All posts by mjharvell

Husband, Dad Spiritual Coach, Teacher, Author, Hiker, Outdoorsman, Big Kid, One who is just passing through! I choose to heal, grow, learn, develop, laugh, live and above all love...

Prioritizing Your Priorities!

I reached up on the book shelf above my creative desk and pulled one of the leather journals down to take a glance. As I fingered through the pages, among the scriptures, gratitude lists and task, my eyes fell onto a heading labeled My Top Ten Priorities. I smiled, because I can vaguely remember making the list and also because I feel like I maybe have made a little progress over the last five years. I thought I would share the list with you, in the hopes that it might encourage and maybe even inspire you to think about your own…

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

MY TOP TEN PRIORITIES:

1.) ADVENTURE – Life is not supposed to be boring and it’s really not boring, if we are paying attention. There are amazing things happening everyday all around us. People to see, places to go, experiences to have and life to enjoy. I think one of the greatest lessons I have been learning is that everyday is an adventure, if I’m ready, willing and able…

2.) BALANCE – This is one of those lessons that we always know we need to learn, but always seem to have a hard time learning. We may get it right for a day or two and then before we know it, BAM – it’s all messed up again. This is not a “one and done”, this is a work in progress. But balance is very important if we want to keep from drowning in this life…

3.) FAITH – This has always been foundational to me, even in the times when it is not high on my priority list, because I am nothing without it. Believing in God and that He has a plan for my life is vital to everything else falling into place. Without this, nothing else works…

4.) FAMILY – The old saying is: “You can’t live with em and you can’t live without em” And most of us have discovered this to be very true. I love my family, immediate and extended. As different and crazy as some of us are, I really wouldn’t have it any other way, because our crazy is our normal and it’s really a pretty sweet blessing…

5.) FUN – All work and no play will make you boring and bored. Every now and then, we have to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes we need to run out and dance in the rain or maybe go jump in the lake. We need to enjoy ice cream, hot chocolate and a good joke. When was the last time you laughed so hard, your belly hurt???

6.) GROWTH – Whenever we stop growing, we begin dying and it is often a slow and agonizing thing. My greatest growth seems to have taken place over the last few years. The older I get, the more I realize and understand just how much I don’t know that I thought I did know…

7.) HEALTH – Three areas are important: Physical, mental and spiritual. If we don’t take care of all three and work to enhance all three, we will become sick and our quality of life and living will be impacted in a very big way. There are very simple, but powerful things we can do to be healthy in all three areas and we need to make sure that we are doing our part.

8.) WISDOM – You can have all kinds of education, knowledge and learning and still be a fool. Have you ever met an educated fool? Wisdom is the proper us of knowledge. We not only need the knowledge, but the common sense to use it in meaningful and productive ways…

9.) SERVICE – God gives to us so that we can give to others. When we take the gifts and talents God has given to us and share them with others, God is glorified and we all are blessed. Ministry really is what makes the world go round…

10.) PASSION – To me this is love on fire! God is love and we are made in God’s image, so we are to be love to. Love is not something we say. Love is not even something we do. Love is what we are, if we are being what we were created to be. If we are love, then the doing and the saying are taken care of…

Stress Busters!

In my line of work as a Minister, master Life Coach and Mentor, I often find myself with a plate full of my own stuff and then add to that all the other people that I work with and their stuff and you can only imagine that the stress level can get very high. Folks often ask me: “How do you manage it all with a smile on your face and a positive attitude?“ To which I respond: “I don’t always manage it all. I’m not always smiling and sometimes my attitude needs adjusting.”

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” -Proverbs 12:25

I have however, learned a few tricks that help me to usually keep the wagon between the ditches and as long as I am keeping a check on these seven areas and making the necessary adjustments, they usually aid me in living life from a good place.

1.) QUIET TIME! There is way too much noise in this world and the majority of it is a waste, just mindless filler. We were created for quietness. In fact, God says to be still, be quiet and listen for His gentle whisper. Make time for quiet time, where you just sit in quietness of go for a walk with nothing but the sounds of nature. It is amazing what this does for us physically, mentally and spiritually.

2.) BREATE! I know what you’re thinking: If I don’t breath, then I would die and the truth is that is exactly what a lot of folks are doing – dying a slow death. Take time to breathe and notice your breath. Every now and then stop what you’re doing and take three deep breaths in and out and thank God for the gift of air.

3.) THINK GOOD THOUGHTS! Everything that is, was once a thought. In other words: Thoughts are things! We need to be monitoring our thoughts to make sure our thoughts are positive and not negative. If we are having negative thoughts, then we need to get rid of them as quickly as possible and replace them with positive thoughts, because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

4.) HYDRATE! Water is important, we cannot survive without it and we will not thrive is we don’t make sure that we are giving our body a regular supply. The common wisdom says we should drink at least 8 glasses a day. Water is the very best medicine we can take and works to benefit every part of our life and living.

5.) PRACTICE GRATITUDE! We have much to be thankful for, but we are usually too busy and preoccupied to take the time to think about it. Make sure that you are making time to to think about your blessings and taking time to say thank you for it all.

6.) STRETCH! We learn this in Primary School Gym Class. It is important to stretch our muscles before we work out and just living life in this world is a work out, so we should be stretching everyday, a few times a day. It’s amazing how much better it makes you feel, so make it a priority, you will be glad you did.

7.) MANAGE EXPECTATIONS! You can’t do everything, so be realistic with yourself and with others about what you can and can’t do. Be honest about what you will and won’t do. You don’t have to do everything and if you try to do it all, then you are sure to fail. Focus on what really matters, let the rest work itself out and you will be a much happier person…

A Majority Of One!

It is hard to recognize the world we are living in now a days, because it has become so destructive, disillusioned and divisive. We look for things to disagree on and grab hold of things that will drive a wedge between us and others. We walk around with a chip on our shoulder, praying someone will try and knock it off, so we might have a chance to knock them off. It has gotten down right ugly and doesn’t look to be turning around any time soon.

The really sad thing is that we see this in places that it used to never be expected. We see it in churches, families and friendships. Now a days it seems the least little thing can become bigger than life and destroy what it took years to build and develop. In the Bible, we find Jesus praying for just the opposite for those that chose to follow Him. He prayed that we might be in agreement, unified and together as one. He knew that we are stronger together than a part.

“20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” -John 17:20-23

There is great power in our getting past our differences, which are usually not really a big deal anyway. Division is a tool of the enemy used to keep us a part, so that he can deplete us of our resources and sap us of our strength. This leads to our being broken with very little hope of recovery on our own. The real tragedy is that all of this work to block the blessing of God from flowing into and through our life.

It has never been a part of God’s plan for us to attack one another. It has never been God’s agenda for us to go to war with one another. God does not want us bickering, fighting and quarreling with one another. God wants us to come together with Him and with each other, so that we might be one united relationship of supernatural power that can face and overcome the worst the devil and this world has to throw our way.

Below Are Five Suggestions For Doing Your Part To Help Us Come Together As A Majority Of One:

1.) Look For And Yield To God’s Will! This means letting go and laying your will aside, so that you can pick up God’s perfect will as your guiding light and purpose in life.

2.) Deal With Your Own Challenges And Sins! My Grandmother used to say: Sweep off your own porch, before you start trying to sweep off someone else’s.” The truth is that we all have our on battles to fight and once we fight and find victory in ours, then we just might be ready to help others with there’s, not because we are better, but because we are learning.

3.) Practice Humility! If you really want to get good at something, then you need to practice all the time, over and over again. We need to practice humility, because just when we think we’ve got it, we usually get proud of ourselves and blow it!

4.) Be An Encouragement! Everyone needs some more positivity and less negativity in their lives, so why not start with yourself. If you will start, then you might encourage others along the way and at some point you will need someone to encourage you.

5.) Embrace Reconciliation! To reconcile is to become one, regardless of our differences. The truth is: What unites us (JESUS) is stronger than anything that can divide us.

I encourage you to do your part and promise that I will be trying to do mine!