OMTL Day 17: GPS

Today’s discussion is about being lost and using your gifts and struggles to get find your way.

When was the last time you were driving and became lost? Did you stop for directions? What is your usual response when feeling lost?

You know I can’t remember the last time I was lost. I can remember not knowing exactly how to get to the place I was going, but I didn’t think I was lost, only unable to find a route. I am a male and don’t like to ask for directions.

What about when I feel lost metaphorically? I’m really bad about just standing still when I don’t know what to do next. My boys do that and it annoys the crap out of me. I want to yell “Well try something! Don’t just stand there!” But I don’t because I try not to yell at them much. Maybe I should take my own advice.

When was the last time you felt passionate about an experience? What gifts did you use?

The last thing I felt really excited and expectant about was the OMTL stuff, especially the challenge group. Now that is starting to wain because we have had no one come to our small group. I was thinking about it after reading this and wondered if maybe we don’t have the gift of starting a small group. I think I can lead one, but every group we’ve ever started ended in a disaster. It either piddle away, never got off the ground, or ended in conflict. Mmmm.

OMTL Day 16:Star Power

Starting section three today, Learn Humbly. One thing that popped out of me was from Kerry and Chris’ talk about the Lion King. In the scene he talks about Musfa appears to Simba and says “Simba, you have forgotten me.”

Simba says, “But, Dad, how could I ever forget you?”

Mufasa answers, “You have forgotten who you are, and therefore have forgotten me. Remember who you are. You are my child, the one true king.”

Kerry says God talks to us and says, “You are my child. You are the child of the King“. The thing that popped out at me wasn’t how I was super powerful or important, but that the child of the King has a responsibility to the people of the kingdom. It is his job to protect, lead and serve them.

When was the last time you wondered about your identity and place in life?

Actually haven’t thought about it much, though I am concerned with who I am and what I’m here to do.

Have you experienced the Enemy trying to steal you identity?

I think so. I think I’ve given up dreams but I’ve also changed them to be something they shouldn’t be. Often after I change my dream to what the devil wants it to be, I realize it isn’t a good thing anymore and decided not to do it. How’s that for convoluted?

OMTL Day 15: Last Call

I was so hoping for a bar based metaphor, but alas it was about telephones.

Right now in your life do you have a relationship in which the lines of communication are really breaking down?

Nope. Do need to call my grandmother though.

Do you consider yourself a good listener? What prevents you from listening more closely to those you care about?

My wife and I have been excited over new possibilities this last week. We’ve talked to each other a lot about them. Only problem is I know I’m mostly thinking about what I’m going to say in when she stops talking. Which is bad. The two things were excited about are different. Hers is finding a job at a four year college and teaching new courses. Mine is filmmaking. Seems sometimes we just take turns talking about these things at each other. I need to listen more.

Look through the speed-dial on your cell phone. Whom do you consider the most important? How often do you call them compared to the others on the list?

My wife is first on the list and I’ve talked to her on the phone at least 5 times today. I’ve talked to no one else. So I guess I talk to her a lot.

OMTL Day 14: The Gift

When was the last time you remember stopping to savor the moment?

I think that was last weekend, and again today. The weather was so beautiful. Those perfect spring days where it is not to hot or too cold.

I find myself wanting to put the caveat that they tell us of the coming blazing summer. But that is the stupid thing we humans do of feeling bad about something before it happens.

On most days are you more the one who returned to thank Jesus or the nine who went their own way? How often do you thank those around you for what they contribute to your life?

Of course on most days I’m one of the nine. This chapter had really made me think about the people I need to thank. One is my partner who gave me the pep talk.

OMTL Day 13: Sandpaper

Yesterday was dealing with conflict, today is dealing with people who rub you the wrong way. Sandpaper, get it?

Who are the sandpaper people in your life presently? How do you usually relate to them?

The people who can most easily yank my chain are my eldest and my boss. I kind of always assume the worst about whatever they are saying to me. This makes me the sandpaper in the relationship, I’m just feeling the grit.

Which tool best describes the way you sometimes come across to those around you?

I’d have to think I’m a measuring tape, the kind of person who always lets you know that you don’t quite measure up. Boy, that is sad to have to write down. I’m not that way all the time, and I do a pretty good job of not saying those things when I think them. Lord, help me to change on the inside and stop measuring people against my own insecurities.

OMTL Day 12: Boxing Ring

Today’s lesson is on conflict in relationships and how to hand it. The metaphor is boxing. There are different ways people deal with conflict and the central thing to remember in any conflict is that the relationship is more important than the conflict. It isn’t about winning. But we aren’t to just not have conflict. We need to stay in the fight. Kerry says we should be sparing partners, not worried about winning, but in the fight for each other’s benefit.

If you haven’t gotten this yet, every day has a new metaphor.

Which style of fighter are you? How did this style develop? How would you say your parents handled conflict? If you had one month to live how would you change the way you handle conflict?

The Mrs and I talked about it a little and really we do a pretty good job of being sparing partners. The relationship is always more important than winning. Occasionally we are one two punchers, which means we take turns, but even that is in service to the relationship.

In non marriage conflicts I’m more of a take the fall kind of fighter, basically leaving the fight. At least in many conflicts. Sometimes I take a deep breath and try to reach a compromise, to find out what is really going on.

Do you usually fight fair with your loved ones? Which of these ground rules is hardest for you to keep?

I think I do fight fair with my loved ones. Occasionally I do you the power of my position or my size to intimidate my boys, but I try to do that as little as possible. And I try not to manipulate them into my view point. I prefer a Socratic dialog to get them to come to the conclusions I want. Doesn’t work all the time.

OMTL Day 10:Ocean

This days reading was on forgiveness. Accepting forgiveness from God. Giving forgiveness to others. Asking for forgiveness.

I’ve never really had a problem with forgiveness. Giving or receiving. My wife actually used to say one of the things that attracted her to me was my easy of forgiveness.

So I don’t really have a lot to do with this one. And if I did, I wouldn’t be blogging a list of the people who have hurt me anyway. 🙂

OMTL Day 9: Heart of the Matter

This is the first day of the second section of the book. The “Love Completely” section.

If you only had a month to live, whom would you want to spend the time with? Whom would you need to apologize to? Who needs to be assured today that you love them? What keeps you from spending the time and saying these words now? Make a list and do something about it.

I’d want to spend time with my wife and boys. I’d want to see my parents and brother. I’m pretty quick to apologize when I’m wrong, or even if I’m not, so I don’t have many people I’d need to apologize to.

I made a list of my non-nuclear family members at church on Saturday and I intend to call them. I’ll do at least one in a few minutes at lunch.

Who in your life has disappointed you most? How have you handled that relationship – blame, distance, denial, forgiveness? Some other way? How have the pain and disappointment affected your other relationships?

I’ve disappointed myself more than anyone else has. Seem most of my disappointments have been in business and church dealings. Going through that right now in business. It makes me wary about any business dealings and a little sick to my stomach. I need to figure out a better way to feel about these problems, but I don’t know what that would be.