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Archive for September, 2010

Yesterday we covered being honest in your speech about and with God.  Today we’ll talk about speaking truth to others.

What does it look like to you when you think about speaking truth to someone else?

In the past, it has conjured up images of standing up for something I believed, or telling someone about God, or telling someone something they are doing wrong.  It very well could be any of those things.

What else could it look like?

Words are powerful weapons.  They can be used to kill and destroy or bring life to ourselves and others.  We may be called to bring correction or speak strongly at times.  However,  words of truth can also be meant to set boundaries, encourage, bless, and bring out the best in each other.

My youngest son and I quarreled a lot in his last few years of high school.  He pushed my buttons and I let him.   I worried about some of the choices he was making and if I’d confront him, I’d often hear those words, “You are such a hypocrite.”  Ever hear those?

I would react of course.  And then, being the kind of person who beats themselves up at the slightest criticism, I’d be devastated. There was nothing I wanted to be more than a true follower of Christ.  It was the worst thing someone could say to me.

Then one day, I had a revelation. What if I let him know I believed in him unconditionally.   When he returned home from college for the holidays I pulled him aside and asked forgiveness for badgering him about his choices and being a Christian.  I told him that God loved him and knew he’d be back and I knew that too.  After asking for forgiveness for any place I was hypocritical, I  asked him to share with me any examples.  He couldn’t.  So, I asked him to make me a promise that if he ever saw anything, he’d tell me right then.  He agreed.  Then I told him that unless he pointed to something specific he was never to use those words to describe me again.

There was a lot of truth in that moment.  The honest communication between us both healed something in him and me and set boundaries for our relationship going forward.

He still hasn’t completely embraced his earlier relationship with God, but recently once again his heart and mine were touched by a moment when while making plain I disagreed with his choice, instead of condemning him, I reinforced a positive part of his character that I really appreciate.

Here’s some steps for speaking truth to others.

a. Be truthful when you communicate with others.

b. Don’t try to force someone to listen.

c.  Don’t use truth as a weapon against someone.

d.  Use truth to encourage and pull out the best in someone.

e.  Always speak truth in love.

I haven’t always done this but when I follow these steps, I am more real and my relationships are better.

How can you speak more truth to others?


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Have you seen the Geico commercial where Abe Lincoln’s wife asks him if the dress she’s wearing makes her backside look big? After a long pause, Honest Abe answers truthfully but it doesn’t sit well with the wife.

Truth is not always easy but truth is foundational to living life well.

Ephesians 4:15(Amplified) says:  Rather let our lives lovingly express truth in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly.  Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things unto Him Who is the Head, (even) Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Three categories  are mentioned in this verse.   What we say, what we do, and how we live.  The goal:  Loving expression of truth in each area and in all things.

We’ll start with words.  Since what we do is based on what we believe, let’s start with this question. What do you believe about the importance of  words?

A person who wants to live a life that expresses truth is one who:

a. speaks honestly with and about God

b. speaks honestly with and about others

c. speaks honestly with and about themselves

Let’s explore the God piece! We’ll discuss others and ourselves later.

Being honest or truthful with God is impossible unless we believe we are unconditionally loved.  We accept this by  faith.  We may not initially feel as if God unconditionally loves us but John 3:16 makes it abundantly clear.  The more we act on that belief by being honest with God about our concerns and our feelings, and then listening for His response, the more we will experience His love.

Even if He corrects us He does it with love.

If you want a life that isn’t tossed from side to side, a life of clarity and completeness, it starts here.

BE HONEST WITH GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING.

When you are you’ll find more freedom then you imagined possible.

What feelings do you need to tell God about?

What concerns do you want to bring to Him?

What have you been resisting telling God?

Take a moment and tell God the truth.  Listen for His truthful reply.

Share with us the truth you discovered!


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Complete Personality

“Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  Dr. Suess

Have you taken the survey yet?

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/H9XM8VJ

So far, all those who have taken it have responded if Moms could only address one issue it would be Identity and Purpose. What do you think?

Almost every woman or person for that matter, I talk to seems to be wondering about who they really are and why they are here.

If you want those answers in more detail attend a Moms On Mission Workshop, teleconference, or begin personal coaching.  But, here’s the short answer.

Everyone’s purpose starts with the same foundation. Ready?

Your purpose is to be fully YOU and share yourself with the world.

Now before some of you get all upset, thinking I’m saying it’s all about us, read more!

What is personality and where did it come from?  Let’s take the second part first.  Our personalities were given to us by God.  When we were created Imago Dei (in His image) we were given certain traits, strengths, and qualities that reflect who He is.  We are a product of God’s DNA.

Science has proven no one’s DNA is exactly alike.  No two people are exactly alike either.

Ephesians 4:13 (Amplified) describes really mature as the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s perfection, the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

The key to YOU is Him.  And YOU in Him, helps me be ME. And YOU and ME paint a more complete picture of God for the world to see.

Personality is character, traits, qualities, uniqueness, and interests.  You were created with a core personality that is yours to develop.  (II Peter 1:5)

Consider this.  There are many different kinds of bread.  The ingredients will vary depending on the type you choose.  Whatever type you are making, if you leave out one of the ingredients, miss a step, or don’t bake it at the right temperature it will affect the results.

That’s true with us.  If we don’t build on our character, live from our strengths, and shine in our uniqueness we will lose some of our “God” flavor.

When we don’t honor everyone’s unique gifts and add ours to theirs, the world has less of “God’s” flavor.

If we would apply God’s blueprint for living completely and as one to our own lives, our families, our schools, our churches, our communities and ultimately every where the world would be full of God’s flavor.

A complete personality is a growth process.  It  starts with intention. What character area are you currently working on?  What strengths are you operating in?  How are you putting your unique gifts to use for your life and others?  What interests are you pursuing?

I believe that not only did God put gifts within us, we were created as God’s gift to Himself.  I also believe that when we live from the gifts God has given us we are bringing joy to His heart.   Like any good parent, He takes pleasure in His children.  So it’s not about us….it’s about Him.

Mom’s wants to build a tribe of other moms who are unwrapping their gift and showing Jesus to the world.  Will you join us?

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Gone With The Wind

Ever feel like your life is like a boat on choppy, stormy, waters?

Are you conflicted or confused about what is happening in your life and the changing circumstances around you?

Have you made up your mind or committed to something, only to discover that suddenly some new thought or fad has drawn you away from your goal? And then finding out that your new idea or belief didn’t work, you move on to another “latest and greatest”  thing?

The thing I love about the Bible is it’s instruction for life.  Too often we use it as a book to explain our doctrine instead of a map for living.  I prefer the life changing insights I get when I use it as a map.

Ephesians 4:14  paints the picture of a boat being tossed back and forth on the seas of life. We’ll explore some solutions in the next few blogs. If you are tired and sea-sick, pay attention to the truths in Ephesians 4.

Today’s truth comes from verse 12. (Amplified) “His intention was the perfecting and full equipping of the saints.”

Drumroll please………..God intended for us to be FULLY EQUIPPED and FULLY MATURE and has given us what we need to walk through life on solid ground no matter what’s going on around us.

A person who has full and accurate knowledge of Jesus (verse 13) will have a strong identity because they know who they are in Him.  They’ll measure and live life out of their recognition that all they need to be complete is found in Jesus Christ.

The first step to making any change is to recognize that we need to change our perception.  Seeing things through the eyes or perception of God makes a difference.

Feeling tossed right now? If not think back to a time when you were like that ship.  What do/did you believe about that situation?  About yourself?  About someone else?  About God?

What is/was the affect of those thoughts?

What is God’s perspective?

What could  happen if you accepted God’s idea instead of yours?

I leave you with this line from my favorite hymn.

“On Christ the Solid Rock I stand.  All other ground is seeking sand.”

Whether sinking sand or storm tossed seas, we are meant to stand on the Rock!


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What Validates You?

Ever read something that was a little out of your comfort zone and stumble on a truth that rocked your world? That happened to me yesterday.  As I sat with the thought, I realized that it’s time for me to do some more self-evaluation.

My facebook friend, Jonathan Brink has written a book called Discovering the God Imagination. This is no easy reading and I find his thinking radical in some ways (challenging what I’ve believed) yet, enlightening in so many others.

This thought isn’t so radical but it certainly rocked my world the more I sat with it.  He says, “An idol is any projected, tangible representation of what validates us.  We see something and agree with the idea, “If we have that, then we’ll be good.”

Why did this challenge me?  Because I began to think about ‘my stuff’, as Jonathan calls it.

My husband and I , for the most part have lived pretty simply as far as material possessions, toys, and even recreational pleasures.  And just in case I’m painting a picture of us being holy, most of that was from necessity rather than choice!

I don’t have a lot of stuff and don’t focus on all those tangibles.  But I still have a lot of  less tangible stuff that I allow to define me or make me feel better about myself.  Things like the roles I play, the recognition I receive, even my strongly held convictions on a particular issue.

Perhaps you have stuff that you use to validate yourself as well.  It could very well be your toys and material wealth, or maybe it’s things like how well your children behave, how clean your house is, your perfect body, your career, your finances, or your spouse.  Or perhaps your political, social, or religious views. Or  even your ministry or the use of your spiritual gifts.

Just imagine, you are a small, orphaned child in Africa.  You are hungry and alone in the middle of the desert.  No place to go, nothing to do.  What defines you?  What validates you?

Like my friend Jonathon, I submit that we can either continue to choose to be validated by our stuff or instead turn to the giver of our stuff for validation.  We were created, Imago Dei–the image of God. The child in Africa is no less than any other.  Even suffering does not define his worth.  That’s what people like Mother Teresa got!

If we turn to and accept that we are loved and approved of by God we won’t need our material or non-material stuff. We can move to a place of freely giving and loving.  Our stuff won’t define us and neither will our circumstances.

I believe that is a place near to the heart of God.  Will you join me in laying down your stuff?

You are loved unconditionally, freely and fully. Jeremiah 31:3,  Romans 8:32

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I Can!

I went to a communication workshop yesterday.  The presenter took a minute to ask us what we wanted to get out of the day.  As she went around the room, one concern surfaced several times.  Confidence.

How many times have you thought  or said,  I can’t do this! Ever said that in your relationships? Your parenting? Your job?  Ever used that line when you wanted to make a change but found yourself stuck in old patterns and habits? Maybe you’ve even felt that way about your life in general at some point.

I can’t, I’m afraid, I’m not good enough are just a few of the masks women hide behind.  There is one sacred principle we can use to remove the mask and step into freedom from fear.  Faith.

What is Faith? In the Amplified Bible it is often described as leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence.

The question then isn’t Can I do this? It’s Who am I trusting?

When we reflect on God’s strength, goodness, power, and all His other amazing attributes, we stir up confidence and trust for our own situations.

The next step is to accept that all God is and has, is ours for the taking.

So step out and trust! And like a child who discovers he can do something for the first time, you’ll find yourself jumping up and down shouting, “WE DID IT!”

Tell Moms your story of what you and God have done together!  We want to hear! Colossians 1:4.

Note:  If you’d like to explore other masks women wear, and are in the Gallatin Valley area, join me at a Take Off The Mask workshop the next three Mondays.  For info, contact me at

marian@connectedlifecoaching.com.

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Make Today A Play Date

So many moms tell me how hard it is and how guilty they feel for not spending a lot of time studying the Bible or praying.  Do you agree?

How would your desire to spend time with God change if you considered it playing?

As I asked God what you might need to hear today, I was impressed that some of you need to understand God loves to play with you.  I’m not saying it’s not important to set aside time and develop a practice of spiritual discipline, but it certainly doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring!

Several years ago, I heard Jason Upton.  I was sitting in the audience wondering why he didn’t control his children.  He was letting them run up on stage while he was singing and it seemed disruptive to me.  Then he explained and I was so humbled.  He had been in his worship room one day, singing to Jesus.  His little boy at one point started singing to him about coming down and playing with him.  God showed him that was the cry of our heart to.  We wanted God to play with us as a daddy would play with his kids.  God desired to answer that call and was willing to stop what he was doing to come down and play with us.

I love that picture!

So think about that today.  How or what would you like to play with God?  Maybe you can even involve your children.

Would you like to paint or color a picture or ask him to show you a picture he’s drawn for you?  Would you like to dance with or for him?  Would you like to sing with or to him?  Would you like to tell Him a story?  Would you like Him to tell you one?  Would you like to play dress up, imagining you were one part of one of the Bible’s adventures?  Would you like to go on a treasure hunt, following the clues God gives you? Would you like to make something for Him (cookies for a neighbor, a meal for someone sick, a nice dinner for your family)? Would you like to lay down on the grass or sit by the water and just daydream with God?

What’s stopping you?  God is waiting.  He’s calling your name.  He wants to be your playmate.

I hope you’ll answer that call and do something fun with God.  Then will you share with Moms what you learned from your play date?

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What’s Your State of Mind?

So when it comes to life, are you awake or under a drunken stupor?

Drunken stupor–strong words from yesterday’s verse.  Someone who is in that state has lost control over their behavior, movement, and speech, or in other words unconscious even if they haven’t passed out!

Think about that.  Do you ever feel that way as a mom?  It’s not just a mom thing!  It’s a human thing!

Someone who drinks themselves into a state of stupor is not a glass of wine at dinner kind of person.  Whatever their reason, somewhere, somehow their life is out of control.

We have our reasons too.  We may actually turn to something not good for us in order to avoid what’s really bothering us.  We may turn to busyness, good deeds, shopping, the latest fad, or any one we think might fill the empty or hard places in us.  We’ll imbibe on excuses for ourselves and blame for others in an effort to survive. We might even hide behind God or the devil in order to not look at ourselves.

If we continue this pattern long enough, we too will find ourselves in a drunken stupor!  Unconscious and numb, having lost control over our behavior, unable to take the next step, finding it difficult to even communicate.

If you want something to change in your life, you have to wake up.  You have to choose to stop allowing yourself to avoid it or walk around unconscious.  You must focus and look at what you want to change soberly.

Whenever I’m wrestling with something, I’ve found this exercise helps me hear God’s voice.

Try it.  Go to a quiet place, perhaps outside.  Sit and think about the life you really desire to live.  Not just the fairytale but the things you really want deep inside.  Invite God to sit with you and speak to you.  Pick the one thing you’d like to change and ask yourself, What is keeping me from what I want? What is it I really believe about this?  What does God have to say about it?

As you listen,  write down your thoughts about the issue and what you believe God is saying.  How do you know it’s God? Because it will awaken you and bring life to you.  You will gain a new perspective.

Moms would love to hear what happens as a result of your quiet encounter!



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Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty

I can’t take credit for the title to today’s blog.  My new found friend and one of my heroes, Bonnie Chavda, spoke on that at a recent Unearthing Destinies conference I attended.

I was reminded of it this morning when I read the first lines of today’s verse.  I Corinthians 15:14 (Amplified) “Awake from your drunken stupor and return to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more.”

For so many years sin was a list of rules and regulations I could not possibly keep.  Too many of us live in a world of should, can’t, won’t, don’t, and must. The burden of expectations we place on ourselves and others is overwhelming to say the least!  But what if we looked at sin differently?

What if  we began to see sin as a wrong state of mind?  Since we act out what we believe it makes sense that this is true.

And what if  we look at repentance as coming back to a right mind?  Correcting our false beliefs will bring about the change we desire.  So how do we do that?  By the knowledge of God and the sense of His presence according to the second part of this scripture.

When there is something that needs to change in our lives, we can ignore it, resist it, or wake up and accept God’s knowledge and presence and set our minds right.  Some of us just don’t realize we are in asleep, others are willfully and disgracefully ignorant.  We’ll explore this topic a little more this week.

Help me frame our conversation by sharing what you’d like to see changed in your life.

For today, have hope that like Sleeping Beauty, the kiss of the Prince of Peace will awaken you to abundant life, everlasting!

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Don’t you hate it when you buy something new that requires instructions and when you pull them out of the box they are either in a foreign language or incomprehensible?  I’m a visual kind of gal anyway but when that happens to me, my eyes glaze over and it’s all Greek to me!

I was thinking about the post yesterday and then about the word commandment.  It’s such a harsh sounding word when you come from my background.  Brings up images of a demanding God ready to punish and beat the crap out of you if you blow it rather than a “His mercy endures forever”(Jeremiah 33:11) kind of God.

Sometimes we make God’s instructions far more complicated than they are.  It really is all summed up with “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul and love your neighbor as yourself.”  When we are missing a piece of that our lives can become unmanageable.

The Hebrew meaning of the word in most instances has to do with words meant to set in order.  In this sometimes chaotic life, isn’t that something we all want?  I hear it all the time.  “I’m overwhelmed.” ” I don’t know where to start.”  “I need peace.”

When we are feeling that way spiritually, emotionally, or physically perhaps we need to search out the places we haven’t followed instructions or utilized the tools God has given us for life and godliness.  The chaos might be caused by our own doing.  If it is, we can change it! If it’s not, we can still have peace in the middle of it if we take it to Him.

One of the Greek meanings is to put out a goal. A goal is a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time sensitive action.  It is laying out a plan to succeed.  For example:  I will lose 10 lbs this month.  I will walk 30 minutes every day.

The reason we lose control of much of what we want in our life is that we fail to plan and follow through.  Goal setting is a useful tool for ourselves and our children for teaching order and the importance of following instructions.

Think about your life’s chaos.  What can be traced back to your relationship with God, yourself, or others?

Here’s some steps to help  set your life in order.

  1. Go to God first. Ask for His help and guidance.
  2. Follow His instructions. Check out what the Bible has to say on the issue that is concerning to you.
  3. Set realistic goals. Don’t expect radical changes overnight.  Baby steps on a consistent basis can get you where you want to go.
  4. Ask for help. Sometimes we just can’t figure it out for ourselves.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Find a wise, trusted coach, pastor, or friend to give you fresh insight and to help hold you accountable for follow through.
  5. Celebrate. It’s amazing what a child will do for a bright sticker on a chart.  We need to reward and celebrate our accomplishments as well.  Even a small reward will help motivate you to keep moving.

God is a good God.  He doesn’t demand our obedience because of His own self-centered need.  Instead, He is all about us being strong, complete, and resurrecting the dead places in our hearts to life!

What instructions do you need from God today?

How could you use goal setting to bring about the change you want to happen?

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