Archive for May, 2009

>Pet Peeve Alert…..

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Pet Peeve Alert: People that don’t do what they “say” they are going to do. I know what your thinking……”I can’t stand that as well.” No one likes someone that’s a flake (you know someone you can’t really count on what they say they are going to do.) Here is a personal confession though, I didn’t learn this lesson until about 7 years ago. I was so motivated by pleasing people that I couldn’t say “no” and would spread myself out too thin. I’d over commit myself and could not meet deadlines. People would get frustrated and I would just give excuses. I had to learn to set real expectations. Allow yourself some wiggle room. Don’t paint yourself into a corner. It’s much better to say no upfront if you can’t do it then to say yes and disappoint someone after the fact. Bottom Line: Under Promise and Over deliver.

Keep Your Word,

Nathan

>Getting Up from Failure

Posted: May 28, 2009 in Failure, Grace, Life

>My friends, the list is long of instances when I’ve been an idiot and made poor choices. From the mundane to the profound, I’ve made some doozies. Picture this, I’m driving down the road on the way to the office and I see a Texas Longhorn sticker on the back window of a guy’s truck. Being in Phoenix I don’t see a ton of these so I decided let him know “I’m a Longhorn fan too!”. I drive up next to him and proceed to give him the “hook’em horns” sign with my hand, but the guy is looking at me like I’m nuts. I’m thinking what’s the deal, show me some love! What I then realize is that instead of the “hook’em horns” sign, I was giving him the “I LOVE YOU” sign (Thumb, forefinger, pinky). As he drives on I feel again my actions confirm that I’m an idiot.

Here’s the deal, as I said before that story pales in comparison to some of the other things I’ve done in my life. When I look at the moments that I’ve fallen on my face and blow it there is always a wave of guilt and shame that rushes over me. It can be crippling and make me feel like I cannot move forward. Thankfully I’ve found God’s grace to enough to cover those mistakes I’ve made. Bottom Line: Your Failure Does Not Have to Define You.

Time To Get Up,

Nathan

>I’m not a huge fan of the word “no”. I don’t like to hear it and even more importantly I don’t like to say it. Because of my aversion to using “the word” I tend to use everything but “no”: yes, maybe, we’ll see, who knows, there’s an idea or I just all together ignore the question, statement or cirsumstance. Recently someone asked if they could do something and they needed my approval. To not offend them and to avoid me having to say the tough thing, that they did not have the ability to do “this thing” I said “yes”. I didn’t want to say “no” because I felt that meant potential conflict. When I avoid saying “no” when it’s called for I make myself out to be a liar because I’m saying “yes”, but inside I’m screaming “no”. When I placate people by putting them off and avoiding them, I let the issue become a wedge in my relationships. We need to be asking ourselves the motivation behind this: Is it my own insecurity? Am I intimidated by the person? Am I afraid of conflict?

Bottom Line: You can say no. The island will not blow up. Life moves on as will your relationships.

Say it with me……..No,

Nathan

>The Right Stuff

Posted: May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

>I was a solid “C” student in college. Don’t ask about High School. I said don’t ask. Graduate school is going much better because I see the value in what I’m learning. Recently you might have heard the educational phrase “teach to test”. This is when school systems teach ultimately for kids to pass an upcoming test (State wide educational exams). The argument against this methodology is that it robs students of having a well rounded education and only focuses on a few fundamentals. The students might score well but something is lost in the process. The deeper thought behind “teaching to the test” is that the end justifies the means.

Maybe in your life you have some things that are “turning out well” but the way you are getting there is all wrong. No one else knows it, but you do. Maybe your skating by on talent and charisma or maybe you’ve just gotten so “tunnel visioned” on results and started caring less about “people”. It’s not just about doing the right thing. It’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Make it Right,

Nathan

>I think it’s fitting that I return to the blogosphere on Memorial Day. I put my writing on hold last week after I lost a dear friend last week. He had battled a health condition for over a decade. His name was Reid and he was 24. He had a beautiful mind and a gentle spirit.

I am reminded from his loss how we never know how much time we have here on this celestial ball. I’d like you to ponder some questions I’ve been asking myself:

Am I making time for people that I “say” I value?

Do you call many people friends but have little depth in your friendships? We make time for what is important. If people in your life are important….make time.

What does my qaulity time look like with them?

Make sure you getting past surface conversation and on to things that matter. When they’re gone we won’t care that we talked about the weather.

Is there anything I need to say or do before one of us is gone?

Ask forgiveness and forgive where it’s needed. Communicate to them how they’ve impacted your life. What have you always wanted to say or do? No more excuses…do it.

Remember,

Nathan

>Surprising Struggle….

Posted: May 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

>I felt a call into ministry 15 yrs ago. While I have had the opportunity to learn and grow in my gifts for ministry there is still an area that I struggle with consistently: Prayer. Shocking I know. After 15 yrs of being a pastor….still struggling in his prayer life. Yes. Lately I’ve been on a great roll. Each day I’ve been taking time to journal my prayers and thoughts along with insights I feel the Lord gives me. Yet, I still can’t get over how much “work” prayer is. Obviously not physically intensive, it takes everything within me to calm my mind and to slow my life down. My mind screams at me about all the other things I could or even “should” be doing. I many times crowd my schedule with things I tell myself are urgent and unavoidable. So I am having to make an actual appointment with myself every day to meet with God in prayer. Even my actual prayers can be a struggle. My prayers at first seem trite and redundant and just flat over all. There is something that happens though as I push through that feeling of uselessness. Something deeper happens when I wade through the clutter of my mind to talk with Him. Peace. Comfort. Real strength for a real life that is spinning around me. God, I need that today.

Bow your heads with me,

Nathan

>This morning I was almost ran off the freeway by a guy that did not look behind him before he changed lanes. I saw him look back at me through his rear view mirror to check out the reason for the screaching tires behind him. I wanted to share with him that he should have used his rear view mirror before this. It got me to thinking about the value of looking back and thinking about this question: As I move through the lives of my friends, family and coworkers do I touch their lives for the better or worse. Dr. Henry Cloud in his book, Integrity calls this our “life wake”, He refers to our lives being similar to a wake that follows a boat as it moves through the water. Is there life and joy left behind as you move through life or is there a sea of drama, pain and hurt feelings. We can’t live our life like a bull in a china closet thinking how we live doesn’t effect others. Bottom Line: You are leaving a legacy whether you like it or not, what that will look like depends on you.

It Matters,

Nathan