Bo’s Rules to Live By

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.

  • 4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.

15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.

16. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.

17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.

18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.

19. Never turn down a breath mint.

20. Don’t talk, Do.

21. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.

22. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.

23. Thank a veteran. And then make it up to him.

24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

25. Eat lunch with the new kid.

26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.

27. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.

28. See it on the big screen.

29. Give credit. Take the blame.

30. Write down your dreams.

31.  Chase those dreams down.

32.  Make a friend, Be a friend…

then bring that friend to Christ.

33.  Preach the Gospel always, and 

when necessary… use words.

34.  Listen more and don’t be so adamant about stating your opinion.

35.  Make a decision.  It doesn’t always have to be the right one…but make one.

36.  Don’t ever become complacent.  Keep moving.

37.  Do everything with a ‘Cool’ attitude.  It’s better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool.

38.  Open the door for the Lady, and pull out her chair.

39.  Say, “Yes Sir & No Ma’am.” It’s still called respect.

40.  Defend your leaders, and never criticize them in public.

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Don’t Quit

“When the going gets tough, the tough…quit.” That’s how the familiar quote should read sometimes, anyway.  The tough are not getting going in this country anymore, they are quitting when things get tough. I see capitulation around me every day in every city in America.

I’m often asked, “Bo, why is it necessary for us to go through such hard circumstances all the time?” Every time this question is posed, I am reminded of my question to God.  And here is the answer that was finally revealed to me after years of sorrow: “We go through hard circumstances so that we can help others go through hard circumstances.”

As adaptable, resilient, human beings, it is our obligation to not just survive our difficult times, but to learn from them, and ultimately overcome them.  And then we are expected to share what we’ve learned with others.  That is what makes us compassionate human beings.

Who makes the most effective substance abuse counselor, a former drug addict, or a person who just studied substance abuse in college? The former substance abuser can relate to the active, hurting substance abuser while the college grad cannot.  Why?  Because the former addict has been there, done that, and possesses the scars to prove it.  And isn’t it really about being able to relate to, and empathize with others?

When we go through tough stuff, and grow from it, we can actually empathize with others who are going through similar situations. Being able to understand their pain helps them to know that they aren’t alone in their struggles; that what’s happening to them isn’t so rare afterall.  They gain strength and comfort from our experiences, and in turn, we are reminded of how quickly we could end up in a similar position.

When we are hurt by life, it’s important for us to share those feelings with others because afterall, pain is something every human on the planet has experienced at some point.  We may not all know what financial wealth feels like, or the joys of parenthood, or even the pleasures of fame & stardom, but every single one of us breathing oxygen today can relate to what pain feels like. And by sharing the lessons of that pain,and not withholding them, we not only bring comfort to others, but we can learn even more about ourselves as we help them through their difficulties.

If we quit, however, we do ourselves and our fellow man a grave injustice. http://www.pohprisonministry.com
Quitting when the going gets tough only weakens us, and causes us to become withdrawn, bitter, and self centered.  And consequently, we actually begin harming our neighbor instead of helping them.

So don’t ever quit.  Weather the storms of life, develop & maintain an attitude of gratitude, and learn something positive from each and every hardship.  And then…keep moving forward, even if its only an inch at a time, by helping others down that cumbersome path.  Because the simple truth is this:  When you help others, you are helping yourself.  When you step outside of your self to tend to the needs of others, you grow emotionally and spiritually.

Keep growing, friends!

COUNT THE COST

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http://www.pohprisonministry.com
For what it’s worth, allow me to illustrate the Christian journey…

Just as the Word uses military illustrations when making spiritual comparisons, one is appropriate for this particular venue as well:

Think and meditate on this truism: As Christian Soldiers, we have been commissioned to fight in a war we oftentimes feel woefully unqualified for.   We will get dirty, we will bleed, and we will become thoroughly exhausted from time to time.  And there will be many battles we lose.

I’ve never encountered a soldier coming off the battlefield with a clean,  untattered uniform.

Have you?  Why is it then that Christians expect such unrealistic outcomes as to come away from spiritual warfare unscathed?!?  It bewilders me to witness my spiritual comrades going into battle with every intention of not getting beat up,  bloodied,  and severely bruised.  They set themselves up for failure before they have even begun to fight!

When men & women become Christians, we simultaneously become soldiers.  Not all Christians prepare for war,  however. And with each battle we engage in, we gain strength, wisdom, and knowledge.  We also collect our share of pain,  loss,  and scars.  Some battles we win and some battles we lose… But regardless of the outcome, we never stop being soldiers in the Army of the Lord.  But if you don’t prepare mentally for warfare, the intimidation tactics of the enemy paralyze you.  It’s vital that you count the cost of becoming a Christian.

After every hard-fought battle, a soldier has a specified time of R&R, and you will most certainly have your time to rest and relax, but every soldier knows this fact as well:

Another battle is on the horizon, and we must be ready to step back onto the battlefield when called upon.  It’s not just a job, it’s a life-long commitment.  But beware:

The enemy will try to redirect your attention away from the opposition and onto yourself in an attempt to discourage you.  The enemy will persuade you with  defeatist thoughts…

“You lost another one, boy.  You’re not strong…Give up sister, you’re exhausted, you’re not cut out for this. Your sinful behavior disqualifies you from being used by God.”  And it’s at moments like these  when we must reach deep down inside ourselves, unlock those taut chains, and let our spiritual beasts out.  Soldiering is not about who is the strongest, the biggest, or the most skillful… It’s about who has the courage and the tenacity to step back onto the battlefield, again & again, after having our butts kicked,  over & over.

In the words of our Commander in Chief: “The war is plentiful, but the soldiers are few.”  Ok, so Jesus used “harvest and workers…” but you get the point.  We must continue the fight; we must stay in the military… We must Soldier on…   because that’s what soldiers do.  Win, lose, or draw, we have other battles to fight.  Victory is always at stake.

Your military credentials were bestowed on you by God.   You didn’t choose this incredibly hard mission,  it was chosen for you.  But you were built for war; you were designed to do battle with evil, and to overcome! So therefore, Remain a soldier,  regardless of the dirt,  the grime; the blood, the pain, and the losses- Fight on, Christian Warrior. Your mission is vitally important.  Your determination is immensely crucial.  The outcome depends on your iron clad will…to never surrender.

Your God smiles down upon you every time you get back up; every time you rise from the ashes… So whatever you do…never stop getting back up.

A Tough Choice

A pilot faces tough choices with almost every flight: Weather, mechanics, and other challenges continually arise to make the decisions pilots make concerning their life’s passion very difficult.

One particular pilot I learned about recently faced a tough choice while he was in route flying to an unknown destination.  “Joseph” was flying solo through the clouds in his little Cessna when all of a sudden he heard the strangest noise.  He couldn’t put his finger on the sound’s origin until he looked behind him towards the tail of the plane.

In the interior shadows of the tail section Joseph was horrorfied to discover a large rat chewing into the cables that steered his little plane.   Joseph could hardly believe his eyes! “How did a rat get on board my plane?“ He thought…”and he is chewing through my flight cables!”

Joseph could see the cables fraying but tried to remain calm and rely on his many hours of flight training.  Years ago he vaguely recalled being trained on animals getting loose in the plane and how to prevent an air disaster…

But a rat?!  And this was no ordinary rat – this varmint was intent on causing Joseph to crash and burn, which made this critter a kamikaze rat!

After much anguished thought, and uncontrollable sweat, Joseph knew there was only two choices that lay before him: He could make an emergency landing at the nearest airport, or pull hard on the yoke and take the little plane straight up.

The emergency landing would put him at an airport where a crew of experienced rat killers could handle Joseph’s harrowing dilemma.  It would delay his flight for several hours, but Joseph knew that a support team would eliminate the problem.

Pulling hard on the yoke and taking the plane straight up, several thousand more feet was another choice alltogether.  Joseph knew that making this choice would put him in a more precarious position.  He would not have the comfort of knowing professional rat killers would save the day.  As a matter of fact, Joseph would be all by himself, flying up into the atmosphere, relying solely on his flight training and subsequent knowledge.

A Tough choice faced Joseph.  Should he try and land the plane before the cables were completely knawed through & have the airport specialists manage the situation?  Or should he fly straight up into the thinning atmosphere, all alone, but knowing that the lack of oxygen at such a great height would kill the rat?

Both choices were good ones.  Joseph knew the pros & cons of the tough decision he would have to quickly commit to.  And “commitment” would take on a new meaning in his life at that point!

Which choice do you think he made?

Has life ever placed you in a similiar spot?  Put yourself in Joseph’s seat: And think deeply…Which tough choice would YOU make?

I read that book too

received_10155151480209635I have a keen observation to make, so bear with me: When it comes to relationships, and men & women living together, loving eachother, and understanding one another, countless books have been devoted to the topic…

And yet, here we are today, in 2017, the greatest year in our world’s history and we remain completely clueless as to understanding the opposite sex.

I’ve read many books on Love & Relationships, and before you even  ask it: “MEN ARE FROM MARS AND…” yeah, I read that book too.  And I agree with almost every written word from the many sincere and experienced authors…but I remained dumbfounded about some things regarding my significant other.  I just didn’t understand why she got so frustrated at me.  For instance…

When she would ask me what time I would be home from work, I would usually say, “Honey, I don’t know for sure – I should be home from work sometime around 5:30 pm.”  Now, within my sincere answer I would naturally include the unspoken traffic clause, the talk with my buddies in the parking lot clause, and the sudden urge to stop at the store for a beer clause.  That is what I conveyed to her when I started out with, “Honey, I don’t know for sure -”

But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if at 5:33 pm, I’m not home and in my Lazyboy, she would invaribly blow up my phone. “Where are you?  You said you would be home by 5:30!”  What my sweetheart didn’t hear in my statements to her were my clauses, and I couldn’t understand why not!

“Uh, honey, I’m sitting in traffic right now, trying to make it home,” I would reply.  “Why didn’t you call me and tell me you were going to be late?” She would respond.  “Uh, maybe because I didn’t anticipate the 9 car pile up accident in front of me?!?”

After years of just such frustratingly  aggravating conversations, it finally dawned on me, and like a lightening bolt, it hit me: Women are literal interpreters, and men are generalizers.  Women see black & white very clearly, and men see a thousand shades of grey.

Where men use general phrases to convey a point, women use specific, precise phraseology.  And THAT is why we don’t understand what each other are saying all the time! (Let me qualify myself by saying, I did not hear an audible voice when this lightbulb went off in my head, but hey, I could’ve!)

Because of this incredibly astounding epiphany, I’ve decided that I’m going to write my own relationship book.  I’m going to title it, ” UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX: A LITERAL EXPLANATION OF GENERALIZATIONS.”  Or something like that.  And you, dear reader, may consider this blog a sneak peek at the first chapter!  I really think I’m on to something here… Stay tuned!

You can lead a horse to water… 

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“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” I’ve heard this idiom my whole life and have repeated it countless times over the years, but only recently has this truism come to life in a powerful way.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a situation involving a good friend.  And as hard as I’ve tried to persuade him to do things differently to achieve a different result, he seems cemented in a negative way of thinking.  And Those thought processes just happen to be counterproductive to the life he is attempting to achieve.

It’s been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.  While I’m not yet ready to label my friend a complete lunatic, I would go so far as to say he could use some wise counsel from people who have experience in changing destructive mindsets.  I just happen to be one of those counselors.  But he’s not willing to hear my wisdom.

There’s a difference between listening and hearing, and my friend respects me enough to listen to me but not actually hear what I’m saying.  Hearing compels a person to meditate on what was heard, chew on it, and then apply those words of wisdom to the situation at hand.  Listening is more passive, and can be done while texting, painting fingernails, or cooking dinner… It doesn’t require the same amount of focus & action that hearing does.

But getting back to the horse… It dawned on me today that the hypothetical  horse being led to the water could’ve possibly been severely dehydrated.  This particular horse  could’ve been dying and needed to drink very badly… But because of faulty belief systems, the horse refused to drink.  Perhaps the horse had been drinking from one specific watering hole its entire life and simply refused to drink from anywhere else… Or maybe this horse believed that nobody has the right to lead him anywhere and doesn’t drink the water to spite its leader.  Whatever the reason, one thing is obviously clear: the horse is going to die if he does not drink the water.  And all of the horse’s friends see he is dying, except for the horse himself.   What a dilemma.

It saddens me to have to sit on the sideline and merely watch my good friend slowly wither and “die”  because he refused to try something different.  My words of wisdom to him, and even the example of positive change I’ve shown him, have fallen on blind eyes and deaf ears.

Best friend: Once a position of pride and influence, has now become a place of hurt and humiliation.   I’ve been relegated to the back row of my friend’s “life show,” now only a spectator, embarrassingly witnessing my friend’s painful demise.

Drink the water, folks. Think outside the box.  Don’t pretend to know everything. Surround yourself with smart people… And don’t just listen to, but also hear them once in awhile.  They just might want to save your life. The hard part can sometimes be letting them.  But let them.  They aren’t out to get you… they merely love you.

 

Inspect and Protect

Screenshot_20170703-082947_croppedOver the years I’ve had the opportunity to be around & study the very worst of society’s offenders,  and I’ve made a unique discovery.   People carry within themselves one of two very powerful forces: Love, and/or hate.

I’ve also witnessed these powerful dynamics change a person’s  character.  That’s right,  a person can harbor hate in their heart so intensely that they become hate-full.   Their character morphs into an utterly consumed hate-filled individual.   And the same can be said for love.

Love can consume a person’s heart so much that they become love-ers.   Love becomes their basic core character.

I’ve met men who were penetrated with hatred,  but didn’t  intend to be that way.  After interviewing them I learned what created the hate for which they had come to be characterized by: Unresolved hurt.  Untended Wounds,  most often inflicted in their youth by those they trusted,  had created the hatred they carried in their hearts.  And the sad part was that these men didn’t even know they were walking around deeply wounded.  Those around them knew,  however… And here’s how:

Imagine if you will,  filling a glass all the way to the brim with water.  If you were to bump that glass,  what would spill out?  Water,  right?   Now fill a glass all the way to the top with tea.   Bump that glass and what spills out?  Tea,  yes.   Water can never spill out of a glass filled with tea. Now translate those glasses into human beings.

When you bump into a person filled to the brim with love,  what comes out of them?   Love,  in the form of grace,  mercy,  forgiveness,  and peace.   When you bump into a person filled with hate,  what spills out?   Yes,  hate,  in the form of verbal abuse,  physical abuse,  disrespect,  and anger.

Think about it: Can a person filled with hatred spill out love?  No,  its impossible.  A person can only give out what is inside of himself.  So the next time you bump into someone accidently,  observe what spills out of them.  If it’s love,  you will most likely make a friend as a result of the accident.  If hate spills out,  however,  run like crazy,  because that individual is your enemy and cannot give you goodness.

The bible puts it this way: “A tree is known by its fruit. ” A good tree will not bear rotten fruit,  and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit.

I personally believe we need to become better at being fruit inspectors.  And don’t confuse fruit inspection with judging others.  To judge would be to inspect the fruit,  and then make a judgement call on where that fruit will end up.  We mustn’t do that.   We should however,  inspect the fruit around us and make a determination about whether we should get too close to the specified fruit.   After all,  one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch.

Don’t judge and condemn… Inspect and protect.  We don’t know the final outcome of anyone’s life-story,  but we can take measures to prevent them from drastically altering ours.

Inspection is our responsibility. Judgement is God’s.  Whatever you do, don’t reverse the two.