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!

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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.

 

 

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

Your personality may keep you from keeping your New Year Resolutions!

http://www.icontact-archive.com/pejrmX-GSQcRmgGYHCFf6huKlt_cKuYv?w=2

Check out the link to see my video messages on your personality type and keeping new year resolutions.

 

Don’t Ruin Christmas

Have yourself a merry Christmas!

Watch my short video on how your personality may get you into trouble at your holiday gatherings.

Merry Christmas all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjuos-wc04Q&feature=youtu.be

 

Best speech on politics ever.

I just listened to Congressman Bob McEwen share this speech on politics in America.  I strongly urge you to take the time to listen and then share with as many people as possible!

http://www.drjamesdobson.org/Broadcasts/Broadcast?i=7695cc31-8b8e-4131-ba58-20d2507431e5

A Mind to Unify

I opened an e-mail this morning that spoke directly to my heart.  I wanted to share it with you.  I have copied the following article from my subscription to Prime Time With God through Ephesians Four Ministries.  I began receiving their daily posts after taking a free spiritual gifts assessment on their site, www.churchgrowth.org. (Also worth your time.)

The Power of Unity
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
10-18-2012

“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:21

What is the greatest power that allows the unsaved to make a decision for Jesus Christ? It isn’t prayer, though this is important. It isn’t good deeds, though deeds indicate a fruitful relationship with God. It isn’t good behavior, though Christ commands us to be obedient as sons. The greatest power God’s children have over darkness is unity. Jesus talked a great deal about His oneness with the Father and the importance of unity in the Body of Christ. It is the most difficult command Jesus gave to the Church, because it wars against the most evil aspect of our sin nature-independence.

In the last days we are seeing God’s Spirit convict His children of the lack of unity among His Church. We are seeing God move between blacks and whites, ethnic groups, denominations, and parachurch groups. There is much work to be done. The walls of division and competition among His Body are a stench in God’s nostrils. He sees the competition and the pride of ownership and weeps for the lost who cannot come to Him because they cannot see Him in His Body. When His Body is one, the unbelieving see that Jesus was sent by God. It is like a supernatural key that unlocks Heaven for the heathen soul. The key is in the hand of Christ’s Church. When there is unity, there is power. Scripture tells us five will chase 100, but 100 will chase 10,000 (see Lev. 26:8). There is a dynamic multiplication factor in unity of numbers. We are a hundred times more effective when we are a unified group. Imagine what God could do with a unified Church.

Jesus prayed that we all might be one, as the Father and He are one. He wanted the same love God has for Jesus to be in each of us. When this love is in us, we are drawn to each other with a common mission. The walls fall down. The independent spirit is broken. Competition is destroyed. Satan’s accusations are thwarted. Our love for each other is manifest to the world around us. Lost souls begin to seek this love that is so foreign to them.

Have you contributed to an independent spirit within His Body? Are you seeking to break down walls of competition among Christians, churches, denominations, and ethnic groups? Until we walk in the spirit of unity, we will hinder those in whom God has reserved a place in Heaven. Pray for His Church to be unified.

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