17 December 2018. Lies And Misdeeds Cannot Hide Forever – JLD. If you are up to date on American politics and news, you might know that the walls are closing in on President Donald Trump, and his previous attorney Michael Cohen. Once upon a time Cohen said he would take a bullet for Trump, indicating a high level of loyalty, but what happens when the person you are trying to protect, purposefully and willfully walks into a line of fire? In this case, you might find yourself in the same situation that Cohen admitted to; making incorrect or dishonest statements, to be consistent with the person to which you are loyal. Cohen eventually plead guilty to lying, but it started with misguided loyalty. In The Church and The Community, Page 178, I wrote about a well meaning person who like Cohen, tried to protect a person they were loyal to. The end result was not good for either of them. Let us not do things that necessitate lying, and may we never be dishonest.
03 December 2018. Baby It’s Cold Outside; The Answer Is No – JLD. The iconic song by Frank Loesser, which won an academy award in 1949 and become a Christmas time classic, is now being banned for questionable lyrics. In the continued wake of the #MeToo movement, what was once considered a flirtatious, cat and mouse game that many a couple played, is now seen as highly offensive. Convincing is harassment, and pursuit is assault. Of course anything unwanted has always been, and should always be, illegal or wrong but in that light, every salesman would be a criminal for pushing past rejection. And in The Church and The Community, Page 183, I wrote about the other victims of #MeToo… those who are falsely accused by hyper sensitive or vindictive people. After deeply considering the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, tell us your thoughts on radio stations banning that song. And do you have a #MeToo story or concern, to share? Awareness, discussion and education is paramount.
26 November 2018. Confederate Statues and Monuments – JLD. Scattered throughout the southern regions of the United States are various confederate statues and monuments. You would think after the Civil War all symbols of Southern Pride would be banned as Nazi ones are in Germany, but our country loves to be different. And by different I mean deifying those who fought to continue the injustice of slavery, by seceding from what became the United States of America. They say it is not about racism, and slavery had nothing to do with the civil war, but the articles of secession from each state that fought against the union, prove the confederacy did have racial motivations. So for this reason, many southern cities are citing that confederate statues no longer represent who they are as modern, diverse cities with momentum, yet in The Church and The Community, Page 165, I wrote about the towns that are holding fast to the confederacy. Read and learn.
19 November 2018. Apologizing For Your Overt Racism – JLD. Of course there are some who say racism does not exist, and that most people do not see color; time and time again these assertions are proven to be false. In The Church and The Community, Page 92, I wrote about a Hispanic co-worker at Sears, who accidentally forgot to return a credit card to the customer. Ten minutes later, the customer returned to the store and demanded the card that the “illegal immigrant stole”, and with my co-worker on lunch break, I frantically looked for it around the cash register. My manager came over and by this time, the customer was calling his credit card company saying to shut off the card… the illegal immigrant is probably buying things right now in the mall. Then my co-worker returned, and showed us where in the register he hid the card. Most stories of racism end here, but in this same chapter I detail another half dozen, though in only one, the racist apologized.
12 November 2018. Strength Finders Assessment – JLD. You can spend an inordinate amount of time and resources working to improve upon your opportunities… would it not be more logical to figure out what you naturally do well, and then work to do it better? Take penguins for example; they are not built to walk quickly or efficiently. If a predator were to attack a penguin, no amount of training or preparation would equip the animal to escape the danger better than if said time was spent in the water. Penguins are built for swimming, not running. Have you identified your natural gifts and abilities? In The Church and The Community, Page 181, I shared my top 5 of 34 talents. I am strategic, an achiever, competitive, command oriented, and seek significance. If you are unfamiliar with your top strengths, I implore your to take Gallup’s Strength Finders Assessment. There is not point focusing on jogging, or trying to run faster, if you are a penguin.
05 November 2018. Vote Today and Vote Wisely – JLD. As midterm elections are upon us in the United States, we are presented with various candidates who may, and may not, support our values. And depending on your religious beliefs, the decision might be further complicated by trying to decide which secular leader, secretly (or openly) aligns with your theology. One movement or party though, is gaining momentum again in the United States, yet their premise stands in opposition to the Bible. In The Church and The Community, Page 74, I talked about Socialism, and likened it to a situation where my siblings took property from myself that they felt they deserved. Forget capitalism, entrepreneurship, hard work, or even reaping what you sow… just take from the people who have more, to give to people who have less. Socialism. Now ask yourself if the candidates you support, support the idea of socialism. Thoughts to consider, as you vote.
29 October 2018. Most Judgmental, Least Forgiving – JLD. Most people respond to being angry or upset in a healthy, reasonable manner. When you accidentally broke the item your friend let you borrow, they got over it in a few days, and were content with the replacement you purchased. Your business colleague from whom you “stole” an account or client, got over it quickly, after a few drinks at the company party. Juxtapose this with the time you offended your sibling’s spouse, or upset someone in your church, and you have the story I wrote about in The Church and The Community, Page 54. Unlike how a friend or co-worker deals with offense, the Bible admits how a religious person upset is more unyielding than a strong city, and their quarreling is like the bars of a castle. One’s own family members often stay upset equally long, for similar reasons. It is time though to be less judgmental and more forgiving, especially for family, and fellow believers.
22 October 2018. Some People Never Enter Adulthood – JLD. Legally you become an adult when you turn a certain age, but does time on this earth guarantee one has reached manhood or womanhood? Being able to drive a car, smoke a cigarette, or vote does not automatically mean you fully understand life, to include its dangers and responsibilities. In order to become a man or woman, you need to ask yourself when did you stop acting like a child… when do you overcome your biggest fear? In The Church and The Community, Page 40, I talked about my childhood fear of getting physically hit or knocked down. Yet I found myself on a football team one year, and my commitment to be important landed me a spot on the offensive line, as well as on special teams. Before you knew it, my biggest fear was running toward me and I had the choice of running away, or facing him head on. I decided to face my fears and become a man. It hurt, but was worth it. When did you earn adulthood?
15 October 2018. Can You Ever Really Trust People – JLD. The answer is probably no. Maybe you heard the mantra “you have to earn my trust”? Well sadly, this is usually code for the person having been hurt in the past, and wanting you to prove trustworthiness. It makes sense, and is logical, but it is not right to force people through the lens of your past hurts and hang ups. Further, you run the risk of living a life alone, or one with very few friends, because you project past issues on present people. Thankfully, I have had the pleasure of developing many great friendships, from people who have gauged whether or not to trust me, based on my present actions. I wrote about one such friend, Benjamin, in The Church and The Community, Page 135. And with this, I encourage you; if you find yourself struggling to trust people, deeply consider why, then do your best to forgive or reconcile the issues of your past. Only then can you enjoy deep friendships, as do I.
08 October 2018. Implications To Every Decision – JLD. Each decision in business, ministry, and life, presents an opportunity to effect success, or failure. These decisions are like intersections where you can choose the path that betters your situation, or makes it worse. Most people do not realize how many intersections they come to, every day. There are the large and obvious crossroads, such as choosing whom to marry or what career path is best, but what about the smaller and seemingly insignificant choices? Do you greet every stranger politely, and double check the air pressure in your spare tire daily? An inability to recognize and properly respond to all the opportunities we face, is a sure way to guarantee one’s life will not be successful. In The Church and The Community, Page 03, you will see how there are implications to EVERY decision in life. For your own sake, be certain you are comfortable living with the implication or outcomes, of each and every choice.
01 October 2018. Confidence and Something To Prove – JLD. You know that guy or girl who goes out of their way to tell you, and others, that you are nothing? It is like their life mission is to bring you down, and make sure you do not feel good about yourself. They are motivated by a fear that people will continue liking you, or looking up to you; God forbid they fail in their “noble” pursuit. If you have encountered more than one of these “righteously” angry or hateful people, you might have picked up an interesting fact; most haters have low self-confidence. By putting you down, they feel lifted up. In The Church and The Community, Page 22, I wrote about Dr. Sherwin K., an atheist, secular Jew who loathed seeing Messianic Jews succeed in leading a public Chanukah Lighting. Our win was a loss or affront to him, and he made sure to lash out at us more than once. Do not let anyone with low self-confidence or self-esteem, bring down yours down. You earned it.
24 September 2018. Negative Attention Is Good Attention – JLD. Long gone are the days of “if you do not have something nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Especially if the “perpetrator” is not doing anything to you, is it really necessary to write letters to the editor filled with your disdain, or build an entire website to hold all of your negative thoughts and feelings? Sadly, for some people, if they do not have something nice to say they feel it needs to be said to the whole world, but if you are the subject of such negative attention, know that you can positively use it for your advantage. In The Church and The Community, Page 39, I wrote about how what was purposed as a public relations barrage, ended up increasing awareness and sensitivity for our beliefs. So the next time someone does not have anything nice to say, and then says it publicly, know that “any news is good news”, and you can positively use it to increase exposure of your product or service.
17 September 2018. Reconciling Issues With Each Other – JLD. Especially in today’s narcissistic and self-centered world, who still admits when they are wrong? It is so much easier to justify our behaviors or say the result “was not our intent”, but in reality, we all have fault, and transgress against other people, unless of course you are Jesus Christ. Assuming you are not (Jesus has other things to do than read our blog), there will come a day, possibly multiple, when YOU will be forced to admit YOU messed up, and or have a problem. Bad employees and managers keep their issues bottled up inside, or hidden in your closet. They hope no knows their faults but that is also the downside; no one is able to help you fix it, stay accountable, and reconcile with those you wronged. In The Church and The Community, Page 130, there is an account of how a good person benefited from reconciling their issues with other people, publicly. Are you brave enough to do so?
10 September 2018. Never Forget Terrorism and Heroism – JLD. It has been 17 years since terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York, but many adults in my generation, remember it like it was yesterday. We recall vivid details of where we were, what we were doing, and why our country subsequently went to war against Islamic Terrorists in the Middle East. We will also never forget the heroism of the first responders, the sacrifices they made, and the emotional trauma that haunts many of them, to this day. I personally made the decision. Sadly though, there is new generation that was not alive, does not know, and does not feel the threat of terrorism. They might have a friend or relative who joined the military in the aftermath of 9-11, but without witnessing the terrorism and heroism yourself, it is all too easy to forget. In The Church and The Community, Page 105, I wrote about 9-11… may it be a legacy and reminder to all those who read.
03 September 2018. Pastor, Founder, and CEO Departures – JLD. When the planting or senior pastor leaves a Church, whether for good reasons or bad, the membership painfully feels the effects. The same happens when a founder decides to part ways with the company he built, and if an outgoing Chief Executive Officer is unable, or unwilling, to help the oncoming, the transition is rarely smooth. Add in the concept of the “source” (https://medium.com/maptio/taking-over-from-a-founder-ceo-why-it-goes-wrong-and-how-to-get-it-right-c424e7821f37) and it is no wonder why most organizations tank in the aftermath of losing their head person. The board and employees and members thought they would be able to easily keep the operation afloat… of course they did. The best leaders lead so well, they make their job look easy. In The Church and The Community, Page 79, there is the story of a church that crumbled after their Senior Pastor stepped down from leadership. I encourage you to read it, and educate yourself on the complexities of high level transitions, BEFORE you find yourself considering or dealing with one.
27 August 2018. What Happened To Agree To Disagree? – JLD. Once upon a time, friends and family were allowed to see things differently. Mom could be a vegetarian and Dad a meat eater, but the children would not realize their parents had conflicting dietary preferences. Differences were hardly talked about. Then came empowerment; passions and secrets burst out of their closets. People began to share why they believe and act the way they do, which helped many people not feel alone. For a long time, it was okay to disagree. Now we live in an age where to be a vegetarian in a meat eating family is to turn your back on your upbringing, and disown your relatives. Why? We have become so selfish and self righteous, it is no longer okay to agree to disagree. In the preface of The Church and The Community, I prophesied that friends would disagree with how I journaled their intersections with my life, and would leave me for it. Sadness and loneliness aside, let us bring back the days of old! It’s okay to agree to disagree.
20 Aug 2018. Does Your Life Have Significance – JLD. There are people who do not care what you think, and they are hardly concerned about the wellbeing of others. There are also those who crave being worthy of attention, and they work night and day to show you that they are important. The word here is significance, and some people confuse this with narcissism… the former is becoming important because of what you do for others, and the later, what you do for yourself, or maybe even did not do at all but claim you did. A word closely connected with significance is sacrifice; are you willing to set aside your own desires, needs, or even safety, for other people? Most Veterans and First Responders understand this well, and in The Church and The Community, Page 185, athleticism was shown to provide the lives of these people with significance, even after they transition out of their service. What makes your life significant, and do you make sacrifices for others?
13 Aug 2018. When Friends or Family Turn On You – JLD. Whether from adversity, distance, lack of time, misunderstandings, or sh*t hitting the proverbial fan, relationships often come to an impasse. You would think all your friends and family would find a way to overcome, but in reality, only the true ones will. A few months back, my sister told me to never contact hers again… she would not answer my inquires to why. A friend in the church recently got offended about something and gossiped to others the reason why they hate me (and would leave the church). Then it hit me, as I discussed in The Church and The Community, Pages 178, how quickly friends and family cut off those they once loved and respected, or maybe never did at all. Only your true friends and family, will never turn on you, no matter what life throws their way. Lastly, know that God will always be there for you, and this author (Jonathan Dade, USN Veteran) will do the best he can.
06 Aug 2018. Problems With Socialism and Benevolence – JLD. Fascism is problematic, as individuals in the government own everything, and use that power for their benefit. Communism is a little better, giving ownership to everyone but it ends up stealing from those who work hard, to give to those who “need”, independent of contribution. Hmm. In Capitalism, a few people are in it for the profit, and they drive the supply and demand, while deciding where wealth gets allocated. Better. In Socialism, everyone decides how to re-allocate resources, even to people who do not contribute at all… whatever happened to reaping what you sow? When you do not work for something, you do not value it and have no idea how to properly care for it. And the best way to help a person in need is to not give them anything, rather show them how they can earn it for themselves. The Church and The Community, Pages 74-75 dig deep into the merits of competition and entrepreneurialism; check it out.
30 July 2018. Complaining Against Employers and Bosses – JLD. I do not know why people do it; murmur or complain about their employer. Most jobs are voluntary, meaning you can turn in your resignation at any moment. Just go online, find the perfect company, and make the transition. Oh, that’s right; we feel it is our duty to solve the problem(s) before leaving. Well gossiping with fellow employees is hardly solving any problem, rather making them. And you know that worker who always praises the company? They are not doing that to look good. It is called strategy to be agreeable with the organization that pays you, which in turn motivates them to move you up the ranks. Finally, it rarely ends well for the constantly complaining employee, so stop it. The Church and The Community, Page 130 tells a detailed account of how it ends for the complainer, the employer, and all those involved. Dare to read it?
23 July 2018. Talk To Young Adults About Sex – JLD. Adulthood legally begins as early as 15, but can be recognized as late as 21 years of age. In most of the world though, 18 is the average age wherein someone is legally considered an adult. Often, mentors and parents are comfortable talking with young adults about driving vehicles, purchasing alcohol, using weapons and voting, but few are willing to talk to young adults about sex. If a boy or girl is old enough to copulate, they are more than old enough to talk about it! Despite the awkwardness or difficulties, in order to ensure our future generations are making wise choices, we need to prepare them for the implications and realities of being sexually active. In The Church and The Community, Page 113, I said not to believe singles or young adults, when they assert they are abstinent. Many of us were similarly dishonest, with ourselves, and learned life the hard way. It’s time to talk about sex.
16 July 2018. “Where No Man Has Gone Before” – JLD. Elder John Leland traveled over a hundred thousand miles to support politicians who championed religious freedom, and this was decades before the first automobile was manufactured. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr led peaceful marches in southern towns where Negro (African) Americans were being treated unjustly, and after being the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King donated the $50,000 prize money. And finally, Reverend Billy Graham preached the gospel message for over forty years, bringing thousands to believe in God’s Son. Very different missions and times, but one thing all these men had in common was being faith leaders who changed the world. In The Church and The Community, Page 217, I highlighted how most people avoid discussing race, religion, politics, or “contentious” topics. Faith leaders though, boldly go where most do not, or cannot. Encourage them.
09 July 2018. “The Widespread Prevalence of Dishonesty” – JLD. Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, a man’s word was his bond. That means if you said “I will be back tomorrow”, come hell or high water, you would make good on that promise. Now and days though, there is a myriad of things that might cause our words to not reflect our actions, or more importantly, the truth. Maybe comfort (or maturity) does not encourage someone to admit their intentions are contrary to their spoken words. There could also be the issue of personal gain, where few people perceive a benefit from admitting a painful (but true) narrative. It is all the same; people lie, and they do it all the time. Humans are hardwired to do what is easy or convenient, not difficult or honest, so it is prudent to fact check periodically. In the The Church and The Community, Page 148, I shared a story of lying even after the truth is presented… how will you decrease dishonest in our society?
02 July 2018. “Implications of Restoring How It Used To Be” – JLD. I wish things would go back to the way they used to be… really? You want to give up running water and modern medicine? It’s time to make America great again… when were we ever great? During the period women when had no vote, or are you referring to the time blacks were enslaved? The problem with nostalgia is a failure to recognize the mistakes of the past, and realize the advances of the present make today our best moment. Yes, there is something in yesterday we might want; it comes with baggage we cannot afford. The best way to thrive in the present, and future, is to burn our ships Viking style, and discard our past, because “if going back is an option, you will retreat when the going gets tough”. This is a direct quote from The Church and The Community, Page 64, where I talked about how to succeed in the present, and beyond. Will you, or will you die in the past?
25 June 2018. The Hypocrisy of “Illegal Immigration”. – JLD. Once again, America is divided and neither “side” is willing to compromise. The left feels migrant families should not be separated at the border, and that our immigration policies foster racism. The right believes illegal immigrants should not be granted special privileges or pardons, especially when some migrants bring crime and drugs along with them. How hypocritical and uncompassionate we Americans have become! European colonists (whites) stole land from the Native Americans, brought diseases that decimated the indigenous people, and then leveraged slave labor to build this “great country”. And now we want to close our borders to non-whites? In The Church and The Community, Page 163, I wrote about how immigration control will not solve our problems. We need to admit our shortcomings, love our neighbors, and make it easier for people to immigrate here, as did our ancestors.
18 June 2018. Discussing Religion in Secular Institutions – JLD. Perhaps you have been told we do not, cannot, discuss religion in the workplace, because of the separation of church and state. We are instructed to check our religion at the door, and not pray before meetings, especially in public or government places. I mean God forbid, someone at work find out you are Jewish or Christian, the same way they realize you have a mole on your cheek or a tattoo on your shoulder. The notion of having to hide any part of who you are, is both a lie, as it is unhealthy. Any person of true and passionate faith would not be able to hide their beliefs any more than a man of color can conceal the pigments of his skin. In The Church and The Community, Page 1, I discuss the importance of discovering all of who you are, then proudly wearing it. Do not allow anyone to trick you into believing your faith identity, is something in which you can not be visibly or audibly proud.
11 June 2018. Cult Dynamics And The Complicity of Silence – JLD. The moment you discover a good friend has committed an injustice, you figuratively stand at a crossroads. This is synonymous to the instance wherein you realize a previously good affiliation or organization to which you belong, no longer operates honorably. Having invested a lot of time, resources, or emotion into the path you are on does not motivate you in selecting another, but at some point, silence and association is complicity. What do you want to be known for, or associated with… will you be strong enough to disavow what is wrong? Most people would rather not change their habits, rock the boat, lose good friends, or go against the grain. Most would be like those in Nazi Germany who just “went along with it”. In The Church and The Community, Page 158, I discuss the importance leaving cults and immoral establishments. I also teach how you to do it. Do not be silent. Act. Now.
04 June 2018. Complaining Against Your Boss and Employer – JLD. Instead of being grateful for employment, mindful of the company culture, and respectful to the leaders, expressing dissatisfaction, with everything, is the current trend. Yes you can support your manager and reflect on the good things… disparaging your boss and proclaiming why you are dissatisfied, is apparently more chic. Then you conclude you could do it better. A few customers and coworkers follow your entrepreneurial endeavors as you start you own organization. Karma hits, and now it is you dealing with ungrateful, disrespectful, and constantly complaining employees; they leave after a while, taking customers and employees with them. You realize it is best to internalize the values and beliefs of your leaders, and manifest that in everything you do, or quietly go start your own organization. The Church and The Community, Page 129, tells this story, and includes real names.
28 May 2018. Taking Full Responsibility For Everything – JLD. Compliments of living in a broken world, filled with people who do not always have the best intentions, “stuff” happens. Victims of these atrocities rarely deserve to have been treated badly, but a slight change in perspective might help them re-claim power over their lives. Yes we can view things as accidents and ourselves the unfortunate recipients of adversity, but we can also take responsibility as if it were our fault, and ponder how can we prevent this from occurring again. Vehicle drivers who mentally take full responsibility for every accident, navigate the roads more defensively, and can avoid even non at fault collisions. Similarly, if you think hard enough and put the power to change the outcomes on yourself, you might surprise yourself with how smart and strategic you are; give it a try. You can do it.
21 May 2018. Admitting Powerlessness and Getting Help – JLD. Whether the result of a an accident, mistake, or traumatic experience, pains from our past can persist into the present. It is not enjoyable dealing with mental struggles, nor is it easy to admit we alone our powerless against our demons. Plus it may take time, a lot of time, years even to work through it all, so what is the point? Despite being depressed and feeling hopeless, we, you, everyone, matters as a person. You are loved, and have the power to overcome. It took 8 years to confess my anxiety and depression; I am so thankful to those who pulled it out of me, and connected me with the resources I needed. I wrote about the importance of asking people about their struggles (The Church and The Community, Page 208), and supporting people like Candise(disabled navy veteran). Please, take this first step, today.
07 May 2018. Dealing With Criticism and Haters – JLD. Compliments of the copious amounts of resources scattered about the internet, anyone can become well read (or video watched), on any topic. And this is good, until the person proclaims themselves a subject matter expert and makes it their personal duty to provide unsolicited feedback. Maybe you have met this person… the well meaning guy or gal who’s constant feedback quickly becomes criticism. It will not end until everything is their way. There is also those who are curmudgeon, a hater, or someone who does not recognize different people do things differently. I wrote about my will being broken by a critic (TCATC, Page 26), and I learned a big lesson in the process. Critics and Haters can not do it better, so thank them for their feedback, then get back to doing what YOU do best, the way YOU do it.