do you have the right focus?

Do you have the right focus? This is a question I struggle with, as so often, when my focus is off, it can lead me down paths that are not helpful.

Basically it comes down to is our focus on what we have or what we don’t have?

A focus on ourselves and what we don’t have often leads to discontentment, resentment, bitterness, and a “takers” type mentality.

A focus on others and how we have been been blessed often leads to gratitude, contentment, fulfillment, joy, and a “givers” mentality.

The thing is – it is a simple choice as to what attitude you adopt. What is your choice today?


which wolf do you feed?

blue sky Lauren AUG 2013With what lens do you look at your life? Is life an adventure or is it something to be endured? The thing is, our attitude, the way in which we view life is our choice. Granted, with some of the terribly difficult backgrounds some have or the trying conditions in which they now live, having a spirit of adventure in life may be incredibly difficult, but it still is a choice that can be made.

I mentioned that I am going back through Gary Keller’s The One Thing Book. in the book he tells the following story:

“One evening an elder Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us. One is Fear. It carries anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision and inaction. The other is Faith. It brings calm, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement and action.’ The grandson thought about it for a moment and then meekly asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee replied, ‘The one you feed.'”

Which wolf are you “feeding” each day? Do you dwell on your fears and feed them? Or do you live life with a mindset of gratitude and faith? Do you feed your faith each day?

Stop and listen to your self-talk; that tape that is continually playing in your head. Is it a tape of faith or one of fear?

Have faith and live as God intended you to.


Choosing gratitude

Choosing gratitude

Want to be happy? Choose a mindset of gratitude.

today – you get to choose

We often think that we are powerless, that we are subject to the vagaries of our situation, that we are simply being swept along by the current of our lives like so much flotsam.

It is your choice.001That is bad thinking – that is wrong thinking. We have choices, in fact we have many, many choices.

– We can choose our attitude – no matter the circumstance

– We can choose how we react to situations

– We can choose joy

– We can choose to fight for what is right

– We can choose to confront injustice

– We can choose to show mercy

– We can choose to be grateful

– We can choose to see what is good and beautiful in other people

– We can choose to treat others with kindness and consideration

– We can choose to lead well

– We can choose to do the right thing – even when it is hard

– We can choose to change

– We can choose to forgive and love – even when we don’t want to

– We can choose the path of humility even though the world tells you to be proud

– We can choose to serve the poor, the broken-hearted, the devastated, the lost

– We can choose to hold up the arms of the weary

You, and I, can choose either to continue to float down the river of our lives like so much deadwood, or we can choose to make a real difference in the lives of others. We can choose to change.

You can choose – what do you choose this day?


mindsets of true leaders

beautiful shiesGood Monday morning to you! Winter is not quite done here. The snow started melting last week, but the temps have dropped again. It’s 15 with a wind chill of 0. I am about ready for spring!!

Your mindsets are critical to how you live your life.They determine how effective you will be and how you will impact others. Collectively organizations can and do have mindsets that guide how they function and directly impact their long-term success.

Allow me to suggest to you four mindsets that I believe are critical to how well we perform as leaders:

1. Trust – trust is foundational to the well functioning of a leadership trust. Most say that trust is earned and they treat it like an emotion. My contention is that trust is a choice and it is given. Choose to trust people – choose to trust your team.

2. Dependency – that sounds a little odd in our culture does it not? What it means is that we realize that unto ourselves we are insufficient and incapable of accomplishing much of anything. We are all dependent upon God and we are all dependent upon one another. Pretending you are superman and can fly solo in life is an illusion.

3. Humility – this is probably the most foundational and most important mindset of all of life. The choice to walk the path of humility is a life changer. As C.S. Lewis outs it, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less often.” Humility is an outward focus on God and others instead of an inward focus on yourself.

4. Growth – are you continuously learning, growing and becoming a better person? For that is what leaders do.

Mindsets are critical to being an effective leader.

Questions for you – what are your actual mindsets right now? Worry, suspicion, fear, or . . .? Which of the four mindsets listed above are you going to start developing this week?

Peace and grace,


where is your focus?

Good morning!

Angela (my wife) and I were talking this weekend about contentment and we realized that it is much about your focus. It seems you have two basic choices – to focus on what you don’t have or to focus on what you do have. The problem is that it is actually hard to do because of our nature and doubly so in our marketing driven culture. (by the way – my undergrad degree was in marketing). Marketing is all about creating discontent within us and then promising that their product is the answer to that discontent. Of course we all know better don’t we? Don’t we? It seems so logically, but not really emotionally.

A running joke I have with my youngest daughter Keely (who is single) is that the reason she doesn’t have a boyfriend is obviously she doesn’t use the right toothpaste, because according to the commercials, if she just used XYZ toothpaste, she would be fighting off the men. It is funny, but so often, deep down, we actually tend to believe that nonsense and we become discontent with our life. This leads to so many issues: entitlement, depression, anger, frustration and so on.

Instead, why not live life with a spirit of gratitude? Why not realize all that we have been given by a loving God and choose to live lives with a spirit of gratitude? It is amazing how that change in perspective will change your life. Try it.

Lauren - Charity WayerNow, on a related topic – my oldest daughter Lauren supports a charity called Charity Water. Did you realize that there are approximately one billion people in his world that don’t even have clean water? Talk about putting our so called “problems” into perspective! Well, Lauren has decided to become a part of the solution and is supporting Charity Water. One way she is doing this is asking that for her 27th birthday, people not give her gifts but to give $27 to Charity Water on her birthday page. Would you think about joining her? If so, click here to learn more.

Do something small for you that will radically change the life of someone else.


4 mindsets you must choose

Good morning! Ready for another week? I hope I am.Beautiful shy June 2013

For those of us that lead, maintaining the right mindsets or attitudes is critical to our effectiveness. Yet so many of us struggle to maintain them or at times are unaware of the proper mindsets or attitudes that are necessary to lead effectively. Here are four mindsets that are key to your effectiveness as a leader:

1. Trust – you must choose to be trustworthy and to trust others. Trust is a volitional choice. not an emotion or feeling. You choose to trust those that you work with and as it is foundational to teamwork, you won’t have an effective team until you do decide to trust.  Of course you will be disappointed at times and you will disappoint others – we are human and prone to make mistakes. However, you still choose to trust. I know that this is a tough one for those that have been scarred by things in their childhood, but you still have to choose to trust.

2.  Dependency – you must realize that to do anything of any worth that you and I are dependent on God and others. In truth we accomplish little, if anything, on our own that is of any value. We have to realize that we are dependent on God first and then others. if not, we will lead a lonely and ineffective life.

3. Humility – We must have a mindset of humility. We need to learn to put God and others before ourselves. We must choose to esteem others more than ourselves.  Read Philippians 2: 3-8.

4. Gratitude – Do you have a grateful spirit? Are you truly grateful for what God has done and is doing in your life? Are you grateful for what others have done for you? Are you grateful for what you have or do you grumble and wish for more? Show your gratitude today – write a thank you note to someone, pick up the phone and call someone from your past who had a major impact on you and thank them, and finally go to God in prayer and thank Him for life and His endless love for you.

Have a blessed day today!

What Are Your Mindsets?

Good morning. Still cold here in NE Indiana – we are so ready for Spring!!!Lauren - sunlight MAR 2013

What are your mindsets? Or maybe a better question is what are the attitudes with which you approach life?

I am involved in an interesting project here at Ambassador Enterprises where we are working to identify the core 20% of what makes the AE culture unique. One area that we identified was this area of Mindsets / Attitudes and we believe that there are three core attitudes that are important to our culture:

1. Trust – there has to be trust, which is a choice, before you truly have effective relationships, effective community, and high performing teams. It is a choice and it is an attitude in which you approach others. Trust is something that has to be intentionally developed and maintained.

2. Dependency – this is not dependency in the unhealthy sense, this is the realization and living out that fact that we are not truly independent actors in life, but that we are dependent upon God and others in life. We need others and others need us – in a very healthy and real way.

3. Humility – humility and dependency are closely tied together. Humility is the opposite of pride and arrogance. Humility recognizes that we aren’t superior to others, that others have great value in God’s eyes, that we are incomplete and flawed, and that we are in need of God’s grace, His help and the help of others and that we still have much to learn.

I have found these attitudes to be helpful. What are the attitudes or mindsets that guide your life?


It Is Your Choice

Question – what is your choice today? About your attitude and view of life?Lauren - winter sun

You can either approach the day with a sour face muttering “why me?” or you can choose joy.

As a people who are in Christ our choice should be joy, but too often it isn’t. What I have found personally is that when I am the most down, the most sour, the most irritable, is when I am preoccupied with myself.

When I am preoccupied with Christ and others, I tend to be much more joyful. I also have discovered that in my case, it is simply a mater of choice.

So today, I choose joy. What do you choose?

Have a great weekend and spread some joy!

Celebration Expresses a Grateful Heart

Looking forward to a treat in just a little bit – I am meeting with a good friend of mine for breakfast to celebrate his birthday.  It is a privilege and joy to celebrate with him on his birthday.  This man has impacted so many people over the years and has been instrumental in the process of so many people’s lives being transformed.  His is a life to celebrate!

It struck me how important it is for us to celebrate – even the small things.  It is one way of expressing a grateful heart.  It is a means to teach people how to value others and to be grateful for other people.  So often, we see the negatives in those around us – celebrating with them helps us to see what is special about them and to be grateful for them.

This applies for your family, friends and co-laborers.  We often forget those we serve with and sometimes they are in great need of celebration.  So take time today and celebrate a victory, a milestone, a step forward with someone – you will be the richer for doing so.