Tag Archives: advice

Be Prepared When Life Gets Slippery

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“They’re easier to take off than to put on,” our fire chief stated after some of us ‘probies’ learned how to install tire chains on the fire apparatus. We were expecting a snowstorm, but until the storm has passed, we never know what kind of weather or how much snow we’ll actually get here in Vermont. It’s not good to run tire chains on dry pavement, but being prepared is better than being caught with our chains down, especially since speed is important when responding to emergencies. I couldn’t help but think his statement provided a life lesson.

It is easier to avoid a slippery slope if we prepare ahead of time. It is easier to gain some traction by ‘putting on’ wisdom and knowing what to do if we have obtained the knowledge and wisdom needed for different situations. For example, it is easier to say, “No,” or avoid a temptation if we ‘put our chains on’ before facing that temptation, whether it’s a piece of triple chocolate raspberry torte, sex, drugs, or saying something in the heat of the moment that we’ll later regret. It’s best to ‘walk away’ at the outset of a potential problem rather than end up trying to extricate ourselves from the problem after we’ve succumbed. Remember B’rer Rabbit and the Tar Baby? Either don’t stop by the bakery for coffee, or make a firm decision ahead of time not to buy a pastry, too! Don’t even look at them!  Once you step foot in the bakery or go through the drive-thru, you’re already on the slope. Got traction?

I didn’t say it was easy.

It isn’t always easy to say, “No,” to strong desires, but making a decision about what to do, if we ever find ourselves in a certain type of situation, makes following through with that decision a bit easier if we make it ahead of time. If we choose not to think about it or prepare, we could find ourselves slipping and sliding, and not only crash ourselves, but hurt others as well. Good thing there are no maple cream doughnuts in the house.

If you liked this, you might also like… the Wisdom Wednesday series.

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Christian Life Coach Ministry

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Meet Lyle Newell, founder and ministry leader of Christian Life Coach Ministry. I met Lyle a few weeks ago while volunteering with a local fire department’s biker’s breakfast fundraiser, a breakfast held before the annual toy run to benefit The Shriner’s Hospital. He was one of the bikers riding in the run.

He told me a cute anecdote related to biking. While gassing up his motorcycle one day, a van drove up and he heard a child say, “Mom, look! A biker!”

“Where?” thought Lyle as he looked around and realized the child was talking about him.

Since I also had the privilege of riding in the Toy Run, I was able to spend some time getting to know Lyle through the event as well as through Facebook. He is the husband of a lovely wife and father of two sons. He has a lot of energy and seems to have a genuine love for God and people.

CLC.logoChristian Life Coach Ministry provides services to individuals, couples and groups on a donation basis. It is based in northern Vermont, but provides online services as well. Services include: spiritual and personal growth, career planning and development, effective communication, motivation, stress management, time management, transition management, finances and budgeting, relationships, intimacy, family and parenting, household management, health and fitness, lifestyle, and self-care.

You can find out more info or contact Lyle through the Christian Life Coach Ministry Facebook page.

Serving others – One life, One moment, One step at a time.

 

If you liked this, you might also like Leave No One Behind, in which Lyle is pictured wearing the “Born2” t-shirt.

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How to Get Attention

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I learned something this weekend— how to get and redirect attention.

While helping a local volunteer fire department with its car wash fundraising event, I agreed to put on a firefighter’s turnout gear to attract the attention of passersby.  I prefer helping by washing cars or being behind a camera rather than drawing attention to myself, but it was for a good cause.  Since the station had a sandwich board with neon green posters announcing its car wash, I thought it would be a good idea to stand across the street.

Wrong.

I realized that by drawing attention to the opposite side, I was drawing attention to myself instead of to the station and the car wash.  Hey, I had very little experience doing that kind of thing, but now I know.  I did eventually stand by the neon green signs, which was much more effective.

I hate writing this next part, but I can’t leave it out and still get the complete point across.  And by the way, I am not fishing for compliments, ok?  So don’t embarrass me… please?  That reminds me of a quote.

“You better be very careful fishing for those compliments.  You might not like what you catch.”  —Steve Cobb, pastor in “The Deacon”

Ok, so years and years ago when I was 20-something, an out-of-state visitor to the church I was attending, asked me out on a date.  I accepted even though he was quite a bit older than I.  While strolling along a sidewalk after dinner, we talked about our faith in Jesus and future plans.  He turned to me and told me that God had given me the gift of beauty.  Although I feel pretty some days, I don’t think of myself as being beautiful or having a gift of beauty.  Anyway, he said that God could use it to help point people to Him.

Although outer beauty can capture attention, it can also keep it for itself.  Although I, like any woman, long to be considered beautiful in someone’s eyes, what I desire most is an inner beauty that reflects the love of God, because that is true beauty.  He’s still working on me.

One of the things I have learned in life and the blogging world is people are drawn to images more than just words, and through the stock photography business, I have learned that people are drawn to faces more than to mere objects.  Photos with people are much more profitable, because companies know that customers are drawn to faces, especially happy ones.  So even though the fire station had signs posted, and even though they were neon green, having a person either holding a sign or drawing attention to the signs and event is much more effective.  In the same way, although billboards, funny church signs, and religious tracts may draw some attention, what is much more effective is love… personal interaction that draws attention in His direction and not just to ourselves. After all, Jesus has so much more to offer.


Wisdom Wednesday: Receiving and Giving Criticism

"If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry."  —African proverb

“If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.” —African proverb

Have you ever met someone who gets defensive and even angry when given any amount of criticism or suggestion, even if they asked for an opinion? Although unsolicited advice or negative criticisms are not always welcome, we do well to at least consider any feedback or counsel, especially if we ask for help.

“Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair.” —Proverbs 29:1 NLT

“If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.” —African proverb

“He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.” —Irish proverb

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” —Proverbs 9:8

“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.” —Proverbs 15:32

“Good medicine may taste bitter to the mouth; good advice may sound unpleasant to the ear.” —Japanese proverb

“Woe to him who heeds not the counsel of a good wife.” —Irish proverb

“You can tell a person’s level of maturity by the way they handle criticism and reproof.” —Chuck Swindoll

You can also tell a person’s level of maturity by the way they give criticism and respond when someone decides not to use the advice given.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but in my pride, I have gotten upset when someone asked for my counsel but didn’t use it.  I’m not perfect and realize I haven’t always given the best advice.

“The first degree of folly is to conceit oneself wise, the second to profess it, the third to despise counsel.” —Poor Richard aka Ben Franklin

Generally speaking, receiving criticism or advice is easier when it comes from someone respected and when we feel understood and loved. Sometimes criticism is constructive and mixed with praise, but sometimes it can be destructive if it is too harsh or not done with the right motive. I want to be someone who encourages and inspires others rather than someone who discourages and defeats.

“Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise.” —Mary Kay Ash

“In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.” —Charles Schwab

“It is easier to criticize art than to create it.” —Spanish proverb

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Seek Counsel or Wisdom Wednesday: Discipline and Raising Grownups


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