My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Is The Fire In Your Life?

Back on June 12th , 2012 I presented some thoughts from a book, A Tale Of Three Ships, written by Dwight Edwards. If you did not read that post you may want to in the near future. I recently read through his latest book, Kindling For The Fire: Meditations to Warm the Heart and Ignite the Spirit. Dwight is effective at using metaphors and analogy to bring his points out in improving the reader’s life. This book is a devotional spiritual guide looking at the attributes of fire in relation to a person’s relationship to God. Kindling For The Fire is a book to be enjoyed read slowly to gain the depth of the richness of his writings.

He mentions that there are over 90 references to fire in relation to the nature of God and our relationship to him. One of my favorite references to this is Malachi 3:3,” And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold & silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” This relates well with Job 23:10 “But He knows the way I take; He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Refining is intense fire and pressure used in precious metals to remove impurities and increase the worth and value of the precious metal. Part of the relationship daily walk with God is to allow him to apply heat to our lives to improve so that we are closer in living a Christ like lifestyle. Our lives are more worthwhile in purpose if we are open to the refiner’s fire in our life.

Even though Dwight’s book focuses in on the spiritual life I began to think after reading it how the analogy of fire relates to other aspects of life. The phrase “fire in the belly” often is connected to one’s motivation for interests in life. A salesman who has a passion for a product or service is considered fired up with excitement in selling. A person who has a passion for a hobby has “fire in the belly” for that hobby. I feel that is because fire is a source of energy.

Just think of the sun. It is a fireball about 93,000,000 miles from the earth. That far away, the heat and energy of the sun provides life on our planet earth. Fires provide heat for homes and cooking. Therefor it is an easy analogy to link the energy internally we have for our passions in our life as a fire. What happens when the fire goes out? When we have darkness we have lack of energy. Think through times when your power has gone out. Your life is much more difficult as you stumble around in the darkness. I remember during hurricane season when we were out of power for several days. That was not an enjoyable time being without energy.

There are times where we should do a check on how the fire is going in our lives. These are times to consider if the fire of passion in relationships, work, or hobbies has been going down to just embers. If coldness is setting into life there is a need to kindle the fire within to renew a passion for the things in life that are the most important to you.

Reflection: Considers the areas of your life: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Also look at relationships, work and leisure hobbies. What is the level of the fire of passion and energy in those areas? What can you do to rekindle the fire in your life in the areas where coldness is setting in?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Connecting Persistence With Goals

Persistence – As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day and the time we fully bloom. It will happen in its own time. –Dennis Waitley--

Goals – What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau –

For the past couple of years with the blog I have been writing I have had a long term goal of turning the blog into a book on Living More Than OK. I am a big believer in the importance of having short term and long term goals to accomplish more in life. The accomplishments vary from person to person depending on their dreams. Of course just having a goal written down in a journal or on a poster does not make it come to pass. There is another key ingredient needed to make the goals come to life or blossom.

Persistence is that other ingredient. According to Merriam Webster persistence is “the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.” Trying to accomplish a goal in life is difficult and there often numerous obstacles trying to stop us. The obstacles can be people or things. Persistence is that internal drive that keeps us plodding towards the finish line of our goals. This internal driver helps us to not give up when the mountain feels too high to climb.

My long term goal of the book had come down recently to a short term goal. I couple of quarters of my PhD in General Psychology ago I thought I could have it done but life got in the way. As I neared the end of my Summer quarter I made a short term goal to have my final editing done of the book project during the 3 week break before my Fall classes. Pesky obstacles still cropped up but this time I finished my final edit before the Fall quarter classes began. Now I am at the point of contacting a self-publishing company to get the final product finished.

Thinking of the two words Goals and Persistence we can learn from the two quotes listed above. The Thoreau statement on goals challenges me as I have always focused on achieving through goals. In his statement Thoreau makes me think of character and values that are enhanced through accomplished through goals. For example in the goal of my book for focus should be what I have learned through the process instead of gain from the profit of the book. Writing especially is a risk you don’t know with self-publishing if you will recoup the costs expended. The important issue should be getting thoughts and ideas out that may help someone in their search for truth or personal self-development improve in their life journey.

In the Dennis Waitley quote on persistence the key word for me is grow. Persistence helps us to keep up with the hard work even during difficulty to keep spiraling up into higher levels of personal growth. If we stop growing we stagnate then whither and shrivel up instead of blossoming. God in his timing causes us to blossom in the goals He has placed in our minds. Think of a flower bud such as a rose. A person can’t force the bud to open into a flower without tearing it up or deforming it. Our goals need hard work and the patience of persistence to allow them to come to fruition.

What goals are you working on in your life? How do you see your personal persistence driving you internally to finish your goals? In your past have there been times of difficulties that with persistence you overcame?