Week 9-Taft C.I.

“I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
-Mark 11:23-

Faith is a powerful spiritual law that is foundational to the life of a Christian believer.
We know that without faith, you can never please God.

As I sit in our quiet room, writing this whilst one of my amigos completes an artistic masterpiece on cloth, using only a pen, the Lord reminds me of my experiences in South Africa.

I had made the decision to voluntarily return to the United States of American.
It had been over 18 months since I had abruptly left the USA for South Africa.

Those eighteen months represent the darkest period of my life.
I was consumed by ever-dark emotion imaginable. I had convinced myself that everyone would be better off if I was no longer around.
The devil had me exactly were he wanted me .I was filled with hatred, anger and hopelessness. I was drowning in my own self-pity completely paralyzed by fear.

It was only the LOVE that I had for my daughter, Dior that pulled me through this dark period in my life.
I know now that the Lord was with me all the time, even at the darkest moments when I was mentally in the pit of hell, He would gently plant a seed in my mind that Dior loved me and that she needed her daddy.

The images and feelings attached to this took hold and rooted themselves in my mind. Slowly it grew until the only thing I thought of, was how could I get back to my little girl…Whom I loved more than anything else in the world. Day in and day out, all I thought of was how much she needed me.

I could never let her down or allow her to go through this life without me, regardless of what it would take or the consequences.

Step by step my faith grew stronger and stronger. The Lord would send people into my life, good and bad, to help my faith grow and to teach me that all things will be used for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.
Sometimes, through our free will, we make decisions and do things that cause self inflected pain and suffering. These things are not necessarily from the Lord but He will turn them around for your good, if you have faith.

FAST FORWARD.
By the grace of God and the tiresome work of my two spiritual brothers who were also my legal counsel in South African, together with their unshakeable faith and believe, we achieved what everyone said was impossible. My USA legal counsel had stated bluntly that this was a hopelessly cause not worth persuading.

The USA government had graciously agreed to allow me to return voluntarily to the USA, to face the charges against me. The Lord had made a way were there was no way.
My faith and the faith of those around me grew exponentially as we witnessed miracle after miracle throughout the process.

The Lord counted Abraham righteous because he had faith. It is through our faith in Jesus and His finished work at Calvary, that we are made: blameless, righteous and holy in Gods sight. Nothing we did or can do in our strength, can earn us our salvation and gift of eternal life.

No matter were you find yourself today, no matter how dark it seems, regardless of what your mind is telling you, know this, He is WILLING and ABLE to turn it all around.

Even If you think its impossible or everyone around you is polluting your mind, saying its a lost cause and reality is that everything is stacked against you and all you can see are dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon…..
JUST BELIEVE AND HAVE FAITH.

Jesus said: “All things are possible to them that believe…”
-Mark 9:23-

 

Week 8 – Taft C.I

“There is no passion to be found in living small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
-Nelson Mandela-

Sitting silently in my cell, starring out the window at the mountains in the distance, my subconscious mind starts asking me questions.

You were a talented and successful motocross racer, right?
I think, I could confidently say YES.
You won many championships, right?
I won many championships throughout my career.

Well than what stopped you from reaching the top echelon of motocross and becoming as successful as Ricky Carmichael or one of the other greats, my mind asks me.

I had no answer to this so I began reading books with a vivacious desire to find an answer to this question that would satisfy my mind.

The problem was that my mind believed that the awesomely great, apparently superhuman performers came into this world with a God given gift for doing exactly what they ended up being great for.

I came to realized that this explanation was incorrect.
After studying the transcendent greatness of some of histories most magical, most enduring performers, it became apparent that there are many common traits shared by these Titians.

One particular concept was evident in every great achiever, this concept was:

THE CONCEPT OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE

We can learn a lot about what makes people excel in their chosen fields by banishing preconceptions and opening our minds to what deliberate practice means.

We can characterize deliberate practice as follows: its an activity designed specifically to improve performance, it can be repeated in volume, the results can be evaluated, its highly demanding mentally, regardless if the activity is intellectual or heavy physically and lastly its generally not much fun.

When we examine the lives of these great achievers, we see that all of them had designed practice routines that focused on special elements of their performance that they need to improve. They then worked ferociously on them. The difference is that these practice activities are those that can be repeated, repetitively at high volume. These sessions are focused and require extreme concentration; continually working on the weakest area’s trying you’re hardest to improve them.

Finally we identify the painful, difficult activities that will make us better and do those activities over and over.
After each session, we evaluate what still is not right so that we can repeat the most painful and difficult parts of what we have just done. Then we continue that process till we are mentally exhausted.

It is this concept that I never fully grasped and put into practice throughout my career. Reflecting back now, I realized that I was of the opinion that – Practice makes perfect. I practiced daily for hours and hours but the difference was that my practice routine was designed around fun and doing the activities I was good at rather then spending my time on the activities I needed to improve through hard work, repetition and mental focus.

The good news is that a path exists from were we currently are in our activities to that of the greats.
The path is extremely long and demanding and only a few will follow it all the way to its end. The difference between expert performers and the average is reflected by a life long period of deliberate effort to improve their performance in their chosen field.

Regardless of whether your desire to achieve greater results, lies in sporting, music/arts or the business arenas, the concept of deliberate practice is key.

You first need to ask yourself two important questions:
– What do you really want?
– What do you really believe?

Becoming a great performer requires the largest personal investment you will ever make!!!

 

Week 7- Taft C.I

Attitude of Gratitude

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty with plenty or little”
-Philippians 4:12-

More and more each day, I am seeing just how much I took for granted. I am not talking about the big things in life but rather the little things that go unnoticed.

When last did you have an attitude of thankfulness for the hot shower you take daily?
How about the soothing feeling of the hot water massaging your body and leaving you with that clean, refreshing, tingling just showered feeling that you love.

How about that quiet solitude when you wake up in the morning and go use the bathroom without the pressure of a line of people, anxiously waiting, so they too can use the bathroom.

I vividly remember waking up to that early morning serenity. Birds chirping and the sound of nature waking you up with a beautiful symphony of sounds.

All these and many more small things went completely unappreciated. Always busy reading emails, checking the market indicators obsessively; reading the news, texting and everything else we do on our smartphones daily.

Activity obsessed. Every minute needed to be filled with activity or immediately you start feeling that you are slacking or not being productive.

Its been two months now, enough time to become acclimated to my living environment as well as to become aware of just how much the little things in life matter.

Sleeping on a metal bed, the width of your body, with a yoga mat as your mattress, is a far cry from your California king bed at home. Sleeping fully clothed with your beanie and jacket on because it is so cold in your housing unit, is worlds apart from your centrally heated home in Orange County.

Showering is a daily adventure. You just never know what you are going to get, scolding hot or artic cold.

The last two months have humbled me. There have been many great life lessons that are still just beginning to play out in my life. The one that has had a powerful impact on my attitude and the way I am dealing with this situation is GRATITUDE!

I wake up early in the morning and I make a conscious decision to be thankful, firstly for the fact that I woke up because everyday is a gift and then I carry that attitude of thankfulness throughout the rest of my day.

I am training myself to be thankful on the days were everything is good as well as the days when things are challenging and life just becomes overwhelming.

Being thankful for the little things in life regardless of your current situation is what cultivates joy and peace in your life.

Focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have, will harvest a life filled with love, peace, joy, patience, kindness and self-control.

Make a deliberate conscious decision daily to live with an attitude of thankfulness and watch how it transforms your life regardless of your current challenges.

 

Week 6 – Taft I.C.

“False messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders in order to mislead…. In those days…the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…But of the day and the hour no one knows…You do not know when the time will come…whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrow, or in the morning”
-Mark 13:22-35-

The worlds financial system has become uncomfortably unstable and vulnerable to a systemic collapse.

What I find most concerning is that a global financial crisis seems imminent and only a handful of informed people outside of the government elite and private elites can see the storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

No one knows the exact timing of when asset bubbles will eventually pop under their own weight or when this enormous debt crisis will eventual implode and bring down the entire financial system.

What is apparent, when looking back at history, is that the globally elite have an endgame, which they have been working towards for centuries.

The financial elites have, for the first time in history, the tools available to them, to put in motion events that will bring about this endgame.

I have studied this topic over the past 15 years and never have I felt more certain that we are about to enter a period were the entire financial system, as we know it, is about to be brought to its knees. One simple fact that makes this clear to me is that total debt is compounding faster than total growth and this is not sustainable.

We have reached or are about to reach the tipping point!

James Richards believes the most likely path is the one that no one is seeing: A systemic crisis could erupt at anytime. Monetary elites will move quickly to lock down all financial institutions that they consider to be “to big to fail.” This will stop any run on the banks or institutions that could lead to a liquidity crisis.

Civilians will revolt. Citizens are not going to accept $300 per day withdraws limits together with promises to reopen exchanges and unfreeze accounts once everything settles down. We forget, this exact scenario played out recently in Cyprus and Greece.

People will riot in the streets and civilian unrest will escalate. This chaotic situation will usher in government crackdowns in the form of martial law, mass arrests and the total control of the media by the government.

This is the endgame and we are dangerously close. All it takes is one of the many unfolding crisis to erupt for this dire situation to become a reality.

The time is now to get prepared and informed. History always repeats itself.