This weekend My wife and I are celebrating our 21st Marriage Anniversary on the West Coast. Truly it has been an incredible ride of love, learning and life. I made one of the best decisions of my life and I have no regrets about it. If I could, I would do it all over again. I still say I do to the most amazing woman on the planet. She is beautiful, smart, and most importantly she is a great women of God. I would like to thank God for His blessing and favor over our marriage and I believe that our greatest days are yet ahead.
There is no one like you. There has never been and never will be anyone like you. No one can take your place. You are invaluable and irreplaceable. You are unique, distinctive, and one of a kind. You are one out of seven billion. Be the best you that you can be. The one God made you to be. Oscar Wilde once stated, “Be yourself, everyone is taken.” Be an original, don’t die a cheap copy. Pull off the mask, and for once be you. It’s a great day to be you!
You’ve heard of the Law of Physics and the Law of Gravity, well there is another law that is even more important; the Law of Sowing and Reaping. This is a universal law that whatever you sow, you will reap. God is not a respecter of person but He is a respecter of principles. One of the first things God told Noah after the flood was recorded in Genesis 8:22. (NIV)
22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
On that day God set a law in motion that seed time and harvest would never cease. The question is how does the seed time and harvest law works? It’s simple!
Seed + Time =Harvest
You plant a seed, give it some time and then expect a harvest. The seedtime harvest principle has worked in my life and in the life of many other seed sowing believers. I highly recommend that you start sowing seeds of love, encouragement, prayers and finances. The seedtime harvest principle will work if you work it. Sow where you want to go!
“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”
Life is a series of choices. You can choose or lose! The choice is yours. There is power in the choices that we make. Our choices determine our consequences and our decisions determine our destiny. If you are stuck in bad habits, unhealthy relationships, and negative or defeated thinking patterns, please know that you can break free, break out, and break through into a new possibility of thinking.You no longer have to play the victim or have a monthly pity party-you can choose to live! Moses told God’s people in the Old Testament to choose life.
”This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Know that you have options, so choose life and you will enjoy a relationship with God; a byproduct of that relationship will produce favor, prosperity and purpose. Where will you be ten years from today? It all depends on the type of choices that you make. Choose wisely…choose LIFE!
In 2007, my business manager and I attended a conference in Dallas where I had the opportunity to meet Tim Stevens. I have always been one of Tim’s fans; but after reading “Vision: Lost & Found“, I am now a follower! “Vision: Lost & Found” is the turn-around story of Granger Community Church that explains how they grew from nothing into a mega church, got stuck and then unstuck. Tim Stevens vividly tells the story of Granger Community Church’s journey through the highs and lows, as well as the ups and downs.
This summer my staff of 11 and myself concluded a three-day staff retreat at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. In our time of training we read “Vision: Lost & Found” and it has challenged our leadership, stretched our thinking, and caused us to evaluate our paradigms. This has genuinely prompted us to ponder, reflect and examine our vision and strategy.
Has your church been stuck lately?
Have you been scratching your head lately, wondering how to form or reform a successful ministry where you can get a buy-in from your entire congregation?
This book goes beyond a must-read- it IS a required read for all Senior Pastors and Leaders who are considering revamping the vision of their church!
This week my staff and I experienced pure leadership adrenaline as we attended the Catalyst Conference in Dallas, Texas. I was inspired and encouraged to sharpen my leadership skills while also improving the development of my leaders as well. I don’t want to merely develop leaders; I want to continue to develop the leaders of leaders who will reproduce themselves! Catalyst Dallas has ignited a new fire in me that will propel improvement and perfection in my leadership capacity.
In 1985, I tried my first attempt at college and organized an intramural basketball team at the University of Houston. I recruited 10 men who obtained their experience from their high school leveled basketball teams. As a first time coach and recruiter, I recognized that these 10 men had the talent and drive to win. Each man understood their role, was a team player, and grasped that it was not about them but instead about the team. Babe Ruth once stated, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
We had unity, chemistry, and synergy. In one of our first meetings I stated that our goal was to win the championship and nothing less. As the leader of the team, I led with a winning attitude and casted a vision that showed that we could win. Not only did we win the championship, we went undefeated and ended the season with a 13-0 record. This team didn’t have a famous name, a superstar on the team, and no one individual contributed more than the other; it was truly a team effort. Patrick Lencioni stated, “It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” In my years of leading many different teams, I have observed that teams who work well together always position themselves to win.
Most people work in areas of their weaknesses and not their strengths, thus leaving them feeling frustrated year after year and assignment after assignment. The key to working in your strengths is to find out what you are good at and passionate about. This may require you to take a self assessment test at strengthfinders.com or Myer Briggs personality pathway test at www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html.
Each of us has our own personal makeup. This includes the remarkable ensemble of passions, talents, experiences, temperament, and spiritual gifts that work together to make us who we are. As we discover our strengths and God’s calling on our lives, we will make a greater impact towards fulfilling our Kingdom purpose. If you do what you are good at, then you will begin to transition from good to great. One of the reasons that this happens is based on your willingness to utilize your strengths. When we use our God given strengths, we become the most effective as a person and become God’s best version of what he designed us to be.
Instead of growing in the areas of my weaknesses,I’m growing in my strengths. As I grow in my strengths, I become more consistent and deliver an almost perfect execution in my performances, talents, skills, and knowledge. I get excited about the uncharted territory that I have yet to discover.
God has given us unborn talents and natural abilities; we are wired to do certain things well. Some people are often times out of place or are working in their weaknesses, and most never excel at the jobs or tasks that they have.
Use the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger as a prime example: Rudy grew up in a steel mill town where most people ended up working, but instead, he wanted to play football at Notre Dame. There were only a couple of problems. His grades were a little low, his athletic skills were poor, and he was only half the size of the other players. Despite being an undersized 5’6″, 165 pounds player, Rudy had the drive and spirit of 5 people. He set his sights upon joining the team, and eventually did. The coach put him in on the final play of the game and Rudy made his one and only tackle. Although Rudy’s dream did come to pass, the reason why this was so difficult was based on the fact that he was not truly wired to play football. He was working in an area of his weakness, thus explaining why he needed the drive of 5 people to execute one role. Imagine the major impact that he could have had if he had only discovered and worked in his strengths earlier! Today, Rudy is a motivational speaker…could this have been his fit all along? Maybe.
We all need to discover and identify our God given skills. Exodus 31:3 states that “God gives us ability, skill and knowledge”, and Deuteronomy 8:18 states that “God gives us the ability to create wealth”. As I discover my natural temperaments, strengths, gifts, talents and abilities, I know that I will be able to assist others in discovering theirs as well. This, which is described as being faithful, fruitful, and fulfilled, is bigger than success. This is called significance!
Where are you in your life? Are you where you would like to be? Are you living out your dreams? Is there a lack of faithfulness, focus or faith that has kept you stuck? Are you ready for a breakthrough? Well, I highly recommend that you step out on some old fashioned faith. Many people pray, but do not act on their prayers. In the Bible, Matthew 13:58 states,“ And he (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith”
Often times, it is not our lack of faithfulness and focus, but instead, our lack of faith. When our dreams are delayed and deferred, we lose faith. Faith is a game changer. It changes circumstances and situations. It opens doors, moves mountains, defeats giants, heals sick bodies and makes men walk on water. No matter what you are facing, remember to always include faith in the equation of your life. Your dreams can come true and you can live out God’s calling, even during the tough seasons of life, but you must “faith it til you make it”.
Keep praying and laying your dreams and plans before God, and always remember to act on your prayers. Prayer is asking and acting in faith. I believe that when we ask and act in faith, then God will answer our prayers according to our faith.