4 Steps To Shift An Aspirational Goal To An Actual Pathway!

I desire to retire well, to be self-supporting and not a burden on my children.

I also want to write a book about pendulums that will help people discern how God is guiding them.

I'm hoping to lose 4 inches in my middle (just keeping it real).

And I dream of being close with my children and grandchildren as we all grow older.

These are all genuine goals for me. I really desire them all. But they will most likely remain dreams if don't add a pathway of intentional action steps toward the goals. 

Sometimes churches have aspirational goals too. 

     We will break the 200-person attendance ceiling, or we will get to 1000 or whatever number...

     More than 50% of our people will be in small groups.

     Giving will increase by 20% in the next year.

Here's the thing. Clarifying a goal is good, but it is only a first step. Drilling down on a desire gives you something to shoot for, but it's like setting up a target...

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What Was God Thinking? Benevolent Detachment #2 of 5

Ever just want to shake someone? I have. 

Okay, maybe not physically, but I have wanted so badly to help someone SEE something. It's mind-boggling to me how tolerant people can be of difficult circumstances they could actually do something about!

If I'm honest I've wanted to shake myself at times as well!

You'd think the low experience would be enough for a wake-up call, but no. We keep doing the same thing over and over, and not adopting the new thing we know would be better for us. 

What was God thinking when He gave us free will? 

Apparently, this is not a new phenomenon. Paul says in Romans 7:15

     I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate.

But then later in Romans 12:2, he says, 

     Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will...

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What is Benevolent Detachment? Benevolent Detachment - #1 of 5

I am LOVING John Eldridge’s Pause App prompts and the new 30 Days to Resilient plan! (I just completed my first round and am excited to repeat the whole thing!)

That’s where I first heard about Benevolent Detachment.

If you aren’t sure what that is a quick definition includes, in Eldridge’s words, “releasing everyone and everything to Him.” It’s the art of letting God be God and letting go of our compulsion to change people or situations. It involves a combination of a rooted perspective of who God is in our lives, mixed with a healthy understanding of free will, prayer, and trust in God to be there for us and for others.

When we fix our attention on what’s wrong in our lives, other’s lives, or our world - our attention is not where it needs to be. On Jesus.

 

Benevolent Detachment is a reminder to hit the refresh button in our souls. To close our eyes to the world around us and the chatter within us and commune with Him...

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3 Ways to Deal with Reluctant/Resistant People

"It doesn't work like that...."

"I can't."

"Maybe you just don't understand."

Ever have "that" conversation? You know, the one where the other person has pre-decided there is no way out of the situation they are in, where the circumstances they are dealing with are unique and insurmountable.

I've been there dozens of times. (And TBH I've been that person dozens of times as well.)

They get fixated on their "thing" and that's all they can talk about. Every conversation is about the symptoms of the "thing", how it is overwhelming and how they are stuck and there is no way out. It's disheartening for them AND for everyone around them.

It's like they want "it" to go away, but they feel there is nothing that can be done.

There are 3 ways to deal with someone who is reluctant to see hope and resistant to change. (Two of them are common but ineffective.)

1. Avoidance.

This option may happen intentionally or unintentionally. You see them coming down the hall at church, or you see their...

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So What’s The Deal With “Agency”?

“Agency” is the new buzzword we keep hearing in podcasts and even recently published books, but what does it really mean?

Here are some thoughts on agency, where it comes from, and what makes it so very valuable in our personal lives!

Ever hear of the series “Orange is the new black”? I don’t think I ever watched it once, but I found the title interesting. Basically, it meant that the criminals who once wore black every day were now wearing orange every day in prison. So, for them, orange became their new normal.

When I first started learning, and then blogging, about coaching the word “Ownership” was a regular topic and tag.

Agency is the new Ownership. 

Agency means we have choices.

  • We can advocate for ourselves in certain situations.
  • We can choose our perspective.
  • We can remove ourselves from harmful places.
  • We can work toward our preferred future.
  • We can grow spiritual and process our thoughts and feelings in healthy ways.

Agency...

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How The Escape Room Craze Smacks of the Coaching Quest!

In Bridges Coaching one of the foundational tools we use is called the Always Circle. It is built on these three statements:

- There is always going to be stuff.

- God always offers a plan.

- We always make choices.

See the three "always" in there. Hence the name, Always Circle.

One of the reasons we are intrigued by Escape Rooms is that we know there is a solution and we want to see if we can figure it out. 

Coaching can be like that - if we believe in God.

We have some sort of "stuff". We need to make a decision, or we need a pathway to move forward. We want healing. We're looking for connection. There is something in our life that requires attention and we are hoping for resolution.

In an Escape Room setting, we know that there IS a way out. Others have gone before us. the quest is to figure it out in a certain amount of time and "escape" from the room.

In a Coaching conversation, the parameters are similar. Let's take a look at the parts of the Always Circle...

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And just like that, I have ASD...

I first heard of ASD when I was working at a children's home. I was watching a soccer game and trying to get the attention of one of my own daughters. I kept calling out to her. She was playing too close to the road for my comfort. 

"What is wrong with her?", said a young boy placed in our care who had likely heard that phrase too many times. 

Without thinking I told him my daughter had Audio Selective Disorder. 

"What's that?", said Tommy. I told him, "She can only hear me when she wants to."

He thought for a minute and said, "Oh, I think I have the same thing." 

It hit me recently that many believers, myself included, have ASD sometimes. We can only hear when we want to. For me personally, I struggle with hearing God in the small things. I ask for direction on big things but can miss out when He is calling to me in my everyday life.

Maybe He is warning me not to "play too close to the street" when He sees me complaining about my circumstances, or judging...

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The ONE Question Crux of Coaching!

Ever wish you had the golden question? 

The single bullet question to clarify everything?

Well, today is your lucky day!

This question is too easy, but the hardest question you'll ever answer, and one you will be asking and answering the rest of your life.

True coaching, for yourself or others, is based on this one single probe!

Ready?

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 spells it out for us! 

"So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ."

Did you see it?

WHAT IS YOUR FAITH PROMPTING YOU TO DO?!

This passage is so beautiful and SO CHALLENGING!

Let's break it down a bit. There are two kinds of prompts.

1) General prompts - these are for all...

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4 Reasons Why "What's at stake?" May Be Your Best Next Question

"What’s at stake?"

That’s a great question!

It could be the single straw that is the tipping point between ideation and implementation.

There are 4 basic reasons “What’s at stake?” could be the lever needed for forward movement.

Never trying.

Sometimes realizing what will not happen if the idea is kept in the “dream cloud” is just what is needed to help someone get started and stop procrastinating.

Rightsizing the risk.

Recognizing that if the outcome doesn’t end exactly where hoped, the forward movement is at the least good research, and at worst an idea can be crossed off the list to make room for more possibilities to try.

Naming the loss.

Someone needs whatever it is that is being considered! Realizing what could happen if this idea isn’t carried out could be just the motivation fuel to get the motion started.

Regret.

You’ll never know if you never try.

Sometimes the big idea works. Sometimes it doesn’t, but...

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