Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

 

If I had only known then what I know now…

Sometimes I ask myself this question. Sometimes I think if I could just go back in time and tell myself not to make a particular decision in my past, I would save myself years of heartache. The Love & Respect resources have been a huge part of my life in learning to understand relationships. It’s based off of the passage in Ephesians 5:33 that talks about the differences between a man and a woman and our roles when we are in relationship with one another. Joy Eggerichs has taken this ministy of her parents and has used it to help young adults 18-35 years of age to understand our roles before we make all the common pitfalls in dating and marriage. God has called me to be a resource to a young adult group at my church and the ministry of Love & Respect (Now) has been a valuable resource for me as a mentor others. I’m excited for their newest project – The Illumination Project. I think it will be a huge tool for small group discussion for my young adult Bible study.  It’s a 6 week DVD series filmed by Joy and her father Dr. Emerson Eggerichs meant to help young adults navigate through issues of faith, dating, marriage, and male/female relationships.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

581791_500459416656766_1146744278_n

20130410-195141.jpg

I enjoyed PhoenixONE tonight. I got to worship with all my friends under the stars. I also got to catch up with some dear friends that I have made over the years while on mission in other countries. I met Pastor Joseph “Jojo” while in Kenya at an orphanage. He was brought to the orphanage at a young age and is now the Pastor there. I got to hang with him a couple of times this week and we had some great talks. I also chatted with Suresh Kumar from Harvest India for a little while. He gave a special prayer over us and I’ve always appreciated the role he has played in my life. I have had many great God moments with Suresh over the years. Jeff Gokee interviewed some friends of mine that recently got married – Johnny and Criselda Sweet. They have a great testimony and it’s awesome to see a couple that is sticking it out and doing marriage right. My good friend Ryan Axtell led worship and Jeff gave a pretty awesome message on relationships. After years of working under him in 5th/6th grade student ministries, I have never heard him speak on dating and was pretty impressed with his talk. He was pretty hard on both the guys and the girls, but I felt he did it in love and it was a sermon many of us here needed to hear. Ryan and Sara Senters gave their testimony of having foster kids afterwards and I enjoyed them sharing their heart. It was a beautiful night and a blessing to spend with good friends!

20130410-195126.jpg

Pastor Jojo

20130410-195950.jpg

Suresh praying for us

20130410-195154.jpg

Ryan Axtell leads worship

20130410-195205.jpg

Jeff Gokee interviews the Sweets

20130410-195944.jpg

Ryan and Sara Senters

Read Full Post »

I read this blog from Karen E Yates and really enjoyed it. Probably because it is so true. I think it can apply to relationships, co-workers, etc as well. I experienced this with my last relationship with an extremely insecure and deeply wounded girl who stonewalled me as well (I am on a very long list of people in her life she has stonewalled). These people are sad, but paint a picture to people that they are healthy. In others words, it’s easy to fall into their trap because we are easily attracted to them. I was vulnerable and fell for my ex because I had just gone through a tough break-up and she threw herself at me when it was over. These people work very hard for love, attention and praise. I’ve been very cautious these days of who I do life with and careful I keep safe people around me. Friendships and relationships should take time to grow, not rushed. We all have faults and sins and you want to make sure that the people you are doing life with are honest with themselves and taking their issues to God, not covering them up.

WHEN YOU PICK THE WRONG PERSON TO BE FRIENDS WITH

KAREN E YATES

I risked friendship for her.  And it didn’t turn out so well.

Even now as I write about it, old feelings of rejection stir.

How could she cut me off?  
What did I do?    
Why wasn’t I enough for her?  

Perhaps you’ve been there before.  Or maybe you’re there right now.  Can I just lean over and hug you and say: I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry you were rejected.  I’m so sorry your offering, what you gave of yourself, was cast aside.  I’m so sorry you were made to feel disposable.

You are most certainly NOT disposable.

In my case, with this particular friend, I look back and realize I should have known better.  There were warning signs.

Warning #1
She came along when I was insecure and lonely. I recently married Bookguy and moved to his turf where I knew virtually no one.  Nobody knew my maiden name–nobody knew my talents–nobody invited me to coffee.  I was desperate for friendship; I would have befriended Stalin at the time.

Warning #2
Our friendship went from zero to 100 in less than two weeks.  Several times a day she would call.  We would chat about a myriad of things: Richard Hatch, boyfriends, Coldplay, and who would win The Mole?  We would pray together, confide, give advice, and laugh.  She seemed so “into” me.  It felt nice, and … unnatural.  Her way of doing friendship was different than mine.  But luckily for her, I had time on my hands!  And limited friends for her to compete with!

Warning #3
I chose to reciprocate friendship her way.  I’ve never been the type of person to have one best friend.  In fact, I pride myself on having many close friends.  Yet here I was with her, hours soaked up by persistent girl-time with someone I barely knew.  It was like making out all night long on your first date.  Too much too soon.  I was overwhelmed trying to keep up, and at the same time, I was smitten with her and the idea of us being ‘best friends.’

One Friday afternoon, about 9 months into our friendship, my phone rang.  Sitting at my desk staring at a jar of pencils, she broke it off.  It was actually the first time a girl friend told me directly they didn’t want to be my friend anymore.  {We women are much more passive aggressive than that!}

Her excuse was something she called ‘the pit.’  Sometimes in relationships things are sailing along hunky dory when she wakes up with a pit in her stomach.  She can’t explain why or where it comes from.  But the pit is there.  Whenever she thinks about the relationship, the pit in her stomach takes over, and she must end it.  

She was ending us.  She ‘got the pit’ with me. 

I hung up the phone and thought of our whirlwind friendship: how fast it came, how fast it went.  I felt rejected.  I felt unwanted.  I thought she was mean.  And selfish.

I picked the wrong person to be friends with.  

Have you ever picked the wrong friend?  Has this happened to you?  What would you do differently if you could?  

For me, I’d …

Fall slower into friendship.  Today I take my time in friendship, and that includes professional friendships.  I watch and listen and observe.  Sometimes I inquire about someone’s reputation.  I am careful to allow time to grow what is a worthy, hopefully life-long relationship.  I tread lightly at the beginning.  Monthly lunches, occasional phone calls, text messages, emails.  I am super friendly.  But I am not overly eager.  This is wisdom.
  
Be myself.  I have learned that I can be me and you can be you, and we can still be friends, even if we have very little in common!  I will never be a crafting, sewing, cooking mama, but this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate friends who are!  Chris Seay says you only need to have one thing in common with someone to be their friend.  {I totally agree}.  If you are a true friend, or if you sincerely want to be my friend, you will accept me as I am.  This doesn’t mean permitting sinful, wrong behavior.  It means my quirks are safe with you, my boundaries are respected, my talents appreciated, my heart and intellect, valued.

Not blame myself.  She dropped me like a bag of potatoes.  For whatever reason I was rejected.  That was her choice.  That is not my problem or my fault.  I committed no wrong.  I have nothing to be ashamed of.  After she dropped me, I spent months wondering why.  I agonized over how easily she disposed of me.  And it got me nowhere.  Only more unanswered questions and more hurt.

Friendship is earned, not entitled.  It is a gift you give by your own volition.  It stinks to have that gift thrown back in your face.  But I am sincerely glad I’m no longer friends with someone who doesn’t appreciate what I have to offer.

A warm {hug} to those of you who know firsthand what it feels like to pick the wrong friend.  Grace on you as you forgive and move on!

Karen

Read Full Post »

Sometimes God puts people in your life to encourage and inspire you. This week I got some quality time with two people (of so many) who have impacted me.

I was at PhoenixONE earlier this week running a booth. I ran into a guy who I haven’t seen in some time – my friend Malachi. It was funny because he was on the cover of my brochure at my table and I looked up and there he was. I love God’s sense of humor. At the very first PhoenixONE gathering in 2011, I sat with Malachi in the front row (he was volunteering). His personality made him easy to get to know as he was very friendly. Then I went through a difficult summer later that year and this guy Mike Bhatti recommended I get to know him because of our similar backgrounds. I ran into him at the ONE retreat in Williams and we spent some time together. I found out he had been through divorce and had a little daughter. He totally helped walk me through that tough time. He then moved to Alaska to be closer with his daughter not too long after that. But his impact on me remains and seeing him was a shot in the arm for me this week.

My bros Malachi and Daniel

My bros Malachi and Daniel

I went to Guatemala last year and met Karyn on that trip. It was her first mission’s trip and we sat together on the plane ride there. At first I was just trying to help calm her nerves. But then I really started to see how pure her faith in God was. I kept saying to myself that this is one very good girl and God is doing something cool in her. She is getting her degree in veterinarian medicine and was on this trip to work with the animals in the villages. We had a moment on the trip where it was just her and I treating a cow by ourselves in some remote village. The needle had broken off as she was injecting the medicine into the cow. I remember her tripping out at first because she couldn’t find the needle and didn’t know what to do. I so wanted to rescue her from this situation because I’ve always had this ‘rescue’ mentality most of my life for people in need (something God has worked out of me recently). So I decided to stand back and let God work in her. I just let her know that I was there for her if she needed and prayed. I then saw someone put her faith in God and take charge of the situation. It was amazing! I gained so much respect for her and we have become good friends since then. I remember telling my friend Julie (one of her accountability partners) on the plane ride back to not let any crappy guys come in and ruin this girl because she has such a pure heart for God. Today I razz her repeatedly for her loyalties to the U of A, but love her to death. We had a fun day celebrating her birthday today.

Me and Karyn

Me and Karyn

I love that God uses people to encourage our walk. These are just a couple of people God has put in my path to make me more Christlike. After a period of time of having negative judging people in my life that just drag you down, it is refreshing to have such positive uplifting brothers and sisters to grow with. I am thankful for them and feel very blessed to have them in my life.

Read Full Post »

IMG_1146

I had a chance to use my gifts to be a blessing this morning. There were some families in town going through a week-long teaching called Soma School (mainly for church planters) at both Missio Dei Communities and Redemption church. They had some sign up sheets available for people to make breakfast for them. I love to cook, so I fired up a bunch of omelettes for them. After delivering them, I sat and had a wonderful conversation with one of the leaders on counseling in the church. I’m always thankful to use my gifts to bless others.

IMG_1148

Read Full Post »

Judge not, that you be not judged —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.  –  Oswald Chambers

I read this devotional the other day and heard a sermon today that tied right into it. This has been one of the most convicting things I personally have learned recently. God has really humbled me lately. I think if we can get to this place of humility, we can better see the places we have made mistakes or the areas in our lives that need improvement. The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. This line from the devotional has to be the saddest part of all. Christians throughout the world are viewed as judgemental. I was on staff at a large mega church for some time and saw this almost daily. I hate that I found myself caught up in this world. It’s almost like a bubble that we lived in at this church and we were constantly finding ourselves engaged in gossip. It isn’t Christ-like at all and I’m glad I see this and can repent of being a part of this world. It is really freeing and refreshing to not be at a place of my life of constantly condemning others or thinking of myself better than others.
It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Man I’ve been going through this right now. Being on the receiving end of someone like this has also been an experience for me. Yet it has been teaching me grace and how to give it and to love those that constantly judge, criticize and live life as a victim. It’s a sad sight to see and our tendency is to want to response back or defend ourselves. But scripture clearly teaches that Christ is our defender and the ultimate judge.
In John 9 we see an example of this with one of the disciples. One of them says,  Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? This can be perceived as a judgemental statement to many. But I love the teaching moment Jesus uses for this. This particular chapter of scripture has so many uses that can be applied to our lives. In it we see Jesus talk about how the blind was made to see and that this man was to be used for his glory.
This blind man has faith that he can be healed and Jesus allows him to see. He proclaims his healing to the Pharisees and they immediately judge him and throw him out for claiming Jesus is God. Even though you see the excitement of this man’s newfound faith, the Christian walk wasn’t promised to be easy. Since surrendering my life to Christ 7 years ago, it has been rough ride for me. But at the same time, I have learned so much about myself and have grown leaps and bounds in my faith since. I once was a wretch, but now I see. This line from this amazing song talks about how our faith allows us to see more clearly the path to Christ and we can leave our old life behind.
Today I realized just how much God has blessed me and how he has surrounded me with a large loving community to help me navigate through life. The unconditional love I have received has been the biggest part of my moving from judging others to becoming more humble. I currently have some solid guys in my life that I never had before. Even though I am thankful for the men that God has put in my life over the years, these new guys I’ve met are walking humbly before the Lord and living Godly lives. They have pledge 100% support for me and refuse to judge or condemn me. This is such a picture of Christ and their love has changed me.
Last year I left community to navigate life on my own and make mistakes in my decisions and I see that now. I ran away from those that judged me and ended up following my heart idols. I can’t imagine making life decisions without first confiding in my community. It’s these teachable moments that I thank God for always being there and providing what I need to be more Christ-like. I also thank him for his grace so I can exhibit that same grace to others and not judge or criticize.
You are loved – I received this message today. I no longer see or find my worth in the praise of others or look to people for acceptance. It’s a heart issue God has worked most in me to get rid of. So a message like this has different meaning to me. I can now receive it and be encouraged that there are solid Christians out there and enjoy the blessings of good friends. It’s a reminder of how much Jesus loves me unconditionally.

Read Full Post »

Be honest with yourself. You’ve been disappointed in some way with every relationship you’ve ever had. It’s the universal experience of everyone this side of destiny. No, it’s not that you’ve met the wrong people or that you lack relational skills. It’s that every relationship you’ve had, you’ve had in a fallen world. You never get to hang out with perfect people. You never get to have those perfect relationships in a perfect location and with perfect circumstances surrounding you. No, all of your relationships are with flawed people in a flawed world. And don’t forget, you’re one of those flawed people as well! So how can you gain ground? How can your relationships become better than they are right now? Let me suggest four ways.

1. Determine to be realistic. I love how shockingly honest the Bible is. It’s a book that really doesn’t pull any punches. You see, what damages our relationships is not having a realistic acceptance of our own weaknesses and struggles. What damages our relationships is our delusions of perfection and strength! The first step in any kind of change is admitting that change is needed in the first place.

2. Determine to be honest. One of the things that gets in the way of healthy relationships is silence. Maybe our problem is that we simply don’t love one another enough to have the hard conversations that are what good relationships are all about. If you are in a relationship with a flawed person, you will be touched by those flaws. Maybe it will come as an unkind word, an act of selfishness, or an outburst of irritation. Quick and loving honesty in those moments can keep a relationship from being distorted by bad habits and subverted by bitterness.

3. Determine to focus on yourself. No, I am not counseling you to be selfish, I am encouraging you to be humble. Good relationships are the result of both people being committed to personal change and growth. Self-examination is a key way you demonstrate love for the other person. It is very easy to be all-too-satisfied with yourself, while being irritated and impatient with the weaknesses of another. When you have two people who are committed to heart change, the relationship will change and grow as well.

4. Determine to live and give hope. There is a reason you don’t have to settle for the relational status quo. There is a reason you don’t have to panic. There is a reason you don’t have to pack your bags and give up. The cross of Jesus Christ is the epicenter of hope of every relationship. Jesus was willing to face the ultimate in suffering, the rejection of his Father, so that we could experience reconciliation with him and with one another. No, you don’t have what it takes to make you and the other person do the right thing, but he does! He is the Prince of Peace and he is able to bring lasting peace to where conflict once reigned. How does he do this? By doing the one thing we can’t do for ourselves! He changes our hearts, and the result is radical change in our words and our actions. Look for ways to point the other person to this hope as well.

So be determined. Don’t settle for way less than what Jesus suffered and died to give you. Be honest about your relationships and be hopeful about change. You can do both, because in Jesus Christ you really do have everything you need to live in peace with God and the people he has placed in your life.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »