Healer

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“Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.” – Jonathan Swift

In light of current events, here are some truths about lies.

Lies are as awkward to handle as a wet fish.

Lies are as heavy to carry as an F-150.

Lies are as harassing as a bill collector paid on commission.

Lies are as busy as bunnies in heat.

Lies are as hazardous as a toddler flying a B-1 Bomber.

Lies are as confining as a fat guy in a little coat.

Lies have an expiration date and will eventually betray you.

As we’ve learned, not even power, money, or fame can contain it.

If you’re tangled up in a lie, you have a choice.

You can try to carry it, vary it, or bury it. But it will never let you go until you confess it.

A lie doesn’t have to define your life.

Telling the truth, like an injection, may hurt at first. But in the long run, it could save your life.

Confession requires courage, resilience, and authenticity. And confession is the first step to becoming that kind of person.

Lies may travel faster than the truth, but in the end, truth wins.

 

 

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If there were a hall of fame for heroes, Johnny Cash would be in it.

Of course, his musical career is legendary and continues to stand the test of time. But what makes him a hero, that special quality he had, was his raw honesty. In his songs, in his story, and with his gritty style.  His troubles are well-documented, but so is his remarkable change.  He serves as a reminder that no matter how far down the road we’ve gone, it’s never too late to turn back around.

What follows are a collection of quotes that speak to what it means to be a man. Let’s learn from the Man in Black himself as he shares some of his wisdom with us.

Leader

On being yourself: “To love who you are and what you do, and to have faith in your ability to do it. You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.”

“I’m not talking about ego, and arrogance, and grandiose feelings. I’m talking about self-esteem and confidence. That’s vital: self-esteem and confidence.”

Mate

On what his marriage has meant to him: “We have a sharing marriage, and we share the road, we share the bedroom, we share the backstage, onstage, we share the music, the feeling, and the emotion, and the joy of it, you know. And the pain and the sadness of it. We share the love of our children. It would be terribly lonely not to have someone to share those things with me. And she’s not only a lady who I share my life with, but she may have been the person responsible for my still being alive. She and God. Because she came along at a time in my life that I was on self-destruct, and she saw what I was doing to myself and she helped bring me back up out of it. And we’ve fought and worked hard to keep our feet on the ground since then. But like I say, today is a good day.”

Producer

On how to succeed: “I could go by a lot of catch phrases like, ‘Know your own self,’ ‘To thine own self be true.’ Self-esteem and perseverance and confidence are all important, but the first thing is to know what you want to do. Set that goal out there and never lose sight of it, and work toward it. And know that there are going to be byways and sidetracks, but keep persevering and keep on, and do what you know that you want to do.”

Provider

On what his father meant to him: “My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don’t ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father. He was a good, strong man who provided for his family. That was his sole purpose in life when I was growing up.”

Warrior

On the purpose of the human body: “People say, ‘Well, he wore that body out.’ Well, maybe I did. But it was to a good purpose. They should be thankful that I wore it out to the purpose I wore it out and that was writing and recording and touring and doing concerts. Everywhere I could possibly do them that I thought I might enjoy them. I thought people might enjoy me.”

Healer

On getting past your past: “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Gentleman

On his fashion style: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion— against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas. Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I’ve worn black clothes ever since.”

Coach

On what advice he’d give to young folks: “Youth shouldn’t be clouded by any chemical or anything. Somebody my age can easily know that too, but youth is too wonderful a thing to mess with while you’ve got it.”

“Children, all your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate… I choose love.”

Pastor

On how his faith fueled him: “The Bible is the source of the greatest joy. It’s a great moral stabilizer in a world that’s run amok. It’s an anchor for my own conscience, my own mind and my own life. It keeps my feet on the ground. It gives the answer to every problem you’re facing, if you look for it.”

“God loves us. That’s why he created us and gave us free will. Kind of like a farmer watching his chickens to see what they’re going to do. It desires that we all come back to him. That’s the way I think, that’s my God.”

Are there any other words from Johnny Cash that have inspired you?

 

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Each week, I’m challenging myself to complete a Dare of the Week. A weekly goal designed to live more intentionally and be a better man. And I’m inviting you to join me.

THIS WEEK: STOP DOING GOOD THINGS AND START DOING THE RIGHT THINGS

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Flickr image courtesy: iMarlon

This week’s dare runs counter to how many of us are programmed. After all, shouldn’t we do as much good as humanly possible? Yes, we should. But I’ve got news for you:

You are not infinite.

You don’t have unlimited time, money, or energy to do all you wish you could. Your heart may tell you to help everyone, but it’s not possible. We’re not the Good Lord.

I’m learning that I need to stop doing good things and start doing the right things. 

While we can’t be everything to everyone, we can be something to someone. Our challenge is to wisely choose what/who to pour ourselves into because when we say yes to one thing, we say no to another.

If you’re up for the dare, join me in doing the following:

  • Examine your goals, passions, interests, strengths, and sphere of influence.
  • Take a hard look at your current commitments. Where do you devote your time, money, and energy?
  • Do they align?
  • If not, you need to make some hard decisions.
  • Make plans to gracefully bow out of good things and free up yourself to pursue the right things.
  • But please don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing at all. You are better than that.
  • Instead, be strategic and invest yourself in things that matter.

This dare is easier said than done. Trust me, it won’t be popular and not everyone will agree with or understand your decisions. But when you’re operating out of your passions, and your effort points in that direction, you better steward what you’ve been given.

And you will make a bigger impact than you ever thought possible.

I know that’s what I’m shooting for. How about you?

Will you accept this week’s challenge?

If so, let me know. Either drop a comment, shoot me a tweet, or post a comment on the GoodSirs Facebook page. I would love to hear from you.

 

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Each week, I’m challenging myself to complete a Dare of the Week. A weekly goal designed to live more intentionally and be a better man. And I’m inviting you to join me.

THIS WEEK: ENCOURAGE 5 PEOPLE

Sir–A thought to help us through these difficult times: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”    {Ian MacLaren}

thumbs upThat person walking down the street. That coworker in the cubicle. That actor on the screen. That neighbor cutting the grass. That couple in the diner. That teacher at the school. That cashier at the store. That leader you admire.

Everyone goes through stuff.

We’re tempted to think we’re the only ones. We’re not. Some of us have just become professionals at hiding it. But if we were to look behind the curtain, we would see a mighty struggle, a difficult decision, a relationship crack, an old wound, a void, a physical ailment, an insecurity, and more.

Even people who appear to be strong need our encouragement, our smile, and our attention. Never underestimate the power of a well-time word of encouragement.

The “Dare of the Week” is to go out of our way to intentionally encourage five people.  If someone has inspired you, let them know. If someone’s lacking joy, share some of yours. If someone is doing good work, compliment them.

Practice the power of encouragement. Your kind words may be just what someone else needs to keep moving forward. It may seem like a small gesture, but it’s one that can have a mighty impact. And that’s why it’s this week’s dare.

Will you accept this week’s challenge? If so, let me know. Either drop a comment, shoot me a tweet, or post a comment on the GoodSirs Facebook page. I would love to hear from you.

 

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Anyone who attempts anything worthwhile will eventually deal with a disappointment. This is just a fact of life. For you, it might be a venture that didn’t live up to expectations. Perhaps it’s a failed relationship you thought would go the distance. Or maybe your whole life just isn’t where you want to be.

The question is whether we will let these disappointments drive us forward or derail us off-track.

Dropped Ice Cream

Photo Courtesy: G. J. Charlet III

I recently faced a major disappointment when I stepped down as pastor of the church I started. I gave everything I had to it and had high hopes of the difference we could make and all the people we could reach. In fact, we were doing remarkable things and well on our way.

But balancing the needs of a growing church, a full-time job, and my family at home over several years led me to make a difficult decision. And at the end of 2011, I handed off leadership of the church to a team of leaders so that I could devote more of me, and my time, to my family. I won’t lie, it hit me hard, but I’m seeing the rewards at home and I know it was the right move.

Like you, I have the option to let it derail me or drive me forward. I choose to drive.

How about you?

If you are derailed, it’s never too late to get back on-track. Think about it. You have to be an extraordinary person to have taken a chance in the first place. And if you become the kind of person who encounters a major disappointment, yet keeps driving forward..well, you are simply amazing!

If that’s you, here’s what I know about you:

You are full of passion. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well, “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” Folks like you have a vision, a dream, a goal, and they pour themselves into making it happen. Your ambition and leadership is inspiring to others.

You are courageous. You dared to try when others wouldn’t. Many people let fear of failure keep them from attempting anything great, but not you. You overcame that fear and went for it anyways. The results may not have been what you hoped for, but you can take heart in knowing you are one brave son of a gun.

You are wiser than you realize. I once heard wisdom define as knowledge with scars. That’s so true. There are plenty of experts who theorize about what you’ve been through. They write books, give speeches, and sit on panels to talk about it. But you have the scars to prove it, the stories to share, and the knowledge that only comes with experience.

You are battle-tested.  You’ve been bucked off the horse, but the fact that you’re getting back on says something about you. It says you are a person full of grit and determination. It says you can be counted on when times get tough. It says you are a rock who’s ready to roll.

You are on your way. Our greatest opportunities often lie behind our greatest challenges. What if the hopes you have, the dreams you desire, and the life you want is found on the other side of your disappointments?

If you’ve faced a disappointment, let me encourage you to keep moving forward. Accept responsibility, learn from it, and press on. What you perceive as a failure, mistake, or misfortune can actually become the catalyst for what’s ahead.

What disappointments have you faced?

What did you learn from them?

In what ways have your worst days led to your best days?

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Chances are, you’ve experienced times in your life that were dark, parched, and empty. When it seems God just plain forgot about you. I call these the Badlands. And they can be brutal.

The good news is, there’s hope when the hard times hit. In this simple devotional e-book, we take a brief look at the “Badlands” times in our lives and the hope that can carry us through. If you, or someone you know, is going through a rough patch, give it a read.

To download the pdf, simply click the image below. Also, feel free to share, email, Twitter, Facebook, pin it, or print it.  It’s yours, free of charge.

 

 Special thanks to the Badlands National Parks for the images.

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