Archive for June, 2009

>A few days ago I was complaining to myself about a friend I felt had let me down. I can be very introspective already and I found myself thinking about what I really value in friendships. What are the qualities that I desire in friendship? As I made a mental list, I was then prompted to ask this logical question: How do I personally measure to up to these qualities? I began to get defensive and rationalize here and there about why I wasn’t always this or that or how it’s different for me because…” We tend to extend ourselves a lot more grace than we extend others.

I believe we’re called to focus on becoming the kind of friend we desire to have. It’s about taking the wood plank out of our own eye before we worry about the speck in others. Lord, help me to think more about what I can bring to a relationship instead of what I’m not getting.

Amen,

Nathan

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>Think the Best?

Posted: June 19, 2009 in communication, relationships, trust

>Question: Are you the type of person that thinks the best about others or the worst? Do people have to first prove themselves to you before you view them in a positive way? An outlook that thinks critically of people until they prove otherwise is a heavy load for both sides. One side is an outlook of jaded cynicism (possibly coming from a critical home background or being hurt by people along the way of life.) The other side of our critical view of others is that we ask people to jump through hoops that we wouldn’t want put on us. We can be critical of others in way that we would see as unfair if done to us.
I can hear the arguments now. Nathan, you don’t know what’s been done to me. You don’t know how I’ve been treated….Do you just expect me to get run over? Answer: No. Thinking the best of others doesn’t mean being unwise or not being realistic. It means a balanced approach of wisdom and a love for people that always hopes. Bottom Line: Treat and view people the way you would like to be treated and viewed.

Trust Me,

Nathan

>As a parent you have an innate desire to keep your children from any harm. Sometimes that’s not possible. Yesterday my boys and I were walking into our neighborhood pool clubhouse. As we entered the pool area my son Ethan (5) saw a boy that looked like his age. Ethan is naturally very friendly and promptly introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Ethan. What’s your name?”. The boy rejected Ethan with equal effort, “I don’t care what your name is.” The look on my son’s face was heart breaking. I wanted to bring that kid correction and tell him, “Hey, my son Rocks! You should care.” The reality is in life this won’t be the last time my son will make an effort in a relationship and not be met half way.

It’s natural to be frustrated with people that aren’t “trying” or “investing” as much as we are in a relationship. Nothing hurts more than affection that’s not mutual on any level. In the past I use to think that if I just show that person how much I care, how much I’ll sacrifice, they’ll finally see what a great person I am. I put so much energy into winning people that didn’t want to be won. Scripture states, that “in as much as it is with you, live at peace with all men.” That means we are called to do all that we can do. Bottom Line: We can’t change others, that’s God’s job. We’re not Him.

Believe it,

Nathan

>I just walked out of a adoption dedication ceremony for a 13 yr old girl in our church. For her it was a long time coming, and a huge milestone for the family. Along with friends and family in the room there were several hopeful kids in foster care that are waiting to be adopted. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of pain for these kids that don’t have a Mom or Dad who will care for them or call them their own. As I prayed for the young lady that was being adopted I reminded her that she does not have to be solely defined by where she’s come from.

Maybe the family came from wasn’t the ideal family. Maybe choices you’ve made in the past seem to haunt your heart and mind still today. Can I tell you that your past is not bigger than God’s love for you. Know that God’s best for your life includes redefining who you are with His love, mercy and forgiveness. Bottom line: Where you are going is more important then where you’ve been.

Believe it,

Nathan

>Battery Wanted….

Posted: June 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Let’s say “hypothetically” I walked outside this morning and noticed the my drivers door was slightly open. And let’s say it naturally didn’t surprise me when my car wouldn’t start (battery is dead right?). After grabbing some jumper cables from a neighbor (that I woke up) I opened the hood to find that my battery was not dead in fact I’m sure it was alive and well SOMEWHERE else. That’s right boys and girls someone stole my car battery in the middle of the night. Ok…so it’s not a hypothetical, it’s reality. STINK!

With that in mind I’d like to ask a question. Are you living off of someone else’s spiritual battery (experience)? Do you mooch off of other people for spiritual and emotional support all the time? If so, you need to know that Christ wants a personal relationship with you, not a religious one. He doesn’t want you living vicariously through other people. Is your life compass spinning? Do you feel like you don’t know where to turn? I encourage you to stop striving by calling one more person or trying that “next” book. Have your own authentic experience with God.

Get Started,

Nathan

>Pet Peeve Alert: Those people that talk about themselves incessantly. Recently I had a chance to catch up with a friend from the past. It would have been a pleasant conversation had it not been for the fact that my friend talked the entire time and then shockingly had to go. There was a trite “how’s the family?”, but you could tell it was meaningless. You could tell there wasn’t a genuine desire to know how I or my family really was. I’ve been guilty at times of dominating conversations with stories. Here is a test: Next time you are sharing a story with someone and you are interrupted by something, see if people ask you to finish your thought. If they don’t, there’s your sign. Bottom line: It’s not just about asking the right questions in a conversation. It’s about genuinely wanting to know the answers. Don’t just talk to me…listen to me.

Hear me,

Nathan

>Decision Making….

Posted: June 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Bad Decisions many times are like bananas they come in bunches. So it’s no surprise in looking back over the last 5 years of my life I can see a pattern of one bad decision after another in my relationships, my career, my spiritual life, etc. It has caused me to put some consistant measures in place to reduce their frequency. Here’s what I’ve done:

1. Committed to pray about major decisions until I feel a secure “peace”. If that peace doesn’t come, it’s a no-go.

2. Committed to completely hear out my wife’s counsel. Her intuition is undeniable.

3. Committed to run all major decisions by a select group of men. Scripture states that we should, “Walk with the wise.”

4. Committed to never make major decisions when exhausted and/or depressed.

For me these principles have already made an impact on myself and my family when making life changing choices. Bottom line: Our decisions in life don’t just effect ourselves alone….why make decisions that way?

Time to Decide,

Nathan