Archives For Communication

How to Increase Your Reach

September 5, 2012 — 2 Comments

God has placed in your heart and mine a desire to reach out beyond ourselves. The problem is often that we don’t know how to begin to pull that off. Many times we have tried this or that “Program” in an attempt to touch those around us. I’m not talking about outreach necessarily, but connecting in all of our relationships.

Here are some thoughts I’ve been pondering lately about how to grow in relationships in general.

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Parents tend to stress themselves out in hopes of raising children that are going to “do right” at all times. I know that was my orientation throughout my childrearing years, but looking back now I realize I needlessly drove myself crazy at times in my aspiration to be an error-free parent.

I have a different take on things now. Here are some perspectives I’ve come to. Maybe my reflection will encourage you a bit whether you are facing entering into life as a parent or are a grandparent and coaching parents.

1. Ticked off the in-crowd
The crowd is nearly always in the wrong. They are usually in the majority and as Jesus pointed out time and again, though it’s a tough way to go, to follow their lead is a significant mistake. To stand firm in their convictions, no matter who is their side, is always worth it.

2. Colored outside the lines
I’ve done this fairly consistently for this myself. In fact, I’m something of an expert in this department as they’ve seen me penalized a few times. They’ve picked up on my modeling and haven’t done things the way everyone else has operated and I’m proud of them for it.
Some parents discourage this behavior but I don’t see it that way. Thinking from the outside in is valuable most of the time. All three of them have broken the rules on a fairly regular basis and have been rewarded, not punished, most of the time. Color on!

3. Embarrassed themselves
Is the goal of life to look good – to save face above all things? They’ve known that if you are going to be yourself it’s inevitable you are going to look dumb sometimes.

4. Questioned conventional / expected ways of doing things.
I’m not sure the word “rebellious” is the right choice but it’s pretty close to what I’ve hoped for them, at least to be a little bit that way. No progress is going to be made unless someone thinks outside the box. Life tends to discourage and penalize those who do that, but it’s worth every bit of heat one takes along the way to change the world.

5. Ticked me off.
At times it hasn’t taken much to pull this off! Don’t get me wrong. Long term, it’s a huge mistake to not follow the wisdom of a loving and wise parent. The line is “Honor your parents in the Lord that you may have a long life.” That’s an amazing promise to take to heart, but along the way there has been stress. I’ve endured stress points will all my kids but that’s just part of the deal in helping them come into their distinct adult selves. Those who aren’t allowed to tick off their parents are going to do this later in life, but then it will be messier and more hurtful. Parents, embrace the tick!

Few people have had more impact on the 20th church scene in the west than a little known guy named Lonnie Frisbee. Like a lot of change makers, he was controversial, and sadly, he died pretty much penniless, and with few steadfast friends, yet God chose to use this guy in amazing ways.

I was excited to hear that an autobiography of Lonnie was in the works – one based on his journals and an extensive library of taped interviews. When I was contacted by the editors of this book to see if I would be willing to write the forward to this, I instantly said yes. I knew Lonnie – a lot of people knew him, but I guess not many of them are writers.

The book is jam packed with Lonnie’s Holy Spirit stories connected with the stirring up and the release of the power of God he was known for. He also gives a birds eye account into the power ministry that went on in the launching of two well-known denominational movements. A lot of Lonnie stories have circulated for years. Perhaps you have heard a few yourself. I encourage you to either pick up a copy of this or get the kindle version when it comes out on July 4th. I will tantalize you by sharing outtakes of the book in coming weeks.

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After spending a few months working on my last book project I’m excited it is done and moving quickly toward publication.

After doing this a few times I’ve figured out that writing a book is doable once you have the basic plan nailed down, but getting to that point can be a challenge.

The sub-title is “Ten things I learned about God when I died.” There were lots of lessons I picked up on when I went through my NDE. I could have shared twenty lessons, but we capped it off at an even ten. I share a lot of details about what happened to me in the injury and the trauma I experienced after the injury in the months and years following – all stuff that was never made public until now. There has been a lot of pain I’ve had to deal with and forgiveness I’ve had to deal with and to seek from other others who have had “ought” with me.

I’ll share more about the emotional end of things I went through as i wrote this. Suffice it to say, this stirred up a lot of deeply stored up stuff in me I wasn’t aware was there as I recalled what I went through.

I hope you’ll help me talk this up in the coming months leading up to its release.

A few years ago in Conspiracy of Kindness, I made the statement, “We must earn the right to be heard.” I’ve heard that line a few times since then but I wonder if people understand what I meant.

Here’s my take: We serve those around us diligently, persistently over the long haul with no expectation of a return on our efforts. We let go of a mentality that says, “I give so you’d better sit down, listen up and listen good, buddy.”

Instead of depending on our ability to pull off verbal gymnastics, we relax, we serve and we unleash the Holy Spirit upon them to do what only the “Hound of Heaven” can do – to draw them to himself. As we continue to serve in diligence and in the kind of love only God can provide, it’s just a matter of time until there will be plenty of conversing – plenty of opportunity to talk. But then that conversing will come in response to the work of the Spirit.

What he does will last.
What he does will bear fruit.
What he does will open doors!

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