Are You Too Near the Getting In Place?

The story is told of a little boy who had a habit of falling out of bed in the night. Finally, his mother asked him why he fell out of bed so much. He replied, “I guess I stay too near the getting in place.”

The small boy with alarm clock in the bedIt’s a picture of too many Christians who don’t seem to grow, or know the Lord Jesus better this year than last. They’re faithful in their church attendance and they even tithe. But the Christian walk is a walk with Jesus that causes us to change. As Paul wrote, we are changed “from Glory to Glory, transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Peter also cautioned us to grow in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Knowledge comes through the Word, illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

(These thoughts were first shared with Kristin in an email on August 11, 2005. Gladys was 86 years old. And yes, she loved connecting via email!)

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GROW, Don’t PLATEAU!

I am fabulous at reaching goals! I was an A student all the way through college, an athlete, and I led various clubs and even my sorority one year. Give me a goal or a deadline, and I’ll reach it, GUARANTEED. I have always refused to give up until my goal had been reached.

This has served me well in many areas. But, for some reason I have never learned to be consistent. That is my word for 2016. CONSISTENCY. I talked about it several weeks ago. Somehow, I never learned the skill of making changes in my life consistently and persistently on a daily basis that would keep me on a constant path of growth.

In listening to a CD put out by Success magazine in September 2015, I heard an interview with the great leadership coach, John C. Maxwell. He said, when he coaches someone, he tries to teach them to be growth-oriented rather than goal-oriented. That is not to say we should not have goals, for goals do need to be set in order to be successful. But, he mentioned he had seen countless people achieve their goals and become successful, but then plateau and eventually take a downturn.

This struck a chord with me because it could sum up my life! I would achieve a goal and then reward myself by coasting. If someone was constantly giving me new goals, i.e. teachers and coaches, then I was constantly appearing to grow and become successful.

However, when left to my own devices, I would plateau and then downturn. My life has been a rollercoaster in that way! I realize there is a natural ebb and flow to life and reaching success. But, we must be consistent in doing the mundane everyday things that will keep pushing us forward. We don’t just get to the “top” and stay there – we must continue to practice the same habits that got us there to begin with in order to continue to grow and reach new “heights.”

Here I am, now at 41, learning things I wish I had learned long ago. I can’t really blame anyone for it, though no one specifically tried to teach it to me. I never did take the initiative to figure out how to become consistent and constantly grow. Mr. Maxwell says that if you remain growth-oriented, you will hit all your goals and then some because you will constantly be learning and improving.

So this is where I am… learning to grow every day. Learning to be coachable and find the coaches for each area of my life that will push me ever forward. Learning to humble myself and ask for help when I need it. Learning to coach myself when possible. Learning to share immediately with others what I have learned in the hopes of spurring them on to be the greatest they can be as well.

It really is about the journey rather than the destination. The destination will come, if we focus on one step at a time in our growth-oriented journey.

Here’s to your GROWING!

Multnomah Falls, OR Photo: Kristin Coke

Multnomah Falls, OR
Photo: Kristin Coke

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8

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OK, America.

I am learning patience and it’s not easy. I have to remind myself daily to trust in the one who is bigger than me, the one who holds my life, and the one who knows what is best for me.

I was visiting my cousin Kristin in North Carolina and we were joking around and being our silly selves when she wanted something from me and said, “But I want it NOW!” And I responded, “OK, America.” She started cracking up, because she realized how true that statement was.

We have the “I want it NOW” mentality. We live in a culture that wants everything and wants it NOW. We don’t want to wait for anything.

What is patience anyway? If it’s something I want, why can’t I have it now?

 

Having patience is a journey. We learn about ourselves, about others, and about God in the process. If we had everything handed to us when we wanted it without having to work or wait, we wouldn’t learn a single thing! We wouldn’t grow in character. We wouldn’t be stronger. We wouldn’t be wiser.

 

Even though patience is really hard (believe me I know!), take it as a learning experience and see how you can grow from it. And know that God has a reason for everything. We may not see it now, but God is holding something from you in this moment for a reason, and in the end it will be better than you could ever dream or imagine.

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” 

Proverbs 14:29

patience

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Are you an orange Christian? Or still a bit green?

I looked at my small orange tree today, and a parable was born in my mind.

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Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

The tree is small, but loaded with small green balls that don’t look a thing like oranges, except that they are round.  Here and there, peeking through the green leaves, is an orange, fully developed and bright orange.  In other places on the tree I spot green balls, with a spot of orange.

“HOW LIKE THE CHURCH… THE BRIDE OF CHRIST,” I thought.

Not all are in the same stage of development as Christians.  Some make stupid, worldly mistakes, and we tend to ridicule them and say they don’t belong in the Bride.  But come back to that life, sometimes years later, and it has been blown upon by the Holy Spirit…

Jesus said we are not to judge.   Leave that up to Jesus for the judgment day, and rather, pray.

(This was written by Gladys on October 28, 2005.  I thought it very timely in light of the judgey church people so openly bashing one another these days. ~ Tami)

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