Archive for the ‘Energy’ Tag

Energized   Leave a comment

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Have you participated in an event which causes you to feel energized by the end?  Recently I have been attending worship at a local church where this feeling occurs every time.  I enjoy the worship experience and find a great connection with the Spirit each time I attend.  There is a genuine sense of love and a high level of energy.  People of all ages gather and truly worship because they feel a connection.  The focus is on worshiping the Lord.

Another truly wonderful aspect is that I look forward to going to worship.  I know that no matter how challenging my week has been, I have an opportunity to focus on my faith and find fellowship.  The people whom I am with provide energy for me.  They share with one another and support one another in an uplifting manner.

Unfortunately, I am sure all of us have been in situations within the church where the opposite occurs.  I have attended worship in some churches where I walk away feeling drained.  The atmosphere, the worship style, and the people’s attitude extracts energy.  This has nothing to do with the style of music, the volume of music, the pastor’s style, or how liturgical the worship.  It is all about the feeling and attitude of those who are worshiping.

My hope for all of you are that you have the opportunity to participate in an event that provides energy to you.  I know that I am grateful to find this church and this worship experience.


The Rhythm   Leave a comment

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Today as I sit in my office, I hear the rhythmic pattern of the rain water trickling down the inside of a downspout.  This morning has consisted of a light, gentle rain.  So the combination of seeing the falling rain droplets and hearing the movement of water through the drain spout, I am very conscious of rhythm.  I am probably especially attuned to rhythmic sounds since I was a percussionist during my days in the school bands.

This focus on rhythm has caused me to think about the rhythms of life this morning.  As an old song states in its lyrics, “And the beat goes on.”  Life has a rhythm and specific beats  that move us along.  If we take the time to be quiet, we can hear that rhythm.  As we open our eyes to the events around us, we can see that rhythm.  It invades all aspects of our lives.  There is rhythm in our personal lives.  There is a rhythm to our professional lives as well.

I think that there are three possible responses to the rhythm of life.  The first is to let it sooth us into just going along with the motions.  This response is seen in individuals who take hold of the routine of daily life and remain in that routine no matter what else is occurring around them.  They seem to have more a robotic approach to life.

The second response is one of battle.  This response is when an individual constantly tries to resist the rhythm of life.  It would be like a member of the marching band attempting to march in a different pattern than what the drum line is creating in their cadence.  This response will appear awkward and maybe even a bit disturbing.  People around this type of individual response will often become frustrated with the individual.

The third response is one of gaining energy from the rhythm.  A person who has this response first is aware that there is a rhythm of life.  Then the individual uses that rhythm to energized them as they move forward.  They will often make their own mark on the rhythm and may even adjust the pattern of the rhythm.  Yet they do not let the rhythm control them or lull them into a mindless movement.  They also do not fight the rhythm.  The person instead takes ownership of the rhythm and even some control of it.

The rhythm of life – such a gift for us to do something with in life.

Posted May 26, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Leadership, Life

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The Power of Positive Thinking   1 comment

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I was thinking this morning about the differences between an optimistic view and a pessimistic view.  On a cold and cloudy day like today, it is very easy to lean much more toward the pessimistic side of thought.  As I walked outside this morning, I was thinking, “Not another day of this cold wind and freezing temperatures!”  I know that I have been complaining to anyone who will listen (and even those who fake listening) about how tired I am of winter.  So I would have to say that my viewpoint this morning has definitely been on the “half empty glass” side of things.

Yet, my thoughts betrayed me as I sat at my desk this morning.  I began to think about how close we are to the month of March.  I began thinking about the fact that March 20 is the “official” day of spring. Even though the weather does not always reflect this spring date, we are leaning much closer to warmer weather, thawing, greening grass and more sunshine.  When I looked at this in comparison to November 20, I realized that the end of winter is close at hand.

Once my thoughts shifted toward the more optimistic or positive side, I found my attitude and spirit lifting.  I realized that whenever I am dwelling on the negative aspects of life, I lose energy, focus, and feel very weighed down.  When I am able to shift towards the positive side, all of that goes in the opposite direction.

So I would like to challenge each of you to spend the day monitoring if you are looking at things from a half-full glass approach or a half-empty glass approach.  If you find yourself on the half-empty side, work at moving over to the half-full side.  I would suspect that you will find yourself much more energized if you do so.

Needing Filled   2 comments

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Today, as I sit at my desk, words of a chorus from an older hymn continue to creep into my thoughts.  Have you ever had a day, or maybe a week, when all of a sudden you seem to hit a brick wall?  A point where your energy seems to be waning and as you look at your to-do list you begin to wonder how you ever are going to accomplish it all?  Well, this morning seems to be one of those mornings for me.  Yet, the Lord shared a message with me as I sat and pondered what I would write about today.  So let me pass the message on to you.  You can use it today or save it for one of those days in which you hit a brick wall.

Fill my cup, Lord.  I lift it up, Lord!  Come and quench this thirsting of my soul; Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.  Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.”  (Chorus written by Richard Blanchard, 1959.)

I know that I needed to hear that today.

Little Versus Big   Leave a comment

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One of the most difficult things for most of us is making sure that we focus our time and energy on the big items of life and not let the little items distract us.  What I am referring to requires perspective.  When we look at the life span of a human in comparison to the whole time line of creation, we realize that our length of time is pretty small.  This reality, helps to put perspective upon the various crises, tasks, and challenges of life.  The question that each of us should ask when confronted with these items is… How will this impact the forward movement of life?

I am not advocating that we ignore the “little” items.  If you ignore them, eventually they will pile up into a “big” item.  However, do not let these littles overwhelm you or consume your energy.  This will require some prioritization.  It also helps if you have a trusted friend or coworker which you can share information with and receive feedback to help you keep littles as littles and identify the bigs.

One of the measurements that I try to use on a regular basis is to view the situations and tasks in regards to the human quotient.  By this, I mean that I consider how the item which I am dealing with impacts my well-being and/or the well-being of others.  I view the impact on relationships.  I view the impact on livelihood.  I view the impact on the health and mental status.  When I remember to use this measurement, it is very beneficially in identifying littles and bigs.

The other measurement I try to use was handed down to me by my grandfather.  He was often quoted as saying, “A hundred years from now, who will give a (care)?”  He actually used a different word at the end but I edited for the purpose of this post.  Again, I think that this question helps me to keep perspective.

So I challenge each of you to expend your energy on the bigs of life and deal with the littles when you have time and energy left over.

Posted December 3, 2014 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Leadership, Life

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Flowing Water   Leave a comment

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I want my life to be flowing water and not a stagnant pond!

Let me give a little background into that statement.  One of the realities of life is that change is going to occur.  In a conversation that I was having today, we both acknowledged this reality.  I think there is always a part of each of us that hopes that things do not change.  This is most often true when there are a lot of positives occurring in our lives.  Just as much as there is a part of us that wishes to avoid change, there is an equal part that hopes for change.  This hope arises most frequently when there are a lot of negatives taking place.  However, we often have limited impact on change other than our ability to respond to, and at times, guide change.  We cannot stop change.

As I reflected on change this morning, the image of water came to my mind.  If you stand by a flowing creek or river, you realize that there is constant motion, constant change.  This movement provides opportunity for life and can be very refreshing on hot day.  Through the flowing water, we can capture some energy.  We see forward progress of everything caught up in its flow.

Another scene with water is one that takes place at a pond which is neither spring feed or receiving the flow of a stream.  When you stand alongside one of these bodies of water, you often detect an unpleasant odor.  Many times there are all forms of algae or other plant life covering the top of the water.  This pond is stagnant.  There is no movement and often no lasting life.  The reason is there is no change occurring with the water.

So if I carry the water image into my thoughts about life, I would prefer that my life be flowing water and not a stagnant pond.

Searching for Answers   Leave a comment

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There are times that I feel I am on a never-ending quest.  This quest started before I was even aware that it existed.  I have a feeling that this quest will continue until the day I take my last breath.  The quest of which I speak is the quest for answers.  It is a quest that I know I am not on alone.  I am confident that there are millions of other people on this same quest.  This quest can be very energizing and yet at the same time, it can be very exhausting.  This quest contains much joy but still is filled with frustration.  This quest is what drives scientists, religious scholars, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, leaders, and almost every human that I know.  Everyone seems to be seeking answers.

One of the amazing aspects of this search for answers is that there are so many questions.  The questions are based on our perspective, our experiences, and our current circumstances.  In fact, part of the search is a search for the “right” questions.  It is impossible to find answers when we do not even know the question.  So our quest begins with determining the question which we desire to have answered.

Another amazing reality on this quest is that there are so many sources trying to provide us with “the” answer.  There are ancient writings and contemporary discoveries.  There are experts from every venue to offer us input.  There are books, podcasts, articles, television programs, TED Talks, and the internet.  In fact, there is so much input that often it seems even more difficult to find answers because sorting through all the data just creates confusion.

I must confess, there are times I wish that someone (preferably the Lord) would just give all the answers to all the questions and I could be done with the quest.  However, that is not how the world has been designed.  When God created us, God chose to give to us an inquisitive mind.  God placed the first question in our thoughts and much like a flower opening to the sunlight, we continue to blossom with answers and new questions.

So the search continues.  I have learned that I must accept that for every answer I think I find, there will be at least three more questions that come from that discover.  I have learned that this quest for answers is the force that moves life.  I have accepted that there will be energy, exhaustion, joy and frustration which I will experience on the quest.  I am grateful that I make this journey not alone but with other humans and, most importantly, with my Lord.