Teachable Spirit?
As we press on in the pursuit of life change, I wanted to share some things with you I learned from John Maxwell. I'm going to list a few of his thoughts:
While Mr. Maxwell uses the word "teachability" I'm revising it to "teachable spirit"
A Teachable Spirit (teachability) is not so much about competence and mental capacity as it is about attitude. It is the desire to listen, learn, and apply. It is the hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn. I love the way legendary basketball coach John Wooden states it: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

“the most important skill to acquire is learning how to learn.” Here is what I suggest as you pursue a teachable spirit (teachability):

1. Learn to listen.

American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak and one to hear.” Being a good listener helps us to know people better, to learn what they have learned, and to show them that we value them as individuals.

As you go through each day, remember that you can’t learn if you’re always talking. As the old saying goes, “There’s a reason you have one mouth and two ears.”

Listen to others and remain humble, and you will learn things that can help you expand your talent.

2. Understand the learning process.

Here’s how learning typically works:

STEP 1: Act.

STEP 2: Look for your mistakes and evaluate.

STEP 3: Search for a way to do it better.

STEP 4: Go back to Step 1.

Remember, the greatest enemy of learning is knowing. And the goal of all learning is action, not knowledge. If what you are doing does not in some way contribute to what you or others are learning in life, then question its value and be prepared to make changes.

3. Look for and plan teachable moments.

If you look for opportunities to learn in every situation, you will expand your talent to its potential. But you can also take another step beyond this and actively seek out and plan teachable moments. You do that by spending time in God's Word (reading books), visiting places that inspire you, attending events that prompt you to pursue change, and spending time with people who stretch you and expose you to new experiences.

4. Make your teachable moments count.

Even people who are strategic about seeking teachable moments can miss the whole point of the experience. I’ve found that many people walk away from an event and do very little with what they heard.

We tend to focus on learning events instead of the learning process. Because of this, I try to help people take action steps that will help them implement what they learn. I suggest that in their notes, they pay special attention to

Points they need to think about

Changes they need to make

Lessons they need to apply

Information that they need to share

Then after the conference, I recommend that they create to-do lists based on what they took note of, then schedule time to follow through.

5. Ask yourself, “Am I really teachable?”

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: all the good advice in the world won’t help if you don’t have a teachable spirit. To know whether you are really open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I listen more than I talk?

Do I readily admit when I am wrong?

Do I observe before acting on a situation?

Do I ask questions?

Am I open to doing things in a way I haven’t done before?

Am I willing to ask for directions?

Do I act defensive when criticized, or do I listen openly for truth?

If you answered no to one or more of these questions, then you have room to grow in the area of a teachable spirit ( teachability). You need to soften your attitude, learn humility, and remember the words of John Wooden: “Everything we know we learned from someone else!”

Okay friends, this is our next "rest area". I'd love it if you would share your thoughts on a teachable spirit. What is the Lord teaching you about the changes He is encouraging you to make?

Congrats to KIM
Toot Doot Doot Doo!
Announcing the winner of the latest gift give away.

Congratulations to Kim who left her post on January 24 at 4:20 PM.
Your name was randomly selected to receive a copy of the book Made to Crave.
Kim, please email me your address so I can put your book in the mail.

I pray the Lord will minister to you through every word.


Who Am I?
In light of our last post on "Stones of Remembrance", I wanted to pose this question today.

"Who Am I?" Interesting question, don't you think?
It's not only interesting, but a great opportunity to revisit some important truths.
As a believer in Jesus Christ we MUST remember who we are in order to behave like we believe.

Here are but a few truths contained in God's word. I hope you will rest on these truths and verses.
Write them in your journal, put your name in each verse, then read those verses out loud. Let your ears hear God's truth spoken in your own voice.

You my sweet sister are:
A New Creature
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
God's child, for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.
(1 Peter 1:23).
Forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood
(Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:14, Colossians 1:14, 1 John 2:12, 1 John 1:9)
(1 Peter 1:18,19 Galatians 3:13)
A Saint 
(Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Philippians 1:1)
(Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Galatians 3:9)
Holy and without blame before Him in love.
(1 Peter 1:1, Ephesians 1:4)
(Revelation 21:7)
Set Free
(John 8:31-33)
Strong in the Lord.
(Ephesians 6:10)
Dead to sin
(Romans 6:2,11; 1 Peter 2:24)
More than a conqueror
(Romans 8:37)
Joint heir with Christ
(Romans 8:17)
Complete in Him.
(Colossians 2:10) Lacking NOTHING.

Friends, it is my goal to shore up our foundation of truth as we strive to move ahead in our pursuit of change.

What truths and verses from God's word can you share with us?

Your Ebenezer

In my last post, I encouraged you to celebrate a number of things while in the midst of persevering through your current circumstances. One thing I encouraged you to celebrate was your Ebenezer. For those of you who missed that post, I'll bring you up to speed.

Revisiting those times when you experienced God's faithfulness and provision offers encouragement for what we're facing today. An Ebenezer is a "stone of help," or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid.
1 Samuel 7:12, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”" (NIV)
This thought is even in one verse of the hymn "Come thou Fount of Very Blessing"

Have you ever recorded His wonderful and marvelous blessings? If you have, pull out those pages and revisit your own story in your own words.
If you've never recorded your story, ask the Lord to bring those times and experiences to your mind and jot them down.

I love to revisit the pages of my journals. To be reminded of the hard places and God's amazing provision and presence.
Now, I'd like to ask you to share your Ebenezer Stones with us. I'm confident it will be an encouragement to us all.

I've learned so much from your posts on perseverance. I'd like to rest on this subject a bit longer.

I am right in there with you friends in feeling the discomfort, confusion, fear, worry and even boredom of perseverance. I would be so bold to suggest that my success rate is probably equal to my failure rate.

BUT this is what I've discovered about perseverance:

In the midst of my persevering there comes a point where I have to make the decision to choose to press on, to continue, to stick to my commitment and walk through the discomfort, confusion, fear, worry and yes even the dreaded boredom. I have to choose to be the victor instead of the victim. I have to choose to WANT TO change more than I want to be comfortable, more than I want clarity and understanding. More than I want peace and even more than I want a different circumstance or situation.

It has been eye opening to discover this one truth. Perseveranceis an assignment from my heavenly Father to put "feet" to my beliefs and words. I say I trust the Lord will all my heart, mind and strength and that's easy to do when things are going along swimmingly. But what about those times when we are faced with a life circumstance that requires weeks, months or even years of waiting? What about that causes my perseverance wain and waffle? Is itsimply a matter of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual exhaustion? Interesting question.

While you're pondering that, let me encourage you in your perseverance today.

I want you to put on your tiara (you do have a tiara don't you? If not go to the dollar store or Walmart and get one.), stand up and give yourself a rousing round of applause.

It is time to celebrate, right now, right where we are, right in the middle of our present circumstances.

Yes, you read this correctly, I want you to celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music!

I want you to:

Celebrate your Successes - Make a list of your successes. I don't care if it's something as simple as only managing to brush your teeth, or finding a way to get out of the house with matching shoes.

Celebrate your Ebenezers - Revisiting those times when you experienced God's faithfulness and provision offers encouragement for what we're facing today. An Ebenezer is a "stone of help," or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid. 1 Samuel 7:12, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”" (NIV)

Celebrate what you have today - You may be in the midst of a difficult and desperate situation, but you are alive and breathing. Celebrate that.

Celebrate your strengths - And yes, you do have them. If there’s something that frustrates you about yourself think of it as a strength that's waiting to be discovered. Celebrate your strengths and the fact that God designed you and knit you together with those strengths. Celebrate by using them to bring Him glory.

Celebrate Forgiveness - Celebrate the healing and love that forgiveness has provided you through Jesus Christ.

I'll leave you with a few encouraging words from Rick Warren

Rick Warren - To discover the will of God you don’t know, do the will of God you do know.

Rick Warren - I'm expecting the manifest presence of God to find me where I am and show me what I need to change.

Rick Warren - Just as night conceals earth but reveals the universe, your dark times can reveal truths about God u wouldn’t see otherwise.

Now it's your turn...

From Procrastination to Perseverance

As we move forward in our study on change, I'd like to move us from procrastination to:


The Greek word (proskarteresis)

is translated perseverance, it means endurance and continuance.

There are a number of places in the word where we find the idea of perseverance, just under a different name.

Here a few to consider:

1. Stand Firm - I Cor. 15: 58, "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (NIV)

2. Faithful - Col. 1: 2, "To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ:Grace and peace to you from God our Father." (NIV)

3. Obedient - I Pet. 1: 14, "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." (NIV)

4. Keep - Jude 21, "keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." (NIV)

5. Continue - Col. 1: 23, "f you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant." (NIV)

Here are a few biblical examples of things that hinder perseverance.

The Parable of the Sower for instance has a number of examples.

1. Lack of understanding - Matthew 13:19, "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path." (NIV)

2. Trouble/Persecution - Matthew 13 :21, "But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away." (NIV)

3. Worry - Matthew 13:22, "The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." (NIV)

4. Deceitfulness of wealth - Matthew 13:22, "The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." (NIV)

5. Our enemy (the evil one) is behind people not persevering - Matthew 13:19, "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path." (NIV)

So, after studying these verses what is the one conclusion can we reach?

Those who persevere will receive God's blessing.

Matthew 10:22b, "but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." (NIV)

What about you friend? What are your thoughts?

I'd love to hear your story.

Seven "Gets" for Change
Hi friends,

Congrats to Kim for winning the latest give away. Kim, your $25.00 Starbucks gift card is in the mail today.
The next gift give away is just around the corner. Keep posting and you'll be eligible for the next drawing.

As we move along in our New Years commitment to change, I want to extend our conversation as we look at

Seven "Gets" for Change:

1. Get Thoughtful! Identify your past successes. Let's build on those.
It doesn't matter what you want to change - spiritual, physical, emotional or mental health, fulfillment or true and lasting happiness. Identify the decisions you made last year that transformed you and helped you acieve success.

Journal about the following:

What barriers did you encounter last year?

What disappointments did you experience?

Identify things you do not want to repeat?

What will you not put up with any longer?

What made your life fragile and unproductive?

What was painful, but priceless?

What empowering decisions did you make?

Did you have the courage to stop doing things that hindered your success?

Change isn't always easy but we can be assured that two things will assist us in making changes: Consequence and Incentive.

2. Get Tenacious! If we're going to change anything, we must be tenacious about NOT wavering. Tenacity will help propel our actions toward change.

The difference between a successful athlete and others is this: With all things being equal the most tenacious athlete dominates their opponent. Tenacity is a good thing!

3. Get committed! Consider some things you can do today to move toward change.

Now, begin moving forward as you implement those things.

4. Get Excited! Excitement and energy encourage our desire for change.

So... get excited, even if you don't feel like it.

There it is. That phrase "I don't FEEL like it".

Friends, I can't tell you how many times I've allowed that phrase "I don't feel like it" to derail my progress to change.

If there's one thing I've learned in my 50 something years it's this.

I will NEVER Feel my way into taking Action, but feelings FOLLOW Action.

5. Get Focused! If you haven't done so already, write down the things you want to change.

Begin to identify things you can do to make your changes a reality.

Have you ever heard?

"Action follows Focus"

6. Get Moving! What's the hardest part of working out? For me, it's putting on my shoes.

Once I put my shoes on, it's easier to get moving.

The excuses MUST stop so we can begin to move toward making a change.

7. Get Strategic! Make a strategy and find a way to be accountable. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to help you with this.

More times than not, we don't make progress without accountability.

Okay friends, I want to hear from you on this. What are your thoughts? Perhaps you have some strategies of your own that you would be willing to share with us. I know we'd all benefit from your input and your stories.

Why you should NOT Procrastinate

Happy snowy Monday friends,

I want to thank you for all your comments on Procrastination and while we're warm and toasty inside today I'd like to rest on this subject a bit longer.

I've done some studying on the subject and here is a bot of what I've learned on

Why we should NOT procrastinate:

Because we are imitators of Christ

The Bible says that all who are saved are to be like our Savior.

Isaiah 50:7 prophetically records the words of the Messiah: "For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed." If Jesus could set His face like a flint to do what God gave Him to do (Luke 9:51), shouldn't we do the same?

Hebrews 12:1-2, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us [or besets us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith"--now notice this--"who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus did well what God had for Him to do. He did it with intensity. He set His face like a flint. He even looked past the shame and the suffering to the joy of doing the will of the Father.

If you and I are to imitate Christ, we have to adapt His attitude of immediacy. Whatever God puts into our hands to do, we need to do it as if it were the last opportunity we'll ever have to do it. It may well be. Whatever God gives you to do, do it with all your might because your Savior did and you want to be just like Him.

Because God created us with potential

You have the potential of doing great things for your Master. God created every human with enormous capacity, but unless you serve the Lord with fervency you'll never reach that capacity. The apostle Paul reminds us that Jesus Himself "gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to be a perfect [complete] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine...but...may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head--Christ" (Eph. 4:11-15).

What those verses tell us is simply this: Jesus Christ is our full potential. We need to become like Him in all things. When we are able to reflect His character in every dimension of our lives--His love, purity, honesty, etc.--then we've reached our full potential in Him. Unfortunately, that full potential remains a distant dream for so many believers.

When you first came to trust Jesus as Savior, you were just a babe in Christ. You were just "getting into" this faith thing. You were just beginning to understand what heaven is all about. But if you've been a believer for a year, 10 years, 40 years, you're not at the "getting in" place any more. You should be moving on, well on your way to growing up in Christ.

Many believers remain in the "getting in" place. They remain spiritual babies all their lives. They feed on little Bible treats instead of enjoying a solid diet of the deep things of God's Word. They prefer spiritual junk food to a hearty meal. Think of it like consuming only candy, instead of building strong spiritual bones by feasting on God's meat. I think we an all agree that a steady diet of candy will not produce a strong and healthy body under any circumstances.

That doesn't have to be the case, of course. What we need is to get back to the Bible and spend sufficient time in it to understand the deeper things of God's Word. And when we do, we find out that God created us with a potential that's far beyond where we are right now.

Because the time is limited

Why should we do everything we do for God with all our might? Why should we seize every available opportunity to be used of Him? Because the opportunity for service to God is only for a very limited time.

A day comes for every person when death shuts the door on all opportunities for service to the Lord. In Psalm 6:5 David laments, "For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?" And Paul urges, "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy" (Rom. 13:13).

Today, right now, is the day we need to do what God gives us to do because we don't know how many days we have left.

How old are you today? Are you middle-aged or beyond? How long do you expect to live? And what do you know about tomorrow? What guarantees do you have that you'll have another 50 years or even 10 years to serve the Lord? You don't have those guarantees. That's why it's important that "whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you're going."

Here's that same pearl of wisdom said another way, by Jesus, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4).

We have all eternity to enjoy the fruit of our labors here on earth, but we have only a few short hours before the sunset in which to work. We can't afford to wait. Whatever God calls and gifts us to do, we have to do it now and with all our might.

What are your thoughts?

Why do you Procrastinate?

As we move on in our pursuit to change, I'd like address a subject many of us deal with:
I will be very transparent here and admit that I struggle with procrastination. Yes, I am a procrastinator.
I don't know what first triggered this in my life, or why I find it difficult to overcome, but I continue to persevere in overcoming this.

Procrastination is defined as, "to defer action, delay, to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost".
I believe procrastination robs us of possible accomplishments, opportunities and joy.
Procrastination offers us nothing but frustration, discouragement and defeat.
So, why do we continue to procrastinate?

Here a few "excuses" I've used in the past.
  • I work better when I'm under a deadline.
  • I'm more creative when I'm under pressure.
  • Why finish my assignment now, when I can finish it later?
Now that I've listed my excuses, I'll share a few things I'm learning from a study on this subject:

When God calls us to a particular task, we need to respond by obeying with excellence.

We need to Obey without delay. After all, delayed obedience is nothing more than disobedience.

In Genesis 22, Abraham and Isaac went to the top of Mount Moriah. God gave Abraham two things to take to the mountain: a son and a knife. Abraham was willing to use the knife on his only son to please God.

God gave David two things: He put a small sling and a small bag holding five smooth stones. It wasn't very much against the giant Goliath, but it was all David needed because God was on his side.

Whatever God placed into David's hand, David used mightily(1 Sam. 17:40-50).

God placed only one thing in Moses' hand: a rod. When God asked Moses what was in his hand, he said, "It's just a rod." But when Moses obeyed God and threw it down according to God's instructions, it became a serpent and the symbol of God's authority in Moses' life (Ex. 4).

God always asks us to respond in obedience when he gives us a job to do.

So ask yourself this: "What has God put in my hand toady, and what is He asking me to do with it?

Friend, no matter what you have in your hand today--a new baby, a computer, a mop, a Bible -God is asking you to use it for your good and His glory. Now!

Are you willing to share your struggle with procrastination?

Are you willing to share your strategies for overcoming procrastination?

We'll explore this further in the next post.

KEEP Your Armor On

Okay, for those of you who said you were indeed ready to proceed into a year of change here we go!

In order for us to begin I want to start at the beginning.

Change can be intimidating and even frightening, but I don't want that to stand in our way of marching ahead. If we are willing to use the tools and weapons provided to us though the power of the Holy Spirit, then we will be able to make the necessary changes the Lord desires for our lives.

I've taken a few things from Matthew Henry's commentary on these verses and hope we can have a dialogue about them.

Spiritual strength and courage are needed for spiritual warfare.

Those who desire change must put on the whole armor of God.

The Christian armor is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course.

The combat is not against human enemies, nor against our own corrupt nature only; we have to deal with an enemy who has a thousand ways of enticing unstable souls.

We must resolve by God's grace, not to yield to Satan. Resist him, and he will flee.

If we give way, he will gain ground.

There is no armor for the back; nothing to defend those who turn their backs to their enemy.

Truth is the girdle. This girds on all the other pieces of our armor, and is mentioned first.

Faith in applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation. Salvation must be our helmet. It will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan.

To the Christian armed for defense in battle, their is only one weapon of attack; but it is enough,

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without.

Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armor. We must pray with all kinds of prayer: public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favors received.

And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. We must pray, not for ourselves only, but for all saints.

Our enemies are mighty, and we are without strength, but our Redeemer is almighty, and in the power of his might we may overcome.

Here a few things really stand out to me in this commentary.

  • There is no armor for our back, so we should NEVER turn our back on our enemy.
  • We are to KEEP our armor on at all times.
  • Prayer is the fasteners for our armor; holding it all together.

What are your thoughts friends on this subject? Any questions or comments as we prepare for battle?

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