Well, this weekend is “Father’s Day” in the US. Humorously, it might be the least celebrated holiday after ground hog day….but that is possibly because in so many families, the father is either emotionally “absent” or gone entirely…or is catered to all year anyway (oops), and therefore seemingly in less “need of a day” than the moms! Amen! But that is rarely the case in the families we know and lead huh? So let me wish all the dads a great honoring day, and may God bless you mightily as you seek to lead your family in God’s purposes and ways. In our family, I have always been blessed indeed with a very special wife and kids who always want to make the day special. Over these past two years….it seems like the whole family has revolved around my needs!! (I have certainly been high maintenance)…..so I feel like I should give them a “day off”! Maybe I will look for ways to give them all a month off.
Being a father and a husband is a big responsibility, and I am so proud of all you dads for how you have taken on this responsibility, and how you want to bring blessings to those you love…. in many cases through our shared business. As you each try to balance the roles of father, husband, employee, and now business owner/leader…and learn new scary things too….I am proud of you all!
In my case, we will be traveling to Tampa Florida for Eric’s annual National Power Soccer Tournament, and the final championship game is Sunday (Father’s Day). My best gift would be for a “win” by his team (permission to beef up the prayers?) Those who have been with us on this journey will remember that their team has come in second so often it feels humorous (well, to some) …especially since they helped start and train the team that always beats them (although always just barely, or in an overtime shoot out!). You all have permission to pray for a better outcome this year as our guys are really ready to win. I see them as mighty winners and warriors already, as I experience and observe the amazing growth of this sport, and the many lives that are positively impacted. 70+ teams now in the USA, hundreds of players contrasted with only a few dozen when they started…over 600 tournament sanctioned games this year, 14 countries playing now, and passionately competing and preparing again for a World Cup…. as well as a Para-Olympics competition. Amazing and encouraging…. and all as a result of a simple decision, a dream, and some hard work, and a lot of money. What’s new?! And often, the real impact on these individual and special people is away from the games, and in what happens inside these new communities of people who are gathered together under this new purpose and fellowship and environment. I will be one blessed father to just be in the room with them all. I wish you could all see it. You know how we feel about these champions…as they are all winners in our eyes.
On my health front, I am now in the middle of another round of special immune vaccines and grateful for that opportunity indeed. Another “gift” that such things are available, and that we can “afford” to receive them. As you may have learned, my radiation treatments for the new “discovery” of disease spread in my lower spine area are complete as of a couple weeks ago, and I am confidently waiting a next test (PET) scan in July. We are faithfully trusting the Lord for His continued healing though this combination of traditional therapies and alternative natural boosters. Additionally…and not a small thing at all….my recent brain MRI (as a follow up to the previous issue) was clear this time and nothing new appeared. Praise God indeed.!!…..that was/is a scary one. Stay away from my “brain”!! Your prayers have been amazing. God is amazing in His favor. And as I write this entry, I am reminded of how many in this world of ours share similar experiences and need similar prayers and a growing of our faith due to life’s many surprises and challenges.
As we arrived in California, we learned that one of our long term friends and a Founders Platinum, Britt, was just diagnosed with throat cancer! Shocking indeed since he never smoked”! The doctors feel it was the result of a root canal on a tooth? Wow! Just today, he began a round of 30 radiations and some chemo…can I relate? Could my “journey” help?? Can he benefit from your and our prayers? You know it! He even has the “mask”… And he is not loving it either! But, we are communicating, and he is a winner, and God is still on the throne. We are a family, and there are always many needs and fears and “journeys” to experience. But, together, and with the Lord, we can triumph. He can supply all our needs. I know Britt isn’t the “only one” who needs our prayers, and that you could send me a long list of others any day, so lets just all agree to be diligent as we pray for the needs of ALL those we lead and love. You are all special and our journeys are linked. We can draw great strength from our shared faith and experiences.
We all must remember and be encouraged that although this “journey” of mine has lasted far longer, and become more complex, than any of us had hoped or wanted or expected, it is still a miracle daily, as I was faced with a quite serious issue…..especially as it spread etc. We have always known my ultimate result would be one that is under God’s perfect love and plan, and that He is our creator, our comforter, our healer, and our savior. We belong to Him, and we are glad we do. Together, our family, and our greater family (you all), have been on a journey of faith and discovery along with us that would have otherwise not been possible at all! The stories continue to amaze me. Can you see the blessing and miracle in that?? It continues!…. and I am still listening. He is always at work, and always to be trusted. Lets all keep praying and expecting and expressing praise and gratitude…regardless of what we “see”. It is not always easy…but it is right.
On the business front, I am continually amazed at how well we are blessed with a strong team and lots to celebrate. Nancy and I were able to attend and even speak at two recent weekend events (Atlanta and Palm Springs), and what a pleasure and inspiration that was for us. I was right in the middle of my radiation when in Atlanta, and so I think it may have given me an extra “glow”, and maybe added some feistiness! Then we decided to travel to California as we hadn’t been there in two years. We loved being there amongst the people we love, and got some very overdue hugs. We have great memories of Palm Springs as we owned an “extra” home there for years. Dornan Air makes travel within the US quite possible, and unstressful. Did I say lately how grateful we are?!
In between the two Weekends of US events, Dave and Jules went to Sweden to be the main speakers at their N21 Weekend in Stockholm. Some 4000 or more were gathered, and from what reports I got it was an amazing over-the-top experience for the speakers, as well as the audience. Dave and Jules were “just what the doctor ordered”! They so love and are so energized by these international experiences, and we are so grateful and impressed at how they represent our family, but share their own stories. They are really right in the trenches and their message is as fresh and relevant as any in the world. If I could “clone them” I would send them to every event globally (crazy since we have three weekend seminars a year in some 20 plus countries, and in some, like Russia, each weekend cycle is in 7 or 8 cities across 11 time zones). That’s more than 75 Weekends a year! Now we see why we need a great staff….and a great team…. since I cant go to them all either. But they are ALL great!
So, we continue to grow in our faith and our humility and our gratefulness. We are continuing to trust, and seek better ways to lead and add value…and it is working. Throughout this journey experience, I have been given many chances to ponder and reflect on what leadership is about, and how we can assure ourselves that as we pursue our financial dreams and lead others in that quest, we will also be true to the scriptural truths and warnings and priorities that are presented and revealed anew to us. We talk a lot about something called “servant Leadership” in our community. This is not a common or easily understood concept..especially globally. Leadership is so often confused with “abuse of power”, or manipulation of people, or a reward rather than a responsibility. Being a truly great leader…even at the lowest beginning levels where you are influencing others….involves understanding the need to also be conscious of our “character” and our need to be “authentic”, and to maintain awareness of what the Lord considers “important”. We must always seek His definition of “success”.
God looks at our hearts! He tells us to “not worry”, but to “have joy”, and to “seek Him first”, and to “rest in His forgiveness”, and to “lean not to our own understanding”, and to “serve others and love others”, and that “He is the way the truth and the life”….lots to ponder as leaders, and as we pursue our dreams and seek to align them with God’s perfect will and plan for each of us. And, above all, to remain faithful and obedient, and filled with His power. What a privilege.
Here is something I read from author Chuck Swindoll as he offered a suggested prayer on this topic:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
It’s a pretty awesome thing, Lord, to be in Your service. It’s a lot easier to begin and run a company, even a big corporation, than it is to serve the body of Christ. As humans, we see the outward appearance, but You look at the heart. We reward achievements that everybody notices, but You reward those things that nobody knows about. You reward motives behind actions. You reward generosity that is never publicly announced. You reward sacrifice, which is merely the MO of a real servant. And so, Father, thank You for the joy of serving You—supporting Your work, believing in Your ministry, trusting You with our whole hearts, and leaning not on our own understanding.
Guide us, O Lord. Our desire is to serve with quality, authenticity, humility, grace, mercy, and compassion. May we serve better in deeds than in words. Make us a people who have a heart for the whole world, not just our own little backyard. Guard us from acts of the flesh, from foolish decisions, from rash actions, from impatient reactions, from selfish motives. Lord, Your reputation is at stake, not ours. We hold You in highest esteem. Our desire is to know Christ intimately, and in knowing Him, to model His life of service in an authentic manner.
We pray this in His name. Amen.
I think this is a good one to read and offer up regularly. God looks at motives. God looks inside and sees the heart. The better we “know” Him, the better we can be “like Him”. He loves sacrifice, and He loves generosity. He also said He wants us to have joy and a life of abundance. First, we seek Him and His kingdom…and then all other things can be added. As so many of the readers of this blog are in my business family, I know we are all aware of the fact that leadership is an ever-present topic, and the qualities of a true “servant leader” are important for us to embrace for a long and God-honoring success.
Another quality of leadership that might be good to mention here is that of being an “example”!! The number one thing I have observed that determines whether a leader remains influential and effective and fresh…is whether or not he/she is leading by example, or merely managing, and making speeches to others. Leadership by “position” is the least and lowest level of leadership, and rarely effective for long. Here below is another piece I found that does a great job of stating the case for exampling.
The Apostle Paul was offering wise counsel to Timothy….
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Andrew Murray wrote, “God has no more precious gift than a man who lives as an embodiment of His will, and inspires those around him with the faith of what grace can do.” When Paul writes, “Be an example,” he means “be a role model.” The first car off the assembly line is a prototype of all that follows. Dressmakers study the pattern, then design the garment accordingly. The word ideal sounds lofty, and it is. But even if you don’t achieve the ideal, it should still be your goal. What Paul was saying to young Timothy was, “When you talk about Jesus, people should see so much of Him in your life that they desire to know Him. When you talk about faith, the evidence of it should be so compelling that they want to live by it.”
A poet once wrote:
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
fine counsel is confusing but example’s always clear.
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
for to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can see your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very fine and true;
but I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may not understand you and the high advice you give;
but there’s no misunderstanding, how you act and live.”
Nancy and I are so grateful for so much…and much of what we treasure daily is what we receive from you. I pray we can continue to add great value somehow in your lives, and that we can somehow be a catalyst for positive change, a deepening faith, and a discovery that you are all loved by God our creator, and that He has a perfect plan for you. In business, yes, but in all of your life…and it is a better plan than the one we think up for ourselves. I am in a season I would have never invited. But I am more blessed than I could have ever imagined. I must ponder that daily. God is love, and God is always in the drivers seat. And we are His. The King is still on the throne. I look forward to seeing more of you soon as we seek to gain some new traction and a better future than we thought possible. Super thanks for lifting us all up so consistently and faithfully…it makes all the difference.
With love as always…..