Cat Skinners 

The bright post on the outside office wall catches my energy eye each whistling morning. Cat Skinners titles the picture of an animated lion on hungry hunt. What department is Cat Skinners? Not IT or Mail or Imaging or Client Sevier or Marketing or Print Production or Finance or Planning but Cat Skinners. PETA is mad somewhere. Do they really skin cats behind the doors of this office complex?
There is more than one way to skin a cat. I think of that motto as I imagine a modern day cat skinner. Is this the problem solving department? Do they take complicated issues and make them simple?

Maybe, being a cat skinner is like being a mule skinner. These early day truckers hauled and worked with mules. They could get the onery critters to do the work. Stubborn, mule headed beasts of burden resistive to direction and taming were tamed and taught and made functional under the care and cajoling of the mule skinner. What others could not do, they did.

Both is the answer. Do you have a Cat Skinner department? Are you in it?

The original poster was in our client services team of grafacceńt, a digital print publishing group born of innovation. It was a joy birthing and developing and leading this powerhouse team. They found solutions where solutions could not be found. Love the product. Love the client. Love the team. That was our motto. We lived it.

Yesterday, I put the poster up again. Our team at SOLUM is doing it. Love the program. Love the clients. Love the team.  Allie, Danny, Danny, Matt, Dawn, Ashli and Phil. Here we are at it. More are joining the team.

A judge and a businessman came to me at separate times yesterday. Both commented, “Tell me about the Hope Program. People are telling me how much they appreciate it.” One was on the phone from another state. 

We did not have a title for what we do, we just do it. The streets have given us a title, the Hope Program. People have hope restored and families healed. I like that. My title came from the streets. The Think Doctor came from those we serve. That is stronger than a university acclimation. We love the people. Our Cat Skinners love the product of good thinking and hope. Our Cat Skinners love the people we serve. Our Cat Skinners love each other.

Get a Cat Skinner attitude. Prod problems into possibilities. Coach calamity into calm. Anchor anxiety into assurance. Find a way where there is no way. Get a few folks in your work place to walk that walk and you will find new joy in your journey.

The Press of Work: A little Monday Motivation

The Press of Work

Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

Emblazon that truism on your computer screen, smart phone, and tablet.  Get it in front of you.  Write it on your forehead and scribe it on your heart.  Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

Now let us handle arguments.

It changes while you are working on it.

If you can’t in a few minutes write out the process by which work is done, you do not know what you are doing.  Get to know what you are doing.  Examine it.  Make allowances for variances.  Allocate the right amount of time. Tighten up the scope and practices.

Other things come up.

Priorities change because you do not have priorities that are communicated.   A customer comes in and you shift the job at hand.  You lose time starting and stopping.  The work still takes the amount of time allocated to you.  You just keep changing the allocated time and it takes longer.

Something breaks.

Okay, fix it.  While it is down you are not working on the job.  You are working on the fix.  When you get back going, guess what.  Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

It is harder than I thought.

Think more.  Examine.  Plan. Organize.  Become better at accurate allocation.

Some people are faster and some are slower.

Design jobs for Joe and Jane Average.  Quit designing work for Wonder Woman and Super Man.  Quit designing work for sloths and snails.  Design to the middle and the slow will step up and the super will take on other jobs because they can’t stand to not be busy.   Allocate right.

Hmmmm

Okay, get to work.  Get it done.  Prove yourself valuable.

 

Help someone Stand Up and Stand Strong:  Solumcommunity.net

The Prize Goes to the Winner: Success has 4 Cs not two.

A few good men served today ( Nov 28, 2016) at Ohio State University. During a campus attack from a madman, they responded with character, competence, compassion, and chemistry. How rare do we see these three in action? In our age of self-service and self-serving, we are missing large quantities of courage, discipline, orderliness, compassion, reliability, accountability, selfless giving, and selfless service.  Journalists attribute their response to military preparation.  Maybe, but I bet there were other military trained on campus and maybe even in the room.  These men had something more.WordItOut-word-cloud-922060 (1)

These men stood to the moment. When word went out, they organized their class of students away from the door. Then they placed themselves in harms’ way at the entrance to the room. Had the attacker walked into that room, he probably would not walk out. They showed character, competence, compassion, and chemistry under pressure. Under pressure we are our better selves and we are our worst selves. We choose each time.

Yesterday, a man came to me in my office and asked me an odd question. “What is prudent?” He was looking for a dictionary definition. A quick anger assessment that we do had thrown an unfamiliar word at him. Arms crossed, face scowling, hard life screaming from his face, he looked for an answer. For a moment, it was hard to answer. The temporary confusion was not because I was stumped for a definition. It has hard to answer because it means so much. To summarize, a prudent person does the right thing at the right time with the right wisdom backing the choices. A prudent person would not be standing in my doorway taking an anger assessment because he was on probation, community supervision, supervised by the state.worditout-word-cloud-1956501-prudent

A little later I was on the phone with a case manager overseeing a family situation. Seems the man and woman showed up for a court hearing on neglecting their children while they were high on drugs. Bad had gone to worse. Maybe they are good hearted and imprudent. Nevertherless, they chose to put their children in danger and now the children are under conservatorship in foster care and the parents are being supervised by the state.

The men in the first story sound like my children. I would place my life in the hands of any of my daughters, sons, and their spouses. I trust their decisions over their homes and families and neighbors. They do not believe the way I believe on every subject. They do follow prudence. They do exhibit wisdom in right choices over and over and over. They do exhibit the 4 Cs of Success multiplied by lives lived for Christ.They don’t need me, my wife, or the state to supervise them.  They have been raised.

The men in the first story sound like key employees I have had over time. When they show me the balance of character, competence, chemisty, and compassion, I invest trust and training and increasing responsibility and watch them grow. Consistency and congruency takes over and multiplies their contribution. Talking to my assistant yesterday, I told the story of one such colleague. When this person came to work for me, she could not show up regularly and her work results were erratic. But underneath her chaos, I saw the 4 Cs of success. Over the years, we walked through developing good work habits, learning good work skills, and living through deaths and distractions that life throws us. Her contribution increased as the 4 Cs ordered her life and her income and influence quadrupled. Income in life is directly proportional to contribution.

How does it work? The 4 Cs of Success produce a consistent and congruent contribution. Here is the formula (Character + Competence + Compassion + Chemisty) x (Consistency + Congruency) = Contribution3 . This missive is already too long, so you must read the next few to get the full story.
Note: SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative is a 501c3 dedicated to fixing fractured families. We work with strugglers to stabilize and unify homes. Make your financial contribution today to turn the corner in character for men and women and their children. http://solumcommunity.net/give

Check out the definitions of prudent. Synonyms and Antonyms of prudent (merriam-webster online dictionary) http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/prudent

Boldly Break It Off!

excerpted from Time To Lead (available on Amazon.com)timetolead

Break Off Old Relationships

Radical action causes us to look for new anchors.

II Kings 18:4: He (Hezekiah) removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made (during a time of destruction as a focal point): for in those days the children of Israel burned incense to it (turned the one use object into a sort of a god): and he called it Nehushtan (piece of brass).

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Base Living:Human nature leans toward base living. As much as we would like to complement our humanity, it simply will decay into animalistic expression left unchecked. Values and character are built over time and circumstance. Truth, honesty, courage, and compassion in a community do not come from standing on the corner and watching. They come from purposeful and determined action of many individuals over time.

Urgency: Hezekiah in his young heart knew action had to be taken. He sensed the urgency of the moment and moved off of the sidewalk of people watching. Hezekiah seized the day throughout his life. At this trend-setting juncture, he established a position of “no retreat” by tearing out the places to which people could retreat.

Disequilibrium: Creating disequilibrium for those caught in a vacuum of disillusionment and distortion of vision can be a necessity. When wanting to move forward into new territory, it is many times absolutely necessary to take away reminders of a destructive past. Radical action causes us to look for new anchors. Even a good thing in the brass serpent, which God meant for good when it was created, can become an evil reminder and a draw backwards instead of forward.

Hezekiah broke off old relationships that pointed the wrong direction in establishing and living in greatness before God with the people.

Ugandan Change AgentUgandan President Yoweri Museveni stood against the curve. After discovering a third of his army officers were HIV positive, he determined to make a stand. The President started a hard and loud program focusing on faithfulness and sexual purity. It was against the cultural curve. The nation had a culture of free sexual activity with multiple partners. He called for cultural change as an answer. The results were astounding. HIV percentages dropped 15% over a decade.

There have been many detractors to his actions. But he took them. He stood against the curve and called for a break with old relationships at a national and individual level.

 Respond with Action: What symbols of antiquity cause your vision to look backwards? What about the people with whom you partner? What ideas are anchored in the past but not the future? What keeps character tied to a post?

Pray with Faith: These are challenging words, Lord of Life. You have plans for me to succeed and prosper in all I do. You have focus on my future. There are many around me waiting on my action. Deliver me from the death of apathy. Deliver me from the shroud of inaction. Cause me to come to Your fresh and living waters. Cause me to see those obstacles that bind me and those around me to the past. Birth this greatness in me, Father. I commit to see life in a new light. Help me to purge the distractions that draw me backwards.

 

Time To Lead: Reroute

excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead

timetoleadLeaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.

II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

“Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi

Trust In God: Our speaking platforms and writings resound with lessons on leadership and change based on the lives and teachings of Genghis Khan, Rollo May, Marcus Aurelius, William James, Winston Churchill, Confucius, Sun Tzu, humanism, capitalism, IBM, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, and the Marriott’s. Here is a man, who in his youth established a testimony of trust in God greater than David, Solomon, and all the other recorded world rulers of the day. Here is a man, who with little resource, pulled off the greatest upset against the giant of his day. His strongest resource was trust of God.

Common Creation: Hezekiah is a man like us. Young, ambitious, and filled with a life of bad examples, he chose to set a different path. In his later years, when he waned in trust in God and began to lean on himself and his strengths, he revived himself to former levels. Through a commitment to God, greatness oozed from him beyond what he had experienced early in ruling. Again, he saw great action of God on his behalf.

Greatness Enjoined Willingly By Others: In his hard twenty-nine years of leading, he worked with God to change his world. He worked with God to change himself. He worked with God to upset the status quo culture that had become ingrained in everyday living. What we attempt to do through hard legalistic mandates, he saw accomplished through leadership first in example and second in commanding action that so impressed others they left their commonness and joined him in greatness.

Cultural Imperatives: Our nation of the United States is under testing. Other nations have similar challenges. There is nothing new about the tests before us. Trials come in waves over the centuries. Equality is always questioned by some group and requires a constant adjustment as a nation of ever new citizens grows. Racial barriers rise in differing manners, but they will never totally subside. Poverty will always be with us and require constant adjustment and compassion to address. Distribution of wealth through taxation and business legal edicts will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Governance issues of when and how much to restrict use of common resources and contain greed through legislative restraint remain. Freedoms of speech, religion, and self-assertion need protecting.

How we act today as states and nations leaves the next generation a different set of symptoms of problems than ours. The issues are the same at the core. Leadership cannot rest once an issue is significantly addressed. Leadership is required for continuance of peace and community stability and economic prosperity. Hezekiah had been left with pain and bad example. He left a better line to follow.

Overcoming Bad Example: One of the strongest impacts in the last century in the United States came from Ronald Reagan. Through political and personal activity in California and as President of the United States, Reagan influenced the way people think and relate. His examples as a child were contradictory.

Reagan’s mother influenced him through personal example and involvement in the Disciples of Christ. Reagan’s father influenced him through continual failure in business and alcoholism. The unstable and irresponsible example could have been Reagan’s choice. It was not. He chose a higher road.

During times of change economically and in global duress, Reagan provided a leadership on which the nation depended. Dependability and responsibility in his life and example impacted those who agreed with him and those that did not.

Many leaders have bad example in their early life. It serves as an incentive and passion to live a different way. Every action we take is not always right. However, actions that bring hope and healing for others out of our own pain can make a big difference. Many of our leaders of all political parties and cultural heritage have acted out of their history and commonality with struggles to influence our nation.

Respond with Action: Take time to remember a good example left you from the last generation. Too often we focus on the bad and miss the good. There is blessing you can carry forward stronger than the last generation.

Pray with Faith: Father, pull from our heritage goodness. Yes, You placed goodness in our heritage from which we can grow. There is a path in our past meant to be stronger. Help us to sort through the bad and find the good. Help us to pass forward a world stronger and better than the one we inherited.

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Purchase your copy on Amazon print or kindle and study through insights from 54 world changers in business, community, government, education and life.  History has good repeatable lessons.  http://amzn.com/1497525039

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Risk It! Be an “ABLE ALSO”

The intensity of being a contributor versus a consumer brings us to moments of challenged ability.  Be one that is able in the moment needed and others will entrust greatness into your hands.

 2Tm:2:2: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

 Winners Make Commitments.training

Losers Make Promises.

 In these few short words to Timothy, Paul revealed a tremendous portion of the key to his winning life.  Look at the word choices. Among Many Witnesses.  The Same.  Commit.  Faithful Men.  Able Also.

Among many witnesses.  Paul was not afraid for his life to be tested against witnesses.  His words were true and he stayed with them.  What witnesses heard years before still was true of his life.  Timothy was charged to make sure solid teaching, life, and words passed on to other men of commitment.

The same.  Paul was open in his life.  He committed himself to being like Jesus. The same yesterday, today, and forever.

Commit.  Paul was not noncommittal.  He made commitments and expected others to do the same.

Faithful men.    These are hard to find.  Paul never gave up.  Betrayed continually, he never gave up looking for faithful men.

Able also.  We can be an “able also”.  An “able also” does the same in making commitment, sticking with it, being faithful, following through, endures all things, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Promises are cheap.  “I’ll be there.”  MEANS “If it fits the pressures of the moments right before.” OR “Whatever it takes to get you to quit asking.” .  “Til death do us part.”  MEANS “Until I redefine what I meant.” OR “Until I don’t want to handle the pressures anymore face to face.”

Commitment is expensive.  “I’ll be there.”  MEANS “Whatever the cost, I’ll rearrange life to get me there.”  “Til death do us part.”  MEANS “I will stick it out though I may not feel like it.  “I will take control of my feelings and bring them to submission in Christ.”

Psalm 15:1: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?  who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2: He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 : He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4: In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.  He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5: He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.  He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Take Inventory

What does it mean to be an “ABLE ALSO”?

What changes do I have to make?

Are there repairs that need to be done to broken commitments?

When am I willing to start?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Be An Able Also

Father, make me an “ABLE ALSO”.  Change the way I promise to commitment.  Instill in me faithfulness.  When I am faithless, You are faith-full.  Make me like Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Risk It! Stand Ground. Give Ground.

Pick your battles.  There is a time to stand and a time to give ground.  Use wisdom.  Move purposefully.

Phil:1:27: But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ.  So that whether I do come and see you, or merely hear about you from a distance, I may know that you are standing fast in a united spirit, battling with a single mind for the faith of the gospel and not caring two straws for your enemies. (J.B. Phillips translation).

A winner….. knows when to fight and when to compromise.

A loser ….. fights over the wrong things and compromises at the wrong time.

Hebrews 12:14  Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”  (J.B. Phillips translation)

Winners know when to fight to win and when to give.  In the song, “The Gambler”, the advice was given, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  There is a fight worth fighting, and there are items in life not worth the effort.

Winston Churchill in the darkest hours of England’s battles with Germany had this sense.  When others wanted to lay down and give up he stood ground and challenged, “Never give up.  Never give up.  Never give up.”  The war was won over courage and tenacity and knowing the fight needed to be fought.

You have to know when to fight. After living in their new home for a year, the Newbies had a major problem.  Sewage came running over into the downstairs bath, living room, and entry foyer.  What a mess!  Massive cleanup, roto-rooter, and a few days of showering at the neighbors did not fix it.  The city claimed the problem was theirs, the plumber claimed the city needed to fix it.  Two great neighbors and a day of digging exposed a major city problem.  Out they came, and yes, they fixed it.  They dug 14 feet deep, repaired the sewer main, and replaced fences they had to tear down.  But, they didn’t take care of the carpet and house.  Forms, forms, and more forms, telephone calls, working with city attorneys, and a lot of prayer resulted in a surprise.  One night the local city councilman called to alert the Newbies that their reimbursement request was scheduled to get the hatchet the next day at the city council meeting.  P. Newbie showed up at the council meeting of this large metropolitan community.  Deep in the docket was a line item scratching the claim along with over 30 other homeowners.  What could he do?  Fight.  Fight for his wife to get carpet.  Fight for restoration.  Fight he did.  First in prayer, then in rhetoric.  “Mayor, my friends and I dug a 7 foot deep hole to show the city that the problem was theirs, I am willing to dig a 7 foot deep rhetorical hole to help the council see it needs to pay these costs.”  The council halted him right there and offered to pay a reasonable settlement.  No one else was awarded that day.  The clerk could not believe it when she issued the check.

You have to know when to give and compromise The budget battle was intense.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in expansion monies were battled over by several departments.  Systems executives along with P. Newbie decided to withdraw and let the money go to retail remodels.  Eight months later accounting in an executive meeting moved $50,000.00 to systems and challenged them, “See what you can do with that.”  After 30 days of scramble and results, they gave them another $400,000.00 to spend moved from retail remodels

Take Inventory

Where do you need to fight?  Does someone need defending?

Where do you need to lay down your arms?  Is it better to give now and win a friend?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Have Wisdom

Father, teach me.  Show me wisdom to count the costs of every battle and decide.  Help me to see when I need to simply serve by not fighting for my preferences.  Help me see when I need to rise and defend my family, pastor, employer, friends.  Enliven my heart to be a wise warrior with what is entrusted to me.

Risk It! Stay Positioned

Position yourself to succeed.  Often we are standing in a pool of loss when the high ground of a gain is only one step.

Rom:8:37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

A winner …. is not afraid of losing.training

A loser …. is secretly afraid of winning.

2Cor:2:14: Now thanks be unto God, which always causes  us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place..

It is always interesting to see the perennial never enough mentality of people.  Our provision in life is so many times dictated by our vision.

The word provision has an interesting etymology.  Pro – before  Videre – to see.  Literally to see beforehand.

Gen22:8: And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9: And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10: And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11: And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12: And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13: And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and

 Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14: And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (The Lord Our Provider – Jehovah Jireh)

The Hebrew word, jireh, here means exactly as the Latin, provision.  They are both compounds of “to see before.”  The concept is that God sees what we need before we even get to the point of need and “pro-vides” it.

Winners understand the needs of life are “provided”.  What about the wants?

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  John 15:7  NIV

Winners remain and position themselves to receive. Remaining in Jesus is a posture of prayer and righteousness.  Our standing in Him is based on His atoning work on the cross.  Dead, buried, and risen with Him, we stand in full stead as a son before the Father of the Universe.  All our needs are met according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Remaining, abiding, dwelling, habituating….in His city, in His dwelling place, in the courts of our God, in the secret place places us in the constant position of protection and provision through prayer.

Like Abraham they are unafraid to take the challenge because they know that “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  They ultimately believe that what they need will be there when they get there.

Winners stay positioned in God, in conversation with God, and believe for victory in God.

This one will take more than one session.  God really is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) God.  The flip side is that winners know they can recover from any loss at any time… Next lesson…Stand Ground. Give Ground.

Take Inventory

Can I really believe that God will pro-vide?

Am I willing to drop my belief that He will only go so far in some area and that He won’t be abundant?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Risk It! Change

Every great innovation began with a resistence to status quo.  The greatest status quo that hinders is personal character.

Phil:4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

A winner …shows he is sorry by acting differently.training

A loser…. says, “I’m sorry”, but continues to do it again.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

You would like to get victory over weaknesses, wouldn’t you?  That is what Jesus is all about.  In the book of the Revelation there are many promises to the one who overcomes, stays until the end, “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin”, keeps moving on.  Our weaknesses, insecurities, nuances of personality haunt us in the path of the winner.  Over and over we will make mistakes, glitch in performance, slip climbing the ladder, fall on our face, get egg on our face, boondoggle……sin.

Yes, one key word used for sin in the Bible is simply to miss the mark.  Shoot at a goal and miss it.  Decide we want to be loving and react with anger.  Decide to keep our minds pure then fill it with trashy books, magazines, and the boob tube.  Promise to a wife or son or daughter or friend or neighbor or coworker or employee or employer and then not follow through.  Sin.

The question is, “What do we do then?”  Do we take a winner’s stance or a loser’s escape.  Do we face up, fess up, and clean the mess up?  Or do we put on a face, say, “I’m sorry”, and fade away only to do it again and again?

Winners change.  Winners find a way to do life differently the next time.

Some years back a famous jewel thief was being interviewed over his life.  He had spent many years in prison.  His modus operandi was to only steal from the rich and famous.  The interviewer asked him what his biggest theft was.  His reply was, “Me.”  The explanation was simple.  He had stolen his own life.  What could have been a great creative mind used productively was used to steal and hurt.    When you refuse to change and use the talents and strengths God gives you, you are stealing from yourself.  Your time, energy, and talent go into actions that only produce hurt and pain for you and others.  Why not change to a better way?  Why not get a new thought process and quit doing what doesn’t work, what only hurts?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Take Inventory

What needs changing in your thought life?

What can you fill your mind with that will cause the old thoughts to go out and new ones come in?

Make a date with destiny.  When are you going to start?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 

 

 

 

 

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  I make mistakes everyday.  Help me not repeat them.  Help me overcome the items in life that are so easy to do wrong.  Focus my thoughts on good things, pure, lovely, true, honest, excellent things that cause me to follow through with real change not just being sorry.

 

Risk It! The Better Way Mentality

Every progressive effort starts with a step toward change and a holy dissatisfaction with status quo.

Phil:3:13: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

 A winner …says, “There is a better way.”.

training

 A loser…. says, “That is the way it has always been done around here.”

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Life is full of opportunities to continue to do the same things.  One man defined insanity this way: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Expectations, persistence of others, voices from the past, and other forces impugn on our ability to think new, creative thoughts about what we do.

How do you get into the “better way” mentality?  A favorite saying of mine is, “If it ain’t broke, break it.”  What?  Don’t you mean, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”   No, I meant what I wrote.  “If it ain’t broke, break it.”   Many times we build traditional barriers around an activity structured on preference and our limited understanding at the time.  A man displayed curiousity about the way his wife cooked a roast beef.  She would always cut the ends off.  Thinking there must be a great culinary secret to this method he asked her why.  “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Pressed for information on the private process he went to her mother.    “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Perplexed he drove to the matron of the family’s home and asked again.  “Oh,” she quickly responded, “my roasting pan was too short to hold the full roast.”

Most processes need to be repaired regularly.  Now, you don’t want to tear up a good thing, so there are many other rules of change and improvement like: Always give a change time to go through the curve of lagging productivity until people learn the new way and become adept before implementing the next change. AND  Any change will be resisted in strength in direct proportion to its’ potential for improvement.

Life is full of processes and a “better way” mentality will protect you from foolish failure.  A computer tech went out to resolve a problem one day in an executive secretary’s office.  Seemed that every time she printed a letter she first had to print all the letters she had ever printed.   It took an half a box of paper to print a letter!  The cost and time of doing her job that way finally overcame her embarrassment and she asked for help.  The fix was simple.  She was simply doing what she had been shown.  Open a file, go to the end, type the letter, print it.  Problem was she had only be given one file name and all the letters since she began her job were in one file that she printed each time according to explicit instructions.  Absurd?  Real.  Fortune 500 company.  Executive secretary doing something that needed to be broken.

What about the way we converse with others?  What about how we walk into a meeting?  What about how we greet our friends?  Are those processes that could use some “better way” mentality?

Jesus broke the mold for some in the way they treated their parents in a story related in Matthew 15.  God gave a principle.  Honor your fathers and mothers.  They made a rule that discluded them conveniently.  Tradition overruled wisdom and principle, and Jesus saw through the smoke.   Matt 15:6:  Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Principle is principle is principle.  Relationships, work issues, projects, and hobbies all present problems.  When you allow others to help in the process, you prosper quicker.  Sometimes they have the solution you need.  Always, Jesus has the solution you need.

Take Inventory

Where do you have a process, a way of doing things that really could use some improvement by being broken?

Are you ready to give up personal preferences and do what it takes to “break it and make it better” ?

Can you think of a scripture to apply that can help you into “better way” mentality?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  Life is full of processes.  You know the one that needs breaking and bettering at this moment.  God, I can get so confused with all of the items in life.  What item can I work on today?  What am I doing that really does more damage than good?  Where can I get a lift seeing you touch a new area of my life and give me a creative fresh approach?  Cleanse my thinking, Lord.  Jesus, be my wisdom, be my source, be my life giver.  Holy Spirit release the fresh wind of Your brooding.  Brood over my thoughts and bring order to their chaos that I might see clearly what You want to create.