Drove up to Trout Lake this morning with Patty and daughter Sherri to see my Mom. Her birthday was Sunday so we took her out to lunch and spent a little time with her. It takes almost 3 hours to drive up there and 3 hours back so it was about 10 pm when we made it home. I knew it would shoot a day so I wasn’t real crazy about going but once we got up there and chatting with Mom I was so glad we made the time and I am very committed to doing it again within the next month. Mom watches several good preachers on Television who have been teaching on the return of Christ so we had a nice conversation on that topic. The soon return of Jesus is a favorite of old people who are ready for Jesus to come now! I won’t know the full extent of my Mom’s influence in my life until I get to heaven, but I am sure it is big. I love my Mom and really do enjoy her company and the time spent with her like today, but sometimes when I get super busy and drag my feet about taking the time to come see her, I need to use the “duty card” to motivate myself to do the right thing. I owe her so much and it is my responsibility and duty to give back to her a bit of what she has given to me. Once the “duty card” has me in the car and on the road it is easy then to be motivated by my love for her and the joy I recieve spending time with her. Self motivation is a skill and almost an art. Very few are very good at consistently motivating themselves to be faithful and responsible and highly productive as a servant of Jesus most of the time. The key for me is understanding myself and the part that different ways of motivating myself have. It is like a master builder with a toolbox full of tools and knowing how to use each one to get the job done.
Went to Silver Creek Falls State Park with kids and grandkids today. I sat in a lawn chair and ate and drank pop and watched the grandkids play in the creek. They had a great time and so did I. Because I have studied, thought about and written so much about managing energy well, not just using it well but becoming an expert on refueling my emotional energy gas tank. I have ranked various activities that are effective at refueling and renewing me so that my inner fire stays hot, and I think that a day like today ranks right up there at the top. I was feeling anxious about several possible problems coming up, but they never entered my head today and tonight when I chose to think about it trying to find a solution it came to me quickly. A rested mind and soul thinks so much clearer than a tired one.
I am a Tim Tebow fan. He played today for the Pholadelphia Eagles and did relatively well. I am a fan because he is a Christian, but there are lots of NFL players who are Christians that I am not a fan of. I am a fan because Tim Tebow is so unashamedly a Christian and because he is not an embarrassment to the name Chriatian by the way he lives his life. He treats people with respect and honor. He never says anything critical of another person. He is the ultimate example of devotion to hard work and passion. He is happy whatever the outcome. He is a great leader and influences people for good. He invests his life helping others who are in need. I pray for Tim Tebow and ask God to bless him because he is such a great testimony for Him. If he were to become the starting quarterback for the Eagles and they won the Super Bowl he would give God all the credit and Glory. There are not many people with the kind of character that Tim Tebow has.
Wow, all of a sudden my life has gotten super full. I am getting a hundred new baby Tilapia to put in my tank in my aquaponics system on Monday and I have to upgrade and fix a number of things so the fish do well. I am going archery hunting in the Steens mountains with my son in laws and my two boys in September so I need to practice every day with my bow so I can hit something. I am building a Trike Recumbent bike to ride with the goal of riding it to St Augustine, Florida in March so I need to get it done so I can ride it enough before we go to know with certainty that it will make it there. We are finishing our new building at the church and I need to do a bunch of stuff related to that so we can get our final inspection and use it in September. I have the regular church responsibilities and getting a super good sermon written out each week. I need to get the transmission that I bought for my 1949 Ford pickup installed and get that baby back on the road. Patty said I need to drive up to Trout Lake to see my Mom this week. Monday is a grandkids birthday day and they want to take my pontoon boat up to Detroit reservoir all day Monday for a bunch of the grandkids to play on and I am the only one with an operators license so zi have to go. What do I do first? I like super busy. It keeps me motivated to stay faithful and to work fast and hard. In the midst of all the things to do is my highest priority of seeking God by reading the Bible, praying, and pursuing my spiritual disciplines every day. I start everyday with a “to do” list, my goals for the day and I love it when I get them all done. Feels so good. Oh yeh, and I have to get this blog written each day.
Leadership is influence. Everything rises and falls on leadership. Leadership is not position or power it is authority. The kind of authority that Jesus had. Authority comes from God. God give His authority and His sovereignty to those who have earned it by being faithful.
Grit grows every time you prove to yourself that you can overcome an obstacle with perseverance and tenacity.
We succeed only when we help others to succeed.
If there is enough laughter in a room the people in it will solve the problems facing them no matter how difficult they might be.
So much of leadership is like walking on water, only God can keep you from sinking.
Step into a commitment. How bad you want something determines what you will do to get it.
Had an interesting xperience today with a building inspector. He was very rude, haughty, insulting, and just not very nice. After he left I thought about the experience and wondered why people act that way. I talk to a lot of people and most at least make an attempt at being civil and business like in their communication. As I followed him around the building listening to his obnoxious words I worked very hard at returning his words with grace, and kindness. I love competition so I turned this little meeting into a game that I would win. I will follow Biblical principles and respond the way Jesus would and let’s see how this turns out. After a bit of conversation about our general ineptness he responded with, “well, there really isn’t that much that needs fixed”‘ my thought at that moment was, “I won”!! Cool, now that was fun!
Football season is almost here. One of my favorite things to do is watch football during the winter. NFL, college, High School, it doesn’t matter. I never watch TV. It is such a waste of time, except I do watch football, every chance I get. I have a goal of driving up to Trout Lake every other month to see my Mom. We have been planning on this Sunday after church driving up and then I realized that Sunday is the first preseason games and a number of them are on TV including the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. Wow, I wanted to watch that game so bad. Is this obsession sin? Maybe just poor use of time? I wonder what God thinks about it, my obsession. Football is so much like life.
I had a doctors appointment at OHSU at the Neurolgy department for my Parkinson’s and then we went to NE Portland to help our son Sam and his wife Shannon clean up and paint the house they own and have been renting out for the last several years. They are going to sell it so they can buy a house in Stsyton where Sam is pastoring. It was amazing to me how totally trashed their house was. When they lived there about 3 years ago it was a very nice, clean, cute house. Today the carpets were literally black, the house reeked with the smell of marijauna, and junk was everywhere. It is interesting how people live and the conditions they create that they live in. But in a couple of days with lots of paint, new carpet, and some work the house will look nice once again and someone will buy it and enjoy it and take good care of it. Probably the people who have lived in the house created an invironment that they were fine with though I have been in mud walled, grass roofed, dirt floored huts in Africa that looked better than this house. The Bible calls our body a house that we, our soul and spirit live in and some have a nice house and others have an ugly house but they don’t seem to notice and if they do notice they don’t really care. My inner house has God living in it so it is special.
In the early days of ministry Monday’s were awful. I wanted in the worst way to quit and go back to farming almost every Monday. I was emotionally wrung out, I felt like the sermon I preached was the worlds worst, and all I could think about was all the dumb things I had done and said that past week. Those days are in the past and I am so thankful. Occasionally I will have a bit of a blue Monday like today. Now when I am feeling blue it isn’t because of thinking about what I have done or not done, it is caused by thinking about others that I know who are drifting away from the Lord who used to be so in love with Him. As I think about these people and pray passionately for them I ponder about how that happens. The quick answer is the devil does it and I am sure he has a major role, but I think the major culprit is the world and the stuff in it. The Bible says, “if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him”. It is so easy to begin loving the world and the things in it in a subtle way that is not even measurable, but then it grows a little bit, and a little bit more and before long you have little love for God left in your heart and at that point if you recognize how far you have drifted you don’t even care. And almost everyone will say, that will never happen to me. I pray for everyone in the church every week and I keep people in my prayer journal for at least a year after the last time I have seen them in church. Today as I prayed it seemed like I was going through a large number of those people, and well, it just made me sad.
Most people don’t drive their car with their hands off of the steering wheel, you will wreck if you do. But many people live their life with their attitude being shaped by the culture. Philippians 2:5 says, “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus”, which means I can choose my attitude. Controlling my attitude requires regular self-examination and then making ajustments by choosing. I regularly say to myself, “I choose to be content with what I have.” It is quite amazing how powerful a statement of conviction made to ourself over and over can shape us. I also say often to myself, “I hunger and thirst for righteousness”, “I hunger and thirst for a closer relationship with God”, “I want more than anything to accomplish more with my life than I have”, “I will put the needs of others above my own”. About a dozen of those kinds of statements regularly and often made to ourself is grabbing the steering wheel of our life and becoming the kind of person we know is pleasing to the Lord.