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

Growing Relationships, Path of Peace, Simple Wisdom for Living

Get the Uncommon Advantage: Build Authentic Relationships

Regardless of our vocation, family, socio-economic status, abilities, talents, education etc., the favor of God-given wisdom can provide us with an uncommon advantage in establishing authentic and lasting relationships. This favor is intended to operate in two directions, vertically toward God and horizontally toward man.
It is said that it takes about two minutes to form a first impression and that it takes approximately 20 exposures of a “good” impression to “undo” a bad first impression. According to Roger Ailes, the communication guru who coached Ronald Reagan for his debates, there is a “magic bullet” that can help us establish a great rapport right out of the gate. Research repeatedly confirms that our messages are interpreted by others in the following breakdown: 55% is by our facial expression and body language; 38% is based on our voice tone, pitch, volume and variation. Only about 7% of our persuasion power is determined by our literal words. Put all this together and you have the “magic bullet” which is, the “likeability” factor.

Likeability alone is not enough. While it may land you the job, client, project or promotion you desire, without competence it can be short-lived. Competence without likeability is a combination that can lead to bitterness as you may observe others with less competence being promoted before you. The uncommon advantage results from a dynamic combination of likeability and personal competence and is sure to thrust you beyond others!

Whatever our assignment or purpose from God is, the capacity to honestly and openly manage well the temptations in our current level of achievement may well determine whether or not we receive an invitation to go up another level to the next assignment. I submit to you that like cream, people with the right combination of attitude and skill always rise to the top.

There is a process to promotion or achievement in life. It requires gaining experience and knowledge and learning from our mistakes. Accompanied with the attitude of remaining open to learning as we are gaining the skill sets along the way, we can emerge with a tenacity that gives us the courage to impact our sphere of influence like no other.

The beginning of true wisdom according to Scripture, is found in the fear [reverence] of the Lord. This wisdom can instruct us to learn that the ability to access greatness is through serving others and embracing life’s reversal’s and contradictions by holding fast to this “fear of the Lord” with a hope that He will guide us on the pathway to our own vantage point.

In leaning into this “wisdom”, we find God’s favor. With this favor, key people connect with us and are inclined to trust us. This ability comes from managing personal and interpersonal skills. Our personal skills are expressed through three characteristics: self-awareness, personal responsibility, and sustained motivation. Our interpersonal skills are characterized by empathy and rapport.

The path to success for us personally will involve mastering the ability to gain knowledge through our reproofs and corrections and to learn from mistakes so that we don’t have to repeat them in the future. We can never learn from an experience that we deny responsibility over. When we catch ourselves explaining or justifying ourselves, we are denying our personal responsibility and surrendering our personal power to overcome our ability to avoid mistakes we’ve made in the past. Sustained motivation is the result of the self-awareness we can develop around our choices and emotions. The moment we take personal responsibility for our situations and problems and redirect our emotions to more productive activities, is the moment that we step closer to the solutions we desire. If we are to attain significant victories in life we will need to master these three aspects of personal skills.

On the interpersonal level, we need wisdom to accurately read people and understand their personal struggles and the impact they may have on their lives. This is best defined as empathy or the power to understand what others are feeling.

The other critical interpersonal skill in the ability to build bridges of influence through trust. It is one thing to be able to read people’s feelings, and another to know how to create an environment so they feel safe and can trust you. We are powerless to influence others without the ability to build trust.

Respect accompanied by trust will equate to commitment. This is true in business, marriage, parenting and any other significant partnerships. Without respect people will not care what you say. Without trust they won’t listen, even if they believe what you are talking about. Without both respect and trust, gaining significant commitment in virtually an impossibility.

Our gifts and talents can command respect, but only our interpersonal skills can build trust. Trust building is the key to influencing others in our lives and having them come into alignment with our plan, purpose, project, assignment etc. To succeed in our fields and relationships, we need to not only be trustworthy, but to have the ability to master the skill of winning the trust of others.

When we build trust and thus, relationship, we develop the unique capacity to experience a far-reaching and positive influence. When we provide love and nurture to a child, he or she will contribute back to the world. Abuse that child and you foster a capacity for hate and destruction.

To recap: self-awareness allows us to step outside ourselves and consider how we look and sound to others. The moment we determine that what we are doing isn’t working, we can take the initiative to adjust it, thus, the essence of personal responsibility. And finally, the power of sustained motivation comes from consistent effort. [When the going gets tough, the tough keep going!]

Continue to observe how you interact with others always negotiating with yourself to develop the ability to read others well and establish empathy and a good rapport.

Explore your options and enjoy the journey by developing and aligning your gifting with the right role, right attitude and in the right environment and thereby, gaining the uncommon advantage of authentic relationships.
Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom