Category Archives: self improvement

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…

Why I Do What I Do!

I still remember taking those test in High School that are supposed to tell you what you are supposed to be when you grow up and mine always indicated that I had the potential to be and do a lot of things, but no real desire or focus in any single direction. I remember thinking, I just wish someone would tell me what to do?

What I really loved was the spiritual life and the idea that we can have friendship with God, but back in those days, there were not many people big on the “personal relationship” part. The focus was more on getting you saved, baptized and into membership of the local church.

I could not really see myself being a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher,, because I just did not think of myself as being intelligent enough and I absolutely hated studying. I thought maybe God wanted me to be a Youth Minister. Down deep in my heart, I knew I was called and gifted by God to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher, but I felt like everyone else would judge me as inadequate, because I certainly did not feel that I was qualified or could even become qualified.

I remember a traveling evangelist coming through town and he came and spoke at our school. The story he told was that back in his younger days he had been running with the wrong crowd and one night he was with some guys that decided to rob a store. They all got caught and he went to jail and while he was in jail, he met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. The relationship with Jesus changed his life and he was so on fire because of the amazing relationship he had with Jesus. He was in our town for about a week and I remember going to hear him preach every chance I got. I do not remember his name, but I do remember how God began to deal with me and my future in a very real way during that time. For the first time, I knew what I felt in my heart about growing in a personal relationship with God was of vital importance to the Kingdom and we’ve got to start talking about this.

I had accepted Christ at a young age and had been a pretty good boy growing up. My family and church had raised me to know the difference between right and wrong. I generally chose right, because I wanted to be pleasing to God and especially because I did not want to disappoint my Granny or Mother. A lot of the teenage temptations did not interest me, because I cared more about what other people thought and that often kept me on the straight and narrow. (Not for the right reason, but it worked for the most part.)

After the evangelist left town, I really began to grow in my devotional times with God. I began everyday in His Word and I journaled and did my best to pray without ceasing. I can still remember going out at night to have long walk and talks with Jesus. Trying to figure out what He wanted me to do with my life. I remember praying one night: “God if I have to go to jail in order to find your will and serve you, then I am willing to do whatever I need to do.” Looking back, this was the very first time that I truly began to acknowledge God’s call upon my life.

As I grew in my faith and relationship, God began to also make it clear that He wanted me to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher for Him and His Kingdom. He showed me that a big part of what I was supposed to do, was just share the relationship and help others get into it and grow through it. So that is how it all started. There is a lot more to the journey, but that will be for another time.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:1-4

Today I was thinking about my “WHY?” Why am I a Minister (Pastor/PreacherTeacher)? Why am I a Master Life Coach? Why am I a Mentor? And here are Seven Reasons That Make Up My Why!

1.) God has called me and gifted me to do what I do!

2.) There is a much bigger picture of God and I really do want everyone to get it!

3.) The Bible is more than a book, it’s a love letter full of directions, guidance and instructions for living the blessed life we were created for.

4.) The Church is God’s best plan for us doing life together so that we can encourage, grow and motivate one another.

5.) A Relationship with God really does make all the difference and someone has to believe that, share that and help others get it right.

6.) I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be, because God actually wants to use my imperfections to bring greater glory to Himself and encouragement to others.

7.) I’ve given God plenty of opportunities to give up on me, turn His back on me and/or zap me with a lighting bolt, but every time, He reminds me that His GRACE is sufficient…