Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What are Your Five Great Places of Decision?


What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?My decision making starts on Rib Mountain. It's a great place to get above it all and away from it all. There are four other big ones for me.




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

What are Your Five Great Places of Decision?

By Evan Nehring

Welcome to Wausau, Wisconsin. This is where my life happens. When I think about the big decisions my kids will make, and all of us make, it comes down to five great places of decision. We all have them, or could have them. Here are mine.
 

#1: Rib Mountain

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?

This is where I go right here in Wausau to get high above the noise and clutter. To think clearly. We all need a place to think about the great question: What's my spiritual center? If Jesus is at the center of my life, what will my whole life look like?

Where do you go to get above it all?

#2: The Shire

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?
Yep, this is home. It's my answer to "Who will I spend my life with?" My oldest child has moved out and married. (Wow, I still can't believe it!) My two guys are still here with Colleen and I, and the pup. This place is real. We work out our stuff here. It gets uncomfortable. But it's a place of tremendous blessing.

I love family. I love the Shire.

#3: The Campus

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?
My campuses were actually in Stevens Point and Minneapolis, but we've got a few in Wausau, too. Yes, my worldview was significantly informed by the people I chose to go to class with and listen to.  That's true whether we go to college or not. Our ideas are shaped by the idea shapers we hang out with.

It's a big deal to answer the question: "What's my worldview?"

#4: The Marketplace

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?

I work for Wausau's largest corporation: Aspirus Hospital and Clinics. I train medical software and I'm SO THANKFUL for the job! Plenty of people without jobs these days. I write and speak, too. "How will I make a living?" That's always been a great question. Many of us keep asking it.

The marketplace is a place of great decision.

#5: The Auditorium

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?

This is where I answer, "What difference will I make?"  How will I serve God in the Church, helping people take the next step in their Christian faith?

What Are Your Five Great Places of Decision?

And then, how will I bring my faith into the community as a civic leader? We live in a republic in the United States. It's government of the people, for the people, by the people. Canada's parliamentary system calls for people to be involved too.

Rising to serve in leadership might not mean being at the microphone in the auditorium, but it calls us to show up in some way.

The five great places of decision are really about five great decisions:

  1. What's my spiritual center?
  2. Who will I spend my life with?
  3. What's my worldview?
  4. How will I make a living?
  5. What difference will I make?

So...what decisions are on your plate?

Question

So what are your five places of great decision? Or what's the central place of decision for you right now? Keep those great comments coming!

Calendar note: I'm speaking both services (8:30 and 10:30 am) at the Northwoods Vineyard Church in Tomahawk, WI this Sunday. Road trip?

I'd love to have you sign up for posts by email, too! That helps me keep gettin' the word out there, and hopefully is a welcome inbox addition for you. 


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17 comments:

  1. Wow, Evan! Really thought-provoking!

    I have to say that the answers to those five questions will define you. They are the most basic questions you can ask yourself. We go through life sometimes just stumbling forward, but that isn't what the Lord wants. I sense He very much wants purpose to our journey. Any chance you could video yourself and put it up on youtube on Sunday? :)

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    1. I would also love to see one of your sermons on youtube. It has been so long since I have been able to hear you speak.

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    3. Evan, I will not be able to make it to church this Sunday! I also agree that you should youtube it!

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  2. Hmmm...I like doing the video thing but feel a bit funny about pulling that out when it's not something we do at church every week. Maybe I'll see if there's a discrete way to do that. I know they'll do an audio recording.

    Sunday's text is John 17:1-5. Kinda preaches itself...

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  3. First, I have to say... this makes me miss Rib Mountain. :) I wish a roadtrip was in my budget. Maybe in the fall.

    Second, the biggest decision I am facing is in the workplace. I am looking at several job opportunities and trying to find a job that will allow me to utilize the education I have worked so hard to achieve.

    My favorite decision to make, is how to give back in our community that will allow me to show Christ's love. Currently Mark and I are working on creating a backpack ministry that will provide filled backpacks for children in crisis situations.

    Evan, I am really enjoying the blog. Cannot wait for the next one.

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    1. Heather, I know you've really persevered to finish school. It's so much easier if we can knock that out after high school, but I think our story of career change is pretty common. God's best to you!

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  4. I'm definitely working through the 5th great decision: "What difference will you make?" My wife and I find our family in a new city (Ashland, WI) after lots of moving around during the past 3 years (6th house in 3 years) while I went back to school. We're looking for how we can become part of the fabric of our church and the greater community.

    I feel like there are lots of good things that I could do. Now, which ones are the ones I should do? Or I could just play it safe and not really do any.

    I once saw a satirical t-shirt marketed to Christians that says "Grow Where You're Planted. Stay Mediocre. See You in Heaven." I thought it was funny but revealing in the way it exposes the tendency to play it safe in God's kingdom. To steal from Jesus' parable of the talents it's my inclination to just put those talents in a coffee can and stash them in the ground next to the porch:) Why take the risk of investing them?

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    1. I sometimes feel like rewriting the parable of the talents to include a guy who took risks with his talents and lost it all. I'd like to see the master's response.

      But maybe that's the point of the parable. Maybe, in the Master's eyes, there's no risk. We throw ourselves out there and, on a kingdom level, it's all good. We could lose earthly possessions, friends, social standing, but on God's profit/loss statement it's all profit.

      The t-shirt is hilarious.

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  5. Very awesome way to portray your life, Evan! I enjoy this because not only are you hitting on key elements, but you are making it personal and engaging :-).

    The way you are thankful for your job definitely hit home with me. I am also very thankful for being blessed with a great job. It is easy to overlook the things we are blessed with, often taking things for granted. Each and every day, it is important to not only be thankful for what is provided, but seize the opportunity that God has given us and spread his amazing love. A simple smile or a nice greeting to someone can really make a difference....

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    1. It's definitely easy to look at our days at work as another day in the salt mines. Some days feel that way for sure. Love the gratitude attitude!

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  6. Good questions! What I like most about them is their relevancy for any season of our lives. I've learned that the answers to #2-4 can change at any time. The constant is #1.
    Life in its uncertainty and sometimes cruelty attempts to knock us off center. So, to revisit that first place of great decisions is vital. After all without that center, the purpose of the others seems necessary but futile.

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    1. Yes, Carol, #1, our spiritual center, is the constant. The mountain is a very physical way for me to say, "God, I'm back here looking out over all of my life and placing you solidly at the center." Sometimes waterfronts are good, too.

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  7. For me, 2,4,& 5 kind of go together based off of "How will I make a living". Of course 2 is my wife, future kids, & family, but how I hope to make a living will have an impact on 2 & 5. My martial arts school is what I hope will be the key way I make a living. It is an interesting position to be in because of the influence I have over my students, and hopefully their families. I say families because even if they don't all learn martial arts from me, I hope that I will speak God's truth into their lives.

    I don't want to call my school a ministry, & there are a few reasons. The big one is that I don't believe God wants us to compartmentalize our lives. When he was giving his word to his chosen people, Israel, everything was included in it - relationships, work, etc. And nothing changed with what we call the New Testament. However, as Christians many have decided to make certain things spiritual but not pull God into other things. The other thing is, why would I call my school Christian? Go back to my previous thought - I should not separate my love for God from anything. And then I will also push away those that aren't Christian; they won't even show up. Instead, I will pray to our one, true God when we gather for Christmas parties & picnics, I will share his truth about our holidsys in our newsletters, and that's just part of it. I do not need to be a pastor or missionary to do His work.

    Now I just need more students :)

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  8. If anyone's looking for a great martial arts instructor in the Milwaukee area, Brian would be dynamite!

    Yeah, Brian, Jesus stuff flows out of us in a thousand ways whether it is tied to a "ministry" or not. I wish you the very best with your martial arts studio!

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  9. My Rib Mtn is biking alone when I can see the vast skies and think clearly about what's really important. Waterfront is awesome too like you said.

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    1. It's me Heather Block. I'm not trying to be anonymous.

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