Friday, October 10, 2008

Your NYCH--on sale this week!

I am excited to introduce my very first "guest blogger" to all of you. Jimmy Parker is a talented speaker, trainer and coach. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, former Marine Corps pilot, and former nationally-ranked gymnast, Jimmy truly practices what he teaches and is universally characterized by his friends, associates, and clients as one of the most influential and effective people they have met. I am honored to call Jimmy and his wife true friends. His message today is a follow up to his talk at our MOPS group a few weeks ago on "Finding Your NYCH." A system for finding and following the plan God has for you.

I was urged to write a follow-up note to the moms who were at the NYCH talk last month and figured your blog was the best place I knew of to put it.

You may remember that your NYCH refers to the 4 components of who you are that can help you discover, develop, and deliver the plan God has for you. It stands for your Natural Gifts (what you’re good at doing), Yearnings (what you love doing), Conscience (what’s right for you to do), and Human Needs (what others need you to do). Your NYCH defines how you were uniquely and wonderfully made, it addresses why you’ve been put on the planet in this time, and it’s where you will find your deepest joy and your highest contribution. And in case you’re wondering, yes—everybody has one. You didn’t come out of a factory, looking and behaving and wanting the same as everyone else. You were hand crafted by He who loves like no other, engineered with passion and precision to perform a mighty work in Christ. You are capable of living and loving and serving in ways that are truly supernatural. You are amazing.

Yet, most of us don’t feel very amazing. We often live and love and serve in areas outside our NYCH, often without realizing it. For some, this is discouraging—as though He’s keeping a secret we really need to know. For others, it feels harder than it should—as if we’re punching the gas & brake at the same time. Some have even chosen to believe the lie that we’re really not special, that we’re “condemned” to the life we know and see today. If you feel at all like this, I have great news! Jesus knows you and loves you far better than you do. And He wants your life to be full (John 10:10), so much that he emptied His so you could have it. But there’s a catch.

There’s no free NYCH.

Sorry, it has a price tag. The price is different for everyone, but I recently heard that God was having a HUGE sale on NYCHs this week and yours is half off. Interested?

Sometimes I wish we could just lay down $200 and take our NYCH home right now, or recite a special magic prayer and have it fall in our laps. But God in his wisdom chose to require a little more effort on our part. (I’m assuming he knows what he’s doing.) He seems to think that spending a little time and energy on His reasons for building you will go a long way toward having a life so full that it overflows, supplying the needs of people and filling them up in a holy act of worship and thankfulness (2 Corinthians 9:12). He wants us to know the unique contribution we can make, then to perform it dutifully.

But the NYCH store doesn’t seem to accept our normal forms of payment: MasterCard, cash, or (a few thousand years ago) my best crops or unblemished animals. Discovering, developing, and delivering your NYCH requires you to spend something far more valuable than your money: your time and energy. You earn your NYCH by spending time and energy searching earnestly for it, pondering and analyzing, asking yourself hard questions then holding yourself accountable for finding the answers. You can see that a person who deliberately plans an hour of such activity each week will discover their NYCH much faster than the person who casually thinks about it infrequently.

Time is the Currency of Life

So, I propose a challenge: let’s see how much we can save at this huge sale God’s throwing. Seriously! How much of your LIFE would you save if you found the perfect NYCH by Christmas? Let’s plan to do some serious NYCH shopping. What kind of plans will you need to make? In other words,

· When will you go NYCH shopping? How much time will you spend there? Will you go more than once? What are you willing to give up to make time for it? Will you invite a friend to come along?

· Once you’re there, what will you look for? Will you browse many things lightly, or really inspect a few things closely? Will you look for the thing that others think is cool, or will you look for what fits you best? What if the thing you wanted most is out of stock? What if it takes longer to find than you think it should?

· What if you get lost along the way? What if traffic sucks? What will it take to make you turn around and go home? What “good” or “shiny” thing will win your attention and pull you off track?

· What are the consequences of not following through? What do you stand to gain if you stick with it?

God asks for a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5). He wants us to take a stand against lifelessness wherever it exists and to consider carefully where you sow your time and your energy. Even right now in your current situation. There is no doubt that mothering a preschooler is one of the most demanding seasons of life: you have perhaps the least amount of discretionary time and energy right now than you may ever have. Examine how you spend them anyway. A living sacrifice for you might mean giving up some of the good things you’ve already chosen that are keeping you from giving Him your best. It might mean challenging a few preconceived notions, relaxing the death grip you may have on your expectations, or replacing some of the negative things you say to yourself with something better. You might even have to give up your need to feel in control. In the NYCH store, this is the stuff written on the price tags.

The Road Ahead

For those of you considering this challenge, this is a good time to remind you about your opponent—the one who seeks destruction and death. He is very smart. He knows our weaknesses and seeks to exploit them at every turn. But his approach is usually so subtle that we often don’t take notice. He knows that as soon as we acknowledge his schemes and take a stand in Christ, the game is over. So he lurks, promoting brokenness and lifelessness but disguising it as something good, something valuable, something shiny. He’s learned this is the most effective way. And we’ve taught him! He doesn’t get a foothold in our life unless we give it to him.

Allow me to expose his plan. He wants to keep us entertained, busy, distracted or otherwise caught up in the ways of this world (Romans 12:2) just enough to not pay the price. To not do the real work of search & discovery. To not get close to God. He wants us to confuse activity with accomplishment over the next 6 months so that, despite the best of intentions, we're no closer our Creator or why he created us than we are today. Another subtle victory for evil. Christians, take a stand against these schemes! (Ephesians 6:11)

You may be surprised to find that dramatic results don’t always come from dramatic change. Good thing, too, since you don’t have more room in your life for drastic change. Your life is a whirlwind right now! As a life coach I’m simply trying to get you to devote just a little more time & energy to yourself. For this is what real growth looks like: many tiny steps. Those rare few who turned their life around on a dime seem to get all the credit and hoopla. But for most of us normal people, it's these tiny, consistent decisions that make the difference: challenging a negative paradigm, thinking deeply about the things of God for 20 minutes, making slight changes in our spending habits (our time, money, and energy) in ways that glorify Him more and more. This is the sacrifice that pleases the Lord, frustrates the enemy, unlocks our highest and best, and enables the miracle of His sanctifying work in us. Make a commitment today to completing one or more of these activities to help discover your NYCH—wouldn't that be an awesome Christmas present?!?

· Review the list of Natural Gifts on page 6 of the NYCH handout and consider which ones might be yours

· Set aside time to complete the activities/discussion questions in the handout

· Check out the additional resources on page 14 of the handout

· Start journaling weekly about your NYCH using the POLL method: write about your Progress, Obstacles, and Lessons Learned that week

· Identify someone to partner with and keep you accountable

To obtain a copy of the handout or learn more about your NYCH, contact me at or (866) 824-8110.

- Jimmy

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