Archive for February, 2014

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Continuing with the  exploration of my personality, or the question, Who Is “me”,  i’m going to share about what the world calls “Fight, Flight, Flee.” It deals with the way i respond to situations and circumstances that occur in my everyday life. i’m going to be coming from a different perspective than what the counselors of the world are. Before i go there i need to establish a spiritual foundation which i will build on through-out this series.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” i can hear the “BUT ed!” i know, i know, i know…!

This is where i perceive that being an “All or Nothing” person could possible serve me well as, No Temptation would overtake me. Regardless of…!!

NO means NOT ANY temptation. Temptation is defined as something that tempts, entices, or allures. For my purpose in this series i’m referring to temptation as anything that tempts, entices or allures me away from believing that God is faithful as the verse goes on to say. Tempted, enticed or allured away from knowing that God will not allow me to be tempted beyond what i am are able. Tempted, enticed or allured from knowing that God, with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that i may be able to bear it. i know “BUT ed!!”

While the world uses Cognitive Therapy to help people change their thinking patterns James 1:5-8, says, “If i don’t know what i’m doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. i’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when i ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”

When i’m in that place of emptiness, seemingly lost, without hope, a place where i don’t know what i’m doing i am to ask BOLDLY, BELIEVING, WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT. What am i believing… first that no test or temptation that comes my way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. second, to remember  that God will never let me down, third, that he’ll never let me be pushed past my limit, and last but not least, he’ll always be there to help me come through it. There it is again “BUT ed!” “You don’t know my situation, you don’t have to deal with my husband, my wife, my kids, my job, my finances, etc., etc., etc.” i get it, been there and done that. How am i to believe that God is faithful when i feel so alone, so hopeless, so tired? Here’s the simple answer. God’s word is Truth or it’s not, it’s a lie and not just this part of it but all of it. This is not a results based answer, it’s not an issue of resolving my mind, it’s a heart issue!

So let me get into more detail about each response type and along the way share stories about some of God’s chosen people and how they responded to their situations. Ultimately i’ll share about an option that doesn’t currently exist in the counseling of people who are controlled by these responses, supposedly for the rest of their lives. Yes modified and handled better, but i’m talking about being free… completely free in every sense of the word. It just occurred to me how well this goes along with “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.”

Oh in case you’re wondering why i would start a series like this on a Friday… Because it gives me the weekend to ponder the verses in this post and absorb them.

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Today is a continuation specifically of yesterday but generally in this journey of identifying who is “me”.

That’s what me and I Am is about, “me” in preparation for success in the life that God intended.

Here’s the next question.

Thinker or Feeler? Question #3 – How do I make my decisions, how do I come to conclusions?

As a Thinker i would make my decisions based primarily on objective and impersonal information, what makes the most sense and what is logical. As a Thinker i would in general tend to be cool, analytical, and convinced by logical reasoning. As a Feeler i would make those same decisions based primarily on my personal morals and how i feel about the choices. As a Feeler i would tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and compelled by extenuating circumstances and a constant search for unity and peace.

As a Thinker I would…

Make decisions objectively, Appear cool and reserved, Are most convinced by rational arguments, Are honest and direct, Value honesty and fairness, Take few things personally, Are good at seeing flaws, Are motivated by achievement, Argue or debate issues for fun.

As a Feeler i would… 

Decide based on their morals & feelings, Appear warm and friendly, Are most convinced by how they feel, Are diplomatic and tactful, Value harmony and compassion, Take many things personally, Are quick to compliment others, Are motivated by appreciation, Avoid arguments and conflicts

i am going to go with Thinker… despite the fact that i don’t like the answer. Let’s see if i can explain? My objective decisions would most likely be highly influenced by my morals, yet not so much my feelings. Cool and reserved serves me well and as for warm and friendly, can’t say as i have ever been accused of that. Honest and direct is the only way to go but it must be tempered with tactfulness. i do take things personally to often but i try to avoid arguing or debating issues just for fun. All that said i’ll have to stick with being a thinker.
Lastly…
Judger or Perciever? Question #4 – Where am i the most comfortable? What environment do i feel at home in?
A Judger would prefer a structured, ordered, and fairly predictable environment, where i can make decisions and have things settled. Perceivers prefer to experience as much of the world as possible, so they like to keep their options open and are most comfortable adapting. So, Judgers tend to be organized and productive while Perceivers tend to be flexible, curious, and nonconforming.

As a Judger i would…

  • Like to have things settled
  • Take responsibilities seriously
  • Pay attention to time & are usually prompt
  • Prefer to finish projects
  • Work first, play later
  • Seek closure
  • See the need for most rules
  • Like to make & stick with plans
  • Find comfort in schedules

As a Perceiver i would…

  • Like to keep my options open
  • Are playful and casual
  • Are less aware of time and may run late
  • Prefer to start projects
  • Play first, work later
  • May have difficulty making some decisions
  • Question the need for many rules
  • Like to keep plans flexible
  • Want the freedom to be spontaneous

This one is the hardest. Half of a Judger fits me to a tee and half of a perceiver fits me just as well. The other half in both of them don’t work for me at all. i suppose the only thing for me to do is add both of them to my personality discovery list which now looks like this.

i’m a Keeper, Breaker, Ponderer, Stretcher, In Between, Inner, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger, personality…. with traces of an All or Nothing, Outer, Sensor, Feeler, Perceiver as well. Seems like i’m getting more complex by the day?

Oscar Wilder said, “I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.”

A man called Jesus is the only person who has done that for me. From a place of gratefulness i hope to pass it on.

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Who is me, i know, it’s bad grammar, but it fits the subject of my recent posts and podcasts. i’ve shared about being a rule, Keeper, Breaker, Ponderer, and Stretcher, realizing that i’m actually all 4 of those at one time or another. Then i shared about being an “All or Nothing” personality, again realizing that while i’m more “In Between” i still have areas where i am very much “All or Nothing.” Today i’d like to continue peeling the onion so to speak, diving in a little deeper as to who “me” is in regards to my personality and how it affects my spiritual life.

i’m seeing that actually studying personalities is very complex and in fact my most recent observation is that i have many personalities. I… am a complex person, an individual with layer upon layer of personality traits which like i said, are being peeled away like an onion.

Today the first thing for me to do is to read both sets of descriptions for Question #1 and then simply decide which list as a whole describes me best. A major consideration for me is to try to answer as i really am, not how i wish  i was, or have to be in certain environments.

Inner or Outer Personality? Question #1 – Where do i go naturally?

As an Outer i would usually direct my energy towards people and things outside of myself. As an Outer i would generally be more active and expressive and widely interested in many things. As an Inner i would usually direct my energy towards my own thoughts, perceptions and reactions.  And as an Inner i generally am more reserved, quiet, cautious and not as interested in as many interactions, but, i would go into greater depths and focus on the things i’m into.

As an Outer personality i would… Have high energy, Talk more than listen, Think out loud, Act, then think, Like to be around people a lot, Prefer a public role, Be sometimes easily distracted, Prefer to do lots of things at once, Be outgoing & enthusiastic.

As An Inner personality i would… Have quiet energy, Listen more than talk, Think quietly inside my head, Think, then act, Feel comfortable being alone, Prefer to work “behind-the-scenes” Have good powers of concentration, Prefer to focus on one thing at a time, Be self-contained and reserved.

Those who know both Ann Marie and i will understand that i have an absolute visual comparison of these two types of personalities right before my eyes. This one for me is an easy answer, i am an Inner Personality while Ann Marie is an Outer personality. She has a high energy, contagious personality while I prefer a quieter approach. She loves to talk and I love to listen. Her mind is always working and i’m trying to quiet mine. She is the epitome of a people person and me… i’d just as soon be alone. While there are elements that would seem to put me into the Outer Personality type, it’s more out of what’s expected of me than where i like to function from.

This is an easy one, i am an Inner personality type. Next, both personality types process information but in two different ways so the next question is…
Sensor or Intuitive Personality? Question #2 – In what way do i gather information and more specifically what information do i gather and remember?
As a Sensor i would notice the facts, details, and realities of the world around me. As a Sensors i would tend to be practical and take things literally. i would be one who trusts past experience and often have good common sense. If i were an Intuitive i would be more interested in connections and relationships between facts as well as the meaning, or possibilities of the information. Also as an Intuitive i would tend to be more imaginative, and perceptive, one who would not hesitate to trust my hunches and actually pride myself on my creativity.
As a Sensor i would… Focus on details & specifics, Admire practical solutions, Notice details & remember facts, Are pragmatic – see what is, Live in the here-and-now, Trust actual experience, Like to use established skills, Like step-by-step instructions, Work at a steady pace.

As an Intuitive i would… Focus on the big picture & possibilities, Admire creative ideas, Notice anything new or different, Are inventive – see what could be, Think about future implications, Trust my gut instincts, Prefer to learn new skills, Like to figure things out for myself, Work in bursts of energy.

Okay… not as easy as question #1 so i had to sort through what things were causing me to debate my answer. my problem was more from the aspect of eliminating certain things that i see as assets to being a Sensor. Example, admiring practical solutions, noticing details and remembering facts. Living in the now is another one. But… ultimately my answer is that i am an Intuitive personality. The traits of an Intuitive personality are more natural for me and they often out-weigh the ones i mentioned if i were a Sensor.

So… thus far i’m a Keeper, Breaker, Ponderer, Stretcher, All or Nothing, Inner, Intuitive personality, oh…. with traces of an In Between, Outer, Sensor personality as well. Told you, i’m a complex person.

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Somehow i began thinking about being an “All or Nothing” person. i’ve always thought of myself as just that. Example, i’m “All” in when it comes to God… at least, i like to think i am. For those that have been reading or listening to these posts you certainly know by now that i may be “IN”, but as for “All”, well that’s an intentional work in progress. On the flip side, when it comes to the average modern, contemporary, organized church i’m at this moment nothing. i can tell you ahead of time that where this post is starting from and where it ends are two completely different places.

So, when i use the word “All” to me it means the greatest possible, wholly, entirely, completely and as for “Nothing” to me it means, no thing, not anything, no part, or trace, something that is nonexistent.

Regarding this next part, i had no clue, but there is actually a medical term for being an “All or Nothing” person. It’s called Splitting. Splitting is the failure (i already don’t like where this is going) in a person’s thinking to bring together both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. They say that it’s a common defense mechanism used by many people. An “All or Nothing” person tends to think in extremes. Thus their actions and motivations are “All” good or “All” bad with no middle ground.

So my thinking that being an “All or Nothing ” person was actually a good thing, just may turn out to be… well, less than i thought.

i have a plenty of experience at being an All or Nothing person. Fortunately for me I’ve been learning that there are other alternatives that should and must come into consideration.

my “All or Nothing” mentality was developed a long time ago. i come from a family of under achievers and my mother’s and father’s way of responding to achievement was… well, non-existent. As i grew up i felt that i had to prove something to myself and of course to others as well.

So here’s what this may sound like. Someone makes a suggestion that i do this or that event. my response is, “No. i’m not going to undertake facilitating a new event. i haven’t got the time to devote to one. And i’m not interested in doing it or anything half way.” All or Nothing – here i am!

They say that “All or Nothing” has the tendency to create perfectionists. Blogger, singer, writer Christine Kane says, “You either do this perfectly, or you don’t even bother.” This can be one of the biggest blocks to making positive changes in my life. It actually can be one of the biggest blocks to making life work at all.”

Over the years while professing to be an “All or Nothing” person, i’ve also been a list person. So here’s what i find are the possible negatives to being an “All or Nothing” person.

  • i tend to be a bit high-strung.
  • Kicking back and relaxing is often difficult.
  • i tend to overwork my body.
  • i’m still trying to prove something to myself, parents (even if they’re dead) and others.
  • i find it difficult to just do things for fun without wanting succeed in a big way.
  • i’m hard on myself.
  • It can paralyse me (“…if I can’t do it perfectly, i’m not even going to try.”)
  • Nothing is ever good enough.

Now with all the negatives out in the open let’s see what the positives are.

  • i tend to achieve more in life.
  • i end up highly skilled in variety of areas.
  • i am able to focus on one thing and go for it it.
  • i have high expectations of myself.
  • i can turn it on in emergencies.
  • i never suffer from boredom.

According to Katarina Star Ph.D. “All-or-Nothing” thinking is considered as one of many negative thought processes, known as cognitive distortions, which are common among people with anxiety and depression. When thinking on all-or-nothing terms, a person splits their views into extremes. Everything — from the person’s view of themselves and to their life experiences — are divided into black-or-white terms. This leaves room for little, if any, gray area in between.

She also says that, All-or-nothing thinking often involves using absolute terms, such as never or every. This type of faulty thinking can also include an inability to see the alternatives in a situation or solutions to a problem. For people with anxiety or depression, this often means only seeing the downside to any given situation.

She concludes by saying that people with panic disorders are often susceptible to this type of thinking. A person who has frequent panic attacks may view themselves as unworthy or inadequate because of their condition. And, they may overlook how valuable they are in other roles, such as a friend, employee, or parent.

Thank goodness panic attacks, depression and anxiety are all a part of my past.

my conclusion… i’m seeing that i am actually not as much of an “All or Nothing” person as i used to be. At this moment i guess the best way to describe me is as an “Everything In Between” person. While there are areas that i still only see in black and white there are many more that have a wide array of colors. When i think of my relationship with God… well, i’m glad He made everything in color as it makes looking for Him all the more beautiful.

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i wonder what makes some people think that they can break rules? In my thought process i began thinking about people i know who seem to be rule breakers all the time and those that are rule keepers, like me… well most of the time, ell some of the time. For this post and podcast i’m using “rules” in a broad sense meaning any kind of instruction to do or not do something.

Let me begin by saying that there is nothing scientific about this information and I have no degrees in anything to support my findings. This comes from simple observations and nothing more. So, i identified 3 types of personalities based on my observations of people’s acceptance or unacceptance of rules. There’s the Keeper, the Breaker, and the Ponderer. Now before i go further into those personalities, let me explain rules a little more.

First there are external rules… Laws, traffic signs, speed limits, pass, do not pass, a “request” from Ann Marie, a work deadline, or detailed instructions from my doctor? The question is, How do i respond to External rules?

Then there are Internal rules… A New Year’s resolution, a decision to exercise more, putting effort into self satisfying projects like writing a blog, a book, or applying in a practical way a lesson learned. Same question, How do i respond to Internal rules?

With those two questions answered and the results held clearly in my mind let me move on and see which personality type i fit into.

Keeper—accepts rules, whether from outside or inside. A Keeper meets deadlines, follows doctor’s order, keeps a New Year’s resolution.

Ponderer—questions rules and accepts them only if they make sense. They may choose to follow rules, or not, according to their judgment.

Breaker—flouts rules, from outside or inside. They resist control. Give a Breaker a rule, and the Breaker will want to do the very opposite thing.

Some examples:

Keeper stops at a stop sign at 3:00 a.m. in a small deserted town. A Ponderer decides whether it’s safe to stop. A Breaker rolls through the stop sign at 3:00 p.m. in traffic.

A Keeper can train with a trainer or exercise on their own. A Ponderer can do either if they think it makes sense. A Breaker will do neither, because the fact that there is an appointment or an item on their to-do list makes them want to disobey.

Of course, this is about my tendency. There’s a margin of error, and no one accepts or resists all rules, and then some people don’t fit easily into one of the three types. Each type has its pros and cons. Do you recognize yourself?

I think my natural instinct is to be a Keeper… whether i like the rule or not. Whether i think it makes sense or not usually would not sway my inclination to Keep the rule either.

As i was coming to the close of today’s post i just realized there is one more personality type, it’s the Stretcher. The Stretcher doesn’t necessarily keep nor break the rule , they just stretch the rule. They find loop holes and use them to their advantage. Personal example: Years ago, for whatever reason i decided that i was not supposed to speed. If the limit is 70 then 70 it is. There is one off-ramp that i have driven for 8 years now and the limit is 25. It’s the stupidest thing there is, in my mind anyway. There have actually been people who have passed me on this ramp as it curves around to the road it’s intended to take me to. Others just get right up on my bumper and sort of push me through osmosis. Non the less 25 is 25. Somewhere in those years i began looking to my right at the road below this off ramp to see if there was a police car there. The only honest reason i can give for that is that i was Pondering, the possibility of becoming a rule Breaker. But, i thought better and came up with a different solution. i became a Stretcher. As a stretcher i determined that while the limit was 25 a policeman would most likely not stop me for doing 30. Great logic right! So… i applied that same logic to other situations as well. On the expressway where the limit is 70 i Stretch it to 75 using the same assumption regarding when the policeman would think it was worth pulling me over. i think i have made my point. Hummmm, i wonder how i can get this to work for my bank account? Oh that’s right it does, but it comes with what they call an overdraft fee!

But seriously, when it comes to God things, i wonder which personality type would i be… A Keeper, one who hears the word and does the word. A Breaker, one who hears the word and ignores it, A ponderer, one who hears the word and then just thinks or talks about it. Or a Stretcher, one who hears it and then stretches it to its limits for personal purposes. Most likely i’ve been all of those at one time or another.

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I finally got to see Saving Mr. Banks for the second time. There were some things that centered around “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” scenes, that i wanted to catch again. i could go into the comparison between Disney and Mrs. Travers but the movie will probably be out on DVD very soon as there were only 8 of us in the entire theater and you can see what catches your attention then.

The following are my life lessons from Let’s Go Fly A Kite and, from the entire movie of Saving Mr. Banks.

1. Whether present or not, good or bad, no one puts a greater imprint on a person’s life than the influence of a Father. i think of it in this way. i call myself a Disciple of Christ thus, i influence, leave an imprint on others. As i have shared before i have no regrets regarding my father, he taught me much about the man i did and do not want to be.

2. “Rare is the day I don’t think of that 8-year-old boy in the snow with Elias Disney with a belt in his hands.” – That’s Disney on remembering his childhood. Present or not, good or bad, remembering my past is one thing, so long as i don’t get stuck there. While my recollections of my father are not as often as Disney’s, i do think of that 12-year-old-boy being chased around the house late at night by his drunken father with a butcher knife in his hand.

3. Disney says, “A man cannot break a promise to his kids no matter how long it takes.” Great Fathers have integrity. Great Disciples of Christ also have integrity. i have never taken making promises lightly, and while there is the possibility that time has let a broken promise slip away, i do not recall any broken ones at this moment.

4. Disney adds, “I have not broken a promise to my two daughters because that’s what daddies do.” Great Fathers are reliable. Great Disciples of Christ show themselves to be reliable.

5. When asking why he shaves during a flashback scene, Travers’s father tells his daughter, ”A man must shave to swish his daughter’s cheeks.” Great Fathers do what’s necessary to connect with their children. Great Disciples of Christ do not insist upon their own way, they serve others. They give to others what they need the most, when they may deserve it the least, at great cost to themselves. They connect!

6. Though P.L. Travers was often an overwhelming challenge for the Disney staff. The power of collaboration made the film classic what it is. Life can often feel overwhelming but true collaboration with God changes everything. i have two major points of collaboration with God and one that comes from Ann Marie. With God it is knowing this,  “all things start with Him, all things go through Him, and all things end in Him.” The second is Philippians 2:13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. The one with Ann Marie is simply we must agree and when in doubt say no. Collaboration… God said it and i believe it.

7. Andy Stanley teaches people to invite their friends to churches with predictable environments. Disney provided the same driver each day for Travers, a wonderful man named Ralph. This leaves me with a great self question, “am i a predictable environment?”

8. There is a conversation between P.L. Travers and Ralph which shows the different views of the world people may have. P.L. Travers says, “The rain brings life” and Ralph replies “So does the sun.” While simply put, it has deep meaning for me. Love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, AND love others as myself… in despite of and actually because of the differences.

9. Great stories come from everyone. P.L. Travers tells Ralph that his handicapped daughter, “Jane, can do anything anyone else can do.” God wants to tell a great story through my life.

10. The story of Mary Poppins is of a daughter wanting to bring honor to her deeply-flawed father.  Many of us could learn lessons from her by doing the same. This has been an intentional task from the time i was a youth.

11. Disney says, to P.L. Travers, “Forgiveness is what I learned from your books.”  While it was from a different book, i learned forgiveness from the Word of God. This is why number 10 is possible for me. Forgiveness sets a captive free.

12. Disney reminds me, “That’s what story tellers do.  We restore order to imagination.  We bring hope.” That’s what i’m hoping these post and podcasts will do, bring hope! Restore imagination to places in life where uncertainty, confusion, and doubt have been in control. Jesus the greatest story-teller with the greatest story ever told.

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A few days ago as we were driving in to the Onething campus Ann Marie shared with me something she was reading. She said it would go well with my recent posts regarding Self Talk and Let’s Go Fly A Kite. Obviously it does and so i’m going to expand upon the idea of Binge Thinking.  Binge Thinking is defined as to dwell obsessively for a short period of time, which is something i do constantly as i’ve already shared. i just didn’t put it quite that way. Talking to myself or mind chatter sounds way better than binging.

Hasn’t everyone over-done something from time to time—taking an extra helping at Thanksgiving dinner, having dessert when i’m already full, buying one more tie to go with the fifty i already have and hardly ever wear. For bingers over-doing is normal. Many consider the use of drugs, alcohol, food, people, etc. to cope with stress and other negative emotions, as a viable option, even though afterwards we feel even worse. These times may make us feel like we’re stuck in a vicious cycle. But binging is a disorder and is treatable. With the right help and support, we can learn to control and develop healthy relationships with everything.

All that being said, this caused me to think about the body of Christ, more specifically myself. i wonder if we don’t Binge Pray and Binge Worship? i mean today i dwell obsessively in prayer and tomorrow i don’t pray much, if at all. How about going to church and singing songs that move us, cause us to lift our hands, to dance, or even cry and the next day, we can’t remember a thing about the service. How about this or that happens and immediately we begin praying like it’s the norm for us, but truth be told, well i’ll leave it there. Obsessive for a short period of time?

Why is that? John 4:23-24 Jesus says,  “ed, it’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of person the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” Not obsessive for a short period of time.

What about consistent prayer, consistent worship? Would God refer to me as a Binger, obsessive for short periods of time, or Consistent, i am the same yesterday, today and forever?

God Himself says, “I change not.” Yet while that’s true it often looks otherwise.

In spite of what it looks like or feels like, God is consistent, the most consistent person who never changes His heart towards me, no matter what i do.  He can’t be anything other than what He is. Consistent, but… unpredictable. i am never sure what God’s going do next. Absolutely no clue usually.

i’ve been unable to find security in what God was or is doing, and that’s because there is no security in what God is doing. There is only security in WHO GOD IS. That’s the consistent nature of God. As for what God is doing, how well i know that He will throw me into situations beyond myself with no other thought than, He will keep me. God is consistent, but He is unpredictable.

As for me, well, i’m the opposite – i am inconsistent , i am often a binger, so consistently predictable in everything that i do.

Let’s Go Fly A Kite for me is a journey, an extension of myself into the nature of God, and i must not be distracted. He’s my source, my joy, peace, rest, revelation, anointing, and power, it’s His Nature.

As i learn how to rest in the consistent nature of God, i won’t be one of those who’s standing there wondering or thinking about joining Him. There will be this instinctive, intuitive, need to move toward Him knowing that He is drawing me there.

It’s my destiny to walk in the nature of God, and do greater things than He did. It’s my destiny. But i’ll never get there unless i learn how to live there consistently and not just dwell obsessively for a short period of time.

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This series of posts and podcasts came while sharing about “Talking to Myself” and my “Mind Chatter” and my viewing of “Saving Mr. Banks”.

There’s a sense that i need to add a little more clarity to the series and make sure that it’s understood that in no way is “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” to be used as a mere distraction, a substitute, or a replacement for my constant bombarding thoughts.

“Let’s Go Fly A Kite.” presents the idea that getting into the presence of God is not defined by a specific place or time. John 4:20-24. Jesus is having a conversation with the woman at the well and it comes to a close with these words. The woman says, “Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?” Jesus responds, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

Indulge me for a moment, use your “Imaginal Cells” while i share a story written by Steven Woodman titled “Go Fly A Kite!”

Rachel was very excited. Her Grandfather took her on a special adventure every Saturday and he said that he had a big surprise for her today. Out of his trunk he pulled the biggest kite Rachel had ever seen! “Let’s go!” her grandfather shouted.

Down to the beach they went. A lot of their adventures took place at the beach. It was a very windy day. Perfect for kite flying – or so they thought.

“OK Rachel, you hold the kite and I’ll pull it into the sky.”

Rachel ran down the beach with the kite and then held it tight. Her grandfather yelled “Let go” as he pulled hard on the string. But it was so windy that Rachel didn’t hear him.

Her Grandfather called to Rachel. “OK. Your turn to fly the kite!” But when he looked around, he couldn’t see Rachel anywhere. There were no trees for her to hide behind. Where could she be?

Then he looked up. Waaayyyyyy up. He could just see Rachel peeking over the end of the kite. She was flying!

“Rachel! Get down here!”

But Rachel could not get down. Her Grandfather started to reel in the kite. But just as she was getting close to the ground – the string broke!

The kite flew up, up, up with Rachel still holding tight! “Get me down!” yelled   Rachel.

Her Grandpa was running down the beach after her.   “Come back here Rachel!” The kite headed straight for an apartment building.

Vroom!!!  She flew right into an open window and through a living   room where a man sat eating pop-corn and watching a football game.

“Yikes” yelled the man. He was so surprised that   his pop-corn flew all over the room.

Vroom!!! Down the hall Rachel flew. There was a lady just coming   out of the bathroom.

“Yikes” yelled the lady. She was so scared that   she jumped up in the air and her feet landed in the toilet.

Vroom!!! Rachel flew through the bedroom where there was a little baby sitting in a crib. The baby laughed when Rachel flew by. Right out the bedroom window   Rachel flew. By this time there were nine police cars and three fire engines chasing Rachel. She was heading straight for the zoo!

Vroom!!! Through the lion’s den she flew. They jumped up at her but she was flying too fast.

Vroom!!! Through the monkey’s cage she flew. She knocked one monkey right out of a tree.

Vroom!!! She flew right between the legs of a big giraffe!

Vroom!!! She was headed for the elephants. One big elephant lifted   his trunk and caught Rachel by the leg. He put Rachel on his back just as 31   police cars and 9 fire trucks pulled up.

“Get me down from here” yelled Rachel.

One of the fire trucks put out its   ladder and a firefighter climbed up to lift Rachel down.

Rachel gave her Grandpa a big hug.

“Grandpa! You always have the best ideas!

What are we going to do next week?”

That’s the idea! Soaring! “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.” Let’s Go Worship! Let’s enter into His presence! Let’s take a journey! Let’s experience the adventure! Let’s make a spiritual marker! Let’s get free from the things of this world! Let’s………… you fill in the blank!

As for me…. I’m giving God a big hug and saying, “God you always have the best ideas! What are we going to do next time?”

 

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Kite TailsMany people overlook the importance of tails when flying kites. They are not simply decorative extras, they also serve to keep the kite stable and pointing in the right direction. Professionally made kites come with the correct tail, so this post and podcast will concentrate on tails for kites made by the occasional hobbyist.

Kite tails are a quick way to add color and size to your kite and can make a work of art even more dramatic. Yep, i’m going to share with you my spiritual connection to kite tails. Whether flying a kite or entering into the presence of God, both can be enhanced by adding a tail.

While my spiritual kite tail could be most anything, i’m going to correlate it to patience. Adding patience to my circumstances is a quick way to add color, size, or more specifically perspective. With a change in perspective my circumstances can become a work of art as God weaves His purpose, His plan, His grace into every fiber of them. What was a dramatic disaster, can in the blink of an eye become a masterpiece. Patience can most definitely help me soar for longer periods of time.

Kite tails add stability to my kite in stronger winds by adding drag to the kite, making it fly better. In light winds my kite will need less tail or maybe no tail at all.

Patience adds stability to my circumstances when their strong, or more difficult circumstances. Patience adds drag to the circumstances, making them more manageable and in light or easier circumstances i may need less patience or maybe no patience at all.

Adding Kite Tails

Tails should be added to the kite symmetrically that is balanced on both sides of the kite, such as one long tail in the middle, two tails of even length on each side of the kite, or a single tail looped from one side of the kite to the other.  You can add additional loops, which can also be attached to other loops adding even more drag.  Make sure your tail is firmly attached.

Patience should be added to my circumstances symmetrically as well. Balanced on both side of the circumstances, such as one long tail in the middle. Here’s just one example as applied to relationships… Matthew 5: 43-48 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

Verse 48 summarizes it “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Symmetrical, balanced on both sides.

To apply it to another area of my life i went to James 1: 2-3 where he says, “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience….”

This is saying, Kite tails are a quick way to add color and size to your kite and can make a work of art even more dramatic.

How Much to Add

A general guide is to add 3 to 8 times the length of the kite, but the only real way to know is to try. Remember: more tail = more weight = more drag. Too much drag and your kite will not fly. Surveyor ribbon tape is lightweight and an easy way to add colorful long tails to your kite.

Oh this is so good… how much patience should i add? James says it with absolute clarity, “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

And then in verse 12 he says, “Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

Many times i overlook the importance of patience when getting into the presence of God. Patience is not simply a decorative extra, Patience serves to keep me stable and pointing in the right direction. Being God-made i come with the correct tail, or better said, correct kind and amount of patience.

In closing, With my fist holding tight to the string of my kite… Let’s Go Worship… “External religious worship that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God, visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.” James 1:27

PLEASE CLICK ON THE PLAYER OR LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

You can’t fly a kite unless you go against the wind and have a weight to keep it from turning a somersault. The same with man. No man will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties and is prepared to assume responsibilities.  – William J. H. Boetcker

Let me share an interesting fact before beginning today: Kite flying was banned in Japan in 1760 because so many people preferred to fly kites rather than going to work.
Flying a kite according to the official theory is about many things: symmetry, wind power, construction, tension, timing,  muscle strength, air pressure, spirituality and fun.
It seems that watching others fly kites is as popular as those who fly them. Now that i say that, i realize that i enjoy watching others soar up where the air is clear just as much as when it’s me doing the soaring.
KITE FESTIVALS AROUND THE WORLD

  • Australia – Sydney Festival of the Winds
  • Borneo International Kite Festival, Bintulu
  • Canada – Windscape Kite Festival Saskatchewan – Dieppe KITE International in New Brunswick
  • France – There’s a list of kite festivals
  • Great Britain
  • India – International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad
  • Japan – There’s a specific calendar of Kite Festivals
  • Spain – Barcelona
  • USA – Sky Festival

Pick the right place. I need to be careful to only fly my kite in safe conditions… that means no rain or lightning. There’s actually electricity in clouds that is attracted to wet kite lines. Remember Ben Franklin? He was a foolish kite flier. Trees, power lines and buildings all deserve careful consideration.

 Pick the right place. i am called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God. To be alone with Him—not with my books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything—to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. Mother Teresa said, “We cannot find God in noise or agitation.

People may seem harmless, but in this particular instance the fewer the better which means less possible distractions. Luke 5:15 (NIV.) shares how Jesus handled this. Yet the news about [Jesus] spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him, and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Mark 1:35 says, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Find someone to fly your kite with. Flying a kite is easier with two people — and it stays fun longer.

Find someone to fly your kite with. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”God calls me to a service far beyond anything i could  ever imagine. He created me for a  life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for me to do.” Ephesians  2:10.

Pay attention to the wind direction. If it changes, adapt with it. Arrange for the wind to be blowing from your back directly toward the kite. It’s best  to wait for a gust of wind for the initial takeoff. You can also pull on the string to provide a bit of tension and launch the kite into the air. If you stay aware of this, you’ll be able to fly your kite a lot longer.

 Pay attention to the wind direction. Mark 4:24 has these instructions. “And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”

Some, maybe most, people just enjoy the relaxing aspects of flying a kite. Just watching it fly, perhaps enjoying the subtle artistry of color and movement. Maybe even enjoying the feel of controlling an almost-living creature on the end of the line.

Kite flying aside for the moment. There are two important keys, to getting into the presence of God. The first is wanting God and the second is waiting for God

i  must want Him wholeheartedly and be willing to wait on Him until His presence brings the rhythms of His grace to my soul. Neither of these two issues, particularly waiting, is used much in the Christian arena today. Wanting God is something only a select few seem to do; waiting for God seems to have no place in most modern-day worship services. Silence on the platform? Perish the thought!