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Family // Balance // Leadership

Your Unfair Advantage

My wife and I have been through a lot since the last time I wrote something on here. Things have not gone according to plan, to say the least. Nothing could have prepared us to go through the last 18 months. We struggle and hurt every single day. Yet, we cling to the hope that is in Jesus Christ. We believe that what we have been through will someday allow us to support others in a way no one else can.

“your past struggles don’t hold you back. they propel you forward. they are your unfair advantage.” – Mike Foster

Worry About Yourself

We often fail to be content with what we have. You want what the table next to you had for dinner. You want to go where your neighbor went on vacation instead of where you can afford. You wish you had her hair or clothes. You wish you had their house or car. The list goes on and on. The truth is, you have what you have and you are where you are. We need to learn to live with it and choose to be content. So take some advice from this little girl, and worry about yourself.

If you cannot learn to be content with what you have, then you will never be content with what you get.

Myth Busters

I recently read an article by Jon Acuff debunking the idea that we don’t have enough time. I also read Rick Warren bust the myth that we don’t have enough to give. I received them in my email inbox on the same day. Two different blog articles telling me the same thing; stop making excuses.

We sometimes make excuses of why we don’t give more of our talent and treasure to what’s most important. We say that we don’t have enough money to give. However, the truth is that God always gives us opportunities to give to those in need.

We sometimes make excuses of why we don’t give more of our time to who and what is most important. We say we don’t have enough time and that we are too busy. However, the truth is we find plenty of time for things that are less important.

God provides us with what we need, to do what we need to do, when we need to do it. We need to prioritize in such a way that eliminates the excuses from our lives.

Is The FitBit Just Hype?

For years I have seen and heard of people using their FitBit or similar device to track their steps. The idea is genius, keeping something as important as our health in front of us at all times. However, there are a lot of things that are really cool ideas, but fail to be effective everyday reality.

I wasn’t sure if the smart pedometer device was a fad that would be here today and gone tomorrow or if it was truly an effective tool. Maybe I just never heard or saw enough stories of people who lost weight and got healthy while using one. However, my employer was running a promotion to participate in a challenge with other employees.

Those who participate get a significant discount on a FitBit. The goal is for everyone to get at least 10,000 steps a day. The competition starts next week and I’ve had my FitBit for a week in anticipation for the challenge to begin. In the last 7 days I’ve found myself coming home from work with 8,000 steps and pushing myself to take a walk around the block to to 10,000.

The only way I would have been able to do this is by knowing where I was at with my total steps. This little wristband had kept what was important in front of me and allowed me to push myself further than I had in the past. Like anything else of value, it’s imperative to keep it in front of us.

I am hoping to continue to use this little device to keep myself more active than I have been. It also moves me to think about other values. What else is important enough to keep track of that we set aside and take for granted? We set goals to start each year that are important to us. Instead of keeping them at the forefront of our attention we often set them aside and forget about them.

If we value something enough we should measure it, track it, and continually keep it in front of us. What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets done. What are you dragging your feet on? What are you setting aside that needs to get picked up?

Only a Fool Lives Cautiously

Back on May 8, 2014 I was reading my Bible and felt the Lord speak to me. I am not saying that I actually audibly heard His voice, but I did actually read His word. There is a parable in Matthew where a master leaves three servants bags of gold. To one he leaves five, to another he leaves two, and to the last he leaves one. The first two servants are good stewards of what they were given and doubled their masters investment. However, the last servant buried his bag of gold in the ground and hid it. When the he heard this it says, “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. (Matthew 25:26-27 MSG)

I remember reading those words and feeling like the Lord was telling me that He has invested in me. What was I doing with what He gave me? Was I a good steward or did I bury my head in the sand and hide. It’s criminal to live a life and not take risks. It’s foolish to live cautiously like that. It’s not how we were intended to live. We must hear from the Lord and obey. Heaven forbid He asks you to do something and you don’t do it.

I never want to hear the words, “If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?” Instead I want to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We all drag our feet at some point in life. What risk is God asking you to take? How is He asking you to step out in faith?

Choose To Live Your Dreams

“People deal with their dreams in one of three ways. They accuse, they excuse, or they choose.”

  1. Accusers spend their entire lives blaming others for why they haven’t achieved their dreams.
  2. Excusers make excuses for why they are not living their dreams.
  3. Choosers do what it takes to live their dreams.

Read More from Rick Warren →

Day of Rest

I haven’t written a blog post in quite some time for one specific reason. I haven’t had a day off of work since February 5th. After that I preached the weekend of February 6th and 7th and then started a new job at Kohler on Monday the 8th. The story of how I got to the place I am now, where I am both a pastor and a training specialist, is an interesting one. However, that will have to be a story for another day.

I consider myself a strong man, hard worker, and emotionally intelligent individual. However, within the past 43 days I have come home crying at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t anything terrible that happened to me. I didn’t get in a car accident (although that did almost happen). I didn’t receive any bad news. I wasn’t part of any conflicts.

What did happen was I began to run out of physical and emotional energy. I wasn’t participating in one of the most basic and known practices on earth. I wasn’t resting. It didn’t take me long to realize that what I was doing was not sustainable. Fortunately, today I have the day off and I have every Saturday off from now on.

I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I am to work for a boss who not only wants to see me win at work, but also at home. He sat across the table from me and told me that he wanted me to have balance, to have a healthy marriage, to have rest. I am so thankful to work with a awesome team of people who empathize with my situation and who are willing to help and support me.

I am positive that there are others who have gone longer than I have without a day of rest. I am sure we could create a leaderboard and record book, but why would we. This is nothing to be celebrated. It isn’t something to be proud of. If you are not currently taking a day of rest and making it a priority, I can’t encourage you enough to make a change.

How to Make an Awesome Dinner for Free

Last night my wife sat with her feet up while I dazzled her with my entertaining skills of singing, cooking, and dancing… simultaneously, I might add. I decided that it was important for me to make dinner. You would think it would be because she does it 99% of the time and it’s only fair that I do it here and there, but you’d be wrong.

You might be thinking that I made dinner for my wife so I could get some type of reward, but it wasn’t even Tuesday night so that’s out of the question. You might be thinking that I did it so I could write a blog post about it and while that isn’t a bad guess, I honestly didn’t even know I was going to write this until now.

The real answer is because I actually love my wife. I love her. I love to serve her. I love to treat her. I love to make her feel special. I love to surprise her. I love to see her smile. I love to make her laugh. It wouldn’t have mattered if throwing all the different and random free ingredients (we already had them in the house) created something inedible.

What mattered most was spending time with her. What mattered was giving her a chance to relax and put her feet up. What mattered was seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. And, it didn’t hurt that it actually turned out to be quite tasty. When it’s all said and done, she is what matters and we got to enjoy time together.

I am writing this, because I am going to need everyone in my life to hold me accountable and continue to make time for her, because I am about to start another job. I will be working seven days a week and trying to balance, work and church, ministry and marriage, faith, family, friends, and everything in between. Help me stay on track and be sure that you do whatever it takes to keep your priorities in the right order. #WhatMattersMost

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