Archive for June, 2009

>Nothing quite matches the feeling when someone close to us fails us. It draws out of us a myriad of emotions: anger, frustration, confusion, sadness….you get the idea. And when we feel like someone is letting us down or has failed us completely we many times immediately distance ourselves from them because we don’t want to deal it out. We don’t want to have to confront and call someone out on the carpet or bring correction where it’s needed. We can begin to avoid and even ignore them completely. And Depending on the severity of the wound it can sometimes take a while for us to bounce back. Being hurt is normal and we should allow ourselves the right grieve that which has been lost. With our trust for them on life support however, and us wanting so badly to stay ticked off at them we can set up a scenario for a “perfect storm” of bitterness to take up residence in our heart. Don’t let it. Bitterness and unforgiveness are bedfellows and do not play nice together.

Yes, own how you feel. Yes, confront the person with the offence but don’t hold onto it. “Forgive as Christ has forgiven you.” Surely you can think of a time when you’ve failed someone. A friend, a family member…..God. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. Forgiveness means giving up your right for pay back. Leave that to God. He’s much better at it.

Forgive,

Nathan

>The Why….

Posted: June 5, 2009 in Goals, leadership, relationships

>For a second I’d like you to think about a goal you might have, a degree you might be after, a relationship you are in. Let’s call that the “what”. Next, I’d like you to think about why you are in that relationship or why you are chasing that goal or degree. We’ll obviously call that the “why”. Not knowing the whys behind the things we are doing or want to do causes the following:

1. We won’t know the purpose behind all the efforts we are putting in.
2. We’ll get distracted by other people or things that come along.
3. We’ll give up more easily when we run into obstacles.

But if we know the “why” behind the “what” in our lives we can know exactly why we are in that relationship and exactly “why” we are in that job or chasing that goal. Take a bit and really examine why you are doing what you are doing. I think it will be worth your time.

It Matters,

Nathan

>Stressed Out

Posted: June 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Stressed out. That’s how I’ve felt this week. This underlying tension that is in my chest and in the pit of my stomach. It’s pervasive in my thinking. When I get this stressed out I begin to get stressed about things I NEVER been worried about. It’s like a cancer spreading quickly into every category of my life: personal and work. When I realize that I’ve been taken over by this emotion, I many times come to the understanding that I haven’t spent any time in prayer and I’m trying to do it all in my own strength. I start to withdrawal from people. I become incredibly irritable and I also begin to make poor choices along the way. In the midst of a schedule and a task list that is unrelenting I must…..Stop. Do whatever it takes to stop for a moment and pray not for the sake of finding “inner strength”, but to be reminded that you can’t do any of this on your own. Bottom line: Stress can be regulated by prayer.

Peace,

Nathan

>Rear Window….

Posted: June 3, 2009 in relationships

>In the spring of my junior year in college I had a blow out on a freeway in Dallas. Frustrated at the thought of having to change a tire on the side of a freeway I made my way to my trunk and whispered a prayer that someone might pull over and help me. Sure enough, at that exact moment a car stopped just in front of me on the emergency lane. I could see two kids looking back at me in the rear window as their dad walked back to me. He said, “Have a flat tire?”, as I stood in front of my shredded blown out pile of rubber. “Ummm yeah”, I said, not wanting to point out the stupidity of his question and just thankful that he had stopped. As I bent down to take the hub cap off, he said, “I’d love to help you, but first you’re going to have to help me.” I looked up and realized that from somewhere he had pulled out a revolver. I froze……He said, “Give me all the money in your wallet.” Shaking, I reached to my back pocket and as I was pulling out my wallet I remembered that I only had a single dollar bill. With my thumbs I opened up the wallet for him to see and said, “That’s all I got.” Seeing the single dollar he got angry and I closed my eyes as he hit me in the chest with handle of the gun. He said, “You’ve got to be kidding me”. He then proceeded to take the dollar and run back to his car. I stood there with my hands still in the air watching his kids look back at me through the rear window as they drove off.
As my knees gave way to the thought of what just happened I sat down and made sure I hadn’t wet myself. Then my mind went to those kids in the rear window……..It’s been 12 years since that day on the freeway in Dallas and I still think about those kids in the rear window from time to time. Where are they? How did their life turn out? How do they view life now?

Bottom line: We never know the background of the people we interact with. Let’s make sure our interactions with them count.

It matters,

Nathan

>Listen….

Posted: June 2, 2009 in communication, friendship, leadership

>Several weeks ago I was watching T.V. when I happend to look over at my wife. The look on her face spoke volumes that only a husband of 10 years can read. The “look” said this: “I’ve just been talking to you and you haven’t heard a word I’ve been saying.” I proceeded to stop everything and give her my full, undivided attention.

It was a good reminder that there is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Hearing means that you are hearing the audible tones coming out of someones mouth. Listening means you are proactively giving attention to grasp the content that another person is sharing. Are you a hearer or a listener? Hearers act like they’re listening when really they are placating. Hearers mentally prepare their response while the other person is talking. Listeners allow the other person to fully share and then think about their response. Listeners stay present in the moment and ask follow up questions to show that they are following along. Bottomline: Your relationships (personal and business) will only go as far as your ability to listen.

Testing 1, 2, 3,

Nathan

>Do Overs….

Posted: June 1, 2009 in God, Life, relationships

>What happens when you are hit hard with the reality that life has not gone the way you had planned it? The Play of your life has not played out the way you wrote it. People aren’t reading their lines as you envisioned. Your friendships, your marriage, your family, your career…even you yourself have not turned out the way you wanted.

Sometimes things turn out better than we expected, but many times we find ourselves frustrated and discontent with how the cookie has crumbled. This discontent can leave marriages and families in ruins, careers in disarray and relationships struggling. I believe our life is made up of a combination of our choices, the choices of others and a sovereign God. While our circumstances can many times be a great motivation for us to move forward we can also end up spending way too much time looking at the past with regret and viewing the future as a fix. What we miss out on is the present. Don’t.

Live the present,

Nathan