Physical fitness and spiritual fitness go hand in hand. Both are highly beneficial, but difficult to achieve. Most everyone wants to eat right and exercise to have a healthy, strong body. Most everyone wants a close intimate relationship with God and the inner peace that comes from that. Why don’t we do it?

This is what God has laid on my heart lately. I need to develop some better physical fitness routines and spiritual fitness routines. I have some people that are going to hold me accountable over the next 90 days to work at improving the health of my physical heart and my spiritual heart.

How does this happen? Well for me it was a decision I made. I basically said. “OK God I’m ready”. This is the journey He is taking me on. I know that for me to go to a new level of spiritual leadership I need to develop some new habits and eliminate some old habits. Anytime I feel stuck it is usually because I have gotten comfortable in a routine or rut.

To get unstuck physically, emotionally or spiritually you first need to make a decision to change.

Then you need to find your motivation. Why do you want to lose weight, exercise, read your Bible or pray? Is it because other people want you to do that or because it is something you should do, or is because you desire to change and grow and be a better example to everyone around you. Finding your motivation is critical to the long term success of improved fitness.

Once you find your motivation to make the change then you need to find some people to hold you accountable and to go on the journey with you. Developing new routines and habits is hard work and it really helps to have people asking how you are doing. It also helps to have someone to encourage you when you don’t want to go exercise or read or eat healthy.

Once you have your accountability in place, you need to develop a strategy and some practical goals. That is the stage I am in right now. The next step is to start, don’t wait until everything feels right. You need to start making changes today – Are you ready?

Deep Waters

“Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within.” That is from Proverbs 20:5 in The Message.

How do you get deep water in the heart? How do you gain wisdom to know what is right? Those are tough questions to answer. To gain wisdom we need to listen well. Mainly listening to God, through reading Scripture. There is incredible wisdom in the Bible, yet most people choose not to go there and dig deep.

Life experience can also bring wisdom if you listen well. If you are learning from your experience and make changes accordingly you gain wisdom. I have found that when I do the hard thing instead of the easy thing I gain wisdom and insight from that experience. Sometimes doing the right thing can be hard. When you know the right thing to do and then follow through and do it, you mature, grow and gain wisdom. Your waters get deeper and you have more to draw from.

When you know the right thing to do and choose not to do it, you go backwards, you get stuck in muddy waters. I believe courage and wisdom go together. When you have the courage to do the right thing you gain new wisdom from that experience.

Deepen the waters in your heart by digging into God’s word, learning from your experiences and having the courage to do what you know is right.

Checklist For Encouragers

Are you an encourager or a discourager? I believe that one of our purposes in life is to be an encouragement to the people in our lives. All of our relationships are improved when we encourage. The Bible talks a lot about encouraging one another. Here is a checklist for encourager’s:

  • Build each other up – Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her.
  • Respect leaders – Look for ways to cooperate with and make your leaders look good.
  • Hold leaders in highest regard – Don’t make critical comments about those in positions of responsibility. Say thank you to your leaders for their efforts and don’t talk behind their backs.
  • Live in peace – Search for ways to get along with people. This means holding your tongue and looking for common ground.
  • Encourage the timid – Remind them of God’s promises and that you believe in them.
  • Help the weak – Show love through acts of kindness and pray for them. Be generous.
  • Be patient – Plan to stay calm in situations or conversations that try your patience.
  • Resist revenge – Instead of planning to get even with those who mistreat you, do good to them.
  • Be joyful – Always remember that God is in control – people are drawn to a person filled with joy. Choose to be joyful.
  • Pray continually – The more you talk to God the more you will be able to encourage others.
  • Give thanks – When you give thanks your attitude towards other people changes. People like being around grateful people.
  • Avoid every kind of evil – Avoid situations where you will be drawn into temptation, remember you are na example to someone.
  • Plug into God’s Power – The Christian life is to be lived not on our own strength, but through God’s Power
  • Watch your words – the words you use every day determine the level of your encouragement.

Look for opportunities this week to encourage the people you work with, live with and bump into. Every conversation, every encounter with another person is a chance to encourage them.

Keys to Success at Work

Did you know that God is interested in your work and wants you to be highly successful at work? Here are ten practical work habits that will help you advance professionally:

  1. Pray for and develop s strong sense of purpose that energizes what you do.
  2. Be persistent – a new idea must go through 3 stages: resistance, tolerance and embracement.
  3. Learn continually, not only about work skills but yourself as well.
  4. Be decisive – the ability to make wise decisions. Define the problem, Define the expectations of those involved, Determine possible solutions, Take time to think.
  5. Be willing to take risks.
  6. Be “fail” safe by realizing – There is no such thing as failure, and life is a learning experience.
  7. Have a high work ethic. Be on time and give a full day’s work. Go the second mile.
  8. Learn to communicate with both the key decision makers and the people in the trenches.
  9. Believe in and act on making others great.
  10. Focus on what is important, not micro-management. Be willing to release some control. Ask yourself: What are my three strengths? What are my three weaknesses?

These keys to success at work come from the discipleship material I use at NewPointe. I just went over this with one of the guys I am meeting with and thought it was worth sharing. Hope it helps you today at work.

Patterns & Routines

The older I get the more I find myself liking familiar routines and patterns. It becomes a little more difficult to change or to be motivated enough to want to change. The longer you have done a certain routine like what you typically do when you get home from work, or how you go about buying groceries, the harder it is to change it up. We have patterns like the TV shows we watch, the Internet sites we visit, the friends we talk to, the words we use, the food we eat and even the way we talk to our spouse or children.

We all have certain patterns and routines that make us feel comfortable and safe. Some call this our comfort zone. Some of that is good, but it can also keep us from experiencing the best things in life. You see I don’t think God wants us to be comfortable and safe. Comfortable and safe means we are not going to make much of a difference. We do have an enemy that wants us to be comfortable and safe; to get stuck in certain routines and patterns that keep us ineffective.

What have you risked lately? Do you always play it safe in your relationships? Do you have some patterns or routines that are unhealthy? Do you usually take the easier road? For me selfishness usually keeps me in the comfort mode. I think it’s the same for most people. We want to be happy and do things that benefit us or improve our situations.

God tells us repeatedly in the Bible to be courageous, to be strong and courageous. We don’t need to be courageous if we are living comfortable, safe lives. What is one thing you can do starting this week that will make you a little more dangerous. What can you do to make our enemy a little nervous. What pattern or routine do you need to change that will get you out of your comfort zone? What can you start doing today that would surprise your spouse or your friends in a good way?

Go ahead, take a risk, do something different, do something that would make God smile and say that was courageous.