Quit trying to “Make A Name For Yourself”!!!

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**I wrote this post almost a year ago, and it still applies today…**

It’s almost 2016 and unless you’ve been asleep for the last couple of years, you know that in our society, the desire to be famous and popular are at an all time high…I’m Just Saying…

Our current society places fame and notoriety above just about everything else. Shoot, even our presidential election this year has been invaded by a TV star, which shall remain nameless.

Pride and arrogance used to be looked at as shameful traits but today it’s the norm. Between reality TV making superstars out of everyone from cab drivers to housewives to babysitters and Social Media giving us all our own little platforms to show ourselves off, we’ll soon be a world where the non-celebrity is the abnormality.

But what if we looked at life from a different view? What if we stopped branding ourselves and promoting ourselves and doing good things and then telling the whole world about it. What if for a change we just did, and said, and shared what was right for the sake of being right instead of for the sake of notoriety.

You see…God is not now and never has been to keen on self promoting people trying to make a name for themselves. As a matter of fact, back in Genesis, the people of Babel tried to do just that and you know what He did to them…

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. (‭Genesis‬ ‭11‬:‭4,7-8‬ NKJV)

God is all about humility and we should be too. It’s always better to do good and let the good you do speak for you instead of you speaking for yourself. You’re safer right there.

People will like you more and God won’t feel the need to tear the you that you have built up down…

Stay low and let God exalt you…

Love…A Required Component

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Good Morning..Good Afternoon…Good Evening…Whenever or wherever you are reading this, I pray that you are experiencing goodness in your life this day. It’s Wednesday which means that you’ve made it to the halfway point of the workweek, so you only have these three days left to make something great happen this week…GET TO IT!!

Today I want to talk about LOVE as it relates to teamwork in “The Kingdom”. I’m not going to go through the definition of Love because I feel that we all know enough about it to understand what it is. This is not a post about what Love is, but about how much we need it for successful teamwork in our churches and our “Kingdom” activities.

AND YES THIS WILL BE A LONG POST…PLEASE HANG IN THERE!!!

Yesterday on Twitter and Facebook I made a statement that I felt I heard from God while prying for my team at church. It basically went like this:

In “The World” a team can thrive even if it’s participants don’t like each other,but in ‪#‎TheKingdom‬, ‪#‎love‬ is a required component of a team

You see, I’m a church leader. I’m a Youth Pastor and also the head of our media department and our security department at church. I am also a leader on my secular job, I am the Exec-Director Of Operations for the company I work for. In addition to that I am a husband and a father so I am a leader at home. So leadership is something that I am steeped in and I take seriously. I am not a great leader as of yet, but I am growing an investing time into hat growth.

That being said, I spend a great deal of time thinking and praying and reading about how to be a better leader and how to make sure the teams that I lead are operating at their maximum capacity. In this time of reflection and planning and praying I have come to understand that there is a key difference in the success of my secular teams and my Kingdom teams…and that key difference is LOVE.

In the secular world and in “The Kingdom” teams have basic needs that have to be there for success, things like:

  • A Leader
  • Goals and Vision
  • Organization and Cooperation
  • Team Members with different skills and abilities
  • The willingness to work together to accomplish a common goal

These components are all essential to have a team that is effective and essential. However, LOVE, is only a requirement for a team in “The Kingdom”.

You see in the secular world, we can work together on  team all day and then go home and never think about each other again until the next day. We go on about our personal lives and our co-workers can be a distant thought. At work we can work with people we don’t like and have no love for because we are motivated primarily by achieving a goal and  making money so great relationships aren’t always a necessity or even a consideration.

But in a Christian team, we have to understand that we are FIRST, the Body of Christ, and then the team.  With that understanding we will be able to see he necessity of LOVE in our team’s success.

In Ephesians 4:16(Common English Bible) God says this:

16 who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part.

If we are the Body of Christ then any team we assemble for “Kingdom Work” is an extension of that Body and must operate under the laws or principles of the Body it was extended from. That means that if Eph 4:16 is how the Body of Christ should operate then it is how our team should operate.

Our “Kingdom Teams” should work towards our goals and visions and grow and build themselves up with LOVE for each other as our essential or Required Component. When that is not happening, our teams are limited in the scope of their abilities and what we are able to produce is often less effective and definitely not pleasing to God, who is himself LOVE!!

The Pulpit Commentary puts it like this:

This is the end, so far as the body itself is concerned, though, of course, the completed spiritual body, like the completed natural body, has work to do outside itself. In a healthy Church there is a continual work of building up: construction, not destruction, is its proper business – promoting peace, purity, prayerfulness, trust, activity in the work of the Lord, but all in love, the absence of which makes winter instead of summer, declension instead of progress, death instead of life.

All of our churches have a great work to do both in the church and outside of the church, but when the teams we put together to accomplish these great work don’t keep Love at the center we end up producing “Death Instead of Life”

If you’re a church leader, take a look at your team today and evaluate the level of LOVE that is in operation. If you’re a team member take a look at yourself and see if you are operating in Love with your teammates. Love is a Required Component!!

Proverbs In Everyday Life Pt.4: Are You On Your Way To Work??

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Happy Monday Everyone!!! I hope this Monday finds you all charged up and ready to go, not falling for the lie that Mondays have to be bad days. Instead I pray that you take dominion over this Monday and MAKE TODAY GREAT!!

Anyway, let’s get down to business!! Our PROVERB for today!!

Whoever is lazy in his work is related to a vandal.Proverbs 18:9(God’s Word Translation)

Wow!! Have you ever thought about your work ethics this way before? I’m just saying, have you ever really seen laziness as an equivalent to vandalism?

Today’s chat will be short and sweet…Because not much more needs to be said. When we are hired for or are given a job to do, it is our responsibility to work hard and to be diligent. When we choose to operate in laziness or to be slack, we have just become a vandal, not just a lazy person.

The dictionary describes vandalism as:

action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.

So when we decide to be lazy at work, we have decided to intentionally contribute to the ruin or destruction of our employer’s business…

When we decide to be lazy at home, we are intentionally contributing to the ruin or pf our own homes and families…

When we decide to be lazy in our church work, we are intentionally deciding to cause destruction to the KINGDOM!!

I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to be a part of a any of those categories. So while i’m on y way to work today, i’m intentionally deciding to WORK HARD!!

What about you?!?!?

Are You Looking For Someone To Bless?? Accept The Challenge!!

2 Samuel 9:1-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

 1 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service!” 3 Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.” 4 So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 

I know we are all pretty familiar with this account from the Bible, but have we really ever gotten anything from it.  I have been reading about David a lot lately, and a lot of what I see explains why he was considered “A man after God’s own heart”. And this story shows one of what I think might be the biggest reasons.
When we arrive at this point in the history of King David, he has just come out of several victories in battle.  He has not long been crowned King over all Israel and he has not stopped fighting since.  In the previous chapter he defeats the Phillistines, the Moabites, and several other enemy nations.  He has gathered much spoil and dedicated a great deal of it to the Lord.  Right after the battles he finally has tme to set up his administration of his Kingdom.
We roll right from all the busyness and turmoil of battle and setting up what we have won, and the very next thing David does is go looking for someone to bless…Hunh? What????
What about vacation? What about rest? What about taking some me time to enjoy all that I have won? David didn’t stop for those things, he got up and went looking for someone from the House of Jonathan that he could bless.  Later in the account we see that David sends for Mephibosheth and persists to bring him out of the low place he is in and bless him and even gives him a seat at the king’s table.
I learned two great things from this part of David’s life:
  1. We should be looking for people to bless.
  • We too often go through our days thinking about ourselves and our families and not considering others. Or we go through our day thinking about nothing and not considering the needs and desires of others.  Here David is at a very hectic time in his life and stops to search for someone he can help to get out of a low situation. Most days we not only aren’t looking for someone to help, we are turning away from and avoiding the people who are on the streets asking for our help. WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER!!!!
       2. We should always keep our covenants or promises we make to others.
  • Back in 1 Samuel chapter 2o David made a covenant with Jonathan that after he was King he would never cut off his kindness from Jonathan;s house because of their friendship and Jonathan helping him escape from Saul.  Now years later after Jonathan and Saul have both dies. David takes the time out to seek out a member of Jonathan’s house to whom he can establish or keep the covenant he made with Jonathan. What an example of honor and integrity.  While we (me included) have a hard time keeping a promise we made yesterday to a person we are looking at, David sought to keep a promise to a person he would never see again.
I don’t know about you, but these are two areas I could stand to do much better in and I am working at it right now.
What about you?
Take some time this weekend to go our of your way to show kindness to someone who doesn’t expect it or maybe who doesn’t even deserve it!!

Proverbs In Everyday Life Pt.3: Watch Out For ENVY!!!

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I know…I Know…I Know!!! It’s not Monday! For those of you who are new, that may not mean anything at all but to those of us who follow this blog, we know that Proverbs are usually on Monday. However, I really wanted to share the nugget from vacation on Monday so I switched things up a little…please forgive me!!

Anyhow, let’s get down to business…Today’s Proverb is: Prov 27:4 KJV

Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Do you struggle with Envy? This is time for self-evaluation.

The proverb today makes a comparison between three different emotions. It states that wrath is cruel, and that anger is even worse as it is characterized as outrageous. But then it goes on to say that Envy, however, no one is able to stand before.

You see, wrath is an overt expression of anger. Wrath can be both seen and appeased.

Then anger, it’s a little more sever because even though it can be appeased, it sometimes can be hidden. We can hide anger in our hearts and it can fester and cause issues. But once discovered or revealed, most of the time our anger will subside or can be appeased by the person we are angry with.

But Envy on the other hand…Envy is not that easily dealt with. Envy is defined as;

a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

Envy is almost always a secret emotion. Very rarely will a person admit or own up to being envious. When we are bothered by the success or prosperity of another person, we don’t advertise that. Yeah sure, we make a comment or two here and there that might allude to how we feel, but we don’t openly admit to being envious.

And nobody can ever appease our envious feelings. How can the person who just got blessed with a new car, or new job, or new spouse ever appease your envious feelings? Should they give their car back, quit their job, or leave their marriage so that then envious person will be relieved? Of course not!!

Envy can only be dealt with through deliverance! And it is important that it be dealt with and dealt with quickly because it is dangerous. James said it this way in James 3:16

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Envy brings strife and confusion and evil with it. You cannot separate them!! When you are envious of a person you will find yourself in strife with them and people attached to them. There will always be confusion around you and eventually you will begin to plot evil! It was envy that caused Cain to kill Abel, Joseph’s bothers to plot against him, and the Jews to send Christ to his death.

Search yourself today!!! If you find envy in you, be honest with God and yourself and ask Him to deliver you!

Are You Following The Leader?!

  
Wattup Fam?! I’m back from vacation…I really missed you guys. Sorry for not posting on Friday, that was bad planning on my part. But, nevertheless here we are on a beautiful Monday morning and it’s back to the rat race we go. 

I really enjoyed vacation. The cruise was great and the Bahamas was awesome. While we were there we took an excursion and explored Nassau via a Jeep tour. My wife and I, and some of our close friends went out in jeeps and followed a tour guide as he lead us around the inner cities and various resort areas of Nassau. 

It was adventurous to say the least. We actually drove the jeeps ourselves and followed the tour guide who was driving his own jeep. These jeeps were raggedy too…LOL. There were bald tires, bad brakes, broken seat belts and even broken seats. But we felt adventurous and our money was non-refundable so we jumped in and headed out. 

Our tour guide was hilarious. He was young and personable. He was a native of the island and knew his way around and was steeped in the culture. However, he was also extremely hyper and drove like a stunt driver. He took around twists and turns and up and down hills. He took us on highways and backroads in places we never knew existed. He drove fast and demanded we drive fast. Yet in all of that, he was sure to never loose any of the 4 jeeps we were in following him. 

I say all that to say this. With all of the issues with the jeep and all the particulars about our guide, he was still a strong and concerned leader and he was determined to get us from point a to b and not lose anyone in the process. However, the choice to follow was up to us

It doesn’t matter how great or poor the leader is. It doesn’t matter how great or small the vision is. If you choose to not follow your leader, you have to own the responsibility for getting lost along the way. 

I’m just saying…Are you following your leader today?

If You Only Knew What They Already Know About You!!!

  

10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. 11 Listen to what the Midianitesare saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.”                                                                                                              

14 His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”                                                                                                                        

Judges 7:10,14

The things and people that oppose us in life can often times seem daunting. Sometimes, even our dreams and goals seem too big to achieve and can feel as though they are taunting us. Let’s not mention our own low self image that at times tries to convince us we aren’t able…I’m just saying, it can all be a tad bit intimidating at times.

But I have great news for you today!!! Your opponents and your obstacles think a lot more of you than you realize, and truth be told, they already know that within you in the power to both achieve and overcome!

Look at our friend Gideon. We know that when God first called him to lead the people into battle, he felt as though he wasn’t worthy or capable. Then after God convinced him, He then stripped him of all of his many warriors and left him with only 300 people to fight. So now whatever confidence he had built up was stripped down again. Add to that, the size of the army he was facing and their reputation for battle. Add to that all the threats thy had likely received and all the negative comments sent back to them about what was going to be done, and Gideon is right back where he started, feeling unworthy and incapable.

This is life for us too. We have things we know we need to do or accomplish, but we get distracted, deterred, delayed and afraid due to:

Lack of resources

Our perceived lack of ability

Our feelings of inadequacy

Our fear of the unknown

The opinions of others

The threats of our opponents

And the list goes on and on. But if the truth be told all these things we let hinder us our only strong because we LET THEM HINDER US!!!

In the midst of his fear and trepidation, God gave Gideon a crazy instruction. He said sneak down there to the enemy’s camp and I’m going to allow you o hear what they are saying. I’m going to let you in on what they really think about you! The very people he was afraid of already knew that he was going to get the victory over them. This inside information did exactly what God said it would, it infused Gideon with strength and courage and instead of being afraid of losing he became eager to attack!!

The same is true for you today…The very thing or the many things and the all the people you are allowing to hinder you, already know that you have the ability, strength, and power to overcome them!!!! That’s why they threaten you, that’s why they try to get in your head, that’s why the enemy tries to magnify your shortcomings. 

What your opposition knows…

What your enemy realizes…

What your dreams and visions are aware of…

Is that YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONQUER AND OVERCOME THEM ALL!!!!

Now take that inside information and become EAGER TO FACE AND OVERCOME ALL YOUR OPPOSTION!!!