Category Archives: Leadership

He is a Lying Pervert; Why America May Never Be Great Again

It’s a big day. We, the people, are obsessed with figuring out what to do, who to blame and how we will move forward together when this day ends. Our anger has been fierce, obvious and aimed in so many directions it has made my head spin. The amount of confusing information we have had coming our way — meant to clarify — has been overwhelming. Nonetheless, we have a choice to make today.

Like everyone else, I have an opinion and I have cast my vote; but today, my heart is surprisingly not consumed with election results (although I’m sure about 9:00 tonight, that will change).

Maybe traveling to the Middle East changed me more than I realize, because leading up to this historic election I cannot focus on politics. This is new for me. When I participated in mock elections as a kid, I used to try to figure out my own path to the White House. Seriously. In my early twenties, I was debating myself in the shower and determining the likelihood I could speak my way to a win in the Missouri House, then Senate seat, then Governor, then, yep! I should be on my way to Washington by now.

Ironically, by God’s grace, the current state of my mind and heart are driven by a need to fix my own house not the White House.

I, like most of you, am worried about my kids and their future. But, my obsession has become how to communicate to them that presidents are important, but they don’t dictate how we actually live.  We make those choices everyday regardless of who occupies capital hill.  How do I help people in my sphere gain a perspective that will change the way they view the political climate and ultimately impact their life on a real and personal level? I don’t have a perfect answer, but nonetheless, here are some things to ponder today. Maybe this will help entertain your mind between now and final results.

My choice today is to clarify whom the real corrupt, lying, pervert enemy actually is. He is a liar no doubt and has likely deceived you. And me. In fact, he is the chief of all liars. He is a pervert in the worst of all ways and his corruption runs so deep we cannot fathom its depth.

He takes things that were and are meant for our good, things that should be meaningful, beautiful and sacred and twists them into the very things that destroy your life, mine and threaten our children’s future.

For example:

The emotion of fear, a positive inner force meant to protect you from walking over a cliff, becomes a crippling emotion for which you now have to find a means to cope.

Medicine, meant to serve as an instrument of healing, becomes an addiction to cope with your…oh, I don’t know…fear?

Relationships, meant to give you support, accountability and earthly companionship, become a source of aggravation and stress.

Marriage, meant to be a picture of the redemptive love of Jesus, becomes a scene of jaded love and a “trap.”

Sex, meant to be the seal of a covenant and a commitment to another person of the opposite sex becomes a self-centered pleasure that knows no satisfaction.

Children, meant to be a blessing, become a burden.

Work, meant to be a task of fulfillment and purpose, becomes a curse.

Food, meant to nourish the body, becomes an obsession and a thorn in our side.

The body, meant to be a temple becomes a house of defilement, disease and distress.

A baby becomes a choice.

Freedom becomes bondage.

Shall I continue? Everything originally designed by our Creator in perfection and beauty is broken because of this enemy. What might happen if we, the people, identified him, exposed him — I mean I wish wikileaks would release some scripture about this or something — and united our efforts against HIM?

He can be identified.

He is Satan. Known as Lucifer or “shining one.” The devil. He is the known enemy of God. And he is real. Don’t think so? Look around for a few minutes. Consider it. It is pretty easy to see that there is good and there is evil. How do you explain that? If you think all people are good, look again. If you believe all things are bad, look again. How do you define good and evil? How do you know what is OK and what is not? These are big, important questions. You know it and I know it. The struggle is real.The war is raging. If you want to be angry, be angry with Satan. His desire is to find you, steal from you, lie to you and destroy you. He will stop at nothing. He will use every tool at his disposal to poison your mind and heart and to lock you into defeat. He will and has lied to you. You have been deceived. If you can’t admit your deceit reading this, then you can know it is true. He will do everything in his power to keep you from the only one who has defeated him.

Jesus.

Want to know why America may never be great? America doesn’t want to acknowledge the evil that exists in us and among us. America does not want to talk about sin or evil. (Unless of course it is the sin of someone we don’t like or don’t want to like, then we just can’t believe how awful he or she is.) Perhaps YOU do not want to talk about sin. I don’t need to explain to you what sin is. If you speak English well enough to have read this far, you know. Deep down, you know. You have experienced the struggle, the guilt, the pain and the effects for years, as have I.

We will never be “great” until we are willing to agree with God about what sin is and who is guilty. God does not ever wink at sin. Not yours and certainly not mine. He doesn’t brush it under the rug. He doesn’t accept it under some circumstances and He doesn’t ever agree to it. Rather, He exposes it. He brings it to light and He deals with it justly. In fact, He dealt with it fully.

I sincerely pray you know of the cross of Jesus Christ for it stands alone in history as the event that changes EVERYTHING.   The cross holds the key to our real victory. Jesus, God in the flesh, chose to die for us to satisfy the Father when we could not and to defeat the enemy and his power over us.   It is what Jesus did then and continues to do now that reverses the curse and the perversion. He redeems everything and brings real change in the lives of all people who have faith in Him.  Our government is meant to restrain evil, but only God Himself can defeat it.

Greatness comes through righteousness and righteousness comes only through Christ. Jesus alone takes what is broken by sin and sets it right. He makes it great again!

It’s a miracle and a mystery, but if you observe, you can see Jesus as clearly as you can see the enemy. Consider lives transformed by the power of Jesus. I know it is true, because He has changed me.

So, what do you want? What do you believe? Who do you follow? Who is your choice?

I’m choosing to focus on who the real enemy is. No, scratch that. I’ll not focus on him. I merely choose to identify him. I will fix my eyes, mind and heart on Jesus, for He is the only one and the only way in which America will ever stand a chance at greatness.


Why I Trust God Today

I should be working right now.  I have two keynotes, a personality training, three Bible classes to teach, a radio interview and serious preparations for a trip oversees in the next week, but, instead, I feel inspired to write.

This message is for you if you are a discouraged, unsure or insecure follower of Jesus Christ.  Yes, I realize we wouldn’t normally list those adjectives to describe our Christianity, but can we just be real for five seconds?  Listen, I have been there.  Hear me, I have done that.  But, what I hope to communicate to you so that you KNOW it with every fiber of your being, is that God IS faithful to what God IS doing.

Even if you don’t see it.

Seven years ago, I knew the Lord was leading me to teach a Bible class at my church for young women.  I was raised in church and had led many Bible studies.  I had been speaking at that point for five years before live audiences and had done years of television hosting and radio spots, so the “talking to people” part didn’t phase me.  Even the Bible part didn’t scare me then.  (Although, let me say, the more I study the Bible, the more I understand how little I knew and how scared I should have been and how little I still know even today!)

Nevertheless, a year later the class was launched for women 18 – 30 years old.  Just refer to a flyer posted around church!  Come one, come all!

Well, they did come, all two of them at first.

Over time, more women joined.  Some quit coming, some moved away, and one became a missionary, but several of them just kept coming back, again and again and again.  For the last six years, I have poured my heart and soul in to these girls.  It hasn’t been easy.  Consider all that comes with giving birth to two babies myself — totaling three dependents — traveling and speaking, writing a book, being self-employed with my man and building a house.  Life has been FULL.  I really cannot overstate this.  But, God made sure teaching these women was a priority.  In THIS season.  Now.  It made no sense to me.  There were many weeks I WANTED A BREAK.  A long break.  An I-will-do-it-when-my-kids-are-older break!

No such break was granted.

So, the journey continued and what a journey it has been.  Together, we experienced the joy of marriages, the ugliness in marriages, the progression of pregnancies, the blessing of babies, the exhaustion of child-care, the difficulty of parenting, the sorrow of great losses, the heart-ache of addictions, the diagnosis of life-altering illness, the sting of rejection, the mark of divorced parents, the hurt of past relationships, the sting of current relationships, the weight of conflict, the fear of cancer, the reality of cancer, the battle within decision making, the sacrifice of commitment and the weight of conflict.  I have laughed hysterically with these women, no doubt offended them, failed them, embarrassed them, wept with them, prayed fiercely for them, been scared to death of them, been frustrated by them and twice, nearly quit on them. (That will be a surprise if they are reading this.)  But, THROUGH IT ALL, God was miraculously changing our lives, changing us at our core, transforming us into the image of His son.  We will never be the same.  We have seen our God speak, work, move, heal, reconcile, restore, make new, set free, bring friendship, provide finances, comfort, teach, answer prayer, call people to His kingdom, promote people in His service and fill us with the power and victory of His Spirit! I am telling you, He has done what only He can do!  We have lived it!

And I am so grateful. Really.  Truly.  Grateful.

Yesterday — and probably the reason I had to get this into print and off my mind and heart today — it all came full circle.  At least for me.  I asked these girls, my sisters, to explain what this journey has been like for them.  To hear them share what God has done in them and for them and through them was rewarding, but more importantly humbling and glorious.  God is so so ridiculously good at what we does — REDEMPTION.  And then, by God’s timing, we celebrated together over lunch.  (A rare thing as all of us have multiple children!) But, we got away for the afternoon, high-jacked the church van and all!  Confession: I may have been the only one who actually knew a celebration was taking place, but in the private places of my heart, I was absolutely overwhelmed and overcome with joy and gratitude to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all He has accomplished as I looked around that table and thought of the others who could not attend.  I sit here still in amazement.  It took so long; but it happened so fast.

And while one journey seems to have come to a conclusion, I am so very excited for what He has in store.

You see, two weeks ago, I did quit.  Well, not really.  With God leading, I moved on.  He transferred my attention to a whole new group of women.  Younger women.  A new class.  A new group of strangers with fresh faces and fragile hearts.  I should have been thrilled, but I’ll admit, two weeks ago I was a discouraged, unsure and insecure follower of Jesus Christ.

But not now.

Teaching God’s Word, living on mission, investing in people, knowing and experiencing the one true and living God and making Him known, all of it works!  This is God’s plan.  This is discipleship.  This is the great movement of multiplication.  This is Christianity.  And this is what I live for.

As I stared into the faces of my new class, a group hand selected and chosen by God Himself, my heart smiled.  They have no idea what’s coming!  I’m excited for them because I KNOW God IS faithful to what God IS doing.

And, let me just convince you now, you want to be a part of it; because when it comes full circle, whether in six days or six months or six years, it is so very worth it!

 


What Boldness is Not

I want to be bold. You know? I want to live a life that makes a difference and one where people don’t have to wonder who I really am or what I believe. I think that’s good. Right?

Lately, as I study the scriptures, I have been encouraged by the boldness of Jesus and His followers. Interestingly, what is standing out to me is what boldness is not.

As a personality expert, I spend an abnormal amount of time analyzing my personality type and it is, in most every way, bold. I’m not afraid to speak my mind (which does come in handy since I am a speaker), wear loud clothing or make decisions and stand by them. But, I’m slowly realizing that a big, loud personality is not the same thing as boldness — at least not boldness that is effective.

So, here are the top 4 things boldness is not:

1) Boldness is not arrogance. If I’m not careful, I can really twist this up. All it takes is a moment of self-righteousness and an attitude that says, “I am right. You are wrong,” to come off as arrogant. Even if those words never come out of your mouth, the attitude of your heart is always evident to others.

2) Boldness is not jumping up to be heard. When I try to visualize what boldness looks like, I see a brave — loud — person standing up in a room full of people and making some controversial, but important statement. Others applaud while some mock or get angry and, I cheer them on. Why? Because I like their courage. (It’s my personality’s issue, again.) But the kind of boldness that matters does not demand a crowd.

3) Boldness is not creating your own flashes of glory. Effective boldness waits and intently watches for opportunities composed by God as grand and divine appointments. Then seizes the moment. It’s more about being obedient and following the leading of the Holy Spirit than trying to manufacture times of intervention.

4) Boldness is not kicking opponents to the curb. Too often, we want to draw lines and pick fights in the name of boldness. When others don’t agree with us, we may think we are being “bold” by taking strong stands and sending challengers packing. We may feel better about ourselves for being so “strong,” but what we haven’t done is made any kind of difference.

So what is effective boldness then?

When I wrote King Hezekiah, Examining a Life of Bold Faith, I discovered a few insights about boldness. Hezekiah was one of the boldest people I’ve ever read about, but he wasn’t arrogant, he wasn’t just trying to make his point — he had to wait on the Lord to put him in a position for effectiveness, and he understood his opposition.

Let me tell you what he was that was so effective in turning the hearts of people: honest.

As soon as Hezekiah was crowned king, his first priority was being honest with the people. He neither sugar coated the mess they were in nor dwelt upon it. Later, when he found himself in desperation, facing death, he was honest before God in prayer. He held nothing back. Later yet, when he faced serious threats from a ruthless enemy, he was honest before God and his people about what could and should be done in order to be victorious. It was his ability to speak truth about circumstances and about God that made him so effective as a leader and as a king. Hezekiah was not perfect, nor did he always do the right thing, but he was truthful before God and before his people, and I believe God honored the integrity of his heart.

That is what boldness means. It means honesty with yourself, with God and with others. It means you have integrity in your heart that produces truth from your mouth.

A young lady I mentor sent me a podcast by Southern Hills Baptist Church in Bolivar, Mo. this week. To my delight, the speaker addressed this issue of boldness. He stressed the point that the biggest differences are made in the lives of others through the small moments when we speak the truth. We don’t need to be scripted, calculated or even prepared. We just need to tell the truth.

For example, when someone asks you how your day is going, tell them the truth. When someone asks you what you think about a controversial issue, tell them the truth. When they want to know how you do what you do and stay happy or sane, tell the truth. In doing so, the true believer and follower of Christ will always point back to Him. Watch this:

How am I doing today? Better than I deserve because God is gracious.

How do I do it? I depend on God for everything. He is my everything.

What do I think about that issue? Well, I do my best to know and trust God’s word and I’ve surrendered to what He has to say about it.

See how that works?

Perhaps if I would shift my energy from trying to impress, remain neutral, be inoffensive or from being fearful of rejection, I could reroute that energy into focusing on simple honesty that points to Christ. That’s bold.


Courage, So you don’t waste your vision

Category : Christian , Church , Leadership

I will tell you something churches and church leaders need right now: courage.

I am writing this article in the wake of attending the BMAA National Meeting in Little Rock. Throughout the meeting, the themes of church multiplication and discipleship were repeated and emphasized continually. Pastors were encouraged to consider church-planting and examples of that very thing were given as proof that even small congregations can multiply.

“Amen” rang throughout the building at each missionary testimony and the charge that “multiplications beat additions every time.” The atmosphere of excitement could have made you truly believe that every church leader in attendance would present a church-planting plan to his congregation the following Sunday.

But we know that plans to multiply weren’t presented last Sunday at most churches. And we know that the excitement of the convention atmosphere is likely to wear off before this article even prints.

Am I writing this article to rain on the church-planting parade?

No.

I am pointing out a reality so that we, as disciples of Christ and church members, can ask ourselves this question: What is it going to take for consistent disciple-making and church-planting to become the norm?

I believe the answer is courage. Not “belief.” Not “faith.” Courage.

Of course, faith and belief are vital, but intellectually and emotionally they can always give us a way to back out of something scary. Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit was calling you to do something that would leave you in all kinds of uncertainty — financial, emotional, relational — and that uncertainty led you to say something such as, “I am just waiting for God to open some doors.” Or, “God closed the door on that idea.” Both of these justifications imply that you were “trusting God” to lead you, and that He simply led you in another direction.

It is certainly possible that you were mistaken on what you were so sure the Holy Spirit was calling you to do.  It is certainly true that God does “close doors.” But I wonder if He doesn’t close nearly as many as we give Him credit for. I wonder if the truth is that most of the time we’re just afraid. I wonder if we, especially as Americans, have come to believe that God will always provide us with clear answers about how we can get a certain thing accomplished if He is really calling us to a task.

We seem to think of God as a CEO, delegating tasks to managers and workers who have the resources and the limits of the company clearly accounted for.  Of course we’ll obey the Boss, but the Boss wouldn’t ask us to do anything impossible.

I think this is the wrong picture of how God desires for us to walk with Him. I think our heavenly Father wants us to trust in Him because of our familial relationship.

To understand this, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of a four-year-old. When you were a child, did you ever go to an amusement park with your parents? These parks are filled with roller-coasters, fun houses, haunted houses and all other manner of attractions that can be thrilling but terrifying to a child. Some rides go into darkness. Literally. It’s dark inside some of those places. As a child who is new to the park, you have no idea what is around every turn or what scary pop-up monster is going to appear. It is the very picture of uncertainty.

Unless Dad is there, holding your hand.

While Dad might not tell you everything that is coming, you know he cares about you and you know he isn’t going to let you get hurt. Dad tells you to be brave even when he knows that the sudden drop at the end of the log-flume is going to scare you.

I believe this is how God wants us to trust Him. This is child-like faith; this is not childish faith.

Childish faith is always making decisions based your own comfort because you know just enough of the Bible to justify whatever you want to do or not do.

Child-like faith comes when you know the Father — your Daddy — so well that you can walk through complete darkness with Him bravely because you are His child.

And so I say to those who know what God would have them do but are afraid to do it, have courage. If you attended the national meeting and find the idea of planting a new church to be crazy, have courage. Courage is not a lack of fear, but the ability to move forward even when you are afraid because you have a heavenly Father who is seeking your good and the good of His family.

 


What’s Your Brand?

As I’m preparing today to speak on personal branding for an audience of administrative professionals, I opened my inbox this morning and found a fresh article by Ephesians Four Ministries.  I subscribe to their weekly devotionals.

This particular one was quite timely and a great personal reminder for me, the speaker, to get and keep her act together!

Personal branding moves us from wearing masks to wearing hats.  We all have many roles we play throughout our week.  The issue many have is that they are trying to balance all of their roles and end up wearing a mask.  They are pretentious in their actions and spend their days just trying to fake their way through.

I am a wife, mama, daughter, sister, friend, in-law, teacher, entrepreneur, business owner, volunteer, and speaker.  Rather than wearing a mask and faking genuineness, I try to focus on the role of the moment.  I don’t wear masks which attempt to hide who I really am.  Rather, I try to develop my character and strengthen my personal brand, so that who I am is consistent no matter which role I am in.  I have made the switch from wearing masks to wearing hats.

We cannot balance every role at all times.  It’s too much, too distracting and non-productive.  Rather, I change hats and attempt to dedicate my attention and mental strength on the hat of the moment.  This mental switch helps me listen and respond so much better.  Better behavior enhances my personal brand.  Granted, this approach is not always easy and their are days I just want to hide behind a mask and hope nobody notices.  We are all life in progress.

Here is a segment of the e-mail I mentioned above.  For more of the article, subscribe to their free e-mail list here http://msg1svc.net/servlet/FormListener?Y2dpOjE6TE4=

“Coca-Cola is the number one “brand” in the world. Companies spend millions of dollars making their brands known in business. They want you to recognize their brand. When you think of their brand they hope you will have positive thoughts in hopes it will influence your next purchasing decision.

Every individual has a personal “brand” whether you want it or not. Cultures have a brand. Ethnic groups have a brand. Your brand is defined by your conduct. If you are always late, you’ll soon develop a brand or reputation for being late. Others will even show up late because they know you will be late. If you are a person who exaggerates the truth, others will soon fail to take you serious.

However, the opposite can also be true. Your brand can be incredibly positive. By being a man or woman of your word, who is consistent in dealing fairly and honestly with others, your brand becomes known as someone who is faithful in all aspects of life”.

 

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

 


Personalities and Love

Personalities & LOVE

Great relationships take work.  Accept the fact that relationships; whether they be marital, parental, companion or co-worker, are not always easy to maintain.  In fact, good relationships are hard to keep.  However, we should stop equating hard with bad.  Great relationships are worth fighting for.

Always, when I present the basics of personalities, people are curious about how personalities affect their relationships, usually with their spouse.  They want to know if “opposites attract” and what that may mean for their marriage.

I am pleased to report that my husband, Nathan, and I have a fantastic marriage.  While we certainly are not perfect people and we have our struggles, we agree that knowing personalities and understanding emotional needs gives us a unique perspective on our relationship.  We both have a rich appreciation for the strengths we possess as individuals, which helps us truly love and respect one another.  We are a team.  I encourage any married person or anyone considering marriage to study personalities.

Here is a brief overview of how relationships work based on personality type.

SHARED SPACE

The “easiest” and most common relationships seem to be when the couple shares some personality space.  In other words, you and the person you are in relationship with have one color or square of the personality chart in common, but are not totally alike.  Those commonalities in behavior and expectation make the relationship easier because you naturally understand certain things about one another and are likely to have the same reactions to life circumstances.  Having your secondary personality color or square differ provides just enough balance to keep the relationship interesting.

The Popular Sanguine Relationship (yellow) – FUN!  ADVENTUROUS!  SPONTANEOUS!  Need I say more?  When two sanguines get together, it seems the fountain of fun will never run dry.  However, as we all know, there are moments in life that are just not any fun.  When the fun fades, the sanguine relationship is in danger.  Sanguines must learn how to deal with the difficult times and the fact that adult responsibilities do exist and must be handled properly.  Sometimes, planning is necessary for success and decision-making.  Together, this duo must learn how to navigate and overcome adversity.  They must learn time management, what it means to commit and how to follow the rules.  They must learn how to have fun without money and when other “not-as-fun” people are involved.  If you are in a sanguine relationship that is struggling, go have fun together.  Act a little crazy and the spark will be rekindled.

The Perfect Melancholy Relationship (blue) – When the melancholy square is the shared space the relationship tends to be well organized and private.  Time spent together is well thought out and properly placed on the calendar.  As a couple, these two have plans for provision, education and vacation as well as a timely budget or strategies for the budget in place.  The home is neat and orderly and bills are always paid on time.  However, high expectations often put a heavy burden on the relationship and it may become difficult for either person to feel perfect enough.  It may be tempting to become critical of one another and difficult to forgive and forget when the other person creates a mess.  If you are in a melancholy relationship be willing to accept delays, mishaps and changes in the plan.  Work together, but be careful not to isolate yourselves from extended family and friends.  Take time away from your normal routine to enjoy one another’s company and your common love for the arts or nature, without any rules or expectations.

The Powerful Choleric Relationship (red) – Out of the way!  Two cholerics will be working to change the world, or at least their own.  This couple is on the move, going places, doing things, seeing people, getting things done…in a word; ACTIVE.  This couple will be goal-oriented and productive.  “Down time” is spent on the next project and together this team is unstoppable.  However, these two will find themselves competing for control and for one another’s time.  Working on any relationship is too easily put off for working on work.  Be careful not to become competitive with one another.  Focus on supporting and respecting each other’s ideas.  Make time to relax.  But, realize that most of your bonding will occur as you work side by side and see accomplishments come as a result of your hard teamwork.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic Relationship (green) – Two peaceful phlegmatics simply have it made.  They are generally at peace with one another and have a relaxed relationship.  They don’t tend to pressure one another to change or do…well…anything.   As a couple they are open to whatever.  However, the reality of life circumstances are often stressful and managing a home, children and careers can easily become overwhelming for this pair.  If you are in a peaceful phlegmatic relationship you must work extra hard on communication, planning and setting boundaries.  Naturally, conflict is avoided.  So, working through problems, making decisions and sticking to a plan are difficult at best.  Phlegmatic couples are a great example for the rest of us, though, on how to be accepting, content and satisfied in a relationship.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT – When no commonalities in personality exist.

If the relationship is Powerful Choleric/Perfect Melancholy with Peaceful Phlegmatic/Popular Sanguine, the pair is a nice balance.  Some common ground exists because both people are part extrovert and part introvert giving the couple flexibility and a way to connect.  Easily, the couple will recognize their differences and have great potential to really appreciate those differences.  This is the scenario where one truly compliments the other.

If the relationship is EXTROVERT vs. INTROVERT or Sanguine/Choleric with Melancholy/Phlegmatic, the work begins.  This marriage can be very successful and fulfilling, but requires tremendous understanding.  Remember, one person is turbo-charged and energized by people, while the other is sucked dry by people and wants to go home.  This relationship will take some serious negotiating from both parties.

However, when opposites do attract the couple has a unique opportunity to create a well-rounded lifestyle and relationship that other couples struggle to find.

TOO MUCH ALIKE 

Not as common, but occasionally, people of the same personality are drawn to one another, fall in love (basically with them self) and get married.  Interestingly, it seems these marriages or lifestyles often require more attention than others because of the lack of balance.  And, by nature, two choleric or two melancholy personalities in a close relationship may need the most work of all.

The marriage will tend to have an extreme tilt.  For example if two choleric people marry, there will likely be an “abnormal” amount of conflict.  In order to tilt the marriage back to a healthy or normal range, practicing good conflict resolution becomes crucial.  Usually, one person in this relationship will have to learn to relinquish control to make peace and they begin to look a bit less “choleric.”  On the other extreme, in a relationship where both people are peaceful phlegmatic, conflict is completely avoided and lack of communication may become a serious issue.  In order for there to be progress in the home, one will be forced to step into the role of planning, making decisions and being more productive than their natural tendencies.

I think in most relationships where both people share a majority of personality traits, one person, for the sake of the relationship and general lifestyle, will step outside of their natural personality and learn to take on new traits to compensate for what is naturally off balance.  As a result, some people may even transform into what seems to be a much different person than they were when you married them.  The transformation may be just what you hoped for or it may leave you feeling unsure about the person you married.  Recognizing why change was required will help you appreciate the way your spouse has adapted to living with you.  Remember, change can be a positive thing, but the original personality is still deep within and the corresponding emotional needs still apply.

SINGLE?  NO WORRIES.  For those of you who are single, you may wonder, “Do I need a significant other to feel complete and have balance in my life?  No.  Marriage is not the only relationship.  There will be plenty of other people in your life who create that balance you need.  A phlegmatic male will find motivation from his choleric mother.  A choleric female will be humbled by her boss.  Sanguine singles will eventually settle down and seek advice from a grandparent.  A melancholy man will learn to relax as his co-workers drag him to office parties.  Just living with family, co-workers and friends will make you aware of differences in personality and you will naturally experience the fullness personalities bring to all human relationships.  Thankfully, as human beings, we have the intellectual ability to learn, change and take on strengths of other personalities so that we can access our own reserves of hidden potential, single or not.

To summarize, what is important in our relationships: don’t try to change the one we chose.  We chose our spouse because there was something about them we couldn’t live without.  We loved that “it” factor.  The “it” factor, my friends, is probably their personality — who they are and how they are wired.  Amazingly, whatever the thing was that drew us to them in the first place is the thing we end up being most annoyed by later.  Accept your differences.  Appreciate what makes your spouse unique.  Work hard at giving them the gift of meeting their emotional needs. Speaking of…

In case you need a refresher, here are the basic emotional needs of each personality:

Sanguine  (yellow) : Attention from all, Affection (touching), Approval of every deed, Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy (blue) : Sensitivity to their feelings, Understanding, Space to be alone, Silence (no people)

Choleric (red) : Loyalty, Sense of Control, Appreciation for all their hard work, Accomplishment

Phlegmatic (green) : Peace and quiet, Feelings of Worth, Lack of Stress, Respect for who they are, not what they do

 

 

 
 

 

 

 



A Mind to Unify

I opened an e-mail this morning that spoke directly to my heart.  I wanted to share it with you.  I have copied the following article from my subscription to Prime Time With God through Ephesians Four Ministries.  I began receiving their daily posts after taking a free spiritual gifts assessment on their site, www.churchgrowth.org. (Also worth your time.)

The Power of Unity
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
10-18-2012

“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:21

What is the greatest power that allows the unsaved to make a decision for Jesus Christ? It isn’t prayer, though this is important. It isn’t good deeds, though deeds indicate a fruitful relationship with God. It isn’t good behavior, though Christ commands us to be obedient as sons. The greatest power God’s children have over darkness is unity. Jesus talked a great deal about His oneness with the Father and the importance of unity in the Body of Christ. It is the most difficult command Jesus gave to the Church, because it wars against the most evil aspect of our sin nature-independence.

In the last days we are seeing God’s Spirit convict His children of the lack of unity among His Church. We are seeing God move between blacks and whites, ethnic groups, denominations, and parachurch groups. There is much work to be done. The walls of division and competition among His Body are a stench in God’s nostrils. He sees the competition and the pride of ownership and weeps for the lost who cannot come to Him because they cannot see Him in His Body. When His Body is one, the unbelieving see that Jesus was sent by God. It is like a supernatural key that unlocks Heaven for the heathen soul. The key is in the hand of Christ’s Church. When there is unity, there is power. Scripture tells us five will chase 100, but 100 will chase 10,000 (see Lev. 26:8). There is a dynamic multiplication factor in unity of numbers. We are a hundred times more effective when we are a unified group. Imagine what God could do with a unified Church.

Jesus prayed that we all might be one, as the Father and He are one. He wanted the same love God has for Jesus to be in each of us. When this love is in us, we are drawn to each other with a common mission. The walls fall down. The independent spirit is broken. Competition is destroyed. Satan’s accusations are thwarted. Our love for each other is manifest to the world around us. Lost souls begin to seek this love that is so foreign to them.

Have you contributed to an independent spirit within His Body? Are you seeking to break down walls of competition among Christians, churches, denominations, and ethnic groups? Until we walk in the spirit of unity, we will hinder those in whom God has reserved a place in Heaven. Pray for His Church to be unified.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.


Personalities & Politics

Examining the personalties of President Obama and Mitt Romney

Life has been crazy.  So, I thought this month I’d simplify and talk about a topic that is at the forefront of our thoughts — the election.  While I will not venture too far down the political road in this post, I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at how personalities play into politics.  

Think about this: what type of personality do you think is most likely to run for political office?

If you guessed powerful choleric, I think you are right.  If you have ever been closely tied to any political campaign, you know how brutal it can be.  Candidates must have guts, nerves of steel, an aggressive presence, natural dictator-style leadership ability and no fear.  While other personality types may run and successfully be elected, by mere observation, I think it is safe to say the majority of politicians in Washington, D.C. are powerful choleric.

Do you want to know why it takes months, years even, to get things accomplished in government?  Gather all the cholerics in your family, workplace, or church; put them in a room together and ask them to reach an agreement on a difficult or complex problem.  It would be comical to watch and I can guarantee, regardless of the topic, not everyone will come out happy.  In a matter of moments the air in the room would be thick enough to cut with a knife, intensity would rise, debate would break out and down goes the likelihood of success.

When you have a group of people who a) all know they are right and b) all want their way it is going to be near to impossible for them to reach a common conclusion.  

On the flip side, it takes problem solvers and people who are not afraid to speak their mind and stand firm in the face of opposition to get the job done.  I just wonder how much of our political disappointment rests on nothing more than unavoidable personality conflicts. 

With a nation-changing presidential election approaching next month, I cannot help but examine the personalities of the presidential candidates.  Without knowing either man personally, my assessment is assumption based on the same things I would closely observe to identify your personality: body language, use of words, interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses.

President Obama: Popular or Playful Sanguine/Powerful Choleric

The Sanguine motto is, “Let’s do it the fun way.”  While fun may not be a popular political term, it’s not a stretch to see how our president’s sanguineness has revealed itself during his first term.  Whether it is playing basketball, golf, going on vacation or hanging out with celebs, this president, more than any in history, has made his white house term a fun-filled adventure.  He seems to truly enjoy appearances on television shows and with celebrities in pop culture.  Sanguines like attention and welcome opportunities to pose for the camera.  Also, Sanguines are charming.  Obama is a great speaker with the ability to win over his audiences through the sheer charm of his personality.  He makes friends easily while on the road and probably never meets a stranger.  He is the kind of person you know you would have a good time around.  He would certainly be the life of the party.  His outgoing and friendly nature makes him likeable and certainly works to his advantage.  His entire message revolves around the idea of everyone being on equal terms.  Sanguines want people to be happy and want people to like them.  What better way than by being their provider and helping them get what they want?  He will work for the happiness of his constituents at any cost.

Mitt Romney: Proper or Perfect Melancholy/Powerful Choleric

The Melancholy motto is, “Let’s do it the right way.”  I feel like in many ways, Mitt Romney must be a perfect/proper melancholy.  He projects a highly professional and proper image.  He seems concerned with appropriateness in his language, posture and dress.  He is much more reserved in his mannerisms and speech.  As an introvert, he has had to work hard at being able to communicate effectively in a public setting.  I would imagine one-on-one conversation with Mitt is much different than what we see on stage.  Lights, camera, action is not appealing to the melancholy.  In a presidential campaign, however, being in the spotlight comes with the territory.  In contrast to Obama, Romney could cares less about celebrity appearances and probably wishes he could get to Washington without hundreds of speaking engagements along the way.  His top priority is to do things right.  He will work for what he believes is right for his constituents at any cost.

The Choleric motto is, “Let’s do it my way.”  I think both Mitt Romney and President Obama are also Powerful Choleric.  Both have their own way of looking at and addressing issues, believing equally they are right.  Romney has exhibited strong leadership skills in various organizations and businesses and certainly possesses the “get it done” mentality of a choleric.  As President, Obama has also exhibited aggressiveness and a “my way or the highway” attitude common to the choleric.  Many people have called both of them arrogant…also a common label for cholerics.  I think both men strive to meet their emotional needs for accomplishment and control.

My personal assessment would be that Obama is more Sanguine than Choleric and Romney is split relatively equally between Melancholy and Choleric.  These differences in their personalities will be clearly displayed in the upcoming debates this month.  As you watch, see if you can pinpoint when Obama uses charm and humor to try and win the discussion and other moments when Romney defaults to his reserved nature and seems uncomfortable on the stage.  

Regardless of our position, social status or political preference our personalities affect who we are and how we approach things.  I’m not saying either candidate’s personality is wrong for the job, just different.  I would encourage each of you as fellow citizens to focus on educating yourself and voting based on the platform, issues and proposed solutions you feel are best for the future of America.


Nobody’s Listening! Learn to talk so people hear what you are saying.

Personalities & Communication

Learn to talk so people hear what you’re saying!

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

The key to knowing how to get along with people is knowing how to communicate with them.  Nothing is more frustrating than being misunderstood.  This month I want to address one of the most important topics on the planet; communication.

If you have been receiving this newsletter for long, you are aware that your personality affects nearly every aspect of your life.  In terms of how we communicate, consider this:

If I speak English and you speak French we are going to have trouble communicating until we each make the effort to learn the other’s language.  Or, we are going to spend a lot of money hiring an interpreter.  In the same way, if I speak the choleric/sanguine personality language and you are phlegmatic/melancholy, we are going to have trouble communicating unless we learn to speak each other’s language.  Or, we might spend a lot of money hiring a therapist or divorce lawyer.

Today I would like to share with you some practical tips on how to communicate better.  There will always be misunderstandings.  There will always be break downs in communication.  You cannot change how someone else communicates.  But, you can change how you approach others and in return, you will find that others will try to match your level of communicating.  You can work to minimize the problems and experience the relief, joy and productivity that comes with knowing you are heard.

In order to make this simple, let’s sort through the main how-to’s very directly by personality type.

Popular/Playful Sanguine – The Talker

If you are popular sanguine, limit your words and quit being so loud.  We talk too much and we talk in a loud tone.  It’s overwhelming to those who are not sanguine.  So, only say half of what comes to your mind to say.  Don’t finish a story that has been interrupted unless you are asked to finish it.  (Which, I’ll warn you, will never happen.) Practice saying only what is vital.  Listen intently for and use the other person’s name.  Stop dominating every conversation drawing the attention to yourself.  Invite others into conversations by asking them what they think or if they share your experience.  Practice listening and not interrupting.  Apologize when you interrupt and then be quiet.  Wait to speak until asked.  (I know, that one is tough!)

If you are communicating TO popular or playful sanguine, understand their personality language.  Tell stories, not gossip.  Sanguines do not keep secrets well.  Give colorful details.  The word “fine” is not okay.  Be more creative in your descriptions.  Use adjectives such as terrific, fabulous, fantastic, and amazing instead.  Give them attention and approval for their very being.  Accept their disconnected content and offer them a compliment.  Don’t tune out; rather, pay attention to what they are saying.  Give them deadlines and frequent reminders about tasks you are expecting them to complete in a timely manner or appointments they are meant to keep.  Learn to appreciate their fun and carefree communication style.

Perfect/Proper Melancholy – The Thinker

If you are perfect or proper melancholy, focus on thinking and speaking positively.  If you are communicating with people who do not share your personality type, limit the details.  Other personality types find numerous details overwhelming and honestly — boring.  Watch for opportunities to build up others by celebrating their small victories.  Adjust your expectations.  You must come to terms with the fact that there is no perfection on this earth.  Receive compliments graciously.  Do not point out the flaws when it is not absolutely necessary.  Practice giving praise and making positive observations rather than criticisms.  Add appropriate humor when you can or at minimum, smile.

If you are communicating TO perfect or proper melancholy be sure now is a good time to talk.  Do not interrupt their schedule, activities or communication.  Respect their time, space, silence and schedule.  Do not be nosy or pry for information you don’t really need.  Give factual, orderly details.  Save chit-chat for the sanguines in your life.  Laugh and cry with the melancholy.  Do not try to jolly them up.  Prepare your thoughts before you speak with them.  Know what you will say.  Learn to appreciate their structured and respectful communication style.

Powerful Choleric – The Doer

If you are powerful choleric, relax.  I know this hurts, but in most situations we are not as important as we’d like to think.  Other people are quite capable without us.  Our intensity scares people.  Stop making demands and start requesting desired actions.  Practice saying “please” and “thank you.”  Good manners are not a waste of time or a given.  You need to practice proper manners like everyone else.  Be careful of your tone.  Often you sound much more harsh than you intend and it is highly offensive.  When you sense you have been offensive, say you are sorry and mean it.  Show that you mean it, by changing your tone and allowing the other person to share their feelings.  Focus your interest and attention on the person, not the project.  Try to be still.  Do not pace or leave when someone is trying to talk to you. Slow down and actively listen without cutting them off.  Do not finish other people’s sentences or stories.  Read the rest of the letter or document.  Broaden your areas of interest.  And remember, just because you can, does not mean you should.

If you are communicating to powerful choleric, hurry up already.  Cholerics believe they are the busiest.  So, keep communication short and to the point.  Give the choleric the bottom line first in the form of sound bites.  This allows them room to jump in — and they will.  Only offer details and supporting information if asked or if it is critical.  Accept their curtness.  Cholerics are never trying to be rude; they are just very project focused.  Give them appreciation for their achievements and credit for their hard work and solid ideas.  Learn to admire their quick decision making ability and limitless energy.

Peaceful Phlegmatic – The Watcher

If you are peaceful phlegmatic we want to hear from you!  Practice expressing your opinion.  Make decisions and try to present choices.  Speak truth in love.  Think through presentations or formal speaking opportunities in advance.  Do not try to “wing it.”  Do not hesitate to share your ideas.  Practice speaking up in volume and content.  Show enthusiasm with body language and facial expression.  Often, you are misunderstood or dismissed because others interpret your casualness as apathy.  It is up to you to make us believe and perceive that you do care.

If you are communicating to peaceful phlegmatic show respect.  Look for the positive and freely give praise.  Give a few choices rather than an open ended question.  Learn to say, “I appreciate you because _______________ (attribute).”  Give the phlegmatic focused, not distracted, attention.  Wait to speak until they are completely finished.  Be patient.  Do not make them feel run over or ignored.  Learn to appreciate their listening ear and calming presence.

These communication how to’s will transform relationships because they work to meet the emotional needs of each person.  People do not listen to you or care about how much you know until they feel that you care about them as an individual.  Start communicating with this perspective, adjusting your approach to speak their language and things will improve.  I guarantee it!

In case you need a refresher, here are the basic emotional needs of each personality:

Sanguine  (yellow) : Attention from all, Affection (touching), Approval of every deed, Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy (blue) : Sensitivity to their feelings, Understanding, Space to be alone, Silence (no people)

Choleric (red) : Loyalty, Sense of Control, Appreciation for all their hard work, Accomplishment

Phlegmatic (green) : Peace and quiet, Feelings of Worth, Lack of Stress, Respect for who they are, not what they do

 


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