Jump in!

Did you dip your toes in the water a little?
Did you jump in at the deep end?
Which metaphor describes your 2022?
What did you do particularly well?
๐‘พ๐’†๐’๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’•๐’ 2023
As each year passes by, we never stay the same.
๐–๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž.
Truth beknown, I learned last year that you canโ€™t deliver your best work if youโ€™re not energised!
I chose to jump in at the deep end and rediscovered the of power napping!
Itโ€™s been great!
It has reawakened a host of benefits for me.
I was keen to change and be reenergised!
I witnessed, time and time again many others who changed in a much more significant way.
There were many that I encountered who were seeking to change who met with our missionaries.
Many decided to jump in and become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It changed their whole life.
They too have been re-energised!
It has been a real joy to become acquainted with them.
Like many hundreds of thousands before them, they chose to dip their toes in a little to start with, and then decided to jump in!
Happiness often springs from small and unexpected sources.
You will find it in abundance as you choose to follow Jesus Christ this year.
Thatโ€™s the message I would like to share with you as we start 2023โ€ฆ
All over the world in 2022, missionaries were life savers for thousands of others โ€“ just like you.
I look forward to becoming acquainted with you too.
Why not dip your toes in to start with?

Or better still, choose to jump in at the deep end! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Either way, itโ€™ll be the best decision you make this year.

Time is Life

๐“๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐‹๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž.

It is irreversible and irreplaceable.

This year has been very different from others gone by.

For the last 10 years, Iโ€™d coach circa 15 people one on one, and have around 100 โ€“ 200, sixty-to-ninety-minute coaching conversations a year, in amongst my many other professional activities.

This year, Iโ€™ve coached circa 150 people one on one, and have had around 1000 โ€“ 1200, twenty-to-forty-minute coaching conversations, in amongst my many other missionary activities.

Itโ€™s been a little busier, very different, more intensive and a little more tiring too!

However, I absolutely love it!

In amongst all of those coaching conversations, there have been many incredible discoveries made.
Amongst the many coaching techniques, I frequently use, is a very simple one, itโ€™s akin to judo.

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means โ€œgentleโ€, and do, which means โ€œthe wayโ€.

Judo, therefore, literally means the gentle way.

I did say it was simple!

This is the model.

โ€ข Invite them to share their story
โ€ข Ask questions, to create curiosity and to explore their journey.
โ€ข Share a personal story as an alternative view.
โ€ข Review – what can I do better?

As you review 2022 and reflect upon all that has gone by, perhaps you can ask yourself this question tooโ€ฆ

โ€œWhat could I have done better?โ€


โ€œAnd when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.โ€ โ€“ Matthew 2:11
Gold โ€“ because Christ is simply, the King of Kings.
Frankincense โ€“ used as medicine, because Christ came to Heal all of us.
Myrrh โ€“ used at burials, because Christ came to die for all of us.
Perhaps it is time for all of us, to acknowledge Him as our King, our Healer and our Saviour this Christmas day.
Three gifts.
What gift will you choose to offer Him?

Three Gifts

๐“ฃ๐“ฑ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ฎ ๐“–๐“ฒ๐“ฏ๐“ฝ๐“ผ…
Our missionaries have been very busy this week.
There has been lots and lots of service in the community.
And, in addition, at Christmas marketโ€™s, town squares and on many a street corner throughout Belgium and the Netherlands, missionaries have given away thousands upon thousands of gifts.
Greeting so many, the message is simple โ€œ๐“œ๐“ฎ๐“ป๐“ป๐”‚ ๐“’๐“ฑ๐“ป๐“ฒ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ถ๐“ช๐“ผโ€
Weโ€™re not talking about the latest Red/Blue Nintendo Switch for son, the Barbie Extra Deluxe for daughter, the beautiful new necklace and flowers for mum or the special new jumper and tie for dad.
No, none of those.
Set those and the many other gifts galore aside.
We didnโ€™t even give away any gold, frankincense or myrrh.
Remember, the gold points to Jesusโ€™ royalty, the frankincense to his divinity, and the myrrh to his humanity.
All of which we honour and respect.
Rather consider the little gifts we did giveaway.
Three little chocolate hearts filled with only one thing – ๐“ต๐“ธ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ.
Through it all, there is perhaps one common denominator for Christmas โ€“ it is ๐“ต๐“ธ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ…
โ€œGod be thanked for loving us enough to send His Only Begotten Son. Jesus Christ changed the world for each of us with His atoning sacrifice. He is the light of the world. He is the light we need to hold up. He is the light that fills us with good will toward all people.โ€ Russell M. Nelson
We hope amid all the hustle and bustle of gifts and gatherings, you will let your life reflect the ๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฐ๐“ฑ๐“ฝ ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ญ ๐“ต๐“ธ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ of Jesus Christ this Christmas time.
Merry Christmas dear friends.

Welcome Back

๐‘พ๐’†๐’๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐‘ฉ๐’‚๐’„๐’Œ!
It seemed as if it was only yesterday that Melanie Coates was departing for home from her mission.
That was back in July already.
โ€œGrowing apart doesnโ€™t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. Iโ€™m glad for that.โ€ โ€” Ally Condie
It was an absolute delight to have her visit briefly with her sister Emma this week and to catch up again.
We loved to reminisce, share stories, smile, and laugh – a lot.
Friendships are so important.
Our time together reminded me of this little poem entitled True Friend by Ashley Campbell.
โ€œA friend is like a star that twinkles and glows
Or maybe like the ocean that gently flows.
A friend is like gold that you should treasure
And take care of forever and ever.
A friend is like an angel that is there to guide you.
A friend is someone you can trust out of a few.
A friend is more than one in a million.
They are one in a ca-zillion,
And you, my friend, are very special
and so it is official.โ€
Good friends are a little like stars, you may not always see them, but you know they are there!
Stay safe my dear friend โ€“ until we meet again.
What kind of friend are you?

All In

๏ผก๏ฝŒ๏ฝŒ ๏ผฉ๏ฝŽ
This weekend marks a significant date in our calendar.
We arrived in the Netherlands 18 months ago, and it means we are now halfway through our missionary service.
Half-way, alreadyโ€ฆ!
Reflecting this morning, I thought about the term half-way.
Half-way: โ€œat or to a point midway between two others.โ€
It suggests to my mind its time to take a break.
However – itโ€™s a term that sits a little uncomfortably with me.
Weโ€™re not quite ready for a break as yet.
Weโ€™re not lukewarm about our assignment.
Weโ€™re not partially committed about our time here.
Weโ€™re not complacent about the things we do.
We donโ€™t hold back.
Neither Monic, nor I do things by half.
Rather โ€“ weโ€™re ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง.
Recently, we enjoyed listening to a podcast entitled โ€œWhat does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?โ€
One of my immediate thoughts was about my father.
Today was his birthday.
Had he been still alive, heโ€™d have been 95.
He so longed to reach 100.
Dad was a great example of being โ€œall inโ€ to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
His life of selfless service was a powerful personal testimony of that fact.
Dad died loving the gospel and tried to live it to the very end of his days on earth.
โ€œGiant Jackyโ€ as he was affectionately known, may have been small in physical in stature, but huge in spiritual strength.
Like my dad was and as my mum still is โ€“ we are all in.
Who is a great example of being “all-in?”
What does it mean to be โ€œall-in?โ€


Yesterday, after a busy morning at Schiphol Airport to say farewell to a number of departing missionaries, followed by the arrival of the Kempenaers family to pick up their son Jorne, we decided to take a walk to clear our heads and catch our breathโ€ฆ
Heading towards the Vliet, we found that it was completely frozen over.
Although, there was also a clear indication that a boat or two had snaked through the ice.
It was a delightful, albeit chilly walk into town, to pick up one or two groceries.
It was nice to chat too with Matalyn Weaver, who is staying with us for a couple of days before returning home on Monday.
Eventually, we arrived back home.
And then it happenedโ€ฆ.!
I reached into my pocket to get the keys for the front door.
Somehow, Iโ€™d managed to pick up the wrong keysโ€ฆ
I am not certain how many times over the last 18 months Iโ€™ve given missionaries a hard time about forgetting their housekeys.
It is a regular occurrence!
Weekly, if not daily for many!
And now it had happened to meโ€ฆ โ˜น
Of course, it just had to be the coldest day of winter too.
Well, departures week is always a rollercoaster of emotions for me โ€“ for sure. At least thatโ€™s my excuse!!
With no spare key, I had to make a rather embarrassing call to the Assistants to come to our rescue.
They smiled and laughed.
In fact โ€“ they smiled and laughed โ€“ a lot!
To be fair โ€“ we laughed tooโ€ฆ.!
Luckily, they live only 15 minutes away and it wasnโ€™t too long before they arrived and saved us from the chilly winter weather.
And the moral of todayโ€™s story โ€“ perhaps I should have heeded my own advice, to โ€œslow down!โ€
Laughter is a great medicine.
When did you last make a silly mistake?


Looking at Christmas fairy lights this week, reminded me of a tangled story!
Life happensโ€ฆ
It was our first coaching session together.
In fact, it was my client Annieโ€™s (changed her name to protect her identity) first ever coaching session.
We started off with our introductions and pleasantries and then got into the coaching session to address a number of personal and work concerns.
The session went very well.
I did a lot of listening, observing, paraphrasing, summarising and as usual asked a few questions.
Annie found some answers for herself as she dealt with a number of different issues.
I was starting to draw the session to a closeโ€ฆ
โ€ฆAnd then it happened!
She reached forward, gesturing her wrists together and said, โ€œCan you help please?โ€
Puzzled, I looked closely at her wrists.
Seemingly, midway through our session, Annie had somehow entangled her bracelets together and sheโ€™d been stuck for a good while!
I untangled her wrists.
We laughed and joked together.
It was so funny.
That one moment created a unique bond and memory for the two of us, that neither of us will ever forget.
My experience of coaching is that it can help untangle lifeโ€™s challenges โ€“ sometimes quite literally!
Are you ready to be untangled yet?



Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

If we choose to follow Him, He will light up everything.

โ€œThen spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.โ€โ€”John 8:12

Sir Harry Lauder a Scottish singer and entertainer from many years ago, told a story about the old lamplighters in Glasgow.

Generations ago, as darkness started to fall, all around Scotland (and around the world), lamplighters would start to make their rounds.

They’d put their ladder up against the light post, climb up and light the lamp, step back down, pick up the ladder and carry on to the next lamp. It was a one by one process.

Sir Harry said, “After a while, the lamplighter would be out of sight down the street. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ž๐”

Jesus Christ is the greatest lamplighter of all.

He constantly lights the way.

Has your โ€œlampโ€ been lit by Him yet?

In Psalms 119:105 we read “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Perhaps you too are a lamplighter?

Robert Louis Stevenson told it this way. (A Leerie is a lamplighter)

“My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
Itโ€™s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papaโ€™s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what Iโ€™m to do,
Oh Leerie, Iโ€™ll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!”

Lamplighters from a bygone age, pushed back the darkness from generations ago.

With Jesus Christ, the greatest light of all, we too can push back the darkness by following Him today.

We will always be safe, and I know He shows us which way to go.

If you’d like to find out how Jesus Christ can light up your life and be a lamp unto your feet, just speak to one of our missionaries.

How can you be a lamplighter this Christmas and light someoneโ€™s world around you?

The Rear View

๏ผด๏ฝˆ๏ฝ… ๏ผฒ๏ฝ…๏ฝ๏ฝ’ ๏ผถ๏ฝ‰๏ฝ…๏ฝ—
Are you spending too much time looking in the rear-view mirror of life?
Periodically looking back on your life and past events with the understanding that some emotions may resurface from time to time, is okay.
It is certainly okay to wonder and ask, what if?
But how much time do you spend there?
Throughout my coaching career I have found that individuals often wonder what may have happened if they had done something differently or made a different choice.
For instance, what would have happened:
– ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ theyโ€™d married the other personโ€ฆ
– ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ theyโ€™d studied for a different degreeโ€ฆ
– ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ theyโ€™d taken the other jobโ€ฆ
– ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ theyโ€™d lived in another city or countryโ€ฆ
It is okay to acknowledge those speculations, but donโ€™t dwell or brood on them for too long.
Experience is a great teacher.
All of us live with some regrets.
They are a part of you, but they do not define you.
Instead focus on what you learned from them and how they have shaped you today.
Ultimately, itโ€™s a bit like those drivers who stare in the rear-view mirror for far too long and run the risk of missing what lies ahead.
There may have been some crashes behind us, but itโ€™s the bends ahead that matter now.
๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’”๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’๐’• ๐’๐’‡ ๐’š๐’๐’–.
Donโ€™t let your rear-view mirror be bigger than your front windshield.
Stop looking backward and start looking forward.
Remember you are the one in the driverโ€™s seat!
How are you living your life by looking forwards?