April 13, 2024
Lifelong Learning, Growth Plans

When Personal Development Became Exciting for Me

I remember the minute personal development became exciting for me. I was sitting in a training room in Singapore listening to the introductory session on Christian coaching. I showed up to the training kind of on accident. I didn’t know the first thing about coaching but a few months earlier someone had asked me to consider going. He also volunteered to pay for the training and to watch my 3- and 7-year-old for a week. So, I said yes. At the end of that first session, we were directed to a document called “Personal Development Worksheet.” It had about 15 different headings and we were instructed to brainstorm as many goals as we could under these headings. We didn’t have to figure out how to accomplish them, just list some areas we wanted to grow in or things we wanted to accomplish. We headed back to our room and I… Read the whole post
Character, Lifelong Learning, Spiritual Formation, Christ

Who Are the Best Students When God is the Teacher?

In the past month, I have been meditating on the idea of awe and reverence.   A spiritual audit I took in early November asked the question, “Have I maintained a genuine awe of God?”   I realized that this was a weak area of mine, and I decided to take a month to reflect on different Bible verses that spoke about awe of God. One of my last meditations was on the passage from Hebrews 5:7-10 which speaks of Jesus’ reverence for his Heavenly Father. Yes, Jesus, though he was God Himself, had a deep reverence for his Father in heaven, a reverence that enabled him to be a great student.  Hebrews 5:7–10 (NIV) During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. … Read the whole post
Training, Growth Plans

Crucibles Develop Our Capacity

These days, I am following a training plan to prepare for a half marathon that I would like to run in September.  The training plan is progressive.  You start with running 4.8 km, then after a few weeks, you move up to 6.4 km.  When running 6.4 km is no longer a big challenge, then the training plan asks you to run 8 km.   A few weeks later, when 8 km becomes relatively easy, then you are asked to run 10 km, and so on. There are no shortcuts. This is a 20-week plan and slowly builds capacity up to 21.1 km as you faithfully follow the plan.   Other training plans for half marathons may be shorter, but they all follow the same principle. You run longer and longer distances as your capacity increases over time. I have also been reading the book of James these days and reflecting on… Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Learning Attitude

Not a Victim, But a Learner

In two previous blog posts, I have been talking about crucible experiences that God often uses to perfect us. But as I have noted, difficult life experiences in themselves do not refine us. Our response to the crucible experiences of life and ministry is what allows the crucible to become transformative. Crucibles are used in refining gold out of crushed ore.  In doing some study on the process, I have learned that borax is often used as a flux for smelting gold out of crushed ore.   Borax reduces the melting point of gold, thus making it separate more easily and quickly from the other minerals in the ore.  The question I have asked myself, “How can we add borax to our crucible experiences in life, so that we can extract the ‘gold’ more quickly and easily?”… Read the whole post
Book Reviews, Growth Plans

What’s Best Next

As we think about goals and priorities for the new year, we are frequently reminded of how often we have failed to reach our goals of previous years. Apparently only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions successfully accomplish their resolutions. In our mission organization, we are asking all of our members to put together an Individual Growth Plan for 2015.  Being intentional about and planning our learning is important.  People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.   But planning is only the first step.   Unless we carry out the plan, we are no further ahead at the end of next year. How do we make sure that we get the most important things done?  How do we prevent our lives being crowded out by the tyranny of the urgent, leaving our good intentions and learning… Read the whole post
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