a simplified life, Contentment, encouragement, Love Others

Radical Obedience

I am a member of a church I love! It feels so much like family that I believe it provides a glimpse of what heaven will be like when we are all gathered in His Presence.

I delight in being a part of a fellowship that keeps me awakened to having a heart of mercy and compassion. My challenge comes when I consider how at times I have allowed myself to be lulled into thinking that what happens for God for good only happens inside the church building at a worship service.

Looking back at where I have been I am acutely aware that great things happen at church and this is where we are equipped and raised up to go into our little corners of the world and influence others to become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ.

Out of the brokenness in the journey of my life, I have a stronger sense of what I believe to be the call of Christ on us as His church. I like to think of it as radical obedience. I believe this is a a call to make a difference in our world by reaching out to connect and get to know our neighbors in ways that may seem radical in our culture. We are all busy doing life but not necessarily enjoying it. Perhaps, this could be the game-changer!

Some time back, I rode through a neighborhood of older homes which housed families of fixed or limited incomes. Many were gathered on front porches, children were playing in the yards and on sidewalks together and though the means appeared to be limited, the genuine care and nurturing of one another was anything but lacking. It made me smile to remember many such times gathered together with folks on my grandmother’s front porch.

This image in my mind has convinced me that this is the picture of the true church. It is connecting where we live, work and play and not just where we go and all sit in the same building on Sunday. This is how a true family is built where time is spent building genuine, loving relationships. This is where we gain vision, encouragement, and support. And much needed guidance.

In these relationships the love of Christ is evident as we seek to develop a fellowship first with God and then taking what we hear in our quiet places and sharing that message with the world.

Once we experience the simple beauty of the sacred fellowship that comes when two or more are gathered together and realize He is in our midst, it adds a richness to our lives that we will not want to live without.

It is a depth that goes beyond the tradition of the church to a relationship with an untamed God, who is radical in His great love for us! It is an invitation to live trembling with joy in the presence of a holy God with a radical obedience, having the experience of a radical grace that compels us to know and serve this amazing God all of the days of our lives.

I have reflected on these ideas as a result of having a season of R E S T as I prepared for and said goodbye to my mother, as she recently passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. God wastes nothing and I’ve needed each season that He has allowed in my life, even the ones that are difficult.

What is it that God may be calling YOU to be radical about? And what are you preparing as your answer to Him?

Radical things happen in our own lives when we say “Yes, God”!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

a simplified life, Contentment, encouragement, Love Others, Path of Peace

The Power of Listening

I have often found it hard to avoid the temptation of telling people how to do something they are attempting to do in a different way. Different from the way I do it, of course! It has to be easier or I wouldn’t be doing it this way, right? At least, that is what the logical sense side of my brain screams to me. It almost seems natural to tell others our way of doing, seeing, being, etc. 

What I have been slow to learn is that we all have ideas on how to do something and many times if we are just present with someone and observing their efforts, we bring a lot to the table. Many of us are overdue for a few “attaboy” pats on the back and are overwhelmed with the telling feature of others.

I’ve learned that asking people questions about what they are doing or how they decided to do a certain task or project is a great way to offer encouragement and acceptance. I am now convinced that people need encouragement much more than they need instruction.

Asking a question and then giving someone the latitude to share their thoughts on it offers acceptance of the differences we have from others. Listening without mentally focusing on how we are going to tell them to do it a better way can bond us together in deeper ways. Active listening offers people the respect and courtesy to share their hearts and ideas without feeling corrected or as if they are in need of “fixing”.

I’ve heard it said that if you give someone 15 minutes to speak, they will tell you everything that is important to them. How much more value could we bring to our relationships if we offered the gift of listening to people who are important to us, and then using what we learn to offer encouragement in their endeavors?

Think about it. People often point out the mistakes, flaws and errors they see in others or in situations. How often do you hear someone comment on how enjoyable something they experienced proved to be? It’s refreshing, but rare.

Take every opportunity to develop the strength of character that is found in truly listening. People will be drawn to you as you, in turn, encourage them and open your heart to share the things you value.

If we pass this idea on to others, we may just find that listening is the most favored of all of the love languages.

Oh, and thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor and Christian Life Coach.

If this has been an encouragement to you, please share @Sheri_Geyer. Thank you!

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Determining Your Boundary Lines …

What Kind of Boundaries do You have?

HEALTHY BOUNDARIES:
•You can say no or yes, and you respect others’ when they say no.
• You have a strong sense of identity. You respect yourself.
• You expect reciprocity in a relationship and share responsibility.
• You know when the problem is yours or if it belongs to someone else.
• You share personal information in a relationship based on trust.
• You don’t tolerate abuse or disrespect.
• You know and clearly communicate your wants, needs and feelings.
• You are committed to and responsible for exploring and nurturing your full potential.
• You are responsible for your happiness and fulfillment, and encourage it in others.
• You value your opinions and feelings as much as others.
• You know your limits and allow others to define theirs.
• You are able to ask for help when you need it.
• You don’t compromise your values or integrity to avoid rejection.
COLLAPSED BOUNDARIES:
• Fear of rejection or abandonment prevents you from saying no.
• Your identity consists of what you think others want you to be.
• You tend to be either overly responsible and controlling or passive and dependent.
• You take on others’ problems as your own.
• You share personal information prematurely, before establishing trust.
• You have a high tolerance for abuse or being treated with disrespect.
• Your wants/ needs /feelings are secondary to others and are sometimes determined by others.
• You ignore your inner voice and allow others’ expectations to define your potential.
• You tend to feel responsible for and / or rely on others’ for happiness and fulfillment.
• You tend to over-identify with the feelings of others.
• You rely on others opinions, feelings and ideas more than you do your own.
• You allow others to define your limits or attempt to define limits for others.
• You compromise your values and beliefs in order to please others or to avoid conflict.
RIGID BOUNDARIES:
• You are likely to say no if the request involves close interaction.
• You avoid intimacy (pick fights, stay too busy, etc.)
• You fear abandonment OR engulfment, so you avoid closeness.
• You rarely share personal information.
• You have difficulty identifying wants, needs, feelings.
• You have few close relationships, and even with a partner you tend to lead separate lives.
• You rarely ask for help.
• You do not allow yourself to connect with other people and their problems.How do I change?Developing healthy boundaries will lead to improved self-esteem, better relationships and greater success in life and work.It is a process and will take time and practice with a supportive coach or accountability partner(s) to help you determine the balance that will allow you to give of yourself out of freedom as opposed to fear of the reactions of others.Helpful suggestions in the process:

1. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Record the feelings you have around setting boundaries and in situations where you didn’t set them.

2. Recognize that if you are uncertain about committing to a particular activity that it is okay to say no. If you determine that you can, it is easier to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ than vice versa.

3. Learn to treasure and protect the things that you value, such as your desires, thoughts and feelings.

4. Pray for the courage to be transformed to a new way of thinking. When we change our beliefs around a particular thing, we can change our thoughts, feelings and behavior.

5. Work with a mentor to receive the support, encouragement and accountability you will need to incorporate a healthy structure for boundaries.

Sheri Geyer is a Master Certified Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom