A True Overcomer

3 07 2014

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In my life there has been moments and stories that have changed me because of the change that I have witnessed.  Like every father,  I cherish the moments of my children’s first steps and my children’s first return of a hug (even us “tough” guys get overwhelmed with emotion).  And I could continue with the moment my wife, Mary, first appeared to walk down the aisle in our wedding, and she changed from the girlfriend/fiance to my wife and best friend.

But a lot of my moments have come through the process of working with people in a culture of change.  It is incredible to watch people become totally consumed with their growth and purpose.  This culture  is enbodied in the LIFE Leadership business and community.  It is built around the idea that the world is starving for the “the best chance to live the life you always wanted”.  Through the right information in the right form from real people with real experiences, LIFE Leadership is changing lives all over the world through placing people in a growth environment.  And this community is just beginning.

One such story is that of my friend, Mike Eppenbaugh.  He is a great young man in Warsaw, Ind who is changing lives through his amazing example.  We will hear his story from his own words:

I would say that my life is a underdog story. One day when I was 3 y/o, I was not feeling good, but my dad asked me if I wanted to go to preschool that day before dropping me off at my babysitter. I told him that I wanna go, but when I arrived at the preschool, I passed out in the arms of the teacher. I was diagnosed with a serious life-threatening seizure and became hospitalized for two weeks fighting for my life. Thanks for the good Lord, I made it. My struggles continued through by school years with learning disabilities and the label of “you can’t learn as fast or as good your  classmates”. Of course I had some friends cheer me on and be there for me, but I had my critics, too. Individuals who would make fun of my weight or think that I was stupid or that I wasn’t good enough to be their friend. Not only my classmates were my critics, some of the teachers continued to think I was not going to make through either. But I proved to them that I was good enough by making it through Elementary, Middle, and fighting through High School.  

My senior year could be considered my best and almost worse year in school.  First of all, my grades were the best they had been allowing me to hit the honor roll for first time ever while getting perfect attendance. I was flying high with possibly at getting a Core 40 Diploma ( a step higher than a normal one).  All changed, though, when I was once again struck with a seizure that almost cost me not only my school life but my personal life as well. As this was unfolding, one teacher was hoping that I would not pass the English part of a standardize test and refused to sign the waiver trying to prevent me from High School graduation. Once again, I proved my critics wrong by graduating High School!  A major victory in my life.

It took me a year and half out of high school to find my first full- time job.  But at the same time, I was baptized because my heart was crying out. I took Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Things did not end here, my life actually started to get worse with my dad’s best friend committed suicide.  I became so overwhelmed by depression that almost two weeks later, I attempted to commit suicide by taking knife to myself.  My family and my friends came beside me and helped me kick depression’s butt.

Now let us Fast Forward about five years, just before my 26 birthday, a friend of mine ask me what I doing was on a Tuesday Night. Unknown to me, I was about to be introduced to the LIFE Leadership community. My eyes were opened to a group of people that really care about me and will help me Win Big in my life. Thanks to the books I have read, all of the CDs I have listened to (A Whole Lot of them!), and the encouragement from Blake and Apryl Harris, my life has turned around BIG TIME for the better. I now have a positive attitude and let my Sanguine-Phlegmatic Personality really shine in both my personal and professional life. Because of the LIFE Leadership community, my job at McDonalds for the last seven and half years (quitting twice and coming back), has changed dramatically. My hard work, like Chris Brady’s Today’s the Day Cd ( Seven and Half Years!),  the double shifts, working on my days off, angry customers flipping me the Bird! (TODAY’S THE DAY!) is finally paying off.  I was recently promoted to Manager in Training position.  Likely to get my own store.  I want to thank the Life Leadership community (especially Aron and Mary Radosa, Phil and Shannon Bontrager. and Blake and Apryl Harris) for helping me become a lot better person. I don’t where my life would be without this culture, so THANK YOU !

My journey so far had been hard but it’s has been so Worth IT ! and this only the beginning of my success journey.  God Bless,Mike Eppenbaugh”

The Right Community + the Right Hunger + the Right Information = Overcomer!  I changed by watching Mike change and in hearing his story.  I pray you put yourself in an environment that improves you!  Put yourself in the LIFE Leadership community!

God bless,

Aron

Steel the Mind, and Tender the Heart.





Dad and his daughters

8 10 2013

Recently an old friend called me and asked about how to talk to his daughter about becoming a woman.  To say that the question blew me back is an understatement.  His daughter is the same age as my oldest daughter(10 yrs old).  My mind was working in over-drive.  “She is too young.”  “She doesn’t need to know that stuff right now.”  “She isn’t developing yet.”  “Oh, wait Mary said that she was talking about a boy the other day.”  “She has heard the sexuality talk from her mom.”  “Is that enough.”  “My oldest, Hailie, said just yesterday on her way to school, ‘Why do babies have to come from S…E….X…?!'” AUGH!!!  As a dad, you dream of your daughter growing up and becoming great.  You imagine that she will always treat you as the king, but in the same stream of consciousness, you know she had better treat her husband as her #1.  But not for a long time in the future, RIGHT?!

My wife, Mary, is incredible at helping my thick skull see things differently.  Mary has encouraged me to tell my daughters how beautiful they are.  Each daughter takes from their father the aspect of their beauty.  A daughter is dependent on the compliments of their dad to establish and maintain a healthy view of herself.  Mary stated that “beauty comes from the father’s view and then transferred onto the husband at marriage”.   I have done my best to tell Hailie and now, Reagan (my two daughters) how gorgeous they are.  Great example:  Hailie was having a down day and Mary told me to remind her how beautiful Hailie is to me.  Reluctantly (because I was being told what to do), I said,”Hailie, you are gorgeous!”; a feeling I had but did not express out loud.  Her reaction was one of covering her face and walking away.   Mary said, “Do it again.  She loved it.”  So, a few hours later, I repeated my truth to her.  I received the same reaction.  But that night, Hailie snuggled up to me to watch a movie (something she did not do).  I was amazed and elated.  Boy, do our girls need us!

Now gentlemen, their beauty is determined by our perspective, but how about this “purity” thing.  Anybody out there like me?  You are loading your guns and sharpening your aim.  A boy with my daughter?!?—> BAM!  No more boy!  Only kidding, (sort of…)  That is my natural thoughts, but not very healthy or Biblical.  We have established in our household the mother’s role to talk to our daughters about sex and the father’s role to talk to my son.  But the purity thing is a dual responsibility.  And yes, I said, “your RESPONSIBILITY”.  Now I am not perfect nor am I seasoned on this perspective, but some of you readers may be.  In the movie, Courageous, there a great scene of a dad’s want to fulfill the role of a promise.  One of the fathers takes his daughter out to eat at a very elegant restaurant.  During the meal, he presents her with a “promise” ring and places it on her finger to remind her of God’s request and command for purity until marriage.  [Old fashion?  I think not. Just the truth] He promises to be there for her until she finds the one that she falls in love with that believes and maintains the same belief system.  At marriage, the ring will be replaced with a wedding ring.  The transfer is then given unto the new husband to be the stronghold and keeper of her beauty.

Now, I know that I have only scratched the surface of the thoughts.  It is a crucial area of importance for family and fatherhood.  Please tell me of your resources and experiences so we can become stronger as husbands, fathers, and leaders.

My Daughters

To tell you how I feel

Is a task great indeed.

To say you are part of my heart

is simply too small and bleak.

Your smiles and hugs

can blow away any storm.

But your beauty before my eyes

is God reflection in a form.

I ask of you

to grow towards your great.

and maintain the love of God

as bright in every state.

One request of you

and I will end this truth.

Be as great and beautiful

as your Mother has been to both me and you.

 

God bless,   Aron

Steel the Mind and Tender the Heart.





The True Hero and the NFL All-Star

8 04 2013

A lot of the readers out there including myself grew up as NFL wannabees.  We worked hard when we were young and continued that work through high school and maybe your hard work took you to college to play.  Either way, that dream lived for a lot of us to one day get into the big show, the NFL.  Just yesterday, my pastor turned me onto the amazing testimony of Jason Hanson, the place kicker for the Detroit Lions.  No matter what your thoughts are of the Lions, you have to give respect for this gentleman.  I looked up some of his statistics:  Over the course of his 20-year NFL career, he holds the NFL record for most games played with one team. He holds the NFL record for most 50+yard field goals. He also is tied or the most 50+ yard field goals in a single season. He is the first player in NFL history to score 2,000 points with one franchise and has the most career games with one team. His consistency and his accuracy defy reason. He is the first kicker in NFL history to go 8-for-8 on 50+yard field goals in a single season. He holds NFL record making 24 consecutive field goals of 40+ yards. Amazingly, after the 2010 NFL season, Hanson has only missed eight extra points in his 20 year career! In addition, he can be counted on when the game is on the line, accounting for 17 game-winning field goals.

Here is his thoughts on all that:

I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve been to two Pro Bowls. I’ve kicked several game winning field goals. I’m proud to have been with the Detroit Lions my entire career, and I want to finish well.

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 18: Jason Hanson #4 of the...My greatest struggle is not the pressure of making the kick when the game is on the line, or driving the ball deep on kickoffs. Actually, my greatest struggle has nothing to do with my performance on the field, or dealing with all the external elements. It’s an internal struggle. It has to do with not allowing my identity to be dependent on my performance.

God has used football and kicking to shape me. I don’t know how I could kick without my faith. God has given me ability and a mind to use. I find peace in knowing that. I train as hard as I can. I execute my technique as perfectly as I can. And if I miss, I know that God still cares for me and has a plan for me, and my identity does not depend upon a field goal.

Which is not to say that a missed field goal does not bother me. It does. If I miss, I’m more upset than anyone. But even if I lead the NFL in humiliation, I know that my hope is not tied up in what happens on the football field.

I grew up in a Christian family. I was a decent guy, and never visited the wrong side of the tracks. I didn’t come to Christ because I had hit the bottom. In fact, my story is somewhat the opposite. God worked through my success to draw me closer to Him. Success can be as big a test as failure. I began to experience how good it was to succeed. I was a consensus All-American my sophomore year at Washington State. I’ve signed nice contracts. I have a certain amount of celebrity. But I’ve discovered it’s all empty. It can’t satisfy. The greatest despair in life comes from reaching your dream and discovering that’s all there is.

I’ve always liked the Bible story of the rich young ruler, who had everything a person could want – fortune, good reputation, power and influence – but he was missing the most critical thing – a relationship with God.

Over the years, as I tasted success and found it empty, I have become more and more convinced that everything the Bible says is true, and Jesus is exactly who He says He is. In fact, I’ve based my entire life on Jesus being who He says He is – the Savior of the world.

Jesus said, “Come, follow Me.” And I have. And in Him alone I have found peace.   Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is something you can always rely on. I’m going to make mistakes, maybe miss a kick or whatever, but I know no matter what, I have my relationship with Christ. And that’s the most important thing of all.

 

Great stuff!  Do you think Jason claims that he is the hero of the story, or someone a lot bigger?  Most see his fortune, cars, and big house and believe it is only the skill and money.  Jason also has a marriage that lasts from 1992 and 3 children.   It makes one think.  No matter what you think of God and His Savior, you can’t deny the evidence.  You must get around people like Jason to truly see if it is real.  But where?  I get this opportunity with my friend and mentor, Bill Lewis .  He has all the success one would like, but consistently gives God the glory.  I would compel you to look into the depths of the Life Company.  Not the surface, but the heart is where the meaning lies.  They welcome your presence and your desire to be more.

God bless, Aron

Steel the mind and Tender the heart.





Unified under a Creed

30 07 2012

Sometimes in the affairs of men there is a call for commitment outside of oneself.  A call that endows us to a Creator under a call.  Throughout history there always has stood men and women with causes that required more than a need for work ethic and persistence.  The strength of one is only improved by the strength of others going in the same direction.  When a group makes a decision to stop making a life and begin making a future for those they love, all the world adjusts and mountains can be moved.  If it be the will of God, we send this Creed out to a “few Stout-Hearted Men”.   The world depended upon them; They depended upon EACH OTHER.  God bless, Aron   — Steel the mind and Tender the heart

Band of Brothers Creed

I understand, that as a member of the Band of Brothers that I am part of a great tradition of honor, loyalty, service, unity, and winning.  I understand that, as a member of the Band of Brothers, that I have a great responsibility to uphold this tradition through my attitude, my words, and my actions.

I understand that the CULTURE of a team determines its success, destiny, and legacy.  As a member of the Band of Brothers, I commit to making our culture a winning culture, to be known around the world as what a unified team of champions should look like. As a member of the Band of Brothers, I pledge my SACRED HONOR to help BUILD and PROTECT this culture with my example, my character, and my commitment.

I Resolve….

To buy into the VISION that the BAND OF BROTHERS will be the team with best duplication and the best attitude.  I understand that the BAND OF BROTHERS’ goal is to become the TAPROOT of the TEAM, which is the BEST TEAM with the MOST LEADERS.  I fully understand that what we do now will determine our future for the next 20 years.  I understand that my goals, dreams, freedom, children’s future, country’s future, and ‘The LIFE I’ve always wanted’, all hang in the balance.

 To model the ‘HEART OF A CHAMPION’ through my attitude and my example.  I understand that there is a price for progress and I commit to pay it in full.  I commit to have the faith and courage necessary to believe in this cause and to deserve victory.  I understand that there are always 3 choices: give-in, give-up, or give it all you got.  I will always choose to GIVE IT ALL I’VE GOT.

To model the 4 E’s: Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Expectation, and Edification is attitude, words, and actions.  I understand that principle of ‘Zeal without knowledge is dangerous, but knowledge without zeal is dead”. I understand that as a member of the Band of Brothers, I need to be the thermostat and not the thermometer.  I will set the tone with ENTHUSIASM at all times, including every meeting I attend.  I will ENCOURAGE through acceptance, approval, and appreciation, and to never criticize, condemn, or complain.  I will work to adopt a NO NEGATIVE philosophy in my life and take it everywhere I go. I understand how important EXPECTATION is , and I will work to set a positive, winning EXPECTATION. I will be the example in expecting excellence, but never judge others.  I understand the power of EDIFICATION.  I will learn to speak all the good I can of others to their face, from stage and behind their back.  I will make a point to honestly edify others, especially my leaders with every chance I get.

To be the BEST STUDENT I can be by mastering the Team Tools, the Team System, and the Top 5 books.  No team will know, use, or promote the Team tools, the Team system, the Top 5 books, better that the Band of Brothers.  I know this begins with me.  I will be w walking, talking CD listening to and promoting machine.  I will work to listen, to know, and to promote the Team packs first, the Team system second, and the Life material third.  I understand how important people skills are and I will be ONE OF THE BEST AT DEALING WITH PEOPLE by reading the Top 5 books on a regular basis.

To master the BASICS of the 5 Step Pattern, Team Approach, Power Player, and Game-Planning.  I understand that DEPTH builds POSTURE AND BELIEF and I will never forget it!  I will strive to get in action and to master the 5 step pattern.  I commit to learning and practicing the methods of TEAM APPROACH.  I understand that POWER PLAYER has always been and will always be our play.  I know now that Power Player is my goal.  I know that it is important to have a Game-Plan and to Keep Score.  I understand, that in order to use a coach effectively, that I need to be showing plans and will work diligently to do so.  If I am showing 15 plans a month, I will seek out my coach with a HUMBLE and a HUNGRY attitude.  I will KEEP SCORE by drawing out my team and having it ready for my coach when we get together.  I understand that my team’s goal is to go 10 deep, and I commit to playing my part to hit this goal.

To be a PROFESSIONAL in all I do, which includes attitude, words, dress, and deeds.  I understand that 100% of what I do wrong and 50% of what I do right will be duplicated.  I realize that ATTITUDE MATTERS and resolve to have a great one everywhere I go, but at the time, to have GRACE for others who might be having a bad day.  I will dress sharp for all house plans, open meetings, and seminars.  I understand that 50% of success is just showing up, and therefore, I will strive to go to everything I qualify for: opens, challenge groups, seminars, leaderships, and promotions.  I will try my best to come early, sit as close to the front as possible, and stay late.  I will be the first to volunteer and encourage others to volunteer anytime the TEAM calls on the Band of Brothers, because I realize that this is my team too.  I live the principle of service before self.  I understand that not everyone is going to do what I’m willing to do, but nobody will ever do what I’m not willing to do.

To always have TEAM PRIDE: first for the TEAM, then for the Band of Brothers, and third for my division of the Band of Brothers.  I understand that LOYALTY and UNITY matter.  I will be the LOUDEST and the most ENTHUSIASTIC person at every event, and especially anytime the Band of Brothers or any individual Band of Brother is speaking,  recognized, or mentioned from stage.  I will have the courage to be the first to cheer and the last to stop.  I know that I am part of a very rare ‘Fellowship of the Heart’, and will not take this for granted.

To build and maintain SPEED OF TRUST with my leader and with my team.  This starts and end with LOVE, CHARACTER, AND GRACE.  I understand that character is doing the right thing despite the inconvenience, feeling, fear, or consequence.  I will strive to have my yes, always mean yes, and my no, to always mean no.  I will take pride in having a great speed of trust in all areas of my life including, but not limited to : words, respect, time, and money.  I will resolve any conflict with courage and grace anytime I see or sense a problem.

To build a ‘BATTLE CRY’ culture.  I understand the principle of ‘Iron sharpens Iron’ and therefore, I will strive to listen to Team Talks on my EBC, leave Team Talks, and promote Team Talk on a regular basis.

Lastly, I resolve to be one the many who are going to BUILD and PROTECT this winning BAND OF BROTHERS CULTURE.  I understand that it only takes a few Stout-Hearted men and women, with courage, commitment, and passion, to lead to 10,000 more.  I pledge to be a true TEAM-PLAYER, to have ENDURANCE when it gets tough, to understand the power of DUPLICATION & MOMENTUM, and to always be the EXAMPLE.  I will do everything in my power, God willing, to honor God, to serve my fellow-man, and to build and protect a culture that all the BAND OF BROTHERS can be proud of!!  THE BAND OF BROTHERS lead the way…..

“Give me some men

Who are Stout-Hearted Men

Who will fight for the right they adore.

Start me with ten

Who are Stout-Hearted Men

And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.

Shoulder to shoulder, and bolder and bolder,

They grow as they go to the fore….





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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP98R-K1bTI&sns=em

God bless, Aron

Steel the mind and Tender the heart.