By: Joe Kowalski
Owner/CEO Empowered Community Services
Most everyone can remember the panic, sudden jolt, and jarring pain of hitting the ground after their friend jumped off the teeter totter when we were kids.
Or that time when you were in a hurry to get home with the groceries. You’re late, it’s raining, and instead of making three trips into the house with the groceries in the rain, you try to carry all 37 bags at one time, only to slip on the pavement sending a week’s worth of groceries all over the garage floor.
What about this one? You are up against a deadline at work, going on 4 hours of sleep and you get a call at 5:30p from your spouse demanding “where are you?” With everything going on, you forgot to update your calendar with the kids’ recital that you are now going to miss.
These lessons on gravity, imbalance, and regret are hard to forget. Unbalanced objects, whether they be playground equipment, people, or the expectations of others, will always fall.
My wife and I have four children (3 high schoolers still at home,) a new grandson, 3 dogs, and I run my own small business. The demands on my time are many and balance becomes more and more difficult to maintain. By my own admission, I have a lot of work to do when it comes to balance in my life, but the following are a few pieces of advice I’ve come to cherish on this exceedingly difficult subject.
By: Ronda Nissley
Many of us are familiar with the biblical story of Daniel who was a high ranking administrator in ancient Babylon. Daniel is often hailed for his wisdom and courage in the face of adversity. But did you ever wonder how Daniel was able to not only survive but thrive in what was likely a hostile work environment? Likely, he faced many things that conflicted with his faith and culture.
By Kermit Rowe, Relationship Facilitator
The struggle is real. It can also be embarrassing … and convicting!
I thought the struggle my wife and I have with praying together consistently made us an exception. But talking with and coaching other couples here at Encompass Connection Center, I’ve discovered that those who often fail to pray together consistently may be of the majority. It’s also revealing that couples I work with who struggle overall in their relationships also have not been praying together.
Another inspiring look into the Holmes family business through the eyes of Kevin, Carisa and Brian who transitioned into primary leadership in 2007. Their sibling chemistry and healthy relationship values shine forth brightly!
By Lavern Nissley
Before Abraham Lincoln became President in 1861 he gave a memorable speech that came to be known as "House Divided". It was essentially a no compromise speech attacking the possibility of a half slave, half free United States. "A house divided against itself cannot stand", Lincoln proclaimed as he quoted Jesus' words centuries earlier.
In the aftermath of two horrible mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton polarization and escalation have increased between left and right. I wonder what President Lincoln would say about today's political landscape. Certainly there are issues that divide Americans at a level that slavery did in the 1800's. (See optional extra reading at end of blog for more texture on this.)
By Lavern Nissley
The "Send her back" chant that erupted at President Trump's rally in North Carolina last week touched nerves everywhere. It singled out a congresswoman from Minnesota, an immigrant from Somalia and US citizen. Her views have been particularly troubling to conservatives as well as to some colleagues in her own party.
The ping pong match of acerbic tweets and public comments between Trump and "The Squad" of four congresswomen (close allies of the chant target) seemed to boil over into newscasts, social media discussions and private conversations. Maybe that's why we had such hot weather in most of the USA last week?
What can we learn from such intense political polarization and flame-throwing that could help us in our couple, family and organizational relationships?
By Jeremy Hudson, guest blogger
Jeremy is campus pastor of Fellowship Spring Hill in Springfield OH and CEO/Founder/Owner at Red Chair Leadership
“Jeremy, asking questions makes you look smart!”
I can hear those words ringing in my ears like they were said yesterday, not the twenty years ago when my dad said them to me.
He was gently yet firmly challenging a blindspot that was cropping up in my leadership abilities. I was under the impression that to be the leader on a team or in an organization meant you had knew better than everyone else what needed to be done and how. At that point in my youth, I was carrying myself like I was the smartest guy in any room I walked into. When presented with a problem, the absolute worst thing I could imagine saying in response was “I don’t know.” So, instead of digging into and learning about what was going on, I would make something up. Even if it was wrong. Because leaders are supposed to know things. After all, that was why you are the leader, right?
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.