Not getting appreciated, how about ….

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How many interactions with people do you have each day?   5, 10, 20, ?

How many of those interactions leave you energized.

My guess is that possibly, just maybe in one of those conversations the other person will say something encouraging to you.  That’s about it–maybe just one.  Its unfortunate, but true, people tend to under-appreciate others and take them for granted.

A couple of thousands of years ago, a person named Paul was quoting from Jesus Christ when he said, “it is better to give than receive”  (Acts 20:35).    So, let me encourage you to do a little experiment with me.

You know how good it feels when someone says something nice about you.  You also know that, at least, for most people, those positive comments come few and far between.

Waiting for that good feeling to come to you (whenever that may be), how about putting the Bible verse to the test that I just referenced (it’s better to give than receive) and giving someone else a word of encouragement or praise?  In fact, let’s take it a bit further and pass out two positive exchanges with people for three days.

So, tomorrow, if you are game, go ahead and call, text, e-mail, or talk to two different people and offer some positive words to them. Let them know you appreciate them and one of their character qualities.

Then, do the same on the next day and the day after.

My guess is that you will find a deep joy in what you have done——–but you won’t know that feeling unless you try!

 

Dads–how about trying this loving gesture?

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This post has come from my experience as a father.  I think moms have an inside track on connecting with their kids.  The ones I’ve known, generally do it well. Moms just seem to find it easy to have those heart to heart conversations with their kids.

For us, as fathers, many of us struggle with how best to tell and show our kids that we deeply love them and want the best for them.

Since we’re really all in this together, I wanted to pass on to you something I’ve done for each of my five kids that I believe was meaningful..  I did this for each of them during their young teenage years, though I think the idea could be used in other meaningful stages of life.

What I did was talked with about a dozen, wise and respected people in each of my children’s lives. It could be just a friend of the family, a teacher, a pastor, a family member.  I asked each of these people if they would write a handwritten note to my child giving them encouragement and advice for the journey that is before my child.

????????????

I then collected each of the notes and put them in a nice, decorative box and gave them to each of my children.  I don’t believe I asked too much of what they thought of these notes, other than I know, I remember seeing these boxes, years later in their rooms that’s a good enough sign for me.

Who doesn’t like encouragement ?  We all do.

Who wouldn’t appreciate the fact that someone they know and respect loves them and took the time to write a handwritten note to give them heartfelt encouragement and their best advice?  We all would.

 

I think as my kids saw all these notes and realized that they were loved by many people, I think they also realized in a deeper way that their father also loved them by taking the time to coordinate putting this special gift together.

Do the unexpected and bless your kids—they are worth it!

How to identify someone who needs encouragement?

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“do you know how  I identify  someone who needs encouragement?  If the person is breathing they need a pat on the back”

Truett Cathy quote

Just think how good it makes you feel when you are going through a challenging time and someone offers you words of encouragement.  Its energizing, isn’t it?

Who is there around you that could benefit from a few words of encouragement?

It doesn’t take much, but your efforts can go a long way 🙂

 

Everyone dreams, but not everyone …

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“Dreams don’t accomplish themselves. It requires discipline to make your dream a reality. When a baseball player hits a 95 m.p.h. fastball, he’s able to do this through endless hours of disciplined practice. Everyone dreams , but not everyone accomplishes. The difference is in personal discipline.

“excerpt from Whatever the Cost’ by  David and Jason Benham

A friend of mine once told me, “priorities get done”.   What are your priorities?  What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish?  Understand then that there is a gap between where you are today and where you want to be?

That is the gap, which requires you to persevere and execute personal discipline.

Let me encourage you to focus on taking small, but consistent steps of doing the right things to accomplish your goals.  Again, they may not be big strides, but as long as they help you move one step closer to your dreams, you are moving in the right direction. You will be encouraged.

The alternative to trying to breaking down your big goal into smaller goals is to get impatient and rush the process.  If you go this route, you will energized for a while in moving towards your goal, only to lose steam, burn out, and then give up.  You will be like a firework that appears dazzling (for a while), then fizzles out.

Also, don’t try to accomplish your goals by yourself. Find a trusted friend who can encourage you to keep on, keeping on.

Lastly, dreams are nice to have, but at some time, you need to decide are you willing to put in the effort to making your dream come true.  I appreciate the words of Bruce Lee who said, “if you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”Bruce Lee quote--too much time

What is at the heart of giving hope?

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“All true hope and comfort are rooted in thankfulness for God, his character, and his help. Giving hope is about helping a person see the Lord. suffering commands our attention and clouds our vision, making it easy to forget what anchors our faith.

Because trouble has such power to blind and confuse us, it is a sweet grace to have someone come alongside and point us to the One who is a rock, a fortress, a refuge, a hiding place and a shield. We all need someone to remind us that life is not defined by our pain but by our union with Christ.

….giving hope is more than convincing people that things will get better, or helping them decide what to do. Giving hope introduces them to a PERSON (Jesus Christ)

notes taken from “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul David Tripp

I showed love to someone today

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Well, really it wasn’t today, but a few days ago while I was out of town on business. Early in the morning, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to use me to be a blessing that day.

Nothing dramatic happened for most of the day. Then, while I was out, by myself at dinner, I was served by a pleasant waiter. We small-talked for a few minutes. It was a very nice conversation.

When he brought me my food, I asked him just before he left that I’m trying to get in the habit of thanking God before my meals for my food and praying for those who are serving me. I asked him if there was anything he would like me to pray for him about, besides what he had already mentioned to me. He mentioned something,fairly general for me to pray for him about.

But, as he was leaving my table, he thanked me several times with what appeared to be very heartfelt gratitude.

Later as he came back to see how I was enjoying my meal(he actually came back several times), he also asked if I would pray for his girlfriend. Nothing too personal, just a general prayer request for her.

After he had given me my bill, I mentioned to him that I was giving him a financial tip, as well as a written Bible verse (Prov. 3:5-6) that I found has helped me a lot of help over the years. Again, he expressed deep appreciation for my thinking of him in this way.

As I was at the cashier’s, I told the woman behind the counter that I had a comment for the manager about my server. Can you imagine what negative comments she thought I was going to mention?

Well, I surprised her in a big-time way by mentioning how pleasant he was and that he took care of my so well.

She said “thank you” in a very startled kind of way. As I was walking out the door, I heard her comment to another employee who had come up to the cashier’s, “this guy just said a bunch of really nice things about Dean”.

Now, I don’t know all that was happening in Dean’s life, other than what he told me, but my point in sharing this experience with you all is that it really didn’t take a lot of effort on my part to show a lot of love to someone.
I was open to being used by God and prayed to Him
In His faithfulness, He provided an opportunity to fulfill this prayer request
I engaged with the server in friendly conversation.
I asked what I could pray with him about (and then prayed for him.
I was generous to him with my tip.
and I offered words of encouragement to be passed on to his boss.

Let me encourage you (and even to myself) to pray and then look for ways to be a blessing to others. I think there are a lot opportunities around me every day that I just miss because I’m just so focused on my life. Maybe its the same for you, too.

I don’t know who really was happier that evening after my restaurant experience: my server, or me for the privilege of making someone feel good. Either way, it was a good day.

Blessings