I have completely moved my blogging to www.startstuff.net and so don’t really blog here anymore. Last night, I had the oportunity to go speak to a great group of men out at Lebanon Baptist Church between Liberty, SC and Anderson, SC. It was their Men’s Missions Night and the topic that I shared with them is worth sharing here too. In a few words, it was that God has a vision for each one of us! We all have a mission to accomplish in life and as long as we are doing exactly what God planned for us to do, then there is no small or big mission! As Proverbs says, Where there is no vision, the people perish! Have a great day and seek God to see what HIS vision is for your life!
Archive for the 'personal growth' Category
It is easy in leadership to get bogged down or burned out even when what we are doing is important! Don’t forget to take time for yourself to recharge! God gave us a commandment to honor the Sabbath. Jesus let us know that the Sabbath was made for man, in other words, we NEED a day of rest each week. For people involved in ministry this often is NOT Sunday. So take another day off to get away and enjoy a break! Spend time with your spouse, family or friends. Leave the phone off if you want. (Some of you NEED to turn off the phone and just let people go to voicemail.) Downtime is crucial to being able to come up with the new and creative. Without it, we burn out and turn out lousy stuff.
Yesterday, I had one of those odd and sadly, I must admit rare moments when I felt God nudging me to do something. It wasn’t a great feat, it was simply to ask a man I know if he would like to have lunch with me. He gladly accepted, and we went to a little Mexican restaurant. I won’t be blogging details of the lunch conversation, but it was most definitely a God ordained moment that led to my being able to have a great heart to heart talk with him about what it means to be “saved”. I pray God will give me more days like yesterday.
On a lighter note about yesterday, a bull got out of its pasture and I helped a couple neighbors get him back in the pasture…only to realize that the bull didn’t belong to the guy we thought it did, and didn’t belong in that pasture…I think a bunch of cows might be having calves in a little while. Ooops. (I am sure there is a spiritual application of that story somewhere, but for now, just enjoy a laugh at my expense.)
Last night, since I had left my Bible in SC, I borrowed one from my brother. The one I was reading was the one that my grandmother had used in the mid-90′s. She read it through once each year in 95,96 & 97. She died about 6 years ago, so I found as I was reading through that she had written notes both about her thoughts on the scripture and what events were going on in her life. It was fascinating for me to see the thoughts she was having as she did her devotions. I have never been a good “journal-er” but this encouraged me to give it a shot again. It was like hearing her and it really encouraged me as I read through three years of her walk with the Lord.
Nancy Reagan promoted the phrase “Just say ‘no’” as a campaign to help teens avoid drug addiction. As leaders, people often come in asking for things. Sometimes it is our time, or resources, knowledge etc. It is important to set our priorities so that we can focus on what is most important rather than just what is being asked of us at the moment. It feels good to say “yes” and it makes you much more popular, and it is often hard to say “No” to something that seems like a good idea. We must weigh whether that idea is really something important on our list of priorities or if it is just a distraction from achieving the goals that God has given us. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is “Just say ‘No’”.
I had a fascinating conversation over lunch with a friend that I really admire. As he and I discuss and at times disagree over issues, I find from time to time that I must either re-think my position on something or be willing to change that position. Confronting ideas that are opposed to the way you think in general is a great thing. I believe that we are both better for the friendship. I pray that in your world, there are people who will disagree with you in love. If all our friends agree with us 100% of the time, then we aren’t growing. Seek out those people who will challenge your presuppositions and grow in your faith, knowledge and abilities as a leader.
I am not a Treki and in general not a Science Fiction genre fan. There is a show I have enjoyed lately – Kyle XY. The show doesn’t emanate from a Christian Worldview, but there are some things that have been said that have challenged my faith. One, do I really believe that “With God, ALL things are possible?” (Matt 19:26/Mark 10:27)Jesus did amazing things! He told us that we could do all this and more. Do I have the faith of a grain of mustard seed?
An interesting scene in Season 3 Episode 5 shows a father and son talking about how he has always been the type that didn’t believe in religion. He thought science had all the answers, but now, his wife is in the hospital and all he can do is pray for a miracle.
As we meet people each day who don’t believe, there are times when they are praying for a miracle. It is in those times that our faith is so very important. God does perform miracles! Not as parlor tricks, but he comes through to save those that are lost every time! Do we have the faith to pray expecting HIM to do what HE says he will do?
I am not proposing that we get our theology from Sci-Fi, but it does show how God can use anything to get our attention!
I am really excited about being able to go speak to the students and young people at Augusta Road United Methodist Church! I will be there on the 18th of this month in their 5:00 service…so if you are a youth, feel free to come join us! If you are the average age of my readers…over 18, please be in prayer for me as I speak to this group of young people! Their pastor is a student of mine, and she seems to really have a passion to see these kids grow in the Lord and help them bring their friends to Christ! I am praying that God will give me the words that HE wants me to speak to this bunch and that someone will come who doesn’t know the Lord so that we can see new life born! Baby Christians are messy, but awesome! They bring life to a church just like a new baby brings new life to a family! Thanks for your prayers!
This morning, I was reading Luke chapter 4 and something quite obvious hit me. Jesus’ temptation came BEFORE all the incredible miracles in this chapter! He cast out demons and healed people in the end of the chapter. Before he did the “cool stuff” he lived through the temptation of Satan and being rejected by his own home town. If you are a pastor or leader going through a time of rejection or temptation, remember that coming out the other side of that season with your integrity in tact could be setting you up for God to use you in doing those really cool things! Too often, we fail at the temptation stage, so it seems we end up in an eternal cycle of trying to deal with that, and never get beyond it. Or we get through that, but then crumble at the rejection part. Jesus is our example of how God can use us if we hold on to HIM through the temptation and the rejection. Let us LEAD ON….Starting with ourselves.
Yesterday, one of my students said, “I just wish God would give me the whole plan from start to finish so I would know what is coming.” I answered that though I can’t speak for God, His track record tells us that this isn’t really the way HE operates. When I go on a trip, I usually have my route planned if I am driving or my round trip tickets bought if I am flying. Us humans like to know where we are headed. I have never bought a plane ticket to “Wherever you feel like sending me sir!” However, that is exactly what God expects from us. Jesus said in Mark 10:21 “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” We are to follow God without always knowing where HE is leading. Be assured, that HE is always leading us. We are not always doing such a great job of following. I pray that God will open my eyes to see where HE is leading me each day and that I can honestly say to HIM, “I will go wherever you feel like sending me sir!”