Lessons from Luther

Martin Luther was given keen insight into salvation as a free gift of God.  Other items became clear and freedom was offered to many that had been bound in tradition. He was not fully released from some traditions. His hardness resulted in loneliness.

When he had opportunity to include others, he refused.  He entrenched on issues that were not critical but represented the very tradition he sought to break away.  Zwingli came to him with an open heart and open arms and allowance for disparate beliefs that were not critical to Christ living. Two hard pieces of old tradition clung to Luther and kept him from enjoying the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Don’t make Luther ‘s mistake and walk alone.

This attitude became a continuing mark of those that later called themselves Lutheran.  His hard stance was fathered into generations that some still stay separated from other Christians.

Are there pieces of my theology that exclude other Christians?

Can I find a way of peace that includes those that hold positions that are reprehensible to me?

Am I able to speak what I believe without pushing down what others believe?

Action: Make time to meet with a leader of an area similar to your leadership area.  Listen.  Don’t refute or critique.  Listen and learn. Find a place of agreement.

The Speed of Trust and the 3Cs

Good leaders surround themselves with good leaders.  Good teams submerge themselves in good practices.  Good people doing good action with good processes produce great results.   It works.  Great results flow. They don’t take onerous work. The people, the action, and the process make it happen.

So what does a great flow look like?  Trust builds on competency, chemistry, and character.  Trust greases the skids of great and right results.  Look for trust.  When it exists, the 3Cs are most likely in place.

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world – one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.  Stephen M.R. Covey on Trust

What does trust look like?

Loyalty:  When trust exists the backdoor bickering is silent.  Ever have a cohort who constantly bickers?  Character prevails. Loyalty extends in every direction.  A disloyal worker will bring strife into every decision.  Loyal people listen and learn and run with direction.

Rapid Results:  When trust exists people are busy doing the next thing.  The constant questioning goes away.  Vision is caught and integrated into daily action. Chemistry is activated.

Right Action:  When trust exists the team knows they can run and make mistakes.  They are responsible to keep each other informed and know what to do.  Competency is not a question.

Do The Hard Thing:

Team Building:  A manager asked me recently, “Phil, what do I do when these three seem out of sync constantly?  I have solid processes.  The people are trained.  Communication is constant.  Yet, we just can’t get the flow moving?”   Answer:  Look for the weakened link.  Somewhere, someone has lost vision or never had it.  They are not with the team.   Check out my series of TEAM articles on Shepherdok.net .  There are some tips on structure, action, accountability, adherence, and alliance.   Find the person out of sync.

  • If they are in a slump and have been faithful in the past, see if you can discover their angst and help them solve it. You can’t solve the issues of the soul.  You can provide the right environment to heal if it has been damaged.
  • Do not attack them. Many managers make this mistake and lose quality team members. Not only will you lose a friend and supporter, this is an act of treason on your part.  The rest of the team will sense your disloyalty to one member and you have become the joint out of sync.
  • If they have never shown faithfulness, release them to follow their heart. They are not with you and will destroy the rest of the team.  Let me be strong here.  If you have done your best and a team player resists, release them.  They will not become happy because you are a great person.  They will tear at the rest of the team’s joy and trust and productivity.  Release them and your team can go forward.  Their passion is elsewhere.  Help them get to it.  Be graceful and firm.

Stand strong. Build a great team.  Build a better organization forward.

Boldly Break It Off!

excerpted from Time To Lead (available on Amazon.com)timetolead

Break Off Old Relationships

Radical action causes us to look for new anchors.

II Kings 18:4: He (Hezekiah) removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made (during a time of destruction as a focal point): for in those days the children of Israel burned incense to it (turned the one use object into a sort of a god): and he called it Nehushtan (piece of brass).

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Base Living:Human nature leans toward base living. As much as we would like to complement our humanity, it simply will decay into animalistic expression left unchecked. Values and character are built over time and circumstance. Truth, honesty, courage, and compassion in a community do not come from standing on the corner and watching. They come from purposeful and determined action of many individuals over time.

Urgency: Hezekiah in his young heart knew action had to be taken. He sensed the urgency of the moment and moved off of the sidewalk of people watching. Hezekiah seized the day throughout his life. At this trend-setting juncture, he established a position of “no retreat” by tearing out the places to which people could retreat.

Disequilibrium: Creating disequilibrium for those caught in a vacuum of disillusionment and distortion of vision can be a necessity. When wanting to move forward into new territory, it is many times absolutely necessary to take away reminders of a destructive past. Radical action causes us to look for new anchors. Even a good thing in the brass serpent, which God meant for good when it was created, can become an evil reminder and a draw backwards instead of forward.

Hezekiah broke off old relationships that pointed the wrong direction in establishing and living in greatness before God with the people.

Ugandan Change AgentUgandan President Yoweri Museveni stood against the curve. After discovering a third of his army officers were HIV positive, he determined to make a stand. The President started a hard and loud program focusing on faithfulness and sexual purity. It was against the cultural curve. The nation had a culture of free sexual activity with multiple partners. He called for cultural change as an answer. The results were astounding. HIV percentages dropped 15% over a decade.

There have been many detractors to his actions. But he took them. He stood against the curve and called for a break with old relationships at a national and individual level.

 Respond with Action: What symbols of antiquity cause your vision to look backwards? What about the people with whom you partner? What ideas are anchored in the past but not the future? What keeps character tied to a post?

Pray with Faith: These are challenging words, Lord of Life. You have plans for me to succeed and prosper in all I do. You have focus on my future. There are many around me waiting on my action. Deliver me from the death of apathy. Deliver me from the shroud of inaction. Cause me to come to Your fresh and living waters. Cause me to see those obstacles that bind me and those around me to the past. Birth this greatness in me, Father. I commit to see life in a new light. Help me to purge the distractions that draw me backwards.

 

Prepare Your Will

excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead

timetoleadLeaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.

Hezekiah was a God-Follower. It Changed His Life To Obedience

 II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Rest in this – it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you. Jim Elliot

 Rule Well

Hopefully, we rule well. Our challenge is to address the issues of today that have been left unaddressed, too long. Our challenge is to set a powerful course that will reverse the manners in which we have become accustomed and find a course that will guide for decades. Our nation has lost moral compass and needs a strong thrust to establish a critical course for the future. It will be disastrous if we do not engage and adjust.

Principles Work

Leadership is leadership. Anyone can see results if they adhere to the principles. The more principles invoked, the greater the leadership. Yet, sometimes, it only takes one principle to fit with the timing of events and a great leader emerges. A leader empowered with the love and wisdom of God through Christ has a distinctive “accelerator” in results. God works with us doing miracles. (Mark 16)

Real Success

There are leaders entrenched in manipulation and avarice and greed. That is not where we need to look for example. Study them. Understand them. Avoid the fault lines. Men like Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin need to be studied. Understanding why people followed such leaders is important, but not wisdom to emulate. People will follow base leadership that touches their prurient side. That does not make a successful leader or leave a better world.

 Worthy Goals

Earl Nightingale identified success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal. I like that definition. So my first test of greatness in leadership is a worthy goal. Is the goal one that builds other people? Is the goal one that adds to productivity? One U.S. company has the goal of producing the best “sin product”. Cigarettes, beer, snuff; anything that is damaging and addictive but legal for consumption is on their agenda. The greatest influence leader in that organization would not be considered successful in my estimation. There is no worthy goal in contributing to the destruction of human bodies and relationships.

Check The Core

If the core philosophy or goal or vision or mission is off center, scrap that example. Study those leaders and goals to understand the ways and wiles of mankind. Look for your own leadership example elsewhere. If you find your goals and methods following a leader with an unworthy goal, find a good closet for repentance, change your mindset, and get corrected. Some of the greatest leaders in history started with an unworthy focus, shifted, and become powerful in building communities. The ability to correct direction when it has gone awry is a quality of a great leader.

Pray with Faith: In the intensity of change, Lord, I look to You for guidance.  Mold my mind, will, and emotion to be Yours.

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Purchase your copy on Amazon print or kindle and study through insights from 54 world changers in business, community, government, education and life.  History has good repeatable lessons.  http://amzn.com/1497525039

Make a dent in another family.  Give $20 to Community Transformation Initiative and feel good about yourself.  Lay up some treasure in a better life forward.  Use Paypal or Click on your favorite credit card.  Secure. Tax Deductible.  Solid Investment.

Open a dialogue.  Phil operates Shepherd Consulting to help you build a better business and better life forward.

Time To Lead: Reroute

excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead

timetoleadLeaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.

II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

“Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi

Trust In God: Our speaking platforms and writings resound with lessons on leadership and change based on the lives and teachings of Genghis Khan, Rollo May, Marcus Aurelius, William James, Winston Churchill, Confucius, Sun Tzu, humanism, capitalism, IBM, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, and the Marriott’s. Here is a man, who in his youth established a testimony of trust in God greater than David, Solomon, and all the other recorded world rulers of the day. Here is a man, who with little resource, pulled off the greatest upset against the giant of his day. His strongest resource was trust of God.

Common Creation: Hezekiah is a man like us. Young, ambitious, and filled with a life of bad examples, he chose to set a different path. In his later years, when he waned in trust in God and began to lean on himself and his strengths, he revived himself to former levels. Through a commitment to God, greatness oozed from him beyond what he had experienced early in ruling. Again, he saw great action of God on his behalf.

Greatness Enjoined Willingly By Others: In his hard twenty-nine years of leading, he worked with God to change his world. He worked with God to change himself. He worked with God to upset the status quo culture that had become ingrained in everyday living. What we attempt to do through hard legalistic mandates, he saw accomplished through leadership first in example and second in commanding action that so impressed others they left their commonness and joined him in greatness.

Cultural Imperatives: Our nation of the United States is under testing. Other nations have similar challenges. There is nothing new about the tests before us. Trials come in waves over the centuries. Equality is always questioned by some group and requires a constant adjustment as a nation of ever new citizens grows. Racial barriers rise in differing manners, but they will never totally subside. Poverty will always be with us and require constant adjustment and compassion to address. Distribution of wealth through taxation and business legal edicts will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Governance issues of when and how much to restrict use of common resources and contain greed through legislative restraint remain. Freedoms of speech, religion, and self-assertion need protecting.

How we act today as states and nations leaves the next generation a different set of symptoms of problems than ours. The issues are the same at the core. Leadership cannot rest once an issue is significantly addressed. Leadership is required for continuance of peace and community stability and economic prosperity. Hezekiah had been left with pain and bad example. He left a better line to follow.

Overcoming Bad Example: One of the strongest impacts in the last century in the United States came from Ronald Reagan. Through political and personal activity in California and as President of the United States, Reagan influenced the way people think and relate. His examples as a child were contradictory.

Reagan’s mother influenced him through personal example and involvement in the Disciples of Christ. Reagan’s father influenced him through continual failure in business and alcoholism. The unstable and irresponsible example could have been Reagan’s choice. It was not. He chose a higher road.

During times of change economically and in global duress, Reagan provided a leadership on which the nation depended. Dependability and responsibility in his life and example impacted those who agreed with him and those that did not.

Many leaders have bad example in their early life. It serves as an incentive and passion to live a different way. Every action we take is not always right. However, actions that bring hope and healing for others out of our own pain can make a big difference. Many of our leaders of all political parties and cultural heritage have acted out of their history and commonality with struggles to influence our nation.

Respond with Action: Take time to remember a good example left you from the last generation. Too often we focus on the bad and miss the good. There is blessing you can carry forward stronger than the last generation.

Pray with Faith: Father, pull from our heritage goodness. Yes, You placed goodness in our heritage from which we can grow. There is a path in our past meant to be stronger. Help us to sort through the bad and find the good. Help us to pass forward a world stronger and better than the one we inherited.

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Purchase your copy on Amazon print or kindle and study through insights from 54 world changers in business, community, government, education and life.  History has good repeatable lessons.  http://amzn.com/1497525039

Make a dent in another family.  Give $20 to Community Transformation Initiative and feel good about yourself.  Lay up some treasure in a better life forward.  Use Paypal or Click on your favorite credit card.  Secure. Tax Deductible.  Solid Investment.

Open a dialogue.  Phil operates Shepherd Consulting to help you build a better business and better life forward.

Risk It! Be an “ABLE ALSO”

The intensity of being a contributor versus a consumer brings us to moments of challenged ability.  Be one that is able in the moment needed and others will entrust greatness into your hands.

 2Tm:2:2: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

 Winners Make Commitments.training

Losers Make Promises.

 In these few short words to Timothy, Paul revealed a tremendous portion of the key to his winning life.  Look at the word choices. Among Many Witnesses.  The Same.  Commit.  Faithful Men.  Able Also.

Among many witnesses.  Paul was not afraid for his life to be tested against witnesses.  His words were true and he stayed with them.  What witnesses heard years before still was true of his life.  Timothy was charged to make sure solid teaching, life, and words passed on to other men of commitment.

The same.  Paul was open in his life.  He committed himself to being like Jesus. The same yesterday, today, and forever.

Commit.  Paul was not noncommittal.  He made commitments and expected others to do the same.

Faithful men.    These are hard to find.  Paul never gave up.  Betrayed continually, he never gave up looking for faithful men.

Able also.  We can be an “able also”.  An “able also” does the same in making commitment, sticking with it, being faithful, following through, endures all things, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Promises are cheap.  “I’ll be there.”  MEANS “If it fits the pressures of the moments right before.” OR “Whatever it takes to get you to quit asking.” .  “Til death do us part.”  MEANS “Until I redefine what I meant.” OR “Until I don’t want to handle the pressures anymore face to face.”

Commitment is expensive.  “I’ll be there.”  MEANS “Whatever the cost, I’ll rearrange life to get me there.”  “Til death do us part.”  MEANS “I will stick it out though I may not feel like it.  “I will take control of my feelings and bring them to submission in Christ.”

Psalm 15:1: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?  who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2: He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 : He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4: In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.  He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5: He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.  He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Take Inventory

What does it mean to be an “ABLE ALSO”?

What changes do I have to make?

Are there repairs that need to be done to broken commitments?

When am I willing to start?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Be An Able Also

Father, make me an “ABLE ALSO”.  Change the way I promise to commitment.  Instill in me faithfulness.  When I am faithless, You are faith-full.  Make me like Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Risk It!

Winners take risks.  They are unafraid of loss.  The balance of gains over losses motivates.

Psalm 20:6: Now I know that the LORD saves (brings out of trouble, restores, and strengthens) His anointed; He will hear him (and respond to his rallying call for help) from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand (the hand of power and ability, the hand at which Jesus represents His). 7: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses (some trust in their riches and alliances and abilities and mental acuity): but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 8: They (our enemies and all those who trust in their own strength) are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Winners are not afraid of losing.training

They are willing to take risks necessary to succeed in life.

Life means risk.  Life means taking chances that cause loss.  Loss of friends, loss of co-workers, loss of status, loss of power, loss of control, loss of understanding of those important to you, loss of money.. all these are losses a winner decides at times must be risked.  “No pain, no gain.  Know gain, know pain.”, some would say.  Life means risk.  Risk means loss.  Risk also means winning.

Edison risked until he found the right element for light bulbs.  Once on a comment that it took fifty thousand tries before he got results, he explained, “Results? Why I have gotten a lot of results.  I know fifty thousand things that won’t work.”

Ray Kroc became an outstanding business leader.  Yet, for years he failed at every business attempt.  It was so bad his wife was ready to leave him on his last venture.  Seems he sold out everything to buy a few hamburger joints owned by some brothers named McDonald.  You guessed it.  That was the start of the McDonald’s chain of restaurants that made the Krocs multi-millionaires.  Winners keep trying. (By the way, his wife stuck it out.)

Those secure in Jesus are unafraid of risk because they know He will back them up.  They know they can make a mistake and be put back on track.

Psalm 37:23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. 24: Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26: He is ever merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed.

Take Inventory

Pensive?

Trying to make a decision?

What is it?

Write it down.  Write down the good and bad about it.  Pray about it.  Listen to God.  Commit it to Him.  Decide.  Don’t let fear hold you down.

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 

Pray To Be Bold

Father, encourage me.  Strengthen me to take that step of faith in Your leading.  I am weak, Father.  I fail.  I am made of grass and wither in the noon sun, but You cause a shadow to cover me.  Let the cool breathe of Your Spirit blow over me and freshen my day.  Though I fall, I will get up and go again.  You will cause me to succeed.

Risk It! Stand Ground. Give Ground.

Pick your battles.  There is a time to stand and a time to give ground.  Use wisdom.  Move purposefully.

Phil:1:27: But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ.  So that whether I do come and see you, or merely hear about you from a distance, I may know that you are standing fast in a united spirit, battling with a single mind for the faith of the gospel and not caring two straws for your enemies. (J.B. Phillips translation).

A winner….. knows when to fight and when to compromise.

A loser ….. fights over the wrong things and compromises at the wrong time.

Hebrews 12:14  Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”  (J.B. Phillips translation)

Winners know when to fight to win and when to give.  In the song, “The Gambler”, the advice was given, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  There is a fight worth fighting, and there are items in life not worth the effort.

Winston Churchill in the darkest hours of England’s battles with Germany had this sense.  When others wanted to lay down and give up he stood ground and challenged, “Never give up.  Never give up.  Never give up.”  The war was won over courage and tenacity and knowing the fight needed to be fought.

You have to know when to fight. After living in their new home for a year, the Newbies had a major problem.  Sewage came running over into the downstairs bath, living room, and entry foyer.  What a mess!  Massive cleanup, roto-rooter, and a few days of showering at the neighbors did not fix it.  The city claimed the problem was theirs, the plumber claimed the city needed to fix it.  Two great neighbors and a day of digging exposed a major city problem.  Out they came, and yes, they fixed it.  They dug 14 feet deep, repaired the sewer main, and replaced fences they had to tear down.  But, they didn’t take care of the carpet and house.  Forms, forms, and more forms, telephone calls, working with city attorneys, and a lot of prayer resulted in a surprise.  One night the local city councilman called to alert the Newbies that their reimbursement request was scheduled to get the hatchet the next day at the city council meeting.  P. Newbie showed up at the council meeting of this large metropolitan community.  Deep in the docket was a line item scratching the claim along with over 30 other homeowners.  What could he do?  Fight.  Fight for his wife to get carpet.  Fight for restoration.  Fight he did.  First in prayer, then in rhetoric.  “Mayor, my friends and I dug a 7 foot deep hole to show the city that the problem was theirs, I am willing to dig a 7 foot deep rhetorical hole to help the council see it needs to pay these costs.”  The council halted him right there and offered to pay a reasonable settlement.  No one else was awarded that day.  The clerk could not believe it when she issued the check.

You have to know when to give and compromise The budget battle was intense.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in expansion monies were battled over by several departments.  Systems executives along with P. Newbie decided to withdraw and let the money go to retail remodels.  Eight months later accounting in an executive meeting moved $50,000.00 to systems and challenged them, “See what you can do with that.”  After 30 days of scramble and results, they gave them another $400,000.00 to spend moved from retail remodels

Take Inventory

Where do you need to fight?  Does someone need defending?

Where do you need to lay down your arms?  Is it better to give now and win a friend?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Have Wisdom

Father, teach me.  Show me wisdom to count the costs of every battle and decide.  Help me to see when I need to simply serve by not fighting for my preferences.  Help me see when I need to rise and defend my family, pastor, employer, friends.  Enliven my heart to be a wise warrior with what is entrusted to me.

Risk It! Stay Positioned

Position yourself to succeed.  Often we are standing in a pool of loss when the high ground of a gain is only one step.

Rom:8:37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

A winner …. is not afraid of losing.training

A loser …. is secretly afraid of winning.

2Cor:2:14: Now thanks be unto God, which always causes  us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place..

It is always interesting to see the perennial never enough mentality of people.  Our provision in life is so many times dictated by our vision.

The word provision has an interesting etymology.  Pro – before  Videre – to see.  Literally to see beforehand.

Gen22:8: And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9: And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10: And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11: And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12: And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13: And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and

 Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14: And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (The Lord Our Provider – Jehovah Jireh)

The Hebrew word, jireh, here means exactly as the Latin, provision.  They are both compounds of “to see before.”  The concept is that God sees what we need before we even get to the point of need and “pro-vides” it.

Winners understand the needs of life are “provided”.  What about the wants?

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  John 15:7  NIV

Winners remain and position themselves to receive. Remaining in Jesus is a posture of prayer and righteousness.  Our standing in Him is based on His atoning work on the cross.  Dead, buried, and risen with Him, we stand in full stead as a son before the Father of the Universe.  All our needs are met according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Remaining, abiding, dwelling, habituating….in His city, in His dwelling place, in the courts of our God, in the secret place places us in the constant position of protection and provision through prayer.

Like Abraham they are unafraid to take the challenge because they know that “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  They ultimately believe that what they need will be there when they get there.

Winners stay positioned in God, in conversation with God, and believe for victory in God.

This one will take more than one session.  God really is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) God.  The flip side is that winners know they can recover from any loss at any time… Next lesson…Stand Ground. Give Ground.

Take Inventory

Can I really believe that God will pro-vide?

Am I willing to drop my belief that He will only go so far in some area and that He won’t be abundant?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Risk It! Change

Every great innovation began with a resistence to status quo.  The greatest status quo that hinders is personal character.

Phil:4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

A winner …shows he is sorry by acting differently.training

A loser…. says, “I’m sorry”, but continues to do it again.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

You would like to get victory over weaknesses, wouldn’t you?  That is what Jesus is all about.  In the book of the Revelation there are many promises to the one who overcomes, stays until the end, “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin”, keeps moving on.  Our weaknesses, insecurities, nuances of personality haunt us in the path of the winner.  Over and over we will make mistakes, glitch in performance, slip climbing the ladder, fall on our face, get egg on our face, boondoggle……sin.

Yes, one key word used for sin in the Bible is simply to miss the mark.  Shoot at a goal and miss it.  Decide we want to be loving and react with anger.  Decide to keep our minds pure then fill it with trashy books, magazines, and the boob tube.  Promise to a wife or son or daughter or friend or neighbor or coworker or employee or employer and then not follow through.  Sin.

The question is, “What do we do then?”  Do we take a winner’s stance or a loser’s escape.  Do we face up, fess up, and clean the mess up?  Or do we put on a face, say, “I’m sorry”, and fade away only to do it again and again?

Winners change.  Winners find a way to do life differently the next time.

Some years back a famous jewel thief was being interviewed over his life.  He had spent many years in prison.  His modus operandi was to only steal from the rich and famous.  The interviewer asked him what his biggest theft was.  His reply was, “Me.”  The explanation was simple.  He had stolen his own life.  What could have been a great creative mind used productively was used to steal and hurt.    When you refuse to change and use the talents and strengths God gives you, you are stealing from yourself.  Your time, energy, and talent go into actions that only produce hurt and pain for you and others.  Why not change to a better way?  Why not get a new thought process and quit doing what doesn’t work, what only hurts?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Take Inventory

What needs changing in your thought life?

What can you fill your mind with that will cause the old thoughts to go out and new ones come in?

Make a date with destiny.  When are you going to start?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 

 

 

 

 

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  I make mistakes everyday.  Help me not repeat them.  Help me overcome the items in life that are so easy to do wrong.  Focus my thoughts on good things, pure, lovely, true, honest, excellent things that cause me to follow through with real change not just being sorry.