Technically, I can drive well, so what’s the problem?

Standard

Recently, I’ve been reading about Navy SEALS and also watching a World War 2 documentary on cable. Fascinating.  I am intrigued by the intensity, courage, and so much more about these real, life and death war stories.

One of the things I read from one of the Navy SEALS   was that he was talking about his time in Iraq.  He was mentioning that as new soldiers came to the war zone,  they had to be repeatedly told to keep alert. Even when things appeared to safe, they had to be on guard for their very life.

I thought about this “always being on the alert” kind of mindset just a few days ago.  I was driving on my way to work and as I was taking a turn on one of the smaller streets, I saw an attractive woman jogging down the middle of the road.

Seriously, I don’t think it was her attractiveness that kind of dazed me (though that has happened at times in the past), but that as she was jogging up to intersection, she was running right in the middle of the road.  Even from a distance as I saw her coming, I thought she could easily be hit by a car going in either direction–how foolish can a person be (just to point out, she could have easily jogged on the grass on the shoulder of the road).

As I was dazed by what she was doing, I wasn’t paying attention and I smacked up against the curb. There was no damage to the car, but a valuable take away lesson for me.

I immediately thought back to the soldiers I’ve been reading about and their need to always be alert to their circumstances around them for fear they might be shot.

Do you know that we have an enemy (the Devil) that seeks to destroy us?  Some people have no clue of the Devil’s existence. Some people are aware but quickly dismiss the slightest mention of his name as accusing people of stirring up thoughts about “the devil being behind every tree” (or something like that).

I can drive well. My running into the curb experience wasn’t because of a lack of driving ability, but of my focus.

Walking with God through life really isn’t technically hard because Jesus Christ has already won the victory for us on the Cross and in His resurrection.    The problem for us is that of focus. Like Peter walking on the water, once he took his eyes off Jesus because of the distractions of the wind and waves around him, that’s when he began to sink.  As Peter (and you and I) set our minds on the things of God, we are fine.  The problem comes when we set our minds on the things of the flesh that’s when things go bad.

Stay focused my friend.  Like the soldiers in battle, beware at all times of your circumstances and the potentials dangers that can come about as you lose your focus.

Seek to be wise and in the moment, every moment.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your reading of this post. I hope it has been a blessing for you in some way.

If you click on this link,  crossway.org/HGDM16   you will be able to download this free resource donated graciously by Crossway Publishing: “habits of grace” by Dave Mathis, which talks about “enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines”.

It will take you only about 3 minutes to complete Crossway’s requested-information, then you will have the free download.   Enjoy it and other, great Crossway resources.

Thank you for participating in this.

How aware are you to the changes taking place around you?

Standard

For those of you who want an unforgettable experience, try telling your teenager that if they don’t behave, you are going to spank them.  Yeah, let me know how that works for you.  (not too well, I’m guessing).

The point is that there are different seasons for different activities and we would be wise to be sensitive to when we should be making adjustments.

This scenario plays out before all us all the time:

  • Think of a start-up business that is run pretty informally as they first start out. People working long hours, kind of coming and going as it seems best.  Decisions are made in brief hallway conversations. Well, as the company grows and many more people are employed, policies need to be formalized. Communication becomes vital, so more effort needs to be made to have planned meetings with agendas.
  • Think of a basketball team with one superstar on it. For years, the team has been carried by this one player, but now they are much older, nearing retirement.  Adjustments need to be made because this superstar can not do what he once did.
  • Think of a newly married couple taking many walks together and staying up late, but then along comes children. Now, life looks totally different. Finding just one on one time seems nearly impossible as the little ones seem so demanding.  You realize, something needs to change.

My point in all this is that life doesn’t stay constant–it is always changing.   New technologies come along. Our bodies grow older. People are born. People die. etc.

So, keeping in mind this truth that times are ever-changing, how well are you adjusting to new life circumstances.

Are you sensitive to what changes are going on around you?  Name some.

Are you making adjustments to changes taking place around you?  Name some.

In my recent focus in my Bible reading, I am camping out these days in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  This post has been formulating in my mind as I read these verses.  As you read them, I would again ask you, “How sensitive are you to different seasons of life happening around you, in pretty much all areas of your responsibilities?”

Ecclesiaster 3:1-8 NLT

For everything there is a season,

a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and time to harvest.

A time to plant and a time to heal.

 

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.

A time for war and a time for peace.

Poetry: Revelation Tonight

Standard

For those who are used to receiving my typical posts, you will find something different in this poetry post. This is a poem that is a part of a Poetry collection that comes from a time of  my searching days , which led to me finding true peace and significance.

Revelation Tonight

O Lord,

it’s been said you work in mysterious ways.

I’ve always known, but never understood,

not until tonight,

the speaking of feelings

honest from my heart

revealed the secret of Your power,

and how letting me discover-

under Your watchful eye,

the wonders of Your wisdom.

Tonight, I feel strength,

I have discovered the paradise

that awaits for us all;

I have learned of the roles

and the parts that we play,

learned of the secrets

and the glory of the day.

From this day on forth,

my path is clearly defined –

to Spread the Word.

Book review: “Extreme Ownership”

Standard

There have been a few books over years that it was very hard for me to put down.  If I wasn’t finished with a book, and it was getting late, I would lie there in bed, just looking forward to the next day when I could get back to reading the book.

I think “Creativity, Inc.” By Ed Catmull was one of those books.  The Patrick Lencioni books are like that as well (all of them).  Then, there is this one, “Extreme Ownership”, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  It too fits in to this must-read category.

The sub-title for this book is “how U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win”.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book (and there are many) is  the real life examples, both in the Seals’ war stories, but also in business examples.   This book brought out important leadership principles in more than a theoretical kind of way.

This book will expand your understanding of leadership, as well as grow your appreciation for those dedicated soldiers who so valiantly serve this country (and world).

Enjoy this treasure.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your reading of this post. I hope it has been a blessing for you in some way.

If you click on this link,  crossway.org/HGDM16   you will be able to download this free resource donated graciously by Crossway Publishing: “habits of grace” by Dave Mathis, which talks about “enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines”.

It will take you only about 3 minutes to complete Crossway’s requested-information, then you will have the free download.   Enjoy it and other, great Crossway resources.

Thank you for participating in this

Poetry: Shield of Faith

Standard

For those who are used to receiving my typical posts, you will find something different in this poetry post. This is a poem that is a part of a Poetry collection that comes from a time of  my searching days , which led to me finding true peace and significance.

Shield of Faith

How easily our souls are brought from us.

How impulsively we are coaxed to do evil.

We postpone pain and pressures for ease

that entices our selfish whims.

Carrying a shield of faith,

the bombardments from evil are warded off.

The power of Faith,

the power of Love’s shield

provides for those who believe,

but the truth of that shield

can only be heard by those

whose heart is open enough to accept it.

Free Book and a leadership post on talking with your team

Standard

FREE book follow-up.  

A few days ago I had mentioned I was offering a Free book, in partnership with Crossway Publishing.   Well, read through this post and then follow the links for further instructions to get your FREE  book, “habits of grace” by Dave Mathis, which talks about “enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines” (which has some great endorsements from John Piper and Louie Giglio).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Picture this scene playing out in your mind:  you are the leader of a group of people.  Maybe you are the new coach of a sports team, or a new boss in a company, or a new pastor in a church, or an instructor in an orchestra.  Got it?  You are the new leader of a team.

Let me make it more concrete (and then, I’ll let you apply it to your own situation).

The meeting opens up and the new football coach comes before his team of players. He already knows many of them from past experiences with them, and/or looking at their files.  He sees the all-star quarterback and running back.  He sees the big, I mean big offensive and defensive linemen.  Over to the other side of the room, he sees the offensive and defensive coaches.

As he looks over the room, not saying a word, the room grows very still.  He looks over at one of the wide receivers and staring at him with piercing eyes, the new coach says, “what is your job?”  Nervously, the wide receiver says, “I play wide receiver and my job is catch passes, score touchdowns, and look good!” as the whole room starts to laugh.

“humm” the coach quietly says to himself.  He then looks at one of the offensive lineman and says “what is your main goal?”

“My job is not to get trampled on by the defensive lineman and to protect the quarterback” the lineman says as the room increasingly seems to loosen up.

The new coach goes on to ask one to two more players, as well as one of the assistant coaches, who all give similar answers about what their main responsibility is and their goals.

“Thank you all for your honesty”  the new coach blurts out, but that is not good enough if we are going to be our best.  The coach went on talking with a firmness in his voice, “It is not good enough if we are going to act like a team.

We have a choice today. We can either be mindful of looking out for our self and trying to be our best, or we can willingly submit our self for the benefit of the success of the team.  Deep down, who do you want to be successful, you or the team?

The topic of that meeting is what is the crucial confrontation that every leader must eventually face if they are going to be successful.  If they never have that conversation with their team, the leader has already set them up for eventual failure.

The Bible has a very often repeated verse that says, “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.    That verse has huge application for every organization.

From a practical standpoint if all members of a team are not all moving in the same direction with the same objectives, they are weakening the foundation of the team and limiting its potential.

As the leader, you need to understand that yourself. You need to communicate that to your team. Lastly, you need to then manage your team so that it functions with clarity in achieving one main goal.

 

Thank you for your reading of this post. I hope it has been a blessing for you in some way.

If you click on this link,  crossway.org/HGDM16   you will be able to download this free resource donated graciously by Crossway Publishing: “habits of grace” by Dave Mathis, which talks about “enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines”.

It will take you only about 3 minutes to complete Crossway’s requested-information, then you will have the free download.   Enjoy it and other, great Crossway resources.

Thank you for participating in this.

You can both help me AND receive a FREE book

Standard

FREE book follow-up.  

A few days ago I had mentioned I was offering a Free book, in partnership with Crossway Publishing for those readers who would take just a few minutes to complete a 10 question survey.    Well, read through this post and then follow the links for further instructions.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

To readers of this blog, you are aware that these posts are written with a deep desire to help you understand and be motivated to strive for excellence in every area of your life. With that purpose in mind, it is no wonder that in so many of my posts I ask you to do some kind of personal evaluation.   Without taking time to ask your self questions to measure where you are at in some area of responsibility in your life, how will you know when and what adjustments you’ll need to make in your pursuit to do better.

I believe strongly that the number one area of responsibility in each of our lives is the “Devotion to God” category. Without being focused on this area, it is hard to profit from your efforts in any other area of responsibility.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask you, dear reader of this blog to take just a few minutes to complete the following questionnaire.   It is an anonymous 10 question survey.  Your name will not be connected in any way to the tabulated results I see.  I’m not sure what will become of the answers I will receive, but I believe the Lord is leading in the creation of this post.   With the combination of several thousand blog followers and  social media connections I have, my hope is to receive quite a few completed responses that I can use in some way.

Here it goes, if you would complete this  10 question survey – “how are you being challenged to live out your faith?”, as an added bonus, I have connected with Crossway Publishing who has graciously offered a free download resource crossway.org/HGDM16     It will take you only about 3 minutes to complete Crossway’s information, then you will have their book, “habits of grace” by Dave Mathis, which talks about “enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines”.

Thank you for participating in this.