Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm no Superman

People like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther king and Mother Teresa were not necessarily extraordinary people just people committed to extraordinary purpose.

All people are created with extraordinary potential (FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY Made as God puts it) Our responsibility is never to define ourselves within the context of that extraordinary purpose, only shallow celebs do that. The best way to explain it is to imagine any of those people getting up in one of their speeches and saying "I am extraordinary". None of them would have ever considered making such a conceited claim. No, they would have described themselves as ordinary people with an extraordinary purpose or even an ordinary person committed to an ordinary purpose, like in the case of Mother Teresa, just cleaning the wounds of the poor and underprivileged. All these people would never have described themselves as extraordinary, just ordinary people doing something they felt to be extremely important and that is I believe the lesson to be learned in our egocentric world, Don't strive to be great, just do great things.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Building with Excellence

Sakichi Toyoda the founder of Toyota had a unique problem-solving technique. When something goes wrong, he would ask “why?” five times. By asking why, over and over, you eventually get to the root cause. This can also apply to our lives. By taking full responsibility for your life and asking yourself why something went wrong for example, you can even make failure feel like success. You can ask, did I give this my all? Because great effort can be as admirable as great success.
“1 Cor. 3 :9-10 - "We are fellow labourers together with God. So according to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder, I laid the foundation, But let every one pay careful attention to how they build on in.”
What are we building with our lives? Are we building with excellence? The Bible says we are a peculiar people, in other words we are designed to stand out. The way we do life, our speech, the ethics by which we live our lives should clearly identify us as Christians not just because we go to church or even offer benevolence, but because we are actually Christ like.
Daniel 5:12 says that Daniel had an excellent spirit,and that knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences and dissolving of doubts were all found in Daniel. In other words he was able to shift the blame or to shelter the blame of hard sentences.
All that stuff was in Daniel. A great question to ask ourselves is, what can be found in us? Ahh a bit of hurt - I well I know how to shift the blame real good to others not away from hard sentences like Daniel. Are we building our lives with the values of excellence, or just building our lives carelessly? Rom 2:18 says we should approve or allow things that are more excellent into our livees.

So here’s 5 questions to ask about building with excellence
1 - ON what are you building?
Math 7:24 says a wise man builds his house on rock. The stuff you're building is not the problem; what you're building it on is. There must be a solid foundation on which to build your life. But the question is are you building on principles or procrastination, what tools have you actively placed in the tool box of your life to finish the job well? Has your building site been cleared to make way for what God wants to build? Have you let go of your agendas or are you like the little monkey stuck holding on with his hand in the cookie jar? God's idea is this .. I make all things new. God doesn’t remodel or renovate, he only renews.
2 - WHAT are you building?
It’s vital to consult the builder and ask "what do you think would be right to build in my situation?" Sometimes this question may come out sounding a little like this. "What are you doing God??" Not a bad question as long as it’s a real question and not just an accusation. We must come across to God sometimes a little like Barbara from Bank World in the ANZ BANK television ads. (Us) :- when I said I “know” your plans, - ahh that’s wasn’t know with a silent k that was NO “without” a silent K - I NO - your plans (God) :- So what are we going to do with these plans then – (Us) :- not my problem, go away…look God you’re very valuable to me so I’m going to sign you up for something you haven’t even asked for – (God) :- but (Us) :- a a a a 2 late already in the system God. God’s ideals need to be the supervising values in our life. Begin to read the Master’s plan, look over the blue prints, His notes in the margins once in awhile, reconsult the drawing room
3 - For WHOM are you building?
Who is this thing for? What’s this all about? Who is the chief benefactor in all this? When you lose find something altogether new, you discover the power of synergy. A team whose players play predominantly for themselves, can be a good team, but never a great team. This is because they never truly access the power of the game plan or get the power synergy to work for them. Too many buildings reflect the owners' agendas at the expense of the expertise of the designer. One of the greatest mistakes the Sunshine Coast makes continually is to relinquish the initiative to the fear of what we don’t want. I for one am tired of hearing we don’t want to become the Gold Coast. We need to forget what we don’t want to become and decide what we do want to become, because if we don’t, then we actually become something by default, and not by design. Fear, not vision and forward thinking, is shaping what we are becoming. The truth is we “are” becoming something all the time anyway and if we don’t take responsibility for what we are becoming we could become anything. God's Kingdom is never about us - what we are or what we don’t want to become, it’s about design, about what He’s building for the future. We need to influence the future or the future will influence us. If you want the influence and resource of Heaven, get with the design program, let go and let God start building something better and best in you. If it were only about Daniel, he would have just stopped praying in public. If it was just about Abraham he would have been offended when God asked for his only son. If it was just about Moses, he’d have stayed a prince of Egypt and let his people serve him. If it was only about Jesus he would never have left Heaven and would certainly never have left the garden and surrendered to His Father's will. It's never about what we are building, it's never about us, it's about God and His good, better or best plans for our lives.
4 - HOW are you building?
In what manner, is it with grace, favour, love> Or alternatively, intimidation, hurt, baggage, weighted down, unbalanced? Are you just going though the motions attempting to get thought the day while God's got this a huge agenda for your life. Seriously don’t balk at the size of His agenda. You need to get a better view of the size of God. God is extravagant, His love toward us is immeasurable. So don’t fear the unknown, take steps to toward it. Stop attempting to relieve your guilt and excuse yourself of the responsibility to excel in life. Our human potential is close to limitless, our God potential, infinite. It’s overtime for many of us to write ourselves some God sized checks, dream some God sized dreams and believe God for them. The key to touching the infinite is to embrace it. Make a start be a Jabez not a Jonah. Embrace excellence and the opportunity of God, don’t run from it. Get beyond the limits of the ordinary. God doesn’t live there. Paul prayed that we would have the ability to prove those things that are excellence. I Cor. 10:31 .. Do all things to the glory of God". Jesus' standard for us was this, the things I’ve done, you’ll do greater things than this in my Name. God is constantly calling us to live higher, to lift the standard, to believe in miracles
5 – Are you building excellence PROGRESSIVELY
2 Cor. 6:3 .. In all things we are approving ourselves, through much patience.
Don’t become faint doing what is good, what is best what is worthy what is benevolent. Excellence is a measure, you can measure it in your life. Paul said I strive toward a mark, a line, a goal, toward a prize. There is less than what is best. Paul says I strive to win. Well done good and faithful servant, enter into your reward. We at times don’t decide to press toward anything so we can maintain our own personal self-respect. We sometimes throw ourselves a party with nothing to celebrate. Excellence has priorities if there’s best then there’s less than best. If we are going to excel we must prioritise some things over others. A University student must prioritise study over social activity. Someone who is married must prioritise one person over others. A parent must prioritise family over a promotion sometimes. It’s so sad that some people go though their entire journey without any clear sense of heavenly or purposeful intention about their lives driving them forward. Excellence must have a progression to achieve a goal. I think one of the greatest reasons some struggle is because everyone starts out with dreams hopes and aspirations, but setbacks and obstacles make us give up on the journey. 2 Cor. 6:4 says in much endurance we prove those things that are of God. History often only remembers excellence or infamy, what is wonderful or decidedly less than perfect. If you want to leave a mark with your life you must do it in excellence. Animate the good things and make every effort to disable and minimize the worst. Excellence, as Paul says, presses toward a particular mark, it strives toward the goal; it never loses sight of the best. He said I haven’t arrived yet I’m still striving toward the prise. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther king, Mother Teresa. Were not necessarily extraordinary people just people totally committed to extraordinary goals. Don’t give up or settle for the status quo. Don’t fall for the age-old trick, well I guess this is my lot in life, this is the hand I’ve been dealt. That is just copping out on life, cashing in the chips, hitting the default button on your dreams. We make the mistake of anaesthetising ourselves from the responsibility to excel because it dulls the pain of the long journey. If it’s great then its worthy of greater effort, if it’s God then it’s worth your all, your best, your priority and your sustained pursuit. Goals reached easily bring little satisfaction. Goals laboured over bring incredible fulfillment.
Think about tomorrow today, imagine what you want for your life and start building it today with excellence.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The 10 Top Things to do the day after you thought the world would end....

10 - Rebuy all the things you sold on ebay because you wouldn't need them again

9 - Email your boss and beg for your job back

8 - Pay the monthly bills you've been refusing to pay so you can get the water and electricity reconnected

7 - Renegotiate the Life Insurance Policy you canceled because you thought you wouldn't need it

6 - Buy some spray paint to overspray the signs that read World ends Dec 21 to World Ending Real Soon - get back to you on the date.

5 - Go apologise to all those friends you thought the time was right to tell what you really thought

4 - Write a Cook Book on 101 different ways to cook with baked beans because now the pantry is full of them you'll be eating baked beans in 101 different ways

3 - Try and work out were you left your car days earlier as you raced through the street from door to door telling people the world would end

2 - Start showering again

1 - Turn the huge boatlike structure you where working on in the back yard into an interesting pergola .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The power of a moment

A spiritual leader makes an impassioned speech to ignite a nation, a disaster occurs, a nation declares war, a loved one dies, a person makes the momentous decision to forgive, you see someone across a crowed room and the world changes as you know it. The power of a moment to define everything so quickly, who we are, what we achieve and what our life becomes. Job 7:17 What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart on him? 18 And that you should visit him every morning, and try him every moment? Gods so interested in you that he visits you every morning. Puts a different perspective on our mornings, makes you want to get into the habit of greeting the morning differently. Gods a morning person and his mornings are filled with renewal and unrealized potential. His Day is filled with thoughts and plans of you and those around you. God moments are carefully designed plans the seeds of the limitless potential of God for our lives. Imagine the Wright brothers, just two bicycle engineers who experienced a moment of genius, lets make a plane. This is the awe and creativity, the imagination of God that still visits people daily – (these are Gods mornings) Imagine the moment Alexander Fleming looked down a microscope and saw what mold could do to infection. This incredible moment lead to the development of a drug called penicillin that would save countless millions of lives. The world changed in that very moment. God is such a loving merciful God, we know this all to well but do we also know he is also a just God. The world including your world… is his intention (HIS preoccupation) and he loves the world too much to leave it the way it is. Our lives are the canvas on which God paints his masterpiece, everyday is a new moment to add another intentional brush stroke to change the stark canvas of our lives to the ever developing picture of life God see’s. One of the greatest acts of Gods loving kindness towards us, is not only his mercy toward us but also his judgments. He stands back and looks across the landscape of life and begins to paint our life with his colours. He colours his brush with opportunity, dips his brush with humility and with charity. He places his brush into the pigment of kindness and smears it across the canvas of out lives. He is the one making the judgments, positioning the right perspectives. Everyday God enters the studio of life and paints your life with purpose and prosperity. He is there each day looking to copy the perspective of eternity and super impose them onto the one dimensional realities of our mortality. He then meticulously judges the work of his hands upon our lives. One of the things we all often say is, don’t judge me. Such a sad statement when the judgments of God are beautiful moments of design that reflect his vision. So I say, judge me God, try me, test me out, paint my life with your moments of intention. What’s the power of a moment? If we submit to these God moments we can become all than God intends. Alternatively if we neglect to respond to the power of the God moments, we are maybe only one moment away from becoming less than God intended. I saw a documentary of a young man who tossed a rock from a hill over a freeway, he thought it might be funny. It smashed though a windscreen and disabled a beautiful young woman. The power of that moment that changed two peoples lives for ever. That young mans pain was defined in just one moment of time, just one thoughtless act changed his and the young woman's life forever. The interviewing journalist asked him, what had changed about his life. He said he takes more seriously the moments in his life now, he thinks through every impulse and action, every thought and heart attitude, ever hoping to make amends for his tragic decision. Every moment has the possibility to be a God moment of creative action and positive intention or a destructive moment of decay and decline. If you’ll allow good motives, God Moments to out shine the difficulty or the mundane, the misconceptions of your limitations, the boarders of what is, then in a heart beat everything can change for the better. You can be transformed to a better place a more meaningful purpose. God is there every moment of everyday to take you to that place of creation not of deconstruction, of hope not of despair, of action, never of inaction. 10 spies stood on the verge of history, but in just a moment of bad decision, a choice is made to see the situation in a particular way and that moment defined the future and sentenced 3 million people to death in a harsh wilderness. What’s the power of a moment, to define a life time? The person you marry, an indiscretion that costs a life time of suffering…or a life of someone else’s suffering. Each day we get up is a series of moments that can define or set the boundaries of our lives positively or negatively. There’s not only the sin of commotion - equally as devastating is the sin of omission….we can neglect to do what should be done. Be careful what comes out of your mouth it can define the very life force of a human destiny…in an ungraded moment. I heard a story of a young boy carrying a heavy bag home from school loaded with books. He tripped and fell under the weight of the books. Another boy from school recognised him and rushed to his aid. From then on they became friends right through their school years. It was only as the boy who stumbled was graduating as valedictorian and giving his speech in front of the entire school, that his friend who’d rushed to help him so many years earlier realized the power of that moment. For the first time he told how he’d cleared his locker that night of all his books, intending never to return to school, as he was going to take his own life. He’d been bullied mercilessly his entire school life and didn't have a single friend. That day he was threatened to be beaten the next morning, This was one to many times and he could no longer take the persecution, but his new found friendship finally gave him the courage to get though the challenge of one more day. The power of that moment. We all too often let these moments pass us by and we fail to see the opportunities for new life to emerge within the context of our life experience. Martin Luther King outlived himself because he refused to allow the time he was living in define the moments of his life. Sometimes unnoticed moments of our lives are defining us weather we realize it or not. The moment a woman with the issue of blood presses though the crowd. The moment blind Bartimaeus yells out to Jesus, in a chance encounter. The moment a woman with a demon possessed daughter argues with Jesus for healing. The moment of intention Zacchaeus climbs a tree to place himself above the crowd. There lives where defined by those moments. Paul’s in a storm aboard a ship and tells everyone to eat, if he hadn’t they’d never have made the long swim to shore when the ship hit a reef. A moment of wisdom defined the lives of everyone on that boat. Joseph in a dungeon shares the interpretation of a dream. 3 young men refuse to bow and a nations spirituality is defined in a single moment. The power of moments, you say something you didn’t really mean. You do something you didn’t really intend to do and in a heart beat your life is defined by the moment, you wish you could have back. An indiscretion with that person and your life now will be ever defined by it. You have a fight with your partner, your child observes and an impressionable life is defined by it. You say what your really thinking and crush somebody in the heat of an argument. Your offended by something that was a misconception and now your hurt is defining the majority of your life - the power of moments. The healing power of the moment you finally say, I was wrong. The season you pledge your love for better or worse. Don’t say those words at that moment unless you intend to live in that moment for ever. I wish I'd never married you and in that moment of frustration the rest of your life is defined in an instant. Forgiveness is sort and given but something may never be the same again. God is judging you on every ONE of these moments, he visits you every morning and judges you on every thought action and behavior. Why there’s so much at stake. 6000 years ago a young couple named Adam and Eve sold there birth rite in just a moment to a swindler named Lucifer for a few dollars, nothing more than a piece of fruit, they sold eternity for knowledge. Christ never confused the cheap resources of mortality for the great wealth of eternity. Don’t sell what is eternal for what is temporal (it’s a lousy trade) Ish 54: 7 it was only for a small moment I have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. Don’t sell your eternal on the altar of opportunity. Abraham take your son and offer him as a sacrifice and God waited for a moment when his hand moved downward and that moment defined the future, the dream was secured God was satisfied with his faithfulness. How many times has God wanted to bless you, yet you have refused the moments or not know the moments. Your eternal sometimes waits on the Altar of the moment. The moment you say I love you, I forgive you, I feel called by you God, God if your there – help me. Jesus on a hill called Calvary willing submitted to a cross knowing there was a higher judgment than just the pain. He saw the Joy beyond the cross, the life giving force of reconciliation lay just beyond that moment and He was not about to miss the moment. Life is defined by eternity but it is packaged in little God moments that build the eternal or are left to rot in the inaction of personal desire and the temporal. Nelson Mandela describes the moment he decided to love and understand rather than hate and retaliate. What a moment that defined the future of a nation. He said I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. Master the moments and captain your eternity.