Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 3

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LOVE  IN  ACTION :

“The church needs to be the safest place on earth for children from hard places and for the families called to love and care for them.” —Michael Monroe

COMPASSION:

“We have a large and growing team of compassionate, respectful, Christ-following volunteers who love to see God work in the lives of those who learn differently.”  —Irving Bible Church special needs ministry

TRUE  MISSION:

“You cannot have true mission while ignoring the disabled! They too, are marred by sin, they too need to be told of the beauty of salvation, they too need to be our mission, they too are the church.” —Tim Challies   (http://www.challies.com/articles/the-disabilities-dilemma)

SUFFERING:

“I have thanked thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross, but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory. Thou divine love, whose human path has been perfected through sufferings, teach me the glory of my cross and the value of my thorn.”  George Matheson

GRACE:

“The early church didn’t say, “Look what the world is coming to!” They said, “Look what has come into the world!”  —Carl F. Henry

CHARACTER:

“All of us have wondered at times why God doesn’t do more to fix our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn’t rushing to change our circumstances because he is concerned with a much more serious problem—our character. While you struggle with the woes of this world, God’s main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you” — Andy Stanley

 IMMEASURABLE  VALUE:

“One of the topics we discussed frequently, as we journeyed from city to city, was the value of every human being. Not because of who we are, or what we do. But because of Whose we are, and what He has done for us. By endowing us with His image, God has imparted to us immeasurable value. As Professor Jerram Barrs from Covenant Seminary says, we should learn to look at every human being and say, “You are glorious!” We ought to see the goodness, truth and beauty of God in every person we meet. One way I like to think of the image of God is that it is like a mirror. We image God in the ways that we reflect the essence of His character through our God-given capacities. But the problem is this: because we live in a fallen/broken world, the mirror is cracked. We have cracked bodies, cracked spirits, cracked emotions, cracked minds, and cracked relationships. So here is the challenge: What will you and I focus on? Will we focus on the cracks? The brokenness? The marred aspects of the image? Or will we focus on the reflection—distorted as it may be?” — Stephanie O. Hubach  (http://specialneedsparenting.net/open-eyes/)

CHILDREN’S  MINISTRY:

“What the future of children’s ministry needs most for success is a return to an emphasis on the study of and teaching of the word of God, and less on making ministry easy for volunteers, attractive to families and processing large groups of children through fun environments. That hasn’t produced disciples who will walk  with Jesus for life. The future doesn’t need more technology – it needs deeper and better relationships. If technology can foster more connectivity or methods of relating, fantastic! But to often we look to the future as though it has some new things we need for success, when the truth is we already have everything we need.” — Karl Bastian

Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 2

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GOSPEL-HUMILITY:

“If we were to meet a truly humble person, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody (because a person who keeps saying they are a nobody is actually a self-obsessed person). The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” — Tim Keller, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness

GRACE:

“Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unloveable. Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. It is one-way love.” — Tullian TchividjianOne Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World

UNCOMFORTABLE  GRACE:

“God will take you where you haven’t intended to go in order to produce in you what you couldn’t achieve on your own.”         — Paul Tripp

FAITH:

Bono: Who is Jesus? A rockstar talks about Jesus, faith and prayer.

PRAYER:

“A praying life is interconnected with every part of our lives. Learning to pray is almost identical to maturing over a lifetime. When life makes sense, it becomes a journey, a spiritual adventure. Writing down the adventure as it happens gives us a feel for our place in the story God is weaving in our lives. When we keep a prayer journal, we can reflect on what God is doing, on the patterns of our Father’s care instead of reacting to life. If we see our lives as a pilgrimage, then it becomes an integrated whole. It makes sense. When we understand the story, it quiets our souls. It’s okay to have a busy life. It’s crazy to have busy soul.”

KNOWLEDGE:

“…There are some who long to know, simply for the sake of knowing, and that is shameful curiosity. Others long to know to show off before others, and that is shameful vanity. There are others who long for knowledge to make a fat profit from it, or to make honors from it; and this is shameful profiteering. But there are those who long to know in order to be of service to others; and this is charity…” — Bernard of Clairvaux

GOODNESS:

‘His sovereignty is exercised in a way of grace. All shall work together for good; everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds.”  — John Newton, Puritan Sermons

FAITHFUL:

“The word faithful can be illustrated by the image of the strong arms of a father that uphold and protect his helpless child. When the word faithful is used with regard to God, it means that He is worthy of absolute trust, and that we can depend upon Him without doubt or reservation. It is important to understand that God is faithful, not because He does everything we want, but because He does everything that He has promised.” — Paul Washer, The One True God

LEADERSHIP:

“Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter Drucker 

CHILDREN’S  MINISTRY:

“Everybody needs someone who knows their name, and what’s happening in their life.”  — Lead Small

CONVERSATION:

“I believe that folks who are de-churched or seemingly apathetic toward Christianity are sending the church a clear message. They want us to demonstrate how a book written several thousand years ago could possibly have something to say to them in this day and age. I think we owe them that much, don’t you? …I think that real people talking about real faith in a relevant way is what makes sense in the real world.” — Doug Pollock, God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally

Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 1

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The following are a few snippets of posts and quotes to ponder that I’ve saved from reading books and blogs. I use Evernote  to save information I collect from books, articles, blog posts and more. Evernote is like a digital file drawer. I wrote a post about being an “Evernote Junkie” and you can check it out here. I clicked through the notebooks in Evernote to select a few that I thought would be worth sharing as you move forward into 2014.  Scroll the cursor over the name of the author for a link to the blog or book.

CHRIST-LIKENESS:

“You will not stroll into Christ-likeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one’s leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting… It takes all one’s strength, and all one’s heart, and all one’s mind, and all one’s soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint.”  A. J. Gossip

LIFE:

“Hard stops for prayer, rest so you can have the rest of God. Unplug to plug into your purpose. It’s the everyday, not the every now and then…We are all going to botch it somedays. We all sometimes get the notes wrong. But the song only goes wrong when we keep thinking back to the wrong notes…When a piece starts to fall apart — fall forward. Fall forward into the next bar. Moving forward is what makes music.“ Ann Voskamp

STRESS:

“Stress is the inappropriate response to a stimulus. Do our hearts provide a home for stress? You are no doubt completely aware of the concept of stress in your own life, but perhaps are not looking at its insinuative manner. What idols lie in waiting? I would propose that we sit down, often and for longer periods of time, and let Jesus shine a light in our hearts on the idols we harbor. His love, kindness, and desire for us to be whole will reveal what lies deep within and does not belong. He will haul these idols out and turn our affections toward him.” Greg Gelburd



 

LEADERSHIP:

“The kind of people who oppose things as a matter of course often don’t have an alternative vision…Opponents generally don’t possess a vision for the future, only a vision for the past which is an impossible vision…Leaders who attack people rather than problems are a very different breed. They can leave a trail of bodies in their wake..You will never look back with regret if you remain generous and kind to people who are not kind to you…When you listen to the loudest voices, you miss the most important voices…Decide whether you will focus on who you want to reach or who you want to keep.”  Carey Nieuwhof

FORGIVENESS AND HOLINESS:

“The grace of Jesus doesn’t just work to make you comfortable before God (forgiveness), it works to make you like him (holiness).”  Paul David Tripp

ASTONISHING:

“Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing. Because that’s exactly what it is.”  Randy Alcorn

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY:

“That’s where I met Jesus, Daddy! Can we go to church again sometime so I can see Jesus again sometime?” Quinn, a three-year old

PEACE:

“Whatever disrupts our peace….unexpected news, heartbreak, daily interruptions, or even tragedy, His peace is available and it’s worth fighting for. We can walk through anything and He promises peace in His presence. Breathe in his presence, exhale peace.”  Godschick.net

SPECIAL NEEDS: 

“When the church attempts to function without all of its parts, the body of Christ becomes disabled.Same Lake, Different Boat is a transformational work–designed to renew our minds to think biblically about disability in order that our lives, our relationships, and our congregations might wholly reflect Christ.” Stephanie O. Hubach

PARENTING: 

“God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. Never buy into the myth that you need to become the “right kind” of parent before God can use you in your children’s lives. Instead learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God.” Reggie Joiner

WORSHIP:

“It is easy to see that you and I have been created to worship. We’re flat-out desperate for it. From sports fanaticism to celebrity tabloids to all the other strange sorts of voyeurism normative in our culture, we evidence that we were created to look at something beyond ourselves and marvel at it, desire it, like it with zeal, and love it with affection. Our thoughts, our desires, and our behaviors are always oriented around something, which means we are always worshiping — ascribing worth to — something. If it’s not God, we are engaging in idolatry. But either way, there is no way to turn the worship switch in our hearts off…Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss…God does not regret saving you. There is no sin which you commit which is beyond the cross of Christ.”  Matt Chandler

GRACE:

“As 2014 progresses, open the eyes of our hearts to see all these glorious riches more clearly that we might enjoy them more fully (Ephesians.1:18-19). We rest and rejoice, in your covenant and capacity to keep us from falling. Though we may falter in the journey, the grasp of your grace is steady and secure.” Scotty Smith

 

The Nehemiah Challenge | Part 2 | A Radical Trust in God

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The following is Part 2 of The Nehemiah Challenge.

Text: Nehemiah 1:11b -2:8; Isaiah 62:6ff; Philippians 4:6-7

  1. Pray and Wait
  2. Waiting is not Wasted Time
  3. A God-given Calling will Result in God-given Enabling
  4. Give God the Glory

Pray and Wait

Chapter one reveals that Nehemiah has a heart that follows after God. He is a man of prayer and compassion and within a few verses of reading, I notice that he is also a man of character and integrity. Nehemiah sensed God calling him to act, and his radical trust in God is evidenced by his courage to pray and wait for God to unfold the right plan.

Application: A radical trust in God gives courage to wait and not to act hastily. God’s timing is everything. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Waiting is not Wasted Time

Nehemiah identifies foremost with the quest of God’s glory and praise and is accompanied in prayer with godly friends–“servants that delight in honoring God’s name.” (Nehemiah 1:11) They waited on God to answer their prayers today and nothing happened; at least not what they expected. Through their persistent prayers,  God was strengthening their faith and Nehemiah’s resolve for the incredible task before him. This was a God-given call in Nehemiah’s heart and along with his loyal band of prayer warriors, would not rest in praying. Wrote Isaiah: “You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.” (62:6-7)

Application: A time of unrest and waiting is not wasted time. Courage to wait on God’s timing is also strengthened through the prayers of others. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

A God-given Calling will Result in God-given Enabling

As cupbearer, Nehemiah had the important job of tasting wine before it was served to the king, to see whether it was poisoned or not. It was an important job that granted him access to the king but it was also very risky. If the wine happened to be laced with poison, the cupbearer would pay the ultimate price, give up his own life, for the king to live. It was a good idea not to look distressed or sad in front of the king at any time, but especially after tasting the wine, yet Nehemiah did. The king noticed the sadness and asked Nehemiah, “Why are you sad, when you are certainly not ill?” That one question was the catalyst God used to launch his plan for renewal and change. For Nehemiah the waiting was about to end.

For months, Nehemiah has been asking God to answer his prayers today.  I imagine a rush of adrenaline pulsing in his chest, knowing all to well that his answer to the king’s question should be crafted well.  So here is Nehemiah, a man who puts his life at risk on a regular basis for the king yet becomes very much afraid at this moment to answer a question about the mission he has been praying over for months already!

God worked through that fear and rush of insecurity, giving Nehemiah confidence to honor and show homage to the king and with that same confidence, to speak boldly on behalf of his people and a city in ruin.

Application: Always expect God to answer prayers today. A God-size calling will result in God-size enabling.

Give God the Glory

Once again, there is another question from the king for Nehemiah to answer: “What are you requesting?”  Nehemiah’s immediate response was not fear but to pray to the God of heaven. A “flash prayer”…a silent prayer lasting a few seconds. Oh, how Nehemiah was depending on God to enable him for this mission. And without fear or hesitation, Nehemiah humbly asks the king for everything on his long and well thought out, prayed over and memorized plan.

And the king said, “Yes!”  For the good hand of God was upon Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:8) That’s where the glory is to land…not on Nehemiah but directly upon God. Nehemiah humbly acknowledges the gracious hand of God upon him, and the gracious kindness of God in using him, rather than conceitedly supposing that the result is due to his own skills and talents and wisdom and gifts or experience. [1]

Application: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for his glory. It is not about me, it is all about Him!

[1] A Passion for Faithfulness, Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah, page 68, by J. I. Packer 

Part One: When Walls are Broken: The Nehemiah Challenge Part 1

There is an Amazon link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend.

The Nehemiah Challenge | Part 1 | When Walls are Broken

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For the past several months, I’ve kept a journal of nuggets that I discovered and learned from reading about Nehemiah. The name of the journal is, “The Nehemiah Challenge.”

Text: Nehemiah 1:1-11

Sometimes we need a hero, a person to challenge us in prayer, leadership, faithfulness, bravery, humility, and how to thrive in our everyday work and calling. A hero is just an ordinary person who God extraordinarily works through, yet by God’s grace, must continue to pray for a persistent obstinate quality of belief, to keep-keeping-on, grounded in faith and theology.

I discovered a hero in the pages of history, whose life continues to teach all of us who will become engrossed in his story. Just an ordinary guy that exemplified the art of empathy, so much so that empathy propelled him to take action. This hero’s name is, Nehemiah. The first 11 verses of Chapter One illustrate the character of Nehemiah through his action and words.

Nehemiah seems larger than life with which he defined his goals and the energy with which he pursued them. Yet, Nehemiah’s life story is a testament of what God has done in and through him, not to anything Nehemiah might claim as a personal achievement. [1]

Here are three things (nuggets) to do when walls are broken.

  1. Ask the right question
  2. Start praying
  3. Bear another’s burden

1. Ask the right question

The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah.  Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:1-2 ESV)

 Nehemiah received a visit from his brother and men from Judah.  After greetings and salutations, Nehemiah asked them a question about the condition of his extended family (concerning Jerusalem.) Nehemiah lived in a lifestyle of security and peace, far away from the hardships of his covenant community, yet he ventures to know more about the people in need.

 Even though Nehemiah suspected the answer would not be encouraging, he proceeded to ask the right question. The answer Nehemiah received about the status of his people and the security of his home and his community was very sad and grievous. The answer to that question propelled him to start. Nehemiah empathized.

Application: Don’t ask a question about a need unless you are willing to be part of the solution.

 2. Start praying

And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” (Nehemiah 1:3 ESV)

Nehemiah absorbed the answer into his soul, words that quickened his spirit to move, albeit overwhelmed and weakened by the news, he immediately sits down and begins to pray, to cry and mourn the loss of a city in ruin, a broken community. Nehemiah is passionate to do something, yet instead of reacting about the situation, Nehemiah responds in humility with mourning, fasting and praying for days.

Nehemiah is more God-conscious than self-focused.

“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4 ESV)

Nehemiah models an example for us to learn that it is prayer that changes things and that without praying there is no prospering. Nehemiah’s walk with God was saturated with his consistent, habitual and petitionary prayers in devotion to God.

“And I said, ‘O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night…” (Nehemiah 1: 4-6 ESV)

Application: Constant private conversations with God keep us God-conscious and not self-focused.

3. Bear another’s burden

O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. (Nehemiah 1:5-7 ESV)

Empathy is costly because it requires that we step into another person’s situation to meet a need. [2] Nehemiah’s response to the broken walls of Jerusalem was a broken heart. He loved the people of God and the glory of God. He was in anguish because God’s special people were unprotected, shamed and humiliated. [3]

Empathy for others begins when we see ourselves rightly before a holy God. [2] Those walls had been in ruins for 141 years. And likely this wasn’t the first time that Nehemiah heard that there had been no real progress in rebuilding the walls. So what explains Nehemiah’s response to the news about the walls of Jerusalem? The only real explanation is that God was at work in Nehemiah’s soul. He felt God’s heart toward the shame and weakness of God’s people, and he wept. [3]

When we understand our state of utter desolation without God’s grace, we are free to empathize with those who are hurting. [2] If we love the glory of God, than we will be people who care about the well-being of God’s people. When God’s Spirit begins to move among his people, they see the broken walls and begin to care. They turn from indifference, and their hearts are broken over that which does not glorify Jesus in his church. They take ownership of their own compromise. They cry out to God and ask him to intervene. [3]

Application: Bearing one another’s burden will result in greater empathy toward brokenness.

Here’s a question for you, when you know walls are broken, where do you begin first? 

You may enjoy reading:

The Nehemiah Challenge │Part Two│A Radical Trust in God

The Nehemiah Challenge │Part Three │Getting Going

 
 
 

There is an Amazon link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend.

Starting as a Way of Life

Starting as a way of life

When our kids were young, we took them to Washington, D.C to explore the history and visit the museums. Our son was at a very inquisitive age, eager to explore the places that were not on the map or noted on the guide given to us. It was great whenever an exhibit was “kid friendly” and had a button to press to begin listening to a recorded message about the exhibit or perhaps some of the figures behind the glass became animated with movement.  Naturally, he began to look for a button to poke at every exhibit… just to see what would happen. He quickly learned, If I do this, that happens. He noticed another button on a wall, away from the exhibits. He poked the button to see what would happen. We were all surprised to hear the sound of a loud buzzer emitting a warning and people began to scurry about. Our son, however, was delighted that a poke at this particular button started a chain reaction of people responding to the noise that created a movement.

We need to do that. We need to poke a different button. We need start a movement. Like a child that is not afraid to see what happens. We need to start. We need to stop being afraid of starting something different and new. We are afraid of a possible ruckus, we are afraid that our ideas are not valuable, we are afraid to start. We will never know what will happen if we never start.

To never take a leap or never risk is a sad existence.

We can start to bloom wherever we are planted.

The following are a few quotes from, Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Poke the Box is a small book packed with a lot of kick. It’s worth reading more than once and sharing with your colleagues or a college student or with your ministry teams. I highlighted these sections in the book and I thought it was worth sharing with you. The above story about my son is true. We can poke a button or poke the box. Either way, we need to begin to start…to make starting as a way of life.

I believe that if you’ve got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond “should” and reaches the level of “must.” You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Innovation is mysterious. Inspiration is largely unpredictable. But it’s obvious from all the success we see in the marketplace that we can rise to the occasion. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Once the habit is ingrained and you become the starter, the center of the circle, you will find more and more things to notice, to instigate, and to initiate. Momentum builds and you get better at generating it. If you go to bed at night knowing that people are expecting you to initiate things all day the next day, you’ll wake up with a list. And as you create a culture of people who are always seeking to connect and improve and poke, the bar gets raised. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

If you’re not making a difference, it’s almost certainly because you’re afraid. Some of us hesitate when we should be starting instead. We hold back, promise to do more research, wait for a better moment, seek out a kinder audience.  This habit is incredibly common. It eats up our genius and destroys our ability to make the contribution we’re quite capable of making. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if don’t start, you never get a chance. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard.

When will you start?

There is an Amazon link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend.

Plan Today to be Productive Tomorrow

Plan Today

“If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive” –Zig Ziglar

How often do you ask yourself at the end of the day, “Where has the time gone?”  You realize the day is over and you didn’t carry out what you had planned to get done. Did the “procrastination shadow” follow you all day? Ever feel like you’re the foremost expert on the subject of putting off until tomorrow what you should do today?

Granted, some people are better at getting things done more than others. For those of us that are easily distracted, perhaps the simplest thing we need to do, and probably the most challenging too, is to learn to manage our time better. One of our biggest challenges when it comes to capitalizing on time is that we don’t really know how we spend it.

The best thing I’ve done for myself is to plan today to be productive tomorrow, otherwise I lose track of the time and do very little.

One way that I plan today to be productive tomorrow is to make a check list of things to do. A check list is a simple tool that helps me focus on tasks and it’s also a record of how I’ve spent my time. The items on the list are not jotted down in order of importance. If I think of something I need to do, I add it the bottom of the list.  After completing tasks, I check it off the list. At the end of the day, I look over the list and feel a sense of accomplishment.

However, what really bugs me is that several tasks stay on the list day after day. Those tasks are the ones that I dread starting; the ones that take more mental energy to begin. It’s the fault of the “procrastination shadow” following me all day. The only way I will lose that shadow is do the worst task, or the one I dread the most on my list, first thing.

To help with that, I give myself a dose-of-motivation–the night before–so that when tomorrow arrives, I’m more inclined not to procrastinate. An example of a dose-of-motivation is a short phrase and easy to remember, like this quote from Zig Ziglar:

If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive.

Here are four things I do today to be productive tomorrow:

1. Nurture my spiritual life:

Bend the knee and read the greatest history book ever written. Establish a daily rhythm of starting the day off in prayer and bible reading. In other words, I prioritize the daily time I spend devoting my attention exclusively to the glory of Christ and receiving the satisfaction he gives. I love Matthew 6:33 where Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” It’s true, I am more productive when I keep God first and by doing so, I become a better steward of time, especially with taking care of those things that I procrastinate.

2. Take care of my physical needs:

Exercise and don’t skip eating breakfast. This is something that is a non-negotiable. If I’m unable to run or walk outdoors, there is nothing stopping me from finding a motivating workout routine on the internet. I have to wake up earlier to exercise or else I will miss the window of opportunity.  Breakfast has become a favorite meal of the day. Often the night before, I will make a “yogurt-to-go” cup. Layering yogurt, nuts and fresh berries in throw-away cup. I grab it and go! It’s so easy to miss breakfast in the morning, especially with rushing out the door to take children to school and to make it to work on time, but you’ll soon feel the pangs of skipping that meal once the morning rush of adrenaline comes to a halt.

3. Create a to-do-list

If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. There are several time management apps that are useful for managing a to-do-list. A paper and pencil work too! I like setting time limits to work on a task…set a timer on my iPhone to buzz after 30 minutes. This helps me to stay focused on finishing the task. Setting a timer reminds me about making chores a fun competition with my children. We can race each other to see who will beat the clock.

 4. Guard my family time

At the end of the day, the one thing that matters most are the people in my family. The work day is over and now it is time to lean into my family, forgetting everything left in the office and those many details still left undone on that to-do-list.

If I manage myself well throughout the day, I will be a better leader for my family at the end of the day. And when the evening has become still and quiet and my family has settled down for the night, I reflect on the events of the day and consider how it will impact tomorrow.

“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.  Make motivation a habit and you will get there more quickly and have more fun on the trip.” -Zig Ziglar

You may find the following posts helpful:

How to Break Bad Habits

The Joy of Running

Four Ways to Make Your Personal Worship Habit Forming

In Pursuit of a Gospel-Centered Community

For an added dose of motivation:

6 Unintended Casualties of Mismanaging Your Time

Trick Your Lazy Brain Into Being More Productive

How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day

Zig Ziglar Quotes