Gratitude

In light of tomorrow’s day of thanksgiving, honor and celebration – I offer below, the things I am most grateful for. And while hardship and sadness can strike at any point (we still haven’t found Poppi), I have so much to be truly thankful for and daily reflect on the blessings and grace God has given me.

I am grateful for having my arms, legs, ears and limbs. I am grateful for my faith, family and friends. I am grateful for the beautiful people God put in my life to mentor. I am grateful that my wife and I have our health and are fortunate enough to be a part of our children’s lives. I am grateful my kids get to be with their grandparents and get to learn about their heritage. Such a blessing when you peel the onion back.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2014/11/24/the-power-of-giving-thanks/

From the bottom of my heart, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Peer Pressure

peer-pressure

We cannot condemn our kids for making bad choices if we haven’t prepared them to make good ones. Parents have to be one step ahead of the game in order to interrupt the plans of the enemy on their child’s heart. Guarding your own hear is not easy, and guarding your child’s heart is even harder. We need to teach our kids how to separate from those who continually disrespect their wishes, and to separate from those friends who continually make bad choices. Teach you kids that the enemy is not just someone who looks bad. The enemy can be a friend, and it can be yourself. Our own free will can get us into trouble. Parents ask me: “What’s the key to success in order to keep my kids out of the drug world?” First, I say there are no guarantees, but a good foundation of God, steady trust, and flow of conversation is important. Are you spending time with your kids? Kids live in the world of technology. Their communication skills are ZERO. They live in their head and express themselves via texts, email, and Facebook. They can organize a party of 150 from five different schools in 30 minutes, but we have to teach them to talk to us. This can be done with returning to the major successful historical tool known as the family dinner. Start simple… with Sunday dinner, and a NO SCREENS rule. No tv, no smartphones, put all the technology away. Even though kids say they don’t want to spend time with the family at dinner, they really do. They crave attention, but they just don’t know how to ask for it.

Journal Prompt: Normally we have something for you to journal about, but this week it’s an assignment. Sit with your family and create goals together. Personal goals, financial goals, school goals, and family goals. These can be things like exercising 3x’s a week, planning a yearly vacation, academic goals for your kids.

Dream

dream

Winners and champions are dreamers. How many people in today’s society have lost their dreams? Answer: A BUNCH! After you have freed your heart from the past, it is possible for you to enter the dreaming and vision phase of your life plan. Dreaming does not necessarily have to be about having things, it can be about your children’s wedding or a vacation. Winners and champions have VISION. They have the ability to stop and envision the future. It is exciting to be around entrepreneurs who have the ability to envision. It is no surprise that our world relies on entrepreneurs to create jobs when the government cannot. This group of people are fearless. They take risks. They are visionaries. Here’s an example of one of my visions and how it affected my life.

After a bit of soul searching and thinking about what I was passionate about, I discovered what I call “searching for the miracle” in every case that came in my office. I wanted to be part of my clients obtaining freedom rather than being a part of getting them off of criminal charges. Searching for a miracle was especially helpful if my clients were suffering from alcohol, drug, or sex addiction. This is the recovery defense. Once you’ve witnessed the victory via the recovery defense, it is one of the most rewarding feelings you will ever feel. The client is free and healthy and reaps the benefit of his hard work by winning. Winners don’t beat the system. Winners become leaders who give back and make the system better. The recovery defense is an out-of-the-box art form that presents various options to the client, judge, juries, and court system.

Journal Prompt:
What are your dreams? Have you lost your dreams along the way? If so, why? List the things you would like to do. List the places you would like to see. What would you like to look like? What are your emotional dreams? Spiritual dreams? Material dreams?

Keeping the Faith – Part 2

As many of you know by now, our much-adored, pet Chihuahua, Poppi, went missing last week.  Tonight marks the 5th day Poppi has been gone and still no sign of him.  Flyers have been handed out, neighbors have been contacted, we have posted reward signs – no questions asked – offering $1000 for his safe return. But still nothing.  No signs of Poppi.  Here is another blogger’s take on missing their family pet https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/lessons-missing-dog.   I can totally relate to what their family is going through!

 

In an effort to exhaust all options and possibilities, we even visited Dallas Animal Services, otherwise known as THE POUND.  I had never personally been to the pound because if I had, I don’t know that I could have ever gone back – even to look for Poppi. Fortunately, there is also an online database that houses photos of all dogs that have come to Dallas Animal Services through their Lost and Found program which allows one to maybe avoid an in-person visit to the facility on Westmoreland but still see if their pet is there. I urge you to visit www.petharbor.com if you are missing a beloved pet as this is the least painful way to see all the animals.

 

Thankfully, the Dallas Animal Services facility itself is actually nice. It is kept clean and the dogs seemed well-cared for.  The people working in the back seemed very kind and some were truly interested in reuniting pets with their owners.  In KEEPING THE FAITH, I searched aisle after aisle, dog after dog, looking for Poppi. So many of the dogs there are obviously strays and a lot of them appeared to be Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes – sadly, I am not sure what their fate will be.  But, there are quite a few dogs at the pound that are so OBVIOUSLY people’s pets that one can only imagine how they ended up there. I pray they will make their way home.  One gorgeous dog, in particular, remains imprinted in my mind. It was a beautiful, snow white, Great Pyrenees, http://www.petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=DLLS.A864437 who was so desperate to leave with me, that I would have taken him if I could.  But, there are rules at the pound and while I’m not totally sure what they are, I know I couldn’t take a caged dog at that time. My friend that went with me said some dogs actually make it over to the adoption side if they go unclaimed.  I seriously hope the Great Pyrenees will make it to the adoption side if its owners don’t come but I really, really hope his owners come. As a reminder to the Great Pyrenees owner and all missing pet owners out there…Keep the faith – never end the search! Your pet might be out there and if not, there are so many other lost pets who need you.  Visit www.petharbor.com to search for your missing pet.

Free Will

free-willIs free will a gift or is it a responsibility? I think it’s a little of both. Free will is a gift because God did not have to give it to us. It is a responsibility because it is so powerful that it has to be managed. God gave us all the free will to make our decisions, choices, and career paths in life. Successful people manage responsibility well. Our free will and decision-making process can be affected by the way we were raised, by life-defining moments, mental or emotional disease that may affect the way we make choices. I believe that everyone has tapes {negative and/or positive} that may affect the way we make decisions. Negative taps may be broken by personal choices and replaced with positive tapes that lead to better choices. Once people identify the negative audio they are playing over and over again, they are able to achieve a real breakthrough. I sincerely believe that God wants us to live a life of recovery and not a victim-driven life that will affect our free will. If you have anxiety or depression issues, it’s important to get those under control with help of a doctor. It is difficult to make healthy decisions when you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or a number of other physiological diseases that aren’t managed. The beautiful gift is that we all have the answers inside of us and the God-given ability to change the tapes. It might take adding all new tools in your toolbox, such as strength, forgiveness, self-worth, and faith – but the beauty will be the miracle you become when you uncover the new you.

Journal Prompt: What negative tapes do you wake up with every morning? How does it affect the way you live your life? What positive tape does God want you to hear every morning? What changes do you need to implement to hear God’s voice every morning?

The Importance of KEEPING THE FAITH

Our beloved, family pet, Poppi, went missing approximately 36 hours ago. He is a feisty, long-haired black Chihuahua who permanently has a 1-foot long lanyard attached to his collar for the exact reason that he is on the loose. Poppi is a runner. Given the opportunity to escape the fenced in boundaries of our yard, Poppi will take off. Open the door, Poppi sneaks his way out. Take him out to do his business, he will inch his way under a protective, iron fence in our yard that we’ve been meaning to fix for a long, long time. Which is exactly what happened 36 long hours ago. Poppi got out. We have driven the neighborhood, posted signs, offered a $500 reward and then upped it to $1000. We have posted his description to Facebook, PetHarbor, called the vet, told our friends, printed and posted fliers, etc… It’s only been 1 ½ days yet it feels like years and we are all, without a doubt, heartbroken. “Don’t worry, girls” – I say – “Poppi will come home”. “Keep The Faith”, I remind everyone – “we won’t give up until we find him”. In my heart of hearts, I know that good things happen when you don’t let the devil win and I am doing everything I possibly can to say “SCAT” to forces beyond my control –. I know that I will lead my family through this and even if the outcome is not ideal, we will all make it through.  We are going to learn something from this.

Choices

choices2You cannot wake up every morning and PUSH! unless it is your choice. It’s an intentional decision, each day. A choice to PUSH! Champions make good choices. The choices they make tend to be continually positive and progressive, taking them in forward motion toward their dreams. In my profession, I have seen over and over again how one bad choice can lead to a lifetime of distress. Sometimes it is just a non-choice that causes the problems – for instance, a lack of attention to a problem at home, or a lack of communication with a teen. We all make bad choices. It is how you recover from them and how you handle the majority of them that matters.

Journal Prompt:
Write about the worst choice you ever made and how it changed your life. Write about the best choice you ever made and how it changed your life.