Do any of your relationships need work?

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There are some quotes that so insightful that little else needs to be said.   This is one of them:

“When there is trust, conflict becomes nothing but the pursuit of truth.”           Patrick Lencioni

All I would encourage you to do is look at your family, friend, and work relationships and put the filter of trust and conflict under the microscope and see where they rate.

are their any relationships in your life (like there are in mine) that need work?

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Golf is hard and so is our work

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When is the last time you had an “aha” moment?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  It’s those moments when an idea becomes crystal clear in your mind.  Usually for me, it’s a “duh!” and “you’re finally realizing this kind of revelation.”

I had one of those just yesterday.   The insight that came to me is that “work is hard”.   Pretty profound, huh?

I can get stressed out from work. I can get frustrated from work.  I can be exhausted after a long day.

What dawned on me is that all those kinds of experiences (stress, frustration, exhaustion) are normal.  They are consequences of caring about what I do.

Also, the thought of “work” being different from “play” came to mind.  Work is hard. Ever since the Garden, work has its share of toiling and great effort. It is what it is.

The other insight that popped in my mind came from some notes I took from the book by Butch Harmon called  “The Pro”.   The initial context of the excerpt has to do with professional golf, but I applied it to my work.  If I want to be my best, which I do, it’s going to require much effort and intentionality on my part. I just need to accept that reality and deal with it.

Here are my notes  (let me encourage you to consider your thoughts about your own work and how serious you are about being your best in doing your job (ie. what next steps do you need to take) :

“golf’s hard. Good golf is damn  (his quote, not mine)  hard, and championship golf is so hard only a select few ever comprehend it. It’s a cruel game. Think about it. 144 people play in the tournament, and 143 of them are going to lose. That’s tough. The game chews you out, and steps on you. It’s those who get up and dust themselves off that make it. But that’s how it should be. It if were that easy, everybody would do it.
-Golf is hard. It takes a lot of hard work. If you want to play good golf, you had better be willing to put in long, hard hours, for an extended period of time. . And in many cases, you have to get worse before you can get better.
-dad made sure we understood that golf was not a game you ever perfected.
-championship golfers were those who had talent on top of spending endless hours on the practice tees”

Where are your 3 fingers pointing?

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Readers of my blog will know that I have referenced before two different parts of our brain that are responsible for making decisions.

One part is a rapid response “fight or flight”, quick-action  decision maker.

The other part of the brain wants us to slow down and thoroughly think through the issue at hand.  It is much more logical, than emotional.

I thought about this recently when two different scenarios played out before me.  One of the situations had to do with a relationship conflict.  The other one had to do with a work issue.  In both situations, I was frustrated by something that was going on and in both situations, I was finding myself in a very critical mood.   Ever been there?

However, as I was able to step back from the emotional frustrations I was having and gave the Lord time to speak to me, I came to the understanding that before I keep going down the road of blame and dwelling on my frustrations, I first needed to look at my responsibility in both scenarios.

As I gave a lot of thought to how I was behaving, I started to get humbled very quick.

Could I have acted with more compassion?

Could I have been quicker to forgive others for their mistakes (especially in light of how many mistakes I make)?

Could I improve my own work performance?

On and on, the self-appraisal continued and I realized I had so much I could have done better.  It was an example to me that before I jump on the “critical bandwagon”, I need to pause to do this self-review. My guess is that as I do, I will frequently spend much more time focusing on my own need to do better rather than finding fault with others.

It reminds me of that illustration where you point at something with one finger, but 3 other fingers are pointing back at you.   Be slow to find fault with others.

Prepare now to fulfill your passion (ex. Steve Kerr)

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The Golden State Warriors recently became the winningest team ever in the NBA, eclipsing the Bulls’ unbelievable season in ’95-’96.

With all the attention, especially given to the Warrior’s superstar, Stephan Curry,  I thought this was an interesting article about their coach,  Steve Kerr article

 

I hope it encourages you to have vision, to work hard, prepare now, persevere,  to dream, and to enjoy your passions.

 

Christian, are you “asleep in the light” ?

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Christian, let me encourage you on this one to find a quiet place and read this post.   The words are not mine, but taken from the vault of the timeless classics.  These are the lyrics to a song by Keith Green called “Asleep in the light”.  Enjoy and be challenged by it:

Do you see?

Do you see?

All the people sinking down?
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?
Are you gonna let them drown?How can you be so numb?!
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes,
And pretend the job is done”oh, bless me, lord!
Bless me, lord!”
You know, it’s all I ever hear!
No one aches,
No one hurts,
No one even sheds one tear
But, he cries,
He weeps,
He bleeds,
And he cares for your needs
And you just lay back,
And keep soaking it inOh, can’t you see such sin?!
’cause he brings people to your door,
And you turn them away
As you smile and say,
“god bless you!
Be at peace!”
And all heaven just weep,
’cause Jesus came to your door,
You left him out on the streetsOpen up! open up!
And give yourself away
You see the need,
You hear the cries,
So how can you delay?!
God is calling,
And you are the one
But like Jonah, you run
He told you to speak,
But you keep holding it in

Oh, can’t you see such sin?!
The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the church just can’t fight,
’cause it’s asleep in the light!
How can you be so dead?!
When you’ve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave,
And you!
You can’t even get out of bed!
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead!
Come on, get out of your bed!

How can you be so numb?!
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes,
And pretend the job is done!
You close your eyes,
And pretend the job is done!
Don’t close your eyes,
Don’t pretend the job is done

Come away! come away!
Come away with me, my love!
Come away from this mess,
Come away with me, my love!
Come away from this mess!
Come away with me, my love!
Come away,
Come away with me my love!

//

Songwriters: CHAPLIN, SAUL / FREEMAN, L.E. / HOLINER, MANN / NICHOLS, ALBERTA / CAHN, SAMMY
Asleep In The Light lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
And if you are interested, check out a video of a live presentation:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em5gL0Rw4Aw

“we don’t spend enough time …”

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I don’t know about you, but some times I wonder if I make things too difficult.  I recently came across the following excerpt and it made me think if I just need to slow down a lot more and just consider what and how I’m doing things.  Maybe, rather than trying to add more positive behaviors to my way of life, maybe I just stop doing some things that are complicating my life.

I’ll get to the excerpt in a second, but to give you an example of what this book is talking about is consider multi-tasking.  I’m guilty of trying to do too much.  It’s especially problematic when I’m talking with someone and not really paying attention to what they are saying because I’m trying to do other things at the same time (like checking my e-mails or texts). That’s just one bad thing I could stop doing and making my life less complicated and actually more satisfying.

Anyway, here is the excerpt:

“We spend a lot of time teaching people what to do; we don’t spend enough time teaching people what to stop doing. Many people don’t need to learn what to do; they just need to learn to stop doing.”

Paraphrase from Peter Drucker (as told in “What got you here won’t get you there”” by Marshall Goldsmith, Don Brown, Bill Hawkins)

What would you say over the airwaves?

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Recently, I was on a business trip traveling through the Bible Belt.  Near the end of my exhausting trip, and after a  long day in which  I still had about two hours of driving left.  I decided to turn on the radio.

I wasn’t surprised as I listened to a few different talk radio shows that they were discussing the political circus we find ourselves in the U.S.

However, in the next few minutes, I found myself shocked as a very profound insight came to my mind.    Here I was listening to Bible talk show hosts, located in the Bible Belt who were discussing our culture’s hot topics without these hosts bringing up any Bible verse or Biblical principle.  In fact, when one guest asked the moderator what she was going to do if a certain politician got elected president, she said she was going to grab a bourbon.  Ugh!

A Christian talk show (actually two different ones I listened to) and the best guidance that these Christians could offer over the airways  is either the same “well, here’s my best advice (really, no different than any other secular viewpoint), or grab a bourbon”. Really ?

What about conveying Biblical principles, such as:

* that God is sovereign and that He allows for rulers to be in put in places of leadership to accomplish His divine purposes (tink God’s description of the Persian King Cyrus – 2 Chron. 36:23, Ezra 1:1, Is.44:28, 45:13

* what about each of our responsibility to obey our government leaders- Romans 13:1-7  (unless they are in opposition to God’s laws – Acts. 4:19-20, 5:29

* what about the Biblical passages that teach the truth that for Christians, our home is really in Heaven and that this time on earth is one where we are just passing through (Phil. 3:20)

My point in all this is that as Christians we have the Word of God to guide us and others.   This little experience I’ve gone through with these Christian talk show hosts was a kick in the pants to me to strive to bring more of the Bible into my thinking as to why I do what I do.  I want to be led by it because I truly believe God offers His wisdom, power, and love through it.

How about you?  When the Bible says  in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (Nas)      16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.–do you believe it?   Do you believe that this ancient book is relevant still today?  Are you daily reading it?   I hope so.