Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is It Worth It Anymore?

Today, my heart reflects on the goodness of our Lord and all He has done. Even the heat of the sun today is a reminder of God’s beautiful creation and the fact that His mercy endureth forever! (Psalms 136:8)

I’m still feasting on the five decisions that were made for Christ on Sunday! This is what it’s all about for me! SOULS, SOULS, SOULS. Discipleship!!!!! My souls yearns for new believers!

Sometimes, we can become so occupied with “ministry work” we simply forget to BREATHE in the goodness of the Lord.

• He’s the one who placed us in ministry.
• He’s the one that called us.
• He’s the one that enabled us to get out of bed this morning.
• He’s the one we must never lose our LOVE for.

• What is it that motivates me to serve Him with unbridled passion?
• What is it that keeps me going when faced with the fickleness of human emotions?
• What jump starts my dead batteries in the morning?
• What carries me through difficult situations?


Simply put, my faith in the unchanging hand of God.

• He has never lost a battle.
• He has never given in to fear.
• He has never compromised His commandments.
• He has never retreated.
• He has never made a promise He didn’t keep.
• He has never allowed calamity and trials steal His victory.
• He has never told a lie.
• He has never thought about quitting.
• He has never regretted dying for my sins.
• He has never stopped loving me.
• He has never talked about me behind my back.
• He has never stopped believing in me.
• He has never ignored me.
• He has never not shown me mercy and kindness.
• He has never needed a jumpstart.
• He has never sold the truth for a lie.
• He has never talked out of both sides of His mouth.
• He has never been intimidated by a mountain.
• He has never lost sleep over bills.
• He has never not answered.
• He has never quit me.
• He has never grown weary of me.
• He has never hated me.
• He has never been impartial.
• He has never held my past against me.
• He has never held a grudge.
• He WILL NEVER stop loving me!

I can’t express in words at this moment the depth of my love for Him.
• Without Him I would have already given up.
• Without Him my past would have dictated my future.
• Without Him the old man wouldn’t have let go.
• Without Him my song would only be sad.
• Without Him my future wouldn’t be secure.
• Without Him my heart would be aching.
• Without Him my stomach would be in knots.
• Without Him my nerves would be shattered.
• Without Him my feelings would stay hurt.
• Without Him I would be a train wreck emotionally.
• Without Him I wouldn’t have the courage to face tomorrow.
• Without Him my pain would be too overwhelming.
• Without Him I’d be most miserable.
• Without Him there’d never be a sunrise or a sunset.
• Without Him my family would be dysfunctional.
• Without Him my earthly plans would derail my future.
• Without Him my imaginations would deceive me.
• Without Him I’d given up a long time ago.
• Without Him my marriage would fail.
• Without Him my child would have no Godly heritage.
• Without Him I wouldn’t want to live in this cruel world.
• Without Him I would have retaliated when my enemies reproached me.
• Without Him I’d be somewhere out of mind right now.
• Without Him I’d been locked up somewhere.
• Without Him I would have repeated patterns of dysfunction that the world declares is normal living.

Oh, but with Him I’ve seen the joys of souls saved.
• With Him I’ve gained courage to keep walking.
• With Him I’ve been held back from sins destruction.
• With Him I’ve seen my family come to Christ.
• With Him I’ve traded my sorrows for His treasures.
• With Him I’ve won the victory.
• With Him I’ve gained freedom from the haunting of my past.
• With Him I can press through.
• With Him I can climb over.
• With Him I can war a good warfare.
• With Him I can command the devil to flee and he must!
• With Him I can enjoy the blessings afforded by grace.
• With Him I can declare words of promise over my generational seed line.
• With Him I can behold new beginnings.
• With Him I can weather the storm.
• With Him I can stop the lions mouth.
• With Him I can run faster and farther.
• With Him I can preach with boldness.
• With Him I can deal with life’s everyday issues.
• With Him I can sleep at night.
• With Him I can rest my spirit and body.
• With Him I can say goodbye to stressful living.
• With Him I will not be defeated.
• With Him I will overcome.
• With Him I cannot lose.
• With Him I’ll keep singing.
• With Him I’ll keep preaching.
• With Him I’ll keep pastoring.
• With Him I’ll keep administrating.
• With Him I’ll keep dreaming.
• With Him I’ll keep feeding.
• With Him I’ll keep leading.
• With Him I’ll keep visionating.
• With Him I’ll take risks.
• With Him I’ll walk on land and water.
• With Him I’ll shut out the voice of naysayers and complainers.
• With Him I’ll keep on doing what I’m called to do.

• Don’t give up.
• Don’t quit now.
• Don’t lay down the fight.
• Don’t surrender to doubt.
• Don’t forget your armor.
• Don’t retreat.
• Don’t shut down.
• Don’t sit idle.
• Don’t burn out.
• Don’t fall out.
• Don’t doubt Him.
• Don’t remain reluctant.
• Don’t forget your dream.
• Don’t forget your calling.
• Don’t forget your YES with God.

I just received word while writing this post that our Youth Pastor led two people to Jesus on the street in front of the church!!!!! They were walking by…he was intentional…AND JUST LIKE THAT…Salvation!!!! Isn’t that what’s it’s all about?????

Is it worth it? I think so.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leadership Thoughts

CHARACTER is what you are in private. CHARISMA is what you are in public. The further the two are apart, the greater the deception.

A rebellious leader lacks the character required to carry the full measure of God's power.

Choose OBEDIENCE and you'll receive lasting peace. Choose DISOBEDIENCE and not only will you lose your right to lead but you'll short change God's master plan.

REDISCOVER your purpose by RELINQUISHING your will to His.

ABANDON your pride and ADOPT humility.


YIELD to the vision of the house and watch YOUR personal vision unfold.

CARRY the mantle of another leader and you'll COLLIDE with double portion anointing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is This a Fatherless Generation?

I didn't realize it then, but now I know that early in my ministry, as I served in youth ministry, I was connecting with future generations as a spiritual father. It wasn't until 2005 that I realized God was sharpening this "life call" in me that would propel me forth with a burning passion to make a generational impact.

Honestly, at times, being a spiritual father is taxing to my emotions. In 2005, God spoke to me about mentoring men. I'll never forget the first week I began to mentor 24 men. My heart was leaping within me and my spirit was electrified as I stepped out of the boat to take a step of faith. All I know is that I sensed a great responsibility upon me to impart my life into a group of men who would in turn impart theirs to others.

I was raised in a home with a father. My dad not only provided for us, he imparted Godly principles by his example. Honestly, I can't imagine not having a father in the home. Today, as I consider this generation's fatherless dilemma, my heart breaks. It's as if I can feel God's heart breaking for them as well.

Deciding to function in the role of fatherhood was definitely an easy one due to the passion I felt God bestowed in me. However, I learned quickly that being a spiritual father is so much more than just being a "manager" or a "boss." I guess, if I'd had my way, I'd rather manage. At least I can navigate through that with out much risk. In fact, it's probably safer. However, God didn't call me to just manage...He called me to leave my place of comfort and stretch forward to fathering.

In my travels, it seems everyone is looking for a spiritual father. The Word of God declares that we have many instructors, but not many fathers. (1 Corinthians 4:15) The difference between an instructor and a father is that instructors teach while fathers train. Teaching only prepares me to pass the test at the end of the course. Training is much more. Training involves a personal commitment to develop through experience over and over again until it's "caught."

There are so many people in the body of Christ thirsting for a spiritual father! This generation is looking for someone to not only "teach" them but to also "wake" the potential in them. We need someone to give us a big push towards our destiny. When a spiritual father takes this role to heart they make a promise to their spiritual sons:

  1. You can trust me.
  2. I'll believe the best about you.
  3. I'll be there for you.
  4. I'll share my life with you.
  5. I'll tell you the truth.
These promises will take a lifetime to achieve. A teacher only imparts for a season of your life. A spiritual father is committed for the long-term.

Unfortunately, not everyone follows through on their promises, you cannot always determine who your spiritual father is until you look back over your shoulder through the process of time and confirm them by those who have fulfilled their promise to you.

You can want to be someones spiritual father but will never be until they claim you as such. If that happens, then and only then do you have access to speak into their life fully. If you accept the role of fatherhood and then fail to follow through on your promises you plunge the "son" into further orphanage. This causes deep pain within your sons' heart and feelings of abandonment begin to surface.

I guess you could say "it's better to under-promise and over-deliver." Young people have been lied to so regularly that they have grown suspicious of anyone that attempts to get close. Only voice the promises you know you can deliver on. I guess we should start with "I'll believe the best in you" and "I'll tell you the truth." Perhaps then, over time, trust will come and we'll be on our way to fathering a fatherless generation.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Lost Art of Loyalty

When you consider the word loyalty the thought of allegiance comes to mind. The idea is that you wholly commit yourself to an idea, a cause, an industry even a person.

Loyalty is expressed every day in the choices we make as consumers, from grocery stores, restaurants, hotel chains, airlines, theaters, gas stations and more. Our consistent patronage to these businesses establishes a pattern of loyalty. In recent years, many places of business have developed “rewards” for consumers who express routine patronage. These rewards can include discounts, merchandise, free lodging, gasoline, and even cash.

Another way we can express loyalty is through our speech. If you are committed to a cause, an organization, a church or even a person, your communication will express it. Many businesses rely on word of mouth advertising. If you’ve ever bought a home or car, the agent or sales person will give you a handful of business cards. The hope is that you will give these to your friends and family and tell them how pleasant your experience was.

Loyalty at its best will inspire others to make a commitment.

Of course, the flip side of loyalty is disloyalty. What does it mean to be disloyal? Disloyalty carries the idea of unfaithfulness, traitorousness, treachery and even infidelity.

The Scriptures reveal the heart of disloyalty in David’s son, Absalom. He was a man full of offense, hatred, unforgiveness and bitterness. He appeared to be loyal to the king but his words were full of discredit and even revenge.

2 Samuel 15:2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

2 Samuel 15:5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

David loved Absalom. Perhaps this is why he was reluctant to deal with his son’s antics and rebellion. Dealing with the spirit of disloyalty is emotionally draining especially when you “hold out hope” that a person will hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit and make the necessary corrections that will ultimately aid their spiritual maturity and ministry longevity.

This spirit is difficult to deal with, often because people become attached to one another emotionally and are blind to the indicators of character flaws.

A disloyal spirit will often display the following characteristics:
  1. They seek an audience.
  2. They use love and kindness to steal the hearts of followers.
  3. Say things like this, “You are special to me and my friend.” “I love you more than the pastor; I will spend quality time with you – he doesn’t.”
  4. They use special treatment to gain followers: gifts, favors, fellowship, food, etc. Everyone likes to be treated special.
  5. Nothing the pastor/leadership does is good enough for Absalom. They look for fault.
  6. They plant doubt concerning leadership. They make references to minor things to create major issues.
  7. They have a hidden agenda. Their motives aren’t known until they manifest and it’s too late. Absalom is sneaky and does things behind your back.
  8. Absalom tells you what you want to hear. (A pastor’s job is to speak the truth in love; sometimes that truth hurts and requires change, but is always for our good.)
  9. Eventually they become brazen and open about their disloyalty.
Absalom’s downfall ended like that of Jezebel, Korah and Judas. They fell through pride and their lives ended prematurely and tragically. It is dangerous ground to sow strife and cause division in the body of Christ.

Proverbs 6:16-19 16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

One of the main causes of division in the church is disloyalty to the present leadership. Disloyalty doesn’t manifest overnight. It is an attitude that develops through various stages. If we can recognize the stages of disloyalty then we’ll be able to correct it before it takes hold.

1. An absence of humility and willingness to submit to leadership.

Luke 17:7-10 7But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? 8And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

2. Desire for recognition.

Desiring the praise of men can cause you to do things with the wrong motivation. When we begin promoting ourselves in order that we might receive personal recognition, our desire is no long God please but rather self pleasing.

Galatians 1:10 10For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

3. Spiritual pride

When we think too highly of ourselves and our own ministry, we begin to think that our suggestions are the best. If this continues, we will give ourselves over to spiritual pride. As a result we try to impress others with our ideas and comments. This type of behavior cuts us off from others (especially those who have oversight over us) and makes us unwilling to receive suggestions, input and even correction.

Often when we’re developing in our leadership, we can’t see through the eyes of experience. This is why we must allow those who are more mature in the Lord to speak into our lives. With the right information, we too will be able to understand how a particular decision by leadership fits within the totality of the overall vision of the church.

Proverbs 26:12 12Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Proverbs 12:15 15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 19:20 20Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

4. Cannot be taught or corrected.

When the leadership rejects the ideas of the individual, he takes it as a personal affront. His spiritual pride has been injured. He feels that his whole ministry has been rejected and misunderstood. He begins to speak lies in his heart in regard to himself and others, particularly those in authority.

Proverbs 13:10 10Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Proverbs 12:1 1Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

5. Critical spirit.

In himself he must now justify his own independent spirit. The leadership has rejected his ideas on this occasion, so he feels there must be something wrong with his judgment and discernment of the leadership. His spiritual pride is at stake. He begins to use his own ideas as a criterion for the judgment of all the decisions of the overseers. As a result, he develops a critical spirit toward leadership.

Proverbs 12:20 20Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 12And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

6. Competitive spirit.

Because of the log in his own eye, this person can no longer exercise right judgment. He begins to develop a competitive spirit in regard to his leaders, and at times must distort facts to feed his ego. By distorting the views of the leadership and contrasting them with his own, he is able to gain a measure of recognition from others around him.

Proverbs 18:10 10The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

7. Party spirit.

Because of his fear of failure by lack of recognition from the spiritual oversight, he begins to gather to himself others who are discontent and dissatisfied with the decisions of the leadership. In this way he gathers disciples unto himself who will help him feed his ego and his thirst for recognition. Soon he begins to stir up discontent that becomes a challenge to spiritual leadership.

Proverbs 10:17 17He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
James 3:13-16 13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

8. Divisive spirit.

He now begins to feed this group with the things that he has fed himself upon for so long. He accuses those over him of insensitivity to true spiritual authority (namely himself). He gossips against the leadership in progressive degrees of severity. He begins by speaking against those faults and frailties in the leadership that are obvious to all, and not necessarily related to spiritual qualifications. He then moves to more obscure areas. Those around him believe him because he was right about the other things.

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
Proverbs 26:21-28 21As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. 23Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 24He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; 25When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation. 27Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. 28A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

9. Marked by leadership.

He is encouraged by the support he receives on the areas of those minor problems he has emphasized. He feels he is gaining true spiritual authority. At this point it is finally noticed by the leadership, because certain things are beginning to come into public view. It is likely that the leadership will reject him as a disloyal follower. The people who have been following him are forced to choose sides in the conflict.

Proverbs 28:2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

10. Majoring in the Minors.

In justifying his position, he finds it necessary to lay extreme emphasis on those minor grievances which all agree are true. People are hence encouraged to make a decision on minor issues, not really understanding the heart of the problem.

Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

11. Splintering.

We now have a splinter group that begins to go its own way. It begins to break off from local leadership in disloyalty and rebellion.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Proverbs 5:11-14 11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

We have seen how disloyalty develops and ultimately manifests itself in separation and ruin. Disloyalty is not always easy to see externally, and that is how many times it goes unchecked in the early stages. If disloyalty is not recognized and dealt with, it will ultimately bring division to the work of God.

It is important that we as individuals use these tests on ourselves. We should allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts in the pure light of God's Word. If we catch ourselves in the early stages, we must confess, repent and reconcile. We should also seek accountability for our heart problems with those God has placed in authority over us. As we work and live together with the people of God, let us endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)