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Fatherhood Lessons From a Major League Pitcher

One of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad was to not let other people’s opinions have an effect on us.

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Excerpted from Lasting Impact: How to Create a Life and Business That Live Beyond You which you can find here.

I have a good friend, Todd Stottlemyre, whose story of his father and then his own children is inspiring because of the impact that his dad had on him and he now has on his children.

You may be familiar with the name Mel Stottlemyre. He is a Hall of Fame New York Yankee who played on some of the best teams the Yankees ever produced. He was teammates with legends like Mickey Mantle. Now Mel even has his own statue at Yankee Stadium. Now that is legendary!

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For this chapter, I reached out to Todd to ask him what it was like to grow up with a father who was a legendary player on one of the five greatest franchises in sports history in the biggest media market in the United States. What Todd wrote was eye opening and heartwarming at the same time. Here’s what Todd says about growing up with his dad and the lessons that he learned.

“Our dad taught us a lot of great lessons. One of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad was to not let other people’s opinions have an effect on us. You can imagine how being a professional athlete in the New York City media market, that there were all sorts of opinions about my dad and the other players. But he never let it affect him. He taught us the same thing and that has been a powerful lesson for us.

“We grew up around legends in what they call ‘the House that Ruth Built.’ We called it the School of Champions. The people that I got to meet made a profound impact on me as a young man.

“My dad was an incredible human being. He wasn’t perfect of course, but he was an amazing father. Even when I failed in many ways in my life, I always had a point to go back to. He was a set point for me that allowed me to know what the standard was, a standard that I live now for my children.

“The day that my father died it was all over the news. They interviewed teammates, his players, managers, and owners, and the one thing that was amazing was that they all talked about Mel Stottlemyre the person, not the ball player. Everybody talked about Mel Stottlemyre the person!

“People love to look up to my father as a person but what we knew as his family was that he was ten times the person privately as he was publicly. Even in fighting the war of cancer he always made sure that everyone else felt better. He was always thinking of other people. It made me want to always ask about how I can leave other people better.

“The biggest lesson that my father taught me was to ask the question is this the best that I can do? Whether it be my role as a dad, husband, brother, friend, or business person, I want to always be the best version of myself that I can, and I learned that from my father, Hall of Fame New York Yankee who was even more so a Hall of Fame father.”

What a great legacy. How can I make the same kind of impact?

Well, first of all we have to be right in order to teach right. The best thing you can do for your children is to be the best version of yourself. Make sure that you are constantly growing and becoming better.

We must also spend time with our children. I know this can be difficult when they are little because of how busy we get with work and life but it is imperative that we spend time with our children in order to teach them the lessons we need to teach them.

There’s always been a debate about quality time versus quantity time. I believe it needs to be both. I’ve always thought it would be funny to see a cartoon where a dad was sitting in his chair reading a book called How to Be a Great Father as his young child is standing there with a baseball glove asking him to go play. The dad tells him that he can’t because he’s reading a book about how to be a great father. Reading and thinking about it is not where it ends. You have to go do it.

Pick up your copy of Lasting Impact: How to Create a Life and Business That Live Beyond You right here.

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Chris is the President of the American Freedom Tour, one of the World's Top 50 Speakers and a member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 14 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Faith

From Mental Illness and a Cult to Christian Ministry and Political Office

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A young man turned his life around after getting involved in a cult and suffering from schizophrenia, and now later in life is a leader in Christian ministry and running for Phoenix City Council. Nick Griemsmann has gone through a lot, but through the grace of God he was able to turn his life around and now helps others. He recently wrote an autobiography called Becoming God’s Friend

Griemsmann wasn’t raised as a Christian, and having trauma as a young boy no doubt set in motion some bad things. He developed addictions and dropped out of high school. He found a job working as a bartender at Barcelona’s, a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, but realized after a while that the party lifestyle was unfulfilling.

But he then went to the other extreme, deciding to become a monk. His attempt failed, as he ended up walking around hot and thirsty in the New Mexico desert, never making it to the monastery. The onset of schizophrenia was starting. 

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However, he still yearned in his heart for God. When he was 22, he found a flyer on his car from Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. It said they provide a place for people to stay, which sold him. He called and spoke to a woman there on the phone, who prayed for him during their conversation. He could feel something changing inside of him that was supernatural. However, they wanted him to move to Arkansas, and his parents warned him that it was a cult. 

He moved anyway and it was the beginning of a deep, dark experience. He was taught that if he ever left that ministry, it would blasphemy the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven, and he would go to hell. They said his family and friends were “of the devil” and instructed him to cut them off. 

Alamo claimed he was one of the final two witnesses written about in the book of Revelation. His teachings were so disturbing, frequently focused on hell, that Griemsmann would see people shaking while listening to his messages. Cult members were required to attend church every night. Griemsmann started having spiritual hallucinations, likely brought on by a lack of sleep from the rigorous work schedule, which consisted substantially of long hours placing flyers on cars. 

He eventually tried to leave the cult, and voices in his head told him to loudly pray at the airport, which he did until the police took him to a mental hospital. Another time the voices told him to take his clothes off in public if he wasn’t ashamed of Jesus, which he did. During this time, a psychiatrist told him that he would be catatonic in 10 years and had no hope for recovery. 

Finally, God intervened in his life, and he was able to leave the cult for good and seek treatment. He became involved with several regular churches in Phoenix, and eventually felt a spiritual force leave him. With the help of his family and supporters, he weaned off all medication for schizophrenia in 2007 despite the fact that he was told that it was incurable. He found a job helping others with the exact type of mental health problems he’d gone through. As for Alamo, he was eventually prosecuted for the sexual exploitation of women and girls and died in federal prison.

Griemsmann started a ministry called The Father’s Friends. He wrote a book called Defeating Mental Illness about his journey, which did well and he was invited on large Christian TV shows to talk about it. 

He learned that “letting go of carrying the burdens of others is vital to one’s own emotional well being.” He also discovered that “Individuals do not end up with a big issue like schizophrenia randomly. It usually has been built inside the person over time through continued lies, trauma, substance abuse, etc.”

His interesting journey continued, taking a trip to Juarez, Mexico, with others and discovering through prayer that some people experienced the miracles of healing. He became an assistant pastor in Phoenix. He started livestreaming street evangelism in Harlem, New York and Europe.

Later on, he traveled to remote villages in Pakistan, where his team prayed to heal people miraculously. He did big events ministering in Kenya, where he continued to preach the Gospel and pray for sick people. Some reported healings of what he used to have, schizophrenia. 

Griemsmann talks about the negative aspects of life that he’s had to learn to deal with and overcome as “Misters.” For example, Mr. Condemnation keeps a person stuck in negative mindsets and emotions, inside a spiritual prison. He makes you feel like you are never good enough for God or anyone. Others include Mr. Discouragement, Mr. Self-Righteous, Mr. Fear, Mr. Anxiety, Mr. Lust, Mr. Addiction, Mr. Mental Illness, Mr. Rejection and Mr. Anger.

What worked for him was not focusing on the bad, like making a list of all your sins. Instead, he focuses on spiritual freedom, and teaches others to look for the good, since the fruits of the Spirit are positive attributes; love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.

Griemsmann’s journey has now taken him into politics, taking on incumbent Democrat Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia in District 8. Although the district leans heavily Democrat, it’s a nonpartisan race and Garcia has a hostile relationship with Phoenix Police. When Garcia was pulled over by the police for driving a car with suspended license plates, he tried to intimidate the police by pulling rank. Political consultant Stan Barnes told KNXV that “the councilman is anti-police officer, and he’s playing it out in real time for all of us to see.”

Griemsmann wants to represent everyone, and says, “I am a supporter of the Phoenix police.” Due to his background with not only overcoming schizophrenia and his vast ministry experience, but also his past career as an administrator in behavioral healthcare, he can be a real champion for solving homelessness, community safety, healthcare, education, and helping the incarcerated transition back into society.   

 

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Education

When America Loses THIS, It Loses Everything

We are in a battle for the soul of our country. And that battle is over truth.

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We are in a battle for the soul of our country. And that battle is over truth. Truth must be the foundation of everything that we believe, honor, value, and esteem. If we don’t know what truth is, how can we stand for America? The left is at war with the truth and tries to reposition what it is that we believe to be true so that they can change society. We must stand for truth. PolitiCrosssing founder Chris Widener expands on the need to fight for truth in the short video below.

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