How to be “Suprisingly Satisfied”

Surprisingly Satisfied
From “The Resolution for Women” by Priscilla Shirer

Did you know that rat poison is only 3% poison and the other 97% tastes good to the rat? In fact, the poison is a slow killer, so that the rodent does not realize where the source is coming from. Ultimately, it’s the 3% that kills the rats. I’d thought I just share that random information to you this Monday morning 🙂 No really, on a more serious note, overall, life may be good for you and I, but there is a small percentage of posion that the enemy uses to slowly kill our joy, our peace, and ultimately will destroy the purpose God has for us if we are not careful.

That deadly killer… comparison.

We drink in that poison every time we compare our lives to someone we wish we were or something we wish we had. You know…those times we scroll on our facebook or instagram feeds and wish we had what the girl/guy next door has. Or that time someone on social media, we don’t even know, got blessed with a brand new car, brand new job, and went to the most beautiful island for vacation, all at the same time, and you secretly say, “I wish that was me.” We do it without even thinking! Oh friends, we think it’s harmless, but in reality, comparison is a dangerous game to play!!! When we compare, we run a race that was not meant for us and exert energy that leaves us in the same spot we started.

You may not compare yourself to others, but you wish you were in a different season of your life, hurrying and trying to get to a “better version” of your story. I remember the days of my singleness, wishing for Mr. Right to come and sweep me away forever into the sunset. There were moments in my singleness that I did not embrace the beauty of that season. Now I have Mr. Right in my life (praise God :)) and I find myself hurrying our season for the next best thing. If I’m not careful, I will miss out in the beauty of just enjoying my husband fully in the season we are in now before becoming parents or moving or thinking about grandkids lol!

Contentment is not equal to complacency. ~Priscilla Shirer

There is so much beauty where you are now! There is so much God has for you where you are now! There is peace now. There is joy now. There is contentment now. There is purpose for. your. life. NOW. All we have to do is invest fully where we are, because friends, this season we are in will not always be present. Let’s not drink the posion of comparison. “Someone else’s blessing does not mean that it was deducted from our account. Celebrate others’ blessings!” To be content is to find rest in this busy rat race called life. Pastor Larry Stockstill gives us four ways to pace ourselves and find contentment and rest:

R- RELAX: in who you are. Paul said in scripture, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” Learn to be comfortable in your own skin and who you are in God! Learn to love yourself.

E- EXAMINE: your heart for sin. Psalm 32:3 guilt shame, and condemnation will destroy your inner rest. Isaiah said, “there is no rest for wickedness.” Disease is broken down as “dis-ease.”

S- SURRENDER: to the will of God. God’s plan is contingent on your obedience. Rest in His purpose. Until God is through with you, you’re not going anywhere.

T – TIMING: Don’t try to make it happen. God is walking the path with you. Relax. God has a perfect timing. Don’t drive to keep up with the “Joneses.” Sometimes, God will allow some circumstances to prolong to show a great miracle. Don’t pick the fruit before it’s ripe. The fruit will fall off the tree when it’s ready. Timing issues cause Christians to leave their rest.

Be Blessed. Be Revealed.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. ~1 Timothy 6:6

 

The Dream Chaser by Tony Gaskins, Jr.

The first book to jump start this year off is a great read from Tony A. Gaskins, Jr., titled, “The Dream Chaser.” It’s certainly well worth your time and will inspire and encourage those with an entrepreneur spirit in them to keep believing in their dreams. In my own journey towards transformation, I want to share some of the insightful nuggets that stood out to me from the book. Don’t just rely on these few quotes though, go pick it up for yourself! Be Blessed. Be Revealed.

the-dream-chaser

The Dream Chaser

By: Tony A. Gaskins, Jr.

  • You have to question the path.
  • While studying in school, you should spend just as much time studying yourself.
  • Don’t sleep on your dreams. There are natural gifts inside of you that could change your life.
  • If you want to sleep through life, then get comfortable; but if you want to be great in this life, then you’ll have to stretch yourself.
  • Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not and miss out on who you can become.
  • A fantasy is rooted in pleasure. A dream is rooted in purpose.
  • Don’t wish, just work.
  • Have a vision so big that certain parts of it are blurry and it only clears up as you walk by faith toward it.
  • Don’t get caught up in the system so much that you fail to do what you were born to do. Tap into your gifts and use them to help make your life better.
  • You have to follow the calling, not the crowd.
  • How can God trust you with the world when he can’t trust you with your own home?
  • There is a lot of growth in the climb, just as there is growth in the valley.

    I guarded my eyes and my ears very closely because I was growing.

  • You can’t delegate your destiny.
  • Success is made in the oven. It takes time to become successful, and you have to work for it like there is no tomorrow.
  • It was family time and grind time.
  • Confidence comes from strength. Arrogance comes from insecurity.
  • Don’t settle for mediocre people if you aren’t a mediocre person.
  • Don’t compromise your value, your morals, or your beliefs.
  • You constantly have to be creating and innovating, whether that’s new materials or new products. You have to keep working.
  • Make it simple as possible but not one bit simpler.
  • I knew there wasn’t a downside to having self-respect.
  • Learn something about every aspect of your business, and be consistent in your gift.
  • Three C’s: Confidence, Content, and Consistency
  • When you learn how to love, you learn how to live. Your family should be your first priority.

Dream Big With Others!

The Meet and Greet continues today and will conclude this evening so be sure to jump in and have some fun! And don’t forget, you can leave your link multiple times!! Meet and Greet Link

via Meet and Greet Link — Dream Big, Dream Often

The 5 Levels of Leadership

The next few posts will focus on the topic of leadership and different areas regarding how to become a better leader. The wealth of knowledge on the subject of leadership is endless and the guru himself, John C. Maxwell, probably produced 80% of it! That may be an exaggeration, but you get the point. My purpose is not only to share wisdom on how to become a better leader but also stir you to ask these questions: How do you define yourself as a leader? How do you lead? How do you follow? How do you define leadership? What’s missing in the leadership discussion? Anna Quindlen, novelist, essayist, said it like this:

The choice is ours at each moment and at every moment to learn the lessons of leadership. Unfortunately, we tend to associate learning new skills with youth, but in fact, the possibility of leading is available throughout our lifetimes; with every choice we make, we take charge of our lives. It is never too late to discover our unique voice as a leader.

So I invite you to go on an in depth study of how to lead better and more effective than before. Sometimes we do not blossom in our gifts till later in our lives, but that does not mean we stop watering the seed and shining light on our potential. We will start out with the foundational piece from John Maxwell’s five levels of Leadership. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

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John C. Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership
  • LEVEL 1 (POSITIONAL LEVEL) – Key Word “Rights.” People at this level follow you because they have to. It is the beginning of all leadership. The position does not make you a leader but the leader can make the most out of the position. The upside is that this is the place where we shape and define our leadership. The downside is that the people will give you their least amount of effort at this level.
  • LEVEL 2 (PERMISSION LEVEL) – Key Word “Relationships.” People follow you becasuse they want to. Now you have connected with your people and relationships are established. Relationship with people is the foundation of leadership. Leadership is influence and you cannot influence those that you antagonize. If you’re going to grow as a leader, you’re going to have to grow beyond your title. A relational leader are good at three things:
    • 1) they listen well
    • 2) they observe well
    • 3) they are learners.
  • LEVEL 3 (PRODUCTION LEVEL) – Key Word “Results.” This is the level you start to bring home the bacon. You are effective and you produce results. You produce by example. People do what they see and far too many leaders want to take people where they have not been themselves. You want to be a tour guide as a leader and show them where you have been. In this level, your leadership gains credibility. You attract people that are productive because you attract what you are, not what you want. Momentum is a leader’s best friend. Leaders create momentum, managers solves problems. Yet, a leader knows that if they can generate momentum, 80% of their problems will be solved.
  • LEVEL 4 (PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT) – Key Word “Reproduction.” You grow a company by growing people. When you grow them, you grow their capacity, which increases what you can do and accomplish. Three thoughts on developing people:
    • 1) Recruitment – 80% of success of equipping people happens at the front door, who comes in. Unless you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you won’t know when you see it.
    • 2) Positioning – Successful people find their strength zone, their niche, and their sweet spot. Successful leaders discover what other people are good at.
    • 3) Equipping – it’s about compounding. You are not equipping until you see who you mentored is now teaching and equipping another.
  • LEVEL 5 (PINNACLE LEVEL) – Key Word “Respect.” This is when people follow you because of who you are and what you have done in the field. There is a great awe and reverance for your craft. This will usually take a long time to reach. The point is that leadership is always ongoing and a learning process that takes a long time.

 

So What’s In Your Box?

This was not just another message. This was a gut wrenching, life- changing, and heart searching time in the presence of God. I went to my young adult service at my church last night and Pastor Jeanne Mayo left us with a question that I wonder why many of us, including myself, don’t ponder more?

WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX?

Box1

You see there is a gap between what I see and where I hopefully want to be. It is a gap of potential and its actualization. The problem is that most of us, as humans lives far within the limits, far below the maximum, and behaves below the optimum (Duckworth). I don’t want to be the one that fails to maximize all that God has given me. I hope you don’t want to be that person either. So how do we live a life of purpose?

Let’s go a littel deeper. Jeanne Mayo unpacked this quite beautifully. Purpose is not your paycheck. Purpose is not your title. Purpose is not about you. If you’re not careful, if your purpose is not bigger than you, you can easily become your own purpose. Your focus can be all about you and your glory; your career; your ambition.

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, what car I drove, or where I lived. Rather, the only thing that will matter is the DIFFERENCE I MADE IN ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE.” ~ Jeanne Mayo

To live a life of purpose is to constantly check and evaluate what’s in your box.Let me explain as best as I can through questions that were asked of me:

  • What do I wish to be remembered for when I die? 
    • Without a clear vision of your future, you’ll invariably become a boring repetition of your past.
  • Realizing that God has wired me up to ENJOY His purpose and destiny for my life…What do I enjoy doing so much that I would still want to spend time doing it WITHOUT Financial pay?
    • Chances are…you may never get paid for doing it…at least, not down here on earth. But the retirement plan in eternity is pretty staggering!
  • How can I tweak my unglammourous NOW to add fulfilling layers of eternal purpose to it?
    • It’s not WHAT your do that makes your work sacred. But it’s WHY you do it.
  • What specific steps do I need to take in the next month (and over the next year) to begin test driving some possible over-arching Purposes in my life?
    • This will usually involve changes in you Time Priorities. “First things first..and last things not at all.” Drucker

 

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So…WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX? Be Blessed. Be Revealed.

The Hidden Places Where God Develops You

This book probably couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Founder of Jesus Culture and Pastor of Jesus Culture Sacramento, Banning Liebscher, wrote his first book titled “Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You.” It spoke to my heart and I believe it can also speak to yours.

For those of you who believe that they were born to make an impact in this world and feel it deep down in their bones…this book is for you.

For those of you who have a hunger to be great and meaningful change keeps you up at night…this book is for you.

Here’s the thing…we must allow God to establish a root system and foundation in our lives so that what God develops through us will produce fruit that remains. Here are some great nuggets I picked up from reading this book. Enjoy this Appetizer! Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

Rooted

  • Everyone champions accomplishment, but not many people champion the journey. ~ Kelly Clark, Olympic medalist
  • Anybody can start a race. Finishers are impressive.
  • Unfortunately, many believers today don’t live with forty years in mind, let alone generations, or eternity.
  • Neither appearances nor short-term success impress God.
  • God always develops us before He develops our vision.
  • We’ll never thrive in the process unless we accept the place where God put us, because that is the only place He will work with us.
  • Are you more passionate about pursuing a dream or about following Jesus?
  • Do what’s in front of you, and do it well.
  • You must understand that getting out of sync with the timing of God’s seasons puts you in danger. Don’t rush.
  • If you’re not there, it’s because He doesn’t want you there yet.
  • We can trust Him with the deep things of our hearts because they are also the deep things of His heart for us.
  • God is not interested in your comfort; He is interested in your growth.
  • It’s not my responsibility to build or maintain what God opens. It’s my responsibility to follow Jesus.
  • So many people are driven by the need to prove themselves. Rest in the fact that God chose you and you have nothing to prove.
  • There are many areas where God develops your root system, but none is more important than going deep in the Word of God. The Bible Reveals.
  • Perfection is not a requirement to lead. Growth, however, is.
  • Everything you will ever need is found in the presence of God. Everything in your life must be birthed from the revelation of His love for you.
  • There is an anointing that is found only in one place. If you want to receive, you have to separate yourself to the inner room of prayer.
  • You are called to greatness. But greatness looks different than you think. If you really want to be great, here’s how you do it: become the least.
  • Love looks like serving.
  • Any increased blessing in your life is so that you can better serve others.
  • The most joyful people I know are also the greatest servants I know.
  • You were never meant to live life alone. You were meant to live in community. Isolation is a killer.
  • We do get hurt in community. But we also get healed in community. Community is where we grow. We cannot live without it.
  • You don’t need more teaching; you just need the courage to do what God has called you to do.

August 2016 Reading List

It was John Wooden that said, “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.” Nothing can replace the Bible and all of its purity, richness, and treasure. No other book can transform your life like God’s Word. However, we should also be learners of all things, including people, places, and things. My goal is to broaden my scope of reading in the next few months, but here is my list for August. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

 

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Grit is the number one determiner of success. Gritty people focus on one thing and continue in the face of adversity. They may get disappointed, but do not remain so for long. They continue to practice despite setbacks because they are not only interested but also find meaning in what they do.

Grit

Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You by Banning Liebscher. You were born to make an impact in this world and you know it. You feel it deep down in your bones. Apathy is your nemesis and your hunger to change the world keeps you up at night. But no matter how deep this hunger growls, you can only make a meaningful impact if you are rooted in Jesus. God is not interested in developing your vision first. He’s interested in developing you.

Rooted

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life.

Parker-Palmer_Courage-to-Teach

The Way of Faith by Joseph R. Sizoo. I can’t wait to break open this gem for two reasons. For one, it was written in 1935. That’s right…and secondly, it was my grandad’s book. I came across it as I was recently in Philadelphia visiting family. My grandfather was a pastor, doctor, and founding pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church. When I found this book, it also had his old sermon notes, notes written in on the sides of the book, and other great nuggets. Thanks to my granddad for leaving me with his wisdom.

The Way of Faith