Affirmation feels good. When you’re valued, heard, and elevated, it’s encouraging. It’s uplifting. It’s especially gratifying when you don’t expect it. When you’re aim is to serve, not please, others, without expectation of anything in return, affirmation is motivating.
This does raise the question of one’s motive. To serve or to please? That is the question.
Do you feel the allure of people-pleasing? Whose praise are you tempted to seek? Whose irrational disapproval are you tempted to appease?
Rather than seek approval from humans, seek true humility – a healthy, sober awareness of how small you are under God. True humility is acknowledging all your talents and possessions are on loan from God, for which He entrusts you as a steward. Seeking His approval for serving as a steward is the motive of true humility. Allow His glory to eclipse the people whose approval or rejection seem so large to you.
How does true humility happen in your life? It happens by letting the fruit of the Spirit grow inside you. Let the Spirit take hold of your thoughts, heart, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors.
True humility takes people-pleasing affirmation straight to God in a secret place, laying down any good thing you’ve done back at His feet in gratitude.
You are meant for greatness. You are designed to live a life of pleasing God, not people. Don’t take credit where credit is not due. Then you’ll get the grandest affirmation of all time, “Well done, good and faithful servant!“
Love is the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.) leadership principle. If you truly understand it, it’s transformative.
You could be the most polished public speaker, but if you don’t have love in your heart, then you’re like a squawking bird.
You could be the smartest person in the room, but if you don’t have love in your heart, then you’re dumb as a rock.
You could give away everything you have, but what is your motive? If it’s to boast on yourself, and not out of love for others, then your motive is misplaced and you gain nothing.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not brag. It is not proud. It does not humiliate others. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. It forgives, always.
Love does nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, love values others above self. It does not delight in hurting others.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Love can combat anything. It is the answer to end discrimination of any type. True diversity , equity, and inclusion (DEI) starts with love, for without love in your heart, DEI is still discrimination.
The only way love is possible is to love in the right order. You must love God first with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Second, you must love other people. Third, you must love yourself.
What makes love the G.O.A.T. leadership principle is the sequence in which love is applied. Many leaders have attempted it out of order, but the results have been disastrous for teams and society.
Love God. Love people. Love yourself. In that order.
Great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. Great people don’t know how to quit. Rather than listen to how they feel and procrastinate doing what they ought to do, they talk themselves into doing what they need to do.
Here’s a simple, transformative question to ask yourself every morning: How will I move 1% forward today?
1% better. 1% smarter. 1% kinder. 1% happier. 1% more empathetic. 1% more compassionate. 1% more loving. 1% more patient. 1% more peaceful. 1% more gentle. 1% more faithful. 1% more in control of my emotions.
Be aware and be intentional. Talk to yourself and then do.
1% over time really adds up. Before you know it, you’ll be a different person. And you won’t recognize your old self.
Here’s another way to look at it. To accomplish something significant, what’s more palatable?
Do 100% in 1 day?
Do 1% in 100 days?
Both get the same result, however #2 is much more attractive. You can approach life with that simple game plan. Because we often feel like we don’t have what it takes today, we need to remember that God gives us strength only as we start doing. He will be with us every 1% step of the way.
As we find the courage to start doing, we then find the strength. God works His strength within us only as we start working. That’s real encouragement.
You can accomplish extraordinary things 1 day, 1% at a time.
Happy 245th birthday, America. I am grateful to be part of the celebration. As we prepare for your 250th, I wanted to share the 1776 Report. The digital copy is free at hillsdaleforliberty.com/1776Report.
I believe we are on the cusp of another great civil war in America. This time, it’s a war being fought over ideas. It’s a war over two competing worldviews, one that seeks to revise the truth about America’s history, and the other that seeks to acknowledge its founding flaws without discrediting its founding principles. Frederick Douglass once said, “The Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” Amen, Mr. Douglass.
Would you mind celebrating America’s birthday with me by downloading and reading your free digital copy today? Read it with an open mind and a pure heart. The more people willing to do that, the more likely we can preserve the founding principles of this great country for future generations.
Let us not shrink in our responsibility to become informed citizens in the arena of ideas. Let us embrace what Ronald Regan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it was once like in the United States where men were free.“
I’m “all-in” President Regan. I believe as you believed that “America is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.”
If “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” collided at an intersection, then the Neighborly Love podcast would be the result. It features casual conversations over coffee in a “virtual coffee shop” that lean into the power of empathy. It’s about feeling heard, valued and understood. It’s about serving others. It’s about depositing money in our relational banks.
Neighborly Love is an original podcast by MindWolves. Host Marc Casciani, author of Craft Your Calling and Neighborly Love, interviews ordinary people about their heart for God and serving other people for the greater good.
Episode 10 – Jamie Heynes
Marc interviews Jamie Heynes, Marketing Team Lead at First National Insurance. Jamie answers three thought-provoking questions: (1) Tell me about a time when you did something nice for someone?, (2) What would you do for a living if money weren’t an issue?, and (3) Do you have a dream that involves serving others? Jamie shares a story about her childhood best friend, Meg, who has Cerebral Palsy, and her desire to integrate family, career, and passion to serve kids with special needs. Jamie is one of the most positive people I know, and I promise your heart will be inspired by her heart to serve.
Over the past 27 years, my family has had 8 dogs: Rudy (shar-pei), Sassy (shar-pei), Phil (chihuahua), Peri (shar-pei), Bolt (Boston terrier), Lucy (French bulldog), Honey (French bulldog), and Dozer (French bulldog). All but Lucy, Honey, and Dozer have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and each holds a special place in our hearts. Lucy, Honey, and Dozer start a new chapter for my family, a French bulldog breeding business called Bluecairo Frenchies, French bulldogs that really want to be your pet. Our first litter is due on August 20th.
It’s hard to imagine a life without dogs. They embody unconditional love. Their affection has no boundary. Their love does not come with any strings attached. They can teach us, humans, a thing or two about empathy.
Ever since our children were born, they’ve had dogs around. I believe the dogs offered the kids unconditional acceptance, companionship, and emotional attachment that they don’t get from friends. Also, because the kids have such a close relationship with the dogs, its made our relationship much stronger too. As a family, we share our feelings and affections freely and openly.
It’s been proven that just hanging out with a dog increases levels of oxytocin in our brains. Oxytocin acts as a chemical messenger and has been shown to be important in human behaviors including recognition, trust, and mother-infant bonding. As a result, oxytocin has been called the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical.” This may explain why my kids claim the dogs are more supportive and empathetic at times.
Dogs are not judgmental too. You don’t have to justify why you don’t feel like working out or worry that they don’t think you’re cool. They love you just because you’re you, and they just want to be in your presence.
If you really think about it, dogs are servant leaders. Their motives are pure, to love and be loved. That, in fact, is also their purpose in life, to love their humans and let their humans love them. Plain and simple, they are here to serve and love. Frankly, that’s not unlike our purpose too, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Love God, love people.
My hope is that through Bluecairo Frenchies, my family can serve loving families with loving Frenchies and share the love our dogs have nurtured in us for over three decades. It’s hard to imagine life without them.
Is there a difference between globalization and global localization? Yes, there is.
Globalization refers to a “one world” alliance, and it definitely feels like we are becoming that. It sounds so utopian, a state in which everything is perfect: communication, economics, business, technology, government, society, and culture. We have diversity, equity, and inclusion and outcomes are the same for everyone. There is little room for, and tolerance for, differences among people, and more specifically, groups of people. One group receiveth, and from another group something is taken away. Identity is intrinsically linked to the group of which you are part.
Global localization is different. It refers to the organization of clusters of people around the world who think, act and believe similarly. Clusters could be geographic, however, they’re much more likely to be psychographic instead, i.e. what a group of people believes, who they connect with, what they hope for. Global localizationalists do not want the concentration of power with a unified warm-and-fuzzy-sounding theme. They want diversity, equality, and inclusion. They celebrate differences and affirm someone’s value because they are created in the image of God, not because they are part of a group. They believe our ultimate identity is in the uniqueness that God gave us. They believe we’re all connected by that God-given identity, and the future is the connectivity of localized clusters around the globe who give God the glory. The one true, liberating way to achieve global unity is to transform hearts for God, one heart at a time.
In that spirit, I like to make a statement of gratitude. I am grateful for godly men who model what it’s like to be a godly dad. I am grateful for the godly men in my life who have humbly taught me to subordinate my will to the will of my Father in heaven, who gave me my identity. My father, David, is one of those godly men in my life. I love you, dad.
Kindly let me speak from my heart to yours. You are extraordinary. You are unique. There is no one else on Earth like you. You’re not perfect. No human is. But, that’s ok because perfection is not the baseline. Grace is. The free and unearned favor of God is the benchmark for our lives. All we have to do is accept it as a gift from Him to us.
That said, I know that’s hard to do. Why? Often because our self-image prevents us from accepting the gift. We’ve made so many mistakes. We’ve screwed up so many times. We’ve been hurt too badly. It’s too late. We’re not tall enough. We’re not good looking enough. We don’t like ourselves because we don’t like our flaws. Our mental self-perception is influenced by the words of others as well as our own experiences. But, the only voice that really matters is God’s voice, and He says you are loved and amazing just as you are. He designed you a certain way for a reason. Listening to his affirming voice is the only way to understand what your purpose is.
So easy, yet so hard. There’s so much background noise in the world that His voice is hard to hear. Our attitude follows our action far more than action follows attitude. We can change our mood as a result of how we think and act. Change your habits and behavior and you can change your beliefs. On the other hand, waiting for the mood to strike is ineffective.
I have a challenge for you, if you accept it. Start with this action and commit to making it a daily habit. God says we are to encourage each other every day while it is today (Hebrews 3:13, NCV), and this is my way of attempting to do that.
Write these statements down where you can refer to them every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed. Look at them. Say them out loud. Type them in an email or text and send it to yourself.
God loves and appreciates me.
God made me with certain strengths, and I must play to those strengths. I will renew my mind and think about those strengths.
I can make my own unique contribution to the world and my purpose will be found in serving others in God’s name.
Here’s an added bonus. Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “MindWolves Remind,” and I’ll add you to my daily Morning and Evening Ritual reminders where you’ll get a dose of gratitude and positivity. It will complement the reciting of those statements to yourself and may serve as a catalyst for the new habit.
Thank you for reading this, and thank you for allowing me to serve you. I am grateful for you just the way you are.
Time is a significant because it is so rare. It is completely irretrievable. You can never repeat it or relive it. There is no such thing as a literal instant replay. That appears only on film. It travels alongside us every day, yet is has eternity wrapped up in it.
Charles R. Swindoll (Living on the Ragged Edge (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1985), page 68)
My daughter and I have attended a Father-Daughter dance for the past 10-years. She and I both cherish these special moments and memories. As she grows older, my awareness also grows that they will eventually stop. As with my death, I am unsure when that will be, however it does not make me sad. Rather, it makes me even more grateful for the moments we have today, plain and simple. With every passing day and every passing year, I simply give thanks to God for the opportunity to spend time with her.
God made us humans plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. So complicated that we lose sight of the significance of the rarity of time. How has this happened to us? By falling for the oldest trick in the Good Book, which continues to be as effective today as it was back then. Rather than be grateful for what we have, we’re jealous, envious, covetous for what someone else has and we think we deserve. Our egos pursue scheme after scheme to get what is rightfully ours, we think. We fall for the temptation we’re missing out on something. We think we know better.
All this serves to make our lives over-complicated and confusing. Before we know it, time flies by and we can’t get it back.
Kindly join me in getting back to how we’re made, plain and simple. Here are two words that will help us on that journey, forbearance and forgiveness.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines forbearance as refraining from the enforcement of something (such as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due. At a root level, the act of forbearance requires patient self-control, restraint, and tolerance. Ultimately, however, the “something” is still due. Many things throughout our days require forbearance, and it’s a “tool in your human toolbox” that should be frequently used with others. The only way to mature in the awareness, calmness, and kindness to use forbearance, is to allow God’s Spirit to serve you like a gardener caring for a vine. He’ll cut off every branch in you that does not bear fruit, and he’ll prune every branch that does bear fruit so that it will be even more fruitful.
In addition to forbearance, the other tool you’ll need is forgiveness, which is the act of pardoning the debt, right, or obligation. It’s a cousin of forbearance, however, it elevates a different outcome, relinquishing the right to get even. As difficult as it is to learn forbearance, forgiveness is exponentially harder. But it’s worth it if you genuinely want to appreciate the significance of time.
One of my mentors, Mister Fred Rogers, eloquently captured the spirit of forbearance and forgiveness in a song, What do you do with the Mad that you Feel. Here are the lyrics.
What do you do with the mad that you feel When you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong… And nothing you do seems very right?
What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag? Or see how fast you go?
It’s great to be able to stop When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong, And be able to do something else instead And think this song:
I can stop when I want to Can stop when I wish I can stop, stop, stop any time. And what a good feeling to feel like this And know that the feeling is really mine. Know that there’s something deep inside That helps us become what we can. For a girl can be someday a woman And a boy can be someday a man.
This clip is taken from the special meeting of the Pine-Richland school board on June 2, 2021. The meeting was called to vote on the approval of hiring a Head Football Coach for the 2021-22 school year. The speaker is me, Marc Casciani, Treasurer of the board.
Because traditional and social media outlets distort the truth to create fake news, I wanted my message and conversation with the audience to be available for the viewer to form their own opinion. Thank you for watching. The runtime is 5 minutes.
It is my genuine pleasure to serve the PR school district and community. Thank you for allowing me to serve.