Weekend Reads: The Digital Invasion

The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships


It is a digital world.
You coach in a digital world.

When coaching parents, adults, students, or children consider what you need to know. TMOT (i.e. “trust me on this” in texting lingo), the way people communicate has changed. How do you observe the field of life coaching has been influenced? How does technology impact your coaching?  The way you coach?  The opportunities and obstacles you face in coaching? How does technology impact the clients you coach?

In Dr. Archibald D. Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd’s book, The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships, find perspective on the digital world. It’s a helpful, heartfelt look at the strengths and cautions of technology.

Dr. Hart and Dr. Hart Frejd (2013) expound, “It is our hope that this book will provide you, the reader, with the knowledge, wisdom, determination, courage, and tools needed…” (p. 34). The authors emphasize, “There is growing evidence that our cyber world can have a negative effect on every aspect of our lives, including our physical and mental health, our marriages, occupational success, and more” (Hart & Hart Frejd, 2013 p. 34).  Coaching looks holistically at a person’s life.  The digital world holistically affects a person’s life.  Reading The Digital Invasion educates a coach on a pressing issue.

Use The Digital Invasion to guide your clients (and yourself).  Shed light on identifying personal digital habits.  Discover the difference between digital immigrants and digital natives.  As you read, learn about the how technology rewires the brain.  The Digital Invasion covers multitasking, social media, serious cyber problems, and digital addictions.  Be inspired to help the parents you coach develop a digital protection plan. Leave the pages of this book encouraged with a Biblical view on technology and how to protect your “God space.” Come full circle by identifying how to live intentionally in a digital world.  You may coach in a digital world, but Dr. Hart and Dr. Hart Frejd remind parents, coaches, and individual to be strategic stewards of it.


It is a digitally invaded world.

Yet, you and your clients can live digitally intentional.


To get your own copy of The Digital Invasion and read more about the topic, visit life coach Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd’s website http://thriveinreallife.com/product/the-digital-invasion/


Hart, A., Ph.D. & Hart Frejd, S. (2013). The digital invasion: How technology is shaping you and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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Four Key Elements To Discovering Your Purpose

Lisa Murray, M.A.

Four Key Elements To Discovering Your Purpose

And how to make the days ahead the most meaningful ever


Delores had always been a vibrant, passionate woman.  She had been active in her church, taught Bible studies for more years than she could remember, and routinely invested herself in the lives of the women she taught.

Sitting with her, her eyes welled up with tears.  She seemed lost.

Ever since she retired and relocated to be near her children, she hadn’t been able to find a church community in which to invest herself.  Every church already had their programs, their teachers.  Her children and their families were busy with their lives and she struggled to nurture the kind of relationships she had always dreamed of with her grandchildren.

Her husband was now passed and this woman who had lived with such strength, passion, and purpose, now struggled to make sense of her life.  She ached to have a place to plant herself.  Her spirit was parched for soil in which she would thrive.  Lonely, she began to sink into depression.  Was this it?, she wondered.  Was there a purpose at all to her life? 

Katie is in her late 20’s.  Though she has a job, she longs to find her purpose in life – God’s unique calling to which she can dedicate her life.   She searches to find her purpose every day in her career and her relationships, yet ends up feeling more confused and farther from her pursuit than ever.

Without a compass to give stability, direction, and meaning, she remains locked in a cycle of emptiness and wandering.  Some days life feels overwhelming, almost unbearable.

Most of us can recall similar feelings at some point in our lives—the emptiness, the yearning, the confusion, the lacking, and the depression. They all merge together, and they always seem to present themselves in the dimmest moments of twilight.

We all need purpose. 

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian existential psychologist, created a school of thought called logotherapy. Frankl believed that our dominant driving force is to find meaning in life.

In the 1940s, Frankl was held prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. He felt the horror of losing everything only to be tortured and terrorized. With all the agony and brutality, what kept Frankl from giving up his relentless fight for his life?

Purpose.  He found meaning in his struggle, and that’s what gave him the power to push forward through unimaginable pain.

After escaping the concentration camps, Frankl published a book called Man’s Search for Meaning, which explores his experiences and includes an overview of logotherapy.  A quote by Nietzsche nicely sums up his philosophy on how people were able to survive the camps, without losing the will to live:

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

That is the power of purpose.  We can find meaning and purpose in our relationships, we can find it in our values and beliefs.  We can find purpose in our relationship with God, and we can explore our God-given passions to cultivate potential purposes for our lives.

In my book, Peace For A Lifetime, I explore three things that must align for us to discover our purpose: identity, beliefs and values, and passions.  However, there’s one vital piece to the purpose puzzle that’s missing.

God’s purpose will always be connected with giving, not getting.

 We tend to look for something external that will provide direction or purpose, that will fill the void inside.  It’s counter-intuitive, but our search for purpose will emerge from what we are giving of ourselves to others.

 Viktor Frankl described,

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

Do you want to be loved?  Love someone.  Would you like more joy in your life?  Give joy to people!  Sounds so simple, right?  The more we learn to serve others, the more fulfilled and satisfied we become.

God’s purpose will always align with how He has made us.

 As we define our identity (our core strengths and weaknesses) and our most deeply held beliefs and values, our curiosities used in service to others will explode into a relentless passion that emerges into a vibrant dynamic purpose.

  1. Know your identity – write down a list of strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Define your beliefs and values – write down your beliefs about life, faith, relationships, work.
  3. Explore your passions – write down a list of things that interest you or make you curious.
  4. How can you use the above three to serve a cause, a person, a community, or an organization other than yourself?

Once you identify these things, you will have a map to begin discovering your purpose.  It may not include fame, it may not have a giant salary attached to it; it may be different than you had ever dreamed.  Yet finding and engaging the purpose for which you were created will provide the greatest meaning and satisfaction you can imagine.

Do you enjoy talking with people?  Where can you begin volunteering to talk or read with people who perhaps are lonely and would love a good conversation?

Do you enjoy cooking?  How can you identify individuals, families, or organizations within your community for whom you can begin cooking meals?

Are you gifted at teaching, writing, organizing, helping?  There is no right or wrong.  Get creative and try out several things.

Your purpose today may look different than it did twenty years ago.  God is always growing us to develop different passions and purposes for every season of our lives.

Explore the things you love today and begin to look for ways you can use a gift to bless someone.  In the end, you will be giving yourself the biggest blessing of all.  You will be living your life on purpose with purpose.



Lisa Murray is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Franklin, TN, with an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, as well as a graduate degree from Trevecca University.  In 2007 Lisa founded the Counseling and Family Ministries at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, TN, where she not only works to help individuals, couples, and families, deal with the complexities and challenges of life and relationships, she also treats a full spectrum of mental health issues.

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The Soundtrack of Your Life

Elizabeth Hixson


The scene is being set by the music.Tension fills the air as disturbing musical notes crescendo.

Fear begins to swell in the minds of the movie watchers.

It is hard to watch.

It is even harder to listen.

The music’s soundtrack takes over.


What is Heard

Consider how a soundtrack can take control. Jaws has a soundtrack that greatly influences the way a person experiences the film. Try watching a scene from Jaws on mute – without the soundtrack playing.  What you see is likely dramatic, but not really too scary.   However, Jaws becomes ten times more frightening when you are watching it to the spine-chilling musical arrangement.  It is a soundtrack composed to create a sense of dread in the movie watchers.  What is heard influences what is experienced.


We Choose the Soundtrack

Are not our lives as Christ-followers like this?  What we listen to in our hearts greatly influences the way we live. Let’s call it the soundtrack of our lives – the musical arrangements that play out in our souls.  Do we listen to the soothing reassurance of our Abba Father? It is His soundtrack of love that will anchor us in the midst of a distressing situation.  Yet maybe sometimes we let the sinister tones of Satan’s soundtrack cause us to become twisted with fear.  In our hearts we pull the pillow over our eyes like we would in a scary scene of a movie.  What is listened to influences what is lived out.


Author Steven Furtick (2014) calls the negative soundtracks we listen to the “Chatterbox.”  In his book, Crash the Chatterbox, he says, “I used to think that someone who struggled with the kinds of weaknesses I deal with daily was useless to God.  I felt so often like I was drowning in internal dialogue I couldn’t control.  It had been the soundtrack of my life as long as I could remember…Yet everything changed when I began to realize God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believed and respond to…Choosing to believe this, moment by moment, and action on it is the most important habit you will ever develop.” Furtick (2014) continues, “The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.”


Change the Soundtrack

Maybe right now you can identify you have been interpreting your life situation – that car accident, the divorce, the new job, the depression, or the health concern – by the wrong soundtrack. It is not Abba Father’s voice (Romans 8:15). Maybe you did not even realize it until now, but you are listening to a soundtrack of shame or insecurity.  It is influencing the way you see your situation.  This intimidating music playing in your soul is so loud you are having a hard time not being afraid.  It feels like a scene from Jaws, just it is happening in your heart.


My friend, it’s good we can together realize were created for God’s music to accompany our situations, not the lies of Satan.  Let us be angry at the Enemy, not ourselves, and turn away from his lies.  Children of God are wired to hear God’s voice (John 10:16), because we have Christ alive in our hearts (Galatians 2:20) to help us hear God.  Be free in this realization.  We can change the soundtrack!


He’s Always On

There was a time in my own life where the negative soundtrack that was playing so loud intimidated me.  It was a soundtrack of fear.  I desperately wanted to make it stop.  God provided many different reassurances of His love.  One way He helped me tune into His soundtrack again was through a song.  I did not even seek the song out myself.  One day when I turned on my cellphone, the song “Abba Father” by Planetshakers started playing.

How great is Your love for me

That You gave up Your Son for me

Now I am alive and free

Father I love You, Father I love You


Abba Father, Your love is never-ending

There’s no other love like Yours

In Your presence my heart is overflowing

Father I am Yours

(Planetshakers, n.d.)


It was at the moments I needed to hear those song lyrics the most, God seemed to allow my cellphone to switch automatically on to the song.  It has become of the soundtracks of my life.


In our lives, God is always speaking to us – through His Word, music, sunsets, people we encounter, etc.  His soundtrack of love is always “on.”


Ask His Help

What is the predominate soundtrack of your life?  Whose voice do you listen to?

As you walk through the day, ask the Holy Spirit to help you make Christ’s love the soundtrack of your life – what you listen to, what accompanies your experiences.  Ask Him to enable you to turn off the voice of the enemy so you can tune into His.


 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning for I am trusting in you.  Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you” (Psalm 143:8, NLT).

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Coaching Clients and 5 Core Needs


“Who can I trust?”

“Who am I?”

“Who wants me?”

“Why am I alive?”

“What do I do well?”


Dr. Kathy Koch, founder of Celebrate Kids and author of 8 Great Smarts, developed the questions above to help people discover their 5 core needs. Dr. Koch “…believes all of us have five core needs that must be met. Ideally, they’re met in healthy ways, but when that doesn’t happen, people will choose to meet them in unhealthy ways because they must be met. The order of the specific needs is significant because the links between them are key to problem solving” (celebratekids.com, 2016).


What are the 5 core needs exactly? Read what Dr. Koch has to say about the power of helping people discover their five core needs by visiting her website http://www.celebratekids.com/category/5coreneeds/


Whether you are coaching parents or children, let Dr. Koch equip you to know what the 5 core needs are and how to help people identify those core needs!

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What’s Your Coaching Niche?


Are you looking to determine your coaching area of expertise – your niche?  Or perhaps you are simply interested to expand your coaching toolbox with training in an area of coaching. Either way, the ICCA blog empowers you to expand your coaching horizons by highlighting valuable professional life coaching courses from Light University.

This week’s highlight: Parenting Coaching

Explore Parent Coaching.

“Next to marriage, parenting is one of the most difficult tasks in life. From nuclear families to step families to multi-generational families, parenting certainly has its challenges. With all of the different types of families out there, this course will help you coach each of them and address their specific needs. With biblical insights and the best experts in the parenting field, this class will prepare you to confidently coach and care for each family that comes your way.” (www.lightuniversity.com, 2016).

What do you think? Is walking alongside parents an area you are passionate about? Perhaps your life story enables you to coach parents, single parents, or young families. Imagine the impact.

Discover more and find your niche in parent coaching through Light University’s Parent Coaching course.   https://www.iccaonline.net/courses/parenting-coaching

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Clues to Cracking the Passion Code


Your client seems excited.

Her enthusiasm exudes from the tone of her voice and the smile on her face.

She speaks faster.

She is speaks of a children’s home downtown she heard about a few months ago.  You notice this topic brings out a level of energy in her that is different than any other topic she has spoken about.

You decide to ask.

Author, leadership coach, and master coach trainer, Tony Stolzfus (2016), explains that a way to crack the code of what someone is passionate about in life is to pay attention to the clues of what they get energized to talk about.

Tony shares in his blog post, “Using Energy Clues to Understand Passion,”

When trying to coach a person to discover their passion, one key technique is becoming aware of the client’s energy. When we speak our voice tone, volume, emotive content and so forth vary over time… When we talk about our passions, we want others to get it—to understand that this is something we care about, and to know why we care. So consciously or unconsciously, we change the way we talk to communicate that energy. (Stoltzfus, 2015)

What are more of the clues you look for when seeking to help a client discover his or her passions?  Read the rest of Tony’s post by visiting The Christian Coaching Center blog http://www.christiancoachingcenter.org/index.php/2015/01/using-energy-clues-to-understand-passion/

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Weekend Reads


Are you looking to build your life coaching practice on a strong, Christ-centered foundation?  Wanting to be further equipped in taking clients to deeper levels of growth? If so, process through a few questions below that Christian life coach Dr. Gary Collins (2009) trains coaches to ask in his book, Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential Into Reality (2009):

Where are we now? (Awareness)

Where do we want to go? (Vision)

How do we get there? (Strategy & Action)

What gets in the way? (Obstacles)

You can use these same questions with your clients.  Even more, Dr. Collins explains for Christian coaches these four questions ultimately go back to the person’s relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is the center of the questions asked about a person’s life direction. He is the One a client turns to for direction and destiny. Dr. Collins (2009) expounds,

In practical terms, what does it mean to have our coaching revolve around Jesus? It means that we commit all of our coaching (and our lives) to His lordship and direction.  It means that through Scripture reading, prayer, and worship, we seek to be men and women who know Him and are more sensitive to the leading of His Holy Spirit as we coach.  It means we seek to be clear on our values and personal beliefs. (p. 117)

Be equipped to help your client process through four questions of the Christian Coaching Model (i.e. awareness, vision, strategy & action, and obstacles).  Take the client back to the center of those four questions – Jesus Christ.  Dr. Collins (2009) frames coaching in a light of “…enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where God wants them to be” (p. 23).

As you read Christian Coaching, you will engaged with a plethora of questions, strategies, and models that will help you propel your clients forward.  Learn new ways to coach your client through obstacles and transitions.  Take a look deeper look at coaching niches, such as relationship coaching, career coaching, business coaching, etc.  Discover the impact coaching can make in your local church.  Utilize the assessments and exercises (e.g. Graph of Life, Energy Drainers, Writing a Ten-Year Letter, etc.) in the back of the book. You will be further equipped in your coaching.  Take the Christian Coaching journey for your weekend read.

To get your own copy of Dr. Collins’ book, Christian Coaching, find it here on Amazon

Collins, G. R. (2009) Christian coaching: Helping others turn potential into reality. (2nd ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: NAV Press.


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Collecting Tears: The Blessing of the Hard Times in Life


It’s hard that life is hard.

Sometimes it means tears fill our eyes.

Burdens we carry.


Whether you are a called a coach, counselor, friend, spouse, employee, student, daughter, son, mom, or dad, you have faced hard times.

Maybe really hard times.  Perhaps you are facing them now.

You may be like Sarah, who I met the other day; Sarah just lost her mother.  Or you might be facing discouragement.  Maybe a treasured relationship ended, a job lost, or a fear about the future overwhelms you.  I’m here to encourage you – and hopefully you can encourage your clients too – that there are untold blessings through these hard times. We may not want to go through the valleys of life, but we may find ourselves richer in our relationship with Christ than when we began.  Take heart, dear friend.  It’s in the hard times you and I are invited to experience a tender intimacy with Christ.  We’ll see He collects our tears, heals us in our tears, and gives triumph.


An Intimacy with the God Who Sees Your Tears


Sometimes hard times whisper to us that God is far away, but really, He is as near as our breath.  Hard times, we learn to see, usher us into His presence.  Since Jesus is acutely familiar with our suffering, He extends invitations for us to come to Him and let Him hold us close when there’s suffering (i.e. Psalm 27:10, Matthew 11:28-30, etc.).  What strikes me about experiencing Jesus’ presence in my hard times is that it’s intimate. It’s tender. He knows down to the detail of what I’m going – of what you’re going through.  Sarah, the woman who lost her mother, and I were talking the other day about the sweetness of Psalm 56:8, because it says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (NLT).  He takes notice of our tears, the times when our inner sorrows display themselves on our faces.  He remembers those tears.  In the song, He Knows My Name, Paul Baloche (n.d.) sings,

I have a Maker

He formed my heart

Before even time began

My life was in His hands


He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call


It’s greatly comforting to know that He knows.  And as my mom shared once with me, it’s in the hardest times of life that we may just find ourselves experiencing the sweetest intimacy with Jesus.


He Brings Healing from the Tears


You’ve likely heard the song, Blessings, by Laura Story.  She wrote it out of the wake of her young husband’s battle with a brain tumor. Click to listen to the song while you read the rest of the devotion 

One of the lines of the song cuts to heart of what can happen in a trial.  Healing through tears.  Could it be that Jesus brings us healing through the tears?  Story (2011) sings, “Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops, What if your healing comes through tears?”

I think tears are a gift.  Tears can often release emotions, convey honesty, and foster breakthrough. They’re part of being human. Our Savior must have thought so too.  For not only did He shed his own tears (John 11:35), he comforted others who wept, like the broken-hearted Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-16).  What healing has God brought you through as a result of crying – and crying out to Him?  How have you seen tears foster healing for your clients?


From Tears to Triumph

Do you remember, Psalm 56:8 above, where King David declares that the God cares about our tears?  Well, see now the powerful burst of hope that comes from the next verse, “My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!” (Psalm 56:9, NLT).  David goes from tears to triumph.  And you know what? As God’s children, you and I, and the clients that come through your doors, we can too.


Take a few minutes to finish listening to the song Blessings.


It’s hard that life is hard.

Sometimes it means tears fill our eyes.  But the Savior sees.

He collects tears.

Burdens we carry.  Then healed – in His presence.


Hard times don’t last forever.  But the untold blessings of walking with Jesus through those times do.  And we will never be the same.


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How Will You Grow as a Coach? 

Identify a Growth Plan

Just as your clients need a plan for growth, so do you!  The ICCA blog empowers you to expand your coaching practice by highlighting valuable professional life coaching workshops.

At the AACC Mega National Conference Pre-Conference Workshop with Ralph and Lea Carawan, let their workshop Personal Impact Coaching: Writing, Speaking, and Leading Well be a catalyst to your growth as a coach.

Grow in Professional Communication

At the Carawan’s coaching workshop, Personal Impact Coaching, attendees will be empowered in developing their professional communication skills.

 Effective communication—in all its various forms—is a critical skill for life coaches, as well as their clients. Whether speaking to live audiences on a platform or in a workshop, doing video-based presentations and Webinars, providing radio or television commentary, utilizing different social media outlets, or writing articles and blogs, the ability to articulate and deliver clear messaging is essential in today’s competitive marketplace. Experienced keynote speakers, trainers, and authors, Rolfe and Lea Carawan, address three core components of any communication format: the Message, the Method, and the Medium.

Growth Objectives from attending Personal Impact Coaching:

  1. Describe the essential elements associated with great presentations and ensure that the audience receives value and is empowered to take action
  2. Recognize the key ingredients of an effective message and how to tailor it to meet the needs of a specific audience
  3. Identify the unique characteristics of common communication venues and apply specific techniques to increase attention and comprehension.

Take it the Next Step

What areas of communication in coaching do you desire to sharpen?

Will you be able to join us for the Personal Impact Coaching workshop?

How can we at ICCA help you grow as a coach?

Let us know! (855) 525-ICCA or info@iccaonline.net

Discover more
about coaching workshops at the AACC Mega national Conference http://www.nationalaacc.com/pre-conference/


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Coaching Pastors and Church Leaders

You believe coaching is powerful.  Now how about when it comes to empowering the leaders at your local church?  You bet!

Life coaching made its debut in the entertainment and sports worlds; then it moved to businesses and individuals (Collins, 2009).  What about in the church?  It’s a growing practice among church leaders today too, expounds Amy Simpson.  Amy Simpson is an inner strengths coach, who was a featured speaker at the AACC The Struggle is Real Summit in May 2016.  Let’s see what she has to say about the power of coaching and the church…

Amy shares in her blog post, “What Church Leaders Say about Working with Coaches,”

I love working with creative leaders who are ready for something new, helping them amplify their inner strength so they can own their purpose, move forward, and live true. But I don’t think my clients are the only ones who can benefit from coaching; in fact, I think every leader should consider working with a coach. Because I believe in the importance of good, healthy leadership in churches, I have a special interest in how coaching can help the church and its leaders to thrive. So I interviewed some pastors who have worked with other coaches, to see how coaching had helped them do ministry better. Consider their experiences….”

Read the rest of her post by visiting her blog http://amysimpsononline.com/2016/03/what-church-leaders-say-about-working-with-coaches/


Collins, G. (2009).  Christian coaching: helping others turn potential into reality.  Colorado Springs, Co:  NavPress.

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