Leadership is a Servant Character Trait

At some point in our lives we have been influenced by the leadership of someone. Whether that leader was great or poor does not matter. We have all been influenced by someone or many people throughout the course of our lives. For many of us the first leaders we knew were our parents, our public school teachers, guidance counselors or coaches. Some of us are leaders ourselves today and we may not even know it. To comprehend your role in leadership you must understand what leadership is and is not. Once we understand the fundamentals of leadership we can work toward developing ourselves (and each other) into better leaders.

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The Firearm You Know is the Way to Go

MP15-22I train with a 22LR firearm, because that is the firearm I intend to go to when I need to survive. When size and weight constraints will most likely apply, the 22LR is slightly lighter in weight and less than half the size of the .223. A federal bulk-pack .22LR HP round is 1/8oz, and 20mm long. A .223 round is 3/8oz and 53mm long. Not a huge difference in weight. But a significant difference in length. I am a 22LR enthusiast. I believe the cartridge is a great one. And in certain firearms, it can be almost flawless. The 22LR is a short range round. It is not going to reach out and touch a target at 200yds, typically. However under the right conditions it can still be amazing. Continue reading

Experiencing Life without Television Pt.2

Almost six months have past since we moved our 40′ television out of the living room and into the school room. You can read all about that in part 1.The first two or three months were rough. While I was excited, my wife was smiling through the pain. All day homeschooling and traveling with young kids, limited adult interaction and no reprieve of a TV in sight. My children seemed to adjust rather quickly as we moved on to books (audio and physical), games, and imaginative play. I personally spent time listening to the radio, shortwave specifically. I felt liberated and told everyone I knew just what we had done. Today we actually do use a television. We have a 22″ enhanced definition television with a built-in DVD player that I had won over 7 years ago in a raffle. This allows us to watch television shows on DVD from the library. Occasionally we grab a video from Redbox too. Life isn’t so bad… it is actually quite good. Continue reading

Getting Started in Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is the present and the future. Cryptocurrency is not like traditional fiat paper currency. Currency is truly energy and a vehicle of value based upon a collective agreement. When you, I and another party agree that quartz mineral is valuable the three of us then we can use it to buy goods and services from each other. That is how currency works. In the United States, the dollar was once backed by gold and silver. This meant that a one dollar bill could be exchanged for a dollar worth of gold (or silver). This was know as the gold standard. However over time the U.S. government produced more and more paper money. The amount of gold was finite and did not change. The U.S. dollar began to lose its value as too many dollars flooded the market and prices of items began to inflate. Cryptocurrency is different and aims to solve the problem of inflation.
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Our Homestead: Pt.2 Gardening Year Two

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This year we are experimenting with square foot gardening. Last year’s garden was a success and this year we wanted a higher yield. Our hope is to maximize our small lot (5500 sq ft) with this method and also grow a larger variety of food. We dismantled one of the raised beds that we built last year. They would have probably made it another season, but the wood was too thin we wanted stronger beds that would last for the next few years without intervention. This year’s new beds are constructed from 2×6 boards with 2×4 corner bracing (I later discovered that I did not need to 2×4 bracing if I alternated the boards in spiral formation). We were over zealous and started our seedlings way too early, back in February. We were clearly hopeful and suffering from spring fever. Most of them died. So we restarted with direct sowing into our beds and a few store bought seedlings.

We read in a blog somewhere that even when you have gardened for twenty years, you have only really done it twenty times. That puts a lot into perspective. This being our second time gardening, we know we are taking some risks. But homesteading is not without its risks. Three of our beds have hoop houses (aka hooped 1/2″ PVC pipe) that will be covered with 3.5mm plastic sheeting to keep them warm on any cold nights early in the season. As the seedlings mature and the days and nights grow warmer we can remove the plastic. Year two and we are excited to see what we get this year!

 

The Currency of the Future

In case you have not heard there is a new currency on the block. The blockchain (or public) ledger is a technology that has allowed us to exchange currency or make transactions with transparency, while reserving the right to share our identity. The blockchain is a global public ledger. We can see all of the transactions on Blockchain.info. But what does this mean in terms of financial freedom? The most popular currency, called Bitcoin is easy to exchange, easy to obtain and accepted more and more everyday.

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An Open Letter to Home Schooling Dads

Men we have work to do on ourselves. When we became a home educating family I had expectations. I envisioned well adjusted children and a clean hone and warm meals. I saw the plethora of text books my wife was buying and thought we were just going to be awesome. Off to work I went. Then when I came home reality showed up for a conversation.I quickly learned that the kids would not always be on their best behaviour, our house would always be clean just because my wife was home and a hot meal didn’t always make it to the table. There were still nights of take-out and I was pitching in to do the laundry and clean, yada yada yada. We were living our new lives which didn’t look drastically different from the old lives of both mother and father working. Further more I expected my wife to be instantly happy. She was out of the workforce and a previously toxic social environment. She was home all day with the freedom to travel. What was better than that? Apparently a lot. Continue reading

Safe Digital Education

I am deeply concerned for parents who are not educated in the realm of the digital age. These parents are often lead by their children and introduced to new technologies through them. As parents we want to trust our children but that doesn’t mean that we should trust their discernment. As a Christian father I try to steer my children clear of things that are contrary to the gospel. That is a difficult task as it requires me to stay engaged in culture and on the other side of the coin I want to disengage and get all Charles Ingles. I have an obligation to lead them well and so I have to make some difficult and counter-cultural decisions.
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Why We Should All Be Reading Aloud to Children

Do you remember what it was like when a parent or a teacher read a book aloud to you? It was magical and gripping. We have allow television, movies and countless other forms of distraction rob us of this amazing gift that we can give to each other. I still like books being read to me by my wife. She can read anything to me and I love to listen. There is something about the voice of another reading to you that is warm and comforting. Well maybe just for me. I love reading a great story book that allows me to see within my mind the pages unfold and the story blossom. Think back to some of your favorite books that your parents of teachers read to you as a child. When was the last time that you read them yourself? I encourage you to go to your local library and find those books that you remember to be so entrancing and find a young person to read to. Heck read it aloud to yourself and simply remember the magic. Reading it fundamental. I used to make fun of that campaign. Today thirty years later I laugh at my younger self who was oh so foolish. Reading is fundamental and we need to read to ourselves and each other. Share the magic that someone once shared with you.

 

Are We Afraid to Not be Distracted?

Are we afraid to be alone with ourselves? Are we afraid of our own thoughts? Wicked and broken, sad and longing, perhaps hopeful? Why is it that we so desperately need to be distracted with movies and shows, apps and games and sometimes even other people? I have not watched TV in three days. Actually the television has been off in our home for that long (with the exception of a video game today) and it has allowed such clarity. The best analogy I can come up with is the difference between a great night sleep and a hangover. Continue reading