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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Wish I Knew

I received this email today from Sermon Central and wanted to share it as a blog…

10 Ministry Principles I Wish I Knew When I Started

Brady Boyd

I have been a pastor for about 15 years now, and it has mostly been a fantastic journey with some of the best people on the planet. I did not attend seminary or have much formal training when I started out, but I sure wish someone had told me these ten things in the beginning.

1. Sheep bites can’t kill me, but the gnawing will make life miserable a few days each year.

2. No matter how hard I try, I will always be tempted to measure my success by attendance numbers.

3. The best thing I can do to build and grow God’s kingdom is to be myself and not compare myself to others.

4. It takes a long time to become old friends so nurture and cherish the old friendships God has given me.

5. I will only have as much spiritual authority as I am willing to submit to myself. Independence will destroy me, but there is power in submission.

6. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Challenge people to go deeper even when the message is unpopular.

7. My brain will always feel like scrambled eggs on Sunday afternoon so don’t make any major decisions until Tuesday morning.

8. Some people will only trust you after a really long time of proving yourself, and another group will never trust you no matter what you do.

9. Don’t feel guilty about taking a Sabbath. It was not a suggestion.

10. I will never regret spending time with my family instead of saying yes to a church meeting that someone else could lead.

I hope this is helpful to other young leaders who are launching out into ministry. What are some of things you wish someone had told you before you started ministry in the local church?

Now here is my response to the question at the end of the blog….

11. Be careful you who share dreams and successes with. Everyone cannot handle what God wants to do in your life.

12. Be careful how much information you share about your personal life with others. Some will use it against you when the time is right.

13. Going with the goers is not easily identified. Some hang around for what they can get from you rather than what they can contribute to the progress of God’s work and the progress of your spiritual maturity.

14. Eliminate distractions immediately. Letting them linger can be detrimental to your focus.

15. Be careful to not allow others to validate your worth, work, and witness. People forget what you’ve done today as quickly as tomorrow arrives (or they remember a past failure). In addition, compliments are not compliments but is patronizing covered with cute words to make you feel good with a hidden agenda.

16. Guard your family from the wolves. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are not always distant. Some of them are those closest to you!

Many of these I’ve heard before but did not really understand until I’ve experienced them for myself.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blessing Or Burden

We left the hospital from visiting my grand-daughter and sister-in-law on yesterday afternoon. We were in a hurry to get home to watch the BET Awards. Traffic was moving wonderfully on the Santa Monica freeway and in the transition from the 10 to 110 Harbor freeway. We got into the carpool lane with a straight shot home until the transition from 110 to the 105 freeway and that’s when traffic became slow moving the rest of the way home (and at times a complete stop for about 20 to 30 seconds). If things were to move like they were we would have been home in time to see the opening act of the BET Awards. However, it didn’t happen that way so we missed out but was able to watch the balance of the show.

While driving into work today, I started reflecting on my drive home and two (2) different transitions I found myself in trying to get home yesterday. My reflection showed me that life presents transitions that can be a blessing or a burden.

The transition with a straight shot home is considered a blessing because I would have got home in time to see the opening act. We don’t have problems with transitions that work in our favor. We enjoy life’s transition of a job promotion, finding a job, open doors, good health, decent money in the bank (whatever that means to you), well-behaved children, a growing church ministry, continuous preaching engagements, that one opportunity to show you can do it. See, transitions with a straight home are easy to handle because it worked in your favor.

On the other hand transitions that become slow moving in life’s traffic jams are considered a burden. We don’t like it when life slows down, especially, when we need/want to get to our final destination. It’s during life’s slow down moments that we become stressed, frustrated with God, anxious, worrisome, burdensome, afraid, doubtful, angry, jealous, faithless, and impatient. However, we must remember that life’s traffic jams are not all bad. Some of life’s traffic jams protect us from potential arm that we don’t see coming our way. Some of life’s traffic jams makes us slow down to here from God. Some of life’s traffic jams affords the opportunity of reflection with the end of goal being thankful for what all God has done in your life.

I speak from personal experience while in transition. I will be totally honest that I have mixed emotions about life’s transitions as I have both feelings of blessing and burden during this transition. So driving in this morning, I started to ask God to help me understand this transition. Of course, the following scriptures started coming to mind….

Psalms 1 - Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law [fn] of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. There is a threefold lesson to learn during life’s transition in this passage: (1). Be careful who listen to and what advise you follow – v. 1, (2) Let the Word Of God stabilize you – v. 2-3, (3). God knows what He’s doing in your life – v. 5-6.

Psa 25:5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Learn what you can during life’s traffic jams.

Pro 20:22 Do not say, "I will repay evil"; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. God is fighting for you during life’s traffic jams.

Isa 49:23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame." God is promoting you during life’s traffic jams.

Gal 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. You will be made all the better after life’s traffic jam.

(Disclaimer: The above text(s) is being worked into a sermon series/book entitled, Handling Life’s Traffic Jams – Trusting God during Life’s Transition)

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Scripture Memorization/Devotional Plan

Have you ever struggled with scripture memorization or finding a realistic scripture reading plan?

I will be honest I struggled with memorizing scripture as well as with a realistic plan for my scriptural devotional reading with all the demands life has for me.

Well, with God’s help and technology, I’ve discovered an easy way to memorize scripture and develop a plan for my scripture devotional reading that’s been working pretty well for me so far.

I use my Microsoft Outlook to assist me in the area of personal development with scripture reading and memorization…

The changing of my password during login helps with my plan. At work, we are required to change our password every six (6) weeks. I’ve been using the Psalms as my password beginning with Psalms 1 and each time I change it goes from Psalms 1, to Psalms 2, and so forth.

Once I change my password, I then schedule my reading in Microsoft Outlook Calendar by placing Psalms passage in the body of my calendar. I then set a scheduled reminder for each day for the next six (6) weeks with a time that is usually in the early AM (like 6 am). I do this so that no matter what time I log onto my computer, a reminder notice will pop up of my need to read the scripture selected as my password.

By doing this, I’ve conquered two (2) birds with one stone (so to speak). I have plan for reading and memorizing scripture using the one thing we all use the most these days the computer.

If I can’t remember a passage of scripture in six (6) weeks no matter how long the passage maybe then there’s another problem. Also, it helps me to take small bites for a sense of achievement rather than a large amount that usually cause feelings of failure when I don’t complete my commitment.

Try it, it just may help you and let me know how it goes!

Friday, June 3, 2011


A good devotional on seasons from Today In The Word...

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1
Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, recently created the world’s most accurate clock. Called an “optical atomic clock,” it’s made of an oscillating laser, a mechanism called a “comb” that counts oscillations, with a single mercury atom as the point of reference.The optical atomic clock “ticks” one quadrillion times per second. Research is ongoing, but this type of clock could be up to one thousand times more accurate than current atomic clocks. Such precise timekeeping might be applied in navigation, communication technology, and deep space exploration.Time, no matter how it’s measured, is one of the inescapable realities of life. God ordained seasons in nature; He built them into the rhythm of life.

There are seasons in our lives as well, and in God’s plan for history (cf. Dan. 2:21; Titus 1:2–3; 1 Peter 1:3–5). The observation about times and seasons may be simple, but it’s important for keeping a sense of balance. Today’s reading sets forth a principle, then fleshes it out with contrasts. Some events are pivotal, such as birth and death, war and peace. Others describe basic emotions, such as love and hate, weeping and laughter. Still others highlight fundamental patterns of action, such as speaking or keeping silent, searching or giving up. These events, emotions, and actions are the stuff and substance of life, the threads of which it’s woven.Getting hold of the truth that life has times and seasons can be one of the keys to inner peace and contentment