Thanks Andrea!

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This week I learned a new language.

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It is the language of community.

It is the dialect of friendship.

It is the lingo of camaraderie.

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I learned words that if spoken in a different setting—

among different people—would sound like a foreign tongue.

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For instance:

“I sit here and wonder how I can  wrestle a bear out of a cave then climb into a coracle while dressed in a pink dress, wearing ballet slippers and holding a wild goose?”

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Yet, in this new context these words make sense.

In this new context these words speak affirmation, support and healing.

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Psychologists purport that language influences experience.

They assert language is the lens with which you perceive the world.

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If this is true, then with gladness of heart I will put my new language to work as I:

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Reframe experiences that have kept me from growing.

Delight in the mutuality of the Bride of Christ.

Be willing to always go lower.

Courageously face the process of death to self.

Accept the honor of sharing the fellowship of Christ’s suffering.

Allow the mantle to rest on my shoulders.

Receive what He gives and release what He takes away.

Pray for accreditation while at the same time pray for irrelevancy.

Stop struggling with the both/ands of life.

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Fully clothed in Christ

I will STEP UP,

settle in,

and

embrace the mystery of what is to come.

©Brenda Pace, 2011

Through our weakness, grace can be magnified.

~Leading With a Limp, Dan Allender

“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. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

~2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul the Apostle

Leadership will always require one person to stand closest to the edge and say,

“Let’s jump!”

~from Leading With a Limp, Dan Allender

via istockphoto

via google images

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I have a pet peeve. It’s a petty pet peeve, but it makes me wince when I hear it. You’re going to roll your eyes and think I’m picky. Sometimes I am. Especially when I hear this.  What is this thing that makes me wince? Well, I wince when I hear a speaker misuse the personal pronouns I and me in a sentence. For instance: ‘The Chaplain and me are happy to be here.’  It is true, we are.  It’s also true, me are, but I know this is not correct grammar.

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Well, apparently last night while speaking to a missions class at a local church, with the Chaplain in the audience, I did this twice. ME did this twice! I mean, I did this twice!!!

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This time my wince came from the sting of correction from the Chaplain. Loving correction, but correction nevertheless. Here’s another confession: I am one of those preacher wives who endeavors to help her husband in his call by the occasional sharing of constructive criticism. (Okay, okay, it is more than occasional. This confession thing is tough!) Anyway, I was offered some constructive criticism last night and it stung a bit. My guess is the critique could have included more, but he was kind.

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As I have reflected on this incident, I pray I will learn from it. I pray it will help me be a better speaker, but I also pray It will make me a more gracious listener. The correct grammar was written in my notes, but didn’t make it out my mouth.  I will extend grace when I hear this mistake come from other speakers, because I will make the assumption the correct words are in their notes too!

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Back to this criticism issue: Criticism, no matter how constructive is hard to swallow.  My natural reaction when I hear criticism directed at me is to feel defensive and embarrassed.  Yet, Proverbs 25:12 instructs, “Valid criticism is as treasured by the one who heeds it as jewelry made from finest gold” (Proverbs 25:12 NLT).

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Yeah, humble pie does not taste very good, but I’m thinking there are some necessary nutrients that will help me grow, both as a speaker and a person.  Me am grateful!

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How about you? Is it hard for you to heed constructive criticism?

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©Brenda Pace, 2011


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If you want to build a ship,

don’t drum up the men to gather wood,

divide the work, and give orders.

Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

~Antoine de Saint Exupery, Make Me a Boat

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Think about this quote and the image it conjures in relation to leadership. How many times do we do the gathering, dividing and ordering over teaching those we lead to yearn for what could be?  Is it because it is easier? How do we teach the yearning without minimizing the gathering, dividing and ordering? Can the yearning be taught? Hmmm…any thoughts?

©Brenda Pace, 2011

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via google images