Archive for January, 2010

>One Life to Live…..

Posted: January 9, 2010 in Heaven, Life, Priorities

>This morning my son came into my bedroom and asked, “Dad, why does God give cats nine lives but us only one?”. After explaining to my son that “9 lives” was more about getting out of some bad spots in life, I told him that we need to make sure that we live our lives every day being our very best. “If we only get one life that means every day matters” I told him.

Are you living that way? Do you live your life in a intentional way with heaven in mind or just haphazardly go from day to day with only self gain in mind?

We are headed for eternity at a speed that is staggering. The Bible states that we shouldn’t focus on gaining “treasures” on earth.

Matt 6:19-21

19 ” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
NASU

It begs the question then, where is our heart? Do we long for heaven or do we long for further comfort here?

Bottom Line:

We do only get one life here. No do overs. Let’s make today a day of storing up treasures in heaven rather than putting more in our closet that’s ultimately not going to last.

Only Promised today,

Nathan

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>Every now and then I get a blunt reminder that not everyone is part of the Nathan Rouse fan club of life. For someone like me who has in the past looked for validation externally, it can be hard to hear, read, and see that not everyone likes me. I sometimes really wish I was that person that could care less what so and so thinks and just keep moving forward, but for me it’s not that easy. It’s even harder if you’re putting yourself out there in the area of leading, teaching, writing, etc. Whether it’s people that just misunderstand you, whole heartily disagree with your positions or just don’t like you, I believe there are some principles that can help us when receiving criticism.

Don’t get defensive: Set your pride and ego aside and genuinely hear what the person has to say. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Don’t always feel you have to respond right then. I sometimes take notes (if I can) so I slow myself down and process what they’ve said later.

Ask yourself “Is there ANY truth to what’s been shared?”: I believe we can learn from anyone, even if the criticism is not shared in the most mature or kindest fashion.

DO make adjustments if needed: If out of the criticism you see something valuable that needs to be adjusted in yourself or leadership…DO IT! Don’t allow your ego to keep you from learning and growing.

Move Forward: Many people when running into criticism allow it to paralyze their lives, plans and leadership. If you feel what you’re doing is biblical and you’ve prayed, sought wise counsel, and feel this is the best course then stand firm and move forward. Don’t water down your message or plans out of fear of upsetting others when you know it’s the best course of action.

Value the Relationship: Our immediate reaction to someone being critical is to want to withdrawal from that person by either avoiding them or just not talking as much to them. While we cannot control their actions we can control ours. Make it a point to continue to reach out to them even if they might not receive it. The apostle Paul said for us to “live in peace with one another.” We should make every effort to do so!

Go Grow,

Nathan

>Over the last several years that I have worked with young adults a recurring theme seems to resound in my conversations with this wonderful generation. “I need someone I can learn about life from.” “I’d like someone that would meet with me and show me how to grow in all parts of my life: spiritually, in my career, my relationships.” “I need a mentor.”

I’m not at all surprised by the clamoring call for mentors spilling out of these hearts and minds. This generation is coming from broken and bruised families at a rate we can’t even begin to imagine. To former generations this generation seems outwardly aloof and unscathed by divorce, abuse and parental uninvolvement. Inwardly however, they are angry, hurting and wanting to know and be known by anyone they can have genuine connection with.

When they say they want a mentor they’re not talking just about someone to just disciple them spiritually. In a lot of ways they are looking for a life coach, needing direction for every area of their life: career, romantic and platonic relationships, conflict management….etc. I would say reparenting is needed, but I’m finding for many of them parenting wasn’t provided.

I cannot overstate the need here. The Church and society as a whole will be dramatically shaped by this generation in the coming years. Without this need for mentorship being addressed we will be left with a generation that fills in all the empty blanks with all the wrong answers. The church should and must rise to the occasion in being a lighthouse of relational mentorship to the Millennial generation if we are to see them be everything God desires them to be.

To young adults I would say your generation in turn needs to begin to seek out Christian mentors instead of waiting for someone or an organization to provide them. Maturity is becoming self-aware of your needs and the needs of others and responding appropriately. Pray, seek God, watch the lives of others you respect and approach them about being that mentor in your life.

Go Grow,

Nathan