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Hidden January 31, 2016

Posted by needinc in Courage, emPulse, Journey, Perspective, Sanctuary, Wisdom.
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051048048057054055054050124053048048124052048048Why are we hiding? Or— What is it we try to hide? Too many of us exert a lot of energy trying to hide, or trying to hide something about ourselves that, if revealed, would expose us.

The artistry of Bev Doolitle (1947-   ) depicts objects hidden to the casual observer. We are so much like the horses in her paintings. If people were to look intently at our life, what is it we would try to hide? I’ve worked with some people whose biggest fear in getting married was being known. I tried to assure them that being known, and still loved, was the best part of being married; I’m not sure they bought it.

What drives us to hide things? Insecurity, fear, shame, dishonesty? Or worse, why do we hide ourselves? Of course, if you’ve been betrayed or used, there is some warrant for it. You don’t want to be hurt that deeply again.

The issue, basically, is one of safety. We ALL want to feel safe. So we hide the parts of us that would expose us. This is wise…, to a point. But our need for safety can also choke the spirit within us. It can bind us in a box with just slits through which we take in the outside world.

Would you like to escape your box and take in more of the outside world? Here are some ideas—

  • Spend time with people. Reflecting off of them will give you insights into yourself. You’ll surprise them; they’ll surprise you.
  • Try something that engages your soul. Doesn’t matter what. Just not too much over the line. Deeper discussion, life challenging experiences. Hold back on sky-diving.
  • Build one-safe-friendship. Create a confident.
  • Create a private novel about the kind of life you’d like to live. Then, slowly, start to live it.

Hiding takes a lot of energy. Think what you might be accomplishing if you didn’t have to work so hard at hiding your true self. Think of the energy you could invest in developing new dreams, new skills or new relationships. Be intentional. Remaining hidden, if pursued over a long period of time, results in further isolation; and that creates further fear of being known.

You do not need to stay hidden. Make the decision to be known.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

Etiquette for Enlightened Evangelism January 25, 2016

Posted by needinc in emPulse, Journey, Kindness, Perspective, Thanks.
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Gary, davis, Christian, manners, care, pray, Many people would agree that manners matter. In the case of how we interact with people outside our Christian culture it is just as important. Here are 10 rules to help you in your etiquette within society.

1. PRAY– Ask God to prepare you to offer Him to people you don’t know.

2. Do your homework-Learn about yourself, your culture and the gospel.

1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…”

3. Go where people go– Jesus didn’t sit around and wait for people; follow His example.

4. Shut your face-Much of the work we need to do has already been done by the Holy Spirit. Ask questions to see what is important to them. Find out what the Lord has revealed to them already.

5. Be interactive in conversations-Let feedback determine the way your express God’s love to another. (This requires you to listen)

6. Become transparent– Relax, you don’t have to be perfect, but you MUST be open and honest. Let others see that Christianity can be messy, because it is REAL!

7. Develop the art of caring-People are not a sting operation: they are not projects or targets. We must learn how to love them in the process of life. Meaning caring take time.

8-Make time for people– Now take some time with them. The gospel is best communicated with action more than words.

9- Find out how people it in life without God– This is critical! If a person feels no need for God because he can make it on his own, then how will they ever respond with a NEED for the kingdom? Another reason to take your time and learn more about a person.

10-Pray with people– Ask first, then watch how God becomes visible in their lives.

 

Resilience January 19, 2016

Posted by needinc in emPulse, Perspective, Rejuvination, Wisdom.
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????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Resilience

Bouncing back. Getting up again. Beaten down and rising from
the ashes like the Phoenix. Overcoming failure and discouragement. Going for it again.

Why are some of us good

at it and others not so much?

Resilience is not necessarily based on generation, gender, cultural affinity, location or situation. It seems to be ingrained in certain people; they just have what it takes.

For others, who have been beaten down repeatedly, it becomes a matter of fortitude and determination. Sheer will-power. They have to fight not only their surrounding circumstances, but themselves as well. That is no simple matter. So what does it take to become resilient?

First, it requires that you make a decision; maybe two. 1) That you will not let this thing, whatever it is, overwhelm you. You will not let it win. And, 2) that you will fight, FIGHT, to overcome it. If these decisions are not made right up front, you do not stand a chance.

Second, you will need to surround yourself with friends of equal mind, kindred spirits, who share your dreams and goals in life. Do NOT hold back from seeking their advice, solace, and wisdom.

Third, you will want to set timely goals or check-points along the way for evaluating your recovery. How well am I bouncing back? Have trusted friends also give you feedback on how you’re doing. Be assured that setbacks will assail you; that’s life. But you are not back at Square-One. It’s just a setback.

Finally, and I hesitate to suggest this because so many of us use this as a scapegoat for being responsible- try PRAYING. (not for relief but for strength and wisdom) There’s something that cleanses the heart, mind, & soul through prayer. So, Christian or otherwise, try talking to the ceiling: you may just be pushing beyond it.

Resilience is every bit as much a matter of faith as it is fortitude. It is a determination within your soul that has its expression in the lives we live. Don’t hold back.

You can teach yourself to bounce back. Keep practicing. One day it will come more naturally.

Now, where’s my Pogo Stick,

  Gary

The (real)First Step January 11, 2016

Posted by needinc in Communication, emPulse, Faith in Culture, Perspective, Relationships.
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The first step in bringing people to faith in Christ is to get to know them. BUT before that, we need to understand how they see is. One of the ways I find out what people think about us it to ask them.

Here’s a video of just such conversations.

So when you leave your computer/phone, immerse yourself in the lives of your friends and workmates. Start by ASKING questions like:

1.What do you enjoy most about your life?

2. What is the most fun thing you’ve ever done?

3. What was it like growing up?

4. What has been your experience with Christianity, good and bad?

5. Describe your religious beliefs now. What does your spirituality offer you that Christianity does not?

6. To what extent do your beliefs influence your decisions and life motivations?

7.What problems do you have with the Church and/or Christianity?

8. How do you feel when a Christian tries to convert you?

9.How would you like Christians to treat you?

10. If you could change anything about the church, christians or Christianity what would you change?

11. How do you know that you are loved by someone?

Then after you have won the right to be heard, (maybe months or even years later) tell them about the God who created them, who loves them and who wants to give them everything He has to offer. Tell them about the God who offers his forgiveness to them for all the times they dishonored him. Tell them about the God who wants to make them WHOLE persons again.

 

 

 

Friends January 5, 2016

Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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The perfect song for the new year December 31, 2015

Posted by needinc in Communication, emPulse, Faith in Culture, Journey, Kindness, Perspective.
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Thank you King and Country. I couldn’t have said it better.

New Year’s Restorations December 30, 2015

Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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462px-happy_2016_fizzWhat happens when you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you remember what they were by the end of January? Do you even remember them by the end of the day January 1st? Right; me either.

So to increase our chances of success in the New Year let’s change the rules. Instead of making Resolutions we will more than likely forget, let’s establish a set of New Year’s Restorationsthings and relationships in our lives that need to be rebuilt if we are to move through live more smoothly.

  1. What family members need your silent forgiveness, followed with appropriate expressions of love?
  2. The same goes for business relationships; that is, if you want your business to thrive next year.
  3. What parts of your own soul are in need of some repair and restoration?
  4. Same Four Questions I always raise—
    1. What one thing needs to change?
    2. What new thing [or things] needs to be added?
    3. What present thing(s) needs to go, to be eliminated from your life?
    4. What needs to be kept, but seriously modified to fit the next you?
  5. How did you make a difference last year? Keep doing that. You created something
  6. What were your greatest blunders? Just don’t repeat them again or you will need even more restoration.
  7. What kind of people do you need more of in your life?
  8. What kind of people have been a bad influence on you and need to go?
  9. Do you have a spiritual dimension to your life? If not, why not? God is no human projection.
  10. Ask, “The One Think I must accomplish in 2016, no matter what, is…?”

It is always good to check-in with yourself on a regular basis. I do it monthly, quarterly, & yearly. When was the last time you put your life through a tune-up?

Restoration is good for every aspect of your life. Get to it.

May this New Year restore your soul…, and so much more,

Gary

 

Christmas Future Past December 24, 2015

Posted by needinc in emPulse, Faith in Culture, Journey, Perspectives.
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chrstmas future pastChristmastime changes as we grow up. My childhood Christmas’ were filled with model cars, trains, wooden airplanes, & cookies! My mom could make the bestest Christmas cookies ever!

As I approached my teens took on the shapes of bikes, guests around the dinner table, and spending Christmas day with friends of my parents, or relatives who were terrified of children. They were the days when I felt like an afterthought.

My College days remedied that as I would spend much of Christmas at home, but not with my parents. Rather, with my own friends. As I look back, this was quite selfish and insensitive of me.

Marrying Starr was probably the best gift God ever gave me. We built a home together and then celebrated Christmas after Christmas in lavish insanity! They were wonderful days of cutting down our own tree (which we still do), hiding presents at neighbor’s homes, and, of course, baking more cookies. I would never have imagined that my wife could outbake my mother; but she did.

Now, our children are growing their own Christmas traditions with families of their own. They “visit” us at Christmas. It feels weird. We who shared so much together as a family are divided between Christmas Past, and Christmas Future. Letting go is hard to do. Starr and I miss our traditions and our times together. But all of us go through this, don’t we.

So now we are turning the page to a new saga of Christmases in our lives. New times shared, multiple Christmases, blending and separating new & old traditions, celebrating together sometimes; mostly, with all our children somewhere else on the map. Back to just us again…, but different.

So as you celebrate this Christmas season, enjoy the memories of the past. But keep your pen on the paper to write new customs to celebrate Christmas in the future. God gave us this time of year so we could shift gears from the everyday routine of living, to be with family, families, friends, past & future, and to thank God for giving us a baby who would change the world forever.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  Gary

Perfecting Imperfections December 14, 2015

Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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Did you ever feel like you’re striving for Perfection but you aren’t exactly sure what that is? For some of us it seems like a futile effort that can never be attained. For others, like me, it drives us nuts. I remember being perfect for a short time in 2007, April 7th, to be exact— from 1:14-2:01 p.m. But it passed.

Perfection, at least on this planet, is a myth.

So for those of us still striving toward Perfection, the perfect look, the perfect hair, the perfect family or job or whatever, allow me to pass on what I’ve learned about how to be IMPerfect.

Please note— I have not learned this from any of my friends. I have spent years developing my own imperfections all by my widdle self!

Here are 10 Precepts you can follow to truly develop your own imperfections.

1.      Always make the same mistake at least twice— that way, you will be able to make it perfectly the next time.

2.      When it becomes clear that you are definitively WRONG about something, learn to implicate others in a complimentary manner. Bringing others in on your failures builds comradery.

3.      That being said, never, NEVER own up to your failures, mistakes, or “misspeaks.” It’s not your fault.

4.      Never, ever try anything NEW. You could fail. Let someone else try it first: then fail.

5.      Tell the truth only when it reflects positively on YOU. Truth, remember, is convenient.

6.      NEVER seem perfect. Every day, dress or act in some way that others can find fault with you. This way you can seem imperfect and still maintain your superiority.

7.      Make little mistakes to seem human.

8.      Tell people little about yourself; your insecurities and screw-ups are closer to the surface than you think. Hide them.

9.      There is absolutely no answer to a pretentious, bombastic self-aggrandizing personality.  Assert yourself!

10.  If you are not sure about something, speak with more authority.

Following these 10 basic precepts will assure your status as an ingenuinely imperfect person. Your perfection will remain intact within.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Cotton Candy Christians December 11, 2015

Posted by needinc in Communication, emPulse, Faith in Culture, Perspectives, Relationships.
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cotton candy, christians, muslims, real, faith, genuineAbu Bakr al Baghdadi, the recognized leader of the new Islamic Caliphate-without-borders, accused those Muslims who do not support ISIS’ interpretation of the Qu’ran, as being “cotton-candy-Muslims.” His disgust with the mediocre state of Islam today drew him to support, sponsor, and now lead the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

His vehement declaration about Muslims drew me to ponder whether or not evangelical Christians in the West could be accused of being cotton-candy-Christians? How could normal people spot a cotton-candy-Christian? Some thoughts—

1.      Uses religious phrases to sound Christian and fit in.

2.      Cannot communicate in normal speech patterns to normal people.

3.      Freezes up when a “non-Christian” asks them about their faith. Gets all tight. Falls back on some pre-scribed formula.

4.      Remembers wrongs. Does not forgive, but pretends to.

5.      Knows little to nothing about what’s going on in the world but judges it nonetheless.

6.      Great at quoting Scripture, even when inappropriate.

7.      Is afraid of everything and everyone outside their Christian Bubble.

So then I wondered, How could a normal person spot a genuine Christian? Hummm, let’s see… .

1.      Their inconceivable capacity to forgive others.

2.      Enjoys the company of normal people.

3.      Celebrates life!

4.      Does not judge anyone. Anyone. Leaves that to God.

5.      Is gracious to a fault, sacrificing their own livelihood for that of others.

6.      Weaves their faith into conversations without intent; rather, with aplomb.

7.      Gives God room to work. Doesn’t strive to “close the deal.

There are probably many more observations of a cotton-candy Christian and a genuine Christian that could be added to this appraisal. Please send your thoughts on this to me. But, for now, I will leave you with this—

Which list more closely describes your faith?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

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