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Live your  life like a Heart In A Box!!!

by: ellis j. still

We are born to dream. As children, we use our imaginations to explore the visions of our mind by acting out what our future could be like. I played with fire trucks and those yellow Tonka construction trucks that were made out of metal, with the assurances that I would be a fireman or construction worker when I grew up.

My next phase was wanting to be an explorer in outer space that would one day save planet Earth. This came from repeatedly watching entire seasons of Star Blazers, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica with the one-eyed Cylons. Later came Star Wars, of which I have all six episodes even today.

From there it went to realistically figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I had great passion for drawing. I also started working in retail at age 16, so maybe I would own my own business one day. However, as I got older, and the world became more real, the creative imagination seemed to disappear and I sought practical venues for planning out my life.

You are taught to do what is proven… what everybody else is doing. To follow the status quo. Very seldom are you taught to be imaginative… to think outside the box – or in this case, inside the box.

Tina and I are avid watchers of the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. While we don’t always agree with the content, it is a well written show, whose characters we often we have dialog about in our home as if they were real people.

There was an episode where one of the main characters was tasked with watching an actual beating heart that’s been placed in a box until it can be transported to its new recipient. The Heart In The box becomes the inspiration to no longer be average, but go on and do great things… that the same imagination that created the Heart In A Box is the same imagination that dreams are made of… that spawns great movements.

Anything that you do in 2012 should be more interesting

than a Heart In A Box.

Anything that you do in life should have meaning, both to yourself, and to others. Anything that you do should be exceptional, and inspire others to greatness.

Dreams are created by a combination of what we see, our imagination, and how we envision it happening… our special personal brand, based on our life experiences.

Are you stuck in a job or situation, but you have a great idea for a business inside of you? Are you doing what you need to do just to get by & merely existing, or are you following the passion that is within you? Are you listening to the voices inside your mind that gives you excuses why you can’t make things happen, or do you listen to God’s word which says that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

Heart in a box is all about not living mundane, but doing extraordinary things in an extraordinary way. It is about being inspired to do something outside of the status quo. It requires creativity and courage. It’s about not just knowing and reciting the words “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-17), but owning it… knowing without a doubt in your inner core that God will do what he promised… that “every place where you set your foot will be yours” (Deut. 11:24). You have to have Faith that as you act on your dreams, God will make up the difference.

Heart In A Box is special because normally when you do a heart transplant, you take the heart out, put it in a cooler, and then you rush to put it into a warm body, and pray that it beats. But with Heart In A Box, it never stopped beating. It never knew that it was not supposed to be beating. The heart did not know that it was doing what it was not supposed to be doing. It just did it.

Question: What are you planning to do in 2012 that the world has told you that you cannot do? What are you planning to do in 2012 that is more awesome than a Heart In A Box?

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Heart In A Box image courtesy of http://greysanatomyfans.wordpress.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

HOW TO “SUCCEED” WRITING: Books, Blogs, Movies or Plays

by: ellis j. still

Vondell Richmond is accomplished in the world of Theatre Arts by way of directing, writing and acting. He “is a unique teaching artist that blends quality techniques with an infectious passion for the arts.”

I personally had the chance to work with Vondell as the set designer on a play that he directed. His creativity, his energy, and his style of motivation are like no other, and he brings out the best in all who are involved in the project.

Vondell Richmond decided to utilize his experience and his skill sets to help other succeed in creating.

He has put together a free four part series on writing books, blogs, movies, and plays. V has written four books, wrote, directed, produced and distributed a movie, and will draw from these and other creative theatrical experiences to provide content in a way that only Vondell can do it.

If you already have a book or two under your belt, these sessions can still provide a creative spark, new insight, or a different way of approaching things in your writing.

If you don’t believe me, you can hear it directly from him…

To register and obtain access codes for the free event, http://vondellcoaches.eventbrite.com/

For more information about Vondell see, http://about.me/vondellrichmond

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

This is why I go to church…

by: ellis j. still

Recently I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters about my ancestors. In the mid 1800’s during the height of slavery, they taught themselves to read by studying the bible. They used to sneak bibles out of the house, and meet at a predetermined place (ravines, ditches, woods, etc.) to have church. Many of the famed accomplishments by slaves of that time were not on their own accord, as  most history books tell it, but out of their faith and fellowship with fellow believers in Christ.

Fast forward to 2011. On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Tina and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary since we met. What is interesting is that when we met, I wasn’t looking for a relationship – on purpose.

At the time, it was maybe a year after I gave my life back to Christ. My life before then had been a mess… one of chaos and uncertainty fueled by bad choices, bad relationships, and addictions, simply because I did not know who I was. So when I got serious about my faith, I was purposely not looking for a relationship because I wanted to focus on growing in (and healing through) the things of Christ.

When I joined my church, there were many opportunities to get to know people and to make new friends. Othell Miller and I used to see each other all the time at church, and so he invited me to his birthday gathering at his house. Tina and I happened to be the first people there, we started talking, and it felt like we knew each other since the 5th grade. This friendship evolved into three-plus years of marriage.

Here are three benefits that I have experienced as a result of going to church:

  • Going to church creates relationships with people who are aligned in values, principles, and faith. These relationships expand far beyond Sunday, and into professional & personal arenas.  1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
  • Going to church helps the healing and delivering process, with the understanding that while no one is ever perfect, the goal to continually grow in faith & Christ and to be better than you were yesterday.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
  • Going to church is fun. Where else can you go that has a youthful & vibrant atmosphere, an awesome band with spirited Praise & Worship, has ministry groups where you can get involved to serve others or hang out, and to unexpectedly and unknowingly meet your future wife? Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

There are many more benefits to going to church… too many to name here. But the #1 reason is because God said so, and God doesn’t say things without it being for our benefit.  Acts 2:42 (ESV)

Question: What are some additional benefits to going to church? What are you thoughts on the subject? What is stopping you from going to church?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Imagine…

By: ellis j. still

Imagine what it would be like to wake up one day, and you are homeless. Due to the passage of time, you can’t remember exactly how you got to this state of living, and you don’t care. All that remains is figuring out how to survive another day.

Imagine it is 105 degrees outside, and it will be a still-uncomfortable 90 degrees tonight. Imagine that you are deaf, and no one at the state offices knows sign language. The person behind the desk cannot fully understand your plight because of the communication gap, so they move on to the next person despite your needs still being unmet.

Imagine having to wander neighborhoods, knocking on doors to ask to rake the leaves, or trim the hedges, or help out in any other way in order to make money to eat. You are a hard worker, who never did drugs, drank alcohol, or smoked cigarettes. You have a servant’s heart, and you are genuine in your kindness to people. Most people dismiss your inquiries because of your speech problems due to being deaf and the fact that you are homeless, and are by nature afraid of you.

Imagine being abruptly waking up to being kicked and punched in the face by young thugs, looking for a late night thrill.  Because you are deaf, you never heard it coming, and because you are 59 years old, there is no way that you can defend yourself. Your is now jaw broken and bleeding. You spend three days in the hospital, but you cannot afford to fill the prescriptions needed for you to heal properly, or to mask the pain of the many bruises and broken jaw.

Imagine that it is three days later, and you still have to wear the same blood-soaked clothes in 100 degree weather.

Imagine that you are heartbroken, that people no longer has the compassion to help those in need.

Imagine that this is now your life.

This is a real and ongoing story of one man that I know named Tony, whose heart is soft and passionate despite the world being unkind to him. We tend to get irritated because of the economy when we can no longer afford life’s luxuries, and become ungrateful for what we do have. We take things like security, a roof over our heads, and health for granted. We forget that no matter what the situation is, it could always be worse. Moreover, when things do not go our way, we forget that we have a Savior. We have to remember to be thankful and appreciative for what we do have, and pray for those who have not. Tony knows where his strength is. Do you?

 Question: What are you thankful  for today?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Tinellis: The year of leather

By: ellis j. still

On Monday, August 1st, 2011, my wife Tina and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. This year we spent our anniversary close to home, and low key. We had already done an extensive amount of traveling thus far this year, and so we felt like we needed to pace ourselves. Year three of marriage is the gift of leather. I got Tina a new leather case for her IPad 2, and she got me a custom leather golf club cover for my driver. She cooked a ridiculous breakfast (I fell asleep on the couch afterwards) and surprised me with an anniversary dinner of all of my favorite foods (short ribs, mac-n-cheese, blueberry cheesecake, etc.). We spent time at the movies, seeing the new Smurf movie (we spent the entire next few days speaking in Smurf), and Transformers 3 (interesting how they integrated Star Trek with Transformers – “The needs of the many…”). Peanut was his usual unconditional loving self, wanting a lick our faces every time Tina and I kissed, and turning every hug into a group hug. Life cannot possibly get any better than this for Tinellis.

Yet also, this was a time of reflection. We are three years in, and have grown in many ways, both as individuals, and as a unit. There have been many times of laughter, and many times of pain. Many areas of strength and many areas of weakness. Many prayers have been answered, and many prayers that we continue to act in faith on.

I realize that there are many couples out there with stories to tell about how they have maintained their marriages for many more years than we have been married. Yet part of my point is to reiterate the fact that marriage is great. The world tends to paint a picture of marriage as a ball-and-chain mentality, and emphasizes how common divorce is. However marriage can be fun and joyous. Like anything in life, marriage is what you make it. I am having more fun as a married person than I have had my entire life. When Tina and I were dating and considering marriage, we had a conversation early on where we made a deliberate and conscious decision that there will be no divorce, and that we will continue to grow as a family in Christ.

When I think back on the past three years, these are some things that I have learned:

  • compromise means that everybody wins
  • it is important to maintain a balance between work, love, and play
  • keeping God as the head of your marriage is the single most important thing you can do to keep your marriage vibrant and prosperous
  • staying active in ministry / church activities is an important way to stay connected for spiritual growth

Question: What are you declaring your marriage to be?  How are you and your spouse guarding your relationship against divorce? Any thoughts?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 ____________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

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