The 8 Keys to Know You Are Making the Right Decision

It all depends on me and I Depend on God Unknown

Do we or do we not? That is the question we often ask ourselves…

In life and ministry, we are continually faced with making decisions. We wonder whether anyone notices the agony we go through trying to do it right.

Sometimes the stakes are small; sometimes they are gargantuan. In all cases, no one wants to make a wrong decision.

So how do you know if you are hitting the mark or not? In my years of life and ministry, I’ve identified eight keys to knowing whether or not people are making the right decision.

1. Pray

For some this sounds like the trite response any Christian will give when they don’t know what to do. I’d challenge that. How about making this the first thing you do REGARDLESS of whether you know what to do or not?

You might be surprised at what could happen when you pray first. By the way, Jesus was a pretty good model, when time after time “…Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

While you know this to be an important practice, do you do it as frequently as you should when making decisions?

2. Seek Counsel

You are not an island. You do not live in a bubble. There are people around you, those God has given you, who stand ready to provide counsel on the small and big issues in your life and ministry. Take advantage of that.

And I might note, seeking counsel does not mean you are incompetent. Even if it feels like a hit to your pride when making decisions in areas where you should know what to do.

It’s just plain wisdom to talk with others before making decisions. The Bible says it clearly, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success” (Proverbs 15:22).

3. Live Righteously

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). This is a phenomenal verse that strikes at the heart of our decision-making… and it’s a good reminder even for pastors!

When you are making a decision, make sure you have been living righteously because when you have done so, “…he will give you everything you need.”

Your lifestyle and the blessing of God are directly tied. Live righteously in the present and you will receive what you need (a good decision) as you continue in the future.

4. Weigh Alternatives

When considering the pros and cons of all your options, be sure to lay them side-by-side. Even do the old-school sheet of paper with a line down the middle — pros on the left and cons on the right.

You’ll be surprised what this simple process will do to help you clearly see the right direction you need to make. Always count the cost before moving forward with decisions.

I have found sometimes the excitement of a particular decision seems like it’s the way to go, but then when you begin weighing out both sides you actually can find that you may need to go a different direction. Weighing alternatives is HUGE!

5. Evaluate Best- and Worse-Case Scenarios

As part of your exercise of weighing all the options, you need to pay close attention to the best-case and worst-case scenarios. There really are bad things that can happen, and there really are good things that can happen. Play both scenarios out to their logical conclusion so you can be fully prepared.

Sometimes when you discover what the worse-case scenario could be, you immediately know the decision you are embarking on is not right. Evaluating the risk versus reward will help you know if the decision you are making is right.

6. Listen to your feelings

Now, this can be tricky because your feelings can be deceptive. At the same time, knowing what your gut feeling is on a particular decision is important. Do you have an excitement about the potential decision? Or are you scared to death of a decision?

Often an enthusiasm towards your situation helps confirm a decision is right. On the contrary, if you’re so scared of pulling the trigger, it may mean that it’s not the right call to make. The best place to be is where you have a healthy fear because it helps you rely on God.

7. Make the Decision

Sometimes you will have enough information to make an informed decision, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case.

In the final analysis, you may have to make the decision with less-than-ideal circumstances or with incomplete information. That is the price of leadership. That is the faith journey. If it were easy, you wouldn’t have to do it, someone else could.

8. Be Firm

Stick to your guns. You might be wrong, but never be in doubt. Oftentimes it’s the “buyer’s remorse” feeling that kicks in.

Of course, if after you make the call you see the need to adjust it, then so be it. Nobody makes the perfect decision every time and that’s okay. However, unless you’ve found you need to adjust your decision, walk with confidence that you have made the right call.

In almost all cases, when you have done these eight things you can be confident you made the right call.

These keys for decision-making will help as you lead and invest in the great church you serve. They will give confidence when uncertainty surrounds your decision because you know you have processed the decision properly and as God would want you to.

Today’s article has been shared from the following website: https://leaders.church/eight-keys-right-decision/

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7 Ways to Deal with Challenges

Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path Unknown

We are all faced with challenges constantly in every area of our lives. Most people have a hard time accepting and dealing with these challenges that arise. The truth is that you will have to deal with difficult problems throughout your life, whether it is in your personal life or career. Most of us get really afraid and run away from problems because we don’t want to accept reality the way it is. Running away from your problems is the worst thing you can do to deal with the challenges you are faced with. I have some tips for you below on learning how to deal with everyday challenges. Start now and develop the self-discipline to practice the below points.

1. Don’t overreact- Overreacting to a problem will cause you to make bad decisions. When we are not in control of our emotions, we will make decisions that we will regret later. Next time you are faced with a challenge, become the watcher of your thoughts and stay calm so you can make smarter decisions.

2. Accept present moment reality- Accept the way things are and the way people are. You have to understand that not everything is going to be the way you want it to be. If you cannot accept reality you will feel very frustrated with your life. Many people will try to change someone or something that they cannot control, and when it doesn’t work out for them they feel miserable. Once you can accept reality (including the challenges that you are faced with), you will be able to be more calm and think more clearly about how to get a step further towards your goals every day.

3. Don’t blame others- Many people make a habit of blaming others for all their problems. They fail to take full responsibility for the decisions they have made in life. The more you blame others with the challenges you are faced with, the more you will make people dislike you and not want to be around you. The first thing you want to do when faced with a personal challenge is not to start pointing fingers at others.

4. Practice detachment- Make a habit of detaching yourself from any outcome. Detachment means that you are not attached to any given result in life.  I remember in the past when I did public speaking and got really nervous. The reason I was fearful of public speaking was because I was too caught up thinking about what the audience was thinking of me. The fact is that there are some people that are not going to like what you say and others who may like what you have to say, therefore your job is to accept the way people are and not get worked up emotionally and mentally over someone not liking you. When you start practicing detachment, many of your fears and insecurities will disappear.

5. Don’t overanalyze- When you think too much about a situation or event that occurred, you will start to judge everything and everyone. When you think too much you will have a very tough time accepting reality and you will think that something is not right. Overanalyzing can also cause you to not take action on your goal, which can make you really frustrated in the long run.

6. Accept “changes’ in your life- You will have to deal with changes in life all the time. Many people don’t like change and they resist it because it gets them outside of their comfort zone.  You may be unhappy or happy at certain times; however, you have to realize that those two states are not permanent. You have to train your mind to be at peace at all times regardless of the emotional state you experiencing.

7. Don’t compare your lifestyle with others- I know it is really difficult not to compare ourselves with other people, however, the more often we do that, the more frustrated we will feel. There will be people that may have accomplished more than you. The key thing to remember is that you create your own story and success in life.

Today’s article was written by Nabil Gulamani and is shared from the following website: https://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2011/10/24/ways-to-deal-with-challenges/

 

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What’s it Like in Your Town?

Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world. Wayne Dyer

Once there was an old and very wise man. Every day he would sit outside a gas station in his rocking chair and wait to greet motorists as they passed through his small town. On this day, his granddaughter knelt down at the foot of his chair and slowly passed the time with him.

As they sat and watched the people come and go, a tall man who surely had to be a tourist-since they knew everyone in the town-began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live. The stranger walked up and asked, “So what kind of town is this we’re in?” The older gentleman slowly turned to the man and replied, “Well, what kind of town are you from?” The tourist said, “in the town I am from everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbors all gossip about everyone and it’s a real negative place to live. I’m sure glad to be leaving. It is not a very cheerful place.” The man in the chair looked at the stranger and said, “You know, that’s just how this town is.”

An hour or so later a family that was also passing through stopped for gas. The car slowly turned in and rolled up to a stop in front of where the older gentleman and his granddaughter were sitting. The mother jumped out with two small children and asked where the restrooms were. The man in the chair pointed to a small, bent-up sign that was barely hanging by one nail on the side of the door. The father stepped out of the car and also asked the man, “Is this town a pretty good place to live?” The man in the chair replied, “What about the town you are from? How is it? The father looked at him and said, “Well, in the town I’m from everyone is very close and always willing to lend their neighbor a helping hand. There’s always a hello and thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave. I feel almost like we are leaving family.” The older gentleman turned to the father and gave him a warm smile. “You know, that’s a lot like this small town.” Then the family returned to the car, said their thank yous, waved goodbye and drove away.

After the family was in the distance, the granddaughter looked up at her grandfather and asked, “Grandpa, how come when the first man came into our town you told him it was a terrible place to live and when the family came into town you told them it was a wonderful place to live?” The grandfather lovingly looked down at his granddaughter’s wondering blue eyes and said, “No matter where you move, you take your own attitude with you and that’s what makes it terrible or wonderful.”

From Stories for the Heart, Multnomah Books

Today’s story has been shared from the folloiwng website: https://www.tonycooke.org/stories-and-illustrations/in_your_town/

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Five Keys to Realizing Your Potential

There is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential Charles Schulz

When I was growing up, we had a framed piece of wisdom that hung on a wall:

Don’t regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

As I celebrate my birthday this week, that piece of wisdom is one of many that continues to inspire me.

I’d like to share with you just a few more lessons that may be just what you need to hear right now. There is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon once said, but every now and then, we need to be reminded of what we already know.

1. You are here for a reason.
If you are alive, there is a purpose for your life. Your purpose answers this simple question: “How is a person’s life better because they crossed your path?” Your purpose may be to bring joy to others, provoke thought, educate, inspire, teach, or connect people with one another. Whatever it is, it uses your natural gifts, talents, passions, and experiences (both painful and joyful) to make a positive impact on the world.

2. People can change (but you can’t change them).
We all have the capacity to change, but lasting change comes from within. External pressure may affect a temporary shift, but true transformation occurs from the inside out. Out of the heart flows the issues of life. Until one’s heart changes, transformation is impossible. It requires a personal commitment to facing truth and walking through fear in order to step out of habits and behaviors inside your comfort zone. So don’t waste your time trying to change others. Focus on changing yourself and praying for others.

3. Change is a process.
Occasionally, change happens “suddenly.” There’s the cigarette smoker who stops cold turkey or the person who becomes fed up and makes a major life-changing decision. But most of the time, change does not happen overnight. Give yourself permission to fail, learn from mistakes, and try again. Eventually, just as you learned to ride a bicycle or read, change will take root and won’t take as much concentrated effort. Adjust your expectations so that you give yourself the space to improve over time.

4. Fear is inevitable.
Expect it and keep moving forward. As you may have read in my book What’s Really Holding You Back? Fear is the emotion that threatens to keep us from our dreams – if we allow it. One of the keys is answering your “what if?” questions: “What if I fail?” “What if I’m wrong?” “What if they say ‘no’?” “What if I’m not good enough?” Answer the questions that conjure up fear and you’ll begin pushing through your greatest fears.

5. Baby steps will get you to the finish line.
Getting stuck is a vicious cycle. Fear keeps you from taking action. Not taking action leads to poor results. Poor results convince you that you cannot succeed.

Consider your vision for this year and identify a simple step you can take this week to move you closer to it.

Lastly, I’ve learned that happiness is a choice. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Studies have even shown that when people attain the things they believed would bring them happiness, their level of happiness increases only temporarily, then falls back to their previous level. Having more money, getting married, having a baby, landing your dream job – these are all wonderful milestones, but they are not the key to happiness. You hold that key. It is your choice to acknowledge your blessings, love fully, conquer your fears, maintain perspective, nurture relationships, and live your divinely-appointed purpose that brings happiness.

My challenge to you this week:

Embrace the change you are trying to make in your life as a process. Don’t beat yourself up for not changing perfectly, succumbing to your fears, or taking baby steps. Allow it to be a process – with ups and downs – until you get to your finish line.

Journaling assignment:

How is a person’s life better because they crossed your path? With regards to a change you want to make in your life, what is your biggest fear? What baby step could you take forward despite your fear?

Today’s article was written by Valerie Burton and is shared from the following website: http://www1.cbn.com/finance/five-keys-to-realizing-your-potential

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Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Love must be as much a light as it is a flame Henry David Thoreau

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience — trial and error.

Here are 10 principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get the same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude, and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth — i.e., someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope — almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” — when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges and bringing up the past. They remember that they married an imperfect person — and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

Today’s article was written by Mitch Temple and is shared from the following website: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/daily-living/keeping-romance-alive/ten-secrets-to-a-successful-marriage

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