WARNING: this is honest and vulnerable and you may think less of me after you read it but it may help someone, so I decided to post.
Too many times in my short ministry career I have ended up exhausted at the starting gates. I’ve shown up on Sundays tired from working all day Friday or Saturday because “NO ONE” else was gonna do it. Or I have led capital campaigns and building projects and worked unGodly hours because it “HAD TO BE DONE”. I even saw myself as a martyr, sacrificing for the cause of Christ. But at the end of the projects when I was supposed to be excited and ready to roll I wasn’t. I lacked joy and energy because of the pace that I picked and the methods that I chose. I robbed my wife of her husband, my kids of their dad, myself of joy but most of all I robbed God of the opportunity to grow my faith.
You see, I believed that what I was doing would lead people to an amazing God that would radically change their lives but I wasn’t allowing Him to radically change mine. I didn’t trust Him to take what I was doing in the natural and make it super natural. I didn’t believe that He could make up the difference between what I could give Him during reasonable work hours and make it come across as excellent. I made the decision on what “WE” needed to do every weekend or project instead of God defining that. I didn’t bring people with me and allow them to use their giftings, I just judged them for not taking initiative like me.
So in my ignorance and lack of faith I tried to do God’s part and totally disregarded His Word. I didn’t rest when He said rest. I tried to lead other families before I led my own. I didn’t equip the saints and If I can be really honest, it wasn’t that fun (rewarding absolutely, fun, not so much).
Which brings me to today. I can say with all honesty that for the first time in ministry, I am having fun and enjoying the ride. God is doing some amazing things in our church, in our city, in my family and I am loving it all. What’s the difference? John 3:30 Less of me and more of Him and Colossians 3:1-2 Seeing things from God’s perspective not my own.
I have realized that there will always be more ministry to do and I can’t get it all done everyday. I have realized that God doesn’t ever want your family, your health, your rest, your relationships to suffer because you are in ministry. I have realized that people are the most important thing to God so they should be to me as well. Projects and processes help us reach more people and are very important but they are never more important than the people, especially the people right in front of us.
Some good questions to ask God are:
- Are you pleased with my efforts today?
- What changes do I need to make?
- How do you see this situation?
Hope this helps someone!
This year has been a year of health for me (more on that in another post). Part of that has been a physical up-fit that included P90X.
I started this year weighing in at 230 pounds and wearing size 40 pants. The current stats are 180 pounds and size 32 pants!!
Here are some photos of the 230 man and the skinnier guy that’s working his way out.
Photos: (1-3 are 230 lbs, 4-5 are pre-P90X, 6-10 are post-P90X)
I posted this back in 08 and it’s so good that I’m bringing it back.
Ten Commandments of Purity from Perry Noble.
- No other human relationship comes before my spouse.
- I shall remember the date night and keep it Holy (my phone will be off and in the car).
- I will always view my wife as my bride and the standard of beauty in my life.
- I will never think that I am above temptation. It’s by God’s grace that I have not fell.
- I shall not spend time alone or travel alone with a woman.
- I shall not talk about my spouse in a negative manner.
- I shall not ever discuss the intimate details of my marriage with anyone (especially another woman).
- I shall not watch pornography or expose myself to other illicit material that would cause me to lust and devalue my wife.
- I shall not confuse fantasy and reality.
- I shall remember the implications of breaking the seventh commandment (committing adultery).
The whole thing is riding on purity.
Me and God have a cool thing going on right now where He is not affraid of hurting my feelings. Having said that, here is something I felt like He shared with me last week.
If you are a follower of Jesus (meaning you have given your life to Him) then here is the deal. When you open your eyes in the morning your first thought needs to be similar to this:
- God, what do you want me to do today?
- Who do you want me to encourage?
- What should I do in this situation?
- How can I most honor you in my roles?
- Am I on track with who you want me to be?
- What do you want to change in my life?
You need to follow this up with reading God’s Word and prayer! (I will argue you to the ground on this, morning is the best time)
If this is not how you roll then I would say just stay in the bed and here is why:
- If you don’t hear from God then you will not handle that meeting right or that situation correctly.
- If you don’t hear from God then you are more prone to getting in the flesh.
- If you don’t hear from God then you are wide open for the enemy to distract or derail you.
- If you don’t hear from God then Your best efforts will be Your best efforts and worst than that you will take credit for anything good that happens instead of giving God credit.
- If you don’t hear from God then it’s a wasted day. (this sounds harsh but if you follow Jesus, then it’s legit)
If hearing from God is foreign to you email me at email@example.com and I would love to point you in a direction. I can’t quite Him down right now and I love it.
The following is taken from Leaders At Levels by Ram Charan:
Many people who think they know how to recognize a leader focus on highly visible attributes and skills, such as analytical brilliance, charisma, the ability to make great presentations, and the drive to succeed. These are fine things to have, but they aren’t sure signs of leadership ability. Look instead for the actions, decisions, and behaviors that reveal true leadership potential:
- What is the person’s ambition? Is it clearly for a leadership role, or is it oriented more toward making an individual contribution?
- Do they take pride in accomplishing goals on the basis of their own ability, or do they talk about bringing together and motivating others to achieve those goals?
- Does the person seem curious about subjects outside their area of expertise?
- Do they have a grasp of the business (organization) and basics of success?
- Can the person articulate clearly the requirements for doing their bosses job? Their bosses, bosses job?
- How does the person ensure that she is continually learning?
- How well does the person deliver results, and what is extraordinary about the results?
- Does the person have an incessant drive to shape the external environment and make progress?
- Does the person like to work with divers, high-caliber people, or do they bring along with them to a new job the people they are comfortable with and who are loyal to them?
- How driven and passionate are they about leading? Is it just talk, or is it realistic?
- Is the person dealing with increasingly complex and uncertain situations and using the occasional failure as an opportunity to learn?
- Is there clear evidence that this person has a methodology to continue to build new skills and hone their personality traits to achieve their dream of what they want to become?
Goals worth having require sacrifice and hard work. Another John Maxwell quote that I love is that “You have to give up to go up”. In order to focus on achieving this years goals I am starting the year with a 40 day fast. The goal of the fast is to focus in on God and hopefully create some good habits towards my goals.
Here are the things that I will be doing without for the first 40 days of this year:
- No computer at home for me.
- No business emails outside of work hours.
- No late nights. All bedtimes before 10pm (other than nights with bowl games :-).
- No sleeping in (all days will start at 5am).
- None of the following food or drinks:
- Beef, lamb, pork, and fish.
- Milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs (execept limited amounts of low fat cheese).
- Sugar, raw sugar, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
- All leavened bread.
- All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
- All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries.
- All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
- Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
There it is….The Daryl Fast….The next 40 days of my life. It isn’t designed to help me with all my goals but rather to focus me in on where God is leading me (to be healthier physically, spiritually, mentally). Don’t let me slack!!
The Law Of The Price Tag stats that “you fail to reach your potential when you fail to pay the price” -J. Maxwell.
I believe this is why many of us set goals this time of year and 365 days later we are scratching our heads wondering what happened.
The best thing about January 1st is that you get to start the new year with a blank page and the possibilities for this year are unlimited!! Maybe the difference for me and for you this year will be what we do with the Law Of The Price Tag. Will I and will you be willing to pay the price for our goals?
Here are my goals for 2010:
- Loose 60 pounds by July 2nd and keep it off Until Decemer 31st.
- Workout 4 days a week.
- Save money and get a Trikke 8 Air and ride it.
- Make water my drink of choice.
- Less red meat, sweets and coffee drinks.
- Go to bed by 10pm 5 days a week.
- More structured quite time this year (5-6AM daily)
- Daily paper journaling.
- Rely much more on the Holy Spirit and less on me.
- Help my family take their next steps spiritually.
- 3 Date nights a month with Kelli.
- Specific hang time with each kid (1 a week).
- Pull more weight with household choirs (dishes and repairs I have been putting off).
- Kick debt in the teeth (knock bottom 3 items off of debt list).
- Implement leadship pipeline principles throughout our organization.
- Invest more time in people.
- Play to strengths more (less plate spinning and more points scored).
With goals like these their is a hefty price tag. I will need a good plan, good accountability partners (you) and I will have to give up a lot of things. See my next post on Daryl Fast to see what I plan on giving up for the first 40days of the year in order to kick start this process.
In my profession I get to speak to a lot of different people, people with problems, people who feel like they have it all together, people with jobs, people without jobs, people with kids, people without kids, people with money, people without money, people with strong marriages, people with broken marriages, secure leaders, insecure leaders, the list can go on and on.
The thing that has blown me away in each of these conversations is this: the more that people try to control their lives, the more out of control it becomes. They are looking for solutions but in all the wrong places. The answer is not in someones blog post or a book. It’s not at a conference or in a mentor. Don’t get me wrong all of these things can confirm the solution but they are not it.
We complicate life tremendously when we look for solutions through these avenues. Do you want to know if you should take that job or marry that person? Are you considering bankruptcy or divorce? Are you wondering if you should replace that team leader? Well the truth is this, LIFE IS SIMPLE and decision making is too, ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! It doesn’t matter what the book, blog, conference, sermon or your friend says if it is not what God is wanting you to do. The truth is, God’s decision and direction is the only one that matters. Does God usually confirm these decisions and directions through books, blogs, conferences and friends? I believe He does, if you’re running with a crowd that is chasing after Him, but at the end of the day, it’s God’s Spirit that you need to be listening to. It’s the X Factor.
This thought is not original with me. I first heard it from my good friend Larry Brey but it’s not even original with Larry, it comes from God’s Word.
The Perception Principle is this: How you perceive someone is how you receive them.
This principle is huge. Take for instance Jesus in own hometown in Mark Chapter 6. The Son of God comes home and instead of them receiving him as who he was they received him as a common man (just a carpenter) and because of their perception of him, they missed out on a receiving what he had for them.
The awesome thing about principles is that they are usually universal. I believe that the Perception Principle is HUGE in our lives. If we perceive our spouses as nags guess how we receive them? If we perceive teenagers as worrisome trouble makers guess how we receive them. If you perceive your team as lazy or incompetent guess how you receive them?
And how you receive people is how you speak to them. If you perceive negative aspects, that’s all you speak to. However if you choose to perceive people based off of their potential and based off of God’s Word, then you speak to them in that light, you encourage, you coach, you believe the best!
Choose to perceive others through God’s eyes and not your own and see what happens!! I believe in you!!
I saw a sign once that said, “We can’t spell s_cess without u”, truth is they couldn’t spell sucCess even with u.
The funny thing about success is that when the goal gets distant, we tend to redefine it. When the vision gets cold or we don’t remind the team of what the goal is then there is a battle for what we define as success.
I will use church as an example. If our team isn’t reminded of what success is then they may look at attendance or tithes and offerings or response to the message as a goal and when those things are up, then we have succeeded and when they are down we have failed. But to be completely honest with you, if you a christian then SUCCESS is defined as Obedience. Did you do what God wanted you to this week? Did you say what He wanted you to? Did you prepare like He wanted? Did your attitude and actions bring Him honor? THEN NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
If I am obedient, then it’s doesn’t matter how many people did or did not come, how well or not the message was received, whether or not I had to work my team alone… None of that matters if Obedience is the goal.
If you are feeling discouraged or distracted, then refocus in on the goal, be obedient to the Spirit of God and celebrate the fact that you are tracking with the creator of the universe.