Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mastery?...Shoot! I'd Settle With A Little Progress

I have a desire to live my life intentionally. I want my life to mean something. I am finding however that my life slips away and my intentions never realized. I am a wonderful planner, but I am a lousy executer. I believe my problem is a lack of discipline.

I recently was reading about David and Solomon in a book by Max Lucado (I will detail later). David always intended to build the temple, but it was Solomon who did so. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes (7:8a) that finishing is better than starting.

Let’s go back to David for a moment. He intended. He planned. He got distracted. He made a few mistakes. He wasn’t the model of self-control and God did not let him build the temple. God still loved him, but God didn’t allow him to finish his plans.

God plans things and wants us to plan but often what we plan is not the same as what He plans or we trip ourselves up with a lack of restraint and we get distracted.

I think this has been my real problem so far this year. I’ve slipped up, flipped out and cracked so many times that I have gotten distracted. It seems there is so much that I am trying to do…that I am intending, but I never seem to accomplish anything and the frustration just add fuel to the fire. I just hope that God hasn’t decided to keep me from finishing.

I need to refocus on aligning my plans with His plan for me and to be truthful, the Enemy has enticed me to question God’s plan for me. At times, I feel a little lost, but I am confident that God will realign me. My lack luster performance on all fronts has been because I have been trying to do everything alone and even at my best, I have no self-control. If you have been around puppetminister.com very long, you will see it’s a common theme in my life.

Pray for me and all the others who I know are struggling with this. It seems to me that if David struggled with it and I am struggling with it, there must be more.

One last thought, I think Solomon sums up what I want the real goal of my life to be; “Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21)

God Bless You. Thanks.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mastery (part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous post on mastery.

Dave Ramsey (and others) says, “If you want to be rich, do rich-people stuff.” From that, I say if you want to be a Godly person, identify and do the things Godly people do. Fitness—same thing, adopt the habits of fit people—and if you want to be a great puppeteer then study and do the things great puppeteers do.

Begin your study by reading books, searching on-line resources or talking to people who just know. In puppetry (this is a puppetry blog after all), there are many avenues of to pursue; different types of puppetry, script writing, design and building are just a few of the many areas under the puppetry umbrella.

For example, I’ve said countless times that puppet ministries should strive to do better with their puppetry. This begins with study. For example, manipulation is a fairly basic skill to learn, but if you go one step further and begin to study the techniques of professional puppeteers and ponder the specific details of what makes one puppeteers operation better than another’s, you can then adapt that discovery into your manipulation style. Continued study and analysis followed by internalization will greatly improve your success.

Be advised that study alone will not lead to mastery. The “thought” must accompany the study. There must also be a caution against imitation; Jim Henson warned of this when he said, “I think if you study, if you learn too much of what others have done, you may tend to take the same direction as everybody else.” The key is to study, contemplate then build your own conclusions and ideas based on what you learn. Sir Isaac Newton called this “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Allow the information to spark new ideas and thoughts that led to your own formulation and adaptation.

I don’t know who originally said “The difference between who you are today and the person you will be five years from now is dependent on the books you read and what you learn.” That may be the best way to end my ramblings. Granted, it may take more than five years to master some things and some people devote their entire lives to mastery of a particular field. Nevertheless, a wise person will begin today to become the master they wish to be.

As I write, however, I am reminded Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14msg Paul was not calling himself a master Christian and I’m not calling myself a master puppeteer, master theologian, master financier or master-anything. We learn by degree and I am somewhere between here and there sharing my thoughts.

This started with the idea, “You are what you study.” What are you destined to become? What do you want to master? What will you study?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


This is the first part of a two part treatise. I was pondering this idea for a blog topic and before I knew it, this was the resulting manuscript. I apologize if it seems incoherent, but it makes perfect since to me.

It’s been stated in many ways by many people: “We become what we think about.” You can find this in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Zig Ziglar, William James, Solomon. The list is endless. Your thoughts control your life-good or bad is not so much what happens to you but how you respond beginning with your thoughts.

Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) took this one step further to say “You become what you study.” This makes sense because true mastery of anything requires study requires thought. Consider that for a moment—true mastery requires study requires thought. In order for me to be successful in any area of my life I must study and think about it. God even gave this same direction to Joshua after Moses died. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 nlt)

So the question becomes: “What do you want to master? Where in your life do you want to be successful?” Like me, you probably want to be successful in family matters, money matters, health and well-being matters, becoming Christ-like. We never undertake any endeavor with a goal of failure (oxymoron?), or at least we shouldn’t. The human desire is for success. God’s plan for us is success.

Other than my family, I currently have four areas of interest in my life: God, puppetry, personal finance and fitness. Noticed, I said currently because our passions can shift. I wasn’t interested in finance until I started studying Dave Ramsey. Puppetry wasn’t a real passion until I started using it to minister. Fitness was not always important. AND you can trust me when I say God has not always, continually been the focus of my life (an issue with which I still struggle), but I digress. My point remains that we must learn and reflect on what we want to achieve.

(to be continued)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Resolutions? No. Goals? Yes

The beginning of a new year always brings talk of resolutions—those self-promises that are lightly chosen and lightly discarded—Loose Commitments, if you will. I am not one for resolutions. January 1 is just another day. I am one however for taking this opportunity to set 12 month goals.

So you may be asking, what is the difference. A goal is specifically defined, measurable, realistic, limited by time and most importantly WRITTEN DOWN. There is something psychological and emotional about putting a goal down in writing. When you take the time to go through the exercise to get it on paper, you commit deep down in your soul to succeed.

I think you should hand write any and all goals you have whether they are goals for 2007, 5 year goals or even 20 year goals. I believe you should read and re-read these goals to stay motivated. I believe you should routinely evaluate these goals to see if you need to alter your approach.

With this in mind, I have defined the following goals:
I will be debt free (everything but the house) by August 31, 2007.
I will read 12 non-fiction books by December 31, 2007.

I have short term fitness goals defined on my other blog.

Your goals can be physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, relationship or career oriented. Just write them down.