Don’t Read This At Work

Posted in Business principles, Christian Lifestyle, Time by PCraig on March 10, 2016

I just heard someone the other day mention that “50% of time is wasted or spent on personal issues at work.”  I couldn’t believe it!  So, I had to do some research myself to see if they were correct.  Well, here’s what I discovered, the number of people who now admit to wasting time at work every day has reached a whopping 89%.  Seriously?  Employees are spending longer periods than ever before wasting time.

Here’s the problem with that, Scripture tells us of the value of time and not to waste it, but instead redeem the time (Eph. 5:16).  And, “whatever  you do” we are to “do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).  How is wasting time at work bringing glory to God?

Not only are we cheating our employer and getting paid for goofing off or doing personal stuff, but also we are cheating ourselves out of performing with excellence and giving a poor testimony of a believer.

So, quit reading my blog, and get back to work! 🙂

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Resting In Him

Posted in energy, Humility, Margin, Rest & Refreshing, Strengths, Time by PCraig on November 19, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I just am not as good of a person when I’m tired.  Some people act like they need very little sleep and they can perform fantastic – I don’t like those people.  Then, I wonder, are they only fooling themselves and really don’t understand how much better they could be with more rest?

It’s interesting that the Bible has a lot to say about rest.  God even through in an extra day in every week for that very purpose.  Jesus, God in the flesh, intentionally pulled away from the crowds, went off on retreats (40 days in a desert), prayer times in a garden.  So, who am I to think I don’t need to do similar?

My problem is that a strength of mine (according to StrengthsFinder) is achiever.  Therefore, I want do it all.  I want to work really hard, see progress, exercise to be as healthy as possible and be a great husband and super dad.  Unfortunately, there isn’t always time to feel accomplished in all of those areas at the same time (and those aren’t all the areas).  Do you ever feel that way?  Strung out, pushed to the limit, going 100 miles an hour in many directions, everyone needing a piece of you.

Let this be a reminder to all the achievers and people who tend to push it as fast as possible that our Savior calls us to rest.  Take your foot off the accelerator, find a quiet place to meditate and pray, get to bed a little earlier tonight, leave work a little early and hug your kids, and enjoy the earth that God put you on.  I think we’ll find that He will honor our act of wisdom and bless our humility in acknowledging that He is God and we are not.  Plus, we’ll probably be more pleasant to be around, I know I am.

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The Power of Doing One Thing

Posted in Change, Distractions, New Year, Time by PCraig on January 8, 2015

For those of us who suspect we might be ADD, but are yet to be diagnosed, here are some thoughts toward making a real difference in your life in 2015.  In past years, I have tried to make New Year’s resolutions, only to have one or two of them…maybe get completed.  Why is that?  I like to think I’m a disciplined person.  My wife says I am every day that I get up at 5:30 to head to the gym.  Why do we often struggle to make resolutions happen?  I think it is often in the plurality factor.  We try to do too much at once.  Now, that can have something to do with being an overachiever, but we’ll save that topic for later or in discussion with a counselor.

Here’s my proposal:  try just doing one new thing in 2015.  Try picking from this list for starters:

  • I commit to moving forward spiritually in 2015 by signing up for a class.
  • I will seek out new ways to grow in 2015 by reading the Bible daily, through YouVersion, so I’m accountable.
  • I will release all hurt & pain of the past by writing a letter, making a phone call or scheduling a lunch.
  • I will become more generous by tithing, and giving to God off the top instead of what’s leftover.

Those are just a few suggestions, but you can choose from your own list.  The main thing is to pick something, but not everything.

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The Power of Pondering

Posted in holiday, Margin, Perspective, Solitude, Time, Wisdom by PCraig on December 11, 2014

What would be your reaction to an angelic appearance and message from God, experiencing a supernatural birth and a bunch of strange men (shepherds) showing up at your door to worship your son?  Especially when these men explain that they have also seen angels who told them their Savior had been born in Bethlehem.  Strange occurrences.

Here is Mary’s (mother of Jesus Christ) reaction:  she treasures up all these things and ponders them in her heart (Luke 2:19).  What kind of person does that?  I think the answer is a wise person.  Foolishness often coincides with rashness.  People hurry up and get married, then later talk about how they should have waited.  Or, we quickly quit our job and jump out and take another to realize the grass isn’t any greener over here.

There is power in pondering.  Maybe it’s one of the reasons Mary was chosen to give birth to God’s Son?  David is another biblical character that pondered.   In Psalm 111:2 he writes, “How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them.”  Maybe that’s how David came up with so many great Psalms? He must have trained his son how to ponder as well to have come up with all the wisdom of the Proverbs.  He wrote, “haste makes mistakes”, maybe you’ve heard of that one?  It comes from Proverbs 19:2.

In the hustle and bustle of the season, let’s take some time out to ponder.  It’s in these times that we can come up with our greatest thoughts, make better decisions, and live with fewer regrets.  Sounds like a superior way to live.  Maybe God will choose us to do something great for Him, as we take time to ponder?  It may not be to birth the Son of God, but maybe we can birth a new business.  It may not be to become a great general of an army, but maybe we can generate people to follow Christ.  It may not be to wear the title of the wisest king, but we can still be known for making good decisions.

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Get Away

Posted in energy, Perspective, Rest & Refreshing, Stress, Time by PCraig on October 15, 2014

Since my wife is a travel agent in her spare time (besides all the other things she does), we try to get away when we are able.  The strain of ministry can pull on you physically, mentally and spiritually.  Jesus Himself would get away from the crowds and encourage His disciples to do the same.

My problem is this: “I’m too busy to get away!” Ever find yourself saying this?  So, how can you make it happen?

I think you have to decide to make it happen first of all.  Nothing will change until you decide.

You have to plan ahead. If you intend to take time off at spring, then you better start working toward it now.  If I wait until close to the date I want to leave to work ahead, then it won’t happen.

Let everyone know that you will be gone and unreachable.  If you allow urgency to press in, then there will never be a “good time” to go. You have to make this the priority in your life.

Then, unplug, unwind, disengage and relax. Many people tell me that I am on fire when I come back from a break. I think you’ll be amazed at how much more you can get accomplished by taking off quality time to restore, refresh and recharge your internal batteries.

 

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What God Might Be Saying

Posted in Faith, Hearing God, Personal Growth, Perspective, Prayer, Time, Will of God by PCraig on August 14, 2014

What is going on when you pray?  Have you ever wondered if anyone is listening or cares?  Sometimes it can feel like your prayers are being heard and other times it can seem like God is helping someone else.  Ever feel that way?

First of all, I would like to clarify that God does answer prayer, does care about each and every one of us and enjoys it when we pray.  (See 1 John 5:14-15; 1 Pet 5:7; Mt 11:28)  Second of all, prayer does make a difference.  Clinical studies have been done and found that people who are prayed for go through surgery more successfully, and have a better recovery than people who don’t have prayer.  I’ve seen this just from the way God answers prayer requests that are turned in on the weekend services.

To help those of you who struggle with what is going on behind the scenes when you pray, I have four options that might be happening.  God may be saying…

  • NO – now that’s not an answer we like, but it’s an option, because God knows what’s best, and we need to trust Him.  Your request could simply be off-base.
  • SLOW – the timing may not right for what you’re asking right now, so don’t get impatient.  Trust that God is working even when you don’t have evidence.
  • GROW – again, the request may be okay, but there needs to be some growth in you before God brings it into your life.  If you were praying for the right spouse, but you are not the right spouse material yet, then grow in the meantime.
  • GO – this is the answer we like best.  It’s when we are ready, circumstances around us are ready, and God is ready to bring it about.

Knowing that there are more answers than just “yes” and “no” helps me to analyze my situation and see if I need to do some adjusting.  I hope this helps you.

P.S.  Be sure to pray over our services this weekend when Phil Stacey from American Idol will be our guest.  It’s also part 2 of the Frames series and somebody must be praying really hard already, because last weekend was powerful.  Let’s believe for even greater anointing and results this weekend!

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What One Day Can Do

Posted in Choice, Impact, Time by PCraig on October 11, 2012

We have 365 days in a year.  If you were to commit to a simple thing just once each day, at the end of the year it would be huge.  Many of us live ultra-busy lives and we fail to realize the power of the incremental small moments of time.  For example, I remember listening to a cassette (remember those?) teaching many years ago on always having a book with you.  The speaker said you would be surprised at the amount of reading you can accomplish in your car waiting on a train, or people or arriving early at an event.  He was right!

Here are a few suggestions you might try, but only pick one:

  • Get up five minutes early each day to sit before the Lord in solitude first thing.
  • Send a thank you note to someone you appreciate
  • Read three chapters of the Bible, then ask God to speak through it
  • Go for a 15 minute walk, clearing your mind from stress and worshiping the God of creation
  • Help the church or other non-profit by giving of your time, talent or treasure
  • Introduce yourself to someone you didn’t know at work, church, or in the community and learn something about them
  • Practice a foreign language until you learn phrases and become more adept
  • Listen to Crossroads or other podcasts to reinforce principles in your life

It may seem like a small thing at the moment, but over time it’s amazing what one day can do.  What simple one thing would you suggest that, over time, could make a big impact?

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The Importance Of Getting Off To A Good Start

I loved watching the recent Summer Olympics.  Like many Americans, and perhaps many outside the U.S., I was intrigued with Michael Phelp’s march to Olympic history.  In every race, the announcers seemed to make comment about the importance of getting off the block quick to obtain a good start.  The feeling was that the team or individual who got off to a good start had a better chance in the race.

Perhaps the most important part of anyone’s day is the start?  The first moments of each day can set the tone for how we perceive the rest of it.  For example, if you get up thinking this day is going to be lousy, you’ll probably be right.  If you get up and read emails from work, read the bad news in the paper, and think about what’s not right in your life, then you’re getting off to a bad start.

What are some ways to get off to a good start?

  • Don’t check your email first thing.  If something’s that important, they’ll actually call you.
  • Be grateful.  You’re alive, there’s possibilities, hope and promise for today.
  • Read the Bible.  Start off with some good news.  Underline the promises you discover and claim them for yourself.
  • Meditate on things that are good.  Surrender your day to God in prayer.  Gain peace as you sit in silence before Him.  (Phil. 4:8; Ps. 46:10)
  • Exercise.  Get your blood pumping, your heart rate up and science confirms that you’ll feel better about yourself.
  • Don’t eat junk.  Garbage in garbage out – no brainer.
  • Try to do something for others as early in the day as possible.  Nothing makes you feel more confident and good about yourself than serving others.

There’s nothing like getting off to a good start.  So, what do you do to start your day?  Tell about it in the comments below.

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Today’s Decisions Could Be Huge

Posted in Choice, Decisions, Time, Wisdom by PCraig on August 23, 2012

There are defining moments in each of our lives and the difficulty is we often don’t realize it at the time.  For example, you decide to break up with your boyfriend and had no idea that it would lead to finding your future husband.  Or, you decide not to take a job in another city even though it meant more money, only to find out months later that you would have been unemployed because of the company going under.  You might not have known it at that moment, but those are pivotal times.

Yesterday, I was at the Avon Rotary meeting listening to longtime Indiana broadcaster and former news anchor, Mike Ahern (from WISH TV ch.8), reminisce about his 37 years in the industry.  He said one of the pivotal moments he remembers was in 1977 when Tony Kiritsis took a shotgun and wired it around a man’s neck and took him hostage.  The man and Tony wound up in a Westside apartment where police were held at bay for days.  During this time Mike said that microwave technology had made it possible for smaller and portable cameras to be taken on location for live feeds to the studio.  Little did they know that their first use of these cameras would be to live broadcast Tony with a shotgun wired around a man’s neck.  The dilemma this produced was what if he shot him on live TV?  Thankfully, for both viewers and the man, Tony ultimately surrendered without firing the weapon.

Mike’s point was that they had no idea how the new technology would make them a hostage themselves in this situation.  Once they began broadcasting the event live, it became difficult to pull out.

Here’s my point, you often don’t know how pivotal your next decision will be until afterwards.  This is why the Bible encourages us to seek wisdom every day.  Are you ready to make the wise choice in case it’s one of those life-changing moments?  You need to be, because you probably won’t know just how important the decision is until a day, week, month or even years from now.

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How To Keep It Together

Posted in Distractions, Hearing God, Rest & Refreshing, Stress, Time by PCraig on July 19, 2012

What is the one thing that many of us fail to guard in a fast paced culture? -Our time.  Especially to cultivate ideas, listen to God, and allow ourselves to get in a contemplative mode.  Instead we hurry around with our cars, phones, iPods & other gadgets and people filling our lives with noise.

Even in the ancient times of the Bible, Jesus said to his disciples, “Come apart.”  One person commented on this that, “if you don’t ‘come apart’ you will come apart.”  (Get away from the noise before you come apart at the seams)

Do you have a problem hearing from God?  When is the last time you pushed all the sources of noise in your life aside and sat quietly and waited on God…for more than a minute?

Could it be that many of our stress related issues might be resolved if we took time for concentrated meditation?  -Allowing the Spirit of God room in our lives to operate from within.

Try it.  Take a look at your calendar and when could you make this happen?  Here’s a few suggestions on finding this time:  stay off Facebook for a day, don’t watch TV, return calls tomorrow, tell the people around you that you need to take some time to “come apart.”

Have you had some times where God refreshed you in His presence just by waiting?  Are you needing some de-stressors in your life today?  Give this a try and feel free to comment on what happens after you ‘come apart.’

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