Category Archives: Determination

Legacy

Memorial Day is set aside as a special time to recognize and honor those who have given their very life in defense of our freedom. A freedom we should never take for granted.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Navy SEAL Adam Brown and his story as told in Fearless. If you missed that post you can read it here, but I want to share with you the impact it had on the man who wrote about Adam.

Despite the impact and magnitude of the bin Laden mission, Adam’s story stands on its own. Throughout his life he inspired scores of people, and his story has continued to change the lives of many—including mine.

He’s reminded me to appreciate every moment with my family, to be goofy rather than grumpy, to get back up no matter how hard I might get slapped down, to sometimes buy my children a cupcake when I pick up coffee in the morning but to call it a muffin “because,” as Adam would tell Savannah, “as long as you call them muffins, they’re okay to eat for breakfast.” And though I hadn’t opened a Bible in more than twenty-five years, his faith encouraged me to question my own questioning about religion.
~ Excerpted from Fearless by Eric Blehm

Adam Brown’s life and legacy could be summed up with one word: Fearless

What one word do you want people to use when describing your life and your legacy once your story on this side of the grave is complete?

Are you living living that kind of life?
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Commitment, Courage, Determination, Eternity, Faith, influence with the world, Memorial Day, Sacrifice

Fearless: The Adam Brown Story

I’ve read my share of inspirational stories, but none compares to that of Adam Brown – a SEAL Team SIX Operator. From hometown hero… to drug addict doing jail time… to Navy SEAL, it’s a story of triumph second to none.

Fearless is a chronicle of heroism and humanity at its best. Adam Brown was a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman.

It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top-tier of the US military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s  final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

“As a rule, we don’t endorse books or movies or anything regarding the command where I work, and Adam Brown worked, but as the author writes in Fearless, ‘you have to know the rules, so you know when to bend or break them.’ This is one of those times. Read this book. Period. It succeeds where all the others have failed.” ~ Anonymous SEAL Team SIX Operator

“Fearless is a clear and deeply honest portrait of an authentic American man who lived and loved with an intrepid personal velocity. For most of us, the failures and disappointments in life take their toll. Not for Adam Brown. He vanquished all life’s heartbreaks with faith, humility, and hard work.”
~ Kurt Johnstad, screenwriter, Act of Valor and 300

Fearless will hit bookshelves next week but I got the chance to read a prerelease copy and had trouble putting it down. I laughed… I cried… I was inspired to live life to the fullest.

To learn more or to order the book go here.
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Commitment, Courage, Desire, Determination, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Teamwork

Don’t drop your guard!

They make it look easy. They’re not only having fun doing it but some how magically pull you into the story. They even take people from the audience to be part of it.

I’m talking about the stunt men and women at Disney World who seem to effortlessly fill their roles several times a day. Can you imagine getting paid to have fun like that? What a blast!

Sure they are careful to tell everyone not to try these stunts at home. But this is Disney. The place where wishes come true. What could go wrong?

Apparently, a lot!

About five years ago, according to Eli, the stunt man who plays Indiana Jones made a misstep while going through the spears that shoot up out of the ground. One of the spear tips injured him so severely that it cost him his life.

Others have died from simple tumbling routines that they’d performed hundreds of times.

No matter how routine it might seem to be or how practiced you are, losing your focus for even a moment can be deadly.

The same is true for those who have given themselves to follow after and serve Jesus. We have been called up into a grand story that is bigger than we can imagine. A battle for the very souls of people.

But we have an adversary!

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT)

Satan is the epitome of stealth and cunning; a relentless enemy who knows exactly when to attack us. He knows our weaknesses and attacks when we least expect it or are most vulnerable.

After Paul lists the various pieces of the armor of God in Ephesians 6 he ties it all together with the admonition to “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Prayer keeps us close to God and dependent on Him; sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in dealing with an enemy as crafty as Satan. And we need to be praying for each other.

I don’t know everyone who will read this blog but I am praying that everyone who reads it will take it to heart and draw close to God through prayer; as well as take time to pray for others.

No matter how routine or mundane your schedule may seem to be today…

Don’t drop your guard! 
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Determination, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Prayer, Satan, Sin, Temptation

Life Lessons from Albert Einstein

Follow Your Curiosity:
  • “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Perseverance is Priceless:
  • “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Live in the Moment:
  • “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
Imagination is Powerful:
  • “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Make Mistakes:
  • “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Create Value:
  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
Change Can Be Good:
  • “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Knowledge Comes From Experience:
  • “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
 Which one is your favorite?
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

11 Comments

Filed under Choices, Determination, Encouragement, Inspiration, Just for fun, Life in General, Wisdom

What would happen?

You and I live in a culture where we gather in stadiums and around televisions for hours at a time to watch guys run around a field with a pigskin ball in their hands as they try to cross a white line.

We express enthusiasm, emotion, and affection for football and other sports, and it begs the question, what would happen in our culture if the church prayed with such passion? What would happen if Jesus dominated our affections more than the superficial trivialities that garner our attention? What would happen if we spent hours before God praying on behalf of the church, the lost, and the poor around the world?

Of course, your Radical Experiment does not have to start in a stadium. It can start in your living room or prayer closet. Anyplace can be the place you begin to connect the practice of prayer with the purpose of God in the world.
~ Excerpted from Radical by David Platt

He’s right you know. We spend a boatload of time and energy and resources on things that are only temporary.

One day we will all stand before our Maker. Imagine Him asking:

“How could you spend all that time on games and stuff that turned to dust when men, women and children all over the world were lost and needing to know me?”

I don’t offer that to make you feel guilty but as a gut-check. Are we paying attention to what matters most?

Beyond arenas and games, there are even good things that can distract us from the more important work of praying for those who don’t know Jesus.

I read the David Platt quote yesterday morning as I was gearing up for a big week of activities surrounding Easter. With three messages to prepare, three services to plan, and a fourth service to participate in I was already feeling some pressure.

These are good activities surrounding what is arguably one of the most important days for all followers of Jesus. I want to do a good job and that’s one of the reasons they hired me.

But even preparing for our church activities should take a back seat to praying for those all around the world who do not yet know the grace and truth of God made real and available through Jesus!

What would happen if we spent hours before God praying on behalf of the church, the lost, and the poor around the world?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

2 Comments

Filed under Choices, Christianity, Church, Compassion, Determination, Easter, God, influence with the world, involvement with the church, Jesus, Loving others, Prayer, Priorities

Why all the facial hair?

My good friend Jeff is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet, but if you saw him right now coming down the street you would likely duck into a store or make your way to the other side of the street. Why?

His beard is menacing!

Here, in his own words, is why he is growing it out.

“Rick, I am growing my beard after one of the most humbling experiences of my life at Kid’s Kamp (our version of VBS) 2011. Last year our children and youth ministries were raising money for Dave and Jen Bell, missionaries our fellowship supports in Kenya. In a moment of craziness I agreed to have PART of my head shaved if the kids were able to meet the financial goal we set for them at Kid’s Kamp. We set the goal high, or should I say, I set the goal high. Not surprisingly, the kids and their families far exceeded the goal that had been set for them.”

“After that experience “the Holy Spirit” gave birth to an idea in my heart. There is one thing I do in my life that receives more unsolicited comments than any other thing that I do: that is growing a beard. My unscientific research suggests that 95% of people that comment are strongly opposed to the beard while the remaining 5% are tight-lipped about their opposition. Needless to say, I thought I could use the beard for the cause of Christ.”

“So Sunday, August 7, 2011 is the last time I shaved or trimmed my beard with the exception of my mustache. My much publicized (among our fellowship) intention is to leverage my beard as a means to raise financial support for some very dear friends of mine, Gianni and Stephany Bruno, missionaries with Italy for Christ (click to learn more). The Bruno family will be the missionaries we highlight this summer during our week of Kid’s Kamp and 100% of the financial support raised that week will go to support their ministry.”

“In a typical beard growing year, I never make it past six months of growth, in fact, only one time has that happened. I made it a few days past 6 months and my wife informed me that if I didn’t shave I wouldn’t be present for the delivery of our 2nd child, Hannah. That was all I needed to hear to shave the beard. I’m glad I did since Hannah was born a week later.”

“Thankfully, my wife isn’t pregnant this time around, so I am pretty sure I will be able to make it to the day the beard will be sheared, Friday, July 13, 2012. In fact, in a rare show of affirmation for the beard, my wife recently said, “The beard is growing on me.” To which I replied, “Me too.” Now I am convinced that with God all things are possible.”

We can’t all grow a beard of epic proportions to support those taking the good news of God’s grace and truth to people all around the world. But we can all do something!

Are you making yourself available to God?

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Compassion, Determination, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Inspiration, involvement with the church, Loving others, Missions, Serving

We can make a difference

It’s impossible to ignore all that’s going on in the world but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming.

With all the negative, heartbreaking things going on all around the globe how can one person make a difference?

By doing one small act of compassion at a time!

As we grow in our love relationship with God, we begin to empathize with God. We feel what He feels. Then we begin to sympathize with others.

We experience sympathy breakthroughs as we see the image of God in others. And when those empathetic feelings turn into compassionate actions, they set off chain reactions with eternal ramifications.

Don’t underestimate the spiritual significance of even one act of compassion done in the name of Christ. That one act of Spirit-prompted compassion can change the course of history.
~ Excerpted from Primal by Mark Batterson

What we observe going on in the world may come to us as one big mess but it’s really the culmination of many, many small decisions. We may not be able to change the whole world by demonstrating compassion through one small action; but we can help to tip the scales towards making things better.

I would rather do something and come up short than toss in the towel early and do nothing!

What will we do today to express and extend God’s compassion?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Compassion, Determination, influence with the world, Loving others