I know it has been a month since my last update… but I am still here! Many are asking about my current progress so I will offer a bit of news and thought once again. This past month has been mostly uneventful…which is good! My progress is slow indeed in my view, but I suspect quite fast and “impressive” to most who are more familiar with the situation and what most experience. I am grateful as always.
Strangely, one of my biggest setbacks was unrelated to my surgery….I re-injured my knee somehow (perhaps weakened muscles etc) and was barely able to walk for the last 6 weeks. I limped around Founders Council in Miami, and then went to physical therapy in Sarasota after returning. Amazing how much I learned once I was in the hands of a professional. The stretching and strengthening exercises have helped immensely, and I am finally “walking” more normally…although still carefully. After barely reaching the point where I could stop all pain medicines from the surgery… I was once again in a situation where I became conscious of the blessing of a fully functioning body. If yours works well… treasure and protect it. Proper diet, weight, exercise, water, sleep etc. The basics will serve you well as I have been reminded again of just how much we are dependent on our health and energy level to perform in life. The Lord gave us amazing bodies that are capable of surviving huge attacks and even abuses….but the stronger the immune and the stronger and healthier the “parts”, the better we can survive these attacks. As I have learned…once the ideal health is lost and disease is discovered…it may be too late to reform. Even the privilege of being able to eat normally was taken for granted. As I watch others now when they eat fast, or in large gulps and bites…I feel aware of how different it is now that I don’t have those options. Maybe that too is a blessing to me. No worries about eating too much any more.
So, to finish my report on my status… I do indeed realize that I am much better than a month ago when I last commented. I seem to be getting in the needed calories while maintaining a healthy combination of food and supplements. I was having great difficulty for a while swallowing pills as they got “stuck” (yuk)…but I am adding more and more each week so that I can build up as much strength in my immune as possible. I would ask you to pray for my overall “digestion” still, along with my ability to handle quantity of food…. as that is my struggle these days. I had a “Mexican” lunch yesterday with just a small cheese enchilada and was pretty uncomfortable for the next couple of hours. I tried to go to a meeting at the office and I think I was less than heroic in my performance. ;-)) Humorously…I felt much better by the time the meeting ended! I expect this to improve over time and allow me to stray further from home. These past few days have allowed me to see the possibility of this full return to the “world”. Thanks for all your unselfish and loving prayer support and encouragement. You are truly an amazing group of friends.
As we enter summertime here in the US (remember…it is winter in Australia and S. Africa), we are beginning another round events in the N21 world. My amazing team is gathering this weekend in Pattaya, Thailand for our annual leadership “Go Diamond”. Imagine this scene when thousands of leaders from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Korea, and India…. gather with their upline and others from Australia and America to cast the next vision and learn from the best about how to grow people and business. Imagine the colorful national costumes of the opening ceremonies and the thrill of seeing our Asian friends united in one purpose, under so many languages and cultures…to add value to the lives of each other and those they lead. That is the Network 21 DNA. With the Sala’s, Peter Cox, Robert Angkasa, Angie Somers, Basil Harris, Gad Ghabrial, and RD Saunders, and all the key Asian leaders present… this will be another memory for all… and a source of renewed energy and dreams for the coming year. I can hardy believe I am not there. So unreal how this N21 machine keeps running regardless. That’s duplication and that’s freedom. We all have it.
So, as the various events and activities unfold these next couple of months, I will be monitoring and directing from home, and I will be in daily prayer for you all and for God’s continued favor on this family and the dear souls who share in our dreams and values.
I have just recently seen the final rough version of our new book release that John Maxwell and I have completed. It is in the hands of the editors, the proof readers, the graphic design people, and soon the printers. I certainly feel this book can serve a great purpose in our global family as we share ten principles for reaching your potential. These are timeless and proven truths that have been learned in the real world as John and I have lived our lives among people like you. The book will be released in September and we will have it soon in more than ten languages. The printed word has a power to impact people over time that is unlike a simply spoken message. We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with John as he is today one of the world’s best selling and most respected and read authors on the topic of leadership and success in life. As I write this, John is headed to China to speak at government, educational, and church events and his leadership materials and books are now being used in major universities (Beijing University etc) as a textbook for their courses. He will then travel to Australia for some business conferences as well as the highly respected “Hillsong” conference. John is a treasure and a friend. I hope you are as excited as I am to, have such “access” as we do.
Over these past days and weeks I have certainly been allowed to view life in general… and my life specifically… with some new lenses. I have realized the importance of faith, as well as friends, and of course health. I have been able to draw closer to my creator and father in heaven, and that alone has been a major life-changing privilege that I wish for all of you (without the “forced” urgency of an “invader”). I have been awakened to the great number of hurts and needs and suffering that many of you endure. I have been strengthened by your love and prayers and support…..and mostly too by the courage and faith many of you show daily as you deal with your challenges. I have also been shown the blessings available as we trust our Lord for His perfect will.
I have been disrupted by the change of “identity” that happens when we go from a world where we are the leader, and engaged in dynamic exciting visionary and rewarding worldly adventures and projects… to a world where we are a “patient”. When at the hospital…I cannot use my “reputation” or my “wealth” or even my leadership skills etc… to separate me from all other “patients”. I must give the receptionist or nurse my patient number in each department, and sit and wait as my turn arrives, and pray for those around me who are in “the same boat”… or worse. When I was at physical therapy, or when I am trying to find a way to eat and regain strength… I find myself identified by those around me as suddenly defined by my “situation”. This is weird and disturbing to me as I have always been one who avoids such attention, and thrives of focusing on dreams and goals and solutions and vision…suddenly my life these past days has been focused more on healing and recognizing my dependence on God for Everything. Lots of prayer time, lots of reading time, lots of family time and now a little business is popping in and I am learning to balance it all.
Wonderfully….my passion for the world of leadership, and helping others see the possibilities in their life, has been sharpened as I have been removed from the game recently more than ever before. I have found that I was in great need for a deeper relationship with my Lord even though I thought I had a great and deep one before. I am thrilled that He has allowed me to have this time to seek Him more deeply and to reflect on what I shall do with any of these bonus years (or decades) He may allow. At least now I am more conscious than ever of the gift of each day and the need to seek Him first, and His kingdom…and to allow all other things to be added after that. And He indeed has added.
I was reading one of my devotionals recently and thought I would share it as I close this message:
And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.”-
What makes an effective Christian leader today? Is it charisma? Is it ability? Is it communication and oratory skills? God’s view of an effective leader has nothing to do with these qualities. They may be a part of an effective leader. However, the core attribute of a Christian leader is his integrity with God and his obedience to follow Him. When this happens, God manifests His power in and through that leader. Moses was effective because he was willing to obey the commands God gave him. When Moses did this, God manifested His presence in him. The result was that people followed. They followed because they saw God working in and through the man. They saw that this man was worthy of following because God’s anointing was on him.
When people see the Lord’s power manifested in your life, they will have a healthy fear of the Lord. They will look at you and say, “This person has something I don’t have that is worthy of more investigation.” Your challenge is to seek the Lord with a whole heart, resulting in God’s power being manifested in the daily activities of your life. When this happens, you can expect others to be drawn to what they see in you. The problem with many Christians today is that non-Christians see nothing different about the way they live to motivate the unsaved to desire their faith.
What makes you different from your neighbor? Is your experience with God noticeably different from that of the man next door? If you’re not experiencing regular encounters with God, it’s time to ask why not. We don’t live day-to-day for the next spiritual experience, but we should see by-products of a life centered in God that is reflected in fruit from His presence in our lives.
As I read this and reflected on it, I was struck by how many chances we have daily to send the right (or wrong) message to those in our lives that we may influence directly or indirectly. It is my goal and purpose (and Nancy’s of course) to be the type of leader who glorifies the God who made me, and leads others to desire more knowledge of Him due to the “fruit” of my faith and my life (and thru His love and forgiveness and power). I pray that with the help of so many of you, with the vision of Network of Caring, with the values we live and teach in N21, we can show others that there is a “fruit” of our faith, and it is good and desirable, and will lead them to the assurance of eternal life. We have been blessed with a business opportunity and environment that allows this platform. The more I am away from it…. the more I see it.
I return to Houston on the 21st of June for my first three month re-test and PET scan etc. Please pray that all is well and clear!! I sure am leaning on Him for this, as I will be for the next few years.
I hope and am planning to see you again soon as we move together to honor the gift of health, and serve people through our lives and businesses. I always love to hear from you still as I am always ready and available to read.
In His love as always,