My name is John Duane Fleck.  I rarely use my middle name – but it’s important to me – since my dad chose to share his name with me.  I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Sandy for forty-four years – and we proudly lay claim to three “great” kids, one cool kid-in-law and four grand kids, an eight-year-old, five-year-old twins and a new-born.

My education has been diverse: math, science, finance, law and Bible study.   My professional experience included a brief period as a self-employed attorney, an even briefer period as a teacher, and several years in various Army and defense contractor jobs.  My proudest achievements (after the Best Father of All Time award my kids gave me in 1996) were the Noble Patron of Armor and the Honorary Master Tanker awards presented to me by the Army’s mounted force at Fort Knox.

I’ve been religious all my life and a Christian since 1982.  Like my parents before me, Sandy and I have involved ourselves in each local church we’ve been associated with.  Currently we’re on the pastoral care staff and the spiritual guidance team.  At other times we’ve ministered in hospitals and nursing homes, taught youth and adults and even mentored paroled prisoners.  Our local church’s core truths that provide the foundation for their vision is summarized in six words: Reaching People – Building Believers – Reflecting God.  This is something that has been ingrained in us since we walked in its doors in 2007.

Seven, or so, important things I’ve learned over the last forty-some years

Titles, promotions and awards may have gotten me a firm pat on the back and maybe even a one-time celebratory steak dinner from a friend or family member – but in the long run, the only title that really matters is Servant of the Most-High God.
The time I spent making up and telling fantastically wild and unrealistic stories to my kids and grandkids had greater value than all the hours I spent by myself reading those great American novels, or studying for the Bar Exam.
It is so easy to separate myself from people that are different than me and who I disagree with – but I can only influence people that I allow into my circle of love.
We often set our expectations for ourselves too low.  With God’s help, we can achieve greatness.
We often set our expectations unfairly high for the people we’re closest to.  This predictably makes it difficult for them to succeed, at least in our eyes.
It’s usually a waste of time to stop and ask directions at a gas station.  Most people who work there aren’t really familiar with the neighborhood.  Just break down and buy a GPS.
If you’re the head of the family, it’s your responsibility to:
Crawl around on the floor and give the kids horsey-back rides,
Take the kids to the park and watch them scramble around and spray water on themselves and you,
Teach the kids priorities by shutting off the TV, letting them see you read your Bible and pray, and taking them to church,
Demonstrate love by hugging your wife in front of the kids and hugging them,
Teach the kids kindness, compassion, patience, generosity and all the other fruit of the Spirit, through personal example and by involving them.