This is a great opportunity to share with some people in dire need.  I will be signing photos and books, to donate the funds to help with the relief effort.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

If you can’t make the event, please donate to:

https://secure.commonground.convio.com/allhands/philippines/project.html?personalFundraisingProjectId=a0kG0000003OAUWIA4

Date: November 30, 2013
Time: 02:00-06:00 p.m.
Event: PHILIPPINES RELIEF AND RESPONSE FUNDRAISER
Venue: Hawks Nest Bar and Grill
Location: 1028 S. 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98134

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

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A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. – Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)

The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright. – Proverbs 21:8 (NIV)

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. – Proverbs 21:21 (KJV)

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?

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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

 

 

Thank You So Cal 12s

Thank you for supporting our Veterans and Active Military with your donations!

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It was a pleasure to meet you and I’m encouraged by your Giving Spirit.  I am grateful to be able to share in the giving!

God Bless you all.

 

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

– Amy Carmichael

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”

– Proverbs 16:2

 

 

 

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?

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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

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt