Sunday, September 25, 2011

What is Life Coaching?


I am very honored to be a part of a new ministry at Fair Oaks Church that was just launched today - LIFE COACHING! I have been involved in coaching, in one way or another for a couple of decades now, but never have I been more excited than right now for how God will be using me through this ministry.

People have asked me before "so, what is life coaching?" but, as a naturally long-winded person, never has my response been so concise as when I was asked to keep it under 2 minutes for the video promo. That was a great incentive to get very clear about what life coaching is all about.

Life Coaching is all about helping people move forward. Unlike counseling which often focuses on analyzing the past as an explanation for current obstacles, Life Coaching starts with where you’re at – kind of like how Christ meets us where we’re at – and moves forward from there. Forget the past, let’s wipe it clean, start right here and move forward. Life Coaching focuses on setting goals, identifying the steps to achieve those goals and developing a method of accountability to take those steps. Your Life Coach partners with you in that accountability. They’re someone who is going to challenge you and push you but not do it for you. And when you work with a Christian Life Coach, every goal, every step, every method is going to be Christ-centered. If it isn’t honoring God, we’re on the wrong track. An objective sounding-board, an accountability partner, a trusted confidant, your Life Coach is going to empower you to move forward quickly and to “own” your results and successes. 

To learn more about this new ministry at Fair Oak Church, click on the Romans 15 Life Coaching Ministry page on this blog or visit www.loudonpurpose.com/lifecoaching for more information or to make an appointment.


Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?" - Romans 15:1-2 The Message

Monday, September 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

I struggled a bit with whether or not to post this, but for those who prayed with me, I wanted you to share in joy of God’s answered prayers….

A couple of weeks ago I put this post out on Facebook:

Planning a major random act of kindness tomorrow morning. Pray with me that God will give us courage and help us find the two special people we are supposed to bless!
The group of us attending the Women of Faith Conference Friday and 12 other online prayer warriors prayed that morning and those prayers were heard and answered in such an amazing way.

You see a year before, my mother and I had purchased a block of tickets for the Woman of Faith Conference in hopes of getting a group of ladies to go with us. Neither of us are woman of great means but we both agreed that if there were any tickets that went unspoken for, we would pray for God to help us find people to give the remaining tickets to.

The morning of the conference, we still had two tickets left so we all began to pray for God to help us find the two people who really needed to hear the message being brought that weekend but didn’t have the means to buys tickets.

We knew this was going to be a bit of a stretch. Anyone milling around in front of the Verizon Center probably already had tickets and if they didn’t, they came prepared to buy them. Standing out by the ticket lines, there were lots of people who had extra tickets who were stalking people in the ticket lines and selling their left over tickets for a fraction of the price (and I’m sure I could have done that too) but that’s not what I felt we were being led to do… so the prayers continued.

With just 10 minutes to go, the rest of our gang already inside and mom and I getting ready to give up, God did one of his miracle things and our 1st recipient was revealed.

Standing about 30 feet away from the now emptied out ticketing area was a frail, five-foot nothing woman who was easily in her 70’s. She was wearing a shirt and pants that looked like she’d been wearing them for a several days unwashed and on her back was a backpack that may have contained all she owned. She had an odd straw hat strung around her neck and had freshly applied bright red lipstick that looked quite out of place with no other makeup on and her grey hair slicked back in tight little bun.

As she stood there just staring at the ticket sign I walked up to her and said. “excuse me… did you need a ticket?” she looked at me, almost shaking, and said, “I want to go, but I can’t buy a ticket.” I pulled out one of my spare tickets and put one in her hand and said, “now you have a ticket.” Her mouth opened, her eyes welled and as she realized what just happened a big smile came over her face and she gave me the biggest hug. She looked at the ticket in her hand and asked where the seats were – she was afraid of heights. I told her the ticket was in the preferred section in the 100s so she would be pretty close to the ground and she hugged me again and told me she had been specifically praying that God would bring her a ticket on the first floor and here it was.

Wow.

That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! As blessed as that woman felt getting a free ticket, it pales in comparison to the blessing I got from it.

With the 5 minute countdown beginning, mom and I decided to head to our seats and planned to try and give the other ticket away before the evening session started since a lot of women who work skip the first afternoon session and don’t come until after work on Friday.

At 6:30 pm on Friday, mom and I went back down to the ticketing area. Feeling like a total stalker (putting those 1st-time connector skills to work) I followed a couple of women who were going from window to window. When I got close enough to hear what they were discussing with the ticket agents, they were asking if anyone turned in their extra tickets might that they might have for free. I interrupted.

One of the ladies explained that she bought two tickets for her and her daughter to come but her daughter kept pushing off the suggestion so she gave her extra ticket away. That morning her daughter actually asked about going, but she’d already given the ticket to a friend and was hoping she could find a free ticket for her daughter since she’d already paid for her daughter’s ticket once. Ta Da! Ticket for the daughter. They were so appreciative for the ticket and I was so appreciative that God used me and blessed me all at the same time.

That evening, Henry Cloud was speaking on the keys to happiness and said that secular psychological research on the “cause” of happiness yielded a top 5 list that looked like it came right out of a church sermon – number one on the list for things that cause happiness was GIVING, number two was CONNECTEDNESS. Seems that I got a two-for-one on my random act of kindness and, yes, the result was abundant happiness.

:-D

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Waffles and Spaghetti - A growth group for couples

This Fall, my husband and I will be leading a growth group at Fair Oaks Church based on the book “Men Are Like Waffles-Women Are Like Spaghetti.” This interactive study designed by Christian authors Bill and Pam Farrel is a humorous look at God’s design in the differences between men and women which should keep participants laughing and engaged with video messages from the authors each week, workbook exercises and what promises to be lively discussion!

Men and women know they are different, but what can they do about it? In this interactive study, Bill & Pam Farrel explain why men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. Men order each element of their lives into a separate box, women weave details of their lives together so everything touches everything else.

This study will help couples use their differences to better communicate and relate to each other as partners and parents. The material in this study is designed to help couples love and support each other in seven key areas:

·         Acceptance
·         Service
·         Encouragement
·         Forgiveness
·         Devotion
·         Motivation
·         Edification

And each of the seven lessons are sprinkled with the secret to all successful relationships – the Word of God. Check out this sneak preview…



If you are interested in registering for this study, click here: Fall Growth Groups at Fair Oaks Church

We will be meeting in the Floyd White Chapel at Fair Oaks Church from 6:00pm – 8:00pm on select Sundays (9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/16, 10/23, 11/6, 11/20). Each couple should purchase 2 Waffles & Spaghetti workbooks at the cost of $15 for the pair and are available for purchase at Connection Central at Fair Oaks Church. Check out this promo:

video


For anyone who has participated in any of my other workshops or growth groups, this is NOT an MBTI study. Although there are certainly some places where descriptions overlap in the functions (S/N and T/F) there are other areas where they are clearly not in sync. A welcome sidebar for anyone interested in discussing it.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Heavenly Lemonade

From time to time, I’ll be witnessing to someone by telling them how God had worked something great in my life through a trial I was going through. Invariably the listener will say something like “if God’s all powerful, why didn’t He just cure the cancer?” or “if God’s plan is the perfect plan why did He write cancer into the plan?” or “if God’s all loving, why did He to give you the cancer to begin with?”  

There are lots of ways to answer those questions in a straightforward biblical way (you have to be in tune with what they’re ready to hear), but recently this metaphor came to me – not of my own intellect but the Holy spirit working through me, I wanted to jot it down before I forgot it.

You see, I don’t believe it was a part of God’s divine plan for me to get cancer, nor to I believe God gave me cancer. What I do believe is that it was through God’s perfect love and a part of His plan to make lemonade with my lemons. Where did the lemons come from? Well God didn’t give them to me, they came out of the sinful world as a byproduct of our free will.

You see, the devil is out there growing orchards and orchards of lemons that he ships to our grocery stores of free will. They’re such a pretty yellow, shiny, smell refreshing … we don’t want the bitterness that comes with them but somehow they ended up in our shopping cart anyway. Sometimes they come as a free-gift-with-purchase. You put a carton of cigarettes on the checkout counter and the cashier says, “here, you get a free lemon with that.” And you say “oh, okay” and you take it home. Or perhaps it’s a bottle of alcohol or “day after” pill or a pornographic magazine – over time you’re building up quite a bitter collection of lemons. And sometimes, you make a deliberate choice to put the lemons in your cart, thinking, “well they won’t be bitter for me, not this time.” Other times, the devil slips them in your cart while you weren’t looking. You did everything right, you stuck to your shopping list but somehow you got home, unpacked and there they were. You checked the receipt and, yep, you even paid for them. How’d that happen?

Well it happened because we live in a fallen world as a result of our own sin. We all have these big bitter piles of lemons we accumulate from shopping at the Free-Will-Mart and the acid has the potential to erode at our relationships, our potential, our spirituality. But only God has the perfect lemonade recipe. Others may try to give you suggestions and ideas of what to do with those lemons but they will only lead to more lemons. Only God can turn those lemons into a lemonade that refreshes and restores the damage done by the sins of this world. That lemonade is Jesus Christ. If you want recipe, all you have to ask.

What are you doing with your lemons? Is the acid eating away at your successes or have you turned them over to God to make the most divine refreshment you will ever experience?

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.” – 1 Cor 10:21 (NIV)

“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalm 116:13