Posts Tagged ‘faith

01
Aug
13

The Three Decisions by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Three_Decisions1I’ve heard my father give this speech hundreds of times. In fact, it was a major section of his bestselling motivational classic, Life Is TremendousThe Three Decisions: Who are you going to live your life with, what are you going to live your life doing, and who you are going to live your life for. I know my father worked very hard and came from humble beginnings, but I always kind of assumed that he was one of the very few who just got it right the first time. After all, he married my mother at 20 years of age and they stayed married for the next 60 years. He was a world-renowned motivational speaker who had a certain charisma that was unrivaled. His faith in the almighty God after he became a Christian at 23 was as pure and radical a transformation as Paul’s on the road to Damascus.

So easy for him to make these decisions, right? Wrong! When you read The Three Decisions you will see a man who made a decision and then spent his life committing himself to it. There was nothing easy about it. Committed people only look that way to outsiders. This is such a rarity these days we just assume great fortune or that the stars were aligned when someone leads a charmed life. There are no charmed lives. There are only those who live life giving their all to what they’ve committed to with their decisions.

My father said the secret to a lifelong marriage isn’t compatibility, its commitment, and that you cannot make this decision based on how it goes, but solely on integrity; that God does not put romance in marriage, but in people, and it’s up to us to ensure it stays there. My father also said that God never made a job to make a man; He made men to make a job. And if you wanted a better job, you needed to do a better job. And when my father finally made his personal commitment to accept the Bible as absolute truth, he pursued it with all his heart. He would say, “With all my heart I’m telling you this: you ought to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe, and you ought to be willing to believe it so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.”

His lifelong mantra was that if what you’re going to get supersedes what you’re going to give, you’re in the wrong ballpark. In other words, if you are always on the make for a better person, job, or god based on what it’s going to do for you, you aren’t even alive. But when you are so ready to commit to one person, one passion, and one master that you’d give it all up, then you are capable of making the three most important decisions of your life and to live life tremendously and triumphantly.

22
Apr
13

Don’t Keep the Faith—Share It!

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

When you are passionate about your faith and passionate about respecting others’ beliefs, it’s amazing the kind of connectivity that transpires. When my father passed, I heard from many whose lives he touched, people from different political, religious, and ideological backgrounds. “Tremendous” was passionate that we each choose what we are going to live our lives for and go all out doing it.

He claimed it was one of the only three decisions that you ever needed to make in life. Decide whom you are going to live your life for, make it yours, and die by it. He respected those who lived life with a tremendous passion and chastised those who didn’t. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” My father personally witnessed this in his sales career, in his home life, and in his church. He believed it with all his heart.

“Tremendous” Jones spoke to many thousands of groups throughout his lifetime. Some were of a religious or faith-based affiliation, but the majority was not. That never deterred him from veering off point or changing the message to share his faith. I used to wonder why he would take on such a sensitive topic when facing thousands of business people from all walks of life and beliefs until I finally understood. He was just living out loud. He was revealing his most authentic self and just being.

His faith is what drove every second of his life and to not share that would be dishonest with others. His life was a showcase of the grace of God, the forgiveness of Christ, the wisdom of books, and the help of others in a man’s life. And he just couldn’t keep it inside. To do so would be to let others think that his strength to live tremendously came from his own mental and physical strength, and nothing was further from the truth. He never told you what to believe; only that you must answer this question for yourself and live life like you mean it!

02
Aug
12

This is a free country, right???

I remember back in the mid ‘90s when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under President Clinton was unveiled. Many of my fellow soldiers thought this relaxing of standards was wrong based on the fact that homosexuality is deviant behavior. Being analytical, I told them that adultery was as well, and we knew several soldiers who were having affairs. My point was that no sin is worse than any other sin from a Biblical standpoint, not even suicide.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” No matter how much worldly progress we make on this planet, man is wicked to the core, plain and simple. It’s called the human condition and we all suffer from it; not just certain groups or lifestyles, all of us.

You’ve got to give respect to get respect. When you come across someone who believes the Koran or the Book of Mormon and expresses their beliefs, do you vilify them? I doubt it, at least in this country. Not yet anyway.

We all enjoy freedom of choice. If God gives each of us the choice between Heaven and Hell (heck, he even allowed Adam to decide what to do with the forbidden fruit), why do we need to vilify others for their choices or their beliefs?

Hate the sin, not the sinner. As a Christian, I look to the Bible for my guidance on the definition of marriage. I also have several gay friends for whom I would do anything. Christ consorted with all kinds of sinners, even very righteous ones. That doesn’t mean he condoned their lifestyles; it means he loved them.

There are people in other countries who will kill you for your beliefs. We don’t do that in America so stop trying to condemn and verbally stone each other! The double standard is revolting. The founder of Amazon.com is pro-gay marriage, as is Ben and Jerry’s, yet there is no attempt to have them barred from various cities for not reflecting, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “the views of the city.”

Tolerance and judgment are two different things. I’m a publisher of motivational material. I don’t allow negative people to rent space in my life. Does that mean I’m judging them? No! It means I do not tolerate certain attitudes. When I worked for the government I had many different clearances. That meant I could not associate with people whose lifestyles were deemed risky. Did I judge them? No! Did I tolerate hanging out with them? No.

There is no requirement to personally tolerate every type of behavior or lifestyle. We are each free to set our own standards and, for many of us, those standards are Biblical. Our founding fathers fought and died to allow us these freedoms, and our nation exists so that each of us may live according to the dictates of our own conscience. Are you are a little out of step with society at large? March proudly anyway. You are free to do so.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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