Saturday, February 28, 2015

Never Disqualified from God's Purposes

Many times we think we are disqualified from serving God because of something that has happened in our past. Sometimes our passion can get us in trouble and we think that we are no longer any use to God. Someone else thought that as well.

Moses, who is known for leading the Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promise Land, felt disqualified as he argues with God throughout Exodus 3. Before Moses burning bush incident, he had fled from Egypt because he murdered an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew.  

Exodus 2:11-12
11 Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 

But look at how God responds:

Exodus 3:7-8
The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey. 

God has the same passion for His people as Moses does. In fact, God comes in a burning bush. We often think of passion as fire. What so amazing about this is that God already approves of our passion, He has wired us for our unique passions.  Moses led a million Hebrews out of captivity, that was a passion God could use. We are never disqualified! 

As you look at your list of passions (read Discovering Your Passion Blog), don't forget to include the things you may feel disqualified from. There is no waste with God, He can use everything!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Discovering Your Passion

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

— Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

What is passion?
Many times we don't think about passion unless it has to do with a relationship. But do you ever find yourself especially excited about something? Are there things that you want to work at regardless of being paid? Or find yourself making a speech to someone about an injustice?

Passion is the fuel that gives us the energy to move forward in our purpose. It is an exciting idea that God has given us passions that fuel our purpose. 

How do we get to understand our passion(s) that are unique to us? 

  1. Think about your childhood, teen years, college age, what were you excited about then? Why? (write these things down) This can be a good starting place because as children many times our hopes and dreams are at their purest. Then we get influenced by others that our ideas, hopes, and dreams may not fit in this world, or may be too big. 
  2. Write down those things you would do regardless if someone paid you or not.
  3. What things in the world upset you? Where are the injustices that you have to be careful not to say too much because you may belabor the point?
  4. What areas of your life maybe your passion got you in trouble? What ignited that passion?
  • Write your top ten big passions. 
  • Read through them over a few days. Which ones still resonate with you?
  • Read your list to a trusted friend.
  • Don't pre-judge them.

"One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested."

— E. M. Forster

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Leadership of One

Leadership of One 

I believe God has given me a phrase for the beginning of 2015 and that is the concept of "the Leadership of One." Before we lead others, the tens, hundreds, and thousands, we have to ask ourselves how well do we lead ourselves? As I have pondered this topic and shared with several people, it has seemed to resonate with everyone. I decided to put more legs to it and also to take it very seriously for my life this year. Let me know what you think and if you would add others. They aren't in any particular order.

Let's assess:
How are you doing in each of these categories? Rank from 1 to 10
  • Quiet Time - How is your relationship with God? You cannot give away what you don't have or get from God? In order to do your life the best way that God has for us, is getting the secrets from our Heavenly Father (Daddy) in our secret place. Let's make a regular schedule of going to our secret place.
  • Self Image/Image - How do you feel about yourself? What message is your image giving? Is that in line with what you wanted your image to say? Do you need an upgrade? Do you need to hear some more about identity and who you are? (We need to get this one!)
  • Personal Responsibility - what commitments have you made and are keeping my word. This discipline or practice will improve our integrity. Do we understand fully what is expected of us? Let's start the responsibility with asking the question, what is expected?
  • Time Management - How well do you manage your time? Do you feel you are not productive enough? Do you feel like you gets lots done but don't get much rest and relaxation? 
  • Personal Finances - Are you stewarding your money well? Do you pay your bills on time? Are you keeping debt free or working towards getting out of debt? Do you have a budget in place? Are you following it?
  • Personal Health - How are you feeling? Are you keeping up with regular check-ups? Getting those regular procedures that are uncomfortable but will save your life? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you have an exercise program or schedule? Don't take this one for granted. If we don't have healthy bodies, it makes it difficult to do all that God has for us and enjoy all the blessings He has for us. (I'm stepping this one up this year, myself!)
  • Relationships - How are your family, friends, co-workers, peers? Do you spend enough time with those you care for? Do you have appropriate boundaries? Do you need to call someone, go to lunch, schedule a date? Are we busy when we talk to those we care about, are we expressing how much we love the people in our life or do you hope they just know.
  • Professional Life - How well do you do your work? Look at your job description. Are you doing the minimums or do you surpass what is expected of you? If you were to leave your position, how many people would need to replace you? I always think it should be more than one.
  • Environment - How are your surroundings: home, work, cars? Are they clean and safe? Having a decluttered life can do a lot for our mood. Clean out the junk, put things in their place, don't waste time hunting for things, and put things in their place. Can you do anything to improve your space? Wipe things down, paint, paintings, etc. Don't discount this one, space that is welcoming and produces an appropriate mood can make us more productive, more relaxed, and more expectant in hearing from God.

How did you do? This first time through let's see these numbers as a baseline or a benchmark. We now have a starting point. Let's go back through the list and write a plan for those that need improvement. Take that list and which three do you want to work on for the next month. Reassess monthly, make a plan, pick three to improve. Let's see how the year goes.

Why is this important?
A lot of times, we look at how we can lead groups of people without looking at how well we lead ourselves. Even if you have been leading more than yourself, it is wise to do a self-assessment to stay sharp. The best leadership we can offer others is to be the best example. Often we lead with words and not with actions. Let's strengthen ourselves and let our lives be the example. 

For those of us that are not in position of leadership, this is where leadership starts. Do you hate to be micro-managed? Maybe we need to ask ourselves how well we are leading ourselves. If we did a better job in these areas maybe we would find that our leaders and managers in our life would back off the micro-managing. Nevertheless, you will feel better about yourself to be excellent at your work and to excel in all things.

Regardless of position, we work as if we are working unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:22-25 (MSG)
22-25 Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Ephesians 6:5-8 (MSG)
5-8 Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Difficulty at work? Opportunity or Problem?

The past month has been a significant time of learning for me. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning from others, and just asking lots of questions of what is next. In October, Leif Hetland joined MERGE and shared with us the three chair concept and what it means for the marketplace.  Basically, chair 1 is for those who understand that they are children of papa God, chair 2 is for those who don't understand their identity as sons and daughters of King Jesus and position themselves as orphans (who are saved), and then there is chair 3, for those who don't know Jesus at all.  There is so much around this teaching, it is worth getting Leif's book or one of his tapes. 

The biggest take-a-way from me is understanding our identity in Jesus and what He has for us. We are to partner with our Heavenly Father to solve the problems of this world. Chair 1 doesn't see problems, they see promise and opportunity. Our worldview, business view, education, etc, has all taught us to avoid problems, to fear them, and to get away. In fact, I say on one of my hometown high school marquis the following quote: "A clever person solves problems, A wise person avoids them." WHAT?!   We need to reform our thinking. Chair 2 people are waiting for Jesus to come and for us to be taken to Heaven. While being heaven minded is great, we also need to realize that we carry Heaven with us. Chair 1 people realize, we have the opportunity to bring Heaven to this world. 

When we understand our position in Christ, we have the opportunity to serve the world like no one else has or can. So my question is who are the difficult people or problems of your work that you are seeing as an opportunity and a promise. Make a list and offer them up to God and see what answers and insights He wants you to bring to the situation. 

I love this quote:

“Jesus served with the heart of a king but ruled with the heart of a servant. This is the essential combination that must be embraced by those longing to shape the course of history.”

Bill Johnson, Bethel

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Authentic Leadership

Yesterday, marked our third workshop installment from Tim Hoerr, CEO of Serra Ventures. This workshop focused on our leadership and the three main areas we need to continue to focus our energies for authentic marketplace leadership; setting foundations, executing with excellence, and loving people.

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living." 
Eph. 1:11 (MSG)

Leadership begins and ends with self-awareness. Some of the questions we should be asking ourselves:
  1. What's your personal story? (Workshop 1)
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What accountable relationships are you in?
  4. How is your health? spiritual? physical? emotional?
  5. How well aligned with your organization are you?
Setting Foundations comprises of understanding your 
  • Mission - why does your organization exist?
  • Vision - where is your organization going?
  • Values - what are the most important guidelines in doing business?
Executing with Excellence
  • Strategic Excellence
  • Operational Excellence
Loving People
  • By creating a TGIM (Thank Goodness it's Monday) culture
  • By communicating 
  • By caring
Some of these topics aren't new but we can get so wrapped up in doing our work that we don't assess these to make sure we are leading intentional and with authenticity. For me, the workshop left me with some practical take aways that I need to concentrate on to make sure my life stays aligned and what I pour my time in to is authentic with the life that I've been created for. Thanks Tim for another great workshop.

If you missed this one or others and would like more information, please contact me at

Friday, September 12, 2014

Right Place at the Right Time - For the Sake of Others!

"If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

Many times in our work we question why we are in a certain job or why we have to work with certain people. 

Our study of Esther this month demonstrated how God's favor can place us in a position that allows us to be most effective in God's Kingdom. Sometimes we mistake God's favor for work that should look effortless and without conflict. Queen Esther had tremendous favor on her life but her destiny was not without problems. She faced death for her own life as well as extinction for her people. She was given the opportunity to save her people.

Our work may not be as dramatic as saving an entire nation of people from genocide, but God can use us in our work to bring salvation and freedom to many. We are the light of the world. You may be in your position for such a time as this.

Many of us stop there with our sentiments that are life has meaning but don't realize the precious treasure of how God wants to work through us. A careful read through Esther will show God's strategy for better position in your workplace.

For example, Esther fasted for three days before she went before the King to present her case. Many times I have fasted with the hopes of changing a situation. Esther's situation never changed, the King never reversed his decision. The Book of Esther shows us how strategically to work with God to bring solutions. I believe her three day fast was an incredible strategy session with God on how to solve the problem. The problem was solved in a unique way without the King reversing His decision.

Before we question how or why God would use us for His purposes. Remember Esther came off the streets as a Jewish orphan and became a Queen that was given authority to save her people. A great rags to riches story or better yet, orphan to royalty story.

Read and study Esther for strategic leadership lessons that will help you right where you are!