aaron conrad

inspired by a true story...

My 30 Day Challenge To You All

551667_10151087387468449_1970090563_n

I recently came across a dog-eared piece of paper I’ve kept in my Bible for years. It’s been a bookmark and has weathered many a storm. It’s a prayer I found in a book once so I can’t take credit for it. I’m 99% sure it’s by Max Lucado. The other 1% thinks it might be by John Eldredge. It is from John Eldredge and the book “Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul” (Thanks MudPuppy). Either way, it’s a pretty strong way to start each morning. Sadly I’ve gotten away from using it. I think I found it just in time.

Here’s my challenge to all of you – let’s all commit to reading this prayer every morning for 30 straight days. 5 minutes in the morning for 30 days. Read it while you drink your coffee. Tape it to your treadmill. Put it on your mirror. Whatever it takes. 30 days. We’ll start September 1st. That gives you time to spread the word. Take a look at the prayer as you consider my challenge -

Lord I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I’m not even aware that I’m believing. And yes, Lord, I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with your holiness and purity – Defend me from all assaults against my heart. I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being so lax that I think the most important thing today is the soap operas of this world.

 

Jesus I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that you are good, and that you have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because you are with me. Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from you and declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in your kingdom.

 

Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults of the snares of the Enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day. Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with you in everything – in all prayer as my spirit communes with you throughout the day.

And all the people said……AMEN!

Who’ll join me in reading this prayer every day for the next 30 days? Let’s get this thing viral. Tweet it (#30DaysPrayer). Facebook it. Email it to your friends. Let’s get accountable and share this challenge with all we know. I’m not driving traffic, I’m looking to go to prayer war with a few friends. Imagine the impact on our daily lives, or families and our perspective if we commit to this prayer for 30 days straight. Let’s go! 

Who’s with me?

Download The 30 Day Prayer (30DayPrayer)

The official hashtag we’re using on twitter is #30DaysPrayer

Review “Holy Ghost”

wanderlust

I recently had the opportunity to review a new documentary film called “Holy Ghost.” I think the biggest take away from this entire film was following the prompting that God has placed in each one of use that have committed our lives to Christ. This nearly 2 hour film is filled with incredible adventures all led by the Holy Spirit. When I say incredible, I mean incredible. The viewer is taken along for the ride everywhere from India to a rock concert. You are also witness to men proclaiming the gospel and forever changing lives. It is simply incredible to watch.

More about the film:

In this fast-paced documentary from the director of the popular films Finger of God, Furious Love, and Father of Lights, Darren Wilson sets out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit. No plan, no script, no safety net — just go wherever he feels the Spirit leading him to try and discover the adventure God has for him. Whether it’s the riches of Monte Carlo, a heavy metal concert, or the oldest city in world, the result is a film that not only challenges and excites, but also reveals a God who is far more alive and active than you ever imagined.
 
The movie features big names such as Lenny Kravitz, Brain “Head” Welch, Bill Johnson, Michael W. Smith, Todd White, Meredith Andrews, DeVon Franklin, William P. Young, Phil Vischer, and many more!
 
Check out the official website here: http://holyghost.wpfilm.com
 
I found the film interesting if nothing else. There are some things that happen in almost a “street magic” part at the beginning of the film that are astounding. Two men walk the streets and find people that they feel led to speak to by the Holy Spirit. They ask random questions as they feel led and then pray for the specific needs that they uncover. It’s a rather odd but incredible scene. Overall I enjoyed the film.
 
 
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Headwinds

17813_0_2_photo_FSNT11df_0524

Not long ago, I had a pretty good run in Leadership with a Fortune 500 company. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a “Wall Street driven” organization but it’s a tad stressful. Especailly at the end of a quarter. Basically people in high places promise guys that invest in their company that they’ll achieve certain dollars in sales for the quarter and year and guys that invest get even richer. When the company fails to achieve certain dollars in sales, guys that invest want to know why. This game is played every. single. quarter. 

The spin on a quarterly call with the big guys in the big offices is not fun when you’ve missed your numbers. Not fun at all. 

I always marveled at the corporate lingo they would use on these calls. Rather than just saying “guys, we missed our number,” they often used catch phrases and buzzwords to say that exact same thing. I just have to think the guys on the other end of the phone know it too. They aren’t fooling anyone. It’s so obvious but it works I guess. If they’re lucky, they get to keep their job for another quarter to get it right. 

“Headwinds”

By far my favorite corporate buzzword is “Headwinds.” Typically it would go like this – “Well, in the 2nd quarter, we continued to face headwinds. We believe we have turned the corner and should see stronger results in the 3rd quarter.” What that basically means is we didn’t make our number in the 2nd quarter and we might make it in the 3rd quarter. In fairness to all the guys that make the big bucks with big offices and fancy suits, we all face headwinds sometimes. 

We face headwinds financially

We face headwinds physically

We face headwinds emotionally

In this life, you will face headwinds. Last night I spent 2 hours talking to a trusted friend about….headwinds. We are both facing them. We not only discussed our various headwinds but we both admitted that this was the first person we had shared it with. Again, he’s a trusted friend. He’s one of the few guys I’ve let in. 

So how am I any different than the guys with the big offices at the end of a quarterly call?

I’m not fooling anyone. 

We all face headwinds. I’ve never been a sailor. I don’t know a lot about sailing or facing headwinds on the seas but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you probably shouldn’t face one alone. I chose the image above because I noted that there is a whole team of people on the side of the boat that’s out of the water. I’m guessing they all shifted to that side because they are working together to keep that boat from flipping over. If you’re on the sea alone and facing headwinds, I don’t know how much good you’re going to do trying to keep the ship in control. 

We all face headwinds.

If you’re facing them today, find some people to face them with you. Don’t head out on the waters alone. I’m preaching to myself here too. Know that smoother sailing is ahead. This storm will pass. The headwinds will calm. As Max Lucado said…

God didn’t still the storm but He did calm the sailor. 

#BeBrave

Nice Bucket Challenge

Last night a recieved notice that I had been challenged to a “Nice Bucket Challenge” by a facebook friend. I was immediately charged to get this done today. The video below is our journey and some glimpses of what took place. I challege ANYONE that reads this to accept the challenge too. Find someone in need. Deliver something to a hospital. Surprise a neighbor. You have 24 hours. Go. Do. #LoveDoes #BeBrave.

Now the results of those I challenged are starting to come back. First off, Russell Hawkins and his family created some Nice Buckets and distributed them to those in need. He spent the day engaging homeless people with his son right by his side. While what they gave is sure to help those they met, the time spent with his son teaching about caring for those in need is worth so much more. Well done my friend!

10612772_10152297169925286_6855124220103976303_n

Next up is Curt Harding. He created a Nice Bucket for children in a local hospital. The Nice Bucket has no rules and love knows no boundaries. Where can you take one today?

10563092_10204696445637135_2126077864363956757_n

 

Laura created two Nice Buckets for a local school in need of games and supplies for rainy and cold days. Great ideas. There are endless ways and places to spread this message.

10408595_10152681870793464_6448553766522035485_n

Who else accepts the challenge? More to come….

Forgive us Ferguson

Photo Credit http://parade.condenast.com/327329/iraphael/powerful-photos-from-protests-in-ferguson-missouri/

Photo Credit http://parade.condenast.com/327329/iraphael/powerful-photos-from-protests-in-ferguson-missouri/

For the last several nights, I have watched as the images of tension in the city of Ferguson played out on my screen. For days I have tried to come to some understanding. The truth is I can’t begin to understand. I can’t begin to act like I understand the tension of either the moments we see on the television or the ones that brought us here. There are plenty of web sites, social media posts and blogs that can offer some opinions, this is not one of them. The best I can offer tonight is this…. a plea for forgiveness to the entire city of Ferguson and every one just like it.

Forgive us Ferguson.

Forgive us for not extending love that knows no boundaries.

Today I felt led to reach out to some friends I walked the halls of my high school with. I wanted to know what their thoughts were. There were tensions in our town and our school, but not like this. Well, not for me at least. I reached out to these friends because they were and are my friends. Our friendship didn’t know race or any other boundries. It just knew friendship. Please, out of respect for them, clear your mind of all you’ve read and heard. See this through their eyes.

From my friend Edward -

This is unfortunately reality for us. Furguson is one example of many. I am constantly posting and forcing people in my news feed circle to be prepared and aware of the inequalities due to the color of skin, sexuality, and personal choices. What seems often as a rant of complaint comes from a very honest place from experience. What is necessary is to speak and to educate the young. What might be late for us can be a possibility for future generations. Silence for me means no hope.

From my friend Darren -

Nothing is being addressed to stop what is going on. People are getting angry and I fear a blacklash that would be worse in American history. What can we do? I have no clue. When peoples mindsets are stuck, there is not much you can do save a miracle. Look at my FB page. People are not happy with what is going on in Ferguson, but always have to look at the negative that draws away from the real issue. It’s like people are saying, Awe that wasn’t right to do that to that boy…but do you see those black people looting? And they focus on the latter forgetting about the former. Am I making sense?

From my friend Theodore - 

Also, one thing I believe we should keep in mind is that this is not a just a “black problem” but an American problem. Everyone is effected somehow by the atrocities of this event. I don’t quite know how to explain it to people but once everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) understands that this horrible situation effects all Americans, then people will be more inclined to accept the universality of this problem and hopefully that will lead to a dialogue where everyone can work together instead of all the finger-pointing that makes people shut down and not see the real issues at hand.

Forgive us for not understanding the tension of feeling as though so much is against you.

Forgive us for our judgement of either side.

As the news and reports escalated, I called a friend that wears the uniform to serve and protect in the City of Columbus. He is a man of integrity in one of the toughest areas in our city. I’ve stepped into his world a few times for a ridealong. I wanted to know what he thought of all that was happening. One thing he shared was this -

There are men on the front line of those protests each night that have never prepared for where they are. You can’t simulate these tensions in a workout session, academy or a classroom. People have every right to express their displeasure. It’s understandable. There is just incredible tension in those moments. 

For a moment, imagine yourself where they are. I understand what put them in this place, but for a moment, put yourself in that uniform, in that tension.

Forgive us for not understading the tension of serving and protecting a community. 

I don’t think this post will change the world. I just felt led to share this tonight. These are friends of mine. These are guys I respect and care for and love. I wanted to get their feedback because it wasn’t spoonfed from some media outlet. It is raw and real. My hope is if you took the time to read this, maybe you took a second to pause and consider all of the views as well. Maybe you’ll join me in asking ALL of the people of Ferguson for forgiveness. May we all look through a lens of a love that knows no boundaries or limits.

Forgive us Ferguson.

Forgive us for not extending love that knows no boundaries.

Forgive us for not knowing how it must feel. 

Forgive us for acting as if we do. 

Forgive us Ferguson. 

Forgive us any city USA that could be just like it. 

#LoveWins

#BeBrave

6 Things My Kids Need For School

DSC02182

Here we are again. Where did the summer go? Maybe you’re getting ready to send your first born off to school. You might be sending your oldest to college. Maybe you homeschool and you’re ramping up for another year. Wherever this post finds you, I thought I might share the 6 things that I firmly believe my kids need before they start school. These 6 things are part of that “hill I will die on” I often refer to. I know each child and home is different, so take these for what they are worth. Here we go….

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T - Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying they need respect, that comes when you GIVE respect. From the time our oldest began school, we chose one thing we really wanted for them that school year. His first year, my word was respect. I don’t know a lot and I’ve never been accused of being really book smart, but respect for others will take you a long, long way in this life. Like my father-in-law says “you earn your breaks.” One of the greatest things you can offer another person is your respect. Respect your elders. Respect your friends. Respect those who disagree with you. You don’t have to agree with every one, or everything, but you can respect their differences. There is an exception to this but thats another post for another day…

2. Treasured - This one REALLY applies to my girls. I wrote a post about being fifteen about a year ago and apparently I am incredibly naive to what that age is like now. While none of mine are fifteen yet, they are growing up faster than we did at their age. They have access to so much more. The only way I know to compat all that waits out there both virtually and in reality, is to make sure they all know they are treasured. They are treasured by me, they are treasured by God. They are my joy and the prize of their creator. They don’t need to settle for anything less than all that God planned for them before they were even born. There will be influences and voices to encourage otherwise, but my hope is they have a firm foundation in how treasured they are both at home and by their Creator.

3. Quiet Strength - There is confidence and then there is arrogance. Confidence crosses the goal line, hands the ball to the referee and heads back to the sideline. Arrogance takes off it’s helmet and makes sure every one knows who scored the touchdown. When it comes to achievements in everything from academics to athletics, I’ve always encouraged my children to be more like Barry Sanders and less like Dion Sanders. Act like you’ve been there. Consider the feelings of those that can’t or didn’t or won’t achieve their goal. Remember when you fell short and how that felt.  As they saying goes…

Work for a cause, not for applause.
Live life to express, not to impress.
Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.

4. Be The Change - In an age where “bullying” is a word thrown around a lot, I want my kids to be the change. Stand up for those that can’t or won’t stand up for themselves. Be “that friend” we all want, seek and need. Surround yourselves with those that are different and learn what makes them that way. Let your life be consistent. Let it be so consistent it changes others in ways that are positive. Be individul but be consistent. God created you to influence a circle of people. Be the change in your circle of influence.

5. Be Awesome - Before you click out and think I am “that dad” that demands perfection, let me put your mind at ease…I’m not. You can be last and still be awesome. You can not be at the top of your class and still be awesome. Bob Goff said it best…

Be Awesome…. God loves the humble ones, and the humble ones often don’t make it as first-round draft picks for the jobs with big titles or positions. But they always seem to be the first-round picks for God when He’s looking for someone to use in a big way.

To Be Awesome is to be humble and to be available. We get opportunities every day to be awesome to someone or for something. I want my kids to be available to any and all opportunities, especially with others. As the saying goes – “in 20 years they people won’t remember your name or achievements. But in 20 years they will remember how you made them feel and the memories you gave them.” Be awesome. Make others feel special and leave them with great memories.

6. Be Brave - How could I send them off without a charge that I set for myself in 2014? Be brave to try new things. Be brave to explore and learn. Be brave for those that can’t find the courage to be brave on their own. Let your bravery influence and encourage others to be brave too. God wired each of my kids differently. One will “be brave” with a quiet, calm influence. One will “be brave” in her compassion for others. One will “be brave” with an enthusiasm that is contagious. It’s they way they were built before they were ever born. Gods perfect design. Take each of those gifts and be brave.

As we send our kids off to school and college, my prayer is that these days will be rich with learning. Yes, I hope they fill their minds with book knowledge, but I also hope they are filled with moments and experiences that mold and shape who they will become. As I’ve posted before, it’s time to “Let That Pony Run.”

« Older posts

© 2014 aaron conrad

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑