Episode 14 - Paintballin'!

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Well, I survived a full day of paintballing with Jacob and his friends on the day we recorded this episode. I have to say that this is the most animated my son has ever been on the Family Time Q&A Podcast. I liked it a lot. Listen to the very end to see who gets the last word in.

On a side note, I have been telling friends that Jacob was just one growth spurt away from growing taller than me. I am both happy and sad to say that day has come. Jacob is now about an inch taller than I am with a greater reach than I have. The cool thing is that he can now get things from high places for me!

Jacob can now reach high places for me!

I never stretched so much to be taller. He wasn't even trying.

I heard that we can burn about 7 calories per minute of paintball play, or 350 to 420 calories per hour. So, for my journal entry into MyFitnessPal, I assumed that out of the five to six hours we spent at the field that we only had about 2 hours of gameplay. It may have been more than that, but I had no way of knowing without an accurate reading from a heart rate monitor like the Fitbit One or Fitbit Flex that syncs with MyFitnessPal.

Splatter Action Paintball is where we got our paintball action.

Download a free copy of my eBook Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight when you click here.

Episode 13 - Age Appropriate Responsibilities

What do you enjoy doing, and why? Comment below.

Emma’s question to me: “What do you enjoy doing and why?”

My question to Emma: “What are some responsibilities at home you would like us to entrust to you?” Thanks to my friend, Chris, out of Corpus Christi, Texas (Padre Island), for this question.

Some of the other things we talk about in this episode include the following:
  • $7 in chores per week
  • Three things we do with our money: Give, Save, and Spend the Rest
  • Bug extermination (also known as “the embarrassing question”)
  • Zombie apocalypse...don’t know how that found its way into a family show

Zombie Bug Articles:

Divorcing Society's Ideals for Marriage by Ryan & Selena Frederick of FierceMarriage.com. Follow their blog, and on Twitter @FierceMarriage, Google Plus +Ryan Frederick 

Moonjar Classic Moneybox - My kids used to simply have three separate jars, one labeled “giving”, another “saving”, and the third “spending”. If you’d rather have something that was manufactured for the same purpose, then consider buying one of these from Amazon.
Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze. These guys are an inspiration to me.

Five Things to Help You Think Bigger

I wrote an earlier post about my realization that I needed to think bigger about my vision and my current perspective of the world around me. Here is a list of five practical things you can do to help you think bigger to achieve your own dreams and goals. These are things that I have implemented in my own life at one time or another.

1. Get close to something big.

"A change of place plus a change of pace equals change of perspective." -Mark Batterson

I got this idea again from Today is the Day by Bil Cornelius. If you want to achieve a big dream, you have to get used to thinking bigger than you already do. Surround yourself with things that are much bigger than you, but appreciate what it takes to be that big. It may be to get into a high rise building and appreciate the planning that goes into the city streets, utilities, and flow of people. Maybe it is sitting in a stadium like Minute Maid Park, or Candlestick, and appreciating what it took to build it out of materials that came out of the ground, the systems that were required to bring those materials together and the people to construct it, then the systems and people needed to bring a football or baseball game to the masses. Maybe it is looking into the sky and seeing how many stars exist, and realizing there is so much abundance around us that is untapped and undiscovered.

U.S.S. Lexington - Rather than admiring the technology, I like to think about the systems required to recruit, feed, train, and utilize a crew of thousands. Image courtesy of ©Travis Witt

2. What would your dream look like if you added a zero to everything you saw and do?

Lunch with my friend was a great reminder to do this. One of my early goals this year was to write an eBook and sell about 500 copies of it. What's to stop me from writing multiple books on multiple platforms, and selling 50,000 or even 500,000 copies of them all?

This means we should at least write out our vision for our lives. Whether it is written as goals, or something a little more morbid like the epitaph you'd like on your grave marker or your own obituary, write it down. After you write it down, add some zeroes to it.

3. Become a "gimper" for your dream.

I always thought of the word gimp as a bad thing, but after re-reading The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson I realize that I need to be willing to be a gimper for my dream. A gimper is someone who does that one extra thing, a little more than what was required. We often see this in the form of Disney Magic moments, excellent customer service, or that person who goes the extra mile when helping someone in need. Are you giving your bare minimum for your dream, or are you doing a little more than what is required?

"Nordies" are known for going the extra mile for their customers.

4. Read books and listen to podcasts/recordings from people who have gone before you.

Some books that have truly inspired me over the years include success stories of people like Pat Flynn (Let Go), Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad), and Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek). I recommend you get yourself copies of these if you don't have them already. Find stories of people who inspire you. I often find the back-stories of these people to be much more useful than their branded personalities.

5. Remind yourself daily of your larger perspective

Repetition is important to move information from short-term memory into long-term memory. I started carrying a 3x5 index card in my wallet with a goal I will read over and over for the next 30 days.

I read this card every morning when I wake up, and again before I go to sleep. I also read this every time I catch myself thinking negatively about my situation or my goals. The moment any self-doubt creeps in, I pull this card out of my pocket and I read it to myself. The back side of the card has this verse written on the back...

"Ask and you shall receive.
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and it will be opened to you."

You can learn more about this process by listening to Earl Nightingale's recordings from here, www.downloadEarl.com.

Comment below. How do you help yourself see a bigger vision for your life?

You May Not Be Thinking Big Enough...This May Be Why

I had lunch with a friend recently. We discussed what we do for a living, some of the goals we have in front of us, and the challenges we face in getting to the next level of our goals.

I sat and listened in awe as he described some of the following from his work as an operations director for an oil industry company:

  • $8 million in receivables this month, but an additional $2 million in sales that are not yet billed
  • It’s the unbilled sales that gives him the biggest challenge as he balances between a good ole boy way of doing business and the need to guarantee payment
  • A staff of 20 people with a need to make some adjustments
  • Relocating to a larger facility that required a $50,000 down payment, and having to move quickly to be able to handle more sales and manufacturing. He can ONLY write a check up to $10,000 without having to get approval from the corporate office.

This image depicts a unit of currency issued by the United States of America. If this is an image of paper currency or a coin not listedhere, it is solely a work of the United States government, is ineligible for copyright, and is therefore in the public domain. Fraudulent use of this image may be punishment under counterfeiting laws.

As I chomped down on my 1/3 pound Angus cheeseburger, it was becoming apparently clear that my vision for my own life wasn't big enough for me to achieve my dreams. My perspective was small. This guy thinks with a lot more zeroes at the end of everything. All things being equal between us, this was a glaring difference.

It was that last fact that amazed me. If he needs something for the company, and it costs less than $10,000, he can simply cut a check for the company. As a budding author, blogger, and speaker, I bootstrap everything. That is out of necessity and where I am, but it is possible that I have bootstrapped for so long that I have allowed it to shrink my overall vision.

Even my blog is bootstrapped. Do I upgrade to a self-hosted blog (which is ideal) or do I wait until I have a certain number of unique visitors per month? It's just $60 a year to host it with BlueHost for example! The difference between a Blogger blog and a professional looking, more reliable blog is $60/year or $5/month! Really?!

I am not saying that my barrier to success is not spending $10,000 on my blog. These are completely different arenas, apples and oranges. This is the point I am making. His level of success in his career is the result of his ability to see bigger and beyond where he is currently.

He works with numbers that have many more zeroes attached to the end of them. The unit numbers he deals with daily have more zeros on them. Everything he does has more zeroes on the end of them, and it is because of how he sees the world. He simply thinks bigger.

Think Abundantly
I am saying that my scope and view needs to get larger. My dreams are waiting for me in that larger perspective. How can I grasp having abundance if I am not thinking and giving abundantly of myself? That is the example I learned from my friend. His perspective of finances, for example, was larger. His organizational perspective was larger. He thinks beyond himself on a professional level every day.

Bil Cornelius, author of Today is the Day (Buy it on Amazon), says that "whatever your dream is add a zero to it."

What would your dream look like if you added a zero to the end of it? Comment below.

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Peer Pressure vs. Keeping Up With the Joneses

This post was inspired by my friend Shawn Albright. The original question was posed in Episode 12 of Family Time Q&A Podcast.

Why do we talk to our kids and teens about “peer pressure” as something we should resist, but talk among adults about "keeping up with the Jones" and the influence of “society” as something that’s just accepted as a part of life? What’s the difference?

Comment below.

Episode 12 - What Olivia and I Have Learned from Our Weaknesses and Struggles

What has been your life's biggest challenges and weaknesses, and what lessons have you drawn from them? Comment below.

That is the discussion that Olivia and I have in this husband-wife Q&A session of Family Time Q&A. We also do a shout-out question from our friend, Shawn, from Boerne, Texas. We even tell you where you can find Boerne, Texas!

Emma was in another room making a melted crayon canvas, so you may hear some interference from her hairdryer. Our apologies, but here’s a picture (or two) of Emma and her Crayola masterpiece.

Fatherpreneur.com is my friend’s blog. Joseph Cortez talks about the joys and challenges of being both an entrepreneur and a parent. He is the owner of Exit Realty Bay Area in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Here are some of the struggles we talked about in today’s show. Blog archive - “How You Got Fat?!

Radio Silence” Sermon #3 of Pastor Bil Cornelius’s series Spec Ops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZErIutYj9I


Available on Amazon in Kindle or hardcover format.

Click here to buy a copy of the hardcover version on Amazon.

I didn't realize there was an updated version available on Amazon.

The Proverbs 31 Man

"Jerry, tell my wife how the 'Proverbs 31 Woman' wakes up before everyone else and provides food for her family. I want her to make breakfast for me in the mornings!" That was something I read in an email from a good friend of mine years ago.
Of course, he meant this as a joke, and it was clear that he had already lost this discussion (or won it depending on how you look at it), but I immediately thought how horrifying it would have been if he were serious.
First of all, I would not even say anything like this to my own wife, let alone another man's wife. My friend's email made me think, because I wanted to carefully craft a response to his e-mail. How I responded would have a deep impact on how his own wife would view the mentoring her husband received from me.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is a topic that I have heard covered in numerous Bible studies for Christian women written by Christian women...mostly. This intense focus on using the Proverbs 31 Woman as an example of submission in marriage, may have an negative impact on the men married to Christian women. After all, where are the studies about the Proverbs 31 Man?
There are men who expect their wives to be the Woman of Noble Character described in Proverbs 31, but rarely do men think about what is required of them as well in the story of the Proverbs 31 Woman. If there is a "Wife of Noble Character", shouldn't there be a "Husband of Noble Character" as well? Wouldn't it make sense if that husband were described in or near the same scriptures that describe the wife? He's there. Many of us just don't notice him.
We are so consumed with qualities like how she gets up early in the morning and prepares breakfast for everyone before they get up. What man doesn't like bacon when he wakes up in the morning, right? She manages the house servants, owns lands that produce multiple sources of income and resources for the family. Her investments are in the form of merchant ships that are sailing and making money for her family even while she is sleeping. In a lot of ways, this woman is like a lioness who does all the lion work while the male lion sleeps under the shade of a tree. At least, that is what it seems at first glance of this story. In fact, the more I read about the woman the more I realize that she doesn't really need the man at all! What?
When the Bible mentions a wife, there is typically a husband in the passage as well, and vice versa. The story of the Proverbs 31 Woman also includes a Proverbs 31 Man who is just as important as the woman. In fact, I believe he is an integral part of the whole story.
The Proverbs 31 Man is mentioned 3 times during the story of the Woman of Noble Character.   
In Verse 11, "Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." (NIV)
Proverbs 31:11 (NIV)
Notice that it does not say that he is jealous of her every move, and condescending every chance he gets.
He has full confidence in his wife and sees great value in her. This is counter to the belief that women are not smart, that they cannot think for themselves, or that they should completely defer all decision-making to their husbands. This verse describes the internal mindset that her husband possesses. This is a glimpse into the heart of a husband of noble character. If we are to lead like Christ led the Church then we must realize that this is also the same view Christ has of us. Christ has full confidence in us.
When we consider the context of our wives as gifts from God to complete us, provide strengths in our weaknesses, and help us become the the man God wants us to be, then there is no other perspective to have of our wives than to have full confidence in her because we have full confidence in God for providing us with the perfect mate.
We can also have full confidence in our wives because we have loved them the way Christ loved the church. Our wives should be sanctified, made pure, and lifted up as holy. In that process, our mindsets of our wives are also lifted up, and it becomes very easy to have confidence in her. (See also Ephesians 5:25-27.)
Verse 23, "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."
Proverbs 31:23 (NIV)
He is someone who can be respected. As a result, he brings honor to her, and makes it easy for her to feel good about being married to him.
In Biblical times, the city gates were a place where prominent businessmen and leaders came together to discuss the day's business. The character of men would be well known, and reputation would precede them. Our reputations are built from our interactions with others. How we treat our wives also shows in how they interact with others. When we live our lives in a way that is honoring to God and to our wives, our wives are able to hang their heads high, have good dealings with the people they interact, and not have to hide in embarrassment because of what their husbands do. They don't have to come up with excuses for us.
Keeping in mind that Ephesians 5:22-33 gives us a clear idea on how we should love our wives and identifies husbands as the head of the marriage, 1 Timothy provides a list of qualities that we must strive to achieve to lead our wives the way Christ led the church.
Verse 28, "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her..."
Proverbs 31:28 (NIV)
Our children learn a lot about relationships from watching their parents interact. Sadly, when children grow up in abusive homes, they are four times more likely to be involved in bullying in school either as a bully or as a victim, or both (Centers for Disease Control, 2011.) They are also three times more likely to be in abusive relationships as adults according to the Journal of Epidemiology in 2009. Likewise, our children have a good chance at having a healthy marriage when they see it modeled by their own parents.
So, when a husband showers his wife with praises, takes the time to serve her needs, or fill her shoes to give her a break, he is teaching his sons how to do the same for their wives, how to serve her needs as a servant leader.
There is nothing wrong with taking care of your wife's needs. Let other men think you are whipped when it comes to your wife. Who would you rather impress, your wife or a bunch of dudes?
When the time comes for us to pass away, it would be the companionship of our loved ones that we will want more than anything. Impressing the guys is most likely the least important thing to us at the end of our lives, but it is a shame that we give more credibility or consideration to those whose opinions should not matter while ignoring the thoughts and ideas of our spouses.
Let's show our children what it looks like to praise our wives for all the good things they do. Let's challenge ourselves to become the Proverbs 31 Man for our wives.
What are some ways you have intentionally been the Proverbs 31 Man for your wife? Comment below.

Episode 11 - What's Wrong with My German?

Click here to listen to this episode (or right click and save to listen later.)

I guess my son is embarrassed by my attempt to speak German. In this father-son session, I ask Jacob what are five things he would like to learn from me before he grows up and moves out on his own. I really enjoyed his first two responses, but he still owes me three more!

I learned about his idea from Casey Casey of Fathers.com who wrote an article called "Only from Dad: 5 Things to Teach Your Child". I recommend that every dad take time to ask this of his kids before they are out in the world on their own.

Three Big Announcements About Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight

1. UYS2LW is now available in multiple formats: mobi for Kindle, ePub (iBooks, Google Play, and Nook), and PDF.

2. I have decided to offer UYS2LW free. Click here for details.

3. Don’t want to sign up for my email list? You can still buy the Kindle version on Amazon at a new, permanent price of $0.99. This is more about accountability. People tend to read a book when they buy it rather than have it gifted to them.

Listen to the podcast to hear announcements on two of my upcoming projects. Click here to listen to this episode.