Category Archives: Change

Season Finale

“To everything there is a season. . . “ so says the book of Ecclesiastes. And this blog is no different. At the beginning of ’09, I committed to several goals this year. Unfortunately, in the process of juggling all these ambitions, I have dropped some along the way. Of course, I may pick them back up but it’s not long before one drops again. I have learned in life that when you are overwhelmed with all the things you are juggling, you can do one of three things: you can keep doing what you’re doing with the hope that you eventually “get it,” you can juggle with less balls until you have mastered that level, or you can just quit juggling.

I have decided to juggle with less balls. Here’s the thought process: If I drop just one ball even periodically, and more than likely it’d be a different ball each time, I fail at juggling period. In other words, I may not reach any of my accomplishments or it will certainly take me longer to get there. On the other hand, if I juggle with less balls dropping none, I am a success, albeit I am a less accomplished juggler than if I were to hit all my targets in the first example but my odds are better. If I stop juggling all together, not only do I fail at juggling but I fail at even trying; failure is certain. Rhetorically, let me ask you this: would you rather invest in a long shot, a sure shot, or a dud?

I want to be a sure shot! And it is for that reason that I am regretfully postponing my blog posts. I have been focusing so much on ensuring a post three times a week that I have  neglected the writing of my book. Writing is my dream. And I have been accomplishing my dream through you, the readers of this blog. But at the same time, the true realization of a writer’s dream, at least this writer’s dream, is publication. Just like our life here on earth is a dress rehearsal for Heaven, this blog has been a dress rehearsal for publication of a book. I appreciate all of you for aiding and abetting me in testing and reforming my style through this medium. While I am not a perfect writer (and never will be), my heart is ready. And quite frankly, that is all that is needed for the realization of a  dream. A heart that is ready will let nothing get in its way. A heart that is ready will not quit or back down. A heart that is ready will not bargain for second best; it will not rest until it has reached its destination; it will not be denied.

This is not a series finale, it is merely the end of a season. I will live to blog again; you have not seen the last of Brian Shaw. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am taking my series to the big screen if you will. I am taking my passion and purpose to a higher pursuit. Please keep your eyes peeled for the release of my “feature film” in the near future. This is not the end, it is just the beginning . . .

Oh, and if by remote chance there is a published author who has any great advice or contacts he or she would like to share, or better yet, a publisher with some interest in my work, feel free to comment now. (LOL)

To all of you fellow dreamers: I encourage you on your pursuit. Make sure you take time to pause from time to time to compare your map and your current location to make sure that you are still on the shortest distance to your destination. If so, pursue relentlessly. If not, make the necessary adjustments and get back on the road.

Please keep me in your prayers. I am working on writing a 30 day devotional. Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and continual revelation. Pray that he would guide my pen to position words in a way that will speak encouragement and hope to a multitude of people, not for my own profit but for kingdom profit, that those far from God may be drawn into greater intimacy with the Father through the Son. Pray that He keep me ever so humble and grateful for any talent that He has blessed me with. Finally, pray that I keep “first things first,” not neglecting my own spiritual walk or my own family.

Thank You and May God Bless You Abundantly!

Advertisements

Wash That Gray

Some of you may remember the 80’s jingle for Clairol Hair Care: ۰♫ I’m gonna wash that gray right outta’ my hair ♪۰ Heck, I remember it even though I’m quickly approaching the 36 year mark (real quick–it’s tomorrow). That may not seem all that old to some of you but the gray hairs that appear in my facial and chest hair is a continual foreshadow of things to come (and my wife takes every opportunity to remind me).

Not to sound cheesy but that could have been a commercial for Christ. While the signs of aging are eminent in my body, my soul is as new as eternity is long. Christ came to make me new; to wash out the gray hair, unwrinkle the skin, give me eagle-like vision, and renew the heart of a worn and tattered soul.

Starting to feel old? Take comfort in knowing that your heart is brand spankin’ new if you are in Christ. Go out today and conquer the world––while physically you may be inching toward the grave, spiritually you have just been delivered!

23 or Bust

resolution

That is, the 23% Club, those who tend to keep their New Year’s Resolutions each year. About 35% break their resolutions by the end of January. So how are you doing? Have you already steered off course? Did you even make a resolution? Do you feel like it’s too late?

It’s not too late. Whoever said you needed a celebration to jump-start your goals anyway? Life change is time-sensitive. It is rarely done out of convenience but out of necessity, that is, when you realize you need it and your committed to fixing it. We don’t choose to lose weight [or enter own flaw here] because it’s New Years. We choose to lose because we’re plump and need to make a change. Who needs the new year to roll around to realize that your rolls make you round? You only need a mirror and a decision. Stop beating yourself up about falling off the wagon. Lord knows there are plenty of other people out there waiting to do it for you. (By the way, nobody is perfect; shouldn’t “Mr. Negativity” be on his own freakin’ wagon anyway?)

If you fell off the wagon, don’t just lay there, get back up! If you’ve already missed your wagon, don’t get discouraged. There’s another one coming whenever YOU’RE ready. And when it does, it’ll be a better one anyhow because it will be on YOUR time with YOUR commitment––it’ll be YOUR wagon, not the party bus that comes around when the bell tolls 12.

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. ~1 Peter 2:15

Giving up is what makes defeat permanent. ~Stacy Allison, first American woman to climb Mt. Everest

You can’t go back and make a new beginning, but you can start today and make a new ending. ~Unknown

A bend in the road is not the end of the road. . . unless you fail to make the turn. ~Unknown

And our assignment for the day is to permit the courage of Christ to override the condemnation of the critic. ~Steven Furtick

***************************************

Practical Advice

Get the 3 C’s:

Commitment: If you don’t commit, you will quit!
Cheering Squad: To help you celebrate your victories and conquer your setbacks.
Christ: With Him, nothing is impossible! He’s the confidence you need.

Make SMART goals:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

Speech Impediment

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. ~ James 1:19-20

This is my prayer for me. This is what I’m asking you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to stand in agreement with me on, that is, keeping my trap shut; it’s what I really suck at. I continually tell my daughter not to say anything if she doesn’t have anything nice to say but find that I don’t really practice what I preach. I am sometimes (or maybe even more often than I recognize) callous with people, including my own family. There have been several occasions in the last couple of weeks that have brought me to this realization. I detest this about me, or more importantly, detest how it likely makes people feel; I am sick of myself and need a change!

Don’t get me wrong, in spite of myself, I’m still a “success” by most people’s standards. I still have friends (that aren’t necessarily like me), I develop great rapport with my patients, I am a trusted and respected team member at work and church, my wife and daughter love me anyway, and most of my family still speak to me. But is it because they have learned to overlook that about me? And how many people have I hurt in the process of “being myself?” Would I even like me if I was my own best friend?

When used with discretion, being direct with people can be a good quality. That’s just not me though––I‘m abrasive instead of assertive, my comments can be hurtful rather than helpful. When I look back over the years, I think I’ve been (and am) a real horse’s rear at times. You may not see it (thank goodness) but that’s because writing is a little different. I have time to formulate my thoughts, proofread what I’ve written, and hold it to rigorous standards. That’s exactly the kind of model that I need to apply to the words I speak. Easier said than done.

Like the praise song, please pray that the Lord would change my heart to demonstrate the righteous life of God that is within me. That He would give me the discipline and ability to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, saying only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs and benefiting those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

That’s the “speck in my eye” right now. Do you have a vice or shortcoming for which we can stand in prayer together?

Yes We Can!

The 2008 Presidential election is over; history has been made; the mantle has been passed from . . . one man . . . one political party . . . one ideology . . . and most notably, one race to another. From the back seat of a bus fifty-three years ago to the highest, most honorable seat in the land, this singular giant step in history will surely not erase the painful past of oppression and injustice but will hopefully represent a turning point in which the two become history. As the day of discrimination and disenfranchisement begin to fade, the dawning of a new day will be the mark of a promising future of equality and justice for all. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of “a dream that one day . . . every hill and mountain shall be made low.” This past Tuesday was that day. A day when a longtime dream gave way to a long-awaited reality. A day when the playing field for a people victimized for so long, is leveled with a victory of promise and hope. This day, November 4th, 2008 constitutes the election of the first African American to the office of President of the United States, Barack Obama.

We Americans stand united not only in celebrating this milestone but on many fronts: The President we serve, the desire for change, the issues of the day (like the economy, the war, and energy independence, among others). Unfortunately, though, that is where our common ground ends and uncertainty begins. The history has yet to be written on what’s to come. So how do we bridge the divide? How do we overcome the “partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long?” To paraphrase a leader in the woman’s suffrage movement, give yourself to the wrongs that need resistance, the right that needs assistance, and the future in the distance. In other words, like gold, we should submit our policies and provisions to the refining fire of careful scrutiny, taking captive every idea in order to refute any vain argument or pretension that threatens to jeopardize “truth, justice, and the American way.” This is necessary for the survival and perpetuation of freedom here and all over the world. “So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder . . . This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time.” “In this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.” Can we do it? “Yes We Can!

Change Is Here

This may just be the best political ad yet, not because I created it but because of who created me. Watch both Barack Obama and John McCain get upstaged and outshined . . .

(It’s only 2 minutes long)

* Music by Casting Crowns. Arrangement by Brian Shaw (edited on GarageBand)

Thank God the election will be over on Tuesday!