Family, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

How to Prioritize When Everything is Important

No such thing as not having enough timeDear Readers, I’ve been in the Northwest of Cambodia for the past few days teaching the director of our Center in Poipet City, Banteay Mean Chey Province, and his leadership team some of the lessons I’ve been teaching in Phnom Penh at my Cambodian Leadership Institute.  These guys are very far away and the level of knowledge in this Thai Border City is very low.  I’ve felt the urgency to do this for some time.

To learn more about this city you can take a look at the Wikipedia article here:  Poipet City, Cambodia.

We have an English School here and a kindergarten as well as many village activities.  People often tell me they want to see where I work and live, so here are a few photos from my phone:

I’m a person who manages multiple priorities, like you probably do, too.  But how is that actually done?  I have some thoughts of my own, but as I’m traveling and teaching this week I don’t have time to sort through them, so in my research I found the following site that I thought would be helpful to my readers.

In the following link is a post by Tatyana Sussex.  It was a helpful confirmation to me and hopefully will be to you too.

How to Prioritize Work When Everything is #1

If this is helpful to you pass it on!

Also, please leave your insights as to how you manage multiple priorities!

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Family, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Understanding the Seven Seasons of Life

Seasons 1

At the time of this writing I’m 64 years old.  I’ve passed through a lot of seasons in my life.  As I look back I’ve determined that one of my missions in life is to help others understand the different Seasons of Life.  If we understand the Seasons of Life it helps us endure or make the most of the current season and to prepare for the next season.

Here is a passage from the Bible you may be familiar with:

Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

 

In the video in this link Understanding the Seasons of Life I share several different seasons of life.  Here are a few Take-Aways:

  1.  Generally, one season is not permanent.  A season of aloneness, a season of lack, a season of sickness should not be permanent, but a season in which we are to learn and grow.

2. In each Season of Life we are to learn something.  It may not be a pleasant season,             but there are skills, attitudes and character issues that, if we pay attention and don’t           resist, we can grow.

3. One season prepares us for another season.  I’ve discovered that the good and the              bad from one season can prepare me for the next season, if my heart is open to                  learn and grow.

4.  We pass through Seasons of Life for not only our own benefit, but so that we can be          of benefit to others.  Life is not just about ourselves, but it’s about investing in                      others to move them through the Seasons of Life successfully.

Here is another Bible Verse I hope encourages you:

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

In conclusion…

  1.  Pay attention to your current Season of Life.
  2. Try to discover what you are to learn for yourself and for the benefit of others during that season.
  3. Invite the God of the Universe, Jesus Christ, to guide you daily as you walk through that season.
  4. Look for someone else whom you can bless and help walk through their Season of Life.

Here’s the link to the video again:  Understanding the Seasons of Life

If this lesson and video has been helpful to you, please share it with others.  Also, take time to leave a comment and share what you have learned about the Seasons of Life that you’ve passed through!

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Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development, Uncategorized

One Remedy for Healing Wounded Hearts

Wounded Heart 1

Life is difficult.  There are many different painful and disappointing situations we face throughout our lives.  Some hurt us deeply and are difficult to overcome.  I don’t mean to offer a simplistic answer to a complex issue, but I do want to offer one way to heal a wounded heart – invest yourself in others.

In my daily Bible reading I read from Matthew 14:1-14 Matthew 14.  John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin according to the flesh.  He was unmercifully killed by King Herod.  When Jesus heard about the tragedy he departed to a quiet place to be alone and grieve and gain perspective.  However, as it often is, life goes on.  As Jesus is going to the quiet place the crowds follow Him.  One place in the Bible said they were like sheep without a shepherd.  Jesus saw them and was moved with compassion.  This word “compassion” is a long, Greek word that means something churns within your spirit and drives you to do something.  How many times have we watched the news or seen tragedy and we are touched, but not to the point of lifting our hands or opening our wallet to actually try to relieve some of the pain in others’ life?

Jesus set aside His time to grieve and served the people.  He healed the sick and ministered to their needs.

There is a time to grieve.  There is a time for emotional healing.  But my experience is that sometimes people focus too much on the “why” and the pain to the point it doesn’t stop.  One of the greatest remedies for our own suffering is to serve others.  As we focus on others who are in greater need then us, it can relieve our suffering.

I’m a missionary in Cambodia.  I came here in 1994 to visit a fellow missionary.  I experienced the same emotions that Jesus must of felt – I saw the devastation of war, poverty, ignorance and hopelessness and felt moved for me, my wife and our four children to move to Cambodia in April of 1995 to see what would could to to bring positive change to Cambodia.  The results of an ordinary guy have been amazing.  We have touched thousands of children, youth, widows and poor and have given them a good future.

My son is the director of New Life Foundation / New Life Fellowship now and my wife and I are in an advisory role and focus on certain projects.  My wife focuses on New Life K-12 School and I focus on opening up new locations in Cambodia and training the leaders.  You can check out our organizations website here:  New Life Foundation / Fellowship / Cambodia Outreach.

I recently made a personal donation to help a young child finish one more year of school.  The public education here is pretty poor and anyone who has means studies at a private school. Education is a key to overcoming poverty.  I donated USD$450 to Naomi to get a good education.  I’ll try to do this each year as I’m able.

If you want to invest in the education of a child, you can make a tax-deductible donation at the following link and indicate it is for Charles McCaul to sponsor a child’s education.  Sponsor a Child’s Education for One Year – USD$450.  You may contact me directly at charles.edward.mccaul@gmail.com.

If you are not already engaged in helping others I encourage you to do so.  Find a need and fill it; find a heart and heal it.  It’s good medicine for the wounded heart!

If you find this post helpful, please share it with others.

Also, please leave a comment below about your experience in finding healing by helping others.

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Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Seven Things to do When You’re in a Self-Inflicted Transition

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John Maxwell said it, and my personal experience verifies it:  “To to up, you have to give up.”

To rise to the next level in personal growth as a leader we must give up something to rise to the next level.  Three things are important to understand here:

  1.  You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. You have to do something new.

  2. You can’t do everything at once.  You can’t do everything you are currently doing and add more.  You will become less and less effective, not more and more effective.

  3. Sometimes we must give up the good to receive something better.  We must say “no” to the good in order to say “yes” to the best.

In my life I’ve passed over many, many self-inflicted transitions – meaning I left one thing behind in order to do something I felt was better.  However, there is often a season “in between” what we are leaving and what we are going into that leaves us unsettled and a bit nervous or fearful.  For me, it would be like a trapeze artist having to have the faith to let go of one thing in hopes of catching something else.  There is an “open space” where one must exercise faith.

trapeze-2

Here are seven things that have helped me to negotiate those “open spaces” in transitions:

Seven Keys to Transition Successfully

  1.  Have a plan for your life.  If you have no plan for your life, then any road will lead you somewhere, but it may not lead you to where you want to go!  I think one of the most important things we can do for our life as have at least a general direction for our lives for the next few years.  We never know how things may change, including our life-mission, but we should at least have a general direction for where we want to go based on what we see now.
  2. Understand the Seasons of Life.  As we mature, we pass through several seasons of life.  (This is an video lesson that will show up here in the next few weeks – stay tuned.)  There are seasons where growth, seasons of under the supervision of others, seasons of leading at one level or another.  There are seasons of joy and seasons of sadness.  However, it’s been my experience that if we learn and allow that season to have its full effect in our life, it will prepare us for the next season.  So, as you transition from one season to another, and especially during the “open spaces” believe that what you are leaving behind has been precious for that season and has prepared you for the next season.  Here’s another thing…it’s been my experience that sometimes you let go of one thing that is very precious to us but surprise surprise….it comes back to us in a future season, so it’s not lost forever!
  3. Realize you can’t do everything at the same time.  You must give up something to grasp something else.  Have you ever gone grocery shopping and think you’re not buying much so you don’t pick up a basket or cart, but you buy this and then that until your hands are too full.  You have to put down something to pick up something else.  This is associated with the leadership Principle of Focus.  We must narrow our focus to a few things and develop them rather than so many things that our effectiveness is watered down.

21882488-full-shopping-grocery-cart-in-supermarket-4.Believe the next step will lead you to something positive in your life.  

5. Trust your heart.  If your heart is pure and true, God will put His desires in your heart and you will know the right thing to do.

6. Seek advice from successful people who know the way.  As well as trusting your heart, it’s good to seek others who have walked this way before and get their opinion.

7. Prepare the best you can.  Although we trust our heart and seek advice, we must also prepare for the transition the best we can.  Study, research, gather what you need and then step out!

As I think about the many, many transitions I’ve made in my life – many of them huge – most of them have turned out pretty good.  The above seven points have been what I’ve learned from my experience.

What about you?  What have you learned to help you through transitions and the “open spaces” as you’re letting go of one thing to reach out and grasp another?

If this blog has helped you, please pass it on to others whom it may also help.

 

 

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Family, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

The Absolute Necessity for Leaders to Empower Others at All Levels

 

Empower Others 1

When a leader can’t or won’t empower others he creates a barrier within the organization.  If the barrier remains too long the staff or volunteers in the organization will give up and move on to another organization.  Eventually the organization will become weaker and weaker.

“If you want to become a successful leader you must empower others.”

Theodore Roosevelt, one of the presidents of the United States and an successful general in the U.S. Army said:  “The best executive is the one who is wise to choose people with ability to do what he needs to be done.  He also does not interfere with them when they are doing the work he assigned them to do.”

The success of your organization does not depend on you doing all the work, but it depends on your choosing, training and releasing others to do the work.

In the Bible we see that Barnabas is an example of a leader who empowered others.  One person he empowered was a man named Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul.  Barnabas’ ministry was multiplied because he took a chance and empowered another person!

Barnabas did three things to empower Paul:

  1. He believed in Paul when no one else believed in him.

Barnabas supported Paul as a  new Christian and believed in him when the senior leaders in the Jerusalem Church did not.  Barnabas risked his reputation when he told the Jerusalem Church leaders they should befriend Paul and welcome him into fellowship as a brother.

To be a leader who empowers others you must take a chance with people.  You must see the potential as a seed in them, believe in their potential and help them believe in themselves.  When we do this we risk our reputation and ministry because sometimes the people we believe in fail.  But it’s better to believe in someone and risk empowering them rather than to do everything yourself and not empower them.

When you empower someone and they succeed, your ministry is multiplied.   Also, the person you empower will never forget you!

Empower Others 3

  1. Barnabas endorsed Paul as a leader to other leaders.

We read in Acts 9:27 that Barnabas brought Paul to the other apostles and recommended that they allow him to preach and teach in Jerusalem.

As you empower others and you see them bear some fruit, introduce them to other opportunities to grow, learn, serve and use their gift.  It’s important to tell others of the new leader’s success and introduce them to other leaders.

  1. Barnabas empowered Paul to reach is potential.

In this story in the Bible we see that Paul began teaching and preaching in Jerusalem but the Jews hated him and wanted to kill him.  The apostles sent him to the church in Antioch for his safety.  In Antioch Paul continued to grow in his leadership and influence.  Eventually when Barnabas was sent to Antioch to help the Antioch Church he looked for Paul and they worked together.  This action by Barnabas allowed Paul to grow even more as a leader.  Finally, Paul and Barnabas traveled together preaching the Gospel, making disciples, training leaders and planting churches.  Eventually Barnabas humbled himself and allowed Paul to be the leader of the team.

To become a leader who empowers others you must not only believe in the leader who has potential, but you must give opportunities for them to gain experience as you mentor them.

Conclusion

To empower others involved energy, time and sometimes money.  You must always be looking for potential leaders.  Encourage them.  Allow them to gain experience.  Introduce them to others who can help them continue to grow.  Give them opportunities to serve and lead as you mentor them.  Release them to be a leader.  The result of this is growth in the organization or church.

Questions:

  1. Who has God brought to you to develop their ability and potential?
  2. Who are you training to take your place in your ministry?
  3. Who are you empowering?
  4. What skills or experience do you have to delegate to others?
  5. What is your plan to develop them?
  6. What can you do next week to allow your disciple to develop as a leader?

Please share your comments below and if you find this article helpful, please share it with someone else.

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Evangelism, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Six Keys for Better Communication

Communication 1

Communication between husband and wife, employer and employee and among friends is difficult at the best!  How many times have relationships been broken, deadlines missed and opportunities lost because of ineffective communication.

In the Communication Process, there are two people:

  1. The Sender: Chooses the words and timing
  2. The Receiver: Interprets the words and respond

Note…communication (verbal, non-verbal and written communication) must be interpreted…even if it’s in the same language!

Can you imagine – you’re trying to get the thoughts, feelings, background in your brain or deepest of heart into the brain or deepest of hearts of the person you’re speaking to.  There is a ton of obstacles in the way.  Imagine the difficulty!

Have you found this to be true?  Someone says something, writes something or shows non-verbal communication and how you interpret it is wrong and there is a misunderstanding…or does that only happen to me?

Take a look at the chart below:

Communication Process

Whenever we receive communication it must pass through our personal “filters.”  Those filters include our language, our emotional or physical situation, our culture, or wounds or hurts from the past experiences.  Sometimes, maybe often, those messages from the person “sending” or “receiving” are distorted because of these things.  It’s for that reason we must focus on the communication, interpret it and be patient with the person sending as we would want them to be patient with us.

Six Keys for Better Communication (for the “Sender”)

  1. Tell them what you will tell them. Tell them.  Tell them what you told them.  Be clear!
  2. Consider your choice of words, method of communication, the atmosphere when you are communicating and the situation of the Receiver.
  3. Ask the person you want to communicate with if it’s a good time for them.
  4. Ask for feedback, “What do you think?”  “What do you hear me saying?”
  5. Be patient if they don’t understand.  Don’t blame them.
  6. If they don’t understand, try again.

What are your keys to successful interpersonal communication and work communication?  Leave comments below.

If you feel this blog has been helpful to you, please send it on to others.

 

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Family, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Five Things to Know About Words

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I was reading my Bible yesterday and my daily Bible reading brought me to this passage:

Matthew 12:33-37

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

These are the words of the Master Teacher Himself, Jesus.  He echos what is written in Proverbs 18:21 – Life and Death are in our words!

We are often so careless with words.  Some words are worthless – meaningless, senseless jabber – other words are spoken rashly without thinking or with intent to hurt someone like the piercing of the sword and leave wounds that may never be healed (Proverbs 12:18).  The person who talks a lot often gets themselves caught in their words (Proverbs 10:19).

Jesus teaches us five things here about words in the above passage:

  1. Words transmit power (verses 33-37).  Words can build up or tear down.  Words can bring life or bring death, words can lift up or tear down.
  2. Words reveal our character (verses 33-35).  Jesus told us in another place “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  Our words reveal what’s going on inside of us.  I’m not sure if I believe in a “Freudian Slip” or not, but sometimes we say “Oh, I didn’t mean to say that.”  I think we say who we are on the inside.  That’s scary sometimes.
  3. Words determine our reward and judgement (verses 36-37).  I’ve been told that when a sound is made, the echo of that sound soars into the air, the space and the universe and never disappears.  Whether that’s really the case or not, our words will come back to us in the Final Judgement as well as in our relationships on earth.  If we speak carelessly, harshly or with intent to inflict pain, we will reap the results.
  4. Words produce fruit (verses, 33, 35, 36).  Words of life will produce life in our life and in the lives of others.  Words of death will produce death in our life and the lives of others.
  5. Words shape our destiny (verse 37).  Our words will either open or close relationships for our future.

There are so many verses in the Bible about words…so many!  I think God is trying to tell us something!

I’ve stumbled with my words in many ways.  I’ve hurt others and disappointed others with my words.  When I know that happens I know I have to go back and ask forgiveness.  However, the Bible verse below has been a guiding light for me, as a target and standard by which I’ve tried to live:

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

So how would you rate yourself on the scale of 1-10 as a person who imparts life-giving words to those around you, including the words you speak to yourself?

1                                    5                                  10

Life-Giver                                          Life-Taker

I encourage you to think before you speak and become a person who gives life to others and speaks good things about them and about the good future you have for yourself, too.

 

 

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