Review: Obstacles Welcome: How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life – by Ralph de la Vega (Thomas Nelson)

Posted: December 15th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Regardless of your destination in life, you encounter obstacles.  In Obstacles Welcome, Ralph de la Vega chronicles his life from child immigrant from Cuba to President & CEO of AT&T Mobility. Ralph shares his inspiring story filled with adversity and the many lessons he has learned along way.

Ralph takes the many challenges of his life, from being separated from his family for four years, to conquering communication and infrastructure problems after hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, and teaches us that obstacles are to be met head on and not run from.

One of the many lessons I gleaned from Obstacles Welcome is that you have to be the driver in life, and not the passenger, in order to accomplish your goals.  Otherwise you are merely a spectator of others trying to accomplish theirs.  This thought has also stuck with me, that short term success can be easily achieved, but long term success and growth (both business and personal) comes from having great vision, inspiring others, and executing that vision.

I highly recommend Obstacles Welcome, not only as a great leadership book, but also as an inspiring story of a success which comes through hard work and perseverance, no matter your pedigree.
Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for allowing me to blog review this book.

-  chris mooney

Review: Love & Respect – by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Thomas Nelson)

Posted: November 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »
Love & Respect

Love & Respect - by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Thomas Nelson)

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

The core of Love & Respect by Dr.Eggerichs is to address the means by which couples can stay out of the “Crazy Cycle,” and enter the “Energizing Cycle.” It is based on Ephesians 5:33, Husbands love your wives… and wives respect your husbands.”

Eggerichs maintains that the key here is that women are built to love naturally, so they need to work on respecting their husbands unconditionally, and conversely that men are built to respect naturally, so their focus should be in loving unconditionally.

Being a man, and married for ten years, I can say it is not my first inclination to buy self-help books on marriage. However, I am very glad I chose this book to review. What helped me most is Eggerichs’s point that the person I am married to loves me, and though I oft misinterpret her, or fail to understand her viewpoint, she does mean well.

Also the appendices in the book are helpful with ideas that you can use to reinforce the lessons from the book.

One thing I didn’t care for is the amount of testimonials in the book. It felt almost like an infomercial at times, and I found myself skimming through them.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for allowing me to blog-review this.

Promises, Promises

Posted: September 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

NeverGiveUpPromises. As kids, we are taught that promises are to be taken seriously, and so we grow up trying our hardest to keep them.  Maybe it’s because we remember a promise being made to us by a parent or friend that ended up being broken, or maybe we try hard to keep them to avoid causing others disappointment. Maybe it just goes back to “Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’ be no.” (Matt. 5:37)

I think sometimes that we only say “I promise” to the easy stuff.  “I promise, I’ll take out the trash before I leave.” “Tomorrow we’ll go the park, I promise!”  You know, the incidentals.  If the promise isn’t kept, it’s not a big deal.  Maybe that is where our problem started, because it seems today that promises don’t mean much at all.

Maybe the best example is that of the politicians. They make all sorts of promises to get elected, and a majority never come to fruition.  Part of that may be it is not in their sole power to deliver on them, to which I say, “Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”  To others, I would say, “Don’t make promises you never intend on keeping.”  Either way, it really is setting a bad example.

Maybe more disheartening the example that 50+% of married adults (even Christian adults) make: “Til death do us part.”

I know, I know, crap happens, people “fall” in and out of love.  People change. People fight. People cheat.  The fact remains, a promise was made.  It’s one of the most important promises we can make, yet it is taken so lightly by so many.  If you think I am being harsh, I am, but please keep reading.

I ask a question.  Would you keep a promise, if it meant someone else being uncomfortable?

Like,  “I promise not to smoke any more.”  The chances are, if you make this promise, you will be grumpy for awhile, I know, I have been around plenty of people trying to quit.  But I have patience and tolerate them, because in the end, them keeping their promise is better for their health.  If fact, in their hardship, I even encourage them to keep this promise.

Now, would you keep your promise if it meant hurting someone’s feelings?

Scenario. “I will help you move next weekend.” Here, a promise is made to help someone, but on that day, your kids are not feeling well and your spouse asks you to stay home and help out.  What do you do? Well, you feel sympathetic toward your spouse and children, and you know it may hurt their feelings, and maybe they feel they are not number one for a few hours, but you go and help your friend move.  Why? Because your word is your word, and it sucks sometimes, but you do it.

Moving along, do you keep the promise when it causes harm to yourself?

“I promise to protect my family.”  A robber breaks in, and without hesitation, a man or woman will do whatever necessary to protect their loved ones, even if it costs them their life.  Makes sense right?  One of the most costly to follow through on, but we do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do.

Now the difficult one: Would you keep a promise if it cost the life of your child? I know someone who did.

A man was promised that a nation would be made from his offspring, but to follow through on it, his own child had to die.  The promise was made by God, to Abram, at the cost of Jesus’ life.  Not only did God follow through on the promise, He made the promise knowing what it would cost.

Now I challenge myself and you to keep our word.  Make your yes, yes, and your no, no; especially when it comes to your marriage.  We make mistakes, I know, I have made plenty, but we can’t give up.  I doubt very highly that keeping the promise “Til death do us part” will cost us the physical lives of our children, but it is killing generations in many different ways (broken homes, broken relationships, bitterness, even hatred being passed around like Halloween candy all in the name of “What’s best for the kids” translates to “what is best for me.”).

It’s not easy sometimes, but it’s worth it.  It’s work a lot of the time, but it’s worth it.

Who am I?

Posted: March 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Many of the people who stop by here probably know me, and know that I am working on a book.  Some ask, “Hey, how’s that going? You’ve been working on that for some time.”

Honestly, I haven’t written in almost two months, for the book or this blog.  See, it’s a nonfiction, and in the course of writing, this line left my fingertips and found its way to my keyboard.  Maybe it left my heart and landed in my mind.

“Like a seed, my purpose is to die, so that He can produce life through me.”

I can’t get past it.


Life has been crazy lately.  There’s so much going on , but at the same time, maybe nothing at all (if that makes any sense at all).  Beth (my wife) and I were talking last night, and it occurred to me, that I am not sure who I am anymore.

I know that I am more than what I do, but lately, even figuring that out is crazy.  I’m 31, and the 13th will be Beth and my tenth anniversary!  Maybe it’s just that.  At this milestone in my life,  I look backward to see what has been done, and what hasn’t, maybe a little of what could have been done.

Maybe that’s the problem: Me striving to be something.  Maybe that is where I am missing it and why I can’t move on from that sentence. It’s all the things I want to be; could be. Maybe that is where Jesus found himself in the Garden weeping to His Father.

Maybe it’s time to just let go of the control.  Maybe it’s time to lay there, stop trying to produce something with my life, and see what God can grow.

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?


A little video by John Schlitt (and lyric in case you can’t handle his vocals, expressions, or the awful video.  Basically just close your eyes and listen):

Show Me The Way:

Living in this space of time
I have to wonder where I’m going
Just who I am, what I’m supposed to be

Searching for that certain sign
That points me in the right direction
The path to take, the one that’s right for me

Oh, choices will come my way, but which ones to choose?
Oh, can’t do it on my own, there’s too much to lose

Take me, guide me, lead me
I’m trusting in You, Lord
Teach me and show me the way
Break me, love me, forgive me
I’m asking of You, Lord
Take me and show me the way

Knowing if I stand alone
I could never see the way that is meant for me
The life that we could share

Learning lessons I must know
From the source who has the answers of life itself
the one who really cares

Oh, in life there’s so many turns, which way to go?
Oh, when You’re beside me, Lord, You’re in control

I know for me You have the perfect plan
I know You had it before time began
Don’t want to listen to what others say
Just show me the way

Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven

Posted: December 1st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

pp_dvd_1Well, here is the latest installment of the icon that is Pilgrim’s Progress. I haven’t seen this yet, but there’s a reason that the story is continually updated and redone over various media: the story is amazing.

While the special effects probably aren’t that special, the story will more than make up for it.  Here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Our new baby has arrived!

Posted: September 10th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Hey everyone!

Beth and I had our baby girl Monday! her name is Lillee Sue. For all the ladies out there, she was 8lb 4oz and 20.5in long; for all the guys, ten finger, ten toes. Hopefully she will be coming home from the hospital today. I love you babe! you have beautiful babies!


- chris mooney

My marriage is better than average, is yours?

Posted: March 16th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

This past Thursday, March 13 2007, Bethany and I celebrated our ninth year of marriage! It was a beautiful, cold March day when we were married. Bethany had just turned 18, and I was barely 21. Many people I am sure uttered the words, “They’re too young. They’ll never make it.” Ha! I laugh in your faces! Not only are we still married, we’re happy and LOVING it!

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report in 2005 stating that the average first-time marriage lasts 8 years. According to that statistic, we are BETTER THAN AVERAGE! I could have told you that, but it’s nice to back it up with some facts.9th Anniversary

It’s been a great nine years, even though the first was quite rough. We have four children ages 6, 4, 2, 1, and number five due in September.

I love ‘em, I love ‘em, I love ‘em.

The study I linked to has some interesting stuff in it. 76% of first time marriages between 1955-1959 lasted 20 years or longer, while marriages from 1975-1979 only had 58% last at least that long. Also, forget the “Seven year itch,” more first-time marriages end in year two (1 in 12 in year two as opposed to 1 in 20 in year seven).

So, to encourage all you you married people, if we can do it, anyone can. And it’s not about you, it’s about both of you.  As for words to live by, I can only speak from the husband perspective.  The Bible says to love your wife as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). He laid down His life for us, so give your life for her.  He had no complaints, even though He knew it would be tough, and He still gave his life knowing He might never receive anything in return, so quit your complaining and help her out once in awhile.  Also, 1 Corinthians 13 is a great place to learn about love as well.

Peace and God bless,

- chris mooney

Maine Middle School Offering Birth Control to 11 Year Olds!

Posted: February 15th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Birth Control for Kids?, a story that ran in October is starting to make headlines again, and it blows my mind. It appears that middle schools in Portland Maine will be allowing the nurses office to prescribe birth control to students as young as 11; without parental consent.

Maine Middle School to offer 11 year olds birth controlWhere do I start?

How is it that states continue to remove the right of parents to know what is going on in their children’s lives? Especially when it comes to their heath and putting medication in their bodies? As a father of four (and number five due in September), I find this ludicrous. By doing this the school is telling the kids, “Hey, we know most of your parents wouldn’t approve of this behavior, and since you little rug rats can’t control yourselves, we can give you the pill without mom and dad knowing it. Oh, and your doctor doesn’t have to know either.” Nothing like creating a separation of parent and child.

Parents, what happened to talking with your kids about the choices that will be coming up in their lives? Kids, what happened to the days of talking to your parents about tough decisions? The blame here is on the moms and dads. By allowing decisions like this to be made, where the school and state have more say over what happens in you kid’s life and when you are allowed to know about it, we are giving up our role as a parent. We are telling the government they know better than we do how to raise our children. We are teaching our kids that if they have a problem, mom and dad are the last people that they can talk to, and the school can be trusted more than us.

And since when does anyone but a doctor have the power to write a prescription? How does the nurse know the medical history of each student? Do they always know what other prescriptions the student might be taking? Even dietary pills that you can buy over the counter recommend that consult a physician before taking them, yet this school will allow a student to get a prescription drug with the consent or knowledge of the parent or doctor. C-R-A-Z-Y!

11 years old. Wait, 11 years young. They can give the pill to girls as young as 11. Isn’t this encouraging sex? I did a quick Google search, and it didn’t take long to find that the legal age of consent in Maine is 16. In simpler terms, it is against the law for individuals under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity. Still the school system is allowed to prescribe birth control pills (only one reason to take those without telling mom and dad) to girls ages 11-15, in effect encouraging them to break the law. Not only are they telling kids they can disregard their parents opinions of morality, they can disregard the law as well. As long as little Johnny and Suzy are happy right?

How do we change this? It starts at home with mom and dad. Pray for your kids. Make time to spend with them. Whether talking, playing, teaching, or just watching TV together, do your part to let them know that you are there for them no matter what. But there will be boundaries; there will be rules they have to live by. And make sure you know what is going on at school regarding your rights as a parent. And if there’s something you don’t like, stand up to it.

Voice your opinion. Get involved.

- chris mooney