Everyone wants a piece of the gift giving season, and are you searching for the perfect gift? You may not know what to give those who are closest to you, and yet you have a unique opportunity. God’s amazing gift of life changing eternal grace is very poorly imitated by our efforts to give others a gift for Christmas. But, you can certainly step up your gifts from the usual trinkets and items that end up in the landfill!
In reality, we are often unable to give the gift that most people need. The number two problem people face is MONEY. There is the minority, who have too much and it distracts them from their purpose on this earth, or the majority who have too little and they cannot make ends meet. Did you know that money conflict is the number one reason for divorce? You’re likely aware that most people also live pay-cheque to pay-cheque with little or no plan in place for their finances.
Just like your physical heart has four chambers Andy Stanley wants you to see that your immaterial heart has four enemies. Your immaterial heart is the core of your identity. It directs your behavior, your thoughts, your emotions, your consciousness and your will. Your heart is the essence of you that can work for evil or for good.
Relationship problems. Financial problems. Health problems: they all come from your heart. And if your heart is unhealthy, it threatens everything else – your family, friends, finances, career – everything. How do you keep your heart on track?
When the wisest man in the history of the world, King Solomon, summing up all he had learned for his son to know; he said…
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
We all experience conflict in our relationships. We all behave in self serving ways that are intended for others but the motivations can often be “self”. Managers and employees, husbands and wives, children and parents all of us experience reactions between each other that result in conflict and disappointment. Desiring to respond as a caring and thoughtful husband, father, and friend I often disappoint me and others. How can this change?
I imagine you’ve found yourself in situations where you weren’t sure how to respond either. This is a tension we all face. We all experience situations where our reactions are incongruent with our intentions. There simply aren’t enough rules and guidelines to avoid every conflict.
But, could any author of the more than 66 different books in the Bible, boil it all down to one overarching principle that would make it easier to respond? Breaking something down to the bare essentials makes it easier for us to remember a core idea. Could the Bible have anything to say that would be inspiring, motivating, or helpful in responding to situations in life?
Think of a word that is used in science, math, psychology, politics, religion, business, society, social media and medicine …..the purpose of the word creates understanding, context, expectations and changes outcomes…..it’s….
Between numbers, principles of matter, chemistry, business, the economy and so much more…..RELATIONSHIP is the important factor which helps us understand the world around us. How things interact with one another? How they are affected by one another? Let’s focus on people…..I am not a psychologist or an expert in human behavior but recently I came across an incredible statistic: 76 million Americans have no one to confide in. That’s 25% of the population. In a world where everyone is connected digitally, people are not connected relationally.
I was no different. Driven as an entrepreneur and businessperson, I had many friends but few people to trust with the inside story…..the truth about my life.
Eventually, there comes a point where we can all identify with having “needs”. Freud believed mans greatest need was pleasure. Victor Frankl believed it’s a pursuit of meaning and purpose. 18th century pastor Charles Spurgeon thought mans greatest need is “the willingness to know and be known”.
If relationships are so important…..on what basis can we have real relationships with God and others? Jesus’ brother James gives illumination.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7
Relationship is the stuff that life is truly made of. Not the artificial relationships in schools or social and business environments where forced inclusion is expected. Rather, chosen and nurtured relationships.
How do true friendships and spheres of influence form?
Moving often as a child I found myself accepting the notion that friends are due to proximity. Geography not genuine concern defined my friendships.
We know friends are important because they impact and establish the quality and direction of our lives. Without friends we have no influence because no one’s listening. Leadership is influence.
Here is something that I have sought, received and yet cannot measure – it’s validation. We seek it in many areas of life. We long for our parents, business partners, friends, colleagues and even our kids to say – “You matter!”
Men and women of great minds and those of absolutely average minds have all wrestled with the same question, ‘do I matter’? Sadly the answer to this question and the wrestling to the answer have brought some people to a state of desperation and depression. I reflect on my own parents and grandparents wondering what difference did they make? What difference will I make? Where’s the hope for this part of our story?
If you have been to an art gallery, museum or places of historical significance you will often discover the stories of the average person doing extraordinary things. It’s only from the perspective of time that we know if, the decisions we make and the action we take, make a difference to others. Perhaps these “others” are yet unborn. We cannot realize ALL the implications our decisions and actions in the moment. Only in the future, do we gain perspective but sometimes we never know.
Do any of us like change? For the most part, we are set in our ways. We have our favorite shirts, our usual cereal, familiar routines, and consistent habits.
I never welcomed change. Though, I can still hear my father’s words, “The only constant in life, is change.” It wasn’t easy embracing this truth, but I don’t think I’d be where I am today, unless I did.
God knew we would struggle with this. That is why he gave us his Word.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” When faced with the prospect of change, I remember this verse.
A great resource that has helped me with this Biblical truth, Who Moved My Cheese? has sold over 26 million copies and is one of the best selling business books of all time. It helped me realize that I should CHANGE. Get out of building the same homes I had been building for 10 years, and get into a niche market with less competition and greater profit. A worthwhile CHANGE! All too often, it’s easier to keep doing the same thing, heading farther down the same path rather than changing direction.
How to read the whole Bible!
Part of my Life Plan is writing this blog and connecting you to great resources! I’m so glad you’re reading this post, because this is the most important one yet.
Knowing who God is and what He wants to accomplish is something many people seek. I sure did and still do.
Sadly, only 2% of Christians have ever read the Bible from cover to cover.
The challenge here is that a lot of people just don’t read that much anymore. Maybe you do. Maybe you have read, or continue to read, the Bible, but I would venture to bet that not a lot of your friends, or family, have. I have a heart for people who are not yet reading God’s Word because until 10 years ago, I hadn’t either. It just sounded too difficult, intimidating, challenging and complicated. It was on my “Bucket List”, but so were a lot of other important things.
This is your sneak peak! It’s my privilege to share with you some resources that I am assembling in an upcoming book. These are not just ordinary resources, they are game and life changers! They changed mine and I know they’ll change yours too.
As the former president of Land Ark Homes in west-end Ottawa, my career was in the home building industry. I worked hard and God blessed the work of my hands. This new venture is my new passion. No more building homes! I want to “build” people by sharing what I have learned in over 22 years of running my own very successful business. It is my goal to help improve and change the way you think on many levels. I’m going to share valuable resources and experiences that have significantly impacted my life and led to my company’s success. I’d like to share with you other things that I wish someone had shared with me earlier in my life. I now write, speak and consult part-time as my wife and three sons cheer me on in this exciting new adventure.
Why a blog??
- It is a great way to inform people about resources. Since my number one strength (from StrengthFinder 2.0 – more on that in a later blog) is LEARNER there are many resources I have used to gain specialized information that I hope to share with others.
- It provides a mechanism for feedback. At the bottom of this blog you can join the conversation. You can post using your real name or anonymously if you like and everyone can have their say!
- It provides an archive of resources. Topics that interest you may have other resources you wish to explore further. You can catch up if you miss an entry and search specific areas of interest as the need arises.
- It is free. Unlike buying a book this medium of delivery doesn’t cost you a cent. New posts will come out every Friday. You are free to investigate further the ones that pique your interest.
- It’s easy to share. Many times we read something and want to share it with others but don’t always get around to forwarding them the book title or buying them the book. Months go by or even years before we see the person again and we forget why the book or resource might have been useful to them. This blog can be shared at the click of a button.
- It’s easy to remember: Resource Freak. Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership podcast is my inspiration for the name. In it Dave talked about all the young people in the company listening to Leadership Freak. They interviewed Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak who blogs about helping leaders in 300 words or less. I aim to do the same… okay maybe 500 words or less.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Attitude: Think about where you wish to have a change in your thinking.
Action: Decide to read this blog and share it with others if you find it useful.