Miracle Power of Routine (2)

If you aren’t convinced that routine has great power in your life, then let’s put it another way.  It’s the very power of your routine that is either blessing your life or punishing it.  The reason that it may have been so difficult for you to “follow through” with good resolutions you’ve made…is the negative power of your established routine.  Some people blame their environment, their mates, their kids, their jerk boss, or “the devil made me do it (or kept me from doing the right thing).”   Poppycock!

More often than not, a person’s lack of positive progress in their spiritual (or any other kind of) life is the personal (non demonic) gremlin of negative routine.

The good news:  Routines can change.

How long will it take? That pretty much depends on how convinced you are that it’s your routine (habitual patterns) that need to change.  Next start a simple process.  In other words….dumb it down!  Don’t make it complicated.  Start something simple for 15 minutes a day.  Find something with an established pattern…like a simple bible reading plan.

Regarding a physical routine, I found that getting on my stationary exercise bike and punching the button for one of the pre-set programs worked well.

The point is…K.I.S.S. it.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  Do repetitious things that you can do almost mindlessly.  Remember the point:  Establish a routine.  Once a routine is established (normally within 21 days) the new routine will begin taking over.

I found that it’s helpful to link a couple of routines goals together.  For me it was spiritual and physical.  The two together seemed to cross-support each other.

How did it work?  The only way I know to answer is like the blind man, “I once was blind, and now I see.”  Beyond that I’m not sure.  The technical explanation is above my pay grade.  But, it works.  Negative routines will progressively take you to a bad, fruitless, depressing place.   Positive routines will lift you like the wings of an eagle.

Gary

Routine Has Miraculous Power

For a long time…a lot longer than I care to admit…I couldn’t seem to convert good intentions into consistent actions.  The resulting lack of consistency kept me locked into immaturity on many levels…especially in my relationship with God.

I tried this.  I tried that.  I bought e-courses.  I turned over a thousand and one new leaves (okay a million and one).  I was disgusted and discouraged with myself.

<oh, yea…and I threw in healthy doses of blaming other people, circumstances, and a boat load of ridiculous excuses.>

Then I discovered…

Routine (habit) has miraculous power to help you do the things that “get you where you want to go” each day with more and more consistency with less and less effort (I don’t think that’s good grammar…but you get the point).

There are three areas of my life that I decided I wanted routine to master:

  1. My Spiritual Health
  2. My Intellectual Health
  3. My Physical Health

So, here is what I started doing…knowing that a pattern could be established in an average of 21 days if kept simple enough.  I also knew that, all things considered, each of the succeeding days would get easier.  In other words, routine would start carrying the load.

So, in simple terms, this is what I do:

  • My Spiritual Health: In some form, I read (or listen to) the Word of God…especially the Psalms…for about 10 minutes.  In the process of reading (or listening) I give it my full attention and connect with what I am reading.  I continue to think about/pray over/praise over what I’ve read (or heard) for another 5 minutes or so.  I also communicate with the Lord…normally praying in the spirit (tongues) for several minutes.
  • My Intellectual Health: I mostly read blogs I’ve subscribe to.  Sometimes I also catch up on world news for a few minutes.
  • My Physical Health: I ride my stationary bike for at least 10 minutes (sometimes 15 or 20)

<btw…I always set my coffee maker so that I get a fresh hot cup as I head for my office>

Details can change.  In fact you should be creative or it all gets a bit boring.  But, take 3 areas.  Make a plan.  Set a simple routine.  Start doing it every day.  You’ll discover that it sets a frame of mind and heart that is nearly magical/miraculous.

You feel better about yourself, and your relationship with God gets increasingly richer.   And routine keeps you on track.  Eventually, you don’t even have to make yourself take care of the three areas.  You just keep doing them…like breathing.

Amount of time spent:  The first hour of my day.

What have you found helpful from your life…please comment

Gary


If I Just Had More Time, I’d…

What kind of things would you do…learn…enjoy…if you just had more time in your day?  How much more connected would you be to family, friends, or God?

It’s safe to say that most of us think we would have more enjoyment in life, if there were more hours in a day.

Afterall, lack of enough time” is the real culprit, right?

I’ve said (or at least often thought), “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I’d like to do!” On the spiritual development side I’ve also said, “I could spend more quality time with God, if I didn’t have to spend so much time doing the things that help others find more quality time with God.” <That’s me manifesting a spirit of stupid>

But let’s be honest, haven’t you given some similar sounding excuses?  Come on…tell the truth.

Then I read one of my favorite blogs, “MEN WITH PENS.” The latest entry was a wake-up call for me.

Do yourself a favor. Take 2 minutes to read it.  (right here)

Gary

Beating Frustration (3)

Frustrated?  Kiss a dog!  Okay, maybe not literally.  As I was looking for a picture to illustrate this third post on the subject of beating frustration, I saw this and it tickled me….then, I went and vomited in my wastebasket.  <but I digress>  I actually have a helpful point to make….so please read on…

Here’s the deal dude.  You have to “lighten up” a little….maybe a whole lot.  One of the big causes of your frustration is taking everything too seriously.

“But what’s going on in my life IS serious,” you say.  Okay, let me fine-tune what I said a smidge.  Ready?

One of the big causes of your frustration is taking YOURSELF too seriously.

Here are some facts:

  • Your way isn’t always the right way.
  • Your opinion isn’t always the right opinion…or even the truth.
  • Success in this thing (you fill in the blank) doesn’t really depend on you having all the answers
  • Success in this thing (you fill in the blank) doesn’t depend on you doing all the work
  • Everyone else but you are not incompetent or uncommitted
  • God isn’t expecting everything from you that you are expecting of yourself

That’s just a starter list.  What do you think could be added to that list?  Please comment.

The point:  It’s been too much about you for too long.  You’ve become friends with the spirit of stupid and it’s giving you an ulcer and keeping you locked in a prison of frustration.

Simple Solution (although it will take a lot of practice and refocus on Whom (that would be God) that you are actually trusting for your life:

  • Intentionally off load the weight of your trust from your own shoulders to His.
  • Intentionally honor those around you…all of them…(at least in your heart, but also verbally) with anything and everything that can be honored and appreciated.

Actively and intentionally trusting God is a HUGE thing.  In fact the degree of frustration you feel is a good meter on where your honest trust is placed.  And, purposely looking for good and honoring it in those around you is far and away
more important than you can imagine.  You may be surprised how much power it has to quench your frustration and release their potential.

The time to start is now….unless, of course, your way has been working out for you.

Btw…this includes your approach to spiritual growth because too many Christians take themselves too seriously regarding their spirituality.  And, that’s not spiritual…it’s religiosity.  But, that’s for another article.

TODAY:

FIND PLAY IN YOUR DAY

Gary

Beating Frustration (2)

Frustration proves that you’re alive. The only way to
beat it permanently is…well…taking “ye ol’ dirt nap.”

I got so frustrated once that I saw an open package of hot dog
buns…grabbed them…scrunched them…twisted them…pulled
them into pieces, and then…

…threw the scrunched, twisted, pulled-into-pieces chunkettes
into the garbage.

It was silly and stupid.  And, that’s what I felt like after my
baby tantrum was over….although, doesn’t the Bible say that

the Kingdom of God is like little children…babies…okay <sigh> that’s not what it’s talking about.  Anywho…

As I said, “Frustration proves that you’re alive.” It also proves…

  • You’re not satisfied with run-of-the-mill mediocre
  • You have passion
  • You’re gifted and talented

Now it’s also true that tearing up a bag of hot dog buns isn’t a good or even acceptable way to deal with frustration.  But, the point is…frustration doesn’t only prove that you’re an out-of-control nincompoop…at least for as long as it takes you to vent in some immature fashion.

So the questions:

  • What frustrates you?
  • What even makes you “angry” or dissatisfied?
  • What would you do to make the circumstance or situation better?

It’s absolutely a true statement that a person can very often discover their own areas of talent and gifting by discovering what is dissatisfying them.  BUT IT’S VERY IMPORTANT that you don’t blame shift.

The only effective way for you to beat this kind of frustration is ask yourself…

What can I do to make this better?

Back to the hot dog bun story.  That is the question I asked myself, “What can I do to make this better?” …(although a better time would have been before playing “the hulk” with the buns).

Btw…how foolish do you think I felt when I had to tell my wife what happened to supper? 🙁

At the moment that I tore up the buns, I was blame shifting…and the buns were the object of disapproval.  So, an important issue here…

When dealing with frustration never blame shift but instead take personal responsibility.  Not the kind of responsibility that produces guilt (an equally bad and non helpful solution).  But, instead…the kind of responsibility that says, “What can I do (in the short term and the long term) to make this better.”  Then, dude…take action on it. You’ll discover an amazing frustration buster by putting this article into practice.

TALK TO US.  WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU?  WHAT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS DO YOU HAVE?

(Continued…)

Gary




Beating Frustration (1)

Frustration is one of life’s simple pleasures, eh?  You’re probably wondering how I got this drawing of you when you thought nobody was watching, right?  Well, keep reading and I’ll share that little secret…

Okay, it’s not you…but it could have been more than once…twice?  A gazillion times?

But seriously…frustration is one of the most common emotional conditions known to mankind.  Everything seems to be going reasonably well and…….whoooooosh…….somebody happens to your well laid plans.

It’s not always somebody. Sometimes someTHING happens.  But more often than not there’s a someBODY somewhere in the mix.

So, now that I’ve stated the obvious, what’s the solution.  How do you beat frustration at its own ugly game?

There are a few practical things that I’m going to share with you that have worked for me.  They still work….when I remember to practice them.  Practice is a good word, because beating frustration takes a life-time of practice.

The one thing I’m going to mention today is a biggy.  And, it’s simply…

SLOW DOWN

We are addicted to speed.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a worse and maybe more devastating addiction than most drugs.  For one reason, we know drugs are bad.  We honor speed.

It’s going to take practice…but start now.  Take a deep breath.  I mean it!  Take a deep breath.  Let it out slowly.

Excessive speed is killing you emotionally.  Frustration is simply going to appear in this real deal world.  But, living constantly in the fast lane is only adding fuel to the fire.

Think about this.  Mull it over and over in your mind.  Ask God to reveal something to you as you ponder these words from Psalm 23, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.”

Let’s be honest here.  Speed has never solved any of your problems.  In fact it may have cost you a few (or many) bucks.

You’re going to need some peace to beat frustration.  And, you can’t catch peace by running after it.  Peace doesn’t run.

Finally, frustration won’t be beaten without God’s help.  And, God isn’t going to run to catch up with you.   So, slow down and come along side God at His speed.

(Continued…)

What have you done that has helped you in the battle with frustration?
Join in the conversation by commenting.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do.

Gary


Disobey God? Yep, You Have the Right!

Yes you do!  You have the right to disobey God because your circumstances (apples) are different?  He understands that you need to worry about your situation (apples).  It shows how responsible you are.

The Apostle Paul said to the Philippian Church, “Do not be anxious for anything.”  The Holy Spirit inspired that statement.  Apparently He didn’t realize you would have circumstances when it would make it okay to be anxious.

Solomon said, “Trust the Lord with ALL your heart.  Do NOT lean on your own understanding…”

But, the thing is….Solomon didn’t cover your base.  He didn’t realize that sometimes people need to lean on their own understanding.  It’s only smart, right?  Besides, it’s the responsible thing for you to do.  Your cunning will solve most any situation as long as you are conscientious enough to worry about it!

On the other hand, maybe not so much.  Maybe your stress factor will only complicate the issue.  Perhaps the tension will help you sleep better.  It’s possible that you enjoy the stomach pain.  After all, it’s helping make your relationships better, isn’t it?

-Or – You could train yourself to…

…pillow your head on the promises of God.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.  If you can convince God that your situation is the exception to His thoughts…then…
go for it. Do it your way!  Stress out! Worry!

However, maybe you’d like to learn what real responsibility is?  Huh, whuh-duh-yuh-think?  PERHAPS…just perhaps you’d rather learn being responsible is actually being RESPONSE-ABLE….Able to respond.

For me…Trusting God ALWAYS works out best!  He goes before me (instead of me going before Him) to make the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth.

My part:   Enjoy My Life!  That always works when God is Large and In Charge!

Gary