Tag Archives: study

A Change in Direction

 

Lately I’ve been wondering about my decisions for the future. Sure there are the ones about buying a house and investing for our retirement but the one I’ve been struggling with most is about my job, vocation, what I think I should be doing with my life. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally blessed to have my current job; the hours, flexibility and salary are perfect for our current stage in life, allowing me to spend time with our young family and for my wife to be a fulltime mum. My concern though is that I know in my heart that this isn’t the career path for me. Don’t get me wrong I could easily follow this career path, make a lot of money and live very comfortably but deep inside I know that I’d be missing out on what I’m meant to be. 

I know that I’m made to help people;  help them achieve, do better in life, be successful and live fulfilling lives.  That’s my passion, what makes me get up in the morning, what drives me and energises me. 

I’d always thought that I’d go back into ministry, to once again be a pastor, this is the last time I remember living my passion – but lately I’m not so sure. I’m not having a crisis of faith or anything like that, I’m just trying to make sense of some experiences I’ve had over the past month. 

My dilemma is that these experiences aren’t what I’m used to, they aren’t from the usual sources (the Bible, close Christian friends etc) they have all come from my non Christian colleagues and from work opportunities and I’m trying to work out how legitimate they are. 

Each experience (five over the last month) has suggested to me a shift in vocational direction, away from being a pastor towards something similar but not within a church setting. It’s something that’s been an option for me for a few years now but I need to work out if it’s God’s plan or mine. 

I’d love your advice. What do you do in these situations, how do you seek God to know if an opportunity is from Him?

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Filed under About Me, Family, God Stuff, Life Coaching

A Time to Learn

So yesterday my last lot of textbooks arrived and it hit me that, yes I’m about to dive back into the world of education once again.

I’ve decided that it’s time to finish my Theology studies in order to better prepare myself for what God has for me in the future. If you know my story, you’ll know that I was a youth pastor for ten years and worship director for three before leaving those positions because I needed fulltime work to provide for my growing family.

I know deep inside that ministry is my calling, it’s what makes me want to get up in the mornings. I don’t know where or in what capacity it will be, but I know that its wise for me to prepare now for what it to come.

I’ll be studying part-time by distance education while continuing to work fulltime, at least for now. I’m exploring if we can afford for me to go part-time at work but for now it’ll be five days of work and then my study.

Sounds a little crazy and if you’ve been following our Tithe Experiment you’ll know that we’re taking a huge step in faith this year with our finances and that our second child is due in August, so to be honest I’m not sure how I’ll cope, but I know that I have to trust that God will lead us through.

I’m after some advice, have you had any experience working and studying at the same time? Do you have any tips/time savers/advice etc that you can send my way? I’d appreciate all the help I can get!

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Filed under About Me, Family, God Stuff, Life Coaching

How Do You “Learn”?

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people learn. I’m planning on going back to study next year and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow, but have to admit that I’m a little worried about how I’ll slot back into the studying mindset.

Whether we realise it or not we all have a preferred method of learning, a method that allows us to “get it” and make the best of our learning experience. I know that I have a particular preference for learning new things and wherever possible I try to follow that preference.

To put it simply there seems to be two basic ways to learn:

Learning by absorbing
At its simplest this is done through reading, discussion, lectures, usually the standard classroom setting. We “absorb” information from various sources and write a paper to show we have understood the lessons being taught. We tend to call this the University/College approach.

Learning by experiencing
At its simplest, learning by doing. A hands on approach, learning as you go, being shown how to do something and then applying new knowledge right away. We tend to call this the Vocational Education/Apprenticeship approach.

Both ways have their pros and cons, I’m certainly no expert on learning but for the purpose of this post those definitions are adequate. Both are proven ways to learn and grow, both have led countless numbers into successful careers and fulfilling lives.

However it seems to me that in Western culture we give preference to the University/College approach, we seem to place more value on learning through absorbing than learning through experience. There seems to be this almost subconcious belief that learning through experience is for those that arent smart enough or can’t cut it at learning by absorbing. Sure it’s not for everyone but we need to be careful that we dont place head knowledge above practical experience.

For example, its really important to know how to give CPR, to know all the techniques involved and the timing breaks between breaths and compressions. But if you’ve only read about CPR and never actually experienced giving it, even in practice, then you havent really got a well rounded knowledge of this life saving procedure. I’d like to suggest that simply knowing about something isnt enough, we need to also expereince it in order to have a well rounded and complete knowledge. There needs to be a balance between the two ways of learning otherwise we are in danger of not really knowing anything at all…

What do you think? Do you have a preferred learning “style”? Do you think we are unbalanced in our approach to learning?

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Filed under About Me, church, God Stuff, Life Coaching

Praying God’s Will

hands 03During my usual routine of visiting blogs and reading posts I came across this post on a site I visit regularly. The author is doing a study of 1 John and this post address 1 John 5:15:

“And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (NAS).

The author raises some interesting points about prayer and if we know that God hears us then why don’t we ‘get’ what we ask for in prayer? I don’t want to rewrite the post’s points here I’ll let you read it for yourself but I do want to share what it made me think about my own prayer life.

The author suggests that too often we pray selfishly, asking God to do this and that for us rather than praying for God’s will to be done in our lives and the world around us. It’s an interesting shift in thinking isn’t it? If I’m honest when examining my prayer life I’d have to say that I too am guilty of asking God for what I think I need or what I think God wants for me, rather than praying for God’s will to be done in my life.

This led me to reflect on Jesus’ teaching on prayer. When asked how should we pray, Jesus gave us what we call The Lord’s Prayer. This is (I think) the only time that Jesus shows us how to pray so it stands to reason that this is how we should be praying right? Yet when I looked at my own prayer life, how far my prayers are from this example. Let’s look at The Lord’s Prayer:

“Our Father who art in heaven”
This acknowledges God as God, in heaven omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. Our Father, provider, protector

 “Hallowed be Your Name”
Worthy of all praise. We choose here to lift high His name in praise. Notice where praise comes in the sequence, right up front.

“You Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as in Heaven”
Recognising God’s will is supreme and that we want to see it come to pass. We need to choose to see God’s will done over our own

 “Give us today our daily bread”
Asking the Lord to provide for our needs AFTER we’ve acknowledged who He is, praised Him and submitted to His will and to seeing it come. God’s will is for us to have what we need so this is praying within His will 

“Forgive us our sins”
God’s will is to forgive, we’re acknowledging our place before Him and publicly stating that we need Him to forgive us

“As we forgive those that sin against us”
Here we see the other side of forgiveness. God will forgive us ‘as we’ forgive others… its a two way street. Do we dare to say he wont forgive us if we don’t forgive others…?

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”
God’s will is not to harm us. Note its not to ‘keep us safe’ God never promises a ‘safe’ life but His will is that we don’t fall  into temptation and He will deliver us if we submit to his will. We have free choice and we need to submit in order for Him to deliver us. It’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card we cant do whatever we feel like and expect God to ‘rescue us’ when we get into strife

 “For the Kingdom, Power and Glory are Yours now and forever”
Reminding ourselves of the way we started, God is all powerful and His will is perfect. He was forever and will be forever. Our lives need to be lived for His Kingdom, by His Power and for His Glory…

I know that’s a fairly rough deconstruction but can you see my point? How often do we pray the way Jesus taught us to pray? How often are our prayers selfish and self seeking rather than praying within God’s will and seeking His will be done in our lives? Imagine what life would be like if we truly surrendered to God’s will?

This topic is too big for one post, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we should pray. How do you pray? Do you agree/disagree? Comment below!

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Filed under God Stuff, Worship

Life Coaching as a Business

I received a great question from Sandy in the comments to my first post, which asked; “Do I honestly think that there is a future in life coaching as a career…” my answer to that is YES!!

I thought I’d share my thoughts with you, the processes I’m planning to take to get my business up and running. I don’t have a Life Coaching business as yet, but I have experience in coaching people and in running a small business (video production) so this is a “learn as we go” kinda thing.

I want to point out that I wont be talking about “what Life Coaching is” in this post, I will post that later. I want to answer Sandy’s question here, so I’m assuming that you already know what coaching is.

Where do i begin?

Good question! Since Life Coaching is all about people I suggest that you read some books, do some study and spend time working and learning from people. Observe how people interact with each other, how they deal with problems, and what they talk/complain about. As a Life Coach we want to come along side people and help them to achieve, be it a personal issue, a work or life goal, to grow in skills or change a habit. Life Coaching is all about encouragement and motivation. Look around and tell me, do people today need encouragement and motivation?

Life Coaching = Profitable?

Yes I believe so. There is a huge market out there for people that would benefit from life coaching. As with any business you need to identify your key market areas. Research other Life Coaching businesses in your area, see what they do and who they help and see where they may be missing a target audience. If you can find a niche market and tap into it then there’s no telling how successful you may be.

In 10 minutes i was able to compile a list of people I felt could benefit from a Life Coach. Here are some examples:

  • Bosses in businesses – management skills, people skills, motivational skills
  • Students – how to manage time and priorities, help define short term goals to assist with study
  • People who want to lose weight – unbiased motivation and encouragement
  • job seeker/career change advice
  • how to be a better parent/husband/wife/friend/etc
  • building better relationships
  • etc

That’s just a short list! The possibilities are endless, but it will take work to identify and seek out these potential clients.

What should I do?

You need credibility. How do I get that having never done Life Coaching before? My advice is to take a course in Life Coaching, I’m looking to do a distance education certificate which will allow me to study at my own pace and fit it in around my life/work schedule.

Join Life Coaching associations. People want to see that you belong to something bigger than yourself. Being part of an association makes people feel more comfortable and you will also benefit from their mail-outs/emails/seminars etc.

Practice. Find someone you can coach for free, to hone your skills and work out the kind of questions you need to ask and answer as a coach. This will allow you to be most effective with you and your clients time once you start charging.

Get Support. That’s right YOU will need support as well. Most Life Coaches will have a coach themselves or at least someone independent who understands what they are trying to do. They will help keep you motivated and focused on your goals. Personally I am working with a friend who is also interested in life coaching, we are planning on starting our business together. We are both doing the same course as well.

Like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort. Unfortunately we cant just snap our fingers and have a successful business, we need to plan our route, set our goals and stay motivated. Life Coaching is something that I have wanted to do for at least two years now and it looks like it will be at least another year before I start practicing and even then I’ll still be working my current job. It takes time and patience but I believe that the rewards are worth the time and effort.

I hope you’ve found the information useful… please feel free to post comments and questions.

As mentioned above I hope to post soon about what Life Coaching is and why anyone will benefit from a Life Coach… so stay tuned :o)

Ed

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Filed under About Me, Life Coaching