Posted by: heisourstrongtower | October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012 – Week 5 Assignments – “The Exploders”

If you have not read chapter 5 in our book, go ahead and do that first and then come back here and find out what you need to do this week.

Reflections on Chapter 5

I read this book through before we started the study and I wrote down on index cards what spoke to me as I read and, also what came to my mind as I read each chapter.  The first thing I saw when I looked at my index cards on this chapter was this thought from Lysa…”I was flustered by her tone, I was flustered she’d made a big deal out of something that really shouldn’t have been a big deal.”  And under her quote…I reflected and “Therein lays the problem.”  I have been in this same place as Lysa…someone gets upset about something that I feel is just not that big of a deal and then what do I do I make the deal bigger by reacting.  The problem with that line of thinking, though, I do not have the right to decide what a big deal to someone else is.

I know that there have been times in my life when I have become upset over something that someone else would consider trivial.  Each of us bring our own experiences into each situation that can cause us to become unglued and we are going to react differently depending on what has happened to us in our pasts.  When I operate from a selfish mind-set and believe that I can decide what is and what is not a big deal for someone else…am I not playing God????  And am I not then giving myself permission to feel superior to the person that is upset with me, in that moment???

I think that I need to use my word from God for 2013 during these potentially dangerous unglued situations; perspective.  Whether in a face to face confrontation or some type of electronic conversation…I need to decide to seek His perspective of the situation, first.  This is why I really liked this quote from the book, “I’m trying not to let my lips or typing fingertips be the first thing that walks into a conflict.”  I know I need to let God be the first thing that walks into any situation, but He absolutely needs to be front and center during a difficult one.

This could mean I need to excuse myself during a face to face confrontation to seek His counsel and, maybe, calm myself down and when I am unnerved by something that I have read…I need to push the pause button before responding and seek His perspective.  I need to “Be on Guard” and react in love, and I need to “Exercise Self-Control” and be faithful, AT ALL TIMES!  None of this is possible within my own strength, so I have to rely on God to see me through.

Here are some other thoughts that I wrote down as I read this chapter in the book.

“Make sure you are replying and not reacting.  Choosing a gentle reply doesn’t mean you are weak; it actually means you possess a rare and godly strength.”

“It isn’t our job to fix other people with our replies; it’s God’s job to fix people.  Our job is to be obedient to God in the midst of our own set of issues.”

“What I felt was anger…what I needed was self-control.”

“Feelings are indicators not dictators.”

“My feelings indicate that there is a situation to deal with; they do not dictate my reaction.”

And wouldn’t you know it that right in the middle of reading this 5th chapter about “The Exploders” I received an opportunity to get it right.  EPIC FAIL!!!  I was not on guard, I did not choose self-control and I did not invite God into the middle of the moment.

I decided to slam a few cabinet doors (not very mature of me, I know), to make sure my husband know how displeased I was with him for interrupting my reading time.  I did hold my tongue – did not say a word – but my anger was quiet visible.  Slamming doors, in my opinion, is a form of explosion!!!

What started my door slamming?????  The fact that he started cleaning the kitchen and continually asked me question after question…where is the kitchen cleaner, when was the last time that you wiped the cabinets down, who dripped cheese in the oven…I think you get the picture.  With each question he asked, the more frustrated I felt and the biggest problem we had…we had our own agendas in that moment and they were at cross purposes.  He wanted the kitchen cleaned and I wanted to finish chapter 5, with no interruptions.  He got the kitchen cleaned…by a slamming “unglued” woman and I did finish reading that chapter, later in the day and without interruption.

This was me being an exploder who blames others, not my finest moment.  I did not use holy restraint or self-control or anything I have learned while reading the first five chapters in this book.  I am going to start giving myself a quiet time-out before I explode, because as Lysa shared…

  1. In the quiet; we feel safe enough to humble ourselves.
  2. In the quiet; God lifts us up to a more rational place.
  3. In the quiet; anxiety gives way to progress.
  4. In the quiet; we acknowledge that our real enemy is not the other person.
  5. In the quiet; I can rest assured God will use this conflict for good – no matter how it turns out.

And I have added #6 – In the quiet; I can acknowledge that I do not get to decide what a big deal to someone else is.

Week 5 Assignments

Word for the Week – “Guard” and/or “Self-Control”

Define and look up synonyms for our word(s) of the week – write this in your “unglued” journal.  Look at your “mandate to change” and decide how the word “GUARD” and/or “SELF-CONTROL” will help you meet your objectives.   Write this information down in your journal.  Date each day of your journal this week.  Make a word circle using our word(s) for the week and include in the circle those things that will help you meet your objective and place outside of the circle those things that will hinder your objective.

Memory Verse for this week – Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 

And/or 

In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. 1Timothy 3:11 

Look up the Memory Verse(s) in several different translations of the Bible; decide which translation speaks to your heart and memorize that one.  Write this version in your journal and let the group know which one you picked.  Look at your “Mandate to Change” and see how this verse(s) applies to helping your meet your objectives.  Make changes to your Mandate, as needed, including this verse(s).

Set aside 65 minutes every day this week to spend alone with God. Get out your “Unglued” journal and put the date at the top of the page.  Write out what you did during your time with God.  If you read a devotion write down which one you read, if you read your Bible…what chapters or verses did you read.  Make a note of what spoke to you during this time.  Make sure that you schedule in some quiet time, where you are just silent and listen for what God is saying to you.  Write down all the thoughts that come to you during this time of listening.

Examine WHAT HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE OVER THIS PAST WEEK for areas that caused you to become “unglued”.  You can do this by going back to your journal and re-reading your entries.

Record what you learned from each area in your journal.  Make note if this is a new “unglued” area in your life.

Surrender that unbalanced area to God and ask Him to show you how to abide in Him instead of relying upon yourself and your own strength.  Write out a prayer to God about those areas that you are surrendering to Him.

At the end of each day, reflect back on how your day went…be honest with yourself about those moments when you became “unglued.”  Did you realize right away that you were not allowing God to hold you all together or did it take a while?  What helped you in that moment?  Record this information in your journal and, if need be, write an amendment to your “mandate to change.”

Further Assignments for the 5th week… 

During your quiet time this week I am going to ask you to read through Psalm 119.  Read at least 25 verses each day and read them in any version of the Bible you like and this decision was made this morning based on this word I received from God in a devotion written by Patsy Clairmont. 

Posting Path Lighters      

Monday, October 15, 2012 by Patsy Clairmont             

These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall . . . talk of them . . . when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. . . . You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Have you ever read all 176 verses of Psalm 119? C’mon now, honestly? Every verse? If not, I dare you. Here’s why: those verses are like sticky-note reminders for our zany emotions. But because Psalm 119 is so cotton-pickin’ long, we’re tempted to start reading but not finish. 

About halfway through this psalm, you may think to yourself, this is repetitious. 

Exactly! It’s meant to be. It’s a way to secure our minds with the protective counsel offered in Scripture. If you have had children or pets, you know how many times you have to repeat important instructions. (“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times: float your sailboat in the sink, not the commode!”) 

Psalm 119 is full of necessary reminders to keep us on the narrow yet lit path.

To remind myself to think often of God’s Word, I like to place it, like memos, first inside, then outside of myself. Want to join me? We’ll memorize it. Study it. Sing it. Rehearse it. Teach it. Post it. 

Write your favorite verses in your journal, pen them in calligraphy and frame them for your walls, tape them to your mirror, magnetize them to your fridge, and most importantly, walk in the light they will add to your path. 

At some point during your day today read Psalm 119:1-25 and write in your journal what God revealed to you through these verses and how they will help you with controlling those emotions.

Let’s push pause a minute and reflect back on the first 5 chapters of this book. 

What insights have you learned about yourself through reading “Unglued” and during your personal study time working on the assignments?

How has all of this impacted your daily life relationships and/or your relationship with God?

1. We need to be making some forward progress in this journey, even if it is imperfect…so let’s consider a carousel ride at the amusement park.  As you ride the carousel you are moving, but it takes you nowhere and everything around you stays the same.  We need to get off of that ride and stop choosing the easy path.  We need to stop repeating the same mistakes and bad habits…over and over again.  We need to pick God’s way to get to where we want to go in this journey.

When you consider your imperfect progress over the last couple of weeks, which carnival ride or game comes closest to describing your experience of progress?  Share the reasons for your response.

  • Bumper Cars
  • Big Slide
  • Drop Tower
  • Ferris wheel
  • Roller coaster
  • Tea Cups
  • Water slide
  • Zip line
  • Obstacle course
  • Mechanical bull
  • Bounce house
  • Ball pit
  • Skeeball
  • Air Hockey
  • Other….

2. Making forward progress requires pursuing the good over the easy.  In the book of Micah, the Bible provides a compelling statement about how God defines good.  Read Micah 6:1-8; read it in the NLT, the Message Bible and CEV versions.  As you read the passages make note of any words or phrases that stand out to you.  You may want to read through the various versions more than once to really let the soak in and saturate your heart and mind.

We know that God was upset with the Israelite’s, because they were choosing evil over good, despite God’s faithfulness to them.  We see in verses 6-7 that the people are trying to make amends for their failures.

Then Micah steps in and explains to the Israelites that they just don’t understand what God requires of them.  As you reflect on the verses you just read, how might the Israelite’s response represent a choice of easy over good?  What would their response have required or not required of them?  God’s definition of what is good stipulates two requirements for our human relationships (act justly, love mercy) and one overarching requirement for our relationship with God (walk humbly).  Using the three versions of Micah 6:8 as a reference, how would you describe what it might mean to choose good over the easy in connection with raw emotions?  Consider all three requirements; act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.

3. Lysa described four unglued reactions

  • Exploders who shame themselves
  • Exploders who blame others
  • Stuffers who build barriers
  • Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks

If you were to ask the people who know you best to describe your tendency, which of the four reactions would they say is most characteristic of you?  What evidence might they site in support of their choice?  In what ways does this characteristic reaction represent a choice of easy over good for you?

4.Take a moment to identify two recent unglued experiences.  Identify which of the four reaction types these experiences represent and briefly describe your behavior for each reaction.  What was the impact of your reaction – on you and on the other person?  We all know that depending on the people and the situation, it is possible to shift our unglued reactions.  What situations and people tend to elicit an exploder response from you?  Which tend to elicit a stuffer response?  How do you account for the shift in your responses?

This is to get you started this week…write all of your responses in your journals and share as you feel God moves you.  Keep your eyes peeled for a surprise assignment at some point during the week.

 

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