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Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 7

December 26th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Intentional Living, Leadership Comments Off on Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 7

As I have asked before, (and will again just one more time) 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 you experiencing the transforming growth described in 2 Corinthians 3:18?

As I have said before, the ability to live this type of life can be found in this 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)

We have already unpacked the following concepts, uncleanness, wickedness, humble, receive and implant. Today we will look at the concept of save. One of my favorite hoodie sweatshirts which I purchased at Edisto Beach a few years back says, “No Lifeguard on duty, save yourself.” Even just typing that brings a smile to my face because it is impossible to save one’s self if they do not know how to swim.

And oh how does this apply to the concept of save from this verse. As human beings, we are born with a need that we cannot fulfill. The need is to satisfy a just God and His demand to live a life of perfection to enter into eternal bliss rather than wrath. We must live a life that is holy and righteous. He demands nothing less than perfection. But our problem is that no effect or hard work will allow us to do this…to save ourselves. No amount of piousness will fulfill the commandment to live a sinless life. We simply cannot do it because of the sin nature in us. As we all know, we do not need to teach a toddler to be mean or selfish…we must teach her to be kind and to share.

It is only when the Word of God that we received is rooted in us, that we can be saved. Rescued. Delivered. Kept from harm.

I believe this salvation is a process. We are created in the image of God and are therefore triune beings – spirit, soul and body. Immediately upon believing the Gospel, our spirit is made new and is saved – this is justification. Our soul (mind, will and emotions) is saved through the process of sanctification (which we will talk about more next time) and our body is saved through glorification upon the return of Jesus or when we die and meet Him face to face.

So the question for you today is, “Are you saved by God’s grace?” or are you still trying to save yourself?

Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 4

December 5th, 2016 Filed under Bible, Intentional Living, Leadership Comments Off on Longing for a Fulfilling Life: Part 4

As I have asked before, (and will again for a few more times) 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 you experiencing the transforming growth described in 2 Corinthians 3:18?

For the past several blogs, I have shared that living this type of life can be found in this 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)

We have already unpacked the following concepts, uncleanness and wickedness. Today we will look at the concept of humility. This opposite of humility is of course pride and pride is often reflected in two different extremes: boastful or arrogant and false humility. Most of us understand arrogance and can quickly spot it in others (and hopefully ourselves.) However, the concept of false humility is often not so easy to see.

False humility is seen when people belittle or degrade themselves. For example, I have been given the gift of preaching. Because of God’s grace and power in my life, I can communicate effectively and efficiently. When I first started speaking, people would came up to me afterwards and complimented me. I would often shrug it off by saying “Oh that wasn’t that good” or “Anyone can do this.” After a few times of doing that the Lord quickly rebuked me and said that I was belittling His gift in me by not receiving these compliments for His glory. It was false humility because I was not a right measure of myself or God. Now when someone compliments me I using say something like, “Thank you! It was good. God has blessed me with a great gift. All glory to Him.”

So how do you develop humility. The first step is having a right understanding of God – He is the sovereign, all knowing, all present, all powerful King of kings. There is none like Him nor will there ever be. The second step is having a right understanding of yourself – I am a sinner that is in desperate need of a Savior but because I do have His Spirit in me, I am a righteous child of this amazing King. Lastly, you need to find a way to practice this humility. For me, it is picking up trash. As I walk through my church or jog along the road or head into a store, if there is trash on the ground I am to pick it up and put it into a trashcan. Yes, this is disgusting at times (wash hands as soon as possible) and delays me sometimes (hate stopping in the middle of a run) but it does humble me. And it really humbles me when I have passed a piece of trash and the Lord has me turn around and pick it up.

What about you? Do you have any ways in which you practice humility?

Next time we will look at the concept, receive.

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?

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?

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.