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GOD ON FACEBOOK?

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How well do you think you know your God?

Let’s pretend that you are responsible for filling out God’s profile for His new Facebook page. Think through how you would fill out each of these blanks….

NAME:     HOMETOWN:     BIRTHDAY:       RELIGIOUS VIEWS:                    POLITICAL VIEWS:       LIKES:     DISLIKES:      INTERESTS:

If you are anything like me, then you realize that you have a long way to go when it comes to knowing our infinite God.

The relationship that matters most to me is my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Even more than my relationship with my amazing husband, Mark, my love for God comes first. Once you know this about me, it explains one of my life’s chief goals–to know God. He is the One I want to know the most, and so I will pursue Him until the day He takes me home. I will make every effort to understand Him and all the amazing facets of His character.

In any relationship, it’s far easier to grow apart than it is to grow closer. As a television co-host, I spent seven years interviewing relationship experts, researching and reading countless books on relationships, and worked alongside a man who was Canada’s Relationship Coach. It became critically clear how purposeful we must be within our relationships. It’s far easier to enjoy honeymoon phases, when you can’t wait to put effort towards each other, than it is to endure the dry and distant times.

Don’t buy into the lie that relationships just come naturally or without effort.

As a woman in her early 50s, I am extremely intentional about the relationships that matter in my life. I can honestly say that I pursue, I evaluate, I set goals for, I make changes to, and I am deeply blessed by each rich, real relationship. These relationships are not perfect and do not always go smoothly. (Remember I have real relationships.) But, I keep re-engaging in each of these important relationships…trying to get to know the one I love better and constantly understanding myself more.

We build a relationship with God in the same way we build a relationship with anybody else.

We spend time talking and listening to each other, asking questions until we understand one another. We hang out together, plan to do things together, and watch each other in all different sorts of life situations. Coincidentally, the Bible teaches the same things about how we can grow in our understanding of and connection with our Father.

  • Talking to God  (Matt. 6:9-13)
  • Listening to God  (Jn. 10:27)
  • Hanging Out Together in His Word  (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
  • Spending Time with His Family  (Heb. 10:25)

 Hold on tightly to the truth that love takes effort.

Therefore, make every effort to know your God.

I know that sin gets in the way and makes us feel a million miles away from God. That’s what sin does–it separates. And I know that we can slowly drift away with one compromise after another. And I know that there are times when we have no feelings for God, like we’re just going through the motions.

I have experienced each and every one of those situations. However, I am here to stand and shout as loud as I can that you don’t have to give into those times! In the same way that my husband and I have fought our way back to each other when we’ve been distant or there is hurt between us; we always need to keep fighting our way back to God. He begs us to “draw near and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). I can honestly say that each time my husband and I have fought for our relationship; we have gone to deeper and richer places. It all becomes part of our shared history.

Don’t you want that to be said of you and your Father God?

So what needs to change in your life today to draw closer to your God? To experience more shared history? Perhaps these steps might encourage you:

1. Confess your sin.  Commit to not allowing anything to come between you and your Lord.

2. Re-engage with God in dialogue. Talk all day long about the big stuff and the little stuff. Take time to listen and allow Him to speak to your spirit.

3. Ask God for the hunger to know Him, & then be purposeful about reading & digging into the Word of God. Make it a priority to hang out with Him & no matter where you read, keep asking yourself “What can I learn about God & His heart in this passage?”

4. Build relationships with Christ-followers.You get to know someone better when you spend time with their family. You need this encouragement & accountability.

5. Choose to live by faith and not by emotions; emotions can never be trusted and God can never forsake you. Ask God for a deep desire to want Him above all others.

How are you getting to know your God better these days?

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ARE YOU A “HAS-BEEN” OR A “WILL-BE”?

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Lauren Bacall was the woman who made famous the line, “I am not a has-been. I am a will-be.” Don’t you just love her attitude and outlook? She saw the future as hers for the taking.

How do you see the future?

For the first two decades of my life, I spent my days looking back…back on my failures, back on how others had failed me, back on the hurts and disappointments, back on the “what ifs”…but also back on great summers spent with my family, back on good times spent with high school friends, back on moments of hilarious laughter, and back on some embarrassing situations that I can’t believe I got myself into.

Not until it was pointed out to me did I realize that life isn’t too healthy if it’s always looking in the rearview mirror.

So I decided it was time for a change…time to start looking in a new direction.

It was time to look forward — my future depended upon it.

It is time for you to look forward — your future depends upon it.

First, the Bad News: If you have never taken the time to imagine how you want to be treated within relationships, or set goals for what you want to do with your dreams, or chosen the main character qualities you desire to be known for, then I am sorry to tell you that the odds are you will never achieve those things. You will join the masses of mankind who allow life to shape them. And you will look back through disappointed eyes with regret wondering why life has felt less than it should.

Now, the Good News: You can start at this very moment to change the future. You are a “will-be” and the future is yours for the taking! According to an African proverb, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

So are you excited to think about who you really want to be? What kind of friend or spouse you desire to be? How you want others to describe you? How you want to impact this world for Jesus? What character traits you want to be known for?

Wisdom tells us to diligently sow strategies for our future. Paul, the apostle challenged us to keep our focus on our goals and not get sidetracked or dragged down by our past. Luke, New Testament author, admonished us that there is an order to accomplishing things that always begins with first determining the answers to questions ahead of time.

So, hello Mr., Mrs., or Miss “Will Be,” here’s your chance–start thinking about what kind of a person you want to be for God.

Listed are some suggested questions to get your mind into future gears. Choose the ones you desire to set goals for and to make plans to change:

  • What are your physical health goals? How would you get there? (sleep, food, exercise, water)
  • What kind of a friend do you want to be for others? List top 3 character traits.
  • How would you like to serve your church? What kind of a servant do you want to be?
  • Do you want to stop pleasing people? Do you desire relational boundaries?
  • How would you want your spouse to describe you? What kind of a husband/wife do you want to be?
  • What goals do you have as a citizen/servant that will impact your community or this world?
  • Do you long to be closer to God? Know His word better? Look forward to prayer more?
  • How well do you settle disagreements? Would you like to resolve conflict more respectfully?
  • Are you spending/saving your money according to what you value?

 

Some Tips with Goal Setting:

  1. Make sure you know the “why” of your goal. What value do you receive in accomplishing it? Write this down.
  2. Make each goal specific, attainable, measurable, and bound by time.
  3. Set up any plan needed to accomplish each goal.
  4. Give yourself small rewards along the way that motivate you. We need to celebrate success and growth more!
  5. Share your goal with someone who will check in on you because they want to see you accomplish it.

 

With God ALL things are possible. Not some things, not several things, not many things, not a few things…ALL things (Job 42:1-2). You are a new creation with the potential for anything imaginable (2 Corinthians 5:17), and every day God’s mercy is new just for you (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Determine who you want to be and how you desire to behave. Think about it. Set goals and make plans.  We have to be intentional with our futures.

So, who will you be?

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SUCCESS STARTS HERE with your core values

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape

People who face their life with a confident purpose are

people who know their core values.

 

But what are core values exactly?

In high school, one of my closest friends Tay tried to find just one word to describe me and my behavior — she chose the word “intense.” Throughout college I was described as someone who gave 110% to everything I chose to be a part of. If my husband was asked, “What drew you to Christie?” One of his first responses would be “her passion.” She is passionate about everything she does and every person she she loves.

If you guessed that one of my core values is Passion, then the bell would start dinging because you are exactly right. Passion drives me.

I am aslo driven by Truth — another one of my core values. This can be seen in every arena of my life. If I am listening to a story that has incorrect details, I feel an overwhelming need to correct. If anything causes question or decision-making, than I go straight to the Word of God. His truth has full authority in my life. Declaring truth is my favorite source of serving joy. I believe freedom can only come as a result of truth being embraced.

Core values are your own personal philosophy or code to live by. They clarify your understanding of who you are, guide you in making decisions or choices, and direct all your relationships.

People don’t wear them like the latest fashion or post them in their Facebook status. Your core values aren’t displayed, but instead determined deep within you. Like a rudder on a giant ocean vessel, although usually unseen, core values completely navigate your life.

People who understand the true meaning of success have analyzed their personal core values, are able to articulate them, and are living their lives according to what they believe.

Would you like an exercise that would help you discover your core truths? I offer it for free on my website http://www.christieleerayburn.com/media-2/freebies/ 

Ladder Quote

Make sure your ladder is against the right wall —

the wall of your core values.

An interesting side note is that many times when you find yourself sick to your stomach, at a place of unrest within your soul, or attempting to justify your choices, you have just sold out your core values! That’s why it cuts so deeply and won’t settle within you.

Integrity is consistently staying true to your core values.

My top six core values are:

Overcoming faith     Truth     Passion     Personal growth    Creativity     Encouraging love

So, did you do the exercise? What are two of your core values?

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