Updated: Feb 18, 2019
I am creating this blog for my 2 sons Ryan and Nolan whom I have the utmost respect for. These 2 fine young men have pursued the road less travelled in our current society and are swimming against the tide of young men who are demasculated and searching for direction and purpose. Both serve our nation as military officers and make me proud to be their dad and call them sons.
At 58 years old I have learned that life is a constant learning process and never stops providing opportunities for personal growth. As a Christian and devoted follower of Jesus Christ I have had the extreme privilege of encountering life with the support of my wonderful wife Pam of 33 years and a core group of Men In Arms that have helped me be accountable for my actions and keep me on the right track. I will forever be grateful to Rick, Mark, Scotty, Jeremy, Tim and Troy who regularly invest their time into my life and help me safely navigate the shark invested waters of our world. I have found it next to impossible to successfully survive the challenges of our society as an island. As Jeremy Renner recently stated at the end of the movie Wind River "Wolves do not kill unlucky deer, they kill the weak ones". My fellow Men In Arms have helped me not become one of the weak deer that is cut away from the herd.
To Ryan and Nolan, I capture my thoughts and lessons of life through this blog not because of character flaws or weaknesses I observe in you, on the contrary, I am using this opportunity to download 42 years of life experiences to each of you so that you may continue on the upward trajectory you are on and experience life to the full. When I attend conferences of any sort I always seek to take away at least 1 item that I can apply to my life and help me grow to be the man God intended. That being said, my objective is to hopefully impart small seeds along life's road that you may each learn from and grow, even if ever so slightly.
The topic I have chosen to start with is INTEGRITY. In the book The Man Card by author Jim Ramos I was taken by the following quote "We've all known men who were once honorable men of integrity who got comfortable, lowered their guardrails, and fell victim to sin by breaching their integrity. I don't care who you are or what you believe, if you lack integrity you lack everything needed to be a man respected by other men as well as those who know you the most - your family." He goes on to say "Integrity must be protected every day, at all costs." I couldn't agree more. Life is filled with opportunities to compromise, color outside the lines and live in the "grey zones" but as David learned as a young leader of men as captured in the Old Testament "For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart" , 1 Samuel 16:7. We are only kidding ourselves when we think the places where we comprise do not affect the man God intends us to be.
Integrity is doing what is right, because it is right before the eyes of our Lord. We all know what it is like to color outside the lines when no one else is looking but as we search our hearts we know we were wrong. A clean conscience is so much better that a good memory or a crafty justification of our actions.. Men will respect you for your integrity, God will bless you for it and your family will benefit from it.
Nolan and Ryan, you are both leaders of men, know they are always watching what you do and the foundation from which you make your decisions. Those under you may not always like your decisions but when made from a foundation of integrity they will always respect you for it. Stand firm on your beliefs and never compromise because it is convenient or an easy out. Compromise is cancer to integrity in life, root it out and give it no room in your life. You will never regret it.