Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When The Unexpected Happens

Yesterday I experienced something that I never thought I would experience in my profession. That moment when you have to realize that everyone is subject to scrutiny and that everyone who does the scrutiny has different standards. The one size fits all (world) is changing and the adage that perception is fact and fact is never fact does become true. When you are confronted with this reality you have a variety of thoughts that make you second guess everything.

My bride called me and reassured me she still loved me and a colleague called me and affirmed that the sun would still rise tomorrow. Doubt and uncertainty are the first things that crop up when the unexpected happens. I had to pause and actually accept the advice that has been easy to give when others were rejected. Now the shoe is on the other foot and I have to accept my own advice. This experience does strengthen my resolve to realize that mistakes will be made by the best of us and judgement is ongoing. I have to believe that patience produces perseverance and prayer for that patience produces peace that surpasses all understanding.


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Location:Newark

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Starting to Return Home

Years ago I made a decision that every time I traveled I would do so with the belief that the destination was home but the journey was going to take me a few places before that. The air show screen in the plane on this trip says that I have six hours to go before I reach home. Home where the heart is!

This trip had many firsts. The maiden training of a new company. The first training agreement in Africa. A friend and business partner who taught his first session. Pictures with eager students, oldest turtles, tallest buildings, and white lions topped off a wonderful time. However every thing we did reminded us of the long journey home. Impacting the world seems like a noble calling. Influencing seekers is always thrilling. Worshipping with other cultures reveals Gods all-encompassing grace. But acknowledging the foundation takes effort. The foundation of a home that provides a constant when you leave and welcomes you back with recognition. An embrace that says that they are proud of you while holding you with a knowledge that you will have to go again.



I will go again. In less than 48 hours I will embark to a less hostile locale, and more familiar crowds. The jokes will be the same but the response different. But that trip will also begin with the desire to return home. The world is an easy journey when the destination is home. Leaving is always enjoyable when the objective is returning. I love returning home.


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Location:Somewhere Over Greenland

Monday, May 13, 2013

What a friend we have....

Over the last two decades I have logged many miles and most of those as a maverick in search of an identity. Long periods of separation from family and friends was the price that was paid. Motivational speakers are not martyrs but many cling to the pain of those journeys so that they can be shown as scars in future gatherings. A badge of honor for the trials and tribulations of a life on the road. The real heroes are the ones that stay behind and pray and the ones that make the journeys possible in their own ways. I am blessed. The Book of Acts tells us to get a Paul to look up to. A Barnabas to be encouraged by and a Timothy to leave it to.



Many can be a Paul because they went before you and shared the wisdom of their ways. Many want to be a Timothy and ask you to mentor them and guide them. Few are willing to be a Barnabas. A kind word at the time of doubt. A gentle reminder at the crossroads of humility. A loving nudge when you contemplate fatigue.

This last week in Dubai and Zimbabwe I learned the lessons of encouragement from my friend Victor Abraham. Whether in corporate settings, a church above, or the training we conducted, he taught me a lot. This week become an encouragement to someone by loving them, nudging them and praying for them. Even the motivators needs motivation. It's a way of the world.


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Location:Harare, Zimbabwe

What's in a Name

Shakespeare said that a rose by any other name is still a rose. The Good Book says that many are called but few are chosen. The world we live in creates titles based on profession, genealogy and affiliation. But we know that a good name is worth more than silver and gold. Meet..Luke. A gentle spirit who has assisted us in different ways since our arrival here. Not verbose. Not flamboyant. Familiar but not friendly. I commended him on his behavior and he said I have a good Biblical name and must live up to it.

On a personal note my father gave me a good name and I have worked hard to leave my son a good name. Have you ever gotten motivated by your name? When was the last time you stopped to think of the blessings you got in your name. Thank you Luke for the reminder.


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Location:Africa

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Clarity


There is truth in the saying that a picture is worth more than a thousand words. The man made buildings in Dubai that spring up from the ground seem to create a constant struggle between land, idealism, and opportunity. An endless cluster of structures competing to be number one in an architectural bonanza is what the eye beholds.



The window from my hotel seemed dirty, and added a haze and a streaky mess to what would have been a perfect camera shot. It seems the limit to the desire for perfection was reached on the 60th floor of another building where man said - that's too high for me to clean regularly. I guess no matter what the clarity, there is always a limit to the ability to see more than we are supposed to. A quote aptly said "you go as far as you can see and when you get there you can see further." Every man made vision is seemingly trumped by another man.



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Location:Dubai

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dubai

New destinations await in Dubai and then Africa. After all these years I still experience euphoria and nervousness in equal doses when contemplating arriving in unchartered territory. No one can predict what awaits and nothing can prepare in anticipation for what will be experienced.

E Stanley Jones a pioneering missionary who labored for and loved India said that in order to ensure freshness in the labor one has to look for the message to be new, to be true and to be you.

This adventure begins with a lot of lists that have been checked. But as I prepare to board that plane I am going to look inside for what I want to see outside and hope that what is outside will validate what already was on the inside.

Happy Trails to Me!

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Location:DFW Airport

Monday, May 6, 2013

Going in Two's

This trip from India has taken the same number of hours it usually does. The connections to be made, the hotels to be checked into, the various sponsors and hosts and meetings- all have a familiarity that is part honor, part obligation and even part burden. Yet the tired flesh responds to the call of the heart to do something for those that are hungry for information. A great joy of this trip was a co-laborer in the harvest. His newness to my expected and his enthusiasm to my normative were the balance I needed for my own rejuvenation. The reason to go in twos when in service was always understood but its felt reality was only experienced this time.

With Jim Attrell at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India


Make a commitment to seek out a co-laborer and you will realize that the burden you feel can be shared and the hope you have can be multiplied.


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Location:Somewhere over the Pacific.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Emmanuel Methodist Church

Just left India. An eventful week that culminated in me sharing the message at the Emmanuel Methodist Church. An institution that is over a hundred and thirty years old and and a body that had as its pastors and parishioners some of my mentors. I was truly honored to grace the pulpit and speak about The Greatest Gift from the Grandest Giver.




After the meet and greet my friend Jim Attrell who accompanied on this trip told me that of all the messages over the past week this one had impacted him the most. God does keep His servants energized to do His work. I am tired now.




Back to the US today and then off to Zimbabwe, Africa on Wednesday. Be Blessed.
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Location:Hong Kong

India

Standing on St. Thomas mount, next to the statue of Mother Teresa. An apostle who had doubts was martyred here and a future saint who had doubts is memorialized here. It truly was a good day to have faith.


Itinerated with Ravi Zacharias and team in India for the last week. Had opportunities to share ideas and concepts in churches, management institutions, companies, and open market forums. The hunger for truth is always evident because of the questions asked.




Strolling through the city of my birth gives me such joy. years ago I ran away from this city to find my fame. I get to return and share here many a time.

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Location:Chennai