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Archive for June, 2013

He left the 99

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The grass tasted wonderful. Not because it was better than any of the other grass the sheep had eaten but because it was on the other side. The sheep was now free. He didn’t have to worry about being confined to the one area that he was always in. He could now go where he wanted and do what he wanted. No strings. No leashes. No chains. He was free to go where he wanted.

As the sheep continued to eat grass, he wondered into a rocky area. The grass seemed to be untouched in this area. He weaved through rocks and weeds. He found a green patch that was perfectly away from everything. This was the greenest grass he had ever seen. There were rocks on all but three sides. The area got just enough sunlight to nourish the grass and enough shade to keep it from getting too dry.

The sheep began to eat and then eat more. The grass tasted good, but how good is one blade of grass to another? But to the sheep, this grass was different. He was so busy eating that he didn’t notice what was standing nearby. The three rocks provided protection on three sides, but the fourth side was open and this is where the sheep had his back. The wolf creeped up and crouched when it looked like the sheep would turn and spot him. The sheep’s ear twitched when he heard the wolf behind him. He turned around and saw the squinted eyes and protrouding teeth as the wolf looked to make a meal. The sheep squeeled and backed into the rocks. The wolf creeped forward. The sheep tried to back up more, but there was no room. The wolf creeped even closer. He looked the sheep up and down as saliva filled his mouth. He thought of which area would taste the best as he plotted the kill. He prepared to pounce as he lined up the fatal shot. As he began to spring forward the edge of a staff appeared and struck him in the side. The wolf fell down in anguish but turned to finish off the sheep. Kneeling between the wolf and the sheep was a young shepherd. His staff was in front of him and the sheep behind him. The wolf growled and looked to attack again. The shepherd held his staff strong and struck at the wolf again; this time hitting him in the nose. The wolf, with eyes watering, backed up. He surveyed the situation but knew that another attack would be useless. He turned and retreated.

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I Don’t Know

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Those three words are hard to say. We want to be able to know the answer and to give it to others. Too many times in life we open our mouth and give advice when we really don’t know the answer. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll look dumb or that we have to have an answer. Maybe the answer is that we don’t know.

Sometimes tragedies happen and people die. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Sometimes we don’t get the job we thought we should have gotten. Sometimes…

The problem we have is that we correlate I don’t know as something negative. Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe we’re not supposed to know. Job thought he knew alot so God asked him some questions.

Job 38

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof…

This is just the beginning. The questions get harder from there.

I’m sure Job gave a second thought to his answers. Shouldn’t we? It’s ok to say we don’t know, because we don’t. We think we’re smart and we’re afraid of looking dumb. But sometimes, or should I say oftentimes, God’s plan is so big and so complex that we can’t even start to fathom how it all works.

To end this post I’m going to answer the question that I know you’re wanting to ask. Your question may be ‘Why are you writing this and what do you want me to get from it?’

My answer: ‘I don’t know’.

What we can learn about life from StormChasers

You’ve seen the videos. Guys and girls holding video cameras as tornado’s spin nearby. They start and stop their car trying to see how close it is to them. They place highly scientific instruments in the path of the tornado to get much needed information. It’s amazing to watch them at work.

I first saw this in the movie Twister. To be honest, I didn’t think there were really people like this in the world. I actually thought that Hollywood had taken things to the extreme like they often do. This all changed when I first saw the show “StormChasers” on the Discovery Channel. I instantly got hooked. I watched in amazement as men and women pushed to find the tornados and then worked to place instruments in it’s path minutes before it crossed where they had been. It was exciting for a number of reasons.

(1) It was exciting because there was action and danger.

(2) It was exciting because I could see tornados up close and personal.

(3) It was exciting to see people pursuing their real passion.

Number three is what intrigues me the most. As I watched these men and women doing their job and chasing the storms, I found myself getting excited with them. They had so much passion for what they did that it sucked me into their world. The smile on their faces and gleam in their eye was unmistakable.

This week three of those men died. Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young were ones I enjoyed watching on StormChasers. Tim had these cool pods he invented that took video and captured weather data. They would place these pods in the path of a tornado. How did they do that? Lets just say there were some cool videos of them getting the pod out of the back of a truck with a tornado in the background. They have already gathered tons of scientific data that has and will save lives.

What if we could find our passion like these guys have? What is it that puts a smile on our face and a gleam in our eye? What is it that you find yourself thinking about that you would like to have a career doing? Is it impossible? I think so. I know so. We all have bills to pay since the world revolves around money. But if our passion can’t be our full-time job, at least it can be our part-time job for now. It may not bring in a lot, or any, money at first but we’ll be living instead of being bored to death. Imagine your life if you were actually happy and felt you were making a contribution to the world. That’s what these guys felt like. They may not have said it, but you could see it in their face. They were doing what they love.

I’ve taken a challenge personally and now I’m going to pass that challenge on to you. In honor of Tim, Paul and Carl, I’m challenging myself to push harder toward my dreams and passions. I have just one life and I want to make a difference. I know you can make a difference too. I challenge you to start trying. Find your passion and pursue it with everything you have.

To see their passion for yourself, watch this video of Tim Samaras at work. His passion is unmistakable. Let his passion fuel yours.

Categories: Inspiration, Inspirational

A Real Hero

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Photo via govolsxtra.com

http://m.govolsxtra.com/photos/2008/may/22/27645/

I honor my neighbor, that has passed away, that was part of the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He parachuted behind enemy lines from a glider. Mr. Burley Duncan, and others like him, are “real heroes”. To go into battle for your country, not knowing whether you will live or die, is the definition of a hero.

I honor all of them today, especially Mr. Duncan which I was privileged to know for the last years of his life.

Categories: Inspiration, Inspirational

It Is What It Is

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Photo via http://www.xtremeproductivity.com

I’ve never seen an apple tree with oranges hanging from its limbs. I’ve never seen a cherry tree with strawberries waiting to be picked. It’s funny how that works isn’t it? Why is it that we try to be something we’re not?

You see it almost every day. Someone in a crowd of people trying to say the right things or make the right actions so that others will be impressed. We pay thousands on top of thousands of dollars to buy cars, homes, boats, and other things so that people will like us. We want to be noticed. We want to be loved.

Isn’t it time that we hit the pause button and think about this? What good are we doing by “acting” to fulfill a part that we’d like to play? Why do we envision what a perfect person is and then try to be that person? Why do we take the life of another and stick it on the Xerox? Why don’t we just be who we are?

When I say this I say it with context. I do believe we should inhale inspiration we receive throughout our life. We will run into people that become our mentors. They have qualities that seem to stand out that we adore and we want to have those qualities. Those qualities are already within us but when we see them in others, or others acting upon those qualities, it awakens what is in us and inspires it to come out.

Often times our mind is cluttered with too much information. We have TV, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Newspapers, gossip from co-workers and family, the neighbors dog tells us something, etc. We have too much input coming into our mind. In the movie Short Circuit from years ago, Johnny Five exclaimed “Need Input!!”. We don’t. We need a mental break. We don’t know what we’re here for or what our dreams and passions are because we don’t think for ourselves. We have too many other thoughts in our mind. The cup is full and can’t handle anymore. We need to do a detox. Turn the computer off. Turn the TV off. Put the newspaper down. Stop participating in gossip. Slow down. Our mind and soul are not going to talk to us if we’re cluttered with everything else.

When you finally stop, and are able to think and feel, something will start happening. Passions that are deep within your soul will start to surface. Talents that are buried in the mess will start to dig out. The reasons you were created will start to appear. Originality will start to take its foothold.

You were created for a reason. You were given a talent to use to help others. You have a purpose. But before you can sense that purpose you’ll have to clear out some of the clutter.

What are you going to do to clear out the clutter in your mind?

Inspiration from Moore, Oklahoma

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Photo via http://www.lovemelovemypets.org

The howling sound must have been deafening from inside the cramped storm shelter. It must have been scary with the wind plummeting their car. I can’t imagine holding on to a bathtub and praying the plumbing doesn’t give way. I can’t imagine sitting with my classmates in the hallway of a school and listening as the building around me begins to fly away.

These are not made up stories, these things actually happened. The tornados that have went through Oklahoma have been devastating. The lives lost have been horrendous. People have lost loved ones, pets, and their homes. It seems like nothing but bad news all the way around. However, if you take the magnifying glass of the mind and look closely, you will find miracles in the midst of the rubble.

We all love our pets and can’t imagine something like this happening and how it would affect us. There are some good stories of reuniting and efforts to reunite. Sometimes miracles happen right before our eyes.

Here are a few:

While giving an interview on TV, Barbara Garcia talks about how she lost everything. She looks for hope out of it all and is thankful, but she hasn’t been able to find her dog. You can tell this troubles her deeply. As she stands on the pieces of wood that used to be her home and talks about what she’s been through, the reporter simply says “dog”. In a crevice of the rubble, about three feet away, a dog’s head is seen. The woman quickly recognizes the dog. It’s her dog that she’s not been able to find. She tries to get the dog out and asks for the help of people nearby. Soon the dog is out and, unbelievably, has no major injuries and is walking around like nothing ever happened. The timing is amazing.

See it for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1ACfiKs_Fk&feature=youtube_gdata

Many people have seen that video. Here’s another similar miracle you may have not seen – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kXgOIgoI2s&feature=youtube_gdata

For all the pets that did survive, there are heroes on the ground helping to reunite those pets with their owners. Here’s their story – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6nE6M_oBeY&feature=youtube_gdata

To the Storm Chasers that lost their lives this week, I’d like to say “Thank you for the work you have done. Your research will save the lives of many”.

I hope and pray that each of us can find our passion like these men did. They woke up everyday excited about what was in front of them. They looked forward to their passion that they didn’t call work. They lived a more fullfilling life than most of us have. Let’s let them inspire us to follow our dreams and passions and change the world just like they did.

What miracles have you found?

Are you going to chase your dream?

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