Chill a little

Self-discipline is a funny thing. In one way it makes us stronger and more focused than someone without it but in another, it makes us so determined that we lose the ability to see the simple things around us. It also has the ability to force us to do things that we might otherwise, simply blow-off. I’ve been pretty self-disciplined my whole life; I had goals to reach and found ways to complete them. When one road was blocked, I found a path that would lead me to another road headed in the direction that I wanted to go. This type of drive can become consuming and before you know it, you aren’t paying attention to the things that are changing around you. My son is often reminding me to “just relax and chill a little”.

He is often right but I still have trouble getting my head around his happy-go-lucky life; I do need to chill out a little bit. Between my re-election campaign being in full swing, my travel schedule, my special projects and, work demands I could use a little less drive and a little more chill. Self-discipline won’t let us ignore the commitments that we’ve made, nor should we. However, it should also teach us to balance ourselves and take time for ourselves and each other. Look around the world at the top athletes and you will see very self-disciplined people. You will also see people so absorbed in themselves that they lose sight of the things that matter most. Stay balanced!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

God never intended for us to be timid; He wants us to be bold and social. We are supposed to be sharing God’s word with a world that needs salvation and we can’t do that when we sit quietly by ourselves. God’s Spirit gives us power and love to be there for other people or to openly share God’s message. We should have the confidence to stand tall in the face of all adversity because God has given us the strength to do it. No matter what is before you, you have the power of God’s spirit by your side. When you are troubled, turn to God for strength to knock those troubles down.

God’s love for you will protect you and He is always there for you. One part of self-discipline is that we remember to do what God has asked of us too. We may be driven in this life, have great goals for our careers, and can even pave new roads to success but if we are not disciplined to be faithful to God by growing and sharing in His love, what is the use? God says to us “chill a little” on those earthly wants and needs and give Me a little time. Learn what God has in mind for us, learn what love really is and learn what real self-discipline is by knowing how Jesus gave His life for us. He could have changed course when things got bad or quit when He found out that He was to die. Jesus had the self-discipline to stay the course that God had chosen for Him. God isn’t asking much of us, just a little time with Him and less in this world. Go chill with God.

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Work /Life Balance

The other day I received a daily inspirational e-mail that shared this quote from the book “Wisdom of Wolves”: “Don’t get so busy making a living that you don’t know what you are living for.” Ironically, it came into my inbox while we were in Las Vegas for a few days of vacation. I was trying to take a few “days off” from the many hats that I wear but found myself checking e-mails and on few occasions, replying to some. I became busy making a living again and was sucked into working, even on “vacation”. Companies and their employees are always trying to find that work/life balance where everyone can have their cake and eat it too. As a matter of fact, the last thing I did before shutting down my computer on Tuesday was write a statement of the Vision of a fire district we are working with that said “We recognize the importance of balancing individual, family, and organizational growth and needs.” It was important to this client that they stated this as a value of the organization. How important is it in your life? What are you living for? It is easy to forget that in the end, you can’t take it with you. I realized during this trip that it wasn’t important where I was and what we were doing; but whom I was doing it with – my wife. We have been together for 29 years this month (married 27yrs) and have an awesome family much of it while I was busy making a living. I didn’t need to drive 400 miles from home to enjoy her company; I just needed to take the time to be with her. It took a life-altering event four years ago to change my perspective on who was really in control and what was truly important in my life. Don’t seek a work/life balance; take time to make it.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5

Trust is a hard thing to build but an easy thing to loose. God has shown us that we can trust in Him. He has kept all of His promises and even proven His love for us through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ. However, Satan is always at work and keeps planting seeds of doubt in minds. We question God’s love when things go bad, when tragedy strikes or we don’t get what we asked for. Satan has us questioning God’s trustworthiness. Our human nature makes it easy for us to doubt God’s word because we expect Him to do things our way, according to our plan or at least the way we want things to go. We should know by now that God will reveal His plan on His own timeline. We can strengthen our trust in God by reading the words He gave to us through the Bible, through regular worship and prayer, through good fellowship with other believers but most importantly; by having a relationship with Him. Spend time with God, it doesn’t matter where or when just lean on Him and “trust in the Lord with all your heart.”