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Changing directions with messages of hope

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Last July, I read a profound book by Bob Beaudine titled 2 Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything in which he outlines a strategy for prayer that is easy to do and extraordinarily effective.

It involves getting alone with Jesus and having a simple conversation with me in one chair and imagining Jesus sitting in the other. Then, I just ask questions or seek advice. Because it is a conversation, it’s important for me to let Jesus do some talking.

In other words, for 2 Chairs to be effective, I have to shut up and listen at a ratio of one minute of me talking and five minutes of being silent while listening for the answer.

I journaled my 2 Chairs experience last August when I was visiting Wisconsin just to see how effective Bob’s suggestion would be. It was impressive. I continued the practice into September and then left Wisconsin for a period of extended travel.

As a result, I got out of the morning habit and lost that close, daily experience with Jesus. I missed it.

When I returned to Arizona in April after visiting my new grandson, I committed to starting 2 Chairs again each day. Yes, I’m journaling this experience, too. It’s getting harder for me to remember something from one hour to the next, let alone vital instructions from God.

My appointment with Jesus is at 8 a.m. daily, after taking a walk and listening to a sermon or motivational message, having breakfast and getting ready for the day. That way I know I am fresh, and it’s early enough to act upon anything Jesus tells me to do.

This week, I received some pretty specific insight regarding my attitude. Jesus encouraged me to look at my recent Facebook posts to see if i was living up to the mission statement he helped me fine-tune last August. It is:

To ignite bored-again Christians and infuse them with knowledge of God’s kingdom power to become productive, passionate disciples of Jesus Christ and live life to the full.

With that mission statement in mind, I looked to see what messages I had been sharing with the world on my website and, especially, on Facebook. It was eye-opening.

Jesus asked, if I knew I would die within a year, were the messages I was creating today improve the lives of others and leave a generational impact on those people around them? I was ashamed of my answer.

Since February, a majority of things I have posted on my website were about politics or the COVID-19 situation. Those two topics accounted for about 55% of the the stories I wrote and articles I shared. However, on Facebook, nearly 95% of my posts centered on those topics.

If there is one thing I have come to fully understand in my 60 years on earth it is that politics sucks the lifeblood right out of me. Once I get close to it, I cannot help being sucked into the endless, mindless, needless drama. Focusing my attention on the COVID-19 situation was doing nothing other than making me angry.

With that insight, I felt Jesus nudging me to change directions and refocus on creating life-giving messages instead. I had become nothing different than the media I abhor for stoking fear or rage, and distracting people with silly nonsense.

So, I deleted all of the political and COVID-19 posts I had made on Facebook, and greatly pruned the stories I had written on my website. In case you are wondering why there isn’t a COVID Con compilation of media stories this week, that’s why.

Simply collecting the examples of over-the-top government and business reactions to the illness was infecting me with something worse than coronavirus, and that’s anger. It can cloud my thinking, block the flow of ideas and energy, lead to frustration, hopelessness and despair — the polar opposite of my mission statement.

People have enough negativity in their lives as it is and desperately need more hope, light and encouragement.

Late last year, I invested a few hundred hours working on a book titled Restore Joy to Your Life: 28 Suggestions for Renewing Your Mind. Once written, I did nothing with it. It’s available only as a PDF, which you can download by clicking on the link above.

It’s time to take that message to a wider audience, so this week I will submit it to Amazon. I may even have a few hundred copies made to simply drop off at places or give away to people I meet.

Those are the type of messages I need to be focusing my attention on and sharing with others!

Playing hooky with the Holy Spirit

On Friday, I played hooky and took the day off of work and drove in the mountains with the windows down and radio off. Before I even got out of the city, the Holy Spirit was convicting me to speak life to others, and the rationale for doing so was interesting.

Focusing on politics will impact nobody, inspire nobody and change nothing, the Holy Spirit explained.

But, if one person develops a closer relationship to God and gives his or her life to Jesus, it has eternal ramifications for that person and a generational impact on people closest to them.

When i meditated on that, I was stunned at not only the truth, but the opportunity it presents to make my own life count even more.

Even if I only serve as a warning to others by recalling my mistakes or regrets, my experience can have far more impact on other people than sharing the latest news headline.

So, going forward, I will change things up on my website and in my newsletters. Expect more of that type of material and less worldly nonsense.

 

*If you click on the Amazon link for 2 Chairs and buy the book, I might earn a small commission

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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