No Excuses – Part 2

23 Aug

I posted yesterday that I have adopted a new life motto, No Excuses! In every aspect of my life, I am determined to live life without making any excuses. I was then sent a link to this video clip from the movie, Facing The Giants. Many of you have already seen the movie. I haven’t but it is on my list to rent. Today, it just moved up to the top of my list.

Never give up. Give it all you’ve got. It’s all heart from here. Work through the pain. Give it your best.

Whew! Are you as tired watching this as I was? Doesn’t it pump you up?!

I watched this earlier today and then tonight I decided to go for my run. It was raining but I told myself, “no excuses”. I started running. There’s a long and fairly steep hill that goes 1/4 to 1/2 mile. I usually walk briskly up that hill. Tonight I told myself – no excuses. As much as it hurt, I ran all the way to the top. Once I got to the top, I wanted to stop and walk but I told myself – no excuses. I ran around the park – up and down more hills, (no excuses). I ran down the big hill and instead of turning to home, I kept going (no excuses). I ran and I ran – through pain, through the rain, through the mud. (no excuses) I finally reached my house – 1 1/2 hours later. I didn’t stop once. I ran all that time – no excuses.

It’s all about attitude. If you tell yourself that you can’t do it, you won’t. If you stop as soon as you start feeling that pain, you will never get stronger. But, if you tell yourself that you can do it, and you stay persistent, you will eventually finish. If you push through the pain and continue on, you will get stronger.

The best thing about living life with no excuses is that if affects every part of your life. Want to spend more time with your kids – then do it (no excuses). Want your spouse to love you more? Then make a committment to enhance your relationship! (no excuses) Want to get closer to God? Then dedicate more time to improve your relationship with Him. (no excuses). Feel foolish talking about God with your friends? Do it anyway (no excuses).

OK – you get the idea. Now go out and live life! No Excuses!

No Excuses!

23 Aug

I write a daily devotional for the church that I attend and currently we are studying the book of Philippians. Today’s daily posting was on Philippians 3:12-16 in which Paul compared his quest for pursuing Christ to a race. You can read the full post where I related the following story…

As many of you know, I have been on a diet since January. A few months into my diet, I started exercising at the gym almost every day and more recently, I have been running about 4 miles every other day. It’s hard work. Normally, after a run, I am exhausted, hot, sweaty and sore. I know that I have pushed my muscles to their limits. I know that I am getting stronger because eight years in the Marine Corps taught me that nothing worthwhile comes without a little discomfort, and strength does not come without a little pain.

My desire to not only lose weight but also get back into shape has caused me to do some pretty irrational things. Just the other day, I decided that I needed to go for a jog. It didn’t matter that it was raining. When I lived in Japan, I ran in the rain everyday! It didn’t matter that I decided that I didn’t need my glasses – and almost got lost because I couldn’t see the trail. It didn’t matter that half-way into my run, someone stopped me to let me know that we were under a tornado warning. I kept running until I met my exercise goal for that day.

About the time I found out that I was jogging during a tornado warning, a question popped into my head so clearly that it had to be God speaking to me. He asked me, “If you are willing to endure pain, look foolish, feel uncomfortable, be accountable to others and dedicate yourself to improving your physical health, why can’t you do the same with your spiritual health?”

With my diet and exercise, I have a goal. I have something to work towards. I keep pushing myself to achieve my daily goals. Paul equated his pursuit of perfection in Christ Jesus with a race. He had a goal and worked daily to achieve that goal. He was willing to endure pain, suffering, loneliness and other hardships to press-on toward his prize. He was willing to appear foolish for the sake of Christ. Nothing was going to stop him from achieving his goal.

My new motto is “No Excuses!” Both spiritually and physically!

The Art of Being Humble

16 Aug

Most everyone has heard of John D. Rockefeller. He revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. Rockefeller had always believed since he was a child that his purpose in life was to make as much money as possible, and then use it wisely to improve the lot of mankind.

I have been reading a book that he wrote called, “Random Reminiscences of Men and Events” via the DailyLit [an awesome way to read a book by the way] Every day, during my reading, I am struck by how wise this man was. I can cull bits of business advice out of the most innocuous of his memories. Today, I was struck by how this man stayed humble even with all his success.

When he died in 1937, he was worth over 192 billion dollars, yet, he didn’t let it get to his head. Early on, as his business started making money, he would go to bed telling himself, “Now a little success, soon you will fall down, soon you will be overthrown. Because you have got a start, you think you are quite a merchant; look out, or you will lose your head–go steady.” He explained it this way. These intimate conversations with myself, I am sure, had a great influence on my life. I was afraid I could not stand my prosperity, and tried to teach myself not to get puffed up with any foolish notions.

Here is arguably the richest man in the world in his time, telling himself not to get too puffed up. Even with all his success, he was humble and it showed. He gave away billions and established a legacy of philanthropy that continues to this day.

So, I don’t have billions but it got me thinking about being humble.

  1. Honor those who serve you. You can tell a lot about people by who they honor.
  2. Utilize your talents to serve others.
  3. Model humility. If you need an example – think Mother Teresa.
  4. Become an example to others. If you model humility, others who look up to you will follow.
  5. Learn. If you are consistently learning, you are consistently growing.
  6. Enjoy life! Take time to notice your surroundings. You might be surprised at what you see!

But then again, I am reminded of an old country tune…

“Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way!”

The Paradoxical Commandments

8 Aug

These are purportedly hanging on the wall at Mother Theresa’s orphanage in India. Something to ponder….

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.