Men Of Honor

Be The Leader You Were Created To Be.

Seriously? — June 30, 2016

Seriously?

In today’s social circles, especially those with younger people, the expression of surprise or shock is currently communicated through the word “Seriously” in the form of a question to emphasize the surprise of the story or comment or seeing someone do something that is potentially inappropriate in the moment.

How about using the term “Seriously” or “Serious” in it’s proper context. Here is my question. What are you taking seriously?  Students are mixed in their intensity and approach to getting through high school and college.  Some are very serious and intentional with their time, and others simply wait until the last minute to prepare for writing papers or studying for exams.   Most people, as they get older, are more serious about what most of us would consider “important things”. Things like preparing in advance for meetings, showing up on time, saying hello when you see someone you know, dressing appropriately with dignity, working hard, treating others with respect, and putting family before your friends.  And some are even more serious about their relationship with God.  Some are not.

Most people agree with the term “Life is too short”.  If life is truly and genuinely too short, then where is the serious attitude of living with intention towards God via a seriously intentional, pro-active relationship with Jesus Christ who positioned himself in the way of intense pain and suffering so you and I can have an eternal relationship in peace with our Heavenly Father? Jesus said this, “I am THE way, THE Truth, and THE Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” So if Life is really “too short” and we know there is an eternity waiting for us, where time has no place, and we can be in God’s presence experiencing His love and joy and peace every moment for infinity and beyond, then what are we doing with our time now?

Do we really BELIEVE that “life is too short” or are we just having conversation?  If we really believe life is too short, and we really believe there is an eternity to go to, what are we doing with the “Now”?  Are we taking it seriously?

Following Jesus doesn’t make you weird.  If you’re weird, it has nothing to do with Jesus. You’re just weird.  Pursuing God is so much more than sitting in a church pew on Sunday morning.  That is no where near enough to be in right relationship with God. Anyone can do that.   It takes an intentional act of inviting him into your life to be your Lord and Saviour and intentionally living for him each day. When you fall, get up and ask for forgiveness.  But don’t stop and don’t allow religious obligation to define who you are.  Choose to be a sold out, unshakeable, immovable, impenetrable Christ follower who prays with intention, worships Him with arms lifted high with intention and loves others intentionally. Seriously.

 

 

Advertisements
3 things Real Men Do – Did I say iron clothes? — May 7, 2015

3 things Real Men Do – Did I say iron clothes?

La Famiglia

Tonight, like many others, I ironed my daughters clothes and my wife’s nurse uniform.  Am I the only man that does this? I don’t think so. I’m sure there are a lot of men that do laundry, iron clothes, wash dishes, sweep and mop floors, clean the bathrooms, etc.  What’s my point?  Every man is the leader and helper of his family.  Whether they realize it or not, this is their purpose for their role within their family.  Must a man iron clothes, do laundry, etc.?  Well, I don’t think it’s a “must” but it helps.

I am not happy that my wife works outside the home, and before you say I’m sexist, given the choice, she would stay home if we were in the position to make it happen.  Believe me when I tell you!  I believe most women would prefer to stay home and take care of their children and be part of things they are passionate about rather than work a job building someone else’s dream.

We live in a world where dual income households are more common than ever before.  However, there are ways to make it less stressful and be the strength and backbone of your family.  Here some things that make a huge difference…

1.  Cover your wife and children in Prayer, everyday! Yes, EVERYDAY!  As the man, you are and should be the Spiritual Leader of the home. Pray over them as you hug them (your children and your wife) in the morning and when they go to sleep at night.  If you’re not taking the time to do this, you are missing out on one of the most vital elements of instilling a sense of confidence and strength within your family.  If you are doing this, you are creating a solid foundation that will be hard for any outsider to penetrate in a negative way.  That’s a good thing.

2. Tell them how much you Love them. Again, EVERYDAY!  You might think this is not necessary, but it is.  People really don’t care how much you do if you are not backing it up with words of encouragement and affirmation.  Saying “I Love You” once in awhile is lame, in my humble opinion.  I say it all the time.  Go ahead and say it and be humble about it.  Don’t boast about yourself in the process.  Simply say “I love you with all my heart”.  It’s not a feeling, it’s a decision.

3.  Let them know all they are doing right.  Don’t focus on the negative.  Help them to not be afraid to fail.  Embrace failure and learn from it.  This will help your family grow individually and together as they go through life.  It’s ok to fail.  Failure should be celebrated, not verbally attacked.  Yes, I said “CELEBRATED”, because this is how we learn.  You learn your greatest lessons through failing. Tell them what they are doing right and help them through the moments of failure with a loving, accepting attitude.  Do not condemn! Just offer words of encouragement, or don’t talk at all.  Just hug them.

Enjoy the journey.

Mike

4 Things You Need to Succeed — February 13, 2015

4 Things You Need to Succeed

AdversityWe all have things we would like to accomplish.  Greatness in anything doesn’t just happen.  With a few principles in place, we can do great things.  It may be a relationship that needs to be strengthened, a financial challenge, a job or career change, etc.  Whatever the need, the way you approach each challenge starts with your attitude.  It’s not the physical action taken, but your mental health and attitude toward your situation that will truly make the difference and set the solid foundation you need to overcome.

With the right attitude of true humility and confidence that you can do this, you will make great strides toward the desired outcome.

WIth attitude comes Intention.  You must live each moment with Intention.  Attack each task with great focus and confidence that you are going to get this done.  Set a day and time for each item to be addressed.  Set the meetings, make the calls, prepare for the desired outcome with Intention.  Take notes on the process and you will begin to see the change you are looking for.

With Intention, comes Action.  Sounds redundant, but really, if you are working toward making a change or a difference, you must take massive, determined action that will bring the change.  Action must be measurable steps that will give you the boldness and confidence you need to move forward to the next step, the next stage, the next level.

The last thing is Accountability.  If you don’t have anyone in your life that you can make yourself accountable too, you need to re-evaluate your relationships. You must, and I mean MUST, have an accountability partner.  This needs to be someone who has the attitude and success that you would like to have or the lifestyle you want.  Stay in contact with this person at least twice each month to keep them abreast of your progress.  Allow yourself to be corrected and disciplined through this accountability relationship.  Be willing to hear what you may not want to hear.

It will happen, if you take these steps and follow this advice. As Zig Ziglar would always say, See you at the top!

What’s it All About — December 19, 2014

What’s it All About

IMG_3293How many shopping days left until Christmas?  Oh, I don’t know, but I have my gifts for my kids already on their way from Amazon.  There are so many things we all are thinking about this time of year.  We’re thinking about gifts for our family and friends.  We’re thinking about where we will be eating on Christmas Day and with whom.   We’re thinking about our finances and how we are doing in that area. We’re thinking about everything that happened over the last year and what we would like to see happen in the coming year.  We’re thinking about our children.  Did we give them our best this past year? Are we giving them the gifts they would like this Christmas?  At least, that’s what I’ve been thinking about.

2014 has been a year of major transition for my family and I.  I went from being a W-2 employee to being self employed and working on launching several business ventures in 2015.  My family and I moved to a new place, closer to school for our children and our church.  Closer to our church family.  Has all this been easy? No.  Has it been worth it? Yes.

So what is all this about?  You may be expecting me to say something cliche, like, “Christmas is not about the gifts or the shopping” or “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”  Well, that’s true.  However, the purpose of this posting is to provoke thought about what you are making important or priority in your life.  What happened to you over the last year? What did you do?  What did you fail to do that you needed to do or wanted to do?

I want to pour into you right now.  I want to encourage you to shine and make a difference like the Lion shines when he walks through the wild.  You are a LION!  When a Lion moves, he has a purpose and when he roars, everything within the sound of that roar stands to attention to see what’s happening.  Live with intention, by choice! Choose to make some noise for the right things in your life this Christmas and New Year.  Eliminate whatever has held you back from being the man God created you to be.  Go after the passions of your heart.  Pray with intention, like never before.  Worship God with intention, like never before.  Show your family love and a gentle spirit with intention, like never before.  Choose to encourage and lift up your children with intention, like never before.

What about business?  If you are an entrepreneur type, than go after it and make it happen.  I have been working on several projects that I fully expect to take off in 2015.  Life will never be the same.  I stopped dreaming without action and decided to take action steps with intention.  Now I am seeing the beginning fruits of my labor, such as a sense of accomplishment.  You have everything you need to move forward.  It’s called dreams and passion.  Use them to your advantage.  Be a better Husband, Father and businessman.  You can do it , if you choose to do so with intention.  Be the Lion that roars and takes action.  You can do it and you WILL, if you simply decide to move and not stand still.

Merry Christmas!

Mike

10 steps to Achieve your Dreams — September 5, 2014

10 steps to Achieve your Dreams

We all have dreams of accomplishing great things.  Many people don’t talk about their dreams. I do.  I talk about them and think about them because I believe each one is a gift.  How do you accomplish what is on your heart?  Here are some things I believe will help you.

1.  Make a Decision to pursue your dreams regardless of how you feel or the failures and set backs you had in the past.  The past is the past. What you do now determines your tomorrow. Making this decision is the first step in a journey you will take that will be challenging but very rewarding.

2.  Get Counsel – Ask questions of people who are successful and have the experience, successes and lifestyle you want.  If you have a heart for business, meet with people who give you insight, guidance and wisdom as to how to go about getting yourself off the ground.  If you have a heart for ministry, talk to your Church Pastor.  If you have a heart for worship, talk to your Worship leader.  If you have a desire to be a better Husband or Father, Talk to someone who has a genuine, sincere and solid family life with their wife and children.

3.  Research.  This is a very important step.  But don’t allow yourself to get caught up in prolonged research where you collect a ton of data and content, but have not really accomplished anything to get your endeavor off the ground.  Read good books that talk about how to get your hands dirty and understand what is required to accomplish the necssary goals along the way.

4. Set Goals – Once you have the data from the research, set goals and take the necessary action to attack each goal with a Tenacity that most people will admire.  Each goal should be written down on paper and have a date of completion written next to it.

5.  Mission Statement – What is the task and mission of your endeavor?  What are you doing in your efforts to achieve this? Write it down on paper.

6. Vision Statement – What is the Vision? or What is the Purpose? Why are you doing this and for what reason? Write it down.

7.  Budget your calendar – Block out time each day to accomplish the necessary tasks to reach your upcoming goals.  It may be reading certain books or periodicals. It may be calling some people to network and build a circle of influence.  It may be the initial administrative tasks if you are starting a business.  It may be quality and quantity time with the family along with the simple words of encouragement to your wife or your children.

8.  Review your activity – Every week you should review your activity for that week and assess what has been done, what has not been done and what you can do different.

9.  Choose your friends wisely – It’s ok to talk about your dreams, but don’t share your dreams with everyone.  Only those who you trust for advice and encouragement.

10.  Push through – When you have struggles and challenges, stay persistent and consistent. You will get there and along the way you will see the changes you’ve made that have helped you be wiser, stronger and more humble in your pursuit so you can be the man you were created to be.

Success comes to those who take action and are consistent and persistent.  Push hard and love everyone along the way.

Who says you can’t do that?  Every successful person and business has been told “it can’t be done”.  If that advice was taken there would not have been great people in business and ministry like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim, Billy Graham, John D Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Steve Jobs, to name a few.

Stop reading this and write your list. I challenge you….

Change is Inevitable — July 21, 2014

Change is Inevitable

Change is here. Everyday.  How are you responding to change?  What exactly is changing for you.  Is it a job or career change, a financial situation,  a relationship, a health issue, family issues?  It could be any number of things.  When change comes, which is quite frequently for many people, your success depends on how you respond.  Here are some steps to make change work for you.

Attitude is everything!  

This should be the first thing that is put in check.  It’s vital to make sure the attitude toward the situation is healthy.  This will set the tone for how the change affects you and how you respond.

Words

What you say is the next important thing.  Words lift people up or bring them down.  You can pour life into yourself, others and the situation at hand or you can suck the life out of everyone around you, including yourself.  Make your words healthy, encouraging and uplifting.  You don’t have to deny the challenge, just promote a positive response with your words.

Timing

How quickly you respond is not always the issue.  It’s how quickly you decide to adapt and go with the flow the change is bringing about. Adapting to what the change means is important.

People

Take inventory of who you are hanging around. Who do you talk to when change comes?  Are they helping you or hurting you as you go through it.  This can make a huge difference in how you proceed.  Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from certain people and not share so much with them.  Other times, there are those rare people we can share our hearts with and they will really support you as you go through the change.  They will speak words of encouragement and give you healthy thoughts when they speak with you about how you are handling yourself.

Change is inevitable and Growth is optional.  Choose to grow.

 

 

 

Exceeding Expectations – Mission Accomplished! — August 3, 2013

Exceeding Expectations – Mission Accomplished!

ImageI had to stay home from work to care for my baby girl, as she had pink eye and was not feeling well.  I was asked to “sweep and mop the floors, vacuum and straighten up the house”.  I saw this as a challenge and a mission I had to attack with tenacity and an intense, calculated strategy that would overwhelm and annihilate the outside enemies of dirt and dust, and the inner enemies of laziness and complacency, with an unstoppable force of power and strength.  There were two phases in this battle. Here is how it went down.

PHASE 1

1) First thing I did was get up and  make breakfast for the children to make sure they had substance for the rest of the morning.  2) Next, I washed all dishes in the kitchen sink and emptied the dishwasher of any clean dishes by putting them away.  3) I proceeded to move the kitchen table and chairs and garbage pail out of the kitchen so I had an open field to attack with broom and mop. 4) Then, I swept the kitchen floor and vaccuumed up any dirt with our cool new “SharK” vaccuum being diligent in making sure all corners and moldings were vaccuumed as well. 5) Placed my commercial grade mop and mop bucket in bathtub and filled bucket with hot water and some Mr. Clean liquid.

6) Set mop and mop bucket aside while I poured thin lines of a cleaning bleach on the grout in between the kitchen tile and SCRUBBED HARD! with hard, small hand held brush, on my knees.  The attack seemed to be going very well as I got in the trenches and gained ground.  7) Mopped floor; being diligent in making sure mop cleaned up all the bleach in grout lines. Let dry.   8) Rinsed out mop bucket in bathtub and replaced dirty water with fresh, clean water and a smaller amount of cleaning liquid. 9) Mopped kitchen floor AGAIN making sure any residue of bleach cleaner on floor was mopped up.  Let dry, again. 10) Dusted and wiped down all kitchen furniture, then moved kitchen table, chairs and garbage pail back in kitchen.  Enjoyed the clean aroma that overtook the house. 11) Moved dining table, chairs and other furniture out of dining room area to create open field of battle.  12) Brought in ladder to stand up near overhead shelf area with family photos. Brought photos down so I could vaccuum high, hard to reach, shelf area. 13)   Proceeded to vaccuum floor and then mopped entire floor making sure no tile was left unmopped. Let dry. 14) Wiped down and dusted all dining area furniture and family photo frames and carefully returned all furniture to dining area. 15) Vacuumed and wiped down living room ceiling fan.  Removed glass light bulb covers of ceiling fan and hand washed in kitchen sink. Let dry and returned them to ceiling fan.  16) Moved all furniture in living room area to attack rug with vaccuum and made sure all corners and moldings were dust free around perimeter of living. Then we had a set back in the battle!! The vaccuum seemed to be working a little too hard as it sounded like it was straining to work.  Had to stop and clean out the roller under the vaccuum.  There was a lot of hair wrapped around the roller causing it to slow down. Took my handy scissors and carpenter blade and proceeded to violently cut out any hair or dirt that was preventing my weapon from working properly. Moving on…completed the vaccuming of the living room 17) Moved all living room furniture back to correct positions.   18) Had children fold and put away any clean clothes on couches.

Stopped to make children lunch.  Next is phase 2.  Somehwere in phase 2, I dropped the cordless phone into the mop bucket and it was completely submerged in dirty mop water.  Temporary set back, but I fought on.  Took phone apart and placed in dish drain to dry.

PHASE 2:

Next phase of mission was to attack the master bedroom.  This is where it gets ugly! 19) First step was to physically remove mattress and box springs from queen size bed and out of bedroom completely so we had an open area to attack.   Once removed, I was confronted with a very thick layer of dust underneath the bed, loose feathers from our feather pillows, along with books and papers that were stored (dumped) under the bed at one time.  It was a little scary but the attack commenced and we quickly vanquished the enemy.  The rug looked brand new once again. 20) Vaccummed all corners and moldings around perimeter with tenacious precision. 21) Raised ladder to reach bedroom ceiling fan to vacuum dust and clean fan blades with windex.  22) Removed glass cover from ceiling fan light bulb assembly and washed by hand in kitchen sink.  Let dry and replaced on ceiling fan.  23) Used ladder to vaccuum high shelf area in bedroom and sucked up all the thick dust up there. 24) Wiped down and dusted bed frame, armoire, end table and lamps.   25) Completely rearranged bedroom to make it easier to clean, get dressed, walk around, etc. by simply moving bed frame to opposite side of room by window.  24) Emptied armoire of wife’s clothes to make it easy to move.  Moved it, then had children re-fold all Mommies clothes and neatly return to inside of armoire. 24)  Washed and dried bed linen for master bedroom and replaced onto bed with comforter and pillows.

25) Swept and vaccuumed both bathrooms making sure all dirt was eliminated and had my son clean the mirror and straighten up their bathroom.  Folded and put away all towels.

Then my wife came home to a very nice surprise of a very clean and organized home.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Pole Position! — May 30, 2013

Pole Position!

Image

Everyone strives to accomplish things that will improve their life in some way.  The race to be better is a daily adventure we all run each day.  The goal for most people, is to have something better. Better marriage, better job, better relationships, better finances, and the list goes on.  Here is the key to get yourself on the road to success.  Running your race is inevitable and you will run a race, like it or not.  How you position yourself to run the race is what is going to determine your success or failure.  How you position yourself to run your race will also determine your response to bumps in the road along the way, which will move you toward winning or losing; depending on how you respond.

If you have ever watched a Nascar race, you see a whole bunch of very cool looking, loud and fast stock cars driving around a track.  They are usually very close to each other and flying around the track at 200 miles per hour.  Very fast, very tense and very calculated.  What most people don’t realize is what happened before the actual race.  It’s called the time trials.  This is when each driver, races their car around the track alone.  Their is no one else racing against them, just that driver and their car racing as fast as they can.  Their only competitor is the clock.  The driver with the fastest time around the track is awarded first place in front of all the other cars at the start of the actual race.  This amazing status is called “POLE POSITION”.  The cars with the best times are in, or close to, Pole Position.  This helps them have a much stronger and powerful race, as they begin the race in front of all the other cars that would be in their way as obstacles, had they not achieved a great time in the time trial session.

The main goal for every man should be to position himself to lead as God intended for him to lead! Stand up and be the spiritual leader for your family, the financial leader and the attitude leader.  The man who takes the lead in these areas will have great success.  There will be struggles along the way, but if he allows himself to be in pole position by keeping himself prepared and ready to face each situation, his chances for victory will become much greater than if he was not prepared.  There are way too many tasks and goals to list here for a man to focus on, but I will narrow it down.  Every man needs to be studied, prayed up and focused.  Study God’s word for wisdom.  Pray over your family, yourself, your job, your finances and FOCUS on having a Godly and peaceful attitude in every situation.  This is how you will achieve pole position to face the battles and challenges you are racing to overcome and improve in.  Life is not about fighting against others or circumstances to be better.  Life is about doing everything you can to position yourself to run your race with strength, diligence, persistence and consistency.  Read and study God’s Word.  Pray and Focus.  This will always keep you positioned to do the right thing!  Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”

No Limits! — January 5, 2013

No Limits!

Image Bruce Lee was jogging with a friend of his, Sterling Silliphant.  Sterling was about to collapse and could not run any further.  Bruce made the statement in the above photo. When it comes to limitations in life, most of them come from within ourselves.  We stop ourselves from being everything we were created to be. We stifle our own progress and success.  2013 is here.  Make a decision to move forward and let go of the past. This is a new year.  Today is a new day. This is a new season.  Step out of the past and into the present, and take steps to position yourself for an amazing future.

2012 was filled with a lot of crazy stuff.  Hurricanes, school shootings, job searches, unemployment, you name it.  We all experienced some “stuff” in 2012.  Well, 2012 is now History.  Move on.  I have made some solid decisions and plans for 2013. First and foremost is this: everything I want to do and push to do will be covered in prayer and I will seek God and His wisdom first.  If a commitment is made to live by Matthew 6:33, you will see success.  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”  The text prior to that verse outlines the “things” they were discussing were material things like food, shelter, finances, etc.  The basic necessities of life.

If you seek God first in all you do, He will respond.  He will hear you and answer you.  I know because I have experienced this myself.

Eliminate the self imposed limits you have placed on yourself and take the necessary steps to make it happen in your life.  Set some goals, Take intentional action.  Make the phone calls, send the letters, set up the domain name.  Interview people who have what you want.  Stay away from those who bring you down.  Get nuggets of knowledge and experience from those who have already done it.  Now is the time to destroy the self imposed limits and build the machine inside you to run at its full potential.  I’m doing it.  So can you.  Have a blessed 2013.

Catching Leaves… — October 8, 2012

Catching Leaves…

ImagePurpose.  The word every one loves to hear but few actually know their own.  Purpose changes lives.  It transforms and redirects in an instant. In the blink of an eye.  Once a man understands his specific purpose for his life, things change.  There are many things in a man’s life that cause the gears in his head to turn and thoughts to race through his head like thousands of leaves flying through the air and along the ground on a windy autumn day.  Things like the job, the money, the wife, the children, the house, and all the things he wants to accomplish in life that he hasn’t come close to……yet.

Most men attribute the lack of accomplishment in their life to things like lack of money, lack of education, lack of cooperation from others, lack of resources, lack of knowledge, and the list goes on.  Here is the answer to knowing your true purpose. WISDOM.  In his book, “Discovering The Power of Purpose” my good friend, Dr. Paul Crites says this: “Wisdom will cost you, but your ignorance will cost you more”.  He goes on to say Wisdom brings things like promotion and increase, honor, favor and deliverance.  And it has nothing to do with age.  You can be a wise young man or an old fool. Dr. Crites explains the basic, fundamental difference between wisdom and knowledge.  You can know a lot of stuff, be highly educated and have so much information you can win big money on Jeopardy.  But without Wisdom you’re not really going to fulfill your Purpose.

As a Daddy and a Husband, I learned that I am in the ministry.  I don’t Pastor a church or run a missions organization.  My ministry, first and foremost, is my wife and my children.  This is my primary Purpose; to meet their needs in every way possible.  My children love spending time with Daddy.  And I love spending time with them more than anything else in this world.  When I focus on fulfilling my Purpose as a Father to my babies, and a husband to my wife, I instill confidence and security in them.  Confidence that many people just don’t have due to past dysfunction they had growing up.  Or the mistakes they might have made.  You are a change agent. If you don’t introduce the change needed for your wife to love you and be your partner in life and for your children to honor you, obey and respect you, someone else will bring change into their lives.  And it will not be the change you want for them.

Every man must understand this – Your primary Purpose in life must be to show unconditional love and spend unconditional time with your wife and children.  If you start there, you will be on the right path.  Then you will learn to understand how to pour yourself into the lives of others, with no hidden agenda.  You will begin to truly comprehend your Purpose.  Things will start to make sense.  You will begin to see things you haven’t seen before.  In your wife, your children and in yourself.   All the other “stuff” will come.  First things first.

Catch the leaves that are flying around. In the natural, this doesn’t seem possible.  But honestly, Wisdom  is simply a small, quiet prayer away.  Ask and you shall receive.  Wisdom will help you to see, very clearly, the Purpose that God has for you.  Then go after it.

For more information on Dr. Paul Crites and his books, visit http://www.DrPaulCrites.com