Friday, June 29, 2007
I see the world through these rosey glasses like a Ben and Jerry's Sunday stroll.
It is a selective ignorance to the potential negative outcomes and a continual alignment with the potential positive outcomes. Strutting around in this yellow-sun-like spotlight has brought great blessings in my life; more than I could list here.
It has taken me around the world. It has brought new friends and opportunities. It has brought financial blessing.
My life is a continual 5 foot swell warm, perfect rights, breaking on a beach in the South Pacific near my multi-million-dollar tiki mansion. Nothing is out of place or marred.
But, BOYYYY, sometimes you just get spanked! I just...GOT...SPANKED.
Since I don't like speaking my past into my future, I won't go into the details of what happened. BUT, suffice it to say, being an Opulent Optimist will at times cause you to be a walking target.
Usually gallumphing through life will cause others to be full of your gallumph too, no matter what mood they start in. (See my blog titled "Joy".)
Sometimes, though, our very opulence is what sets others off! Believe it or not, being positive will actually piss people off! I am never really prepared for it either.
What is an Opulitimist supposed to do in these situations? What can we do when we are caught off guard like a one-legged Dance With the Stars contestant? Were we to EXPECT to get bush-whacked, we wouldn't be optimists, would we?
Because we (opuliptimists) are never looking for or expecting anything negative to happen to us or around us, when it does it is like sprinting into a two-by-eight with a smack, wondering what crackled and knowing something popped, seeing the milky way circulate with pigeon-toed pixies laughing at you.
So, we develop the fine art of laughing at ourselves, re-align with the potential positive in our lives and get on with opulizing!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The introduction to Bushido Shoshinshu by Taira Shigesuke,
written in the mid-to-late 1600's
Shigesuke then goes on to explain that by doing so, the warrior will always be loyal to his employ, his family, and his responsibilities.
If he knows that death is imminent he will avoid base human evils and silly trifles and, thus, live a long healthy life (until the moment of death is required of him, which he is then prepared to do so willingly.)
Keeping death in mind, according to Shigesuke, will prevent a warrior from acting thoughtlessly with loved ones, with finances, and with each and every move. He will pick his battles with great care, not getting drawn into senseless debating or arguing.
The warrior will thus choose his words wisely and not speak carelessly for if death is required of him he can die without hesitation or regret; he can die boldly knowing his life is in order!
How true and noble! Having read Shigesuke's book again last night, I was greatly impressed at two things.
- Jesus was a warrior! He was not only a servant and King, but a warrior of great distinction, even according to the samurai and bushido.
- If a teaching like this can help one live their life more robustly, how much more so for the day-to-day Christian!
For the most part, Christianity is so ho-hum it would put a snail into a coma. We wake, work, wimper, and wink for forty, just to wake and do it all over again. When did this mission turn into a mission to sack the buffet?
When Shigesuke wrote about bushido, he wrote it to attack the lackadaisical attitude that had infiltrated the warrior class in times of peace. This is a huge indictment against Christianity. In our time of peace, with no real enemy except sluggishness, we have let the old disciplines go wayward.
Were we called to battle we could not perform.
Perhaps this is why we are not being called to battle.
To keep death constantly in mind would perhaps give us the impetus to step up to a platform we would:
- not be pulled into useless conversation
- not have a tolerance for poor performance, preaching, or half-hearted attempts to minister; this would be looked down on and bring shame to a home
- not whine about this, that, or the other thing
- not waste time or money mindlessly
- wake each morning expectant, with a mission in mind
- cause our wives and children to be excited about the things of God
- instill boldness in our lineage for the cause
- have our board members earn the right to serve as advisors based on loyalty
- re-instill loyalty, duty and courage to the home
Our daily lives could be poured out as a drink offering because we are not clinging to life and the things of this world. This is what keeping death in mind is to the Christian.
This act should also be easy for a Christian. "Why," you ask? Well, because our sight should be on the things above and not on the things below.
"Thank you, pat-Christian-guy. What does it mean?"
It means that with our sights on heaven spending eternity with our Lord and truly not having to worry about death as a reality, we should be able to look around us and say:
"It is far better to be with Christ now!
But, if I must remain here for one more day, then I will serve unto blood!
I will love until I can't love any more!
I will give until I can't give any more!"
Should God take me tomorrow, I will know that I have spent every last skin cell of this husk of a body in the service of God and man! THEN, I will sleep the night through in total rest. Then, waking tomorrow, I will do the same.
The truth is that when we keep death in mind constantly we will finally be able to begin to believe that we are destined to heaven. For a Christian, keeping death in mind should bring a thrill of excitement.
Perhaps He will allow me to come home today! In the meantime, I will serve my fellow man as if I were serving God Himself in the courts of His glory!
This is what keeping death in mind has meant for me!
Fitting in = agreeing with traditional doctrine, accepted norms, and what people are comfortable with.
Ideally: Two people can have different views and work the mission (fight the good fight) together, loving each other still.
Reality: My views are either so far out there on Crack-Head Lane that I need to be Baker Acted, or fitting in DOES matter to the typical Christian.
Example: From day one of being a minister, the local church has tried to shut down progressive events that didn't fit the norm. My first event as a youth pastor was to hold a beach party, uniting 5 of the local youth groups for the first time in years.
We had about 100 young people playing volleyball, surfing, and cooking out. Well, a guy arrives, swearing at me and my group. “You f*ing people are stealing my G*dd*m kids.” We finally were able to get him to leave. I did not know who he was. Apparently, the other youth pastors did.
They jumped on their cell phones to their senior pastor immediately, loaded up their kids, and left us with burnt burgers and soggy buns. It turns out that this guy was some prominent local pastor and they didn’t want to be associated with us; a group out of the norm.
What do you do? Close youth group, or push forward? Submit to your mind (internal), or with warrior spirit (bushido; the way of the samurai) channel the emotions toward your next success!
So, we moved forward with some fundraising...in bars until 1:00 a.m. selling $10 raffle tickets to the drunks for a $6,000 convertible, getting up at 5 a.m. the next morning to give away 3 day/2 night vacations to give people a reason to attend service only to find that the local churches and community groups are blazing you for “merchandising the gospel”. What do you do?
Last example (I swear): You study out the Word and find what you feel is an absolute truth, but it could rock everyone around you. It is a word, a truth, so striking that it totally sets you free and floods your life with the fruits of the spirit.
BUT, its implications fly in the face of all traditionalism, all current structure of the modern churches. What do you do? Keep it a secret, or preach it in your pulpit, risking closing your church?
Preach it! Preach it loud! What do you do with the hate mail from local churches asking you to quit preaching it? Toss it! What do you do as people walk out the back door because you’ve “crossed the line”? Preach louder so they pick some more of it up before they get into the car!!
Warrior-spirit!! Bushido!! One who channels any emotion into action. One who knows how to do “whatever it takes” at any moment of the day or night for the ministry. One who knows nothing of complaining. One who risks being blacklisted from his fellows and intended spouse to do as one should.
One who risks all for All.
Not many people can relate.
They are used to ‘going’ to church, not 'being' the church.
They have no idea of the heartache, valor, and sacrifice that built it.
Rarely have the smelled the fecid decaying stench of people with leprosy whose very smell causes nausea. They smell the Febreeze on their early-morning carpets, with a hint of flavored coffee from the fellowship hall.
Rarely do they get attacked from the people they trust most, or sabotaged daily by their home church. They are used to nice fellowship groups with nice people with nice faces with nice hair with nice teachings; all to keep a happy balance.
Fit in or Fight the fight. Quite often, fighting the good fight stands as polar opposite of fitting in with the same group you are fighting for.
Are you willing to face that challenge?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
What is it?
What the heck is 'joy' anyway?
It is an enigma!
So often we are given the pat, Christian statement "remember, brother (or sister, depending on your situation), the 'joy of the Lord is your strength.'"
Well, woopty-friggin'-doo, buddy! What does it mean?!
So, I looked it up. (Nehemiah 8:10...yeah, it shocked me, too. Who ever uses that book?)
'Joy', in the Hebrew has about 25 different words to describe it; in the Greek 17. Needless to say, both of these cultures seemed to really DIG joy, rejoicing, merriment, pleasure and the like.
(I mean, they REALLY like merriment and pleasure. See the etymology on 'orgy'; from the Greek word referencing secret rites for the gods, which comes from the root 'worg-', which is where we get our word 'worship.' Freaky, huh?)
Within the context, it is my best interpretation that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" is a phrase that implies that God derives joy from you being strong! Too often, pat-Christian-answer guy (who typically has a Texas draw) is implying that we will gain strength by rejoicing in the Lord.
Now, that is a REAL stinkin' difference, so which definition is it? Hey, look it up for yourself and you decide!
But, you know what I found that was cool?
Well, follow me on this path.
First, I saw this. I was laughing hysterically. (If you don't find that funny, a) you have no sense of humor, so b) try this instead.)
Then, I got to thinking and a scripture hit my brain. You may know the one I am talking about.
Another quote from pat-Christian-answer guy:
"'A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,' brother, so cheer up!" (Prov. 17:22)
After beating that guy with the ugly stick, I wondered "does the word 'merry' correlate to 'joy'?"
AND HECK YEAH IT DID! The particular Hebrew word for 'merry' was also used as 'joy' in other places in the old testament.
That scripture could be said like this: "A joyful, rejoicing heart doeth good like a medicine."
"Soooooo, what are you saying, Grant? Get to the point."
I know. I know. Just bear with me.
I met with a client last night. She was frustrated with work, and frustrated with her client who is her long-lost friend, and frustrated with her house catching on fire...she was just frustrated. Any topic I picked, she was frustrated about that, too.
We were talking about attitude affecting her business and her ability to perform. She agreed. Blah blah blah.
But I got her laughing about some foolish thing or another, and we were just chuckling. Then I jumped right back to the topic.
She was a little more open to the solutions I was providing, but there was still some resistance.
So, for a quick second, I made some hair-brained remark that made her laugh a little bit more. Well, now when we spoke you could tell that she wanted to smile, but she was trying to cover up her mouth with her hand and be discrete about it.
I jumped right back into the solution, and she was totally open to it and agreed.
This whole process affirmed to me that:
A) a merry heart DOES do good like a medicine. It was like she took Prozac on the spot because she swung from total frustration to total hope in just an hour or so. And,Now how cool is that?!
B) she is now available for the Lord to strengthen her, through me perhaps, through the plan of action we came up, or just through her confidence returning to her spirit. The joy, or merriment, of the Lord became her strength.
Maybe I shouldn't have beaten pat-Christian-answer guy with a stick after all.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Does it get any better than that?! I couldn't agree more. Over the years I have constantly compared the Christian walk to that of a warrior! Christians could be performing at such a higher level, and studying the ways of warriors could only help.
There are many reasons why I believe that Christians would be better off to study the ways of warriors. I do not advocate this from the aspect of spiritual warfare. (I believe that the enemy was dealt with on the cross.)
The only enemy I speak of is the enemy of our mind in our fight for focus on the mission. My mentor calls it the "mission mentality." I have always translated this as a warrior mentality.
Recently a very good friend of mine gave me a powerful book, The Code of the Samurai. It was originally written by Taira Shigesuke in the mid-to-late 1600's to reinforce to the Japanese culture the importance of the bushido, or "way of the knight or warrior."
After a period of peace time, the warrior class (samurai, once merely military attendants, had risen to their own caste of warriors or knights, called bushi) seemed to be getting fat and lazy. They were given to much wine and revelry.
The discipline that had allowed them to vanquish the invasion of the Mongols and establish a new militaristic government for hundreds of years had cause a complacency. So those who were still set apart and understood the importance of the warrior principles wrote a book to codify these principles.
Wait, are we talking about Japanese Bushi or American Christianity here?!
Good question! There are many parallels in this book that are scaldingly intriguing.
The concept that a warrior should "always keep death in mind" resonated within me. The author points out that this is so that the warrior will not make foolish decisions. Brawling happened often in that era. Why should a warrior partake in a meaningless brawl and risk getting hurt when he could be called on to fight in a battle for the entire society the next day?
Will a warrior keep his affairs in order, watch after and love his family to the utmost, and only spend his time on things that matter if he is not focused on the fact that he could be called on at any time to give his life for his calling? (Wait! Again, am I talking about bushi or Christianity??)
One of my favorite chapters is about the monk-warriors. It goes on to say that monks are far more disciplined warriors because in peace time, they continue their studies of religion and faith as if they were still in battle. They keep their mind sharp at all times. Their battleground is the battleground of focus.
Now, I could spend a TON of time speaking of the way of the Christian warrior-knight, and I may in the future. For now, see if you can't slip by Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble and flip through it. Or buy it online here: The Code of the Samurai.
Tell me, do you ever wish your Christian walk experienced more vigor? More excitement? More passionate dedication to your faith?
I have said recently that Christianity needs a few more Muslim extremists. Why would I say that?
- A) Muslim extremists are not really extremists. There are simply practicing and non-practicing Muslims. Read the Koran. The "pacifist" Muslims are practicing a different interpretation of the Koran.
I say that we could use some Christian extremists, not because they need to act extreme but because we have either practicing or non-practicing Christians. Practicing Christians will always be labeled extreme in the same way that practicing Muslims will always be labeled extreme.
- B) Because the mission is not getting done. America was founded on Christianity. We have had 300 years to build a stronger church. Instead we, the American Church, are spending so much time trying to hold together a crumbling establishment when we ought to have a totally solid, Christian empire here that is reaching out to the nations. We need the Christian Extremists.
I am all for the amenities our country provides and the peace our government ensures, but I call on Christians to return to our Monk-Warrior state of mind; an ever-readiness for the battle, a passionate burning fervor for the mission.
This is what I read when I study warriors.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I love stone sculpting. Not since the first few years out of high school have I actually went through the process of creating a sculpture, but one thing stays with me. The ringing of a stone that is true continues to vibrate my inner ear today.
It has helped me with ministry and business alike in that I have learned the art of tuning my ear to hear if a potential thing resonates with me.
The process of finding a stone is sometimes a difficult one. In a stone yard, there are so many varying shapes and sizes. It is usually very difficult to pick which stone to take home to work on.
One trait you look for in that stone is to find out if it is true; if there are no fault lines in the piece that will cause it to break apart at some future critical phase of the sculpting process. A fault line goes unseen throughout almost the entire process.
It is hard to identify with just sight. On the outside, most stones look quite similar, and you cannot see into them clarity. So you rely on being able to listen to the stone. You rely on hearing it.
You tap your chisel on it lightly and listen to see if it rings true. If the sound drops with a thud, or just doesn't sound quite right, it is likely that a fault line runs through that stone. It is quite difficult to describe what is the wrong sound, but you cannot miss the right sound!
When a stone rings true, it has milky beauty to it. You know it through and through. I dare say that the vibration runs through the entire stone, and right into your bones telling you that it is a worthy piece to work with.
Often when dealing with people, something doesn't sound quite right. Something doesn't resonate within us. But it is harder to put our finger on what is exactly wrong.
What is easier to identify is what rings true within us; what resonates. We feel it in our bones to the foundations of our feet.
When I hear the truth being preached I know it. When I hear a person speaking to me honestly, I feel it send vibrations through me. I feel my heart jump.
It rings true with a ping that doesn't fade off, but travels into infinite. Does that resonate within you?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Does anyone else experience the constant desire for new colors, new flavors, new textures; new [FILL IN THE BLANK] anything?!
I know I do. I know that I love newness. I love freshness. How could anyone be settled in the same ol' thing?
This morning I went down to the beach for church. (The colors are not drab, squawking only comes from the sea gulls, and the air is warm.) I grew up in Vero Beach and have grown very used to the ocean view.
However, for the past year I have lived in Lakeland. It is a landlocked city between Tampa and Orlando. Though there are plenty of lakes and beautiful scenery, it doesn't match the ocean. Coming back to it again seemed fresh all over again. I could smell the sea spray in the air, the emerald burst of summer all over again as if for the first time.
Over half of what I love about travel is not so much about learning the new languages (though I do), cultures (though I do), thoughts, feelings and ideas of other cultures (though I do very much.) My love for travel has much more to do with...well...the travel.
This brings me to what I feel the Christian life is all about: Something Fresh.
Have you ever wondered why, when God moved, it was always a "move of God"? Check it out. God is almost synonymous with a verb, with motion.
In the Word it seemed that God was always moving. In my day to day life, I love it when I sense that God is DOING something. In fact, if we are Christians, then we are called to DO something.
We are called to newness.
We are called to Something Fresh.
My major difficulty with the churches is that it is usually stale bread. I was brought up in a ministry where it was always fresh manna in the house. There was always a new miracle. There was always a new word of the Lord. There was always a fresh aspect to the mission, a new place to minister at, a new angle to minister through.
This is what our churches are missing. This is what is missing from our gatherings. Something new. Something Fresh.
God says in the Word that He is the "God of the Living, not the dead," so is He god of our churches? It is questionable, because many of these churches are just that; dead.
How do we move in Something Fresh in our own lives?
Absolute surrender moves you out of the way and allows the Spirit to take full reign.
Total surrender that we know anything.
Total surrender that it is "our" ministry.
Total surrender of our denominations.
Total surrender of our finances.
Total surrender of our dreams and visions. (This is a tough one for me at times!)
Absolute, complete, total surrender of all of these things is what begins to allow the Holy Spirit to move in our lives.
Then follows a sensitivity to the Spirit.
Then comes a boldness.
Then comes the miraculous in a steady stream, flowing daily, blowing our minds daily.
That is the insatiable desire for more; the deepest call of God on our lives for more. We will never be satisfied, never be at peace or settled until we have absolutely surrendered to Him, so that we may move in Something Fresh.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
This was an e-mail I wrote in response to a wonderful friend of mine.
She mentioned today that she is discovering that God's Word is both Law and Principle. I told her that I think that is one of the most profound understandings a believer can gain.
Here is my response:
"I believe that when God speaks, just like a king issuing a decree, that thing He spoke becomes a law (if you break it you are crossing the King Who made that law, which usually ends in death.) Since God’s words change the universe, they become a physical principle at the same time. Whatever God speaks happens continuously unless He speaks something different.
Follow me for a moment. Examples:
- When God said in Genesis “Let there be light,” He was making a law; in this case a natural law. The sun, being obedient, rises and sets continuously. Likewise with the separation of the waters. Just observe the tides and erosion. These are the effects of God speaking a law into being about the waters being separated from the land. (Is there a spiritual principle to God saying “Let there be light”? The “light of the world” perhaps?)
- Stars are born and die and reborn from themselves. How? Because God said that there should be lights in the sky at night, so they grow, grow old, die and are born again.
- God made man perfect, so our bodies are constantly trying to be perfected. In the spirit, our bodies are healed. In the natural, our bodies try to keep up with this as much as possible! We are able to self heal for the most part. His principle is being eternally manifested naturally because it is eternal spiritually.
(You can stop reading here if you are not much of a reader, but if you find it interesting, read on! But I warn you, it may fry your gourd.)
Now, check this out. When God spoke the Mosaic Law into being in the Old Testament, it was Law. We had to do all of those little laws to be pure enough to stand before God in heaven.
- Prior to the Mosaic Law, was man clean enough to stand before Him? NO, He was Holy before, and He will be Holy forever. We were not.
- Did obeying the Mosaic Law actually make you pure enough to stand before Him? No way!
- So, did the Mosaic LAW do anything other than teach a PRINCIPLE to us about God’s Holiness and our need for Him? Nope. That was its sole purpose. (If you study Romans, it actually says this.)
(If you are still reading, you are a champ, but this is really cool, so read on.)
Why are there both Laws and Principles, though?
Easy Answer) it is like saying the Natural Laws and the Spiritual Principles. The natural follows the spirit. What is happening eternally in the spirit is manifested in the natural. (Again. in the spirit, our bodies are healed. In the natural, our bodies try to keep up with this as much as possible! We are able to self heal for the most part.)
Lengthy Answer) The answer lies in the practice of law! There is a concept in interpreting the laws of our land called “the spirit of the law.” (I love this!!!) The spirit of a law is basically answering the question “what was the original intent of instilling this law”. Knowing it helps us interpret the law for specific situations.
For example, if I am jay walking and an officer gives me a ticket, was it an illegal act?
The officer says to me, “The law says you can’t do it, Grant! Here’s your ticket.”
I respond, “But I saw that guy mugging the old lady over there! I ran over to help!”
Would that change the situation? I think it would!! The cop would interpret the law differently.
“Wow, Grant, I guess I won’t give you that ticket. Instead, I will give you an award!”
Though I broke one of the laws of the land, I did not break the spirit of the law, and I obeyed a higher law! What do I mean? The spirit of the jay walking law would be to protect me from traffic. It allows drivers to know where pedestrians will be walking and where they won’t. That was the reason for this law; to protect me when I am being an irresponsible walker or from irresponsible drivers.
Now, when there is a higher law (the safety of an elderly citizen or robbing someone else) which law do you follow? I was disobeying one law of the land to obey the spirit of a greater law! If I get too dogmatic about jay walking, the old lady is going to get mugged! I could go to jail for NOT doing something! I would never say, “I see you getting beat down, Ma’am, but I am not allowed to cross the street here! Sorry!”
Remember the Good Samaritan? It is the same Principle rising over a Law.
This is the difference between God’s Laws and Principles. He has a reason for His temporal laws, and the reasons are to gain an understanding to obey the underlying eternal principles.
The truly successful networkers are really just truly successful friends and has fantastic relationships with more people than the average person does. (I love this industry because my success is dependent on treating people well, and making other's successful!)
It is the same with the church; its success depends on these types of leaders and their ability to develop true relationships. I was never truly trained on that as a young person (being from a divorced home in individualist American !)
However, the more I travel, the more I value relationships. The more I do business or ministry, the more I value them. In fact, all that will stand when we are judged will be how we handled our interactions with others!
Don't believe me? For real, how difficult would it be to really sin if I was the only one around?
I would have no one to lie to.
Since no one would be around to own anything I could not steal.
I couldn't kill anyone really.
I couldn't other's belongings.
I could swear, but would anyone hear? (If a tree in the forest falls...)
There would be no real laws of the land to follow.
I mean, everything from here to the end of the earth is dependent on people and how we value and interact with them. There are so many people, and so many pass us by with no interaction. We value them like we value a sign-post as something to walk around or stare at blankly. The truth is, people are sign-posts, pointing us in the direction of our created purposed:
To Value, Lift Up, and Ensure the Success of One Another.
To check out the company I am currently with, go here. We are in pre-launch, meaning that anyone who gets in will be in the first 5,000 people of the company!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I share it to give you an understanding of Opulence and success:
"...Let me preface anything I communicate to you by laying some foundation.
So many times people come to me and ask me to help them make major changes in their personal lives.
Some want to be wealthy and rich.
Some want to be happy or improve their marriage.
Some want travel the world, live in their dream home, meet their dream lover, or simply change their health lifestyle.
Often, when I tell them what it takes, they do not follow through.
Maybe the instructions seem too simple.
Maybe they think it won’t work for them.
Maybe they really want to change, but they don’t want to make the changes necessary to get change!
Whatever the case may be, it is now my policy to be very selective with clients. I first tell them what it will take. I can write this on a piece of paper, and I will write it in my next e-mail to you. They are the keys to not only [achieve this goal], but eliminating your fears (any fear) and living the dream life you have always wanted.
Some of these things will take years.
Some will take only moments.
I do not know HOW long a particular dream will take, but I know it will ABSOLUTELY come to pass.
Regardless of that gestation period, I can give you the keys in a few small sentences (again, which I will give you in the next e-mail.) People often say to themselves, “this is too simple! It’s not complicated enough,” which is true.
The keys are not that difficult.
Implementing them, focusing on making the necessary changes and understanding them are the challenges with the keys.
After I give them to you, the real work of implementing and understanding them begins.
We can work together on understanding the keys, and applying them to your life.
Here is how I find out if I will take someone one as a client:
If that is agreeable to you, then I am going to spend some time asking you questions so I know a little bit more about you.
- Give you the keys. That way I have already given you the keys to how to make radical, personal change in your life.
- I give you several homework assignments see how serious you are about personal change.
- Only then will I take a person on as a one-on-one client to help them implement and understand the keys.
If this is not agreeable to you, let me know that also! No harm, no foul. I won’t take any of it personally.
BUT, BUT, I will say this. 7 years ago, someone gave me the option I just gave you. I decided to give it my all. I disagreed with them for weeks and months inside, but I pressed on. I do not know when things finally changed (I still can’t say that I have even changed that much!)
But I can tell you that the keys I want to share with you have taken me around the world, to 11 different countries. The keys has allowed me to see the miraculous, and have the miraculous be performed in my life. They have allowed me to work in dream jobs, and have helped me survive nightmare jobs. They have helped prevent obstructions and distractions from coming into my life, and have opened to door for amazing blessing and prosperity as well.
My relationships with family have improved, and continue to improve.
My love for my friends and family has grown and continues to grown.
My adventures have been amazing, and continue to growing more exciting still!
My mind has opened, and continues to open to more and more.
My finances have increased significantly, and continue to increase still!
This is what you are facing when you are asking for my help with anything in your life. If you wish to continue, just answer the questions I have written [removed], and we will begin. If you do not, that is fine, too. I will not push.
I pray that you have a tremendous day, and I look forward to speaking with you soon."
Friends, this is what teaching the keys to Opulence takes. If you are interested in learning more, check out my website (www.grantnieddu.com), fill out the newsletter sign-up form and receive a free e-Book from an excerpt of Thomas Troward's Your Hidden Power titled The Spirit of Opulence.
I will be posting updates, reading lists, Opulence Conference Calls, and much more! I look forward to hearing from you all soon.
Monday, June 18, 2007
While traveling with Semester-at-Sea in Shanghai, I and several friends of mine happened into The Jade Buddha Temple. We enjoyed a tea ceremony and one of those teas, Lucky Tea Number 5, has stayed with me.
It has been just over 2 years since that time, and I still have a sample of it among my international bag of memories. The leaves from Lucky Tea Number 5 have crumbled significantly and lost their discernible shape.
Regardless, today I pulled the ancient leaves out, heated up the water, and performed my own tea ceremony. The flavor is as strong as ever and now has a mysticism about it that takes me to bamboo jungles and drizzling rain, haggling in the markets and racing to the taxis.
I could tell you of how I found a secret, misty garden of ancient bonsais no less than 300 years old being kept by a Chinese man who looked the same age who wore a long, white fu-man-chu mustache that lightly touched the slate tiles. I could tell you of dynastic bells and dog meat. This is what Lucky Tea Number 5 does to me.
Lucky Tea Number 5 is like any good memory. Over time, the shape crumbles, fades, and even loses the scent. But, when the right incantation is performed, and the time is taken to draw the elixir from its leaves and stems, the memory returns more robust and full of mystery. It whisks you back into ancient lands where the memory was formed, and draws you into the excitement of the future where more magical moment will materialize.
Once you have uncovered your own Lucky Tea Number 5, the taste in your mouth never really fades, but merely recedes until the right occasion.
That taste is fresh in my mouth once again, and I feel the pull forward.
So, if you try to contact me and can't, try finding me on a side street in Old Town Shanghai.
Go past the woman bathing her child in a bowl in the street.
Turn left at the "Right Turn Only" sign past the rickshaw rental booth.
Pull up to the curb at an unassuming enclosed courtyard.
Step on in and smell the aroma of burning incense and clanging of bells.
Lower your voice, and when the monks pass, slip off to the right, down the wood walk-way.
At the first teak-wood beaded curtain, slip off your shoes and walk in, take a seat and experience the Tea Ceremony for yourself.
If you can't find me still, buy yourself some Lucky Tea Number 5, bow and say "xia-xia", slip out the back door, go down the steps ever so quietly, and peak around the corner. You will find me there, sitting silently next to an old china-man, sipping my own Lucky Tea Number 5.