You Are Not As Good As You Think Either!

What if there was only one rule you had to keep, in order for everyone to be happy and life to be great. Think about it kids, your parents only have one rule. Students just one rule – no dating until your 20! On your job – just one rule. In your home, just one rule. You would be asking, ”Where do I sign up?” In my last post, I shared how I thought I was really good at tennis back in my younger years only to be proven that was not the case. But what about my life? I mean, at one time or another we think, “I’m just as good as him or her.” It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others when it comes to morality, looks, and life in general. The problem in that, is that we are using the wrong measuring stick to compare ourselves to. If there were only one rule I had to keep to be good…

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You’re Not As Bad As You Think

In 1983, I kind of had an experience where I had to ask myself, “What are you doing here?” When we are young, we pretty much think we are invincible and can take on the world. Where I grew up in Knoxville, TN., there is a big festival each year  held each April called The Dogwood Arts Festival.  It lasts for about two weeks and they have food, crafts, a huge national track meet at the University of Tennessee, top notch concerts, dogwood trail tours and an amateur tennis tournament. It just so happens that I was quite the tennis player back in my early days and played almost every day. I had never entered a tournament before, so I was really unsure which class to enter.  I definitely knew that I was not an “A” class player and I thought I could probably play with some “B” class players.  But, if I was going to have a chance to be the champion I needed to play with the weenies of the tennis world in the “C” class. At my first match I was pumped, I was going up against a guy who was probably 55 and didn’t look too athletic.  Plus, I was using a Bjorn Borg Donnay tennis racquet. Success was in my grip! Some of you see where this going, right?

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Play Ball! What We Can Learn From Baseball

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A couple of weeks ago began another year of the great American past time of baseball. Players have finished training camp and have polished their skills in hopes of making it to the World Series in the fall.  Over the past few years major league baseball has taken one on the chin because of the steroid use controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jose Conseco and Barry Bonds. Still, all across America little boys will be suiting up in Little League’s all across our land in hopes of making it to the majors. Baseball is still America’s sport and regardless of what has happened  in the past, the very large majority of players are those who love the game and are purists and want to do what is right.

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Biblical Five Step Plan To Getting Out Of Debt

If you are in debt and you are a Christian then like it or not you are trying to serve two masters. You can’t serve both God and Money. That’s why Paul called greed idolatry – because when you’re chasing after happiness through the things money can buy, then you’re depending on something else to provide for you. You’re worshipping an idol. According to cardhub.com, “Consumers ended 2014 with a $57.1 billion net gain in credit-card debt. That means the average American household owes $7,100 in credit card debt.”

And that idol has to be replaced with the good news that God will never leave us or forsake us. The lie that things will make you happy needs to be drowned out with the knowledge that only a life centered upon God and filled with the power His Spirit provides will truly be a fulfilled life.

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Crafting A Personal Vision Statement

Info Graphics have been gaining in popularity as a simple visual to help communicate ideas. I have created a info graphic that outlines visually how to write a personal vision statement.

vision infographic

Writing things down is so important in life. For us men, how many times has our wives given us a task that we have quickly forgotten about because we failed to actually write it on the honey-do list? Big mistake! Most people think they don’t need to write things down because they have a great memory or it isn’t that important in the first place. I have learned that writing things down makes things a lot easier in life, especially the things that are important to my wife.

I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences during my adult life, in both the business world and also as a pastor. Nearly every one I’ve attended has dealt with vision, goals, etc., and all have made it a point that one of the keys to knowing where you are going is to write out your life/church vision or mission statement. In May of 2004, I attended Ken Davis’s “Dynamic Communication Workshop” in Colorado. There, I met Cheryl Dick, the director of operations for Chick-fil-A restaurants. As we exchanged business cards, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement on their business cards: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It didn’t impress me that much that the fast food chain had a purpose statement printed on their business cards, as this is rather common. What did impress me, though, was that they had the audacity to start their statement with their purpose, “to glorify God,” Followed by their vision, “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The vision statement is what God wants you to do. What you are going to do next is work on the reasons for the vision to begin to take shape.

Thanksgiving and Toilet Paper

I am sure I got your attention with the title for this post. Smile.

Being part of a large family, holidays are interesting when you gather around forty people together to celebrate. Once such Thanksgiving in 1994 stands out, as that was the year our Dad passed away. As my Mom and siblings and their children gathered around a circle to pray and share what we were thankful for many of the usual answers were given. Those answers included thankful for health, family, God’s grace and forgiveness until it came to my brother-in-law Roy’s turn. In six quick words, Roy reminded us of the simple things of life that we many times take for granted. Those six words that Roy spoke were simply, “I am thankful for toilet paper.” Talking about changing what had become an emotional time as we reflected on the loss of our Dad, those words did it. I will never forget the lesson that Roy taught me; be thankful for everything no matter how small or how large.

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Be a Risk Taker

IMG_0047Back in 2013, Julie and I took the opportunity to visit our close friends, Wally and Rhonda Kesling in their new home in Ocala, FL. We were looking forward to a few days of R&R laying by the pool and soaking up some rays. That was until Wally texted me to see if we would be open to going zip lining. Always up to the challenge I immediately text back to Wally, “Sure!” Then he wanted to know if Rhonda went would Julie go and of course I said, “Sure!” It’s never a good thing to answer for your wife when it comes to something as risky like that. Once at the zip line course there was trepidation on both Julie and Rhonda’s part, but after the first zip line they performed like pros. We had a blast traversing back and forth over an old quarry filled with water and through the central Florida forests. I highly recommend spending three hours at The Canyons Zip Line in Ocala if you get the chance.

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The Right Way To Say No

Here is a ten thousand-dollar time management seminar in two letters. NO. That ability to say no. You remember the anti-drug motto, “Just say No.” A lot of us are addicted to speed. Not the drug, the lifestyle. We’re addicted to the adrenaline it produces. We’re addicted to the lifestyle of going faster and faster and how important it makes us feel. We have to learn in our lives to just say no. It’s difficult for many of us to say no to others, to the requests that they bring. Many, many of us have great difficulty with that. The number one reason our lives get overloaded is we just say “Yes” too many times to too many people, people that we love, to too many things that are important. But soon, once again our schedules are overburdened. We’re living this verse in Proverbs 20:25 “A impulsive vow is a trap. Later you wish you could get out of it.” Ever have that one? “Why did I say yes to that? Why am I doing this? Why am I caught up in this?” Don’t promise without pondering. Don’t decide without deliberating. Carefully and prayerfully make your commitments.

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Are Christians Non-Intellectual?

I will have to confess that I stand guilty when it comes to the area of anti-intellectualism. It’s not that I am anti-intellectual, if that were the case I would not have pursued three different degrees. What I am saying is that I have not made a conscience effort to be anti-intellectual, but I have not actively pursued it as well. I believe that some of what we have been taught in our religious upbringing has been wrong. We have been taught that all we need to do is to accept Jesus, be baptized, attend church, remember some scripture, tithe, and serve every now and then and everything is going to be fine.

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