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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Start Your Journey On Your Knees

kneesMatthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (NIV). Ask, seek, and knock is the 3-step process of reaching your God-given potential. Let’s take a look at what each one of these entails.

Ask
Pray about what God is wanting to do in your life. If you are going to climb to your God-given potential, it must start with talking to the One who created that potential in the first place. If you are going to climb that mountain, it must start on your knees.

Seek
Seek out the best ways to make it happen. Be creative. We serve a creative God. He created us in His image. Therefore, we must have some level of creativity as well. Let’s use it. Creatively seek out ways to get from where you are to where God wants you to be.

Knock
Knocking is taking action. All the prayer and creative seeking of God’s plan will not do any good if we do not act on that plan. Take action! Nothing happens until something happens. So, go make things happen!not done 2Ask God about climbing to your God-given potential, creatively seek out ways to make that happen, and then take enthusiastic action. If any changes are going to take place in your life it must be done immediately and enthusiastically. Start now and start inspired!

Tie the ask, seek, knock plan in with the three actions we have talked about this week of never settling, living with enthusiasm, and turning the world upside down and you will be well on your way to reaching your God-given potential.

Are you ready for this journey? Are you ready to join the revolution against the mundane into an enthusiastic life of God-sized proportions? Ask, seek, knock, never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down.

God is still wanting you to be a part of what he is doing in this world. It is not just about going to heaven when you die. It is also about bringing strong glimpses of heaven right here on earth by serving God in the way he has made you to serve him.

God is not done with you… so never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down… Here we go!


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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:

If You Want to Truly Climb to Your God-Given Potential, Never Settle

In 1 Thessalonians 4:1, Paul says to the church in Thessalonica; “Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact, you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more” (NIV). Notice how Paul commends them on what they have done and are currently doing and then he encourages and “urges” them to do “more and more”. Paul did not want them to become common or too comfortable in their God-pleasing lives. He encouraged them to keep growing.popeye5

I wrote in yesterday’s blog about how the enemy of the great is the good. Sometimes we become so satisfied with how good we are that we never reach our greatness. Craig Valentine puts it this way, “Are you too good to be great?”

popeye3Bill Hybels talks about having a “Holy discontent for the status quo.” Hybels started Willow Creek Community Church in the 1970’s with a group of enthusiastic young people and no money. Now Willow Creek is one of the largest churches in the world. Bill Hybels’ whole desire was to reach people with the gospel and connect them to Jesus. Hybels also talks about having your Popeye popeyemoment. Your Popeye moment is when you finally say, “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more!” This is the point at which things must change. You have developed a Holy discontent for the status quo.

popeye2Waylon Jennings, after finishing an album, was asked if he was satisfied with the album. His response, “If I ever become satisfied with an album then I am finished as a country singer.” Jennings seemed to be indicating that no matter how good an album was he was never quite satisfied. He continued to look for ways to make the next one even better.

popeye4My dad used to build bird houses. I can remember, as a kid, he would spend what seemed like hours continuing to work on a bird house that already looked perfect to me. He would continue to look for blemishes and imperfections until he could get it just right.

What do Paul, Craig Valentine, Bill Hybels, Waylon Jennings, and my dad all have in common? They never settled! They never said that is good enough. They kept working on their craft. They celebrated their accomplishments but they never allowed their accomplishments to cause them to just be satisfied. They continued to improve. They never settled!

Never settle! If you want to truly climb to your God-given potential then never settle. Celebrate your victories and accomplishments, and then look at how you can climb to the next level. God is not done with you… so never settle!

Do you have a story of someone who never settled?


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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:

 

 

What Can You Do With a Lot of Money?

 

On Tuesday we discussed saving money for an emergency fund. Yesterday we discussed saving money to make cash purchases to avoid debt. Today let’s look at a third reason to save money, wealth building.

Remember, I am not talking about being eager for money I am simply talking about being wise with money. There is a difference. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10), but to be wise with money…well…that is just wise.

savingProverbs 28:20, says; “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished” (NIV). Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating a prosperity theology here. I believe this verse describes just the opposite. God does bless those who are faithful. All those blessings are not necessarily financial, although they can be. God blesses in many ways.

However, if your goal for faithfulness is to become wealthy, that would be “eager to get rich” and as this verse says, those will be punished. Again, do not be eager for money, but be wise with it. Saving money for wealth building does not have to be an “eagerness for”, it can simply be gaining wisdom with our money.

Someone who is faithful about saving a little money every month over a lifetime will build wealth. Being wealthy is not a sin. It is the attitude behind the wealth and the accumulation of it that makes it right or wrong. There are many wealthy people who use their money for godly purposes.

saving moneyDave Ramsey often uses the following equation: If you save $100 per month, every month for 40 years at 12% interest you will build it to $1,176,477. Then he goes on to say, “what if I am half wrong?” Well, the answer would still be $588,238.50. That is still not a bad retirement. Imagine the people you could help with that kind of wealth!

What do you want to do with your wealth in retirement?


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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:

 

Are You Dying From Debt Related Stress?

Yesterday we discussed saving money for an emergency fund. Today we will look at what is becoming a lost discipline: saving money for purchases. We live in an instant gratification society and we feel that just because we want something, we should have it right now – whether we can afford it or not. How do we make it happen? Debt!

IDebt Word And 3d Character Showing Bankruptcy And Poverty believe debt is financial cancer and it is killing people financially. Proverbs 21:20, says; “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (NIV). It is unwise to just blow all we have and then when we find something we want, we just go into debt for it.

young couple worried at home in bad financial situation stress asking for helpDebt-related stress destroys marriages, reduces productivity in the workplace, and in some cases, it is literally killing people (Check out “Maxed Out” by James D. Scurlock). It is okay to purchase material wants if you are financially responsible when you do so. A big part of being financially responsible is saving up the money to make big purchases instead of going into debt.

Dave Ramsey says, “One definition of maturity is ‘delaying pleasure.’” Remember, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (Proverbs 21:20, NIV). The wise and mature thing to do is save up for big purchases.

debtDebt is a killer! As I said before, debt is financial cancer that is killing people that would otherwise be financially stable. By the way, the belief that the poor must go into debt to get by is a myth. I realize I may get some backlash from that but it is true. As a matter of fact, the less money one has, the more fatal going into debt will be.

debt stressI have had money and I have not had money and in neither case has debt been an asset.   To be honest, over the last 17 years, other than a mortgage I had for about 13 years, I have not had any debt. The freedom I have had during times of plenty and times of…well… not so plenty – I can greatly attribute to my and my wife’s refusal to go into debt.

So, go ahead and get you some “stuff’, just make sure you can pay for it without going into debt. And if you cannot pay for it, at least have the wisdom and maturity to delay that pleasure long enough to save up and pay cash!


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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:

 

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


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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:

Motivated by Fear

Moses dealt with fear. Moses was asked by God to lead the nation of Israel out of slavery. He immediately began coming up with excuses why he could not do it.

However, through the conversation he had with God he was able to break through the fear and do what God asked him to do. Not without some great reluctance along the way, but he did what God asked him to do in spite of the fear.

No excuse is more important than following God into something big.
Image result for break through fear imagesOne of Jesus’ closest followers, Peter, was so scared he denied even knowing Jesus. Jesus had invested approximately three years of his life with Peter. He trained Peter, molded and shaped Peter, and cared for him as one of his closest friends and Peter denies even knowing him. Why? Fear!

Yet Peter went on to do great things for Jesus. He was a leader in the early church that helped the church turn into a movement. He became a pillar of the Christian movement. History tells us that Peter actually lost his life because of his devout devotion to Jesus. Peter overcame his fear through action and love.

Fear can cripple us or it can motivate us. At one point it crippled Peter. But as he took action, that same fear motivated him.

When Mary was first told she would be the Mother of Jesus she was terrified. She was simply a teenager with her whole life ahead of her and then all the sudden she gets the responsibility of being the Mother of the Son of God, the very savior of the world. How is that for a sudden change of events? Yet she accepted the call that God had given her. She stepped up and stepped forward regardless of the fear she faced. She overcame her fear in obedience to God.
Image result for break through fear imagesWhat call has God given you that you are afraid to act on? It is okay to be afraid, it is not okay to be controlled by that fear. Just like Peter, decide to be motivated by your fear. Press on toward the goal to which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus!

What step will you take today in the face of your fears?

Subscribe to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!


_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 :

 

Do American Christians Show Compassion Like the Jewish Jesus?

Sometimes it can be difficult. Some of the obstacles to being a compassionate follower of Jesus may be immaturity, self-centeredness, or moments of frustration. Probably the biggest obstacle to a compassionate Christian life is the misunderstanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Jesus was the embodiment of compassion.

      Christians think we are supposed to take back America or win the culture war, make sure homosexuals do not destroy marriage, keep America moral and pure, right? 

       But wait – that was not Jesus’ purpose for Israel. And dare I suggest, maybe it should not be our purpose for America.  

       Jesus judged the religious crowd, not Israel’s patriotism to a long forgotten time that may or may not have ever existed.  If we are to judge, let us judge ourselves, the “religious” crowd… the Church.

      If America is to become great it will be because of Christians’ compassion, not their control.  know-compassion

 

_MG_6842crop     Tommy 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.

Contact Tommy to book him for your next event!