One of the things that I am really focusing on this year is reading over 30 books so that I can continue to grow as a leader, a husband, a father, and as a follower of Jesus. One of those books that I have been able to read this year is “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and in business.” The main theme through out of this book is seeing how you can learn to develop new habits in your life and business by knowing the cue that leads to a routine that leads you to a reward. This is called the “The Habit Loop” and the reason that we develop the habit loop is because our brains are always trying to find ways that will save time and energy. Here is a quote from the book, “Habits, scientists say emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.”
So for me I have taken to getting up early and working out first thing in the morning. This is definitely something that I have to use the habit loop for because I HATE mornings, I have always been the late night person. I also am making sure that working out is a focus so that I can stay healthy for my wife and my family. What are some areas that you could use the habit loop to grow in your life this year?
Over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of reading the books that Mark Batterson has written. It was also my pleasure to be able to listen to him share about the amazing things that God has been doing in the church that he pastors in Washington D.C. at a seminar for church starting at “Exponential”. Each time I have cracked the pages of one of his books I have be fortunate to learn something new about God, have a great time doing it, and been challenged to step out on faith. It was through reading the book “Wild Goose Chase” that God spoke to my wife about starting a church. It was through the reading the book “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy day” that we as a family felt the spirit speaking to us as a family to set life goals and take the fight to this life that God has given us. In his newest book “Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity” I have been impacted beyond my anticipation. In this book there is a great gathering of the historical, the biblical, the analytical, and the creative.
“Have you ever noticed how many times Psalms tells us to sing a new song? That creative command is repeated no fewer than half a dozen times. Evidently God gets tired of old songs. He doesn’t just want you to worship Him with your memory; He doesn’t just want you to worship Him with your memory; He wants you to worship Him with your imagination. Love isn’t repetitive, Love is creative. As love grows you need new lyrics and new melodies. You need a new song to express new dimensions of love. If you tell your wife that you love her the same way over and over again, she may stop believing you at some point. Why? Because your words are an expression of memory instead of an expression of imagination. It’s half-hearted because it is half minded” Mark Batterson “Ritual” pgs 110 – 111
I think that this is a book for everyone that calls themselves a follower of Jesus should read. It pushes and prods in ways that enables you to really grasp some old areas of faith in new ways. This will be a book that I read as well as my whole family, this is a book that I am excited to say has as much of my ink in it from marks and high lights as what the book originally came with when it was printed. Take the time this Christmas season to share with those around you a great expression of what it means to follow Jesus in some new ways. LET’S GO PRIMAL!
I have to share with you all what happened to me on Monday when I was in Starbucks journalling and reading. I had got my Venti Vanilla latte and coffee cake then found a table that was empty near the front of the building. It was a table that had the whole wall as the window. While I was sitting there enjoying my Christian Crack and cake I watched a little girl, her puppy, and mom walk up to the building. They had tied the puppy up to the leg of a chair so that they could come in and get their drinks. But as soon as they had closed the door behind them the puppy went nuts and started barking then almost choking itself to get to the door. So the Mom told the little girl to stay there until the Mom came back with the drinks, she did just that and I have to admit I enjoyed watching her love on her puppy.
So I decided I better get to reading and writing because that was the reason I was there. So I dove into my journal, I began writing out my prayers, I was very focused. After that I grabbed my ductape bible and started eating the verses up as I was eating up the coffee cake. I was really saturated with the moment. Until! Thats right until! Until the little girl almost had her face pressed to the glass next to me. It caught me off guard so I literally jumped away from the window. Which in turn made the little girl jump back and made her mom begin to laugh out loud it was awesome! I began to laugh to myself. But soon returned to my cake and my bible. With the occasional funny face to the little girl who was very embarrassed but what had happened.
As they were getting ready to leave the mom came in to throw away there cups and to apologize to me. This is what she said that really caught my attention, “Sorry about that she was so worried about what was on her face that she forgot that she was looking at a window and not a mirror. She forgot that there were people on the other side that could see her.” I said no problem but what she said really caused me to think. I love it when these things happen.
The little girl is a lot like me. There are those days, those moments, those seconds that I am so focused on me that I forget about the others around me. That as a husband that I forget that m wife is watching, That as a dad that I forget that on the other side of the glass are my kids watching. That as a follower of Jesus Christ I forget that people are watching. What would happen if we spent less time looking at ourselves in the glass and looked beyond it to the people that are watching and waiting? How would that change our perspective? How would that change not just us but the people around us? Who knows they actually might see who we really are and now who we think we are as we look into the glass.
Titus 2: 7 (NLT)”And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
What type of reflection are you giving to those that are watching you in your life?