Just So You Know

Wednesday

Just so you know: you are going to make a mistake today.

Probably more than one.

It will not be the end of the world.

Failure is not fatal.

You will never get anywhere if you run back to what you know at every challenge.

A mistake means that you are trying, so pick yourself up off the ground and try again.

Yes, it is difficult but it is not impossible.

“Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 NLT

So, make a mistake or two, or three.

Risk failure.

Fail.

But don’t give up.

Get up and try again.

What Defines You.

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“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”    

Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts, not weaker.

The facts may not be friendly or encouraging or what you want to face but as a child of God, you can face them. You can deal with reality instead of running from it.

How? By knowing that your circumstances do not define you, God does.

God chose you. 

God loves you.

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen but He can.

To be who God has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

You new life in God’s family isn’t “success and failure” based.

It isn’t “today, I did a good job”  so I’m feeling good or “I totally messed up ” and being depressed.

You will do a good job. You will make mistakes. This is not about denying how you feel. It is about allowing God’s feelings for you to be the foundation of how you experience your life.

His part is to guide and provide, your part is to follow and trust.

In Jesus, you have full rights as a child of God to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

He is able.

What are you asking for?

What are you imagining?

What are you trusting God in today?

Real Security

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It is exhausting to live your life grasping for security but not ever really holding on to it.

“A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well- being.”‭‭ Proverbs‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It can be triggered by envy, fear or sometimes a sense of personal failure. It is always triggered by focusing on “me, myself and I .

It is based on the belief that you don’t have what you need or enough of what you need to be secure, so you keep grasping for it in relationships, personal accomplishments, financial security and so on.

The original Hebrew word used for “trust” in the verse above means “secure”.

You can live your life from a place of security instead of insecurity.

That security is found in the love of God.

Put down the worry and fear that is plaguing your life and lift your hands in worship.

Spend some time in the presence of Jesus. You will find more peace in worshipping God than you ever will by focusing on yourself and what you lack.

You do not need more of you (or a better you, a better relationship or more stuff) to be more secure- you need more of God.

You are His precious child. That doesn’t mean life’s journey will be easy, it means that He will supply you with what you need to live it.

You can stop trying to feel secure in who you are and embrace the reality of “whose” you are.  Your identity comes from Jesus, not your family or lack thereof, not from your accomplishments or shortcomings, not from your success or failures but from Him.

My prayer for you today is that you unfurl the grasping grip of insecurity and lift them up in worship to God. May you worship Him for who He is and be reminded whose you are.

Living in the Shadow of His Love

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“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It can be exhausting to find rest.

If you look to a person to provide rest, a safe place to hide, a security in an insecure world – they will fail you because they are fallible human beings. At their best, they are as broken as you are and looking to you to find rest.

If you look to a job or career as a place of safety, security, or fulfillment you may have seasons of it but economies change, companies change and you change. They are at best a temporary place of financial security.

Even if you look to the church to be a place of rest, it can fail you because the church is made of people. The Word says to find rest in God, not the church. You go to church to learn, grow, give, serve, bless, be blessed and so on.

Go to Jesus for your salvation, your refuge, your direction, strength, peace, and abundant life.

The church is only there to point you to Jesus.

The only true place of refuge, security, peace and rest is in the shadow of the Almighty God. What does that mean? It means that God wants you to stick close to Him, so close He can put His arm around you. So close, the shadow of His unending grace covers you.

Jesus came to clear the way for you to experience your relationship with God like this.

He is your refuge.
He is your fortress.
He is your Father and you can trust Him.

He is your place of rest, not just when everything is going good but when everything is falling apart.

He is your refuge when you are tired of fighting the battle.

He is your fortress when the battle is too much to take.

My friend, whatever today brings – may you dwell in the shelter of the Most High God and stick so close that you live in the shadow of His love. 

Mistake Making

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When you step out in faith and put yourself out there, life will push back.
It’s not going to be easy and you will make mistakes.
A mistake means that you are trying,
so pick yourself up off the ground and try again.
Do something new.
Relate to people in a new way.
Reach out beyond your comfort zone.
Take that step of faith …again.
Risk failure.
Failure is not fatal.
Jesus told a story about this very thing:
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent…’
The Master was furious…
Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most.
And get rid of this ‘play-it-safe’ who won’t go out on a limb.”
Matthew 25: 24,26,30 MSG
You will never get anywhere if you run back to what you know at every challenge.
God is calling you to grow. To take what He has given you and invest it.
My friend, get out there and make a lot of new mistakes, get out of your comfort zone, risk and invest what God has placed in your hands. You don’t have to play it safe with the love and grace of God – He has more than enough for you to give it away freely and without fear.

Great is His Faithfulness

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‬‬I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed- I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul. Only heartbreak and fear.

Psalms 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.


I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on precious, your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you.

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it.

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

The truth

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I watched a TED Talk last week (love these!) and came across a short speech given by the director of Titanic and Avatar. Two films that everyone said were gonna suck but ended up becoming a couple of the highest grossing films of all time. I was intrigued because James Cameron is a good story teller and uses technology to push the story, not the other way around. I don’t agree with his politics but I love the statement he ended his speech with:

“Failure is always an option…fear is not”- James Cameron

To do anything of value- you risk failure.
To step out of your comfort zone and do something new- you risk failure.
To create something new, you risk failure.
To grow, you will try, fail, try again and grow.

The truth is that we often switch it in our minds:

Fear is always an option…failure is not.

The truth is we spend more time in fear than in faith.

The truth is that it is time to face your fears and take failure off of the table of things you just can’t do. God calls you to something you have never done before and you think, “what if I fail?”. So what if you do? You will never grow if you never fail.

The truth is that the question you must ask is “what do I have to fear?” .

I have the answer: nothing. You have nothing to fear.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm the, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” Ephesians 6:13-14.

Does the fear of failure hold you back?

What would you attempt is failure was impossible?

What is stopping you now?

Ask Big

I recorded the Opening Ceremonies in London watched it with Bobby after we got home from a “real” date (which means just the two of us). We went to dinner, talked, ate and looked at each others faces for a while. We have been so busy this summer and it felt really good to reconnect. We came home and pushed play on the “telly” (the DVR) . Then we sat back to watch the story of the host country unfold on the grand stage of the arena with all the world watching.

I love to watch these massive productions come to life. I love the imagination it takes to come up with such a huge story and the kind of vision it takes to bring it to life. How do you begin to imagine such a production? You start with a clean slate and take off the limits of time, money and space. Then you dream big and ask big.

Like the question:
What would you do if you it were impossible to fail?”

When you take away the fear of failure from the equation, you allow yourself to tap into a place of the fearless creativity hidden deep in your soul. You let yourself dream without limits. You will discover that the elusive answer of what you “really want to do” has been right there all along just waiting for you.

Ask yourself today:
What would I do if it was impossible to fail?

What should you do with the answer?

You should go for it.
You should do it afraid.
You should start doing it today and don’t let one more day pass.

God has good things stored up for you like a great treasure warehouse of wisdom, kindness, faith, joy, faithfulness and peace. He will throw open wide the doors of it, if you but ask. When you figure out what you need, go to Him and ask big.

You will never know your potential or the potential of what God can do through you until you ask.

“How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.”

(Psalm 31:19 NIV)

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Performers gesture towards the Olympic rings as they are elevated from the stadium floor during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Source: The Daily Telegraph

Don’t

Don’t stop asking,
Don’t stop seeking,
Don’t stop knocking on new doors,
Don’t give up.

The giving will come,
The finding will happen,
The door will open,
Don’t give up.

Don’t be distracted,
Don’t be discouraged,
Don’t be dissuaded,
Don’t give up.

Your vision will get clearer,
Your courage will get stronger,
Your perseverance will get bolder,
Don’t give up.

Don’t stop growing,
Don’t stop changing,
Don’t stop pursuing your purpose,
Don’t give up.

You will grow,
You will change,
You will walk in your purpose.
Don’t give up.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts”. – Winston Churchill

Failure is an event,
Not a person.

Don’t listen to the lies.
Don’t give up.

“Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.”
– Jesus Christ

(Matthew 7:7, 8 AMP)

Sent from my iPhone

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Failing forward

Here I am, in the dark quiet of the early morning. I woke up around 5am ( which is waaaaay better than 3am) thinking. Thinking about what I need to do today, how I’m going to get it all done, thinking about the series in youth I am teaching this month, thinking about… FailIng. The what if’s, the how’s and the whens of it.

Years ago, at an MC conference, I got to hear John Maxwell talk to a small number of leaders. In that session, he talked about failing forward and how it is not a matter of if you fail but when you fail. And when you fail, learn from it, get up and move on.

I was checking Twitter this morning and John Maxell had a qoute and a blog that is so good that I thought I would share it with you. In it, you will see his mug shot ( yes- from his arrest!) and the story behind it. If you are afraid to fail- read this. If you are not going forward for fear of failure- read it. If you have failed, welcome to the club and I am glad we are friends!!!!!

http://johnmaxwellonleadership.com/2010/01/28/on-success-and-stupidity-take-two/