Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Refuse To Ration Your Passion!

It is important to find the areas you are passionate about & stay focused on them.

John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come & watch you burn.” This is what happens when a leader has passion. The leader starts gaining more influence with others & people want to be a part of what’s going on. If you want to raise your influence, then you need to be passionate in your pursuits.

When you're passionate about your dreams & vision you'll have little time, if any, to be focused on squabbles, drama or other people's business. You'll be so utterly consumed with today & tomorrow that you won't have extra energy or desire to look back, look around or look down.

For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7 KJV)

Where there is no VISION....people, programs, passions & purposes PERISH!  

Maintaining status quo is a sure indicator of a visionless leader whose myopic vision can only see five feet ahead.

Keep your eyes on the horizon & run forward with unbridled energy! That energy will catapult you over every hurdle & hindrance you encounter!

Choose to run passionately after your God size dreams! God gave them to you because He believes in you!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Friend...The BIBLE.

Do you remember your first BIBLE?  I sure do.  I won it in a Sunday School contest when I was eight years old.  It was a pocket New Testament.  I still have it. 

I couldn't wait to carry it to church every week.  Eventually, that little New Testament was replaced with a bigger BIBLE.  I remember feeling a sense of pride with being able to find our pastor's text with the rest of the congregation. It took a while to remember which books were in the Old Testament and New Testament. (Sometimes, I still get a brain freeze when looking for "Amos.")

I can still see my pastor holding up his big leather BIBLE in the air - with his name embossed in shiny letter - and preaching up a storm!  He told us that the BIBLE was and is the LIVING WORD of GOD!

  • Question: Do you believe the BIBLE is the LIVING WORD OF GOD?
  • Question: Do you believe the BIBLE has the answers to all of our questions?
Honestly, the BIBLE was a book that I found full of mystery.  I knew it contained God's principles but somehow it wasn't something that I fell in love with until later in life. For a long time, it was more of a source to help me with the problems I was dealing with at the time.  I later came to realize that the community of people I was raised with USED the BIBLE more than they LOVED it. So did I.

I don't think I just speak for myself when I say that we are guilty of handling the BIBLE like an OBJECT, depending on our situation.  We treat it like either a sword or a piece of fine china. But do we treat it as if it's ALIVE?  (Read Hebrews 4:12)

I'm not trying to find fault with how I was raised or the way the people I grew up with treated the BIBLE. I will say this...they DUG DEEP into the Word of God...sometimes just to find supportive Scriptures to reinforce certain standards...but nonetheless they stayed in the Word!

Time has brought a chance in the way I perceive the Word of God.  Time has also brought me in contact with various Christians who all have their own perspective about the BIBLE. Some people approach the BIBLE with fear or intimidation. Others analyze it like a textbook or they read it like a novel. Still others speak of it with great admiration...with or without actually spending time with it. I remember one time watching a person be nearly afraid to even touch their BIBLE for fear that it was going to burn them and they had to tip-toe around it like they were afraid of offending it. :)

No matter how you view the BIBLE...the real question is...DO YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH IT?  Not a relationship with an object...but a relationship with something that is LIVING!

YES...LIVING!  I believe the BIBLE is ALIVE!

The BIBLE is more than just another book on a shelf. It is alive and desires to be KNOWN! The best way for me to describe it is to say that you have to view the BIBLE as having a PERSONALITY!

Before you stop reading this blog, please understand what I'm saying. I believe the BIBLE desires to be known. It dares us to chase after it, pursue it and immerse ourselves within it! The more you read it, the more of a craving you have to read it more and more!  You find yourself desiring to spend time with it, getting to know it with all of it's mystery!

Sure, we could study it and analyze it but the BIBLE, like a person, is not something that you can analyze and comprehend fully. In the same way that a person isn't their Facebook profile or their resume, the BIBLE isn't merely an object.  When it comes to knowing a living person, it can take years, if not a lifetime, to truly know and understand someone. It takes dedication and loyalty - and even conflict. And even if we're willing, the best of intentions can still push people away from us. 

Every try getting to know someone, but come off as too eager? It can often lead to relationships that are lopsided or off balance.  Getting to know someone's true self takes mutual respect and trust.

Knowing a LIVING BEING is not a science. KNOWING is not merely data-gathering. Truly knowing a living being takes TIME and PURPOSE and RELATIONSHIP. Becoming familiar with the life inside of someone is a complex process! And while the idea of approaching the BIBLE as a living thing might seem like a strange concept, there is something sacred available to us when we give the Scriptures room to be ALIVE!
  • When we encounter beautiful passages, we can LOVE them back—knowing that God is in them and SPEAKING through them.
  • When we wrestle with confusing texts, we can let ourselves feel uncomfortable, yet still TRUSTING.
  • When we encounter hope, we can CELEBRATE alongside our Scriptures.
  • When we read of acts of justice, we can be INSPIRED to IMITATE our BIBLE.
  • When the words pour out like tears, we can sit alongside of them and offer comfort.
  • When we read the red letters, the words of Jesus, we can FEEL gratitude to each page and recognize each letter as a gift from God.
Your Bible is not just a book. It is your friend. 
It is the kind of friend who will be waiting there no matter how much time passes. 
  • Do not use your friend. 
  • Do not manipulate your friend’s words. 
  • Do not label or treat your friend like an object.
  • This friend has seen lifetimes come and go. 
  • It has seen God step into and through reality. 
  • It has seen blood spilt and blood sacrificed for thousands of years.
  • Our friend is wise. 
  • Our friend speaks in whispers through the One who authored it. 
  • Our friend has emotions and layers.
  • Like most living things, it wants deeply to be known. 
When we read God's Word, what is taking place is more than just a one-way "study" from PERSON to OBJECT. Instead, God's Word is indeed living as God moves it to work in our life—and makes us more like Him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Waking Up With a Smile

God added one more day in your life today, not necessarily because you need it, but because the world still needs you to let your light shine.

So, starting today, FALL IN LOVE. Not necessarily with a person, but 
with an AIM, an AMBITION, a PASSION.

What would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile? That’s what you need to start working on today!

"Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is
beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back." (Philippians 3:13-14 MSG)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Every Day is BORROWED...Why Are You Waiting For TOMORROW?

Take time to work on YOU today!  Taken an extra 10 minutes to REFLECT & RESPOND to God by...

  • THINKING about God's Word, Love, Grace and Mercy!
  • DISCIPLING your choices. (i.e., food, habits, exercise, entertainment, relationships, conversation, etc.)
  • PUTTING your best foot forward and giving 100% of your energy and enthusiasm to whatever is before you today!

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day." (‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭13-16‬ MSG)



Monday, October 20, 2014

So, You Want To Be Used In Ministry?

Realize that God has called us all to be His hands & feet to the world. He has given us gifts, skills & talents that are unique to our personality. 

Learn to be comfortable in your own skin & don't force yourself into it or onto anyone. If you struggle with insecurity, you'll constantly be trying to make things happen for you rather than letting them happen for you. Truly, your gift will make room for you at the right time & in the right place if you'll just wait on The Lord. 

Don't be consumed with trying to find more to do...believe me, ministry will find you. Just stay focused on Jesus. Be loyal, humble, maturing, serving & patient. When you try to make things happen instead of letting them happen you end up frustrating yourself and others. 

Marinating takes time. 
Pottery takes time. 
Construction takes time. 

Ultimately you want the strength of an oak not the weakness of a weed to define your tenure. Oak trees take time to mature. 

Remember, if your Father affirms you, you won't lack security or be fearful of rejection. It's unnatural to be intimidated by rejection when you're so used to His acceptance. 

Be you. 
Be still. 
Be content. 

Let God bring you more when you can handle more. He knows when you're ready for the next level. Until you can pass all the tests at your current level, you're not ready for the next level. 

So, abide. Follow instructions. Bloom where you're planted. Serve with excellence. Shoulder your responsibility. Get up under your leaders arms. Put your best foot forward. Learn all you can. Refuse to be offended. Don't pout. Enjoy the process. God bring His promised provision to pass. :) 


Friday, October 10, 2014

It's Kindness Not Condemnation That Wins People!

We live in an unkind world. Many times we encounter rudeness, meanness & just plain hatefulness. We've all experienced it and felt it's wrath!

And yet, as Christians we are told to be kind. No matter what people do to you, say about you or think about still have to practice loving them like Jesus does. 

Since God was patient with us (2 Peter 3:9); therefore we should be patient with others. 

It was God’s KINDNESS that led us to Him (Romans 2:4); therefore we should know it will be our KINDNESS (not our condemnation) that will lead others to Him as well. 

Consider praying for those who are unkind. That's what Job did in Job 42. He ended up praying for "his friends."

Quite honestly, they didn't seem like the kind of friends anyone would want to have. Friends don't do what they did. In fact, we would consider them "FRENEMIES!" (An enemy that's friendly to your face but talks about you like trash to others.)

With friends like Job had, who needs enemies? And yet God told Job to pray for them. 

Like Job, you'll have to pray for those who lie on you, break their promises, betray your trust, scheme & plot to destroy you. 

Keep being KIND!
Pray for them anyway!

Even those who are unkind to you need kindness showed to them. Believe me, they're going to need it when they realize what's coming.  

Always keep this verse before you regardless of who it is:  "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;" (Romans 12:10 KJV)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

5 Things For Thursday

"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40)

The work of the ministry, most times, should be a blessing, but it can also become rather tasking & tiresome if we are out of order.

As a leader or Christian worker, I must do my best at all times to remain in order & follow the protocols given to me. Obviously, being in order starts with God, the creator of my life. 

Ministry can become very demanding & you can easily become preoccupied with ministry & church work & neglect your private, personal quiet time with God.

The beginning of disorder in my life & ministry comes when I'm out of tune with God. The more I fellowship with Him, the more He gives my spirit man the ability to be in control of my spiritual life, spiritual environment & everything in the physical.

There is order in Heaven. The stars in Heaven differ in glory from one another; angels are also higher than one another. So, there are also levels & seniority among leadership. We are not the same in rank, service, position & authority. If we are to excel as leaders, we must know our rank & maintain our post with excellence. 

God's anointing is poured out heaviest upon us when we remain in order & alignment.  

Consider the order of blessed unity expressed in Psalm 133:1-3:

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

Friends, the oil of unity may have started at the HEAD but it gathered thickest at the HEM!  

Learning how to yield to instructions, protocol & other leaders brings an INCREASED anointing to our lives. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Let It Go & Move On!

There is a familiar saying, “Do you want to hear God laugh, then show him your plans.” It’s not that God doesn’t want you to try or dream big.

He gives you the desires of your heart but His plans are bigger than we can ever imagine.

People look to fortune tellers and psychics to get answers. They want to know their future and what to expect. God wants you to trust Him. You don’t need a crystal ball for that.

Possibly that traffic jam saved you from a horrible accident. Perhaps that job didn’t call you back because it’s really not the right place for you. Maybe if you wait a little longer a better job opportunity is coming, and it is the right one.

When we struggle in life, our faith is tested. Learning to trust God is lifelong journey. There will be days your faith will be challenged. When doors will be locked and you have to wait it out.

Psalm 37:3-4 says, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

God knows today, tomorrow, and all things that intertwine. We cannot see everything He sees and we cannot know everything He knows.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8–9

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5 Things For Tuesday

Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, smile often, forgive quickly & let go of what you can’t change.  Life is short, yet amazing.  Enjoy the ride!

Monday, October 6, 2014

He Loves Me In Spite Of Me!

God loves His children…NOT based on their PERFORMANCE but rather as their POSITION as His child.

And…if you belong to Jesus then God’s love for you is more powerful that the sin that seems to haunt you…
  • God loves you even though you are wrestling through an addiction!
  • God loves you despite the abortion.
  • God loves you even though the divorce was finalized.
  • God loves you even though you can’t get that particular season from your past out of your mind.
  • God loves you even though you rejected His love and sought to be religious to gain His approval.
  • God loves you even though you turned your back on Him and ran as hard as you could.
He loves you because YOU are HIS CHILD (Romans 8:38-39)...and that love He has for us is greater than anything we could imagine or fathom.

He gave His SON to pay for our sins…that’s UNBELIEVABLE love!  Because, honestly, if someone told me it would take the life of my daughter to pay for your sins, well, sorry, you just wouldn't make it! BUT God, IN HIS mercy sent Jesus to absorb His wrath in our place…NOT because we deserved it, but because of His unbelievable love.  (Romans 5:6-8)

His love causes me to be in awe of Him…how HE could love me not BECAUSE of who I am, but in spite of who I am…and love me more than my greatest sin!

I’m in awe of a God who loves like that!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A True Friend Sticks By You Like Family

Stand by those you care about in their darkest moments, not because you want to stand in the dark, but because you don’t want them to either.  Brave the shadows alongside them until they’re able to find the light of hope.  On the flipside, stand by these same people on their sunniest days, not because you want to scorch your skin, but because you’re not afraid to let them shine bright!

In other words, be loyal.  Remaining faithful in your covenant relationships is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty means the world to the people who love you.  When someone believes in you enough to lift you up, try not to let them down.  You can’t promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours.

Do a favor and win a friend forever; nothing can untie that bond. Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of GOD! The poor speak in soft supplications; the rich bark out answers. Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. (Proverbs 18:19-24 MSG)