Friday, July 13, 2007

Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

I have been reading an excellent book by Dr. Henry Cloud. The book is entitled Integrity - The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality. If you read any of my previous blogs I refrenced "the diamond life" by Kevin Meyer. I am on first base which is character (developing leadership skills). Dr. Cloud says that someone's character is two sided and looks like a wake that is left from a boat. The two sides of the wake are relationships and results. Everything falls into one of these two categories. He mentions that character is only mastered by someone who continually gets better at what they do (results) and continually develops those around themselves (relationships). People of integrated character (all the parts working in union with one another) are defined by six characteristics.
1. Are able to connect with others and build trust
2. Are oriented toward reality
3. Finish Well
4. Embrace the negative
5. Are oriented toward increase
6. Have an understanding of the transcendent
I will go in detail with what I learn in a later post but i also recommend the book to anyone. Enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Diamond Life

I came across a sermon by a pastor down in Atlanta by the name of Kevin Meyer. He introduced a grid for personal growth quite like nothing I've ever heard. He calls it "the diamond life". It is in the shape of a baseball diamond and there is a point of growth at each base.

He says that everyone starts at home and finishes at home. You don't get to bat from first base just because you made it to the big leagues. Home plate represents (1) calling. When you discover God's unique direction for your life He grants you clearance to go to First base which represents (2) character-leading yourself successfully grants you clearance to go to Second base which represents (3) community-winning with others. Once you have learned to lead yourself and others this now allows you to go to third base which is (4) competency - winning at work. Lastly home plate stands for (5) significance. Kevin believes that you will not live a life of significance until you run the bases in the right order - calling, character, community, and lastly competency.

He makes mention of the verse in Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Kevin makes the point that one of the patterns of the world is to run the bases backwards. I can't tell you what that did to me. It is so easy to run the bases backwards because it is not only accepted by others but expected. God will not bless a backwards base running pattern where his children run to third (competency) and cheat the other bases. They aren't just cheating others they are cheating themselves. Kevin asked the question "What is it called when you run the bases backwards?... Little League!".

It's only funny if you're five. After that we have to learn to run the bases in the right order. It is then and only then that God will allow you to win with significance after you honor Him with your calling, character, community, and competency.

The Diamond Life... Give it a go and let me know what you think.