Archives For parenting

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.

“Leadership is not an event, it is a practice.”

It is the “daily little things where we practice putting the well-being of others before ourselves.”

Simon Sinek, speaking at a recent Leadercast event said this. He is the author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. I have not read these books, but they are being added to my list after hearing him at Leadercast.

Sinek shared the story of the Marine Corp, where it is well-known the officers always eat last. They put the needs of their troops ahead of their own. It was this story which became the basis for his recent book.

He shared other examples of how this is played out (and where it is not)

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)

The Power of Perspective

February 5, 2014

We recently had guests visit the nation we serve in. It’s always refreshing to see and hear things through other people’s eyes. It engages us in the power of perspective.

  • Perspective has the power to re-center.
  • Perspective tears down tunnel vision.
  • Perspective lifts up our head and helps us to look outward.

Our default mode is to focus on ourselves and our situations. The longer we do this, we can begin to magnify things. If these are negative forces, we can eventually lose the plot.

We can zero in on various testings and trials we face.

  • Issues with our children.
  • Frustration with our job or our co-workers
  • Comparison of our spouse with another.
  • Anger towards our government and whatever issue pushes our buttons.
  • Discontent with our local church.

Out of focus

By: Eric Wüstenhagen