The Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I don’t’ know when this song first had an impact on me, it’s meaning has changed over time as I have heard it year after year. In the last few years, it has changed from a song of dispare to a song of great hope and joy! I love to hear it and in my church, the organist really makes it wonderful and uplifting!

In my own life, I have moved through this opinion of the world and mankind in it. I remember a time when I was not interested in the affairs of those around me. It was typical of me to avoid others and not care what happened to those around me. At one point I didn’t even care about my siblings. Over the course of several years, my life took me into hard times and an actual and spiritual all desert.

It took a a few small acts from friends and family to soften my heart. Then I was presented with a choice … the choice between dark and light. The choice between walking the path of faith of the path of rebellion.

I was attending church with a very dear friend of mine, a guy who was and is an example to me. During the sermon, the pastor spoke about making New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t remember most of his sermon, at the very end, he said; “If there is only. one resolution that you make this year, make it to become more like Christ.” It was in that moment a decision had to be make. I was acting like the Israelites and halting between 2 decisions. It took me 3 days to make a decision about what path I would take.

As this year comes to a close, the twentieth year since that day, I have reflected upon the path my life has taken. I have often reflected on the decision I made and all the good things that have come from that day. I am ever so grateful for my wife – Lauren, my 4 boys, the faith that has developed, my education, the experiences, the books, the friends, my home, and job. All the good things that have come into my life, have come from that day.

The relationships with my siblings and parents have improved, my friendships have grown and more friends have come into my life. My gratitude abounds and my desire to share that gratitude and abundance continues to grow the more abundance and blessing flow into my life!

My hope and desire for this New Year is that you will be able to see and experience the blessing and abundance that is there for each and every one of us!

iron wil

Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train

“My brother, William asked me to explain where his nickname Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train came from.  This is a two part name and has separate stories combining the name and clarifying who he is.

It all started when we moved to Texas, he was preparing to go on a two year mission for our church, we watched a Disney movie call Iron Will and then we realized that that is what made our brother Wil different from so many others, he would push through adversity no matter what the cost or the reward as long as it was right or the principle true. Determination would growl out of him as he pushed on to be more than he was or to move past an issue in front of him.

Then after his mission we played a friendly game of tackle football on a Thanksgiving morning, something that was a favorite pastime of ours. During one play Wil had the ball and was pumping down the line with three younger men clinging to him, he was a freight train rolling by me. He did finally get taken down when the fourth man came in for the final tackle and the entire group came down as a train would blow off a track.

I remember stopping in the middle of my action to stop and watch him push forward despite the others clinging to him.  I at first was awed, then I remember thinking the others were just hanging on with a hope that they could do something, but my brother defied their desires by chugging forward.

A train with its movement slowed or not must press forward and can only change course by a small change initially, Wil is also like this, but when he changes course know he will keep the same speed and determination he had before. Don’t get in his way because you won’t slow him down.”

Hustle While You Wait

I don’t know when I first heard this statement, “Hustle while you wait”. It was in college or sometime in my early twenties. It was already something that I had put into practice. I called it don’t waste time. I carried a book and note cards with me everywhere I went, so that I could read or memorize something. I started doing this as a teen because in military life there was a lot of waiting. Get to the docs and wait for your appointment. Get to school and wait for class to start. Wait for the bus to base and for the one home. Wait for friends to arrive or my mom to pick me up.

I learned then that I could use my time more wisely when I had the right tools with me. It is now 0123 and I am working on a blog post because I couldn’t sleep. I have been on FB and Twitter seeing what is going on in the world and checking in with friends and getting updates. I have ideas that I just have to take time to capture so that I can work on them and make them a reality. Sometimes it is as simply as what I will talk about tomorrow morning … I mean this morning in my Morning Motivational video I do live on Facebook. Another time, it is a task that I need to complete sooner than later or a friend that I should reach out to and check in on.

There are a few times when I chose not practice this concept and that is mostly during family time. Family time is precious and much more limited as the boys grow and get into other activities and they start going their separate ways.

I still practice this habit whenever I have some “down time” between other tasks. I keep a pretty full set of apps on my phone since that is where I do 90% of my communication and work these days. My wife once commented on the number of apps on my phone and I was honestly able to answer. Stating that I use the all about once every two weeks or so. Admittedly, there are a few that don’t get opened up very much because they are specialized. I keep them around for that one time I need it.

The point I am trying to make is that we can fill our time more effectively if we have our tools on hand. Many artists carry around a sketchbook so that they can capture an idea when it comes. Whatever work you do and no matter what your field you are in; it would behove you to have those tools to make use of what otherwise would be wasted time.

iron wil