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June 2008

Feedjit

In case you haven't noticed, I have a map on each of my sites that shows the countries represented by visitors to that particular site. You can check out the map to this site right under the left column book recommendations. I got this map from a service called Feedjit and it is addictive!  The only drawback is that the countries don't stay on for long unless you have repeat, regular visitors.  I have had people log on from Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, Ukraine (my nationality), Israel, the Faroe Islands (look them up; I had to), Hong Kong, Argentina, Italy and so many more.  What's more, you can click on the visitor's flag, go to satellite and zoom in to see exactly where the person was when they logged on.  Now that's cool!  I also have the map on the site for The Monday Memo and Bible studies

If you are reading this, go ahead and log onto my site, just so I can have a record of your visit, especially if you live in some exotic place -- like Iowa!  Thanks for your help. 

Second Show in The Can

I enjoyed my second radio show this past week as much or more than the first, and I thought I did a better job.  I am accustomed to talking before live audiences, so a radio show takes some getting used to.  Plus, I had a different producer this week than last, and he followed a different break schedule, which threw me into a brief moment of confusion. 

This show featured my friend Sheila Hunt, who talked about how we met and the impact the purpose message had on her life.  We talked about her transition from education to corporate America, and Sheila was a natural on the air.  You can listen to find out what impact a purpose coach can have on your PurposeQuest.

You can access the show in the network's archives

Here is a summary of next week's show:
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 at 6am Pacific
Stop Doing What You Love. . . So You Can Do What You Love

Do you enjoy what you are doing, but don't feel like you are making the impact you would like to make? Do you see the problems in the world and wish you could make more of a difference? If so, then join John Stanko and his special guest, Bill Hobbs, founder and president of Urban Youth Impact in West Palm Beach, Florida as they discuss Bill's "longest drive" - his journey from professional golf to inner city youth work.
Missed the live show?  This episode is rebroadcast at 6 PM Pacific. Past episodes are available on-demand and podcast ready.

Listen LIVE to VoiceAmerica!

Questions? Comments? Call: 1.866.472.5787/5788   

Second Radio Show

What:  Your PurposeQuest: The Power of a Focused Life

When
:  Wednesday, May 28

WhereVoice America network

Time:  9 AM Eastern time, which translates into 2 PM in the UK, 3 PM in Zimbabwe, 4 PM in Kenya and 9 PM in Singapore

Episode Two: Making A Major Midlife Job Change.  Feel stuck where you’re working now?  Don't know how to make a change?  Not sure what you want to do and where you would be best suited to work?  If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, then join John Stanko and his guest Sheila Hunt as they discuss how Sheila answered these questions for herself.  Then find out what she did about it!  You’ll hear how Sheila made a transition from the field of education to corporate America.  Join John and Sheila as they talk about faith and courage to do what you love.

You can access the first show on the Voice America archives.  You can call me on the show while it is live to ask questions by calling 1.866.472.5787.

Violence in Zimbabwe

I saw a quote yesterday from Thabo Mbeki, South African president, that he made in response to the violence toward foreigners in South Africa right now.  This is what Mr. Mbeki said: "There can never, ever be any justification for criminal, violent activity against anyone. That's something we have to act against very firmly, and stop. "

He was also reported to have said on state radio, "T
oday we are faced with a disgrace... a humiliating disgrace for our nation where you have a handful of people, a minority in our community, that decides to commit crime against fellow Africans."

I guess that's true in South Africa, but not in Zimbabwe, where Mr. Mbeki seems to believe that violence is justified, or else I'm sure he would condemn it there like he did in his own country.  If it's wrong for South Africans to attack Zimbabweans, as Mr. Mbeki said it is, then why isn't it wrong for Zimbabweans to attack Zimbabweans?  And if it's wrong for the minority to impose their will in South Africa through violence, isn't it also wrong in Zimbabwe?

Now I see that Zimbabwean Catholics and Anglicans are being harassed for their leaders' remarks against violence and the current situation.  If the government is persecuting some Christians, what's to stop them from persecuting all Christians?  Mr. Mugabe is threatening to evict the U.S. ambassador, who is aiding and abetting the opposition, according to Mr. Mugabe.  We are watching is the disintegration of a modern state, where inflation may now be as high as one million percent.

It makes me think of the poem written by a pastor concerning the situation in Germany in the late '30s.
When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
after all I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Lord, help all the citizens of Zimbabwe.  Give them peace and rest from the powers that try to tear the country apart. Grant my brothers and sisters protection and safety.  Amen. 

Indiana Jones

We are enjoying a national holiday here in the States called Memorial Day (it was formerly called Decoration Day, when we decorated the graves of our war dead).  This is the first time in nine years I have been home for Memorial Day.  I am usually in Zimbabwe at the Action Conference, but it didn't work out for me to be there this year.  Last night, I saw on our new porch on our new patio furniture, reading for my upcoming classes, journaling, and staring at the blue sky.  It is definitely good to be home.

Last Friday, my wife and I went to a late showing of the new movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  It has been 20 years since the last Indiana Jones movie and Harrison Ford looks good for being 65.  The movie didn't get good reviews, but I would give it a "B."  The escape scenes were preposterous, the ending ridiculous, and the pace slow at times.  Yet it was entertaining, brought back great memories of the previous three Indie Jones' movies, and featured the possible heir apparent to Jones when he decides to hang up his whip.

All in all, I have seen a lot worse movies, so go see it and take it for what it is: a movie that continues a long history of Lucas/Spielberg films that have become legends in their time.  This one will be no exception.

First Show is History

Well, I was host on my first radio show today, and it was great, if I do say so myself. What great fun it was!  I was born to do this!  I can't wait until the next show.

I had Diana Scimone, who serves as my editor and is also my sister-in-law, as my guest and, as usual during an interview, the time flew by!  We talked about writing, purpose and what Diana is doing in respect to the child trafficking problem in the world today.  One thing that stood out to me from the interview is that often people don't do what they can do because it isn't everything that needs to be done. 

Child trafficking is such a huge problem in the world that it would be easy to think, "It's too big.  I can't do something big so I won't do anything at all."  Do what you can with what's in your heart and trust the Lord for the results.  That is what Diana is doing.  What can you do with what's in your heart?  You can access today's show on the Voice America site archives.

Also, there was a bad link to the complete article that was published in Ministry Today magazine in its abbreviated form the other day.  The link below works and I apologize for any inconvenience.

I am working on my new website getting all the content ready.  The old site is still up, but it is so outdated that I considered taking it down altogether (but I didn't).  The new site, however, will be a great place for purpose seekers all over the world.  I will let you know when it launches.

That's about it for today. I have work to do now that I am a media host! 

Download charisma_pharaoh_1.0.doc


Ministry Today Magazine

I am honored to have an article published in this month's Ministry Today magazine entitled Lessons from Egypt. You can read the article on their website, although it had to be greatly reduced to fit the space available. That was a valuable exercise in itself to reduce a 2500 word article to 750 words. I found out that a lot of what I thought was critical could be eliminated and the article still have meaning. Yet the larger article is worth reading in its entirety, so I am attaching it to this post below. You can read the abbreviated or full versions or both if you so choose. See how many choices this site brings you!

Only two days and counting until the launch of the radio show, Your PurposeQuest: The Power of a Focused Life. Don't forget to tune in this Wednesday at 9 AM Eastern U.S. time for the live broadcast, or go back to the site to download the show and listen later. Each week the episode will be listed on the Voice America site along with my guest for that week.

This is the first time since 1998 that I am in Pittsburgh at this time of the year. Usually I am in Zimbabwe, but this year is a different kind of year. My heart is with the people there as they prepare for their run-off election (more on that later this week), but for now, I am home and enjoying it. I always said that I don't mind going and I don't mind staying home. Just give me meaningful work, Lord.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, our local pro ice hockey team, the Penguins, is in the Stanley Cup finals! We are all so excited and Cup fever is sweeping the city. We aren't sure who we will play in the finals, either Dallas or Detroit, but we are sure that we will win no matter who it is. Go Pens!

Download Pharaoh article here: Charisma Pharaoh 1.0.doc


May 18

May 18th is my spiritual anniversary. It was 35 years ago that I walked forward in a public meeting and gave my life to the Lord. I can remember waking up the next day to a presence in my bedroom that had been there many times before -- it was the Lord, but I didn't realize it until that day. He spoke to me that morning. People get all hung up on God speaking, but He is a great communicator. He speaks every language, speaks through people -- some who know Him and some who don't -- speaks through circumstances, through His Word and even through a donkey as we learn in the Old Testament. If God wants us to do His will, and of course He does, then He must let us know that that will is. He cannot hold us accountable for what we don't know.

On that morning after, I heard three things: 1) I would leave the church in which I was raised; 2) I would go into ministry; 3) I would give my life to His service. All those things have come to pass and it's not all been easy, but it's all been good.

I am sitting at my upstairs temporary office desk until our basement is finished. The sun is shining as I look out the window, and I can see for miles. I see trees, traffic and trains (I can hear the trains groaning as they pull their loads east and west, even though they are two miles away). I am reflecting on the last 35 years and how I got here, doing what I'm doing, living where I'm living. I am launching a new website soon and I hope it will be the economic engine driving my business that I have designed it to be so I can stay home and be more strategic in my travels. I am working on my radio launch scheduled for this Wednesday, I have 21 books to read for my next two doctoral classes in August, I am launching a new book in July and working on my next book release, scheduled for December.

I know that this too shall pass -- this season, this time at home, this time of producing and creating. For right now, however, I plan on enjoying every minute while I thank God for His mercies these last 35 years. I don't know how many years I have left, so I want to make the most of them, which means enjoying every day as the gift of God that it is.

Are you enjoying your days? If not, what can yo do to position yourself to do so? I am no one special; this is the gift that God has for everyone. This is the conclusion that the writer of Ecclesiastes came to and I could not agree more:

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 2:24-28).

So thank you, Lord, for these last 35 years. I commit the rest of them to You, and vow to go where You want me to go and do what You want me to do. Amen!


Radio Reminder

Just a quick reminder that I will host my first radio show next Wednesday on Voice America.  All you have to do is go to their website and click on the Voice America network.  The show will air live at 9AM Eastern time, which translates to 8 AM in Dallas, 6 AM on the West Coast, 2 PM in England, 3 PM in Zimbabwe and South Africa, 4 PM in Kenya and 9 PM in Singapore.  The show will air again 12 hours later and then be in my archives for you to listen to at any time.

You can call in during the show to make comments or ask questions at 1.866.472.5787, or email me your questions in advance and I will make sure to address them on the show.  If you feel so inclined, you can contribute toward the show through my website.

My first guest will be my editor and sister-in-law, Diana Scimone.  You won't want to miss Diana's PurposeQuest stories about what she is doing now through Not For Sale, her program to address the enslavement of young girls around the world.  Diana is also working on a new writing project, which I'm sure we will hear all about.  You can check out all that she has to help writers on her publishing site.

Circle your calendars, set your alarm and tune in next Wednesday, May 21, for the very first show of Your PurposeQuest: The Power of a Focused Life.