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Dude, where have you been?

August 9, 2018
Image result for dude where have you been

Yea, I kind of went into hiding. sorry. photo by yahoo

 

Hey Ya’ll,

I saw a friend at work last night. It had been a long time since we last saw each other, something like five days. It seemed like forever, anyway it was his time to walk out of the building to go on his trip and he asked me if I had stopped writing, I didn’t even know that he was a reader of the words I put here. I told him that I had been busy and he gave me that look, you know that look. The look when the words and actions don’t really match. So, you all can thank your lucky stars, that he busted my chops a little last night.

 

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Tom was really not impressed. photo from yahoo

 

So, what I have been doing? That is a long and complicated answer. Last November, I was invited to join a small group of men who were doing to do a one-year, intense journey of leadership, Bible study and personal growth called Joshua’s Men. After, I asked my friend Matt if he had the right guy I checked my calendar and it was clear. Or so I thought, how tough could it be so I said yes. Eight months into the study, I am whipped. We read a different book every month and then have a project to go along with it and we have a study guide to complete and all that is before the self-assessment questions and other associated readings.

Reading eight books in eight months is hard. Over the last twenty years, I might have really read eight books. And those eight books were all fiction. And those eight books didn’t have a study guide attached to them. And those eight books didn’t have a monthly five-hour meeting to discuss the readings and complete the homework attached to them. And those eight books didn’t have a regular accountability meeting with one of the other men in the study.

 

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Now this is a truth. I’m going to steal it and make it my own because it is awesome. photo from yahoo, meme from now on, rob

 

To make matters much worse, I didn’t realize what a slime ball I was until I started reading these books on spirituality, accountability, leadership, vision and planning for the next step in life, leading your family, how to give a presentation and this month is about money. Each month, I keep trying to tap out and call “no mas” but my guys just shake their heads no and give me another book. In February, we did a three day fast as our special project. If you have never fasted, I will give you the cliff note version. You get really hungry and then you begin to notice that every commercial on television is a food commercial. Then when you go for a drive, you realize how many restaurants there are in your local Mayberry town. Then you stay inside and shelter in place hoping that it will pass, then you realize that your family still wants to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I learned anything from the three day fast it is that, we as American’s, like to eat to excess and that is probably why we are all overweight. After the fast, I spent all of March grazing like a cow. If I saw it, I ate it. Then the grazing continued into April, May, June, July and now August. I keep thinking that I should go back and do some one-day fasts, because they were actually enjoyable. But I can’t make myself do it, yet.

 

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That was me driving to the dinner when we broke the fast. photo from yahoo.

 

That still doesn’t explain, why I haven’t been keeping you all up to date on here. So here is reason number two, in April we read a book called Visioneering by Andy Staley. If you find yourself stuck in a rut or not sure what the purpose of the next few years of your like should be, then I highly recommend this book. In fact, I gave it away to all the high school graduates in our world this year. I bet they would have rather have had the money. I know I would have. Anyway, I was deep into the book, somewhere between page 6 and 10 when a thought popped into my mind. It was about Haiti and an idea of how to transform their country from where they are now, into a viable nation. I know this thought is crazy talk, and I am not sure I even want to continue to write about it on here but the thought that came into my head made perfect sense and it was a four-step process with each of the intermediate steps in-between.

I was talking to a friend about it and he described it like driving down the highway in a driving rain storm where you can’t see ten feet in front of the car and then you go under a bridge that blocks the rain. Suddenly, you can see clearly. That clear moment passes as soon as you go back into the rain, but you can’t forget what just happened. That is where I am right now. I have had five or six meetings with people who have actually been to Haiti (I never have been there) and I’m putting the plans in place to start a non-profit organization that will exist to bring the thought that popped into my head into reality. If you are a person who prays, this would be a good time to throw out a prayer for me and this crazy thought.

 

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Not sure if stopping under the bridge counts but at least they are dry. photo from yahoo

 

The end of June I was going to work and I was thinking about Haiti and the organization that I am going to start. I really feel compelled to make this organization 100% self-funded. I don’t want to have to ask for money because the thought that I had was that it would be taken care of. That is what I was thinking about and how I could raise some serious cash, because the final two steps will require some real money. I put the thought away deep in the back of my mind and went to back to the regular thoughts that normally populate the space between my ears, you know food. Literally, six hours later, I was talking to a friend and he told me about an opportunity to start a side business operating a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Just two years ago, a different friend and I talked about doing it but it wasn’t the right time. Now is the right time. I called that friend and he said yes. We called another friend and he was in so we are starting a UAV company called ioverflight. We are not up and running yet, but we hope to be going on 1 Sep. My goal is going to be to divert the vast majority of my share of the money we earn through ioverflight into the Haiti project.

None of this is an accident. The very morning before my friend asked me to join the men’s group, I was thinking that I needed a challenge in life, which led to the fast and then the thoughts about Haiti, which led to the idea to start the business and then my friend last night telling me I need to write something on here because I have been neglectful of you guys. The more that I read and the more I think about my place in the world, the more that I realize that none of this has been an accident. Lots of words come to mind as I write them down, but the two that keep popping up are blessed and humbled. I will take some more good thoughts and prayers here. Ten years ago, next month, I drove out the front gate for the last time as a member of the United States military. I was full of hate and raging with anger at the world. Today, I am just over 50% love and peace. It is not an accident that I am a work in progress and moving in a much more healthy direction.

So that is where I have been the last few months. By the way, the complete and total re-write of the novel is almost complete. It has a lot of issues to fix but it feels better the fourth time I have written it. I would like to have it to the editor lady in November. I say that because that will be the one-year mark from her reading the last one that totally sucked. Her words, not mine.

I can’t promise that I will write very often over the rest of the year. But I will, because I do really enjoy totally dumping my mind out onto all of you. For me, it is a total and complete emptying of the things that keep me from focusing on the next task. I would like to say that I will transform to shorter articles, but I can’t seem to keep this under fifteen hundred words (this article is 1597 and counting). The only thing short about me is my height.

 

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I think I fit the profile of a steely-eyes drone pilot. photo by yahoo

 

Until then, I will keep you updated on the status of ioverflight, Haiti and the novel. I might give you an update on the status of the Joshua’s Men group. If I come across some great nugget of wisdom, I will let you know.  Until then, I my daily Bible readings, a short 172-page book on money to read in the next two weeks, a weekly Bible study to lead, a monthly Bible class to teach at Church, kids that need a Dad, a wife that needs her husband and a full-time job to do so that I can do what I really like to do.

 

Eat!

 

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It just ain’t right. photo by yahoo

 

Until next time, keep on rockin

 

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From → peace

4 Comments
  1. Kristen Thornton permalink

    Robbie!!
    I love you!! This read was the best so far!! As I sit & read this I can totally visualize you telling me this in person! Sounds like you’ve had a great year! I’m praying for you! Please update us so we can adjust our prayers accordingly! I wrote down all these books to share with my guys!!

    • Kristen,

      Thank you for all the kind words. I have only known you for 40 years and you have always been amazing. I guess that means that one of us is old. I guess that is me, ha ha.

      Seriously, thank you and you can expect that you are on the list to be called into action at some point. Hint, hint…get ready!

      rob

  2. Donetta permalink

    glad you got back on it!

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