Archives For Freedom

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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Freedom in Business

Zechariah Newman —  March 23, 2015 — 6 Comments

Last month I was privileged to take my oldest child to the annual father-daughter dance. She is six and this is our second year to go. In a few years I will take my other daughter as well who is two. The anticipation of the dance increases as the day approaches and on the big day she wakes up with sheer excitement. I love this day too as it is a great time to be alone with my little girl. This dance is one opportunity to show her how she should expect to be treated and to make her feel special. We both love the dance, although I hate dancing. 🙂

Zoe

My beautiful daughter.

While we were out to eat before the dance and I was paying for our meal, the man taking our payment asked, “Are you guys going to the dance?” I responded, “Yes we are.”  Then he said something that stuck with me. “I would go, but I can’t. I own the restaurant. Even though my daughter cried asking me to go she just doesn’t understand that you can’t take off any weekends when you own a restaurant.”

This statement by this entrepreneur stuck with me for two reasons. One, I own two restaurants and took the night off. My stores didn’t suffer. In fact, the two locations had a great night of sales and didn’t have any known mistakes. The second reason why it stuck with me was because I often use my life as an entrepreneur as an excuse just like this man. There are many days that I do need to be there. However, a lot of times I have an excuse of the business.

Do you run your business or does it run you?

The first step to freedom in business is determining where you are. I am controlled by my company more than I would like to admit. Not much of it is the business and most of it is me. I don’t train enough or give enough responsibility and then play the victim for needing to be there. Are you suffering from self-inflicted wounds?

Start today! Make a plan of action. Who are you going to teach in your company to do different aspects of your job? If there is no one you trust, you need to hire new people. Slowly build the muscle in your staff to stand without you. This takes time and energy to accomplish, but it is worth it.

Discipline. Being trapped is really a lack of discipline. Trust me, I am talking to myself as well. We know we should train, but it’s just so easy to do the job ourselves! To accomplish this think in terms overtime. Do you really want to do this same task tomorrow? This has helped me a lot. Another tip is to figure out your hourly wage and ask yourself if you would pay someone who amount to do the task.

Future-time. The reality is the more time you spend training and empowering your employees, the more you are multiplying time. As much as possible spend a portion of each day in this multiplication place. Think of training like investing. Spend at least part of your minutes each day investing in your future. The more time you spend, the bigger the pile of time will build.

Over time replacing yourself will bring bigger profits and more of an actual life. Take charge and run your business, instead of allowing your life to be controlled by it. Be blessed on your journey.

 How can you gain more freedom in your business?
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Fear Of The Unknown

Zechariah Newman —  October 21, 2014 — 5 Comments

The part of being faithful with the small things we often don’t want to talk about is that when we are being faithful with the little, we are not fearing, worrying, having anxiety and agonizing over our next step. It is a simple concept, but hard sometimes. Taking steps of faith were not meant to be easy. I often get stuck in thinking, “Is that you God?” I find myself analyzing and in the end talking myself out of the next step. The time, energy and effort spent worrying about things outside of my control is pretty sad.

path

photo by: KCNewman photography

I have operated, at times, like faith is the absence of doubt. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I believe that great faith is movement in spite of doubt. It reminds me of the gazelle.

The African gazelle can jump thirty feet in distance and fairly high. However, they are easily held captured. This animal can be held captive by a three-foot high fence for one simple reason. If they cannot see where they are landing, they refuse to make the leap. Though they can easily jump the fence, the gazelle won’t.

We are often like the African gazelle; great bound up potential refusing to move. Just sitting dreaming of more; dreaming of a full life. A tiny wall that mentally looks like a big obstacle holding us in.

True faith requires risk. It demands a step into the unknown. Faith requires doubt. Stop waiting for all the answers, for that day will never come. Leap with the risk of the unknown. Today work with excellence and diligence, walking in peace, continuously moving toward your goal and dream. Take steps of faith and allow God’s will to be done. Move and the path will be revealed to you. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you overcome the fear of the unknown?

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I want a bigger house! I want a nicer car! I want to travel the world! I also want to do all of this now with little effort. Is that too much to ask? The truth is, I struggle with lust. These wants are not bad, but they can become horrible in a hurry.

pretty

Photo by: KCNewman Photography

It is simple for me to talk about cultural problems, which is what I was tempted to do, but the problem lies within my heart. Our current culture didn’t create this desire for gain with no sacrifice; we were born with it. It is too easy to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We know the stairs are better for us, but an elevator gets us there with no effort. My friend, Rory Vaden has a great blog on self-discipline. Current inventions like debt have made it simple to indulge my lust to take what feels easy. To put the cart before the horse and just finance it.

When we live an undisciplined life that spins out of control, we make financial choices that don’t match what we really want. That is where I found myself six years ago. Dejected and frustrated I sat in the driveway sitting there with the car running wondering how I got to this point. I had gotten off of work, but couldn’t go inside. For me when I stop, all of the bad decisions and failures I have made come rushing into the front of my mind. Maybe if I sit here it will all go away like waking from a bad dream, I thought. My wife and I had overpaid on a house, put zero down and accumulated consumer debt. When we had begun our lives together we had said that we would just live on my income while she worked. If you are like me sometimes what we say and what we do is completely different. Slowly one bad decision after another had gotten me to this place of sitting in the car.

We were expecting our first child and I was sitting there wondering how we were going to make it month to month on just my income. Our plan was for her to stay at home when we had kids, however, it was more of a wish than a plan. Have you been there? Wondering how you made financial decisions opposite to what you truly wanted?

We don’t wake up one day in a disaster, though it feels that way. We don’t wander into a mess and we certainly won’t magically pop out on the other side. It is a result of a mindset and behaviors that overtime causes us to prosper or sit in a car feeling like an idiot. Often things happen so gradually we don’t even realize what is going on.

We are like a frog. If you boil water and try to put a frog in, it will jump out. When it feels the steam and heat it resists going into the pot. It is fully aware of the danger. We are the same way when there is a huge danger we know to avoid it, well most of the time. Sometimes we are not as smart as a frog. However, if you put a frog into cold water and turn the heat on high and warm the water slowly, the frog will not jump. He will sit there while being boiled. Gradual temperature change is not even noticed by the frog. This is true for most of us as well the deaths of a thousand cuts are not even noticed. I have been this frog more times than I can count.

Are you tired of being a frog? Ready to change your life and live with more than enough instead of barely getting by? Great! That is a good place to start. To get to a point of being tired of your current situation is the first step to change. Change will not come easy, but there can be enjoyment and fulfillment today. Not when you are done changing your finances, rather the here and now.

I looked at financial discipline all wrong in the beginning, therefore I didn’t stick to any budget or other financial management. Here it is simply. A budget when given thought and time instructs your money to go towards your true wants and desires, not your frivolous wants in the moment.

Sticking to a budget and investing money overtime will get you and I the wants financially that we truly desire. That is why disciplining ourselves with a budget is so important instead of pitifully sitting in a car. My wife is able to stay home with our children. We have everything we need and a sense of peace about the direction we are going.

Say no to lust and yes to what matters. Create a budget monthly with your spouse. Learn from me and live a life of purpose financially before you wake up down a road you weren’t intending to head down. In most cases the stairs are actually easier than the elevator. Be blessed on your journey.

This is part of the new book I am working on called, “A Life That Prospers.” What money questions, problems, or solutions do you have?

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I was listening to Entrepreneur On Fire and John Lee Dumas talked about crabs in a bucket. It illustrates an important message for any dream chasing journey.

Here it is: If you have one crab in a bucket you need to put a lid on the bucket because it will climb out. However, if you have a bunch of crabs in a bucket you don’t need a lid. Anytime one of the crabs tries to climb out, the other crabs will pull the one trying to escape back in the bucket. No crabs will get out because they will all pull the escaping crab back to the bottom every time.

crabs

Not all of your friends and family will be supportive of your dream. It is imperative to surround yourself with people who are not crabs. People that have the opposite instinct of those crabs. Ones that see you close to the edge of the top of the bucket and give you that little push to get you out.

People heading toward their dreams are looking for other dreamers to surround themselves with. Align and attract people who refuse to settle. People that are not satisfied with living a mediocre life. These are the people who should be in your inner circle. These are the ones that you should allow to speak into your life. These will be the ones that will encourage you to keep walking out your dream. They will remind you that your dream is possible.

Remove negative voices or they will cause you to settle. Most people don’t want to stretch and grow. Most people are satisfied with staying in the bucket. Most people don’t want to be used by God in a mighty way. Don’t drop and forget about these people, but be conscious of how much you allow them to speak into your life.

Have strong friendships with positive people and minister to those people who look at the world negatively. Be the crab that got away! Be blessed on your journey.

How do you stay connected to other dreamers?

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Health and Not Growth

Zechariah Newman —  January 21, 2014 — 8 Comments

I focus on the wrong things a lot. In my business I can get consumed by numbers. Sales specially can consume me. Comparing last year’s sales to this year’s is something that we do weekly. This is important because it tells us if we are growing or shrinking. It can tell us if we have a problem or if we are doing things the right way. It can also cause me to be distracted by the by-product. Sales are a by-product and they are not where the focus should be.

sunset

I often then ask the wrong questions. I ask, how can I get the sales to go up? How can I get this thing to grow? Brian Houston said, “Don’t focus on the GROWTH of the church. Focus on the HEALTH of the church — because healthy things grow.” This is so true. The questions I should be asking are, how can I serve my customers better? What pain point can I fix for them? These are health questions. Just like Brain said, growth will occur if you focus on the health of your dream.

Any dream you have should be something where you are serving people in some capacity. Become better at serving your customers and you will grow. It may not happen quickly enough that you notice at first, however, keep your focus on service and health within the service and your thing will grow. It will pick up momentum and grow really fast if you can stay focused on the right things.

If you focus on the growth and not the health it may grow in the short-run, but in the long-run it will crumble. Growth and not health will cause us to make short-term gains and long-term detrimental decisions. Healthy decisions have a much longer-term perspective. The more money and time I spend on health related things, the more my business and this blog will grow.

How can you ask questions about your dream differently? How can you serve your customers better? If you do this correctly you will grow. Your dream may go in a slightly different direction than you pictured, but it will help so many people. Continue to grow in health and be blessed on your journey.

How can I serve you better? What problems are you having with your dream?

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The devil seeks to split us off and separate us from people. We are referred to as sheep in the Bible and it says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Just like on National Geographic this is what the devil does to us. He splits us off from the herd and attacks when we are alone and weak. If you are going to chase your dream you will need the support and encouragement of a community of people.

sheep

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The problem is our flesh has the reverse reaction. When we are feeling the weakest usually due to sin or living a life that is not rooted in Christ, we tend to go off on our own instead of running to someone saying, “I fell and this is what I did.” Failure and discouragement pushes us into a spiral of depression and isolation. The place we sought out in our shame can destroy us. The secrets and the dark places can feel like a million pounds. The devil thrives in the dark and is diminished by the light. We create a false prison by hiding in the shadows. (tweet it)

There is hope. Have you ever confessed something that you have been holding inside and letting the guilt pull you down? It is scary and the bigger the secret the more the fear of flat-out rejection builds. Facing this fear and speaking your secret to another brings sin from the shadows to the light. The freedom that can be felt from this is amazing. This is one of the reasons why community and relationships are so important. Friendship and community will impact you so much more than you can imagine. We need each other and we need accountability built into our lives. Close relationships that are built on honesty and openness will help you along the path to your dream.

When we are in community with one another it is like a cord; the friendships overlap making the cord way stronger than if it is on its own. We need the strong unity and wisdom that this brings. It does not come easy and conflict will arise. Anything that has kingdom impact will be attacked. (tweet it) Stay with it and do not go off on your own. Push through problems and you will have the strength to reach your dreams. Be blessed on your journey.

What do you do to stay plugged into community?

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Earlier I wrote about slowing down to see hinge moments. This post is also about slowing down, but more to slow down and enjoy life. I recently participated in Jeff Goin’s Slow Down Challenge. Each day was a new challenge of slowing down and enjoying life. Things like take a 15 minute walk and really look around and examine what you see. It made me realize even more about something I already knew. I rush through life missing the very things that make life so magical. Things like the hills out my back door, my smiling kids, sunrises, and birds chirping. When did I start to tune it all out? When did the wonder of everything go away? I think we all rush through life missing the very fabric of what creates an excellent life. Always on to the next project, goal, and accolades. I wrote about how we should operate in life. This is dedicated to the enjoyment of life; to the sweetness of things we take for granted. These 4 things help me to embrace the moment.

 

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Photo By http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/

1. Breath. Slow breaths in and out bring me back into the moment. Most breaths are shallow. Bring the breath all the way down to your belly. When you breathe full breaths, you will see that everything including you slows down.

Mathew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

2. Thank God. To me this is one of the most powerful things we can do. Start verbalizing what you are thankful for. If I am not intentional to thank God, He can get only my complaints and my wants. What we are lacking is obvious to us. We want something so bad we make it a need. What we have pleaded with God for, we now take for granted. Stop and Praise Him like the day He gave it to you. (Tweet it) What is it for you? A spouse, kids, a job, house, your health. These are just a few things for me. Thank Him today.

Isaiah 40:26″ Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”

3. Go for a walk. Walks are great as they help me to put the stress of the day behind me. Walks help me to refocus on this moment in time, not the past and not tomorrow. Relaxing through light exercise is great and calms me every time. While you walk look for seemingly small things. Light reflection, kids playing, nature; things you walk by and ignore most of the time.

“All walking is discovery.  On foot we take the time to see things whole.”~ Hal Borland

4. Don’t multitask. People much smarter than myself have done studies proving multitasking is a myth. Our brains switch back and forth between tasks. Sometimes very quickly to have the appearance as if we are doing multiple things at the same time. Focus on one thing. Be all in the moment and don’t jump in and out of tasks and moments.

These things help me to enjoy the small things that God has created. If “I don’t have time” comes out of your mouth too much, it may be time to drop something. Productivity comes from doing a few things well and not a lot of things rushed and hurried. I hope this helps you to enjoy the journey of this crazy life. Be blessed on the journey.

How do you slow down to enjoy life?

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Excuses; we all have them. What do you tell yourself that makes you unworthy to even try? It took me forever to write. I had all these things I wanted to say burning inside of me. I still do. Here is the big harry truth: I can’t spell, punctuate, or structure sentences very well. Sometimes Microsoft Word can’t even figure out what I am trying to say. Thank the Lord I married a teacher. When I first began writing blog posts it would take Rachel longer to correct the post than it would take me to write it. I wrote for months too scared of rejection to share with anyone. These 4 things helped me to get over my fear of rejection.

thorns

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1. Identity in Christ. We are made righteous through the shed blood of Jesus. Yes, we will still screw up. God sees us as perfect. Jesus stood in the gap and said, “Give me that sin. It’s mine! Give it to me!” We need to recognize and know that we are a new man or woman. We have traded our identity with the king’s. No matter what weaknesses I have, He will be strong in my weakness.

“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

2. We will be rejected. No matter what we do, say, or act like we will be rejected. I don’t like it, but it is true. Certain things I am ok with rejection and other things I really struggle with. The fact is I will be rejected and I should not let it stop me from doing what I feel called to do. Some will mock and others will benefit. In the greatest of heartaches and darkness the light is still there. (Tweet it)

“Regardless of what you want to do or who you are, fear will always see you as wholly unqualified for anything you ever dream or attempt.”        ~ Jon Acuff

3. Who supports you? I will continue to surround myself with those that support who I am. Those people tell me when I am in error, but in love. Fill your life with the ones who think you are a rock star. The ones that see the potential in you. You are worthy of your dreams. Search for relationships in people who challenge you to be that diamond they see.

4. See it differently. Rejection is progression; it means you are finding your voice. If you are not being rejected, you stand for nothing. The more I have made a true difference, the more I have been rejected. Sitting silent will assure no rejection and will achieve nothing that truly matters. Don’t rock vanilla to the grave. Stand up and be special. Face rejection head on.

These things continue to help me to step out and step up. I pray they help you. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you get over the fear of rejection?

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Unspoken Expectations

Zechariah Newman —  September 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

“Why is this taking so stinking long?!” These were the words spoken to my wife today. I, like everyone struggle with patience. It is amazing to me how long things seem to take until we get there. Then miraculously it wasn’t that bad. We are almost numb to good things sometimes, but notice everything that we don’t have. Isn’t the mind a funny thing? So why does everything feel like it takes forever? It is because of our spoken or unspoken expectations. I started writing and had such unrealistic expectations. It was like I expected the world to go, “Hey check out this guy!” “Have you heard of him, Zechariah Newman?” “He knows what he is talking about.” Sign up and follow him.” My friends and family would say, “Wow you were born to do this! How can we help?” As you could guess this didn’t happen to the degree I thought it would. Most don’t say a thing and most don’t care. This is not a bad thing. They love me and I love them. The truth is, not one could live up to the false image in my mind. It is as if I had attached blue thumbs up and sharing of posts as love. So where do we go now? Where do you go when you realize your expectations are unspoken and unrealistic? These 4 things help me set realistic expectations.

smoke

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1. State them. Rocket science I know, people cannot read our minds. Why do we forget this? “They should know,” is what we think, however this is not true. If we don’t state what we expect of others we cannot get mad when this unspoken expectation is not met. In any relationship we enter into both friendly and romantic, we will come into it with a certain set of expectations. Say what you expect so others can choose whether to oblige you or not. Make sure that this is done politely and that you are open to a “no.” The key is to clarify, not to get what you want.

2. Ask someone. Ask someone not involved for their unemotional opinion. Not gossiping, let me repeat that not gossip. Merely state what you are expecting of someone else and if that is reasonable or not. What we often do is ask many people until we find an opinion that we want and then ask a bunch more people just to make ourselves feel better. Don’t do this. Find a wise and honest person. I have a man I meet with Wednesday mornings. He has told me I’m a moron a time or two. I love him and he is like an older brother to me. Thanks, Joe.

Proverbs 11:4 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

3. Pray. Phone home. The Bible says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Ask our Father in heaven. Be still enough to hear. Do what He tells you to do. It is as simple and as hard as that.

4. Lay It down. This is the hardest thing to do and the thing that will give us the most peace. We all need a moment like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Before being thrown into the fire for not bowing down to the golden image, they say that God can save them but then they say this, “But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:18. There comes a moment where we need to lay down what we want. Put the big boy or girl pants on and go, “That hurts, but God has me in the palm of His hand, mold me Father.”

I have been molded and changed more by unmet expectations, rejection, failures, and many other painful things. Don’t run from pain. Embrace it. We are all going to let others down. Let’s pledge to live in an atmosphere of grace. Pray, ask a trusted advisor, communicate your expectations, then lay it down. Set a boundary of expectation and then commit to forgive people even if they don’t meet it. We don’t need to allow people to continue to cross a line. We do need to forgive and love in spite of it. Blessings on your journey!

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