Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Motivates you to Achieve your Goals.

Motivation is one of those fleeting things that is awesome when you have it and can feel like chasing wind when you don't. For me, motivation can be reclaimed but it does require some effort and self discipline. Here are a few things that help:
  • Clearly define in writing what the outcome I am trying to attain is, write about how it will feel as if I had already succeeded.
  • If I tell others about my goal make sure I realize that this can create a placebo affect and demotivate me (to understand this watch this TED talk -
  • Get engaged with the goal - do one thing that will bring me one step closer to the goal - a really cool way to motivate me to exercise is to take the next minimum step. For example - if I just can't will myself out the door to the gym, I go for a 15 minute walk. If I can't will 15 I go 5. Just getting engaged with fitness helps.
  • I change my environment - go hiking instead of gym, eat healthy food somewhere else, make a grocery list of healthy items
  • Remember my past successes
  • I reach out to the community - ask for help on my page, post to forums, go to my meeting.
Motivation is attainable, it isn't a mystical force we have to stumble upon. We can choose to be motivated and when it comes down to it, don't wait for motivation. Do something to move towards your goal before you are motivated. You can do it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Purpose of this Blog - Resistance

I have been thinking a lot lately about what this site is about and its overall purpose. Over the couple of years I have been writing it I have touched on productivity, prayer, Christian Life, GTD, random recipes, adventure, writing and many more. My posts generally result in prayer and tend to read like devotions but this isn't really the desired function of the site just how I think and what I generally need when I post. So what is the center to the chaos that is 12hourhalfday? Resistance

I get the term Resistance from Stephen Pressfield's book, the War of Art. Pressfield defines resistance as “an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”. I think of resistance as the Devil, the evil in this world that attempts to cut us off from God. Resistance can take on the forms of procrastination, laziness, writers block, depression, anxiety, and many more. It can be the little feeling that makes you turn left when you knew you should have turned right.

The articles on this blog revolve around the resistance in my life, the tools I use to fight it, and the things I flaunt in resistances face. Tools include prayer, devotions, meditation, the Word, exercise, yoga, nutrition, writing, journaling, and many more.

So while this site may come across as chaotic at times, at least now you know what I am fighting against.

My Prayer:

Lord, please help me to stay on purpose and to remember that whenever I am losing to resistance that I always have you to fill my heart and inspire, encourage, and guide me.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Key to Knowing and Trusting God

James 3:13: "“[Two Kinds of Wisdom] Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”"

I love the book of James; the letter reads like a collection of God inspired good advice. Be humble, listen more than you talk, listen before you become angry, remove immorality, follow the word, and more. James speaks from a humble heart knowing the word and knowing Jesus. Where does this come from? The Word! Becoming closer to God comes as easy as knowing the Word and knowing the Word comes as simple as reading the Bible.

Does this mean knowing God requires long, tedious study, bent over a book by candle light, giving up life to study the Bible all the time? No, even though that is a worthwhile sacrifice for some; but it does mean Study. Study is the key to aligning ourselves with the mind of God; this is how we learn to know him, to trust him, and to learn to live in a way that pleases him.

How do we do it? Read the Bible, read devotions, read something every day. Here are some resources to get started:
  • - The Daily bible verse is great. It gives you a small dose every day and even has an RSS feed.
  • - E-mailed devotional every two weeks
  • - Full sermon podcasts and a really awesome daily devotional tied to current events. RSS feed for the devotional isn't listed but you can get to it here.
Whether it is a verse a day, a daily devotional, or a podcast in the car - Study is a key to knowing God.
My Prayer:
Dear Lord,
Please reach into people's hearts and help them to know you. Help them to know that they can have a relationship with you and make it easy to do so.
In your ever present holy name,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prayer to Fill my Heart with Prayer

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear Lord,
I am sinful and faulted and do not always praise you, I do not always pray, give thanks in all circumstances, I more often then not, act in a way that is not pleasing to you. I praise you Lord and thank you for my life, I thank you for humbling yourself and dying on the cross so that I may be free from sin and live with you forever. I thank you for my time in this world and thank you for the gifts you have given me and the gifts you will give me.
Dear Lord, I pray to you to help me, help me follow your will not mine, help me to live in prayer because I know I cannot do it without you Lord. I love you Lord and thank you once again for what I have and what I will have.

In Jesus's holy name I pray.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eating my Own Dog Food

I talk a lot on this blog about love, compassion, selflessness and caring but my own sinful nature wins out more often then when I give over to God's will and even when clearly being told the Lord's will I often say no. I feel like Paul:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Romans 7:15

My prayer:
Lord, Please fill my heart with you to the point where I am not even there anymore. Thank you for the realization that I am sinful and incapable of good, smash me down and rebuild me as you want me. 

This I pray in your name,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

About Love - God Does the Hard Work for Us

“[More on Love and Hatred] For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”
1 John 3:11

 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:7-12

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:44

The Bible is amazing! We are not only given instructions, we are aided each step of the way to complete them. When I first read in the Bible that we should love our neighbors (even our enemies) I felt like I was being asked too much. Since my mind was always focused on earning my way to salvation the concept of loving everyone especially people I don't like and people that have wronged me seemed impossible.
Through sin the human race was barred from contact with God. We couldn't be close to him any more but through God's gift to us, we are open to God and able to know him.
John explains in his first book that God is love. Since we can know God we can know love. The exciting thing about this is God commands us to love but he also set things up so we can know love through him; HE IS DOING THE WORK FOR US!
I love the Bible; every time I read it I get more excited about God's gifts of grace and what that means for me.

My Prayer: 
Dear Lord, Please help me to let go and let you take over. Thank you for doing the hard work for me. Amen

Monday, February 14, 2011

About Love - Listening and Understanding

James 1:19
 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
Understanding, listening , and seeing things from another person's perspective are hard things for me. I find myself often in conversation with someone, and find that instead of listening I am just waiting for my chance to speak, to be heard, and am not really trying to see the other person's point of view. This really bothers me as I want to be an example of understanding, I want to be a good listener, in fact I want to be there, I don't want to be the selfish guy who just wants to talk. What can I do?

1. Affirmation: The Person I am Talking to is the Most Important Person in the World at That Moment
The first thing I do is constantly remind myself of the affirmation, "This person is the most important person in the world" and in that conversation I am going to treat them that way. I am not only going to listen, I am going to pay attention to what they have to say verbally and non verbally and I am going to be sincerely interested because if I am not sincerely interested, I will retreat to my own thoughts and not listen to what they have to say. I learned this technique from my Mom, she taught me a prayer before talking "Dear Lord, please remind me that this person I am talking to is a child of God and my brother or sister in Christ"

2. If it is over the phone - take notes. For real, this is awesome because of the conversation get's off topic you can ask questions about things talked about earlier in the conversation. If I am talking to someone and they reference things earlier in the conversation, I know they care.

3. Get Things off your mind - Taking personal time to meditate, journal, and reflect can help put you in a centered place which will help have a more present frame of mind for a conversation.

4. Be a lifelong learner - There are lots of resources available to help you learn to be an active listener, look into them and always be open to new techniques. This, in itself is an act of love for those around you because learning how to be there, learning how to understand shows that you love others.

5. Ask about feelings. Understanding requires paying attention to more than just the content of a subject, it also requires analysis of the emotional product of the subject. How did an event feel? Learning about the feelings involved shows the speaker that you care about them, not only about the information.

I am not the best listener, in fact I can be an example of the worst but I want to be better and these are just a few tips that I have learned; please share your tips for listening, understanding, and being a more loving person.

My Prayer: 
Father God in Heaven, 
Your commandment to us is to love one another and I thank you for that, I thank you that we are commanded to do something that brings me so much joy and brings joy to others. Please continue to talk through me and help me to show the kind of love you desire. In your ever present Holy name.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Who am I in Christ?

The question of identity lead me back to the Bible.

With a quick web search I found:
Romans 8:14,15
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
Galatians 3:26
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
John 1:12
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

To revisit the question, "Who am I?" I can truthfully answer that I am a Child of God because I believe it in faith and it is stated in the Word but, what does it mean to be a Child of God? It means we are heirs to his kingdom! Through Jesus's sacrifice we are able to inherit eternity!

Romans 8:16-17

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

My Prayer:

Father God, I can never comprehend the full sacrifice you made through sending your Son to die for me, but I can read your Word and see the message that I am your child through that sacrifice and feel your Spirit well up in me. Thank you for eternity Lord! 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Who am I Without Using Labels- a recent paper for communications

My Comm103 class required us to write a paper on who we are without using labels. This was a tough assignment and thought it would be a good thing to share here.

The purpose of this paper is to describe who I am but without using labels. I will explore who I really am and then write about what I learned in the process of describing myself.
To start, I am oversensitive and too hard on myself; perfection is the goal and when I can't reach it (as it is impossible to reach it) I beat myself up. The drive to make myself better leads me to physical activities like riding my bike, going to the gym, and practicing yoga as well as learning how to listen, control my emotions, and improve my abilities to be empathic to others.. Having personal ambition isn’t all bad in that it leads me to be in good physical shape, to learn, and to treat people around me with love and compassion.  It has also driven me to have a relationship with God and to make the decision to serve the Church working in the pastoral ministry.  
To the point of what I learned; I learned that striving to be perfect and beating myself up for my mistakes is a big part of who I am.  This process I explored in writing this paper continually reminded me that I can’t be perfect and by exploring who I am I can conclude that it doesn’t matter because my imperfections are a big part of what makes me who I am. I also learned that I am more than just labels; describing myself through exploring my activities, faults, and strengths is a lot more complex than a plain label. For example, describing me as a Christian is simple and easy when compared to talking about being on a path to serve God and what my plans for my faith are. I also learned that I may not like myself at times, but generally I do like who I am especially when I explore myself in the manner of this paper.
Another way to talk about what I learned is to describe my feelings about the process. It was anxiety ridden.  It doesn’t just require hard thought to describe myself, it requires tension, and feelings from the gut. It was a tough process, but I enjoyed the end result. Through these feelings I learned that this paper didn’t just describe me, it explored who I am which has taken me a step further in developing my self-concept.
In conclusion, this paper helped me to learn how to explore who I am and taught me that my own concept of self is important; I believe that this process if repeated periodically will help to improve my relationships through helping me to understand myself.