Speak Life

 

1      The Challenge

“A quiet and comfortable obsession with an ultimately destructive hurt, habit, or hang-up can led to final failure.”  Phil Larson

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Paul of Tarsus

Proverbs 21:23(NKJV) 23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Solomon

Proverbs 13:3 (NKJV) 3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Solomon

These wisdom guidelines speak to me this morning.  This week I am in a time of prayer and work and rest.  The prayer is to focus my soul and energies and seek the intervention of God.  The work is to get outside and do those things that I enjoy.  The rest is to honor the principles of trust and Sabbath so directed in Christ and break from the normal.

As I start this week I have two books in my hand.  The Power of Optimism by Alan Loy McGinnis and The Bible by the Holy Spirit of God.

2      One Pain

“A quiet and comfortable obsession with an ultimately destructive hurt, habit, or hang-up can led to final failure.”  Phil Larson

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Vince Lombardi, George S. Patton and every leader under which I have served.

Courage stands. Cowardice grovels.

Courage advances. Cowardice retreats.

Courage envisions. Cowardice tunnels.

Courage empowers. Cowardice controls.

Courage gives. Cowardice takes.

Courage resolves. Cowardice complains.

In a survey of young women gathered to reconnect with fathers, a great truth was discovered. The young women told us they wanted their dads to be more vulnerable and transparent. They yearn to hear Dad talk of his mistakes and recovery. They want to know he gives them room to make mistakes and be human because he acknowledges his mistakes and humanity. It is tough to relate to a prideful leader full of himself and his stories of conquest.

One of my flaws under pressure is to release negatives into the air about those items and people most disconcerting to me at the moment.  It is not that I don’t appreciate the item but that it is irritating me at the moment.  It is not that I don’t love and appreciate the person, but that some aspect of resistance is irritating me at the moment.  Then my mouth opens and my foot inserts and someone is damaged.

A leader carries great power of negative and positive.  Life and death exude from the tongue.  Of course we think hard thoughts and must process them.  But we should not as leaders process them out loud.  They should be as privately engaged as prayers in our closets.  In fact, they should be prayers in our closets until resolved in our heart.

3      Serve

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi

Serving solves stupidity and soothes struggling souls. When we serve, our mistakes can be covered.  People see the heart and love covers a multitude of sins.  That does not excuse sin, but hey, a little cover is good.  We are all flawed human becomings that need to give and receive grace. Be gentle with yourself, repentant when making a mistake, and serving of others.

4      Remember

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Paul of Tarsus

Mistakes, slips, falls, failures, glitches, or problems easily beset us and blur vision.  Remember who you are.  Remember whose you are.  It is right to view your mistakes, change direction, and move forward. It is not right to grovel. Step up and step out.  Admit. Change. Move. Learn.

F.U.M.B.L.E.   Sport analogies are overused, but here is one.  A fumble in football defines a team.  There is one focus.  Get the ball.  Focus on the issue. Understand the impact. Maintain esteem. Build relationship. Lead by example. Expand to other areas. F.U.M.B.L.E.   When the ball is loose, get the ball.  Don’t point fingers.  Don’t try to find someone to blame.  Don’t isolate from others and sulk.  Don’t wait on someone else to get the ball.  Figure out how to prevent in the future. You’ve fumbled before.  You’ve recovered. You’ve learned.  Do it again. Do your part.

Focus on the Issue. What needs fixed?

Understand the impact. What has been damaged?  What else needs fixed? How far has the damage gone?

Maintain Esteem. No finger pointing. No blaming. Believe in every player.

Build Relationship.  A fumble is a great opportunity to discover strengths and weaknesses in a team and strengths and weaknesses in our opposition.  To every positive there is a negative trying to keep it from happening.  Gain understanding of friends.

Lead by Example. Hesitation increases damage.  Don’t wait on someone else.  Get on the ball.  Take action.

Expand to Other Areas. What will cause one fumble will cause twenty.  A blip in one area will blip in another.  Where can the solution be expanded, applied to something else and help growth?

Remember your victories.  David, legendary king of Israel, faced not just Goliath but his four brothers.  Entering into the moment he reminded himself that he had killed a lion and a bear and that God was on his side.  I’m sure he also remembered there was a great reward waiting for the victor.  Memories of prior conquests and present helps and future rewards all moved him forward.  Remember.  You have conquered before and will conquer this.

Speak of the truth of the positive.  List out all the positives and begin to speak them to others. Okay, be transparent in the positive along with the pains.  Focus on the positives.

5      The Challenge

Proverbs 21:23(NKJV) 23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Solomon

Proverbs 13:3 (NKJV) 3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Solomon

Oopsadoodle.  Is that a word?  Yes, it is what we say to babies when they drop something.  We say it with a musical lilt as we reach over and fix it.  Later on we get angry and scowl at a four year old who makes the same slip. Ouch.  What is wrong with us?  Contain your consequences to right time and place. Allow for recovery.

There are ten tons of troubles to tackle. Focus on the one in front that needs present attention.  Contain your discontent for the prayer closet.  Most will solve themselves with no help from you.  Trust God.  You asked Him to help did you not?  Why are you taking it back?  Put some filters on your words.

Thinking out loud can get you into trouble.  I do that sometimes.  I am processing something and it comes out of my mouth and someone hears and thinks I am upset.  I’m not.  I’m processing.  But they don’t know that.  Then they take it wrongly and I don’t even know it.  The damage is the same no matter my intention. So I go to the lake in the woods and yell at God, who loves me and understands me, and the birds and trees don’t care.  Then I get back in the game with a resolute heart and cheerful. Heavy on the cheerful.

After noting the story of a young man beset with a disease that ended in death, this poem was penned by Edmund Vance Cooke.

 

 

How Did You Die?

 

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,

Or a trouble is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?

 

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there — that’s disgrace.

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,

It’s how did you fight —  and why?

 

And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?

 

6      Summation:

Each of us faces tough days and defeatist moments.  You can reduce their number by focusing on the positive and speaking life into those around you and situations.  Remember the victories you have seen in life and apply those lessons to new challenges.  And hey, have a great life along the way.  Death will take us all, be living when it finds you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s