Category: Incoherent Ramblings

Incoherent Ramblings

Avoid Answering No for Someone Else

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I don’t know if you’re like me, but rejection is a terrible thing. Working up the courage to ask someone for help can be exhausting, and it’s only made worse when they say no. But there is something that hurts more than asking and being told no: never asking.

Because I fear rejection, often times I catch myself trying to reason my way out of asking someone for help. “They are not going to have time” or “They wouldn’t want to do that” becomes the refrain I tell myself.

The reality, however, is I will never know how someone will respond especially if I never ask. If I tell myself “they will say no, so why bother”, then their answer will always be no.

But, when I ask, they now have the opportunity to say yes. And who knows, I could get surprised.

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Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Learning to Trust

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My youngest daughter broke her leg in January. She spent 5 weeks in a cast. Now she has the cast off, and for the last two weeks she has been retraining her leg muscles, and her brain, to walk the right way.

More than the physical training, though, it’s been interesting to watch as she redevelops trust in her leg. For all of her life, or as long as she could remember, her leg worked the way it was supposed to work. If she walked, it held her up. If she ran, it helped. But then, one day, she jumped and her leg did not do what it was supposed to do–it broke.

Right after the cast came off, she was scared to put her foot on the ground, undoubtedly remembering the terrible pain of the break. Slowly she began to realize her leg was going to work. It’s been slow, but everyday there’s a little more progress.

Trust in relationships works the same way. Many of us have friendships where we can trust the other person, until that trust is broken. Once trust is broken, the recovery takes time.

Some of us have experienced enough broken trust to be wary of trusting anyone, and so the healing takes even longer.

As a leader, one of our roles is establishing and maintaining trust. Because we are human, and because we work with other human, sometimes that trust will be broken. When that happens, make an effort to rebuild the trust, understanding it will take time.

 

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Incoherent Ramblings

Be Careful Who Speaks into Your Life

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For the record, one of the regular parts of what I’m going to try to write about are little lessons I’ve learned along the way.

This semester I have the fortune of having an intern, and every week we sit down for what I call “incoherent ramblings”. Often these are going to be more about things I’ve learned along the way instead of current lessons I’m learning.

Today, our incoherent rambling centers on the people who speak into our life.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. – Proverbs 27:6

When I was in Seminary, we had a guest lecturer come into a class and share the following advice: Every minister needs three people in their life. First, they need a Paul–someone to mentor them. Second, they need a Timothy–someone they mentor. Last, they need a Barnabas–someone walking alongside and encouraging them.

While that advice has proven true, and would undoubtedly provide a great subject for a blog post, I have learned over the years we need to be selective about who we let speak into our lives.

Surround yourself with people who never challenge you to grow, or who never see something in you which you cannot see,  and you will never improve.

Surround yourself with people who are incapable of understanding your situation, and the advice they give will never help.

Surround yourself with people who only see negatives and wrongs, and you will begin to see things through their perspective.

Surround yourself with people who have an agenda, and you will simply become a means to an end.

There is another option. As we learn to guard who speaks into our lives, something begins to happen: we are able to realize when someone is using us for position or authority. We begin to see when someone is looking out for themselves, and not for us. We begin to understand there may be more motivation behind an action than we realized.

But, when we surround ourselves with the right people who speak the right things into our lives, the difference is clear.

Surround yourself with people who care about you growing into the best minster/leader/parent you can be, and you will begin to grow.

Surround yourself with people who fix their eyes on Christ and not on the problems surrounding you, and you will begin to do the same.

Surround yourself with people who have a heart for serving, and you will begin to have a heart for serving.

I have men and women in my life who make a greater impact than they will ever know. They encourage me, they correct me, they guide me, and they even tell me things I do not want to hear, but I know their words can be trusted.

Learn to be selective about who gets to speak into your life.

 

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Incoherent Ramblings

Don’t Hide from Hard Conversations

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Have you ever had a meeting scheduled that you dreaded all day? Maybe it’s a yearly review, a potentially explosive situation, or a conversation you are fully expecting to go south. Over the years, I have learned the difficult lesson to not run away from difficult conversations.

A few years ago terrible situation arose at Penn State University that cost many people their jobs, and left a disastrous effect on several young boys. Through such a terrible situation, we learn an important lesson with implications for both youth ministry and the church as a whole. (more…)

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Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Start Somewhere

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I am a thinker. I have a terrible tendency to be able to argue both sides, even when they don’t need to be argued. Because of my propensity to think, I joke that I spend 90% of my time thinking about what I could do, and 10% actually doing it. (more…)

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