Wisdom for my Sons

Month: November, 2011

Art of Mastery. 11.28.11

From Evernote:

Art of Mastery. 11.28.11

"Lost from modern day vocation is one’s internal drive and pursuit of mastery of their calling."-ak

We all know it…journey over destination, process over results; yet do we ever fully apply it in our everyday life. They say human motivation to excell at work is tied to autonomy, mastery and purpose. Meaning one most flourishes in environments where they have creative control; they learn, grow and improve…daily moving closer to mastering a skill, all while knowing the ‘why’ behind what they do. Mastery is unique in that the pursuit of process is where God hides joy and satisfaction, along with the redeemed human drive to excell. No surprise as God designs man with freedom to choose direction, giving him the lifelong task of redeeming His creation (mastery…no end goal, continual lifelong improvement) and lastly giving man his why-glorify God and it is what you were created for. For God, the heart behind the action is everything…heart being who you really are, always knowing actions can be faked. Action. My sons, develope a heart that desires to be a master craftsmen of life…working daily to bring all of life to a more and more redeemed state, knowing you’ll never reach perfection, but understanding that God designs joy, satisfaction and blessing into the process. Work is designed by God to be its own reward, so wake up each day, striving to be a master of today.

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thank you…a password of praise. 11.24.11

From Evernote:

thank you…a password of praise. 11.24.11

Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do-they can’t keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us-you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King! (Psalm 89:15-18 MSG)

Physically saying thank you to God is like a secret password of praise. In this divine transaction we say thank you regardless of our feelings, and He gives us joy regardless of our circumstances. Seems pretty simple…our joy in life being tied directly to our ability to receive all details of our day with thanksgiving to God. Once a year…thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to rejoice and give thanks in what we have…rather than most other days being consumed with the thoughts of what we don’t. Action. My sons, strive to make each day of your life Thanksgiving…develope the habit of physically saying thank you to God and others always. It may be as simple as a meal someone paid for, a beautiful sunset or your child’s laugh, but always know that our joy grows exponential with our ability to see the hand of our loving God. He is in every second of our day, we just can’t be so preoccupied that they pass us by. Reflecting this Thanksgiving…please know that I love you both so much and thank God everyday, that He has blessed your mom and I with your amazing lives…love you always!

Establish monuments in life. 11.23.11

From Evernote:

Establish monuments in life. 11.23.11

Then Joshua said to the Israelites, "In the future your children will ask, `What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, `This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord ‘s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever." (Joshua 4:21-24 NLT)

God stories and monuments of his faithfulness are key tools for sharing and transferring His faithfulness well beyond the actual event. Pictures, achievements, buildings, businesses, etc can all stand as monuments…monuments used for our glory or God’s glory. Each physical reminder of a specific time in our life acts as a catalyst for conversation. Those conversations with our kids or others are often the only times we can share a personal experience testifying that God is real, active and faithful in the lives of his children. It may be a baseball on a shelf, a newspaper article about an achievement, a physical building, a business that was built or even a simple picture…all great opportunities to say, "let me tell you about a time when God worked in amazing ways." Monuments are critical to helping transfer of our faith to the next generation, so they hear of a God who is living and active. Action. My sons, be intentional about establishing simple monuments to Gods faithfullness throughout your life. Share those stories with your kids and others. The challenge will lie in whether they become tools used to speak of your glory or Gods. So be wise, always giving honor where honor is due…to God.

Training your brain. 11.22.11

From Evernote:

Training your brain. 11.22.11

"Idealization is the art of continually imagining the perfect outcome or solution for any situation in life." -concept from ‘Focal Point’ by Brian Tracy

Our life calling as believers, to redeem and restore our fallen environments working to have them function more and more like how God intended, is our daily responsibility in helping "Gods will be done on earth as it is in heaven." In application, the gap exists many times not in knowing but in doing…for our mind knows, but our flesh in weak. Idealization is nothing more than continually thinking and visualizing a few steps ahead of our actions. If today was the perfect day, how would I live it? How would I spend my morning? What kind of attitude would I assume for the day? If this lunch meeting was the ideal lunch, how would I carry myself and how would I best engage the other person? If today was the ideal work day, how would I act and work…what would it look like? If tonight was the ideal evening with my family, what would it look like…what would we do…how would we treat each other? Athletes visualize to perform better, yet the habit doesn’t end there…for the art of thinking ahead of our actions enables a man to take dominion over life molding and redeeming it, not just passively responding to it. Action. My sons, in life cultivate the habit of asking yourself throughout the day, "if this was the perfect ______, how would it look?" You’ll find yourself acting much differently, for God designed us with a far more innate understanding of His Will the we think. Do this and you’ll be a strong godly man faithful in redeeming and restoring your environment, not just responding to it.

The one habit that fuels all the others. 11.21.11

From Evernote:

The one habit that fuels all the others. 11.21.11

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:7-9 NLT)

The first chapter of Joshua is amazing…for it is Gods pep talk to the new leader of his people. A leader in Joshua, who feels completely inadequate for the task of leading Gods people to the promised land. One would think Gods advice would be a long discourse with many moving pieces about the challenging journey ahead. Instead he lays out one thing…one simple thing that if done…guarantees the successful completion of the journey. Let’s call it the super habit, the one foundational habit all great men of God build their life around; daily being in and obeying the Word of God. Action. My sons, keep it simple…this daily habit of being in Gods Word is the linchpin to all of life. Focus on this one thing and allow God to build a life around it…For it provides the fuel, the holy spirit, which creates the character and discipline to drive all other areas of life. Like Joshua, you need to know that a man is not fit to lead if he does not commune with God daily in His Word, for life is too hard with too many distractions to go it alone. Trust and know that great men of God are great men of the Word…desire to be this type of man in life that God can use in great ways.

Don’t over think, trust God. 1.4.11 & 11.18.11

From Evernote:

Don’t over think, trust God. 1.4.11 & 11.18.11

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.

If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both. Ecclesiastes 11:4,6

The desire to fully understand and control our situations in life can keep us from doing great work. As we go about our day, we say…"once I get this taken care of I’ll be able to do this"…always putting off waiting for the conditions to be perfect, thus never planting or harvesting. Conditions in life are never perfect, so it is far better to begin, although not perfectly, allowing God to work along the way. The decision is made in choosing to be faithful to the process everyday, irrespective of circumstances…everyday staying busy planting your seed knowing God determines the harvest. Action. My sons, tie your heart and your efforts to daily being faithful to the process, don’t make excuses for inaction… waiting for conditions to be perfect…for circumstances are always ebbing and flowing in life. Besides, the blessed life you long for is found in the joy of the action anyway, being faithful in the big and small duties of life.

Speak always in a way that builds up. 11.17.11

From Evernote:

Speak always in a way that builds up. 11.17.11

The words of a wise person are gracious. The talk of a fool self-destructs – (Ecclesiastes 10:12 MSG)

Wise Godly men use their speech to build up others, while the fool’s speech self-destructs. The wise man speaks from a position of security in who he is before God, while the fool’s speech is driven by insecurity. Secure men find joy in lifting up and elevating others, while insecure men feel threatened, discounting and tearing others down to feel better. Gracious words achieve the intended means, while sharp calous speech back fires…providing no benefit at all. Action. My sons, guard well your speech, diligently learn how to most authentically encourage and build up others, specific to the individual and the season. Its how we redeem our words, bring them in service to others…and in doing so most faithfully serve and honor our God. Study closely how others speak for we are always giving evidence of our insecurities and current condition of our heart.

Good news frees us to enjoy life. 11.16.11

From Evernote:

Good news frees us to enjoy life. 11.16.11

So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 8 NLT)

The Good News of the Gospel sets us free…free to enjoy life. I always think…if I was a slave who was set free after a life of bondage to a cruel master…what would I do? I would run free with endless joy, savoring and seeking the simply pleasures of my new found freedom in life. Strangely most of us don’t connect this simple truth of why it is in fact Good News. Even rockstar Chrisitans live under a heavy yolk void of joy, resembling instead the slave that is still bound to a cruel master, forgetting that in our freed state before God we are fully and perfectly loved. This love can’t be increased or decreased by performance…so we can be still and enjoy our freedom in Christ. Action. My sons, God cannot love us any more or any less than moment we first believed in Him. Each day rest and rejoice in the Good News of the gospel, knowing you are free to enjoy today. Like any loving father, He holds us accountable to our decisions in life, yet his love for us ever changes…freeing us from sin, so we can truly enjoy life as he intended. In your life, please don’t miss savoring and enjoying the freedom in Gospel.

Leadership disease. 11.15.11

From Evernote:

Leadership disease. 11.15.11

"But the power that CEOs wield allows them to create a world that caters night and day to their need for validation. It allows them to surround themselves only with the good news of their perfection and the company’s success, no matter what the warning signs may be. This, as you may recall, is CEO disease and a peril of the fixed mindset…

The minute a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, rather than reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocrity, or worse.” -Mindset by Carol Dweck

As levels of leadership increase, access to the truths of reality easily decrease. Why is that? People have an engrained desire to please others, especially when it comes to a superior or company leader. Insecurities of the leader get exposed quickly for they long to be validated also. They say they want reality, yet deep down inside they savor and enjoy a culture of continual approval. What you get is an environment no longer made up of reality; surrounded by ‘yes’ men…a culture starts creating and believing in its own reality. Having this become a foundation for decidion making is catastrophic both in life and business. Action. My sons, good godly men/leaders are responsible for the environments they fosters around themselves. They should want to be challenged to grow, seeking out feedback, criticism and reality checks constantly…cultivating an environment that seeks out todays reality. Be secure in who you are before God, not seeking or being driven by the need for constant validation from others…for it can be dangerous when the time comes to lead well, making hard decisions that require access to true reality.

Results of disobedience. 11.14.11

From Evernote:

Results of disobedience. 11.14.11

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. (Ecclesiastes 8:11 NLT)

Because God is soveignly patient in his punishing of our disobedience allowing time for our willful repentance, we misstakenly read the delay as signs that we have gotten away with our disobedient actions…so, as a result, we continue in our sin. We think foolishly that there are no consequences to our decisions, when in reality some disobedience brings immediate results while other times it unfolds slowly over time. Perhaps, there is no better example than in marriage and Gods commands for what his children should look for in a spouse. Disobedience here tends to not show up quickly, but can take many years to rear its ugly head, lying dormate many times until new seasons of life, like kids, become the catalyst in revealing differing foundational world views. It works both ways, the real man or woman gets revealed over time for who they really are and the results of our disobedience, in what to look for and pursue in a spouse, begins to be realized and take shape. What was once good now becomes a curse. Action. My sons, know that sin and disobedience can never be separated from their respective consequences. Whether realized quickly or not…God holds us accountable to our decisions. Seek to obey God in all things and you’ll cultivate blessing… as life functions more like it was intended; pursue disobedience and cursing is the result. Whether it happens immediately or many years down the road…it will happen, for we can’t outsmart God. God wisely designs accountability into life for our decisions both good and bad, so this we must come to accept.