5 Changes You Can Make to Live a Safer Life

All of us want the security of having a safe environment not just for us, but for our families as well.

In today’s post, we’re going to be breaking down five ways that are going to ensure you provide a safer life for you and those around you.

1. Befriend Those You Want to Be Like

As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” This is particularly true when you want to live a certain lifestyle. If you associate with the wrong types of people, they’ll rub off on you. Those people don’t have to be alcoholics and drug abusers. Let’s say you have a friend who arrives perpetually late to things. The more time you spend with that person, the higher the odds that you will start arriving late to things. If you want to be safe, surround yourself with like-minded people.

2. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can be dangerous for the user and their family. In fact, alcohol can often end up separating the family more often than bringing them together. As far as safety is concerned, alcohol can impair judgment and responsibility, increasing your chances of making a stupid decision that you’ll regret in the future. In the end, it’s best for you and your family if you just leave alcohol alone.

3. Invest in a Home Security System

This is definitely a significant step! A home security system ensures around-the-clock safety for you and your family. It allows you to know if any burglar is breaking into and entering your home, posing a threat to you and your loved ones. By installing this, an alarm monitoring company will be monitoring your house even when you’re not home. According to ADT, you can even monitor your security from a smartphone or tablet. Overall, your family and your home will have maximum protection from intruders.

4. Schedule Regular Check-Ups with Your Doctor

Regular check-ups to the doctor ensure that you are personally safe from any diseases or illnesses. Also, bring your family too if possible. This guarantees everyone is healthy, which results in a safer and happier household.

5. Invest in Yourself

Further education is always a good idea, especially when it comes to living a safe life. Find out further ways to provide safety and security for your family whether it be finances, relationships, health, happiness, etc.

By focusing on the above five steps, you can guarantee that you and your family live a pretty safe life.

Here’s What I Told My Son Josh on His 18th Birthday

Dear Son,

Today you become a man. Becoming a man is more than reaching a milestone. It’s a process that began on that day eighteen years ago when you took your first breath and will continue until that time in the future when you take your last.

Josh graduation

Being a man is not about accomplishments, athletic ability, academic ability or pursing popularity, power, possession, or prestige. Being a man is more about character, compassion and courage.

A man has character when he is a person of integrity who can be depended on. A man has compassion when he not only cares for others, but demonstrates it by putting their best interests ahead of his own.

A man has courage when he does what is right even what it’s difficult. I believe you are a long way along this journey to becoming a man. You have learned so much already. You show so much promise. As you journey into manhood, I’d like to share my experiences and help you go further faster.

  1. Be proud of who you are. You are a Stowers and we determine our values, why they’re important, and live them out. Don’t be afraid to be an individual.  Own it!
  2. Listen more than you speak. You will learn more by paying attention to what others have to say, and people appreciate being heard.
  3. Add value to people’s lives. Look for ways to inspire and empower others. Look for simple ways to help others.
  4. Stand on your word. Doing what you say you will do is a rare thing in our world today. It is one of the easiest ways to stand apart.
  5. Be confident but stay hungry and humble. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, so don’t doubt your abilities. On the other hand don’t think too highly of yourself.  Never get too high or too low.
  6. Keep grinding. The process of working toward a goal is often as rewarding as the achievement itself.
  7. Intelligence and wisdom are not the same. Intelligence is the ability to learn. Wisdom is using knowledge and experience to make good choices. You can be both.
  8. Never stop learning and growing. There’s a whole world to be explored beyond the classroom long after graduation.
  9. Own “IT.” Whatever life throws at you, embrace. Change, obstacles, accomplishments, difficulties, adventures, success, failure are all opportunities to grow. Enjoy the moment.
  10. Love God and people! Be a man who is known by his affections and his actions. Value your family and forge friendships that last.

These eighteen years you have been alive also happen to coincide with the best eighteen years of my life. That’s no coincidence. Your coming into this world has profoundly changed mine. No words can adequately describe my love, my pride and my hope for you. I am blessed to call you my son. And today I am also pleased to call you a man.  Happy 18th Birthday Son!  I love you man!

Your father & life coach 😀

Sacrifices Every Leader Makes

If something is gained by personal sacrifice, how much more valuable is it to you?

An athlete crossing the finish line for their first marathon appreciates that all the time and effort put in to training has been worth it. The same can be said for life. While the idea of sacrifice especially on a personal level makes most people uncomfortable, it is essential if you are to build strong character.

Sacrifice

As a leader you will have many responsibilities and be faced with many challenges. It will require a depth of character to achieve your goals.  Character is often molded through challenges. As a leader there are three common areas of your life that you may need to sacrifice. Think of them as character building exercises rather than sacrifices and you can become an influential leader.

 As a Leader you sacrifice your Time.

A true leader will sacrifice their personal agenda for the sake of an organization’s goals. People will require meetings with you. They will need your input when making decisions and all of this demands your time. Many CEO’s are in the habit of working long hours. They know that they have to sacrifice their time in order to help the organization succeed. Of course a wise leader will balance this with a need for rest. But as a general rule a leader often has to sacrifice their personal time for an organization.

In addition to sacrificing your time, on my next post I’ll share the second sacrifice leaders must make – their energy.  Stay tuned!

Have you ever had to sacrifice your time?  If so, how?

My Vision…My Dream…My World

Vision is a “preferred picture of what could be and what should be” according to megachurch pastor Bill Hybels. Furthermore, He goes on to say, “when you put the right words to a vision or principle, it becomes axiomatic. It begins to live! It becomes memorable and powerful!”

I converse with leaders from all walks of life and they ALL wrestle with words to frame their vision.  Honestly, they wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their big ideas in a way that captures the imagination and lifts spirits.  Personally, sometimes words cannot explain how I feel.  However, when they’re linked to music and video, something magical happens.  I invite you to take a peek and see what’s swirling around in my mind.  I decided to let the music speak and frame a reality I dream of.  Enjoy!

My Vision…My Dream from CE Stowers on Vimeo.

What’s your vision…your preferred picture of what could be and what should be?

A Sure Way To Write A Personal Vision Statement

You have a purpose in life.  Let me repeat: You have a purpose in life!  You know in your heart what’s most important to you.

What Is A Personal Vision Statement?

A personal vision statement is a preferred picture of what could be and what should be in your life.  Additionally, it’s a plan for people to accomplish the goals they set.  It shapes your identity and crystallizes principles which are important to you, and supplies a foundation on which to build a preferred picture of the future.  In short, it communicates who you are and what you plan to accomplish.  A personal vision statement can be based on your mission, goal, or your passion.

The Test Of A Man

To say I’m excited about mentoring a fine group of men is an understatement.  In fact – I’m ECSTATIC!  How often are we allowed the chance to impart and pour our lives into others?  I told our men that this will be one of the most difficult assignments they’ll ever encounter.  I will teach them…stretch them…develop them…train them…correct them…as they transition into fine Christian leaders in their homes, communities, and church.

(Praying for our Men of Promise. Sunday, November 7, 2010)

I crossed the burning sands of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., on March 4, 1987 @ 10:54:35pm while attending Jackson State University in Jackson, MS.  While pledging* (The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha DO NOT participate in or condone any form of hazing :-D), my line (The Naughty 9) read poems that instilled hope and inspiration.  The inspiration from these poems gave us the strength to reach towards the finishing line.  I shared with the Men of Promise how nothing great comes without sacrifice, dedication, and hard work.  Therefore, I believe this poem, “The Test of a Man” will prove beneficial to their development.

THE TEST OF A MAN

(Author Unknown)

The test of a man is the fight that he makes,

The grit that he daily shows;

The way he stands upon his feet,

And takes life’s numerous bumps and blows.

A coward can smile when there’s naught to fear.

And nothing his progress bars,

But it takes a man to stand and cheer,

While the other fellow stars.

It isn’t the victory after all

But the fight that a Brother makes.

A man when driven against the wall, still stands

erect and takes the blows of fate with his head held high,

bleeding and bruised and pale,

Is the man who will win and fate defied,

For he isn’t afraid to fail.

Question:  What Scriptures, poems, or quotes get you through the day?

Free Your Mind (What I'm Thinking)

Tonight, I’m having great difficulty focusing my attention on what I must complete.  My mind’s racing with so many thoughts, so I decided to stop working and free my mind.

Here’s some thoughts that have been running around my head this week:

  1. I love my wife – she’s the glue that holds it all together!
  2. Today my 2nd mom lost her mom & I had to hold it together & serve the family. I confess: I cried in the car.
  3. More and more, I realized that I need to be around visionaries and dreamers.  People that only think here and now drain me.
  4. Im beginning to sense, “We Cant Stay Here.”
  5. I need to get away to pray, think, plan, & prepare for what God has in store for Mars Hill.
  6. Here’s what’s coming soon @ Mars Hill: Website redesign integrating our social media strategy, an Internet Campus where you can view our services via On Demand style, Podcasting via iTunes, & Renovation of our facilities to reflect our unique way of doing ministry.
  7. I’m starting a Men’s mentoring group. I will disciple 8-12 men for one year.  I will coach them in ALL areas of their lives to become men of influence! I’m TOTALLY excited about this!!!
  8. Our choir held an anniversary concert for my wife & I (11th year pastoring) and they did an OUTSTANDING job. They can really sing…I mean really sing.
  9. I love my church & believe I have the best job in the world!
  10. God is shifting our church & I’m sensing that some won’t be able to handle the shift because of denominational loyalty.
  11. Spiritual warfare is increasing.  The enemy is not happy about life change!
  12. Sometimes I feel we’re too Full Gospel to be Baptist…Too Baptist to be Full Gospel.
  13. Here’s a thought: Drop ALL the labels & be BIBLICAL. Yea, I like that!
  14. Ministry can be frustrating – but it’s a good frustration!
  15. I’m considering getting an MBA. Why? I believe it’ll help our church as we expand the reach of our ministry though multiple campuses.
  16. Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to understand more and more that the local church really matters.  Social work and missions that isn’t connected to a local church isn’t going to accomplish anything long-term.

Whew, it’s out & maybe I can get back to work!