Weekend review (5/24/15) – My God is kind

Yesterday was week three of our teaching series…

5Things.

If you’ve not been tracking with this series, we’ve been asking this question…

“How would I explain my God to my friend who doesn’t believe in Him?”

The first thing I would say to my friend is, “I don’t always understand Him!” (You can watch that lesson here).

Then I would say, “Even though I don’t always understand Him, there are some things I can know about my God”, and we talked about how to know some things about God. (You can watch that lesson here).

And then yesterday we said, “One of the things you can know about my God is that He is kind!” (You can watch that lesson here).

I think that sometimes we have a hard time experiencing God’s kindness because we can’t get past the chaos in the world and in our own lives. We see the violence and injustice and feel the disappointment and say, “If God is kind/caring/loving… how can these things happen?

We spent some time working through that question… which is a fair question by the way. (You can watch it here).

Then I said…

I believe that God is kind for three reasons:

  1. He says that He is kind. (Remember last week? The best way to know someone is to listen to what he says about himself… and listen to what others say about him.). God and others have said a lot about how kind He is.
  2. Jesus was kind (and we know, from last week, that Jesus is the “visible image of the invisible God” – Colossians 1:15).
  3. I have experienced his kindness… you probably have too.

We looked at the story of a man who was living in a city that had been destroyed by violence. Additionally, he was experiencing frustration and disappointment with God. In the middle of this chaos he embraced the idea that God is kind. His name was Jeremiah. He wrote about this experience in a piece called, “Lamentations” (it’s a piece of literature in the Bible).

The chaos he was living in was comparable to what’s happening today in the Middle East under the cruel reign of ISIS. Check out what he said about those days.

In the middle of this headline violence and deep frustration Jeremiah found hope. Here’s what he said:

21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends![a]
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age
    to the yoke of his discipline:

28 Let them sit alone in silence
    beneath the Lord’s demands.
29 Let them lie face down in the dust,
    for there may be hope at last.
30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
    and accept the insults of their enemies.

31 For no one is abandoned
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
    because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33 For he does not enjoy hurting people
    or causing them sorrow.

In this piece, there are three keys to experiencing God’s kindness… even when things are crazy around us! Here they are:

  1. Create space in  your life to be quiet (see v. 28). God primarily communicates to us in moments of quietness! The louder you are… the less you will hear!
  2. Own the role you’ve played in your personal chaos! In other words, repent (see v. 29). Defensive and angry people are not likely to experience and enjoy God’s kindness! We looked at a proverb from Solomon that describes lots of us and identifies a reason we have a hard time experiencing God’s kindness: People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. (Proverbs 19:3 NLT).
  3. Be humble (see v. 30)! An arrogant and demanding spirit is unlikely to experience God’s kindness.

At the end of the day what I would say to my friend who is wondering about God’s kindness is…

I have found that I experience and enjoy God’s kindness when I am silent, willing to repent, and humble.

And now some tweetables…

Tweetable

 

  • it is important that we wrestle with our doubts, but I also know this… I may never fully understand why God does what He does.

  • If I can’t understand my wife fully, how in the world can I expect to fully understand God?

  • I have received LOTS of second chances from God! In fact, if I were God… or you were God… I’d be a faded memory by now!

  • I know I deserved much worse than what I’ve been given.

  • We don’t do silence well… and therefore may miss much of what God is saying.

  • When I move away from God’s best ideas I find that chaos usually occurs.

  • People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. (Proverbs 19:3 NLT)

  • An attitude of humility will set you up to experience God’s kindness.

  • I have found that I experience and enjoy God’s kindness when I am silent, willing to repent, and humble.

If you missed the teaching you can watch/listen here, and I’d love to hear back from you… what is your experience with God’s kindness?

Weekend review (5/17/15) – You CAN know some things about my God

Right now at Church180 we are in a teaching series called…

5Things.

I started this whole series based on this premise…

“If my friends invited me to lunch and said, ‘we want you to tell us about your God’, what would I say to them? This series is my response.

I would start by saying, “I don’t always understand my God!” (You can watch the teaching here).

The second thing I would say to my friend… that’s what we talked about last Sunday…

“You CAN know some things about my God.”

Before we talked about some ways we can know God, we discussed how a LOT of us “know” God…

  • I think…
  • I feel…
  • I see…

Regarding this last way many people “know” things about God, I shared a quote from Tim Keller’s book, “The Reason For God”:

“Many people who take an intellectual stand against Christianity do so against a background of personal disappointment with Christians and churches.”

Then we asked this question…

What if we’re wrong?

What if we’re wrong about what we think, feel, and see about God?

The next question we asked was, How do we know God?

I suggested that we know God like we know anyone else…

we listen to what they say about his or her self!

We talked a bit about the fact that God has said a LOT about Himself… in the Bible! I took time to talk to people who are skeptical about the Bible (you can watch the entire teaching here).

Then we talked about the best way to know God… look at Jesus!

A couple of quotes we used to make that case:

  • Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. […] The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. (Hebrews 1:1-3 NLT)
  • Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15 NLT)

I can know a lot of things about God by looking at Jesus!

Everything that Jesus did and said is what God is all about!

He loves children, He is angry about hypocrites, He loves people who don’t fit in, He hates when the religious system monetizes His love, He has high expectations, He is incredibly merciful…

So for me, when I’m talking with my friends who don’t believe like I do… everything I believe about God is based on one person…Jesus.

We spent time talking about the importance of the resurrection when it comes to knowing anything about God (again, you can catch the whole teaching here).

At the end of the day I did my best to make this case…

I don’t understand everything about God, but there are plenty of things I do know and am sure of in regards to my God!

If you missed it, here are some “tweetables” from last week’s teaching:

Tweetable

  •  Lots of people “know things about God based on how they feel… which is great if you’re not depressed or hungover.
  • (a little long for a tweet… but still noteworthy) “Many people who take an intellectual stand against Christianity do so against a background of personal disappointment with Christians and churches.” Tim Keller
  • (a little long for a tweet… but still noteworthy)Most of the agnostics and anti-religious people I know have at some point had an experience with Christians or the church that left them staggering… and they concluded, “if that’s what God is like… I’m out.”
  • That’s why Church180 is here… to help change the way people see Christians and the church!
  • we all have a family member that we hope no one judges us by! BTW, if you don’t know who that is in your family… it’s probably you!
  • The best way to know someone is for them to tell you about himself/herself.
  • Relationships with people, and God always work better when you listen to the other party before making conclusions!
  • The Bible is written history… something that most people aren’t overly skeptical of in other circumstances.
  • The Bible is written history which when properly read tells us a lot about God.
  • I can know a lot of things about God by looking at Jesus!

If you missed this lesson you can watch it here! I’d love to hear from you… how do you know what you know about God?

Weekend review (5/10/15) Mother’s Day

Yesterday was one of my favorite day’s at Church180… Mother’s Day!

Mom_std_t_nvWe do something different for Mother’s Day. We serve a top-shelf breakfast to every adult in honor of mom while we’re “doing” church! I’m talking breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, sexy pastries (that we pray to God are calorie free). We turn the lights down, have a laid back worship set, and eat throughout the service while our top-notch team of volunteers serve coffee and dishes! It’s a great break for mom, and a chance to eat a nice meal in a nice environment with no kids to feed, arguments to resolve, or spills to clean up!

At our church we intentionally work to create an environment where men would come… even if their lady was out of town! We work to be a church that’s easy for a man to bring his family. In other words, we are always thinking, “How would this environment appeal to a man?”

But don’t get me wrong… we LOVE the ladies! In fact, we believe that the best gift we can give to a lady, is a man who knows God and knows how to treat a lady! So we go all out on Mother’s Day for our ladies!

Yesterday we talked about the phrase “…but mom.”

If you missed it yesterday, you can see it here!

We told three stories of people who were either discounted or on the fringe… misunderstood and underestimated by the general public… but mom…

Mom saw something that the others may have missed and was the catalyst for transformation!

From Mary, the mother of Jesus, we learned that moms:

  • watch… when others are to busy to see
  • ponder… what others might write off as a lost cause
  • believe… in the potential of their child… more than anyone else (sometimes even the child herself)
  • push… sometimes they push the child, and sometimes they push the antagonists and doubters… but great moms push… and set their kids up for success!

We also learned from the story of Erik Weihenmayer’s mom (Ellen) and Pablo Picasso’s mom (Doña Maria).

Again, if you missed the teaching, you can watch/listen here.

And now… some tweetables!

Tweetable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Everyone else was saying, “No”… but mom said “yes.”
  • Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. (Luke 2:16-19 NLT)
  • Great moms watch, ponder, believe, and push.
  • Mom, that little person that calls you “Mom” has something special and unique inside of him/her.
  • (a little long to be a tweet… but still good) “I had done nothing yet to prove myself, so how she saw strength, opportunity, and promise while other people saw problems, obstacles, and limits, I’ll never know for sure….” Erik Weihenmayer
  • (a little long to be a tweet… but still good) “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” Pablo Picasso

I hope you had a great Mother’s Day, and to all of you mom’s out there… from Church180 and me… “Keep up the great work!”

HOW to make a change in your life

Many times I’ve said something like this to myself…

“I’m going to change                               .” Or,

“I’ll never do                                   again.” Or,

“I’m going to                                  “.

I meant it when I said it… but after a few weeks I realized… I didn’t do it!

Most of the time the reason I didn’t do it was because I did not answer this question…

“How?”

How am I going to change? How am I going to stop? How am I going to start?

An idea without a plan is a miscarriage waiting to happen.

If you REALLY want to change something in your life… answer this question…

“How?”

When you begin thinking “how” let me encourage you to think “daily.” This wisdom from John C. Maxwell tells us why…

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. […] Ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”

What would happen in your life if you decided to do something different for the next 30 days?

  • Eat no sweets
  • Exercise daily
  • No Facebook
  • 30 minutes per day focused on your child
  • 10 minutes of prayer
  • Read a chapter a day in a book
  • Spend 10 minutes per day organizing your garage

How different would your life look after 30 days?!

To help you get started I’d encourage you to check out habitforge.com. This is a free service that will e-mail you every day for 30 days with a reminder to do the thing you need to do to make the changes you want!

Want to change?

Answer the question “How”? and do that “How” daily for 30 days (use Habitforge.com to help remind you).

So what do you want to change? I’d love to hear from you!

Weekend review (5/3/15) – I don’t always understand God

Yesterday at Church180 we started a new teaching series…5Things.                                                                    The intention of this teaching series is two-fold: 1) to take a shot at explaining my God to my friends who don’t believe in Him, and 2) to give my believing friends a starting point for explaining our God to their friends who may not believe in Him.

If you missed yesterday’s teaching, you can watch/listen here!

So yesterday I told our church that if I were to be invited by my unbelieving friend to explain my God, the first thing I would tell them is…

“I don’t always understand my God.”

Now I’m sure that there are some people who wouldn’t start there. I start there… because it’s true! I’ve found that being honest is the quickest way to open the door to helpful conversation!

Besides that, if I did understand everything about my God that would mean two things:

  1. He would be fairly insignificant. (I don’t understand everything about my 4 year old… and I’m hoping my God is a bit more complex than she is!)
  2. I would manipulate Him to get my way all the time… if I fully understood Him! That would be great for me… maybe not so great for you (especially if we are cheering for opposite teams)!

I don’t understand everything about God… and saying that is perfectly okay!

Expressing doubts, frustrations, questions, etc. is okay! Unfortunately many of us were raised to “never question God.” This is a premise that is tenuous at best.

Tim Keller, in his book Reason for God, writes:

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic.

A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.

Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts – not only their own but their friends’ and neighbors’. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs because you inherited them.

Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive.”

I love this! He gives us permission to wrestle with doubts/questions! But better yet… Habakkuk, a prophet that lived about 2600 years ago, not only gave us permission but showed us HOW to deal with a God we don’t fully understand!

I’m not going to write out all of what we learned yesterday, because you can watch it here!

What I do want to do though is give you some teaching highlights in the form of “tweetables”!

Tweetable

  • “Habbakuk was a daring thinker who openly expressed his doubts to God.” Kenneth Boa
  • It’s okay to have doubts about God. It’s not okay to live the rest of your life with them! Search for answers!
  • The Christian faith is strong enough to handle any question you have! Ask away! Ask questions! Search for answers!
  • I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint. (Habakkuk 2:1 NLT)
  • Express your doubts and wait on God = the right way. Express your doubts and walk away from God = the wrong way.
  • If you walked away from everything in your life that you don’t fully understand, you would have a small life. So why do we do that to God?
  • My God does this sometimes – He puts me in places where I feel lost and scared… and then He leaves… or so it seems.
  • I’ve come to realize is that He has a plan! He is doing something that when I fully understand… I will agree is good!
  • The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. (Habakkuk 3:16-19 NLT)
  • I choose to trust my God even when I don’t understand Him.

If you want more, you can watch/listen online here.

Next week the conversation continues!

 

 

Kill the Monster – Weekend review (4/26/15)

Kill the Monster - Banner 4 - brighter (1)Yesterday we wrapped up the “Kill the Monster” teaching series at Church180. (You can watch it here).

To be honest, I changed the lesson up a bit from what I had originally planned. I was originally going to talk about the “control” monster that lots of us struggle with… the unhealthy and unrealistic desire to control everything!

But then something happened…

My neighbor committed suicide. It completely caught all of us off guard.

It rocked me.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of darkness that would drive a big strong man to that decision, and I concluded that “monsters on the inside are always stronger than monsters on the outside.” 

Had a monster/villain/bad guy attacked my neighbor, he would have found considerable opposition. My neighbor was big and strong. But the monster on the inside… that monster won.

The inspiration for this teaching series came from a number of contemporary artists who are singing about monsters (Skillet, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, Nate Wants to Do Battle). They use the word “monster” to describe what humans have long struggled with… the dark side… the evil nature… inherited depravity… etc. No matter what you call it, we have all felt its force.

So yesterday we looked at another musical group… an ancient group… The Sons of Korah. These guys were the worship leaders for King David of Israel.

We looked at their song (Psalm 42) and watched as they put words to the struggles we have… “Why am I so discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”

We listened in as they explored their soul anguish; learned what helped them work through their dark place, and were inspired as we watched them escape the force of the monster lurking there.

It came down to two words… hope and praise.

  • Hope = I will keep expecting that my God will show up and rescue me from this dark place.
  • Praise = While I’m waiting I will say good things to and about God.

I know this sounds overly simple, and I wish I could give you a 1,2,3 list of things to do when you are in the dark place.

BUT…

I’ve been, and you probably have been too, in dark places where the force of the monster within is so dark that 1,2,3 just won’t work. It’s in those places that the hope/praise is most helpful.

If you don’t get it… go watch the teaching and see what you think.

Alrighty… how about some tweetables from yesterday? Yea? Here we go…

Tweetable

  • Monsters on the inside are always worse than monsters on the outside.
  • To destroy a monster on the outside you must have courage and hope. Monsters on the inside drain courage and dissolve hope.
  • Thanks to Imagine Dragon for the lyrical help yesterday.
  • Think about all of the different kinds of songs: fight songs, love songs, drinking songs, worship songs.
  • I don’t always understand my God.
  • Hope and praise is a good way to live.
  • When you are in a dark place, start doing things you did when things were good.
  • It feels fake to hope and praise when the monster is roaring. Do it anyway.
  • When I act like I feel, I empower the monster inside of me.
  • I’m going to act like I don’t feel.
  • There are times when it feels like the monster is bigger than God. Those feelings are wrong.

Again, if you missed the teaching yesterday you can see or listen to it here.

BTW, I’m not sure why my face looks like this…

Capture

 

Anyhow, take a look/listen and then let me know how you deal with the monsters in your life!

Seven Decisions

7Last week I bought two new books: The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell and The Seven Decisions (Understanding the Keys to Personal Success) by Andy Andrews.

I’ve started reading “The Seven Decisions” and already realize, “this is one of those books that will be read and re-read!” Andy Andrews does an amazing job of crystallizing the keys to personal development!

What I love so much about this book is Andy’s personal story!

When he was 19 he lost his mother to cancer, and shortly thereafter his dad died in a car accident! Reeling from this one-two punch, Andy began making bad decisions that resulted in him being homeless… living under a bridge!

During his period of homelessness he did odd jobs, but had lots of free time. Much of that free time was spent in a library… where he started reading the stories of successful men and women.

As he read his “self-pity turned to passion” because he noticed something… these men and women had some themes in common! Andy began to practice these principles… and his life began to change! Now he is a New York Times best selling author who writes about these commonalities!

After reading literally hundreds of biographies and autobiographies he has identified seven common practices of successful men and women, and in his book “The Seven Decisions” he identifies and explains them in detail!

I strongly encourage you to buy the book for yourself, but for your sake, and mine, I am writing them down here.

The seven decisions that determine personal success:

#1 The Responsible Decision

“The buck stops here. I accept responsibility for my past. I am responsible for my success. I will not let my history control my destiny.”

#2 The Guided Decision

“I will seek wisdom. God moves mountains to create the opportunity of His choosing. It is up to me to be ready to move myself.”

#3 The Active Decision

“I am a person of action. Many people move out of the way for a person on the run; others are caught up in his wake. I will be that person on the run.”

#4 The Certain Decision

“I have a decided heart. Criticism, condemnation, and complaint are creatures of the wind. They come and go on the breath of lesser beings and have no power over me.”

#5 The Joyful Decision

“Today I will choose to be happy. My very life is fashioned by choice. First I make choices. Then my choices make me.”

#6 The Compassionate Decision

“I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I know that God rarely uses a person whose main concern is what others are thinking.”

#7 The Persistent Decision

I will persist without exception. Reason can only be stretched so far, but faith has no limits. The only limit to my realization of tomorrow is the doubt to which I hold fast today.”

Oh this is good stuff! I’m glad I picked this book up! I hope you might think about grabbing a copy too7!

Killing Fear – Weekend Review (4/19/15)

Kill the Monster - Banner 4 - brighter (1)Yesterday was week three of our “Kill The Monster” series at Church180. Pastor David Roller was our guest speaker yesterday. That man can tell a story like very few people! He told the story of fear and how to kill it!

If you missed it, you can watch it here.

David Roller is not only a great storyteller, he is also a bishop in the Free Methodist church. For those of you who don’t know what that means, he is charged with the oversight of many churches. In fact, he oversees Free Methodist churches in Europe, Latin America and the East Coast of good ‘ole America!

After church was over, our pastors met with Bishop Roller and his wife to eat with them and hear from them; they also took the opportunity to hear from us.

I am so proud of our pastoral team at Church180. They are passionate, competent, and humble lovers of Jesus and people. We told our stories, laughed a ton, and were inspired as we heard from our bishop. I am excited and optimistic as our church continues to forge ahead to love God and do good in our community!

So, my favorite tweetable from Bishop Roller’s teaching yesterday..

“We are called to be kings, and yet are hiding among the suitcases.”

If you missed the teaching yesterday, I encourage you to catch it right here.

 

How to “fit things in”

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend who is trying to figure out “How to fit it all in.”

That’s something I’m fairly conversant with… fitting things in. Sherri (aka “The lovely and talented Mrs. Peterson) and I have this conversation regularly, and overall, we do a decent job of it.

Here’s the thing about “fitting things in”…

Just about the time you fit everything in… something changes shape! For instance…

  • You get the kids school schedule figured out… then it’s summer time!
  • You get the work schedule figured out… then you decide you want to lose weight… so where do you add gym time?
  • You get your grocery shopping day nailed down… and then you get the schedule for your kid’s soccer games and they’re scheduled… right during your shopping time!

AHHHHHH!!!

I’ve joked in the past that just about the time I figure out how to be a perfect parent, my kids have a birthday… and everything changes! And that’s a lot how life is… just about the time you get everything fit in… something changes!

So, what’s a decent way to fit things in?

Let me give you three ideas and then one practical tool that will help manage these ideas.

Idea #1 – Minimize

Let’s be honest here… most of us do a better job of adding than subtracting.

We add hours at work, gym time, hobby time, sport schedules, etc. but never figure out what they are going to replace! Typically what they replace are the most important things (e.g. church, gym, dates with spouse/kids).

I encourage you to do this… when you must add something, figure out what you will subtract! After all, you can’t fit everything in if you don’t take something out!

Idea #2 – Prioritize

Here’s an important question, “If everything had to be done at the same time what would I NOT do?”

For instance, if a soccer game and a doctor’s appointment were scheduled at the same time, which one would NOT show up at? The the soccer game of course (unless you are a terrible parent… yes, I’m judging you.) ;-)

Seriously, there are some things you MUST do to live a healthy life (e.g. grocery shop, work on your budget, go to church, work out, go to work, sleep, etc.).

To begin prioritizing, sit down and put these non-negotiables on the calendar, what time is left is for those “other” things… discretionary things..

On my family budget, under expenses I have two categories: non-discretionary and discretionary. Non-discretionary includes things like: mortgage, electric, etc.Discretionary includes things like haircuts, etc. If I have to choose between getting a haircut and paying my electric… I’m going electric.

So, figure out what the non-negotiable/non-discretionary things in your life are… put them on the calendar… and then fit the other things around them. To get you started, a few non-discretionaries for me include: gym, meals, church, family time, sleep, study, etc.

And the third idea for “fitting things in”… if it is possible…

Idea #3 – Delegate

Some things in your life that must be done can be done by someone else! For instance lawn care, auto repair, meal prep, etc.

Obviously there are some that simply cannot (e.g. relationships, worship, exercise, learning, etc.), but the ones that can… GIVE THEM AWAY!

Now…

The tool

Something that has helped Sherri and me stay on top of an ever evolving schedule is our weekly “Coin and Calendar” meeting.

During this meeting we review our budget, look ahead at calendar items, plan for upcoming expenses and events, and make sure we are on the same page.

Now, because I am part of this system, it is not perfect! We miss the road from time to time… but believe me… in a family with six kids, multiple income streams, and more commitments than you can imagine, if we DIDN’T have the meeting we’d crash and burn!

During this meeting we constantly look for ways to minimize, prioritize, and delegate, and we look at how we are going to fund those priorities!

This plan works!

I know life is busy! I know most people feel overwhelmed! I also know it’s possible to find some space to breath deeply and enjoy who and what is around you!

A couple of resources I’d encourage you to pick up as you navigate this journey include:

My prayer for you, and me, is that we will be persistent in finding and fitting in to our lives the best things!

I’d love to hear from you… what have you found most helpful as you seek to “fit things in”?

The most important person you can care for is…

YOU.

This may sound wrong to you… especially if you’ve grown up within the context of the church, but wait… let me make the case.

In the world of nonprofits (e.g. church, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, etc.) we are regularly called to “give yourself.”

“Give yourself” is great advice if “yourself” is valuable.

Seriously, we both know people who’s presence could not be considered a gift! In fact, after a bit of time with them, you might even consider “gifting” them to another organization!

What I’ve found is that the best gift I can give to my God, wife, children, church, clients, friends, etc. is a happy, healthy, alert self; and that requires that I engage in intentional, regular self-care.

The other day I read a quote from Parker Palmer that gets right to the heart of this matter…

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Think about it…

  • Are you a better parent when you are tired or rested?
  • Do you work better when you are angry or happy?
  • Do you think more clearly when you are hungry or full?

You get the point, right? When YOU are taken care of, you show up and perform at a higher level… and THAT’S a gift worth giving!

Here’s the thing about “self-care”, if you don’t do it… no one will.

No one is going to make you eat right, get enough rest, exercise, pray, be creative, etc. You must do these things for yourself. If you don’t create space in your life for these things… they won’t get done.

Your spouse, kids, boss, friends aren’t going to create space for you to do these things, because they are all trying to get some space in your life too! You have to care for yourself!

And when you care for yourself, the people around you get a better YOU!

Think about it, is it better to be open 24/7 but offer sub-par service or is it preferable to be open 40 hours a week and offer high value service, friendship, love, insight, etc.?

I think we agree on this one….

I encourage you to do this… stop. Take some time to think about and plan the next 30 days of your life. As you create that plan carve out some time to do “self-care” and then watch what happens to your relationships as you begin adding true value to the people you serve/love.