Wellbeing Thought for Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Tuesday 23 March
In the flow

Many psychologists place an emphasis on living out of our strengths. We can see in the life of Elijah how he accomplished difficult tasks with apparent ease – a wonderful picture of someone living out of their God-given strengths.

Being ‘engaged’ or being ‘in the flow’ is where we feel our best and perform our best with total focus. To increase the amount of time we spend ‘in the flow’ we need to manage and steward our energy. We will perform better at certain times for certain tasks – give your best energy to the things that matter most!

We also need to build in time to rest and recover. Build in breaks – even if it’s just for a few minutes. You may want to exercise and ask God for fresh wisdom and strength in those breaks.

>When have you been ‘in the flow’? What was it like? How could you re-order your daily and weekly schedule to give your best time and energy to the things that matter most?
wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

Wellbeing Thought for Monday 22nd March 2021

Monday 22 March

Following your pathway

The first element of our vocation is to discover and live out our overall purpose, which we thought about yesterday. Today we’ll be focusing on the second element: finding out and following our specific pathway.

Eric Liddell, whose life story was told in the film Chariots of Fire, knew that his overall purpose was to live for God. His specific calling at the time of the 1924 Olympics was to be a runner. However, when one of the races was to be held on a Sunday, he followed his personal convictions not to run. Later in life, despite his athletic talent he felt that his ultimate calling was to become a missionary in China and he died in a Japanese internment camp in 1945.

There is, however, no sacred-secular division in the Bible! Those involved in so-called ‘full-time ministry’ are no more important than those who follow their calling within the family, the workplace, the community or as ‘volunteers’ in their local church.

Discovering our unique calling can be a lifelong process. You might also find some of the personality profiles helpful (DISC, MBTI, Strength-Finder). As you begin to explore your specific life purpose, here are some helpful thoughts:

(1) Know that you are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139.14). Don’t fall into the comparison trap! Your calling is the best one for you.

(2) Take a holistic approach that includes your work, your studies, your family life, your broader responsibilities to serving your church or community.

(3) Finding your life purpose is almost always a process of discovery with experimentation, consultation with others and seeking God’s will.

(4) Like Eric Liddell, you may be fulfilling your vocation right now, but you may have a different calling at some point in the future.

> Ask yourself three questions: What can I do well (self-assessment and experimentation)? What do others see in me (consultation)? Is there a calling I have not yet fulfilled (revelation)?

wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

 

 

Wellbeing Thought for Sunday 21st March 2021

VOCATIONAL WELLBEING
Sunday 21 March
Living on purpose

We are born on purpose  and for a purpose! Being clear on our reason for being is important for our wellbeing. There is a general and specific ‘calling’ (the English word for vocation) – an overall life purpose that is common to all, and a specific pathway that is unique to each one of us. Today we are thinking about our overall purpose.

In his best-selling book  The Purpose Driven Life, author Rick Warren says, “If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, our destiny.”

Knowing our God-given purpose and living it out is the birth right of every born-again child of God: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2.10).

Where is your vocational ‘dial’? Might you have been focusing on the wrong target? How can you make some changes?

210321 Sunday Worship: Vocational Wellbeing

Today is the last part of The Wellbeing Journey. We will explore vocational wellbeing. We will also pause and reflect on nearly one year since the first lockdown started. Edda and Christoph will be leading the service live from the Rectory. Join us for Church Coffee on Zoom afterwards. All links can be found below.

 

Church Coffee on Zoom:

Meeting ID: 836 9097 1697

Passcode: Coffee

 

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES:

Open the Book – The Boys who liked to say NO…

Wellbeing for children – early years…

Wellbeing for children – primary school age…

 

EASTER at Denham Parish Church…

Wellbeing Thought for Saturday 20th March 2021

Saturday 20 March

Reconciliation

Often forgiveness is a step towards something greater: relational reconciliation. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12.18). However, as this verse implies, relational reconciliation isn’t always possible. Sometimes the other person isn’t interested. In some cases (like when a person has been abused and the abuser shows no signs of change) it isn’t advisable. In those cases, do get help as you go on a journey of forgiveness, while also putting up clear boundaries.

Joseph’s story (Genesis chapters 37 and 39 to 46) is a powerful example of reconciliation. Having been abused and sold into slavery by his brothers. Yet, at the highpoint of the drama, he is able to forgive them, having seen his brothers’ repentance, and they reconcile. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50.19-20). This story contains several key wisdom principles:

(1) Be reconciled to the right people. Be prayerful in who you undertake reconciliation with.

(2) Be reconciled at the right time. Joseph waited for two long years to see whether his brothers’ repentance was genuine. When the offence is major, it is best to proceed with caution. At other times, when the issue is minor, it is best to seek reconciliation quickly.

(3) Be reconciled in the right context. When Joseph made himself known to his brothers, he did it in person and in private – too much is done hastily and online today.

(4) Be reconciled with the right attitude. Joseph was ready for reconciliation at this point – free from bitterness and revenge. We need to go on a journey of forgiveness if we want to see lasting reconciliation.

> Is there anyone you need to be reconciled to? Pray that God will turn harmful situations into good, just as he did for Joseph. If you are unsure how to proceed, talk to a wise and trusted friend or mentor.

wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

 

Wellbeing Thought for Friday 19th March 2021

Friday 19 March

The journey of forgiveness

Studies have shown that forgiveness improves mental health and relationships, increases self-esteem and lowers anxiety and depression.

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Matthew 6.12)

Our unwillingness to forgive can have a devastating impact on our relationship with God and can lead to harmful bitterness. Because of what Jesus has done, we can receive and release forgiveness! That doesn’t mean it’s easy – sometimes the healing process can take a longer time.

Another thing to consider is how easily we are offended. At times we will disagree and hurt one another, but in healthy relationships we are prepared to work things out and move on. In fact, as we weather these storms, our relationships will grow stronger.

> Reflect on areas of unforgiveness or bitterness that you may have. Ask God first to forgive you for holding an offence. Then choose to begin the journey of forgiving the other person. Invite the Lord to heal and help you.wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

Wellbeing Thought for Thursday 18th March 2021

Thursday 18 March

Loving others

 

Putting others first is at the heart of healthy relationships! As Christians we have Jesus as a model – the most unselfish person who ever lived, who gave his life so we can receive the extravagant love of God the Father. As we grow in knowing this deep love of God for us, we can learn to love others deeply.

How can we love others better?

(1) Be present: The most desired gift of love is focused attention. Central to this is affirming, non-judgmental listening. Learning not to interrupt or immediately give advice is a discipline worth cultivating.

(2) Be positive: Affirmation and encouragement have huge power.

(3) Be honest: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27.6). We all have blind spots and need others to help us see them!

(4) Give wise counsel: One of the greatest gifts we can give and receive from each other is Holy Spirit-inspired counsel.

> Look at these four areas and consider which you most need to grow in. Ask God to fill you with his love, power and wisdom to empower you to become a better friend.wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

Wellbeing Thought for Wednesday 17th March 2021

Wednesday 17 March

Growing in relational health

Dr John Townsend suggests that there are three types of relationships that energise us: COACHES, COMRADES (such as family members and friends who provide mutual growth and support), CASUALS (low commitment, but enjoyable relationships). We need enough people in these three categories to give us the energy for other important types of relationships (colleagues, people who need our support, etc.).

How do we develop these important relationships?

(1) Invest time.

(2) Be vulnerable. (Jesus asked his three closest friends to be with him at his most vulnerable moment in the Garden of Gethsemane).

(3) Set appropriate boundaries. Not all relationships are good for us and even the good ones need appropriate limits. The only people who will have an issue with you establishing boundaries are those who benefitted from you not having any!

> What changes might you want to make in the light of these three points?

wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

Wellbeing Thought for Tuesday 16th March 2021

Tuesday 16 March

Levels of Connection

 Not all relationships are or should be on the same level. We have four spaces for relationships: an intimate space for close friends and family, a personal space for conversations with friends, a social space for acquaintances, and a public space. These circles of connection can be seen in the life of Jesus: Jesus had THREE close friends (Peter, John, James), TWELVE disciples, 72 leaders whom he involved in his ministry, THE CROWDS, who he ministered to.

The great news is that Jesus set up a community that we can all be part of: the church. Not everyone has a healthy family or close circle of friends, but we can all become part of Jesus’ family! Pastor Rick Warren says, “Being included in God’s family is the highest honour and the greatest privilege you will ever receive. While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity.”

> Thank God for the key people in your life.
> Consider joining a church if you are not part of one. Consider joining a small group in your church, if you aren’t part of one yet.

wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg

Wellbeing Thought for Monday 15th March 2021

Monday 15 March
Not good to be alone

 Loneliness is one of the greatest problems we are facing today. It is bad for our health. In the biblical creation account God says, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2.18). And so he created ‘another’ – a woman and wife for him. While this passage celebrates the special place of marriage, it has a wider application: we are not designed to be alone.

However, in many relationships we can experience
(a) no connection: through circumstances or choice we fail to connect, to be invested in other people
(b) bad connection: a pull towards a person who is making you feel bad or ‘not good enough’

(c) pseudo-good connection: it can make us feel good for a time without meeting our deepest needs.

The goal for relationships is (d) true connection: you can be your whole self and both parties are invested and ‘safe’ for the other.

> Think about the four types of relationships above. Which describes most accurately where you are right now? Ask God tohelpyou develop healthy, live-giving relationships.

wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg