Hope from Lowly Times

nativity scene table decor

Here we are at the end of December.  The decade is over and the new year brings promise as well as a darkness of what at times feels like uncharted waters.  Life is fast.  Moving at speeds that we could never have conceived when we were young.  Technology, globalization, a society that seems to care less about each other than about fighting over differences.  A great country, lost in an identity crisis.  But, throughout history, one constant has existed.  The promise of salvation, God’s grace and divine guidance.  But the world has seemingly discarded this great gift.  We, like in the times of Christ’s birth, have become fragmented.   Government grows larger and more controlling, and we go through the motions of our lives without much hope of change.  Don’t say Merry Christmas because you might offend someone.  Assimilate to cultural pressures or be ostracized.   Life appears to be headed to the abyss.

But there is a glorious hope.  A spirit of strength.  A freely given gift from our Creator.  In a broken world, full of sin, hatred, jealousy and lust is the hope of forgiveness, unconditional love and eternal life.  This hope was born in a lowly community, in times of distress, government control and discord.   People were searching for the promised Messiah.  The One God had foretold of throughout the Old Testament.   We have the pure blessing of knowing that our Savior has been sent.  Forgiveness and love assured.

In these times of great upheaval, just like the time when Christ came into the world, we have the choice to turn from the hatred and head to the Light of the World.  The story, passed down for generations, prophesied in the Old Testament and came to pass some 2,000+ years ago is a simple and straight forward message.  All it takes is the faith the size of a mustard seed.  Seems easy.  I encourage you to find the faith to seek out the true meaning of this Christmas time of year.  Head into the next decade with peace.

The razors edge difference.

What defines the difference between self doubt and invincible greatness? It is that one person who sees us as we are and believes in us. The simple phrase ” I believe in you” can be the game changer.

Let someone know that you believe in them. They need to know.



People talk abut how strong they are or how strong others are, but what does that really mean? Is it the strength to fight against injustice or to stand for a belief? Is it the strength to endure pain or suffering or loss? Is it the strength to triumph in a quest or competition? All are a variety of strengths but all are driven by fears known and unknown.

True strength is deeply rooted in an unwavering faith in ourselves, granted to us by God to succeed in the calling or internal directive that aligns with our purpose. Our purpose will be different for each of us individually. Our purpose can appear in many disguises like business, relationships, health, heartache, faith; the list is endless. Observe what your purpose is not only in the long run, but also in the smallest of daily events.



What did you learn?

What did you learn today?

In the business of real estate, the focus is on the art of the deal.  In getting the transaction to closing, to payday.  But where was it ever written that we get to choose only the fun parts of the art of the deal?  Where are the lessons learned that serve us and our clients in the future.  Where is the highest level of knowledge gained?  I would challenge anyone by saying in the art of the deal gone off the tracks.

When all goes well, we go through the numerous steps that we have become accustom to following.    This applies to any business, hobby, relationship or classroom experience we have.  While there are always bumps in the road, we navigate from our past experience and bring our goal to a successful conclusion.  But with this there is very little growth.

When our goal goes awry, we have a fork in the road.  A fork that will either lead to greater success, or a cycle of falling into the same cycle again, blaming someone else, calling it bad luck, or worse, telling ourselves that we are failures.

A more constructive path would hit the following thoughts:

  1. Seek a solution for the obstucle
  2. Seek the guidance of peers and leaders
  3. Isolate areas where a different action would have created a better outcome
  4. Be honest, admit any mistakes, rectify where possible
  5. Grant yourself a degree of latitude.  We are all human.
  6. Make note of how this experience can be used constructively in future goals or transactions
  7. Let go, focus on the next objective, find success quickly

When we view failed goals as text book and practical learning, we have bettered ourselves, added value to pass on to the next client and have prevented the cycle of self destruction.

Be a student of life, not a martyr of failure.  It happens to all, if we don’t see that, then we are just living in denial and mediocrity.




The Haboob of Everyday


When I moved to Arizona, I never thought much about this phenomenon call the haboob.  A sand storm.  I only thought this happened in the movies like Laurence of Arabia.  But, in the first month I was here, I experienced a haboob first hand.  I was in downtown Tempe, walking from my car to a restaurant, when, like in slow motion, I saw this wall of dust and dirt, a black cloud rolling in.  I turned around, got in my car and decided to head home.  As I was driving, the dust started to blow, and envelop the cars around me.  Next, it started to rain MUD!  Cars were pulling over, turning on their emergency flashers, and like a blizzard, traffic on the I-10 came to a halt.  After the pause, the rain continued and cleared the air of the dust and everyone started to move again.

Much like our lives.  I have experienced may haboob’s of life.  It is tempting to keep driving on, somewhat without direction.  Unaware of the path to success or the danger that is right around us.  These haboob’s of life have become a warning for me to stop, pause, let the air clear, reoriented myself.  Even though it does not seem natural to pause; we might miss a deal, or miss out on an opportunity, but in the end, we do not have the clarity to take advantage of the best that life and business have to offer.

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn.  But, the haboob keeps moving.  So when we pause, it blows on past leaving us with a vision for the mess around us and the path to navigate the obstacles heading to a higher level of prosperity.

Pause, Look and Listen.  Haboob’s are only temporary if we left them move on by.

#OrangeisTruth #JayJasper #DesertSellerAZ


fast paced

Fast pace, multi-task, rise to the top, I deserve it, it’s all about me.  Sound familiar?  We are all guilty in some capacity of uttering these phrases.  Coming from an environment of upper midwest guilt, there can be great negativity associated with a persons desire to rise to the top, be the best and know it, feeling deserving of the good life.  While I believe that we are put here on this earth to be successful in our calling, this may, in many instances, not be by being at the center of the spotlight.  In fact I challenge the notion.

#HelpOthers.  Simple, easy to do. Even in the smallest way.  Want to have an impact on our families, places of work, neighborhoods, cities, countries, the world?  #HelpOthers.  Set aside bias, judgement, fear, pity, superiority, just #HelpOthers.

In my study of Mentor Leadership, the premise is based on this very simple two-word phrase #HelpOthers.  One of my favorites Zig Ziglar quotes “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  Simple.  But true.  If you haven’t done this, or not done this in a while, think about a time when you helped someone out with purely good intentions.  Not expecting something in return.  Not looking for a pat on the back.  I will bet that as you reflect, something good came back to you.  Not necessarily immediately, nor related to the help you provided. But we feel better, our hearts warm and the impact on one person or group spreads exponentially.  This very act of selfless #HelpOthers can change another persons day from bad to good.  This in turn can affect how they act toward others and even better may drive them to selflessly help someone else.  Simple.  #HelpOthers

I struggle when I am the busiest, under the most stress and pressure to be mindful to #HelpOthers.  But when I keep that intentional mindset in my mind, no matter how stressed or busy, when I #HelpOthers, it reliefs my situation.

We do not know what is truly happening in others lives.  No matter that front that they put on, fear , helplessness, sadness and loneliness surround everyone to some degree.

Are you willing to make a difference in someone elses life today?  #HelpOthers.  Share the thought.  Share the hashtag #HelpOthers.  STOP! SLOW DOWN! #HELPOTHERS

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

Take Another Look

Is there something you have failed at in the past? Revisit it and try again. Maybe enough time has passed that you have learned a new approach or technique that will help you succeed with this attempt. If you fall into a mud puddle, there isn’t much you can do to make matters worse—unless you stay there. – Tony Dungy 

Our culture is driven to succeed.  Push, push, push and push some more.  70, 80 90 hours a week.  In the Real Estate industry, because of phone, email, text, Facebook messaging, LinkedIn messaging, Instagram, Snapchat and more, we have created a 24/7 culture.  One of the fallout of this can be one of two things.  First if something doesn’t work, we quickly abandon it because of our desire for fast results or second, we push forward, sometimes through brick walls without taking the time to assess the plan, the path and the cost of a “bull in a china shop” approach.

A few thoughts before one throws up their hands and gives up:

  1. Some of the greatest creators, leaders and athletes went through a few do overs
    1. Michael Jordan.  Most will remember the quote, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”  
    2. Babe Ruth struck out almost twice the number of times thae he hit a home run, yet is still considered one of the greats.
    3. Abraham Lincoln lost almost every political race he entered, until he was finally elected president of the United States.
    4. Thomas Edison, went through thousands of attempts before inventing the light bulb.

Lesson?  Everyday presents itself with new opportunities.  In reflection of the failed attempts, we can glean a valuable education, then file those events into the history books and use what we have learned to bring success to our new, fresh opportunites that are there for the taking.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston S. Churchill 

When you run into a difficulty or failure, grab a trusted friend or mentor.  An unbiased view may give you the perspective you need.   Look not just at the failure of the venture, but look for the successes.  There are always positives in every attempt.  Build on those and change the aspects that did not work.   Remind yourself of your passion and committment to your calling.  We are our own best cheerleaders.  As they say, “Get over it, get up, and try again”. 

Olympian Eric Liddell one said, “In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best”.



Moms, a Perfectly Imperfect Form of Love

Moms.  What would be do without them.  There has always been a very high expectation put on mothers’ from my perspective.  The unsung hero’s of the family.  They are the ones who enjoy the pain of child birth, nurse their child at all hours of the nights, hold the household together and in most cases carry on a career to boot.  Simple super hero’s.

But as I have come to understand, mom’s are just human beings with a God given task of bearing the next generation with the same human frailty that everyone has.  Mom’s are a product of their own DNA, environment as a child and have learned the good and the bad from their mother’s and father’s.  As we get older, we seem to expect that our mom’s should not make mistakes, should not have their own wants and desires and should be perfect.  Impossible due to the human element.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to dive deep into my past, take a look at my mom from a third party point of view and have come to understand that she, like all mom’s does that best that she can with the information and training she has as a child.  We expect that our mom’s will have all the answers, will make all the right choices, will not falter , become jealous, be angry or be selfish once in a while.  But that is unfair of us.

Mom’s are just as human as the rest of us.  Only they have a weightier responsibility.  Today, as we at times superficially celebrate Mothers Day, go beyond the card, flowers or candy and tell mom how thankful we are for her heroic leadership, sometimes in the most difficult of situations, as acknowledge her human frailty.

I appreciate my mom so much more now that I have a clearer understanding of her humanity and understand more of the whys of the past and cherish the wisdom she has now as priceless.


Greatness, A misconception

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” Zig Ziglar
When we hear of someone talking about their greatness, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that they are egotistical and self centered.  We hear quotes like “Nobody is perfect, I’m nobody” or “I’m not a lie, I’m not an illusion. I’m a princess, so what’s the confusion?”

But that is not the true meaning of #greatness.  We all are filled with greatness.  We may not have discovered it, or are fearful of stepping into it, but it is God given uniquely to all of us. Think of  #talent · #expertise · #expertness · #mastery · #artistry · #virtuosity · #flair · #skill · #skillfulness · #finesse · #panache · #power · #adeptness · #proficiency · #caliber · #distinction · #grandeur · #grandness · #magnificence · #impressiveness· #splendor · #gloriousness · #glory · #majesty

When we discover and accept our greatness, truly acknowledging it as a #gift, a #humility pours over us.  Our gift becomes something we desire to share with others.  The yearning to learn more and hone our skills drives us to be the best we can be.  Not necessarily to be in the spotlight, though there is nothing wrong with that with the correct #attitude, but to share our #knowledge, #experience and insight to help other achieve their own greatness.

No two people share the same greatness.  There should be no fear of competition.  Accepting your greatness and using that gift for its highest good is the ultimate thanks given to God who has bestowed it upon us.

“I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility. I don’t mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.” 
― John Ruskin


#OrangeisTrust #OrangeisCool #JayJasper #DesertSellerAZ #MentorLeadership

In This Moment

I was humbled to be a part of a beautiful wedding.  As I have spend the past several days away from the mach II pace of life, it has given me time to exhale and reset gratitude for the moment.

God grants us moments.  Period.  No more, no less is guaranteed.  What we do with this priceless gift is up to us.  The moment arrives as a perfect gift.  No matter the content of the moment, it is ours.  We have two choices, live in the moment, savor it, learn from it, appreciate it or cause the moment to be tarnished by thoughts of the past, concerns for the future, wishing for a different moment or just ignoring the moment.

I believe that every moment, if we live in it, even in what might seem as a tragic moment can lead us to greatness.  When we truly live in the moment, we are given the ability to step back from trying to fit the moment into our plan and embrace what universally this moment is in a plan greater than ourselves.  I will admit, this can be not small task. But just for a moment, reflect on the greatness of the moment.  It is liberating.

Even in the storm, the moment is a perfect gift

In this moment I am in control of my feelings

In this moment I have the choice to learn valuable life lessons

In this moment the world will be as it is and will never be the same in the next moment

In this moment nature is vibrant.  No matter the sunshine, rain, snow or storm, it is filled with the glory of our marvelous Creator

In this moment I can choose to be at true peace

In this moment God is speaking to me if I will listen

In this  moment we are all equally gifted with a moment.  Greatness is available to all in this moment

In this moment there is no competition or comparison

In this moment, with eyes, heart and soul wide open, gratitude floods in

In this moment I am my authentic self

In this moment…………….

For some, this moment brings new life with birth and some it bring conclusion of this life with death.  Both amazing moments.

I have promised myself to work to slow down and love every moment in is pure, original, perfect form as God has intended.

#moment #inthemoment #gratitude #authentic #perfection