Month: January 2016

9 Random Thoughts

The staff has left for the day and I am in my office at the church looking out the window at melting snow…

The building is quiet except for iTunes which is playing “Not With Jesus” by Cheri Keaggy and the occasional sound of snow sliding off the roof of the building.

Here are a few of my thoughts as they are occurring right now…

1 – Next week this time we will already be in February and heading towards Valentines Day and then Easter.  Time doesn’t stop even if the snow causes you too.

2 – Sunday was a great day, we had a wonderful worship service and then spent the rest of the day sledding.

3 – It is not many times now that I find myself at the church alone. It is kind of different being here alone than it was when we did not have this many staff members.

4 – I was doing a little reading/studying about marriage today in prep for or series Love – Kids – and questions.

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5 – Some of the stuff I am reviewing for the series are things I wish I had known the first 5 years of my marriage and in some ways am still working on those principles today. I think marriages are like people – we never arrive at perfection though we strive for it.

6 – I know a lot of people are not liking the way the presidential race is going and who America has to choose from. It might be time to take a break from supporting or tearing down a candidate and switch from who I will or will not vote for and why? – to – What has happened in our culture the past few year that would cause this type of political environment?  What is being communicated by the culture when certain types of candidates are emerging strongly while others aren’t. When under normal circumstances one would be in jail more than likely and the other would not have such a strong support base. As leaders what do we need to learn from this and what are we going to do to lead the environments we are over during these times?

7 – Prayer is an amazing thing

8 – My book is still available on amazon. Check out the “Eleven” tab above for more information.

9 – I normally do not pull for either team that is in the Super Bowl but this year its Go Panthers! That said can anyone tell me what this means? Where did it come from, how does it tie in with the Panthers? Please comment below.

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10 – Well, I’m just waiting for the insurance check to arrive so I can go purchase another car… I want it to come to day – that probably means it will not.

So I guess thats it… I could go on and on but I need to do a few things…

 

 

It takes a Multitude IV…

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Sometimes the majority is wrong and sometimes they are right.

Sometimes the minority is right and sometimes they are wrong.

When Solomon says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 ” He is not saying get a bunch of people together and come up with a consensus and then you will know what to do. He is not saying form a committee, or get the group together and take a vote so you will know what to do.

Remember…

10 spies said we can’t go into the promise land 2 said we can

The Majority was wrong

A majority of the church agreed  that the gospel is for the Jews and Gentiles and should go to everyone.  (Acts 10, 11 and 15) Not everyone agreed with this, but….

the Majority was right

There was a large group of people who supported King David when he first became king, and there was a minority that opposed his Kingship

The Majority was right.

The children of Israel wanted a god to worship in the wilderness so Arron made them a god of gold like the ones they had left behind in Egypt.

The Majority was wrong

One Family entered the Ark everyone else on earth didn’t.

The Majority was wrong

A Majority of the people that lived in Jerusalem rebuilt the wall under Nehemiah’s Leadership

The Majority was right.

There was a large group of people who decided to put Jesus on the cross and a minority that ran away because they didn’t agree.

The Majority was wrong

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 is not about seeing what the majority agrees with and then doing that.  It speaks of something more.

This verse speaks of attaining wisdom not agreement

This verse speaks of looking for what God is leading you to do, not what others will decide for you.

 

Wisdom is not found in a majority or a minority, it is found in God and God alone. He is the one that says listen to a multitude of counselors, whether they agree with each other or not, and look for his guidance in those voices.

It takes a Multitude III…

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When you are faced with making a decision that will not only effect your family but a large group of people it is best to listen to a multitude of counselors before you make the decision.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

So who are the people you need to listen too?

  1. Those that are closest to you.  Talk to them in depth about the plan you have or the decision you are about to make and see what they say.
  2. Announce it to the group that will be impacted by your decision.  Give them time to respond to you and give their input
  3. Listen to those who are positive concerning it, but be careful to not get caught up in the positive nature of the conversation and use the positive nature of it as “confirmation” that you are headed in the right direction.
  4. Listen to those who are not positive about it and have concerns but be careful not to get so caught up in the negative vibe that you take it as confirmation that you are headed in the wrong direction.  That may not be true.

Allow the negative comments to cause movement for you to do more research on the decision you are about to make and let it make you seek out other people to listen too.  Do not count these people as enemies, remember God is using them to help you make the decision He wants you to make.

Remember, it is the mixture of negative and positive view points that brings you to a point of true confidence when you make a decision.  Do not allow yourself to take sides on the issue. Making the right decision is not based on which side you are on, its based on what God wants and what the right thing to do is for the situation.

5. Listen to everyone, especially those that take the time to seek you out to talk to you.  There is value in them being moved to speak with you about the decision.

Remember, listening doesn’t mean you have to agree or do what each person tells you to.  You just need to listen and take away only the information that helps you gain the info you need to make the right decision.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

It Takes a Multitude II…

There is no way to see a pattern with just one lego…

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and…

There is no way to make a solid decision with just one voice of wisdom.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

A single lego never succeeds in building anything but when you put many of them together they are capable of creating amazing things.

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and…

when you listen to a multitude of people you gain insight and began to see the patterns in the advice you are being given which enables you to make a decision that creates an amazing future.  When we listen to a multitude of counselors we become become more capable of making a right decision, one that will succeed rather than fail.

One that will make something amazing.

So, how many people should you listen to before you make a decision or go in a direction?

Well, different decisions require different amounts of input. However, you will know that you have listened to enough people when you see a pattern in the advice you are listening to and when you arrive at a place where you see what God is communicating to you through their voices.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

It is often difficult to wait or put off making a decision.  It is easy to jump before you have taken the time to pray and recognize the patterns that are occurring. One of the main things that cause us to move to quickly is our feelings. We tend to want the tension of the decision to go away quickly rather than taking the time to allow those feelings play out.  It is a good thing not to always feel good as you go through a decision making process. It forces you to pray and look into things a little deeper. Most of the time you can’t find the truth of a situation  unless there is pain along the way that forces  you to rely on God rather than yourself. That forces you to search out more wisdom than you would have otherwise.

It is better to endure the tension of the decision making process than it is to endure the disaster that occurs as a result of and unwise quick decision.

So wait…

Yes… it’s ok to wait

and wait long enough to see the pattern in multitude of counselors and let it guide you to the decision you need to make. Remember it is not always “the point” the people are trying to make you are listening to that creates the pattern, some times its in nuances and the ebb and flow of what they say, or in the stories they tell, that connect with everything you have heard which creates the pattern that God has placed there to guide you.  This is hard to do, but with prayer the Lord will be faithful in showing you not only what you need to pay attention to but what you need to do as a result of the counsel.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

It takes a multitude…

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Recently I have had to make a few decisions that were not your normal everyday decisions.  The impact of these decisions will effect the future of many people including my family.  For some, I have been in prayer concerning them for years, while others I have prayed about over the last 7 months or so.  Regardless, for some reason, the due date to make all of those decisions came periodically over the last week or so.

These were not easy decisions, they required a lot of prayer and consideration. Before making any of them I listened to more than just one person before deciding on them, in fact I put plans in place that would force me to listen to a lot of people, including those who would be directly effected by the choices.

Why did I take the time to listen to a lot of people?

Because that is where wisdom is found.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

I haven’t always done this. In the past I thought that if you didn’t have all the answers and if you did not come up with those answers on your own without any help, you were not much of a leader and was even less of a man.  How unfortunate and foolish that line of thinking was…

I also once thought that if someone did not take my counsel they were crazy.  It bugged me when they asked me my opinion and then went to some one else to ask them their’s.  It was “almost like” I thought that they were saying that my counsel wasn’t good enough, so they had to go to someone else. That way of thinking is also unfortunate and foolish. It completely ignores the wisdom of scripture…

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

Now, it is true that not all decisions need a bunch of input before you can make them.  But there are some key decisions you may be faced with right now that will determine how things unfold for you and others in the future.  Because of the magnitude of the impact these choices will make you need to slow down a moment and take some time to hear from “many” people before you make those life altering decisions and I guarantee you… the more people you listen too, the better you will be able to see what you need to do to make the best decision and have success as a result of seeking much counsel.

 

 

The Battle Continues IV…

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My daughter pays basketball for her high school.  Recently we played a team where there was a player on the other team – that when she walked out on to the court I thought…

“Oh my, she is going to cause us some trouble”

Not because of anything bad, but because athlete and basketball was written all over her. She was by far the most talented player we had ever seen on the court…

there was just one problem

she was lazy.

She knew she was good, she knew she was great at basketball, she knew she was the best and you could see it in her attitude while she was on the court.

She thought a lot of herself, and to be honest her thoughts were correct but…

she was lazy.

She chewed gum (with an attitude), she didn’t hustle, she didn’t really go for any rebounds and  she was slow and sloppy when she got the ball.  She was kind of like…

just there.

She was never fully in the game she just kind of went with the flow of the game, and because of that  she became a non-factor.

But this post isn’t about her, its about the church.

Yesterday in our “Echo” devotional the question was asked… “Are you in the game?” This is a great question, but one that maybe a bit better is – Are you in the game and playing to the best of your ability?

You see the church has a bunch of talented people and the church is also filled with people that are empowered with spiritual gifts. Gifts that are directly linked to God and empowered by the Holy Spirit. If everyone “played the game” with all their might the church would be an overwhelming unstoppable force.  Are you the type of christian that is in the game and is playing to win or are you one of the gifted ones that are just going with the flow and not really playing to the best of your ability?

If you are not “In the game” playing your heart out for Jesus, that maybe why your church is weak and isn’t growing or succeeding.

It is the main reason churches seem to be on a decline or to put it in game vernacular…

losing.

Scripture speaks of the church as a body and says this concerning each member

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV)

This means every action you do as a member of God’s church effects the effectiveness of the church as a whole.  This includes how well you “play the game”…

it is time to spit the gum out, lite a fire up underneath our “rears” and hustle once again!

After all its not really a game we are playing… its a war we are fighting and to not give it 100% of your efforts and attention is to personally loose while hindering the progression of the church in that battle.

so… …be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)