Jaren's Blog

December 28, 2010

New Site

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 10:25 am

I will keep this blog site open as it has a great deal of traffic, yet I have moved content to: http://jarenldavis.com/ If you are a follower of my blog please use the new site and pass it around for me, thx!

December 13, 2010

Naïveté at the Nativity – Revisited

Filed under: "The Gonzo Mama" — TheGonzoMama @ 9:07 pm

This is one of my favorite holiday posts, because it demonstrates so perfectly the dynamics of my family. In fact, it may just become an annual post. Enjoy, and please feel free to share your holiday program mishaps… You know, so I don’t feel so dysfunctional and whatnot.


My kids make up eighty percent of the children and youth in our church, so there’s little question that they will be cast in the Christmas production each year. The competition for roles is—what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yes… “nonexistent.” In fact, it’s not unusual for a single child to play two or thirteen different roles in each year’s program.

In 2006, a three-month-old Snugglebug made her stage debut as baby Jesus. During rehearsals, we’d placed her in the wooden manger (filled with shredded paper instead of hay, due to her asthma) several times so that she wouldn’t be startled by the sensation. There was some discussion of a song that would be sung during the manger scene, but we never ran the scene with the music. Our director said things like, “This is where everyone is gathered around baby Jesus in the manger. Is the baby in the manger? Okay. Now, there will be music here, so everyone will just be still and look at the baby, okay? Okay! When the music is over, the curtains will close, and the baby can come out of the manger.”

We actually didn’t hear the music until the performance. Mr. Wright and I were backstage, assisting with costume changes. There were many. Shepherds became angels who became sheep who became shepherds, and so on. Snugglebug was napping in her infant carrier, and I held out hope that she’d stay that way through her big scene. Naturally, just before her cue, she woke up, hungry and fussy.

A volley of urgent whispering took place behind the drawn curtain, with Princess (“Mary”) asking, “What do I do? She’s crying. I can’t take her out there while she’s crying,” and me thrusting a bottle into her hand and directing her to “wing it.”

Nestled into the manger with Princess holding the bottle for her, Snugglebug calmed down, and no one even brought up the anachronistic use of the plastic bottle that fed the infant savior. Then, the song started. It was “What Child is This?” With two verses down and just the slightest discontent stirrings from Snugglebug, I thought we were in the clear. I prepared for the curtain to close, planning to whisk her offstage before she let loose with any serious wailing, but the music went on. And on. There must be thirty-seven verses of “What Child is This?” that I have never heard.

Snugglebug began making the small whimpering sound I recognized as the prelude to full-volume, fist-clenching, rage-filled screaming. Mr. Wright heard it, too. We looked at each other. “What do we do?” we mouthed.

As luck would have it, I married a genius. Mr. Wright grabbed a pair of donkey ears from the pile of costume accessories, put them on, and entered the stage. What’s one more donkey, in a manger scene?

It did raise a few eyebrows when the large donkey stole the baby Jesus from the manger, but I’m sure the wisemen would have called in an Amber Alert if they truly thought there was cause for alarm.

This year, Curlytop and Snugglebug couldn’t wait for their cue to enter as angels and followed “Joseph” and “Mary” on the road to Jerusalem. “Oh, look!” a chuckling Joseph ad-libbed. “The Lord has sent guardian angels to watch over us on our journey. God is so good!”

The unscripted guardian angels appeared in several scenes, including the manger scene. When Snugglebug saw her Cabbage Patch doll resting in the wooden trough, she shouted, “That’s not baby Jesus!” over the playing of “Mary Did You Know?” With haste, our precious cherub yanked the doll from the manger and tossed it across the stage.

Taking note of the empty manger, Curlytop pulled off her wings and crawled inside. “I’m not baby Jesus,” she announced to those who may have been confused. “I’m not an angel now. I’m a little girl. I’m gonna use the baby Jesus bed, okay?”

In fact, the only scene Curlytop and Snugglebug didn’t participate in was the Choir of Angels scene they were cast in. Instead, they ran, screaming, down the aisles of the church. It’s tough raising divas.

Call me naïve. Call me an optimist. Call me out of touch with reality. The fact is, the church Christmas program only happens once a year. That means I have ample time to forget everything that went wrong with the previous year’s program, and get excited about the current year’s performance.

Merry Christmas, and may the Lord richly bless you in the coming year!

Be sure to check out my site to order your copy of my book, Everything I Need to Know About Motherhood I Learned from Animal House, the perfect stocking stuffer or office gift exchange item at just $10.00!

December 3, 2010

I am sacrificing for you… make something of yourself!

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 1:27 pm

If you are much like me when you hear the name Nevil Shed, you may not know anything about the person; you might even think he is an Englishman, or at least of Caucasian decent; right?  Perhaps this is a common response as you will see.  The Nevil Shed I now know is 6’ 8” tall, a talented basketball player, and was recruited by over 100 collegiate basketball teams.  These were all on full ride scholarships offered during the 1960’s.

Sadly, Nevil soon learned the offers had come from coaches who were unaware he was black.  Of the 100 plus letters piling up on his kitchen table with more coming in daily; there were only 12 schools that would even consider a “colored” man on their team!

This wasn’t necessarily shocking to Nevil or his parents; they were living during an era of intense discrimination.  Nevil insisted with his mother that he would go to some of the colleges which were offering him scholarships, even though they had misinterpreted his color.  She didn’t want him too, but he did anyway.

What Nevil experienced next brought home how horrible intolerance was in other parts of the country.  Electing one night to go to a movie, Nevil approached the ticket booth with everyone else.  As he handed over his dollar for entrance the employee pushed it back to him.  Unaware there was a separate entrance for colored people, he innocently handed the dollar back.  It was pushed back again with no communication whatsoever.  Then suddenly someone grabbed Nevil by the arm, showing him where “his” entrance was.

Nevil walked down a dark scary alley to dreary doorway.  There he was granted access, but found he had a special location, away from other guests, which was upstairs.  Nevil wanted popcorn and a drink to enjoy during the movie, yet he was afraid of what may be put in his food.  While approaching the drinking fountain he clearly witnessed another bias toward him, place on the wall were two fountains; one for whites, and the other for colored people.

His story of becoming a member of the first team to win the NCAA national basketball championship, with an all black starting lineup, in 1966 I will save for a different story.  What I want to share with you is the story Nevil shared with me last night.  This is what started him on his path of success.

Nevil’s father worked in a train station helping traveling passengers disembark from passenger cars and loaded their luggage.  One day Nevil went to work with his father and there witnessed some of the pressures his father had to put up with at work.

Those who reached out their hand for assistance or those who required help with baggage referred to Nevil’s father as “boy.”  This troubled Nevil deeply as he knew the term wasn’t being used respectfully toward his dad.  On one occasion Nevil assisted his father by placing suitcases in line on the floor; this was done to position them out of harms way, and allow easy access for the travelers.

One passenger took his belongings and moved them a few feet from where Nevil placed them as the train was leaving.  When the train went by, the steam from the engine sprayed all over the man’s luggage as it proceeded down the tracks.  This angered the man terribly.  He immediately yelled at Nevil’s father to correct the wrong.  Nevil’s dad hurried over, knowing the fault lay in this mans actions, and apologized while cleaning the bags with his handkerchief.

To Nevil’s surprise the wife of the man who had moved his own luggage commented “It is no ones fault but yours, you placed the bags in the way.”  Nevil remembers the man arguing with his wife as he continued to belittle his father by using “boy” throughout his remarks.

That night, at home, Nevil who felt ashamed of his father, not understanding why he wouldn’t stand up for himself, yelled at him commenting “Why don’t you stick up for yourself!”  To Nevil’s surprise the next thing he remembered was that he was up against the wall with his father pushing him in the upper chest.

“I will not have you act like this.  I put food in your stomach (pointing at Nevil’s midsection), clothes on your back (pointing at his chest), and a roof over your head (waving his hand over Nevil’s head) with this job!  All I need from you is to make something of yourself so you don’t have to ever find yourself in my position.”

All 6’ 8” of this teenager found himself humbled and dedicated to honoring the gift his father so graciously gave; his all!  From that moment on Nevil never looked back, he took the talents God blessed him with, and the love of his parents, to became a major contributor and success in life.  Someone his father truly was proud of!

This father’s son enabled our current athletic world (perhaps all society) to benefit from the equality we enjoy today.  He did this while suffering through tremendous trials!  Nevil must carry his father’s spirit.

To fathers and mothers all over this beautiful world; those who carry enough love in their heart too further the lives of their children, thank you.  To my mother and father, thank you for what you have given me.  And too my children, my hope is I, with your mother, have opened doors of opportunity for you.  Now go out and make a difference in our world!

Jaren

 

November 18, 2010

Critical Reviews

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 12:08 pm

These are the critical reviews from those who have read my manuscript to date:

“This magical book penetrates directly to the soul with its remarkable lessons of truth and hope in a world full of uncertainty. Jaren Davis has given us a precious gift that comes but once in a decade. Simply enchanting!”

Dr. Denis Waitley, author Seeds of Greatness

“Jaren’s book couldn’t have come at a better time for our society. The wisdom shared through the experiences of a family giving of themselves, a mother following her heart, and a gift received by an angel, make this a heartwarming read for everyone.”

Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box and The Walk

“Jaren has provided us with much-needed wisdom at a critical time in our modern world.  Insightful, brilliantly written, and packed with excitement while teaching us valuable life lessons.  A recommended read for all who wish to unlock simple truths for purposeful living.”

Dr. Raymond Moody, author Life after Life

“I have gained valuable life lessons while being entertained emotionally.  Thank you for sharing with us your heartfelt wisdom in this beautiful account.  Your story will be taken throughout the world by all who are blessed to learn of your writings.”

Kevin Hall, author Aspire

“Every now and then a truly amazing book comes along that has the power to change hearts and give hope… “The Bracelet” has that power and is such a wonderful story that will touch your life and inspire you to be better.. This is a book that you will read, love and want to share…what a special gift.”

Cami Peterson Snyder

“It is truly inspired and needed out in the world.”

Donnette Hicks

“Phenomenal!  Just finished.  Want everyone to read it!  Good work stud!”

Nick Morgan

 

November 1, 2010

I’m sorry, what is your name?

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 5:26 pm

Isn’t it fun when your day involves bumping into someone who naturally brings out your “best?”  These are people who leave you feeling better for having seen them; it is as if they super charged your batteries or something.  You immediately gain brilliance, raise your head a little higher, and you feel necessary in society.  Your new light then shines on others as you interact throughout the day.

What is their secret; how do they do that?  Ask them; they will tell you “they don’t know.”  And truly they don’t; their ability to find value in those around them comes naturally and with no effort.  They are individuals with their minds set solely on finding what they have that may be of need to others.

There is an easy way to know who these people are well before you have any interaction with them.  They possess the ability to treat all they meet, regardless of stature; the exact same way.  Whether it is a powerful political person, a high-ranking organizational leader, or the maid at the hotel; they are all the same.  No matter the role or the employment of any individual they are treated with dignity and admiration.

I have heard the term magnifiers used in business; these people are in fact multipliers.  The bring out the best in all of us and surround themselves with people who are better than themselves.  They leave all interactions better than when they arrived; unknowing and innocent to their ability.

Are you a multiplier?  Ask yourself a simple question: “Are there people in your life who assist you in someway that you don’t even know their names?”  These exchanges could be as simple as a single interaction with a clerk, taxi driver, or someone on an elevator.  Or as complex as the person who cleans your office, works at your regular coffee stop, or you see fairly frequently.

If you answer yes, you are a multiplier, you create goodness around yourself.  If it is no or not really, guess what?  It is okay because you can easily change.  Take these next few days and put your emotion toward others.  Before you think of yourself think of those you are interacting with.  What you will soon find is that your needs are met as you meet the needs of those around you.

My promise is you will never again find yourself unaware of how important every person, everyday, is in your life.  It is not happenstance that many meaningful people enter your life everyday; your paths are crossing for a reason, find out why.

Jaren

October 29, 2010

Forever yours, faithfully

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 11:34 am
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Today I was in the neighborhood of an old friend so I stopped by his office to catch up on old times.  We laughed, teased, reminisced, and yes shed some tears as we visited.  You see I hadn’t seen him in quite some time and hadn’t heard the news of his wife who had recently undergone heart surgery.

They have lived an amazing life together.  This has been through thick and thin as they grew together from their youth raising a great family.  He had just celebrated a birthday and while we spoke his children called wishing him well.  As we talked I could feel deeply his love of family; particularly his wife with his emotion concentrated on her.  I could sense how their relationship intensified as she tested deaths door.

Perhaps as a stress relief he gave me details of her surgery; every detail was filled with passion as you can imagine.  His description gave evidence of gratitude for modern medicine, but clearly I could see he felt the pain of witnessing his soul mate going through this procedure.  She has come through it with expected success, but still in recovery.

I left his office got into my car and immediately thought of my wife and the extraordinary life we have shared.  While reflecting and overflowing with a deep sense of gratitude an old Journey song came on the radio.  The song was “Faithfully.”

My intensity increased as I turned the music up with Steve Perry singing, “I’m forever yours, faithfully.” http://bit.ly/journeyfaithfully

My life with Kim has been AMAZING!!!  She is my strength, my courage, my motivation, mother of our children, and a person who has certainly made my life worthwhile.

From a man who is incapable of giving back all my beautiful spouse has given me; know what I can give is that “I am forever yours, faithfully.”

Jaren

October 21, 2010

She did WHAT?

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 1:26 pm
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I participated in a conference where I was entertained by a speaker who used humor to educate.  At the end of his presentation he shared with us a story (in a serious tone) about a woman’s courage.  The tale was a short on Susan Boyle, the British singer; her story touched my heart.  I want to expand on what I know she accomplished for all of us.

At birth Susan was oxygen deprived leading to a life of learning difficulty.  She didn’t have the looks that could have overcome her deficiency as she sported frizzy hair and an odd-shaped face.  Abuse ensued with children teasing her mercilessly; the teasing followed her through adulthood.  Her comment to interviewers after performing was, “the jibes left scars that don’t heal.”

Romance and love were not given to Susan as she made claim to never being kissed.  As a result she dedicated her life to her parents care.  Singing was her escape allowing her to participate in a world where she excelled naturally.  Her mother insisted on Susan sharing her talent with the world by going on “Britain’s got talent” show.

Picture for a moment the courage it must have taken for this wonderful soul to appear on stage; honoring a commitment to her mother.  She knew in her heart that each and every time someone new looked on her, they immediately began to scorn.  She knew that the stage was witnessed by over 3,000 and over 10 million were watching live on TV.

As she walked out all prophesies were fulfilled.  Not only was the audience snickering but the judges were as well.  Think now how it must have felt to be Susan at this time in her life; think of her courage!  She held constant to an inner belief, knowing she had a gift and that she was not participating in a beauty pageant.  Singing perhaps was her safety net, one she had used many times in her life before.

When asked “What are you going to do?”  The insults continued as she shared with the world her dreams and aspirations.  In the opening lines of her song the audience miraculously began to applaud, a complete change occurred right before our eyes.  Her voice penetrated all who have ever dreamed a dreamed.  Her voice echoed into eternity giving hope to all who share these same fears.  At the end she was given a standing ovation.  Being new to entertainment she immediately walked off the stage.

The judges had to recall her so they could remark on their feelings.  The judges and the audience were humiliated, knowing they had placed inappropriate judgment on a fellow human being.  Morgan, a judge, commented “Everyone laughed at you but no-one is laughing now.”  This perhaps became a wake-up call to all who too had placed sentence on this brave woman.

We live in a world where beauty is expected to excel.  We give a pass to those who have the look, even if they lack the talent.  Those who don’t patronize the gym, buy the latest fashion, or have the natural curves perhaps are required to push through subconscious objections.

Susan knew if her talent failed her, she would again be humiliated; this time in front of the world.  This brave soul took courage by the hand and with a heart of determination walked out on stage.  Yes, saying no, or walking away at this time guaranteed a continuous unglamorous existence, but didn’t allow for a commitment made or a belief felt.

What is your talent?  What is in your heart?  What is keeping you from reaching your desires?  Susan may have come from a place of the lowest expectations, yet she climbed to heights many will never see.

Don’t wait to be plucked from obscurity, share what lies within your heart.  Talents are given to be shared and taken away if left idle.  Look deeper, feel more intensely, reach within your soul.  Express the greatness inside each of you.  Bless our lives with who you are!  There is a bright future given to those who make their dreams reality.

Jaren

October 20, 2010

Potential Dust Covers

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 3:10 pm

October 10, 2010

No “do overs.”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 4:12 pm
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Life presents itself with hills and valleys, ups and downs or highs and lows.  Science learns about historical events in specific areas by examining trees rings.  On living trees for example, a core is taken and reviewed by experts.  They then can determine the years of plenty or years of great stress.

 With this approach science finds what has built the character of the tree.  Knowledge is obtained proving the tree needed storms (challenges), calm (resting), and bounty (success’) to gain strength.  It is only through a varied life of difficulty (trails) and abundance (blessings) that a tree can in fact withstand nearly any challenge it is presented with.  Too, it is through this growth that good times are deeply felt, knowing the foundation being built.

 Trees that are farm grown with either props that hold them up or assistance insuring there is never a need, can barely endure any difficulty presented as they grow.  Constant lives of sameness, with no challenges, prove to be detrimental and even fatal.  It may seem appropriate or even desired but experience shows protection from adversity strips moral fiber.  When life presents difficulty there is nothing there to sustain them.

 We all have had trials, some may suggest more today than in recent history.  I will suggest that if you were granted an opportunity to have a “do over.”  Going back in life to remove a difficulty and could then see the life lessons that would be lost as a result; we would gladly take the trials or see them as blessings.

 Some of our greatest joy, our deepest learning and our foundation of faith have come by enduring these life lessons.  Don’t find yourself misunderstanding the value of experience; it builds your character.  Don’t take from yourself the need for trails; they both sustain you and bring fulfillment.

 Your trials may seem at the time they are lived to be insurmountable.  Know they aren’t and that they are times you would never give up if you understood what lie ahead.

 Jaren

October 1, 2010

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~Milton Berle

Filed under: Business,Life,Nick Galieti — Nick Galieti @ 9:26 am
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As a musician, I grew up with teachers, church leaders, even other kids my age, telling me that I shouldn’t study music because musicians end up being poor. Later in life, I decided to learn sound engineering in order to have my own recording studio or to be a freelance sound engineer. In pursuing this avenue, a different, albeit similarly voiced group of individuals, told me, but you will have to go on tour or work late-long hours which won’t allow for a family. When I started into real estate, my parents questioned why, now with a family, I chose to get into a profession that has no regular income security like a salary/office job would have. Then I started to write a book and my in-laws started to wonder when I was going to get a real job.

Overtime I started to realize that I was an opportunity junkie. I was so tired of being told that my professional choices were flawed that I sought out new opportunities to try and quench those that doubted. Seeking opportunities were more to make others happy with my life than it was for me.

Then I came across this quote from Milton Berle. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” During this time of career shifting I continued to find that desk job that would make my in-laws happy, and the day job that would keep me around home. The more I tried, the more rejection I found. At some point I told myself, I can’t wait for some employer to find my value and to leave my future in his or her hands, and I don’t think that I would want some of the jobs that others were pushing me to find. Opportunity was not knocking at my door, so I went and built several doors. So I shifted my paradigm. I realized that there is a way to have a job with security, that keeps me close to my family, and can be in something that I love.

Now in 2010, I am hearing more knocking than I have ever before. I have my own recording and video production studio, a classic radio production facility, I have one documentary released with another being released later this year. My book is going to press and should be available before Christmas, and I have produced and recorded multiple albums this year. Nobody handed me these opportunities, I had to go make them happen. In tough economic times, we have the opportunity to make our own opportunities. Rather than be a victim of layoffs and unemployment, we can embrace the strengths we know we have and form the futures we have always wanted. This is not the promise of millions of dollars, but of satisfaction, of fulfillment, of lasting happiness.

Happy door building everyone!

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