Positively Impacting Community

Hopefully, part of your agreement with life involves improving parts of your community that need help. One of the best ways to positively impact your community is by showing people (of all ages) how to get involved in it.

By helping them understand how a particular community works, who the key players are, and what the current processes are, they’ll be able to see which parts are effective and which parts aren’t. Understanding those things will help them to see how they can help continue moving the good parts forward and fix the bad ones.

Lead by example, and encourage others to get out into the highways and byways of the community and become an excited part of it. Whether it’s through traditional ways or through creative ways, positively impacting your community is always a good thing.

“Fresh eyes” will see things differently than eyes that have looked at the same situation for a long time. Infusing your community with “new blood” will also invigorate other people to stay involved and improve at multiple levels. It’s true that the people who are involved in the community in one way or another are people who really care. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be involved.

A way to help others care is to help them see a need. At first, you may have to point out some needs to them (but probably not, since many needs are obvious). In time, they’ll see other needs on their own.

Once they see a need and have a desire to do something about it, help them design a plan of action. Action of some sort is necessary to convert their good intentions into positive changes. Their plan of action needs to include both short-range and long-range goals. Then, help them get to work.

Rolling up your sleeves alongside them will help them see that your own desire to positively impact the community is as real as theirs is. Together, your combined efforts will be amazing!

[…adapted from Marty’s book An Agreement with Life]

And check out www.amazon.com/author/reep for more of my books.
Enjoy! – Marty

Wind Brings Hope

Wind blows across my face
And I embrace the love of God
That comes with it.
It’s no mystery
That God’s love travels with the wind.
It’s been known for centuries.
But what’s even more powerful
Is realizing that his personalized message
Will come for you each day
If you’ll open your heart to hear it.
Travels may take you far from home,
But the will of God
And the peace of love
Will keep you connected

Need a speaker for your conference?
Give me a call.  I’d love to fire up your people!

Believe. Do. and Follow Through!
Achieve Your Full Potential!
Stress Management Through Humor
Multiple Intelligences (Learning Styles)

They Showed Me How to Truly Live

Recently, someone mentioned debts that can never be repaid, and my own indebtedness to Tom and Farrar Cottingham came to mind in a strong way.  I’ve learned over the years that when someone comes to mind like that, it’s imperative to get in touch with them as soon as possible.  So, I tracked down Farrar’s current number and gave her a call.

As we chatted, I was good for the first couple of minutes, but when I thanked her again for rescuing me 24 years ago, I lost it.  I got choked up and started crying.  I told her I would never be able to repay the debt I owed them.  She told me I didn’t have to.  She also reminded me that they had simply done what they hoped anybody would do.

When I was 21 years old, my apartment lease ended a month early due to university policy changes.  After living in my truck for a couple of weeks, I posted flyers around town looking for a room to rent.  At first, no calls came in, and things started looking pretty bleak.

A few days later, Farrar called the number listed (a friend’s house) saying she had seen my “Homeless College Student” flyer and told me to stop by for an informal interview.  I was ecstatic!

When I went to their house that night and saw the list of questions they had made, I was a little worried.  They finally said that they were just having some fun with me!  I started laughing, and we wound up talking for almost an hour.  At last, it was agreed; I moved in the next day.

During the year that followed, they not only provided me with a room, they treated me like family.  I soon realized that those two didn’t simply talk the talk about being good Christian people, they lived it every day.

Tom and Farrar had long been firm believers in meeting people’s physical needs before meeting their spiritual needs – that Christ’s love demonstrated spoke volumes more than empty words.  They believed that if they cared for people’s health and well-being, then those same people would listen when it came to spiritual things.

Furthermore, they brought it full circle.  They discussed spiritual things daily with each other, with me, and with other people.  They just made sure that their living words had tangible actions in front of them.  Social change and empowerment were real things to the Cottinghams, and they made them real on a one-on-one basis with the people they came in contact with.

Through their daily, constant examples, Tom and Farrar showed me how to live.  Every day by them just being them, they showed me what really mattered in dealing with people, in dealing with situations, and in dealing with life.  Sure, we had our differences.  In fact, we rarely agreed on politics.  But in time, I came to understand how little politics actually matter when it got right down to it.  We were playing on the spiritual team.

At the end of that year, I moved out and got married.  My wife and I visited them regularly while we still lived in the same town, but we eventually moved away to follow careers and raise our own family.  We stayed in touch over the years and visited when we could.  Tom died in 2012 at 96 years old.  He led an amazing, full life.

Farrar is now 95, but on the phone she still sounded like the chipper 71 year-old whose vibrant personality lit up the room.  I was making mental notes as she talked about living, serving, and enjoying life: ever the optimist with some realism thrown in.  We discussed various things, including the importance of paying forward acts of kindness and genuine care.  It was so good to talk with her again.

Tom and Farrar took me in when I had no place to go and showed me how to truly live.  For that, I will forever be grateful.

Books by Marty

BelieveDo (ch 3) – What’s Your “Why”?

[The following is an excerpt from the motivational book, Believe. Do. And Follow Through!, that I co-wrote with Isaiah Whittaker]

Chapter 3

If you know the “why,” you’ll figure out the “how.”

That’s a curious thought, isn’t it? But, it’s true.  If you know “why” you’re going to do something, then “how” to do it will fall into place, in due time.

That’s just it, though – a lot of people don’t know why they do things; why they’re going to do things; or why anybody else does things.  They don’t have a real reason for reaching a goal – so, a lot of times, they don’t.

However, when you give yourself a task to accomplish, your mind kicks into gear and tries to figure out ways to get it done.  That’s the subconscious mind at work – it doesn’t distinguish fact from fiction – it just absorbs.  On the other hand, your conscious mind has to have a valid reason to do something before it will support the energy necessary to achieve the goal.

• What’s your goal?
• What’s your “Why”?
• What’s the reason that you want to do it?
• What gets you out of bed in the mornings?
• What motivates you to work hard and to press onward when the going gets tough?
• Is it purely personal?
• Does it focus on others?
• Does it have greater depth than you realize?
• Will it carry you forward on its own waves of energy, long after the initial excitement has worn off?
• Is it something worth fighting for?

If it helps, write out your reason for wanting to do something.  Then, think about it.  Does what you wrote say what you thought it would?  If not, think some more, and rewrite it.

When it does say what you mean, then read it aloud so that your own ears hear you say it.  That way, both your subconscious and conscious minds can get to work.

Know your “why.”