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Tuesday, August 25 2020
Snap Out of IT
Man!  How are you?  Seriously, how are you?  Are you tired yet?  C'mon it's okay to be tired.  It's the endless summer, just at home, with the same people.  There's no doubt you are where you are supposed to be, however when's the last time you truthfully answered these questions?
I wouldn't be surprised to see Bill Murray and Puxatawney Phil driving by at any moment.
'It feels like Deja Vu, All Over Again'...Yogi Berra.  One of the greats.  We need more men like him.  More throwbacks.  Classics.  There's a reason the classics are so revered...they've stood the test of time.  Will you?
SNAP Out of IT
We've forgotten what manhood, manliness is, it's been stripped from us.  Slowly and surely fading away.  WAKE UP!  Don't let you or your boys succumb to it.  We can't lose that generation as well.
When life is like ground hogs day it's pretty hard to remember to Carpe Diem!
That's the point right, it's a long deep slog through the muck that wears us down.  It's the tedious day after day monotony that eats at our desires for adventure and glory and the joy that brings.  That's what stifles us and eventually destroys those desires.  
It doesn't have to be so.  It shouldn't be so.  
SNAP Out of IT
How does one become a classic?  
How does one stand the test of time?  
We must roll around in the muck.  We must come to treasure being in the muck.  We must relish the muck.  It can sharpen us, hone us...we need conflict to create change and only through that turmoil of change can we become great.  
It's times like these that men like us were made to shine.  It's times like these that allow the crucible of change to harden us into the men of purpose God desires us to be.  The diamonds in the rough covered in muck awaiting an opportunity to be a classic; waiting for that chance to stand the test of time and create a legacy that matters.
SNAP Out of IT
'Mondays are a great day to focus on what we GET TO do instead of what we HAVE TO do. Life is a gift, not an obligation.'  - Jon Gordon
Immerse yourself in classics, immerse yourself in things that have stood the test of time, immerse yourself in objective truths free from the humanistic secular subjectivism surrounding us.  Immerse yourself in what you GET TO DO.
This week's action, Pick one of each:  person, place, book, idea and thing that has been unwavering over time and invest in that.  
Invest in you, invest in becoming a classic, invest in standing the test of time.  Not for yourself, do it for your Creator, for your wife, your kids, your church, your community, your friends and your business.  Do it because it's worthwhile and noble.
Roll in the muck, become the diamond in the rough, be a classic, stand the test of's part of your purpose, you're here and now; don't delay the slog starts a life as a classic that stands the test of time is a worthy undertaking and won't soon be forgotten.
Don't Fear That Day!
Jonathan Kennedy, Jr.
Tuesday, August 18 2020
FINISH(ing) Well
Hello fellow brothers and neighbors!!
It is so great to communicate with you today.  As the Grateful Dead said famously, "what a long strange trip it's been..."  And it only gets stranger.  But, hey that's what you get when you're living in a fallen world with sinful people, living for the moment and striving for personal happiness.
The good news is you are Loved, Cared for and Thought about, more than you realize.  You don't have to go at it alone.  I know you want to, as men it's easy to do that.  
Find your band of brothers, cultivate openness and forthrightness with them.  Share authentically so others can support you.  It is not easy right now to be a man/dad/provider/rock right now in this time and age.  You are being pulled in many directions but you can make it, you can persevere, you're here on purpose and you too can Finish in Excellence.  Keep striving, keep fighting, keep endeavoring and your faithfulness will be rewarded.
FINISH(ing) Well
My grandfather had a saying that he constantly shared with us:
"Once a job has begun, never leave it til it's done.  Be the duty great or small, do it right or not at all." - Irv Kennedy
It is found online this way:
“If a task is once begun, never leave it ‘till it’s done.

Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

--Author Unknown

FINISH(ing) Well

There's no promise of ease in this.  There's not a promise of happiness.  
There is a sense of duty and responsibility.  There is fulfillment of purpose and follow through. 
Making it happen.  
So, how are you making it happen?  Where are you making it happen?  Are you finishing?
FINISH(ing) Well
Many of us have great intentions.  We start things or we think about starting things but do we ever think about what those things look like finished?
Think about it for a moment, what is sitting half done in your basement, garage, office, house, etc.  
Which project do you most want to finish?  Why isn't it?
Which one is the most hard to find time to finish?  Why is that?
What is your wife nagging about to get done at home?
FINISH(ing) Well
One of the reasons why we fail to finish is summed up well in Jon Acuff's book aptly titled Finish.
“You’ve got some secret rules that make it really difficult for you to finish.” - Jon Acuff
Maybe perfectionism, maybe distraction.  
Don't forget:  “Accomplishing a goal is a lot less like taking a train across country and a lot more like driving a bumper car.” - Acuff again...he's sharp.
Here's to shedding your secret rules; here's to crashing; here's to moving into the person you were created to be and here's to finishing!
Action item:  Combine two things a project started and a loved one.  Find something that you can FINISH WELL with someone you love.  Include the people who care most for you and make it happen, FINISH.
Don't Fear That Day! 

Jonathan Kennedy, Jr
Tuesday, August 11 2020
Measuring Success

Each week I do this, I get to see all the names of the people I send this to in the bcc section of my email. 

Each week I am in awe that I know you, each and everyone of you; I am not worthy of such a community. 

Each week I pray that each of you is known, whole, loved, finding your purpose and knowing your place as God has ordained it

Each week I am grateful for you, your family, your work and your purpose.

Each week I hope that you will do the hard thing and make the difference only you were made to create.

Each week with joy I consider the ripples you possess now and to come.

Each week your impact becomes greater and the love for those in your care becomes stronger.

Well done, man.  Well done.

Measuring Success
It's easy to compare ourselves to those around us.  Outwardly we can see the trappings of worldly success amongst us all and desire what those around us have. We do this even though we are not living others lives but our own.  
Why do we do this?  Part of it is the covetous nature of fallen man living in sin.  Part of it is we have been conditioned through different mediums to covet things.  Think about how many commercial slogans you can remember for the best items produced by man; cars, watches, boats, booze, food, razors, the list goes on and on.
So, How do you measure success?
Measuring Success
Here's one mans definition:

“A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” - Tim Ferriss 
Because of how it's played out in my life I believe this to be true.  In fact, in my opinion, the best conversations are the difficult ones and I believe we should relish and wallow and roll around in messy difficult uncomfortable conversations.  Now you know why I ask you the things I do!  And some of you rue the day I asked.
So, How do you measure success?
Measuring Success
2020 has been a year of uncomfortable conversations.  But that's not the only determinant of success, its one of the determinants.  Before we can have those conversations we need to define what success looks like for us.  
What is your stake in the ground?  What is it that you measure yourself to each day?  How do you determine if you've made progress or not?  What does the man in the mirror say to you?
We need to have our guiding principle, that definition of success that helps us make decisions, that shapes our thoughts, that guides us when we need clarity.  Because it's based on our values, priorities, and principles
Measuring Success
Here's the simple task.  Finish the following sentence:
I am successful if....
also do this exercise with your wife for your family:
We are successful if...
Answering these two simple sentences for yourself and family will give you clarity around how to spend time, money, activities, schooling choices, vacations, where to worship, who to hang out with and a multitude of other items.
It will also lead to much needed uncomfortable conversations and that leads to a life well-lived with lots of clarity.  We all would appreciate more of that.
Don't Fear That Day!
Jonathan Kennedy Jr.
Tuesday, August 04 2020
What's Important Now
Good Monday to you men!  It is my sincerest hope that each of you is doing well, that you are healthy and able to pursue happiness daily.  I pray that your summer has been fruitful, that you're able to multiply your efforts and that there is abundance for you and your family.  I implore you to stay strong, understand the stakes of the game, understand the role you've been created to play and execute to the best of your ability to make that happen.  
Remember this:  you are here for a reason.  You are here on purpose.  The people you are with are there for a distinct purpose.  Embrace and appreciate this.  Lean into it.  Be grateful for your station as God has created it for you.  Live into that station like no one else, like no one else.
What's Important Now
A few weeks ago I wrote about Game Time.  That when asked, 'what time is it?'  As men we should be ready to respond in kind, Game Time!  As in we are ALL IN and ready for action and fully tuned in to the life in front of us.  Realistically 80 years goes by in a blink.  Think about it.  In the history of man we are but a blip on the map.  BUT, oh how wonderful that blip could be and how impactful that blip could be, if you think of life as Game Time!

There are many things we put time limits on; we are masters of scheduling our time (choosing how to spend each hour of each day).  Shoot I'm almost fanatical about this.  Interruptions and sidetracks are none too pleasing.  I'm certain some of you have fallen victim to my sense of time or strictness of time.  I'm trying to get better, trying to understand an enhanced way to view time.
What's Important Now
When I grew up my dad put a huge emphasis on what he called 'QT' or Quality Time.  Man, if I had a nickel for every QT/Quality Time reference I heard.  I get what he wanted, I get all the pressure and striving for excellence in those times.  It spurred some amazing memories, lots of laughs and a bond everlasting.
This same mentality is shown in the National Lampoon movies featuring Clark Griswold, a dad, a man craving nothing but good old fashioned family time; working his tail off to construct, instruct and execute the 'perfect' time together as a family.  In Vegas Vacation he almost gave up...almost...but didn't.  Notice he still fights for and wins his family.  This is a must in how we are to shepherd our families.  We cannot back down and cannot give up the fight in how we work to shape their hearts and minds.
What's Important Now 

Our days are to be measured by the quality in our time rather than the forced notion of quality time.  - JK Jr.
The reality is that any and every time we are interacting with those we love and care for we have Quality Time.  The most mundane times are where the magic happens.  Running errands, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, books at bedtime, doing yard work together, and on and on.  These are quality times.  These are the moments that shape and mold our most treasured relationships.  
These are the times when there are teachable moments.  These are the times when little eyes see how to treat others.  These are the times to make a positive impact.  These simple moments are the building blocks for relationships far and wide.
There is never the perfect time to create the perfect moment to spend with the people you love the most.  It does not exist.  But you can adopt a mindset of gratitude and appreciation for the time you have with people and use that to their benefit.
What's Important Now
In my line of work there is a lot of time spent on relationships.  There's a lot of time spent on difficult conversations.  There's time in triumphs and tragedies.  A few weeks ago a friend and clients 15 yr old son died tragically.  It was sudden, it was unexpected, it was too soon.  This is the 5th man I've known to lose a teenage son.  All too sudden, all unexpected and all too soon.
The memories they share the most are the ones that are the most basic.  The ones that were organic and happened during the time they spent together.  They remember the quality in the time they had together.
Your task this week is singular:
Be grateful, present and appreciative of the quality in the time you have around the ones you love the most.d
Put the phone down, ignore the news, turn off the social media...sit and listen, take them with you on errands, ask them (including your better half) what they hope and dream about...appreciate time.
And in the end it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years. ” —Abraham Lincoln
Don't Fear That Day!
Jonathan Kennedy, Jr.