Posts Tagged ‘friendship’



A Promise to My Friends

A life well lived happens in the context of relationships. I’m convinced of that. God designed humans to be in community with one another. That’s why food tastes better when shared with friends and a beautiful sunset experienced with a loved one stays with you forever. But successful marriages, partnerships, or friendships need attention and even what I call “relational promises.” These set of values or promises help me frame my commitment to family and friends in a way that holds me accountable to my end of the relationship. One of the most important promises I make my friends is to always give them the benefit of the doubt. A true friend will defend, uphold and protect publicly, but question privately. We all have been there–during a conversation a salient tidbit of gossip comes up about a friend who’s not present. Sometimes it’s an accusation by someone who’s been hurt.…

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Your Unexpected Christmas Blessing

I’m blessed. In the next few days my home will be filled with family, friends, cats and dogs coming together to celebrate Christmas. For some that many people in a house is a recipe for a fight waiting to break out, but for me it’s a true blessing. But I remember in years’ past not being able to be with family for the holidays. What kept me from being completely depressed was the love of friends who opened their home and took me in as one of their own. While we are all running around looking for those last-minute gifts, baking goodies, and preparing for the big Christmas dinner, we can easily bypass those who might be near us without a place to be on Christmas day. I can barely keep up with my own family, their children and pets much less think about someone off my radar. But that’s…

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What Social Media Will Never Do For You

I love social media. It has changed my professional as well as personal life. I have made new friends, found new clients, and re-connected with my Brazilian high school as well as my American college friends. It’s by far one of the most significant shifts in human interactivity I have ever experienced. Because of it the world has become small, very small.  In most cases, I recommend and encourage my clients to be active in social media whether they are business leaders, ministry heads, authors, or performers. I have taught social media seminars for years to leaders all over the world. But even at its best, social media was never intended to replace face-to-face interactivity, and the sooner we understand that, the better off we are. As I considered how far we have taken our online interactivity, here’s a few things it can never do for us: A post on…

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Friendship Blinders Could Cost You a Lot

You probably have all the friends you “need” in life. Perhaps if you have even more of your share of close relationships and you cannot even manage the ones you have well. So, if you’re like most, you go on about your life with relational blinders on. No, you’re not rude or aloof, but you unconsciously developed the attitude that communicates, “while you might be a nice person, I’ve gotten all the friends I need.”  I wish you would reconsider. When you allow your story to intersect someone else’s story in a meaningful way something special happens. I believe God brings a new friendship into our lives sometimes for a short season, sometimes for a lifetime to enrich both lives. When we fail to seize the opportunity to engage someone new, to ask a second question that will lead into a longer, more meaningful conversation, and we retreat into our…

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Not All Blessings Are Created Equal

I didn’t grow up with thanksgiving day as a holiday. Christmas season in Brazil officially begins sometime in early November and goes on until January 6, Kings’ Day. Yes, that’s traditionally the day the Catholic church celebrates the Magi arriving in Bethlehem. But growing up,  Thanksgiving day celebration was relegated to a couple of children’s choirs singing at a local mall and a blip on the news. Brazilians are missing out, and as I stopped to take inventory of all my blessings today, something stood out on my list. This morning I joined several friends early and ran the Boulevard Bolt, a 5-mile race through Belle Meade Boulevard, my familiar running route. I rushed home and cooked a 22 lb turkey, 12 lbs of mash potato and lots of other goodies to celebrate with family and friends from far and near. As I prayed before the bounteous, tryptophan-laden and coma-inducing…

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What If We Just Gave and Did not Take for a Day?

If we are honest with ourselves, most of our lives is a series of exchanges.  We work and we expect payment for it. We exercise and we expect better health and a stronger body. We help friends and we expect gratitude and good will back.  We even have this exchange mentality with God: we pray and ask and we expect God to deliver the blessings. Today I’m challenging  myself  to go through this day without doing the exchange game. Can I go an entire day just being completely altruistic? Probably not. The human condition is far more selfish than any of us realize, but I’m willing to try not entering into an exchange– just be a blessing to someone. Someone who might never be able to give anything back in return. Can you truly do acts of kindness without any expectations? I hope you’ll join me today and see what…

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I’m Lowering My Expectations

You go the extra mile. You reach out and give beyond what  you thought you should give, and yet, there’s nothing in return, or at least not the return you expected. Have you been there with a friend, a family member, a spouse? We all have, and some of us seem to live in a place where we resent people’s lack of gratitude more than we appreciate our relationship with them. It’s difficult to be completely altruistic. It’s not in our human nature. Deep within we are always having the inner conversation that says, “what am I getting out of this?” We do it with God all the time in our bargaining prayers: “God if you let me have such and such, I promise I’ll do  ____” And so we do it with people we love; people we wish would love us back with the same intensity, appreciation and commitment. …

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Self Discipline Is Not Enough: How I Get My Butt Out of Bed at 4 AM

If you follow me on Twitter or somewhere else in social media, you might have noticed my early morning posts, usually between 4 to 5 a.m. about going on a run or hitting the gym for a workout. There’s always a comment from someone saying “I don’t know how you do this. You must have a lot of self-discipline.” The truth is that I have some self-discipline, but what I have most is a built-in system of accountability and expectations. Left on my own, I can justify staying in bed every morning and postponing my workouts until later in the day. But with my busy agenda at work, heavy travel schedule and family responsibilities, I know that if I don’t exercise early in the morning, I won’t do it at all. Most days getting out of bed at 4:30 for a run in the dark is 10% inspiration and 90%…

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I Need Community and So Do You

I was planning on running 9 miles yesterday morning. I ended up running 12. What happened? I was encouraged  (or shamed) into going further than I anticipated. But at the end of the run, I was better off for it. I had a strong sense of accomplishment and both my heart and waist benefited from the extra mileage. However, if it weren’t for the power of community, I would probably done less than the 9 I had originally intended to do. Some people like to run, exercise, eat and often do life alone. I’m not one of them. I’m convinced that even these lone wolves could benefit from being part of an encouraging community. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten out of bed at 4:30 am on a cold winter morning because I knew my running partners would be waiting for me at the park entrance. I…

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Even Runners Need Etiquette

Saturday mornings I do my long run with a group of runners. We meet at the Gates of Percy Warner park in Nashville, TN. Percy and Edwin Warner parks feature 2,684 acres of some of the most beautiful woods in Tennessee. Lot’s of runners make these parks their favorite running grounds along with my running group. I’ve noticed a trend lately that has me a bit miffed. Runners who are coming opposite side from our group who look us in the eye but won’t acknowledge our gregarious “good morning,” or a friendly smile followed by a wave if the runner has ear plugs in. That’s just plain rude. I haven’t seen a guide for runner etiquette but I’m sure there’s one somewhere. Here’s a few rules that should be in it: 1. If you make eye contact with another runner, smile or wave or say hello or maybe do all…

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