Every Step

awalkAt different times, you will be tempted to believe that you are either the hero or the villain of your story.  The enemy tries both tactics because they’re equally false.  Instead, every life is meant to have two central characters, Christ and His Church.  We are neither the lone adventurer, or the sidekick.

He, The Keystone Of The Universe, is the center of our hearts.  You and I, are the apple of The Center’s eye!  Don’t allow guilt or over confidence to trick you into focusing only on you and your sins.  It’s the story of two, not one.

Work on the areas of yourself you need to work on, but with this in mind.  You are not alone with either your guilt or your gifts, Christ is there with you.  He will compensate for your failings, and activate your features.

Pastor Denny Livingston preached a masterpiece of a Message on Sunday, “A Work In The Dust”, illustrating this.  It is a must listen for every Church in America, you can find it @ PointOfMercy.TV.  I’m so thankful that I don’t walk this road alone, but that Jesus is with me every step of the way!

The Sea Horse: Boot Camp

image“Nicolai, I need your help.” “For you and Henry, Carla, I will travel to Singapore and back.” Nicolai smiled at his two friends. “I’m afraid we don’t need you to go anywhere, though that might be easier. We need a training center for heroes. Oceania is about to lose many of it’s heroes to other cities.”

“Inspector leaves for Chicago. Spectrum heads to Baltimore. Loggerhead will lead a team to Philadelphia. The Brittish Rose is being relocated to Washington.” “What about New York?” Carla sighed. “New York has a local person that has reached out to the Sea Horse. He has possibilities, but I’m uneasy of strangers. We knew the background of our allies, he is an unknown.”

“What does he call himself?” “He doesn’t, he gave his real name. He has a passion for his city, the problem is, he is a known personality. He wants to learn how to fight without revealing himself, and endangering his family.” “Who is he? How will he fund his war?” “Funding won’t be a problem, unfortunately, that’s because of who it is. It’s Walt Fleisher, the son of T. R. Fleisher, the richest man in New York.”

“He’ll be one of your first students. Walt will wear a mask his entire time here so no one will know. You can call him whatever you like, he wants help building a persona. Along with him, you’ll train four other individuals.” “Who are they?”

“A waiter from the area where Wonzu operates. A nephew of Tournament who wants to take down his Uncle’s crime family. A young lady who resents Malady’s intrusion into her city. An finally, an senior that, as a result of an accident, has the strength and stamina of a twenty year old. She feels she has a second chance to make a difference, and her goal is to remove the New Caterer’s gangs from her backyard.”

“Who chose them?” “No one, they volunteered. Before the others left, they were already reaching out to them to help where they could. We aren’t drafting heroes, we just need to let heroes know there is a place for them to get the training and the support they need.”

“This won’t allow just anyone to fight. Training will be hard.” “I understand, and we’ll help anyway we can. You’ll need to safeguard your identity as well.” “I will be what I am, and have always been. They will call me Soldier. This city is a battleground, and our base will be the bootcamp they need to make it in a city filled with danger.”

The Broom Factory

imageBefore I share with you the purpose of this article, I must share with you a small business story.  It’s the kind that never took place, but could have.  While the people and place are fictional, the concepts are very real.  Please take a moment and visit The Broom Factory.

The people of Pepperwig Kansas had a problem, the vacuum cleaner. For most of America, it was a boom to easier cleaning. To the citizens of this town, it was a threat to commerce. 

The local broom factory had kept the town in business with it’s reliable hardware. They even had a secondary line with a brand of dustpans. Now, everyone was worried for their local bread and butter industry.

Everyone except Arthur Cleveland, he had a plan. It was radical, but he knew it would work. He took the stem of the broom, repainted it, and had a nice walking stick. The dust pan, bent slightly became a coal scoop, and the bristles of the broom became a small cleaning brush.

Arthur presented his idea to the owner of the Broom Factory, Mr Bryant. Whether he thought Arthur’s idea was brilliant, or he was just so desperate, he agreed. The idea worked, and before you knew it, the factory was turning out even more new items using the same materials.

The factory and the town was rescued from ruin. Each family continued to make a good living. As a matter of fact, each household had enough left over money to purchase, a brand new vacuum cleaner.

The moral of this silly little story is simple and clear. Our resources don’t have to change to make something completely new, just our outlook does. Perspectives and paradigms are normally our only obstacles between us and the horizon.

What broom is in your idea closet that can become a walking stick, a coal shovel, and a hand brush? That’s the blessing of children, they repurpose ideas every day. We make the mistake of calling it play, when we should view it as research and development.

Look at an old idea today. Pretend your five years old again, transform it into something new. After you’ve laughed and had a little fun, ask yourself. How can I implement this new idea? You just might find that old broom, makes a great walking stick to climb a new mountain with.

Work Spaces

Wikimedia Image
Wikimedia Image

Work spaces fascinate me.  I suppose, mainly because they are the environment where things are produced.  You might call them the address of the idea factory, the danger is when we mistake them for the factory itself.

All a work space is, at its core, is a combination of time, place, and necessary objects.  The things that enable you to produce the plan in your head.  I would like to share three tips to a conducive work space.

First, the physical location is not as important as the value you attach to it.   It isn’t so much the space, but that you place value in the space. Does your work space, whether permanent or portable, inspire you?  Is it your gateway to producing what is in both your heart and your mind?

Thomas Jefferson had a special “writing box” made so he could write anywhere.  He used it to draft The Declaration Of Independence, the desk is now in the Smithsonian.  A mechanic’s toolbox can turn any location into a makeshift garage.  A garage would be better, but neither he nor President Jefferson allowed location to restrict their ability to produce.  Instead they compensated for the location’s accommodations and restrictions.

The second tip is that the time to create doesn’t have to come in huge blocks. Much like the where, the when can be bits and pieces of time scattered throughout a day.  Some are more creative in the morning, others find the evening hours to be productive time.

[tweetthis]Anyplace can become a work space for creativity, if we apply creativity.[/tweetthis]

Please don’t misunderstand, I believe in setting aside large blocks of time, even days for projects.  However, when that is not possible, set aside what time you can.  I’ve experienced moments when I could accomplish in five minutes what I couldn’t in fifty.  Use the time you have, and don’t wait for the time you don’t have to become available.

Third, don’t lock yourself into a pattern or process in either your style or your tools.  If you’re a speaker or writer, strive to make every project unique.  As humans, if we aren’t careful, we can coast along in a pattern.

This may get us by, but it will also like a log in a river, stall our creativity.  Soon, it will result, not only in reproduction, but in a lack of production of any kind.  Your mind will eventually revolt against the mundane. Next, it will fear that you can no longer create anything original of any quality.

Guarding against method attachment upfront, will help to prevent other problems later. The same is true about the tools you use to produce something.  Everyone has a favorite pen, notebook, or program to create with, but don’t be so enthralled by it you refuse to learn anything else.

When we become rigid about our methods, we can very quickly lose touch with improvements in methods. I don’t write this from a tech lover’s perspective, but as a content producer.  Hand drawn books gave way to the printing press, then the typewriter, now the laptop and the tablet.

Tools get better, and we should never reject an advancement in one simply because we’ve never used it before.  The learning process inspired you as a student twenty years ago, let it do the same today.  Anyplace can become a work space for creativity, if we apply creativity.

idea ideal

Don’t allow your circumstances, your surroundings, or your resources to limit your imagination.  All of these things are important, and  each is a factor, but they are not the deciding factor.  If your conditions are not ideal, seek the idea that you can leverage to make it happen.

The definition of a work space is a space in which to work.  Allow your passion for your work to produce in you something greater than you are.  Once you do that, the work will produce the space.  That’s what Solomon meant all those years ago in the Proverb he wrote at his work space.

Proverbs 18:16
16 A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

iPainting: Heifetz

 We hope you enjoy our portrait of the famous violinist Jascha Heifetz in this Sunday Afternoon Art Post “Heifetz”. 

Life’s A Song

imageToday, on my birthday, I hope you’ll indulge a bit of whimsy.  I share with you a birthday song I wrote through the night.  Though I’m not musical, I thought it was cute. Of course in my head, Tony Bennett is singing it.

Opening
They say I’m getting old
Add another birthday to my equation
But if I might be so bold
On this ceremonial occasion
I’d like to point out that

Chorus
When you learn why you’re here
Life’s a gift from Our Creator
The music drowns out each fear
It’s a symphony of laughter
Things’ll happen, both right and wrong
But when you know what you’re after
You’ll want to sing along
It’s tune is so upbeat, Life’s a song

Verse 1
I believe that Jack was right
Thirty nine is just a number
The future looks so bright
I’ve cast my doubts asunder
Life’s melody’s too sweet
To let worry cramp my style
So Each day I’m gonna greet
With a prayer and a smile

Chorus
When you learn why you’re here
Life’s a gift from Our Creator
The music drowns out each fear
It’s a symphony of laughter
Things’ll happen, both right and wrong
But when you know what you’re after
You’ll want to sing along
It’s tune is so upbeat, Life is a song

Verse 2
What’s age but a mere digit
Loved ones make it all worthwhile
Don’t worry, don’t fidget
Sell that frown, buy a smile
Celebrate this live and live it
It’s not rocket science or physics
Stand clear and strong
Pick a happy lyric
Life’s a song

Chorus
When you learn why you’re here
Life’s a gift from Our Creator
The music drowns out each fear
It’s a symphony of laughter
Things’ll happen, both right and wrong
But when you know what you’re after
You’ll want to sing along
It’s tune is so upbeat, Life’s a song

Closing
So like a happy cartoon
Today and all year long
Hum your snappy tune
Life’s a song!

 

 

The Sea Horse: Clinics

imageHenry stood on the tarmac. Carla stood beside him. They watched as their adopted son, Aaron Matthews and his bride got off the helicopter and joined them. They had always been a little sad that Aaron had to give up medicine, but they understood. Aaron had a patient in Oceania that needed constant attention.

The problem was, now he had another patient, the whole country. Titanic was threatening the entire East coast. Oceania’s team of heroes faced a challenge. How to protect the country from one base. Ironically, the task that they needed to accomplish, didn’t need a crimefighter’s touch, but an administrator.

Henry brought this up to his son in the car. “Aaron, I’ve been thinking about your problem. I have a solution, but I don’t know that it will be accepted by your group.” “At this point, I think they’re willing to do anything, if it means stopping the epidemic Titanic is planning.”

Mimic, Titanic, and High Society were not only threatening to use his powers, coupled with the Infantino Machine to create a man made series of earthquakes, flash floods, and other weather related problems. They also were taking over gangs in major cities and supplying them with powerful weapons.

“You need more than a central hospital, so to speak, you need a series of clinics. Some of your allies need to move, at least temporarily, into the cities where the threats are. Oceania can generate new protectors, they set the precedent. The other cities don’t have time to learn it.”

Elizabeth looked at Aaron. “They’ll listen to Henry. They won’t like it, but they’ll listen.” Aaron sighed. “It’s the right answer, I just dread losing coverage here. We’ll have to start training people to take their place.” Carla spoke up. “No, not you two. Neither of you have the time, but I know who does.”