Thursday, August 31, 2017

How Did I Get Here

I am here, today, in this moment, because of a lot of help from a lot of individuals.

I’m here because of …

~The man who taught me typing – Mr. Seay
~Jim, who inspired me as a young, wanna-be music director
~Various English teachers whose instructions sank in

I’m here because of …
~Chris, who was one of my first computer gurus
~Jim, a role model and mentor in my spiritual walk
~Ronn, whose musical genius inspired my life at various moments, in many ways, one note at a time

I’m here because of …
~Mr. Speed and Jack G, my first two bosses, who overlooked my initial blunders in the workplace and extended patience
~Mr. Laurie, my most memorable band director, for nurturing my musical thirst
~Joe, Paul, Mike G, Uncle Ed, and others who befriended me, guided me, modeled for me great friendships and consistent and steady Christian values

I’m here because of …
~A home based on Christian values
~A college that provided a quality education
~A town that gave me room to grow and friendships for a lifetime
~HIS, one of the great writers and communicators, and a lifelong friend.

I’m here because of …
~Books I’ve read
~Seminars attended
~Deep conversations at just the right moment in a lifetime of living

How did I get here?
I got here because of all these individuals, and thousands more, and because of opportunities afforded me, lessons learned, and growth moments in spite of a bad moment in time.

I got here because of some of you who read my blogs and books.  Your words of encouragement have meant much to me.

I got here because of the love of my life – you are my rock, CB.

We are connected – you and me.
We draw strength and stamina from our friendships – past and present.

How did we get here?

Because of the mosaic that God has woven of all the people, places, educational moments and life experiences we have shared.

We really do need each other.

This is my morning reflection!

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Raw Talent - and Unaccepted

Bob Dylan was booed off the stage at his high school talent show. 

Randy Travis, Country Music legend, was rejected by every major music label - twice. 

Barbara Walters was told to stay out of television in 1957 by a prominent producer. 

Lucille Ball was told by the head instructor of the John Murray Anderson Dram School, "Try another profession.  Any other."

John F. Kennedy lost the election to be President of his freshman class at Harvard.  He failed to win a post on the student council as a sophomore and later dropped out of Stanford Business School 

Steven Spielberg's mediocre grades prevented him from getting accepted to UCLA film school. 

Could not those interviewers see who was standing in front of them?  Didn’t they get a hint, a stirring in their inner being that this person was a great one in the making? 

Those are the first questions that come to mind when I consider these individuals who later became stellar personalities in their respective fields.

And then I quickly turn to this … after those failures and rejections, what did each of them do?  What were the steps that took them from rejection to recognition?

That is the valley through which we all travel.  Raw, untested, unrecognized talent is a hard thing to bear.  Innately, we may know we are something special, or have some special gift, yet how do we turn it into a useable and recognizable opportunity? 

That is the dilemma that Bob, Randy, Barbara, Lucille, John and Steven faced, and they probably faced it more than once in their lives.

And what do any of us do about that in our own lives?

Ah, that is worth reflecting on.

Of course, they kept going.  That is obvious by their now recognized success status.  They each went back to their practice room, or office, or home, or wherever they went and tried again.  They continued honing their skill.  They read more, studied more, practiced more.

They took their small measure of skill and made it grow some more.  Perhaps they found more and better role models.  Maybe they went back to class, read more, sought out a mentor. 

Bottom line – they found a way to take their raw and earnest talent and turn it into a recognizable skill that others wanted.

They worked in the dark, in the unknown school of oblivion until their skill met opportunity and recognition.

Raw and unaccepted is no fun. 

And those are the perfect conditions for becoming whatever it is your heart desires.

So much of this is up to us, isn’t it?

This is my morning reflection!

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thinking about Thinking

Some say ‘thoughts are things.”


As I live and breathe I have to agree.  I’ve seen
for myself how a thought can take over, grow and expand and morph, and develop as if it were alive.

I started with one blog, then expanded to six.  I now focus on only four, and that has come about because I give a considerable amount of time in thinking about my blogs.

Books make me think.  And you and I are free to think about books in any way we choose.  We like, don’t like, cherish, and purge our shelves from time to time.  And all the while we are thinking and placing value.  My best thinking comes as I highlight and then review the passages.

I play with ideas all the time.  What if I said this?  How will people in Tennessee respond versus readers in Hong Kong?

Pen and paper are never far from reach.  To capture an idea is to find gold, I think. 

Nuggets of ideas to ponder lie in books, magazine articles, off-hand comments made in passing.  I’ve paused on more than one occasion to pull out my Moleskin notebook and pen to capture a fleeting idea or phrase. 
I tune into conversations, newscasts; all of life really, in search of the next great thought to ponder and turn into readable material.

And then … I mull and contemplate, examine and consider the thought at hand.

John Maxwell has a thinking chair in which he does some serious thinking. 
Some like special pens in specific colors.
Some think they can only think by the seashore.

I like the quiet of early morning.  My only distraction is the occasional traffic headed to the ferry landing.

I’ll end with this: 

If you combine your thoughts
with the thoughts of others,
you will come up with thoughts
you’ve never had.
John C. Maxwell
~ Thinking for a Change

This is my morning reflection!

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time