Leading from Your Strengths Certified
Leading from Your Strength Certified

Are You Good Enough?

Woman standing next to a wall.

If you are like me, there have been times when you have felt like a failure & unfit for God to use. Maybe this winter or some other circumstance is draining you of joy. Maybe you are weary of feeling NOT good enough. Let’s take a look at God’s list of “losers” …

  • Noah got DRUNK.
  • Abraham was too OLD.
  • Jacob was a LIAR.
  • Gideon was AFRAID.
  • Rahab was A PROSTITUTE.
  • Jeremiah and Timothy were considered TOO YOUNG.
  • David had an AFFAIR.
  • Moses was a MURDERER.
  • Elijah was SUICIDAL at one point.
  • Jonah RAN FROM GOD.
  • Peter DENIED CHRIST.
  • The Disciples FELL ASLEEP while PRAYING.
  • The Samaritan Woman WAS DIVORCED five times.
  • Timothy had AN ULCER.
  • John the Baptist ATE BUGS.
  • And Lazarus WAS DEAD!

So what’s your excuse?

(The list was from: Greg Laurie “A New Beginning” )

Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. That is actually good news because we are ALL ordinary people. God chooses what the world calls “losers” and “failures” and shows us how to be “fit for the Master’s use”. Let us not confound physical weariness with spiritual weakness. During a season of testing, God wants most to prove His faithfulness to you. It’s not who you are that matters. It’s who God is! It’s not what you can do; it’s what GOD can do! It’s not what you know; it’s WHO you know: GOD! God does not call the enabled. He enables the called.

The above list is just a few Biblical examples to encourage you. You can be healed from your past (every one of us has things in our past we wish we had done differently.) With Him, you CAN be fit for the Master’s use. You (and I) are not good enough. But HE is!!! Now THAT is really, really “GOOD NEWS”!!!

No matter where you are in your life with God,

HE is qualifying you for his service. He can even use the mistakes you have made to help others. So, choose to allow Him to do that!

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. — Elbert Hubbard

The Lord is your strength

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” – Psalm 28:7

Nehemiah said: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

A joyful heart causes good healing.

“A joyful heart promotes healing; but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” — Proverbs 17:22

Two peoetple leaping at suns

When you feel you have no strength to go on.

When you feel like a loser. When you are weary of the battle to survive. When you think everyone has forgotten you. Rise up, O woman of God. CHOOSE JOY! Your Savior will redeem the locust eaten YEARS and use you in the midst of all that He is accomplishing.

Surrender to the One who loves you above all others. Jesus Christ, THE LORD!!!

Teamwork

Let’s start TOGETHER this journey of discovery of your strengths and God’s plan for you. Let’s find the path to your EMBRACING your strengths and then LIVING them to the fullest. BE who God created you to be. He has a plan and YOU are part of that plan. Just click the button to connect.

Until next time…

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Touching the Hem of His Garment

A Woman Praying to God
In Matthew 14, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick. They begged to just be able to touch the hem of His garment. We are told that those who touched the hem of His garment were “made perfectly well”. That is a powerful statement.

I want to be made perfectly well. Don’t you?

What does it mean to be made perfectly well?

I don’t think this story is so much about physical healing as it is about being made perfectly well. Our earth-bound bodies and minds are puny and can’t comprehend the greater picture. We want what we want and we want it now. We want NO problems. We want physical healing, but there is so much more to desire than physical healing.

A courageous woman desperately in need

In Mark 5, A woman who had been ill for 12 years had spent all her money on doctors, yet she was worse than when she started. She was in need. She was desperate. She was brave. She did the unthinkable. In the midst of a crowd, she reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. INSTANTLY she was healed. Instantly she KNEW she was healed. “And Jesus, IMMEDIATELY KNOWING in HIMSELF that the power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said “who touched my clothes?”

She knew and she worshiped

The woman was afraid. She was trembling. But she also knew what had happened to her. And she knew how it happened. So, she worshiped. She “came and fell down before Him.” She “told Him the whole truth.” (Of course He knew it anyway, but this woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and was considered unclean and could have no human contact for 12 years. THAT woman knew immediately that she was “made perfectly well”. MORE than physical healing. She was made perfectly well. That is powerful.

The safest place to be

Jesus cares. The safest place is to be bowed down, reaching out to the hem of His garment, pleading with Him to give the healing that is needed. The soul healing is the greatest need of all…the soul—mind, will and emotions. This woman was desperate enough from the failure of human intervention to reach out to Jesus. Jesus was her last resort. And He made her “clean” and “whole”. Her shame was gone. I don’t think she probably ever forgot the compassion shown her that day.

Yes, Jesus heals. Some of us are healed here and some on the other side. It is a mystery.

Pray with me?

Lord, may I stay that close to you today—that I continually touch the hem of your garment—that my soul may be made perfectly well. That I may have full strength to bless—MAKE me a blessing, Lord…Help me keep my eyes on you and my hands on the hem of your garment—bowed down (in order to touch it). When I start to sink because I have taken my eyes off you, help me remember to cry out to You and reach out to You, so You can pull me out and “catch me” as you did Peter when he began to sink that day he stepped out of the boat toward You!

Please share your thoughts and experiences. Either here on the blog or privately. How can I pray for you?

Until Next Time,

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


A Willing Heart

A Willing Heart

Mary, Mother of Jesus

“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”

–1 Thessalonians 2:4

Mary’s life never robbed Jesus of His glory.

Her mission was to witness the Glory of the Son of God. She was a woman of courage and character. A poor girl in an insignificant town, from a humble family with little expectation her life would be different than most. Then, angel Gabriel came to Mary. (see Luke 1:38)

Why did God choose Mary?

I’ve been studying the Scriptures about Mary the last few days. And with my knowledge of the Leading From Your Strengths characteristic & personality strengths, I think I know WHY God deliberately chose this Golden Retriever type of personality, because of the particular situations she would need to endure in her adventure as the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Seeking approval

Mary sought approval from the One that matters most. Seeking God’s approval means turning FROM the desire for the applause of others. She went against social and cultural norms. She trusted God would not let her down. As she yielded to the purposes of God in and through her, she was able to anticipate the approval of the One who matters most without fear of public outcry or condemnation.

Mary surrendered to God’s plan

She was able through the power of the Spirit, by CHOOSING to be willing to lose all that defined her,  in order to become who God had CHOSEN her to be. He wants that for all of us.

What can we learn from Mary?

I’m not a scholar, and I’m not Jewish, but, I believe that when Mary, an innocent VIRGIN, courageously told Joseph, her beloved betrothed love of her life, that she was pregnant,  she knew that he KNEW it was not HIS baby she was carrying. The penalty for adulterous betrayal was death by stoning. BOTH their lives actually were in peril in that culture.

She gave her life & reputation to God

When angel Gabriel gave Mary God’s message, Mary answered, “May it be to me as you have said” (See Luke 1).  She had responded with a willing heart, ready to do whatever the Lord asked of her. Praise God for her response, which played a part in the blessing you and I have in Jesus.” (Anchor Devo December 2019)

The angel called her highly favored

He said to her, “Do not be afraid.” Angels aren’t sweet & pretty with flowing robes that flutter into your life to bless you. Rather, they are fierce looking warriors. Why else would their first words (whenever they appear to people) are some variation of FEAR NOT.

So you might think Mary was different than you or me

You might think you could never do what she did, yet I’m pretty certain that you would obey whatever an angel told you YOU to do, too. Her first response was a question, asking how it could be that she would bear the Christ Child, since she was a virgin. (Luke 1:34) And she most certainly had intended to stay that way before her marriage with Joseph. He also told her that her barren Aunt Elizabeth was now “with child”. Her next response was one of surrender and trust.  With a willing heart, accepting the consequences. “I am your servant. May it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) The angel left her.

Aunt Elizabeth is 6 months along

Mary went to see her aunt Elizabeth. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, baby John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb. And Elizabeth gave Mary an important affirmation. Any Golden Retriever personality’s indecision or concern would have melted away when Elizabeth said, “Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me.” (Luke 1:43) Mary stayed 3 months, until John was about to be born. Golden Retrievers are people people. They are loyal. They are “let’s do this together” people.

Fear

Goldens greatest fear is loss of security and they don’t like change. From others, they want sincere appreciation and harmony. When stressed, Goldens can be indecisive and unenthusiastic, so you can see why God gave her so many clear affirmations. God knew she would need them in all the future trials and testings she would endure.

So, as each affirmation came,

“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

  • The Angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary to tell her of God’s plan and to tell her not to fear
  • The Angel also spoke to Joseph to tell him that Mary was still a virgin and that he also was chosen to marry Mary and to care for her and Jesus
  • The Shepherds in the stable immediately after His birth
  • Both Simeon and Anna affirmed who He was, when Jesus was taken to the temple for his purification
  • The Wise Men when he was a bit older and in the house with his parents

Courage

She had been told that she was the woman with whom God entrusted His Son. Her heart had responded with praise and joyous song (see the Magnificat in Luke 2).

As we think about her courage, let’s think about the the time she rebuked her 12 year old son (JESUS) for staying behind in the temple. Think about the wedding in Cana where adult JESUS did his first (and non-public) miracle. She had courageously pressed Him to make water into wine. Think of the time that Mary took her other children to try to get JESUS to come home because there was so much demand on Him. She was concerned about him. Because she truly cared about the people in her sphere of influence. Let’s look at some general Golden Retriever characteristics and see if they fit Mary’s personality characteristics based on what we know from Scripture about this amazing woman:

  • Patient & Willing
  • Caring & Thoughtful
  • Steadiness
  • People person
  • Let’s do this together
  • Loyal & Nurturing
  • Tolerant
  • Slower Starting
  • Quiet & Reserved
  • Other-centered

Golden Retriever personality types deal in the PRESENT.

Their focus is on what is happening right now in front of them. You can definitely see that in Mary. When someone is hurting and needing a friend, or water made into wine at a wedding, the Golden Retriever is joyfully there! They have a caring heart and listen carefully and attentively to others (including angels 🙂 ). They are always loyal and faithful to friends and family. However, if there is tension, they want to withdraw.

Mary’s willing heart

Mary was a person of discipleship, with a willing heart, and great faith. The first true follower of Jesus. Her calling was great joy in motherhood, but required tremendous suffering. The worst was watching her son on the Cross in such unspeakable agony–knowing He had come to do just that. For you. For me. And for Mary. She knew how costly her submission would be, yet she CHOSE to SUBMIT to GOD’S plan. For that, we can ALL be grateful!

God bless you bunches!

Until Next Time,

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus

Every few months, I need a little something to freshen up my devotions. That’s also when I get my old journals and notes out and look for something that made an impact on me in the past. Something that made me get fresh perspective into what really matters in this life here on earth. Are you wondering how can I so boldly title this blog post, “The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus”? I’m glad you asked!

First, I can say it because it is true (because the Bible tells me so), (and also because I have proven it true in my own life). When it comes down to the bottom line…NOTHING else matters but a personal relationship with Jesus. It is a relationship that needs nurture and time and purposeful seeking…

Here’s an illustration of that very truth that I found in my notes from November 1998. (It is from Our Daily Bread Devotional.) The story is about Henri Nouwen. As many of the spiritual fathers & mothers from former days, he was not afraid to speak Truth into people’s lives.

A lady had come to Henri Nouwen…complaining about her husband. He wasn’t abusive. I think she was just tired of him and his habits. And it seems she wanted to change him. She definitely wanted Henri to tell her she was right and her husband was wrong. Henri listened and had two things to say to her. One a rebuke. The other a suggestion.

The rebuke: “All that is a distraction. I don’t mean to denigrate or even dispute your complaints, but those are beside the point. The only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.” (Now you know where I got the title.)

The suggestion: “Just take 5 minutes every day for two weeks to sit quietly and ask to be with Jesus; ask for His presence. And then…come and tell me what’s important.”

Choosing to be with Jesus (yes, it’s a choice…just like any relationship)…in His presence…puts a whole new perspective on things. So, whether you are a long-time follower of Jesus, or brand new at this, I offer you the same challenge: Every day for two weeks (and beyond), sit for 5 minutes (or longer) and ask to be with Jesus. Ask for His presence.

Then, let me know what’s important.

Let me know if you have new perspective and if you also experience anew or afresh, that the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the people praise You, O God; let the peoples praise You.” Psalm 67:1-3


Time with God Grown Stale? Try This…

Has time with God gotten a bit stale lately? Do you need some ideas to help freshen up your devotions — your meetings with the Lord God Almighty? Here’s a list I have often referred back to over the years since I began my personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son…the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe this will bring fresh life to those times for you, too.

You can pick and choose, or do them all!

Every day (ideas to freshen up your devotions):
* Give thanks to the Lord for something that happened yesterday
* Praise Him for some attribute He has that you need today
* Go through the alphabet re what you know about God. (e.g. A= Always there)
* Romans 12:1 = Purposely present yourself to Him
* Psalm 96:1, 2 = Sing a NEW song = it is important for new life
* Ephesians 5:18 = Keep on being filled
* Psalm 139:23, 24 = ASK God to search your heart (We have the capacity to “fool” ourselves)
* I John 1:6-10 = Remember that sin is “missing the mark”…like an archer missing the bulls-eye.
* Romans 8:29 = Purpose to be conformed to the image of His Son = the reason for Romans 8:28 = the GOAL
* James 1:5-8 = ASK for wisdom
* Ask for supernatural ability to love God with supernatural agape love
* Pray for Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless Israel
* Pray for your family, your church, your hometown, your state, your country
*Thank Him that you are His child! Not yet? Why not? Questions? Just ask Him. He’s listening. What matters to you, matters to Him.

Ask Him. You’ll be glad you did. I promise!

Hebrews 2: 2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

He will show you the way “Home”

 


For the Answers to: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part IV of IV

We’ve been on a journey together these last weeks, discussing Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? We have finally arrived at the destination of discussing a resource that has been personally life changing. This resource has been instrumental as one more step to take me from where I am to where I want to be.  It is one more step to bridge the gap between the two. That’s why I want to tell you about it! It works well with the coaching model of helping people to reach their goals. And, for the Christian, this resource is a breath of fresh air because it uses Biblical principles to help each of us to discover our unique God-given design, so we can be the best “me” we were meant to be.

This resource is not a talent assessment, nor a spiritual gifts assessment, nor an assessment to help you discover your passion. We use other resources to help in those areas. This resource is to help you discover your Natural Strengths (what you are naturally) as well as your Adapted Strengths (what you present to your world). The Leading From Your Strengths assessment only requires a few minutes to take it online. And yet, from your responses, we discover wonderful things about your personality. It is helpful for understanding how you interact with others and why they may perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. It is valuable in helping you to accept who God made you to be so you more effectively move forward in your strengths.  But…the BEST part about this assessment is that it also helps you accept how God designed other people in your world. It is a tool you can use in order to learn how to work together more effectively with your world…and with less stress.

What a gift Rodney Cox and John Trent gave the world when they collaborated on the development of these assessments! Amazing! Freeing! Encouraging! Body(of Christ)-building. Team building. Marriage building. Family building. It is not “my” strength. It is not “your” strength. It is “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, in order for His light to shine through us, so that above all things, He will be glorified. But, we have to KNOW those strengths. And we have to embrace them. And we have to embrace the strengths of others.

In their book, Leading From Your Strengths, Building Close-Knit Ministry Teams, John Trent & Rodney Cox say: “In I Corinthians 12:18 the apostle Paul concludes his discussion of how God’s people are like members of a body by stating, ‘But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted.’ We believe that is also absolutely true today. The group of people you are working with isn’t the result of a random coincidence. Those people you’re working with are part of God’s story for your life. That is an amazing thing to think about in itself. It ‘s also why investing time in building a healthy, functional, effective, empowering team is essential, not optional.”

These four blog posts have attempted to guide you to find the answers for: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? To know your strengths is not boasting. The more we step into our God-given strengths, the more we will realize that He has given us what we need to do what He designed for us. Do you think you don’t have what it takes money-wise or time-wise? When Moses questioned his God-given strengths in Exodus 3 and 4, God replied, “What is that in your hand?” Discover what God has placed in YOUR hand. (Your strengths.) Take the assessment for yourself.  For more information, go to: https://loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php

For less than the cost of an oil-change and fill-up of gas, or the cost of dinner for two at a nice restaurant, you could have a whole new perspective on life and purpose.

What is that worth to you to be more fully you? (Your God-intended you.)

Do you think you don’t have the time? By simply skipping one of your favorite TV shows, you could free-up time to take the Leading From Your Strengths assessment and debrief consultation with an experienced life coach. It could be a new beginning for you….like it has been for so many others. What is that worth to you? For only $149, this could be the start of something new and fresh in your life.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!  https://loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part III of IV

Be sure to read Part I and Part II of this series. We learned that conflict comes when we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and have difficulty understanding why others don’t view the world through the same “glasses” we do. So, who am I? Who are you? And why do we do the things we do?

It is easy to think that other people are “vision” impaired when they differ in the way they solve problems, process information, manage change, or face risks. This plays itself out in our closest relationship teams, whether in family, at work, or in the church. Is there any hope for something better? Yes, I believe there is. We don’t have to settle for mediocrity! Will it take work? Yes, it will. Will it take time? Yes. And patience as well. According to Ministry Insights, there are 384 distinctive personality styles. The Leading From Your Strengths Personality Assessment is a tool to help us first understand our God-given design, leading us to then accept the God-given design of others. This gives us the freedom to encourage others to embrace their own God-given design. Their strengths, in other words.

Since most of our life is spent working in a team of some sort, God has given us our strengths for the benefit of the “team”. We are needed. We are a necessary part of the team. Created by Him and for His purposes. Different, yes. With a natural set of strengths that He personally handpicked for us. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart & soul, mind & strength. If we don’t even know and accept our strengths and the strengths of those around us, how can we love Him fully? On the other hand, by accepting, loving, embracing, and using our strengths for the good of others, we delight the Lord God Almighty…the Creator. This is good, acceptable, and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Christ is in us—directing us to live a life worthy of our calling and giving us the power to do that. Each of us has a solution for a certain need in the world. He chose our personality and prepared works for us to do.

It is not “my” strength to do with as I please, but “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, so that His light will shine through us. Therefore, above all things, He will be glorified. So, the answer to: Who am I? Who are you? Why do we do the things we do? = We were created to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty. So…we have to know those strengths and actually embrace them as strengths. As a gift. Many of us “fight” who we are and wish we were different. Embracing our strengths pleases the Father God.

God created us to work in community, whether at work, at church, in our hometown, or in the family. We also need to know and embrace our differences. It is all about working well together as a team. It’s not about “me”, but it is about “us”. How can we bring out the best in each other? Our specialized differences make the Body (the Team) work the way it was meant to. The differences are then seen as a good thing.

Wouldn’t you like to know more about how to embrace this fresh approach to our God-given design? Ministry Insights, Leading From Your Strengths assessment is one of the best tools I have experienced personally. It has changed my view of myself and my view of others. I am free-er! Want to know more? Stay tuned for Part IV of this series. You will learn how to make this a reality in your own life and in the life of the teams where you live out your life story.

This has been Part III of four parts to discovering: “Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?” Watch for Part IV coming soon! J


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part II of IV

Do you remember from Part I that conflict comes because we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and try to make others into our clones? Do you remember that my friend chose the higher ground and realized what I needed in order to move forward? She “brought out the best” of my God-given design. Do you remember that I ended Part I of Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? by asking, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that as well as my friend did?”

Depending on our design, we each handle those areas of potential conflict differently, whether in:
1. problem solving (either reflective or aggressive)
2. processing information (either realistic or optimistic)
3. managing change (either dynamic or predictable), and
4. facing risk (either pioneering or structured)

Ministry Insights - Leadership Assessment TestsAccording to Ministry Insights there are 384 distinctive personality styles. And their Leading From Your Strengths personality assessment has been a tool that God has used in my life to bring acceptance. First, as I accept my own personal God-given design and then as I accept the God-given design of others. This assessment has been a personal life-changer for me. I much more readily understand why people act and react the way they do. Life is more fun because I take fewer things personally. And…I can enjoy and encourage others to embrace their own design.

Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Assessments were designed by Rodney Cox and John Trent. The three goals for creating the assessments are:

1. Understand how you are wired from the inside (how God made you)
2. Value the strength of others
3. Blend the differences among the team members and harness each person’s unique strength.

One important difference you will notice about the Ministry Insights assessment vs. others that you may have taken is this: Many of the others have a secular message, which centers on you, the individual. But the purpose of LFYS is bigger than that…centering around a Biblical message of embracing who God made you to be…but additionally… with the greater purpose of learning to embrace the uniqueness of others…in order to work well together as a team, whether in family, at work, or in the church.

This has been Part II of four parts to discovering:
Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?
How can we learn to get along better together?
Watch for Part III coming soon!