The Practical Disciple - Part 65

More on learning how to say "no"

Everything that I shared in my previous post about saying no is helpful but needs to be given with a disclaimer. Before sharing the disclaimer let me share a brief story. Once I was talking to a pastor friend who was bemoaning how overworked he was. He was singing the ever popular chorus, “I need to learn to say no.” I replied, “No, you don’t. You are really good at saying no. You have said no to your health, your family, sleeping, eating well, excercising. You are really good at saying no. You need to learn to say yes to the right things.

Here comes the “no” disclaimer–Even when you learn to say no to things that are invading your life you

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Tips on Restoring Margin

In response to my post, “Living in the Rhythm–First Steps”, blog reader, P.D. Novice, commented “I was wondering what are some practical ways to restore margin? For starters, I was thinking saying “no” more often and also scheduling bigger chunks of time for each endeavor.” Well, P.D. Novice your instincts are dead on and I want offer some suggestions.

Regarding saying no– “I need to learn to say no, more” is the perennial anthem of rhythm lackers. But seldom are we taught much about saying no. I have a couple thoughts to help you.

First, why do you so often say yes. A typical yes saying scenario for me is…I get a request. I want to be helpful. I don’t have a direct conflict and

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Living in the Rhythm–First Steps

As I seek to restore a more natural and healthy rhythm to my life, I am starting by exploring two issues. First, what are the culprits that actively promote an unhealthy pace of go, go, go and go more? Second, how can I restore margin in my life?

So what do I mean by margin? While once working serving as a President of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate, I was stretched to my limits when we took on building a house in one week. I had probably twenty phone calls that needed to be made. I gave every single phone call out in a board meeting. At first it seemed a bit unfair, but as I told the board, “I know that even as I give you these calls, others are

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Living in the Rhythm

In prior posts, I spoke about a growing struggle among people in their ability to focus in prayer. In part, this seems to be a combination of fatigue and a general decline in our ability to concentrate on a single task rather than multi-tasking. We are constantly interruptible by cell phone calls, text messaging, or instant messages. Rapidly flowing commercial breaks, pop-up windows, and a stream of 1 to 3 minute youtube videos only exacerbates our ever-expanding restless attention spans. Yet even these factors are symptomatic of a malady far more fundamental.

Many of us are failing to observe any rhythm to life. There is a constant rush to fill each minute with either work or entertainment. Even each minute is intended to be

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What’s on Your "To Be" list

Recent conversations have elevated my awareness of just how busy most of us our. There seems to exist some invisible code within our culture that prompts to fill every single minute with activity and if at all possible multiple activities. Cell phones, text messaging and wi-fi around every corner has also made us constantly interruptible. The result…being focused and present have become very difficult. In fact, being a human “being” and not a human “doing” is a counter cultural challenge.

I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to get out of bed and generate an unachievable “to do” list. Often times far into the day I check my list and find that I have hardly touched the things that seemed so important when

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Follow-up on Space For God

Just last night I spoke to someone about how their boyfriend keeps a Bible on a music stand in his room. Everything around it can be clutter and chaos, but the music stand holds its own orderly space with an open Bible. It is his space for God. One thing I was struck by, was how much this was a silent witness to her of his faith. Having a space both physically and temporally can be an unspoken witness of the priority of God in your life.

A number of years ago, I worked in a church in Oklahoma city and utilized a prayer room as my space for God. I was the associate director of a summer youth program. I would come early frequently

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