A great reason to write and publish a book!

Have you ever considered the impact that your own writing or journaling would have upon your own family and your future generations? I often think about the impact of my own writing and the future impact of the book that I am working to complete now. in fact, while working on my book recently, I looked over at my young granddaughter and began to wonder. What will she think about my book when she’s older? Will she pass it to her grandchildren to read? Will future generations talk about what I have written the same way I love talking about my ancestors book?

The book my ancestor, Dr. Charles Wesley Pope, wrote is a family treasure that reminds me to keep pressing forward on my book. As I think about his book and its impact on me, I realize the books that each of us are writing will create eternal ripples destined to effect generations to come.

1. Our books and writings will let our future family know who we are through what we have written. Think of the people you have come to know only through the books or music they wrote.

2. Our books and writings will pass our faith and what we hold dear to those we will never meet in this lifetime. A book gives us the chance to pass the baton of our experience well beyond our years.

3. Our books and writings will inspire our grandchildren, and even great grandchildren, perhaps causing them to dream a little bigger. Some will even dream of being just like us, another author passing on their faith to the world and continued generations.

I encourage you to consider writing something and for you that are brave enough to take the challenge, I encourage you to write and publish your own book. What has God done for you or showed you that you really want your descendants to know about. You are the only one that can write it. Maybe your own book will be on the shelves of descendants all over the world. I know John Wesley’s is, what about yours?

What speed are you going?

Speed Limit1Every road has a speed limit! Do you know what yours is?

In life everyone is traveling down one road or another on their way to what they want to become one day. These roads and bridges are more than just pathways to get us to where we want to go, they are the very brush strokes and pigments that make us who we ultimately are. Too many times we are on the right road but we are missing the journey that really takes us to where we want to go.

“The problem is that many times we are in such a hurry to get somewhere that we never really become who we are meant to become, we only change locations.”

Dallas Willard is quoted by in John Ortberg’s newest book SOUL KEEPING with this powerful statement Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” As I read that statement my eyes teared up and my heart seemed to almost stop for a moment. It was as if I had just read the answer to the question that my soul had been asking of God for months. “What am I missing?” “Why am I having difficulty finding the center of my life, and of my soul?” Hurry! The enemy of my life hurry! The hurry I am talking about is best pictured by this word picture below.

Have you ever drove home from work with so much on your mind that you didn’t even remember how you even got home?  What road did you take? Did you run any read lights or stop signs? God doesn’t want us to just arrive at the next location, He wants us to remember the drive.

Think of the things that you have seen while driving down a scenic roadway. I know I have seen everything from a double rainbow that was at the tail end of an awe inspiring storm,  to multiple falling stars crossing the sky right at twilight. There is so much to miss if you are not present or open to it at the time it happens. Thats why hurry or busyness can dry up our soul.

Three ways to slow down in a crazy fast world.

1. Permit life to interrupt you from time to time.

One Sunday I was working at home, trying to get caught up on paperwork, when my granddaughter Paislee came into my office and asked if I would play “Let it go” from the movie Frozen. Well that request went on to the request to go to Disney World and yes I took her and the whole family. Having annual passes makes it that easy to go. In short It was one of the best days ever and my daughter Brittnee took the picture below. My quote for the day was “I got nothing done today, except was most important”.

Me and Paislee

2. Look for the small details in the journey

Have you every just looked at your wife’s hair or took in the way someone laughs? Have you ever just looked at a heat lighting storm in the distance and allowed yourself a moment to be filled with awe and wonder? Have you ever forced yourself to hold your own brilliant idea to just let the person with the ok idea that will never work finish his or her explanation? What makes a diamond great and worth much value is all of the tiny facets and colors that make up its brilliance. I have missed more of the small moments than I care to remember on my way to becoming something. We have to look at the small details if we want to slow down. If a small child is asking you a silly question on the way to your big daunting business meeting. Stop and notice the seemingly small or insignificant details. They are God’s gifts in tiny packages!

3. Walk with God!

Have you ever noticed that God is never in a hurry. He has more responsibility than any of us will ever fully know, but He is never impatient or impulsive. If the creator of the universe and everything we can’t even imagine has time to spend with us in the early morning than He must know something that we don’t know. He must know that life was created for the tiny moments and the journey is all about becoming, becoming like Him! In fact it is only in the journey that we truly learn and become his follower, to become his friend.

Today, do something you have never done before and take in every single sight along the path that leads to your next destination. You never know, sometimes you can be going so fast that you might miss the turn you need to make to ultimately get to where you want to go!

 

“What bridge are you wanting to cross this summer?”

Bridge Crossing

As this weekend begins the pathway through what we call Summer, I have been thinking how this time presents a great time to make some changes in my own life. It seems that as some things slow down and we take time to spend with our families on vacation or holiday, its important to pick at least one thing that I want to accomplish this summer before the rhythm of Fall begins.

For me, I have decided that in keeping with my goals before I turn 51, I have three goals to accomplish this summer. I consider these three goals one in the same as they are the core desire that God has placed within me to change my life. If you have been following my blog for very lone you will know that it has always been about losing weight and writing my first book. Because I will never quit seeking that end, I will keep crossing these bridges on my way to achieving it. Here are my three goals that make up the bridge I am going to cross this Summer.

  • READ at least three books over June, July and August
  • RIDE my bike at least 3 days a week over June, July and August
  • WRITE at least a third of my book by September

Here are three things to think about when you consider what bridge you should cross this summer.

Decide what bridge you want to cross

There are so many things you could focus on this summer. In fact, Summer can become so busy with so many activities that it just becomes a blur of motion and activity. The way you find what bridge you should cross this summer is by asking yourself the following questions

At the end of Summer where do I want to be? 

Do you want to have a summer full of great memories with your family? Then you want to cross the bridge that leads to “A full Summer with endless and wonderful memories”. Do you want to have a summer where you finish a project at your house? Then you want to cross the bridge that leads to “A successful Summer project finished”. 

After you have decided where you want to be in September, its important that you know where you don’t want to be. Ask yourself this question.

At the end of Summer where do I not want to be?

Have you had a Summer before where you failed to spend quality time with your family and you regretted that Summer? Have you had a Summer where at the end of it, you didn’t finish the one project that you had planed to finish? Just decide where you do not want to be come September and let that emotion help you make a plan.

As strange as it sounds, crossing a bridge requires two desires. The desire to enter a new destination or season and the desire to leave one or to avoid one. Without both desires clearly in mind it is easy to just hang out on the bridge.

Hanging out on the bridge is having just enough desire to move a little but not enough to cross all the way over.

Focus on where you want to go and where you don’t want to end up. Defining those things together will help you to be able to pay the toll that is required for crossing the bridge you really want to cross.

Have a great bridge crossing Summer!

What to do when you fall behind!

Where did the last three months go? It has already been over three months since I turned 50 in September and I feel like I am just starting today to work on my goals for this year. This in fact is what I believe is the greatest challenge of staying on track with my goals. What do I do when I have gotten off course or actually gone the other direction and fallen behind? How do I start back when I have lost momentum? Do I make excuses and figure out who’s to blame? Do I say to myself “I’ve already blown it so I might as well have some fun and I can always try again next year”. What do you say to yourself when you fall behind?

In my last posting I talked about reading the first book of 12 that I want to read this year. I am currently on my second book and I can tell that I will have to pick up the pace if I want to hit that goal of reading 12 books by my birthday.

Yes, I am currently behind but the question that I have to ask myself is this “Who am I behind?”.  “I am only behind myself and guess what I can always catch myself!  If I will just get up and start going again, I can catch myself”.

Maybe you feel behind because you failed to start something when you first intended to. Maybe you feel like you have failed so many times that you don’t want to try anymore. Whatever your circumstances currently are, you are only behind yourself and you catch that person every single time. Get back up and start chasing the person you want to become, the person you were meant to be and you will catch up. In short you might not ever be able to catch someone else who is chasing their dream, but you can still catch up to yours. The point is, you were never meant to catch up to the plan for someone else. You were only meant to catch the person you were meant to become. Peter Pan may have difficulty catching his shadow, but you are not after your shadow you are after your future you! So take some time today and start going after that person one more time. Together we can catch up to the people we were meant to become. We just can’t quit, even after falling three months behind. Come on! You and I can do this thing!

Today I am taking back the lost time and before birthday I plan to catch back up to the man I am dream of becoming. Here are my goals before I turn 51.

1.  Finish the book that I am writing by my 51st birthday.

2. Lose weight and weigh in at 205lbs by my 51st birthday.

3. Focus this entire year on choosing my words wisely everyday.

4. Read 12 good books

5. Learn to practice Silence and Solitude to reflect, pray and grow closer to God.

One book down, Eleven to go!

I have five goals for the next 365 days of my journey until I turn 51. One the five is new for me, at least as a life goal—to read 12 books in one year. I say this is a new goal, but it is really a goal revisited. I have always tried to read a certain number of books during different periods of my life. I know firsthand how much a book can change one’s life. I can look back in my life and see where I dedicated myself to reading a book, and God has used it to impact my life in a great way. Whether turning me in a new direction, to challenging me to go after something I feel called to do, a good book can do more than speak into your life; it can actually spark new life, new power and enthusiasm.

MarkBatterson

I have just completed my first book of the twelve that I will read this year. The name of the book is All In, and it is written my Mark Batterson. The book is going to go down as one of my favorites; it may be the second-most highlighted book that I have on my bookshelf at home. If you are looking for a “fresh word” from an inspired writer, who will have a heart-to-heart talk with you about giving your best for God, pick up a copy. I have always liked Mark Batterson’s work as a pastor, a leader and a writer. The book is published by Zondervan and is now available through all of your major bookstores.

Here are some of the highlights of the book that really impacted my life:

1. The subtitle, “You are one decision away from a totally different life”, says it all for me. In our complex world of a 1000 daily decisions, I love to know and be reminded that many times it’s just one decision that can make all the difference.

2. The question Mark asks his readers in Chapter 2: “Are you following Jesus? Or have you inverted the gospel by inviting Jesus to follow you?” As I was reading this book, there were many things that I shared with my sales team and friends. When I shared that statement, you could see on everyone’s face that Mark had hit a cord that all of us could understand. We all need to be called back to following the one that we call Lord!

3. The book is full of incredible stories that demonstrate the power of living “All In”, or totally dedicated to Christ. From Mark’s personal story of going from a failed church plant to risking it all to move to Washington D.C. and try again, Mark uses the power of both personal and historical stories to display the power of living “All In” for God. My favorite story is the one that he tells of a couple who goes to the mission field. This couple goes with great expectations of what they are going to do for Christ. By the end, the reader gets the impression that their journey was a total loss. However, as Mark recounts the real story, I doubt that many people will be able to read it without having a tear or two. It’s a great example of how one person’s sacrifice for Christ has a ripple effect.

If you are looking for a book to spark your relationship or your devotion to Christ, I encourage you to get this book—and if you are like me, make sure you have a box of highlighters. On to book #2!!!!

 

 

Who Is Coaching You?

bobby

The weekend before last, I attended the Florida State vs. North Carolina State football game in Tallahassee. Being a huge FSU fan, I wanted to attend this game not as much for who we were playing, but for who we were honoring. This was the game that FSU had selected to honor legendary coach Bobby Bowden. Coach Bowden is recognized as the winningest coach in college football and the architect of Florida State’s current success. Growing up and playing football in North Florida, I have always admired Coach Bowden as a man of integrity. I never played football for Coach Bowden, but I consider him to be one of my coaches. How can someone whom I have only met a few times in my life be considered one of my coaches?

Unlike sports teams that might recruit or draft a player, we select the coaches that we want to be coached by. For this edition of 365to50, I want to talk about the importance of selecting a good coach.

First, what is coaching?

Coaching is “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”  “The art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another.”

Here are five things to do!

1. SELECT YOUR COACH:  Ask yourself this question right now: if you could select anyone to coach you in life, in marriage, or finances, who would it be? Who would you like to have in your living room once a week, or sitting across from you at a Starbucks for coffee. For me, I have at least 5 people I have selected as coaches. Always remember that even your best coach will have flaws, and at times they will let you down. Most likely, a complete change in character would eliminate them from your list, but remember that everyone is human and outside of Jesus, your #1 coach, all others will have flaws.

2. FIND THEIR VOICE: If they are living, it’s very easy to do this. You can find their voice so many different ways: from watching them on television to sitting down with them in person. Get their books, attend their meetings, listen to anything that they have recorded. You can even gather with other people who are being influenced by his or her teaching. If they have passed away you will need to acquire everything that you can, both recorded and in print.

3. ASK QUESTIONS: Start asking questions to uncover the secret that made them into the type of person you wanted to be coached by. I have had questions like, “If Charles Spurgeon was alive today and he could understand our current culture, what would he say about this?” It’s amazing how you can teach yourself and help the voices of the past coach you through questions. If the person you would like to coach you is still alive, ask them!

4. MAKE CHOICES: All the information is naught unless you actually take action! Make a plan, centered around your goals, that includes everything that you are learning and gaining from your time with your coaches.

5. PASS IT ON: If you grow and become who you are supposed to be, there will be people who will want you to coach them. Find others to whom you can pass on all the coaching secrets that were passed on to you. Write things down so that even the future generations will have somewhere to go to receive from your coaching.

Who coaches you? Or who do you coach? Comment below! Don’t forget to follow 365to50 on Facebook and me on Twitter at @DonLNewman.

 

 

365to: Round Two!

Photo credit: Tyler Neinhouse
Photo Credit: Tyler Neinhouse
Today I kickoff my next round of blogging. I took a little time off after I hit my 50th birthday to reflect and just focus on things that needed my attention. I am now focused on my next year-long journey, leading up to my 51st birthday in September of 2014! I’ve discovered that so much can get done in the span of a year when I live intentionally. 

This year I have four goals that I am focused on.
1. Finish my novel “The Family Tree” and begin my second book.
2. Continuing to work on getting healthy by losing weight and eating better.
3. Having a year where I purposefully focus on choosing my words wisely.
4. Reading 12 new books I haven’t read before. I will provide reviews on this blog.
5. Having set times of silence and solitude so that I can deepen my ability to reflect and hear God’s voice better.
I plan on sharing more about these five things, and what I learn as I focus on how to actually accomplish these goals over the next year. I encourage you to follow along, and tell me about your goals, dreams, and you how are accomplishing them as well!
What landmarks or milestones are you trying to live intentionally for? Tell me below!