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.

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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Are You Going to Dream or Are You Going to Climb?

The number one characteristic of people who climb to their God-given potential is that they are action oriented. They may make mistakes along the way, but they make adjustments and keep moving forward.

green-lightsOften times we wait for everything to be just right before we take action. That is like waiting for all the traffic lights to turn green before you drive to your destination. Get in the car and drive. If you must temporally stop along the way, then stop for a short period and then go.

Sometimes I hear people talking about waiting on God. There are times we do need to wait when God has made it very plain that waiting is what we need to do. However, most of the time we are just trying to spiritualize our reluctance to take action. Most of the time when I hear people talking about waiting on God, I get this strong feeling that God is probably waiting on them.

Take action! You are only on this earth for a short period of time. Do not waste it by spending most of your time just waiting. Do something! Anything!! Just take action!!!

John Maxwell says, “What separates a developer of a successful dream from a mere daydreamer is committed action.” I strongly encourage you to dream, but then do something about that dream. Do not just dream for the sake of dreaming. Dream so you can change the world! That will only happen if you put the dream into practice by actually taking action.

Sure it is scary. That is the reason most people do not take action. You are different. You are not just a dreamer, you are a climber. You are not content to just dream about reaching your God-given potential. You are going to actually make the climb to achieving it!

not doneYou are the person who is willing to join the top 10% of people who invest in their personal growth and development. You do not stop there, you are a part of the 1% who actually put into action what you learn. You do not just read blogs, books, and go to seminars to learn. You do all that stuff and more to be the best version of you!

Take action! Whatever it is, do it!! Overcome the fear that stops most people in their tracks and become a part of the 1% that 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 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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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?


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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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What do you REALLY Want?

We are in that time of year when many people are going on vacation. Most of us do a great deal of planning for our vacations. We decide where we are going, how long we will stay there, and what we will do while we are there.

If you are like my wife, you also plan exactly when, where, and what the whole family will eat; at what points we stop for gas and bathroom breaks; and keep exact track of what time we are supposed to be at each mile along the way (that is a slight exaggeration, but not by much). You will also have planned out what the family does on each day and when nap breaks can be had. For many people, if the vacation is not well planned it is not a vacation.

entrepreneur success

However, I wonder how many of us put as much planning into our lives as we do our vacations. On vacation, we have goals or checkpoints to make sure we stay on task. Do we do the same with our life? Is not our life, as a whole, more important than a temporary vacation?

Yet, it seems, more people put more thought into their vacation than they do their lives. We put more effort into planning the wedding than we do the marriage. We put more concentrated effort into getting the job than we do actually working the job itself.

ship.jpg

Imagine how much better and in control our lives would be if we took the time to plan out our lives. Not that every little detail needs to be planned (I would say the same thing about a vacation), but how nice it would be to have checkpoints along the way, ways of measuring where we are in relation to where we want to be. What are your goals?

After doing a workshop on goals I had a lady say to me, “I guess that has helped a lot of people who have the willpower to do it.” She seemed to be insinuating she did not have the willpower. My response, “It is not about willpower, it is about ‘want power’”. It really does come down to what you really want out of life.

People typically do what they need to do in order to get what they really want. They may say they want something different, but as a general rule, we all have exactly what we want. If we really want something we will do what it takes to get it.

I can sit around and say, “I want to be healthier.” But if I am just sitting around all day eating junk food it is because I do not REALLY want to be healthy. What I REALLY want is to sit around and eat junk food.

Rowboat.ship quoteBe intentional! Do not sit around waiting for your ship to come in. If you want that ship, then swim out and get it. Stop waiting for it to come in. If you just sit and wait for it, somebody else will swim out to the ship you want and then you will just sit and complain about how lucky they were. I have discovered that the harder I work the luckier I become.

So, let’s be intentional! Let’s take some time to plan our life and then take massive action to make it happen. Use your “want power” to make it happen!


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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:

 

Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish

life1We find different people throughout the Bible who followed their God-given, specific purpose. Abraham became the father of a nation just like God called him to do. Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Yes, that Israel. The Israel that became a nation through the line of Abraham. David became the nation of Israel’s second king. Acts 13:36, says; “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep” (NIV). “Fell asleep” is the Bible’s nice way of saying he died. David fulfilled God’s purpose for him while on this earth.

Nehemiah served his specific purpose of rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall and restoring the hope of his people. Ester was given a purpose of saving her people. Ester 4:14, says; “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this” (NIV). Maybe God has you in a position right now for such a time as this. I would encourage you to read Ester’s story in its entirety.

purpose2Peter fulfilled his purpose in being a leader in the early church. Paul fulfilled his purpose of being an apostle to the Gentiles (those who were not Jewish). There are numerous examples of people in the Bible following their God-given, specific purpose.

Proverbs 29:18, says; “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). Tony Campolo says, “The world is not so much sinful as it is dead.” Part of the reason that people are walking around in the world, and even in the church, like dead people is because they have no vision, no God-given purpose for existing. They are what Zig Ziglar used to call a “wandering generality instead of a meaningful specific.”

life.jpgI believe John 10:10 gives us two specific purpose statements. Jesus is speaking in this verse and he says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (NIV). The first is the purpose statement of Satan. The reason for his existence is to steal, kill, and destroy everything that is good in your life and especially your hope of eternal life. Jesus’ whole purpose for existing is to give you life and to give it to the full. The King James Version words it this way, “Life more abundantly”. The Message says, “so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of”.

That is why “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11, The Message). It is only in Jesus we find out our specific purpose. To not have that purpose is deadening. To discover and follow that purpose is life to the full; life more abundantly; it is real and eternal life, more and better life than we ever dreamed of!

Helen Keller said it well when asked if there was anything worse than being blind and she replied, “Yes, being able to see and having no vision.” If you would like some specific steps in discovering your God-given purpose please look at my last blog: 5 Clues to Uncover Your N.I.C.H.E.

 

 


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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:

 

5 Clues to Uncover your N.I.C.H.E.

Over the past two blogs, we have looked at our first purpose and our general purpose. However, there is another level of purpose we have not yet discussed. Not only does everyone have their first purpose (to know, love, and follow Jesus), and their general purpose (Worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism), but each one of us also has a specific purpose. While our first and general purpose are universal, our specific purpose is unique for each and every one of us.

NICHE

Galatians 6:4-5, says; Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (The Message). As you better understand who God made you to be and the work he wants you to do, you will better understand your specific purpose. God has equipped you to fulfill a purpose that he specifically put you on this earth to fulfill.

Here are five areas to “carefully explore” to better understand “who you are and the work you have been given”.

Natural Abilities
What are you naturally good at doing? What seems to come easier for you than it does most other people? What are some of those talents and strengths you have naturally developed?

Inspirational Gifts
Everyone who has decided to follow Jesus has received what the Bible calls spiritual gifts. I would encourage you to read Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and 27-31; Ephesians 4:11-12; and 1 Peter 4:9-11, for a list of spiritual gifts. There are some spiritual gift surveys available online and they are helpful in discovering your spiritual gift. However, the best way is to simply try something that appeals to you and see how it goes. If it seems like a good fit, perhaps you have discovered your spiritual gift. If it is not a good fit, try another one.

niche3Character
How did God wire your brain? When I talk about understanding your character I am talking about your personality style. God has wired each one of us differently to serve him in the way he wants us to serve him. Discover your personality style and it will help you better understand your God-given, specific purpose. My DVD “How To Speak To Weird People” comes with a personality style survey and gives descriptions of each style.

Heart
What are you passionate about? What keeps you up at night because of enthusiasm and excitement and what wakes you up early in the morning for the same reason? What do you love to talk about? If you knew you could not fail and money was not an issue, what would you do? These are just some questions to help you discover your passion…your heart!

Experiences

How have past experiences equipped you for what God wants you to do? Evaluate both your good and bad experiences, because God uses both. What physical experiences, emotional experiences, intellectual experiences, and spiritual experiences have you had that has shaped you into the person you are today?

Niche2If you noticed, those five areas spell the word NICHE. What is your niche? What are your natural abilities, inspirational gifts, character, heart, and experiences? Once you make a “careful exploration” of these five areas, you will have a better idea of “who you are and the work you have been given”. Then you will better understand what your God-given, specific purpose may be!


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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:

 

 

God Has A General Purpose For You

find your purposeIn our last blog, we discussed our first purpose – to know, love, and follow Jesus. We must start there. “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11, The Message). We cannot fully understand and fulfill our specific purpose in life until we fulfill our first purpose, which is to know, love, and follow Jesus.

Today we will look at our general purpose. Not only does everyone have a specific purpose that is unique to each individual, we also have a general purpose as humans. This purpose is not unique to individuals. It is universal for all mankind.

I get some of the wording and format below from Rick Warren. I believe he has explained the general purpose for all of us better than anyone I know, even me. I have used his words and turned them into something that makes them a little easier to remember. I call it three ships, a try (pronounced tree), and an ism.

Our general purpose, the purpose that God has for all of us and wants all of us to do and fulfill, is three ships, a try (tree) and an ism. I first discovered this in Rick Warrens’ book, The Purpose Driven Church (1995). He later wrote about the same subject in The Purpose Driven Life (2002).

purpose4Ship 1 – Worship
God wants all of us to worship him. This is not for a chosen few. It is for everyone. Loving God with everything you have and everything you are is our worship. It includes worshipping him with other followers of Jesus on Sunday morning but it also goes beyond that as well. Worshipping God is not an event.  It is a lifestyle.

Ship 2 – Fellowship
God wants all of us to have deep, meaningful relationships with other followers of Jesus. This is another purpose for the church. When we are not actively involved with a church, we are negatively affecting our relationships with other followers of Jesus. Again, it goes deeper than just meeting with other followers of Jesus on Sunday morning or having a fellowship meal together. It is about building deep, meaningful relationships with them. We need each other.

Ship 3 – Discipleship
Discipleship simply means growing to become more like Jesus. God wants all of us to grow in that relationship with him. This is another reason we must be an active part of a church body.

Try (Tree) – Ministry
God wants all of us to be involved in ministry. Some may be in paid ministry and others in volunteer ministry, but we all have a ministry to fulfill. Ministry is serving God by serving other people. Find out how you can best use your strengths, gifts, and passions to serve God.

Ism – Evangelism
Evangelism is simply telling those who do not know Jesus about Jesus. God wants all of us to do evangelism. Be ready to share your story of what your life was like before you decided to follow Jesus, why you decided to follow Jesus, and how your life has changed since you made that decision. This is not just for paid staff members of a church. It is for everyone who has made the decision to follow Jesus.

Our general purpose is three ships, a try (tree) and an ism. Before you can fulfill this purpose you must fulfill your first purpose. And before you can adequately fulfill your specific purpose you must fulfill your first and general purpose. In the next blog, we will look in more detail at our specific purpose.

References

Warren, Rick (1995). The Purpose Driven Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Warren, Rick (2002). The Purpose Driven Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


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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:

Step 4 to Finding Real Happiness: A Deep Spiritual Connection to God

Over the past few blogs, we have looked at how to find real happiness and joy. To read those blogs please click the links below:

Step One: If You Want to Find True Happiness, You Must Do Something

God Did Not Create Us to be Alone/Step 2: Find Someone

Step Three to Finding Real Happiness: Feed Your Mind

Today we will look at the fourth and final step: connect spiritually. The ultimate happiness in life is not discovered until we connect spiritually. The first part of a spiritual connection is to come to know and love Jesus. However, there is more to deeper spiritual connection than just knowing you will go to heaven when you die. There are several practices to help you grow into a deeper spiritual connection with God. There are four that are foundational to spiritual growth and connection.

connection2Bible
Spiritual connection is limited at best if we are not reading the Bible. The Bible gives us direction, connection, and affection. The Bible is the primary way God speaks to us. He wants you to hear his voice, listen to him. The Bible is not so much a rule book as it is a love letter from God. Open it up and find out how much God loves you.

connection1

Prayer
The Bible is the primary way God speaks to us, prayer is the primary way we speak to God. Reading the Bible and prayer is how we have conversations with God. No relationship can grow without authentic communication. If our spiritual connection, our relationship with God, is going to grow, we must have authentic communication with him through reading the Bible and praying to him.

connection

Fellowship
If we are going to grow in our spiritual connection, we must grow in our connection with other people who desire to grow in their spiritual connection. That sentence may be worth reading again. Jesus established the church, which is our primary place for getting this type of connection. I know, I know, some of you are saying “the church is full of hypocrites and they have lost the meaning of true spirituality”, and there may be some truth to that. However, we often do not hear the positive side of the church. Churches really are most responsible for the positive change that has taken place throughout history. We have done some things very wrong, but we have done much more right. If you want more input on that subject please read “An Open Letter to the Church”.

The church is what Jesus established for his followers to come together for a deeper spiritual connection with him. With all its faults it is still God’s chosen vessel for deep, spiritual relationships. If we want to grow in our relationship with God we must grow in our relationship with other followers of Jesus.

Giving
If we are to grow in our spiritual connection with the ultimate giver…God…We must become givers ourselves. Giving can be our time, talents or treasures. Better yet, it should be all three. One of the best ways to find real happiness is to become a giver. Psychologist Alfred Adler put it this way, “We could be cured of depression in only fourteen days if every day we would try to do something good for somebody else.”

connection3

I encourage you to schedule time to read your Bible. If you do not understand it then look for a different translation that is easier to understand. Here are some of my favorites: New International Version, The Message, and The Voice. If you do not like reading then listen to it. You can get it on CD or even look it up online for free.

Set aside a time of prayer. However, do not limit your prayer time to just scheduled times. Be open to spontaneous prayers as well. My wife and I have scheduled times when we talk, but we are not limited to those times. We spontaneously talk throughout the day as well. It is the same way with God.

If you are not already part of a church then I encourage you to find one. Please do not just attend, get involved. If you can find one that has a strong small groups environment it may help your connection even better.

Look for opportunities to give of your time, talents, and treasures. Give to your church, give to your community, give to your favorite cause, just be a giver. To some extent the more you give, the happier you will be.


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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 him a note:

Step Three to Finding Real Happiness: Feed Your Mind

garbage.jpgWhat if I came into your house with a pile of garbage and dumped it all out on your living room floor? What would you do? You may call the police or you may take matters into your own hands and begin pounding some sense into me.  You would at least tell me to “Clean it up.” Depending on how quickly I responded to your demand, you may revert to one of the other two options.

The garbage on your living room floor can be cleaned up with some focused attention. But what about the garbage we pour into our minds on a daily basis? That is not so easily cleaned up. Be careful what goes into your mind.

Over the last two blogs, we have looked at two steps to finding real happiness: Step one is do something and step two is find someone. Today we will look at step three…feed your mind!

garbage 4Most people do not read a single non-fiction book after they finish school. We fill our minds with junk on the radio, T.V., the internet, and numerous other sources; but we do not take the time to fill our minds with good, positive, productive information. If we want to find real happiness, we must become life-long learners.

How many of you believe everything you read in the Bible? Now, how many of you believe everything you read on the internet? Now, I ask you, how many of you spend more time reading what you don’t believe than what you do believe?

I would encourage you to become life-long learners. Read or listen to something that will help you grow and move in the direction of your goals. If you do not have any goals, then maybe you could start with reading GOALS: Godly Objective Assuring Lasting Significance.

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Learn more about whatever it is you do in life. If you are married, read or listen to some books on marriage (The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman) or go to a marriage conference. If you are a parent, read or listen something on parenting (Scream-Free Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel) or go to a parenting class or conference. If you want to grow spiritually, read or listen to something on spiritual growth (The Bible) or go to church. Wherever you are in life or whatever you are doing, learn more about it so you can get better.

I am a speaker and a life coach who helps people climb to their God-given potential. You know what I read and listen to the most? Books and audios on speaking, coaching, and reaching my God-given potential. Those things not only feed my mind, they feed my soul.

If you want to find real happiness, I encourage you to do something, find someone, and feed your mind. Begin or continue your lifelong quest for learning. You may have finished your formal schooling, but if you want to find real happiness and joy, you must never finish your education.

What is the next book you are going to read? Class you are going to take? Audio you are going to listen to? Whatever it is, write it down (message it to me below if you want) and then take action! Buy it, pick it up, press play, whatever you need to do please do it now!


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

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_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 him a note:

God Did Not Create Us to be Alone / Step 2: Find Someone

In the last blog, we looked at one step to finding real happiness…Do Something! Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, says, “Everyone who has ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” You can read that blog here.

Step two is to find someone. Find someone to share life with. This may be a romantic relationship, but it does not have to be. It can be a close friend, a small group from your church, a family member, or anybody. Rick Warren says, “We discover our roles in life through relationships.” God did not create us to be alone. Even introverts need relationships. Maybe not as many, but we still need them.

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We can’t always put our hand on the right book, audio, or magazine, but we can always put our hand on the phone to call someone. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says, “You are the same person today that you will be five years from now except for the people you meet and the books you read.” The right relationships take us places we would not otherwise get to go.

Hope through relationships.jpg

Happiness and joy tend to be more abundant when we focus our attention on others. The odd thing about happiness is the more we try to pursue happiness, the harder it is to find. The more we try to give happiness, the more abundant it will be in our lives. There are many virtues and values, but here is the greatest: one person caring for another.

happy 4We cannot help but feel happy when we care for someone else. When we pour our lives into the lives of other people, it brings a level of euphoria that no self-indulgence could ever reach. Remember, this is a principle and not a tactic. In other words, we cannot help someone for the express purpose of making ourselves happy. Only when we help other people expecting nothing in return will we receive the greatest return.

So, reach out to someone today. Build on an already existing relationship or simply develop a new one. Who will you reach out to today? Write it down and do it now. Remember the first step? Do something! Here is your opportunity to do something now…Find someone!


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

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_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 him a note: