That was what I told Chaplain Wil Gardner when he offered me a job as a chaplain at Simmons back in 2010. I tried to talk him out of hiring me. I asked him if I could come back in 30 years when I had enough life experience to do and know everything that this job requires of you.
He said what eventually made me commit to Simmons, “Nick, I don’t want to hire you based on what you know. I want to hire you because of how you learn.” That’s what I needed to hear. I just turned 30 yesterday. I thought alot about how much I have been able to learn and how God has really transformed me through books I've read, personal experience I've gone through, and the chance to walk alongside people through some of their most difficult and challenging moments. God has been gracious and the growth has been significant.
Success. We strive after it. We devote an enormous amount of our energy pursuing it. But can you define it? Most often, managers will define success as a healthy bottom-line. And they are not wrong, but there is a tension here, isn’t there. The tension is that you work for a company that has a value of Put People First. Many managers feel the tension to choose either results or relationships. I want to challenge you today that it is not an either/or, but rather effective leaders realize that success is predicated on my ability and willingness to value both results and relationships. So what does that look like and how does a manager make that shift in thinking?
I look around me and all I see is change. Seasons change. Relationships with people change. Companies change. Our bodies change.McDonald’s started selling breakfast all day. Everywhere I look - I find change. But what is it in me that wants to avoid it? And what might my life, relationships and attitude look like if I were to approach change differently?
There is an awful lot going on in our world today. In the rare times that I turn on the news anymore, it feels like a daunting task when I begin to think of what I could do to bring any positive change at all. It can be easy to slip into despair or, as I like to call it, “learned helplessness” - and yet there is still some incredible opportunities that you and I have to have a positive impact on the world around us.
One day I am going to die. How’s that for an opening statement? Not a fun thought, no doubt. But it’s a real one. A friend of mine lost a mother over the weekend, and as I have been thinking about her and her family on my drive to Emporia yesterday, I got to thinking about some important things. Things that often only death can get you to think about.
I was sitting at a table at ONYX Coffee Lab in Springdale with my mentor early one morning in April last year. The focus of our conversation was how to better invest in our family. We had been meeting once a month for the last four months. I had his trust and he had mine. There was a moment where the conversation paused and he asked a question that I will never forget, “Nick, where is your finish line?”
If you were to ask someone what is their favorite Bible verse they might quote Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love Him, to those who have been called according to His purpose.”
My first job in high school was back in the warehouse at a local mercantile where I loaded feed, hay, and propane for the good folks of Maize, Kansas. The store was run by a husband and wife who had very different styles of leadership, especially in regards to discipline and resolving conflict. One day I made a mistake...
Some people seem to drift through life headed in no specific direction. They are clearly without defined objectives, and it is not surprising that many adopt a lifestyle that lacks meaning and purpose. They just drift through life like a tumble weed being blown by the wind, first one direction then another.
I was at the Home Office on Friday and Miss Karen pulled me aside and was so excited to share something with me and maybe use it for a blog post someday. She spoke about a phrase that has been a theme for her week, “Simple, but not easy.”
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"Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own." | Luke 12:15 (NLT)
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" | Matthew 16:26 (ESV)
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." | Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
"And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God." | Ecclesiastes 3:13 (NLT)
"They will not work in vain… For they are people blessed by the LORD, and their children, too, will be blessed." | Isaiah 65:23 (NLT)
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." | John 15:16 (NIV)
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." | Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." | Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)
"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." | Psalm 37:5 (ESV)
"Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." | Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." | Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." | Luke 12:48b (NLT)
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." | James 4:10 (ESV)
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands." | Psalm 90:17 (NIV)
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” | Francis Chan
“Failure is no more a permanent condition than success! For even if you succeed, there’s still another test." | Gene Bedley
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” | Winston Churchill
“Happiness simply cannot be relied upon as a measure of success.” | John C. Maxwell, Your Road Map for Success: You Can Get There from Here
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles one has overcome trying to succeed.” | Booker T. Washington
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." | Chinese Proverb
“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” | George Bernard Shaw
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” | Colin Powell
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” | Winston Churchill
“Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.” | Harry Emerson Fosdick
“Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.” | William Arthur Ward
Always feel free to contact a Chaplain through phone, email. Or, stop by our office at any time.