How the Bible Says to Build Winning Relationships

1 Thessalonians 5:12-18, is one of the best passages I have ever read when it comes to building winning relationships.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV).

Bible

Let us respect those who work hard among us, especially those who serve us as leaders. Leadership is not an easy task. Leaders will make mistakes. Be gentle with them.

We must do whatever we can to live at peace with everyone. We cannot control what others do. We can only control what we do in response.

We must be gentle and patient with those who seem to not “get it” or struggle along. As the stronger person, if that is the case, then we have more responsibility to create peace than they do. May we take the high road.

Always do what is good for others even if they are not doing the same for us. Someone has to set the standard. If we dumb down to their level of thinking and acting then we have allowed them to set our standard. Let us set our own higher standard.

Bring a sense of excitement, joy, and enthusiasm to every situation. In most cases, others will either join in or leave. They will typically only fight you for so long.

This passage is great wisdom for how to build winning relationships. Remember, everything is about relationships. If we can build winning relationships we will be winners in others areas of life as well.

Here is the same passage in another translation:

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live (1 Thessalonian 5:12-18. The Message).


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

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How Lighting Barbie’s Hair on Fire Changed My Life

t03When I was 4 years old, I lived on Vermont Street in northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati. My parents had discussed moving back to Keavy, in the London-Corbin area of Kentucky where they grew up.  One day I helped them make that decision.

I took one of my older sister’s Barbie dolls and a lighter and I walked into my mom and dad’s bedroom. I took the lighter and set the Barbie doll’s hair on fire. Then I laid Barbie on my mom and dad’s bed.  I walked into the family room, sat down, and began watching television. (Don’t worry, no one was in the bed at the time.)

There were several people over our house that evening. All the adults were in the kitchen and many of them were smoking. I suspect that because they were smoking it took them a little longer to notice the house filling with smoke from my mom and dad’s bedroom. (See how dangerous smoking cigarettes can be?)

The whole bedroom was in flames before anybody noticed. Then, the panic took place. I remember very little of what happened next.

The house became unlivable for a while and my parents made the decision to go ahead and move back to Keavy. Oh, a side note – while we lived in northern Kentucky, we seldom went to church. That changed when we moved back to Keavy.

locust-grove.jpegMy mom took me and my sister to the church where she had gone to church before moving away. My grandparents were still going there at the time. It was there at this small church called Locust Grove Christian Church in Keavy, Kentucky that I began to learn about a man named Jesus. I may not have ever received consistent teaching about Jesus if I had not lit Barbie’s hair on fire. Hmm…

As I grew up in this church, I began to learn more and more about Jesus and other parts of the Bible. When I was 14 years old, I made a decision to follow Jesus. I was on fire and ready to change the world.

However, something very bad happened to me six months after I decided to follow Jesus…Jr. High School! At the time, my Jr. High was 8th and 9th grade. Spiritually this was a devastating time for me.

Even though I continued to go to church, be active in my church youth group, and even preach my first sermon at 15 years of age, my devotion to Jesus was not very strong. At times it was probably non-existent. I was not walking my talk.

t06

During my sophomore year of high school, I could no longer live the lie. I had to make a decision to either follow Jesus or give up on this Christian stuff altogether. I could no longer live with the tension of trying to do both, so I chose.

I chose to follow Jesus! At this point, I became committed to growing in my relationship with Jesus. By the time I was a senior in high school I had made the decision to go to Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) to prepare for ministry.

t10

After squeezing four years of college into six, I became a minister in a church that had been split right down the middle for about 20 years before I got there. I was green and ready to change the world!!! And after a year, I left.

I then became an associate/youth minister at a new church plant for about a year. I left there to work at Toyota Motor Manufacting in order to save enough money to go back to school to get a Master’s in Urban Ministry. While I was working at Toyota, the school I was planning on attending closed their Urban Ministry program. So, I used the money I saved to buy an engagement ring, get married, and start a ministry called Upside Down Ministries. Yes, I left a good paying job at Toyota to start a ministry where I would be paid entirely through donations. I just love the way God does things!

My wife and I ran Upside Down Ministries for eight years. I was in my element. I thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life!” But God had different plans.

After eight years, God called me away from Upside Down Ministries. To be honest, he probably called me away after about six and a half years, but I was too stubborn to listen and I did not want to let it go. That was one of the toughest decisions of my life.

t14After a year and a half of searching, I finally went back into local church ministry. By this time, my wife and I had two kids and I was able to stay home and invest more time with my kids than I could have with Upside Down Ministries. I thought, “I could do this for the rest of my life!” But God had different plans.

t17After seven years of local church ministry, God called me into what I am doing now – helping individuals, churches and other organizations climb to their God-given potential through coaching, leading, instructing and motivating them to believe that with God’s help they can make the climb. I did eventually get my Master’s. Although, at this point, it was not in Urban Ministry. It was in Life Coaching.

Here again, I get to travel but stay home a little more than I did with Upside Down Ministries. I get to connect with you who read my blog, invite me to come and speak, and take advantage of my one-on-one coaching. With every step I take on this God journey, he is helping me to help others in the way that he has best prepared me through my gifts, passions, and abilities.

I love what I do and the more I do it, the more I love it! Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep at night because I am enjoying what I do so much. I enjoy getting up early because of what God has in store for me each day. I did not know that when I decided to follow Jesus it would include all of this! Wow! What a trip!!!

And just think, it all started with lighting Barbie’s hair on fire.

What’s your fire?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

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Do Not “Twist” Your Opportunity

This morning, my kids, for some reason, began discussing the song  “The Twist.” I am not sure where they heard it unless it was mentioned in a Pokemon episode somehow, but I decided to join the conversation. First, I showed them how to do the twist (no we did not video that). Then they asked when that song came out.

My wife said in the 50’s while I said in the 60’s. Neither one of us were positive about our answer, so, I decided to investigate. We discovered we were both right! (Anytime a husband and wife can disagree about something and discover they were both right, well, that is a good day!)

twistThe song was actually recorded in 1959 as a B-side of a record by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. It became a hit for them in early 1960, peaking at number 28. The song was actually written by someone from a Gospel music group called The Sensational Nightingales. However, because of the connotations of the word twist (apparently it was a slang term for sex as recently as the 1930’s), the author did not want to record it. He allowed Hank Ballard and the Midnighters to record it instead.

twist3Dick Clark wanted Hank Ballard and the Midnighters to perform “The Twist” on American Bandstand. However, they were unavailable. So, Dick Clark began searching for a local singer to perform the song on American Bandstand. Dick Clark found…Chubby Checker! Chubby Checker performed the song before a national audience on American Bandstand and the rest, as they say, is history.

twist 2The Chubby Checker version of the song (which he recorded in late 1960) almost immediately went to number one, started a dance craze throughout the nation, and has been named the number one song of the decade for the 1960’s. Just think what Hank Ballard and the Midnighters missed out on because they were simply not available.

Today, very few people know who Hank Ballard and the Midnighters are. However, if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of pop music history, you know exactly who Chubby Checker is. This is a lesson in missed opportunities.

Lesson learned? Be available. You never know when opportunity will come knocking. Be ready! If you are not ready then get ready!

Opportunity may be at your door, but if you are not ready someone else will snatch it up. It may be the next person you meet. It may be the next interview you give. It may be the next speech you give or hand you shake,  It might be the next song you sing or the youtube video you make or it may be someone asking you to be in front of a national audience on T.V. Whatever it is, BE READY!!!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability or leave him a note:

 

 

 

 

The Secret Code Behind Remarkable Communication

 

in-sWe discussed where people get their energy by looking at the differences between extroverts and introverts in the last blog. Today we will look at people’s style of communication, the way they best exchange information, by looking at the difference between those who have a preference for sensing and those who are more intuitive.

Sensors tend to communicate more concretely while intuitors tend to communicate more abstractly. In the book “Please Understand Me II” David Keirsey explains the difference this way, “Abstract words refer to things that cannot be observed but only imagined, while concrete words refer to things that can be observed and therefore need not be imagined” (p. 120).

Sensing

If your tendency is toward sensing, you communicate through what you can see, touch, smell, hear, and taste. You communicate what you can observe. You tend to start with the facts first, then move toward the big picture.

sensing intuitionSensors like to recall events as snapshots of what literally happened. They put experience first and put less trust in words and symbols. Sometimes they will focus so much on the facts of the present or past that they miss new possibilities.

Intuitive

If your tendency is toward intuition, you communicate through what can be imagined. You see beyond just the facts. You tend to start with the big picture first, then move toward the details and facts.

Intuitives like to recall events by what they read “between the lines” at the time. They place great trust in insights, symbols, and metaphors and less in what is literally experienced. Sometimes they focus so much on new possibilities that they miss the practicalities of making that new possibility into reality.

Everyone has some of both sensing and intuition. However, we all have one that is more dominate than the other. This is your preference for how you best and most naturally communicate.

Neither style is good or bad. We need both. When we are aware of what each person’s communication style is, we can better work towards better marriages, healthier churches, and more productive businesses.

S-N

After reading the descriptions of the two different communications styles which one do you feel you are? What about your spouse? Kids? Co-workers? Supervisor? Understanding you’re your communication style and the style of those you interact with on a regular basis can help you be more effective in your communication.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability:

What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

never give up 2A few years ago I was heading out of Roanoke, Virginia and I saw a billboard that I will never forget. There was a bird, I think it was a crane, with a frog in his mouth. The only part of the frog you could see were the arms, legs, and the lump in the bird’s throat. The frog’s legs were dangling lifelessly. However, the arms of the frog were full of life as he had a death grip around the throat of that bird just below the lump. The words at the top of the billboard read,

NEVER GIVE UP!

That is my encouragement to you, “never give up!” No matter how hard times may get, never give up 4“never give up!” No matter how many times you have failed, remember to get back up and keep on trying. Failure just gives you the opportunity to begin again more intelligently, so, “never give up!” Remember to fail forward and not backward. Learn, grow, and go and “never give up!” The one thing we all have in common is failure. Failure is an event it is not a person. You may have failed, but you are not a failure, “never give up!”

When people are telling you that you cannot do it, when people are laughing at you
because you want to try it one more time, even when you begin to tell yourself that you are not good enough, change those negative failure messages to positive success messages and “never give up!”

never give up3When the only light you can see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, keep going and “never give up!” When people put you down and make fun of you because you have the fortitude and determination to live the exceptional life instead of the average, mediocre life, “never give up!” When things are so bad that all you can see is the inside of huge bird’s esophagus… “Never give up!”

You have a focused enthusiasm for exceptional living that unfocused, boring, mediocre existers just don’t have. Do not let them drag you down to their level of unfocused, boring, mediocre deadness. Remain focused, enthusiastic, exceptional and alive as you fail your way to success.

The secret of success is: If you fall down seven times, get up eight.
That is it.
That is what it takes.
So no matter what:

nevergiveup

 


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

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“I Sure Do Miss The Drugs Though” – Surviving Internal Struggles

johnnycashbonoJohnny Cash was having a meal with Bono (the lead singer for U2) and they both bowed their heads to pray. Johnny Cash prayed and thanked God for the food, friendships, forgiveness, and salvation. After the prayer Johnny Cash raised his head and said to Bono, “I sure do miss the drugs, though.”

The Apostle Paul shared some of what was going on with his internal struggles in Romans 7:14-20,

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (NIV).

I often call this the doo-doo passage. When we find ourselves dealing with these inner struggles we find ourselves in a whole lot of doo-doo. All of us can identify with these struggles because all of us have them. We may not know what to do about it. Ask yourself three questions:

What Do I Really Want?

Many people are not honest with themselves about what they really want.  Honestly ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (NIV). What do you hunger and thirst for? Is it righteousness or that thing you are having that internal struggle over?

Who Is Really In Charge?

Have you given Jesus the lead in your life? Or are you still trying to be in charge? The word Lord actually means leader, boss, CEO, the one in charge. Are you just calling Jesus Lord or have you actually made him the leader of your life? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, NIV, Jesus speaking).

Who Is Really Going To Help Me?

turtlefencepostZig Ziglar says, “If you see a turtle on fencepost you can rest assured that sucker did not get there by himself.” He had some help along the way. If you are going to overcome those internal struggles you are dealing with you will NEED some help along the way.

You do not have to share your struggles with everybody, but you do have to share them with somebody. Find somebody who loves God and loves you to share your struggles with. If there is a sin in your life that you cannot talk to someone about then Satan has already won in that area of your life. Do not let him win!

We all struggle with sin. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin. That is why he needed Jesus. And just because we have this sin struggle does not mean we give up. We keep on fighting while relying heavily on the grace and forgiveness of God through our savior, Lord, and friend Jesus Christ!

What have you found helpful in dealing with your internal struggles?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability:

 

Can Life Coaches Help With Anxiety and Depression?

anxietySome would say that life coaching should not be used to overcome anxiety and/or depression. Others would claim that life coaching interventions can be used for mild to moderate anxiety or depression.

Most life coaches and other professionals in the behavioral sciences would agree that any clients experiencing anxiety or depression that are clinical or suicidal in nature should be handled by a licensed therapist. Therefore, a life coach must be willing to refer a client dealing with serious anxiety and depression issues.

David Rock and Linda J. Page (2009), in their book Coaching with the Brain in Mind, give some direction in how a life coach could work with someone experiencing anxiety or depression. In dealing with anxiety, Rock and Page (2009) encourage coaches to help clients get through their anxiety by modifying their beliefs to be more in line with their behavior.anxiety2

The concept of cognitive dissonance, first described by Leon Festinger (1919-1989), is when someone’s beliefs and actions seem to contradict. To have a client modify their beliefs to better fit their behavior would help them relieve the anxiety.

Coaches can also help reduce anxiety by helping them get clear about their goals.  This helps the client focus, reduce uncertainty, and restore calmness.

“We reduce anxiety and the sense of being overwhelmed that comes from the amygdala’s response to uncertainty. As the amygdala is calmed, cognitive functions such as working memory may be energized” (Rock & Page, 2009, p. 255). They also give the following suggestions when working with clients dealing with anxiety:

  • When anxiety strikes, your breathing may become shallow and quick. You can control the anxiety by controlling your breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose, breathing deeply from your belly, not your chest.
  • Stress will make your body tight and stiff. You can counter the effects of stress on body and brain if you relax your muscles.
  • Try positive imagery. Create an image that is relaxing, such as visualizing yourself on a secluded beach (2009, p. 340).

DepressionThough depression can be more than a life coach is trained to work with, Rock and Page (2009) give this suggestion when coaching someone with mild to moderate depression:  Encourage the client to develop some level of exercise routine they are comfortable with doing.

According to Rock and Page, the United Press International did a study and reported “that half of patients suffering from long-term depression felt substantial improvement after a 10-day exercise program” (2009, p. 127). According to Rock and Page exercise also helps prevent depression from returning, releases endorphins which help people relax and feel better, and helps people’s thoughts organize themselves.

Life coaches must be careful not to work outside of their skillset. However, when working with mild to moderate anxiety and depression there are some interventions they can practice to help their clients overcome.

Reference
Rock, D. & Page, L, J. (2009). Coaching with the brain in mind: Foundations for practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

 


lowres01Do you need help reducing mild anxiety or steps to help with depression?  Register here to schedule a free 50-60 minute discovery call at your convenience.

I specialize in helping entrepreneurs, leaders, and other dreamers turn their dreams into reality.  Those whom I have worked with have described me as an “inspirational motivator.”

I help clients address lack of focus, self-confidence, and other roadblocks while defining their dreams, identifying changes they want to make and discovering their passions.  With more than 20 years of experience and a master’s degree in life coaching, my mission is to equip and empower clients to climb to their untapped potential.

Primary Specialties: Entrepreneurial Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Goals Coaching
Secondary Specialties:  Marriage Coaching, Ministry Leadership Coaching, Public Speaking Coaching


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