Growing up, you assume everything you have in life is normal. So for most of my life, I assumed my mother was normal. I now know that the word normal, in no sense of the word, can be applied to my mother.
Our belief in God has the power to change everything in our life. Promises are unlocked and destinies revealed when we believe what God is saying to us. Nations are changed and lives transformed when we simply believe.
A.J. and I love to work. We genuinely find joy in working hard. Over the years, we've been asked how we get stuff done. We gave some thought to that question and here's what we came up with. Here are seven practical things you can do to help boost your productivity.
Nothing is much harder to put into practice than something, which is why resting is so often overlooked. Carol talked about the need to slow down, the need for stillness, and the need for resting in God's presence. She talked about cultivating a posture of receiving. The term Carol used for all of this was "soaking". In order to soak, one would intentionally set aside time to still yourself before God and to rest in His presence.
I don’t want to live a mediocre life. If I have a choice (and I believe I do) I want to be utterly awesome. I want to be an awesome husband. I want to be an awesome father. I want to be an awesome friend. I want to be an awesome pastor. I want everything I do, to be marked by awesomeness, because everything Jesus did was marked by awesomeness.
For a number of years I couldn't be anywhere that required me to be seated in a row. I panicked in confined spaces. I couldn't sit on an airplane without feeling like I was going to vomit and pass out. All of this made life very difficult as you might imagine. It wasn't until years later when Jesus stepped in and removed fear from my life that I realized what it was like to live without fear. I didn't know such freedom was possible.
Many of the things I delight in, I learnt from my Dad. The satisfaction found in diligent research, the joy of purchasing quality goods, the reward that comes from hard work, the love of God’s word, the sense of peace that comes from quality time alone and the contentment of a great meal.
Because the nature of my work requires that I am pretty much always “on” (when I am on), when I take a break or go on vacation I work really hard at being “off”. And because people have varying degrees of understanding what work actually constitutes, it means that I’ve spent a good deal of time over the years helping people understand what me not working looks like.
If you've ever struggled to think of God has a loving father or a kind person, I can relate. I thought for many years that God was angry, full of judgment and merely tolerated people like me. But after years of walking with him, I've discovered that God is the kindest person you will ever meet. This isn't a book to read about someone, it's a guide to someone.
Saul thought little of himself... he never embraced who God said he was. As a result he wasn’t thinking or acting like a leader. He wasn’t behaving like a king. If you do not come into alignment with who God says you are, you will not reach your destiny. If you do not believe what God has said about you, every other person you meet will be a threat to your identity.
Today I live with immeasurable blessings because more than 15 years ago I started saying yes to the things God asked me to do. Several of those responses cost me greatly in both time and money. Once I gave my heart to what God had asked me to do and continued saying yes, I became empowered through the process.
I’ve discovered that the people who have impacted me the most, are usually unaware of the impact they’ve had on my life. I’ve found that stopping to say thank you does something for them and for you. For them it’s an encouragement that they are making a difference. For you? Well you get to reflect on the awesomeness of who you are and thank God for what he's done in your life to make you that way.
I think that it’s safe to say that nowadays there is nothing stopping you from achieving what you want to achieve creatively. Before, you needed expensive studio time and a record deal but now, you can fire up GarageBand and sell your own music on iTunes within a few days. You could literally start writing a novel today and then self publish it on the world’s largest book store within a week.
A wise man once said, “You never want more responsibility than you have to have”. I am learning to give away responsibility as quickly and as carefully as I can. But this has been a slow lesson for me to learn and I can remember clearly the first time I ever saw this in action and it freaked me out.
Everyone wants to be awesome but few people want to learn how. I have found that you have to be willing to visit a place called awkward if you want to excel in anything. Most of the time, we will avoid experiencing awkwardness at all costs. But the truth is, most of the time, we have to pass through awkward to get to awesome.
One of the least sought after things in life is one of the things Jesus most wants to give. Many Christians, especially those who draw their livelihood from ministry, ignore this thing completely in an effort to achieve things they think hold greater value. The thing that everyone needs but nobody really wants is rest.
Most of my teaching ideas come in the midst of every day life; in the shower, running errands, in meetings, as I fall to sleep, etc. Very rarely do I pray for something to teach on (and when I do, it's because I haven't gotten anything!). I'll go be with the Lord and ask Him what He thinks, how to lay it out and then we'll dialogue for a bit on what that looks like, what the best way to lay that out is, etc.