I love my church! And I am delighted with the message-based discussion model we offer to promote active journeying with God and His plan for each of our lives. We have developed a 4 D model that we use to explain this pathway.
Let’s dissect this for a bit.
Discussion leads to Discovery. There are two ways this works.
First, when we discuss we have to choose words to explain what we are thinking. I don’t know about you but there are many times when I talk about something and end up working out the whole situation just because I am verbalizing. It goes something like this, “I'm dealing with _________ in my life right now. It’s tricky because__________. I’m not sure what to do, but I wonder if I should __________. You know what? That actually might work. Thanks so much for talking about this with me.” The other person may, or may not, have had much input, but just the fact that I had a safe place to talk made all the difference.
My Facebook feed is blowing up with ads for Noom and I have family members making great traction losing weight on the Keto diet. If you know someone in Crossfit, well, you’ve heard all about it. Personally, I’m all in on MyFitnessPal and Planet Fitness.
What do all these things have in common?
And the people who do them most often want to share their pathway.
They have good intentions. They want you to experience the success they are experiencing. But here’s the thing.
Not everyone’s journey is the same. Some people prefer to exercise alone and some like group accountability. Some people want to go fast and hard toward their goal and others want a sustainable long term pace.
God made us all different. We all have different triggers and targets.
However, we all have something in common as well. We all have a tendency to want to tell others what worked for us and offer it as THE pathway toward THEIR best future.
Who knows? Our “thing”...
Hangry: adj. (han-gree) a state of emotional angst caused by lack of sufficient nourishment, an increasingly negative outlook as a result of increased hunger.
Have you ever been hangry? I have.
Usually, I don’t realize the cause though the symptoms are pretty obvious (to others):
It’s a family member that usually helps me out. They start out with kind words. “Hey, you okay?” or questions, “Wow, rough day?” and they move toward mirroring, “You don’t seem yourself. What’s up?”
If I get defensive they help me see that my words or actions are not reflecting who they know me to be. If they are really on their game they just offer me something, like my favorite: a well crafted Starbucks Chai Latte (grande, 9 pumps, nonfat, no foam – just in case you were wondering).
What I don’t like is that my hunger has...
Whether you are a small group leader, family member or a corporate executive the high/low question is a great way to start a conversation or a meeting.
First off: what is the high/low question. It’s super simple. “What’s a high and low for you recently?” It can pertain to the personal or professional and be from recently or since last time you were together.
There are three compelling reasons this works especially well for groups including families, teams, small groups or committees.
Reason 1: Everyone gets a voice.
It can be difficult for people who are not extroverted to find a place in the conversation to share their thoughts about whatever the topic is. In larger groups, I am less likely to speak out unless asked and often see others who feel the same way. They lean back in their seats and observe the show as others carry the conversation.
Having an expectation that everyone will share gives those less forward a voice in the midst of it all. This is...
When we moved into our new home one of the only downsides was that the "Master Suite" isn't really that sweet. (But hey - you only sleep there.) The biggest adjustment was that the bathroom barely fits one person so we needed to get creative with where I could do my hair.
Definitely a first world problem, but the struggle was real.
I opted for my dresser, it was still a little tight and the lighting was less than optimal. Recently, my wonderful husband put up a light for me though. It is really helpful!
I can see clearly now and am having less shocking experiences when I get to work and see something odd in my hairdo.
It's still new to me though.
I haven't always had a light.
So, the other day as I finished blowdrying my hair I thought, "Man, I wish I could see my hair better..." and then He spoke to me.
"Remember the light."
It was much more than just an assist with my hair that day. I keep thinking about it.
There's all kinds of things in my life I wish I...
What would happen if you only drank on Sundays? So the only liquid refreshment you got all week was between 10 and noon on Sundays. I think it would make for a pretty rough week. There would be repercussions in your body. Repercussions that could easily be avoided if you just drank more often.
Just to be clear I am not talking about alcohol.
And to be even more clear, I’m not talking about liquid either.
I’m talking about the refreshment that comes to us through the Word of God - the River of Life that is available to spring up from within every believer.
Your literal drinking habits may be different from mine, but for me, I have to work at drinking more water. For some reason I don’t need to remind myself to drink coffee every morning or mark my calendar to stop by a coffee shop during the week, but drinking pure water is a discipline I embrace.
Indulging in God’s word can be like that. For some, it is only a Sunday morning experience. For others, it is...
Family is wonderful! They have history with you, are there for you and will always be a part of who you are.
That's why their stuff is so important.
You care deeply about them, and to be honest their decisions affect your life.
I don't know about you, but for me having quality conversations about tricky subjects can be really difficult. On the one hand, I want to be interested in people's lives but I don't want to be invasive. On the other hand, I want them to live their best life and not be stuck in a difficult set of circumstances that seems to be sucking the joy out of them.
The most common responses to "that" situation or person are two ends of the spectrum: avoidance or dominance. Avoidance just dances around the topic and diverts conversation to more pleasant topics. Dominance busts in unannounced and imposes its preferred action steps.
Here are some thoughts on partnering questions that can be truly caring and offer connection. They could change...
I'll be happy when....
The list could almost be endless.
I'm sorry to say that I regularly add to the list. And the sad part is that I already have many of the things I previously said would make me happy... Here's my story.
Awhile back I was thinking an "I'll be happy when..." thought in my head and I felt like God stopped me up short and asked me a question back. "Really Cindy, will you really be happy then?"
I realized right there that if my happiness was contingent on acquiring or accomplishing something that I was pushing off happiness for later. How sad!
What if God wants us to be content IN the meantime? Joy in the journey and all that can be much more than a trite saying.
Don't get me wrong. I know "I'll be happy when...." is just a common expression and likely it's depth is shallow, but when God asked me that question, it...
In the famous Great Commission verse, Jesus challenges his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In its simplest definition, a disciple is a follower of Jesus. So how do we go about making disciples like Jesus asked us?
One way is to follow Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 11:1 which says, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” This verse comes right after 1 Corinthians 10 where Paul talks about how to decide whether to eat meat offered to idols or not. Notice he doesn’t say whether people should or shouldn’t but rather he gives guidelines about how to make good decisions.
"Encouraging builds disciples, telling builds dependents."
We don’t really have the option to eat meat sacrificed to idols in our society, but we do have plenty of other decisions to make that may be questionable to some people. Encouraging people to make their own decisions is a great way to make disciples, not...
Did you know God has things hidden just for you?
Isaiah 45:3 says:
I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
and Isaiah 48:6b-7
From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created now, and not long ago;
you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
‘Yes, I knew of them.’
There’s always more!
His resources and truths are endless. His love for you is personal and there’s always more!
God is offering you truths. Personal truths. Keys to relating well with others. Impact ideas for the kingdom. Freedom. Life abundant. Hope.
As long as you are living there is more. More to be found. More to be experienced.
So, what’s the absolute key to finding the treasures God...
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