Quietude… Power in the calm

21 02 2012

I recently read an article by J.C. Ryle called “Peace! Be Still!”   This was an amazing description of Mark 4:37-40 where Jesus was awoken by His disciples during a raging storm because of their fear of death. –Pause–  Now I probably lost some readers and threw another group of readers into an analytical lens of how to look at Scripture.  I pray that you all stick around for the duration, because I may learn something.  Oh yah, you may also. –End Pause–

The picture above displays on a small-scale the power of a

Read the rest of this entry »


Courage in Life —- part III

2 01 2012

Each year comes and goes with the same amount of time required (yes, I know Mr or Mrs Detail that sometimes their are leap years giving us 24 extra hours).  Likely it is not the time that sticks in our head, but it is our impact on that year or the year’s impact on us.  In light of so many new year’s resolutions that have come and gone, I propose a thought.  What if we just decide to live each day with one thought — Courage.  Not how I define it, but you and allow it impact your whole year. 

Some may have had the opportunity to see a powerful movie called, “Courageous”.  This movie will impact many people inregards to their family life, their parenting, their careers, their purpose, and their friendships.  Yes, it is that good.  Try it out for yourself and let me know.   

I will end this with a video my 15 year old neice made about courage.  What if all the 15-16 year old ‘s in the country thought about courage like this.


God bless, Aron

Steel the mind and Tender the heart.

Attacking Goliath — Overcoming

14 12 2011

Bill Lewis recently published an incredible blog on facing one’s goliaths.

I would impress upon each one of you to take the time to read his blog.  I have been eye-witness to the characteristic of overcoming by Bill.  A lot of individuals in today’s world of ‘experts’ have great advice on how to make changes in your life, but there are few men who talk through action and mentor from experience.  The LIFE business that Bill co-founded has a stated purpose to change lives through information and association in the 8F’s (faith, family, finances, freedom, following, friends, fitness, and fun).  Change is only temporary if there is no paradigm shift as Stephen Covey states. Leaders like Bill make their life, a pursuit of their obstacles.  Chase them down and destroy them for those that follow.

The point I want to make is this.   Are you attacking the goliath’s in your life or are you cowering on the sidelines.  I am experienced on both sides.  It is not easy to face the goliath’s that we have in our lives but it is necessary for growth.  In leadership and life you are getting ripe or you are going rotten.  The second you stop facing goliath’s and growing from the experience you are beginning to rot.  It is even more of a tragedy if you have a mentor that can help you defeat goliath but you still choose to run circles.— Bill Lewis

Mark Batterson stated that we are imprisoned by what we know.  This profound statement is true for all people.  What we don’t know and what we do know keeps us put.  And ‘put’ is on our backside wishing there was another way.  As Bill stated, the rocks were right in front of David and likely all answers are just before us. Most answers are found through the use of faith.  Some come as new experiences but most come through the courage to ask someone who has gone through the minefield 1st.  “Faith is unlearning the senseless worries and misguided beliefs that keep us captive” states Batterson.  Take the time to find a mentor in life. The benefits are far-reaching and life changing.  Then as we fight our ‘goliaths’, we have a wing-man to endure the fight.  Discover those goliaths and hunt them down!  Happy hunting!

I would also recommend you grab ahold of and listen to the audio CD’s “Facing your Goliath” and “Developing your David” by Orrin Woodward

God bless, Aron

Steel the mind and Tender the heart.

Grace and the AGO Series

4 12 2011

Recently the first instalment of the AGO series through LIFE featured the “Con of Man” by Chris Brady.

Chris has an incredible way of utilizing the Scripture to explain the ‘3C’s of Heaven and Hell’.  I would highly recommend you request to borrow or purchase this audio.  Whether you are one who considers yourself on a strong foundation or one confused on what is meant by a ‘foundation’, I believe this talk will enrich your life.  From the “foolishness of preaching’ wisdom is found.  Now I may lose my large following of readers at this point(likely it is now 1 – my wife, Mary) secondary to the thought of “here we go again. Another person who is going to preach to me”.  Just hold on.  Maybe even hold on tight.  I will at least give you something to comment on.

A couple of days ago, a friend of my father’s called me to tell me a story of his father.  I will do my best to retell the story. 

Several years ago, Fred’s father was approached by an oil drilling company in regards to drilling on their property.  The father was told that their was a large deposit of petroleum and that they would receive revenue checks for many years with the drilling.  The prospect came true and several checks began to flow in(no pun intended).  During this same time, Fred’s father was going through some strife with the grandmother.  To make the story short, the father ended up in a shouting match and cursed the existence of the oil well.  Fred happened to be there on this day, and thought in his heart when the great blessing of the revenue checks would literally dry up.  Sure enough, 6 weeks later, two representatives of the oil company knocked on the father’s house to tell him they were going to stop the pumping because the well was found unprofitable.  The pump was pulled. The well was capped, and the land returned to a corn field. [now hold on…   You may be one of those people, like I once was. “These two events are related?  For real?  Let’s get down to earth here!”  Just hold on and read on]

20 years go by…   Fred is now helping his father with some tree trimming.  Conversation breaks out with the father stating that another oil company came by a couple of days earlier to ask to drill on the former site again.  Apparently, the deposit is still there.  The father told the company with some excitement to begin drilling!  Fred hears this story and is amazed.  He asks his father to sit down and tells him the story(unknown to the dad) of being in the house the day of the argument and then the ensuing termination of the pumping well.  Fred expresses to his father about the need to follow God’s law and God’s rich grace and mercy to us.  His blessings to us without the deserving and His rich forgiveness through His Son. “God so loved the world…” John 3:16.   He stated to his father that God was giving the well back as a great gesture of mercy.  He stressed to his dad to watch his thoughts and words and know that this is God’s work.  Fred’s father dismissed the conversation as nothing of importance and within 2 hours, the father was back to his old ways of cursing and blaspheme.  Fred had remembered a story in the Old Testament very similiar where a captain mocked God and was killed within sight of a reward.  Fred’s dad observed the rich blessing of the oil well but died 22 days before the revenue checks returned again to his house. 

Fred told me that he remembered 2 Kings 6:24-7-20; known as the siege of Samaria. I encourage each and everyone to read this story.  The impact of the King, the Captain, and Elisha are far-reaching and impactful.  Whether you treat the Bible as a book of fables or as the Word of God, you know that the something can be gained from truth.  As I read through this passage, one comes to an understanding that there are powers at work that work for the good of His people and the glory of God. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” Romans 1:20.  The King finds the truth in asking of God for help.  Elisha, a man of great wisdom, is there to expound on the Truth seeing what others don’t believe.  While the Captain, sees the blessings of God, but never gets to experience the blessings secondary to his mockery of God.  Now I am not one of the “Health and Wealth gospel” thinking. This states that good comes to those that are good and bad to those whom are bad.  So if you are only getting bad right now, you need to change something to experience God’s blessings. Read the story of Job and your thoughts will stray away from this.  But, I do believe God does want to bless His people and there is a lot of people out their that mock this Truth.  He asks for full submission in the Holy Spirit and faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the Cross. 

As Fred told me this story and encouraged me to read this passage from the Old Testament, I felt the deep concern God has for His children.  I have a deep interest in my children and only want what is needed for their well-being.  God reflects this and is concerned about you.  Look to Him in prayer and seek out someone in your path to help you with God’s great message of good news.  My prayer is for all you to have a personal relationship with your Savior.  As leaders, we need a rock to be our foundation.  Many are counting on us.  Look to the Truth.    And may I suggest looking into the AGO series from LIFE at www.the-life-business.com

God bless, Aron

Steel the mind and Tender the heart.

Courage in LIFE – continued….

12 11 2011

For full article by Bill Lewis, click on: Bill Lewis/Team/Life

In the shadow of Veterans’ Day, we look toward and remember the sacrifices of men and women throughout history whom protected the innocent with their lives and sacred honor.  You will see courage come through the story of Master Sergeant Benavidez which I retold recently or the above picture of the troops storming Normandy.  But it is greatly needed today on the battlefield of the American mind and heart!

Bill Lewis, co-founder of LIFE, published a blog about the state of integrity and courage in today’s news.  It is a must read for all Americans.  Follow his link on the right of this page to ‘What has happened to America’s character.  It brings the value of courage and fear face-to-face with reality.  I compel you, also, to listen to LLR  509 – The Churchill Factor by Kirk Birtles, because Kirk expresses how to overcome the issues in war for the minds of men.  I will allow you to hear it for yourself, but he talks about it in a conversation with Orrin Woodward about the fear of man.  Orrin had told Kirk that he fears no man.  If only North American men could develop the thoughts Orrin expressed to Kirk and back them through Christian foundations, where would we be?  Men should look to protect the innocent and expose the wrongs. The leadership fell apart on a university campus secondary to a lack of courage to do what is right.

I recently heard a pastor speak on this issue of courage.  He gave four points to improving our courage.

1)  Courage is Purpose Driven.  If asked of your purpose, how would you answer?  Would you state it boldly and it is seen in your eyes as truth? Are you taking each step with specific intent? As a Christian man or woman, do you use every moment to glorify God?  Life is all about the line between your purpose-filled goal and where you are right now.   We each have the ability to control distractions that make curves in the line.

2)  Courage is Persistent.  “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials” I Peter 1:6.  Do you stop at trials?  Is it a ‘no matter what’ or is it a ‘if only’?  Can you be called ‘tenacious’?  We will make endurance our ally.  I would encourage each of you to listen to ‘Rascal‘ by Chris Brady.   It can be found attached to the back cover of Brady’s book with the same title.

3)  Courage is Prepared to Die or Live.  There is joy in serving.  Not just jumping on the hand grenade for your comrades, but living a life of example for them.  We should be always doing our homework: listening to experience through seminars or CD’s and challenging our assumptions through books.  Working out mentally and physically for our time when it arrives.

4)  Courage is Pervasively Contagious.  You are the best motivation for your family, team, or associates.  Compel people to be courageous and integrity-filled through your actions.  It is said that true leadership is found in the front.  As you proceed forward, others will follow.

Bill Lewis took the time to share his heart on the current issues plaguing character.  But what is even more powerful is Bill’s courageous walk in LIFE and modeling the correct behaviors in all of his 8 F’s. He knows we can change our expected future only with courage.  Thanks, Bill!

God bless, Aron

Courage in Life – a requirement to change your 8F’s

8 11 2011

Chris Brady recently published a blog, “Francis of Assisi was no Sissy”(I highly recommend it read it on chrisbrady.typepad.com). It retells the story of a small, humble man who changed the world through boldness and courageous acts.  This article prompted me to think about the underlying characteristic of all the 8F’s(Faith, Family, Finance, Following, Friends, Fun, Fitness, Freedom) which is courage. 

Now when someone thinks, sees, or even writes the word courage, a river of images flood our consciousness.  Some may be of Medal of Honor winners. Some may be of acts like the Tiananmen Square “tank man” or  Martin Luther nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the church in 1517.  It may even conjure up thoughts of the wagon-trains heading west to make their land claim.  Multiple different sources define the world differently, but I feel we each have a feeling of the act of courage.    I once heard Chuck Cullen – a LIFE leader say,”when a brave man stands, the spines of other men stiffen”.  Now that is a powerfully true statement.  I impress upon you to look up: LLR 481 – Risk, Fear, and Worry by Bill Lewis, and Courage by Gus Lee. Both can found on the LIFE Business site at www.the-life-business.com.  Each will give insight into making Courage a mainstay of your life.

I recently came across a story of a gentleman, Roy P. Benavidez, whom holds the rank of Master Sergeant.  To say his story moved me is a very, gross understatement. This man embodies the act of courage.  I pray I do him justice with this retelling of his story and you tell everyone you can of the men and women just like him.

Special Forces master sergeant Roy Benavidez was the son of a Texas sharecropper. Orphaned at a young age,  and derided as a “dumb Mexican” by his classmates, he left school in the eighth grade to work. He joined the army at nineteen and went on his first tour in Vietnam  in 1964. During his tour, he stepped on a land mine and the wound was to be permanently crippling. I wasn’t. He not only recovered, but became a Green Beret!  On his second tour of Vietnam, in the early morning of May 2, 1968 near Loc Ninh, Sergeant Benavidez monitored by radio a twelve-man reconnaissance patrol.  Three Green Berets, friends of his, and nine Montagnard tribesmen had been dropped in the dense jungle west of Loc Ninh.  Once on the ground, the men were immediately engaged with the North Vietnamese army.  They became surrounded by an entire battalion.

It had become very obvious that the mission had become a mistake.  Three helicopters were sent to evacuate the men. Fierce Small arms and antiaircraft fire, wounding several crew members of the choppers, forced the helicopters to return to the base empty-handed.  As Sergeant Benavidez continued to monitor the radio, he heard his friends scream “Get us out of here” and “So much shooting it sounded like a popcorn machine”.  So he grabbed only a knife and a medic bag and volunteered for a second evac attempt.  He arrived on the scene, to find that none of the men had made it to the LZ.  Four were already dead, including the team leader and the other eight were wounded and unable to move.  Benavidez made the sign of the cross, leapt from the helicopter which had been hovering 10 feet above the ground.  He ran the seventy yards between the LZ and the men.  Before reaching the men, he was shot in the leg, face, and head.  He simply got up and kept moving. 

When he reached the men, he armed himself with an enemy rifle, began to treat the wounded, reposition them, distribute ammunition, and call in air strikes.  He threw smoke grenades to indicate their location and ordered the helicopter pilot to come in close to pick up the wounded.  He dragged four of the wounded aboard, and then, while under intense fire and returning fire with his captured rifle, he ran alongside the chopper as it flew just a few feet off the ground toward the others.  He got the rest of the wounded aboard, as well as the dead, except for the fallen team leader. As he raced to retrieve his body, and the classified documents he carried, Benavidez was shot in the stomach and grenade fragments cut into his back. 

Before he could make his way back toward the helicopter, the pilot was killed and the aircraft crashed upside down.  He helped the wounded escape the burning wreckage and organized them in a defensive perimeter.  He called for more air strikes and fire from circling gunships to suppress the enemy fire enough to allow another evac attempt.  Critically wounded, Benavidez moved constantly along the perimeter, bringing water and ammunition to the defenders, treating their wounds, encouraging them to hold on.  He sustained several more gunshot wounds, but he continued to fight for the next six hours!

When another extraction helicopter landed, he helped the wounded into it, one and two at a time.  On his second trip, an enemy soldier ran up behind him and struck him with his rifle butt.  Sergeant turned toward the man and fought him, hand to hand to the death.  Wounded again, he recovered the rest of his friends. As the last were lifted onto the helicopter, he exchanged more gunfire with the enemy, killing two more North Vietnamese soldiers, and then ran back to collect the classified documents before climbing aboard and apparently dead.  The doctor at Loc Ninh thought him dead anyway.  Bleeding profusely, his intestines spilling from his stomach wounds, completely immobile, and unable to speak, the Sergeant was placed in a body bag.  As the zipper was being pulled up, he spit in the doctor’s face.  They flew him to Saigon for surgery and spent the next year in the hospital recovering from seven serious gunshot wounds, twenty-eight shrapnel wounds, and bayonet wounds in both arms.—-taken from ‘Why Courage Matters’ by J. McCain.

Hope this helps in a vivid picture of Courage.  Make your LIFE courageous!  Aron