Sunday, February 24, 2019

Success & Struggle

Success made me liked by people.
Struggle made me compassionate towards people.
Success gave me a voice.
Struggle gave my voice a heart.

Today, I'm thankful for Success & is always teaching me.

One key to personal growth, I've discovered, is having spiritual fathers in my life who have taught me how to handle both. The wisdom of Proverbs 15:22 rings in my ear ... "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success."

I've learned, in my life short walk with God, that spiritual advice is needed far more than natural advice. Natural advice from people (i.e., business, education, science, industry, etc.) have been extremely helpful to me...but there is nothing like spiritual direction from my spiritual covering (i.e., pastor, apostle, etc.,)'s a game changer & an affirmer.

It took many years for me to understand this. Now that I know's a non-negotiable in my life & a cherished foundation for everything I aspire.

I speak "ordered" success into your life this week!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Messy Local Church

2 in 5 married couples meet ONLINE today. But even those 2 in 5 couples who meet online don’t stay online…they get married. Love can be expressed online, but its fulfillment happens deepest through PERSONAL CONTACT. The same can be said about your personal relationship with Jesus through His body...the local church.
Online church DOESN'T ALLOW for serving opportunities & face-to-face interaction with others. When you get up early to set up and tear down, lead a small group of children, greet people with a smile, serve on the production team or serve meals to the homeless, somehow you find a place in service of a goal GREATER THAN YOURSELF.
Parents can catch a podcast or watch online, but KIDS really miss out when PARENTS MISS. To be with their friends who are running in the same direction & to have another voice (youth pastor) who knows their name, favorite food & hopes & dreams saying the same thing a loving parent would say, is so far unreproducible in the online world. I believe that when the parents miss church, the kids are the biggest losers.
About 20 years ago, a CHURCH MEMBER was considered active in the church if he or she attended three times a week. TODAY, a church member is considered active in the church if he or she attends three times a month. :(
Something is wrong with this picture. For 2,000 years, the LOCAL CHURCH, as messed up as it can be, has been God’s place for BELIEVERS to gather, worship, minister, and be accountable to one another.
And every time I mention something about church membership & attendance, I inevitably hear a CLAP BACK of “legalism” or “the church is not a building” or “the church is a messed up institution.”
But the LOCAL CHURCH....yes, the messy local church, is what God has used as His primary instrument to MAKE DISCIPLES. But COMMITMENT is waning among many church members in North this trending cultural slope.
1. We are MINIMIZING the IMPORTANCE of the local church.
When we do, we are less likely to attend. A few drops of rain may keep many folks from attending church, but it won’t stop them from sitting three hours in the downpour watching their favorite sports team.
2. We worship the IDOLS OF ACTIVITIES.
Many members will replace a day in their church with a day at kid’s soccer or softball games or sleeping off the hangover of the previous day’s activities.
3. We take a lot of VACATIONS FROM CHURCH.
I am not anti-vacation. But 20 years or so ago, we would make certain we attended a church where we were taking a vacation. Today, many members take a vacation from church.
4. We do not have HIGH EXPECTATIONS of our members.
Any purposeful organization expects and gets much out of it members, whether it’s a sports team or a civic organization. It is ironic that most churches do not come close to being a high expectation church.
5. We make INFREQUENT ATTENDEES leaders in our churches.
When we do, we are making a clear statement that even the leaders of the church do not have to be committed to the place they supposedly lead.
Recently I read where a leader of an organization told the members he did not want them if they were not fully committed. They could not be AWOL if they wanted to be a part of the group. He expected full commitment. He is a HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH. And all the team members follow that high expectation of commitment.
If we truly expect to make a DIFFERENCE in our communities & our families, members of local churches need to have at least the same level of commitment as members of sports teams.
After all, the MISSION of each local church is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any sports team on this planet.
At least it should be.
Every blessing God has given you comes through THE LOCAL CHURCH. He set it up that way. He birthed the LOCAL CHURCH. He mandated it with a MISSION.
Thank God for THE MESSY LOCAL CHURCH! Still the best!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

pAREnts #RandomTop10

1. Every parent (except for some that I've met who are jealous of their own children) prays that their child will SUCCEED so greatly in life & EXCEL beyond what they could have ever imagined.
2. Don't allow social media, television, peer pressure or cultural perversion confuse your children. TEACH them. TRAIN them.
3. Don't let ANYONE tell you not to discipline your children. They're not the ones who will have to mourn their loss or stress their charges.
4. DEFEND your child's honor when they are honorable. However, if they are out of order & you defend their disrespect & dishonor...believe me, you'll be paying an attorney to defend them before a judge.
5. It's not what you leave TO your children, it's what you leave IN your children. Start thinking generationally, prepare the way for them.
6. You TEACH your children how to TREAT you by how you treat your parents. If you bad mouth your parents to your kids...your kids will bad mouth you. #GuardYourMouth
7. Be CHRIST led not CHILD led. Don't let your kids' sports schedule RUN YOUR HOUSE! Put God first & teach them that when He comes first (time, talent & treasure) all these other things will be added!
8. Parenting methods create a "power distance" between you & your children so they can learn to RESPECT respectable adults. You are not your child's're their parent. (Friendship will come later as a byproduct of maturity & respect)
9. PASTORS, walk through your Children's Ministry & see who's teaching your kids. Ask them when was the last time they sat in the sanctuary!?!?! Know them who labor among you!!! People who hide out in Children's Ministry because they're offended at the pastor are so OUT OF ORDER they need to be ORDERED OUT of the place where they are infecting children with their rebellious influence.
10. Parents, TALK to your children. PRAY with them. ENCOURAGE them. TEACH them about God's promise of protection. HELP them cope. STAY awake!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Spirit of Rejection

A Leper came to Jesus & said, "If you're willing, you can make me clean.” He didn't say, "If you're willing" because he lacked faith...he said it because he didn’t believe that Jesus could love someone like him enough to help him.

The man saw himself only as a Leper. Not as a person. He was under the influence of a SPIRIT OF REJECTION.  His leprosy had made him an outcast...a person not allowed to mingle in society or to join in religious gatherings.

Jesus responded with three words that would forever change his future. He said: "I AM WILLING!" In other words, "I will help you."

If you are suffering from rejection, guilt, shame or any other social stigma remember this: Jesus revealed God as THE WILLING GOD. The God who wants to help you!

God hasn't rejected you, He has accepted you. He won't leave you in your SIN, DESPAIR, GUILT or SHAME...He will offer you HOPE & that hope will bring a change within your spirit.