2020 is just a year away, and when we think of 2020 we thing of 20/20 vision. God is wanting this year (2019) to get His church ready for the final harvest and when Jan 1, 2020 comes we will have clear 20/20 as to what God wants done and we will be ready to reap the final harvest before HE comes.
In order to do this we need to do 5 things —- I call them the “5 fys”
1. IDENTIFY - you know what is not working — what is not right — what could be better —- this is the time to identify the problem areas, as well as identify what works — how it works — and what you are good at (as a church — as a believer — as a minister of the Gospel) — we need to take an honest hard look at what it going on — to live in the “dark” and hope something will change just doesn’t make sense —- to keep doing what you’ve always done will reap the same harvest — don’t like what you’re getting — look again at what you are planting —
2. CLARIFY - sometimes we don’t see well enough — because we are too close...
We live in an age where there is a unique and new definition of the word “friend” – it’s broad – it’s expansive – it’s inclusive – and it mirrors what we used to know as “acquaintance”
Social media and the internet has shrunk our world. Most of you will NOT know or remember a world without TV --- without cell phones – without cable – without computers – without smart phone technology – but I do! I remember as a child gathering around the RADIO to hear the news – to hear music and dramatized comedy – what is that today?
Who really is a FRIEND today? A true friend – the kind that Scripture describes as “closer than a brother”?
Today we know – but are not known – we hold each other apart – perhaps because of FEAR (that’s the emotional wall we have erected to protect ourselves) --- maybe we are just too much into ourselves – it’s call me first! -- which is really “selfishness”.
We have failed in 2 areas: (1) we just don’t appreciate our differences. Do...
Have you heard the children’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” – sounds cute – but it’s just not true. I saw a couple of other versions recently, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart” – and “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never leave me.”
Think about this: How you say something is just as important as what you say – if not more important. If your goal is to communicate – t...
The angels stated at the arrival of the Savior, “Peace on Earth – Good Will Toward Men” --- this encapsulates the Christmas story.
In our world, we do not see much “peace on Earth” do we? Instead we see fighting, violence, hatred, greed and inequality --- and a general disrespect for mankind.
It is obvious now, that just talking about Peace does not produce peace. Just declaring Peace doesn’t change a thing. It must be much more. I see two things that must happen before we can achieve “Peace on Earth”.
1. Peace WITH God. Mankind is at odds first with the Creator. Paul the Apostle stated, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful…professing themselves to be wise, they became fools….” (Romans 1:21-22). As a people, our # 1 issue is with God. Until we rectify that relationship, there can never be peace. We must first make peace WITH God. Here’s the good news – God has already made the first overture toward mankind. Tha...
As we have witnessed in the past few weeks – hatred is alive in our world. Fact is, it has always been here – we simply tamp it down for a while, then it erupts again.
Hatred is an evil that has cursed planet earth, due to the fallen nature of mankind. We are born sinners – and if that heart issue is not corrected, it will lead to a “learned attitude and a learned behavior”. Hatred is both taught and caught. If you live around it – surround yourself with it – it seeps into the very core of your being.
America has toiled with the 'demon' of racism for a long time. There is great distrust among the races. We notice it more than probably any other nation – for we are the ‘smelting pot’ of all the racial divisions of the human race. Due to the refugee crisis in Europe and other countries, we are witnessing the revival of hatred and distrust all over the world, in a new dimension.
What are the roots of hatred? The obvious, simplistic answer is Sin. But,...
As an American, today is an important day in our history as a nation. On July 4, 1776, the colonists declared our Independence from British Empire. We basically separated ourselves from the authority, influence, and power of Great Britain and the King. That was a bold and dangerous declaration, which cost the lives of many to secure it. We have learned something basic as a people --- it is one thing to "declare" a thing, and it is totally another to "enforce" that declaration. Just saying you are "free" is one thing -- it is another thing to "live out" that freedom, and it always comes with a price.
Over the past 241 years, our nation has fought many battles and thousands of lives have been lost to preserve and defend that freedom. We have come to the aid of many groups of people who have been "enslaved" by despotic rulers, and we have sacrificed thousands of lives in order for them to be free. We believe in FREEDOM!
I wrote in an earlier blog that growing is not automatic. That’s the first law of the 15 Laws of Growth (from John Maxwell’s book). So many times, we think that because we “showed –up” we are growing, but that isn’t so. If you want to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually, you will have to make effort – you will have to be intentional about it.
We’ve all heard that “experience is the best teacher.” I agree with John when he says that only “reflected experience is the best teacher.” What that means is you must think – you must change – you must have times of reflection in order to truly grow.
Now I want you to think with me – growing is for a lifetime. What I mean is – the more you grow – the more you will have capacity to grow. In other words, growing leads to more growing. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know everything, and you’ll continue to grow – to read – to study – to reflect – to change. The more you change, the more you want to change....
Today is Memorial Day -- 2017 -- a day to "remember" the fallen soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms here in America. Without their sacrifice, we would not have the freedom to have that picnic -- go to that park -- or enjoy time with your family! We could be like so much of the world -- be living under an oppressive government which restricts our freedom.
Think about this today! How many have given their lives here in America for our freedoms --- those who "scarcely" would die ..... for the cause of freedom? Add it all up:
American Revolutionary War ........ 25,000
Civil War ...................................... 750,000
WW I ............................................ 116,516
WW II .......................................... 405,399
Korean War .................................. 36,516
Life is all about CHANGE .... and let's face it ... the only people who really like change are babies in diapers!
The rest of us just have to adjust -- go with the flow -- be flexible -- and make the most of what happens to us in life.
Promises are made -- promises broken. Plans made -- plans can change in a moment.
Have you ever been on a tight schedule to get somewhere -- then the traffic jam occurs .... the accident up ahead happens .... or you're racing to the airport to only see the sign at the terminal check in .....DELAYED
How do you handle the frustration of the DELAY. It's true that "delay isn't necessarily denial" --- it's just a time thing -- a delay. No one likes them.
What about those career plans that seem to get detoured .... or sidetracked? Or worse, they can CANCELLED:
We are reminded in God's Word, that HE and HE alone has the best plans for us .... but, sometimes we do not understand His "delays" or His "cancelations" -- and naturally we get frustrated or even ang...
By definition, "Leadership is Influence" --- and everybody has influence! But we all know that not everybody is called upon to stand at the front of the class -- to stand on top of the hill -- to sit in the board room at the head of the table -- to stand in the pulpit and speak to the congregation, bearing the title of "Pastor" - to stand in front of the musicians, and be called "worship leader."
Leadership has many levels -- and with each level there is a price to pay. There are no "free lunches" in leadership. There are times in the life of a leader that is seems lonely. But remember that there is a COST to leadership.
There's a passage in Luke 12:48 that states (New Living Translation), "...when someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."
I like the way the Contemporary English Version reads of this verse, "... if God has been generous with you, He will expect you to serv...