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What Do You Believe? Part 2

What Do We Believe? 

I was surprised when the Hip-Hop, Rap and Urban Fashion mogul, Jay-Z was being interviewed on the November 29th airing of Nightline, where he talked about growing and maturing from a street thug who sold Crack to a Hip-Hop star and beyond.  What he has promoted has often been murderous, blasphemous, misogynistic and materialistic.  But what struck me was how his worldview and belief system were changing, not only because he was older, but because he had visited Africa and encountered a greater reality – poverty.  He was no longer just a Hip-Hop mogul… he was now an individual who was using his resources to make a difference.  Where will he end up?  I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that the encounter on his beliefs caused him to begin to change his actions.
As we grow, so should our belief system.  As we mature, so should our understanding and our beliefs are modified as we seek to understand the world around us.  Some beliefs of old have been invalidated, while others have proven true throughout the ages.  When I was little I believed in Santa Clause, Superman and Peter Pan.  But as I grew up, I realized that no matter how badly I wanted them to be real, there were never going to be.  After 9-11 a little boy asked his mother, “Where was Superman?”  Adults asked an even greater question, “Where was God?”  When the reality we have always known comes crumbling down… our beliefs are tested to see if they are real or not.   

What Do You Believe? Part 1

What do you believe? 

We all approach life with a belief system which influences everything we do.  Much of what we believe comes from the people who raised us and as we grow we adopt some of the beliefs of friends and others who have made an impact on our lives, whether negatively or positively.  But how are our beliefs framed?  How often do we stop to examine our beliefs and see if they are still valid, or if they were ever valid?

I remember growing up and believing that the world was a great place, full of wonder and excitement!  It was a fun place and a safe place.  This is true on many levels, however life-experience has revealed additional information.  And when I further consider a growing world-view I realize that there are scores of children who live in surroundings of constant war, poverty and abuse. 

What’s Up With Self-Help? Part Three: Pulling the Old Bootstraps

two hands trying to pull up boots by laces

“Is it possible to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? Try it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.”

We’ve been talking about the issue of “self-help”. In this third installment, let’s look at the phrase, “You need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.”

I have often heard this phrase… as well as the comment, “I’m a self-made individual. Everything I have – I worked for. No one gave me any handouts.” But is this really true? I went and literally tried to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and you know what? It doesn’t work. Now if I was to pull myself up while grasping onto a pull-up bar… well now that’s another story. It would seem, if you and I think about it, that in order for us to be able to pull ourselves up there must be something above us that we can hold onto. This just makes common sense.

What’s Up With Self-Help? Part One: Making True Decisions

“When you make a true decision, you select a course of action.  You cut yourself off from all other options and begin moving.” – Andrew Seltz

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “Self-Help”?  Perhaps you see an image of a well-dreesed, clean-cut individual who is very enthusiastic about life and has overcome tremendous obstacles… and now this person seems to have everything together.  Maybe you can hear the voices of “self-help” language: you have the power within you to create your world!  All you need is to harness the power of positive thinking!  Speak the right formula of words and you will have all of your dreams for success to come true!

Sometimes I don’t think very positive.  Sometimes I don’t say the “right” things.  There are times when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the facts of life… completely overcome by bad situations and circumstances… overpowered by bad personal habits.  What about you?  Have you ever felt like no matter what you did, you just couldn’t seem to get everything in your life together?

What’s Up With Self-Help? Part Two – 3 Questions of Ultimate Weight & Measure

There were 3 questions that were asked of me this past weekend at a leadership retreat.  Theses 3 questions blew me away and I believe, if answered honestly, they have the ability to begin to bring transformation to our lives.

What makes you happy?  What makes you sad?  What is your passion?

The setting for these questions was one of deep introspection, sitting across from another individual – holding their hands and looking into their eyes – the beginning of a level of intimacy that many of us may not feel comfortable with.  When posed with these questions, our first inclination may be to just give surface answers.  However, I believe that the first part of true growth is for us to be honest with ourselves – to be able to verbalize what we are truly feeling and thinking in our heart and mind.  Facades look great on television, in the movies and on theatre stages – but when the lights are turned off and the production is over – all that is left are empty shells.

A Barbarian’s Call!


 Cover Image“The Greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity.” – Erwin McManus, author of The Barbarian Way

What comes to your mind when you hear the term Barbarian?  Erwin McManus confronts those of us who have fallen into the seemingly sweet sleep of laxity and “niceness” with a re-imagined image of a person empowered by the Spirit of God, that harks back to a biblical view of what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. 

48 Days to Changing Your Life


 Cover ImageYou might as well give this book a subtitle: 48 Days to Change Your Life!  48 Days to the Work You Love (by Dan Miller) is a book that is about living from a focus on ”Being” rather than solely on the concentration of “Doing.”  Why 48 days instead of any other number?  Good question.  You’ll have to read the book for the answer!

In a society that places extreme interest on “doing” and “image”, 48 Days is a much welcomed and needed breath of fresh air.  The statistics are staggering of how many people work jobs that they hate, while the dreams that burn within them slowly die from smothered nonexpression.  Dan Miller does a wonderful job at looking at “Work” from a wholistic and historic perspective as well as bringing in practical measures for achieving success in our day to day working lives, whether it be a job, a career, or a vocation.