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Saying No

Do you have a hard time saying no?  It is such a small word and yet we find it difficult to say don’t we?  Sometimes we “christian-eze” it as John Crist describes.

So what is it about saying no that is so difficult?  For many as a follower of Jesus there is a false idea that saying no is not in accordance with the way Jesus lived.  Geri Scazzero in her book “The Emotionally Healthy Woman” states it well.  She says “No matter what the request or need, no matter how depleted or empty I felt, I believed that a good and loving Christian would rarely say no.”  Have you ever felt this way? Are you bound by the idea that saying no is a reflection of your devotion and love for the Lord? (why we “christian-eze it)

This belief can often leave you struggling to say no despite the fact that God gives each living thing boundaries.  He does not expect us nor has he created us to be, as Geri puts it, “twenty-four-hour-seven-day-a-week machines.”  We are living in a relationship with Him.  Saying no does not reflect on our devotion or love but rather takes that in consideration as we “spend” the time we have been given according to the boundaries that help us thrive.

Sometimes it helps to “plate” your priorities.  Draw out a pie chart like this boundries pie chart.jpeg

to determine how much investment you are able to make in different areas.  Put a time limit within each area.  How is a request going to impact the time that you have for such an activity?  Be honest and list everything that takes time in your life and evaluate if you are investing your time or allowing others to steal it away randomly.

Are there “good’ things that are not able to be accomplished because of the boundary of time, energy or priority? Then say No.

Is someone asking you to invest time where they are unwilling to do so themselves?  People will and can use you by “stealing” from your plate.  This may be an opportunity to teach them about boundaries by saying no.

Is there something that would deter you from having time to be balanced on your plate? In other words, are you trying to “pile up” extra helpings that you cannot possibly ingest without the heartburn of “why do they think…” “wish I had time to … ” or “would someone see that I’m busy???”  Keep your plate limited to only those things you have prioritized.  Never follow up no, but…

You may be able to do this loosely for a year projection, or it may be a monthly exercise and for some this may be a daily activity so that you create a habit of living intentionally with boundaries making it easier to say a guilt-free, God honoring, No.

Do you have any techniques you use on ways you keep boundaries and use the No word?  Please share in comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, BRN Women, Leadership

Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant

Kelly King of Lifeway ministries shared a blog from the gospel coalition about the importance of all disciples in the church being available and answering the call to be disciplers, including women. The blog was written by Alyssa Poblete  of King’s Cross Church in Orange County, CA.

Alyssa states that:

“When women are underrepresented or underutilized, the church cannot bear God’s image effectively, and our collective mission suffers.”

 

Read More Here!
Continue reading “Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant”

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Struggling?

It’s the week after Easter! The plans, preparation and emphasis are all over! Why is there a huge let down?  Why am I not on this wonderful high of participating in a celebration 2012-04-06 15.20.15of the greatest foundation of my faith? Why didn’t I see great strides for the gospel made? Why can’t I get the energy to make it to the next time of gathering with other Christ followers? Continue reading “Struggling?”

Blog, BRN Women

Crushed

This week the news broke of another fallen leader in Christian service.  As he was a very public servant the news reverberated across an entire denomination. Someone used the phrase, “I was crushed to learn of this”.  The picture of the flowers came to mind and I thought, how many others have been crushed by a leader’s fall.  Not just a leader of a large entity, he was a leader of a local body of believers at one time. Most importantly, he was a leader of a home and a husband.  A home that had been shaken greatly by the death of a child in the not too distant past.  A husband who was faithful for many years.

A great many women have been left feeling crushed at one time or another personally by a spouse.  A father has crushed the trust of his children in many circumstances.  If you have your faith in Jesus, you are not crushed, just broken.  So what can be learned by this experience?

1.  Stay rooted

A broken plant will revive if their roots stay intact.  To many times we are apt to follow and focus on the fruit that is produced by an individual.  While we can appreciate the blooms around us that enhance our lives, our roots must be in someone who can never fail or break our trust.  If we are strong and rooted deeply in Jesus when the things above the surface face storms, get pruned and fall victim to other things falling on them we can not only survive, but thrive.

*After the Fall – There will be great loss when a leader/spouse falls.  It hurts the most when you are closest to the one who breaks trust because you are the one who usually gets broken by the impact.  Others that are affected are usually just upset because it made the “garden” look bad.  It brings fear that they too may be uprooted.  You on the other hand have your actual life disturbed because your roots are intertwined.  If your roots have been damaged, get help to stabilize your root system!  Get on your knees and pour out the hurt to your Lord, our Master Gardner.  Let His Spirit speak to your heart and replenish your soul.  Ask for help from others who will help you stabilize your faith in God’s promises.  It is not your job to repair the one who fell on you! Stabilize your life source so you too don’t loose the beauty God want’s to bring forth from you.

2.  Stay Connectedrope-knitting-heart-love-113737.jpeg

God’s love between us will keep us intertwined.  In a world where it is easy to disconnect and substitute connection with technology we often find ourselves living more isolated than ever.  This is dangerous!  We are meant to live in a relationship that is interdependent upon each other.  The human race is created to be image bearers of our God.  He daily gives us breath, our senses to experience Him and opportunities to encounter him.  We have come to a place where we no longer are that close to each other.  We like our “space” even in our most intimate relationships.  Very rarely do we exercise the Agape love found in 1 Corinthians 13 in our interactions with each other.  Our roots don’t connect anymore, even in marriages, the ultimate relationship designed to bear the image of God’s relationship with us.  Make sure that you are allowing intimate relationship that truly bears God’s design. Don’t fear being so connected that a fall might be felt by your root system as well.  The majority of the time, if two are deeply connected in Christ and then interconnected with each other, the chance of one falling is slim.  Remain deeply rooted in Jesus (no. 1) and each other for a great support system.

*After the Fall- If we are interconnected, then when one falls there is hope they can be restored.  They can be brought upright by God (not your job) and replanted easier because of support and strong roots already in place.

Note: Understandably there are times when it is impossible to stay connected because of the other person’s damage.  If there is a total break in the root system and the individual chooses to not be replanted, God will sustain you.  You may have been broken and roots might sustain damage but can heal you from this separation. Let it be a separation from God and not because of your pain in the season.   It will be a difficult, time consuming work and take much focus on exercising forgiveness and restored faith in God.

daisies-white-flower-face-59984.jpeg3.  Live in Hope

Too often when a major event like broken trust occurs in our lives we tend to focus on that season of darkness.  We must live in hope, focused on Him and His plan.  While the soil of our lives is tender, the enemy will try and plant weeds around us that may not disturb us until we have regained our stability.  If we are living in hope, we will then be able to pull those weeds when they come up and not ignore them until we too fall.  You see, when someone who seemingly has been strong in all areas of their walk with Jesus falls, it is usually because of unnoticed weeds that were sown during a vulnerable time in their lives.  The weeds of doubt, justification, fear and mistrust slowly have been eroding the soil unnoticed, damaging the root system of true hope and faith.  This is what can truly crush a person.  We may be broken but Hope doesn’t crush. (2 Cor. 4:1-11)

Broken trust, being broken, hurts!  Live in the hope that you have not been crushed by the Father.  Sin can no longer crush you!  There is hope because of the saving work of Jesus Christ.  If we keep walking in the Spirit we will move forward towards a new day and no matter the darkness we will know that God’s light is there.  God is always at work.  No matter what the season you are going through, always look to the completed work of the Lord.  Jesus is coming again! Until you are with Him in glory, your journey will continue and He will see you flourish again.  Stay Rooted, Stay Connected & Live in Hope!

“My Father is still working, and I am working also.” John 5:17

             “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire to work out His good purpose.”    Philippians 2:13