>Escalators

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Today, we went to the mall to  take a pic with Santa. This is not the pic I expected to snap! In this pic, some would see two people doing somethingnormal; one doing something abnormal. Some would see two people doing something common; one of them doing something different.
If I had to describe this pic, I’d say it’s the analogy of my life and if I gave it a caption, it’d say, “She’s always the one going up, while the world’s been coming down.” I’ve always been different.
don’t have experience or awareness with things like “of the crowd,” “in the majority,” or “of the popular vote.” Though, admittedly, there’s been times where I wish I did.
Straight up, it’s something I still wrestle God on and talk to God about, ’cause I just can’t figure it out. Sometimes I discover things in others before I’ve answered them within myself. That’s exactly what happened with this moment. I discovered that DJ is different. And maybe I don’t have all my different-ness figured out yet, I do have one thing figured out…I’m always gonna be there to help DJ with his. I would dare say that those going up the escalator while the world’s coming down are a minority-piece of the public pie. But if you’re one of ’em, let DJ and I know. We’ll take the escalator together…going up. : )

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>My “Twas the Night”

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Broward, 
Big red sale signs and spending headed upward.
Tree tents were going up, the smell of pine near, 
It was Christmas, was Thanksgiving even here?
The children were sensing something in the air
Yet I struggled with something, this didn’t seem fair;
On the outside, there was an aura of great fun,
but in self, did I think I was the only one?
Ole’ St. Nick had a better view of this boomin’ town
From the Pole, he saw every face I was around.
He saw a divorcee at Starbucks alone,
The kid at Broward mall, avoiding his home,
The moon was rising, dark came on fast,
But from the Pole, he could still see such aghast.
“That family, in Weston, you think has it all?”
“Not true. Thru their windows there is only a wall.”

“The bagger at Publix? Today with no reply…”
“Not one person spoke to him, not even a sigh.”
“And on your street, what a place for potential”
“If you’d stop, you’d see their hurting torrential”
“And in Broward, on the corners of those stoplights—“

“They are humans with hearts, not money-needing mites.”
May I offer a Santa tip with this affair?
Hoping my name conveys, I speak because I care.
If there’s a thing inside, a holiday ache,

Stop for a moment, it’s God speaking…take a break
My view’s the North Pole, but God’s view is quite precise
He nudges from what he sees, he doesn’t think twice–
This season, God implores, “Please help from where you are.
At Starbucks, Publix, the inside of your car
Sure, at Christmas, I could reach down, help those nearby
But I’d like to partner with you, won’t you try?”
“Let’s slow down and make the season a journey.
You’re made in my image, with love there’s no hurry
When in a Target lot, take your cart to the man,
Tell him thanks and go ahead, why not…shake his hand.
Dining at Outback? Ask your server for more–

More about her life, what her future has in store.
I think you get the idea, it’s the season…
to have Christmas fun and yet give without reason.
You know the last line; don’t forget this word, alright?
It’s: Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a good night. 

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>My First Podcast

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Guess who was invited to particpate in a podcast session on leadership? ME! 
Visit potentialblog.com to hear our convo on life and leadership.

Who is a part of this? Funny you should ask!
TroyHeredesMeeGee, our special guest, Bob Bumgarner, and me.
That’s 4 LeadHims and 1 LeadHer : )
What an honor. Thanks, guys, for having me.

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>Heroes: Somaly Mam

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 Most of you know I watch Larry King almost every night. 
Tonight, he had a special program called, “Heroes.” It’s running in conjunction with aCNN special to air this Thursday. 
I am blogging about this particular episode because I was especially moved by his guest, Somaly Mam. She was nominated in a CNN 5-month global process to find everyday heroes doing extraordinary things.
As I watcher Larry interview her, I was seeing a woman who exhibits exterior and interior heroism….in her veins as well as in her actions.
She didn’t initiate something, until she camethrough something.

You can read about her past, here and here 
(but toughen up…it’s tough to take in).
You can also read about the futures she is changing, here.
A hero? Somaly Mam? To me, someone with a burden within and a causewithout.
Who is yours?

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>”Hope’s” Update; Divine Answers

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We’ve dialogued about a girl named, “Hope.”It’s my joy to bring you up to speed.

It’s been so difficult to get to know her….but the one thing I’ve come to know is she doesn’t trust easily. I’ve been taken aback by her inability to make eye contact. The way she looks at the floor and uses her long hair to veil her pretty face. But if I had walked in hershoes, I’d probably do the same.
I have good news: she came to church tonight.
The message she heard? God’s Love Sign to the Persecuted.
The miracle I witnessed? Her persecuted journey paused at God’s front door.
Without disclosing too much, there was this divine connection of dots that led her there.
I am so grateful and so indebted to their obedience to the nudge that I’d like to thank these “dots”:
“You guys” for praying for her.
“You guys” for creating a reason for her to come.
“You guys” for taking time to talk to her, even if she wouldn’t look at you.
“You” for challenging me to invite.
I’ll never know what it’s like to be young girl in a foreign land, or to be in an abusive relationship or
to have no mommy and daddy. “I’m sorry, Hope, I can not relate to you in these ways.”
“But Hope…your God can, and tonight, your God did.”

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>2 Buckets; 2 Boys

>Tonight, Raul took care of Andy and DJ so I could knock out some Christmasshopping. Here is the photo he showed me of their evening together…

 Some of you may recognize these buckets as the ones we use at my church to collect the tithe & offerings. I find it quite interesting that these semi-sacred vessels for our gifts back to God ended up on the heads of two boys who’s father happens to be one of the pastors at this church. Sorry, but I don’t have any profound leadership advice to tie to this. But at the very least….laugh, it’s good medicine. : )

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>Where Do Babies Come From?

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 As a kiddo, I had a vivid imagination. My environment and circumstances fostered this: growing up on a farm; growing up with only brothers; growing up as the frequent new kid on the block.
These sorts of things left me to…well…to me and my imagination! 

I’m grateful for this, its allowed me to journey back into my world. Hey, wanna take a trip with me?
It was like 1979, I was with my mom, we were driving near an intersection in Bowling Green, Ohio, when I noticed pink, plastic, blow-up Easter bunnies in a storefront window. And so…in my own little imaginary world, I mustered up the conclusion that that’s where babies come from. Like the plastic bunnies, babies are plastic & on display in a store window too. When mommies & daddies want a baby, they buy one from the store. Then, one of the store-people “adds” the life, turning plastic-blow-up-baby into a real-life one.
That’s either quite an imagination or quite a hallucination!
But it makes me laugh. What a matter-of-fact, innocent conclusion I had come to as a kid!
Either way, let me encourage you. If you had a vivid imagination as a kid, and have a vivid memory as an adult, don’t take that for granted. Truly, give God thanks. And seriously, start writing those memories down

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>Moonbeamed to Mexico

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 Today,Pastor Arturo& his family were extremely hospitable and generous to have a few of my buds & myself to his home for a REAL Mexican lunch. But for me? The REAL went way beyond the food. It was a real atmosphere of real people; it was a real enlightenment of another culture & it was REALLY good chow! No lie, man, the entire experience felt like I had been moonbeamed right down to Mexico City into a beautiful hacienda itself. Thank you, Arturo and family. We were blessed by this experience, thanks for making it happen. Visit Steph’sblog to hear her take of it too!

There is a world beyond the daily one we live in–and we should always be looking for ways to get to know it!

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>Bathroom Literature??

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 Many homes keep Reader’s Digest in the bathrooms. This is a shame! This magazine is such a sophisticated compilation of current events, brain-teasers, and inspiring stories; the bathroom seems like such an insulting location! Anyway, one of my fav’s in RD is “Word Power.” Leaders have power, so do words, so leader-power & word-power go hand-in-hand. This month, RD pulled 14 (of the 100) new words officially added to the Webster dictionary. 
Tell me how you scored and I’ll tell ya how I scored! Good luck!

  1. abaya (n.) – A: loose-fitting robe. B: rice dish. C: temporary inactivity.
  2. viewshed (n.) – A: political observation. B: visible environment. C: border watchtower.
  3. bobo (n.) – A: online posting error. B: bourgeois bohemian. C: devoted friend.
  4. yellowcake (n.) – A: rich severance package. B: deadly fungus. C: uranium ore.
  5. andropause (n.) – A: drop in air pressure. B: decrease in testosterone. C: time during computer restart.

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>Cracks in the Elevator

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Ever since Andy took his first step, he has stepped over the elevator “cracks.”
We’ve never told him to do this, he just does. I was thinking about this…

Andy has always been so much bigger than those elevator cracks, yet healways steps over them. How could he look at these thin, little slats & actually think he’d fall through?
What triggers this fear in his little mind? I rest easy ’cause I know Andy will outgrow this,
but indulge me a little…what if he didn’t?
What if Andy avoided elevator cracks the rest of this life based on the premise, “Hey, its just something I’ve always been afraid to do? “
Can you imagine? 
Andy is a kid—he’ll have little, unfounded fears that he’ll soon outgrow.
But as adults–do we have little, unfounded fears we’ve yet to outgrow?

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