What Is

The Wind In Our Sails“I am amused that you continue to ask for me to explain — what is not and never was.”

That was my response to an attorney, who wanted me to explain the unexplainable. He had taken a course of action, which transformed the simple into the complex. In fact, the potential exists that he has endangered a Family by encouraging them to, unintentionally, break the law.

How often do we fall into the trap of letting our thoughts and energies be consumed by the not of what is?

In other words, how much of our day is wasted by thinking about what is behind us — or, what is outside of our control? That’s the purest and craziest definition of — what is not and never was.

If we’re standing in the light of what is right, there is absolutely no reason to explain the darkness of another person’s wrong. To do so changes our thinking from, what is — to, what is not.

This is what is:

1.) Law provides order to what otherwise results in chaos. Every structure of dynamic goodness functions within the parameters of principle.

2.) Activities of growth and purpose occur in the Present — moment to moment — because of a thoughtful plan for the Future.

3.) We are Captains of our own Destiny, who sail the seas of the unknown and find our greatest happiness in the Journey of enriching the lives we touch.

That’s plenty to keep us busy.

Understanding the core principles of right and wrong is one thing. Living a life of principle is another. Sometimes, we do what we know not and, then, forget to do what we know. Eventually, we sync knowledge with action, to discover a higher dimension — of thought and being.

Focusing our attention on one thing at a time can best be remembered with this mantra — “Whatever our hands find to do, let’s do it with our might.” And — if those efforts are constant and consistent with a purposeful plan, the result will be a reality of our dreams.

Believing in a future beyond our imaginations unshackles us from the safe harbor of what is known. In fact, belief in a Higher Power becomes the wind in our sails. As with all destinations, Ports of Call come and go. What endures, forever, are the impressions made on the souls aboard — and, beyond.

Forget about the small minds chained to the chaos of — what is not and never was.

Remember the power of Understanding, Focusing, and Believing in — What Is.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Able and Willing

Able and Willing

We want what we don’t have.

If we have it, we don’t want it.

Granted, there are a few individuals, who purport that they have risen to a higher level of existence, by not wanting anything. They claim to be perfectly happy with nothing.

Making the best of whatever the situation, in which we find ourselves, is different than doing nothing. Those who do nothing are stuck in a rut, regardless of the rationalization for their inactivity.

To lead ourselves and others to higher levels of awareness and success, we must grow.

We grow and become of greater value in service only as much as we choose.

Each and every day, each and every decision, our choices are determined by the answers to these two questions:

  • Can I do IT?
  • Is IT worth it?

In other words:

  • Am I Able?
  • Am I Willing?

Am I Able ~

All we do begins with a thought. Change nothing and nothing changes. The easiest thing in the world is to find reasons why something can’t be done, which results in no leadership and no growth. Simply, by believing IT can be done, our minds begin finding ways to achieve.

Am I Willing ~

Where there’s a will, there is a way. Our willingness is governed by two raw emotions: Pain and Pleasure. Given enough pain, our will becomes stronger. Offered enough pleasure, our will finds a way. The beauty of will is that IT resides within our sphere of influence.

A mind changed against its will,
Will be of the same opinion still.

How do we persuade our minds to choose the greater motivator of pleasure?

One way is to tempt it with Riches. The better way is to feed it with Purpose.

Oh, I know, that money trick is a quick-and-dirty way to get our attention. To hold it, though, requires the intrinsic higher rewards, which originate from doing the right thing.

Sometimes, we know what that Right Thing is. Other times, we struggle to DO IT, right. That’s when we remember the Three-E Formula: Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Encouragement.

Enlightenment is the catalyst for believing we can do IT.

Empowerment is the motivation for choosing to do IT.

And – from time to time – our confidence is bolstered by the Encouragement, of family and friends, to be Able and Willing.

www.kimfoard.com

Stand Right

Stand for what is Right, even if you stand AloneAs a thought experiment, ask a dozen individuals this question: “Which attributes of character are most important to you?”

The people you ask can be your close friends, your worst enemies, or random transients on the street. The odds are very good that nearly every one of them will include with their answer: “Honesty.”

Why, then, do we struggle so much to be honest with ourselves, and others?

One of the greatest statesmen of all times was known by his moniker, “Honest Abe.”

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Abraham Lincoln
American 16th US President (1861-65)

How many times are we tempted to cheat (just a little) to win?

How many times are we tempted to take (just a little) advantage to succeed?

How many times are we tempted to go along to get along (with wrong) to fit in?

That word choice by Abe: bound. Sure feels constraining, limiting, and subservient. Doesn’t it?

Yet, Abraham Lincoln knew true winners set their mind in thought and engage their hands in action to be honest to whom they are at the core: “I am bound to be true.”

Achievers know they are wonderfully made, unique, and one-of-a-kind, with much to offer the whole wide world. They believe, “I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Yes, I know, easier said than done.

In fact, knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different things. One is fairly easy; the other is extremely difficult. Actions speak so much louder than words, though. Hard is easy; easy is hard.

What is Right? And, then by antithetical definition, what is Wrong?

One absolute truth is that Right and Wrong cannot be legislated. Every group, clan, civilization, and country sets forth a Code of Ethics. Yet, individuals make choices from their heart and soul.

Please, invest the time to discover the answer to this question, for yourself:
“What is my deepest innermost value?”

Once we identify our (individual) value, we can be true to ourselves and live by our light.

We must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with them while they are right, and part with them when they go wrong.

www.kimfoard.com

Finding Virtue

Finding Virtue

Every now and then, I hear someone muse, “I think God hates me.”

Odds are good, their spoken comment is a verbal manifestation of the thought all humans have, at times.

Usually, those times are when everything seems to be going bass-ackwards.

If you’re like me, we look for someone to hold accountable for our troubles. As frustration grows and temperament sours, I spot the rascal responsible for everything wrong in my life. As I prepare for a new day, there he is, in my bathroom mirror, scowling right back at me.

What a pathetic sight. I laugh at him and he laughs at me. Then, I’m reminded, “The world is what I make of it. If it doesn’t fit, make alterations.”

Often, we know the right things to do. In other words, we know What to do and, even, How to do it. Problem is we lose sight of Why it’s so important to be doing the right things.

Many times, we discover our favorites by experiencing the distasteful. Without the dark of night, the light of day is impossible to appreciate. Same thing holds true for the touchy-feely intangibles of emotions like love and hate. To recognize love is to understand hate.

There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests:

  • haughty eyes,
  • a lying tongue,
  • hands that kill the innocent,
  • a heart that plots evil,
  • feet that race to do wrong,
  • a false witness who pours out lies,
  • a person who sows discord in a family.

As I consider the list and think about the results produced by these seven causes of hate, I’m enlightened, empowered, and encouraged to focus on doing the exact opposite.

  • kind eyes,
  • a truthful tongue,
  • hands that heal the innocent,
  • a heart that plans righteousness,
  • feet that patiently choose to always do right,
  • a conscientious messenger who defends the truth,
  • a person who plants seeds of harmony and unity in families.

Oh, and that miserable funk in which I had been a participant of earlier, simply, disappears. The fog of resignation and despair lifts to reveal the sunshine of fascination and curiosity.

At the moment I choose to focus on the attributes of love, the sources of hate lose their power. If I have been the practitioner of the distasteful, I can change. If I have been the recipient of the destructive conduct of another, changing them is not an option.

What I can do is to choose my response.

As for me, I choose love.

www.kimfoard.com

Pearls and Pigs

PearlsHave you ever been attacked for offering goodness?

Have you ever been condemned for doing right?

Has another person ever trampled you into wondering, “What’s up with that?!”

There must be a better way.

In the realm of human nature, literally, there is nothing new under the sun. Things today are about like they have always been. Amazing, though, when it’s our pain, the hurt is real.

When managing our emotions, this one encouragement is a reminder of the power that is ours: We get what we allow. In other words: If we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always got.

Tired of being attacked? Sick to death of being condemned? Crawled out of the mud, for the very last time? Want a better Way?

Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.

Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!

They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Who are PIGS?

People
Intently
Glorifying
Self

What are PEARLS?

Precious
Exquisite
Arrangements
Reflecting
Life’s
Secrets

The precious gem of your multifaceted life story deserves to be shared with the world. Just, because a few ugly creatures are ungrateful, does not diminish the value of YOU.

Accept the responsibility for offering your gifts to the wrong people, move beyond the pen of PIGS, and offer your PEARLS to those patiently waiting for the one and only, unique, creation of YOU.

www.kimfoard.com

Tough Love

Ribbon of LoveIn this season of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All, why is that so hard to find?

Recently, this encouragement caught my eye: When someone loves you, they don’t have to say it; you can tell by the way they treat you.

Actions speak louder than words.

Accepting that LOVE is an action verb, what exactly are we to be doing?

Gifts galore with no end in sight,
How mighty we’ve become
To think affection we can buy.

Harm is caused to those we slight,
Because they simply desire a welcome,
A pleasant greeting and a “Hi!”

Stuff is an accumulation of an ending never.
Kindness is an opportunity of a beginning forever.

Love is patient; love is kind; love rejoices with the truth; it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

I can read that sentence over and over, again and again. What I see is: all action; no stuff.

At this time of year, many are adamant in declaring, “Christ is the reason for the season.”

OK. Let’s take a look at what He has to say.

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Again, what I see is: the action to reconcile; then, the stuff of sacrifice.

For the Pack-Rats among us, there is a subtlety worthy of note. The stuff is temporarily ours; right up to the moment we offer it in sacrifice.

For the recipients (who might be the individuals of family and friends, or our heavenly Father) of these sacrificial gifts, what is more important: Action, or Stuff?

The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

Oh, how the chorus continues: Thank you for the stuff. Please, do what is right.

For the Modernists among us, there is a Right and Wrong. In fact, there are very few Maybes. Yes and No are as definitive as Left and Right.

This is Right.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Now, that’s a definition of Tough Love.

www.kimfoard.com

The Word

The WordAll we do begins with a thought.

Each thought is given substance with words.

Thoughts manifest in words; Words lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character is our Destiny.

At the beginning, from a single thought, our destiny is assured. At any point in our journey, the evidence is undeniable that the inspiration for the destiny achieved was framed within the parameters of words.

How important are Words?

They are the essence of who we are.

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
And, the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
And, nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
And, his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
And, the darkness can never extinguish it.

The importance of a Word: Life and Death; Light and Darkness.

Why
One
Real
Delivers

~ Why

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. We either plants good seeds to produce a crop of value; or, weeds will grow. We discover the secrets of life and the passion at our core, by asking, “Why?”

~ One

If it is to be, it is up to me. Me and God: that’s it. Really; it’s as simple as that. Life is experienced from the inside, out. Sure, it’s fun to dance with others. The music, though, is inside each of us.

~ Real

Authenticity is the new cool. Funny thing, though, there’s nothing new under the sun. The next fad will soon pass. Enduring, as a legacy, are the gifts that only we, individually, can offer.

~ Delivers

Results are all that matter. What we do speaks so much louder than what we say. The summation of all that matters: Say what we intend to do; then, do what we say we will.

Things, today, are about like they have always been. Two thousand years ago, a fellow by the name of Paul was assuring those in his sphere of influence that his intentions were honorable. Those finding fault with him: Said that Paul’s letters were hard to understand; Claimed that Paul was fickle; and, Thought that he had a domineering attitude toward them and wanted to show who had the upper hand.

You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, my word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

At that same time in antiquity, James was sharing the Farmer Philosophy and encouraging patience for those who chose to listen.

You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes, or no. Just say what is true.

Critics use many words. Their stories go on and on, like the endless desert. Their favorite words are: Try and Maybe. After finding fault with everyone and everything, The Critics do something entirely different than what they said. Their word is no good.

We can follow the example of The Ultimate Yes by committing to, always, do what we say. By saying “Yes” to Life and Light, we can boldly say “No” to Death and Darkness.

Two little words: “Yes” and “No”. They are the two sides of the same coin. Once we understand the importance of The Right Word, we can choose the appropriate response to any question, or situation.

Let our “Yes” be Yes; and, our “No” be No.

www.kimfoard.com

A Way

Easy Way, or Hard WayImagine that a close friend announces, “I’m going away.”

What is our response?

I know what mine is. I launch into my Philadelphia Lawyer shtick with the: Why, What, When, Where and How questions!

The intent is pure.

I want the best for my friends and am desirous of understanding: Why are they making that choice? What will they be doing there? When will they leave? Where are they going? How long before we are together, again?

Going away is one thing. Going toward something is entirely different!

Wherever we go, there we are. Moving away from one set of circumstances is no guarantee of a blissful life. Moving toward a vision of the future is the best way to arrive at where we want to be!

Life is what we make of it, friends; if it doesn’t fit, make alterations!

To get from here to there, we do need A Way, to go; one which ensures an enjoyable journey and a successful arrival at the new destination.

Have you noticed that everyone has an idea for you and your resources?! They sincerely believe that they know best the path for you. They don’t. Only, YOU do!

Yet, how do we, each of us, individually, know the way to go? Actually, that is quite simple. We begin by sifting our many options through the filter of these three words: Right, Just, and Fair. Before we take the first step, let’s ask these three questions: Is it Right? Is it Just? And; Is it Fair?

Sometimes, the answers will be obvious and we can respond with a resounding “Yes!” to all three. Other times, the way will be more obscure. If that’s the case, then, we add these attributes to our matrix of questions: Patient, Kind, Generous, Honest, Humble, Happy, Protective, Trusting, Hopeful, and eternally Optimistic.  In other words, “Will we exemplify these facets of character as a result of the choice we are about to make?” If so, then, let’s go!

All we do begins with a thought!

Thoughts manifest in words; Words lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny. The catalyst for this chain reaction is a single choice at the beginning to decide. Individually, we choose. The result is who we are at this very moment!

Although impossible to write a new beginning to our life story, we can at any time begin to write a new ending! The secret? We must begin! It is by our decision, to take a single step down a path right for us, that we find the courage to take more.

That first step will be a failure, or a success. Either way, it is a beginning for us to find a better way. You see, in order to find a better way, there must first be a way!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one: Hard is easy; Easy is hard.

By choosing a path of righteousness, justice and fairness, we have chosen a journey of guaranteed thrills. There will be bumps and curves, ups and downs, tummy-ticklers extraordinaire. This road is not for the faint of heart. It is for those strong of will. It is for those who set their eyes on the horizon of opportunity, knowing full well that long-term growth is a result of short-term pain.

There are no short-cuts, or easy ways, to success. The easy way is always a temptation and it is always a dead-end cul-de-sac. Going in circles is a fitting metaphor for those running away! To break free from the insanity, they have this choice:

Stay and Decay?
Or, Away and Play!

The answer will be found in a new WAY. What way?! This better way of asking the hard questions, of themselves: Why Are You … Thinking, Saying, Doing, Behaving, Repeating, and Believing this WAY?!

Yes, I know; we will never look at the word WAY in the same way, ever again! Because, we will all be asking this question of ourselves: Why Are You …

www.kimfoard.com

The Carpenter

The CarpenterEmpires come and go; Builders last forever.

The thing built is less important than those doing the building.

In fact, the real value in anything is the individual.

Because the physical is temporal, we find comfort in measuring the creation. Less comfortable is acknowledging the intangible value of the creator.

Silver Bullets and Silver Platters are two of the greatest dangers known to humankind. The idea that Magic and Coattails can remediate anything holds us back from our true destiny. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing!

Regardless of how we define success, there is a Secret to its acquisition: It must be built.

Happiness, peace of mind, abundant resources, ample opportunities, great relationships, and contentment are included in my definition of success. All of those attributes are a choice to be made each morning and their achievement is only possible by my conscious decision to produce. As my head touches the pillow each evening, only I can know the quality of effort for that day.

Others will judge what they can see and measure: the Empire. Regardless of what is built, it begins to decay at the moment it is finished. Within families, I see this every day. Senior builds an empire and then expects Junior to maintain it. How silly! We all want to be builders. More than what is built, the joy in is the how and why of doing the construction.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a song is worth at least a million. For those who are builders, this song by John Conlee from his Harmony album reminds us of the value:

The Carpenter

Let us now praise the carpenter and the things that he made
And the way that he lived by the tools of the trade
I can still hear his hammer singin’ ten-penny time
Workin’ by the hour till the day that he died

[chorus]

He was tough as a crowbar; he was quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane, Lord, and true as a level
He was straight as a chalk-line; right as a rule
He was square with the world; he took good care of his tools

He worked his hands in wood from the crib to the coffin
With a care and a love that you don’t see too often
He built boats out of wood, big boats, workin’ in a shipyard
Mansions on the hill and a birdhouse in the backyard

He was tough as a crowbar…

He said anything that’s worth cuttin’ down a tree for
Is worth doin’ right; don’t the Lord love a two-by-four
If you asked him how to do somethin’, he’d say just like Noah built the ark
You got to hold your mouth right son and never miss your mark

And you’ll be tough as a crowbar…

Maybe that’s why, two thousand years ago, the Son of a carpenter encouraged others to build. At His death, the physical creations left behind began their decay. What continues to grow to this very moment, and beyond, are the relationships He formed in love.

We have the opportunity to build on that foundation. What we build is our choice. How we do it is more important. Why we make our choices will be the legacy of memories. Long after our masterpieces become relics of the past, the relationships we form, today, will be the beginning of foundations for those who are influenced by our commitment to build.

Empires come and go, because they are made of stuff.

Builders last for forever, because their actions are making the world a better place.

That, my friends is a legacy for all of eternity!

www.kimfoard.com

Pet Dragons

Pet DragonsAs a young, swashbuckling, knight, I made a few mistakes when dealing with snarly, fire-breathing, dragons, and those who played with them.

Having had exposure to the beasts in my childhood, I developed the belief and world view that dragons were good for only one thing: extermination.

Upon seeing an individual threatened by the worthless creature, I would ride in on my trusty steed and, with sharp sword, stick the monster. Much more than a piercing, the effort was designed to tip him over and kill it—dead.

Upon having achieved success, rather than the hero’s welcome that I expected, immediately, I was treated as a villain. The reason: That was a Pet Dragon.

There’s another story about a young boy who is walking along the beach and throwing Starfish back into the ocean. When challenged about the effectiveness of his effort and whether it, really, made any difference, he just reached down and grabbed another Starfish. As it sailed upward, reached the top of the arc, and settled back into its home, the little boy said, “Sure made a difference for that one.”

Question: What’s the connection between the two stories of Dragons and Starfish?

Answer: People and Choices.

Consider that life is like a game of Scrabble. We are all given, relatively, equal opportunities in the pieces, with which we start. For example, having drawn these letters: A, R, S, T, some of us will see a clever reference to a pack animal with first name of Jack. Since no points come from that, we shift our focus to a choice of words with scores. My choice is: STAR.  Another person might, only, see: RATS.

In fact, much more than a Scrabble match, those two words might be demonstrative of our, individual, world views. While teased about my rose-colored glasses, it is true: I’m an eternal optimist, who is always looking up at the Stars. Others are comfortable in the sewers, with their Rats.

Question: Is it right for the swashbuckling knight and starfish savior to rescue those who play with fire, or are stranded away from home?

Answer: Depends on point of reference.

It is right for them to be wonderful conduits for the goodness from above to flow through them for the benefit of others. It is wrong for them to force that goodness on another person. In fact, in the realm of human relations, they are not anointed ones, or saviors. They are simply individuals doing the best they can with the game pieces they have drawn.

Best is synonymous with Grow.

Good, better, best.
Never let it rest.
Until our good is better,
And, our better is best.

Each of us has a fiduciary responsibility to others. It is not to change anyone; it is to empower them.

At the moment an individual, with singed hair and blackened face, peeks out of the dungeon to ask for help; or, a person lifts their eyes upwards to look for a better way; we have an opportunity to share knowledge, understanding, and wisdom with them. That is empowerment; it is the fuel for the engine of change.

Education and experience are the twin catalysts to enlightenment. As we share ours with those able and willing to receive what we offer; and, in turn open ourselves to receive goodness from others; world views expand. Where we once only saw STAR and RATS, now, we can discern TARS and ARTS.

TARS is important to fuel our automobiles and seal our roofs; ARTS is what this life is, all, about.

As we open our minds and souls to the expanse of the Universe, we begin to realize the unlimited potential in each of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Let’s take PET DRAGONS of this world and convert the letters into a much more powerful dynamic: NO DRAG ~ STEP.

While it is not our right, or responsibility, to Drag another person anywhere, we have the opportunity to make gifts of chosen, purposeful efforts, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others. That, my friends, is a Step in the right direction!

www.kimfoard.com