Thursday, July 28, 2016

“Every family experiences problems, but not all families respond to them in the same way.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2016-02-02) from his book, 3 Things Successful People Do: The Road Map That Will Change Your Life (p. 158). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is so true.  Some families have never been taught how to handle problems but they do have them no matter what.

John says, “I’ve noticed that some people pursuing success seem to avoid the home environment. I suspect that one reason is that they are not able to handle family crisis situations well. They find it easier to try to avoid the problems altogether. But that’s not a solution.”

John then gives a quote by M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled.  I hope you will read it.  He says: “It is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and wisdom; indeed they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually . . . It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Those things that hurt, instruct.’”

Now we don’t like pain, we want to run away from it but it always has some value to it.  John goes on, “If we are to grow as families and be successful at home as well as in the other areas of our lives, we must learn to cope with the difficulties we find there. Here are some strategies to help you with the problem-solving process (He gives 6 but I will just give you the first and last.  Buy the book and get the others):

“• Attack the problem, never the person. Always try to be supportive of each other. Remember, you’re all on the same side. So don’t take your frustrations out on people. Instead, attack the problem…
Never withhold love. No matter how bad things get or how angry you are, never withhold your love from your spouse or children. Sure, tell them how you feel. Acknowledge the problems. But continue loving family members unconditionally through it all.”

Those are very good insights.

So how does your family handle problems?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

“To build a strong family, you have to make your home a supportive environment.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2016-02-02) from his book, 3 Things Successful People Do: The Road Map That Will Change Your Life (p. 153). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

John quotes Psychologist William James who observed, “In every person from the cradle to the grave, there is a deep craving to be appreciated.”

I’m 69 and I still crave to be appreciated and I know you do too if you're really honest.

John goes on, “Feeling appreciated brings out the best in people. And when that appreciation comes in the home and is coupled with acceptance, love, and encouragement, the bonds between family members grow, and the home becomes a safe haven for everyone.”

And that is what home is supposed to be. But in so many cases that is not what it is.  It is more of a tear down than a build up or a battle ground than a safe haven.  And that is a major problem.  I’ve heard people say that the problem with America today is that they took prayer out of the schools and I understand why they say that.  But I also feel that one of the major problems in the world is that we have taken appreciation, acceptance, love and encouragement from our homes.  

John says, “All of us have a blend of strengths and weaknesses in each area that makes us unique. And once you have a good understanding of how the other members of your family are designed, it becomes easier for you to be more sensitive to each other and to express love for each other.”

He goes on, “I’ve heard that for every negative remark to a family member, it takes four positive statements to counteract the damage. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the positive aspects of each other’s personality and express unconditional love for each other, both verbally and nonverbally. Then the home becomes a positive environment for everyone.”

And that is what we really want.  Isn't it?  So where are we going to start today?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

“You are able to beat the odds only if you have the discipline to keep going when others quit.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2016-02-02) from his book, 3 Things Successful People Do: The Road Map That Will Change Your Life (p. 143). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But it can be so easy to quit, can’t it?   I mean, life is so tough.

John tells this story, “On an October evening in 1968, a group of die-hard spectators remained in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium to see the last finishers of the Olympic marathon. More than an hour before, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia had won the race to the exuberant cheers of onlookers. But as the crowd watched and waited for the last participants, it was getting cool and dark. It looked as if the last runners were finished, so the remaining spectators were breaking up and leaving when they heard the sounds of sirens and police whistles coming from the marathon gate into the stadium. And as everyone watched, one last runner made his way onto the track for the last lap of the twenty-six-mile race. It was John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania. As he ran the 400-meter circuit, people could see that his leg was bandaged and bleeding. He had fallen and injured it during the race, but he hadn’t let it stop him. The people in the stadium rose and applauded until he reached the finish line. As he hobbled away, he was asked why he had not quit, injured as he was and having no chance of winning a medal. ‘My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race,’ he answered. ‘They sent me to finish the race.’”

Keep at it.  Don't quit.  You have been sent to finish the race.

So are you going to keep at it?

Monday, July 25, 2016

“When you fall, make the best of it and get back on your feet.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2016-02-02) from his book, 3 Things Successful People Do: The Road Map That Will Change Your Life (p. 122). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Here is a good thought that John quotes from Austin O’Malley who asserted, “The fact that you have been knocked down is interesting, but the length of time you remain down is important.”

John goes on, “As you travel on the success journey, you will have problems. Are you going to give up and stay down, wallowing in your defeat, or are you going to get back on your feet as quickly as you can? Or as a college friend of mine used to say, ‘I’m never down; I’m either up or getting up.’”

I love that attitude, “I’m never down; I’m either up or getting up.”

John then says, “A lot of people don’t think that way. Some have been down so long that they’re more comfortable lying down than they are getting back up. It has become a way of life for them. In fact, some not only stay down, but they will try to trip you up. Since they’re no longer interested in getting up, their goal in life is to pull someone else down to make themselves feel better. If you know people who act like this, steer clear of them.”

He finishes this section with, “When you fall, make the best of it and get back on your feet. Learn what you can from your mistake, and then get back in the game. View your errors the way Henry Ford did his. He said, ‘Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.’”

I was reading in Revelation in the Bible this morning and I found this in 14:13 (NLT), “Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them.”  It says, they will rest.”  The key is our rest is out ahead so we are to keep at it.  


So how are you doing today, are you getting up or are you already up?

Friday, July 22, 2016

“When things go wrong, the natural tendency is to look for someone to blame.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2016-02-02) from his book, 3 Things Successful People Do: The Road Map That Will Change Your Life (p. 118). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Maybe you’re in a bad situation and you are wondering whose fault it is.  But John says, “The next time you experience a failure, think about why you failed instead of who was at fault. Try to look at it objectively so that you can do better next time.”

He then shares from his friend, Bobb Biehl a list of questions to help you analyze any failure.  Here they are:

“• What lessons have I learned? • Am I grateful for this experience? • How can I turn the failure into success? • Practically speaking, where do I go from here? • Who else has failed in this way before, and how can that person help me? • How can my experience help others someday to keep from failing? • Did I fail because of another person, because of my situation, or because of myself? • Did I actually fail, or did I fall from taking it? • Others: No one but you is responsible for the choices you make today. You may have been hurt or abused in the past, but it’s up to you to overcome that injury— just as you would a physical one— and move beyond it.”

John then says, “People who blame others for their failures never overcome them. They move from problem to problem, and as a result, they never experience success. To reach your potential, you must continually improve yourself, and you can’t do that if you don’t take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes.”

As Rick Warren says, Blaming is being lame.”  Accept responsibility and learn and grow from them. 


So do you have the problem of blaming?