I’ve been looking to God lately for spiritual renewal. Can’t say I’m off track, and perhaps this is just what rest feels like after leading a season of change; but even still I’d like to renew a closeness that I know to be quite real and available to his disciples.
I tried a number of things. I practiced silence, but that was pretty quiet. I scheduled more regular quiet time routines, but they felt routine. I took a couple days to study, and came out with a few good nuggets – but not as much as I’d hope in proportion to the time I put in.
With the help of my darling wife (who always seems to be in cahoots with the Holy Spirit), I’m finding my renewal in faith. Brilliant. Right?
Life-practices built around that the conviction that there is a God, and that he is powerfully at work in the world, and will actively do that work in and around and through me when faith and prayer are practiced – that changes everything. That brings back to relationship that which often drifts over to religion. Wether it’s the answer to prayers or the waiting on prayers, I can feel my spirit renewed right now by faith.
The December/January edition of Fast Company was dedicated to productivity. Interviews and studies on what it takes to produce at your best. Ruminating over common themes and the most applicable stuff, I’ve come up with a list of things I’m going to try to incorporate into my daily life:
- Leave my alarm set at 5:40, six days a week. Consistent wake-up times train your body to be ready to go, instead of fighting the snooze bar. Also, this leaves me enough time for 20 minutes of prayer before kids and work demand my time.
- More protein for breakfast. Carbs just feel funny! Protien tells my body its ready for action.
- Mid-morning coffee. I’m in trouble if I need the energy just to wake-up, but the second boost later is quite welcome. I’m finding that a cup of coffee around 9-10 am gives me the second left, and helps fight off the afternoon crash.
- Keep a task list. Anything that will take more than 15 minutes needs to be scheduled. Any less can sit on this list until a small window of margin opens. Less than 2 minutes, I’ll just do it now. I’ve found that good old fashioned paper works well for this. I’m using an Evernote App to list out “projects” develop progress over time.
- Scan email early, but “do email” later. I’m at my best at the beginning of the day. I don’t want to waist my creative energy on the non-urgent and non-important. I have to check my email to see if something important did in fact come up, but clearing out the inbox is something I want to save until at least one big task has come first. I’ve found that little things can squeeze into the end of the day, but the big things won’t happen unless I claim that early.
- Use the lunch to break the routine. I’m guilty of working through lunch almost every day. I’m starting use a 20-min lunch to read the articles I’ve been meaning to read, rather than grind out more of the usual.
- Mid-afternoon personal phone call. Contact with people I love is a good recharge. A 5-10 minute break around 3:00 will boost me for the closing stretch… and is much healthier than grabbing a soda to live off the sugar!
- Shutdown knowing where you’ll pick back up. Clearing my desk and checking tomorrow’s calendar helps me feel like I’m not going to be blindsided by tomorrow.
- Read at night. Turning to TV to decompress doesn’t leave me satisfied. I can relax and enrich at the same time.
- Make the morning decisions at night. I’m setting my clothes out, packing my lunch, and gathering anything else that needs to leave with me for the day… the night before. Morning stress has strangely dropped now!
That’s a handful of things that have been making me more productive this month. Anyone else have good tips on productivity?
Dan confessed a life-long pornography addiction to his wife ten years ago. She took it great upfront, but the anger and havoc it created on her mind followed. He felt free, she felt worse. Setting up strict standards and an accountability partner was huge. Dan won’t see any movies with female nudity.
The draw of pornography is that it’s a microwavable solution to the slow cooker nature of the woman you married. Second, the variety men seek isn’t that accessible in the consistency of marriage. It’s an issue of settling for quick gratifying fixes over diligent blooming beauty.
Four out of ten pastors struggle with pornography. We need pastors and other Christians to be the hero’s of sexuality in our context today.
Don’t let others make you feel like their ministry is better – II Cor 5:11
Stay a little crazy for God. – II Cor 15:13
Be compelled by Christ’s Love – II Cor 15:14
Learn how to self correct. The book of James exhorts us to confess our sins. If the Holy Spirit corrects you in private, confront it in private. If you don’t you’ll be confronted in public. One of Satan’s craftiest tactics is to withhold the consequences of sin. The wages of sin is death, God covers that part. If sin is left without consequence or correction, we breed it.
Don’t let other people steel your calling. Growing churches will have rumblings of discontent – Acts 6. Criticism will try to steal your joy and calling.
Don’t build a “no” culture. Fiscal restrictions can be a killer. However, you need to spend time creatively exploring how it can be a yes. Leading with a “no” leads to a martyr culture.
Stop comparing. Social media is a billboard, not a diary. Celebrate what other churches are doing without feeling smaller.
Stop the emotional stuffing. 88% of pastor’s wives are or have suffered with depression. They need someplace to share their thoughts and needs, instead of isolation.
Don’t let destinations rule you. The summit is a state of mind. Celebrate the journey. Take time to care for yourself and your family.