December 2016

csm_Julie_Publicity_Photo_fd689c83b8By Dr. Julie Barrier

When is the last time you so enjoyed spending time with others that you never looked at your watch, never checked your phone? Michael Hyatt, Don McMinn and Chet Weld taught me these life-changing principles. I dreaded group meetings, dinners and parties. Now I relish them! Here’s what I learned about the art of conversation:

Set the stage. Try to arrange a quiet, welcoming atmosphere where everyone can see and hear each other. Eliminate distractions and greet everyone warmly and personally. An “in the round” conversation space is great. Food is always a good idea! Hopefully, electronic devices can disappear for a little while….

Try the “one conversation rule.” One conversation means that everyone is talking about the same topic at the same time. Pose an engaging question to which everyone can relate. When you establish the one-conversation rule, everybody gets a chance to talk. You draw out the people who are not contributing or not speaking up, and you get a sense of what they have to say as well.

Listen attentively. Don’t rush to respond. Show by your body language that you care about them. Stop trying to formulate your response while they talk. Use feeling words to let them know you are not just responding with your head, but also with your heart. Be comforting. Be connected. Be curious.

Now, hold that moment. Don’t be afraid of silence. When you treasure what they say, you affirm who they are. You impart acceptance and value to them.

Empathize. A hurting person needs sympathy and comfort. Every person needs empathy. Webster defines empathy as “an understanding, awareness or sensitivity to someone else; even to vicariously experience those feelings with them.”

Often your presence is more powerful than your words.

Be aware of how much you are talking. Draw the introverts out. Good conversation is like tennis. Serve, return, serve, return. Every good conversation is a dialogue. Allow others to respond. If someone is overlooked, try to include them and kindly respond to their comments.

Ask follow-up questions. Be sure they are open-ended. This is not a book report!  Open-ended questions prove that you’re engaged with your heart and your mind. “How did that make you feel?” “What have you learned?” “How has that circumstance or event changed you?”

Provide positive feedback. It lets the other person know that, yes, you’re engaged, but it also communicates a sense of safety. They can continue to talk and dialogue with you. Thank them for their contribution.

Conversation is an art. I want to be an artist, don’t you?

www.donmcminn.comwww.michaelhyatt.com www.preachitteachit.org/chet-weld.

 

Deb Blue 5x7 tighter cropBy Dr. Deb Waterbury

 

jesus_picture_400x4001 On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, One Perfect Loving Savior.

-And He is perfect. He perfectly lived and perfectly gave Himself as a sacrifice so that we might live forever. (Romans 3:21-26)

mary-and-joseph2 On the second day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Mary and Joseph believed the angel when he told them of what this pregnancy would mean. Aren’t you grateful that their faith began our path? (Matthew 2:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)

we-three-kings3 On the third day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-What an amazing gift to be given so many witnesses of our Savior’s birth, even to three men who  were also told about the coming of the great Messiah. (Matthew 2:1-12)

dividing-jesus-clothes4 On the fourth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-When Jesus died, the soldiers divided His belongings up among themselves, one for each of the four soldiers. God used these Roman soldiers, who were unaware of Holy Scripture, to fulfill the prophecy in Psalm 22:18. (John 19:23-24)

kids-bible-jesus-feeding-the-50005 On the fifth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Jesus fed 5000 men, not counting women and children, with only five barley loaves and two fish. How much more can He do in our lives with what we may see as only a little? (John 6:1-13)

water-to-wine6 On the sixth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Our Savior’s first miracle began with six jugs of water at a wedding feast. Jesus turned that water into wine, and this was His first recorded miracle, miracles that continue with our salvation today. (John 2:1-11)

fbcover_70x7matt18227 On the seventh day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Jesus gave us the perfect example of forgiveness, but He also gave us practical advice. When Peter asked how many times we should forgive someone who wrongs us, Jesus said not only seven times, but seventy times seven. In other words, always. And do you know what is most wonderful about that? We all need unlimited forgiveness, and Jesus promises that we will get it! (Matthew 18:21-22)

naming-jesus8 On the eighth day of Christmas, my True Love gave tome, eight days to naming, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Jesus kept the Law perfectly on our behalf, even in that he wasn’t officially named “Jesus” until eight days after His earthly birth, the time of purification according to the Law of Moses. He did for us what we could never do, and in that substitutionary sacrifice, we are now made perfect in Him. (Luke 2:22)

9 On the ninth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, ninety-nine left washeepndering, eight days to naming, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus explains that just as the shepherd will leave the ninety-nine safe sheep and go after the one that is lost, so He will continually seek those of us who have lost our way. What a Savior!! (Matthew 18:10-14)

ten-minas10 On the tenth day of Christmas, my True Love Gave to me, ten times the inheritance, ninety-nine left wondering, eight days to naming, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Likewise, in the Parable of the Ten Minas, Jesus explains that those of us who use our gifts wisely to the advancement of His kingdom will receive ten times our inheritance. Though an earthly example, Jesus was assuring us that He will reward us in the hereafter, and His promises are sure! (Luke 19:11-18)

jesus-sends-out11 On the eleventh day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, eleven apostles sent, ten times the inheritance, ninety-nine left wondering, eight days to naming, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-After rebuking their unbelief that He had indeed been resurrected, Jesus sent the eleven rejoicing apostles out into the world, telling them to proclaim the Gospel to every living person. Because of this commission, all of us who accept Him as our loving Savior will live in eternity with Him. Hallelujah! (Mark 16:14-16)

12-disciples12 On the twelfth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, twelve obedient men, eleven apostles sent, ten times the inheritance, ninety-nine left wondering, eight days to naming, seventy times seven, six jugs of water, five thousand men, four pieces of clothing, three wise men, two trusted servants, and One Perfect Loving Savior.

-Jesus started with these twelve men, men of low standing and often even low character, men who would never have been chosen by human standards. But He chose them, just as He has chosen us, to be His and to work in His kingdom. Jesus began with these twelve men, and 2000+ years later, millions now join them. (Matthew 10:2)

savior-image

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me:

Twelve obedient men,

Eleven apostles sent,

Ten times the inheritance,

Ninety-nine left wondering,

Eight days to naming,

Seventy times seven,

Six jugs of water,

Five thousand men,

Four pieces of clothing,

Three wise men,

Two trusted servants,

And One Perfect Loving Savior!!