Where Do I Fit?

Where Do I Fit?

This is a question that we ask ourselves.  We as human being have a need to belong.  We want to fit in, but often times we don’t know where we fit.  Whether it is in business, family, church, or community we as humans want to know where we fit in.

Each of us have been uniquely created by God.  We have unique talents, personalities, temperaments, gifts, and abilities.  There are no two human beings exactly alike.  We are each different in our own unique way.  The challenge is to be able to come together in unity for the betterment of the whole.

 

Consider a building

There are many things that make up a building.  Each item, whether it is carpet, 2″x4″ studs, linoleum, sheet rock, or lavatories, has a part in the bringing together of a building.  Those items are not interchangeable.  Carpet cannot fulfill the needs of a lavatory, or vice-versa.  But each item, in its place, fulfilling the role it is designed to play makes for a building fitly framed.

When we as individuals find our place and where we fit; we then become individuals that make the greatest impact on our world.

 

Where Do I Fit is about Serving

Consider with me for a moment the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatia church.

(Gal 5:13 KJV)  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

  1. As it is used here, the word is a command.  We are commanded to serve one another.
  1. Many people are just not sure how to serve in a way that produces fruit and causes them to be fulfilled.
  1. We can be very active, while not being very effective.  Some people’s concept of serving results in Motion without Movement.  It is like being on a treadmill.  A symptom of this is when we feel that we do a lot for God, but feel drained from being pulled in so many directions.

 

Making An Impact

When one finds their place of service, they become an impact person.  This is when one serves according to their passions, personality gifts, and temperament.  When one serves doing things that fit these three items, there are positive results:

  1. Our efforts (energize) us rather than tire us.
  1. What we do makes a recognizable difference.
  1. We have more (enthusiasm)  for the responsibility.

 

You can make an impact on the world around you.  You can make a difference on the lives you touch everyday.  In the last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey we have watched everyday ordinary people make a huge difference in the lives of so many.  People that have found their place of service have made the greatest impact in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  Whether that place of service was rescuing people by boat, vehicle, or by other means.  Whether that place of service was distributing water and necessary goods.  Whether that place of service was helping clean out homes and business to begin the recovery process.  People found their place, got in their place and went to work.

I believe this quote sums things up: “It is generally in tumultuous times that people make the greatest difference in their world.” ~ Henry Blackaby

Charles Dickens once said “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Find your place and make an impact!  There is no time like the present to impact your world for the good!  You don’t need to be a superstar, you just need to have a purpose and passion.  It is at the crossroads of purpose and passion where you will make the greatest difference!

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6 Principles To Live By

My brother and I are blessed to have a Christian Dad & Mom.  Growing up in a pastors home had its challenges, but it also had many wonderful privileges as well.  Traveling and meeting new people was one of the many privileges we enjoyed.  Our lives were and still are very busy.  Always someplace to go, someone to see, and something to do.

 

Dad and mom though always made sure they took time to spend with my brother and I.  We learned a lot growing up in a pastors home.  Dad and mom were very intentional about teaching us principles to live by so that when we got older we would be able to stand on our own two feet.  We would be prepared to face the bad times, and embrace the good times.  It was those principles that we were taught as kids that have kept us to this very day.  No matter what situation life may present us we have learned to allow our lives to be governed by six principles that our dad and mom ingrained in each of us.

 

Those six principles are still relevant today.  I have had good days, and I have had bad days.  I have had ups, and I have had downs.  I truly believe that if we live our life governed by God’s Word – the Bible we can live an overcoming life.  The six principles work in the home, in our personal life, at school, at work, at church, and at play.  They work if you are poor, and they work if you are rich.  They work not matter what nationality you are.  They work if you are young, and they work if you are old.  I want to challenge you to put these six principles to work in your life for the next 30 days.  If you are married ask your spouse to do this with you.  If you have children at home get them involved with this challenge as well.  You can do this, and you will be glad you did.  I know I am glad I learned to live by these principles.

 

6 Principles to Live By

  1. Do Right
  2. Be Clean
  3. Be Honest
  4. Love Truth
  5. Work Hard
  6. Be Obedient
The Power Of A “Thank You” Note

The Power Of A “Thank You” Note

It won’t take you much time, it won’t cost you a lot of money, but the long term impact will surprise you.  I started writing handwritten “thank you” notes several years ago, and it has been truly amazing the impact this has made.  I look for opportunities to write these notes.  It totally catches the receipt ends off guard.  To take time out of your schedule to write a “thank you” is not wasted time, but time well spent.


Handwritten vs. Electronic Messaging

I realize that this can bring about a debate.  So before you jump to conclusions hear me out.  When it comes to digital and electronic I’m all in.  Email, text message, direct message via social media does have its perks, however there is a personal touch that is lost in electronic messaging.  I use electronic messaging for communicating quickly and efficiently.  It is great to receive an email or text from someone telling me “thank you” for something, and I definitely appreciate those very kind messages.  There is just something about going to the post office or to the mailbox in front of the house and receiving a handwritten card.

I remember as a kid growing up in the 1980’s writing letters to grandma or grandpa, and then several weeks later receiving a response from them.  I was always excited to receive “snail mail” as we call it today in 2017!  I still have several handwritten letters from my grandparents, parents, and friends that I have kept down through the years.  When I read those handwritten notes, letters, and in several instances instructions from my late Grandpa Kitchell on how to put together a model train layout so many wonderful memories flood my mind.


The Power of a Handwritten Note

Recently I attended a pastors Stewardship/Leadership conference.  One of the speakers that spoke gave away a copy of her new book to those of us with a premium experience package.  I tried to find an opportunity for her to sign my copy of her book, but it just didn’t happen.  I left the conference and didn’t think any more about it.  Just over a week ago our church treasurer was leaving the office for the day, and noticed a package at the outside door.  She brought it in and placed it on my desk and asked if I was expecting a package.  I told her that I wasn’t expecting anything.  So the package sat on my desk for the next little while until I finished what I was working on at the time.  I looked at the package and noticed the address was from the company that had hosted the stewardship/leadership conference I had attended.  When I opened the package there was a copy of the speakers book I had wanted to get signed. This book I received was personally addressed to me by the author and personally signed by her.  Along with the book was a handwritten envelope addressed to me with a note inside from an individual inside the host organization.  The note simply stated that this individual had seen my request to get my book signed at the conference.  It went on to say that they didn’t know if I was able to get it signed, so in case I didn’t get it signed here was a signed copy of the book compliments of the author and conference host.  That simple act of kindness and someone willing to go the extra mile has caused me to tell many people that story, and now put it in this blog post that thousands will read.

You never know how a simple handwritten “thank you” note or handwritten note of encouragement could impact not just the individual to whom you wrote the note, but potentially hundreds if not thousands of people.  Start looking for opportunities to make an impact in someone’s life with this simple yet powerful tool!

What Is Driving You?

What Is Driving You?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself the question: “what is driving me”?  What causes me to get up every morning and do what I do?  What drives me?  What motivates me?  I want you to pause for a moment and ask yourself this all important question: “what is driving me”?  That all powerful force, drive, motivation that is behind me is propelling me into my tomorrow.  There are one of two polar opposite driving forces that drive every single individual.  You may not realize it, but these two driving forces are very real.  These two driving forces are as different as day and night, a Volkswagen and a Lamborghini, a putter and a 4 iron, and as far as the east is from the west.  Simply put these two forces are: values driven and performance driven.  You are either driven by performance or you are driven by values.  It really does make a difference what you are driven by.

 

Performance Driven

In the performance driven environment you are focused on the “what” and the “how”.  It is all about “what” I do and “how” I do it that matters in this environment.  It is all about performance.  It is about shining under the spotlights.  If I can just out perform the competition I will be the winner.  This environment is all about winning no matter the cost.  As long as I am number one it doesn’t matter how I get there just as long as I get there.

Sadly there are many with this attitude.  Winning no matter the cost is the mantra of this environment.  Whether it is in your personal life or corporate life this performance driven environment will not last.  As long as I can get to the top it doesn’t matter who I wrong, who I hurt, what rules I break, because it is all about being number one.  We know the right words to say to get the promotion.  We know exactly how to do this or that in order to advance.  We are specialists with what we do and how we do it.  We have done this thing for so long we can do it with our eyes closed.  What happens is we fail to take advantage of opportunities because we are so laser focused on the mechanics of “what” we do and “how” we do it.  We fail to make a difference in our world or someones life because that is outside of our preconceived ideas of “what” and “how”.

Our culture today is all about performance.  We say things like “I’ve got to do this” or “I’ve got to go there” or “I’m in a hurry” and the list goes on and on.  Society has put an expectation on us to perform no matter what.  I am doing this particular thing because this is what I am supposed to do, and this is how I do it.  Performance becomes mundane and monotonous.  We end up just going through the motions of life day after day.  Like the rat in the wheel syndrome – a lot of performing but not going anywhere.  In the performance driven environment there is no clear purpose, and this is the reason so many get frustrated and just completely burned out.

 

 

Values Driven

A values driven environment is polar opposite of a performance driven environment.  In a values driven environment purpose is clearly defined.  The focus is on “why” I do what I do, not on “what” I do and “how” I do it.

In order for a culture to be created you must first clearly define your purpose.  The “why” has to be clearly defined before you can do anything else.  If you are struggling to clearly define your “why” I would recommend you read the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.  Once your “why” is clearly defined, then you must set your values.  You need a value system in your organization, department, group, family, church, etc.

It is your values that drive you.  That value system of principles that govern your entire life is what gets you up in the morning to do what you do.  Each of us were created for a purpose.  You are not just “accidentally” here on planet earth with no purpose whatsoever.  No, you were fearfully and wonderfully made as the psalmist David put it.  When your purpose is clear it changes the atmosphere around you.  The “what” and the “how” become the byproducts of your “why”.  Discover your purpose, and watch how your life, outlook, and attitude change.  A performance driven individual says “do I have to go to work today?” whereas a values driven individual says “I get to go to work and make a difference today!”  When your values drive you; decisions are easier to make.  Start paying attention to places of business you go to, coworkers you work with, people you go to church with, and yes even family members and you will begin to recognize who is performance driven and who is values driven.

When you understand your purpose or “why” and you put in place a value system you will then see your life begin to change.  When you understand your “why” you can endure any how.  I challenge you to be values driven and not performance driven.  Uncover the purpose in your life, and make an impact on everything and everyone around you.

I close with the words of a very wise man who once told me that “a values driven environment will always outperform at performance driven environment”.