The 8 F's

Focused on Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, Freedom, Following, Fitness and Fun

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crank It Up!

     We are approaching the date that most people have already given up their New Years Resolutions.  Some will stick with it for another month or two.  But most likely life has distracted you from your goals.  I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me...year after year after year.  What I have found is that 1). I set unrealistic expectations for myself, 2).  I am not managing my time wisely, 3). I haven't asked anyone to hold me accountable, 4)  I have a bad attitude.

     Setting your goals high is a good thing.  You want something to reach for.  But sometimes I think we feel the need to fix everything all at once.  That can be soooo overwhelming.  Try starting out with goals you know you can attain.  Start with your strengths.  Why?  Because every strength we have could be better.  Become an expert in your field. Get so good at what your good at, that you become the goto person.  Become known as the man/woman who is known for ____________ (you fill in the blank).  Say to yourself, "I am known for my __________."  What is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Start from there, then when you have mastered your strength, begin working on one of your weaknesses.  Systematically work through strength, weakness, strength, weakness and so on until you have tackled a big chunk of your list.  When we try to only tackle our weaknesses, we get discouraged easily, because sometimes it takes a little longer to correct a weakness.  Begin with a positive.

     Time management is an area that we can all make improvements.  I tackle it year after year and still come up short (of time).  There are lots of time management books on the market to help you work on that part of your life.  To help keep you on track, write your goals down.  Put them where you can see them every morning.  The bathroom mirror, the dash of your car, your refrigerator,  your computer at work/home are all great places that will remind you of your intended goals.  Read them in the morning before you go to work and read them at night before you go to bed.  Keep a log of what steps you took that day to work on your goals.  Did you read about how to be a better you?  Did you implement something that you read about?  Did you listen to a CD in your car about how to be a better you?  All of these things assist you in sticking to your goals and managing your time more efficiently.

     I think the most difficult part of working on my goals is when I have had a set back of some kind.  Sometimes little emergencies come up and I have to go and put out the fire.  Sometimes it's not even an emergency, but something or someone that just needs my attention.  It is so easy to get off-track and discouraged.  That's when it's helpful to have an accountability partner.  Someone who you can go to, not just to keep you on track for your goals, but someone to encourage you.  I need someone to breath belief back into me almost every week.  "You can do it Windy!"  Sometimes when we don't believe in ourselves, we need someone else who DOES believe in us to tell us so.  That can make the difference for me in whether I continue or go on sabbatical.

     Maybe you need someone everyday to build you up in a world of negativity.  I need that too.  Try listening to motivational CDs on your way to work everyday.  Your co-workers will notice a difference in you immediately.  "Wow, Bob is so positive.  I love being around that guy!"  And they will thank you for making a difference in their lives...all because of your positive attitude.  In five years, you will be the same person you are today, except for the books you read, the CDs you listen to and the people you associate with.  If you have been putting garbage in your head your whole life, you will continue to get garbage out.  But, if you put positive in, not only will you get positive out, but it will overflow onto others.  In five years, you could be a whole new you.  Your wife will say, "Who are you and what have you done with my husband?"

Now is the time to crank it up!  Don't give up.  Keep looking forward and keep your goals in sight.  Use tools to help you reach your goals.  And ask a trusted friend to help you on your journey.  The narrow path is not the easy path, but it is well worth it.

Resolved: 13 Resolutions For Life, by Orrin Woodward
The 12 Week Year, by Brian P. Moran
The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson
Wins, Losses, and Lessons, by Lou Holtz
Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy
The Mental Fitness Challenge, by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady
LIFE CD subscription
LIFE Leadership CD subscription
AGO CD subscription (faith based)
EDGE CD subscription (teens and young adults)

You can find these books and many others on a variety of topics including marriage, family, and finances on my website:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Start this year off with a new you.  I am a member of L.I.F.E.  And it has helped me be a better me.

LIFE is a business that helps people have better lives.  It stands for Living Intentionally For Excellence.  Everyone has something in their lives they wish was better.  We help you figure out how to make it better.  Relationships, finances, health are the big three!  For example.  I received an email today that I want to share with you…..

Dear Windy,
I am constantly surrounded by people (my family especially) who beat me down and make me feel miserable. How can I become a better person without hurtful orders and actions from others getting in my way?

This is a cry for help that could be from any of my friends.  Sometimes I feel that way too.  But the skills I have learned from just one tiny little book, HOW TO HAVE CONFIDENCE AND POWER IN DEALING WITH PEOPLE, by Leslie T. Giblin (from the L.I.F.E. tools) have helped me deal with this issue and many others in a positive way.

When you do become better at something, do you share it with others or keep it to yourself?  Your gifts are too awesome to keep to yourself!  Others can benefit from your life.  Start this year off with a new you.

You have 2 options to get involved with L.I.F.E.  1) you can be a customer and get really great tools to help you get through those difficult times in your life, or to just be a better you.
Or 2) become a member or partner.  Our Business Partners are the ones that really benefit, because we not only get the tools, we also belong to a community of like minded people who uplift and encourage us in our lives, and we get mentorship (from some of the top leadership gurus in the world, Marc Militello and Orrin Woodward)…someone to coach and encourage us through our lives.  And on top of all that, we earn a residual income.  A residual income doesn’t stop when you stop or go on vacation.  It is enduring.

So, if you want to have a better life, if you want to change something in your life, or you are interested in having a residual income, this might be an answer to a prayer as it was for me.  LIFE is a program and a business that anyone can do in their spare time.  You just have to want to.  Start this year off with a new you.

To find out more visit my webpage:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone

     Yesterday, my husband was telling me of a spirited discussion that he and his Men's Bible Study had during their weekly meetings.  They were discussing whether or not man needed the Word of God, or the Bible, to stay spiritual, or connected to God.  I found this very intriguing and have been meditating on it since hearing of it.  This morning as I was waking up, the Lord spoke to me in answer to the question and said, "Man shall not live by bread alone."
     I looked up this verse in the Bible, Matthew 4:4.  Jesus was lead into the desert by the Holy Spirit for 40 days and was tempted by the devil to turn stone into bread.  Where upon, Jesus replied, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"  Jesus quoted from scripture, Deuteronomy 8:3, 'He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.'
     If we live by Jesus' example, we will see that he didn't just pray to God.  Anyone can cry out to the Lord.  But, we cannot truly live in Him without His Word.  Scripture repeatedly tells us we will never mature into someone who knows God, without His word (1 John 2:12-14).  Amos the prophet tells us that a day will come, when there is famine and drought, not for food and water, but a famine for hearing the words of the Lord, Amos 8:11.  The Lord can satisfy your spiritual hunger, if you "listen to me...hear me, that your soul may live", Isaiah 55:2-3.
     How are we to evangelize without the word?  How are we to carry out the great commission?  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20  Without the word, how are we to teach the word?
     I have lived most of my life without the word, mostly in prayer, only hearing the word at church on Sundays.  Only in the last year have I truly dug into the word, and as a consequence, have started to mature as a Christian.  I have been a "Christian Child" most of my adult life.  But am now becoming an adult (1 John 2:12-14).  Without the knowledge of God, I am a captive of the world (2 Cor. 10:5)  I need to be washed daily with the word, to make me holy, just as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25).  I have grace and peace, in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2).
     Knowledge can only come through reading the word, listening to the word, praying about the word and applying the word.  We cannot hope to attain the knowledge of who God is, what God is, how we can be in relationship with God and how we can serve God without His Word.  Yes, we can have a relationship with God without reading the Bible.  But, to what level?  We can serve God without reading the Bible, but how effective will we be?  Without the word, I was just existing!  His word is my manna.  I cannot live on bread alone.
     Let me leave you with a prayer from John 17:13-17.  Jesus praying for his disciples, "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth."

Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for their fabulous Gulf Coast Blessings Bible study on the Love Letters of John, where some of the references in this blog came from.

Thank you Father for your Word!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Loving the Unlovely

First let me preface what I mean by unlovely:  people that are difficult to love, complaining, dictatorial, not nice, negative, loud, nosy, get the picture.  We all know people like this.  Maybe we are the unlovely ones.  I know I have my moments!

In Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 12:4-5, he says, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."  We all belong to one another.  Wow, I never thought about you belonging to me, or me belonging to you.  It's like two body parts, let's say my hands and my feet.  My hands rarely meet up with my feet, only to put my shoes on or scrub them or massage them.  In essence, my hands serve my feet.  My feet appreciate and love my hands.  So too do I love and appreciate you as a fellow member of the body of Christ.

My feet on the other hand serve the whole body, by getting me where I need to go.  They make contact with the "world" every time I stand up.  They take such a beating by the "world" and are not very lovely.  So too are some of us in the body of Christ.  Some, take such a beating and are not very lovely, but serve the body day in and day out.  Does our physical body despise our feet just because they take a beating and are not nice to look at or smell not so nice sometimes?  We appreciate our feet don't we?  We love our feet, they are a part of us, a part of our body.

The unlovely or unloveable are a part of the body of Christ, thus, they are a part of us!  The unlovely are a part of us, they belong to us and we belong to them.  So we should be devoted to one another in brotherly love and honor one another above ourselves. Rom. 12:10  Love our neighbors as a part of ourselves. Matt. 22:39  We CHOOSE to do this in obedience to God's love for us and in us.  When we love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, we are in communion with Him through Christ.  ...."in Christ,  we who are many form one body..."  In Christ, we can love the unlovely.

Next time we will discuss ways to not be offended by our neighbor so that we can stay in communion with Christ.

Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for such a rich sharing of faith and inspiration through their "Straight From The Heart: Love from the Letters of John" Bible study.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Words I Long To Hear

     Today I am struggling with keeping my mouth shut.  Who am I kidding...I struggle with this EVERYDAY!  Why do I desire to say, "No, that's not right," to my husband about 50 times a day?  Why is it so hard to let it go?  Does it matter who is right and who is wrong I tell myself?  My ego is screaming YEEESSSS!  But my heart is quietly whispering no, it doesn't matter.  How do I feel when I am told I am wrong?  I feel hurt, adversarial, indignant.  I tend to become argumentative with a desire to justify myself, my ego.  That's the same way most everyone feels when they are told they are wrong.
     What is a better way to deal with my ego?  What is a good attitude to adopt when confronted?  What should I do when I desire to let someone else know they are wrong?  My Mom used to say, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all."  We've all heard that before, but how many of us actually do it?  I actually tried it out this morning.  I have kept quiet before, but it always feels like a volcano about to explode!  It is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do.  Anyway, I tried it this morning, kept my mouth shut.  But, I gave him "the look".  You know what I mean...actions speak louder than words.  "The look" said, "You are wrong!"  Us women are really good at "the look".  It is passed down from daughter to daughter.  Ha!  It's like a 6-shooter.  We draw, aim and shoot all in one motion!
     Whether I use words or "the look", neither makes the other person feel like a person worthy of my love.  I love my husband and feel he is worthy to be loved.  God gave us His son, to prove his love for us.  How hard then should it be for me to love my husband with my words?  Without giving him "the look".  The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love our enemies, to bite our tongues.  It is part of our fallen nature, having eaten from the tree of knowledge, to desire to be right.  I long to hear, "YOU ARE RIGHT".
     In this dog eat dog world we are constantly justifying ourselves, our ideas, our actions, our attitudes and our words.  Our desire to be right overcomes all logical reasoning at times.  I have found myself in the midst of arguments that I no longer knew what I was arguing about.  I have found myself persuaded but too stubborn to concede or admit I was wrong, or that there were errors in my logic.  It's even difficult to write it on paper, W-R-O-N-G. Eeeek!
     Why not give it a try ? Why not treat others as I want to be treated?  Speak to others with an attitude of loving my neighbor as myself.  Let them know they are right!
     Today I am going to keep my mouth shut.  I won't tell anyone they are wrong.  I won't point out their trivial errors.  And if told I am wrong, I will politely and without malice or sarcasm say the three words I long to hear myself, "You are right."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Teenagers,

Before you were born, I had your whole life planned out, every detail.  I knew when you would walk, when your first tooth would come in, when you would first say Daddy.  I gave you amazing gifts and talents.  You are special to me.  "I love you."

While you were in your crib, I whispered sweet love songs to you.  I adore you.  I put my Holy Spirit into you so that you could know me and hear me when I whispered "I love you."

I have watched your world through your eyes.  I have tasted your bread through your mouth.  I have listened to the world through your ears.  So many distractions.  Can you hear me?  "I love you."  You were playing X-Box today.  I tried to talk to you about your friend, but you could not hear me.  I was there, watching your gifts get used on a T.V. game, when your friend was hurting and needed your gift for listening.

I was there at the Mall where you spent every penny you had on things, on stuff that doesn't reward you like I reward you.  Can stuff love you like I can?  All you need is me.  Abide in me as I abide in you.  Open your ears and hear that "I love you."

I was hungry when you walked by me.  You laughed and pinched your nose.  I was lonely and scared and you left me there on the street.  I want you to know me and to love me like I love you.

I have watched you grow and take different paths than the ones I whispered for you to take.  I gave you free will because  I will not force you to love me.  "I will always love you though."

I gave you gifts and talents so that your life would be a glorious offering to others and to me.  So that your light would shine so brightly that others would be amazed and want to know me too.  So they would see my love in you.

It's not too late to begin your life with me.  It's not too late to use your gifts to help others.  I want others to know of my great and abiding love for you and for them.  They will never know unless you shine!  And you will never shine, unless you know that I love you.  Listen for me.  I am calling you.  I love you and want you to love me.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Robe

I was reminded again of my favorite verse regarding faith last night at a women's Bible study.  Luke 8:42-48.  Jesus is walking through a large crowd.  People are pressing in on every side.  The disciples are all around him, trying to keep the people from knocking him over.  When all of a sudden he feels power being released from him.  Someone touched him and his power was released.  I wonder how many were pressed against him.  It could have been any of them touching him.  But why was the power released to only one out of the entire crowd?

The "one" who touched him, the woman, had been sick for 12 years.  She had a bleeding disorder.  In those days, women were made to stay in separate living quarters during their time of menstruation.  They were seen as unclean.  This woman had been separated from her family and friends for TWELVE YEARS!  If she had children, they grew up without their mother.  Her children must have heard about their mother and may have caught glimpses of her, but never gotten to know her.  How lonely she must have been!  She was ostracized from her family and community.  She had a white hot desire to be healed!

I imagine the scene happening something like this...Jesus is walking through the crowd.  His disciples are playing body guard.  It's noisy with so many people trying to get a glimpse of him, touch him and talk to him.  In their eyes, he is something of a celebrity, a miracle worker.  He smiles at all of them, even touching some of them as he passes.  And then to his surprise, he feels the power of his Father surge through him and go out to someone.  But who?  He stops and looks around. The disciples just want to get through this crowd.  But Jesus stops and looks around with joy and a little bewilderment on his face.  "Who just touched me?"  he asks.

Upon touching Jesus, the woman stops moving.  The crowd goes past her.  She looks down into her open palms.  She felt it!  She felt the energy surge into her body, through her hands and down into her womb.  She knows in that instant that she is different.  Dare she hope that she is clean again?  Dare she hope that she can go home?  She knows she is healed, but still can't quite believe it!

She had heard rumors about a teacher and healer named Jesus.  Her most heartfelt desire was to be healed.  She had been labeled as "unclean" 12 years ago.  Twelve years is a long time to be ostracised.  She wanted so desperately to be clean again.  She dreaded going out in public though.  Someone might say something mean to her.  They might call her names and yell at her.  If it was true that he could heal her, then she had to take the chance!  She had to go to him.  She had to risk public humiliation.  Her hope and desire overcame her fear.

The crowd was huge.  But she could see him in the distance.  She stood on the edge of the crowd, not wanting to be noticed.  She was afraid...afraid of the people, afraid that she might make a fool out of herself, afraid that she might have to live with the disorder for many more years.  But she also had an inkling of hope.  Hope that he could heal her.  Hope that she would be made clean.  Hope that she could go home to her husband and children.  So she went for it!  She pushed her way into the fray.  She got close to him, but not close enough.  She could only reach the hem of his robe.  And as she touched it, a shock wave went through her!

A gasp left her mouth and then a small smile crept upon her face.  She looked up in amazement and noticed that Jesus had stopped.  He was looking around him.  She hid her face and turned around.  But he continued to look for the one who had touched him.  She didn't want him to know it was her.  She had always been known as the "unclean" one.  She felt small and insignificant.  Who am I that He would choose to heal me?  She knew he knew it was her.  She went to him, out of obedience and with humility.

He looked at her with her head bowed.  He lifted her chin to look at him.  She gazed into the most loving eyes she had ever seen and felt a warmth come over her.  Such love poured out from him as she had never known before.  And then he said, "Daughter your faith has healed you.  Go in peace." (NIV)  She paused for only a second and then turned, pushed her way through the crowd and ran as fast as she could run, skip, jump and twirl all the way home.  HOME!  She could go home!  She could not wipe the smile off of her face or the joy from her heart.

When we come face to face with Jesus, we come to him broken and unclean, in thoughts and deeds.  But, when we come to Him in obedience and with BELIEF, he rewards us with forgiveness and healing.  He makes us clean again!  When we ask, "Who am I that God would choose to work a miracle?  I am small and insignificant." But God says, "Who are you NOT to be worthy of my workings through you?"  He uses each of us according to our faith!  Do we have the faith and the guts to reach out for his robe?  I want to go home laughing, skipping and jumping with a huge smile on my face.  I am going for it!  I am going to touch his robe!

Glory and honor to God for the miracles that happen every day in our lives!