Tag Archives: LIFE business

Charlie’s Angel – not all she’s cracked up to be!

You, my 3 readers, have the distinct privilege of reading an excellent article from my most awesomeness wife.  I have seen first hand how a woman can lead a fulfilling role in the home as a mother, wife, and home-maker.  Enjoy the article. Matt

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I recently finished a book study on biblical womanhood and it was fascinating, to say the least!  A group of girlfriends, including one of my personal friends and mentors Lisa Hawkins, read the book True Woman 101: Divine Designtrue woman divine designComing from a background of gender competition (I can be the primary bread-winner in our family – and was for a time), it was refreshing to read how God uniquely designed women.  It was a wake-up call to me (again) that there needs not be competition between the sexes.  The book study was a great reminder to continue to strive to live my life as a woman of God, rather than as a woman of today’s modern culture.

I grew up during the 1970’s and the feminist movement had already left the station.  The movement was a rebellion against the traditional ideas about womanhood, marriage, motherhood and morality.  Would I have been a passenger on that train had I been of age? Possibly, but even though I was too young to realize it, I was already being carried along in a culture that was embracing new ideas about women.  As a child of the ‘70’s I yielded my Charlie’scharlies angels1 Angels lunchbox (I wanted to be talented, tough and attractive too!) and sang songs of gender neutrality and individuality from “Free to Be You and Me.”

Feminist ideals paved the way for my right to vote, the encouragement of a father who instilled in me the belief that I could grow up to be a female doctor in a primarily male-dominated profession, and a culture that normalized my desire to succeed, no matter what my gender.

I was inundated with messages that taught me to pursue my rights, my career and my independence as a woman.  As I grew up, the role of wife and mother never seemed attractive as I watched even my own parents “swap” gender duties.  You see, when I grew up, both of my parents worked outside the home.  Yet, my father had a more flexible schedule, so it was my Dad who greeted me after school, sitting at the kitchen table and asking how my school day was as I ate my snack.

Needless to say, I was confused about womanhood.

During the time of my medical training, female physicians were still relatively uncommon.   I remember trying to seek out female physicians to learn how they “balanced” work and home. I somehow sensed that I was still going to need to manage both and that advocating my domestic responsibilities to my husband or daycare provider wasn’t going to get me completely off the hook.

Sadly, I was so career-oriented at that time that getting married during medical school and starting to have children during residency was almost a distraction to my ultimate goal:  to become a pediatrician. Today, I think it’s embarrassing that Matt’s first gift to me (ever) was a cookbook, recognizing that I hadn’t learned that all-important domestic skill!  And I think it’s somewhat ironic that I chose a profession (pediatrics) where I could “practice” being a mom, just not to my own children.  I didn’t get too far away from my inner desire (even if unrecognized at the time) to nurture children!

I found an article from Kathleen Parker, columnist for The Washington Post, published in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 2/14/13, that was relevant to my recent book study.  Her article looks at the consequences of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique”, written as a manifesto of the women’s liberation movement.  Parker writes that, despite marinating in the mainstream ideas of feminism, women of these last 50 years have experienced a paradigm shift away from feminism that Friedan and many other leaders of the feminist movement may not have predicted.

Parker writes:  “(We) were becoming unwitting hostages to myths that few were brave enough to challenge.  My own skepticism came to full fruition the moment I became a mother.

pink handcuffs“Unlike (Betty) Friedan, I wasn’t tethered to home but to a job.  Rather than resenting the prospect of staying home with a baby, I was stricken by the realization that I couldn’t.  The ‘strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning,’ words Friedan used to describe thwarted ambition, was for me the sense of having abandoned my son.”

That’s exactly how I felt as the desire to be home with my own 3 children grew to volcanic proportions in me.  I was struggling to balance work and home as my heart was being pulled more toward my own kids, longing to raise them myself.

In October 2009, Time magazine pointed out that, ironically, as women have gained more education, more economic independence, more power, and more freedom, they have become less and less happy.

That was me!  After trying to work 60+ hours a week as a part-time pediatrician and struggling to find time at home with my husband and 3 kids, I had had enough.  I realized that the common myth that life would be more satisfying in the workplace than in my own home was false.

As Kathleen Parker writes, “And while women have the same need as men to lead meaningful lives, the feminist mystique’s great failing was in advancing the notion that caring for children posed an obstacle to self-realization.”

My recent book study has helped me realize that there is no obstacle to fulfillment and true freedom when I follow God’s divine design for women.

I highly recommend the book! And I highly recommend finding a group of friends and mentors like those in the LIFE community to show you the hope and joy that comes with following your divine design to be a wife and mother!

Michelle

American Freedoms & LeaderShift

“We waged wars on poverty not poor people…”

Below is a copy of the most recent blog post by Orrin Woodward.   The LIFE business recognizes there is a problem,  but what is so refreshing is the solution that we present.  Enjoy the videos with discernment as the language is not child-friendly.  It’s time for a LeaderShift in this country, who wants to be a part of the team to make sure it goes in the direction of a freedom shift and not a  force shift?

Matt Mielke

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Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 22, 2013

Jeff Daniels believes America is in decline. In fact, he believes this so emphatically that some of his language in this video is not children-friendly. I apologize in advance for some of the wording in this video. However, the points he makes and the discussion around it are so valuable that I decided to post it. Mr. Daniels has pinpointed the effects of the Five Laws of Decline upon American society. Nonetheless, identifying the effects and solving the issues are not one and the same thing. The Five Laws of Decline must be rooted out of our culture, ending the plunder of working citizens on both sides of the political aisle.

LeaderShift is Oliver DeMille and my proposal on how to do just that. I am posting Jeff Daniels video which states the challenge and then the trailer for LeaderShift which responds to the challenge. Yes, America, and the West, have much work to do, but what a great time to be alive and play a part in the LeaderShift!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Sticks and Stones and Other Things

“…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart…”  1 Samuel 16:7

Recently, my wife and I attended a 2 hour parenting seminar at our church from author Jonathan McKee, founder of www.thesource4parents.com, an exceptional resource for parenting in today’s complex age.  Jonathan is a cultural expert and has exceptional insight into today’s tech savvy youth and how we as parents need to pick up our game or risk loosing our kids to the “world.”

On one of his blogs, Jonathan posted an incredible YouTube video that has gone viral on the internet on the topic of bullying and self-image.

How many people do you think are effected, either from their past or currently, from bullying, name calling, or being made fun of?  My guess it’s in the billions.

Watch the poetic video below, I believe we can all relate.

The problem is enormous and the cost to society is immeasurable.  How do we combat it?  The more I think about it, the harder it gets to think of anything worthwhile to say.

I believe it is a heart issue.  It stems from the constant media stream of self-absorbed cultural pragmatism.  We are conditioned to see others as objects and not people with feelings and a fragile ego.  The irony of today’s media message is the best way to feel good about yourself is to make others feel bad about themselves.

Well I believe we can change that message.  Let’s start by listening to a great song sung by Britt Nicole.

You were walking on the moon, now you’re feeling low
What they said wasn’t true, you’re beautiful
Sticks and stones break your bones, I know what you’re feeling
words like those won’t steal your glow, you’re one in a million

This, this is for all the girls, and boys all over the world
whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
so hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
from the inside it shows, you’re worth more than gold
(gold gold, you’re gold)
You’re worth more than gold
(gold gold you’re gold)

Well everybody keeps score, afraid you’re gonna lose
just ignore they don’t know the real you
all the rain in the sky can’t put out your fire
of all the stars out tonight, you shine brighter

This, this is for all the girls, and boys all over the world
whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
so hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
from the inside it shows, you’re worth more than gold
(gold gold, you’re gold)
You’re worth more than gold
(gold gold you’re gold)

So don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not loved
and don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not enough
yeah there are days that we all feel like we are messed up
but the truth is that we’re all diamonds in the rough
so don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
you’re a king you’re a queen inside and out
you glow like the moon, you shine like the stars
this is for you, wherever you are

Oh, oh, yeah, yeah, oh, oh,
you’re gold

This, this is for all the girls, and boys all over the world
whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
(so hold your head up high) so hold your head up high,
it’s your time to shine
from the inside it shows, you’re worth more than gold
(gold gold, you’re gold)
You’re worth more than gold
(gold gold you’re gold)

So don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
you’re a king you’re a queen inside and out

Songwriter(s):Daniel Muckala, Jess Cates

Other things we can do:

  • Find a GREAT church; one that encourages you to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Find a group of people who are positive and accepting.  I recommend the LIFE leadership and personal development communities that are springing up all over North America.
  • Actively pray for a friend that you can share your thoughts and feelings with and they’ll listen without judgement but with compassion and empathy.
  • Become the friend you want others to be, try to take the focus off of yourself and focus on serving others.

Here’s to a better tomorrow.  Find a stranger, or friend, and look for something good to share with them.  Who knows, you may do more than just  save their day, you may save their life – literally.

Feel free to share in the comments section below a story of people who poured into your life positively, or, how you have invested in someone else in a positive way.

May God richly bless your day.  Matt

How much does it really cost to live?

I’m not an economist by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that something isn’t right about our economy.  We are losing are economic freedoms at an alarming rate and we are in the middle of a LeaderShift movement across North America as we discover the daily losses of those freedoms and the need for principle-based leadership in our country.

Almost six years ago I received a call about a leadership group that was expanding in my area.  My wife and I  joined and have been on a self-directed education ever since.  Today, we call that self-directed education LIFE, and it was founded by Orrin and Laurie Woodward, Chris and Terry Brady, Tim and Amy Marks, George and Jill GuzzardoBill and Jackie LewisClaude and Lana Hamiltonand Dan and Lisa Hawkins.

I remember very distinctly seeing a graph titled “The 45 Year-Plan.”45 year plan It visually described the age that people start making money, the “flat-line” of income that occurs during the average working career, how much less money a person makes during retirement, and the discrepancy between the cost of living increases and the average raises.  At the time, I remember hearing that the cost of living was increasing 7-10% each year while our average raises were only going up 3% each year.

I was confused. During this same time, the government was reporting that the average raises were keeping up with the cost-of-living increases, cancelling any negative effects of inflation.  It didn’t make sense to me personally as I learned that more and more families were living paycheck to paycheck and running out of money before they ran out of month.

Recently, I found an answer to my confusion.

Peter Schiff is a well-known economist who recently shed some light on the possibility that our government isn’t accurately reporting the cost-of-living, downplaying the actual increases and therefore trying to create a false sense of confidence and comfort.

Watch the video and then click on the link below his video to read Schiff’s  commentary on this topic.

Click on Schiff’s commentary below to get more details to the problem.

http://www.europac.net/commentaries/inflation_propaganda_exposed

I believe its time for the public to start a self-directed education so we can identify when something doesn’t sound right.  As best-selling author Orrin Woodward describes his latest book LeaderShift as a vehicle:leadershift

“…to provide new thinking to an old problem, using the Five Laws of Decline…….[LeaderShift] isn’t just a book, but a movement to restore the freedoms lost over the last 100 years (read 1913 for more details).”

As my kids play sports, I tell them, “You need to play better than the referees bad calls.”  In the case of our lives, we need to become better informed to make decisions, in case the referees of life (government, teachers, employers etc.) make the wrong decisions that affect us.  Take control of your future and don’t leave it in the hands of someone else.  Start your Life self-directed education today.  Godspeed on your journey.

Matt Mielke

Teachable Moments with Children

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink….but you can salt his oats.”   Orrin Woodward

lead a human to knowledge

There’s a Leadershift happening in our country and I’m so thankful we have the LIFE business to help us with the transition.

How many of you have come across a situation in life where you know the right thing to do, yet you don’t do it? For whatever reason we as humans have an innate ability to “know” a lot of great things but often times never apply that knowledge at the appropriate time.  But when we do, the results are spectacular.

I love my children.  They provide so much joy and happiness and so many  “teachable moments,” as LIFE founder Orrin Woodward calls them.

Recently, my 14 year old son was playing a basketball game for his Christian home-school team- The Saints.  The game wasn’t very close as Adam’s team outmatched their opponents, winning by a large margin.  I could tell something was happening on the court as I heard one of the opposing players say to his coach,”Tell #5 that he better shut-up.”  Sounded like a little “trash-talking” was going on.  My son is number#31, so I felt a bit relieved that “my boy” wasn’t causing all the fuss.  Yet, I was concerned because these boys were playing on a Christian home-school team and they should be playing to represent Jesus Christ.

As the game progressed I could visibly see the opposing players getting more frustrated as one of the players “leaned a shoulder” into my son as he walked by him.  It was the kind of action that inferred, “Watch out, you want to fight?”

After the game, the opposing coach came over and detailed how our boys were taunting and trash-talking their players.   I could see why his players would be offended, but it was nothing super serious though.  After all, it’s the heat of the game and it’s nothing like we see professional athletes do on TV.    

Not a big deal right?  Not so.  The situation was a big deal to me because these boys are supposed to represent the core of great sportsmanship, self-control, and grace.  They play for a Christian basketball team called the “Saints” for crying-out-loud.  In the locker room I shared with our boys what the opposing coach said, shared my thoughts, and presumed that was the end of it.   Until my son told me he was “one of the boys.”  Geesh.

Needless to say, I was disappointed in his behavior.  We’ve had many discussions over the years regarding good sportsmanship, encouraging others, leading by example, playing above the referees, and so on.

What was done was done and it was time to move on and I prayed it wouldn’t happen again.  I also prayed for another opportunity to play that team and a chance for Adam to make things right with the players and coaches that he offended.

The opportunity came the other day.  A few days before the game, I seized the chance for a “teachable moment” and encouraged Adam to find the player and coach and apologize.  Adam knew the right thing to do but completely rejected the idea because his pride was in the way (You can lead a horse to water…).  He wanted to protect his ego and not look stupid, rather than develop his character and integrity and do the right thing by attempting to fix the relationship

I tried not to press the issue because I wanted this to be his struggle and victory.  I didn’t hear anything from Adam until we were on the way to the game and he decided he was going to apologize.  I could see this wasn’t easy for him as he sat quietly not listening to the typical pre-game music.  I complimented him on his decision but raised the bar by asking, “What about the coach?”  Adam  threw his head back into the seat saying, “Awe Dad!”  The rest of the car ride was deafeningly silent.

During the warm-up I watched the scene unfold.  Adam went up to the player he offended and apologized.  Then he found the opposing coach and did the same thing.  Both player and coach acted quite surprised.  There was a little buzz on their side as athletes and coaches pointed at Adam, smiling as the message of his apology spread throughout their team.  I knew after that Adam had earned a victory no matter what the final score would be.

The game ended with our boys having another lopsided victory.  Yet, there was a different feeling during the game.  One of sportsmanship, hard playing and healthy competition.  After the game I went up to the opposing coach and apologized for my responsibility in Adam’s behavior.  He smiled and told me how he brought his team together before the game and let them know,  “They apologized, It’s all OK now.”  The coach released them of their anger and resentment  diffusing what could have blown-up into something regrettable.

It was a proud moment for Dad to see his son think and act like a leader at such a young age.  Adam showed me what true wisdom (information applied) and humility look like in real life.  Adam was given the right information, thought about it, and acted appropriately which provided a great teachable moment to share with others.

Pride is a huge problem that plagues our culture and prevents us from acting appropriately with the right information.  I’m so thankful the LIFE business helps families and individuals navigate the prideful waters of life.  LIFE is self-directed education that helps teach individuals to identify problems and find solutions.  It teaches us how to think and apply.  I’m not sure how that scenario would’ve played out without the LIFE business, but I do know it gave me the skills to lead the horse to water and help him drink.   Join the movement and experience your own life victories.

Matt Mielke

Leadership Guru in the Making – Dan Hawkins

Wow, my mentor has grown again!  His leadership blog was selected as one of the top 50 Leadership blogs to follow in 2013!

Most of my 3 readers know that one of the most influential and profound influences in my life is Dan Hawkins.  dan hawkinsI met Dan about 6 years ago when I was introduced to a leadership development project he was spear-heading in the area (we now refer to that as the LIFE business). Dan was 10 years my junior, talked fast and had a lot of posture.  He knew where he was going and he committed his life to follow the examples set forth by LIFE founders George Guzzardo and Orrin Woodward.

I specifically remember a moment when I was questioning my own leadership journey.  Was I doing the right things and was I following the right people?  Dan, with all the conviction and confidence one can have over the phone,  said, “Matt, I have chosen to follow Orrin Woodward because he has always delivered on his promises.  In fact, anything he has ever promised, he has delivered above and beyond that promise.”

I liked his answer.  Up until that time I never committed to anyone but me and I never bought into anyone elses vision except my own.  I was a rascal, alone and frustrated.  But Dan demonstrated humility to follow in the foot steps of someone else who has fruit on the tree.  He willingly set a new path for his life to grow and change and that encouraged me to do the same.

Dan recently shared one of his personal goals for 2013.

One of my goals is to continue to improve my writing and sharing through this [Dan Hawkins Leadership] blog. I believe in the principle Orrin Woodward teaches: “Ideas have consequences.”   The LIFE business and its founders have committed their  lives to bringing better ideas to the world to make a difference.

Now, Dan Hawkins’ leadership blog was selected by Evan Carmichael, from The Entrepreneur Blog, as one of the Top 50 Leadership Blogs to watch in 2013

Today, Dan pursues excellence in the areas that we call the 8F’s and has become a role model for thousands to follow- including me:).  Someday I believe Dan’s story will be written in book form and it will be hard to believe the transformation that has taken place in his life.  I joined Dan a few years in that transformational journey called leadership development and have “hooked my wagon to his train.”  My hope is to spread the “Dan Hawkins phenomena” and the cause for “leadership and transformation for the masses” as far as I can.

My question to you is this: Who are YOU following?  Do you have  mentors that have “fruit on the tree” in areas you are pursuing?  Are you humble enough to buy-in to another person’s vision?  Are you willing to follow their example long enough for you to develop your own extension of that vision — your own belief & commitment?  I have!

Godspeed on your journey to reach new heights of excellence in 2013!  Matt

LIFE Business Incentive Trips

Where are you going?

This is totally awesome!!  Orrin Woodward and the founders of the LIFE Business have done it again.  Incentive trips of a lifetime to reward individuals and couples for going out and serving people by providing life-changing information.  Below I have inserted a post from the blog of best-selling author, 2011 IAB top Leadership award winner, Orrin Woodward.  Watch the video and then read how this has blessed our good friends Mike and Robin Schilling!

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The first round of qualifiers for free trips are selecting their destinations. I am so excited about this program. The first level to qualify for a trip is just 6,000 points! With $1,800,000 paid out in one-time bonuses and incentive trips, this is one of the best programs for growth that the LIFE Business launched last year. Plus, you get to choose your destination. No herding everyone to one location. Instead, you select the vacation that fits your families needs and wants. Here is video footage from the major weekend with some of the qualifiers and the qualification criteria for both trips is below the video.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

LIFE Business Incentive Trips

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“We finally get to take a honeymoon!”  Robin Schilling

A little while ago I posted an article about Mike and Robin Schilling and how we have been celebrating their accomplishments in the LIFE business.  Mike and Robin, and their family , have been some of the hardest working people I know.  They run a family farm, Mike works as a pharmacist and Robin home-schooled their 5 children up to high school age.  Needless to say, they were busy and have never been able to take a trip outside of the state, not even a honeymoon, and they’ve been married for 25+ years!

Well, all that is changing now as they have earned an all-expense-paid trip to Arenal, Costa Rica, at the base of an active volcano, through the LIFE business!  Michelle and I have had the privilege to have a front row seat in watching this incredible couple define their dreams in life and pursue them with passion.  We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments so far, and they are just getting started.   They are already planning their next LIFE incentive trip and dream of taking Robin’s father on a 10-day Alaskan cruise.

Thank you LIFE business!  Thank you Orrin Woodward and the founders of LIFE for giving us this vehicle to give back to others.  You have paved the path for the common man and woman to achieve success in what matters in life and the beauty to determine what that success looks like.  Godspeed to 1 million people!

Matt Mielke

Happy 1st Birthday to the LIFE Business!

Orrin Woodward and the Policy Council just put on one of the most impressive LIFE leadership meetings in the history of community building!  I think the most astonishing part was seeing all the individuals and families cross the stage, by the hundreds, or maybe thousands, having life-changing victories.  $1.8 Million in bonuses and all expense paid trips given in the first year – unheard of!! Below is a copy of Life Founder, Orrin Woodward’s blog post on the event.  ______________________________________________________

It’s Monday morning after an amazing LIFE Business Major Convention. Thousands of people were recognized on stage for achieving new pins, numbers, and vacations.  From Thursday night through early Sunday afternoon, the LIFE community experienced it best information and inspiration weekend ever. The teams within the community have united together to break more power players than ever before.

With speakers the caliber of Chris and Terri Brady,Tim and Amy MarksClaude and Lana Hamilton,Bill and Jackie LewisGeorge and Jill Guzzardo,Dan and Lisa Hawkins, Mark McDonald, and Pastor Stephen Davey, I knew it was going to be a great weekend. However, what put it over the top was the enthusiasm and belief of the attendees. Never before have so many people advanced in the business and that belief spread to everyone attending the event.

There were many magic moments in Columbus. If you attended the event, please share you magic moments and key nuggets you are taking away from the major to grow. The LIFE Business is changing the world one person at a time!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

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Godspeed on your journey to the life you’ve always wanted.  Matt

Motherhood- the BEST Job in the Whole World!

I have to be the luckiest man alive because God picked Michelle to be my wife, my life-long partner and my best friend.  To watch the transformation of her life over the last 5 years has been one of my most joyful experiences to date.  The transformation hasn’t been easy, but the fruit that has come from it is nothing less than divine.  Enjoy this post from my wife Michelle.

My name is “Mommy” and I am a stay-at-home mom.

As I write this, I recall a day in the not-too-distant past that I was slightly embarrassed to admit that.  As I voluntarily left my professional career of being a successful pediatrician, I was often asked, “How can you leave your practice after all those years of schooling and hard work?”  The answer is simple, but the process of me discovering the answer was not.  Before I give you the answer, it’s important to note that I am still on a journey of understanding my calling of “working at home”.

As I grew up and determined to become a doctor, I didn’t pay much attention to domestic roles of learning how to be a wife or mother, or how to manage a household.  Instead, I pursued the accolades of being a doctor and “helping people”.  During medical school, my internship and residency, and the early years of growing my pediatric practice, I didn’t prioritize my family.  Yes, I had a vague understanding that family was important but how I used my time and energy reflected that I valued my career more than my family.  And I knew I was in good company being a “working mom”:  some internet sources quote up to 3/4 of women work outside the home.

At church and in the LIFE community, I started seeing examples of women with a passion and love for their family.  I started envying the joy and peace that these women had as they made homemaking their primary priority.  Even as my heart became burdened with the desire to be home with my husband and kids, I wrestled with quitting my job.  Could being a stay-at-home mom provide me with the same satisfaction I received from work: the respect and status of being a doctor, the paychecks, the applause from family and friends as I seemed to effortlessly balance “boss” and “baby”?  Dorothy Patterson writes:

“Homemaking – being a full-time wife and mother- is not a destructive drought of uselessness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity: it is not a dreary cell to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work.”

God used lots of people and circumstances to redirect my attention – less on myself and my career and, instead, more on my home.  As my heart changed, I grew to desire to become an excellent wife and mother and  to nurture those relationships by investing in them intentionally.  I grew to want to learn how to make my home a place of rest, enjoyment, peace and order for my family.  I slowly began to realize that my principle place of work was at home, as a wife and a mother.  I began to realize that my role of managing the home complimented Matt’s role of leading our family.

The Answer to the Question

The answer to the question of how I could step away from my pediatric career to become a full-time wife and full-time mom is….God.  See, I told you the answer was simple, but not easy!  As I’ve continued to learn a biblical perspective of work and marriage, I’ve realized that homemaking is an important and noble calling in God’s economy.

The gift I received yesterday from our 9-year old daughter is better than a year-end bonus at work or the compliments of satisfied patients.  My daughter gave me a handwritten envelope that was addressed “To the Best Mom in the Universe!”  Inside it read,

“Dear Mom, Thank you for being born so I could be born! I love you sooooooooooooooooooooo [yes, 21 zeroes!] much and I love dad sooooooooooooooooooooo [yes, 21 zeroes!] much too.  I love the way you walk, talk, love, and cook.  You are the best cook I have ever met and you are so loveable and careable.  I love you more than you love me and it’s possible.  A lot of love from, Anna banana”

I have the BEST JOB in the whole world!

I am a stay-at-home mom.

Michelle

Independence Day Thoughts 2012

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”  ~Thomas Paine

I am finishing W. Cleon Skousen’s book, The Five Thousand Year Leap: 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World.  It is a very informative read on 28 principles that our Founders used when developing a government for our nation.  Skousen’s impetus to write the book came from his discussions with modern-day “enthusiastic” new Congressmen.  Though well-meaning, he realized they lacked an understanding of our constitution:

“…their zeal was sincere and that any mistakes they might be making were the results of ignorance, not malicious intent. In fact all of us belonged to a generation that had never been taught the clear-cut, decisive principles of sound politics and economics enunciated by the Founders.”

The first ten basic principles in Skousen’s book, in some way, describe how our nation was established with an understanding that there is a Supreme Creator that has given us rules of “right conduct” and an order we call “Natural Law.”  But the idea of a “Supreme Creator” has been severely watered down in today’s relativistic and post-modern world.

Recently, Stuart Briscoe wrote an article reflecting on our Independence Day that highlights the spiritual and moral ignorance that is prevalent not just in the political arena but in our society as a whole.  Enjoy the article below.

“When Jill and I [Stuart] toured Antarctica a few years ago we did so in the company of about a hundred other people, who, like us, were enthralled with the sheer magnificent beauty of the least known part of the world. The most common expression of their appreciation for all that we were seeing was praise to Mother Nature. Kudos flew in Mother Nature’s direction every few minutes! So on one occasion I added, quietly “I think Father God deserves some credit too.” The result was as surprising as it was dramatic.

The lady to whom I made the comment went – if I may borrow a modern term – “ballistic!!” She promptly wrote me off as an “evangelical” and then set about blaming me, and others of the same brand, with responsibility for putting George W. Bush in office leading to the US getting into two un-winnable wars with the resultant loss of innocent life. I think they call that kind of breathless presentation a “stream of consciousness.” Whatever. In that company Mother Nature was “in” and Father God was “out.” And I think it would be true to say that an increasing number of people are more comfortable talking about Mother Nature than Father God.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson announced that the colonists were going to sever their relationship with Britain and “assume within the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle(d) them.” Jefferson based his argument on the “Law of Nature and of Nature’s God.” But what did he, and the other members of the framing committee, mean by this designation? Were the Antarctica lady’s modern day Mother Nature and Jefferson’s Nature’s God the same entity? Was it, in effect, Mother Nature, using another name, who had given these brave men the nerve to take the drastic first step of revolution?

To answer that question – in case anyone ever bothered to ask it! – we need to look at the context of the Framers’ action. Like everyone else, they were products of their times, their upbringings, their schooling, both formal and informal, and all this profoundly affected their thinking, their deciding, and their actions. 

They were widely read, late 18th century men. Equally familiar with Greek philosophy, with Scottish philosophers, with medieval churchmen and French philosophies, they were also all products, to some degree, of a Christian environment. Only God knows their hearts, but no doubt, many of them loved the Lord, others were God-fearing and honoring men, and still others were Deists.Jefferson said that they were not primarily concerned with introducing new ideas but effectively of collating the wisdom of many sources.  But the writings of the British jurist Sir William Blackstone influenced them greatly, and he certainly employed the phrase, “Nature and Nature’s God”  which they inserted in the epochal document.  He was also responsible for the emotive phrase, “Taxation without representation!”

Blackstone was perfectly clear regarding the meaning of the key phrase he used and which the Framers copied. He wrote, upon “these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.” By the law of nature he apparently meant the principles of the universe as observable by rational man and by law of revelation he meant God’s law revealed in the Scriptures. Building on this, Jefferson’s very specific differentiation of “Laws of Nature” and “of Nature’s God” shows that he fully understood the dangers of divorcing the Greek idea of nature “ruling” (as interpreted by man) from the over-ruling of God (and man acknowledging Him.) Or if you wish, the fatal mistake of honoring Mother Nature and reacting negatively to Father God! 

I believe that the Fourth of July should be much more than many people make it. It was, and is, a celebration of what happened over 200 years ago when a small group of men made some careful, well-thought-out and far-reaching decisions that they embodied in their Declaration of Independence. And therefore any celebration of that momentous event is incomplete without some time at least being spent thinking about what they did, why they did it, and what possible impact and relevance it has on the modern era.

For me one thing comes through loudly and clearly – the Framers recognized the profound significance of God’s Word as a basis for an ordered life, well pleasing to the Author and Sustainer of life. And modern America is becoming increasingly ignorant of that Word. But Telling the Truth is committed to broadcasting it to as many people as possible through as many media as possible so that as many people as possible can be encouraged to, at least, give Father God and His risen Son the credit they deserve.”

Where Else Can We Find the Truth?

That brings me to the LIFE business.  One of the founders of LIFE, Orrin Woodward, has a goal to reach over 1 million people through our LIFE educational system introducing them to truthful, principle-based information in 8 distinct areas of one’s life: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Freedom, Following and Fun.  On July 4th, our country’s Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom.  I encourage you to check out the Freedom Pack which contains the book Leadership & Liberty: Pieces of the Puzzle, from best-selling authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward, and 4 audio CDs that teach the principles of freedom in our country.

I pray that “Father God” is alive in your heart and that freedom will remain because you chose to give up ignorance in place of truth.  Enjoy your independence on this 4th of July.  Godspeed on your journey.

Matt Mielke