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June 26, 2007

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Stan

Your ability to listen and care and build that bond of comfort and trust to allow others to think, ask and share is truly a Blessed gift. I struggle sometimes with being overbearing and prophetic in my interactions in every day life and my involvement in counseling. Those stories are a good reminder of the heart of true communications.

Nathanael

Time is the biggest factor, and honestly, it's often easier to be bold (ignorant) and have the other party take offense, than it is to spend months, years, decades building a healthy relationship that is mutual in learning.
Dan Kimball posted a great blog about this topic: http://www.dankimball.com/vintage_faith/2007/06/do-some-christi.html

Thanks for reminding us, brother, how much we can learn from those who do not follow Jesus.

allijack

love it! thank you for sharing this.

remdinds me of a CGLT retreat session at the powell house when you shared about the importance of asking good questions (and the subsequent listening and understanding, of course)

Paul Morgun

And if we believe that Jesus is already at work around and with that person those conversations become even more poignant...I love that idea of conversations...thanks for the post

J.R.

Allijack - that CGLT discussion we had regarding asking good questions is something I hope to teach on more often here in PA because I've been doing some more thinking about it. Glad you still remember it.

Paul: thanks for your thoughts. You right - we don't start conversations - that's the role of the Spirit - we simply highlight the conversation(s) that are already existing and highlight elements where God is already at work...thanks for the reminder.

Stan

As it is the Spirit that starts conversations, we have to be aware and not lose focus and miss opportunities to let the Spirit work through us. Too often, at least for me, I am not always conscious of how every moment in my life is for a purpose and walk away, from what I feel sometimes is a missed opportunity, feeling I could have said or done something more to make a difference. .I just feel I could be more deliberately intentional in my human interaction so I have been trying a bit harder.
Last week my son and I repaired a part for the boat of a friend of mine. He is far from God and in recent years been through many hardships in life, and distanced himself in our relationship. Maybe I did too. As we drove into his driveway, I said to my son, let us pray that we can make this time and this opportunity for the Glory of God and that He will intercede through our hearts, our minds and our speech. It wasn’t until near the end of our interaction, when my friend told me how the part of the boat that we repaired had saved his life and how he used it to pull himself out of the freezing cold water and would have died. I simply said that God must have a very good reason for you being here. There was a very long pause as he looked at me in deep thought, then he said, “do you really think so?” I think I saw a tear in the corner of his eye.
Well after refusing to take his money for a favor I did for a friend, he said he will repay my son and I with a fishing trip in his boat. I cannot wait to spend an entire day with my friend, and see just what is beyond this door that God has opened.

Joshua Smith

I love those kinds of conversations. I grew up in the Christian world all my life, and it is so eye opening listening to my friends from thier perspective.

Sometimes I think they pursue faith more than I do even though I have subscribed to the Christian faith.

peace

Joshua

I'm trackin' with you. This is where I'm at. When you seek the conversion you rarely seek the relationship with the person. That's when people begin to be projects and we see them as numbers on our 'salvation mantel.'

Over the past two years I've worked hard to cultivate relationships in the neighborhood I moved into and you know how many 'converts' I've had...none. You know how many people would bend over backwards to help me out...plenty.

I'm weary of trying to win people to a decision. They can make that in their own time. I'm taking the cup of cold water to heart. I'm throwing out judgmentalism and treating them like I want to be treated...like a person. That's my burden for the church really, is that we start seeing people instead of projects.

Jim Henderson

Jesus had 132 contacts - 10 of them were in the temple or synagogue - 122 were out in public with ordinary people.

Jesus was a conversationalist who periodically interrupted his visits with longer talks (aka sermons)

St Patrick planted 700 churches chatting with people

for more on this check out
www.offthemap.com
www.akalost.com

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