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I quit!!

We have all come to that place where we have to decide to continue fighting or give up.  How many times have we said “I Quit!”.  We are 3/4 of the way through January 2012, but the new year is not too far gone, to make new beginnings.  The year 2011 is gone for good and in the history books. 

As we look back at 2011, and examine our failures, we will find ourselves at a cross roads.  Maybe we failed at a task, or did not realize a dream or vision, because we failed to quit doing something that hindered us in meeting our goals.  Most of the time we view dreams or goals, as a set of tasks, that we must achieve in order to have success.  As we examine those tasks, and the time line that we set up for each of them, maybe we need to ask ourselves a simple question.   What did I do that might have ambushed my success?  

In 2012 the beginning series of messages at Coastal Community Church is the “I Quit” series.  At first it sounds sort of defeatist.  The hand holding up the white flag proclaiming defeat.  As I have sat through the last couple of Sunday sermons, I am being reminded of how powerful change can be.  The first message proclaimed “I quit making excuses!”  If you have read the last couple of blog posts you will remember my proclamation about weight loss.  No more excuses!!  I quit making excuses about not losing weight.  What dream or vision do you have that you are making excuses for?

I once heard a pastor say something that is so true.  If what I tell you on Sunday, can not be put to use in practical ways on Monday, then I am not doing my job.  Once the message is delivered, and we receive it,we have a decision to make.  What am I going to do with the message?  Do I continue to rationalize failure or do I stop making excuses?  Do I decide to step out in faith, and do what I can do, and then let God do what he will do in order for us to be successful. 

The second message is “I quit complaining”.  Do we like to complain about this or that?  Instead of complaining, should we take ownership of what the problem is, and find a solution?  Would that be better than whining?  Let me put this in real terms that you can relate to.  I live in a family of four people.  Two adults and two teenagers who are learning how to become adults.  We delegate to them tasks that they are expected to accomplish.  We want them to understand the value of work and the responsibilities of living in a family that is self sufficient.  In other words, the laundry does not get done by the laundry fairy and the dishes do not get cleaned by the dishes fairy.  No, it is not appropriate to put the dirty dishes on the floor and let the dogs lick them clean. 

On more than one occasion delegated tasks are either half way done and not finished, or just not done at all.  It seems as if the little things in life, the small annoyances tend to set me off the worst.  When I see the clean laundry piled up on the chair in the sun room and not put away it causes me to complain and whine about it.  I do not understand the logic of washing the clothes, drying them and then throwing them into a pile on a chair so they will wrinkle.  I must learn to stop complaining about the little things, and just take matters into my own hands.  When I see the task that is not finished, I need to either finish the task myself, or lovingly redirect my teenagers attention away from TV or the Internet. and get them to complete the task correctly.  At that point I can deal with their complaining and whining about having to do it. 

Making excuses and complaining about something is not going to solve the problem or help us to achieve our goals.  Taking ownership of our problems and having a positive prayerful mindset will take us so much further.  This is my problem, I acknowledge it and I want to figure out a way to fix it.  Sometimes fixing a problem requires going to someone and apologizing for being a jerk or not holding up our end of an agreement.  Sometimes fixing a problem requires making amends in a relationship.  Sometimes fixing a problem requires us to change our mind and heart attitude about a situation or person.   

In 2012 I want to learn how to stop making excuses and to stop complaining.   

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