Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Clean Slate

Today is the first day in over thirty six years that I have waken up with no enemies. I began acquiring adversaries in my early teenage years. At times they included people from entire countries that had a beef with my country. Once someone was on the bad list, it was almost impossible for me to stop hating them. That is what makes this day so special.

I refuse to take any credit for my new life. As I look back, I see how God placed people in my life that helped me to change my perspective on the world. I recall the first person I met from the former Soviet Union. He was the kind of person I would have wanted to be around if we lived in the same hood. He came to America because he loved everything we stood for. We had music and jeans. We also had missiles pointed at his city but he ignored that. He told me his city was full of students that did not share his governments view of our country. He desired freedom and desperately wanted to live here.

As a youngster, I watched the news reports that showed other countries accusing us of being the "Great Satan" and burning our flag...that fueled the anger I felt inside. Later in life, I began meeting people from this country that fled persecution. These people were highly successful in their homeland. They gave up engineering jobs just to come here and live their dreams. They became taxi cab drivers and car dealers. I became good friends with these people. They showed me scars from the torture they endured because they thought differently from their leaders. Many lost parents or siblings. I will never forget that one of these people from a country that I once despised showed up at my father's funeral. He came in as the service was beginning and I invited him to sit with my family. He didn't even know my father but wanted to give me support. He was my only customer that made time for the service.

I was invited to a Muslim wedding. It was an incredible experience. The people were great and the day was filled with so much joy. They were so different from the flag burners that I saw on TV. They had family values and loved living in a country that valued freedom.

Gradually, my prejudice toward entire countries faded. Each new person I met helped me to understand that my views of the world were very wrong. Then one day something very special happened. A lady placed her hands over me and prayed for the Holy Spirit to enter my heart. Later she apologized for crying all over me. She told me when she put her hands over me, she felt heat and she knew something was happening. I told her that I never felt her tears but I did have a vision of all of my enemies and I was thanking God for them.

Today I understand the vision. The last enemy has been forgiven. There is an incredible joy to be so free. It took so much energy to hate that many people. The last one on the list remained there for a long time. The pain he caused affected all of my partners. His name is not important and the past hurt is not important.

Yesterday I asked for a meeting with my former enemy and talked with him in private. I confronted him about the past and told him I wanted everything to remain in the past. He told me that he thought all of us at Zoom were plotting to destroy the company he represented. He talked about our departure plans and the malice we had.

It is true that all of us had a great deal of anger directed at Goliath. We knew we had been black-balled. This was the number one reason we decided to move forward with our plan to compete. We saw this as our only hope to have a better life. I told this person that my partners and I made a pact that we would never speak to him again when we started Zoom. I kept my part of the agreement for over four and one half years. Yesterday I forgave my former enemy and then called the partners that were most affected by this individual. I told them that it was time to put the past in the past and move on and they agreed. We never wanted to destroy Goliath but it appears that when they attacked us, they self-destructed. There were 4,000 casualties. Was this a coincidence? My partners and I are too busy putting these people back to work to answer this question. I do feel that our presence in the marketplace may have caused a distraction for Goliath. I am sad for all the people that lost their jobs and pray that they recover.

Today is a new day. I have a clean slate. I cannot even begin to describe how good it feels to be in this world with no enemies. When I get to meet Jesus I will thank him for every person he placed next to me in His puzzle. Each one played a role in helping me to become a better person.

Today is a great day to have a clean slate. May you find a way to forgive your enemies and discover the joy of letting go of past hurts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Peace Be With You

Peace is something we all seek. It is mentioned 247 times in the Bible. There is a difference between peace and trouble and it is very possible to have both at the same time. Peace is a state of mind and trouble is related to the external events that are going on in our lives.

I cannot imagine my life without peace as I face my daily challenges. So how do we get peace in our lives? I wanted to share some ideas that have helped me to have more peace in my life:

1. Decide that no matter what storm you are facing on the outside, you will be at peace on the inside.

2. Forgive your enemies. Pray for them to have better lives.

3. Make a poster board and place the word "peace" on it (See earlier post about the poster board).

4. Listen to peaceful music.

5. Read "In Pursuit of Peace" by Joyce Meyer (one of my wife's favorites).

6. Meditate daily.

7. Set worthwhile goals and achieve them.

8. Volunteer.

9. Pray for peace.

10. Remember that God wins!

For me, there is no greater peace than knowing Jesus is my personal friend. Now that He is in my heart, I know He is with me everywhere I go. I get stuck in traffic jams just like everyone else and sometimes I find myself standing in long lines. Maybe my Friend wants me to slow down so we can spend some time together? It prevents road rage when I view the bad traffic as an opportunity to pray.

May your day be filled with peace.

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Each day, more and more of the connections to God's puzzle are revealed. This week, while my family was in Arizona, we took my mother out to celebrate her 70th birthday. Our waitress recognized my mother. She grew up in the house next door and lived there for twenty two years before moving out to get married and start her own family. My mother has now lived in her home for forty five years. Our waitress commented on what a coincidence it was that out of the millions of people in Phoenix, we would all meet. I just smiled because I recognized the moment as another "Godincidence".

It is no coincidence that you are at this site. We are all connected in God's puzzle. Some of us are the hands, others the feet. Those of us with special hearts are to reach out and comfort others. When we are connected, the puzzle is complete.

Yesterday, I was driving to work and met Nancy and her daughter while they were on a walk. She gave me permission to use her name because she is another special part of the puzzle. I have known Nancy for nearly twenty two years. All three of her children were babysitters for my kids. My wife worked for Nancy and I worked with Nancy during my time in the cave.

Nancy called me recently to tell me she listed me as a reference for a job she was applying for. I am hoping to create a job for her soon as we expand in other cities. As I talked with Nancy, she told me that she reads this blog every day. I shared with her that another individual from the blog emailed me asking for prayers for wisdom and that became the inspiration for yesterday's post. Nancy immediately offered to send a copy of wisdom quotes to this person. She told me she keeps extra copies that she freely distributes to those in need.

This is how God's puzzle works. We are all connected so we can help one another in our journey. We know how the story ends. No matter how bleak our current situation may be, in the end, God wins. If we are connected to Him and to each other, we win too.

May your day be filled with "Godincidences" and may you be blessed with the wisdom to see just how active God is in your life. Stay connected and have a great day. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your gifts with others. The wisdom another reader was praying for will be in today's mail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


If a genie were to appear in front of you and offer you three wishes, what would you ask for? Would your wishes include a better job or improved health? Maybe you would like to see more money in your bank account? This is pretty much the same question that God asked Solomon and Solomon's answer pleased God. He only asked for one thing, wisdom.

There is an entire book in the Bible dedicated to wisdom. We don't need some kind of magical genie to acquire wisdom. We don't need to buy wisdom, it is free...we just need to ask for it (and EXPECT to receive it).

In my life, I started praying for wisdom as a teenager. I never asked for a lot of wisdom, just enough to face each day so I could deal with my challenges. Since I never really expected to be wise, this prayer was answered very slowly over three decades. The more wisdom I obtain, the more I realize just how far away I am from reaching higher levels of understanding.

The Book of Wisdom contains nineteen chapters. The first six are meant for our leaders. The next three teach us that true wisdom only comes from God and that you can obtain it through prayer and leading a good life. The last ten chapters show us the effects of wisdom.

If you are seeking wisdom, you will find it if you look in the right place. Why not start with the Book of Wisdom? Have a great day.

Wisdom 7:7 - Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Man in the Mirror

Sometimes, looking in the mirror is painful. The more I look in the mirror, the more I realize that I am the source of much of the conflict in my relationships with others. Like Michael Jackson says in his song, "the Man in the Mirror", change starts with looking in the mirror.

A long time ago, I received an email from a friend and it was full of pictures of what people around the world eat. Each picture showed a family surrounded by the food that they were going to eat for the week. It also showed the food bill. The first picture was your typical American family. It was loaded with soda, ice cream, pizza, etc, etc. The food bill was enormous.

The pictures went in descending order according to the dollars spent. The family from South America had a diet high in beans, rice, vegetables, and water. What struck me in the picture was all the smiling faces. The last picture was a family from Africa. Once again, everyone in the picture had an oversize smile. There were a couple of jugs of water and some rice. The food bill was smaller than what we spend on one night at a restaurant, for dessert!

What do you see when you look in the mirror? I am going to keep working on making changes in what I eat. It is easier to make better choices when I think about the children in the other countries that are wondering when they will get their next meal. I am also going to keep working on being more accepting of others. This is easy to do when I look in the mirror and see what needs to be changed. Have a great day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Role Models

I would like to send out a big thank you to my relatives for the invitation to the 50th anniversary celebration. It was so special to connect with all of you. The world is better because many of you have reached out and touched the lives of people around you. I am one of those people who have benefited from you.

Yesterday, one of my relatives noticed how much fun my daughter was having taking pictures of the party. She mentioned how important photography was to my grandfather and my daughter loved hearing about his passion. He had his own photography business and worked hard to support his family.

The first time I went to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration was for my grandparents on my mother's side. Yesterday, many of my relatives recalled just how special that day was. It seems rare these days to see couples stay together for life. We all need role models to show us how to make our marriages work.

I recall all the challenges my grandparents faced in their lives. First, my grandfather had to survive the Mexican Revolution. He came to this country prior to the depression and made a better life for himself and his siblings by working hard as a railroad worker before launching his photography business that covered two cities. He bought a house during the depression and made sure all four of his children received college educations.

When my grandmother discovered she had stomach cancer, they both stuck together through the challenging times. My grandmother lived a full life despite having two thirds of her stomach removed. She never complained even though she spent the rest of her life sleeping in a seated position. In fact, she is the most optimistic person I have ever known in my life.

When my first child was born, my grandmother gave me something she always carried around with her for inspiration. It is called "My Daily Bread". I never paid much attention to it until my "conversion experience". These days, my wife and I both read it regularly.

I am thankful for the many role models in my life. This blog is dedicated to all the people in our world that serve as role models for others. I want to acknowledge my grandparents on both sides of my family for all they have done. The photos above are of Victor and Mary Rubalcaba, my mother's parents. I know they were both smiling from Heaven yesterday as they watched their only son and his wife follow in their footsteps.

May your life be filled with great role models and may you also be a source of inspiration for others by living your life to its fullest potential. Have a great day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tribute to Victor and Patricia Rubalcaba-50 Years of Marriage

This is my first blog on the road. I am sitting in a Starbucks in Arizona typing this post as I pay tribute to my mother's brother and his wife. Today we will witness these precious relatives renew their vows in front of God, their eight children and extended family from all over the country. It is such a Blessing to be here with "la familia".

This couple has been so special and today's blog is dedicated to them. They made several video clips that were emailed to family members and there was one message in particular that is really for all of us. My relatives started a St. Vincent De Paul chapter in their hometown and they have spent much of their lives feeding the homeless. As they reached out to family members to announce their anniversary, my uncle Victor made a plea to make sure all family members reach out and give the homeless a snack to eat. My aunt Patty added, "don't just give them a snack, take them out for a meal!" This is what makes this couple so special, they are very focused on the people around them. They also understand that the best way to celebrate the renewal of their vows is to do it at God's table. So today, we have been invited to break Bread with Jesus in His House and witness this extraordinary couple say yes to each other and to God. This is what keep marriages alive. After the banquet, we will go to the park and a feast which will include home-made tamales prepared by this special couple. They are feeding the people that have been invited to their celebration today just like Jesus feeds us at his banquet. Should a homeless person walk up to the party, I know he or she will be welcome to join the anniversary party.

Thank you, uncle Victor and aunt Patty, for being such a great role model for me and my children. Thank you for being advocates for those around us that could use a helping hand. It is so awesome to see you following in your parents footsteps. It seems like yesterday that we were all together to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

I will see you at the party. May God Bless you, your children, and your grandchildren on this special day and all the days ahead of you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Helping Hand

The first African-American to break through the color barrier in major league baseball was Jackie Robinson. His place in God’s puzzle is an important one. He opened the door for others who were always treated as inferior and he helped the white pieces of the puzzle to understand that everyone is equal.

Jackie had an amazing career but the beginning was shaky. He was jeered in every stadium he played in. The moment that defined his future happened in his home stadium in Brooklyn. He was standing on second base after committing an error. The noisy fans taunted him as he stood in front of them. He was alone and felt humiliated.

Then, team captain Pee Wee Reese approached him. Standing tall next to Jackie, Pee Wee extended his arm and put it around Jackie. Finally, the crowd hushed. A helping hand was all that was needed to keep Jackie in the game and to open the doors for many that would follow in Jackie’s footsteps. Pee Wee remained one of Jackie’s closest friends until Jackie was “called up” at the age of 53.

Maybe your helping hand can make a difference in the life of someone you are connected to? It takes courage to stand up in front of a crowd that is behaving improperly. It may not be popular to defend another who is alone and in distress. Stand up anyway. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Pee Wee did it for Jackie and Jackie did it for the world. Who will you extend your hand for?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hot, Cold or Lukewarm?

If someone told you that you had one month to live, how would you spend your last 30 days on this planet? Would you do anything differently? Much has been written about this topic and there is even a movie coming out soon that is based on the Mayan calendar which ends in the year 2012.

Since I believe that all of us have eternal life, I am not really concerned about when my final chapter in this world ends. I instead concentrate on the role I play in God's puzzle and my relationship with the other pieces of the puzzle.

As I reflect on my new life outside the cave, one thing I notice is that I no longer live with fear. I would describe my "temperature" in the cave days as lukewarm, that is just sort of going through the motions. If someone had asked me what I would do with my final 30 days while I was still in the cave, I would have answered that big changes would be made.

Now that I am free, I see the world very differently. There is passion in my daily love letters to my wife. My enemies are no longer enemies. My relationships with others are getting better as I work on overcoming my own weaknesses, the main source of friction with others. I feel a sense of purpose as I contribute to this blog on a daily basis. My "temperature" has gone from lukewarm to hot. If you told me today that my time is almost up, I wouldn't change anything.

There is a quote in the Bible related to our temperature (Revelation 3:15). Jesus doesn't like lukewarm. He wants us to make a choice to be "all in" or completely out. A life without passion does not attract other people to God's puzzle. Can you imagine eating a steak that is only partially cooked? How about going to the dentist and having him clean only half of your teeth? Middle of the road does not cut it!

Live each day as if it were your last and don't worry about when that day is. Make sure that you let the people you care about know how much you love them. May your temperature be red hot today and all the days that are ahead of you.

Revelation 3:15

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


There is nothing in this world that compares to your brain. Super computers are impressive but will never match the creativity you are capable of. Every day, scientists are making fascinating discoveries about brain power.

As awesome as your brain is, it is very likely that you will only develop about 10% of it during your lifetime. Can you imagine what would happen to your life if you tapped into the unused 90% of it?

Today's blog is about removing the roadblocks that are preventing your brain from working at higher levels. The key point here is that your brain listens to your thoughts. When you tell your brain that you can't do something, your brain accepts this as instructions or programming. For example, every time you say "I am terrible at remembering names", your brain shuts down part of your memory that is associated with recalling names. This becomes a pattern as your brain simply follows every command that you give it.

Positive affirmations become new "suggestions" for your brain and your brain will accommodate you. Instead of telling your brain that you are terrible at remembering names, tell other people that you are getting better at remembering names daily and your brain will listen to these conversations. Your brain will activate new pathways or connections each time you talk about how your memory is improving. The law of attraction (see previous post) will draw people into your life that will help you improve your memory.

Think of your thoughts as food for the brain. If you have been living on junk food, no wonder your brain is functioning below its capability. It's time to cut out all the junk food (negative thoughts) and give your brain some fruits and veggies. Your brain will amaze you as you feed it positive thoughts. It won't even remember the bad stuff you were eating all your life.

Make a list of all the new food you are going to eat. The best part of your new "diet" is that the more healthy food you eat, the better your brain will work. You don't even need to worry about weight gain!

What is on your menu today?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two Visions Get Connected

This journey we are on together is full of surprises. I am starting to see how these random thoughts are actually connected to each other. Jesus tells us in Isaiah 55:8 that "My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways." As I work on my relationship with Jesus and others, I am becoming more spiritually aware of His thoughts and His ways. Let's just jump into my revelation for today's blog.

The first vision I am referring to is the one where I saw of all of my enemies in front of me. Jesus was next to me as we looked at the very large crowd (I was THANKING JESUS that all of these people were in my life). When I woke up after the "laying of hands", I felt a sense of peace that I have never experienced before. This story is also in an earlier post. Until this morning, I never saw a connection between these two "random" visions. Like Isaiah says, "My ways are not your ways". It has taken me years to see just how these two visions are connected.

If you go back and read my post, "My Biggest Bible Lesson", that is the second of two visions. It is the very moment Jesus become a Living and Breathing Friend. He showed me what I look like in His eyes.

You, the reader of this blog are the connection to the two visions. Until this morning, I did not see a connection between my enemies from the first vision and the crowd that was gathered to meet Jesus when He returns in the second vision. I am still deciphering God's puzzle. Each day more of the puzzle is revealed.

Both visions are of our future. After I woke up from the first vision, I was in some sort of daze for weeks. The Holy Spirit had stepped in to help me with my forgiveness shortcomings. It may be one thing to forgive, but to THANK JESUS for these people...are you out or your mind?

Now I am realizing that these ex-enemies are the people that I will bring with me to meet Jesus. How crazy is that! Well, every day I get closer to those two visions. As time passes, I am slowly working on my relationships with the other pieces of the puzzle and I find myself thanking God every day for these very special people that I once had a lot of trouble with. I am also thankful that I am following the One who is Perfect at forgiving.

I want to close with a touching story of someone from my past. He drove hundreds of miles to meet me and heal a past wound. He was in some kind of class and his assignment was to make a list of people that he had broken relationships with. He told me I was at the top of his list and he was seeking forgiveness. I am sure that my stubborn ways caused much of the conflict. It was good to have my friend back in my life again and we both benefited from his reaching out.

Why not make your own list of people in your life that have caused you pain? Reach out to the top person on your list. If that person is no longer in this world, try writing a letter expressing your thoughts. If they are still on this planet, make contact. Start praying for all the people on your "list". Pray that their lives be abundantly Blessed. Can these be the people that you bring with you to meet Jesus?

While you are working on your "list", I will be doing the same thing. Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object

This question popped into my head as I was waking up this morning and I asked my wife, "what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" I think this question may have something to do with blowing bubbles last night. My wife remembered that we were going to place all of our negative thoughts in the bubbles and watch them float away and then pop. She stopped by the store to pick up "Miracle Bubbles" (what an appropriate name). It sounds really crazy but we both laughed as we watched our troubles float away into the sunset. Some of the bubbles swirled around us in the gentle evening breeze before leaving but every bubble eventually burst.

Sometimes, we think that our problems our immovable. If we believe this, our problems will always be with us. During our lifetime, we can end up surrounded by a wall that we believe to be immovable. This is very similar to the cave I lived in for so many years. I had a false belief that the "wall" or "immovable objects" around me could not be penetrated by any outside solutions. I needed an unstoppable force to break through my false belief system and free me from my own negative thoughts.

The best way to answer the question of unstoppable force vs. immovable object is to realize that the question is purely hypothetical. The only immovable objects in the world are the ones we create in our own minds. We need to believe we can get these obstacles out of our way if they are going to disappear like the bubbles my wife and I blew last night.

The good news for all of us is that there really is an unstoppable force in the universe. You can attract this force into your life with your own thoughts. In my mind, I see this unstoppable force finding a way past the immovable object (just like light that goes through glass). If it goes through the object, the object remains immovable and the unstoppable force remains unstoppable.

Are you attracting the Unstoppable Force into your life or are you only seeing the "imaginary" immovable objects that you have created in your own mind?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reticular Activation

Yesterday's blog was about making a poster board depicting how you are going to use your unique gifts (I finished mine before I went to bed). I also asked you to blow bubbles. My three teenagers thought the bubble thing was very corny. It doesn't matter what they think, what matters is that what I write about does not come from me but from the universe that I am connected to and I understand that it is for you, the reader of this blog. Tonight, my wife and I are going to blow bubbles. She gets the message...put the negative thoughts inside the bubbles and watch them float away. It may seem corny but I trust the source of these daily messages and I no longer listen to the negative voices.

So, this message came into my head as soon as I woke up and asked God what I am to write about today. The words, "reticular activation", came into my head. I knew what this meant but I did a Google search on it to see what came up. It was interesting to see that reticular activation was listed with the universal law of attraction. Just like the connection that each of us has with one another, these sometimes random blogs are all connected.

Reticular activation is some kind of awakening of your senses. Once you set a goal, you begin to see things that were always there, you just didn't notice until you focused your thoughts on them. You literally begin to attract things into your life that will help you reach your goals. Your brain makes sure that you see every reminder of what you are seeking.

In order for your brain to do this, you must first decide what you want. No goal means no reticular activation. If you missed yesterday's blog, take a look at it and don't be afraid to make a poster board showing what you want to achieve. It is important to put it in a place where you can see it every day.

I will share two of my goals for next year as examples. The first goal is to have 10,000 visitors to this blog by December 31st, 2010. I believe that if the Creator nudged me to do this, then He must want the lost and the fallen to come here. If you are already part of the "choir", maybe your job is to share this site with others in your life that need hope. This goal may seem impossible as there are millions of blogs out there. I only have 9,700 visitors to go. Let's see what happens.

The second goal is related to our Zoom business. On March 17th, 2010, we will celebrate our five year anniversary. I can still hear the voices of those close to me who told me we would fail. Goliath has been a formidable opponent but we are winning because we put our gifts together and we have attracted superior people to join us. I put on my poster board that we will be in five cities by our 5th anniversary. As of today, there are two. Let's see what happens during the next five months.

Which voice are you going to listen to? Is it the negative voice that is telling you that you will fail? Maybe it is the tiny voice that says, "You are uniquely qualified to reach the goals you have set. The world will be better off because you have chosen to connect to the puzzle and share your gifts."

Bookmark this site and lets work together to reach your destiny. Have a great day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Law of Attraction

Have you ever wondered why certain people appear in your life at just the right moment to help you reach a goal you are working on? If you are not familiar with the law of attraction, you may look at the situation as a coincidence. There are people in this world much smarter than me that have dedicated their lives to teaching others all about this subject.

This law of attraction can work for you or against you depending upon what it is that you are attracting into your life. Once you understand how this works, you can make it work in a positive way and turn your dreams into reality.

The law of attraction starts with a dream or vision that you have for your future. I recommend that you go to a quiet place for about an hour and close your eyes. Examine what is on your heart. Discover the passion that is deep inside of you. Don't hold back. Dream big! You are the only one out of billions of people that is uniquely you. You have talent inside of you that is waiting to be unleashed.

If the negative voice inside of you starts speaking, put the voice into a bubble and let the bubble float away. If the dream killers start attacking you, put their voices in bubbles and release the bubbles into the wind. Before you move on to the next step, make sure all the bubbles have floated far away from you.

So now you have a dream for your future. It is based on the passion that is within you and it is based on the gifts or talents you have that make you who you are. The next step is the most important step. You must BELIEVE that your dream can become a reality. You must focus your energy on pursuing this dream. Be clear about what you want to do with your life. Go to the store and buy a poster board so that you can put pictures and words in one place that you can look at every day. Share this poster board with your loved ones. Look at the poster board every day and BELIEVE that this dream will come true.

The final step is the best part of the law of attraction. I want you to EXPECT people to come into your life that will help you live your dreams. Make sure you show gratitude for each person. Remember, we are all connected in ways that may not make sense. There is a kind of energy in the universe that we cannot see. Somehow, this energy allows us to attract what we need to turn dreams into reality.

If you let the negative voices kill your dreams, you will never achieve the destiny that belongs to you. I left my negative voices in the cave when I decided to come out and live my dreams just over fifty days ago. When one of those voices approaches me, I just start blowing bubbles and watch the voice float away. There is no room for those voices in my new life. My family appreciates all the positive people we are attracting into our lives and we are truly thankful that they are helping us to live our dreams.

Go to the store today and buy some poster board and some bubbles. Take your family outside and have everyone blow bubbles. Share with them that as the bubbles float away, so do the negative voices. Now, let each member of your family work on their own poster board. You are never too old or too young to do this. Make it fun. This is your dream, it can also be your reality if you take the time to dream first and then BELIEVE it can happen. New people will be appearing in your life very soon, you are already attracting them in ways that cannot be explained.

Send me feedback. I am EXPECTING to hear from you on how your life has changed. If you give me permission to share your success story, it may appear in a future blog. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Are You the Lost Piece of the Puzzle?

Something strange just happened as I was starting this blog, I accidentally hit the wrong button and the post got published with only the title. If you read the title this morning and did not see the blog, I wonder what might have been going through your head as you were looking for today's message.

If you are reading this and you feel that your relationships are great and you know why you are on this planet, you can skip today's blog. If you feel lost and disconnected, then you are at the right place.

Allow me to share a little bit about my relationships first so that you can understand I am only a messenger here. Without getting specific, I am struggling with some people in my life that are close to me. I realize that my time in the cave damaged relationships with people around me that I love. I spent so much time and energy starting a business that I stopped paying attention to friends and family members. If you are one of these people, please accept my apology for not being there for you.

Maybe you have read some of my stories, and you find my past behavior repulsive. I also find my past behavior hypocritical and ugly. I realize that I am still a work in progress. If you are one of the pieces of the puzzle that is stuck next to me, please forgive me if I have offended you. I am happy to be outside the cave but some of you may want me to return. That is not going to happen. I understand why I am here and I will do my best to work on my relationships with the people I am to be connected to.

The only credibility that I have for today's blog is that I know how bad it feels to be lost. I know the pain of watching someone I love lose a battle with cancer. More than anything else in this world, I know the pain you are feeling in your heart because you feel your burdens are too heavy or you feel that you don't belong in God's puzzle. Maybe you hate the pieces of the puzzle that are around you or you feel that all the other pieces hate you. I've been there too. Be patient. God is not done with you and He is not done with the other pieces either. He has a plan for all of us and He just wants us to trust Him.

The lesson for today is for us to know just how involved the Creator is in our lives. He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be re-connected with our Father. There is no greater love than to die for another. He will leave the other ninety nine to search for you, the one who is disconnected from the puzzle. He will put people in your life to help you find your place in the puzzle. You are the only one who can fit the very place in the puzzle that has been reserved just for you. God's puzzle is not complete without you.

You are a special part of God's plan. Start by accepting the other pieces of the puzzle, even if they have shortcomings. If you are holding a grudge, let go of it. It is time for you to come out of your cave. The door is open...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Laugh a Little

My grandmother on my father's side was quite a joke teller and prankster. I will never forget the time she watched us for a weekend while my parents were out of town. Our first activity was to short sheet my parent's bed. She explained that they would be tired when they came home and what a surprise they would get when they discovered her little trick.

My grandmother was so full of life that her neighbors on both sides of her moved out to be in a more quiet apartment. She would play cards and tell stories into the wee hours of the morning. This went on all the way into her nineties. She even planned her own funeral which she wanted to include, "When the Saints Go Marching In" as a tear-jerker for the packed crowd. For her, planning a funeral was as exciting as preparing for a party and she attended many for friends that preceded her. She knew how to draw a crowd and there was not an empty seat in the house when her time came to appear on the "Big Stage" in Heaven. I can see all the angels and saints laughing at her endless supply of jokes.

"Grandma" and "great-grandma" were names that were too old-sounding for her, so all of us called her "Grammy" or "Gigi" (short for great-grandmother). I can still hear her signature laugh that is well imitated by many of my cousins. It is like the noise you make when you become scared or accidentally trip on something.

My father did not talk too much about his childhood. There were painful memories of an older brother that was diagnosed with Leukemia. His brother had to travel to another city for treatments. My grandfather dedicated his life to serving others as a family doctor, but there was nothing he could do for his own son. I can only imagine how difficult it was for the family to deal with this kind of loss.

As I recall my childhood, I remember watching family shows like "Happy Days". Those shows have been replaced with "reality TV" or dramas about crime. I stopped watching the news because it became too depressing.

My point for today is that we can't forget to laugh a little. I have a tennis buddy that sends me jokes regularly. They remind me of my Grammy. She went out of her way to brighten the lives of the people around her with her strange sense of humor. May your life be filled with laughter like the kind Grammy gave our world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This is my favorite technique for improving my life. It makes all my obstacles look smaller and motivates me to stay laser focused on my goals. If you haven't read the post on "time targets", make sure to check it out. Here is how visualization works:

1. Pick an area of your life that you want to change. Now close your eyes and see yourself at a future moment with the change already accomplished. Lets say your ambition is to be an artist. In this scenario, see yourself in an art gallery. You are surrounded by beautiful paintings. People are all around you are admiring your work. You are living your dream.

2. Repeat this step every day when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. Make a mental note of everything you see in this future picture. Imagine yourself using the paint brush. Make this picture very, very detailed. You can "see" the paint brushes. You can see your new work area or studio. You can even see your paintings.

3. Be aware of all of the good things that start "falling out of the sky". It is as if the universe becomes aware of your goal and people and events start coming into your life to help turn your dream into a reality. You must act on every opportunity that comes your way.

4. Stop concentrating on the obstacles and instead picture yourself living your dream. Make this a game. See yourself in a future interview answering questions about how you conquered impossible roadblocks.

5. Write detailed notes of everything you see as you visualize your new life as an artist. Organize your notes into a "to do" list. Set aside time every day to work on your list.

In order to make visualization work, you must believe that this dream can happen. You must be willing to make sacrifices to accomplish your goal. Say no to the distractions and time wasters. Do one thing every day that brings you one step closer to living the dream you have already seen in your mental picture.

Whatever your dream is, get started today. I would love to get some feedback from you about the changes you have made using this technique. Maybe it will be an invitation to the gallery to see your paintings? Dream big and don't let the dream killers get in your way.

In case you need help with this new technique, look to positive people that believe in you. The following video clip shows how a good coach can help you overcome the obstacles you face. Remember the "miracle on ice"? It all started with a dream...Do you believe in your dream?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Frog in Hot Water

Did you know that a frog can boil to death? It doesn't happen when he jumps into scalding water because he quickly jumps out; it happens when the water temperature is raised one degree at a time. The climate around the frog changes so slowly that the frog never realizes the danger he is in.

My time in the cave has made me more sensitive to the climate around me. Like the blog yesterday about the bricks of protection, danger usually sneaks in, one brick at a time or one degree at a time.

The lesson here is to watch the temperature of the hot water you are in. It applies to all areas of your life. Pay attention to the warning signs. If you can get out of the hot water before it is too late, you can live a long and fulfilling life.

I wanted to thank my accountability partners for keeping an eye on my water temperature. It really helps to know that other people care. May you also be Blessed with people in your life that will keep you out of hot water. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hand Me Another Brick

The title for today's post comes from a book that was given to me by one of my business partners during a time of personal trial. It was written by Charles R. Swindoll. The story is centered around Nehemiah, one of the characters in the Bible who is responsible for rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.

The ancient city and the protective wall around it was destroyed when Solomon let his morals decay. God promised consequences and this led to the destruction of Jerusalem.

When it came time to rebuild the city, it was important for the wall to be restored but there were no resources to do the job. This is where Nehemiah came into the picture. He was a cup-bearer to the king of Persia, that is, a taster of the king's food and wine. If someone wanted to poison the king, Nehemiah's job was to protect him.

God put it on Nehemiah's heart to rebuild the wall. Nehemiah had to convince the king that this was an important job. He also had to persuade the king to give him all he needed to complete the job.

This book is an easy read. It will help you to overcome discouragement and assist you in preparing for success. It is so important to put a wall of protection around your inner soul. It is also imperative that you learn to see when a crack is forming in your wall. It starts when you let one stone become loose and fall out, then another and another. Once you become vulnerable, bad things happen.

Begin to build a wall of protection around your soul today. It starts with just one brick. If you are ready to make some changes in your life, why not get some inspiration from this book? This book could be your first brick. Have a great day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who Will You Bring With You to Meet Jesus?

My passion to add to this blog every day comes from this very question. Like Martha's story yesterday, I have seen a glimpse of what is possible if I let God be in charge of my life (Read the post, "My Biggest Bible Lesson). It is really all about you, the reader of this blog. Will we all be together when Jesus returns?

I am preparing myself for two questions that Jesus is going to ask me at the end of my time on earth. The first, "How did you use the talents I gave you?" The second, "Did you bring anybody with you to meet Me?"

Most of us are probably pretty good about teaching our children about Jesus and we feel comfortable when we are with our church friends. What about the people we don't like to be around? For me, these are people with chips on their shoulders. Maybe they are mad at God for the suffering they are going through? Maybe life is difficult because they don't have any hope in their lives? Their relationship with God and others is broken.

I remember this feeling of being lost when I was going through my teenage years. I kept asking God to heal my parent's marriage. I prayed for my siblings but I just didn't seem to get any response. The Evil One was really good about convincing me that God was too busy to answer my prayers. My daily prayer included a request for Wisdom because I needed to figure out how to survive in such a negative world. It is hard for God to give Wisdom to stubborn people and this process has taken decades. This blog is really a series of lessons that Jesus taught me while I was in the cave.

Over the weekend, I met a member of my church while attending a home show. She had started reading this blog and asked what is ahead. I told her that God has put it on my heart to reach out to the lost and the fallen. These are the people that I want to bring with me to meet Jesus. I want them to know that they are not alone and that there is something better out there beyond the pain and suffering they are feeling right now.

There is another person out there that is really good about using the talent that God gave him. He was born with no legs or arms. Actually he does have legs, but they are only a few inches in length. He travels all over the world reaching out to others. Make sure you watch his video clip below. It is amazing that he has learned to play the drums, surf, and get up every time he falls down. As you watch this video, ask yourself what you are doing to develop the gifts you were given and who you will bring with you to meet Jesus. Have a great day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Glimpse at Eternity

The following story is real. When I first met Martha, I noticed a picture on her desk from her first marathon. After her accident the doctors told her she would never walk again. Her marathon picture is a statement that miracles happen.

Martha told me that she became very depressed after she came out of her seven week coma. She missed the sights and sounds of Heaven. She was given a choice to stay in Heaven or return to our world. She came back for one and me and her babies. She gave up so much so that we could get just a tiny look at what is waiting for us on the other side. Here is her story...


The term near death is an oxymoron to me; it’s not near death but a glimpse at eternity.

To follow is my story of the beauty I now know is there for us through GOD’S LOVE. This is how is happened.

October 8th, 1999, was a busy day for my family. My oldest son, Aaron was on the Valley Center freshman football team, I was to work the snack bar at that night’s game. My plan was to pick up Aaron at school, go home for dinner, and then go to the field for that evening’s game. I live in Pauma Valley, a rural area and hence drove a large SUV. Fortunately, my younger son Nathan decided not to ride with me that day (he had a sudden stomach ache). The road I took to Valley Center High is paved except for about 100 yards where it crosses private property. This section is not paved and is lined with boulders about 3 feet high. As I came over a hill I became sunblind, I veered to the right side of the road and went up over the boulders. The axle of my car broke and the car went into “heel to toe’ flips. Somehow I broke through the driver side window (I was wearing my seatbelt) and landed on the dirt road. Because of the injuries I sustained, some of the doctors believe that the car rolled over me.

This is where GOD stepped in. I used to believe of things as coincidental, no longer. Now I know they are providential. Providence: things that happen by God’s power sustaining and guiding human destiny. Coincident: events that happen at the same time by accident.

Well, on the day of the accident, a man driving his wife’s car (her car had a cell phone and his does not) came across the wreck and called 911. He couldn’t get cell reception and quickly drove to a higher point on the road (cell phone reception generally is almost impossible in this area). He stopped a car coming the other way and cautioned the driver to slow down, mentioned the wreck, and commented to him it didn’t look like the driver would make it.

This driver of the second car was Rob Gilster, a 15-year family friend. He is also the football coach at my son’s high school. He is one of the most Christian men that I know. It’s his custom on the day of a game to go home (he lives on this road), eat dinner, and read the Bible. He chose his reading by closing his eyes, opening the Bible, and reading what was there. He was distressed with the reading that he believed God had chosen for him this day. But he kept reading, trusting it was what GOD wanted him to read. The day’s reading- “So from the brinks of death shall I bring you forward”, seemed depressing and not uplifting as usual.

Rob did not recognize me when he located the body. As he walked back to his truck to get a blanket to cover me, he saw the make of the car and thought, “Look’s like Martha’s new car”. Then he started to pray for the poor injured woman. I know he did this because I could feel it. He still didn’t know it was me. As he tried to wipe some of the dirt and blood from my face, he recognized me. I can’t imagine what he thought as he watched me grasping for air, for life.

I was a mess. All my ribs were broken which caused my lungs to be ripped up. My diaphragm had burst, I had bleeding in my liver, my bladder was torn open, my spleen was so torn it had to be removed, and I had a skull fracture which caused me to bleed from my ears. My left leg was completely under my body, going backward in the wrong direction, and I had fractured my pelvic in six places. However, as I was gasping for air, I was at total peace. The paramedics arrived and air lifted me to Palomar Pomerado Hospital Trauma Unit in Escondido. I later learned that I was pronounced dead three times during that flight.

I was not alone! I was not aware of the accident. I didn’t feel any of the pain. I was being HELD SO LOVINGLY by someone I couldn’t see. I could only feel them. It felt as a baby must feel when it’s being cradled in it’s mother’s arms. As I lay there, I could smell the dirt and knew I was on the road, but all I could do was watch the sky. The sky was so beautiful! It became more like an evening sky even though it was only 4:30. It was a sort of a periwinkle blue swirled with a turquoise blue and the lightest of clouds. There were stars that were spinning and their movement caused the sky around them to spin. It reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, “Starry, Starry Night”.

A star started shooting toward me. It came so incredibly fast! It started at the distance of the stars and as it neared, around 300 feet away, I could see it was an Angel, not a star at all (I had never read any stories of Angels and wasn’t a believer in them. My view has now changed). As I watched her near, there was the most wonderful music, and all around her was the most incredibly beautiful floral scent. It was like the best garden on a summer’s day or the best perfume you’ve ever smelled (a friend told me that somewhere in the Bible refers to the aroma or scent of Christ, which is all I can imagine could ever smell that wonderful). The music was a mixture of chimes, song, and a rushing sound (I later recognized the rushing as the sound of life flight). I have heard a cello and this sound was also part of the music. The Angel had no halo, but there was a golden glow all around her. As I looked at the beautiful Angel, I was focused on every detail. She was hypnotic and so beautiful. I felt that her hair was too bright and her music too loud to be seen or heard by human eyes and ears. She was not really male or female except she wore a high neck, long sleeve, floor length gown. It was made of silver fabric, similar to raw silk. The chest panel had the most intricate and awesome embroidery, it seemed to be made from real silver thread. Her hair was shoulder length, a wavy brown with blonde flecks. Her face was like that of a child right before puberty. You know how they can look either like a boy or girl depending on how you look at them. She had wings. They started at the back of her shoulders and went down to right below her knees. They were iridescent. You could see through them. They had sort of opalescent or pearlized coloring.

I traveled up into the sky with my Angel. At about one to three hundred feet up, I looked down and saw my friend, Rob. He was on the road and filled with the most awful feeling of anguish. This was the beginning of this new thing of being able to feel someone else’s feelings. I told him not to be upset that we were going to Heaven! As I was trying to get him to hurry to catch up with me, my Angel just touched my shoulder and soon we were gone up, up, up into the sky. At this point I didn’t see or meet anyone, but was TOLD – not in words, but in feeling- that it was not my time. I just sort of drifted in a calm state and could feel energy that was filling my body. Somehow I knew this was prayer. How I knew this I don’t know. I couldn’t tell what the many people were saying, but I could feel it and it’s energy filled my whole body. Later I found out that a moment of silent prayer was held for me at the football game that night.

At the game, the Pastor of the church I had just started back to about 5 months before was there. The summer services are held outside so I had just 1 or 2 Sundays before introduced myself, using my full name. He instantly knew I was one of his, got up and went to the hospital. He was new to the church and didn’t know me except for my introduction. Why did I introduce myself using my full name? Was it Providence or coincidence?

Next it was if I was trying to sneak back in to Heaven around the backdoor. I didn’t have my Angel with me. I was drifting into the night sky seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes (these would take too many pages and words I don’t have to describe). Suddenly, I was placed in a meadow that was so wonderful. It reminded me of a meadow my husband and I came upon while hiking in Zermatt, Switzerland the summer before. But there was one difference, this meadow was on the ledge of a mountaintop with a drop thousand’s of feet. Strangely though I wasn’t the least bit afraid. I just lay in the grass enjoying the warm feeling of the sun/Son. Somehow I understood that this was a type of holding place. I could have been there forever. My life’s experiences began to run through my mind. With every experience, I could FEEL not only how I felt but also how the other person with me FELT. The best way to describe this Feeling is like an energy that buzzes through your whole body. Recently one day in church while singing, I noticed that when I sang the Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, the way that your chest vibrates on the third Hallelujah is a very close vibration to what it feels like.

The Angel was once again with me and we traveled upward. I could see my life’s good and bad and felt both sides of all my actions. We came to an extremely bright light. It was a bright WHITE LIGHT. It was like looking at the sun, but the sun’s light is yellow. The Angel was to the right side of the light and I was down below. The Angel was afraid and humbled. I could feel it. At this point I thought “AH-OH” and I started reciting the Lord’s Prayer. My Angel folded her wings on her back and knelt in a bow, as if in prayer. I was filled with FEAR and the most intense feeling of LOVE, both at the same time. Suddenly I knew that this was God and the Trinity in one. I had never really given any thought to the idea of the trinity, in my mind they were three separate beings, not one the form of Totality. I was told to really consider if it was really my time. I was given information about the future, none of which I remember. I believe this is the way God intended. It suddenly seemed very important to me to get back to my boys. I made a deal or promise to God, “if I am able to go back to my babies, I will tell everyone how Great and Loving he is”. I also asked if there was a message to take back or what I was supposed to learn. The bright white light said, “The most important thing that we are to learn is Love, to give, show, and express Love, it’s the most important thing we can do”.

I vaguely remember that God felt I needed to be there for the boys. Which boy’s beyond my own I don’t remember, but there were others. I did feel like the choice was mine. How much I wanted to stay in that warm love, but I also wanted to be with my babies. I love my husband very much, but I know if not for my boy’s I would have stayed right where I was. There was so much to learn!

The next thing I realized was the sounds of voices. My husband Mark was asking me to “raise my right leg, my left leg, my right arm, my left arm. No, my other left arm, good.” Than in a different voice (the doctor) saying “ok, put her out.” I was in the hospital, this happened right after surgery. I also heard the sweet voice of a female with a Prussian accent. She was saying, “how beautiful I was”. It was quite comforting. Later, I found out she was one of my first nurses. The interesting thing to me was all I saw was black as if my eyelids wouldn’t open. And I no longer FELT the words but Heard them.

I was in a drug-induced coma for seven weeks. During this coma I can remember moments of being afraid and my angel would come and be with me. I remember trying to lock my foot around my husband’s- we slept that way. In my coma, I kept searching for him; I’d find some bed pole and cling on to it with my foot. The nurses kept trying to make my foot stay up on the mattress. I remember hearing the beeps of the machines, the sound of my mother’s voice as she talked to me. I know it was her, it was her scent. My husband’s voice was always calm and close. Later I found out that he always talked softly right into my ear. He would calm me down so the many machines would end up with the right numbers. The day they started bringing me out of my coma, I wouldn’t open my eyes for any of my family. But then I knew my husband and my boys were near and I turned my head, opened my eyes and started blowing kisses to my babies. I knew then that there stood the reason I had come back.

It was very strange at first, you see the Vail of Heaven had been lifted and so much seemed amplified. The good things seemed so much more and the bad also seemed so much worse. I had lost every muscle in my body and many pounds. I had been a very strong and physically fit woman before and now my challenge was to be able to simply lift my head and to sit up.

Soon I was transferred to Sharp rehab center in San Diego. On the first day there I told the nurse that I had seen an Angel. She told me never to tell anyone or they would never let me out of there. This center is an hour and a half from my home. Believe it or not, out of the many therapists, I was given one whose grandparents had lived in my town. She was great and we truly enjoyed each other’s company, painful as it may have been. What do you think, Providence or coincident?

After about a week at rehab, I told my friend Kris Rielly that I had been with an Angel. She believed me. What a comfort, I thought I was losing my mind. No one had told me how bad my accident had been and I was told several times a day in rehab that I had brain damage. Oh, that was a positive reinforcement!

After about three weeks in rehab, I was released to go home in my wheelchair to continue months of rehab. My husband’s friend, Ted Leitner, sent a limo to take me home or anywhere else I wanted to go. We stopped at Palomar Hospital to meet the trauma unit, the group of people that from our perspective had done such a wonderful job. It was due to the God-given talents of Dr. David Cloyd and all the Trauma staff that I was able to do so well. When I arrived there, I was classified as a “Cram 0”, the rating for the lowest chance of survival. It pretty much means you are done, you are toast, toes up. Some Traumas would have just given up. Thank God they didn’t give up on me.

A few months after returning home I was asked by my friend Kris to help her with a Celebrity Golf Tournament. I really wasn’t strong enough to be of much help, but she was trying to get me out of the house. At the tournament, she introduced me to Steve Scholfield, a newspaper sports writer I had met before, but I was still in the stage where part of my memory was blocked. He said he had been trying to talk with my husband about writing an article about my accident. I told him I had been with an Angel and I would want him to include this. I fully expected him to run, not walk, in the opposite direction, but instead he looked at me and said I just made it that much better. Steve bravely wrote the article and my Angel and I took front page of the mother’s day edition on the sports page of the “North County Times”. It took some guts from both of us. Again, was this meeting Providence or coincident?

Many weeks after returning home, I had a dream about my Angel and her wonderful aroma. I awoke and sat upright in bed (still a difficult task for me). Why did I sit up? Because I could smell her! My room was permeated with the angelic floral smell. It lasted some time. I awakened my husband who agreed he could smell the aroma (but I really don’t know- men will say yes to almost anything when awakened at 3 am). She is a Guardian Angel that did her job outstandingly well! This whole experience is not one I would ever change. Without it I wouldn’t know that when we die we are not alone. God sends us each an Angel and he is the one holding us in his arms all the way to Paradise.

I, of course, will never be the same. I view people and events in an entirely new way. I know we must Love each other. Best of all, I have the wonderful knowledge of God and his purpose for us.

Please feel free to copy or share this. You will be helping fulfill my promise to God that “I will tell”.

With much LOVE!

Martha Halda

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Flash Forward

I am a huge science fiction fan. Star Trek, Star Wars, anything involving time travel gets my attention. I don't watch much TV but I checked out this new series called "Flash Forward" the other night and love it. The whole world goes unconscious for two minutes and seventeen seconds. While they are out, they see themselves six months into the future. It is a pretty neat story.

This reminds me of the experience I had when I asked the Holy Spirit to show me who I am in God's Eyes. It was also a deja vu moment when I recalled playing the character, Scrooge, in the seventh grade. Scrooge was visited by a ghost from the past, present and future and it changed his life forever. Jesus came to life from the Bible pages I was reading and showed me a "Flash Forward" moment that changed my life forever. That moment I saw is when He returns and all of us are waiting for Him. The good news here is that while the "Christmas Carol" and "Flash Forward" may be fictional, Jesus is revealing our real future. Even the demons know this future and they are not happy about their impending defeat. Who really wants to sign up with a losing team?

I wanted to give my blog followers a special flash forward look at tomorrow's post. The woman that I will write about shares what happened during the time when she was pronounced dead after her SUV rolled over several times and ended up rolling over her. Even though she was wearing a seat belt, somehow she ended up going through the driver side window. When she arrived at the hospital, she was classified as a "CRAM 0", the rating for the lowest chance of survival. This amazing story will touch your heart.

I have been given permission to share Martha's story. In fact, she promised God, "I will tell". Godincidentally, I was thinking of her a couple of days ago and it turns out that it was on the exact day of her tenth anniversary (10/8/99) of her glimpse at eternity.

Tune in tomorrow. I will reprint her story, word for word, and you are free to share it with anyone who may be interested. It was no accident that I met Martha. She is a very important part of God's puzzle. Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson, M.D., wrote a book about four fictional characters faced with change. Two of the characters, Sniff and Scurry, are mice. There are also two human characters that are the size of mice. All four live in a maze. The mice are quick to move on as soon as their cheese disappears. Their human counter-parts handle change like most of us. This author is also the co-author of the "One Minute Manager". There have been over twenty four million copies of the book, "Who Moved My Cheese", sold worldwide.

I read this book while still working for Goliath. It helped me to change my attitude. I realized that I was not entitled to anything. For me, the cheese represented my workplace. It was shrinking quickly and becoming moldy. All of us were so used to living in the maze that we did not know there could be a better life if we just moved on. This book gave me inspiration to leave Goliath.

In the summer of 2004, the first one of us at Zoom left the maze. He would report back about his life outside the maze while the rest of us planned our departure. During the next six months, we carefully mapped out our exit strategy. I was the last of the Zoom partners to leave the maze. There wasn't much cheese left when I departed and the people left behind were beginning to see the writing on the wall.

My last day with Goliath was memorable. There was not enough cheese to go around and I had my running shoes on for my escape. The date was February 8, 2005. I did not walk out of the building, I ran. There was some new cheese waiting for me and I could not wait to join my Zoom partners. We met that evening to finalize our start-up plans. The next day we presented a well-crafted business plan to our ex-boss who sold out to Goliath exactly five years and one day earlier. We told him that his role would be to join with us and allow us to use his reputation to give us credibility. We promised that we would do all the work provided that each of us would be an equal.

Five days later, on Valentine's Day, we got a report that five top people walked out of the maze. They all realized that their cheese had been moved and they wanted to get out. We nick-named this day the "Valentine's Day Massacre." Our goal was to capture 10% of the market share. We knew that if we could take just a little bit more cheese away from Goliath, the place would fall like a house of cards.

We were ready for the change that we had prepared for during the preceding twelve months but Goliath was not. The suits were flying in from the east coast and entering the maze, trying to figure out what was happening to "their" cheese. In their meetings, they told their employees that they would not allow us to steal the cheese they were entitled to. They declared war on Zoom. It got so bad that if you spoke the word "Zoom" in front of the suits, you were fired. Suddenly we became known as "Mooz" which is Zoom spelled backwards. We were the topic of many conversations while the suits hemmed and hawed about their stolen cheese.

In about five months, we will be celebrating our five year anniversary at Zoom. It took some time to find our way out of the maze but now we are eating many new flavors of cheese. Goliath finally shut down the maze and laid off over 4,000 people earlier this year. They got out of the cheese business and stopped trying to mess with us.

A video clip of the movie, "Who Moved My Cheese" is below. I highly recommend that you read this book if you find your cheese is getting moldy. This lesson applies to all areas of your life. I promise you, there is some really good cheese out there. All you need to do is put on your running shoes and go after it. Stop starving yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Gas Tank

My gas tank represents my energy supply for my mind and body. When the tank is full, I can go far. My tank runs on positive thoughts, healthy food, exercise, and rest.

Negative energy can drain my tank quickly. It may come from dealing with someone who has a bad attitude. Have you ever noticed how drained you feel after being around a person that only knows complaining, criticizing and condemning? These people suck the life energy right out of me and if I don't refill my tank, I get into big trouble.

The good news is that there are plenty of gas stations in our world. I get premium gas at my local church once a week. If I miss filling up my tank, the week is much harder to get through.

For me, rest is more important than ever. Simple things, like taking a day off once a week, or taking a walk in the middle of the day, allow me to recharge. Having a conversation with one of my accountability partners helps me to get my focus back. A night on the tennis courts helps to fill the tank after a challenging day.

Check your gas gauge. If you find yourself running on fumes, make some changes in your routine. Keep your tank full so you will be prepared when you have a long day. Surround yourself with positive people and hit the accelerator when negative people try to steal your gas.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Imaginary Wall

My time in the cave was a time of preparation. The world around me seems so different now that I am free. My vision appears to be better. I can see past the imaginary walls that most of us put up. I recall all the times when I was like the young elephant that is chained to a post. Once he realizes that there is no escape he gives up. He no longer tries even though he gains strength as he grows. His "wall" tells him he is trapped, so he forgets about freedom.

If you are serious about living your dreams, you have to find a way to deal with the imaginary wall that is in your head. This includes that little voice that tells you that you are going to fail. Remember the tennis player that I met in high school? His wall was that "lefties" were superior and could not be defeated. He let negative past experiences convince him that he was doomed.

I have met a few people in my life that don't really want me to break through the wall. They know that if I break through the barrier, my life will change. That means they may also need to change once the wall has been destroyed. It means coming out of a comfort zone.

Beware of others who try to convince you that the wall in front of you cannot be overcome. Surround yourself with those who can see past the walls. These are the people that can encourage you to follow your dreams. Are you ready to improve your vision?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Attitude of Plenty

All of us are facing some pretty difficult times these days. In my family, we have made adjustments to stay afloat. Here is a strategy to mentally cope with the changes we are all dealing with...

Play a "trick" on your brain. The strategy is very simple but effective. It starts with giving away some of your money. This sounds crazy in these economic times but once your brain is fooled into thinking you have more than enough, a new attitude develops.

There is a story in the Bible of a woman that is starving to death. When Jesus meets her, the first thing He asks for is some food to eat. The woman tells Jesus that she will share her last morsels of food with Him and her son, and then they will starve to death. The woman is rewarded with her willingness to share and lives a long and prosperous life.

Living on a budget is not easy. Changing your attitude towards money is even more difficult. Watch what happens to your life when your brain believes that you have plenty. All you need to do with your money is spend some, save some and share some. Why not give it a try?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Silversmith

Ever wonder how silver gets refined and purified? The silversmith must pay careful attention during the entire process. The first step is to place the silver in the center of the flames where it is the hottest so that all the impurities can be burned away. Should the silversmith take his eyes off of the silver for just one moment, it can easily burn up in the intense flames.

This reminds me of how our Creator is refining and purifying all of us. There is a great deal of refining that needs to take place in order for our "silver" to be revealed. So many of us are feeling the heat during these tough times. While we are going through this process, it helps to know that someone is constantly watching us to make sure we don't burn up in the fire.

The Silversmith knows when his creation is fully refined. It is the exact moment when He can see His image in you! The next time you are feeling a little heat, be assured that He is watching you. He won't allow you to be destroyed in the flames. The world will be able to see the Creator's image in you once all the impurities have been removed. Here is a Bible quote to help you remember that He is with you always...

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Malachi 3:3

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Gift for Our Military

I little birdie told me that this blog has found its way to members or our military oversees. There is a special place in my heart for you. You are separated from your loved ones and you are dealing with dangerous conditions so that our freedom can be protected. I just wanted to say thank you. You also have the support of all of us at

Many of our customers that we serve also want you to know how much you are appreciated. If your home base is in southern California, make sure you pick up a Zoom Autos magazine when you come home. We recently got permission to place Zoom on all the bases in San Diego County. You will see many dealers who support you. They will help you or your family when you need a vehicle. You can also find us online.

One of my buddies told me that his son made it through his deployment by memorizing two passages in the Bible. The first is Psalm 91. You can find it by looking at my post from 9/11. The second passage is 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. This may comfort you in your time away from those you love.

May God protect you while you are defending our freedom. We look forward to your safe return. You have our prayers and you are loved. Here is your gift, it comes from the One who created you and who is protecting you...

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.

For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.

When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant;

when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known.

But now remains
faith, hope, love,

these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Earlier this week I walked into one of the most luxurious car dealerships in my city to visit some old friends I had not seen for more than two years. As I approached the entrance, I asked the person at the front door how his day was going. He told me it was cloudier than it looked. It turns out that he had just come out of a meeting where he was told big changes were coming to his store. There were some sad faces all around me.

I waited for my friend to come out of his meeting and I was the first person he encountered after getting the news of the storm that was coming his way. Surprisingly, his attitude was very upbeat. His future was uncertain but he did not seem to mind. He shared a story about a visitor that came to his church to speak a couple of weeks ago. This man was born with no arms or legs and every service he spoke at was standing room only. This man had some kind of special talent for inspiring those of us with arms and legs to use them.

Last night, a family member called to ask me if I had heard about the "blade runner" (he is pictured at the left), an Olympic hopeful who was born with no legs. His event? Track! The story is that the suits don't think it is fair for this man to compete because his blades are so superior to the legs you and I were born with.

This athlete decided to try track when a rugby injury knocked him out of that sport. He does not let "obstacles" like being born with no legs stop him from using his talent.

There is a story in the Bible about three people who were given "talent". Two of the people doubled the talent they were given, although the talent was distributed in unequal amounts. The third man buried his talent so that he could return it to his master unused. He was not given as much talent as the first two and probably did not think he could really do much with it.

When the master returned to check on his investment, he rewarded the two who increased the talent with more talent. He scolded the one who buried his talent and took it away.

Even if you have been born with no arms or legs, there is talent inside of you. Maybe it is your ability to inspire others to use their arms and legs? The challenge is to avoid burying your talent. It was given to you for a purpose. Don't waste it. Develop it and share it. Have a great weekend.

Here is an awesome video of a senior high school player displaying his hidden talent for the first time at the final game of the year...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Special Message for Those on the Zoom Team

I made a promise to blog once a day and this message is a bonus post for my Zoom team-mates. The first post for today is about "Dream Killers". Many of you on the Zoom team have been told repeatedly that we will fail. This message is especially for you or for anyone who may want to join with us in our battle against Goliath:

You may fall but you will not fail. Goliath is strong but he is nothing compared to the Giant that you have behind you. We have a vision and we speak with one voice. Our ship is sailing and our sails are at full-mast. Our staff is small but we are relentless in our pursuit of our dreams.

Don't let anyone be your dream killer! King Arthur defeated his enemy with only a handful of knights. Now, you are the knight in shining armor. May you and your family prosper. If you are one of the new "knights", welcome aboard. We are here to support you as you live your dreams and soar like an eagle.

Here is a bonus video...

Dream Killers

Last night my daughter asked me if I could please wait to write today's blog because she wanted to get up early and finish her lab assignment for school on my laptop. She was at the end of a very full day which included three sets of doubles against three different opponents and then her horse chores which did not get done until dark. When she got home, she had a pile of homework and wanted to get some sleep before completing it. I told her my message for today was too important to be put off and asked her to stay up late and complete her assignments. This blog was given to me in a dream and I can't let anyone, even the ones I love the most, kill this dream that is still in its infancy.

So, who is a dream killer? It is anyone that tries to stop you from being the person you are created to be. Many times it is someone you love, like a parent or spouse. It could be a teacher or friend that does not want to see you fail. Most people are advising you based on their own reality or experiences.

A great example of this is the student who came up with an idea to start an overnight delivery service while attending Yale University. His instructor said the government was already in charge of this and his idea was only worth a C in his professors eyes. Fred Smith did not let his teacher become a dream killer. Instead, he founded FedEx, a 27 billion dollar company.

Can you imagine how different our world would be today if one of Martin Luther King's friends told him his "dream" was a bunch of nonsense? Or what if Christopher Columbus listened to pretty much anybody around him and decided his dream would die as soon as his boat fell off the edge of the world? I am sure his friends thought he was crazy and they just wanted to save him from certain death.

What about Thomas Edison? Don't you think that the time was perfect for a dream killer to come along and nix his crazy light bulb idea? I can hear his wife now, "Come on, Thomas, how many thousand times are you going to work on that silly idea? You are such a time waster! When are you going to do something useful around the house?"

Don't forget Albert Einstein. The man who gave us new ideas on space, time and gravity had a mother who was very concerned when he was slow to talk. His teachers thought he was a foolish dreamer. One of his grammar school teachers asked him to drop out! He wasn't even smart enough to get in the Swiss military.

When Beethoven introduced his ninth symphony to the world, the applause was like thunder and he had to be turned around to see the audience going crazy. He was completely deaf! How can a deaf person give us such special music? Good thing he could not hear the voices of the dream killers who probably were telling him to give up on his music career.

I leave you with the video below. William Wallace confronts the dream killers in his famous speech with his dream about freedom. I watched this many times as I prepared to battle my own goliath. Please take a moment to watch this awesome speech. If you encounter a dream killer, become deaf to their voice, just like Beethoven and live your dreams...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The 5 Love Languages

The first thing my wife said to me when I woke up over 30 days ago to leave the cave and start this blog was, "I hope you are getting up to go rake the leaves." At 4:30 on a Saturday morning she was sharing with me that her love language is "acts of service".

A couple of days ago, my youngest son came home with a pair of tickets to a college football game. He won them from his school and could not wait to invite his mother on a date to spend "quality time", his love language.

When I am with my wife, I enjoy holding her hand. I also enjoy her love letters and refuse to throw them away (over 1,700 to date). These two represent "physical touch" and "words of affirmation".

The final love language is "gifts". If this is your love language and you don't get presents on your birthday or anniversary, you probably don't feel loved, even though your spouse is showing his or her love in another love language.

The best way for me to show my love for my wife is to rake the leaves or do the dishes. When she comes home to a clean house, it means more to her than a dozen roses. In order for us to feel loved we need to have those close to us speak our love language. This keeps marriages and families strong.

Dr. Gary Chapman has a whole series of books on this subject. Copy and paste the link below into your tool bar to get this book for $8.99 or visit your bookstore. Watch your marriage transform and deepen the bonds with your children. There is also a book on this subject for singles.

Learn the love language of those close to you and you will give real meaning to our command to "love your neighbor". Time to go. There are some dishes in the sink.