Today’s Action Item – Do This to Break Bad Habits

Personal growth expert Joe Martin penned a great piece for Tony Dungy’s All Pro Dad that discusses how we can break the pattern of bad behavior.  We all have a bad habit or two…or three, and there are some effective strategies for fixing these flaws.

Martin writes, “As a mentor, coach, and certified builder of men, the #1 question I get asked by men is, ‘Dr. Joe, how do I stop doing ____________?’

I’ll let you fill in the blank, because the answer can vary from an addiction to watching porn to habitually getting angry. Whatever the behavior is, many men have hurts, habits, and hang-ups they’d do almost anything to stop doing; but they just don’t know how. So, as a recovering porn and sex addict (14 years sober), I tell them the secret to experiencing a behavior change. In order to stop bad behavior you simply need to do this:

Focus on the DO’s and not on the DON’Ts…if you focus on doing the DO’s, you automatically, by subtraction, will have less time to do the DON’Ts…”

Do This to Break Bad Habits – Read the rest of Martin’s article

Today’s Action Item – Beat the Winter Blues

One of the things that happens when we feel the blues, is that we lose our inspiration.  We lose our motivation to get things done.  Fast Company put out a great recent article with four steps to overcoming the ‘winter blues.’  The one we really like is the 15-minute project.  Set aside 15 minutes and complete a small task.  Complete a couple of 15-minute tasks, and would be ready for bigger projects.

“When the last thing you want to do on a cold winter morning is draft the PowerPoint presentation for Thursday’s product review meeting, turn to your 15-minute list.

A 15-minute list is a list of tasks that you can do in 15 minutes or less. For example, call and schedule your dog’s annual check-up at the vet, prepare an agenda for your meeting with your direct report, or brainstorm topics for the monthly newsletter. These are easy, quick tasks that you can complete with minimum effort and brainpower.

As you quickly cross items off your 15-minute list, it jump-starts your mojo and productivity. Feeling the warm glow of getting things done, you are now ready to move onto the product review meeting PowerPoint.”   More from Fast Company

Today’s Faith Item – Make Real Friends

Social media, we love it but we can also hate it.  It’s a blessing in that we can stay connected with old friends and relatives that we would otherwise probably not communicate with.  We can quickly and easily reach out to people.  Through social media we can convey a message to a large group of people in one fell swoop.

Unfortunately, the downside of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. can be very dark.  A report from the Survey Center on American Life just found that the percentage of people, especially men, who have no real friends has fallen to shockingly low numbers.

As author and Dr. Kaufman reported, back in 1990 only 3 percent of men reported having no close friends.  That figure has now risen 5-fold to 15 percent, or almost one in six.   No close friends.  Not one.

Social media certainly isn’t all to blame for this rise.  There are plenty of other factors one can point to, including the sharp fall in church attendance. When you are not part of a community, it’s hard to make close friends.  Many people reluctantly attend church or reluctantly join a small group, but then they end up making great friends in the process.

It’s time to back off on the time sink known as social media.  If you are lacking in this area, decide today to invest your time in meeting real people and making real friends.  It will be worth it.

HAVE YOU READ?

Goodnight Boone by Yogi Collins

This is a children’s story focused around the popular town of Boone, North Carolina in the nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Share this wonderful children’s book about one of the most beautiful areas on the country.

I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon

This is the gripping and moving story of a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18.  “I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon” by Trisomy mom Sheryl Crosier details the struggle of her son Simon from the early stages of pregnancy to his life here on earth for 88 1/2 days…  read on about Simon.

 

Today’s Action Item – Are You Struggling? Evaluate Yourself

Create a listThe American Psychiatric Association has listed the following symptoms to take note of:

Feel sad, persistently, over several days.
Losing interest in activities that you once liked.
A sudden change in your appetite, coupled with weight gain or weight loss.
Difficulty sleeping.
Low energy and persistent fatigue.
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
Recurring purposeless physical activity (like nail biting, hand-wringing).
Increased difficulty when making decisions or solving problems.
Thoughts of death or suicide.

Be sure to be on watch for these symptoms and if they occur, it’s important to take action.  For starters, what are you doing throughout the day or week that may be destructive behavior.  Are you letting negative self-talk take hold in your heart?  Are you endlessly scrolling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the social media site of choice?  Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?

It’s time to read an dive into God’s Word daily and start to apply the life-giving principles.

Whatever the issue, fix it.  If you don’t see a noticeable difference quickly, then seek professional help.

God’s Unending Faithfulness

Worship praise at sunsetCheck out the sunrise and let it be a reminder that God’s mercies begin fresh every morning.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

Let’s make a point to wake up early enough one morning, spend some quiet time and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation.

It will start your day off on the right foot.

 

HAVE YOU READ?

Goodnight Boone by Yogi Collins

This is a children’s story focused around the popular town of Boone, North Carolina in the nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Share this wonderful children’s book about one of the most beautiful areas on the country.

 

Faith Action Item for the Workplace

Girl happy on laptop workColossians 3:23 tells us: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”

If you believe Colossians 3:23 and put those instructions into practice, wouldn’t that perspective change how you approach your job, the people you interact with at work, and your attitude towards your boss?

Faith in the workplace can be demonstrated when we follow God’s Word and act on it each day. Let’s put our efforts into working for the Lord and not for man.   Honor your boss and your employer by doing your job well, each and every.  More importantly, you’ll be honoring God.

Give this a try at your workplace over the next week and see how things change.

HAVE YOU READ?

I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon

This is the gripping and moving story of a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18.  “I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon” by Trisomy mom Sheryl Crosier details the struggle of her son Simon from the early stages of pregnancy to his life here on earth for 88 1/2 days…  read on about Simon.

Today’s Faith Action Item – Speak It

desert dark cloudsJesus Christ spent forty days in the desert.  As we know from the story, he was tempted greatly there by Satan.  How did Jesus respond?  He spoke the Word of God.  Each time Satan tried to lure Jesus into sin, Jesus responded by verbally quoting the Scriptures.  Satan eventually gave up.

This is the model that Jesus has illustrated for us.

When we are tempted we can respond by quoting the Word of God.  However, in order to do that successfully, we have to know the Word. Bible verses should be memorized that we can quote on a dime.  Spending time reading the Bible every day is vital to our success.

Did you miss?

We are not promised tomorrow

Have You Read?

Diagnosis: Rare Disease –  the profile of 13 families that faced the ultimate diagnosis for their child

Angel Gabriel – A True Story

Today’s Faith Action Item – Showing Our Love for God

How can we show our love and appreciation for God?

For starters, we must spend time with Him daily by immersing ourselves in His Word.  Reading the Bible daily has many benefits; one of which is to understand God’s instructions for our lives.  If we don’t read it regularly, how can we understand what God expects of us?

We should pray often, and the main focus should be on benefits for others.   If we spend most of our time praying for what we “want,” how is that loving our God?

Serve others.  We must put our love into action.  If we were to see someone in desperate need, and all we said to them was that we hope they receive help and that will be thinking of them, that is not acceptable.  Words are cheap.  “Faith without works is dead.” ~ James 2:17

Share our testimony.  Who needs to hear our story?  Look for opportunities to share your faith with those who need it… today.

Let’s put our love for God into action.

 

How to Become Spiritually Mature

According to theologian Charles W. Stanley, to become spiritually mature we must first acknowledge any detrimental thoughts, and then we must surrender this sin to the Lord.  We must embrace God’s word.  This is the path that leads to spiritual maturity.

Here are some steps we can take to gain spiritual maturity.

Read the Bible daily.  How can we know what God wants for us in our life if we don’t read His Word daily?  The book is our instructions for life.  The Holy Bible is for following God and for avoiding pitfalls.

Put His Word into action.  It’s one thing to gain knowledge.  It’s another to actually put that knowledge into action. “Faith with action is lost.” ~ James 2:17

Commune with other believers.  When we are around other believers, irons ends up sharpening iron.

Watch what we consume.  That includes content on television, smart phones, etc.  Garbage in, garbage out.  If you wouldn’t watch the content with your grandmother, then think twice (or three times) about consuming it.

Did you miss?

We are not promised tomorrow

Have You Read?

Diagnosis – Rare Disease by Denise Crompton.  This amazing book tells the stories of 13 incredible families.  Don’t miss it.

Angel Gabriel – A True Story

 

Today’s Faith Action Item – Jesus’ Model for Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus’ model for prayer, comes from the Book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9-13.  Charles Stanley broke down the pattern for prayer that Jesus set as an example for all of us.  First, we call on the Lord’s name (an invocation) and acknowledge that He is all powerful.  Let His will be done.

young boy prayingSecondly, we bring our petitions to the Lord.  Give us this day everything we need (our daily bread).  We ask for forgiveness.  We ask for help in forgiving others, and we ask for protection against temptation.  One day at a time.

The final section, according to Stanley, is a doxology.  We acknowledge His power over all the earth and our personal lives.  He is Lord and Master and no one else.

This is the model Jesus gave.

Did you read?  Today’s Faith Action Item – Keep Your Eyes On…