Ministry Needs List

Ministry needs list.

My friend, Lanita and her husband are in missionary training school.  Their desire is to take the good news of Jesus and the teachings of the Holy Bible to tribes who have never heard.  This is a list of needs for their ministry as posted on their blog.  I want to share in hopes that some of YOU may want to get involved and help this mission succeed.

For the glory of the Lord!

 

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Summer Refresh

Hello Friends!  Already, summer is half over.  Bummer.  Around here, summer is crazy madness for us.  We own a pool business after all!  However, my mind and body are trained to relax once that awesome summer sun starts shining.  Lazy days around the pool and time to “chill” with friends are terrific.

Every summer has also become a great time and opportunity to refresh, reevaluate and refocus.  Self-inventory and evaluation is vitally important to our personal and/or professional progress.  I feel better than ever about what God has planned for the future.

I’m ready.

I want to help you regain hope for your future.   Here are a few questions for you to ponder that will kick-start your evaluation.  These are things I ask myself, in no particular order.  Really, there is no right or wrong way to go about this.

Just do it.

Take the time.

Say the prayers.

Do the research.

Have the conversations.

Ask the questions.

There is absolutely no point in living a hopeless, monotonous, boring life.

Start thinking.

Make progress!

1) What are my top priorities?  At the end of my life, what will matter most?  Is what I think TRUE?

2) Does my time management reflect my priorities?  What needs to change?

3) Am I supporting my spouse physically, emotionally, verbally, financially, and spiritually… regularly?

4) Do my children have my attention?  Am I teaching them and correcting them in a positive and effective way…daily?

5) Specifically, what am I going to work on improving to make our house a place to come home to?

6) Do I need to make any apologies?  Ask for forgiveness?

7) What projects have I left unfinished?  Which ones are worth my time and energy and when?

8) Finances.  How do they look for the coming weeks, months, years?

9) Am I investing in other people?  Helping other people when, where and how they need it most?  Who else, Lord?

10) Is my professional network growing?  I need to make a fresh TO-DO list!

The Same, but for Very Different Reasons

IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES

Do not be surprised when you discover that you have a significant behavior or tendency in common with someone, who otherwise, has a very different personality than yours.  Several behaviors are shared on the personality chart, but for different reasons.  Understanding the motivation behind behavior is important in order to correctly identify true personality type.  I have put traits that generally trip people up in bold type.

Both the Popular Sanguine and the Powerful Choleric are talkative.  Sanguines are telling stories, creating small talk and sharing new ideas in order to meet their emotional need for attention.  On the other hand, cholerics are talking with purpose — giving instruction, asking questions, providing their solutions and getting down to business in order to get something marked off their to-do list.

These two personalities are also both natural leaders whom others follow.  Sanguines lead because people are drawn to their enthusiasm and constant activity.  Sanguines draw a crowd, which quickly becomes an audience.  Cholerics lead because they must.  They need followers in order to accomplish their purpose or project, and so they have a commanding personality.

One last thing the optimistic Sanguine and Choleric have in common is denial.   Sanguines do not particularly like to focus on things that are not fun, and Cholerics struggle deeply with admitting faults or wanting to identify another thing they will have to fix.

The Popular Sanguine also has commonalities with the Peaceful Phlegmatic.  Both personalities are often associated with playfulness.  Sanguines love to relieve stress through play.  Phlegmatics also like to play through quiet, calm activity where they can sit down in contrast to the sanguine who plays loud and with others in a rouse of activity.

A negative trait these two personalities share is laziness.  Sanguines prefer fun over work.  Period.  Phlegmatics are low-energy people who are not spurred to action until it becomes necessary.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic also shares a few behaviors with the other introverted personality, the Perfect Melancholy.  Both are fearful, quiet and cautious.  By nature, phlegmatics are more quick to retreat than the other personalities, so they often find themselves being bullied or pressured into uncomfortable situations where they are forced to pick a side.  These experiences cause them to become fearful about “next time,” and they determine it is safer to stay home.  The Melancholy personality is constantly questioning life and pondering the “what-ifs?”  Fear dominates through all of the terrible scenarios that could happen rather than in the reality of what is.

Also, both the Peaceful Phlegmatic and Perfect Melancholy are quiet.  However, phlegmatics are not necessarily shy; they are just content to watch and listen.  They are not compelled to ask questions or give advice.  The melancholy, however, is a naturally shy person.  It is not that melancholies have nothing to say, but usually they are anxious about saying something in the wrong way and looking foolish.  They prefer writing over talking so that they can review their words before sending them forth.

These two are both cautious.  The phlegmatic always asks, “how much energy is this going to take?”  as well as “how much stress will this cause me?”  The melancholy is cautious because they want things to be done right, according to plan and well thought out.  They cannot risk looking unprepared or foolish to others.

Powerful Choleric and Perfect Melancholies share the workaholic tendency and are both controlling.   Starting with the latter, people almost always assume that if someone is controlling they must be choleric.  Not true.  Cholerics take control because they take real issue with wasting time, and they generally feel their way is the best way and any other way is “stupid.”  They have trouble submitting to someone else’s agenda, so they take control.  Melancholies, however, can also be a controlling force because of their fear that something will not be done perfectly and others will notice the imperfections.  So, they take control.  With the same goals in mind, both may become workaholics in order to accomplish their desires or to see to it that no one else messes things up.

Sanguines, Cholerics and Melancholies may all seem organized and neat.  Sanguines only appear to be organized and make sure everything is nice and tidy in appearance so that people will like them, be impressed and praise them for having their act together.  Cholerics are organized mostly for efficiency.  Remember, cholerics do not like to waste time by having to hunt for things that are necessary for production.  Melancholies are organized and neat regardless of whether or not they believe anyone will ever see it.  Their desire is perfection. If phlegmatics are organized and neat it is because someone is on their case about it and they are trying to avoid further conflict or because someone has stepped in and cleaned out their closet on their behalf.

This list does not exhaust every area that we may have in common with another personality type, but I hope you can see how we are often the same, but for different reasons.  To effectively apply the personalities to your relationships, you must look beyond the behavior to the motive.

The FABRIC of Family

Monday night I had the fun opportunity to speak at a Mother/Daughter banquet in my hometown.  Hometown speaking gigs are intimidating to say the least!  I’m happy to have made it through.  The theme of the night was family and since today is Mother’s Day, family life is heavy on my heart.  Here are the six things I introduced to weave or thread into the F.A.B.R.I.C. of your family.

F – a Firm Foundation

If there is one thing I can be certain about in this life it is this: things change.  The world is moving at a fast pace.  Ideas, research, and theories seem to shift like the sand along the seashore.  One phone call could literally change my  life as I know it. Any day, anytime, everything can change.   What can we trust?  Is there anything solid to hold on to?

In the book of Matthew, Jesus spoke about people who live their lives based on His teachings.  He compared them to a wise man who built his house on a rock.  Though strong winds, heavy rain and flooding would come, the house built on the rock would stand.  Jesus promised.  (Matthew 7:24-25)

Is your house built on a firm foundation?  There is one thing I have found I can count on, now and forever.  One thing that is not subject to the restraints of time nor the decisions of man.  I find great comfort, confidence and security in knowing that the nature and character of God has not and will not change.  God is unique to that truth.  Because I can trust His unchanging character, I can build my life according to His ways, His design and His plans.

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must build our house on a firm foundation.

A- Attitude of Gratitude

Philippians 2:14 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing,”  Really, ALL things?  Without complaining.  What a challenge.  Here is a great quote by Charles Swindoll I heard years ago.  This quote was the core of one of the first speeches I ever gave in high school.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

As my mother says, “Be thankful for every normal day.”

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must have an attitude of gratitude.

B – Bond of Peace

We have all been hurt by our family.  Somewhere along the line, in some way, whether by something done physically or something said, no one goes through family-life pain free.  No one.  However, if we want to keep our families together, happy and productive, we must forgive.  Let it go already.  Have the talk.  Send the e-mail.  Get it on the table — if necessary — and let it go.  Romans says, “if possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

The best way to learn how to forgive is to make a list of all the mean, hateful, selfish, prideful and wrong things you’ve done and been forgiven for.  When you see the grace that has covered you, it becomes much easier to forgive others.  I am so thankful that a perfect and holy God extends His grace to me.  Who am I to withhold forgiveness from another?

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must desire a bond of peace.  We must forgive.

R – Respect for Differences

Aren’t you glad we are not all the same?  If my husband and I were just alike, one of us would be useless.  God is so creative.  I admire His artistry as I look at the people in my life.  All of us are unique and made for purpose.  Rather than assuming differences are flaws, we should respect and admire what makes us different.  In Proverbs, there is a famous verse that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it.”  For years I thought the core intent of the verse was teaching us to train up a child in THE WAY.  I agree that is a solid plan.  I will do that.  But, actually, with a bit more research and learning, I have found that the intended emphasis is on the word he.  “Train up a child in the way he should go.”  Interesting.  We should raise our children in keeping with who they are and who they were created to be.  Of course, they should live within the bounds of right and wrong, and it is our job as parents to teach them the boundaries; but in terms of their personality and interests and passions, we should support and encourage them to go their way.

I am so thankful for parents who got this right three kids in a row.

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must respect and even admire our differences.

I – In Tune with THE Mission

The mission that matters is simple; know God and make Him famous.  Life is short.  It really is like a vapor or a flower that blooms and then withers away.  Much of what we do day in and day out is in vain and is temporary.  The entire Bible is about God’s desire to have a relationship with mankind.  He wants to be known by us, now and for eternity.  Unfortunately, we are usually in the way of that relationship or distracted by our relationship with this world.   I want my family to be on mission with God through Jesus Christ to introduce the world to Him.  I want us to be a part of His team.  Not team members wearing jerseys and sitting in the stands, but team members on the field and in the game.  Why?  Because in the end, God’s team will win.

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must be in tune with THE mission.

C – Commitment to the Cost

Commitment is a thread that has been unraveled in our society.  We scoff at the thought.  We are so conditioned to freedom, convenience, flexibility and disappointment, that we struggle with commitment.  I want my family to be committed to truth, to the mission, to God and to each other.  Just because something is hard, does not mean it must be wrong.  We will not walk away just because we are uncomfortable, inconvenienced, unappreciated or misunderstood.  Commitment is hard.  Life is hard.  We must consider today what it will cost to be committed rather than waiting until things are a mess to figure it out.  I want to raise a family that will finish.

For my family, I will show them and teach them and thread through them this truth; we must understand commitment and stand strong no matter the cost.

For those of you who come from or who are living in the midst of a family whose fabric has been unraveled, I have great news for you:

God can sew.No family is perfect.  Mine certainly is not!  But God uses imperfect people and messed up families all the time.  He is a master at healing hurts, correcting wrongs, putting people and families back together and working things together for our good and for His glory.

We are all a life in progress.

 

 

What’s Your Brand?

As I’m preparing today to speak on personal branding for an audience of administrative professionals, I opened my inbox this morning and found a fresh article by Ephesians Four Ministries.  I subscribe to their weekly devotionals.

This particular one was quite timely and a great personal reminder for me, the speaker, to get and keep her act together!

Personal branding moves us from wearing masks to wearing hats.  We all have many roles we play throughout our week.  The issue many have is that they are trying to balance all of their roles and end up wearing a mask.  They are pretentious in their actions and spend their days just trying to fake their way through.

I am a wife, mama, daughter, sister, friend, in-law, teacher, entrepreneur, business owner, volunteer, and speaker.  Rather than wearing a mask and faking genuineness, I try to focus on the role of the moment.  I don’t wear masks which attempt to hide who I really am.  Rather, I try to develop my character and strengthen my personal brand, so that who I am is consistent no matter which role I am in.  I have made the switch from wearing masks to wearing hats.

We cannot balance every role at all times.  It’s too much, too distracting and non-productive.  Rather, I change hats and attempt to dedicate my attention and mental strength on the hat of the moment.  This mental switch helps me listen and respond so much better.  Better behavior enhances my personal brand.  Granted, this approach is not always easy and their are days I just want to hide behind a mask and hope nobody notices.  We are all life in progress.

Here is a segment of the e-mail I mentioned above.  For more of the article, subscribe to their free e-mail list here http://msg1svc.net/servlet/FormListener?Y2dpOjE6TE4=

“Coca-Cola is the number one “brand” in the world. Companies spend millions of dollars making their brands known in business. They want you to recognize their brand. When you think of their brand they hope you will have positive thoughts in hopes it will influence your next purchasing decision.

Every individual has a personal “brand” whether you want it or not. Cultures have a brand. Ethnic groups have a brand. Your brand is defined by your conduct. If you are always late, you’ll soon develop a brand or reputation for being late. Others will even show up late because they know you will be late. If you are a person who exaggerates the truth, others will soon fail to take you serious.

However, the opposite can also be true. Your brand can be incredibly positive. By being a man or woman of your word, who is consistent in dealing fairly and honestly with others, your brand becomes known as someone who is faithful in all aspects of life”.

 

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

 

Let Me Help You Get Organized and Save Money!

So, several years ago my husband and I read Dave Ramsey’s book, Total Money Makeover.  Nathan had become a regular listener to Ramsey’s nationally recognized radio program.  Through our Total Money Makeover experience, we discovered emeals.  Emeals is a meal planning system that I found extremely helpful.  As of yesterday, I learned there is now a new emeals APP!  I was so excited, I must share!

A quick history…

While my hubby and I were not in financial disarray, we had the desire to launch our own business.  This meant big changes. We wanted to be successful entrepreneurs and knew enough to know that most entrepreneurs fail.  Starting with no personal debt is what has allowed us to continue growing our businesses without the fear and pressure that comes with trying to keep all balls in the air.  Financial freedom is…well…it’s freeing.

That said, as a young wife, I needed help managing our grocery budget.  I barely knew anything about cooking, much less grocery shopping effectively or organizing meal plans for the week.  However, my husband desperately wanted to continue eating.  So, I needed a plan and I needed to spend as little money as possible.

That has not changed.

Today, we have added two children to the mix, I have come to enjoy cooking —sometimes — and use emeals often to do the work for me.  I think I like it most because it makes this Choleric/Sanguine look organized, efficient and food savvy.   I quickly learned that meal planning was a huge part of maintaining a tight grocery bill and keeping us on track financially.

Here are my top 10 reasons for recommending this to you:

1) It is totally done for me.

2) I can choose how we want to eat.  We have been on a low fat diet for years now.  You can choose everything from organic to low-carb to classic meals.

3) I can choose my grocery store.  Emeals helps you find the right brands, actually available at your store, to cook a meal that tastes good but costs little.

4) I can choose how many people I want to feed.  With pre-school age children, we are still able to eat off a menu for two.

5) The recipes are easy!  I hate using fancy cookbooks.  I never know what they are talking about.  Emeals keeps it simple and easy to follow.

6) I can easily eliminate meals I know my family won’t eat or when I know I won’t be cooking every night.

7) The plan updates everything automatically and accordingly, so I really don’t have to think too hard.

8) Perhaps my favorite part: the grocery list is itemized by department at the grocery store.  This makes it easy to find what I need, fast.  Very helpful with two toddlers in tow!

9) The menu tells you what staples you should already have.  A quick mental check or physical check and I never get home and get mad because I forgot something for a recipe.  (You know how that can frustrate a cook!?)

10) And now…everything is on the app!  I no longer have to print the menu and carry those papers around the store.  Yippee!  This makes me happy.  I can check things off the list, add extra things I need to pick up, like bread and milk, and I can quickly eliminate things I know I have at home with the delicate touch of my index finger.

Yep.  I’m a fan.  I’m sure there are similar meal plan systems on the market that are also good. But, if you are like me and you don’t have time to research it out…here’s the only link you need.  http://www.emeals.com/welcome/index.php?source=app

Or, search your app store.

Here’s to simplifying life!

 

 

 

USE YOUR PERSONALITY

Personalities & Application

Personality knowledge is not a weapon but a tool.  In this context, the difference between a weapon and a tool is that one is used to harm while the other is used to help.  If you are familiar with the four personality types [Popular (Playful) Sanguine, Perfect (Proper) Melancholy, Powerful Choleric and Peaceful Phlegmatic] and have a decent grasp on the basic characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and emotional needs of each, then undoubtedly you have been in many discussions around dinner tables and in lunch rooms hashing through the topic.  As a result, you may observe that people use the information in one of two ways; as a weapon or as a tool.  See where you best fit…

Weapons

As a weapon to defend self–the SHIELD approach.

Always, when I present a personality workshop, early on someone will turn to a colleague and say, “See, I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.”  It is often our imprudent reaction to defend who we are, good or bad.   And without any consideration we apply the information as a defense mechanism.  If you are not careful, you will embrace the “take me or leave me” attitude.  I would encourage you to take down your shield.  Take a hard look at your weaknesses and commit to an attitude of self-awareness and self-improvement instead.

As a weapon to offend others–the SWORD approach.

Unfortunately, sometimes people use personalities to make jabs and stabs.  It is as if the personalities give you some twisted affirmation that says, “Yes, I was right about so and so” and then you go on the attack.  An example would be to say something such as, “You are so _______ (fill in the blank with a personality type); you always or you never _______ (fill in the blank with a weakness of that personality).  i.e. – “You are so sanguine; you are always thinking only about yourself.”  This approach is harmful. It never results in a positive.  We should not use sarcasm to intentionally make others feel inferior simply because we think their personality does not compare well to our own.  This applies to everyone, but I must state Cholerics should be especially careful here.  And, with a spirit of confession, I have been guilty of this myself specifically in conversations with those closest to me.  Be careful not to participate in personality rhetoric that focuses on weaknesses.  Remember we ALL have areas of weakness.  Rather, focus on strengths.  Try to recognize and admire the positive dynamic personality differences bring to your life, workplace and family.

The goal is to gain valuable understanding and to see others’ differences as something other than flaws.

Tools

As a tool to lift up–the jack approach.

Just like a car jack lifts something that would otherwise be impossible to move, when we apply personalities in a way that encourages and motivates others toward success, we help them achieve what seemed impossible before.  There are countless stories about families and work environments that have experienced positive change because of this information.  The hard-nosed choleric learns to listen.  The hyper-distracted sanguine learns to focus.  The uninvolved phlegmatic learns to voice their opinion. The uptight melancholy learns to be flexible.  It is most rewarding to use the information as a tool to encourage others to walk and live in their strengths.  When you accept people as they are, an amazing thing happens.  Almost in a twist of irony, they feel safe enough to drop their shields and actually become open to learning how to change or take on other strengths.  Remember, your core personality never changes.  However, as an intelligent human being you have the ability to learn how to think and act, at least a bit, differently.

As a tool to re-construct–the chisel approach.

This approach is the most personal and for me is what keeps me honest as I stand before audiences.  My hope is that because I know this information I will be able to better recognize why I think and act the way I do, and will therefore, make better decisions.  Decisions about how I’ll choose to see things, decisions about how I’ll choose to treat people and address people.  Decisions about how I’ll react.  Decisions about what weaknesses I need to dissolve and what strengths I need to play to.  Growing up, my mother would often remind me, (probably because she is sanguine/phlegmatic and I am choleric/sanguine) you cannot control what other people do, you can only control yourself.  So true!  I love this quote I use in my workshops from the book Please Understand Me, “Remove the fangs from a lion and behold a toothless lion, not a domestic cat.”  You are not going to use this information to transform someone into who you think they should be.  They are who they are so stop trying.  Instead, take a thorough look in the mirror and then work and grow from there.

Knowing your personality and the personalities of others is meant to change you, not leave you the same.  Nevertheless, just like that treadmill in the garage it only works if you use it!

Thank you all for subscribing to this blog.  I so enjoy sharing with you!  I’d love to hear from you.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is a personality topic you’d like to know more about.

Because this is so important here are the basic emotional needs of each personality

Sanguine:   Attention from all

                    Affection (touching)

                    Approval of every deed

                    Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy:  Sensitivity to their feelings

                     Understanding

Space to be alone

                     Silence (no people)

Choleric:  Loyalty

Sense of Control

Appreciation for all their hard work

                 Accomplishment/Achievement

Phlegmatic:  Peace and quiet

Feelings of Worth

                      Lack of Stress,

                      Respect for who they are not what they do