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There will be times that God causes you to notice people, and at other times He will simply lead someone right to you directly. I have had both of these happen in my life, almost on a daily basis.

Once, I was in a local store in California shopping with my family. My son Noah had to use the restroom. After we finished, we were on our way back to meet my wife and daughter, when I noticed a woman visibly upset. God touched my spirit and caused me to stop. I asked her, “What’s troubling you?” “Nothing,” she replied. I then said, “Are you sure?”

She responded by letting me know I would not want to hear it. I assured her, I would not have stopped if I didn’t want to hear it. She smiled and began to pour her heart out. She spoke to me for about five minutes about all that was going wrong for her. Her troubles were pressing in on her, and she felt alone and helpless. She was frustrated, angry and bitter about life.

I listened to every word she said, and I never broke eye contact. My son watching was just an added bonus because I knew he would ask me later why we stopped for a total stranger, and I would have the opportunity to pour into him compassion ministry. When the lady was finished speaking, I said, “You know, I bet the rest of your day is going to be just fine.”

She laughed and said, “I think you’re right. Thanks for taking the time to listen.” “You’re welcome,” I said and my son and I departed. I know it sounded effortless and not much like a miracle, but for her it meant everything. It was the miracle she needed for the day.

Wright, Steve (2012-03-18). The Descent To Compassion (pp. 48-49).  . Kindle Edition.

Who Will You Affirm Today?

January 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

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Everyone needs affirmation. Whom will you affirm today? I’m not talking about just giving someone a passing acknowledgement. I’m speaking of giving a compliment, an affirmation that is life giving.

As Christ followers,  we have been placed in the harvest field of life surrounded by humanity and their felt needs. We are called to build others up, where the world and possibly their own idea of themselves have torn them down.

Take time today to notice someone whom you know has not been noticed in awhile. Make a comment that places value in their life. For example, if you work with them share how effective they are to the workplace. Deposit confidence into their life. When you do that, you uplift their worth.

You just never know who might be close to giving up. Your words of hope could be the precise thing that keeps them going. As Christ followers,  we should be looking for ways to take away the feelings of insignificance that others might be secretly carrying deep inside.

As you face the world around you daily, walk in the power and passion of Acts 20:35, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”  We are called to do more for the world than it does for us. We can accomplish that by thinking of others before ourselves.

no-swearing
First, I’ll start with a confession. There are times I use words that I shouldn’t use. There are also times that I say things about people that I shouldn’t say. I must admit, when I’m wronged or feel like I’ve been wronged, it just flat out feels good to GO OFF!

But here is the problem with going off. Ephesians 4:29a tells us, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…” That’s right my Christian friend, we just can’t go there with our mouths. When it comes to a full house cleaning, it’s hard work; but once it has been cleansed, it just feels and looks right.

Cleaning up your language is like a full house cleaning. It simply must be done. We are even told in the book of James (James 1:26) to keep a tight rein on our tongues. So, if you are like me, and have problems from time to time with your mouth throwing gossip, or unwholesome words out, (which is actually a heart issue) then here are a few things you can do.

1. Many verses in the bible give you the answer in the second part

For instance, Ephesians 4:29 (motioned earlier) says, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but in the second part, it says, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. The answer is build right into the verse. Now that leads to the next step.

2. When someone has slammed a door on your feelings, don’t cuss them

Instead, bless them. When you do, you will then see the open door God has for you. God always gives an open door to bless others. Even when they have wronged you, God has a better way.

3. Picture Jesus on the cross

It’s impossible to look at the cross and at the same time, cuss and talk careless about others. You simply can’t look up at the cross and look down on others at the same time.

4. Picture the future and then behave like it in the now

Picture when heaven and earth will come together (Rev 21). In that day, God will dwell with us, and there will be no more tears or death, or mourning, or pain. In other words, sin is forever gone and the world is as it was intended to be. With that picture in mind…live like that in the now. Don’t cause any of that kind of pain to another person. Show them the future inside of you. When you do, they will see Jesus, and that is way better than cussing and gossip.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

GUYS-Bon-Qui-Qui--Don-t-Interrupt,-Rude--teeProverbs 18:13 teaches us, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”

Do you have a habit of interrupting people when they’re talking? Do you jump into their conversation, and splash their face with selfishness more often than you want to admit? I must admit I use to be downright crummy at these many years ago. I wasn’t terrible, but I interrupted frequently. How about you? Could you use a little more work in this area?

I’m continuously astonished at how nonchalant some people can be about interrupting others. It seems some have lost the grace of listening to the other person and waiting their turn. Don’t get me wrong, not interrupting is difficult, especially when you have a point you want to make, and you’re afraid you’re going to forget it. I would venture to say, that may be one of the main reasons people interrupt others. They simple have a point they want to make before they forget. However, that’s still no excuse for being rude and interrupting the other person.

Interrupting is often just downright disrespectful and needs to be removed from our lives as much as possible. When you interrupt someone, you are sending them a message that your words are more valuable than their words. You can tell when you have interrupted because you usually will do it mid-sentence. Interrupting is more than an etiquette no-no, it can also hinder your testimony for Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says of love that, “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking…” It is easy to forget, that love is tied to our testimony, and when we interrupt another person, we can be in danger of diminishing the love of Christ.

Let me give you a few tips on how not to interrupt others.

1. Become aware

You need to be aware that you might just be an interrupter. We all know what it feels like when others interrupt us, but many of us are never aware that we also might be the one interrupting.

2. Make a note in your mind

If you have something you need to say, make a note in your mind, and say it when it’s your turn. If you have a hard time remembering things, then write down a one word reminder on a piece of paper. (Don’t have a pen and paper? Carry them with you. You won’t regret it.)

3. Give permission for someone to interrupt you
Ask your spouse, or a close friend to interrupt you, when you interrupt them, by calling you out on it. Tell them you are trying to improve your conversation skills, and your witness for Christ.

Closing thoughts: Yes there are times you may need to interrupt others; however, it’s rare and I’ll save my thoughts on that for another post.

P.S. Sorry to interrupt your busy day with this post. 🙂

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