Saturday, July 8, 2017

Re-Set, Chapter 1, Question 6

Life is so daily, a quote by a dear friend of mine from my book, Re-Set. Life has been filled with some twists and turns since posting question 5. As is true for most of us, the unexpected is around every corner. Look with me at question #6 from chapter 1.

What wounds has God allowed in order to produce in you the character that accurately reflects His Son, Jesus?

In Chapter 1 we looked at the concept of sharing our individual journey of pain in order to assist others in their journey through the lessons we have learned. The statement in the chapter says that at times our loving Creator will allow a wound in order to produce the character in us that accurately reflects the nature of Jesus.

It is not that we have a masochistic God that desires to harm us. On the contrary. He wishes to bless us however at times we get in the way of His plan. When we get a splinter we do what we can to remove the obstruction. In our character surgery by Holy Spirit at times a wound occurs. We can push back against the process of realignment that or we can evaluate what changes we need to make in order to move forward in our quest to be more like Christ.

Next time a wound occurs, step back, evaluate what opportunity you may have been given for realignment, ask for His help in making the changes that will propel you forward and celebrate whatever growth you realize, by trusting Him with and in the pain.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Re-Set, Chapter 1, Question 5

When you fall, do you see yourself as up, or getting up?

The book opens with the line: "I get up, I get up, I get up." Think for a minute about the last time you had a 'fall' or a 'fail'. For many, the internal dialogue begins to rehearse all the previous failures that have occurred along life's path. It requires intentionality to change the internal dialogue. It is indeed possible to change your outlook on the circumstances that impact you and me. The choice to change begins before the crisis occurs. A plan is established that will assist you in maneuvering the pitfalls that are inevitable in each life. Begin now to formulate a plan of how you can respond differently the next time you experience a 'fall'. As you apply this process over time it will become a habit and before long it will be automatic rather than focused redirection. So for now, decide how you would like your next situation to play out, make a plan and determine you will follow your plan.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Re-Set, Chapter 1 Question 4

What is your authentic core? When you hear the word 'authentic' what pictures or words come to mind? Some think of the following words: real, new, genuine. An online dictionary adds this: representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified. How can we apply those definitions to our own core person? I like the description in the Velveteen Rabbit: "Real isn't how you are made, it is a thing that happens to you. It takes a longtime. generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

That is quite an unflattering description of the process of life well lived. We enter the world with no preconceived ideas or plans. We develop our life outlook as we grow and mature. We have strengths and weaknesses that emerge. We have likes and dislikes. We develop personality attributes. All these are part of our growth process. Somewhere in the fray, life has unexpected moments that visit us. Each of us respond differently to these collisions. We begin to develop defense mechanisms to navigate the unexpected. It is natural to respond in this way. These responses become part of our core. When I asked the question, 'What is your authentic core" most of us struggle to answer that. I struggled to answer that. Then I took the time to dissect the process of 'becoming' which I described above. As I removed one layer at a time I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, my calling, my personality strengths, my intellectual and spiritual strengths, and the avenues that aligned with my destiny.

Untangling life takes intentional time, effort, patience, encouragement and drive. My hope is that the information in the book, Re-Set, will assist you in that process.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Question #3 from Chapter 1 of Re-Set, The Challenge of Soul Changes states:

Have you stepped away from the familiar to experience the extraordinary?

This is a tough concept to wrestle with. Most people get into ruts that feel 'safe' and rarely move beyond them. Most of us like the comfort of safety and do not willingly move toward the unknown with arms open wide. What would provoke you or motivate you to step out of the mundane or the monotony of the ordinary and reach for more? At times, life events move us in those directions. Most often we are not challenged externally to do so. That leaves internal motivation. If we are not moving forward in our personal growth we are stagnating. It is impossible to stay in self created ruts of routine and move forward in growth. Think with me for a minute about stagnation. Have you ever viewed water that is sitting in a pond that has no external feed and no outlet. It becomes putrid and stagnant. The water smells and is unhealthy for water creatures. So too is our life without internal growth. We become stagnant and the filter of our outlook, in-look and up look is skewed. If I am unable to see clearly then all my decisions will be affected. So the choice of ordinary vs. extraordinary boils down to stagnation or freshness. The beauty of life is that you get to choose.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Re-set, teaching 2

What is a soul inventory? Our soul is our mind, emotions and will. A soul inventory would include checking on what thoughts are on ‘repeat’ in our mind, what emotions might be out of control in our responses and if our will is lining up with the God, if that is your belief system. All of us have work to do in this area. All of us can find areas to improve on. Many times we are unaware of reoccurring thoughts that plague us. Often our emotions lead us down roads that we would not have chosen if we thought more about the path. Take time to do a self inventory.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Re-Set, The Challenge of Soul Change Teaching 1

Here is the first teaching from Re-Set Chapter 1.

I have found over the years that there is something to learn each time the familiar in my life shifts. I can choose to ignore the changes or I can dissect them and learn from them. It is often much less difficult to continue on and ignore the glaringly obvious rather than do the hard work of change. What do you do when you realize that a relationship you have is unhealthy for you or even damaging? You could choose to stay in the relationship. You could choose to end the relationship. You could choose to confront the dysfunction and work through it. Whatever path you choose, an important consideration is to make the changes that are the right changes for you. What path do you choose when you realize that you are in a job that is unfulfilling or even stifling? Do you stay because the money is good or it is simply easier to stay than start over, mean while your soul is in atrophy mode? Daily we have lessons that impact our lives. What are you learning from the lessons? Which lessons need attention first? What is your best approach to making the changes you need to make?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Re-Set, The Challenge of Soul Change

Hi all you fellow sojourners. I have updated my website to reflect the launch of my new book called, Re-Set, The Challenge of Soul Change. This book has been a 2.5 year process of writing, rewriting, editing, wrestling with concepts, learning about being a better writer and having fun with the process. This has been perhaps one of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of my journey to this date. I hope you will take a moment to check out my updated website and my new book. Here is my opening statement in chapter 1:
"The hardest work you will ever do is work on you. I live, I love, I try, I fail, I fall down, I get up, I get up, I get up." If life has knocked you down repeatedly this book offers you encouragement and ideas about getting back up. You will be encouraged as you are exposed to the difficult life journeys, tragedies and triumphs of 3 people who continue to become, 'more like Jesus one day at a time.' Blessings on your path...