Thursday, October 24, 2013

Aligning Your Walk With Your Talk

A couple days ago I wrote about The Easiest Way to Give Up Your Influence.  The gist was that when you stop growing, you lose your influence.  You can read it here.  

This morning, I was reading a devotional centered around weight loss, which is something I'm focusing on right now.  I'm about 30 pounds heavier than I should be. Anyway, the writer of this devotional said that when you talk about being healthy and in shape but act in ways that don't promote that, you lose the esteem and confidence of those around you.
1 Corinthians 9:27

Wow.  She's right.  Yet another way to give up influence and lose esteem.  The classic example of your walk not lining up with your talk.  I was thinking, It's almost assumed that if someone gets fired up about a new eating or exercise plan, it won't be long til they fall back into their old and unhealthy pattern. It's assumed, but it's not alright.  

I'm not looking for perfection from myself or anyone. And I don't think I'm overly vocal about living a healthy lifestyle.  But I do want to be healthy and I do want to live that life much more consistently.  What are some areas you struggle to have your walk align with your talk?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Easiest Way To Give Up Your Influence

The easiest way to give up your influence?  Easy.  Stop growing.  If you're a leader in the church, you need to be growing and moving forward.  This could take any number of shapes in your life . . . reading, taking a class, getting coaching, listening to podcasts, getting your body healthy, setting up true accountability measures for your life, working through a new Bible-reading and devotional plan. The list could be pretty long and your list would not necessarily look like mine.

No matter what would make your list, remember one thing.  If the people you're leading are growing faster than you are, you won't be leading them long.  The journey of growth, improvement and learning is never over.  Don't resent it.  Just embrace it.

Currently, I'm loving audiobooks and podcasts.  I've also just changed my morning schedule to include 2 miles on the treadmill.  What areas are you growing in right now?  In what areas do you feel stuck or stale?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Strangest Things Are Significant

The strangest things are significant.  God uses the most unlikely things and people to influence us.  I would go so far, in this case, as to say save us.  I saw this trailer this morning and it almost made me tear up.

I was just the right age.  I loved just the right kind of music.  I needed to know that other people, just like me, were living the same life and thinking the same thoughts I was.  It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that the influence Tooth and Nail Records and it's bands had on me in the mid 1990s saved me from slipping back into the addictive and destructive lifestyle I had just come out of a year before.  1994-1996 were almost magical years or re-birth for me.  Tooth and Nail wrote the soundtrack for that chapter in my life.  I feel such a deep sense of gratitude for that.

Take some time today and think of who or what influenced you way back in the day . . .

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Credit Where Credit is Truly Due

Fellowship Church (aka Solace Church) circa 2004
Yesterday, I spend several hours working with some of the other staff members at Solace Church up at our new location.  It's under construction and we were working through minute details, like where colored accent stripes will be placed on the building's exterior, who will occupy what office space and where will electrical outlets be placed.  We all talked about the mental drain that kind of work has on you, especially when you consider that all you can work with is a shell of a building with metal studs up on the inside.  It takes a fair amount of imagination to even think about how you'll use space like that.

Later in the day, I was driving to pick up some food for an evening meeting our staff was having and, all of a sudden, I became acutely aware that I was riding on the backs of others who have put in many years of hard work to get to the spot our church is at today.  

Solace Church new location - opening 2013 (ish)

I think, in another time in my life, I would have felt tempted to take some credit for the state of things at my church.  Today, I don't feel that temptation.  I feel humbled, almost to the point of embarrassment, that God and the amazing team at Solace Church have invited me to join the inner-circle here.  We're in an exciting time.  And I'm grateful that I can clearly see that what got us here is God's hand of blessing and hard work and sacrifice by many people who were here way before I was.

Consider today who sacrificed to get you to where you are today.  The notion of the self-made made is a myth.  You, too, have ridden the backs of many fine people.  And even if you can't see the contribution those people have made into your life, consider what James 1:17 says about God.  He's the ultimate source of all that is good in your life and mine.  I hope your day is filled with perspective that brings you joy and gratefulness.