chazWhen I started my blog years ago I didn’t know who I would be highlighting. I just knew I wanted to profile people that I met along the way who were making a difference.  A couple of years ago I met Chaz Carrillo who was one of my guests on MORNING BLEND (my talk show that airs each morning on FOX 47).

What impresses me about Chaz is he is always smiling and goes out of his way to help others. Reading his responses makes me smile because this is authentically Chaz; a great guy who makes it a mission to help others.

Who what inspires you?

People and Purpose.  I feel I have a purpose and/or mandate to love others.  I know that this can be accomplished with the greatest impact if I focus my life in this order:  wife, kids, friends, community, church, and to the ends of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)  My only hope to have love and understanding come through me is to rely on my relationship with God, through Jesus, to make it happen.  I am naturally a selfish, broken, weak, quick to anger person, and a hypocrite.  The grace and love I have received from God is truly amazing.  Although I can never earn my salvation I long for a meaningful life, meaningful relationships, and a legacy worth a story-tellers voice.  Yes, Morgan Freeman’s voice would be preferred, if available.

Do you have a slogan, motto or mantra?

Keep it simple.  Loving people does not mean you disregard the truth, you stand on it.  Truly helping others is the best way to help yourself.  Connecting the dots is what I am good at.  I am not great at much, but I am good at people.  The trick to get people to think you care is simple, you actually have to care about them.  Don’t let your kids go.  Hold them close and look into their eyes.  They want to connect and they want to have you listen.  And the older you both get, the less they naturally will want it, if you don’t do it now.  I have 4 girls, Lily, Sophia, Charlie, and Victoria.  I love them greatly and try to convey that in big and small ways.  I have to be the best version of myself to be a good dad, and a good husband to my wife, Nicole.  Every day God reveals to me more truth about myself and ways I need to heal, help, and honor.  Thank goodness, God’s grace has spared me a full inventory of my faults.

Do you have a lesson or thought to share?

Everyone is worth it.  I know that financially and physically our culture judges and manipulates our minds to think we aren’t good enough, and at the same time, are worth more than what we get.  The challenge for us all is not to stop striving to become better or be consumed by the frivolous goal of cultural perfection.  It is important to (in no particular order) 1st Realize that we are all more than one thing.  2nd Understand that there are things about us that can’t change. 3rd You never arrive at a personal achievement of perfection because it is not possible.  4th God is the only one who can truly change our minds and hearts. 5th Everyone does not have that realization so we need to measure others with the greatest grace and measure ourselves with harshest truth. 6th I am not better than any position or job.  I am not trying to apply to scrub toilets, but I am not better than it and definitely not better than a person with that job. 7th Help others not by providing answers/solutions but by good listening.  Everyone is worth it.

 

My parents made me who I am or at least started me well:

My dad is a marine.  I am a marine brat.  This means a lot to me.  He was a great example of hard work, diligence to the task, truth telling, toughness, humility, and growing/training people.  Growing up, we moved every enlistment.  It didn’t matter if we stayed on our base or not.  We moved.  I am grateful to have lived and visited many places because of this, Quantico, Virginia, Okinawa, Japan, South Carolina, South Korea, Hawaii, and many places in Michigan.  I am grateful for my dad.

My mom is a teacher.  She tried several careers after enlistment with the Marines, and then a quick marriage to my father.  She was a marine wife and mother, and then after my father retired she became a teacher/counselor for high school students.  Mom was 1 of 6 in a Detroit Catholic family, and she was the one who everyone would listen to.  She was the one to make peace and pray for them.  My mom died in 2008 after a year-long struggle with Brain Cancer.  It happened quickly, and the most memorable moment of that time for me wasn’t when she was diagnosed or the day she died.  It was when my daughter met her.  Nicole (my wife) was pregnant with Sophia when we found out about my mom, and things progressed so quickly that I wasn’t sure if she would meet our new baby.  I prayed for the opportunity for them to meet and when it arrived I was excited it was actually going to happen.  I passed her over to my mom in a hospital bed at our home in Williamston and shortly after I cried; they got to meet.  A few months later, my mother died in a hospice hospital room with friends and family around her and more tears came.  I am grateful for my mom and my family.

Your community matters to you and you matter to the community.  Community is a funny word.  It has a lot of baggage I think.  I mean community can mean inclusion, exclusion, discrimination, communication, retaliation, hate, love, togetherness, separation, seclusion, obligation, and/or front/falseness.  Community is defined by Webster online copied below:

  • A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
  • 2. A locality inhabited by such a group.
  • 3. A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the):the business community; the community of scholars.
  • 4. A group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
  • 5. Ecclesiastical. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.
  • 6. Ecology. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area.
  • 7. Joint possession, enjoyment, liability, etc.: Community of property.

 

I would say just about anyone should have several communities based on this list.  How are you developing those relationships?  How are you affecting others in these groups?  Are you helping or hindering or not participating actively?  My position would not be to jump in with both feet and help make good things happen.  It would simply be to ask yourself why or why not?  And then ask yourself does that belief about my community agree with my actions.  If there is a difference then just do something.  You don’t have to organize the potluck, say yes to every opportunity, or quit your job and work full time as a volunteer.  It means you should do something, try something, see how you can fit the needs of the groups you are in, or discover that they don’t fit and find a different group.  On this journey to help, the funny thing is, you will find your way to more parts of yourself.  Things you didn’t know about yourself, talents you didn’t think you had, and develop relationships with strangers you didn’t know existed.  I’m not saying it is easy or fun, but it’s not work, and it helps in more ways than you realize.  I am graceful for my church community at Riverview.  I am grateful for all my communities.

Time is faster than you think.  How intentional are you with your time?  You need to protect your time from things and people that should not be ahead of other people and things in your life.  Priority is key.  We are all wasting time.  Want proof?  How many times have you played Pokémon go since its launch recently?  What level Pokémon are you?  Where did that Pokémon time come from?  It was already there!  You didn’t know it until you downloaded that app and wanted to see what everyone was talking about.  How are your priorities?  Your spouse, your kids, and then who?  Or are they in that order at all?  We all make sacrifices for our careers or pursuits, but why are you making them in the first place?  Time is a way to get back part of yourself.  Time is a way to give back part of yourself to the ones you love.  I am not speaking form great habits but of observations and longing to improve myself.

How do you deal with stress?

Not as well as I would like.  Physical exertion is the easiest way for me to relax at this stage in my life.  Going to the Gym and playing basketball, racquetball or lifting. One reason this might be the case is there was a time in middle school when I went to the gym regularly with my Dad.  It was great.  We rarely spoke but it was something we just did together.  It’s one of my favorite memories growing up. The drive, lifting, setting goals, accomplishing them together.  The short conversations we had and the activity we shared just between us meant a bunch.

 

An hour shooting basketball listening to music can get me through many thoughts and fears.   I was homeschooled for a few years between 4th grade and part of 8th grade.  It was a fun time which allowed for extra time to play my favorite sport basketball.  I would play for hours and listen to music with this thing called a “boom box.”  During that time I would practice and prepare for when kids came home from school.  I thought this would help “my game” for when kids were available to play with me.  So 1-3 hours of practice and 1-3 hours of playing with kids after school per day was normal.  This time allowed me to think through adolescent problems and troubleshoot solutions slowly and carefully.

Music.  I love music; listening to it, playing it, learning and teaching.  I play guitar, drums, bass, and sing.  I discovered singing as a freshman in high school.  I took guitar lessons my sophomore year of high school for a short time and self-taught everything else.  Playing and singing was a way to express myself without my words getting in the way.  It is a stress relief to play or jam with a friend.  It is a release to listen intently with speakers really loud in the car so you can’t think another thought.  It is a great opportunity to create a song and dive into the process of making sound like it does in your head, and that helps with stress to.

A walk on a trail alone, a good dinner with my wife away from the children and the world, or a short important 1 on 1 conversation with one of my four girls.  Moments that make life worth living and moments to step back and contemplate what life I am living are also relievers of stress for me.

 

Anything you want to share?

I am honored to be asked by Bob to share in this way.  I am grateful to write these ramblings that hopefully someone might find helpful.  I prefer to look someone in the eyes when I speak with them and vice versa.  I feel with written words it is easier to offend or be offended by someone.  It is not my intention to offend anyone with the statements made throughout these words.  My obligation is to the truth.  For those who know me, I think this reflects some of who I am and what I want for my communities: Family, Lansing, Church, and World.  My hope to reflect Romans 8 as closely as possible by my actions, words, and impact.  I am just a simple guy, I am trying to be better than I was yesterday, trying to make life better for the people I come in contact with, trying to use my gifts to bless others professionally and personally, trying to not overthink things, and failing a lot.  I am grateful for Jesus.  My email is chazjc@gmail.com if anyone would like to know more or have any questions after reading this.

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