bobgoff

5 Lessons I learned from Bob Goff

Yesterday we were BLESSED to have @BobGoff at clc.tv for our sunday services.  WOW.  It so re-energized my and my faith I had to write about it.  So here are my take homes on yesterday’s service!

 

1 – I choose love; people and life - It’s no wonder that stress can rob the life out of life.  It’s a cancer.  It’s a cancer that has everything to do with me worrying about… Me.  The only time in the word that I see Jesus dealing with stress, it was a BIG deal.  In fact, it was such a physical weight that the bible says that he was sweating great drops of blood.  I truly believe at that point he was carrying the emotional burden for all of us in order to give us victory; depression, fear, doubt, worry, etc…  But it was because he was thinking of himself – that fleshly desire to make decisions based on what I want for myself, or the fleshly fear what others think.  He was about to DIE! But in that moment he was taking on our fears.  The ridicule that was coming, the shame that was about to be GLARED AT HIM, the pain of standing up for others instead of defending yourself, the misunderstanding that was about to damn him to death for something he didn’t do.  CHRIST,  instead of defending himself in front of the crowds, he laid down his life before they could take it.  I choose love from this day forward, realizing that it means laying down my life and the fears I have.
2 – I choose to not waste my words, mind, and emotions on situations that do not last – Oh, this one was good and he didn’t even say it from the stage.  This was one backstage when he was talking about his relationship with sweet Maria (his term for his wife).  He said they don’t waste time on the conversational babel of talking about things that don’t last.  Who cares what “so-and-so” thinks of you, or said about you.  Who cares about the politics of your job or relationships… Why waste anymore of my precious time with people talking about things that don’t last. I want my new conversations to be;  What are your dreams? What has God been changing in you? What do you want to do together when we get old? What can we do for our children? So many questions other than the constant little skirmishes over the things that really don’t matter.  Bad days become good when we focus on each other instead of stuff.

3 – I choose to surround myself with worry free risk takers - Oh man, this one strikes a chord within all of us.  You know… those relationships where it drains so much out of you because they always seem to have an issue or offense.  Friendships that have become more of a heavy maintenance or else you are misunderstood? God has given each of us free will and I may offend some people by saying what I am going to say…  Stop being their friend!  Man, I desire to have stress free people around me so I can focus on growing the stressed people not flee from them. Let my close relationships be with people who DONT get offended, who DONT need me to assure them all the time, who can be honest and together at the same time, who don’t complain or cause strife, and who don’t look at the negative all the time.  Wow, what a list right?  Now, to be honest I don’t have a lot of friends, but believe me – I am on the look out for those who have a HIGH EMotional Intellegence that love god, people and life so much that they are not stuck on themselves,  I think that is the truth of this point… I want to surround myself with the kind of people who love others more than themselves.  That can take a beating, unwarranted, and still die for that person (without telling the whole world… Or facebook :) .  That is what Christ was like, and I want to be more like him!

4 – I will no longer allow negative words out of my mouth about people - My dad taught me one of the most incredible lessons of my life about my wife. I’ve just never taken the time to transfer it to EVERY relationship. “Ben, don’t ever say anything negative about your wife”. Seriously!!! It has made my marriage so good, and people who don’t even know Nili love her because they have heard how incredible she is.  I don’t make rude jokes about wives, I don’t want to imply anything negative to anyone about my wife.  Some of you are thinking of every excuse about how that is unhealthy. Well, let’s trump those thoughts right quick, proverbs 18:21 – death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  I like good, juicy fruit – not rotten, decaying fruit.  How about you?  Seriously, you have to manipulate your morale compass to think of a good reason to talk bad about someone.  Especially if you are not willing to say it to them!

5 – I will not be afraid; of anything or anyone - This one was GOOD, common to most – but extraordinary to me.  I fear people, well – used to fear people.  I used to fear people and their opinions, their words, the misunderstandings, the lies, the offenses, anything that pertained to how they would think of me.  Why, cause I was and am an idiot. Bob goff said that we need realize that we will be constantly misunderstood.  And…it’s ok.  Going back to a point previous – Jesus never defended himself.  Some of us would say that he never had to, but he had plenty of opportunity. Oh, we “saints” can take a good beat when we deserve it, but lo, let there be something that was misunderstood, or falsely accused and our attitudes and mous become the devils playground.  No more.  To be honest, I worry way too much about the opinion of others in greater levels than I worry about please God.  Not that worrying is what I am supposed to be thinking when it comes to pleasing God.  But that needs to become my focus, not in “spite” of the opinion of others, but more of “no caring” about the opinion of others.  I don’t care.  I realize more, that my decisions are not going to please everyone, my opinions are not going to be the same as yours all the time, my life choices are going to cause people to say things  about me.  But if I am living FOR your growth, then I am not trying to preserve your opinion of me.  Again, if Chrost gas worried about the people’s opinion that he was dying for, we would never have this great relationship with the Father.  Christ died BECAUSE of the opinion of others – am I willing to take it that far?

 …I pray so…
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Resource: Time Management – Calendar

Here are some quick ideas on how to be better at your time management.  But, before we get into those – let me give you some cool, but uncool things about time management;

  1. The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50-60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day.
  2. On an average day, there are 17 million meetings in America.
  3. 1 hour of planning will save 10 hours of doing.
  4. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.” To change our output, we must change our input.

Some great stuff to remember as we dive into some simple, but effective habits to get into, to be better at time management.

1 - Building Your Calendar – walk through your calendar with the following steps to start building your calendar

1 – What are the things that you HAVE to do every week.  Literally write them down :)

2 – Categorize each event according to when is the BEST time to accomplish them (day of week, time)

3 – What are the things that you have to do to GROW every week

*Creativity - Brainstorming

*Connections or Preparing for future events

*Personal, Professional Development

4 – How much time is required for each thing (write next to each item)

2 – Actual Steps

1 – Write down your weekly schedule on a simple calendar

2 – Answer the above questions and fill in your areas with times

3 – Open Outlook/Calendar and highlight the time slot (hold down mouse)

Right Click – “New Calendar Event”

Fill in Blanks  (Subject, Location, Date and Time, REMINDER)

If it is a recurring weekly, then click on the day it occurs

4 – Save and Close

5 – Repeat steps until all responsibilities are reflected

 

 

Your calendar week should be pretty full, but most importantly it should be scheduled.  The fact is that 1 hour of planning saves an employee 10 hours of doing.  If we are purposeful in our weekly planning, we are being better stewards of our positions, but also better stewards of the gifts that God has given us.

1 Timothy 4:14 ESV / Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

 

Go attack your day

& Love people

B

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Leadership: SPEAK LIFE

How to get them to hate you…or love you.

Have you ever had to deal with a tough situation concerning correction.  Recently, I had to take the time to let a leader know that they were not cutting it out in their area of responsibility.  I had to let them know that they were not going to be able to lead anymore and that they would need to take a break from volunteering.  BUT – how do you do that FOR THEM, not against them?

It is a hard thing to correct someone, and if we don’t learn to do it the right way, we will lose our ability to help them ALONG the way.  As leaders we have to break the self-promoting, self-preserving trends of:

 

1 – referring to mistakes in relation to personal offense – this is when you correct someone with respect to how it “affected” you.  You know, “I put my neck out for you”, or “I took the hit for you…”  Words of shame create a separation in relationship, while Words of affirmation create a “sacrifice of self” opportunity in your relationship.  There is no need for someone to know what it costs you – instead they need to know what you are going to give for them to grow.  Love them enough to lead THEM, not just LEAD.

 

2 – Withholding compliments for the sake of not giving them a “big head” – ok, seriously – when I decide to not give someone a compliment, I am choosing myself over them.  Seriously, boil it down to truth –  it is more like “I don’t want you to dare think they are better than me, or that you were right”.  Take the form of the slave – do the work, and get no credit for it.  You are CONTRACTED.  That means that you have a call on your life.. in THEIR life.. to make it about THEM…not you.

 

3 – gaining personal worth from lowering someone else – this is low and dirty, and we all do it at some point in our leadership.  Just saying.  We make CERTAIN that the “offender” knows where they have messed up, or where they are weak – for the sake of looking like we “know”.  We basically say things to make ourselves look better, and their opinion of themselves…lower. We worry more about being right, and in the process crush their value.

 

There are probably 100 more ways that we shame instead of affirm – but the depth of it is about our heart to action.  What we feel in our heart about ourselves will often come out in what we say in our words to others.  We have to recognize the scripture in our talk – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21.  Let’s always speak life…

Love the day – and embrace your moment.

B

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Resource: Emails

Some practical steps to being a better leader, follower, believer:

Keys to communicating through emails

 

 1.  Make your subject line mean something!  (That’s the top part of the email :)

A. Short 6 word maximum subject of the email

B. Examples:  “Group report”, or “Problem with ChurchTeams”

 

2. Short Emails (No one likes to read a book via email)

A.  Get the information on the page

B.  Who, when, why, and how much

 

3. No “ALL CAPS”

A. It is considered yelling or rude

B. Content and order is lost

 

4. Reply’s (When you are responding to someone else’s email to you)

A. Be sure to recap information previously discussed

B. Don’t assume the reader knows what you are talking about

C. But keep it short

D. Reply to the email as soon as possible

E. Mark an email when you don’t respond right away!

 

5.  Spelling (It distracts from your content)

A. Use spellcheck on your email client (Outlook)

B.  Look up words you don’t know the spelling to

C.  Read backwards

 

6.  Content (Have something to say)

A. Keep your content precise and able to be understood

B. Anyone should be able to look at your email and understand (subject matter, references, and point of your email)

 

7. Re-read your emails (whether its your email or you are replying)

A.  Take the time to look over your emails from the recipients point of view

B.  Important emails  – write it, print it, read it, correct it, send it.

 

How often we misread, or have people misread the emails that we send?  How often do we get frustrated when we send an email to a leader or a volunteer and never get a response?  Well, let’s create an environment where we have excellence, yes, even in emails.

Hope this helps!

B

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If the shoe fits…

I believe this is how a REAL leader leads:

Let’s switch up the relationship here.  In a short exercise I want you to think of how you want to be led.  What kind of relationship would you want from the most influential person in your life – what would it look like?  I think when we take the time to dream about that relationship you will unlock a new level of serving, I mean leading :)

Exercise…Imagine a relationship with that “INFLUENTIAL” leader where the ENTIRE relationship was about you.  Pardon your normal way of thinking for about 5 minutes and think of who that person would be.  It could be President Obama, Colin Powell, Joel Osteen, Perry Noble, John Maxwell… whomever! Now, before you get too defensive and say that you wouldn’t want a relationship that was ONLY about you – - think about the power of that kind of relationship.  The most influential person you know DECIDES to connect with you and they have ONLY ONE purpose – to focus on you, your growth, your potential.  Here are a few ways I think they would do it:

  • Listen: In that relationship, they would rarely talk about themselves …and only to show you something about YOU.  They wouldn’t talk when you are talking, nor would you feel like they were listening just to have a
emptyboat

Keep Rowing

Good morning,
Ever feel like God sent you on an assignment and it was a lot harder than you thought it would be? Ever feel like something was God, but then every turn is difficult? Then you find yourself questioning whether it was God…

While I cannot tell you if it was God, I can share with you three things we need to do while we are in a struggle.

So here is the story I am referring to; in three of the gospels there is a time when Jesus had spent ALL day ministering to the people. Jesus decides its best for him to go recharge (I love that his refreshing was not indulging in TV it was to go up to the mountain and pray). He tells the disciples to load up in the boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he is off to pray. So the disciples start rowing. Not sure at what time they started, but just before dawn they were still only halfway across the lake (it was only 8 miles wide at its widest point). Here is what happens, Jesus comes off the mountain, SEEs them struggling and about to PASS them by!!! The disciples see Him walking on the water, and unknowing it is Him they cry out. Jesus responds and Peter asks Jesus to call him to walk on the water.

Peter goes for it!

Walks on the water!

Fails in the process, Jesus saves Peter and then they both get into the boat. In John’s gospel, the boat is then immediately at the other side of the lake. There are so many options on what to share about this story, but I wanted to give us all some quick nuggets on what to do when you are rowing and getting nowhere DOING what God has told you to do.

  1. Keep being obedient – Jesus told the disciples that they needed to row to the other side of the lake, so they did. It wasn’t that it was easy. HOWEVER, an 8-mile trek of rowing really isn’t that hard when you think about it. I remember when my dad and I did one from the shore of Lake Chiemsee to the island in a canoe. I was only 11 at the time and we made it just fine :) . And it didn’t take all night to make the trek, but because of the rough sea and “who know” what other factors – they were still rowing when Jesus came off the mountain. The hard part was the wind, and water struggles of rowing. They were working all night and into the morning trying to get to the other side like Jesus told them too, and all they had to show for their work was 4 miles of progress. I am sure that a few hours into it there were some internal questions on whether it was a good idea, or if they had really heard from God right, or if Jesus knew what they were facing… All the questions that we find ourselves going to when an assignment we are on gets difficult. We start wondering if God really sent us. We start questioning whether we missed God or if God has forgotten us, all because it is difficult. The truth is, following the commands of God are not always an easy road – but we have to keep being obedient if we are going to be aligned for the outcome that God designed. IF the disciples turned around and went back, they would have never seen the miracles that were about to happen.
  2. Keep on the lookout – I am reading into the story a little bit, but someone must have been on the lookout when Christ was walking by. It says in the Word that Jesus was about to pass them by when they noticed him. Someone had to be looking around. Now, it could have been they were looking in the direction of where they were going, however I like to think they were just looking around. Its something LEADERS do when we are up against a battle and trying to find a way to win. We start looking around to see if there are any OTHER resources or options. Someone on the team was LOOKING. Tested and in the place of frustration, instead of giving up on the assignment they were still rowing, but looking – being spiritually attentive. We have to take the time in EVERY situation to be spiritually attentive. ESPECIALLY those where we are being obedient and it SO hard. Yes, sometimes God sends us on assignments where things are not going the way we THINK they should be going. Sometimes your assignment from God will be hard on the journey to get there, causing you a LOT more work than you may have anticipated. The disciples found themselves in a place where Jesus’ assignment was causing them to be tired, weary. But there was a miracle opportunity coming up, because they were STILL looking.
  3. When the time comes, get permission to change the plan – Ha, I know that was kind of throws us off our theology to ask about changing the plan. But when you think about it, here was Peter in the assignment of rowing to the other side and the presence of GOD shows up in the form of Jesus walking on the water. Now, his assignment was to row, but he sees Jesus walking and he gets bold to take advantage of the opportunity. Still in obedience he ASKS Jesus if he can walk on the water to Him – and Jesus says yes. I believe that God had a plan for the disciples to learn while on this trek to get to the other side of the lake. However I also believe there was an opportunity to have a greater understanding in the process. Peter took hold of that moment and went for it. Sometimes, when we are in our trek of obedience we have an encounter with God that can accelerate our progress IF we are willing to take a step of faith and go for it.

Keep being obedient where you are, not shutting down or quitting. Keep rowing strong to get to the other side. However, keep on the lookout – keep your spiritual attentiveness alert and listen and watch for the presence of God in every rowing motion. Lastly, when the Spirit of God shows up in power, be bold. Be obedient to the faith call and watch God do something amazing.

The last part is the best IMO – in John’s gospel when Jesus got in the boat after saving Peter, John says that IMMEDIATELY the boat was on the other side. See, it wasn’t that Jesus changed Peter’s plan to get to the other side, instead it was an opportunity to accelerate through the struggle to get on the path that was laid out for them. God has you on a path, and while this storm may be wearing you out or giving you a hard time – HIS plan for you has not changed, so be on the lookout for Jesus walking on the water!

CHALLENGE

Look at everything as an opportunity to move along your path, but look around! God shows up in a lot of forms. In the Matthew 25 Jesus shares the story about how what we have done for the least of these we have done unto Him. My challenge for this week is to be engaged in the world around us, looking for opportunities to extend a hand of help, kindness and love to someone who may just be passing by. LOOK

 

PRAYER

God, wow I need to quit complaining when the waves are rough and I’ve been pushing uphill towards something – instead I need to be keep being obedient and watching for You. Please forgive me for the times that I have given up or spoken against the assignment that you have given me. I want to be a good steward of the instructions that you have given me. Please help me to always be eyes WIDE open so that I can see everything you need me to see. Please help me to be better in obedience, to move right away, all the way and with a happy heart in the direction you are sending me. I give you today and I ask that you lead me. Show me your ways in everything I do – I want nothing more than to seek you and know you today. I am yours, please use me as you see best and help me to honor you in all I do. I am in love with you, thank you for loving me!

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Why was Jesus sent?

I hope that you, as a reader, don’t mind a blog that is in the making.

In other words, these next few paragraphs are fresh for me and a learning ground.
I was recently in a conversation when it felt like fresh revelation was being spoken in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Then in my morning devotion I read a passage that dealt with the issue.

 

Why was Jesus sent?

I KNOW that we all KNOW John 3:16 and that His placement was to restore salvation to the WORLD.  To repair the covenant established with Adam and Eve.  However, it is the emphasis on just SALVATION that is becoming a troublesome thought.
1 – Christ came to restore what was taken away by sin.  Adam and Eve kind of messed things up for us and broke the original presence based close relationship that was established.  Not that we should be mad at them, cause yet for grace we would have all done the same thing (well I know that I would have).
The restoration was back to a place of communion with God, no longer separated by sin.  No longer separated.  That ALL of God is restored back to us in its entirety.

 

2 – Christ died for all our sins.  I am about to get pretty deep on this one, so get your thinking cap on.  When sin entered the world, everything changed.  Deterioration began (death hadn’t existed yet), disunity entered (wars, animals with humans), sickness entered (cancer, common cold), painful childbirth, etc – all these things became a reality because of sin’s plight.  I do not believe that any of these things would exist if it weren’t for sin.

 

3 – So when Christ died, he died for the remission of sins.  That means that our emphasis on the cross being for salvation only, is only a PART of the story.  It was the price paid for our redemption from sin which includes; wisdom, healing, peace, patience, joy, love, etc.  It was the price paid that gave us, as sons and daughters, access to the presence again.  Christ became a curse for us, Christ spent three days in hell gaining the keys that Adam gave to the devil.  In fact, if you really look at it (may have to hold your mouth a certain way) Christ came for all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
I can see it – “yeah, duh”.  But listen to this – the nation of Israel ALREADY had the part of salvation that we celebrate as Christians.  The part that saves us from Hell – they had that through the law, their covenant with God.  They had a way to heaven in the law of Moses, but Christ came for MORE than just salvation for the gentile, he came for redemption of us ALL.  Eph 2:14 that He united the Jew and the Gentile in his own body on the cross…  I am willing to accept that this really only means something to me, but because it is my blog I can go off on this :) .  Its awesome that God would send His son to save us, but how much more incredible that He would send His son to save our relationship with Him.  To fulfill the law and re-establish a covenant of EVERYTHING.  To think that He looked down on the nation of Israel and the LAW and said that it was incomplete, and then sent Himself in the form of man to undo what we did as MAN through sin just to have a relationship with us.

 Wow

 

Ok, so what am I saying?  I am just thinking through how God wants more for us than just salvation. God wants more for those around us than just salvation. Salvation is AWESOME - and… Jesus’ price was for much more than that.  The price that was paid was for our RELATIONSHIP with God to be reunited in all its glory. Every affect that sin has had on this earth, is now redeemable through His son.

Again, this is still a work in progress – so please feel free to talk it out and comment on this.  I love when I am exploring revelation and others get involved!

 

Today’s Prayer

Wow, God I am thankful.  Thankful that you have given me so many tools, but more importantly that you sent your Son to allow me to be close to YOU.  God, I am so thankful that you have positioned me to live a disciple lifestyle. A privilege to follow you.  I want to follow You.  Help me to be willing to sacrifice for others today and please keep revealing to me the power that comes in my relationship with you.  Speak through me, move me with your compassion, show me how to serve those around me better!

Go take on your day and LOVE people the way GOD LOVES!

Hope

God-Chasing = Hope

Romans 4:2a-5…We rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


Rejoice in the hope of God’s glory – So, I have hope when I am in His glory – in the place where YOU are being glorified.  Where are you being glorified?  When I am chasing after You, and not man’s approval, not self-worth actions.  When I am whole-heartedly pursuing Your presence in my life.

So, when I am pursing You – everything has meaning and everything creates an expectation of greatness because of
MY FAITH in you

Romans 4:20 He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do.

So, when I am not wavering in unbelief
    ~then~
I am strengthened in my faith
    ~then~
Then I am able to give Glory to God…
    ~because~
I am convinced that YOUR promises WILL be done

All of that “packaged together” creates a place where Romans 5:3-4 gives me an expectation (or a HOPE) for greatness and thus makes my dreams a tool for walking out God’s will.  But even better, it makes EVERY situation a tool for walking out God’s plan for my life.

I am now able to rejoice IN sufferings (IN THE MIDDLE OF _ not just after everything shapes out)

because I KNOW… that it’s going to produce:

  • Endurance (the confidence Naaman had to dip ALL 7 times and not quit at 6) – endurance is when I do not run out of passion to complete the road ahead, no matter HOW hard.  Endurance requires perseverance and steadfastness.
  • Character (I love this definition – Your patience when everything against you, and your attitude when everything is for you).  Character is the measure of how much God can trust ME.
  • Hope (knowing that Gods plan is better than mine) – that is not a downer.  Hope brings a smile to my face when the natural circumstance can devastate. Hope creates room for expectation for GREAT things.

Verse 5 creates the tie in to all of this… Hope does not disappoint, because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out in our hearts…

WOW, WOW, WOW
When I think of what  dream gives me, or what dream chasing’s true meaning is – it is a counterfeit to the real purpose of God-chasing.  Think about it, when I am chasing a dream, I literally chasing hope.  The idea that someday things are going to be SOOO good that all my troubles, wants and desires are going to be able to happen.  It is the most temporary, short sided decision that I can make – personally.  BUT GOD…  BUT GOD has the real deal, the real stuff.  

When I am chasing God, I am gaining in endurance, character and hope.  And hope is the substance of satisfaction.  Its the knowing that everything IS GOOD.  Its the best moment of emotional high because according to verse 5 it IS the “feeling” expression of the LOVE OF GOD BEING POURED INTO OUR HEARTS.

Its the moment that I gave my life to Christ and I realized that my failed dream chasing was replaced by a new HOPE.  It was spiritual high when God’s presence took over the fear (which cannot exist in the presence of God’s love – a WHOLE nutha level we don’t have time to go into)… the fear of Nili having cancer.  It’s euphoric, its incredibly to have hope. 

And it is only available when we are chasing God, not chasing a dream.

Todays challenge:
Ask the Holy Spirit to make us aware of when we are losing hope – make us attentive.  Because that is one of the greatest indicators that we have stepped out of being a God-chaser into pursuing a dream.  God has given each of an incredible gift in the Holy Spirit – ready to reveal and encourage us.  Take some time out today to pray in the Spirit and be strengthened in our listening ability with him.  I am going to pray and then just sit and listen… making room for him in my life. 

 

Todays prayer:
Wow, God thank you for sharing this with me this morning.  In this moment with all the stretching you are placing on me, I have deferred my hope into works – hoping to get things done, and hoping to get it right.  Your plan is greater, and your path is FILLED with hope – if I chase YOU in this.  So, i officially chase YOU today in the area of renovations at the new building.  It’s Yours – not mine.  I worry no more, cause my hope is in YOU. So, here is my day – all that I am and all that I aspire to be today – I lay it at your altar.  Before my days begins, I begin with You.  Here I am, use me as You please, I am Yours, I love You.

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Chasing a dream vs Chasing the dream-maker

There was a time when I was a BIG dream chaser and… God took away my dreaming.  I had worked so hard to develop what I KNEW was God only to see the building that I was believing for sell to another buyer.  After all the CAD drawings, building plans, and even cost estimates it was given to another buyer.  I was mad.  I went to God and I said – why did you give me this dream only to take it away from me… And I remember when the Holy Spirit told me that if I couldn’t keep the dream at His altar, I would no longer be able to dream.  For the next 6 months, I could not dream – no creativity, no planning, I was stuck… and I was losing HOPE.
Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick….

I have a new understanding of what that scripture means.  It isn’t that the dreams delayed that makes my heart sick – it was when I deferred “hoping” that my heart became sick. In other words – putting my hope in a dream is deferring my hope in God – the Dream giver.  See, when we start to chase dreams instead of God, we lose our objectivity and we lose our hope.  We stop dreaming because we were chasing a dream and our HOPE was dashed.  But when we put our HOPE in HIM, dreaming is a tool that God can use to grow us…It’s a revelation that has freed me.

So, What are dreams?

Dreams are a tool that God uses to move us down a path, they are not necessarily the pinnacle of our journey.  I believe that many times we look at our inward desires and we start to pursue dreams as if they were a WORD from the Lord.  We even use physical and emotional responses and coincidences to justify our pursuit of a dream, when in reality we added to the dream from our desires.  In fact, many times the enemy has used dream chasing as a means to get me to become selfish (thinking of only myself and my pursuits).  In other words, often time we use dream chasing in place of God-chasing, convincing ourselves that we are pursing God when we are actually pursing a dream…

 

Am I God chasing, or dream chasing?

Do I allow setbacks to depress me – When I allow circumstances to control my emotions and my reactions, I am making the dream bigger than the dream maker. A dream chaser looks at “perceived” setbacks negatively, instead of being part of the path.  God-chasers look at setbacks as opportunities to developed.

When David was anointed to be King, he had a God-given dream. The next action was to go back into the fields. When he killed Goliath, his next position was to be a harp player for the king (not a general in the Army).

 

What dreams are queue to grow, not “go”.

Sometimes the dreams are not about the pinnacle, but about the journey.  Some of the dreams that I have been given or goals that I have set up, are not for my future, but for the response and character I need to develop now.  I had a dream to be an electrical engineer and make a ton of money, in my pursuit of God in that dream I was awakened to discipline, hard work and even ministry.  My pursuit of electrical engineering put me into a physical location where I could be mentored into ministry.  See, the dream was not my end-all, it was a set up for what God had REALLY called me to be.  I thank God that today I am not an electrical engineer!

 

What do I do with my dreams?

  • Develop it
  • steward it,
  • plan it out

 

BUT lay it always at the altar.  We still have to be good stewards, but continue to sacrifice it so that God can burn away the flesh part of it.  Here is how I handle dreams now, I literally write out EVERYTHING that I can about the dream.  The strategic plan, the cost estimate, the set up, the processes, potential materials needed, the vision and even the timeline. I literally dream out the entire thing to the finest detail I can, and then – I lay it aside.

 

Bring it before the father and ask him… what do you want me to learn from this dream.

 

 

 

God, I put my hope in you – not a dream.  I am yours.

 

 

Challenge: 

Are you spending more time chasing a dream, figuring out a plan – or are you chasing God and letting him work out the dreams.  After all, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (eph 3:20)…  Take some time today to list your dreams and pay them at His altar.  Literally ask God what you are supposed to do with those dreams. Ask God on each dream if you are chasing the dream or if you are chasing Him.

 

 

Prayer:
God, wow I am a mess.  Even in writing this I realize that I still have things that I am hoping for that I have become selfish in my thinking.  There are some dreams that I have been chains instead of trusting you.  Help me to lay ALL of it at your feet.  Help me to seek You more than I have ever before.  God, I need you – more than anything else.  Help me to be at a place where I am never shaken by a perceived setback, because my hope is in you.  Let me never defer my hope from you.  God, here is my day, here is my heart – open me up and use me as much as you can.  I love you – here I am, I am yours.

 

 

 

What Are You Chasing

Forget you!

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

 

Do I seek to please men?

 

That is a tough question - because if I am honest with myself then I am guilty of this.  Sure, I wouldn’t say that I am a man pleaser in the sense that I am always wanting someone to approve of me… BUT, I am. Think about it – what happens when I do something that this great, but someone else gets the credit – why do I worry about it?  Only if I am a man pleaser am I fretting over that.  Or what if I have jacked something up and made a mess of things, am I more worried about what God’s thoughts on it are, or what my boss is going to say? 

 

I am tired of making the disclaimers that are simply excuses. “If I want a job I have to please man” or “As long as my goal is to please God, then I will please man”

- tell that to Jesus.

 

I have to grow up – I have to really realize that my goal in life is not a new house, or a good vacation.  My goal is not that I make it to a 6-figure income one day. NOPE, my goal is to be a …

 

God chasing, God fearing, God pleasing servant who won’t relent until God says so.  

 

 

 

That is my goal!!!

Lord, help me to make that my goal

 

 

 

Its only in that goal that everything else lines up in priority…

 

God ~ family ~ ministry

 …or…

Money ~ Boss ~ Work ~family ~ God

 

Isn’t God bigger than my non negotiables, or my comprehension?

…I think so

God, You are so much MORE than what my parameters are, my flawed small thinking.  You don’t have the laws of this universe controlling you, you hold the universe. You don’t have a shortage of missions, money, or ideas – you are the depth of every dream.  Inside of me, is the power to achieve – but that power is not innate and physiologically blessed.  Its not that my mind has more computing power than then next guy – nope!  It is that CHRIST in me, is the hope of glory, is the power of the resurrection, is the endless promise, and is the joy of my salvation and strength.  The fact is, this mortal body has one objective – die in its desires and then be energized and blown away with the supernatural.

 

Prayer:

God, blow my mind today.  Please help me to break off of the path that aims to please man.  Even in the small stuff of wanting to be liked.  When I make those my goals, I miss the position you have me in.  I am your sacrifice – help me to put aside my flesh today and be completely available for you.  I am yours – this is my day that I now hand to you and place at your altar.  Awaken my spirit, and stir up my spiritual mind to be ATTENTIVE to You all day so that I can learn where my pride and self-preservation are in the way.  Open my understanding to grow, so that more of me is able to be more of you.  I am yours all day – I love You – thank You for loving me!.

 

Challenge:

Don’t ask “what am I supposed to be doing in life” instead ask “what am I supposed to be doing, NOW”

 

 

Go take on your day!