As I continue to build my newest website and blog at Coach Don Newman I continue to add new content and articles on how to live a victorious and overcoming life. My latest article is one my most exciting of all. I encourage you to take a look at the article below, note if you like it and sign up to receive future postings. In time I will be moving away from this site to my newest website and blog.
Here is the article on “8 Ways to Live On Beyond Your Own Lifetime.”
This weekend we will once again honor our fathers on Fathers Day. Like many of you, I will hear expressions of love from my own children, while also reaching out to my own dad. It is a wonderful day full of love and admiration.
Recently, as I was getting dressed for a wedding and working on a new necktie I bought for the occasion, I had this thought about neckties. Some people believe neckties were created to torture modern man (and I tend to agree with that as well). I also had this thought: perhaps God created neckties. Not to torture everyone who doesn’t want to wear a tie, but rather to be a rite of passage between a father and a son. I still remember my dad teaching me how to tie my first necktie, as well as the first time that I taught my son. A lot can go on while a father teaches his son how to dress up and look his best.
It really is more than just learning how to tie a knot; it’s about becoming something. Just like a necktie, I believe God may have created little tea cups to help fathers develop a rite of passage with their daughters. As they are drawn to the floor to sip imaginary tea with their princess, they are teaching much more than just how to hold a tea cup. They are conveying a thousand meaningful messages without even knowing it. In these moments, children are more than just taught—they are truly being fathered.
Fathering is more than just bringing about the conception of a child. It’s really about teaching the child to know who they are and who they can become. Each one of these moments holds a special time in which worth, love and value are transferred from father to child.
The heart of fathering truly comes from the idea and desire that life should continue beyond our own lives. To have your name or your character live on through the lives of your Children is the desire of every father, including our Heavenly Father.
Like neckties and tea cups, our Father God also creates things in our life that require his involvement and time. Each time we interact with God in regards to our life, our job or our marriage, he is not only teaching us how to do it, he is teaching us who we are and who we can become.
As I work with authors that are fathers, I encourage them to write for their children, both natural and spiritual. I do this because I believe every great message of influence begins with a simple desire to influence those whom God has given us to father. It just happens that sometimes those messages are also meant for thousands of others who are just like the children you love and lead.
On this special weekend, as we celebrate Fathers Day, I would like to wish every father a very special day. May God touch you and minister to you in a very personal and meaningful way. I pray that no matter what your past experience has been as a father, you will experience the joy and significance of being the kind of father who parents many into their future destiny.
I would also like to pray for everyone who has lost a father, or never known what it was like to have a father in the first place. It’s not a cliché to say that God is a “father to the fatherless”; it is his actual word and promise. While He may not teach you how to tie a necktie or how to sip tea like a princess, he will teach you much, much more. He will show you how special you really are, and will become the father you may have never had. In him you will find more then you ever may have lost. He is not a substitute—he is the original father of us all.
Happy Fathers Day!
Article originally written for Xulon Press Publishing Company.
This past weekend I did something that I have never done before. In fact I actually did three things that I have never done before. All three things were part of a Three-Day Cruise that I took with my entire family to the Bahamas. The trip was awesome! One of the best vacations I have ever had before. Here are the three new things that I did for the first time and what my takeaway was from each of them.
- This was my first time on a Cruise. Many of my friends have taken a cruise before, but this was my very first time. Infact when I think about it, some of my friends have been on 6 or more in their lifetime. Year after year, I would always hear what it was like to be on a floating buffett and I would always think “Well maybe one day I will get to do that.” I can tell you that while I know everyone’s experience is not the same, mine was awesome. I loved everything about it, but the best thing was that I was doing something new and doing it with my family. What new place or experience are you looking to do one day? Are you wanting to take a cruise or travel to Europe?
- This was my first time in the Caribbean. Ever since I was 20 years old I dreamed of going to Jamaica, Bahamas, Cancun or anywhere that looked like one of those places you dream of going if you like travel. I have always loved those commercials that show someone sitting under a coconut tree as the surf just gently rolls in, one wave at time. In fact I used to carry travel brochures in my patrol car when I was a State Trooper. On some of those days when I was working 16 hours I would take mental vacations as I planned my next trip. Year after year went by and the dream remained a dream. It began in my twenties and then I was thirty. Soon I was forty and finally just before I turn 50 I finally made it to a place I have always dreamed about going to. I finally made it and it did not disappoint me. As I stood and looked at the clearest ocean that I had ever seen, I said to myself “This was so worth and it.” It was better than the brochures that I looked at year after year. Where do you want to go and are you dreaming about doing it one day? I live by the motto “Better late than never at all”. It may take years,but never stop dreaming!
- This was the first time ever that I had gone on a vacation without the use of a cell phone or the internet. While the first two things that I have never done before were life changing, this one may have been life saving. Since I have had a cell phone, I have never been anywhere without it or without finding a way to check my email or my voicemail. Even when I went to London years ago, I was going to the internet cafe to check email. When our boat left Port Canaveral on Friday and my signal went dead, I turned my phone off so that I wouldn’t get roaming charges. I never never turned it on again until we were in the car on the way home on Monday. Four days with no cell, no internet, no way for anyone to get a hold of me showed me something. It showed me how addicted I have been to interruptions and distractions. We all need to find ways to be unplugged from the phone, the internet and even our blogs. This blog is actually late, but I had a good reason. I was spending quality time with my family. Challenge! On your next vacation, turn everything but your attention off! It might be your first time, but I guarantee you that it won’t be the last!
Recently I gave a special gift to each member of my sales team. The gift was for them and it was for their grandchildren. What was this special gift? The special gift that I gave each member of my team was a nice journal to write in. To write anything they wanted to write, but to write with the idea that one day their kids and grandkids would read what they had written. I wanted them to leave a legacy in print for their grandkids and their future descendants.
Just the other day, I had a conversation with a great friend who told me what he was doing for each of his seven grandchildren. For each of his seven grandchildren he had started an individual journal to write in beginning when they were born. He would write in the journal the prayers that he prayed for them, the wisdom that he wanted to give to them and anything he thought he should tell them. Over time each journal would be filled with prayers, thoughts, prophetic words and personal expressions that would be individually directed to that individual grandchild. He would keep these journals in his home office and as time went by, each grandchild was welcome to pick up their individual journal and read what their grandfather had written for them. When each grandchild got older or got married, he would then give their individual journal to them as a gift; a gift that they could add to over time if they would like.
Can you imagine how you would have enjoyed such a gift for yourself?To actually read what your grandfather or great-grandfather thought about you? How precious it would be to have a legacy in print that you could pass on to your own children and grandchildren. While most of us were not given journals from our grandparents, we can give journals to our grandchildren.
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin
How to leave a legacy in print!
- Buy a nice leather journal that will last for years.
- Write about yourself. Tell your grandchildren what you want them to know about you personally.
- Write about your own family. What do you want them to know about your parents, your spouse and your own children?
- Tell stories that you want your children or grandchildren to know about. Everything from adventures, challenges, special moments in time and even those funny moments you would love for them to know about.
- Share your dreams, hopes and desires for yourself and for them. What did you dream about when you were a child?
- Write about lessons that you learned and wisdom that you acquired.
- Share personal things just for them. Things such as prayers, expressions of love and words of encouragement that you would like to say to them personally.
Whatever you do, don’t delay another day. Start today to leave a written legacy. Your words today can shape tomorrow, but only if they live past you. Make them live for hundreds of years! Start a journal today!
As I get closer to the end of my 365to50 journey, I have learned so many life lessons. One of the biggest is that even when you are working on a great goal, you have to stop and take life in. The hardest thing hasn’t been the 40 mile bike rides or 6 a.m. swimming sessions, it has been finding that delicate balance between working for the future and living in the present. How do I share time between my goals of being in shape and becoming an author with family dinners? If we stop growing, we give up the person we are supposed to become, but we must be people who achieve their goals without losing what’s important.
Last week my wife Tracee and I joined our best friends, Jeff and Linda Welker, in Chicago for the wedding of their youngest daughter Kaleigh to her fiancee Bill. One thing that stood out to me as I watched the wedding was how each moment counted. Each individual moment in that evening would never happen again; they were, in a sense, eternal. The procession, the presenting of the bride, the vows, the toast, the special dance Jeff had with his daughter and the tossing of the bouquet. All these moments were once-in-a-lifetime. That’s why we pay photographers thousands of dollars to capture them—because we know they’ll never happen again.
So how do I find the balance between achieving my goals of losing weight and writing a book, and still making the most of every moment? Here is what I believe helps me keep my priorities while still becoming a skinny author who loves God.
1. Have long-term goals. When you are in such a hurry to get somewhere, you feel the pressure to cut out everything else except for that which takes you to your goal. I set my goals almost a year ago. This allowed me time to live regular life while making small steps toward my goals. Small steps really do matter! I didn’t have to exclude my family from my life so that I could go after my goals. I had long-term goals, and small steps allowed me to keep the balance between being a husband and father, while becoming a triathlete and an author. What are your long-term goals, and what are your small steps?
2. Be Present for the Eternal Moments of Life. What are the eternal moments of life? These are moments you would choose above achieving your goals if you only had one month to live. I would choose to laugh with my wife and family during dinner instead of writing a best-selling novel if I had 30 days to live, but I wouldn’t choose surfing facebook over writing my first book if I had only 30 days. Yesterday I came home from a hard day at work to find my family having a cannonball splash contest in the pool. Everyone wanted me to join. I had a lot to do and a bike ride planned, but I was in my swimsuit within 3 minutes and made the biggest and best cannonball splash of the evening. My granddaughter laughed at me as I became a kid again, jumping into a carefree pool full of water and eternal moments. Do you recognize eternal moments when they pop up?
3. Cut Out the Stuff That Does Not Matter. What are you giving your time to that doesn’t 1) produce eternal moments, or 2) lead to achieving the goals that God has for you? Come on, don’t hold back! Have you been on any extended lunches with other people who you wouldn’t spend the last 30 days of your life with? There’s nothing wrong with having lunch with friends, but what would happen if you only did that 2 days a week and spent the other 3 eating at your desk and working on your goals? Maybe you need to trade some of your television for reading, studying, writing, whatever. Are you willing to cut out or limit things you wouldn’t do if you only had 30 days to live?
You will only get one chance to live your life and achieve your goals. I love the picture above of Jeff dancing with his daughter Kaleigh. He got both things right. He had a goal that he had to achieve as a father and a provider, but he was also present and living in the moment.
The good news is that you, too, can have both! You can achieve your goals and grow into the person you are supposed to become. Leave me a comment below and let me know how you plan to do that this week!
While I plan on sharing a lot of funny things that happened to me during my time a State Trooper, I also want to share some of the other things that happened. There were a lot of things that happened during my time on the Patrol that were very impact-full, both to me and to others. Here is one of my favorite stories involving what I consider to be one of the best decisions that I ever made while serving as a State Trooper.
I was working an accident one day that involved two vehicles, one being driven by an older man and the other driven by a young woman who had a small child with her. This was an easy investigation, he ran a stop sign and hit her. I should be done with my paperwork and on my way in less than an half hour. Sometimes we overlook the easy or simple things as those that will either have the greatest difficulty or the greatest impact. This one had one of the greatest impacts I think I ever experienced as a State Trooper.
As I was collecting the necessary information, drivers licenses and registrations, I found that the young lady with the small boy did not have a license with her. When I ran her information to confirm that she a had a valid license, I found that instead it had been suspended for failure to pay a fine. The last suspension was simply for driving while it had been suspended. After I got the information, I went back to the investigation and completed the report. The man who ran the stop sign was cited and he was released to go with his copy of the report.
I then went over to the young woman and told her the results of the investigation and that the other driver was obviously at fault. She seemed like someone who had had a tough time in life, but at the same time she was really a very nice person. I looked at her and I said “Did you know that your license was suspended?” She quickly acknowledged that she knew that it was and she knew that she shouldn’t have driven to the store. Then as she tried to talk, she struggled as her eyes began to water.
In the many years that I was a State Trooper, I saw a lot of people cry. Men and women, it didn’t matter whether it was an act or real, I had seen a lot of tears. Her tears were different, they had a sincere humility and respect within them. When I asked her what happened, why did she not pay the original ticket when she first received it. Her story wasn’t unusual, she was a single mother who was getting no help from her ex-husband and she was broke and living on someones couch just trying to get her life back together again.The whole time that she was telling me her story, I could tell that she wasn’t trying to get out of going to jail or getting a summons for a court appearance. She wanted something more than just a quick way out, she wanted a changed life and I could see it in her eyes.
Standard procedure would have been to set at least a court appearance, for driving with a suspended license was a criminal offense. While we tend to like everything black and white and laid out for us, life needs discernment and judgement not based only on rules and regulations. I am glad that God created a way to get us out of the mess that we created for ourselves. He could have kept the old rules in play and we were destined for judgement, but he created another law, another rule and sometimes people need another rule, another chance.
I looked at the young lady and I said to her “You know what I could do?” “I could send you to jail or to court and it would cost you another $250 or even $500, but here is what I am going today.” “I am going to let you go and give you the chance to spend that $250 on getting your license back.” I can still see her face as she grabbed my hand and thanked me not with words, but with her smile and tears. I told her, “Here is your next chance to get it right, don’t blow it.” She said she wouldn’t! She had her sister come and pick her and her son up, and then she left. I went back to work and as I did I prayed that God would help her.
It was almost a year later. I was eating lunch with a bunch of my buddies after we had worked a detail checking drivers licenses. As usual we were laughing and just having a good time recalling some of the funny things we had just seen earlier at the checkpoint. All of sudden I saw the guys across from me look up at something just over my shoulder. As I turned around I saw that same young woman holding her son, looking 100 times better. In one move she held out her new license with her new “My new life has begun” picture on it. She didn’t go into a lot of detail but she very warmly and genuinely said “Thank you officer! “I didn’t waste the chance you gave me, Thank you!” I think I got teary eyed myself as I said to her “That’s awesome! I’m proud of you.” She left and of course everyone wanted to know what that was about. I can still remember saying “That was about one of the best things I have ever made while wearing this uniform.”
Today, as you look around your world, who’s life can you help change for the better. I know we all get tired of the people who never get it and who keep doing it again and again,but there are others who are ready for another chance to change. Today, there are others who will not waste the chance that you give or reject that opportunity provided to turn it around. Just remember that everything is not always black or white. Thankfully we don’t live in a black and white world or none of us would have a chance of every making a turn for good. I am so glad that I serve a God and Savior who loves me enough to give me a second chance. When I look into the heart of God and the decision that He made for all of us, in giving his son Jesus for our sins. I smile as I think He also believes that it was one of the best decisions that He ever made. Today, if you haven’t already, take that chance and make the most! Your “My new life has begun” picture is waiting to be taken!