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Monday, April 28, 2008

I have been ta(n)g(o)ed!

Well well, I have been advised that PJ @ Much talk on little cause has tagged me. So I think since it is my first tag I will invest in my answers.

1. Things I was doing 10 years ago.
I was doing exactly what I am doing today. Raising three children, working full time on a career, and playing when ever I can. Actually for me, it is hard to imagine a decade has gone by with little to no change in my life.

2.Five things on my To-Do list today.
1. work on my garden,
2. fix some things around the house,
3. get some rest,
4. answer this tag,
5. spend time with my family.
May sound boring, but it is where I find joy these days.

3. Things I would do if I were a Billionaire.
I would still do what I am doing today, just be able to invest more into it and get things done a bit faster. I would pay off all debt. I would buy a very large ranch and execute a long time dream. I would support several people and programs that I feel are worthy of the investment. I would travel around the world. I would start my "green" house construction company. I would spend some time inventing some things I have thought about. I would set my children up for finical success. I would finish my three books that I am working on. I would invest monies to sustain finical growth and security. Maybe not in the order I put them down, but that is a start.

4. Three of my bad habits.
Don't have any bad habits. If I am doing them, they are good habits to me. LOL. Maybe, I would not use smokeless tobacco, but other than that, I am what I am.

5. Five places I have been.
1. All of Western Europe,
2. In the worlds largest jail,
3. In a communist country,
4. The top of the Matterhorn,
5. Nearly every state in the Union.

6. Five jobs I have had.
1. Professional rock climber,
2. UPS supervisor,
3. Construction foreman,
4. Professional wilderness instructor,
5. Sgt in the USMC

7. Five books I have read.
1. The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz,
2. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne,
3. The danger Habit by Mike Barret,
4. Waking the dead by John Eldredge,
5. The five dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni

8. Every one I know has already been tagged so I will put this on hold for now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow."

How do I take a stand when I am scared of life's choices?

In the mid twentieth century there was a well known policing action, conflict, war, or whatever you want to call it in Southeast Asia. As this event covered or touched three decades from start to finish, there are several stories of unbelievable acts by those who took part. I am going to touch on one.

A group of warriors were holding a defensive position against a tremendously larger opposing force. As the battle waged on it became apparent that there were no reinforcements, no supplies and no support coming to their aide. As the sun sank into the jungle filled horizon and darkness captured all that was full of light a choice was to be made. As the ammo ran out, a choice that history would take pause and decide to record for all eternity. Should these battle weary men try and sneak away to safety or surrender? Would we have heard about these men if they had?

Facing what at first appeared to be a choice between two options, both not very glamours, the men searched for honor in their actions. They knew that first light would bring complete destruction to them. Their choice was to stay and fight. They took what they had and what their environment provided, slipped out of their fighting holes and into the dark night to make history. With their small shovels (called entrenching tools) and as many rocks as they could find, they found a working alternative to defeat. They crept up to the enemy's dug-in positions, tossed a rock into the hole. The enemy, thinking a high explosive hand-grenade was just tossed into their hole would jump out in a panicked stated. Our warriors would attack the enemy with their small shovels. This went on for hours, until their were large gaps in the enemy lines. The mornings light exposed the carnage and the enemy became very disorientated. What had happened. No one heard a shot in the night. Fear was born into the enemy, and legendary status granted to a few men who refused to accept the choices life seemed to be dealing out.

Although this story occurred in combat the attitude of these men can, and should be applied by us all everyday. I can not even imagine the courage it took to face such daunting odds, or to even come up with the idea to take a stand. Life seems to give us these chances, to stand in our darkest hour and prevail. Life beckons to us to make that statement, "I'm all in" when we should be folding our hand. What do you think are the foundational character that cause some to take such a stand? Why does it seem that so many are way to willing to fold so quickly these days? How do we grow internally, to a point that we can stay so focused on a mission, to the point that we forsake all common sense and find ourselves standing taller than life it self?

Thoughts?

Sir Aubrey de Vere

"There is no remedy for time misspent; No healing for the waste of idleness, Whose very languor is a punishment Heavier than active souls can feel or guess."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The turning away

I find it interesting how you can listen to a song for years, then, in a given moment, you hear the song. Yesterday, as I was driving around listening to my radio, for the first time I heard Pink Floyd's "on the turning away" song. As I listened to the profound words I realized that this group created a song about a pivotal issue in our society, and in my own life; the turning away from the need.

"On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we wont understand
Dont accept that whats happening
Is just a case of others suffering
Or youll find that youre joining in
The turning away

Its a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that were all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
Its not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that therell be
No more turning away?"

I pondered this, this morning, and allowed those woeds to reignite my soul, to realign my passion, and to give me new strength in a tiresome battle. I want to be be apart of a group that does not turn away. I want to be apart of a group that does not find an excuse not to do something. I want a group that searches out the opportunity to face the very life that we fear to touch. I want to be weighed and measured when it is all done, as a man who did not let fear, or ignorance, or hate cause me to turn away.

This is not easy however. And you, the reader, know this in your heart. You know the cost, you have felt the suffering and the pain in this world, but did you turn away? That is your choice and not for me to judge in anyway. I however must allow myself to be accountable for all of my turning away. For every tear that dropped when I could have been there to catch it. For every life that suffered because I not only did nothing, but I turned away.

This will be our judgement, did we turn away when we could have faced our own weakness? Did I allow my life to matter? Or did I turn away when it mattered most? Did I give when giving cost so much? Did I comfort when I was uncomfortable? Was I the unpopular voice in a race for popularity? Who among us search for such purpose? Who wants their life to matter?

Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Friedrich (Wilhelm) Nietzsche

"Man's maturity: to have regained the seriousness that he had as a child at play."

Re-Birth, rediscovering who we are.

Spring time is such a wonderful reminder that things die and are re-born. Winter's cold and dormant state yields to Spring's warm and budding affair. Nature is buzzing with new generations seeking their own purpose and discovering what life is all about. It is here, in this time of re-birth, that I have spent many hours pondering about the transitions we go through as we pass from childhood to adults.

This Spring has been different for me, more than most of my previous Springs. I have seemed to emerge from my Winter's gloom with a different mind set. At first I was disturbed by the level of seriousness that has taken root in my demeanor. It seems that I have taken another transitional step toward manhood. It has been this transition that has ignited what seems to be a whole new wrestling match with maturity.

Although I do not laugh as much, nor do I find as much humor around me, I think that I am learning to like this new self. Much like a caterpillar emerges as a butterfly, I too must learn that this change is not good or bad, it is simply a step in life.

As I watch my own children grow and change, I realize that maturity is not a destination, but a journey. We are in a constant state of growth, and if we are lucky, we process ourselves through re-discovering our true strength and beauty. We search for the answer to questions like, who am I?, What is my purpose?, How does my life matter?

I think that we often fail to realize just how much our presence in the garden of life affects those around us. Does the Iris know the work of the bee that fumbles about its pedals? Does the Hummingbird know the struggle of the Iris' rebirth? The struggle of life is a constant cycle that uses us in its endeavors either with or without our permission. We endure our own cyclic struggles, emerging each rotation as new creatures. For me, I think my soul ached for such a change. My roots run deeper, my branches spread farther, and I know that I must not give way to the winds of uncertainty. It is my turn to stand strong and secure for all those who choose to grow beneath my leaves, shielded from the harsh realities hidden in each season.

Thoughts?

(Photo ("The Iris") taken by Talking Bear 040808)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Cops Say 3rd-Graders Plotted Attack"

Check this story out here! We need change, and I mean BIG time change, or we need to stand by to stand by. This will not get better, only worse if there is no action taken and only words spoken.

Adventure & Marriage

20 years of marriage and 30 years of adventures has taught me a few things. One of my biggest lessons has been the survivability of the seasons that both endeavors present. Outdoor adventure can bring disastrous weather in the most unexpected times and you need to be prepared for such things when you venture out into the wild. Marriage is much the same. Life's stress can build up and storms set in that can rock any foundation, this too you must be prepared for when you say I do.

Then there are those seasons where one finds joy and renewal without looking for it. This morning, my wife and I set out for a simple little trip to test out a new camera we just purchased. The drive started somewhat like a winter accent with a storm blowing in. But once we got out , away from the busyness of our life, things began to settle down and we enjoyed a very pleasant excursion, out together, amongst the wildflowers that only bloom for a short time during this season.

Experiencing such a wonderful moment, early in the morning was so needed for me. Orange, yellow, and purple flowers in bloom right where God himself planted them was, is, such an amazing thing to behold. To experience this with the woman who I have weathered many a stormy seasons with was wonderful. We sat a talked, we rated different years of our marriage and shared our thoughts but different seasons together, both good and bad. It is was if God had beckoned us to his garden to be children, carefree and calm, burden less and bored, and remember our foundation of friendship and the loyalty of lovers. No matter where you are planted, no matter who you are planted next to, God can bring our own unique beauty to bloom in the seasons we do not expect if we allow ourselves to simply be.

The flowers weather the rough seasons and bloom in their seasons, even if no one cares to see them, they spread their pedals and bare their souls because that is what they are made for, not because they think some one wants them to do it or because they feel obligated to do it. They simple just become all they can be, each individual flower, at that moment in time regardless of life around them. And when they unite in this behavior their beauty can been seen for miles and miles away.

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