Monthly Archives: January 2015

PROTOCOL

I know what protocol is but, needed to define it anyway. Protocol is simply the code of correct conduct.
I’m not exactly sure who invented such protocol. I’m really not a fan of it. Oh, I can adhere to it, but really only if necessary. Unfortunately, I determine when I should follow it or not. I’m kinda an against protocol person.  To me, protocol just begs to be broken. (Disclaimer: this usually results in me getting in trouble) It may have happened on more than one occasion in my life. I’m going to push and push against protocol.
Except one:
    The protocol for accepting Jesus. I must confess my sin, ask for forgiveness, and accept Him in. Done. End of protocol.
You see other than that, I believe God doesn’t care about protocol. He didn’t necessarily use the correct protocol(to our belief system) in the Bible.  I’m not sure anyone in the Bible had an advanced degree in theology (ok, so maybe Paul!). The requirements were not that they had to be in their later years, mature, wiser, and well spoken.
God isn’t interested in how you dress, how you look(He made you,so…) or your age.
He does care about your obedient heart.
I’m looking at this next generation. They are our future leaders, our catalyst for change. They don’t look like we do. (But if I recall, I didn’t look like the generation before me, either.) They have tattoos, sometimes look homeless in the way they dress, and may appear like they don’t care. They are very laid back….(btw, the reason I can say these things is because I have 2 of them)
I love them… Here’s why: We need them. They need us. We have to start trusting them. They have big ideas, plans, strategies, and gifts and talents we need.
 Trust.  We have got to learn to trust them. It is our responsibility(whether you like it or not) to teach them to trust.  If we don’t learn to trust them, we could end up looking like Saul trying to hunt down David to kill him. We must take the responsibility to mentor and raise up a new generation of leaders and world changers. We have to learn to accept their out-of the box- ideas, talents and leadership styles.
Out of the box people excite me!!! Here’s why:
There is a story in the Bible about this lady who wasn’t following the correct protocol. Its found in Luke 18. This is my attempt at paraphrasing it.
Some injustice had been done to her. She didn’t go hire a lawyer, seek counsel, or ask advice from her friends. She made up her mind and circled the judge’s house until he relented and gave her justice. She didn’t quit! She just kept asking until he granted her request.
Now, lets fast forward to the summer of 2013. A group of ladies and I were reading the 40 day prayer challenge by Mark Batterson.  The 5 of us had some pretty intense stuff happening in our families. But one in particular, was headed to court. (sound familiar?).  She was fighting for her kids. Fighting for honor and fighting for the right thing. It was brutal. (it always is,isn’t it). Here’s what we did:
A friend in our prayer group sent an email out to her closest friends. God had given her 12 scriptures as a source of encouragement and resolve.  She sent those scriptures out(a copy of that email is still in my Bible) and a request to circle that courthouse in prayer. Literally. That courthouse was circled everyday up until the trial. By 10 or so different ladies. These women drove 20 minutes to get out and walk around that courthouse and pray.  We took those 12 scriptures and wrote them on stones. Memorial stones.  We walked and placed those stones strategically around that courthouse and prayed over each one. This is not normal protocol. This was a risk to look foolish.  God showed up and is still showing up from those prayers!!!!! Let me say I’ve never before experienced such a deep connection with God! Looking back, if there were cameras around the courthouse, guaranteed, they saw some women circling and praying and worshipping!
This is not standard protocol: Women circling their children, husbands, jobs, really whatever came up.
We need these people in our lives.
We need young adults reaching out and drawing in a group of unconnected 20 somethings. Having BBQ’s and getting to know one another.
They are changing the status quo! We are changing the status quo!
You need talent scouts in your organization who SEE the leaders and bring them to the front of the line. Mentoring, teaching, and loving them.
CRAZY ???
God used a murderer to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
God used a teenage boy to slay a giant.
God used a prostitute to help spies scope out the territory.
What is God using you for? Have you asked? IF you have, are you obeying?
God is not limited by a set protocol.
I’m not your typical protocol.
I just bet you aren’t either.
So let’s be awkward together and do something crazy for God!!
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FILTER

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Filters change our views. 

We use filters to keep the grounds out of our coffee. We select the filter we want to use for the photo on Instagram. Screen doors are filters to keep the bugs out. Sunglasses filter out the sunlight.

We use our thoughts as filters to determine who we let in. We use past hurts as filters to determine who we can trust, in the here and now.

Filters are used to keep lots of things out, but they also are used to allow the really good to seep through.

I want to be someone who sees the part that has been filtered through. Not the yuck stuck in the filter.

Here’s the deal… filters don’t just keep the yuck out, they let the really great stuff in.

But what we usually choose to focus on is the big YUCK! We see the pile of grounds, the guts of dead bugs, and the harmful rays of the sun.

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The filters let in light, air, great coffee, and tweaks the view of the picture.

This word jumped off the page at me the other day, and I wrote it on my desk calendar at work. Filter. Filter.

Then I had this thought, one we all probably know: but for the past few years, God has been filtering me. My brain has somehow decided not to think about the filtering.

I’ve focused on all the wrong things. It has perpetuated my thoughts to overwhelming proportions.  I’d neglected the good stuff.

VERY hard to see the good stuff.

The question screams loudly at me: Don’t you see the small important things, that I’ve filtered just for you? It took time and great effort to make sure the things I filtered for you were the most perfect and best for YOU!

Honestly, No.  I’ve been too consumed by the majesty of the awful.

Everything and I do mean everything that has wreaked havoc in my life,  has been lovingly and gently filtered through God’s fingers. I needed it.  I’m still standing. I’m still breathing. I’m still clinging to the knot at the end of my rope.

He’s made me stronger. I’m inching my way up that dang ladder. He’s helped me grieve(still am) a lot of loss. He’s pushed me to be accountable and do the right things.

When you are faced with the heaviness of trials, it’s hard to see if God can and will still use you.

I’ve struggled with this.

Still struggling.

What He is showing me, because of my failures, doesn’t disqualify me.  It doesn’t negate the purpose or call on me.  The enemy would like to think that.

I must re-engage and be intentional with you. With Him.

The one thing He doesn’t filter is His undying affection and love for me.  I have to pour the same amount of love and affection to those around me. It will look different.  It always does to those filtering it.

Today, I want you to know He sees you. He loves you. You are the apple of His eye! You are the cream that rises to the top. You are worthy!

Remember, He filters us to make us more like Him. He has BIG plans for you. He’s setting it into motion. Don’t miss it!


WET FEET

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So today, I’ve had a ton on my mind.  I’ve had my topics for the next 2 days in my head.

But you see, I’m undone.

I read in my devotional this week about getting my feet wet.

You see, there was this drought and the farmers called a prayer meeting. They all showed up to pray, except one farmer showed up in waders. He expected God to  answer with rain. God didn’t disappoint!

Let’s jump to the Old Testament.

So as the Israelites are getting ready to cross the Jordan River, God tells them to send the priests into the river. As they actually step into the river, the river parts(By GOD’S great answer) and they cross over on dry ground. Most of the time we expect God to part before we get our feet wet.  We must be willing to get our feet wet and then see what God is going to do.

I have been called a writer. Know it’s what God’s is calling me to. Well, one of the things actually.  I agreed to this #yourturnchallenge. I said yes. It was my moment of getting my feet wet. Honestly, I’m amazed.

Why? 

I have been at Catalyst Dallas. I’ve been mentoring a great group of young adult leaders in our church.  God just blew the door down!!! It was a theme for the conference. (Maybe not, but it was all I heard) and God confirmed it, oh, lets’s say about 5 times in the course of a day.

I was getting my feet wet before I even knew the river needed to be parted.

It has been a very rewarding day, as I remember the great thoughts and ideas and how literally excited to realize I was doing the next thing He needed me to do.

I must say, I felt alive yesterday. Where I fit. Where my heart is.

Moving toward something bigger than I can handle or do alone. Must be God.

Let’s not just stand on the bank and watch. Let’s journey in a few steps and see what river God parts just so we can fulfill where we know He is leading.

Jump in……


CHOSEN

tumblr_lv8qwo8uhJ1qg4xgso1_1280I woke up at 4 this morning. Before I got out of bed there was one word I woke to..

I’m sure you have felt:

the sting of being last or

the joy of being first.

Or not being at all.

Or discarded.

There is triumph and pain.

Secure and Insecure.

Among the thoughts this morning concerning this one word was the song playing on the radio when my alarm went off.

Come as You Are….Dave Crowder… I’ve listened to this song on repeat for a week now.   (Listen to this song. It’s ok if it’s your anthem for a week)

The other thing that really got me was a text I had waiting on me. It was from my oldest son…”Just read all your blog entries, really incredible. Very proud of you mom, keep it up! I love you and I miss you.”

I’m just going to lay it all out there. Between the word, the song and the text, I can barely see to type.

CHOSEN

You are.

I’m not sure who didn’t pick you.

I’m don’t know who let you go.

I don’t know who didn’t treat you right.

But I do know this:

JESUS picked you. You are His first choice. There is no doubt He wants you on His team.

He adores you. He loves you. He has a place for you. Right beside Him.

What I do know is, in an unexpected moment, an unforeseeable encounter, you find yourself Chosen. You’ve been searching and searching. Wondering.

It’s just like God to drop people right in your path, who say, “Hey, You belong to us!”

Consider yourself chosen.

It will be hard to keep the tears from flowing. It’s ok. Let them go.

Don’t fight it anymore.

Someone today needs to hear the words, “ I choose you!”

LOUDLY, I MIGHT ADD.


Rattled

Usually when I see a quote, one that really gets me, I jot it down. No, I don’t have a book of quotes, because that would be too easy for me to find.

I came across this one on Facebook not long ago and well, it fit. Like a glove.

International House of Prayer issued this FB status:

When the Love of God touches you, it satisfies you but leaves you longing and aching for more because your capacity to experience increases. 

I’m up past my bedtime trying to get this done because frankly God won’t let it go. I’ve been writing this for 2 days. Don’t know it will make much sense. But when He doesn’t let something go, I have to figure out what I am supposed to learn in the middle of the thing.

I’ve realized I’m rattled. 

Lots of life changes, home changes, emotions. I mean friction just simply because my spirit is ready for different.  Challenging. Asking for more than I can possibly handle right now, but its clear. Let me say it’s clear in my spirit. Not so clear in the direction.

I was reading the other day and the word rattle stuck out to me. When we are depleted we get rattled.

Life rattles us.

Drains us.

We get caught up in so many things. We get unfocused and think these things are what drives us. In reality, they just deplete us., suck us dry.

But somewhere in the midst, quiet must find it”s way to our door and slip in at times unnoticed.

In Ezekiel 37.7  “Suddenly as I spoke there was a great rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of EACH body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons.”

So I see rattling in 2 different ways:

  1. We are rattled when life gets hard.We are overwhelmed! Our bones become dry and brittle. Our soul and spirit lose hope. These are some things that can cause us to be brittle and rattle: anxiety, stress, discouragement, and a host of other things that you can fill in that blank. Our time is limited…
  2. We get rattled when God chooses to breathe life into us.

Rattled because it was unexpected, this new feeling of being alive again.

Ezekiel 37.8 His Word breathes life into us. Our dry bones stop rattling and we live. Our souls rattle because there is hope. Here’s the thing: Coming to life doesn’t mean we do less, it’s just being who God called us to be. It’s realizing that just tonight, I don’t work at home. I leave it at the office.

God’s one breath restores us.  

I was trying to figure out the commonalities between the words restore and restorer.

Psalm 16.9  (Loved this verse) “No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.”

Psalm 166.7 “Let my soul be at rest again for the Lord has been good to me.”

Matt. 11.28

“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”

Do you see rest in restore? Breath restores us; leads us to rest. God’s breath is the only satisfying breath we can inhale.

Rest comes in many forms, use your imagination. I think what resonates with me the most is communing together. Fellowship, Prayer. This is rejuvenating in a physical way, emotional and spiritual.

So take a moment. Inhale the sweet aroma of Jesus. Let Him saturate you before you exhale. Be raw before Him. Let it all go.(In Jesus’ Name) Hang on to what breathes life into you.

Let the rattling begin, not of dry bones, but of the very breath of God bringing you to a place of life.


SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS

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SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS

As a leader or coach it’s usually the little things that get us. Repeated little mistakes.

You: Work on them

Refine them

Practice them

But, they still creep in and panic sets in, and before you know it, you have quickly gone backwards, and the same bad habits come back.

To be a great leader/athlete you need to have short term memory loss.

In other words, whatever has happened to you during a game/dance/speaking engagement, party you have planned, whatever, if it was a mistake, quickly let it go. Forget about it.  You usually don’t have time for a pity party right then anyway and if you do, then everyone sees it, and it really turns into another mistake.

For an example: if I make a bad pass in a game and stop and hang my head about it and don’t get my tail down the floor, then the other team makes a layup. I don’t have time to hang my head and cry “WOE IS ME!” I’ve got to immediately let it go and continue with my head in the game. Or it leads me into a downward spiral and I’m no longer effective. It isn’t all about you, it’s about your team. Hanging your head and not focusing causes a breakdown of epic proportions.

I see it: Over and Over. Over and Over.

Short term memory loss. I assure you if it was a repeated mistake, I as your coach/friend will point it out while we are watching game film or walking through life together. Learn from them and move on.

Jesus has short term memory loss. That is dependent on how long it takes to confess our sin to Him. But the moment we do, it’s gone and He remembers no more.

Just for the record, this is being brought to you by a coach whose teams have lost all games this week by an average of 30 points. I really am trying to let it go…….


Have You Ever Swept a Gym Floor

I am a coach.
I was sweeping the gym floor before our basketball game started. It was very early in the morning. As is my custom this early, I had my earphones on listening to Hillsong. I was praying about our team and our struggles.
It was frustrating to say the least. Not to just me, because you could see it in the players eyes. I had been praying about this for several weeks. Knowing there was a key in there somewhere.
So this is what The Lord gave me;
Ideal.
How would your life be ideal? Will it ever be ideal?
Do we come to Jesus Ideal? Even after we accept Him are we Ideal?
Why???
To me Ideal is without pressure, anxiety, stress, or mistakes or sin.
Life just isn’t like that. Neither is basketball.
Ideally we run our offense without hindrance. When there is no defense it runs smoothly, efficiently, and without stress.
Here’s the thing: it only works that way in practice. Period.
Life does not run that way. EVER. Period.
This is life and bb:
..People blocking our way
..putting their body on us
..getting a hand in our face
..relentless in pursuit to shut us down
..pressuring us to take away what is ours
From the Friday Night Lights Tv series:
CLEAR EYES. FULL HEART. CAN’T LOSE!
We have to:
  1. Look up and see ahead.
               Let go of all that is clouding our vision. God will take care of it.
2. Have to have heart full of passion
               Passion leads to desire to protect what’s ours and take away what they want. It simply means..”I want it       more than you do!”
3. Can’t lose
               Obviously we can still lose via the scoreboard, but it will not be because we didn’t see and fight for what we want, believe in, and spent hours upon hours building.
Paul was like this. He was relentless no matter the cost to Him.
Look in Acts chapter 9. Saul as he was known then, was the MAJOR persecutor of the church. There was a defining moment that changed his life forever. He was blinded by a great light.
That was the moment he went from passionate about persecuting the church and killing Christians to preaching the gospel and opening the way for the gentiles. He went from Saul to Paul. Saul the persecutor to Paul the evangelist. Regardless of the cost, His world changed, and He changed the world.
Today is the start of your life, season, whatever it looks like. You have been blinded by the GREAT LIGHT.
WHO ARE YOU? Paul asked this question.
Are you going to play and live without passion and desire? Or with an “I don’t care attitude”? Will you be different and change your season, each other, and eventually the world?
Your choice. What will it be?
So this is what happens when you sweep a gym floor….