Easter. Wrapping our arms around life here and with Jesus!

Gentle Nudgings from Personal Retreat Coaching April, 2017

YOU matter. Yes, you … to Jesus and to me! We all yearn to know that, right? It is innate.  It’s built into our DNA.

Jesus SHOWED us we matter  because we have Good Friday and Easter!

As our precious two year old grandson Zane would say with arms raised as high as his little arms will go … “TADA!!” 

I am writing to you from my favorite writing chair enjoying the sunshine pouring through the window, wind chimes gently tinkling in the back ground. Spring is here and after some 30 inches of rain the grass is Ireland green, the hills have a blanket of yellow wild mustard blossoms and the dwarf orange tree is covered with sweet yummy fragrant blossoms. Some amazing blessings have occurred since I last shared on Gentle Nudgings and some really hard losses have happened.

I have watched God move in many more ways than can be shared here today through dance-and-skip-with-Me-see-I-told-you-I’m-still-alive    God-moments and pain-beyond-what-you-think-you-might-bear events with others I care deeply for and for my own heart.

How is it that we can hold things in such tension with our hearts full of joy and pain simultaneously?

How can we hold things in Juxtapositions in life or just in our hearts?

For example: Celebrating the  amazing BLESSING of being a granma to another sweet teensy baby boy this Spring! (see the photo below I promised!)

New grandson!

And the  deep heart pain of grieving the loss of my dear cousin Judy two short weeks ago to an extremely rare and hard-fought cancer.

Such conflicting emotions … yet I can both love and celebrate our darling little Mason’s arrival and mourn the passing of an amazing, graceful woman I loved and admired.  We can do both … and I am.

Another juxtaposition this weekend:

  • How can we reflect on the depth of our own personal sin and the COST of that sin today on Good Friday and  what it means regarding how MUCH He, Jesus Christ, loved YOU and loved me in order to die for us … not mentioning how He died.
  • Then comes EASTER! And He broke the bonds of death so that YOU and I,  as His followers, could LIVE! WOW. He walked OUT of the grave and “TADA (!!)” He had RISEN FROM THE DEAD!  The stone was rolled away from a tomb and it was empty! (Matthew 28:1-4)

Apologist Jonathon Morrow (jonathanmorrow.org) said on a recent interview on I watched on CBN.com “So when it comes to the Resurrection, we say ‘Well, how do we know Jesus existed?’ Some people even doubt that.  The fact is, we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century.  We have at least 18. Twelve of those are non-Christian sources. There’s more evidence Jesus existed than Julius Caesar. Anyone doubt Caesar existed?” “Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after His death and resurrection in numerous places for over seven weeks after His crucifixion.” And … lives were changed … remember the cowards who would not admit to being His disciples? They were filled with the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended to Heaven and they were given boldness and power to accompany the free gift of the Holy Spirit! They were then willing with boldness to “proclaim a risen Messiah they were willing to be tortured and die for.”

So … today as we try and get our heads and hearts around what Jesus was willing to do for us in dying an unimaginably cruel death … we can and should also eagerly look forward to celebrating EASTER  in two days and Him rising from the dead so that we can have eternal life!  When we do grieve (and we all will) we don’t grieve as if “we have no hope.” This promise is ONLY because of Jesus … His life, His death and His resurrection. We have much to be grateful for!

John 16:14 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ESV

1 Thessalonians 4:12-14 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” ESV

We all have the opportunity to know that great promise and to have the certainty of eternal life it gives us. 

See! “Tada!” YOU matter!

Yes, I matter too … may I share a precious example and personal story from this week?

As I babysat our grandsons on Wednesday our oldest grandson, just now 5 years old, after a long discussion filled with questions about his Uncle Nathan (our first son who went to be with Jesus at 1.5 years old) said,

“Granma! You’re old … older than me … so you’ll probably die before me. Right?” To which I answered “Yes … but I’ll save a place in Heaven and I’ll be watching  and waiting for you!” Then my precious little  Jayden answered “Well Granma … I’m going to miss you when you’re dead!” And he scampered off to play! My heart swelled with love and my eyes filled with tears as I called after him “I’ll miss you too!”

I guess since I’ve experienced cancer four times now … those tender words from one of our grandsons all of which I can honestly tell you I’d give my life for … delivered a much needed kiss-to-my-heart. Wow. My life mattered. Wow. Someone would miss me.

Wow … we have the ability to know FOR SURE that we (yes, Jayden and I and YOU and I)  will see each other again and live forever because we MATTER to God the Father, to Jesus Christ His Son and to the Holy Spirit … His free gift given to us as Believers in Him. WOW.  Isn’t that something? Wow!       

With that in mind as you think about Good Friday and the crucifixion of Christ for you and for me … and celebrate the RESURRECTION of Jesus on Easter Sunday  …. please know that I join you in that celebration!  I look forward to seeing you both on this side of Heaven AND the other side!

Hey sweet Sister if I go before you … I’ll be watching for you! 🙂

Have a blessed Easter! YOU matter … to Jesus and to me!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

The Cross

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Merry Christmas! Simply Grateful!

May I be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!  What an amazing gift we have given to us by God Himself … His Son Jesus! I join you in being Simply Grateful!

Tonight we enjoyed  our Christmas Eve candlelight service at church, caroling with friends at friends’ home who are shut in with health challenges, a yummy Stonefire Grill Keen Green salad with my sweet husband … and I sit here snuggling with my little dog Ber watching a show on “European Christmas.”  I am gearing up to wrap a couple presents and decorate our small living tree. Hmmm.  California Christmas at our home is “cold” (I know … relative, right? Not evening freezing but we can see our breath and it’s nippy! 🙂   It rained 2.5 inches last night … and this evening I listened to Country Christmas music as I delivered a few of my late Christmas greeting cards to the post office (more to go!).  

Albeit I am enjoying some family and familiar traditions this year … it is not the same as some years. But isn’t that the way life is?  Seasons change, traditions may change … times change. People change. Life is about change.

Some change is wonderful right? We could all list examples of changes that we are overjoyed to receive.

Some change is tragic and heartbreaking it hurts and it’s hard.

If we are honest  with ourselves we have all experienced both. And … there are people in our lives … right here at Christmas time that are experiencing both.

Resounding Joy … or … Deafening Pain.  

Let’s pay close attention to those around us this season … part of the blessing of this season is the distinct tradition and reminder to focus on Others. We buy presents for others. We visit others. We make the call, text or send a card to others.  Let’s pay close attention to watching and listening and waiting for others to share how they really are and then show them we care.  This is truly a GIFT to pay attention to the hearts of those around us.

Let’s pray for discernment. Let’s pray to have ears to hear and eyes to see … and then the willingness to DO something.  

Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

And remember …. Jesus is our hope! He came to bring us the HOPE of eternity! We can receive that gift given to us by a loving Heavenly Father!  He is the truly the ONLY thing that doesn’t change. Isn’t that a fabulous gift! Let’s spend time this Christmas Season giving this time, thought and thankfulness.

When we are hurting let’s remember … He will never leave us or forsake us.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 

And let us remember that He came to give us life abundant!

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Merry Christmas precious Sister! May you have a tender, blessed and focused Christmas! Focus on Jesus … the gift He is and all the blessings He has given to us. Count them. Savor them.

Simply Grateful with you!

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

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“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

Have  I told you lately how grateful I am for you in my life? It is true! I am grateful for you!

Ephesians 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is nearly Thanksgiving and each one of us, whether or not we are around a table full of people or sitting alone with the Lord,  have much to be thankful for. Here are a couple of thoughts I have had the last few days as I prepare for Thanksgiving in my spirit, my heart and yes … buying the turkey :).

  • Some things in life, people in life, events in life, etc are SO easy to be thankful for!
  • On the other hand … there is TENSION sometimes when the Lord tells me (via His Word or the gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit) to be thankful for things, people, events, etc in life which in our own nature …  are not so easy to be thankful for.  

Something I find myself reminding myself as well as clients I coach individually or in groups, women in the Bible studies I teach and host or women to whom I speak at retreats …  that our “comfort zone”  honestly … has absolutely nothing to do with it.  🙂

Please stay with me here … let me explain …

When the Lord calls us to love and be thankful for ALL things He expects us to obey Him whether or not it makes sense or is comfortable. In fact, in God’s economy, sometimes (many times?) we are called to obey the Lord in ways that may be opposite to our human reasoning. One of these things that He asks of us is to “give thanks.”  Giving Thanks In ALL Circumstances is perhaps and at times uncomfortable or nonsensical. Why then should we obey Him? Maybe it shows the Lord we trust Him. He alone knows what is “down the road” and He has told us He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:29-29). He promises this.  Our reasoning is not His, our thoughts are not His thoughts. He is God. We are not.   He calls us to a child-like faith.     Give some time to that thought … 

In just a few of the many scriptures in the Old and New Testament which speak to us being thankful:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
  • Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your  minds in Christ Jesus.

Keeping our focus and our minds on what we are grateful  and thankful for and being watchful and eager for how God is working even (especially) during tough times is essential to keep fear and worry in check.  We offer our concerns to the Lord in prayer “which leads us into deeper spiritual territory where God can transform us.” pp 1358  Beyond Suffering Bible … Where  Struggles Seem Endless, God’s Hope is Infinite

Always something to be thankful for!

In times that you may be struggling with fear or worry or anxiety for one of many reasons …  I encourage you to be disciplined. Be mentally tough. Control your thoughts. Give your your worries, cares and concerns to the Lord in prayer. Listen to and read His Word. Listen to the Holy Spirit as He gently nudges you. Be determined to GIVE THANKS in prayer, in worship, in music!  Move forward. Be courageous … you can do this! Lead and influence those in your circle using the gifts He has built into you … for His glory in a hurting world.

Coaching Moment:  Gratitude is an everyday healthy habit … and is choosing to be obedient to the Word!  

Ideas: Write down 3 things Daily in a BLESSINGS or GRATITUDE JOURNAL which you are thankful for. IE A person or relationship, something simple in your life or that made you smile yesterday, something you earned or were given,  a treasured memory, etc. (Be creative!)   

  • Let’s be thankful together!  Thank God in prayer daily.  Say thank you to someone unexpected in your life. Be known for being a grateful, thankful, gracious person. Model thankfulness!
  • Rest.  As my Mom says ….  Take time to “recharge your batteries” this Thanksgiving.
  • Do something to bless and encourage someone else within your reach. BE part of the solution. Who can you serve this Thanksgiving?
  • Trust God … live out your faith! As my friend Judy says “Your life may be the only Bible some people ever ‘read.’ ”  May others see us all as the “‘body” of  Believers as being “thankful.”

Thankful!

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Be Happy, Beyond Suffering Bible, Blessings Journal, Christian Life Coaching, Christian Life coaching, Courage, Courage to Lead, Do Something, Gentle Nudgings, Give Generously, Give Love, Give Time, Gratitude, Gratitude Journal, Healthy habits, Hope, Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry, Joy in the Lord!, Leadership, Life Coaching, Listen Carefully, Listen to God, Listen to people, LIVE JOYFULLY, Love God, Mother Teresa, Prayer, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving, Trust God, Uncategorized

Is Life Swinging Wildly This Autumn? Resources to Help!

Gentle Nudgings Coaching E-letter

November 2016                    

Happy Autumn! This season is truly my favorite time of year … hands down! The days are cooler, the air crisper … we have a few changing leaves here in So Cal, cinnamon brooms delight the senses and pumpkin-is-pumpkin everywhere! Yum!

  • Before I jump into the content today … a quick reminder that my Fall Special Coaching Package ends November 30.  If you are interested in the details please contact me asap!

Do you write?

I have had such a remarkable swing of emotions, activities and events this Autumn. I have been quiet but not because of lack of material to write about, to ponder, to study His Word about, to laugh about … to cry about. WHAT a crazy swing we have … maybe you have … been on.  I have been writing … but I haven’t been publishing on my BLOG. Just when I was on the edge-of-my-seat ready to send … the SWING picked up speed again! 

Can you grab a cup of coffee or tea? Sit down for a minute with me? 

I want to share with you a story … this is about a little blonde girl who loved swings.  She grew up on a cattle ranch in a very rural area of southern Colorado, northern New Mexico. Her small rural red-brick school housed children from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Everything happened in that red brick school house from plays to classes to basketball and volleyball games. The play yard had the typical teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds, slides … and yes, swings. Everyone would race to the swing sets at recess or before / after school for the coveted swings. Once on the swing … THE goal was to swing wildly but rhythmically and go HIGH enough to see over the bars! Can you feel the wind in your hair yet? Are you giggling? Terrified? Elated? If you are thinking about who that little girl might have been … you’ve probably guessed that it is indeed me. Or maybe … it was you on your playground?

Our grandsons were staying with us for a few days recently and our oldest grandson, who is four and a half 🙂 is much like his Granma wanting to go higher and faster when he was swinging in our local park.  Watching him smile and giggle as he flew through the air brought back many memories of hours spent doing the same as a little girl.

Where as I loved those days as a care-free child … swinging (other than the Country-Western Swing dancing) is not really my first choice these busy-adult days but … this Autumn it has felt in many ways like I have been on a crazy swing! Are you tracking with me?

  • Besides the politics of the day here in the U.S.A. … (see below for a couple of helpful resources I found helpful as a Believer … if you’re interested) …  here is a quick calendar of my wild but rhythmic life-swinging this Autumn to quickly catch you up to speed.

September went from the sweet HIGH SWINGS of family times and launching a bi-weekly Bible study using ENTRUSTED by Beth Moore on 2 Timothy and the Courageous Leadership Boot Camp. to the  yet again gripping and tearful day of “9-11” where I watched the “Timeline of Terror.” I know it may seem crazy but I do not want to forget what happened and I do want to be reminded of the amazing hero stories and COURAGE that was seen tucked into that day that changed our country … and many lives and families … forever. I wrote you that day but I did not send it. My emotions were swinging pretty high and low. 

October began with the SWING going HIGH(!) … up into the Rockies with a beautiful autumn drive  to Breckenridge, Colorado with my sweet sister and mother-in-laws for a women’s retreat where God met us in tender ways in the amazing beauty of golden Aspens! We also had supper with my husband, my father and brother-in-laws. This was followed by a wonderful visit with two of my cousins in Denver and my college roomie and her family.  Then I headed south to the Ranch to spend a couple days with Mom, seeing some of my side of the family and then my Mom, sister and I head to the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque. Wow … talk about swinging HIGH!  Beautiful!

SWING LOW … Breast cancer awareness month always reminds me of some of the most difficult times in my life battling breast cancer. Hey, did you get your Mammogram? A mammogram saved my life once … I recommend it if you haven’t already done so this year! Check out the Bible study and discussion guide I wrote to compliment the amazing DVD / CD MORE BEAUTIFUL by http://www.musicforthesoul.org/resources/more-beautiful  The focus of the More Beautiful Bible study / discussion guide is to come beside people going through the valley of cancer, with special emphasis on breast cancer. I pray it is of benefit to you or someone you love! 

While you’re there please check out their website www.MusicfortheSoul.org  Wow. Quite a ministry! Music for the Soul has a plethora of healing songs for the wounded heart on so many issues which could benefit you when you are struggling on your journey of life. On their website here is a quote I love “We all build walls to shield ourselves from deep pain, guilt, and shame. Music has a way of seeping through the cracks in those walls and opening up the heart. Then a message of hope and healing can be placed in the opened heart.” 

They have a new project for those dealing with the wounded hearts from abortion.  If you are interested in donating and more information please check it out at http://www.musicforthesoul.org/updates/new-projects/    I urge you to listen to one of the three demo songs Hope Will Rise Again.  WOW.  Powerful! Let me know if you have questions I can answer.

SWING HIGH: In October more coaching, group coaching, Bible studies, women’s ministry and babysitting our grandsons and family time with our oldest son and daughter-in-law (including a visit to the famous Underwood Family Farms Harvest Festival). The grand finale of October was a trip north to the Bay area to stay with our youngest son and daughter-in-law where we got go to their church plant and enjoy time and activities with them.

All of those events felt much like  fun swinging on the playground back-in-the-day! 

But … in among the highs are also those lows … swinging and life includes both. Why is it in life we think we should only feel the euphoria of the high? Hmmm. We are interesting creatures to be sure. Remember that the valleys are where the rivers of life run and the trees and grass grow … it does not mean the valleys are easy. 

As you know I really love to give to you food for thought … coaching ideas … and resources! This month let’s talk about having COURAGE when fear and pain (swinging low) is a very real part of life! There has been much angst and fear during these final months, weeks and days of our political season here in the U.S.A.  as well in many personal lives, families, church communities, neighborhoods, etc. for many untold reasons .

What do I recommend you consider during these turbulent times?

I recommend you:

A)  Dig deep in the Word of God … it is only there we find our hope as the Holy Spirit teaches us how to stand … on what to stand.  KNOW the GOSPEL. Know the TRUTH … God’s Word. You cannot discern counterfeit dollars if you aren’t really experienced with the real dollars. You cannot discern counterfeit truth unless you know God’s Word which is THE Truth. It couldn’t be more important for you know God’s Word than it is right now.   

B) Surround your heart and mind with great courageous influencers. Read.  Listen. Study. Run with / learn about the courageous leaders currently and historically. They don’t have to be famous or well-known … most often they are tucked-into-every day life -heros. (IE People who love the Lord  and that have lives and character that would please Him) These are people of mentor-influencer ability.  I urge you to be around people of HOPE and “YES you can” attitudes! I urge you to work at being a mentor to someone else and disciple the younger generation in God’s Word! Use your gift, whatever it is,  to glorify God and take the Gospel to the next generation!    

Special Resources as you DIG DEEP:

  • As God would have it we are working our way through the ENTRUSTED Bible study by Beth Moore “for such a time as this!” I highly recommend it! Two great quotes to whet your appetite to pick this study up and dig deep (1) “God has a plan for you. He has entrusted you with the gospel message and has gifted you to carry it to the furthest reaches of this planet. He’s calling you to be His mighty servant, willing to face whatever difficulty you encounter as you carry out His mission.” (2) “(the) titanic goal for this series (ENTRUSTED) is to become mighty servants of God loosed on the globe with the gospel (using our gifts). To do so, we need to be educated and equipped… Read 1 Peter 4:12-16″  I couldn’t agree more!   Check it out!
  • BEYOND SUFFERING Bible by Joni Eareckson Tada. Wow!  Newly released … PERFECT timing! From the book bio on ChristianBooks.com “There is hardly a person who doesn’t know someone dealing with a disability, disease, chronic illness, or other form of personal suffering. The Beyond Suffering Bible is the first study Bible to directly address those who suffer and the people who love and care for them. From bestselling author, singer, and radio host Joni Eareckson Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability, the Beyond Suffering Bible is filled with thousands of notes and features that invite you into a conversation about suffering and its place in your life. Each feature has been carefully created to provide you with valuable information, meaningful encouragement, and challenging applications as you encounter God’s Word.”  Website: www.JoniandFriends.org or other book sellers.

 As crazy as these times are … the SWINGS are wildly going HIGH and dangerously LOW … Christian Sister it is time to “get your game face on!” It is time to dig DEEPLY into the Word of God to be EQUIPPED and EDUCATED to bring hope to a frightened world: family, friends, neighbors.  It is difficult to be that peculiar person … to be different in this world of folks that are fearful, hurting, lonely, marginalized and yes, even hostile at times. But we have the Gospel which is the HOPE we can share with this world!  Are there things we can and should do as we see people around us hurting, marginalized, isolated? Yes. Today is THAT day.

Be courageous! Be a leader! Share your story of how His story and your story intersected and your life changed! Use your gifts for His glory! Simple, right? Yes, not easy … but indeed it is simple to share THAT joy! Write it down! Get “your game face on” and get ready for the delights of the SWING!  Sometimes high and sometimes low … He will be with you either way! I promise!

Remember: 

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

 Now … speaking of the CRAZY wild swinging that’s been happening in our country … what can you do before TUESDAY , November 8th if you live in the USA?

A. PRAY! Pray and pray some more! Pray about your vote. Pray for our country and states as we go to the polls.

B. VOTE on Tuesday, November 8th. Please remember that the BIBLE needs to inform our vote.  The Truth is established only by God in His Word.  In my opinion, as a citizen, it is not only our privilege but our responsibility to vote.  I do understand that the situation is difficult and the choices are tough but … I urge you to vote.   I have already voted.

C. Be educated: As we work to become informed value voters we look for resources to help inform us from a Scriptural viewpoint. 

Some resources I have personally found valuable this political season are below. I am simply sharing resources which have been helpful to me.  The choice and your vote is your own. 

Today’s podcast on November 4th was informational for sure.

This electoral guide has some great articles. You may or may not agree but I found them helpful.

So as you SWING HIGH or SWING LOW please be reminded in 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ESV.  Our hope and the hope for all people is in the completed work of Jesus. Our hope is not in the powers of the government. Our hope is in the Lord. We need to be ready to share our Joy with others!

From Beyond Suffering Bible … Where Struggles Seem Endless,God’s Hope is Infinite “Courage and faithfulness. The true servant of Christ has the courage to do what is right and needed rather than what is convenient or acceptable. Paul’s challenge (to Timothy) was to hold fast to the  Word of Truth and trust in the One who said he would never fail or abandon us. (Heb. 13:5). pp. 1385

Stand firm. Enjoy the swinging … maybe it is time to go find a park and just be a kid again for a few minutes! Smile, enjoy the breeze, remember that “He has you.”

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com 

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Play Adventurously … Do You Think I Can Be an Olympic Athlete?

Gentle Nudgings                                                                     August  2016

Play Adventurously … Do You Think I Can Be an Olympic Athlete?

It is August and I cannot believe it!  Summer is nearly over … wow. Have you Played Adventurously this summer?  And  … to answer the looming question ….yes, I have been toying with what I could do to become an Olympic Athlete (See story below :).

Before you take in that story about my preparation for the 2020 Olympics J … :

  • I have not forgotten you! I recognize that I am a month late in my Gentle Nudgings this summer but not because I haven’t been writing. Oh, I’ve been writing and writing and writing but I’ve also been waiting and waiting and waiting on the Holy Spirit on what I should send you! I have SO much on my heart and stirring in my soul! More than you probably may want to hear!
  • I was asked by one of my clients to speak into and give ideas on what and how to pray during this crazy time in global history. I have written my thoughts per her request (plus a few more) and the link to the FREE download on my website in my STORE as a “Free Resource of Encouragement” for this fresh-off-the- press article Hug Tightly and Persevere with Courage! There IS Hope! Even in Crazy Times. Sorry to make you click on a link to find it but it is a bit long for a Coaching E-letter. Don’t let that scare you off! I truly DO think there ARE things one can DO during this time of CRAZINESS. Please read it and see if it gives you food for thought!
  • I am offering a Summer / Fall Coaching Package Special and I have a few coaching slots which just opened up! If you are interested in checking that out for yourself or someone you know please contact me directly! My coaching session package price will be increasing on November 10th so call / email right away if you are interested! Price for individual sessions will be the same until January 1, 2017.
  • I am currently working 3 Group opportunities. If you are interested in any of these please indicate by emailing me. A) Courage in Leadership Coaching            One –Day Retreat (if you have already contacted me please know you are on my list!)       B)  Courage in Leadership Meet Up  C) Courage in Leadership Bootcamp (This will be an on- going, long term commitment … read on at the end of this Gentle Nudgings E-letter)

All Courage in Leadership Events will be driven by the FACTS that:

  1. We are in Spiritual Warfare … the battle is not only for your life but for those you love and serve. It is necessary to take a STAND for the Lord God!
  2. Integrity and Character: Integrity and character is necessary but in today’s cultures, in our country and yours, do we stand for these virtues or not? I say YES.
  3. We need to have the Courage to be the Leader we are called to be and use our gifts accordingly. If we are alive … we are leaders! Let’s lead our children with courage, lead others in our families, friends, neighborhoods, churches and communities … anywhere in our sphere of influence … with godly leadership. We need to have the courage to follow godly examples and leaders. Our ultimate leader is Jesus and we must follow in the very “dust of the Rabbi.”
  4. Be obedient to God … LIVE out what we say we believe and follow Jesus. Be willing to be different. Be righteous and strive toward holiness as He calls us to in Scripture. (1 Peter 1:16 and Leviticus 20:26 and 11:44)
  5. Study His Word: Know the difference between obedience (right) and sin (wrong) and know how discern the difference. Be able to listen to the Holy Spirit and Trust God (whether or not you understand it).
  6. Rely on the Lord. The fight is big … our logic, the culture, the enemy of God will tell us we cannot win. But if we are obeying God and truly trust Him … He will protect us as we fight and He will get all the glory.
  7. Be equipped for spiritual warfare but we don’t war as the world does. Be a woman of peace. Be Still. Be an Uncommon Woman … your “ordinary life” can be extraordinary for Him!
  8. Be Willing to step into uncharted territory and train like never before.

Play Adventurously …. … Do You Think I Can Be an Olympic Athlete?

I DO love watching the Olympics and especially the stories of overcoming which they share! The one-liners are powerful! It was such a welcome relief from all the craziness of the news cycles! Wonderful competition in the name of sport and unity in athletic excellence as each athlete does their personal best! Love it! It always encourages me to HAVE Courage as I watch them adventurously play (and work both hard and disciplined) at sports they love and excel in!

So … as my husband of 38 years and I have enjoyed the Olympic Games together these days … from the Opening Ceremonies  to the Closing Ceremonies  … we high-five, we laugh, I cry (he’s not big on crying J), we re-wind and watch complex athletic feats, we celebrate!

In amongst all the fun as we have together been watching these amazing folks … somehow we came up with a challenge about me (yes … me) becoming an Olympic athlete. WOW. What do you think? So … as I play adventurously with this crazy idea in my mind … as comical as this thought is … I am mentally playing with what sport  I could compete in and what would it take for me to do that. It is exciting to think about!

Hmmm.  High diving? Nope … I do not swim and no, I don’t jump off 3 stories up from anything  … on purpose.

Hmmm. Track and field? Well, I did run track back in the day especially loving the 800 meters … although not very fast. Hurdles? Naw … I fell right over those hurdles and I’m not into the pain. And it is pretty funny thinking about me trying the high jump … all 5 foot 2 inches of me … I did try this years ago  albeit not successfully. I ended up in a giggling heap!

Hmmm.  Gymnastics? I was a cheerleader for years and did some gymnastics but I am no Simone the Olympic Champion! I loved it though! I can still do a cartwheel but forget aerial anything!

Is there distance walking? I’ve trained for and completed 2 AVON walks against breast cancer (39.3 miles twice) and also a local, nationally known half-marathon.  I could do distance walking, right?  (Hope your smiling or even laughing with me by now!)

Hmmm. Shooting sports? Maybe that has possibility as I’m not sure my body could be beaten into the submission necessary of any other sports available. Although, who knows? I’ll keep playing with the idea. J  Ahhh! Maybe horse sports!

Okay … so maybe I’m landing on “shooting” sports. What you say? Well, I think that Lisa Bevere in Lioness Arising hits on some major nerves I’m feeling … including the fact that a Lioness “hunts in the dark.”

I am a hunter at heart  … that’s how I shop  😉 … and  as I tell you in my latest article (LINK) that in my prayer life and in my heart I have declared WAR on the enemy. The battlefield is at hand. It IS time to get serious and to show up as Hannahs and Esthers … “for such a time as this.”  I am HUNTING the enemy of God and the dark is where he lives.

Numbers 23:24 says, “These people rise up like a lioness; like a majestic lion they stand.”

There is something inside of me these days … and likely inside of you … which feels like a lioness arising right now with all going on! The IRISH in me is STIRRING in a BIG way! It is TIME to arise, to STAND up in His strength, kneel before Him and go forth into this warfare! (Romans 15:2)

If there was ever a time we need to pray and stand for Jesus … together … it is NOW.

I am BEYOND tired of what I am seeing going on all around us in my country and in yours as the readers of Gentle Nudgings are on almost every continent.  (Download and read Hug Tightly and Persevere with Courage! There IS Hope! Even in Crazy Times …” for the full story)

Together I believe, through the grace of the Lord, we as followers of Jesus can be as Lisa says in Lioness Arising, a “stunning representation of strength, fiercely protecting our young, lending our voice to the silenced, living in the light and hunting in the dark and … raising a collective roar of prayer that changes everything. Jesus, after all, is the lion of the Tribe of Judah.”

  • DO YOU WANT to be part of developing courage and the strength to lead in these uncertain times?
  • Are you in a place of influence through which you could lead people into a deeper relationship with Jesus in discipleship?
  • Do you have family or women around you that are eager to find a strong woman of faith to walk with and you’d like to step up but don’t know quite how that would look or what you can do to train and prepare during this time of spiritual warfare in our world?
  • Do you have an Olympic athlete inside of you just eager to work hard, be (or become) disciplined and show up for Jesus?  Are you ready to Do Something and be part of the solution instead of the problem? To get up off the “bench” and into the game changing your part of the world?

As we have seen by the example of the Olympic athletes if we but Persevere with Courage in our lives and in our walks with the Lord by 1). Digging Deep 2) Praying and 3) Standing in the Gap and Doing Something (see the article on my website) … don’t you think we’d collectively make a difference? I have FULL confidence that we would!

A couple of my favorite quotes from the Olympics: (I don’t whose quotes to give them credit, sorry)

  • “Success is because of adversity not despite it.”
  • Storms make trees make deeper roots.
  • The hard days are the days that make champions!”

Olympians are admired for their self-discipline and their commitment. Each follower of Jesus is called to the same if not at greater levels of those values and … we are given everything we need to accomplish the challenge we have been given!

1 Corinthians 9:24- (ESV) Biblegateway.com “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

Do you want to join me in learning to “Hunt in the Dark” for the enemy of God?

Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord living more courageously and joyfully in the light of and with the Lord?

Do you want to pray as a Hannah and make a bold stand like an Esther?

ARE YOU  INTERESTED in joining the Courage in Leadership Coaching events, group coaching (online and live), personal coaching, local meet ups … and joining me in prayer for our country and your country September 11, 2016? Would you like to join us for a beautiful Retreat Get Away?

If so …please take the initiative to contact me, raise up your hand and join us in collectively taking a Courageous STAND! If you are interested contact me and I’ll  get you the details that would be involved in this commitment.

This will be the beginning of the Personal Retreat Coaching Ranch.  A place (live and virtual) which you can become part of a Bootcamp specifically designed to encourage you to grow as a leader to have courage for the spiritual warfare we are and will experience.

And finally out of John Maxwell’s book:  The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You   (pp 212)

Courageous Leadership

“When I began my leadership career … I fell short of my expectations. How did I turn things around? By making small decisions that were difficult. With each one, I gained more confidence and more courage, and I began to change. The process took me four years. At the end of that time, I had learned many valuable lessons, and I wrote the following to help me cement what I had learned.

Courageous Leadership Simply Means I’ve Developed:

  1. Convictions that are stronger than my fears.
  2. Vision that is clearer than my doubts
  3. Spiritual sensitivity that is louder than popular opinion.
  4. Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection
  5. Appreciation for discipline that is greater than my desire for leisure
  6. Dissatisfaction that is more forceful than the status  quo
  7. Poise that is more unshakeable than panic
  8. Risk taking that is stronger than safety seeking
  9. Right actions that are more robust than rationalization.
  10. A desire to see potential reached more than to see people appeased.

You don’t have to be great to become a person of courage. You just need to want to reach your potential and to be willing to trade what seems good in the moment for what’s best for your potential. That’s something you can do regardless of your level of natural talent.”

— Talent is Never Enough

“Make a small decision today that will increase your confidence and leadership courage.”

Are you willing to “Play Adventurously” and challenge the Olympic Athlete in you? Join us! I can guarantee one thing … it will be exciting! “Jesus take the wheel!” Here we go!

Oh … but before you go … please check out this YouTube by Keith and Kristyn Getty with their song “O Church Arise”! A Clarion Call of sorts! Absolutely AWESOME! And … exactly what we’re talking about!  (Copy and paste into your search bar) https://youtu.be/x63cVewXAeg

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Bible, Courage, Courage to Lead, Do Something, Gentle Nudgings, God's Language of prayer, Hope, Hug Tightly, Hunting, Leadership, Life Coaching, Listen to people, Love God, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, Olympic Athlete, Olympics, Persevere, Play Adventurously, Pray Faithfully, pray for America, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive Freely

This week’s topic on forgiving freely always resonates closely to our hearts … doesn’t it?  What is “forgiveness?”  One definition is giving up the right to punish someone else for hurting you, essentially setting them free. It doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting it or pretending the offense or hurt didn’t happen … it is just making a conscious decision to release it … and them.  In reality it also releases the person offering forgiveness.    

  • Have you ever felt as though the hurt was so very deep that it was difficult to forgive someone? I have.
  • Have you ever asked someone for forgiveness for something you said or did that brought pain to their lives … whether or not you meant to or knew it? I have.
  • Have you needed to ask for God’s help in forgiving someone or knowing how to ask for forgiveness? I have.
  • Do we daily ask God for forgiveness for grieving Him by not obeying Him and surrendering to Him? My goal  … not 100% though!

Forgiveness is given to us by God through His Jesus. Forgiveness for others is required by God. (See the Lord’s Prayer)  We’ll start and end there. It isn’t a suggestion for us as Believers. It is a commandment which we need to work proactively at obeying. We need to ask for forgiveness for our sins from our Father (most important point of needed forgiveness!) … of those sins we know and don’t know … being open to the Holy Spirit to show us areas we may not even be aware of.    We need to move past our mistakes and sins … not living in our past, true. Some would say this is forgiving ourselves and personally I don’t have a problem with identifying this process in this way. We are free to do be forgiving of ourselves having asked and been forgiven by the Lord and others. 

I know … this all may seem a bit complicated and difficult … but it is truly simple (even if hard) and given to us at the end-of-the-day by God for our blessing. 

Whether or not asking forgiveness from God and keeping “short accounts” with others is our “strong suit” and is easy for us … it does not matter. Again … it does not matter. We are to do so anyway.    To be a “clean conduit” for God’s love and grace to work through us we need keep these “short accounts” with both God and people asking forgiveness freely.  

As you know, as a Coach, I love to point you toward resources which you can seek out and add to your tool box to equip you to move forward, excel in life and to help you mature as a Christian.  A great ministry that I follow and have for years is Family Life Today, a department of CRU. (Campus Crusade for Christ).  An article on their website regarding Forgiveness, “4 Steps to Experiencing One of the Most Powerful Marriage-Builders of All Time: Forgiveness” cited the following:

‘Forgiveness says, ‘I refuse to dwell on my anger and hurt.’ It is an essential step to healing and restoring oneness. Christ’s death on the cross—His forgiveness—restored our relationship to God. Trust that God can use your forgiveness to restore your relationship and change you both for the better. Here are 4 steps that will help you express and experience forgiveness:

  1. Do it privately: Go to God in prayer and say, “God, I forgive _________ for hurting me. I choose to give up the right to punish __________.”
  2. Do it publicly and specifically: Go to the person and be specific, “I forgive you for ________.”
  3. Do it graciously: Keep the bigger goal in mind, which is restoring your relationship and rebuilding trust. That means giving up your right to punish!
  4. Do it generously: Acknowledge your own failings to maintain balance; not one of us is perfect! And once you’ve forgiven, refuse to bring up the matter again in a hurtful way.”

   Another resource which is excellent is the book “Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss which reminds us about the healing power of forgiveness. I recommend this book to help you process your wounded heart! She says “there are no magic words or secret formulas but there are biblical principles that can help you break free from the bitterness and pain of unforgiveness.”

There are over a 100 references to forgive and forgiveness that I could find in the Old and the New Testaments. God’s forgiveness toward us for our sin, our forgiveness towards others and the need to seek forgiveness from others are sprinkled from the beginning to the end of His Word to us! We are freely forgiven through Christ paying for our sins on the cross … thus, we are to forgive others which not only sets them free but it sets us free as well!

Just a few scriptural references:

  • Psalm 32:1 (ESV) “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered.”
  • Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
  • Colossians 3:13(NIV)Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
  • Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 We are created by God in incredible ways aren’t we? We are truly “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our bodies are not meant to harbor the ill effects of unforgiveness. It actually is not just a spiritual condition but it impacts us physically, emotionally and mentally as well. Check out the news story on CBN.com “The Deadly Consequences of Unforgiveness” by Lorie Johnson. She says in that story that medical books classify unforgiveness as a disease because it makes people sick and keeps them that way.

With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat diseases, such as cancer.

“It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,” Standiford explained.

Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues, and of those, more than half are severe, according to research by Dr. Michael Barry, a pastor at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the author of the book, The Forgiveness Project.”

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.” Marianne Williamson

Will you Forgive Freely and perfectly 100% of the time? No, not on this side of Heaven … but … we press in and continue to go for the goal of … forgiving freely and keeping “short accounts” with the Lord and with people!

Coaching Questions:  I encourage you to journal your answers!

  1. Do you have to work at forgiving and asking for forgiveness or does it feel natural for you? Why?
  2. Are you able to trust God when something bad occurs in your life (or around you) and let Him be the judge? Can you release it to Him?
  3. Jesus forgave us and paid the price for our sin with His life. How has Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross impacted your life?
  4. Is there anyone that the Lord has laid on your heart which you know you need to forgive? Is there anyone you need to ask forgiveness from?
  5. Is there anything that you need to ask the Lord for forgiveness for?

I will ask you to “sit” with this in prayer, journaling and reflection for a couple weeks. We’ll chat again via Gentle Nudgings in July!

This reflection on forgiveness gives us a great jumping off point to where I believe the Lord would have for us as we pray for this wonderful, yet dramatically changing, country we live in… America. My heart grieves for what I see going on in so many ways. But the Lord has given us His wisdom in His Word, the Bible, on where to go with these concerns and what we CAN and SHOULD do as followers of Christ:  

 2 Chronicles 7:14 “… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways (seek forgiveness), then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

 May we do so! May it be so! May God Bless and protect America!

 Blessings!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Courage, Forgive freely, Forgiveness, Forgiveness and cancer, forgiveness and health, pray for America, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Listen Carefully

My Gentle Nudgings blog weekly this week is reflections on Listening Carefully … last week was on praying faithfully. I would say this week … both praying and listening certainly applies to our lives in a large way.  There has been much to pray about this week nationally and internationally as yet again we have experienced terrorism in tragic ways that have impacted so many in Florida … and we have prayed. There are many news stories which rip at our hearts and end up being carried to the Throne in our prayers. And … in our own lives and those we love we have and know of countless stories of heartache that take us to our very knees with the only (and best) way to help … is to pray to our Father in Heaven.   Praying is the “language of God” as we talked about last week according to David Ireland in The Weapon of Prayer  … we talk to God in prayer. 

This week we’ll talk about “Listening Carefully.

What is listening?  According to Dictionary.com “listening” is “to concentrate on hearing something or to take heed; pay attention.

Today … I want us to think on several angles regarding Listening Carefully:

  • We are to Listen Carefully to the Lord
  • We are to Listen Carefully to the people He has in our lives to show our value and love for them, in Christ.
  • We are to be careful to whom we Listen Carefully to
  • S. God listens to us (hundreds of Scriptures telling us!) (* Prayer!)

Shall we start with Listening Closely to people He has in our lives? How do we listen to people?

  • Let’s lean in and listen with our full attention. I can point out examples of women I respect in leadership who have taught me much in observation of this gift in them. My friend and sister in Christ Nancy Dornan is so embedded when you are in a conversation with her that you would think you are THE only one in the room. In truth, there is more than likely always literally a line of people waiting to visit with Nancy but you would never know that by her attentiveness. She is a master at leaning in, listening carefully, caring deeply and looking through your eyes into your heart to know how to pray for you!  A very good reason to be attentive in listening!
  • Yes, listen carefully to the words of people but also listen to their body language. Listen carefully to their hearts … listen to their pain … listen to their joys. There is far more to listen to than their words. Sometimes words leave a woeful hole in communication.
  • Listen carefully when someone is sharing … without thinking of our own response in our minds while they’re speaking. Focus! Focus! Focus! Showing careful listening to other people shows them they are valued by us.

Story time ! I’ll never forget the time that one of our boys was little, between 4 and 6 years old, and they were telling me a looooong story about something important in their little world. I was hearing but maybe not listening (certainly not “carefully!”).  My little guy took my face in his little pudgy hands and said “Mommy! Listen to me!” Bless his wee heart, at long last I stopped what I was doing in my kitchen, sat down, gave him the eye-contact he so deserved … and I listened carefully to this precious little man!

I often think of that time when I am racing around working on something while someone either in person or on the phone is talking with me. It stops me in my tracks and reminds me to be “fully present”!

This is also why when I am doing life-coaching with women clients on the phone I may ask them to be “fully present” by giving me their complete attention. … no multi-tasking! It is such a temptation as women to multi-task as both sides of our brains are “firing” and we can get many things done at once. However, we need to think of what we risk losing if we are not giving our full attention to listening to the people God has graciously given to us in our lives. 

  • Is listening carefully a “lost art” as some believe? It takes time to not only hear someone but … to listen. Give your time generously to listening … the R.O.I. is huge!

The old saying is surely true … “People do not care what you know if they don’t know that you care!” And … I propose that people do not know that you care unless and until … you listen.  Listen Carefully.

  • Ask questions as you listen … it will help you to engage in the conversation and it is a sign to the person to whom you’re talking with that they do have your attention and that you are interested in them! My cousin Cindy Owen and Aunt Dee, both now with the Lord, were two amazing listeners who spent most conversations I had with them asking questions. I felt fully loved! And it was always a challenge to get my questions in for them … and one which I relished!

James 1:19 Amplified Bible “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];” NIV “[ Listening and Doing ] My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

 Listen Carefully to the Lord … but how you ask?

  • Primary Source: Read His Word, the Bible! He says to listen to His Son Jesus in multiple ways and places … I urge you to read the Bible daily as it is our lessons on Life! Reading His Word and listening carefully to Him shapes us, transforms us, changes us to follow Him and give glory to Him on this earth.  See Romans 12:2

James 1:22 Amplified Bible: “But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].”NIV “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Be Careful Who You Listen To!

In this day and age there are sources of information and opinion from every angle of culture. The Lord, in His Word, reminds us in a number of scriptures to be careful to whom we listen! We are to listen to Him and know His Truth, which is in the Bible, so that we can compare all other information with the Truth to know what is counterfeit, lies, incorrect, etc. The “world” does not have Truth, nor does it believe there IS absolute Truth that applies to everyone. Certainly our enemy satan is a distorter of Truth and wants you to listen to him or the world … thus disbelieving the absolute Truth of God. 

I urge you as a Sister in Christ and a coach … be discerning WHO you listen to and what you allow into your heart and mind! The old saying is true! “Garbage in. Garbage out!”  Who and what influences you … can and does change you. Proactively pursue listening to the Lord through people after His own heart … and information that is true. Being careful always of the “source” of what information you “ingest” into your mind, heart and soul.   

We are to be “in the world” but not “of the world” as Christians. We are called to think, love and live differently because of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in our lives …having “listened” to Him.  We are called to be radically different for Him!

I urge you Sisters … be careful and wise about “who” you listen carefully to!

2 Timothy 4:4 ESV “and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

2 Timothy 3:7 Amplified Bible “always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Coaching Moment: 

  • To whom do you need to Listen more Closely to today? This week?
  • How can you Listen more Closely to the Lord today learning more Truth from His Word? This week?
  • How will you plan to protect yourself from listening to input which is not honoring to the Lord?

Just some things to think about …

I’m listening … may I pray for you?

Many Blessings!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Absolute Truth, Ask questions, Bible, Care Deeply, careful listening, Give Time, Leadership, Listen Carefully, Listen to God, Listen to people, Love God, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, Pray Faithfully, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pray Faithfully

A few weeks ago when I went to visit I took a book on Prayer to give our grandsons. As we snuggled on the couch and read the book together, which essentially told little ones that they could and should pray ANYWHERE, I had to wonder if we adults might need a reminder on prayer as well. (Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place by Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick and Daniel Fernandez).

Prayer is needed today in more ways than it seems we can count. Prayer is on the minds and hearts of Believers all over the world and I believe the Holy Spirit is urging us to come to the Father in prayer more than ever in my lifetime!

  • As I was watching a Christian news program yesterday those in a small village in Syria whose lives had been attacked by ISIS because they are Christians asked if we would pray for their hope and the hope of all of those in the cross-hairs of the terrorism happening. This is happening to them, their families, their churches and others in their area of our world. Oh, my … may I also say … we need to continue to pray for their protection and that of all innocents from this cancer they call ISIS and other terrorist groups … with another horrible example yesterday that we saw in a restaurant in Israel. Unbelievable.
  • On my flight back from Colorado I sat next to a delightful sister-in-the-Lord who shared her life and prayer needs with me. As I offered to pray (and have and will continue as the Lord brings her to mind) … she asked how I could really remember to pray for her when all the needs of the world are SO great and overwhelming at times. True, right?
  • All you have to do is to tune into our political challenges of our precious country the USA right now and we have ample to pray about! (Please do!)
  • As Christians we are in “the cross hairs” of the enemy of God. Please don’t be complacent … satan IS after Believers / Christians / followers of Jesus no matter where they live. You are in the battle whether or not you realize it. Be alert.

Above you see a basket FULL of tomatoes which I harvested today! (water bottle is there for size perspective)   We have a massive tomato plant that is happily producing its beautiful fruit! What does this have to do with prayer?   Well, as I was picking away this morning, piling tomatoes into my shirt tail to carry them, I was thinking about the subject of prayer.  Just as the tomato plant is loaded with much fruit … the subject of prayer is one topic way too big to address in one sitting.  Although this Gentle Nudgings is not meant to be exhaustive on the subject of prayer let’s “talk” together about some interesting and vital prayer basics … I encourage you to read on! 

Well let’s talk about it … What is prayer?

According to David D. Ireland in his book The Weapon of Prayer: Maximize Your Greatest Strategy Against the Enemy  “Prayer is conversation with God. Through words, thoughts, and even gestures God hears our request. In fact, He says of His people, ‘Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.’ (Isaiah 65:24).

God promises that when we pray He listens. This word listen in the Hebrew –the original language of the Old Testament scriptures—means ‘to listen attentively. Pp 34-35”

Wow … can you imagine? Think about it! Our Father, the God of the universe, is listening attentively to you and I! All we need do is to talk to Him!

Wow … another simple, profound and crazy concept! If we CAN talk to Him anytime, anywhere (like I discussed with my wee grandsons …) then why don’t we? To have a relationship with ANY human being we have to take the time to talk right? Yes, we need also to listen to Him as the Holy Spirit through His Word. But … even simpler … we need to TALK to Him aka PRAY!

We have full access to the One who is sovereign over every single thing that happens on this planet and in our lives … and yet do we go days or even minutes between our discussions with Him bringing our aches, urgings, exclamations and joys before Him? He’s our Father and He wants to hear it all!

Another insight from David Ireland (can you tell I was reading this book via my Kindle on my trip?) was that “Prayer is powerful because it is the language God responds to. He invites prayers. He welcomes prayer. He is moved by prayer. He responds to prayer.

Just as English is the official language in the Unties States, prayer is the official language of heaven.

He created prayer. He instituted prayer as the vehicle whereby we can speak with Him and even ask Him for help.

Prayer gives you an audience with almighty God. You have direct access into His throne room.” (The Weapon of Prayer: Maximize Your Greatest Strategy Against the Enemy pp. 35-36-)

Check it out!

Jeremiah 29:12- (ESV) “12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

Based on these scriptures and ideas here are some coaching thoughts on Praying Faithfully:

  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) which indicates constant dialog! In our hearts, minds and even out loud as we can we are able to be in constant communication with God the Father (Think of it …in His throne room He’s listening to you!)

  • Instead of being anxious about what you see on the  TV news, your smart phone, in your family life, business or church family, etc. come into the throne room and talk to your Father who is listening!

Philippians 4:6- (ESV) “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  • Be strategic! Are you busy (need I ask J? ) As with anything else in your life sometimes we need to write things down to actually make them happen! I like to journal my prayer requests but then again … that is impossible in many respects because of the number. So … I do journal them and I do list them but I also do work on praying immediately when I offer to pray for someone or if the Holy Spirit nudges on my heart regarding a need so I don’t forget.  

  • Prayer is a weapon … one Jesus Himself chose to use prayer specifically when Satan asked to sift Peter as wheat. (Luke 22:31-32). The last words He uttered in Luke 23:34 on this earth were a prayer to His Father. If Jesus reached for this weapon against the enemy although He could summon legions of angels at His beck and call … we need to treat seriously our ability as children of God to summon His help by prayer. It is more REAL than the seat you are sitting on reading this.

  • The battle IS happening! Are you “In?” Whether or not you and I are geared up, paying attention and being proactive in the battle or not … it is obviously happening all around us. Lest you are frightened to engage in the battle … may I say that it is much safer to be equipped and be praying offensively and defensively than pretending that the battle is not raging around you as a Believer. Muscles in our bodies become atrophied without use … so goes our spiritual “muscles” and the ability to act and react instinctively as children of the living God. If we know Him …. Prepare in His Word by reading and studying (listening to Him) then we pray strategically throughout our day about the little things and the big things … we are being guided by His Holy Spirit to do His bidding for His glory. Nothing is too little nor too big to bring before our Father  … He is interested in it ALL … just as you and I are with our own children and grandchildren, right?  

     

Are You Stuck? How do you pray if you are stuck or maybe just beginning this spiritual discipline?

Try this … The Navigators Ministry in college taught me a useful acronym ACTS: A for Adoration, C for Confession, T for Thanksgiving and S for Supplication (others requests as well as your own)     

Pray faithfully is a rich, full and deep topic for which we can only scratch the surface today.  But just like a piece of rich, dark chocolate cake from my Great-grandmother Lolly’s hands (you wouldn’t believe how delicious those memories are!) pick up the fork and allow yourself to get started one teensy bite at a time! You will discover (or rediscover), as have I, the absolute DELIGHT of conversation with our Father. He truly answers my prayers in amazing ways … sometimes before they ever even come to complete request. I have seen actual miracles from His tender and generous hand over and over and over.

Being self- disciplined dear Sister in this and every other area of our life … spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically … takes work and effort.  I continue to remind you as a coach that the word DISCIPLINE, contrary to our culture, is actually important to forward momentum! Coaching is all about forward momentum … sometimes two steps forward and three steps back … but don’t stop moving forward!

Two great quotes for your month of June:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates

“It is the same with people as it is with riding a bike. Only when moving can one comfortably maintain one’s balance.” – Albert Einstein                  

Pray Faithfully! Keep riding the bike! Don’t worry about seeing immediate results but continue to be faithful in bringing your requests to God. (Remember Phil. 4:6-7). Trust Him … He is sovereign. Relax in His love … He sees and knows the beginning and the end. Be prepared and ACTIVE as a prayer warrior on the frontlines, putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6; 10-18) (I suggest you memorize this!).  You are in the battle anyway …be determined and disciplined to be engaged!

Some of my most personal tender times of prayer have been in the wee hours of the morning as I prayed for several hours in a stretch, and as I walked many many miles in preparation for the marathons … and on rare occasion  … when I have prayed all night. The delight of His presence is palpable and an honor and … is available to each of us. We need just tip-toe into the mighty and tender loving throne room of our heavenly Father and talk to Him!

 Coaching Prayer Resources I recommend:

  • One of the most popular Christian movies of the year (my opinion) is War Room which is another box office hit by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. A must see! (Available on DVD)
  • Bible studies center around it like The Armor of God (Priscilla Shirer) or The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies (Stephen and Alex Kendrick).
  • There are many books on prayer … my favorite of late as you can tell is The Weapon of Prayer: Maximize Your Greatest Strategy Against the Enemy by David D. Ireland.

One last thought … you remember my little dog Ber, right? Well, today on our walk he was doing his normal pulling against his leash when he decides he wants to visit this, sniff that, etc. I was becoming a bit frustrated when I thought …” I wonder if this is how the Lord feels when I attempt to pull Him here and there in my prayers instead of “prayer-listening”?  All we can do is ask what we believe would be consistent with Biblical principles in prayer and then we need to REST in His will … not pulling against the proverbial leash. He is sovereign and He is to be trusted and we are to surrender to His loving plans for our lives.    A  final thought for today  :).

Let’s pray faithfully together! “Where 2 or more are gathered …” Matthew 18:20!

PS … Need prayer? I would be honored to pray for you! Just reply to this email!

PPS … On a personal note I have just returned from an amazing road trip with my Mom and sister Dianna to Branson, Missouri!  Thank you for those of you praying for our safety over the hundreds of miles we drove! We had a great time together … laughing and going to musicals, comedies and shows of different kinds. We shopped :), we did devotions together, we watched DVDs (Letters of Mother Teresa and Ruth Bell Graham … both great!), etc. So I think our topic of Praying Faithfully is perfectly fitting for many reasons on my heart!

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Branson, Missouri, Christian Life Coaching, Christian Life coaching, devotions on the road, God's Language of prayer, Laugh Abundantly, Laughter is best medicine, Laughter is healing, LIVE JOYFULLY, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, Mother Teresa, Pray Faithfully, Prayer, Road trip!, Ruth Bell Graham, Stress reduction through laughter, summer fruit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smile Spontaneously

 Smiling spontaneously is great both for the giver and receiver!  The other day I was in line at Costco waiting my turn to pick up probiotics and a darling little girl was playfully talking with her daddy. I immediately found myself grinning from ear to ear … as was the lady in front of me and we met eyes and laughed and talked about how a little child can sure make you smile!

Baby Smile

Isn’t that true? All I have to do is think about the antics or sweet faces of one of our grandsons and I smile alllll alone in my writing chair! Or I think about one of the many people I love and I can’t help but smile. Why just recalling  the smiles of people can cause me to smile!

What is a smile according to Google?  “form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed.” Sounds pretty sterile and clinical, right?

In truth, spontaneously smiling not only is great medically, psychologically and emotionally for us … it is also part of our relationship with God … He created this amazing feature.   

What does the Bible say about smiling? Well, lots about joy and rejoicing which cause one to smile but yes, it talks about smiling too! God smiling and us smiling!

Job 9:27 “If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,”

Psalm 119:135 “Smile on me, and teach me your laws.”

Psalm 31:16 “Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!”

Psalm 4:6 “Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, LORD.”

Proverbs 15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.”

Proverbs 15:13-15 “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.”

Let me tell you a story about a childhood goal.  I remember my dear grandfather to be a very quiet, tall Irishman who smoked a pipe. He rode a large sorrel-colored horse, loved strong coffee (Yep! Its’ genetic for me!), loved his family … cattle … and growing and harvesting hay. He was a man of few words but always had juicy fruit gum in his pocket for us grandkids plus a Hershey bar (Is that why I LOVE chocolate?).  One of my favorite things to do was … to try and get my Grandad “Daddy John” to smile.  I remember very specifically working each time I was with him to illicit a smile from my Daddy John. It was a successful day to me as a child if I was able to do so! He was not stern … the opposite … very compassionate and gentle and generous. He just didn’t smile much! This was a challenge which I, and a few of my cousins, set out to help him with! Oh, those Irish eyes would twinkle when he did!

Another glimpse into my story as a breast cancer survivor:

 As a young Mom, fairly new to California, I ended up at an oncological surgeon in Beverly Hills, California more often than I wanted to. I had many lumps which need to be tested and removed and tested for possible breast cancer. I was there in Beverly Hills walking down Rodeo Drive more than I had ever imagined necessary or possible back when I was a child on our ranch even when I participated in actual rodeos. (I loved my horse Lady and competing in barrel racing!)   When I was walking out of the parking structure to head to the oncological surgeon’s office on Rodeo Drive I often played what I thought was a fun game …probably to get my mind off of being tested for cancer. I tried to get people in busy Beverly Hills … as I walked, or ate lunch or in the waiting room for the doctor … to make eye contact with me and SMILE!  This was not always easy let me tell you! But it kept me entertained and doing something positive to brighten my day and any unsuspecting person I might engage with. More than once I was able to share about my faith with people in Beverly Hills just by offering a SMILE, eye contact and whala (!) God provided some opportunities!  

You know it’s a fact that smiling lowers stress, lowers blood pressure, strengthens your immune system, lessens pain, puts you in a better mood and smiling is contagious!

Ever have a day that you are just plain sad? I do! If you or I CHOOSE to smile often … it truly lifts your mood! Take a walk and listen to the birds (smile), listen to worship music (sing and smile), call someone who needs to hear your voice or drop them a note (smile while you do so … they can tell)! Sit down with God’s Word and sit with a verse or a chapter that lifts your heart (smile at God!).

Smile

CHOOSE to:

  1. Be Grateful (write down 3 things per day you are grateful for)
  2. Allow yourself to be joy-filled and smile! My 5th and 6th grade teacher Mrs. Nickell used to say “Kids, you draw more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.”
  3. Reach out and love God and love others (Mark 12:28) smiling as you do so! It lets them know your love and service is coming from an authentic place.

These things always help to get your focus away from yourself and your challenges … and re-focus them on the Lord as well as how you can be a blessing to others! This I can promise!   

Baby smile

In the blog post “The Science of Smiling: A Guide to The World’s Most Powerful Gesture” by Leo Widrich he has some fascinating information. I’m sharing a little bit here but if you’re interested it is a fascinating read!

  • “The smile is the “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content” concludes scientist Andrew Newberg (quote).
  • Quote: Mother Teresa “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
  • Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.
  • Smiling then, seems to give us the same happiness that exercising induces terms of how our brain responds. In short: our brain feels good and tells us to smile, we smile and tell our brain it feels good and so forth.
  • Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies. And smiling helps to generate more positive emotions within you. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more. On average, they do so 400 times a day. Whilst happy people still smile 40-50 times a day, the average of us only does so 20 times.”

The author even sites that women smile more than men, that you can practice an authentic smile and more! Great read!

Babies and children make us smile and baby animals often do so as well! Photos of people we love … like the ones in many places in my home … or on your Facebook page or in our memories bring a grin to our faces.  A joke or a funny movie or cute antics of your pet or kids or grand kids bring Texas-sized grins to our faces … or we laugh out loud! I urge you to freely give your smile … don’t hold back! Go ahead! SMILE!

We often make choices to smile or not to smile and to connect to other people. This is the one thing that is the same in every language … a smile!    Giving a smile away is FREE, might make someone else’s day and it takes less muscles in our faces to smile than to frown.

Smile!

Why not spontaneously smile, not just in your heart when something blesses you, but smile at those you love, smile at those you don’t know, smile when the Lord touches your heart … just make it a habit to SMILE!  

Coaching Moment:  God tells us in Philippians 4:8 to focus on “… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

If we are obeying this Word from the Lord on what to focus our thoughts on  … how can we help but smile spontaneously?

I recommend that you purposefully put IN to your heart, mind, spirit and life things that bring a smile to you … including Scripture!

Coaching Resource: The 4:8 Principle … The Secret To A Joy-Filled Life” by Tommy Newberry.   

  Baby smiling

Many Blessings and Keep Smiling Spontaneously!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Be Happy, Children make you smile!, Smile, Smile Spontaneously, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Care Deeply and Shepherding … What Do They Have in Common?

Gentle Nudgings Monthly Coaching e–letter and Weekly BLOG 

What a rich subject “Care Deeply” is as it applies to our relationship with the Lord and with people! The analogy which comes to my mind is SHEPHERDING (some equate to discipling, mentoring and leadership). In our personal walks with the Lord we are not only encouraged to grow personally but to, once mature, to be “spiritual mothers” to the “younger women.” We are called in Titus 2 to put our love into action;  to live our lives out in obedience to the Lord and also to teach and encourage the younger women. You could call this shepherding I think. (Smile) Caring deeply enough to invest one’s life in another in loving and guiding younger women to enjoy know and enjoy their freedom in Christ.

You may know that I grew up on a cattle ranch in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.  My family has had ranches in that area for well over 100 years.  Both sides of my Dad’s family were involved in politics (doesn’t surprise you, right? 🙂 ) and … my great grandfather at one time had nearly 1000 sheep!

When I came along and was in the 4-H Youth Program my wonderful Uncle Bill and Aunt Georgia gave me sheep from their herd for my 4-H projects. Yes! I was a shepherdess of sorts! My little lambs were Ko-Ko and Sampson.  I learned a lot about sheep during the many many hours (years with Sampson) taking care of them. 

Why am I telling you these fun family facts about my story? Well, for a number of reasons this month but it completely fits with Caring Deeply.

You see Shepherding to me and to many is a bit like discipling and mentoring  and surely relates to leadership. In John 21:17 Jesus tells Peter to “tend my sheep.”  And yet it is also amazing to me that in discussing this topic of shepherding  … sometimes even in the church setting … we don’t really understand it.  It is not exactly how most of us live our lives today, true, although shepherding is still happening around the world. In fact, several years ago it used to be that on our way to church on Sundays there was a modern day shepherd tending a flock for years within a mile of our church!   

 As one who actually owned sheep and trained them as 4-H projects I can tell you that sheep follow gentle / kind leadership. If you are kind and gentle, generous with food and water and shelter, quiet spirited … you can successfully shepherd sheep as they will trust your guidance, your direction and they’ll follow you anywhere! I knew my sheep’s voices and they knew mine! On the other hand if you are harsh, mean-spirited, loud, demanding   … you will chase the sheep away and they will not follow you, cooperate with you or feel safe with you. 

Some facts to “wet your whistle” about sheep and shepherding in the Bible from Scouting the Divine: Searching for God in Wine, Wool and Wild Honey by Margaret Feinberg: (Great book and Bible study by the way!)

  • “Some of the Bible’s greatest leaders kept sheep. Think about it … Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and King David  and shepherds were even included in the short-list at the birth of Christ. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said “Behold the Lamb of God!,” Jesus used stories and parables about shepherds  and sheep, Peter and Paul use this imagery on how to care for God’s people, and in the book of Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God.
  • Sheep are the most frequently mentioned animal in the Bible.
  • There are nearly 700 references to sheep and shepherds.”

Margaret mentions the stereo type that we all tend to think of when we think of sheep … that sheep are dumb. In actuality they are not dumb but they are defenseless. No sharp teeth, no claws … absolutely no way to defend themselves.

Isn’t that just like people … defenseless? People are in many ways … maybe really ALL ways … defenseless but GOD is our Good Shepherd. We are His sheep as it says in the Bible.  We know He will take care of us as He promises in His Word. We know He will protect us!

Here are a couple of foundational questions and facts about shepherding:

(Yes! I DO have a staff!)

What does a shepherd have?  They travel light but they always have a rod and a staff.  The rod is for defense against predators. The staff is to GENTLY take care of the sheep;   guiding, tending.

Who are Shepherds these days?  Well, I believe that it is those given to us by God in our care in some way. As parents we are to be shepherds of our little flocks / family,  in our churches as pastors or leaders we have “flocks”, as women in a circle of influence those in our care could be our “flocks,” as teachers we have classrooms of students under our care, as employers we have teams of people under our guidance,  etc. 

What does a shepherd do? They protect the sheep. They take care of the sheep. 

We can disciple / shepherd others the Lord has put in our care when we develop relationships with them that show we can be trusted and that they are safe with us. Showing them  that we care deeply about them and will use our “staff” in life to lead them to green pastures, safe places and “still waters” is part of our God-given calling.

What does a shepherd NOT do.  Logistically, let’s look at what shepherds do not use as leadership styles. They do not use the staff to hurt the sheep, to threaten the sheep, they do not yell or even raise their voice to their sheep. That would send the sheep away running for cover! They reserve the above tactics of bullying, harshness, yelling and inflicting pain for predators alone. What if that is their given personality? Well, either they would learn to adapt and change or … they would need to change careers.  Shepherds don’t chase sheep, they gather sheep and then gently herd them.

  • Had I yelled at, been harsh with or inflicted pain on my sheep they (A) Would not have come to me when I called because they would not have trusted me nor felt safe with me (B) They would have run away from me when it was essential that they follow me or come to me for nourishment, for care and when in danger for safety.
  • We cannot demand our sheep follow … sheep plain don’t respond to that these tactics. May I say … nor do people! Just like with people sheep trust you when they know you are safe to be around, will protect and care for them.  They trust you when they know you Care Deeply for them.

We get our clues about HOW TO shepherd and disciple others from the Word of God and we watch HOW the Holy Spirit guides us … gently. He gently gives us direction and cares for us and sometimes He firmly guides us out of danger as our Shepherd.

Question: Which kind of shepherd was Jesus?  Which example shows the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

We (as His sheep / flock) are to follow Him and obey Him and we do so out of love for Him (He first loved us!) and out of trust in Him. We as His “sheep” know we are safe in His care.  He shows us His great love … as we are to show our love and concern for others. We are to emulate Him. Check out Galatians 5:22 … gently, kindly, patiently, in love, in self –control … not provoking one another and acting conceited or envious.  

Check out these verses from Biblegateway.com  (Not an  exhaustive list there are many more!):

Psalm 78:52

But He led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;

 Psalm 79:13

So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture Will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

 Psalm 95:7

For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,

 Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

 Isaiah 53:6

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Ezekiel 34:11

[ The Restoration of Israel ] For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

 Ezekiel 34:12

As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.

 Matthew 7:15

[ A Tree and Its Fruit ] “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

 Matthew 9:36

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

 Matthew 18:12

[ Ninety-nine Plus One ] “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?

 John 10:3

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

 John 10:4

When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

 John 10:7

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:13

He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.

 John 10:15

even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

 John 21:17

He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.

Hebrews 13:20

[ Benediction ] Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,

 1 Peter 2:25

For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

 Psalm 23 [Full Chapter]

[ The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd. ] [ A Psalm of David. ] The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. …

 

God in the Bible is shown to us to be the Good Shepherd.  As His sheep when we feel defenseless He is there for us through His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, to protect us and to teach us. The Holy Spirit, although firm with us when we are going astray (see Isaiah 53:6), is never harsh and demanding … He is gentle and deeply caring in His ways of guiding us. 

  • Do you know that in some areas of the world that all the shepherds keep their sheep in the same pen or corral at night? The only way into the pen for predators is the gate which is guarded at night. Then the next morning each shepherd, one-by-one, go to the gate and calls his/her sheep. His / her sheep know their voice and make their way to the gate to follow their own shepherd out to green pastures for nourishment … how about that! Just like us as people we need know the voice of the Lord to follow Him!   

We are to be gentle and deeply caring, as God has shown us in His Word, in tending the hearts of those in our care in our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, our communities, our circles of influence and yes, even strangers!  Rather than just “random acts of kindness” how about proactive and planned acts of kindness?

Again … it cannot be understated that the fruits of the Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5:22-26 are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

“True Strength is Delicate”

In these days where there is much harshness not only on the TV, in politics and in societal discourse … people are hiding behind computer screens to say things on email or FB that they’d never be so rude to say to someone’s face … the bullying is palpable. And yet because of “PC speak” others are afraid to even speak the truth of God’s Word. Wow … confusion reigns, right?

No. Only God is sovereign. He alone reigns. Our hope is to be in Him alone and our focus on Him alone (see the first commandment) and He says in His Word to CARE DEEPLY (Love: Him first, others and ourselves Mark 12:28) and to follow Him. 

Again, in caring deeply let us emulate Him as a good shepherd to whatever flock He has graciously given into our care. Maybe that is our family, our church, our classroom of students, our neighbors, the fellow employees at work, the other Moms at the school, etc. as well as strangers.

Coaching Questions: (Journal)

  1. Who is in your flock (s) requiring your care today?
  2. How will you care proactively for your flock (s)?
  3. How has God shown you His gentle care through the Holy Spirit?
  4. What does Care Deeply mean to you?
  5. What will your planned, proactive act of kindness be this week? Today?

Coaching Resources of the Month:

  • Scouting the Divine: Searching for God in Wine, Wool and Wild Honey by Margaret Feinberg.
  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
  • Check out my BLOG on www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com for weekly Gentle Nudgings.  Recent blog topics have been on: Live Joyfully, Laugh Abundantly, Love affectionately and Give Generously.

As I wrap up this month’s Gentle Nudgings  Coaching E-letter may I say to you that as a coach, as a sister-in-the-Lord and as a friend or family member I do care deeply for you. You are in my prayers!

I am here if you need me for prayer, for coaching or for encouragement in your walk in the Lord.  Nope, not perfectly as I am “made of mud” just like you, but … I do care deeply that you find encouragement and hope in Jesus Christ and the courage to follow Him and lead those in your care!

  • Remember that little King David faced down and destroyed the giant Goliath after protecting the flock he had been given from a bear and a lion! Then when he encountered the giant in his life (we all have them from time to time) … he reflected back on how GOD had protected him in the past and thus had courage for his future victory over the giant Goliath …not because of himself but because of the God he loved and served!

May you have COURAGE over your giants! May you lead your God-given “flock” like our Good Shepherd Jesus by Caring Deeply!  

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com     

 

 

 

Posted in 4-H Youth Program, Care Deeply, Christian Life Coaching, Courage, Leadership, Love God, Margaret Feinberg, Mentoring women, Sheep, Shepherding your flock, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment