You are currently browsing the archives for July, 2011
The air is warm as the city electricity was just cut off and the generator has not kicked in yet. In some ways, this is my favorite time of the day because there is no humming. You know – the humming that comes from all the electrical equipment running. The hum of the AC. The buzzing of the refrigerator. The whirling of the computer hard drive. The running of the pool pump. They have all been silenced with the flip of a switch. It is amazing to realize such peace in the middle of a war zone.
Eventually the silence is broken as overhead a helicopter flies by as another dignitary is being taxied into the safe area. (It is cheaper to hire a helicopter than a personal security detail.) The haunting sounds of the noon call for prayer are beginning to wander into my room. The guard has gone and switched on the generator and all is humming again.
However, the wonderful thing is that the Peace remains as I continue to be still before Him. I am so grateful for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in my life as it was not too many years (maybe even months) back that I would have panicked, literally, with the thought of having to spend so much time alone. So much time not being entertained by the television or not hanging out with friends or not having a long list of to-dos done or not being able to go to a gym and work out.
You see, I am writing this while in the Middle East teaching English at a language institute. Because of some peaceful religious activities, there were extensive road closures and the institute shut down for three days. My cancelled classes and the subsequent three days of NOTHING on the calendar became a blessing rather than a curse. I do think that He is teaching me to enjoy the moment. To live in the present. And I am thoroughly enjoying it!
Who would have thought it would have required a trip to a foreign land to bring about this change? But some lessons are only learned on field trips.
How about you? How are you doing being “present?” How are you doing enjoying the moment?
I Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” According to the dictionary on my MacBook, steward means a person employed to manage another’s property, especially a large house or estate. And even the original Greek word used in the Bible, oikonomos, has the same connotation of one who manages someone else’s estate or affairs.
A friend of mine is a wealth manager – he manages or stewards his clients’ monies and does it based on their preferences. If my friend were to say to one of his clients, “I know you wanted to invest that money in Coca-Cola but I decided to spend it on my son’s college tuition. I hope you don’t mind – you have plenty,” he would be fired and I am sure that some ethics committee somewhere would be calling.
The management of one’s estate goes beyond just finances but includes hiring and firing staff, building and remodeling facilities, land usage, etc. This is true for believers as well. Often we think of just our tithe or financial gifts when discussing stewardship. But it goes so much further than that to include our time, talent as well as touch (or sphere of influence.) As believers, we have an obligation to the Owner of the estate to manage His affairs well.
The Barnabas Group, where I am blessed to be the managing partner, is all about helping people be good stewards of the estate that they have been given. Our mission is to leverage the time, talent, touch and treasure of marketplace and other Kingdom leaders to help ministries transform lives worldwide. We are all about connecting leaders and changing lives.
We have an abundance mentality and desire to see the release of generosity in our communities with the utilization of everyone’s unique gift of time, talent, touch and treasure to God’s service. We do this through quarterly breakfasts in which three to four pre-vetted ministries are able to present their organization as well as their needs to our membership. When their mission connects with someone’s passion, then we have been successful.
How are you doing on your stewardship? Does The Barnabas Group sound like something you would be interested in being a part of? I would love to have you at our next breakfast.
Last week, I shared the beginning of how the Lord has lead me to a deeper commitment to the Life movement. Here is the rest of the story. (I am going to just jump right in so you may need to go back to the previous post for context.)
Well, at that Saturday lunch meeting, I was just a consultant who came in to help facilitate the meeting and had no idea what the Lord was going to do in my heart over the next 24 hours. By the end of the night I was committed to being a part of rectifying this problem. Of being a part of bringing back the culture of Life to Houston! And being a part of closing down as many abortion providers as possible. I committed to being a part of the rectification of this discrepancy!
Even as I type this, tears are streaming down my face – why? Three reasons: #1 Passion for Life. Next to evangelism, I believe God’s second heartbeat is the Life issue and it is mine as well. I have been in this battle since 1999 and I thought when I left LifeHouse in April of 2010 I had been honorably discharged from that army. But when something burns deep in your soul, you can never leave it behind. I am passionate about seeing the sanctity of Life restored and was more than happy to re-enlist when Cynthia Wenz, CEO of The Source, asked me to join them.
Secondly, with my life before the non-profit world being totally in the business world, the concept of comparing ourselves to our competitors made complete sense to me. To end abortion in Houston, I don’t have to change the laws (even though that is wonderful and praise God for the Texas Legislature and the passing and signing of the Sonogram bill.) As Dr. Wilkinson said Wal-Mart didn’t close down K-Mart by picketing out front…they closed down K-Mart by providing greater value for the customer. When K-Mart lost so many customers, they had to shut their doors. The abortion providers will go out of business if we take their customers away!
Lastly, I am pretty literal when it comes to the Bible and I do believe that 2 Corinthians 5:10 is true! For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. One day I will stand before the Lord and He will ask me what I did about the destruction of thousands of innocent lives in my own backyard. I am taking responsibility for my part and not just giving it a passing glance and say I already served in that area. I am not just writing a check that’s, percentage-wise, less than what I tip waitresses. I am not going to stand by and just let this go on during my watch.
Cynthia has put together an amazing 4-part strategy to fulfill what was committed that night – to save 1,001 babies before May 31st, 2012. That is a four-fold increase over last year but is still a drop in the bucket compared to our competition. But with these sustained strategies, I believe with everything in me that in the following year the number of babies saved will be 2,002…Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Baby Saved!
Then 4,004…Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Baby Saved!
Then 8,016…Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Baby Saved!
Then 16,032 in 2016…Snap! Baby Saved! Snap! Baby Saved! Snap! Baby Saved!
Five years! Y2K was over a decade ago – five years will fly by. During those years, we at The Source alongside of countless other pro-life battlers will be ending abortion in Houston!! What will you be doing?
In my last post I mentioned that my first contract when starting KBT Consulting was with The Source for Women. That contract as well as the words spoken to me by The Source’s CEO, Cynthia Wenz, encouraged me to “go for it” and believe the impossible. Since the completion of that contract, there have been other contracts but it was a “volunteer” engagement as a panelist at their spring banquet that has lead me back into a deeper commitment one of my two passions – the Life movement.
Let me tell you about that night…
Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Baby Saved!
The sound of Dr. Bruce Wilkinson’s, keynote speaker at the 2011 The Source for Women banquet, finger snapping still resonates in my ear. Praise the Lord for the 240 babies that were saved through the ministry of The Source in 2010. Praise Him for the estimated 2,400 little ones and their mothers who were snatched from the edge of a life changing choice by the work of the 20+ pregnancy centers in the Greater Houston area. Each life is a vast potential of unknown impact. We are grateful!
However, as Dr. Wilkinson clearly pointed it out…we are failing miserably compared to our competition – abortion providers. Yes, we did better than last year and yes, are “numbers” look great compared to other centers and even compared to other non-profits. However, when we compare our selves with our competitors – we come up sorely short, even woefully. Based on the latest annual statistics, there were at least 24,000 abortions! That means for every baby saved, nine!! were lost to the “competition.”
Every 22 minutes a baby is lost to abortion in the Greater Houston area. Every 3 hours and 40 minutes a baby is saved by a pregnancy center!
Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Abortion. Snap! Baby Saved! Snap!
Dr. Wilkinson shared a visit he once made to the Saturday morning leadership team meeting at Wal-Mart. On the screen, broken down by departments, were the weekly sales numbers of Wal-Mart as well as their leading competitors (K-Mart, Sears, etc.) Every department leader who’s sales were less than the competitors had to stand, give an explanation and provide the solution as to how he was going to rectify the difference that next week. Responsibility and accountability played out.
Before Dr. Wilkerson stood before the amazing supporters of The Source for Women the Saturday night before Easter, he stood before the board and the leadership team of The Source and said, “Here are the numbers. How are you going to rectify this in the coming year?” He challenged them to responsibility and accountability.
You may wonder, “Why ‘them’ and not ‘us’? As the Director of Development, Becky, aren’t you part of the leadership team?”… (to be continued next week)