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Archive for the category “time for action”

I AM A BELIEVER! What about you?

I am a believer!

What do you believe?
Do you believe it will be ok?
Do you believe you will succeed in life?
Do you believe you can do great things?
Do you believe in yourself?
Do you believe God is creator?
Do you believe Jesus will save you?
Do you believe Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven?

I am often filled with do you believe questions.. 

One Is usually, do I believe people will show up? Do I believe I am good enough? Do I believe I have what it takes to accomplish the task?

I assume you have your own set of “Do I believe” statements…. Maybe it would be good to take a minute to list them? That is totally up to you.

How much of the do I believes matter?

Don’t get me wrong but do they matter if we don’t do anything with the question..
We need to take action at some point to put it into practice, to begin working out the question into a statement… for example:

I believe it will be ok.
I believe I will succeed.
I believe I can do great things and be an impact person.
I believe in myself… not arrogantly but believe I have worth.
I believe God created all things
I believe Jesus saves me and prepares a place for me.

But there is a little gap between the question and the fact of belief. 

I truly know in my heart nobody makes it on belief alone… It takes time and work to work out one’s belief.

Here is a simple suggestion, surround yourself with people …

who will believe in you,…
who will keep you humble,…
who will encourage you,…
who will help you make a plan to accomplish your goals

I heard this is a recent sermon…. And it wrecked my world…

Believing in something is easy but having faith (living out that belief) isn’t easy.

Unity in me? In my team? In my world? YES!

Unity…. Webster says Unity is:

  1. the state of being one; oneness
  2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
  3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
  4. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.”

What do you say unity is?
I define unity in two ways…

  1. being content within your own heart and self.
  2. getting along with a person or group of persons through a common source.

How we define unity is important. We need to have a common understanding on the definition and how it is played out within the group and each individual.

How your basketball team, swim team, music group defines and acts out unity is vital to the success, longevity and legacy of each group. We focus so much attention on me… we forget the importance of we. We focus so much attention on the now that we forget about the future.

Yeah, I know.. how can I possibly know the future we leave when I don’t know the me within the we now? I think this is the tension we all deal with throughout our careers, friendship and families. Smarter people than I have written books, taught classes and seminars etc. but I speak from my own heart…

John 17:21 That they might be ONE… There is value in being one, if there wasn’t God wouldn’t have mentioned it in the bible.

What can we gain from being one (unity)?

  1. We will have a better understanding of others. We will put others first.
  2. Our teams will not only look good but they will function and perform better…. Like state championship better. People will notice something is different with this team.
  3. The people who will follow us will be better prepared and will benefit from the hard work we have done to create, foster and encourage unity.

 

IF that isn’t enough… we will actually find some contentment within our own hearts and therefore better equipped to impact the world we live in.

Choose today to find unity within yourself…. Encourage within your team and display it for the world to see.

 

 

Define the Team.. you have a role

This blog is number two in team… it is all about how we

teamDefine a team….

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift his companion. But wow to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up

The Team…. Have you ever been a part of a team, maybe in sports, academic or work related? If you have I assume some of the teams were good and others less than enjoyable, what causes some to succeed and others not?

I might be one to use crazy examples… but here goes:

Track and field is a team sport but individually driven.
Tennis is a team sport but mostly individually driven.
Gymnastics is a team sport but individually driven.
Swimming is a team sport but individually driven.

What is similar with these and other teams… it is both individual and team.. it takes a single person using their ability to perform for the team within their own discipline or event.

For example:

A person who swims might need to compete in a different event than normal in order to earn valuable team points while competing to win, or place well.

A track relay team has four runners who each run their race… but must hand off a baton to the next runner to compete…

Let’s use the track team as a launching point…..(primarily due to the fact I ran track and not the other sports)…

Four runners run their race… for example the four by hundred meter relay…

One runner starts the race runs their hundred and passes the baton to the next… and so on until the anchor leg runs and crosses the finish line.

If each runner doesn’t compete at their best the team loses.
If each runner doesn’t hand off or receive the baton well the team loses.
If one runner stops in the race the whole team loses…

What does this have to do with working as a team… or more specifically your team?

Simple… we all have a different important role.. one might be the starter and another might be the anchor (finisher) but they cant run the race effectively without the others doing their job.

The team has a lot of individuals who are important but not at the expense of the team.

You are a player who is on a team… maybe it is a school, work or different team.. maybe it is a family or bigger yet… you play on the team of people who make up the world..

We are all equipped to be team players but what sets the successful team players a part from the non successful ones is simple.. each player studies, knows and chooses to play their role to the best of their ability.. You must choose to play..not just play but play your role.

Team.. two ways to look at it

teamBuild a team….

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift his companion. But wow to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”

The Team…. Have you ever been a part of a team, maybe in sports, academic or work related? If you have I assume some of the teams were good and others less than enjoyable, what causes some to succeed and others not?

Well I have a couple theories and Ideas I would like to share, more for thought than anything.

  1. The team had a clear understanding:
  • Goals are clearly defined and accepted
  • Roles are clearly defined and accepted
  • Direction is clearly defined and accepted
  1. The team is equipped
  • Each team member has the right tools (equipment) to succeed.
  • Each team member feels inspired and encouraged to play the game.
  • Each team member is held accountable for their role and team’s success.

I could easily send the same ideas to what might be causing issues with the team

  1. The team has no clear understanding:
  • Individuals don’t really understand the team goals
  • Individuals don’t accept or own their personal role in the game.
  • Individuals lack personal direction and choose not to own the teams.
  1. The team is unprepared
  • Individuals haven’t developed their tools (equipment). They settle for average.
  • Individuals are left behind, forgotten about
  • Individuals have no personal or team accountability.

Which set of list best describes your team? Which set would you say is most common amongst your peers? And finally which set would you say represents you personally?

The challenges we deal with isn’t a team challenge as much as it is a personal challenge. That challenge simply is who are you? Are you a team player or a lone ranger (the person who needs no help)?

Tune in next time as we continue to look at Team vs Me

Prepared? Really does it matter?

That question really is a question of context… depending on the context being prepared does matter.

Malachi 3:1 “ Look, I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.”

Check it out… Allow me to indulge a bit for you… allow me to offer some examples…

  • Ever take a trip to the bathroom, only to walk away with TP stuck on your foot?
  • Ever take a trip with a baby and figure out you left the diaper bag at home?
  • Ever take a group of teens to a retreat and forget one at the rest stop…. NO, that wouldn’t be good.. bad example.
  • Ever go to a concert, amusement park or movie only to remember you forgot the tickets?

I will admit I have walked out of a restroom with TP on my shoe.
I will admit I have left the diaper bag at home.

I will admit to forgetting a ticket to a theme park.. that was an expensive lesson.
I have never ever forgot a teen at a rest stop… but know someone who did. They turned around and got the teen.
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  • Ever go to the bathroom only to find out you are out of TP, or worse there is barely enough tp to use…

I know we all have to commit to this one…. We are all subject to this in two ways… we are the one who used the last of it up or we are the ones who discovered this issue.

But is this what Malachi from the bible is talking about? Not really… He is talking about someone coming in our behalf to help us find our way in the world, through the world and to a better place. He was a messenger.

Allow me to offer some additional indulgences?

  • How well do you prepare for things in your life?
    • Do you do your homework or cram to finish?
    • Do you slack when the boss or teachers is missing?
    • Do you prepare in practice to be the best during the game?
    • Do you find truth only to blow it off?
    • Do you find yourself compromising for the moment or an impulse instead of waiting? Simply put, do you regret the decision once you realize you chose it?

Maybe all of these are true, I know I fall prey to some and that doesn’t define me.. I have chosen to allow those examples to shape me, to train me to use my time of preparing as a tool, that when it is go time I will preform to my ability.

John Wooden (Great college basketball coach at UCLA) said,  “How you run the race – your planning, preparation, practice and performance—counts for everything. Winning or losing is a by-product, an aftereffect, or that effort.”
Such truth to this statement.. please read it again before you move on.

 

I hope you can find healing, hope and a challenge in how you prepare. I hope you to can and will stop the cycle of compromise and begin a fresh.. prepare well to perform well in life. It is up to you to choose.

Go Team prepared.

Been fighting the Greed?

 
Wow.. Yeah early in January 2016 I am already at it, talking greed and fighting.
I was reading in my bible the other day… a verse in Proverbs jumped out to me… partly due to suffering through a Bengals playcat fight.jpegoff game (1/9/16) where the Steelers and Bengals actually were getting into issues, fightings etc.. It was a frustrating experience for me as a football fan and human… Back to proverbs..

Proverbs 28: 25 (NLT) ” Greed causes fighting; rushing the Lord leads to prosperity.” Boom there it is.. if we pursue greed it will result in fighting… I wonder if:

  • the players were playing a fun game of football or a game of greed ball? I am not or never have been a NFL star let alone good football player. I guarded the bench and played a lot in practice..

Rushing to the Lord leads to prosperity….

  • at the end of the game… at mid field.. the very same spot where the officials where standing on point guarding to prevent a pregame fight.. some players gathered to pray.

The prayer time did not make the press, Sports Center, or any other sports show, it didn’t make the Live with Kelly and Michael show… but the fighting, arguing and all the issues did…

Why? Why did one get media attention and the other not?

I believe in my heart it is simply based on the above scripture.. we live in a world who is consumed with greed, not everyone but most fall to the greed monster which leads to fighting.. some of the fighting is external but I bet most of us are fighting internally..

But if we follow the verse… “trusting in the Lord leads to prosperity.”  I know.. trust that is a big thing as is being prosperous. Again two things the world struggles to achieve and do.
We aren’t trusting people and often perceive prosperity in a worldly way.. We want riches, fancy cars, big house and what ever the neighbor gets that we do not have.

God is talking about trusting in Him first.. He is the key and when we do, we will be more able and equipped to trust others.

My prayer is simply… Lord allow me to run from greed and towards you in prayer and trust. I encourage you to join me in this pursuit. Pray, seek and grow.

I would rather be the one not making great headlines impacting the world one person at a time than making every major news show as they discuss my poor example.

 

New Years Resolutions… How about a reminder instead?

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New Years Resolutions… How about a reminder instead?

 

I am all about New Years Resolutions; especially ones that will help you become a better person who will contribute more to our world. But I equally struggle with resolutions that don’t make sense or will never make it a week let alone a year. For example….

  • Working out everyday at a gym.
  • Buying a membership to a place across town.
  • Paying off a years worth of debt in a week
  • Stop a habit (Drinking, smoking, or even profanity) without a solid plan
  • Being held accountable for something… without an accountability partner
  • Becoming an Ohio State Fan… no that is a joke. As a Michigan fan this will more than likely never happen.

I think there is great value in making a list of things to working in becoming a better person. I am all for success and making and reaching goals.

In my recent bible reading this week… I came across a verse that smacked me between the eyes. This might be a good verse to implement into our New Year.

Please know I struggle with this one as much as the next person and you might want to sit down for it… Here goes. You have been warned

James 4:17 says… “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” NLT (Jesus Centered Bible)

I recommended you to sit down…. Ok so let me unpack and connect this one to New Years.
First.. sin is defined as anything you do, think, say that is wrong and goes against God’s teaching and ways. I am not arguing the idea of sin.

Please don’t lose focus of the idea of knowing what we should do but don’t do.

  • We will fail in life…. Acknowledge it
  • When we do not do, what we should do is wrong:
    • Not picking up the garbage you drop… is wrong
    • Not driving the speed limit… is wrong
    • Not working to the best of our ability … is wrong
    • Not being honest with others or yourself is wrong

They are wrong because we know we ought to be doing the right thing…

Friends, lets be honest this is a bible verse but it also applies to everyone. You don’t have to be a Christian or Christ-Follower to know when you are not doing what you know you should be doing

  • We look around to see if anyone noticed our not picking up garbage.
  • We lift our foot off the gas when we see a police car.
  • We work harder when the boss is in the area

All the things listed above,we do when we know we are being watched but in reality we shouldn’t need to be watched or the fear of being caught shouldn’t drive us to do good (them). We should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Everyone is designed to do the right thing.

I challenge myself and you the reader to think about the times we choose to not do what we know we should be doing, and simply do the right thing. Because we should do it.

Happy New Years and good luck doing what we know we should do… Life is a system of choices.
Choose wisely.

The wraps and stuff like that 8 of 8 series

 Part 8 of 8: The Wraps

We took a long, long journey through the detestable things we can do that God doesn’t like…. He hates them. Yeah hate is a strong word. A really really strong word but it is what God feels about the things I have been blogging about for a long time.

So, for a quick review here they are:

  1. Haughty eyes (arrogant eyes)
  2. a lying tongue (a tongue that lies)
  3. hands that shed innocent blood (hands that murder the innocent)
  4. a heart that devises wicked plans ( a heart that hatches evil plots)
  5. feet that runs toward evil (always stirring up trouble)
  6. a false witness (a mouth that lies under oath)
  7. one who sows discord among brothers (a troublemaker in the family)

 

I have had some time to think through this list of detestable things to God… and discovered something interesting…

The list above is presents the following issues to Christians

  1. They share a poor witness example of who Christ is to others.
  2. They will be major distractions for our own spiritual walk with Christ.
  3. They are issues we first contain in our hearts that eventually work their way into our day to day lives and actions..

 

I am not sure if this list and recent blogs post upset you, offend you or simply aren’t a big deal to you but for me they are a warning from the Bible for me to make sure I am not allowing Satan to tempt me to begin thinking, then harboring and eventually revealing these things in my life… if nothing more than it effects those around me but also puts distance between Jesus and I.

Please reread the blogs… and evaluate things on a personal level then make the time to communicate to Jesus about your weaknesses and your strengths in order to be forgiven and to continue growing as a Christ follower…

 

I am praying for us, to be more like Christ and less like the world.

Warning 7 of 8….Trouble… Trouble… Trouble

Part 7 of 8: Trouble Makers

I will first admit I am a twin (identical twin) with that being said, we (my brother and I) caused a lot of trouble for each other. I think it was a game to see who could get the other in more trouble, or maybe just to avoid splitting fire wood in the cold Michigan winter… whatever the reason we had little trouble with causing trouble. I also have watched other siblings try their best to get another in trouble.. maybe for the same reason, maybe for a totally different reason. But the truth of the matter it isn’t a good thing.

This is the point in the blog where you the reader says something to the extent of “I am not a twin, so I am good to go” or “ I am a single child, so I am good to go.” NOT SO FAST Slick…. It does not work that way…. Do you work in a setting that requires a team or group of people to do tasks that allow a product to get completed? Do you play a sport that requires you to function with others on a field of play? (I know our local school football team went to state and while being interviewed they referred to the team as a FAMILY..

Step back for a minute…. What does family mean? It might mean some pretty ugly things for some but for the majority it means parents, siblings and even some animals. It means spending time together on vacations, yard work and even around the dinner table… to me it means a wife, 4 kids, 4 cats, 2 dogs, too many rabbits to count and some chickens. It takes a group to make a family… No one goes to a restaurant and asks for a table for one… the family table that would be crazy.

So what is the point to all this family talk? Great question! It is the very topic that God detests…. Check it out for yourself

Proverbs 6:19b “ a person who sows discord in a family.” The Message translation says it like this: “ A trouble maker in the family.”  This verse goes along with the warning series I have been blogging about. I know God cares for his people and warns us because He cares. So, what can we gain from this verse…

We are a part of a family…

In your house

In your class room

In your sports or academic teams

In your colleges

In your work place

We are a family and God says being a trouble maker is bad . Why is it so bad? Well it creates disharmony, it creates a poor atmosphere, it creates tension that isn’t healthy or a great witness to others. Why would anyone want to be on a team with people who always cause trouble? Why would anyone want to work for a place full of troublemakers?
We would admit, NO ONE in the right mind would want to be associated to that type of negativity or be connected to it.
I think it might be a good warning from God to take a couple minutes each day and ask ourselves… and I part of the problem or solution? I am not referring to Do I think I am right or wrong… it isn’t about that…. It is about connecting with a group (family) and working through the challenges we all bring to that family in order to make a better place for others in the world.. God will work in and through us but His Word is clearly telling us

DON’T BE A TROUBLE MAKER…

Find ways to set triggers for yourself… ways that will warn you prior to being one of those people… ways to not regret an action or comment… ways to help others see Jesus through every action we make…. Even when no one is around us to see it.
This isn’t an easy task or thing to do… no, it isn’t for the weak or the easy quitter.. it is for the brave, the free and those who want to live a life that is much larger than anything they could ever imagine..
Be a world changer in your family first!

Warning 6 of 8, Soap Opera own real life.

soap opera picThe Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, and others. I assume some of you have no idea what those are or mean but to others it is a flash from the past and unfortunately still lingering on today. They were famous soap operas in the 1980s and 1990s. I never watched them (no really I never have) but my grandmother did and she would get wrapped up in this make believe world… the lies, the cheating, the romance etc. I begin to wonder if the modern day reality TV has replaced the old fashion Soaps?

I have watched a few of them… survivor for one. It is a reality game show but is it a reflection of our world? I am beginning to think so.. We watch the show thinking this is awesome… A player just got blind sides. A blind side is when someone is deceived or lied to and then gets voted out of the game. Blind sides are good to get people out of the game but are they really that good?

I am not sure about you but can assume you don’t like being lied to. I don’t like it all and it is my boiling point for sure. My tolerance for being lied to is zero.

God warns us in great detail to watch out for false witnesses who pour out lies. Why would he have such a huge focus on this?

Proverbs 6:19 “ a false witness who pours out lies.” This verse goes along with the warning series I have been blogging about. I know God cares for his people and warns us because He cares. So, what can we gain from this verse…

No one… I mean no one likes to be lied too. No one … I mean no one likes to be caught lying… No one I mean, No one really forgets when someone lies to us…

Here is a simple warning… If you don’t like being lied to, you shouldn’t lie to others. But in reality our world justifies lies and being a white lie… or lying to keep the person from being hurt or for protection…

I am all for taking care of people but I was taught from my mother that your lies will find you out. Eventually you will be held responsible for your actions… maybe not on this earth but as we move to eternity we will be held accountable.

Lets begin day by day, conversation by conversation, thought by thought to choose to heed God’s warning and not become a liar and watch out for those who look to deceive you…

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