One of the Easiest Ways to Impact Children’s Lives

One of the easiest ways for adults to have a greater impact on a child’s sense of self value:Speak up with your affirmation even if others already have.
Just because another adult praises a child for their accomplishment or expresses delight in a child’s effort doesn’t mean the role has been filled. The child wants and needs affirmation from EACH influential adult in their lives.

Words Don’t Always Mean What We Think They Mean

Pop culture wields amazing power. Words often take on new meanings due to popular use, and their meanings evolve over generations to match the current mindset of the people. We think we know what we’re saying, but do we really?

It’s important to call attention to assumptions, though, because we build entire thought processes and philosophies upon the supposed meanings of words. Your entire life is shaped by the decisions you make based on what you believe words to mean.

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Programs Can’t Replace Relationship

If you haven’t learned this about me by now, you should know that I am intrinsically averse to the concept of replacing one-on-one connection with organizational participation. For example, when a Jesus follower gets to know a neighbor and begins to truly care about the status of their neighbor’s soul, the default solution is to invite the neighbor to church. What the caring person has unwittingly done is to bypass the expression of their personal care and instead attempts to introduce the recipient to an organization of people who have spent zero time getting to know her.

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Are You Avoiding Conflict or Honoring Your Time?

In the course of pursuing the destiny for which you were created, you have no doubt already experienced a conflict you chosen not to engage. Some will accuse you of being inflexible or refusing to be challenged. And it might be true.

At the same time, it may be patently false. How easy to misconstrue the responses of others!

How much self-examination is too much?

At some point, you can’t continue to question everything. Questioning is a different mode than building, and if you never start building, you end up with nothing to show for your life. So at what point do you draw a line and say “No more questioning. I’m moving on”?

There is a time to tear down. And a time to build up. Wisdom is discerning when you’ve done enough demolition and examination and then choosing to transition to building and development.

Perhaps in projects that last generations, a person might devote their entire life to one mode: to tear down a sacred calf of the mind or to build a supporting structure for a much greater project for the generations who follow. But for many, if not most, parts of life, we have a duty to contribute something. To create something. To do so, one must abandon constant scrutiny and self-examination at some point. Otherwise the work never gets started.

There are times I’ve had little patience for people whose only contributions to my life incite conflict. Not because I fear or shun conflict, but because conflict is all they ever bring to the table. The first conflict or two are fine. They are coincidental. But when a pattern emerges, a choice must be made.

Do I spend my energy and time on this person who only seems to contribute when they disagree with me? Are they open to debate? Is our relationship built upon give and take? Or is it based on imbalance?

A person whose only contribution to a relationship is conflict has not earned the time to have their ideas continually considered and discussed. Time is one of our most finite resources and we must each determine how to spend it.

Healthy relationships top the list of priorities.


Ricky Gervais Threw Down The Gauntlet On Faith Healers

I’m not a big fan of televangelism. It comes across as flashy or melodramatic at times and lacks a certain grit of authenticity. So when Ricky Gervais published this tweet about faith healers, I don’t know if he was addressing the Hollywood version of people who pray for healing or all people who pray for healing in general.

Regardless of his intention, if you believe God still heals people, consider the gauntlet thrown down.

ricky gervais faith healer tweet

While I know that God still heals, it irks me to hear this challenge. Ironically, there are some psychics who actually hear accurate details too, but that’s not my focus here. The point is that Gervais is lumping the two groups together, pointing out that they don’t do these things because he thinks they are frauds. After all, if faith healers could really heal people, they’d work or at least hang out in hospitals and empty them out. If psychics really could see the future, they’d win the lottery all the time and avoid losing their businesses and avoid their own future health problems. Wouldn’t they?

I could chime in and argue that I know people who do visit hospitals regularly and pray for the sick they encounter. Not all of them are healed, true. But some of them have been. I could argue the exceptions to the rule, but what does that solve?

What right do I have to be offended? Gervais might be hitting a nerve that needs to be hit after all. Are all the people I know who pray for healing hanging out or working in hospitals? No. I know I’m not. Are any of them? Yes, at least a few.  But not the majority of them/us.

I acknowledge that faith healers do not work in hospitals, even though they contain an endless supply of people who need healing. And we haven’t heard about any hospitals where everyone walks out of the building fully healed and restored. I’m pretty sure even the corporate news channels would mention that if it happened.

You don’t see faith healers working in hospitals for the same reason that you don’t see psychics winning the lottery every week. – @rickygervais

And while I don’t appreciate having my friends and I lumped into the category of frauds, I must concur that we have room to grow when it comes to living our beliefs. We pray for people in parking lots and grocery stores and Starbucks, which is real and not the least bit inauthentic. We pray for people where we encounter them in our lives. But why aren’t more of us working in hospitals and healing everyone in the building?