Discover Your Sweetie’s Personality Style

high dMy husband and I get along great. We rarely argue and we laugh a lot together, but there are times when I just don’t get him. Truth be told, there are times when he does things that drive me absolutely nuts, and I oftentimes return the favor. For example, I don’t get why he jokes around so much when I’m being serious, and he doesn’t get why I ask him the same questions over and over again until I get a satisfactory answer. Talk about things that make you go hmmm… Well now I have an idea why, and it involves our differing personalities.

Recently I had a very eye opening experience at a professional conference that gave me a better understanding on not only my husband, but also on some other very important people in my life (ie. mother and best friend.) I learned what makes them tick. You might be saying that this is something I should already know, having been around them for years, but sometimes the tendencies of others near and dear to us have a way of remaining a mystery after years of time spent together and eluding even the most perceptive of people. The light bulb clicked on for me when I learned the four personality styles according to the DISC profile–a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication. And since February is the time set aside to celebrate love and relationships, I thought I’d share them in these next series of posts to help you better relate with your mate or anybody else with whom you just can’t seem to communicate.

The first personality style is the High D personality, which I will refer to as simply the High D. This person is dominant, direct, demanding, decisive, determined, and a doer. The High D tends to be high in energy, busy and productive, strong-willed and persistent. Basically, these people take charge, and if they don’t get what they want they get mad. Their blind spot, or personality flaw is that they can be quite bossy (as if you couldn’t tell). Know anybody like this? I sure do, and since I am the total opposite of this, I found myself wondering why the High D in my life was this way. You may be wondering this also, but here are a few strategies to help you deal with the High D in your life.

1. Remain cool and calm and avoid power struggles. This may be difficult to do (especially if you’re a High D yourself), but trust me, going at it tit for tat will not work out in your favor with this one. It would be to your advantage to try an alternate route to get your point across like agreeing to disagree or restating your point to sound less confrontational.

2. Be consistent and fair. The key word is consistency. If you’re not consistent with them or fail to keep your word, prepare to be dismissed. Now that I think about it, I’ve heard my High D person complain about the inconsistent folk in her life on several occasions. I guess because they’re so consistent themselves, it’s kind of difficult to deal with those who aren’t.

3. Be direct and to the point. Don’t go beating around the bush with them. They won’t waste time beating around the bush with you. If you have something to say, say it. They are too dominant to be intimidated by your opinion. They might actually appreciate your use of backbone.

4. Remember that their secret fuel is getting results. Score! If you can keep this in mind, it will make your life and relationship much easier. All the High D wants to know is that results are being achieved and progress is being made. Do that and they’re happy. Don’t do that and they’re pissed, to put it nicely. ūüėČ

Now I don’t want anyone thinking that I am dissing the High D’s out there. I actually admire some of these character traits and wish I had more of them myself like the ability to be more direct and decisive. (If you’ve ever gone to a restaurant with me you’d know why). It’s also very cool that High D’s make great leaders who lead from the front. Having said that, here’s a word of caution for men who are married to High D women: you are still the man of the house who is responsible for leading the family. Deep down inside, your woman wants you to take charge. Again, it is very important to her that she see the results of your leadership. If she doesn’t¬†see any results, she very well may try to take over. I’m not saying that she should take over, I’m just saying that her personality may cause her to try to in the absence of a stronger leader. If you’re a High D woman married to a non-High D man, realize that your man may resent your bossiness and make the necessary adjustments to get the love you want and still show love and respect to him in return.

If your personality type is High D, feel free to let me know if I’ve nailed it or not. I welcome your feedback. Tomorrow I will share the High I personality with you, so stay tuned.

Exercise Daily in God–No Spiritual Flabbiness Please!

a-ministers-spiritual-workoutSocial networking sites are flooded with all sorts of challenges–ice bucket challenge, worship¬†challenge (which was really a singing challenge), and even a grown and sexy challenge, but I’m about to tell you about a challenge that will revolutionize your life if you participate. ¬†I call it¬†the¬†spiritual fitness challenge. ¬†It is designed to help you get in shape for spiritual warfare. ¬†

For the past week I have been doing this challenge myself. ¬†What I’ve found is that my mornings are not as rushed, my mind is clearer, and I am even getting to work on time. ¬†Go figure. ¬†I have begun to refer to these moments as dates with God. ¬†The reason I started doing this is because¬†I’ve noticed in my own life more of a dedication to working out and a sporadic tendency to study scriptures, but I haven’t done anything concrete recently to switch the dynamic. ¬†Last week my pastor preached a message entitled “What Shall I Render?” about offering God the best of what we have that solidified for me the need for change. ¬†Four months ago I made a decision to change my life by working out regularly and eating more healthy. ¬†Now I decide to change my life in a more significant way by exercising in the Word–DAILY.

1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV) says, For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

The Message Bible states it more plainly. ¬†“Exercise daily in God‚ÄĒno spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”

I desire a more spiritually disciplined life. ¬†I know that it is of the utmost importance for a believer. ¬†But knowing it is not enough. I must not just talk about it, but be about it. ¬†By the grace of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I will be about it.¬†If I can develop a habit of working out my body, I know I can develop a habit of working out my soul salvation. ¬† God has been so good to me, and he deserves the best of me, not my gym or anything else I spend time doing. ¬†So I’ve created a spiritual workout plan very similar to the one I use at the gym for those who need a place to start.

WHO and WHAT

Every born-again believer needs to engage in ongoing communication with God. ¬†It is not enough to be saved. ¬†That is only the tip of the ice burg. ¬†God created you to honor and represent Him in the earth, but if you haven’t cultivated your relationship with him, you cannot effectively do either of those things. ¬†We must yield ourselves to be used of Him. Otherwise, you will a saved person being used of the devil. ¬†What a waste of God’s saving grace and His divine inheritance. ¬†We should take full advantage of our God-given rights to peace, wealth, prosperity, and every other good gift the blood of Christ has secured for us. ¬†But the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12 KJV). ¬†Building up ourselves daily in the Word through spiritual discipline is what it takes to win against spiritual forces that violently oppose us. ¬†It is also not enough to engage in conversations about God with others if you’re not also supplementing that with study on your own and regular church attendance. ¬†Let me make this clear. ¬†There is no substitute for the literal Word of God being preached and taught to you and read and studied by you; for faith comes by hearing and hearing by THE WORD OF GOD. ¬†As far as equipment goes, all you need is a Bible (paper or electronic version is up to you), a journal or notebook, a pen, a concordance, and an open heart.

WHERE

Communicate with Him in the closet, by the bed, in the kitchen or the bathroom. Do it anywhere, but just do it.  God will meet you wherever you are.  Make sure the spot you choose is quiet and free from distractions.  I do not advise you, however, to lie in bed though for obvious reasons.  Sleep will overtake you.

WHEN

I think it is important to communicate with God first thing in the morning.  Jesus prayed early in the morning.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIV).

That is the time where you have less distractions (the husband and kids are asleep, the house is quiet, the phone is not ringing or chiming with Facebook and e-mail notifications, the computer is not on, and your mind is the most clear).  It is offering God the first and best of your day.

WHY

Why do people follow workout programs in the first place? ¬†Because they don’t know where to start, to get guidance through an unfamiliar process, to do what works. That’s why I sought one. ¬†These are also some reasons people hesitate to establish a solid study schedule for the Word, not to mention that although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). ¬†The good news is the stronger your spirit is the the less your flesh will be able to control you. ¬†That strength comes by being in His presence and in His Word. ¬†It can seem a bit overwhelming to do, but you cannot let that stop you. ¬†My apprehension of gym crowds almost made me quit going, but once I found a workout program I liked and felt comfortable with I followed it to the letter and soon a habit developed. ¬†Even though there were days that I did not feel like going, I did anyway because I began to see results. ¬†It feels good when your hard work pays off. ¬†Making the decision to give God more time will be hard work at first. ¬†Our adversary, the devil, will do anything he can to throw us off course. Distractions, trials, laziness, sin, and procrastination are all tools in his arsenal that he will fire in our direction just to keep us from truly getting to know our rights and privileges which are found in the Word. ¬†You cannot claim or possess what you do not know belongs to you. ¬†You cannot exercise rights that you do not know are yours. ¬†You cannot benefit from an inheritance if you do not access its funds. ¬†Finally, you cannot maintain growth if you do not consistently do what caused growth in the first place. ¬†So of course he doesn’t want us to obtain the knowledge of the truth. Pastor Ed Schneider, M.P.Th. sums it up perfectly by saying, “The Devil has got to be absolutely gleeful at the way some of us Christians act as we continually contribute to our own spiritual demise” (Originally posted on Growing in Christian Understanding). ¬†Please don’t be a party to your own downfall by staying disconnected from God, your life source. ¬†Pushing past the obstacles he puts in your path will pay off.

HOW

Each day I weight train, I focus on a particular muscle group–shoulders and arms, legs, back, or chest. ¬†So begin by identifying what spiritual element you want to focus on each day. ¬†It could be something that you are believing God for in your life (ie. divine health and healing, prosperity, peace, a new job, salvation for a family member, etc.). This may change depending on how the Holy Spirit is leading you, but do have a focus in mind to begin with rather than reading chapter by chapter of the Bible randomly. ¬†It may make your time more productive and meaningful to you.

prayer

Training Schedule:  10-15 minutes

  1. Warm-up–5 minutes of Praise and worship.¬†Begin by telling God what you appreciate about Him. ¬†Tell Him how good He is to you and thank Him. ¬†This really does rev you up for the time you will spend in His presence.
  2. First exercise–Read and Reflect on the Word. ¬†Choose a scripture or two that address what you are focusing on for the day. ¬†If healing is your focus, choose healing scriptures such as Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 and read them. ¬†A concordance will come in handy for this. ¬†Reflecting on what you’ve read by writing about it in a journal/notebook is also a good way to cement what you’ve received from God and to chart growth or progress.
  3. Second exercise–Pray. ¬†Ask the Lord to help you apply the Word you just read to your day and life. ¬†For example, start praying with this. ¬†“Lord, I thank you for your Word. ¬†I ask that you help me have the faith to walk in the healing you’ve promised me. ¬†I resist every sign and symptom that contradicts what your Word says. ¬†In Jesus’ name. ¬†Amen.” ¬†I would also pray in the spirit during this time to ensure that you have prayed according to the perfect will of God (Romans 8:26-27)
  4. Third exercise–Confess. ¬†Make a personal confession about what you read. ¬†For example say, “I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. ¬†I am walking in divine health. ¬†Every organ and tissue in my body functions in the perfection that God created it to function. ¬†No sickness can come on me. ¬†I am redeemed form sickness and disease.” ¬†Confession brings possession.
  5. Cool down–Acknowledge God. ¬†End your time by¬†thanking God for meeting you in your quiet time or sitting in silence to hear Him speak to you.

You might be thinking, Do I really need a step-by-step plan for spending time with God?¬† Well, think about it this way. Is it better to have a plan or no plan at all? ¬†Will your time with God look exactly like this everyday? ¬†Of course not. This is just a starting point, and that’s what I want to challenge you to do–start. ¬†Sometimes we can be so concerned with failing to live up to God’s standards that we don’t even try. ¬†The Bible says “draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8 a). ¬†Once the presence of God begins to meet you there, all sorts of things start to happen. ¬†Your emotions may get stirred up and result in uncontrollable tears or laughter. ¬†You may lose track of time because you are enjoying the sweet communion and fellowship with Him. ¬†You may not even get past the praise. Or you may end of switching the order of things altogether. ¬†And all of that is good as long as you get it in. ¬†God just wants us to establish a sacred place in our hearts and day just for him. ¬†That is why we were created in the first place.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

“I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:6-7).

Repeat¬†this cycle for 7 days. ¬†Use the same focus or a different one. ¬†Like with any workout routine, if the intensity wanes, increase it either by doing this several times a day or by increasing the amount of time you spend doing it (move from 10 or 15 minute increments to 20 or 30 minutes increments and slowly progress). ¬†You can even add more to your training repertoire like meditating on the Word throughout your day, writing prayers to God, listening to music, or singing. There’s really no limit to where your worship time can take you. ¬†The key is to make a decision and stick to it. Just make sure you have properly prepared for this because you don’t want anything to get in the way of this commitment. ¬†If you think that you will forget, put it on your calendar and set a timer to remind you. ¬†If you think that you may be too tired to get up earlier than usual, try your best to get in bed at an earlier time. ¬†If for some reason your schedule gets thrown off, make it up at a different time of day or simply do a shorter version. ¬†JUST GET IT IN! ¬†It’s imperative to your spiritual and natural well being.

So if you are sick of carrying the excess weight of the burdens and cares of life, sick of being weary and worn out by trials and tribulations, and sick of being weak and powerless against the attacks of the enemy, then lose the weight, build up your spiritual endurance and increase your strength in the Word of God.

I challenge you to join me in this spiritual fitness challenge for the next week, and find someone to challenge also. ¬†I’d love to hear how this worked or didn’t work for you, so please share your comments.

I’m just sayin’.

Be Consistent and Win!

consistency

Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of consistency. ¬†For the past 4 months I have consistently gone to the gym and actually worked out for at least 4 days a week each week. ¬†During those months I have consistently followed various workout programs and completed from beginning to end. ¬†I have shocked myself! ¬†I have never been that consistent, of my own accord, with exercising. ¬†Is it easy to get up at 4:30 am to kick my own butt with weight training or to sweat my hair out doing cardio? ¬†Absolutely not! ¬†But what keeps me going back is results. ¬†I’m seeing muscles that I didn’t know I had and fitting back into clothes I had already packed up to give away because I had outgrown them. ¬†For me, those are serious results.

Funny thing is, results (or at least desirable results) are only achieved through consistency. ¬†A quote on Bodybuilding.com says it all. ¬†What had previously been there was “Start Something,” but they’ve replaced it with the words “Finish Something.” ¬†Truth of the matter is we all start a lot of things, but never finish: ¬†degree programs, home renovations, business opportunities, and of course workout programs. ¬†What is the missing ingredient? ¬†I would argue that it is consistency. ¬†I believe the saying that it’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish. ¬†And in order to finish you have to be consistent. ¬†Moreover, if you fail to be consistent, you will consistently fail.

Through this experience I have learned a few things about myself. ¬†That I¬†CAN be consistent. ¬†That I HAVE what it takes to accomplish my goals no matter what they are. ¬†And that I WILL experience success if I persevere. ¬†That makes me feel pretty darn good. ¬†If I had to narrow it down to five keys that have helped me reach this point, they would be the following…

                                                                                    diet and exercise

1. Never quit, no matter how hard it gets. ¬†There are people who are watching you try what they want to do, but¬†are hesitant to do. ¬†They need to see you push through the hard times to know that they can too. ¬†Since I’ve been committed to changing my lifestyle, my mom has started working out also, and she’s beginning to see results. ¬†Again, early morning wake-ups are a killer, but I’d rather push myself to do that than have my workout interrupted by a large crowd of people all trying to use the same equipment during peak gym hours. ¬†So, I make the sacrifice. ¬†Sore, achy muscles are no joy to have either, but now that I know what the end of those sore muscles will be, I’m willing to endure the temporary pain.

2. Visualize your goal.¬† In order to perceive you must first conceive. ¬†That means establish your goal and then¬†see yourself obtaining it. ¬†I actually found a set of abs in a picture (on someone else of course) that I want mine to resemble. ¬†In my mind, I visualize having those abs, and that’s one of the things I’m working towards. ¬†If your goal is to finish your degree, see yourself making good grades, graduating, and snagging that dream job in your field. ¬†If your goal is to remodel your house, see yourself with the finished project and the new furnishings to go along with it. These pleasant visions will serve as motivation through the tough times and remind you that it’s all worth it.

3. Engage in some healthy competition and accountability. ¬†My husband and I have a little abdominal competition going on to see who will have the best looking abs the fastest. ¬†Of course he teases me about how many more crunches he does than me, and I tease him about how much more healthy my eating habits are than his, but it’s all in good fun. ¬†I’m somewhat of a competitor by nature, so this is right up my alley. ¬†I can’t wait to win. ¬†Maybe you’re different and don’t desire a competitor. ¬†Having an accountability partner is just as good. ¬†This person should help keep you on track to accomplish your goals with friendly reminders and reality checks.

4. Make time, not excuses.¬† I hate to miss a workout due to a scheduling conflict because I feel like my whole schedule is thrown off. ¬†However, I don’t just throw the whole week away. ¬†I make the necessary adjustments to fit it in, which requires thinking ahead and planning for the activity in mind. When other things come up (and they will) carve out time elsewhere to make up what you missed on your personal project. ¬†Remember, excuses are for those who need them. ¬†If you have¬†a plan then excuses won’t be necessary.

5. Invest in your success. ¬†If I was truly going to make working out a lifestyle I had to start looking the part. ¬†So, I bought some new work out clothes, weight lifting gloves, and I even had to buy different types of foods for healthier eating. ¬†I never wanted to spend more than a few dollars on active wear because it wasn’t a priority in the past, but now I’m willing to pay more for something I know that I will use. ¬†It can get expensive, but I consider it an investment into a new way of living. ¬†Investing in your own success is vital, because at ti¬†mes you might find that you’re the only one who is. ¬†Not to worry though, ¬†soon enough everyone will be able to see the fruit of your labor and the hefty return on your investment.

Now if I could just apply this same level of consistency to a few other areas in my life I’ll be good to go. ¬†Pray for me. ūüôā

Aside