"And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. " Exodus 4:31-KJV
I couldn't leave that verse. In my personal, devotional time my eyes sped on to chapter 5 of Exodus, but my mind was locked onto the last verse of chapter 4. So I returned to it and meditated on it.
The Holy Spirit was speaking to me about how I respond when the Lord looks upon my troubles, acting in love, with compassion to relieve my distress.
Do not take it for granted, the Spirit of God impressed on me. Stop to worship the God of grace. Be grateful, not just for a moment, but as a mindset.
I am convinced, by knowledge that comes from learning and wisdom that comes from experience, that a worshipful and grateful attitude toward God is essential to my aspirations to succeed in my endeavors.
I have observed, often and with sadness, that people miss the very answer and solution they seek because they are not looking at it through the lens of gratitude.
"Worship the Lord with gladness; give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, his faithfulness is forever, and his love is passed on from generation to generation." (Psalm 100 - my paraphrase). Succeed where it counts.
New family called today. Mom said (sorta asked), "We're choosing among 4 colleges. I guess you could do more for us if we knew which one our child is planning to attend." Is that a question? I took it as such and replied, "No, that would actually limit what I can do for you."
Occasionally a family will contact me. They say, "Our child has told ABC University he is coming there. We'd like for you to help us find scholarships now so we can afford it."
First, no one is better qualified to find scholarship money than your student. The student who wants scholarship money bad enough can usually find some.
Second, an "after the horse is out of the barn" approach extremely limits the options available.
Ideally, we like to work with families of tenth and eleventh graders for the actual college selection process. For financial preparation, I'd say as soon as you know you're pregnant.
I've been busy since May working with rising high school seniors and their families. Among the frequently asked questions is this, "What should we be doing now?"
From me it's the same answer every time: "Don't let any grass grow under your feet." In other words, each day is an opportunity to advance your cause:
- research colleges online
- include campus visits on the itinerary of other summer activities
- systematically identify realistic career objectives and correlating college majors
- study to improve SAT and/or ACT scores on the re-take
- spend time every week researching relevant, private scholarships
- pray for discernment and God the Holy Spirit's guidance.
A booming business, a growing family and all of the "unavoidables" (dental appointments, mowing the lawn, oil changes, etc.) -- shouldn't soccer refereeing be put on the shelf?
I've ask myself that question, and asked it again, and again. One voice in my brain tells me I do not have time for it. Another voice rationalizes that it is a beneficial aspect of a balanced life.
This past weekend was one of those times when the conflicting arguments were raging in my head. It was USSF/NISOA Referee Clinic. Including a grueling physical fitness test my time was committed from Friday afternoon through Sunday.
It is a commitment, but it is also a chance to fly with eagles. The clinic was some 200 strong -- people who aspire to excellence and who pursue it with passion. Among the speakers were Kari Seitz and Marlene Duffy; top soccer officials in the world. Also on the list of instructors were Sandra Serafini (a top research neurological scientist) and Kim Oberle, both former FIFA officials and now referee instructors and mentors. Another was Todd Abraham, president of NISOA and an executive for one of the world's largest corporations. And last, but not least, Jamie Lucky, NCAA basketball referee, charmed us.
There is sublime energy that charges your heart and mind when you fly with eagles -- ever so briefly, and then they're gone. But the perspective gained from the heights is unequaled.
We make a big deal about college selection as, perhaps, the most important factor in controlling the costs of education. In a recent position paper written by Andrew Gillen of Education Sector (a think tank), the author reports there are more than 500 colleges that have a higher default rate than graduation rate.
Contact me and ask for "Default Rate Report." I'll send it to you free of charge.
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