Just stop and listen!

We have all been there… you are in the process of sharing something and the receiver of your words cuts you off and begins to give you all the answers they think you need! Without fully listening, trying to understand, they just want to rush to sharing with you how much they know! If you are like me I have had this happen numerous times… sadly I have done this to others numerous times. Stephen R. Covey said it best  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” 
Listening-Quotes

The other day in the course of trying to explain something to one of my children they felt the urge to keep cutting me off and filling in what they thought I was trying to say and in that moment I blurted out… “JUST STOP AND LISTEN”!  You have probably have said those words yourself at one time or another but there is a something to be said about those four words. The next time someone is sharing a concern, a heartache, a problem they are facing, pain, fear or any other situation they might be feeling may I suggest the following…
JUST STOP and LISTEN
Just Stop
  • Stop talking and interrupting them.
  • Stop thinking of how you can respond, it might take more work and constraint to just listen.  Winston Churchill said it this way “Courage is what it takes to stand up and also speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”
  • Stop believing they came to have you just talk over them with everything you think you know. On-line the other day I read “When you talk you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen you may learn something new.”
Listen 
  • Listen deeply – it may take hours, maybe days!
  • Listen distraction free – put down the phone, turn off the music and just listen. Interesting little fact from Alred Bendel: “The word “listen” contains the same letters as the word “silent” 
  • Listen openly – be open to hearing all things without blinders on. It is easy to listen through filtered ears and thoughts, listen just to listen.
  • Listen with love – I have heard this statement, but do not know the original author, but I love it. “Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you, and speak in such a way that others love to listen to you” Love the person through whatever they are trying to communicate and in a loving compassionate way.
At some point today I guarantee you will have the opportunity to just listen! Can I encourage you and I… “just stop and listen”
What other practical ways do you just listen?

Men, we were designed for more…

Of late, I continually seem to be reminded in conversation or observation that as men we need to get a few things straight. I have been sharing with those close to me that I am burden for young men, my generation, or in some cases those my senior. We seem to missing it when it comes to work, home, church and “play”. We have all heard the statement “work hard, play hard” Most would agree that they need to work hard at work, that they know they need to engage in family and church. However,  in my observation, many get caught up in and over emphasizing the “my time” or what “I need” or “play hard”. Now before you think I am suggesting just work harder or don’t do anything for fun with your friends like golf, hunting, fishing… or personally for me racing events (now we are getting personal). Hear me clearly, that is not what I am saying. It is an important part of life, spending time with other men “iron sharpening iron”.
What I am saying is, men lets do what we were created for… serving hard at work and more importantly serve hard at home! Get involved in our children’s lives, love on Mom and go deep in their hearts! When it comes to our “play time” men we were given our families first in God’s design – not over God, but above all else here on this earth it is our families! Don’t fall for the lie that we need something else to fulfill us, only Jesus can do that when we lean on Him for the strength to do what we were designed for!
A friend posted this video and when I watched it… I was so pumped, I had to share it with Cathy right away and few others…as this is exactly what I have been concerned about! Matt Chandler kills it in this 5 minutes. Warning – this short clip is a clear punch to the gut if you are not engaged in this area.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejjweiF0gTk&w=560&h=315]
So, why do I know this won’t be popular?
  • Stop looking how to get out of the house, but rather how can you go deep with your wife and children!
  • Stop looking to find rest in hanging out, hobbies and stuff – find it in Jesus and what He designed you for!
  • As Matt said – go to bed exhausted because you went deep and big at home, and of course, at work.
  • Do what you were designed for – Work hard, and invest hard in what really matters and what really is fulfilling!
  • Show your family that Jesus is big by reflecting Him as you dig in with them!
  • Don’t miss out on this time – trust me as one who just watched his son go to college – it goes way to fast!
In Jesus you can do this!
What ways do you practically go deep at home?

Looking out for you! Don’t miss these great posts!

Twitter_bird_favorite

Here are a few of my favorite posts from last week! You might consider following some of these leaders/writers for great resources!

Carey Nieuwhof – How to tell if you’re an insecure leader – 5 signs

  • If you are leader, make sure you read this – you don’t want to make these mistakes
    • http://careynieuwhof.com/2014/11/tell-youre-insecure-leader-5-signs/

Follow Carey on Twitter: @cnieuwhof

Jarrod Jones – Praying, or just saying Prayers

  • Learning to pray the Scriptures is so key! Great thoughts on praying God’s Word!
    • http://www.jarrodjones.com/2014/11/praying-or-just-saying-prayers/

Follow Jarrod on Twitter: @jarrodjones

Refine Us with Justin and Trish Davis – The end of yourself

  • The End of Yourself  – realizing you don’t have it all together and that is just okay! BTW – Justin and Trish will be our Marriage Retreat Speakers at the Word of Life Inn and Family Lodge – 2015 
    • http://refineus.org/the-end-of-yourself/

Follow Justin and Trish on Twitter: @refineus

Why I believe in Camp!!

I remember it clearly January of 1994, I was excited, nervous, didn’t know what to expect, but yet confident God was going to do something! This was my first experience with a Word of Life camp… Snow Camp! I was student at the Word of Life Bible Institute and I was going to be counseling a group of 10 campers! What an amazing experience… and that experience still is happening today!

camp

 

Last night at the Snow Camp Rally…  watching students come forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior brought it all back! So much so, I said to a good friend, man I wish I could just be a counselor for camp all over again! Why do I love camp?

 

  • Fun – It is just plain fun!
  • Energy – When ever you get hundreds of campers/students together there is energy!
  • Music – I love hearing them all sing at the top of their lungs to Jesus!
  • Dramas – This year our drama team has put together an incredible storyline of some heros… but who is the ultimate hero – Jesus!
  • Activities – walk around the camp property for just a few moments and you will see people everywhere having a blast!
  • Counselors – watching young men and women diving into the lives of campers is a moving experience! Seeing them open the Word of God and share truth about God’s Word will change their lives!
  • Rallies – Upbeat, fast paced, strategically thought through meetings! All for the purpose of having fun, Glorifying God and opening the Word of God!
  • Powerful Preaching – Word of Life is committed to the power of the Word of God and sharing the Word in a dynamic way! Seeing the Word taught to students makes my heart pound with Joy!
  • Response-  I cannot think of anything more exciting than watching campers respond to the Gospel or dedicating their lives completely to Jesus!
  • Changed Lives – camp, because of its high impact and laser focus produces changed lives! Fun, Program, music, dramas and powerful preaching all masterfully pulled together by the Holy Spirit of God changes lives!
  • Answered Prayer – we spend months praying for the campers who will be with us… when they respond and have a blast at camp, we see God answering prayer!

speaker

These are just a few reasons why I love camp and believe in it! If you want to see your young person have an experience of a lifetime then send them to camp! Trust me, you will not regret the effort and energy it takes to bring them! We hope to see you here! Maybe you have a few more reasons you would like to add?

 

Supporting your Spouse!

Let me ramble for just a moment here! I happen to be a very happily married man, who is very proud of his wife! She has been for some time taking a Zumba Class, she loves it and has enjoyed staying in great shape as a result. This weekend she is in NH getting her Instructor Certificate, and I am so excited for her! I was thinking about this some tonight and thought I would share some of my thoughts about supporting your spouse.

Express Your Support – Continually share with your spouse how proud of them you are, build them up with words. We have the opportunity to encourage our spouses to do great things for the Lord and for others. With Cathy, she really wants to be more involved with the community, she enjoys seeing people change their lives both spiritually but also physically… getting in shape for example. So my response should be.. You can do this! How can I help you, I know you will do a great job! Keep up the good work! You are make me proud to be your husband.

Exercise Your Support – Don’t just use words… get off the couch, your chair or whatever and do something about it. Supporting is more then just words, it is also action. When they are involved in a new adventure, trying to maintain something, rebuild something, taking on a particularly hard task… being a parent, spouse, grandparent… you know what your spouse is trying to accomplish (if not, well you better figure it out soon:)) get involved and help where you can. Nothing speaks louder then your actions! Of course, do not invite yourself to a party that you are not invited too… but I can almost guarantee that if your spouse is hard at work at something… your help will be welcomed!

Enjoy their Successes – Celebrate when they accomplish their goal, don’t get jealous… or try to take the credit! Celebrate and enjoy their success with them! Be quick to give God the Glory, but rejoice with them when the goal is complete!

What do you think? What are some ways you support your spouse?