Posts Tagged priorities

Do YOU Really Want To Be Here?

This is something I could write about on my business website or my blog, but I’m choosing my blog for now since I thought of this at church yesterday.

Do You Really Want To Be Here?

We’ve all seen and heard people make excuses of why they couldn’t do this or that, why they couldn’t be here or there, or why they just gave up on something.

I believe many times that the answer is they didn’t really want to be there. Or it just wasn’t something that important to them.

Have you ever heard excuses from friends who didn’t follow through, people who didn’t show up when they should have, or listened to “stories” as excuses that “buy” an “out?”

Have you heard the excuses?
“Oh, I was just too tired.”
“My car wouldn’t start.”
“My dog died, it’s ninth death this month.”
“So and so couldn’t go, so I didn’t either.”

And then we’ve all observed the exact opposite. You know, the people who do care and still made all the effort to get to their destination. Why? It was IMPORTANT and had meaning to them.

Here are examples:
The single mothers and fathers who get multiple young kiddos ready for church all by themselves, secure transportation with another family member, juggle all the kids, diaper bag, and toys just to get to church on time.

The person who won the lottery, but hitch-hiked all the way to the capitol city to cash in their winning ticket despite not having transportation or a penny to their name to get a ride any other way.

The ill person due to accept an award at a banquet who despite being sick, makes every effort to show up anyway.

The parent who has had a terrible day that smiles through the school play and pretends not to have a headache.

It’s the difference between having a vested interest and not. It’s the difference between wanting to be there and not. It may not always be easy or pleasant, but you are there, because you want to be. You didn’t let the obstacles get in your way, and you didn’t settle for excuses.

Go YOU!!!

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When God Interrupts Your Regularly Scheduled Life

Today I heard the news of two celebrities dying. One who was ill, and the other who died suddenly. Regardless, I ‘m not going to write about them. What I’m going to write is a message that I got loud and clear today.

I started my day in the usual way. Pour a Pepsi, take the dog out, and say “Good Morning,” and pray to God. From that point on, I either have appointments I need to keep, work to get started on, or find solutions to issues that I want to resolve.

This morning:
1. I wanted to find a mentor.
2. I wanted to map out my next book.
3. I wanted to explore open positions in ministry to work with a team of leaders.
4. I wanted to call the school to inquire about financial assistance for obtaining that Master’s Degree.
5. I wanted to vent my frustrations and whine a little over a few things.
6. I wanted to write a blog entry on mentorships and research the web for some information.
7. I wanted to attend the board meeting (Yippee, I was voted on as a board member for a non-profit!)
8. I wanted to pray EXTENSIVELY to figure out my next steps, spend time in Scripture, and walk with the Lord for awhile. (And no this doesn’t represent the order in which they were done. Number eight was actually the first to be done 😉

This afternoon after learning that several celebrities had died within a few hours of each other, my remaining schedule is looking like this:
1. (Not important)
2. (Need to just get over it)
3. (Really, this was a must do?)
4. (Venting? Seriously? Was it THAT bad?)
and on and on and on…

I was reminded that our circumstances can completely take us so far off target that we start to focus on them and lose sight of what God really wants us to do. And for me, this got my attention. All of the sudden I thought, “If today were my last day, would I have been focused on what God wanted me focused on or would I have been focused on appointments, bills, and stupid stuff?” Well, I decided today that I don’t want to die while focused on stupid things that mean nothing to The Kingdom. Nope, when God calls me home, I want to go focused and fixed on His promises.

My daily programming shouldn’t be based on the crisis of the hour, the 1001 things to do, and scheduling things that will occupy my time for the next six months. My daily programming was interrupted today to remind me of what truly IS important. My task should be to focus on what God has given me for the day. Meet the need. Do the task. Write the book. Help a neighbor. Talk to a friend. But not without keeping my focus on Him and seeking His clear direction. Life is too short. I realized that one of the most important things I want to do each day is to make sure that I am right with God in my actions, thoughts, and motives.

That requires focus. And today I realized that my focus was on things that in the end don’t really matter. Now that I can get back to my regularly scheduled life, I find myself thinking most of the stuff I have on my list is not as important as I once thought. Those tasks can wait while I realign my focus on what really matters. Wow. Totally attention getting. Thanks, God! I needed a change in perspective.

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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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