August 29th, 2013 | No Comments »

Subscribers to The Palmer Perspective receive a weekend newsletter that focus, not on church or theology, but simply personal growth; a topic to which I’m devoted. Today’s post is this past Saturday’s newsletter. To get this newsletter and be automatically added to blog giveaways and contest and get my e-book, Scandalous: Lessons In Redemption From Unlikely Women, SUBSCRIBE in the box below this post or in the upper right-hand corner.

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You’re going to fail if you don’t bet on yourself.

This past week I heard the story of Reginald “Reggie” Hudlin. Hudlin is a screen-writer, director, producer, and former CEO of BET. He is also a graduate of Harvard University, but he was born and raised in East St. Louis, one of the most dangerous cities in the country.  Hudlin’s most recent credit was as producer of Django Unchained and his first was House Party.

As you can see, Hudlin possesses an incredibly creative mind and has accomplished much in his field.
Hudlin tells the story of selling his very first script. The script was hand-written on legal paper, but that wasn’t all that strange at the time. As a struggling creative, Hudlin caught the bus and bummed rides with friends to get to and from pitch meetings and to connect with artists and studio executives. He was broke and did whatever he had to do to make rent. 

Then, all of Hudlin’s hard work payed off. He sold his first script. He only made $2,500, but for him that $2,500 was a fortune. But now Hudlin had a choice to make. He’d made enough money to either buy a used car or purchase a computer. 

Hudlin went with the computer.

As convenient (and fun) as it would be to have a car – or even to spend the money celebrating with friends – Hudlin opted to invest in himself. He says, “I figured with a computer, I could sell a lot more scripts.” He bet on himself. He invested, not in his comfort, but in his goals.
My life as a pastor and BeachBody coach gives me a front-row seat to people saying they want to make changes or move ahead, but we typically don’t mean it. We often fail to realize that making changes means investing in ourselves. When the next step cost money, time, or more effort than we first imagined, we bail, quit, or try to opt for the cheapest option.  Then we turn up shocked when investing nothing and doing nothing got us nothing.

Truthfully, though, those who invest in their goals are the people who meet them.

Suppose you want to grow spiritually, what lengths are you willing to go to? Will you spend money on those books, that retreat, or the time and money to find a spiritual director?  Will you wake-up earlier or delete unnecessary events from your calendar in order to carve out focused time with God?

If you want to get fit, are you ready to revamp your nutrition, work with a coach, and pay the monetary and physical price?

If you have goals, how does your life reflect movement toward those goals? And I say this so that you’ll know this: You can do anything!

All it takes is a willingness to invest in yourself. I think you’re worth it.

Tell us, what one thing can you do TODAY to invest in yourself?

December 4th, 2012 | 4 Comments »

A re-post and update of one of my favs from a few years back.

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A lot of ministers love preaching during Advent…but it’s also dangerous!

For those of us in free church traditions, this is a time of year we can unapologetically turn to the lectionary and no one will give us grief about it. People also like preaching Advent sermons because words like peace and hope are easy to grab hold of. Plus,folks in the pew are typically glad to be worshipping together, congregations are filled with visitors, and sanctuaries are decorated in red and green. There are lots of good feelings around Christmas, and there should be.

At the same time, though, I fear that some of the preaching done during Advent is selective in it’s approach – a temptation even when it’s not Christmas. This year as I’ve re-read the birth narratives within the gospels, I’m shocked again by the scandal of the story; a story that is truly unbelievable without the asset of faith.

The story doesn’t stop at the scandal though. Just think about all those mothers clutching their little boys as King Herod’s minions draw knife and sword. And then, there’s John the Baptist, this wild man of the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, while looking like the last person on Earth you’d want to be around.

John’s preaching also reminds us that life in the service of Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean a happy ending.

Christmas is a scary holiday.

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Posted in Christmas, church, life
September 20th, 2012 | 5 Comments »

You takin’ to me?

Seriously! Who are you talking to?

In our hectic, dog-eat-dog, workaday world, where so much rests on productivity, meeting deadlines, and getting things done, we cannot forget that the people we deal with everyday are people. Frequently people walk into my office, or I see them at my daughter’s school, or around town and behave as if people are means to an end.

No, “Hi.” No, “Good Morning.”

Nothing.

They launch into business – usually something they want someone else to know or do. A flippant and dismissive air of , I don’t care about you, I only care about my agenda is all too clear.

It comes across as rude. And you don’t want to be rude.

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September 18th, 2012 | 11 Comments »

This past Sunday, we began a new teaching series called, “It’s Your Move.” Over 4-weeks I’ll be presenting our church’s strategy for ministry in Temple, TX. It’s a simple church strategy. Thinking through the implications reminded me of this which I posted some time ago.

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I never thought about grass getting too much water.

There’s a place on our church’s playground that’s dead grass. As far as I know, it’s always been dead. It’s a small rectangle, a different blend of grass from the rest of the playground. It’s at the corner of the playground where two sidewalks connect.

I’ve always been puzzled by the mud and dirt that settled there when the rest of the play yard has always been so lush. I think I may have figured out the mystery.  As I walked a first-time visitor through our campus back to his car on Sunday, he almost stepped into that muddy corner. Flippantly, I said, “We’ve never been able to get grass to grow there.”

In an instant, he said, “Sure. It gets too much water.”

He went on to explain to me that it was evident that water from our sprinklers pooled in that corner and it was over-saturated. Grass won’t ever grow there.

Wow! The things an outsider can notice about your church.

Since Sunday my heart has had some clarity about factors contributing to the numerical decline of my faith family of origin – Churches of Christ. I posted some initial thoughts last week. While I still think those reasons are true, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to believe that we’re drying up because of too much water.

Here’s what I mean:

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August 23rd, 2012 | No Comments »

“Life is one big adjustment:”

You don’t have to live very long to know that life is filled with swift transitions. Some of us never come to terms with this simple truth. Therefore, when change comes to town, we lose ourselves.  We fidget. We fuss. We get mad. Case in point: Check your Facebook newsfeed to see how many ‘friends’ are livid about being “forced to use TimeLine.” If we get this exorcised over these kind of small, inconsequential changes, it’s no wonder we lose all sense, decorum, and manners when larger adjustments need to be made.

Life is not static. Adjustments are inevitable.

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