The drift is destroying your life!

I have watched friends get addicted to drugs. I have seen others destroyed by affairs. One family friend stole thousands, and another convicted and in jail. Real people who I respect going the wrong direction until it all falls apart. It breaks my heart as I watch families torn apart by the drift. Lives cast aside and ruined. Though to us on the outside these acts seemed sudden, I know better. We don’t one day destroy something; it is a slow fade a drift that builds negative momentum. We don’t start at these tragic points, but sometimes we don’t recognize the extent of the drift until those wake-up calls.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

In my life, I run marathons. I have been on mountain tops physically, stretching the limits to what I previously thought possible. But I have also experienced the fade. I needed my eyes opened to recognize that I was fading recently. Slowly but surely wandering down a path until I didn’t recognize where I was.

Last year,  at this time, I was running the Eugene Marathon. I was set to break a personal record and finished the run with energy. Twenty-six point two miles and I ate it for lunch. Four months ago I was still doing training runs up to sixteen miles getting ready to run another marathon. My health excellent, as well as my energy.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment where they said my blood pressure was high. I haven’t run as much but still maintained my eating habits while training. Today I could run six to seven miles, and that’s it without exhausting myself. Without the blood pressure check, I would have ended up back at ground zero. From Personal records on marathon time to high blood pressure and average fitness. It feels like it happened overnight but it didn’t.

I slept in a little more and ran a little less. I chose snooze instead of my running shoes. I had my running accountability move away. I stopped putting in the work that had gotten me there and took my foot off the gas. I counted on history for today’s success. That’s not how it works. Rory Vaden says, “Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

I am getting my health back and saying no to the fade. But it won’t be easy, you and I will not fix the fade overnight. However, we can start to take steps toward restoration. The further you have faded the longer it will take to restore. Damage is always done by the decline, and it takes time for others or our self to heal. Follow these simple but not easy to stop the fade and gain traction.

Admit failure. We can’t change what we don’t take personal responsibility for. You have failed, so have I. We have broken promises and let down ourselves and others. We can only heal when we admit that there is something to heal from. Acknowledge that the mark was missed to restore what was broken.

Set the Mark. If we are not aiming at something, the fade will happen quicker and will be less noticed. What does your ideal health, marriage, vocation, friends, service, and ext. look like? If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Mark a destination to slow the fade.

Why? You need to write down why you are aiming at that target. It has to be authentically you or you won’t sustain the momentum that you are creating. Methods will change along the way but your why should be so cemented on your heart so that it will get you through the distractions, disappointment, and disinterest. Cement your why to slow the fade.

How? Though your how will change throughout time you need to come up with an action plan. You need to set a course of action. If you want to accomplish a healthy marriage what steps will you take. As much as possible, the how should be measurable. It is much easier to see a fade when you have measurable actions that you know you did or didn’t do. The point is not to be at the hands of a taskmaster but to have a recognition of fade or growth.

Fades are beatable if you refuse to quit when you fall. If you aim at improvement instead of perfection on your journey, it will be much more enjoyable. When you fall and you will, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to pay the rent of success. Be blessed on your journey.

What areas of your life are you fading in?

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An Uncommon Marriage

Zechariah Newman —  April 25, 2016 — 1 Comment

Standing up front sweating in a tux it was 90 degrees out, and I was wondering how I could get any hotter. But there I stood in front of family and friends waiting for my high school sweetheart. We had been dating for one month shy of five years and with college behind us we were ready to start our lives together as one. Watching her walk down the aisle with her father I remember thinking, what a lucky man I was that I got to spend the rest of my life with her.

couple in the rain

photo by: KC Newman Photography

In these moments, it’s easy to love. In these moments, it’s easy to see what I appreciate about my beautiful bride. Over the years, we have built a great life together. Three great kids, two businesses, great friends, and many more blessings. It has been a fun almost twelve years of marriage full of adventure, laughter, and tears.

 

Routine

Overtime in marriage habits get set. Subconsciously or maybe pen and paper together, chores, responsibility, and life becomes divided. This routine is not bad. It saves many arguments in a marriage. After a while this routine gets your relationship into a nice groove. Life starts to fly by until it gets interrupted by surprises like little ones. Then it takes a while to get your feet under you as you adjust to the new normal and the new routine.

Danger

Routines are great until they are not. Routines serve a purpose, but there are dangers to this repetitive life. Marriage can get stale at times and we often start to take our partner for granted. Your wife does the dishes every day and you stop telling her how much you appreciate her doing the dishes. Your husband always does the laundry and you stop appreciating not having to do it. After all, it’s their job so you save it for them. If you’re not careful you can feel alone even in marriage. Routines can cause your spouse to feel underappreciated, unloved, and disrespected. The one you use to pursue is now forgotten to your predictable life. Really routine can give way to self and a marriage focused on your own wants and desires is one that is headed for disaster.

Hope

What if you pursued your spouse like you were trying to win them? Little acts of love add up into momentum in your marriage. Being specific in praise, writing a note, surprising them with a small gift, doing “their” chores, messages, etc. What if one night a week you turned off the T.V. and talked? In all reality, it is not hard to make your husband or wife feel special. The problem is usually we do one thing and then expect an immediate response. This is not love. It is manipulation. Love is laying down your life for your wife men. It is showing your husband respect when he may not deserve it. It is thinking the best of your partner not the worse.

Building momentum in marriage is not easy, but once you do it man it snowballs. Once you decide to love uncommon, you have an uncommon love. Extraordinary love takes dedication, sacrifice, and at times long-suffering. Decide today that no matter what your spouse does, you will love them like you were dating. A marriage that is thriving is made up of two people discovering, exploring, and loving each other. A marriage that is two becoming one until death. Be blessed on your marriage journey.

How can you serve your spouse this week?

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War for your kids, not against them! We need to see them as they will be, not as they are. The Bible says the power of life and death is in the tongue. This powerful reminder reminds me to be careful with my words towards my children. When my kids are acting out sometimes, this is the last thing on my mind, but I should be more aware in the hard times to call out the good. Parents continue to call out what is right and good inside of them. No matter what contend for their future.

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Too often as fathers, we forget that we help to determine our children’s identity and beliefs about God, others, and themselves. Many things out of our mouths firmly imprint on our children. We have a tremendous responsibility to speak life over them and speak the good in them that we see. In moments of failure and depression later on in life, the encouraging words of a father can help reestablish the truth about them. Like a compass bringing your children back to true north.

Speak these six things over your children

I love you. Our kids need to know that our love is secure. No matter what our kids have done or will do we love them. Our love will not be based on performance or a particular standard but love that is unchanging and steady. Consequences are real to actions we make, however, lost love is never one of them. “I love you,” must be spoken in your house often.

God makes you righteous. Our kids need to know that it is God and God alone that makes us righteous. We all fall short, and we all don’t measure up, but in Christ we do. We will never be perfect, but righteousness is given as a gift when we accept Christ as our savior. Identity in Christ is something that needs to be taught to our kids.

I believe in you. Letting our children know that we are for them and not against them is crucial. That they have a deep knowing, they are capable and able to overcome. Sometimes when we are low and don’t believe in ourselves we have to see what others see in us. Knowing that their parents think they are capable gives them the strength to get back up when life knocks them on their backside. Be that physical force that encourages your kids to reach higher in life. Let your kids know you believe in them.

God has a plan even when you can’t see it. This world gets murky, and it can be hard to see what God’s plan is in our life. Most of the time following God is like driving through fog. We can only see a few feet in front of us instead of the whole picture. We must move forward believing that sooner or later the fog will lift, and we will be able to see. Until then your kids will need to know to keep moving and taking steps of bold action. Speak the truth that God has a great plan for their life.

Everyone is valuable. No one is more valuable than someone else. The great commandment is to love God and to love others. Loving all is only accomplished when we see value in every person. We all have different talents and abilities, but no talent is greater than another. Treat every person as valued and treasured gift. Teach your kids to see everyone through eyes of value and love.

God is always with you. God is with you always, not for one second will He leave you. He does not leave you if you pick the wrong path or screw up. He does not depart from you but encourages you to go deeper in a relationship with Him. The Word says that we will experience heartache and walk through the valley of the shadow of death but that God will be with us. No matter how bad it looks, God is always walking it out with you. Let your kids know to look to Jesus when times get hard and lean into Him.

The job of a parent never ends no matter if your kids are young or adults we must speak light and truth into them. In a world that drags and pulls you down, we need to be that encouraging force that draws them back to Jesus. He makes them able. He makes them beautiful. He makes them worthy. He is everything they and we could ever need. Keep saying these six truths until hearing becomes knowing. Be blessed on your journey as you parent well.

What are you speaking over your kids?

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Eyes fixated on my strengths and weakness I sit here wondering if I am able.

The unknown

photo: KCNewman Photography

I am scared and scarred.

I bear scars from others and myself. Words have scared me spoken in anger or jealousy. Actions have cut deep whether they were intended to or not. Thoughts of unworthiness consume my mind. Wishing I was someone different, maybe stronger or bolder somehow. Wishing I was able to do what I feel God calling me toward, but with my eyes; I don’t see how it’s possible. I can’t see it, and I get tempted not even to try. Fearful and used, I don’t see how He can use a broken vessel like me. Sure I see Him use others, but I am different.

It as if I forget who I serve. I remember this morning that I serve Jehovah Rapha (The Lord that heals). I forget that He heals the sick and comforts the broken-hearted. I forget that He makes the weak strong. I forget that it is Him who heals ME! That He whispers for us to step out of the boat with our scares and all. Throwing our leg over the side and locking eye with Him. Not even conscious of the impossible feat but focused on His goodness, grace, and mercy. Stepping out of the boat and walking on water, yet simply strolling with the King. Walking on water should be impossible, yet Peter did it.

He whispers to YOU to see the invisible and do the impossible. He takes our scares and says, “Give it to me! Stop holding on to what I have already redeemed. Stop trying to do it on your own or earn your way in. Stop trying to be worthy. Just follow me.”

It never was mine to bear, and it is never yours. We will never be able to do what He calls us to. We will always need Him to walk on water, yet He is always whispering for us to get out of the boat. Over our heads without Him and that’s what we are made for.

We are not supposed to be in this box. The box is put there by us. Not near the shore but out in the reckless waves. We are not meant to be in the comfort and confines of our strength but in this area that we shouldn’t be able to do in a million years. We are called to slay giants, to restore the land. Called to seek and save the lost. That doesn’t happen when we are focused on fear and failure but when we are concentrated on the one that makes us able.

Work on your strengths know your weakness but don’t forget the goal. The goal will always be Christ, and He crucified. We fill our lives up and chase the mission instead of the mission provider. He is our all, and He is everything. When we forget that we get out of alignment and feel nothing but scarred and scared. It is in Him that all is made new. It is in Him that all is made able. Trust Him and you will be in a state of awe on your journey. Because after all the journey isn’t about you…

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I want answers, and I want them now. As I sit on the precipice of a major life decision I want reassurance from everyone and no discouragement.  That’s why we ask so many people what we should do. Searching for the answers on the outside and not looking inward at what God has been speaking. Can’t trust myself and what I feel God saying I need a second, third, fourth, and hey a thousand agreeing voices really would be nice. Then if something happens, I can blame them. Look all these people thought it was a good idea. Like a child wanting someone to blame, to remove my responsibility. “Go through the process,” my pastor keeps telling me. I hate the process. The process sucks!

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Reaching my arm out slowly wanting to grab hold but afraid to let go. I’m stuck in the middle between faith and fear. Frozen like a deer in the headlights, between safety and adventure. Standing in the in between, I am about to go splat.

Like, could all the lights to go green before I take a step. Can I get a stamp of guarantee?

That’s what I want to know, the beginning to the end. Is that too much to ask? A little god-like power would be nice.

No mystery, no trust needed.

The reality of calling and following Jesus is much different than my no trust plan. Often it is like driving through fog. We are moving along feeling are way around not able to see more than a few yards in front of us. When driving in fog, you don’t stop because you will get rear-ended by others struggling to see. You don’t go fast either because you could run into someone or venture off the road. You simply plod along waiting for the dense fog to lift. Eyes fixated on what you can see. No thirty thousand foot views here. We only think that this is the way to go, and we are trusting God for the rest. Fixated and dedicated to the little bit we can see, we do our best on what is right in front of us. We trust Him that eventually the fog will lift, and it will all make sense. We must live through the principles to get to the promise.

Why do God’s principles have to be the opposite of what I want? Sow then reap. Believe then see. Give your life to get one. Make yourself a slave to Christ to be free. Die to self to be born again. It is always the principle before the promise. But at least, there’s a promise. Do you know what is on the other side of emotion?

Nothing!

If we trust emotion, we are deceived. Emotion makes us foolishly wonder around zigzagging from one excitement to another. Emotion causes us to quit right before the fog lifts. Emotion causes us to settle for safety instead of PEACE. Emotion confuses lust with LOVE. Emotion mixes up happy with JOYFUL. Emotion leaves us empty and wanting more. However, there is a promise behind every principle

Here are a few promises of God:

He promises to be with us.

He will give you wisdom if you wisdom if you ask for it.

If you bring your request to God and refuse to worry, you will have peace that transcends all understanding.

If you seek Him, you will find Him.

Trust and faith are needed in the principle before every promise, and it’s not easy to trust sometimes. We have been let down by people and wonder if God will do the same. We have are eyes on the result all the while God is asking us to be formed and molded in the process. We are invited into trusting the process. Into allowing Him to mold you and shaped you. He promises to finish the good work that He began. Will we embrace the process and trust God on the journey? Trust the One who knit us in our mother’s womb. Trust even when we think it sucks. Only then can we be blessed on the journey.

Do you struggle to move?

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As a small business owner, I have around twenty-five people that I employ. In business, the lower the turnover and the more independently your staff can perform with you the greater profits and freedom you have.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

My industry of quick serve means that many employees this is their first job. On top of this minimum wage employment is a high turnover industry. Within my restaurants turnover is minuscule compared to the sector average, and I have a few employees that have been with me for ten years.

I have acquired the skill and talent of turning low performers into some of my best workers. It is not easy and requires patience, but it has its rewards that make it worth the effort. There are a lot of diamonds in the rough that with the right heart attitude and training can become the most loyal and awesome employees.

A lot of employers make assumptions with low performers that employees don’t care or aren’t hard workers when the problem and solution look much different. I have found that as employers we think we are much better at communicating than we are. If you have an employee that is a struggle walk through these steps before firing them.

Baseline The first question that needs to get addressed is whether the “problem” employee has a head problem or a heart problem. If you are unsure, you can ask them. Employees will let you know if you have built a rapport. Here is the difference, are they missing the skill and knowledge to do the job or the motivation to do the job?  Do you need to train them or motivate them? Often managers and owners assume an awareness that is not there and the employee doesn’t even know they are nut cutting the mustard. Establish whether it is a head or heart problem and follow the three steps accordingly.

Head:

Winning. What does winning look like? You have taught the skills. However, have you been explicit about the expectations you have? We say a lot of things that aren’t specific such as hard work or clean? Don’t assume common sense and in detail describe what that means to you. Define priorities and how high the bar is set. Being on time, working fast, and independently are things that need to be stated. Make it measurable and measure it often so that there is no doubt if expectations are being met.

Why. The task itself is not enough. You need to explain the why behind the task. The why enables thinking. The why fends off going through the motions and missing the meaning behind the task. When I go into my local Subway, they say, “Welcome to Subway” every time. The problem is they are usually saying it in a monotone voice not giving eye contact. I feel so appreciated. The words have been taught, but the reason is missing. It is to make the customer feel welcomed. Eye contact and tone of voice is way more important than the words. Keep the why first in its proper place.

Growth. Opportunity for growth within the company and growth mentally is crucial to keeping your employees engaged mentally. As humans, we are either growing or shrinking. Make sure that your team members are learning personally and within your organization. Keep an environment of growth to help your employees to stay engaged and to expand their skill and talent.

Heart:

Their passion. What are the goals of their life and how can your company help them? Change the training as much as possible to their inner cry of their heart. One of my employees wants to be a missionary. Everything at the point of sale we teach her as it will help her in the mission field. Even food cost numbers can be shown as far as controlling finances for a small budget. Teach with the understanding of their passion to get the heart engaged.

Their skill. Put the people in the right places on the bus as Jim Collins states. You need to set up your employees into a position to win. They need to operate with their talent and skills. There is nothing worse than doing a job you are bad at. One that you never can thrive in.  If you don’t have a spot to let your employee work in their skill, you need to let them go. Skill is an area you should hire slow and fire fast.

Your heart. Your staff needs to know you care. Caring can be faked temporarily but in the long run it can’t. If you don’t care for people and their future, you will never be great at leading. If you do care, you need to show them. You need to reward them and encourage them to be the best version of yourself. In supporting them and caring for them, they will care for you. You will be more than just a boss but a leader and friend how they will come to long after they work for you.

Engage your employee’s mind and heart if you do your business will never be the same. It will be so much more than making money. Money is a byproduct of having rock star employees that care for your company almost as much as you do. Don’t put the pressure of caring on the same level as you. But do demand excellence. Teach your employees heart and mind and you and your business will be blessed on your journey.

How do you guide your employees into being great?

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I’m failing as a husband, father, business owner, and personally. Every area of my life on the outside looks pretty close to perfect but on the inside I suck. I don’t give my kids enough attention. My wife’s needs to connect emotionally are left unmet. I’m impatient, angry, and depressed. The accuser is always quick to point out all my failures. I never realized life would be this hard, it looks so easy for everyone else. I always thought I would be successful; I thought things would come easy for me.That success would fill empty places, I thought people that weren’t succeeding where just lazy. I was cocky, and life has smacked me back to reality. I expected  perfection from myself. My expectations for myself have not been close to how I have performed. I suck if all I listen to are the thoughts that roar inside my mind when I fail.

tunnel

Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Perfection myth. The imposter would like you to believe that perfection is attainable. That somehow one day we will try hard enough and fix enough about ourselves that we won’t fail. Those other people have it together, and you don’t. That somehow the genetic father and dad gene skipped over you and me. I’m falling short of perfection, and that’s ok. I’m failing because I fall short of the expectation for myself that have in my mind. The standard the Bible calls me toward. I’m failing because I’m not Superman. I fail and instead of a comforting voice telling me it’s ok the imposter inside of me laughs. That voice inside my head and yours probably too. That accusatory voice is whispering into our ears thoughts of unworthiness and it never stops. Juggling all our responsibilities and relationships, we are bound to drop things. When we let go of a ball is when the imposter starts in on us. Not acknowledging when we do things correctly our mind is our biggest critic. The imposter that says to close myself off from those I love. The imposter that says we should hide failure and pretend that we have it all together.

Hope. There’s hope, though. There’s hope if we refuse to quit! There’s hope because we will keep aiming to be a man of honor and integrity. If we want to be a man that fights for their family and loves them well. A husband and father that is Patient, Kind and understanding is the bar that we must set. We desire to be the business owner that is a sacrificial leader. If we want to be that man, we must never quit. There is hope if we keep trying and keep failing forward. We must refuse to give up. We must refuse to stop aiming high to the standard that the Bible points us toward. We must commit to ignore the imposter that wants to get us to stop trying. We must continue to aim at being the sacrificial man our family needs and deserves. There’s hope because we keep learning and growing. Hope because Jesus makes us whole not our performance.

Failing Forward. We must be comfortable with failure. We must come from a place of aiming high and realizing it is only God that gives us what we need to get there. We must acknowledge our imperfection. It is Jesus and His death and resurrection that complete us. He makes us Righteous but we will never be perfect until heaven. Perfection is a myth; surrender is what is required. Philippians 4:13 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” We will not reach the goal, but we must press on. We must press through. We must never give up.

So even though we say to ourselves we are unworthy and a failure. We can stand in TRUTH that we are made worthy through the shed blood of the lamb, not in goals reached or in less struggle. That to have it all we must surrender it all. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11 says, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” That if this is true it is never about us but always about Him. Be blessed on your journey as you trust Jesus and His shaping in your life.

Do you struggle with feeling like a failure after failure?

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You are on the earth for a reason. You doubt that’s true, but it is. You doubt that you can follow that calling because of what you’ve done. You think sometimes that you are unqualified. You question whether you are worth anything in the shadows of your mind. You may wonder if there is a God and if He loves you. Doubt, fear, unworthiness are emotions that are ok if you just visit them. But don’t stand and camp there. We will either visit faith and live in doubt or visit doubt well we live in faith. You will have bad days emotionally where you feel as worthy as an ant and yet the Word explicitly states otherwise. In Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

That is the truth. You may not feel mighty, but you are MIGHTY. A warrior who is courageous walking in the footsteps of David, you are a giant killer. No giant can stand or mountain can’t be moved. You may feel inadequate but in Him, you are more than a conqueror. Do you believe that? You don’t have to gain or prove something it is just the truth. It is the truth when you accept it as such. You don’t need to earn a thing the Creator of the universe loves you flaws and all. He is mighty to save; He is the answer to every need you have. He is the way the truth and the light. He is the light that drives out the deepest fear and darkness. All things are made new in Him. That includes you.

Do you trust Him?

Isn’t that what it all comes down to in the end? Trusting God even if we are scared and shaking. Courage in spite of how we feel. Moving when God says to move. We will always have a choice to choose God’s ways over anything that we have planned. Or the other option is to shrink back into comfort. Shrink back into familiar even if it’s a warm diaper full of crap, at least, we know what it is. Shrink back into false humility saying we aren’t able. Are eyes are on the wrong source are eyes are on ourselves.

By grace, you have been saved. Do not accept less than His best. By grace, you have been made whole. Do not merely do enough to get into heaven. Live life fully and flowing over. Live in courage out on the edge of discomfort. Because that is what He made you to do. You were meant to fight on the edge of light and darkness. Fight with love, mercy, and grace. You were made to take back land that the enemy has stolen. Made to seek and save the lost. You are made for a purpose. You were made to spread the name above all other names. Made to spread the name of Jesus! He will give you what you need when you need it. Just trust Him and take a step whether it is bold and courageous or shaking like a leaf. Trust Him and He will take you places you never thought possible. Be blessed on your journey as you follow the one that makes you brave.

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As a family man running my business and caring for my family take precedent. Sometimes those two things have too much of my focus. For years, one thing I neglected was my health. In my late twenties, I had my marriage, two children, two restaurants, and ill health. I felt overwhelmed and had no clue what to do. All I knew for sure is that what I was doing wasn’t working. I went in to see the doctor because I wasn’t sleeping well and experiencing bouts of anxiety and depression. This real sense life is closing in on me and my inability to keep up.

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The doctor told me that I had high blood pressure and looked terrible. He asked if I was getting enough sleep and how my stress level was. I remember sitting there stating, “I have two kids under 4 and two restaurants. How do you think my stress level is?” The doctor gave me three to six months to get my blood pressure in line naturally, or he would recommend that I start taking medication to lower it.

Fast-forward to today and I have my marriage, three bundles of joy, two restaurants, and online presence. I still struggle with overwhelming anxiety at points, in fact as my father said I am usually bored or overwhelmed. He is right, and some of my health is habit, and some are nature. That said, my blood pressure is in the normal range, and I am getting ready to run my fourth marathon.  My health has gone from a concern to a benefit in my life. A change in health hasn’t been smooth but with a consistent effort, I feel better than I did as a teenager.

If you want your business to prosper in the long–run you need to make health a priority. These five healthy habits should be a part of your daily life.

Prayer. Prayer is a practice that automatically lowers blood pressure. Breathing slows and you relax when you connect with your heavenly Father. Start each day from this state of prayer and being alone with the creator of the universe. God has your back at all times and starting my day in this manner reminds me of that. When you pray you gain gratitude and peace. God provides all, and His thoughts are better than our own. Pray to have a healthy spiritual life which leads to a better physical life.

Eat. What you consume is what you output. My wife loves sugar and has to fight against eating too much of it I, however, love salt. Chips and salsa are my nemeses. Some tips are not to cut this out completely but to get your snack out of its packaging and stop when that portion is done. A big open bag of chips ends up getting consumed to quickly otherwise. Reduce salt and sugar intake and reduce or eliminate processed foods. Processed food is always high in sugar or salt. Be aware not obsessed with what you eat to live healthier.

Exercise. I started running, and that helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. You don’t need to run, but you do need to get up and get moving. Exercise will help you to have higher energy and greater confidence. My tip for exercise is to sign up for races. It could be a 5k or an ultra-marathon it doesn’t matter. Signing up for races causes you to get out and stay active. If you are self-conscious about races, trust me all shapes and sizes are running and walking these things. Get out and move to help your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Margin. Allowing space in your schedule will return peace to your life. I jam my schedule too full and rush around. I know that my margin is too packed when I shovel my food in my mouth and pace around all day. You and I aren’t accomplishing anymore by hurrying through life. It feels like we are accomplishing more but in reality, we are not making the best moves and me be having to do it again coming from this place of rush and hurry. Return margin to your life and remember you are less efficient when you rush.

Fun. Return fun to your life to help your health. It is amazing how we don’t take the time to enjoy our lives. Your life is precious and is not meant to be hurried and serious. At a Rend Collective concert, one of the band members said seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit joy is. I love this! Stop with the frowning and start scheduling and planning fun. Your life is made to enjoy. Your worth is not tied to how much you do. Stop and have some fun to help your health.

If your health is poor start to pick up one or more of these habits and make a change today! Health like everything else requires focus and energy. Do not wait until some of the costs of an unhealthy life catches up with you. You can’t serve the ones you love, build a business, and help others to the best of your abilities when your health is poor. Focus and time will heal your body and change your life.

How do you maintain your health while building a company?

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Throughout my business career, there have been moments that I have felt my faith in Jesus has held me back. To be honest, I know that my faith has held me back from short-term wins. In the long-run at times, I have been slower on profitability and momentum. To do things God’s way can be a mystery and if we don’t watch it, we can blame God for not getting ahead.

fall path

Picture by: KCNewman Photography

Often I look to blame others. My failures are easier to handle when they aren’t my fault. When I run out of other people to blame God gets the brunt of my anger and resentment. The foolish things that I can blame God for like, He owes me. God’s debt isn’t reality, God’s ways are above our own, and we will always be in His debt. His principles and promises may not make since at the moment but in the end, it always will. If you are struggling with wondering how your business and faith work together, there’s hope. These five principles are God’s design for your life and will cause your business to flourish!

John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Love. We are commanded to love others, and that commandment makes us better at business. Though is can sound fluffy the reality is we can come from two places, kindness or love. Kindness tells people what they want to hear, rescues, and muddies the water. Love puts others above comfortable. Love makes us straight shooters saying “no” when we need to. Love fires people when they aren’t a good fit so that they can find somewhere they are talented and fulfilled. Love is strong!

Galations 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

Service. Service is another thing that the Bible calls us to. The greatest thing about this is that is what success in business is. Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Now don’t get ahead of yourself like I do, and start to see what you can get. Just serve with no agenda. Serve your fellow man and eventually in the long-run it will benefit your business.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Hope. We named our youngest Hope because it has such a place in my wife and I’s heart. We thought we would not be able to have kids; now we have three little balls of energy. Hope is the precursor to faith. Hope is the foundation for action. Hope believes that it will all work out. Hope will lead to faith. Hope moves when all looks lost. Hope is the rallying cry that you need in business.

1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Faith. The precursor to action is faith. Faith that God will work it all out. Faith that He has a plan for your life and that if you stayed submitted to His will you will be on the right track no matter how it may seem. Faith that God is good and He is faithful. Faith makes you brave and bold in action. Faith when full makes you move with an intensity that is needed in business and in accomplishing any dream. Faith makes you a business person of action.

Isaiah 26:4 “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Lens of eternity. It is said that rich people have a twenty-year perspective. So how much more rich are we that view everything through the lens of eternal life. I am not talking about just money but in all ways. Eternity reminds me that I am simply a steward that is caring for what I can as long as I can. Life beyond the grave helps me to reframe success in that light. The lens of eternity makes me preserver when others quit causing me and you to be undeterred business owners.

In the end, you will have a choice. You will have to look with your eyes or with your spiritual eyes. God’s ways are above our own. When it looks like foolishness in the world’s eyes, I have made a commitment to follow Him to the end. I hope you will as well. If you live a life dedicated to Christ, He will make all things new, and give you a life full of adventure and excitement. Be blessed on your journey as you follow the Lord.

How does following Christs lead help you to be a better business person?

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