If you want me to remember, you should write it down.
If you want me to understand, we should have coffee.
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And half lost.
But most college football players spent today wishing they were on the field instead of home watching on tv.
The chance to play comes to each of us every day.
Some days we will win.
Some days we will lose.
But everyday we have a chance to play.
Each and every one of those young athletes will tell you playing comes with hard work and dedication and, yes, some pain.
But they have the heart for the game and they would rather lose on the field than watch from the sidelines any day.
Do you have the heart?
Are you ready to do the hard work?
Are you dedicated?
Are you ready to take the field, win or lose, and play your best?
Today’s assignment is to make $1 doing something I care about. There are so many things I care about but thinking of them in terms of product or services changes the way I think about them.
So here’s my homework.
Send me the top 3 goals you have for 2014 and I will send you a list of 10 questions per goal to help you define and achieve those goals.
To order your 30 Questions for 2014 send just $5 per set of 3 goals to my paypal. Include your 3 goals in the notes to vendor box on Paypal and your questions will soon be on their way in time for you to answer by New Year’s Eve.
Tonight we will be listening to big band music at a casino. Not how I was brought up to spend the Sunday before Christmas but somehow this year it makes me feel closer to the original Christmas than I have in a long time.
You see I was invited. Not in the old fashioned invitation in the mail way but in the way that is most often used today, an event invite on Facebook.
Someone I know personally and have worked with over the past year plays with a great band. They have been booked to play the main room at San Jose’s casino tonight from 6pm-8pm.
The thing that makes me feel more like the first Christmas is just how far removed this is from all the trappings of the holiday I have grown up with and leaned on to remind me of the meaning of the season.
Over the same year or so I have worked with dozens of people who through scattered comments about their schedules or their experience have made it clear they are deeply connected with a church. But over that same year, not one invitation to come to their church. Not even at Christmas.
So tonight I’m going where I’ve been invited. I’m going where I was asked to come and experience what’s being offered.
The Messiah was long anticipated by some. Just a myth to others and most of the world He came to had no expectations at all. But even from the very beginning He didn’t demand or command welcome. He went where He was invited, where there was room, where only those in the know would find Him.
For the next year, for the next month, for the next week how different would your life be if you only went where you were invited?
How different would your next week be if you invited others to join you on your journey?
“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas…” Well, of course, there won’t. There wasn’t last year and there won’t be next year. It’s summer in southern Africa so why would there be snow?
The next line was “The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life”. That’s true for everyone of us every day we wake up.
“Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow….” Well, that’s just not true.
“Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” Maybe. Maybe not.
But I have to wonder if we know it’s Christmas time either.
When did the sacred get over shadowed with the commercial? When did the pressure of gifts and decorations and parties and stuff become the focus?
If everyone, and I do mean everyone, just stopped all of the nonsense that has nothing to do with the celebration of the Virgin birth of the Messiah how much would your December change?
And, yes. They know it’s Christmas in Africa.
A few years ago I met with another writer every Wednesday morning at a coffee shop to work. Laptops set up across from each other, unlimited refills of coffee and the fresh pastries made for a very productive couple of hours. One morning I was sharing how at the beginning of the year I had decided I wanted a theme for the year. I wanted God to amaze me. I wanted to see His glory in the small things and His power in action. I wanted to be amazed. But I had to confess God seemed to have a different theme for that year. I told her His theme seemed to be focused on my self control. Her response was “If God can help you with self control He’ll amaze a lot of people!”
This week I’ve been reading a book that recommends spending the year with just one word. To explore the depths and treasures of the meanings not just in general but in specific application. As the news fills with obits for Nelson Mandela they search for just the right words to sum up his life, his story, his impact on the world he was born into and the world he left behind. Revolutionary. Hero. Icon. Humble. Passionate. Faithful. Gone.
I wonder what word you would use to describe the year you just had. Is it a word you chose in the beginning of the year with optimism and anticipation? Is it a word you look back and see has been following your every move for the past 12 months? Is it a word you are proud of? Is it a word you are known for?
I still love to be amazed by God. He is still refining my self control and amazing people around me. I have a word for next year. It has already begun nudging me and narrowing my focus and revealing some of its depth. I am excited and a bit fearful of where this word will take me. It is not a word to companion with without risk and vulnerability. But it is a word that at the end of the year, at the end of my life, I will be truly grateful if it is the first word you think of when you think of me.
What’s your word?
are great if you are baking cookies. But not if you are being creative. By it’s very nature creativity is not uniform. It is individual. Even if it starts with a common theme or media or even a pattern. Creativity takes on the perspective, the strengths and the flaws of the creator. It is the uniqueness, the rarity, the personal that makes it beautiful and valuable.
Right now on the internet there are millions of bloggers who write on every topic imaginable. They add their experience, their perspective, their opinions and they take the collective risk to hit the publish button and set their words free. Some have thousands of followers and others write day after day without a single comment or maybe even a single reader.
But each is finding their own way, each is writing their own words. You can get a template for your blog. You can add the recommended plugins and widgets. You can follow the “3 points and a picture” format. But what is totally you is the words you chose and the words you chose to omit.
There are a couple of dozen bloggers I read regularly but none of their blogs is as important to me as mine is. I can read their words but only I can write mine.
Who wants a cookie?
Years ago as a single mother I would save up enough to take my son out for dinner. He would get to choose whatever he wanted from the menu while I was doing the same. When the orders were placed he told the server what he had decided on. It was his choice and he expressed it clearly. However, when the meals arrived he would look at his plate with the food he had chosen and look at my plate and the food I had chosen. Suddenly, he didn’t want what he had asked for. He wanted what I had ordered. Since I wasn’t about to waste food or money I would trade with him. Until one night I ordered what really sounded good to me. Liver and onions. It came with mashed potatoes and peas. He no longer wanted to trade.
The thing is I didn’t order liver and onions because he would eat it if he didn’t like his own order. I ordered liver and onions because I like liver and onions. It really was what I wanted. No object lesson. I didn’t suffer through my dinner. I enjoyed it. He sat eating his dinner amazed that I actually liked my dinner. The waitress had asked us both same question, “What would you like?” and we both had answered. We both got what we asked for. I was very satisfied with my decision and my dinner. He had to accept that what he asked for and got was good.
How often do you want to trade with someone because you are not satisfied with what you asked for?
How often are you bewildered by someone being happy with a decision that is not your taste?
How do you like your liver and onions?
I want to stay in my office until all the books I have in me have been written.
I want to stay in my reading chair until all the books I have gathered have been read.
I want to stay in my craft cottage until I run out of supplies and all the projects I can think of have been created.
I want to stay in my kitchen until the last cookie has been decorated and the last of the sugar has been sprinkled.
I want to sit by the fire with the one I love until the last of the wine has been shared.
I want to have my hands filled with the hands of children I love.
I want to see the faces of family and friends through the blur of happy tears.
What do you want?
These teenagers will look up at a panel of judges and respond with a salute. Between them and the judges are rows of family, friends, and hundreds of strangers waiting for this moment. A quick turn on their heels and the raise of their arms moves the focus from them to the uniformed performers who have been preparing weeks and months in the heat and cold, the wind and the rain.
Are they ever really ready? These kids have worked hard. They have learned what they were taught. They practiced the music. The memorized the patterns of the field work. But the question is “are they ready?”
I have a lot of things left to do. Projects I want to see come to fruition. None of them will be accomplished in a vacuum. All of them require a team, a band. Each has a part to play and a place on the field. As I look at those projects I start seeing the players step up. I can’t wait for the moment when I can salute, knowing my band is ready. I can hear them warming up now.
What are you working on? Who’s playing in your band? Is your band ready?