Blog

SHHH!

 

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.

Sometimes a Bible verse seems to jump out at you and speak to your situation. I love the fact the Paul says; God will give you what He already is. He is what we need, so For Him to offer peace, it means that He is giving of Himself. Peace is not an attribute of God, it’s a part of who He is. In other words, He already is what we need. 

The word peace in this verse means, quietness. It’s bringing a calm or a hush. God operates in that peace because He is peace and wants to give that same quietness to us. You need quietness when something is getting too loud. A noise that is keeping you from focusing. Maybe that sounds like your life right now. Perhaps you’re having a hard time focusing because the stress in your life has gotten way too loud. It could be the noise of your past drowning out the sound of your future. Whatever it is, make your prayer today this simple. God, I need your peace. I need who you are to speak into the chaotic, loud noise of my life and bring calm. Turn down the volume of worry Lord, and let this day be complete with quietness. 

“BUILDING A WINNING TEAM”

We are currently in a busy and exciting sports season. Playoffs and championships, the road to the Super Bowl, March Madness and events like this cause fans to go crazy. I enjoy watching sports as well. My teams have good years and bad years, but I still support them as a true fan should. The thing that I find so interesting is the components of a championship team. You see, you can’t buy a championship team; it can only be built. Even the great superstar athletes have to have teammates they are able to play well with. Finding strengths and weaknesses is part of that building. When each player is able to lean on one another with that kind of trust, they become even stronger. A player can excel in one area, but struggle in another. No one player can do it all, so you build a team that weakness doesn’t bring defeat, it ignites unity. A teammate should never become jealous of another player because that one is strong, where he or she is weak. You must recognize what you bring to the team, and that’s why you’re there. Don’t let your personal insecurities cause the team to be defeated.
 
Obviously, this is a big topic, and I could go on with the different elements of winning as a team. I would just like to ask you what your team is? Is it a church team, a business team, maybe a school team? Whatever it is, are you winning? Are you transparent with your teammates? Can you lean on each other? No matter what your team is and where you’re involved, you need to win. That’s what matters. You should be able to walk away from a project feeling like together, you won. There are many things I could talk about if you’re not winning. However, I will say this; if you are jealous of someone on your team that is strong where you are weak, you’re hurting the team. Please stop trying to be like them. Don’t talk bad about them. Don’t magnify their weaknesses and minimize their strengths. Your personal issue will inevitably become a team problem. Do you want the team to win, or do you wish you to be viewed as the winner? You might not realize that you could be keeping your team from winning.
 
Because winning teams are built, I encourage you to do whatever you can to help make the team you’re on a winning one. Be one of the reasons your team is winning, not why it’s losing. Be a unifier, not a divider. Cheer when your teammates are using their strengths, and be there to help them when they are weak. Walk away from reading this blog with a made-up mind that you are going to do everything you can to make sure your team wins.

“WHAT I SEE WON’T HELP YOU”

We have been taught that God is omnipresent. That means He is everywhere present and nowhere absent. It’s hard for our human minds to comprehend that. Not only does He feel all space, but He is also present in any area of time. There is literally nowhere He cannot go. He told Isaiah, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? To say we serve a great and big God is an understatement. Think of a sermon you’ve heard recently where the minister proclaimed the greatness and size of God. That minister was reminding you that God is bigger than whatever it is you are facing.

But here is the reality. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been told or taught. Even the number of sermons is irrelevant. You can read about Him, hear others talk about Him, but if you don’t see the vastness of God for yourself, then it’s not going to do you any good. How great I see Him, and how big I try to preach that He is will not help you if you don’t start viewing Him that great in your own eyes. You can’t live off of your parent’s vision of God. You can’t exist off of your Pastor’s perspective of Him. No matter how your spouse sees God, you have to get your own vision and revelation of Him. I don’t want you to just hear about His greatness; I want you to see it for yourself.

So, at the start of 2020, I ask you this question; How great do you see God? Your eyes, your vision, your perspective, and your revelation of His greatness.

21 DAYS OF FOCUS (DAY 4)

The ability to focus takes determination and commitment. There will always be things to do, something to think about, and things to fight for our attention. You have to be determined to block everything except what is most important at that time. During these 21 Days, choose daily the things you need to focus on and make them the center of attention. Divide them up blocks of time for your day so you can make the most of that day. Don’t just randomly pick from the list, be intentional. Use your time wisely. Open and close each day with a set and achieved goal. Decide for 21 days what are reoccurring things that you will continually focus on, and what are those unique things that need specific days to accomplish.

It’s my opinion that these 21 days can be the foundation for how we build the rest of the year. A year can be a crazy ride because you don’t know today what August is going to bring. You can’t predict your summer. All you can do is prepare now for the unexpected events in 2020. I’m not trying to be negative, but the truth is, both negative and positive things are going to happen this year. Get a head start on all of it by establishing 21 days of focus.

“21 DAYS OF FOCUS”

Today, our Church begins, what we’re calling “21 DAYS OF FOCUS.” The definition of focus is to bring something to the center of attention. It also means, having clear vision. I’ve heard a lot about 2020 being the year of vision, and I love that, but what good is a vision without focus? We don’t just need vision; we need a clear vision. We have to make sure we have the right things at the center of attention. So, for the next 21 days, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. In fact, it’s going to be a year of focus for us. We all get busy with other things in life, and before you know it, certain things start becoming blurry and out of focus. Here is a list of some things that we are bringing to the center of attention.

PRAYER
FASTING
BIBLE READING
FELLOWSHIP
RELATIONSHIPS (Marriage, family, and friendships)
FINANCES
YOUR GIFTS AND CALLING
MISSION AND EVANGELISM (Reaching out to the lost and hurting)
FAITHFULNESS TO THE HOUSE GOD

You are more than welcome to go on this journey with us. If you are a part of a Church that is doing something similar to this, that is great, and I am praying for you and your Church. Let’s set the pace for 2020 by joining together in unity and focusing on things that might have become blurry in our lives.

“WAIT FOR CLARITY”

We are three days into 2020. How are you doing on your goals? Remember, you have to maintain a consistent pace to last throughout the year. It’s not about how great you start, but how well you end. You will experience highs and lows as you strive to reach your goal. Don’t let the highs cause you to be overconfident, and don’t let the lows convince you to quit. No matter what you want to see happen in 2020, it will take daily commitment to achieve it. Things might look a little blurry now, but begin to focus and wait for clarity.

“YOU CAN’T GO UNTIL YOU LET GO”

Well, this is it. Today we will perform our last acts of 2019. What did you complete, what’s left unfinished, and what are your goals for 2020? There are probably some things you’ll need to carry over to make sure they get done, and not abandoned. However, you might have a few things you keep hanging on to each year that should be released. Only you know what those things are. I can promise you this, letting go of hurt and bitterness will free you for your greatest year ever. Whatever you’re holding on to, is keeping you from where God wants to take you to. It’s not worth it. You might ask, how do I let go of what happened to me in the past? It’s not easy, but here’s what I would say. You have to be more excited about where you’re going versus where you’ve been. You’re passion for your future needs to be stronger than the pain of your past. God’s calling on your life will never be behind you, only in front of you. Your purpose is in where you’re going, not where you’ve been. The bottom line is, you can’t go until you let go.

“INVENTORY AND REPORT”

It’s hard to believe that we are just a few days from closing out 2019. The year is ending, and the last quarter of the year is too. For businesses, that means it’s inventory and report time. What all did they sale, how much is left, and what did they make. It sounds simple, but it requires a lot of detailed work to get an accurate report. This report helps them know what to prepare for in the next year. Things like where to set their budgets, what is left over that still needs to be moved, and establish a clear vision for 2020.

What if we did the same thing but on a personal level. Why don’t we spend a little bit of time taking inventory and creating a report to close our year out? You can have your own list of things you’d like to know about, but here are just a few ideas.

How well did I treat others?
Did I increase my prayer life?
Was I consistent in Bible reading?
How well did I share the gospel?
What other books did I read, and which ones are unfinished?
Did I manage my finances well?
Was I faithful in tithing and giving to those in need?
Did I experience personal improvement?
Did I manage my time well?
Has there been an improvement in my marriage? (If applicable.)
Have I taken proper care of my health?

Again, these are a few things that I’m looking at as 2019 comes to an end. My suggestion is that you make yourself a personal list and answer each question honestly. How you close, this year will help you transition into the next one. Take inventory, create a report, and establish a personal vision for what you want to accomplish in 2020.

“IT’S A NECESSITY”

The need for prayer has never been more imperative than now. I’m not talking about a few words spoken in passing; I mean God’s people lifting up their voices with all their might with the purpose of a complete breakthrough. The church is under attack, our marriages and families are being targeted, and the enemy is not letting up at all. The attack on our Nation is not from another country, but rather from the kingdom of darkness. There is a war going on, and we must not neglect the weapons we have to engage in it.

Before you call it quits on your marriage, tell me how many hours you’ve invested trying to save it. Maybe you’ve stayed up all night worrying about a particular problem, but have you prayed during the night for victory? I would encourage you that the bigger your situation is, the harder you need to pray. There is nothing you can get through until you pray through. Your perspective will change, your passion will be revived, and you’ll feel a fresh anointing when you pray. It’s not a suggestion; it’s a necessity.

“WHO ARE YOU HANGING AROUND?”

Hang around people who are cheering you on to keep going. You don’t need anyone in your life that can’t look beyond your mistakes. Your past should be something you learn from, not what keeps you from moving forward. 

Don’t let your mess up keep you from getting up. You have to be careful with not only how you spend your time, but who you spend it with as well. Not everyone who says they love you, really understand the true meaning of the word. Let me remind you in The Message Bible Translation, what it is.

 

I Corinthians 13:7 THE MESSAGE

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

 

Make sure you’re with people and family who genuinely love you.