In this video I briefly review what we’ve talked about over these past seven videos. Hope you were blessed as I was in putting this together. I also strongly encourage you to mentor someone else and in this video give some tips on it.
I started actively cultivating a deep, real relationship with God in 2001. What I gained is beyond tremendous in every facet of my life. My passion is to share with others what I have learned. Not to teach, but to give others the tools to drink from the fountain of living water themselves. I developed a mentoring program to help others to establish a quiet time with God to cultivate a relationship with Him. I’m posting the program on my blog for those who would like to participate on their own.
Watch the video below to hear more about this program.
Below is information on the program.
• Would you like to develop intimacy with God?
• Discover a love for the Word?
• Take your relationship with God to a deeper level?
• Have God’s promises be active in your life?
Stir the Deep with Me: One-on-One Discipleship Mentoring was created to help others develop their one-on-one relationship with God. Its goal is to cultivate intimacy with God and help others fulfill their ultimate purpose to being in a deep relationship with Him in truth and love. It isn’t a Bible study. It is establishing a lifestyle. It is a discipleship with coaching and accountability in spending quiet time with God.
Those with a desire to learn 1.) how to cultivate deeper intimacy with God 2.) how to spend quality alone time that builds a deep, real relationship with God, and 3.) have God as their first love are a good candidate for this program. Those who partake do with the understanding that it’s the journey to fulfillment of the first commandment to love God with all their heart, soul and mind and quiet devotion is of utmost importance among their priorities. It is for those willing to pass on what they will gain.
B. Participation in a brief accountability and counsel meeting as follows:
1. 1st – 4thweeks- 2 times a week
2. 5th – 7th weeks – 1 time a week
C. Your commitment to 40 minutes of one-on-one time a day with God in His Word that will become a part of your daily life.
This journey only works if there is an active engagement and commitment. If you are ready to step into a deep relationship with God and thus the life God has waiting for you and make this commitment you will be blessed beyond measure. This program is the only beginning to a lifelong journey walking hand-in-hand with God.
In reflection of Mother’s Day yesterday, I want to share with you one of my most cherished relationships, the friendship I have with my mother – a one of a kind.
My Mom and Me
Over the years, my mom has become not only one of my most adored friends, but also she understands me more than most. In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman talks about how children take on characteristics of their parents – it is fascinating. He explains the neuroscience behind what I have experienced in my relationship with my mom. She and I share not only similar traits but similar “issues”. Her struggles are very similar to mine because as a child I developed in her reflection.
This mirroring is a great blessing because I have someone close to me, whose love abounds toward me, who I can be completely vulnerable with, and who understands!! There is no glazing over of eyes, but a depth that says, yes I know, wrapped in abundant love, not judgment or disapproval. We truly have shared in each others pain, because we both have experienced it in varying degrees. Because of our similarities we are a tremendous support, encouragement and comfort to one another. There is no one who can take her place, because no one understands what I face like she does, and vice versa.
I wish this relationship for everyone because the intimacy is precious and unique. However, I think many don’t because they have resentment toward their mothers (like I once had) or they can’t accept their imperfections; because it is too hard to admit that they may be a bit like their parents. Often the traits we don’t like about others are the traits we don’t like about ourselves – whether we are conscious of it or not. As a result, we keep at a distance from seeking to really know and understand our mothers. When I was younger I convinced myself I was nothing like my mom. I resented certain ways that she was. What a fool I was on many levels. Only when I was open to all that she was did I really begin to learn about her and thus about me and the healing began in our relationship and in us.
I am my mother’s daughter. I am a part of her.
Interestingly, when I accepted that we shared similar issues that is when the healing began. As long as we suppress and deny our inner “stuff” the more it grows and festers. Healing comes with acknowledgement. First you have to acknowledge the problem before it can be fixed. I think God created this mirroring affect with our parents so that we have a built in reflection of ourselves, support, encouragement and someone to help us grow past out issues.
If there are things about your mom you don’t like. Take a closer examination. Perhaps there is some of her issues in you that you need to acknowledge so you can grow past them. And once you realize that it is okay to share in those vulnerabilities, then the healing begins and the journey to freedom can be shared with a woman who understands more than anyone else. And in the process a sweet intimacy is created unlike any other.
Journaling = connecting and listening to your inner life.
In this busy world, who has time to sit down and reflect on life? Most people don’t. We obsess about things (now we were treated, worrying about the future, children, marriages, work and so on) as we busily try to get through the day, but that isn’t reflection. That obsessive mind talk is our soul creating mayhem because we haven’t given it time to truly process what is going on.
This world has moved far from God’s truth. With our self-wills running wild without the truth to guide us, we are creating all kinds of evil, madness, and out of control behaviors. And one is a busyness and lifestyle so consuming that we have no time to engage in the art of reflection; an art that brings harmony, centeredness, and truth to our lives. A life of reflection is a vital aspect of spiritual health.
The art of reflection is taking time to journal. Why journal? Because for most of us when we think without the guidance and focus of a pen or a keyboard our minds wander so that we can’t complete the thought we started with. Writing guides and grounds our thoughts. It puts a thought in a form we can grab a hold of and contemplate. Without the pen, we end up with a mind swarming with broken and uncompleted thoughts. Journaling allows a thorough reflection of what’s going on in our spirits and how the outside world, circumstances and people are affecting us and how we are affecting others. It allows us to process what is going on, to reflect and mediate on it. We start to see ourselves, others and situations from a clearer perspective – and when we dwell in the presence of God we see more inline with the truth. For Christians the act of reflection is extremely powerful because it isn’t just us trying to work out what is happening in our inner world, but we have the spirit of truth, the spirit of God, searching our depths and giving us the ability to see the truth.
In his book, “Ordering your Private world”, Gordon MacDonald realized how journaling helped him to come “to grips with an enormous part of his inner person that he had never been fully honest about.” I found this very true in my own life. There have been numerous times when I have sat down to write in my journal that I gained tremendous insights into myself and my situations. I thought an issue was about one thing and it ended up being about something else. Sometimes it amazes me what is truly going on in my soul, and I often wonder where I would be if I hadn’t taken the time to stop and reflect. I would probably still be trapped in my old ways of thinking and acting in a stupor and that means doing things I wish I hadn’t and creating a life I didn’t want. Once aware of the truth then we can act and respond in a way that fosters truth and life and not lies and death.
Journaling within the presence of God brings truth and thus freedom and true life to our lives. It is a time of quiet and focus which allows us to hear not only ourselves but the spirit of God dwelling in us shedding light, wisdom and truth into our souls.
If you don’t journal or haven’t in a long time, now is the time to start.
People fascinate me. I enjoy learning why people do what they do and that is why I got a masters degree in Psychology. Psychology, the study of human behavior, offers many interesting theories and paradigms to people’s behavior so they can predict behavior as well as alter it. However, where it fails is to truly change people.
The world pushes us to become our own gods. We create our destinies, shape our futures, determine the outcomes, overcome our weaknesses, fix our problems, and are in control. We are who we are because of our decisions, our choices, our strengths, and so on. Therefore, become better, stronger, and smarter is the message of today. And with this philosophy, psychological frameworks have become a major force in helping us get there.
However, this philosophy is a lie. It is an endless run on the hamster wheel going no where. Having studied it in depth, psychology with all its answers and solutions is not the answer. It can tell us something is wrong, it can help us understand why we did what we did as mere men 1 Corinthians 3:3, but it is not the solution.
We are the problem. The problem can’t fix itself. All psychology and worldly wisdom can offer is band aids to the problems which weary us. They offer temporary moments of hope followed by despair.
The only answer is God, our Creator.
For the first 30 years of my life I acted like the creator taking on the philosophy of the world trying to shape myself into who I wanted to be. My goal was to move as far away as possible from the weak, pathetic, and broken person who caused so much pain and destruction. And these psychological philosophies promised the change I was looking for. But all they did was lead me further down a path of bondage and spiritual death. Sure there were moments I thought I was going somewhere, but when I stepped back, the things that really mattered got worse because I got worse.
A mind not taken captive by God’s word is a mind captive to death. 1 John 5:19
After all my efforts, nothing changed for the better. I was broken and need of someone much bigger to recreate me. In addition, I carried a tremendous burden because the repair work was all up to me, someone who in the stillness of my mind I knew didn’t have the power or strength to make me who I wanted to be.
If you are a self-help junky you will always be. Like a drug, you constantly need more books, tapes, and seminars to keep the high going and to convince yourself that you have found the answer. We hang on to the hope that the next page, book, or insight will be the final fix.
The day I threw away every self-help book and self-improvement tape and put my life completely in the hands of God trusting His work in me and the power of His Word was the day my life truly started to change because the new spirit in me started to grow. I will be honest, it was very difficult. I wanted to hold on to at least some books. They had been my hope for so long, even if they were an empty hope, it was hope.
Trusting God alone is completely counter to this world’s philosophies but it is the only true solution as I have discovered. Throwing out those false securities and trusting only in God and the power of His Word was one of the best decisions I ever made. I let go of the flesh and embraced the new life born of Him in me. And that life lives by faith, trust in His Word alone, and has no confidence in the flesh. This new life holds the characterstics that we all desire. Before I was running in circles, but since the Word became my source of truth, wisdom and life I have done nothing but moved forward. And it is a great feeling. Finally!
But these improvement offerings are so enticing for what they promise, a better life, a better you and all you have to is step 1, 2, 3. Its so easy!! But it doesn’t work. Not really. Not in the way we are seeking. It doesn’t bring what we all desire in life – unshakable value, meaning, purpose, satisfaction, peace, love, happiness and joy.
But the pull on us is like a tractor trailer. This past week a friend asked if I wanted to go to a class basically about being a better you. As I was getting lured in, I felt a hesitation in my spirit. Why are you going down that road again? You have travelled both paths and you know the only path to life is to completely trust God in this area. It was leaving that all behind when you started to find what you truly desired. What are you thinking?
You are right! What was I thinking? The wisdom of the world is foolishness. Many of the things this class promised were things that I strove to achieve and create in my life for years – purpose, meaning, right thoughts, and a better life. For the first time, these past couple of years all these have become a part of me and it is because all I did was abide in your Word and trust your work in me, not me. When I finally found the right path why would I want to stop and change direction? Thanks from keeping me from walking down that path again.
With this new year upon us, as we set high aspirations to become better and stronger all for God’s glory of course – let’s not forget how we are called to walk – in His wisdom not the world’s. And His wisdom says trust His work in you, abide in His Word, His truth sets you free, He works in your weaknesses, He is your healer, deliverer, power, and strength. He is the answer not the world’s psychology and wisdom. And the best part is He produces real lasting results and because it is His works and not yours He carries the burden. Our part; trust, rest and abide.
Here is the choice; work, strive and push for no true results, or trust, rest and abide for real lasting results?
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.