Posts Tagged ‘good’

So here’s one for thought…

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Life is like a camera…

Focus on what’s important,

Capture the good times,

Develop from the negatives,

And if things don’t work out, take another shot.

 

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imagesMatthew 5:38-42 Jesus says, “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” It may not get me anywhere but it does feel good sometimes, if only for a moment. 

Hello i’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. It’s my intention to wrap up this series regarding my being “Average” or not? i think there have been enough examples of what it looks like to be “Average” and what it takes to not be average. There’s plenty of knowledge. Now is the time for obedience. Daily application of these principles will determine whether i am average or not.

Unknown-1Jesus continues, “Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” This could easily be misunderstood by thinking that Jesus is telling us to become doormats for everyone. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Doormats feel unworthy and allow people to mistreat them due to a lack of love and respect for themselves. Jesus is saying that our lives should flow out from the love of the Father. That as we understand more of the depth of His love for us we are able to love ourselves and then we have the ability to share that love with others.

Unknown“You’re familiar with the old written law, Love your friend,’and its unwritten companion, Hate your enemy.” i’m getting the feeling that my past is about to show me just how average i am in some areas. Jesus says, “I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.” 

my only hope for loving an enemy is through a renewed mind in Christ and my only hope of a renewed mind is a hunger and thirst regarding the Fathers love for me which goes back to the death and resurrection. Out of a revelation of the Fathers love for me will come the correct response… in every situation! These verses apply to “momentary” enemies, those that do or say something that we feel is contrary to what is inappropriate at that moment making us to want to hit them with a brick. The best example i can think of with this is a parent with their child or a husband and a wife.

When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

One of the reasons some Christians shy away from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) is because of conditional statements like this. “IF you love your enemies (the way God loves his enemies), THEN you will be his children.”

This does not mean i can earn my way into God’s family by loving my enemies. Rather it means that when i love my enemies, i prove myself to be in relationship with God.

i’ll close with Jesus words, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

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Doing my best doesn’t just happen. It must be intentional. i begin by having a plan for making small, but consistent improvements each day and thus that is MEASURE #14.

Being the best isn’t about knowing the most. Being the best is about confidently admitting i don’t know it all, while embracing every opportunity to learn and grow from the wisdom of others and through circumstances. i need to have confidence in my ability to learn, not in the amount of information i already know. i must remember that wisdom comes from gaining knowledge and experience over the course of time – not a day or a week – but over a lifetime.

Wanting to do my best, means becoming proficient at what i do. Here‘s a few things i consider and am working towards:

  • Despise not small beginnings.
  • Don’t be satisfied with Good or Better.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Outwork everyone.
  • Serve.
  • By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started.

Small consistent improvements of the above each and every day allows me to be the best that i can be each and every day. Let me expand on these small consistent improvements.

Despise not small beginnings:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people think certain jobs are beneath them. i guess it’s alright for them, so long as they understand that as long as certain kinds of work is beneath them so will certain grades of pay be beneath them.

Then there are those who have the idea that they have already “paid their dues,” or who have “not-in- my-pay grade” syndrome. i am always willing to roll up my sleeves and “chip in” and help others finish the task.

Don’t overestimate myself:

One of the saddest moments i’ve experienced is having a conversation with someone who once was “all that,” but who now has decided to live off of his or her previous successes. In many cases these types of people have one year of experience at this or that, and then just repeated it over and over? I understand that past accomplishments are merely a foundation for what i am currently doing.

Never Stop Learning:

When i meet people, the number-one thing i try to discern is whether they possess personal integrity. The second thing i try to discern is are they teachable. A teachable spirit is one of the most important traits leading to success in life. Basically, it is an attitude that drives the individual to find out the “why” and “how” of things, rather than just the “what.” One tool to discern this attitude is to ask, “what’s the  most interesting book or article you’ve read recently.”

Outwork Everyone:

It’s said that, “the only place you’ll find “success” before “work” is in the dictionary. It’s sad to say this, but it is such a treat these days to come across someone who really knows how to work. The following poem says it all. The heights by great men, reached and kept, Were not achieved by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Serve Others:

The great philosopher and physician, Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

That says it all.

By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started:

Let me share a secret that i’ve found useful when it comes to taking on big projects – such as changing my life. The secret is, take life one step at a time. i don’t need to conquer the world today, but my small consistent improvements will surely make me better at the end of the day than when i started.

This all takes discipline. Discipline that many are not willing to apply and thus at the end of the day, week or even year they will be exactly the same or even worse than when they began. That’s why i continually remind myself that i must do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

MEASURE #14 is this, Start right now, whether you have to make the plan or whether you have to implement the plan, regardless the goal is for small, consistent improvements and to that, i say “yes!”

Prior to reading or listening to this post or podcast there is a short 1 minute video regarding this idea of doing my best. Please click that link first and then come back to the post to read or listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn9tt0zgY9E

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

Og Mandino said, “Always  do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

Something happened the other day that reminded me of doing my best. It’s been a month ago when i shared about how foolish i felt after forgetting a catering event and the potential of 50 people standing outside of the building expecting breakfast, was not going to to as expected. i shared in that post about a woman who came in a few minutes early and after i share my dilemma she volunteered to help in any way i would like. She was the woman who went to the local Dunkin Donuts for me.

Yesterday we gave away the final donuts left in the freezer from that event. Today she came in and handed me some money and explained, “when you asked me to get donuts i doubled your request thinking that it wasn’t going to be enough and ever since then i have felt terrible for taking the money for my poor discission, so i’m returning it today.

i tried to convince her otherwise but nothing i said was changing her mind. She said, “it was a heart issue and that she had to be the best person she knew how to be and that she had felt terrible ever since.” i then understood that her returning the money was the only option. Here’s the amazing part, i had been sitting there working on this weeks posts about Good, Better, Best.

Vanessa  Kerry said, “One of the things I’ve learned is that when you fight for something you believe in  and you tell the truth and you do your best, you can always hold your head up  high and no one can take that away from you.

This woman wanted to hold her head up high. In-spite of my trying to make light of it and trying to convince her that there was no need to repay the money she would have no part of it, she was telling the truth, and doing her best.

i am learning to recognize the reality that just because something is good, is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things i can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Also true is the fact that some things are better than good, and these things deserve more attention in my life. But then there are the best things that should out-weigh any other options.

Perhaps this story will help? A childhood experience introduced a now elderly man to the idea that some choices are good but others are better. He lived for two years on a farm. He rarely went to town. His Christmas shopping was done in the Sears, Roebuck catalog. He spent hours poring over its pages. For the rural families of that day, catalog pages were like the shopping mall or the Internet of our time.

Something about some displays of merchandise in the catalog fixed itself in his mind. There were three degrees of quality: good, better, and best. For example, some men’s shoes were labeled good ($1.84), some better ($2.98), and some best ($3.45).    1

Today as he considers various choices, he remembers that it is not enough that something is good. He is still very much aware that other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, it’s far greater value may make it the best choice of all.

In closing… Whether it’s in regard to my actions or my words… Best: is of the highest quality, excellence, or standing. Best is most advantageous, suitable, or desirable.

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, Till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

It seems like there is always one post that is odd or different in nature from all the rest even though it is in regards to the same topic. Today is that post. While all the other posts talk about doing or being at my best today’s post is about finding my BEST ideas. Today’s post contains more research information then spiritual application but i found it interesting so please, bear with me. If you don’t care for this kind of post perhaps you could change your mind and everything will change. Find some value, some nugget in the information. Stop counting the cost of having listened to what your currently viewing as worthless. By the closing of this post i found several elements to be thankful for, hot showers being one.

i’m in the shower, mindlessly scrubbing my toes when—bam!—a prophetic thought pops into my head. Maybe i finally solve that glitch bugging me on my computer, pad or smart phone. That’s the glitch right there, too much electronics. Maybe i learn something terribly more important. The meaning of life, perhaps.

Those aha! moments aren’t locked inside my bottle of shampoo. It would seem that the shower creates the perfect conditions for a creative flash, drawing out my inner genius, so to speak.

Research actually shows i’m more likely to have a creative epiphany when i’m doing something monotonous, like fishing, exercising, or showering. Since these  routines don’t require much thought, my mind flips to autopilot. This frees up my unconscious to work on something else. my mind goes wandering, leaving my brain to quietly play a no-holds-barred game of free thoughts.

Ideas i have in the shower are so different from the ideas i have at work. Thinking hard about a problem deactivates my default thought process. This isn’t a bad thing—it allows me to focus and gives me the strength to stop day dreaming and hit the deadline. But it can also trap me. When i’m deeply focused on a task, my brain is more likely to censor unconventional, and creative, solutions… and who am i to disagree with the researchers

Strange as it sounds, my brain is not most active when i’m focused on a task. Research shows it’s more active when i let go of the controls and  allow it to wander. Shelley Carson at Harvard found that highly creative people share one amazing  trait, they’re easily distracted. And, that’s the beauty of a warm shower. It  distracts me. It makes me defocus. It lets my brain roam.

But what makes the shower different from a boring board meeting? Doesn’t my  mind wander there, too?

Well, yeah. i have the scribbles to prove it. But a  shower is relaxing. It’s a small, safe, enclosed space. i feel comfortable there. On top of that, i’m alone. It may be the only alone time i get all day. It’s my chance to get away from the outside.

When i’m that relaxed, my brain releases everyone’s favorite happy-go-lucky neurotransmitter, dopamine. A flush of dopamine boosts my  creative juices. More alpha waves will also ripple through my brain. Alphas accompany my brain’s daydreamy default setting and encourages creative fireworks.

Wait! There’s more! The time i shower, also plays into the equation. Most wash up either in the morning or at night, when we’re most tired. According to the journal Thinking  and Reasoning, that’s our creative peak. The groggy morning fog weakens my brain’s censors, keeping me from blocking the irrelevant, distracting thoughts that make great ideas possible.

There you have it. i’m distracted, relaxed, and tired. The shower creates the perfect storm  for my BEST ideas.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder says, “Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only  to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.”

If you read these posts with any regularity you’ll know that i refer to something i call the “flip side.” It’s the other side of what i’m sharing, usually it’s the negative side or effects of something. So would the “flip side” of Good, Better, Best, never let it rest till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best, be, Bad, Worse, Worst, never let it rest till you bad is worse and your worse is the worst?

No! i’m not going there, just throwing out the thought. Sometime in the future i or you will be making a decision about whether to do something Good, Better or Best and i or you will remember the Bad, Worse, Worst and it will encourage us to make the wiser choice or at leas smile.

There are some things that i know about myself and when i do my best.

i do my best when i do what God wants me to do, in words and actions.

i do my best by challenging the way i did things yesterday.

i do my best when i’m part of the solution instead of the problem. W.  Edwards Deming said, “It  is not enough to do your best, you must know what to do, and then do your  best.”

i do my best by expecting nothing less than my best.

i do my best by giving away the credit (especially if i crave it).

i do my best by practicing my gifts so i become skilled in using them. Daniel Defoe says, “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear”

i do my best by eliminating excuses and taking responsibility.

i do my best by getting up when i’ve been knocked down.

i do my best by allowing my passion to see action. Maya Angelou says, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

i do my best by keeping my promises, to others and to myself.

i do my best by showing integrity.

i do my best by delivering more than what was expect.

i do my best by making time to refresh and refill my inner spirit.

i do my best by having a strong foundation in the Word. Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

i do my best by training my mind like a pro athlete. Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves.”

i do my best by doing tasks that make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Norman Vincent Peale says, “If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.”

i do my best by serving others even when it’s at great cost to me.

In closing… i have to let go of  some GOOD things in order to choose others that are BETTER, then i have to let go of some BETTER things for the BEST, because the BEST, my BEST, develops faith in God.

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Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best.

Jarod Kintz says, “What does it mean to be the best? It means you have to be better than the number two guy. But what gratification is there in that? He’s a loser—that’s why he’s number two.”

That’s what i would call stinking thinking just as these kinds of statements i sometimes make. Statements like, “i gave it my best but, i’m not sure it was good enough. i think i gave it my best shot. all i can do now is wait and see. i did my best but…”

Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best is simply  a change of mind. There are times when i do a good job and leave it at that. There are times when i do a better job and leave it at that, as well. The problem is that when i do the good and the better thing, i ended up dealing with the reality that neither were my best.

Example… Over the years i think i’ve done a fairly GOOD job in relationship with God. Notice i said think. i want to erase it and put know but i have committed to once written it stays. That’s so these post remain real. The problem with think is, it sorta, leaves a question as to what’s being stated. There’s another problem with thinking i’ve done a good job. It’s that i’m comparing my relationship with God to others and thus mine is good, by comparison

In the past say, seven years i again think that i have done a BETTER job in the area of my relationship with God. That change of mind, to go from GOOD to BETTER, awakened me to the relationships with others around me. That’s where i was faced with the truth that i endured people and did not enjoy them. God said, “STOP THAT” and i put some effort into doing better.” The same problem exists with better as it did with good. i’m still comparing and now i’m assuming that my Good was really good. Get where i’m going? If my good really wasn’t good then my better really can’t be better.

Two years ago at this same time i had a change of mind. It was to make the leap from BETTER to BEST. That’s not to say that i have arrived. BEST is not a destination, it is a journey of intentional living. my BEST is always growing and maturing in direct proportion to my intentions. While i still make mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions, etc, i end many of my days KNOWING that i’m doing my best right where i’m at.

Let me take one last stab at explaining this. I’m driving down the road, i pass a gas station or two but pay no attention to the gas gage in my car and then i run out of gas. Good would be to check the gas gage. Better would be to check the gas gage and to drive in the direction of one of the gas stations. Best would be to check the gas gage, drive in the direction of the gas station and to stop and put gas in the car. There is a confidence that then comes from doing my best.

Checking the gage gave me valuable information but i did nothing with it so it was useless. The word of God is like that, filled with valuable information yet if left for simply good information it is useless.

Checking the gas gage and driving in the direction of the gas station was certainly better than doing nothing but ultimately it was still less than what was best. So i hear or read the word of God which is better than what was good if left there it still does nothing toward getting what i need in my life.

The best i can do is read the word which is good, move in the direction of the filling station by studying the word, which is better, and then stop, stay a while and fill up on His presence which is my best!

Several weeks ago i read 1Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV), “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

my heart started pounding and my mind started racing. Nice right, but what does that mean? “ed’s “Eye has not seen,” nor has ed’s ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of ed the things which God has prepared for ed who loves Him.” 

Initially when i began looking at Proverbs 29:28 which said “those who can not see what God is doing, stumble all over themselves,” it seemed to make sense in that context the ed’s eye has not seen what God is doing. Then add the ear thing and the heart thing and it losses any congruity that i imagined. So… i put the verse away in a draft file and let it sit, expecting that if it was a God thing he would reveal more.

Honestly I forgot about it until now while looking through my drafts. i read it and the same thing, heart started pounding and my mind…. there was no shortage of thoughts. Once again i tried to make sense of it. NOTHING! ZIP, ZERO, NADA! But then I remembered the rest of Proverbs 29:28, “but those who attend to what He has revealed will be most blessed.”

Attend to…? Could it be…., no……, possibly…..? it can’t hurt. Attend to by reading the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 2 and there was my answer.

i then decided to read 1 Corinthians 2:9 in more familiar words by going to the MSG. Of course i can’t get a single verse so i had to read 6-19.

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, (repositioning myself to do just that, get feet on firm spiritual ground) but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.

But ed, you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

There are two types of questions. The first are good questions which get me good information. The second are great questions which get me transformation. Here’s my great question, “ed are you attending to what He has revealed?” my answer… yes, absolutely and it’s apparent because old things are passing away and all things are new!

Today i begin the journey of “understanding the times” in more depth. i am already more aware that the ground rules have changed and that it does have an effect on my life. i can not just observe, i must participate, i can not compromise, but must become more passionate, No more que sara sara, but my life built on the plan from the word. This is also helping me to live out my twelve step program for getting healed and set free from my addiction to sin.

The only way for me to fail is to do nothing. There is a saying that says, “Good men only fail when they do nothing. i know that in general i am a good man but i am also aware that i could be a better man and so if i do nothing i will fail. If i do nothing regarding my addiction to sin i will fail. I Am is not a failure and neither am i. i will do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

Let me make something very clear in all this. God is a person not a process… BUT… there is power in the process to the promise. i am in this to learn about relationship. Personal, intimate, eternal relationship with the Father, personal, intimate, eternal relationship with myself, and personal, intimate, eternal relationship with others and while my twelve step process deals with those issues they originate from the Word through the Father.

Surprise, surprise! i have been led to the place where my plan is to originate from. In fact i don’t have to write anything new it’s all there for this season of my life. The plan can be found in Colossians chapter three. It’s today where i’m not sure what to do? Do i post the entire chapter for reading and if so what translation? Or… do i take it word by word and use a couple of translations and then at the end post it as a whole?

There is a 5 minute pause here that can’t be read. The latter seems to make more sense. In case someone is wondering how i was led to this, it’s simple. i am waiting on my Experiencing God book to arrive to once again do a study with some others. While waiting i randomly said, “until the books arrive let’s every day read Colossians three and then each of us discuss a nugget of truth and application we get from it. The very first day i realized that it fit very well with Issachar, understanding the times, using the events to my advantage and my twelve step process. Knowing that my hope is for my children and my grandchildren to someday read this, i’m going to keep today short and ask that Jeremy and Melissa, Brooke and Greg, Ethan, Elijah, and Zeke, when the time is appropriate to read Colossians 3. i have an app on my phone called Bible Is and it actually reads it to me. On the way to work Ann Marie and i listened to it over and over for 30 minutes. It helps me to get it into my spirit. It is truth!