utilized, enjoy, & succeed.

How about you? Do you know what your purpose, or “Ikigai” is? Do you have a personal and/or family Mission Statement? Would you like to discover, write one out, & live it?

vmp

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Weight Loss New Years Resolution…

weightlossI hear it all the time from others, and even have said it myself. This year I am going to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise.

However, why is it that most of us fail? Or within months or weeks give up our goal and efforts to accomplish that New Years Resolution?

Some say it is so easy and quick just to eat unhealthy.  Or the cravings got the best of me.  Or I just do not have the time or energy…

Actually if we think about it in todays world, with all the information we have, it actually is not that difficult to eat more healthy, and find some time to exercise. We all often may find time for what is truly important to us. Is our life and better health important to us?  If is important to those we love and that love us?

First of all, almost every fast food restaurant these days have menus that are healthier. From that grilled/baked chicken and fish; or to many choices for salads and fruits. So instead of getting that double decker greasy cheeseburger on white bread, choose a grilled chicken wrapped in lettuce or pita/corn wrap. Instead of that sugary soda, drink water or juice instead. In addition, why not take 10 minutes before you go to bed and pack your lunch with a turkey, chicken or tuna sandwich on 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread. Add some fresh fruit, raw vegetables and natural fruit juice? Get baked vegetable chips as snacks. Add some nuts too.

I understand finding time to exercise can be tough. There is only so much time in the day. The thing is a person does not necessarily have to have this time consuming exercise plan or an expensive membership in a gym waiting for a machine or weights to be available. A simple morning walk mixed with some sit-ups, push ups, and squats could suffice for beginning a routine and habit. A 30 minute work out such as this may make a monumental difference. Whether it is the first thing in the morning or in the evening when you come home. Instead of getting into the car to drive a short distance, hop on your bicycle and ride to the store or a friends house.

Some may be saying this all sounds good, but this doesn’t work for me. I am just too over weight and have too many things going on. First of all, unless you have an illness or a physical situation, disability or handicap; you can do this. It is said it takes about 21 days to develop a habit. Simply try some of the things I am outlining for 21 days.

The objection may be, you do not know me. It cannot be done. Well, let me share some things with you. About 4 years ago or so, I weighed 260 lbs with a 46″ waste. I am now 215 lbs and a 36 waist standing 6’2″. I have maintained that range for several years. So what changed? I decided my health was worth it. I also decided my children deserved a healthy father.

I began juicing, fasting, and exercising. Not immense exercising or weight training. It was similar to what I eluded above. I bought a Ninja Bullet frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables and drank that as a smoothie each morning. I also added plant proteins to my smoothies and took natural vitamins and minerals. Although I had and still have some health limitations, I did sit ups, push ups, squats, some free weights like dumb bells and bought a bicycle to ride as often as possible.

Some may have injuries and bad backs. Trust me I understand that challenge. I completely tore my rotary cuff and dislocated my shoulder in the marital arts. I damaged my back and neck in a car accident many years ago. I also broke 15 bones back in 2016 and in a wheel chair for 3 months. Just consult with your doctor, and take his advise as well as stretching and strength building advice. My orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine professionals, and neurosurgeon outlined several stretching techniques, strength building, and exercises to build up around areas of injuries and the muscles that support it that made a world of difference.

The Fasts I did were the 21 Day Daniel Fast, and interjected the Mediterranean Diet in between at times. I strive to do a 21 Day Daniel Fast every 4 months. I cut out as much white bread as possible and only eat whole wheat and whole grain if I can help it. I rarely eat potatoes, and strive to drink bottled spring waters like Voss, Fuji, Ice, and other vitamin enriched, electrolyte infused, and natural fruit infused waters.  I rarely eat desserts, when I do its a special treat. Certainly not at every meal.

Some people have said, it costs to much to eat healthy. Not really unless you go out and buy a bunch of “fancy” diet meals, “organic” labeled food at your local “yuppy” grocery stores. Simply buy more fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially when they are on sale. Instead of that fatty cheap beef, get as lean as possible if you feel your craving is so strong that you must eat red meat. Buy more chicken and fish and grill or bake it. If I can help it, I do not eat fried foods. Stay away from fried foods, and if you feel you have no choice, then fry with 100% Olive Oil. Granted I have a weakness for chicken wings, and ribeye steaks but am trying to gear that down for just special treats. When you have to get “fast food” do not order those sugary drinks, order a courtesy cup of water. Often you save $2 right there. Order salad, fruit and off the grilled menu and remove the white bread.  Subways has a healthy menu that describes the contents and calories in their meals. (So do many fast food restaurants these days) You can get a foot long sub on whole wheat for $5. Eat one half for lunch then the other half for dinner, drink water, or electrolyte and vitamin enriched naturally flavored waters instead of sugary high calorie sodas.  If you have to snack, do it with raw vegetables, fruit and nuts. Drink plenty of water. At one point in my life, I was able to eat on about $7 a day for weeks.

Buy whole grain or vegetable pastas. They are available at any grocery store instead of that “enriched” white pasta. Switch all of your “enriched” white breads to 100% whole wheat/whole grain. Eat smaller portions. You do not have to eat until you are “stuffed” eat until you are simply content and fed adequately. Eat smaller portions and meals more often.

Some may say there are just a few vegetables, fruits or nuts out there and I will get tired of them. What? There are a lot of vegetables and fruits out there, and I wager more selections and uniqueness than any meat. There are over 20,000 editable plants in the world. Every fruit have hundreds to thousands of varieties. There are estimated to be about 7500 types of apples and 1600 types of bananas alone. To put that in perspective, if you ate a new type of apple each day, it would take you a little over twenty years to try them all. For the bananas, it’s a little over four years. This goes similar with nuts and beans.

There is a saying that we are what we eat and a body in motion stays in motion.  It is true. Try some of these ideas and practices I have eluded. It may work. It did and does for me. Try some of them for 21 days and develop a habit.  This habit may decrease your weight, make you feel better, help you sleep better, and increase your energy levels. It did for me.  However, always first consult your physician before any diet changes or physical activity changes.

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Are you contagious?

Optimism is contagious, conversely, so is negativity.

Don’t believe me? Try it. When you go to work tomorrow, or with a crown of people. Try saying something positive, praise someone or something, Share a positive story or how you have been blessed lately or thankful for something. Another day, complain about the weather or something wrong/negative that happened to you. Then sit back and see what happens.

The Law Of Attraction is a real thing. Try focusing on the good & see how it may return. Bless someone & see how you may be blessed. Count more things that you are thankful for, vs things you are not.

Optimism & Positively is contagious, so go out & catch that bug.

Blessings & Peace.

DW

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How about doing a “Self Discovery” as a New Years Resolution?

How about doing a “Self Discovery” as a New Years Resolution?

Here is something I began a few years ago.
1) Take the Meyers Briggs Personality Typology and discover what your 4 letter Typology is. There is a wealth of information on this subject & what job best fits your personality typology as well as people. I took it a few times & mine lands the same every time.
2) If you are a person of faith, you are probably familiar with Spiritual Gifts. Well the organization & study curriculum called Networks has a 10 week study & workbooks to help you discover your top 3 Spiritual Gifts & ranks them according to strength. Helps you discover what you may be best fitted in serving in your local church, other ministries as well as your career path(s). I took the 10 week study through my church.


3) Love Languages. Gary Chapman has written a great book that is called The 5 Love Languages. It may help you discover a better connection with your wife or dating partner on how you both prefer to be loved. It may help also in finding the right person to date for you.


You do not have to go out a spend an arm & leg for these things. A lot of churches offer them for free or a small fee. You employer may even have several Personality Test programs for free within the HR department as they often use them to better place people in certain positions in the company. “Lite” versions of all of the above may also be found on the Internet too.

DW

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stress, Stress, STRESS!

stress
Stress, stress, STRESS!
It happens to us all. So many things in life may cause stress & it is not healthy. Trust me, I have had more than my fair share of stress. So what are some ways to help relieve stress? Here are my TOP 10 of some actions, & techniques I use to relieve stress.
1) Breath in slowly & exhale slowly, Even add the counting to 10 and then count backwards if you have to. Often when under stress we do not breath enough & take in enough oxygen. So breathing in this manners helps the intake of oxygen. It also allows you to be enough distracted as not to allow stress or anger to escalate.
2) Soft or inspirational music. I have always enjoyed music and it may often provoke a certain level of calmness as well as energy. I wake up each morning listening to inspirational music as well as end my day with inspiration, classical or softer music
3) Exercise. It doesn’t have to be a full blown work out plan or a visit to the gym. Simple set-ups, push ups, & squats may suffice. And plenty of stretching. Exercise allows you to also “burn off” some aggression as well as distract you from focusing on things that my be bothering you and hinder ruminating.
4) Go to the fridge and grab a couple ice cubes. Yes, ice cubes. The shock of the cold ice cubes in your hand may often provide both a calming effect, as well as a distraction enough for you to calm down, and think more clearly. Rub them in your hands a few times.
5) Prayer. Prayer allows you to unplug from the world and plug into God. He is always listening and wants to hear about what is bothering you. Ask him to remove it from your mind and heart. Ask him to take these burdens over, and give you clear direction on what you should do.
6) Read or write. I know, it can be tough to read and focus if you are stressed out. However, reading the bible in the book of Psalms has often worked for me to relax, as well as rejoice in Gods favor and wisdom. While I mention wisdom, the book of Proverbs is excellent for learning about wisdom and you may often find a “golden nugget” or two on how to handle the stress of your current circumstance.  In regards to writing, I like to write, as well as keep a journal from time to time to vent my frustrations or work out and through my stressors, Or to write out how I am blessed. Basically take a “blessings inventory”.  If you truly take a few minutes to count your blessings, you may find that your stress is rather minor in comparison to how you may be truly blessed.
7) Take a “Time Out” Yes, put yourself in time out and meditate. Hum, whistle, even sing softly if you have to. Either way it may be good to take a little time out, to calm down, reflect, re-focus and re-energize.
8) Perform a random act of kindness. It may be difficult at times to ruminate on your own worries, obstacles and challenges when you are blessing or serving others. Just do it with a generous, and open heart, and you may discover it is an excellent way to relieve stress and realize you may not have it so bad after all, and you benefit others and make a positive impact in another’s life.
9) Call a trusted friend that you may confide in. Allow this true friend to be that listening ear and provide some wise counsel and proactive instruction
10) Take a power nap. Some of the reasons you may be overly stressed and things are beginning to get to you is that you are sleep deprived. It happens to people that they may not even realize it with their busy and hectic schedules. Statistics have proven that a power nap every now and then can be energizing and recharging. So if you are able, and your work schedule may be flexible enough, instead of eating a heavy lunch, grab a quick salad and use the other 30 minutes for a brief power nap. And by all means work on a schedule and develop a habit to get at least 8 hours of sleep in. Even if you have to start going to bed earlier.
Blessings & Peace,
DW
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Speaking prophecy over yourself?

“Speaking prophecy over yourself” Growing up have you been told “you are not smart enough”, “you are not good enough”, “you are ugly”, “you are weak”….? We have control over what we accept to believe, or think about ourselves. We have control over what takes territory in our hearts, minds as soul. God has also spoken a prophecy over you, & He made you for a purpose. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Sam. 16:7. Do not accept the words of unwise people. Do not allow a prophecy of mere humans over you. You are a wonderfully miraculous creations cherished by your heavenly father. Do not let harsh words steal your joy, and put it in your back pack. Let it all go, and celebrate your beauty & ability that God blessed you with.

beautiful

 

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December 12th, 2017

Have you ever had someone tell you, “I may be spiritual, not religious”, “You wear your religion on your sleeve.”, or better yet, “You’re too religious for me.” ? I have heard all 3, & more. I have even been passed up for promotions, excluded from events, lost friends, & even dates because of it. However, my faith to me is not about religion, it is about a relationship. A relationship I desire to have with the Creator of the universe.

The fact is if you read the bible, no matter the translation, Jesus had issues with the religious of that day. To them He was considered an outlaw. The author & ministry leader of Ransomed Heart, John Eldredge, calls Jesus the “Beautiful Outlaw” Besides, it is not necessarily me these people who may have said these things do not relate with, it is God in me. He said people will reject you, & even persecute you because of Him, & Him in you. Jesus came into this world of lowly means, born in an animal barn with the just rags to cover him. During His teaching, leadings, as well as serving, He did not boast of Himself, he was humble & boasted of His Father who sent Him. He hung around some of the most sinful of sinners, served, taught, & healed them & led them to the path of forgiveness, repentance & a new life of freedom.

No one is perfect, we all fall short, & a church is not a museum for saints, rather a hospital for sinners. Yes, I have faith & seek & strive to have a relationship with Jesus. I cannot separate my faith from who I am, & to Whom I seek to serve. However, I do not take assignment that I am “religious.” To me it is about a relationship & not religion.

We are approaching the birth celebration of Christ. What does this season mean to you? What is your reason to celebrate? Do you believe? Do you have your doubts? Do you feel as though you have faith? Do you struggle with faith? What challenges may you be facing as we approach the Christmas celebration & New Year?

not about religion

 

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“The Drowning Man…”

drowningman

“The Drowning Man”
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

This “Christian” joke is actually more profound than some may realize. Sometimes what we may be asking for, or have been praying for might just be right in front of us. We may just not be looking through the right “glasses” We may not be being still enough and listening well enough.

We as believers pray for many things, however are we looking through the eyes of Jesus for what we may already have, or that He is seeking to give to us, but we are looking through too darkened of a glass. Are we judging or vetting situations, circumstances or people through our past?

Are we first realizing how blessed we are today or at the moment?

Did God send that special someone into our lives and may it be possible that we have been so hurt from our past, that we were not open enough to see it and experience it. To use our Spiritual Gifts to discern enough to invest our whole hearts into the possibilities, or did we vet this person through the pains and heartaches of our past?

Were we filled with fear and doubt as not to take that new job, go on that missions trip, take that exciting risk for the potential of a substantial gain, or support that ministry because we did not believe we had the time, talents or treasure to do so.

Jesus may be answering our prayers, but we may not be still enough, open enough, prayed up enough, or brave enough to see or realize it. He may have already blessed us with what we are asking for, but we may have been too busy, or closed up to realize it.

Just a thought and perspective to consider on this SONday.

So what now? What do we do?
The bible speaks about us looking through a clouded glass. That God’s ways are not are ways. That God works in mysterious ways. He also asks us to be still, and listen and to know He is God. That he does not have plans to harm you, but to give you hope and a future. He also says to be grateful and be in prayer in thanksgiving on a regular basis. In addition to fear not, which is mentioned in the bible 365 times in which I believe it is for each day of our lives in a given year. I encourage us as believers to listen for the Holy Spirit, and be open to the possibilities of what God has in store for us. To not hold onto bitterness of our past, and certainly not vet everyone through failed relationships of the past to where we do not see all the good in the person of today, or the future. To not let failures of the past, whether in business, relationships of finances cast a dark shadow on the possibilities of today and the future. What you may be looking for, seeking, and desire for the good, may very well be right in front of you or just around the corner.

Remember these verses:
“Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 KJV

“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” Jer. 29:11 NIV

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 – NLT

“Let go [of your concerns]! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” Psalm 46:10 Gods Word Translation

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” Matt. 7:7-11 MSG

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7 NIV

Have a blessed day.

DW

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“Where are all the good people…”

Where

Sometimes while I cruise through Facebook I see a post every now & then by single women stating, “Where are all the good and real men?” or even by single guys stating, “Where are all the good women?”

I know it’s somewhat of a personal question to post on Facebook, but some people post much more personal questions & things, it seems, at times. I have personally experienced this question/quandary myself at times. In my free & personal time, I am around a lot of people through church, ministries or non-profit/charities. In my career, I am in a people oriented profession too. One ministry I helped lead was a somewhat large Men’s Divorce Recovery & Re-Building Group, as well as a couple other Men’s ministries & even a Singles Group & Single Parent’s Group. And often the question is brought forth, “Where are all the good people who still believe in true love, commitment, loyalty, chivalry…?”

I too, must confess, I have had those questions too, even to this day. I think that all too often people may want too much too fast, or they may have been hurt so deeply from a past relationship(s) they are not comfortable being open enough to give a relationship a chance. In other words, they see their present, and/or future through their past. Or they have possibly become too scarred by the past, to heal for the potential of the present and future. They may begin to see each date, or relationship as a deep vetting process to search for and see all the bad, verses seeing all the good and potential. Then again, with social media, the Internet, 24/7 news, the want it now, have it now, and then who’s next or what can I find that’s better mentality has diminished the importance of deep, true and long lasting relationships. Also a person may say they want a “Christian” person/ a “Man of faith” a “Woman of faith” but want them to compromise their beliefs or convictions for a “pleasure of the moment or night.”

One must realize that people of faith do tend to live (as well as love) by a code or moral compass. So if you are a person seeking a “person of faith” you should not begrudge them for what convictions may come along with that. I believe you should respect and expect it.

Working close within Men’s Groups, I know there are real and great men out there that just want to find a woman who truly loves, and respects them and that they may love, honor and respect too. They are Christian men that do have certain standards, & convictions which may not be for every gal. However, I never consider that a negative in a real man, as I believe real men have strong faith, and are not ashamed of it. They also, typically, know how to love deeply & intently, protect, work, and care for a woman & a family and strive to live by a certain code that in my opinion should be respected and often admired.

If you are a single person and cannot seem to find the “real” and “good people” out there, maybe it might be that you are looking in the wrong places, or around the wrong people, or that you are not being still or quiet enough to listen to what God has in store for you right now or in the future. Maybe you, including myself, have not prayed enough about it, nor been patient enough. The best thing I believe is to always be yourself, the best version of yourself, and who God may be molding you into, as He may also be molding the other person for you to meet soon, maybe even today. It is always best in my opinion to be honest, & true to yourself. It is better to be disliked for who you are than liked for who you are not. If you desire to attract someone that has similar goals, interests, passions and desires, it is always better to be true to yourself first, love yourself, and be your true self. ~ end of deep post. Make it a great day!

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