Our Responsibility to Respond

We did it!! Special thank you to every single person for hanging on to the very end of this 7-week Bible Study in the Gospel of Mark (Lisa Harper). I pray that you were able to take away one thing that blessed you! To end our time in this study, let’s reflect on Mark 16:15-18:

‘He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples with this command to preach the good news to all the world. Our charge is the same.

How will you and I proclaim the hope of the gospel to those around us and to the aching world around us?

One of the challenges of our generation is the illusion of escaping responsibility. We now have a calling and a commission to share what was so generously poured out to us. This takes me to my next point of introducing the next lessons we will engage in for the next weeks. Ask yourself these questions:

Do you question your existence in life?

Do you often wonder what on earth are you here for?

Do you struggle with identifying your passions, gifts, and strengths?

Do you have a hard time making decisions and taking next steps?

If you struggle with answering these questions, chances are this next study is for you. We are going to walk through God’s Word and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren to discover God’s answer for all of these tough questions. I look forward to next week with you. Be Blessed. Be Revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured GUEST BLOGGER — Amy Elaine

I love coming across great websites in the blogging community and social media networks that inspires my soul. This week’s featured author is one that caught my heart. Her website, amyelaine.com, is all about helping heart-shattered lives become whole again and live in victory. Not only does she write, but Amy is a speaker and the host of Real Victory Radio with great podcasts you can listen to on her site.

Below is a link to one of her posts, How to Walk in the Freedom of Your Destiny and Calling.

Fear tried to keep me from staking my claim in the Kingdom. Similarly, shame kept me paralyzed and unable to take possession of what was rightfully mine…Intimacy with God unlocks the mystery of our identity & calling. ~ Amy Elaine

Let’s put fear aside today, walk in the freedom of all God’s called us to do, and move one step closer to developing the purpose within us! Join me in welcoming our guest for this week Amy Elaine! Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

This one’s for the girl who’s been knocked down and counted out, left not just thinking, but truly believing she’ll never find her God-given destiny, her calling. 1,873 more words

via How to Walk in the Freedom of Your Destiny and Calling — Amy Elaine

 

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

 

Go Big or Go Home

lion-chaser

 

There will never be a “perfect” time but there will always be a right time to dare greatly and go after the dream in your heart. That time is now. Live a life of 100x and believe in something so grand that it will take God’s hand of favor and intervention to make it happen. There is nothing too big for God. In fact, he will surpass our wildest and biggest imaginations. I believe God is pleased with our God-sized dreams. My dad used to say to me “go big or go home!” Friends…I’m telling you the same. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

From Mark Batterson’s “Chase the Lion”

“The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto”

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

Run to the roar.

Set God-sized goals.

Pursue God-ordained passions.

Go after a dream that’s destined to fail unless God intervenes.

Start pointing out problems, become part of the solution.

Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.

Face your fears.

Fight for your dreams.

Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go.

Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Burn sinful bridges.

Blaze new trails.

Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.

Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.

Don’t try to be who you aren’t.

Be yourself.

Laugh at yourself.

Dare to fail.

Dare to dream.

Dare to be different.

Chase the Lion!

 

 

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

 

Mark835

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

From Pain to Purpose

So what is the #1 thing that separates GOOD leaders from GREAT leaders?

“All the great leadership journals and books echo one consistent characteristic: Great leaders are fiercely determined to ASSIGN PURPOSE to their PAIN.” ~ Jeanne Mayo

Now, I certainly don’t have decades of experience in leadership, but I do know this to be true in my own life. Just like everything else in life, we have a CHOICE in how we look at pain. Let me repeat, we have a choice in how we look at pain….not if we will ever have pain. The caves, valleys, and “failures” will come. The difference is how we behave in those moments.

I was listening to a podcast earlier yesterday that featured author and speaker Lysa Terkeurst. She said something that was so amazing, I couldn’t hold back in sharing. “Some of the things in your life that causes you the greatest pain are actually the greatest potential to help other people. If you want to be the successful entrepreneur, then you learn how to help people.”

Pain is the thing that makes you better.

Pain pushes you into purpose.

Pain is the thing that can save you from mediocrity.

Pain will make you good enough, but pain and passion together will make you great.

Pain is a gift.

Know that pain is temporary.

So I want to encourage you. My prayer is that you use pain in your life to propel you forward rather than wallowing in distress and defeat. If you don’t assign purpose, then you will only look back at the PAIN OF REGRET. Below is the link to the post I wrote about the book “Leadership Pain.” Powerful message that speaks on how you’ll only grow to the threshold of your pain. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

Beauty and the Beast of Leadership Pain

leadership-pain-3d

Like a BOW and ARROW…STRETCH!

stretch-logo-blackI’m going to cut straight to the chase on this blog post. If you’re comfortable where you are as a person or content to remain at the level you are then stop reading here. I’m serious. Stop.

I applaud those who kept going because you are in for a treat! There are gifts, visions, and dreams that God has placed inside of us that when you think about it, at least for me, makes my heart leap. However, those things will not happen automatically. We have to reach for it. Fight for it. Work for it. And yes…even STRETCH for it.

I want to challenge you to stretch with me. We have to get uncomfortable. It takes stepping outside our comfort zone to pull out all that God has placed inside of us. It hurts. When God is pulling me one direction I find myself pulling back in the opposite direction where its familiar. But then Our Heavenly Father gently nudges me forward and whispers that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. There is an abundance of blessing that He has and stretching is the only way we can grow and have the capacity to carry it all. You’ve come too far to settle now! So what is keeping you from stretching? Can you say right now that you are living your life by faith?

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2 NIV

There are three key points I want to encourage you with if you are in a season of stretching:

  1. PERSIST – Don’t stop and don’t resist your stretching! Just like a mother has to go her full term of 9 months to deliver a healthy baby, you have to keep stretching to COMPLETION to deliver the dreams and visions God has in store for you. So many people ABORT the blessing of God on their life simply because they gave up when it was inconvenient. So again, I encourage you to keep going and don’t give up! The reward is worth it all.
  2. PREPARE – Our ability to carry things and go to the next level starts in our minds. Your mind must shift from personal survival to global influence. The Holy Spirit is trying to teach us daily to see what He sees! There’s a difference between seeing NOTHING and seeing what is INFINITE. Our minds are limited but God is eternal and He can do more than we can count! Is your vision on zero or infinite? I encourage you to prepare your mind to expect what God expects.
  3. PURPOSE – It’s at stake. You are like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. As He stretches that bow back His mission is to hit a target right in the bull’s-eye. God is stretching you because He has a purpose for you! That target is something ONLY YOU can hit and it requires Him to pull back so that you can move forward. Ultimately, it’s not about you. Your stretching is about impact and influence. Are you willing to be stretched to any degree God wants to use you?

We get caught up in the momentary pain of being stretched that we lose sight on the bigger picture. God wants to REVEAL His plan for you, but only at the expense of your willingness to surrender your will. Be blessed! Be Revealed!