046 – Learning – Spiritual Disciplines Series

The Spiritual Discipline of Learning

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“An examination of the word disciple reveals that it means to be not only ‘a follower’ of Christ but also ‘a learner.’ To follow Christ and become more like Him, we must engage in the Spiritual Discipline of learning.” – Donald Whitney

The Spiritual Discipline of Learning

“God has made us with a harmony of heart and head, of thought and action. The more we know Him the more we are able to love Him. The more we love Him the more we seek to know Him. To be central in our hearts He must be foremost in our minds. Religious thought is the prerequisite to religious affection and obedient action.” -R.C. Sproul

In today’s podcast episode I will continue the book review series of Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. As a result of overwhelming response to my 2014 reader survey, I want to focus on the challenges of personal spiritual growth. Literally, 100% of those that participated in my readers survey selected personal spiritual growth as a challenge in their life. With that, I’m diving into a very influential book that offers practical application.

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney has been powerfully impactful on my personal spiritual growth. I’m convinced it will help you as well. I encourage you to get a copy, read it, and begin to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

Book Notes:

036 – The Unspoken Role Model

Dad, you are a role model - like it or not

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We hear comments regarding role models in news and media on a regular basis. Sports broadcasting is constantly attempting to convince our children the latest superstar running back is a great role model. The entertainment and music industries want us to believe that our children should look up to the current chart toppers.

I won’t attempt to argue these public figures should or should not be considered role models. I don’t know these folks personally. Besides the publicity that receive from media (both good and bad), I have no evidence to persuade me one way or the other.

However, I think it important to point out the reason that media must emphasize these public figures as role models. It’s like the Christian that must tell everyone they are a Christian. If you have to tell everyone you are a Christian, you may not be. You also see this in politics. Why do so many politicians feel to need to tell constituents they are conservative? If you have to tell everyone you are conservative, you may not be.

In today’s podcast, we’ll talk about the unspoken role model. There is a role model that doesn’t need to be announced. There is a role model that exists in the life of every individual. Some times this unspoken role model is a very positive influence. Other times this unspoken role model can lead down detrimental paths.

Who is this unspoken role model? Dad, of course.

Listen in on today’s podcast as we examine dad’s natural positioning as a role model in the life of our children. A recognition of our position as a role model can enable us to serve well in this position of influence.

Dispelling The Myth Of The Strong Silent Type

4 Reasons To Avoid Silence

Have you ever been called the strong, silent type? Maybe you’ve heard this reference used to describe men of few words. While there is wisdom and biblical support for being a man of few words, strong leadership can not be silent.

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise. – Proverbs 10:19

The intelligent person restrains his words… -Proverbs 17:27

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. -James 1:19

However, none of these verses suggest that we remain silent. Strong leaders within their home must be willing to speak. This statement does not give permission to be rude, mean, angry, or loud.

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. -Proverbs 15:1

Silence is often a symptom of a serious issue within the family. A big argument between husband and wife is often followed by days or even weeks of silence. Children can be provoked to anger (see Ephesians 6:4) when punishment of egregious offenses is followed by silence.

Silence among family members can be a serious sign of trouble. A strong leader must be willing to discuss the root cause of silence. If a big argument has created silence, a strong leader will open up the needed discussion to gain resolution. If a child’s egregious offense has created silence, a strong leader will take the time to calmly explain proper conduct and the consequences of bad conduct.

Therefore, the strong, silent type should never be used to describe a good spiritual leader.

Let me share 4 reasons that you can’t afford to remain silent as the spiritual leader of your family.

Please Take My 2014 Reader Survey

I want to ensure that the content found here has a positive impact on the lives of every reader and listener. Taking my reader survey will help me to keep the content relevant to your needs and interests.

Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me make my content even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out. The survey results are completely anonymous. I can’t tell who said what. And it will only take a few minutes of your time.

I’m glad to help. Take me to the survey.

Adoption – The Gospel With Skin On It

I’ve been blessed by adoption in more ways than I’ll ever be able to express.  This must see video captures just the initial blessing of a life long adoption.  Adoption is, in fact, the Gospel with skin on it.  Enjoy and be blessed.

Do you have an adoption story or experience? Share your story in the comments below, I know it will encourage others.

4 Simple Steps To A Great Decision

I was recently faced with a very difficult decision, one of those major career change decisions. Several aspects made this decision a very big decision. I had been with my currently company for many years, and had built a tremendous team and developed wonderful relationships with some of what I consider to be the most effective leaders in the technology space. Yet, I could not ignore a new opportunity that clearly represented a promotion and growth in a direction that aligns with my personal aspirations. This decision would impact every aspect of my life. Thankfully, I was able to rely upon a set of steps that I long ago established for making decisions. These simple steps have helped me countless times in making good decisions. And, looking back now, I know they helped me make a good decision regarding my career choices.

4 Simple Steps To A Great Decision

4 Simple Steps To A Great Decision

Now don’t misinterpret the intention of this article. I’m not aware of anything that will make all decisions easy, but the following 4 steps will certainly assist you in making a good decision. In the end, I left my old company to take a more senior position in another company. While I felt confident that I was making a good decision, it was still very difficult. I was leaving a team of tremendous talent and dedication. I was leaving a company of stellar performance within their industry. Because of those factors and more, there wasn’t a single element of making the decision or the career move that was easy. Nonetheless, a great sense of confidence resonated with me as I knew I had followed my 4 simple steps to making a great decision.

3 Keys To Defeating Discouragement

Recently, I was hit with discouragement that left me feeling like I was being punished for succeeding. I had this overwhelming and recurring feeling that the more I did and the more I accomplished, the more was being taken from me. The temptation to quit rushed over me and I asked myself “why bother”. So, what was it that was so discouraging? The income tax system of the US brings me to this point of discouragement every year about this time. This isn’t meant to be a diatribe about our tax system, but surely you recognize the reason it can be discouraging. Literally, the harder you work and more income you earn, the more (even on a percentage basis) is taken from you. And Lord help you if you work hard enough to earn a bonus where the percentage taken from you sky rockets.

Discouragement

So, what is a person to do when faced with discouragement. It can come in the form of a bureaucratic system like the IRS, an overloaded work schedule, a poor performance of your team, or even an event totally out of your control. When, not if, discouragement comes, it is very important to defeat it quickly and move on to bigger and better successes.

Here we will examine 3 keys to defeating discouragement and energizing yourself to keep up the good fight.

4 Ways to Overcome Lack of Initiative

I’ve experienced it more than I ever expected during my career growth. As a leader, the lack of initiative among members of your team can be very discouraging. My children play tennis, and their tennis coach verbalized in a simple sentence a feeling that I’ve often felt about members of my team. One day in a bit of frustration with the lack of effort of my youngest son, his coach peered through the fence at me and said; “it is so frustrating when I want it more than they do.” In that moment I realized that is exactly how I feel when members of my team demonstrate a lack of initiative.

4 Ways to Overcome Lack of Initiative

Lack of initiative usually demonstrates itself in a couple different ways. You may have a team member that does just enough to get by on a daily basis. During the annual performance review, you realize this person met all their stated goals and objectives but absolutely nothing more. Then there is the occasional opportunity to give a team member additional responsibilities (with additional compensation, of course) that will advance their career path and benefit the team as a whole. You feel all excited to offer what you feel is a great opportunity to a key member of your team only to be completely let down when they decline. Their rejection of your offer is usually accompanied by something like “I’m really happy doing what I’m doing now.”

Every leader will run across the lack of initiative, and it will be disappointing. Knowing that, here are 4 statements you need to tell yourself as you deal with this disappointment.

Dance Floor Leadership Lessons

Over the last several weeks, my wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ballroom dance lessons. It has become our weekly date night. After many attempts, my wife finally persuaded me to take dance lessons with her, and I must admit that I now look forward to our Monday night outings. Now I know that several members of my male readership are prepared to revoke my man card at this point. You are welcome to utilize the comments below, the contact form to the right, or even email me at michael.tanner@iampersuaded.com to arrange for the taking of my card. I find much more wisdom in going home with a happy wife each Monday night over retaining a fictitious card.

Dance Floor Leadership Lessons

Not only have I enjoyed dance lessons with my wife, I’ve also recognize correlations to valuable leaders lessons. With each lesson, the dance instructors have mentioned the man’s responsibility to lead the dance. My interest is obviously piqued every time I hear references to leadership. Almost without exception, the principle regarding leading a dance has a direct correlation in real world leadership.

Let’s examine a few leadership principles as we gallivant around the dance floor.

Is There Value In Second Guessing A Decision?

As a leader, second guessing decisions is inevitable. Right? You’ve taken your team down a path with a decision, and you wonder if it is the right path. Surely I am not the only leader that second guesses my decisions. It doesn’t happen with every decision, but I am certainly guilty of doubting an occasional decision after the fact. There are countless articles out in the blog world that describe various methods to avoid second guessing your decisions, and many of them offer what I believe to be very good advise on the subject. However, in the heat of a moment or during the fast pace of a typical day it is very easy to overlook such advise and find yourself doubting a decision. In this case, I think it is very helpful to examine to value that is possibly gained by the worry of second guessing a decision. I can usually quickly talk myself out of second guessing if I recognize there is really no value in putting myself through the stressful exercise.

So let’s examine three key questions to ask yourself when you find yourself second guessing a decision.