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Relationship Distressed

"Distressed" is how carpenter's take a piece of new wood and make it look "antique." There are several ways to distress wood: you can burn it with a blow torch, you can drive nails into it and leave holes, you can even beat it with a hammer or with a piece of chain. All of these methods leave the wood damaged and the imperfections give it "character." When the wood is fashioned into a table or other piece of furniture it increases the value of the item. This is what life does to us. We get "beaten down" and changed by the stresses of the day. We can be damaged in our intimate relationships by loved ones and our family. The hurts committed against us in our youth can leave deep marks on our

Life Savings

When I was 6 years old, my father taught me everything I needed to know about money when he said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I became such a good saver that by the time I was in the 2nd grade I was selling back to my mother my dimes I saved from my milk money. Of course my father also taught me about deception when I saw him hide several $100 bills in my bedroom closet and whispered to me, "Don't tell your mother or it will be all gone." I learned my lessons well. I learned money is more valuable than people and people are untrustworthy. My father also taught me about the value of a good work ethic. He said that a person is measured by their successes and those measurements are dete

Missions Connect

This past week was amazing. I attended the Temecula Valley Rotary and was introduced to Marc Ang, founder of Asian Industry B2B (http://aib2b.org), a group of concerned community leaders who are intent on illuminating the needs of the Asian business leaders in the Orange, LA, and Riverside areas. As soon as I heard Marc speak, I new we had kindred spirits and when he shared his vision, I could feel our missions connect. Immediately, I could see we were like minded as he talked of the stigma of mental health in the Asian community and asked how we could get services to them. Marc invited me to speak at their upcoming September Mixer which is focused on Mental Health. What a blessing and amazi

HELPING THE HELPERS

Please help us help those who are making a difference in the lives of our foster youth. INSPIRE LIFE SKILLS TRAINING, Inc. (www.inspirelifeskills.org) is now partnering with ENCOURAGERS COUNSELING & TRAINING CENTERS to help even more of California's Foster Children. Traditionally, when a foster child "ages out" meaning he or she turns 18, they had only 2 options leaving the system: go into the military or go to college. They had no life skills training to help them become successful adults. Kristi Lopez, founder of Inspire Life Skills Training Inc., thought this failure of the system was unacceptable and did something about it. Now, as they celebrate their 14th year of helping, Inspire has 5

Sign Of The Times

I remember growing up in an era where post WW2 military sirens went off early in the morning while I was walking to school. When we arrived at school, we had drills to evacuate the buildings in case of an earthquake, or we would hide under our desks. If our clothing caught fire we learned as first graders to "drop and roll." In today's world adults and children alike have a new drill they must learn: Run...Hide...Fight! Watch this video about how to prepare for violence in your workplace. The world is becoming increasingly more violent. It happens in our homes, in our schools, in shopping centers, and at our workplace. Where does it end? I think a better question is where does it begin? If

Reverse Engineering

Recently, I was reminded of what reverse engineering is. A veteran who is in the process of developing a new program as part of his therapy said he is, "Starting with the end in mind and working backwards." In reality, that's not only what he is doing with this project, it's also how he is finding a purpose in life. When there is a purpose, or as they used to say, a "cause" you can believe in, it's easy to drift. There was a saying many years ago that said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." I believe this is true. People are floundering in life, looking for someone to give them a purpose they can get behind, take a hold of, or embrace. Unfortunately, we can gab on

Wrestling God

Have you ever looked at your life and asked God, "Why me"? I think at one point or another in our lives we can all feel hurt, frustrated, and lost in regards to how we ended up where we are. Relationships can fall apart, employment opportunities end, and health challenges can bring us to a place of wondering. Even people in the Bible wrestled with trying to understand circumstances of life. Many of the Bible's heroes brought up the "why me" question to God in search of understanding, there's even an entire book called Lamentations which is filled with challenges David faced, but he always came back to the same answer, FAITH. Jacob, who was named ISREAL after he fought with God, “wrestled w

Extremely Radical

Extremism is everywhere. Radicalism has become the phrase of the last 10 years and is reflected in how we are reacting to events of the day. When did those terms become so filled with hate? I remember growing up in a much different world where there was extreme kindness toward each other. Where "pay it forward" was the action of the day and to be "Rad" meant you were making a positive change in either your own life or the lives of others. Where are the leaders who have the heart of our founding fathers? Where are the voices that say we can rise above this tide of negativity that is downing our spirts, our hopes, and our dreams? Where are the supporters of what is good instead of spewing hat

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