Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

They did it to me again!!!

I cannot believe they did it to me again!!!  Again Lord! Why? What?! HOW? How long am I supposed just take this?  

I know vengeance belongs to you, but are you paying attention to what these enemies of mine are doing?

“But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke” 6:27-28 NIV

Now that’s COURAGE!  And that is a lot to swallow!

Well, they say the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  So here we go!

Love your enemy – This is the easiest bite.  Who is my enemy?  The only real enemy I should have is those that are an enemy of my God.  Not an enemy of my church, pastor or leaders… but God.  Simply >>> if one is not an enemy of God, they should not be my enemy either.

Do good to them that hate you – Again, much like our actions towards the enemy, is our action towards someone that hates me.  Someone may hate me, hate you, but that is their heart towards me.  Love can still come easy.

Bless them that curse you – Now we are at a possible pressure point.  To curse me means you may know something about me.  But if it is not true or undeserved, my bible says, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Pro. 26:2  The guiltless do not have to fear a curse. 

But what I have to do next, now this takes courage.

Pray for them that despitefully use you – What?

To tackle this one, we must break it down into bite-size pieces!  End piece first.

To use me implies that you had to be close enough to my person and my heart for me to break off a piece of it for you.

To use me means that I gave you the most important commodity I have … my time.  When I gave you my service, my care, my ear, and my helping hand, I gave you a part of me that I can never get back.

To use me means that ultimately, I was compliant.  You could not have “used me” unless I agreed on some level.  Wow. So, who am I really mad at?

Despitefully.  Why is this word here?  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as: ‘expressing malice or hate’.  Well, we dealt with how to handle those who hate, but what about malice?  “The desire to cause pain, injury, distress to another.”  Hmm, so the intent was there, but it didn’t work.  The second definition, “intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse”, back to Pro. 26:2.

Simply put, it was in your heart to bring harm to me without a cause … and it didn’t work, even if I was unintentionally complicit. #POW

So what is there left to do???   Pray for them! 

Yes, yes, yes… Courage’s first breath is always a prayer.  

Arise!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Arise... It's April!




In January we were challenged to Arise in our Outlook! Everything that happened in 2017 really was not that bad, well it was but it was purposeful!   

In February we were challenged to Arise in our Conversations!  Our words frame our world.  In 2017 as situations became more difficult, trying and painful we let everyone and anyone that would listen to our complaints … listen. 

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tweets carried direct and subtle expressions of our frustrations.  Yet forgetting the one person listening most attentively to the words spoken … our own inner soul. 

In March, we were challenged to Arise in our Character!  It has been said that a crisis does not build character, it reveals character #True.

What did we learn about ourselves in 2017? For some, the revelations were not very pleasant. What changes are you making in 2018 considering what you have learned?  Remember, it is habits that form character.

Arise … It’s April!  

How is your Courage? 

Not the big courage like conquering 
Mt. Everest or Skydiving courage.  (unless that is on your bucket list).  This courage is the courage to go back and pick up what you sat down in 2017!  

There was something that all of us sat down, put away or gave up in 2017.  And if we are honest, some things, mindsets, and people had to go; and that was part of the 2017 processing.   

NOW.... Arise!  Embrace the courage to say I will try again, love again, invest again, and build again.  Now that is super-charged Courage!

Arise!  Take Courage! Move Forward!  Let’s do it together, step by step, day by day!

Arise.

Monday, January 15, 2018

ARISE in your OUTLOOK

Twelve men were sent out on a strategic fact-finding mission to gather intelligence about this purpose promised place which they were told they would conquer.   

This purpose promised place was truly all that God said it would be!  Look, they even returned with a foretaste of the fruit of the promise.  This was a great report and their Outlook is great!

But, along with the great Outlook came a few facts.  Strong enemies, large obstructions and…. Doubts! 

“We can’t do this … we can’t attack this … they’re bigger and stronger … we’ll be devoured … there are already giants in my promise place … and I seemed like a tiny little grasshopper in my own eyes next to them!”

Doubts! Doubts only see giants, problems, impossibility, and obstacles. Doubts leave God out of the equation and we make us forget, He is the one that set this purpose promised place before us, in us! 

Doubts cause us to look in at ourselves as grasshoppers.  Surely if I see myself as a grasshopper, everyone else does also. 

What is your purpose promised place?  Your marriage, the business, financial freedom, the family!  What seemingly impossible situation (your giant) did you face in 2017 that caused you to shrink back?

Question:  In the middle of facing your giant, did God send someone into your life to encourage you, “surely you will conquer and this purpose promised place is in fact still yours!”  Whose report did you believe?  

Arise.  Don’t run away in fear, face your giant head-on.  Refuse to continue wandering that mountain of doubts.

Arise. The impossibilities you faced in 2017 were actually opportunities to trust God. 

To overcome the “grasshopper syndrome”, you must change your OUTLOOK!  No more focusing on the difficulties of that situation, it is time to remember what God said.  Arise.

YOUR marriage, your family, your business, your finances, your health, your PURPOSE PROMISED PLACE, will you fight for it?  It is still yours, you can still conquer, but you must fight.      

Arise, change what you are looking at and fight ….  

Imagine a child who suddenly bumps into the neighborhood bully which he has been avoiding all year long.  The child trembles as he looks downs to avoid the eyes of this bully.  But suddenly he senses something deep within himself which causes the child to look up.  He is not looking up at the bully he is looking past the bully and there is his dad walking up behind the bully.  The child is no longer intimidated by the bully because he has shifted his gaze from the bully to his father.

Change your focus, change your OUTLOOK! That situation may be tough, but you are no grasshopper.

Arise!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Arise from 2017 & Emerge in 2018


“What is the word for the year?” I was asked on New Year’s Eve.  “Hum, not sure” I sheepishly replied.   


How could I not be sure on the last day of the year?  Every year starting with the Jewish new year until the end of our calendar year, I have listened intently within myself for that ONE word, but this year I heard two.  

ARISE… It is time to Arise.  My challenge with this word? Well, the challenges I faced in 2017 should have brought me to a place where I did arise.  To begin 2018 still saying arise felt a little defeating.  Well, then comes the second word…

EMERGE… This is the year to Emerge.  Oh, I liked that!!! Emerge feels so powerful (and the word for 2017 was POWER).  Yes, I liked emerge, but what about arise?  Let’s look at the meaning of each word:

Arise:    
To get up, as from a sitting or prone position; 
To awaken, and get up; 
To move upward; 
To come into being; originate.

Well, there is no big surprise there!  Let’s now look at Emerge:
To come forth into view; 
To come into existence or notice;
Move out from something and become visible. 

Wow...I got it!!!!

2017 brought us many new trials and challenges.  We found ourselves facing situations that we never faced before, and we didn’t really have anyone to walk us through.  These situations were uniquely designed for US!!!  Yes, tailor-made, so stop rebuking the devil.  

Allow me to illustrate:  
It was New Year’s Day and we had a house full of sleeping people.  My alarm went off at 4:30 AM.  Prayer, Devotion, Exercise (yeah right).  As I lay there, my mind said, “get up”!  Eventually, I did after hitting the snooze button three times.  "Oh darn, now I don’t have time to exercise."  What happened?  My hearts intent was to do what I knew would be beneficial for me, but I chose to delay.  Eventually, I did ARISE, and I noticed my night scarf was lying on the bed. I was sure my hair was quite disheveled without even looking in the mirror. I decided I would start breakfast and everyone would be waiting for me with expectation!

Now came the critical decision--Should I fix my hair, brush my teeth, and wipe the sleep from my eyes? OR Should I just EMERGE from my bedroom without doing due diligence! Hmm.

Taking a more personal note, the week of Thanksgiving I spent five days in the hospital.  The last day was the day after Thanksgiving, and I was upset that I missed the holiday with my family.  I was perfectly able to Arise out of my hospital bed, roam the halls and talk with other patients, so why couldn’t I go home. It looked like I was better. It felt like I was better!  But, I had to stay one day longer because the doctors wanted to ensure the medication had done its ‘due diligence’.  I had to wait one more day before I was allowed to Emerge!

So, what is the primary difference between Arise and Emerge? One is to get up, but the other is to come out…. in victory!!!

In 2017, you & your spouse may have endured some of the hardest times in your marriage.  Did you Arise from what you went through, or did you just get through it?  

What did that illness teach you about yourself? About others? About your own mortality? Most of all, what can you now teach others?  

If we begin 2018 only thanking God the year is over, and declaring what this coming year will be, without looking at lessons 2017 taught us, we will have missed it.

You fought many battles in 2017, don’t leave your spoils behind!!! 



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Before you Walk Away


So you think it is time?  Time to “Just Do It”, Time to “Just Jump”!  Time for full-time ENTREPRENEURSHIP! 

Recently, I read an impassioned writing by a young woman giving her thoughts regarding “4 Reasons To Quit Your Job To Be An Entrepreneur”. 


Oh, how I wish I could sit down with her over coffee, my treat of course, to discuss her four points:    


1. Recognition and R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Yes, you want respect. You want to feel validated in a way thus far robbed by the corporate world or regular day-to-day job you live in.”  

Well, my dear, the first person that needs to recognize, respect and acknowledge your accomplishments is YOU!  If you are needing validation now, you will find yourself chasing it for a long time.  Focus on walking out your destiny, then the recognition will come.  There is no greater respect than self-respect! 


2. Control

“Most entrepreneurs finally take the plunge when they become sick and tired of not controlling their own destiny."

Control or do you mean “decision making”? 


In entrepreneurship, yes the decisions are all yours!  Right, wrong, or indifferent the buck stops with you.  But, if it is actually ‘control’ you believe you have, think again. The new master and overseer of Control is called “Time”.


3. Freedom

"Wouldn't it be nice to work from the beaches of Costa Rica or the slopes of Aspen? Owing your own business – you can do pretty much whatever you want; whenever you want! "

Wow!  This does sound great!  But, back to Time…You must master Time, or Time will master you.   Yes, you have the freedom to work from the beaches of Costa Rica, but most likely your computer is with you to conference call back to the U.S.  

With Freedom comes responsibility!  Responsibility is called Time-Management!

4. Financial Rewards

"Goodness – lest we forget the money and financial opportunities. Do you realize there is no better way to create wealth for yourself then by being an entrepreneur?"

Now THIS is true! Before you Jump, do your due diligence: 


Research - Identify your competitors; what makes you unique in this field?

Personal Expenses - Along with rent, utilities, food, clothing, etc., be sure to factor in the costs of health and life insurance provided by your current employer.


Business expenses - Along with your personal expenses, you will need money for the business.


Identify Potential Partners - Who is your Tribe? Don’t try to go it alone.  You need people--the right people.


Consider Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Honest assessment.  If you have trouble identifying them, ask somebody.  


Consider your work habits - Do you enjoy working on your own? Do you get lonely without others?  


Entrepreneurship does offer a number of benefits.  Yet, with greater freedom, financial rewards, control and respect comes greater responsibility!   


Remember, what you walked away from may not be where you left it if you need to go back.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

You Are the Gift!

Hey there.

Have you ever found yourself in this place? 

Wondering…Questioning ….Yearning for the time and opportunity when your unique gifting (talent) will be utilized in a capacity that not only impacts the lives of others, but also leaves an enduring imprint in the earth?   

Yet, generally it is not your gifting that is being used. It's you.


Now, before you clam up and shut down, let me explain.

Many have yet to recognize the difference between the gift that you ARE and the gift that you HAVE.

The gift that you ARE works non-stop.  Its availability is predicated upon your intentional willingness to simply be available.  God has set within you an eternal "switch" (for a lack of a better word), that can be triggered at any given moment, and in any given circumstance.   

The gifting (talent) that you HAVE works a little different. Its availability and use oftentimes comes through training, reading, studying, mentoring and life experiences.  Yet, even with all of these listed preparations, it still may not be put to use. 

Don’t fret, your gifts will truly make room for you, in time. Most likely you are in the waiting period, also known as PROCESS, for gift development.  I am a witness that process generally creates great frustration, because it appears that what you have is not needed in your current place.

“So, what is the purpose of this gift that I have if it is never being used? "

Glad you asked?

To profit withal wherever and whenever God needs it.

When it seems God has shut you down in the arenas in which you just know your gift (talent) would be most useful, remember the gift was given to you by God, and He knows when and where IT will be used…so you won’t be. 

The dichotomy is that at the same time that God halts the gift you have, he will create arenas that place the gift you ARE on full display. 

“In this God? Now God? Going through what I am going through now?” 

Yes, because that gift you are is in a beautiful container with a bright bow on it, and it must be dismantled!  All will gather with anticipation as the gift is revealed.    

Warning!  The container holding the gift may be unintentionally damaged during the opening, especially in young hands. Yet, no one considers the discarded container afterwards because it was not the focus. It completed its purpose, which was to contain the gift until it is unveiled.

So, don't retreat. Don't complain. Most of all, don’t count yourself out! Just continue to perfect your giftings (talents) through process, and the gift that you Are in obedience.

~ His timing is something no man can hinder or stop.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Don’t trip, it’s only Change

Is it hot in here?   

You don’t feel that? Oh it's just me?  Another one, ugh! Stop tripping, it is only the Change.

What exactly is a hot flash?  The exact cause may not be known, but science says that it happens when our reproductive hormones and our body's thermostat (hypothalamus), become more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature.

Wow…It seems my body is declaring the changes we see in this world today--And it is uncomfortable and it's HOT!

The Boomers, Busters Gen-X and Millennials: We all fit on the corporate body of America and the world, and wherever we sit on the timeline of life, one thing is certain…Change! 

It is the Change we like, and the Change we don’t!

As a buster myself, I often fought with my Gen-X daughter to get a good “corporate” job.  Build that pension...maintain life insurance…GROW UP!!!!

What took me a while to see is she had grown up, but things had changed.  Gen-X was the generation that if they could not find a way in what the buster established, then then they would make a way--And make a way she did!

Many of the Gen-X billionaires are examples of those that found their own way:  Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Computer maker Michael Dell, Yahoo's Jerry Yang, and Google's Page and Brin. 

Wait…another hot flash!  Change!!!

Enter in the Millennial, who hate to be labeled that way! 

Millennials…werk, werk, werk!  If Millennials don’t like what the establishment (usually a boomer or buster) have set in motion, then they will change it!  

That is what you are supposed to do, right?  Protest, right? It worked before, so it will work again, right? So, they will do it big, do it fast, and be done! 

So, why is it not working? Why aren’t the protests working?  

Well, they are protesting against the boomers, and those old hormones don’t die easy.  Who can help them, show them?  Gen-X could definitely be that bridge for change, but wait, they already found their own way. 

Yep...another hot flash! This one is a little longer and a lot bigger. Change.

Millennials ~ Tribes over Traditions that is their mantra! Who raised them? Where did this come from?  

Is it because a two parent traditional family was not their norm, so they created one.      

Now these Millennial families/tribes have crossed the traditional boundaries of culture, race, gender, and religion.  

We will now see a white protestant woman protesting with signs that say “black lives matter”, because that is her family…her tribe. 

Yes, change has happened, and one thing that is constant in life is Change!

For the last 8 years we have had an African-American president that represented this country and his race with grace and dignity.  

Eight years ago there was a 16 year old boy or girl who is now 8 years older.  It will be their voice, their opinions, and their" truth" will set the stage for what is next.  

But don’t trip…It’s only Change.