You Cannot Stay Here

_MG_7632Last week my family and I had a “staycation”. It is where we use our vacation time to stay home. Some people use these to do home improvement projects around the house. However, we used ours to just have a comfortable week with little to no plans.

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Our family did some activities that were close to home. We went to the Ark Encounter in Williamsport, Kentucky; we went to Laurel Lake for a few days and played in the water, went fishing, and learned how to operate a pontoon boat. Sidenote:  I only had to get out in the water and get it unstuck twice!

_MG_7537We had a fun time simply enjoying each other’s company and making memories together. It was relaxed, calm, and serene. It was needed, but…

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I could not wait to get back into the swing of things. I could not wait to continue following my dream. I could not wait to be a productive contributor through my calling. I could not wait to continue leading a rebellion against the mundane by helping dreamers, believers, and achievers climb to their God-given potential through the power of enthusiasm.

I love what I do! This is not something I just do between weekends. Even though I enthusiastically enjoyed my vacation with my family, I could not wait to get back to my calling.

I read a quote one time that said, “Do work you do not need a vacation from.” Although I do believe periodical vacations can help us refuel even when we are doing something we love, I still understand and appreciate the sentiment.

In his book, “Caught Between a Dream and a Job”, Delatorro McNeal says there are three kinds of jobs: 1. Your dream job; 2. Stepping stone jobs; and 3. Dead end jobs. Where are you? Are you doing your dream job? Are you working toward your dream job? Or are you just settling for something that pays the bills? There is nothing wrong with where you are… Just don’t stay there.

There is a church in London, Kentucky that has a motto that goes like this: “We can’t stay here.” Insinuating that they cannot settle. They have decided not to settle with their failures or their successes. They have to move forward. They cannot just stay where they are.

There is an African tribe that uses a phrase they feel puts a horrible curse on people. The phrase is: “May you stay in one place forever.” That truly would be a horrible curse.

DSCF7989“Staycations” might be nice. But if we want to climb to our God-given potential, we cannot live our life like a “staycation.” We must be moving forward, climbing upward, and “pressing on toward the goal for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).

Where is God leading you to press on? What is the next step in climbing to your God-given potential? Never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite 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!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

 

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.

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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.

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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?


Follow to this blog to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability to help you reach your God-given potential!

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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!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Will You Take Extreme Steps To Start Saving Money?

Zig Ziglar used to say, “If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them the day will come when you can do the things you want to when you want to do them.” That statement is true in all areas of life, but especially when it comes to saving money.

If we will save money when we need to save it (NOW) the day will come when we can use our money the way we want to use it; whether it is having enough money to cover emergencies, to cover large expenses, or having enough to truly bless someone who is struggling. Whatever our motivation, it will be nice to have the money when the time comes.

burninghouseIf your child, or someone you love, was in a house that was on fire, what would you do to get that person out of the house? …. Yep! Anything you possibly could, and maybe even more than what is possible, to save your child or loved one. In other words, you would not make excuses.  You would go to extreme measures to save your child or loved one.

We will save money when it becomes very, very, very important to us. Not when the economy changes, not when this person moves out or when that person gets a job, not when the new president takes office. We will only start saving money when it becomes very, very, very important. Just like saving the child from a house fire, when it becomes very, very, very important to us, then no excuse is strong enough to keep us from taking action.john wesley
John Wesley said, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” We will not have the money to bless others if we do not save the money we need to bless others. Again, whatever your motivation for saving may be, it will not happen because of outside circumstances. It will only happen when we make an intentional decision to save money no matter what happens. It is kind of like saving your child from a house that is burning down around them.

When will you decide to start saving?


Follow to this blog to be sure to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!

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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:

This Tool Transformed Our Relationship

 

I was recently asked, “What is the secret to a great relationship?” My immediate answer, “Communication!” This may not be the only secret to a good relationship but it is arguably the most important.communication
This is especially true in a marriage relationship. My wife, Tammy, and I went through what we call our “marriage conversion” a few years ago and we learned this one communication tool that has transformed our marriage! Maybe this tool can be helpful in your marriage as well.

Dialogue

This is an invaluable tool my wife and I learned at a marriage retreat a few years ago. This is how it works:

  1. Question – Agree on a question to answer. I will give a list of questions at the bottom of this blog to help you get started. Both of you answer the same question.
  1. Write – Both of you will separately take 10 minutes (timed with a timer) to write a love letter to your spouse answering the question that both of you agreed upon ahead of time. Write the letter specifically to your spouse. Open with Dear _____, and close it with a typical love letter closing. Hence, it is a love letter and not an opportunity to
    “let your spouse have it”. Be honest and also be loving in your letter.
  1. Together – The two of you will agree on a time to come together to share and discuss each other’s letters.
  1. Read – Set the timer for 10 minutes and then exchange letters. Read through the letter twice. Once with your mind and once with your heart.
  1. Discuss – When you are both finished reading each other’s letter, take the remainder of the 10 minutes to discuss the contents with each other. Again, this is a time to be both honest and loving.
  1. Next question – Go ahead and agree on the next day’s question before you finish. My wife and I usually have a list of several questions so we just go straight down the list with a new question each day.

Hope through relationshipsWe have done this little exercise six days a week for the past two and a half years (we take one day a week as a break). It has transformed our communication which has, in turn, transformed our marriage. I believe it can have a similar effect in your marriage.

Here are ten questions to help you get started over the next eleven days (remember, you may want to take a break one day per week). If you would like some additional questions please email me: TommyLanham@TommyLanham.com

  1. What was your first impression when you met your mate for the first time?
  2. What is your definition of a good marriage?
  3. When is your relationship the happiest?
  4. What quality do you like best in your mate?
  5. What is your idea of a great vacation?
  6. What are your goals in your marriage?
  7. Express appreciation to your mate for something that he/she did recently?
  8. What do you enjoy doing as a couple?
  9. What one thing do I want to change about myself that I think would please you?
  10. What do I love most about you today?

Resources for Questions
The Ungame: Couples Version
101 Conversation Starters for Couples. Gary Chapman & Ramon Presson
You can also Google: questions for couples


Follow to this blog to be sure to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notifications when I post new videos!


_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:

 

 

Letter to My Younger Self: “It’s Going to Be Okay”

t06A letter to my younger self…

It is going to be OK. All the failures have simply been stepping stones for you to improve yourself. All those times you felt extremely inadequate, in the classroom, on the baseball field, and as a son, they get better.

You have been able to pour yourself into people because people have poured themselves into you. Jesus wants to turn the world upside down through you._mg_7209

Grades are not everything. Just because you failed assignments, tests, courses, and even the whole sixth grade it did not make you a failure. As a matter of fact, you eventually get your Masters Degree and you did it with a 4.0. You are even teaching a college course. Not bad for a sixth-grade flunky.

Somewhere around 1998 and 1999, you begin to see yourself differently. All the failure and inadequacy you felt as a kid and even as a young adult begins to change and you begin to discover who God made you to be. You are in for the ride of your life.

There will be rocky roads ahead. Life will seem like it is crumbling down around you at times. But keep holding on. God is preparing you for a journey that is out of this world.

You will eventually meet the girl of your dreams, you will have two crazy and wonderful kids, and all four of you will be on a journey together as you all climb to your God-given potential. lanham-family-2016-46Remember to grab hold of those things that are most precious and at times let go of those things that are hindering your growth. Some people will love the progress you are making while others will hate you for it. Make sure you keep the right people in your life.  Those who would rather hinder your journey than join you…let them go.

So hang in there. It gets better and at times it gets worse, but it all leads to getting great and you do not want to miss that! It will turn your world upside down!!

Be thankful you are here because other people are sure thankful you are here. You have made a difference. You have never settled, you have lived with enthusiasm, and you are turning the world upside down!

Enthusiastically,

Your Future Self


Follow to this blog to be sure to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notifications when I post new videos!


_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: