Pep Talk: “A Great Personal Gift”

October 22, 2017

Your scribe was hanging out with fellow knuckleheads the other day when somebody asked, “Anybody got a praise report?” My hand shot up immediately. “Darling wife and I just celebrated our three-year anniversary. Guys, it’s a perfect example. If at first you don’t succeed? Try….try….again!”
The dudes present are in the Denver Rescue Mission’s “New Life Program.” I love these guys and cherish time with them. Through A Stronger Cord, they have become brothers and know my marital history well. I certainly didn’t plan on being married three times; didn’t plan on making life challenging for two beautiful kids (one from each previous marriage) but holy smokes, what a blessing the journey has become. Why? It opened the door for an amazing woman (together 15 years now) to enter. Stealing lines from the Little River Band’s 1976 hit, this blessed man posted on Facebook to the beautiful, smart and generous heart-stealer, “Happy anniversary baby. I got you on my mind!”

Life. A roller coaster of unexpected twists and turns. Often, leaving us wondering, “What? Why? Me?” Let’s hope, it also begs another critical question: “How to move forward?” Which leads to an even more important consideration: How to become a student, not victim, of the experience and prevail against what, currently, ails  body, mind and/or spirit? 
On the comeback trail, what to do in achieving goals and overcoming challenges? Here’s an idea. It was sparked from, a few days after announcing our wedding anniversary, listening to Denver Dream Center‘s  CB Barthlow encourage men living in a Denver-area halfway house. The dynamic speaker presented three ideas that warmed my marrow. I hope, yours too.

First, the pastor implored incarcerated men nearing re-entry to society (ASC works with them too) to, “Know who you are!” Amen. All of us are uniquely created with God-given gifts and talents. At least that’s what I believe. For many, those gifts have been buried beneath unproductive “stuff.” Still, with a little digging, those talents, can be unearthed. The wise man continued, “If money, time and circumstances were not an issue, what would you do? What’s your purpose?” Be honest. That’s a tough one to answer truthfully. Whether living in a mission, mansion or on Main Street.

Then Barthlow mentioned something so powerful in a second point: “Who needs to shut up?” Brother, double amen! Negative self talk? Association with other negative contributors? We need boundaries for voices, ours and others, offering lousy words in detrimental tones. Negatoids. They’re quite damaging.
After discovering purpose and building boundaries, Barthlow’s third point implored using “Any healthy and productive means necessary” to achieve goals and overcome challenges. Sometimes, you gotta get creative and think outside the box. Right on man.
How about remembering this moment as an anniversary of new thought? Of living life with purpose, boundaries and creativity? That terrific trio is a cord of three strands not easily broken and could be a great personal gift to use daily, not just once a year.

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