A combination of fears, uncertainties, and doubts can paralyze any and everyone.  Life reminds me of the correlation driven by our FUDs across confidence, fragility, and falling. The power of FUDS originates within everyone’s heart and mind which will, unless confronted, cripple its host.  In my life, the lessons keep repeating, at times with devastating consequences.

As I recognize my simmering FUDs, I find myself reflecting on the early warning flats and lesson reminders.

Ignoring and not confronting one’s FUDs is both careless and reckless.  The process is often difficult.  As I look to see and understand the ones in my life currently, I find myself revisiting different periods in my life.  I wish every memory was filled with care, kindness, and harmony.  Many were filled with emotions and outcomes which were dark and destroying.  However difficult it might be, the least painful way of managing one’s FUDs begins with early recognition and reflection. read more

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Time changes one’s definition of comfort.  In my younger days, I had a thirst which could not be quenched.  Comfort was imagined across many different dimensions.  I remember details which spanned where I lived physically, how things worked at home and at the office, my wardrobe, and even the methods by which I moved about.  As I looked back, the ways I imagined my comfort had no boundaries, knew no limits!

This imagination permeated my ways of living, up to and included my dialogue with Divinity.  On more days than I care to imagine, my request echoed the psalm, “Fill our barns with great harvest, fill our fields with huge flocks.” (Psalm 144.13). read more

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It is interesting to talk to parents of young children as well as those who are considering the prospect.  There are hopes, dreams, how it changes you, and lots more.  The dream I rarely talk about is the desire of every parent for her/his child to become all s/he can be.

My dreams took time to become clear.  While they always included my children, my dreams morphed from success, to achieving their dreams, and many variations in between.  I have come to appreciate that my early prayers reflected an old psalm; “Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees, our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers.” (Psalm 144.12).  it is now much simpler; “may they know and love being Divinity’s loving child”. read more

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With the benefit of time, I have come to appreciate the lessons found in the three stakes of an ask.  In my youth, I often blended my belated request for help with an emerging frustration in whatever followed.  The harsh reality of my timing, muddle messaging, and unreasonable expectations came together in ways which confused everyone, myself included!  As a reminder to myself, let me share the steps involved.

Recognize one’s need as early as it is physically and mentally possible.  Divinity’s whisper reminds me to look clearly in the mirror with a goal of recognizing I need help.  Recognizing one’s limitations is a doorway to far more than we can see, understand, or do on our own.  Life reminds me of specific needs.  Initially, I limited myself to friends.  While they remain my first choice, the criteria I use today begins with wisdom, understanding, and character. read more

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In a recent meeting I realized I was the emcee to two very distinct audiences.  One was my client, the other the supporting staff who work with me.  I found myself recalling and replaying life lessons with the hope that I could reach each, separately and yet with a consistent message.  The experience of using these lessons created a learning opportunity which I am still processing.

Take time to know your audience and understand the context each has with you.  As an old author put one audience into perspective, “a song to the God who saved the king, the God who rescued David, his servant,” (Psalm 144.10) there are examples we can learn from.  A side note is the warning that even though I was on point, the reality of multiple audiences was obvious.  Unless I take time to reflect and consider, I often miss this nuance. read more

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Recently a ten-year old picture I had taken popped up on social media.  The picture captured a Southern California musician playing Mississippi blues meets California rock and roll in a Singapore live music venue.  When I close my eyes, I remember the excitement and skin tingle I always experienced when listening to his music.  As I got to know his story, I found myself appreciating the way he used his life’s angst and pain to share his belief in hope and life’s possibilities.  It always felt as if he was a David coming out of a rough period with a simple request, “O God, let me sing a new song to you, let me play it on a twelve-string guitar.” (Psalm 144.9) read more

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In a world where the rules of war have seemingly evolved to “no rules” and “anything is ok as long as it is aimed at the desired outcome”, our engagements are not well defined.  The scenario of friends acting in a destructive way has a name you can find in the Cambridge English Dictionary, “frenemy”.  Are there guidelines on how one should respond while staying true to the principles of kindness, care, and compassion?

As I struggle with how I should respond, several old lessons are coming into focus. read more

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There is an ugly moment in my life which resurfaced the other day as an option.  I am not sure why I was considering it.  It has been over 15 years since it occurred.  Even as I think about it, I am still horrified by my words.  And yet, it was a consideration which has come resurfaced as an option for me in how I respond to a particular challenge.

The ugly moment was birthed in a moment of extreme frustration.  At the time I felt as if there were no unexhausted options available.  I had tried everything I could think of without success.  At the end of my rope, to someone I deeply love, I bluntly and forcibly said “I give up.  You are on your own.  I am done with this.”  Metaphorically, I walked away. read more

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At times, one needs more than imagination to appreciate power.  As I walked through a garage, I could see endless examples of power.  To eliminate any doubts, black type on white paper on the windshield was available.  I easily imagined the power.  Mentally, I was a believer.  However, the simple act of watching, no feeling, an AMG GT back into the garage for the last empty spot changed everything.

While the externals were quiet, almost unassuming, the sound of the engine was anything but.  It wasn’t trying to be loud. There was no revving engine or out of context exhaust notes.  What I felt was the raw horsepower of a very powerful car slowly backing in.  Even from thirty feet away, I could feel the engine cylinders in action.  It was raw, unfiltered, and so impressive. read more

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Recently, a birthday gift did not land as I intended.  The fan far, excitement in the eyes, and happiness in the voice was replaced by a dull resignation.  A perfunctory thank-you was quickly followed by a “is it ok if I return it”?  With my deflated agreement, the gift was soon on the way back with a shared commitment that “we” would be on the quest for a suitable replacement.

“What are your plans for today?”

“Nothing special, just a few errands to run.”

“Have you forgotten so quickly?” read more

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