A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife by Tim Hawkins

I know I rely pretty heavily on Tim Hawkins for these fun days, but I just think he is hilarious. Check out this clip on what not to say to your wife that comes from his DVD Full Range of Motion.

Have fun.

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November 14, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Fun, Making Mistakes, Marriage, Relationships, Videos | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keeping the Main Thing People

I remember reading in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad books that the rich dad knew what business he was really in. He then used Ray Kroc as an example of remembering that he wasn’t in the restaurant business, he was in the land business. Now, I have no doubt in some sense that is true. For those wanting to be millionaires and branching into franchising, real estate is where the business lies. But I think we need to remember that even more fundamentally, we are all in the people business.

I bring this up only because I’m weak in this area and just this week I have received a strong reminder from some folks who have my best interests at heart that I need to work on this. I’m a choleric, task-oriented person. I usually focus on getting something done, moving from project to project and when I’m behaving most naturally I relate to people only as they are involved in helping complete the same tasks. When you understand that, you can understand why I can walk past 20 people, never say a word and not even realize I passed them. I’m on a mission to get a job done, to check to make sure something was done or to make sure something is going to get done. But while in that mode, I’m failing to get my most important job done. I’m failing to forge those relationships that will really help me and provide the most fulfillment for me and those around me.

Here is the major down side of this natural tendency. Folks see me as arrogant, cliquish, proud, haughty and just in general a jerk. Let me tell you, that persona does absolutely nothing for helping me accomplish the tasks I need to get done and I need to encourage others to do. That persona won’t help you a bit either.

The solution? I have to remember what business I’m really in. I have to remember to keep the main thing the main thing. I have to remember to keep the main thing people. 

Here is what you need to understand. You can produce like nobody’s business. You can have your time management down to a science and an art. You can excel at every aspect of your job. But if you don’t make people your main business, you will still lose business. If people can’t say, “I’m better because I bumped into _______ today,” you will never achieve your potential.

How about we both work on keeping people our main business. We can do it with baby steps. I’m going to take a bit of advice from John Maxwell’s Winning with People and walk slowly through the crowd. I’m going to make sure that my task stuff is done before I am with people so when I’m around them, I can keep them my main focus.

Give me some feedback on this. What have you done to help make sure you keep the main thing people?

October 9, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Your Professional Life, Being human, People, Relationships, Success | , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Four Most Important Choices You Ever Make Every Day

I’m reading Lessons from the Classroom: 20 Things Good Teachers Do, by Hal Urban. I don’t teach in schools, but this book is helping me immensely. It has some great advice. In fact, the lesson I just finished has some of the best advice you will ever here as a springboard for your professional life.

Lesson #14: Good teachers help their students discover the power of choice.

Urban teaches all his students the four greatest choices they will ever make are choices they make every day. If only all our schools would teach us these. If they did, we would all be much better off in our careers and professional lives.

 

  1. Your Attitude
  2. How You Treat Others
  3. How Hard You Work
  4. How Honest You Are

 

Do you see how much better we would be if we made wise choices every day in these four areas?

Attitude

The issue is not what is happening to you, but how you respond to it. Each of us chooses our attitude. We all choose whether we will see obstacles as roadblocks or opportunities to grow. We all choose whether we see others as people to use or people to serve. We all choose whether today is a day to grow or a day to stagnate. We all choose our attitude for today.

How You Treat Others

Sadly, many folks have a scarcity mindset thinking there is only so much out there and the only way to make sure I get mine is to make sure you don’t get yours. They see all of life as a competition to prove we are better than others. If on the other hand we recognize life is filled with plenty of respect, honor and glory for everyone, we can feel free to give it away to others without thinking we will lose ours. 

Obviously, the great rule for treating others properly is The Golden Rule. Treat others the way we want to be treated. Please, don’t think anyone has come up with anything new as they talk about the Platinum Rule being better. Clearly, we all want others to consider what we want before they determine how to treat us. Thus, following the Golden Rule means we will consider what others want and need before we treat them. Before you make any choice in your treatment of others, ask yourself if this is what you would want them to do to you in the same circumstance.

How Hard You Work

“Work” is not a four-letter word. Well, it is, but you get the picture. The fact is, there is simply no success without hard work. Folks who rely on the lottery for financial success usually have lost it all in a short time even if they win. Success comes through work. Only you decide how much you will work on your job, your education, your marriage, in your church, on your life and in improving yourself. But understand this, if you don’t work, no one else will work for you.

How Honest You Are

There is so much dishonesty highlighted in the news, we begin to think no one is honest anymore. The fact is, there are many honest people. There are many successful honest people. Nothing will destroy your success long term than taking shortcuts and lying about it. You may get ahead in the short run by cheating, lying and covering up. Sooner or later though, it all comes out. If you lie, you will lose the confidence of everyone around you. Trust me, sooner or later, folks will find out and you will have a hefty bill to pay. It will likely be more than you can afford. So, make sure you choose honesty today.

Maybe you didn’t hear these lessons in high school. Maybe you have made terrible choices in these areas up until now. Don’t worry. You can start making wise choices today. Do it now.

ELC

September 18, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Your Professional Life, Get to Work, Honesty, Relationships, Success | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I Have Learned About Preparing for Temptation: Part 4

 

Over the past two weeks, we have learned several activities and attitudes to prepare us for temptation:

 

  1. Repentance
  2. Confession
  3. Bible Study
  4. Prayer
  5. Poverty of Spirit

 

      You might be tempted to believe we are ready to face any temptation. (Then again, you might not, after all, I am writing another article.) There is one more preparation we need to make and it is illustrated in Acts 4:23.

      Earlier in the chapter, Peter and John were arrested and taken before the rulers, elders, scribes, High Priest and many of the high-priestly family (Acts 4:5-6). The council charged the two apostles not to speak in Jesus’ name and then threatened them (Acts 4:18, 21). I’m sure these threats included imprisonment and physical harm. This is what we call temptation.

      Then we read Acts 4:23. “When they were released, they went to their friends…” (ESV). They didn’t have to develop friends. They didn’t conduct a survey to see if anyone might be on their side. They already had friends on whom they could rely. They had already developed these relationships.

      In order to prepare for temptation, we need to develop strong relationships with other Christians. If we wait until we face the temptation and then scan about for someone to help, it will be too late. Let’s face it, we are only comfortable making those kinds of calls and having those kinds of conversations when we have already developed a good, friendly, supportive relationship with someone.

      I know I have often failed in this step of preparation and I’ve paid for it. The failure sometimes comes with good intentions. We believe we will simply rely on God to overcome temptation, but doing so forgets that God works through His children. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us God does great things by His power working in believers. The reality is, we are not really relying on God if we are not relying on God’s children. Further, we won’t rely on God’s children in our moment of need if we haven’t already developed a good relationship with them.

      Ask this question. “If I was tempted to ___________ this week, who would I call to talk it over, pray and gain support to do the right thing?” If you’ve got several in mind, that’s great. Make sure you keep working on those relationships. If you don’t, stop everything and figure out some relationships you can develop to be ready.

      

Wrapping Up the Series

Remember, Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to devour you. Use these tools to help you prepare for temptation:

  1. Repentance
  2. Confession
  3. Bible Study
  4. Prayer
  5. Poverty of Spirit
  6. Relationships
Don’t wait. Satan won’t. Temptation is coming and you need to be prepared.
ELC

 

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Christian living, Overcoming Sin, Preparing for Temptation, Relationships | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Take On Knowing When to Apologize

For the longest time I have struggled with Matthew 5:23-26:

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny (ESV).

My struggle? Exactly when do I have to make amends? If I want to avoid “prison,” when do I actually have to let someone know I was wrong, apologize and make amends?

Lately, however, I have had a completely different approach. I have realized my past struggle had everything out of whack. I was looking for a line to be good enough to get into heaven because I achieved some kind of good enough checklist obedience to this apology clause in God’s constitution. Therefore, I never drew the line at the right place.

Why do I need to make amends like this? Not because there is some kind of law that says in certain cases God requires I go apologize and make amends. Rather, because in my heart, I know when I have done wrong. That establishes a discordant cycle of guilt. Even if someone else has wronged me, when I have done wrong, I feel it. Something has to be done with that guilt. It won’t just sit there long. It starts to eat at me. It produces shame, the feeling that says not only did I do something wrong but I keep doing things wrong because something is wrong with me. Then I start giving up.

Or the guilt takes me another direction. If I don’t deal with the guilt God’s way by making amends and seeking reconciliation, Satan convinces me to deal with it his way. As with Eve, he convinces me if I eat some of the forbidden fruit, I will feel better. I will have internal peace and contentment. To escape the guilt, shame and pain of the past wrong, I end up sinning more. Of course, that only produces more of the same discordant guilt.

I break this cycle by not worrying about if God has absolutely required I make this particular amends and just make the amends. When I admit my wrong, apologize and ask for forgiveness, it releases the guilt. It allows me to connect with other people and it sets me free to reconnect with God.

Do you absolutely have to make that amends in order to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and obey enough to get into heaven? Does it matter? Just make the amends anyway. I know this, you’ll certainly be right with God if you take that approach. 

May God richly bless you as you draw closer to Him.
More importantly, may you richly bless God.

ELC

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Christian living, Forgiveness, Relationships | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weep with the weeping

Last night was tough for Marita and me. The Camp Kennessee nurse called saying Tessa had a fever all day and would have to go home. Marita and I repeatedly commented on the hour and a half trip to pick her up about how much we hurt for her. I wanted to cry for her.

It makes me think of the second half of Romans 12:15.

“Weep with those who weep.”

This verse doesn’t say:

  • Cheer up those who weep.
  • Say something profound to those who weep.
  • Rebuke those who weep.
  • Ignore those who weep.
  • Be uncomfortable around those who weep.
  • Avoid those who weep.
  • Shame those who weep.
  • Make fun of those who weep.
  • Get angry at the inconvenience of those who weep.
Actually, it tells us to weep with those who weep. 
 
The next time someone you know is sad and weeping, don’t try to stop them. Don’t get mad at them. Don’t avoid them. Don’t try to be the hero who says the really profound thing to lift them up. Just weep with them.
 
Laughter may well be the best medicine, but a good cry can cleanse the soul.

ELC

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Relationships | , , | 1 Comment