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Artificial Significance

A few years ago I saw a sign with these words:Artificial Significance. It really got me thinking about my own journey. How much of my life has been spent doing things that make me feel good about who I am? In my head I know my significance comes only from knowing Jesus. In reality, however, I allow many other things to define my worth. They are all based on things the world esteems, such as: Title Position Age Accomplishments Recognition Family Income A good meal (OK, I just threw that one in:) Why can’t I just always accept that who I am is determined by Christ and not by title or what I do? How about you? If you are a Christ follower, what keeps you from understanding your significance is in Him alone?

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How are you doing?

It has been an extremely great honor to work at UPI for some 38 years. During those years I have had the opportunity to meet many people. It is hard to stay in touch with many of them as they live in various parts of the world. Some people I’ve met are seeking advice or counseling. Others just want to hang out together. I would love to have a cup of coffee with each of them at least one more time, but that likely will not happen this side of eternity. Normally when I meet someone, whether it is the first time or the hundredth time, I try to ask, “How are you doing?” I love hearing about people’s lives and getting updates on what is going on. Many people won’t tell you unless you ask. Here is something I’ve become aware of over the years as I’ve asked people about their lives. I can think of very few who ask me how I am doing! I do not mention this to make anyone feel sorry for me! I’ve been blessed with some great friends who care and who ask about my life. But most people never go beyond the automatic, “Hi, how are you?,” without meaning it or waiting for an answer? I find it puzzling that so few people ask others about what is going on in their lives. Challenge: Let’s be intentional about asking people how they are doing. When we meet people, start the conversation by asking what is going on in their lives. Ask how they are doing. Make them the focus of the attention and take time to listen. People are fascinating and everyone has a story. Who knows, maybe they will actually ask you about your life!

Bible · Contact Tom · football · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · religion · Uncategorized

White Space Please

Recently I was able to attend the Global Leadership Conference. It was a great two day investment! One of the speakers talked about intentional “White Space” in our lives. White space, as I understand it, is time we spend alone to think, plan and dream. Many of us do not do white space well. Our lives get so cluttered with what needs to be done that white space usually gets crowded out.

As I thought about this, I jotted down a few questions to ask ourselves:

1. Is my life better described as cluttered or balanced, allowing white space?

2. What am I spending time on to increase my personal sense of worth?

3. What drives me? What encourages me?

4. What am I allowing to steal white space in my life?

· Activities/Busyness?

· Pursuit of position?

· Business/work?

· Demands of others?

· Other?

For those of us who claim Jesus as Lord, are we leaving any white space for Him to speak?

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.” 1 Cor. 3:10

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7 Lessons from John Wooden

1. Success Is All About the Little Things – On the first day of practice Coach Wooden didn’t discuss basketball strategy. Believe it or not, he taught his players the proper way to put on their socks and shoes so they didn’t get blisters.

2. Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome – Coach Wooden didn’t focus on winning. He focused on the character of his team, key fundamentals, daily improvement, effort, potential and selfless teamwork. As a result he won…a lot.

3. There’s No Such Thing as an Overnight Success – Wooden was at UCLA 16 years before they won their first national title. Today we live in a world where people expect instant results. If a coach doesn’t win a title in a few years he or she is fired. Wooden is a testament that greatness takes time.

4. Selfless Teamwork is Great Teamwork – Wooden said, “A player who makes a team great is much more valuable than a great player.”

5. There’s Power in Humility – Norman Vincent Peale said that humble people don’t think less of themselves. They just think of themselves less. Wooden made his life about coaching, leading and developing others and in doing so exhibited true power.

6. Faith Matters – In our politically correct world where people are afraid to mention God, even though it says it on our dollar bill, I find it interesting how in all the media reports about Wooden they talk positively about how his faith guided his life, principles and actions. There is power in faith. More importantly there is enormous power when your faith moves you to love, serve, inspire, coach and make a difference.

7. Your Legacy Matters – The most important thing you will leave behind when you die is your legacy. And the greatest legacy you can leave is your life, your principles and the lives you touch. Wooden didn’t spend his life amassing wealth and trying to make a fortune. He invested in others. And while buildings will fall, jewelry will tarnish and money will get spent, his legacy will live on in those who carry his teachings in their heart. J.H.

Bible · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · Quotes · religion · Uncategorized

Refusing to be a Victim

The Lord will stay with you

as long as you stay with Him!

Whenever you seek Him,

you will find Him.

2 CHRONICLES 15:2 (NLT)

The book of Psalms sings of Joseph’s abduction, slavery and captivity. “They bruised his feet with shackles,” we are told, and “his neck was put in irons” (PSALM 105:18) An old translation renders the last phrase of that verse, “the iron entered into his soul.” Somehow, the iron of Joseph’s shackles entered into his soul. He became strong and wise, just and merciful; he would be called “the prince among his brothers.” And through it all, he cultivated a strong sense of God’s presence.

How did he do it? How can we? How can we avoid bitterness when our dreams have been torn away? How can we maintain our walk with God when he allows our youth to be pillaged and our life to plunge into deep shadow and prolonged pain? We can learn much from Joseph.

Though attacked and wrongfully accused, though he endured suffering and cruelty, Joseph became fruitful beyond his dreams. Over and over again, Scripture tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph.” Why was He with him? Joseph set his heart on walking with God, and he did not allow any hardship, any adversity, any tragedy to come between him and his God. That relationship took priority over everything all of his life.

Joseph understood the hard realities of life. But he also clung to the conviction that a sovereign God rules over people’s affair. Wherever Joseph found himself, he served with all his heart, placing full trust in the Lord to care for him and vindicate him.

Joseph teaches us that when we seek God’s kingdom first, we may live content no matter our circumstances. With such a mindset – with such a Lord – circumstances cannot defeat us.

ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE & JAN DRAVECKY
Bible · Jesus · Leadership · Leadership · motivation · purpose · Quotes · religion

Prayers unanswered??

Do you have dreams, challenges or fears that you need to bring before God in prayer? Are you sometimes reluctant to discuss certain things with God in prayer? In his book “Draw the Circle,” Mark Batterson makes these statements: “Here’s what I know for sure: God won’t answer 100 percent of the prayers we don’t pray. We never know if the answer will be yes, no, or not yet. But the answer isn’t up to us. It’s not our job to answer; it’s our job to ask.” God doesn’t answer prayer just to give us what we want; God answers prayer to give glory to His name. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus emphatically tells us to “ask, seek and knock on the door.” Keith Madison SCORE International

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6 Expectations on the road to success.

by Tony Dungy.

When I arrived in Tampa as head coach, I began meeting with the players who lived there, trying to understand from them what needed to be fixed. Although all the issues were relatively minor, they contributed to the team’s second class, defeatist, excuse-laden mentality. I began to sell the philosophy that we are responsible for what happens to us, not anyone or anything else. No excuses, no explanations.

At a team meeting, I ran through a laundry list of excuses our players could easily hang a poor season on if they chose to: We have a new coach staff. We have to learn a new system on both offense and defense. We have sub-par facilities. We have a young quarterback. We never get the benefit of the doubt from officials. We might move cities. Those were all great excuses, and we could have used all of them. However, our goal was to win and excuses weren’t an option. Have you been using excuses lately? Here are 6 expectations I communicated to my team on the road to success.

 1.  Be a pro.
 2.  Act like a champion.

 3.  Respond to adversity; don’t react.

 4.  Be on time. Being late means either it’s not important to you or you can’t be relied upon.
 5.  Execute. Do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. Not almost. All the way. Not most of the time. All of the time.
 6.  Take ownership.

Is this how you approach your marriage? Your role as a dad? Your job?  Whatever it takes. No excuses, no explanations.