Thanks for having me, Thom.
I started reading Jeremy’s excellent blog shortly after he became a community leader on Michael Hyatt‘ über popular blog. (Michael just locked in a best seller on the topic of Platform. Amazing. Seriously.)
It took me about 5 seconds to surmise that Jeremy is an overachiever in a really awesome way. He’s an orthopedic surgeon in Kentucky. He’s married to Amanda (who likely possesses super powers), has four children, and is the process of adopting a couple of kids from China. His recent ebook called “Grace Is: A Practical Guide to God’s Love” is worth the read. Get started at Jeremy’s by reading my article here…and please reward his generosity to me by sharing something in the comments section. Thanks everyone!
Oh! And on the topics of simple surprises….Here’s a little surprise I’ve been working on.
Could you solve this puzzle?
This is just the beginning of the Story. I’m up to something. Check back soon to find out what!
Kevin makes me laugh at his isle of man blog, so I invited him to post here. Enjoy!
BIO: Kevin Haggerty is a 32-year old husband and expecting father. He runs and writes for a humor blog called TheIsleOfMan.Net. For his full-time job, Kevin is a middle school teacher and basketball coach. He also writes for a mixed martial arts (MMA) blog called MMAMania.com. He’s the oldest of seven children, a continual skeptic and smart people think he’s funny (at least that’s what he tells himself).
The Day I Fell Down a Mountain
When I was a freshman in college, I sucked at being a student.
In high school, I graduated with honors. I worked hard, but nothing else was an option. Being the oldest of seven kids (which doesn’t give you the right to ask me if my parents like to have sex…so don’t), a lot was expected of me. I generally lived up to those expectations, but it took its toll.
By the time I got to college, I was completely burned out on studying, reading and being a student, in general. To give you some perspective, I went from a 3.9 high school GPA to a 1.8 freshman average.
My parents weren’t there to spur me on. No one got in my face when I failed a test. No one jerked the covers off of me when I slept pass my alarm clock. I was learning how to be an adult, and I was failing the course badly.
I wasn’t kidding. I sucked at being a student.
Everything culminated on one fateful day. The end of my first semester was nearing a close. We were in the middle of finals week. I had a History exam that morning. I needed to do well.
In high school, I coasted through History, like I did with most of my classes. I memorized the material and never really stretched any mental muscles. It was easy. I was barely trying.
College presented me with a whole new set of obstacles I’d never encountered before. Specifically, I had a History professor who had a very unique take on U.S. History. He taught us things I’d never heard before. In retrospect, I’m not even sure he was wrong, but it was unorthodox and outside the box. I had to really think in his class.
I hated it.
Back to the exam.
I woke up, in a panicked cold sweat, looking at my alarm clock to see that it was 7:50 a.m. Why is that a big deal? Because the exam was at 8.
I threw on the nearest school appropriate attire I could find in my disgusting mess of a dorm room and darted out the door.
I wasn’t walking. I wasn’t even jogging. There was no time for that. If I missed this exam, I’d fail the course. That was simply unacceptable. I had to make it. So I sprinted.
Did I mention it snowed the night before?
Well, it did. Not only did it snow, but the ground iced over. To further complicate matters, my dorm was situated on top of a steep hill. Are you starting to get the picture?
I could have gone down the stair cas
e. They’d even salted it. That would have been the smart move, but I was late. I had no time for stairs.
I stupidly maneuvered through the bushes that led down the slope of the hill. This was the shortcut we always took when we needed to get to the academic buildings faster.
I got there fast alright. Oh, did I ever.
As I ran through the bushes, I was greeted with a fresh patch of ice that caused my feet to betray me and fly in the air. I was literally head over heels. I continued my clumsy descent down the hillside, which stretched a good 100 or so feet. When I emerged from my adventure,
But I had an exam to take, so I got up, brushed myself off and continued to run like an idiot to the academic building.
As I endeavored on towards the door of the classroom, I saw the professor closing the door. If he shut it, he’d lock it. If he locked it, he would not unlock it. This was a series of events I could allow to occur.
So I ramped up my speed to “overdrive.” Luckily, I was able to grace the doorway before he had completely shut the door. More luckily, he allowed me to enter.
I don’t even remember how I did on the test. I think I did alright, and I passed the class. Regardless, that whole episode was part of my growth as a student.
I realized something very important that day. That wasn’t who I wanted to be. That wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of my college career. I needed to step my game up, and it took falling down a mountain to really gain the necessary perspective.
Has life ever used an icy hillside to get your attention?
(BONUS: Here is a great audio document on her majesty Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”. Her improv (scat) is pitch-perfect and sounds a lot like a clarinet.)
Check out the rest of the post I did on Ed Cyzewski’s blog today.
If you like it, you’ll LOVE Volume 5 of my ebook, God’s GRAND Story.
More details and a snazzy video coming soon.
For info updates and a free volume just sign up.
Subscribe to get 3 Volumes for Creators & Communicators (free)
AND If you didn’t get to see my video interview with Jen about her book, please check it out here.
Guest post from fake blog writer (and also the story of being nearly Punk’d)
I was asked by “Elizabeth” to post a guest blog and link to what turned out to a fake blog they claim is for people “excited by the prospect of veiled links to the education industry in the form of blog posts”. Now I don’t know about you, but to me, this marketing trickery is so fantastic, and doesn’t sound the least bit manipulative, especially if you’ve gone to 8 years of fake evil medical school. ~coughing while slurring “Fail” under my breath~
But, I’m a girl of my word. I told them I would post it, AND link to them, which was incredibly nice of me, since they were seriously wasting my time. Yep. You bet ‘cha. I will do just what I said.
One smallish adjustment though…. Since they bill themselves as almost educational, their submission could only be almost worthy of being posted on this fine specimen of a blog you have before you, and I will almost post it here.
After I read the submitted piece by “Andrew Hall”, (a blind, autistic, amputee from Tuzla, with only two working thumbs), I was SO UNDERWHELMED that I thought it was a good fit for my humor site, that is equally underwhelming.
I made up the thing about Andrew. I’m not sure about his situation, at all.
On a personal note: So, sorry “Andrew”, this is a bit of a downgrade for your humor piece, but thank you for trying. Keep your chin up, because I’ve heard (from an Indian-themed movie) that blind singers get the most money; I think you will do fine. You can sing, right? Bless your heart.
Enjoy this honest, and helpful contribution about what he has done when prayer has become difficult. This type of prayer exercise can be done when it’s hard to be verbal, or just to freshen up your time alone with God. Give it a try. I’ve enjoyed the practice too.
Writing: An Act of Prayer?
They swarm like drunken bees. Disjointed and restless having lost their motivation and focus. With thoughtful pause I point the pen, the swarm now threatening to coalesce around a single thought, emotion, or heart felt longing; like the only drop of honey in a dry expanse of nothingness and silence.
Thoughts sometimes struggle to shine in our confused states of darkness. Of doubt. Like one candle in the dark, I’ve struggled to whisper into this darkness. And if you’re anything like me you have as well.
Some days go better for me than others, but mostly I’ve struggled to utter words to a God who at times I didn’t fully understand, and just reverted to mumbling variations of childhood prayers that allowed me the comfort of remaining on the surface, never plunging the depths of truth and genuine connection with God.
True prayer has always been hard for me. I’ve only now begun to see how revolutionary an act of faith really talking to God truly is. To be quite honest, as of late, I haven’t really been praying. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I’ve been suffering some guilt about this, and the fact that Ive recently begun writing is the only balm that has sustained me, and given me a possibly different perspective on the subject of prayer.
So what exactly is Prayer?
Wikipedia defines prayer as:
“The act of addressing a god or spirit for the purpose of worship or petition. Specific forms of this may include praise, requesting guidance or assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or an expression of one’s thoughts and emotions. The words used in prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation, words of gratitude, or a spontaneous utterance in the person’s praying words. Praying can be done in public, as a group, or in private”.
It appears that there can be more than one way to express thoughts and emotions. More than one means to reveal what burns in our hearts. And thats comforting. Like a million varying classifications of flowers raised heavenward to their life source, it seems to me, that we to can raise our voice, hands, or lives in whatever medium speaks, and opens our hearts to Divine wisdom.
So Why is Prayer so Hard for some?
In a world full of distractions and complexity, I’ve realized that focusing the mind and concretizing my thoughts can be difficult, far less for the thoughts I have towards God. Make no mistake, I possess the yearning to connect to the divine, and desire to experience more of a real connection. To wrestle with the unknowns in my life. But sometimes the faith feat of articulating and communicating my thoughts to a less than tangible concept of God can seem abstract, prove difficult, and sometimes feel pointless.
As of late, I have found that the act of writing my spiritual journey, to be a powerful act of reflection, contemplation, meditation, prayer, and maybe even praise. Grappling with the bedrock of human existence, the why’s of life, the unresolved questions I have, doubts, and fears, all can be given proper voice, in the visible form of the written word.
Our prayers, becoming statements of faith, and even of doubt. Lord, I believe, and please help my unbelief. All nakedly and honestly expressed on paper, where we can both remember from where we’ve come, where we are, and petition to participate in where we understand God to be going. It allows us to plot our stages of growth, bolstering and transforming theory into a real, tangible and experiential spiritual life.
“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. – Psalms 116:1”
Find what works for you!
Writing has allowed me to penetrate the facade that much of life’s distractions can cultivate. For you it may be another creative outlet. I was talking to my mother, who happened to just start a womans small group at her home. She was describing to me what she called a prayer basket. She creatively collects all the things that she needs in order to pray or spiritually connect with God. “I have my prayer journal in there, along with a pack of cookies”, she said, smiling. I imagine each basket will be as unique as the thumbprints of the ladies in her group. I think that if nature is any indication of Gods creativity, it leads me to appreciate the plethora of genuine expressions and communication styles from his children.
Thank you, Veron. Many more great things by Veron are here.