Monday, December 31, 2007
When opportunity and passion line up with our prayers it is difficult to have restraint.
The problem is that our emotions can cloud the situation and opportunities must be weighed against something far more objective than just the circumstances. I always think I know how things are going to play out but I have made decisions (100% convinced I knew the outcome) and it turned out I was 100% wrong. An open door is not always a door that requires us to step through it. Don’t believe me? Read 1 Samuel 24. Three factors should be considered.
Think about it:
1. The Law – There are laws we are not and should not break and no matter how great the opportunity, if it violates the law...it's not something we should be doing. In David’s case, you can not kill a king or rebel against the thrown without breaking the law.
2. Principle – Follow the golden rule. Think about how you would want treated in a similar situations because life has this amazing way where we find ourselves in the shoes of those we have authority over.
3. Wisdom – Seek to be the example and listen to the counsel and mentorship around you. David was in a position to take the thrown by killing the king. If he killed the king what kind of an example would he be?
At the end of the day there have been awesome opportunities that Sharon and I thought were a 'God Thing' that once reviewed and weighed began to take us in a different direction. As a leader I have to remember that forward motion and progress will often tempt us to bend the rules and eventually lose our integrity.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
What a fun movie to sit down with the family and watch. Family friendly, non-violent, and filled with life lessons. In the movie, our main character 'Remy' the rat was asked who is he? His answer was, "I know, I know, I am not a human...I'm a rat" to which the response was, "NO, you are a chef!"
I meet new people all the time and had to laugh because every time I ask them, "Who are they?" the response is always what their profession is (what they do). I think the response should be something like this:
I'm a father and husband!
Aren't these who we really are? Or has our work begun to define us?
Thursday, December 27, 2007
CHANGE in Place +
CHANGE in Pace =
Sharon and I just got back from our 2008 Planning Retreat. Are you thinking that, 'Only companies do that'. Well I think more couples should deliberately try this and see what comes out of it. We left the kids with my parents and went off for a 2 day/1 night get -away to:
1. Strengthen our relationship
2. Have some quiet time
3. Re-charge our batteries
4. Review our 2007 goals
5. Set our goals for 2008
WOW! What a wonderful time. We started the evening off by writing our 50 or more dreams (sky was the limit) and anything goes. We did it seperately and then sat down and shared them with one another. More than 80% of what we wrote was the same but worded differently. It is amazing how much we are on the same page.
BIG DREAMS (just a few of them):
1. Large home on a golf course with an elevator
2. Trip to Isreal
3. Own a professional sports team
4. Attend the World Cup
5. Visit the White House
6. Start a Ministry focused on supporting missionaries & pastors
Before we called it a night we talked about what our priorities are and our plan to detail out our goals for 2008. We reviewed our dream sheets, listed our roles (spouse, parent, student, employee, etc), and then set goals for each of these roles and ties action steps to accomplish these goals. It sounds like a lot of work but the results are worth the investment and so far we have an amazing ability to set and hit big hairy odacious goals 'BHAGs'. SO...here are a few of our 2008 Goals:
1. Lose weight (not telling you how much)
2. Get in better shape
3. Family Vacation
4. A specific $ amount in investments and savings
5. A specific $ to give to church and charity
6. 50 books in one year
Hope this helps...if you have questions about setting goals, having a retreat, or want more insight; let us know.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Hurried - Are you one of the last minute hurried shoppers? The whole season starts in a mad dash on Black Friday or worse yet it doesn't happen at all because of work until Christmas Eve.
Heart Felt - The big family gatherings or quiet intimate moments with the immediate family.
Humbled - A season of thankfulness and joy for all the blessing over the past year.
Hurt - We realize that the holidays can stir up emotions and tension with the family.
There are probably other ways to describe the holidays and maybe you experience more than one. We were 80% done before Thanksgiving and the remaining items are really the harder ones. This is really a result of Sharon's organizational skills (I tend to be the hurried shopper). I think the best gifts we give are these last ones we work on because they are truly heart felt, personalized gifts like the albums with a voice recording narration done by the kids, Sharon, and I for each photo.
No matter what you are experiencing this Christmas...take time to experience being humbled by how awesome life is and what amazing things have happened.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
1. Help in packing/moving to DC & help unpacking on this end
2. My Honda - 230,000 miles and still going
3. Two new employee hires in DC
4. Grace from those in authority over me
5. My wife's support and understanding in multiple areas
6. Sybella sleeping through the night during the 1st six months
7. The opportunity to visit friends in Kentucky
8. Sharon's new ring and my new car
9. Benign tumors
10. Great elementary school for the boys in Vienna
Remember, our focus determines our reality. J. Todd Ferrier said, "We are what we think; as we desire so do we become! By our thoughts, desires, and habits, we either ascend to the full divine dignity of our nature, or we descend to suffer and learn."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This month as we enjoy the holiday season and a blessed 2007 we are 65 strong and we held our first annual ATS - DC Christmas Part at i Ricchi. Just a quick thank you to Dave Mather, Lacy Dove, and Maresia Johnson for helping make this year special.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A quick teaser for those of you looking for a good read...here were the big ideas I am walking away with from this most incredible research and book:
1. How the Internet has leveled the playing field, what is driving communities, and how to capitalize as an entrepreneur in the same environment.
2. How and why my company and many other companies will have to change in the next 5 to 10 years in order to grow and thrive.
3. A better understanding of the decentralized nature of an terrorist network and how these organizations are best countered against.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
FSM is a new term I picked up..."Father Son Moment". Sunday night the boys asked me to play BATTLESHIP. You know, the game we all played at some point growing up. As a sidenote, we played on the actual set that my brothers and I played on when we were growing up. It is always fun to watch their mindset, strategy, and how the accept winning and losing. I work very hard to find time every week to sit down and engage one on one with the boys.
I am all for working hard, providing for your family, and putting your time in to be successful; however last time I checked there are 168 hours in the week...do you realize that if we all spent just 1 hour a day with our children that would be less than 1/2 % of our week?
Everyone has time to sit down and engage with children. Take time over the holidays to have quality time with the children.
The boys and I sang, clapped, and rocked back and forth to the Carols. I am not sure how much was for the purposes of having fun and how much was directed at keeping warm :-) While there, I reflected on just how blessed we as a family and as a nation truly are. I was overcome with happiness and joy for all the many blessings we have had in 2007.
This is definitively a new annual family event!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
No exciting cake photos because we decided to wait until her grandparents return from the Dominican Republic for the 'BIG BASH'. Where has the last year gone? She is clearly her mother's child ;-) She has spunk, personality, and an opinion. I let Sharon have an easy day while Sybella had a pretty focused Father-Daughter Day.
As a final note...she decided to take her first step today! One year old and one step. Who knows, maybe by next year we will have a two year old who takes two steps. Something tells me we will have a little one running around the house for Christmas.