My 50 Favorite Words of All Time

Recently I was in a store and heard a little boy yell, “Mom…or Dad” across the store. I was reminded how special those words are every time I hear them.

Then I started to reflect. I like words, but some words just have a more special ring to them. I have some favorite words. Whenever I hear them, I feel warmer inside.

Not necessarily in order of importance…

Here are my 50 favorite words:

God
Jesus
Mom
Dad
Thanks
Love
Wife
Golly
Friends
Family
Faithful
Grandchildren
Grace
Husband
Sunshine
Sister
Marriage
Rest
Food
Brother
Chocolate
Caring
Christmas
Easter
Cross
Bible
Health
Life
Heaven
Blessing
Victory
Beloved
Sunny
Smile
Laughter
Eternity
Security
Saved
Grandparent
Sorry
Vacation
Forgiveness
Giggle
Tickle
Home
Heart
Memories
Books
Music
Ocean

I’m sure I’ve missed one or two. :)

Which words come to mind as your favorite words?

10 Easy New Year Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

I’m like many others on this day. I’m not a big new year’s resolution person. I am huge on setting goals, but resolutions seem to be broken more than they are kept. Perhaps it’s a bias we have towards resolutions. I think part of the reason, however, is that when we set goals, we are more realistic, but when we set resolutions, they are often so lofty we’ll never attain them. We give up shortly after we start.

What if we set easy-to-follow resolutions?

This is the time of year when we reflect on the previous year and look forward to the new. In this new year, as every year, I want to do more and live better than I did in the previous year.

Do you want a few resolutions you can actually keep?

Here are 10 easy resolutions you can actually keep:

1. Dear God, we will talk more this year.
2. I will think before I eat.
3. I will do some form of exercise or physical activity every week.
4. I’ll open my Bible every day.
5. I’ll improve at least one relationship.
6. I’ll organize one closet (or even one drawer).
7. I’ll learn one new skill.
8. I’ll attempt to be a better listener.
9. I’ll smile more. (Stretch yourself and insert laugh here.)
10. I’ll remind myself of one thing I’m thankful for everyday.

These may not be “change your life” resolutions. Honestly, how well do you keep those anyway? These are resolutions you can actually keep. But, don’t even try to keep all of them. Pick two or three  as your own. (Or come up with your own.) You have a whole year to accomplish it. Make a fresh start in a few areas, you’ll begin to see progress, and it will inspire you to do even more.

The key to accomplishing any goal or keeping any resolution is starting and then continuing until it becomes a habit. This year, lower your bar just a little in hopes that positive change actually sticks.

Every major accomplishment starts somewhere.

What are some other easy-to-keep resolutions?

What positive changes are you going to make in the new year?

Secret Santa: CBS On The Road Video

Here’s a CBS News story of a secret Santa. I’ve seen reports of this businessman man’s way of spreading Christmas cheer before, but I loved the outcome on this one. (You’ll watch a 30 second advertisement, then the 3 minute video.)

I also love the news segment by Steve Hartman called “On the Road”. You can read or watch more of his Secret Santa stories HERE.

True Confession: Life as an Introvert

Here’s a quick confession. I’ve told readers before that I’m an introvert. That’s not the confession. I’ve learned lots of pastors are introverted.

In fact, I can appear fairly extroverted at times.

When I have a definite purpose and responsibility, I can be the most extroverted person in the room. On Sunday, for example, I work the crowd, shake tons of hands, and talk non-stop. It’s hard for people to believe I’m really an introvert. I go home exhausted on Sunday and need hours to recuperate. When I’m speaking at a conference, I work the room well.

Unfortunately, my introverted personality kicks in when I’m simply attending a gathering, especially with people I may not know.

Here’s the confession:

I’ve missed a few social gatherings due to my introversion.

Not only that…it gets worse…

There have been times, if attendance is optional, and Cheryl isn’t with me, I’ve intended to go to a social gathering, driven to the event, pulled into the parking lot, sat in my car for a few minutes, decided to drive around a little while, never went in…and missed the party completely. I skipped the fun, the opportunity to connect, and only left disappointed in myself.

Don’t misunderstand. I love people. I love meeting new people. I’m always glad when I go. I simply can’t push through the introversion sometimes.

This time of year, it’s easy for me to allow my introversion to keep me from enjoying the season.

Here’s my advice…

This is to me and anyone else who will admit to being this introverted:

Push through the introversion. Put your party hat on and do the social gathering. You’ll be glad once you did. I always am.

Anyone else brave enough to admit being this introverted?

By the way, you may want to read these posts about my introversion:

7 Pitfalls of Being an Introverted Pastor

How an Introvert Handles Awkward Situations

7 Ways Extroverts Can Help Introverts

7 Ways I Work with Introversion to Protect My Ministry

Christmas Flash Mob

According to YouTube, Journey of Faith performed a Christmas “Flash Mob” at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach on December 18, much to the delight of local shoppers.

One of the best I’ve ever seen…don’t miss the ending.

Ever been a part of a flash mob? Would you like to be?

(Thanks to @MaxLucado for pointing me to this one.)

I’m like a girl when it comes to football…

The title of this post may get me in trouble, but there’s a point behind it. In marriage conferences, I used to teach the difference in the way a man and a woman develop respect and love. Basically, for my purposes here, men can usually separate their respect for someone based on their abilities in a certain area.

So a man may be able to respect a businessman for his skills in business, even if that man is a lousy husband and father. For a woman, because she typically develops her respect as much from her heart as from what she knows about someone, if the businessman is a lousy husband, she will have a harder time respecting him professionally. (I realize that’s a generalized statement, but I’ve seen it many times. I may post more about that concept in the future.)

When it comes to football…I’m a girl…

  • If a coach cheats on his wife…
  • If a player is a poor role model…
  • If a team is disrespectful to other teams…

I’m less likely to respect…and ultimately support…that team…

But…

  • If a coach is a great man of character…
  • If a player carries himself with class…
  • If a team is professional even in losing…

That coach/player/team likely has me cheering for them when they play.

I know…it should just be about the game, my favorite team, etc., but I have a hard time separating the two. I see guys choose their “favorite” player who in my book is a poor role model for anyone, regardless of skills. My loyalty to a team usually fades if the coach has lousy character and grows if he is a man of good character, and likewise for a player. I may be able to admire the skills of the player, but I can not get behind them as a player if they can’t be a good role model. That’s why I’m such a Tim Tebow fan (watch THIS VIDEO I posted about him yesterday) and why I was always a Tony Dungy fan.

Go ahead. Make fun of me. Even call me a girl if you want. If your favorite coach or player is a jerk…like them…be loyal in spite of that fact…but I’ll be cheering on the other side.

Anyone else like me?

Good Leader: Let Them See You Sweat

Never let them see you sweat…

Or, so they say…

Apparently the phrase, “Never let them see you sweat” came from a 1984 Gillette company deodorant commercial. I looked it up so I could give proper credit in this post.

It’s a great phrase. When I was younger, it was a popular cultural saying in some circles. The idea was used for much more than a deodorant. If you want to really be a man…never let them see you sweat. If you want to display courage…never let them see you sweat. If you want to lead well…never let them see you sweat.

Sadly, that phrase or mindset has carried over to some schools of leadership today. Many leaders are afraid to be discovered for their inefficiencies and shortcomings.

Here’s the bottom line with leading well today:

You better let them see you sweat!

Leadership today is more about being real with people. It’s admitting failure. It’s being transparent about weaknesses. It’s not covering up flaws…it’s exposing them so others can learn from them. It’s being willing to say, “I don’t know how” or “That’s not my area of expertise.” It’s even a willingness to say, “I’m afraid” or “I need help with this one”.

Here’s my advice: Wear your deodorant for underarm protection, but when it comes to authentic leadership, it’s all about the sweat! Let me be clear. I’m not suggesting you don’t try your hardest, you don’t put your best foot forward, or that you constantly complain about not being able to keep up. People want to follow confident, capable leaders. I am suggesting you don’t try to be someone you are not and be honest about who you really are. Learning the difference is part of being a good leader these days.

What are some ways you know a leader is authentic these days?