Monday, May 9, 2011

Hit the Reset Button!

How can we be in control of things that we aren't in control of?

Okay. That question was just a little bit confusing.

What I meant was, how can we be happy and feel like we are actually contributing to society and the world around us in a meaningful way, when all we are doing is ...

Working. Going to the store. Running errands. You know.

Life Stuff.

Hey, it may not qualify as "important" - but you certainly can't shrug it aside. Let's face it,
like it or not - a lot of things fall into that category.

Remember, in the last post, how we talked about taking the question:

What time is it?

And asking ourselves, instead:

How should I spend my time?

It was great. But what about...

The boring times?
The empty times?
The running around like a chicken-with-it's-head-cut off times?

What about the times you feel like strangling somebody?

You fill in the blank.

Do words like... frustrated, irritated, stressed out, ticked off, impatient and annoyed - ever describe how you feel when you are just doing something because it had to be done?

You wouldn't go to work if you didn't have to.

You wouldn't go to school if you didn't have to.

You wouldn't go to the store if you didn't have to.

You wouldn't do a lot of things, if you didn't have to!

But you do.


Because you have to!


So what do we do when that happens? Follow through with our thoughts? Uh. I'm thinking that may not always be a good idea...for obvious reasons.

The truth of the matter is, we aren't in control of the world around us - but we can control how we respond to it.

We have an incredible opportunity to actually reflect God's light in this world. To represent Him. We can be an example of His love right here! Right now! In the ...

Check out stand
Walmart (or)
Home Depot

Anywhere where there are people.

Doesn't the Bible say something about...

Working as unto the Lord?
Loving your neighbor?
Loving your enemy?

Of course it does. That and so much more! Excuse me, but if we as Christians, actually applied God's teachings in our everyday lives instead of compartmentalizing our faith and turning it into an exclusive Sunday club, we would be so much more appealing to society - don't you think?

Please don't misunderstand me. Their are many incredible people who love the Lord and are amazing witnesses of His love - but if we step up to the plate, we can increase the number of people who fall into that category... not only that - we will be so much happier!

"Oh great", you may be thinking to yourself. This article is for Christians. I'm not a Christian.

No. These principals apply to everyone. As a Christian, I believe God gives me the power to more easily love people who are difficult to love - if I am choosing to walk in His Spirit - but if that is not where you are at, it's not where you are at. The principals are still true.

When I ask myself how to spend my time it's like setting the "reset" button. Almost every time, my perspective changes. It's absolutely amazing how our thoughts can affect our thinking which affects our emotions and ... voila ... suddenly the things we have to do are not as pressuring as they were a couple of minutes earlier.

Our actions become guided by a deliberate thought process of our making - instead of us feeling controlled by the tyranny of the urgent.

Every time you think about how you are doing, whatever it is that you are have deliberately chosen to:

Hit the Reset Button !

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Making Love . . . A Verb.

Is this a Mothers Day article? Well, yes and no. It's not specifically meant for Mothers Day ... but you know what? If you were to sit down and watch this video with your wife, it could be the best Mothers Day gift you could give her. (Munching on her favorite chocolates or desert, while watching the video, would be a great add on).

It's easy to give a gift, but chances are good that what your wife really your time.

Sit down together and watch this video.

It's never been easier to fall in love and never been harder to stay in love. Is it even possible for two people to be happy together forever? Yes. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave us the foundation for enduring love. In this message, Andy Stanley reveals the simple, yet powerful, principle.

Staying in Love

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Time For A . . . Time Budget.

We are probably all very familiar with the importance of a financial budget. I'm not saying we all have one - but we are at least familiar with the concept.

A little while ago, the subject of time came up. And, of course, I think one of peoples' most often asked questions is:

What time is it?

That question is characteristic of a society that is obsessed with the clock. We are fast paced, driven and uptight.

As comedian, Brian Regan says:

How long does it take to toast a pop tart? A minute? If you want them dark? But people need something even faster, so they go for the microwave method. Listen, if you need to zap fry your pop tarts before you go out the may need to loosen up your schedule.

Fear not, people, it's just a joke. I personally like pop tarts. That's not the point. I have simply noticed that instead of controlling time, we tend to let time control us.

Hey, if you need to know the time - you need to know the time. I'm not suggesting you hit the delete button on that question. But I would suggest that you ask yourself something else.


more important
more useful
and subsequently
more meaningful!

The question I am referring to actually has two angles to it. Right now, however, I just want to focus on the first facet:

1) How should I spend my time?

If your days are driving you crazy with their constant pulls on your time and you are forever looking at your watch...

Or if you are always asking somebody else what time it is so that you can meet the demands of this life in a "timely fashion"...

Maybe you should ask yourself what types of things are included in your busy schedule?

In other words, How do you spend your time?

Are you spending it on something that is important or is it just another project, task or endeavor that must be completed?

I am not saying those things don't need to be taken care of - it just doesn't automatically mean it is an important activity.

Urgent. Yes.
Important. Not necessarily.

Lots of things are "must do's". How about going to work? But, chances are, it's just a means to an end.

It is good to identify what is really important.

Our husbands.
Our wives.
Our kids.

Those things tend to get neglected - yet when you get to the end of your life, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that -in this world- those were the very things you will have wished you spent more time on.

So, today...right now...we can look at our schedules and ask ourselves...

Is it time to refocus and readjust my time?

A Financial Budget is good, but I'm thinking it's...

Time for a ...Time Budget!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Eternity of . . . Combined Experience !

You know how when you are a teenager, everything is about you? Yes, there are always exceptions and I don't mean to put anybody down...but it's true that when people are younger they tend to feel like life revolves around them. Perfectly understandable. As a matter of fact, I don't think the idea that we are the center of the universe is limited to teenagers.

But it is true that as people get older and mature, they eventually come to the realization that they are not alone in the universe. They begin to reach out to others for support. How many times, for example, have you seen businesses advertise the fact that they have X amount of years of combined experience?

Why do they do that? The answer is obvious. The longer an establishment has been around, the more experience they have, the more likely it is that people will want to do business with them.
Many times, industries will focus on the combined experience of all their partners as opposed to focusing solely on one person or business.

That is an example of people recognizing that their time and experience, when combined with other people, is much more valuable.

All that to make this comment:

When you travel this life alone, though you are doing the best you can with what you have, you can only do so much. Wouldn't it be wise to cast your lot with God? When we work with Him, our time is so much more significant. He increases our value and worth. Life has meaning again. True meaning. Whenever things look bleak or uncertain... we have the ability to go to Him.

Think about it. We are talking about...

An Eternity . . . of Combined Experience!