Welcome to SBH
Thanks for stopping by the bear cave and checking it out. Being serious all the time is un-bear-able, so we have added a great comic strip at the bottom of page for your enjoyment. Please feel free to leave your thoughts,or shoot us an e-mail with the link to the right. We'd love to hear from all the creatures in the forest.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wild Widgets

Ok, so I have made a few changes and additions. If you bloggers are thinking about adding some cool stuff to your blog you should check out Hoctor's blog . That is where I got most of the new widgets. He has made this stuff very user friendly. I hope you enjoy the new stuff as much as I have putting it together!

Oh yea, I should also give due to my oldest. She did the colors and figured out the challenges of Hoctor's hack for the 3 columns, great job Meg!

And thanks again to Hector and the Blogger Boys for taking the time so that we could have cool blogs.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Making peace with fear

The darkness of night always created a place of fear deep inside my childhood. After all, bad things happened at night. I had created a huge mental perception of monsters and ghost lurking behind every corner. I feared that which I could not see. As an adult, I realize that many of us still have buried inside us a fear of the unknown. The emotion of fear is usually worse and more destructive than the actual unknown. Although I will validate that some unknowns should remain unknown. But over coming that which we fear is no easy task, is it?

As children, we have to endure our peers making comments like "come on scardy cat", or "what's wrong? you chicken." The stupid things I have done because of those comments. What I did not realize is that I was yielding to one fear over another fear. The fear of rejection is a big motivator; to the point that one would risk the unknown to avoid rejection and ridicule. As an adult, my fear of the unknown darkness seems small compared to the fear of rejection. How many people have become involved in seriously stupid situations because of this fear? How do we over come such a fear when the need for belongingness is so strongly built into our genetic structure? I saw a bumper sticker the other day that may lend a clue. The sticker said "My give a damn is busted." Although this sentiment may be extreme, there is some wise insight hidden in there. This fear of rejection, or the need for belonging drives our quest for validation from others. I have always envied those who seem so secure that they do not seek , or appear to need, such validation. However, I am starting to realize that the majority of us, when honest, will say that we do compromise a lot to get such validation or sense of belonging.

I think this is where we are supposed to take a step back and evaluate the why and who questions. Why am I choosing to be so vulnerable to this person's validation? And, who should I be seeking validation from. I think once we start to make a conscious choices and answer these questions we start to lose that fear of rejection. We ultimately begin to explore the unknown inside of us. why have I given sanction to so many to get so little. I think we begin to stand on our own morals and values. We tend to put less value on the acceptance of others. We may realize that we have made peace with a fear that tends to destroy our potential. These are just some thoughts of mine, what do you think?

Doug Lawson.

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Spiritual Gladiators

Spiritual Gladiators, man that sounds bitchin. Fighting for one's faith. Warrior man standing up for his beliefs. Do not tread on my GOD or else! Millions have been killed over such foolishness. Mankind has a bad habit of becoming so committed to a just cause that he will ignorantly kill for it. "if we fail to know our history, we will be doomed to repeat it."

Have you ever pictured yourself standing face to face with another on a battlefield, looking into your opponents eyes as you drive your broad sword deep inside his body screaming "GOD is love" while you watch the life fade away as his body crumbles to the ground? Have we not learned from the mission fields of the crusades? I think not!

Why do we continually use, metaphorically,the terms that draw our minds to mental pictures of battlefield carnage? This ancient ritually of slaughtering the "other" side has proven only to produce generational hatred. Of course, we are more civilized these days. So we only draw word pictures to such gruesome practices, well at least part of the world refrains from these acts. Does the foolish man warrior wish this to come about? Do we really want to show how good our GOD is by killing or condemning others? I think I know a different God. A God who would, and is most likely very upset with this foolishness. Will we ever really grasp the power of his love; a love that strikes deeper than any sword? I think that we are just too mentally weak to grasp such a concept.

Our mental weakness will be the end of us. We just can not get past our smallness. We do everything and anything to appear bigger than we were ever meant to be. Puffing ourselves up and excusing our trespasses along the way. We hurt ourselves by rejecting our neighbor. We grow and nurture our hidden hate for others. But it is OK to spew contempt of others because they behave badly, after all we are not like them. Will we ever learn to love another's soul without destroying the person or condemning them to hell because they too, have sinned? I guess we would have stoned the "whore" when Jesus stated "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8-7- NAS). After all, we would not want Jesus to think that we would accept such behavior, right?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The ads are killing me

I am going to do a series of outdoor post and try and get away from those "big woman love" and "baby boomer love" ads. I know I could block them but the blog topics will only bring more craziness. So "bear" with me as I post some outdoor stuff, it should be fun anyways.

I want to help with the poverty thing and all, but I do have my limits.

Chow time

The only thing that could make this picture more alluring is several feet of snow. Ahh, the simply life of wilderness adventure; no cell phone, no T.V., no e-mail, no ...well you get it. I love night movement; it's something I learned to like in the Marines and it stuck. Night movement is one of those things that just pushes folks way out of their comfort zone extremely fast. We are so conditioned to the sun going down and so do we, at least in the wild anyway. What I like about night movement is that either you know your stuff or your lost.

I carry a compass, GPS, and a map, but I do not like to use them. I like to use the stars and I memorize geographic features. Knowing the geographic way points and orientating myself off of them gives me a lot of freedom out in the wilderness, day or night. Using the basic skills that can not run out of battery power or break becomes a tremendous asset for me. It allows me to focus more on group dynamics. Today's equipment , although cool and all, limits one's prowess to the environment one is in. We should know our environment to the point that moving within it does not consume our mental and physical energies.

If we can learn to apply some of these navigation methods to our lives we just might discover the joy in life. I think, often times we become so consumed with where we are going , where we are at, or where we came from that we forget to enjoy our journey through the environment and to invest in the people we are with. Spending time with each other, what a concept. How often to we just grab a few lines and then we are off? Live gives us many way points to guide off of. We should already know where some trails lead. And if we do not like the campsite they lead us to than stay off of them. Some trails are very hard physically and some are very easy. we can choose which one we want to take. Yep, life is like a big adventure trip, full of discovery, ups and downs, twists and turns. I think most of us miss the adventure and just keep our minds on the dusty trail or the weight of our packs. We need to learn to look at the way points of life and commit them to memory least we find ourselves lost in an unfriendly environment with dead batteries.

Here's a map and compass, where do you want to go?

USMC Recruiting Poster

" Pain is weakness leaving the body"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Power of Woman

When one looks back across the canvas of time one should be able to see the powerful impact on society that women have made. There are numerous women that history has recorded as changing the course of humanity. Today, women are fighting for something that they should never have to fight for; equality. Somewhere in time someone has sold women a bad pack of lies, or convinced men of a false sense of superiority. True , that for the most part, man is physically stronger. But that strength is usually used for what? Man's strength has, and is, used to provide for who? Woman!

In ancient times, the female was the revered gender used for deities. Women held so much esteem in ancient cultures that countries were destroyed, empires built, great adventures undertaken and tremendous risk endured for, and over, women. If humanity were void of the female influence, I think we (Man) would still be throwing sticks from caves wearing loin cloth. Women bring balance and civility to man.

I have joked to my friends about how they always need to get a "kitchen pass" from their wives. I have always called it a "chicken pass." Truth be told, and respect given where it is due, women are the center of a man's domain. My friends are right in respecting the wishes of their wives. I have a great wife, she has always allowed, or given, me the freedom to venture into the wilderness, to hang with the fellas, to do whatever I have wanted to do. She is a great friend, lover and wife. She controls the emotional tempo of our house hold. I endure, I risk, I push myself to provide the securities that are needed per her measure. I respect her and her influence on my life.

Today, I think we (men) risk loosing sight of the value our women hold. We tend to complain about the "ball and chain", or the restrictive nature some women impose, or the emotional roller coaster they take us on from time to time. We give sanction to the world's false voice and we learn to ignore our female counterparts and take a mentally superior stance. Man has always tried to control or posses that which has value or appears to bring one power, woman however, should be seen differently. We have allowed the disintegration of feminine value to continue to the point where women are forced to scream foul.

So, how should we view this ancient creature called woman? I am still trying to figure this question out myself. I do think that we need to realize the value and the important role women have in our lives. We should not feel threatened by their noble presences. We should respect every ounce or feminine power they offer to us. We should treat them as if God himself made them specially for us. Not as a thing to posses, but as a spiritual identity that brings balance, restoring us to the intended purpose God has for our lives. We need to develop a desire for the completeness only they bring. But, I am afraid this will take more wisdom than most of have. What do you think?

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Women are the real architects of society."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

From the mind of Madison

My nine year old spent her valued "right before I fall asleep" time thinking of some things for me to blog about (on her own initiative). I am constantly amazed at the level of wisdom that comes from the mouths of my children. Below is her list of "issues" I should blog on. Her words are italicized.

On matters concerning emotional healing she stated " It's like when you go to the doctor, You have to get the bad stuff out before healing the wound, and it hurts more."

On matters concerning being your best, I think this one came from one of her movies she watches, She stated , "It does not matter where you are, it matters who you're with."

On matters concerning the feeling compassion for someone who is not doing well in life, or is not experiencing enough love in life, she stated "It's like a stick that does not get watered a lot." At nine, I think she understands the correlations between love and personal growth more than most adults.

On matters concerning emotional distress, needed compassion, or the validation of one's struggle she stated " It's like when you're hiding something you want to burst out like a fire work and let everyone know whats the matter, like everyone seeing the colors of you're problem."

I am not sure on which matter she was commenting on with this one, but she made the effort and spent the time to make the list so I will post it. She stated " You cant see through the mind of a horse, but you can see through the heart of the horse, and it's saying 'I matter, don't slaughter me.'"

1 Timothy 4:12 states " Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe." I think children see more, understand more, and believe more than we adults give them credit for. I also believe that they can bring a measure of healing to us in our time of need. Thank you Madison for sharing your views on these matters with Dad!! I love ya sweetheart!

Worth giving

What are all these gifts really about? I have a few thoughts on the matter that I would like to share with you. The colorfully wrapped boxes under the tree are about communication. So, what is being communicated when one gives a gift to another?

1. You are valued 2. Your life is worth some form of sacrifice of me. 3. Your life matters to me.

I think of the greatest gift I ever received. It cost a life and it was given freely to me. This gift was about what I could be. It was about, just how special I am. It is about how valued I am. The odd thing is that it had nothing to do with a pine tree, a big feast, or wrapping paper. It was about tremendous love. The kind of love that stands fast in the face of rejection and pain. Love that spans a chasm of difference. A love that will not spoil one by enabling the wrongs. A love that sees deep into my soul. It was a gift that changes. Yep that was my greatest gift I ever recieved. I hope you recieve such a gift, It really does make a difference.

Sara Paddison, The Hidden Power of the Heart

"Being vulnerable doesn't have to be threatening. Just have the courage to be sincere, open and honest. This opens the door to deeper communication all around. It creates self-empowerment and the kind of connections with others we all want in life. Speaking from the heart frees us from the secrets that burden us. These secrets are what make us sick or fearful. Speaking truth helps you get clarity on your real heart directives."

Friday, December 22, 2006

The power of one's story

Well the Holiday season is upon us. This year, like any other, the season is a sad one. Most think about the birth of a saviour, but many think of their loss. I lost my favorite Uncle this week. The Mt hood families lost so much that I can not even begin to put any of that into fleeting words.

But last nights adventure broke my heart and made so me thankful to just be breathing today. A group of L.A. "at-risk" youth decided to help a few families that seemed to be worse off than them this year. With the help of local law enforcement officers, the youth where able to gather a collection of things to give to these needy and worthy families. The youth received donations of ; Christmas trees, turkeys, Christmas dinner fixings, presents form the Marine Corps' "Toys for Tots" program, and a few other items. A rental yard donated a big truck which became so much more in the course of the night. As I went along for the ride, deep into regions of the inner city I would never travel in daylight, I was ill prepared for the exposure to the stories of these families that had been chosen by these youth that most of us would normal fear.

I knew that I was exposed and near one of life's peaks, when we arrived to the first sleigh stop. The unbelievable internal tug-a-war between "happy to be apart of this adventure" and the constant looking around the night air for the source of " the standing hair on my neck" took me on an emotional roll-er-coaster. The power of the evening was the tear jerking stories of these families. Let me share one of them with you. The gifts and things were given to a man and two boys; his sons. A few days ago a muched loved lady ,their mother and wife, was in a vehicle accident. The mother was knock unconscious from the collision. As her battered body lay still in the vehicle a fire erupted and burned the vehicle and it's entire contents. She was pregnant with a little girl that was to be born next month. The driver of the vehicle that caused this horrendous event was a drunk driver! As he tried to flee the scene a group of small young (13-16) females, who just happened to belong to a local gang, physically seized this man and held him as a cat holds a dying mouse, until the police showed up. And yes, the girls "got theirs" out of this guy's hide.

I find so many contradictions to so many perceptions held by so many in a story like this. It often makes me wonder if I have the slightest clue about humanity. I think about the realignment of when good becomes bad, and bad becomes good. It often times, seems that we (humans) are at our very best when life is at it's very worse. We can, and do, rise far above our presumed "bad" roles in life and become that "good" person we know we have buried deep inside. Our stories become so powerful, so defining, that there comes a realization that one can effect change in a world of loss and heartache.

The season is about loss! It is about the story of one! It is about changing the world! It is about you and I and our realtionship with change!!!

Ponder this

Thomas Edison experimented with 6000 materials to use as filament in a light bulb before he found the one that worked


Good thing he was ADHD!!


A good friend of mine, Mike@ Adventurefaith has linked this post, which he evidently liked a lot. The colorized ADHD above, and the http: address at the bottom, is the link to where this work actually is from. There is a lot more information there so check it out.
The ADD Entrepreneur; "The following article was written and submitted by guest author: David Giwerc, MCC, President of ADD Coach Academy "

There is evidence that Thomas Edison had AD/HD, as did Henry Ford, Walt Disney and both of the Wright Brothers. You don't have to go as far back as Edison and Ford to find examples of successful AD/HD entrepreneurs. David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue, has publicly acknowledged his AD/HD. Neeleman has chosen not to take medication for AD/HD and has instead learned how to use his "unique brain wiring" to his advantage, now that he better understands it. The chart below compares AD/HD with Entrepreneurship. As they use to say on those old TV shows, only the names have been changed.

ADHD Distracted-Seems to always have something new to think about.
Entrepreneur - Constantly has new ideas for how to improve the business .

ADHD - Starts several projects at the same time, may not complete any of them.
Entrepreneur - Flexible. Approaches problems from several different angles, always ready to change direction if that is what is needed.

ADHD - Distorted sense of time. For example, will spend hours playing a video game without realizing how much time has passed.
Entrepreneur - Immerses him or herself in the job and often does not realize how much time has passed.

ADHD - Visual thinkers
Entrepreneur - Visionaries who paint a picture for others

ADHD - Hands-on learners
Entrepreneur - Hands-on managers

ADHD - Hyperactive
Entrepreneur - Always on the go

http://add.about.com/cs/workplaceissues/a/entrepreneur%20.htm

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”

Another great quote left by one of my readers, Thanks Peajay!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Windows are a Waste

I have windows on my house. There for looking out, but I never do. I am only concerned with that which occurs on the inside. I wasted a lot of money on all the windows on my house.

I am told that windows are to let light and warmth in. Thats is a lie too. there is no light or warm where I live. I wasted a lot of money on all of these windows.

I should have just put in mirrors. They would serve me better. I could see what I want to see.

You see, my world is about me, I don't care about you! I don't want to see you having a good time outside my house, enjoying the benifits of the sunshine. I just want to see me. Yep, I wasted a lot of money to see what I don't want to see.


Do you know anyone that lives there life like that? Always thinking about themselves. I think that is when life sucks. When we get stuck in a house with no use for windows. When mirrors are all we need, so we can see just how crappy we are. When the only radio station being played is WIIFM (Whats In It For ME). The old "I got mine" attitude. I have seen houses with no windows, it's where they have those big pitty parties. It's where the, life sucks and so do I, vortex occurs. Obviously, I think selfish people suck! They suck the joy out their life and out of the lives they cast a shadow on.

God gaves us two windows and they are not for looking into mirrors! They are so we can look out and see others! If you find this post a "pane", open your windows!

Sir Winston Churchill

"Play for more than you can afford to lose, then you will learn the game."

The Power of the Peak

Ever wonder what magical force surrounds a mountain peak? What is it that beckons to our inner soul when we gaze upon the grandeur of these sole sentinels? They stir both reverence and fear deep within. It is as if God is challenging us to draw near.

Ever experience the emotional exhilaration, the trophy of surviving the vertical battle, the noble humility of standing on the top of the world as you know it. Why does one climb these gigantic monoliths, these centurions of time? Why does one risk life and limb to stand for a moment in a cold and desolate place? What could that moment contain that would drive one to such extreme fatigue, risk such a perilous journey, and last a life time? In what secret inner place of one's soul does such a moment touch? How can a chunk of the earths surface, violently thrusted towards the heavens become such a valued prize, cherished till death? Yes, there is a magical force hidden up high. A force that is to be held but for a fleeting moment. A force that can change one's life for all eternity. This is why we risk! This is why we climb! To face God's challenge one step at a time. To become greater than we are. To surrender that which we were, to the guardian of time. We climb to become!

Sir Winston Churchill

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Forgotten ways. A new book that rocks!

A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling.. . . [We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment.

Hans K√ľng, The Church as the People of God

I think this book rocks. I have read a small portion of the beginning and I already love it. I think Alan is on to something huge!!!!!! Check it out for yourselves, but be ready to be fired up about your faith.


http://www.theforgottenways.org/wp-content/uploads/hirsch-tfw-into-ch-1.pdf


http://www.amazon.com/dp/1587431645?tag=theforgottenw-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1587431645&adid=1N4X63C23BBEBPPMW7Q8&

Ponder this!



Vincent van Gogh created over 800 paintings during his life time. He sold only one!

Mary Case

"No pressure, no diamonds."

Henry David Thoreau

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life..."

A great quote left by one of my readers! Thanks Go-Go

Wasting the contents of the alabaster jar.

There is a story in the Bible (Matthew 26) where a woman pours very expensive "perfume" over Jesus. The disciples become upset with this perceived waste and comment on it to Jesus. They (disciples) ask "what is the point of this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor"(NASV) Now me being me, I pause for a moment and think about the issues with the disciples. Issues like; are they really concerned about the waste and the poor, how easy it is to want to give someone else's riches to the poor, or are they jealous they did not think of it, or issues with women, or with the act which deals with ceremony between bride and bridegroom? What ever their reasons, they became upset and let it be known. Jesus, seeing a much bigger picture responds in his routine eloquent manner. He says " Why do you bother the woman. For she has done a good deed to me. For the poor you have with you always; but you do not always have Me." Jesus basically told his disciples to sit down and shut up! He blasts them, and tells them that he will be buried soon and this is all part of the saga that is to come. I guess we can take several lessons away from this encounter. But I want to focus on the issues of the poor. Even today, we make the same basic comments about the poor. I could sell some of your stuff and give the money to the poor. Hummm.....I think I should sit down and shut up!

Now, let me state something before I continue, I have very little compassion for the poor. Why? Because I was poor. I was living off of $600 a year, homeless, living basically in a tent in the desert with no running water, no electricity. IT WAS THE RESULT OF MY CHOICES!! I did not expect anyone to sell anything to give me money. I did expect myself to get a job and earn my own keep. That said, let me tell a few stories about what we call the poor!!

Several years ago our local law enforcement officers were summonsed to a dead body call. It was a well know "bag lady." She always had a shopping cart with her and we all saw her pushing this cart around town. She would sleep where ever and did whatever. She froze to death this one winter night. She died within walking distance from several hotels. As normal, the officers had to inventory her shopping cart of junk. In it she had over $40,000 dollars!

I was waiting for a friend outside of a supermarket one afternoon. I started to watch a beggar in front of the store. He wore this old dirty coverall outfit and had a pronounced limp. I thought to myself " I should go give him some money, or take him to the Burger joint." I watched him look at his watch, which of course caused me to look at mine, it was 5:00 pm on the money. As I continued to watch this I saw him limp to the far side of the store. As he cleared the corner he was healed, his limp went away. This no doubt caught my attention. He walked up to a nice Mercedes Benz, popped the trunk and took off his coveralls exposing a nice polo and dockers. I bet me makes more money than me.

When I was in Germany I ran into a poor man begging for money. I decided to give him some money. As I held out enough money to buy a nice meal, I got this odd feeling inside. I looked this guy in the eyes and said " I need you to know this is not my money." As he was holding the other side of the bills, he paused and said "what do you mean." I said " This is God's money and you will be held accountable for what you spend it on." He let go of the money and would not take it.

A friend of mine toured India for sometime. He told me " never give any money to the beggars in India." I thought this was harsh at first. Then he explained how he saw mothers maim their children so they could get more money by begging. Giving them money only enables this horrendous act.

Every poor person I have come across, and I have come across a lot, simply needs to be held accountable for their own life. We should not get all excited to abolish poverty. There will always be poor among us, many of them choose such a life. They like their life of simplicity and want you to fund it. Yes, I am sure there are those that are at their rock bottom and need help. One's that are like I was. Giving them money will not help them. What helped me was the love and openness of a local church that allowed me to shower, fill my water bottles, and wash my clothes from time to time. They helped me be responsible for my life. I was given a beat up old car which I loved more than my new s-type Jag that I have now. If we want to help the poor, befriend them, educated them, treat them with dignity, but most of all see them. It is way too easy to give them money so they go away and do not discomfort us. That does not help them.

Feed the poor rings in the mouths of so many. It is not our job to feed them. We should raise them up so they can feed themselves. And the ones that do not want to put in the effort, so be it, leave them to their own design and take with you no guilt. It would take very little money and effort to truly help the poor, the problem is that we just do not want to be bothered with the time it takes. Just let me pay someone else to do it so I do not get dirty. Remember that guy called Jesus. He touched the untouchable, loved the unlovable, and changed the unchangeable! And he did by relationships not money!

Doc Childre and Howard Martin, The HeartMath Solution

"When we learn to manage our emotions long enough to stop and shift our attention to the quieter message of the heart, we can gain a wider perspective on any situation, often saving ourselves from hurt, frustration and pain."

The truth about stupidity.

It is time to line up for a shot of truth serum! We really do stupid things and look for logic in them when there is none! There comes a time when we need to simply say "it is what it is." Make no excuse, blame no one, and tell the truth to ourselves, "we suck." Now, I am not promoting negative self perceptions, but sometimes we just suck and that is all there is to it.

In the church I grew up in there is a huge beam that cross the sanctuary. I have memorized the carving on this beam, not because I wanted to really know it, but because I was always so bored in church I would just stare at it and day dream. The carving simply said " Attempt great things for God, Expect great things from God." One summer I went to "church" camp. In my infinite stupidity, I was going to apply this philosophy to my daily adventures. A friend and I decide to climb a rock water fall and expect God to protect us. Did I know anything about climbing? of course not. Did I have any resemblance of protective equipment? of course not. After all I was going to attempt a great thing, or so I thought, and God was going to protect me. Yep, I was acting stupid! Lucking for me a camp counselor happened by and stopped our stupidity. Of course we tried to explain this act as some great act of faith, but the counselor was not buying it, and I am sure God was not either. Today I climb all kinds of things. But I do it with in reason and with a lot of risk assessment and management.

So what does it mean "attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God?" In my early 20's My wife and I sold everything we had a right to sell and traveled through ten countries. I use the term traveled somewhat loosely. We fumbled, stumbled and walked a lot. After all, I had no knowledge of any foreign culture before this trip. We did however, insure that our plane ticket home was purchased first. This adventure was decide on after much prayer and counsel was sought. This was an attempt at something great for God. My mind would often drift back to that summer in camp. I did not want to be known as the guy who attempted to be stupid for God. The great thing from God was to come through unique circumstances and continued in the years after the trip was complete and we were safe in American once again. In fact I am still grabbing onto some of the greatness God has given back. Somethings I learned are; God loves to work in situations where we are not in control, We have to be willing to allow God to work, and we need to realize that God is at work!

Now, out of control does not mean the moments we are in our stupidness! No, it refers to those situations in life that becomes bigger than us some how. This happens sometimes by accident and sometimes buy design. A friend of mine is always saying, do not worry about the how, it will take care of itself. We always worry about the how to the point we never give it a chance to become. I landed in a country I could not speak or read the language. I had no idea of the "how", as in how am I going to get from here to there, or how to buy food, or how to find a place to sleep. Set things in motion and let the how unfold as God wants it to, but use as much wisdom as you have. i am not going to jump into a shark tank with an open wound and expect God to figure out the how I am gong to get out in one piece.

Now, knowing that I was at a disadvantage, I allowed others to help me. I choose not to be the arrogant American I say "no thank you I got it myself." What I was shocked at is how many good people (perfect strangers) God brought into my life to help me. And when I say help. I mean took me home and feed me, gave me money even though I never asked for any, they sheltered me, feed me, and treated me like I was their family. Yep, we need to let God actually do what he says he will do. This brings me to me last point here. We need to be aware of the time when God is working. I realize there is no big neon sign that says " GOD HARD AT WORK." But when we are looking, we can see a lot more than when we are just living. And when we see His work, let's not do the manna thing. You know, the yea God the manna is good and all but I was hoping for some T-bone steak or something, I tired of the manna. You get what you get, don't throw a fit. I am not going to give anyone anything big until I know they are responsible with the small things I give them. And I think God works the same way!

If we are being stupid than we need to call it like it is. But when we smartly push ourselves into situations that we can not control by our selves we just might meet someone who lives in the big house.

Daniel Goleman

"What counts in making a happy relationship is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."

Could of,would of, should of, did, done, gone!

When our fantasy life of the what if, when, and someday collides with our reality of could have, would have, should have, we are left with an un-lived life! And that is a big travesty. We mask ourselves to gain, thinking that who we really are will not be good enough. We bed down with our old friends; fear, anxiety, and regret on a constant basis. We pray that God himself will fix our mess and somehow place it all conveniently in His will. Boy! He must really get pissed at us. Imagine creating a master piece that hides itself, desires to falsely become that which is opposite of your design and asks you to fix it! I call this mess humanity!

We wonder why society values the ones who have the courage to be who they were made to be? We ridicule those who venture into this domain of courage to mask our own fear of exposure. Instead of the "what if they reject me, what if they do not like me, what if I fail, What if.........Hey, What if they love you, what if they are inspired by you, what if you generate a movement of wholesome goodness.....ever think of those possibilities? What if there is no black and white boundaries in life? What if it is all gray area? Gray area waiting to be defined as either productive or destructive? And the line between the two is simply defined by our perceptions and intentions.

I was chatting with my wife tonight and we were discussing her perceptions about the value of the feminine. We soon realized that her entire belief structure of the feminine has been based on how she perceived her family authority figure's statements and behaviors towards the subject. In simple terms, she believed that these individuals did not value feminine attributes, so she tried hard to please them by not being feminine. She never obtained the feeling of acceptance however tom boyish she became. As she grew older she criticized other feminine women. Why, because it had to be a bad thing, her family made that known. She perceived she was broken because she was a female.

She is not alone in this saga. We all have developed erroneousness beliefs based on another's behaviors. Many of us just do not realize it, yet. Our parents, peers, teachers, and so on say things and do things, that generate a perception in our minds and we place value to it. We Begin to believe it and we act upon it! We even go as far as direct our life's path based off of these false beliefs. And then reality hit us like a ton of bricks and we feel robbed. "What do you mean, that is not true?" The would of, could of, should of, comes crashing down around us. How many times have you said "if I only knew that then, I would have....."? I challenge you to examine your beliefs, weigh them, and if need be redefine them. A life mis-lived based on false understanding is a travesty! Live the life you dream of. I think that life is the closest thing to being who you were created to be. And in the process we might discover your greatness as it was intended.

Epictetus

“God has entrusted me with myself.”

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nature deals another death card

“They were climbers that knew what they were doing. They were just pushing themselves to their farthest frontiers. That’s when people are at their best,” (Jim Whittaker-First American to summit Mt Everest in 1963, speaking about the recent Mt Hood tragedy) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16262193/

Yet another tragedy is currently playing out in Oregon. Three reported experienced climbers became over due and a search was started to find them. One climber had made a cell phone call from a snow cave high up on the mountain stating that the climbing team was in trouble.

Rescue teams found two snow caves just below the summit. One cave had some equipment and the other the body of one of the climbers. The other two climbers are still missing, but evidence of more possible tragedy has been discovered as searchers discovered what appears to be anchors and other equipment left high up on the mountain. Our prayers and hopes go out to the families and the remaining climbers.

As Mr. Whittaker said these men where no novice to the risk of adventure. Mother Nature deals the cards. And sometimes she deals the death card. We take our chances every time we venture into her domain. I should mention that more people are dealt the death card in our cities than on any mountain in the world, which to me, makes adventure risk safer than going to work. But when nature deals the death card it is big news! Once again I just want to say the my heart goes out to the real victims, the families left behind!

Talking Bear

" The possibilities in tomorrow out weigh the problems of yesterday"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Off Route!

In climbing there are a few variants of off route, or the act of deviating from a pre-established line up the rock. The off route variants to consider are, slightly off route, Way off route and dude I think you put up a new route! Some climbers choose to go off route to find an alternative way up, this is done for various reasons. Some climbers accidentally veer off route because sometimes the route is not well defined to start with ,or it is just plane hard to follow. So, there is the term I am going to use. Now days we have wazoo GPS devices in our cars that inform us when we have ventured off route in our cars.I am going to use this term not in the case of rock climbing or traveling in a vehicle, but more so to look at one's journey of faith.

I think many of us never really carefully examine the entire route our faith is supposed to take us. So the probabilities of veering off route at some point and time are higher. Others just simply get bored with the route we are on and seek some exciting variant. And yet there are others that choose to venture off route to gain a greater understanding of the whole journey in and of itself. One of the big issues of under taking this bold or sometimes foolish move of going off route is that we forfeit a certain amount of security or protection. On an established route there are places to rest and anchor ourselves. The domain of off route travel does not always afford this option. This is no doubt the domain for the risk taker, the more confident among us, and those with Apostolic (Pioneering) gifting.

Venturing into the off route domain, I think, will either make one stronger and more versatile, or destroy them altogether. Here lays the crux of the decision to go off route. Do I have the strength and ability to make such a choice? So how does all this play into one's faith? Well I think that it plays out more often than we realize. Switching churches or faiths, choosing to not attend church for a period of time, and creating a new church can all be seen as variants of the off route domain. How far off route we travel becomes a very important choice. Why was I on the initial route to start with? Where was I headed? Where do I want to go? These are all very important questions. What are we looking for in our faith choice.

Many of us choose routes for some sort of gain. Whether it be reconciliation, obedience, excitement or whatever else, we must have an understanding of our need and intended goal when we start down that pathway. Being lost is no fun! Lost in faith is a terrifying place to be when we take a fall and no one is around to help us. We must smartly make choices of faith. Choices that we know are going to take us on a journey of both joy and sorrow. We must not develop a habit of venturing off route every time we hit the sorrow. We need to stay the course, climb with everything we have.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Talking Bear

"God's will is not dependent upon man's trival pursuit of it."

The fire is burning the chaff.

I stumbled upon another Blog that I really like. It is called "What is your wood worth" . On this blog there are some post that stirred my thoughts. One of the issues that I started to think about was the issues of the modern Christian Church and the information age. One of the uncontested issues of today's Christian Church is the vast exodus from church's ranks, especially the younger generations. There are experts far more educated than I struggling with this issue. But, I am wondering if there is a correlation between this exodus and the exposure to vast information.

The world is much smaller today than it ever has been. I can log onto a site in Scotland and watch people in NYC via web cams. I can Google anything and get a variety of "hits" that may answer my questions. My perception of truth and reality has shifted from what I am told, to what I Google. How has this affected the younger generations perception of faith? No longer can an individual tell someone "this is just how it is" and get away with it. Reality, or a variation of it, is exposed to the world instantly. And once bombarded by so many variations, we began to seek the most truthful version of reality that fits our needs. Where does this leave traditional faith? Out of context sermons are exposed before the sun goes down on Sunday. We (All Faiths) must either do what we say we do, or die. We have once again entered into an age where the smallest deed becomes greater than the best intention! A Church may have great intentions, but if the people are, or remain, incapacitated to the doing, the church will not sustain the needed growth brought by younger generations.

Today's youth are screaming for the excitement found in the doing, the becoming. Yesterday's talking about faith has become mere chaff and today's information era is the fire that burns. Either we step up to plate and play hard, or snoopes.com will expose our fraud. It is time for us to touch the untouchable, to break bread with the outcast, to love the unlovable. It is time to live the very word we say we live by, or we should shut up, sit down and watch our chaff go up in smoke!!

Just some thoughts I had, what do you think?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am Meth

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/iammeth.asp

Also check out my link to "Voice of the Victims."

P.S. you may want to get a tissue, this is a heart breaker!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Camille Paglia

"A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men. . . . Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all. "


http://www.masculinevirtues.com/

Frances Ward Weller

'A friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself.'

Surviving Friendship!

As I sit down to write this post I am very troubled to say the least. Understanding the concepts I write about and implementing them fast enough to stay out of un-needed conflict is very difficult sometimes; at least it is for me. Sometimes I think that friendship is over rated and I should just avoid the risk.

A good friend of my (Bill S.) suggested something very wise to me that made me think. I was chatting with him about a recent "FUBAR" situation that I found myself in. As I thought about his insight, it made me think of young bull Elk. Young bulls spar, it is friendly and even seen as a form of play for them. This goes on for sometime. The sparring eventually grows into fighting for herd ranking and the right to breed cows. I began to wonder about the moment the young bull realizes that the sparring has moved from play and practice to flat out malicious survival.

As a young man I would use humor to gain acceptance. Once I was introduced into a herd of "young bulls" the humor moved into a kind of verbal sparring. I always enjoyed it. In fact I never saw it as a negative thing. I never realized that some would participate in this kind of activity with a malicious heart nor did I realize that some would internalize the comments. I always looked at it as a form of wrestling and if someone became uncomfortable they would just tap out and get into the next match. I have taken some good verbal blows by good friends. I would not take it serious, or I would get over it quick because I knew we were friends and that we really cared about each other. I am sure young elk accidentally injury each other with those big racks of theirs. Anyway, back to Bill's comment.

Bill suggested that the verbal sparring is an activity that young men get into. At some point men mature and move away from such behavior. The need to find our place in the hierarchy of mankind subsides and we no longer need to spar or jockey for our place. I think he may be right. My problem is the damage en route to that maturity. I tend to push myself very hard. I am starting to realize that by pushing myself hard I may have inadvertently push others to the point of incompatibility. As I began to mature, I realize that I have hurt some of those I truly care about. And that breaks my heart. I still do not understand why some just do not speak up or "tap out" before a relationship is destroyed. I also realize that verbal sparring takes two. I do not think either side is trying to destroy the relationship, they just get caught up in the "one up" game to point of disaster.

Anyway, Maybe we should take a hard look at all of our relationships and ensure that we are not communicating something we do not intend to. I know I am. I want to move into a season where I can effectively encourage my friends. I realize that what once was play is now destructive. I have never wished to tear down anyone, not even my foes. So, I will once again pick up the pieces, and go forward learning once again from my mistakes. I just hope I can survive my friendships and they can survive me!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The complexity of the Radical Rhapsody.

My friend Mike at (Adventurefaith) has posted an interesting article, short and sweet as it may, about the radical mumbo jumbo life not holding weight to things that matter in life. I think he has touched on a very important issue about why adventure risk and the radical life are valuable.

A child's dream may very well be to stay on the play ground and play, forever. Some folks just find a bigger, more dangerous playground to do just that. Playgrounds such as; cliffs, towers, raging rivers, airplanes, mountains and so on are sought to increase ones level of play. Playing IS NOT A RADICAL LIFE! If all we do with our life is go out and play, I think, we have wasted our life! If we never apply the lessons we learned about ourselves, or develop internal strengths to be applied else where in live, then why do it. I believe that there comes a point when we are called too, or we mature to the point of, a moment in time where we realize our responsibility of contribution to a greater effort. We come to a point where we need to bring to bear every life lesson, every bit of gained strength to accomplish something that is bigger than ourselves.

It takes a radical life to see this moment and grab on to it. Not run away, not cower, not act like we do not see it! Some would say " well I grabbed on to it and I am not radical." I would argue that you are radical and do not realize it. Adventure teaches us to keep going, try again, failure is not final, and to dig deep inside and push to the summit. Life is full of adventure, most of it has nothing to do with the outdoors. What we do with our adventure lessons is what I think matters. Someone could, and has, conducted a climb to earn money for a cause. For every vertical foot people would sponsor the climber " X" amount of money. A radical person knows no box. So out of the box solutions are really not that big of deal. Radical people can constantly find the "win-win" solution.

This mature thought process is not developed by simply playing! I think Mike could get a group of CEO's together, develop some sponsors and have a adventure decathlon to raise money for a noble cause. A radical mind can even turn someone else's play into a contribution. You only become truly radical when you cause positive change in another's life. And when we think we cant, lets rope up and learn some more about just how deep we can dig. Lets push ourselves to the point of exhaustion so we might save another! This is the song of a radical life!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Benjamin Franklin

"The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart. "

Penetrations of the soul.

What do swords, plows, and words have in common? When used appropriately, they penetrate hard surfaces and can create incredible change, both good or bad! Swords and knives cut through the armour a hard outer surface and penetrate into the vulnerability of life. A plow is used to break through the hard surface and expose the fertile under soil to be planted. The surface soil is usually to hard or to barren to sow seeds directly onto. Words can cut to the quick of the matter, penetrating the hard superficial surface of man's facades into the vulnerability of the soul. All three, were created by man to help in the quest of survival. Seen as valued and needed to ancient man, the three come from different endeavours. Words came about to communicate. Swords to defend and hunt. Plows to grow food. Mankind understands penetrating hard surfaces both real and imagined. But, like all things familiar, we have forgotten the potential hardships brought on by all three of these useful tools. No one really sword fights any more. Plows are bigger and less rigorous to operate. Words are thrown around carelessly.

I was on an leadership training adventure trip and the staff had the clients create a new language. We were given a ridiculously short period of time to do this. Our limited effort resulted in a weak and extremely difficult language. We were advised that we had to use this language for the rest of the day, it was early in the morning, so we soon realized that the day would suck! Words became so hard to figure out how to say that we just quit talking. It was easier to just do it by yourself then spend 30 minutes asking for someone to pass the koolaid. I learned to value words tremendously. But do we really think about our chosen words each time we use one? Do we consider just how much penetration into another's soul our words are going to make. I think that if we did, we would pick them very carefully. We would have a lot more pauses in our speech. A lot more hummms. No, we simple think it and say it, and when we see the impact we often silently cringe inside, excuse ourselves, and we are off and running to our next verbal disaster.

I know, I want my words, written and spoken, to have value and meaning. I want to turn that hard un-usable surface into fertile ground to sow seeds of value, truth, and growth. I want to touch the souls of man in a positive way. A way that creates tremendous change in my own life and the lives of those around me. I want to learn the art of shattering or penetrating the hard outer surface and tenderly touch the soul. Never cutting to deep, but knowing just how deep to run the plow blade. I think this is where it must start if we are going to change the world and how we see the world. Once again, just like in ancient times, a few must start to communicate in such a way that it spreads over the globe! Utopian? Maybe, but I think I can do it personally and the rest will be the choice of others!

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