Veil of Tears

Powerful, Gripping and Heartbreaking barely describe this Powerful documentary from The Saylors Brothers Films.  The rights of women in India, and the abuse they suffer is atrocious and I hope that you will look up this film in your local area.  .  http://veiloftearsmovie.com/

Veil-of-Tears-Movie

Broken Promises and Wrong Reactions – ADOPT AN ATTITUDE

Things don’t go your way.  People don’t do what they said they would.  How does this affect your Attitude?

broken_promises_by_herrfous

Break an egg for a Broken Promises Omelet, with a side of No Accountability, a dash of Neglect, peppered with a Lack of Integrity, gives us all a great opportunity to end up with a stomach full of Rage and Anger.  The question is, who suffers?  It’s not the Broken Promises Omelet but the acid reflux of our wrong reactions that give us the Attitude heartburn.

This is the Broken Promises Omelet that I was served today –

I went in for my prescheduled medical appointment this morning.  The person took my information, then asked when I would like to schedule the procedure, to which I stated, “I’ve been fasting for 12 hours and was scheduled to do it now.”  Then I was told that I was scheduled at their other facility!  I drove over there and they told me I would have to wait for an hour or so.  I couldn’t do it, since I had another commitment to meet with a Client.  My Broken Promises Omelet was served.

After my Client meeting, I went home to meet someone who scheduled a service appointment with me on a home appliance.  An hour went by, no phone call, no service person, nothing?  So, I called the company, left a message, and moved on to my next appointment, the rescheduled medical procedure.  Now I had the side of no Accountability.

Medical procedure done, after 16 hours of fasting, time for lunch.  My schedule had become tight, needed to get to my next appointment so I went through a reliable and famous drive thru restaurant.  I drove away, parked in the shade, opened up my food, and IT WAS THE WRONG ORDER!  My whole meal, complete with the dash of Neglect and peppered with a Lack of Integrity was on my plate.

angry_man-face

How would you be feeling after all of this?  What do you think was going on with me?

The Truth…….As it was happening, I started to recognize the external events as being out of my control but did have a minor reaction.  Internally I started to realize what was going on and chose to remain calm toward the situation and the day.

My Story, is your Story……so how will you react?  Situations like this happen everyday, and many are out of our control.  What we can control is our reaction to these situations.  We don’t have to eat the Broken Promises Omelet,  just push it away and choose another restaurant. 

My keys to preserving my Attitude:

  1. Write your plans in pencil, not ink.  Be flexible, most everything that happens is not the end of the world and the things that were a big deal 5 years ago you probably can’t remember.
  2. Catch your reaction.  Be aware of your emotions and catch them before they consume you.  Watch your words, as they might hurt others, even those coming toward you.  Your reaction only hurts you.
  3. No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes, everyone.  How does it make you feel when someone attacks you when you’ve made a mistake?  Have empathy for those involved, things will get resolved in a better manner.

But this next one is the biggest key for me and gives me the strength to overcome every situation:

Paul the Apostle wrote “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5

By receiving this truth, I am at peace in my mind/attitude in ALL situations.  Why?  Because Jesus is not worried, stressed out, or upset by anything.  So why should I, if my thoughts line up with HIS thoughts, and I see things the way HE sees things.  This may sound simple or trite, but to me it has been deeply profound in giving me the strongest foundation to Adopting an Attitude that gives me an incredible mental perspective.

 

 

 

Make the Cut to get a Rose – EMBRACE STRESS AND PRESSURE

How does it feel to get Pruned?  Is it something you Embrace?  Is the outcome worth the Stress, Pressure and Pain?

rose cutting

Deep cuts removing the dead parts and even things we think are valuable and living leads to this………

traditional-red-roses-for-valentines-day_216763

The beautiful new growth and life.  Through the pain of pruning comes the glory of the bloom in these Roses.

On Valentines Day, roses and love abound during the annual celebration every February 14th.  This day is especially important as a landmark in my life.  It was Valentines Day 1985 when I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior became born again.  After a life of Stress, Pressure and Painful Pruning(which I elaborate on in my book Making the Call), I came to realize that there was a purpose in all this.  That my Creator was actually cutting back all the things that were dead in my life, even things I thought were alive, so that I would become more useful and beautiful as HIS Creation!  Has the Pruning stopped just because I have become a Christian?  NO, it never will, just as Rose Bushes and other plants have to be pruned to bring forth the better and purer fruit.  In John 15:1-8 the pain and beauty of the pruning process is revealed in more depth.

John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

The Promise:

Everyone will be Pruned by the Great Gardener, making the proper cuts to bring forth fruit, while removing that which is unnecessary.

The Blessing:

You can Embrace the Pruning Process since it will bring forth the beautiful Creation that God has created you to be!

Conclusion:

Decide to Stand as HIS Creation(Ephesians 6:10) and Embrace Stress and Pressure as it helps you Grow(2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

This day will always be special to me as the Day of Love and Restoration to my Heavenly Father.  I hope and pray that you discover how much God Loves You on this special day.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, and hope you enjoy it with your Loved ones!

 

 

 

3 Tough Calls to Officiate in the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVIII will be quite a Battle by the players.  How will the Zebras fair?  What will the toughest calls be?

Super-Bowl-2014-XLVIII-Seahawks-Sherman-vs-Broncos-Manning1-1280x8002

 

This picture tells the tale of 2 of the major figures in this epic battle.  Peyton Manning vs. Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom.

As a Deep Official there were 3 things during any game that were huge.  It wasn’t the rules or enforcement, but Judgement calls based on the rules and being in the right position to make these calls.  Every Official has his responsibility and match up.  But sometimes there are plays that create chaos unexpectedly and other plays that are planned by the teams to take advantage of the rules.  I always worked hard to get myself in position to make the correct judgement by relying on preparation and proper mechanics.

Here are the 3 Keys to watch:

1.  The Kicking Game.  Anytime there’s a kickoff or punt, each official has things to watch, certain areas.  You don’t want to be a ball watcher, but start looking for illegal blocks, holding and late hits.  One missed illegal play by the return team could be a big play and potential game breaker.

2.  Change of Possession.  Worse that the kicking game, since it isn’t a planned play.  We say, “your antenna goes up” when we have a fumble or interception, that turns into a return play.  It becomes very similar to a kicking play since you have to watch for illegal blocks, holding and late hits.  But another element comes in with cheap shots of defenseless players.

3.  Offensive and Defensive Pass Interference.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  The crew wants to be consistent when it comes to these calls.  Defensive Pass Interference will have to be “big fouls”, not ticky tack, and jump out at you.  We will see early in the game how tight this will be, the criteria is, does the contact have a “material effect” on the play.  The more difficult issue is Offensive Pass Interference, the picks and rubs.  With the tight pressure that Seattle applies, you will probably see “Bunch sets” and “Drag Routes” by Denver to try and get receivers free from the contact allowed within 5 yards of the Line of Scrimmage.

These are my thoughts, hope it is a great game!

Make a Call – DECIDE TO STAND

Do you get attacked or disliked for decisions you make?  Does the criticism leveled against you cause you to give up and quit?  Or do you Stand strong and weather those tests as they shape your character like a Rock?

halfdome

 

I love this picture of Half Dome overlooking the Yosemite Valley in California.  Several years ago a group of us, including my wife, son and father, hiked to the top….WOW…..what a tremendously excruciating journey, but the View from the Top was Priceless!

Today someone contacted me and asked if I had read a magazine article recently that was criticizing me.  I told him that I hadn’t read the article, nor was I surprised.   Many people have criticized me publicly and privately, and will continue to do this, just as the rain, wind, snow and erosion cuts away at Half Dome.  Life is tough, PERIOD!  I will continue to stand strong on the principles that have formed my foundation by deciding to stand as a ROCK.  What about you?

Many people want me to counter this criticism.  But I choose to follow this from Proverbs 9:8:

Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

My choice is to encourage and inspire, while following the wisdom of The Creator of All things.  Proverbs 9:9-10:

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Here are 7 keys to helping me to Stand on a Rock Foundation and the Peace of Mind that passes all understanding.

  1. Examine –  What are your Motives and those who seek to harm you?  This is where the rubber meets the road.
  2. Read  –  One chapter of the Book of Proverbs each day, followed by other bible study and books that encourage and strengthen your mind.
  3. Associate –  Choose wisely who you associate with, you can’t soar with the Eagles if you are hanging out with Turkeys.
  4. Watch –  Be aware of your thoughts and don’t allow yourself to become negative, submit your thoughts to The Lord.
  5. Listen –  Before speaking be swift to hear.  If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything, but listen.
  6. Exercise –  Physical conditioning and a good diet will strengthen your body and mind.  This is a must.
  7. Restore  –  Make sure you are getting rest and taking refuge in quiet time.  Accessing and reevaluating each day.

 My best encouragement to you in this New Year, Make a Call – DECIDE TO STAND!

Suggested Bible Verses

Matthew 7:24-27, The Book of Proverbs, Philippians 1:17

 

 

Is your QUEST the Impossible Dream?

Are you just chasing air and fighting windmills?  Does it seem like your Noble QUEST is nothing more than an endless “do over” while burning you out and spinning your wheels?

Don-Quixote-Windmill

 

Don Quixote “fought the good fight”, but to what end?  How much can anyone really handle and change?  Are you taking on too much in your QUEST to make a better life for yourself, or others around you?

Whether you are proactively on a QUEST taking on all comers while searching for the perfect life, or reactively on your QUEST while fighting off what is coming at you, we are all on a path, journey or QUEST.

So how do you keep sane while on the QUEST?  What actions or non actions can help you stop from fighting the wind or being protected from it?

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”, the famous line from Forrest Gump, is how I have felt over the last year.  From my daily activities at work, to family, to working in the NFL, to Television and Radio, to a book release and inspirational speaking, it has been a whirlwind.  My QUEST, wasn’t even a QUEST I was planning for, it was more of a reactive QUEST.  What I have learned is that the lessons from my life prior to this experience have showed me where the wind comes from and how to tell which windmills are a real threat.  Throughout this journey I have also become enlightened that even though I may be in different circumstances, much of it is all the same just packaged differently.  “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” – Paul the Apostle Philippians 4:12.  This perspective, helps me deal with the contrast of the the “box of chocolates” quote above.

A deeper look and perspective on your QUEST:

Quit – That’s right, quit.  There is a great relief that comes from this, and recognition that most of the things that we are chasing, aren’t as important as we thought they were.  What was bothering you 5 years ago today?  You probably can’t remember.  Quit worrying, and relax.

Used – Are you Using or being Used up on your QUEST?  Is what you are Using really Using you?  We spend time striving to collect things, collect more relationships, collect more fame, but end up being collected.  Be careful of overUse, because it will overUse you!

Experience  – Has your QUEST stolen your present with the promise of a present?  Does more stuff, either gathering or winning victories, truly fulfill you?  Have you driven by a junkyard, those were gifts under the Christmas tree, or looked in the boxes full of trophies in your garage?  Make sure you enjoy your QUEST by seeing the beauty of the Present!

Simplify – Do you need a moving van to carry all your stuff around?  Is your load so heavy that you dread each day, that the things you own really own you?  How much is enough, and how much do we all really need?  What is not necessary just weighs you down, let go, SIMPLIFY and travel light!

Trust – What motivates you pursuing this QUEST?  Is it vengeance, greed, pride, emptiness…….?  Do you feel compelled to move forward or be still out of emotional needs?  Most of the windmills that appear to be monsters, are just windmills.  Trust that your QUEST can be one where you can keep your integrity and have faith that your contribution is enough.

Whatever your QUEST is, it isn’t an IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, you have the ability to choose how you respond to your QUEST.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  – J.R.R. Tolkien

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.” – Steve Maraboli

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  – Ernest Hemingway

“The only journey is the one within.”  – Rainer Maria Rilke

And my Favorite:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them.  – Ephesians 2:10

Bible Verses to Consider:  Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 11:28-30

 

Does Gratitude lead to Thankful Giving?

Are you truly grateful?  Does a grateful person become a thankful giver?  Is it truly better to give than receive?  Do you give just to receive, or give freely without any benefit to you?

philippine disaster 2013

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

The images of the destruction when Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on November 8 2013, wiping out just about everything in its path, heart wrenching, more than 5,200 people dead and 23,000 injured.  It’s hard to imagine such an overwhelming event and then struggling to survive.   Government official’s have estimated the reconstruction bill would reach $5.8 billion, but what about NOW?  People are desperate for the necessities to survive, just to live one more day.

The 2012 film “The Impossible” gave me a first hand glimpse of how vulnerable we all are to the wrath of mother nature.  The actors gave a brilliant performance giving me a feeling that struck me to the depths of my soul.  I couldn’t believe how realistic it was and how I was drawn to want to help, if I only could reach onto the screen and do something, anything to rescue and save people.  Even with the many struggles in my own life, I found myself Grateful and Thankful with a desire to Give without receiving a thing in return.  I don’t see myself as a hero, but seeing the young children, women, elderly and even men, convicted me of the need to do something.  Am I alone?  Do you get impacted in the same manner?  Is it just when we see something this severe that we respond with reckless abandon, even to the point of sacrificing our own lives?

What about the Mundane?  What about your day to day life?  The story above is to the extreme, but the real question is, do you see the people who are around you and are you aware of the Devastation in their lives, or do you just look past them?

When you buy your fast food, get your car washed, etc….do you look at the person and secretly say to yourself, “I’m glad that’s not me” or “Not even consider them as a person, but your servant”?  Or do you look them in the eye, share a warm smile, speak kindly with true concern and thank them for serving you?

Something to Consider:  How can you even be in the position to see the state of where another person is without being truly grateful and content so that you can be in a position to be a Thankful Giver?

I don’t have any simple anecdotes to offer that will make you Grateful and help you to become a Thankful Giver, however I believe the process starts with you, and how you see yourself.  What do you see when you look in the mirror?  I am not sharing this to invoke guilt, and if you are feeling guilty, then you are probably missing the whole point of Gratitude leading to Thankful Giving.

Here are some of my favorite quotes regarding Gratitude and Giving and I hope they help you are blessed by them.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:17-18

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:35-40

Remember:  “The grateful heart’s overflowing abundance expresses itself with limitless giving.”Lance Easley

Thank you for spending the time to read this post.  I hope and pray that you have a blessed Holiday season with your family, friends, coworkers and loved ones.  If you are persuaded to give support for those in need in the Philippines, please go to: https://secure.commonground.convio.com/allhands/philippines/project.html?personalFundraisingProjectId=a0kG0000003OAUWIA4

Your friend – Lance

4 Reasons to LOVE your ENEMIES.

Doesn’t Hatred and Anger feel good?  Is it ever justified?  Or is it an escape, like a drug, allowing you to feel the high and the rush through your whole being?

flags of father amer injured_Fotor_Collage

Clint Eastwood’s brilliant work exemplified here with images from the wounded in “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”.  The message and stories shared in both films give us a moving and painful reminder of the tragedy when Hatred and Anger come to full bloom.  Did anyone really win?  Fathers, husbands, mothers, children all terribly affected by the unrestrained commitment to act in this manner.

Napoleon Bonaparte –A true man hates no one.”

Based upon many of my own experiences, I have had the opportunity to engage in Hatred and Anger.  Especially with what was directed toward me and my loved ones over the last year in response to “The Call” I made on Monday Night Football.  In my book, Making the Call, I share that my response to all the extremely Hateful and Angry was one of forgiveness and compassion.  Why would I forgive?  Didn’t I have the right to respond in kind?

This is a comment from someone who read my book – “You had every right to be internally very angry and feel very hurt. In that respect, I am a bit surprised that your writing does not seem to express that as much (unless I missed it). To me, an internal conscious reaction of anger and hurt would have been very justified to the bad reactions to your call.”  HH

My response – “I have discovered over my 28+ years of walking with The Lord, that anger just leads to resentment and unforgiveness.  I believe from what is laid out in the scripture that if others had the information that I have, they would react differently most of the time(it is impossible for any of us to reach perfection).  Even when it comes to competing, or acts that one must commit for survival in combat, I find that the emotion of anger clouds the judgement and doesn’t allow for disciplined tactics.”

The 4 Reasons to Love your Enemies –

  1. Hatred hurts you more than it hurts your Enemies – it affects your mind, body and soul with both short term and long term affects.
  2. If they knew what you knew you would probably be friends – most of us are struggling for the same thing and can work better together.
  3. You can learn from their perspective – if you remain calm, you can hear what their perspective is and they may have some great insight.
  4. Love is greater than Anger – love conquers all things and is more powerful, sustaining and uplifting bringing a fruitful outcome.

Romans 12:17-19 – Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Bible Verses to consider:  Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, John 12:25

 

 

Wealth or Health?

What’s more important, wealth or health?  Can you have both based on your state of mind?  Is there really even a perfect state of wealth or health?

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Consider this image and the proverbs below:

Proverbs 13:7 – One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

My perspective-

Your true wealth and health are up to you.  You can’t really control either, as much as you try.  Both wealth and health physically pass with time, however you can control the wealth and health of your state of mind!  The future and past is littered with physical destruction like a junkyard gathers up the gifts from Christmas past.

What’s my key?  Stay in the moment.  True wealth and health is right in front of you everyday and within your perspective that physical things come and go.  Your perspective is everything and as Paul the Apostle states:

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Talking or Acting, what’s your Decision?

Veterans Day.  Is it just another Holiday, a day off work?  Or is there something more powerful to consider?  Is it what was said in words or what was done by actions?

iwomtsurubachi

 

How does the image above strike you?

The image of the Flag raising by United States Marines at Iwo Jima on Mt Surubachi during the intense battle during WWII is a powerful image that exemplifies men taking action.  Words were used by those in leadership commanding this action, but then it was up to the individuals to follow through.  These men didn’t talk about, or make promises, about what they were going to do, but instead took action.  The action taken was life or death, something most of us don’t encounter on a daily basis.  In the last year while speaking to many groups about the death threats made against me, and making unpopular decisions, I have encountered many Great Americans who I consider much braver than myself.  Those in the military are obvious, but the others such as Doctors, Police Officers, Fireman, people fighting cancer, parents raising children with disabilities, those recovering from being kidnapped and especially those who have been bullied.  My situation was unusual and extreme, but I respect the bravery and tenacity of these other people who have made decisions and taken action, and see them as true leaders.

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
― Mark Twain

Take personal responsibility and make a Decision to take Action!

  1. Be Still-  before you take Action, get clear, pray, quiet your mind and make sure you are focused.
  2. Be Accountable-  protect the innocent by taking a stand against the evil that comes to destroy them.
  3. Be Disciplined-  emotions will lead you to poor decisions, stay focused on the task at hand.
  4. Be Supportive-  encourage, help and sympathize with those who have suffered loss or struggling.
  5. Be Realistic-  understand your limitations to serve, and provide what you can.
  6. Be Decisive-  once you have engaged in serving, move forward and finish the job.
  7. Be Empathetic-  some of those that come against you, may not understand all the facts or may be misled.

Bible Verses to consider:  Proverbs 3:5-6, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 12:17-21

Semper Fi