CliffsNotes – January 26, 2021

Gauging your Health

In the past I have described how I use “gauges” to journal my health and check in with my accountability partner.[1] I literally draw three gauges on the top of the page of my journal. By the way, do you know the difference between a diary and a Christian journal? A diary is a writing exercise, directed to ourselves and perhaps for others to read one day. The type of journal that I encourage you to use is for prayer. I address every entry to God (“Dear God” or I use another Biblical name for Him) so that the entry is a prayer, and therefore it means something. Most of my entries are short. I use the journal to help me to focus, because I can get very distracted. Years ago, my friend and teacher said that we should write on the front of our journal, “Now I lay down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, but if I should die before I wake, I pray you throw this journal in the lake!”

The three gauges I use are labeled Physical, Spiritual and Mental.[2] They overlap in scope, but these gauges help me to pay attention to my health. Generally, I only draw these gauges every few months. If each gauge is in the same place four months from now then I need to make note of that. If in another four months they are in the same place or worse than I need to act on that in order to move to a healthier space. My accountability partner has a tool to help me to remember and call me to account.

I draw the three circles, set the indicator arrow between empty and full, and then in bullet points underneath write any noteworthy reasons or causes for my arrow placement.

I am wondering if this could be a healthy exercise for small groups, leadership teams and families?! Try it. Part of the conversation is not only about your current situation but also about your hopes. For instance, a family member may indicate that their physical gauge is at a ¼ tank. Your question could be, what steps will you take to help move that gauge towards health. Another member might indicate that their spiritual gauge is at ½ tank. Your question might be, “tell me about that” or “where would you like the gauge to be?” and “Which direction is the fuel gauge in?” Another family member might draw the mental gauge low. You should ask about R.I.C.E. (relationships, intellectual health, creativity and emotions). Some children may use emojis in order to help describe what low feelings they are having. At the end of your check-ins with one another you could pray.
My friends, in a journal or on a stickie in your Bible, where are you in the gauges? I’ll check in again with you in 6 months!


[1] Did you know that every FMCIC pastor has to have an “accountability partner”? This is a trusted Godly friend who will live into the spirit of early Methodist band meeting questions. Questions like “Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear concerning you? Do you desire that in doing this we should come as close as possible that we should cut to the quick and search your heart to the bottom?” We are to meet with our accountability “regularly” which for some is weekly and others it is monthly.
[2] I traditionally have used the word “Emotion” rather than “Mental”. I switched to “Mental” in order to use the acronym R.I.C.E. to describe what Mental includes: Relationships, Intellectual health, Creativity and Emotions. By “relationship” I ask, “what is the current status of all your relationships?”; by “intellectual health” I mean “what are you doing to challenge yourself intellectually?”; you are created to create, therefore what are doing creatively – art, music, woodworking, etc?; and finally, how are you feeling?

 


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Leonard Bruce –    date and location TBA

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CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
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Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON

 

Church Profiles available
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Preparing Profiles

(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)

Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON (Rev. Gary Denniss-Interim Pastor)
New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON (Rev. Alan Adams – Interim Pastor)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)


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