How to Get Over Your Bad Attitude in 3 Steps

 


Are you ready?  

1. What is one thing you are thankful for today?

2. What is another thing you are thankful for today?

3. What is a third thing to be thankful for today?


See?!?!  That wasn't so hard was it?

"Gratitude is a powerful human emotion. By conveying and receiving simple ‘thank you’ messages, we can truly derive the pleasure that we seek everywhere else. Gratitude, derived from the Latin word ‘gratia,’ means gratefulness or thankfulness." (From The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Effects on the Brain)

Reading and listening to podcasts exposes one to a lot of great ideas.  Some of those ideas are unique and some, well, they get repeated and shared a lot and for MOST PEOPLE - that is because there is a truth to them!  At some point, it isn't about the science, it is about the practice and by working on a practice of being thankful, we rewire our brains.

Like so much, when we seek to enhance life; enhance soul, we aren't dealing with modern discoveries but ancient wisdom.  The Apostle Paul wrote 2,000 years ago to followers of Jesus, "Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  Of course, Thanksgiving is a great time to start this, just like New Year's can be a great time to start new habits, but the wisdom and thought behind why isn't new...its old, ancient even, and worth your time to start.

Let's face it, we have lived through a TON of upheaval and much of our world is in disarray and people are finding more to be against than being for something.  You can't change the WORLD but you can change YOU.  And, as I have discovered, when you change YOU, then you begin to change the WORLD around you.  

Give thanks and start to enhance life, enhance soul, and enhance home.  

This is the way.





Enhance Life. Enhance Soul. Enhance Home. A New Journey.



Writing has taken a back seat in my life since I wrote “Prayer Simply Breathe.”  Turning 50 hit different and I had some real questions that I began to ask myself.  I began reflecting on my life and really pushing myself to think and ask - what do I want in the second novel of my life?  With the guidance of a coach, I narrowed it down to being a kick-a$$ husband (and dad/son), I want to stay in love with Jesus, and I want to help people enhance life, enhance soul, and enhance home.


These are not minor shifts and the road isn’t clear but I wrote in “Life Sucks Seek God,” the challenge: “Don't be a politician. Be a human who can admit he changed his mind."  I think I should expand on that - “Be a human being who can change.”  This is why I have always appreciated my faith heritage and the message of grace that John Wesley was so passionate about - people can change.  As a pastor, I have walked with many people through times of change and isn't that part of the Gospel message of Jesus? We can become the people God created us to be?


I bet you are a bit like me, and you want to be able to make some changes? I have been Jedi Pastor Ken for a long time but that isn’t all of me and in this next novel of life, this won’t go away but I need space to be Ken and to run to these three areas: Life - Soul - Home.


Enhance Life.

There is much in self-help that points us to health above other things.  I love life and as one who has faced death and walked the abyss and slogged through the valley of suck as a caregiver and only parent after my wife’s death, I still believe life is worth living.  I am still an optimist (though more realist).  Helping people see the better way and offering guidance is something I am passionate about.  People connecting to people and finding ways to know joy is what enhancing life is all about.



Enhance Soul.

I’ve been in full-time ministry for almost 30 years and a follower of Jesus even longer. Diplomas are on my wall and I have become a spiritual director as well.  I have written books and preached sermons and led studies on the spiritual journey.  Part of my vacation time often includes time to care for my soul. Enhancing soul is at the root of my life.  I can’t make anyone seek God but I can certainly share the journey and help others longing to renew and enhance soul.


Enhance Home.
One thing I have loved is building.  From Legos to shelves to homes, it is something in my DNA.  My grandfather was incredibly innovative in building and repairing; my dad as well.  In my house, is a dresser hand-made by my great-grandfather as well.  As we have renovated and planned for our life in Alaska, our home is central to for us.  I have a conviction that Maslow was right and that having a safe place to call home is a true need and I want to not only help people find or create that home but I want to help people enhance the home for family.


The good news is you too, can make a change.  If I can make a change if I can redirect if I can grow, will you?  Pick one area - change something you have been wanting to change.  Don’t do a lot - just one thing.

“Do or do not, there is no try,” is what Master Yoda said to Luke.  I hate that quote some days but it hits well - trying is a lukewarm thing - it is a “sample” or “fun size” but do is to go all in. 


Go all in.  This is the way I have learned to best enhance life, enhance soul, and enhance home. 




Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-man-with-novel-in-green-sunlit-park-4218707/


Anyone Can Be the GOAT - Character Matters


A goat strayed away from the flock.  A patch of clover was looking far more tempting than what they had been eating.  The shepherd tried to call the goat back, but in vain.  The goat just ignored him.  Finally, the shepherd picked up a stone and threw it at the goat.  It went off course ever so slightly and broke the goat’s horn.


The shepherd was scared. “Don’t tell the owner,” he begged the goat.  “No,” said the goat, “that broken horn speaks for itself.”

The writer, Maya Angelou reminded us that “when people show you who they really are, believe them the first time.”  Integrity and trustworthiness are traits not only we ought to aspire to, but they are matters of character much needed in our day.

Wicked and evil deeds will not stay hidden and the lessons they reveal ought to be noted.  Noted psychologist and thinker, Jordan Peterson, notes, “If you can’t figure out what someone is doing, look at the outcome and infer the motivation.” 


Often people are quick to say they are “sorry” when caught in a lie or acts of wickedness but what are they sorry for - that they did the act or that they were caught?  What ought to be noted is whether someone repents and asks for forgiveness.  This indicates that they recognize what was done AND the harm that it caused.  Then, as Peterson implies - make note of what someone is doing…do they continue the original pattern or change. 

People can grow and change but actions reveal the heart.

Jesus said it this way: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light. Pay attention, therefore, to how you listen. Whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.” (Luke 8:17-18).

Character matters and it is a matter of the soul.  It sets you apart in life: at home and at work.  Be the person you want others to be and you’ll be the person others need.


3 Lessons for Living and Leading from a Rejected Clergy


No, I am not talking about me. It was 1739 and John Wesley was struggling.  It was a theme for a large part of his early career as a pastor.  But now, there were few places he could preach.  He was at odds with the Church of England and he was even being banned from preaching in churches.  The specifics had to do with his conversion and convictions about the Christian message.


Then, around March 15, John Wesley received letters from his friend, George Whitefield to come preach in the fields near Bristol.  There were many working poor and families, who had not place of worship or pastor. He hated the idea outdoor preaching but wrote in his journal in the days that followed…

—--

Thursday, 29.—I left London and in the evening expounded to a small company at Basingstoke, Saturday, 31. In the evening I reached Bristol and met Mr. Whitefield there. I could scarcely reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday; I had been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.

Then on, April 1.—In the evening Rev. Wesley wrote: (Mr. Whitefield being gone) I began expounding our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (one pretty remarkable precedent of field-preaching)

Monday, 2.—At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, , speaking to about three thousand people.

—--

You can read more about the Methodist revival online and in many books (here is an interesting lecture from Gordon Conwell on Youtube), but I am struck by a few things, not merely because I have been a Methodist clergy for almost 30 years but because of Wesley’s lessons that enhance life and enhance soul.

1.  Wesley’s Journal.  He didn’t write everyday but he sure came close.  I write about the power and impact of journaling in “Life Sucks Seek God.”  John Wesley’s journal give snapshot of a man, a revival, a period of time in history, and how God transforms not one soul, but many.  The Methodist revival is seen as one of the contributing factors in the preventing a second revolutionary war in England itself.  Did the journal change Wesley? Yes, it helped him to be able to critically review his life, his thoughts and his teachings.  He became a better person and leader.  Where are you recoding life?

2.  Wesley’s Conviction.  It is common for the world to evolve and devolve.  John began his life’s work as a failed missionary and wasn’t much better as a local pastor in the Church of England.  But Wesley still sought after God.  Thanks to a few good friends and his soul habits and morning ritual, Wesley put himself in places where God might speak to him.  When God did, Wesley was ready: to act but also to grow.  He valued learning and was considered one of the most well read persons of his day.  Can you say the same?


3. Wesley’s Humility.  It may not come out often as Wesley’s convictions seem to overshadow his humility but it remains: Wesley was humble.  He listened to his mother’s counsel as well as his younger brother, Charles, and his good friend, Peter Bohler.  Here, we see he listened to George Whitfield, and went completely against his conviction that preaching only belonged in church.  He changed his approach to having lay people of the congregation preach, going against his conviction that only clergy could do this.  Wesley would also commission Thomas Coke and through him, Francis Asbury, as the first bishops in the 13 colonies to care for the Methodist Church.  On matters of heart, is your’s too hard or are you willing to listen to others who are wise?

John Wesley is one in a long line of leaders who have kept the world from devolving and moving forward - evolving toward a world of mercy and justice.  How might you use Wesley’s pattern of learning through journaling, living out convictions, and acting with humility, to enhance your life and change yourself and thus, change your world? 





My 5 Morning Rituals



I wrote about the benefits of a morning ritual and even have a give away that goes in depth called The 5 Benefits of Morning Rituals (Really creative, I know).  But what do I do?  Sure the benefits are proven but what can you actually do that changes things?

I’ll start with what I work hard to avoid: Email and Social Media.  I have made it a real conscious effort for my RITUAL to REPLACE these things.  They really jump ahead of improving you and that is NOT what you need so here is what I have been doing for about a month now….

1.  Get up with my alarm and listen to the Our Daily Bread app.  I get up when my alarm says to and the first thing I do is open this app and hit play for the daily devotion.  Sometimes I even play it twice because the first time, I’m not quite awake but I start with putting God first.  (And so you know, I usually shoot for getting up at 5:30am)


2.  Drink a glass of water.  I’ve read a lot of articles about the importance of water and my health plan has a reminder to start with a glass of water.  Water is like oil, it kind of greases the wheels and as we get older, I know it helps even more so I do it.


3. Look at the day.  I am not so great with this BUT before looking at Social Media and Email, I open up my day planner and write down my goal to walk 7000 steps and read 1 Chapter in a book (or listen). 

4. 7 Good Minutes.  I used to listen to news radio but started tuning into Clyde Lee Dennis’ “7 Good Minutes” podcast.  This is my must go to - listen as I get the day going.  


5. Walk.  Not that I always do this but I sure feel better when I take a 20 minute walk to start the day.  It gets me moving and mentally, it makes me believe I’m going to get my steps in before the day is done.

I also recommend Hal Elrod's book "Miracle Morning" for some great inspiration. While my rituals have changed throught the years, they have ALWAYS kept me on track. These have truly helped me enhance my life.  Now go and enhance YOUR LIFE with good rituals!


May I Ask?  What is your ritual?  What would help you? What is keeping you from getting started? How can I help?




Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/

Three Benefits of a Great Start!

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I know, I know, you don’t have time! You got to go, you’ve got to get to work, take the kids to school, feed the dog, start chores, and on and on. But we make time, almost always for what we want and even what isn’t productive (think Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon shopping, and on and on). So the question is what do you REALLY want? A great start is what you need! A morning habit/ritual will help with that and most especially, it is one that helps enhance soul and enhance life!
 
In my book, “Life Sucks, Seek God,” I talk about in chapter 7, “Take Five,” literally, a plan to take 5 minutes to dedicate to a spiritual practice or ritual. I know it makes a difference from experience but books like The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and Mini Habits by Stephen Guise, back me up on this. If we are honest with ourselves, of all the parts of us we neglect most, it is our soul - the inner core of our being.


More Productive

Taking a few moments at the beginning of the day to organize your thoughts and plan your day can go a long way when it comes to productivity. Going into work groggy, grumpy, and unprepared can leave you feeling unfulfilled and unaccomplished. Having a productive day is not just about making a to-do list either. Having a morning ritual that makes you feel good about yourself and start the day off in a relaxed mood will also help you be more productive. Instead of rushing into all of the tasks you have to complete with a scrambled mind.


Less Stress

Stress is a normal human reaction to having too much to do in too little time. There are a lot of physical and mental ways that stress can affect you over time. This includes increased anxiety, developing depression, fatigue, headaches, and even body pains from tension. One of the ways that having a morning ritual benefits you is that you know what to expect every morning and so your brain has less to worry about. Self-care rituals like exercise, journaling, or meditation can reduce your stress levels throughout the day because you can approach challenges from a calmer, relaxed point of view.


Renewed Mind

Having a morning ritual to focus our heart and soul on the Divine, on our souls, taps a deeper part of who we are. We find our passion, our mission, our mantra, when we are still and silent and reflect on our purpose and what matters most. The ancient writer of Lamentations, a book from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament states: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (3:22-23). The ancient spiritual writers knew long before social sciences figured it out that starting the day in the presence of the Divine, renews us and changes the course of our life and each day.

One of the helps I have been using is “Our Daily Bread” app available for Android and Apple devices. It is a 5 minute reflection that can be read or listened to each morning.



May I Ask? What about you? What can you do to make a great start - taking 5 minutes?



Download the FREE Ebook: 5 Benefits of Morning Rituals Here



Be Hope!

 


"Grant me hope, God, that I may spread hope."
It is one thing to pray for oneself, but in God's view, we are meant for more. We are meant to make a difference in the world! Hope is something that keeps people going, keeps them looking forward, and striving for a better day. Don't just believe in God but believe the best in others! God has always believed in YOU so be that beacon of hope to the people in your world!

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