Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category

Throughout my life I have learned a lot of things by experience.  I know that touching an electrical wire that is still “hot” will send a really painful feeling through you, I know that not going to the dentist on a regular basis will turn painful, I know that to have great friends, you must be a great friend and I know that just because it says the high is 70 in Colorado, doesn’t mean it will be warm all day.  I have learned to expect things based on my experiences.

However, lately, I have been thinking about “expectations.”  Are they good?  Are they a set up for disaster?  Or should we have expectations? Newton’s law of motion says that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Newton’s law basically supports the “cause and effect” example.  If I do “A” then the results will be “B”.  Sounds very logical and linear and we can project certain expectations based on our knowledge.  But what about expectations with people? or even God?  These are not objects, but living beings with real emotions and feelings.

Many times over I have entered a relationship with certain expectations.  More often than not, I have been hurt or disappointed because my expectations were not met.  Even with God, I have expected Him to work in a certain way only to become hurt and experience doubt when He doesn’t do as I expected.  So, where does “expectations” fit into relationships?  Where does it fit with God?  Is it a lack of faith not to expect?

Even as I wrote this, I have looked at many passages of scriptures and I am still processing my thoughts on this subject.  I would love to hear what you have to s about this subject, but here are a few of mine:

  1. “Have Realistic Expectations” Unrealistic expectations are a set up for disaster.  Keep in mind, what may be realistic to you, may not be for the other.
  2. “If God be for me, who can be against me” God is for me no matter what my circumstances may be.  God is for me!
  3. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Honestly, there are times I feel God has left me.  He didn’t follow through exactly like I had planned, but that doesn’t mean he has left me.
  4. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Trust is hard for me.  I am still leaning to trust His ways, even if they are different from mine.  I have asked for something specifically, but not received.  God, help me to trust your ways.
  5. Forgiveness” It is hard not to place expectations on people.  People fail us and hurt us.  The greatest advice I can give to someone who has been hurt by unfulfilled expectations is Forgive.  Think about it, I am sure someone had an expectation of you that was not fulfilled.

I expect you have a few thoughts…. I would love to hear them.

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What If…

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Leadership, Lessons, vision
Tags: , , , ,

What if all that we have gone through, good and bad, had a bigger purpose?  What if the events of our life was to shape us and mold us into the person God intended us to be?  What if the hurts and pains of life were designed to build our character for something greater in the future?

I know, many of you are reading this and saying…duh, you are just now getting that?  Well, the simple answer is…Yes.  I remember coming out of college and thinking I had the world by the tail.  I was going to have success and change the world (just like the commencement speaker at graduation said I would).  Well after graduation, life started happening and I experienced “the real world” that they never told me about in college.  I complained to God and told Him how he wasn’t playing fair.  I had given up a lot to purse Him and his plan for the world and He was not returning the favor, or was he?

Graduation was nearly 20 years ago and I am a different person than I was back then.  My journey has not been easy and I would not wish it on my worst enemy, however, I wouldn’t trade it.  It has helped shape my character, my competency, and my compassion for others.  Here a few of my lessons I have learned along the journey…

  1. Find the positive in the negative
  2. Be truthful, even if it may hurt.
  3. If you must make a hard decision, do it with integrity.
  4. Don’t judge (my younger years was full of judgement, and it has come back to bite me)
  5. Be patient with others, they are on a journey…just like me
  6. encourage, love and inspire others to be great

There are many more I have learned.  I am sure there are many more I still need to learn.  I haven’t gotten life figured out yet but I will keep adding each lesson I learn into my arsenal.  Life is still hard at times, however, I am on the journey to something great.

I am just curios…What have you learned?

I recently was evaluating my life and the journey it has brought me through.  I thought about the moments that I felt like I had failed, which led me to the question, “Did I Fail?”

The truth is I have made some very dumb decisions.  I have hurt others by my decisions and I have let a lot of people down.  Like the time I tried to get a volunteer to resign from her position.  I came up with a plan that would give her some time off.  My hopes were that she would enjoy the time off and come and resign to me.  Not a good idea.  After the “time off” was over, she was ready to get right back in, and she did.  After a few weeks of avoiding her calls and hoping for a good ending, I had to talk with her.

The conversation did not go well.  I listened, for what seemed like hours, about how I was a poor leader and I needed to be honest upfront, even if it was going to hurt.  I felt horrible.  She was right, she deserved better and I let her down.

If the story ended there, I would say I failed.  However, because of that blunder, I committed to myself to learn from this and become a better leader.  That moment hurt her and some others, but because of that, it helped shape my character.  Today, I make difficult decisions, but I am honest and clear about the decision.

I believe failure is when you refuse to allow your character defects to teach you to become a better person.  Don’t be a failure, learn and correct.  I learned a valuable lesson at the expense of someone else, but I am glad I learned the lesson.

Simple Enough…I Think

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Lessons, Thoughts

I am currently working on our church website.  I wanted to create a link for people to see what books we are reading and which books we recommend to read.  I thought I would contact Amazon.com to see if they had a service that would help me and it would give the viewers a way to purchase the book.  Here was the response I got…

If you wish to find a particular person’s Listmania, click on the Your Amazon.com tab, choose “People” from the Search pull-down menu, and enter the person’s name on www.amazon.com. If they’ve created a Profile, it will show up in the search results. To see if that person has created a Listmania list, simply visit the Profile page.

In the Address Bar of the persons Listmania page there will be a series of digits/numbers similar to this, “R2ZYGFW2FL4J5C”. These digits are the identification numbers for Listmania List in question and will change each time for every list you look at.

To include these lists in you’r astore you will first need to copy and paste Listmania list number “R2ZYGFW2FL4J5C” in a category of your aStore. To do this select or create a new category in your aStore. After you have selected a category or created a new category, click on the drop down box located on the right hand side and select “Add products from a Listmania! List” under Edit Category Page of the aStore

http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/store/category-pages/main.html/

Paste in the Listmania List number in the box and click the save button of the category. After you have saved the category to your aStore, click the preview button and selected the category you added the Listmania List to. You will see that the list has been added to the category.

As always, please feel free to contact us should you have future questions or comments. If you need to contact us back, you can do so by using the secure form at the following specialized link to assure we receive your message:

I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Did I solve your problem?”

I have a question……eahhh?

“You Gotta Believe”.  That was the phrase that my high school baseball team had plastered everywhere.  It was on our bags, painted on the locker room wall and on the letter head used by the head coach.  Believing is very important but it wasn’t enough to win a state championship (even though we had the highest quality of talent our high school had ever seen).  We need more than belief, we needed “trust”. Many people believe but few move into the arena of trusting.  Trusting is placing your confidence in someone or something else.  Trust is the action point of belief.

Not long ago, I believed in God and his provision, direction, and wisdom.  I believed, as long as things went well for me I was in the center of His will for my life.  Then something happened.  Things seemed to start to turn south for me.  My visual picture of the future started to become scarred and torn.  Things were not turning out like I had hoped or planned.  Was belief enough?  Or was there something I was missing?  That is when my belief collidated with the reality of trust.

I believed God had great things planned for me but I had never placed my trust in him to do those things for me.  Because of my circumstances, I needed more than a belief.  I needed to learn how to trust God.  I did everything I could in my own power to no avail.  I was forced to trust God.  Trust Him for my provisions, trust Him for my security, trust Him for peace, trust Him for significance and trust Him with my future.  The journey has not been easy, but is one that has taught me a valuable lesson.  He has met my needs, He has given my security, He has taught me to trust Him.  While I wish I had a reserve tank filled with things that I can dip into if times get tough, I have learned to trust God every single day.

My friend Barbara King put it this way, “I believe there is a bridge across the royal gorge, I can see it. but do I trust that it is good enough for me to cross over?  Even the devil believes and trembles over the name of Jesus, But I trust him with my everything. Believing is the not same as trusting.”  I have believed.  But now, my belief is filled with trust.  Do you see the bridge God has planned for you and do you trust Him enough to start walking?

risk blocksWhy is it so hard for people to share their struggles?  Even with our closest of friends we share 90% of our life but we hold back that last 10%.  Why?  Is the risk too large?  And, what makes it a risk?  What are we risking anyway?

The word “risk” means “exposure to the chance of injury or loss”.  If we share that last 10% of our lives with people we trust we do run the risk of being rejected.  There it is!!!!  Rejection, the single largest fear of the human race.  Ever since Adam and Eve hid from God we have been following that pattern.  Hiding.  Hiding our struggles because of the fear of rejection.

Several months ago, I witnessed what happens when you are willing to share that last 10%.  A pastor friend of mine did something many of us say that it will never happen to me.  He committed adultery.  He lost everything.  He had hidden that last 10% for so long and it had caught up to him.  He did what he vowed he would never do and everything collapsed like a house of playing cards.  For the next 3 years he and his wife went through the painful but healing process of working through that last 10%.  Today, he has a great marriage.  Even though he did a very bad thing, today he shares his story openly.  He shares how Gods grace and his wife’s forgiveness has not only restored his relationship with his wife and God but has launched it to levels he never thought possible.

As I listened to my friend and his wife share their story to a class full of young married, I witnessed something amazing.  Their authenticity gave others the permission to speak honestly.  The next several months his schedule booked up with people wanting to talk.  Couple after couple filed into his office, sharing their stories, sharing that last 10%.

God brings healing, however people need to see grace and authenticity lived out with skin on.  It begins with me being honest.  My honesty gives people permission to speak honestly and that is when healing begins.

Life is a process of events and moments that help mold and shape you into what God’s desire is.  That sounds great but moments can be hard.  Moments in life are often painful and full of questions.  However, think about this, what if every moment in my life, and yours,  were driving us to a destination?  It doesn’t matter if the moments are good or bad, they are the fuel to push us to a greater destination.  Moments help fine-tune us.

Moments may drive us to a destination but the road is paved with attitude.  Moments have the potential to launch us into the next phase or sink us into despair. Like standing at a crossroad with one sign pointing to the left and one to the right, I must decide my attitude. That attitude will shape and formulate my destination.

Embrace the moments of life and let them drive you to your destination, as long as you have the right attitude. It is not easy at times (I sometimes relapse with a bad attitude) but stay focused and stay on track.

Imagine if our churches were filled with embraced moments with good attitudes?  Imagine if the work place were filled with embraced moments with good attitudes?