Do It Afraid!

November 28th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Food, Intentional Living No Comments

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. LUKE 2:9-11Angel

Isn’t it interesting that the glory of the Lord brought about fear in the shepherds? Fear in itself is not a bad thing – it is not a sin. It is a defense mechanism that heightens our awareness and places on minds and bodies on alert.

The problem with fear is when we allow those fears to stop us – to paralyze us. The fear of rejection stops us from asking someone out. The fear of hurt stops us from loving deeply. The fear of judgment stops us from confessing our greatest temptations or sins. The fear of failure stops us from pursuing our goals.

A dear friend of mine who lost over 170 pounds on the First Place 4 Health program, appeared to all outsiders to be free from the bondage of food but the truth was she was scared. She feared that if she ever deviated from her “plan” for even a meal, she would gain all of the weight back.  This did not bring great joy in her life nor allow the Savior to be all that He could be in her life. She had to face her fear – do it afraid – and have chips and salsa (just not every night.) To enjoy a dessert occasionally but not the entire pie. To trust the Power that raised her Savior from the ground and now lived in her to help her walk in freedom to food.

If you struggle with weight loss during the Christmas season, ask the Holy Spirit in you to grant you the power to make wise choices and practice self-control in every meal. Do not allow fear to stop you from going to the neighborhood Christmas party because you may eat too much or because you do not know how many calories are in each bite. Also, do not allow fear of rejection stop you from asking for prayer from others as you step out and trust Christ to be strong in your weakness. And if you make poor choices or overeat, do not allow fear of condemnation stop you from confessing that to one other trusted friend and begin again immediately.

When the glory of the Lord rises up in you and you do it afraid, His great joy will flood your soul.

 

Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 3

September 16th, 2016 Filed under Intentional Living, Walk by Faith 2 Comments

gossip_1280How are things going? Are you living a John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 life? Are you experiencing abundancy and a life full of peace and contentment? I am living this life and as I have shared in the past I want all to live life this way.

For me, a key verse that has helped me live this kind of life is the following: So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21 Amplified)

In the last entry, we looked at uncleanness. Today, I want to dig a bit deeper into the word wickedness. Wickedness as defined in the Vine’s Expository Dictionary is depravity, malignity, maliciousness, naughtiness. Often when one thinks of wickedness, they go to Hitler or Stalin or some of the awful cases of child abuse and neglect that we unfortunately hear about on a daily basis. Those are all true of what wickedness entails but if I am not careful, I will think that this is not something I, personally, have to deal with and I would be so wrong.

When I think of wickedness, what first comes to mind is mean people. People that are belligerent, angry, spiteful, hateful and cause harm because it makes them feel better or builds them up. A wonderful friend once said to me, “Hurt people hurt and 95% of the time you are wonderful but there are times when you hurt.” Ouch but oh so good – the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.

This comment forced me to dig deeper in my motives and my actions and how often I was responding out of a wound and not out of wisdom. The kicker for me was the definition of malignity – Oxford says it is to speak about someone in a spitefully critical manner: i.e. don’t you dare malign her in my presence.

Oh my! Another ouch! There is a fine line between speaking of someone critically and being critical in a spiteful way. To be safe…to avoid wickedness…to maintain purity in what I say and do, my goal is to never speak critically of someone. And to not hang around long with those that do.

Let’s be known as people who lift up. People who see the best in others. People who not only have clean hands in all that we do but the very words out of our mouth and the motives of our hearts are pure. That we are never ashamed of nor excusing the words that we speak or the comments that we make. Is this a high calling? Oh yes!! But when we do it, peace and contentment are a normal part of our lives.

Next time, we will look at the word humble.

Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 2

August 29th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Intentional Living, Leadership Comments Off on Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 2

Last time on my blog, you were asked, “Are you living a John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 life? Are you experiencing abundance and a life full of peace and contentment?” This life may seem impossible but Jesus said, “All things are possible with God.”UNCLEAN

As I shared, for me to move from impossible to possible I needed to unpack and work through the following verse: So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21 Amplified)

So today, we are going to unpack this verse a bit and look at the key word: uncleanness. Over the next several blogs, we will look at wickedness humble, receive, implanted, save and souls.

Uncleanness as defined in Vine’s Expository Dictionary is dirt or filth and in this case is being used metaphorically as moral defilement. It means any sin – whether an act of omission or commission – that causes you to be separated from God. The Bible is extremely clear on many issues (see Ten Commandments) but some things are not as clear. In that case, ask the Holy Spirit. One of the reasons He has come is to bring conviction of sin. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is when in doubt, don’t.

So if you are not living the life described in the first paragraph then the first question you should ask God is if there is any sin in your life. Trust me, I know from experience, if you ask that of God, He will be faithful to answer. If a sin (or sins) are revealed to you, move as quickly as possible to repent and walk in the ways of God. If you need help in repenting and stopping, seek help from trusted Bible teachers and preachers.

Jeremiah 3:12-13 holds a great promise that was spoke to the rebellious nation of Israel but is true for us today: “…Return, faithless Israel,” declares the Lord. “I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful,” declares the Lord; “I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God.

This introspection into your own life is so key and necessary for ongoing spiritual growth. When I came to faith in 1992, the sins that God was revealing to me through the Holy Spirit were ones we as believers like to label the “big” ones. They were all the no brainer ones – “sexing, drugging and rocking and rolling.” However, as you grow in your faith, the revelation of sin is still a part of life. These sins are not “smaller” sins – maybe less destructive to those around me as well as myself – as they still require just as much Blood to receive forgiveness as the other ones. Some example of these sins are: unkindness, gossip, lying (even those little white lies,) embellishment, critical spirit, driving faster than posted speed limit…do I need to go on?

Take some time today and ask God if there is any sin in your life and if you want to be really bold, ask your spouse or best friend. Be quick to repent and watch the peace and contentment flood in.

Next blog…. wickedness – how is that different than uncleanness?

Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 1

August 11th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Intentional Living, Personal 4 Comments

Do you have peace and contentment in your life? Are you living a John 10:10 kind of life? Do you believe Ephesians 3:20 can be a reality for you? Are longing-for-a-fulfulling-lifeyou experiencing the transforming growth described in 2 Corinthians 3:18?

I am blessed to travel the nation and serve alongside some amazing Christ followers. Men and women who have a heart to see God’s Kingdom advanced and the world impacted by the Gospel. But I also see many Christ followers, who live lives of depression, defeat, brokenness and bitterness. Why do I spot this type of Christ followers? Because I was once one of them!! I was saved, sealed and heading to heaven at my death but the promises of John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 were not a reality in my daily existence.

However, praise the Lord, they are today!!! And I long for others to walk in that life as well. If I could give you a pill or a formula or a 4 step action plan to make it happen, I would do it in a heartbeat. Yet, this abundant, contented, fulfilling life does not come without some diligence (work out your salvation) and it does not come in the same manner and process for all (only one burning bush) but it can come.

So then the key question has to be, “How does it come?” For me, the answer to this question is held in this verse from the Bible: So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21 Amplified) Over the next couple of blogs I am going to unpack this verse a bit and look at some key words: uncleanness, wickedness, humble, receive, implanted, save and souls. I pray you join me as we experience all that God wants for us and live a fulfilling life.

Be the Best You

July 7th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Food, Intentional Living, Leadership, Personal Comments Off on Be the Best You

As a coach in The Master’s Program for Women, we talk about the ceiling of complexity and when we learn and for most of us there is a significant drop off after college. According to Pew Research,  71% of all adults read less than 10 books in 2014. I want to go totally counter cultural to that stat. I want to be a lifelong learner with a curriculum for my life that will help me become the most impactful, loving and gracious self I can be.Best YOu

This learning and personal development is not so that I can live a life that is better but it is so that I can serve the world better. My desire is to leave a legacy of hope, grace, power and influence. To do this I have to continue to be better…to set higher standards and expectations for my life…to dream BIG and believe that living an abundant, contented, joyful life is possible.

There are lots of areas to consider for lifelong curriculum but the first area needs to be over the only thing you can control in life – yourself. I want to be the best I can be physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Because of this desire, I chose (most of the time) to eat well and exercise. I read books and listen to podcasts that make me smarter as a leader, as an influencer, as a follower of Christ. I spend time practicing the spiritual disciplines and investing time and resources in the relationships around me that matter the most. By definition, that also means that I have to limit my relationships. I cannot be available and present for everyone. I have to say no to wonderful people so that I can say yes to those closest to me.

What about you? Do you have a curriculum? What legacy are you leaving? What can you do today to become the best you?

Making Room for Peace to Your Life

June 8th, 2016 Filed under Intentional Living, Personal Comments Off on Making Room for Peace to Your Life

Despite my schedule which includes 40 flights the first six months of 2016, my life is pretty simply. My intentions were never to live a simple life but it PEacejust sort of happened that way. My good friend, Anthony Kober, used to shake his head at me because of how little I decorated my house. I am grateful for his skill to make into a home and feel warm and inviting and yet still be simple.

Recently I was listening to Joyce Meyer and realized her practical suggestions to live a simple life were already actions I have implemented in my life. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  1. Get rid of clutter. Books and newspapers have boundaries. Rooms, calendars, counter tops should have boundaries too. They give us balance.
  2. Be yourself and stop trying to impress others.
  3. Don’t be easily offended and be quick to forgive.
  4. When you sin, admit it, receive forgiveness and move on.
  5. Give people mercy instead of trying to get revenge.
  6. When you need help ask for it.
  7. Make decisions as fast as possible.
  8. Don’t be over committed.

Applying any of these suggestions to your life will bring additional peace. Some of it will be mentally, some of it will be physical and some of it will be emotional. For some of us, applying these suggestions will take hard work and the opportunity to learn a new trait – the ability to say, “No.”

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV) Do you have peace? Do you have trouble in your heart? Are you afraid? If so, take some time, review the suggestions above and go about making room in your life for the peace of God.

Peace be with you!

 

What can Happen in 90 days?

April 5th, 2016 Filed under Intentional Living, Personal Comments Off on What can Happen in 90 days?

It is often said that we over estimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year. Have you found this to be true as well? runningMy to-do list is usually longer than my day but when I think about what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months my list is not much longer.

This reality came true to me so well in the past 90 days. At the end of 2015, I started a Couch (read – potato couch) to 5K training program. It is an app on my phone that I can use while exercising that will help me go from sitting on the couch not running at all to running a 5K (3.1 miles.) Each week you have different walking/running assignments that gradually increasing to running 30 minutes straight.

For example, week 1 is made of 3 “runs” in which I walked 90 seconds than jogged 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 20 minutes per run. Week 2 the regime was 3 “runs” of 90 seconds of walking then 2 minutes of walking and repeat for a total of 20 minutes per run. Week 5 was jog for 5 minutes then walk for 3 minutes and repeat for a total of 21 minutes. Lastly, week 8 was jog of 28 minutes after a 5 minute warm up.

On December 28th, when I started, I really struggled to jog the 60 seconds. Everything hurt, I couldn’t breathe, I barely picked up my feet. It was pretty pitiful. I thought that there was no way I could ever run for 3+ miles! But I didn’t quit. I did what the app told me to do and I did it when it was cold, when it rained or when I was tired. However, before I knew it I had done it!! I had run a 5K and then I got really crazy and have started to Couch to 10K app.

The first of week of the third quarter is coming. The sun will set and the sun will rise 90 times and there is nothing we can do to stop that. However, we can be different people at this year’s 4th of July party. We can choose a goal, make a plan and then execute on that plan. You have the power to change you. Will you do it or will you be the same?

Please reach out to me if you need help with a plan or just to tell me what you plan to change in these next 90 days. See a change, make a plan and then do it!

What is TBG and What is Your Role?

March 28th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Ministry, The Barnabas Group Comments Off on What is TBG and What is Your Role?

Since my blog last week about writing down your goals, quite a few people have asked me what is The Barnabas Group (TBG) and what I will be doing as the National Managing Partner. TBG is a network of Kingdom-minded men and women who tbg-logo-big-pressprint-with-spacedesire to exploit their God given skills and talents to advance the Gospel. We are located in 12 cities across the nation and we meet quarterly to showcase para-church ministries that benefit from the pro-bono consultant level assistance TBG members desire to provide.

TBG is unique because our members are our primary customers and not the ministry. Members donate an annual fee to learn how they can come alongside of these ministries to make an impact. My desire is for all of our members to grow in their love for Jesus and His Gospel as Barnabas did in the Scriptures.

The first time you see Barnabas (his name means son of encoura ger) he is giving of his treasures. The church in Jerusalem was meeting the needs of all because of the generosity of the early believers. In Acts 4, Barnabas goes out and sells a piece of property and gives the money to the apostles to be used as they saw fit.

The next time you see Barnabas he is using his touch or sphere of influence. Paul cannot join with the other disciples to preach the Gospel because they were afraid of him.  But because the apostles trusted Barnabas they were willing to meet with Paul after receiving Barnabas’s introduction of Paul.

Later in Acts, you see Barnabas giving of his time. He goes on several trips with Paul to reach out to the churches across Antioch. Now while on one of these trips we know there was some conflict. Barnabas and Paul didn’t see eye to eye on something and because of that there was a separation between Barnabas, John Mark and Paul. However, we know Barnabas had to use his talent in the area of conflict resolution during this time because eventually John Mark and Paul reconciled and even if you have read the Bible just a little bit you know that Paul had zero conflict resolution skills.

Lastly you see Barnabas willing to risk his life for the Gospel. Because of Paul and his preaching, the Jews in Lystra are being stirred up to the point of trying to stone Paul but they would not be deterred but continued on to spread the Gospel.

My role as National Managing Partner is to serve our local Managing Partners so that our members will impact our world with the Gospel of Christ in more ways than just through their checkbook. My desire is to see all members become Barnabas’ and give of their treasures, touch, time and talent as well as being willing to risk it all for the Kingdom of God.

May I be found faithful!

If you write it down, there is power!

March 21st, 2016 Filed under Intentional Living, Ministry, Personal Tagged , Comments Off on If you write it down, there is power!

Write it DownFor many years now, I have written down my goals – personal and professional. Goals that were short term (less than a year and sometimes a week) and goals that were much longer (right now I have two goals that have “my lifetime” deadline on them.) I started this practice in the early 90s when I grasp the concepts by Hyrum Smith in 10 Natural Laws of Time and Life Management. What I have found to be amazing is sometimes just the process of writing them down brings them to completion. What I mean is that I have goals that I wrote down and then never intentionally worked on them and in some cases simply forgot about and later on I would stumble across the list and realize they had been completed. I think that is why in Habakkuk, God encourages us to write it down. “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV)

Last summer, my coach, Steve Knox, encouraged me to take some time during vacation to write out some more goals and add the component of accountability by telling three people that goal and when I was going to accomplish it. One of the goals I wrote down was to be the National Managing Partner for The Barnabas Group (TBG) by 2020. The reason I wanted this role is because it would fulfill three of my values:

  • I love Christ and desire for Him to be glorified.
  • I strive for excellence.
  • I influence others.

And when I told the three people, they all encouraged me that I was on the right path.

Well, despite my time frame of 2020, God’s time frame was a bit earlier. On March 1st, Bob Shank, chairman of TBG-National, called and asked if I would be interested in considering taking over this role. As the Lord would have it, I was already schedule to be in Orange County, CA on the 2nd so we had breakfast along with Steve Esser, board member of TBG-National, and discussed what is the vision for TBG. There was an obvious alignment and I officially accepted the position on March 3rd and started immediately.

What is interesting is that of the 14 goals I wrote down in June of 2015, four of them have already been accomplished and I am on track with three others to be finished by June of 2016. Writing it down gives focus and clarity and in a strange way I think God thinks we really mean it when we do and His sovereignty is made evident as we work out these goals.

I would love to hear from you about any goals you have written down. Are you seeing them come to completion?

Maxwell, Italian Economy and Leadership

September 23rd, 2015 Filed under Intentional Living, Leadership Comments Off on Maxwell, Italian Economy and Leadership

John Maxwell is a leadership guru that is well known around the world. Just last year Inc. Magazine named him the #1 leadership and management expert in the world. He has written over 20 books and sold over 19 million copies. And despite the fact that I read LOTS of books each year I don’t think I have read any he has written. However, one of the best leadership principles I have used in my life I credit to him. It is the 80/20 principle.80:20

The 80/20 principle was originally “discovered” by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, in 1906 when describing the unequal distribution of wealth in his country. Eighty percent of land was owned by 20% of the people. However, this principle applies to just about anything…

  • 80% of management problems come from 20% of the staff
  • 80% of donations come from 20% of the donors
  • 20% of the workforce produces 80% of the output

It even applies to life…80% of your calls go to 20% of the numbers in your phone’s contact list.

So how does this apply to leadership? If there is someone on your staff, on your committee, in your family, etc. that can do something 80% as well as you can, release them to do it. Yes, it will not be as “good” as you did it and you may have to give some guidance in the beginning, but releasing it to them frees you up to go and do more of the 20% of life that produces 80% of your successes.

You can also apply this in the reverse…if you are only 20% good at (or only 20% “enjoy” a task), find someone to do that task for you. Outsourcing those tasks, even if there is a cost upfront, will reap benefits down the road as you re-direct your efforts in areas that produce a greater return of your energy and time investment.

So take some time the next seven days and track what you do, how long it takes and how much you enjoy doing it. At the end of the week, review the list and see if there is anything you can off-load so you can do more of what you love and which produces the best outcomes for you.

« Older Entries