The good son or daughter…

I don’t think anything had changed my perspective on leading as a pastor as much as being the father of teenagers. That slow, deliberate move from authority to consultant. I’ve always known it but now I feel it: The true reasons why the Bible demands that leaders first be good leaders in their home. It’s simple I know, but some truths hit home and become very poignant.

Growing up in a home where divorce happened early, parenting was a thing I had to fake till I made it, had to read about, watch in my friend’s families, watch leaders wrestle with, feel the loss of, repent in front of my wife and children for, receive grace from God to do.

I had to listen to my mom and dad’s stories about the tools they did or didn’t get from their parents, I had to experience their own wounds and thank them for the perseverance of giving me the love they had while they carried their own hurt and trauma.

If anything proves that God exists it’s that good things can come from such crazyness as what kids experience. Nature doesn’t work like that. It moves from order to disorder, not the other way around.

Be a good son or daughter. Clean up your relationships with your parents. Forgive them from the heart, listen to them, see the gold, feel the weight that was handed down to them, and see how they loved you in the middle of it, thank them, bless them. If you can’t do this then go back to step one: forgive them. Start again.

That’s your power. To manage yourself, redeem the prior generation, spot the gold and take it up a level. It’s a decision to make not a destiny to inherit.

“Slay as many giants as you can in your generation so your kids won’t have to.”

Lorne Tebbutt

Let this be your finest hour

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There is a beautiful action that is your option in every moment, every season. That is in fact the only time you can be glorious. You can be a great human being in a hellish time. You can apologize. You can contend with the results of your own stupidity or someone else’s. You can deal with the garbage left behind by someone else. You can hold your tongue. You can act with fear clawing at your back. It is not the circumstance that makes a glorious moment, it’s what happens next. That is a beautiful moment. You make that moment.

And if you fail don’t worry…. That test will come around again until you pass it.

 

“Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.” Ecclesiastes 8:5-6

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… Yet God has made everything beautiful for it’s own time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Investment in every area of your life

Just wanted to give you a quick book recommend.

I’ve been following Kris Valloton’s podcast for a while. It’s been very easy to relate to with lots of practical wisdom. Here’s a brilliant thought from his blog 

“…what has God given to you that you could be doing more with? Not out of a place of striving, but out of a place of growth, stewarding, and creating ecosystems. I want you take inventory of your “assets” today (again, these aren’t always related to money, but sometimes they are), and ask God for revelation on how to create an ecosystem that feeds, supports, and builds itself up around the resources you have.”

I’ve read the first three chapters of his upcoming book and would highly recommend it. You can find it here. I’ll be picking this up when it comes out.

Have a great day.

I got 99 problems…

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Obscurity is the fear of problems

Insignificance: Avoiding problems

Powerlessness: Overestimating problems

Pride: Underestimating problems

Arrogance: Oversimplifying problems

Isolation: Ignoring other’s problems

Disillusionment: Seeing a problem clearly for the first time

Rescuers save people from problems

Champions lead people through problems

Coaches pull solutions to problems out of people

Relationship is sharing problems

Meaning comes from the problems you love

Significance comes from giving others hope with their problems

Trap that monster

Often we can feel at the mercy of our thoughts. Toxic thinking, self sabotage, whispers of defeat hassle us, speak over any encouragement we hear or wake us up at night to steal hope. The landscape in your head can feel dreary and permanent. We try to deal with making a life for ourselves in this environment and resign ourselves to making a life here.

But would we tolerate that in the physical house we live in? I mean the actual building we eat and sleep in. If I felt cold in my house I’d do two things…

I’d walk over to the thermostat and see what temperature the house is.

I’d turn up the heat until I found a temperature I liked.

Why do we treat our headspace environment any different than our homespace? Because we think only one is under our control.

What if we could do the same in our thought life?

Check your temperature. What are you feeling? (Not how are you feeling)

When you’re feeling an especially strong emotion or hearing particularly strong self-talk, grab a pen and start writing. Keep writing until you know you’ve trapped that monster on paper. Don’t stop writing until you have completely hit every nuance of that feeling. Write til you’ve perfectly captured that phrase that sits like a wet blanket over everything you say and do that kills your hope and defeats your effort.

There may be a bunch of monsters, a pile of lies, a crowd of voices.

Just pick one.

Shine a light on it. Don’t let it hide. Don’t let it say it’s who you are. It’s not.

It’s your past. It’s the hurt dealt out to you. It’s mistakes you made. It’s unforgiveness. It’s a bad decision. It’s a name you were called in elementary school you said didn’t matter but did. It’s a curse that landed on you. It’s a divorce. It’ a betrayal. It’s a habit. It’s a choice.

Then close the trap on that monster. In one or two sentences. Don’t let it get away.

Then look at it.

If that was a monster would you want it in your house?

What would you want instead? What truth would you replace that with?

Craft a weapon…. Write a statement you would replace that thought with. Take your time because it’s a weapon, a sentence, particularly suited to killing this particular monster.

Go back and visit that monster on the paper every morning. Look at it. Then write the statement you crafted nine times. Speak it out loud every time you write it. Remember that statement a few times as you go through the day.

Do it for 21 days.

What shape is that monster in now? Does it need another 21? Or is it time to turn your attention to another monster? What if you can create and choose the thoughts you live with?

What would you choose?

 

It’s over

To the girl at the skincare kiosk who gave me the free packet of lotion… It was great to meet you! Thank you so much for the free moisturizer sample, it’s good stuff. I can’t help but feel a little bad when I had to leave before you could sit me down for 10 minutes of “baggy eye” treatment. I can still see your pouty face as I walked away and it made me feel bad. 

We had a 10 second relationship but I feel like I let your down. Please don’t make me out to be the bad guy. I’ll own my part in this but remember: if you don’t feel like a whole person going into this relationship it’s going to tear your apart when times get tough, and those times always come. For us it was at our 8th second anniversary. I felt suffocated. You needed something from me I wasn’t ready to give. 

Get to that place where you’re a whole person. Think of where you’ll get your source of life from. I think you should consider Jesus instead of turning those unreasonable expectations on mere mortals. 

Don’t think of me as the villain. You’re a powerful person! You’re only powerless when you give your power away. No one can take it from you. Not me not your boss or colleagues at the kiosk, no one. 

Get healed, get whole. There will be others. 

Merry Christmas

What do you want to grow?

Pay attention to the environment you create. Your growth may be as much about deciding the conditions as the effort you make. Be deliberate. Pick one thing to change.

I bought some basil for a pizza. Normally I let it die in the fridge after a few weeks. But I planted what I didn’t use. Now I’ve got basil all the time! There was an old bag of mint dying in the fridge. Threw some in a glass of water for a few weeks now it’s growing on its own.

Phil Pringle says, “Big doors swing on little hinges”. Make one small, pivotal change to your life. See what happens. What grows, what dies, what accelerates? What do you want?

Ready for change? Ready to change

Hey, Summer is almost here. I pulled out my lawnmower and threw out some junk just to say I did some spring cleaning. It’s time to clean out some broken ways of thinking.

You act differently when spring arrives or the first Winter blizzard hits. Why would a change of season in your life let you to act like you did before? Changes in life might be marked by a birthday, a change of job, location, a loss. Regardless, something has changed, old ways of acting and thinking don’t work anymore.

“Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

A change of season might begin with frustration. A crack in the foundations of your thinking and believing could lead to a place where life doesn’t work like it did before. Anger and frustration intensify.

This cycle kicked off almost every season in life:

Obstacle, Anger, God encounter, Higher thought, Breakthrough. 

Change or die.

So you’ve hit an obstacle in life. You know you hit it because you’re angry but might not know why. Life doesn’t seem to work like before.

Yea, God saw this coming. He may have even tried to talk to you about it before today. But now the life has gotten your attention. Time to ask God what’s broken then listen for the answer. You might hear him when you pray. You might hear him when you read your bible. You might hear him when you ask a friend for honest feedback and promise not to hit him when they answer honestly. You might find the issue when you think of someone you hate deeply and realize you do the same thing.

“Big things swing on little hinges” – Phil Pringle

One issue I had around honour and approval would not let me move on until I dealt with it.

Without God’s approval, honouring people turns into currying favour. Looking for crumbs of approval that fall from the table of people you look to. It often ends with anger and hatred for people that can’t give you what you need. Don’t confuse honour with approval or you end up a mess, angry at the world.

To recognize this and ask God to forgive me for thinking this was a game changer. It was like taking the emergency-brake off while driving down the highway. Life gained momentum, passion and focus returned with a new vision of what could happen in this new season.

Anyone that has asked Christ to take control of their life has God’s approval already, even if they don’t live out of that truth.

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.” Colossians 1:22,23

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