So You’re Stuck in Traffic?

How to Turn Your Commute into a Classroom

Time is an unrenewable commodity. Once it’s gone, you can never replace it.

The real question is what are you doing with your time?

Each day the average American spends between one and two hours driving to and from work. Yearly we spend well over 300 hours of our lives in our car. It’s the equivalent of 38 work days of driving. Another way to look at it is 13 straight 24 hour days.

Traffic jam

We Spend a Lot of Time Commuting

The average commute in the U.S is 45 minutes, with New Yorkers having the longest trek to work with an average 73-minute commute. Chicagoans came in second spending 64 minutes a day commuting, followed by San Francisco residents with 56 minutes, while those in Los Angeles have an average 55-minute commute, according to CNN Money.

How to Trust Your Struggle

How do you profit from your struggle?

What comes to mind when you hear the word, “Struggle?”

It’s a touchy subject that one rarely wants to discuss, let alone dwell on. If you’re breathing, at some point in life, you will inevitably have to confront it, deal with it, get through it and learn from it.

In every struggle, there’s a lesson and we must learn how to leverage it and profit from our struggles. “When God wants to send you a gift, He wraps it up in a problem. The bigger the gift – the bigger the problem,” according to Norman Vincent Peale.  

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of TED Talks and it’s not uncommon to come across a life-changing message. Zain Asher, national business and personal finance correspondent for CNN, challenged listeners to “Trust Your Struggle.” Check it out:

After watching Zain’s talk, I came away with two valuable lessons:

  1. Seek the valuable lesson in every problem or difficulty. Every setback you face contains 1-2 lessons that have been sent to you to help you become more successful. Failures feel sorry for themselves when things go wrong. Successful people look for the valuable lesson they can learn. 
  2. Focus on what can be done now (solutions) instead of who’s to blame. Ask: “What’s the good in this situation?”

When you look for something good, you’ll always find something good. Like Zain said, “I don’t believe in competing for what I want, I believe in creating what I want”

Are you trusting your struggle?

 

 

How To Deal With People Who Don’t Like You

Rejection is powerful.

When I counsel people, sometimes I hear them say, “I don’t care if people like me, as long as they respect me.” When they say that, it’s an “emotional wall they use to block the hurt of rejection,” according to psychologist Marcia Reynolds.

God created us to be social, and if we’re honest, all of us care if people like us. “The feeling of love, affection, and belonging is necessary before we can reach the highest levels of consciousness and wisdom,” according to psychologist Abraham Maslow.  Maslow is saying we all need people to survive. So, how do keep from withdrawing when dealing with someone who doesn’t like you?

Closeup on business woman showing thumbs down

Fortunately, you’re not the only one who’s had to deal with this problem. After Nathan had anointed David as the future King of Israel, Saul became his bitter enemy. Like David, all of us, at one time or another deal with people we don’t like and who don’t like us. Perhaps you have people who want to do you harm and see you fail. This is where David found himself in 1 Samuel Chapter 24.

I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate. That’s actually a serious point. If you’re going to do something that’s never been done before – which is basically what innovation is – people are going to misunderstand it just because it’s new.

Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com (BusinessWeek.com April 17, 2008)

Misunderstood

(Jeff Bezos, April 17, 2008)

The Single Most Effective Secret to Winning in Life

Let’s face it – winning is fun. I know some believe that “winning isn’t everything,” but why play the game if you’re not playing to win? That’s why I love Scripture, especially The Book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11 is about winners. It’s God’s Hall of Fame. These were ordinary people who accomplished extra ordinary achievements. They weren’t perfect. They often failed. But they all reached their goals. One of my favorite winners listed in this book of winners is Moses.

Businessman Writing the Words "Be Yourself"

In my humble opinion, Moses was one of the greatest men in the Old Testament. He received the Ten Commandments from God, wrote the first five books of the Bible, and led the children of Israel out of captivity and slavery into the land of Egypt. Why was God able to use Moses so effectively? He understood that being yourself is one of the secrets to living an effective life.

How Doing Less Can Help You Achieve More

When is enough…enough?

Recently, I asked several people to explain to me exactly what they wanted. Guess what – NOT A SINGLE person could answer.  Knowing what you want is the best way to avoid the temptation to pursue several things at the same time.  That takes focus.

I’ve seen people get frustrated by their ministry, business, and careers because they know that they want something but they don’t exactly know what. The main reason people struggle professionally and personally is simply a lack of focus. This lack of focus can be costly because there is a subtle push to pursue more.

do less

There Will Always Be a Subtle Push to Pursue More

There’s a subtle and (if you’re not careful) sinister push that we should devote more time to building our brand/platform.  Although I’m a pastor, a writer, mentor, and speaker, I’m not exempt from this subtle push. A few years ago I discovered that there was a danger to my soul in pursuing more exposure, more name recognition, more money to be made from thinking, writing, and speaking about ministry issues. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up like King Solomon and lose focus.

King Solomon’s Dangerous Pursuit of More

King Solomon wrote an entire book (Ecclesiastes) on perilous pursuits and eventually paid a hefty price.  He lost focus and desperately pursued several unrelated goals in a vain attempt to satisfy himself (Ecclesiastes 2:1–11).  As Solomon penned these words, he was rich beyond measure, but internally empty.

He couldn’t fill the hole God placed in his heart with things or understand why he lacked contentment.  Regretfully, he tried to fill that hole with his outward pursuits of more.  Solomon eventually did narrow his focus, but it took him a lifetime and an entire book to do so (read Ecclesiastes. 12).

Solomon finally determined what really mattered and what he really wanted. I read somewhere: “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.”  The danger with pursuing more is that it’s limitless. Unlike Solomon, Jesus models what happens when you’re focused.

Jesus Was Focused – He Didn’t Allow Distractions or Rejection Change His Focus

While in the synagogue, Jesus spoke from Isaiah 61 about His anointing (Luke 4:18). His cruel rejection by the people of his hometown in Nazareth is highlighted to characterize Jesus’ initial teaching ministry in Galilee. Even when His audience didn’t like what He had to say (Luke 4:28, 29), He moved on to the next town to continue His work. He would not let anything drain His anointing or distract Him from His mission.

The Most Effective Tactic I Use to Stay Focused

Schedule time on your calendar to focus on the task.

After reading Jason Fried‘s book Rework, I’ve incorporated the “Alone Zone” into my work flow.  If some asks if I am available, I reply, “I’m sorry, but I have another commitment at that time.”

Jesus was focused. How about you? Have you figured out what you want?

5 Reasons We’re Launching Our Online Campus – Marshillonline.tv

Every generation experiences change.

In a relatively short amount of time, the Internet has moved from an occasional tool to one of the principal ways we communicate, entertain ourselves, and do work. Staying up-to-date on emails, social media and other means of online communication is a bigger time requirement than people may realize.

New research has found that the average user spends 23 hours a week emailing, texting, and using social media and other forms of online communication. Since people are already online, we decided to launch an online campus and guess what – it’s biblical.

Android Tablet

Here We GROW Again – Easter 2015 People Reaching People #PRP

On Sunday, March 15, 2015, the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago celebrated Friends’ Day.

We had our largest attendance this year. Every seat, including two overflows were filled to capacity. I believe God gave us a glimpse of how Easter 2015 will be. Therefore, we’re adding a Saturday service for our members so we can free up space for our guests attending Easter Sunday.

Easter Flyer 2015

People Reaching People

At Mars Hill, our theme for 2015 is People Reaching People #PRP.  That means we’re encouraged to stretch ourselves and do different things to reach people.  We have to be open to new ideas, take some risks as we prepare for the overflow that God is sending us.

As pastor, I am asking our members to attend our Saturday Easter service (April 4th) at 5PM.  It will be very similar to our Sunday services and CHILDCARE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL.  It’s casual so come as you are.

If you attend Saturday’s service and will attend Easter Sunday, we ask three things of you:

  1. Wear your Mars Hill T-shirt,
  2. Sit in the section for Mars Hill members, and if necessary,
  3. Be ready to give up your seat and go to the overflow or our cafe.

It’s all about reaching people this year so we have to be willing to make sacrifices.

If you are bringing guests on Easter Sunday and you need to sit with them, don’t wear a t-shirt because it is more important that our guests feel comfortable.

Easter Weekend Schedule:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

5PM – Live Worship Experience – Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago
5PM – **NEW Online Worship Experience** (Yep, it’s almost here)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

8AM – Live Worship Experience
8AM – **NEW Online Worship Experience**
10:30AM – Live Worship Experience
10:30AM – **NEW Online Worship Experience**

Remember, It’s all about People Reaching People #PRP.

It’s More Than Just Another Month – What Black History Means To Me

Black History Month means different things to different people.

As a Nation we have a month of recognition and silence for the mighty men and women of color who paved the way for all of us. We recognize them for their hard work, tears, and for those who died fighting for equality for people of color. I am proud to be a man of color born in America.

As we take time to celebrate this notable occasion, I would like to share what Black History Month means to me.  For me, Black History Month is a time of reflection, rejoicing, and recommitting to reach the next generation.

MLK Memorial Photo 20percent

Feeling Stuck? 3 Steps to Getting Unstuck

You have a deadline looming.

However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

I’m guilty of it. Even when I don’t want to do it, it creeps up. Now time passes. Ten minutes turns into thirty minutes. Thirty minutes turns into hours and before we know it, the task we set out to do doesn’t get done. Now we’re stressed out because there’s another unfinished task on our todo list. Bummer!

Getting Unstuck