No Resolution Yet? It’s not too late!

I have read several great blogs over the last few days that have challenged me in several different ways. The main debate that has been on my mind over the last few days is to make a resolution, or to not make a resolution. In other words, what goals and challenges will I set for myself over the next year. I have asked several people this week to name a few goals that they have set for the next year, and suprisingly almost everyone that I had spoken with had not made any resolutions yet. One blog that I read about yesterday talked about how in the Bible,  Daniel made a resolution at the beginning of his book, and the rest of his story is history. Daniel is known as a faithful follower of the Lord, and it could be traced back to one resolution that he made. You can read that great post HERE. Well, because of that blog and a few others that made it clear that there is not a rule that states that resolutions must be in stone by the time the ball drops at midnight, I have decided to take some time over the next week and really ask God what some of my goals should be for the next year. I already know a few, but I am going to use the next week to write down some specific things to increase my effectiveness in serving the Lord and my family in 2011.

Here are a few things that I already plan to do:

Scripture Memory, both on my own, and with Ron Edmondson on his blog HERE

Blog more often by applying what I read yesterday on these two blogs,  HERE and HERE

Attempt to accomplish 27 credit hours this year on  my graduate work.

FIT Triathlon May 14th

More to come!

What are some of the things that you plan to accomplish this year? Please comment some of them, maybe you will give me more ideas! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

A One Week Shadow


I have been thinking over the last few days about how great it would be to pick a handful of people who are successful at things that I want to be successful at, and figure out a way to spend a week with them learning what they do, and how they do it.

They say that you will be the same person one year from today except for the people you meet and the books that you read. Well, what if you did not only meet those people, but you followed them around for the week shadowing their daily routines, watching their methods, and learning all of the details that make them successful at what they do?

This is a new concept, and I am trying to sharpen my plans for this, but here are a few thoughts that I have already come up with:

Find people who are doing what you want to do.

What field are you interested in growing in? Find someone who is successful who will have time to share with you and contact them about the idea of shadowing them for a week.

Find someone who is successful without being a “Superstar”.

I would love to spend the week with men like Andy Stanley, Perry Noble, and Michael Hyatt but scheduling five minutes with these guys would be extremely difficult let alone a week. Instead find people who are on the same course of success without achieving a level of stardom.

Find someone who is passionate about investing into others.

Whether I am reading a blog or meeting a new contact, I am much more drawn to someone who is willing to invest in others, instead of investing into their own agendas. One day I hope to return that favor by taking what is invested into me, and use it to invest it into others.

Understand the Potential Burden

It is not easy for anyone to follow another person around for an entire week .  Make sure that you discuss with your investor what goals you have in regards to this experience. Make sure that you do everything possible to be an encouragement and a blessing to your investor as opposed to being a burden. Make them sad to see you leave, instead of happy that the time is finished.

Be Willing to Settle

You may not be able to seal the deal with a full week of time. Take what you can get, but I would recommend really trying to get at least two days. The reason for this would be generally it takes a day with someone to get past the initial “meet and greet” dialogue to the substance of daily routine. Also, the purpose of this shadowing is to learn routine, and other details that one may not mention in an initial dialogue. By spending a few days together many of these things will come up.

Understand the Purpose

You may wonder how in the world you could get that kind of time off to go on such an adventure. I would argue that taking a week to learn from someone more successful will more than pay for itself in the time that is invested into you. Many people may not be able to fit something like this into their schedule, but for those who can, it just might be an incredible asset.

Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

What are some other factors that you would recommend?

Who is someone that you would like to shadow for a week?

Great Service

I was reading a tweet the other day where someone asked the question: “Why is it that Chick-Fil-A is known for their service, and the church is not?” It made me think about it, but I was not reminded of that thought again until I met David today. Katie and I joined Pastor Rick and his wife Laura for lunch today for some Soup and Salad at the Olive Garden. Overall, it was a wonderful dining experience, but the best part was the service. I have been to the Port Charlotte Olive Garden many times, and the service has always ranged from barely acceptable to mediocre, until today. David was our server. He was absolutely great! David was versy professional, very courteous, and very efficient. The first thing that captured my attention about David was that when He walked over to our table, the very first thing that He said was a compliment about the waitress who had helped us just before He began to serve us. He made sure to point out what a big help that she was. I thought that was very impressive. David went on to take our order, bring our salad, soup, and bread sticks, all the while serving us with a great attitude. Honestly, I ate at the five star restaurant,  Five Sixty, by Wolfgang Puck, in Dallas, TX three weeks ago, and the service that we received today was just as much a “fine dining” experience. Our party was so impressed that we asked David how we could recognize him for his great service, and He said, “Just telling me is enough, you made my day”. We went on to fill out a comment card, but sadly, I doubt that David will receive the recognition that He deserves. Frankly, If more servers served like David, people would be far less likely to complain about the prices of the food, because service like that is worth it. Anyway, I put my blog address on the comment card, so that maybe David would have a change to come and read this post and be encouraged. David, if you do read this, thank you for great service and a wonderful experience. My wife and I both said that we wish that we could just request you as our server at whatever restaurant we decide to go to that day of the week. Thanks again for remarkable service. At the end of the meal, David forgot to bring my pregnant wife her small Ande’s chocolate mint candy, and before we knew it He brought us a whole cup full of mints to make up for it. Dave went the extra mile to serve his customers and I was so thankful for the opportunity to be served by him.

Now back to that first tweet. Here are a few quick lessons that we can learn from David on how to serve better. Whether in our church or at home.

1. Look for ways to build others up.

(Encouragement takes minimal effort and it goes a long way. You never know who is one encouraging word away from quitting, or simply giving up.)

2. Be Friendly, but get the job done.

(Have you ever had a server who was all about being friendly and not about getting your food? Have you ever had the opposite? We need to find the balance, and maintain friendliness and productivity. David mastered this!)

3. Some people will give you a hard time, just keep pressing on anyway.

(One table nearby kept sending David back and forth for softer bread or this or that, but He kept on keeping on without a negative attitude)

4. Don’t get distracted

(At one point during lunch there were actually a few servers getting into a little verbal scuffle. One server said to another: “stop acting like you are in High School, and start acting like you are at work” David wasn’t even phased by it, he would not allow himself to get involved with the drama going on all around Him)

5. If you make a mistake, fix it in a big way, and then move on.

(David handled that perfectly! My wife loved the extra chocolate… ok, I did too)  🙂

If the people in church would serve like this, we would see some amazing things happen. Don’t get me wrong, many servants are doing this, but what if we all did. It would change the dynamic of the entire church. Jesus was the greatest servant of all, and we should live to be known as great servants like Christ was.

Thanks David! If you are still reading this… come check out our church one day! Suncoast Baptist Church Our desire is to serve you and your family the way that you served us!

Free Fuel!

I read a great book about a year ago called: “Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerell

One of the points that jumped out the most to me as I read this book was a major point called Free Fuel. As I read this, we had just come out of a gas price hike, and those beautiful words: “Free Fuel” were sure to catch anyones attention.

The great thing is, there is no catch here, just a genuine truth, a flawless principle, that you can use today to get free fuel. Wondering what it is? Here you go: “Encouragement”

Can you remember a time when you were younger, and your Mom or Dad asked you to do something, like wash the floors or wash the car, or go pull weeds or something like that? Well, I sure do. I remember working decently. I would scrub for a while, I would pull a weed or two, and so on. But if my Mom or my Dad walked in the room and said, “Wow! Lee, you are really doing a great job” I was rejuvenated. I worked harder, I worked better, I was passionate about what I was doing and all they did is throw a little encouragement my way.

It doesn’t matter if someone hates what they are doing, if they are encouraged, they will try a little bit harder, they will go on a little bit longer, and more often than not, they will do a little bit better. Who is discouraged in your life? Why don’t you test out this theory? Why don’t you use some free fuel.

By the way: let me explain the “free fuel” line incase you did not catch it yet. Encouragement is a fuel, a source of energy that costs nothing. It will cost you nothing to lift someone up, it will cost you nothing to encourage your team, your family, our spouse, but you will definitely reap bountifully by spreading around some encouragement.

Who can you encourage today?