Household Well: ”L” - Loves to try

A Household WELL is what we want to be, to bring the living water to a thirsty world. Jesus is shared and experienced not only at church but in our neighborhoods. 

Welcomes in Jesus

Engages with Neighbors

Listens for Insight

Loves to Try

I posted this video on my Facebook feed. It captures the essence of what we mean by the metaphor household WELL. 

https://www.facebook.com/100001583586062/videos/3743471235715626/

What do you notice about this video? What feelings does it evoke in you? What application to our 2021 Milestone (Household WELLs) do you see?

Imagine if every household connected to our ministry was actively drinking from the living water,  Jesus, and sharing Him with the spiritually parched!

In order to provide that water for others, we Welcome In Jesus, Engage With Neighbors, Listen For Insight, and we Love To Try.

What does it mean to Love To Try?

To define what something is, sometimes we need to clearly outline the opposite. 

Opposite of loving to: Obligation, drudgery, duty, the pressure to perform, need to, weightiness, seriousness, burden, commitment, requirement, responsibility.

Unlike Welcoming In Jesus, Engaging With Neighbors, and Listening For Insight, Loving To Try is an attitude. Welcoming in Jesus, Engaging With Neighbors, and Listening For Insight are all specific behaviors. Loving To Try is a contagious attitude that brings the three behaviors to life.  

We would like to see the call to obey Jesus or follow Jesus more of an exciting invitation to adventure than a heavy duty. 

So whether we are talking about attempting to establish a more consistent time in the Word and prayer with Jesus, or being more intentional in engaging with or listening to our friends, loved ones, and neighbors for insight into their journey, their passions, needs, celebrations, we can learn to have more fun. Yes, it is possible to enjoy being a household WELL.

Being a Household WELL is way more fun than we tend to make it out to be!

The number one perspective shift that must be made if we are to Love To Try:

Move from being an Expert to Experimenter. 

Here’s how. 

Obey Don’t Delay

When you get an idea you would like to try, do it! Don’t intend to do it. Do it. Don’t wait for a better time. Don’t put it off until all the obstacles are removed. Don’t give in to the inevitable second voices in your head that are trying to talk you out of it. 

Stay Curious

Unhook yourself from outcomes. Enjoy the journey. 

“Sometimes the inability to decide and move forward is not because we didn’t know what to do. We do know what we want to do. We are hesitant, though, because we’re obsessing about the outcome. We want insurance. We want to know how everything will turn out. Keep in mind, that’s what we want.  Here’s the truth: there is no way for any one of us to know with absolute certainty how a decision will turn out.” pg. 228 Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through by Jeff Meyer (2018)

If indecision is largely the result of obsessing over the certainty of outcomes, decisiveness of action is the result of being curious.

I wonder how this will turn out. I wonder what I will learn, how I will grow, what deeper connection might be made. I’m curious what blessing will be magnified/multiplied in this interaction. 

Here are a couple of other love-to-try key principles.

Celebrate action, not perfection.

Rejoice in progress. Share the joy of taking a step. Don’t wait until the result is seen. You miss the beauty of the journey if you only memorialize the destination. 

People learn when they try.

Lessons don’t stick until they are put into practice. Choose action over intention. 

We are free in Jesus!

Trying, experimenting underscores the freedom we have in Jesus. We cannot fail. Jesus is with us. He loves us. And He loves to see us try. Just like a parent rejoices when their child tries something. 

We grow as teachers when we try.

You can’t adjust, tweak, or learn the best approach until we see other attempts not work. Once in a while we can get lucky and hit the nail on the head. Frequently, however, we try, learn, adjust, and try again. As we do, we learn what is worth replicating and what is not.  We also model the freedom and the thrill of trying. A culture of trying emerges.

Happy trying! 

 

 

Household Well: ”L” - Listens for Insight

A Household WELL is what we want to be, to bring the living water to a thirsty world. Jesus is shared and experienced not only at church but in our neighborhoods. 

           Welcomes in Jesus

           Engages with Neighbors

           Listens for Insight

           Loves to Try

I posted this video on my Facebook feed last week. It captures the essence of what we mean by the metaphor household WELL. 

https://www.facebook.com/100001583586062/videos/3743471235715626/

Imagine if every household connected to our ministry was actively drinking from the living water, Jesus, and sharing Him with the spiritually parched!

In order to provide that water for others, we must Welcome In Jesus, Engage With Neighbors, and we must Listen For Insight.

Insight--observation, understanding, wisdom, discernment

...an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, a situation, a person.

...penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth.

...an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem.

...understanding of the motivational forces behind one’s actions, thoughts, behavior.

...self-knowledge.

Why do you think insight is so important as we relate to our neighbors? And why do you think insight is critical as we consider our own part in the mission of distributing life-giving water to people who need it?  (As you consider these questions, I would love to read your thoughts. Comment below in the blog. Or, shoot me an email.)

Consider these two examples: 

1) Without insight, we can offer people something they are not seeking. Think about the times you’ve been on the receiving end of a salesperson that was trying to sell you something you didn’t need. More concerned with the sale, than meeting your need, they carried on until you left without purchasing. And, you never return again!  On the other hand, think about the time when the salesperson really listened to you, really was interested in what you were saying, listened all the way through, and really understood what you needed. They listened way more than they talked. They were patient, and in the end, you walked out with a new relationship even as you walked away with the purchase. There will be future conversations! Listening for insight yields true discernment.

2) I was on a coaching call the other day with someone who needed to gain some insight into her situation. I found myself a couple of times in the conversation wanting to jump in and offer advice. At another point, I wanted to show some empathy. She was really hurting. I am thankful I didn’t. Advice and empathy would have derailed the progress we were making.  Through practice, I was able to listen carefully to my own need to fix or comfort. And, because of that awareness, I mindfully resisted indulging my inner cheerleader, comforter, and wise sage advisor. I put myself on lockdown for a moment. Listening for insight nurtures self-understanding.

So we listen to God and others, and in the process, we gain deeper understanding of others, of God, and of ourselves. And with this precious gift given, we can better serve and love ourselves and our neighbors.  Let me close with a couple of questions for you to ponder. 

What are your biggest barriers to listening to God and others? Many will answer busyness. Others will say their own need to give advice. 

What opportunities this week will God give you to listen? I would love to hear the insights you gain as you do.

Happy listening! 

 

 

Household WELL "E" Engages With Neighbors

A Household WELL is what we want to be, to bring the living water to a thirsty world. 

        

Welcomes in Jesus

        Engages with Neighbors

        Listens for Insight

        Loves to Try

 

When our households engage with neighbors here are some of the things that we can say we do.  Know our neighbors names and pray for them by name.  How is that going for you? If you are like me, and have recently moved you have a long way to go, especially living in an apartment complex.  Toss in a pandemic and social distancing, it can be difficult to even know our neighbors by name. (we certainly don’t want to use that as an excuse, we can still find creative ways to meet those neighbors)  Perhaps you have lived in your neighborhood for a long time and know all your neighbors by name. Are you praying for them? Do you know their story? What needs do they have? Do you know what they enjoy doing or what they are interested in?  

 

As we engage with our neighbors we begin to develop genuine friendships with them. Engage in fun activities with them and have heartfelt discussions.  I can hear what some of you may be saying, but I disagree with my neighbor, they are nothing like me and voted differently than I did and they irritate me. That may all be true, AND we are still called to love them. And it is ok to have differences and not agree AND we still get the opportunity to be interested in them and show them the love of Jesus. 

 

When Jesus was asked what that most important commandment is, this was His response: “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Matthew 22:37-39

 

That is really what it boils down to as we engage with neighbors, we love them. (you don’t have to live next door to a person for them to be your neighbor)  We care for and serve our neighbors, and we join with them in service of others.  And when the time is right, we share the Good News of Jesus with them. We are eager to introduce them to our Heavenly Father.  And we have the privilege of encouraging them on their walk of faith. 


If you are ever unsure of what to do, just ask yourself, how would I best show love to this person? How would I want to be treated or cared for?  Love like Jesus. No strings attached, no judgment, no agenda.  When we engage with neighbors we are not checking them off our list of things to do, or projects to accomplish or problems to solve. We are simply being our authentic Jesus following selves and loving them well. And the good news is, Jesus is WITH you as you go.  Enjoy the journey. Ask Jesus to help you, ask him for opportunities and ideas and then trust him that he loves them too.
 

Household WELL "W" Welcomes in Jesus

 

Household WELL “W” - Welcomes In Jesus

 

Each week in January we will be looking at one of the letters in the word WELL to be reminded about how we can live out our calling as a household WELL. 

 

                                      WELL=  Welcomes In Jesus

                                                     Engages With Neighbors

                                                               Listens For Insight

                                                                    Loves To Try 

 

A Household Well Welcomes in Jesus

 

There are a number of ways you might read and interpret that statement, but the primary intention is gleaned from switching the last two words around, and by looking at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5-10.  

5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  - Luke 19:5-6 ESV

“Christ at Heart’s Door” by Warner Sallman

This is how scripture describes Zacchaeus, and how a home of disciples acts.  We’re not talking about a conversion event from unbelief to faith, but we’re talking about every moment of every day, a home centered on Jesus.  He is part of everything, he doesn’t need our invitation.  But, our attitudes and actions change when we actively participate WITH Jesus in everything we do.  We can welcome Jesus into every aspect of our home lives.  We can welcome Jesus into our meals together by giving God thanks, sharing a devotion, etc.  We can open our days together talking about where we need God to show up that day, and praying for eyes to see and feet and hands to move and work.  We can close the day with Jesus by asking where we have seen God through the day, by lifting up all our cares to Him in prayer.  We can participate with Jesus in what we watch on TV and the internet, giving Him thanks for rest and entertainment, and by asking Him what is being said about our culture, what the understandings, beliefs, and needs are, and how that compares to God’s Word.  We can participate as we play, as we parent, as we discipline, as we clean, as we cook, and as we prepare to spend time with others.  We, as a family unit, can help each other to know that our identity is secure in Christ, that we are so deeply, dearly loved and cared for.  And we can help each other know that we are eternally safe.  We can even get ready to participate with Jesus at work and school, by asking Him for the help we need, asking Him to show us what He is doing in our work and school, and looking to love others.  The list goes on and on.  

 

In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 the greatest commandment is given (according to Jesus).

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. - Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV

 

This is it.  A household WELL has Jesus at the center of everything they do, and they know He is with them.  They live out loving God with every fiber of their being, and the love they share is an extension of that.  

 

In any moment we can ask, “Jesus, how are you filling my home with your love, and making this place a well where anyone who is thirsty can come and experience your life giving water?

 

I would love to hear what you learn as you continue to practice (or add in new practices) loving God as a household. Share are as a comment, or if you want to talk about it, email me at mwipperman@livelifetogether.com

 

Teammates,

Matthew Wipperman

mwipperman@livelifetogether.com

Pastor and D.M.M.

the Church

 
 

How Should We Respond to Life's Uncertainties?

How Should We Respond to Life’s Uncertainties?

 

Uncertainty is certain. When we are faced with the unknowns of this life, most of us tend to respond with fear, panic, defensiveness, or positioning. The year 2020 was full of prayers and hopes for a better coming year; but as we learned, the turning of the calendar didn’t make a lot of difference to the situation we’re currently in. And no matter how hard we prepare for the future, we can’t simply predict what tomorrow may bring.

 

When uncertainties or threatening unknowns of life do arise, how should we respond? Who should we look for refuge and protection? Who shall we listen to for stillness and peace? “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” as the apostle tells us in 1 Peter 5:7. Truly, there’s no one we can submit our anxious hearts to but Jesus—who’s sovereign to give us comfort and answers amidst any uncertain situations.

 

Seek God

We seek God for help because He is our refuge and He is present in all troubles and uncertainties we face (Psalm 46:1-3). This is a reality that we must recognize in our daily struggle. God assured us of this comforting promise when He gave His only begotten son to us. As we read in Romans 8:32, Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

 

When we are drowning in the waves of unknowns and uncertainties, God asks us to seek His refuge and help. His Word tells us that in Him, we have rock-solid protection and sanctuary through Christ Jesus. What a comforting covenant to behold.

 

We also seek our Creator for grace, because He is the only one who gives grace upon grace and the one who holds the answer to life’s uncertainties. As God tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow, He backs this up with grace and mercy towards us. Only if we seek Him that our burden and the weight of tomorrow’s troubles will be eased. My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me, as we read in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

 

We “don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries” and today’s troubles are enough for today (Matthew 6:34). These words highlight the sufficient grace that God gives us to address the questions of the coming day. Our response to anxieties of the unknown is to cast them to God who gives endless grace.

 

Be still and listen to God

Uncertainties, even when we know that we are in Christ and are saved by Him, can still make us tremble. But God commands us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10-11). This means that we should trust and listen to Him even if it seems that everything is being taken away from us —convenience, comfort, health, wealth, family, friends, even jobs. He alone can sustain us and give us the answer to the questions of every day and tomorrow. He is our greatest and only answer when we doubt or fear life’s uncertainties. We are asked to be still. We are asked to pray and listen to Him by reading His Words fervently.