Monday, September 21, 2009

It Happens All the Time

Tonight I was at the store and when the woman finished ringing up my items she said my total was sixteen dollars even. I smiled and got a bit excited and told her how cool is that. She was much less excited and sat there just staring at me waiting to pay. As I'm getting my cash out I'm smiling even bigger and remind her how cool that was. She continued to stare, and finally said – "it happens all the time." After that I told her that it doesn't happen to me all the time so this is cool.

What are the odds that the seven items I bought would be sixteen dollars even? It rarely happens to me, and so when it did I still thought it was the neatest thing ever. It made me think though that the first time that ever happened, she probably even thought it was neat. But as the thing that once was special continues to occur, the novelty wears off and we no longer are in awe of the simple things.

It just got me thinking, what was I once in awe of that I now take for granted. And in our upgrade and improve always society, how do we keep ourselves always appreciating the small things.

Here's a couple thoughts:

• take time to reflect on simple things that once made you happy
• look at small things as big things – always
• take a minute to celebrate those moments and don't just let them pass

I know for me as I continue in life I keep looking for something better, and I am less moved by the small things. I think it is good to return to the simple pleasures sometimes. Don't settle for simple, but sometimes return to it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


As I'm getting ready to lead worship tomorrow at Champions Life Centre, I find myself thinking and meditating on the songs and what they're saying. One song we're doing is called "Healer", written by Michael Guglielmucci. Michael claimed to be terminally ill and performed the song on Hillsongs DVD. He even went as far to perform wearing an oxygen mask. Later the word got out that this was all a bluff and Michael Guglielmucci was not terminally ill.

The song itself is actually an incredible song and I believe there's still power in it. I believe this because although he used it as a song promoting physical healing, it seems when you look at the lyrics he was maybe crying out for emotional healing.

Here's the lyrics to the verse:

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

When I was running this morning I was remembering back to when I lost my mom. This song was one that brought great emotional healing to me as I sang and listened to those lyrics. I really believe that the reason this song still holds power is because it was an honest cry to God. He may not have even reallized that very well could have been a cry for emotional healing in his life.

Here's a couple thoughts from this:

• God can use anyone, in any state to get a message accross.
• The motives weren't pure, but the message was.
• Even when man lets you down, God's word still is strong and true.

I know this is all my opinion, but at the end of the day I feel strongly that the message is what needs to be remembered and not the motives. The message has power when we put it to our own lives, and our own situations. God is still a healer and sometimes it's not just the physical, but it's in the emotional hurts and dissapointments we face too. I hope you can find the song and still let it be a source of strength for you in any situation you need healing. Relationships, finances, emotionally – nothing is impossible to God and He is still a healer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Opportunity - Responsibility Required

It's been said that we create our own opportunities and I do believe there's truth to that. The founder of Forbes magazine is noted for saying, "Mediocre men wait for opportunity to come to them. Strong, able, alert men go after opportunity." Forbes was right, but as Christians I believe it's more than creating our own opportunities. It's about aligning our agendas with God's plan for each opportunity we are entrusted with.

Within each opportunity we are entrusted with there comes a great responsibility. What will we do with that opportunity, and who do we see as the source of that opportunity? These two simple questions are key to helping us properly align ourselves and our focus in the right direction. If we see ourselves as the source, we will probably keep our own agenda at the forefront. Even if we've worked hard and earned an opportunity, and that opportunity is rewarded by man lets not forget that God is the source and giver of every perfect thing.

A couple thoughts to keep in mind:

• Even when you're entrusted and given opportunity make sure your vision aligns with God's plan for that opportunity.

• When this applies - make sure your vision in each opportunity is aligned under the vision of those leaders who have entrusted you.

What I'm realizing is that even if it's a self-created opportunity, or one that has been given to me by someone else, it's never about me. My challenge is that I won't have a "me" agenda mindset, but a "he" agenda mindset. What does God require of me to do with this opportunity, or what do my leaders require from me in this opportunity.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Growth Requires Guidance

The other day I was helping my dad with his garden. He absolutely loves growing tomatoes and he has 3 plants that are taking off. To most of us we would look at a thriving plant and think it's doing just fine, but my much wiser father said we need to help keep those up straight to help the reach their full potential.

This simple example reminded me how important guidance is in our growth. The plant has the ability to grow and spread out on it's own, but without the guidance to keep the whole plant off the ground it would not yield as much fruit in the end. With simple boundaries created the plant has the ability to grow, but now the guidance to grow in the right direction.

In our own lives as professionals and individuals don't discount those around you who challenge you and help guide your growth. It's not that you don't have the ability to achieve, but those around you often help guide your ability to its full potential. Be confident enough in your abilities to recognize you need guidance in order to maximize your effectiveness.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Leave Comfort

John Maxwell writes that growth demands a temporary surrender of security. That thought led me to examine what areas am I getting comfortable in, or have I found security in? Security and comfort aren't bad, but making decisions for securities sake is not healthy.

Decisions of comfort happen in our life professionally, personally and spiritually. The problem with comfort is it can keep us from ever changing the way we do something. If we don't change, we really don't grow. There's really nothing worse than a stagnant life, devoid of change and improvement.

Here's a few things that might require a temporary surrender of security:

• familiar, but limiting patterns

• relationships that don't challenge you to be better

• safe, but unrewarding work

My challenge for me is that I spend 60% of my focus on what needs to get done, 20% on things towards the future and 20% developing already acquired and new skills. This is something I haven't perfected but will be continually evaluating in my life.

"Why stay on earth except to grow" - Robert Browning

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2 Objective Mindset

There's times when the client asks for something and it doesn't make the most sense, but in the end you have one objective to meet the clients need. I've approached many projects like this and seen minimal success in the products or services designed for. This "one objective" approach will keep a paycheck coming in, and ensure temporarily satisfied clients, but in the end this is playing it safe. As designers and as people in life do we actually only have one objective? Is "playing it safe" the sure way? I truly believe designing for a client or setting personal goals in life are no different. The boundaries are defined and you can choose to stay confined with-in comfort or stretch yourself outside the box. In stretching yourself to go outside the box you release the limitations set before you. It's usually in the times that we go beyond "the required" that we experience the most reward. Here's my challenge for you with personal goals, and dealing with tough bosses or clients. It's operate in the "2 objective mindset".
• Meet the requirement - always present what was asked for at bare minimum.
• Add value to the requirement - take the bare minimum and present an option that adds value. If you don't feel the requirement is strong enough then defeat it with added value, not just with opinion.
This applies personally and professionally. When you define the added value it motivates you and those you're trying to motivate. With a "2 objective mindset" it helps us not settle for just good enough in life. Let me know how you help motivate yourself to go beyond the comfort level or how you motivate clients/bosses to try something new.