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How and Why to Begin A Life of Spamming

Most of us under communicate. In many of our valuable UNNATURAL relationships ( the ones that are NOT in our weekly lives; i.e. home, work, school, church, etc ) these relationships are likely malnurished.

If asked, we would say that we wished we kept in touch with so-and-so on a regular basis. So my suggestion is that you start spamming them.

Yeah- spammers don’t wait for invitations or requests. They just blast out their message to people at all times and all seasons. So you should start sending friends unsolicited messages via email, voice mail, and snail mail.

Whether they return them or not; impose on your friends love, kindness and concern. And be the friend that you would want whether the relationship comes natural or not.

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Habits and Structures Govern Earth while Sensitivity and Spontenaety Reflect Heaven

I’ve tried but I can’t seem to do it. That is, manage God. And when I think I’ve got him all figured out he breaks free from what I thought I knew. But myself? I work better when I have healthy and holy habits. Most people do. Even when our structure is chaos to others – when it is predictable to ourselves we have more peace and security. So to maximize our own lives, we need to put in place structures, goals, direction and order. Now back to God. I find the best way to keep in step with Him is be ready for the unexpected. We know we are to love people, but normally the setting and timing will not be according to our time table. (See the Good Samaritan story) So if we can be ready and sensitive to both the Spirit’s leading and people’s needs – especially at inconvenient times I believe we’ll release and reflect heaven.

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Humps and Buckles

“Its Time To Get Over The Hump”

This is my word to you for 2010.

(Perhaps I’m just projecting on you what I believe the year is for me… Well so be it! If the shoe fits, then don’t trip!)

I can’t say I’ve had many humps in my past or mountains that I’ve become too familiar with. But lately, (2 years or so) there seems to be unhealthy patterns that have come a gone at a rhythmic rate. And not by coincidence either.

In Matthew 4, Jesus confronts the Devil and wins. But the enemy is said to leave for “a season.” I’m seeing that pressures come in waves and seasons trying to get us to buckle under their weight and return to old patterns of living.

These patterns can be either unhealthy or just not ideal for where God wants us to go. So every time we buckle under these weights we revert back to the bottom, to inch our way up the same hill or hump.

But perhaps 2010 could be the year we no longer succumb to the stress and pressures. And rather press on for dear life to make it to a new level – closer to the destiny we were birthed for. That is my prayer for you.

Godspeed to your own unique journey, challenges and dreams.

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Life Lessons From Old Folk

I have a grandfather.

Like most grandparents there is a trait that most stands out similar to others in their old age.

He speaks his mind!

Completely, unemotionally and without bias. He will tell you about yourself; at least according to his not-so-humble opinion. But there is a second trait that the elderly have which is not noticeable to the eye but it stood out to me via scripture.

{John 8 is the reference.} The story is of a woman is caught in adultery and brought to Jesus for confirmation of their condemnation.

Jesus, instead of affirming their judgment asks that the person who is without sin casts the first stone. And so the story goes, all the accusers drop their rocks and walk aways “STARTING WITH THE OLDEST down to the youngest.”

I love it. Most people think of the elderly as being the most wise, the most experienced, and most discerning.

Now that could be true. But what about them being the most aware of their own brokenness and sinful nature. And with that realization they are the first to drop their judgment on others. I wonder what would happen in our lives and relationships, if we who are young and think so highly of ourselves – would gain such a perspective before we get old.

[image source: http://blogs.fayobserver.com/faytoz/2009/05/14/getting-older/old-people-cross…]

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Happy Holidays From The Craigs

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When I Was A Bodybuilder… and Discovering the “CIM Principle”

Back when I was a bodybuilder… well…. maybe not a real bodybuilder, but years ago when I was an intern spending my free time lifting weights, I discovered a set of principles to overcome plateaus.

Today I call it the CIM Principle: Consistency Intensity, and Method.

First, unless you are consistent nothing else matters.

If you are not consistently working a plan and making constant effort; a sporadic or one time intense push will do nothing for the big picture. Working an all-nighter two times a year will do nothing if you not working a few hours a day over many months.

If you are not consistently working – it doesn’t matter how much education you have, how many techniques you can learn or skills you can acquire. Skills do not equal diligence. No matter how much you learn, you will still have to go through the process of consistent and diligent work.

Second, intensity trumps methodology.

Returning to my bodybuilding days, I would read through fitness magazines and look at various website to see what “new” and “unique” technique I could learn to do things different. People often talk about changing things up with you’re not seeing any gains.

But if I were to compare the results of the “latest technique” done moderately vs. doing an old technique with incredible zeal leaving me breathless and sore for days, the intense workout would alway bring more results.

I wrote in a previous post about an eye-opening conversation I had with a professional internet marketer where he suggested that I work like a mad-man for many months in order to really learn. He said that if I would put in a couple hundred hour weeks, I’d learn through experience things you would never understand via books or mentors.

Thirdly comes the method ( or education, skill or technique )

Once you have commitment and follow-through, have increased your intensity – tweaking your method is sure to bring great growth.

So if you’re like me, you need to read less blogs, and write more of your own. Schedule and spread your work out so you can go the distance. Stop asking questions and start gaining more experiences.

Good luck!

P.S. If you have other ideas, please share how you overcome plateau and see growth.

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The Gift of Perspective

In the best selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Steven Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.”

(Sorry I don’t recall which habit that is. Probably number two or three.)

In my interpretation, he’s somewhat saying people who live effectively have the ability to project themselves to their death bed and evaluate life from that perspective. Meaning that we value things differently at the end of life as opposed to when we feel like we will live forever.

Pastor and author John Piper sent a tweet a few weeks ago saying something like, “true freedom is doing what you want and not regretting those decisions for a thousand years.” Wow. Now that’s perspective!

Is what you’re doing, deciding or valuing going to stand before the judgment seat of God? Or will your great great great grandchildren be better off, not just materially, but morally and spiritually because the person you chose to become? This past summer, a group of new friends and I decided to share with one another our backgrounds. One guy began his story with six words that I will never forget. He didn’t start with where he was born, nor how his parents met; but started with the life of one of his grandparents and said: “I come from an incredible heritage.”

Now that’s what I pray my grandchildren will say about their background.

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Fulfilling Your Potential vs. Fulfilling Your Calling

Would you say these two are the same thing?

I don’t.

Here are a few reasons. Potential is a concept and measurement of human ability. It normally describes what someone could possibly achieve by accepting every opportunity.

The problem with pure potential fulfillment is that’s its normally looked at thru an earthly perspective, not a heavenly one. Potential says that Michael Jordan could not ‘only’ be a great basketball player, but if retired right at his peak instead coming in and out- he could have trained harder and maybe became an ok major league baseball player – instead of the mediocre minor league player he was. Potential says that your calling is not enough. It says that not only can you do what God wants you to do, but you can do more!! You can ALSO write books by transcribing your sermons. You can ALSO travel every other weekend if invited. You can ALSO get a TV show since hey, you’ve got a huge following, your books are selling, and you need to strike while the fire is hot!!

Seeking to maximize your potential, assumes God needs it in order to work through you. It assumes that your DNA is synonymous with God’s will and plan. It assumes that quantity and quality are the same. Lastly, one who lives totally to fulfill their human potential can turn into a Matthew 7:21 individual who stands before God listing all of their accomplishments for God unbeknowing that they never had an intimate relationship nor received personal instructions. —-/

What do you think? Please comment below:

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Free Worship Album Download – The International House of Prayer

This is cool. You will need to register with Forerunner Music, but you can download this entire collection of worship songs free. Some new, some classic, all good!!

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I Do Not Believe In Fairy Tales

It’s not that happily ever after doesn’t happen; it does.
And it’s not that rags-to-riches turnarounds don’t occur; they do.

But I think somehow we’ve come to believe that some lucky people can make it through life without real hardships. Our eyes have become dull to reality and redirected toward our hopes and wishes. We think that there is a way to escape the universal depravity which infects every sphere and strata of our existence.

So, there will be difficulty. There will not only be unexpected hardships, but there will very likely be incredibly heart wrenching challenges to overcome and pitfalls that we will have to crawl out of.

And if by chance, we find such luck that we ourselves are not the victims, I guarantee you that among the people we most love and care about there will be victims – and we’ll have to walk through it with them.

Sorry.

I don’t think fairy tales are real.

Happily ever after? Yes, definitely! I believe in the triumph. I believe in victory at all costs. But there are always casualties in war that no one speaks of publicly.

Many times it’s not just the difficulty of our circumstances that cripple us. No, it’s the expectations that we had. Our theology. Our thoughts about God. 

We just KNEW, (or perhaps we were taught) that if we lived right, prayed right, and believed unwaveringly, that “big” problems would not come our way. So, when they do show up, we’re devastated. We’re shattered. And now we have to recreate reality. We don’t know what’s real anymore, since our reality was…you know…a fairy tale. 

But I do believe in happily ever after. 

I believe that through the storms of life, through whatever difficulties we encounter, God is faithful to those who trust in Him. Not trusting that things will go our way. Not trusting that everything will work out according to our wishes, but trusting that God is good, and that he is love, and that in the end he will work things our for our good – and ultimately for His own glory.