Take Time To REMEMBER!

Take a moment and remember that God knows you and tomorrow better than you know yourself and what tomorrow holds!

It’s hard to remember but totally worth it!!

Advertisements

Looking Ahead (Getting In the Game)

I heard Any Stanley once say this statement:

When your memories outnumber your dreams,

your end is near. Keep dreaming…

How true this is for pretty much every area of our lives, wither it be leadership or our relationship with Christ or even seemingly small things like waiting for our favorite bands next CD or maybe in waiting for someone to be everything we want them to be! What ever it is it’s important to remember the past but look to the future with great anticipation!

I have always tried to keep a pretty opportunist outlook on life, because you never know what will happen next!!! But there are times when I forget, I forget who God is, I forget how BIG God is and I forget that He’s never finished… its in those times that the memories outnumber the dreams… It’s in those times when the doubts come and the frustrations mount…. Those times really don’t help me much at all… Thankfully those times are usually short lived and I am reminded again to dream!

I love to imagine…. without the how… Dreaming without the how… So important!

This community on fire for Christ!

200+ Students coming out on a  Youth Night!

Hundreds of students finding Christ and taking Him to their schools!

Families being united!

Students allowing Christ to Impact their  family, the church, their community,  this world!

If you don’t dream bigger than what is in front of you won’t go anywhere… you are dying…

So… Put your Cracker Jack box DOWN! Get out of the stands! Get in the game! What are you doing now that will allow the dream to become a reality!

Life Lesson From Tigers Loss

I don’t know if you have heard or not but Tiger Woods did not win last weekend’s masters…

I watched as the master himself began to let his lead slip away as Y. E. Yang defeated Wood’s shooting incredible on his final two holes….

So… If you know me you know how my head works… If you don’t let me enlighten you… I love learning! I love looking at situations and observing and trying to see things that people miss… I really like to learn life lessons… either for parents, students, or leaders.. I love life lessons…

The point of this post was something Tiger said in the press conference after his lost….

Tiger was going through the reasons he lost the tournament, he talked about how his putting was awful about how he couldn’t hit anything on the green… He said “I hit well enough to win, but did not put like a champion” (Loosely translated)

But he did say one thing that will stick with me for quite some time. Tiger said that throughout all the changes that he has made to his game he was proud of himself.

Did you catch that… Tiger Wood’s has changed the way he played throughout the years...

When I heard that it got my head spinning… Because so many people would look at someone like Tiger who is so good and think, “Oh he’s just that good, he doesn’t need to upgrade his game”…. But think about it… Yes Tiger lost… But WOW has Tiger really WON! I mean there is only one other guy (in the world) who has been able to come from behind to beat Tiger…

But wow… Even I wouldn’t think that Tiger would have to keep changing his game… But i mean if you think about… if he didn’t change, then everyone around him would watch him and learn how to really hit the ball like Tiger… If Tiger never changed his game he would probably be hitting the ball like he was when he first joined the Tour…

Think about it… I bet it wasn’t easy for Tiger possibly the greatest golfer ever to change his game… After all he is one of the greats! But he has! And because he stayed current he has won in tournament winnings over 90 Million Dollars through out his career… Will Tiger will every match, Nope… Will Tiger keep getting better, yes… Do we have something to learn, Yeah!

Life Lesson: If you want to keep winning you must keep changing the way you play the game!

Who Do You Listen To?

I have been working on message for this weekend, its about Listening to God and doing what He say’s….

I am speaking this one because thats the passage I was given but two because I see a huge problem in the Church when it comes to who we listen to… Here is what the Bible says:

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

I believe that all to often we read: “Do not merely listen to the world, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

All to often I see Christians all across America choosing what world says and calling that truth instead of what God says about love, life and labels…

Lets take a look at life: I had a friend who growing up really focused on what others thought about him… This was no more true than when we would go snowboarding together. I remember we used to have so much fun riding down the hills, trying to teach cute girls how to snowboard and just having a really great time snowboarding together!

There was one area of the mountain that I always wanted to go to but my friend never did… The Half Pipe…  if they did go.. this friend of mine would just sit at the top of the hill and never go down the pipe… He was always very content standing at the top of the pipe…

My brother told me one day that the reason my friend did this was because he was always afraid what someone from his school would say if they saw him… He was so worried about what people would say about his riding in the half pipe that he never allowed himself to get good at riding it!

I really learned alot from that experience, never let what people say about you to keep you from learning!

I mean seriously, why do we let the world and sometimes even what other Christians think about we are doing bring us down?

OF COURSE I SAY THIS WITHIN REASON… IM NOT TALKING ABOUT SINNING AND CALLING PEOPLE OUT FOR SIN….

But I mean I wonder how many of us would be more OPEN, not BOLD but OPEN about our faith if we stopped caring about the rejection that Jesus told us would come once and awhile….

I wonder what this world would look like if we just helped people without needing anything in return… without looking for praise or accolades…

I wonder how our families would live like if listened to Jesus words about love and sought common ground and became peacemakers…

All to often its like we forget that the Bible has everything we need for life… and the things Jesus says about you should trump far above anything the world tries to lie to you about!

Remember when the creature of Matter tells YOU, YOU MATTER  and you believe it that changes everything!!!

So next time we have a minute to stop and think we should ask ourselves who are we listening to… Remember like the statement “you are what you eat” you often become who you listen to… If your becoming more like the world… Maybe you should take inventory of who you listen to…

Jesus said: “I came that they may have life and have it to the full” -John 10:10

Jesus said: “I came for the sinners not the righteous people” – Matthew 9:13

Jesus said:  33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Jesus said: “Blessed are they that mourn for they will be comforted – Matthew 5:4

Jesus said: “illuminate to those around you the light you have from God that they may glorify HIM! – Matthew 5:16

Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” -Matthew 5:17

Jesus said: 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:37

Jesus said: “If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.” Matthew 5:46

Jesus said: “whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:27-28

Jesus said a lot of things… Does His word change the way you live your life? I know its been changing mine! Or do you listen to the voices of the people who might not even have the things of God in mind…. I know I have been guilty of that as well..

When we stop listening to the lies and go to Jesus the truth for how we should live our lives everything becomes clear… When we look at Him the perfect example of life we realize the areas of our life where we need to allow God to come in and fix… When we focus on Jesus and off ourselves we stop leading the blind and begin seeing life maybe alittle bit closer to how it was meant to be…

A good reminder to Stop listening to people and listen to Christ!

How do you go before God?

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I really love this passage and how it demands us to pray prayers that are REAL! I love verse 13, the guy had so much reverent fear of God… He stood at a distance to speak out to God and seek His forgiveness (which he was given)… Sometimes in our lives we think that our sin separates us from God so far that we can not even go to Him to repent for them…

There are two sides of this passage of course… but the second guy is the one I think we can learn from the most….

1. He still repented… As I said before sometimes in our lives we let sin separate us in theory past the point of forgiveness…. This guy couldn’t make it into the temple but he knew that wouldn’t stop his prayers from being heard!!!

“Therefore this is what the Lord says, ‘If you repent,I will restore you that you may serve me.'”

Jeremiah 15:19a

2. Maybe he understood the gospel... the first guy was all about how he was earning his way to heaven…. The second guy understood that Life comes through Christ, not in what we do in terms of appearance. When we truly understand the Gospel we should respond similar to this guy! We don’t deserve anything! Nothing! Not even the option of forgiveness… But because of Jesus we remember that He is our example (not other humans) and He gave it all up for us… He first loved us… Sometimes i think i/we forget the gospel and we end up paying prayers of the first guy… thinking that we can earn our way to a relationship with God… Forgetting that its God who has already opened the door for us… and in a lot of ways we end pushing Him away because its not about how we can earn salvation… Its all about what He did, He’s the HERO…

3. Honesty wins! The second guy poured his broken heart out to God… He must have done some pretty big (in his eyes) sins… But because was real with God and humbled himself before God, he was justified before God….

So… How do you pray? I know that for me I want my prayers to be honest and humble before God because that is what it means to be Real before God!

Thoughts From the Leadership Summit

Are we willing to fail… To succeed??

* Sometimes it seems that we as humans are so afraid of failing at something we never even attempt to try. But this question is one that has haunted me for awhile now…. Am I willing to fail in order to succeed?

This is a question that we can all relate with.. Am I willing to look like a fool or suffer through those awkward self imposed inadequacies in order to tell the love of my life that I actually love them? Am I willing to pick up a snowboard and fall or fail on my but 10-100 times before Im actually able to do get down the hill in the assumed style of a snowboarder? Am I willing to start a conversation with someone who does not know Christ even though i feel that i don’t have all the right answers and may feel like a failure?  Am I willing to fail in order to learn how to drive a car?

Sometimes I think we play the What If game on the wrong side of the court…. We say things like what if I never did this for the wrong decisions we have made in our life…  I think maybe we should think about the What If’s from the good decisions and the good experiences of our life…. What if, We never mustered up the courage to tell that person we loved them! What if they never gathered the courage to tell YOU! What if in your failing of learning to snowboard you gave up, you would have missed out on the great time friends and the excitement of making it to the bottom of the hill in one piece, not to mention the view at the top of the mountain! Or What If’ that person never started that sometimes hard conversation with you about Jesus and what He did on the cross for us?  What if you never got over your fear of driving cars you would have missed out on the great experiences of the freedom of driving down the road and off into the sunset, going wherever you want take yourself!

It was said in the book IT… “Failure is not an option… its Mandatory!”

I think if we were honest with ourselves… we are great at failing! We do it all the time! If we didn’t we would never be GOOD at anything! We would live life in our bubble of fear crippled and unable to do anything…

So the question I ask for Leaders is this… Why if are so used to failing naturally…. Why aren’t we trying new things with our areas leadership…. What if the very thing we needed was a good fail in order to find out thats not how it is most effective with the freedom to try again!

Giving each other the freedom to fail and still love is quite possibly the greatest thing we as humans can give each other…

If we want to be effective leaders and humans we must learn to Fail and Fail Forward!

-Tom