Ask yourself this…

UnknownIt’s quite amazing as you read through the scriptures how the bible is tied together and flows together considering so many people put pen to paper over so many years. When we see the authority of the Scripture as being something to hold to it’s still amazing of where we find certain passages situated.

It’s interesting as you read 1 Corinthians 13, as it turns our mind towards love where it is rested. I am told a diamond truly only comes into its own when it’s in its correct setting.      Perhaps 1 Corinthians 13 sits in its correct setting?      The passage is sandwiched between two chapters one having to do with spiritual gifts and the other to do with the speaking in tongues.     I know that most of us have either read or heard it read at weddings, but I’m suggesting that we regain its significance and took this very same passage and applied it to our influence, leadership, common conduct for the common good.  I would even suggest I am struggling to see its relevance at weddings really, it was around a table, at gathering of the church family this was to be effectively encountered This LOVE…

I really do think that this passage was not return for wedding ceremonies, although can be used and is good but it really was more written for the church family life and for those that were taking responsibility and leadership and mature in the body of Christ. So let’s consider…

“Love is patient”
Do I give others the same room that I want them to give me? When mistakes are made, advances are taken?

“Love this kind”
Do the people I hang out with actually like being around me? Is appointed thought ask yourself how much do people asked to be with me outside of my work, outside of responsibility?

“It does not envy”
when that great idea is suggested, when someone gets promoted what my inner attitude like? Do I find a jealous streak arising when a great ideas shared, constantly perceiving others threatening me. Some people find themselves unable to live in their current condition because those who suggests their mature, project the superiority perceive you as a threat.

“It does not boast”
Am I the kind of person that always wants to tell people of my previous achievements, that I almost had gone what I’ve done to every comment. If we are so obsessed with what I’ve done in the past then to be honest would really not advancing towards anything at all.

“It is not proud”
I got it, “you need to come to me to see how it’s done” I was once told. I’m the one that knows how to do it, I am the one in the church/organisations that has the answer, you need to worship like me, think like me, preach like me?

“It is not rude”
As soon as I hear an idea I don’t like to I cut them off mid-sentence. Am I the one that blanks people, do people get a calm cold response from me? Is my insecurity so great I’m sharp with people?

“It’s not self-seeking”
What I give my time to, how I invest myself always and really about?

“Is not easily angered”
People afraid to bring me information that is true about me because they know I will lose my cool. Is my life cultivated from being constantly angry?

“It keeps no record of wrongs”
“that’s the… time you’ve done that said that”, “how many times… I remember the last time, and the time before”. Why tell them and remind people of their failures of past constantly, I mind the epitome of forgiveness.

“ love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truths”
Can people be honest and open with any one of us? it’s lonely influencers/leaders who do not have people around them will open up their hearts and share correctly and accurately truth. For this kind of person becomes the dominant that sits on top. Why can’t a bit the truth is celebrated so that people will enjoy truth at all times.

“It always protects”
Am I the kind of person that people will feel my kindness, graciousness, forgiveness, do they know I will always have their best in mind. It always difficult to flow with people will demand loyalty but never extended in any way.

“Always trusts”
Do I come from a trusting position of distrust in. As my years of life and experiences around me produced a distrusting starting point. Can I be one the trusts, and trusts and only when you are constantly showed that I cannot trust I begin to change. Is my world made up of trust or caution?

“Always hopes”
I half empty or half full pot kind of person? Do I assume or how bad it is or how poor the people are. Can I find inside me a way of believing others.

“Always perseveres”
How long will I stay in with people, once it made a mistake am I out of the, my quick to give up on people? And I’m the one that stays in and is a faithful as a friend.

“Love never fails”
Can people feel and sense my love always it quite often displayed in those that stay around. Is the atmosphere that people draw from me that love winds through?

Therefore as an influencer or a leader, as a parent a mother or father, as a friend and brother or sister IVs the qualities of my influence. Ask yourself when I honestly like. I would even suggest that spiritual gifts or speaking in tongues love will always be. To flow in gifts at a time added to root, and its foundation love must be a love that is patient, kind….

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Keep Kissing…Art of honesty

imagesProverbs says as we have discovered “An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship” – this is our continued thinking into the art of using your lips…

Be gentle. Proverbs 15:1 contrasts the results of different approaches to honesty. A “harsh word [one lacking tact, kindness, and sensitivity] stirs up anger.” Anger can lead to a rejection. A “gentle answer [characterised by preparation, wisdom, and care] turns away wrath.” Gentleness can remove the barrier to honesty.

Since many of our relationships are not accustomed to the light of honesty, we need to move carefully and slowly. Because the truth does hurt, it only makes sense to handle it with care.

Be appropriate. Timing is crucial with the truth. If you need to confront your spouse, stay away from the loaded minutes when you first get home at the end of the day. A truthful conversation should be held in a private and quiet place.

Communication that holds potential for discomfort needs time and space. Don’t hurry. Don’t dole out a healthy portion of honesty on your way out the door in the morning. Don’t offer up a truth bomb as the last thing before you close your eyes for sleep and then defend your lack of discretion with, “I’m just being honest!”

Proverbs 25:11 compares “a word aptly spoken” to fine gems that have been set into gold and silver jewellery. That word of honesty will be true no matter where and when you share it. Put it in the right setting, and the result can be beautiful. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”

Build an environment of trust. Truth comes as a shock within a relationship where the norm has been denial. The resulting fallout may be devastating. Work on creating an atmosphere of acceptance and grace.

This is especially true when dealing with children. A parent who uses the truth like a sledgehammer, inflicting pain without grace, is an abuser.

Simon Cowell-type criticism without the safety produced by grace and love is rude, obnoxious, and malignant. It has no redeeming value. But, in a family where love is the main course on a consistent basis, a side dish of critique can be offered without fear of harm.

The honesty equation goes something like this: More honesty brings more intimacy—and more intimacy brings more honesty.

When you are in a friendship that is new or tentative, don’t unload truth all at once.

Set the stage for greater vulnerability later by sharing only a little now.

Perhaps Peter didn’t walk out on Jesus when Jesus called him “Satan” because by that point in their relationship, Peter knew that Jesus loved him. Did it hurt? Sure! But Peter trusted the giver of such forceful truth.

“In our desire to be an inspiration to one another we often veil what is true, because what is true is not always inspirational. But hurting believers whose lives are in tatters often need real help. If we were able to put aside our need for approval long enough to be authentic, then, surely, we would be living as the church.” Taken form Sheila Walsh book

Unpleasant truth is sometimes necessary. But our truth-telling needn’t be a slap in the face. Rather, it can be as gentle as a kiss that honours our relationships, demonstrates love, and confers value.

Learn the art of Kissing…. Truth telling….

Kissing honestly – a Kingdom of God reality.

An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship

Proverbs 24:26

imagesI am amazed and shocked how much influence a man can wield…   our TV has been dominated in recent years with talent shows and competitions for all types of people and animals.   Dog trainers, singers, puppeteer, acrobats, martial arts, dancers, individuals and groups alike, all trying their best, programs such as  “….got talent”, “X factor”, “The Voice”, “Idol”, the population that view seem to be oblivious to the program’s design, its aim to be exposing of the unfortunate through flattery, its staging what will be done to get viewing figures, the ridicules along with the talented in a world where we have no failures where we are not to allow any one to fail at anything. 

The voice of one man, one judge is sought on the UK and USA programs, the opinion of the daddy of talent programs Simon Cowell, a judge, it is what all take interest in receiving.   Yet he has acquired a reputation for his severe criticism of the pop-star hopefuls, talent displays. “My attitude has always been, ‘Don’t lie to people,’” Simon says. “Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune, and you can either say, ‘Good job,’ and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.”

The real question is, why do people even show up?

Even the untrained ear can discern that many of them can’t sing. Yet they believe with miraculous sincerity that they can make it big. What has happened here?

Someone lied. In an attempt to encourage, a parent or friend or significant other told the hopeful singer that he had the right stuff. In the name of love, someone told him that he should make a CD. Out of a desire to protect the self-image of a young person, someone lied.

Cowell acknowledges that part of his job is to close that gap: “For a lot of contestants, it’s a suspension of belief. Your family and friends say you’re pretty good—and we’re here to stop you.”

 

Before you made a fool of yourself, wouldn’t you want to be stopped? As hard as it may be to hear the truth, as difficult as it may be to accept it, wouldn’t it be more loving and kind if someone said, gently and firmly, “Don’t do this. It’s not good. I like you. I love you. But you’re not a pop star”?

Of course it would. But we’ve lost the ability to tell the truth when the truth is hard.

Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,”  it’s not an honest answer is like a slap on the face. A kiss is something to look forward to…but honesty?

How can these two be similar?

How is a kiss comparable to an honest answer?

A kiss honours relationship.

A kiss brings us close to another and builds relationship.

Risking this type of kiss, we honour one another and our relationships.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, took a big risk when he told Moses that he was taking on too much responsibility by acting as arbiter of all disputes for the people of Israel: “What you are doing is not good!” (Ex. 18:17 ).   Moses, who was not known for his patience when confronted with the truth, could easily have rejected this advice—and the advisor. However, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24 ).

How many times has your wife or husband come to you honestly “I’m upset…” your children turn and say “I don’t like that…”   Often we are not excited to be told the truth about ourselves, especially when it’s contrary to our perception

We could save ourselves much hassle by letting things go.    But some times we bravely take on the task of truth telling for my sake and for the sake of better relationships in our family. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

    Telling the truth is interior decoration for another’s character. The risk—and the relationship—is worth it.

More thoughts on these kisses next time

Self – Sharpening…

images-7I wonder if  there is any one on the planet that has not heard of Nelson Mandela, if you had not known much of him and where near world media along with following the recent events in South Africa, the cerebration of his life and the “world funeral”.   He was a man who became a principled man, willing to allow his own desires and emotions to be adjusted by the principles he held, willing to live and die for an ideal. Through this he has impacted millions of people across our  world.   One value he encouraged and by all accounts practised diligently each day while imprisoned on Robbin Island and continued following his release, which actually explains something about him.   He longed that ever man and woman would self examine for 15 mins each day, considering how they forgave, how they spoke to others, how they loved, etc., a self-examination people in order that our world would be a better place.

Now let me take that though and extend it to our blog.   If we  are to serve effectively we must sharpen ourselves diligently.

Look at yourself – your mental abilities, emotional responses, character qualities, attitudes and skills.   determine to sharpen every aspect to become productive in either redeeming or influencing mankind.

Sharpen your emotions to respond adequately to the working of God in your human experiences.   Be a thanks-giver, not just a thanks feeler.   Train emotions so that when God is excited you are too, when God is at rest you are at rest.

Develop your powers of discernment.  learn to differentiate between the important and the unimportant, the open door and the close door, the door to push and the door to stop pushing.

Sharpen your mind by reading, study, learning and questioning.   Surround yourself with sharp-thinking people.   Get with sharp people, because sharp people will keep you sharp.   Sharp people will not agree with you all the time.   If you only love the people who are agreeing with you, it is only yourself you are loving.   Get with people who get you thinking ‘that is a good thought’, and that it did not come from you.   Get with people who can add to you.   You share the best revelation and they top it…

i can learn from people who see more than me.     Get with sharp people.   Don’t get with those that are gossiping, backbiting or pulling down, or even tell you they or you can do better that those around.   Don’t get with miseries and especially meanes, not with pessimists, get with faithful men and women, those who talk faith and know what it is to be involved with the Work of faith, those who stir faith who loves people, loves God, is reaching towards people.   that is where we want to go Hebrews 10:24, 25

Know when to switch off the computer, TV, Xbox…   Keep sharp by praying in the Holy Spirit.   Abide in the word of God, dig deep in the word, see things that you have not seen before, buy a markable bible, mark, mark, mark until the word is sharp in you John 8:31, John 14:23, John 15:7, Col 3:16

Perform good works.    Good works are full of faith and love.   Look for opportunities to do good Hebrews 10:24, Ephesians 2:10

Link up with apostles, prophets and let them know your fields of expertise Ephesians 4:11-13, Ephesians 2:19,20

Next whatever you are in already, if you are convinced that is where you should be as a sphere of influence, next step is then to establish yourself in it, succeed in it and excel.   Do not settle for mediocrity 1 Cor. 10:31.

Speak confidently to yourself saying I believe God has placed me here, I will establish myself, hone my skills until I excel and gain the high ground of influence.   In order that we become a people on the cutting edge to our life and story.   A radical people.   A people deeply conscious of our heritage and our destiny.   A people bent on discipling the nations. A people ready to meet the challenge of our times and change the world, we are not born to journey through a trackless wilderness in life.   We are to follow the Spirits directions the steps of a journey of faith towards the destiny of the Father as we do the will of God.  We are intended to impact our age and world en route…

Change Why? it’s so Difficult…

images-8Repentance, turning around, growing, maturing, taking on new ideas, new journeys, new ventures, what do they all have in common.   There is a thread that fixes these and other challenges of living together, it is called CHANGE.  If we are to move forward and live our Christian life to the full we must be able to embrace change, knowing it is imperative for us to understand the full elements of change.      Change brings about insecurity, emotionally.   I like the picture from the sporting world in the area of boxing; the unstable time for a boxer is when the boxer changes their stance it is an unstable moment; change brings instability, which we have to negotiate.   The church asks for change but very rarely helps us in the instability and emotional challenge of the change.      Wise people understand that lasting change requires them as individuals to change first before anything around them will change, in the same way influencers or leaders know if they change that which they are responsible for in their stewardship of people or organizations will also change.

Your change won’t last, or disrupt your community, unless those around you personally embrace the change first, at least at some level.    Let us try to understand why most people initially resist change.

There are processes that must be engaged in to bring and complete any change, often these are actions and thought patterns that are hidden. If we are to be Gods Change agents it is necessary that we become aware of our minds and people’s thinking.    As we become more people aware we can devise ways of helping lasting change.

Here are some change blockers, hindrances we will have to deal with:

Assume the worst.      We are wired to pick up threats and negative possibilities around us more than the positive. Before you say “I’m not like that”, 2/3’s of the brain cells are in the flight-fight part of our brain, the amygdala, are wired to pick up on the negative (Hanson, 2010).  Generally people’s initial response to change comes from these emotional centers rather than from their thinking centers.

Knowledge gaps fill with fear instead of faith.  The insecurity and instability about change does cultivate fear. The less information that people have to fill in the knowledge gaps, the greater the fear, which in turn brings about resistance to any change.

No second chances to make a good first impression.       Neuroscientists have shown it to be true (Lount et al., 2008). Poorly introduced change will always start your change on the wrong footing.

Change is emotional.                 Just presenting facts without engaging positive and hopeful emotions will seldom move your forward.    A large number of people make decisions based on emotion.

I can’t handle it.                 Trying to create too much change too quickly can engage the brain’s fear center and cause people to resist, thus hindering change (Hemp, 2009).

“Old habits die-hard” We all have a tendency to return to where we have been or what we have known, they say, as we get older we default quicker to what we know.   How easy is it for us to think about other options.   We have set up habits and it’s a tug-of-war between the familiar and easy

The nearer the change the more resistant we become.      Peoples’ response to change, changes over time.   Introduce a change a year ahead and initially the benefits are seen, the options look good. The negatives such as more work, recruiting more people more time needed don’t seem very large at that point.    Neuroscientists have discovered that when the change is far away, the positives usually outweigh the negatives (Löw et al., 2008). However, the closer we think about the implications and the personal cost. Uninformed optimism gives way to informed pessimism.

Change is interpreted as a threat.             We are told the brain is organized around a fundamental principle—minimize threat-maximize reward—that results in either resistance or openness. Change perceived as a threat produces resistance. Change brings uncertainty and we don’t like it, well our brain does not like it.

when ever change is presented keep these insights in mind so you can work out a plan to Unknownovercome them.

The bible quotes “who builds a house without first counting the cost” the counting the cost is not to prevent but to be realistic in the demands that will be put upon us, Abraham “counted his body as good as dead yet believed God” when the promise of a son was made.   That is, he saw the impossibility, the change at the age he and Sarah was, yet believed a promise, believed God, a God word over the negative emotions of “you cannot be serious”.

We are to “set our eyes on the Christ”’ Paul encouraged us to forget what has happened and press on through to the gain.   There is something so strong in seeing what God has said in all our change and holding on when the insecurity of the change comes.

Find a friend in time of need, that when we are in that place find others who are not in their negative but who have worked through the change and talk, tell of your patterns of thought and walk together learning from others who have changed and are changing.

FUNDAMENTALLY DEVELOP A CULTURE OF CHANGE, readiness to change and a willingness to constantly embrace change, some times keep flexible in making changes in your life to keep change alive, change room layouts, move your desk, change decoration, change your habit patterns, change eating try something new, try something uncommon to you, do something that demands you to say ‘I don’t know how to do this’ or ‘what I am doing’, find a new sport all these and other ways of cultivating change help us to be change agents first to us then to those we touch.

Questions to ponder:

What have you seen in others that make them averse to change?

Who around me deals well with change?

How can I make the benefits of change be big in mind and experience constantly?

How can I build a reason for change that out weights the insecurity and instability I will feel, CHANGE is part of life, it is maturing, growing up and older it will not go away it will knock on the door of your life daily, LEARN TO EMBRACE IT.