Monday, September 27, 2010

No Matter What

 There is a song on the radio entitled "No Matter What" by Kerrie Roberts (YouTube it).  This is a song based on the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Bible.  Basically, these guys were were being forced to bow down and worship the King.  When they refused, the King told them they would be burned alive in a fiery furnace.  This is where it gets good. 
"They replied, if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not bow to you."  -Daniel 3:17-18  (read all of Daniel 3 for the full story)
WOW!  Do you have that much faith?  Most people these days are afraid to commit to anything without a safety net, let alone risking their life for their beliefs.  I mean how many times in life have you been able to say that about God?  I have faith that _______ will happen, but even if it doesn't, I will continue to serve Him and believe.

How many times in life have you been able to say this about your family?  I have faith that my parent/child/sibling/spouse will succeed and make wise decisions, but even if they don't, I will continue to love, support, and encourage them.
It's the "no matter what" and the "but even if He doesn't" moments in life that you will remember. 

Do you rely on faith or your own reasoning?  How much faith do you have?

Friday, September 24, 2010


One of the things that successful people have in common is that they are passionate about what they do.  The best parents, teachers, Realtors, leaders, pastors, artists, athletes, accountants, doctors, lawyers, Wal-Mart greeters, cab drivers, soldiers, police officers, firemen, etc... have a burning passion.

It is important to note that passion is only an ingredient and alone does not equal success.  Political candidate and You-Tube sensation Phil Davidson is overflowing with passion.  (Phil Davidson video)  I do not know him but could guess that he is good at what he does.  Unfortunately, he may not be elected and has been made fun of because his passion is lacking a few key components. 

Your passion should be attractive.  Others should be attracted to you because you are passionate.  Your passion should not make people laugh at you or turn people off.  People should be able to respect you for giving your life to your passion.  Don't get me wrong, people don't have to join you in your passion but desire to develop their own.

Your passion should be focused.  There is no such thing as scattered passion.  It is very difficult to be passionate about multiple things.  Sure you can like a lot of things but you can really only dedicate your life to one or two at a time.  Think of passion as a laser rather than a light bulb. Like the light atop the Luxor Hotel in Vegas.

Your passion should be communicable.  You should be able to tell people what your passion is in a minute or less.  Sure you could bore people to death by talking about it forever, but you want to leave people curious and asking questions rather than waiting for you to be quiet.  Focus on the What, Why, and How.

These are just a few of the many ingredients but they will get you started. 

What are you passionate about? Is it attractive, focused, and communicable?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Tiger Woods,

Dear Tiger Woods,

I would like to apologize to you on behalf of the entire world.  I know you are going through quite possibly the toughest time in your life and career right now and most people are somehow glad.  As if it has ever been okay to kick someone while they are down and outwardly hope they don't get back up. 

Just as you have mentioned in your public apology, you were selfish, you did make some mistakes, and it is completely your fault.  I'm sorry that we treated you as if you were the only one that is selfish and makes mistakes.  Fortunately for most of us, our mistakes aren't the talk of every media outlet in the world.  I hope that you are learning from your mistakes and I hope that others can learn from them as well.

It seems as though it has become acceptable to laugh at people that are deeply struggling and be more excited when people fail than when they succeed.  Many people even viciously comment on how you are getting what you deserve.  Yet if people always got what they deserved, we would all live in a dark, ungracious, unforgiving hell. 

As you are seeking forgiveness, may you also find it in your heart to forgive those of us who have judged you and wished ill will upon you.  I seriously hope and pray that you are able to slowly gain your life and career back as I know you are broken. 

Grace &Peace,

Brett Bradley

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone." - John 8:7

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life Lessons From P90X

I'm a big fan of P90X.  The program works for 2 main reasons, which I think can be applied to other areas of our lives.

1.  Consistency The 90 represents days.  If you consistently exercise for 90 days in a row you are bound to see some results.

This can be applied in all areas of life.  If you want to increase your knowledge of something, consistently study it for 90 days.  If you want to strengthen your spiritual life, pray consistently for 90 days.  If you want to improve your relationship with someone, serve and pursue them for 90 days.  Consistently doing anything on a daily basis will create positive habits to get the results you desire.

2.  Variety -   The P90X program works because it is designed around muscle confusion.  Basically, it works out the same muscle in different ways.  So instead of simply doing bench press to build your chest you would do a variety of exercises including multiple types of push-ups, dumb-bell presses, yoga holds, Kenpo karate moves, and other chest exercises that you've never heard of before.

If we keep doing the same stuff we will keep getting the same results.  When you read, make it a point to read a variety of books, blogs, and magazines.  Switching between fiction, christian, business, occupational, leadership, health, and other topics keeps your mind sharp as you think in different ways.  When you pray, do so in a variety of ways including silently, aloud, written, alone, with someone, while driving, showering, running, etc...  When spending time with someone, grab dinner, an early breakfast, go on a walk, exercise, attend a concert or museum, create something, go on a road trip, or just be adventurous.  You are still spending time with the same person, but by doing so in a variety of ways you are strengthening the relationship.

Learn from the success of P90X.  What do you need to be more consistent with?  How can you add variety to areas of your life?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mental Exercise

This statement could not be more true.

Walking, running, lifting weights, hiking, biking, swimming, P90X, etc... are all ways to improve your physical health.  For those that are in great physical shape, these exercises are done on a regular basis to keep the body fresh.  If you want muscle strength it is important to challenge your body as muscles do not grow unless they are pushed to their limits.

Reading, writing, blogging, listening, problem solving, creating, analyzing, etc... are all ways to improve your intellectual health.  For those that are in great intellectual shape, these exercises are done on a regular basis to keep the mind fresh.  If you want brain strength it is important to challenge your mind as your mind does not grow unless it is pushed to the limit.  

Are you more physically fit or intellectually fit?  How can you improve on one and still maintain strength in the other?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Use It Or Lose It!

If you're like me (and I know I am) you learn something new everyday.  Part of that is because I truly am addicted to learning so I seek out ways to learn new things as much as possible.  The other part has to do with being human and facing personal, professional, social, and spiritual challenges on a regular basis.

The problem is putting what I learn into practice.  I may hear something profound in a sermon, at a conference, or from a mentor or friend and want to come back and put that into practice...but never do.  I might read something in a book, blog, or on twitter that totally changes my perspective...for a few minutes.  Then I start doing something else, get back into my routine, and forget all about it. 

Here are a few things that have helped me remember what I learn.

1.  Apply it to you.  Great teachers make information relevant to students.  Great students make information relevant on their own.  Think about how this new information connects to what you already know.

2.  Summarize it.  It's hard to remember everything. Constantly be looking or listening for the main idea, the one thing you can take away from any book, conference, lesson, sermon, etc...

3.  Use it or lose it!  If you don't use what you have learned within 48 hours, chances are you will lose it.  

4.  Tell someone.  When you tell someone what you learned it does a few things.  It helps you remember because you have to put it in your own words.  It helps you decide if you agree with it enough to put your name on the idea.  It also makes you think more about it if someone begins to ask questions.  Many people believe you truly haven't mastered a subject or skill until you have taught it.

You learn something new everyday.  Do something with it!