Mindy's Blog


 

Don't Lose Your Soul 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, March 14, 2011

Was a privilege to serve at Encounter in California. Thanks to @lhahncalif for the inspiration and reminder.





Learning to Be Here Now 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, January 03, 2011

Learning to be “present” could be one of the best gifts you give to yourself and others this next year. But as you’ve probably already discovered in our distracted, anxiety-filled world, being “present” not at all easy. It will require some effort, some training of the soul.

Perfect fodder for a new year’s resolution! But wait, you cry… wait! This is not impressive! Just one goal?! And one that cannot be measured (in pounds or otherwise)?? But let’s think about impressive in a new light… imagine what being present could open up for you......
  • What would it be like to look deeply into the eyes of those you love, and really see them? Hear them? Understand them? Imagine just one evening marked by deep connection with those around you? What would open up? How about a whole week? An entire year?

  • And what would it be like to shake off those nagging chains of guilt and self-hatred mentioned in the video? Who doesn’t need ongoing protection from the hissing, scathing voice of the accuser?

  • Or, what would it be like to feel fear as you face challenges, failure, adversity, or conflict… feel it, but not be driven by it? What would that kind of freedom taste like? What possibilities would a fearless perspective open up for you, day after day… month after month?
To continue reading Learning to Be Here Now on Stirred Up Leadership, please click here.


Who Is Caring for the Next Gen? -- With Tara Rumler 

By Mindy Caliguire - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What will we call the emerging generation?

If it were up to you, what name or label would you give the new generation of young people?

Recently I read an article on this very topic. Some suggested labels included “Generation Net” or “iGen” because most have grown up online. Another suggested label was “Homelander” because they have grown up with public emergency at home and globally (like September 11 and the ongoing war on terror around the World.) Another idea was around the theme of the “Silent Generation” taken from the Great Depression because of the recent economic downturn.

The potential labels elicited three themes that are marking young people:

  • Internet and Technology
  • Home and Public Emergency
  • Economic Volatility and Uncertainty

How do you think those three themes are marking the souls of young people? Take a minute and respond. Journal or simply write a few words about that question.

Below the article, I noticed a multitude of comments about the new generation.

I estimate 90% of the comments were negative about perceived qualities and other possible harsh labels of the new generation, therefore demonstrating what I see as a major problem:  Every generation looks down on the next, and instead of developing them, they condemn them prematurely. Thus, setting the new generation up to fail in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, how can we respond positively to these markings on the new generation?

  • Mentor or share your wisdom in any platform to this new generation. (A mentor can change the trajectory of a young person’s life!)
  • Train them now on how to care for their souls. (Habits begin and form in young people)
  • Encourage others to build into the new generation. (Who do you know that could inspire young people?)

I think we all know deep down that this new generation will not respond to negativity, but will respond to being empowered and believed in. Think back to a time when you were young and someone gave you an opportunity, spoke uplifting words to you, or simply believed in you.  Who was it and what did that person say or do?

The need for encouraging leaders, shepherds, mentors, group leaders, and hope givers to this generation is massive and urgent.  Young people are our hope, our future and current leaders, and our greatest long-term investment. Let's teach them all we know!  Your words, intentionality, and life can make a difference of a lifetime. Take some time to pray or journal a response to this question: How will you make a difference in the lives of the new generation?

(The article referenced, Kids labeled 'generation next' before they grow up,” is via)

Tara RumlerGuest blogger Tara Rumler is Student Ministries Group Life Director at Willow Creek and a freelance writer. She can be found at www.twitter.com/taraumler where she shares about life and her likes - leader development, coffee, reading, coaching, community, finance, and working out. 



Fire and Breathing Space 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fire
Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on logs,
then we come to see how
it is fuel, and the absence of fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time. 
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

San M. Intrator and Megan Scribner, Editors, Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003, p,89. 

Today my Spiritual Director read me this poem in response to my sharing how I am, for the first time in my life, operating with space—with margin—in my schedule.  I now have time not only to accept a last-minute call for a coaching meeting—as happened yesterday, but also space to Be, reflect, and do some of the creative work that each of us crave to do, but often gets squeezed out by the sheer quantity of the stuff we try to do or the number of people we feel we have to see.  I am still wrestling with the issue of stewardship—What is enough? What is effective stewardship of my life as a faith-supported missionary?, and those issues and questions we all face from time to time.

But I am finding, maybe for the first time in my life, that the issue is not sharing all the wonderful content and ideas which I have collected and gleaned over a lifetime, but finding that proper balance between fuel and space.  I have never thought of the juxtaposition of those two items, but am finding great joy in coaching fewer, and going deeper, and finding that going deeper and burning hotter probably has not happened and will not happen without the necessary space between the logs. 

Isn’t that a great metaphor, and one we all know to be true from our own fire-building experiences?  And the meaning is even deeper in the context of spiritual friendships and formation. 

This may be the image that helps me relinquish my fist-tight hold on content—the ideas, the paradigms, the principles that I for too long have thought were more important than they are. 

I invite you, if and when you ever catch me loading up the fire with way too many logs, to just remind me—“Steve, you only need to lay a log lightly from time to time…”

I am finding that coaching surely operates on this kind of fire, as does mentoring, and the stewarding of relationships in the Body of Christ. 

I just wish I had accepted that truth 30 years ago when I began teaching.

Warming myself by the fire…

Today’s guest blogger is Steve Hoke, a former VP of People Development with Church Resource Ministries who now focuses on leader development and strategic life coaching with mission leaders around the world. He lives with his wife in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He is the co-author with Bill Taylor of Global Mission Handbook: Your Guide to Crosscultural Service (IVPress, 2009). Steve can be contacted at steve.hoke@crmleaders.org.




Conversations that Nurture the Soul of Leaders 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This week a couple of Soul Care friends are "stopping by" for conversation that reminds us to step outside our own situations, think, pray and listen.

Today is a post from Mac Lake, who is the Development Pastor at Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a multi-site church with thirteen campuses. You can find him blogging ideas and insights on leadership at www.maclakeonline.com.

Compelled by the grace of God spiritual leaders serve selflessly, love extravagantly, and give sacrificially. But frequently it’s their untiring efforts for the cause of Christ that bring exhaustion physically, emotionally and spiritually. Isn’t it ironic that serving the God we love can cause us to feel distant from the God we love to serve? That’s why it’s essential that the leaders greatest priority is the care of his or her own soul.

There have been plenty of times my spiritual tank has been so low I can’t seem to get myself back into a healthy place with God. It’s in these times I need someone else’s perspective, wisdom, and faith to boost my own. That’s why I value Soul Care Conversations as a vital part of my spiritual regimen. These discussions with trusted spiritual friends nourish my soul and keep my perspective in alignment with God’s perspective.

Even the most mature leaders need these types of conversations. King Hezekiah was the most spiritually mature king Israel had known in years, yet when the King of Assyria threatened to destroy Israel, he found himself under a tremendous amount of stress. As his soul began to weaken under the weight of the situation he sent word to Isaiah informing him of the situation. Hezekiah’s words reflect his concern, as he put on sackcloth and ashes he said, “This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.” (Isaiah 37:3  

Sensing his weariness Isaiah spoke God’s truth to Hezekiah saying, “This is what the LORD says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.” (Isaiah 37:5-7).  Isaiah’s words in this soul care conversation helped Hezekiah see the situation from God’s perspective and  infused him with the hope, faith, and courage he needed to move forward.

If you’re finding that your soul is weary maybe it’s time for some soul care conversations.  Here are a few questions that might help stimulate the discussion.

    • What’s the freshest thing God has been doing in your life lately?
    • How full is your emotional, physical and spiritual tanks? Empty, quarter filled, half, three quarters or full.
    • What theme does God seem to be emphasizing in this season of your life?
    • If you could see God do one thing over the next 30 days what would it be?
    • What’s God been saying to you through His Word recently?
    • What passion is God stirring in your soul recently?
    • What season best describes your spiritual life right now: Winter, spring summer or fall?  Why?
    • What’s exciting you the most in your spiritual journey these days?
    • What are you most excited about what God is doing in, through or around you?

This Weeks Leadership Challenge: Seek out a trusted spiritual friend and have a honest open soul care conversation.





Are You A Candle-Lighter or Jet-Fuel-Drinker? 

By Mindy Caliguire - Friday, March 19, 2010

Mindy's also blogging at Renovaré! 

Light a Candle, and Fly...

I often tell people that I feel called to stand—to live—as a bridge between the “candle-lighters”and the “Jet-fuel-drinkers.” What do I mean by that?

Candle-lighters are the quiet, steady-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat mystical, focused-on-the-now, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Spiritual Formation types.

Jet-fuel-drinkers are the louder, fast-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat fanatical, focused-on-the-future, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Leadership types.

I love these two groups deeply; they have each formed me in their own way, and I deeply believe the cause of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the blessed community, depends upon them both. In fact, though they often speak very different languages, they need each other.

To continue reading on the Renovaré blog, click here.

Renovaré is a nonprofit Christian organization that seeks, "to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and spiritual formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God."


Invest in a Few Good Friends, Part 2 - How Do You Find Them? 

By Mindy Caliguire - Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are spiritual friends, mentors, and relationships in short supply?

Recent conversations leave me wondering if this is true. Everyone is communicating, communicating, communicating . . . but are we listening, contemplating, and learning to walk through the journey together? 

At one point, Willow Creek asked Mindy to share why she believes spiritual formation, and connections with others, happens best in small groups. There's something there . . . happening . . . when a group of people commit to knowing God and living in grace and healing . . . together.

Grace & Peace,
Team Soul Care


Invest In a Few Good Friends 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, February 15, 2010

Spiritual Formation is often associated with very private, contemplative, even isolated ways of being with God. And it is certainly true that those individual spiritual practices are essential to our life with God—in fact, they often are necessary in stripping any dependence on unhealthy attachments to others.

Solitude and silence, solitary prayer and engagement with the scriptures bring us to openness and yielded-ness to God. When we embrace these core practices, we care for our souls—we put ourselves in a place where God infuses us with life and love and power and grace and healing.

But, the human soul is also designed to receive life and nurture—from God—in the context of relationships. Honest conversation with a trustworthy friend ALSO brings us to the place of openness and yielded-ness to God. When I intentionally walk through this life in the company of friends, I ALSO put myself in a place where God infuses me with life and love and power and grace and healing.

Why? Simply put, He actually indwells his imperfect people. So as we connect authentically with others along this journey of following God, we are able to connect with God. So how do you connect with others?
  • Intentionally take conversations to the topics that really matter
  • Wisely discern friends who are willing to “go there”
  • Swallow our pride in order to share the real stuff of our struggles
  • Share our “growth edges” where we sense God is doing a new thing in us
I’ve even found over these many years that these spiritual friends are the ones who have encouraged and even taught me the importance of those very private practices. And I know I have been able to offer that gift to a few of my friends as well.

Relationships change our lives; it’s a simple fact of the human soul. Be sure to be investing in a few good friends.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.   Ephesians 4: 14-16


Making All Things New 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hello friends! Welcome to the new Soul Care site and, here, the blog. It has been a long labor process, with many voices and many visions... finally brought over the finish line by my new friend Ben Jordan, of Big Bad Collab. He is a rock star of design and web development, but that's not even the most important thing. Ben and his business partner Mark have a huge vision for the Kingdom of God and even huger hearts to follow Jesus. I am immensely grateful for their friendship and leadership in bringing the vision of this site to reality. With enthusiasm, creativity, grace, and excellence. You could say I'm a raving fan!

It has been nearly 18 months in the making... 18 months of dreaming about a place online where folks who attend Soul Care classes, or seminars, or who read the books or are simply eager to connect deeply with God can come together and share ideas, share experiences, and be refreshed. We hope you'll find here an oasis on the web for your soul. A place of refreshment; a place to stop and stay awhile on the journey. Take a seat. In the "chair". Connect with God and others. That's our dream. So, I hope you'll take some time to mess around with the various features. We've never done a forum before! We'll all be learning. And we'd love your feedback.

So there's a few new things going on. Lately, I've been trying to pay attention to what's NEW in my life, in the spirit of Isaiah 43:19a "See, I am doing a new thing... now it springs up, do you not perceive it?"  Could it be we actually miss the activity of God? I know sometimes I do. So I've been keeping a list of what's NEW in my journal.

How about you? What's NEW for you lately?

Circumstances? Attitudes? Lessons? Can you see God's hand?