Sometimes we get lost…

in the daily routines of life
in the desire to make something of our lives
doing what we love to do
doing what we loath to do
in times of trouble
in the depths of fear and uncertainty
with joy of what we’ve accomplished
with who we’ve become
with what we can do

Sometimes we forget to step away from ourselves and examine ourselves as we examine a painting on the wall of a fine art gallery. You see, the Father is the painter and each of us are His greatest work.

I believe that when this life is done, we will stand with Him in that great gallery of humanity and gaze upon the paintings of our lives and just stand there awestruck by what He HAS done!

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Is God an Alien?

Once you accept the notion that there is indeed a God, do you ever think about Who is God? Where did he come from? What is his history? How did he come to be?

To be honest, I don’t dwell on those questions, but every now and then I have an interesting conversation with people. Just the other night I got into a discussion about Aliens with a fella and I said "Well, you know there’s no doubt in my mind that Aliens exist!"

The fella I was talking to look dumbfounded and said "really, how’s that?" To which I replied "Well, if you believe in God then by the definition of an alien, GOD IS AN ALIEN."

Is God human? I don’t think so. So, he has to be an Alien, not human.

Judo-Christians believe God made Adam in his image. But God did not father Adam biologically or clone him, else we would be demi-gods. And the last time I checked, I have no God-like powers.

So there you go…

Does it matter if God is an alien? Does it diminish the releationship we have with Him? Does not knowing more about God’s history matter?

It seems that Humans are in constant search mode for understanding of who they are (right now), where they came from, and where they are going.

Since having my daughter six years ago I have come to a realization that I don’t care as much about the future and wanting the future to get here and trying to make my future what I see in my mind’s eye.

I’ve realized that this moment with my wife and little girl is what matters. What we have today is precious. The moments of love, laughter and adventure that we share together is what we take with us into the future and into the great unknown – into tomorrow!

Tomorrow is an ubiquitous egnima that frustrates us all. Sure, we have to work. Sure we have to plan and save for tomorrow. Like the big questions of life, I don’t think it matters what tomorrow will be just as it doesn’t matter that God is an Alien…

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What Is Your Approach?

In my "day" job I have a high level of frustration. I see the large organization I work in from two perspectives: from within as a member of the team and from my own entrepreneurial perspective.

My self-imposed frustration comes mostly from my entrepreneurial perspective. I see how much money, time and effort is wasted by poor decision making. I know that a large multi-billion dollar company buys products and services on a scale that most people cannot comprehend. Many decisions are not based on solid technical fundamentals, but based on po-bus (political/business) considerations. I get it, really, I do. But putting those pobus decisions aside, there are still many decision and practices that increase my frustration, seemingly daily. If I were running my own business of any size I would do things a lot different.

How does my frustration have anything to do with "Your Approach"?

Over the years as my responsibilities at work have increased and my frustration levels increased, I’ve noticed that I approach many things in my personal life as I approach my work — I approach issues and problems from a perspective of frustration first.

It’s easy to say "Leave your work at work, don’t take it home with you." Well, I’ve learned to leave the work behind, but leaving my feelings and more importantly, leaving my approach behind is not an easy task. It seems as though I’ve allowed my enviroment to program/re-program me and my approach.

Honestly speaking, I don’t like my approach – for personal issues and professional. I don’t like looking for the reasons something will fail first instead of how to make it succeed first. I don’t like being that guy who seems to always see the problems, who sees how the project is going to be derailed even before it gets started. I don’t like being the go-to pessimist – that nasty Devil’s Advocate!

I wish I could throw away years and years of observing the failure of many management decisions. But I cannot do so, they are a part of my work expierence.

You may think "If you know they are bad decisions and you see the problems, why not address the problems?" Well, I do bring up the problems to decision makers. However, when an organization gets extremely large, decisions seem to be sliced up amoungst a large group and each team member or manager doesn’t have enough information to make a good decision based on the big picture.

At times it is hard for me to work on a project that I don’t believe will be successful because I know the core problems will not be addressed. But as an employee, I am paid to subordinate my desires to that of my employer and do the best job I can to make my employer successful. Many times I find that I just have to put aside my frustrations and "make the best" of the situation and try to make the project sucessful. I always say "one the decision is made, support it and get moving or at best, get out of the way.

So I’ve been thinking and praying about this problem for some time now. I’ve asked my Father to help me lay down my frustrations.

Last night, I had a dream and in that dream I was asked "What is your approach?"

If you want a different attitude or different result, then figure out "What is your approach" and change the part of the approach that is not working.

As I write this a question came to me – Does God change his approach?

What, God changing his approach?

Well, yes, think about it for a minute. God has shown a highly adaptable approach when it comes to humans. He created Adam and Eve and when they partook of the Apple I’m sure that God had to be frustrated. But He didn’t walk away from us. He developed relationships with us. But after some time He realized that His approach wasn’t working so He ask Noah to build a life boat for humanity and radically changed His approach. Eventually I’m sure He realized a change in approach had to be made. So, He was born of man and walked amongst us. He died on the cross for all of us and showed us that through Him we can have ever lasting life and oh yea, if we desire, we can change our approach as well.

Step away from yourself and see your approach from other perspectives. What is good in your approach? What is bad and needs to change?

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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

If you wake up and don’t want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You’ll see things in a different way.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,

Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you’ve done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

All I want is to see you smile,
If it takes just a little while,
I know you don’t believe that it’s true,
I never meant any harm to you.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,

Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

Don’t you look back,
Don’t you look back.

-Christine McVie

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Some Things You Can’t Take Back…

You can say “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings…” but you can’t take back the words you said that created the hurt feelings.

You can “Go to jail, pay a fine and go on probation for getting drunk in public and causing a public disturbance…” but you can’t take back the stupidity of your actions, the hurt and embarrassment to your friends and family it caused.

You can’t recall the bullet from the gun that you just fired into the head of a innocent child as you attempted to burglarize his mom who had nothing to give you.

You can’t erase from your mind the images of a video you just watched that showed the beheading of a human being.

There are some things you can’t take back.

We live in a world that has so many humans who have the capacity to create so much love, beauty, ingenuity and greatness.

Yet, we still have the nightmares that exist in our world – hatred and evil.

The imperfections of humanity weighs on our God I’m sure. As He came to live amongst us and to die for us, I’m sure He weeps for us as we live with all the greatness AND all of the filth.

I don’t know why – why did humanity had to fall from God’s grace? Whatever the reason, we are here, now, striving to shed the imperfections of the flesh so that one day we can once again live in the presence of our maker.

I can’t take back the images of death in my mind and the knowledge of the evil that exist in this world.

BUT, thankfully, I can ask The Savior for a take-back. I can ask Him to take me back into His grace. I can ask Him to come into my heart so I may accept His salvation, to accept His love, to accept His guidance in making me a worthy human being.

Thankfully for me, there is one thing that can be taken back…

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Creating Something Great, Becoming Great

There have been so many human beings who have become legendary, immortal by their deeds. Think of that for a moment.

We all CAN BE a great human being without doing great deeds if only we love each other and treat one another with dignity and respect. But, for a select few, they additionally become legendary and immortal by their deeds.

In my life I try to be a better human being by sharing my love and treating others with dignity and respect.

Bill Gates posted an interesting thought about Thomas Edison, who Bill describes as America’s Greatest Inventor – America’s Greatest Inventor.

What I found appealing about his writing is that Bill Gates, himself a successful business man and philanthropist, feels what pushes humans to greatness is the application of "creativity, perseverance, and optimism."

No matter if you are an inventor, business person, sales person, home-maker or artist – CREATE, PERSEVER and MAINTAIN OPTIMISM!

Good words for a Friday to take you into the weekend.

Herschel

From The Gatesnotes – www.thegatesnotes.com

America’s Greatest Inventor
October 08, 2013
By Bill Gates

I love learning about history, especially the history of innovation. I recently got to write the foreword for Edison and the Rise of Innovation, a new book about one of the great inventors ever. I thought I would share the foreword with you, along with a few photos of some of the Edison-related items I’m lucky enough to own.

Foreword

There’s no question in my mind that one of America’s greatest gifts to the world is our capacity for innovation. From light bulbs and telephones to vaccines and microprocessors, our inventions and ideas have improved the lives—and even saved the lives—of countless people around the globe.

In the pantheon of American innovation, Thomas Edison holds a unique place. He became a symbol of American ingenuity and the conviction that inspiration and perspiration could lead to remarkable things.

In this 1885 sketch, Edison notes some ideas for improving the incandescent light bulb.

He certainly has been an inspiration to me in my career. I’m lucky enough to own a few pieces of Edison memorabilia, including his sketch of an idea for improving the incandescent light bulb and some papers on finding a substitute for rubber. Looking at this work, it’s easy to see a creative mind continually trying to refine and improve his ideas.

Obviously, Edison’s inventions were revolutionary. But as this book makes clear, the way he worked was also crucial for his success. For example, Edison consciously built on ideas from predecessors as well as contemporaries. And just as important, he assembled a team of people—engineers, chemists, mathematicians, and machinists—that he trusted and empowered to carry out his ideas. Names like Batchelor and Kruesi may not be famous today, but without their contributions, Edison might not be either.

Second, Edison was a very practical person. He learned early on that it wasn’t enough to simply come up with great ideas in a vacuum; he had to invent things that people wanted. That meant understanding the market, designing products that met his customers’ needs, convincing his investors to support his ideas, and then promoting them. Edison didn’t invent the light bulb; he invented the light bulb that worked, and the one that sold.

Finally, Edison recognized that inventions rarely come in a single flash of inspiration. You set a goal, measure progress using data, see what’s working—and what isn’t working—adjust your plan, and try again. This process can be very frustrating because it means running into a lot of dead ends. But each dead end tells you something useful. As Edison famously said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

These lessons are just as true today as they were in Edison’s time. Innovators still have to work in teams. (Although that’s far easier to do today than at the turn of the twentieth century. Imagine what the Wizard of New Jersey’s Menlo Park could have done with the tools coming out of California’s Menlo Park.) Innovators still have to understand and solve real-world problems, and they still have to persevere for the long haul. Scientists run trial after trial to perfect a new vaccine. Co-workers at software companies debug each other’s code.

While we’ve seen amazing advances in science and technology since Edison’s day, these things have not changed. Thomas Edison remains a powerful exemplar of creativity, perseverance, and optimism. Even more than light bulbs and movie cameras, that may be his greatest legacy.

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The Best of Steve Jobs

I don’t know the man personally, I hear he was a very driven, hard ass, early on in his career. Maybe that’s what it took to be a leader of a technological revolution. Leaders sometimes have to pull their people into the future kicking and screaming.

Then Jobs was excommunicated from the company he co-founded by a board of directors who choose to live in the past and use tactics and strategies from the old school religion of corporate governance. Apple languished, Jobs moved on and found a new path of discovery – he never lost sight of the future, of innovation, of THE CUSTOMER.

And then Jobs was resurrected to bring back Apple from the depths of being a historical footnote.

And I’m sure you know the rest of the story – iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and the iUniverse!

I found a video on Youtube that I thought was so interesting. You don’t need to be a technical guru to understand the conversation.

Jobs was speaking at what appears to be a technical meeting and he fielded a question from the audience. The questioner insulted Jobs, telling Jobs that he didn’t know what he was talking about in relation to the technical discussion at hand.

This is the new Jobs you see responding here. The reinvented Jobs, who is clear with his vision and who seems humble with his response.

Go watch the video and come back for my thoughts…

The number one thing to take from Jobs’ response is that any vision for a product starts with "what incredible benefits can we give the customer."

He understood that technology means nothing if people can’t use it or understand it. And he was thinking on a scale of selling 8-10 billion dollars in products.

The second, but equally important thing to take from Jobs is that leadership and innovation will result in "some mistakes [being made] along the way. That’s good! Cause at least decisions will be made along the way."

Don’t be afraid to act! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Don’t be afraid to innovate!

And always keep your vision centered around THE CUSTOMER.

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