On one of the most memorable road trips of our early marriage, Terrie and I were making the six-hour drive from our home in San Dimas, California, to her parents’ home in San Jose for a birthday party.
Some of the most positive experiences of my life have rested on words of encouragement or help. Each time I benefit from the positive words of others, I’m more motivated than ever before to use my words in an uplifting way.
9 Ideas for Addressing the Concerns of an Upset Church Member
What preacher has not had somebody get upset with him? Who has not had folks who through misinformation or a legitimate grievance have become disappointed in their pastor? All of us, if we stay any length of time, will have to deal with upset members. Here are some techniques which I believe to be scriptural and have found to be helpful.
The words that come out of our mouth say a lot about us. Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” James said that the tongue is, “A fire, a world of iniquity.” He also said that although the tongue is a small member, it is very hard to control. Let us consider some ways our speech can be a blessing.
4 Tips to Keep Your Communication from Breaking Down
We are all aware of our need to communicate—it starts early in life. In order for a baby to communicate that he needs something, he will cry. It is amazing how effective a baby can be at communicating without words. After a while, we learn our first word, and then it isn’t long before we are talking a blue-streak.
As much as we wish it wasn’t so, the truth is, all of us have a mean streak. The “works of the flesh” (our flesh) include “hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife” (Galatians 5:19–20). We all have flesh, our flesh is selfish, and the selfishness of our flesh often comes out in meanness.
Applying Philippians 4:8 to Our Relationships with Others
Paul loved the believers at Philippi and felt especially close to them. He wrote them about personal issues, and asked them to put aside their petty offenses and come together in unity: “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord” (Philippians 4:2).
Sometimes our disposition diminishes our position and invalidates in the hearer’s mind a truth that might have been supported quite well had we not presented it so recklessly. Here is some advice about how your argument can be strengthened, if indeed its truth is worth fighting for.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Perhaps you were taught this as a child. It’s a catchy little memorable line, isn’t it? The problem is, it’s not true! As a matter of fact, words have the potential to inflict major damage, and they often do.
10 Principles to Guide Our Use of Social Networking
Selfie—it was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013. And it says a lot about the influence of social media on American society. But perhaps it says more about the narcissism of American society in general. Because in the end, our social media doesn’t make us who we are; it reveals who we are.
A Look at Blessings and Pitfalls of Social Networking
Do a word search in Scripture for “twitter,” and you’ll find nothing. Make it even broader to include “social media,” and you’ll get the same results. Yet every mature Christian understands that God’s Word has much to say regarding social media. It is our responsibility to examine God’s Word and apply its timeless truths to the present reality of our daily lives.
As a part of my work as a chaplain for the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, I took a course in critical incident stress debriefing. While I did not look forward to this investment of time and did not expect to learn much, I found it very practical and quite helpful. One of the things they said was that in an immediate crisis, you would not do a complete debriefing, but you could do a defusing. I have found that, as a pastor, there are many times and circumstances that can benefit from “defusing.”
We live in a day in which there are many venues to express one’s thoughts and opinions, or even share biblical truths. It can be encouraging and at times entertaining to read other’s thoughts on popular topics or current trends in culture or ministry.
Written communication always carries more weight than spoken communication. And once that weight is attached to the wings of social media, it easily spreads far and wide. If you let a snide remark out in personal conversation, that’s too bad. But if you post it to Twitter, that’s like saying it over a worldwide PA system.
Perhaps you’ve heard the suggested praise/correction ratio of 10/1. And perhaps, like me, you’ve found it easy to forget to be regular on the praise side of the ratio. Last summer at our annual staff training, my friend, Ken McCoy, was reminding our staff leaders to regularly praise team members. He shared a simple idea with us that he used when his children were small.
I recently read a classic little book called How to Read a Book. That may sound like an odd title; after all, how could somebody read a book unless they already knew how to read a book? And if they didn’t know how to read, how could they even read it at all? But How to Read a Book turned out to be one of the most important books I have ever read.