Live Intentionally

Do you struggle with keeping a healthy perspective? I have made multiple changes in my life in the past couple of years. After traveling extensively to teach and produce videos for non-profits all over the world, I am now focusing on teaching in the U.S. (in addition to blogging and podcasting). A challenge is to keep thinking globally while working locally. It is so easy for us to become myopic (narrow-minded) and me-focused. This plays on a theme my community college studied this week: emotions. It’s so easy for our minds and emotions to go places that are small-minded and self-serving. We have to be intentional to maintain the big picture, remember the goals we have set, and be other-focused. I found the following a timely message for you and myself. “It is often tempting to look at the lives of many great Christian figures and assume that the reason they were able to live their impressive lives was because they were simply better people than you are me. However, as we study these figures, we find that more often than not, the only difference between us and them is the future they saw and were fighting for. Whenever we become short-sighted to the point of only focusing on our bank statements, deadlines, and Netflix queue, we are bound to live uninspired lives.”* Take a moment to reassess, re-grab the larger perspective and live intentionally.   * Quote from Rusty Gates, M.Div. The Cycle of Life: A Lenten Devotional (Sunday before Easter) from Bloom Church in Denver. Royalty-free image by Johan Borg of Sweden; retrieved from: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/406855...

Being and Doing

Are you chronically busy? Or are you sometimes content to just sit, enjoy the moment, and be? The Western world has pretty much made an idol of busyness. Work is good; it makes the world go round, allows us to eat, and helps us implement new ideas. The Protestant work ethnic is a valuable asset. Indeed, it allows a society to prosper economically and materially. Once there were monastics who hid away from society and were content to live a contemplative life. There aren’t many of them left. But there are many cultures that still value being. They have less need to perform, impress, or even extend themselves. As I’ve lived, worked and traveled in more than 60 countries on six continents, I’ve seen the advantages and disadvantages of both systems: being and doing. Doing cultures get things done. They have relative prosperity, enjoy reliable services, and lead the world in solving problems like disease. People live in various degrees of ease, but often work too hard, sacrificing relationships to climb the corporate ladders; sometimes they don’t stop to smell the roses. They feel the constant need to go, go go and do, do, do. It seems never to be enough. Many being cultures exist in societies where few things work. Electricity is on sometimes; food is seasonable, and resources are tight. But being-oriented folks enjoy a freedom to enjoy family and friends, knowing how to nurture the most valuable asset in life—relationships. Being cultures are not driven to perform. They don’t see the need to work 60 or 70 hours a week. In fact, they don’t understand why people would ever be so darn task oriented. Oh how I wish we could learn from each other. Balance seems to elude many humans. Westerners,...

Not my Monkey

All of us have them…friends and acquaintances that seem to thrive on drama and poor choices. It seems like every time you talk with them, something crazy is happening in their life. I (Jeannette) had a friend whose’ doctor actually told him he was addicted to adrenalin! It’s easy to get sucked into the drama. One of my normally levelheaded friends called to tell me a recent acquaintance-romance had taken a business trip to Europe. While gone, he had apparently been robbed, needed her to send money to get home. She had already sent him quite a bit of money, but still asked how she could help. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this guy was a fake and ripping her off; but her heart was too involved and she could not see the (obvious) red flags. It was gut wrenching for me to see her being strung along I even lost sleep over it. What do you do in a situation like that? If you have an ounce of compassion you want to intervene. If the person is a good friend or a relative, I want to help them; I want to rescue them and get them out of their latest quandary. I tend to think that if I can just talk reasonably with them, they will be able to see their way out of their predicament. I want to make it right! Or maybe it’s not high drama; maybe it’s just a difficult decision that needs to be made, or a sticky situation that needs to be resolved. Part of getting control of your own life is recognizing what you CAN control and what you CAN’T! The reality is that everyone has their life to live; most of the time people...

Time = $ Mar04

Time = $

How much is your time worth? There is a popular saying based on a faith principle: “You have not because you ask not.” This week I spent almost an hour on the phone with my Internet provider. I saw my bill was going up, so I called the company to get it lowered. All the subscription services (Internet, TV, cell phone, etc.) have customer loyalty departments whose sole purpose is to maintain your business. It’s cheaper for them to keep you rather than recruit a customer to take your place. So I was on the phone for almost an hour, but most of the time I was on hold, so had my phone on speaker while I did other stuff. But an hour? Was it worth it? Well you tell me. I found out my bill was going up from $35/month to $75/month. By the time I got off the phone, the customer service representative got my bill down to $20/month! That’s almost half of what I was paying! By agreeing to auto-pay (on a credit card which I prefer to my bank account), I have a new promotion for 6 months, when it will then go up $10. So in six months, I’ll call back and get another promotion. That’s the game these companies play, but if you’re willing to pay, you can save significantly! So how much did that phone call save me? $55/month X 6 months = $330! That’s not too shabby for less than an hour of my time! That’s $330 I can do something else with! You wouldn’t believe the discounts you can get just by asking. (This applies in the U.S.; I am unfamiliar with how things work in other countries; but I think it’s worth finding out!)...

024: Timeless Wisdom Mar03

024: Timeless Wisdom

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/24-Sally.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 37:18 — 34.2MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis episode features 83-year-old Sally Woloshun, one of the most loving people I’ve ever met. She is my friend and the mother of Jack Woloshun, whom you’ve heard in previous episodes. Slow down and listen to this lovely grandmother describe what true love is about, how to get through hard times, and her prescription for what we need today. Since this recording was made, mama Sally has been diagnosed with lung cancer. So if you are one likely to talk to the man upstairs, send up some love and prayers for...

Trapped

The question has been rolling around in my spirit since I read it two weeks ago. It is a question haunting me: “God, where am I trapped and unable to see it?” This most simple questioning prayer seems beyond profound. Is trapped the same as being stuck? If you’ve been around Get Control Of Your Life very long, you know we are all about getting unstuck. We all get stuck in various aspects of our lives: dead-end jobs, life-sucking relationships, routine, habits, and thinking patterns that keep us from moving forward. I’ve worked very hard to get unstuck in the past couple of years. I have a sense that it’s quite possible to get unstuck. If you get your foot “stuck in the mud,” You just get it out. But if you get your car stuck in the mud, it may take considerable effort to get it out. Point is: it seems doable, even if you have to get help. But being trapped. What is that? It reminds me of situations in which I felt stressed with no obvious way out, like not having money to pay a bill, feeling the panic of a dark and tiny enclosed space, or what it must be like to have an elephant on your chest. You know flies get trapped in spider webs; then they become lunch. Maybe you feel trapped because of too much rain or snow, and are “dying” to get out! Or perhaps you have memories of an animal that has somehow become stuck, like a whale on a beach or a dog that has fallen in an icy pond. What about you? Where are you trapped and unable to see it? We’ve talked about the Johari Window before. We must come to terms with...