Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Power of Focus

When you are working on multiple projects, it is critical that you understand the power of focus. My old habit was to try to work a little bit a couple of times a week on several different things. You guessed it...nothing ever got completed. The reason is that my focus was divided. When your focus is divided on projects that require that you operate at optimum performance, you are not giving the best of your energy, your thought process, your intellect, or your drive when you are pulling the best of who you are in too many directions. Focus is a powerful thing because it forces you to concentrate the best of who you are in one direction. The best analogy I can give you is a laser. By its very definition, a laser is fixed, linear, concentrated, and has a very defined purpose. As such, its power produces what we call "cutting edge." If you have too many things going on right now that are not driving you forward - but driving you to stagnation or what we best recognize as procrastination and distraction - rethink your goals and directives and use the power of focus to get one thing done at a time. Try it for one week and see how much better you feel about what you are able to finish.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Steve McNair's Death

Several things went through my mind as I listened to Bishop Walker deliver the eulogy for Steve McNair at his funeral just recently in Nashville. What struck me most profoundly was that as a man of God, Walker set things in proper perspective for this man's wife, his sons, his friends, and for the community which is divided between forgiveness and condemnation. He reminded me as well as all of us that no matter how we feel about the details of Steve's murder, none of us can afford to pick up a rock and throw it at anybody. What a powerful message by a powerful man of God. On that day, as well as on the day that the minister at Michael Jackson's memorial service called on the Name of Jesus, I was so very proud to be named a member of the clergy community. We take a lot of heat - some deserved - some not deserved - but at the end of the day the most honorable service we can provide to people is to have the courage to wade through the muck and mire of human error - even sin - and make sure people look at what matters most. My prayers go out to Steve McNair's wife and sons and to his friends whose hearts are hurting right now. May the grace of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ strengthen his parents, his siblings, and all of those who are struggling to gain a sense of peace about the circumstances of his death and the purpose of his life.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beside Still Waters

I'm here in Nashville, Tennessee as a presenter and registrant for the annual 21st Century Learning Centers Convention. If you've never visited the Opryland Resort and Convention Center, you should treat yourself to a visit. There are lush gardens, cascades and fountains everywhere, wonderful dining, and just a restful and beautiful ambiance about the place. Tonight I went out just to treat myself to dessert, and the waiter sat me next to a beautiful, man-made pond with small fountains inside of it. The light was soft, and the sounds of people's laughter and fellowship around me was very comfortable and warming. As I stared into the dark water surrounded by lush green plants and exotic flowers, a snatch of the 23rd Division of Psalms came to me, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." I became thoughtful for a moment as I began to reflect on the Holy Spirit's gentle touch on my spirit. What was it that he was trying to say to me - at this moment? I noticed that the water falls - though delightful and gay - triggered feelings of gentle anxiety - if you will. The cascading water caused my eyes to flicker in an attempt to follow the beads and threads of the running water. The moving water was not peaceful but agitating - even in a good way. The still water beside the fountains produced an entirely different feeling. As I stared into the water that was flowing ever so slightly by the breezes - it calmed me and I found myself feeling centered and at peace with God and with my surroundings. Yet, underneath the stillness of the waters, I could see a depth of stream water moving. It occurred to me that water that is living is always moving - but that doesn't mean it is rushing. No wonder David talked about being led to waters that are moving - yet still. As my soul matched the calm of the waters before me, I realized that the Holy Spirit was reminding me that in the rush and movement of life, God is always seeking to lead us to quiet, still water that is living, yet still.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finding Home Position

A good friend once explained to me that once a house is built, it will continue to shift and reposition itself until it reaches what is called "home position." What an interesting concept. When I hear people talk about "searching" for their purpose, I am always intrigued by the idea of seeking something that should come as naturally as breathing and living. Perhaps we tend to think of purpose as something to seek for or search after because we tend to spend our lives trying to reach "home position." The discomfort of not knowing what we shall be and what we will ultimately become keeps us shifting and changing and repositioning ourselves (to use Bishop T.D. Jakes' term) in hopes that it will lead to personal discovery and some sort of self-awakening. I once had someone accuse me of being a jack of all trades. I found it offensive because that cliche ends with "and master of none." As I pondered the label, however, I realized that it was probably a great compliment in disguise. While I do believe I master some things during the many shifts and make-overs of my life, I am still me - an individual ever seeking to grow and respond and mature and thrive. I'm trying to reach home position before my life is done - but in the meantime, I'm having fun refusing to be typecast. I may bend too far sometimes and realize that what I'm doing is not really who I am, but its okay, because as long as I have Christ as my center and my anchor, I can always come back home - and without a doubt, reach home position.

About Me

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As a preacher and public speaker, Elaine Rose Penn has been described as "bad to the bone!" She has gained a national and international platform as a motivational speaker, trainer, life purpose coach, and an author of two books currently available on Her novel, "When Kingdoms Fall: A Novel About the Fall of Lucifer" is due for publication in a few months and is a sure winner for readers who love Biblical suspense, action, mystery, and intrigue!