Archive for the ‘family’ category

CAT Scan

January 6, 2010

The first day of work at Ziglar in 2010 had a few twists in it.
Picked up Dad at 7:00 a.m. so that we could get an early start; attending our 8:00 a.m.  company devotions, which was awesome, as usual.

Learned at 8:30 that our phone system was down.  Learned a little later our hard drive crashed on the computer so while the phones are working, all of the needed features like voice mail are not!  Suddenly 2010 feels like 1975!

Mom picks up Dad at 10:00 a.m. to go home.  As Cindy and I head out to lunch at 11:30, Mom calls and says Dad is very dizzy.  We head over to Mom and Dad’s place instead.

Mom calls Dad’s doctor who put the brain shunt in last year to relieve his hydrocephalous.  They order a CAT scan ASAP.  We borrow a wheelchair for Dad and head down to the hospital.  (Dad is absolutely loving the attention, as he feels totally normal except when he tries to stand up.)

Arrive at the CAT scan place at 1:15 p.m.  Get checked in, and they promise to work us in.  It’s packed and I am thinking they are running some sort of “start the new year with an X-Ray special”!  Everybody in the room is so nice and courteous.
Dad needs to go to the men’s room and I get elected to help. (Still can’t believe Mom and Cindy voted for me!)

I help Dad, since his balance is way off.  I ask him if he would like some privacy and he says yes, so I turn off the bathroom light. It’s pitch black, as we both laugh in the darkness!  (Side note: Dad has always been able to laugh in the dark.)

Amazingly, when we come out they are ready for us.  They ask Dad a list of 50 questions about his medical history, and Mom gets 48 of them right!  Cindy and I correct the other two.  Dad somehow manages to make a funny comment or joke about almost every question.

We are moved to another waiting area.  Two different “higher ups” check in on us.  The service really is amazing at Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at Presbyterian Hospital on Walnut Hill in Dallas.  Had a very nice conversation with Debbie Merten, the Technical Director.  Turns out she trained one of our staff development programs in the 1990’s when she was at Saint Paul Hospital in Dallas.  No wonder the customer service is so good!

(Side note:  Saint Paul Hospital is where my sister Suzie lost her battle against pulmonary fibrosis in 1995, and Debbie was teaching our program at that time.  I can’t tell you how it made our family feel when we went through that time with Suzie and having the hospital staff treat us like family.)

At 2:00 p.m. they take Dad back for the CAT scan.  Mom rides shotgun.

At 2:15 they come back, all done!

In Ziglar tradition we do the only logical thing, we head to IHOP for some FOOD!  The thought of Harvest Grain pancakes drives the dizziness from Dad’s body and he returns to normal (or I guess whatever is normal for Zig Ziglar).

Arrive at IHOP about 3:00.  Dad doesn’t need the wheelchair anymore.  We laugh as we eat gi-normous omelets with pancakes.

At 3:45 the phone rings with the results.  All good, nothing wrong with the shunt, and most likely a little inner ear problem or a lingering effect of the fall from a few years ago.

On the way home from IHOP Dad informs us that his next book is going to be on encouragement, since so many people are down right now.  Life is back to normal.

Drop Mom and Dad off and Cindy takes me back to the office to get my car.

Still have a 1975 phone system at the office, but I don’t care.


Tiger Woods Hits it O.B. (Out of Bounds)

December 28, 2009

In the game of golf the golf course is defined by Out of Bounds (O.B.) stakes or fences. These fences signify property lines, and if you hit your ball O.B. you are given a one stroke penalty and you have to replay the shot from the original position. This “stroke and distance” penalty is the worst kind to get in golf.

If you have played much golf you will from time to time play with people who ignore the O.B. fences and they will either play from Out of Bounds, or they will drop a ball and play on without taking a penalty. This is called cheating. If you are caught cheating in a tournament you are automatically disqualified, and if you get caught again, you are likely to be banned from playing tournaments, especially if the cheating was intentional.

In the game of life some people actually believe the rules do not apply to them. They will either ignore the fences, or remove them altogether. I love this quote by G. K. Chesterton:

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”

Good relationships and good marriages work best when people stay on the course and do everything they can to stay away from the O.B. fences. Like golf, a great score in life depends on staying in bounds, and going O.B. and ignoring it, or worse, removing the fences, is called cheating. Plus, sometimes the fences are there to protect you from the 2000 pound bull in the pasture next to the course (I literally learned this one the hard way!).

Dad’s late mentor, Fred Smith, had this quote: “All great failures in life are moral failures.” As you look forward to 2010, keep in mind that the moral fences in your life are there to protect you, and before you consider taking one of the fences down or climbing over it, take a look at the 2000 pound bull on the other side!

I Believe in Christmas

December 25, 2009

By Zig Ziglar

It’s the first Christmas I can remember. It arrived just seven weeks after the deaths of my father and baby sister. To make matters worse, it was in the heart of the Great Depression. Things were tough. All of us children who were older made what income contributions we could, but the truth was my mother had eight of her eleven remaining children still living at home, and six were too young to work. Understandably, the Ziglar kids were concerned about what kind of Christmas it would be!

The good news is that though our grief was fresh, we still celebrated Christmas. We received no toys that year, but much to my delight in my gift box I found three English walnuts and something I had never tasted before—raisins! They were absolutely delicious.  Mama prepared her wonderful molasses candy and we had a small cedar tree. And my mother read the Christmas story, like she always did.

My sixth Christmas will always have great meaning to me. We celebrated the birth of Christ even in hard times because we believed in Christmas.


Unfortunately, over the years things have changed. The cheerful “Merry Christmas” of yesteryear has been replaced by the politically correct “Happy Holidays!” In the minds of many people we celebrate “holidays.” Not only is Christ not at the center of the celebration, he isn’t even considered to be the reason for the season!

If I seem upset about the changes that I see taking place in regard to Christmas, it is because I am! It’s not because an old tradition is being changed. No, I’m upset that the event that made it possible for me to have a life I could never have imagined is being hidden from view with decorations, wrapping paper, parties and political correctness!


You see, I believe it’s worth celebrating that Jesus came to earth—His birth signaled hope for all mankind. I believe that as he lived out a perfect life before God and mankind, he showed that he truly was God’s Son. And I believe that by giving his life up on a cross, he completely paid the penalty that my sins—and yours—deserve before a holy God. And it was made possible because of that first Christmas.

How could I not believe in Christmas? Because Christ was born as a baby in a manger that’s more than enough reason to celebrate Christmas for what it is—a joyful occasion.  I’ve experienced forgiveness of my sins and have the assurance of eternity in Heaven!

If you don’t know Jesus Christ, let me say that He tells us in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  How do you do that? First, understand that I’m talking about a relationship, not a religion. All the world’s major religions emphasize that you qualify for heaven by your good works—the things that you do. Such “religion” is spelled “d-o.” Christianity is spelled “d-o-n-e.” Christ already paid for our sins when He died on the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And he rose from the grave proving that the punishment for our sins was fully paid.

Nothing we could ever “do” could qualify us for God’s forgiveness and reserve our place in heaven.  That’s why Christ himself said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he has sent” (John 6:29).


God forgives us, saves us from our sins, and gives us eternal life based on our belief in what Jesus did for us. Why? Because God is gracious beyond measure! The Bible says that it is “…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though “the wages of sin is death” [eternal separation from God], the greatest Christmas gift we could ever have is “the free gift of God…eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

With gift-giving like that from God, I don’t want to lose the significance of Christmas. I believe in Christmas!

I urge you to accept the greatest “Christmas gift” you’ll ever receive: If you’re convinced that God’s way is the only way to meaningful life now and eternal life in heaven, you can tell him in words like these…”Dear God, I do believe Jesus died for me, and took the punishment my sins deserved. I want to receive your free gift of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for making this possible!”

Then join me this year in celebrating Christmas like you’ve never celebrated it before!

Merry Christmas!

This article can be found on a Christmas tract from the good folks at Good News Publishing.  You can buy it and share with your friends and neighbors.

Life Lessons from the Struggle

December 12, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“What is the most valuable life lesson you learned from this experience?”

James, there are a couple of valuable lessons that Dad and I have talked about regarding going through this intense health struggle.

First is how important it is to have the home court advantage.  Our family has really pulled together and rallied around Dad and his needs, helping him to recover and prosper.  This didn’t happen by accident, it is the result of the many “family seeds” that Mom and Dad have planted all of these years.

Second is seeing Dad’s core belief in action — that you respond instead of react.  It is easy to talk about when everything is going well and the problems are minor, but it is truly something to behold when you see it in action in the middle of a major struggle.

And third, seeing Dad’s unshakeable faith lived out daily.  Even in the pain of recovery, Dad’s smile communicated joy that only comes from a relationship with God.

What Makes Zig Such a Strong and Positive Person?

December 8, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“I’m really amazed at how this very inspiring man, in the person of Zig Ziglar, survived and overcame this struggle. What made him a very strong and positive person?”  Yolly

Yolly, I think there are several things that contribute to Dad’s strong and positive nature.

First is his faith. Dad knows his future is secure so this takes away his worry and doubt.

Second is his family.  Dad has the home court advantage and he knows his family is with him.

Third is his attitude.  Dad really believes that attitude is a choice, and he has chosen a positive attitude.

Fourth is his action.  Dad takes action on what he believes.  He spends time every day working on his faith, spending time with his family, and reading things that develop his attitude.

Faith, Family, Attitude, Action – pretty simple!

How Do You Keep Your Business Going In The Midst of a Family Trauma?

November 29, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast.

“My dad has recently been very ill and my question is how do you keep the momentum going in a personal business with a family trauma? The blessing of a home business is that I can be there for Mom and Dad, but my business is suffering.”  Jeannie

Jeannie, wow, I think I understand a little bit about what you are going through.  The first step is realizing that you are in a season of struggle, and because of that your priorities will need to change.  Take an inventory of everything that you are doing, and postpone everything you can that is not essential.  Stepping back from obligations that are not critical to your business and your family is a good first place to begin.

Ask for help.  I am not sure what kind of support your family, friends, and church can provide, but don’t hesitate to ask.  Keep in mind that many will assume that you can carry the majority of the load because you are “self-employed” and your schedule is “flexible.”  Let your family know that just because you might have more flexibility, it doesn’t mean that you can go it alone without their help.  Everyone needs to pitch in.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep, nutrition, and exercise.  Protect your physical health so that you don’t get burned out.  Not taking care of yourself will make every other struggle that much tougher.

Maximize your work time.  Plan very specific goals and objectives with a priority list.  Plan your work and work your plan.  And now, more than ever, make sure you are getting filled up with good powerful and positive information.  Reading and listening to encouraging information now is critical in this tough time.

Cherish every moment with your family.  Don’t worry about your family when you are working, and don’t worry about work when you are with your family.  Instead, plan when you are going to work each day so that when you are with your family you are 100% present.

Spend time with God every day.  Now, more than ever, prayer is essential.  Let Him know what is on your heart and where you need help.

What To Do With A Negative Family Member?

November 29, 2009

This question came in from last week’s Success 2.0 Webcast:

“What can you do if an immediate family member does not share the same positive beliefs as you do?  I know the best answer is prayer, but any other suggestions? – Michael

Michael, it can be tough when a family member does not hold the same positive beliefs that you do. As you mentioned, prayer is always the place to start.  Like most things of this nature, it is unlikely you can “win” this argument with words.  Better is to live out your life so that they want what you have.  For me, I focus on what gives me the realistic best chance for success and happiness.  And the reality is, when you study successful people they all have an incredible will to keep trying until they make it, and this force of will is based on the hope and expectation that they will succeed.

Ultimately, people need to understand that settling for the lemons life gives them, or determining to make lemonade, is a choice.  I love the question that Dad asks, and maybe you can ask your family member this question: “Is there anything in the next few weeks that you can do that will make your personal life, your family life, or your business life worse?”  People chuckle when they hear this question because they know the answer is YES.  And when they understand they can make things worse, they then have to admit they can make things better, and the choice is theirs.