The Biggest Hindrance To My Productivity

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In Steven Pressfields book The War Of Art he talks about a concept called resistance.  Resistance is a force that works against the artist to keep them from doing the hard work of creating.

Giving name and identifying the subconscious thoughts that undermine our lives on the daily is a huge benefit.  We can’t fight an enemy we cannot see.

Resistance manifests itself to me like this on a daily basis.

“What you’re doing doesn’t matter, no one cares, you’re not having any impact on anyone’s life.”

When I feel purposeless, like my life doesn’t matter, thinking what I’m doing doesn’t matter I’d rather just crawl in bed and pull the covers over my face and sleep the day away.

Those thoughts visit me daily, usually when I’m trying to do the work of going back and editing a post I wrote.  It’s almost like my own mind is trying to sabotage me.  It’d rather call it quits and convince myself that no one cares rather then do the work of making it better.  Gross.

Usually getting up and getting a quick change of scenery will help.  I can’t allow myself to sit and dwell in those negative thoughts.

What resistance do you face every day?  And how do you battle it?  Let us know in the comments.

What Past Hurt Are You Projecting On Others?

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We have to THINK.  We’re so quick to take a quote that we agree with and make it our banner without thinking it through all the way.

I wrote a blog post last week talking about how you have a unique voice and your perspective matters!  I stand behind that.  But there needs to be an added disclaimer: just because you have a unique perspective does not mean that you’re completely right and that everyone should listen to you and apply what you’re saying.

Our past experiences effect how we view life.  Sometimes that’s unhealthy because through hurt we’ve accepted a distorted view of reality.

We need to hear your view, even the bad stuff, we need to see how past hurts affect people so that we can avoid hurting people like that in the future.  However, we also need to get healthy.  Because carrying around those past hurts and continuing to talk about them is making us ugly.

I sat across from someone recently and they told me point blank “being apart from a certain person would drive them crazy, because they wouldn’t know what the other person was doing and was afraid of being cheated on again.”

That person didn’t realize what had just come out of their mouth, how controlling it sounded.

That’s what happens when we get hurt.  We’re afraid that pain will happen again so we vow to never allow history to repeat itself.  In our fear we try and control those situations at any cost.

I encouraged that person that they needed to deal with that fear.  I gently told them, you’re projecting your fear onto someone else and that’s not fair to them and it won’t lead to anything good in the future.

Wounds are scary.   If you don’t get healing, those hurts turn into irrational fears.  And irrational fears make you do crazy things.  And crazy things alienate and wound those around you.

I was part of an organization for a short time, a few months,  I laugh about it now because its so ridiculous.  One of the leaders accused me of trying to take over the organization.  I wasn’t.  Right before I got there they had a really bad experience with a girl that they trusted that became devisive.  I reminded this leader of her.  So in his mind, his fear was that I was going to hurt him the way she had.  That wasn’t fair to me.  I ended up getting wounded in his fear, being accused of things that had nothing to do with me.

Bitterness is toxic, it causes us to view everything through a lens of hurt that is in the past.  Our fear of being wounded again is pushing people away.  I’m not disqualifying the very real hurts in our lives.  But I’m lovingly suggesting that we deal with those wounds because it’s infected and starting to smell.

Thoughts?  Let us know in the comments.

Faye MooreJune 12, 2015 - 3:35 pm

I can agree with you. We hang on to thing instead of letting go. We may not forget ——- but we can put it into the past. I agree with you.
Hurts will sometimes be a good thing though. When I have done something that has caused another hurt, I know that is something I will not do again.
I thought when I was growing up that I was really miss treated because I had to do chores etc. It wasn’t until I was grown and had a family of my own that I realized that had I done my job like I was suppose to, it wouldn’t have taken allllll day and I would have had the rest of the day to play. I was a procrastinator (I still am : ) in some things ) I saw my kids do the same thing. I have changed my mind and forgiven my mama and daddy for something that was my own fault and my own self inflickted hurt.

Linky Wednesday 06.10.15

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I saw a youtube clip of Ed Sheeran on Jimmy Fallon.  He mentioned how he doesn’t play with a band but is playing HUGE venues.  I wanted to see what his live show was like, because it seems pretty amazing to me that one person can stand on a stage and keep thousands entertained.  He didn’t disappoint.  This really inspired me!  There should be a parental advisory sticker on this show FYI.  [LANGUAGE]

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History Has Been Made. Female Genital Mutilation Banned In Nigeria –> http://bit.ly/1QmqDMk

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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Phil Leage.  Phil is our first international guest and talks about the Online School Of Biblical Studies..  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!

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10 Suggestions for Raising Godly Children – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1FvJNdB

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7 Pieces of Wisdom for Navigating through the Disappointments of Life – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1c1WjUe

Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Share with us some of the links you’ve been finding interesting this week!  Let us know in the comments!

How To Deal With Critique: 2 Of The Most Hurtful Things People Have Said

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As you probably know I thought I was writing a book.  Haha.  I’m still writing the book… don’t worry.

I finished the content and sent off some sample chapters for endorsement.  I sent it to an author who inspired the writing of my book.  I was excited when he told me to send the endorsement request!

I was not excited when I got his response:

“Bluntly, in my opinion, you do not have a manuscript worth publishing! How is that for being direct! Jim, you ramble.  Then you flat out knock two other books that have stood the test of time through several printings.  Your two sample chapters—they each have a nugget of truth that could be said in a single sentence.

I am sorry, but there would have to be a major…MAJOR…rewriting to put a positive tone on such an important subject for me to add an endorsement to it.”

Ouch?

It immediately reminded me of a critique I got on photo.net in 2006 of a photo I took in Prague.  Part of the critique was

“In short, with due respect, this is one of the worst photos I have seen critique requested since I’ve been onPhoto.net”

Haha.  Man.  Sometimes you have to laugh otherwise you’ll cry right?  There was a little bit of me that wanted to crawl in a hole and never come back out, I’ll be honest.

Why is it that negative words repeat in your head over and over again but the positive things people say about you get questioned for authenticity?

“You don’t have a manuscript worth publishing.”
“You ramble.”
“They each have a nugget of truth that could be said in a single sentence.”
“This is one of the worst photos I have seen critique requested.”

I’m honestly doing okay.  Which I’m surprised at, I think at any other time in my life those words would have crushed me.  I guess I’m growing and maturing.

I did a Doing Ministry Well interview with Steve Sprague which will be released soon.  Steve is the headmaster at Trinity Christian School in Kailua and his 3rd tip on doing ministry well was something along the lines of  be humble, there’s a temptation to want to puff yourself up and feel like as a leader you have it all together, but the reality is that no one is perfect.  Because of that, there needs to be an honest feedback loop for people to speak into your life.

You’ve got to chew the proverbial meat and spit out the bones.  Sometimes idioms make no sense.  Most of the time I call into question if I’m quoting them correctly.  Anyway, I’m rambling.  😉

Put an end to the downward spiral of replaying the negative words over and over again.  DO NOT ALLOW IT.  Seriously, it does you no good.  Take a snap shot of it, find the truth in it, apply the truth and then let it go.

My take away truth?  Lets get some more eyes on this book before it goes to be published, uh, which is now a lot further away than June that I thought.  But that’s okay.  I would rather release a quality product.  I’m glad that I set a hard deadline to get as far as I have, otherwise I’d still be poking at this book for the next 10 years.  I’ve got the skeleton, rambling and all, of a good book.

Refining is real.  And sometimes refining hurts.

I had a friend go through and edit my initial draft quite at the beginning of the year.   She referenced a portion of my book where I mention two other resources and told me it came across negatively.  I rewrote it trying to better communicate what I was saying but obviously I’m still not communicating what I’m trying to say, as referenced with this latest endorsement fail.   Today, I got another endorsement denial referring to that same portion.  Man, communicating clearly is DIFFICULT.

Humility is having an accurate view of yourself.  Here’s my reality.  This is my first attempt at writing a book.  I have no formal writing training and I’m moderately successful at actually doing task at which I’m writing about.  I bring to the table a different voice and perspective than what is out there.

It was suggested to me that I read up more on fundraising before going back and writing again.  I looked up the resource that was suggested.  It’s $60 and 238 pages.  That FEELS inaccessible.  Is the reality that investing $60 and maybe a month or two or more of study would GREATLY benefit our support long term?  Yes.  But I’m writing the book that I want to read.  And I represent a tribe that’s following the call of God on their lives, most with no college degree that don’t have 60 extra dollars anywhere.

Maybe I’ll keep that part in the book and add the above paragraph just to be controversial.  Controversy is good for sales right?

I think this was suppose to be a how to post.  It didn’t turn into that.  Someone call me an editor!

What’s the hardest critique you’ve gotten?  How did you deal with it?

JuliaJune 8, 2015 - 5:15 pm

Great read! Its difficult for me to think about the hardest critiques I’ve gotten. Vague research paper feedback from college professors and immature ex-bf comments come to mind, but its difficult to actually remember exactly what they were and how I dealt with it… and I think I prefer it that way. haha I’m not at your point of maturity yet =/

I liked the comparison you made of how we receive positive and negative comments, SO TRUE!And I def will take your advice : “Put an end to the downward spiral of replaying the negative words over and over again. Take a snap shot of it, find the truth in it, apply the truth and then let it go.”

Thanks for this post! :)

Jim BakerJune 12, 2015 - 12:02 pm

thanks for reading and commenting Julia! Negative words are nasty and when we dwell on them we get tripped up. See you SOON!

Does Your Voice Matter?

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You have a unique perspective that no one else can offer.  Don’t believe the lie that says your voice doesn’t matter.

I started my Wednesday morning off a couple of weeks ago, grabbing coffee with my friend Spencer.  The night before I had finished my book How To Raise Support Well.  After I returned from coffee I started e-mail people to ask for endorsements of my book.  The big boost was that an author that inspired the writing of my own book said that he’d endorse my book!  That’s huge in my mind.  With caffeine pumping through my veins and the encouragement that I was taking the next step in getting my book published I was on cloud nine.

I had a 10am Doing Ministry Well interview with Kimiyo Brown.  Kimiyo works with CRU on the UH campus.  Cru trains their staff really well in support raising.  After the interview she mentioned a resource on support raising.  I went and checked it out on Amazon.  I found out that it was a lot longer than mine and had 141 5 star reviews.  I read through some of the comments and my cloud nine experience plummeted.  Suddenly I was questioning if my book mattered or if they should just go read this other guys book.  I literally felt the caffeine wear off and a dull headache of depression start to creep in.

The reality is, I created my book to not be long.  To be easily accessible.  Longer doesn’t always mean better.  I’m in a different network than this guy is and I probably have a different approach because I’m a different person.  Maybe someone will like my writing style more than his.  Or maybe not.

The truth is, that 100% of people will not like my book.  I’m sure I’ll get some negative reviews.  That’s life.  Jesus was perfect and he came under a lot of criticism.  But even if the masses don’t benefit or like my book doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write it.  There’s a tribe of people out there that will benefit from it.  And that’s who I’m writing for.

I can’t believe the lie that says my voice doesn’t matter.  It would be dumb to throw my book away now right before it goes to get published.  Resistance is real.

Even if my book is an absolute failure, if everyone hates it, at the end of the day I wrote a book.  And I’ll write more.

And at least my mom will buy it and like it:)

What is unique about your voice?  And what does the world need to hear from you?  Let us know in the comments!

Cheryl BakerJune 7, 2015 - 4:12 pm

I will for sure buy it and I will love it without a doubt. :)

Linky Wednesday 06.03.15

WHAT?!  It’s JUNE?!  Crazy.  Check out this past weeks links!

Here’s a video I saw that excited me.  I hope to have a home someday.  I have no carpentry skills but I suppose I’d be up for learning.  I just love the idea of having a large garden and some chickens:)

Wish whoever the camera man would use some type of stabilization device when moving and shoot with a bit more depth of field but… I’m being picky.

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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Danny Lehmann.  Danny is an amazing man of God, I love sitting and talking with him, he is full of so much wisdom, don’t miss this episode!  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!

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7 Things Great Leaders Do: Advice For Today’s Young Leaders – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1PHfKiv

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5 Bad Reasons to Plant a Church – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1S4Nr1s

Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Or share with us some of the links you’ve been finding interesting this week!  Let us know in the comments!

JeffJune 7, 2015 - 2:47 pm

dude. sustainable homestead. yes.

5 Tips To Follow When Being Interviewed

Kicking off June with a blast from the past.

Oh… these aren’t job interview tips… although maybe they apply here too.

In 2006 I was interviewed on a Christian Radio Station in Latvia.  I was pretty honored.  I played a live version of a song I wrote, and then they played a recording I had made too.  They’d ask me questions in Latvian which would be translated for me.  I would respond.  And then my response would be translated.  The final show they cut out the translation of the original question in Latvian.  I can’t find the full interview but I did dig up this one clip, you can check it out below.  Haha.  Funny.  You’ll hear the early 2000’s screamo influence in a song I wrote in my twenties.  :)

My friends Chris Bischoff and Mark Krebs were in the studio with me.  We were there because Chris was a missionary in Latvia at the time and my friend Mark and I were there to work with them.  I remember them being a little offended that I didn’t mention them in the interview and that was a huge oversight of mine.  I was excited and only focused on me.

I had an American Government and economics teacher in high school named Mr. Bryant.  I think that was his name… I can’t remember if it was or not.  There are a few things I remember from his class.

The very first class he took one chair out of the room.  I was most likely intentionally late to class and so I didn’t have a seat.  It was a lesson on scarcity.

Mr Bryant was also the varsity baseball coach and I remember him teaching how he instructed all of his players on how to do an interview.  The local newspapers would show up often looking for a story.  It’s been well over 10 years since I took this class so here’s what I remember.  He outlined 3 steps that I remember and I add two more at the end.

1.  Speak positively about the other team

Start your interview off by speaking highly of the other team.  Don’t come off as arrogant.  I think this applies to any interview by simply thanking whoever is interviewing you for taking the time to do so.

2.  Talk about your team mates

You didn’t get here alone.  You might be the star of the game and that’s why they are interviewing you, but you just shared the field with other players who helped you win the game.

In the Latvian Radio interview, I wouldn’t be there if Chris and his wife Lydia hadn’t committed to that country and done the hard work to make connections.  And Mark was a huge support to me, he even showed me some of the chords that I was using in one of my songs.  Sorry guys.

3.  Talk about you

After you’ve honored others then you can talk about yourself.

4.  Honor those who got you to where you are

If someone has played a big role in your life, then share that in the interview.  If there is a book or resource that has helped shape you or inspire you share that in the interview too.

5.  Have interview questions ready for the interviewer

I remember reading a Michael Hyatt blog post about interviews where he says to not assume that the interviewer has read your book, and to send them interview questions ahead of time.  For some reason this blew my mind, but it makes sense.  I just did an interview for my podcast Doing Ministry Well with Fr. John an Orthodox Priest and I wanted to share about Orthodoxy with our listeners but didn’t even really know where to start.  He sent me a list of questions to ask him to get started and that was a huge help.

Don’t forget to check out the 5 minute clip of my interview below.  hahahahahaha

Have you ever been interviewed live or in print?  What are some tips you would share?

 

3 Ways To Keep Growing As A Leader

Here are 3 ways to grow as a leader.  Because I’m in full time ministry my slant is ministry leadership, however, I think these 3 tips can be applied or slightly altered to be relevant for any leader.

I fully believe that the best leaders keep growing.  In an upcoming Doing Ministry Well interview with Derek Schoenhoff he says something along the lines of in todays day and age there is no excuse to not grow in your leadership.  I agree.  Leading people is a serious task.  Don’t make the mistake in thinking you’ve arrived.  Be intentional about growing in your leadership.

1.  Read books on leadership

Carve out some intentional time either daily, or weekly to read part of a book on leadership.  If you know you’ll struggle to make that time to read, ask someone else to read the book with you and discuss it weekly.  Reading books on leadership is an amazing way to grow as a leader.  You get years of experience from people in various types of leadership condensed down for you where you can read it on your own time.  I’d suggest at a minimum reading one book on leadership annually.

Conviction To Lead – Albert Mohler – I recently read this book with two friends from Maryland.  It was a solid read that covered a lot of different aspects of leadership.  I highly recommend it.

Seven Practices Of Effective Ministry – Andy Stanley – I got this book as a graduation gift.  I scoffed at the title in my head because at the time everyone was raging against bulleted lists.  I was pleasantly surprised when I read it.  The first chapter entitled Clarify The Win has been foundational in my leadership.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership – John Maxwell – The number one hit on Amazon for leadership.  It has 512 reviews with a 4.5 star rating.  I need to pick this up.

2.  Read blogs on leadership

Maybe books aren’t your forte.  I’d still discipline yourself to read.  Ron Smith wrote a book called Read To Lead and talks about 7 people from history who had ferocious reading habits.

Blog formats are much easier to read, shorter and usually formatted for skimming.  Set up an RSS feeder (I use feedly) and check in often to your favorite leadership blogs to be learning more about leadership from other leaders.  Don’t forget to add this blog too:)

Below are some of my favorites, as well as some other popular ones.

Ron Edmonson – My absolute favorite ministry leadership blog.  Easy to read and always relevant.

Micahel Hyatt – I used to follow this blog a lot, but haven’t recently, great content on productivity

John Maxwell – I don’t follow this blog, but as soon as I think of the word leadership, John Maxwell comes to mind

3.  Meet with leaders you respect on a regular basis

Do you have a weekly or monthly meeting set up where you meet with people that are more experienced than you and inspire you?  If you don’t set one up soon!

I love getting involved in pastors meetings.   When I lived in NY and was pastoring at a church in PA, I met monthly with the NY pastors and also monthly with a small group of PA pastors.  Now that I’m living in Hawaii I try to make it to The Gospel Coalition monthly pastors meetings.  It’s great to sit among ministry peers and have lunch and hear a speaker talk on a topic that is very relevant to the field your in.

I also meet weekly with Pastor RK who serves as an inspiration to me.  We can in real time bounce ideas off one another, share about our ministry struggles, and share what we’re learning or what resources we’ve been inspired by.

Don’t be a lone leader.  Leadership is a serious calling, with a ton of challenges.  Have people in your life that you can go to for specific advice on your situation.  Seek out that counsel and adhere to it.  Find ministry mentors.  Ask them to meet with you and tell them you will buy the meal or coffee.  :)

Are you already implementing these steps?  Or which step do you need to implement?  Please recommend your favorite leadership resource in the comments!

Linky Wednesday 05.27.15

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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Judy Smith.  She talks about a discipline of gratefulness and also tells her side of the story of her husbands near death encounter.  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!

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7 Ways To Honor Your Pastor’s Wife – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1KKLH80

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Funny picture choice, but good words: 5 Words of Encouragement to the Church Planter or Young Leader – Ron Edmondson http://bit.ly/1cUX1nL

Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Let us know in the comments!