Provision: This Man's Struggle To Let It Go

 provision-abundance

Recently, we decided to make two major life decisions soon after having our 3rd child. The first decision we made was to shut down our marketing company of 7 years. Second, we committed to leave the condo we have lived in since we moved to Atlanta almost 9 years ago. It's the only home my wife and I have ever lived in together and we brought each of our three children there from the hospital.
 
We made two big decisions in our life without knowing where we would work or live. In many situations we have walked out in faith. In fact, it's how we ended up in Atlanta. But, this is one of those rare occasions where we jumped in faith without knowing what we were jumping to.
 
It's been just over a month since we shut down the company, and God has orchestrated our future beautifully. Without seeking it, God brought me 8 paying projects. These projects ranged from helping a non profit get focused and organized as well as working on a few website projects. Also, we received a generous tax return, and we were reimbursed for some medical expenses from our provider. All our expenses and outstanding financial responsibilities were covered, and there are more projects heading my way in the upcoming weeks.
 
In addition to His financial provision, God has also brought us a place to live. We were recently connected to a new landlord through our church. Our soon to be landlord closed the sale of his rental home on Good Friday. On Easter, Resurrection Sunday, we were connected to him through a family in our church during the Easter service at the park. The significance in the timing of these events has been inspiring.
 
God brought us a home and work to sustain us, and our horizon looks promising. 
 
I committed to give my finances and provisional responsibility over to God. He has called me to be responsible and steward well, but it's time I gave him back the ultimate responsibility of being our provider.
 
I commit to respond with excellence to the opportunities that come my way and those I seek out. I trust God will provide for our needs before we even know what they are.  
 
God, when I operate from a mindset of scarcity, show me your abundance. Please help me to be able to fulfill my financial obligations with excellence and pro-activity. I want to be able to directly address our needs and gaps and not delay for fear of provision. God, you have sustained us and you have provided above and beyond what we could have ever expected. 
 
Thank you for your provision and the loving community you have orchestrated around us during this season of our life.

Where, in your life, do you need to let go?

May 7th: Weekly Content Roundup

I am currently reading Dirt Roads and Daydreams by Dave Brown.

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

Best In Business

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns

Page Spotlight

We Are The Sum Of Our Choices (link no longer active)

The Benefits Of Positioning (link no longer active)

Best In Productivity

If You Want to Be More Productive, Get More Sleep

"This infographic describes how elite athletes sleep more in order to improve their performance."

Best In Images

Dirt Devil Honest Slogans

Best In Faith

How God turns a French atheist into a Christian theologian - My conversion story.

Reasonable Faith Podcast Link

"Her religious beliefs clearly remained the problem, and my new goal in life was essentially to explain to her why all this was untenable, so that she could put this nonsense behind her, and we could be together without her misconceptions standing in the way. So I started thinking about the whole thing. What good reason was there to think God exists, and what good reason was there to think atheism was true instead?"

Our Project Manager Dilemma: The Birth of IDEMA

Our Project Manager Dilemma: The Birth of IDEMA

This post is part of a series of posts about IDEMA. IDEMA is a process that came out of the Noodlehead Marketing journey. Visit the official IDEMA Hub here.


A few years back at Noodlehead Marketing, we believed we faced a big problem. We believed we needed a strong project manager, and it was our 'white whale', elusive as ever.

We thought we had a project management problem, but we really were dealing with a separate problem. We lacked order which prevented the 'right' type of person from being attracted to our organization. When they were attracted, they would leave because, figuratively, we operated as cowboys in the wild west. 
 
It was also a chicken and egg situation. We believed we needed a project manager, but some of our own mess was keeping it from happening.
 
We needed to work on ourselves before we could attract and keep the type of team member we needed. After churning through several people, we buckled down and decided to build a system to resolve the root problem. We decided we would slice project management horizontally instead of vertically. For us to do this, we needed to establish a system. We began asking ourselves to identify what journey every internal and external project went through.
 
We came up with a system called IDEMA. It was a filter for excellence and accountability. It was the journey we realized every idea goes through.
IDEMA-logo-white-original-large-slogan
 
Idea - Capture Our Idea.
Discovery - Establish Intentions & Plan to Sustain.
Execution -Start, Finish & Prepare to Maintain.
Maintenance - Sustain Our Idea.
Audit - Determine Our Assessed Idea’s Fate.
 
how-IDEMA-works
 
Now that we had a process, we needed to place team members in areas where they were talented. We assigned roles in each of these areas to those of us who were strongest in the respective areas. We created a project manager cyborg from the team members that existed. Any one of us was not the best project manager, but together we were a better project manager than any one person out there. 
 
As we continued to operate we became more effective. A few lessons were unveiled in this process. 
 
First, we had to learn to talk to each other. We realized when we worked together in such an intimate way, our words meant different things, and establishing common definitions to the language we used was key to working together.
 
Second, we realized it was harder, but more rewarding. Each of us blossomed in different ways. Being unequipped at first, we slowly began to be effective and cohesive as a team. We complimented each other and helped elevate each other to new heights.
 
This process, and its effect on our team, led us to teaching and implementing it in other organizations. It became a powerful tool which had systemic ripple effects for every organization and individual we worked with. 
 
What started out as a search for a project manager led to a new way of doing things that was better than what we would have imagined. This new system eliminated the the desire for the thing we thought we needed, and it helped us launch a different way of bringing ideas to life.
 
How could you use IDEMA in your work?

April 30th: Weekly Content Roundup

I am currently reading Dirt Roads and Daydreams by Dave Brown.

Flashback from the past: Hip, Interactive Company Poised Well for Future Growth

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

Best In Business

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns

Best In Marketing

A Guide to High Quality Social Media Sharing: What, When and How to Share

"Some people just have a knack for finding and crafting the perfect share. The rest of us have to work a little harder. Really, great social media sharing is a skill. And like all other skills, it requires a little strategy and a lot of practice to perfect."

Best In Productivity

The Beginner’s Guide to Putting the Internet to Work for You: How to Easily Save 60 Minutes Every Day

"One of the most fun and useful things I’ve been doing lately is automating small processes I do all the time. It took me a while to work up the courage to dive into automation, as it always seemed like a really difficult, technical thing to do, which should be left to programmers."

Best In Self Improvement

Work Harder on Yourself Than You Do on Your Job

"A long time ago, I came across the amazing quote above, which was said often by Jim Rohn. It stuck in my mind, and as the years have gone on, I feel I’ve increasingly started to learn the true meaning of it."

Best In Team

How The “Big Five” Personality Traits in Science Can Help you Build a More Effective team

"I was reading an excellent book recently when I came across the concept of the “Big Five” personality traits. I’d never heard of these before but I found them fascinating. You’ve probably taken personality tests in the past—the Meyers-Briggs test is a popular one. The Big Five are more often used in scientific circles for personality research, so I think they’re handy to know."

Best In Grammar

Five Quick Grammar Tips to Improve Your Writing – Plus Free Cheat Sheet

"There’s never really such a thing as a perfect blog post, is there? There’s always something else you could have done, something more you could have added. Another, better way you could have phrased a sentence."

Best In Faith

The Discipline of Hearing

"Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and God puts us into “the shadow of His hand” until we learn to hear Him."

Best In Short Films

Video: Short Film - The Ride

A little short film for the hopeless romantic in us all.

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

jason-montoya-david-montoya

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?

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Grow Your Life With Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia
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