4 Easy Steps To Talk With Anyone With Less Stress

I’m an introvert. Some people think that’s strange.

I often stand in front of thousands of people. So, how can this be?

I’ve come to accept how God made me.

Maybe you can relate.

Maybe you get stressed at the thought of striking up new conversations with people you don’t know.

I know, I do at times.

Maybe the thought of being on a Holy Land bus tour with a lot of new people makes you nervous.

I get it.

When I started giving concerts across North America in the late 70s, there were some days that my stomach absolutely rolled at the thought of meeting new people and carrying on a conversation.

Then, a Pastor friend shared an old secret with me that he used. It’s called F.O.R.M.


Salespeople have used this for years. For them, it means:

  • Family
  • Occupation
  • Recreation
  • Money

For me, it stands for:

  • Family
  • Occupation
  • Recreation
  • Meaning

After forty years, I don’t use it as often as I used to. But every now and then I pull it out of my toolkit when my introverted self starts to take over.

Here’s how it breaks down for me (you should adjust it to fit the setting you’re in):

F: Family: Ask them about their family. If natural, you can share about your own.

  • Can you tell me a little about your family?
  • What are they doing now?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was it like growing up there?
  • How did you meet your husband/wife?
  • Do you have any children?
  • How old are they?
  • What are they doing now (or what do they like to do – if they’re young)?

O: Occupation: Ask them what they do for a living. They might ask you about yours as well.

  • What do you do for a living now?
  • What led you to this job?
  • What do you like best about it?
  • What do you find the most challenging?
  • If someone came to you interested in your field, what do you think you’d tell them?
  • What was one of your most interesting jobs you had when you were younger?

R: Recreation: Ask them about what they like to do for fun (hobbies, sports, arts, experiences). They might ask you about your recreation.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time just for fun?
  • How did you get into that?
  • Do you have any other vacation plans?
  • Have you seen any good movies or read any good books lately?

M: Meaning: Here’s where you want to find out what’s important to the other person.

  • Aside from your job and what you do for fun, what’s really important for you?
  • If you could ask God anything and He would give you an answer, what would you ask Him?
  • At the end of life, what do you want to be remembered for?
  • Why is that important to you?

One of the great things about FORM is that not only does it help to ask questions; it also has a progression. It usually starts with some of the least difficult questions (depending on their circumstances – so be aware), and it moves to a deeper conversation about the meaningful things in life.

pexels-photo-42504Remember that most people love to talk about themselves. When people walk away from a conversation thinking they had a good talk, it’s usually because they were able to share a lot about themselves and that you didn’t dominate the conversation.

Also, remember that a good conversation is like a tennis match. You ask questions and they comment and then they ask questions. If they don’t ask you questions, that’s OK. You don’t need to be the hero of the story – they should be.

Finally, a conversation is not an interrogation. If they don’t want to go deep or answer or if they just want some quiet time, that’s OK. It’s fine to let things go.

Hopefully, these suggestions may help you if you’re starting a new conversation or if you’re on a Holy Land tour bus and want to get to know people a little better.

Or, maybe you’re an extrovert and have no problem at all in speaking with strangers. You can feel free to use F.O.R.M. on introverts like me.  There are many of us.


A Free Magazine on Highlights of Israel

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.31.49 PMCheck out this new free magazine featuring a few of Israel’s top attractions, must-visit sites, culinary delights and exciting activities.

There are beautiful photos inside as well as insights to help you on your next visit or even to learn just a little more about this beautiful and spiritually rich land.

You can view your free magazine by clicking on the photo for the full PDF version.

Do you want to learn how to make your own authentic fish falafel? Check out page 15.

Do you want a recipe for exceptional hummus (and avoid the expensive store bought versions)? Check out page 19.

What Did Rome Look Like?

The Colosseum by night.Visiting Rome is a highlight for Christians. You can imagine the culture that the Apostle Paul walked into. You can visualize what Rome must have been to walk through in the early years of the Christian church.

But the stunning ruins can sometimes leave you a little bewildered as to what went where.  It can leave you running to the closest gelato shop while scratching your head (and yes, you should enjoy the best of Rome’s gelato)!

If you’d like to visualize Rome in its heyday, your wait is over. This video recreation gives a stunning view into what Rome must have looked like.

If you’d like to see Rome as it was, why don’t you click on the video below?

5 Lessons Learned to Truly Enjoy Traveling

5 Lessons Learned to Truly Enjoy Traveling

5 Lessons Learned to Truly Enjoy Traveling

Travel can be one of the most richly rewarding, heart-expanding and learning experiences of life.

But, when we bring our own cultural norms, food expectations, and other restrictions with us when we travel, we can miss out on so much.

Here is a great article on 5 Lessons Learned to Truly Enjoy Traveling by Amy Chen. There are good reminders here. Just click here: 5 Lessons Learned to Truly Enjoy Traveling.

Tour Guides or Hosts?

Tour Guide

Tour Guide

At Break Forth Journeys, we hand pick our local tour guides. We also interact with local voices to enrich each trip. We think this travel quote from recent research says it nicely:

“The two biggest things that travelers wish they had paid more for on their trips are better food and better tour guides, so don’t skimp. And “tour guides” will become a disparaged term, increasingly to be replaced by “local hosts”– travelers will want to interact with expert locals rather than “guides”–an art expert who can introduce them to galleries and artists they’d otherwise never discover, for example. Anyone who has gone on a tour and been disappointed with a guide that drones on and on about nothing can relate.” – George Hobica, January 13, 2016

How To Fly With Your Guitar To The Holy Land (or anywhere)

Broken GuitarIf you travel with any professional-level ministry trip to any of the Lands of the Bible, there will be worship.

If there’s worship, there will probably be guitars or other instruments.

So, how do you help ensure that your instrument isn’t the focus of the next version of the “United Breaks Guitars” song?

Check the link below for one of the best articles we’ve ever seen on flying with your instrument.

At Break Forth Journeys, we always want to help make your next trip to the Lands of the Bible the best ever!

How To Fly With Your Instrument

Forgot Your Phone Charger? This Tip Could Save Your Sanity:

charge smartphoneHave you ever forgotten your phone charger when you’ve been on a trip? Maybe you left it at home. Maybe you left it in a hotel.

Frustrating? No, it’s way beyond that!

Well, here’s a tip that may save your sanity.

Airport Lost & Founds are vast repositories of chargers, power adaptors, cables and more. People who’ve left them behind are probably on a plane far away. It’s simply not worth their time or money to have it shipped back to their country or even make the call.

Lost & Found often just throws items or recycles them. This is your sanity saver.

If no one has inquired about a charger, adaptor or other item for a while, they’d rather just give it to you because it’s one less thing to deal with.

We’ve also had hotel Lost & Founds who have given or loaned us items in a pinch.

So, if this happens to you, take a deep breath. The people at Lost & Found may be your best friends that day.


What Did Athen’s Parthenon Look Like To Apostle Paul?

Parthenon on the Acropolis in AthensThe Parthenon in Athens today is a jaw-dropping site. But, it’s had some rough years.

So, what did it look like in St. Paul’s day when he stood on Mars hill and gazed up at the Parthenon? It wasn’t the mottled beige stone of today. It was painted vibrant colours!

Now, we can know what it looked like in full color.

Here’s how . . .

In Nashville, there is a full scale replica of the Parthenon. Recently, the Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation used giant projectors to project the colors that were originally on the Parthenon in Athens.

In this one minute video below, see these vibrant colors come to life. This is what the Apostle Paul would have seen. Now, you can see it too!

Here’s an interesting point to know about the Parthenon and Athens:

When the Apostle Paul visited Athens, there were an estimated 30,000 “gods’ in idol form. No wonder Paul said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.”  That’s a message that’s just as relevant for our world today.

Of course, you can view the real Parthenon and a host of idols at every turn to give you a sense of what the Apostle Paul was walking into.

Hans Elsa Arlen HeadshotIf you join Hans and us for Break Forth Paul in the fall, 2016 you will see this with your own eyes. Hans will share powerful messages of renewal when we visit. We will also worship the true God where once, false gods stood! Please email us for more information here: journeys@breakforthministries.com.

We’d love to have you join us!

Here is the video. It’s stunning:




Show Me The Shekels . . .

Israeli Shekels (NIS)

Israeli Shekels (NIS)

Unless you have a very generous uncle, visiting Israel requires money. And if you do have an uncle like that, maybe you can email us his name and number. Seriously though, even though our Break Forth Journeys trips are a great value, money is still required.

Would you like some help?

We’re here to explain . . .

Here’s How The Israeli Currency Works:

The New Israeli Shekel (NIS) is Israel’s currency. There are coins of 5, 10, 50 agorot (like our cents) and 1,5,10 shekels (see images here). There are also 20, 50, 100 & 200 shekel notes (like our dollar bills, see images here).

Currently, one Canadian dollar is equal to about 3 NIS. As the economy fluctuates, it’s wise to keep an eye on exchange rates as you approach your departure date.

Where Do You Get Money?

If you need to exchange money while you are in Israel,  you can do so in a bank (you will need to bring your passport to do so). Although they will charge you an exchange fee, they will give you a better rate overall.

Most places in Israel readily take US currency (not Canadian). We suggest exchanging your money into US currency while still at home and then supplementing your funds with shekels as needed.

We recommend that you withdraw money from ATM machines in Israel in order to get the best exchange rates. Bank machines are prevalent throughout the country, but you need to plan ahead. Don’t be afraid of saying to your tour leader or guide, “I’m running short on shekels, may we stop at a bank machine some time today?”

NOTE: Traveler’s Cheques are not recommended.

What About Tips?

Break Forth Guide: David Wexler

Break Forth Israel Tour Guide: David Wexler

Please note that a tip for the drivers and guides is appreciated at the end of the tour – cash is required for this and can be in US currency (an average tip is $3/day for the driver, $5/day for the guide).

Most tours do not include tips in their prices as this is a suggested amount, no different than tipping at a restaurant.

Other tours state they include tips and while this can simplify things, there are many stories of the tips never fully making it to the guide and driver. Please investigate this closely to ensure that pre-paid tips actually make it to the guide and driver who were such a great help to you and others.

We believe in the scriptural principle that states, “The worker deserves his wages.” – 1 Timothy 5:18b

Watch for more helpful tips on visiting Israel coming your way!

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about joining us during our next tour: Break Forth Israel & Jordan NEXT Level 2016, please drop us an email at journeys@breakforthministries.com.

You can also view the video below to get a brief overview of what we have in store . . .