It’s Well Worth the Time – I Said This, You Heard That

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In this last message for our series, we welcomed Joel Thomas, lead pastor at Mission Community Church in Phoenix, AZ. Joel shared with us that the things we hold onto in our hearts are reflected outwardly in the words we choose to use during our conversations. Throughout Joel’s talk, he shared the importance of storing up good things in our hearts, and memorizing scripture is one of the best ways to do that.

The meaning of change in the dictionary is “to transform or convert.” If you’re serious about being spiritually strong and mature, the greatest habit you can develop is memorizing Scripture.

When I served on the DreamTeam as a greeter, my team lead was a stickler on memorizing the theme verse and would often ask for a volunteer to repeat it to the group. Most of the time, people did not know the verse, or even know what it was, so he would remind us about the importance, as believers, to have God’s word in our hearts and minds.

From that day on in 2010 until now, memorizing and repeating the theme verses everyday has been important to me. I have found that in everyday situations, it has helped me combat the evil one from my thoughts. Knowing and sharing scripture also gives hope, comfort, and courage to people in your life. Personally, I have found that scripture comes  to light from my committed memory in times when I need it most.

You can search and find different methods to memorize scripture, but for me, I relate the verse to the military clock. For example Lead Pastor Ben asked us to memorize the theme verse:

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Using my method, 4:29 in military time is 0429 hours, then I add the book (in this instance Ephesians), and commit it to my memory. Next, I print or write the scripture out, place it on my vehicle’s dashboard, and text it to myself for a quick reference while I’m memorizing it. Finally, I say the verse before bed and first thing in the morning. Repetition is key.

C.H. Spurgeon once shared that we should carry the truth of God within ourselves, in our hearts; so that if we were dissected, there would be found the truth of God in our innermost being. Remember what the Psalmist said, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalms 119:11).

I also like to research the scripture I’m memorizing when time allows to better understand what is speaking to me about it. Making sure that I understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to me in the verses helps strengthen my memory.

When you commit scripture to memory you are equipping your heart and mind to battle against Satan’s attacks. Recalling scripture and praying it over our circumstances grows our faith, reminds us of our hope, and keeps the enemy from us.

In Matthew 4, it says that after his baptism, Christ was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Jesus handled this temptation by quoting scripture because Satan knows the Bible as well, and knows how to distort it. But Jesus was not fooled, because Jesus not only knew the scripture but also knew how to correctly handle it.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20
“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Questions:
The Word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training others in righteousness. Do you want to memorize as much of it as you can? How well are you doing at hearing God’s word and DOING what it says? Are you allowing God’s advocate, the Holy Spirit, guide your words toward others? When was the last time you memorized a verse in the Bible?

Next Steps:          
Memorize scripture and spend more time with God, getting to know what is on his heart. He said in John 10:27 (NIV): “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Whether you use flash cards, notes, or download an app, take the time to research what you’re memorizing to find its meaning. Attend church and join a Group with other Christ followers  to support your memory.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your Word. Help us to take time to prepare our hearts not only to read your words but also to understand how to apply them to our daily lives. Help us also to shed our old ways and be truly transformed by memorizing your Word! We thank you for being the living word and for giving us the Holy Spirit to help guide us. In Jesus’ name, amen!


This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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A Reflection of Your Heart – I Said This, You Heard That

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Our words are so powerful. They can lift people up, or they can tear them down.

I was having a bad day at work. I was stressed and had a headache. A co-worker gave me some ibuprofen, and I was counting down the minutes until my shift was over. I love my job, and this was the first  bad day I’d had in a long time.

I am a RN. I spend a great deal of time talking to patients on the phone. Shortly after taking the Motrin, my phone rang. I answered it and was having a productive conversation with the patient, when all of a sudden, the patient became angry and started complaining and cursing at me. I tried to use my words to show empathy and compassion to the patient, but she just didn’t hear them. I hung up the phone stunned. I remember thinking, “My brain is fried—how am I going to go home and write my submission for the LIO?”

On the way home from work, I called a dear friend and asked her to pray for me. She reminded me of God’s perfect timing. She told me, “You have a choice to make, you can go home and be grumpy to your family, or you can use this as an example in the LIO of how words can really affect others.”

I thought, “OK, God, couldn’t you have just given me the words to write without me having to experience the effects of unkind and nasty words?” I decided I should pray for the patient and surrendered the whole incident to God.  I made the decision to  go home and be sweet and kind to my husband. I chose not to let hurtful words ruin my day.

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

When our hearts are full of love and kindness, our words will reflect our hearts. Likewise, if our hearts are full of bitterness and anger, our words will reflect our hearts. I have to be really careful about what I focus on. When I focus on everything that irritates me and angers me, I become bitter and angry. My words and behaviors reflect what is in my heart, and it isn’t pretty. I do not want to live my life this way.

I want my words and my life to honor God.  I have learned that my quiet time with Jesus and focusing on all his blessings helps me to live a life that honors God. My time in the Word, praying, and praising him puts my heart in the right place. It draws me closer to Jesus, fills me with gratitude, and gives Jesus time to work on my heart. In other words, time with Jesus helps me to use my words in a kind and loving way.

Questions:
How has this series helped you to reflect on your words before you speak? How can time with Jesus affect your words?

Next Steps:
Read and meditate on Luke 6:45. Read it in several different Bible versions. Spend time with Jesus daily and ask him to help your heart be full of love and peace. Ask for your words to reflect his love.

Prayer:
Jesus, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that the God of the universe wants to have a relationship with me. I am so grateful that I can sit in your presence and be changed. Help me, Lord, to have a heart full of your love and goodness. Help my words to reflect your love for others. Help me control the words that come out of my mouth. Please forgive me when my words hurt others and dishonor you. Lord, help me to live a life that brings you glory. Amen.


This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.


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What Do You Need to Hear? – I Said This, You Heard That

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This weekend, we wrapped up our series I Said This, You Heard That with guest speaker Joel Thomas. He is the lead pastor at Mission Community Church in Phoenix, AZ, and one of the collaborators on the content of this series.

This series has really resonated with me. As a parent and a manager, knowing the temperaments of others is beneficial so that I’m able to speak to the innate needs of my kids and personnel instead of speaking the language of my own needs.

God has wired me as a strong Red with Blue influence, which explains my temperament perfectly. As a Red, I can be a dynamic leader who excels at managing tasks and projects. I’m responsible, decisive, and good at delegating. With these powerful strengths also come powerful weaknesses. I can argue, dominate, and use a harsh tone, and I tend to be bossy, impatient, and intolerant.

If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, or a leader, take note: Your unhealthful words are disproportionality weighted to helpful words. Be careful to store godly instruction in your heart and guard it. If you do, your words will be life-giving to others.

Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Joel instructed us to guard our hearts because not everyone is guarding their own heart. We may have stored harmful things because of what others have said to us—or we may be using unhealthful self-talk—that has caused harmful things to take root in our hearts.

We need to replace the lies that we have heard, or are telling ourselves with God’s truth. God wants to speak his grace to the harmful things, set us free, and live with us day after day. HE LOVES US JUST THE WAY WE ARE!

John 1:12
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Questions:
What are you storing in your heart? What has taken root? Are the words unhealthful?

Are you guarding your heart?

What do you need to hear to heal the hurt and brokenness that has taken up residence inside you? Has God placed someone in your life that may be speaking to this?

Next Steps:
Reflect on John 1:12, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Romans 8:28. Allow the biblical truths spoken in these verses to be stored in your heart.

Prayer:
Please, dear God, hear my prayers. Cleanse me of the harmful things that I have allowed to reside in my heart. Open my ears so I may hear you speak healing words of grace. Please heal the hurt and brokenness I have allowed in my heart from others and my own negative self-talk. Grant me wisdom to know that I am truly a child of yours, and that I am loved just as I am. In your son’s name I pray, amen.


This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.


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What Are You Storing in Your Heart? – I Said This, You Heard That

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You wouldn’t think that a small person like me could have an angry heart. I remember a time when I was a child that I got so mad, I slammed my door. I can’t remember what upset me, but I was mad—I yelled and stormed up the stairs. Perhaps I said, “I hate you,” to my parents. I was told that if I slammed my door again, my bedroom door would be removed.

You guessed it … I stored anger in my heart and did it again. For a few days, I felt the guilt as I got ready in the bathroom (since I had no door).

This silly story from my childhood tantrums reveals a bigger picture—that words can be used as weapons. Out of my anger, I didn’t just react by slamming doors and saying hurtful words to my parents, my actions reflected what was stored in my heart. In this week’s message Joel Thomas talked about “what you let outside your mouth reveals what’s inside of your heart” and “what comes out of you is an indicator of what’s stored inside of you.”

We hold things in our hearts: anger, envy, insecurity, guilt, and shame. When we store harmful and toxic things inside our hearts, the bottom line is that we have the potential to weaponize our words.

We weaponize our words when we’ve been hurt. As the saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” In feeling hurt as a child, I stored anger and as a result had the potential to hurt my parents because I was angry at them. There are other reasons that we weaponize words.

  • We weaponize our words when we’re discontent and store up envy in our hearts.
  • We weaponize our words when we don’t feel safe and store up insecurity in our hearts.
  • We weaponize our words when we’re hiding something and store up guilt and shame in our hearts.

Matthew 15:17-19
17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For

from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

In a world of endless hand washing, we also need to be mindful of what is contaminating our hearts. We need to not only be mindful of what can defile us physically but also spiritually.

As a blue, a perfectionist, I need a safe space to share what it is I’m holding on to. It is easier at times to store things in my heart rather than bringing them to the light, but then I am only living in darkness. When I do that, I don’t allow God to work in those areas where I need his healing hand. And in doing so, I let what is stored in my heart potentially weaponize my words instead of using words for good.

Questions:
Think about your temperament and what you have recently learned about it. What might someone with your temperament tend to store up in their heart? What are you storing in your heart?

What do you need to do spiritually so God can bring healing to your heart and/or relationships?

Next Steps:
Have a conversation with your family about your temperament and what it is that you store in your heart.

Be more aware that your words reflect your heart. What can you do to restore your heart from those harmful things?

Keep reading the LivingItOut this week.

Prayer:
God, you gave us the gift of words. I pray that you would reveal to me what I am storing in my heart. Whether that is anger, envy, insecurity, guilt and shame. Speak to me about what I need to do so you can bring healing to my heart and to my relationships. Words can be used as weapons, and I pray that I am not using words to hurt people but to bring healing. Amen.


This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

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Words Hurt – I Said This, You Heard That

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WORDS HURT.

Does that statement bring back a bad memory? Do you remember the hurt or frustration surrounding the situation?

It does for me. A misunderstanding led to me becoming the target of some verbal accusations and insults. That was not fun. Although I was on the receiving end of that particular unpleasant attack, I have, unfortunately, also been the deliverer of verbal explosions a time or two (or three).

We’ve all heard that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and we all know that it’s a LIE. The truth is sticks and stones may break my bones but words CAN REALLY HURT ME.

Early on in this series, I Heard This, You Said That, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about unhelpful and unhealthful words—a concept brought to us from Ephesians 4:29:

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Last weekend, Joel Thomas, lead pastor at Mission Community Church, expanded on the concept of unhealthful words and where they come from—the heart.

The heart stores good—and evil. What you let outside your heart reveals what’s inside your heart. Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)  explains it this way:

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (emphasis added).

The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What is my heart full of?” Is it full of the fruit of the spirit: “love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control” (Gaatians 5:22-23)? Or is it loaded with harmful ammunition that becomes a weapon when it leaves our mouths as words?

As followers of Jesus, if we want to be more like him, we need to be filled with him. We need to surrender to him. We need to fill our hearts and minds with his truth by spending time with him daily in the Bible and prayer, attending church, fellowshipping with other believers, etc. As we do, the work he does in our hearts will become reflected in our words and our actions.

Questions:
What is the condition of your heart? If you’re not content with that condition, what steps can you take to fill it with “good” things, godly things,  to make it more like Jesus?

Next Steps:
Pray and ask God to show you anything in your heart and life that is not pleasing to him (the bad fruit). Once you identify the bad fruit, confess and repent. Turn from it, and surrender to Jesus. Ask for his help and be intentional about filling up with things that will help you grow good fruit. Psalm 119:11 shows us that God’s word has the power to help us not to sin (or sin as much): “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Guard your heart and fill it with the Word so that your words may be helpful and healthy.

Prayer:
Lord, I confess that too often my words have become weapons that have defiled me and devastated others, reflecting areas of my heart that are not pleasing to you. Show me the bad fruit in my heart and life so that I may repent and surrender that to you. Help me to be intentional to fill my heart with more of you. May my words and my actions be a reflection of the work that you have done IN me. And, Lord, please heal my heart from the wounds of others. Thank you for being a Great Comforter. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

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Leave a Comment?

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Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

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Representing Jesus – I Said This, You Hear That.

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My best friend joined the Army because he lost a bet with his recruiter. The recruiter joined us in a game of 21, during which he “failed” to play up to our level. Afterward, he challenged my friend to a game of one-on-one—if my buddy lost, he agreed to travel to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Columbus to take the aptitude test, complete his physical, and swear in. That game turned into a 23-year Army career. The 5’7” recruiter played college ball (on scholarship) at Arkansas, which he divulged after his win.

A year later, I walked into the office of a Marine recruiter who had been picking my brain for weeks. His eyes lit up when he told me a story about his Gunny who served as a sniper in Vietnam.

Almost 20 years later, I smiled while receiving recognition at my wife’s Navy retirement ceremony. (Yeah, the story about snipers and war didn’t work to recruit this guy.)

I’m sure that sniper story worked to bring in other people, but it was the wrong conversation to pique my interests. My friend’s recruiter understood how to keep him engaged. The recruiter knew what was needed to get my buddy to the next step. He was a good ambassador for the Army.

2 Corinthians 5:20
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Paul reminds us that we represent God’s purpose out in the world. As ambassadors, we do more than repeat what we hear in church—we move beyond our own interests. Paul also chooses his words carefully to demonstrate the power of God. Jesus, who didn’t sin, was made an offering for our sin. In the NIV translation, it reads, “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” His was and is the ultimate act of love. He put us (sinners) first. God understands our needs.

As I think back to the two recruiting stories, I understand a little more of how my friend and I took different paths. My temperament is blue. I need safety, space, and silence. I only heard chaos in my recruiter’s words. His interests weren’t mine. We must approach our conversations with others in a manner to meet their needs. As ambassadors, we must be more mindful, especially when engaging with younger generations. In the words of the poet, Propaganda, from his spoken word “Raise the Banner,” “We should consider our influence because the little ones want to be us.”

Questions:
Do you try to understand the needs of others before jumping into a conversation or relationship? Do you think about what and who you are representing out in the world?

Next Steps:
Take the temperament assessment if you haven’t already. Study it to better understand what your needs are. Ask family and friends what color they received to gain a better understanding of them. Don’t always be so quick to respond in every conversation; instead, choose your words wisely.

Prayer:
God, thank you for your righteous act of love. Thank you for allowing us to be your ambassadors. Remind us that our movement in this world is to serve your purpose, and to do so is an honor. We have a choice to make with every conversation we have. Our words are powerful. May our thoughts behind our words be purposeful. Amen.


This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

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Complementary – I Said This, You Heard That.

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If you look up the word “complementary,” you’ll find that it means to combine in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other. To me, that seems like the perfect word to exemplify what a marriage should be like between a husband and wife.

1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

This October, my wife and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. Through the years, we have both grown in our understanding of each other. I feel our marriage is truly complementary. Most of my weaknesses are in areas where she shines, and I am strong in areas where she may not be quite as capable. As our relationship has developed more and more each year, we have both learned to adapt and rely on each other. I have learned to trust and appreciate her strengths and, at the same time, understand her weaknesses so I can be there for her when needed.

When we first took the temperament assessment, neither of us felt it was accurate; however as we read through each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we realized how “spot on” it actually was. My wife is a blue (melancholic), and I am a green (phlegmatic) with a heavy influence of red (choleric). Just to give you an example of how our temperaments complement each other: One of her weaknesses is a tendency to be moody; my complementary strength is patience. One of my weaknesses is an inclination to be aimless; her complementary strength is focus.

Each of the temperaments has its own strengths and weaknesses. Every strength needs to be celebrated, and every weakness needs to be acknowledged. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses for ourselves and others not only helps us to grow but also helps us to serve others better.  And serving others is an excellent way to celebrate our strengths!

The key is to use the knowledge of understanding others’ strengths and weaknesses to serve them, not to take advantage of them or take them for granted. I know that in our marriage, my wife always has my back. She knows when and where I need her help, and I believe she knows and trusts that I understand what she needs from me. Complementary!

Questions:
Have you and your spouse taken the temperament assessment? If so, have you really read through it to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

Next Steps:
If you have not done so, take the temperament assessment.

Learn about the different colors and what some of the strengths and weaknesses are of each.

When conversing with others, make it a point to ask their color and to share yours. It can be a great starting point for a meaningful relationship.

 

Prayer:
Our most gracious and loving God, we are so thankful that you created us in your image, and that you gave us the opportunity and privilege to develop relationships through marriage. Father, help me to always be attentive to my spouse’s needs, to cherish what they bring to our relationship, and to also make sure I always bring my best to the relationship. Father, help me to not only use my strengths in my marriage but also to serve those I meet each day, for your honor and your glory. Amen.


This post was written by Ned Miller, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


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We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


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Words for You – I Said This, You Heard That.

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The series we are embarking on is so relevant—for everyone. I know of no one who is so proficient in the four temperaments (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic), that stepping into this series would be a waste of their time. Understanding how we are hard-wired is foundational because different temperaments speak and hear entirely different languages.

The temperament we are born with sets our “tone” with others. The best place to start is to understand the strengths and weaknesses associated with our temperament—in my case, melancholic. It is clear to me now—unfortunately, too late to help with my past career—that it was never my intent to irritate my former boss with my language of perfection and order. Yet, that’s exactly what I did. My language was foreign to him. He spoke choleric not melancholic.

The theme verse for this series is Ephesians 4:20: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV, emphasis added).

Had I had the wherewithal to build my boss up according to his needs, not my own, it would undoubtedly have eliminated multiple bumps in our working relationship.

In spite of being aware of this “temperament” business for years, it is NOT looking as though I will graduate with an acceptable passing grade anytime soon. Frankly, I have not exerted the necessary time and energy to embrace the practicality of fully understanding my own language (melancholic), much less the languages of others. However, I can obviously see it would benefit me and others to do so.

Thankfully, it is not too late. The bottom line “Engaging their TEMPERAMENT results in RELATIONAL BETTERMENT” makes it clear that fully stepping into this series is a win-win for me—and for you.

Philippians 2:3-4
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Questions:
Have you taken the temperament assessment? Are you willing to put in  the effort to improve every meaningful relationship? If not, why?

Next Steps:
Take the temperament assessment. Read the assessment results thoroughly to better understand your “language” and its accompanying strengths and weaknesses.

Check out the I Said This, You Heard That YouTube Channel for additional resources. If you’re a parent, don’t miss the section on Raising Great Kids which includes these videos: Parenting Your Yellow Child, Parenting Your Red Child, Parenting Your Blue Child, and Parenting Your Green Child

Prayer:
Dear God. Thank you for creating us unique and special. As I think about the snow outside, it reminds me that no two people are the same. Help me remember this when I communicate with those around me. Please give me the wisdom to choose the words that are not best for me but are best for those whom I am speaking with. Help me live out Philippians 2:3-4 by putting the interest of others before my interest. Thank you for the great example of what it looks like to put others first. I love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married over forty years. Karen rejoices over God’s faithfulness and God’s patience in her life and in her marriage. Nothing matters more to Karen than her relationship with God and her entire family. Her immeasurable faith in Christ and His ability to restore the broken runs deep within.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

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Series Theme Verses
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John Reading Plan


Orange! – I Said This, You Heard That.

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I hope you have taken the color test that the church provided to help give context to our communication issues and styles. If not, take a few minutes to do that now by texting “COLORS” to 419-419-0707. You will be provided with a link that will take you to the quiz.

I always love to take these types of tests—right up to the time when they tell me the bad news. I don’t know about you, but I already know the bad sides of my personality type! I balance between red and yellow, which comes as no surprise to those of you who know me! That means that I am outgoing (loud), love to organize things with people (pushy), spontaneous (interrupts), delegates well (impatient) … the good (with the bad)!

As I look at scripture, I find my personality brothers in John and James, the “Sons of Thunder,” as Jesus called them.  In Mark 10:35-37, they come to Jesus with a pretty bold request—here’s the gist: “Hey, Jesus, when you come into your kingdom, let one of us sit on your right hand and the other on your left. (We’ll fight about who is where later!)”

Jesus has their number (which I’m thinking must be like a 25 on the red scale)! He replies something to the effect of: “You don’t know what you’re asking; although, at some point, you will understand the cost of this request when you have to pay it!”

Needless to say, the selfish, self-centered request by John and James does not go unnoticed with the rest of the guys, and they let them know about it. At which point, Jesus says what we choleric/sanguines do NOT want to hear!

Mark 10:42-45
42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

“But,” I say, “I have the leadership gift! I am supposed to lead.” (That means everyone else should follow—i.e. do what I say!) “I have the education. I have the experience. I … I … I …”

To which Jesus replies, “Others, others, others.” Among us followers of Christ, it should be different. We get to lead the way in serving and loving others, just as Jesus did when he led the way to the cross!

As I think about how our words should be used to build others up so as to encourage those who are listening, I regret the times I’ve weaponized my words so as to be thought witty at someone else’s expense. I’ve squandered opportunities to celebrate the successes of others because it might take the spotlight off my accomplishments.

I am grateful that Jesus still loves me, even when I disregard the price he paid so that I could love the people he loves. My personality type has many positive attributes, and thankfully, the negative ones can be worked on through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me! It is a wonderful thing to know how God has made me. It is even more wonderful to realize that he’s not done with me yet!

Today is another day that we can choose to glorify God by being the person he created us to be. To love and serve those he has put in our lives. To offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him!

Questions:
Who in your life can you love and serve? Do you know how they receive love? Is it the same way you do? If not, what can you do to bridge the communication gap?

Next Steps:
Once you answer the above questions, put a plan in place to re-establish communication with those you identified. Ask questions like, “If I say____, what do you think I mean?” Or, “When I say one thing, how is it that you seem to understand it another way?” Listen with an open heart and an open mind! Even we orange people can learn if we keep our mouths shut!

Prayer:
Father, I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, crafted by you even before you created the world. But I am steeped in sin, and my desire is to make myself grand! Forgive me, Lord, and renew my mind in your word, that I can love who you love and hear what you say to me. My desire is to serve you, and I know that only happens when I serve those you love. Give me the heart to love them too! I have what it takes! You gave it to me! Help me use it all to your glory! Amen.


This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

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More Resources

Series Theme Verses
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RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


Words Matter – I Said This, You Heard That.

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“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
—Michael Scott (yellow), “The Office”

Yellows speak the language of people who are fun. They tend to be enthusiastic, popular, affectionate, joyful, loud, and prone to interrupt. They hate to be alone.

“I will never be happier than I am right now. I will also never be less happy. I will be at my current level of happiness for the rest of my life. Because I am Manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin … Acting Manager.”
Dwight Schrute (red), “The Office”

Reds speak the language of power and control. They tend to be bossy, confident, driven, self-directed, quick-tempered, impatient, and decisive.

“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things.”
Pam Beesly (green), “The Office”

Greens speak the language of calm and harmony. They tend to be tolerant, easy-going, patient, kind, diplomatic, indecisive, and stubborn.

“Michael should have asked the party planning committee first. He’s not supposed to just spring things on us out of nowhere.”
—Angela Martin (blue), “The Office”

Blues speak the language of order and perfection. They tend to be cautious, empathetic, creative, moody, and critical. They typically enjoy solitude and are perfectionists.

By understanding our wiring, we can become the best versions of ourselves. And just as important, by understanding how others are wired, we can learn to communicate more effectively with them. In his weekend message, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder defined communication as “a series of choices we make in what we say or don’t say.” Knowing the temperament of those close to you is very helpful in knowing the words they need to hear.

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (emphasis added).

The bottom line from the weekend message was “Engaging their TEMPERAMENT results in RELATIONAL BETTERMENT.” (Whereas ignoring their temperament creates relational detachment.) We’re each wired to need certain words. As a blue, I need safety, sensitivity, support, space, and silence. My husband (green) needs harmony, a lack of stress, respect, and a feeling of worth. Reds need a sense of control, loyalty, credit for work, and appreciation. Yellows need acceptance, affection, approval, and attention.

When Jesus talked to people during his earthly ministry, his words ranged from scandalously sensitive to shockingly bold. He spoke to the meek with compassion, the arrogant with ferocity, and the eager with firm encouragement. At times when we expected him to get angry, he was kind. When we thought he would be gentle, he was tenacious. But his responses to people weren’t just based on emotion or passion. He spoke to people in the way that best allowed them to become who God intended them to be.

Words have power. When you use them, think about what the person you’re talking to needs to be built up. This is how we truly love people.

Questions:
How would knowing your loved ones’ temperaments potentially change how you speak to them?

If you’ve taken the temperament assessment, check out the section titled “Your Innate Needs.” Do you agree with what it has to say about how you need to be spoken to?

Next Steps:
As we continue this series, take some time to go to RightNow Media and watch the I Said This, You Heard That video series. If you’ve taken the assessment, you know all about your own temperament. But to better our relationships, we must learn about the other colors as well.If you haven’t taken advantage of the free RightNow Media resource our church offers, sign-up for it today.

Prayer:
Dear God, help me to be my best self. Help me to use tools like the temperament assessment to be aware of not only my strengths and weaknesses but also to learn how to get better in my relationships. I want to be the person who builds others up with my words, not tears them down. I know I can only do this with you and your help. Thank you for humbling lessons like this one. Amen.


This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a blogger at GratefulSheep.com and a stay-at-home mom and wife. She loves writing for this team, and she hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan