Tag Archives: Intimate Counsel

Takes Time To Master

I often find myself trying rush into things.  I come into something new, a new job, a new task, something, and I feel like I have to hit the ground running.  When I’ve been on job interviews in the past, one of the things always asked for is needing someone to hit the ground running.  When I make the decision to move into counseling and ministry, I felt like I had to consume as much as possible and get rolling as quickly as possible.  Then I realized something this year, while out west, mastery of anything takes time.  It’s going to take time to learn the best way to counsel and minister to people.  I can’t just go right into it and know it all.  When I started my current job 10 years ago, it’s taken time and trial and error to figure out what works best and the learning continues.

Morgan Snyder reminded me of this in his teachings when he quoted author Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell stated that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  10,000 hours, that’s 416 days.  Divided to 2.5 hours a day brings us to about 10 years.  It’s a lot of time, but I’ve come to realize that anything we devote to will always take time to learn and master.

I’m not just talking about work skills.  What I really wanted to focus on here is spiritual disciplines and practices in the faith.  There are many that think, “I’m good…I was saved, baptized…I pray (occasionally)…I go to church on Sunday, etc.”  The list can go on.  But let’s think about real practice of a real and deep intimate relationship with the Father. It takes time.  As I’ve come to learn, there is a way things work and the only way to grow is through learning to develop a life that gives time to Father.  A.W. Tozer said, “The man who would know God, must give time to Him.

Through Jesus, the Father desires to restore us to a life in Him.  The way to life in Jesus is a vigorous journey and it’s one, if we truly want to come alive, requires our total attention.  It’s never instantaneous, though.  There are not any shortcuts through this journey.

For many years, I’ve lived a life of shortcuts.  Trying to find the quickest way to get to where I needed, whether that was through schooling, in my work, and in my spiritual growth in the last few years.  It’s taken a long time to learn that I have allow for time.  It will truly take a decade of working, of trial and error, to fully build a life of real authentic disciplines that is fully invested in the Father day after day.

Don’t compromise a piece of the journey.  Make the choice to fully invest in time grow into an exercise of real mastery, no matter what you invest into.  Most importantly, choose to invest in a life of real mastery in your walk with God, day after day.  I’m in the early parts of this journey.  Come along.  Think about your life and where your trying to take shortcuts.  Ask the Father to reveal where you’ve taken shortcuts in your growth.

I’m so thankful that I’ve come across a ministry of men that has helped me to learn this and know that I need to begin to inventory my life and begin to develop real habits in the life I live with God, habits of self care, the way I care for and walk with my wife, the way I father my own children in leading them to the real Father, and in the investments I make others around me.  In that order, by the way.

It all takes time.  The journey can’t be rushed, and I’m so excited to see the fruit that comes from this decade.  As Morgan Snyder reminded us at Become Good Soil, “Live in the day…Measure in the decade.

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A New Adventure In The Works

Two months from now I will be hitting the road on a new adventure as I drive across the country for the first time in route to Bear Trap Ranch just outside Colorado Springs.  I’m so excited for this journey as I was accepted and have the opportunity to attend the Become Good Soil Intensive event with Ransomed Heart Ministries.  I am so humbled and honored that the Lord has afforded me this opportunity.  As I have written about extensively over the last year, I attended my first Ransomed Heart event last year at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp.  That was 4 days packed with tremendous spiritual growth, unplugged from the matrix and getting to have some good sound fellowship with other godly men and time alone with God like I had not experienced before.  I surrendered my life on that journey to Jesus, as I quit tiptoeing in the shallow end and dove into the deep end.maxresdefault

This time around, I am looking forward to even more spiritual growth.  Whereas Wild at Heart had over 400 other men there, this Intensive is a more intimate setting with only 48 men accepted through a lengthy application process.  I gained so much at Wild at Heart, I can only imagine what the Lord will have in store for me on this adventure.

One of the biggest things I have learned on my walk over the last year is the importance of walking through life with other men in the faith.  I have especially learned the importance of walking with men who have journeyed through life longer and garnered a great amount of wisdom and experience, like Timothy walking with Paul.  I have made that a priority for my life to do just that with who I have surrounded myself with at my round table.  At this event, I will get a chance to do this as well, completely unplugged from the matrix of this world.  As the event information states, it is in the company of wise, older men…those out in front already.

mostimportant-01Any chance I get to gain something new in my walk with God, I will take advantage of.  Something that I have learned to be so valuable also is that we all, men and women, need opportunities to escape the stresses of life.  Unplugged from life.  I believe this is important, not just with event like this, but to find time to get away , at least once a year.  No phones, no work, no distractions.  Your soul needs this.  As I have shared time and again, why do you think Jesus always escaped to the wilderness.  He knew he needed to get away from the chaos in order to walk more intimately with the Father.

Look, I have suffered and lived long enough to know that I don’t have all the answers and never will in this life.  We need the wisdom of others and need to be able do disconnect to allow ourselves to connect with the Father on a deeper level.  It can be so easy to be lost in a sea of chaos out of control, but in the process, you can lose who you are.  Don’t let that happen to your life.  Find a way to unplug and also lean into others you can glean godly wisdom from.

I am very much looking forward to this adventure.  Last time I flew, but this time, I decided to load up my F-150 and make it a road trip.  I look forward to the solitude on the road as well as I prepare for the event. I’ve never driven that long on my own, and I am so excited to have this opportunity and to have a wife that is so supportive of this huge growth opportunity.  It will definitely be an adventure and I will certainly share about it more as I prepare and of course after the event.  It’s going to be an amazing adventure and I look forward to what God has in store for me this time around.

Humility So Genuine

Humility.  This is a word that has been on my heart for a number of days now.  As we started the New Year, I’ve continued to dive deeper into Scripture and working hard at walking with God deeper with scripture, prayer, and journaling my thoughts as I role through the morning.  On Saturday, as I continued my read through Philippians.  Something big stood out to me from Philippians 2.  The humility of Jesus.  Paul tells us to be humble, thinking of others over ourselves. In verse 5 that he writes that we must have the attitude that Jesus had.  Verses 6-8 from the NLT read:humility

“Though He was God, he did not think of equality with as something to cling to.  Instead, He gave up his divine privileges (emptied himself); He took the humble position of a slave and He was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

This thought has crossed my mind before, but God really spoke this into my heart this week.  Humility.  The true humility of Jesus is something that we should look to have in our own lives.  I just found this so powerful to think about.  Here is Jesus.  As Paul writes, He is God, yet, Jesus came as fully man.  In his book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge, lays it out this way…

“The eternal Son of God, ‘Light of Light, Very God of Very God…one substance with the Father, spent nine months developing in Mary’s uterus.  Jesus passed through her birth canal. He had to learn to walk. The Word of God had to learn talk.  He who calls the stars by name had to learn the names of everything, just as you did. ‘This is a cup. Can you say cup? Cuuup.'”

It’s so fascinating to think about how this man, Jesus, humbled himself so much to walk on even playing field.  But think about it.  In order to open the way for us all, He needed to.  We were lost before Jesus, but the Father had us in mind from before the foundations of the earth and has been pursuing us since.  Jesus walking as the perfect lamb of God, fully human, although He was God showed us what we were always meant to be as God’s sons and daughters.  Our story did not begin at the Fall.  It goes way before that, to what we were created to be, inheriting a kingdom created and set aside for us.  Jesus came to restore us, so that we could once again claim that inheritance if we choose to follow Him.washing-feet-statue-2

As this was on my heart, it was very cool to hear the teaching Sunday morning, which went into John 13.  When I learned we were going there, I was floored, I knew God was really speaking this to me.  Here, Jesus gives us an example of his humility as he washes the feet of his disciples including Judas, even though Jesus knew he would betray Him.  Jesus humbled himself to serve others in this manner.  He says in verse 14 and 15, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to was each other’s feet. I have give you an example to follow.  Do as I have done to you.”  Jesus is showing us the humility that we should have in our lives.  Not putting ourselves above others.  Not striving for position or title, but rather living as who we are in Christ.

When I look back on my life, there was a time when I was all about striving for my own successes.  Making it to those high positions.  Striving for higher success and thinking that this was what mattered in life.  More degrees, greater position, higher salary, etc.  I have been humbled so much though in realizing that all of that led me to nothing.  This is because none of my efforts were done with the motives of serving Jesus and serving others, other than my own success and supporting my family.

God has shown me another way and is leading me in a way to serve others, serve Him, and seek the lost for His kingdom.  How humbling that all becomes.  I was reading and journaling yesterday morning and I came up with this.  “A life of self-reliance leads to emptiness and death. A life reliant on Jesus leads to a life of freedom, breakthrough, restoration, and coming fully alive.”  If we put our own self-centered ambitions above everything else, we will be humbled very quickly in the end and will be left with nothing.

I think God put this on my heart to remind me that I all I am doing needs to be done with Him as my motive.  Helping me to remember to not put myself above others. As Tim shared on Sunday, to seek God, not titles or position.  Even as a developing counselor and with the work God is leading me toward, it can be so easy to exalt myself in that and seek position, whether in a counseling practice, church, or wherever simply to make myself standout.  God’s reminding me that my efforts need to be only to seek His glory and advance His kingdom, not my own.

I’m grateful for this reminder God gave me.  I pray that it helps you as well.  Look at the humility of Jesus.  He is the example to follow.  Don’t think yourself above others.  None of us are are greater than the other.  We are all fallen. We are all sinners given a chance to be restored in through the finished works of Jesus Christ.

“The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.” – Augustine

The Round Table

I’ve learned a great deal about God through my own study and daily time in Scripture and writing in my journal.  One vital thing I did not know, or rather did not listen about until recently was that I cannot walk through my faith and life as a lone ranger.  For so many years, I did.  Because of my own wounds and insecurities, I never let anyone in, other than my wife.  I have friends and know many people, but I did not ever have anyone that I walk through my faith journey with.  Men I could do life with that would help hold me accountable and allow me to the same in our faith.

At my church, my pastor often talked about doing life in circles and not in rows.  It took a long time for me to realize this shortfall.  I wrote a few weeks ago, before the Wild At Heart Boot Camp, that this hit me hard while in our men’s ministry Bible study and I threw my hand up when we were asked if we did not have guys to walk through life with.  It was almost subconsciousness.  It was like God grabbed my hand and through it up.  He knew where I was flying to the next week and was stirring my heart to prepare me.  It was not like me, or was not like the false me, to just volunteer that.

So since then God has done a work in my heart and I’ve come to really recognize that I was doing life as a lone ranger and I needed to change this.  I needed to let others into my life. In the 5 weeks since that day, God has done a real work in me on this.  He has brought men into my life in both my church and through my connections at Wild At Heart through my band of brothers.  It has been quite a journey.  I have stayed in touch with these guys and we’re committing to continue getting together now that we’re back home.  We just had our first get together last week since being home and it was great. It is so awesome to have a group of authentic men to now do life with. Guys that don’t hide around each other and genuinely want to stay connected and be real about our lives.  Look forward to more of those.  In my church, I’m connecting with guys that are really helping my faith journey there as well and guiding me through the next stages of my life that are going to bring significant and exciting change for my family and me and in how I can serve God and extend his love to others.

This is so vital.  We need people in our lives to do life with and walk through our faith with.  None of us, I don’t care who you are, have it all figured out.  We need those knights at our round table like King Arthur to guide us along.  God called this out, specifically, to me in Colorado when I was communing with Him.  That I was being called to so much more, but needed those knights at my round table.

Who do you have to walk with in life and in faith?  I know I’m not the only lone ranger out there.  The book Waking the Dead asks the question, how can we offer counseling and gain the counseling we need “unless we actually know one other and know one another’s stories.”   You need to know people truly.  Not just know them on the surface.  King Arthur had his round table of trusted knights and knew each one of them and trusted them.  Jesus had his 12 disciples that he trusted and he knew the hearts of each man.

God puts people in our life to guide us along in life.  People that we can trust and God will use them to Father us along in life.  It must be small.  It’s hard to get intimately close and truly get to know folks in large groups.  Have a small band of people in your circles to really go through life with.  That round table, that small platoon.  As was added in Waking the Dead, “Jesus modeled this for a reason.”  It’s how you can grow fully in faith and with God.  You can gain strength from one another and help each other through the spiritual warfare that we each face.

I know this is a new realm to my faith journey, and there’s so much I will learn hear.  As I walk in this path and gain more from the Father, I will share more.  Just know that you do not have to walk through life alone.

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