developing your personal plan

Are You Lying To Yourself?

Good morning! I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Ours was nice, but a bit different as neither of our daughters were Flowers by Lauren MAy 2013here for the first time. So, it was nice, but a bit quiet!

You realize of course that you are talking to yourself all the time. On an ongoing basis you are telling yourself about yourself. We were talking about that the other day at work and were picturing as the tape that you are playing in your mind on a continuous basis. That probably shows the age of the guys talking about this subject. Maybe we should be talking about the ongoing podcast about ourselves that is playing in our minds.

We are all telling ourselves about us on an ongoing basis. The problem is, we are often telling ourselves lies. Things like, “How could God really love me after what I have done?”, “There is no way anybody could love me, especially if they really knew me”, “There’s no way I can change, I have been this way all my life”, “My life is not significant – what have I really done?”, “The more I do, the God (and others) will love me” and so on. This ongoing “podcast” of lies about yourself, distort your view of God, others, and your situation. Too often we react based on that internal podcast instead of the truth of the situation.

A good example is that a couple of weeks ago, Angela and I had a “discussion” that messed up our relationship for a couple of days. Early in our marriage we were not as mature as we believed we were at the time (imagine that!). And we had some bad interpersonal habits. Fortunately we have actually matured some and God has blessed our marriage, but one evening she said something and for whatever reason, I played that old “tape” in my head and reacted in the totally wrong way. The old “tape” was wrong, but I listened to it.

We all have these “tapes” or “podcasts going on in our head. We need to stop and think about our thinking. We need to examine what is on our tapes or podcasts in our heads. Are they true? Examine what you are telling yourself against God’s Word. Change where the tape disagrees with God’s Word. If you are unsure about an area, go to some trusted friends and tell them about what you are thinking about yourself in this area and see if they see it in your life. If you are wrong – change the tape!

You can change the tape / podcast in your mind that is continually telling you about yourself. Change it from the lies we often are telling ourselves to what is true according to God’s Word. Some key points to remember – you are created in His image, He loves you and loves you so much He died for you, and He wants an intimate relationship with you – forever. That is a pretty good starting place for your new tape (or podcast) in my opinion.

Have a blessed day,

Is It Time for a Checkup?

Good morning, it is finally a little cooler here in southwest Michigan. For a while I felt like I was back in the South!

How are you doing? No really – how are you doing? Not just at work, not just at home, but in all areas of your life? Do you know how you are doing? Or do you just have a vague sense that maybe some areas of your life may be just a little out of whack? Or maybe a lot?

Most of us have an annual physical which gives us a snapshot at that moment of how we are doing  physically and the doctor may give us direction on how to deal with some of the results. So why don’t we do that for our lives? For all aspects of who we are?

What we do here at Life Action for all of our staff is that we do an annual checkup, but it is an overall Vitality Assessment. Once a year, we require our staff to take at least one half day and we allow a full day to go somewhere quiet where they can concentrate and meet with the Lord and work through a Vitality Assessment that was developed by one of our leaders here at the ministry. The Assessment walks you through ten major parts of most people’s lives and gives them a snapshot of how healthy they are in each area.. Following are the ten areas:

1. Your relationship with the Lord 

2. Your marriage

3. Family

4 Key relationships

5. Physical Health

6. Rest & Recreation

7. Moral Purity

8. Service to others

9. Financial health

10. Your work life

Of course, you could break up your life in different segments, but the point is that you are examining your life and then addressing the areas that God puts His finger on. After the assessment, we require our staff members to choose someone (they don’t have to be on Life Action’s staff) to walk with them as they address whatever they learned during the assessment.

So – is it time for you to have a checkup?

Have a blessed week!

Pacing Yourself

Good morning,

We just returned to Michigan from the land of warmer weather and cheaper gas – much cheaper!  We had the blessing of spending a little over a week with family as we went South for the graduation of one of our nephews from high school.  We had a great time visiting family, old friends and enjoying some good Southern cooking.

We made the trip down in one day and were tired most of the time we were there visiting.  On the way back, we split the trip into two days and feel much better.  Even on the way back on the first day we thought that we could go a couple of hours more than we had planned.  Then we remembered that stopping when we planned was a better idea as we were not really tired yet.  If we went further and were really tired we would not rest well thus defeating the reason for stopping in the first place.

In other words we needed to stick to our plan or we would have become too tired.  We needed to stick to the pace we had set and knew would work.  I think it’s like that in our lives on a regular basis – we don’t stop to rest in time or for long enough.  We stay up an hour or two longer than we need to at night because we feel like we can.  The result is often always feeling tired and not ever really getting enough rest.

The key is understanding yourself and the rhythms of your life. Do you know what pace you need to be working on?  It is different for different people.  Learn how to pace yourself to get the rest you need.  You will actually find yourself being more productive and getting more done.  A nice combination.

Check out Tony Schwartz’s website The Energy Project for some good information on this subject as well as Pastor Wayne Cordiero who suffered a meltdown as a result of not pacing his life properly. You can order his powerful video Dead Leader Running here or check out his book Leading on Empty.

So pace yourself – it will bless you and those you serve.