Pam Taylor - Christian Life Coach

The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus

Every few months, I need a little something to freshen up my devotions. That’s also when I get my old journals and notes out and look for something that made an impact on me in the past. Something that made me get fresh perspective into what really matters in this life here on earth. Are you wondering how can I so boldly title this blog post, “The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus”? I’m glad you asked!

First, I can say it because it is true (because the Bible tells me so), (and also because I have proven it true in my own life). When it comes down to the bottom line…NOTHING else matters but a personal relationship with Jesus. It is a relationship that needs nurture and time and purposeful seeking…

Here’s an illustration of that very truth that I found in my notes from November 1998. (It is from Our Daily Bread Devotional.) The story is about Henri Nouwen. As many of the spiritual fathers & mothers from former days, he was not afraid to speak Truth into people’s lives.

A lady had come to Henri Nouwen…complaining about her husband. He wasn’t abusive. I think she was just tired of him and his habits. And it seems she wanted to change him. She definitely wanted Henri to tell her she was right and her husband was wrong. Henri listened and had two things to say to her. One a rebuke. The other a suggestion.

The rebuke: “All that is a distraction. I don’t mean to denigrate or even dispute your complaints, but those are beside the point. The only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.” (Now you know where I got the title.)

The suggestion: “Just take 5 minutes every day for two weeks to sit quietly and ask to be with Jesus; ask for His presence. And then…come and tell me what’s important.”

Choosing to be with Jesus (yes, it’s a choice…just like any relationship)…in His presence…puts a whole new perspective on things. So, whether you are a long-time follower of Jesus, or brand new at this, I offer you the same challenge: Every day for two weeks (and beyond), sit for 5 minutes (or longer) and ask to be with Jesus. Ask for His presence.

Then, let me know what’s important.

Let me know if you have new perspective and if you also experience anew or afresh, that the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the people praise You, O God; let the peoples praise You.” Psalm 67:1-3


Time with God Grown Stale? Try This…

Has time with God gotten a bit stale lately? Do you need some ideas to help freshen up your devotions — your meetings with the Lord God Almighty? Here’s a list I have often referred back to over the years since I began my personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son…the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe this will bring fresh life to those times for you, too.

You can pick and choose, or do them all!

Every day (ideas to freshen up your devotions):
* Give thanks to the Lord for something that happened yesterday
* Praise Him for some attribute He has that you need today
* Go through the alphabet re what you know about God. (e.g. A= Always there)
* Romans 12:1 = Purposely present yourself to Him
* Psalm 96:1, 2 = Sing a NEW song = it is important for new life
* Ephesians 5:18 = Keep on being filled
* Psalm 139:23, 24 = ASK God to search your heart (We have the capacity to “fool” ourselves)
* I John 1:6-10 = Remember that sin is “missing the mark”…like an archer missing the bulls-eye.
* Romans 8:29 = Purpose to be conformed to the image of His Son = the reason for Romans 8:28 = the GOAL
* James 1:5-8 = ASK for wisdom
* Ask for supernatural ability to love God with supernatural agape love
* Pray for Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless Israel
* Pray for your family, your church, your hometown, your state, your country
*Thank Him that you are His child! Not yet? Why not? Questions? Just ask Him. He’s listening. What matters to you, matters to Him.

Ask Him. You’ll be glad you did. I promise!

Hebrews 2: 2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

He will show you the way “Home”

 


You Thought This Would Be the Year. (New Year’s Resolutions)

This is the time of year people tend to get discouraged because they had such hope that this would be the year that they would be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, through mere determination, this year would be different. Does that sound like you?

There is a simple way to get on the road to where you want to be. Better yet—to get on the road to where God wants you to be. It is the road to what He created you for (to fulfill His purpose for you). That road also will be part of the discovery of what He created for you. Read on…

Moses had questions for God when God sent him out to rescue His people from Pharaoh. (Aren’t you glad that wasn’t YOUR assignment?) Do you remember what God said to Moses?

God said, “What’s that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2 NIV)

That’s also what God says to each of us: “What’s that in your hand?”

Whatever you have been given by God—whatever unique strengths that He has chosen for you, He expects you to “sow” them right back into the world where you are right now. To use what is already in your hand.

So, tell me…”What is that in your hand?” God doesn’t wait for you to feel called. You already are called. Right where you are, right now. You don’t have to wait until He equips you. You already are equipped. (With your God-given, God-chosen just-for-you STRENGTHS.) Sound good? It gets better! God has already done the hard part. All you have to do is discover what He has already done in you.

You can be one of the many that are being blessed by discovering their uniqueness through the Leading From Your Strengths assessments. They are finally understanding why they do what they do, and why they act and react the way they do. AND why others act and react the way they way they do.

And they are also discovering it is all part of the Creator’s PLAN. Each person’s uniqueness is not an accident.  Wouldn’t you like to be one of those people that are finding joy & fulfillment & purpose through this discovery process? It’s not a pie-in-the-sky by-and-by dream. It can be a current reality for you. Maybe it will even help you understand why those New Year’s Resolutions that sounded so good, really were good ideas, but needed tweaking so they would fit your God-given design in a way that you could actually follow through and feel the joy of success. I’d love to walk the journey of discovery with you.

For more information, there are 4 other blog posts on this topic at www.loavesandfishescoaching.com

Through Leading From Your Strengths assessments, it is possible to find the pieces of the puzzle you have been missing. You will be blessed. And refreshed.

And, maybe you were right after all when you thought this would be the year. Questions? Contact me at http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php and we can arrange the assessment/debrief, so that when God asks you, “What’s that in your hand?” you will know the answer without a doubt!


For the Answers to: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part IV of IV

We’ve been on a journey together these last weeks, discussing Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? We have finally arrived at the destination of discussing a resource that has been personally life changing. This resource has been instrumental as one more step to take me from where I am to where I want to be.  It is one more step to bridge the gap between the two. That’s why I want to tell you about it! It works well with the coaching model of helping people to reach their goals. And, for the Christian, this resource is a breath of fresh air because it uses Biblical principles to help each of us to discover our unique God-given design, so we can be the best “me” we were meant to be.

This resource is not a talent assessment, nor a spiritual gifts assessment, nor an assessment to help you discover your passion. We use other resources to help in those areas. This resource is to help you discover your Natural Strengths (what you are naturally) as well as your Adapted Strengths (what you present to your world). The Leading From Your Strengths assessment only requires a few minutes to take it online. And yet, from your responses, we discover wonderful things about your personality. It is helpful for understanding how you interact with others and why they may perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. It is valuable in helping you to accept who God made you to be so you more effectively move forward in your strengths.  But…the BEST part about this assessment is that it also helps you accept how God designed other people in your world. It is a tool you can use in order to learn how to work together more effectively with your world…and with less stress.

What a gift Rodney Cox and John Trent gave the world when they collaborated on the development of these assessments! Amazing! Freeing! Encouraging! Body(of Christ)-building. Team building. Marriage building. Family building. It is not “my” strength. It is not “your” strength. It is “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, in order for His light to shine through us, so that above all things, He will be glorified. But, we have to KNOW those strengths. And we have to embrace them. And we have to embrace the strengths of others.

In their book, Leading From Your Strengths, Building Close-Knit Ministry Teams, John Trent & Rodney Cox say: “In I Corinthians 12:18 the apostle Paul concludes his discussion of how God’s people are like members of a body by stating, ‘But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted.’ We believe that is also absolutely true today. The group of people you are working with isn’t the result of a random coincidence. Those people you’re working with are part of God’s story for your life. That is an amazing thing to think about in itself. It ‘s also why investing time in building a healthy, functional, effective, empowering team is essential, not optional.”

These four blog posts have attempted to guide you to find the answers for: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? To know your strengths is not boasting. The more we step into our God-given strengths, the more we will realize that He has given us what we need to do what He designed for us. Do you think you don’t have what it takes money-wise or time-wise? When Moses questioned his God-given strengths in Exodus 3 and 4, God replied, “What is that in your hand?” Discover what God has placed in YOUR hand. (Your strengths.) Take the assessment for yourself.  For more information, go to: http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php

For less than the cost of an oil-change and fill-up of gas, or the cost of dinner for two at a nice restaurant, you could have a whole new perspective on life and purpose.

What is that worth to you to be more fully you? (Your God-intended you.)

Do you think you don’t have the time? By simply skipping one of your favorite TV shows, you could free-up time to take the Leading From Your Strengths assessment and debrief consultation with an experienced life coach. It could be a new beginning for you….like it has been for so many others. What is that worth to you? For only $149, this could be the start of something new and fresh in your life.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!  http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part III of IV

Be sure to read Part I and Part II of this series. We learned that conflict comes when we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and have difficulty understanding why others don’t view the world through the same “glasses” we do. So, who am I? Who are you? And why do we do the things we do?

It is easy to think that other people are “vision” impaired when they differ in the way they solve problems, process information, manage change, or face risks. This plays itself out in our closest relationship teams, whether in family, at work, or in the church. Is there any hope for something better? Yes, I believe there is. We don’t have to settle for mediocrity! Will it take work? Yes, it will. Will it take time? Yes. And patience as well. According to Ministry Insights, there are 384 distinctive personality styles. The Leading From Your Strengths Personality Assessment is a tool to help us first understand our God-given design, leading us to then accept the God-given design of others. This gives us the freedom to encourage others to embrace their own God-given design. Their strengths, in other words.

Since most of our life is spent working in a team of some sort, God has given us our strengths for the benefit of the “team”. We are needed. We are a necessary part of the team. Created by Him and for His purposes. Different, yes. With a natural set of strengths that He personally handpicked for us. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart & soul, mind & strength. If we don’t even know and accept our strengths and the strengths of those around us, how can we love Him fully? On the other hand, by accepting, loving, embracing, and using our strengths for the good of others, we delight the Lord God Almighty…the Creator. This is good, acceptable, and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Christ is in us—directing us to live a life worthy of our calling and giving us the power to do that. Each of us has a solution for a certain need in the world. He chose our personality and prepared works for us to do.

It is not “my” strength to do with as I please, but “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, so that His light will shine through us. Therefore, above all things, He will be glorified. So, the answer to: Who am I? Who are you? Why do we do the things we do? = We were created to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty. So…we have to know those strengths and actually embrace them as strengths. As a gift. Many of us “fight” who we are and wish we were different. Embracing our strengths pleases the Father God.

God created us to work in community, whether at work, at church, in our hometown, or in the family. We also need to know and embrace our differences. It is all about working well together as a team. It’s not about “me”, but it is about “us”. How can we bring out the best in each other? Our specialized differences make the Body (the Team) work the way it was meant to. The differences are then seen as a good thing.

Wouldn’t you like to know more about how to embrace this fresh approach to our God-given design? Ministry Insights, Leading From Your Strengths assessment is one of the best tools I have experienced personally. It has changed my view of myself and my view of others. I am free-er! Want to know more? Stay tuned for Part IV of this series. You will learn how to make this a reality in your own life and in the life of the teams where you live out your life story.

This has been Part III of four parts to discovering: “Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?” Watch for Part IV coming soon! J


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part II of IV

Do you remember from Part I that conflict comes because we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and try to make others into our clones? Do you remember that my friend chose the higher ground and realized what I needed in order to move forward? She “brought out the best” of my God-given design. Do you remember that I ended Part I of Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? by asking, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that as well as my friend did?”

Depending on our design, we each handle those areas of potential conflict differently, whether in:
1. problem solving (either reflective or aggressive)
2. processing information (either realistic or optimistic)
3. managing change (either dynamic or predictable), and
4. facing risk (either pioneering or structured)

Ministry Insights - Leadership Assessment TestsAccording to Ministry Insights there are 384 distinctive personality styles. And their Leading From Your Strengths personality assessment has been a tool that God has used in my life to bring acceptance. First, as I accept my own personal God-given design and then as I accept the God-given design of others. This assessment has been a personal life-changer for me. I much more readily understand why people act and react the way they do. Life is more fun because I take fewer things personally. And…I can enjoy and encourage others to embrace their own design.

Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Assessments were designed by Rodney Cox and John Trent. The three goals for creating the assessments are:

1. Understand how you are wired from the inside (how God made you)
2. Value the strength of others
3. Blend the differences among the team members and harness each person’s unique strength.

One important difference you will notice about the Ministry Insights assessment vs. others that you may have taken is this: Many of the others have a secular message, which centers on you, the individual. But the purpose of LFYS is bigger than that…centering around a Biblical message of embracing who God made you to be…but additionally… with the greater purpose of learning to embrace the uniqueness of others…in order to work well together as a team, whether in family, at work, or in the church.

This has been Part II of four parts to discovering:
Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?
How can we learn to get along better together?
Watch for Part III coming soon!


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