So may I introduce to you the act you’ve known for all these years…


Have you ever taken a survey at work or an online test to discover who you are? Yeah, me too! In fact, I’ve taken most of them and love seeing and comparing their results. However, I’ve been learning that finding our Type or Temperament will only serve to help us find the “starting line” for a long and painful journey of Inner Work. They aren’t the destination or who we actually are. All of it is a protective barrier to hide and protect our true selves.

Growing our “true self” requires an intense and ongoing investigation of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, defense mechanisms, motivations, fears, etc. All that stuff can be categorized as our Emotional Intelligence. And to get healthy & increase ours, it requires tremendous humility and allowing our personalities to become the daily focus of both private meditation and public feedback.

A few critical components of our emotional intelligence, as taught by Dr. Darrin Patrick:
Self-clarity = How am I wired?
Self-awareness = How am I experienced? 
Self-donation = How can I contribute?

If you’re ready to grow in your understanding of these areas of your life, I’d recommend a personality typology called the Enneagram. It is as revealing as it is unsettling – you can’t “unsee” this stuff! After sharing this tool with a friend recently, they went as far to say that once they found their type, they felt humiliated. Totally exposed. They couldn’t believe how much it revealed about the places in their heart that they had tried their best to hide from everyone else.

If you are interested in starting the Enneagram journey, I’d recommend the following:

  • Reading The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron (easiest book on the subject, perfect for beginners.)
  • Listening to the Typology Podcast on your phone or computer (start at the beginning or it won’t make sense)
  • Taking a reputable Enneagram survey to get a baseline for your profile. (There are quite a few free surveys online but very few of them are actually trustworthy. Use one that is recommended by a credible source for Enneagram information.)
  • After you have taken an initial survey, cross-reference your results with its type description to see if it fits. Be sure the type description you are looking into includes an extensive overview, levels of health, primary fears and motivators. Some sites offer a short and sweet overview of the description but this can serve as a false finish line because your personality has incredible depth.

Keep in mind that it can be difficult to really find your type until you understand all nine of them – especially in the beginning of your enneagram journey, so don’t jump to conclusions or try to force a fit. Another thing you’ll want to avoid is trying to guess other people’s types or shame them for their personality. Every one of us has shortcomings and needs to grow in grace!



How to find a Bible translation that “fits”

priscilla-du-preez-607171-unsplashChoosing a Bible can be overwhelming, especially if you consider that it is essentially an ancient library of books that were written across centuries of time and in a variety of languages. Therefore, selecting a trustworthy compilation and translation of those sacred writings is the utmost importance. If you walk into a bookstore (or search online) you will quickly find that there are countless English translations and/or editions of the Bible that range in their translation style from simple to scholarly. Narrowing your selection down to just one can be tough, especially without any preparation.

After doing some research, I’ve discovered that there are two major factors that will help you to determine which translation(s) of Scripture will help you maximize the time you spend reading it!

  1. LITERAL – Some translations are extremely precise and their translation team uses a process that carefully selects a formal “word for word” rendition of the text. While other translations work to translate the passages of Scripture “thought by thought” into modern English to make the translation more dynamic for the reader.
  2. READABLE – Since the level of comprehension of the reader varies from one person to another, so do the variety of Bible translations. After translating, many use language that would be suitable for someone with an expansive vocabulary and in-depth understanding of theological principals while others seek to retain a level of approachability for a new reader with clear and simple terminology.

Modern Bible scholars have taken the concepts of LITERAL and READABLE and used them to form a Matrix to place the most common translations into to give us this incredible visual aid:


After reviewing this chart, hopefully, you will identify with one of the following statements so I’ve attached a translation suggestion for each of them to help you finalize your choice.

  • I have always had a hard time reading/understanding the Bible, so I want a Bible that is REALLY easy to read!” suggested translation: The New Living Translation (NLT) 
  • I’m a pretty strong reader so I want a Bible that is very accurate & trustworthy in its translation of the original languages.” suggested translation: The English Standard Version (ESV) 
  • I’m a decent reader so I want a Bible that I can use for personal growth but also feel comfortable reading it out loud at my Small Group. suggested translation: The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) 
  • I already have a Bible that I’ve been using for quite some time and really love it.” suggestion: KEEP USING IT. 


Why am I sharing this?

Recently, I’ve noticed several of my friends asking questions on Social Media about the Bible. I thought it might be helpful to write a blog series and share some of the resources that I use as well as some of my favorites.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to engage with Scripture so that everyone can benefit from your breakthrough!

Let’s get growing!

botany bay kim graham


“Be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again;” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.


Deep inside our minds, we all aspire to grow but let me ask you a difficult question: When was the last time you challenged yourself to learn a new skill or research a new subject? I believe that our current comfort is actually the greatest barrier to our future growth. Growing people are comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I’m going to start a little project this week that honestly has me terrified. In the words of the hopeful contestants on  The Bachelor, I am going to “really put myself out there.” Who knows, I might fail miserably BUT even if I do, I believe I’m going to grow greatly in the process!

If you’re ready to start growing, set some time aside to identify the area of your life where the coziness is killing you and begin to walk humbly in a new direction, no matter how uncomfortable it is. It’s the pursuit, not the result, that will determine your growth. After you’ve decided what task, skill, or subject you’re going to grow in; go ahead and tell a few trustworthy people exactly what you plan to do so they can encourage you along the way and maybe even help you get there quickly!

Let’s step out together and get growing!

– R+

Photo: Botany Bay – Edisto, SC by Kim Graham

The story of the good king

“Once upon a time there was a good and kind king who had a great kingdom with many cities. In one distant city, some people took advantage of the freedom the king gave them and started doing evil. They profited by their evil and began to fear the king would interfere and throw them in jail. Eventually, these rebels seethed with hatred for the king. They convinced the city that everyone would be better off without the king, and the city declared its independence from the kingdom.

But soon, with everyone doing whatever they wanted, disorder reigned in the city. There was violence, hatred, lying, oppression, murder, rape, slavery and fear. The king thought: What should I do? If I take my army and conquer the city by force, the people will fight against me, and I’ll have to kill so many of them, and the rest will only submit through fear or intimidation, which will make them hate me and all I stand for even more. How does that help them – to be either dead or imprisoned or secretly seething with rage? But if I leave them alone, they’ll destroy each other, and it breaks my heart to think of the pain they’re causing and experiencing.

So the king did something very surprising. He took off his robes and dressed in the rags of a homeless wanderer. Incognito, he entered the city and began living in a vacant lot near a garbage dump. He took up a trade – fixing broken pottery and furniture. Whenever people came to him, his kindness and goodness and fairness and respect were so striking that they would linger just to be in his presence. They would tell him their fears and questions, and ask his advice. He told them that the rebels had fooled them and that the true king had a better way to live, which he exemplified and taught. One by one, then two by two and then by hundreds, people began to have confidence in him and live in his way.

Their influence spread to others, and the movement grew and grew until the whole city regretted its rebellion and wanted to return to the kingdom again. But, ashamed of their horrible mistake, they were afraid to approach the king, believing he would certainly destroy them for their rebellion. But the king-in-disguise told them the good news: he was himself the king, and he loved them. He held nothing against them, and he welcomed them back into his kingdom, having accomplished by a gentle, subtle presence what never could have been accomplished through brute force.”

A story of the incarnation told during the 4th century by Athanasius, an Eastern Orthodox theologian, slightly adapted and expanded by Brian McLaren in his book, A Generous Orthodoxy.

All People That on Earth Do Dwell

All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice; Him serve with fear, his praise forth tell, Come ye before him, and rejoice. 

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed, Without our aid he did us make; We are his folk, he doth us feed, And for his sheep he doth us take. 

O enter then his gates with praise, Approach with joy his courts unto; Praise, laud, and bless his name always, For it is seemly so to do. 

For why? the Lord our God is good: His mercy is for ever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure. 

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, The God whom heaven and earth adore, From men and from the Angel-host Be praise and glory evermore. Amen. 

A processional hymn by William Kethe, Scottish Psalter, 1650. (To be sung to the tune of Old Hundreth, commonly know as Doxology.)

The Covenant Prayer of John Wesley


I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy
pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed
God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

John Wesley (1703–1791)

How to choose a good NON-study Bible.


Earlier in this series, I suggested that if you were going to get a new Bible in 2017, you should invest in a Study Bible. However, that might not be the best fit for you if you are looking for something lightweight or that contains no extra-biblical material such as commentary or study notes. In fact, we can read probably Scripture faster and more focused without all the supplemental material. If you are in the market for a streamlined edition of the Word for daily reading there are still a few “upgrades” worth investigating in before making your final selection.

My three favorite “extras” when selecting a Bible.

  1. A concordance. This is hands down, my favorite feature in my Bibles. If you are unsure what a concordance is, it is a section (usually located in the back) of many Bibles that contains important biblical words and where you can find them. Perhaps you can’t remember the location of a specific verse but you remember it contains a keyword such as “baptism” thus you can look in the concordance for a list of verses that contain that word. I have found that it also helps broaden my understanding of a word or concept to see it used in another context. The bigger the concordance the better!
  2. A wide margin. There are many Bibles that have ample space for writing in them. A few ways you can utilize that space: taking notes during a meaningful message at church, prayer journaling, scripture doodle, structural laws for inductive study, or anything else that you can think of!
  3. Center-column cross references. A cross reference is a verse that has a similar theme or topic as the verse that you are reading. It’s a helpful tool that can help you “connect the dots” across the pages of Scripture. I love to see when an Old Testament passage or prophecy is being quoted in the New Testament and reference its original location. Especially when Jesus is doing it!


Why am I sharing this?

The new year has begun and many of us have committed to reading through the entire Bible in 2017, so I thought it might be helpful to start a blog series and share some of the resources that I use and some of my favorites.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to engage with Scripture so that everyone can benefit from your breakthrough!