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Now Is the Time! Recession Is No Excuse for Recess!

Contrary to the human tendency toward flight in times of danger, these are days for entrepreneurs to venture forth into the unknown and strut their creative stuff. The time is right for new ideas, for niche thinking, and for bold initiatives by men and women who will not be ruled by fear or passing circumstance.

The very limitations, restrictions, and scarcity of our times that cause some to retreat will prompt others to think more creatively and move aggressively into the arena of invention and innovation.

In the midst of recession when the tides of prosperity appear to be receding, there sounds no recess bell. Class is still in session. The need for vision and visionaries is profound. Life goes on. There is a sea change of thinking, a correction in our collective greed for consumption, and a reevaluation of our definitions of success. But people still require basic services and great ideas still have landing places among receptive minds.

We cannot retreat from entrepreneurship, Rather, we must embrace it at a new level. Our communities need out-of-the-box thinkers and risk takers. Our nation and world need people who are willing to move forward to build great business, social, and spiritual initiatives on a shoestring.

Recession is no excuse for recess.

The World's First Business Consultant - Proverbs 1:1

My wife chooses books by title and by reading the back cover. She also has favorite authors to whom she gravitates, but primarily, she is a title/back cover book picker.

I see the author's name first. I seek out the latest books by my favorites who are most likely people whose wisdom I trust.

Thus, as Solomon identifies himself in Proverbs 1:1, it is an attention getter for me and others.

"The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;"

Solomon was the world's first business consultant, life coach, motivational speaker, and professional wise man. People paid him just to be able to hang out with him, listen to him, observe him in action, and ask for his advice.

Some might call him a leadership guru.

For that reason, it is impossible to gloss over the first verse of Proverbs as an insignificant footnote. It is what gives the entire book credibility.

So, I ask myself. Who is seeking my advice and counsel? Who is willing to pay for it? What is it worth?

Solomon began his illustrious career by asking God for wisdom above all else. God heard and granted his request.

Perhaps that is a good starting place for all of us.

Big Rocks

image from

In "First Things First," Stephen Covey tells a story that was told him. I don’t know the sources, so I will embellish a bit.  

There was a speaker who was called upon to address a group of young people. As a prop, he pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks, another pile of gravel, a jar of sand, and a glass of water.


“Who believes I can get all of this into this one gallon jar?” The question evoked some chuckling. No one raised their hand.


After filling the jar to the top with rocks, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

The group replied, "Yes."


He then took the pile of gravel and began to pour it in. He jiggled the jar until the gravel filled the spaces between the rocks.


Again, he asked, "Is the jar full?"


By now, the group cautiously replied, "Probably not."


The speaker then added the sand and asked, "Is the jar full?"


"No!" shouted the group.


Finally, the speaker filled the jar to the brim with water and asked the group the point of this illustration.


Someone replied that you could always fit more things into your life if "you really work at it."

"No," countered the speaker. The point is, if that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get any of them in.


What are the big rocks in your life? I’d like to suggest a few for your consideration:


1. Do not neglect the rock of FAITH:


a. Have faith in the power of TRUTH – and by that, I suggest to you, ultimate truth, a higher power, God if you will.


b. Have faith in the power of TENACITY. Keep on keeping on. Don’t give up. Persist and insist on a successful outcome and work toward it.



c. Have faith in the power of TENURE – By that I mean, time invested and time passed. Be patient with temporary setbacks and inconveniences.


d. Have faith in the power of TEAMWORK. Work together. TEAM stands for – Together Everyone Accomplishes More!


 "Gettin' good players is easy. Gettin' 'em to play together is the hard part." - Casey Stengel 


"The strength of the team is each individual member...the strength of each member is the team."- Coach Phil Jackson Chicago Bulls  


"Men have never been individually self-sufficient." - Reinhold Niebuhr


" All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract them from achieving their aims. " - Lou Holtz 


``Now is the Law of the Jungle---as old and true as the sky;

And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back---

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.''
- Rudyard Kipling


2. Do not neglect the rock of FAMILY: You are here because you believe in family and have committed yourself to strengthening families. You have been sharpening your skills for that purpose. You are already heroes and deserve praise. Now, do not neglect your own family.


a. If you do not have a warm family, CREATE it! Gather folks around you with whom you can be accountable, authentic, and supportive. If your family is dysfunctional, you will also be in creative mode by setting and observing strong boundaries and creating a safe zone of functionality around yourself. When Rich Mullins, the song writer and leader of the Ragamuffin Band died, there was a traveling funeral that moved from city to city, mostly on university campuses because it was said that Rich created communities wherever he went.


b. CULTIVATE family. Like a garden, a warm and nurturing family must grow. To grow, it needs the sunlight of truth, the food of love, and the water of life.


c. Third, we must all make it a point to COMMUNICATE as families and develop healthy communication skills which we can pass on to our children. Strong and nurturing families that resolve conflict with healthy communication, fair “fighting,” and unconditional love are the hope of society because the skills children learn in families, they practice in the larger community and world.


3. Do not neglect the rock of the FUTURE. Become futurists. That means to begin to live a life of hope and optimism in a dark world.


a. Have a WINNING attitude. Your future will rise or fall on your attitude.


b. Translate I WANT to I WILL! Then, will it and do it!


c. Then, WORK toward a brighter future for, after all is said and done, the big rock of success, which is a journey and not a destination, is a four letter word spelled simply: W-O-R-K.


Don’t forget the big rocks in these difficult times and be blessed:



Times are tough.
You are tougher. Face the times.


Life is hard.
You are resilient. Keep moving forward.


The future is uncertain.
God is already there. Do not be afraid.


Hope is a rare commodity.
Hope is within the grasp of your imagination. Let it soar.


Money is scarce.
You have all you need in a seed. Plant it and watch it grow.


You are discouraged.
There is a great dream within you. Feed it, follow it, fulfill it.


You deeply desire a blessing.
Be a blessing.


You lack courage.

Encourage someone else.


You have nothing left to give.
Give what only God can supply.


You are frightened of failure.
Risk everything to be all you can be.


These are not idle words. This is how you must live if you will live above your circumstances.


Weighing all possible outcomes of the choices you can make right now, to do nothing, risk nothing, and give nothing will insure that nothing will come back to you. You will be a success in the art of failure by default.


However, if you risk extending yourself, you may also fail, but you will fail with the satisfaction of trying and with all the lessons you can only learn by climbing out on a limb.


But you might also succeed. Out on that limb, when circumstances cut it from under  you, you may discover that you can fly.


You'll never find out without taking the big risk.


Take the risk, get the big rocks in place, and be blessed.


- Tom Sims

Big Rock Productions and Workshops to Go –


15 Minutes to Better Health

I have been applying the 15 Minute Challenge to my health in several dimensions.

Along with the major changes in my life it had started to become apparent to me that I needed to do something about my body's condition or (A) die young or (B) become an invalid. (B) sounded worse than (A) and neither sounded good.

So I took several steps and one of them was to start using my gym membership more effectively.

I know the kinds of workouts we need for maximum aerobic effect, but I also knew I had to start somewhere - and I did - 15 minutes  - a little of this, a little of that, a little of the other, and a lot of hot tub.

It is a start. Now I am up to a longer workout and feeling positive results.

Don't let starting slow or with inadequate resources stop you from starting at all.

15 Minutes

I am presently engaged in a challenge with the folks in my church. I asked them and myself to identify 4 areeas of their lives where they really needed to work. All dimensions of life were legitimate areas of concern.

I then asked them for an hour a day in 4 - 15 minute slots to devote one of those slots to each of those areas.

It could be reading the scriptures or professional/personal development books, exercise, family time, or anything that just wasn't getting done - things most likely that need more than 15 minutes but areas where that would be a good start and a major improvement.

What difference could 15 minutes a day make in some area of your life?

I have been readjusting to changes in my life personally, in family responsibilities, and professionally and my posting activity has suffered.

Yet, this took about 5 minutes.

I still have 10 to go.


Here is a dilemma: You don't have large enough blocks of time to focus on your big projects. Everything is chopped up with what we have called cracks in time available. The cracks seem to small to allow accomplishments. On the other hand, you work so hard that when you get the big blocks, you are weary and wasteful with that time. Your body doesn't want to do what is necessary for you to dig in.

What will you do?

Well, there is down time and then, there is down time.

True down time is a good thing, is to be celebrated, and is to be sanctified. It is Sabbath and we all need it.

Remember it and keep it holy. That means separate and unique and uncluttered with worry and self-flagellation over how you ought to be using it to catch up. You ARE using it to catch up. Your body is replenishing its resources and your total being is renewing itself for future full engagement.

The other sort of down time is all in your head. It is not down time at all and needs to be redefined - I do that by spelling things out.

D = Decide that you can use the time fruitfully and be ready to do so. If I seem redundant it is because I still don't have this attitude perfected in me. I need to decide and re-decide and maybe you do too. Prepare for the times when all you have is ten or fifteen minutes. So many of the jobs I procrastinate for months take less time than that.

O  =  Obligate yourself to use every moment that is not genuine rest and reflection to some productive end. Rest and reflection are also productive, so don't count them out if that is what is called for in the moment. Make a commitment to live every second of your life with purpose.

W = Walk in Wonder. It may well be that the next thought you need to think will arise from something you see or hear if you will stop to look and listen. Don't pass up the opportunities for "aha" moments because you are in such a hurry to get to the next thing.

N = Negotiate and renegotiate with time. It is not your adversary but you can enrage it and yourself by not honoring it with some attention and respect. Time can be arranged and rearranged, but it will always be a factor.