Three Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help

Three Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help

Every year, our church hosts its services at the park for Easter Sunday. 

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a parking attendant. Part of this included helping carry guest's food and stuff to their destinations and an offer to park their vehicle in the larger lot.

After the experience, I recognized an interesting pattern of how people responded to my offer for help. 

Some of the people I offered to help actively resisted it. In many of these cases, they clearly needed the help, but they adamantly declined while they were dropping things and struggling with their children.  Seeing the difficulty, I'd offer multiple times to help, but many were firmly committed to doing it themselves. I found this draining and demoralizing for me as the one offering the help. As a result, they left a negative and memorable impression on me. While I disliked helping these people, I knew they still needed to be served and loved.
The second pattern I noticed was the group of people who accepted my help but were fairly apathetic about me helping them. When I offered to help, they looked at me like a deer in the headlights. They said yes without much emotion or excitement, and I quickly forgot about them. 
The third pattern I noticed were the people who accepted and embraced my offer to serve them. The more I helped them, the more excited they were to receive. They expressed their gratitude and were happy for the help. The more excited they got, the more I wanted to serve them. Their response and my immediate impact in making their lives better were energizing. These were positive & memorable moments, unlike my experience of those who resisted. 
The next time someone offers to help you or give you a gift, which way will you respond? Will you resist, be apathetic or genuinely embrace it?

Image courtesy of PicJumbo.

3 Problems Churches Will Solve In The Future With Their Content Online

3 Problems The Church Will Solve With Their Content Online

Thanks to my parents, I've been involved in different denominations and sizes of churches since I was born. I've also discovered the church has lacked in their potential to truly connect their powerful, but digitally neglected , content with their people in a personal and relevant way.

Churches are usually focused on the next Sunday service and tend to devalue the past messages. Since churches are busy with this focus, I thought I'd make it easy for them by pointing out the problems.  By illuminating these problems, the church can take the steps towards resolving them. They can then help the body of Christ where they need it and  when it matters most. 
Here are the top three problems I see with church members accessing content online to help "bring them along".

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How This One Directive Could Drive More Unity

How This One Directive Could Drive More Unity

 When we find ourselves resisting those leading us, let us direct our leaders with this one statement.

"Please, bring me along."

Instead of saying yes out of compliance or no out of reaction, ask to be brought along. Expect our leader to teach us what they know.
One of three things will happen. They will share what what they know and with our new found understanding, we'll want to follow their lead. Or, we will present what we know and they will realize why we're resisting and address the issue.
The third option is neither of us are brought along. At that point, we have to decide if the directive is a pothole (not preferred, but can move forward), or a roadblock (will not move forward until addressed) to determine how we proceed.


A Simple Way To Help Each Others Change

A Simple Way To Help Each Other Change

Helping a friend, family member or stranger go from where they are to where they want to be can be difficult and require a ton of energy. Heck, it could be hard to do this for ourselves! 

Instead of facing this resistance, get clear on the vision and help by mapping out the numerous micro-steps along the way. The smaller the steps, the easier it is to move forward. 
It's best we check our intentions before we start since trust is key here. If we aren't trustworthy or lose it along the way, we might find ourselves back where we started. 


How The Iceberg Effect Illuminates How Much We Don't Know


The Iceberg effect is a visual metaphor to help us more realistically face life and work.

Any time we face a project, relationship, friend, employee, church, or anything, the top of the iceberg is what we can immediately see.

For example, when watching a political presidential debate we see the top of the iceberg for the candidates we're interested in supporting.

When we start a new project, we think it will only take 2 weeks, when in reality it's a 2 month long project.

When we have experience in a particular area, we visualize what the iceberg looks below the tip of the iceberg. While we don't know for sure, we can reasonably anticipate the unknowns that are likely and unlikely to happen. This helps us better anticipate the successes and failures we'll face.

No matter how experienced and knowledgeable we are, we will inevitably face the unexpected unknowns in life, work and projects. It's the deep abyss with no end. It could be something or it could be nothing. 

In 2001, numerous New York companies planned for what they knew and what they expected could happen to mitigate their risk and maximize their chances of success. At the end of the day, they did not expect a group of terrorists to attack the world trade towers and change their entire lives.

It is wise for us to plan for what we know, what we anticipate and a little extra for for the complete unknown. Outside of this, it requires we trust in something more powerful than the unanticipated unknowns.

For me, I choose to trust in God. How about you?


10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

As a freelancer, there are times when we need to generate income immediately. In red alert mode, we need to move quickly to get paying gigs. Ideally, we discover what to do in red alert mode before it happens, but for those of you who are in this zone now, here are ten actions to help you move forward and suppress the panic.

  1. Since God knows and is in control, anchor yourself by praying for direction.
  2. Meet with 10-12 people per week, ranging from good friends to people you hardly know, and ask for advice.
  3. Call past clients and leads to discover if they have any needs you can help with.
  4. Reach out to people who have referred work your way in the past and let them know your situation and how they can help.
  5. Keep your inner circle updated on your situation and how they can help you overcome it. Be specific with what you need.
  6. Attend 2-3 networking events where you can meet numerous people in a short period of time.
  7. Get exposed on-line by sharing articles, content and ideas on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
  8. Blog daily and share links to your blogs with your network. (If you don't have a site signup for a free account on Medium or Wordpress)
  9. Offer to write a blog for those in your network who have platforms and an audience.
  10. Slow the bleeding by taking odd jobs, research study groups, or becoming an extra in a feature film.
Do You Know Your Four Intrinsic Desires Of The Heart?

Do You Know Your Four Intrinsic Desires Of The Heart?

I've noticed an intrinsic human pattern of four fundamental desires in each of us. 

The first is our desire to survive. It's quite simple, we don't want to die. In America, we're definitely insulated from what it truly means to survive, so survival for us is being healthy enough to work so we can generate enough income to pay our bills.  

Next is our desire for enjoyment.  With some breathing room from survival, we want relief and enjoyment. At some point, we'll find our pursuit of pleasure lacking in significance leading us to seek out our next desire. 
We want purpose and to make a difference. We're seeking meaning, our third desire. When survival and pleasure is not enough, we want to help others. 
Lastly is our desire for achievement. We want to accomplish something difficult or seemingly impossible. We not only want to survive, have fun and embrace meaning, we want to succeed. 
Learning to understand where we're filling these desires and where we're starving is critical to our contentment. 
A trap we fall into is expecting our spouse, work, child or friend to provide all four of these desires for us. We place an unrealistic burden on something or someone who can never be what we expect. 
Another trap we fall into is when we go to the extreme of focusing on only one of these desires while ignoring the others. 
Having a source to fill us when we're empty is vital, and we'll find these desires to be a blessing or a curse depending on what source we choose. 
Are You Working Every Day And All The Time?

Are You Working Every Day And All The Time?

Growing up, I was taught to take a day of the week to rest, release and worship God. For Christians, we call this the Sabbath day. It's so important, it was given as one of the ten commandments to Moses.

"Remember The Sabbath, and Keep It Holy"
The first several years in Atlanta, I adhered to this command. As our marketing company journey progressed, I began taking more control of my destiny and trusting God less. When things got worse, I worked more. This workload was also a way for me to escape the things in my life I did not want to face.
Unfortunately, when business would get better, I did not cut back my workload so the amount of time I worked grew over time. One Sunday turned to two Sundays, turned to every Sunday. Before I knew it, I was working every day all the time.
This road led to chaos, burn out and an overall bad existence.
My way of doing things was not working. I prayed that God would show me a better way.
Then, a friend reminded me of the Sabbath, and asked if I was honoring and practicing it in my life.
NO, I was not.
I decided to take back my Sabbath and began down a road of working less and trusting God to do more. While it seemed backwards, life began to get better and I became significantly more productive.
So, like my friend asked me, I'll do the same for you.
Are you remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy?

Many Of Us Would Not Be Alive If This Righteous Lady Wasn't Born 110 Years Ago


Last night, we visited my great grandmother Maude Plunkett after my wife was compelled to go. All 5 of us loaded into the van, and we spent an hour holding her hand and standing beside her.

A few hours later, she died.

We were blessed with the opportunity to see her one last time, in this natural life. We now anticipate the moment when we too will join her in the presence of the almighty.

In the photo above, Maude is seen with our daughter Madison. There is a one hundred and three year difference in age.

While she had an impact on many, she left a powerful legacy in our lives. 

  • If she had not been born 110 years ago, I would not exist, nor would her children, grandchildren, other great grandchildren, and numerous great-great grandchildren.
  • She lived in Atlanta where her wonderful daughter, Judy Kreklow, took great care of her. Her son also lived down the street. If it were not for them, I would never had visited Atlanta in 2004.
  • If it were not for their presence in Atlanta, it would be unlikely that Cait & I would have moved to Atlanta in 2005!

Within a year of us moving to Atlanta, Great Grandma turned 100. This celebration is captured in the photo below. 


Moving across the country, Cait and I felt as if we were on our own in the first several years in Atlanta. Judy & Great Grandma's house was a sanctuary for me. It was a safe place I could go to escape the difficulties of life and not feel the need to perform or be anything.

I could just be me.

Great grandma would have been 110 on this upcoming February 16th. Interesting enough, her 110th birthday is the due date of our fourth child, Elihu. While grandma endured much suffering in her final moments of life, it is the words of Elihu, from the Bible, that illuminates her inspiring example of enduring this suffering. Elihu had this to say the following about the matter.

Suffering may be decreed for the righteous as a protection against greater sin, for moral betterment and warning, and to elicit greater trust and dependence on a merciful, compassionate God in the midst of adversity

"We are [righteous] with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are." - Paul the Apostle.

Through her relationship with Jesus Christ, my great grandmother Maude Plunkett was found righteous before God and now lives in harmony with Him in heaven.

For this reason, we celebrate her passing and new life!

Proactively Find The Need And Offer To Fill The Gap

Proactively Find The Need And Offer To Fill The Gap

Here's a simple mindset that helps me help my clients.

Constantly find and capture opportunities for improvement.
When I begin working on my client's most pressing need, I now have the visibility to see other ways I can help improve their business and marketing.
This vision allows us me to suggest additional ways I can add value until there is nothing more for me to give. The key is to see the opportunities and have a mechanism to capture them. 
This simple activity can be the difference between short term failure and long term success.

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