Heart-to-Heart Connection

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Nehemiah 7:73-9:21    True faith leads to action.  The rebuilding of the wall was not simply about brick and mortar but about reestablishing the Lord’s sovereignty.  Ezra preaches to the returned exiles, marking the outbreak of spiritual revival — public proclamation of Scriptures, feasting, fasting, confession, prayer, worshipful recital of God’s ongoing deliverance for Israel, and God’s people’s humble plea for forgiveness and restoration.

1 Corinthians 9:1-18  Apostle Paul gives up his rights i.e., payment for preaching.  “God has given me this sacred trust.  My pay is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone.”

Psalm 31:12-22  Our hope is in you alone.  But the Lord watches over those who fear Him,  those who rely on His unfailing love.  He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.  We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield

Proverbs 21:11-12  Become wise.  God will punish the wicked.  If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.  The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; He will bring disaster on them.





August 13, 2012 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Christianity, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Money, Passion, Peace, People, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Nehemiah 5:14-7:73 With Persian King Artaxerxes permission, Nehemiah, the king’s cup-bearer, returns to Jerusalem and leads a team of builders to reconstruct the walls of Jerusalem (devastated by the Babylonians in 586 BC) .  Despite much pagan oppositions, this monumental task is completed in 52 days, shocking many enemies.  Nehemiah registers the people.  Ezra, the high priest, reads the law.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13  It is love that strengthens the church.  Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.  But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

Psalm 33:1-11  For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does.  He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.  Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of Him.  For when He spoke, the world began!  It appeared at His command.

Proverbs 21:8-10  The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road. It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.




August 13, 2012 Posted by | Change, Christianity, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, People, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Realize BIG Dreams! Realize the Impossible!

“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit.  There are footprints on the moon!” (Unknown)

Dream!  Aspire!  Humanity at its best! 🙂


May 9, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Dream, History, Leadership, Marketing, Passion, Purpose, Success, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Property Tax Hike or One Cent Sales Tax?

Dear Friends and Arizona Citizens,

Here’s a link to yesterday’s front page article Book it: We’ll pay more to keep inmates in jail.

“County officials say it’s inevitable: either vote to approve the temporary state sales-tax increase May 18 – and raise your taxes – or turn down the measure and your property tax will go up to pay for things the state can’t afford, including keeping prisoners locked away.” (Andrea Kelly, Arizona Daily Star)

One cent sales tax or property tax hike.  The choice is ours. 🙂  


May 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Engaging Leader: Winning with Today’s Free Agent Workforce

“People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.  Skilled people want to work for winning leaders.  Grade A talent wants to work for Grade A leadership.  It won’t settle for less.”

In The Engaging Leader, Dr. Ed Gubman communicates how to draw out employees’ enthusiasm and commitment; how to retain and nurture companies’ most prized and priceless assets — employees:

  • Engaging leaders are drivers and buildersDrivers are decisive decision makers; putting results first, stress the bottom line, and crack the whip (maintaining pressure on accountability and come down hard when goals aren’t met).
  • Builders put people and process first.  Builders are relationship-oriented.  Builders let solutions emerge, take a long-term focus, stay behind the scenes more, and are more positive than critical. (They are, by no means, indecisive.  Builders possess goals and visions.  They rely on natural consequences vs. immediate consequences by an authority).

Engaging leaders know when to be drivers and when to be builders.

Furthermore, Dr. Gubman states, “Employees (talent) want freedom, control, accountability, and caring.” 

  • Freedom — the freedom of expression and the ability to be who you are, not someone you’re not.
  • Control — people enjoy their work when they know what their responsibilities are and have the autonomy to achieve them.  They don’t want to be micromanaged.  Even when what-to-do comes from above, talented employees expect to figure out how to do it themselves.
  • Accountability — giving someone an assignment and holding him or her responsible for delivering results.
  • Caring relationships increase people’s investments in your workplace.  Warm relationships help employees feel connected and will motivate them to work for you — to help you meet your goals.  Employees will confide in personal matters if they feel safe.  They also want some friends in the workplace.

Tough and tender, a loveable task master, realistic optimist … whatever you call it, the intersection of driving and building behaviors is what engages most people. 

Successful leaders learn this in their interactions with people.  They become more versatile, expanding their own styles by taking on some behaviors that are unnatural to them at first, but become second nature as followers reinforce them by responding favorably. 

The ability to incorporate parts of these seeming opposites, like the skill of reconciling group goals and individual needs, will make you an engaging leader and a long-time, big time winner.  (Full Story)


April 11, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, Fun, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is self esteem anyway?

While it may be intangible, self-esteem is not invisible.  It’s easy to spot people who have high self-esteem by their behavior.  Chances are, the people you most like being with possess it in abundance.  These people are frequently described as “gracious” and “thoughtful,” which make them desirable as friends.  They love and care for themselves, but they are not arrogant.  They have compassion for others, which rise out of their compassion for themselves. 

Since a few of us accidentally arrive at a place of healthy self-esteem, these folks may be constantly aware of their own struggles to achieve and their ongoing effort to nurture it.  Their curiosity and interest in others lead them to be excellent listeners, another magnetic quality.  In addition, they have an elevated sense of personal responsibility; they rarely blame others for their problems or misfortunes.  They may have a passionate desire to contribute to society. 

Whether they say it or not, those with high self-esteem frequently have a sense of mission in their lives that others lack.  Knowing their own worth gives them a profound sense that they are here for some purpose, which, in turn, shows itself in reverence for life.  

Forward-thinking, they are aware that all past experiences in their lives have helped to mold their character.  Even when their lives have seemed difficult, you’ll hear them say, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”  They have a strong aura of integrity and truthfulness about them, but they are truly sensitive to the feelings of others.  People with high self-esteem don’t have the need to say everything that’s on their minds. 

The bonus you receive for hanging out with these folks is that in their presence you feel safe and accepted just as you are.  In fact, when you leave them you may find that you like yourself a bit more.  (Full Story)

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Beauty, Book Review, Business, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Leadership, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiring Dynamic, Creative, Caring, Ethical Managers!

Here’s an organization to die for — managers who empower employees!  Love to meet this person some day!


  • Fair, not nice. Managers must make tough decisions. Managers require vision and integrity — the courage to do the right thing. The best working environments are those where employees are treated fairly.  Employees know what is expected and know the consequences of their actions; both good and bad. No favorites, no double standards. Managers are leaders. Managers aren’t friends. Find friendships outside of the workplace.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you. Smart employees will help you succeed. They will make you look good. Establish the objectives and let them do their jobs. Don’t micromanage. Don’t be jealous. Don’t hold them back. Listen to their ideas. Your employees may know more than you.
  • Take calculated risks. Risk taking is part of management. “No decision” is a decision.  “No decision” will frustrate employees. You will lose respect. Do your homework.  Trust your gut. It’s usually right.
  • Never fire anyone when angry. Anger is a strong emotion. Emotion obstructs rational thinking. A cool head leads to logical thought — the right time for decision making.


  • Create a team of mentors. Find people who are capable of helping;  willing to help you succeed. Mentors watch out for your interests.  They understand your goals.
  • Encourage disagreements, discussions, and debates. “Two heads are better than one.” Go with the best solution, not always your solution; otherwise, you may be out of a job.
  • Know how to manage different personalities. Learn how to communicate with your employees. Different people react differently to discussions; some you can be direct with, others require more tact. Personality profiles can help match a person to a specific job.


  • Clear expectations. Clearly communicate employee’s responsibilities and manager’s expectations. Perceptions vary. Success begins with everyone on the same page.
  • Know the desired outcome of the resolution. What is the best possible solution? Be rational. With the desired outcome in mind, determine the necessary steps to reach the goal.
  • Confront bad issues immediately. Bad situations don’t go away. They only get worse. Immediately talk to the offender. Communicate, “This cannot happen again.”
  • Praise in public. Punish in private. Humans are emotional, not rational. Save face.
  • Say “Thank You.” Your success is dependent on your team members’ success. Say “thank you” and sincerely appreciate their hard work. They are your support structure. Without them, you may not survive. Saying “thank you” is one of the easiest and most appreciated actions.  (Full Story) 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | America, Art, Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Introspection, Leadership, Mind, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philanthropy: The Difference Between Enabling and Empowerment

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  (Chinese Proverb) 

Over the years, billions of dollars in aid have poured from the developed to developing nations.  Yet 80 percent of our world’s population live on less than $10 per day.


Perhaps one answer to this complicated issue may lie in enabling — temporary relief — not empowerment.  

Temporary reliefs are handouts.  They’re necessary, especially in life or death situations.  Basic needs — shelter, food, and water — must be met before improving lives. Once immediate needs are met, however, should additional donations continue to simply feed and clothe its recipients?

Are such acts of “kindness” empowering the people or are handouts in the name of “donations” degrading creative minds and resilient spirits into beggars and dependents?

In The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, the Salwens sold their house and gave away $800,000 to the Hunger Project in Ghana; to equip and empower its people to take back their lives and become self-sufficient:

(Click for video)

We go back into the villages of Ghana [where my family and I invested our funds], and this time the chief hands us a list of things they have accomplished.  ‘Look what we’ve done.’  They are proud of their own activities.  Oh, this is good.  [Empower, not enable].  We are making progress.

The Salwens asked five questions before committing to their work in Ghana:

  • Will our work empower or be a Band-Aid?
  • Do we respect the culture? Do we have enough humility to see our new partners/recipients as equals?
  • Are those partners fully engaged in designing the project?
  • Are we doing this work for the same reasons as our partners, the folks we’re trying to help? Do we have a different agenda?
  • Are we committed for the long haul?  Change does not happen overnight.

Steep learning curve, for me, anyway.  But each of us can make a small difference.  Lots of small differences will result in change!

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.  (Anita Roddick)

To enable or to empower … THAT is the question.  🙂


March 14, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Food, Freedom, God, Health and Wellness, International, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Money, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Lower Property Taxes

If home prices fell 27 percent from the 2006 peak to the end of 2008 (S&P/Case Shiller Index), why are we seeing 12 percent increase in tax revenue for municipalities? 

Why aren’t homeowners getting breaks from property taxes?  

Human nature, perhaps.  What government worker wants to take a pay cut, especially when their source of revenue is property tax?  I certainly wouldn’t.  Would you?

The tables turn, however, when we’re on the other side of the fence.  CNN Money.com  informs what homeowners can do to appeal property assessments in any year:

  1. Check the accuracy of your official property record, available online or in the assessor’s office.  Factual errors aren’t uncommon.  For example, if your house has three bedrooms rather than four, your taxes can get lowered immediately.
  2. Gather info on comparable homes using real estate sites or contact your realtor.  Look for homes within a mile of your address that sold within two months of the municipality’s assessment date (usually Jan. 1).
  3. Informally discuss findings with the assessor.  If meetings go nowhere (with so many angry taxpayers, there’s no guarantee we may even get a meeting), appeal ASAP.  If you can’t get a date until after taxes are due, pay up; get a refund after winning.
  4. If you lose, get a property tax attorney.  Ask for contingency.  Avoid hourly fees of $150 to $400.  Most demand half of your first year’s tax savings.  If you win, those savings should accrue for years to come.

Bottom line, time, research, and perseverance just might yield desired results.  🙂 


February 21, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Business, Change, Finance, Money, Self Help, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Still Looking for That Perfect Holiday Gift?

Are you at wit’s end trying to figure out what to buy someone who has it all?  Try eBay!  There’s something for everyone! 

Have you found your perfect gift?

Happy Holidays!  🙂

December 20, 2009 Posted by | America, Attitude, Fun, Humor, Marketing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment