“The Emotionally Healthy Relationships Course” by Peter & Geri Scazzero #GCTOGOD

For the last several weeks; when speaking to a friend, he kept mentioning how helpful he was finding “The Emotionally Healthy Relationship Course” in his relationships.  He and his wife were attending a small group using the material detailed below which includes a workbook/study guide and a devotional book.

Last week; I ordered the workbook and devotional, my wife and I started reading the devotionals together, two per day, morning and evening. They didn’t take long to read. The devotional includes a brief medication before and after, they really speak to us. Enough so that we’ve found a couple or two interested in going through the material together, sorting that out now.

I’m looking forward to this new journey to develop emotionally healthy relationships; in community, with others with the same objective.

One more thing. I noticed on the Emotionally Healthy Relationships website a emotionally healthy relationships online assessment tool. I tried it, its spot on. Here’s a link to the assessment if you want to try it.

 

Deeply Changing Your Relationships with Others

The Emotionally Healthy Relationships Course Participants Pack

This powerful 8-week Course will equip you with practical tools to really love people in difficult situations and mature into an adult follower of Jesus.

Eight Powerful Relationship Changing Skills:

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  • Take Your Community Temperature Reading
  • Stop Mind Reading and Clarify Expectations
  • Genogram Your Family
  • Explore the Iceberg
  • Listen Incarnationally
  • Climb the Ladder of Integrity
  • Fight Cleanly
  • Develop a “Rule of Life” to Implement Your New Learnings

The EH Relationships Course Participants Pack includes:

  • an 8-session workbook/biblical study-guide with reading, questions and practical discussion to reinforce each of the 8 skills
  • an EH Relationships Day by Day 40-day devotional with daily readings that align with the core theme of each session

This course is not for self-study and must be done in groups to get the full impact of each “learning to love others” skill.

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Everyone Has A Story by @BreneBrown

The facilitator of a men’s group I attend gave everyone a copy of this blog post by Brené Brown, “Everyone Has A Story.”  The post is a  response to the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

The post starts out and I quote:

“Everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And, if we’re really paying attention, most people have a story that will bring us to our knees.”

The meeting facilitator ask each of us to tell part of our stories, a part that would “bring us to our knees.”  It was powerful evening, breakthroughs to understanding our hurt and shame. It was a challenge for me to be learning about others and their story and be open about mine.

PS: In writing this blog post; which, like most of my posts, are book marks to help me to refer back to content I appreciate, I found Brené Brown’s Ted2012 Talk “Listen to Shame.”  After listening to this Ted talk, I had to listen to her first Ted Talk “The Power of Vulnerability.”

 

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Latest favorite bibles verses using bible app @gotandem

It keeps happening, as I talk to people and learn the various ways they engage with the bible, invariably I get excited based on their experience, and often times, I try their favorite bible app or bible reading system. There is one bible app that I always return to, GoTandem. I began using this app in 2013, the day after meeting Arnie Cole from GoTandem. Arnie explained how their research showed that consistent bible engagement and reflecting on it has the biggest impact on our lives.

Here are my favorite verses from the last few weeks.

  • Attitude

    Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 
    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    Note to Self

    Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again– my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5-6

  • Vine and Branches

    “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

  • Strong and Courageous

    “This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

  • Strong and Immovable

    So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58

  • Be Thankful

    Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

  • Wisdom on the Streets

    Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate: “How long, you simpletons, will you ins… Proverbs 1:20-33

  • That Wonderful Day

    For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righ… Titus 2:11-13

  • Be with Me

    “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a p… John 14:1-4

  • Even the Birds

    “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food or drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the … Matthew 6:25-26

  • Right Path

    “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:4-5

  • Tested Faith

    Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, f… James 1:2-4

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Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) by Eric Moore, adapted from @PAIRSFOUNDATION

A couple weeks ago, at a men’s retreat, a tool that I had not heard of, designed to help sustain healthy relationships was introduced. It’s called the Daily Temperature Reading or DTR.

A couple men I respect a lot; Pastor Jim Owens and Eric Moore, first introduced the DTR and then roll-played with it. As they roll-played, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the two men spoke of their journey together before and after the recent death of Eric’s life partner Carmen. Carmen and Eric had created this adaption of PAIRS DTR together over decades of marriage counseling and seminars.

I’m not even going to try to explain PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading (DTR), here’s a link to all history and many practical ways to put DTRs to action. http://participant.pairs.com/about.php The DTR text below is from Eric and Carmen’s DTR adaptation of PAIRS.

Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) by Eric Moore, adapted from PAIRS

Appreciations – We need to hear what’s good about us, and nobody is better equipped to tell us than a partner  close to us. Hearing “appreciations” from our partners helps us feel loved, accepted, and special. An encouraging word or a gentle smile and hug can go a long way. E.g. I really appreciate…

New Information – It feels good to be in touch with our partners changing circumstances and new ideas. Intimacy thrives only when both people know what is happening in each other’s lives – the trivial as well as the import. e.g. I am really happy lately… we’re invited to the neighbor’s for dinner –

Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) by Eric Moore, adapted from PAIRS

Puzzles – If there are things you don’t understand (or need clarification about) and your partner can help explain, ask. Don’t assume they know what you are interested in. Bringing up personal quandaries doesn’t mean you will always find answers, but discussing them can give them more insight about your internal conflicts and thoughts. e.g. Did you mean to slam the car door today?

Complaints w/Requests for Change – The small irritations and annoyances that arise every day and remain unspoken can fester and become destructive. This is not a time to be offensive or defensive, but a way to stay current about things that could become trouble. Body language is important – being able to complain in a tone and body stance that says, “I love you and respect you” enables the listener to hear “He loves me and this thing I do bothers him” rather than being fearful of judgement or rejection. e.g. I notice that you____________and I prefer that you__________.

 

Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams – Our hopes and dreams are vital parts of who and what we are. This part gives us a chance to reflect on what we want – for ourselves, for our relationships and from life. When we bring our expectations and hopes into our own and our partner’s awareness, we are more likely to find a way to realize them. e.g. I wish that someday I could have a house on alake… I hope to get back to school some day…

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“You Make Me Crazy” Talks on Restoring Relationships by @RickWarren ‏

 

Most every morning, I listen to Rick Warren, Andy Stanley or Tim Keller. On long runs, all three. This series of talks “You Make Me Crazy” by Rick Warren was excellent. I didn’t post them all here, at the bottom of post are links to them all.

 

Relationships Are Worth Restoring

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Relationships are always worth restoring. Life is all about learning how to love, and God wants us to value relationships and make every effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt, or a conflict.

READ MORE

Restoring Relationships: First Talk to God

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The first biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to talk to God before talking to the person. Discuss the problem with God. If you’ll pray about the conflict first instead of gossiping to a friend, you’ll often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help.

READ MORE

Restoring Relationships: Take the Initiative

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The second biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to take the initiative. Whether you are the offender or the offended, God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party. Go to that person first.

READ MORE

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The third biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to sympathize with the other person’s feelings. Use your ears more than your mouth. Before attempting to solve any disagreement, you must first listen to the other person’s feelings.

READ MORE

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The fifth biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to attack the problem, not the person. You cannot fix the problem if you’re consumed with fixing the blame. You must choose between the two.

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Requirements of Restored Relationship

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Forgiveness is not resuming a relationship without change. In fact, forgiveness and resuming a relationship are two different things. Forgiveness is what you do as the offended person. Resuming the relationship is what the other person does in order to get back into your good graces. Saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. In fact, the Bible teaches three things that are essential to resume a relationship that’s been broken — and the offender has to do all three of these things.

READ MORE

These talks are all from Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope, this series “You Make Me Crazy”

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You Make Me Crazy Complete Audio Series

We all want peace in our relationships, since they are the only things in our lives that will last. In this message series, Pastor Rick helps you understand that to be a peaceful person, you need to be more like Jesus Christ. Join him as he talks more about how God is your perfect model of peace.

You Make Me Crazy includes the following messages:

  • Message 1: Six Keys to Peace In Relationships
  • Message 2: Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?
  • Message 3: Resolving Conflict
  • Message 4: Finding the Love of Your Life
  • Message 5: Breaking Free from Abuse
  • Message 6: When Escaping the People Pleaser Trap
  • Message 7: Keeping the Crazymakers from Making You Crazy
  • Message 8: How to Keep Your Marriage Growing

Purchase this series

Listen to this series

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Weakness and Failure Will Build Your Faith by @vaneetharisner

This article by Vaneetha RisnerWeakness and Failure Will Build Your Faith” posted on DesiringGod.org spoke to me. There is a link to the article below, also a couple quotes I plan to refer to from time to time as reminder about what being blessed truly is and what it is not.

“Trust God. He is going to use everything in your life to draw you closer to him. Don’t waste your suffering, for it will be the making of your faith. And one day, as your faith becomes sight, you will be grateful for it all.” Vaneetha Risner

“You are holding onto meaningless things, and you are believing in yourself for the wrong reasons. Stop judging your life by your achievements or “blessings,” whether material or relational or reputational, because none of them will last. What you now consider blessings will be taken away, and when they are, you will discover that being blessed is deeper and more lasting than you can imagine.” Vaneetha Risner 

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/weakness-and-failure-will-build-your-faith

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Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher, Ph.D.

This last Summer, my wife and I listed to much of the audio version of Reviving Ophelia. Being published in 1996, the material is dated as far as social media and mobile device usage in 2017.  The depth and understanding of adolescent girls, their life experiences and how they handled them is so worth listening to.

Reviving Ophelia (Buy on Amazon)

Why are adolescent girls prone to depression, eating disorders, addictions and suicide attempts than ever before? Mary Pipher believes adolescence is an especially precarious time for girls, a time when the fearless, outgoing child is replaced by an unhappy and insecure teenager. Her view is that for the most part it is our look-obsessed, media-saturated, ‘girl-poisoning’ culture – and not parents – which is to blame. Despite the advances of feminism, escalating levels of sexism and violence cause girls to stifle their creative spirit and natural impulses, which, ultimately, destroys their self-esteem. Yet it is often their families that are blamed. Here, for the first time, are the girls unmuted voices. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia offers parents compassion, strength and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias’ lost sense of self.

©1996 Mary Pipher, Ph.D., (P)1996 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

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‘Follow Me’ from Luke’s Gospel with Mike Raiter

Last week, during a long overdue call with a friend, he mentioned he had just attended a Men’s conference that had great impact on him. The theme of his talks was ‘Follow Me’ including readings from Luke’s Gospel, the speaker was  Mike Raiter.

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The talks from Mike were indeed good, the take away’s from the Panels were helpful, too. Terrific reminders to me to stay committed to developing deep relationships, being intention about creating friendships, being vulnerable and accountable, sharing real challenges, praying together.

The Generous Disciple (Luke 12)

by Mike Raiter

The Grateful Disciple (Luke 17)

by Mike Raiter

The Dependent Disciple (Luke 18)

by Mike Raiter

The Productive Disciple  (Luke 19)

by Mike Raiter

Panel: Men and Friendship

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Left To Tell by Immaculée @Ilibagiza #GLS2017

Last month, I had the honor to hear Immaculée speak at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. There were many wonderful speakers but after listening to her, I had to own her book.

Immaculée spoke about forgiving the vary people that killed her family during the genocide in Rwanda, how God is real and the power of prayer.

After reading Left to Tell, I’ve discovered many areas in my life I can work on; my faith, the importance of forgiveness, my prayer life and in particular asking for God’s direction and His purpose for my life.

I highly recommend reading Left to Tell.

Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza

Left To Tell

Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

by  IMMACULÉE ILIBAGIZA

HayHouse.com: $15.99

Availability: Usually ships within 2 to 3 business days

Publisher: Hay House, Publication Date: 4/7/14 ISBN: 9781401944322

 

Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.

Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love-a love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers. The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.

About Left To Tell

Immaculee shares her miraculous story of how she survived during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 when she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! In this captivating and inspiring book, Immacuee shows us how to embrace the power of prayer, forge a profound and lasting relationship with God, and discover the importance of forgiveness and the meaning of truly unconditional love and understanding—through our darkest hours.

A portion of the proceeds from book sales will be donated directly to the Left to Tell Charitable Fund.

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All in one long drive: Accepting rejection, Changing habits and “Who needs God?”

Recently, on a long drive home after dropping my Son off at camp, I listened to several Ted Talk summaries on Ted Radio Hour, followed by a series of 6 Podcasts by Andy Stanley titled “Who needs God?”

The “accepting rejection” Ted talk was helping in thinking about rejection differently, from a perspective of opportunity rather than anything else. The “changing habits” Ted Talk was a good reminder and an offer of hope, I’m two weeks into putting my keys and wallet in the same place each time I return home, I’m a work in progress.

RE: Who needs God? This is just a great series of podcasts by Andy Stanley, a terrific follow-up to several self-help Ted Talks.

TED RADIO HOUR

Jia Jiang: Can You Train Yourself To Accept Rejection?

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532820561/533102787

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532840752/533105923

“Who needs God?” by @AndyStanley #GCTOGOD

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