Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JOY THAT DEFINES YOU


His wife died, his kids were sad, lonely, depressed and angry. He was scrambled and confused, with the deepest pit of depression he could have ever imagined. Then it happened......He Bought A Zoo

In this 2011 true story drama, Benjamin Mee, played by Matt Damon, finds himself in the worst possible situation. The love of his life is gone, his job is boring, his family is hurting and he has no idea what to do next. He decides to quit his job and move his family for a new start. Until his daughter Rosie delivers the moment of revelation, he has no idea where to turn.


The Zoo purchase was not the moment of truth, though it seemed to be at face value. In all of his searching, waiting, and dreaming, he seemed to instinctively know something was coming, but he couldn't have known what. Then it happened. While looking at a broken down house and property way out of town, a place with impossible challenges, he noticed Rosie playing with some animals. As the sun began to set behind him, he stood silent while the joy radiating from his daughters smile captured his heart. What he saw was JOY, pure JOY. She had found a place of relaxation, fun and joy. He felt it immediately, this was a defining moment, one he could not pass up, no matter how crazy.

This moment between father and daughter became one of many defining moments in this real life adventure. What had been dealt to this family was hurt and pain, disappointment at very deep levels. What Rosie was beginning to find again, was JOY. This moment of JOY defined the future for this family who faced unmistakable odds in their new challenge, but who found a way to endure. Benjamin Mee, through the smile of a little girl, found what we all need, A JOY THAT DEFINES YOU.

Would you like to have moments like this everyday. We let so many dark, disgusting, dysfunctional and depressing moments DEFINE us, it is about time we let a moment of JOY DEFINE US. Watch the news, depressing, go the mall, depressing, make more money, still depressing. We manage our moods with drugs and we run when times get hard. Marriages fail, homes are broken, kids check out, families part ways, careers fail, death surprises us, things break. These are a few of hundreds of reasons our week on planet earth can steal our JOY. Then, there are other times...those small glimmers of light, moments of fun, beauty and JOY. If we let it, the JOY, which the Bible says is "unspeakable and full of glory", changes our direction, our focus and even our heart. This the JOY DEFINES YOU.

I remember when Elizabeth was born. I still have the 20 year old gilder-rocker I held her in, sometimes for hours, just looking into that lovely little face. That JOY DEFINED ME as a father. I remember watching Hosanna dance in her first big production. I fought to see her and took pictures and videos at the same time. Her beauty and grace brought an unusual JOY to my heart, and yes, it certainly DEFINED ME. God allowed me to sit in my basement for hours as the kids put on dances, plays and random other basement performances. I have hours and hours of video documenting these unscripted moments of childhood fun. My kids ask me why we just sat there for hours watching them. It's because I am forever marked by Benjamin hurking and jerking around, stepping in front of his sisters, doing what he believed to be a dance. The expression on his face, the JOY and determination in his voice. It was pure fun and childlike JOY. Even recently Victoria played the piano before a school play, and when she was unaware, I took her picture. The JOY she had playing in the corner was visible. The glimmer in her eyes and twinkle in her finger tips transferred an energy to the tired parents showing up that night. It was JOY they felt. Lastly, there is Eli, my smallest miracle. He is a nearly blind orphan from China, yet, if you listened to him laugh when I tickled him this weekend. If you felt the passionate and powerful love of each hug he gives, and if you watched the deep JOY he has when playing with friends and riding his electric scooter, you would just sit in amazement. What you would envy from him is JOY, pure, childlike JOY.

I am challenged this week to turn away from the most dark and frustrating parts of the world around me, no matter how close to home. It is to anticipate and search for the JOY OF THE LORD in a moment, moments that will DEFINE my week, my month and year. I will not let the potential impact of disappointment or discouragement DEFINE ME, rather, the JOY OF THE LORD.

This will be my strength, this will redefine my life and legacy. What are your moments this week, moments of great JOY. Not just fun or silly or crazy excitement, but moments of JOY, like Rosie found at the moment where her dad took her to a place they had not been before, a place where risk and adventure where sisters to joy and happiness.

Find JOY in at least three moments this week and let the power of that JOY DEFINE YOU and the direction God has for your life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

POWERFUL IMPRESSION and END OF THE YEAR IMPACT

Friends and Ministers,



"John" (not the real name), and I were talking recently, about being a visitor at a church, with his kids and wife. He so much wanted to find a place to fit in, to feel loved, welcomed, empowered and where his kids and wife would meet friends and grow in faith. Sounds like a lot to ask of a local church??  That is what I thought. But, as he described his experience and his hopes for his family, I could not help but to think....WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY.... He was asking to join, he was asking to be taught and led, he was giving access to his wife, his kids, his mind and heart and time and money..... WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY.... So, while it may be daunting for a local church to perform well under such pressure, I was challenged to partner with "John" in his search for a new church family. BTW: John and family had moved and left a great church, they were not wounded or living in rebellion or overt sin, they were just new to town and looking for a new local church.



It made me think about how we can deliver world class hospitality, scriptural servanthood and sacrificial leadership to his family.

From this process I considered how this may feel from the side of the church leaders and how we may look at the visitors to our church in a fresh light. These are my resulting recommendations to the church leader who wants to show "John" and his family how special they are to us and how we aim to serve them with the love of Christ.



1. A.D.T Model - Train our people to serve with the A.D.T. Model. See the blog post. Don't shy away by the fact it is aimed at sales training. The model actually works in parenting, church servant leadership, retail sales and hospitality industry.  The blog post is "3 Keys to Great Selling"


http://billyramsdellblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/3-keys-to-great-selling.html



2. Treat them Special - This Christmas, host a dinner, (NOT a visitors reception or banquet) with fun children's performance & activities, youth testimony & meeting and VERY brief greeting from the Sr. Pastor. This formula for loving hospitality will be a huge blessing, when you add these elements together, Food, Gifts, Prizes, Children Ministry, Youth Ministry & Sr. Pastor, with a backdrop of light hearted, music & fun, you will have given a world class effort to bless the visitors from 2014. I would invite them all, personally, with an actual invitation and possible phone call. Spend the time and money on your visitors, ask the members to plan, serve and bless the visitors, instead of expecting their own Christmas Party. Nothing wrong with members having parties too, but think of Jesus and the wedding reception. We remember this story as presented in the Gospels, because Jesus blessed the people, not because he gathered the members to celebrate together. Put centerpieces at every table that visitors can win, offer serious prizes, like weekend getaways, free spa visits and other fun things, don't be cheap, get local businesses to help out. Don't talk too much. Have laughter, maybe even a Christian Comedy person. Have great smells and sounds, music and desserts....who doesn't love the smells and sounds of Christmas.  Offer Childcare for babies and small kids. Visitors are blessed by getting a break for just a few minutes. Charge $2 a kid to cover the childcare if needed, this helps them not get the idea they are entitled to free childcare every time the doors are open. Otherwise, make it free, treat large families, families of lower income, young couples and others who may find it more difficult to attend such event, with special help and care. Throw out the childcare costs, but make a point to mention the workers and the blessing it is to have them serving, makes a good cultural example.


BONUS IMPACT: For maximum impact, provide multiple opportunities for the party, several or at least two different time slots. People are busy and churches are so guilty of thinking their "thing" is the most important thing on the calendar of our families. For visitors to have two choices and an RSVP process, is to be truly hospitable and to eliminate a major reason many cannot attend, crowded schedules.


3. Show them the future - I believe many visitors fail to return or to commit deeply because they fail to hear or see a compelling reason to. We are often apologetic about our desire to ask for their commitment. We show a lack of passion for the lost, for the city, for missions or even for our calling to go and made disciples. I suggest we cast vision for the future, tell a compelling story about Jesus, his love and his grace. Don't just cast a vision for the church, cast vision for their life. What does life look like when you are forgiving, free, delivered, loved, healed, wise and hopeful. What does it look like when the fruit of the Spirit and the great commission are present in your home, instead of hate, anger, rage, disconnection, disappointment and lack of passion. I know of one pastor who makes a very passionate case for joining his church. He calls people to commit for one year, come to everything, get into small groups, serve with children, come on Sunday, and everything else. He makes it very clear, the reason is to learn about and get to know Jesus and his Body, not just to be good church members. He makes a joke, saying if they are want to leave after one year, if the church did not do their job to present Jesus and to serve them well, then he will leave with them and go to another church. It's a joke, but it comes across as a good challenge and it seems to work well. They do the hard work of serving the visitors very well and training members very well, and retain a very high percentage of visitors each year, training leaders, planting churches and mobilizing kingdom builders around the world.



4. Release the WOO - According to the Strength Finder assessments, which I believe are one of the best tools for discovering the way our members could be most successful and excited to serve in the Body, the WOO strength means, Winning Others Over. Find these people, not just the "sales people" or "happy or charming or good looking" people. Find those who are easy to trust, who communicate well, who don't try too hard and who naturally put people at ease, the WOO people, and put them out front and in direct contact with the visitors at the Christmas Party, the morning services and any other direct visitor contacts.


5. Put it in writing - There is not doubt, after many recent studies regarding commitment, people follow through and internalize their potential commitments more deeply and are more likely to take them seriously when they write them down. At the Christmas Party, offer a mega prize (55 inch TV, or a Cruise or whatever your price range allows) as a drawing for filling out a 3 questions survey at their table. Ask these questions...
a) What kind of church are you looking for? 
(very important for you to learn)
b) What specifically can we pray for you about? 
(very important for you care)
c) Would you be our guests in church for the next 3 months? Why or Why Not?   (very important for you to lead & ask)


6. Adoption vs. Assimilation - what is next? - If you are going to go to all this trouble, please have a plan and process going forward. Special communication to them saying thank you and inviting them back. Special services or meetings or classes. Think of this as an Adoption Process, not Assimilation. I will blog about this later, but I believe one of the largest and most profound failures of the modern church is to think in terms of assimilation. This is not Star Trek, we are not CyBorgs, we do not assimilate people. We are students of God's Word and God's Word calls this church thing we do, a FAMILY. People are looking for family, above all. We must lay out an adoption process and invite them into it. The strategy can be intentional and on purpose, but feel authentic and relational. That is the secret, to actually be fathers, mothers, brothers & sisters, aunts & uncles, who love well, listen often, play together, pray passionately and unashamedly invite others into the Family of God.




Billy.Ramsdell@Gmail.com
Design Driven Church Growth
The Dad Challenge

 





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

3 KEYS TO GREAT SELLING


BE A 
SALES,
SERVICE OR
MINISTRY
CHAMPION


3 Simple Keys




1. BE AN ADVOCATE




In most any selling environment, your best customer will be those who trust you. When you begin your conversations remember, you are actually beginning a relationship and remember, they don't know or trust you. The fastest way to build trust and gain their ear is to let them have yours. Right away, you show them, by listening, by asking questions and by telling them plainly, you want to help them get the most value for their money. Become their advocate in their search for answers, be the source of the solutions they seek and you will be more than someone who sells a product or serve, you will become a friend who is on their side.








2. BE THE DETECTIVE




Once you have established your sincere desire to partner with your new customer, move your relationship deeper, from advocate to detective by asking opened ended questions. Don't assume, ask and let them tell you. Listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. In the process you will move your customer from a random person needing your help, to a client who is accepting your help. The detective makes it seem like he is objective and opened minded, not like he is selling a set list of products. This sales person is an expert on the products and services they have to offer and should become an expert at drilling down with questions, but don't push so hard as to discredit yourself and begin looking like the annoying salesperson again. The detective is an expert, but relational at the same time. Don't be satisfied with superficial questions or responses, go deeper and find the package and repeat solutions you can offer your new client.








3. BE THE TEACHER




Now is your chance to really impress and draw your new client in. They need something, they trust you, you understand their questions and needs and now you confidently teach them the what and how your services or products can solve their problem. You are not selling at this point. You are matching their needs to your solutions. They came looking, they listened this long, they are right there, ready to become your best client, it is your moment to be your best self, the teacher they were hoping to find. I know one global organization who hires many sales people a year, all over the world. One of their top criteria is for every person who deals with their new and existing clients have the heart of a teacher. You are the expert, after all, so don't be shy to act like it. You can say, I recommend, I suggest, I think you would look best in this. They are looking for suggestions and unless they have a very specific product in mind, are normally open to them.








OTHER KEYS






Questions: Great sales people as great questions. In other blog posts, classes and seminars, I present and discuss some of the best questions for a variety of different environments.






Not So Common Sense: I have learned that each step of the ADT selling strategy includes some not-so-common-sense elements that really make things work well for the sales person.






Many Applications: I believe the ADT model can work in a huge variety of situations. From parenting, to church ministry, to conflict resolution and corporate training. I have used this technique to train hundreds of employees and produce top sales associates. This model has been used for guest relations training, visitor and hospitality teams in churches, and call center sales environments. With minor changes, the model provides a basic plan of success to develop a world class response to the needs of those you serve in your organization.








BOOKING INFORMATION






Classes, Seminars, Conference, Parent Training and Staff Training - Face to Face is my favorite way to communicate the truths I have learned in 20+ years of sales, service and non-profit work. For booking information please send an email with your request.






Billy.Ramsdell@Gmail.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

HILLSONG CHURCH, MANNING & CHIMNEY GIRL







Recently......in the news....






  • Manning broke the all time TD record, increasing it to 510 career TD's in the NFL, 110 of which he threw after a physical struggle with surgeries and recovery.
  • Hillsong Church pastor, Brian Houston is put on the defensive and spoken poorly of by other leaders in and out of the mainstream church world regarding a homosexual issue. 
  • Chimney Girl made a crazy move to get into the house of a man she met online by trying to get into his fireplace. Of course she was stuck and required rescue, brick by brick, with dish detergent as lubricant. 








  • I am so happy Fireplace Girl joined the sound bite collections presented by Monday Morning news networks. I am also so happy Manning broke and increased the TD record on Sunday Night, that was great news (I was actually watching that one). The story about the comments made by Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church in Australia, as covered by select news organizations, both mainstream Secular and Christian, was less exciting. It was said that Pastor Brian, other Hillsong Pastors and the Church would not take a stance on Homosexuality or Homosexual Marriage. 



    Here are my reasons for being unimpressed by the "news" regarding Hillsong Church, even repulsed.



    1. Reporting In Part: When secular organizations interview Christian leaders, they often take phrases, words or ideas out of context or at least represent them in a way that will create unnecessary controversy, all in attempts to up ratings. I have no problem, actually, with a secular journalist trying to boost ratings. I believe it is intellectual compromise and journalistic sabotage to bait and switch Christian leaders, but I understand their motivation and hope these leaders are prepared when opening up to these kinds of interviews. However, I am extremely unimpressed with those in and around the church world who jump on a sound bite band wagon, with reporting that is done "in part" and not comprehensively or even responsibly. They flipidly propagate negative opinions or ideas in response to a comment or partial truth from an un-trusted source, which sounds like what I call, media driven gossip. 



    2. Fails The Test: The test of "first hand knowledge" is very important when passing judgment in the church world. If we do not have first hand knowledge of the situation at hand, we should leave it alone all together. Anyone in the position Hillsong Church and it's leaders are in, with the amount of people they impact each week, must deal with the issue of homosexuality, from every angle, every week. They cannot avoid having a position on the issues. There is no way this high profile ministry would have stayed out of the headlines if they pushed aside the homosexual community and were less than authentic in their ability to interpret and live out scripture in daily life, within the boundaries most church leaders would find appropriate. Unfortunately, many sectors of journalism, activism and church leadership would have already made headlines with their shock and awe tactics against any organization who attempts to show respect to ALL people who might come through their doors. (sarcasm could not be avoided) So, I cannot conclude that the Hillsong position on homosexuality is completely scriptural, but I can assume it stays close enough to most mainstream bible preachers to have kept them out of the news thus far. For those who have commented without having listened to a complete representation of what Hillsong teaches, or been part of their ministry in person, maybe they should give themselves the "first hand knowledge" test. 



    3. Actual Ministry & Biblical Position: The last reason I give for being saddened and unimpressed by the viral and network comments, against Pastor Houston and Hillsong, has three parts. 

    a) Actual Ministry  b) Biblical Position   c) Platform Stalking

    a) The actual ministry being done to, with and around the homosexual issue at Hillsong Church is not even being asked about. I haven't read one comment that cited actual experience, research or information regarding the love, acceptance and community homosexuals find or do not find in this church community. The validity of what they say and what they do is not even being sought out. After all, shouldn't we care more about how they are impacting culture directly in day to day ministry with the Gospel Message??  Haven't heard one person explore this honestly, actually, for facts and proof. 

    b) The position Pastor Houston says he takes is similar to that of traditional mainstream Christian leaders, regarding Homosexual Marriage and Homosexuality. Again, I have yet to see an intellectually honest and prudent line of questions around the potential Biblical arguments the church has for or against the issues. Rather, Pastor Houston, in an interview, wanted to avoid giving a one sentence answer to a complex challenge all ministries face. Well, not all ministries. From the feedback circulating around the viral community, there are apparently many who do no ministry to the homosexual community because they have become really good at "being against" them, and summarizing that into self sanctified, one sentence statements about their "non ministry" positions of belief. I would rather hear more about what Pastor Houston actually has to say regarding his understanding of scripture and how to invade culture with that teaching. But, that question isn't being asked. I recall what Jesus said with religious leaders asked him what his "position" was on controversial, hot button topics of his day, oh wait, nothing, he did not answer their foolish, self serving questions of entrapment. (again, sarcasm needed)

    c) Many of the comments I have read and heard have been weak attempts at opinion sharing. They have been what I call "Platform Stalking". This is the behavior of those in and outside of the church, who watch for someone like Joel Osteen, James Dobson, Brian Houston, T.D. Jakes, David Platt or Francis Chan, to make a potentially controversial comment, then, like sharks with blood in the water, they attack. They comment, postulate and propagate with their LITTLE platform or circle of influence. They springboard from something said by a high profile person with a LARGE platform. They do this several times a week, month or year. Journalists, celebrities, pastors, bloggers, Facebook enthusiasts and friends around the water coolers talk about something they actually know nothing about, exploiting the larger platform of the one being talked about. We make ourselves feel powerful, important or smart by associating with someone who, in this case, has worked for decades building the platform their ministry rides on. No matter if you are for or against large ministry or mega church, one things is for sure, news cycles would not even mention it if they were not able to stalk and exploit the platform built by someone else. This make the comments circulating cheap and weak.  

    I have my opinions about Brian Houston, Hillsong Church and what potential impact they have or do not have upon the homosexual community. I hope their day to day ministry to that community is one of love, acceptance and hope, just as it should be for any one of us. I do not actually know what they do. So, for now, I will trust Pastor Houston when he says he follows the belief of most mainline church leaders and more importantly pray he is responsible with scripture, his ministry position and those God puts in his care, which is more than I can say for those spouting random, uneducated, unfounded and unsubstantiated comments about someone doing life and ministry half way around the world. 




    Now, back to some good reporting - tell me about Fireplace Girl ---

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    FRIDAY FIRE - AdvoCare Update - 10/10/14

    Dear Friends and Team Members,

    Do you find that Friday's are a let down sometimes. I like the phrase "light a fire" and have always used it. Going into the weekends, I want to "light a fire" under you and bring some urgency to a new way of thinking about your Fitness and Financial Future. I want to give you something to think about, something that challenges you to redefine what normal looks like.

    Do you or someone you know want something more than "hourly pay"?

    Do you or someone you know want something more than "maybe some day"?​

    Do you or someone you know want to "make a difference" in the lives of others?


    Let me light a Friday Fire in your bones with this great video.   I don't share this with everyone, only those who may want to take a different path to Healthy Faith, Family, Fitness & Finances the way the Ramsdell Family has.



    Watch all the way to the end and envision your next step to do one of three things....

    1. Become an AdvoCare Distributor and begin the road to another income stream and better living.

    2. Become an AdvoCare Advisor and begin earning income 5 ways, growing your team and helping others to live better.

    3. Become an AdvoCare Advisor, Silver level and begin to earn significant income with all the fun that goes into seeing your team grow, having more financial options, feeling and looking better physically and building a list of stories where lives are changed for the better.

    The Training Is There...
    The Products Are There...
    The Team is There...
    The Value is There...

    All that is needed is -- YOU.....


    P.S. - Make it even more fun, bring 2 friends with you. We have found that you enjoy this business with your friends. So, grab a friend from the gym, or your kids' school, or your church or call a family member or neighbor and have them join you. Business is more like lifestyle when doing AdvoCare with you friends.

    Our Story: Shanna and I can tell you that we earned our $500 Rookie Bonus at just the right time and our jump to Advisor ended with great stories from friends and family who lost weight, had more energy, felt better, looked better, slept better and some even found relief from ongoing medical issues.

    P.S.S - If you know a friend who wants to get involved and would like help discussing this opportunity give me a shout. You all know that Shanna and I are "low pressure" about how this all works. We are excited to help you answer questions and build your team.

    Have a Great Weekend,

    Billy and Shanna Ramsdell
    AdvoCare Advisors & Coaches
    719-487-8581 c


    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    A NEW KIND OF HERO

    Childhood Heroes
    When we were little, we had our favorite heroes. These champions of the cartoons, comic books, tv show, books or sports captivated us with their talent, personality, costumes and super powers. We saw them as champions, we felt more powerful when watching them. We even imagined ourselves being them.

    (Shout Out for Underroos !!!)







    My Hero
    One of my childhood heroes was a stranger. I never spoke to him. He actually may be a girl, I'm not sure. See, I was riding a small dirt bike with my dad when across this long stretch of "whoops" I heard and saw a CR500 Honda 4 Stroke flying across the tops of the whoop section at what seemed to be 70 mph. He flew past me toward the end of the run where I usually got my little bike stuck in the deep Florida sand. He didn't slow much, instead went head long into this 6 foot tall sand berm where he made a wide, sweeping left U-turn, hitting the gas on the way out and kicking up a rooster tale 20 feet in the air. He came back toward me, across the tops of the same 3 feet deep sand whoops I had fallen in 100 times. I just stood there as if I were on the flight deck of an air craft carrier watching the fighter jets land and take off from 50 feet away. Whoever that masked man, under that helmet and goggles, became my hero that day. I have never forgotten him and never will.


    Other Heroes
    Let's face it, most of us had heroes who were either imaginary characters or famous celebrities. Batman, Superman, John Elway, Michael Jordon, a singer, a dancer, actor or astronaut. Most of these people will never meet us personally. Even if they exist in real life, we will never get the chance to really know them, to see them in real life, to discern their character, to know if they love people or if they can be trusted. I think Batman has a great cave, great car, plane and utility belt. He beats bad guys and goes on adventures every day. Who wouldn't love that life, right. But, now that I'm older with my own kids and a life of challenge and reward, I have different thoughts. I wonder, is Batman a good dad? Is Batman a good husband? Or, what about real life heroes, heroes who are not famous merely because they look pretty, dance great, run fast or sing well. Fame and celebrity status, even for an Olympian, who deserves recognition for a life of dedication and discipline, are not necessarily any more worthy of hero status than anyone else, if we take away the talent. If we take away the fame, the talent and status, what is left. These are the people I look for today,
    a New Kind of Hero.



    A New Kind of Hero
    No doubt the "man on the Honda", as I refer to him these days, captured my attention. I still love the smell of gas and oil, dirt and mud, filling the dusty air at the dirt bike track. Is he worthy of hero status to a 45 year old, probably not. So, who are the heroes that inspire me now? Who should I encourage my kids to watch and listen to? Beeber can sing, Lopez can dance, Manning can throw and Oprah is rich. Again, does that mean I know them and their character? No. So, these days I think of "Hero" in a different light. I think of the single mom who works two jobs to keep her kids in the best schools. I think of the English teacher who invests days and nights into teaching our kids, with low pay and little recognition. I think of the youth pastor who weekly prays for every one of his 30 youth group kids by name and visits the kids who get ignored to show them they are loved. I think of the dads, moms, fire fighters, police officers, school officials, church leaders, community development leaders and non profit entrepreneurs who bring water, food, clothes and medical care to the most needy around the world. I also think of those who have and will change history with their positive ideas, their love, their service and their humility. Helen Keller and Martin Luther are examples. Honest, hard working, loving, trusted mission workers, pastors, politicians and parents. These are some of the everyday heroes who capture my attention these days.


    The student who leads prayer meetings in her school. The teacher who stays late to tutor a child. The shop owner who gives a huge discount to a family who is obviously struggling with the costs of car repairs. These are everyday heroes, making an impact far beyond what fame, status or riches could do. My wife is one of those people. She defines "hero" in every way. She is talented, beautiful and gifted. Truth is, those are not her "hero" characteristics though.
    She is a New Kind of Hero.


    Shanna spends time, significant time, every single day, thinking, planning and working on ways to help others. She helps me, she helps her children, her clients, her friends, family members and even neighbors and strangers find a way to live better, be stronger and more filled with joy. While she is like any American who wants to increase her income and have nice things, she actually dedicates an enormous amount of time and energy to making our city a more beautiful place to live. She is a master-teacher and could be teaching at University levels, but instead, sits on the floor with kids who need help growing up and teaches them to love music, learn music and love learning. Some kids come to her classes as therapy, some learn to regulate and control impulses, some find their gifts and begin to develop as a little musician. People around her, including me, have found gifts and talents and destiny and have been encouraged to walk it out, instead of trying to be someone we are not.


    The New Kind of Hero I am looking for is just like the lady I married 20 years ago. They face challenges with honesty, authenticity, and courage. They stay focused on the relationships that matter most. They find the weaker, less confident or broken people and silently help them up to another level. They never win an award or get bonus checks. They get the reward of seeing a mother's tears of joy at the sight of their child playing an instrument after years of failed lessons. They get the reward of a late night email from a friend that says 'thank you' for spending time with me over Facebook or on the phone, you helped me make it through the day. These Heroes are Champions of Family and Faith. They seek to live better, more healthy and to bring people with them along the journey. These people are the most powerful undercurrent of influence in the world. They have courage to look in the mirror of God's Word, the Bible, and to allow it to challenge them, convict them and change them. They work tirelessly on loving better and living better, not being seen, heard or captured as an internet sensation. They change tires for old ladies, they deliver food to the sick, they find the lowly and downcast, not to sell them something to fix them, but to encourage them and lift them up.


    She would and will deny every positive accusation I have mounted against her. I don't care. I'm looking for A New Kind of Hero. I live in a world where depression, divorce and dysfunction destroy homes, churches, schools, and businesses. Our selfish, power hungry, fear and fame based society needs a shining light, a different kind of light. The Light of Christ lived out through the words and work of A New Kind of Hero. These people are not perfect. Shanna, is not perfect. She is, however, real, honest, courageous, loving, trustworthy, longsuffering, prayerful, worshipful, hard working and steadfast. Each day, I get a first hand encounter with my most revered hero, my wife. This is not vain flattery, shared with the selfish motivation of getting favors or special treatment, though I love all of that. This is a very strong impression I have been carrying for weeks now.
    We need A New Kind of Hero.


    The sound-bites we hear everyday, good and bad, about the rich and famous, are completely and totally irrelevant. Who cares what celebrity is getting married, or what athlete broke the law. I want to know, what father decided not to take the promotion so he could see his kids more. What mother goes to the gym everyday to stay healthy so she can play with her kids for years to come. What dentist, store owner, judge or school teacher goes home and to work everyday with honesty, genuine gratitude and love for others, sharing light everywhere they go? I want to hear about Judy, who works with kids who are visually impaired. I want to hear about Beth, who works with large numbers of mentally & physically handicapped children & adults. I want to hear about Michael who coaches in the inner city and regularly picks up shoes and equipment for his little athletes, and pays for it himself. I want to hear about the CEO who gets a large bonus and instead of investing into another time-share, writes a check for $20k to his local church or charity. These are the people, like my wife, who are truly worthy of Hero Status.


    That is the hero I need when my day has been long and hard with no answers. I need someone to text me to say "I'm praying for you today", that's it. No guy in a cape or cool car with rocket launchers. (though I could really enjoy that too)  I just need someone to listen to me when I'm stressed, to accept me when I'm insecure and to affirm me when I doubt myself.



    Today, I'm living with my hero. And when I leave this house each day, I am looking for other heroes, New Kinds of Heroes.




    Dedication: Though I'm sure they won't read "Dad's Blog", I want to dedicate this post to my kids. These five are champions in my eyes. Everyday I see young heroes in the making, growing, learning, serving, praying, giving, worshiping, challenging. They are also far from perfect, but perfect was never a qualification for "hero" now was it.  


    (Elizabeth, you inspire me and challenge me, you are another of my heroes. You leave a mark of joy, love and laughter on so many people around the world, and, by God's grace, I get to see that up close. You shy away from fame and limelight, but minister so well on center stage. You stand tall in character and tall in strength, and your friends find confidence, consistency and authenticity in you. You are A New Kind of Hero.)




    (Hosanna, you bring a fresh breeze of grace and beauty to the world around you. You hide the fact that you are crazy smart and forceful when needed. You are a good friend and have extended grace to your siblings, class mates and fellow employees consistently and mercifully all of your life. Your impact on young girls is profound, your prayers are powerful and your dedication to excellence has challenged those around you. God's love and light follows you wherever you go, you are certainly A New Kind of Hero)


    (Benjamin, you have always been able to walk into a room and charm your way to the front. More importantly, you accept everyone in the room, with little bias. You love to work as part of a team, you love to be challenged and you work hard for your coaches, parents and pastors when you are asked. I love how you honor and respect your older sisters. I love your love for your mother. I also love the way you have adopted your little brother and made him your own family. Your loyalty is powerful. You are growing up to be A New Kind of Hero)


    (Victoria, some generations need special people, molded and shaped, particularly, for impact in that generation. I believe you are this person. Your love for worship and passion for life is contagious. You are smart and lovely. You have compassion for others in need. You sense a call to help those who have been treated unjustly. You bounce back when hard things happen. You are an "old soul" and have been wired for wisdom and growth. The impact you have on other girls who feel timid, ugly or alone has been powerful over the years. You are their hero, and to me, A New Kind of Hero)


    (Elias ZhangWei (Eli), I will never really know why God blessed me with a son like you. When I prayed in the mountains, and cried over your soul, my heart was nit together with you. You have brought an entire new level of revelation of God's love into my life. Your personality and courage are supernatural. You face challenge and overcome. You learn and love to learn. You work hard at school, even with some pretty serious limitations. You play hard and love your friends. So many people, young and old, love you and care about you, but more than that, they are encouraged by you. You have changed me forever because, you my son, are
    A New Kind of Hero)





    Monday, August 18, 2014

    MAKE YOUR OWN PATH - Journey To Freedom (AdvoCare Business)



    "MAKE YOUR OWN PATH"  

    ** Have you ever wanted to have your own business, a second stream of income or a plan for future income. 

    ** In November 2013 I was flown by life-flight to Denver with a life threatening brain bleed. I didn't cause it, I didn't want it, I couldn't prepare for it and I was shocked. (see pic below) I was blessed to make it home healthy and alive. After going back to work I realized several things...

    a) I normally would not get paid if I could not "be at work".  
    b) I was not viewed as stable and trustworthy in the workplace for some time after that issue. 
    c) I had always wanted to grow a business that had a residual income feature to it, but had always been hesitant about these types of companies, almost dying will solve that hesitation. 
    d) I had noticed several friends who earned great income and enjoyed their own business, schedule and rewards, but I couldn't say I knew what that felt like. 
    e) I needed to begin planning for long term. (at 44 years old) and that I still had 20 years of prime working years to make something happen. Realizing "time" was my most valuable asset, I needed to get busy.  
    f) My wife and I worked in the two most unpredictable areas of work in our country, non-profit, ministry and self employment. We own Creative Music Concepts. And we should be more than "right hearted" about our income and future, we should be strategic and "right headed" about the risks of working in the church, non-profit or self employment world. We needed to develop options for us, now, before it becomes a big problem. 

    These and other questions helped Shanna and I decide to take the leap....ask yourself some questions and then jump on our call, bring a friend or spouse, or college student and listen in. 

    Answer These Questions.....

    1. Would you like to have income even when you are not "AT WORK"??
    2. Would you say you are working & walking on "YOUR OWN PATH"??
    3. Do you know any college students who need to make extra income??
    4. Are you willing to work hard and enjoy a great community??
    5. Do you have questions about the AdvoCare business opportunity??

    Get More Information tonight on a conf. call - just call in a listen......

    Message me, email, text or call for the phone number......

    Billy Ramsdell,
    Billy.Ramsdell@Gmail.com
    719-487-8581 c


    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    3 MONEY SECRETS WE SHOULD THINK ABOUT AGAIN

    Shanna and I have a saying that has proven true for us and many others. We learned it first hand, so we point fingers at ourselves when we say this.....

    Some people have a good heart but a dumb head...

    It doesn't take an MBA or PhD to verify this simple statement could define the daily status of many. Those of us who are good intention-ed can also become a statistic of failure, or failure to excel, if these lessons are not learned early. 

    I think financial lessons have been one of the more painful to learn for people in my generation. We survived the longest recession in American history. But not before believing that moments after we were married, we should have all the things our Baby Boomer parents had after 25 years of working. Many believed the lie that comfort and indulgence was an entitlement, not a luxury. And in one generation we created a target audience of in-debt, hard working, broke, depressed, consumer driven families for Dave Ramsey to capitalize on.  

    There are three primary financial issues I wish I would have known about at a young age, to appreciate them, to find wisdom in them. These are not profound or complicated. They are ignored and misunderstood by most Americans, however. Again, we have a good heart, with good intentions, but we often have an ignorant head. We needed mentoring, teaching and training, but most of us would not have listened even if we had gotten it. For me, I wish I would have believed these three items were important when I was 20 years old. 

    1. Debt Kills - Nothing can kill a marriage, family or a person's joy faster than the negative affects of the wrong kinds of debt. Again, Dave Ramsey has grown a multi-million dollar, world class business on the broken dreams of Americans who took on too much of the wrong kinds of debt and suffered for it. I did the credit card thing, then the cars, then house, then more credit cards, then second mortgage, and more. I have since paid much of it off, but there was a season where I was not sure how we would ever stop the madness. We now live within our means and have just a little debt left to pay off, besides our home. We have options now and think much more healthy about life, marriage, work and family. We are also more prepared for a sudden loss of income or major medical issue. (Such as a full on brain bleed, like I had last November)

    2. Compound Interest is Exponential - Investing where compound interest accumulates yields the best results when given enough time to multiply over and over. Twenty extra years could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars when looking at an IRA with just moderate risk mutual funds. There are many other investment products that can create wealth over time, but my point is...I really do wish I would have known or listened when others talked about retirement funds, savings or investments. As usual, my American Dream was to work, work, work and never get old. We seek comfort or pleasure instead of wisdom. We feel like we must have all the "goodies" in life. Instead of being the business owner, we become slaves to the spending that keeps the business owners in business. We must eat out, we must buy new clothes and new cars, we spend first, save later. Because we never learned to save, invest and take advantage of the "power of time & compound interest" we see some troubling statistics.

    * 80% of Americans ages 30 - 54 believe they will not have enough for retirement. 

    * The avg. 50 year old only has around $43k saved for retirement with less than 15 more years to save. (avg. retirement age is around 62)

    * Only 1% of our retirement population will be considered wealthy. 

    Even though we grew up believing wealth, fame, power and influence were at our fingertips, truth is, most of us are on a track to retire one step above "broke". Most of us will NOT be prepared to absorb a major life crisis and even more disturbing, most of us will pass along near to NOTHING by way of financial Legacy. 

    The most damaging myth, perhaps, is that we do not have the ability, within a middle class income, for example, to provide long term investments that will matter. Again, we fail to recognize the power of compound interest. 

    An example would be the following calculations....

    Beginning Investment $1,000 
    Adding $3,000 per year at 7% compound interest

    A) 20 years = $135,466
    B) 40 years = $655,803
    C) 50 years = $1,334,415 

    AMAZING WHAT AN EXTRA 20-25 YEARS CAN MAKE


    3. Residual Income is Better than Hourly Income

    Residual Income, like Compound Interest, continues to earn money after the initial investment is made. Many of us began work for an hourly wage or a small salary. We worked hard to climb the ladder and earn more. There is nothing wrong with hard work. If we add on residual income, as early as possible, again, we run much greater chances of seeing exponential increase over long periods of time. 

    Just this week Shanna and I watched "19 Kids & Counting". This is the reality TV show, documenting the life and times of the Duggar family.          http://www.duggarfamily.com/ 

    Obviously they are different than most families and obviously not everyone cares to have a huge farm of kids, but there is one major example they set for us all. Financial Wisdom & Legacy. They pass along a smart, value based, debt free financial legacy. Legacy does not have to mean we leave our kids a pile of money they spend frivolously. For them, it means training in proper money management and business, with a reward at the end of being given a substantial part in the family business. The ability to care for their own family and to pass on skills, wisdom and business acumen is a greater legacy than most kids raised under the name brand driven society we were raised in. The residual nature of "owning" the businesses, in some cases, multiple businesses, like commercial real estate, can change the stars in a family legacy. 

    Last week I was on a date with my wife Shanna. We sat watching the COS Philharmonic together. While there, we received notice of a team member making significant sales to a new client. We earned income while on a date. That is the short term power of residual income models. In the long term, consider the family highlighted in the movie "The Blind Side". Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, as depicted, had a substantial residual income derived from many different fast food businesses. Even when Mr. Tuohy was not working he was working. 

    Some say the perfect variety of income sources is Real Estate, Business and Leadership. Meaning we work a "day job" with leadership flexibility and income, own a business that provides present or future residual income and invest in real estate that also provides residual income streams. 

    The Ramsdell Group (aka the RamFam) has spent several years making adjustments to align with this kind of thinking. We hope to diversify income streams and invest well, to recover time past by accelerating time future. 

    www.AdvoCare.com/140412187
    www.Kindermusik.com/CreativeMusicConcepts
    www.Facebook.com/CreativeMusicConcepts

    For others, ages 16 to 25, there are HUGE opportunities to do it better from the beginning. The fact is, we just don't teach families and individuals to think about good stewardship of money and resources and time. We (Media, School, Parents, even Churches) tend to train young people to think short term, think small and desire immediate gratification. It is time we change our thinking. Not because we want to be wealthy for selfish gain. Rather, because we want to leave the lies of poverty, lack, comfort and indulgence to leave legacy, wisdom and skill to the next generation. 


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