Life Coaching for Teens


Life Coaching for Teens is a leadership workbook I put together to aid Latino youth, which explores topics on the essential foundations in leadership development.

I am making the PDF copy available to you to use in the training and development of Latino youth.

Link: Life Coaching for Teens _ Seminar Version

Please fill out and provide your comments about Life Coaching for Teens, thanks!

The Preface of My New Book: The Dimensional #Leader


This book discusses the qualities of the dimensional leader, which any person seeking a leadership role should seek to develop and master over time. As spatial dimensions contain three spheres of width, height and length, so the dimensional leader model exudes the three dimensional qualities of character, competence and communication. David was the consummate dimensional leader, who displayed these three qualities from his inaugural scene, at the time he fought and defeated Goliath, and throughout his entire life as the leader and commander of Israel’s army. David’s leadership legacy is summed up in an obscure passage in Psalm 78:72, where the dimensional leader’s paradigm is revealed:

And David shepherded them with integrity of heart [character]; with skillful hands [competence] he led [communication] them.

This passage of scripture has been written as David’s epitaph; a one sentence summation of his leadership legacy. Any thoughtful reader of this passage should pause for a moment to deliberate its substance and significance, to ponder its hidden treasures. It won’t take you very long before the hidden gems burst forth, revealing the transformative qualities effective leaders should cultivate and master over time.

The subtitle may have also left you asking, “What can a shepherd boy teach me about leadership?” The answer is obvious; a shepherd boy has already taught us principles about leadership, especially how a dimensional leader thinks and acts in times of great challenge. We just need to dive deeper into the story to exhume purpose for our lives today.

When we read about David’s great triumph over Goliath we simply bypass two previous encounters – Eliab, David’s eldest brother and King Saul, the flustered and reluctant leader of Israel. David had to navigate through these two individuals first to get to his ultimate goal – that of confronting and defeating the malicious behemoth, and thus, wiping away the reproach from Israel.

I am positive there have been times in our lives where you and I have had this thought, “I want to be like David.” However, we do not realize the price it took David to achieve a level of leadership mastery. Somehow we bypass those elements of personal sacrifice and testing in the shadows; the hidden places and events, which shaped David’s character. We have the tendency to look upon those who have succeeded as one of God’s favorite kids who were given a free pass to greatness, and somehow everything was handed over to them on a silver platter. This way of thinking is not realistic, nor fair for those who have achieved a level of greatness among us. Greatness comes with a price tag. In other words, anyone who has ever had some legacy worth talking about had to overcome personal challenges and overcome barriers, which catapulted them to a new and improved station in life. It may have been they were willing to confront their fears, which kept them limited and regulated to a mediocre and mundane life. These champions of life succeeded somehow, because they were able to cross what I call the lines of resistance.

A line of resistance is a force seen or unseen, which works against you to constrain you or impose a limitation by restricting you from achieving your dreams, your goals and ultimately your destiny. A line of resistance is also a roadblock or barrier to stop you from moving forward. A line of resistance can eventually create a limiting mindset, a negative attitude, even a habitual pattern, which hinders you from accessing and pursuing your goals, to the point of discouraging you from actualizing your true potential and purpose in life.

In the natural realm, a line of resistance can come from the people around you. In the spiritual realm, the lines of resistance arise from Satan and his hoard of demons. In a personal sense, many lines of resistance already exist in our fallen nature, producing destructive patterns in our life. At other times your lines of resistance can be produced when something dramatic occurs in your past where a negative history was created. This negative event in your life may have produced an insecurity, which is now rooted in fear and controls you. If this is true, you then begin to build an image about yourself, which is not based on reality.

David was confronted by three people, each one tried to restrict and limit him in some manner from succeeding on his mission. These three individuals attempted to create lines of resistance in David’s life.

1. Eliab – David’s brother represents the line of criticism.

2. King Saul – David’s leader represents the line of authority.

3. Goliath – David’s archenemy represents the line of fear and intimidation.

The lines of resistance can be self-imposed or they can come from well meaning people, like our close friends or family members. For instance, someone can give us erroneous counsel diverting us down the wrong road from our destiny for many years. This is why parents, mentors, clergy, and others play a pivotal role in developing and directing the lives of young people. If we “buy-into” these limitations we can end up living on the wrong side of the tracks, instead of what could be — a life of mastery, filled with abundant living.

Have you ever taken an inventory of your life to find out what can be possible? Have you ever challenged yourself to break out of the old mindsets that keep you where you are? This book will challenge you to identify, confront and traverse over those debilitating lines of resistance, which have kept you from experiencing a life above and beyond your true and rightful potential.

Be challenged and enjoy!

Joel

NOTE: You will be able to purchase The Dimensional Leader – The Leadership Strategies of a Shepherd Boy

Una Semana Deficil Para La Reforma Migratoria


Esta fue una semana dificil para el tema de la reforma migratoria pues esta se perdio entre temas politicos que si bien no estaban dirigidos a la inmigracion, tenian relacion con ella. Para empezar el partido republicano decidio decirle de manera política al presidente que no estaba de acuerdo con todas las ordenes ejecutivas que estaba tomando y que sentian que el estaba re escribiendo las leyes en vez de asegurarse que se estuvieran cumpliendo. Para esto, la camara de representantes del congreso aprobo dos proyectos de ley que si bien no tienen futuro y nunca seran ley, sirvieron para asustar a la poblacion inmigrante y crear angustia entre los nuestros.

El primer proyecto de ley que pasaron se llama “ENFORCE ACT” y basicamente busca que el congreso tenga la facultad de enjuiciar al presidente cada vez que el congreso sienta que el presidente se esta sobrepasando en sus atribuciones. Para buscar votos, quien escribio esta ley puso de ejemplo las ultimas decisiones del presidente en cuanto a Obamacare (retrasar penalidades), el IRS (retrasar penalidades) y la inmigracion (DACA y prosecutorial discretion). Sin embargo, la intencion de este proyecto de ley no es la de acabar con estas decisiones sino con el afan de enjuiciar al presidente y promover que deje de tomar decisiones ejecutivas. Al dia siguiente, la misma camara de representantes paso otro proyecto de ley conocido como “FAITHFUL EXECUTION OF THE LAW ACT” O LEY DE EXECUTION FIDEDIGNA DE LAS LEYES” y este proyecto busca limitar el poder del presidente de dictar normas ejecutivas. En ambos casos, la intencion de estas leyes no es meramente anti inmigrante sino mas bien es una movida politica para llamar la atencion de la poblacion hacia posibles errores del presidente para obtener mas votos en las proximas elecciones. En ambos proyectos de ley, el pronostico de convertise en ley es casi nulo porque no cuenta con los votos en el senado y el presidente ha amenazado con vetar el proyecto si pasara las dos camaras osea no firmar estos proyectos de ley y por lo tanto nunca se llevaran a cabo. El ambiente politico esta tan caliente que en respuesta a estos dos proyectos de ley, el presidente al dia siguiente firmo una nueva orden ejecutiva (justo lo que los congresistas no querian) indicandole al departamento de trabajo que cambien las normas de overtime para permitir que mas trabajadores ganen overtime. Esto ha molestado mucho a estos congresistas y nos falta ver como reaccionar.

Como veran, estos proyectos de ley han traido mucho ruido y mucha alarma en nuestra poblacion y sobre todas las cosas nos ha sacado de la ruta mas importante de todas, aquella en que todos luchamos por un fin comun, la REFORMA MIGRATORIA. Estamos en epoca de elecciones y vamos a ver pasar muchas cosas que muchas veces no vamos a entender pero debemos entender lo siguiente: Solo hay una forma de conseguir la reforma migratoria y esta es eligiendo congresistas pro inmigrantes. Asi que si usted conoce un ciudadano americano, pidale que salga a votar y que cuando lo haga, vote por candidatos pro inmigrantes. Si tiene preguntas hagalas a traves de mi pagina de facebook: Inmigracion al dia

Departe de Lic. Kathia Pereira

Latino Townhall’s Top 25 #Leadership Quotes for 2013 – Part II


Latino Townhall’s Top 25 #LatinoQuotes for 2013 – Part II

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Latino Townhall’s founder is busy writing a book on leadership, and from time to time, he receives inspiration through his research and studies. Here are 25 #LatinoQuotes for the second half of 2013. The dates are included to only to authenticate the date of writing… please cut and paste quotes as often as you wish to post on social media… hope you’re inspired!

‘Leadership doesn’t begin with ego, agenda, title nor position… It starts with surrender.” -Joel Garcia (December 15, 2013)

‘The most essential element of creating change is preparing and aligning people with the right attitude for change.” –Joel Garcia (December 1st 2013)

‘Hope can carry you, faith can move you but before you go anywhere take love with you.” –Joel Garcia (November 29th 2013)

‘Don’t learn from your mistakes; rather gain wisdom so you minimize your mistakes.” –Joel Garcia (November 29th 2013)

‘Three things matter most and cannot be take away; our faith, our family and our freedom.” –Joel Garcia (November 28th)

‘Competence goes beyond possessing mere knowledge, it has more to do with executing excellence.” –Joel Garcia (November 21, 2013)

‘Success is determined by the individual – not everyone is looking for the same thing.” –Joel Garcia (November 19, 2013)

‘You give power away by putting love into action.” –Joel Garcia (Oct. 2nd 2013)

‘Trust is the anchor that holds and sustains enduring relationships.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Empowering others is the ability to trust them with risk and failure.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Accountability is simply an action of leadership that gets results.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Envy is hating what someone has earned rightly, and a deep despair for lacking it nightly. –Joel Garcia (September 13, 2013)

‘The type of “civic engagement” our Founders had in mind was for the people to be engaged for the purpose of restraining public officials rather than empowering them.” –Joel Garcia (September 3, 2013)

‘Rejection will test the limits of your calling and character.” –Joel Garcia (September 3rd 2013)

‘When leaders serve within their purpose they find real pleasure.” –Joel Garcia 

‘Galvanizing power is the direct gift of influencing and integrity.” –Joel Garcia

‘If one strives for success, then hunger and passion must translate into discipline at some point.” –Joel Garcia

‘Joy ignites passion.” –Joel Garcia (June 26, 2013)

‘Evil may prick at you, but if you stand honorably it won’t defeat you.” –Joel Garcia (May 26, 2013)

‘Sometimes you may feel alone and distant but you’re not. Just know God is with you, your friends are behind you, and your destiny lies before you.” –Joel Garcia (May 26, 2013)

‘Pride is an unwillingness to change; humility is always in learning mode.” –Joel Garcia (May 14th 2013)

‘A leader embraces scripted priorities as well as a fluid approach to balancing them in the moment.” –Joel Garcia (March 20, 2013)

‘You cannot have influence without trust, and trust is built through love.” –Joel Garcia (March 23, 2013)

‘Humility is not denying strength nor success but keeping in mind these things can ruin your life.” –Joel Garcia

‘Performance and results are driven and determined by the intelligence behind your labor.” –Joel Garcia

Calling – Capturing the Elusive Voice in the Wind


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I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.”
-– Moses -–

As a young man, the nagging question I asked myself many times walking a few blocks to High School each morning was – What am I supposed to do with my life? As I pondered this question, at times I felt an inner voice affirming I was created for a purpose. At the time, I did not know what my purpose would be. I only knew this life had more to offer me than the current offerings that were coming my way. A few years after High School, at the age of twenty, my soul-searching phase came to a sudden end, as I devoted my life to Christ. Within a few months I felt a strong urge compelling me to serve a higher cause. I soon discovered my calling and the spiritual dimension were inseparable. Before Christ I had chosen a career in Law Enforcement, an area of my personal interest at the time. In Christ, however, my calling was made clear to me by divine revelation; delivered through a penetrating voice, which resounded within, filling me with dynamic life purpose. A voice spoke to my inner being leaving no doubt in my mind of what I was supposed to do with my life. A “call or calling” is simply a Divine invitation for you to participate in the greatest adventure of your life.

One’s call or calling has its origin in eternity before God created time and space. Lucifer’s rebellion established the need to confront and expunge evil from God’s presence forever. To establish and advance truth and righteousness God created a plan to overcome and destroy the works of evil. God made this redemptive provision possible through His son before time began, which also had you and I in mind – we would receive declarative powers to become His Ambassadors of light in the natural realm penetrating and pushing back the Kingdom of darkness. Calling exists because evil exists. Calling exists because we live in a chaotic, broken and unstable world, which God loves and has a redemptive plan and purpose through his chosen ones.

A call or calling can be defined as God’s eternal design or pre-existing purpose for your life; spoken before time began with the aim of displaying His magnificent glory through you. Once you find your life’s calling, you will have found something of value to focus upon, where you can channel your time, energy and talents in a seemingly effortless way. If you are reading this sentence, then you have a purpose beyond your wildest dreams, which was designed in eternity. If you are alive then you are destined to hear, engage, and manifest God’s ordained plan for your life. You see God can manifest His calling for your life in many ways, for God’s forms of speaking are as varied as the languages of the earth. God is not limited on how He reveals His purpose for our lives. Here are some ways God calls people to manifest destiny:

  1. God’s Voice – Abraham heard God’s voice to leave his father, family and country and traverse upon a journey with God in a foreign land.
  2. Unusual Encounters – Jacob was given a new name and identity after he wrestled with God’s angel through the night (Genesis 32:24-30).
  3. Curiosity – Moses was summoned by a burning bush, which was not consumed by a fire. This strange thing caused him to wonder about it and seek it out for himself.
  4. Angelic Visitation – Gideon was called to a great work by God’s warrior angel (Judges 6:11).
  5. By Revelation – The prophet Isaiah was called from his mother’s womb, where God made mention of his name (Isaiah 49:1). He discovered this truth by a radical heavenly vision, which was first spoken in eternity.
  6. Early Life Signs – Jesus, at the age of twelve, spoke to the teachers’ in the Temple, who were amazed and astonished by his level of subject mastery and communication of truth (Luke 2:46,47).
  7. A Blinding Vision by Day – Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, encountered a bright light and heard a voice from heaven (Acts 9), drawing him out of sterile religion, into his new life in Christ.
  8. Prophetic Interruptions – In the first chapter of Luke, we see a combination of angelic visitations visiting Zacharias and Mary announcing heaven’s will concerning the miracle of birth for both parties. These children were given their specific role in world before their birth. We also see a prophetic utterance by Zacharias, and a prophetic song by Mary over the futures of their children.

Some people sense a calling early in life and have their entire lives to manifest it, while others manifest their calling towards the end of their life’s journey. For example, Mozart, the child prodigy displayed early life signs of calling. When most parents in our day are registering their five year olds for Kindergarten, Mozart was already composing music. President Ronald Reagan, the fortieth president of the United States, was inaugurated President at the age of sixty-nine, within a few weeks of turning seventy. President Reagan spent his septennial years inspiring millions of Americans by leading the greatest nation on the face of the earth to economic freedom and world prominence. President Ronald Reagan manifested his calling all his life but entered his peak-influencing phase of his calling late in life when most people are relishing their retirement. God’s call to duty can come at any time, and can be expressed in various forms because God’s ways of getting your attention are so diverse. Will you be ready to capture the voice in the wind when it brushes upon your heart and soul?

Calling is like the wind; depending on its velocity and volume one can be overpowered by its strength or seduced by its subtle breeze. Some people need to hear it vociferously while others are drawn by its breezy calm. Biblical scholar Steve Thompson, in his book You May All Prophesy, clearly distinguishes the three voices of God. God’s voice can be defined as:[i]

  1. A still small voice of God – This is the soft and gentle voice of God, which comes as we wait upon the Lord in prayer or meditation. It comes internally and quietly.
  2. An internal audible voice of God – This is often a loud booming voice, not coming through our thoughts, but instead cutting through and interpreting them.
  3. The audible Voice of God – Difficult to describe, except to say if you only think you have heard God speak audibly, you have not. When he speaks in this fashion, all thought and doubt is removed.

When God speaks to you directly, He awakens the seeds of destiny embedded deep within our spirit. You and I are responsible to sense the rumbling of this seed awakening from within, to stir and nurture its flow by faith and action. The voice in the wind may not always come directly from God’s mouth as an audible voice but indirectly through a compelling need, the sight of an injustice or when freedom is being threatened. Let’s take a look at a young shepherd boy’s calling.

A Simple Errand Revealed Calling

The shepherd boy David discovered his calling on assignment when his father, Jesse, sent him on a reconnaissance mission to find out the status of three of his enlisted sons. David was sent to the valley of Elah, where the battle lines were drawn between the children of Israel and their archrival, a people group known as the Philistines. It was during this assignment when David’s true calling manifested. As David stood among the soldiers he captured the voice in the wind via a menacing voice defying the armies of the living God. This voice in the wind immediately captured David’s attention, triggering an embedded code within him known as calling. All the sudden, David discerned a distinct nuance connecting his previous experiences with the Lion and the Bear, and this one with the menacing giant with his capacity and confidence to overcome the threat. Goliath’s reckless challenge elicited a response and strategy from David, which would launch him into the hearts of the people and his destiny. It was the behemoth’s challenge, which caused him to inquire throughout the camp on how to go about fighting the beast. This passionate inquiry brought David before King Saul who would, through a brief dialogue with David, grant the young lad permission to face the annoying menace. What started in the morning to be a menial task became an opportunity for David’s true calling to manifest. David teaches us that one must be attentive and pause to discern the opportunity before us. So don’t despise the small things handed down to you, it just maybe a test for your next promotion.

It’s one thing to hear your calling and it is another thing to manifest it. Although the multitudes championed David when he defeated Goliath, he spent the next fifteen years fighting for the manifestation of his destiny. If you think manifesting your calling is going to be easy, think again. When your calling is revealed, it is also revealed to the enemy, the savage destroyer, who will wage strategic warfare over your destiny to see it delayed, frayed or crushed entirely.

Be Open to the Call

Henry Blackaby, pastor and the author of the book Spiritual Leadership, was asked, “Well, what does it mean to be called?” Blackaby replied, “It means to be humbled and be open to learn.”[ii] This truth unveils the struggle between calling and walking in one’s call. Have you ever noticed how some great men of faith struggled at the time of their calling? Here’s the short list:

  1. Moses asked God, “Why me?” (Exodus 3:11); he was doubtful (Exodus 4:1); and alleged his speech was not eloquent enough for the job (Exodus 4:10).
  2. Gideon immediately pointed out that his clan was the weakest among his tribe, and that he was the runt of the family (Judges 6:15).
  3. And, at the initiation of Saul’s inaugural service to anoint him King of Israel, he was discovered hiding behind the baggage (1 Samuel 10:22).

A call is a humbling experience, propelling us into a place of deep introspection, where one evaluates his or her ability to take on such a challenge. A call from God places our lives into a microscope, and all we see is our ineptitude and frail humanity. We then conclude we don’t have the goods to accomplish what God is trying to get us to do. Actually, this is an accurate assessment. We cannot do it without God’s assistance and anointing. Therefore, a call from God requires us to adopt a humble and learning posture, realizing we need his grace and empowerment in our lives to achieve the impossible.

Although God still uses certain things from our lives to accomplish his will. For instance, God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” Moses replied, “A shepherd’s staff.” God said, “I can use that shepherd’s staff.” When God called Gideon he said, “Go in the strength that you have.” Gideon had strength, but just enough to get started, then he increased his strength and passion as he journeyed on his mission in obedient fashion. God can use the small and insignificant things you possess on you or within you for his glory. The struggle is not the call itself per se, but the size of the struggle within you to initiate the demand being placed upon our life. Self-revelation of your ineptitude to heed such a grandiose call will require humility, and adopting a posture of learning as we move forward fulfilling our God-given call for our lives.

A Prophetic Voice in Literature

Have you ever watched the Lord of the Rings movie series? In the initial stage of J.R.R. Tolkien’s story The Hobbit one of his illustrious characters, a wizard named Gandalf, arrives at Bilbo Baggins’ home seeking out a lowly Hobbit to call out for an important assignment. At first Bilbo struggles with this compelling call upon his life, perhaps thinking it was too big a task for a small Hobbit like him. After Gandalf’s departure Bilbo finds himself piddling around the house, contemplating on his recent visitor’s request. Will he heed the call or continue his daily routine around his home pinning his life away doing nothing? Most of us are like Bilbo Baggins, piddling around the house without any purpose in life. After a brief time considering the stranger’s invitation, conviction and courage emerged within the lowly Hobbit. Finally, Bilbo Baggins decides to take on Gandalf’s invitation to engage in the greatest adventure of his life. As Bilbo urgently jetisons from his home along the path to meet up with Gandalf, one of his neighbors inquires out loud, “Bilbo, where are you going?” Bilbo responds with an exuberant cry of the heart, “I’m going on an adventure!” And this is exactly what God’s call is.

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Raphael Santi – European Master Painter: Study for Moses in Front of the Burning Bush.

[i] Thompson, Steve (2000) You May All Prophesy. MorningStar Fellowship Church, Charlotte, NC; pg. 43, 44.

[ii] Barna, George (2009) Master Leaders; Revealing Conversations with 30 Leadership Greats, Tyndale Publishers, Inc.; pg. 56.

Trials and Sufferings – A Fast Track Process for Developing Leaders


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It is inevitable, all Christians will experience trials and sufferings because to extend God’s kingdom requires an immersion in the art of spiritual warfare. After Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey, they decided to retrace their missionary steps to visit the churches they had planted. What was their recurring message to all the churches they planted? They encouraged the young churches to remain true to the faith once delivered to them, exhorting them, “We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.”[i] The apostle Paul, a person familiar with trials and tribulation, alludes again in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV) to a litany of personal experiences:

‘We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 (NKJV), continues his transparency by listing his struggles:

‘From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; [in] journeys often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils of [my own] countrymen, [in] perils of the Gentiles, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness – besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.”

Leaders, who expect to extend their sphere of influence, should expect trials and tribulations to follow them as they pursue their God-given vision for their lives. As a matter of fact, upon Saul’s conversion, the Lord told Ananias in Acts 15:16, “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” As a leader, are you ready to make a difference for Christ? Of course you are! On the flip side, are you willing to suffer for his namesake? This question, which eludes many, can only be answered by your commitment to the one you love. It is for this reason, when people come to the altar to pray about their problems, I pray not for God to intervene and save them from their personal tribulation. I pray for a bold and steadfast spirit that by standing firm they may overcome, and in the process of overcoming, they become stronger, bigger and more daring as a person.

A metron is not only limited to geography and populations of people reached therein, it is also applicable for enlarging one’s spiritual endowments, talents, skills, anointing and character. For instance, many Christian leaders do not operate with the endowment of healing while others do, yet the bible emphatically notes you can access Kingdom endowments if you eagerly desire and pursue them. Allow me a personal testimony.

A Sphere Enlarged Through Personal Trial

On an autumn morning mid-September 1983 as I was preparing for my morning commute to Sacramento, a forty-five minute drive, to attend a full day of college classes. Then my mother called me over to her side and said, “I don’t understand what he is saying”, and handed me the phone. On the phone was one of my father’s co-workers who said, “Your father has been taken to Rideout Hospital and you need to meet me there as soon as possible.” His voice possessed a sound of urgency and severity. I did not know what to make of the call, so I left immediately.

Upon arriving I saw one of the most hideous scenes I had ever seen in my life. My father was laying on a gurney surrounded by six doctors. He had been in a serious, life threatening accident at work. That cool autumn morning my father had been teaching a new field laborer how to operate a tractor. My father had the man sit up on the seat to show him the gear system, while the tractor engine warmed itself. My father then stepped down from the tractor and stood next to the rear tire continuing the short lesson, not knowing the man had his foot on the clutch while the tractor was still in gear. All of the sudden the laborer unknowingly released the clutch. Can you guess what happened? The tractor engaged and leaped forward forcefully pinning my father upon the ground. Once on the ground, the tire spun relentlessly upon his middle torso. My father yelled and screamed but the man did not know what to do. The man finally had enough sense to turn the tractor off, which now settle on top of my father. The man ran to get help. Within a few moments help arrived, and soon after my father was rushed to the hospital in grave condition.

When I finally arrived to the hospital’s emergency area, my father lay coherently upon the gurney, and his appearance was shocking to say the least. His stomach was swollen like a woman’s stomach at her ninth month of pregnancy – the exterior of his stomach was littered with mixed colors of red, blue and purple due to his internal and external contusions. His veins visible and inflamed, vividly penetrating through his skin. The tractor had crushed his pelvis to pieces, broken both of his femurs, and many ribs. We exchanged a few intimate words. I told him how much I loved him before the six doctors rushed him into the surgery room.

I was a new Christian at the time, just a year into my walk with Christ. My new faith was tested early on, and all I could do at the time was lean upon the Lord, and call out for His mercy.

After six hours in surgery my father was immediately placed on critical life support with a slim chance of recovery. When I heard the news I was shaken but was determined to see him through this mess. At the time I felt something within me rise up, a firm belief God would heal my father and restore him fully. I confessed the little I knew of random scriptures. I cried out to God and I prayed regularly and earnestly for him, and when prompted by the Holy Spirit. Many times, during a Sunday morning altar call, I would go up sobbing, telling the lead pastor my story. Looking back I felt I had embarrassed him by my constant pleas for prayer and loud cries at the altar. I was broken for my dad. I would later come to understand my actions of “standing in the gap” for my dad were actually acts of “intercessory prayer” for someone who could not act for himself. I did not know this terminology yet. My infant faith grew during this time, as I stood on the word of God, and the limited knowledge I possessed.

In retrospect, my faith capacity was enlarged and fortified throughout this entire ordeal. After three months of being on life support, my father came out of his coma but was in traction for several more months. Several months later my father was finally released from the hospital, and was given a second chance at life. Today, my father has the full use of both legs, and most notably, he is enjoying his retirement on his ranch in Jalisco, Mexico, planting and reaping his crops. At the writing of this book my father is seventy-seven years of age.

Throughout this tormenting time I acquired the gift of healing but did not know it until I came across two random incidents. The first incident occurred when a good friend of mine and I were playing catch with a football. My friend being a good size and possessing formidable strength threw the ball so hard that I heard and felt my thumb pop on my left hand. I cringed at the sharp pain, which ran through my thumb and up my arm. Immediately, I verbalized these words, “In the name of Jesus, be healed!” Instantly, I felt something like a power surge come out from my arm, exiting outwardly through my thumb. In a “wink of an eye” I was healed. In the moment I yelled, exclaiming out loud, “I’ve been healed! I’ve been healed!” My friend, who was a Christian came over and heard my testimony. We both praised God together.

My second incident occurred as a college student, while I was working part-time as a Loss Prevention Agent for a large retail chain. It was my first day at this new location, and I was scheduled to work for an eight-hour shift. The store was large in size with three levels; a basement, the main floor and a second level. There were many stairs to climb up and down, unlike today, when cameras are used to detect and record shoplifters. As a Loss Prevention Agent, my duty was to walk around the store looking for shoplifters. At the end of an eight-hour shift I was so exhausted and my legs were extremely sore. When I got home that evening I immediately laid down on my bed. All the sudden I placed my hands below my belt line and said, “In the name of Jesus, heal my legs!” Again, a power surged through my arms and down my legs and the pain was gone. Once again, I raised my voice, “I’ve been healed!” My roommate ran into my room and said, “Is everything okay?” I said, “I’ve been healed!” My roommate was not a believer and thought my actions were a little strange but I knew something was different about me.

After seeking answers to this “new” power I possessed, I soon realized my faith was activated through my father’s trial, which imparted a greater capacity within me through my steadfast response to his accident. I was able to access a new authority and ability for healing. My spiritual sphere was enlarged within me through an unwelcomed trial. God must know something we do not see or know about ourselves. If God permits us to go through trials, He must see the seed of faith ready to root and sprout within us, and what we will become if stay strong and endure through the storms of life. The most important lesson I learned through this experience was being able to embrace my trial as learning and growing experience, which placed me at higher level of faith operation in Christ. James, in his epistle, notes:

‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:1-3 NKJV)

Another word used for “patience” in this passage is the word “endurance”. When one endures trials he or she grows in godly character and spiritual authority. A trial is simply God’s fast track process for developing leaders. If we trust and stand with Him through the trials that come our way, we become “complete, lacking nothing.” This insightful piece of wisdom from C.S. Lewis should encourage you as a leader, “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.” As painful as my trial seemed at the time, in the midst of it, I was being transformed in His image into a man of steel, which by far, attained for me a far greater glory outweighing my present struggles for my father’s healing.


[i] Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

Sales – Is it a Lost Art Form?


job

We all sell. Allow me to correct myself… we are constantly selling something; an idea, a venture, service, a product, etc. Selling is an activity we do everyday. We do it consciously and unconsciously. We live for the thrill of the deal. One day, my supervisor asked me to train a new colleague in sales. So this young lady and I visited a few of her clients in her district. I was just the “ride-along” senior sales person. My job was to observe, take note and provide a few coaching moments. What I discovered was far more revealing. As I sat in the passengers seat, as a disengaged observer, I discovered the following selling principles.

1. Prepare wisely

The most common area of preparation has to be your “elevator pitch”. In other words, what will be the one sentence or two, which will captivate a gatekeeper, a decision maker or even the front desk receptionist? It is not just a “one-pitch” liner but it is also a combination of pitch variables working at the moment depending on the need. One must be able to juggle a client’s current need with a masterful delivery at the right time. Here are three critical areas of preparation:

a. Product Mastery: You must have mastery of your product or service, and how it relates with and benefits your customer. Not all customers’ have the same need at the moment.

b. The Tailored Pitch:  In your brief interaction you must collect enough data so you are able to communicate a Tailored pitch, which appeals to the need at the moment. In your brief conversation you must be able to discern the “inner” dilemma of the decision maker, and the customer’s challenge within the organization to make a Tailored pitch fitting the need.

c.  Problem Solver: You must be able to communicate how your service can be the “problem solver” for their current challenge. Since every business is looking for a deal, you must be able to make them salivate not only at your pricing but also your capacity to perform up to your promises.

2. Cultivate your presence

Many of salespeople are not well prepared when they enter the foyer of a business to make a sales pitch. Often times, we carry the pressures of making our monthly quotas, perhaps of past failures, or personal problems from the home front. We think to ourselves; “Am I adequate enough for this job?” Your negative demeanor cannot be covered up so easily. Any discerning person will be able to read through your layers of insecurity. Your presence is more than your polished dress code, your manicured nails and stylish hair. Cultivating an inner presence has to do with an inner light exuding confidence, which draws people in to you. You presence has three layers:

a. Your Physical Presence: Yes, your dress code and other physical features such as grooming, fresh breath, and odor (cologne or perfume) matter but they only last for a few moments. At some point you will have to communicate your message.

b. A Presence of Soul: This area is critical. Your soul exudes presence in a good or bad way. You can be all smiles but you cannot fool people for too long. Since your eyes are the gateway into the soul, your eyes will tell a story. People can discern sincerity or disguise, passion or passivity, competence or incompetence.

c. A Spiritual Dimension: This presence is not cultivated over night but it’s a constant work of spiritual dimensions.  I tell those who I coach to read through the book of Proverbs over and over. It is the businessperson’s handbook that creates enduring success. The principles contained within can shape your character and integrity, which are the pivot points of creating trust.

3. Persist with Subtlety

During our sales venture, we had just finished visiting with a client. As we left the foyer I began to coach my trainee on a principle I use regularly. I said, “Great job! You got the receptionist to pick up the phone and call Human Resources. However, when the receptionist came back to you and said, “She was in a meeting”, you should have persisted by saying, “Okay, I don’t mind waiting in the lobby fifteen minutes.” The receptionist has tremendous power to allow you in or not; many times covering for Human Resources. At this point you have to persist with subtlety. I call it the Persist Subtlety Principle.

So on our next meeting, the same scenario played out like the previous one. This time the gentleman running Human Resources was on the phone. My trainee said, “Okay, we will come back!” At this point I intervened, “Excuse me, my name is Joel. How are you? We will wait a few minutes, perhaps he will be done with his call soon.” The receptionist relented. A few minutes later, a gentleman from Human Resources comes out to greet us and says, “How can I help you?” At the end of the conversation, we had a meeting scheduled for the following week. It was because we persisted with subtlety.

4.  Make Powerful Connections

The purpose of a visit is to make powerful connections. What I mean is a connection that goes beyond mere generalities and introductions. A connection that lingers, that leaves a residue of your person and purpose. On our previous visit (noted in point #3) I left a gift with the gentleman in Human Resources. It was stress doll in the shape of a mid-sized man, round in shape. The funny part of this stress doll is it resembles my body type and shape. On it is our company’s name and brand. As we departed I handed him a stress doll with my business card. He asked, “What is this for?” I said, “It’s a stress doll. Squeeze it when you get stressed out.” As he was closing the door he gave it a squeeze… I then replied, “Ouch!!” He looked at me (not making the connection with my body shape and the stress doll), and I responded, “It is my business card… it’s shaped like me! So be careful how you treat him!” He then laughed out loud. As he closed the door behind him you could still hear him chucking down the hallway. When you can make people laugh, you know you have made a powerful connection.

After several visits to clients that morning, I advised her to step away and reflect on each visit. I then coached her to ask herself a few questions; what did you learn at each visit? How can you interact better next time? How can you make powerful connections? Each encounter is a learning experience. We can always do things differently, say something better, and be more or less aggressive in our approach. Simply put, each encounter is a learning encounter.