Hedging My Bet

What exactly does the phrase, “hedging my bet” mean? The phrase is an idiom. It means to protect yourself against a loss or making the wrong choice. It gives one a path to keep from making a solid commitment.

Here’s an example with which you will all be familiar:

Forecasters were hedging their bets about the storm, saying that it could bring lots of snow, or it could head away from us.”

Yep. Every weather forecast.

How does this idiom apply to me? I’ve spent the past year hedging my bet. But, what bet?

At the start of 2016 I bet on myself.

For a couple of years I knew God was calling me to leave my sales job. During 2015 I finally figured out what it would look like. I understood God wanted me to write and speak. He wanted me to share my story, and the stories of others.

At the end of 2015 the decision was made. On Monday, January 4, 2016 I would leave my 18 year career in automotive sales and management. I would become a full-time writer and speaker. Plans were made in order to make a go of it. The bank account was properly funded.

And then I hedged my bet. I took the leap into self-employment with one foot in the wrong place.

God called me to write. God called me to speak.

I felt I needed something else. I put one foot solidly in the world of voice over/acting. For a good chunk of the year both feet were there at the same time. This is how I disobeyed God and hedged my bet.

Please don’t get me wrong. The world of voice over and voice acting is a very viable way to make a living. I have some great friends doing it daily. But I wasn’t supposed to be there.

If I had spent the hours upon hours and days upon days practicing the crafts of writing and speaking instead of voice over, I probably wouldn’t have needed to take a sales job in August.

I hedged my bet. I hedged the bet God placed on me.

I didn’t fully grasp the belief and confidence he had (has) in me.

A very good friend of mine told me there is one thing keeping me from succeeding in the space I wish to be. There’s one thing other people have, and it allows them to be successful. The great news is I can have that one thing too.

That one thing is belief.

I need to simply believe in myself. I need to believe in full the call God has placed on me.

My “Word of the Year” this year is, “BELIEVE.”

I’ll let nothing stand in my way this year. I won’t hedge my bet. I will believe.

Have you ever “hedged your bet?” 
Do you struggle to believe in the calling God has placed on you?

I Was Listening This Time

I Was Listening This Time!

This time, when God spoke to me about my job, I was listening.

This is something different for me.

It didn’t take a shocking dismissal, and a boot to my rear, to understand what God wanted for me this time.

In 2013 when I was fired from my job, it was God firmly placing his boot on my rear and moving me swiftly out the door. I like this new approach much better.

I’m still a bit in shock at the speed this new opportunity arrived, but I’m not shocked that I was ready to hear him telling me what to do.

Why? This time I was praying.

I was in conversation with God about his plans for me. I had heeded my own words of encouragement. I had been listening for his words.

He spoke to me. He directed me to this opportunity.

-Do not despisethese small beginnings,for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.-

I’m thankful my relationship with God is a bit more conversational now than it has been in the past. I can’t say I listen to him as intently as I’d like, but improvement is certainly happening. It’s a day-to-day, week-to-week, kind of growth.

The closer relationship I have with God is evident to me through my prayer life. It is a more frequent conversation I’m having with him.

I had been talking with him for a few weeks about my income. The discussion was mostly along the lines of me asking for a big breakthrough with the voice acting I’ve been doing. Something was right around the corner. I could feel it. I also felt my writing was about to provide fruit through the freelance jobs I had been seeking. But he had a different plan.

Isn’t that like him? We ask for something, thinking about how it will come about, and he answers it in a different manner.

That’s what I get for listening.

And I’m grateful for it.



Do you want to learn more about listening to God? Do you want to have a better, more frequent, conversation with him?

Starting September 1, 2016, I’ll be leading a group through an online reading/discussion/study of Mark Batterson’s book “Draw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge”. This 40 day study is based on Mark’s incredible book, “The Circle Maker”.

I previously led this study during Lent in 2015. It was transforming for many people, including me. The group is forming on Facebook. This is your invite to join us. Here’s a link to the group: 40 Day Prayer Challenge Facebook Group

If you have ANY questions about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email, phone, Facebook Messenger, etc.

I’m excited to begin!

Email: rick@ricktheule.com

Draw the Circle

Social Media Friends

Or as my wife calls them, "Fake Friends"

Yes, you read that correctly. “Fake Friends”

In a time now past, my wife identified my online friends as “fake friends”.

Why? Why would she do this? And more importantly, to me anyway, was she correct in identifying hundreds of people I interacted with online as being “fake”?

Good question. And then one day we met some of them in person at a conference in Nashville. Suddenly these people had faces and voices and full bodies instead of simply a profile pic. These online personalities were suddenly real people. Face to face conversation occurred.

Michelle D and Rick 2015-05-12 13.57.05 Ethan Bryan David Clay Rick Nashville Courtyard Crew Nashville

Is that what makes online relationships real? Face to face personal contact?

Or, can an online relationship be true friendship without ever meeting in person. Does 2D need to become 3D or IRL (In Real Life) before a friendship has validation?

I’m going to argue for a “no” answer to the question.

Some of my best friends only exist in online interactions. Without ever meeting in person, I have developed incredibly solid friendships with dozens of people.

As of this moment, I have 1,632 “Friends” on Facebook.

Undoubtedly I don’t interact daily with each of them. But, there are a few I interact with every single day and I would miss them if a day went by without touching base with them.

I know some of you don’t think online friends can be true friends.

I know others of you would fade into the background of life if not for your online friends.

I also know how much joy I have when I get to meet one of these online friends in person.

Deep, deep, personal relationships have been developed online. I thank God everyday for these relationships. I can’t imagine my life without these people. I can’t imagine not having the interaction, the community, the family.

A year ago my best friend moved to South Carolina. I miss him. We’ve known each other for over 36 years. We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve not talked to each other for months on end because one of us was stupid, which turned into both of us being stupid, but we always came back together.

I miss not being able to have breakfast with him on a morning I need him or he needs me.

But now he’s in South Carolina. How do we continue?

We become online friends.

It still takes work. Lots of work. Intentional work. The exact same work an in-person, 3D, IRL friendship takes.

And now I need to admit, I need to put in more work. I need to be intentional with my now 2D, online friend. He moved away, but in this age of technology we don’t need to move away from our almost 4 decade friendship.

So, Eric? Expect an email, or a Facebook message, or a text, or a Skype request.

That’s what I’m going to do. Be intentional. Online.

What are you going to do?