Showing posts from June, 2011

Notes from the Book: Clutch

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be "clutch?"  In his book, Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don't New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan investigates the key characteristics that people who are clutch possess.  He also shares three behaviors that prevent people from being clutch.  Each chapter is filled with stories of individuals who demonstrate the characteristic Sullivan is describing.  He finds his examples in the various fields of sports, military, legal, theater, and the automotive, financial, marketing and real estate business.

Clutch: the ability to do what you need to do under pressure just as you would do it in practice.

What Makes People Clutch
1. Focus
2. Discipline
3. Adapting
4. Being 'Present'
5. Fear of failure and Desire for Success

What Makes People Not Clutch
1. Not Taking Personal Responsibility
2. Over-thinking
3. Overconfidence

One of my favorite stories in the book is story of how Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Pri…

Money Management Advice

Some solid money management advice from the book Clutch by Paul Sullivan:
If you only have enough money for less than twelve months of expenses and no income, you need to begin restructuring what you have.Ultimately, being clutch in a personal financial crises means embracing thriftiness to keep yourself out of such crises in the first place.  If that fails, you need to dispassionately sell off assets to keep from losing everything.  People should live within their means, but they should also plan for the possibility that the present will not continue.  (page 198)

Waseca Congregational Church - The Faithfulness and Goodness of the Father

Purging Materialism from My Life

I have continued my journey in simplicity for the last few days looking through my things and trying to organize or eliminate as much as possible.

Here's what I have done thus far...

- tossed out 1/2 a garbage can full of junk in the garage (old caulk bottles, broken tools, etc.)
- reorganized and emptied an entire drawer in the kitchen that was filled with junk
- reorganized and emptied two of my dresser drawers
- reorganized and emptied one bathroom drawer (I have all my toiletries in 1 drawer now)
- threw away old hockey stick blades, rotten laces and straps, and misc. other junk
- donated 3 bags of clothes, toys, and books to a local school (who will give to a women's shelter if they are not sold in a fundraising garage sale)

It feels great getting rid of things that I don't want/need/use often.  I am learning that the more I give away the less I want to accumulate.  This is completely contrary to the way I often think, which is, the more I get the more I want.

Details of My New Job

I want to start this post by praising the wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness of my Father in Heaven.  The last six months while walking through trial, have been some of the very best months of my life.  Jesus Christ is worth everything ever wagered for him and much, much more. 

Yesterday I accepted a job offer from Wal-Mart for an Assistant Store Manager position.  That acceptance ends six months of prayer, searching, dreaming, questioning, wrestling, refining, seeking, and learning.  The lessons in faith, trust, and perseverance that I have learned trough my time of unemployment are lessons I doubt I could have learned any other way.  The purification of my spirit and the deepening of my faith are gifts from the Lord that I am extremely grateful for.  The healing and intimacy that has grown in my marriage is precious.

The circumstances of my gaining a position with Wal-Mart are amazing in and of themselves.  God's sovereign hand is all over them, and looking backwards it is so wo…

Book Review: The 100 Thing Challenge

Today I spent some of my Sabbath rest time finishing the book The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno (who blogs here).  In the book Bruno describes his wrestling with American-style consumerism and his attempt to unwind himself from the grip 'things' formed on his life.  In place of wild exploits about life without stuff, Bruno instead shares the lessons he learned during his time reevaluating what he needs and doesn't need to feel happy and engaged in his life. 

The book (and the idea of living with 100 things) is intriguing to me.  While I enjoy buying and having new things, I also get frustrated from time to time when I step back and look at all the things we have accumulated in our home.  Inspired by what I was reading I emptied out an entire junk drawer on Saturday and filled half the garbage can with junk from the garage that I didn't need. 

One thing I learned while doing all the cleaning was that I have bent toward keeping something because "I might need it…

The Covenant of Marriage is the Soil Where Love Repeatedly Grows

Great video of some wise men with many years of marriage discussing the beauty and strength of covenant keeping in marriage.

Piper, Carson, and Keller on Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

(Source: The Gospel Coalition blog)

What Would You Change About Me?

I had a really cool conversation recently with my really cool wife that I want to share.

As we were laying next to each other she started the conversation with a simple, but knee-buckling question for any husband.  She asked, "If you could change one thing about me, what would you change?"  Thankfully she added a few qualifiers so I could stop sweating :) !  Then she reminded me of (and held me accountable to) a rule I have made for myself in 2011: I will share my feelings openly and honestly, in as loving way as possible, even if it causes me personal, emotional discomfort.

It took some courage but eventually I shared something with her that she had been doing that was kind of bugging me.  And here's the really cool part: she didn't freak out in anger, or try to justify herself, or crawl into a ball crying.  She said OK and we talked through.  I was able to understand her better and where she was coming from.  She was able to listen to my feedback and start thinking…