Month: January 2009

Wanna Be Encouraging?

Wanna Be Encouraging?

How to Skillfully Encourage People

“Man does not live on bread alone,” right?

People need food for the spirit as well as for the body. Remember how you feel when a kind word or compliment is given you?

Remember how your whole day or evening is brightened up by that kind word or compliment?

Remember how long the good feeling lasts?

Well, others will react just as you do. So–say the kind of things that people need to hear (we hear enough negative, so let’s stay positive and uplifting, although don’t feel the need to be fake and sappy either). They will love you for saying kind things and you will feel good for having brightened their step and giving them hope.

BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR PRAISE!
Look for somebody and something to praise and then DO IT!

But–

1. The praise must be sincere: if it isn’t, then don’t give it.

2. Praise the act, not the person.

Praise the act avoids embarrassment and confusion, it has a much more sincere ring to it, and it avoids charges of favoritism and it creates an incentive for more of the same act.

For example, “Hey Shawn, your work this past year has truly been excellent” (rather than “Shawn, you are a good man.” Sounds kinda flat and generalized, huh?

“Michelle, you did a splendid job on your homework!” Rather than “Michelle’s a good student.”

“Mr. Smith, your lawn and landscaping is simply beautiful” rather than “Mr. Smith, you work hard!”

Make the praise specific–pinpoint it.

HAPPINESS FORMULA
Get into the habit of saying daily one kind thing to at least three different people (Spouse, child, co-worker, etc.). Then see how YOU feel for having done so!

This is a happiness formula for YOU!

When you see the happiness and gratitude and pleasure you bring others by doing this YOU will reap the benefits too. There is more joy in giving than receiving after all.

Try it.

Jesus Paid IT ALL

Jesus Paid IT ALL


They say “Pictures Say A Thousand Words.” How true. What about this one?

Price of Love
This picture, from www.kenduncan.com, reminds me the PRICE that Jesus paid for me–an often mocking, selfish, deceitful, spoiled, lazy and un-heavenly minded punk. Whoa. What suffering! What sacrifice! What pain! What… love. WHOA!

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this–while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Particular Redemption
Some Christians in the Calvinist persuasion say that Christ died only for the Elect–those who are chosen by God and who trust in Him for salvation. I am convinced that Jesus died for the “whole world;” remember John 3:16? His death was for every human being that ever lived! Jesus paid IT ALL… ON BEHALF OF all.

However, it’s a horrifying fact that most people reject His offer of total forgiveness and atonement of ALL their sins. Therefore, although Christ died for the whole world–offering this incredible gift of salvation to all humans–the effects of His death (which is atonement, salvation, justification) are reserved for only those who trust in Him.

Yep. Salvation is pretty darn exclusive. Jesus said it was that way when He told His followers: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father (gets to heaven) except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to heaven. Believe in Him!

How about you?

What does this picture evoke within you?

Another Hat… The Air National Guard Chaplaincy

Another Hat… The Air National Guard Chaplaincy

This morning, I answered the phone like most mornings when I get a call: “Good morning, this is Neil.” The voice on the other end of the phone sounded upbeat and vigorous. “Good morning, Chaplain.” The voice was that of the Chief of Chaplains of the Air National Guard, Ch. Robert Marciano (Col.).

That’s all I needed to hear. I’m swearing in! Finally, after ten years of deliberation and prayerful consideration; and after six months of processing, interviews, paperwork, licensing counsels and dropping about 40 lbs, the end of the process will come next Tuesday, January 20th. How ironic that I swear in the same day as President-Elect Barack Obama becomes the President of the United States of America. Wow. On that day, my life (and that of my family) will forever be changed. I will become Chaplain Neil Schultz (1st Lieutenant) ANG on the Wing Staff of the 124th Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard. My family will be a military ministry homeschooling family.

Another hat to wear, which will add to our family, our country and hopefully will bring much glory to God and expand His Kingdom. It is a unique and very interesting ministry, to say the least. In case you’re wondering, I will be involved in the following:

CHAPLAIN CORPS MISSION STATEMENT: “While serving as a visible reminder of the Holy, the Air Force Chaplain Corps provides spiritual care and the opportunity for Air Force members and their families to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of religion.”

Our new CHAPLAIN CORPS VISION STATEMENT consists of three energizing phrases that call us toward an even greater outward ministry focus and a posture of servant leadership: “Glorifying God, Serving Airmen, Pursuing Excellence.” These words provide a “job description” for chaplains and chaplain assistants serving around the globe and they point the way ahead for our strategic planning.

Upon swearing-in, I will begin Drilling on the first weekend of the month in Boise and then serving for two weeks in the Summers. This year will be a full year however, as I will attend Commissioned Officer Training (COT) for 5 weeks March 10th-April 10th. Then in the Summer, I will have to attend Chaplaincy School for about 6 weeks.

Once you read this, will you please consider praying for my family’s well-being and God’s ministry through me to the Airmen of the Air National Guard?

Spiritual Goals for 2009

Spiritual Goals for 2009

In a coordinated effort with God, my wife, and my fellow elder at Wellsprings Church, I am committing to the development of three main areas in my character that need special development this year. Each of these three areas have subcategories. Each of these three main areas have a reading goal consisting of a few books, which I believe are conversations with authors who serve as my mentors in their title’s subject.

Three Main Character Areas for 2009
1. God-Centeredness
2. Leadership
3. Discretion

Explanation
God-Centeredness – I want to think constantly “God-First” as it relates to decision-making and my daily activities of exercising leadership of my self, my family, my business and the church we serve. I tend to decide first, pray for God to bless AFTER. Oops. God wants me to come to Him FIRST in prayer, THEN decide based on what He tells me!

The practices I want to re-engage in consistently are:
a. Prayer first
b. Bible memorization
c. Decision-making

Leadership – Priesthood of my Family, Eldership of our Church, Entrepreneurship in business. These are the three “Realms” of my world. They are my main roles. I live these concepts and principles every day. I want to be BETTER at them!

Discretion – In conversation with others, in our decision-making, and in finances. One of my character flaws that I’ve struggled with consistently in my life has been “foot-in-mouth disease.” Proverbs 10:19 tells us that “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” A friend of mine once said, “Sometimes, you’ve got to hold your cards close to your chest.” In other words, when with people, USE DISCRETION! 🙂 We also need discretion in our finances and how we give, save and spend the income God has given us.

Reading Plan
God-Centeredness
1. Your God Is Too Small (JB Phillips)
2. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (John Piper)
3. The Treasure Principle (Randy Alcorn)

Leadership
1. Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God (Voddie Baucham)
2. How to Best Get Better (Dan Sullivan)
3. Unique Ability (Dan Sullivan)
4. Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership (Alexander Strauch)

Discretion
1. The Godly Man’s Picture (Thomas Watson)
2. The Mortification of Sin (John Owen)
3. The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)

How about you? What are your spiritual / reading goals for this year?