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Why You Should Blog (Or Do Anything Of Value)

February 1, 2016 1 comment

I have been blogging for a while now.  In fact, it’s been just over seven years since wrote that first terrible post.  Many other terrible posts, of course, followed it.  Like anything else you are aren’t very good when you start.  You work yourself up to not too bad with the hope eventually you will be good.  At least that’s my experience.

The question some might asked is why?  Why do I, or anyone else, sit down to write these posts day after day, week after week, for years?

My motivation began when my friend, Matt, encouraged me to blog.  It was a way for me to unload ideas that I had no other forum for.

Then, as I’ve mentioned before, I began to use this opportunity as a time to grind my ax.  Or axes in some cases.  Not the wisest of choices.

How about now?

Maybe I’ve learned my lesson.  Maybe I’ve found the real reason to write a blog.  It really comes down to one thing.

Adding value.

If I’m not adding value to someone’s life, then this really only become an exercise in vanity, a chance to prop up my ego.

It’s the same as anything else.

Why teach or lead a class or a group at church?  You had better be adding value to someone’s life.

Why take a leadership role in your business?  Adding value had better be part of the equation.

If you aren’t, you are only focused on yourself.  You will find that you are aren’t really leading anyone.  You may be telling people something.  You may be conveying information.  But you won’t truly find yourself leading anyone.

I encourage you to pause for a second.  You can do that right now.  I’m in no hurry.  I’ll wait on you.

Take a look at yourself.  Examine your motives.  There’s nothing wrong with some that improve your own life.  They just can’t be the only ones.  There better be some that include someone else.

How are you adding value to others?

Categories: Blogging, Church Tags: ,

One Week Until Christmas

December 18, 2015 5 comments

It’s one week until Christmas.  Folks are beginning to finish their shopping. The world, in some ways, is beginning to slow down. Blogs, definitely, slow down this time of year. After all, who really has time to focus on everything we ship out on a daily basis?

So, I just have one question today.

How are you going to be spending the next week?

I am going to buy the last few things for Christmas. I have three days of work left after today. There will be some church things going on. More than anything, I am going to be spending time with family.

Categories: Christmas, Church, Family Tags: , ,

What Finding Out I Had A Personality Did For Me

November 19, 2015 4 comments

Recently I went to a church meeting regarding a new initiative we will be taking up in the next year.  One section of the meeting involved taking the DISC personality test.  I didn’t really have to take the test to know what my personality type was.  I could have told them ahead of time that I am a D personality, though that would have surprised some folks at my church.

When you break it down even further than the simple results this test yielded, I am a results oriented type of person.  What this means is that I focus on getting the job done more than anything.  Unfortunately there is a bad side to this.  I tend to fail in one area.

Relationships.

I had kind of forgotten that, so it was a good reminder.  I have to consciously work at relationships at work.  As a matter of fact, I have done a good job of that at work by actively seeking out relationships to help both my career and my ability to do my job effectively.

Church?  Not so much.

I can tend to get frustrated.  I used to be a Sunday school teacher and I worked hard to teach the lesson each week.  I would study the scripture I was teaching, diving deep into commentaries and finding illustrations.  I did the best job I could to make the lessons as good as possible for the folks in my class.  What did I forget?

The folks in my class.

I would get frustrated that I didn’t have a good relationship with the people in my class, but looking back I realize that I didn’t really take the time necessary to truly build those relationships.  I focused more on teaching that relationships.

The DISC test basically told me that’s how I am.

I can tend to do the same thing in my current church.  I can get caught up in the doing of things rather than the building of relationships.  I have to pause, remember and consciously remember to build relationships.

What does all of this have to do with you?

You have a personality type too.  Whatever yours is, you have strengths that go along with it.  You also have plenty of, well let’s not call them weaknesses, let’s call them opportunities.

You many need to slow down and pay attention to the details more.  You might run all over people if you aren’t careful.

I recommend you find out what your personality type is.  Find out what your spouse’s is if you’re married.  You probably won’t find out anything you don’t know about yourself.  What it might do, though, is give you some perspective on yourself and how you relate to people and projects.  It might even make your marriage better.

Do you know what your DISC personality type is?  What does it say about you and has it made a difference in how you approach life?

Does The World Need Another Motivational Speaker Or Writer?

November 10, 2015 1 comment

I read a great quote the other day by my internet friend, Tripp Crosby.  I say internet friend because I have never met him, but I have tweeted back and forth with him a few times.  It was, I think, one part humorous and one part serious.  I’ll let you be the judge.

Know yourself, believe in your dream, go for it, expect to fail sometimes, keep trying, buy my book – Every Motivational Speaker Ever.

I laughed, of course, because it’s true.  If you boil down what every motivational speaker says, this is what their message it.  And, of course, they want you to buy their book because motivational speakers have to make a living too.

The funny thing is, as I’ve thought about this for the past few days, that I need to hear this message regularly.  I need to know myself.  I need to believe in my dream.  I need to go for it.  I will fail.  I need to keep trying.

But do I need to buy another book?  Does the world need another motivational speaker and writer who speaks, blogs, podcasts and writes a book to inspire me to live my best life?  I’ll let Zig Ziglar answer that question.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

I need to be motivated daily.  Now, there are a couple of different ways to approach that.  I can either be passive about motivation or I can be proactive about seeking it.  I can either sit back and wait for someone to motivate me or I can set about motivating myself.  What’s the difference?

If I passively sit back waiting for someone to motivate me, I am only concerned about myself.  I am simply waiting to be motivated for me.  I want someone to motivate me to get through the day, seeking only my own success.

What if I take the other approach?  If I proactively seek to be motivated, I have an entirely different attitude.  I seek to be motivated for myself for sure, but in seeking it out you see things differently.  There is a different energy about you and it affects others.  Not only do you motivate yourself, but you motivate others around you.

My pastor recently preached a message about encouragement.  He encouraged all of us (SEE!!!) to encourage others around us.  We all need encouragement.  We need it daily.  We need it even more often than that.

Does the world need another motivational speaker or writer?  Absolutely.  You and I need fresh sources of motivation and encouragement and people to speak those things into our lives.

Maybe that person is you.  Even it is simply speaking that motivation with a phone call.  Even if it is simply writing that motivation in a card or a text.

The world needs all the motivational speakers and writes it can get.

How are you motivated from day to day?  Who are you motivating?

How To Hear God Speak Today

October 30, 2015 Leave a comment

Sequels are part of Hollywood.  One the things studios try to do is to create a franchise where further adventures of their characters can be told.  Marvel, of course, has mastered this where each movie is a sequel, of sorts, of each movie that came before it.

Today’s post is a sequel.  I reread yesterday’s post about Moses and realized that I left one point out.  This was rather fortunate, guided perhaps by the Hand of Providence, as it really didn’t fit with what was discussed.

Just to recap, if you didn’t read yesterday, Moses ran into an issue where he was wearing himself out. Jethro, his father-in-law, helped him out and gave him a plan.  This benefited Moses and Israel as they moved forward.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read that story, but I have missed something that had been staring at me each time.  I just happened to get it this time.

We’re used to God speaking to Moses in a burning bush.  We are amazed that God delivered the Law to Moses on top of Mount Sinai.  God would meet and speak to Moses in such a way that he had to wear a veil on his face.

Did you notice what happened here though?

Moses faced this problem and God didn’t give him the solution.  At least He didn’t speak to Moses directly.

Instead, Jethro gave Moses a plan, a system and direction.  The Lord didn’t seem to have anything to do with it.

Or did He?

We sometimes wait for the Lord expecting a bolt of lightning or pictures in the sky or something.  We seem to think that the Hand of God will appear and write out what we should do step by step.  It just doesn’t really work that way.

So, how do we hear from God?  Let me list out a few ways that we might hear from God today.

The Bible.  Seems like an obvious one, doesn’t it?  Yet too many of us seek Him every which way but loose instead of turning to His preserved word.  I’m not saying that strep by step direction for every decision in life will come from the Bible, but we would be amazed at how many steps of life could be found if we just took the time to read.

The Church.  I don’t mean simply by going to church, though that’s not a bad thing.  I mean the you might hear from the Lord through His Church.  I hope we all agree that the Church is Christ’s Body.  We probably agree if we read the Bible (see above).  Doesn’t it make sense that He might communicate to us through said Body?

Circumstances.  God may try to get your attention through what goes on around you or, sometimes, to you.  All of us would want these events to be happy and joyful, but that’s simply not what happens every time.  Sometimes bad things do happen to good people.  Or around good people.  Awareness of what’s happening may clue us in to what God is trying to say to us.

How about prayer?  Let’s get one thing straight about prayer.  It isn’t simply creating a grocery list of wants to present to God.  Prayer is a time of worship, where we can adore God, thank Him, listen to Him and, yes, make requests of Him.

Remember what I said yesterday about taking an audit of our lives?  Seeking out specific guidance is sometimes necessary.  And yes, I believe that God can speak through the guides in our lives.

The last thing I will say about any of these is to be cautious.  Sometimes w can hear God’s voice tell us something because we want to hear it.  We want God to give us the direction we want to go.  Before I decided for sure that God was speaking to me, I would test each of these ways for signs that God is speaking.

Are we going to hear God speak in an audible voice?  Not based on my experience.  Will every time we think we hear God be His voice?  I don’t think so.  But this is one thing I know.  The more I hear Him speak, the more I recognize His voice and know when He speaks to me.

How do you hear God speak to you?

Categories: Christianity, Church, Faith Tags: , , ,

You Are Made To Give

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment

I heard about a book recently called The Go-Giver. I haven’t read it, but the title has stuck with me.

We are pushed and encouraged to be go-getters all of our life. We are told to pursue the American Dream. We should get what we can while the getting is good.

There’s just one problem. We aren’t really made to be that way.

We are made to be givers.

This has hit me between the eyes a lot lately.

Jon Acuff published a blog post yesterday about how he is using his platform to help an organization that helps women. He is dedicating part of what he built for the benefit of others.

If you are a leader in a business, you are there to give to others. It’s easy to focus on your own goals and dreams. Giving so that others can achieve their goals and dreams is much more rewarding in more ways than one.

What about your community? I’m guilty of focusing on myself without giving any thought to making my surroundings better. Yet if I don’t do it there is no guarantee anyone will.

What about our churches? It’s easy to say that the pastor and staff are paid to do the ministry. Yet how much more could be done if we would all do what we are called to do?

So, I’m challenging myself. Those are three areas I can give. I’m sure there are more. But I can make a difference if I just attack those three.

Zig Ziglar says that you can get all you want if you just help enough people get what they want. Giving is a win-win for all of us. Not to say that our goal should be to give in order to get. It just seems to work out that way.

What about you? Will you join me in focusing on giving more that seeking to get?

Categories: Blogging, Church, Ministry Tags:

The Best Reason To Read The Bible

September 23, 2015 6 comments

I was reading the Bible the other.  That shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m a Christian.  However, as I read it, I wondered why other people read it.  Or I should say other Christians.  I know why I was reading it, but I sometimes wonder if all of us are reading it for the right reasons.  Here are some reasons why you may be reading it.

You might read the Bible to complete a year-long Bible reading plan.  Of course the prevalence of these will increase as we begin to wind down the year and the new year approaches.

You might read the Bible in order to prepare for a Bible study that you are preparing to teach or attend.  It is always good to know what you are talking about before you get started.

You might read the Bible to know God’s will.  To know this, God’s word is a good place to start.

Perhaps you read the Bible to prove a point.  Someone has challenged you on a point and you need back up.  God’s word is a tool that is often used for this.

Some people read the Bible to prove science.  I don’t think this one is good since the Bible is not a science text.  It is a book of narrative history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature and more.

There may be other reasons to read the Bible, but none of these are the best reason at all.  What is the best reason to read the Bible?

To know God.

It’s that simple.  If you want to know God that is the best reason to read the Bible.  Is it the only way?  No.  We have the Holy Spirit.  We can look at the world He has created.  We can know Him through the Church.  We can minister to others and countless other ways.

But reading His word, we all should begin and end with that.

How have you come to know God throughout your life?  What is the best way for you to know God consistently?

Categories: Christianity, Church, Faith Tags: