Periodically I will grab a few journals, sit in a quiet place with a cup of tea, and read through them page by page. Many times, it is as if I’m seeing these thoughts for the first time and I get filled and charged all over again by the jewels in my journals. I thought I would share a few leadership thoughts with you today.
Summer here in New England is coming to a close even though it doesn’t officially end until mid-September. People’s minds are shifting to the Autumn as families prepare to gear up for the approaching school season. I prefer to squeeze out every day of summer I can until it is officially over.
We are currently on family vacation in Lake Placid, New York in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. This is the home of the 1980 Olympics - right here in Lake Placid. As I step out onto the balcony from our bedroom, which is on 10 acres with a magnificent mountain view, I have the perfect view of the ski lift used in the Olympics which always reminds me of my favorite movie - Miracle.
It is obvious that the attack of the enemy in the 21st century is on the home. The values that we cherish and the godly principles that we have dedicated ourselves to are worth fighting for.
If we want to win our families to God, it all starts by standing up and fighting for them! Drawing the line in the sand saying, “No more devil! Enough is enough!”
Think about this for a moment.
Do you want to be right or reconciled?
Do you want to continue being hurt or do you want to be healed?
Do you want to keep being the victim or start becoming whole?
If you’ll fight for your family God will fight for you.
If you’ll fight for your freedom God will fight for you.
Below is a passionate message that I recently shared with our congregation on this subject.
Verna and I are standing together with you for your freedom and for victory for your family.
God can make things happen that you could never make happen. He’s already in your tomorrow making it ready for you, but are you asking big?
He’s already lined up the right people, the breaks you need, and doors to open that you could never have opened on your own. My question is, are you asking BIG or are you letting your circumstances—how you were raised or what somebody said—talk you out of it?
If I had a dollar for every time that I have either been offended or tempted to be offended I would have a very nice ocean front vacation home on Cape Cod. The Bible tells us that offenses will come, so it’s not a matter of if they will come, but rather when they will come. So it behoves us to understand how offenses come and what to do with them when they do.
Below is an audio recording of some thoughts I shared on this subject at our recent Lead Roundtable.
If there is anything Verna and I can ever do for you please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Blessings!
Many years ago, I read an article from the late Dr. Lester Sumrall, one of the great Apostles of faith, and this question was asked of him: “Dr. Sumrall, how do you maintain the energy to do all that you do?” And in Dr. Sumrall style he gruffly answered, “I am intensely interested in what I do!”
When I read Dr. Sumrall’s response to that question, it lit a fire in me to have the zeal of God consume me like it did him. While I am still on that journey and continue to make spiritual progress in that area, I was prompted to hear from God on how to live this lifestyle of continuous energy. I want to share some of those insights with you.
I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of people in my lifetime. Growing up in a minister’s home, being a missionary kid living in Italy and Belgium and now pastoring for some 36 years, I have observed a thing or two. Here are what I consider to be four attributes of exceptional people.
1. Exceptional people have exceptional battles but also know how to persevere.
You cannot be exceptional and have ordinary battles. Ordinary people have ordinary battles. Exceptional people have exceptional battles but they also have exceptional perseverance.
Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. - I Peter 4:12 AMP
You've heard it said, "We are all born originals but most of us die copies." (John Mason)
Why is that? Frankly, it's a lot easier being a copy. Blending in, acting and thinking like everybody else. One of the keys to the journey to exceptional is exposure. In fact, I’m convinced exposure may be the key to everything.
Most people will never reach their full potential because they have never been exposed to other options. Until you been exposed to other options than what you are familiar with, you are destined to think like you've always thought and have what you've always had.
Verna and I have learned, that one of the greatest breakthroughs in our life and ministry came when God took us out of our very small, close minded world, and exposed us to a bigger one. That exposure had such a profound impact on us, that it began to produce the very DNA out from which International Family Church was birthed.
Please listen very carefully to what I'm about to say: