The Road To Success Is Always Under Construction

You ever have one of those moments when you realize God is talking to you, in a way you were not expecting?  It was your average weekend for me, Did some reading, some studying, saw a couple of movies that I enjoyed but did not think much of them till this morning when I heard Steve Harvey Opening Remarks: “The Road To Success Is Always Under Construction” This road always has the men at work sign on it, it always has detours, and it always have barrels on it This road can be what you make it, but you have to build it first!”

It is similar to a famous quote by Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” It means that success does not come without hard work. I think this is an idea that all of us can learn is that mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn from if we have done our best.

The concept of success and achievements are at the front of the minds of most people? Who wakes up in the morning and ask themselves “What can I fail at today?” I believe in many cases including myself at tyme it ourselves that stop us from succeeding? Achieving lasting change, and getting what you really want in life, takes a sustained vision of the future. That vision serves not just as an ongoing source of motivation to get there, it helps you identify and tackle the obstacles that have held you back until now. But we allow our selves to keep looking in the rear view mirror, then the road ahead.

“The fear of success is a very unique issue that arises when you are genuinely creating change and moving forward in your life,” says Ti Caine, a life coach.

“Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can.”
Thomas Carlyle

One of the movies I watched this weekend was Coach Carter. To me it’s one of those underdogs make you feel good at the end movies! But there is one part that truly touched me! It’s when one the trouble young men came to grips with what was his deepest fear?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”                  (2 Tim. 1:7)

Now you might be sick right now. You might be afflicted right now. You might have all kinds of problems right now. But why don’t you trust Jesus Christ, who is just standing closely to you, just like He is knocking at your door? He says, “Open your heart’s door. I will come in. When Jesus comes in, He brings all the heavenly blessings for us. In John 14:23, Jesus says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” What a great promise and blessing.

In life you must over come many obstacles. Sometymes you feel that you had completed something, but in reality you really didn’t. You may have completed many things, but in the end you completed nothing. This road is not an easy one to traverse, with many deterrents and pitfalls along the way; success is worth achieving but it doesn’t come easily.

Only fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).

It means we will never, truly reach success and be satisfied. Our success journeys are never-ending, because we are always working on them… as if they were always under construction. We will learn from our mistakes, and hopefully we will not just don’t make the same one. Our mistakes are like the obstacles that get in front of us in our journey on the road to success. Work on what you have going on first in your life, and then worry about your future. Whatever you do know will indeed affect your future.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky

No one is perfect, and God knows this. That is why He has liberally sprinkled encouragement against fear throughout the Bible. Beginning in the book of Genesis and continuing throughout the book of Revelation, God reminds us to “Fear not.”

For example, Isaiah 41:10 encourages us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Often we fear the future and what will become of us. But Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air, so how much more will He provide for His children? “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).

A key point to understand is if we have truly done our best at something that “learning from a failure is critical. Connecting effort with failure at an emotional level is crippling. After all, we’ve already agreed you did your best.” This idea that failure is fatal prevents many from taking risks and indeed achieving long term success. Seth Godin goes on to say that, “Successful people analytically figure out what didn’t work and redefine what their best work will be in the future. And then they get back to work.”

I think this is an idea that all of us can learn is that mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn from if we have done our best. A small but value added quote: “A Mountain is not higher than your confidence… Because it will be under your feet, if you reach the top!”

To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: “Leave no stone unturned.”
Edward Bulwer Lytton 

Life doesn’t make you or break you. It’s your own mentality that decides this. The only constant thing in this world is change and if we stop, stand still and remain unmoving in terms of business and our relationship with people, we will never really be truly successful. For me, you know that you have reached an inkling of success if you find out that there is more to be done and more to be shared.

One does not rest on his laurels and be content with what he has. This mind set and attitude can easily become the weight or anchor that will pull you down. There is always something out there to make you a better in what you’re trying to do, as well as a better person. Success, according to the way I see it, is not measured by what you have achieved or where you are standing now. It is actually exemplified through the different points of achievements you have over the passing years and how you keep surpassing your latest success.

Here is a quote I truly love:  “If you don’t love what you do, love why you’re doing it. Or don’t waste your tyme doing it at all!” Kim Schneiderman,

Success is not a destination. It’s a journey; the road to success is indeed always in need of construction and deconstruction. The faster and easier you employ this concept into your life, the greater your chances of really achieving your goal of succeeding. I think realizing that we are never done me actually be one of the keys to success and happiness. We have to learn to be comfortable with it and completeness of every moment and every day and just enjoy the ride.

“Do or Do not… There is No try!”Jedi Master Yoda

Just like going through a construction zone if you can’t change how long it will take to pass through, you might as well just take a deep breath and take in the sights along the way. Remember, the minute we say or think to ourselves that there is nothing more to be learned is the tyme when we can say that we have stopped living or existing.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

It’s important that we take each step feeling grounded and balanced. It is our right and purpose in life to be successful in whatever you are doing. If you believe in that then nothing will ever stop you from living a balanced and joyous life God made you to have.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

*Someone had forward this poem to me awhile back. I always found it to be An Inspirational Poem


Some Will Never Understand

I was able to see the movie Act of Valor this weekend I was never a Navy Seal, I was a Sergeant First Class in the US ARMY! But I must say I have SO much respect for those guys! On the way out of the theater I overheard a couple talking as they walked down the stair to the exit. I guy said to the girl he was with “I don’t get it?” She must have done a tour of duty, ‘cause her reply to him was “You just wouldn’t understand!” I quickly chuckled and proceeded to my car.

After viewing this awesome movie & hearing that quick conversation. I could not but help to reflect on my ten years of service as a Engineer Sergeants a “SAPPER”. And my fellow soldiers, sailor and airmen I had the honor to train, work & fight alongside. I was driven to write these following words in reflection of it:

When there were no more wars to occupy a soldier’s tyme. When bombs ceased their descent and bullets no longer flew by faster than you could blink. When a foxhole was a thing of the past, and you no longer had to crouch down and hope to God you didn’t get hit. What happened when you went back home, and faced your friends and family? What did you say to them? How could you explain what you did and had to do? They’d never understand. They had never seen war and its individual horrors. They hadn’t heard the things you heard, felt what you felt, or saw what we saw when we were there, on the battlefield.

They could never understand!*

I personally never really know how to respond to those when they ask me about my tyme of in the service? Even with multiple tours under my belt, and having the privilege to have train across the world, words like boring, chaotic, harsh, exciting, gratifying, depressing and just about every other descriptor you might expect come to mind. Truth is, deployments can be such a rollercoaster that no one word can really capture the full extent of what it feels like, but of course, I usually throw a few of them out there to satisfy their curiosity.

The only word, or feeling, I’ve found that remains constant, is “loneliness.” Now, most people don’t want to hear that because it isn’t what combat is supposed to be like, and most veterans don’t want to say that because either it’s too revealing or entirely unexciting to the listener. It seems to me that the loneliness that springs from combat results from the separation of pre- and post-combat experiences.

Looking back, I can recall the first onset of that loneliness. When I was accepted to the U.S. ARMY, my life began to change. I certainly felt some excitement and anxiety as I started down this brave new path, but I also felt a deep regret that, in many respects, my life would never again be as carefree. I sacrificed wild college years for hard and tedious study, so that I could better serve my nation. Although I’ve kept close contact with my friends, I know that they simply can’t relate to most of my military experiences. That lack of understanding separates you from the life that you led and the life you now lead. Once a soldier has completed their first cycle of (A.I.T. Advance Individual Training) it initiated that crevice of isolation that has turned into a gorge.

The first tyme I deployed I accepted the thought that I might not make it home. I understood the risks and I had very little trouble moving from the academic theory to the practical reality. I would either get smoked, or I wouldn’t. I had metaphorically put my name in a hat knowing that mine might be the next drawn. As a deployed soldier the tyme I spent training immersed in leadership examples (both good and bad) and rigorous academic study, seemed a waste. The brave, intelligent and disciplined soldier could end up dead just as quickly as a cowardly, foolish one. Facing your own mortality with such random, unforgiving swiftness gives you a unique perspective…and takes some tyme to accept. Yes, the Army does desensitize you. But it also forces you to see what’s most important. Family, Loyalty and the Lord. Because a soldier knows these three things will keep him going while in that foxhole.

A few years ago, I was handed the following saying of Tecumseh’s. Ironically this was part of the ending in the movie – I call it ‘A Teaching from Tecumseh’:

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, and beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

In many ways I’ve never been closer spiritually to my family than when I’ve been away from them for extended periods, because those are the tymes I fully put them into the Lord’s hands. When we move out in the job that the Lord has called us to do, he will take care of us. With our sense of God’s strength within, you will be able to identify with the apostle Paul when he said, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. . .” (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

Family and friends may try, but they will never really understand the “calling” of a soldier. And as that soldier, you can only accept that “a man never steps into the same river twice” and know that you’re not alone.

*Resource: Band of Brothers (TV mini-series 2001)

Note To Self: Stop People Pleasing & Start God Pleasing.

Many of us are guilty of being people pleasing! When we knew deep down it was not what God wanted? We all begin down the road of People Pleasing with pure motives. No one starts out by saying, “I’m going to choose the will of other people over God’s will for me!” It grows little by little, decision by decision. And often by the tyme we realize what we are dealing with, we don’t know how to break free.

Here are a few characteristics of a pleaser of the people.  Over-thinking what you’ll say.  Worried about what you’ve already said.  Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes.  Trying to accommodate every living soul.  Re-arranging plans.  Telling people what they want to hear. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5    (NIV)

Worried about what others think of you.  See what I mean?  It’ll wear you out! Let’s call it what it is.  Usually we are afraid of how people will react to what we have to say.  Will it cause conflict?  Most of us hate conflict with a passion.  We run from it.  So we soften our words with ambiguity.

Let me just start by saying that I’m not a saint by any stretch, I’m a recovering People Pleaser. Some people call it Approval Addiction. Others would dub it “The Disease to Please.” Now that I’m free, & I just call it “bondage.” One of the great misconceptions among people pleasers is this idea that we’re ‘good people’ who are just trying to make everybody happy. The fact is, when we try to please everybody, we end up pleasing nobody. I got tired from the burnout that came from the over extension of myself and frustrated. I quickly became ineffective in helping others and often tymes end up resenting everyone around me. And now that I’m being honest with myself, it was mostly no one else fault but my own!

Exodus 20:2-6

My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by people who love me very much—people who care deeply about my decisions and their outcomes. People whom I admire and respect greatly: family, friends and church leaders. Sounds great, right? Well, it was, for a while. I was one who never liked the looks or the tones I received when I had to tell people “no,” even about small things. I didn’t like to think I let people down in any way. So I said “yes” a lot—I said “yes” to everything anyone asked me to, even when I didn’t want to. I thought I was obeying God’s word by serving everyone.

Over the years, I continued to say yes. I was scared to tell people no. And as a result, I became very tired. And very stressed. And very conflicted. And very resentful. I was a full-blown Approval Addict. I always score as a ENTJ type personality. But I always saw myself as an ENFP. I now see that being a people pleasing is in itself essentially a form of selfishness, but it’s easy to hide behind so called good motives than admit that I am a complete control freak.

In the way that God chooses to lead His ministry is often at tymes difficult for us to get our arms around. Finding direction in the corporate world comes somewhat easier. There’s a clearly stated bottom line, shareholders to report to, and defined markets that guide company decisions. We serve a Head we cannot see, and we listen to a voice we cannot literally hear. Often we feel as if we’re being asked to follow a plan we do not understand.

…during the process of discovering God’s leading, we are subject to enormous changes. These are changes we must embrace in the power of the Spirit if we are to obey our Lord’s lead. Though we are accountable to the churches we serve, ultimately, each one of God’s servants answers to God. Without that sort of single-minded devotion to the Lord, we run the risk of becoming people-pleasers. Christian leaders who become pawns as they focus on pleasing people are pathetic wimps!” Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives

Obedience always stimulates growth. Obeying God drives the roots of your faith much deeper. We’re stretched emotionally, often physically, but most importantly, spiritually.  We all know this is true in the rational part of our minds- “Well sure, it’d be impossible to please everybody all the tyme, right?” Yet I think a lot of us can get caught up in the more emotional response of “but I still really want everyone to like me/agree with me/support me!”  And that’s when we can get ourselves into a bit of a pickle.

*As individuals, we all have our own personal flavor.  Some are sweet, some salty and others plain maybe bitter.  But as a people pleaser, because of our skill of going with the flow at all costs, we lose our flavor all together.  We try to blend with every personality we come in contact with and as a result our own personality fades.  Like the picture on a old TV screen. “Non LCD!” What makes you, YOU, is your own blend of Yes’s and No’s.  It’s our beliefs and values and preferences that give us our spice.  Lose this and you lose yourself in the process.  Before long, you end up forgetting what God has made you all about.  This can be a scary realization and one that should be harnessed to help push us out of our people pleasing ways and back to God pleasing.                           

Colossians 3:23 

In the end, with much struggle, prayer & fasting I had a revelation! I decided I had to RISK IT ALL! The possible loss of reputation and respect of my church family and cling like crazy to what my Father was telling my spirit to do. God met my wife and me there, guided us through the uncertainty, fear, and rejection, and dumped a ton of grace and blessing into our lives. I knew I hurt some people in the process—a lot of them told us so!—but God reassured us repeatedly it was most important to please HIM.

2 Corinthians 7:1

Rather than being a warrior for the King, it is easy to become an insecure wimp, relying on human opinions and longing for human approval. By His grace I won’t go back there again. This is MY attempt to proactively help others by hopefully sharing thoughts that are helpful in their journey to regain their personal freedom. My responsibility is to deliver what God has anointed me with. As I do, that truth hits me with the same authority as it does the folks with whom I communicate. May God deliver every honest pastor, every truth-seeking church leader, and every Christian from the bondage of pleasing people. And place light to your path of Pleasing God!

Galatians 6:1-18

*Resource: Eric Hamm The Essential Motivation Handbook

Walking By Faith: Making A Decision When The Answer Is Unclear?

Life is not full of easy-bake answers.  In fact, it seems like the answers to the most important questions are the most difficult to come by.  So what do you do while you wait?  The answer might be difficult to hear.

After 5 years of growth being “RESTORED”  I would be stepping down as being the Multimedia Coordinator at Restoration, I have let my pastor know that it’s tyme for me to step out into the unknown to find that next place that God has for me and my family.   Since then, I’ve had many people ask what I would be doing next.  I’ve boiled the answer down into a simple one: I’m not 100% sure?

I’ll must admit – I too am afraid of the dark.

I don’t mean the “dark” that is in reference to the absence of light.  I mean the “darkness” of the unknown.  It is the place of confusion or disorder; a place outside of my control where any movement at all requires faith.  This place of uncertainty keeps many people paralyzed in fear, and unwilling to move.  Stepping into the darkness might mean doing the very thing you don’t feel like doing.

The bottom line is this: I Walk By Faith & Faith requires mobility.

Abram must have felt that fear.  After all, God didn’t choose to make the exact destination clear to him when He called him out.  Instead, he just gave him the direction in which to go.

Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you wil be a blessing.’”  Genesis 12:1-2 (ESV)

I had hoped for clear writing on the wall. God has provided it before.  Check out Daniel 5:5 to read about it.  But God that is not the norm, for you or for me. A dear friend pointed out to me what Daniel did in the face of uncertainty.

Think about it.  In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams.  He wanted to know the meaning of the dreams, so he summoned anyone and everyone that should have been able to interpret them.  But nobody could.  So the King ordered them all to be destroyed.

Sounds like a stressful environment, to say the least.  What gets really crazy is what Daniel ends up doing.  Listen to what Daniel does once he hears of this order from the king:

“And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a tyme, that he might show the interpretation to the king.”  Daniel 2:16

Ok, so that doesn’t sound too unusual, until we keep reading:

“Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:17-18

So let’s get this straight.  Daniel set a meeting with the king first, and then prayed that God would provide the answer they needed.

“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night.” Daniel 2:19

So first, Daniel sets a meeting with the king.  Second, Daniel prays and asks God to reveal the mystery. Third, the mystery is revealed.

“Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”  Daniel 2:19

So after all that, Daniel thanks God. As we see with Daniel, sometymes when the answer is unclear or unknown, the best thing to do is to take a step – in faith.  After that, trust God for the results. Over the course of the months ahead, I will begin the process of talking to other ministries, churches or non-profits to discern where God is leading us?

Following Christ brings a contentment that is foreign to this world, but following Christ also requires us to step out of that which is extremely comfortable at tymes as well.  This is where my family and I find ourselves right now. I have not been asked to leave, insinuated by someone else that it is tyme for me to leave, or required to leave. This is a case of God leading, and us following.

It’s tyme to move. Is it tyme for you to do the same?

Only When You Say Move, Then I’ll Move

So often I find myself in a situation where I could really do with hearing a clear word from the Lord-and at tymes I forget that He can speak that word to me through anyone or thing. Even YouTube!

God has blown my mind at tymes as I think back on my journey with Him.  There have been tymes when He has come through in unexpected ways.  I thought I was going there to listen to my Jazz playlist & just enjoy some John Coltrane while I ate lunch, but God being my Jehovah Jireh – The LORD Will Provide knew the trails I’m presently going through. And made my fat fingers clicked on a Ricardo Sanchez’s link: And then an Israel Houghton link: And for seventeen minutes and eight seconds I cried while God used these so familiar worship songs to just talk to my spirit man!

If you’ve been a Christian for longer than let’s say 7 minutes then you’ve most likely encountered a situation where you thought God was asking you to be still but you were highly tempted to make a move in order to set things in motion. Those are high-pressure situations that truly test one’s heart and reveal our level of trust in God. It can be very difficult to wait on God especially when He is silent. The pressure for us to make a move without His approval rises steadily with each passing moment.

In my devotions tyme reading through some of the most powerful words I think in the Bible. I have been focusing on God’s words to Jeremiah. I realize that as believers we don’t just read the Bible as a historical document but as God’s word to us today. That’s a principle I have been carrying into my devotions as I discover some of the incredible statements of encouragement and hope that the Lord speaks into Jeremiah’s situation.

If ever there was a man of God called to make a move it was Jeremiah! Jeremiah stood alone for 42 years of ministry; preaching, pleading, weeping, warning the nation that judgment would come unless they sought the Lord’s forgiveness and compassion. No-one seemed to listen, and eventually the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. All of us want to have a positive impact on the culture around us, but poor old Jeremiah was called to a ministry that was definitely hard and he wasn’t going to be popular. Despite the difficult circumstances, Jeremiah ultimately remained faithful and determined-mostly due to the powerful voice of the Lord.

Even under intense pressure, he wouldn’t make a move without God’s permission. In the end, he recovered all and enjoyed a great victory with God’s help. Next tyme you’re under pressure to ‘make a move’, pause and ask God exactly what He wants you to do. If He is silent then refrain from attempting to ‘help’ Him without a clear directive. Don’t fall prey to intimidation. Act but don’t react.

I have been truly touched when I have read the following verses:

Jeremiah 30:21-22
Jeremiah 32:26-27
Jeremiah 33:3
*Also read Luke 9:23-27 it will all tie in!

STOP Hoarding Yesterday’s Junk!

I realized that there was a tyme I valued & loved a lot of “junk” that I had in my life more than your relationship with Jesus?  I can look back and realize that those things – love of power, money, prestige, or material goods, etc. – are worthless because of what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross?  I can now see that love of those things is junkjunk that can prevent you from growing closer to Jesus if you do not throw it out?

I learned that the failures in my past definitely stop me from moving forward. Why? I did not like the feeling of being rejected, being hurt and how other people may think about my failures. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it can be challenging to totally remove from your mind certain memories or things that have bothered or upset you in the past. None of us (especially not me) have made it to this point without our own fair share of “junk”; and “junk” has a way of leaving a lasting impression.

But we must be on guard against spiritual stagnation. We must place our relationship with Christ first in our lives. We often shy away from spiritual growth because we know that growth is often accompanied by pain. We want to run from our troubles rather than press forward. But the Bible tells us, “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” (Hebrews 12:1).

As I was looking at a picture of a quote on a friend‘s Facebook page by Louise Smith. I heard these word in the depths of my spirit Put your determination where your desire is! The Holy Spirit spoke those seven simple words to me… and they bear repeating: Put your determination where your desire is!

We need to stop wishing and get determined! Whatever they are, stop wishing and get determined. See, the difference between hoping and wishing is significant. A wish is a desire for something that seems unattainable. (But nothing is impossible with God.) Hope, by contrast, is desire with an expectation of attainment. Hope expects with confidence. Hope cherishes a desire with anticipation. Hope breeds faith—and faithful determination generates grace.

I’ll admit it! I’m an imperfect human, I don’t know about you? It’s too easy for me to revert back to our independent ways, especially when things seem to go well for us. We quickly forget about Christ’s strength and joy when we find comfort and happiness in our circumstances.

Paul said in Philippians 3:7-9 is so very true – “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as junk, so that I may have Christ and become one with him.”

You can’t take advantage of everything great that will come your way, if you are focusing on “junk” that has already come and go. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that we have the ability to create and shape the reality we experience. We have the opportunity everyday to take advantage of God’s “present” that has been given to us. We get to decide how we are going to live, the chances we are going to take, and what specifically we are going to do every single day.

Believe it or not, we really do get to choose what we focus our minds on. According to Wikipedia, “I know everything on that site might not be right? But for sake of argument let’s just use it!” we have on average 74,000+ thoughts a day. The question is what are we choosing to do with these thoughts? Are we allowing all the “junk” from yesterday to monopolize too many of our 74,000 thoughts? Are we wasting a lot of our thoughts on stuff we really can’t do anything about and “junk” that just upsets us? When you live life this way, there is just no room for any regret. How could there be? It’s when you miss out on your opportunities and don’t do the things you could have that the regret sets in. The choice is always ours. I know I am not interested in having any regrets. I interested in using the wisdom. Not my wisdom but Godly wisdom.

In Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 reads, Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor”

When we have Godly wisdom, we see things from an eternal perspective–not from a worldly, temporal perspective. And when we see things from an eternal perspective, we accept the challenges and unexpected turns of life. We are able to face obstacles, turning them from hindrances into stepping-stones.

Solomon is saying that when we face challenging situations in life, wisdom will be far more precious than a very rich inheritance. Unlike the stoke market, Godly wisdom keeps its value; godly wisdom will never depreciate! Godly wisdom gives us perspective, vision, and a purpose for living. If we have godly wisdom, then we will have balance in life. When we have godly wisdom, we are going to walk by faith–both on the familiar roads of life and the unfamiliar ones.

Paul encouraged the Philippians, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

While we may have to strain our spiritual muscles in order to grow, we will find joy in the midst of our struggles if we focus on Christ and let go of that junk! Is there any junk in your life today that you should be throwing out…?

Mission Possible

Nobody likes to take unnecessary risks. Unnecessary risks are those where the reward is not worth what is being put in jeopardy. But we have seen that the risk/return ratio on investments that involve bringing God glory and furthering His mission of expanding His Kingdom is incalculable. That kind of risk is definitely worth it!

There are many ways that you can take risks that will not necessarily involve mortal or physical danger, but are still risks indeed. In addition, it may appear much safer to avoid taking these risks. But in reality, when we avoid certain risks, we are in danger of being a slave to seeking the “sure thing” and not being able to experience the exhilaration of being free to risk it all for Him. Jesus is calling you to take risks for Him and for His cause. He has chosen to not tell you everything about the future. Therefore, you must obey without knowing the outcome. That is risk. He has called you to risk the tyme, talents and treasures that He has entrusted to you to further His Kingdom.

Are you willing to risk everything, even your own life, to see that others are able to experience the same kind of freedom from sin that you enjoy? This kind of risk-taking valor should not be uncommon among Christ’s followers. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is credited with describing the U.S. Marine Corps of World War II with the phrase, “Uncommon Valor was a common virtue,” *So too should Christians be characterized in the battle for souls. So the important question is, Could somebody say to Jesus regarding His disciples, “Because of the risks your people take for You, I know that they love You. And if I knew nothing else about you that would be enough?”

Many of us have been given a task that is unfinished by the Lord and we wants us to complete it for Him. The result if we accept these missions is that many will come to understand the truth, many will embrace the truth and many will live by the truth as in Titus 1:1-16 NIV

Titus was given the task by Paul and the Lord to minister to the Cretan people and to make sure that he completed the unfinished tasks and to raised up leaders – elders in each town so that each church would have spiritual leadership which would hold to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Titus was given a couple major responsibilities by the Apostle Paul so that the Crete people could be disciple in accordance with sound doctrine.

In this year my challenge for you today is to have you answer the following question: “What unfinished business is there in your life that the Lord wants you to complete?”

In other words:

• What gift given to you by the Lord still remains dormant in your life?
• What ministry opportunity in your life remains on the back burner?
• What tasks have you not completed that you know you need too?
• What appointments have been unscheduled and ignored?
• What action points in your life still have remained motionless?
• What messages are still unspoken?
• What passion for Jesus is left chained in the corner?

Many of us have had the answers to these questions race through our mind in the last few moments. I honestly believe the Holy Spirit is speaking too many of you about the necessity of finishing the unfinished business in your lives. This blog is delivered to you today just like in the movies Mission Impossible. But your computer, IPad or whatever device you’re using to read this will not-self destruct in 5 second? 4…3…2…1! Still here? Then good!

They heard the mission then they get the choice to accept it or to reject it. You have that choice today. You can accept the responsibility of completing the task or you can reject it and go on with your life as is. It can stay the same – no thrills – no challenges – just the mind-set of getting by – just a ho-hum life – or you can decide to step out complete the unfinished business for the Lord.

Titus was an individual just like each of us here today who when faced with a Mission Impossible for the Lord accepted the challenge and as a result experienced “More of the Lord” in his life. In the beginning of Mission Impossible when the agent accepts the Mission, must of us kids at heart imagine & admire this Ethan Hunt for accepting the mission and all the risks that go along with it. The truth is we envy this him because he is willing to live his life on the edge and seize the adventure. He is willing to take risks so he can be the hero who saves people lives from the enemy.

Truth is each of us here today can do the same for the Lord and the people around you in this very community. You just have to be willing to take the risk-accept the mission-get out of your comfort zone and really serve the Lord through the adventure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The people, who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing and are nothing they may avoid suffering and sorrow but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live. Charmed by their attitudes they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free!

Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Risk taking should be an indispensable part of the Christian walk. When we look back over church history we see Christians who risked all to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. These individuals had courage to begin something or take a stand for God in the midst of difficult circumstances. For some it meant ridicule, slanderous remarks, becoming laughing stocks in their community, it meant being condemned by their community, it meant imprisonment, it meant personal loss of family, friends, and finances. It meant facing a dangerous situation. For some it cost them their lives. But all these risk takers made an eternal impact for the Kingdom of God.

Many of us here today need to follow the model of Titus and accept the mission God has for us and complete the unfinished task at hand. But it all depends on your willingness to say yes to the mission.

So what is your choice? Yes or No!*

*This statement by Admiral Nimitz was made after the Battle of Iwo Jima and has been inscribed on the USMC War Memorial    
* Excerpts from Unfinished Business by Michael McCartney