Living and Leading in Your Strengths; The Lion or Dominant Style
John H. Thurman Jr., M.Div., M.A., LCMHC
Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do and why other people may or may not get it?
Want to understand yourself and your coworkers and teammates better. Then keep reading.
Personality is the motor which drives behavior. It's consistent over time and across situations and has been proven to predict our success at work over the course of 50 or more years.
I have spent the past two decades helping business men and women, ministry leaders, as well as service member leaders understand their personality styles as well as gaining insight into the styles of their teammates. I hope you will glean some fresh nuggets of truth as we spend a little time together looking at some of the unique ways that God has hardwired you.
An individual’s unique combination of these four factors influences his or her success at work in three main ways. Firstly, it determines how and why we're motivated to achieve individual goals – for example, people who score high on extraversion are more motivated to reach a goal if there's a reward involved. Secondly, personality affects our mood, which in turn affects the way we respond to people and situations at work. Studies have found that conscientiousness and agreeableness indirectly affect organizational citizenship behavior via their impact on job satisfaction – simply put if we're happier in our jobs, businesses, and day to day lives, we're more likely to be better ‘citizens' at work. Thirdly, our personality profile affects our interpersonal relationships, making it an important determinant of work success when that work involves getting along with other people.
I want to encourage you to read all four post as there will be two this week and two next week followed by a free webinar, but more on that later.
One of the most widely accepted models of personality styles – the DISC model which uses four distinct scales to describe personality. Dr. John Trent has done an excellent job of taking the DiSC letters and using animals to model the four types. The Dominant style is the Lion, the Influencer style is the Otter, the Steadiness style is a Golden Retriever, and last, but not least is the Compliance style or the Beaver.
The first of the four styles is the D. For those of you familiar with other labels; this would be the Choleric or Lion.
The D in the DISC language stands Dominant. People with this behavioral style tend to shape their environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results. I will be using the animal.
The Lion, the dominant personality style, has a strong sense of self-worth and is task-oriented.
Dominant/Lion Types are:
A Biblical character who was predominantly a high D/ Lion, the Apostle Paul.
One of my mentors and personal friends Florence Littauer penned a book a few years ago called Personality Plus in the Workplace. This is a great resource for business people. I was honored to write one of the endorsements for this great resource.
Another great resource is Leading in Your Strengths, by my friends, Dr. John Trent and Rodney Cox. Much of the material I use in my training comes from this easy to read and implement resource.
Next post, which will be Thursday will look at the Influencer/Otter.
(C) 2017 John H. Thurman Jr.
Let me know your thoughts, questions and comments.
Shades of Intimacy, Love, and Romance
Fifty Shades Darker is out, and I am sure millions will flock to see it. The book series took the world by storm, and I am certain the movie series will l do the same.
But wait a minute.
One of the foundational principles of building and repairing a relationship is to understand the foundations of intimacy. It is not about technique, positions, or power, but about getting to know someone deeply.
There are so many failed marriage stories in the headlines it can make you wonder, "Is an intimate relationship even possible anymore?" and if so, "How do you get one?" It seems that some couples quickly move from being fired up with a romantic passion for wanting to fire each other like a mean boss does to an exhausted employee.
It is no wonder people are more cautious about opening up their hearts to someone else because they have likely witnessed the process of intensely romantic chemistry quickly eroding into hateful rejection and ugly conflicts. Everybody talks about wanting a meaningful relationship where he or she are loved and accepted, yet few are willing to take the chance of being vulnerable or hurt again.
Marital intimacy is about seeing into the heart and mind of your mate and learning to connect with them in multiple ways such as feeling close, accepted and loved on the inside, no matter what kind of pressure might be happening on the outside. Listen to the word intimacy slowly spoke ‘Into-see-me.' Genuine intimacy is about complete openness and coming closer together to connect in the most intense ways, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
To experience this kind of an emotional relationship, you need to understand both sides of an intimate connection to grow to a new level of purpose and passion together. These different levels of connection reflect the differences between a cultural view of relationship where romance is the primary goal; and a long-term perspective of marriage where learning to connect with the realities of daily life is joined alongside romance to build intensity, regardless of the circumstances. You need both sides to make your relationship go the distance from short-term infatuation to create long-term success in your marriage.
Both my mom and my dad passed this past December and January. As sad as it was too lose them, my parents were case studies concerning our topic today. Having raised five kids, and being married almost 66 years they taught my siblings and me about this long-term type of connection. In her last year's mom health rapidly decline and dad became her primary caretaker. On more than one occasion he told me that his prayer was to outlive her so he could take care of her and he did. Through the ups and downs, they hung in there with each other. Mom and Dad lived the vows, in sickness and health, until death parted them. They had a long-term view.
Marriage and serious relationships are some of the toughest endeavors that any two humans can engage. When a couple begins their journey, they are fueled by hopes and dreams, but within the first year, or two those hopes can sometimes lead to despair and dreams to nightmares. Here are five hot tips that can keep you moving forward.
Tip One – Watch out for Anger
Anger, hurt, frustration, and disappointment can stifle a relationship. Here are three things couple can do to lower anger, frustration.
1. Don’t let you negative feeling grow with interest. Express your hurt, fear or frustration as soon as you are aware of it.
2. If you decide to tell your spouse be sure to share in the language style of your partner. If they are brief in their communication (a condenser) in their style, keep it brief.
3. Don’t give ultimatums during your talks. Even if one is to be given, this is not the time of the time or the place, and it reflects control or power struggle. Rarely does it work.
Tip Two – Four Ways to Get Closer to Your Partner
1. Forgive each other for something that you’ve held on to.
2. Give up one habit that drives your partner bonkers.
3 Be generous and grateful.
4. Have Fun Together.
Tip Three – 7 Things Women and Men can do for each other.
1. See each other as allies, not enemies.
2. Appreciate each other’s power without being threatened with it.
3. Value and nurture each other.
4. Stop seeing each other as stereotypes.
5. Celebrate the differences and enjoy the commonalities.
6. Realize everybody had wounds.
7. Be there for each other.
8. Ladies, please check out How to Have a Happy Husband, and it is not what you think!
Tip Four – Hints for a fun Special Days
1. Devote 100% of yourself to each other on those special days.
2. Rent a Honeymoon Suite at a local hotel for things like anniversaries, birthdays and Valentine.
3. Take a day off from work and enjoy each other.
4. Buy some cards or postcards and flood your spouse with them.
5. Bake or buy some heart shaped cookies.
Guys, flowers and chocolate can really help.
Girls, when he comes home from work on those special days greet him wearing something red or black like ribbons in your hair.
Tip Five - FOR GUYS
If your marriage seems a little dull, perhaps it's you! Maybe you're stuck in your routine. Maybe you're too predictable. Shock you wife! Be unusually creative and totally unpredictable.
Check out my article How to Have a Happy Wife!
Friday I will have some great Valentine Tips for you.
I would love to hear from you, let me know what you think.
(c) 2017 John H. Thurman Jr.
Photo (c) 2015 Danny Gilleland Dad and I
This will be an intermittent series, in that I will occassionally post to the process that I am experiencing in order to help some of you work through your losses as we journey down thie path together.
Reflections on the loss of mom and dad.
I’ve been away for a few weeks. Since early December there have been a couple of tectonic shifts in my life, predictable but none this less, life changing. Types of life events that cause one to stop, ponder, and recalibrate. In early December we buried my mom, who was 86 and had been in a year's long battle with the life stealing disease known as COPD. She died at home with family and friends surrounding her as she breathed her last breath and took her first breath in the presence of Jesus. My sisters, brother and my dad, her husband for nearly were with her has she passed on.
Her memorial service was simple and beautiful just like she wanted. A tribute to the Lord and a testimony to the various ways that she invested in others through her business life and her ministry to migrant workers with my dad. After spending a couple of days with my dad and my siblings, I headed back home to be with my wife and family.
Over the next several week's dad and I talked at least three of four times a week. We both needed to talk to each other as we navigated our recovery path of grief together. My usual talk with dad was on Thursday afternoon after work. He would bring me up to date on the latest news from Georgia and after he asked about his grandkids and great grandkids we’d talk politics, what we were reading or about the Lord.
The last time we spoke was Tuesday morning on the January 10th while I was driving to Shipwreck, New Mexico to a speaking engagement and health fair. Little did I know that it would be the last conversation with Dad on this earth.
I was finishing up a business trip to the Navajo Indian Hospital in Shiprock, NM when I received an incoming call from my brother Thomas. In my family about the only time you get a call during work, hours is either to announce something great or to share bad news.
When he told me that Dad had passed away my brain immediately felt overwhelmed, much like you feel if you have every been around a microburst coming our of one of our late summer monsoons in the southwest, intense wind, blowing sand and disorienting, driving rain that can come and go in just a few minutes. Once I was got my bearings my siblings, and I was able to talk and comfort each other while we began talking about an appropriate way to honor him. I called my wife kids and headed back to Albuquerque.
The two-hour trip from Shipwreck to Gallup was typical of many of our winter days in the southwest, beautiful clear blue skies, the Majestic Shipwreck outcrop (pictured) a sparsely populated desert landscape with little settlements like Little Water, and Sheep Springs, and Tohatchi reminded me that I was traveling through the Navajo Nation. In that first two hour leg, I did a lot of praying and thinking. I was hitting the rewind button reviewing the highlight reels of my dad’s life as I thought, wept, and prayed on the way home. Arriving in Gallup, I turned left on the Interstate highway that would take me back to the warm embrace of my Albuquerque as we processed the loss of Papa.
That evening day we met to cry, laugh, love and support each other as we sought to comfort ourselves as well as the family in Fort Valley.
Over the past several years I don’t know how many times Dad told me his prayer was to live long enough to help mama until it was for her to be with the Lord. And that is what he did. He provided my mom with tender loving care, encouragement, prayer and support as she entered into the final life of her journey on this earth.
I found out from my cousin Susan that my grandfather Popi did the same thing for his wife, Bertha. Every day that he could he would drive his 1953 Buick from our home in Fort Valley to the nursing home in Marshallville, Ga.
What a legacy in a culture where way too many people bail when the going gets tough.
Even in the death of both of my parents, like many of your family, they took the vows they made seriously. To love and to cherish in sickness, and in health, for richer, for poorer, until death do us part. While their marriage was not perfect, it was one based on fidelity and enduring love and commitment.
Like many of the old trees along the Flint River, whose roots run deep, my mom and dad endured seasons of life as husband, wife, and parents with grace. From the birth of the 5 Thurman kids, through my brother mike’s death over thirty years ago as well as the seasons of wandering that some of us went through.
Through all of our lives as we went through the various stages of life their faith in God and each other seemed unflappable, their love unconditional. Like many of you reading this blog, they experienced the ebbs and flows of life with a quiet dignity and a firmly established faith.
As a father, dad was a great provider, wise counselor, gentle disciplinarian, and always a supporter of Mama as well as each of us. In my memory he sought to treat each of us as unique as opposed to treating us like the Thurman heard. When some of us, wandered off the path dad would usually quietly attempt to engage us, challenge us and more often than not gently nudge us back on the right track.
Dad was also a man of faith. My earliest memory of his personal faith was observing him praying, on his knees every night for about a half and hour.
Dad’s example was a strong influence on my siblings and I as we have spent out lives serving others in different capacities. His influence, character and gentle leadership has helped all of us come to our spiritual discoveries.
Dad loved his country and community. As a matter of fact, Dad only took two vows in his life, one to the Lord and mom as his marriage vow and the other as a young Navy Officer to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States in the closing days of WWII. All of my life he has been helping people and strongly encouraged all of us to do the same.
I am thankful for parents who loved to read and taught us the value of reading. As a writer, this was truly a gift that they imparted to me. A few years ago, I was attending the Class Seminars Writer’s Conference in New Mexico. In one of my classes, the instructor gave us the assignment to think of a fictional character that would be appropriate for one of our life heroes. I chose Atticus Finch, from To Kill a MockingBird. Growing up, particularly during some of those tough days in the 60s and early seventies dad taught us the importance of respecting the dignity of every man and woman, he taught us that as God’s children that we were to be accepting of others, showing them kindness, grace, and mercy. Another lesson that he taught us was how to think critically and to engage in meaningful conversation. And though I am more like Mama, Dad did try to teach us the importance of listening before we speak. All of us Thurman children, grandchildren, and extended family members learned so much from him, sometimes taught, but more often caught. We are forever thankful to the Lord that He allowed us to be the children of a man with such a deep and abiding love for his wife, the Lord, and his children. He will forever, in our hearts and minds as a man of quiet strength, deep love, profound faith and humility, who always had a great story to share.
Here are three truths;
People Die, Families, Friends and Communities come together to support, and God endures.
St Paul says in 2 Cor 1:2-3 Praise is to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in our trouble so that we can comfort others.
On behalf of we want to sincerely thank you for being the comforting hands and feet of Jesus as we as individuals, as a family and you, our community work through our grief.
Next week I will be sharing more of Leading and Living in Your Strengths.
(c) 2017 John H. Thurman Jr.
Let me know what you think.
Want to know what holds you back from taking the next big step in your life?
It is the powerful four letter word Fear.
In my life, I have heard at least the acronyms for fear.
I would like to add a third.
Think about that for just a minute. Fear almost always causes us to explore another path, one that is potentially less damaging and dangerous, but also less rewarding. If you are going to push back fear, you will most likely have to face this tendency to explore another route.
The story was first told around two thousand years ago by Jesus that talks about fear. This powerful parable is located in the New Testament, Matthew 25:14-30. A word of caution, as you read through the summary of this famous biblical tale I want you to pay particular attention to how practical it is for today.
“A wealthy man was headed out for a long journey and called three of his servants together. He told them they would be caretakers of his property while he was away. The master had carefully considered the natural abilities of each servant. In the New Testament, a "talent" was a measure of weight; it equaled around 50 kg. The current price for a kilogram of silver is $543.00. He gave one five talents ($135,750.00), two talents ($54,300.00) to another, and one ($27,150.00) to the third, each according to their ability. The master left on his journey.
"After a long time, their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! ’
“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you did not plant and gathering crops you did not cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I did not plant and gathered crops I did not cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. However, from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Here are five truths for you to consider from this powerful parable:
First, this parable teaches us that accomplishment or success is a product of our work.
Second, the Parable of the Talents teaches us that the Lord gives us everything we need to do what he has called us to do.
Just as the master counted upon his servants to do more than passively preserve what had been entrusted to them, so God expects us to generate a return by using the gifts, talents, abilities, and opportunities he has given us.
We should maximize the use of our talents to honor God, to expand the Kingdom, and to help others. There are a deep satisfaction and a real joy that comes from doing the best with what God has given us.
Third, The Parable of the Talents shows that we will be held accountable. This parable is about how we use our work and our business opportunities to fulfill our human callings. It is about whole life stewardship.
The unfaithful servant in this parable did not so much waste the master's money; as he spent and lost his opportunity.
Looking back over your life, have there been times when you have squandered an opportunity? I know I have had my share of wasted opportunities. My hope is that you can learn from my experiences.
Now I do not want to end on a negative. Next week I will show you six vital steps that you can use to find your courage, change your perspective and move forward.
The kicker is that you have to use a pen, pencil or some other writing instrument and write this assignment down on paper, not on a screen. I prefer a Moleskin™.
Here it is:
Make a List You Current Strengths
Nothing builds self-confidence quicker than realizing we have value as a person and the potential to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Assessing strengths, or creating a personal inventory, involves making a list of all current skills and abilities no matter how small or fundamental. Everyone is good at something.
If you are feeling brave, ask your Facebook friends to list a one-word positive trait about you. Feel to use this statement," A friend of mine who is a personal business coach has given me the assignment of making a list of my strengths. Could you help me, I need my FB friends to make a one work comment about a positive trait or strength that you have observed in me." Either way, I promise you that you will be humbled and blessed.
Feel free to leave me some comments on my blog. I will respond.
Have a Wonderful Week.
See you next week with a six-fold plan to help you push forward.
(C) 2017 John Thurman
Living and Leading in Your Strengths
Have you ever wondered what makes you tick? Why you do some of the things you do? Have you ever wanted some clarity on your personality sytle and how it impacts your work, play, and decision makeing?
I have had the joy of helping hundreds of people learn how to live in the power of their personality blends for over thirty years. It has been a remarkable journey of seeing the lights turn on in individuals as they begin to understand some practical ways that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In the next several weeks I will be sharing some of the truths and insights that I have learned. I know that as you engage in this journey with me, you will grow both personally and professionally. Your confidence will grow as you learn just how unique and talented person that you are.
Are you ready?
You are original, don't die a copy. Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Did you know that you have been purposefully created and equipped with a beautiful and unique personality style combined with a set of talents and gifts that God wants to use to touch others?
Your personal journey in combination with your personality style, talents, and gifts are poised to make a powerful impact in your world.
I am going to share with you some information that could change your life if you allow it to. Who knows, you just might discover a piece of the puzzle that you have been looking for to take the next step.
In the next few weeks I am going to:
An Overview of the Personalities.
First, an overview of the personality styles from 36,000 feet. I will use the labels of the systems that I have been using for years.
1. The Dominant Personality ( The Lion or the Choleric)
Sense of Control
Credit for work
2. The Influencer (The Otter or the Sanguine)
3. The Steady One. (The Golden Retriever or the Phlegmatic)
4. The Compliance Person (The Beaver or the Melancholic)
So now that I have your head spinning let me remind you that my goal is not to have you all become personality experts but to be able to identify your unique blend. Once you understand your basic hardwiring, you will find that is easier to be whom you are as opposed to an up line or cross line that you admire.
Next week I will share three secrets to overcoming those show-stoppers that may be holding you back.
Would love to hear from you in the comments section. Happy New Year!
(C) 2017 John H. Thurman Jr. All Rights Reserved
My First Christmas without my Mama
by John Thurman
This Christmas will mark a first for me. It will be a bittersweet one because my mama went to be with the Lord on December 3, 2016.
Her death was not a shock or a surprise. For the past several years she fought off the effects of COPD until she was no longer able to breathe. That Friday, she took her last breath on Earth and her first breath in the presence of the Lord. She was surrounded by her family and her family doctor.
My mama loved this time of year! As a florist and small business owner, she enjoyed preparing for the Advent Season and was a joy-filled bundle of energy during the Holidays. I have many memories of some of the extraordinary things that she and my dad did for us during Christmas time.
Like many of you who have experienced a loss in the past year or two, I will rejoice at the memories from my childhood and adult years with my mom. I accept the fact we are born, we live a life in between the dash, our start date and out end date and then we pass from this earth. My mama had a great run between her birth and death. She lived a full and meaningful life, her dash between these dates touched many people and she gave my brothers and sisters an example of resilience, and a positive attitude.
For those of you on this shared journey, I hope that this Christmas will be a hope-filled, joyful season for you while you both mourn the loss and celebrate the memories of your loved one.
While I love the story of the birth of Jesus and have had the blessing of visiting his birthplace in Bethlehem, I am reminded that his birthplace is only minutes away from where he died and arose from the death.
While we celebrate the birth of the baby, Jesus let’s remember one of the earliest confessions of the church.
As a reminder, at this time, there was no New Testament, and very few people were literate. This confession was an instructional tool used to help early believers understand some fundamental doctrine about Jesus Christ.
The Apostle’s Creed or Nicene
This creed was first formulated at the First Ecumenical Council, held at Nicene, located in what is now Turkey, in 325, as a response to the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. It was revised at the Second Ecumenical Council, held at Constantinople in 381 as a response to the Macedonian or Pneumatomachian heresy, which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him, all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Special Note: The word "catholic" with a lower-case 'c' does not mean the Roman Catholic Church, but the universal Christian Church as a whole.
My hope, as you and I work through the losses that we have experienced, we will have a sense of hope, peace, and comfort
I love what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3: 3-4
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others".
Focus on the Family has some wonderful articles on dealing with the Holidays after loosing a loved one.
You might also enjoy a post from a couple of years ago. Don't Let Your Sugar Plumbs Turn to Prunes
May you have a Merry and Meaningful Christmas.
Please feel free to make a comment or add your thoughts.
I found baby Jesus at Walmart by John Thurman
Reprinted from last year.
Christmas yard art is at an all time low. I see blow up Santa’s, Reindeer, that look more like mule deer, gift boxes, snow globes, and all matter of Christmas merchandise in people’s yards. Last year, one of my childhood friends from my hometown of Fort Valley, Georgia sent me a photo of a what he called a redneck Christmas Deer, it was strung up on its hind legs and had red Christmas bulbs cascading out of its abdominal area. I guess that was a field dressed reindeer otherwise known as lunch or dinner.
Getting back to my story, in our neighborhood there were only two manger scenes, now there are three. I hate to admit it, but when I began noticing all of the inflatables, I felt like our area was moving into the battle of the inflatebles. Almost like, "I've have more inflatables that you do." The other night I was out for a walk enjoying the silent, crisp air of the early evening in New Mexico only to have it interrupted by the low, endless drone of 14 blow up device fans filling the atmosphere with their mechanical hum the corner of one yard. A bit overboard, but we do live in the United States of America, and they are free to exercise free speech.
That is when I decided to step onto the slippery slope of conformity and seek out an inflatable Baby Jesus and the Holy Family. After all, the grandsons will love it the colors and maybe it will remind a few people of the Reason for the Season as they drive by my corner.
It was a daunting task. I went to Lowe’s, Target, Home Depot, Kmart, and Sears in search of the baby Jesus. I was determined to use my inflatable as the reminder of the reason for the season. The Walmart helper points to shelves that bursting with blow up igloos, the Grinch, Snoopy, a Minion, and a least four types of Santa’s, including one in camo, and one of Santa Riding a Polar Bear! There were blow up snow globes, Disney characters, snowmen and finally, like the three wise men in search of the baby, I found him on the bottom shelf, pushed to the rear of the rack in the Garden Department at Walmart.
I guess baby Jesus is not in demand much anymore. You see, when stores are placing merchandise on their shelves, they put the best sellers and impulse items on the center shelf.
A couple of years ago, Angie and I had the opportunity to see the traditional birthplace of Jesus. It was a beautiful experience, a spiritual experience. I hope that if you have the chance to visit the Holy Land, you will take the time and put up with the hassle to visit this site. Even though it is a very touristy place, almost everyone believes this is the spot.
Baby Jesus started life on the bottom shelf in a barn/cave. The Baby Jesus became the Way of Salvation for all who believe on him.
Way too many Americans have what I call the Ricky Bobby view of Baby Jesus. They love the baby Jesus but Jesus grew up and became a man. Christmas means nothing without Easter.
In the early days of the church, the early church leaders sought to find a way to teach basic Christology, (the study of who Christ). People, for the most part, could not read, there were no printing presses, so the way primary teaching went to the masses was through the story.
The first Creed of the Church is the Apostle’s Creed; many believe this was the first unifying statement of the church, before the writing of the New Testament. Some traditions say that the Apostle’s Creed came from the original band of Christ followers.
As we move into this Advent Season let me encourage you to read it slowly:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.
*that is, the real universal, Christian church of all times and all places
May you have a blessed Advent Season!
And one final question – How do you treat the Baby Jesus, is he on the bottom rack or are you learning to let him be Lord?
Well, it is a few days after a fantastic Thanksgiving Black Friday is done, Cyber Monday is in the books, and Giving Tuesday is almost done. News Flas, we are in the "full speed ahead" mode for this Advent Season.
Have you ever noticed It never fails, about three to five days before “Black Friday,” I hear at least a partial recitation of A Visit from St. Nicholas, a poem written by an American author, Clement Clarke Moore. It is a lovely poem; that helped launch some of our modern views of Santa.
In one of the early lines in the story, he mentions, "visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads."
To be fair, a sugar-plum is not fruit in any way fashion or form. Instead, it is a sugar confection shaped to look like a plum. However, for the sake of my illustration allow me to ask the following questions
Have your sugarplums turned to prunes?
The Holiday season can be a time of joy and dread. It can be a time of anticipation and a time of some heavy-duty stress. While the joy of the season is about the celebration of Christ's birth, too many of us become sidetracked with the pressures of the season and the short days of winter.
Rather than being excited about the season we show about the same enthusiasm as a sentenced pirate about to walk the plank. We feel dread, anxiety, exhaustion and isolation. If you feel this way you could be a victim of the Christmas blahs, the Hanukkah malaise, the Kwanza ennui, and for the neo pagans amongst us, the Solstice slump.
In this four part series, we are going to look at practical ways to manage holiday stress, build boundaries, and celebrate this very special time of the year.
Holiday stress statistics reported by the American Psychological Association indicate that up to 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time”, 69% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money”, and 51% feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or receive gifts”.
Stress is the perception of pressure, tension, worry, fear, dread or anxiety. The way we respond to stress can exacerbate, or even create physical and emotional problems.
Problems such as allergies, muscle tension, GI issues, colds, flu, sinus infections, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, angina, heart disease, and heart attacks. Many individuals can develop unhealthy behaviors to cope with stress: overeating, using alcohol and drugs, and being irritable and angry.
Rather than being excited about the season, we show the same enthusiasm as being told that you need a root canal. We feel dread, anxiety, exhaustion and isolation. If you feel like this, you could be a victim of the Christmas blahs, the Hanukkah malaise, the Kwanza dullness, and for the neo-pagans amongst us, the Solstice slump.
Here is the first installment of some simple suggestions, some humorous, some serious, to keep " your sugarplums from turning into prunes."
Remember the reason for the season. Re-read the Christmas story, go to a worship service, attend a Christmas Play and listen to some uplifting seasonal music.
Keep your expectations in line with reality. One of the reasons things go south in so many relationships, particularly this time of year, is undiscussed and undisclosed expectations are violated. If you dare to expect a perfect holiday, then you are probably setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
Chill out and go with the flow! Relax, laugh take a step back and unwind.
Rememeber, regardless of what your therapist says, the Christmas season is not about problem solving. Deal with family issues another time. You have to choose how you are going to feel. You do not have to be a slave to old memories.
If you are going to be spending a lot of time with family, be intentional about building in breaks for the family. The holidays can be a very special time for families to be together, but you don’t need to overdose.
Watch the food intake. The holidays are a time when many people pick up weight. You can still have the goodies of the season just watch the servings and the sizes. If meal preparation is a bear for you, try making some changes. Don’t let the eating and/or drinking be the focus of the gathering. Avoid getting loaded with spirits, sweets and fats at the same time, there is nothing worse than being bloated, loaded and wired all at the same time. If you do overdo it, be sure to wear your elastic pants or your expandable Dockers – avoid the mid-meal unbuttoning at cost – it is humiliating to you spouse and kids.
Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.
Next week – tips for family gatherings and practical help for the recently divorced.
#holidaystressbusting, #holidaystresstips, #getagriponholidaystress.
Breaking News: Breast explodes on Thanksgiving Day.
Middle Georgia: During the 60’s
Right breast of Thanksgiving Turkey explodes in the oven at the Thurman's residence on Westview Drive. No injuries were reported; anxiety levels were high.
I grew up in a larger family in Fort Valley, Georgia. Fort Valley is a beautiful town situated in the heart of Georgia, on many maps is it between the o and the r. Fort Valley is the home of Blue Bird Bus company, Lane's Southern Orchards, and Georgia Bob’s BBQ.
Around this time last year I was watching Jimmy Fallon when he was doing his segment on #thanksgivingfail, and I remember one Thanksgiving fail, my mom, who is an exceptional cook, was trying a new way of cooking her turkey.
We had some family coming over, and momma was cooking a big bird. Things in the kitchen were busier than a one-eyed cat trying to watch two mouse holes at the same time. When all of a sudden there was the muffled sound of an explosion in the oven followed by a small combination of steam and smoke as the right breast of this rather large breasted bird exploded. Momma quickly opened the oven to see what had happened, what she found was a crumpled sheet of aluminum with pieces of meat and skin shrapnel from the explosion. I remember her initial exasperation which was immediately followed by her saying, "It is still moist and almost done, it will have to do."
Dad carved the bird, and no one but our family knew about the damaged turkey.
As I recall, the bird was fantastic, and like you, we ate too much that day.
For most of us, the Thanksgiving fails, while at the moment have things that seemed negative turned out to be a great memory maker.
One of the ways to expand you Attitude of Gratitude is to share some stories of Thanksgiving’s past.
Have a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude and grace? #Attitude of Gratitude, #Get a Grip on Stress. #ATTITUDEOFGRATITUDE, #GETAGRIPONFEAR#GETAGRIPONSTRESS, #LOWSERHOLIDAYSTRESS
Push Back the Tyranny of Fear with Dose of Gratitude. Why Thanksgiving is important.
Do fear, anxiety, and stress have you tied up in knots? Are you trying to push back the darkness of depression?
As a part of my series on Psychological Body Armor, I am going to disclose the cheapest, and one of the most productive things you can do to lower stress, reduce fear and increase happiness. It is cheaper than therapy, has no debilitating side effects, and you will begin to see the benefits of using it almost immediately.
This ancient, but well-researched intervention is gratitude. Having an attitude of gratitude, expressing thanks.
The word gratitude comes from the Latin work gratis, more precisely gratus, which means grateful or thankful. As a quick side note: Mrs. Ruffo, my eighth-grade Latin Teacher while I attended Fort Valley High School in Fort Valley, Georgia, is probably smiling down from Heaven as I write this. I am thankful to her for teaching me an appreciation for ancient languages.
Gratitude is an attitude that demonstrates grateful appreciation.
Thankfulness helps people connect to something bigger than themselves as individuals whether to other people or God.
Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His Love endures forever.”
Thanksgiving arrives this week. As you and I begin to prepare for this significant and meaningful time of year, I want to give you seven things you can do to push back the tyranny of fear, doubt, and darkness with Dose of Gratitude.
Gratitude is the thankful appreciation of things received, whether tangible or intangible. It helps you and me connect with something outside of ourselves, often something that is transcendent and larger than we are. Being grateful for people, and other blessings not only makes me thankful, but it also helps rewire my brain to be more optimistic.
Before I get into the seven tips for developing gratitude. Here are a couple of things to get your brain working. Here are some things you might think about, health, family, spouse, friends, significant others, relatives, pets, your talents and gifts, life, and job.
Here are eight things for which you can be even more grateful as we prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving in 2016.
Please let me know what you thought about the article. Your input is very important.
John is a Counselor, Author, Speaker and Photographer that helps people "Get a Grip on Life."