Added benefit

As an added benefit to doing the MKMMA I am finding myself drawn deeper in the scriptures.  It’s happening in a couple of different ways.  First, as I am doing the various readings, different verses pop into my head.  I take that as a prompt from God to go look at those verses.  Sometimes the verse is enough but others times I’m drawn into learning the context and even studying the commentaries.  The latter is what brought about last week’s post.  The other way is that I find myself thinking that if I put as much effort as I am putting into the MKMMA into scripture then I would undoubtedly be drawn closer to God which is my goal.  So starting today before each of my three Mandino reads I am going to read my daily devotional.  I want, no I need, God to be the focus of my life.

Jumping back to that first idea of verses popping into my head, here are some examples that have come to me while reading Scroll III.  This is not to say that there is doctrinal alignment between them but simply that God is leading me to scripture and I am following.

Mandino writes “I was not delivered unto this world in defeat.”  The phrase “we are more than conquerors” keeps coming to me.  It’s found in Romans 8:37 and when you continue reading through verse 38 and 39 it’s very powerful.  “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  How’s that for comforting?

Further in the scroll we find “I will be liken to…the ant who devours a tiger.”  The image of an ant instantly brings me to Proverbs 6.  In verses 6-8 there is a great illustration.

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.”

The ant is persistent and does the work that it needs to do when it needs to do it.  The Maxwell Leadership Bible has this to say about those particular verses.  “Do you want to make a difference? Then pay attention to the metaphor of the ant. It’s amazing that one of the smallest of God’s creatures can become one of His greatest teachers. The lessons the ant teaches us can be summarized this way: A—Attitude of Initiative Ants don’t need a commander to tell them to get started. N—Nature of Integrity Ants work faithfully and need no outside accountability to keep them doing right. T—Thirst for Industry Ants work hard and will replace their anthill when it gets ruined. S—Source of Insight Ants store provisions in summer. If we consider and learn from the ways of the ant, we can grow wise.”

Here’s one more for you.  “I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head.”  I had to do some searching but I knew that there was something about “things above” in the bible but the verse didn’t readily come to mind.  I found it in Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  With the intention of transparency I have to share that that verse is a concept that I’ve been wrestling with a lot this week.

Here’s where my head and heart are at.  I’m working through making sure that this course isn’t distracting me from the work that God has called me to do.  I need to keep an eternal perspective.  I’m learning some great habits and making some wonderful friends here.  But I’m finding myself thinking more and more about “If only I put this much effort into my relationship with God.”  As I mentioned earlier I am drawing closer to God but I question whether I have learned what He wants me to learn here and perhaps it’s time to move on and refocus even deeper on Him.

 

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Week 11 – Yet, not my will but thine be done.

This morning as I sat reading Part Eleven of the Master Keys I felt discombobulated.  That’s a fun word right?  It’s a fun word but it’s not a fun feeling.  It was as if I was reading the words but understanding very little.  Nothing was connecting for me.  I slowed down.  I broke each sentence down.  I focused.  Nothing was clicking for me.  That is until I got to 11-35, the instructions for the Sit. “For your exercise this week, concentrate on the quotation taken from the Bible, ‘Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.'”  Boom!  I’m connected again.  The light bulb is turned back on.  I read on and there it is, another reference to the infamous Hebrews 11 “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Ok…I’m back on track.

It became very clear to me that today I needed to spend time diving into the verse which is actually Mark 11:24.  I read it in the NIV translation a couple of times before my Sit to prepare myself.  Meditating on this verse helped calm my nerves and ground me.  Yet coming out I still desired a deeper understanding so I googled commentaries on it.  That led me to John Piper’s wonderful message What Do Answers to Prayer Depend On? Part 2.

The first point that Piper makes is regarding the use of “whatever” in this verse.  He concludes that based on the nature of language, the other teachings in the New Testament, and the immediate context, what is meant here is “whatever we ask according to God’s will.”  This aligned completely with what my intuition has been all along.  There have been several exercises where I inserted “not my will but Yours” in order to be true to my faith and who I am as  child of God.  This has made the Master Key Experience very personal for me.

Piper’s next point has to do with “believe.”  He states that “we can have undoubting faith if we know what God’s will is in a particular situation.”  That makes sense to me and I’ve always believed that knowing God’s will requires prayer.  However, listening to His answer can be difficult because His will isn’t always the answer that we want.  However, Piper contends that “when our specific requests are denied, God is preparing something better for us.”  How comforting!  Such a basic truth but one that I needed to be reminded of today.  It’s one that will serve me well in the future too.

Piper goes on to give two suggestions for how God’s will is revealed.  The first is “through the Scripture” and the second is “privately to an individual or group.”  The former supports the growing desire that I have had recently to increase my time studying scripture.  It’s been wonderful drawing closer to God through His word.  The latter sounds like masterminding doesn’t it.  I love these connections and similarities and the growth that is taking place through all of this!

I will close with one final connection.  Piper’s commentary covered verses 22-25 so I read them all.  Verse 25 in particular is interesting.  “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.”  The Law of Forgiveness is in complete agreement with this.  In short “…we must forgive anyone and everyone…There can be no connection to the Divine mind where anger or resentment against a brother or sister, justified or not, exists.”  Connections like this are everywhere.  Scripture, the Master Keys, other great thought leaders, they all reinforce the same concepts.  It’s wonderful seeing so many things in agreement.

 

Week 10 – Cross-application

One of the things that I was most apprehensive about regarding this course was the blogging.  It brought about a lot of anxiety initially.  However, that old blueprint is long gone and I really look forward to this part of my week.  In the beginning I feared that I wouldn’t have enough to write about but the reality is that there are plenty of ideas floating around in my mind.  The opportunity now is pairing down the ideas and really flushing them out.  That bring us to this idea…cross-application.

Let me set the stage a little.  About a year ago I joined an MLM company.  As I began learning about the industry I immediately saw huge connections between networking and evangelism.  In MLM you have an experience with a product, you tell your story, and invite other people to take a look.  With evangelism you have an encounter with Jesus, share your story, and invite people to take a look.  Major ah-ha moment for me.  What I have found is that the tools and techniques apply equally well to both settings.  What I learned in MLM I was able to use in evangelism and vice versa.  That’s cross-application.

I’ve found that many “sales” training have cross-application as well.  This week it struck me that Scroll II of The Greatest Salesman in the World has cross-application to parenting.  Check this out because a few little tweaks to Mandino and your parenting can take on a whole new perspective.  If you don’t have kids please read on because it could just as easily be applied to all relationships because that’s whats sales is really based on…relationships.

“I greet the day with love in my heart.”  That’s how the Scroll begins.  What if we intentionally greeted our kids with love in our hearts?  This takes the idea of assuming the best in others to a whole new level.  “And how do I do this? Henceforth I look on my children (ed.) with love and I am born again.”  This could give us a fresh start to mend broken relationships and strengthen existing relationships.

“When I am tempted to criticize my children (ed.) I bite on my tongue;when I am moved to praise my children (ed.) I shout from the roofs.”  Don’t we all enjoy receiving heartfelt praise?  Let’s drop teh criticism and move to healthy praise.  To really do this we need to praise our children in their own love languages.  Our daughter is words of affirmation given with a double thumbs up.  That’s how she gives and receives praise.  I think that our son is quality time.  Spending time together being interested in his Minecraft world or hearing about his ideas for writing stories…that seems to be what he craves.  These are easy things that I can do more of to offer praise.

Here’s the part that really struck me and actually brought me to tears, “Is it not so that birds, the wind, the sea and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator?  Cannot I speak with the same music to my (ed.) children?”  They’re not just my children, they’re children of God; each of them made in His image.  I certainly wouldn’t criticize God so why do I have moments where I needlessly criticize our kids?  I almost fell to my knees as I read that passage.  That’s the part that really spurred on this whole post.  I went back and re-read the scroll through new eyes.  Perhaps I was finally reading it through His eyes.

“I love the young for the faith they share.”  One of the things that I love most about being a parent is getting to see the world through our children’s eyes.  Seeing their excitement over things that we have grown to take for granted: the first snow, robins, watching the leaves fall from the trees.  These are just a few of the examples.  If I really paid attention closely there would probably be multiple examples every day.  What a blessing it is to savor the world with their faith.

“And how do I confront each whom I meet?  In only one way.  In silence and to myself I address them (ed.)and say I Love You.”  It’s been a slow process but I am trying to do this before each time that I say something to our kids.  Keeping I Love You in mind has been allowing me to offer them more grace and more freedom to think of and do things their way instead of my way.  It requires letting go of control of those things that don’t necessarily matter.  As long as the chores get done, the order that they’re done in doesn’t matter.  As long as no family values are being impinged upon, why not let them have some liberty in what they do and how they do it?

“And most of all I love myself.”  This might be one of the greatest lessons that we can give our children.  Teaching them this principle by our example is an incredible gift that we can offer them.  Mandino continues with “For when I do I zealously inspect all things which enter my body, my mind, my soul, and my heart.”  That’s a practice that will pay innumerable dividends over the course of their lives.  One more thing on this piece, I have learned that until you truly love yourself it is very difficult to fulfill part two of the great commandment that tells us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  That’s something that I have pondered endlessly.  As I am learning to love myself it is allowing me to love my neighbors more too.  And “neighbors” includes the people in my house not just the people outside of my house.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  Right now, let’s all go love our children a little more!

Week 9 – Connections galore!

The daily sit continues to be one of my favorite parts of my day.  This week’s instructions led my thoughts down some interesting paths.  Here’s the gist of it…”This week, visualize a plant; take a flower, the one you most admire, bring it from the unseen into the seen, plant the tiny seed, water it, care for it, place it where it will get the direct rays of the morning sun, see the seed burst; it is now a living thing, something which is alive and beginning to search for the means of subsistence.”  I opted for a lilac.  It’s more of a bush rather than just a flower but it’s something that I’ve had growing in the yards of several house that I’ve lived in so it was familiar to me.

Image result for lilac

The first few days went as usual.  Around Wednesday is when the magic started to happen.  I started to internally process what I was visualizing and that allowed me to make some connections that blew my mind.  This may seem obvious to others but it was a big step for me and I’m super excited to share it.  See if you can follow this.  It makes perfect sense in my head but that doesn’t mean that my words will necessarily do it justice.

The seed growing underground is like the mental work that we’re doing.  It goes unseen for a long time.  The cells of the plant multiply just like our good thoughts multiply and grow.  The seed is warmed by the sun and watered by the rain.  It takes in nutrients from the soil.  We are taking in nutrients from our studying and our exercises.  We are warmed by encouragement and support from the Mastermind Alliances, our coaches, and for some of us, our spouses.  We are watered by our dreams.  Dreams of being free thinkers who are driven by our higher callings.  Just as the plant begins to break ground, so too do we begin to emerge from our slumber.  In the words of Mandino, “We are born anew and our birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.”

Stay with me.  The plant grows in proportion to its root base.  We grow in proportion to our mental preparations.  The more faithful we are to the reading, the sits, the exercises, the stronger our roots will be and the greater we can grow.  The greater our creativity will be.  The lilac stem becomes the trunk of the bush and branches reach out in every direction. As we continue to evolve our thinking our trunk, our reach, grows.   When the lilac first starts producing flowers you have to get up close to smell them.  As the bush matures the fragrance becomes so robust that just being in proximity allows you to take in its scent.  I don’t know about you but I’ve been caught by the smell of lilacs before I even saw the bush.  For us, at first our love is only going to touch those closest to us.  For me it is my wife and kids.  Eventually we influence those around us and they carry the message of love further.  They will impact people who will never know us but it starts with us.  By letting our lights shine we are changing the world.  Shine on!

Week 8 – “Full speed ahead Mr. Scott!”

“Full speed ahead Mr. Scott!”  That was my wife’s quote during a phenomenal chat we had this morning.  Before I tell you more about that I need to step back and share an interesting timeline.

About 5 or 6 years ago, while I was in grad school, I took a Consulting course.  For the final project I had to write a business plan for my own consulting business.  I quickly named it Enzofia which is a merging of my children’s names.  In my plan I talked about coaching and helping people using Dr. Tim Elmore’s Habitudes program.  At the time Tim wasn’t licensing the material so it was a pipe dream that I filed away.

Fast forward to this spring/summer and my friend Katie invited me to join her Peer Mentoring group for coaches.  Keep in mind, I haven’t taken the steps to even establish a business let alone put myself out there as a coach.  I felt confident that Katie knew something that I didn’t and that she saw potential in me so I started attending.  Katie has shared some wonderful information and has slowly and gently kept me thinking about coaching.

Okay…so mid summer comes and suddenly Habitudes is going to be made available for licensing.  Financially I’m not in a place to pursue it right now but the door has been opened.  My wheels keep turning but the brakes are definitely on.

We jump ahead to this fall and the MKMMA.  A key component of the course is crafting your Definite Major Purpose or DMP.  I admittedly struggled with this piece.  I went through numerous drafts but Justin my Guide stuck with me.  On a recent revision I switched things up and put it a piece about starting Enzofia.  This time I included using Habitudes, Master Keys, and Katie’s program Renewed as the tools I would utilize to help others.  Justin’s response excited me.  “You are on the right thought process of letting go of the ‘job’ and focusing on your consulting, that ‘s where you really want to be- so set it in motion now.  Great leap of faith putting that into your dmp. Let suby go to work for you in the development of your new business, even if you are looking for a steady flow of income with a job.”

So I’ve been reading my DMP daily and looking at my shapes and colors to keep reinforcing my goals.  The shapes and colors are plastered around the house so my family sees them too.  Enzo, our son, has been intrigued by the Enzofia goal.  His innocent questions have helped me to continue thinking through more details.

That brings us to this morning.  I’m on my way to a meeting and my buddy Nate calls.  It’s been a few months since we’ve talked and both of our lives have changed drastically.  After the usual small talk just catching up on family, business, job hunt, etc. we get into the meaty conversation and it gets really good.  Virtually out of nowhere Nate starts talking about how I would be great at coaching.  Keep in mind that he brought this up on his own.  I had never shared my vision with him.  Our conversation went down a beautiful path and my dream suddenly grew exponentially.  I was blown away and couldn’t wait to share the conversation with Anna.

As soon as she had a spare minute at work we both grabbed our phones.  I shared briefly what had happened on my call with Nate and the possibility of me starting a coaching practice.  I asked her “Is this God whacking me upside the head?”  Her response was “Yes…yes it is.  Why wouldn’t you?”  She went on to liken it to when she had the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Nicaragua.  She agonized over what decision to make.  The morning that her response was due she was sitting in church and heard “Just go.”  All doubt and hesitation was lifted with those two words.

I am fully confident that God speaks through her to me.  So here I am.  In her words, “Doesn’t it feel just right?”  Yes and I am pressing into the opportunities that are before me.

Week 7 – I love this scroll (pun intended)

Four little pages yet there is so much to be garnered from them!  I’ll limit my post to just two keys for me with this scroll.

The first is found in this: “Is it not so that birds, the wind, the sea and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator?  Cannot I speak with the same music to his children?”  Reading that was like being slapped upside the head.  It’s so obvious yet it’s something I had taken for granted.  The sounds of nature are a constant reminder of God’s goodness.  A reminder to praise Him in every circumstance that we face.  But the even bigger reminder is that we are all God’s children.  By loving others we are praising God.  It’s simple but so beautiful.

The other piece of the scroll that I’ve been working on is “And how will I confront each whom I meet?  In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You.”  My old blueprint tried to derail me by overthinking what this meant.  I quickly started thinking about who exactly was included in the “each.”  Did it mean the people I spoke with?  Was it just the people that I met face to face?  What about the rest of the people?  I silenced that blueprint and decided that ti meant EVERYBODY.  I have found myself looking at passing cars and silently saying I Love You.  I’m doing it in crowds.  The more that I think about it, I can do it to the actors when I watch a show.  The possibilities are endless.  Another offshoot of this practice is learning to do it before I speak to my wife and children.  I’m learning to be more compassionate, patient, and grace-filled.  It’s lifting stress in our house and replacing it with playful laughter and joy.

Week 6 – Moving on to Scroll II

This week we moved on to Scroll II in The Greatest Salesman in the World.  I have to admit, I was apprehensive about moving on.  If you read my last post you know that even after 30 days, three times a day, I was still learning from Scroll I.  It had become a friend.  Well, my fears were allayed as soon as I read the first sentence of Scroll II, “I will greet this day with love in my heart.”  What a way to get things started!

The excitement that I felt knowing that this chapter was going to be about love was huge.  One of the reactions that I had was to suddenly think of several songs about love.  Van Halen’s “When It’s Love” and Haddaway’s “What Is Love” quickly came to mind.  But the song that surprised me was “It’s Love” by Kings X, a song that I hadn’t listened to since the 90’s.

Kings X was a very short phase for me in my musical progression.  I really don’t enjoy listening to them yet that song is what came to me.  The chorus includes the line “It’s love that holds it all together.”  Perhaps the band studied Mandino.  Hmmmm…

More likely it was their study of the scripture that led them to pen the song.  Scripture is the other element that came rushing into my  thoughts with the opening words of Scroll II.  The great commandment found in Matthew 22 reads 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  The similarities to the words of the scroll are fantastic.  These are verses that I have studied and repeated countless times.  To see Mandino aligned with this gives his work great validation for me.  It helps me to internalize his words by connecting them to scripture.  Linking.

I could go on for hours about all that I am learning through the MKMMA and it’s accompanying texts but some of that will have to wait for another day.  More verses to correlate, more thoughts to unpack, and more growth.

Week 5 – The Scroll Marked I

I love the fact that reading something over and over brings new insights.  I first became aware of this phenomenon when I was doing a study in the Book of Proverbs years ago.  There are 31 chapters so I would read a chapter a day.  I just had to look at a calendar to know what to read on any given day.  After 10 months of this I was amazed that each day’s reading continued to provide new insights and hold new meaning.

It’s been like that with The Greatest Salesman in the World.  I’ve been reading Scroll I as directed faithfully for 30 days now.  In silence when I wake up, in silence after lunch, and out loud before I go to bed.  Somehow knowing that I was going to be moving to Scroll II soon helped caused me to take note of some observations and also to see new things in the words.  Here are a few of them.

“Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.”  The moment I read that on day one I immediately thought of the Garden of Eden.  That image has been with me for each of the 90+ readings since.  The image for me is one of abundance, of walking in God’s presence.  It gives me a sense of peace seeing the connections to God in all of our material.

It was freeing to me when I read “I commence my journey unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience.”  I am learning to let go of those things that don’t serve me.  Unhealthy thoughts, memories of past pain, things that have held me back.  I am free!  I am not defined by my past mistakes.  2 Corinthians 5:17 assures us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  I am a new creation!

I was apprehensive when I read the first law “I form good habits and become their slave.”  It has take me some time to process the ideas around “habits” but it is sinking in.  I’m overcoming my negative feelings toward that word.  I love how Mandino explains it a little further in the Scroll when he writes “When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.”  We get to choose our habits.  That’s important because he also teaches that “only a habit can subdue another habit.”  To push out what we don’t want we need to fill in that space with what we do want.  If I want to stop eating sweets then I need to stop buying them and instead buy more fruits and vegetables.  We can change what our bodies crave.  If I want to stop an unhealthy behavior then I need to be intentional about what I replace that time with.  If I’m not intentional then a bad habit could be substituted with a different bad habit.  That seems counterproductive.

One more thing about that first law.  It wasn’t until this week that I realized it is repeated just two paragraphs later.  I’ve been reading the words for a month but somehow didn’t see the reinforcement that Mandino had created.

I am excited to see what wisdom Scroll II holds.

Week 5 – Press Release

Press Release

A Man of Peace

10/26/2019
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com

I first met Christian at a Manchester Chamber of Commerce event over the summer.  There was a small crowd gathered around him.  As I approached I felt a sense of peace being in his presence.  I knew that I needed to get to know this unassuming yet influential gentleman.  Several friendly correspondences led to us meeting for coffee at his quiet, well-appointed home in Auburn, NH.

Can you tell me about your personal journey?

I am a lifelong learner.  I’m always observing, reading, and studying.  I learned many years ago that we are each responsible for our own personal development so that’s a subject that I’ve taken very seriously.  2016 proved to be a very pivotal year for my growth.  In the Spring I attended a retreat put on by Richard and Kimmy Brooke.  During that weekend I became aware of the feelings that I had repressed for a very long time.  But I didn’t know what to do about it.  That’s when my friend Katie Laplant stepped in.  She offered to walk me through her Renewed program to work through my feelings and get to the root of who God made me to be.  Her insights were priceless and I began to practice self-care and self-compassion.  I stopped placing judgement on my feelings and simply allowed myself to feel.  Several months into that process I came upon the Master Key Mastermind Alliance put on by Mark and Davene Januszewski.  Davene encouraged me to apply for the course.  I was admittedly apprehensive but Katie and my wife Anna were both fully supportive of adding this to what I was already doing. It was six months of intense work that allowed me to unlock the potential within myself.  To say that it was life-changing doesn’t do the course justice.

That sounds incredible!  Can you tell me more about what you “unlocked”?

Growing up in a very conservative Christian church I always veered away from any talks about “energy” or strength from “within.”  These were things that felt New Age to me.  I didn’t understand them which made me fear them.  The Master Key Mastermind Alliance taught me about conscious versus subconscious thought, the role of the brain and the Solar Plexus, what it means to tap into Universal power.  It fully clicked for me when Mark connected the dots.  The Universe and God are one.  Some people are just uncomfortable with giving Him a name.  And since we are made in His image and He is in us, we are one with Him.  We have access to the wisdom of God when we take control of our thoughts and focus them.  Proverbs 23 teaches “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  When we choose what we think about we are able to change whatever we desire to change.

Is it really that easy?

Yes and no.  The basic concept is easy, doing it takes practice.  It involves things like understanding the Seven Laws of the Mind, replacing bad habits with good habits, and learning from the Master Keys themselves.  It requires living well as your authentic self.

What does it mean to you to live well?

There are three key ideas that really frame that for me.  The first is living intuitively.  I have learned to listen to and trust my intuition in regards to my health, my decisions, how I spend my time.  One of the benefits to this is that it allows me to be present with people and honor them with my attention and my energy.  Through the Law of Giving and Receiving I give something to every person I encounter.  I make people feel valued, accepted, and loved.  In turn I feel those same things.

The second is the idea of being a realistic optimist.  My perspective is a combination of the positive outlook of my inner-optimist and the critical thinking of my inner-pessimist.  I have balanced thinking and this gives me creativity to address any situation or opportunity.

The final idea is living a life of simple abundance.  That’s a phrase that Anna and I crafted in October of 2016.  As she puts it “It means, living an abundant life where money does not rule you, but where you can still have nice things and take nice vacations and not think about money.”  We take joy in our family time, we are selective in what we buy, and we are generous with causes we believe in.  That’s it in a nutshell.

You seem incredibly peaceful.  What do you attribute that to?

I know who I am and whose I am.  I am an empath and that’s a gift.  I am a child of God made in His image.  I am what I will to be.  That’s powerful stuff!

Finally, who are the influences in your life?

I’ve already mentioned several of them but there are two others that I’d like to add.  Dr. Tim Elmore was the first person to truly mentor me.  He helped give me a sense of self-worth and of belonging.  And I can’t leave out Marc Schelske.  Marc really helped me embrace my identity in Christ.  His teachings on Ephesians 2:10 spoke to my heart.

Week 4 – Meeting Mark J

I’ve gotten pretty selective about who I allow to speak into my life.  I’ve made some poor chooses in the past selecting people and they didn’t lead me where I wanted to go.  \

One of my first mentors is someone whose work I had studied for several years before we had the opportunity to connect.  Another mentor was highly recommended by a trusted friend and even then it was six months into the new relationship before I opened up to share who I am and to receive their wisdom.  There are a few key people that God has placed in my life that were also relationships that were nurtured over months and years before true connections happened and they challenged me and grew me and encouraged me.

Mark J is a different story.  I stumbled on him through Facebook somehow.  I read the free chapter of his new book and ended up signing up to be notified when the MKMMA registration was happening.  In God’s perfect timing, this all happened over a matter of just a few weeks.  Suddenly I’m getting reminder emails that registration is almost closed.  I replied and said that I didn’t think it was the right time for me.  I used depression as an excuse.  Something that I had done for years.  The Fabulous Davene called me out and pushed me to take the leap of faith and put away the old stories that I had told myself.  Combine that with encouragement and support from my wife and a dear friend and that all landed me here, in this course.  I was taking a risk allowing myself to have someone that I hardly knew guide me through a very personal process because that’s what the Master Keys are.  I trusted my intuition and it served me well!

About two weeks ago, Mark mentioned that he was coming back to New England to visit family.  Being from NH I thought that this was the perfect chance to actually meet him.  We had coffee yesterday and it affirmed every decision that I had made to lead me to this point.  In person Mark has a very calming presence.  He also exudes a special warmth.  When he puts his hand on you it’s like taking a deep cleansing breath.  Now that all sounds kind of weird but it is a tremendous blessing when you experience it.

Here are just a couple of bits of wisdom that I gleaned from our time together:

  • Helping others does not bring redemption.
  • It’s important to find my gifts and give them away without the expectation of reciprocity.
  • It is in our nature to be in harmony with ourself. (this was an interesting discussion around our cells and energy)
  • We are all seeking an authentic connection to another person.

What a gift it is to be on this journey!