Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Issues. We all got 'em.

Some call it "pushing their buttons." For others it's "a sensitive subject." If you're tuned in to counseling buzzwords it's most likely baggage or, let's say it, issues.

One person may have "rejection issues" while another has "control issues." And while a lot of women have terrible self-esteem because they are overweight, I have actually talked to several gals who were self-conscious about being too thin!

Whatever you call it, it's certain you've got one (or perhaps, more realistically, a few.) I know I do. And yet I find it strangely comforting that every single person I meet, no matter how well adjusted, sharp, successful and, yes, beautiful, has at least one area that they are insecure about. I know that may sound almost sadistic that I take comfort in that fact, but hear me out. It's not that I'm rejoicing at their pain, but rather that I find it to be a sort of camaraderie.

From the very beginning one of the tactics of the enemy of our soul (aka Satan) has been isolation. It's the tactic you see every predator use. Make your victim feel helpless and alone and they will be taken down much more easily. Isn't that what happens? The thought comes, "nobody understands you" or "if anyone knew what you're really like..." Whatever lie it takes to bring isolation and separation and then, BAM! He's got you.

But the truth is, you're NEVER alone. In the Bible we read, "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience." (1 Cor. 10:13, New Living Translation) Now we can read that and think, "Well, okay, but that's talking about sin. What about my insecurities?" What are insecurities really, except believing someone or something else more than we believe God. Wouldn't that be sin? Tricky devil.

The goal of these "issues" or insecurities is to keep you focused on your weaknesses - keeping you self-conscious - so that you won't notice the amazing greatness of God at work within and around you and become God-conscious. While we hate our weakness and even try to hide it from others, God says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9, NLT)

So whatever your "issues," take heart. We're all in this together and here's the good news:
"...I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 NLT
Maybe along the way, we should extend a little grace for each other's issues. We'll most likely need a little in return.  :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tunnels of Transition

It has occurred to me that life transition is like a tunnel. It can be a dark place, and when you first step into it, what is behind you is much easier to see than what lies ahead. Keep moving.

As you move forward, it actually gets darker. Let your eyes adjust, though and you will see things you couldn’t make out before. You will likely find it’s not nearly as scary as you thought it was. Keep moving.

As you move through the tunnel the light coming from the other end begins to grow and is actually now clearer and easier to make out than the light behind you. Keep moving.

As you emerge into the light you find yourself in new surroundings beholding things you couldn’t possibly have seen from the other side. You find yourself once again standing in the full light of day, with the sun warming your face, able to move in any direction you please.

The tunnel of transition can at once be thrilling and terrifying but it is in fact the ONLY way to arrive at your intended destination. Don’t fear it; embrace it. As you take that first step into the darkness you can do so with the knowledge that no matter how long this tunnel may be, and no matter what snakes or spiders may be waiting in the darkness, you will emerge on the other side to a bright new day…if you don’t stall in the tunnel. So goes the journey. Keep moving.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Play Beyond Your Limitations

How often have you dreamed of doing something and thought, "but I just don't have what it takes." You dream of doing something great for God and immediately your mind goes to the reasons you can't.
Today I want to encourage you to take the limits off. Don't let the dream that God drops into your heart come to a screeching halt at the thought of what you don't have. Consider this most basic of examples. The song, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, was written to be performed with a full choir, orchestra and band. Whether you're a fan or not, you've no doubt heard it and would have to admit it's a moving piece of music. Now consider Jake Shimabukuro who plays this intricate and complex song on a 4 string ukulele. Impossible? Listen...

I want to challenge you (and myself) to no longer allow dreams and visions to be stalled with, "it can't be done." Instead of surrendering to what we don't have, let's respond with courage by offering the little that we do have to the One who makes something from nothing. With some inspiration and creativity, that thing that we never thought could happen may just turn out to be the performance of our lifetime. Remember, God's words to you...
"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

To God be the glory.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leading Greatness

I love sports movies. That might seem a little odd, since I'm a girl and I can't tell you what offsides means or explain a 2 point conversion. That said, what I love is the inspiration, the discipline, the determination...the process of attaining greatness. Sports movies boil down situations that take years to play out in real life to a microcosm of success and failure.

More often than not, the hero of a sports movie is the coach. Have you ever noticed that? Hoosiers, Miracle, We Are Marshall, Remember the Titans...great stories that happened not because of great players, but because of great coaches. Leaders who dare not focus on the talents of one or two star players, but rather seek to unite a TEAM and bring out the very best that each individual has to offer.

Every person holds within them a measure of greatness. The task before us, as leaders, is to help bring it out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you have a job or a ministry?

Not that one is necessarily better than the other, but clarifying can clear up and prevent frustration. If you have a job, that's fine. But if you have a ministry and approach it like a job, you do a disservice to yourself and the ministry.

A job is at your choice; a ministry is at Christ's call.
In a job you expect to receive; in a ministry you expect to give.
In a job you give something to get something; in a ministry you return something that has already been given to you.
A job depends on your abilities; a ministry depends on your availability to God.
A job done well brings you praise; a ministry done well brings honor to Christ.
~James N. Spurgeon