Archive for the ‘friendships’ Category

This week I met with a brother in Christ who was walking through a difficult time. As we talked I began to hear some similar issues and failed methods that I had walked through in my own life. Like me in my past, my friend had hooked his life up to what I call The Crazy Train. The Crazy Train is when we hook our personal value to the acceptance or rejection of other people and/or our success or failure. It goes something like this.

The train goes up the hill when: someone praises you, accepts you, friends you, recognizes your hard work, invites you, when the opposite sex desires you or needs you, when you win or succeed.

The train goes down hill when: people stop praising you, don’t friend you, stop inviting you, stop giving you recognition, don’t call you, when the opposite sex doesn’t desire you, when it seems no one needs you, when someone’s upset with you, when you fail or lose.

You can understand why people hook up to this train. The highs are surreal. It feels great, as if you could do no wrong. However, the downside to the crazy train is a steep one. If you’re hooked up to this train the valley is horrifically painful when your pipeline of acceptance and love from people or success is cut off.

So what’s the remedy? You can’t get off the track of life. Your life is going to be hooked to someone or something regardless.

Remedy= Hook your life up to Jesus Christ. Your definition in Him isn’t based on your performance or people’s high or low view of you. You don’t have to go any farther than Jesus Christ to find an ocean of love and acceptance waiting for you.

So take it from a guy that was hooked to the Crazy Train for a long time. Pull the pin on the dysfunctional locomotive that’s pulling you up and down and hook your life up to Jesus who is faithful, steady and reliable.

All aboard,

Nathan

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>Go to fullsize imageI learned a brutal lesson this morning as I sat in a Starbucks lounge chair. I was meeting over coffee or in my case Hot Chocolate with a great guy that I’ve been mentoring. It had been several months since we had been able to meet and there was a lot to catch up on. As we talked he shared with me some pretty big decisions that he had made and I found myself somewhat offended that he would not have come to me and asked for my input. As he continued to share I realized that he had withdrawn from the mentor relationship because he thought I was too busy for him and yet I had perceived his lack of contact with me as being a lack of follow through on his part. He wanted an older brother relationship that sought after him and I wanted a mentee that knew the ball was in his court and not mine.

This was a break down in communicating expectations. A few lessons I learned:

1. You cannot assume that people know what your expectations are of them in a relationship. People can’t your mind.
2. You cannot assume to know what others expectations are of you in a relationship. You can’t read their mind.
3. Talk openly about expectations early on in the relationship.
4. When in doubt, ask.
5. If someone fails your expectations have a loving and grace filled conversation with them. Resist the urge to withdrawal, isolate and bail on the relationship.

Always Learning,

Nathan

>Intentional Friendship…..

Posted: December 31, 2009 in friendships

>I don’t know what resolutions you have for this new year but one I’d like to challenge myself and others on is being intentional in our close friendships. While the old trite adage, “You need to be a friend, to make a friend” is true, nothing much is said about nurturing and cultivating our present friendships. So what does being “intentional” in a friendship look like?

I think it’s about being more proactive in our time spent together and what’s talked about. I think our friendships should always have laughs, inside jokes….etc, but many friendships are deficient in the area of depth of conversation and challenging one another to grow spiritually, in our relationships and achieving personal goals. If our closest friendships don’t have depth then what is their value?

Friendships also take time. Setting time aside time in your schedule monthly for meaningful friendship opportunities is a must for them to be cultivated. For me I have to stop saying, “Hey, let’s get together some time” and start saying, “Let’s figure out right now when we can get together” and put it on the calendar. For me if it’s on my calendar it’s going to happen (Lord willing).

Some might say that all of this should just happen organically, but if we are still wondering why we don’t have really meaningful depth in our friendships, maybe there is something that we should be doing to nurture them?

Go Grow Together,

Nathan

>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