Monday, March 21, 2016

People Like Hearing The GOOD STUFF Too!

When you meet up with people from your past or that you haven’t seen in a while it's only natural to want to talk and catch up. It can happen at a party, somebody's wedding, the church nursery, Facebook or even when you bump into somebody on the street.. Catching up in itself is not a problem. The problem usually occurs when the topic of conversation turns to people you know. While you may want to share memories about the people in your life, you really need to watch what you say. Something innocently said can lead to misunderstanding & in some cases; cause the end of a friendship.

That's why it's important to remember, these FIVE SIMPLE RULES OF GOSSIP: 
  1. Stick to the Facts - When you're telling a story you have your opinion. Unfortunately when you add in your two cents, sometimes it can change a person's perception of the situation. Even when you think you know everything about what went on in someone else's life, you may not have the whole story. So when you're talking about someone else, only say what you know is true.
  2. Never start with "I heard..." - There's a reason hearsay isn't admissible in court. People sometimes hear what they want to hear. As the story is passed from person to person people forget to stick to the FACTS & the TRUTH can get lost in translation. If you don't have personal knowledge from the source, don't spread the gossip.
  3. Know When to Keep It Between FriendsIt's easy to start a conversation with someone at a party or event & slip in a "harmless" remark about someone. A little gossip to a stranger can be a horrible mistake, one many people have made. Even when what you're saying is an "inside joke" between you & your friends, it may be offensive when mentioned in public. What is shared between friends should stay between friends, unless you’ve agreed that it can be shared with others.
  4. Don't Take SidesWhile you may believe that taking sides will show your loyalty, think about what happens when the people you're gossiping about get back together. Friendships & relationships have their ups and downs. They fight, they argue, they make up. The only person that loses many times is the person who took sides, especially when this was done when gossiping. You can't take back the things you've said.
  5. Never Try to Get Back at Someone - This often happens when people break up. It can be a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, friendship or a family relationship. After the initial pain is gone, that’s when the claws come out. Don't use false rumors or negativity to get back at the person you're angry with. Break ups can be temporary, but badmouthing someone will definitely make it permanent. Think about that before you say anything.
For some these rules may seem easy. However if you're a full-fledged card carrying gossip, following these rules can be a daunting task. In fact you may have already lost some friends by breaking them. These habits die hard, but they can be overcome. Remember, people like hearing the GOOD STUFF too. Tell them about the great things going on in people's lives & stay away from the negative. Not only will that make you a better friend, in the end it will make you a happier & more positive person.

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mentorship: Practical & Crucial

Question: How do you define MENTORING?

  • Webster's: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.
  • I believe that mentoring is a RELATIONAL experience in which one person empowers another by sharing God-given RESOURCES.

Question: Is there a difference between DISCIPLING and MENTORING?

  • A DISCIPLER could be defined as someone who helps an understudy (1) give up their own will for the will of God, (2) live daily a life of spiritual sacrifice for God's glory, and (3) strive to be consistently obedient to the commands of The Lord.
  • A MENTOR, on the other hand, provides modeling, closer supervision on special projects, individualized help in many areas - discipline, encouragement, correction, confrontation, and a calling to accountability. 

Mentoring is a PROCESS of opening our lives to others, of sharing our lives with others; a process of living for the next generation.

My life verse is Psalm 145:4 "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts."

  • This verse speaks of passing something on to the generation following.
  • It speaks to me of being generationally minded.

Consider this old Chinese Proverb:
  • "If you are planting for a year, plant grain.
  • If you are planting for a decade, plant trees.
  • If you are planting for a century, plant people."

Planting people takes TIME.  More time spent with fewer people equals greater lasting impact for God.  

While some seek to impact the MULTITUDE, it's the ONE that remains with you till the end. 

Remember that it was the multitude that left Jesus first when He was on His way to the cross...followed by the 70, the 12 and the 3...but only the 1 (John) remained at the foot of the cross.

Your greatest impact is in the one!
  • Moses mentored Joshua.
  • Naomi mentored her daughter-in-law Ruth.
  • Ezra mentored Nehemiah.
  • Elijah mentored Elisha.
  • Elizabeth mentored her cousin Mary.
  • Barnabas mentored Paul and John Mark.
  • Paul mentored his spiritual son Timothy.
Question: Who is your Paul?
  • Do you have a SPIRITUAL mentor who is pouring his/her life into you the way Paul poured his life into Timothy?
  • Do you have someone you can go to for WISE counsel?
  • Do you have someone who is a GODLY example for you and a model worth imitating?
  • Do you have someone who lives out BIBLICAL values and spiritual maturity?
  • Do you have someone with solid SKILLS that can help you improve where you are weak?

  1. A willingness to spend the TIME it takes to build a bonded relationship with the learner.
  2. A commitment to believing in the POTENTIAL and FUTURE of the learner; to telling them what kind of exciting future you see ahead for him or her; to visualizing and verbalizing the possibilities of his or her life.
  3. A willingness to be VULNERABLE and TRANSPARENT before the learner, willing to share not only strengths and successes but also weaknesses, failures and brokenness.
  4. A willingness to be honest yet AFFIRMING in confronting the learner's errors, faults and areas of immaturity.
  5. A commitment to STANDING by the learner through trials - even trials that are self-inflicted as a result of ignorance or error.
  6. A commitment to helping the learner set GOALS for his or her spiritual life, career, or ministry and to helping the learner dream his or her dream.
  7. A willingness to objectively EVALUATE the learner's progress toward his or her goal.
  8. Above all, a commitment to faithfully put into PRACTICE all that one teachers the learner.
I believe the best learning doesn't come from a classroom or a must be heard, seen, studied, handled, lived and experienced in order to be PROVEN and assimilated!

Question: Who is your Barnabas?
  • Do you have someone in your life to encourage you?
  • Do you have someone to believe in you, support you and guide you?

ENCOURAGEMENT is the kind of expression that helps someone want to be better!

Lessons from Barnabas:
  1. He was generous with his finances (Acts 4:32-37)
  2. He reached out to Paul when everyone else was skeptical about him. (Acts 9:26-31, 11:25-30)
  3. He spent time with Mark when he had failed. (Acts 15:36-39)

This was the RESULT of Barnabas' encouragement:
  • If it were not for Barnabas we would not have Paul's epistles nor Mark's Gospel; nor the rapid spread of the Gospel!

Four Key's to Barnabas' life (Acts 11:24)
  1. He was a man of integrity.
  2. He was a man full of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26).
  3. He was a man full of faith.
  4. He was teachable. (Acts 13:43,50)
Question: Who is your Timothy?
  • Do you have someone in whom to invest your own life?
  • If married, you should look at your spouse, children or grandchildren as a "Timothy". But is there anyone outside your family in whom you are investing?

2 Timothy 2:2 "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teacher others."

The 6 Keys of Mentoring
  1. RELATIONAL - The you in 2 Timothy 2:2 refers to Timothy and the me refers to the Apostle Paul. People LEARN how to better love and follow Jesus in the context of FOCUSED FRIENDSHIP.
  2. PERSONAL - The basics that Timothy learned from Paul were mediated through his unique personality, gifting and style.
  3. THEOLOGICAL - Paul is faithfully delivering what he himself received from MANY WITNESSES or martyrs. Martyrs became public witnesses to the truth. The meaning of the word martyr literally means that Christian truth-telling could be TERMINALLY costly.
  4. INTENTIONAL - All of us are involved in hundreds of unintentional relationships. However,  in the case of Paul and Timothy we see a relationship that was established for a specific purpose.
  5. TRANSFORMATIONAL - Mentoring involves study, reflection; action and receptivity.
  6. REPRODUCIBLE - Who will be able to TEACH others.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Climbing The Mountain of Humility

Since 1924 till now, 282 people have died trying to reach the top of Mount Everest. Over 4100 have actually reached the summit.

In my opinion, mountaineering experiences are like metaphors for leaders. We must surround ourselves with wise people, who can help guide us, lest arrogance enters in.

Charisma and confidence may be qualifying virtues but they have to be fueled by HUMILITY.

Humility drives high performance. It improves our judgment by taming our EGO. Although we can be good and effective leaders with big egos, making the leap from GOOD to GREAT requires something extra. We must learn to balance ego with HUMILITY.

As a student on the climb to leadership greatness, whenever I forget to balance my ego with humility, I end up learning the hard way.

We never outgrow leadership or our leaders, we simply climb together as a team, with humility, and draw strength from one another.

Self-promotion erodes our HUMILITY. As someone who has an online presence, I realize that it comes with a responsibility. Often, I must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He reminds me to promote The Lord and others more than myself.

PRIDE is a struggle for many leaders, but we must strive to bring humility to our leadership roles.

What does a HUMBLE leader look like?

1. TRUST - A humble leader will take a risk on others, trusting them with their God given vision, even at the risk of being disappointed.

2. INVESTMENT - A humble leader will continually look for ways to invest in others, raising up and maturing new leaders.

3. STRONG/GENTLE - A humble leader isn't weak, but they keep Jesus in the core of their heart so that their strength reveals gentleness.

4. ADMITS MISTAKES - A humble leader will own up to their part of a situation.

5. FORGIVES - A humble leader will overlook the disappointments from others. They keep a short list and forgive easily and quickly.

6. PROMOTES OTHERS - A humble leader will receive recognition with grace and then quickly divert the attention to others, sharing the limelight with those who many times may have had more to do with the success than they did.

7. ACKNOWLEDGES LIMITATIONS - A humble leader realizes that they cannot do everything. They learn quickly to say "no" or "I can't do that" or "I'm not the one who should, but I know who to ask."

Humility isn't having a LOW OPINION of's simply not thinking OF yourself.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Run Your Own Race

If we believe the lies of the enemy, we will attempt to COMPETE with the people God has called us to COMPLETE.  

Some people feel the need to compete in order to gain popularity, respect and success amongst their leaders, peers and even their family.  I want you to know that you shouldn't be competing with anyone!  

Favor on your life isn't just granted so you can earn recognition.  Jesus already recognizes WHO you are and assigns unmerited favor to you without the need to EARN it through works.

I want to encourage you today to shake off the notion to perform and simply relax in the finished work of Christ.  

Performance based ministry is saturated with the spirit of legalism and does not benefit the Kingdom of God!  

I believe we all struggle with a degree of INSECURITY and PERFORMANCE based ministry because we've all had our true IDENTITIES distorted by the sin we were born into. God created us to be His INTIMATE friends, but sin separates us and makes us feel INCOMPLETE and INSECURE.

That VOID compels us to COMPETE with and COMPARE ourselves to one another. We end up living based on the PERCEPTIONS and unrealistic EXPECTATIONS of others, and we let our SIN lead us there because it feels natural.

Today...I'm FED UP with seeing this need to PERFORM in life and ministry.  Today...I want you to know that you need to RUN YOUR OWN RACE...not everyone else's!



God has designed us to be FRUITFUL where He has planted us. However, we won't be fruitful if we really haven't discovered who we are and what ministry God has called us to. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my gifts?
  • How do I see God using me now?
  • How has He used me to minister to others in the past?
  • What message does my life seem to write over and over?
Knowing yourself starts with a SELF-EXAMINATION of your life, gifts and calling so that God will help you see who He has created you to be.  I love Peter's explanation of this in 2 Peter 1:3 and also James 1:5-6.
  • By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
  • If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
When He speaks to you and you understand who you are, you won't feel the pressure to become someone else. This is the first key to running your own race!


It's tempting to watch and analyze other people who are successful and think we have to be like them, especially in the world of Internet overload.  However, doing this FREEZES our fruitfulness because we fall victim to COMPARISON, COMPETITION and other people's EXPECTATIONS and PERCEPTIONS!

FREE YOURSELF by knowing that God only expects you to be YOU!

If you're feeling pressure to become anyone else, then know that that impulse did not come from The Holy Spirit...but rather your old nature!


God did not FREE you just to make you a slave to sin again!  If the Son has set you free, then you are free! (John 8:36)

Don't throw away your hopes and dreams...I believe God wants to use you beyond what you can imagine!  He can align your hopes and dreams to His so that you're not STRIVING, COMPETING or COMPARING and becoming FRUSTRATED!

Friend, run your own race, 
not someones else's!

You are not equipped to run someone else' are only equipped to run the race that Jesus has designed for you.  Only you can run in our lane, so STAY IN IT and don't merge into someone else's. 

KNOW YOURSELF and BE YOURSELF and I believe you will "win the prize for which Christ has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus!" (Philippians 4:13)