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Mistakes that Lead to Learning

July 28th, 2010 Filed under Personal Comments Off on Mistakes that Lead to Learning

The July 2, 2010 USA Today headline read, “After seeking help, Cabrera sees his life swing in positive direction” and below the story was told of how Major League Baseball player Miguel Cabrera life had changed.  Nine months earlier, Cabrera had been jailed after a night of heavy drinking and when he was released sought help for his addiction.  In the article he says, “I learned so much from my mistakes.”Oops Sign

As I read this article, I realized that his comments were true in my life as well.  I did not have a drinking problem but I learned the same way Miguel did…through my own mistakes, I learned the best.  The failures, the struggles, the crashes taught me what NOT to do.

I was at least 40 years old before I discovered that I did not have to touch the hot stove to know that it would burn me.  In my 20’s and deep into my 30’s, wise counselors would tell me to avoid something or to not do something and I would listen but often think, “That doesn’t apply to me or “That consequence won’t happen to me.”  And before I knew it I had burned the fire out of my hand!!  These “burns” were manifested in relational failures, financial struggles and emotional crashes.

But these mistakes got my attention and caused me to change my ways.  They also caused me to not just seek the counsel of others but to actually heed it.  To apply what I was taught to change my life and avoid pitfalls.  Don’t get me wrong, I still make LOTS of mistakes but the consequences are not nearly as grave.  I have learned to quickly adjust when I feel the heat – heat that comes mostly through consequences and the Word of God.

What about you?  Do you have the same learning style as Miguel and I?  What are some of the lessons you have learned through your mistakes?

Do You Have a Nathan?

July 22nd, 2010 Filed under Intentional Living 2 Comments

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Accountability is one of those areas in my life that I have a huge love-hate relationship.  As a sales person and as a development director, reporting my “numbers” (i.e. calls made, appointments held, sales closed or money raised) seemed like such a hassle but when I did not have to report I always did worse than when I did report.  Accountability – it can be a burden but it makes me a better person.

In my spiritual life, I also need accountability.  Folks that I know will ask me the tough questions and will not be afraid to confront me if they have discerned that I might be off course.   They are not my Holy Spirit nor are they the righteousness police just looking for a chance to nail me.  First and foremost, they are friends who love me with an agape love.  They are looking out for my best interest.  They are also men and women whom I have given the right to hold me accountable.  I trust them and desire them to speak into my life.  I am a better person because of their influence in my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

The psalmist David had accountability in his life in the form of a prophet named Nathan.  Nathan helped David process through big decisions (see 2 Samuel 7 as David contemplates building the temple for God.)  Nathan rebuked David when he had committed grievous sins (see 2 Samuel 12 concerning his sins against Bathsheba and Uriah.)  Lastly, Nathan gently reminds David of his promises (see 1 Kings 1 as David makes Solomon king.)

Nathan traveled with David throughout his life and both encouraged and confronted this giant killer.  What about you?  Do you have a Nathan in your life?  If so, how has your Nathan made you a better person?

Athletes? Burdens? Inspiration?

July 19th, 2010 Filed under Personal Comments Off on Athletes? Burdens? Inspiration?

Check out this video!  These athletes inspire me, how about you?  The amazing thought is that many of these athletes while in the womb would have been considered, by some, to be “burdens” to society. Now, they inspire the world!