Tag Archives: listen

4 Ways to be Courageous Every Day

Be courageous

Do you like coffee? Do you like the atmosphere of the little shop or the hustle and bustle of people coming and going and wonder what their stories are?

Do you work out at the gym or go out for walks at the park? Do you go at the same time and recognize some of the same people who are there the same time as you?

Do you like to unwind at the end of the day or week by getting a nice cold one or sipping on a delicious, local wine? Do you ever see someone sitting alone and wonder why they are alone?

Are any of the above you?

Do you ever work up the courage to actually say something to someone or listen without expecting anything in return? Do you take time to put yourself second so someone else can be first? Do you?

In a world where everyone seems to be isolated by ear buds, closed off by window blinds, and house entry is behind the closed garage door, how do you get to know people? In a world where Facebook posts show what fun everyone is having and Pinterest shows perfection, how do you get to know people? Here are 4 ways to be courageous and go out on a limb and meet people.

  1. Be aware: If you take notice of your surroundings, you will find something that you can work into an icebreaker to start a conversation. Notice things around you such as:
    • the appetizer or drink you haven’t tried yet, comment on their outfit (color, shoes, earrings, etc.), the weather, the sunrise, their cute dog, whatever is on the TV, a play on the field
  2. Be open: Instead of looking closed off with an imaginary ‘do not disturb’ sign on, make yourself accessible. Open up by:
    • opening your shades, sit on the front porch, use your front door, uncross your arms, take out the ear buds, put your phone away, take off your sunglasses
  3. Be friendly: The old saying goes, turn that frown upside-down. This is an action like:
    • smiling, laughing together, not being short or rude with someone, taking a moment to stop what you are doing and recognizing someone
  4. Be quiet: Don’t always be loudest voice and realize your opinion isn’t always the best. In the quiet, learn to:
    • listen without judging, be present in the conversation, offer your experience in a similar situation without judgment or opinion

You have to realize that doing these things probably won’t  turn you and that other person into life long friends overnight. But, in that moment, you are offering yourself as someone who is kind, someone who cares, and someone who wants to be there. You have the power to impact lives around you. This is what my book, The Coffee Shop Pastor, is all about. You don’t know how your meeting with someone will change their lives. We have a responsibility to make disciples without being all religious. Being aware, open, friendly, and quiet are easy ways to get people to let their guard down and let them know that you are interested in them as a person. Check out my book and use the questions at the end to guide you so you are ready to be a courageous version of the coffee shop pastor.

pic from Amazon

How do You Use Your Ears and Eyes?

Proverbs Picture

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the LORD has made them both. Proverbs 20:12

Do you ever wake up and hear the silence of the house? I bet it sometimes feels like the calm before the storm of all that will go on during the day. Does the silence feel peaceful? God gave you ears to hear that peace. Do you ever look at the brilliant blue sky that goes on for miles and miles in every direction? I bet you’re like me and think, “Wow”. Does it feel amazing? God gave you eyes to see that sight. As you get to enjoy the different sounds and sights of the world, remember that God gave you those two senses to notice His grand creation. He wants you to notice. He wants you to marvel in the wonders around you.

But, He also gave you hearing and seeing to caution you. They can alert you to danger and tell you to get out of the way too! And you will be thankful for them as they get you out of trouble or help you avoid a situation. Gentle eyes can help someone relax and ears that hear kind words are more apt to be receptive to what you have to say. Like a lot of things, how you use what you are given will determine their impact on others.

Let’s face it; God knew what he was doing when He gave us eyes and ears. He knew we needed two of each. If you aren’t using yours to spread love, but to spread gossip of things you hear or see, you need to rethink their use. Listen for unspoken words and look for body language. You might never hear someone say, “I need a hug”, but their body language might be screaming it at you.

Sometimes you might want to consider using your eyes and ears more than your mouth. Learn to listen and pay attention to the people right in front of you. Focus on them, listen to them, and don’t make it all about you. Remember what people say. They will notice you listening. They will notice the attention you give them. They will remember that feeling and one day, they will do the same for someone else. You can be the catalyst of an awesome cycle of attention giving using two great things God gave you. Eyes and ears, use them wisely.

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the LORD has made them both. Proverbs 20:12