Who Do We Want To Be?

who-do-we-want-to-be
 
It's a big question. I asked it before, and it's a question I am asking myself everyday in light of my recent decision.
 
To those in a state of surviving in isolation, I want to be someone who provides hope. I want to be someone who shares a way for leaving this state of despair. I want to be someone who gives guidance for moving into a state of thriving together. 

I believe we can provide hope by sharing our stories and creating safe places for others to experience this hope. I want to be this type of person because I grew up in a place and state of hope. When I left home, I left hope. I did not appreciate or understand the intentionality it took to create it. 

My parents established a well of life, and I was drinking from it.  When I left, I took my bucket of their water, my inheritance. It eventually ran out, and I began to go thirsty as I sought sources to fill my bucket. I realized, I had to build my own well. 

When I was ready to build, God took me through a process. He brought people into my life to guide and encourage me through the journey. These people inspired me by sharing their stories and providing safe places for me to, once again, experience this hope. 

I have come to realize not everyone has experienced this hope I have now experienced twice. I have lived in a place of thriving together and a place of surviving in isolation. I know what it's like to be fully supported, and I know what it's like to be completely alone. 

I have traveled to and from each of these states in my life. By experiencing this journey, I believe I am called to help others in the same way I was led. 
 
I want to be someone who gives hope, shares how to create hope, guides others towards this hope, and teaches others to do the same. 
 
I believe this is what it means to embrace the life of Jesus Christ. The life He gave and the life He lived.
 
Who do you want to be?

April 23rd 2014: Weekly Content Roundup

Check out my guest blog post on Advice for Good: Meeting The Need

I am currently reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Image Of The Week

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Me and My son David.

Best In Economy

Why Everybody Who Doesn't Hate Bitcoin Loves It: Full Transcript

Best In Culture

Video: Fool's Paradise: What Really Controls Us

Best In Faith

Video:Cosmic Reasons To Believe - Hugh Ross

Q&A: Who Created God

"Let me start by saying I’m not actually a believer at this moment. When listening to the lectures, I hear a lot of talk about the complexity of things being a big proponent for creation or design because somebody created it. But at some point in the paradigm you’re at least admitting that, somewhere, something just existed that was at least as complex as, or more complex than, us….If we couldn't have just existed, how could you say God just existed without something creating him. I’d like to hear your answer on that."

VIDEO: Night Two: Uppsala University Open Forum with Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden

"In the second oft of two nights of live streams, Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden will be speaking on "Why I Am A Christian" at the University of Uppsala ( Universitetshuset), in Sweden."

Taking the Initiative Against Depression

"The angel in this passage did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable. He simply told Elijah to do a very ordinary thing, that is, to get up and eat. If we were never depressed, we would not be alive—only material things don’t suffer depression."

Best In Short Films

Video: Short Film - Struck

"Check out this somewhat sad but mostly hilarious short called "Struck." It follows a man who is randomly struck through the chest with an arrow and must adjust his life because of it. The ending isn't that hard to guess, and you can probably imagine before even watching why he gets hit with the arrow, but this short wasn't about that."

Best In Entertainment

jaws poster

 firefly poster

Video: Star Wars Documentary EMPIRE OF DREAMS

Video: Godzilla - Extended Look [HD]

Road Hazards Of Life: Roadblocks & Potholes

roadblocks-potholes
 
For those of us who drive, we have come across potholes in the road. When we hit these potholes, they disrupt us. Sometimes we may spill our drink or drop something. Other times it's just hard on our vehicle and tires. In most cases, potholes jostle us as we move forward, but they do not stop us from moving forward.

Potholes are obstacles in our path we can drive through without having to resolve them. 

When we are driving there is another obstacle we come across in our journey, the roadblock. When we meet a roadblock we are unable to go forward. In theses cases, we must wait until the roadblock is removed or find another way to travel to our destination.

Roadblocks are obstacles in our path we cannot drive through unless we resolve them.

So, how does this apply in our lives?
 
Imagine we have written a blog post to be published in a few hours. It's not perfect yet, but we are willing to publish it. This would be a pothole. It's not ideal, but it won't keep us from going forward.

Imagine we are building a website for a client and we need the content for the website before we can move forward. In this scenario, not having the content has become a roadblock

Let's apply this to a more serious scenario. 
 
Imagine we are working on a marketing project. Our boss asks us, while planning out this project, to use a false testimonial for the project. For some of us it may be something we are not willing to do, a roadblock. For others, we may not want to do it but we will. This would make it a pothole.
 
The next time we run into an obstacle, we can now ask ourselves, is this a pothole (I don't like it but I will go forward) or a roadblock (I will not go forward unless we resolve it)?

What pothole or roadblock are you facing now?
Meeting The Need [For Advice For Good]

Meeting The Need [For Advice For Good]

As a 29-year-old, it’s great to know there is still a place where being miscalculated as a high school student is possible. Last week, I volunteered at the Atlanta Food Bank and I unexpectedly learned what it’s like to live in the Middle East. It turned out my day volunteering would parallel a fellow volunteer’s journey to this region. 
 
Before I share how the connection happened, let me rewind.
 
I recently decided to walk away from our marketing company. As a part of this transition, I sought community and mentoring to help guide me through this transition.
 
Over the years, I have stayed connected with Jeff Hilimire. Jeff Hilimire is the owner of a company called DragonArmy, and he was someone who came to mind as I sought counsel. Well it seems, there are others who see Jeff as an approachable person and so he came up with a neat idea called ‘Pay it Forward’. The idea being, when I agreed to meet with Jeff, I committed to volunteering at least one hour of my time to help others. In addition, I agreed to write about my experience.
 
With the intent to go outside of my comfort zone, I asked Jeff if he would recommend a place I could serve. He mentioned the Atlanta Community Food Bank had a need for volunteers and he recommended I serve there. After our time together, I went online and signed up to volunteer in the program called ‘Kids In Need’.
 
Kid’s in Need is a program of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and they aim to provide a free store for educators to supply their classrooms with the tools for academic success. My volunteer position was to help load the supplies received by the teachers into their vehicles.
 
The day came and I drove down there about an hour early. By being early, it allowed me time to talk with the staff, learn about their mission and fill out paperwork. It also opened up opportunities for me to help and engage with the volunteers while we waited for the teachers to arrive.
 
One such opportunity was talking with a woman who, I came to find out, worked with the United States Government over the past 6 years. While working, she spent most of her time in Dubai and Iraq. With limited experience out of America, I decided to take this opportunity to learn. I proceeded to ask her about her perspective after being overseas.
 
I first asked her what it was like returning to the states and what her perspective of our country was. She proceeded to share how much she realized we, in America, take for granted. Being incubated in our country, there are so many little things in life we have access to that most of the world does not. She also shared how in America, we are busy and we work at a breakneck pace. In these other areas of the world, they take their time and focus more on what is in front of them.
 
This was compelling, but I wanted to learn the other side of the coin. I flipped the question around to expand my perspective and I proceeded to ask her what does America value compared to this region. Her first response was our value for the family. In America, we value and cherish family in a way they do not. In those parts of the country, she experienced how they would abandon or sell a family member with little or no hesitation. I asked her about the difference between the two worlds when it comes to generosity. She said we are much more generous than what she experienced from these areas of the world.  We give, help the poor and they tend to do the opposite.
 
It was humbling to learn how much we take for granted and how rushed we are in our culture. It was also reassuring to know our value for family, generosity and helping others was a strong point in our culture. As she shared, she said there was no way for us to understand and feel what it was like without experiencing it for ourselves. 
 
This made me think about what I was doing volunteering with Kids In Need. Before Jeff connected me with the Atlanta Food Bank, I had a limited understanding of the need our city had in this area. People in our community need help to survive, and teachers need materials and supplies to teach their students. The need is big, and being in this season of transition allowed me to slow down to such a level I could see what was going on around me.
 
As I loaded the cars, I asked teachers their names, what they taught and why they taught. I met teachers from all grades and subjects as I loaded cars with school supplies. I was contributing to the bigger picture. My commitment to volunteer was a profound analogy of how busy my life had gotten, and how little I appreciated the little things in life. By volunteering, it helped me to cherish my commitment to family, generosity and helping others.
 
I challenge you, go outside your comfort zone and consider volunteering. Find an organization like the Atlanta Community Food Bank and try it out. It just might change you.

This Was Originally Posted On Advice For Good


 Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

April 16th - Weekly Content Roundup

Latest blog post: The 'Splinter Effect': Wounds, Pain & Healing | Question of the week

I am currently reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best In Business

Have you been to this meeting?

"Just because you have a budget doesn't mean you ought to be hiring people for the project."

Best In Personal Development

Suicidal crickets, zombie roaches and other parasite tales

"We humans set a premium on our own free will and independence ... and yet there's a shadowy influence we might not be considering. As science writer Ed Yong explains in this fascinating, hilarious and disturbing talk, parasites have perfected the art of manipulation to an incredible degree. So are they influencing us? It's more than likely."

Best In Marriage

Video: Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages - Shaunti Feldhahn's Latest Research

"Shaunti spent three years interviewing and surveying 1,000 couples to uncover the most important habits of the most happily married couples – what are they doing differently, that they may not even realize is making them so happy, that others can replicate? This clip reveals 3 of the 12 habits that most highly happy couples share, regardless of age or racial background or any other factor – little things that they are doing that many other couples (even those in pretty good marriages) may not do. The actions and attitudes that create great marriages hold many lessons for many other relationships as well."

Best In Faith

Video: God's Not Dead - Vince Vitale

"Is God dead? Not in academia. As someone who teaches philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Vince Vitale is well placed to know what the top scholarship says about God. Vince shows how in the fields of philosophy and sociology, God is very much alive. If you think intellectual objections undermine belief in God, Vince suggests that you may be unaware of the arguments at the highest level."

The Way to Permanent Faith

"We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this?"

Audio: IS FAITH DELUSIONAL?

If you’re looking for a way to prove God’s existence to a skeptic, there’s no better evidence than God himself. Ravi gives us some examples today in the continuation of his message “Is Faith Delusional?”

Holiness or Hardness Toward God?

The reason many of us stop praying and become hard toward God is that we only have an emotional interest in prayer. It sounds good to say that we pray, and we read books on prayer which tell us that prayer is beneficial— that our minds are quieted and our souls are uplifted when we pray.

Best In Videos

Video: Trickster - The Matrix Fan film

"Trickster is a small Live-action short film based on the Matrix movie, it's a fan-made film to see how far we can go with our skills in Film making and Visual effects."

The 3 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014, First Quarter.

These three blog posts are the most popular blog posts from January 1st to March 31st 2014.

Mountain or Valley

FAITH

Hills & Valleys

"Last year I went through a season of, I would describe as, being on the mountain top with God. Once I got to the top, I took another step, and I fell off and into the valley of darkness. This is the valley I am walking in now. I am grateful, I have not had to walk it alone. I keep moving, and I keep walking."

keith-taylor-photography-fishing

*Image Courtesy of Keith Taylor Photography

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Worm Story

"These worms may represent experiences, pain, bad habits, problems, secrets, or sin. When we allow worms to live in our lives, they grow and reproduce. This leads to more pain and hurt for ourselves and others."

blue-crabs

LEADERSHIP

Push or Pull? An Insight To Leading People

"When we push people to move forward, we establish resistance. If instead of pushing, we choose to open up, invite others and move forward, they are more likely to willingly follow."

The 'Splinter Effect': Wounds, Pain & Healing

The 'Splinter Effect': Wounds, Pain & Healing

Most of us have been punctured by an actual wood splinter in our life. I know, I have had many. 
 
Splinters seem irrationally painful. Something so small causes us so much pain
 
A splinter is a source of pain in our life. This splinter could be a bad relationship, work situation, or an event in our past. It is something that has made its way into our life and is continually causing pain, not allowing us to heal.
 
Removing a splinter is not easy. Being small, it requires precision and likely tweezers of some kind to remove. Usually, if we have allowed a splinter to stay in our life for an extended period, it's because we don't know how to remove it or we are unwilling to do so. Our unwillingness may stem from fear, pride, or shame.
 
Once we are able to remove the splinter we have made a huge step towards recovery. Our wound cannot heal when the source of it is still there.
 
Two beautiful things happen when we remove the splinters of our lives.
 
First, we can see the wound, or in other words, the gap that has been left in us. I recently decided to shut down our marketing company. It left several splinters in me and by removing it, I saw the gaps in myself, my marriage and my relationship with God. It wasn't until I let it go, was I able to see this.
 
Second, we can begin to heal. Healing takes time and is best done with others. At first we may be ultra sensitive, but as we heal we are able to handle more. By walking away from our company, I have been able to work through issues I never knew I had.
 
Once we have healed we may have a scar, but it can serve as a reminder of the growth we experienced through the pain and healing we received. 
 
Unfortunately, we will all experience these splinters in our lives. What matters most is how we decide to respond.
 
What pain in your life is being caused by splinters?

April 9th - Weekly Content Roundup

Latest blog post: Interfaces: The Ways We Work Together | Question of the week

I am currently reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best In Writing

7 Creative Proofreading Tips To Transform Your Jaggedy Draft into a Polished Post

"We take for granted that the blog posts we interact with or spread around online make sense to us. Even if we disagree with a blog post’s author or misconstrue his intentions, we have still comprehended the text well enough to form an opinion about it."

Best In Marketing

Technology Marketers Urgently Need to Document Their Content Marketing Strategy

"Our research has shown time and again that marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective than their peers who do not — they face fewer content marketing challenges, as well."

Best In Science

Audio (Medium Length): Moon's Age Reveals Fine Tuning

Best In Images

Best In Faith

The Collision of God and Sin

"The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross"

Best In Funny

Video (Short): The Danger of Wet Floors

Video (Short): Cell Phone Crashing @ Disneyland

Best In Trailers

Video: Jupiter Ascending Movie Trailer

Video: Honest Trailer for Frozen

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Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia - Copyright © 2013-2018 
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