Reflections of the Past Days

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God has been pointing me to the positive effects and influence that can happen when we take time for reflections. I read tons a books in a year and take notes and in some cases, make graphics or other documents to help me process the information more and be better able to share it with others. However, I can see the need to improve upon the idea of reflection and make it more of a consistent discipline.

So, in my first effort to make reflection a major growing goal for the coming year, I bought a journal that I will use as my before bed reflection journal. There is only one page per entry so that will keep me from going on and on which I have a tendency to do in my writing especially if I don’t have any urgent time constraints.

Another reflection goal will be to truly take every book I read and take the time to reflect on each chapter read before moving on. And along with taking the notes I have written, my goal is to process them so that I will be able to easily access the knowledge gained. It doesn’t help to read and gain knowledge if you aren’t able to draw from it in your own mind.

Reflection really is a process of looking deeply at what God wants you to see in it and applying it to your life.

My final reflection goal in the coming year will be to continue to take my sermon notes but to actually take them home and spend some time processing what I heard and writing about it and/or sharing it with another. I got a special journal to keep all my sermon notes in for the year that will help.

So, in reflecting on your past year, what are some goals for growth that you feel God is leading you into? Reflections

God’s Joy Over Us

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The thought of God’s joy over us penetrated deep into my heart this morning. God is rejoicing over you with singing. Yes, I will say it again, God rejoices over you with singing. I write this today as a reflection on the sermon I heard this morning based on Zephaniah 3:14-20.

For temperaments who need a lot of love and affection like the Supines or temperaments with low self-esteem like Melancholies, this is especially meaningful. His love and joy is limitless and therefore can fill us continually if we are in connection with Him; without any hindrance. His joy over us can supercede our tendency to think less of ourselves; to not value who we are. God isn’t going to be rejoicing over someone he doesn’t value.

What Our Father’s Love Does

I am reminded of the parable of the prodigal son. The father is waiting in hopeful anticipation for his son to return home. And when he sees him coming far off in the distance, he doesn’t wait. He pulls up his robes and runs to him with open arms. He is overjoyed by the return of his son; the restoration of their relationship and he wants to celebrate.


This makes me think of when my own son returned from being away from home for a semester in college. My joy at seeing him again and being with him again was immeasurable. I feel the same way now as I wait in anticipation for my mom to arrive for Christmas. I haven’t spent Christmas with my mom in many years because of our geographical distance and financial constraints. But this year, she will be here and I am joyfully anticipating our time together.

That’s how our God is with us. He’s celebrating our relationship being restored thanks to what His son, Jesus did on the cross for us. As the verse in Zephaniah says, “in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” There is no more condemnation; only love and the joy that comes with it. Let’s celebrate in response and join the party. Merry Christmas!joy

Understanding and Accepting Our Limitations

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Being an independent person, I have been through the rebellion with God.Thankfully, He brought me to a place of humility. It was the place where I began to understand and accept my own limitations. It was the place where I understood I was trying to be “god” of my own life. Since that first big encounter with my own limitations and the humility that comes with it, I have continued to be reminded by God of His place and my place. I have also learned tremendously about where this all stems from. It is part of the genetic make-up of my soul; the temperament or seed of who God created in me.

My independent nature and the need for control comes from the control area of my temperament. I am a Choleric in control. A Choleric needs to be in control and does not want to be controlled. They are very independent and tend to fall into the role of leadership because of their great decision-making and ability to handle lots of responsibility. They tend to fall into the trap of thinking too highly of themselves and do not see the reality of their limitations.

God’s Persistence with Me

God has been my guide and teacher in helping me better understand myself. He led me to discovering the idea of Temperament Therapy that the National Christian Counselors Association has been researching and developing for over 30 years. The knowledge of my temperament has been the catalyst for further revelations and wisdom from the Lord to help me rely and trust in Him more and more.

Knowing and understanding yourself ultimately is a major part of being able to take hold of God’s armor. He wants to give us His armor and have the protection from the enemy. Because as you may have already figured out, the enemy is not only around us but within us.The more we know about our own needs and tendencies, the more we can take those to the Lord with trust and reliance upon Him to help us. It’s like having something out in the open vs. having it closed off in a closet of your subconscious.

I have a tendency to take on too much. I have done this in the past much more so because I wasn’t aware of it. Taking on leadership positions and then some has been my way of living. I didn’t have a conscious awareness of my own limitations. I tend to take on too much because I am trying to meet the need I have for reward and recognition. In a Choleric in control mind, if we take on more we have more opportunity to receive the reward and recognition our soul needs. However, imperfect humans have the tendency to not express and share enough of their appreciation to those who have taken on responsibilities to lead them in whatever the endeavor may be.

The Word of God Guiding Me

So, I must learn to rely on God for the reward and recognition for the good works I have been doing for His Kingdom but also know my place as a servant of God. Paul explains this so well in 1 Corinthians 3:5-8 What, after all is Apollos? And what is Paul?  Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. Our limitations and humility

A Choleric in control has to learn to understand their own limitations and how to say “no” when they are asked to take on more responsibility or another leadership role. When we don’t, we will burn ourselves out. I have been in the burn-out way too often in my life. God has been teaching me to rely on His guidance on what He wants me to take on and what can be left for someone else to do.

Limitations are Unique to Each Person

The Sanguine in control is another temperament that has this same need and tendency. However, God has designed them with a release valve so to speak. When a Sanguine doesn’t get the reward or recognition they need for something they have been doing, they will go into a self-indulgent mode. This, of course, can lead to self-indulging on things that are sinful like getting drunk or bingeing on food. The Sanguine in control has a “swinging” temperament in this area. They go from independent leaders taking action and making things happen to self-indulgence and back to the leader. This is a dynamic in their temperament that helps them avoid the burn-out a Choleric will get but again needs to be understood and guided by the Lord to help them work with it without falling into sin.

A Melancholy in the control area is also independent and wants to be in control of their own stuff but doesn’t want to control others. They aren’t likely to seek the leadership roles but they will take them on because they have the need to appear competent and in control. The Melancholy in Control will also have a fear of the unknown which will slow their steps into a leadership role or new responsibilities in areas they are not familiar with. These people may often be thought of as procrastinators but in actuality they are building up the confidence they need to move forward with the new responsibilities and/or leadership role.

Understanding Your Own Limitation with Temperament Awareness Knowing Your Limitations and God's Recognition

Without a doubt, God has created us all unique but also in a complex way. This complexity to our being makes the endeavor to understand ourselves more challenging. But this is why I am so passionate about the concept of temperament and learning about what ours is. Understanding and accepting our own limitations and where our place is with God is a huge step in getting the guidance and strength we all need. The Holy Spirit within us can help us to navigate how we respond to God, others and our world in ways that are pleasing to our Creator.

You don’t need to have specific counseling issues to get the knowledge of your temperament. The temperament analysis does need to be administered by a certified temperament counselor from the NCCA but it doesn’t have to involve counseling for specific issues. If you are ready to learn more about the seed of who God created in you and want to have a better handle on your own behaviors, please contact me for a Temperament Analysis.

I will also be teaching a class about temperament starting January 2019 at my home church, First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. If your in the area and want to attend, see the details here.

Conquering the Inner Enemies of Our Soul

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When we think of enemies, we tend to gravitate towards the physical enemies that stand out in society; murderers, rapists, terrorists, evil leaders; but enemies go deeper into the realm of our hearts where fear, control and doubts can rule our lives.

So an overall definition of enemies is anything ruling your life aside from the Lord Almighty and His Holy Spirit within us. Listen to David’s words that are true for us and our inner enemies as well as for the physical outward enemies and the spiritual unseen enemy forces all around us:

Psalm 18: 1-3

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I have been saved from my enemies.

This is David’s song to God after he was saved from his enemies. King Saul had become David’s enemy not because David had wronged Saul in any way but because of Saul’s jealousy toward David. David was choosing to do all the “right” things all the while as Saul was trying to kill him. He treated Saul as the anointed king that God had appointed him to. Instead of killing him when he had the chance in the cave, he did the right thing. And he submitted to Saul’s authority when his soldiers had the chance to kill Saul and he commanded them not to. In this way, by submitting and obeying God and his anointed authority over him, God found favor in David.

David says, “he rescued me because he was pleased with me and delighted in me. David’s choice to honor and love God by his submission to King Saul was in essence putting himself under God’s authority; his protection, his provision, his favor.

Verses 39-41 in Psalm 18 tell us of God’s provision and protection: “You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. What kind of “strength” does God arm us with to fight those inner enemies? He gives us courage to take action and conquer fear. God humbles us and helps us to stay humble and submit to his authority and his appointed authorities in the world. He give us wisdom to know when and what we are in control of and what is not in our control. The Lord grows our faith as we submit to and obey him, therefore eradicating the doubts in our heart and minds.

David makes it clear in his statement in verse 36, “You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. God’s pathway is the only way to living as He intended and being able to conquer the enemies within our souls.  I am reminded of a smooth cobble stone pathway. Path to God conquers enemy God’s pathway of smoothed out rocks leading us in His direction. Each of those rocks in the pathway are those things God provides when we stay on His path. There are rocks of trust,love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There are rocks of purity, righteousness, humility, courage, perseverance and on and on. We stay on this path and God provides all this and more. He gives us what we need to conquer the inner enemies.

I am reminded of the latest song by Jeremy Camp called My Defender. When we trust in God and put ourselves under his authority and his appointed authorities in the world, he defends us. We are able to conquer the enemies of our soul.

If you aren’t on that pathway of God’s or you keep veering off of it, please seek help with God, your pastor, trusted friend or a Christian Temperament Counselor that can help you see what your enemies are within you and give you the guidance you need to be living as a victorious child of God.

My Top Five Overlooked Things To Be Thankful For

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It’s easier for those things like family and friends that come to mind that we are thankful for but what about the ones that we have to dig for. Here are my top five overlooked things to be thankful for to get you thinking about your own things that may need to be dug out.

I am thankful for…

  1. the trees that have been carved into tables and chairs that we will sit around this Thanksgiving Day.
  2. the farmers, field workers, truckers, grocery store workers and all who give their time and talent towards giving us the convenience of shopping for our food for our dinner on this Thanksgiving Day.
  3. the homeless shelters and those serving and giving to provide the food for all the homeless on this Thanksgiving Day.
  4. the Pilgrims and Indians for setting aside differences and coming together in gratitude, giving us an example to follow on that first Thanksgiving Day.
  5. the five senses that God has given us to take in the smell of pumpkin spice, the sight of smiling faces, the sound of joyful laughter, the touch of gentle hugs and the taste of our Thanksgiving dinner on this Thanksgiving Day.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. Psalm 136:1thankful for all

Lord, indeed, you are good and have given us untold blessings throughout the ages. You’ve provide the trees for the tables and chairs, the fortitude, imagination and heart of men and women that have served others throughout the world. You’ve inspired the hearts of men to give and serve those who have less and given us the example with the Pilgrims and Indians but most especially with the example, your son, Jesus has done for us. And to sum it all up, you have given us so much goodness for our five senses to take in. Lord, my prayer is we all can respond back to you by pouring out of us all the praise and thanksgiving to You today, this Thanksgiving Day and all the days to come.

thankful for all

The Challenges of Sharing Needs with Others

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The challenges of sharing needs with others is complicated. Sharing your needs with others is not easy for some. Imagine if you had a computer screen on your chest that had it clearly typed out what your current highest need is. What would it say? Unfortunately, the truth is we don’t have the monitor that can clearly express a need we are having. We have to express it by our words. Sharing Needs is Challenging

How difficult is it to share our needs with others? For the Melancholy in Control, you may be less inclined to share because your need to appear competent and in control will take precedence. Or perhaps you are a Supine in Affection who has a fear of rejection which may be controlling you from expressing your need for love. Maybe your a Choleric in Inclusion and will only express your need when it will accomplish a goal you have. Are some needs more difficult to share than others? A Melancholy in Affection will most likely only share with the deepest relationships which are very few.

On the flip side, how hard is it for us to see another’s need and respond to it? It takes an other-centeredness that takes time and the Lord’s work in you to obtain. Going from “me, myself and I” to you can be a long bumpy journey. But learning to set aside our own needs and pour out love on others is exactly what Jesus tells us to do.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

For some the challenge of sharing their needs with others is simply being able to communicate it. Perhaps, you don’t have a handle on what your needs are exactly and therefore, you don’t have the words to use. Understanding your temperament is a good first start in being able to articulate your needs to others in your life so they aren’t left guessing.

The Trouble with Unexpressed Needs

When needs are not expressed, others are often left with the clues you may or may not give in your body language, moods and behaviors. But letting others try to figure out what we need can lead to problems. There are three primary ways a person may use to respond to another person when they aren’t sure of what their need is. We guess, ignore or avoid.

Guessing is making assumptions and jumping to conclusions based on what you see without having all the facts. Let’s say you see a friend at a social function who is sitting off by herself. You automatically assume that maybe she’s upset about something which may be why she’s off by herself and not engaging in conversation with others. How do we know this is true? We don’t. This guessing game is a conscience response without all the knowledge you need to make the wisest and loving choice. A lack of understanding a person’s true need can lead to misunderstanding, confusion and missed opportunities. Sharing needs is challenging

Ignoring a person in need is another response that is an automatic response from your subconscious. Often it is from some tendency we have within our own temperaments, that will bend toward the weakness side. We allow it to reign over us controlling what we do and say. Perhaps we see that same friend and instead of assumptions coming to mind, we ignore the data our eyes are showing us and are choosing to not engage. Instead, we are going to a large group of women already in conversation and becoming the center of attention to get our need met. A Saguine in Inclusion would fall into this sinful trap.

The third response you may see is the avoidance response. We see the friend but we are feeling our energy depleted and don’t want to engage because that would further deplete our already low fuel tank. The Phlegmatic temperament in all areas can make expressing our needs or reaching out to others for their needs very challenging.

Needs Can Be Met and Expressed with an intimate Connection with God

The good news is we have a God of the impossible who is able to help us meet others needs and at the same time satisfy all of our own needs. It’s all done through his son, Jesus who came to show us the way to reconcile ourselves back to God and be in the restored right relationship with Him that he always intended.

The more we are connected to the Holy Spirit within us, the better we will be able to be able to reach out and meet others needs. It helps to have knowledge of how God has created us all so fearfully and wonderfully. Knowing all the temperament needs and ultimately knowing the specific temperament needs of those you interact with the most will be a positive life changer. If your ready to learn more about your own temperament or are struggling with a relationship within your family, I would be honored to teach you about how God wired you and your loved ones. I offer individual, marriage and family counseling and have classes on temperament. Prayerfully consider and contact me to get something in the works.

Are We Spreading the Hope or Is Our Light Dimmed?

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Are we spreading the hope or is our light dimmed? I contemplated this as I read from a devotional this morning that is based on hymns. The particular hymn had the three most important words of all time, “He is risen.” The writer elaborated on the fact that the disciples and all the followers of Jesus were in the darkest hours of their lives. They had Jesus among them, teaching, healing, loving and forgiving. They had hope.  And then he was gone.

How their hope must have been crushed. The darkness of the world suddenly was all around them again and they were being consumed by it. Like a candle in a room suddenly blown out by the wind. They had lost their only hope. How often do we as believers lose that hope? There is no saying “I have never lost hope” for the battle within us between sin and death and life and Jesus is very real within us. We can lose hope when we allow the enemy in. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 “The enemy comes to kill and steal and destroy. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.”

This is why those three most important words of all time are so vital for us to hear over and over again. We need to remind ourselves and be reminded by others that Jesus has won. The victory is his. He conquered death and sin and has given us new life with him.

The problem is the sin within us is still fighting back. The enemy doesn’t want you to be one of the many bright lights in this world. He wants to douse the flame of the Holy Spirit and make us lose hope.

It is hard to imagine life without Jesus. The early followers of Jesus who knew him as a man were in the darkest place. The hope they had in Jesus was gone but they didn’t have the Holy Spirit yet to help them see the truth that Jesus had lived and spoken to them.

Lost and Found

I was reminded of the stories Jesus told us of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. In each of these stories, something was lost and when it was found, there was great celebration. The followers of Jesus had lost the greatest hope of all in Jesus. So, when the angel told the women at the tomb, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen just as he said.” The women’s response is telling of the battle within us. Matthew 28:8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Their joy overcame their fear. It spurred them to run. Their hope was alive. They chose at that moment not to doubt the angel and the evidence of the empty tomb. They chose to believe that Jesus was alive. They didn’t see him but they believed. Hope is found

We don’t typically see angels, nor hear their words in this day and age. But the truth is that God has a whole army of believers in Jesus who believe. We, as believers, are God’s hands and feet. He speaks to us through each other. Has there been a friend who has reminded you of Jesus and that he is alive? Have words from a family member or co-worker pointed you back to Jesus?

Words of Hope

He is risen! Let these words ring through your ears and onto your voice as you shout, sing and proclaim the hope of the world has conquered sin and death and has given you new life. Jesus may have seemed lost by those early disciples but then he rose from the dead. What was lost to them had returned and it was reason to celebrate. The light is back.

It’s not Easter time but these words need to be heard all year long. He is risen! Let these words remind you of the hope you have in him.

If you are finding yourself back in that dark place and need some guidance, please talk to a pastor, friend or counselor like myself.



Word Pictures at Work in Real Life

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In the last couple of posts, I have talked about Word Pictures and how effective they can be. Now, let’s look at some word pictures at work in real life. I will start with my own word picture I put together and used on my preschool class that I teach.

I have a couple of students that tend to be pushing physical boundaries mostly without intention to hurt but nevertheless, pushing into someone’s boundary. Talking about boundaries to preschoolers was definitely not going to work. So, after learning about the steps in putting together your own word picture, I decided that this situation called for one. One little boy was pushing, pulling and grabbing one particular friend in the class that was starting to get mad when he pushed into his boundary. Here’s the story I told them:

A Story about a Bubble

There was a little bubble named Blue. He started at a new school and was loving playing with his new friends. But one day as he was playing, a friend came up from behind him and grabbed him. When this friend invaded his space without any thought to how Blue felt, he popped. The little bubble burst. He was mad and hurt because his space around him was invaded and his bubble was broke.

Blue pushed him back and ran. The next day Blue was playing on the playground when this same friend grabbed his arm pulling on him. His bubble burst again because his space around him had been invaded. Everyday Blue’s space kept being invaded and he would burst. He tried pushing the friend away. He tried yelling “stop it”. He even tried biting him and hitting him back but the friend kept invading Blue’s space, breaking his bubble and making him mad.

Blue began to avoid playing with this friend. He would run away from him if he got too close. The friend wasn’t the kind of friend Blue wanted. He didn’t want a friend who would keep invading his space, popping his bubble and making him mad. He would rather play with the other bubbles who were gentle, not wild; who were thoughtful and kind and could control themselves and stay out of his space. He wanted friends who wouldn’t break his bubble.

We are like Blue. We are like a bubble. We each have this invisible space around us and when others push or grab us or even try to give us a hug when we weren’t asked it can make our bubbles pop and make us mad.

God is kind and he wants us to grow and become kind like him. Does God want us breaking others bubbles? No. Does God want us to use our anger and invade the other bubble’s space? No. God wants each of us to learn to not burst bubbles and how to handle our anger if someone bursts our bubble. God also knows we can’t do it on our own and so he gave us the Holy Spirit.

When you choose to believe that Jesus died for your sins and saved you from being separated from God forever; when you choose him; he sends the Holy Spirit to live in you. He lives in us to help us be kind, to help us have self-control, to help us be gentle and a whole lot more.

Are you a bubble who needs God’s help to go from wild to gentle; to from out-of-control to thoughtful and in control? Or are you a bubble who gets angry and pushes back? Are you the bubble that needs God’s help to control your anger, to use gentle words and to seek extra help from an adult if you need it?

Think about what kind of bubble do you want to be and seek God to help you be that kind of bubble; that kind of friend. Word Pictures at work

An Experiment with Bubbles

All of the kids were engaged with the story including the two particular kids this was targeting. Now, it was time to do an experiment to see if they got it. I told them I was going to blow some bubbles but they would need to have self-control, patience and gentleness.  They would need to sit on the carpet in their spots and not reach to try to grab the bubbles, nor stand up. This would take self-control and patience to wait for the bubbles to come near. Lastly, I had them practice gentleness and had them simply hold out there hands palms up, waiting for the bubbles to come to them. Doing all of these things would keep everyone’s bubble from getting popped. We pray first and proceeded with the experiment. They did amazing! They got it and understood so much more about boundaries.

The next day at parent/teacher conferences, this story and activity came up with the parents of the child with the boundary issues. They said, his brother came up behind him and gave him a big bear hug and he proclaimed to him, “You popped my bubble!”. In the days since, this child has been respecting boundaries so much more and has only needed a “remember the bubble story” reminder.

A Couple Other Word Pictures Examples

From Walking in Freedom by Neil T. Anderson & Rich Miller is a word picture that speaks of gaining our freedom in Christ and keeping it. “One victim of incredible atrocities shared this illustration: “It’s like being forced to play a game with an ugly stranger in my own home. I kept losing and wanted to quit, but the ugly stranger wouldn’t let me. Finally I called the police (a higher authority), and they came and escorted the stranger out. He knocked on the door trying to regain entry, but this time I recognized his voice and didn’t let him in.”

In the book titled Under Cover by John Bevere, he is explaining how if believers live by the cultural mind-set towards authority, they will “be at best ineffective and at worst positioned for danger. He goes on to say, “Our provision as well as protection could be blocked or even cut off as we disconnect ourselves from the Source of true life. It could be likened to playing baseball in life while God is directing a football championship. We could compare it to attempting the use of an electric appliance without plugging it into the power source.

We can find word pictures over and over again in books of all kinds. They truly can be very effective at getting your point across and letting it really sink in. In writing a book, you have the advantage of planning and re-working the wording to be just right. It’s all intention and effort.

If we want to communicate something to someone effectively, it will take that same intention and effort a writer uses along with inspiration and guidance from the one who can help us with all things, our Lord God.

Having trouble in your communication with your spouse, boss, employee, friend, son or daughter or maybe the neighbor next door?  Communication isn’t going to magically come upon you, it has to be cultivated and guided by the Holy Spirit. He will help you build up that communication tool belt with the knowledge and skills needed, along with the wisdom and character to use them. Seek what you need now. 


What Does It Take to Use Word Pictures Effectively?

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In last weeks post, we began the topic of word pictures and how they can be a catalyst for change. We will continue looking at word pictures and the steps needed to use them effectively. There are 6 word picture steps in all that if you follow will hopefully be the right communication tool to effectively get to the heart of what you are wanting to say along with getting to the heart of the person you are saying it to.

The First Three Steps to Effective Word Pictures

We talked about the first step in last week’s post being the need to choose from the 4 objectives. Once you have an objective in mind, it is time to do some studying. For this next step, you need to become a detective. You will study and work at uncovering that person’s interests. This calls for researching the past and present for those things in that person’s life that mean something to him or her. I would encourage you not to be discouraged if you aren’t discovering something right away. Seek the Lord’s guidance and he will help lead you to the right thing. When we have that right thing it can have a huge impact.

Now, that you have your objective and an interest of that person that will capture their attention, you will have to draw from one of four inexhaustible wells. These wells are the place where the inspiration comes from. These wells never run dry and can be used again and again. We can draw from:

  • nature
  • everyday objects
  • imaginative stories
  • past experiences/memories effective word pictures

The Final Steps Towards the Effective Word Picture

Word pictures are story telling and this tool takes practice. So, once you have your word picture, don’t make the mistake of taking it and running with it. Rehearse it. Have another person listen to it to give you their own feedback. Like an athlete preparing for the Olympic Games, practice does make you better. The word picture will be more effective if you have practiced it.

The timing of when to present our word picture to that person is the next vital step. Distractions and the circumstances of the day all play into when is the best time and place to present your word picture. Carefully consider this and allow yourself to be flexible. If the time you had in mind comes and you are getting the feeling its not the right time, save it for another time when distractions and circumstances won’t interfere with the effectiveness.

Not all word pictures will hit the target as we hope for. So, this next step is encouragement to keep at it. Try another word picture that speaks about the objective you are trying to get across. Let’s take this back to step two and maybe use another interest or take it to the wells and try using another of the four wells to draw from. Persistence is a character of God that we are capable of doing as well especially if we are drawing from his power in the temple and connecting with him Spirit to spirit.

For further study on the idea of word pictures read The Language of Love by Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D.

Communication is a skill that can be acquired but it does take intention, time and practice but the benefits are immeasurable. I hope this communication tool of word pictures will become apart of your communication tool belt.

Next week, I will share with you a word picture I used with my preschool class.


Word Pictures Can Be the Catalyst for Change

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Wise word pictures can be the catalyst for change. Jesus was the ultimate pro at communication and using wise words. He practiced what we call in broad terms a word picture. These are the analogies, metaphors and other so-called literary devices that are meant to capture attention.

Word pictures have a way of connecting to our emotions. This emotional connection produces the impact that can help a person see something they weren’t seeing before. A Word picture used wisely can be the catalyst for change.

Using word pictures takes some instruction and some practice but when used they can be a very effective communication tool. We will take a look at the first thing to consider which is your objective in what you are wanting to communicate. Our objectives need to align with how God wants us to use our words. Here are the four objectives:

  1. Communicating clarity of thoughts and feelings.
  2. Communicating to deepen the intimacy of a relationship.
  3. Communicating to praise and encourage.
  4. Communicating to correct and/or convict.

Communicating clarity of thoughts and feelings

You are in a hot shower and the steam is encompassing the whole bathroom. The mirrors are no longer showing your reflection but are covered with moisture creating a big blob of nothingness. In order to get your make-up on, you swipe your robbed arm across the mirror to give you a glimpse of yourself. However, that swipe is only partially effective. You need to get the bathroom fan going to suck out the humid air and allow the room to return to a normal dry state along with your mirrors. This is what a word picture does when we want to communicate clarity of what our thoughts and feelings are.

We may have tried communicating before with the swipe of the robbed arm on the mirror but we come to the point where we need to use the fan; the word picture to better clarify to the person we are trying to communicate to what we are thinking and feeling.

Communicating to deepen the intimacy of a relationship word picture to deepen intimacy

Swimming was always one of my favorite things as a child. I enjoyed playing Marco Polo with cousins and friends and got a real sense of pride in being able to dive down to the bottom of the pool in the deep end and retrieve some small object.  And when you come up for air with the object retrieved you feel like something great has happened. Communicating with the objective of deepening the intimacy of a relationship is like taking that dive down into the bottom of the pool. You have to take a big breath and propel yourself downward towards your target. But when that intimacy is deepened it is the reward you were seeking.


Communicating to praise and encourage

Sitting in my spa at night with the tree behind me slapping its leaving in the wind is like God is saying well done my faithful one. Our word pictures don’t have to be always a full blown story but a description that speaks into our heart. This is my own word picture to God praising him for the ways he lets me know I am on the right path.

word picture for praise

Communicating to correct and/or convict

You are heading to a friends home and encounter a dog in the front yard. What you see is a dog snarling and barking at you like it wants to attack. You are afraid he will come at you and bite your face off.  As you scoot carefully around the side of the yard, you realize that all you saw of the dog was his face but as you move to the left side of the yard, you see the entire dog. The dog intensifies his barking but as you look at the dog you see not only the teeth and his angry looking face but see that he is chained to a post. The chain is wrapped around his leg and he is bleeding. Your first view was only part of the story. This small part left you with fear but the new view of the whole dog tells you the whole story. It calms your fear and instead makes you feel compassion for the dog who is hurting.

This is what a word picture can do. It can change your view and in doing so it can convict a person that their view is the self-centered view. We need to be able to step around if necessary to see the whole truth that God wants to show us so we can respond based on the whole story.

Learning and choosing your objective for your wise word picture is only the first step. We will look at more in the next post. If communication in your relationships is plummeting over a cliff to certain doom, consider talking over your situation with a trusted pastor, friend or contact me to stop the jump over the cliff and start looking to the path that led you there and find how God wants you to communicate.