Posts Tagged ‘spirituality


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.


Honk If You Love Jesus!

Life's just ducky for Lucky and Clucky!

Life’s just ducky for Lucky and Clucky!

Shortly after Easter weekend, I found two abandoned ducklings at the lake outside my house. I brought them into my spare bathroom for the night, took them to the vet the next morning, and was told if I could raise them in a safe environment until their wings came in, they’d stand a great chance of survival. The next day the ducklings were set up in our warehouse complete with water-filled kitty litter boxes for swimming and plenty of meal worms to dine on. We watched as they lost their down and their feathers came in. We even listened as they went from constant peeps, to chirps, quacks, and honks. We named them Lucky and Clucky.

During this time, I did a great deal of research on raising fowl. I came across the term “imprinting”. It has been referred to as one of the strongest forces in nature. In other words, I was their momma. Their upbringing was filled with safety, positive interaction, and plenty of good food! Fast forward two months to the day I knew would come: it was time to release my ducks, now fully grown, into nature.

I released them in an area a short distance away from the main lake complete with its own little island and tranquil spring. They literally took to it like ducks to water. I returned daily to feed them their top-quality diet to ensure they continued to develop fully. Each day I called them and they came waddling. If they heard me call them and didn’t see me, they would quack at the top of their lungs letting me know that they were on the way! They ate out of my hand and even let me pet them. Once feeding was done they happily waddled back into the water where they splashed around and played.

With all the time I spent on the lake, I watched the interaction of the numerous other birds. There were hundreds of geese, ducks, hybrids, and even a swan who tried his best to intimidate me! Could my little duo make it with the others? Some of the nasty behavior I witnessed made me wonder. But I knew I had done everything I could and, as the saying goes, “Let Go, Let God.”

It’s been two months since Lucky and Clucky resumed life on the lake. Every evening we meet at the same location where I feed them and spend time with them. Although they have had some hairy interactions and threats in their lives, they have adapted very well. The other ducks seem to sense that there is something special about them. I’m not sure if it’s because they can smell the fact that I’ve put my hand on them, or if it’s in the way they carry themselves. But it is very obvious that these ducks move about the lake in a very distinct and unusual way.

Those of you who know me know how I draw life lessons from animals. In fact, I consider God’s creatures to be some of His greatest teachers. After all, they were created to share the Garden of Eden with us. As I watched Lucky and Clucky, I was reminded of several great life lessons. When we are “imprinted” by positivity in our lives, it affects everything we do. We need not fear trial and adversity because we have a higher purpose in our lives. My literal touch has designated them as special and protected, much like the spiritual hand of God on His children.

So as you swim through the lake of life, fully embrace that you are different, you are chosen, you are protected. Allow the imprinting of the Holy Spirit to fully show through in everything you do so that others will look at you and say, “There’s something different about that one.”  And never forget that life’s just ducky and to honk if you love Jesus!


Your best year yet begins the day you die

I recently sent a birthday greeting to a high school acquaintance when his name and profile picture came up on my Facebook birthday announcements. I said, “I hope it’s your best year yet!”  The next day I got a message from my classmate’s spouse telling me the individual had died three months earlier “so it was NOT going to be his best year yet.”

Her anger and disgust at my well-intentioned wish was palpable. In today’s world where everyone is linked but few know each other we often need to take a pause before posting our responses. People always ask how my father is. He passed away four years ago but I’m humble enough to know that not everyone in the entire world is aware of this fact, even my “friends” on Facebook.

I guess it all boils down to whether you think that death is the end of it all or the beginning. My guess is that from the title of this blog you know where I stand. And in the greatest of all of life’s mysteries, we will never know until life as we know it ceases. If it is the end of it all and it’s truly “lights out” what’s so bad about that? If it’s the beginning of it all and we have lived our lives to the fullest, isn’t it a time to rejoice?

Whatever you believe, live it large so when the curtain comes down on the stage of your life you can take a magnanimous bow. Be like Frank Sinatra who did it “My Way” or live a life in servitude to something greater than you.

Yesterday I got word that a dear friend of my father’s, a mentor and an amazing author and speaker, died. Zig Ziglar lived a hundred lifetimes during his stay on earth. He touched millions of lives and now he has graduated to Heaven. It was so beautiful to see the comments streaming throughout social media, the phones, blogs, and other means about how he had touched so many lives and the unbridled expressions of joy that he was finally home. His best year was just getting started!

People were rejoicing a life well lived and celebrating the ultimate homecoming, not posting snarky comment about Zig “NOT” having his best year yet. His family, although missing him physically, will rejoice the rest of their years for having had him in their lives until they are reunited. It’s his time to meet his creator, time to be reunited with other brothers and sisters in Christ, time for all the questions of the universe to be answered and the pain of injury, illness, and aging to stop.

Everything I do in life is based on eternal hope in living life as a reflection of the Creator and an eternity spent worshipping Him. The French Jesuit and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said it best: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” And if you accept this, your death WILL be the beginning of your best year yet that will last for all eternity.

Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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January 2021

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