Monday, March 30, 2015

Life Purpose

Have you ever seen the movie “Facing the Giants”? Throughout this movie, numerous life obstacles are presented to Grant Taylor and his wife. He owns a car that constantly dies on him, they live in a house that has numerous problems to be fixed, and he does not make enough money on his job. As if that were not enough to overwhelm them, Grant and his wife have desired to have children. Their attempts for four years have been unproductive. Needless to say, life is not going well for them. Does this sound familiar? I know that a few of these situations have been the events within my life from time to time.  But in the mist of it all, God has a purpose and a plan. 

Let me share a scene from this movie that had a major impact on me. Coach Grant Taylor has his football team on the field, practicing drills. His lead player, Brock, has a negative attitude that is affecting the whole team. The coach is addressing this issue and has just said, “Attitudes are the aroma of your life.” He calls out Brock, (who is displaying a bad attitude), to do the death crawl. With another player on his back, he is asked to crawl as far as he can.  Coach Taylor blindfolds Brock so that he does not give in at a point in which he feels that he has done well enough. He wants to have Brock give him his best. As Brock crawls the coach is encouraging him all the way. He directs him, and consistently tells him not to quit. When the weight is starting to cause Brock pain, the coach tells him to keep going. Brock yells, “it hurts, it’s too hard”, but the coach yells back, “keep on going, don’t quit, 10 more steps, you can do this. Give me your very best!”  Brock continues on and then collapses on the field. The coach takes off the blindfold and tells Brock to look up; he is in the end zone.
Coach Taylor tells Brock that he is his most influential player on the team and if he walks around defeated, so will they. He points out the fact that he just crawled from one end zone to the other with a 140 pound man on his arms. Then he says “God has gifted you with the ability of leadership- don’t waste it.” 
Maybe you are like Brock, with a bad attitude that is becoming a roadblock to your potential. Maybe those attitudes are affecting the power of your influence on everyone around you, your family, your co-workers, your friends. Maybe you are feeling like the weight of life is just like that player on Brock’s back, too much to bear.
You see, I passionately believe that God has gifted every one of us with abilities, to lead, to comfort, to inspire, to create, and to share. How has He gifted you and are you like Brock, just wasting that ability?
As a Christian Life Coach, I help clients to step into their destiny and discover all that God has created them to be.  I am here to cheer you on and speak into your life, “Don’t quit. Give your very best, keep going, you can do this.”   

Connie Hanten, BCMCLC

New Hope Life Coach

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

Monday, March 16, 2015


I’ve been thinking about assertiveness. Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings, opinions, beliefs, and needs directly, openly and honestly, while not violating the personal rights of others. Assertiveness does not in any way mean being aggressive. Aggressive behavior is self-enhancing at the expense of others. It does not take other individual's rights into consideration. If you are aggressive, your spouse's, children's, extended family members and friends' feelings are ignored, violated and not taken into consideration when interacting with them. Furthermore, as a result of aggressive behavior, they feel hurt, humiliated, angry, and revengeful.

Assertive communication can strengthen your relationships, reducing stress from conflict and providing you with social support when facing difficult times. A polite but assertive "no" to excessive requests from others will enable you to avoid overloading your schedule and promote balance in your life. Assertive communica-tion can also help you handle difficult family, friends and co-workers more easily, reducing drama and stress.

So why be assertive?

1. By standing up for ourselves and letting ourselves be known to others, we gain self-respect and respect from others.

2. By trying to live our lives in such a way to NEVER hurt ANYONE under ANY circumstances, we end up hurting ourselves and other people.

3. When we stand up for ourselves and express our honest feelings and thoughts in direct and appropriate ways, everyone usually benefits in the long run. Likewise, when we demean other people, we also demean ourselves and everyone involved usually loses in the process.

4. By sacrificing our integrity and denying our personal feelings, relationships are usually damaged or prevented from developing. Likewise, personal relationships are hurt when we try to control others through hostility, intimidation or guilt.

5. Personal relationships become more authentic and satisfying when we share our honest responses with other people and do not block others from sharing their responses with us.

6. Not letting others know what we think and feel is just as selfish as not attending to other people's thoughts and feelings.

7. When we frequently sacrifice our rights, we teach others to take advantage of us.

8. By being assertive and informing others of how their behavior affects us, we are giving them an opportunity to change their behavior, and we are showing respect for their right to know where they stand with us.

Tom Horst, MAMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist

Friday, March 6, 2015

When God Speaks

One morning as I was getting ready to go to work my mind was filled with frustration and angst over a situation.  I confess there was a spirit of revenge in my heart and in my thoughts. As my thoughts rolled over and over in my mind I became more and more uptight and yet determined.  As I worked on knitting that ball of frustration tighter and tighter a voice suddenly came out my radio and shouted very loudly “Get out of God’s way”.   There was a pastor preaching a sermon on forgiveness on my radio station.  He continued to, in his boisterous manner, to go on to say that God cannot take care of the wrong doing that has been done to us till we get out of His way.  I looked heavenward and rhetorically asked with a smile, “That was no accident was it Lord?”  I had to laugh to myself, then sincerely repent and move on. 

I pondered what had happened as I made my way to work.  I love when God sends loud and clear messages to me and this message was certainly loud and clear, straight from the mouth of God through that pastor.  I started to think about how God knows our end from the beginning. He knows every choice we will make along life’s way.  He knows how every moment of our lives will play out.  Every moment…those few tiny seconds when that voice came out of the radio…God had to create that pastor’s mother and father, they gave birth and one or both had to raise him or influence him to be a good and godly man. He had to grow up and he had to choose to become a pastor, my radio station had to put him on their schedule at just the right time for me to hear that. All the human choices along the way. I thought about all the possibilities of how just one thing going differently in this chain of events and that voice would not have come out of my radio at that time – the perfect time.

What a peace and joy that gave me as I realized how intricately God has planned my life.  Imagine- Before the world began God had a plan for every second of everyone’s life.  Not impossible for a God who spoke the world into existence. God’s fingerprints are all over my life and yours too. There is nothing left to chance.  Sure man has free will, but God has His provisions for those wills already worked out. I can bask in the safety and security of the mighty hands of God.  I can know that He has everything already worked out for me.  If I make a “wrong” choice He has made provisions for that. If someone else makes a bad choice and it hurts me He has people and supports already worked out to help heal the hurt. If I stray from Him he already has folks in place to steer me back. His guidance, safety and protection are absolute. 

So relax! Get rid of that anxiety.  You have nothing to worry about.  Live in this world like a child under the tender loving care of the perfect parent of the universe.  God and all His angels are looking out for you.  You have only to put yourself in the capable and loving hands of God and His precious son Jesus Christ! 
Shelva Hess, Counselor

Monday, March 2, 2015


I recently received a text from one of my sisters about how many days there are until spring.  We are so focused on the weather and how soon this “season” will be over that we lose focus on more important things going on around us.  We are like the disciples in Mark 4:35 – 41 where they are on a boat and they start to fear for their lives because of a storm.  They wake Jesus who was asleep and he calms the wind and the water and questions their faith.  We are just like the disciples when we question the storms and trials that we face.

During the snow storms we have going on outside our homes we don’t always recognize the raging storms of our mental wellbeing.  Are we so focused on the next “season” so much that we lose focus on the here and now in the anticipation of what is to come next?  I have learned that if I don’t take care of my mental wellbeing and remain focused through faith in Jesus that I am not able to handle the little things that I over look.  My anticipation should be keeping my focus on Jesus and everything around me will fall into its proper place.

While we are in the storms of our lives where is our focus?  Would Jesus call us out on our faith as He did his disciples?  It certainly helps us think about our “storms” from a different perspective and realize where our anticipation and focus need to be!

Elaine Campbell, MA, MHC