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Entries in help (3)



Yesterday I talked with three different friends on three different topics. A couple of them came to me for advice and counsel, one was just offering encouragement. But all three ended up giving me counsel and inspiration in areas of my life where I hadn't even realized there was a need!

That's the way it works when two or more gather in His name.

When two or more Christians come together, they feed and strengthen each other. Their intention to help each other and to serve and glorify God creates synergy (I know ... over-used word from 90s business. But as one friend points out to me, words matter. Words have power!). Christians, coming together with their minds open and their hearts willing, can make anything happen.

My friend Rick called to chat about a few things he's interested in. He wanted some practical advice, and I am always MORE than happy to give that, even if I don't have any! But it turned out that I did have some things I could contribute, and in our sharing he said some things that gave me a great sense of joy and strength. I felt closer to God by being closer to one of God's children. 

At one point I quoted my favorite Zig Ziglar quote:

You will get allyou want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. 

—Zig Ziglar

He immediately saw a connection to a quote from Norman Schwarzkopf:

"You can't help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself."

—H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Bam! Two Christian brothers share two quotes that express one idea to rule them all. I like that. And I might never have encountered that quote, and might never have gained a bit of "wisdom reinforcement" from it, without putting heads together with a Christian friend.

Another of my trusted Christian friends, Marshal, gave me some wisdom about the length of these blog entries, and that is (in part) why I'm about to wrap this up for the morning. He was gracious enough not to out-and-out call me a windbag (though he's not one to shy away from telling it like it is), but he did say that there are times when I could have ended a post a bit sooner than I did. It's the kind of brevity-through-editing that I require from writers who work for me, so how could I demand any less of myself? 

I realized that he's right, and that I need to take a closer look when I'm writing these posts, the same way I look at work I do for my work, and find where the "fat" can be trimmed. 

But he also said that sometimes the message may not be FOR him. And that makes a lot of sense to me, too. Sometimes, when I'm reading, I think, "Yeah, yeah, Author X. Enough already. I get the point! Move along!" That's me filtering the work through my own knowledge and experience. But another reader, someone who hasn't been exposed to the ideas as often as I have, may find it vital, even enthralling, and may need that extra verbiage to really get a full grasp of the concept.

So if I go a little long at times, just bear with me. When I write these posts, I pray first, and ask God to give me the words that will glorify Him, reach others in His name, and reach me as well. Somtimes that will mean that what I'm writing isn't meant for you (or isn't entirely meant for you). I may actually be talking to me!

The short of it all is this: Even if you don't feel you need counsel right now, talk to your Christian friends. Look into their needs. Offer them everything you can. Do it in God's name and to His glory. Because you'll likely find that they can offer you strength and encouragement in areas where you didn't even realize you needed it.



Zig Ziglar said, "You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."

That's kind of profound if you start breaking it down, thinking it through. It's Biblical, actually. All throughout the New Testament, the command is to "love others as you love yourself," to "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you," to make yourself a servant of others. So Zig's advice has been around for a while.

I try to live that, because I've come to believe in it wholeheartedly. I think it's making all the difference in my life. I certainly have more friends than I've ever had, and I have a lot more prosperity in my life than I had just a few short years ago. It's a good rule to live by.

And there's a correlating rule that I think is equally important: When someone helps you, thank them.

That's a tough one for me, believe it or not. I'm not always quick with the gratitude. But it can make a huge difference in your day. Just getting a quick note, "I got an email from someone you referred to me, and I really appreciate it!" That makes you feel pretty good. And if it makes YOU feel pretty good, it's a good bet it will do the same for someone else.

So I'm going to commit to that. Even with small things. Someone opens a door for me, and I express real, genuine gratitude. I'll thank the person checking me out at the grocery store. I'll thank the person taking my order for lunch. Not the perfunctory "thank you" that comes kind of automatically, but a real, heartfelt "thank you!" that comes autoMAGICALLY. 

I'm convinced that's going to make a big difference in my day, my week, my life! 

By the way, thank YOU for reading this! It means a lot to me, because readers are my goal. And I hope, in some way, this touches and inspires and helps you. Because that's also my goal. 


TV or not TV

"Hi. My name is Kevin Tumlinson, and I ... <<sigh>> am addicted to TV."

<<all>> "Hi Kevin!"

"It's a long-running addiction. It started when I was just a kid. I would happily and excitedly jump out of bed on Saturday mornings around 5 a.m. and glue myself to a spot roughly three feet from the tube for the next eight to ten hours. All we had was a rabbit-ears antenna back then, and reception was poor. Thank God! Can you imagine if I'd had cable or satellite TV back then? I'd probably still be sitting there in some seriously over-stretched Spider-man Underoos."

<<Polite laughter, knowing nods, affirmative thumbs up from sponsor>>

That, my friends, is me taking the first step. I'm admitting I have a problem.

Practically since birth, TV has been my friend, my companion, my mentor. It was an educator. It was a comfort when I was sick or sad. It was a window into a world that I desperately wanted to be a part of. Happy, whole families. Fantastic adventures. And everyone makes out good in the end. Happy endings for all.

Recently, Kara and I bought a huge HD television. It's one of a dozen or so purchases we've made for our new house, but easily one of the most telling. This is an object that sits front and center in the one room of the house where we spend the most time. And despite the fact that we have gobs of unfinished work literally from floor to ceiling in every room of the house, a yard in desperate need of landscaping attention, and a garage that we currently can't park in, our TV works perfectly, and has astounding quality.

Kara and I have talked about this problem. We've come up with plans to become more "active." We've made decisions to "eat at the table more," "prepare more meals," "do more things around the house." "Maybe the TV could run in the background," we say. A soundtrack to our fruitful and productive lives.

Nay, nay.

Always, inevitably, we will plop down, plate of food in our lap, and start watching a marathon of shows. The Internet has made it possible to watch dozens of episodes for a series each night. It never stops. There is an endless supply.

I want to actually live my life. Watching it happen in HD isn't a good enough substitute.

I have books to write, inventions to invent, artwork to create. I have walks to take and neighborhoods to explore. I have yards to landscape, and neighbors to meet. I have so much more to do with my life. And since I can't DVR the whole thing, it's kind of important that I catch it live.

So, what's a TV junkie to do? Is there a program for this kind of addiction? A TV program? Heh ... sorry ... couldn't resist.