Archive for Good Shepherd

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions related to losing weight, exercise or making a change in the way we interact with our families.  Many times we start strong but find it difficult to follow through on our resolutions. I have found that in spite of my best efforts to change things in my life I often fell short leading to frustration, a sense of failure or worse, loss of motivation.  

Why do we fall short of our New Year’s Resolutions?

I think this stems from the fact that the change either required more self-discipline than we possess or what we are targeting is a symptom rather than the underlying cause.  In either case I found that a spiritual answer is in order. So perhaps in 2019 a different type of resolution would serve us better.

Let’s not set ourselves up for disappointment with our New Year’s Resolutions this year.

While we talk about and focus on self-control, discipline and making good decisions, why is it difficult to follow through?  Let me propose that lasting change in our lives often stems from a different source. I found in my life that over time I had grown emotionally distant and numb and had become hard and defensive.  This led people around me to think I was proud, arrogant or self-confident when in reality my confidence had evaporated because of  a series of events that left deep wounds within. That is when I discovered a spiritual answer I did not expect.

Many people in the US report being Spiritual

Many in our society consider themselves to be spiritual. Some report feeling led or moved to do things they would not normally consider.  Many more say they feel negative or guilty after making a poor decision. Their feelings seem to emanate from within.

Why is this the case?  Is there a spiritual element we all possess?  

Whether you are convinced God does not exist, is cruel or believe in a higher power, let me encourage you to keep reading or listening.  Why? Because I found a spiritual answer that led to deep healing and restoration of my heart, joy, and peace that made it far easier to be kind and patient with my kids.  

Recently I came across a passage that echoed what I have found at work in my heart and my life.  It says:

I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

The passage above is found in John.  While I know faith, the Bible and Jesus have a questionable image in our society, because of the poor conduct of some, I would encourage everyone who reads this to consider the existence of the helper mentioned in the passage.

Jesus states that it is to our advantage that He leaves earth so the helper will come. it is significant because this person can help us live more peaceful, patient and fulfilled lives. In other passages it is said that the helper:

  • Guides us
  • Heals our hearts
  • Serves as a buffer between us and God so we do not have to be perfect
  • Convicts us of right and wrong
  • Grants patience
  • Grants self-control
  • The Spirit even pours love into our hearts.

I am pretty sure virtually everyone would admit that the world could use far more people who are filled with genuine love. Perhaps we fell short of our resolutions in the past because we were not looking to the helper for patience or self-control.

So who is this helper?  The helper is the Holy Spirit who is said to take up residence within our hearts. I believe there is a spiritual element in everyone that the Holy Spirit is tugging on deep within. Perhaps this is why so many report being spiritual.

Prior to considering the helper, I found change in my life hard to come by for a several reasons. Why was it hard for me to change prior to discovering the many roles that the Holy Spirit plays in my life?

  1. )  I was relying on my knowledge and ability to make good decisions.
  2. )  I had stuffed many hurts throughout my life causing me to basically cut off my heart to avoid dealing with the hurt that had amassed within it.
  3. )  My heart was heavy, numb and clouded.  Like the passage says sorrow had filled my heart.

Even though I had a faith in God and had been told of the Spirit’s existence, my reliance on my knowledge and making good decisions had me focused on my head rather than my heart. Compounding this was the fact that the unhealed pain, numbness and sorrow in my heart made it difficult to discern guidance of the Spirit who resides in the heart.

It was not until a professional counselor told me my heart was shutdown that things began to change.  She pointed me to the fact that I had grown numb and that I had been stuffing my pain rather than moving through it. It was difficult to open my heart and allow myself to encounter and release the pain. It had been years since I could say I felt whole inside.

As I sought healing, the Spirit pulled down the guard I had put around my heart and pain flowed in tears and then anger.  Off loading the pain and hurt was freeing. I felt lighter, happier and could begin to sense the Spirit’s leading. Clearly He changed my heart, which changed my outlook on life.

So as 2019 approaches, consider a different kind of resolution this year … A Spiritual Resolution to seek the helper to illuminate the areas of your heart that are wounded by the past. Turn and face the pain they represent and seek the Spirit’s help to experience and release the pain.  You will not believe the difference it will make in your life. You will see everything in a more hopeful, positive and compassionate light.

Would you like to learn more on the subject of reviving your life? Visit us at, we are always here for you.

While looking within is often the hardest phase of healing, it is crucial. I am not talking about a cursory review of oneself at the mind level, but rather a process of opening the hatch to our hearts and becoming emotionally transparent with ourselves.  We must allow ourselves to feel and find the root causes of the hurt and negative beliefs we have so carefully sealed from our consciousness. As I help parents and kids reach this place, it is amazing to see how unaware they often are regarding the pools of pain they are carrying within as well as the negative beliefs they have adopted.

When I ask them on the surface if they are okay with themselves, the answer is normally yes, but as we dig through a long list of questions about their lives, unresolved hurts and deeply held negative beliefs begin to surface. Identifying the sealed off hurts within our hearts and the negative beliefs is essential to healing that brings with it internal contentment, peace and joy. Read More →

Healing the heart is not a science or a linear process but an inward journey of discovery, reflection, and emotional consciousness that leads to deep healing. It does, however, require a significant mental decision and commitment. Why? It takes time, personal transparency, and a willingness to discover the suppressed reality that lies within.

This discovery process is not easy and often uncovers pain that we inherently like to avoid which is likely why we stuffed it originally. When pain accumulates, it causes us to deep six our hearts and shut them down, in effect sealing the hatch to the submarine to avoid the storm within. Read More →

Have you ever thought of making a contract with your kid on their behavior and if so what was your thoughts on how it would affect them? We try our hardest as parents to help our kids by what we know of is the best way. However, what if one of the ways was very harmful to our kids’ as a person and the relationship we have with them.  

What Contracts are About

I am surprised by the growing popularity of contracts between parents and kids to address certain behaviors and issues.  While it surprises me maybe it shouldn’t, given that the pace of life leaves so little time for genuine relationships and the resulting distance we work through with so many families at Revive Family.

Contracts were originally a tool for kids who exited treatment programs.  Today they are appearing in social media and some parenting programs as a great tool to use with our kids, but are they? Read More →

Let’s Revive Our Families:
Unlocking the Secrets of the Good Shepherd

Come explore how we lead in a manner that will have our kids chasing us around the lake like the Good Shepherd.  Imagine having such influence in your kids lives.  Influence that has them looking up to you, seeking your advice, and involving you in their decisions. We wonder is this even possible today? It is!

How do we achieve such influence in our kids’ lives and maintain it through the adolescent years?  These are the questions Jeff sought to answer in his research given what he saw happening with his oldest Heather. This search led to unconventional wisdom that has parents saying “I wish I had heard this sooner!” Come interact with Jeff and explore how arrive at a place of lasting influence.

Join Jeff Schadt May 5th at Westside Vineyard Church for an interactive exploration of how we gain amazing influence in our kids lives.  Come for dinner at 5:30 with your family because the evening includes a session for Middle School and High School Students called It’s Your Life that will help them take more responsibility for their success.  Saturday the 5th costs just $20 per family.

You will not be disappointed!

I Am a Twenty Year Old College Student Who Rarely Uses Social Media & I Am Concerned About the Effect of Social Media on Young Adults

Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook, says that the thought process behind creating Facebook was “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” He even goes as far as calling it a “social validation feedback loop.” The entire idea behind social media websites is how to get people to become dependent on the information or validation they get from using this source. Today social media is one of the most heavily relied upon mediums for young adults. They don’t just use it to keep in touch with friends. They use it as a place to post what they did, see what their friends did, watch the newest viral videos, follow celebrities, and much more. This has become such a norm with teens today that they don’t exchange phone numbers or emails but look each other up online and friend them.

So why am I a twenty year old college student who does not have anything but a Facebook page that I never use? Read More →

Encouraging your kids in the face of failure, while counter intuitive, yields amazing results.

Just like we hate failing, so do our kids.  In my time with 3,000 children, there was not a single kid who set out to fail and none that desired to keep failing. Our kids are not even aware that their failure is a good thing.  In coaching adolescents, I find that our kids internalize their failures leading them to draw negative conclusions about themselves because they are not being taught how to handle their failure.

This negativity impacts them the next time they face an obstacle.  Given repeated negative experiences with failure, they begin to forecast that they will fail.  When this occurs they may avoid trying new or difficult things, give up when things get hard or worse yet, stop making an effort because it will be worse if they actually try and fail again.   Read More →