Personal History for John Lester, CEO of Pure Hearts International
Title of Your AutobiographyOVERVIEW: since writing this autobiography in late 2010, this previously never had been married man was married, in the spring of 2011, to Filipina Floremay Ordaniel Lester (in the Philippines)! Parts of this autobiography concerning marital status will be appropriately updated as soon as possible, but had not yet been updated as of the writing of this OVERVIEW in July of 2011.
The Man Who Would Not Compromise
John Carson Lester Junior
CEO of Pure Hearts International
This book is dedicated to my many acquaintances, friends and business associates that the Lord has brought my way thru the long and successful career with which I have been blessed. You know who you are...
This book is also dedicated to the existing distributors and customers of Pure Hearts International spread already all across the United States and Canada, and, soon to be, the world. It is important that you better understand the CEO who is leading the company that you have chosen to associate yourself with for the sake of your own better future. Reading this book of my life will better help you accomplish that important task. I know your confidence in Pure Hearts International will be greatly increased, as you read, during and afterwards.
This book is also dedicated to my extended family who have already gone on to be with the Lord. They include my maternal grandfather, Reverend Earl Fultz, who preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for 60+ years, the last 40+ years of which were spent pastoring his own sizable church. He preached the Gospel until his last breath...
This book is also dedicated to my immediate family still here with us in the flesh, comprised of my parents, John and Armina Lester, and my younger sister, Jennifer. I thank each and every one of you for your love and your support thru the years. And for being such awesome role models in your respective ways.
This book is also dedicated to my future wife and future family. Honey, even though I may have never met you yet, or perhaps met you just recently and am still getting to know you, I already love you with Christ's steadfast love. Children, your future Daddy is doing everything he can to be like his own father in the flesh, a man of whom you can be exceptionally proud!
This book is also dedicated to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, without whom I am nothing. I am His slave and delighted to be so.
About the Author:See
for a listing of my career oriented achievements.
To learn more about me personally, read on...
Date of completion.My autobiography will never be complete. It never is for those that inherit eternal life, God willing...
Words of wisdom, favorite quote, or words to live by:Ecclesiastes 12:13
¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
If you would like to be contacted by someone who reads your biography, please include a current e-mail address. Remember, it is entirely up to you if you would like to make your biography public and it is entirely up to you if you would like to include your e-mail address for others to contact you.If you'd like to contact me, John Lester, CEO of Pure Hearts International, and author of this autobiography "The Man Who Would Not Compromise," then postal mail me at
PO Box 205
Ephraim, UT 84627
Email me at
Phone me at 801-696-1185.
Instant message me on Yahoo Messenger at
Facebook me at
And fax me at 435-203-0300.
Just The Facts
In a few pages, what is summary of your life story?"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)
"Maxims for Revolutionists"
If there was ever a man that has lived that could honestly say that he is a/the MAN WHO WOULD NOT COMPROMISE, I am he. Stubborn to a fault, I simply will not settle for second best. And, most of all, I am determined not to sin, convinced that there is a God, and that He is a rewarder of those that do good and a punisher of those that do evil (sin). And that He has created a Moral Universe governed by His Moral Laws that naturally tend towards rewarding, if not immediately, then ultimately, those that do good, and punishing those that do evil (sin).
Later in this question-based autobiography I am asked to write my own eulogy. This is what I have written:
John Lester believed wholeheartedly in following Scripture, including this verse from Ecclesiastes Chapter 12, verse 13:
¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Because of that belief, John Lester lived a life that fulfilled the Two Great Commandments of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as described in Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37 thru 39:
37...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
I am here to testify today that John Lester kept these two Great Commandments of Jesus Christ...
I have tried to live my life, almost from the very beginning, since the age of 19, when I became a converted Christian, with the end in view. In particular, with this Scripture in mind:
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
By all reasonable and most unreasonable standards, I have done a very good job thus far. For example, with likely more than half of my life now passed, simply because I have never married, I am still a virgin. Why? Because of these Scriptures. To wit:
1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
1 Corinthians 6:13
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
1 Thessalonians 4:3
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
And because of this Scripture:
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
I have never been interested in crucifying my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ a second time. Once was enough, thank you...
And so that's why I am still a virgin today. Because I believe in obeying God's commandments both out of a sense of duty and out of gratitude and love because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for my sins upon the cross. If you've never married, and you've not been raped, and if you've been a Christian for all or much of your adult life, the view of Scripture (and therefore my view) is that you too should be a virgin. If you have fallen short of this mark, repent, and resolve to do better by His Grace. God is Merciful.
But what's the point? The point that is being made is that I am THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT COMPROMISE. I believe that I have now supplied persuasive evidence of this fact. I believe that you can see from my pictures that I'm certainly not the ugliest man in the world. I can testify honestly that many ungodly women have wanted to sleep with me thru the years. I can testify honestly that many godly women have wanted to marry me thru the many years that I have dated many godly women. I would be married today if it had been the Lord's plan for me and if He had brought unto me a woman whom I could sufficiently admire enough to marry (and I have very high standards). But this has not happened, yet. And until it does, I shall remain in the contented state in which I am. To wit from 1st Corinthians Chapter 7:
27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
But what has this to do with business? Everything. This Scripture is highly informative from Luke Chapter 16:
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
I would submit unto you that since I have been able to to keep this most personal of promises unto the Lord God Almighty, I am able, by His Grace, to keep a promise or three made unto you.
And that is how I have governed, by His Grace, my entire life. Every decision that I have made and every decision that I am making and every decision that I shall make in the future is made with the end in mind. I testify that throughout the course of my life I have repeatedly suffered much because of the sins of evil men, and yet they have not been able to deter me, nor turned my eyes away from my goal, which is residence in New Jerusalem (see Revelation 21). I am in the process of overcoming, and I, by His Grace, shall overcome as per Revelation 3:21. I am not concerned whatsoever with how the human race perceives me, rightly or wrongly. I am only concerned about His judgment of me at The Last Day.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Please enter the date you began answering these questions.December 17, 2010.
What is your name (first, middle, maiden name, last)? Do you like your name? If you could, would you choose another? What name would you choose? Who were you named for?John Carson Lester Junior. Yes, I love my name! No, I would not choose another. It associates me with my earthly father, one of the greatest men who has ever lived. Both my father and I were named after this man, Fiddlin' John Carson:
Are you male or female?Male.
In what country, state, and city were you born? What hospital?United States. Michigan. Pontiac. Pontiac General Hospital.
What is your birth order?Firstborn.
How old are you today? How old do you feel?Old enough to know better. I feel like I am in the prime of life!
Do you speak any foreign languages?French.
What is your birth date?July 15th. And I am old enough to know better. :)
Are you right-handed or left-handed?Right.
Your Family and Ancestry
List the names and birthdates of your mother, father, maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandfather and other great grandfathers and grandmothers. What did you call them?Father: John Carson Lester. Born July 12th. Living.
Mother: Armina Virginia Fultz. Born August 7th. Living.
Paternal Grandfather: Charles Ellis Lester. Born: September 4th. Passed on...
Paternal Grandmother: Ada Kathleen Lester (maiden name: O'Quinn). Born:
October 7th. Passed on...
Maternal Grandfather: Earl Harrison Fultz. Born: August 2nd. Passed on...
Maternal Grandmother: Dorothy Mae Fultz (maiden name: Stevens). Born: February 22nd. Passed on...
I don't recall calling my grandmothers and grandfathers anything other than simply "grandma so and so" or "grandpa so and so." I was taught to be respectful of my elderly family members.
A noteworthy great-grandparent includes my Paternal Grandmother's father, Elihu O'Quinn. He was a half-blood Cherokee Indian. His mother was full blooded Cherokee.
Do you have brothers and sisters? What are their names? When were they born? Do you remember the first time you saw them?Yes. One younger sister. Jennifer Ann Lester. Born: June 11th. No, I really do not...
Where was your mother born? Where was your father born? What circumstances brought your parents to the place where you were born? Were there people already there whom they knew, or did they come into the community alone? Was the community welcoming to them?My mother was born in Fillmore, Kentucky. My father was born in Blackey, Virginia.
My mother's father, Earl Harrison Fultz, the Pentecostal Preacher for 60+ years, and Pastor of his own church for 40+ years, moved to Michigan to start his own church, which he did.
My father's family, being poor and destitute coal miners migrating back and forth over the Virginia and West Virginia border while moving from coal mining town to coal mining town, saw, as did many southerners, a tremendous opportunity in moving to Michigan post-war as the auto companies were aggressively hiring to keep up with the booming post-war economy.
As circumstances and destiny would have it, my father's family began attending my mother's father's church. This is where my mother and father met. The rest, as they say, is history...
PS To the best of my knowledge both sides of my family came to Michigan with few or no prior acquaintances awaitng them. And to the best of my knowledge the community was welcoming to both families.
Tell about your aunts and uncles. Did they play an important part in your growing up? Do you remember any special aunts and uncles?With my earthly father being the firstborn of 11 children, and with my mother being the fourth born of 10 children, I have 19 Aunts and Uncles.
I had many Aunts that played an important part in my growing up. Many of them would read me bedtime stories. Aunt Kathy (my Uncle Chuck's wife) and Aunt Sandy (my Uncle Bill's wife) probably did this the very most.
My Uncles also played a part in my growing up. My dad's brothers were the hardest working men on the planet. They owned several landscaping and winter snow removal companies and landscaped entire neighborhoods and had contracts (for snow removal) with the Big 3 auto companies, for example. I remember "working" with them quite often as a boy and learning about hard work from not only my earthly father, but from his hard working brothers as well.
My favorite Aunt, of course, is my Aunt Mae (Essie Stamper) for many reasons. First, she married my favorite Uncle, Bill Stamper, who was a mighty minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, she introduced me to MLM in 1988 when, first, she got me on Herbalife products, and, months later, got me to. second, briefly try out the Herbalife opportunity even while I was a young stockbroker at Prudential-Bache Securities.
Did you play with your cousins? Who are some of the cousins you know best?Most definitely. My favorite cousin was clearly Dale Grimsley, son of my Aunt Opal, my father's sister. We constantly stayed at each other's house overnight and for up to a week at a time and did everything together. Whether it was hunting frogs (a favorite of ours) or tobaggoning or hanging out in my treefort in the back yard, Dale and I were inseparable for years.
My other favorite cousin was Tommy Stamper, Aunt Mae's son. Aunt Mae has a very big property and when Tommy and I were younger, and Tommy was living there, I used to love to go over to her house and play with Tommy. They had chickens, a big St Bernard that wanted to kill me and almost did once and a huge woods out back that we always played in when I was there.
My mother's other two sisters had two daughters, one each, who were almost exactly my same age. Aunt Sandra's Jeannette, and Aunt Liz's Pandy. I delighted in teasing them both to near tears, including constantly tickling Pandy until she nearly peed her pants. :)
Because I have 19 Aunts and Uncles, I have about 70 first cousins, and enough second cousins to staff the 7th fleet. I couldn't possibly mention them all but so many of them are very awesome people. :)
Was there someone your family was particularly proud of?My family is particularly proud of me. I'm the first person amongst the 21 children from my father's and mother's combined families (my Dad was the firstborn of 11 and my mother was the 4th born of 10), not to mention amongst the 70 or so first cousins of mine that these 19 Aunts and Uncles of mine produced, that graduated from any college or university. Several of my cousins, after me, have now gone on and graduated from various Bible colleges and secular universities.
I'm grateful to the Lord and His instruments to have provided me with the opportunity and the ability and strength to accomplish this.
If you could do anything differently about your family, what would it be?I wouldn't do anything differently about my family. It would only mess things up because God has everything under control anyways. To wit:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Did the family get together much casually, or did you have to travel and dress up to spend time together?Well, while my sister and I were still living at home, our family was together, casually and formally and in every other state, pretty much constantly.
Now that my sister lives in California, and I live in Utah, and my parents are still back in Michigan, we get together several times per year now and we generally don't dress any differently than we normally do just to see one another. I find this to be a strange question. What families need to wear a Tux just to see each other?
Was yours a religious family? Did you attend services together? Were these dress-up affairs?Ours was more a spiritual family than it was a "religious" family. We didn't always go to church on Sunday (although oftentimes we did), but God was a welcomed and assumed presence in our household.
When we did go to church, more often than not, we went to my mother's father's church, the Reverend Earl Harrison Fultz's church. I remember as a young boy playing my cornet in some of the Christmas services and productions we had there. And yes, we did generally dress up!
Singing spiritual songs about the Lord as a young boy came naturally and frequently to me, and my parents actually have several such sessions recorded of me that I believe they still have in their possession somewhere.
Until I became a teenager, and the worldly public school system started creating some doubts, and I became somewhat of an agnostic for a period of time until age 19, my world in which I grew up just naturally presumed the existence and constant presence of the Lord God Almighty.
Did your family say grace? Did you sit down at the table together for every meal?Yes, we did oftentimes say grace over our meals. More often than not, it was my earthly father that would deliver the prayer.
We did sit down together as a family for most of our meals while my sister and I were growing up.
The House of Your Growing Up
Do you have warm feelings about the childhood home that you remember the most?Of course. How could I not? A substantial percentage of my entire life has revolved around our family home that I am writing from here at the moment on Christmas Day, 2010, after having flown in last night from the Salt Lake City Airport to Detroit Metro Airport. My flight arrived within 5 minutes of my sister's flight coming in from Los Angeles Airport. We both came in on Delta and I found Jennifer waiting for me at her gate within minutes of landing. We then both went down to baggage, got our bags, and then found our parents waiting for us outside in the car. And we were then driven to the only home that either of us knew for substantial portions of our lives.
When we got home, although Jennifer and I didn't say anything about it to one another until the next day, today, Christmas Day, we were both struck, last night as we entered in thru the front door, with the feeling of how different this Christmas seemed. That's because, last August 15th, our beloved family dog, Keisha, passed away at the extremely advanced age of 19 years, 3 months. And this year, for the first time for as long as we could practically remember, she was not there to greet us at the door. While the feeling of our home is still warm, there is a definite difference without Keisha being here in the flesh for the first time in 2 decades, and she is definitely missed.
The Lester family home was a home in which faith in God, morals and right living was emphasized. This is not surprising considering that my mother is a PK (preacher's kid). I remember, growing up as a boy, attending my grandfather's Pentecostal church, playing my cornet in its Christmas musicals, and constantly singing spiritual songs. God's presence in my life seemed only natural and naturally assumed. We prayed together at our family meals and most of the time they were at home and together. We still do so today; in fact, just a few minutes ago at Christmas morning breakfast!
What did your home look like? Apartment, walk-up, condominium, or house? What was the color? Was it stone, wood - other? One story or two?The Lester family home is a modest 1300 square foot one story ranch style home that was built for my parents a long time ago. It is made of aluminum, vinyl and brick. The brick is red and the aluminum and vinyl is almond colored. It's a suburban home sitting on about a half acre in Troy, Michigan, one of the great cities of these here United States!
What did you look out onto?Well, about a quarter mile to the left of the house, on the other side of a fence and a deep ditch, is Interstate 75, which extends all the way from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan all the way thru to the southern tip of Florida, one of the longest interstate highways in the USA. Surrounding us, however, are the homes of our neighbors!
What was your bedroom like?My bedroom was a real American young man's bedroom. I recall the wallpaper for most of my growing up years as being blue with sailing ships on it. My closet was not only full of toys when I was growing up, but with sports related equipment as I got older. And, of course, there were always books everywhere. I always was and still am a voracious reader (of books and any type of media).
Did you share it with your siblings, or was it cozy by yourself?It was cozy by myself. Remember, my parents, despite each coming from extremely large families themselves, only had 2 children. Jennifer had her own room as well. :)
Can you remember the pictures that hung, wallpaper, carpeting, etc.? Can you remember your telephone number and address?As I just mentioned earlier, I recall the wallpaper in my bedroom growing up, blue with sailing ships everywhere sailing on the ocean blue. Now that I think about it, that's a metaphorical story of my life thus far, because, if I've been anything, I've definitely been an adventurer and a explorer in my life, particularly in the worlds of theology and business.
The majority of the pictures that we hung from our walls were pictures of members of our family, both immediate and extended. Carpeting was usually plush and varied in various rooms of the house and changed from time to time over the years.
Yes, I most definitely remember my parent's telephone number and address. How could I not? it has not changed one iota for many, many decades! :)
What did you do to make your room your own? Did you sleep with a stuffed animal or doll? What was your animal or doll's name?Well, since boys are territorial, I made my room my own by sleeping in it and constantly occupying it! As a boy, I did not sleep with any stuffed animals or dolls...
Can you remember what you daydreamed about in those days?Well, it varied with age. When I was really young, I day dreamed about many things, usually involving adventure, such as being one of the various Super Heroes that I followed via my many comic books and movies. Or being one of the various star athletes that I followed so closely, especially in the world of baseball (the first sport I seriously played).
As I got older, I, ahem, mostly daydreamed about girls...
But once I was truly converted, which, for me, began at 19, I started day dreaming about becoming the Preacher that my Grandfather was, waiting for the *Lord's time* for that door to open up for me.
What time did your mail come? Was it exciting anticipating the mail? Can you remember anything in particular that you received that was special?Wow! I'm surprised at what vivid memories this question generated! I really don't recall what time the mail came, seems to me that it was usually in the middle to the late afternoon, but what I do remember so vividly was how EXCITED I always was when I could see the mailman coming down the street! I would so often wait by the mailbox looking UP the street as far as my eyes could see and see him coming down not my block, but the block one block further east! I don't recall getting very many particularly important things for myself most days as a young child, seeing that I was but a young child. But in high school the mail started filling up with notices relating to my many academic achievements. and that was always fun to receive and my parents were always so proud of me. :)
Was security an issue? Did your parents keep the door locked or did family and friends come and go with the door unlocked?Troy is consistently rated as one of the top 5 or 10 safest cities in America. Look it up and you'll see that that is so. Nevertheless, security is always an issue, no matter where you live, in a world that is tainted by sin, and, of course, my parents kept the doors locked at the appropriate times. Which was all of the time when we were gone, at night, etc.
Who were your best friends in your neighborhood? Do you still know them or know what happened to them?Hmmm. Let's see. My best friends in my neighborhood growing up were:
The Kemp Kids (they were a large Catholic family across the street)
The Essenmacher Brothers (Tim, Stephen, etc)
James and Steve Monroe
and I could go on...I lost track of all of these after high school and college, but the cool thing is, Facebook has reunited me with Robert Currier, the Kemp kids, the Essenmachers and Jeff Murray. And I'm sure there will be more re-connections in the future as we "find" each other again. :)
Did you play at your home, theirs or mostly in playgrounds, the streets, fields?All of the above. I particularly enjoyed playing baseball in the big field across the street from David Stadler's house on Lange. We had great games there for years and years and years until they turned it in to the Troy Historical Center. Now there are old, historical homes and buildings from Troy's past built over the very place where we played so many great baseball games...
What do you remember about your friends' houses and families?Oh, the houses and families of my friends were cool. They were good people, living the American dream just like we were, having a house of our own and getting the opportunity for a good education and a solid future compared to what the rest of the world has access to in relation to us Americans.
Robert Kush's parents were rather elderly, it seemed to me, as a young boy. And that's because they were. Robert was born to them in their later years, as their youngest of several children. I remember Bobby having a rather amusing Pekingese dog. It's not that this one was particularly amusing in and of itself. I just have always found Pekingese dogs to be rather amusing period, which I why I mentioned it. Bobby bought or inherited his parent's home after they passed from this flesh, and I occasionally see him in the neighbor on the rare occasions that I am at home, usually around Christmas like today.
Randy Michael and I used to love to go over to Robert Rasico's house and play basketball. Robert had a nice basketball setup against their standalone garage off to the side of their house. Robert's dad was the assistant baseball coach on my very first little league baseball team.
I was constantly over at the Kemp's house playing with them. There were 7 kids and so their was plenty of variety from which to choose! The Kemp family, being Catholic, always struck me as being particularly rigid and consumed with arcane rules compared to what a more free flowing Pentecostal family like mine was accustomed.
Did you have a secret path you used to take to meet your friend?What kind of a question is this? No, I did not.
Did you play house? Were you the mother, father, doctor, etc? Did you play stickball, ice skate, play basketball or baseball (what position did you play)? Did you go to the library?No, I didn't play house unless it was with a girl over that I liked. If so, I would play the male roles, of course. I played every sport under the sun growing up. I have always loved sports tremendously, even before I got very good at them later as I was growing up. The sport that I played most was baseball and, in baseball, I played left field the most, first base second, and pitcher third.
Did I go to the library? What kind of question is that? Of course! I lived for books...books, books and more books! :)
Was there a neighborhood bully? Did that bully ever hurt you?Oh, there was always someone around trying to be the neighborhood tough guy. Without going in to the gory details, after being picked on from time to time in elementary school and the first half of middle school, by the second half of middle school and all throughout high school, the high school "bullies" used to cross the street and get on the other side for stark fear of me after I figured out what cowards they really were and kicked a few of their butts rather badly (a thousand dollars in dental damages for one of them and that was in inflation reduced dollars from a long time ago).
Remember, I wasn't fully converted until age 19. :)
Did you have a nickname? How did you get it? Has it stuck with you?Well, the rude and chidish kids, staring around middle school, called me MOlester. Honestly, that never really bothered me, I always thought that that was so childish and reflected upon their poor manners and certainly not myself in any way, shape or form.
In college, I was nicknamed by some as "The Bull," partly because of my physical construction, and partly because of my indomitable nature.
Today many people have many adjectives by which they describe me, the majority of which, as far as I can tell, are good. :)
What sidewalk games did you play? Did you collect anything (bugs, baseball cards, marbles, etc.)?Sidewalk games? what kind of sidewalk games CAN you play outside of maybe hopscotch and marbles, both of which I did play, for sure. Yes, I collected many things but, in particular, I liked to collect comic books and baseball cards! Shoulda kept 'em, they woulda been worth a small fortune today...
Did you have pets? What were their names? Were they usually strays? How did you acquire them?Yes, of course, always. We were a dog family. My first dog was Bingo, and he was with us in Detroit before we moved to Troy. Shortly after we moved to Troy, after Bingo died, we got Bela. After Bela died, we got Keisha. We usually purchased our dogs from pet shops or bought them from private owners. Bela, by the way, was named by Jennifer when she was only 2 years old. She kept on constantly calling Bela "Bela," and it just stuck. :)
Do you remember having the chicken pox, mumps or other childhood diseases? Were you ever seriously ill as a child? Who took care of you?I got the chicken pox from my sister who gave it to my deliberately. I still resent her for doing it. :)
Of course, my mother would be the one always taking care of me. and no, I was never seriously ill, as in deathly ill, although I got more than my fair share of tonsilitus, bronchitus, ear, nose and throat infections, etc. I never broke too many bones...
Elementary School Years
What was the name of your school? How big was it? What did it look like? Was it a private or public school?Well, even though we didn't move, I went to two elementary schools while growing up.
The first one was Leonard Elementary from kindergarten thru fourth grade. Then they built Martell elementary school and I and everyone in my neighborhood got transferred to Martell. This happened in 5th grade and so it lasted for only one year because the next year, being in 6th grade, I transferred to Smith Middle School.
All of this occurred in Troy, Michigan, my home town while growing up as a child and young man.
Did you ride a bus to school? If so, did you like riding the bus? Do you remember anything that happened on that bus?Yes, a bus was always available to me to ride, although, in my high school years, I started eschewing the bus in favor of walking or running to my high school, which was only a mile or so away.
Nothing that was particularly spectacular ever happened to me or anyone else that I recall on the bus. It seems like, in our neighborhood, if anything controversial was going to happen, it was going to happen while WAITING for the bus, not on the bus itself. I suppose that kids reasoned that by doing it that way they reduced the odds of getting caught and punished for their misdeeds.
What did you learn in school that you still use to this day?Readin', writin' and 'rithmetic. After all, we're talking about elementary school here. :)
And probably even more than that...but what kind of a question is this? :)
Of course, we could talk about learning things about social interactions that are still used by us today. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and to turn the other cheek. My parents, and particularly my mother, despite being a PK (preacher's kid), had another take on things. And that was, don't ever start a fight, but, if someone dares to do so with you, make sure you end it.
I suppose I landed someplace in the middle on this issue. Meaning that, when the evil fist is thrown towards my cheek, I've learned to turn it, and, in the same motion, grab the evil fist thrust at me, and twist it, hard, until the other kneels in pain and repents and likewise turns his cheek as well.
Therefore, I'd like to think that everyone should learn to turn their cheek, especially evil people. Some just need more explicit instructions than others. Once both sides have turned cheeks, then significant progress can be made.
By the way, it was later in middle school and all throughout high school before I fully learned the lessons of the past 3 paragraphs. And that's where it was needed most, far more than elementary school.
Do you remember being afraid to enter first grade? What did you think when you first saw the classroom?No, I don't recall being afraid at all. I have always loved school and learning. :)
Do remember "getting" a concept? Cursive writing, maybe? Do you remember the moment when you realized you could read? Was school work hard or easy for you?I don't remember not getting a concept. Most concepts come rather easy and quickly for me. But not cursive writing. After too many years typing on computer keyboards and seldom writing at all, much less cursive, it literally hurts my hand to write cursive for very long. Not fun.
I don't really remember the moment I realized I could read. I was only 2 or 3 years old. School work was always easy for me.
Did you like physical education / gym class? Did you feel you were good at sports? Were you picked first or last for the teams?I always loved physical education and gym class, even though, in elementary school and early in middle school I wasn't all that good and was usually picked last or nearly last. I think that I lacked confidence. I didn't really play or practice sports that much at first. You have to play and practice to get good, right? I was always reading books at that age. Chemistry books and biology books and books about dinosaurs, stuff that kids at that age normally didn't read, if they read at all...
Then, at the age of 11 or so, I hit puberty at least a year earlier than most of the other guys, and shot up to about 5 foot 8 and 170 pounds in barely more than a year. Now I'm 5 foot 10 or 11...
I tried out for the 7th grade football team, and much to my surprise, even though I had *never* played football before, they made me the starting defensive tackle, because I was so much bigger and stronger than the other boys due to my early onset of puberty. We were very good and won our city championship that year amongst the 4 middle schools in town...
With my shocking new size, apparently a confidence that I lacked before in athletics was found, and from that point on, I became an excellent athlete because I realized I *am* an excellent athlete. But I still didn't play any high school sports because I was so dedicated to academics and the high school debate team and the cause of being the first person on either side of my family to graduate from college. That was constantly on my mind, that I had to make that achievement, not only for myself, but for the sake of my whole family.
But all the coaches in high school wanted me on their teams. They knew how strong I was because I was constantly in the weight room lifting weights. I've lifted weights very consistently since the age of 13. Once, the wrestling coach watched me engage in a wrestling match with our high school's celebrated state wrestling champ (if I won, he bought me a dinner; if he won, he got to copy off me in the next class's test after lunch). For about 10 minutes, our wrestling coach watched wide-eyed as I literally bounced this state wrestling champ practically off the walls. However, his conditioning and his techniques were far more advanced than mine, so even though I treated him like a rag doll for about 10 minutes, I couldn't quite ever get him pinned for the required 3 seconds and eventually I tired out and eventually he pinned me. But that solidified my already growing reputation in my high school as a guy not to mess with at all. And, when you're a kid, and especially when you're a guy, that's important. Kids can be cruel.
Do you remember shopping for school clothes? Getting excited at what you would wear the first few weeks? Did you ever go to school where you wore a uniform?I never went to school where I wore a uniform, but I do remember quite vividly many "back to school" shopping trips with my mother, and, in later years, with my mother and sister. I was usually quite bored with shopping, except when shopping for school, because I loved school and learning so very much...
Did you eat lunch at school or go home? Did you bring your own lunch? Did you have a lunchbox? If so, what did it look like?I always ate lunch at school. Home was too far away to easily eat lunch and return. Yes, I had a lunchbox during my earlier school years, but I really don't recall what they looked like. I had several...
How did you get to school...walk alone, with friends, bus, parent, neighbor?Normally I took the bus, but, in high school, since the high school was only a mile away, I oftentimes walked and/or ran to and from school.
What did you do in the summertime when there was no school?Well, when I was younger, during the summer, I usually just played my head off at everything including sports and generally had a great time with my neighborhood friends and my stay over cousins. We had a huge 32' long 7' deep pool in our backyard and so our place was rather popular in the summers. Also, my Dad, for many years, ran a topsoil delivering business on the side of his regular job at Ford Motor Company and oftentimes I'd go with him tugging a book with me to read along the way of course.
In my high school years, I started working during the summers, selling fuller brush on an established route of customers that I built, doing caddying at a local golf course, and working at Wendy's as a short order cook.
We were also constantly camping and fishing in the summers in various campers that we owned thru the years. While I did and still do love school and learning, I loved my summers as well...
Life in a Small Town
What was the name, state and population of your town?Troy. Michigan. Probably about 20,000 when we moved in...probably about 90,000 today.
What was the main source of the town's income?This area is very economically diverse, although, being in the Detroit area, there used to be a much higher emphasis on the auto industry than what there is today.
Did you have the pride of having a farm or business handed down from generation to generation?No. Although my earthly father has been the best earthly father for whom anyone could ask, I always have wished, at times, that something like that could have been handed down to me.
However, my earthly father handed down to me something more valuable than even that, and that is the tremendous values of honesty, faithfulness and hard work that he demonstrated to me thru his deeds and actions I witnessed of him while growing up.
Those values that he has passed down to me has now put me in a position to hand down a business to my future child or children, and that's the business of Pure Hearts International!
What types of food were generally considered for dinner time? Have you raised your family with the same types of foods?We were pretty much a classic "meat and potatoes" kind of family. I have been vegetarian for the majority of my adult life, at times, being almost vegan.
If you lived on a farm, what was the week like? What was Sunday like?Not applicable.
How did friendships differ from rural life vs large city life (if you have experienced both)?For the past 7 months, for the first time ever, I have truly lived in a very small town, namely, Ephraim, Utah, population less than 6,000 (10,000 if you include the students at Snow College). But I have lived in middle class suburbia most of my life in and around Troy, Michigan. And I have also lived in a BIG CITY, in downtown Chicago, in skyscraper central, on the 42nd floor 500 feet overlooking the most beautiful views you've ever seen directly above Lake Michigan. So I've experienced it all when it comes to various sizes of cities.
And friendships definitely do differ between rural life vs large city life in the stereotypical way that most people rightly assume. Friendships are more frequent, more sold and more long lasting in rural life than vs large city life. I think that that's partly because of the slower pace. People have more time to get to know one another and there's less of an overwhelming number of people to get to know. And so it's easier and more natural. At least that's been my observation and my experience in the 7 months now that I've lived in Ephraim.
Did you ever dream of leaving your small town?I've only been living in a truly small town for 7 months now, and I have no intentions of leaving it. I love it and plan on getting married and even dying here.
As far as leaving Troy while growing up, while I knew that I would eventually leave it, I had no "burning" desires to leave it. Troy is a great place to live too. :)
What invention came last to rural areas from the cities?I have no idea. As I've said, I've only lived in Ephraim for 7 months now. I'll have to ask the local residents and get back to ya...
What did you raise on your farm? How large was it? How many acres? How many buildings? How did things change seasonally?Not applicable.
Who helped your family on your farm? Hired hands or neighbors?Not applicable.
Holidays and Celebrations
Do you like your birthday or dread it? What birthday do you remember the most?No, I've always loved having birthdays. Beats the alternative, as far as life in the flesh goes. Plus, I've always loved the gifts, and, like most people, receiving the attention. I really can't think of any birthday that stands out more than another. When I was about 5 years old, however, my Mom does have pictures in her photo albums of a birthday where there were so many people at it it was more like a family reunion!
Did you get to choose the meal on your birthday? Were birthdays considered a "big deal" when you were young? Did you raise your children to think they were a big deal?Oh, I don't recall not being able to choose the meal that we ate, but I don't remember a lot along those lines, anyways. Birthdays were considered at least a medium big deal when I was young. The last question is not applicable at the present time.
Did your family make birthday cakes or did you buy them? What were the favorite flavors? What kind of birthday parties did you give for your children?I think sometimes my mother made them and sometimes she bought them. All kinds of different flavors. Last question not applicable at this time.
What were the most important religious holidays you celebrated throughout the year? What was the significance of the holiday (i.e., why were you celebrating it)?Well, this one is rather easy. As Christians, most definitely Christmas and Easter. The significance, of course, was the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
How did you celebrate each major holiday?We'd usually go to church, as far as Christmas and Easter was concerned.
What holiday did you especially like? Which holiday was really not much fun for you?Well, as a kid, not fully converted until age 19, I loved Christmas for all of the materialistic reasons. I also loved the 4th of July for all of the fireworks and the summer fun. Thanksgiving was great because of all of the great food! :)
What were some of the best memories from any of the holidays you celebrated?I remember that for many, many years, my family hosted THE annual Christmas reunion party for BOTH sides of our family. And with 19 Aunts and Uncles and about 70 cousins, these parties were BIG shin digs with the whole house fulled to the brim! Remember, the ground floor of the house is only 1300 square feet! Fortunately, however, we have a large basement, another 1300 square feet or so that was converted in to a party/social area a long, long time ago. And that's one of the reasons why we hosted the annual Christmas reunion party for many, many years at our family's house. I'll never forget so many of those parties, they were really, really good times and I wish we were still doing them but Mother Father and Lester got older and it's just too hard anymore.
What was served at your holiday dinners? What do you remember about these dinners?Well, if it was Thanksgiving, then of course we always had turkey all of the trimmings. Here today, on Christmas day morning, we had a huge country style breakfast with eggs, bacon, gravy, biscuits, etc. Tonight we're having filet mignon with asparagus, potatoes, salad and carrot cake.
I remember that for many, many years, my family hosted THE annual Christmas reunion party for BOTH sides of our family. And with 19 Aunts and Uncles and about 70 cousins, these parties were BIG shin digs with the whole house fulled to the brim! Remember, the ground floor of the house is only 1300 square feet! Fortunately, however, we have a large basement, another 1300 square feet or so that was converted in to a party/social area a long, long time ago. And that's one of the reasons why we hosted the annual Christmas reunion party for many, many years at our family's house. I'll never forget so many of those parties, they were really, really good times and I wish we were still doing them but Mother Father and Lester got older and it's just too hard anymore.
What are some of your memorable birthdays from your life? Were any birthdays particularly difficult because you reached a certain numerical age?Well, as I mentioned previously, my mother had a particularly large birthday party for me when I was about age 5 while we were still living down in Detroit. I remember it so well partly because we have so many pictures of it in our family photo album books to help stimulate my memory.
No, at least so far, there has not been any birthday particularly difficult because I reached a certain numerical age. I figure 1000 might be pretty hard on me, though... :)
Is there a holiday present or birthday present that especially sticks out in your mind?No, there were so many great ones, no one stands on in particular. Except for one. One of the most memorable gifts that I ever got in my life was in the summer of my 7th birthday when my Dad went out and bought me a little motorized replica of a model T! It had a gas combustible engine in it and I was so proud when I would drive it around in the neighborhood. I literally, for years and years, would have kids running alongside of me, in front of me and behind me when I was driving that thing. Everybody in the neighborhood, and especially all of the kids, loved it, and I gave rides to everybody all of the time. It was great. :)
Where did you go to high school? What was your mascot? What were your school colors? Do you remember any of the cheers? What was your favorite song during high school? What type of music was popular?I went to Troy High School, home of the COLTS! I don't recall exactly what our school colors were, even though I was a letterman in leading our high school debate team to its greatest achievements ever. Honestly, I don't remember any of the cheers off the top of my head right now. I don't recall having a favorite song during high school, and different types of music are always popular depending on your own tastes at any given time.
Who were your friends? What did you like about them? Who were your favorite teachers?My closest friends were those that were either a) on the high school debate team with me; and/or b) the generally highly achieving academically-oriented kids. I was in all of the advanced classes in high school along with a certain group of other academically gifted kids and so we just got to know one another well due to having so many of the same classes together. What I liked about them, was, quite frankly, they were smart, and all other things being equal, that's a desirable trait.
My favorite teachers were probably Mr Bates and Mr Woodson and Mr Stern. They were all science teachers (Bates = biology, Woodson = physics and Stern = chemistry) and I was really in to science back in those days. Mr Woodson particularly stands out because he provided a powerful witness of Christ and Christ's love, particularly in the extremely difficult time I experienced emotionally shortly following my grandmother's death that I describe in detail elsewhere in this autobiography.
What kind of extra-curricular activities did you do in high school? Were you on the school paper? A sports team? Were you a class officer? A cheerleader? A nerd? Were your friends involved in the same activities as you were?I was so consumed with academic preparation for college that I even dropped band class which I loved so much in the middle of my freshman year in high school. I did that because I could see that if I took band for 4 years, I wouldn't be able to squeeze all the academic classes that I wanted to take in to my limited schedule.
I joined the high school debate team because I knew that that would look good on my college application. Plus I just flat out enjoyed it immensely. My high school years were consumed by two things: getting good grades and doing well on the high school debate team. As soon as I joined, our trophy case exploded. We had an amazing number of trophies during the time that I was on the debate team. In fact, they had to dedicate an entire showcase to our trophies. They were probably more trophies in our showcase then in the rest of school history combined.
I was the editor of my middle school newspaper but, for some reason, I was never involved with my high school newspaper. I was, however, on the Yearbook staff for at least one of the years of my high school career. I was never a class officer but my junior or senior year I ran for VP and very narrowly lost, by only a handful of votes. Although most of my friends were on the high school debate team and amongst the academically gifted, I had a generally good rapport and reputation with the student body population at large.
Although I became an exceptionally good athlete in the latter half of middle school and all of high school, I never even tried to join a sports team in high school because I was so consumed with academic preparation for college. I wouldn't describe myself as a nerd, but as more of a geek with a physique, to quote PHI Apostle Geoff Pace. I didn't now it at the time, but girls were attracted to me. I began to figure this out in my first year of college...
Were you ever honored at school? Varsity letter? Homecoming court? Valedictorian? Do you remember the students who were?Yes, I was honored at high school many, many times, mainly related to my academic achievements and the high school debate team. Of course, I was a letterman for my high school related to my achievements on the high school debate team. Going in to my senior year, I was academically ranked in the top 10 of my class of about 350 seniors but slipped in my senior year because I relaxed a bit, knowing that my life long dream of getting in to not only college, but a MAJOR college was achieved and nobody could take it from me no matter what with what I had achieved thru the first years of high school, what the colleges looked at (and probably still do) mainly. I was recognized publicly due to my high scores on the ACT and SAT, was admitted or recognized or whatever by the high school Phi Beta Kappa association, was selected to be listed in the "Who's Who of High School Students" for the year of my senior graduation, and if I listed all of the academic achievements that I achieved in high school this would run on for many more paragraphs. I'd have to go back to a couple of folders where I still keep all of this stuff after all these many years.
Do you remember any students you felt sorry for because other students made fun of them or took advantage of them?Sure. I was friends of many of them. I've always been a champion for the underdog and the little guy. Until I found my strength in the second half of middle school and all throughout high school, I was picked on, occasionally, and so I have always been sympathetic to the "outcast" or the "outsider." I'd rather not name some of these friends by name lest I embarrass or offend them.
Were you a diligent student or did you have a more casual approach?I was a diligent student to an extremely intense degree. :)
Did you study a foreign language? Did those lessons stick with you? Were you ever able to use that language on vacation or in your community?French. Both in high school and 2 years in college. No, those lessons have not stuck with me very well because I almost never use the language. However, a number of years ago I spent 11 days in Paris, and my use of French came back to me to a substantial degree, and made that vacation all the more fun!
Did science or math come hard to you? Did art or English come easily? Do you remember any long papers you wrote or any special projects?I scored a perfect 800 on the quant portion of my GRE. Science and math and anything analytical has always come to me as easily as breathing. English came easily to me. Art did not. I'm not a drawer or painter or sculptor type by any stretch of the imagination.
I wrote lots of long papers and was involved in lots of special projects, so many that no one in particular stands out at this time.
Who did you go to your prom with? What did you wear? Did you dance much?I did not go to the prom. In March of 1981, March 6th, to be exact, my grandmother, my mother's mother, died, finally, after a series of strokes which had debilitated her in her final years.
That left me emotionally devastated and, for those and other reasons, I simply stopped going to school. I had no desire to do so any more. I was burned out in many ways from many things, things that had built up over the years.
I was also in the agnostic phase of my life. I had a lot to think about and a lot to ponder. My school just dropped me out of that final semester and had me graduate early, I had more than enough credits (and grades) to graduate. That was very nice of them. And it was, considering my circumstances at the time, the right thing to do. It was the only time of my entire life where I felt non-functional even for a period of time. My grandmother was the first of my four grandparents to die, and the first person in my life truly close to me that passed away.
I did attend my high school graduation ceremony, of course, and even though I really graduated a semester before almost everyone else, I still participated in that event. I'm glad I did. I have never missed not attending prom. Things like that have just never been very important to me. Or not important to me at all.
Were you a beatnik, hippie or rebel?None of the above. I was and still am an independent thinker, however.
If you went to college, where did you go? Why did you choose that school? How much was tuition? Was it difficult to afford? Did you receive financial assistance or a scholarship? A loan? Was your school large or small? What was it known for?I only applied to 2 universities in high school, Northwestern University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and, of course, was accepted at them both.
And then, ironically, ended up attending them both, just not at the same time, of course.
I chose Northwestern University over the University of Michigan to start off my college career. But, in the middle of my sophomore year, I transferred from Northwestern University to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. My parents weren't really in favor of this, but I did it because there had been a PROFOUND change in my life. And that change was, in the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I went from being just a moral young man who generally believed in God to being a committed disciple of Jesus Christ. And suddenly academics didn't really matter that much to me anymore. I had a theological world rapidly opening up to me that was quickly consuming my heart and my mind and my soul. And so, with a 3.6 GPA at Northwestern University, I transferred to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor so that I could be closer to my home church back here in Troy, Michigan (Faith Apostolic Church of Troy).
Tuition for an out of state resident at a private school of the caliber of Northwestern University was substantially higher than for an in-state resident at a public school like the University of Michigan at Arbor (although U-M at Ann Arbor has its own world class academic reputation). All throughout school I received substantial support from my parents, grants, scholarships, loans and my own many part time jobs during the school year and full time jobs during the summer.
What was your living situation? Did you live in a dorm or a room off campus? Who was your roommate? Did you get along? How did you decorate your place? Were you comfortable there?I lived in dorms thru my first 3 years of college. My 4th and final year of college at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, I lived off campus. I had a variety of roommates at the two schools thru the first 3 years, the best of which was in my junior year at the University of Michigan when I roomed with James, a good Pentecostal brother. I got along generally well with all of my roommates, and probably the best with James, seeing that were on the same page religiously speaking. I was always comfortable wherever I lived and, as far as decoration, what are you talking about anyways? As I've said before, I'm as "domestic" as a Pet Rock...
What was your major? Why did you pick it? Were you ever able to use anything you learned in college in real life? Did you change colleges or majors partway through? Why?Economics with a minor in math and computer science. Why did I pick it? Because I liked it and, with an 800 quant score on mY GRE, I was extremely good at them! I've used a lot that I've learned in college in real life, particularly the general stamina that was needed to complete a degree coming in quite handy regarding other challenges as well.
I never changed majors in college...I'm the kind of person that generally sees thru to the very end.
Did you join a sorority or fraternity? Was it important to you?I attended several fraternity parties at Northwestern University my freshman year and even at least one my sophomore year following my summer of serious Christian conversion.
I didn't join my freshman year, even though I was "rushed" by several of the fraternities, because I really thought the whole notion was ridiculous and childish and I didn't want to have any part of it. Fraternities were far too much "group think" for such an independent thinker as I. And was it important to me? I didn't regret it then, and I've never regretted it for a moment in my entire life. In fact, I am quite certain that I am a better man for having NOT been involved with fraternities.
After the summer of my Christian conversion, I attended one more frat party, and as I looked in to the eyes, the EMPTY eyes of all of the kids there, trying to find joy in joyless, meaningless "party expressions," I knew that I no longer belonged there any more with them. And that they needed to follow me to where I was going (to serve the Lord).
I remember that night literally leaving the most beautiful little Oklahoma freshman girl in bewilderment on the dance floor. As I walked away from the frat house still with a cup of beer in my hand, I remembered that I still had it in my hand and suddenly looked at that cup of beer with my eyes, then crushed that beer cup in one hand, threw it aside and continued to walk away and never returned, having made up my mind what kind of a man that I, with God's help, intended to be.
When you first got to college, were you thrilled to be away from home? If you were homesick, what did you do about it? Write letters? Cry? Confide in someone? Or try to hide your feelings? If you were thrilled to be at college, were you quick at making friends? Who was your first friend there? Did you remain close through the years?It was a balanced feeling. I was fine living on my own, didn't have any major homesick problems, but I was glad when my parents came up and visited me at my dorm a couple of months after my freshman year had started. My mother almost cried when she saw how much weight I had lost, as I had lost a lot of weight working in a very steamy dorm kitchen washing dishes for my room and board. But I wasn't too skinny, I was just right, and she was used to me being somewhat heavy.
I socially flourished more in college than I had in high school, and I attribute that to college kids at Northwestern being substantially more intelligent and mature than high school kids from Troy High School. I generally do better around any population the smarter and more mature they are. Probably my first and best friend in college was my roommate Gabriel Paul, the grandson of the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. We did lose touch thru the years, and I've got to try to see if I can relocate him thru Facebook!
Were you on any sports teams? If not, did you follow them? Were any of your teams champions or near-champs?You have to understand, I was looked at by ALL of my family as the first person on either side of our family to have a substantial chance of graduating from a major college or university. And so when I actually made it, after I was accepted by Northwestern University, suddenly the
PRESSURE WAS OFF ME
and I had the luxury of being able to have FUN for ME! And so my freshmane year at Northwestern University, all of those years of NOT participating in athletics due to academics were gone.
So what did I do? I probably set a RECORD for freshman participation in the SHEER NUMBER of IM (intramural) sports team that I joined. I counted them up once, and I joined between 12 to 15 Intramural sports teams that first year at Northwestern University as a freshman. That's one of the reasons why I was called "THE BULL" at Northwestern. People had never seen a person play as much sports as I did.
In middle school, the one year I played organized football, again, as starting defensive nose tackle, our Smith Middle School one its city championship amongst the 4 competing Troy High middle schools. As far as all of these IM teams, none of them won a campus championship, but a couple of them got in to playoffs and made some noise...especially the Chicago-style softball team in which I participated.
But I still ended my freshman year at Northwestern University with a 3.73 GPA and so I proved that sports participation and academics were not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Was there any professor who made a special impression on you? Good or bad? What subject did he or she teach? Were you able to take more than one class from this person? Did he or she ever make a comment about your work that stuck in your memory?No, there really wasn't. What impressed me about my professors were their general lack of understanding and appreciation for the Holy Scriptures,. And I could only correctly conclude that I had become, thru the Scriptures, much wiser than they. And so I was and still am.
Why was it important for you to go to college? Was it an expected step in your community, or were you the first in your family to go for a degree? What motivated you most? Love of learning, or just getting through?As I've stated previously, I was looked at, from a very young age, by not only my parents, but also by my extended family on both sides, as the person most likely to be able to get in to and graduate from a major university.
So, for years, I felt that pressure and I was determined not to let any part of my family down. That and the fortuitous love of learning that I enjoy to this very hour did a lot more than just "get me through."
Were you able to get home for the holidays? What do you remember about going home once you began college?When I was at Northwestern, I only came for Christmas. When I was at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, being closer to Troy, I came home for all of the major holidays.
Once I was the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, going home wasn't that big of a deal any more, because I was only 50 miles, at most, from home anyways.
Did you change much at college? Did your parents notice? Did you friends back home notice? Did they mention it to you?I changed FUNDAMENTALLY at college. I entered as a moral kid with no theological concept of who Jesus Christ with commitment level to match my woeful ignorance, and I left college as a walking Bible encyclopedia.
Everybody noticed. Sometimes they would mention it to me...
Name, rank, and serial number? Were you drafted or did you enlist? What was the first you saw of the service - the enlistment center? What did you see there that made you want to sign up? What was it like at the draft board?I have never served a single day in the US military. And yet, my entire life, I have been constantly asked by people, what branch did you serve in, as my demeanor and general approach to life is very similar to the typical military leader.
It was my mother's dream when I was in high school that I apply to and attend and graduate from West Point. She was a huge fan of General Douglas MacArthur and she wanted me to be much like him.
However, when high school time arrived, while I talked to West Point, and let them recruit me, in the end, I decided that that was my mother's dream, and not mine, and so didn't even bother to apply to West Point.
And yet they still kept after me. After I had already accepted Northwestern's university to join their freshman class, as late as 3 weeks from my FIRST DAY at Northwestern University, West Point was still contacting me, telling me that they wanted me and that they could still easily get me in if I would only apply.
I politely declined. And yet, without me going in to details, I have had dreams of myself leading US military forces in the future. How exactly that that is going to happen only God Himself fully knows.
How quickly did you move up through the ranks? Who was the first officer you admired?Not applicable
What was the name of your company? Did it have a nickname? Where were you stationed? Describe what it was like.Not applicable.
Did you win any medals or citations? What for? Where do you keep that medal now - is it prominently displayed in your house, or is it stashed away in a drawer?Not applicable.
What entertainers did you see perform? Which of your buddies did you sit with when you saw the program? What songs do you remember hearing during the war? Which song most says "war years" to you?Not applicable.
What did your uniform look like? Did wearing it change your attitude?Not applicable.
What supplies and weaponry were you issued? How long did it take you to learn to use your weapon? What was the situation on the practice range? Were you a pretty good shot?Not applicable to me. My Dad, however, was and still is an expert marksman recognized in the army for being such with a variety of awards and citations.
I, however, am blind as a bat. Well, almost...
Where did you go through basic training? Were you with any of your hometown buddies? How tough was it? Which part did you excel in, in which part did you lag behind? Who was the officer in charge?Not applicable.
Describe your barracks - from basic training on up. Who were your bunk mates? Were you close with any of them?Not applicable.
Was military food as bad as it's rumored to be, or was it okay? What were some of your typical meals?Not applicable.
Were you married to a serviceman or servicewoman or did you have a sweetheart in the service? In what year did this person serve and where?Not applicable.
Where were you when he or she received their orders? How did he or she break the news to you? How did you react outwardly? Inwardly? Was separation like that a common occurrence for your friends during the war years?Not applicable.
Did you stay near a stateside base? Who were your friends when your mate was in the service? Where did you live? Did you go back and stay with your parents? Did you keep up the household by yourself?Not applicable.
Did you work? What jobs did you do? Were many of the people in the workplace women with men overseas?Not applicable.
Were your brothers or sisters in the service? Was your father a military man?No. My single sibling, my younger sister Jennifer, has never been in the service.
My earthly father, however, is a military man. He started working for Ford Motor Company in 1953. Several years later, late in the Eisenhower administration, a national recession set in and Ford Motor Company started laying workers off.
My Dad didn't have enough seniority accumulated yet, and so they told him he was in line to get laid off soon. By joining the military, he could, under union rules, make money, and not lose seniority, if I understand correctly. And so he went in to the military, made money, served his country, and returned to work with Ford Motor Company after his 2-year hitch because the economy was good again.
Were your children born at the time? Were they old enough to miss their daddy or mommy?Not applicable.
How often did you write or did you e-mail? Can you remember what those messages said?Not applicable.
When did you usually listen to the news? On the radio? On television? Which network did you watch for news? Which site on the Internet?Not applicable because I have never served in the military. I, however, generally get most of my news over the Internet. About the only time I ever turn on TV is to watch a sporting event. When I do look at news, I tend to gravitate towards Fox. I like the Drudgereport.com for my major source of news. But there are many good ones out there.
Did you ever do any volunteer work for the war effort? Did you roll bandages for the Red Cross?Not applicable.
When did you hear that your sweetheart was coming home? Where were you when you got the news? Who told you? How long was it between hearing the news and when he or she got home?Not applicable.
What was your favorite radio or television show growing up?Never had a favorite radio show. When I was really young, I loved all of the cartoons, and particularly Bugs Bunny types of cartoons.
After that, I loved all of the Super Hero types of cartoons, like Speed Racer, Superman, Badman, the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, and the fun silly shows like The Jetsons, Scooby Doo, etc.
As I became a young man in my teens, my interests turned totally towards watching sports shows on TV. However, in my later teen years, I became increasingly interested in "peeking" in on TV evangelists, and my favorite of those was Kenneth Copeland. :)
Did you ever go to see your favorite performers in concert when you were young? Who were they?I don't recall going to many concerts while growing up. I was never in to rock bands or anything like that that much and yet, on the other hand, I was not yet in to Christian bands greatly yet either (due to my real conversion not happening until age 19).
What radio stations do you listen to now? What talk radio shows do you like? Have you ever called a talk-radio host and had your voice go on the air?I generally don't listen to the radio. However, I have called in to radio shows before and have had my voice go over the air, generally on Christian-oriented stations.
What television programs do you watch now? What are the shows that you really enjoyed through the years?I don't watch much TV and about the only time I turn it on is to watch one of my favorite Detroit, Chicago or Utah area teams play for which I especially root hard.
Have your tastes in entertainment been fairly mainstream, or have you gone for more unusual music or cinema? Do you like jazz or foreign films? Do you go to poetry readings?My tastes in entertainment are fairly mainstream as far as sports go, but probably not as mainstream in terms of preferring Christian music over all other genres. Jazz and foreign films are ok. I don't attend poetry readings.
What kinds of artistic outlets have your undertaken in your life? Poetry writing? Photography? Painting? Piano playing? Ballet?I have always been a lousy drawer, painter, anything to do with the physical arts, I've been lousy at always. Poetry writing I am especially good at but don't spend much time doing it, except on very rare and special occasions.
I got my only C in high school taking a photography class! Aarrgh...
I was always an exceptionally good cornet player and was almost always first chair (top player) all throughout school while I played. My family has always been exceptionally musically inclined and I am no different. I hope to make time in the future to learn to play piano and guitar. I am sure that I will be exceptionally good at them just as my parents already are.
If you could be anything having to do with the cultural arts or entertainment, what would you have done? Have you ever appeared in theater or in a civic organization's show?Not that this is important to me, but if you were going to put me on TV, I'd be put on TV as an evangelist preaching the gospel.
I have always been an exceptional actor and I don't think, I know, I could have easily have made a living doing it. Maybe even at the "big-time" level. I have been chosen to be in many plays and theater acts for both school and church throughout my life, almost always in the male lead role or a leading role.
What is your preference in music? Do you follow current music or do you prefer the old? Do you like music on in the house or silence? What are your most favorite songs? Make the list as long or as short as you would like!I prefer all forms of Christian music. I like both the current and the old. I love Christian music on in the house but sometimes I prefer silence.
I have way too many songs that I like to list even a handful of favorites. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Christian songs that I love because there are so many good to great artists and good to great songs!
Look at my Facebook account, I have a lot of Christian music videos that I like posted there.
When did you get your first television? Was it bought so your family could view a special show or event? What room did you put it in? How much did it cost? Was your family one of the first in your neighborhood to have a TV?Well, my parents already had a big TV before I was born. My parents bought it new but they don't remember what it cost, maybe $300 or $400, which was a lot of money back in those days.
Not everybody had a TV, but we weren't THE first in the neighborhood to have a TV. A lot of folks had TVs even back then...
Have you bought any new home entertainment gadgets lately? Do you own a VCR? A CD and / or DVD player? iPod? Tivo?Not really. VCR, yes, even though I seldom use it. CD/DVD yes. iPod no. Tivo, I've never used. As I said, I don't want much TV. Too busy with real life and good books. ;)
What was your first real job? Did you start out in an after-school job that had any relation to what you ended up doing?My first real jobs included caddying on golf courses as well as doing paper routes in my and nearby neighborhoods. Since I've been a teenager, I've always worked and made my money the old fashioned way, by earning it.
Describe your career.As soon as I hit Northwestern University as a freshman, I worked. And worked. And worked. As many as 3 part-time jobs at times, despite taking full and sometimes overfull class loads. And that's because, while my parents were substantially helping me get thru some very expensive universities, I had to also help them help me and help myself.
I had always been an exceptional salesperson of anything growing up. My Aunts and Uncles used to literally bring their kids over to MY house with their baseball booster candy and girl scout cookies and stuff because they knew that nobody sold that stuff out faster than me. I was always able to memorize a pitch even at an early age and I guess my neighbors oftentimes found it adorable for this "absolutely sincere as much as the day is long" little kid standing there on their porch putting out a sales spiel absolutely perfectly, complete with asking for the order, and absolutely expecting to get it, too. I remember once I sold 13 boxes of baseball booster candy after knocking on only 11 doors in my neighborhood. And not everybody was home...
So, getting back to Northwestern University, it was natural for me to gravitate towards telemarketing jobs. Even though I had never done a telemarketing job before (I had always previously sold face to face). My first telemarketing job was selling dinner memberships for the Clarion Hotel in Evanston, Illinois, where Northwestern University is located. Clarion hotel is still there the last time I checked. Fortunately, I had a very patient telemarketing manager who saw a lot of potential in me and he taught me a lot of good basics and fundamentals to help me become very successful in my very first telemarketing job. That was the first of many telemarketing jobs in my "going thru college" career that culminated in me telemarketing for a State Farm agent my junior and senior years in college.
Then I graduated. And I wanted to get a job close to home because I was still very dedicated to my local church, Faith Apostolic Church of Troy. A lady who went to my church worked as a secretary for two Equitable Life agents. She told me they were looking for an appointment setter. So I called her boss and set up an interview and got that job.
Within a few weeks, I was hired as an Equitable Life Agent at that office right about the time I was turning 22 years of age. Although I was only with them for about 18 months, I had an outstandingly explosively successful career with them. So much so that they offered me only the second Corporate contract that this 3rd largest Equitable Life Agency in the world had offered offered to an agent (the first and only Agent that had received that offer was twice my age, with an MBA, and making millions of dollars per year in commissions). I turned down their offer because I really wanted to be a stock broker with Prudential-Bache Securities.
The first thing that Prudential hired me to do was to oversee and teach 50 stockbrokers of one of their entire branches about HOW to UNDERSTAND and how to SELL life insurance. And when I look back on all this many years later, it really is amazing to consider how impressive all of this is. Especially considering that I was only 23 years of age. And they had me teaching Jewish stock brokers (it was a predominantly Jewish stockbroker branch in heavily Jewish Southfield, Michigan) in their 50, 60s and 70s making millions of dollars per year how to sell life insurance. They surely must have thought I was something special..
I did that for about 6 months but my real desire was to BECOME one of those stock brokers. I wanted to be a stock broker much more than I wanted to be a life insurance agent. Stock broker sounded more impressive and glamorous to my young and still somewhat impressionable mind. After about 6 months, I persuaded them to let me come over to the stock brokers side. I had done a great job teaching the branch how to sell life insurance, so it worked out for everybody.
For awhile. But there was a problem. Wall Street greed, at least in my personal and private opinion. Prudential, as an insurance company, was used to conservative and consistently yielding investments. When they bought Bache, Halsey, Stuart and Shields, about the 4th largest stock brokerage firm in America at that time, I really don't think they completely understood what they were getting themselves in to at that time.
See, stock brokerage firms are BOOM or BUST entities. You're either in a stock bull market or a stock bear market and you're generally making money either hand over fist or you're going thru a terrible bear market and just desperately trying to minimize losses as much as possible. Feast or famine. Boom or bust. Up and down. Anything but a consistently yielding conservative investment.
Well, in my view, Prudential Insurance put too much pressure on Prudential-Bache to be something that a stock brokerage firm most decidedly is not, and that is a conservative and consistently yielding investment. And, as a result, they put out a lot of products at that time that might have been of questionable value and questionable wisdom.
This all culminated in a SCANDALOUS cover story of our firm featuring a full page cover picture of our CEO at the time, George Ball, in Business Week.
I left in disgust and with a perfect and unblemished record and decided that I would start my own brokerage firm, supervising myself at first, and work out of my home. I knew that I might not make as much money as working for the big firm, but making money has never been my prime objective. Rather, doing good and doing right has always been my prime objective. I know if you do that God will take care of you both in the short term and the long term, and, in the long term, in an especially big way.
Well, back at that time, almost nobody was working out of their home yet, and certainly almost nobody in the stock brokerage business. That venture didn't go very well, to say the least. But that was ok by me, because it was motivated by getting away from evil, and moving in a godly direction. I knew whatever lemons I encountered, God would turn it into lemonade. :)
And He did, as always. See, while I was still a stockbroker, my Aunt Mae, Essie Stamper, my mother's elder sister, introduced me to Herbalife, first as a customer and later as a distributor. I never took it seriously at the time, and only signed up one person, and quickly forgot about it.
But in the wake of my own securities office not working out, I was in the market for looking for something different, something that fit the "working from home" model better than stock brokerage did in the mind of the public at that time. And thus I turned back to MLM, this time with serious interest and intent. Like all things in which I am seriously interested, I poured myself in to learning as much about MLM as I possibly could and soon got myself in touch with great mentors.
One of those mentors taught me the Christian business man principles espoused by the now late but still great Jim Rohn! Jim Rohn's pithy and folksy wisdom now flavors and colors much of the teaching and training that I provide my organizations still today. After several years of frustrating "failure" but rapid learning growth at the school of Hard Knocks, in February of 1995 I went full time, finally, in the network marketing industry. Of course, I wasn't full-income yet, but, by 1996, I was also full-income. And here we are 14+ years later, and, thanks to all of the great moral and business mentors I've had in my life, I'm recognized as one of the top networkers in the world and am now CEO of my own MLM company as outlined at
Has anyone helped you up the ladder, even with the first job? Was it easy for you to ask for or accept this help?Sure, because I was such a good appointment setter, lots of the agents at Equitable Life, even though far more experienced at closing the appointments than I was initially, wanted to do joint work with me.
I'd set the appointments, and then we'd all go out together and they'd make the presentation and I'd be quiet and watch and learned. And I learned very fast...
It was VERY easy for me to ask for and accept this help. First, I was doing my part by setting the appointed, and I have always been an extremely teachable person by the right, competent parties.
Are you union or management?While I grew up in a union family, with my Dad belonging to the United Auto Workers at Ford Motor Company, I am definitely management today.
But I am sympathetic and understand the needs of the "blue collar" family because I grew up in one and a union environment helped supply all of my basic needs and many of my wants while growing up!
What career would you have chosen If you didn't have to think about money or education (just assuming both were taken care of)?Two fields that have always held my interest have been Writing and Preaching. Well, I've been doing a lot of both from the very beginning of my career, and both seem to be increasing all of the time, such as the writing of this autobiography, for example.
What got you the most upset at work?Dishonesty and not doing the right thing.
Did you get along with your co-workers and bosses? Did you sense anger and frustration at your work place? Was there a feeling of teamwork?Generally speaking, yes. I did sense frustration amongst many of the brokers about the problems and the bad publicity that was hitting Prudential-Bache in the latter stages of the 3 years I spent working there. There was generally a feeling of teamwork, as much as you can expect from competitive life insurance agents and stock brokers. But nothing like the feeling of teamwork that you find in direct sales networking marketing!
Were you ever the boss? Would you have wanted to be? Did you ever run your own business? How did it start?Yes, as I indicated before, I supervised 50 stockbrokers with regards to the selling of life insurance for an entire branch of Prudential-Bache Securities, at the time, about the 4th largest stock brokerage firm in the country.
And, of course, as a top MLM leader, I've been "the boss" of my distributorship groups for nearly two decades now. Plus, along the way, I've owned my own software company with thousands of affiliates and customers in 40+ countries around the world, as well as my own leads, tools, training and MLM consultancy company.
My software company, which 90% catered to MLMers, started out of my own MLM distributorship activities.
What was a "power lunch" in your day? What kind of meal was it - three martinis or the blue-plate special?Sure, there's always been "power lunches," but I don't recall that it was universally considered a particular type of meal or ordering specification.
Were you friendly with your coworkers? Is there one you particularly remember?Yes, generally speaking. And no, there was no one in particular that comes to mind...
Gallup Organization Questions on Leadership
Let's identify some early role models of yours. How would you describe the parenting style of your mother (father)?My mother is a Leo, and, although I don't put much stock in astrology, she is a rather typical Leo. Dominant to the max. Mother Lester cares for her own fiercely but, bottom line, she's the boss and you'd better not cross her. She can be your best friend or your worst enemy and it's all your choice. :)
My earthly father is a Cancer, and, although I don't put much stock in astrology, he is a rather typical Cancer. Sentimental to the max. Dad Lester cares for his own fiercely but, bottom line, he has a hard time saying it. So what does he do? He shows it. Seldom will you find a man in human history that has shown his family more by his deeds that he loves his family than what Dad Lester has done throughout his life, not only with his own family, but with the family of which he was eldest son of 11 children.
I have the personality characteristics of both of my parents mixed in to me. Great network marketers are dominant people that combine patience with their dominance. I get my dominance primarily from my mother. I get my patience primarily from my earthly father. Again, the combination makes for a natural leader and a natural network marketer.
While growing up, who did you consider your role model in terms of your family? What impact did your role model have on your development?Both of my parents were my role models in their different ways as described in my previous answer to the previous question.
My parents good role modeling examples have meant everything to me in terms of my development. Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, and His influence on my life, I owe almost all the rest to them.
While growing up, who did you consider your role model in terms of individuals outside your family? What impact did your role model have on your development?I've mentioned the influence that the Christian business man philospher Jim Rohn has had upon me. The impact has been, understanding that Christian business principles work in doing good business, I've done nothing but good business all of my life! :)
Think back during high school or before and describe someone who had a profoundly positive impact on your development? What did that person do? Who was that person?My mother and my grandfather for planting the seeds of the gospel of Jesus Christ within me. And also high school physics teacher Tom Woodside who watered these seeds at a particularly poignant and needful time in my life, even though the sprouts didn't spring up until about 18 months later at my age of 19.
Think back to your first job and describe the type of leader your first supervisor was to you. What did you like best about that person? Least?Well, what do you mean by my "first job?" It'd be hard for me to pin down what was my "first" job unless you gave me a more stringent definition of what qualifies. If you're talking about my first job out of college, that's easy. It was Equitable Life and my direct supervisor was Thomas Allam, a former school teacher turned life insurance agent. Thom was a pretty mellow and easy going kind of guy most of the time, and he taught me a few things about sales and marketing that still stick with me until this day.
What did I like best about Thomas Allam? What I liked best about him was that he took a chance on a 21 year old kid who had no full time professional sales track record of any kind. What I liked least about him was that he suffered from what most men in business suffer from so terribly, and that is the propensity to tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than passionately telling you what they are convinced that you need to hear. I prefer the latter from any true leader.
How would you describe your mother (or guardian) as your leader?See # 1 above.
How would you describe your father (or guardian) as your leader?See # 1 above.
Who has had the most profound impact on shaping your values and moral perspective prior to leaving home? What did he or she do to shape your values and moral perspective?Unquestionably my mother, more than any one else. While my father also had a profound impact on my moral values by his good examples, my mother combined not only good examples herself with practically and comprehensive teaching regarding moral values.
Her, my father and my grandfather all instilled in me the values and moral perspective within me to overcome this world. Because those values and moral perspective lead me to the Savior, and He made all the difference. :)
Where does your philosophy of life stem from in terms of the people who have had the greatest impact on it? What is your life philosophy?Ecclesiastes 12:13
¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Romance and Relationships
Do you remember your first kiss?Absolutely! My first *real* kiss was with a girl I was dating from the first church that I joined of my own free adult will. I was 19 and her name was Lisa. She kissed me because I was too shy to kiss her. It was wonderful and we didn't stop very much for a long time, that night or many nights thereafter. She is now very happily married to a good man. He got a good kisser. :)
I have always enjoyed kissing women, I must admit. But I have, with only one exception, always only kissed church girls. There was one Jewish girl on a cruise that took me back to her cabin, and, while we were making out, suddenly thrust her hands down my pants! After putting a quick stop to that, I made a mental note to refrain from dating non-Christian girls any more. The Spirit-filled girls are frisky enough...
What kind of dating did you do in high school? What is your favorite kind of date - even now?I really didn't date in high school. I was absolutely consumed with my studies, my participation on the high school debate team which I led to heights that my school had never been to before or since, as well as getting prepared to go to college at Northwestern University at Evanston and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
My favorite kind of date? Well, I like to go and/or do something that is uplifting to our Spirits. It could be watching a spiritual movie at home, could be going to a church service together, it could be a lot of things. My favorite kind of date is just being with someone who is totally sold out for Jesus and that's increasingly hard to find these days.
Were you always attracted to the same type of person? Did you like the strong, silent type, the bouncy blonde?I am very picky in 3 areas, in this order of importance.
1) Spirituality. They must be completely sold out to Jesus Christ and be absolutely in love with Him and I must be able to see evidence of true discipleship, which means consistent prayer and increasing knowledge of His Word.
2) Intelligence. I could never be happy with a person that didn't hold my interest to some degree or another. I scored a perfect 800 on the quant portion of my GRE and am a card carry member of MENSA, the high IQ society, and I actually qualify for 2 or 3 high IQ societies above MENSA. So my needs in this area are demanding.
3) Physical attraction. The most physically beautiful woman in the world can only hold my partial attention for a very, very short time if she isn't abundantly blessed with # 1 and # 2 above. However, like most men, I do like rounded hips and swelling breasts. I greatly appreciate the female form and am glad that God made so many women so very beautiful.
I like women with sweet and quiet spirits, as the Scriptures say is becoming of women professing godliness.
Who was your first love? Did you think it was going to last? Who broke whose heart?I think my first love was Annabelle Santiago in 2nd grade. She and her family were from the Philippines. I used to dream, literally dream at night while I was asleep, of marrying her. I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world. She sat behind me in my 2nd grade class. I told her that I loved her. She thought it was sweet. I can't recall whether she told me that she loved me back or not. She broke my heart when she and her family moved away! I haven't seen her since 2nd grade and have oftentimes wondered what ever became of her?
Do you believe you can be in love more than once?Yes.
Did you know when you very first met your mate that this would be your life's partner? Did he/she know it?I am not married yet and so I don't know, for sure, whether I've met my future mate yet or not.
Describe your wedding, your outfit, your spouse's, your Mom's, your Dad's, the bridal party, the church or hall, the reception, the food. If more than one wedding - tell all!Not applicable yet.
Was there anything unusual in your wedding vows? Were your knees knocking? Who performed the ceremony?Not applicable yet.
What do/did you like best about your mate? (A physical attribute, his/her being, his/her laughter, his/her smile, his/her mind.) What term of endearment do/did you call your mate?Not applicable yet.
What were the hardest times of your relationship? Was there ever a time that you thought it might really be over?Not applicable. I don't anticipate getting divorced. There has not been a divorce on either side of my family in terms of my parents or my grandparents and so I expect this trend to continue with me and my spouse.
Short of adultery, I will marry for life.
As a woman, do you remember telling your mate that you were pregnant? As a man, what did you think when she told you she was pregnant? Was it a surprise, or a long-planned for event? Do you remember telling your parents?Not applicable, at least not as of yet.
Question for the women: What did your maternity clothes look like? Did you share with your friends? Did you suffer from morning sickness or have other problems?Not applicable.
What are the names and birthdates of your children? What are the names and birthdates of your grandchildren and their parents? Name some of their idiosyncrasies.Not applicable.
Why did you name your children what you named them?Not applicable.
Which hospital did you deliver in? Do you remember the ride there?Not applicable.
How much weight did you gain each time? Was it difficult getting back in shape?Not applicable.
Were you afraid to become a parent? Why, or why not?I am not afraid to become a parent. It's an enormous responsibility, but I know that I will be spiritually prepared to bear this responsibility when the time comes.
I have actually been "parenting" adults and alleged "adults" all of my life, however, in my various sales and business organizations. As well as the lay ministry work that I have done all of my life with myriads of people.
Whom did you call first to say "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"? Can you remember what you said or thought when the doctor or nurse first handed you your baby? Can you remember what your mate said?Not applicable.
Did you send birth announcements when your babies were born? Did you have help in the house? A nurse or nanny? Did you have a separate nursery all fixed up? How was it papered and painted? What did the crib look like?Not applicable.
What were some of the greatest joys of being a new parent? What were some of the greatest difficulties?Not applicable.
What is your favorite candy bar? Where do you usually buy it? Grocery? Drug store? Gas station? Airport?I don't eat candy bars very often, but when I do, I prefer SNICKERS, because they are probably the best and healthiest of all of the candy bars. They have nuts in them, lots of protein, lots of good stuff.
I buy them at convenience stores typically when on the run. But this only very, very rarely ever happens.
Since I've been a child, I have never eaten hardly any candy at all. My mom would buy me chocolates and they would simply gather dust.
I seem to have been born with an unearthly amount of discipline and self-control. The only thing that riles me up, and rightfully so, is unrighteousness.
What is your favorite birthday cake? Do you buy it in a store or does some you love bake it? What ice cream do you like? Do you get it at an ice cream parlor or in the freezer section of a store?I don't have a favorite type of birthday cake. I really don't have a favorite kind of cake, period, because, like candies, I almost never eat any kind of a pastry. Although I will eat a birthday cake on my birthday because, well, that's a special occasion, and I'll break general eating rules for special occasions.
I don't oftentimes eat ice cream, but I like egg nog flavored ice cream the best, then probably banana flavored ice cream, then strawberry, vanilla, etc. When I get ice cream, it's usually at a restaurant or ice cream parlor, and seldom in the freezer section of a store.
What's your favorite dessert? Can you prepare it yourself?Probably cheesecake, especially a strawberry oriented cheesecake. Prepare food? Me? You're joking, right?...
Where is your favorite beach? How far did you have to drive or bicycle to get there?Probably the beach at La Jolla, California. I've seen the most beautiful sunsets of my life over the Pacific Ocean there. :)
What is your favorite cartoon character or comic strip? Which comics do you remember reading when you were growing up?Oh, I loved (and still do) all of the Super Hero types of comics. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, you get the idea. I also read the Archie comic books and many others. But my favorites, by far, were the Super Hero types of comics.
Even today, I have to watch all of the Super Hero type movies that come out. Every single one of them, just about, although I haven't seen Iron Man. I don't recall reading Iron Man comics that much (although I did read them at least a little). But I'll probably eventually see the Iron Man movies on a cable TV rerun or something at some point in the future.
I love the X-Men movies. :)
But I never really read their comic books. If I had it to do all over again, after watching the movie series, I'd read the comic books.
What is your favorite perfume or cologne? What fragrance gives you the nicest childhood memories and which one gives you the best adult memories?Probably Polo. All the gals loved it in the 80s and I'm sure some still do...
....but I'm not in to colognes enough to have them triggering memories for me.
Name your favorite books.Scripture.
What is your favorite rock group?I don't really like rock groups, unless it is a Christian band, and then I'll listen somewhat.
CEO of PHI
What are your all-time favorite movies?I like movies with a Scriptural or a noble theme in them, and there are so many that fall in to that category, whether it's Heston playing Moses or Second Hand Lions or whatever. I love 'em all if that's what they're about, Scriptural and/or noble themes.
What's your favorite beverage?Gotta be egg nog!
What do you prefer for breakfast on a weekend as opposed to during the week?There's no difference for me.
What are your favorite restaurants?Oh, I really don't have a favorite restaurant. When I'm eating meat, I like to get the Wendy's triples. Those are good.
I like Chinese restaurants, Mexican restaurants, I like food PERIOD, so let's just say I like 'em all!
I've almost never met a food I didn't like. :)
What recipe are you famous for? Did anyone ever insult you regarding your cooking skills? What dish you usually bring to a pot luck or picnic?What's a recipe? What cooking skills? Me, bring a dish? I'll buy a dish...and bring it!
When were you first introduced to coffee? How do you take your coffee? Do you have a favorite mug?I have never liked coffee. I have quite enough energy already, thank you very much.
My favorite mugs are my two (2) HUGE University of Michigan GO BLUE mugs!
What is your favorite Campbell's soup?Easy. Tomato.
Do you follow any nutritional "rules" such as strictly vegetarian, kosher, organic, etc.?I have been vegetarian most of my adult life, and I have, from time to time, been fairly close to being vegan.
When I want to lose weight I usually go on a strict meat-oriented low carg program.
Have you ever had breakfast in bed?Of course. Many times. Including in hotels/motels, of course...
Have you ever been on a successful diet? If so, how many pounds did you lose?Sure. I've lost up to 60 lbs in 60 days before, but that combined improved diet with intense exercise, of course.
What's the water like in your town? Is it drinkable? Do you drink bottled water by choice?It's fine. I do drink bottled water occasionally.
What personal staples are always and always in your kitchen or refrigerator?Lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheese, eggs, etc.
When I am on a low carb regimen looking to lose weight/body fat, then you'll usually find meat in there as well.
Moments From Your Adult Life
Did you and your mate often go dancing? Where? What music did you dance to? Did you and your mate have "our song"? Which dances were popular?Not applicable.
When you and your friends got together, what did you do? Whose home did you go to most often? Did your children become friends with your friends' children? How did you meet the friends you are most comfortable with now?At home, most of the time, we got together to play sports together. At school, at least in high school, we got together to work on our high school debate team goals.
To play sports, we probably went over to Robert Rasico's house the most, because he had a nice basketball hoop attached to his parent's standalone garage.
The way I meet the friends I am most comfortable with now are thru church and thru business, primarily.
What kind of movies do you find yourself drawn to....adventure, epic, violent, comedy? Do you go to movies now as much as you used to? Why or why not?I mainly like science fiction, action and super hero types of movies. But I can enjoy almost any movie. I especially like movies with Noble Themes. Like Secondhand Lions, for example. I probably go to movies more now than ever before. Why? Probably related to the leadership development process related to my role as CEO of Pure Hearts International and the socialization process and relationship building process that goes hand in hand with that role.
What books do you like to read? Novels, biographies, romance, science fiction? Do you have a specific part of the house for books? What is the last book you read? Why did you choose that one? Where were you sitting when you read it?I primarily read books having to do with theological themes. That's been my predominate reading interest since the age of 19. Scriptures, primarily, and rarely, a non-Scriptural book whose author I rarely respect enough to consider apart from the Scriptures themselves.
I have a couple of large book cases in my room where I keep all of my books.
The last book that I read was the Holy Bible because I'm constantly reading portions of it all of the time.
Why did I choose the Holy Bible? This answer should suffice:
2 Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
I read the Bible everywhere because I read it frequently.
Are you friendly with your neighbors? Do you sit down for an evening together on the porch or patio or are you merely cordial with them, nodding acquaintances? Have you ever had a neighbor whom you've loved and lost? Were you close to a family that later moved away?Sure. Always have been. With my current neighbors, Chris and Ray, sure, on several occasions, I've spent substantial portions of an evening with them, usually watching a sporting event together. I wouldn't go so far as to say, however, that I've had a neighbor whom I've loved and lost. We were reasonably close to families like The Kemps that moved away. We're still in touch with them to this very hour via Facebook, though we had largely lost contact with them prior to Facebook.
Are you a member of any club or social group? Have you ever spent time doing charitable work? If so, why was the charity important to you?I'm a member of my church. I'm a member of MENSA, the high IQ society. Yes, I've done unpaid lay minister charitable work all of my life. Simply because the Gospel and souls, like my grandfather before me, are important to me.
Is there anything you need that you don't have?World peace during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. New Jerusalem which comes thereafter.
Do you take a little respite for yourself everyday? For example, a drink before dinner, a walk before dark, or a quiet moment in a spot where you're all alone to collect your thoughts?I am a certifiable workaholic. I suppose if there is anything that I am addicted to, and always have been, and always will be, it is work. And the never ending desire to be productive. But, as Pure Hearts Apostle Julia Pace once said, if there is such a thing as a good addiction, being addicted to work has to be it.
Even my vacations thru life, which have been many, have usually been work related. But I enjoy my work so much that I tell people, because it's true, that I am always working and always vacationing at the same time. As if I am a retired person in complete control of my own time but with a couple of "hobbies" over which I am extremely passionate (spirituality, business, etc).
My "breaks" including daily prayer and Scripture reading. You can listen in to that, including me praying and reading Scripture, on our Monday thru Friday Pure Hearts International "Pure Prayer Power Hour" at 10 am EST (adjust for your time zone) at 712-432-0075 pin code 850672#.
My breaks also include frequent workouts. I greatly enjoy exercising, particularly the lifting of weights. I also enjoy playing virtually all competitive sports. And I like to watch many competitive sports on TV. Sporting events is about the only way that I'll turn on the TV. I get almost all of my news feeds over the Internet.
Yes, I oftentimes make myself alone to better collect my thoughts, but that is rather easy for me to accomplish. I almost always do my best thinking alone.
How do / did you exercise?I exercise primarily thru lifting weights. Always have.
What do / did you do for fun?I:
* lift weights
* play sports (basketball in particular)
* watch movies
* socialize with other people in a variety of ways
* play pool
* hike in the woods
* climb mountains
* play games (including board games)
* ride bikes
* play with pets
* help a disadvantaged person
* jigsaw puzzles
* crossword puzzles
* many more
Politics and History
Who was the best president of any country ever? Who was the worst president? Which president of the United States did you admire most? Did you ever meet a famous politician? What happened?By "President" I'll choose to interpret that as being "chief executive leader" generally speaking, whether that's a President, Prime Minister, King or whatever kind of Head you wish to identify.
That being said, Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, is the best Head ever. What a winner...
The worst Head ever is Lucifer, who the Scriptures describe as the "Prince of the Power of the Air." What a loser...
I admire George Washington the most because of his reputation for honest, his performance as a general, and for his refusal to become affiliated with any particular political party, preferring to be a statesman for the sake of the welfare for his whole country.
I attended a political event once where Presidents Ford, Bush (the Elder) and Ronald Reagan appeared. Not much happened other than some silly speeches. I've never been particularly impressed with politicians.
Do you have a strong political party alliance? Have you ever worked on a campaign? Have you ever worked at a polling place?Politics themselves hold little interest for me. Social policy as it relates to Scripture holds enormous interest for me. The only political party I ever recall registering for is the Constitution Party. I don't recall ever working seriously on a political campaign before although I have donated to politicians and political causes before. I don't believe I've ever worked at a polling place.
Which domestic problems are most important in your town today? In your country? In the world?In my town of Ephraim one of the pressing needs is for gainful employment. As Pure Hearts International expands, we'll help address that problem.
In our country, the three major problems, as I see it (currently) are:
* the murder of the innocent, defenseless unborn, nearly 50 million of them since Roe vs Wade
* the turning of our nation in to Sodom and Gomorrah West
* the systematic murder of God's Best Friend's (Abraham's) Muslim children simply for the sake of oil. This may not sound like a domestic problem at first glance, but it is. First off, rather than spending $2 trillion dollars on wars to kill God's Best Friend's children, we should be spending that $ 2 trillion to become energy independent. I really think that $ 2 trillion would probably do the job or at least make a serious dent in it. Second, ignorance of the Holy Bible is definitely a domestic problem, and anyone who thinks that it's wise policy to attack God's Best Friend's Muslim Children in light of Genesis Chapter 17 in general, and Genesis Chapter 17:20 in particular, needs to have their head examined. America's arms are too short to box with Mr. God.
In the world, the major problem is the increasing tendency to be worldly and rejecting God's word. Just like America.
What have been your causes over the years? What did you do about issues that bother you?My major cause has been, like my grandfather before me, has been the advancement of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The issue of sin BOTHERS me. What I do about it is to read Scripture and pray frequently so that I don't commit sin. And I witness to others and teach others about God and the Scriptures so that they are less likely to sin and thereby pollute the world that we share.
A subset issue for me has been the issue of innocent unborn child murder, also known as abortion. While it was still "legal," I used to participate in the blockade of baby murder mills.
Which campaign slogans stick in your mind? Why?Political slogans? Oh, lies like "read my lips..."
Have you ever gone against popular opinion or beliefs and, if so, has this caused any problems?My very existence goes against popular opinion and beliefs. Because my very existence is one committed to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and that most certainly goes against popular opinion and beliefs.
Does it cause any problems? Sure, sometimes on this earth, it causes some aggravations in the flesh, but, as they oftentimes say, regarding this "job," THE VACATION PLAN IS OUT OF THIS WORLD! :)
Have you seen racial injustice first hand? Have you ever been the target of prejudice?Not really, although I have no doubt that it exists. It just hasn't really been around me, at least not to the point where I noticed it.
As far as myself being the target of prejudice, sure, there are all kinds of prejudices great and small that I and many others suffer from all of the time. In my case, that includes prejudice against Christians in specific, prejudices against believers in God generally, as well as prejudices against highly intelligent people which is extremely prevalent.
Is there a government policy that you strongly disagree with? Did you ever demonstrate about it?Yes. Abortion. I have protested, in the past, at abortion clinics, and have had police officers drag me away.
Abortion is murder.
How do you feel about the United Nations?Abolish it. The only world leader to whom I will submit is Jesus Christ and He won't be ruling thru the United Nations.
Do you think the welfare system is run correctly?I think that it is generally run well in the USA. It is good that we have a safety net. I am all for freedom and liberty, but not to the point of social Darwinism, survival of the fittest and letting the weak, downtrodden and discouraged just die in the streets.
It probably should be better means tested so that welfare doesn't become a career option, but I believe it has largely already moved in that direction over the past 15 years or so. Right now, I think we have this part of the country set up about right.
Our financial woes are due more to disobedience to God's Word by the CHURCHES or so-called "churches" more than anything else. Welfare systems are strained when the family structure in America isn't functioning correctly, and the biggest reason for that is the fundamental misunderstanding of God's plans for the family by so-called "Christians."
In short, God's Word, which is Patriarchal, has been increasingly usurped in America by an ever encroaching "matriarchal" system which, at its very root, is designed to unthrone the father as earthly head of the family, and replace the father with financial, mental, emotional and spiritual dependence upon godless government. And it has already destroyed literally tens of millions of families in the United States of America, and this sin and heartbreak is what is weighing America down so greatly and what will ultimately cause her downfall and near destruction.
Now, who do you think thought up this plan? I can assure you that it was not the God of Scripture.
Some people prefer to describe the community in which they lived most of their years rather than where they are living now. What is the name of the community you would like to describe in the following series of questions? In what city, state and country is it located? What are the dates you lived there?Well, I'll describe the community in which I live now, Ephraim, Utah, USA, even though I've only lived here for 7+ months now (from May 2010 thru presently December 2010).
What were the big businesses? Did you know any of the community leaders? Did you become one?Walmart, Moroni Feed Farm, and not much more than that in terms of really big employers. Remember, there's only 25,000 people in this entire 1600+ square mile county! I really don't "know" any of the community leaders, although I have already met and shook the head of the Mayor of Ephraim. I may, God willing, become a community leader here in Ephraim in the future.
Were there major highways going through your town? What and how far is the next largest city? What is the nearest airport? How do people get to the airport in your town? Cab? Shuttle? Good friends?Yeah, I-89 goes right down Main Street and I-89 IS Main Street!
Manti is the next largest city about 7 miles south of us.
Ephraim has its own small airport. It averages about 4 to 5 departures/arrivals per day.
People get to the Ephraim Airport generally by driving to it.
Which public buildings do you use? The library? The municipal swimming pool? Town tennis courts? What is your local newspaper? Has you name ever been mentioned in one? Has your picture ever appeared?In Ephraim, I use basically the Post Office and sometimes I stop by City Hall for personal and business business.
I haven't used the library yet, although I have been inside of it. There isn't a municipal swimming pool to the best of my knowledge. If there are town tennis courts, I don't know where they are yet.
The local newspaper is called The Messenger. It's been around for 100+ years.
My name has never been mentioned in The Messenger, although I have been mentioned by name in other newspapers before.
My picture has never appeared in the Messenger, although my picture has appeared in other newspapers before.
Was there a heavily delineated rich side of town and poor side of town? Did they have specific names? Did you spend much time in either?If Ephraim has those types of class divisions, I'm not aware of them yet.
Do you use public transportation? Is it decent and fairly easy to use? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Where do you catch it?No.
Have you ever had any dealings with the local police or firefighters? Have you had friends or relatives on the force?Not really. No to friends or relatives on the force.
Is there a local parade every year? Annual festival? Tourist draws?Yes, there are lots of things like this. There's the Scandinavian Festival at the end of May. One Saturday morning a year at 8 am they rudely wake everybody up in town with like 100+ cop cars going down mainstream with their sirens and horns on continuous wide blaze to celebrate something to do with their support of disadvantaged kids of some kind. I thought we were under attack the first time it happened. Lots of tourist draws around although I won't go in to them now. Come on down to Ephraim, check it out, you'll love it down here! There's a reason why the state of Utah battles Hawaii every year for the # 1 spot of residents that love their state the most in the USA!
Which buildings come to mind when you think of your downtown? How would you describe your skyline?Skyline? What skyline? I'm not sure if there's even a 3-story building in all of Ephraim.
The buildings that come to mind include the post office, the city hall, the Malt Shop, and, um, that's about it, other than WalMart. :)
Where do you shop? What is the big department store in town? Do you prefer small boutiques? Is there a mall in your town? Is there a farmers' market nearby?I mostly shop at the Walmart one mile north of us. There's also a Kent's grocery store although I don't shop in there much. I do prefer smaller stores over larger stores, generally speaking, all things being equal.
There is a farmer's market of sorts in the summer. In the parking lot of the Subway's down the street, farmers set up shop there and sell produce rather cheaply.
Your House Now
Some people prefer to describe the home in which they lived most of their years rather than the home in which they are living now. What is the address of the home you would like to describe in the following series of questions? What are the dates you lived there?It's in Ephraim, Utah 84627 and I've lived there since May of 2010.
Why do you like your home? What do you dislike about your home? Do you have an attic? If so, what is in it?I like it because it's located right in downtown Ephraim within walking distance of pretty much everything I need.
I don't really dislike much of anything about my home. Yes, it has an attic, and there's lots of boxes and suitcases and other junk in it. Just like pretty much everybody else's attic...
What is the most comfortable room in your home? What is your favorite chair? Favorite place to read? Where do you usually sit to talk on the phone? Where do you usually do your computer work?From my perspective, probably my bedroom, because it has my bed in it, and I like my bed.
I don't like chairs much as so I really don't have a favorite chair.
My favorite place to read is lying on my bed.
I usually sit to talk on my phone either on my bed or at my desk on the first floor.
I usually do my computer work either on my bed or at my desk on the first floor.
Do you have the same furniture as when you were raising your children? Do you have the kitchen you want? How would you change it? Enough room for books? How would you change your current home if you decided not to move? What addition would you make to your house now if you could?First question is not applicable. Answer to second question is yes. Answer to third question is I wouldn't. Plenty of room for books and I have a lot of books here. If I decided to stay at my current home, I'd add on to it, no doubt. Probably more of pretty much everything. But it is 2100 square feet, rather comfortable for me indeed.
What type of trees grow on your property? Describe what your garden looks like each year and what is in it.I forget the name of them. They're a different kind of tree that grows in Michigan or Chicago, that's for sure. That's why I can't remember the name...
...I don't plant gardens. Never have...
What do you see from your kitchen window?The backyard with the occasional mule deer running thru it.
What is your decorating style now compared to the decorating style with which you were raised?Decorating style? What decorating style? You do realize that this is John Lester you're talking about, right?
Have you ever had a feud with your neighbors? What happened? Is it resolved?Not that I recall. I seem to have always lived very peaceably with my neighbors.
Tell us about your dream home. Where is it located? What does it look like? What is special about it?My dream home will be a larger version of what I have now elsewhere in Ephraim once I have time to look for it after we perfect the initial expansion of Pure Hearts International around the world.
What is special about it is the Presence of the Lord! :)
Any advice to your family about "homes"?None.
What have been your personal landmarks in your life? (e.g., restaurant in your neighborhood, gas station, museum, barn)I really don't use "landmarks" for much of anything.
What grocery store do you use? How much do you usually spend each trip?At the present time, I shop at a Walmart SuperCenter here in Ephraim, Utah, about one mile north of where I live.
I usually spend between $65 to $135 each time I shop for groceries.
Favorite drug store? Know your pharmacist by name? Favorite drycleaner? What's your favorite book store, hardware store, cookwares store?I don't really use drugs. WalMart I guess is my "drug" store. No, I do not know any of the pharmacists there. There are no dry cleaners in Ephraim whatsoever. You have to go all the way to Moroni, 15 miles away, to find a dry cleaner.
I have no idea how far the nearest book store is but it's probably quite a ways. Same thing for cookwares store. Maybe Walmart qualifies for both? There is a family owned hardware store about a block west of city hall.
Are there birds or squirrels in your yard? Raccoons or deer?Since I live in Sanpete county, home of the world's largest mountain valley completely surrounded 360 degrees by (large) mountains on every side, we have numerous American bald eagles around here. Sometimes bald eagles fly in to the trees in the park that is almost next door to where I live. They're rather majestic. When they "launch" and leave a tree, it's like a small 747 coming out of the tree. Quite a site to behold.
I haven't noticed squirrels although I'm sure there must be some around. Haven't seen any raccoons. I have seen a deer loping through our back yard last summer...
...and I have seen 500 sheep run down Main Street right past my front door, holding up traffic on the tremendously busy I-89 which runs thru Main Street here in downtown Ephraim's business district.
What time do you get up in the morning?Usually between 5:30 am and 7:30 am each day.
What part of housework do you dislike the most? Do you have a housekeeper or a handyman?I really don't do much in the way of housework. I have almost always had a hired housekeeper do most of that for me. I still do.
The next time you go to the grocery store, save the receipt and list the brand name and cost of some of the items you've purchased.Why? Where's the question here?
What's your daily routine?Varies.
Is there someone you talk with everyday?God and my mother, both almost every day.
Talk about getting older. Do you ever feel slowed by age? When did you start feeling this?Who's getting older? I'm only getting better, and faster with age, at least in the things that really count. When did I start feeling faster? Oh, it's like a great flowing swell, springing up in my soul, unto eternal life! :)
Are you usually late or early?First off, I try to keep appointments to a bare minimum. I like to spend most of my time at home and as appointment free as possible.
I am usually working on projects that require time and concentration to complete successfully.
Appointments are disruptive of that type of work flow.
However, when I do have appointments, I am generally early. I had a tendency when I was younger to sometimes be late, but I have corrected that tendency for the most part here later in life. And part of the reason for that success is the greater time control I have enjoyed as I have gotten older. Greater time control generally means fewer appointments and fewer appointments mean less opportunity to be late.
However, when I was younger, like in high school, where life was highly structured time wise, I did manage to get officially nominated in my senior class for one of the 3 finalists "to be late for their own funeral." Probably because I was constantly late for class. It's like I always had my own agenda and my own work flow even back then! Fortunately, one of the other two nominees won that "award." :)
I just flourish best without "structure." I am disciplined in a very undisciplined way. Like most inventors and creative geniuses, I have a tremendous need for exploration. Exploration, by its very nature, can't very well be structured.
Are you more comfortable speaking or writing? Do you enjoy talking on the phone more than writing letters?I am equally comfortable speaking and writing. I do both exceptionally well and always have.
I must enjoy talking on the phone more than I like writing letters because I'm constantly talking on the phone to somebody about something, whereas I seldom write letters.
Do you have any superstitions?Not really. At least none that I can think of at the moment. I don't read a daily horoscope, I think fortune cookies are fun but silly, and I believe that God has given us free will by which to shape our lives within the confines of His Greater Will.
Do you have certain days of the week you do certain chores?No. I don't do much in the way of chores. I usually hire that done or get someone around me to do it for me for free.
Do you eat your meals at the same time everyday? What do you most often eat?Not at all. I was raised on country style meat and potatoes kind of eating at the home of my mother. However, as an adult, the majority of my adult life I have been a vegetarian, with long stretches of time spent as a near vegan.
However, when I want to lose weight quickly, I tend to eat meat and go on low carb regimens.
My favorite "indulge" myself foods are egg nog, cheese and cheesecake!
I love food period!
Do you sing in the shower?Yes, on occasion. I tend to sing spiritual songs or Elvis songs, especially the more spiritual songs that Elvis sang, which are the songs with which I was raised!
Do you garden? Vegetable, flower, herbs?I enjoy garden produce, but I have never planted or really even tended a garden in my life.
What is the first thing you usually do when you come home from work?My work is at home and it never really stops.
I am constantly at work and I am constantly on vacation. All at the same time...
Do you play the lottery? Have you ever won?Religious Germans (I'm nearly half German) are not known for gambling much, if at all. I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life.
Have you ever been addicted to anything?Never.
Describe what you look like now. Have you been happy with the way you look? What did you look like as a teenager? As a young child? If you had to name a famous person whom you looked like, who would it be? Who would you most like to look like?See:
Yes, I've been happy with the way that I look. I looked much the same as a teenager, only younger. As a young child, ditto. If I'm going scalped, I look like a hard core marine. If I'm wearing hair long, I kind of look like a brown hair far more masculine and muscular version of David Cassiday from the Partridge Family TV show and band.
Have you ever considered plastic surgery? If so, did you end up doing it? If not, why not? In all truth, are you vain?Ask my wife, wink. :)
What would you change about your appearance? Do you wish you were taller or shorter?Nothing.
Do you remember getting your first suit and tie? Your first pair of nylons and heels?Not really. Second question doesn't apply...
What is your family look?Handsome and beautiful. It's in the genes...
Have you ever had any facial hair? Did you try different styles of mustaches and beards? What is the natural color of your hair?Oh yeah. Both my father and I grow beards like Grizzly Adams. Sure, I've tried different facial hair looks thru the years. The natural color of my hair is brown.
Is there something you remember particularly well that you wore in high school or college?Not really...although on tournament or conference competition day, we did look a little unusual, my fellow debate teammates and I, walking thru the high school decked out in our "ljunior attorney" suits and ties, etc. :)
What fashion trends have you seen come and go? Do you prefer traditional clothing or eccentric dress? Did you have long hair in the sixties?Lots. I prefer casual clothing, as casual as possible, and I wear work out clothes most of the time, and have worn them most of my life.
Where were you when your child told you that you were going to be a grandparent? What were your first words?Not applicable.
Who called you from the hospital to tell you your first grandchild was born? What time was it? Who was the first person you called?Not applicable.
What did you think the first time you held your grandchild?Not applicable.
Were you able to go over to the house much and help out with the new baby? Did you cook dinner for the new family for awhile or bathe the baby? Did you stay over or come and go in the mornings and evenings? When did your grandchild first say your name? Were you at your house or at the child's house? What do you grandchildren call you?Not applicable.
Did you ever make anything by hand for your grandchild? A needlepoint pillow? A wooden toy? A quilt?Not applicable.
Did you buy things for the baby often? Did you baby-sit often? What toys do/did you keep for the grandchild in your own home? Do you enjoy taking your grandchildren out for dinner? Were they monsters or angels?Not applicable.
Have you ever taken your grandchild on a trip with you? Were you satisfied with the way this trip turned out? Do you bring souvenirs to your grandchildren when you travel without them?Not applicable.
How would you discipline your grandchildren differently from the way their parents do? What do they do that drives you crazy? How will / would you have fixed that?Not applicable.
Do your grandchildren ever come to spend the night with you? How do you spend those evenings?Not applicable.
Do your grandchildren look like your own children did as babies? Is their temperament similar?Not applicable.
Travels and Leisure Time
What did you always like best about the weekends? Did you have a usual routine?Well, I've always like controlling my own time and my own schedule, and for far more than half of my life, I was never able to do that, and so what I liked best about weekends when I was younger is that it gave me a brief period of time where I had more control over my time.
I constantly combine usual routines with room for substantial variety and free style spur of the moment exploration opportunities.
What do you like about weekends now? What do you like least?I like weekends now for the same reason given in my answer to question # 1 above. Although now I have substantial control over most of my time, that control still increases somewhat further on the weekends, on average.
There's not a lot that I don't like about weekends...
To what cities in the United States have you traveled? Do you have a favorite vacation spot?I've been in almost all 48 of the continental states. I really don't have a favorite vacation spot. There's tons of places all across this country that are beautiful and fun vacation spots. And I've seen and experienced a whole lot of them...
To what foreign countries have you traveled? What cities? What were some of your favorite cities and why?Here's a few...
Puerto Rico (San Juan, and, well, it's a USA territory, but you know)
Mexico (including Cancun, Cozumel, etc)
Panama (Panama City)
United Kingdom (London)
Aruba (and I've been 11 miles off the coast of Venezuela)
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Trinidad and Tobago
PS I particularly enjoy the Caribbean as you can see from the list above.
Do you vacation with certain people or is every vacation different?Every vacation is different. Even the MLM cruises I've enjoyed, while they always seem to cruise the Caribbean, they have always seem to cruise different parts of the Caribbean. There's a lot out there in the Caribbean...
When your children were growing up was there a favorite spot? Tell about a typical family vacation or two.Not applicable.
Have you ever camped?All of my life...
Is sitting around a fire one of your favorite things?Not one of my very favorite things, but an enjoyable thing to do, especially if the company is good...
Have you always been glad to get home?Yes. As a person under the sign of Cancer, I am a real homebody. Working from home was made for me. ;)
Have you ever taken a trip alone? Did you like that?Yes, I have. And that can be and sometimes is cool...
What are you driving now? How many years have you had this vehicle?I haven't driven a car for nearly a decade now. First off, I fail my drivers license eye exams. Utah won't give me a drivers license simply because of my eyes.
And so I have had drivers for years now...they drive, I work. Life is far more productive that way...I have always hated driving with a passion, not only because of my eyes, but the enormous time waster that driving is.
When did you get your first car? Did you buy it yourself or did your parents help you?About the age of 18. I think I paid for it or it was a combination of both myself and my parents.
If you paid for your first car yourself, how did you earn the money? Were you in love with the car?Probably combination paper route, fuller brush earners, caddying earnings, short order Wendy's cooker earnings, etc.
No. I have very little attachment to earthly things.
What was your absolute most favorite vehicle purchase?I've bought 3 or 4 Town Cars in my time...so I must like Lincoln Town Cars...
How much did gas cost when you got your first car?I can't remember. $1 a gallon? something like that...
What color was your first bike? When did you get it? Who taught you to ride a bike?I have no idea. Probably about 5 or something like that. My earthly father and mother, of course.
Did you ever have a motorcycle?No.
Have you ever had a vanity plate? If so, what did it say? Why?No.
What is your dream car? Did you ever own one? If money were not an issue, would you still buy it?Cars have never really done much of anything for me particularly. I just view them as a method of getting from point A to point B. I think they're a lot more important to guys insecure about their own masculinity and competency.
Who taught you to drive? Did you learn on a stick shift?My earthly father. I originally learned how to drive using only automatics. But later, my earthly father taught me how to drive a stick.
Moods, Attitudes and Philosophies
Do you like rainy days? What do you do on them?Rainy days are cool. I stay in and work, read books, exercise, etc.
As an old dog, have you learned new tricks?I'm not an old dog, or a dog of any age, but I constantly learn new tricks...
What heroic attributes do you have? What not-so-heroic-at-all attitudes do you have?Honestly, I have heroic attributes coming out of my ears. I have what most psychologists would call a Savior or Messiah complex. I'm all about saving the world. But, to me, that's a Good Thing.
I can't think of too many not-so-heroic-at-all attitudes that I have, because I attack SIN with a passion.
Would you say you're a doer or a procrastinator?I would say that I plan my work, and then work my plan.
Would you say you're blessed? How so?Definitely. In every way...if I died tonight, I would go in perfect peace.
Did you ever follow instinct instead of logic or judgment?Certainly. But not often...
Have you been able to trust your instincts? What do your instincts tell you?Yes. Different things at different times. Like, when a pitch is high and tight, duck! Etc...
Are you afraid to cry?No. Not at all. Now, I don't cry often. But every now and then. I'm very sentimental. Noble themes in noble movies will have me misty eyed, if not downright crying, in a nanosecond. I don't think I've ever cried due to pain in my entire life, even though I've had my share of pain from sports related injuries, etc.
When I cry, it's almost always over sentimental reasons or for tears of joy. I don't recall ever crying due to pain and rarely, if ever, due to sadness.
It's not that I've never been sad. It's just that I have such tremendous faith in the Lord to fix the underlying circumstances that has caused the sadness. Or faith in the Lord to help myself or whoever is facing sad circumstances to successfully bear the burden.
Are you a pretty good fighter? Physically, with words, or something else?I'm an excellent fighter, not only physically, but with words as well. It's not wise being my opponent. Better to be my friend...
What makes you angry? How do you handle being deeply upset? What behavior can you simply not tolerate?Noble things bring me joy. Therefore, what makes me angry are the NOT noble things, the petty and the small things, people that wallow in petty and small things and petty and small thinking.
I handle being deeply upset in a variety of ways, always appropriate, and always Scripturally justified, even if the average human being ignorant of the Scriptures can't understand or appreciate the decisions or the behavior.
I simply can't tolerate sinful behavior.
Looking Back or 20/20 Hindsight
What were your favorite years? What were your favorite ages?Whatever years I'm experiencing at any particular time. All my ages have been my favorite ages. I follow this Scripture:
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
What are the important dates in your personal history?Geez, too many to list! But some of the basics include my birth date and my baptism date. Born and born again...
What do you think other people think of you? Do you think they see you the way you really are?People who get to know me for any period of time at all, always respect me, whether they will admit it or not. The ones that really get to know me come to love me rather quickly.
They see me the way I really am if they can see with the eyes of the Spirit.
What was the hardest thing that you ever had to do?The hardest thing that I've ever had to do is terminate employees, distributors and/or friendships. For me, the old song is true, "breaking up is hard to do." It kills me...almost.
What has been the angriest that you've ever been? What did you do about it?In 2009, when two of the sleaziest businessmen I've ever met screwed me and my people in a company I was # 1 distributor for worse than you could possibly ever imagine, shortly after helping them raise almost a million dollars. Paying evil for good. Had I gone along with them, I would have made even more money, but it would have been at the expense of our people, unfairly and dishonestly, and I would have no part of that, especially if it enriched me at their expense. I researched their legal backgrounds extensively at that point, found out that they were some of the worst white-collar "criminals" in the state of Utah, washed our hands of them immediately, and immediately began preparing to launch Pure Hearts International instead.
Sometimes if you're going to do a job right, you have to do it yourself...
How have you seen prices change over the years? Have you had a struggle being able to afford the things you want and need? Have you ever felt wealthy?Up. No. Yes.
What was the first funeral you attended? How did it affect you? What was the last one you went to? Are they getting easier or harder?I think it was my Uncle Ray's married to my Aunt Mattie. At least that's the first one that I really remember. It was hard. I didn't really understand fully what was happening back then at that young age. The last one was for the relative of a friend. They're always hard.
When do you first remember feeling like an adult? Did it come early or late in life?I've felt like an adult since about the age of 12.
What fads have you seen come and go? What do you like about how society has changed since you were a child? What don't you like about how society has changed?Too many to list. I don't like how society has changed since I was a child in any way, shape or form. Society has gotten progressively more sinful in America since I was a child. We've "added" "legalized" child murder, Sodom and Gomorrah like behavior, and the killing of God's Best Friend's Muslim Children for oil. We need to repent, be renewed and REVIVED! Nationally.
Do you have definite goals? Did you achieve them? Are you still working on them? Any new ones?Yes. Our goal is to make Pure Hearts International the largest and most successful direct sales network marketing company in history, while being the greatest for profit business in human history in terms of turning more souls directly and indirectly to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ than any other.
I have achieved all of the important goals of my life and I have no doubt that with the help of the Lord I'll achieve the above goals as well.
Who did you trust and / or respect most in your life?Apart from God, my parents.
Did you have any real vices / bad habits?Not really. Nothing serious, at least...
Would you prefer a burial, cremation, mausoleum, Viking funeral, or something else?A simple burial, please. I am abhorred by even the thought of cremation.
What do you want said about you at your eulogy?That he loved the Lord his God will all his soul, might and strength. And that he loved his neighbor as himself...
Write your obituary.John Lester believed wholeheartedly in following Scripture, including this verse from Ecclesiastes Chapter 12, verse 13:
¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Because of that belief, John Lester lived a life that fulfilled the Two Great Commandments of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as described in Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37 thru 39:
37...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
I am here to testify today that John Lester kept these two Great Commandments of Jesus Christ...
Do you feel that you put enough energy into parenting as you should have? Did you have energy left to take care of your parents in their later years?Neither question is applicable yet.
Is there anyone you envied in life? Why?No.
What big things do you regret? Was there a turn in the road you should have taken? What small things do you regret?Nothing.
Do you have a character trait that you'd like to give up? Are you selfish? Are you timid?No, no and no.
Do you have any fears or phobias? Have they changed during your lifetime? How much have they affected you?Only of sin...
What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?The day of my baptism. Probably the day that my mother's mother died, because she was my first grandparent to die. Her husband's death, years later, was hard too because he was my Pentecostal Preacher grandfather whom I loved and admired so much...
What are the most important lessons you've learned?That God is in complete control of everything in my life.
Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to particular family members or friends?Ecclesiastes 12:13
¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
How has your life been different than what you'd imagined?It's not been different than what I imagined at all. I've known since the age of 19 that I was going to be a servant of the Lord, by His grace, the rest of the days of my life, and that hasn't changed one iota.
How would you like to be remembered?As someone who loved God with all of his heart, soul, mind, strength and being. And as someone who loved his neighbor as himself.
What does your future hold?It's a glorious future. In my savior mentality, I'm not only going to life the standards of the direct sales/network marketing industry, but at a future point, I'm going to be the instrument that the Lord uses to save a remnant/portion of this very nation, during and immediately following His severe judgments.
Is there anything that you've never told someone but want to tell this person now?No. There's nothing that I won't tell anybody.
Is there something about someone that you've always wanted to know but have never asked?Yeah. My Dad. Whether he was a virgin when he married or not, like my Mom was. My guess is that he was.
Any secrets that you don't mind sharing now?No. But I really don't have any...
What do you like about yourself? What don't you like so much?Everything. Nothing.
Add Questions and Family Documents
What about people saying about your biography project?They're overwhelmingly supportive. Here's what Geoff Pace wrote when he heard:
"A GOOD solid start. Now...GO FOR IT !"
An Apostle of Pure Hearts International
Special Chapter on Personal or Family Medical History
The following questions about your medical history are not intended to pry or embarrass but rather to share what could prove to be important to family members who may seek a genetic or familial connection to a health issue or disease. Do not answer the questions if you feel uncomfortable but answers to these questions could be important to know for your family. Are you allergic to anything, especially medications?No. I'm only allergic to sin.
What surgeries have you had? Were there any complications with the anesthetic?See the section under "Appearance." Apart from that, I think the only other surgery that I have had was getting my tonsils and adenoids out at the age of 13.
What are the medications you are currently taking?None.
What type of reactions did you have with medications?None.
Have you ever had pneumonia, rheumatic fever, heart disease, heart murmur, polio, meningitis, kidney infection or disease, bladder disease, anemia, jaundice, hepatitis or live disease, gallbladder disease, epilepsy, seizures, migraine headaches, tuberculosis, cancer, high or low blood pressure, nervousness, diabetes, mitral valve protapse, thyroid dysfunction, asthma, lung disease, Rh sensitization, infertility, DES exposure, eye disease, impaired eyesight, ear disease, impaired hearing, any trouble with nose, sinuses, mouth or throat, any head injury, fainting spells, convulsions, frequent or severe headaches, skin disease, chronic or frequent cough, chest pain, spitting up blood, night sweats, shortness of breath, swelling of hands, feet or ankles, varicose vain (phlebitis), indigestion, stomach trouble, ulcer, rectal bleeding, loss or urine with cough or sneeze, recreational drug use (what kind?), alcoholism, used cigarettes (for how long and how many per day?), or transfusions?Only impaired eyesight and hearing. The impaired hearing came from my mother waiting too long to have my tonsils and adenoids out. The far too frequent ear, nose and throat infections that I would get damaged my hearing somewhat, especially in my right ear.
Has any relative had cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart trouble, high blood pressure, stroke, epilepsy, mental illness or kidney trouble - or any other medical issue listed below?My maternal grandmother died after a series of strokes. My maternal grandfather died of an enlarged heart that he left untreated. My paternal grandfather died of emphysema and black lung from too many years working in coal mines. And my paternal grandmother died of cancer.
I've had other relatives die of cancer and various forms of heart disease, stroke, etc.
Did you ever have any house quarantines during your childhood?No.
List your hospitalizations.Nothing significant or serious.
Have you ever had organ replacements or artificial medical parts replacement (e.g., dialysis, stents, pacemakers, joints, etc.)?No.
Special Chapter on Religion and Spirituality
What religion, if any, were you taught as a child? What religion/s did your parents follow? Which parent influenced you the most?Pentecostal. Pentecostal. Mother.
Name some people who helped shape your religious or spiritual beliefs and/or practices such as family members, religious leaders, writers, or friends. Who were some influential religous leaders in your time?My mother. My grandfather. One of my best friends in high school and after high school, the Reverend Mark Vincent Reed (since passed away at a young age of a massive heart attack suffered while running on a treadmill). There have been lots of influential religious leaders in our time. Anyone that has been paying any attention and not holed up in a cave could list some of the major ones...
When did you “come of age” in accepting religious beliefs or practices for yourself? How has your faith or spirituality changed over the years? What caused you to change? Are there things you once believed or practiced that you have since rejected?Age 19. That's when I got serious and started faithfully attending Pentecostal church. I knew at that point in my life it was time to either get right or get lost and I was determined that I was going to, by His grace, follow the right path.
My faith and spirituality has only deepened over the years. I pray and read Scripture as much as I ever have. I know more theology than I ever have and I know I am a better person that I ever have been.
The only thing that has ever changed me is the Grace and the Spirit of Almighty God. His blood, His word. His Spirit. And His Name. That's what it's all about...
There is really nothing in my faith experience in the past that I have once believed and practiced and since rejected. Everything has been a "building line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little" experience for me.