“I’m Not Over It…” — GOD

When I married Kristy in 2004, we gave each other beautiful wedding bands. I still remember going to Benny’s Jewelers in Atlanta and selecting her engagement ring just prior to Thanksgiving 2003 and then going back with her a few months later so that we could pick out our bands. Mine was a beautiful eternity band with seven diamonds around it. I wore it each day so proudly! I was thrilled to be married and I imagined many happy years wearing the ring that my sweet wife gave me on the unforgettable day of our wedding. I loved the diamonds encircling the wedding band as it communicated the unending, continual love I had pledged to Kristy.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2010. Our house had been burglarized the day before Thanksgiving and the weekend after Thanksgiving I lost my treasured wedding ring. I just couldn’t find it anywhere. I turned our house upside down. I went back to every store and restaurant I had been to that weekend. I was determined to recover my ring. For weeks, I didn’t wear anything on my hand because I just knew that I would find my ring. I never did. But, my desire to find my ring has never diminished. Each day I think about it when I put on my “replacement ring”—a very simple band that has no sentimental value for me. In fact, while cleaning out the car last weekend, I secretly hoped that I would find it lodged underneath a long lost chicken nugget in the back seat! Truth is—I’m still not over it!

Can you relate?
Have you ever lost something or someone before you were ready to?
Have you ever had to say goodbye to a good season in life before you wanted to?

If you have, then I believe you have known—in an infinitely diluted way—the way God feels about the relationship He once had and lost with mankind. Adam and Eve and God enjoyed unhindered intimacy and fellowship in the Garden of Eden. Those were the happiest of times for Adam and Eve and God greatly delighted in them as well. When His enemy deceived Eve and when Adam sat passively by and disobeyed God, Adam and Eve not only broke God’s law—in a sense they also broke God’s heart.

From that fateful conversation recorded in Genesis 3 all the way through the last page of the book of the Revelation, there is a crimson thread of redemption. It’s God’s way of saying, “I’m not over it!”

And I’m so glad that He’s not! Salvation is possible because God longs for it. What was best in us died when our representative and first father, Adam ate of the tree and so declared independence from God. We don’t want God apart from God giving us the grace to want Him. So then, how great must He be that He would overlook our many offenses to show us the kindness of the cross.

Exodus 25-26 describes God’s outline of the Tabernacle and its furnishings to Moses. While looking at that this week, I learned that many of the symbols of the tabernacle are a token or reminder of the Garden of Eden (more on that here).

As I read that, I thought to myself, “God never got over what happened in the Garden.” Now, I don’t mean to say that God is somehow emotionally weak or incapable of moving on. Quite the contrary, He, unlike us, has complete control over what He will or will not remember. For God to “not get over it” is a great benefit to mankind because it paved the way for us to be reconciled to Him. As the psalmist said in Psalm 8:4, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

Relationally, I thought about how quickly we like to move on when someone crosses us. Do we seek reconciliation before we cut people off? Are we willing to love them through their weaknesses and shortcomings? Or, do we just say, “You crossed me. I’m through with you. I’m over it.”

Thankfully God said, “I’m not over it.”

Advertisements

Is Your Success Stunting Your Growth?

bonsai

When you’re starting out in something new, you are painfully aware of your shortcomings and faults. You see your mistakes. You realize that there is so much that you don’t know. It can be an overwhelming and discouraging feeling that makes you quit or it can be the fertile ground that breeds productive action for a good leader. When you’re unsure, you ask more questions, study longer and harder and practice with more intentionality.

But something happens over time. As a friend of mine says, “The game slows down.” Like a major league slugger, you see the curveball coming, you know where the strike zone is, you get more confident in your ability to impact the game. If you do well, there may even be those who come alongside you to applaud your efforts. You may be financially rewarded to the point that you can pursue your aspirations and enjoy things that make you more comfortable—the extra cable channels, the trips to the massage parlor or salon, the extended lunch breaks, the trips out of town. Enjoying the fruit of a job well done is no sin and should be done within reason. However, I have observed in myself and others that even the slightest tint of success can cause us to become blind to the many areas where we need to improve.

Success in one area of life can even validate the idea that “whatever I’m doing must be working,” which is a dangerous conclusion to land at. In anything, success is often a product of timing and context as much as it is the result of any one person’s individualized efforts. The classic example is the man or woman who is excelling at work but failing at home. But what about the other ways that success in one area masks underlying issues of character development or obedience to God?

Don’t let success blind you to the things you know you need to work on. At the end of the day, we all stand before God and will give an account to Him.

What’s Better than Improvising?

improvise

Sometimes you get in a bind and you have to figure something out. You’ve been there—maybe you are there right now! There’s some problem or uncomfortable situation that must be addressed.

If you’re behaving cowardly, you hide and make excuses.
If  you’re procrastinating, you find a way to push it off for later.
If you’re easily distracted, you find something else—anything else—to deal with to make the real issue fade into the distance.

If you’re thoughtful, you make a plan.
If you’re resourceful, you find a book or person to help you.
If you’re creative, you improvise. You take what you have and make up a solution.

Usually improvising is a good thing. It leads to all sorts of inventions and is generally a good and useful way to approach problems. However, there is something better than improvising.

After all improvising tends to be short-sighted. You scratch together a fix that works for now but can create problems for later. You patch together a solution that really may not address the underlying causes which can make the underlying cause grow stronger whilst you pretend that the cool, new “fix” you concocted has laid that problem issue to rest.

What if there was a way to resolve in a more permanent way an issue? What if there was a way to truly address the symptoms and the cause? Before I give you my two cents of a solution. I want to point you to a story in Scripture that got me thinking in this vein.

Check out 1 Samuel 26 and 27. The main character is David. He is on the run from Saul, emotionally stretched thin (his first wife has been given to another man, he now has two wives in her place), surrounded by people that he loves who don’t understand his heart (they keep telling him to kill Saul; he keeps telling them that Saul is God’s anointed). In this perfect storm of emotions, David sighs in exhaustion and frustration the words of 1 Samuel 27:1: “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”

The Philistines are sworn enemies of Israel. In fact, just a few chapters ago (1 Sam. 21:10-15), David had the bright idea to go to the Philistine king Achish with the sword of the fallen Philistine hero Goliath in tow. He was lucky to escape that bad decision with his life! Once the servants of Achish saw who it was, they said, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” Realizing the folly of his decision, David went into an improv as a deranged man who was ultimately thrown out of Achish’s presence.

So, this time around, David thinks things will be different. He is repugnant to the Israelite king, Saul. He is on the run with a band of 600 thugs. His fighting force is feared and formidable. On this backdrop Achish decides that it wouldn’t be so bad to have David as a servant rather than an enemy so he allows David and his men to stay in the capital city with him as an elite mercenary force that will help the Philistines get revenge against Israel. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. David’s loyalties to the God and people of Israel are as strong as ever. Each day away from the tangible reminders of God’s presence—the temple, the altar, the sacrifices, the Hebrew people—is a day filled with sorrow for David.

But Achish’s opportunism gets the better hand over his judgment and he gives David a town to live in, Ziklag. While in Ziklag, David and his men perform numerous raids on clans that were not an immediate threat to Israel. At the end of each raid, he lies to Achish about the adventures of the day and has to kill every man, woman and child in the preyed upon city to make sure the survivors don’t rat him out. It’s a bloody, fearful, secretive life for 16 months until one day everything comes to a head.

The Philistines see their chance to go up to war against Israel and Achish wants David and the boys to fight on their side. David, obliged to the Philistine king, agrees. Imagine the scene on the battlefield—Israel’s greatest champion shedding the blood of the men he once led and defended. What a travesty! Thankfully, God’s sovereignty stops this train wreck of a plan. The Philistine kings, distrustful of David, forbid him to go out to war with them even though David and his men have marched to the edge of the battlefield. David’s 600 return home to find that their city has been raided by the Amalekites.

Could this have been avoided? Maybe! Imagine if David, instead of throwing his hands up in desperation had sought the Lord on whether or not to go to Achish for shelter. I think that David improvised when he was in a tight spot and I can relate. How many times, in trouble or trial, have I made a snap decision rather than trusting God?

Here’s the whole point—what’s better than improvising? Getting direction from God! It may take longer than you’d like and the answer will probably be different than you’d choose, but ultimately, it is what’s best.

Jesus Came Preaching!

One of my favorite book titles about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “King Came Preaching.” It reminds me that at the heart of the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a gospel preacher who felt a just calling from God to fight against the racism and segregation he saw in the world.

It is easy for the world to make God’s people into merely good people. What I mean is that God’s people often do good works motivated by a desire to advance the Kingdom and display the glory and kindness of God in creation but our world commonly ascribes these good works to some altruistic goodness that must be common to all people. This undermines the conviction and connection of Christian good works.

Even when it comes to Jesus, many people would like to make him just a symbol of goodness or a good teacher who taught things that everyone can embrace. This undermines the truth about who Jesus is, why he came and what motivated his actions and teachings.

Jesus did not come to earth just to feed the hungry.
Jesus did not come to earth just to bring sight to the blind.
Jesus did not come to earth just to help people learn how to treat one another.

Jesus came preaching! Jesus came preaching a message of repentance, faith and forgiveness. All of his good works and the miracles he taught were there to confirm the authority of his teaching. If we don’t make the connection between Jesus preaching/teaching ministry with his good works, then we will fail to properly understand how we, His followers, should prioritize preaching/teaching and serving our world.

I’ve heard well-meaning Christians suggest that good works should be done by Christians with no strings attached. “Why not just give out water on a hot summer day without preaching at people?” “Why not give out food at Thanksgiving without trying to convert someone?” While I appreciate the sad reality that some Christians have gone over the top to present the gospel at the expense of being loving (which really isn’t presenting the gospel at all), I still think the declaration of the gospel in word and deed must be primary for Christians. If God, in all of His wisdom has chosen the preaching of the gospel as the means by which faith is to come, then who are we to decide that we’ve got some better, more modern, more effective way to do outreach than the one Jesus has promised to anoint?

Jesus came and did lots of things but most of all, Jesus came preaching so we should too.

How to Get Organizational Clarity

While reading another person’s blog on the benefit of having a simple marketing and sales process, the following question was asked:

What are some helpful strategies to help get ridiculously clear and even expedite that part of the process?

His question got me thinking and before I knew it, I had penned this lengthy reply that seemed more like a blog post than a comment so I’ve copied it here:

1. Go back to WHY. WHY do we do “this” anyway? Is it something we still have to do? Is it something we still want to do? Why should we keep doing “this”? The WHY question is best answered by this WHO question—WHO am I? WHO are we? Look at motivations, aptitudes and past, present and future opportunities to get a better idea if you’re not sure. Our identity should inform our activities.

2. Look at the foundational purpose of the organization. What do you HAVE to be/do/have to exist?

Answer this question: “If we stripped everything away, what things could we absolutely NOT do and still be who we are?”

For example, could Starbucks NOT sell coffee and still be Starbucks? Could Kroger NOT sell groceries and still be Kroger? Could a Christian church NOT talk about Jesus and still be a Christian church?

I think the answers to these questions help us gain clarity about WHAT we have to do?

3. The other WHO question to answer is: Who are we as a team/organization/family supposed to serve/make life better for? The answer to this WHO question helps us achieve clarity as well.

Just do it and Ditch the List!

Great thoughts on productivity from Kristy Hairston.

KristyHairston.com

I just read an article that reminded me of something I wanted to do last week. Why haven’t I completed the task? It was on my “to-do list,” and I had not got around to it.

This made me frustrated with the term “to-do,” because the unanswered subconscious dilemma is “when?”

When will all the items on the “to-do” list finally be completed? Perhaps that’s why a list of items to do is not actually goal setting. There are no definitive dates or times that are set to ensure when the items will actually be done. And there lies the problem with the list.

It’s just a list, not an action plan. Maybe we should change the name of the “to-do” list to the “action plan” or “today’s list.”

These are just suggestions to cause a mental shift from what we need “to-do” to what “we’re doing.”

View original post

Don’t Hold Back! Ambition & Father Abraham

Don't Hold Back1After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. 9When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” 15And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”  — Genesis 22:1-18

I love how sudden and urgent God’s call is to Abraham (v. 1). I can imagine God in Heaven sitting, thinking about the reality of what will have to happen to Jesus—that his one and only, beloved Son will have to come to earth to die a horrible, substitutionary death for mankind and in the emotion of it calling Abraham—maybe louder than usual and in a tone that communicated His anguish concerning the pending murder of his Son. The tone of it comforts me because it gives me the impression that God may be more like me than I think. I have things that happen that I don’t particularly look forward to. I have times when I am emotionally engaged. I yell sometimes! 🙂

When God said that He made us in His image and likeness, I’m not sure we believe Him because we act like He must be so different from us that we can’t relate to Him. To be sure, God is “holy” — which is to be “other than” or “different from”. He is holy and that is the quality and trait of his that we most lack. But, in that we have a personality and can think and feel and reason and choose, we are very much like God. God has built us to be able to engage with Him as His children and as friends. It would shock you very much if my two kids had as much in common with me as dogs or plants or chairs. It’s ridiculous to imagine. So, I wonder why we have such a hard time thinking that, just as I can relate to my young children and they can relate to me, and just as they can look at me to imagine their future selves, so we can look to God in the face of Christ to imagine what we are growing up to be. Christ is our big brother and God is our Father. But I digress…

At that time on earth, Abraham was probably God’s closest human friend. When God thought of the human race, he no doubt thought of His friend Abraham. So, in considering the future sacrifice of Jesus, I believe God arranged for His friend Abraham to taste in some small way the cup of anguish that God would drink completely. Thus, the “test” of Genesis 22 which in many ways foreshadows the crucifixion of Jesus.

Abraham & Isaac God & Jesus
Ishmael had been sent away so Isaac was the only hope for a son that would fulfill the promise. Adam had been sent away so Jesus was the only hope for a way to restore right relationship between God and man.
Isaac was to be totally consumed as an offering for sin (a burnt offering) on a mountain Jesus was totally given as a sacrifice for sin on a mountain (Calvary)
On the third day, Abraham saw the mountain where Isaac would be offered, ending that part of the journey and bringing them to the place where the ultimate climax of this story would take place. On the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus walked out of a rocky tomb. The empty grave then became the place where the climax of this part of Jesus’ story would take place.
Though two others are present, there is a very personal feel to Abraham leading Isaac up the mountain, and tying him up and holding in his hand the knife and fire. Though others are present (Pilate, Sadducees, Pharisees, the angry mob), there is a very personal feel to Jesus saying, “My God, My God, why have YOU forsaken me.”
Others carry the wood to the sacrifice but Isaac carries the wood the final leg of the journey up the hill to the place of sacrifice. Simon of Cyrene carries the wood (the cross) to the point of sacrifice but Jesus carries the wood the final leg of the journey to the hill of sacrifice.

But as similar as these two stories are, there is a crucial difference between the journey of Abraham with his son and the journey of God with His Son—God allowed Abraham to hold back but He would not allow Himself the same restraint.

[How great is the love our God has lavished on us at His own pain and expense!]

What I love about Abraham is that he did not hold back! He could have decided not to take his son to the sacrifice. He could have chosen not to obey the voice of God but he did. Graciously, God allowed Him to hold back but Abraham was willing to go all the way.

What about me? What about you? Will you go hard for the cause of Christ? Will you demonstrate the same commitment to the cause as God demonstrated? Will you give that which is most precious to you as Abraham did?

I should. You should. The fruit of Abraham’s obedience is recorded in verses 15-18 and because it was spoken aloud, I believe Isaac was able to hear it. Later in life, I’m sure Isaac reflected on the example of faith his father had demonstrated and I’m sure it was a motivating and guiding moment in his life.

The fruit of God’s all-out sacrifice is that billions of people have been brought into a loving relationship with their heavenly Dad who loves them and missed them.

God is good. His cause is a worthy one. You and I have a part to play. Don’t hold back!

David Platt and Francis Chan: Multiply

David Platt and Francis Chan have been a great encouragement to many of us in the last few years. This video on discipleship is sure to encourage you. Enjoy!

Ever Been in a Rut?

RutEver Been in a Rut?…a Funk?…just Down?

Who hasn’t? I’d argue that even Jesus had his doldrum days (e.g. Gethsemane) and he was God on earth so if he can fall into an emotional rut where you just don’t feel excited about life as it is or life as you see it coming, that’s normal.

So, if this is a normal part of life (and it is), let’s take a stab at trying to better understand just what a rut really is, why they come along, ways we typically respond when we’re in a rut and ways to get out and avoid so many “rut” experiences in the future.

What is a “Rut?”

Everything starts with a definition right? So, just what is a rut?

Well, the dictionary defines it as: “1. A sunken track or groove made by the passage of vehicles. 2. A fixed, usually boring routine.”

In my experience, the kind of rut I most often fall into is a type of despondency marked by a lack of energy for the things that you have to do. It’s an inner frustration that builds after a desire for a change of pace has been unsatisfied.

The action and inaction symptomatic of a rut may include a lack of drive for doing menial but necessary tasks like shaving or answering your phone or responding to email. For others, a rut may trigger mindless eating or vegging out in front of the TV when you know you have “real” stuff you need to take care of. In a phrase, most rut responses are self-destructive.

Why do “Ruts” come along?

Ultimately, sin is to blame for every evil since God is only and always good. Therefore, if I had to pin down an answer for a rut, I would say it relates to sin somehow—either sin in my life, or sin that someone has committed against me, or the effects of sin in the world that discourage us and make life hard.

Narrowing in a bit, I’d also point to failed expectations as a source of a rut.
“I never thought this would happen.”
“I didn’t think I would be in this hard place this long.”
“I thought that he would be there for me in this way and he isn’t.”
“I thought that she would be more understanding but she isn’t.”
“I thought that I would enjoy this but I don’t.”
“I thought I’d make more progress on this by now, but I haven’t.”
“I’ve tried but I keep making this same mistake.”
“I don’t know how to fix this.”
“I don’t know how this ends.”
Have you been there? What “rut” statement would you add to this list?

How to Respond to a Rut?

As we said, most responses to a rut are self-destructive—personally and/or professionally.

Personal self-destructive behaviors are those that tear down your own spiritual, emotional or physical self. For example, you stop talking with God or reading your Bible (spiritual degradation). Emotional self-destruction may be that you keep repeating doomsday scenarios in your mind and your mental conversation with yourself moves to self-hate (“You just can’t do this.” “Nobody wants to be around you.”) Physical self-destruction can range from neglecting your body’s need for exercise to actively tearing down the temple with the things you put in your body ranging from alcohol and ice cream to prescription pills and smoking.

We can all agree that these types of behaviors don’t make matters any better but sometimes, if we are not self-aware, we can get into these behaviors without even noticing it. What are your personal self-destructive behaviors that you default to in tough times?

The other form of self-destruction I see alot is professional. It feels like this—you are dissatisfied. Your patience has not only been exercised but exhausted. You are angry at your boss and/or co-workers. You wanted to change things for the better but some conversation or decision has caused you to think the chances of positive change are infinitesimally small so you give in to your frustrations and fall into your rut. That’s how it feels; this is how it looks: low/no drive for getting up and going in to work, late to work, late to meetings, not alot to say in meetings, find mindless busy tasks to avoid doing your “real” work, you stop measuring progress because the metrics seem to mock you, you don’t respond to voicemails or emails, you just don’t want to be there.

Again, we would all agree that these activities don’t help but, if we’re honest, we’ve all had seasons where we fall into them, so let’s now move to healthy responses to your rut.

flowers_valley

 

 

Get Out & Stay Out of the Rut

If you think about a physical rut, it is a sunken place, a groove without traction that deepens the longer it is used. Our rut is the same, the longer we stay in it the further down we go and the harder it is to get out of. We also have our “favorite” or “pet” ruts—those destructive activities that we kind-of enjoy and frequent when things are going our way. Those paths are deeply engrained and jumping back into those paths once you’ve come out can be like diving into a deep canal with no scuba gear—deadly.

If you want to get out of a rut, you’ve got to get some traction. Here are a few tips on gaining traction:

1. Gain Perspective – Do you see what you’re doing to yourself and those around you? Can you see that you’re on a downward trajectory ? Do you accept that things are not “ok”? The first step is to stop lying to yourself—what you’re doing is not working! It hasn’t been working. It’s not going to work. The pain you feel is a symptom that something needs to change and the first thing to change is you!

This first step does not happen apart from the grace of God. Ask Him to help you. Do it right now! Stop reading and start talking to God. Seriously.

2. Ask for Help – You may have wandered into your rut on your own but you’ll need help to get out of it. First, continue to ask God to help you out of your rut. Delight yourself in Him. Make it your business to sit before Him in worship and to study His Word. In it are wonderful declarations about His steadfast love and faithfulness to His children.

Second, talk to a trusted friend who is spiritually anchored in Christ. If you are married, I hope you can talk with your spouse. Let this person know that you have been feeling down and ask them to pray for you and check in on you. If there is a specific thing that has you down, talk through the options with someone who can help you make a sound decision.

3. Take Action – Don’t go into information overload and don’t delay. Prayerfully take action with the information you’ve been given. You may be afraid but as a mentor told me, “I’ve done alot of things scared.” The point is, your fear must not be allowed to paralyze you—instead, you have to acknowledge your fears but still choose to move forward with what you know is right.

4. Stay in Community – Men in particular go “off the radar” when tough times hit. We go into the cave, only coming out to eat and watch the game :-). Life becomes a predictable routine of unfulfilling moments and superficial conversations. Life becomes drudgery instead of delight. Days are survived rather than savored. And this can go on for weeks, months or years.

I believe that being in a genuine community of close relationships helps to keep “rut” seasons at bay and when they do come, they don’t last as long because there is someone who knows you and has your permission to lovingly provoke and pry you out of the rut back onto the road to your destiny.

Do you have a group of friends that you meet with regularly with whom you can discuss the joys and sorrows of your life? Is there intentionality to your times together or do you just get together every now and then with no particular agenda besides enjoying one another’s company?

I’ve found that if we don’t direct our relationships, they will drift and become less relevant. This has been a painful lesson that I hope to have learned from and not have to repeat.

If you have a “small group” ministry at your church, try that? If you have family members or close friends in your city, invite them over to talk. Share with them that   you’ve been thinking about getting together on a regular basis to talk through what’s going on in one another’s lives and to look together to God’s Word for direction. Ask them if they’d be interested in being a part of something like that.

Almost without exception, they will be so relieved that you took the initiative to meet a need that we all have.

Today, I pray for you. I pray for the rut that you’re in today to be turned into a place of prayer and reflection. I pray that your valley of tears will bloom into a garden of joyful remembrance at the faithfulness of your God who pulls you out of your rut and establishes your feet on the rock.

Distilled Wisdom on Time & Money, Equipment & Know-How and the Reasons Why People Don’t Do Things

One of the best benefits of blogging is that it allows you to think through your own thoughts out loud! This is that kind of post for me. Please share your own distilled wisdoms in the comments.

Time or Money
My dad used to say, “Sometimes you have time and sometimes you have money.” There is a trade that seems to work on a grand see-saw. Few people are able to cheat it—having both as much time and money as they prefer.

Equipment or Know-How
I’ve learned that sometimes fantastic equipment can make up for a lack of know-how (e.g. a digital camera makes all of us have great lighting). Other times, you can have the equipment you need but not know how and be just a futile (e.g. we all have a computer but few of us know how to build a website).

“A lawyer’s stock and trade is counsel and advice.” This truism told to me by an attorney-mentor of mine seems odd, especially given that the laws and the cases are available to all of us. But as the principle suggests, sometimes, having the equipment (the cases and statutes) isn’t enough—you really are paying for the “know-how” of the attorney. Wisdom then is never about knowing the MOST, it is always about knowing what to do in a given situation or time.

Reasons Why People Don’t Do Things (and how to overcome them)

1. They don’t want to.
Fix: Find a want to. Add accountability.

2. They don’t know how to.
Fix: Find a teacher. You do. I watch. You do, I help. I do, you help. I do, you watch.

3. They don’t know that they are supposed to.
Fix: Find a training regimen that takes into account every facet of the job. Establish a method of accountability that is predictably on a schedule.