Showing posts from November, 2015

ITCZ 101 - A Calm, Cool Demeanor

Getting In The Cool Zone comes from a willingness and the practice of choosing a state of mind that is calm, cool and peaceful. This is the initial objective of In The Cool Zone and our namesake. When a situation is thrust upon us how do we respond?

A "Go-To" State Of Mind When events begin to unfold around you and you find yourself in a stressful, frustrating or scary situation we need a mechanism and thought process that we can lean on. A true "go-to" state of mind to set us up to react appropriately and powerfully when we need it most.

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. - Romans 12:2 KJV

ITCZ 101 - The Holy Spirit Leads 1

In the process of preparing our mind we need to be clear about who does what in the process of salvation and growing in the Lord. Remember that we want to do the things God told us to do and just as important, we need to let God do the things He said He would do.

Delivering The Gospel When we obey the command to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, that is our part. The Holy Spirit will bring the conviction. He will bring the salvation. He will bring the growth.

And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; - John 16:8 NASB

When we deliver the Gospel, do the works He gave us to do and let the Holy Spirit do his job, we stand in faith. We are not required to convict anyone. We actually can't. That is a job for the Holy Spirit. Let Him do His job.

ITCZ 101 - Foundations of Fortitude

The core value of In The Cool Zone is in the techniques for putting our mind, emotions and body in a position to support our thinking so we can do the work the Lord has given us to do. That work as we define it is thinking like Jesus thinks, delivering the Gospel and teaching what we have learned. These are the same goals declared in our Vision Statement and Mission Statement.

ITCZ 101 Foundations of FortitudePreparationIntroduction
You Must Seize This Reality Count The Cost The Holy Spirit Leads Calm, Cool Demeanor A Sincere Approach
Forgive, Forget Seek The Truth Willing To Learn Wise As A Serpent
Harmless As A Dove
Required: Daily Prayer List
Developing Expertise

In The FieldDeliver The Gospel
Curious Unto Salvation
Your Elevator Pitch
Fellow Christians Body Language A Place Of Power An Attention Grabber Actively Stay On Topic An Expert Listener
Ask Questions Set The Premise
Not Looking For Agreement Take Away Their Argument Say What Needs To Be Said

Finish StrongIt Is OK To Be Wrong It Is OK To…

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 3

We pick up today with our continuation of the Puzzle Analogy.

Seeking The Truth Have you ever been able to connect two puzzle pieces together and later realized they shouldn't be connected?

Oh sure! Some of the die cuts on the puzzle pieces allow for pieces that are not meant to be connected, to actually fit together. In some cases you really can't determine that two pieces do not go together until you build up the cluster. The colors match. The pattern matches. However, those pieces do not go together. The new pieces connected around the original two revealed the wrong placement.

In the same manner, you may connect ideas that you discover do not go together the way you originally thought they did. In many ways the ideas fit but new information revealed the wrong placement. It could even be that the idea was just wrong. That's ok. Don't panic!

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 2

Now that we have built the framework of our puzzle we are ready to deal with the pieces that are much more challenging to organize. The pieces in the center.

The Unknown When you pick up a puzzle piece and do not know where it goes, do you throw it away?

No! If you throw away the piece you can never complete the puzzle.

In the same way when you get a piece of information that is confusing, don't throw it out. All information is valuable. Simply, place that info on the table and as you get more information you will eventually be able to understand it and integrate it into the rest of your knowledge.

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 1

In the article, Galvanize Your Heart, we talked about how and what we should be thinking and we focused on the priority of thinking. Getting your thought process out in front of an initial emotional shock will keep you thinking when you need it most.

Now let's discuss organizing your thinking process. I present to you "The Puzzle."

The process of building a puzzle is very similar to the process of organizing information. We have an overwhelming amount of information coming our way every day. From our scriptures to politics to work, dealing with family, friends, strangers, finances etc. It's a lot to take in.

How do we begin to put it into perspective?

Think about how you approach a puzzle. There are dozens if not hundreds of pieces. You have one guide which is the picture on the box cover. For our purposes, the pieces are information and the picture on the box is the truth.

Galvanize Your Heart

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. What and how you think about life is extremely important. There is also another aspect of thinking that needs to be considered as well. That would be the priority of thinking.

The scripture in Romans 12:2 NLT does not ask us to change the way we feel. We need to change the way we think. Thinking is the part of your heart that the Lord is working on. So let's put a high priority on how we think.
Pray. Think first. The emotions support and reinforce our resolve. The body gets us there and does the physical work. God is glorified.
Think Like Jesus Thinks So what and how do we think? Have you ever noticed that when Jesus answered a question, he either asked another question back or answered the question they should have asked to find salvation? Jesus certainly did answer their question but more importantly He would first give another answer to a question they did not ask, but they should have.

The questions that we…

Count The Cost

As a Christian we are going to get resistance. There is no way around it. We live in a violent world that is diametrically opposed to the Word of God. If the world hated Jesus, we know the world hates us. Let's get the right mind set so we do not get taken by surprise more often than we should.

Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. - John 15:20 NLT The core issue comes from walking in the manner the Lord has told us and standing up for the truth. Certainly, we are not talking about dropping "truth bombs" as is said, just to antagonize someone, but representing the truth when we may suffer consequences for doing so. This will come many times when sharing the Word of God or it may present itself in some situation that may arise.

Skill Development As you grow in the Lord and become more skilled and effective at sharing s…

Prerequisites: Building Fortitude

When we ask and believe, we are in faith. We may not feel like our faith is effective if the Lord takes a while to bring things around. The good news here is He knows exactly what He is doing.

Many requests that we make we cannot bear, regardless of how bad we want them. The Lord knows this and instead of granting a request that will crush us, he builds within us the fortitude we need to take on the blessing.

Remember that the scriptures tell us that the blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it? This is true of things we are asking for. Our Father hears your request. He is building a foundation in you to bear the very things you are asking for.

Walk By Signs or Walk By Faith?

Have you ever had an important decision to make and you just hope and pray that the Lord will give you a sign? Oh, sure. We've all been there.

As new Christians we have a tendency to initially seek a relationship with the Lord where we desire for Him to make decisions for us rather than understand God's ways and walk in them. Let's change our mind and seek to understand God's ways and make them our own.

Faith Killer Seeking a sign takes us out of faith. Take a quick look at the definition of faith in the article, Faith… Updating Your Definition. The act of faith is to know the character of God, put our trust in Him and take action.

So let's keep our focus on the things He gave us to do (How Do I Serve God?). Our Father has tasked us to pray, gather information, make a decision and continue in prayer. At the same time we let the Lord do what He said He would do. He does the miracle (Let God do His Part).

We do not want to put ourselves in a position of being a drone…

Can't Decide? God Expects You To

Walking in the Spirit isn't about the specific decisions you need to make. It's about acknowledging the Lord. Our Father understands that you have to make decisions through the course of your day. He wants you to make those decisions with confidence.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

With every decision you have to make there is information to base that decision on. God wants us to make good decisions based on His wisdom and council and He has armed us with the faculties to do so.

We are not robots and we don't want to be robots. Nor, does our Father. We are alive to Christ and He wants you to put Him first and learn to think like He thinks.
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." - Psalms 32:8-9 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,…

Faith… Updating Your Definition

Imagine a friend. Now imagine that you and your new friend are tasked with saving the world. The way you do this is you each have a button to push. Both buttons must be pressed within 3 seconds of each other and within a close proximity, once a day.

What if you fail to depress the buttons within the time given? You both suffer a painful death and so does the rest of the world.

The first day is going to be unnerving to say the least. With a 3 second window you want to be precise. The consequences are real. You and your friend get together and decided to go on 3. 1, 2, 3, press! You just saved the world.

Little Faith It didn't take much faith to believe your friend would press his button. He was as invested as much as you were and he was standing right in front of you. You were able to communicate as well as acknowledge each other.

20 Years Pass Now fast forward. You've been successful for 20 years coming together and pressing the button and saving the world over and over. Each …

Study Like You Have To Teach It

In the article, How Do I Serve God?, we began to lay our foundation in the Lord with prayer, reading and connecting with other Christians. We then answered the question, What Should I Study? Now that we have discovered what to study, let's learn an important approach to study.

Study like you have to teach it.

As followers of our beloved Father we know we are new creatures created in Christ Jesus and our primary goal is to know Him. To become like Him. As we do this we are building ourselves up in the Lord. We are on the right track!

We are also tasked with building up our brothers and sisters in the Lord so that they can know Him as well.  So let's keep them in mind as we dig in and learn. Thoughtfully develop your own style and prepare to dispense your knowledge and wisdom at every opportunity. It takes time to develop effective teaching skills so integrate this approach early on.
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach th…