Action

Ready for Action

by Andy Wood on July 19, 2013

in 100 Words, Executing Your Plan, LV Cycle, Photos

Action 41

They say timing is everything.

Action 11

And it certainly matters. [click to continue…]

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Mountain BridgeNehemiah discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – local thugs were keeping the holy city of his fathers in ruins as the people there had tried to rebuild it for 40 years.

What should be – a city with a wall around it.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to pray or weep over it.  He needed to take action.  So Nehemiah aimed for The Gap.  And 52 days after his arrival in Jerusalem, the wall was completed.

Moses was hiding from his past on the back side of the desert when he discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – the cries of the oppressed Israelites had reached the ears of their God.

What should be – a nation of slaves set free to inherit the land of God’s promise.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to stand there and try to argue with a burning bush and the God who was calling him.  He needed to take action.  So Moses aimed for The Gap.  And weeks later, he and a few million of his family members stood at the edge of the Red Sea.

This is the essence of leadership.  [click to continue…]

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Man  and his dog reading newspaperIt was one of the early flashes of her wicked-strong sense of humor.  I was taking the twins to school during their sixth grade year.  We passed by the big-chain hotel on South Loop 289 when all of a sudden I heard Carrie bust out laughing from the back.

What was so funny?

The welcome sign at the hotel read, “Welcome Pest Control.”  Obviously it was some kind of meeting of some organization in that industry.  But I’m not sure that’s what you want to trumpet to the rest of the potential guests.

“I’ve heard of roach motels before,” she said, “but they must be desperate.”

+++++++

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  [click to continue…]

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AvoidanceImagine you are going into an office that has two points of entry.  Either door leads into the same large area.  It’s during office hours, so you know both doors are unlocked.  The first door you come to is closed.  The second, a little further down the hall, is open.  Which door do you go in?

I actually had that conversation with someone who challenged me.  We were going down the hallway and I passed the first door – the closed one, and walked in through the open door.

“Why did you do that?” Krista asked.

“Do what?”

“You walked past a perfectly good door to go through the second.”

“Because the second one was open,” I said, a little baffled that someone would actually question that.

“But the first one was closer,” Krista said.  Krista was a high school senior, our next door neighbor, and wonderful babysitter.  She was also literally a genius.  We had lots of deep conversations like this back in the day.

Then I blurted out this little gem of wisdom that revealed a lot more than I planned: [click to continue…]

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Lean 2

A few years ago Mike Ashcraft came up with a revolutionary idea.  In considering what we all intuitively know – that New Year’s resolutions are inherently powerless to produce real life change – Mike proposed capturing the essence of the person we want to become, or what we most want God to do for us in one simple word.

“My One Word,” he called it.

The idea caught fire, and his web site, myoneword.org, became a gathering place for people all over the world to share their core essential idea for that particular year.

I arrived late to that party when a LifeVesting reader pointed me to the site a couple of years ago.  I was captivated by the idea, and landed on the word, Finish! as my word for that year.

I revisited the idea when I wrote this post about things to do before the end of the year.  I learned in the process that Mike, along with Rachel Olsen, has since written a book that is now available to guide you through the process.

In prayerfully considering what my one word could and should be for this year, I began searching for the themes the Lord seems to have been playing out in my life recently – what I call the Descants of the Soul.  Those themes have a way of ebbing and flowing.  And it didn’t take me long at all to land on what my one word should be… [click to continue…]

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Gloriously Never Enough

by Andy Wood on December 31, 2012

in Life Currency, Love, Words

Miles to GoThe more you love someone, even God, the more you’d better get used to the World of Never Enough.  Some days that’s a peaceful and practical place to be.  At other times it’s mind-numbingly frustrating.

As we’ve been repeatedly told over the last decade, everybody has a “love language” by which they both measure and naturally express love.  Doesn’t matter.  Whatever language you speak or listen for, at the end of the day you’re still inadequate to communicate all that’s in your heart or all that those who depend most on you for love need.

Take words, for example – one of my most trusted tools.  There’s a lazy streak in me that wishes I could just find the magic words and loop them over and over, without having to think of any more ways to say it. The problem is that words, despite their power, are gloriously limited.

That’s when you action folks take the stage.  “Love is something you do,” you opine.

Amen!

So do it.  And when you’ve done all you can do today, guess what?  There’ll still be more to do tomorrow – especially for those you love most.

Now.  You have two choices when it comes to the World of Never Enough.  [click to continue…]

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Davidson High School, Mobile, Alabama.  Circa 1974.  My freshman year.  I’m standing in the cafeteria line, waiting to decide whether I was going with the hamburger or whatever today’s chef’s choice was.  It was there I spotted her, headed toward the faculty dining room.  This was worth losing my spot in line for.

She was our school guidance counselor, and also an experienced English teacher.  She was wise about things I was ignorant of.

She also happened to be my great aunt.

“Aunt Helen!” said I.  “I wanted to ask your advice about something.”

“What’s that,” she replied.

“Well, see, I’m writing a book – a novel – and I wanted to get some advice from you about how to get it published.”

(I should pause here to interpret what “novel” meant.  I probably had about five chapters, about five notebook pages hand-written each, about a tough-guy high school kid who winds up dying for the girl he loves, who happened to have the same name as the girl I was fixated on in the ninth grade.  Anyway…)

Her advice was sage – way wiser than my 14 years.   She didn’t write off my dreams and tell me that 14-year-olds don’t get published as novelists.  She didn’t boggle my mind about query letters, agents or publishing houses either.  She offered me words of encouraging truth. [click to continue…]

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Q – I am really backsliding in my relationship with God and I’m not really worshipping like I used to. What should I do? Please help.

There is more to life than trusting Christ as your Savior and waiting to die so you can show up in heaven.  He has designed a journey of growth, love, and intimacy that allows you to make choices today that will serve you in this life (the future) and the next (your eternal home in heaven).  It’s also possible, however, that you can waste your life and its opportunities for intimacy with the Lord.  That’s the basis of this question.

Every believer deals with this issue – what to do when we find ourselves drifting away from that connection with the Lord.  If somebody gave merit badges or degrees in this, I’d be at the front of the line!  Here are some things I have found to be helpful in reconnecting my life with God, reordering my priorities, and renewing my spiritual life. [click to continue…]

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Pam is a worrier.  She knows she isn’t supposed to, but her underlying insecurity tends to frame every thought or situation in terms of what’s the worst thing that can happen.  When people tell her it’s a sin to worry, she just worries more about that.  She would like some joy in her life, but after a couple of times being burned or disappointed, she feels the need to protect herself from pain.

Pam is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is her boss, Alex.

Alex lives his life in pursuit of excellence.  Work excellence.  Play excellence.  Family excellence.  Financial excellence.  Your excellence if you get close enough.  The problem is that everything has to be so excellent that most times nothing is.  Because Alex can’t settle for ordinary in anything, he’s haunted by mediocrity in everything.

Alex is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is his sister, Teri.

Teri is one of the walking wounded.  Her life has been a vicious cycle of injury, followed by failure, followed by injury, followed by failure again.  It seems that whenever she’s working on forgiving somebody else, she becomes haunted by her own past sins or consequences.  These past mistakes and conflicts have left her fearful of trusting and shy of trying anything or anyone new in her life.  She knows her version of “playing it safe” is only adding to the sadness.  But she’d rather have a sad heart than a seared one.

Teri is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is her son, Will. [click to continue…]

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Pssst.

Over here.

I have something you need to see.

I’m not showing it to anybody else yet because I wanted you to be the first to take advantage of it.  But next week it goes public.  And this won’t be a secret for very long.  This is a once-in-a lifetime…

(wait for it…)

…yeah, that.

Opportunity.  It’s an often-used, sometimes over-used concept.  Americans throw it around as if we own the copyright to the term.  You can see and hear it everywhere… [click to continue…]

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