Disagreeing in Grace 3&4

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On Monday we discussed the first two rules of disagreeing in grace.  Rules three and four involve being calm and concentrating on the issues rather than the person’s character.

3. Be Calm
The best way to share your views with anyone is in a calm and rational manner.  The more passionate you are about a topic, the harder that will be.  When you give a speech, being passionate about it is beneficial, but when you are trying to change someone’s mind or heart, it is a deterrent.  Nobody wants to be forced into accepting something.  They want to come to their own conclusions after hearing all the facts.

Ignatz is trying to get Igor into a business deal and he’s not going to take no for an answer.  So he raises his voice, digs in and badgers poor Igor for what seems an interminable length of time.  Even though the idea seems to have merit, Igor is suspicious because Ignatz is so insistent.  He feels as though there must be an ulterior motive or a hidden disadvantage if Ignatz is pushing so hard.

If Ignatz had just come to him and calmly stated the value and benefits of the deal, he would have been inclined to agree right away.  As it happened, he was so suspicious that he waited too long and the deal was no longer an option.

4. Don’t Condemn the Person; Question the Issues
Remember always that the Lord loves His children. It’s the sin He hates.  Keep in mind that people are not machines.  We don’t switch our sin on and off.  Ask questions.  Share.  Condemn the action if you must, but never condemn the person that Jesus loves!

Ivan and Mabel were discussing politics when Ivan was so disgusted with her inability to prove her point that he called her an ignorant fool and proceeded to question everything from her honesty to her sanity.  It wasn’t long before Mabel was no longer listening, dug in her heels and declared her allegiance to the other viewpoint even though she secretly began to feel he had made a few good points.

If Ivan had only stuck to the issues instead of attacking her personally, they may have been able to have a civil discussion.

Remaining calm and sticking to the issues in question will help you appear to be fair minded and intelligent while allowing the other person to thoughtfully consider your position, even if they don’t adopt it.

This YouTube video is of Tim Keller talking about how society now discusses faith. It illustrates what I’ve shared for years about communication and sharing our faith: it takes grace and respect.


Come back next week when I’ll share more from “10 Quick Rules for Disagreeing in Grace!”


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The Case for Wrinkles

At the end of a long, joyous, productive, meaningful life, what will people see when they look into your face?  WRINKLES!   And they won’t be thinking, “That face shows a joyous, productive, meaningful life” either.  They’ll be thinking, “Boy is that woman OLD!”  Well, I’d like to change all that and I’m asking for your help.

It’s important to use your communication skills to change the world around you for the better.  Why start with wrinkles?  Well, I’ve written articles about grace in politics and faith before, but it struck me that I never did start at the beginning.  In order to start a movement for world grace, I think it needs to begin with something more universal and easier to discuss.  If you think of it in colloquial movie terms, this article is a prequel.

Every one of us, if we are blessed, will live to see the day when our face has an abundance of creases and lines.  There will come a day when even the fresh-faced, four-year-old will be weathered.  I’d like to start at the beginning with something we can probably all agree on and feel confident enough to pass along.  I say wrinkles are desirable (dare I say fashionable) and I’m going to prove it.

The Case for Wrinkles

1. Wrinkles are better than the alternative!

Yes, given the alternative to growing old, wrinkles come in on top!  Death is a very distant second!  Once you realize how much worse you could have it, wrinkles don’t seem so bad.

2. Wrinkles are soft.

Yes, the more wrinkled your face is, the softer it gets.  My 11 y/o son loves to touch my 48 year old face and always comments, “It’s so soft!”

3. Wrinkles are knowledge.

The more wrinkles you have, the more knowledge you MUST have accumulated, even if by sheer luck!  You just know things younger people don’t.  You’ve lived through stuff.

4. Wrinkles are earned.

Wrinkles are not some honorary badge.  They are earned!  Not just anyone can have these babies!  Laugh lines mean you must have laughed.  A joyous life, even if fraught with struggles, is a prize, indeed.  Wrinkles mean you’ve endured, you’ve persevered.  Wrinkles mean you have really lived.

5. Wrinkles show you have character.

Wrinkles are character lines and mean you aren’t just any old body, you’re a character!  Wrinkles make you cute, cuddly, adorable, wise, and worthy of honor!

6. Wrinkles are wisdom!

If you have acquired wrinkles, you MUST have also acquired some amount of wisdom.  At the very least you remember history like it was yesterday.  You remember what life was like before iPods and can regale the younger generation with quaint stories of what kids did before Playstation 3.  If you’ve really been paying attention or have garnered an education, you can teach people stuff-stuff they might really need to know!

7. Wrinkles give you license to be silly again.

Let’s face it.  When you see a 4 year old being silly, you think, “How cute!”   When you see a 40 year old being silly, you think, “What an idiot.”  When you see a wrinkled old guy being silly, you think, “How cute!”

8. Wrinkles are your ticket to free help.

If a 29 y/o woman is having a hard time with her lawn mower, you’d rather not take a minute to help her get it started because, hey, you’re busy and her husband will get around to helping her…eventually.  If you see an 80 year old woman struggling to get her Christmas lights up, you’ll take three hours of your day to string them for her!

9. Wrinkles mean you don’t get any more pimples!

One of the great perks of getting wrinkles is that your face no longer breaks out!  You don’t need to worry about those embarrassing blemishes due to oily skin when your face has dried up and turned raisin!

10. Wrinkles allow you more time to have fun.

Once you realize you’re no Farrah Fawcett (I know I’m dating myself) anymore, you can stop worrying about your looks and focus on the fun of life.  Not having to worry about your makeup, the latest hair styles, and your Jordache Jeans (now I’m REALLY dating myself) means you can wear what’s comfortable and have more time to enjoy life unimpeded by the bonds of high fashion!

You and I may not agree on politics, religion or even what to watch on TV, but I’ll bet we can forge one bond today and agree to declare to the rest of the world that wrinkles are desirable.  If you agree, forward this blog link to everyone you know, wrinkled and non-wrinkled.  You don’t need to send it to 25 friends in the next five minutes, but if you do, you will have contributed 25 new giggles to the world!  You will also have contributed to the beginning of the Wrinkle Movement.  Together we CAN rid the world of the stigma of wrinkles so that our children will grow up in a wrinkle friendly environment!  Who’s with me?

JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication.  Her Christian and humorous approach to communication skills has made her a sought after speaker.  JoJo’s articles have appeared in various homeschool magazines and websites such as Dr. Laura.com.  Her Say What You Mean curricula is endorsed by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and her eBook, Say What You Mean When You’re in Business, has been used by direct sales leaders and small business owners alike.  For more information, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com

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Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues

How to Effectively Discuss Controversial Political Issues without Arguments

eBook Currently Available for Pre-Order

The political climate in the United States is volitile.  Most political discussions are heated, but they need not be.  If you are a Christian and find yourself on the typical Christian conservative view of each issue, but aren’t sure how to voice your concerns without ending up in a heated dicussion, this eBook is for you!

This is a study like NO OTHER!  Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues helps you understand the issues, but it also teaches you tips and techniques for presenting your Christian conservative viewpoints in a way that will be much more effective and friendly.

Many people think of discussing politics as a debate and, in a way, it is.  However, since most people don’t discuss politics in a formal debate setting, they find they aren’t as effective when they have a debate mentality.  Most people discuss political issues around a dinner table, on the internet or with a neighbor in the front yard.  This is where the grassroots political discussions take place.

eStudy includes:
* Background on each topic.
* General tips for discussing each issue.
* An At a Glance Chart with the major viewpoints on both sides of each issue.
* How to discuss each topic if you only have a few minutes.
* How to discuss each topic if you have more time.
* Embedded resource links where you can learn even more information on each topic.
* Practical advice to help you practice.

Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues will help teens and adults alike to prepare to discuss some of the nation’s most important political issues.  The other side is voicing their views.  It’s time for us to share the Christian conservative views.

We only have two more years until our next presidential election.  Become more informed on the issues.  Help yourself and your family become more comfortable and effective in sharing your Christian and conservative viewpoints.

Pre-Order Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues today and save!

Our special Pre-Order price of only $19.95 will only be for a limited time!  The eBook is currently in editing, but as soon as it is back from the editor and uploaded to order on the site, the price goes back up!

This is one of our most powerful studies at a time when respectful and effective discourse is sorely needed in our country.  Click here to view all the political topics included!

To Pre-Order, just order as usual. The pre-order discounted price is already preloaded for you!  In approximately two weeks you will receive your copy of Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues as an email attachment.

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5 Political Reasons to Learn Effective Communication Skills

I’m often asked why communication skills are so important.  I hear so many say things like: “After all, with cell phones, email and the internet we are the most connected society who ever lived.”;  “The only people who really need to learn effective communication are lawyers and politicians.”;  “Most people know what I mean.” and “So I’m not Ronald Reagan!”

Statistics show that 87% of what you and I do all day long is communication related.  You communicate when you talk to friends, when you discipline your kids, when you share ideas at work, when you share your faith.  I hear some of you out there though thinking, “What’s so important?  So I don’t get along that well with Aunt Millie!”   While studies show that effective communicators are more successful in their careers and in their relationships, I want to talk to you today about another vital reason to learn effective communication skills.  5 political reasons to be exact.

1. If you are a conservative…

The current administration is implementing liberal plans for the country.  If you feel this is wrong, you will want to voice your opposition.

2. If you are a Christian…

There are certain policies you might object to on religious grounds.  Let your voice be heard.

3. If you are Pro Life…

Here is one of those religious issues.  If you are Pro Life, you’ll want to share your opinions with the powers that be.

4. If you are against the current health care bill…

You will want to join the thousands of voices sharing their views against the proposed bill.

5. If you are concerned about the direction the economy is going…

You should speak up for what you believe in so your thoughts and needs will be heard.

Christian conservatives are waking up to the fact that we cannot remain silent any longer.  We need to speak up and voice our side, but we cannot just throw rhetoric and ideas around and hope they stick.  We need to be thoughtful, respectful, gracious and articulate.  And it isn’t enough that we are armed with the truth; we need to be armed with the skill to share our ideas in a manner that befits an articulate servant of Christ.

JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula, including Say What You Mean Defending the Faith.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com and hosting her weekly podcast, Communication Comedy Network.  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com

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