August 14, 2014 10:00 am
I’m on a quest.
I was in Starbucks the other day – ear buds in – listening to Brandon Heath sing softly in the background – when someone came up behind me and covered my eyes asking…”do you know who this is?”
Immediately I knew the voice – even when He was trying to disguise it. It was the familiar voice of a man God has placed in our lives – and often used – to teach, train and convict Tom and I as his “spiritual mentees”!
He sat and quickly – as ALWAYS – our conversation turned to the Lord. I told him I was reading the book of Hosea and trying to grasp the patience – the persistence – the extravagant love of God. Not just when we “straighten up and fly right”…but even when we turn our back on him and go astray.
Still He loves us. Still He calls us to repentance. Still He welcomes us back.
Then – as only Robert can do – he says:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
He asks, what does the word ‘delight’ mean to you?
There he goes again.
My mind begins racing.
This verse is alluring… especially that one word – delight.
But what exactly does it mean?
At first my inclination is to think it means something like “work harder at serving God in some way.” But now I don’t think it means that at all.
As I have searched the Scripture – searched on Bible Gateway and in my concordance – I think there is so much more to this word.
I think it is more about receiving.
I think it is more about truly understanding how God delights in us (which Scripture says far more often than the other way around).
I think it is about a joy-filled response that is truly child-like.
And just this morning – rather than more definitions – more than another way to try to understand – God gave me a picture.
He reminded me of a few Sunday’s ago when I stopped by to visit my youngest granddaughter – Ella Sophia (soon to be one).
Her Daddy was on call at the hospital – so my daughter-in-law and I were able to enjoy a rare few hours together…along with one very active little girl.
As Nikki was making her bottle and I was holding little Ella, the front door swung wide open and her Daddy walked in.
Right there in my arms, I saw pure delight.
Ella squealed with joy – reached out with her little fingers waving and her feet kicking. She could not get into her Father’s arms fast enough. Not to do anything – not to give anything – just to be held – just to snuggle into the crook of his neck and get a hug – just to be in that all-familiar love embrace.
That is what delight looks like!
And now, I’m just savoring this picture and trying to take it all in.
If I can grasp the real meaning of this word, if the concept can make the 18 inch drop from my head to my heart, I believe my life – and my relationship with my heavenly Daddy – will be impacted tremendously.
My quest continues, AND (like my mentor did with me), I hope this has caused yours to begin…
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July 31, 2014 10:00 am
When life gets crazy-busy…
When we’ve had our focus on everything but each other…
or – most of the time -
When I simply want to hear him say these words…
I have this little thing I say to my husband:
Me: Do you love me?
Tom: Yes I do!
Me: How much?
Tom: Tons and tons!!!
Me: Are you sure?
Tom: Yes “Wolfie” – tons and tons!
I smile…he laughs…and so it goes.
It is so simple…but it is a ritual that feeds my soul. Even after 22 years together, a good dose of love and reassurance does this girl’s heart good!
I think Jesus must feel the same way?
I think he loves to hear us tell Him how much we love him!
And in the spiritual realm…it is first our words…and then our actions that show our words to be true.
Just as it is with Tom and I…
If his actions as a husband did not match those words of endearment – I would probably find myself wondering about their sincerity.
In John 21 – Peter had denied Christ -then 3 times Jesus asked him,
Peter, do you love me…
Each time he replied… Yes Lord…you know I do.
Then comes part B of this conversation.
Jesus replies to each profession of love with an action He wants Peter to take…
Feed my lambs.
Take care of my sheep.
Feed my sheep.
And in the end he gives Peter his ultimate “assignment”, “Follow me”.
Words of love…followed by consistent action…the key to love well-given AND well-received.
So, here’s the million-dollar question:
How are you saying – and showing – the Lord that you love Him?
If we take the example in John 21 – it seems what he most wants to see – after we give our hearts to him – is a life that is given to the specific assignment he has for us.
And not just any purpose – but your purpose!
(Oh yea…read the rest of the chapter in John 21 and see what Jesus says to Peter when he starts worrying about John’s assignment vs. what God had just asked of him!?!)
Could it be that living according to YOUR purpose is one of the clearest demonstrations of love that you can give to God?
If you are ready…we can help.
Check out our 40 day workbook – Identity and Destiny -7 Steps to Purpose.
Get going! Isn’t it time to say “I love you” to God with your actions and not just your words?
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July 15, 2014 2:32 pm
I was sitting in church a few Sunday’s ago – very intent on the Pastor’s message and jotting notes in my journal.
Out of the blue I heard:
“Lift me up and I will draw all men unto myself.”
I stopped abruptly and turned my attention to what I had just heard. It is not often that I hear a word from the Lord that is completely outside the context of what is going on in the moment.
Usually He speaks in ways far more subtle…I can remember only 3 other instances when it was that clear…direct…undeniable.
As soon as I got home, I began pouring over the Word to find where that Scripture was located – soon I knew it was John 12:32. But what was the context? What did the surrounding verses add to what He had said to me?
Here is what I found – and although I have read the book of John many times and even did a year-long study in Bible Study Fellowship – the verses right before “32″ stopped me in my tracks.
Check out John 12:28 – 29: “It is God the Father speaking out loud!”
The verses goes on to say that some thought it was thunder while others thought it was an angel – and Jesus answers the puzzled onlookers saying, … “this voice was for your benefit not mine”.
Right then and there, I knew the word God had given me was meant for my benefit. It was an encouragement to continue lifting up the mane of Jesus in the work that we do. As all men are drawn to the Lord – those who are to come to us as Christian coaches will be drawn as well, a “holy by-product” of this act of obedience.
In the world live in today – God knows that lifting up the name of Jesus will become increasingly difficult and uncomfortable. Hostile or not – I heard Him clearly – these are undoubtedly my marching orders.
How about you?
Do you recognize God when He speaks – or do you dismiss it as a random thought?
Do you accept that He really speaks – in lots of ways – everyday – or do you overlook what seems crazy, silly or impossible?
If you struggle – let me help!
The last third of our book, Identity and Destiny, focuses on this topic. And we don’t just talk about it – we help you learn how to seek God – hear His voice – and confirm that what you are hearing is really Him! In fact there is an entire section that provides a 14-point summary of what it means to really hear God speak.
Yes – God speaks. Learning to hear (and TRUST) his voice has the power to change your life – and your relationship with Him – BIG TIME!
Click link below and let us help you get started!
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July 1, 2014 3:36 pm
Rushing across the parking lot to greet my friend for a quick cup of coffee, I offer the usual, ”Hey, how are you?”
The common reply used to be “fine – how bout you?”
But now? It’s “busy!”
The answer is always, “Busy!”
Staying far too busy is the great paradox of our day!
We have all the conveniences and time saving tools we could ever imagine…yet were all too busy!!!
Too busy doing what?
- Eating right – or grabbing fast food?
- Exercising regularly – or grabbing one more hour at the office?
- Phoning an elder parent – or collapsing in front of the TV?
- Coffee with a friend – or lost time on email or social media?
- Time in the morning with Jesus – or one more tap of the snooze?
Truth be told…this is my struggle too!
I stand convicted that it is time for the things that really matter.
Our days are short – we need to spend them wisely!
So how do we do that?
Simple…but not easy!
Make a plan to change things.
Be accountable to someone for your plan.
Then DO IT!
If not…nothing will ever be different!
Here’s my checklist for a Summer of Change:
- Live in my God-given Sweet Spot and do what gives me joy
- Know my core values – passion – gifts…and step into them
- Prioritize time spent with those I love – and make it happen
- Give myself permission to take care of me
- Above all else, as it says in my Jesus Calling devotional today, “be willing to fight for precious time with The Lord!”
Actually – I’m going to make Number 5 my Number 1!
With a plan like this – Opposition will come!
But if I start my day with Jesus and ground myself in the Word – I will gain the strength I need to resist the opponents.
And here’s how I will I know when I’ve reached my goal:
It’s when I can genuinely begin answering a greeting with, “Fine”
And if I’m busy – it will be with all the right things!
Are you ready to join me???
Or are you just too busy?
Jump on a FREE clarity call with me and let me help you with your plan!
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June 10, 2014 11:06 am
I have gotten to that “certain age”…you know, the age where doctors begin to say, “At your age…blah, blah, blah…”
Or…friends say, “Wow you look great for 60!
Ready or not – here I come.
Choosing to “age gracefully” rather than fight it!
To accept the changes in my face as smile lines…
To treasure all the memories of a life well-lived…
To embrace the legacy that I hope to leave for others…
• How do we make it happen?
• How do we create it?
• How do we determine the mark our lives will leave?
Here’s my big “Aha”!
I am beginning to realize that legacy is not just our “life’s work”…the books written…the lives impacted or the ministry and outreach we pour our days into…
It is the simple things.
It is the time we take – even just a moment – to pour into the hearts of those we love.
When everything else is gone…there is only one thing that will remain.
The one thing people will remember is how we loved them.
That is what will last.
In one simple but profound way, I am having the chance to do that right now.
Together with my three daughters we are reading the devotional “Jesus Calling” and posting our comments in a private Facebook group.
As I have ministered into the hearts of these 3 young woman – that I love so very much – I can see the fruit of our time together when my youngest, Amanda, posted this reflection:
So today’s reading definitely spoke to this Mommy’s soul!
The devotion reads, ” I am pleased with your desire to create a quite space where you and I can meet. Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal. I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your ATTEMPTS to seek my face.”
Amanda goes on to say:
Oh my attempts are many but with these two toddlers running around – I honestly never get uninterrupted time with my Lord.
So good to remind myself that it’s not about the outcome of my attempts at time with Him…it’s my heart that he’s looking at…even when my attempts end up only being maybe 2 minutes in his word. HE is always faithful to let those few words I read bring Life to my life. (Isaiah 55:11 – ” my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.) — Gods word never returns void! Even the two lines I’m able to read in-between my girls needing me will not go without developing/producing fruit in me!
Love allows this kind of transparent…real…beautiful kind of legacy to bloom and grow.
Time together in God’s Word…loving , supporting and encouraging one another…is there any better legacy?
Now…what about you?
What are your thoughts about legacy?
Could it be that this blog has caused you to think a little differently about what it really means?
Share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!
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May 27, 2014 12:43 pm
Have you noticed???
Some things never change!
In life…in church…in business …even in the Kingdom of God…
There will always be those who “WILL” – and those who “WON’T“.
We need look no further than the ministry of Jesus Christ to see how this reality plays out.
Picture a funnel:
- At the wide end at the top, there was “the multitude”.
- Those who came - listened – found it interesting – but left mostly unchanged and unmoved.
- Amongst that same group, there were some who knew they wanted to change but struggled and vacillated as they hung onto the things of this world.
- Next came “the 70″.
- They came – listened – found it interesting…and allowed the seed to take root. They became followers.
- Then, as the funnel narrows, there were the 12. The disciples.
- The ones who were not just hearers…not just doers…the disciples made the decision to go “all in”! They were willing to give everything they had to follow Christ and accept his invitation to be part of something big.
- Yet, at the narrowest point of the funnel, there was still one more group! They were even smaller in number and more exclusive. They were the 3 – James, Peter and John. They were the Inner Circle.
- The ones who had the most intimate connection with Jesus. The ones he knew he could pour into and they would not only be his disciples, but they would multiple!
And so it goes.
It seems it is much the same today as it was more than 2000 years ago!
I can picture God just shakin’ his head – He wants so much more for us!
Pastors carry this same burden – just as we do in our work as Christian coaches.
- We have those who listen to the messages of Identity and Destiny and go away unchanged.
- We have people who discover their purpose and do a little something, but return to “life as usual” pretty quickly.
- Then there are our licensed facilitators – our disciples. The ones who are actively changing lives as they help others find, know and live their God-given purpose.
- And then…there is our inner circle. Those coaches and entrepreneurs who are always wanting to learn and do more. Who we know we can count on to pray with us, help us, innovate with is, grow with us. They are determined to be the difference in this world for Christ.
Yet – like The Lord – we find ourselves shaking our heads when we think of the multitudes who are letting their “roadblocks” stand in the way of all that God is inviting them to be part of!
So what are the roadblocks?
We have identified 7!
And as you might guess – the big daddy of all them all is FEAR!
- What if I’m not good enough?
- What if I fail?
- What if I don’t have what it takes?
- What if people think I’m crazy?
- What if the cost is more than I’m willing to give?
- What if it’s too hard?
- What if I have to go somewhere – or do something – I don’t want to do?
Yet there is another of the 7 fears that surprised us when we first began to see it.
It is the roadblock of complacency.
Yes – when you look at the funnel that is exactly what you see in “the multitude”.
They come listen – then go on about life as usual. You see…life for them is good just the way it is. They are not willing to leave their comfort zone – even for the promise of something better on the other side.
And so it goes.
We are saddened by this realization but know we should not be surprised.
Even Jesus saw only a few that would truly put their hand to the plow…give up their familiar, comfortable lives…and never look back.
Therein lies the call on our lives with Identity and Destiny.
As we inspire, encourage and help people discover their God-given purpose, we work tirelessly to help them enter the kind of intimate relationship with Christ where fear will not stop them and complacency will not restrain them.
So, where are you?
God has a plan for your life – and it is GOOD!
Will you trust Him?
Will you step out?
Blessing awaits at the narrow end of the funnel!
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April 29, 2014 9:30 am
This time I knew these words were laid out far better than I could write them. Even trying to paraphrase would not do them justice.
Today, I offer you the April 27th devotional from Henry Blackaby’s book, ”Experiencing God Day By Day”.
I offer this to you knowing that the single most frequent question that people ask their pastors is:
“What is God’s will for my life?”
Is that you?
Do you find yourself wondering that same thing? Are you making this harder than it needs to be?
Then I pray that you will buy our book and do the study Identity and
The entire last half of the book is about learning to be in an abiding
relationship with the Lord and learning to hear and trust his voice!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
“If you are walking daily with the Lord, you will not have to find God’s will — you will already be in it. If you are walking with Him in obedience day by day, you will always be in the will of God. The Holy Spirit’s role is to guide you step by step to do God’s will. Walking closely with God each day guarantees that you will be exactly where He wants you to be. You would have to reject all of the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life in order to get out of the will of God.
The disciples never had to ask Jesus where they should go next. They simply looked to see where Jesus was going and stayed close to Him! Jesus was their “way”. They didn’t need a map as long as they had Jesus. Too often, we would prefer a relationship with he Way. It often seems easier to follow a plan than to cultivate a relationship. We can become more concerned with our further than we are with walking intimately with God today.
Jesus will never give you a substitute for Himself. He is the only way to the Father. That’s why it is critical that you clearly known when God is speaking to you (Isa. 30:21). If you are disoriented to how God speaks, you will not understand when He is giving you a new revelation about what He is doing. If you want to know God’s will, take time to cultivate your relationship with Jesus and learn to identify His voice. He is more than willing to show you the way.”
Now it’s your turn.
Discover your God given sweet spot as you work through the 7 Steps of
Identity and Destiny.
Click below to begin your journey.
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April 15, 2014 4:05 pm
The clamor of the noon rush hour swirls around me. I sit quietly and wonder…will he show? Will he come? Has he forgotten? Did he even mean to come in the first place?
I break out of my daydream as I see his face beaming above the crowd. He comes across the dining room as I whisper, “thank you Lord”.
OK, I can breathe again.
After so many years waiting when he didn’t come, it is hard to learn to trust again. It’s new being able to expect that what he says, he will do.
On this day, my son’s sobriety is as new for him as it is for me. We are both just learning to walk it out. He is learning to trust God fully for his – one day at a time – sobriety. I am learning to trust that God really has brought my prodigal home.
Oh how I missed him when he was gone – lost deep in addiction. My heart yearned for his return. I think it must be like Jesus when he talks about how he loves the 99 sheep that are safe in his care, yet he must go to save the one who is still lost.
I’m the mother of 3 beautiful children. My 2 girls never took this walk of rebellion. But then there was the one. Like Jesus, I wanted them all safe.
And so it was.
All those years of waiting.
Knowing that free will reigns.
His life, his choices, his consequences.
Still I loved.
And oh how I prayed…sure that my knees would forever remain raw from the pleading.
Hmmm…do you think the heart of the prodigal parent resembles the heart of our Lord toward each of his children who are lost?
He intercedes, He prays, He hopes, He pleads on our behalf.
The purpose of lunch with my son? To get his permission to share parts of “our” story as I begin teaching a new class at our church: “Setting Boundaries with Adult Children”.
You see it is almost impossible to tell my story without telling his. They are just too intertwined. So, today I want to check in with him and make sure I don’t steal his story, step on his privacy or tell parts he is not ready to share.
Nick arrives at the table and gives me one of his amazing bear hugs – the ones that for so many years I missed. It is so good to have him back! We order a way too big Italian lunch and begin chatting a mile a minute. Getting caught up with his schooling, my work and all that is going on in our lives. Then I begin to tell him about the class and how I want to honor his boundaries with my stories.
Abruptly he looks across the table and says, “Stop Mom! I’m really anxious to hear all about your class but I want you to know one thing right now…”
“If any of my story can save even one person – don’t hesitate to share it!”
Softly, the tears roll down my cheeks.
In that moment, I can hardly take it all in.
In that moment, I know that everything has changed.
Hmmm…do you think the heart of God resembles the heart of the prodigal parent whose child has yet to come home – and whose story is meant to do great good in this world?
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son,
that whoever would believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Thank you God for the gift of your Son.
Thank you God for the gift of my son…and how you are allowing us to use “our” story (raw, unvarnished and real) to do much good in the lives of others.
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April 1, 2014 10:00 am
I love my church. And this weekend our pastor shared something that I knew I wanted to pass on to you.
His sermon gave example after example of Jesus teaching us to be “shamelessly persistent” in prayer. Teaching us to ASK, SEEK and KNOCK – relentlessly! Not because there is some magic formula for getting your prayers answered, but because He delights in you pursuing that kind of personal intimacy with Him. (Luke 11 and Luke 18)
But wait a minute.
Do you ever feel like you pray and no one is listening?
Do you ever feel like God isn’t answering your prayers?
The truth is, God ALWAYS answers and He does it in one of four ways.
Here are the four ways God answers prayer:
- God can say, NO. Not usually what you want to hear. Yet, it is important that you begin to believe if he says NO, it is for your good. It often means He has something better – or perhaps he is protecting you. How many times have you looked back, after the fact, and realized that if you had gotten what you wanted you would have missed something greater?
- God can say, SLOW. This is one I have heard a lot over the years, and I have learned that this form of “not yet” is God telling me He is working on things. I need to “cool my jets” while He is orchestrating events, people and circumstances that need to be in place before He can let me move forward. It’s hard to slow down in this fast paced – results now – culture. But I know it is fool-hearty to run ahead of God’s perfect timing!
- God can say, GROW. This is God telling you that you’re not ready – you’ve got some growing to do. That might be an “ouch”, but what He is really telling you is if he gave you what you’re asking for, you wouldn’t be able to handle it. You see, when it comes to “kingdom building”, God is looking for people who will not only answer his call – but also persevere. If He hands you too much success and responsibility before you are ready – He knows you will flame out like a shooting star. Trust God in this. Only He knows the level of spiritual maturity required to handle what He wants to give you!
- God can say, GO. Now this is what we usually want to hear. No waiting or preparation – an immediate green light and you’re good to go! Not only that, once you get the “go” signal – have you ever noticed that your prayers were too small? That you underestimated all that God had in store? Have you ever seen God give you an Ephesians 3:20 kind of answer? Immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine! No wonder he has to give us the other three answers at times. He knows we need to be properly prepared for the level of blessing He’s going to pour out on us!
Now here is the bottom line about prayer:
- It is about pursuing – and deepening – your relationship with God.
- It is about growing in spiritual maturity.
- It is about learning to listen for all four kinds of answers.
- It is about trusting that God knows best.
- It is about believing His answers are always perfect.
- It is about knowing that God loves you!
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March 18, 2014 10:00 am
No doubt you are familiar with the old adage, “actions speak louder than words”.
But what do you think? Is that really true?
Based on both personal and professional experience, I would have to say YES!
The “Language of Behavior” Often Speaks Louder than Words!
There are many forms of communication that go beyond the written or spoken word. They include, body language, tonality, pitch, hand and body gestures, facial expressions and voice inflection or emphasis.
Here’s a great example:
In a recent 60-second TV commercial the scene flashes from one guy to the next and all they ever say is the word “Dude”. Depending on the way they say it…move their heads…roll their eyes…or emphasize that one word…you know exactly what they were saying. You immediately know whether they are asking a question…trying to be funny…hurling an insult…or offering a compliment. In just 1 minute, that word “Dude” becomes s language all its own!
And so it is in life!
How many times have you said something, only to have the other person react by saying, “I can’t believe you just said that!”
Taken back, your response is ” What???? What do you mean? What did I say?”
Back and forth it goes.
Finally, you realize it is not what you said – but how you said it – that turned out to be the problem.
So here’s the question:
What language are you speaking? Is there a way to know? Is there a means of learning to understand the language of others and adapt in ways that will allow you to improve communication and understanding?
In fact, through the language of “DISC”, you can master the art of effective communication quickly and easily. And it will make a huge positive impact in all your key relationships - at work, at home…everywhere!
Tom, a Certified Behavioral Consultant with 35 years of experience using and coaching DISC, will be leading a 4-week DISC Training Intensive beginning April 14. If you would like to learn more, I invite you to click on the link below for all the details.
Click HERE for info on the DISC class.
As stated in the book of James (2:14),
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”
Yes, God is clear. Actions speak louder than words.
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