You have heard of Gibbs' rules...Here are Joe's Nuggets

Some of these are “tongue and cheek”, and they all contain valuable life lessons.

Over the years, I have done my best to collect wisdom from many sources. Books, friends, mentors, family, spiritual leaders and yes, even TV and movies can provide bits of wisdom if you know where to look!

Enjoy these, know them, live them!

Always know what is going on around you.

What started out as some advice for my kids when I taught them to drive evolved into something that is applicable for life in many situations.

While driving – always know where other drivers are in relation to you and keep an eye on them. Always practice defensive driving. They may not be as good a driver as you.

At work – know what your boss’ position is in the company and how well he/she is doing in their position. Do your best to help them strengthen that position, at the same time keep your options open.

On the subway (or anywhere there a a lot of people close together) – take mental notes of the situation – situational awareness which will be mentioned in a different nugget. Look at each person around you and let Holy Spirit guide your attention. 99.99% of the time you will feel safe, it is that .01% that can bite you in the rear.

Don’t Panic

When faced with unexpected difficulty, calmness will win the day.

Losing control of your vehicle while driving? Don’t panic. If you are skidding, steer into the skid, but keep your cool. If you know what is going on around you, you can steer away from danger safely. If you have to make a choice between hitting a person or hitting an animal…always choose to hit the animal, and that includes if your other choice is to hit an immovable object.

Trouble at work – someone being difficult – maybe someone throwing you under the bus? Don’t panic – in these situations, good leadership will always want to get at a solution and not play the blame game. If you focus on solutions you will come out ahead. And, if leadership is looking to play the blame game…get out.

Trying to get help from customer service? Your flight is cancelled? Trying to return something you bought? On the phone with the help desk and they are clueless or don’t speak your language? Stay calm, it will be OK. Be nice in those situations, even if they don’t deserve your niceness – you win in the end..

4 Stages of Alertness

If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, get filled.

If you don’t know what that is, ask me or someone in my family, we are ALL spirit filled – it is a supernatural gift from God.

Remember, you can’t get the supernatural without the natural, so do your part, the natural part, and educate yourself and get filled!

In any public situation there are 4 situational “alert” stages.  You will fall into one of them whether you know it or not. 

  • White – you are oblivious to what is going on around you. Your eyes are glued to the phone, you are reading a book or magazine, you are talking on the phone, you are sleeping…take your pick. White is not a desirable state to be in – DO NOT allow yourself to linger here. Always advance to Yellow.
  • Yellow – first thing you do is evaluate the people around you. Who looks scary. Who looks like they might help if something bad went down. Let Holy Spirit guide you here. 99.99% of the time there will be nothing to worry about, you can relax. The main thing is to always know what is going on around you.
  • Orange – this is where your spidey sense, or Holy Spirit raises your alertness. Observe. If you see something, say something – call 911 or whatever security organization is close. I would rather face a little embarrassment for calling in something that is nothing than the alternative. If the situation warrants, leave the situation. If you are on the subway, there’s another train coming shortly, get off. If you are getting on a plane…same thing, get off if you feel like there is something wrong. NO MEETING is worth the risk if Holy Spirit is strongly influencing you to leave. I have only had to switch to Orange a couple of times, and I was able to take appropriate action, but still those situations could have escalated.
  • Red – In the name of Jesus, this will never be the case, especially if you are following these awareness colors. However, if you do happen to find something bad going down, DON’T PANIC. Holy Spirit will lead you, every situation will be different but He will ALWAYS provide a way to get through it. I have never seen Red, I have seen Orange though, in those situations I was able to take proactive steps to help some others stay safe and avert the Red state.

I love this one because it can be applied in so many cases.

When you leave a job to pursue a new challenge – don’t look back.

When you end a relationship – don’t look back.

When you buy a car – don’t look back.

When you buy a house – don’t look back.

If you are in law enforcement, make sure it is a weapon that you can fight with.

For the rest of us, just carry a good, sharp pocket knife all the time.

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.
3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.
4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
5. Request the late check-out.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
9. Play with passion or not at all…
10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
14. You marry the girl, you marry her family.
15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
17. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
18. Never turn down a breath mint.
19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
22. Eat lunch with the new kid.
23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
25. Manners maketh the man.
26. Give credit. Take the blame.
27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
28. Write down your dreams.
29. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
30. Be confident and humble at the same time.
31. Call and visit your parents often. They miss you.

When you need help, ask (borrowed from Gibbs’ rule # 28)

Sometimes, you need help.

You will be amazed at what combining the following nuggets will do for you

  • The main thing
  • Rule #1 
  • When you need help ask

What would you do if someone asked you nicely for help? Probably help them and you would feel good about that. Wellll?

If you feel like you are being played, you probably are (borrowed from Gibbs’ rule #36)

This is applicable anywhere. At work, in a relationship, on the subway, etc.  If it feels like someone is being dishonest with you, you are probably being prompted by Holy Spirit. Pay attention to that still small voice.

Never accept an apology from somebody who just sucker-punched you (borrowed from Gibbs” rule #42)

Would you trust someone who tried to hurt you? NO!

Forgive, yes. When you forgive that sets YOU free, not them.

Trust is earned.

Learn to get really good at setting healthy boundaries.

First things first, hide the women and children (borrowed from Gibbs’ rule #44)

As a man – it is YOUR responsibility to do whatever it takes to protect the “women and children”.

First and foremost – your family – as well as those who are unable to defend themselves.

God’s word is full of power and authority. But, it is not a magic book of spells.

When you read the Bible, consistently, with an open heart and ask God and Holy Spirit to teach you, you will find amazing things are available to you.

For instance Heb 11:1 says

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

There has to be evidence of faith, from YOU, which can only come from your thoughts, words and actions. You have to add the natural to get the supernatural.

What is the evidence we are talking about? What thoughts, words and actions constitute this evidence?

Rom 10:17 says

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

You must take action to hear the Word of God. Want to build your faith? Develop a consistent habit of reading and speaking God’s word. You need the natural if you want the supernatural.

And, the ultimate example of natural/supernatural, Rom 10:9

if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

You need the natural to experience the supernatural.

Here is the setup of the scene:

Maverick has just lost his REO and best friend in an aerial accident. He is so shaken up by the incident that he is not engaging in the dog fighting training – basically he is second guessing everything he is doing while flying – which could bleed over into combat in the future.

Viper, his wise commanding officer, is offering advice to help him get back on track and restore his confidence. Maverick needs to get over this, and quickly.

” The simple fact is you feel responsible for Goose and you have a confidence problem. Now I’m not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass, Lieutenant. A good pilot is compelled to evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he’s learned.”

Same is true in life. We all do and say STUPID things. ALL of us can look back on many instances where we failed. Sometimes, we fail in a big way. However, a good man is compelled to evaluate how he has handled his failures so he can apply what he has learned.

Proverbs 16:16

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!

Here is the setup of the scene:

The Don (head of the mafia family Corleone’s) is retiring and passing wisdom on to his son, who is taking over.

“Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.”

In life, never lose sight of the fact that there are always going to be people out there that want to take advantage of you. That is how the world works.

Surround yourself with good Christian people – make it a priority. Those are the people you work with and commit to. 

Keep your enemies closer? Translation: Keep a close eye out, and your spidey senses (Holy Spirit) sharpened for people, even those purporting to be Christian, who are not honest and are “wolves” looking to take advantage of sheep.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.