Thursday, February 03, 2011

Insights from The Serving Leader - a Ken Blanchard Series resource

On Saturday, January 29, 2011 I was honored to lead the first ever Salvation Army Central Territory Leadership Training Day webcast event.  The day consisted of 3 one and one half hour sessions.  This is the first of the 3 sessions.

Click Here to view session 1 --> The Serving Leader

I will make available the links to the subsequent sessions in separate posts.
Session 2: Recognizing, Raising, Resourcing & Releasing Leaders to Serve
Session 3: Staying Safe & Sane While Serving In Ministry
I’d appreciate your feedback on these sessions.  Thank you for tuning in.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How Do You Start A New Discipline / Habit?

Fall has arrived.  The sunny warm / hot days are battling it out with the more crisp and cool days.  Perhaps mirroring this battle of the seasons is the internal battle from summer to fall.If you're anything like me, there is a process of adjusting from the more leisurely summer schedule to the structured and sometimes full fall schedule.  I'm interested in what steps you take to adjust to a new schedule and what practices you put in place to help you reduce the number of "hiccups" or "fumbles" through the transition from one season of life to the next.  Do you set a backup alarm away from your bed to insure you get up on time?  Do you have a helper, be it a freind, a spouse or a child who holds you accountable to your promises or new expectations?

There is a striking similarity between our adjustment to new seasons, schedules and environsand the process we put in place to grow intellectually and spiritually.  We come to a point where remaining static or stationary in our learning or growing is distasteful, at least, unbearable at most.  We know that change is needed, but do we know how to bring about that change?  Can we solve the problem on our own?  Will a trip to the self-help section of the library or bookstore move us ahead?  Perhaps.

I offer up these few suggestions from my own experience in the hope that they will serve you well in your journey to growth.
  1. First, know what you hope to accomplish through change and discipline.  Attempting a new discipline or habit without desired outcome(s) in mind is futile and foolish.  In other words, know what your destination is before you plan your journey there.  Let me explain.  I'm feeling somewhat achy and lethargic.  It's not because I'm ill.  It's because I'm overweight.  I want to feel better physically, having more energy, not to mention having a better self-image.  Thus, I am ready to map out a plan to achieve the weight loss in order to accomplish these goals.
  2. Second, engage disciplines that will best bring about the desired outcomes.  In other words, pick the best vehicle and fuel to get you to your destination.  We'll stick with my weight loss as our example.  I've now spoken with my physician about my weight and received a recommendation for cardio and strength  training, as well as adjusting my intake in order to battle the bulge.  Knowing my desired outcome of weighing less, feeling better physically and mentally, I heed the words of my trainer and my doctor, "Move more. Eat Less."  I've established a doable goal of working out at the fitness center for no less than 1 hour each time.  Partnering this discipline with making sure my meals are balanced, with appropriate portions & no snacking after 7 PM and I'm headed in the right direction.
  3. Share your plan with someone.  In sharing your plan, your process and your desired outcome with someone, you increase the likelihood that you will proceed with the journey.  I recommend sharing this plan with a trusted friend, spouse, partner, or counselor/coach.  These are people that we know and they know us well enough to question why we are deviating from our plan if we start to falter.  Going back to my weight loss, I told my wife, son and daughter about my desire to lose 40 - 50 pounds and my plan for doing so.  I explained why I wanted to lose weight and they agreed with my goal and plans.  There is no one less forgiving or more strict than a five year old who knows her daddy isn't doing what he said he'd do.  This positive peer pressure/accountability is helping me to succeed (I've lost 25 pounds. I'm half way there). 
  4. Celebrate/Commemorate your successes.  In other words, if you want your healthy discipline to become a habit, you must positively reinforce the results of the discipline.  Sometimes the feeling of fulfillment is sufficient, but most of the time, if we want the disciplines employed to accomplish our goal to remain a habit for us, our brain requires a deeper/greater acknowledgment for what has been accomplished.  In fact, many times mini-celebrations all along the path to success will help insure the discipline becomes habit.  My journey to greater health and lesser girth is experiencing these mini-celebrations by little victory dances with my daughter.  She supervises my weigh in and then cheers and dances with me when I've achieved more weight loss. Please note that celebrating victory does not include the breaking of the discipline or habit employed to achieve the victory.  
I hope these little hints for forming new habits serve you well as you step forward into your future.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to hit the gym.  My daughter will be waiting for me when I get home, and I want less of me weighting for her.


Friday, January 22, 2010

I Want to Win an E-Reader. How about you?

Since the release of the first Kindle I have been trolling the web for opportunities to win one, or close facsimile thereof. I've signed up for more newsletters than I'll ever read. I may have even asked my kids to remember me in their prayers. All of this and I still haven't won an e-reader. Then I stumbled across Library Girl Reads' post about one more chance to win. I couldn't pass it up. So I went to The Bibliophilic Bookblog and clicked on the contest button. Why, you might ask, did I do all this? I did it because there is still the tiny flicker of hope deep down in the depths of my being saying that I might just have a chance at winning.

Do you want to win too? I'm sorry. You'll need to find another contest to win. This one is mine.

Do you have an e-reader you want to giveaway? Let me know about it and I just may blog about it. In the mean time that tiny flicker of hope is tickling me so I need to move around. I'll catch you later.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Shadow of Words Spoken

I have to start by telling you a story from my past. I tell you because this incident has had long lasting effects on me and how I behave today. I have no idea the amount of damage, or lack thereof that I inflicted on the guy I cursed or of the people who were there to witness the act. What I do know is that I am a changed because of what I said.

Back when I was about fourteen years old, I loved going to camp. Being the son of an evangelist I got to go to quite a few camps but there were a few that were really special to me. One of those was the district camp meeting of my home state. Nothing compared to the spirit in the air at this denominational district family camp. There were always the best speakers, the best music, not to mention all of the beautiful girls from the district in one place at the same time. I thought it was almost like being in Heaven, especially if one or two of those girls liked me.

This particular summer I had my eye set on Barb. She was a pastor’s daughter, attractive and fun to be around. Because of her appearance and great personality Barb attracted a following of friends who just liked being around her, and several of which were guys like me who wanted to get to be even better friends with her than the rest of the crowd.

I tell you all of this to help set the stage for my life altering event. You see, one day there was a group of us gathered outside the dining hall. The guys all were doing their best to look and act the coolest so that Barb, or one of the other girls would affirm some value in them. I’m guessing the girls were doing the same thing to attract the guys. Anyway, it’s in this setting that one of the guys swiped the baseball cap off of my head. At first I tried to act all nonchalant and cool and simply said, “Alright, give it back.” He just smiled and tossed it from his right hand to his left hand. With slightly more force I said, “Come on. Give me my hat.” He laughed and tossed it up above his head to taunt or mock me. I got off my seat and said, “Will you please give my hat back?” And he responded, “Come and get it.” I started to pursue him and then stopped and said the words that have hung like curtains over happy camp memories. I said, “It’s just like a !@#%$^ to steal my hat.” After a very long uncomfortable silence he dropped my hat in the dirt and walked away. I had crushed him with one word. The rest of the “cool” crowd quickly left me to my own thoughts and my precious little hat.

Even writing those words now sends shivers down my spine. I was taught to love all people, short & tall, big and small, Christian and not-yet-Christian and all the colors of the melanin rainbow. I knew better than to say what I did and yet I said it. If my mom or dad had heard me, you can bet I’d have been chewing on a bar of soap after I found the guy I’d crushed and apologized. But they didn’t hear me and I never apologized.

It’s been over twenty years since that incident and my heart still aches for the pain my words have caused. You see, in one simple moment I changed the perspective of everyone who was witness to this incident. The guy who was playing with my hat probably thinks the whole crowd thought the same thing about him. The crowd, by their silence justified or condoned my words. And me, because I am a Christ follower I feel remorse over how my focus on myself and what I wanted led to the corruption of a time of great fun, great fellowship, not to mention a time of spiritual awakening or renewal.

In James, chapter 3, the Bible talks about how when you control your tongue you control your whole body. On the other hand, if you don’t control your tongue it brings trouble. In fact, Solomon wrote in Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” And says even more in Ecclesiastes 5:2-3.

As little children we’re taught a simple little song that, if taken to heart and practice, will help us along. It goes,

Oh, be careful little mouth what you say

Oh, be careful little mouth what you say

For the Father, up above, is listening with love

Oh, be careful little mouth what you say

I guess it's all summed up in Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Take it from me, glorify God with your words and you’ll never look back and wish you could change things. The world does enough “trash talking”. Let’s do better, be better. It’s what He’s called us to.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Not called, you say. Not heard the call, I say." William Booth

There she was again, talking about her calling to be a missionary to Zimbabwe. It was like she enjoyed mocking those of us who hadn’t heard God’s voice or seen His hand writing on the wall, or at least that’s the way I felt. I was diligent with my personal time with God. I studied His Word. I went to church, Sunday morning, Sunday night. I went to teen Bible study on Wednesday night and I surrounded myself with Christian friends. What more could I do than to ask, seek, and knock, just like I was doing?

Here’s the thing. I liked to read the Bible in order to reinforce what I wanted to believe, think, and say. I would rally with a verse that said to “Forsake not the gathering together…”, but I would overlook the verses that say to “Go into all the world and make disciples”, or “the Lord has anointed me to preach good news”. I’d suddenly get tired and need some sleep, or maybe thirsty and need a drink.

If this sounds familiar, you may want to avoid the whole book of James, perhaps all of the red words in your Bible, and maybe anything written by Paul. Ok, you might as well read the funnies section of the newspaper because that’s all the good it’s going to do you to try and manipulate God’s inspired words to you and me just to suit your own purposes.

Let me be blatantly clear with you. God has called you. He’s been shaping you; preparing you in such a way that only you can only do what you can do. He’s created you for a specific purpose to reach people just the way He wants. Make no mistake. You’ve experienced everything in your life because He knows how to use it to help others for His glory.

Listen and watch. You’ll see and hear Him in the pleas for help around you. Read Isaiah 61:1-4 and know it's for you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Justin had his first school "Moosical" today. Sadly
I think he has my genes when it comes to dancing.
Posted by Picasa