Posts Tagged Leadership

Uncapping Your Vision To Match God’s

I was driving in my car tonight on my way to get a diet peach tea. It has become a favorite of mine, since I quit smoking almost five months ago. The only place that has the diet peach is Walgreens across town. But I don’t mind driving the entire two miles to reach the other side of this city. It’s kind of fun, because I can roll down the windows and sing in the car. While driving, The Motions by Matthew West came on the radio. It’s just impossible for me to sing the song. Nope-my passion for building God’s Kingdom kind of consumes me yet again, and I have to belt it out, singing loud, with my hands in the air (safe driving, eh?). It’s just so awesome to worship that passionately from anywhere.

Anyhow, back to the subject. I was thinking about how God takes an ordinary woman and changes her into someone who is fearless and ready to do whatever it takes to grow His Kingdom with her gifts, time, and talents regardless of the cost. I’ve never known a passion like this. I’ve never had such a large vision as this either. And I remembered the map.

Earlier in the evening I had visited my parents, and they have a wall sized (very large!) map of the U.S with hundreds and hundreds of push-pins in it representing everywhere a target sale had been made at a specific company. I mentioned to my parents that I wanted a map like that someday to put in my home office to represent every place that I had presented the life balancing workshops and taught Christians and churches how to maintain their focus on Christ while living a balanced life. Yes, I was already visualizing a huge map in my office with massive amounts of push pins representing every place I am priviledged to teach covering the entire thing! That’s a big vision!

In an instant I could just see how ridiculous that sounded to everyone on the outside. Here I am-one absolutely amazing and passionately crazy woman, with a massive vision to reach the world to heavily armor the churches and it’s people through proper life balance and alignment to grow the Kingdom and move them all into action for the glory of God. And here’s a map of the U.S with thousands of pins in it. The map is larger than I am. It weighs more than I do. And I have started this from ground zero.

But I see it, I believe it, and I am called to do it.

It’s a God sized vision to reach His people in this manner.

I know I can’t do it on my own. I will need the power of God to accomplish it. Between me and every city on it will be the opposition just waiting. But still, I believe and have faith. And most importantly, I have the passion to carry out my calling. Accepting my calling means relying on my faith in God.

Why?

Because as I drove, I thought about how we as believers can try to cap what God is trying to do. We think too logically and forget to include something called faith in our vision.

How logical was it that the Red Sea would part?

How logical was it to build an Ark of the size and magnitude that Noah built?

How logical that David would beat the giant Goliath?

How logical was it to believe that our Savior would be born from a virgin?

How logical was it that our Savior would be sent as an infant and not a brut?

How logical was it to believe that the son of God himself would rise from the dead?

My point is that we as Christians say we believe in a holy, powerful, and almighty God. But when we have God sized visions about the expansion of His Kingdom, we tend to want to cap it, because it is illogical and risky! That’s WHY it is FAITH!

Without risk, faith is not required.

It makes me want to stand upon a mountain and scream, how big is our God? Do we not think He is big and powerful enough to carry through the vision to expand and conquer?

HOW BIG IS OUR GOD????

How big is our God that we imperfect humans with limited mind capacities and creativity and of such small faith, feel WE have to be HOLD BACK to protect the God of the Universe and limit the very visions He has given us, simply because we don’t have the capability to comprehend the awesomeness of what He IS absolutely capable of!

Our we forgetting who God is?

Our we forgetting what He has already done?

Yet, when it is time to EXPAND, GO FORTH, AND LIVE BOLDLY for Christ by doing what we are CALLED by God to do regardless of how big the vision, we become pansies and put a cap on it!

Maybe you will not be the only person to complete such a large or expansive vision. Maybe God will bring others into the picture to work with you, or complete and carry on a legacy that you are building. But, if you do not start the project the way He intends, because you won’t lift the cap off, you’re limiting the potential of the vision you have been given.

In summary: Don’t let FEAR dictate what you can and can’t do. Let God determine that.

When I left my parents tonight, they informed me that they don’t want that massive map consuming the side of their foyer, so they gave it to me. So, as soon as we have a truck big enough to deliver it to my house, I will have the map I envisioned.

And I can start the uncapped journey God has set before me. One push pin at a time.

I am so excited. My vision is the earth and where ever God sends me in it.

What’s your vision?

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Trading A Pay-check For A Passion

Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:

God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.

So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?

I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)

1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)

And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?

Everything.

But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:

LOVE

Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.

I have to say that again.

Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!

It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.

Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!

So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!

When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!

I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.

When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.

You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.

Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.

Enjoy song and lyrics 😉

You will have to page down and click on “More Wonderful”-it brings up a different song each time…I’ll try to figure that one out! Listen to the song: Aaron Shust, More Wonderful
Link to lyrics

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Meeting With God

Yesterday, I woke up bright and early. And again today, I woke up earlier than normal. In fact, today I woke up just in time to see the clock change from 6:59 to 7:00am. Had I woken up and looked at it one second later, I would’ve missed it. That’s how I know precisely what time I opened my eyes. Instantly I sat up, and began to think about the day ahead of me. I checked my email, glanced at my web stats and sales reports, and stopped.

I needed to wake up and prepare for a meeting. I grabbed my morning Pepsi, my Bible, and headed out to my deck. I read and reflected. And after a period of time, I closed my Bible, closed my eyes, and laid out all of my thoughts to God. And then I got quiet. I just meditated, with my eyes closed, and took turns thinking, and then listening to the quiet sounds around me.

I had a meeting with God. It was just me taking time to sit and listen. Yes, I could hear the busy birds chirping happily in my Maple tree and the sound of the winds rustling through the leaves, but it was just the sound of Nature and the things that God created that I was hearing. I’d think, stop and listen. And think a little more, listen for a longer period of time, pray, and listen. And then it was eventually just a stillness in my head where I found myself lost in my listening.

What I noticed more than anything was that I became completely focused on Christ in that time. I focused on what is important to me-my priority which is living for Him, becoming more like Him, and being used in this life for His purpose. I feel balanced. I feel prepared. I feel confident and hopeful as I start today. It’is what will help me stay focused as I encounter thousands of distractions, temptations, and otherwise unimportant things that will approach me at any given time during my day. I must stay laser focused to achieve the mission God has placed before me. To do so requires balance and focus.

Life balance is not some gimmick. It’s a real way to live your life and completely focus on what your priorities are. And, since mine is living a Christ-centered life, I am designing more and more of my work to reflect that. It seems that with every meeting, I am getting further and further away from just the regular business models. I am working more and more for the Kingdom of God. I am balanced with my priorities, and how I live and spend my time is a direct reflection of my focus through my balance.

Oh, I will continue to teach and present in the business world…I am not leaving. I was thinking after my meeting with God this morning that more and more of my writing is directly related to balancing and the Kingdom of God. That is where my focus is. That is my priority. That is my PASSION. And my life balancing and life management is keeping me there. Truthfully, those are gifts from God, and I am using them for His glory, and I am so honored and humbled.

I am so happy that God reminded me in our meeting of the importance of what I teach in my workshops. And the best part? Teaching in and for the House of God. Very humbling.

Great meeting 😉

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3.5 Ft. of Faith

Last weekend, I took my daughter for an entire day of fun at the City Pool and water park. I had been working on preparing for a Happy Hour (Life Changing) Workshop tour, so I promised her that Saturday was ALL hers. She chose to start at the zoo and then head to the water park. Little did I know that we’d be at the water park from opening until closing. Yes, we had that much fun. And it wasn’t a relaxing sunbathing day for me. It was in the water, wrestling with her, holding her up so she could jump off of my legs/shoulders, and racing her in an Olympic sized pool. After six hours, I was hungry and EXHAUSTED, and almost too exhausted to cook and eat anything!

I got to thinking about the fun, but very tiring day we had. For those who know me well, you know that I will not get in a pool if I cannot see, stay away from, and never come close to the drain. I am absolutely MORTIFIED of them. Okay, and yes, even worse…when I stay in a hotel and take a shower, I must keep one eye open and on that stupid drain in there. I just don’t do drains. I don’t like them, I won’t touch them, I won’t save anyone drowning near one (just kidding…I think…thank goodness I’ve never had to find out! If you ever go swimming with me take a third person so you have a back up person to save you if I chicken out!), and I flat out will not get into a hot tub unless I can keep my feet off the bottom. Ever. No way, no how, I am soooo seriously terrified of drains.

When my daughter asked me to race her from one side of the pool to the other, I declined. I wasn’t about to swim over one and have to pretend it wasn’t underneath me, and not look down even though I would know it was there. To me it was clear and present danger and I wasn’t going anywhere across that pool. I was staying close to the edge of the pool. I know they won’t hurt me technically (although I did see that they have had to change the design of them in recent years due to safety issues, ha…I was right!), but it doesn’t matter. I’m a chicken.

Okay, to get to the point of what I started thinking about regarding my faith…

I am a prayer warrior.

I’m a little woman who cannot wait to get her Master’s Degree to learn more about Biblical Leadership and use it in the world to change, equip, and help lead growth and create leaders in the Kingdom of God.

I know it will be a battle, but I am confident about putting on the full armor of God to do so. God will equip me with exactly what I need and I trust Him.

I am SO willing, EAGER, and ready to go and DO whatever God asks me to do (and in fact, I feel like Owen Wilson and the other little Roman guy from A Night At The Museum…they were two very tiny guys who were so ready to just go and fight the fight not thinking about how small they really were. They were fearless and ready to go now!!! That’s how much I want to do this!)

So, if I’m that willing and eager, and have faith and trust the Lord to walk blindly and just go…then how come I couldn’t swim across the pool with my daughter because of my drain phobia? I trust God SO much that I can fight a mighty battle and stand for His Kingdom, but I’m afraid of a swimming pool drain that is going to do…what? What’s it going to do? It’s not like there’s a trap door under the grate. Is there?

Regardless, the message hit me. I prayed in the pool, tucked my feet up (never came close to touching the bottom of the pool…man, I kicked like there was a shark coming after me) and swam with my daughter. I swam for six hours with her and had a blast! And after a period of time, I found myself venturing out further, deeper, and getting involved in a lot more of the pool games!

How many times do we let FEAR keep us from doing what we really want to do. And what’s more, how many times do we let FEAR paralyze us and not do what God is calling us to do?

If He’s called us…He’s equipping and strengthening us with every act of obedience. We have to be obedient and go to the first place He calls us, in order to get to the next place. Each successive place we go for the Lord will equip us for the next.

Faith AND trust will ELIMINATE fear.

Amazing what I learned in 3.5 ft of water.

Now I can move to the deeper parts of my faith 😉

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A Leader’s Top 10 List vs. God’s Top 10 List

I have been in intense thought all day. It’s just one of those FUNky days where I know I want to be doing something…working intensely…on a mission…take charge…full speed ahead…saddle up partner, let’s go…kind of day. But, to do what?

So, after all this intense thought and prayer that’s accompanied it, I’ve come up with a top 10 list. These are things I’d like to do…now. Simultaneously. Multi-task. You know, just because I can, I want to, and I’m a leader. And, my God breaths stars, so I can do all through Him. Right? But, am I supposed to do it all?

Well, here’s the list I came up with:

1. I want to return to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Divinity. (No, I don’t necessarily want to be a pastor…I want to solidify the teaching I do and learn/absorb as much as possible and earn a degree for the life balancing that I speak about, teach, and present…that’s all.)

2. I absolutely want to be a church planter somewhere. A church that promotes a balanced life, where people JUMP out of their seats to get involved for Christ’s Kingdom…it’s a vision I have!!! (So, maybe this one is really part of #9? #9 is the core of who I am!)

3. Teach and speak for six months out of the year and write/hibernate for six months a year (ha, ha) spending time completely focused on my relationship with God and my kiddos. (That’s when my best writing and creativity kicks in!) (PS…everyone needs some time out for creativity, connectivity, and reflectivity…create, connect, and reflect-part of life balance-schedule it and DO IT!) This one ranks pretty high up there, actually! I do A LOT of writing!

4. I want to write at least one dozen books/workbooks on life balance to help as many pastors, leaders, and everyday people balance their lives for the glory of God. Three down…nine more to go! I am uber passionate about this since we live in a society that promotes killing ourselves by glorifying our busyness/not our effectiveness. We are so unfocused that we are losing our missions…things fall apart…we fall away. Could that be what the opposition wants? My game plan is to battle the opposition and EQUIP God’s people to balance for success! HUGE MISSION OF MINE! Again, part of #9?

5. I want to take a camping trip with my kids each year. Why? Tradition, and to get in touch with who God is, who He created my kiddos to be, and how as a parent/mentor/role model I can grow them for His purpose. And, it’s LOADS of fun. Destination nowhere’s (we’ve fallen off the radar) are the trips we love the most. If we say road trip…we mean road trip. We’re burning rubber-just how we connect as a family!

6. And this should be at the top of the list, but I want to put together a leadership group of people/mentors to refuel my internal well. The type of leaders that when I read their blogs and books, I am always shouting without thinking or controlling, “Yeah!, Rock On!, Oh, Dude, that is right on target!” In other words, there are certain individuals that I get totally jazzed and pumped for the Kingdom. A few are Erwin McMannus, Steven Furtick, Christine Caine, Craig Groeschel, TD Jakes, Perry Noble, oh, and yes there are more.

I’m a read and learn junkie. It’s a habit for me to absorb as much as I possibly can BUT not to keep it to myself…to go, do, and USE IT, put it into ACTION and DO something with it. Knowledge is powerless unless you use it. So, I want to create a team of mentors and spiritual leaders/coaches that I can draw from and use the blessings and knowledge that I have for the good of the Kingdom to reach God’s people. Can’t help it…UBER passionate! Cart wheel, flip, hand spring…God is THAT awesome, and no I’m not insane.

7. I hope God blesses me in a relationship, but until then-I am committed to staying single, and focused on Him. Regardless, I am so in love with my Savior, that any fool who could fall in love with me will have to seek Him in order to find me. (Isn’t that intimidating…you don’t have to go through a big brother to date me…you have to go through the Father of the Universe!) That’s love 😉 And if this is not part of God’s plan, I am perfectly content (and spoiled to not have to share, lol!)

8. I want to support Seasoned With Salt and grow my dream and vision of reaching EVERY corner of the earth and all places in between to bring HOPE (House Of Prayer Every day) and supply food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies, bibles, and the funding to help millions upon millions of people. I’m going to have to write and sell A LOT Of the Move Into Action workbooks to do so! I promised God a 90% tithe (reverse tithe) for this first workbook I wrote. And, I meant that-to support Seasoned With Salt!

9. I hope to travel the world to bring churches to their feet, Moving Into Action (yeah, the name of my business…I love it!!!…to get everyone out of their cushy church seats and active to use their time, gifts, talents, skills, and do it with joy and gladness so that the same 50 people who do most everything in the church aren’t the only one’s volunteering anymore. I want to teach HOW to make time, motivate and encourage to DO IT, and being POSITIVE ENERGY to the churches in the world. I don’t want to do much, do I?

Oh, Everyone has potential and a purpose!

10. I want to lead a movement on personal accountability in a nation that thrives on finger pointing, whining, and excuses for behaviors, actions, and LACK of actions for things we know we should/shouldn’t do, but fail to do anything about. And, I want to do this not from a “holier than thou” perspective, because I am a real person, with real issues, who has to do the same thing daily…I am not immune or better. I am a living example and I practice what I teach and speak about.

Now with all of that said, I have to wonder….

What is God’s top 10 for me?

And, does He have a top ten?

Maybe He has a top 3 for me.

Maybe He has a top 1 for me.

I believe with all my heart that I have to seek God constantly to find FOCUS, so I will be in alignment with His purpose and plans for me.

I achieve that through life balance. Yes, see even I do these things! I do practice what teach. I’ve learned all of this from experience. Yes, I have learned from hard knocks, skinned knees, and shattered dreams.

One thing I think as leaders we must seek is whether we are to do everything on our list, or whether we are to find and focus on our passion. Are we burning out and making ourselves vulnerable to spiritual attack by tackling too much all at once? Are we balancing and seeking God’s will before setting out to add even more to our already overwhelming list of tasks and ideas? We all have a top ten. And I think we need to spend more time comparing it with God’s top ten for our lives. It’s great to be ambitious. But we need to be a balanced ambitious. A smart ambitious. A patient ambitious. We need to be more ambitious about seeking God’s direction and less in seeking our own.

God doesn’t want us ineffective and burned out.

So, if I had to choose one thing from the top of my list to start with…it would be…

Drum roll……

#9 would be my first choice. But then again…I think that in each season of my life-they all would fit in at various times…just not all at once. Thankfully, that will leave time for #5 fairly regularly.

Draw up your top 10…it’s an interesting exercise to see where you want to go, and start praying over where God is asking you to go. You might find you are going in too many different directions (serving too many masters, which should be remedied IMMEDIATELY since there is only ONE God that we are to serve).

Long article, I know…just where my thoughts have been today.

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I’ll Be A Fool…

One of my favorite songs is in my head…

I’ll be a fool…
for you…

It’s a Christian song by After The Chase, about being so happy, go lucky, crazy in love with God and your Savior that you SEEM like a fool in this world, because it’s impossible for others of the world to relate to your peace, faith, strength, happiness, being content, and taking risks to reach His people.

So, if you are a leader trying to do something and people are saying:

“Expand our church? Not in this economy! You’re a fool!”

“You’re making a career change to live the calling that God has called you to? Seriously? What about the security you have now? I don’t get you!

If you are hearing:

“It can’t be done!”

“We already tried that, so just forget about it!”

“I don’t think we will get the support we need.”

As a leader, it is imperative to surround yourself with other innovators and leaders. Surround yourself with innovative and creative people who are LIVING their calling. No doubt, you’ll be called a fool by those who are not. But, how many successful business people and church planters were thought to have been foolish, only to have been some of the most successful individuals who have built some amazing places of worship in our time? And who are we to question God’s plan?

Even if all you are trying to do is lead someone to Christ, you still need to connect with other leaders. People will think you are a fool if you do something out of the ordinary, or something that they don’t necessarily understand or agree with. And, I’m not suggesting that we change people’s perceptions of what we are doing. We are not crazy people, and we certainly don’t need to gain the approval of others BEFORE we do what GOD has CALLED us to do. We are individuals who are LISTENING to what God is calling us to do, and we are answering Him and responding to His direction with glad and happy hearts! If that makes us fools, then go forth and BE FOOLISH!!! Be a happy fool!

Without coming across as a smart-butt, when someone questions why I am doing what God has calling me to do, because they don’t necessarily agree or understand, I want to respond, “God is not asking you to do it. He’s guiding me in that direction.” And truthfully, people need to be less concerned with what God has called others to do and be more concerned with what He’s called them to do. When God calls, we have to be willing to become a “fool” to the world.

Poke me, spit at me, hit me, call me names, laugh at me, treat me differently, gossip about me, or take everything I own…it doesn’t matter. Why? I’m so INCREDIBLY happy even during the worst times of my life…because I am content in my love for God.

HOW FOOLISH! (Grin!)

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What Does Approval Cost?

It’s so much easier to run with the crowds. All throughout life we find that in certain circumstances we don’t want to rock the boat. We want to stay with the familiar. We want to security of the known. We want people to like us. We want their approval on what we do, say, and become. But, what does that approval cost us?

When we have a vision or a goal that surpasses what others can comprehend or even view as logical, they likely will not support where we decide to go. They may consider us to be “crackpots” or “dreamers”. We are neither or the two. Crackpots and dreamers will not have a well thought out plan, the action steps, and the will to persevere through the difficult phases that arise to materialize the vision that is planted within us. Only a vision without action behind it remains just a dream. Everyone has a dream, but not everyone will make their dreams reality. There is a difference between “crackpots” and visionary people.

If we waited for everyone to give us their approval to to try, we’d never succeed at anything. The truth is, if we constantly sought approval from everyone, we’d never even start. We’d all be stuck right where we are indefinately. Thankfully, we don’t need to live that way.

Leaders who truly have the calling to lead will not set out to win votes before they take on that role, especially when the calling is from God. Think of Moses and Noah. I’m sure that they were thought of as “crackpots” and “dreamers”, but they didn’t wait for approval from friends, family, and coworkers before doing what God had called them to do.

Living your calling and living your dreams to make them become reality may cost us a few friendships and our comfort for a period of time. But, in reality that is a small price to pay for living out our passions, purpose, and unleashing our potential. Especially when that potential is given to us from God.

The initial cost doesn’t compare to what the end result will bring. Go, do, and become. Or, wait for approval and let that be your “excuse”.

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