For Giving

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To my beloved children:

I am certain you know that your mom and I are faithful givers of tithes and offerings; however, I’m not sure if you actually know the real reason for why we do it. You see, besides the desire to honor God first in our finances, we are faithful givers of tithes and offerings because God is a faithful Giver who is for giving and He has forgiven us much.

The truth is…there was a time in my life when I was not a giver and I was not for giving. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I was a taker and I was for myself. As a result, I was very selfish and my time, my talent, and my treasure was used for myself which led straight into sin through the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes. Furthermore…if not for God being so totally for giving towards me, redeeming me, and restoring my life…my life at best would be a wreck, and at worst, I would be dead. Therefore, because God is so over the top for giving towards me, my true heart’s desire is to be for giving like Him, even though I can never give Him as much as He has given me and continues to give me every day of my life.

Please understand clearly that my giving comes from desire and not duty because without question, everything I have in life, God has given me and I am grateful to Him for giving me everything. He has given me my spiritual life, my marriage life, my family life, my relational life, my physical life, my financial life, and my vocational life. Every good thing I have comes from God because He is a faithful Giver who is for giving! How can I be anything other than a faithful giver myself who is for giving? So now you know. By the grace of God, I am a faithful giver who is for giving because God is a faithful Giver who is for giving. He gives me everything and He forgives me greatly! My prayer is that each of you will also experience for yourselves, the radical over the top for giving nature of God that makes you desire to be a faithful giver who is for giving like Him.

With God’s grace, you’ve got this and you can do it!!

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

For Giving Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, For Giving, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

True Love

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To my beloved children:

My prayer for each of you is that you will all one day find true love in your life. But please know this, the pursuit of true love is a risky matter because feelings of love can make a person so very happy and they can also make a person so very sad. Regarding the risks of feeling in love, I’ve heard it said, “It is better to have loved and lost love, than it is to have never loved at all.” In my view, this statement encapsulates very well the real emotional risks inherent in the action of pursuing love. In fact, in my life, I have learned that pursuing love certainly has its very real vulnerabilities and emotional risks; however, I have also learned, even more importantly, that true love is love rooted in choice rather than feelings.

You see, feelings of love can come and they can also go, depending on the emotional state and well-being of people. And because feelings are fickle, people “feeling” in love will also likely feel fearful, anxious, and insecure in their love relationship. As a result, love rooted in feelings alone is often deceiving and unfortunately often short-lived in relationships. To me, this is very sad because love doesn’t have to be this way when it is true love.

True love is love that lasts a lifetime because it is fundamentally rooted in people’s choice and not their feelings. Plus, love rooted in choice is true because it is the only kind of love that can be unconditional. You see, love rooted in feelings focuses on what a person receives from another person by feeling in love; whereas, love rooted in choice focuses on what a person gives to another person by choosing to love. This is a vast difference that makes all the difference in true love.

Therefore, to possess true love that lasts forever, choose to love others with your whole heart, always and forever, no matter what. If you make this kind of intentional decision to truly love others from your heart, you will not only experience true love forever, you will never fear having true love in your life.

With God’s grace, you’ve got this and you can do it!!

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

True Love Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, True Love, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Make It Count

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To my beloved children:

There is one thing in life that is 100% certain…all people have a date with death and there is no escaping it. We all live and one day we die. And while there is not much we can do about our birth date and our death date, there is much we can do with each date in between.

Your life and my life is a precious gift from God and the way we live our life is our unique precious gift back to Him and others. No one can live your life, but you, which is why it is unique.  And it is precious because each day only comes once and once it is gone, it is gone forever. With that in mind, let me encourage you to make each precious day count to the fullest for yourself and for others by living your life well. And let me caution you…if you don’t have a plan for your life, then someone else will and you may very well end up living their life rather than your own.

So, to help you make a good plan and live your life well, I encourage you to ask yourself these 3 great questions:

  1. How do you want to be remembered in life by your family and friends?
  2. What are your gifts and talents that can make a real difference in life?
  3. Who are your wise trusted advisors in life?

A good and wise friend once told me that every 7 years we experience a new season in life. As I look back upon my life, I can see that it is true. Furthermore, I also now know that in each season, it is easy to look ahead to the next season and miss the opportunities to fully enjoy the current season. Please don’t let that happen to you. Famous cartoonist, Bil Keane, has written, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift from God which is why we call it the present.” So enjoy each day as an incredible present and make it count each day!

With God’s grace, you’ve got this and you can do it!!

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

Make It Count Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Make It Count, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Forgive Others Always

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To my beloved children:

I am certain that you have experienced life well enough by now to know that it sometimes includes being hurt, insulted, wronged, or offended in some way by others. Anyone who lives life long enough will experience some injustices in life. The truth is…there is no one immune from this painful side of life; however, there is one powerful prescription to the emotional pain of life injustices. It is called “forgiveness”.

Forgiveness is the one thing in life that can overcome any and every hurtful injustice we may experience in life. This is true in every case…no matter what. When you have been wronged…forgive always. When you have been insulted…forgive always. When you have been treated unfairly…forgive always. When you have been hurt emotionally…forgive always. Because…to not forgive others always is like taking a bitter pill that prolongs the pain and agony of an unforgiving heart. And it’s just not worth it.

On the other hand, when you and I forgive others always, we become better people and not bitter people. Through forgiveness, we release the pain of bitterness and embrace the gain of betterness as we recognize that we too at times need the forgiveness of others. In fact, the Lord teaches us to pray for our own forgiveness as we forgive others. And do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying that forgiving others always is always easy, but I am saying that forgiving others always is always necessary if you and I want to be better people in life and not bitter people. With God’s grace, you’ve got this and you can do it always!

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

Forgive Others Always Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Forgive Others Always, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Doing Hard Things

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To my beloved children:

I’m not sure if you realize this or not, but my life and your mom’s life has not always been easy. While we have done our best to give each of you a quality and stable family life, the effort it has taken for us to do it has been well short of easy. In fact, it’s been hard and at times, it’s been real hard. But nonetheless, because our family is worth it, your mom and I have not been afraid to do the hard things in life in order to have the good things in life for our family.

For example, it was hard for your mom and I to get an education, buy cars, build houses, raise children, save for retirement, and consistently invest our ourselves today in order to build a better tomorrow. These things I’ve listed are by no means the complete list of all the hard things that your mom and I had to do during our life together, nor is it the end of the hard things that we will need to do during the rest of our life together. The list is not the point. The point is that even though we have had to do some hard things, and still do, doing hard things makes us stronger people and will make you stronger people as well. Plus, doing the hard things in life leads to the good things in life because any good thing worth having – good relationships, good education, good career, good marriage, good family, good health, good finances, good retirement, and a good tomorrow – is worth the hard things we must do to have them.

I wish life was different and I wish I could tell you that life will never be hard, but I’d be lying if I did. So as your father, I want to encourage each of you to make a life-long commitment to doing the hard things in life because the truth is that good things in life most often come from doing hard things in life. An old Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Taking a journey of a thousand miles is a hard thing, but once you take the first step in doing any hard thing, each subsequent step becomes much easier. So don’t be afraid to take the first step in doing the hard things in life because the journey to a good life awaits each hard step you must take along the way.

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

Doing Hard Things Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Doing Hard Things, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Personal Declaration Of Empowerment

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To my beloved children:

From the time you began walking to the time of your 18th birthday, your mom and I have done our best to prepare you for being a responsible empowered adult. However, in order to actually be a responsible empowered adult upon reaching the age of 18, each of you must personally embrace what it truly means to be a responsible empowered adult and then live your life in such a manner. To help you do this, I have written the following personal declaration of empowerment that can and will inspire you to live your life each day as a responsible empowered adult if you make this personal declaration of empowerment your own and live it each day. I know you’ve got this and you can do it! And because I desire to live my life as a responsible empowered adult as well, I declare the same.

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

Personal Declaration of Empowerment

As a responsible empowered adult, aged 18 or older, I declare this day to embrace personal responsibility and empowerment and I choose this day to reject any entitlement thinking that demands from others the provision of personal benefits that have not been duly earned through my own hard work, study, and achievement. As a human being made in the image of my Creator, I am only entitled to the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that all people created equal have been given by their Creator.  Therefore, as a responsible empowered adult, my entitled right to pursue happiness does not give me the right to expect others to provide for my happiness without my personal responsibility to do whatever it takes to secure my happiness through my own hard work, study, and achievement.  This means that I must work hard for anything and everything that may or may not provide personal happiness in my life regardless of my race, creed, gender, family, occupation, or station in life. I accept the definition of hard work as the highest personal contribution that I can give in making my environment and the environments around me better as a result of my personal efforts.

Because I am a responsible empowered adult, I will not expect anyone else to do for me what I can and should do for myself. However, I realize that all people need help at times in life; therefore, when I personally need help from others, I will humbly ask for such help and I will graciously receive that help in my time of personal need. And when people give me help or anything else through their personal generosity, I will gratefully receive their help and their generosity as a great blessing in my life.

Furthermore, I recognize that every day I am alive is a precious gift from my Creator. With the gift of each new day, I choose to take full responsibility for my daily decisions as well as the resulting consequences of those decisions knowing that every decision determines a path and every path leads to a destination. Because each destination in my life is determined greatly by my personal life choices rather than my personal life circumstances, I will do everything in my power to respond to my life circumstances in a way that will ultimately determine the best possible outcomes in my life regardless of the circumstances.

And lastly, I recognize that my life can only be lived by me and I promise myself that I will put forth the diligent effort to intentionally live my life in a manner that honors my Creator for giving me life and blesses others for being in my life.  All of this personal declaration of empowerment is what it means to be a responsible empowered adult.

 

Personal Declaration of Empowerment Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Personal Declaration of Empowerment, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Learning In Life

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To my beloved children:

As you were growing up and even as you are still learning in life, I am doing my best to be a good father and provider for you and to teach you the life skills necessary for being people of true character and people prepared for real life. At this stage in your lives, I continue to pray for each of you, and when invited, it is my greatest joy to provide fatherly counsel to you for important life matters. However, I also realize that giving and receiving fatherly counsel is not always easy; therefore, to help you benefit from my many years of life experience and hard learned life lessons, I personally write these letters to you as a simple way to benefit you throughout your whole life. And one of my deepest prayers for each of you is that you fully realize each day of your lives that you are each completely and totally responsible for your life and your decisions. In the simplest of terms, this is what it means to be an adult. Without question, to live your life as a fully responsible and healthy adult, you must unequivocally embrace your life decisions as well as the resulting life consequences – the good and the bad – always.

I share this with you because as much as possible, I don’t want you to experience life the painful way. And because I know that we mostly learn in life through two primary means…tribulation and revelation…mistakes and mentors, I firmly implore each of you to please seek truthful revelation to avoid painful tribulation and please choose wise trustworthy mentors to avoid foolish costly mistakes. And trust me when I say…mentors are so much better than mistakes and revelation is so much better than tribulation.

When you live life long enough, I am certain that you will each learn for yourselves that every choice requires a decision and every decision determines a path and every path leads to a destination. Therefore, learn this principle early. Your life choices are yours alone to make and your destination is yours alone to embrace. Regardless of your life choices, I want you to know that I love each of you individually, with my whole heart, always and forever, no matter what. With that said, I trust that you will each take my fatherly counsel to your heart and live your life as if wise fatherly counsel truly matters.

Your imperfect loving,

Dad

Learning In Life Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Learning In Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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