A Deeper Vision

Zechariah Newman —  July 17, 2018

We all live out a vision for our life.

Some have prayed, planned, and written down their vision and maybe even put that vision in picture form on a vision board. Some are not actively, intentionally pursuing something, however, they are still headed toward a vision. It may be a vision your parents think you should have, friends, culture, or celebrities, but you have a vision.

Our vision is revealed in our actions that we take everyday.

I was reflecting on different points in my life and the different visions for my life that I have had over the year and lessons I have learned.

In high school, my vision was to get a college football scholarship. I dedicated myself in the weight room and in the classroom for that sole purpose. When that dream was close to fruition and smaller colleges were contacting me, I decided to not pursue that vision.

I had met a girl. This girl was going to a college that was above my football playing level so I decided to follow her instead. While in college, I all of a sudden didn’t have motivation to work out since I was not playing football. I also didn’t put my full effort in the classroom because I didn’t see the point without football. I was lost and visionless and as a result I never finished college. It worked out though because that girl and I have now been happily married for fourteen years.

In Proverbs 29:18 it states, “Where there is no vision the people perish.”

Where there is no vision, you die!

I was dying until my vision sparked and I found success again. What is your vision for your life? Have you prayed about it?

Vision roots us on the path God has set before us!

Without a strong vision it is like swimming across a river from one side to another. The river pushes you downstream. If you don’t have a marker you are shooting for on the other side of the stream, you will end up so far downstream from where you began. When you do have a marker, you need to go up stream from that location to reach it. Vision is that marker.

Our only way to get vision that will last is one that is set before us by God.

In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You were created for purpose!

God when forming the world looked at this point in time and saw you. He not only knit you in your mother’s womb, but He prepared things for you to do! Have you asked Him?

The Bible will give you the general will of God and that’s extremely important. The Bible will not give you the specific will of God though, that is the Holy Spirit that will do that part. Asking God, who created you, what you should do is kind of important. I know that was genius level thinking right there.

What He has called you to will look different than what He has called me to. That’s the way it is suppose to work. We are not called to the same things. When we try to act all the same way, we get off our God given task.

God has invited you and I into a God sized dream. Expect others to not understand. Expect family and friends to not get it; they don’t need to understand. At the end of our life, we will give an account to God of what He has entrusted you and I with, nothing more and nothing less. Be faithful in your dream endeavors because the stakes are high. Don’t give up and push through. If God has placed you there, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to ponder: What do you feel like God is calling you toward?

When are you tempted to follow what other people say?

Prayer: God, please speak to my heart and mind what you want me to do. Help me to be focused on what you have for me not what others think I should be doing. Thank you for setting things for me to do. I pray that I will be faithful! Amen.

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Words Hurt

Zechariah Newman —  July 10, 2018

“You suck at baseball!” one boy yelled toward my seven year old son.

“Is he ever going to hit the ball?” another jeered.

My boy at 3

My son’s eyes went from wonder and enjoyment to tears and heartache as his teammate’s words cut deep down into his heart. Our peers can be cruel no matter the age and words have impact.

I went over to talk to my son to check on his heart. “Can I be done hitting now?” he questioned. As he moved out into the field, the whole team ran for not supporting each other.

On the drive home after practice we talked about what had unfolded and what hurt. Through a soft voice in the back seat he said, “Dad is it true? Do I suck?”

I don’t know about you, but I have asked this many times when people have said hurtful things. It’s a record that can shut us down and stop us from even trying. This was my son’s first year of baseball and he was excellent at it, but that day he struggled to hit the ball.

One day and one word could have stopped him from playing a sport he loves and could stop you from pursuing your dreams and I don’t want that for either of you.

When your brain or another person hurls words that are less than helpful, l I want you to do two things.

Reframe.

We need to reframe to stay on course. Jon Acuff said, “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Comparison is poison.” It was my son’s first year of baseball and his first year swinging a bat. He was less than great if he had been playing for years.

Who are you comparing yourself too?

Often we compare ourselves to someone that has been practicing our craft for years and then begin to wonder what is wrong with us. It’s an easy trap to fall into. The only person we should compare ourselves to is our past self. Are you growing? Awesome! Focus on the growth to reframe.

The next step to reframe is to judge the source.

I’m not talking about comparison, however, use your eyeballs. For my son, the coaches had told him several times that he has natural talent and he was batting a ridiculously good batting average. The source was two boys that struggle with kindness.

When people say hurtful words don’t just accept them as facts. The source that is infallible for you and I is God. God doesn’t make mistakes and He made you for such a time as this.

The stronger our identity in Christ is, the less others’ words will affect us. Remind yourself about what the King of the universe thinks about you. Here is a list for you to read if you are struggling with who He says you are.

Remain.

Once you have reframed the words of others you and I must remain on the path that God has set before us to reach God given dreams.

Practice makes improvement. Improvement over time is what our dream chasing journey is all about. As you remain on track you will need to remember to forgive.

You will be tempted to prove people wrong and to be honest; this is terrible fuel. You will be tempted to make people eat their words or give them a nice glance of, I told you so. Again, proving others wrong is not good fuel. People speak today’s reality into an unknown future. Forgive anyway.

Forgiveness is for you; not for the seven and eight year old boys your dad wanted to slap on the baseball field. Forgiveness is for your heart to be able to focus back on your assignment instead of the wounds that have been inflicted.

Sometimes we struggle to forgive. We need to bring those things to God in authenticity. Tell Him you are struggling to forgive and ask Him for help. He will be faithful to do it.

You must reframe to remain on the path set before you. Your dream that God has placed in your heart is too valuable to set aside. No one knows what you can develop and change into except God. Trust Him to mold and change you into what He wants you to be. He will be faithful to do that too! Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to ponder: What words about your dream have you accepted as true?

Where are you struggling to forgive?

Prayer: God, words of others have hurt my heart and I have accepted many of them as true. I don’t want to listen or compare myself to anyone anymore. Help my eyes to be focused on you and what you have for my life. Forgive those who have wronged me or someone I love. Help me to grow into what you have for me. Amen.

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Dream Chasing Legacy

Zechariah Newman —  June 25, 2018

Both eyes should be firmly focused on the legacy that you will pass down.

Often our motivation for our dreams can be self focused and small. We look at what is happening to us in the day today, but really what we should be looking at is the inheritance that we will be passing to our children. When we see our dream chasing journey as one of inheritance, our actions change for the better. We look at the health of our journey, we have a greater level of grit and motivation, and our actions become deliberate instead of mindless.

In Proverbs the writer states, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.”

Often we consider money and money alone when we think of inheritance, however,a legacy that has impact is so much greater than just money. In fact if you just pass down money, the money will be a curse and not a blessing to your children.

Four important base level concepts will help you and I pass along a legacy of dream chasing that will be an invaluable inheritance.

1. Tension or Problem. Knowing the difference between a tension to be managed or a problem that needs to be overcome is a necessary legacy principle. Teaching and passing down the inheritance of knowing the difference between a tension or a problem, will save your children’s children frustration level.

An example of this is work/life balance. You and I need to work. It’s important and I for one like to eat. My family needs me to spend time with them as well. I can’t work constantly and give them what they need from me. Work is not the enemy and neither is my awesome family. Manage the tension instead of fighting the problem and success will be found.

2. Stand on the Word. The Bible is the inspired word of God and it’s the authority, not our feelings and emotions. Knowing to stand firm no matter what others say or how you feel gives you the backbone you need to ride out all that life throws at you. If you don’t stand on the Word, you will be on top of the world one second and the next you’ll go emo.

3. Speak as if Attained. Words have power! Don’t underestimate the power of words to your children especially. We can be tempted to speak mainly to the negative actions or our children’s shortcomings. When we speak to the positive in a way that is as if they are living that out now, our children want to be that and are encouraged.

Today is my son’s eighth birthday and I refer to him as a mighty man of God. Why? Because he has attributes that are in line with that statement even if they are underdeveloped. I want to encourage and exhort even the smallest attributes. Don’t wait for perfection to speak life into the next generation. Rather call out the small as if it’s mature.

4. Model. “Do as I say, not as I do.” is a stupid statement. You won’t be perfect. You must model what a man of God chasing Godly dreams should look like. Modeling what it looks like to apologize when you come up short and fail. What it looks like to put God and your family before your dream. What to sacrifice and what things to never compromise on in your dream pursuit. More will always be caught than taught.

Legacy should never be an afterthought. You must chase your dreams, do it in a Godly way, and pass on the dreaming legacy. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to Ponder: Why does legacy matter to you?

Where do you do well with legacy and need to persist?

Where do you need to improve?

Prayer: God, thank you for entrusting us with our children. Help us to raise families that chase wild, crazy God sized dreams for generations to come. Give us strength to push through the hard times and help us to celebrate the good you have done. Show us what our children need and help us to meet them where they are. Amen.

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When chasing a major goal it is easy to get to the frustration point of wanting to give up. A year ago I wanted to throw in the towel.

I was talking with my wife about the prospect of stopping this blog saying, “How long do I keep doing this without getting the results I want?”

She patiently listened and told me, “That’s a great question.” She did not give me an answer, just merely allowed me to wallow for a minute. I take full advantage of my wallowing opportunities. It’s like a secret ninja skill of mine. She knows me well enough that I will get out of my funk with just a little time. I tend to react very strong like a bungee cord jumper with emotions, plummeting way down and then come back to level on both positive and negative things. Days are either the worst days or the best days ever.

hope deferred

In the state I was in, it all comes down to the difference between hope and expectation.

Do you know the difference between hope and expectation?

When we put on hope, we have energy, fuel, and passion. However, when we put on expectations, we annoy our spouse with our sob story. Expectations operate by a set of rules and timelines in our minds that we totally make up.

We put on expectations with goals, people, and life in general. When things don’t match what we have in our heads, we get upset. What a robber of peace expectations can be.

Expectations will kill your dreams if you are not careful and make you miserable to be around.

Expectations will kill relationships, businesses, and your desire to do anything. Expectations for me are usually unrealistic and give me zero accountability; it’s always someone else that is at fault. My expectations move and change and are always out of reach with reality.

Hope brings life, but expectations bring death and destruction.

Hope leads to faith which is the precursor to action. Hope is the foundation to true life change. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Hope doesn’t have an expiration point. Hope doesn’t hold others hostage. Hope doesn’t quit; only expectations do those things.

It is a fine line between hope and having expectations. The true test is whether you are feeling energized and empowered or discouraged and ready to give up. God is in hope and our flesh is in expectations. One leads to life and the other death. Choose life.

Be aware of what you are allowing to stay in your mind and heart. Are you holding onto negative emotions, having a good pity party? Holding bitterness and the past is a sure fire sign that you are living on past expectations.

Instead of bitterness, try gratitude. Gratitude often ignites hope. A simple exercise that helps me is writing down what I am thankful for daily. Make it small or large, but do it daily. You will begin to focus on hope instead of the expectations that were unmet.

Unmet expectations kill hope for the future. So choose hope this week. Choose life as you head in the directions of your dream. Choose to keep God first place and hope will abide. Pick up hope early and often, and when expectations start to creep in acknowledge them, however, turn back to hope. Be blessed on your journey.

Are you hopeful?

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One of my favorite speakers didn’t have the easiest beginning. Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome.

This syndrome is a rare disorder that is characterized by the lack of limbs. Nick was born with no arms and legs. Nick Vujicic struggled in his childhood years until he came to terms with this disability. At the age of seventeen he started his nonprofit, Life Without Limbs. He has written several books, has a few songs recorded, and is an amazing motivational speaker.

Nick is a great reminder to me about my own weakness.

We can get consumed with what we can’t do or what we are not good at doing. I have a go to list of woes.
I didn’t write for years because I struggle with grammar and spelling. I know my spelling is awful because sometimes Microsoft Word doesn’t even understand what I’m attempting to spell. It just underlines the word in red and says, “No Spelling Suggestions.” Thanks for the help Microsoft!

I was a C student, dropped out of college, and struggle to stay focused.

That’s just a few of my weaknesses and if I’m not careful, I can fixate on those things. I can feel unworthy to ever type another word. I can feel like a failure.

What weaknesses of yours do you fixate on and believe disqualifies you?

Weaknesses are not an excuse to stop you from chasing your dreams. With a few tweaks, a weakness can become a strength. When we are aware of a weakness, we lean on our God instead of our strength. We end up pursuing our craft with humility when we have an awareness of shortcomings. It is easier for you and I to remember that if we aren’t leaning on God we have nothing.

Lean on God to turn a weakness into a strength.

A weakness also forces you to be more creative than you would otherwise be. My reaction when I am strong in an area is to muscle my way through things. Muscling your way through life is a good way to be tired and discouraged.

Creativity gets you and I further than muscles. I know you are yoked and this is a disappointment, but it’s an advantage to most of us. Weaknesses give us no choice but to be creative. Instead of focusing on the problem of your weaknesses, you and I need to focus on creatively seeking solutions.

What doors may creatively working around your weakness open? When we aren’t creative, we see a single door and push with all of our might. However, when we are creative, we find that there are multiple doors.

Focus on a solution to your weakness and open up a better opportunity.

Muscling our way to our dreams lures us into the trap that we are able to achieve our dream on our own. We try to lone wolf it and fail. When you know you’re weak, you lean on other people.

My wife corrects my blog posts and I hired an editor for my book. I have hired coaches and brought in friends to help me. I have a team and I know I need them. You need a team to help you with your weaknesses as well.

Weaknesses remind us of our need for others.

If you think you don’t have any weaknesses your weakness is blindness. That is one of the hardest deficiencies to work around. Surround yourself with people that can speak into your blindspots.

Never let your weakness stop you from chasing your dreams. The apostle Paul had a thorn in his side that God did not remove and he had this to say. “But he said to me, ‘My grace sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11.

Embrace your weakness and look to God. Be blessed on your journey.

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Overcoming Goal Failure

Zechariah Newman —  February 25, 2018

Since November I have been working out four to five days a week. Well, for the most part.

This last week I did absolutely nothing on my health related goals. Unless hurling chips and salsa into my mouth counts as a workout. I was feeling a whole lot of awesomeness about myself and my goals this morning. It’s really motivating having a week of failure.

When we set new goals, we often don’t plan for the failures and setbacks. When I wrote my goals I was convinced my biceps grew and my abs became shredded with a mere writing of the goals. I went from dad bod to Arnold in two seconds. I have found this isn’t quite an accurate picture of goal setting.

The road to goals is bumpier with a lot more failure involved. There are a lot more LOWS on the path to victory.

Overcoming those lows is really the key to achieving goals and in turn dreams, but how do you turn a week of failure into a bump instead of an end of a goal?

I have found that five guidelines help me to press through moments of subpar, sodium enriched weeks.

Grace. Often it is easier for me to give grace to other people than to give grace to myself. Instead I should on myself. I should be beyond this, is my favorite record to play in my mind.

You will have moments of setbacks and failures. Give yourself grace. You aren’t perfect and that is never going to change. Here is a secret; no one else is perfect either. If you don’t apply grace to your own journey, you will focus on your failures more than the goal.

Grace allows you to get back on the pony and ride into the sunset.

Stop-loss. A stop-loss in finances is a predetermined sell price of a commodity or security to limit a loss. So if you are losing money on a stock, you have a certain low price to sell no matter how you feel.

With my goals Sunday is my stop-loss.

On Sunday I look at the last week and reestablish my time calendar for the next week. You can read about that here. If my last week sucked, it’s time to stop the slide and reestablish the schedule and goals that I want. This makes sure a heart attack is not my wake up call to change.

Establish a stop-loss to limit the dip in your goal performance.

Vision. Vision is crucial to any journey. Along the way it will get clouded and we need to dust off our why behind our actions. I take care of myself physically so that I can live a life full and overflowing no matter my age. I want to be able to walk my daughters down the aisle and play with grandkids. Also, my wife deserves the best version of me and that includes my physical appearance.

Stay rooted in a vision that fuels your action.

Accountability. You know what’s a whole lot of fun? Admitting to people you respect that you didn’t live out something you told them you would do.

Accountability is about as fun as a root canal.

The effectiveness of accountability is beautiful though. I find that it is most successful when you are asking someone to hold you accountable in an area where you are both working to become better at a similar goal.

Find like minded individuals to tell when you are awesome and when you are less awesome.

Celebrate. The journey is long. Celebrate wins along the way or you will burnout and give up.

I’m celebrating that my system worked and I will wake up at five in the morning and pump some iron. That’s right, I’m pretty much celebrating a loss. That’s how I roll. In all actuality, I am celebrating my corrective behavior.

What can you celebrate along the way that will be impactful and get you to move forward?

Celebrate to have the energy to push through the failures.

A week or longer doesn’t stop your journey. The only thing that stops your journey is stopping. Call it a break, call it letting the field lay fallow. Just don’t stop and don’t give up. Push through the end of your story. It could be the best part of the story. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you push through failures and setbacks?

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Conquering Busyness

Zechariah Newman —  February 19, 2018

The balloon ripped through the air knocking into a fence, then getting blown into trees, and a power line. At last, it peacefully flew straight up until it was out of sight.

As I watched this poor balloon getting pounded by the wind, I reflected on my life and yours.

We live in such a busy culture.

We ask, “How are you doing?” “Busy!” “Overwhelmed!” “Slammed!” “Hustling!” Like we get a gold star or brownie button for busyness. I’ve checked and they don’t give those out. I was sorely disappointed and it took me a week to get over it.

You don’t get an award for busyness. In fact, you get treated like that poor balloon.

The wind determined what the balloon did, but if you and I care about putting our mark on this planet, we need to be more like a plane. A plane sets a course, a balloon reacts.

For years I would get to Sunday and look at my week and say, “What do I have to do this week?” Those things would be added to my calendar and that would determine how busy I would be.

Sound familiar? I think most of us operate in this manner, keeping a manic pace until we burnout and lay on the ground and die or at least wish we could die.

Your dream isn’t going to get accomplished this way. You can’t afford to live in this manner.  You and your family deserve better.

The only way to carve out time is to go about your week differently.

You must make a calendar on who you want to become, not what you have to do.

The first step to this is for you to pray. We can easily write down what we want, but as a Christian we should ask God for wisdom.

Then ask yourself, what do I want my life to look like?

When you start making this list you can be tempted to think about what your parents want or close friends. You may also ask yourself, what will people think? Block those things out as much as possible.

On my list of what I want life to look like is to be a writer, coach, and speaker. It is also to have a close relationship with Christ, be physically fit, rested, peaceful, adventurous, tight-knit family, and have a close marriage to name a few.

Let me ask you again, what do you want out of life?

The next question you need to ask is, what activities do I need to do to make my life the way I want?

Wanting is great, but if you aren’t doing anything it isn’t going to happen. Rocket science, isn’t it?

We must plan out what activities we need to do to achieve what we want life to look like. So if I want to be fit physically, I must workout and if I want to be close to Christ I need to spend time with Him.

What activities do you need to plan?

The last thing we must do is to plug in those activities into a calendar.

At this point we need to take our activities and put them into a calendar as an appointment.

On my calendar, I have an appointment with the gym five days a week. I have dinner with my family on the calendar five nights a week. I have quiet time with God for a half hour daily.

These are appointments I will not break.

If someone asks, I have an appointment during those times. I can schedule with them in the open spaces, which are not dedicated to a purpose.

What or who are you going to make an appointment with?

Only when we are proactive with our planning will life begin to change. If you value something, it should make it on your calendar as an appointment. Life is too short; your mission matters too much. Intentionally impact your time and watch it work for you instead of against you. Be blessed on your journey.

How are you intentional with your time?

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I love me some gravy!

Gravy is one of my favorite foods and I eat my fair share of it around the holidays. That may or may not be the reason I’m headed to the gym more in 2018.

As I was thinking about gravy and its gloriousness, I also thought about how it is awful on its own. Gravy needs to be paired with things to be good. It is an addition to the meal.

No one sits down and thinks I’m going have a bowl full of gravy for dinner. Well, if you do, you need some help and a personal trainer.

Your dream is just like gravy.

When your dream is in alignment it is wonderful. Your dream adds to life and enhances everything. You are more alive and engaged when you pursue your dream that God put in your heart.

Here is the thing though I think sometimes you may be like me. You try and just shovel that gravy all by itself into your pie hole. You forget that family and God come before the dream.

Only when we put family and God first does your dream become a blessing and not a curse. We can blame our dream for making our lives miserable when it is nothing, but the way at which we are pursuing our dreams.

If you are struggling to know if your dream is in the right place check these 4 things.

Are you pursuing a dream? Look, mashed potatoes with nothing on them is just gross. Your dream needs to be pursued or your life is a dryer version of what it could be. Pursuing your dream will make you a man on fire if you stay grounded.

Accountability! Accountability is so much fun! I figured if I put an exclamation point it would be easier to swallow. I hate accountability, because I would rather just do what I want even when it harms me and those I love. The reality is that accountability will help you to stay focused on what truly matters in a way that is honorable.

Priority. Live out a priority that starts with God, spouse, children, then your awesome dream. When you do this, you are living in a way that makes sure you have your dream and the things that matter most. This will mean that you will run a race at a slower pace, however, it also means your dream won’t suck.

Calendar. Most of us make a calendar with what we have to do and then fill in the gaps. I think you should change that approach. Instead, ask yourself who do you want to become and add those things in your calendar first. A few of the things that are on my list are: close to Christ, physically fit, tight-knit family, a growing marriage, a writer, speaker and coach. My calendar has those things on it first and then I plug my to-do list after.

Pursue your dream! Pursue your dream in an and fashion, not an or way. Faith, family, and dream. Not faith, family, or dream. When you chase your dream with the end in mind, you will get to enjoy the gravy. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you make sure your dream is a blessing and not a curse?

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Walking Dead

Zechariah Newman —  April 10, 2017

“Most men die at twenty-five, but aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.” A famous quote from Benjamin Franklin describes most of our lives. A search for safety and security has most of us full of fear and trying to control our worlds in one way or another. As we withdraw from adventure and choose security we lose our lives. The more we try and control people, security, future events, and our happiness, the more we choose death over life.

Trading living for existing, we are walking dead.

Photo by KC Newman photography

Many of us know that Jesus died for our eternal lives. We often forget that we are meant to live now, not merely survive our time on this rock.

We are meant to chase adventure and live a life that is overflowing. A life of peace, adventure and freedom is yours, however, the more you try and control, the more you trade peace for fear, adventure for security, and freedom for bondage. That is the price that comes with controlling your world. The appearance of control that is, because you and I know despite our best efforts we can’t control a thing outside of ourselves. We struggle to control ourselves let alone those things that are outside of our boundaries.

Our control wakes us up in the middle of the night, raises our blood pressure, and leaves us restless with a short fuse. We are a walking time bomb ready to explode with the slightest inconvenience.
What’s worse is that often the walking dead encourage others to join them in their zombie like state.
“Be careful! Are you sure that’s smart? Are you going to make less money?” Focus on fear we tell others in so many words.
We would try and stop Jesus and His disciples now a days. We would tell them to be realistic and play it safe. I would mock those that left their jobs to follow a wild eye dreamer named Jesus. I would tell them that they are leaving their future by following this man. I would mean well, but I’d be wrong. I would squelch the movement of God. I am ashamed of how fearful and dead I can be. I can exist and yet I want to live. I settle, but I want more. I am afraid to hand over my whole life to the One that knows me, but I would just be walking dead.

LIFE! Life is in surrendering that which we want to clinch hold of. Surrendering to God’s will and trusting that He made you for a purpose. That He made you to run wild in adventure. A life following God is the only life that is overflowing. It’s listening to that inner cry from deep inside that you have squelched into a whisper. Child like faith one moment at a time and inviting God into all the spaces of your life. Only then will you be joining the living in this life He promised you and I. You can have a journey worth remembering by following Jesus on this adventure. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you struggle being part of the walking dead?

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There is a temptation that many entrepreneurs don’t want to mention. That temptation is to ignore your family. Oh, we won’t color it up that way. We will say things like, delayed gratification or it’s a season. That sounds better than I am ignoring my responsibilities as a dad or mom. But let’s be honest a lot of seasons last years. Your kids can’t be raised properly with an absently dad or mom for a few years.
This last weekend my wife went away to a woman’s retreat with our church. I had the whole weekend with my three kids.
No my son is not on fire. He is a good distance away.
It was so fun! We camped out, had bonfires, watched movies, and March Madness basketball.
In my earlier years, I would have miss labeled this weekend an inconvenience. However, this last week is what entrepreneurism is all about. The ability to have freedom of time when you own your company is often overlooked.
When no one tells you what to do and when to do it. You can be the ultimate family man or the ultimate workaholic the choice is yours, and you make that choice whether you know it or not.
I have found there are a few questions to ask when deciding whether to work of be with the family that makes your choice a little easier.
Can they do it? The more people you lead, the more people will ask you to do a lot of different things. Is what is getting asked of you something they can do themselves? Often the answer is yes. Often your team is looking for the easy way out, and that is confirmation from the leader. If so don’t proceed, but through the question back at the team member. If they can’t do it, then move to the next phase of questioning.
Can I help? This question is the most fundamental but crucial. Do you have the time and resources to help or do you merely just want to help? The more people you have under your leadership, the more you need to check your resources. It is important to know that difference. If you have the resources, you will move on to the next form of questioning.
What is the result? This is crucial to answering whether we are helping someone or hurting them. Often we don’t wonder what the result will be of our actions, but it can be helpful or devastating its important to know the difference. Are your harming or hurting is another way you can pose this line of questioning.
Can anyone else do it? In business, there are many things we do, but others can do it. However, no one can be the dad or mom you are supposed to be, or the husband or wife God destined you to be. You only have so much time, and you must use it wisely on things that only you can do.
If you answer all these questions before acting, I am sure the answer will be clear. Most days the choice will be family, but sometimes that choice will be to work a little more. Take each day as it comes, and you will be blessed on your journey.

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