Last night before I fell asleep, I started thinking about transactions and transfers. I was focused on the scripture and related thought process about , “’Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” The scripture and declaration indicates the possibility, the potential and the reality that we can see the earth as it is in heaven and see it be. It speaks of a transfer or transference of heavenly “currency” to earth. Continue reading Transfer, Transaction And Provision→
Anyone who has been around me a little while, knows legacy and young people are on my thought process a lot going forward. Our church fellowship is blessed with a lot of young people.
Josiah was 8 years old when he became King in Jerusalem, but Paul calls us Sons of God, kings and priests, in our acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior. David defeated Goliath. Christ is our victory.
I so appreciate the passion of youth, the “no holds barred” approach to life in so many I see, but I have also noticed a trend in my years of ministry. That of “I can do it myself.” And first and foremost, let me say I may well have contributed to it. But, I think I have made the shift. Your destiny is not and will not be apart from the body of Christ and the legacy of goodness He desires to see sown in the earth.
Young people, do not despise wisdom or fail to seek it out. Not everything has an answer. Not everything has one manner or method. Not everything works like it seems. I do not believe as George Bernard Shaw said, “that youth is wasted on the young.” I do believe that can become a reality when wisdom is not sought. Continue reading Young People And The Wisdom Of God→
I was just sitting here working on the prophetic manual and studying. My energy has been pretty low. One nap down and contemplating another. And I was thinking about what happens when the Lord says “no.”
He said no to Paul in regard to Asia Minor at one point. He said no, to David keeping the illegitimate son of himself and Bathsheeba. There are more, I assure you.
My question began as I began to study New Testament prophets in leadership. I struggle, because I want people to “like me” but it is clear that not everything I say or a prophetic voice is going to make one happy.
Earlier I sat here thinking that the stage of complete dominion over the earth still does not mean we get “our way.”
I wrote about marriage the other day and people were offended. I wrote about priorities and filters and people were upset. I wrote about being nice and people were alienated. I wrote about light switches a month ago and people are still talking. I can only tell you what I believe the Lord is saying.
I remember when a prophet told me no. Was not the answer I sought or thought. But he was right. (Not all prophecies in my life have been right. (By the way, what makes a prophecy accurate? Yesterday, while in church, I told a man his town and his street. He looked dumbfounded. I felt dumbfounded. I had not clue why the Lord gave me that. Or for what reason.)
Do we really want prophetic people, functioning prophets in our midst?
Over the last week or so I have seen and heard of many difficult times and troubles occurring in people’s lives. It was almost as if the planets had “unaligned.” I have seen relationship break ups, disasters, sickness, pain and more in the last week. Our own life was touched by the fact that we had arranged a sale of our boat, RV, stove and household contents. By Wednesday they had all evaporated. (Tina and I were not counting on the money, but it would have made life a shade easier.)
So, as people who believe in the finished work of Jesus, the seatedness of our person at the right hand of the throne of God and our faith in Him, what do we do with that? I was encouraged yesterday to hear someone else say “do not make a methodology” of why it did not happen. We can just chalk it up to mystery. Refreshing!
On the other hand we are to stretch forth our hands and declare the wonderfulness of our God. We are to encourage our brothers and sisters in the goodness. Meanwhile there are those declaring and decreeing the opposite. The “witchcraft” is evident to me and to others. I do not totally know how these things “gain” power or rights, but somehow they get it.
I sense we are in a season of “hard work” not works. Our labor is to enter His rest. (It will be evident by our walk, not our words.) God is determined to see us reliant on Him and Him alone. The result of this type of season is usually that. My friend Dan spoke yesterday about moving from glory to glory and seeing what God was moving to, to being synched up. I think there is much value in this way of thinking. We must see. Yesterday I said to a young woman, “we see heaven because we live there not because we have to get there.” What we see is important.
Our life is to take dominion over the works of the enemy and make earth look like heaven. I do think there are always seasons until we take full dominion. What I mean by that is so much of what we do has shelf life. Songs, ministries, words, even certain relationships. We hate to hear that sometimes, but experience and the word show me the truth behind that. When I look at life as a collection of seasons, I can accept and walk out the good, the bad, the ugly.
So what is legacy? It is that which has eternal promise. That truth which will transcend the generations. Perhaps that which Jesus calls “gold.”
If you have been experiencing the weaponry of the enemy and feeling like it is a difficult time, I get it. For some it is. But at the end of the day we are not subject to the work of the enemy. We are subject to the goodness of God. But it is not about getting angrier, shouting more or freaking out, it is about remembering who you are. Where you are seated and whose team you are on.
Jesus paid the price and set the rules in motion. We get to walk with it. Enter into His rest.
This weekend I was reading a story about someone wanting to cut a young man’s hair. “Pretty please” they begged.
As someone who has sported waist length hair in my years, Jimi Hendrix afro’s, pony tails and more, I wonder how this young man felt. I had a man one time tell me “God likes His sheep shorn short.” I know the church did not care for my long hair or my dress. Nor did they like my cars or motorcycles in many cases. Another man told me he would not be at my church because I rode a motorcycle.
So, what is with Jesus on the inside? How do we see external fixings under the heading of God? (I want my kids to look good but it does not change how I see them or love them.) Folks, good, bad or ugly, God loves them and you and has the capability to change them. They may never look like you want them to be, but isn’t it good God looks to the inside.
Our church family grows whether we wear paisley, plaid or print. We are not focused on the outside. It grows because of what is on the inside.
If you want a child to look better, please stop playing the God card. The number one complaint I hear about church people is “there are too many rules.” Stop adding rules, conditions and regulations. It only makes you a Pharisee.
When I was a child my parents hired a babysitter. Her name was Mrs. H…And she and I did not see eye to eye about many things. She was a short, very overweight person. She thought my brothers and I were “hell on wheels” and would speak with her Polish accent in short bursts of rules.
Because of the way she treated me she was often the brunt of my growing sense of humor and general boyhood thinking.
One day I caught a frog. (Her husband taught me!) A rather large frog. You cannot catch a frog and not plan on doing something with it. I decided to put the frog in the toilet in case my dad would let us cook it. What I did not count on was Mrs. H using the bathroom while I contemplated what to do. I was in the closet getting something to put it in, when she walked into the bathroom (A very large country bathroom with a closet on one end and the toilet on the other.) In the process of her opening the door, she closed the closet door. At first I thought it was one of my brothers. But then I heard her humming to herself. I looked out the key hole to make sure. And sure enough, it was her and she was going to use the toilet. Now nothing could be seen from the keyhole, because of the positioning of the toilet, behind the bath tub. And she was very near sighted, so she did not see the frog. A few moments later thought the frog jumped and so did she. She was screaming in Polish and English and whatever other words meant “Help!” I was laughing so hard as I saw her head around the corner, I nearly needed a toilet.
She ran down the stairs looking for me. I decided to head out the window at the end of the bathroom and wait on the roof for my mom to come home. I have to tell you, by now I was in hysterics. It was so funny in my head that I just wanted to see her. So, I climbed down the old lilac tree (The one my brother fell out of when we were playing hide and seek in the dark on the roof.) and looked in the kitchen window. There she was with my brothers lined up, yelling at them to find me. I was rolling. The upshot was, my parents came home and it was all they could not to laugh as she told them of the horrible thing I had done. I didn’t get in trouble…that’s what counted that day.
Over the years I have thought of the things I have done and didn’t get caught. Despite the “not getting caught” part, I have still felt badly. No, I couldn’t change things, but I often wonder of the things that might have been, had I not done the wrong thing in the first place.
This morning I awoke feeling kind of blank. Perhaps it is the couple of late nights, early mornings or maybe the ramifications of a rollercoaster week. Whatever the reasoning, I just sat here, listening. “God, paint a picture for me” I asked.
The picture began to appear. The first few strokes were large brush strokes of brilliant yellows and oranges. The picture developed a glow. And then the stabbing, jerky strokes of dark colored browns, reds and greens appeared. The glow never stopped but it seemed to be only on the edges. The middle of the painting being filled with the darkness of color. I knew what colors, what brilliance was underneath the darkening layer, but I could not see the fullness of the beauty.
Lately I have pondered how in the midst of so much goodness, I have felt or witnessed the pain that has come alongside. I said the other night it is as if a rubber band was being stretched. I suspect some of it has to do with the time of summer we are in. But I know it is more than that. I know that the economy, relationships, sickness and more have affected people. The answer for many has been to get busier, to invest more time. It has been a placebo for many. As someone who often helps people channel their energies, utilize their resources and manage their time, I see this pitfall occurring in these three lies that are frequently believed.
There is only so much available time in a day.
Our resources are limited by their reality and our belief in the favor on our life.
Our energy is housed in our being
With those three constraints, let me say first and foremost, I believe God can do anything AND I believe He wants to. BUT I also believe He has delegated the procedure and the process of the “distribution” to His people. Therefore we are the “quartermasters” of His goodness. The purveyors of heaven. Continue reading The Painting Of God -His Response To Paint Me A Picture→
I had a conversation with a young person recently. Totally equipped, gifted and awesome at a particular talent, the opportunity came to compete in it. The response of this young person captures my heart. “That is not what I want to be” was the response and turned away. Wow! Turning down the opportunity of a “lifetime.” Why was it turned down? Because the thought of the future was bigger.
Too frequently we look at our natural gifting or talent and we pursue the path because we are good at it. Let me just say I am thankful Moses turned away from shepherding. That Gideon accepted the voice of God. That even Jesus stepped out of heaven into earth.
I had a friend who I had known from kindergarten. He and I played ball together. He was not brilliant, but not dumb. He thought by year two of high school, football was his pathway. He was great even amazing. Teachers began to let him slide. Opportunities began to open. He changed his mind about his career. High school ended and so did his sojourn of being on top. (Life was different then. There was no Youtube or Facebook to promote our latest song or undertaking.) No one took up his cross or carried him. He entered the workforce. I recently heard that he ended 40 years of doing the same thing over and over, and never progressed or succeeded at anything else.
Life is and always will be about choices. Choices will always be predicated on priorities you have previously established and the filters you employ to let what you want in and keep what you do not, out. Let me expound on this for a moment.
A priority. Merriam’s defines this as the quality or state of being prior; superiority in rank, position, or privilege; a preferential rating; especially : one that allocates rights to goods and services usually in limited supply; something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. What this means, is that my future is my priority. I do things daily that lead me toward opportunity, future betterment, destiny and legacy.
A filter. It is defined as something that has the effect of a filter (as by holding back elements or modifying the appearance of something). Just as my email reader filters email to boxes; personal, business, spam, so does a filter in life separate necessary from frivolous.
When you look at where you want to be, what you want to build, you begin to develop filters. From these filters you establish priorities. My young friend, as great as the opportunity before them, had already “installed” filters based on what God was saying to them. The result was priority.
Priority is not and will not always be fun. If your goal is to be rich or successful in a field, you may be forced to make sacrifices that others may not. Dave Ramsey, a famous author and radio host said this, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” His point being your friends and family may get to go away a lot now, but if you build a plan of financial freedom, you will be able to do all that and more down the road.
Because we have developed an instant, microwave society, we often put aside the things that will be important in the future. Sacrificial living is not popular these days. (Did you read that Parker Brothers changed Monopoly to make it faster? Honestly, it goes fast if you play by the rules. For instance, you do not have the option of not buying the property you land on and leaving it in the deck. You must buy it or it goes to auction. Highest bid wins.)
The keys? Develop priorities. Design filters. What do you want to be? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?
1. Choose your values. Your values are what you hold near and dear to you. They can be principles, standards or beliefs that you find most worthwhile. You probably already have a core set of beliefs that guide you. Think about what is most important to you.
Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.
As your definition of success changes, so do your values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.
As you go through this stage, bear in mind that values that were important in the past may not be relevant now.
2. Analyze your values, interests, and skills. Are there things that have influenced your thinking and behavior? Think about what you enjoy and what you’re good at. What about the skills you’ve learned from full- or part-time jobs, volunteer experiences, or school and social activities. There could be a connection between your activities and skills and your values. Will any of these skills help you get where you want to go?
3. Set realistic goals. To make your dream future your reality, set some reasonable, short-term and long-term goals for yourself based on your top values. You’re more likely to get where you want to go if you set a goal and commit yourself to it. To increase your chances of success even further:
Choose some logical steps toward your goal.
Take each step and fill out the details. Include the what, when, where and how for each step.
Now it’s time for action. Do your plan.
Keep your plan close by, so you can see how each action step is working and make improvements to the plan as you go.
4. Do some research. Think about your dream job, and then learn more about it. Find out how other people in that field developed the career you want. Do a job shadow. Go to work with someone to find answers to questions like these:
What kind of training, education and skills are required?
What are the real-life work conditions, the work environment and the work schedule?
What are the likely rewards (for example, salary, fringe benefits, room to grow, retirement plans)?
Are these rewards important to you?
Would other rewards be more important to you?
Based on the work you’ve just done, define your life mission and start living it with every decision you make. Soon you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
My young friend is doing this. Establishing what is wanted makes it easier to put aside that which is not.
Establish your priorities
Once you know your mission, be brutally honest with yourself: Are the activities that take up most of your time really moving you towards your goals? If not, it is time to set some priorities that support your goals, and make sure they get plenty of your time and attention.
Time is a precious commodity; basically, you use it or lose it. The good news is that we all have the same amount of time every day, so use it to your advantage. Since there will always be plenty of diversions to distract you from your goals, practice staying in the driver’s seat when it comes to time management. Remember putting off for tomorrow the things you can do today is procrastination. Procrastination is wasted energy.
Here are some time management tools that can bring a sigh of relief to your busy life.
Use task lists and a calendar to manage school, family, and social responsibilities. You have enough important facts and figures to remember right now without committing your ongoing calendar to memory. Use a time management tool to coordinate all of your daily, weekly, monthly tasks, obligations, social events, tests –and anything that is important for you to do.
Understand the difference between important and urgent. Important tasks must be done; urgent tasks must be done NOW. Some things can be taken care of tomorrow, later this week, or next week. Really!
Work with your natural rhythm, not against it. Everyone has specific periods of peak productivity, so capitalize on your best time of day. If you’re a morning person, plan to tackle the most difficult tasks before lunch. Likewise, if you’re a night owl, don’t force yourself to study or work on complicated projects until late afternoon or evening.
Accept that you just can’t do everything. Don’t be a popularity addict. It may feel good in the moment to be “in demand,” but wouldn’t it feel even better to achieve the life you really want? Limit your commitments by choosing activities that you truly enjoy and are consistent with your goals. Practice saying no without feeling guilty; the mastery of the tactful decline is a skill that will come in handy throughout your life!
Take care of yourself by paying attention to your physical, emotional and financial health. The same rules still apply: eat well, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and build time into your schedule for relaxation. Take proper care of your body and it will take care of you. Remember that stress, although it can’t be seen, can cause a lot of damage – don’t overtax your emotions with too many commitments. Also, pay attention to your financial health as well. Be realistic about your money, create a realistic budget and stick to it. Using a spending plan to control your finances can actually feel great– it’s empowering. Develop that muscle of determined discipline, and watch how it drives you towards your goals.
It does not matter how old you are or where you are at. Building priorities and filters will help you become at what you want to be and what you want to do. It is never too late to start to build.
In my own life, I leave myself space for the “whatever” time. These are additional times with my wife, children or friends or just times to kick back. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this, find a friend who is at good at it and probe their mind and help. And if you “fail” get back on the train!
Legacy is the process of developing something that is life giving and eternal for the generations to come. It is more than inheritance. Your priority design will incorporate that which is to come.
Real marriage doesn’t usually happen in the bright of day.
Someone asked how Tina and I were doing in the midst of our traumatic house loss. Our answer is, “we are doing good.” Sure we are emotional about the loss and all it entails, but at 3PM today, it was behind us. And we are doing well. Our marriage is strong. Continue reading Marriage In The Trenches→