A Ravenscraft Update!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on March 10, 2005

in Blog

Good morning. It's Thursday March 10, 2005 and its been a while since I've given an update on my life. There's been a lot of things going on lately, mostly good with some obvious hurdles to overcome. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to type as I think…
My Wife:
Wow! What can I say about my wife? She is sooooooooooo Amazing! Stephanie and I went to the Family Life Marriage Conference, “A Weekend To Remember” for the second year in a row. The material was exactly the same but we pulled so much more out of it this time around. Our relationship changed for the better after last year's conference… You can read my reaction from it by reading the blog I posted last year…
This year was so much different and our relationship was once again revolutionized in a way that I can hardly explain. The Bible speaks of the goal of marriage is that the two will become ONE. Stephanie and I are now experiencing “Oneness” in our marriage and it is just amazing.
I love my wife so much and just want to praise her publicly for who she is and what she means to me. Stephanie, you are the most wonderful wife a man could ever have! I Love You!
My Children:
Meagan finally decided she was ready for a haircut once again. She had told us that she wanted to let her hair grow long and so we did. Then out of nowhere, while Matthew was getting his haircut and I was about to go back to get my haircut, she leaned over in her chair to whisper in my ear. She said, “I changed my mind, I want to get my hair cut too.” So she did. She got it cut to all one length, down to the bottom of her chin. She looks so beautiful. The next morning, she came into my room and said… “Daddy, I went into the bathroom and looked at my haircut and it's soooo pretty.” I told her that she was absolutely correct. I love my big girl!
Matthew's feeling better now. He's off his breathing treatments and is back to what I would consider about 94% health. He's still got a little congestion, but it's clearing up more and more each day. I'm so thankful that God has blessed us with great doctors.
Matthew and Meagan have both been so well behaved lately. I think it has a lot to do with the noticeable oneness that Stephanie and I have experienced. We are both working from the same strategy guide and we sit down and plan out our days together and we work well as a team and it allows us to be more consistent in our parenting. It's all about good communication, especially in the area of “expectations.” Even still, we have two very terrific children who are very excited about the new addition on the way.
McKenna – A Whole Lot A Shaking Going On! Yes, she's doing back flips and a whole number of other gymnastic feats inside Stephanie's belly. Stephanie is going to the doctor every week and to the Hospital every week right now. It's a little hectic for Stephanie, but we have such great friends who are helping with our children while I work and she has to run to these appointments. I praise God for Sophia Lewis and Sarah Rader and all the others who have offered their assistance. It's been much welcomed.
My Work:
Wow! Could anyone LOVE their job as much as I do? God has really blessed me in my career. However, I'm so thankful that I not only know that my wife and family comes before my career, but I also live that principle out each and every day.
I've only got seven days left in the State Auto Pacesetter Program that I entered into just one year ago. Since then, I've won first place in every single quarterly incentive that they have run. Out of sixty agents who started this program, I'm currently ranked in second place out of the whole class in State Auto Sales, only about $5,000.00 behind the number one spot. I should be able to pull ahead to first place by next Friday! If you want a home and auto policy from me, now is a perfect time to call me for a quote! Because of this program, I'm going on a five day cruise to Mexico for FREE and with the incentives I've won, I believe that I will be receiving about $700.00 spending cash for the trip. All Meals, Air Fair, and even gratuities are paid. Pretty Sweet Huh?
My Ministry:
Wow, my ministry has changed quite a bit lately. I've worked with the staff of our church to transfer a lot of the administrative tasks of my ministry to an administrative assistant at our church which has really allowed me to focus on Shepherding and Encouraging those whom I minister to. The benefits of this transition of responsibilities has been instantaneously felt in my own cell group, in my Coaching Group, and in my entire Leadership Role as a vision caster as a whole. I praise God for bringing about the changes that are taking place and continue to serve in the ministry that He has called me to.

My Hobby: Poker

For those of you who don't know… I work on my ministry, my work/career, and perform all the administrative functions of my family life such as paying bills, etc. on Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm and two to four hours every other Saturday morning. The rest of the time, I'm devoting to MY WIFE FIRST, My Children Second, and then to my cell group, my cell coaching group, and yes, I even lead a weekly “Growing Kids God's Way” class every Wednesday Night until June.
I encourage anyone to ask my wife how I'm doing as a husband and a father. Through the miracle of Time Management and understanding how God wants me to use all my time wisely, I'm sure my wife will tell you that I'm on my A GAME most all the time.
One might ask, Cliff, how do you do all this stuff and not get burned out? First and foremost, it's mostly due to a VERY DISCIPLINED TIME MANAGEMENT SCHEDULE. After some serious medical concerns this past year, I decided my life was out of control and stress was about to kill me. I took charge and through the power of God, the encouragement of my wife and my prayer partner, I began to plan my days with great detail…
There is another thing that I've not mentioned so far, that is that I schedule time for “ME.” Yes, I have Me-Time! What do I do with my me-time? Well, I am either watching poker or playing poker. I'm either playing online, on my xbox, or in a real game with some friends. I usually get about 5 to 6 hours of poker in every single week. It's my hobby and I enjoy it EMMENSELY.
Yes, I said 5 to 6 Hours per WEEK! But you must know, most of that is between the hours of 4:30 am and 5:30 am before I leave for work. (Did I mention that I'm almost always in bed by 10pm?)
I've begun hosting a regularly scheduled Poker Night for all my friends who enjoy poker as much as I do. We meet on the Fourth Saturday of every month for a few hours. Two months ago, I had four guys there, and last month, I had nine guys show up. It's so much fun to see my friends, all of whom I know, get to meet my other friends for the first time. We have a blast! If you are interested in our poker game, email me at cliff-at-ravenscraft.org.
My favorite Poker Player of all time is Daniel Negreanu. This guy is great. He's funny, he's witty, and he's probably the best poker player in the world. He's also got a web log on his website where he chronicles his life as a professional poker player. Click here to see Daniel Negreanu's Web Log…
I recently found Poker Updates Webcast… This is a very cool monthly poker webcast that gets a little more inside the world of professional poker playing. This stuff is all the craze… Did you know that ABC Sports is getting ready to start their own poker tournaments? Yes, almost every network will have a poker show before too long! I'm so glad for that!
I am enjoying “World Championship Poker” on my Xbox. I'm up to about a Million Dollars right now, after starting with only $1,000 about two weeks ago. This game is a great tool for practice.
Full Tilt Poker dot Com has the greatest commercials of all time… check out these three commercials in the order listed below. They Rock!
http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/videos/wmedialed.html
http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/videos/wmediai.html
http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/videos/wmediaf.html
Well that's all for now. I pray that all is well in your life. I pray that everyone out there will one day enjoy the benefits of a well managed life through disciplined time management. It's made the world of difference in my marriage and every other aspect of my life. If you'd like to learn more about it, just let me know and I would be happy to share with you some of my experience in how I got where I am today. It was not an easy road, but I'm glad I took it!

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