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Martin & Elizabeth’s Class Fellowship Tuesday 30th June 2020

Our Class Fellowship met virtually, via Zoom last Tuesday evening 30th June and after catching up on news of our families, friends, work, shopping, how we’re filling our time and so on, we discussed “Writing your Passion List,” which is something I found and adapted it, and shared with our Class.

We all spoke about the many and varied Passions in our lives and then went on to talk about the Passions in our lives that really matter.

The sharing was wide ranging as you can imagine and, in many cases, went really deep because we share a deep sense of love and trust in the confidentiality of our Class that leads to an honesty in sharing, that we all relish and cherish.

At the close of our time together, I shared a story entitled, “Lessons from a Young Nurse.” A story that speaks of a young nurse’s pilgrimage in learning to see in a patient, the image of God, beneath a distressing disguise.

We then sang, In Christ Alone and closed by sharing blessing

Writing your Passion List

The first part of a Passion Test is to make a list of your passions, i.e. those things which you love most, which are most important to you, which are most critical to your happiness and well-being. When your passions are clear, then you can create goals which are aligned with your passions and begin to create the life you choose to live.

Both passions and goals are valuable, and the first step is getting clear on your passions. Think about what you will do, be and have when your life is ideal.

There is no right or wrong way to write your list. The purpose of the Test is to provide clarity. Whatever way you write the items on your list, what’s important is that YOU know what the item means to you. If you’re unclear about what an item means, then reword it so it makes sense to you.

One guideline I suggest is to begin your items with a verb. Living your passions is a process, not a destination, so your lists should reflect that reality.

1. Enjoying a perfect relationship

2. Having perfect friendships

3. Doing great creative work

4. Having unlimited physical-world resources

5. Feeling and looking great 100% of the time

6. Getting great results from what I share

7. Having a diversity of choices

8. Enjoying abundant ease and comfort between creative activity

9. Having knowledge tools and wisdom to deal with 100% of what I experience

10. Everything is fun

The list is a great example of throwing away the belief, “you have to be realistic.” Go for what you truly want, without worrying about how you’re going to achieve these things and without limiting yourselves to what most might think is “possible.”

Then when you’ve completed the Test and narrowed the list down to your top 5, you may wish to reflect upon what is truly important to you. These five can be defined, described and through attention, given priority in your life. Remember, the Passion Test is about getting clear about those things which thrill your heart, stir your soul, and make life really worth living.

“Everything is fun” could have been reworded as “Having fun with everything I do,” and yet that seems to change the meaning slightly.

What Really Matters?

As I look at my list, though, I’m struck by the fact that these are all temporal things, things relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs; secular that give me pleasure. As much as I love the thins on my “List”, I also know that there are more important things to focus on — things that move me to action

So, here’s another list of my Passions:

  • I’m passionate about God and my relationship with Him. Nearly 60 years ago, my life had little sense of direction, and God opened my eyes to help me understand me, my life and yes, my sin and His provision for that sin through Jesus Christ. My life has never been the same.

  • I’m passionate about being a husband, a father, a grandpa, brother-in-law, uncle, and cousin. As Elizabeth and I celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary this August, I realize that each year is sweeter than the one before. I’m immensely proud of our three married children - two wonderful daughters and an awesome son, and of our nine growing and groaning grandchildren.

  • I’m passionate about God’s calling for my life as a Local Preacher, Class Leader, Communicator, Musician, and general organiser of events — to use the skills He has given me in so many ways to influence people for Jesus.

  • I’m passionate about being a Christian and serving Jesus in as many ways as I can. I’m passionate about being a part of Grangewood, our Nottingham Trent Valley Circuit, the Methodist Church in general, CTS services, OneSound, the Long Eaton & District Talking Newspaper, Hope, Christian Guild Holidays and so on.

My first list of passions consists of my interests. This second list is all about the things of God — and these are the passions I want to define my life.

What Are You Passionate About?

So, what captures your allegiance and inspires your passion? You probably could develop an initial list, just as I did, of your interests and hobbies and greatest joys — the things you love doing. But beyond that, what are the most important things in your life? If you stripped away all the items on your initial list, what would remain? What are the passions that move you to action? Many of you could answer these questions about your interests, but some of you may have given little thought to your passions. Here are a few questions to spark some fresh thinking:

  1. Are you satisfied with your passion for God and your relationship with Him? What needs to change so that He becomes your focus in life? (Read Matthew 22:35-40.)

  2. How do you want people to remember you?

  3. What would others say you are most passionate about?

  4. What convictions has God given you?

  5. How has God gifted you?

  6. What do you want to accomplish in your relationships?

  7. How have you seen God use you to influence others?

Lessons from a Young Nurse by Rebecca Manley Pippert

Becky Pippert is an author and international speaker who helps Christians gain confidence and build competence in sharing the good news of Jesus and tells this story.

A young nurse writes of her pilgrimage in learning to see in a patient the image of God beneath a “distressing disguise.” Eileen was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. “A cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with no conscious control over her body,” the nurse writes. As near as the doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain and unaware of anything going on around her. It was the job of the hospital staff to turn her every hour to prevent bed sores and to feed her twice a day with what looked like a thin mush through a stomach tube. Caring for her was a thankless task. “When it's this bad,” an older student nurse told her “you have to detach yourself emotionally from the whole situation…” As a result, more and more Eileen came to be treated as a thing, as a vegetable… But the young student nurse decided that she could not treat this person like the others treated her. She talked to Eileen, sang to her, encouraged her, and even brought her little gifts. One day when things were especially difficult, and it would have been easy for the young nurse to take her frustrations out on the patient she was especially kind. It was Thanksgiving Day and the nurse said to the patient, “I was in a cruddy mood this morning Eileen because it was supposed to be my day off. But now I'm here, I'm glad. I wouldn't have wanted to miss seeing you on Thanksgiving. Do you know that this is Thanksgiving?” Just then the telephone Rang and as the nurse turned to answer it, she looked quickly back to the patient. Suddenly, she writes, Eileen was “looking at me…. Crying, big damp circles stained her pillow and she was shaking all over.” That was the only human emotion that Eileen ever showed any of them, but it was enough to change the whole attitude of the hospital staff toward her. Not long afterward Eileen died. The young nurse closes her story saying, “I keep thinking about her, and it occurred to me that I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen, I might never have known what it's like to give myself to someone who can't give back.” “I’ll end where I started, “A young nurse writes of her pilgrimage in learning to see in a patient image of God beneath a distressing disguise.”

Florence Nightingale would have been immensely proud of her.

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