faith, Family, Fortitude, Personal Development

How to Stop Worrying

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I recently woke up inspired to write the following journal entry. I hope it encourages and challenges you as it does me.

Worry says, “God is not big enough.” This is a terrible accusation for the Ultimate Creator of the universe who holds all things in this mighty hand. There is a pride and selfishness in worry that we don’t recognize. When we worry, we assume the burden only for ourselves. No one, not even God, can help us. “I must bear it all alone,” is the message we tell ourselves. Boo-hiss!

You, O Lord have saved us from our sins. Your promises are certain, you never fail. You tell us to cast our cares upon you, to take your light & easy yoke upon us, to trust you in everything, because you love us even more than we could love ourselves.

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When we worry, it should send a signal to our hearts that there is something to surrender to the Lord. The work of surrender should be our task – not the enduring or solving the thing we worry about. The surrender is the real work though. We must conquer our mind which wars against surrender and favors of our natural carnal survival instinct.

To be clear, surrender is not “giving up.” Not even close. I think of it more like a transfer of burden from me to God. Don’t we all want some help with our burdens?

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Worry is often an unreasonable fear, in my opinion. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future. Remember being a kid when your parents made you try something new? It was scary at first, but since you trust them, you eventually go for it. Inevitably, it turns out great. So much fun, so much easier, so good, so tasty, etc. As parents we do the same for our kids too. We want the best for them. We want them to experience all that is good and enjoyable in the world. So why do we not trust God to do even more for us? Have we forgotten that God is our Heavenly Father and we are his beloved children?

Also, have you noticed how many times we worry over things that NEVER happen? We worry about the “what ifs” and we come up with some crazy ones, don’t we? Well, stop it. God wants the best for us and he actually knows the future. We should trust God and surrender our worry to his capable hands. #preachingtomyself

The antidote to worry is trust. Trust is only as good as the object for which the trust is placed. We have a choice to make in the face of our worry. Will we choose to trust ourselves and our lousy capacity to predict the future, or will we trust in God who knows everything and is in control of everything?

I understand that trusting in God is not easy. Denying ourselves is the opposite of our human nature. I often wrestle with surrendering to God. I’m convinced that my way is better. After I fall on my face, I realize that God’s way is always best. It might be hard to deny myself and trust God, but it is always best. Honestly, it is such a great relief to leave the “worrisome things” to God. It’s the best stress reliever.

FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS

God has a funny way of making these type of life lessons come to life in real time for me. As I’m preparing this article, I get tested with some pretty stressful work situations. Instead of practicing what I’m writing about, I revert to my old nature and experience high stress with all its symptoms – exhaustion, irritability, upset stomach, loss of appetite and stress eating at the same time (yeah, that really happens to me), anger, depression, etc. Yuck. After a few days, I calmed down enough to realize what I was doing and made a mental adjustment. I transferred my burden to the Lord. Just as he promises, everything changed in my outlook. The circumstances haven’t changed, but my attitude and mindset did. Praise the Lord! The chains of the stress are gone and I am free to be my very best through the circumstances. #workinprogress #underconstruction

For some of you, these concepts about God may seem foreign or even offensive to you. You may have ways to cope with your worries that don’t involve God, and would say I’m weak or crazy. Maybe so. But I’m willing to bet that someday your way will not work, and whenever your Jedi mind trick or destructive behavior you try leaves you still looking for answers, remember this: The truth is that God loves you more than you could ever know, and His great desire is for you to know Him and experience all the freedom, peace, and good that comes with a personal relationship with God. I would love to talk with you about how you can enjoy freedom from worry through a personal relationship with the God of the universe.

     “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due          time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7

Fitness

Performance Enhancers You Need Now

People everywhere are looking for an edge. We’ve heard stories of the illegal performance enhancing drugs athletes have taken to get ahead of their competition. Doping scandals in cycling, steroids in baseball and football, and all kinds of crazy stuff in bodybuilding are what most of us think about when we hear the term “performance enhancers.”

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to be tempted by performance enhancement though. Have you seen the ads for magic potions you can take to boost your energy, stay alert longer, improve mental clarity? These products are marketed to you and me – regular people who feel exhausted and just want to keep up with the demands on our time and energy, let alone excel at our roles of spouse, parent, worker, weekend warrior, etc.

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If you are like me, you aren’t likely going for illegal substances to keep sharp, but maybe you’ve been tempted to pop a pill or take some elixir to gain the edge you desire.

Well, I have some good news weary friend! We don’t need illegal substances, controlled substances, or so called energy potions to help us through our busy days. We can be our best by incorporating a few simple disciplines into our daily life.

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Sleep

We need to rest. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is recommended. You are laughing because that hasn’t happened for you in a long time. But why not? I challenge you to review your schedule and see where you can change your routine to get the rest you need. Chances are, you don’t need to watch that late game, movie, or TV drama. If you are just vegging in the evenings, I suggest cutting that short and going to bed. I wrote earlier about HOW TO SLEEP, and if you are looking for some rest for your weary soul, I covered that topic HERE.  Bottom line is that if you want to be sharp, you need to rest. Schedule it in your day like any other important appointment.

Water

I’m willing to bet you don’t drink enough water. Most of us don’t. There is a simple way to know if you are well hydrated. Look at the color of your urine. The more clear it is, the more hydrated you are. Being hydrated wards off common headaches, grumpiness, and a long list of physical ailments that keep you from being your best. Proper hydration = better performance.

Exercise

“I don’t have time to exercise!” Baloney. You don’t have time to SKIP exercise. Regular vigorous exercise is so good for you. It’s a natural mood booster, gives mental alertness & clarity, and actually energizes you for the day. Morning or mid-day exercises will help you power through your work day like nothing else. Besides, what good can you be in your most important roles at home and work if your body is a wreck and you are sick all the time? Take care of your body, and it will take care of you – and enhance your performance.

Balanced Diet

“Ugh. You had to mention food.” Yep. Food is fuel and your body is a finely tuned MACHINE. The fastest way to get physical results in your shape is through proper nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to follow the latest fad diet or starve yourself or spend a fortune on fancy produce to eat healthy. What you need is to eat reasonable portion sizes, more veggies, less cake and beer, and you will be shocked at how much better you feel. When you feel great, performance is enhanced – naturally.

BB Performance

OK, so there is this one thing. Sometimes we could use a quality supplement to our healthy lifestyle. I found the Beachbody Performance line to be just that. With real food all natural ingredients, these supplements taste great and help my body perform optimally.

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Personal Development/ Journaling

You’ve got to feed your mind and soul as well as your body. Taking time daily to read and reflect on something positive and encouraging (hmmm, the Team Quadzilla blog…) will go a long way to keeping you sharp and performing your best. The inputs to our mind dramatically impact our mood and attitude.  I find great encouragement in journaling. It doesn’t sound very manly, but let me tell you it is super healthy. If you want to leave a positive legacy for the next generation, I encourage you to journal your thoughts, prayers, fears, dreams, and happenings in your life. Those who come behind you might be encouraged by your writing. Journaling also helps to clear your head, reflect, and focus your mind for the day. It’s an exercise worth doing daily.

So there you have it. Nothing earth shattering here, but that’s kinda the point. Healthy living is not supposed to be complicated. We still need to actually DO these things though. Start with one and move on from there. You want to be your best and many others are counting on you as well. Maybe these simple reminders will inspire you to make a change today.

Fortitude

Change Is Messy

change is messy

WATCH THE VIDEO

I know what’s happening right now. You do, too.

We’re already 3 months into the year and the dreams and promises (aka “Resolutions”) we made to ourselves are all but forgotten in our rear view mirror. We become discouraged because it’s really hard to change. Life happens. Circumstances are out of our control. It stinks, but many of us are just done. We’ve given up.

Listen, whatever habit you want to change or behavior you want to adopt, we’ve got to remember that change is messy. We’re going to fall down, scrape our knee, get dirty, fail. It’s always up to us what we will do about the messiness of change. Regardless of life circumstances or the obstacles in the way, WE must DECIDE:

-to take a long term view of things

-to get back up when we fall

-to NEVER quit

-to embrace the mess

-to own our choices and mistakes

So if you’re falling off those 6 a.m. workouts or slipping up on that hour a day you wanted to set aside for working on your dream/ goal/ promise, guess what?

WATCH THE VIDEO

faith, Family

A Society At War With Adulthood

adult

Following is an article written by Dr Raymond Force. I thought it was worth sharing in its entirety. There are several “truth bombs” in here that deserve contemplation. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please comment at the bottom. 

It was just a few months ago that I heard the word “adulting” for the first time. I have to be honest. I was a little taken aback with its mere existence. That is, the very presence of the word should speak volumes to us in that if we even need such a word, then we obviously have some sort of struggle taking place with achieving its status. 

 

Pastor, Counselor, Coach, Or Dad? 

 

I say it all the time. I am not a pastor, counselor, or a marriage coach as much as one who seems to take on the fatherly role of teaching people lessons they should have learned years ago. Whether the lessons involve getting along with a spouse, securing peace in our souls, managing time, or making money, I feel more like a father than a coach in that many seem to be stuck between the ages of 13 and 20.

 

 The Battle With Adulthood 

 

Within the last few years, I am finding more and more people that seem to be at war with adulthood. That is, they seem to be in a perpetual battle with either acting like an adult or learning to enjoy the responsibilities that come with adulthood. Below are just a few of the aspects of adulthood with which many seem to battle: 

 

Becoming Principled-Driven 

 

If you are guided by simply your emotions, you are not an adult. Of course, emotions are important and God-given, but they are to be the car behind the engine as feelings make a marvelous caboose, but a lousy locomotive.

 

In chapter 3 of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, I discuss how feelings make a very poor marriage counselor. We also discuss how with many a couple, the true god of their marriage is their feelings instead of God the Father. This is always an issue because no marriage will ever rise any higher than its true God or god. 

 

A Giver Instead Of A Taker 

 

Manhood did not come my way until I started to wake up thinking about God, my marriage, and my children first. Of course, I believe in what Matthew Henry calls the law of self-preservation, but keep in mind that the best way to secure joy is always to give opportunity for others around you to enjoy the same. This is why Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. 

 

Loving Sameness 

 

I find that what keeps most people from consistently showing up in marriage, church life, and business is sameness, that is, doing the same thing at the same time and in the same way. However, it should be noted that children grow weary of the mundane. Adults, on the other hand, find purpose and joy in even the most mundane of tasks.

 

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He changes not, and there is no variableness with Him (James 1:17). Without God’s sameness, we would all perish as the sun would halt and the fields would refrain from yielding crops. It is amazing, however, how we want God to be more faithful to us than we are willing to be to Him and, especially, for Him.

 

Marriage, parenting, building a business, establishing a career, and learning a trade all require the ability to keep showing up. However, if a person is internally at war with consistently dealing with the same environment and the same people, then, in my opinion, they are at war with adulthood as 90% of success is having the ability to keep showing up

 

Loving Work 

 

There is a great life skill in learning to love what you despise. Now, I have to admit that I love my job, but there are a few things to consider even in this: 

 

1. I have to do a lot of things that I don’t necessarily like to do to be able to do what I love to do.

 

2. I did not get to this point overnight. In fact, I bet I could almost beat anybody if we had a contest for how many jobs or business ventures in which a person has been involved. 

 

Embracing Drudgery 

 

People that love practice more than the game, excel. Those that want the event more than the process fade away.

 

Success requires embracing the process and learning that the process can be just as rewarding as the destination. 

 

Working Well With Others 

 

Mark it down. Selfish people are always surrounded by conflict, and selfishness is one of the main characteristics of children.

 

Proverbs even deals with this in that it teaches that “when a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) 

 

Facing The Giants Of Life Head On 

 

Adults face their problems head-on. Children run, escape, and hide.

 

In our day of escapism, it is important to face our problems without the escape hatches of excuses, blame, alcohol and drugs, illicit behavior, or fantastical thinking. Be brave. Face your problems head-on by the grace of God. God will make a way, and you will find that there is no such thing as a wasted experience. 

 

You Don’t Get A Cookie For Being An Adult 

 

Herein lies my main beef with the presence of the word “adulting”. The words seems too often be used by people that want a cookie for doing things that should be what I feel are no-brainers.

 

Sorry, but getting up early, going to work, doing laundry, eating healthy, and balancing the budget are just a part of life. They do not deserve any special attention on social media nor from anyone around you. These things are not what adults do as much as they are what people have done for thousands of years without any expectation of a supposed prize. 

 

On a further note, while we as a western society give emotional medals for showing up and doing the most basic of tasks, other countries are dominating us in the business world.

 

If our highest goal is just to be at work instead of excelling at work, then we are doomed for disaster as a people group. The rest of the world will not be politically correct and stay behind their borders. They will overtake us before too long and we will no longer be the exceptional people we once were.

 

Jesus said, “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

 

I feel this verse in intriguing in that Jesus is not handing out gold stars for doing the most basic of exercises. Jesus is teaching that there are certain basic duties that should need no reward. 

 

The Real Problem 

 

The real problem is not laziness, a lack of toughness, or a lack of perspective. In my estimation, these all miss the mark. The real issue is that we have not allowed God’s adult-like characteristics to benefit our souls. When this occurs, we in turn lack the purpose and the internal strength to be as adult-like as our Heavenly Father.

 

When I was a young man, I loathed speeches and articles like the one I am writing. I only despised them because my problem was not a lack of want-to as much as it was a lack of power and purpose in my life to implement what I knew to be right.

 

To be very frank, once I started to truly fellowship with my Heavenly Father, my power-to started to become parallel with my want-to. Then and only then was I able to truly start acting like the adult God was calling me to be. 

 

The Irony Of It All 

 

The irony of this entire article is that I am able to act like an adult because I keep a child like attitude inside of me. I believe I am able to do this mainly because I sense the presence of my Heavenly Father (John 14:21-23). This allows me to enjoy the little things of life, sleep in peace, view my life as a story that He is writing, believe in happily ever afters (especially in eternity), find humor in areas where others only see seriousness, and let God fight my battles.

 

Every child is born with a light in their eyes, but I have found that life has a way of blowing it out. My readers will do well to keep a sacred place within themselves that no one else can touch. God calls it the soul, and in that place you will never regret having a place where you can spiritually run and play on His playground of prayer and meditation.

Fortitude, Personal Development

Life Knocked Me Down – Now What?

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Resilience: noun the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens;

If you follow this blog, watched my videos, scrolled through my social media posts, or talked to me personally about your healthy living journey, you have heard me talk about the importance of WHY. In some ways, the concept has become so popular that it’s almost cliché.

I’ll tell you a secret. Cliché or not, getting to your very personal and compelling reason(s) why you want to break a bad habit, start a healthy habit, or in some way change yourself in a positive way is ESSENTIAL to your success. Why?

Because life is hard. If you don’t think so right now, then fasten your seat belt because your time is coming. Tough times happen to everyone. We can prepare for trials and endure them with a little resilience. It starts between your ears by having the right mindset. Be able to draw upon your compelling reason WHY when times are tough, so instead of giving up, you press on toward your goal. You keep striving to be the person you know you can be. So while I could go on about this “define your why” concept, WATCH THIS 2 minute video, click the embedded links above and get to work!

Seriously, did you watch this video? If it doesn’t move you, inspire you, or make you cry, you might be dead.