Living Beyond the Grave!

iStock_000018127451_Small Like many people, I was shocked to hear the tragic news of Dr. Myles Munroe’s death. His plane crashed Sunday evening in the Bahamas, killing him, his wife and the seven other people on board. He was only 60 years old.

Dr.-Myles-MunroeIf you are not familiar with Dr. Munroe, he was a pastor, motivational speaker and prolific author with numerous best sellers under his belt. Dr. Munroe authored 69 books covering topics from transformational leadership, personal development, spiritual growth, purpose, marriage and relationships. 

The first book I ever read by Dr. Munroe, more than 20 years ago, was entitled, Understanding Your Potential. I would name it among the top 10-15 books that have helped mold me into the person that I am today. I even incorporate several of the principles from this book in my current presentations for youth.

Monday, I watched a video of a message that Dr. Munroe delivered earlier this year and I found his message to be just as powerful in 2014 as it was when I read my first book written by him, 20 years ago. Dr. Munroe asked a question during this message that convicted me = “If you died today, what would happen to all of the knowledge you have?”

I was convicted because I knew that I did not have a good answer to the above question. I was embarrassed to admit that if I died today, I would take much of my knowledge to the grave with me. I have not done the work to capture/document that knowledge so the impact of it can be felt even after I’m gone.

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Flowers Fit for a Funeral!

Growing up, I often heard older people say, “Give me my flowers while I can still smell them.” Many times, this was said after they had attended a funeral and left the funeral wondering whether the deceased had been told before he/she died all of the wonderful things that were said at the funeral.

White coffin with pink sympathy flowers

This past weekend I saw a great example of flowers being given to a person while she was still alive to smell them, and that quote from the older people came alive for me like it never has before.

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My Week in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Driving at sunset - rear view mirrorLast week was quite a week! I drove almost 700 miles and spoke to more than 2,500 students in seven schools in five towns.

The GOOD!

As much as I despise driving, it was actually refreshing to travel through small towns where life seems so much simpler than life in a big city. I was constantly tempted to pull over to take pictures of perfectly lined trees in pecan orchards, people sitting on benches in quaint little town squares or the elderly gentleman sitting on his tractor at the edge of his yard waving at every passing car.

There’s also something fulfilling about speaking to students in small towns who attend schools that may not have the resources of schools in larger cities. You can almost see the hunger on the students’ faces. In most of the schools I visited last week, the students were so attentive that you would have thought I had honey dripping from my lips. It was as if they were hearing things they had never heard before, and they were eating it up.

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The Ripple Effect: 2013 Edition

stones in a water

 

I alone cannot change the world; but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ~Mother Theresa

 

If you are anything like I am, you are having a hard time believing that it is already 2014. It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the beginning of 2013. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.

I still marvel at the fact that I get to spend my days doing something I enjoy so much that it doesn’t feel like work.

Below are just a few of the things that happened in 2013 that have made my work so rewarding:

1.     Multiple students told me they had planned to have sex either that evening or that weekend but changed their minds after hearing my message.

2.     An 8th grade girl told me that she gained the courage while listening to my presentation, to report sexual abuse that she had endured for the past eight years.

3.     A young man gave me his condoms after class and said, “I won’t be needing these anymore because I’m done with sex.”

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If We Would Only Believe…

"YES you can" on chalkboardMany people believe that in order to influence teens to make good decisions we have to beat them over the head with the potential consequences of bad decisions or scare them into making good decisions.  I have been telling adults for years that it is not as difficult as they may think to positively influence teens’ decision making.

The following letter will show you just how simple it is:

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Six Things I Learned from a Former Student’s Phone Call

Cell PhoneI received a call Saturday from a soon to be 22 -year-old young lady who served on the leadership team of an after-school club I worked with when she was in high school.  I had not spoken with her since she graduated from high school.

She began by telling me she had wanted to talk with me for a couple years, but had just built up enough courage to call me. She was reluctant to call because she was ashamed of her decision to begin having sex at 19 years old. She was also afraid I would be disappointed in her.

As I listened to her talk about how she was parented and why she made the decision to have sex, I heard some very interesting things that I would like to share with you:

1. Children need rules and want high expectations!

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Guys Want to Hear More about “Protection” from a Sex Ed Teacher!


ProtectionI am very grateful when God gives me a new approach to use with young men to counteract the barrage of messages they get from the media encouraging them to have sex. This week, I will share a strategy I began implementing with guys about a year ago that has proven to be quite effective. And it’s not what you think!

I’ve found that guys are not always aware that the reasons why girls have sex, in many cases, are very different than their own. Guys are also often ignorant of the emotional impact of the sexual activity on girls.

In order to help guys understand the cause and effect of sex for many girls, I read them one of the thousands of letters that I have received from teen girls, like the following:

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Why I’m NOT out to Prevent Teen Pregnancies!

iStock_000014737631XSmallDuring the 12 years I have been speaking to students, there have been a number of times when I have left schools feeling so burdened by the state of our culture that my chest literally felt heavy when I walked out the door of the school. Let me tell you about one of those days.

When speaking to a group of 8th grade students, there was a statement made by one of the students that really saddened me.  I was talking about the issue of teen pregnancy and telling them how selfish and unfair it was for teens to make decisions to have sex because that decision could result in an innocent child having to pay the price for their choice if a pregnancy occurs.

A young lady interrupted me to say just because a girl got pregnant as a teenager didn’t mean she couldn’t still make something of her life and give her child a good life.  She used her cousin as an example and said the following:

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Your Life is a Blank Canvas! How will you paint it?

Artist

For the past two weeks, I have been discussing the power of writing a personal vision statement. Two weeks ago I shared how my vision pulled me toward my destiny, and last week I shared the process I use in order to help students understand the importance of writing a personal vision statement.

This week, I am sharing questions that will assist you in discovering your passion as well as questions for writing a personal vision statement.

Passion precedes your vision!

Before you describe the perfect life you want to live in the future, you must first know what you are passionate about. When I left Procter & Gamble 12 years ago, one of the most common comments I heard from my co-workers at the time was how much they admired the fact that I knew what my passion was.  Many of them said they were not happy at P&G, but they did not know what they would do if they left P&G because they had no idea what their passion was.

One of the most common questions I continue to hear from people is, “How do I figure out what my passion is?”

If you are one of those people, the answers to the following questions will help you determine your passion:

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When Life is Puzzling!

2 puzzle piecesLast week my post detailed my experience with writing a vision that pulled me toward my destiny. Based on the number of follow up questions I received, my story apparently resonated with a lot of people.

Several people wanted to know whether I knew I would be speaking to teens about making healthy choices related to sex when I wrote my vision statement, and the answer is “no.” I did not know my current “profession” was even an option. I only knew I was passionate about working with youth.

As a matter of fact, when I wrote my initial vision statement in 1997, I had become very interested in investing and envisioned myself speaking to youth about financial literacy. When I left P&G four years later, my plan was to start an after-school program for girls, helping them grow into successful adults. I then envisioned talking to them not only about financial literacy, but also about goal setting, career planning, healthy lifestyles, etc.

A divine connection at a conference I attended within a month of leaving P&G was my first foray into the field of sex education and youth motivational speaking.

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