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Tag Archives: process

Discover your sealed orders

God has a plan for each one of us. One way to discern our distinctive life is from the perspective of discovering our “sealed orders” from Him. Sealed orders, historically, referred to specific written instructions given, for example, to the captain of a ship regarding his destination or mission. They were not to be opened until a specified time or place is reached. They were then opened and followed. God has given each one of us sealed orders for our lives. He invites us to open them by paying attention to the little everyday things that give us life. God comes to us in so many ways when we are still before Him. A key way for me has been to pay attention to God coming through my body as I pray. Author Sheila Linn simply and profoundly describes this process: “When I am in touch with the special purpose of my life in. Read more.

The Most Important Question of Every Day

Discerning God’s will in making decisions is the most important thing we do each day — both personally and in our leadership of others. Assuming that you are committed to the overall direction of Scripture and are willing to do whatever God asks, the Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) is the best means I know to discern God’s will. God speaks to us is through our deepest feelings and yearnings in what Ignatius called “consolations” and “desolations.” Consolations are those experiences that fill us with joy, life, energy and peace. Desolations are those that drain us and feel like death. Consolations connect us with ourselves, others and God. Desolations disconnect us.  The process below is one simple way of discovering the interior movements of God through which He is speaking and leading. Scripture: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.1 John 4:1 Silence: 1. Read more.

The Most Important Question of Every Day

Discerning God’s will in making decisions is the most important thing we do each day — both personally and in our leadership of others. Assuming that you are committed to the overall direction of Scripture and are willing to do whatever God asks, the Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) is the best means I know to discern God’s will. God speaks to us is through our deepest feelings and yearnings in what Ignatius called “consolations” and “desolations.” Consolations are those experiences that fill us with joy, life, energy and peace. Desolations are those that drain us and feel like death. Consolations connect us with ourselves, others and God. Desolations disconnect us.  The process below is one simple way of discovering the interior movements of God through which He is speaking and leading. Scripture: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. 1 John. Read more.

OVERWHELMED?

(Here are some very helpful words from a mentor of my husband’s.) There are simply times in life where new things hit us, and we feel completely overwhelmed. Here are some suggestions for moving beyond overwhelmed: 1. STOP … recognize it … admit it, “What am I feeling? … Overwhelmed!” 2. ASK … “Am I tired?” … Vince Lombardi — “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” 3. UPDATE / CREATE my “Life Milestones List” * Remembering past accomplishment brings a sense of deep encouragement 4. SHIFT my focus from “What I lack to what I have” * Moving from negative to positive 5. UPDATE my … Visual Perspective Chart to Re-focus my thinking * Visual Perspective Chart … a sheet of paper with an icon of you in the center … and all of the pieces swirling around in your head somewhere on the sheet … this gives you a visual picture of all. Read more.

Contemplative Strategic Planning

Over my 22 years of pastoring NLF, we have contracted with an outside coach to lead our pastoral staff in a strategic planning process at least 5 different times. I was reluctant to do a strategic plan again. The church was doing well. Yes, we were at a transition in a number of areas. We were growing. But I carried bad mem0ries of striving, about internal my own motivation (e.g. Was this really for God, or was this really about me and the need to prove something?), and of  tensions between staff that I had been unwilling to address. This is my first time since my journey into the contemplative almost six years ago. It has been a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable process. Why? I think the answer is the addition of contemplative spirituality and deeper integration of emotional health into our leadership. What has been different? The following is my short list. 1. God’s will is really what matters. Something. Read more.