Author Archives: lifeonlifecoachcheryl

An Essential Leadership Trait

What can I do to lead well?  How do I help others continue moving toward spiritual growth? What do my group members need from me?  How can I model good leadership for them?  What did Jesus do?

If you have a christian leadership role in any capacity, including in the home, these questions may have run through your mind a time or two.  There is always room for improvement and we desire to give our best and our all, knowing that ultimately it is the Lord Jesus whom we serve.  So what is that character trait that helps us lead well?  How do we develop it?

You may have seen those Facebook posts recently – “take the test”.  Find out what career you should have, what city you should live in, which TV character you are or which Disney princess is most like you etc.  Well, to find out what leadership trait you need most, no test is needed. The mix of a leader’s skill, gifting, experience, and knowledge is greatly enhanced by this one leadership trait. Predictability!

Who wants to be predictable?  Maybe you would rather be surprising, interesting, adventurous, and out of the ordinary?  I like that kind of leadership too!   But an even better leader is a surprising, interesting, adventurous, out of the ordinary, and predictable leader.


[pri-dik-tuh-buh l]

1.     able to be foretold or declared in advance

2.     expected, especially on the basis of previous or known behavior.

Are you a predictable leader? Can you be counted on?   Do they know you will do what you say?  Do they know you are praying for them?  Do you keep confidences? Do you have a strong and steady love and commitment to those you lead? Do they trust that you genuinely have their best interests in mind?

There is no better leadership model than God Himself; who is far more predictable than we give Him credit for.  All His actions bear the stamp of predictability. He is perfectly reliable. Consider these verses:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.  Jeremiah 31:3

Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true. Psalm 119:142

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 2 Corinthians 1:19

For he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

God is surprising, interesting, adventurous, and out of the ordinary for sure, but also very predictable. His promises are yes and amen!  Is predictability one of His communicable attributes? A synonym for predictability is faithful, so yes, God shares His faithfulness with us.  And a faithful God makes predictable leaders.  You don’t need a test; just follow Him.



All Talk – Part 1

Have you ever been in a relationship where everything was all about the other person? The time you spend with this person is all about their needs and wants. The focus is on their children, their career, on and on. This person likes you and likes being with you, yet seems not interested in you personally. He or she doesn’t take the time to hear what you have to say or discover who you are.

If you know and love someone like this, then you are in an unbalanced one-sided relationship. Who wants that type of relationship?

I hate to say it, but the God of all grace, who deserves all glory in heaven and on earth, has seriously unbalanced, one-sided relationships with His children. That’s us and we are the talkers.

How does this happen? Well, our prayers usually begin with praise and thanksgiving.  Right? That’s very good. Then next comes intercession and petition where we lay out our problems and those of our family and friends before Him. We tell Him we want His help and healing. We tell Him we want His joy and strength. Then we say, “Amen” and walk away. Alas, We are doing all the talking.  Sadly, we have made our relationship with God all about us.

Good relationships involve listening as well as speaking. Granted, listening isn’t easy by any means. Human beings speak with gestures, inflection, and facial expressions and we still have problems listening and hearing each other. How much more difficult is it to listen to Someone we can’t even see or hear?

Each and every one of us are prone to an unbalanced one-sided relationship with God. By human default, we do all the talking. So how can we improve our listening skills toward Him? How do we learn to hear and recognize His voice?  Read my next post It’s All Talk – Part 2. I will share 7 ways we can hear God speak if we take the time to listen.

By the way, did you know that God initiates all prayer?  We aren’t the originator of our prayers, He is.  Our prayer life is a response to His work within us.  You can never pat yourself on the back for even having a prayer life, it is His work within you.  I guess this is the subject of another blog, but in the meantime as Steve Brown often says, “You think about that.”

Any comments?

All Talk – Part 2

From the previous article Its All Talk – Part 1, I mentioned that we are all prone to an unbalanced one-sided relationship with God. By human default, we do all the talking. So, how do we learn to hear and recognize His voice?  Here are 7 proven ways to hear God talk to us when we take the time to listen.

  1. Scripture – The Bible is intentionally called God’s Word.  Because that is exactly what it is, the very words from the mouth of God. What have you heard from Him lately?
  2. People – Someone said, “God wears people as His uniform.” That means God surrounds us with His messengers. Most people are not even aware that God is using them to speak to us. Sermons fall under this category. Are you listening?
  3. Creation – Creation uniquely speaks God’s voice to us. The heavens declare His glory.  What is He saying to you in His heavens and earth?
  4. Circumstances – If we listen well, God speaks to us in everyday circumstances.  Is there a troubling event in our life?  Maybe He is saying, “Trust Me.”  Are we worn out?  Maybe He  is saying “Slow down, come to Me, I will give you rest.” Are you hearing His voice in your life?
  5. Silence – His still small voice within gives deep intuitive thoughts that are not our own. The key to hearing God’s voice in silence is releasing our own agenda and waiting for Him, often in solitude.  Are you quiet enough to hear what He is saying?
  6. Dreams – I woke after a certain dream one time and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I heard God’s voice of comfort and assurance.  How awesome it was to hear Him while I slept. Pay attention to your dreams but remember that God-given dreams and scripture will never ever conflict.
  7. Journals – Many of the autobiographies we read today are actually the journals of great Christians. Aren’t you glad they journaled? If we slow down enough to write out our spiritual questions and struggles we just may hear God answer us.

Here is a word of caution – Not all voices are God’s. Always measure what you hear against His written word and His revealed character.

Here is a word of exhortation – Get with a small group of believers regularly. Join with others who seek to hear God’s voice themselves and you will mutually help each other listen well.

Let the wise listen and add to their learning,
Let the discerning get guidance. Proverbs 1:5

What are your experiences with hearing God’s voice?

He Entered Our World

The One who can sympathize with our weaknesses “gets it” (Hebrews 4:15-16). He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). And He entered our world as one of us. We are called to be like Him. We are to care enough to enter the world of our friends. To lay down our lives for those we love.  And if you are a coach or leader in any capacity, lay down your life so that you “get” those you serve (John 15:13).

Jesus, who loves us with everlasting love, entered our world asking good questions.  Try reading one of the gospels and keeping a tally of Jesus’ questions.  You will learn a lot about love and service.

When was the last time you really entered someones world with questions that go deep?  By having the courage to do this you may find that rather than protecting themselves, they open up to you. By opening up to you they hear God. They begin to experience His healing to their situations in a special, specific, and personal way and receive His comfort through you.

Everyone needs someone who loves him or her enough to ask the deep questions of life. 1 Corinthians 13 says that if we don’t have love we are nothing more that a clanging cymbal or a noisy gong. To ask deep questions without love can feel intrusive, even offensive. This is why coaching or shepherding the heart is so easy for us to miss.  We don’t want to offend. We try to coach or shepherd the behavior instead. But this is how Jesus did it and does it;  heart first –  behavior second.

As a leader, coach, friend, parent, supervisor etc. this is our part:

  1. Pray, ask God to fill you with His love  for others.
  2. Enter their world with listening love.
  3. Shepherd their hearts, not their behavior in love
  4. Watch Him work.

I know that life is a journey very much like a roller coaster ride. It is up and down, fast and slow, scary and fun all at the same time. It is very common to lose direction, want to change direction, or just need a little help moving forward in the right direction. Sometimes all that is needed is a map and someone to help you read it.  If you lead others or are going through a life transition, or both I would love to come along side you in your journey and enter your world with great commandment love.

Contact Cheryl

How to Start Journaling

In my ministry as a Life on Life Coach I often ask those I coach to begin journaling about the things they are processing. Somehow, the act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys for that matter) cause the things we discuss to become a cognitive learning experience. Journalers use memory, perception, judgment and reason not just emotional, volitional responses to coaching. Journalers think, write, see, read, decide, think some more, write some more and good stuff happens.

Below are some suggestions for journaling if you haven’t done it before. Or maybe you haven’t journaled in a long time and want to pick it up again.

First, here are a few tips:

  • Buy a small journal with about 30 pages.
  • Date each page.
  • Write no more than a page a day.
  • Skip a page if you can’t get to it one day, you can return to it later.
  • Have fun.
  • This one is a suggestion – Journal with a buddy or with a group.

Journal ideas to try:

  • Romance Journal – Obviously, you could write something romantic about the love of your life in your Romance Journal.  This is always fun and keeps you thinking good thoughts. But here is another idea – If you are struggling with your prayer life or quiet time, begin journaling daily love letters to Jesus.  Tell Him all the reasons why you think He is wonderful.  The fact that He is the Lover of your soul will become more and more real to you.  Watch your love for Him increase and your prayer life grow.
  • Gratitude Journal – If depression or sorrow has come into your life, don’t waste any time in beginning a daily Gratitude Journal.  Everyday list something you are grateful for and why you are grateful for it.  Try to write about something different each day.  Your difficulties sort of move to the back as you focus on what God has done for you.
  • Joy Journal – This is the funnest of all journaling. Everyday write something that brings joy to your heart and a smile to your face.  Since I have adorable grandchildren, the cute things they say do more than make me smile. They crack me up. Animals are funny, so are some blogs. Heard any funny jokes lately? Watch that joyless mood of yours lift. What a great treasure you will have one day for someone who might need some joy.
  • Will of God Journal – Wouldn’t if be fun to write a book about the will of God? People always say they wish they knew what the will of God is for their life. You can help them out. All you need is a Bible, a journal and a pen.  As you read the Bible, journal something you learned from it that is clearly God’s will for the lives of His people. It is easier than you think. Try it.

What are your experiences or ideas for  journaling?