The Ring of Favor

May 28, 2014

It’s been some time since I’ve had the opportunity to write. Life has been a bit of a whirlwind and I’ve let some things get in the way of what I really like to do. However, through it all God continues to speak to me and I continue to listen and learn.

All of us crave God’s favor, don’t we? I know I often need to be assured that God is with me, (especially during these busy times) and I’ve learned that he wants to generously pour out His favor on us.

I’ve been shown a Bible verse that has really inspired me lately, and I cling to it through all of the recent craziness. Psalm 5:12 says “surely Lord you bless the righteous and you surround them with your favor as with a shield” Psalm 84:11 says basically the same thing… “for the Lord God is a sun and shield; He bestows favor and honor, and no good thing does He withhold from those who walk righteously”.

I find this very comforting and hope I can bestow some of this upon you. I am surrounded by God’s favor. I am told it’s like a shield around me. And if there is any doubt about my righteousness? I’m far from perfect. However, I am a Christian, and I believe that I am righteous because of what Jesus has done. As a result of this righteousness, I qualify for this freely given favor of God.

Freely given favor of God. It’s for me and anyone else simply for the asking, and simply for the knowing that it’s there. We are surrounded by it. My challenge for me and you is to constantly be aware of this ring of favor around us. Sense God’s presence and bask in the blessing of this favor. Now as crazy as life gets, we can know it’s all for our good, and greater things are on the way. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

A Focused Way to Maintain High Energy

May 7, 2014

I received a very nice compliment from one of my students the other day. It was a simple question I was asked, and I will cherish the thought indefinitely. The student asked, “Mr. Dalio, why do you always have so much energy?”

I took this as a compliment for a few reasons. One is that I admire people who have unending energy. I want to be like that too. However, these days I actually feel runned down and exhausted. Besides my regular teaching job (which already takes enough out of me in itself) I have been working another job part time, and I am now managing our school’s baseball team as I have for the past five years. The fact that I am constantly exhausted and feeling like I lack energy, yet I seem to be giving the impression of being full of it (energy I mean) added a great deal of happiness to my world.

I was not about to let go of this teachable moment, so I answered her question for her and the entire class. I now share it with you in case you are wondering how to keep your energy level high, even in the busiest times of your life.

  • Put your full focus on the task at hand – I admitted to my students that the statement surprised me a bit because of my business and feeling overwhelmed. However, I realized that the more I placed my full attention on each task, the more effectively each task was completed. When we procrastinate or try doing things half-heartedly with a lack of energy, we receive the same types of results. We also drain ourselves of energy when we don’t use the energy we have to its fullest.
  • Maintain a positive attitude  – Plain and simple, a negative attitude drains our energy. We receive more scientific proof each day of how stress destroys the body. A positive attitude on the other hand adds energy to any situation.
  • Present moment focus – This goes hand in hand with the first point. When we focus on all we can do now, we are more likely to place our greatest focus on the current task at hand. We don’t waste energy dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
  • Be my best self and let God’s love shine through – I couldn’t exactly share this in a public middle school classroom, but I certainly add it here for you. When I do all I can do and let God take care of the rest, I am placing my energy where I need to…in the hands of God. His energy can acccomplish far more than mine. When I do this, I accomplish more with less effort on my part.

When I explained this to my middle school students in school setting terms, they seemed to get it. Besides being a great compliment for me, it was a great learning experience for my entire class. I also realized how I could use this guideline for myself more consciously and regularly to bring myself closer to accomplishing my greatest goals. The same is true for you too. If you are seeking more energy in your life, this formula will certainly bring it to you. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

How to Find the Balance Between Being and Doing

May 5, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I often struggle to find the balance between being and allowing God to do His work, and doing and taking action.

One side says to avoid striving and spending too much of my own effort trying to reach my goals. They say it’s a matter of letting go and letting God, and relying on His wonder working power. The other side says to take massive action, and that our goals won’t be accomplished if we don’t make the necessary blood, sweat, and tears effort.

So what’s one to do? As mentioned, I’ve always been confused by this question. Recently, I found a very helpful bit of advice that significantly clarified this concept. I share this now with you, especially if you have had the same struggle.

The advice comes from a book I read from Anita Moorjani called, “Dying to Be Me”. If you’re not familiar, it’s the author’s story about her near death experience after battling with cancer. After returning from the experience, she was healed within a few days of the cancer that almost killed her. She learned many new ideas during this experience which she shares in the book. I disagree with some of the philosophies, but it’s an interesting read nontheless.

One of the key ideas I’ve taken from the book is this concept of being and allowing, and the contrast with taking action. She discovered that being (as in being our best Godly and spirit-filled self) trumps doing every time. But we have to do things and not just sit around and wait for things to happen, right? Here’s the key idea that has really helped….if we are doing something out of obligation, duty, or fear, we are DOING. If we do something out of love, passion, and joy, it’s BEING.

The key is this. We still need to do our part. We also still have to sometimes do things we don’t want to do. The key is to do it in love, and with the heart to do it as well as we possibly can. For example, my lawn needed to be mowed yesterday. There are plenty of things I would rather do than mow the lawn. However, instead of doing it as a chore and something I needed to do, I instead did it with the attitude that my wife would appreciate coming home and seeing a beautifully landscaped front yard when she arrived home. I enjoyed being outside in the beautiful sunny weather and cherished the fact that significant calories were being burned.

Can you see the difference? The way I did a mundane chore yesterday was in a state of being. I did it out of love and appreciation, which even made the experience joyful. It’s the same with your goals in life. If you do things because you feel like you have to or in fear that you won’t reach the goal if you don’t, you are doing outside of the state of being and allowing God to intervene. When you do things lovingly and joyfully on the other hand, you are still doing your part and allowing God to intervene and take care of His. That can only be a win-win situation.

I challenge you today to remain in a state of being your absolute best, and letting God’s light shine through you. Stay active towards your goals and desires. However, instead of striving to achieve them, cherish the journey and the small steps getting your there by acting in love, joy, and gratitude. Next thing you know, those baby steps will have you flying. Enjoy the blessings 🙂