Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Quiet Place

About eight years ago, I spoke at a pastors conference at Hume Lake (, a Christian camp outside of Fresno, like few others I have visited. It is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at about 6,200 feet. There was autumn in the September air. The lake was alive with ducks and fish. The forest was full of bear, deer and other things you can hear, but cannot see. But above all, it was a quiet place. The forest road deadends in this beautiful spot ... and there is quiet. I think everyone — especially you, my colleague — needs a quiet place. Where is yours?

A quiet place? Yes, a spot where you can withdraw from the busyness of your assignment and recoup. A place where you can listen to music, if you wish, or just read or study ... somewhere — a place of your own — where the noises of the world are drowned out by the quiet of the Lord’s presence ... a stopping place.

Where is your quiet place? It need not be a distant destination point. It could be in a park near your home or the city library or a shady corner of your church property or a spot you have chosen on the coast or at a lake — somewhere free of distractions and interruptions where you just walk and talk with the Lord.

The psalmist talked of “still waters.” Jesus called his disciples to the other side of the lake. Peter went fishing.

I have not had many quiet places in my ministry. But this week, as I remembered my visit to a mountain retreat years ago, I was reminded how much I needed one. Where is your quiet place?


Encourage Yourself First

Caterina S. Tudor, Ph.D. Professional Counselor in the State of Colorado, teaches the wellness of encouragement. She believes encouragement de-stresses and creates a positive atmosphere around the encourager. She says it is about “speaking life” to self and others. It starts with you and then cycles around to the next person and the next.

I submit that only when you know how to encourage yourself can you really encourage another.

To encourage yourself, act like a good parent or coach toward yourself. Identify your abilities and strong points. Acknowledge any progress you make. Remind yourself that mistakes are learning opportunities. Know how to nurture and rejuvenate yourself. It’s like a bank—the deposits and withdrawals have to balance each other.You can’t give away what’s not there.

It takes work, but it is worth it.

[from Howtoencourage