The Bible has many examples where God says there are two or more truths that must held in a tension. Often God’s truth is both/and nor either/or.
A journey with God begins when we fear God… A journey with God is discovering He is love.
No one comes to the Father unless drawn by the Father. We come to the Father as we believe in Jesus as our Lord who came to save us and offers us eternal life.
The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts. I have a responsibility to steward and wisely invest all I have received. SO, where does my skills or talents begin and God’s gifting begins?
Here is a tension for everyone to reflect on and apply. I am personally responsible beforeGod for my choices. God works in a life giving way to make my character more and more like Jesus. BOTH ARE TRUE.
Here is a quote for the personal responsibility side of this tension. Go back to the root of formation —- examining carefully your thoughts and beliefs.
“Watch your thoughts; for they become words.
Watch your words; for they become actions.
Watch your actions; for they become habits.
Watch your habits; for they become character.
Watch your character for it will become your destiny.” Frank Outlaw —
Sunday Afternoon June 7, 2020 I attended my first public protest. It was Black Lives Matter and was held in the community where I live, The Market Commons.
Just before leaving to go over a friend shared in a phone call a word from his pastor in small town Georgia. “The white Christian needs to wake up and go to African Americans and Listen, Learn and Love”
So, that became my first protest poster, “LISTEN, LEARN AND LOVE.” I have kept it to use in my next opportunity.
I know protests can vary a great deal but here was my experience.
The protest was peaceful and was a range of skin colors. I was welcomed, offered bottles of water, and was greeted with, “Bless you for coming.”
I sensed that my presence made a difference.
Most of the crowd were young adults –the age of my own childern and they were respectful and open to this old man with gray hair and beard (Who needed a haircut because of the CV19 virus restrictions). The crowd was diverse including some visible LBGTQ rainbow draped folks. But all seemed ot be very open to the speakers and musicans.
There were several speakers and singers who were young, very articulte and while passionate, they were very balanced. Several were clear they did not support destructive looting or damage and wanted to respect the rule of law even if they felt that some in law enforcement did not respect them.
They focused on the laws and how those laws are implemented. There were specific cases cited of needed changes.
The biggest surprise to me was how clearly Biblical truth and the preaching of a Gospel of Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation was held up as THE only hope to change a life on the heart level. There was a strong world view on EVERY person being made in the image of God as the basis for a just society. Jesus was presented as a peace maker provided by God. Anything seperating humanity from loving God and each other is sin and brings death.
I was not able to stay until the end of the protest because of a family commitment and being out in humid hot afternoon sun. But I was praying with gratitude for a younger generation that is stepping up.
I will close with one story from a lady helping to lead the protests in our area. This is my paraphrase based on my memory. She said, “My grandmother is 73 and she marched in civil rights protests in the 60s. She has been a constant encourager for me to not hide in silence but to stand up and speak out. And when I organized my first march and protest she insisted on being there. My grandmother’s generation made real strides in improving things for my generation but the journey is not over. The need for change still exists.”
EXPLORING – Usually a person is referred by someone I have coached or a close friend. We discuss how they see coaching assisting them. If they choose we go on to me sending a Welcome packet. I coach men and women.
The Welcome packet is in two parts (attached) The first one is my perspective on my role as a coach/mentor for them to keep and the second packet they complete and return to me.
INTAKE SESSION – Once I receive their Welcome Packet we set a time for an Intake session which often takes 1.5 hours. At the end of that session we decide on a rhythm for coaching sessions.
Often we schedule sessions for 2x a month or 1x a month.
Sessions are held face to face or by video chat.
COACHING – Before the session the client sends me some questions or issues they desire to make the focus of the session. I prepared questions and resources I think may help.
During the session we pray, I take notes and the client digs deep for insights which address their areas of concern or growth.
After the session I type up the notes and add resources or ideas which surface as I reflect on the conversation. I store these notes in a secure folder on a cloud drive and send them to the client.
We usually evaluate once every 3 months if we need to continue.
FEE – No one is turned away. But if the client has resources available they often pay $150 per session or we set a rate based on their budget. If the organization is paying me to coach we receive $300 per session and travel expenses for one to two face to face visits in the client’s context. Every client receives unlimited email or short phone call support between sessions.
Every client receives the same services regardless of their ability to pay. I have some clients who continue to send gifts so they can help me serve those who cannot pay. I have some clients who cannot pay on a per session amount but will send a gift periodically as they have funds.
This table is current as of May 22. I have listed states or countries where the client resides and the number of active clients from there.
ACTIVE CLIENTS (MEET 1 OR MORE TIMES EVERY SIX WEEKS) STATE OR COUNTRY
1. Arizona 1
2, California 2
3. Egypt 2
4. Florida 1
5. France 1
6. Georgia 2
7. Illinois 2
8. Kentucky 1
9. New Zealand 3
10. Ohio 1
11. Pennsylvania 1
13. Rhode Island 3
14. South Carolina 14
15. Tennessee 1
16. Turkey 3
TOTAL AS OF 05/22/2020 39
WHAT ARE TOPICS FREQUENTLY COMING UP IN COACHING?
SELF – CARE – Need to carefully examine their walk with Jesus and develop intimacy and renewal.
LOSS – Processing losses through grieving
GOD’S WILL Discerning God’s assignment as they go through a major transition or change in life season.
RELATIONAL LOSS OF TRUST AND STRUGGLES Conflict resolution with family and/or other Christians
DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE PERSONALLY AND IN MINISTRY SKILLS Being more effective in helping others around them be effective and vibrant Christ followers.
BUILDING A PAID OR VOLUNTEER TEAM Staff assignments, searches and hires or terminations.
LACK OF OUTREACH AND DISCIPLE MAKING – How to help a plateaued or declining congregation
LACK OF CLARITY Correcting a drift in organizational mission
IF YOU WOULD TO SUPPORT OUR COACHING, MENTORING AND TRAINING WORK FEEL FREE TO ASK FOR DETAILS.
Maybe like me you did not grow up in a branch of the church which celebrates the Ascension of Christ. But maybe, especially in our current pandemic reality we should.
See Acts 1:1-14 The New Living Translation — My comments inserted
1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, (SO NATURAL TO CONTINUE THE TEACHING MINISTRY OVER A MEAL — JUST LIKE THE BEFORE THE CROSS DAY!) he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (I DON’T THINK THEY COULD IMAGINE WHAT THIS BAPTISM WOULD DO TO THEM but BUT THEY DID OBEY)
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. (IN OTHER WORDS GOD IS INTO SURPRISES BECAUSE WE COULDN’T HANDLE KNOWING THE END OF THE AGE BUT ALSO THE BIG LESSON IS TO BE ALERT, PREPARED, READY TO STEP UP AT ANY MOMENT) 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Wait in Jerusalem and then go tell everyone. What can God use our time of waiting to accomplish in us? Since we now have the Spirit are we telling people what God has done?) ”
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. (No it is not weird, and no that was not me jumping when these clean cut guys show up right beside me. So let’s obey his last instructions — wait and then witness) 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” 12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile.
13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. (After these ladies were shown to be so deeply in love with Jesus that they were at the cross and were the first to see the risen Lord they were now part of the team. I like The Message right here, “They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer …” (So they are committed for life! They are ALL in. The pandemic or persecution may force them to rethink how they share a witness of the good news. They will learn by Acts 9 that no part what hurdles they will face the Holy Spirit will empower them and equip them with the words and fill with the love of Jesus for the task they are focused on.)
Keep your eyes on Jesus and when you cannot see Him then why not just focus on his last words. His very present Spirit will show us the HOW? and the WHAT? is our mission until Jesus returns.
Many, make that most of the people in the Bible had good reasons to declare, “This is not right!” or “This is unjust!” or “This is not fair!” or This is WRONG!
Joseph could have said it over his treatment by his brother and imprisonment by his boss.
David could have said it over his relationship with King Saul or his son Absalom.
Ruth could say it while burying her husband and her sons in a foreign land.
Jesus could have said it about the person slapped in the face.
Jesus could have said it as he was beaten and crucified.
Paul could have said it from prison.
Paul could have said it from being shipwrecked.
John could have said it while imprisoned on the island.
BUT THEY DIDN’T.
Joseph said he would rather forgive because God took what was intended as evil and used it for good.
David said he would trust God by waiting for God to make him king and God would deal with King Saul.
Ruth saw God bless her with a child and give Naomi a grandson to cuddle.
Jesus said to turn the other cheek.
Jesus said, Father forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.
Paul said persecution gave him the opportunity to fellowship in the sufferings of Jesus.
John said God came to him on his island prison and revealed the future so he could comfort and challenge the church.
Read 1 Peter 2:21-3:6. Slaves being treated unjustly and wives with prideful husbands who refuse to acknowledge Jesus are to pour love and respect into their relationships. The example they should ask God to help them be like is seen in Jesus.
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. . . you must follow in his steps. . . . He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” (1 Peter 2: 21 and 23 portions, NLT)
How we respond when we are treated unjustly is a great opportunity to love as God loves and to show off the new life given when we had our spiritual birth.
BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY? How can you love the troubling person/enemy? Unfair treatment is a great opportunity to let the light shine.
YES — We are living in days of uncertainty and restrictions. YES — It is challenging to even know who or what our hindrances and challenges are around us. YES — There are many conversations and news stories that stimulate a spirit of anxiety.
Try this for a response to your fear filled heart.
Psalm 2 — YES — there are enemies and rebellion against God alive and well in the world — but the call is to humble surrender and trust before the King
Psalm 131 — YES — there many decisions we face that feel overwhelming but we can talk to our soul and invite it to be with trust and hope in God like a weaned child with his/her Mom.
My Grandson – Abel – a weaned child! Can I rest in God’s arms like this!
Philippians 4: 6-7 — Be deeply aware of our anxiety and inability to make plans for just a few weeks out — can bring bring me to a place of calling out to and naming all of our concerns to our God. One can only really recognizes a suddenly calming in the air when we have been walking in a strong wind. One only recognizes an inner peace from God’s touch when we have been in a very anxious unsettled place.
1 Peter 2:11-12 — We are not the first to be in days of challenge, loss and uncertainty. There is a vision of how God is our safe place in these two verses which stirs up quiet hope. Here are a few phrases from The Message New Testament.
'Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles (WHERE IS OUR TRUE HOME ADDRESS? THERE IS NO CV19 VIRUS IN THE KINGDOM) to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (IF YOU ARE HOME AND AWAY FROM A NORMAL RHYTHM AND ACCOUNTABILITY -- BE ON GUARD WITH WHAT YOU SET BEFORE YOURSELF.) Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds (EVEN IN THIS CLIMATE THERE ARE GOOD DEEDS THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL PROMPT US TO SEE AND CREATIVE IDEAS ON HOW TO STEP OUT AND BE THE HANDS OF A LOVING GOD) and glorify God on the day of visitation. '
What helps you see fearful stuff from God’s perspective? Share your best thoughts.
If I can serve you in coaching, consulting or training let me know
Roy King (age 65) Married to Pandora since 1976. Two adult married children and three grandchildren American Church – Pastor of Mission, Senior Pastor Seminary – 27 years as Professor of Leadership at CIU and Staff in Development, Financial Aid and Alumni Non-Profit Organizations – Cru, Billy Graham Center, MTI board member, Streams of Living Water Contribution: Leadership Coaching, Organizational Consulting, Adult Training for 30+ years / 10 countries Primary Function: Launch a new work, Rework a declining or plateaued work, Self-Leadership Coach
I have borrowed ideas from several books on healthy team culture to create this simple four letter way to practice listening and valuing people. Maybe it will inspire you to think about what values and atmosphere you want to cultivate around you.
Put these four letters up in a poster on the wall where teams meet. The key is people feeling they have permission to call a time out for something they need. If a person abuses the system and paralyzes the work — take them aside privately and set some limits on the use.
S — Safe — Something was just done or said that has triggered fear in me. I can’t be a good team member if I am protecting myself from a possible wound. I need to describe what makes me feel unsafe without attacking anyone.
O — Oriented — Maybe my caffine ran out! Or I missed the last meeting and did not receive notes to get up to speed. I need to get my bearings. I need clarity.
A — Ask — Something we are discussing or a presentation just made does not seem to give me enough information. Can you tell me more? Why are we considering this action or change in direction? Can you help me understand the What? or the How? of what we are examining?
P — Praise or Pray — Can we take a moment to give God praise or thanksgiving? Can we pray to seek God’s perspective in this issue? This is great! We need to pause and thank and appreciate those who invested and sacrificed to make this happen!