Archives For marriage

The Power of Habit

October 6, 2014

Recently I served as a part of the Blogger Team at the Catalyst 2014 Conference. Catalyst gathers excellent speakers to inspire the church.

Charles Duhigg is the Pulitzer Prize winning writer for the New York Times and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, an innovative and powerful new book about change. Here are my notes.

We are in a golden age of understanding how habits work, with an incredibly powerful position to have habits change.

Habits are an interesting mix of reason, science, and faith.

The actions in the brains of rats, when fulfilling a habit is the same as when it sleeps. This is the neurology of a habit.

How many of us have arrived at work and wondered how we arrived? It’s a habit. Your brain lapses into an automatic behavior.

You really should have done it this way…

We are always critiquing our food, finding ways to make it better.

The local church we attend is often the focal point of the “should have’s and could have’s”. I mean if they would just take our ideas everything would be perfect, right!?

We are a people who desire to innovate, improve, and enhance.

At its root, this is very Biblical. When God gave us dominion over the planet, we were tasked with improving it and making it better. Technology is a godly thing as we advance.

But should have’s can get us in trouble.

My family dinner table growing up was like this. Even if we fully enjoyed a meal, we would speak of all the things which could be done to improve it

I thought this was true of all families till I got married and began “improving” my wife’s meals.

Losing Focus

June 11, 2014

Over the last twenty plus years in missions I have learned we go through seasons. We are currently on a furlough, and it is times like these where you can see things in a clearer fashion.

There is something which slowly and subtely was missing from my missions. I was not misusing ministry funds or walking in immorality.

But my focus had drifted.

Not even to bad things.

If our focus is on our product, numbers, programs, or fundraising strategies, we are not practicing missions. Our efforts may be closer to business or entrepreneurial efforts

Often when we feel consumed by these things we remind ourselves that the focus should be the people. We look to serve, to bless, to lift out of poverty or rescue out of injustice.

While these things are good, this is not truly missions. Losing focus is easy to do.

A Marriage Boost

June 7, 2014

Even the best of couples can use an occasional marriage boost.

Maybe it has been a long time since you’ve had a “just you” date or getaway.
Perhaps your family outings have been just that.
Or it just may be the busyness of everyday life.

You sense your marriage could use a boost. Things aren’t even that bad, or perhaps they are even better than they used to be.

I have a good, easy reading, book for you (even the guys will like it.)

In my reading habits, I am always looking to sharpen my skills or read things which challenge me in my key relationships.

This focus leads me to often read books on spiritual growth and leadership. Currently, I find myself in a different season where I am reading more books focused on my key relationships, covering the topics of parenting and marriage.

In the leadership world, there are countless resources on planning, productivity, scheduling, and execution.

Is it possible for planning to become our enemy?

Can we become too ordered or calendar driven?

I am naturally a planner, even jotting down activities for my day off. However, I see an unhealthy tension grow in myself when life brings me events which have not been anticipated.

Even good things.

I was reading a passage of the Bible this morning which sparked these thoughts. In John 5, there is the story of the invalid whom Jesus heals on the Sabbath.

The response of the Jews to this man is what caught my attention.

“So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” (John 5:10)