Archive for January, 2009

hurt-heart2My name is Dennis Gullion I am a faithfully believer in Christ and I struggle with insecurities.  That is how a recovery meeting starts.  The fact is,  I do struggle with insecurities.  My life has been filled with let downs and disappointments.  To say that those let downs have not affected me, would be like saying that the downward spiral of the economy doesn’t effect me.  It does!

As disappointments sabotage my life, I find my guards and shields go up to protect my heart.  I don’t enjoy the pain that attaches itself, so I keep people at a distance.  I try to pick and choose who to keep at a distance and who to open up to.  I convince myself that I  have the ability to produce selective walls.  However, the fact of the matter is, I can’t produce selective walls.  Walls around my heart affect ALL of my relationships.  Even with those closest to my heart.

I place all conversations through the filter of insecurities, my insecurities.  I then become defensive and quick to judge.  I say things I don’t really mean and do things I wish I could take back all in the effort to protect my heart. Insecurities lurk in the shadows of every conversation.

Insecurities fill all of our lives.  We hide it.  We pretend it is not there.  However, God sees it and wants to fill our hearts with the greatest security ever known to man.  God wants us to be authentic with Him.  He desires to give us unimaginable security but it begins with admitting our insecurities.  Then when those moments come that you want to get defensive and lash out, start by asking God to help with the insecurities you are feeling.

My confession:  I have been a pastor for several years and a follower of Christ for several more and beinging completely transparent, I still struggle with insecurities.  I am not perfect but have a strong desire to be secure in Christ.  How about you?  Been hurt?  Been let down?  Been disappointed?  How has those affected your life?  As you think about them, take some time and talk to God about it!  Ask Him to be your security.

sandSince moving to Parker last November, we have been busy!  Between snow shoveling, baskeball practice, school activities and other small but imprtant things, ….. here it goes, my time Discovering who God is, really lacked.  I was trying to run on my own strength and keep everything organized.  I allowed the busyness of life to take control of my life.  When that happens, there is no room for God.  I had not spent some quality time with God for a while.

So, I decided not to react to life but to act in a way to provide life.  I got up early and drove to a local park.  Armed with my bible, my journal and a souple of books, I was going to spend some quality time with God.  During my time, I wrote, I read, and I talked with God.  I shared my frustrations and I asked for specific things.  I found myself spending 5 hours in the front seat of my car enjoying my quiet time.  I enjoyed it so much, I did again the next day.  WOW!  What a difference a little time makes.

I am not one to spend 5 hours reading, writing and talking to God.  I usually do it out of habit and spend just a few minutes, but to be honest it becomes routine.  I read but never allowed what I read to breathe life into me.  I talk to God, but often feel like my voice just bounces off the ceiling.  And the thought of spending 5 hours without music to help fill the time, is crazy.  But this time was different.  I needed life breathed into me and he did.  My experience has given me a reality of my need for a daily connection with God.  I need Him.  I need life breathed into me by the life giver.  You may have known God for a long time, but have you really come to the place of needing him?  I faked it for a while.  I confess.  But I am so thankful for his love and grace.  Now, I look forward to meeting Him everyday.

streetYesterday I did something I had never did before!  And I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  It was very profitable and I felt refreshed and encouraged.  I think I will make it a habit.  It may cost me some gas and a little extra at changing my oil, but I think it will be well worth it.

My Church Planting friend, Jon called me and asked if I wanted to do a Prayer Drive?  I gotta be honest, I thought we would get on the phone, on facebook, on myspace or any other network and begin recruiting people to pray.  Now, I know the importance of prayer and getting people to pray, but what I was picturing did not look exciting.  I was picturing a “Tele-thon”.  However, what I was picturing was not what took place.

Jon picked me up and a few others and we drove through some neighborhoods and prayed.  At first, I thought this might be a little strange.  Do we take turns praying?  Do we drive in silence and pray silently?  Does one person pray out loud while others agree?  I really didn’t know what to expect.  At first, we drove through with music playing while each of us prayed in our own way.  Each of us prayed quietly out of respect for the others in the car (it can be hard concentrating, listening to others pray in a VERY small area).  After that, each of us chose specific things to pray for out loud.  Here is a sample of the things we prayed for:

  1. Prayed for the teens of Parker
  2. Prayed for the men of Parker
  3. Prayed for those experiencing financial hardship in Parker
  4. Prayed for the Mayor and the council men and women of Parker
  5. Prayed for the firemen and the police officers of Parker
  6. Prayed for the family that lost their 8th grade son as we drove by the spot he was hit by a car a few weeks before Christmas.
  7. Prayed for a spiritual hunger to rise in Parker
  8. Prayed for wisdom on how to show Gods love to the people of Parker
  9. Prayed for people we have already met in Parker

When the drive ended, I was energized and excited about planting in Parker.  There are some great churches in Parker.  However, there are still many people who need to experience Gods grace and love.  As we drove through the streets of Parker, I saw houses that reflect people and even though I couldn’t physically see the people in those houses I began to feel the hurts, pain, anxiety and stress that many experience.  Compassion flooded my soul.  God reminded me of my purpose.  The purpose of bringing hope to the hopeless.

Want compassion for your community?  Want to see what God sees?  Want to feel what God feels?  Take a little Drive through the streets of your community and God will open the eyes of your heart.

f102374encouragement-climbers-posters1Everyone loves to hear an encouraging comment. With all of the negative surroundings we live in, everyone needs encouragement. It can be as simple as, “I am proud of you” to “You made a big difference in your efforts”. Everyone loves to hear encouragement but there are not many people giving them out. Encouragement can help someone push forward to accomplish a lifelong dream. Encouragement can help someone out of a hard time. Encouragement can turn fear into determination. Encouragement can be the difference maker.

Today, I was a Target. I needed to pick up some baby wipes and some over the counter medicine. As I stood in line, I could not help overhearing the lady behind me talking on her cell phone. She sounded as if she was very irritated. She was describing to the person on the other end that she was now buying some gum, hard candy and some nicotine patches. She sounded scared but she was making the effort to stop smoking. As I paid for my stuff, I turned to her and said, “I am sorry, but I could not help but to overhear your conversation, and I wanted to say to you, I believe you can do it.” I pray she does it. Encouragement from a stranger never hurts and who knows it may have given her more determination.

Today, is a great day to encourage someone. You don’t even have to know them. Go ahead and do it, I BELIEVE IN YOU!

760_the_shrekA few years ago I saw a movie that has become a classic and has been followed by a few sequels.  The movie..Shrek.  Shrek was a movie based on the perspective of an Ogre.  An Ogre is viewed as mean, ugly and typically a villain.  However, as you watched the movie you gained compassion for this ogre, Shrek.

Even though I saw the movie many years ago, there has been one line that has stuck with me from the very first time I saw it.  Shrek was being pushed by an annoying donkey to share his true feelings.  At a point of frustration, Shrek shares his true hurt and screams at the donkey that “they judge me before they even know me.” WOW.

Have you ever been guilty of judging people before you even know them.  The truth is, I have.  I am not proud of it, but it has happened.  I have judged people by the way they dress, wear their hair, and even what activities they enjoy.  I have even judged people according to their success or failures.  I do all of that without even talking to them or hearing their story.

As you read this you might think I am a horrible person or you might might think I am a good person because of my honesty.  Whatever the case, we all find ourselves making judgement.  Here are a few things I have done to help me to be less judgmental:

  1. Never Assume:  Sounds simple.  However it takes discipline.  Don’t assume  anything about anyone.  When you begin to assume something about someone, I bet you will be wrong about them.  Focus on what you do know, not what you don’t know.  Your mind can be very creative and paint some pretty bad things that are not true if you assume.
  2. Remember Everyone has a Story- The journey people go through help develop their perspective on dress, hair style, education, and even God.  Everyone is different.  Loving people gives you the desire to know peoples stories.
  3. Ask questions:  I have made it a habit to ask people about their tattoos.  Why?  Because typically a tattoo has a  story and people want to tell their story.  Ask about their family, growing up.  I sat next to a federal judge on the plane one time and I asked about  his kids and grand kids.  He talked the entire flight.
  4. Listen:  You can learn a lot about someone if you just listen.  You hear hurt, pain, interests, passions and frustrations.

Shrek gets a bad rap.  He really is a great guy.  That is why so many have fell in love with the green, overweight, funny-eared, ogre.  They have gotten to know him.  When you get to know someone you usually find out, they are a lot of fun to be around.

The last thing that helps me is to remember:  People often judge me before they get to know me.  I would really appreciate it if they would get to know me, before they judge me!